Thursday, September 3, 2015

CCDD 090315—Nizyid the Ravenous & Friends

Cool Card Design of the Day
9/3/2015 - Here are some demons I designed after reading the latest MaRo article about black in the color pie.

I love the idea that Niziyid will kill. If you kill an opposing creature that struggles, it weakens him, but if you sacrifice one of your own, it strengthens him. Gives you a lot of flexibility along with flavor. I think he's legendary because I was musing about Liliana's other 'masters;' While I think he's a pretty sweet demon, I'm not sure he begs to have any relation to our ambitious planeswalker.

Infernal Ferryman is very top-down: He conveys each creature across the River Stix, dropping whatever he was doing at the time, y'know, living, being dead, to ferry them across. It probably has some Jenny applications.

Hell's Crusader isn't a full demon, more of a knight that's been corrupted thoroughly. I wanted to find an alternative to protection, which is why the second ability cares about targeting as well as permanent removal from the battlefield. The last ability is the downside that helps justify the rest, but flavorfully demonstrates his pact. Keep doing nasty black things or suffer Hell's wrath.

I wanted to make a demon who whispers brilliant and maddening ideas to anyone foolish enough to listen. I love how the number growing makes you more likely to get some obscenely useful card while simultaneously endangering your own sanity more and more.


  1. Wow, amazing demons. Lots of flavor here.

    The Ravenous is my favorite one. You've simultaneously made a highly flavorful creature, with a unique mechanic, lots of potential combos, a high power level, and with exciting stats with the promise of potentially getting even bigger. That's a home-run in both the aesthetics categories AND the psychographics, as far as I can tell. (It's not too much of a Johnny/Jenny card, though.)

    Infernal Ferryman is my favorite of the bunch, flavor-wise. Lots of interesting combos. It again evokes the idea of black pseudo-flicker, which is fitting, given that Rescue from the Underworld was the last pseudo-flicker.

    Hell's Crusader is mechanically interesting, and has nice flavor. I find it a little clunky though.

    Inspiration Demon is great. I'd expect to see this mechanic on a Lovecraftian entity before a Demonic entity, but it's totally justifiable on a demon too.

  2. These are pretty sweet, I especially like Inspiration demon as a new take on the power at a cost trope, that feels very B/R.
    I'm not sure I like the flavor of the ferryman though, in most mythologies, underworld deniziens are not exactly eager to help people get back OUT of the underworld.

  3. Intentional that Niziyid can eat himself? The Spike in me says that this will just eat a 4/4 each turn, but it does seem like a good idea to put good creatures to sacrifice into your deck in case your opponent is ok having an empty board. Undying seems like a particularly good combo because you can give him an extra point of power the second time.

    I don't love the Ferryman. The flavor is interesting (re: Jade Phoenix: The lost soul is escaping first, then he's chasing after it to drag it back into the underworld, is how I read it), but being a 6 mana 6/6 puts it in a rough spot, where if you're going to be playing dedicated reanimation spells you'd probably want something bigger. The alternative is playing cheap dudes that can recur themselves like Gravecrawler, but in that case you probably don't want to spare the mana to cast a 6-drop if you can't Entomb the Ferryman somehow. I also note that two Ferrymen can go infinite.

    Hell's Crusader seems ugly and clunky to me. Why does he care about being targeted by spells but not abilities? Why does Swords to Plowshares make me lose 6 life when I lose only 3 to Wrath of God? Is casting a black spell a real cost in a mono-black aggro deck that wants to curve out? It's a card that I'd play in a top-tier deck but never one that I'd be very excited about.

    Inspiration Demon is, again, unexciting to me. I think I'd like it more with a bigger body and a faster clock on the drawback. Right now it might draw you a card and deal some damage before getting Bolted, which is good value but not particularly amazing or adrenaline-inducing.

    1. I prefer demons who don't make exceptions just because you're low on creatures.

      Could Ferryman be a 3/3 for three or something? Agree he shouldn't go infinite in pairs.

      Never considered that the wording on Crusader would trigger twice on targeted removal. Would want templating that doesn't do that. A drawback doesn't have to be onerous.

      So a 4/4 Inspiration Demon is more exciting?

    2. I'm thinking, like... a 1BBR 5/5 that mills you 10, with P>CMC being the important part. You still have to pay the cost of the exiled card, and you can't play lands (not ideal in any case, but I suppose you might want the color fixing or to curve into a 5 drop), which should limit the amount of shenanigans you can achieve by seeing additional cards.

      It is amusing that Crusader is probably weakest against another mono-black archetype -- the "Pox" deck, which doesn't trigger Crusader with forced sacrifice as its primary creature removal tool, and has discard effects to disrupt the opponent's ability to cast spells every turn.