Friday, August 12, 2011

CCDD 081211—Fungal Breeder and friends

Cool Card Design of the Day
8/12/2011 - I originally wanted to make a creature that whenever you played another of the same type, they would breed and you'd get a baby token creature. Trouble is, if the token you produce is the same type as the parents, the more sensible triggers start to loop infinitely. So we have to use a different type? If only there were some precedent of one type of creature that produces tokens of another type! If only...

There's a long and proud tradition of saprolings springing from fungii starting with Fallen Empires and reprised in Time Spiral (took 'em long enough). While I'm far too nostalgic not to love all of these, I do recognize that the spore counter mechanic—while fair—is also clunky. Sometimes there's a lot of joy in updating all your various spore counts each turn, but sometimes it's just a huge, messy burden. This breeding idea isn't the only possible solution, but it is both easy and promising. (Your second Fungal Breeder nets you just 1 saproling, but your third nets you 2 and your fourth nets you 3, for 6 free creatures. Not broken, but—for common creatures—exciting enough to draft around.)

Naturally, there would be a few of these in the same block...

I have no idea if putting two of these at common is too much (certainly not across sets in the same block), but a little variety is always nice. Now that we're out of one-drop range, it's reasonable to remember the secondary ability most saproling-producing fungi have. This one's pretty weak, but it's also already an efficient creature.

Spike Feeder and friends always seemed like relatives of the Fallen Empires fungus to me. Note that this has been somewhat prohibited by the one-counter-type rule since spore counters precluded +1/+1 counters. Not so here.

I was specifically looking for an ability that would accelerate saproling production, but in retrospect this ability needs mana attached to it. Otherwise it becomes an infinite creature engine with just two other fungi on the board. Heck, without any of its brethren around, it can trade X 1/1 saprolings for X-1 2/2 funguses (and a 1/1 saproling) at no mana cost. I'm thinking G or 2.


  1. Ooh, I was messing around with Spikes just last night (with Graft instead of their usual mechanic).

    This feels way more satisfying than the spore counter mechanic, because the reward is directly tied to your own actions rather than just being a calendar event. And I personally am a fan of mechanics that compound in multiples, though they do obviously run the risk of having *too* much synergy (cough ravager cough).

  2. Since I'm doing a little archive trawl, I may as well mention here that I did like Tukatongue Thallid, and I like these even more.