Friday, December 23, 2011

CCDD 122311—Humble Savior / Knight in Shining Armor

Cool Card Design of the Day
12/23/2011 White has a great shtick around saving its own creatures. Damage prevention and protection effects were the earliest expression of this, but it got interesting when Flicker introduced blink effects. Whitemane Lion (and friends) put a similar effect on creatures. With the recent addition of Fiend Hunter to white's arsenal, today's card seems inevitable.

I'm quite happy with the card concept overall, but there are a couple interesting quirks worth discussing. First is that the exile ability isn't currently optional. If we really want to make this casual friendly, it should be. That'll make our knight in shining armor (alt name) stictly upside. The reason I didn't automatically do that is partly mechanical (it's already pretty good), but mostly thematic. The knight that saves folk doesn't show up until the very moment they need saving. That's just his idiom. More glory that way.

The other questionable choice was using "dies" instead of "leaves the battlefield." I didn't really want to enable chains where one Humble Savior saves another, freeing the original savee and saving another in the process. I also like that your honorable knight must die before he will stop protecting his friend. Trickery like Unsummon could foil his naive plan altogether.

These tweaks probably aren't worth the confusion they'll cause, but I at least wanted to present the card in its most ideal knightly form. Here's the more reasonable execution (which I don't think can still be WW). I wonder if it needs first strike...


  1. He really should have first strike. He's a knight!

    I don't think it should be an optional trigger, but I like the idea that you get the original creature back when he leaves the battlefield.

    Keep the cost at WW, and it should be fine.

  2. It's kind of like the Champion mechanic, except there's no penalty if you don't have another creature to exile.

    Without the optional trigger, you open yourself up to a 2-for-1 also, with your opponent able to remove the Knight with the exile trigger still on the stack (the inverse of using stack tricks with Fiend Hunter, et al to exile your opponent's cards).

  3. Normally I'd be with you Alex, but if there's no may, you're only casting him when something's doing to die, so it makes sense that he's unable to save them if he's killed on his way in.

  4. Humble Savior is misnamed if the reason his ability is not optional is because he wants more glory.

    You can always cast the Humble Savior without any other creatures in play to circumvent his trigger, not sure if that's intentional or not.

  5. Robot Viking had suggested removing "another" so that you can't play it by himself. Like Whitemane Lion or gating creatures. Certainly worth considering.

  6. This card doesn't make sense. The longer your savior lives, the longer the saved creature is out of commission? I feel like the effect should be:

    "When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, you may exile another target creature you control. Return that card to the battlefield under its owner's control at the beginning of the next end step."

  7. If you just risked your life to save someone, would you want them rushing headlong back into the face of danger while you could stop them?

  8. Maybe "Custodian" is a better name than "Savior," here.

  9. It also sets up ridiculous gameplay incentives. Baneslayer eats a Doom Blade, savior springs in, and the best line of play is to immediately Bolt your own guy.

    Sorry, but this is a terrible, terrible card. Whitemane Lion at least lets you re-cast the creature.

  10. Knight in Shining Armor 1WW
    Flash, First Strike
    When Knight in Shining Armor enters the battlefield, regenerate target creature.

    There is no reason to be that fancy.