One last round

We passed the 50th article mark last week, and now is time for a last article before I’m off for a week on holidays! I’ll make it worth your time though, by posting a whole cycle of 5 cards. This one is about pushed 2 drop creatures with a downside, in allied color combinations. Sounds good? So let’s see what we have in store for Azorius, Dimir, Rakdos, Selesnya and Gruul.

Harsh SergeantAzorius isn’t the easiest color combination for downsides. Sending your own creature to your hand would be an obvious solution, but it can be used as an advantage too easily. I figured that detaining your own creature could be an interesting downside. It also makes it so that you can’t play it before having another creature, which I now realize resonates a little too much with another creature we will see later on.

The body on Harsh Sergeant was much simpler to figure out. Flying was obvious, and I needed a good creature, so 2/3 sounded like a fair deal. I do feel like 3/2 would have been too strong.

Frenzied Ghast
Frenzied Ghast
was my original idea for this cycle. I just wanted an unblockable 2/2 for 2 and tried coming up with a reasonable downside.

Losing 1 life every time might be too much, as it really only gives you 1 life margin, but if you ever boost Frenzied Ghast or give it lifelink you’ll be good to go!

All in all this is not the most powerful of the cycle but I believe it is still an ok card.

 

Helian Protector Helian Protector brings with him the perfect Selesnya downside. The conclave is all about all inclusive symbiosis. Selesnya creatures want to have their friends with them. This is why Helian Protector needs you to have another creature before he will even consider entering the battlefield.

As I was mentioning before though, I now feel bad for including basically the same downside and more into Harsh Sergeant as well. The two creatures basically have the same power level as well – even though they are obviously meant for different usages. But I guess they don’t have to have the same power level either, so just let me know if you think one isn’t well balanced!

Tortured RevenantIt is hard to come up with varied downsides for black creatures. You want a downside that hurts. Most likely sacrificing life, permanents, or cards. I did consider making Tortured Revenant‘s controller discard a card instead of sacrificing a creature, but opted not to. It’s hard to have enough gaz in an aggressive deck.

The idea was that in Rakdos, you want to attack fast with a lot of fairly small creatures. It isn’t too hard to imagine having one to sacrifice, especially as it might have done its damage for the turn already. If it’s too small to attack through blockers, at least it will be used by Tortured Revenant.

Also keep in mind that if no better option presents itself, the zombie warrior can sacrifice himself, after having killed all his friends and hopefully done some damage to the opponent. Not so bad for two mana. It can also trade up for more expensive creatures, and you won’t even have to sacrifice anything else in that case. Tortured Revenant would be great with undying creatures.

Tollan BruteTollan Brute is based on my childhood friend Rogue Elephant.
Making its transition to the Gruul clan, an extra red mana will get you a 4/4 trampler, much similar to the deadly Ghor-Clan Rampager. You also get the choice to sacrifice a forest or a mountain, better than forcing you to do away with a certain type of land when you might not have several.

Note that Tollan Brute will be considerably worse in constructed format, the more you play non basic lands. Ravnica shocklands like Stomping Grounds will still work though, as they are both Mountains and Forests.

And that wraps it up for this week! I will try and make enemy colors 2 drops for my return in two weeks. Until then take care of yourselves and have a great two weeks!

2014 Design Contest Finals

Here we are, the finals of the contest we started two weeks ago. Binding Ritual and Lord of Lambholt won the previous round with respectively over 84% and 58%. I guess the pairings on the first was fairly unlucky since it was a crashing victory. More popular designs might have lost in the previous round. That being said it’s not the most surprising Forges of Insanity lost, it was a pretty simple dual land design – so maybe not the most exciting. It’s time to elect the best design of last year now, so let’s have a last look at them in their latest updated version:

LambholtLord of Lambholt
If you remember the original post, this was my attempt at creating a vampire lord in the vein of Mayor of Avabruck.
Obviously the design isn’t print ready, but I think it could have led to some great human / vampire fun in Innistrad. Kinda makes you want to try and build a tribal deck, doesn’t he?

