Wednesday, August 19, 2015

CCDD 081915—Sword Captain

Cool Card Design of the Day
8/19/2015 - Still behind. Here's an attempt at a common Crusader of Odric.


29 comments:

  1. I like this, however I feel like NWO has continued to swing even further away from cards like it. Lately, a common that requires a count to be taken more than once seems off limits.

    This is in no way a commentary on the mechanic. It's more of an indictment of the current state of NWO. I agree with simplifying the game, but I'm afraid we've gone so far that something like this simple mechanic wouldn't see print (at common).

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    1. Ugh. I hate that you're right about this, but I would tweak your conclusion slightly. We just had formidable and ferocious, so counting every turns seems to be okay -- as long as its just for a threshold effect.

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    2. With that in mind, this might as well be:

      Boros Slightly-Less Elite (COM)
      1W
      Creature — Human Soldier
      1/1
      Battalion — Whenever CARDNAME and at least two other creatures attack, CARDNAME gets +2/+2 until end of turn.

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    3. In retrospect, Sword Captain is significantly more computation-heavy than I'd first imagined.

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    4. In fact, while it's notably less powerful than Crusader of Odric, it's clearly more complex.

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    5. It does shave off the complex part of Crusader of Odric that players always get wrong (and that I bet gets played wrong in paper more often than it gets played right), which is the part where creatures die and it shrinks and then it dies.

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  2. Does Scion of the Wild get to be common because creature-counting gets to show up more at green, or because the complexity level of all the commons in Masters sets gets to be ratcheted up a bit?

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    1. The latter. We don't see any variable P/T at common anymore, I believe.

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    2. Do you guys think it's so far that it's negatively effecting the state game?

      After Theros, I know my enjoyment of the game (and consequently dollars spent) drastically lowered. :/

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    3. As I've said before, Magic since RTR has, for me, just been worse. For me, I don't think it NWO specifically, so much as that they have consistently chosen very flat mechanical themes that don't lead to the delightful sorts of discovery really great draft formats have.

      I also think I was spoiled back when Zac Hill and other greats worked at WOTC and we got Rise, Scars Block, M13, and Innistrad all in a row and all of them were fantastic.

      I've posted lots of theories here at various times about why this is, but I think the most compelling theory is, perhaps, that most people don't seem to agree with me!

      The pendulum that Mark Rosewater used to talk about (but no longer seems to) used to take wild swings in varying directions, but lately there seems to have been a conscious decision to keep the pendulum pretty much in the dead center. A lot of people really like that stability. For me, though, I'd rather it swing.

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    4. Was Innistrad a post-NWO set? I remember that set was fantastic, although I sucked at drafting it (and the less said about AVR the better).

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    5. Yes, ISD was post-NWO. Zendikar was the first set designed from the ground up for NWO and Alara was retrofitted with it a bit.

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    6. This is fantastic analysis. And now that's in my head, it will come to mind as I review new sets.

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  3. How do people feel about Timbermaw Larva?

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    1. One of my favorite cards from Zendikar.
      It is less complicated than Sword Captain, because both players know the Larva will either attack as N+2, (N+1)+2 if another forest drops, whereas SC depends on who attacks, which itself is dependent upon the expected value of each permutation on the attack.

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    2. I thought Timbermaw Larva looked awesome, but Zendikar Limited was too fast to play with it. I would like to play it in a slower format.

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    3. It often swung as a 6/6 for four. It was certainly weaker in Zendikar than it might have been elsewhere, but it was definitely playable in some decks.

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    4. If it is swinging as a 6/6 for four you are playing Monogreen and playing none of the common land cycle. It is more like a 4/4 on turn four that can't block. Even asking for it to be a 5/5 on turn four is asking a ton, and the "can't block" restriction was the antithesis of what Green decks (which were the slower of the format) wanted to do with Grazing Gladehart etc.

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    5. I find that, as a player, I'm constantly learning that "can't attack" and "can't block" are bigger restrictions than I think they are.

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    6. I played a lot of monogreen and won a lot with it.

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  4. How about 1W 1/1 "When this attacks, it gets +1/+0 for each other creature you control."? Is this negotiable at common?

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    3. I feel like R&D just wants to reward basic attacking, as seen on Charging Griffin, more than reward attacking all in. But then again, this may be lenticular design, where newer players attack with it, not realizing ahead of time the bonus they'll be getting. If new players actively throw away creatures in an attack just to make this guy bigger, therein lies the thing they're trying to avoid.

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    4. Make it a 1/3 or something that has a chance of surviving combat and I'm in. Good solution to the complexity problem we uncovered with Sword Captain.

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  5. Nobody's mentioned Cenn's Heir yet? Admittedly that was in Lorwyn which had a lot of the biggest complexity-at-common problems and directly led to NWO, but the design is very similar.

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