After the Maths

Hello everybody, welcome to episode 122 of Ominous Designs. Today we are finally going to see the mechanic I teased last week: Aftermath. It took me a whole day to upload my video this week but I had recorded it a day early so everything is fine. Since our mechanic is so interesting and pretty easy to come up with cards for, we are going to see three of them today. Starting with…

Survive the SlaughterThe first card is Survive the Slaughter.

As you can see, aftermath is a variation of flashback where the second time you cast the card causes a different effect. It was pretty hard to find a template for it and I don’t think I came up with the best one yet. Either way as you can see Survive the Slaughter is a mass removal spell that hopefully will give you a creature back.

I wanted the card to be over-costed enough so that it isn’t too oppressive but it definitely will still be very good, especially when combined to other removal spells.

Toy with MindsOur second card is Toy with Minds.

This one is very straightforward. It starts with an over-costed mind rot and follows up with a very over-costed divination.

We obviously don’t want a card of the sort that doesn’t cost something like four extra mana, because it is a 4-for-1! I still think it’s good as it is.

I decided to go for black cards with an aftermath cost of an other color, and that’s entirely arbitrary and mostly an esthetic choice. We could play with any color combination instead.

Succumb to RageFinally, we have Succumb to Rage.

This one is either two combat tricks or a removal, albeit conditional.
I didn’t want a card to be a removal and also two efficient combat tricks, but as a result the trick parts seem fairly boring. I’m pretty sure we can do better but then again there is the whole “trick + trick + removal” upside.

As it is, the deathtouch part can give you a 1-for-2 and sometimes a 1-for-1, while the aftermath can give you a 1-for-0 so even playing it that way is somewhat acceptable.

And that’s going to do it for today! Aftermath is worth thinking about and coming up with lot of new cards, as well as other wordings or templates. Let me know if you can think of other designs I’ll be happy to look at them.

Before I leave, I want to announce a couple new features for Ominous Designs and Responsible Gaming. I am still updating our branding, you might have noticed a couple changes on this site’s header. I also booked the url www.responsiblegmg.com, you can now go check out Responsible Gaming portal there, which contains most of my social links. You can also contact me at ominous@responsiblegmg.com, which is pretty sweet.

That’s about all for this week, once again thanks for reading/watching. I hope you liked the cards and all have a great week. See you next time!

Advertisements

Spooky Things

Hey all! Welcome to Ominous Designs episode #120, available in video form here on youtube, as I’ll remind you until I manage to advertise properly on this website.

Today we are going to look at cards inspired by our imminent return to Innistrad, hence the spooky. Only one of them truly is but both are for certain related to the mechanics included in the upcoming edition. As such if you really want to be spoiler free, consider this your fair warning: I am using several concepts from Shadows over Innistrad. Let’s do this!

Kerathan PhasewalkerKerathan Phasewalker.

Well look at this sweet little wizard. Admittedly I have done a lot of copying and redirecting spells recently, but I wanted to make this last one as it was interacting nicely with the reprint of Madness.

I have checked that copy effects on creatures can cost all the way down to 2 manas, so I figured that for 3 and a card we should be safe. On the other hand I felt like pushing the envelope on stats in order to see if we could play him instant speed and have some fun. This makes for some very nice French Vanilla creature! Hope that’s ok.

Argus, Unhinged Detective // Argus, Tainted by the AbyssArgus Unhinged Detective

How could you not love the flavor and coolness factor on this one!? It features many – one might say too many and I would likely agree – mechanics from Innistrad. First it’s a cheap creature that lets you investigate every time you pay a madness cost – not sure yet about the wording for that. So far Argus is fun and all, but not too powerful. I’m not even sure that blue will be a color that plays with madness this time around, have to get back to you on that one. On the other hand though, if you do manage to get 3 clues, he will transform! Something tells me that it shouldn’t be too hard in the new limited format, perhaps even constructed.

As Argus, Tainted by the Abyss, our detective will let you cash in the clues you collected for a smaller price – including some blood of yours – and a greater reward: 4 cards! This is a fine pay-off but nothing completely crazy either. Sort of a Painful Truths on steroids, and you still have to work for the clues. Since we are talking about this, there is yet another ability to Argus! With Delirium – curtesy of Shadow over Innistrad – you will be rewarded an extra clue every time an opponent’s creature dies. That should help!

All in all I think Argus I possibly a tad too powerful and most likely too loaded with complex abilities, but I can’t help liking him – them? You will tell me what you think.

That wraps it up for the day. Give me all your comments and feedback on the usual social outlets, I’ll be waiting for them. Time to say see you next week and until then have a great time!

Magical Poultry

Hi all! This year I have been encouraged to make a thanksgiving special episode. Since it isn’t easy to create straight forward magic designs about holidays and eating a lot, we are getting an Un-article today!
As you might know Unglued and Unhinged are the two silver-bordered, humor-driven sets brought to us mainly by Maro. The designs you are about to see are made in a similar fashion. We have 4 cards today! Might as well get started right now.

Young FeatheredYoung Feathered. Our first turkey card!

