Wednesday, July 2, 2014

CCDD 070214—Curse of Withering

Cool Card Design of the Day
4/2/2014 - It's funny. I added "when ~ ETB" to this card to make it more relevant (because even though it can kill most creatures eventually, taking 4+ turns to do so is a serious failing) but now I think it's too good for {B}. Given that it's unlikely to see much Constructed play regardless, this might be an opportunity to skip the fair-ish cost of {1}{B} and go straight to {2}{B}, acting as the kind of removal drafters can pick up later (which is a good thing for a draft).


  1. Cool card, in a similar space with Glistening Oil (which obviously had a lot more going on).

    I think it is more elegant to make it trigger at the beginning of the controller's upkeep. I think then we can keep the cost at B, and remove the ETB trigger. So my version would read:

    Curse of Withering B
    Enchantment -- Aura

    Enchant creature

    Enchanted creature has "At the beginning of your upkeep, put a -1/-1 counter on this."

    1. D'oh, still meant to be common.

      Also, I think the subtype "Curse" should be reserved for enchanting players, as I think that is pretty much all it means. I can see wanting Bitterheart Witch to be able to fetch up this card, I suppose, but I don't think we can tag every aura that does something bad to something without a shift in design philosophy.

      For what its worth, I think it is a reasonable time to start saying "We are going to put Fire/Ice/etc subtypes where they make sense like we should have from the beginning" in that I think it is worth having even though it would create some weird backwards compatibility issues.

    2. Your template is cleaner, but more dangerous in terms of ruining games with the current fail-to-trigger tourney rules.

      Yeah, this shouldn't be a curse.

      As much as wish we had spell subtypes like that, it's just SO awkward that all the old spells don't, and errata'ing all of them might not be an option.

    3. How about "At the beginning of the upkeep of enchanted creature's controller, you may put a -1/-1 counter on it" or "At the beginning of your end step, you may put a -1/-1 counter on enchanted creature"? Those both have basically the same timing properties, but it's your responsibility to remember.

      Spell subtypes would be fun, but wizards said they originally intended tribal subtypes to be a permanent addition, but it just didn't work because there were so many spells where it wasn't obvious whether it should have it or not, and inconsistent with old spells, it was abandoned. Fire/ice etc have the problem that "fire instant" is so close to "red instant". More interesting might be if there were more subtypes like "Arcane" but (a) like curses, had an obvious reason why they stood out and (b) had other cards that made them matter.

    4. It's fascinating how each variation has it's little costs. Your first proposal is mechanically excellent, but a little awkward to read. The second is clean in both ways, but is an unusual timing. I'm curious which of the four (mine, Tommy's and Jack's first and second) people prefer.

    5. FWIW, most of them have precedent in recent magic sets, although fewer than I'd expected.

      One Thousand Lashes has "at the beginning of the upkeep of enchanted creature's controller". Advocate of the Beast (2014 common) has "at the beginning of your end step, put a counter on..." Necrotic plague has "Enchanted creature has 'at the beginning of your upkeep...' "

    6. I like this as "at the beginning of the upkeep of enchanted creature's controller" for a weird flavor reason in conjunction with cards like Time Walk; Their creature withers more as time passes.