Binding RitualBinding Ritual

Quite troublesome to adapt to the new Banisher Priest template, since I could’t say “opponent loses life and you gain life until…”. You have to explain what happens then. At least my solution enables you to steal life to a player and give it back to another in a multiplayer game!

This design was very popular, which had to be expected, as similar cards also are, and this one is a tasty twist on Detention Sphere, including a significant drawback – it can only target creatures and not permanents.

Come on and vote now! I know which one’s my favorite, but I won’t tell! Instead I’m going to slip in a design that I’ve posted on a my new mild obsession: the subreddit /r/custommagic. They have lots of great designers and regular contests on there, you should really have a look!

Soul of RavnicaSoul of Ravnica – I wish the name wasn’t taken.
I got inspired by a contest to redesign all the souls from M15 and make more. I couldn’t stay on topic though, as I felt an intense urge to merge every single of the 10 guilds in an Avatar creature.

And they are all here! I’m particularly happy I could merge Battalion, Detain and Populate, and that I could add Instant and Sorcery effects. Making sense for those wasn’t easy, especially on a creature. You might need to zoom to see…

Obviously it’s wacky, but I love it. Check out this Bullzzai expansion symbol too!

That’s it for this week! I’m starting to feel the need for some holidays very soon, so we will see if that impacts the pace of my publications. No matter what I will come back next week for the final result of 2014 design contest!

Quick shoutout to Anthony Milano who plays at my local shop Endgame of Oakland, and went all the way to Top 8 of a 400 person Pro Tour Qualifier this weekend! Seems he was playing some variant of Junk midrange, since I’m seeing Tarmogoyf, Liliana of the Veil, Dark Confidant, and Lingering Souls. Congrats for the great achievement!

Over and out, have a great week!

Landtastic

Hi all! A few days ago, I got carried away into a theme that will entertain us for two weeks: making new dual lands. Today, we are going to look at the allied color ones, for those into the Ravnica guilds, that would be Azorius, Dimir, Gruul, Selesnya and Rakdos.

One thing I wanted to play around with was mana maths. If you look at the bounce lands from the initial Ravnica block, you will understand that it’s not trivial how many mana you have each turn after you play them. Let’s make a quick calculation with my first land,

azorius3Frost Canyon.

When you cast Frost Canyon, it virtually replace one of your lands, – great if for example you are stuck on two swamp in a white-blue-black deck -, but if you sacrifice it, it will actually ramp you one mana next turn, as your initial land will finally untap.

I almost published a broken version of this card, then realized I had to fix it. The “frost land” effect and the last ability I really wanted to play with though, so I had to keep making the card more complex to allow such things to happen.

I could have opted for coming into play tapped instead of costing 2 life but if I did that, playing Frost Canyon would net you -1 mana when entering the battlefield, and that would be pretty bad. This is what the Ravnica bounce lands and we want something more powerful.

There is an advantage to using lands that produce two manas – for example if you untap them – and the extra ability can be a fringe advantage, so I guess Frost Canyon could be playable, albeit a tad too complex.

dimirWitch Canyon.

What other downsides can we add to dual lands?
The one on Witch Canyon is very straight forward, you can only use its mana to play noncreature spells.

I think this would still be considered too powerful, even though not broken, just because of how great it would be in control deck! Imagine all the Doom Blade and Essence Scatter it could cast.

That being said, Cavern of Souls is pretty great for creature decks too! Not all of them, I guess.

gruulDeserters Camp.

Now we’re varying it up! This Gruul dual land wants you to pick a fight.

Giving a 2/2 to your opponent just because you want to play a double land is possibly a high cost to pay. To be honest, most of those creative downsides I have never tested against the advantage they provide, and it’s fairly subtle.

That being said, Gruul can deal with a lowly orc! They are almost the best suited for that, along with the next guild:

selesnyaHalfling Temple.

Turns out this one is actually similar to Deserters Camp. Selesnya might indeed be best suited to deal with pesky little creatures, so if you want this land, you will have to deal with two 1/1 human elves.

It’s arguable which is worse, two 1/1 or a 2/2, but what’s definitely the best, is that you can choose if you’d rather have the land come into play tapped!

