Friday, August 19, 2011

CCDD 081911—Avenging Paladin

Cool Card Design of the Day
8/19/2011 - The original concept for this justice-minded creature was that it could only attack a player who had attacked you during its last turn. Trouble is, any numbers big enough to warrant playing with such a downside results in a blocker that your opponent is rather less likely to attack into. Instead granting a bonus for attacking an opponent who attacked you recently gives the same basic flavor, but allows you to make an efficient little body you'd rather attack with than defend with (not unlike Benalish Veteran). Let me show you the card before I go on.

It also started out with first strike and without flying. The idea of a righteous combatant swinging as a 4/4 in white is too close to angel flavor not to recognize that fact (oh and the art I found shows wings on the knight). It's actually pretty cool that this knight gets an angelic boost when its doing the good work of avengement. If you don't like the paladin-channeling-angel idea, you can just look at this is a Glory Seeker that casts Mighty Leap on itself when justice needs doing.

Mechanically, it works better this way because you're much less likely to block with a Glory Seeker than a White Knight and much more likely to connect with a Serra Angel than a Lightwielder Paladin.

Balance-wise, Avenging Paladin could probably still have first strike or go down to 1W.


  1. Great card. Really, as is. More interaction than vigilance, plenty of flavor, not annoyingly abusable.

  2. > this knight gets an angelic boost
    Isn't an "angelic boost" +3/+3 and flying, not +2/+2? I was under the impression that the association extends beyond my playgroup.

    I would also like static first strike here, because that's what the WW 2/2 Knights do.

  3. Definitely one of your stronger designs of late, Jay. I get the feeling that though this would be fine in a traditional set, it would be best in a multiplayer specialty product.

  4. I don't know, I would be sorely tempted to do something involving counters (probably because I love them too much), but I like metaghost's idea of putting it in a multiplayer specialty product, I could definitely see something like this there.

    This is just riffing, but it would have to be something like a modified Aurification.

    Law of Vengeance 2WW
    Whenever a creature attacks you, put a vengeance counter on it.
    Whenever a creature you control blocks or is blocked by a creature with a vengeance counter, it gets +2/+2 and first strike until end of turn.

    The templating probably is not right here. This is obviously a lot different, I'm not saying this card is better, I'm just sort of riffing here.

  5. I really love the idea, but I think the templating is a bit clunky.

    I would suggest removing the clause that requires the Paladin to remember who attacked you, and just care that you have been attacked.

    For example, "Whenever you are attacked, CARDNAME gets +2/+2 and gains flying until the beginning of your next end step."

    So as long as you are attacked, it pumps into a great blocker and a big hitter next turn. And in multiplayer, it gets bigger and bigger if you get ganged up on.

  6. Great design. I agree with what the first anonymous guy said. Defensive in an interactive way. Totally belongs in the Commander product.

  7. What Bass said. I had to read the card twice to figure out exactly what it did. Adding conditionals increases card complexity, even if the card only does one thing.

    I also don't know that the flying is actually necessary, and probably overpowers the card. It's also a card that specifically promotes noninteraction. It basically says that you can't attack me, or you're taking four damage. Evasion there is probably bad. Vigilance would be better at WW, First Strike is sorta useless on it. If it's flying, it should probably be 1WW or 2W.

  8. Brian has a good point about the uninteractivity. For multiplayer this isn't too much a problem since you've got multiple players, but for duel it could be. This is sadly, where all our theorizing goes away because you actually would need to playtest the card to be sure.

    It might work better if it only gave a POWER pump. That way you couldn't block with it and then send it in next turn.

    e.g. "Whenever you're attacked, CARDNAME gets +2/+0 and gains flying until end of turn." It can create interesting tension by you attacking into it and forcing your opponent to block with it.

  9. I like this card, yet it would probably need something more. Tweak the p/t numbers perhaps or add first strike and move it to rare?

    I really think this should stay in WW cost though and not 1W.