Wednesday, August 28, 2013

CCDD 082813—Electric Reaction

Cool Card Design of the Day
8/28/2013 - I wanted to capture the jolt of electrocution that shocks its victims, causing them to jerk away. Below are two very similar damage/bounce effects that play quite differently.


This version uses the Browbeat opponent-chooses tech to give you an efficient Lightning Bolt or red Unsummon. Of course, it's worse than either of those because your opponent gets to choose which occurs. That's not inherently wrong, but the fact that half this card is ineffective against 4+ toughness creatures and the other half is less impactful against cheap creatures means this particular combination will be more frustrating than useful too often.


This version is more predictable. It kills things a Shock would kill and bounces the rest. At {R}, it would be almost strictly better than Unsummon. While I'd consider bleeding bounce into red for a flavorful effect, I would never consider making a better red Unsummon. {1}{R} for 2 damage isn't inspiring, but the ability to deal with any creature—if only for a turn—is something red doesn't get very often, and that versatility could make Electric Reaction a roleplayer in Limited, at least.

Which version do you prefer? How would you tweak it? Do you think red bounce like Stingscourger should stay Dead & Gone?

12 comments:

  1. I think the first Electric Reaction is a really nice design; it's basically an extension of the punisher mechanic. Book Burning and Browbeat are ample precedent for "deal damage unless you let me do a blue thing" in red. If there are power-level concerns, you could always bump the damage up to 4.

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    1. Yeah, that number could go higher.

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    2. I don't know how good Blazing Salvo was (the original Punisher Lightning Bolt), but I think the first design at 1R and doing 4 damage is probably the ideal.

      Also, note that the punisher templating eschews modal structure, so it'd be more like:

      Electric Reaction
      1R
      Instant (U)
      Electric Reaction deals 4 damage to target creature unless its controller chooses to put that creature on top of its owner's library.

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  2. Holy crap, I just realized the first one puts the creature on top of it's owner's library. Well, that'll make them think twice about saving their creature!

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    1. heh... I thought you did that intentionally and misstyped and wrote unsummon instead of time ebb.

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  3. electric boogaloo 2 is out of color for red to get... but if you made it so that only hits opponent's cards it becomes planar chaos in color so I would go with that.

    however I would also change the template because of it's odd interaction with indestructiblity.

    "~ deals 2 damage to target creature you don't control. then, if that creature is still on the battlefield return it to it's owner's hand"

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    1. Totally down with adding "you don't control." Unfortunately, "if it's still on the battlefield" doesn't work because the entire spell finishes resolving before state-based effects see that the creature should die.

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    2. "If that's not enough to kill it…"?

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  4. I don't feel as though the flavor justifies the color bleed. "Can't block this turn" is firmly in red and also captures the flavor of being stunned by electricity.

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