Monday, May 7, 2018

CCDD 050718—Form of the Phoenix

Cool Card Design of the Day
5/7/2018 - Now that red has a chokehold on black-bordered forms, let's try it on another iconic red creature.


The result is a red Lich's Mirror with a hint of Pyrohemia.



EDIT: This above inevitably wins the game against any deck that can't remove it (or kill you through an alternate win condition) because it sticks around and leaves you immune to loss-by-damage.

I was hoping to bring the player back as a phoenix, but the gameplay requires removing "except Form of the Phoenix;" You might still draw it and play it again…


That does leave you quite vulnerable, though, since your opponent has a board and you don't. You can cheat that by controlling permanents you don't own, but we need our mythic to work on its own.


This version doesn't reset your deck each time you die, and so you'll lose to decking eventually.
Maybe that's still too good for six mana even at mythic? At least it's not fundamentally broken.

35 comments:

  1. How do you ever lose with this out? Or more specifically, how would a RB deck with no enchantment removal ever be able to beat this?

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    Replies
    1. The original was fundamentally flawed, yup.

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    2. I actually thought it shuffled itself back in but I didn't read closely enough.

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    3. Ah, that makes sense that it was an oversight!

      Second one is a bit similar to Lich’s Mirror.

      That last one is awesome. I would exile the graveyard as well. There might be Doomsdayesque shenanigans, but at 6 CMC it’s probably safe. Could always bump up to 7 or 8.

      Delete
  2. I've wondered for a bit why green didn't get Form of the Dinosaur. It gets lifegain, and it's a bit of stretch but if the idea is you become a creature then green can have creatures do damage to other creatures-- form of the Dinosaur is basically making you might creatures. I guess the biggest issue is it works flavorfully but green technically isn't allowed to do damage to creatures without creatures AT ALL and that's what Form of the Dinosaur does but I dunno man.

    The deal 3 damage ability feels a little tacked on to me. It feels as though it's there just to make this feel more red. Maybe this can do something like set your life total to a lowish number, that way its easier for you to die, then when you do die instead deal that number to each opponent and their boards and warp world/polymorph your board and or/wheel your hand.
    Ie be interested in form ofs for other colors. A Form of the Sphinx where you "ask a riddle"/mini fact or fiction during each opponents upkeep would be very flavorful and a multiplayer all star which seems like a good spot for these kinds of cards.

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    Replies
    1. Form of the Dinosaur should absolutely have been green. It turns you into a creature that fights every round. It's not like Form of the Dragon doesn't do things red can't do normally.

      Phoenices love dealing damage to everyone.

      Delete
    2. Oh, I think phoenixes dealing damage to everything is fine. Just as a continuous upkeep trigger it feels phoenixes and a bit just tacked on as a red thing to do. Usually I think of it as "blaze of glory" as a death or etb or trigger.

      Form of the Dragon does things red doesn't do, but the main thing is it doesn't undermine a weakness. It's not that red shouldn't get moat, it just usually doesn't. It doesn't undermine a weakness. Technically, if Dorm of the Dinosaur was green, it's undermine a weakness for green , which is that it's "supposed" to need to a cast a creature spell to destroy other creatures. Personally I think I would have made the exception here and let Form of the Dinosaur be green, but I'm guessing this is the reason it wasn't.

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    3. It also helps the green argument that you still need other creatures to attack your opponent.

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    4. Fighting is secondary in red, though.

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  3. Form of the Pheonix 2RR
    Legendary Enchantment (M)
    If you would lose the game, create a 0/1 red Elemental creature token and exile ~ until that token is sacrificed. It has “You can’t lose the game and your opponents can’t win the game. At the beginning of your upkeep, sacrifice this creature and set your life total to 3”.

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    Replies
    1. This is very cool. I'd remove "and your opponents can’t win the game" because that's not what phoenices do. I'm also looking for the traditional how-do-you-attack-now-that-you're-a-creature.

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    2. I'm not sure that this is substantially different from a Platinum Ali of Cairo, just slightly more fragile and more "top down" as a form card.

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    3. It's hard to find a through line for what Form ofs need to delete right since Dinosaur and Dragon are both actually quite different executions. I actually think at first blush it isn't necessary to represent an "attack", but I'm really not sure.

      Rekindling Phoenix is one of my favorite Phoenix designs, but I feel like it's sort of its own special execution and this is infringing on its uniqueness a bit. However, many people have had this thought about other things and it wasn't correct so maybe I'm in the wrong.

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    4. Rekindling is the most iconic Pheonix design to date. Form cards should feel like they make you into the creature, although I don't think they have to make you attack directly.

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  4. What about making this a double-faced card? Like:

    Form of the Phoenix 3RRR
    Enchantment (M)
    At the beginning of your upkeep, ~ deals 3 damage to each creature and player.
    If your life total would be reduced to zero or less, instead exile all permanents you control except ~, then transform ~. Your life total becomes 20.
    //
    Form of the Egg
    Enchantment
    At the beginning of your upkeep, put an incubation counter on ~. If it has three or more incubation counters on it, remove them and transform ~, then return all cards exiled with it to the battlefield under your control.

