Thursday, February 21, 2013

CCDD 022113—Direlion

Cool Card Design of the Day
2/21/2013 - I've designed this card a few times. I'm amused by the idea that the cost to grow your creature increases with its size. The result is a card that's useful at any point in the game, that you can invest excess mana into, and that grows as you desire, but not in an unbounded fashion that requires it to be rare or mythic like Primordial Hydra.

I was tempted to make Direlion a one-drop with seriously wacky templating…
Put a +1/+1 counter on Direlion: Pay 1 for each +1/+1 counter on Direlion or sacrifice it.
…but templating is not where you want to innovate. We need the already obtuse language of Magic to remain as consistent as possible.

As a bonus, I offer a mostly unrelated design using the same art. Yes, it's intentionally crazy good.

Eat your heart out, Lotus Cobra.

EDIT: Added the vastly superior version you all helped with:


  1. This templating doesn't work as written; 'without passing priority, I activate the ability 10,000,000 times. Ready to resolve them now?'

  2. Just have to change it to activate as a sorcery only (which would probably be done in development anyway). I like this pseudo-level up creature.

  3. At sorcery speed, I like it. Great use of the art.

  4. I think the ability should work this way:

    0: Put a +1/+1 counter on ~. This ability costs 1 more for each +1/+1 counter ~ has on it. Activate this ability only as a sorcery.

    The sorcery timing restriction is the only solution I came up to prevent infinite "in response" 0 mana activations. I'm not happy with this: someone has any better ideas?

  5. For a 1 drop version you can just make X key off its power rather than the number of +1/+1 counters.

  6. I agree Direlion's ability should be sorcery speed to limit on-board complexity. While that is one solid solution to the templating problem, there are others. Jules' is by far my favorite among them. Very elegant.

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Woops... anyway...
      Very cool card! I like it a lot, especially after Jules' fix. Reminds me of level-up.