Tuesday, December 10, 2013

CCDD 121013—Share

Cool Card Design of the Day
12/10/2013 - A number of interesting mechanics came about from this weekend's art challenge. Today, I want to share with you some more cards with share, which lets other players copy your spell for free, but gives you a card if they do.


Like Deal with the Devil, some share cards want to be identical to existing cards, but a little cheaper to justify the fact that you'll be down mana when your opponent chooses to copy your spell, and sometimes they'll be even better off not copying your spell. Deal and New Ground help accelerate the game and so both are fine candidates for a spell everyone at the table can enjoy. What you don't want to see are cards that negate each other and/or create a stalemate; For example, there should never be a shareable Call of the Conclave. You might, however, consider a shareable Crusader of Odric.



Another set of options include cards that aren't as symmetrical as they seem. Stroll the Bazaar and New Perspective will do more for the player with better cards in her deck or with a larger hand size. They also both make the card their caster gets from sharing relevant to the card's effect. Marginally here at common, but you could scale that up at higher rarities.


Another interesting avenue are effects that scale with the number of players that use them. Pyroclasm can change drastically when other players can increase its impact at will.


I've already mentioned the not-as-symmetrical-as-it-looks-effect, but I wanted to include a rare to help demonstrate the keyword's range.

Would you play these? How often? In multiplayer? If you like the mechanic, I hope you'll propose some more card ideas in the comments. If not, please elaborate.

21 comments:

  1. The organization of the effects seems a bit off. Most players - including me at first glance - are going to assume the share effect triggers after the effect of the spell, since it comes after. But it actually happens beforehand, which makes many of these effects much better, and can drastically change when you would cast them. Perhaps Share should be the first thing on the card's text.

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    1. You could also simply change "When you cast this spell, ..." to "Then, ..." that also makes the entire effect conterable.

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    2. So, like Chain Lightning?

      Share Bolt deals 3 damage to target creature or player.
      Share -- Then, each other player may let you draw a card. Each player who does may copy this spell and may choose a new target for that copy.

      You can replace "draw a card" with "gain n life," "return a card from your graveyard to your hand", or whatever feels most in-flavor for this particular "sharing" effect.

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    3. Probably template it in the opposite order:

      Share-- Then each opponent may copy this spell and choose new targets for the copy. Draw a card for each opponent who copies it this way.

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    4. I take it back-- the "then" template doesn't work at all, since it allows the spell to potentially be copied ad infinitum. The original template is better.

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  2. I feel like these are multiplayer-only designs. In a one-on-one game, it just doesn't feel good to give my opponent decisions.

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    1. Gifts Ungiven and Fact or Fiction are two of the cards best known for making Spike feel good, and they both give the opponent decisions in a major way. If Share spells are costed aggressively, they'll be very attractive to Spikes because they're an opportunity for symmetry-breaking and clever deck construction. (Johnny and Timmy are less worried about giving the opponent decisions, but they can also appreciate Share: Timmy for the multiplayer political aspect, and Johnny for the creative deck-building opportunities.)

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    2. One card in a set, sure. It's definitely not a keyword, in my opinion.

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    3. So you feel this mechanic doesn't appeal to any audience, Havelock?

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    4. It appeals to multiplayer fans, certainly. It could work as a keyword in a supplemental product oriented at multiplayer games, since it's more or less Tempting Offer. In one-on-one games, I think its appeal is far too narrow to merit a keyword. I just can't see multiple cards like this in an expert-level expansion or core set, especially not at common.

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  3. Looking at these designs, I like the ones with a distinctive non-hand effect (New Ground, Point of Impact, and the original lifegain one from the WAC) better than the ones that mess around with cards in hand. There's plenty to be done with those alone, and they have much less potential for confusion.

    Also, is it just me, or is Unleash Untold Horrors more powerful than Show and Tell?!?

    Other card ideas for Share:
    Lightning Bolt + Share (for R)
    Rise from the Grave + Share (for 3B)
    Glorious Charge + Share (for W)
    Disperse + Share (for U)
    Prey Upon + Share (instant speed, for G)

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    1. Well, Show and Tell is blue, so it can be pitched to Force of Will. UUH also can't cheat Omniscience into play. In the shell of a deck like 12Post or even Elves!, which naturally wants access to green mana, though...UUH handily beats Show and Tell in that it both limits the possible answers your opponent can put down to stop Emrakul AND lets you draw a card if they dare to put down anything at all.

      Granted, Show and Tell is one of the most commonly whined-about cards in a format whose power level is already off the charts, so saying that UUH is "sometimes better, sometimes worse" isn't exactly a glowing recommendation.

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    2. Glorious Charge and Pit Fight are not the sorts of cards I'd like to see with Share. Charge would do nothing and Pit Fight lets your opponent kill off your fighter first. Rise from the Grave, on the other hand, sounds like an excellent place for this mechanic.

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    3. UUH could be {3}{G}. Dev concern.

      So it turns out nothing is perfectly symmetrical all the time. Life gain matters more to the person behind, card draw matters more to the person with a smaller hand, an elephant matters more to the person with fewer creatures (or more buffs), and so on.

      Glorious Charge is better for the player with more creatures, or who double-blocked. Pit Fight might cost you your smallest creature for your opponent's biggest, or might not lose you a creature at all if yours are all big enough. Lightning Bolt might be 'just' a Lava Spike or might kill a 4/3 flyer.

      What I don't know is how marginal those differences are and how fun they'd be in practice. My hunch is they're a bit too marginal, but I would't assume that's true without testing them. Maybe these are the funnest share cards.

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    4. I suspect that the shared Glorious Charge is better than people think. For one thing, it's strictly better than Magnify-- not the highest of recommendations, I know, but at least it shows that it's plausible as an effect. In a dedicated token strategy, this has the potential to be very powerful, as it will typically push through at least a couple points of damage for just one mana while still replacing itself.

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    5. Also, weird idea inspired by Jay's talking about symmetrical effects:

      Plague of Judgment 4BB
      Sorcery (Rare)
      Destroy all creatures target opponent controls.
      Share.

      Is this card any good? Is it better than Wrath? Would the decks that play Wrath want to play this?

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    6. I really want to try share out. I think people may be undervaluing the free card.

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  4. I'm not convinced that this mechanic looks appealing enough to get past the initial "yuck, it gives good things to my opponent" reaction, and unlike Scavenge, Share will never make its way into a players deck if they think it's awful. I'd love to be proven wrong because I think there's good gameplay to be had here, but I'd want to run the mechanic by a bunch of players before bothering to playtest.
    Other potential Share cards:

    Piece of My Mind {1}{U}
    Sorcery (C)
    Share
    Target player puts the top eight cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.

    Hired Help {1}{B}
    Sorcery (C)
    Share
    Put a 3/3 black Mercenary creature token with "this creature can't block" onto the battlefield.

    Inside Joke {1}{G}
    Sorcery (U)
    Share
    Return target card from your graveyard to your hand.

    Teach You a Thing or Two {1}{B}{B}
    Sorcery (U)
    Share
    Search your library for a card and put that card into your hand. Then shuffle your library.

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  5. Um... this is Tempting Offer from the new Commander decks.

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    Replies
    1. Not exactly. It gives you card draw instead of another copy of the effect. But yes, I believe it's based on Tempting Offer.

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