Obviously, either 2/2 is stronger than two 1/1, or we’ll have to fix one of those cards!

rakdosForges of Insanity is our last land.

Possibly my favourite of the week, I don’t know if it will turn out to be powerful at all but it is fun. For those who don’t know, fateseal is just like scry, except your opponent does it for you.

Jace’s first power has been mostly experimented with and abandoned by Magic developers for being too powerful – you don’t want others to choose what you will play! To help with that, I left the player the choice to let the forges come into play tapped instead. It’s one of those I’d love to test but I think it could work!

Bonus:
Let’s have a look at tokens from the Gruul and Selesnya lands!
halfling orc

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sadly, I couldn’t get them to be of two colors, but otherwise they look great! I have to admit it doesn’t make me want to see them on the other side of the board just because I played a dual land… I’ll probably test them though, those lands are just pretty and flavorful.

Next week, prepare yourself for the enemy color lands! I think they are my favorites, so you better be excited. More importantly, have a great week!

Magic salad

Hey all! I’m still being very busy these days, but I do want to keep writing so I decided I would do more free form articles like I did last time. This time I don’t have 5 cards for 5 colors, so let’s call it a salad to stay in the culinary theme. Diving right in.

Lohk, Scourge of Akroa

Lohk, Scourge of Akroa.
There are so many minotaurs in Theros, but no legendary one. I wanted this one to be good, but not too splashy. As a consequence it has pretty simple mechanics, but is still very powerful!

3/4 for 4 aren’t always very sought after in constructed, but then again minotaurs aren’t either. In a casual deck though, Lohk is going to unleash Hell if he comes after a couple other minotaurs, especially after “lords”!

What do you think?

 

Vicious HellspawnVicious Hellspawn. Another Rakdos card, if we count minotaurs.

A creature that gets smaller as more creatures enters the battlefield is a very interesting mechanic flavor wise. Making it good isn’t as easy though.

With Vicious Hellspawn in your opening hand, if you are starting and your opponent doesn’t play a creature each turn (turn 1 and 2) you can already attack with at least a 3/3. With some removal, speed, luck and its built-in ability, it might even be good! Needs testing though.

Prismatic SextantPrismatic Sextant. Spoiler alert, I’m thinking of making a series of tools and professions – like farmer, warrior, explorer, priest etc.

This one isn’t related to professions per say, but would fit perfectly the exploration theme, which is often what we call fetching for lands. If not this version I really want to see some land fetch equipment!

As is, it will cost you 4 and a “tap” to fetch your first land, and you will likely be able to fetch another 1 or 2 by only paying a few manas and using a creature afterwards. This could be combolicious!

Corrupt With PowerCorrupt With Power. As I keep repeating, cards are hard to balance. Basically any card could work as long as you balance it right, but that doesn’t make it simple!
This one also delivers a power that I want to see out there: stealing planeswalkers.

One thing that I took into consideration is that you don’t want stealing a planeswalker cost more than killing one plus playing one. I didn’t want to create a 6 mana spell either anyways. By hurting both the player and the planeswalker, did I make the card balanced? I’m afraid not just yet but I’m trying!
Someone on MTG Cardsmith mentioned that it is very hard to main deck a card that’s only of any use when your opponent does control a planeswalker, and they might be right about that, so maybe Corrupt with Power isn’t nearly as powerful as I initially thought.

Everfrost Wyvern.

There is no way I would pass on such amazing art. I even tried to look the author up for credits but failed.

The card is somewhat not very daring, but what can I do? Magic has such a strong flavor that it’s hard to move away from the “frost taps creatures and prevents them from untapping” paradigm. This gave me an idea though, maybe I’ll try and break free from all that color pie crazyness, see where I land 🙂
As is, my wyvern is a beautiful flying Frost Titan.

I like this sort of articles. They don’t impose much on my but to write an article about my various inspirations – and I do get those several times a week. I hope you like them because I don’t have time for much more these days. See you next week for more, have a great one!