Let’s first acknowledge quickly that it is a terribly cute creature.

This one sports a powerful version of the Rootwalla ability that also comes with the Thanksgiving twist of having you express your thankfulness.

At the risk of overloading the design, I opted to add a “vegetable” clause as well, to help with this theme I am trying to push for and you will see more of in the next cards.
How do you like the little turkey-bear?

Feathered CannibalFeathered Cannibal. Not so cute anymore…

When I saw this illustration I knew it had to become a card for this article, and it was pretty clear as well it was going to be black.

Sacrificing turkeys seems obvious as well, though I will admit that the card ends up looking too much like a regular magic one.

This un-article was somewhat of an improvised thing, so I actually didn’t have a genius funny mechanic ready. Have players come up with things to say is an amusing thing to do though.

To-FeatheredTo-Feathered. Get it? Like Tofurkey…
There had to be a card for vegetarians as well; we don’t discriminate here.

I am pretty happy with both vegetarian themed abilities but I have to admit the “illusion” part definitely overloads the design. It is coming from the joke of it being an illusion of a Turkey, since it’s not actually a bird… I hope you find To-Feathered at least a bit funny because it was the whole point!

Compared to Gossamer Phantasm and Phantasmal Dragon I suppose it is under-costed.

Memory Leek

Memory Leek.

As a final entry for this article, I want to re-post this design I made a few months ago since it inspired the “vegetable” theme you can see in the turkey cards.

Memory Leek is some sort of Shadowmage Infiltrator focused on milling your opponent, and it desperately needed more vegetable cards to be played in its limited environment.

While I actually only made one today, you can see how I pushed for that design space on other cards.

That will do it for this foodie episode of Bullzzai designs. Now I want to mention something about the teaser I published last week. I still need to take more pictures and make time to do a full post about it, so instead of publishing the whole story today I will give you another picture and confirm that yes, my girlfriend managed to download over 200 designs from this blog and have them printed! We have play-tested them twice so far and it’s a blast.

IMG_20151118_124320

Look forward to knowing more about those! Until then, hope you have a great thanksgiving and I’ll see you next time.

Very Punny

Hey everybody! Got you a special episode today, it’s time to get goofy. The new designs this week are based on word play, which I promise will be better than it sounds. Have a look, see for yourself.

Gob SmackOur first card, Gob Smack – get it? – I tried to make somewhat playable. I’m basing myself on Fling and making it better, sorta.
Being able to sacrifice multiple creatures sure is practical, even though goblins most likely won’t be very big. I didn’t want to allow a player to sacrifice all the creatures he just used to attack with though.
As it is now, I figure you can either attack with your little green dudes or throw them at the enemy for the same effect. This very much make it a Falter effect of sorts – which should be reasonable – with an extra instant speed component to it.
Memory LeekMemory Leek is based on… Mana Leak. Now the hilarious part is I thought Memory Leak existed until a moment ago! It really should, it’s a great name.
Memory Leek though… It really had to be a silver border card. So I went all the way and busted out the sweet old fashioned frames for you.
The idea is that there would be a vegetable theme, which I believe I’ve seen before on reddit and is a great idea for an un-set. As a card it is very reasonable in power level. On one hand 1/3 semi-unblockable for two is pretty good, and on the other the mil effect is relatively low impact.
Fun stuff? Good stuff? At least you have to give me that it’s good to change things up a bit once in a while. I hope you enjoyed the cards, I will be back next week for more traditional designs.
Until then, have a great one!

Mana Mana Mana

…Batman? Nevermind. As it turns out there was another subject I haven’t dealt with this year, and not that much since the beginning of this blog either: it’s making mana. At large, mana producing isn’t the biggest space in magic cards design – you don’t want to get too fancy with it and instead rely on good old basic lands – but it’s definitely an interesting area to explore.

Lucky you, this week you are getting an artifact – what we call a mana rock – and a full cycle of 10 two-color lands! Let’s check those out right away.

Eye of KerathAs you can see Eye of Kerath is the mana stone.

I was wondering what kind of card could be made, using for downside that producing mana of any color would let an opponent draw a card. I believe a free artifact might be it!

Now to keep this card in check, there are a couple things to look at: would the modern deck Affinity play it? What about Storm? Lastly, how does it impact Legacy? Commander?
I think we are mostly safe on all fronts, but just in case I wanted to experiment with making it legendary. I wonder why it was hardly ever done.

Citadel RuinsNw for the big cycle. Citadel Ruins is the first land I created.

My main idea was to make a cycle of dual lands with a color making you lose life, but the other one gaining you some back.

My biggest worry was that the downside wouldn’t be great enough, and soon that you would find yourself with a bunch of lands gaining you life every turn.

You are looking at my second iteration. It would still need work and testing, as we need a strong incentive to not just play 12 of those is every deck!

Do tell me what you think of those. Now I’ll be leaving you with the full cycle of those beautiful lands, hope you will enjoy them. It’s been tons of fun working on their flavor; I wasn’t really set to make a cycle but I could help myself in the end.

