Tuesday, May 3, 2011

CCDD 050311—Titanic Golempants, Platinum Lance & Plate of Kaldra

Cool Card Design of the Day
5/3/2011 - Yesterday, I panned the design of Batterskull on the basis of it feeling uninspired, a dire quality for a mythic rare. While I don't remotely think I'm a better designer than anyone on the New Phyrexia design team, where I come from constructive criticism is at its best when followed by earnest suggestions for improvement. Today, I attempt to design a better mythic rare living weapon.

My first attempt is the most bland and probably only worthy of being rare. I still think it's a step up from Batterskull, because it should appeal to Timmies for its size and to Johnnies who can sneak it into play on the cheap. It also gives me the opportunity to discuss a recent topic among the Magic design/development Twitter world: power and toughness setting effects. More than one person named Diminish as the worst designed card in Standard because it's too confusing an effect for common, particularly in a core set. Aaron Forsythe even went so far as to wonder if this effect should ever be printed again. The majority of us felt that it's fine to print at non-common rarities with good reminder text. I've demonstrated the shortest such text on Titanic Golempants, but there were a number of excellent suggestions and I hope P/T setting effects don't go the way of the dodo.

Since that card is a little bland as far as the final creature produced is concerned, I wanted to look for iconic creatures from Mirrodin to phyrexianize via living weapon (as opposed to infect, like BSC). This is the best I found to mimic:

The bad news here is that it's strictly better than the original, a bit more broken, not remotely original and already referenced within the set by Platinum Emperion. That said, if a player had never seen either of the artifact creatures, this would look pretty sweet.

Sso if there are no good creatures from Mirrodin to make into living weapons, what about equipment? I immediately remembered the three legendary Kaldra equipments because they actually exist in a similar vein as living weapon. But where could we go with this already very specific cycle?

I'm not calling this a slam dunk, but I'm not ashamed of it, either. Basically, the plate gives you a Kaldra-flavored Germ (maybe it's channeling Kaldra) that helps you find the rest of the gear to complete the transformation. This feels mythic and interesting, though it suffers from the same narrowness as the originals.

Do you have an idea for a better mythic living weapon? Share it below.


  1. Couldn't you switch to magiccards.info for card links? It's really annoying to have to click to see what's behind links. mci puts the card name in the link, so just hovering over the link is enough.

  2. I like the Equip cost of sacrificing a creature.

    Living Equipment tends to provide so much value that for a few exception splashy cards, they have to be given really high Equip costs. Many of the Living Equipment are designed only for Limited.

    Giving it a cost that could be paid early (like sacrificing a creature or land) but is hard to repeat could bring down the costs of Living Equipment and make them attractive creatures the first time around.

    I'm not sure an effect like Platinum Angel should be easy to bring back after it dies the first time.

    The Plate of Kaldra would fetch a Kaldra piece right away when it first get attached to a germ. That's too good for 4 mana. "Whenever this becomes equipped to a non-germ creature" or some other wording might work.

    I hope Diminish effects will not disappear, I think cards like that and Wings of Velis Veil are flavorful and provide a contrast to effects like Giant Growth.