 

Godly Weapons

Hey everybody. I have been taken away from my initial article plan. I meant to tell you about black removal spells, but I couldn’t resist the call of the gods any longer. Here is what happened.
The gods of born of the gods being minor gods, they don’t get all the attention Heliod, Thassa, Erebos, Purphoros and Nylea, who are getting ordeals, weapons, emissaries. I have made ordeals for the minor gods already, but it’s time to show them my devotion once more, this time with weapons.
weapons

You probably already know the weapons from the Theros block. They are mostly great, game breakers in limited and even sometimes pretty good in constructed. Can we make something similar? I say yes, with the difference that I think they should be somehow harder to take advantage from, because of the “specialized” aspect of each two colors combinations. Let’s see that.

epharaAmphora of Ephara has an terrible sounding name. What can I say, that’s what she’s holding, and that’s the way those cards are templated.
I’ll be honest I just read that design again and I think I went too far! Flying to everybody should cost more than 3, even in two colors, especially if there’s another great ability in the mix. This would need to be fixed…
The secondary ability is neat though. It’s meant to be used to move auras around and trigger heroic. though I just realised you probably wouldn’t be able to use bestow with that… Maybe I need to rework the whole thing.

mogisHalberd of Mogis is getting there. I wanted to go for something different than the usual cheap weapon, and I also thought double strike could be fun.

It’s so powerful that it needs to cost at least 6, to be honest I’m not even clear that’s enough.

The second ability is gravy, being able to deal damage straight to players and creatures is nice, but you might want to attack with double strikers instead!

 

karametraThrone of Karametra. I like that those gods have very different tools / weapons.

I think I wasn’t sure if I should have all weapons grant a classic ability to all creatures, then have an activated ability on top, but I decided I would.

Vigilance sounds mostly logical for selesnya, and making wolf tokens even more.

It’s a very simple, somewhat classical weapon in the end, but it’s still fairly good, and aggressively costed, so I like it!

phenaxCloak of Phenax is another one of those not-quite-weapons but it’s cool.
It really needed to have intimidate on it, which is quite powerful to give to all creatures, but also spot-on flavour wise.

From there I decided to make the second ability less powerful, and still on flavour, so milling it is. Note that I let that one the possibility of being activated twice in the same turn, which could be pretty nice.
This weapon is also one of the best to use with the god himself, which I didn’t always have in mind.

xenagosThe last one is our star, Lyre of Xenagos! Xenagos being a major participant in the story of Theros, I wanted to make sure to make a great weapon for him.

Trample is also a must for Gruul colors, seems quite evident to me.
Then it took me a long time to find something that had not been done yet, but I’m actually very happy with what I ended up finding.

Kessig Wolf Run for every body! As long as you can pay for each, of course.
All in all those weapons aren’t my most polished designs, but someone had to do it! As Maro says, humans look for completion in patterns and I know I do more than many. It is pretty fun to make designs for cards that would logically fit the cycles of Theros. Time will tell if I should be making some emissaries! That could be fun too… You can tell me if you really want them 🙂

No matter what, have a great week! Talk to you later.

The new God of Theros are sending us on a mission

Hey everybody! How was your pre-release? Mine was great, I got a sweet blue-white heroic deck with two favored hoplites, two vaporkins, wavecrash triton, nymbus nayad, gods willing, and Ephara’s Enlightenment plus three cats from Born of the Gods 🙂

This is not why we are meeting today though. I’m writing to you because I got inspired (pun originally unintended but I’ll own it up) by the new gods of Theros. I realised that Ephara, Xenagos, Phenax, Mogis and Karametra had not prepared ordeals for their champions the same way the five main gods did. Well I’m here to fix this, so with no further ado, I present you…

epharaOrdeal of Ephara. Let’s have a look at the main ideas behind those new ordeals.

As you can see, Ordeal of Ephara costs one mana of each of Ephara’s colors. Same converted mana cost as the initial ordeals, but this time your creature will have to attack four times between it gets its reward. That is if you don’t help it, of course.

When you crack ordeal of Ephara, you get to Scry 3 and draw 2 cards (guess I was tired and wrote discard).

How do you like it? Pretty cool isn’t it.

karametra
Ordeal of Karametra.

This one is fun. When you get through the whole ordeal, you will be rewarded with both a 2/2 Wolf, and a 1/1 bird with flying.

