More Darkness

Hello everybody, welcome to Ominous Designs Episode 123. This week we are adding two more designs to the gothic horror themes of Innistrad. You will see that those are all about flavor and I’m quite content with where we landed for that.

Summon the BeastThe first one is Summon the Beast.

What is there to say about this one? First, I hope you got the reference. You are meant to form the Number of the Beast by a combination of permanents, life total and cards and your graveyard. I think it is doable, but only the most dedicated Johnnys will try. As such, the card is most definitely not a overpowered but another one of those fun alternate win conditions.

I could envision someone trying to get to 6 life by just casting milling spells and playing lands until they can play Summon of the Beast.

Key to the MysteryNext up is Key to the Mystery.

It has been a couple of weeks I wanted to create a a card of the new artifact subtype Clue. Here it is, and it is a legendary one! I want to keep this clue in the realm of drawing cards or card selection and as it turns out there aren’t that many things left out because of Tamiyo’s Journal.

I opted for a recurring scry effect and the same draw ability as other clues, but on steroids. You can also see Key to the Mystery a divination for 4 colorless mana in two installments, which sounds amazing for a base.

That’s it for the week! I think the designs today were pretty straightforward and very flavorful. Not the most challenging for balancing either, the Key to the Mystery might still be on the powerful side though.

I don’t know if you noticed, but I also created a cute little new edition symbol to match with the Ominous brand. I’m pretty happy with it.

I’m looking forward to next week, when we’ll figure out if I still have more Innistrad designs in me. Until then, I hope you all have a great week see you next time!

Happy New Year

Hey all. I’ll be honest, when I started writing this article I was mostly thinking about the next stage of the design contest. In that sense it’s a follow up of last week’s article, hence the title. I gathered quite a few votes last week, mostly from reddit, and here are the semi-finalists: Forges of Insanity (61%), Damion Colebane (57%), Binding Ritual (51%), Lord of Lambholt (67%).
It’s surprising to see Lord getting the most votes, as he was also criticized the most by other people, for understandable reason – one of which being an anthem in black.

Either way, this week we are doing the semi-finals, and for that I will use the fantastic looking versions from redditor Amane_VIII, made using Magic Set Editor. Here we go:

Forges of Insanity   vs   Binding Ritual

Damion ColebanevsLord of Lambholt

Don’t they look amazing? I just realized that there is a mistake on Binding Ritual though, it’s supposed to drain your opponent’s life for 2 when it comes into play, and drain you back when it leaves. Please vote though; I’m excited to know who will win, and you might still get to win something!

Old Ways EmissaryI don’t want to make this post too long, but I thought I could slip some new design in it, as it’s been a couple weeks since last time I did.

Old Ways Emissary is an attempt to make an artifact hoser for formats like Modern or even Legacy. I didn’t want to make it straight up kill those decks, but that’s something sidedeck cards tend to do in those formats – see Hurkyl’s Recall or Stony Silence.

I love the idea of shutting down triggered abilities; while somewhat weird, it attacks from a new angle.

You might have noticed that I used Magic Set Editor here and I love it… I’m not sure I will sustain this in the future though, as it takes longer to use and I’m usually not around my windows desktop when I make cards. Time will tell!

I’m glad the previous round of design contest had so many votes, and I’m looking forward to this week’s results and next week’s finals. Hope you are too! Have a great week.


Believe me, it is a great challenge to come up with titles every week! Since I somewhat spoiled it already, without further ado I will reveal the subject of this week, hinted at in my previous post: breaking away from the boundaries of the color pie.
In case you don’t already know, the idea behind of the color pie is that each color has access to a particular set of effects, specialties and even maybe monopolies, and then there are thing that some colors just don’t do. Straight up killing – non flying – creatures is not a green thing, drawing is very rare in red, and destroying a land hardly ever happens in blue.

flamedancerKorr Flamedancer.
So what’s something else red hardly ever does? Gain life. I could only find one card only red doing so, and its purpose isn’t quite to gain life.
Our friend shaman here does just that though, so how is that in flavor? The life gain comes in when you have done direct damage to a player through spells, not creatures, like red mages like to do.
It is restricted enough so that it doesn’t get crazy, because most of the time you don’t want to focus all your fire to your opponent’s face.
I think this card demonstrate that some abilities just can’t be linked to some colors though, as the design still feels like it should be half white.

melancholyAutumn’s Melancholy.
Now we’re going to make opponents discard using a green enchantment. Again it is done through adding a spin on the ability, to make it feel greener.

Green is master of lands, isn’t it? With Autumn’s Melancholy, every time you play a land, you can discard another land to pick one off your opponent’s hand.
So if you have 4 manas and two lands, you can start preventing your opponent from dropping his. Hardly overpowered but you can make it work with green ramp! Does that feel like autumns to you?
This is a fun exercise. Try and come up with other combinations! Like reanimate in blue, fetching lands in black, haste in white… Tell me if you find great ones, I’ll gladly work on them. Have a great week!