Fast Auras

Hi everybody, welcome again to Ominous Designs. This time we are doing our 143rd episode and I am going to solve try solving the issue with Aura cards which is : what if it doesn’t even hit the battlefield because the target is removed in response? Our live episode was a bumpy one as it started with the assumption that Split Second would solve all of our problems, only to realize mid-stream that it only insures the enchantments does come into play but doesn’t help with the fact you are committing two cards on one creature. Regardless, I proceeded on creating two auras with a guaranteed trigger.

Migth of the PackMight of the Pack.

I first toyed around with an aura split between a static and a temporary effect, only to discover that you could still destroy the targeted creature and get rid of both. My next move would be to allow targeting any creature.
Split Second will ensure the card will enter the battlefield, and your opponent will have two bigger creatures to deal with, unless of course you decided to target only one, in which case you are still under the threat of a single card taking care of the two of yours and of your temporary +4/+4 trample creature.

Revenge CommitteeVengeance Committee.
I went through all the recent auras and I found a couple that would benefit from being guaranteed.
One of them is Murder Investigation. Getting a lot of 1/1 is a desirable effect and with Split Second we find ourselves with something pretty close to a Sorcery that says create X 1/1 where X is the power of target creature. Pretty good for 3, isn’t it?
I started by attempting to create a card one could consider play in Bogles, but gave up. Now I think you might consider siding one of those if you think one of your huge hexproof creatures is still likely to die.

Split second is a 7 on the storm scale, which means it isn’t very likely to come back but if you ask me, everything that is even remotely possible will end up happening again considering how many sets we’re going through nowadays. It is also slightly surprising that the only Split Second aura ever created was a control magic effect but since there was only one altogether I suppose it had to be arbitrary.

That will be it for today! Like I said before I didn’t end up achieving exactly what I had in mind originally but at the very least this was good food for thoughts. I hope you liked the cards and/or got some inspiration from them. I will see you next week for another episode and another theme and until then, play responsibly!

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New Legends

Hello everybody, and welcome to episode 137 of Ominous Designs. The topic for today came to me while browsing /r/custommagic. What we are going to do is create legendary creatures for subtypes that never had one. Spoiler alert: it’s going to be a pegasus and a wurm.

Pelianos Mount of the GodsPelianos, Mount of the Gods. Didn’t think how close the name was from Paliano – main city in Conspiracy – at the time…
It seemed pretty obvious that the pegasus should serve as a mount to other legendary creatures.
I toyed with the idea of implementing this myself but in the end nothing serves this purpose as well as bestow does.
I based the design on the better version of limited all star Nimbus Naiad. I needed to make the legendary creature better so costed it more aggressively, seeing that its extra ability was a fringe one: the faithful companion is ready sacrifice himself to save his legendary friends.

Talath Volarian SovereinTalath, Volarian Soverein.
This one was harder to come up with. Wurms are not your typical sentient and charismatic legendary creatures! I also hoped to make it a Naya creature so it could serve as a commander for a deck containing most existing wurms. After playing around with the idea of a big creature with activated abilities granting keywords from various colors, I discovered I could afford up to 6 of them as long as I picked them well.

So this guy does have a ton but I don’t even think he is more threatening then Soul of Theros or Akroma. In the end he looks like a Naya Cromat.

Those are your – legendary – creatures for the day. Let me know if you think of some other types that need a hero to represent them.
I hope you all have a great time, and I’ll see you next Wednesday!

Benefit from Experience

 

Hey everybody, welcome to episode 136 of Ominous Designs. I was inspired this week and I came up with the idea of doing experience counter a different way. Let’s see what it looks like, shall we?

Davkas SermonFirst we have Davka’s Sermon.

The original experience cards from Commander 2015 only care but how many counters exactly you have, and give you a linear reward.
This time, the card wants to know if you have more than your opponent. If you do, you are going to get nice exile effect. I could obviously not just turning the card on and off based on experience, so if you don’t have enough you still get small tap effect.

Overall the design is largely based on New Phyrexia’s Dispatch.

Huntsmans GearHuntsman’s Gear.

This experience counter theme opens up a huge design space so what I want to do now is use it for yet another card type. It will be an Aura.

Gear is very straightforward. It will make your creature bigger the more experience counters you have. What’s a actually new here is the introduction of thresholds.
If you have more than 3 experience counters, you get trample, and if you have more the 5 you can regenerate. If you think about it it’s pretty close to the level up mechanic.

And those are you cards for the week. Like I said the design spaces is great and easy to explore, so the cards came naturally and are reasonably clean and elegant. As tradition demands I will note that they might very well need to be balanced a notch, but that’s a task for play testing and the upcoming peer review, when I broadcast this article on my favourite social outlets, rather than during our free flow design session.

Now that’s really it for this article. I hope you enjoyed, I’ll be seeing you next week for 137. Have a good one!

 

Buy One, Get Another One

Hello everybody, welcome to episode 130 of ominous designs. Today we’re going to look at mashup of famous magic effects and we’ll do that with a red and a white card. First, we will look at the white design.

Start a WarStart a War is an obvious combination of Journey to Nowhere and some Anthem effect. The real question here is can it really cost only four?

We have seen the ol ring effect cost as little as 2, most likely 3 and maybe 4 in recent history. For the anthem, last ones have been either restricted for 2, or had an extra effect for 3.
This would put our card at a minimum virtual 4.5 mana. I wanted to make it constructed playable so I put it at a very aggressive 4 mana price tag. I’m not sure it would be all that popular for 5 since anthem decks tend to want to curve out faster than that. What do you think. Reasonable?

