Thursday, May 5, 2011

CCDD 050511—Epiphany, Eureka, Dark Revelation, Tap the Wellspring, The Wheel Turns

Cool Card Design of the Day
5/5/2011 - Every creative act is theft. Want to create something new to Magic? You need only look elsewhere. Fantasy films, books and art are common inspiration for Magic cards, but it's also standard to find puzzles, riddles, and mind-games that you enjoy from work, school, life in general and other games. This kind of idea borrowing is artful because it is something that gains a part of you in the translation. Today, I give you the cheaper version of creative theft: look at another game and steal an existing mechanic 1:1.

Filling your hand to a certain number is actually very common in other games and I was a bit surprised that I couldn't find a single example of it in Magic (If you can find one, in some obscured form, let us know in the comments). While I'm far from suggesting this should become a staple (or even that as many cards as I present today should be printed—ever), it absolutely should be printed. It's a nice variation from the standard "draw n."

I love how different Eureka and Epiphany play considering they are identical except for one number (and color and cost, whatev). Epiphany is helpful at any point in the game, but only possible in the late game and only worth it in a deck that won't be stockpiling cards whereas Eureka is almost useless with two or more other cards in hand and really wants you to race to Hellbent.

In a world that already has the last two cards, Dark Revelation becomes pretty niche and starts feeling boring, but on it's own, I'm pretty fond of this variable Sign in Blood.

This type of card draw is perfect as a symmetrical effect because it's the kind that is so easy to skew the benefit toward yourself. I also threw in the variable number here for anyone brave enough to play cards to increase their own hand size or decrease their opponents. Come to think of it, we'll have to add a clause to handle the "no maximum hand size" scenario. I'm fine with them drawing as many cards as they want, but they shouldn't have to deck themselves nor should anyone wonder if this creates a game-breaking loop. Maybe just "or chooses to stop."

And finally, the compulsory over-designed rare. It's a little wierd that The Wheel Turns doesn't say "your hand size" but I prefer to avoid penalizing allies in two-headed giant and other multiplayer games. Also, don't think too hard about the mana cost, it's more short-hand for color combinations that are available to be set by design/development than what should actually be printed.


  1. As for similar effects, there's Time Spiral and Wheel of Fortune of course, but I don't know if there's any that refills only one player.

    Another variation:
    Reduce your maximum hand size by 2. If your hand size is less than your maximum hand size, draw cards until the number of cards in your hand equals 7 or your maximum hand size.

  2. What happens if you have a Reliquary Tower out? Do you auto-lose?

  3. "...until you have seven _or more_ cards in hand."