One Hundred and a Half

Hey everybody! The time, has finally come: welcome to the big 150th episode. I have celebrated several milestones and events in the past, anniversaries, contests, various celebrations, but 150 is a number that looks pretty great to me; wouldn’t you agree?

For the occasion, I had a cohost join me during this very special episode: – click on this link to see the full video – Reuben Covington, cohost of Remaking Magic!
We had a couple of activities planned, the first being to create a top-down design from a recently published gorgeous illustration for the new Dungeon and Dragons bestiary book. Let’s see what we came up with.

volos-willVolo’s Will

Top-down design with several people leads to free form brainstorming all over the place, sharing random thoughts and inspirations. We agreed pretty quickly that the setting of the illustration reminded us of a tutor effect, possibly a blue one because of the frost giant.

After some time riffing on blue and black tutor designs and being inspired by the huge helmet in the corner, we opted for an artifact card combining tutor and reanimate effects. Quite a powerful card we ended up with! Nothing too crazy though.


Next up: we review 13 designs I kept aside from the best of /r/custommagic from the past couple of years. You should really check out the full video as I can’t really describe its content, but all I can say is this was a ton of fun and a great learning experience. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.

Those were the festivities for episode 150. By now you must realize that this time it is much more about the live video version than the article, and this might become a trend in the future. Nowadays people are more interested in live streaming and youtube videos than they are in my short descriptions of the designs after the fact on the blog post or imgur descriptions.

As per usual it’s been a pleasure and I hope you will tell me what you think, as well as follow me and tune in for the next episodes, starting next week!
Until then, have a great time and play responsibly!


Remaking Magic

Hello everybody, welcome to episode 149 or Ominous Designs. Today we are going to set on a mission to fix some of the most powerful and what some might say broken designs of older days of Magic the Gathering. Our two patients – victims? – are Shahrazad and Umezawa’s Jitte.

story-timeStory Time
What makes it so that Shahrazad is banned in all formats? In great part it is that it takes forever to play games within games. To make it faster, Story Time’s subgame ends as soon as one life or one creatures is lost, each player can keep a creature to start, and life totals are not changed. This should allow us to use a simpler reward for the winner, like an extra turn and some life.
I now realize do that first part being triggered ability breaks the design – a player can still remove a creature in response to the trigger and win the subgame – which needs to be addressed. Maybe making it a cast trigger would work?

kondas-tachiKonda’s Tachi

This one is pretty straightforward. Of course keeping counters on the equipment itself is great, but what makes Umezawa’s Jitte truly ridiculous is the fact that it depends on combat damage to anything, creature or player, and that it creates two counters each time. In fact, only getting one counter each turn when hitting a player, probably makes Konda’s Tachi slightly under powered.

If it is, we can easily fix that by adding some evasion to the equipment itself – skulk, trample? – and/or perhaps tweaking the modes.

I am happy with the equipment but I wish I had noticed the issue with our new Shahrazad earlier. There is a chance using a cast trigger fixes most of the issues and at the end of the day, an abusable 5 mana card that gives you an extra turn isn’t the end of the world unless it’s recursive. The biggest downside remains that the design is still very wordy and sometimes might still make the game last a fair bit longer.

That’s it for the week, I will see you next time for the big 150! I hope you are as excited as I am. I have more than one surprise in store for you, so you should tune in to the Responsible Gaming channel to see the live episode next Tuesday night, around 7PM PST.

See you in seven days and until then, play responsibly!


Return to Kaladesh: Origins

Hey everybody, welcome to episode 148 of Ominous Designs. One last episode before I take a week off, go on holidays and return for #149 and most importantly #150 extravaganza!

This week we are going to take a look at mechanics from the recently released block Kaladesh. I had a ton of fun at the pre-release and I want to feature a few of the new mechanics in two cards, today.

electrocuteFirst is Electrocute.

I can’t believe this name wasn’t used yet, though I could imagine it being a little gruesome.
Short Circuit isn’t used either! I didn’t have an illustration for that one, otherwise I would have gone with it.

This card is just about the antithesis to Harnessed Lightning, and even almost doubles as a counterspell against it. Note that spending energy to activate abilities doesn’t use the stack though, therefore you won’t be able to preempt usage of cards like Bristling Hydra with this burn spell.

builder-ant-queenBuilder Ant Queen
is quite obviously Ant Queen‘s cousin. Sorry but I could not think of a better name…

In a very simple and clean fashion, this insect construct utilizes the new mechanic fabricate to give you a choice between a 6/6 trample and six 1/1 creatures. What’s not to love?
The queen might even be stronger than you think, especially played along Kaladesh’s multiple blink and bounce effects.
A 6/6 and 5 1/1, or even 11 creatures? Sign me up! I would love to have a creature like this one at the top of my limited deck curve.

And that’s going to be it for a couple weeks! I hope you enjoyed the designs, do let me know what you think on the outlet of your choice. I will be back in two weeks for 149, just before the big show down of 150.

Until then, you all have a great two weeks and play some great games. I will see you next time and until then, play responsibly!