Wednesday, April 10, 2013

CCDD 041013—Grim Augury

Cool Card Design of the Day
4/10/2013 - I was ready to post this oldish design when I saw a way to improve it.

Spoils of the Vault and Vampiric Tutor have a baby that grows up to reject its parents violent ways. And is anemic as a result.

The improvement I saw was that it could target anyone instead of just yourself, so that you could use it to fateseal your opponent or mill them. Of course, it didn't mill as written, but that's easily fixed. While I was there, I thought it was a shame that the ability really fit the art or the name much, so I made the repeating part key off of dead things instead of being a static number.

The result is much wordier and, as a result, probably not common in NWO anymore. It's also much worse in the early game. On the other hand, it's more flavorful and has much higher potential to dig to what you need or mill your opponent if you can just give it some dead things to count.

Which do you think is better?


  1. The first is just Scry 1 x 5.

    Can you reduce the wordiness by placing "For each creature card in target player's graveyard" as the first clause?

  2. The second one has the problem that the number of creatures in the graveyard changes as you execute the spell, which is going to confuse people. Presumably you lock in the number of iterations before starting, but I can imagine players doing it the other way.

    1. You can always just temporarily store the cards in exile as you reveal them, then put them into the graveyard. Isn't that what cards like Living Death do when they need to shift things around without tripping over their own zone changes?

    2. I liked that you could chain into more things by trashing creatures. I definitely agree the template needs to be clearer whether those count or not though.

  3. Biblios B
    Instant U
    Exile the top card of your library. You may put that card into your hand. Repeat this process up to two times or until you put a card into your hand, whichever comes first.

    This little guy was inspired by the article and by the excellent card game biblios. I'd love to see more brainstorm effects in black, or all the colors really.

  4. This mechanic (manipulation of upcoming draws) is very Spikey. As a result, the second design's Timmyish flavorful twist works against it.

  5. I feel like this would be much easier to grok if it was keyworded, which may or may not be appropriate based on its set's themes and needs.

    Mindstrike X (look at the top x cards of target players library. Put any of those cards in his or her graveyard, and the rest on top in any order)

    Amnesia Drone - 1U (Common)
    Creature - Faerie Wizard - 1/1
    When ~ ETB, Mindstrike 1.
    She doesn't fear your wrath because she knows you won't remember.

    Trauma Cone - 3UU (Uncommon)
    Mindstrike 1, then Mindstrike 2, then Mindstrike 3.

    Vanish from Memory (Not the YMTC Version) - 1UBB (Uncommon)
    Put target creature on top of its owner's library, then Mindstrike 2.

    Mindmelter Thrull - 3BB - Rare
    Creature - Thrull - 3/2
    Whenever ~ deals combat damage to a player, Mindstrike 3.

    What do you think?

    1. Fateseal exists.

      Also, a big part of what makes Grim Augury interesting to play is that you don't get to see all the cards; you have to gamble on what you have versus what may be coming.

    2. Fateseal isn't the same, especially in sets that care about GY. Also, what I was driving at is that the second version of Grim Augury could read "Mindstrike 1. Repeat this for each creature in the targeted player's GY." and I think it would be easier to understand. Still probably not a common though.

    3. Fateseal 2. (To fateseal 2, look at the top two cards of an opponent's library, then put any number of them on the bottom of that player's library and the rest on top in any order.)

      AFAICT, the only difference between mindstrike and fateseal is that one only targets opponents. The one without 'strike' in the name.