Wednesday, May 24, 2017

CCDD 052417—Ambush Spider

Cool Card Design of the Day
5/24/2017 - Fixing Qasali Ambusher and Giant Trap Door Spider by merging them.

I think this template is technically impossible, but the effect isn't.


  1. Seems legit: Faerie Macabre has an activated ability you play from your hand too.

    Cool card. I like the cost reduction aspect allowing you to leave up less mana making this a less obvious trick to walk into.

    See also: Swift Spinner

  2. The classic way to do activated abilities from hand:

    Ambush Webspinner {4}{G}
    Creature - Spider
    Cycling - {G}
    When you cycle CARDNAME, target attacking creature with flying becomes blocked this turn.


    Quickdraw Webspinner {4}{G}
    Intercept {1}{G} (You may cast this spell as though it had flash for its intercept cost. If you do, it enters the battlefield blocking target attacking creature, and it's returned from the battlefield to its owner's hand at the beginning of the next end step.)

    Not nearly as good for a limited format as dash was, but works within the rules afaik.

    1. Intercept is interesting to discuss. At face-value, reverse dash seems meritorious. Certainly, I'd be happy to intercept a 3/3 attacker or smaller when I have nothing better to do with my mana. But is that all it has to offer?

      The first time you intercept with a big creature, you can surprise your opponent and eat one of their threats. That's not nothing. What kind of gameplay does it promote?

      Dash pushes for aggro, which is fun. Intercept pushes for control, which can be fun but has the downside of making games longer on average. Dash makes players with low life counts think about keeping back extra blockers. Intercept makes players think twice about attacking into untapped lands throughout the game.

      It's not quite as promising as dash, but I think intercept merits playtesting.

    2. Could it be useful in a hyperpolitical multiplayer format, maybe? I'm thinking of one of the Conspiracy or Archenemy sequels, maybe, where there can be other forces keeping the momentum of the game up, and times you might intercept attacks that aren't directed at you? That could be a way to excuse intercept's existence, and then just follow it up with interesting designs that leak their way into Constructed.

    3. A play on Intercept:

      Intercept (You may cast this spell as though it had flash. If you do, it enters the battlefield tapped and doesn't untap durning your next untap step. This creature may block while tapped.)

  3. If a creature with flying is attacking you or a Planeswalker you control, you may pay G to cast Ambush Spider without paying its mana cost and as though it had flash.

  4. Burgeoning Nest 1G
    3G, T: Put a Spider creature card from your hand onto the battlefield blocking target creature attacking you.

    Web Conduit 1G
    If a creature is attacking you, you may put a Spider creature card from your hand onto the battlefield blocking each attacking creature.

    1. Was going to post this as a CCDD, but this seems like a fine spot for it:
      Disturb the Web

      Whenever a creature attacks you or a planeswalker you control, put a vibration counter on Disturb the Web. You may sacrifice it. If you do, search your library for a Spider card with converted mana cost less than or equal to the number of vibration counters on Disturb the Web. Put that card onto the battlefield, then shuffle your library.

  5. Nice.

    The activate-from-hand ability looks normal to me, I'm not sure there's any need to seek alternatives.

    Admittedly, in general it would be nice if those abilities counted as "casting" because that would be more like players often expect, and more able to interact with it. I wonder if you could just spell it out "You may cast ~ from your hand for G, if you then have it enter the battlefield blocking target attacking creature with flying"?

    One of the problems with "onto the battlefield blocking" is players often forget that it can be blocking a creature it couldn't naturally have blocked. I guess that's not a problem here because creatures with flying rarely have any other evasion.