Wednesday, September 18, 2013

CCDD 091813—Singular Notion

Cool Card Design of the Day
9/18/2013 - There are two distinct applications for tutors. Using them as card slots 5-8 to ensure that you get that one card you really want reduces variance and makes games play out the same way more often, which is boring. Tutoring to get "silver bullet" one-ofs so that you can adapt to any situation actually does the opposite. Singular Notion is an attempt to make a tutor that can only be used for good, and never evil.*

*Fair warning that responding to obvious hyperbole with technicalities may have the opposite result one intends.

Singular Notion certainly doesn't need to be mono-color hybrid, and I'm not even 100% convinced this effect still wants to be black. It definitely wants to be easier to cast than Diabolic Tutor. What mana cost would you give it?


  1. Can this be done without the phrase "you lose the game"?

    Perhaps "Target opponent may search your library for a card with the name, reveal it and exile it. If a card is revealed this way, reveal your hand and exile all cards with the same name."
    1BB Instant might be a good cost also - reminiscent of Mystical Teachings, which often had a lot of silver bullets.

    1. I also considered:

      Search your library for four cards with the same name and reveal them. Put one into your hand and exile the rest.


      Search your library for a card and reveal it. Target opponent searches your library and exiles any number of cards with the same name.

      Those have a similar end result, but look very different and have other effects on deck-building and play.

    2. What about "Reveal your library"?

  2. I totally agree that this is a great approach to designing tutors. Gifts Ungiven and Birthing Pod are examples of card designs that accomplish the same goal in a more roundabout way.

  3. Building off of other suggestions:

    "Name a card, then reveal your library. If exactly one copy of the named card is revealed, put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library."

  4. Okay, that's at least a little ironic.

    As for the card, I like it best as-is. Black upside, black downside. Keep this one in a back pocket in case some set has a different costing mechanic than twobrid that allows for "more than Grim Tutor and less than Diabolic" as a cost.

  5. I don't know about this one. There's no way to make "now, please go through my library" non-tedious.

  6. All I read was "Strictly better Beseech the Queen in EDH."

    Does this have to be twobrid?

  7. I read this card as "Search your library for a one-of, then your opponent makes sure you're not cheating."

    Weirdly, in a multiplayer game, you can make a deal with your opponent. A tells B: "Hey, C has that absurd threat on the board. I can deal with it, but I need to tutor up something I'm running multiple copies of. I'll deal with C's threat, but in exchange you don't find my extra copies when you search my library."

    1. I don't imagine this being a huge problem as multiplayer formats (e.g. Commander) are often singleton anyway.

  8. I definitely like the idea.

    I'm not sure it could be printed like this, though. Every time your opponent almost has to search just to check you're not bluffing, and will never find anything, which is a lot of unecessary effort.

    I wonder if it could be something like "for the rest of the game, if you cast a card with that name, your opponent may counter it"? That's a lot of memory issues, but if you're looking for combo piece #2 your opponent will probably remember. But it doesn't help at all if you only need to find the first copy.

    I also note as some other people pointed out: in chaos multiplayer it will normally just be a tutor effect since normally some opponent is happy for you to find it.

    I'd rather it just did nothing if there's a duplicate rather than losing the game, although that makes the "opponent must check" issue worse.

    I tried to think of any other way of doing it, but couldn't think of anything good.

    1. What I like about this solution, apart from the obvious benefit that your opponent doesn't thumb through your deck, is that the penalty for misusing it is higher than just excising the other copies from the deck. Drawing them and having them dead in your hand would be rough. Then again, you can just play a deck that /wants/ to discard extra cards...

    2. I'm trying to figure out the right wording for this.

      Singular Notion 1BB
      Enchantment (r)
      When ~ enters the battlefield, name a card, then search your library for a card with that name and put it into your hand.
      If you would cast a card with the chosen name, counter it.

      This is good with Storm? and lands?

      "If you would cast a card with the chosen name and ~ did not enter the battlefield this turn, counter it." could give you a one-turn window like we're seeing more with Red.

      An even more johnny-spike prison card:

      Shared Sentence 1B
      Enchantment (r)
      When ~ enters the battlefield, name a card, search your library for a card with that name, and put it into your hand. If you don't, sacrifice ~.
      Cards with the chosen name can't be cast.