Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Mashup Contestant #08: Ben Ketel

Pair 3: Pestermite and Tivadar of Thorn

Jay Treat: 6.7 (Fun: 4 Aesthetics: 7 Mechanics: 8 Bonus: 1)
Jonathan Woodward: 6
metaghost: 7
Chah: 5.7 (Fun: 4 Aesthetics: 7 Mechanics: 6 Bonus: 0)

Average: 6.3


Chah: It's great that you get to choose a creature type. Good call. Power-wise, I think it's too powerful in a tribal set, especially considering how printed Faeries are good at protecting each other.

metaghost: I'm really, really, really glad that you didn't have an infatuation with Flash or Shroud. The development stats are solid, though I'm not keen on Faeries being so buff.

Pair 5: Lightning Blast and Gift of the Woods

Jay Treat: 5 (Fun: 8 Aesthetics: 6 Mechanics: 4 Bonus: 3)
Jonathan Woodward: 4
metaghost: 2
Chah: 5.7 (Fun: 8 Aesthetics: 5 Mechanics: 4 Bonus: 0)

Average: 4.2


Chah: This is very evocative! But I think it has too many abilities. I would cut the life gain and deathtouch. It should make the creatures fight (deal damage to each other equal to power) instead of Soul's Fire. A fight effect would make the spell feel niftier (even if it's technically weaker) because you get to benefit from the size-boost of the Aura immediately.

metaghost: Uh-bwuh? Absolute mechanical overload and I really don't understand the flavor behind the ETB Syphon Soul's Fire effect.

Pair 1: Dromar's Charm and Mortal Wound

Jay Treat: 5 (Fun: 3 Aesthetics: 7 Mechanics: 5 Bonus: 0)
Jonathan Woodward: 7
metaghost: 4
Chah: 4.7 (Fun: 5 Aesthetics: 4 Mechanics: 5 Bonus: 0)

Average: 5.2

Jay Treat: Sona single-handedly locks out the Elf player, Mortifying Hex is a big recurring 'no' and Form of the Arachnid sounds like but isn't like Form of the Dragon.

Mortifying Hex would be fine if you stopped after the choice. We don't want to recur hard counter-magic. Also, it's not clear to most players that you can't sacrifice a creature that's been dealt lethal damage.

I quite like 'Arachnify' as long as it can't dome players and doesn't sound like it should enchant a player.

Chah: I'm not sure if "sacrificing damaged creatures" is a fun recursion condition to build around, but it's interesting to explore. However, what does this spell represent? It could use a more evocative name. Also, if it has a weird trigger, it shouldn't also have the extra complication of a modal choice.

Total for all 3 cards: 15.7


  1. Ben here, yeah I guess I tried to keep each card on both sides of the mashup a little too hard. Sona was admittably the best design I felt though in hindsight should have been mono-U or hybrid and probably smaller like you said like a 2/3 or so. I really don't think that the "locks out the Elves player" is that big of a deal: we have many hate cards that are just as brutal in Magic against specific strategies (Llawan, Cursed Totem, Null Rod, Engineered Plague) and I think it is a valid part of the game, although that type of hate should not be on a 4-power flier but probably a 2-power one instead.
    Form of the Arachnid was flavorfully supposed to be the creature "biting" the creature/player, but it stepped a little outside the pie. I thought it was acceptable but limiting it one way or another would have been better. Again, trying to fit too much of each card in the mashup.
    Mortifying Hex was definitely the worst design. To call this spell a "big recurring no" is a bit of a stretch as the condition is pretty hard to satisfy, especially when it is only Negate/Disfigure. Admittably, I tried too hard again to fit both cards but I thought the Mortal Wound condition was interesting to explore as a recur condition. And the name is crappy, but I really couldn't think of a good one with "Blood" in the title that fully captured it, so I went generic instead.
    Thanks for the critiques, guys. Hope you have more contests/user submissions in the future.

  2. I think that with something like Form of the Arachnid, not only was its connection the pair dubious at best, but you chose a fairly loaded name that rightfully evoked Form of the Dragon.

    And while Form of the Dragon played around with the color pie in its own way, it did so in a very tight and evocative manner. Here, you've tried to merge the conceit of turning a creature into a Spider with the conceit of the Aura itself somehow being a Spider with its ETB trigger.

    Regarding Hate-cards - Note that all of the Legacy hate cards are, well, Legacy cards. It's been a long while since they've gone to such great lengths to hate on something. Consider the their partial response to Faeries was Great Sable Stag.

  3. @GSS: Eh, while Stag wasn't as severe (it sort of hated on Jund too as Bolt and BBE where the only thing not affected by Stag), I point to Kor Firewalker to show that modern hate cards can be severe too (it took until Shrine of Burning Rage for the card not to scare mono R). I can see Sona being a bit too powerful for its effect against certain decks though (namely Elves) and although I made a Lorwyn reference, probably should not be printed in a creature-type-centric block.

  4. I like Sona, I just don't expect it to be printed in a creature-matters set.

    I didn't like Form of the Arachnid. Has too many features, too much text, and the name template make people expect a variation on Form of the Dragon. Also, I don't like how it seems much better when you cast it, than while it stays on the creature. Maybe you tried too hard here.

    I didn't like Mortifying Hex. The problem is that after the choose one, the following text didn't make any sense until I reached the last part, where I finally discovered it was a graveyard recursion ability. It's a card that feels much better with less text.

  5. I rated Mortifying Hex highly because I think the trigger is a really interesting one. A recurring counterspell probably isn't a great idea (although this is a pretty tricky one to recur), but in general I gave cards some extra points if they did creative and original things that gave me ideas.