Wednesday, June 29, 2011

CCDD 062911—Sanguine Rider

Cool Card Design of the Day
6/29/2011 - I know sometimes it seems like I'm just throwing any old card out there to fill my daily slot, and it's true that they can't all be awesome or whatever, but I assure you, there is a good deal of dross I never burden you with. Today I didn't have any cards that I've been burning to share with you so I started looking through my to-share-eventually pile and found a lot of crap there. A lot. Those are now in a never-show-this-to-anyone-ever folder.

I kept coming back every hour or so hoping to find some new inspiration and failing. Fortunately, this last time I remembered that I came up with a card effect this morning somewhere between my second snooze and the shower. I originally envisioned it as a 1/1 so it had more room to grow, but @samstod's observation this morning about a relative dearth of solid 5-drops in constructed spurred me to see how big I could make it at that cost and to see if it would still be relevant.

(Yes, that is a weakly disguised, slightly inferior version of Flanking-X stapled to a simplified Sengir Vampire ability.) Sanguine Rider is, I believe, very good in limited as presented, but probably still not cutting it for standard. Making him a big ol' 4/4 might do it, but I think I'd rather see some kind of anti-removal resilience. Pro: white? Shroud/Hexproof aren't black. Maybe a punishment effect:

"When Sanguine Rider dies, distribute it's +1/+1 counters among other creatures you control." Or perhaps something more straightforward like "draw a card" or "kill a guy." I dunno. You tell me: What would make this guy constructed playable that wouldn't make it the absolute best uncommon in it's set?


  1. Interesting card, Jay. It's still a little rough around the edges, but I like where you're going with it.

    One straightforward way to make a card more playable in constructed is to make it stronger in a niche strategy, but weaker in general. For example:

    Shepherd of the Damned
    Creature -- Vampire Shaman
    Whenever Shepherd of the Damned attacks, you may have target creature get -1/-1 for each vampire you control until end of turn.

    Shepherd of the Damned has much the same mechanical flavor as Sanguine Rider (and is more cleanly executed), but it can dominate the board in a constructed vampires deck without being overwhelming in limited.

  2. Why did you delete my comment? I just said that this ability is a contrived way of spelling "~ is unblockable" in a slightly aloof way.

  3. I don't know if another moderator deleted your comment, Anonymous, but I didn't. That said, unblockable and harder-to-block are very different things, especially when any 6/6 can block it and survive unscathed.

  4. There had been a comment above DrJones' that said "deleted by user" so I removed it. I assure you there was nothing malicious about my actions.