Monday, August 1, 2011

CCDD 080111—Iaido

Cool Card Design of the Day
8/1/2011 - Kindled Fury, Thunder Strike, Slaughter Cry. These are solid tricks and I'm tickled by the pattern, but if we continue the trend, Magic 2013 will bring us "Magma Shout, 3R, Instant, Target creature gets +3/+0 and gains first strike until EOT." We're going to have to break the mold. The correct answer is probably just color-shifting Lightning Blow or Guided Strike to red. For our purposes (designing new cards), the correct answer is boring. Iaido wouldn't make a core set common, but could be fun in an expansion:

The trigger is pretty redundant functionally because you're unlikely to cast Iaido in any situation where doing so doesn't kill your target's combatant, thus saving your guy. There are exceptions, of course, but there are always exceptions. The real purpose for replacing the straight-forward cantrip is flavor. The added words draw a direct relationship between skillfully killing your enemy before he can even touch you and the card's reward. The cantrip version makes it feel like you're being rewarded just for being fast, regardless of the fight's outcome.

In fact, you can cast the cantrip version outside of combat just to cycle into a card, whereas Iaido only gives you your card back if you use it 'properly.' That makes Iaido a worse card to Spike (ignoring the one-mana price break), but not to Timmy or Vorthos who will savor the free card more knowing they earned it in honorable battle.


  1. Has the added benefit of netting you more cards in the case of a gang-blocking situation. Which might be enough to push the cost back up to the same as Guided Strike.

  2. card draw in red should be card filtering I think. This is kind of off-color for read, since it learning from battle is more of a green thing, or an ophidian style ability, that I cannot see being colorshifted.