Fix What’s Broken

Hello everybody! Today I will finally feature what I have been teasing for a while now: my own custom made set of about 250 cards!

IMG_20151113_153829My girlfriend had this made as an amazing birthday present a couple weeks ago, and I have been sleeving them, making them into decks and play testing them with her since then. Now I can finally show the world.
She had the help from San Francisco printing company in called HH Imaging, and the result looks pretty great! Click the images to see for yourself.

IMG_20151113_102653As you can see they have a beautiful back that sports the name Ominous, which is part of a rebranding that I am working on.
Bullzzai is my brand for Magicky things that I named after a life long nickname Banzzai. In the past few years I have taken on blogging, app making and streaming and I want to create a better brand under this more catchy name.

IMG_20151118_124320 (1)From having sleeved and played those cards I can tell you that they are at the same time amazing in quality and impossible to mistake for actual magic cards. They are slightly thicker, definitely glossier, and from a minor mistake slightly too big to fit in non clear sleeves.
At the same time, both the Ominous background and the Magic Set Editor template are well different from actual cards, which I think is great as I am not trying to make fake cards. Those still look and play fantastic though.
One minor issue was I ended up having to use clear sleeves and put Ominous cards in my basic land sleeves as well, to show the same back.

IMG_20151113_181810Now the play testing is definitely the best part.

It is a blast being able to actually play my favorite designs from the past two years against each other! It wasn’t the easiest making decks out of cards that were not created to function with each other, but with the help of mana fixing I could create two 3 color decks that are really fun.

Here you can see my girlfriend wrecking me by casting a rare Angelic War Leader, followed by Eternal War, that destroys all non-demon and non-angel creatures!

I was feeling a bit salty but couldn’t resist immortalizing the bad beat. Playing them made me wish my designs were perfect, and now I want them to better them even more.

As such, today I decided to feature two designs that I have been playing with recently and I think should be fixed. Let’s have a look at them.

Command the Winds(2)Command the Winds original version costed 4 manas.
I figured at the time that since I added the “only if you have a flying creature” clause it would be ok, but it turned out being all too easy to make happen for a killer effect.

I toyed around with the idea of making it draw only one card if you don’t, for the same cost, but that would then make for an either useless or amazing card.
With a cost of 5, Command the Winds becomes a less powerful version of Jace’s Ingenuity, which feels better to me. More playtesting to come!

Orzhov Hypocrite(2)Orzhov Hypocrite used to have first strike and lifelink and drain you for 2 when coming into play.

First strike on a 2 drop seemed way too powerful for my format, given that I was playing it in a Mardu deck facing much less aggressive green and blue designs, which didn’t help at all.

Even then, I feel like vigilance and lifelink makes for a more balanced design. I now wonder if I could have kept the initial drain to 2 instead of raising it to 3 as I did for this version. What I needed to do though is raise its toughness from 1 to 2, which makes total sense here.

What do you think? I am happier with the new versions of my cards; it’s definitely a minor bummer to realize your designs are broken but it feels great knowing that you can make it all better and keep iterating until they are truly fun to play.

I want to reiterate huge thanks to my life partner for this amazing gift. I was the happiest unwrapping it and I will love playing over and again and bettering myself as a designer in the process. I hope you enjoyed the story, I will probably revisit other ones in the near future, as I play more with them!

Look forward to it and until then, have a great week!

     

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Happy Birthday Bullzzai

Hi all. This week we are finally celebrating the one year anniversary of the blog! It’s been great fun writing those 43 posts so far. 43 is slightly under one a week, – that would make 52 posts – but since a few months ago I have gotten pretty good at posting every Tuesday or Wednesday. I’m not completely satisfied with where my writing skills are at just yet, but I’m pleased with what I learned about running a blog so far. I now try and come up with a coherent theme every week, keep it simple, and make sure I link the content as much as I can on various social platforms.

I have lots of various celebrations events for us this week, so let’s get started. First announcement this week, I have acquired http://www.bullzzai.com! I’m still ironing out the kinks coming with the transition, but you can already change your bookmarks. Pretty exciting, isn’t it?

1407199128589122Second surprise is our 1 year commemorative card, Bullzzai, Mindbound.

It can obviously do some crazy things, and will be fueled by your imagination! Past the obvious Mass Calcify, Red Elemental Blast and Nature’s Ruin combos, it can do some neat tricks with Thragtusk and let’s say… Benthic Djinn. Just about anything, really; just think about it!

I thought of giving control over your opponent’s spells as well, but we don’t want to play God that bad… Or do we?
howto6-06Next! A quick preview of the work in progress on my app MTG20 LifeCounter.

It is still in progress and we have a whole bunch more to achieve before release, but so far it looks like it’s going to be great!

I’m taking a close look at how we will make the app easier and more enjoyable to use, and I have the help of a designer to make it more beautiful as well.

Obviously I’ll keep the “player profile” feature, and try and bring the draft organizer up to snuff.

fa3be45ab1fee88c46253617175d4b3d_largeNow number four:
Bullzzai is proud to announce the sponsor of our local game shop, Endgame, in Oakland CA. It’s a great shop, with a great magic community until recently lead by the superhero judge Sean Catanese. Endgame just successfully founded a kickstarter to open their cafe, and Bullzzai will be displayed on they wall of honor as a backer!

You can see the concept art for the wall in the picture here, it’s going to be quite epic. Our logo will also be on there, along with the new website url.

other

Click to see the rest

And now, our last announcement… I’m starting a contest for the best design of the year! There are 8 cards in competition and you can see the first half here on the side.

I have posted all of them on reddit and Magic Salvation forums and I invite you all to vote on here as well!

We will elect the best of those 8 designs and I will also pick the most accurate voter and offer him a few steam games 🙂 I have a dozen votes so far and am sharing with friends now.

That about wraps it up for our first year of Bullzzai designs 🙂 I have a lot of plans for the future, and I hope they will encounter greater success as time goes by. I am obviously thinking about more cards, cycles, sets, different games and apps I’m thinking about and working on as well, streaming, podcasts, updating the blog’s layout… You name it; there’s a lot of possibilities out there.

In real life as well, I’m still working on my cube, looking at commander meetups in my area, – making steady progress on a squirrel deck – and some shop could use my help as a rule advisor or judge,- I’m still training my judging skills. Lastly, I think it’s been a while I haven’t gone to a competitive event, PTQ or even Grand Prix.

Lots of things, you see. I hope you keep enjoying them. Don’t hesitate to give me vote and feedback, and see you next year!