Wolves and 1/1 birds aren’t very common in Born of the Gods but that’s nitpicking, I think. There is one card centered around wolves, and a few more cards making 2/2 blue birds though.

And as usual with gifts from the gods, those are enchantment creatures!

 

mogis

Ordeal of Mogis.

This time we are working for the minotaur god!

This one isn’t my favourite, but I figured two mostly evasive gifts could be nice for aggressive decks based around minotaurs. That’s what they like after all.

+1/+0 and first strike is mainly red, and intimidate mostly black. You might have noticed I’m trying to add two effects from two different colors to those new ordeals.phenax

 

 

Ordeal of Phenax.

Let’s see the ordeal for the god of deception.

We are staying in the theme of blue black magic, with this hand disruption effect, and some mil added on top. I think the first effect was powerful enough to have the second one be a little less.

Also, did you notice the picture I (re)used for those? I tried my best to re-create a nice vibe for the 5 bi-color gods by picking from the cards of Theros and Born of the Gods.

xenagos

Ordeal of Xenagos.

Hope you knew that Xenagos ascended to the realm of Gods! Gods of revels. He makes things bigger and creates mana, just like his planeswalker and god cards.

Since we were in two colors, I decided that the effect on those ordeals should be greater, but the ordeal should take longer to finish. Obviously this makes the ordeal create more +1/+1 counter, but having to wait for 4 turns if you don’t have tricks, I think delays this effect long enough.

That’s it! This was pretty fun to do. There is still much more room to be explored with other effects, maybe one single effect that matches both colors’ philosophies, or use even more powerful ones, like destroying creatures or other permanents, or return cards to owner’s hand or libraries. I do think it’s important to make those ordeals harder to activate, and with a bigger upside. They are already in two colors to begin with! This matches the philosophy of Born of the Gods more closely.

Check out the new pantheon now if you haven’t yet, it’s worth a look. And now is time for me to say goodbye and see you next time for more card design adventures. Have a great week!

Multi-faceted Gods

Hey everybody! There has been a few more Born of the Gods spoilers, but as I said last week I don’t intend to reveal and comment everything. What I do feel like doing though, is talk some more about the new Gods of Theros. In my previous article I have introduced Ephara, God of the Polis. There is something I missed in my review though, her ability triggers at the beggining of each upkeep! This changes a lot, because you don’t need to be casting creatures with flash for her to take effect. Every time you will cast a creature on your turn with Ephara on the board, you will get a free card at your opponent’s upkeep!

This is great, but not the main topic. Let’s introduce a new god for the sake of today’s presentation. I just decided that I don’t even need to show you all the ones that I’ve been revealed so far; instead I will showcase one god with a sweet, sweet illustration from the up and coming Peter Mohrbacher: Mogis, God of Slaughter.

Mogis-God-of-Slaughter-Born-of-the-Gods-SpoilerYeah, pretty badass. Now here’s about how to activate them. For each mana symbol among the permanents you control, check if the the symbol is of the right color (here red or black). The way it does NOT work is “add red and black devotion”. Let’s see what the difference is with two distinct board states.

Image (1) ImageDevotion to Red: 5

Devotion to Black: 2

Devotion to Mogis: 5

Not 7! Because there is 5 colored symbols on the board, and they are indeed black or red. Mogis isn’t a creature.

Image (4) Image (3) Image (2)Devotion to black: 3
Devotion to red: 5
Devotion to Mogis: 7!!!

Go ahead, crazy you, attack with that magnificent Minotaur God. Nice board, by the way. Somehow I thought this was more unintuitive, but looking at it now it doesn’t seem so bad. Just remember to count each symbol only once. What it means though, is that you don’t get freebies for hybrid mana, apart from the fact that those often have only colored mana in their casting cost. It will enable bi-colored decks to try and play the god game, but I can’t help wondering how efficient you can make it, and this for a simple reason.

Who is playing gods in standard? Mono-color decks, for the great majority. If they have 5 colored mana symbols on the board, they will be of the colors of their god. Now what about a red-black devotion deck? It will need 7 colored mana on the table, 7 distinct ones. At this point a mono-colored deck would have a devotion of 7 too, so the commitment to the board would be the same, but in practice we have seen that it can get tricky reaching a devotion of 5, let alone 7.

