Wednesday, May 4, 2011

CCDD 050411—Vetorerry

Cool Card Design of the Day
5/4/2011 - I'm a big fan of educated guesses, bluffing and secret information in games. I'm also a fan of turning your opponents' weapons against them. Vetorrery is in the Pithing Needle/Meddling Mage family but takes things a step further. What if instead of just blocking that nasty spell, we took it for ourselves? Well clearly our opponent isn't going to play into our trap... if he knows which card we've chosen.

I'm sure there's a better way to template Vetorrery and I definitely don't know what the correct cost is, but this represents a quick and fairly straightforward mini-game with a huge potential upside for the caster. You're seeing the most powerful version here. A lesser variation might just allow you the choice of countering the spell in question or copying it (and selecting new targets) but not both. Another might still let you cast the spell from exile, but not for free. I'm attracted to that idea because it skews your choice toward something you'd be able to cast with your own mana, giving your opponent at least some clue if you're not in a color mirror. You could also balance this card by adding a cost to the trigger, for the old shields-down moment.

I'd also be interested in a version that makes the mind-game more exciting by rewarding your opponent if they can correctly guess the spell you've jinxed. Sadly, that makes the card much more complicated:

I wrote that and I can barely read it. Magic has some built-in limits to the cards (like the physical area allowable for rules text) that tend to be very good at keeping the designers in check. Honestly if a card name, type line, mana cost or rules text doesn't fit in the designated area, you were probably on the path to failure anyhow.


  1. This isn't really like Pithing Needle at all.

    In fact, it's really just Spelljack's awkward little brother looking for attention.

    But I like mini-games, mind games, and other methods for subverting traditional gameplay without breaking the rules, so this is still pretty cool.

    Considering Spelljack costs 3UUU, I'm not sure how much you can knock off the cost simply because of the added risk of it being a completely dead card should your opponent not be playing the named card. Of course, if it were adjusted to require that Vetorrery's controller still must pay for the exiled card, 2 is most likely appropriate, considering Praetor's Grasp.

  2. Here's how I would do it:

    Spellswindle (R)
    Enchantment - Aura
    Enchant opponent
    When Spellswindle ETB, search enchanted opponent's library for a card and exile it face-down. Then that player shuffles his or her library.
    Whenever enchanted opponent casts a spell, you may reveal the exiled card. If that spell has the same name as the exiled card, you may play the exiled card without paying its mana cost.

    It's really just a complicated Twincast, so UU seems like a fine cost.

  3. But shdwcat, you've gone and removed the whole guessing game! Talk about sucking the fun out of a thing.

  4. This is a cool concept.

    Instead of using a note, you could have the player look through the opponent's library and exile a card face down from it. Although that would make the text even longer...

  5. Asshole Rules DoctorMay 5, 2011 at 6:20 AM

    Remove the implementation part from the wording (the part mentioning the note). Cards say "Target player loses 2 life", not "Spin target player's life die down by two." (and since someone will mention this, Goblin Game is overly clunky).