Monday, April 6, 2015

CCDD 040615—Dark Riddle

Cool Card Design of the Day
4/6/2015 - Dark Riddle has two downsides compared to Diabolic Tutor. First, your opponent gets to know what card you got, which trades mystery for suspense, if you're lucky. Secondly, it gives your opponent a very real chance to counter the spell entirely by guessing which card you're searching up.


There are numerous situations in Constructed where informed players know exactly what their opponent should be tutoring up in a given situation, and Dark Riddle is not for those decks. Instead, it's for players who like to be nimble, to adapt their game plan to the match at hand, and to out think their opponent. I'm curious how many of you would consider playing Dark Riddle. Do you think the cost is fair?

28 comments:

  1. I'd prefer it if, even when they guess right, it goes to the top of your library or something else that isn't great, but also isn't horrible.

    This polarizing design is good for balance, but not as fun.

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    1. Oh, and I forgot to say: I love cards like this and Master of Predicaments. They're so fun! :D

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    2. Getting nothing is definitely pretty rough. Putting it on top guarantees you still get it, it just costs you a draw/card. A one-mana discount is about fair for that, but that drastically reduces the stakes, and so the value of the mini-game. Maybe instead you search for another card and they guess again, continuing until you fool them?

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    3. I would try and cost this towards "if you win, put it on top of your library, if you lose put it on the bottom". Test it at BB and see whether "much worse Vampiric Tutor" is playable/broken in the non-rotating formats.

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    4. I think this might have better game play if your opponent only had to guess the card type. Much less bad feeling for new players (he says as someone who designs "name a card" cards ALL the time).

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    5. Nice card, Pasteur. Love the symmetry.

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  2. Ha, I was thinking of the opposite direction as Inanimate. If the opponent guesses correctly, *exile* the card (:

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  3. I'd word it like this:
    Search your library for a card, then shuffle you library. Target opponent names a card. Reveal the card you searched for. If it isn't the named card, put it into your hand. Otherwise, put it on top of you library.

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  4. This is a super interesting design, and watching high-level play with it would be fascinating. I think the power level depends hugely on the format, and how many redundant effects there are in it. For instance, if you're playing against this card in Modern, it could be very difficult to guess what your opponent is getting, since there are often multiple cards with the same or similar effects. In the current standard format, I could imagine it being reasonable, since if you're looking for a specific effect, there's probably an obvious choice, which is where the card gets really interesting.

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    1. It kind of has a similar feel to Gifts Ungiven, except that instead of needing to play multiple versions of the same effect, they only need to exist in the format.

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    2. Agreed. Would be nice if {1}{B}{B} were playable in Standard and not in Modern. But I guess there aren't a lot of cheap tutors to compete with.

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    3. I think it's fine that the value changes with the card pool, and even if it's pretty close to 1BB: Demonic Tutor in older formats, I'm not convinced that's necessarily a problem. No one is even thinking about playing Diabolic Tutor, and even Grimm Tutor sees almost no play in Legacy, although availability is probably at least partly responsible.

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  5. I feel like a very similar card design has come up in a discussion about Painful Memories on the site before, but I can't find it. Yeah, this is a neat design! And Painful Memories is a horrible design.

    To take is a different direction, what if the "default mode" was the tutor?

    Dark Riddle 6BB
    Sorcery R
    Search through your library for a card. Each of your opponents may name a card. Reveal the card. If its a named card, put it into your hand. If not exile it. You may play that card without paying its mana cost.

    Cheap tutors have developmental issues, even when they just tutor to the top of the deck. But this would probably be a fun minigame in Commander, even if it did occasionally lead to some insane blowout.

    I have to ask: was this design inspired by the bluffing variant I posted a few days ago (http://wobbles.tumblr.com/post/115528637569) I'd love to get Artisan imput.

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    1. I like the solution to offer a bigger reward than the tutor to keep the cost high. 8 mana is a lot, though. That will encourage players to search up even more expensive spells to cast free, which will skew opponents' guesses, which is a good thing, especially in a large format with thousands of card.

      I made this on March 12th. But wooo bluffing games! (And I would encourage Artisans to check out Wobbles' bluffing variant. It's neat.)

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    2. Feedback on the bluffing variant:

      I like that you lose a card if you call a bluff, but I'm worried about the ability for your opponent to name any card if you're hellbent. It seems too easy to "go off" with Ancestral Recall into Time Walk into whatever. You could limit it to only cards in the format, but it's still a problem if there's any good spell. (because if it's a permanent, then no big deal, you can always call its bluff the next turn.)

      If you could rectify that issue, I think it would be great.

      I'll suggest to my buddies that we try it with our Cube the next time we play it. :)

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    3. Good feedback! I've switched it up so that you can "sacrifice" lands to call bluffs as well.

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  6. Riffing:

    Search your library for a card and exile it face down, then shuffle your library. Target opponent names a card. Turn the card face up, if it is the named card, that player may cast it as long as it remains exiled. Otherwise, you may.

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    1. Oh, this probably needs a rainbow mana clause for the opponent, but not for you. That's messier than I'd anticipated...

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    2. not if its cheap enough. Really discourages searching for an artifact or land though.

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    3. You can't cast a land, but if we used 'play' instead, sure: Any player can play any land. But unless you're really hurting on land (and this card is cheap enough to cast when you are), what opponent would guess land?

      Neat.

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  7. I like the design a lot. It's a tutor, but a bit like Fact or Fiction discouraging having just a specific target, rather ideally a range of possible targets.

    Between experienced players in a mature meta-game, it's probably a really interesting mini-game. So Spike would love that aspect, though might hate the random aspect.

    But I'm worried it's too swingy for less experienced players -- it says "if you're better than your opponent, you can get a cheap tutor and make them feel bad about it when they say 'I have no idea'" :(

    I like the possible alternatives of "in hand or top of library" etc.

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  8. Dark Riddling for another Dark Riddle would be the best troll ever.

    Nice design.

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  9. I like the design, but I'm a little torn here. Tutoring is clearly black. But riddles/sphinxes are iconic in blue. I might be able to convince myself that this (with another name) could be Blue. Also, the wording's a bit off; you can't just return a card to an indefinite place in the library. I'd use Vortex Elemental's wording. And probably put the card in exile while we're guessing.

    Search your library for a card and exile it face down. An opponent names a card. Reveal the exiled card. If it's the named card, shuffle it into your library. Otherwise, put it into your hand and shuffle your library.

    Or something?

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