Thursday, August 4, 2016

CCDD 080416—Motivated

Cool Card Design of the Day
8/4/2016 - Creatures with ETB effects do a lot for the game, but the biggest issue with them is that players sometimes hold onto them despite needing the body because they want to get full value out of the effect. We should be able to alleviate that if a player can always gets value by playing their creature.

The core idea here is that every motivated creature offers you an effect that will sometimes be weak or useless—in which case you'll take the cantrip—but sometimes is a free spell that could really make a difference.

Costing these is a bit tricky because motivated is strictly better than a cantrip, which is worth +{2} on most every card.

At common, the effects need to advantage you without giving card advantage (which is a hard sell since the cantrip mode is always available and is clearly card advantage).

At higher rarities, the effects can look a lot more like card advantage—so long as their conditional enough you'd sometimes choose the cantrip instead.

A couple of these have different wording, because their effects aren't things you the player do, and 'you may' doesn't fit them grammatically.


  1. This reminds me a lot (in a good way) of the +1/+1 counter cycle from Fate Reforged. Maybe making these modal is the solution to the wording issue.

  2. I really enjoy designers strivivng to fix problems that seem to have gone unaddressed for a long time in Magic's history. This is one of the problems that frustrates me the most, as designs like Aven Cloudchaser are so great, but also so frustrating for many players.

    I really like this solution. I agree that modality is probably the way to go - both because it clears up the wording and because the idiosyncratic looking textbox will more readily inform new players what to expect, just as the FRF cycle did - but man, I wish we could use this solution forever.

  3. I wish this could be a keyword to ease reusability/understanding as well as avoid wording issues, but they all seem... awkward...

    Motivated (Whenever you choose not to perform an optional ability printed on this creature, draw a card.)

    Motivated (Whenever you choose not to perform a 'you may' ability printed on this creature, draw a card.)

    1. (Whenever an ability printed on this creature says 'you may' and you don't, draw a card.)