Friday, May 20, 2011

21 Ways to Design a Card: Part 2d - Hand, Battlefield, and Exile

I've been making cards inspired by game terminology and jargon. Today's cards for the Hand, Battlefield and Exile.


I considered calling this card "RoMa" or "Oram."


By the way, Senjoh just means battlefield.

I think it would be interesting to design a cycle of cards like this, where the flipside has a different color, but is justified in having that color even though that side doesn't have a casting cost.


I guess this can be like a loose cycle with Tome Raider and Tomb Raider in my previous post. Each one allows you to attack with the opponent's creature, except each one uses a different zone.

Here's another version that is probably more fitting to White, which I added after seeing Luminum Can's comment below:

I made another one based on exile:

While I think this is balanced, I thought it would give the opponent headaches as they try to figure out what would happen to the board a few turns later, especially when they try to decide what to use removal on. Also, it's stressful to destroy permanents knowing they will come back. Cards like Morbid Plunder give you the bliss of ignorance, because you don't know the opponent has it in hand.

So I tried making another one, based off of the same flavor but with a completely different effect:

This card might be interesting in a mill deck. It's probably too much life gain and has to be adjusted somehow. But I like how it will allow the act of milling to turn into an act of survival, and how it can only gain life within a certain window of time. 


  1. Hand of Betrayal = Adamaro, First to Desire?

    Angel of Rapture feels like a black card to me. That kind of creature "stealing" just doesn't jive with me in white.

  2. Oh no! I thought I it looked familiar somehow...

  3. Although White did get Evangelize, I guess it was super high-costed and didn't target.

    Maybe the Angel should exile a creature card that was put into a graveyard this turn. That prevents taking the opponent's best creature and makes it situational. I think that synergizes better with the ability of making a temporary token copy every turn since the creature might be fragile.

    In a pinch, I could just make it exile a creature from the caster's own graveyard, but I think taking a creature that died this turn can be cordoned off as a niche that's different from targeted steal spells.

  4. I edited in another version of the Angel, which fits White better.

  5. Asshole Rules NaziMay 21, 2011 at 8:28 AM

    Determining card colour based on the frame is the stupidest thing since Phyrexian mana being identified solely by symbol background.

    Also do you really gain anything by making the flipped half black? It's not worth it.

  6. Not sure why Hand of Betrayal needs/warrants haste.

    I find myself wishing that the black side of Senjoh flipped back to the red side as part of the cost of making a guy or something. This might also be a good place for flip cards with two costs, that can be cast starting on either side.

    I feel like Angel of Rapture should be exiling a creature that attacked this turn and that it should make the token when blocking.

    Angel of Redemption is stone cold awesome (though it is an imprint card without the imprint ability word).

    I like the first City of Waiting Souls as a white kind of Mimic Vat, but I wish you had to choose which permanents to leave under it as they died. Maybe it should only bring back one to simplify.

    I think the second City is probably fair: not a lot of players are looking to spend 7 mana on any amount of life gain. That said, why is it exiling cards when it could just give you 1 life whenever a card goes to the graveyard?

  7. Hmm, what if City of Waiting Souls was symmetrical?

    Whenever a permanent goes to the graveyard from the battlefield, its controller may exile it instead.
    WW, Sacrifice ~: Each player returns the last card he or she exiled with ~ onto the battlefield.

  8. I wanted Hand of Betrayal to be a surprise, like Sudden Impact. I had forgotten Adamaro existed, but since Adamaro costs 3 without haste, the Hand having haste at 4 isn't overly speedy.

    I like your suggestion for Angel of Rapture. Gaining control of an attacking creature and using it only for blocking sounds White.

    I think my second City could gain obscene amounts of life in a mill deck (like 40+), so I like the strategy of having a limited window of opportunity - you have to decide when to spend a turn to sac it and cash in with the accumulated exiles. After that, you can't gain life with it. Sometimes you are forced to use it prematurely. Also, while it sits on the board, the opponent has a chance to interfere with it.

    If it were to gain life on the spot (and it may be better to make it simple in that way) it should count a smaller category of cards.

    A symmetrical city would be interesting, but I'm not sure what exact effect would be to make it playable. Maybe return all creatures that died, not just one per player? In that case, it's possible to make a card that just return all creatures from graveyard (like one half of Living Death) rather than exile. But the enchantment version that uses exile would allow for opponents' removal as well as shennanigans.