Tuesday, July 26, 2011

CCDD 072611—Mossy Reclaimer and Sphagnombler

Cool Card Design of the Day
7/26/2011 - Today's CCDD is the result of thinking about other ways to remove dangerous cards from opposing graveyards and about what a green Resurrection could look like. A search for green spells that exile cards from graveyards includes Scavenging Ooze, Night Soil, Night Soil's descendant Necrogenesis, and the similarly-themed Morbid Bloom. I'm sure there are other cards relevant to the discussion, since Gaea's Blessing is one of the best such answers.

But my primary inspiration was The Mimeoplasm. The first card I want to show you is basically a mono-colored version:

Despite the inspiration I was conscious of, it's pretty clear that Mossy Reclaimer is more closely related to Sutured Ghoul, which demands the already inevitable question of whether this card can be mono-green or if it should be black or black-green. Black and green both have a history of graveyard recursion (though of different types: Raise Dead/Rise from the Grave vs Nature's Spiral) and of consuming cards in the graveyard as a resource (Death Rattle and Forgotten Harvest), so it seems mechanically justifiable.

I doubt anyone questions the flavor of Sutured Ghoul, so that leaves us to ask whether Mossy Reclaimer makes sense. I couldn't find the right art, but in my head this thing is a creepy vine that grafts onto a carcass and slowly consumes it, taking on its shape (as opposed to animating it). That's a bit dark, but it's a scavenging, hungry adaptation—a kind of creature-based recycling—that feels plenty green to me, though I couldn't blame anyone for disagreeing.

Thinking about the same concept, I wondered how we could make the graveyard-eating a repeatable effect. If it still grants counters, it probably shouldn't be an activated ability... Wouldn't it be neat if a monster like this could slink from body to body whenever you vanquish its current form? Perhaps its spores are released when you slay it and they infect the next closest corpse.

I don't for a moment think that name is good enough to print, but it does still tickle me to combine legit latin words with popular nonsense words to create something similar to a real Magic tofu-style name, but silly / ridiculous.


  1. I think Mossy Reclaimer is perfectly fine as a mono-green card. It could also work as mono-black, or black/green gold, or black/green hybrid. All of the above.

  2. Sphagnombler is awesome. Even if it keeps coming back, it's like a form of regeneration so it's balanced. And there's plenty of build-around potential with mill or discard.

    I think the XG cost for bringing it back is too high. It would be too hard to keep up that much mana. I think it could cost just 2G or something, regardless of the stolen body's size.

  3. Good point. Depending on how much the card gets pushed, could even be 1G.

    Ed Grabionoski just reminded me of Body Double which is pretty similar as well. One of the things I love about this game is how relatively subtle differences can make a card feel so different. These both nab a creature from a graveyard and use its stats, but Body Double gets all that creature's abilities (including ETB ones) whereas Mossy Reclaimer only ever has trample. Despite these similarities, one feels like an alien mimic and the other a hungry moss-monster. Love this game.

  4. And Phyrexian Ingester (which itself is based off good old Duplicant).

    So basically, the only thing special about Mossy Reclaimer is that it's green. *shrug* I'll take it.

  5. How about a mild color-hoser?

    Composting Thallid
    Creature - Fungus
    At the beginning of your upkeep, you may exile a blue or black card from a graveyard. If you do, put a +1/+1 counter on Composting Thallid.
    1, remove a +1/+1 counter from Composting Thallid: Put a 1/1 green Saproling creature token onto the battlefield.

    This is obviously a fairly different design, but I was thinking, why only exile creature cards? The only cards that interact with instants or sorceries in an opponent's graveyard are blue (and black) spells trying to cast them (and Magnivore/Cognivore). Perhaps you could go a step farther, with a creature that specifically hates an opponent's instants and sorceries, but it would probably be red/green.

  6. > but it would probably be red/green.
    Why red?

  7. Anonymous, I think JW was suggesting a creature that benefits from eating instants and sorceries, which is definitely more of a red concept.

  8. It is interesting to see this card after Innistrad has released... However I really like the first version of the card, and feel it fits green quite well, in an evolution of the fittest, growing out of the remains of our foes feeling.