SPOILER ALERT: Now what might be the exception to the fact that mono-colored decks are the ones running gods? Gruul (red/green). Because of the color combination being a classic one for mana ramp, with green’s great ability to make green and multi-colored mana, and a couple cards like Burning-Tree Emissary and Xenagos the Reveler. So maybe the Gruul god has a good chance to be played then? Is it good? Well here is our spoiler. I present to you Xenagos, God of Revels!

XenagosGodOfRevels

Excited for the pre-release yet? I sure am! I would love me some Xenagos in limited, that’s hell of an ability for a gruul deck. Maybe I will pick some more cards to show you until then… Either way, have a great week!

Born of the Gods

Hey all. Wizards started the spoilers season with a whole lot of cards this time, and they feature all the mechanics of their next edition, Born of the Gods! Let’s have a look at them and their mechanics. First the ones we already knew from Theros.
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LGuIRMawV3_ENZXFIIYtWAw_EN

Scry lands. They are fun, they are fairly powerful, they are pretty, they are probably 5 but so far we get the Selesnya, Azorius and Rakdos ones.

alGiK6hUEB_ENSkyreaping.

Somehow mass damage to all flyers isn’t the most natural thing to fuel by devotion to me, but it’s more a gut feeling than anything. Should be a pretty powerful card. I don’t remember Theros being that big on flyers, but I would already totally side that to get rid of some Vaporkin and Nimbus Nayiad. Looking forward to discovering how many cool birds there will be in Born of the Gods.

 

 

 

4TIOn3XtQW_ENoqoKAhnhtO_EN

Everflame Eidolo / Nyxborn Shieldmate. Seeing how wizards insisted one the bestow cards cycles being very symmetrical, one more eidolon could mean a full cycle of eidolon. Actually I just checked and only Black and White have eidolons so far… How about: there will be 3 more eidolons, and black and white will get bestow versions of Holy Strength and Unholy Strength (check out the new illustrations on those, they are goregous)? If that’s the case, the black one might be very powerful!

bCXl3Zxdwu_ENAshiok’s Adept.

I’m having a hard time with Heroic. It does work, but it’s annoying to have to target creatures for a different reason than “this creature wants that spell, enchant or combat trick”. This is only moderately problematic when you are playing aggressive heroic creatures who actually need those, but how about defensive creatures with defensive heroic abilities?

Well I guess you could apply defensive auras, bestows and possibly tricks to them… Instant speed discard is sweet though.
22FOAgZ8mm_EN

Ephara, God of the Polis. 

Here is the first two colors God! Really pretty illustration on that one. It’s interesting how the required devotion to the two colors got bumped all the way to seven. At first I thought you would need 3 devotion to both white and blue, and I do feel like either are slightly confusing.

Also interesting how this girl has only one static ability, unlike the mono-colored Gods, and hers hints strongly at a “flash” creatures theme… Exciting.

 

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Archetype of Imagination is the first card that doesn’t contain a mechanic from the previous block, and it’s announced to be part of a cycle.

Interesting to try thinking about what kind of ability the green or black “archetypes” will grant to your creatures, and if they would “steal” those from your opponent’s creatures as well. Deathtouch? Lifelink?

Also interesting to see that those are enchantement creatures without bestow, which to me hints at a possibly even stronger enchant theme… This guy (girl?) will rock on limited!

art-04fina

Oreskos Sun Guide.

Here is our first new mechanic card! “Inspired”, will apparently trigger when the creature untaps. A generic ability that just needs you to attack with your creature (or tap if for an effect if you can)… That’s fairly boring as a mechanic if you ask me.

I’m sure it’ll be well balanced and this one is fairly powerful, it’s just not especially exciting because too simple as far as I’m concerned.

 

 

BXfs2Ih8NH_ENPharax Giant features the “Tribute” mechanic.

And there I strongly dislike. Again, I understand those will probably be balanced and powerful enough, maybe even fun, but why would you want to play cards that give choice to your opponents!?