I’ll be talking to you next week, until then have a good one!

Cursed Crater

 

 

 

 

 

Frozen Necropolis

Hexed Jungle Highfalls Castle Marsh Road Raging Peak Rethik Academy Rumination Pool Woods Edge Temple

Enabling the Broods

Being literal makes for interesting titles, I guess. Want to hear about how busy I am these days?… Right, so let’s get right to it then! What I meant by enabling the broods was that this week we are going to look at three cards that work well – hopefully – with the mechanics from three factions from Dragons of Tarkir, namely the broods of Silumgar, Kolaghan and Ojutai. I’m playing nice and saying the names this time but to be honest the broods are so close to the former Khans and their names are so equally complicated that I don’t think they will stick much at all.

Silumgar ShamblerSo our first card is Silumgar Shambler, and it is meant to enable Exploit. If you don’t know Exploit – check out those cards – it’s pretty simple: sacrifice a creature, get an effect. And what’s better for this than three expandable creatures? Very little, really.

Easy enough to see three creatures for 3 manas is a great deal, but I can’t imagine why it would be too good. Compared to something as simple as Hordeling Outburst or even Sprouting Thrinax it doesn’t seem so crazy, though I get that mana cost makes a difference. If anything being in the colors of exploit makes it that much better, then again same goes for Youthful Scholar.

Temur FlexerAnd now on to fancier designs! First is Temur Flexer.

Let’s be clear here. I don’t care how plausible the creature is, I just love the idea. A creature whose sole role is to enable Formidable? Sounds fun. A boasting warrior with 0 and only action to raise it all the way to 8, just to do nothing with it? Hilarious.

To be honest I think this might be an ok design! Of course it can be “broken”. But does a two card 8 damage combo with summoning sickness – Fling – make it not ok? Hardly. Show me something more broken and I will believe you!

Master of EchoesMaster of Echoes. Now that is the fanciest design of all!
In case you haven’t picked it up after reading the overly complicated text on this monk, it is meant to enable Ojutai’s favourite ability, Rebound.
The idea is that right after you play a rebound spell from exile, – the second time – it will stay exile for you to cast a third time, thanks to the master. Kinda like skipping rocks! Obviously this makes for a complicated mechanic, and possibly breakable, but as far as I can tell solid and elegant enough.
Note that I have no idea how I got so lucky on the illustration, it’s like Ugin is on that sweet picture!

Good stuff? I think so. Those designs are obviously a little ham fisted, as I really tried to push the respective mechanics, but all in all it worked out fine for us. The shambler’s design was a little flat, but the space explored by the two others was really interesting. They might need some fixing but I’m happy I came out with both.

I hope you enjoyed all of this, I’ll see you next week for some more! Have a good one.

 

All About Delve

I made myself lie again! It’s for a good reason too, but I see that every time I set myself up for a certain article the week after, something always come up and interrupts me! Not too worry though, there are plenty weeks in a year.
This time I figured that I wanted to add some cards to each Khan of Tarkir, and I would rather do it sooner than later, seeing that we are already well into Fate Reforged. I will do a full cycle of 5 Khans, with or without intermission. In reality what tends to happen is when I’m a big cycle like this I can’t help but think about all the cards.
We are starting with Sultai and we have three cards this week, so let’s get started!

Slith Sultai Regent We begin with our Planeswalker, Slith, Sultai Regent, lounging in her serpentine palace. She starts with a plus ability very similarly to that of Liliana of the Veil, so it should be fine.

Her “minus” is very experimental. I know giving Delve to cards is potentially wild, but since it costs a Planeswalker’s second ability activation I can’t imagine it getting too out of hand.

Her ultimate is somewhat underwhelming but it should still be pretty powerful. In that respect it looks more like ultimates from Sorin, Solemn Visitor and Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker.

Sultai SmiterSultai Smiter is more straight forward and less flashy. Making a 4/4 for potentially 3 different colors and a Delve doesn’t seem overpowered at all.
As a reward for playing an only ok rare, you will get a nice scry-like effect every time you brawl with the cold-blooded brute. Look at your top card, keep it or “delve” it. Seems pretty good, especially when it happens even when blocking or blocked. All in all I would say the Smiter is not quite constructed playable, under Savage Knuckleblade in terms of power and also reminiscent but weaker than Reaper of the Wilds.

Rakshasan RitualRakshasan Ritual is our bonus card of the week, and is very much me playing with fire. Storm has had this terrible impact on magic cards that it has made it even more difficult to play with “free” spells and mana.

Same as I mentioned with Slith, I don’t foresee spending a whole card to make other one even way cheaper would be degenerate, even when you throw in the mill effect. I equal it to more or less removing all colorless cost from your next few spells which should be ok, again, if it wasn’t for Storm. I would have to call for specialists’ opinion to know if Storm even breaks it in the end.

Isn’t it nice to see more cards from the Naga brood? Remember, next set most likely won’t feature any new Khan cards. I hope you enjoyed them, you can look forward to more next week. What clan do you think or wish it will be?

Only one way to figure it out, it’s to see you next week! Have a good one.