Tuesday, March 5, 2013

CCDD 030513—Blacktree Brave, Elven Warsinger & Goblin Frontrunner

Cool Card Design of the Day
3/5/2013 - Once again, reading a Mark Rosewater article inspired a few designs. Today, I want to share three more Gruul-ish keywords.

While neither red nor green are as much about swarming as white is, neither shy away from it and Gruul needn't either. Warbait is quite similar to bloodthirst, in that connecting with your opponent in combat allows you to make more/bigger creatures as a result. The Gruul love to see a clanmember smash face and can't wait to join in on the fun. For bloodthirst, that means the fighter you were getting anyhow comes in with his adrenaline pumping; and for warbait it means convincing another fighter to join the fray.

I'm not arguing warbait would have been better for Gatecrash than bloodrush, only that it has merit as red-green keyword. You could argue it would be better in green-white, though not for Selesneya.

If making guys every time you connect is too far off, then consider making mana. It can be used to make more creatures and is well within the color pie for both green and red, given that it is both temporary and combat-reliant. This art isn't Gruul, though it is city-themed. If you were to use warsong for gruul, you'd theme it more as screaming and yelling while charging madly into combat. Warsong could be mono-green, but I think red-green is a perfect fit.

Speaking of which, warcharge lets your guys hit the ground running and hard. The option to charge is always available, the only downside to using it is that you have to connect with your opponent's face the way all Gruul love so much or else your berserker won't be jazzed enough to stick around afterward despite his exhaustion. 

Warcharge doesn't have to be Gruul; it doesn't even have to be green-red: warcharge could easily be a mono-red or black-red mechanic.


  1. Warbait is really cool. Simple, straightforward, short enough to leave plenty of room for flavor text. Synergizes well with trample, which is in both colors. I think it's the strongest mechanic here.

    I might change "combat damage" to "damage" just to get the Warbait Tim that red will very much want.

    Also, a warbait creature that gives other warriors warbait would be fantastically fun.

  2. I'm loving warsong for quick Gruul decks, Green/Red wants to be quick but should have some short term forward planning. If you get a good draw of your deck to charge your opponent down in a few turns, which is what GR wants to do.

    Warcharge looks to be doing a lot here, but I'm not sure that it needs the damage clause for the sacrifice. If you already got both double power and haste as a bonus it feels fair that you have to sacrifice your creature at the end of turn regardless of whether it dealt damage, particularly since barring fog or shield effects it's fairly easy to deal an opponent a spot of damage when you have large access to creatures with haste.

    1. Suddenly that sounds familiar. I think someone came up with "you may grant haste [and double power] but sack at EOT" in a previous Gruul discussion on GA. Just can't find it...

      You're probably right that Warcharge would be best without the loop-hole I added.

    2. Here it is. Not quite the same:

      Bloodcall (When this attacks, you may put a creature card with converted mana cost less than this onto the battlefield tapped and attacking. Return that card to your hand at end of turn.)
      Raid R (You may cast ~ for its raid cost. If you do, it has haste and "At EOT, return ~ to your hand.")

    3. I still think Raid has good potential and provides a lot of design space for the set it's in. Raid is obviously good with ETB triggers, but it's also good with your own pyroclasm effects and storm-type cards, it makes sorcery speed removal worse, and makes discard and counterspells better (another reason to put Raid in red and green). It changes a lot of card evaluations for such a simple-looking mechanic.

  3. I like Warsong a lot, in general I like the idea of giving fast mana to red creatures, where it feels more interactive than spells like pyretic ritual, which are either degenerate or trash. Warsong seems easier to design for if you can adjust how much mana it gives:

    Elven Warsinger 1G
    Warsong G (Whenever Elven Warsinger attacks, add G to your mana pool after combat)

    Loud Warsinger 2R
    Warsong RRR (Whenever Loud Warsinger attacks, add RRR to your mana pool after combat)

  4. War song was what I was considering for my #fakecrash project, fwiw.