Thursday, March 8, 2018

CCDD 030818 - Cataclysmic Fury, Gift of the Basilisk, and Pathfinding Ritual

Seven cards into my first pass. I've made one common and two each of the other rarities, and I still need a Gruul sorcery, Rakdos enchantment, and Golgari instant.

The first order of business was a common. I figured the aura would be a good place to start.

This is a card with some decent strategic complexity. I really need to playtest it, because I have no clue if it's a solid pick or absolute garbage. I also can't get a good pulse on the mana cost, and if it is consistently good in the deck that wants to draft it, it might be uncommon.

On the other hand, there's no way that this is common. It's another finisher, especially good in a midrange deck with big stompy things. I figure on the first card that specifically grants those two abilities, the reminder text can be written out.

I like this submission, but I wonder if it would be too safe. On the one hand, it's strictly just two evergreen keywords on a Golgari card (like vigilance and flying), which isn't exactly making any waves. On the other hand, the rules interaction here is kind of taboo, and this is a good way to get that out in the wild. I assume this will rank in my bottom half when I line up my first batch.

Last but not least, my Gruul concept. I don't quite understand why the mana acceleration colors have never gotten their own Bubbling Muck/High Tide.

It's possible this is overcosted. It's also possible it's mono-R. Arguably, I could make this hybrid, although it's not quite Green.

And that's the last of my first pass of cards. Next I'll be incorporating feedback and ranking them, and thinking about what changes I want to make in the second pass.


  1. I like how Cataclysmic Fury can be played on your 4/4 to disincentivize killing it, and how you can also enchant and X/1 to kill it and/or get immediate burn. I was worried it could be too impactful on your opponent's 4/1, but I think for {1}{B}{R} that's fine even on a common.

  2. I'm not sure how intuitive last-known information is to players in general and how many would know that if Cataclysmic Fury kills a creature that it would deal the extra 1 damage to each player from the +1/-1.

    Gift of the Basilisk works, but I'm not sure there's enough to warrant intentionally introducing the weird rules interaction of Deathtouch and Trample. Maybe in the real world it would be OK, but it's probably not a good idea for this trial where there's no context and it could be interpreted as you not knowing how 'taboo' the interaction is.

    Pathfinding Ritual is fine, but somewhat unexciting. It's like a safer, but less-impactful Mana Seism.

  3. I think the judges might be unimpressed by Gift of the Basilisk, just based on their interest in innovative gameplay as opposed to templating solutions.

    1. I do like the idea of explaining that interaction this way.

  4. Mixing deathtouch and trample is an extreme taboo because of how unituibte the interaction is. To the point were wotc has said multiple times they will never do it (and if they did it would be a rare)

    I'm not sure in the value of submiting a design they have said multiple times they wont do. (Also its a Mono G card)

    1. I don't recall them saying they wouldn't do it, just recognizing they haven't done it and why.

      That said, as Jay pointed out, I'm not showing much about my skills as a designer through that card, so I think it's getting a makeover in the next pass.

  5. Fury

    I like the combination here. I'm worried there's too many different ways to play it for it to be a good common.


    Noooo! Personally, I love love love Melvin cards, but (a) Wizards explicitly said they don't do this, this is a weird edge case that doesn't fit the flavour of either deathtouch or trample, and if they ever did it would have to be rare (b) in general, melvin cards are ones that are fun to design, but not especially fun to play with. For a design competition I would steer clear!

    You could get a very similar effect by powering up an older green ability and making "this creature deals its full combat damage equal to defending player and each creature blocking it". But that wouldn't really be G/B. It may need to be redesigned alas.

    Also, I just don't think it's that strong. This doesn't save your creature so most of the time it's a bit like "trample plus +3/+0" assuming you're blocked by a creature with four toughness or less. That's worth 2, not 4. It's better in some edge cases, when you're blocked by a really large creature, are those more common than I'm imagining? Or you could play murder.


    Good point, this should be G/R. I think it could just be R, but it does feel G/R as something that's a one-off mana boost, but untapping lands is a lot more often green. I think wizards just do this much less often.

    1. There's a lot of reasons to run Gift. If I'm running a couple of Colossal Dreadmaws they will almost inevitably be double blocked at some point. But yeah, it's getting cut in the next pass. Possibly clever, not especially wirthwhile to show off my Skills of a Designer.

  6. I like how simple yet new they all are, and while I personally like gift of the basilisk, pretty sure the response would be "we know we can do it, but we have decided not to. Just because we can doesn't mean we should".

    Good cards all around though

  7. Fury seems alright, and costed reasonably for a design test. I was thinking of unique BG uncommon instants and the closest I came up with was this:

    Growing Pains 3BG
    Instant (u)
    Choose one or both -
    • Target creature gets +2/+2 until end of turn.
    • Draw cards equal to the greatest power among creatures you control. Then, you lose that much life.

  8. I like these (even if Gift of the Basilisk is too messy). I'm genuinely surprised Pathfinding Ritual doesn't already exist.

    (Off-topic, if nobody's seen it, apparently a Chinese language FAQ for Dominaria has leaked, potentially revealing a lot of set contents. Whee! I have something to say about it but don't want to spoil folks.)

    1. Update. It's legit. This link doesn't spoil you, but does have links that will download set spoilers.

  9. Fury
    The "damage to each player" phrase makes me feel like this card is super niche/unplayable. Saw someone else comment about it having too many options. Restricting this to either "creature you control" or "creature an opponent controls" makes it simpler.
    Cataclysmic Fury (common)
    Enchantment - Aura
    Enchant creature you control.
    Enchanted creature gets +2/-2.
    When enchanted creature dies, CARDNAME deals that much damage to target player.