Friday, November 23, 2012

CCDD 112312—Migration

Cool Card Design of the Day
11/23/2012 - Caring about or messing with the colored and colorless symbols in a card's mana cost isn't a deep well, but I come back to it every now and again. I found this art, knew it had to be Migration and immediately made Naked Singularity. Dang. Tried again and... this very non-Timmy card came out.



  1. What is the connection between the mechanics and the flavor? I don't see it.

  2. I like the mechanic, possibly templated as "Mana costs of colored spells can't be paid using mana that isn't of any of that spell's colors." (The numbered mana symbols in spell costs are called "generic mana" I'm pretty sure.)

    The challenge here is development. This will probably never see Limited play due to the unreliable draws present in that format. But in Constructed, you probably don't want an effect like this (which essentially makes it harder for people to play their cards) to dominate the format. If this effect is too cheap, it pretty much slashes out a large section of the potential metagame.

    2 CMC seems too cheap for this sort of effect (can you imagine being on the draw and this hitting the board before your second turn even starts?) At 5 it seems unlikely to ever be relevant. Maybe GGG? You're not going to run this thing in a multicolored deck, anyway.

    1. I completely agree with your templating, except that I'd remove the double-negative.

      "Mana costs of colored spells can only be paid using mana that is of one of that spells colors."

      Regarding mana cost, I think that this belongs at 1R (Red already having a similar effect in Blood Moon). There is definitely a case to be made for 1G or 1(R/G)(R/G), but Green is more often the color of mana-enabling than mana-disabling. This card would most likely be a sideboard option in Modern to punish greedy manabases, and at GGG it would be completely unplayable.

      The prospect of this hitting the board early isn't a scary one, as the low-mana early game spells are the least affected. The most punished spells are expensive splashes. One-mana spells are unaffected, at two mana, 1U becoming UU is just one additional color requirement, whereas Thragtusk changing from 4G to GGGGG is much more significant. The biggest effect of the mana-cost is whether or not the card is effective hate. I think this is a less powerful effect than Blood Moon (although they make a very scary combination), and I'll stick to my guns and say that 1R is correct.

    2. As a sub-note, I don't think that 1(R/G) is reasonable as it gives access to this effect to too many decks. Blood Moon is fair only because you can reasonably anticipate it in certain match-ups and play accordingly.

    3. I think this is the perfect template:

      Mana costs of colored spells can only be paid using mana that is of one of that spells colors.

      Thanks, Evan and Aaron. Gotta love team iteration.

  3. I really like this card, but I'm with Inanimate; don't see the flavour. And should this be green? I think some sort of Tunnel-Vision flavour and making it White makes more sense to me...

  4. It's a very interesting effect.

    I'm not sure how it could be costed. Too expensive and it's unplayable because it doesn't affect the battlefield enough. But against an unprepared deck it seems like it could be pretty good: if you throw this into a surprisingly mono-coloured deck, you'll shut off most of your opponent's splashes, and in a lot of two coloured decks they'll lose over half their cards, not able to play them for several extra turns or at all.

  5. Looks like an ability that shouldn't be keyworded but should exist mechanically as an artifact ala Trinisphere.

  6. Interesting design space... I went out on a limb and designed this inspired by it:

    Chromatic Decree 2WW
    Enchantment (R)
    Mana costs of spells must be paid with solely with mana of their colors (colorless spells cannot be cast).
    "Purity is the ultimate virtue" -Elspeth Tirel

    ... I liked the implications for colorless spells a lot. The card might seem weak at first but in a mono-white deck it can really make some decks stumble (it also, incidentally, prevents off-color flashback such as Lingering Souls' or Forbidden Alchemy). Lots of interesting stuff.

    1. Can you not cast colorless spells with colorless mana?