Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Weekend Art Challenge Review 110615—PollyUranus

Weekend Art Challenge Review
Design a monocolored card for this art, whose name falls alphabetically between Killing Floor and Lammasu's Portent.

Kill the Will is a black Control Magic with a significant upkeep: An upkeep that addresses the card advantage that made the original so unreasonable. Choosing any creature to remove from your opponent and create for yourself is still crazy powerful… as long as you can keep a stable of fodder to preserve that dark connection. In the worst case, Kill the Will only prevents a single attack from some massive creature. And somewhere in between, I'm struggling to keep my stolen… uh… elephant /fallen-angel combo while you can focus on killing my little critters to get your big thumper back, which is way more fun than dealing with a real Control Magic.

Kilnapping could be green, I think. It serves to reward creatures with higher power (and bad or no abilities) and to punish creatures with higher toughness and/or good abilities. I mean, this could easily be black, but Innocent Blood is better from black's perspective, whereas green can't normally exile creatures but a Miming Slime that's a transformation rather than a duplication seems defensible.

King of Beasts is a pretty literal interpretation of the art, and that's not a bad thing. I don't quite get why this angel is small and loves elephants (or from the opposite perspective, why beasts love this scrawny angel), but the art wants what the art wants. This is pretty strong for common; especially since white rarely gets Hill Giants, but I can imagine a set where it doesn't break anything.

I guess this is just a satire of early Magic inspired by the the weirdness of the art. Minus the ante line, we've got a very conditional black Hill Giant with hilariously antiquated templating. Remember how everything was needlessly complex? Haha, yeah.

Kokusho's Leash lets you decide whether its target attacks or blocks each turn for {1} ongoing. While that's fair in future turns, it would be frustrating to cast this with three mana and be unable to use it. (Which might perfect for some set.) In a vacuum, I'd be inclined to make this a static effect ala Master Warcraft: "You choose whether enchanted creature attacks or blocks, and how." Arguably white or blue or red.

Did Kokusho become an angel? Otherwise, I quite like this flavor.

Kotadi Dreamwrencher rewards your other card-creatures for getting work done by violently re-making them into something vaguely twice as large. My first reaction to P+T/P+T was negative, but it's cleverly simpler to track than 2P/2T, which is important for a bunch of tokens of different sizes. I would definitely use a trigger rather than a replacement ability to bring it in line with inspired, since it's not important that the creature doesn't untap.

Enslave is a less drastic "banishing" except when it finishes the target off. Chopping a big binary effect into incremental bits is tricky, though. While the result is vastly more reasonable for a keyword in terms of power level, it's also much harder to track: We can't simply put the enslaved creature card under our slaver. Multiple slavers or multiple slaves would get confusing quick. Especially if N is ever not 2. One mitigator is that you can stop tracking enslave when the slave dies.

If we assume enslave is good to go, Laazuruses Angel seems like a nice little rare. Strictly better than Vampire Interloper at common, but cheap enough that you might just play it as an Interloper sometimes.

Laconic Angel is a white Mind Control… on a stick; In this case using white's Evangelize technology where the card advantage is just as strong (stronger actually, since you get a creature too) but is tempered by the fact that you get their worst creature rather than their best. It wouldn't be as simple, but I do kinda wish control reverted when Laconic Angel dies, ala Sower of Temptation.

Laid to Rest murders a creature and wipes its controller's graveyard… in a bit. Why? So judges have something to do at tournaments? Strike out "At the beginning of your next upkeep" and you've got the same nifty effect—which could be real against delve/dredge/etc—without introducing memory concerns.

Lament of the Lost is the best Lava Axe, ever. Not only does it cost less, but it can easily do twice as much damage. It is more conditional and could be dead against the wrong deck, so uncommon seems right. {3}{B}{B}? Dev balancing aside, yeah, this should be a card someday.

Leading astray is a one-shot Kokusho's Leash. Cool. (FWIW, this was submitted first). Could probably cost {R} or be common.

Good stuff, artisans. Some flavor was better than others, but I'm not going to question unclear flavor when the art is this strange.

Thanks to Zeno for rendering the cards.


  1. Jay, "You decide if enchanted creature attacks or blocks" does not work in the rules. That was my original design, with an apology note to the rules people who would not like it.

    Master Warcraft works because you are making all the choices, so the order doesn't matter. If I get to make the choice for only one creature, the rules would call for me and my opponent to make choices simultaneously, which wouldn't work. Now the rules could add a clause about how to handle this, but I'd rather it didn't.

    1. Didn't think of that. I wouldn't add a rule to the game, just more to the card text: "Before opponents make other combat decisions"

    2. I don't think even that works. I'm not quite sure WHAT goes wrong, but I think it's complicated when there's multiple "must attack" effects interacting, normally attacking player must fulfil as many as possible, but must your choice allow them them to do that, or just that your choice must be legal then they must fulfil all requirements possible after that? And and would most players know if it does or not?

      Maybe wizards will revamp those rules, but I think they'll have to revamp the comp rules.

      For now, maybe just "at the beginning of each attackers or blockers phase, you may have this attack or block if able"?

  2. Also, for the record: http://markrosewater.tumblr.com/post/107068020543/is-evangelize-still-in-whites-color-pie-and

    User: Is Evangelize still in white's color pie, and could we see variations on it in the future?

    Mark: No. The card was a nostalgia throw to The Dark’s Preacher. Not part of White’s current slice of the color pie.

  3. Oops, I was trying to judge the power level for King of Beasts and was thinking of Blade Splicer, but forgot that was rare, it didn't seem so splashy. KoB could certainly lose vigilance, or be uncommon, even if it's not so exciting.