Friday, April 22, 2011

CCDD 042211—Ridgeview Copse

Cool Card Design of the Day
4/22/2011 - I'm really happy with Ridgeview Copse. It was inspired by Tom LaPille's excellent article, Common Comparisons, in which he discusses the effect of Karoos in Ravnica (the common, two-mana, bounce-lands). The intent of their design was to offer common color-fixing to enable two- and three-color decks as the set demanded, but they were so strong—effectively 2:1 card advantage from a land—that players picked them who weren't even running both colors. I'll explain the design logic behind Ridgeview Copse and how that relates after you take a look:

Ridgeview Copse is meant for red-green players. Lay this 'Forest' down and guarantee your next draw is a Mountain. Colors: fixed. Mana-screw: alleviated (at least). You're not getting any extra cards out of the deal (virtual or otherwise), so it's nowhere near as powerful as a Karoo. It does offer some land-screw protection, but you have to be running this /and/ mountains so I'm confident a player in neither red nor green would never play this (which was not true of the Karoos). I would consider playing Ridgeview Copse if I was mono-green (and not sporting Timbermaw Larva) or mono-red (and not wielding Claws of Valakut) just to make land-light hands safer. Since the search is optional (and one can always choose to fail a quality-based search), you don't have to queue up the land if you're already set on that front.

Obviously, Ridgeview Copse is a member of a cycle. Whether that cycle is five cards (one per ally color pair), ten (covering enemy color pairs as well) or even twenty (if we print both the 'Plains' that gets Swamps and the 'Swamp' that gets Plains, for instance) is a matter of time, context and popularity. Ridgeview originally had typeline 'Forest' but I realized you could then chain these cards together which is likely too strong. Similar land cards for reference. PS, this isn't better than the Karoos—everyone loves the Karoos—it's just less abusable and therefore more attainable by the drafters who need them.

BTW, if you haven't seen Good Gamery's Dual Land Generator, check it out. It's hilarious and could even produce some useable results.


  1. I see what you're trying to do by limited the card to Basic, non-Snow Mountains. However, I think the phrasing would read better as "search your library for a mountain card" and I don't think the ability to search for duals/shocks would be too powerful. In fact, I'd love to see players searching out Murmuring Bosks and Mistveil Plains in EDH.

  2. Ha ha, oops. I had noticed that funny wording and remade the card but forgot to upload.

    I was tempted to keep it as is for the reasons you guessed, but I agree with you 100%: "A card named Mountian" should absolutely be replaced with "a Mountain card."

  3. Or just "a basic Mountain card" if you still don't want it to find duals.

  4. This is great.

    I think a may clause would make it better, while still not being too good that other color drafters would pick it too highly. "You may have ~ ETB tapped. If you do, (put Mountain on top of library)"

    Something like this with two candidate fetches would have been great for Shards of Alara.

  5. On an amusing (but tangential) note, I recommend folks check out LSV's IPA draft that he posted today on Channel Fireball, just to laugh at how he mocks the uncommon tri-lands from Invasion. You get the distinct impression that reactions such as his are what lead to the similar-but-better Ravnica Karoos, even if the much earlier Visions (or was it Mirage?) cycle are the clear ancestor.

  6. Terrific cycle. Perhaps it would be more fun if it could tutor a Forest or a Mountain? That way it supports the mono-color decks very well.

  7. I hadn't seen the Good Gamery page. I thought this one was interesting:

  8. I like the design a lot.

    And heh, if you like generators, you might like my random Magic card generator. It has a mode to generatenonbasic lands, but they're not exactly balanced... but that just makes them more amusing :)

  9. I wonder if this would be too good. Surely. Right?

    Ridgeview Forest
    Land - Forest
    ~ ETB tapped. When it does, you may search your library for a Mountain card, shuffle your library, and put that card on top.
    (T: Add G.)