Wednesday, February 9, 2011

CCDD 020911—Fleeting Reflection

Classic Cool Card Design of the Day
What follows is a CCDD that was created before the feature transitioned from the Wizards Wiki to Goblin Artisans. It has been formatted to fit your screen.

2/10/2011 - In his article, Fight Club, Part 1, Mark Rosewater listed "When Attack, Sacrifice At End Of Turn" creatures as being both red and blue. Thinking about that inspired this card. I love Clone and all its ilk, so I'm always on the lookout for new variations on it. This one chain-inspired a black-red version I'll share another day.

"Funny Design story:" I had mentally simplified Mark's nomenclature to "one-turn" creatures and so the original text on Fleeting Reflection was "Fleeting Reflection enters the battlefield as a copy of another creature. It gains haste and 'Sacrifice Fleeting Reflection at end of turn.'" The haste felt odd on a blue creature so I considered giving it flash which would let players cast it to block or cast it during the end step to use the Waylay loophole, but I certainly don't want players to have to know rules loopholes just to get a card's intended effect.

Fortunately, I reread what Mark wrote and saw the distinction between "When Attack, Sacrifice At End Of Turn" and my simplified "one-turn." Ball Lightning != Brackwater Elemental. It's not a huge functional difference, but like the difference between "Must attack" and "can't block" it is subtly important and promotes very different play. It's a natural tendency of the brain to simplify concepts and use shortcuts. In most situations, that's a good thing or we'd all be stuck in perpetual analysis-paralysis, but it's a tendency that needs to be fought during tournament play or design.

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