Monday, March 14, 2011

CCDD 031411—Backstab

Cool Card Design of the Day
3/14/2011 - When I designed the Threaten variant, Manifest Betrayal, I had to think of other ways temporary stealing effects could work and that led me to Backstab. What if you got your opponent's creature to betray his own team in a sneakier way? What if you could cast your Threaten variant at instant speed, after blockers were already declared?

I'm very happy with the rules text on Backstab. Your opponent's creature is pretending to still be on his side all the way up until the very last moment, when instead of fighting the guy your opponent told her to, she instead stabs one of her 'allies' right in the back. Fun. I was tempted to word it so that the creature it blocked can still deal its combat damage to your opponent, but that makes the card much clunkier.

I'm least sure about the color and the cost. There's a strong argument to make Backstab black. It makes more sense thematically and almost as much sense mechanically. I also expect the cost should be 2cc, though I wouldn't be shocked if development showed 3cc to be correct. Perhaps it could show up in a multicolor block at BR.


  1. The problem with "remove target blocking creature from combat" is that it's unclear to most players whether the creature it was formerly blocking is now unblocked.

  2. I like this card! I wish it would only deal damage to another attacking creature, but I guess that would make it narrow.

  3. Yeah, if it doesn't do something to make the blocked creature deal damage, it should at least have reminder text so it's clear that creature is still blocked and won't deal damage (excepting trample).

  4. (The creature it was blocking is still blocked.) or something like that?

  5. I am amazed that there isn't a card with this name.

    And you have come up with a perfect ability for it.

    I agree that it might be too cheap, and... while I can imagine it being black... red works too. I'm not sure.

    Definitely though, it needs reminder text to say the target is still blocked because the intuition is that the attacker is now 'unblocked'. That needs to be reminder text.

    It is a superb core set card.