Tuesday, October 22, 2013

CCDD 102213—Sudden Monstrosity

Cool Card Design of the Day
10/22/2013 - I debated whether to make this an X spell that put any number of counters on a creature or just cost {G}{G} and only ever give one. Ultimately, the non-counter portion of it makes it weird enough to be uncommon and X (which all but requires uncommon rarity) gives the card three substantially different uses.

You can use this spell to trigger one of your monsters earlier than your opponent expected via low {X} (though presumably you'd still choose the highest X you can afford, perhaps saving some mana for another spell that turn).

You can set {X} to a very high number to just make any creature as big as possible. A quirk of the monstrous part of this card prevents you from using it on any creatures that have already become monstrous. Probably for the best, actually, since this is a pretty good pump spell in a vacuum.

Finally, you can set {X} to 0 and target one of your opponent's monsters in order to trigger its ability when it doesn't benefit them and ensure their monster doesn't get any bigger. While that's a clever play, it's a very fair question to ask if that's still a green effect, and if it's something we want to let players do at all. I'm not remotely sure and I'm curious to hear what you all think about that. If it nets out bad, we could just add "you control."


  1. If we see this kind of card in Theros block, it will probably look something like:

    Colossal Size {2}{G}{G}
    Sorcery (Common)
    Put four +1/+1 counters on target creature you control. If it isn't monstrous, it becomes monstrous.

    1. But I agree that your version is more interesting and flexible.

    2. Yours would still put the +1/+1's on your already monstrous baddies, counter to the way the ability its based on works. I believe Jay was right putting the non-monstrous restriction before the entire effect.

  2. I'm only a mild Vorthos, but the fact that this triggers Heroic feels like a major contradiction to me.

    1. Go Go Power Rangers! Even heroes need to become super-sized every once in a while. There's a mechanical synergy there, so its not a deal breaker. Flavorfully: see Calebos from the Clash of the Titans (original). That dude totally got Monstrous 2-ed. He could have been

      Calebos, Arrogant Douche B
      Creature-Human Rogue
      Heroic--Destroy target Pegasus.

      So I give it a Vorthos thumbs up.

  3. I really don't like that X can be 0 in your original design, but I love it otherwise. I think with the simple addition of "X can't be 0" I'm on board. I also expect this should probably be a Sorcery, as badly as I want to blow someone out with this at instant, I think it would just be soul crushing. Remember how good Common Bond was? This has potential to do way worse.

    Anyway, I love it!

  4. Heh. We had a similar suggestion on Multiverse - http://multiverse.heroku.com/cards/28479 . The conversation there wondered what happens if you do the instant version *in response to* an opponent's monstrosity activation, which could be painful.

    I suspect we won't see this in Theros block (or ever); partly because of the confusion of what happens to Polukranos's triggered ability (what's X?). It's awesome on Colossus of Akros, but then so is Warmonger's Chariot.

    As a Johnny, I support the version that does allow X=0 :)

    Rather than Thrive, a more natural comparison is Strength of the Tajuru. That has enough of an upside over this that I think the power level of the +1/+1 counters half of this is fine if the monstrosity bit is.

    1. Polukranos' X is Sudden Monstrosity's X.

    2. I'm not sure it works that way within the rules. I think Polukranos' X would be 0.

    3. Huh. Now I'm not sure how X gets from Polukranos' first ability to the second at all. Is that how the rules usually work? What would happen if it somehow got a _different_ X-monstrosity ability copied from a different creature, would X be non-zero?

    4. I went and asked this over here, http://community.wizards.com/forum/rules-theory-and-templating/threads/3946851 , and they pointed out a rule I didn't know about:

      701.28b. If a permanent's ability instructs a player to "monstrosity X," other abilities of that permanent may also refer to X. The value of X in those abilities is equal to the value of X as that permanent became monstrous.

      Interestingly, it isn't completely clear how this would interact with Sudden Monstrosity. It's not a case of linked abilities, and "the value of X as that permanent became monstrous" was the value of X from Sudden Monstrosity, so maybe it actually does work! o.o

  5. Seems a bit strong at instant-speed, especially with those creatures that mainly use their monstrousness for something other than size.

    Hello, Hythonia.