Back to Basics

What’s up everybody? Welcome to Ominous Designs 176. There is a non-zero chance I bit slightly more than I should chew today, but chew I will. I started with an idea that turned into a card, a card which turned into a cycle. We are going to have some time to talk today so without further ado, here I come with your five designs of the week.

Ashes // Ashes

The original idea. Some cards have “to” in their name, so why don’t we try and pretend their are Aftermath cards just for the fun of it?

Ashes to Ashes was one of the staples of my young magic life. What would happen if I tried to split it in two? One of the reason I was particularly tempted is that it would create two Ashes halves, and I wanted to be cheeky about it. The other reason is I could be relatively faithfully do it. Ashes to Ashes killed two creatures and made you lose 5 life, this version splits those into two payments of 3 life.

Dust // Dust

As I set myself on track for remaking a few cards, it was only normal I would look into adapting Dust to Dust next. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

This one was also a simple double effect card that could be easily split into two smaller effects.
Now I should mention, my point isn’t to split those exactly in the middle. Mind you, my point isn’t either to make a completely viable version with aftermath. I aim somewhere in the middle of those, I want the reference to be a fun and somewhat plausible, albeit imperfect design.

Bash // Bits

We are now cruising in our cycle, going through names of cards containing the word “to”. While looking for a red card, I found Bash to Bits.

The amazing factoid about the card from Odysseys is that it was featuring the flashback mechanic. In that respect, our version can be almost exactly the same as the original!

Basically the only difference is that ours doesn’t reference the actual flashback mechanic so Catalyst Stone wouldn’t work.

Gnaw // The Bone

And now for the green card. Gnaw to the Bone is a famous limited role player from Innistrad and also a pretty easy one to make into an aftermath card.
Gnaw to the Bone was another flashback card, and it was also doing the same thing twice! No big deal in terms of mechanics, not too brain intensive in matter of balancing either, we just split the card in the middle!

Originally both sides even costed the same in terms of mana so the funny part here is we created two almost identical sub-cards, one with aftermath.

Reduce // Dreams

Our final, blue card is a rare! Reduce to Dreams was also an interesting one to split. Since the original was returning both all artifacts and enchantment to their owners’ hands, I am separating the two for our last design of the day.

This makes for a lot more flexible and efficient card. I took to heart to keep the mana cost overall the same here, which might have lead to a slightly undercosted combination. I also made sure to keep most of the cost for the artifact half, so as to not make it a sorcery speed Hurkyl’s Recall.

I am not going to lie, I am rather glad we are done with those! I was a fun exercise and I invite you to make more of them but they are not as interesting to debate over. I hope you enjoyed the thought process and the cards, though.

My work is done here, I will now say good day or night to you, see you next week, and play responsibly.

 

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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!

 

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!