If you have read my very first article, you will understand I find it annoying, and it will give your opponent an edge if he’s a better player than you, or just a good player with access to information you don’t have… But oh well, I’m sure those will be playable, and I sure will enjoy deciding for my opponent when they play one!

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This just in: another “Inspire” card, Pain Seer.

The new Dark Confidant, though less powerful. It is a bit weird to have to attack with your little card advantage guy, but why not… Maybe there will be some combos, or more mid-range strategies to empower it.

I do enjoy their attempt of making more 2 drops with this ability though, much like Blood Scrivener, which actually looks like he likes to hangout in the same dungeon! (see illustration)

So here it is! Even though I don’t fully subscribe to the design choices, this is exciting stuff, and bound to be enjoyable to play. I won’t comment on all the spoilers from now on, just know that there will be a couple of a new ones every day on daily mtg and be sure to check their updated gallery containing all of them! Pre-release is on the 1st of Feb, I’ll talk to you again before then!. Have a good week!

Return to Return to Ravnica

Hey y’all,

These days I’m working hard on my edition (you should see my spreadsheet, it’s wild) and my app (currently blocked trying to setup google play achievements, boo), so I wanted to put a little something out there. I recently found some designs I made I believe right before Dragon’s Maze was out. If you are not familiar with the Return To Ravnica block, boy have you missed out! It was a masterful block that I had the most fun playing in limited. It’s not so far in the past, you should really check it out!

Since the backbone of the Ravnica plane is the 10 bi-colored guilds, I wanted to make cards that would embody two or three guilds, through the three color combination that corresponded to them. Today I’m going to show you the first whole 5 cards that were created in that effort! Next 5 to come next week. Sorry about the lack of images (and probably wording and design mistakes), I didn’t take that much time making this whole set. I also won’t spend too long on each card, don’t want to make this a huge post. If you don’t know the guild, again, check out the Return to Ravnica block! This will be fun, let’s check it out!

Undercover_shred-freak_by_Undercover shread-freak. Radkos/Boros. Could be crazier. 2/2 haste for 3 colors when unleashed is underwhelming, and giving all unleashed creatures +1/+1 with Battalion only goes so far. Fun design though.

Allied guild: Orzhov.

 

 

 

 

Nature's_Revenge_by_

Nature’s Revenge. Boros/Selesnya. Tamed down Assemble the Legion with a built in “free” Overrun. Fun fun. Maybe a little too expensive to be very good, but good design as well.

Allied guild: Gruul.

 

 

 

 

Industrial_Espionage_by_

Industrial Espionage. Izzet/Dimir.  One of the only non creature spells I created in that series (see other one(s) next week). Probably pretty bad though. Originally most of the Cipher cards had little success in both limited and constructed, and this might be one of the clunkiest ever. I do like the flavor and creativity of it but that’s about it.

Very high cost for a card that won’t have that many targets in limited, unless you are going all in on spell, which is dangerous.

Allied guild: Rakdos.

 

Great_Pontiff_Censor_by_Great Pontiff Censor. Azorius/Orzhov. Another very interesting design with bad power/cost balance. Playing a 1/5 for 5 and 3 colors is terrible, even if we’re getting to the very defensive end of the spectrum. Getting a detain when you play other creatures is largely not enough, especially since you could just be playing detain creatures.

Maybe make it a 2/5 for 4? Needs rework.

Allied guild: Dimir.

 

Experimental_Aberration_by_

Experimental Aberration. Simic/Izzet. This might actually be too powerful! 2/3 evolve for 3, even though in 3 colors, is already quite reasonable.

The ability though, makes it a very scary engine! No matter what you play along, it gets even bigger! It loves removal, burn spells… Giant growth makes it a 6/7, and Enlarge makes it… Oh my god it’s horrible!!! Want to burn it or pump against it? Well if there’s counter-magic that won’t turn out fun for you. Maybe make it a 2/2 for 4?

Allied guild: Gruul.

How was that? I reckon those designs are better on the creative than the development side, because of course that’s the most fun part. I hope you are looking forward to see the other 5 ones, because I kept the best for the end! 🙂

See you next week!