Tuesday, April 5, 2016

CCDD 040516—Ruins of Yongxia

Cool Card Design of the Day
4/5/2016 - The concept here is simple: A mono-colored land that you can sacrifice to draw a card. AKA cycle-from-play. Like Horizon Canopy.

The nice thing about this solution compared with cycling lands like Forgotten Cave and Smoldering Crater is that this doesn't push you toward mana-screwing yourself. Play your ruins, use it until you've got a surplus of red mana, then trade it for gas.

Note that there are a ton of knobs to balance this cycle (including not making a cycle and just having one colorless land): The mana cost to sack it could easily be {2}{R} or {3}{R} or even {6}. It could always ETB tapped, or require a Mountain like Dragonskull Summit, or require 2- lands like Copperline Gorge, or require 2+ basics like Cinder Glade. I went with a sort of hybrid of those, but there's nothing about the cycle-from-play ability that demands it over the rest. (I like how it's likely to ETB untapped early regardless of your mana base, while rewarding playing lots of basic lands. You can sack your first Ruins before playing your second to get it untapped. It's also better in Limited, which needs it more.)

1 comment:

  1. The good thing about cycling lands is that you can throw them away for another card if you play them late. This takes an extra turn of untapping to cycle, which is awkward. I'd make the ETBT condition something that's more likely to happen early game rather than late, or remove T from the cost to sac.