Monday, February 11, 2013

CCDD 021113—Rewire

Cool Card Design of the Day
2/11/2013 - Inspired loosely by Frontline Medic, which seemed to beg the question "What else can we do with X spells?", I present Rewire.

Rewire is a bad Mana Leak for your opponent's Bonfire of the Damned, or a bad Dark Ritual for your own, and yet I feel like that's a great place for red's metamagic.

I shudder to imagine the set where Rewire is common; this should definitely be uncommon if not rare.

Notice how cycling is a bit of a cop-out?

Designer: "Here's a clever effect!"
Designer's Conscience: "It will only be relevant, like, 5% of the time. Tops!"
Designer: "...Give it cycling?"
Designer's Conscience: <facepalm>


  1. I like this idea, though I feel like there could be significant rules issues here. Does this interact with stuff like Boundless Realms? Or cards with Join Forces? X isn't a really well-defined _thing_ that can be changed as far as I remember.

    1. What part of "Search your library for up to 3 basic land cards, where 3 is the number of lands you control…" Oh. Yeah. That's pretty weird. I was thinking that Rewire would cause spells like Boundless Realms to fetch only 3 lands, but the "where X" part would have to be ignored. Can we template it to clarify that? Perhaps:

      Target spell's X becomes 3. (Ignore the previous definition of X for that spell.)

    2. I'm sure there is definitely an intuitive way that this makes sense. The way it reads makes it really clear as to how it's supposed to work, it's just a tough template since X is so vague and it's used so generically that there are tons of corner cases. I think what gives me the most pause is the phrase "target spell's X," which is clear in theory, but there's no rules definition for a spell "having" an X, and I can't think of one that really works.

      I feel like there might be a template that at least changes X's in mana costs, but there may still be problems with that.

      Maybe, "Each X in target spell's mana cost becomes 3"?

    3. The templating/rules could definitely make or break Rewire.

  2. "The X value of target spell with X in its casting cost becomes 3."

  3. I've often thought that there's more interesting design space for X...

    Schizoid Bolt
    Choose one - Schizoid Bolt deals X damage to target creature or player, or Schizoid Bolt deals 3 damage to target creature or player.

  4. Instead of shoving cycling onto the effect, how about a bear?

    Meddling Assistant RR
    Creature - Human Wizard (R)
    If a spell would have an X value, that value is 3 instead of what it would normally be.
    "After 3 years, grumpy old Artexis finally trusted me with closing up the lab. TIME TO DO SOME SCIENCE!"

    Limited to spells because a casual search uncovers weird infinite combos with cards like Helix Pinnacle and Demonspine Whip.

  5. Sol Vortex 1
    T: Add 2 to your mana pool. Spend this mana only on costs that contain X.
    T: Counter target spell with X in its mana cost unless its controller pays 2.