Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Suvnica Week 10 Review, Part 2: There's No Place Like Home (Grohm Keyword)

Moving right along, the Grohm prevented an interesting challenge. Maro has already discussed the difficulty in designing for this particular color pairing. This is exacerbated for the Grohm since, unlike the Gruul, their Red connection is more about freedom than agression, and their Green is more about connecting with nature than of being the biggest baddest dude in the field.

Lobster667's Resist

As was pointed out in the comments, the resist mechanic is a design trap. It effectively reads hexproof for most situations it would be relevant in - either your opponent can kill it despite the bonus counter, or she will simply never target it, robbing you of any bonus. 

Circeus offered a few different variations on the mechanic, the first of which doesn't require mana to activate and has the potential for more counters, but it doesn't address the hexproof issue.

Same deal. This is the best of the bunch, since, as an ability word, the reward for resisting can exist outside of the creature that would probably be killed if ever targetted. For instance, Resisting -- Whenever ~ becomes the target of a spell/ability you don't control, creatures you control get +2/+0 and trample OR up to three target creatures can't block this turn OR ~ deals 2 damage to each creature without flying OR any number of other {R}/{G} abilities that don't care whether the creature itself dies.

Jay Treat's Mechanics

Roam inspired a whole mess of ideas, but before we get there, the basic mechanic is something {R} does on occasion. I'm not sure that it fits especially well in {G}, but it definitely captures the nomadic feel of the Grohm. They're only going to stick around until they're gone.

Chah suggested that creatures be forced to attack as a restriction on the ability. It could make sense - without some sort of drawback it could make some messed up combo-control decks, but I'd like to see if the cleaner version would really break things first. It was also pointed out that, as phrased, this particular restriction is pretty easy to circumvent - Roam the creature in your second main phase.

Jules suggested that if we want to promote playing with them in the first main phase, to use the clean Roam ability and pair it with ETB abilities that promote combat. I think this solution is nice, but we are going to want our commons to be mostly french vanilla.

Pasteur also suggested that the activations for Roam could be off color, allowing you to temporarily cast the creature even if you don't have the mana to hardcast it. I really like that implementation, and might make sense for some of the cards with the ability.

Aura suggested that instead of bouncing the creature at EoT, you would have to sac it. I like the variation, although it pushes the mechanic far more towards {R} and away from {G}.

Chah came up with another alternative that really limits it to combat, allowing you to only pop the dude in during combat and immediately bouncing it before second main phase. Definitely the most aggressive and limited of the variations.

A Grinning Ignus keyword ability might cause some major issues, although I could definitely see this in color and in Grohm. I'd be willing to try to break it.

Jay's Explore lets Grohm find things. Opposite of roam, this is a much more {G} mechanic than {R}. Red did have clash, but it didn't often result in netting card advantage, which is my major color pie concern with Explore.

Benjammn offered a great alternative. Instead of the card advantage, instead you check for a value on the top of the library (creatures or lands) and get an appropriate bonus. This will keep the card advantage out of red and gives much more flexibility.

Jay's Scout is flavorful but very off color. This type of library stacking is only occasionally in green, never in red.

lpaulsen's Walkabout

I had to mess with the phrasing on this one for it to work (there's an action word, like clash, that needs a return value of true (win in clash) to work. The phrasing can be further changed, but I like the direction this is moving in.

The Cozen's Hearthsong

Hearthsong shows the Grohm's willingness to get into a scrap when they're seemingly outmatched. Solid and clean mechanic. Definitely works.


That's it for the Grohm. Which ones did you guys like?

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