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    Replies
    1. Although as it stands, this version is probably too powerful.

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    2. Part of me says that if we really wanted FotP in a set with DFCs, we might as well do it up. A bigger part of me says we should keep the cycle tighter than that.

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  5. I like the idea of remaining a Phoenix after you resurrect (and maybe even only becoming a Phoenix after you resurrect).

    Form of the Phoenix 1RRR
    Enchantment
    Form of the Phoenix enters the battlefield with a Resurrection counter on it.
    If your life total would drop below 1, instead remove a Resurrection counter from it. If you do, shuffle your hand, graveyard, and all other permanents you own into your library, then draw 7 cards and your life total becomes 20.
    At the beginning of your upkeep, if there are no Resurrection counters on this, it deals 3 damage to each creature and player.

    ---

    This is probably too much text. It's also a little weird that this version puts a 7-turn clock until a draw game (but I don't think that's a huge concern). I thought this could cost a little less since the ability doesn't kick in right away.

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    Replies
    1. Cool. Combining this with some previous feedback:

      Form of the Phoenix 2RRR
      Enchantment
      If your life total would drop below 1, instead sacrifice ~, shuffle your hand, graveyard, and all other permanents you own into your library, draw 7 cards and your life total becomes 20, then ~ deals 5 damage to each creature and player.

      Delete
    2. I am quite liking this latest version -- I like that the fire is the moment of rebirth, and that you're reborn as a phoenix, rather than burning until then.

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    3. Yeah, I like that one too. It feels fun & cool to have a big impact during the 'moment of rebirth'.

      Delete
  6. Form of the Phoenix 1RR
    Enchantment
    At the beginning of each upkeep, deal 2 damage to any target and your life total becomes 2.
    If you would lose the game, instead exile ~ and your life total becomes 2.

    Tried to keep it simple and clean.

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  7. My question here: Is there a reason why you would not play Form of the Phoenix in every/any mono-red deck?

    There is a risk/trade-off to it, but for the color it's in, that risk is not as significant as it would in other colors for the benefits you gain. As with the other two forms, it turns the match into a race, but having the damage go so wide means that it's a race red is so much more likely to win. And then if it loses, it gets another chance. The resurrection makes it so much less risky than the other two forms.

    What kind of deck do you see this form backfiring against?

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    1. Most mono-red decks don't play that many six drops at all, they're slow and clunky. Plus, as Lich's Mirror shows, a one sided game restart usually only delays the inevitable. It isn't that hard to deal 20 damage when your opponent has no permanents.

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    2. Most mono-red decks also don't want to kill all their creatures every turn.

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    3. Well ... not currently. But red is also best positioned (via haste) to build decks where creatures can still get in before dying.

      So that does make it more of a build-around.

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    4. Mono red control is tricky, but it's a thing. You play land denial, sweepers, maybe some fast mana like Desperate Ritual to turbo this out early, then you sit back, ignore your own life total, and just let it slowly burn your opponent out while they struggle to find an answer.

      Tarmogoyf is probably Modern's strongest counterplay.

      Delete
  8. Become the Phoenix
    WWRR
    Instant
    Until the start of your next turn, you can't lose the game. At the beginning of the end step right before your next turn, set your life total to 3 and ~ deals 3 damage to each other target.

    Because CMON. Phoenixes are red/white, always have been and always should be. You know it, I know it, the American people know it.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hello Jay and people of GA.

    This is my first post here. I found this blog today and boy have I spent most of my day reading it. It is a very exciting place!

    I'd also like to submit a version inspired on becoming a Phoenix:

    Form of the phoenix - 4RR
    Legendary enchantment
    If you would lose the game, instead exile the top half of your library rounded up, your hand, graveyard and all nonland permanents you control. Then your life total becomes 6 and you draw three cards.
    You may cast CARDNAME from exile.

    With this design I want to express a "rebirth" that makes you weaker but gives you a chance to come back. I like the idea of losing your deck while reviving but it seems very wordy.

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    Replies
    1. Welcome, iAmarant!
      This is a neat take. Very strong. That last ability means I can cast this card every round if I want to...

      Delete
    2. Yes that would be the idea, but everytime you do and die again you lose more of your library and your permanents so it's not free. Thanks for the reply!

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    3. This is great. I was also kind of brainstorming some sort of self-mill component but never really got to a good spot.

      Delete
  10. Okay, my attempt. (I expect I'm getting the rules text wrong here)

    Form of the Phoenix - RRR
    Enchantment
    If your life total would drop to zero or below, your life total instead becomes 7, and you put a revival counter on ~. Then, sacrifice a land for each revival counter on ~. If you cannot, you lose the game.

    ReplyDelete