Shamanic TranceShamanic Trance is arguably even more pushed in terms of mana cost.
As you can see I took Threaten end tacked on a red draw effect. The thing is I didn’t really up the cost of the spell! What I did make it cost 2 red which is the base cost of cards like Harness by Force and there’s something else:
red draw is very sensitive to how much mana you have left, and so is Threaten. As such, unless you have five or six mana available – in red aggro! – and a cheap card on top of your deck, Trance shouldn’t do anything too crazy. The card is definitely pushed for constructed though, do let me know what you think of its cost.

Those are your designs for today, this was a fun exercise and I kind want to make more competitive card mashups in the future. Not sure when exactly but I’ll be sure to let you know.
For now, time to say have a great week and see you next time!

This Isn’t Even My Final Form!

Hi everybody, you know what day it is! For today’s article we’re going to be looking at transform designs again. This time though, the cards sides are going to be of different types, as introduced in Shadows over Innistrad.

Guardian of Elaria // Guardian’s Sanctum.

Guardian of ElariaThis one starts as an inefficient creature we like to call Gray Ogre. When it dies though comma it transforms into a land! That’s unusual, isn’t it?

As I see it, guardian is a mediocre creature doubling as an overcosted ramp spell. Gray Ogres are nothing to be excited about and 3 mana colorless ramp spells that need to wait for creature interaction aren’t either but having two in a single card is still great value. Keep in mind that by the time the creature dies, the extra mana might be less relevant.

Volarian Duelist // Vicious Cut

Volarian DuelistNow for the design that inspired me with this article: Volarian Dualist.

This guy starts starts as a much better creature. This is because his real purpose is board presence and creature interaction. To that effect, I gave duelist more toughness and vigilance, which will in incite your opponent to deal with it. Getting rid of him won’t be easy though, as that would require a 3/3 or 3/2 and even then, it will leave a mark. The creature that killed him will be inflicted with a smaller Stab Wound. I really love that idea.

The resulting creature might be slightly too good but that’s why I made it uncommon; I wanted an exciting creature to feature this creative design.

That’s it for today! A new week, two new exciting concepts I will need balancing and play testing. What’s new? Do let me know if you think they need to be tweaked and how.
Now time has come to me to say have a great week and see you next time!

Mini Me

Hello everybody, welcome to Responsible Gaming for Ominous Designs episode 127. Today we are going to look at a couple of very famous cards and we’re going to see if we can make them into smaller, more humble designs.

Lesser Necromantic RitesFirst one is Lesser Necromantic Rites.

It is a real challenge making a smaller Necropotence. My original idea was to limit the amount of draw to 2 cards per turn. I did not add the “skip draw step” when I started out and it turned out to be, well, quite insane.

With that first line of text though, you will find yourself with a Dark Confidant that isn’t target to creature removal and only ever costs you 2 life, except you can never again draw your first card a turn without it.
Weird but I think playable, wouldn’t you say?

Flamecaster MageSecond card is Flamecaster Mage.

This one is pretty straightforward, it is obviously a Snapcaster Mage without flash who will always cast Shock.

I think it is sufficiency tuned down to make a red Snapcaster ok. It is also a mini Flametongue Kavu of sorts, or even a Goblin Dark-Dweller. Always be sure to balance those! My take is that a 2/1 for 3 in red is sufficiently terrible to justify getting a free Shock most – but not every – the time. I could be wrong so I guess do let me know what you think about this one as well.

That does it for the week. Pretty efficient one, that was. The enchantment needs tweaking but I like the Mage. This will also be a mini article, I guess.
Now is time for me to wish you a great week and see you next time!

Transformalicious

Hey everybody, welcome to episode 125 of Ominous Designs. This week we’re going back to the designs of Innistrad and with a couple of cards revolving around the transform mechanic – hence the title. Let’s get started with actually not a transform card, but a removal spell.

Gloom Moons CurseGloom Moon’s Curse is a fringe removal, way more useful than you might expect in Innistrad, considering the plethora of tokens present in the format like humans, devils, spirits, etc. If you have played with Dual Shot in limited you should agree.
It isn’t the best solution against them but in a pinch, it will do.
Now the really interesting part to is to put this aura on creatures that will transform, especially ones that can’t help it. This is almost better than Bound by Moonsilver for things like werewolves or even Archangel Avacyn herself.
All in all a nice little package that you might even want to main deck in limited.

Ulvenwald Ranger // Hungered Howler

Ulvenwald Ranger

The idea behind this one was to create a werewolf who could punish your opponents for not playing any spell several times in a row. The issue with the usual lycanthropes of Innistrad is that in order to transform to their wolf selves they need to be human first. This ranger doesn’t have that issue since he is able to master the beast within and flip himself back just before turning wolf again automatically because your silly enemies spent another turn doing nothing.

Deciding what ability to give such a werewolf was the tricky part, as the idea was to make the repeatable. I toyed with the idea of adding +1/+1 counters and the issue here would have been that flipping back to human would do very little – the counters would have stayed on the creature. Instead I ended up creating a werewolf who is always hangry for one turn only, then I suppose digests his meal before becoming human and hopefully turn back again very soon. Thankfully, being a 2/2 for 2 there is a lot of space in what you can do with the upside, and I think this one is still pretty sweet.

Those are your designs for the day. Another example of good ideas that I wish I had more time to do delve into. The cards aren’t perfect but pretty fun and hopefully will start some interesting conversations.

I hope you enjoyed, now is time to say have a great week and see you next time!