Wednesday, June 4, 2014

CCDD 060414—Lightning Shaman

Cool Card Design of the Day


  1. I can't decide how I feel about death triggers with a cost. On the one hand, they make for great shields down moments, on the other hand, they can slow the game to a crawl if players feel the need to hold up mana for them. All in all I think it's best to use them on really aggressive creatures because then there's a lot less holding players back from using the mana for something else in their second main phase when the creature in question survives combat.

    1. Consider a hypothetical alternative that replaces 'dies' with 'dies while attacking or is sacrificed'. Templating aside, do you feel better or worse about that card, and why?

      I suspect that this is an instance of what I think of as the 'Zac Hill Effect'-- strictly better cards that read worse (or vice versa). It's a real phenomenon that affects players' perceptions, so we need to respect it. But death triggers still give players a good deal of control over what happens, so I'd be fine with this.

    2. Drainpipe Vermin makes you pay on death for its discard effect, and is rated much lower on gatherer than Ravenous Rats (etb trigger) or Black Cat (death trigger). Other cards with pay-on-death triggers are rated low, but most of them are pretty weak anyways.

      Lightning Shaman compares more favorably to similar cards like Mudbutton Torchrunner or Goblin Arsonist, so it might be received better than Drainpipe Vermin. To be safe though, I might make it a 2R 3/1 with the same ability, so that even if you don't get the effect off, you had an impactful creature that probably dealt some damage or traded off favorably.