Thursday, November 20, 2014

CCDD 112014—Ridealong Bandito

Cool Card Design of the Day
11/20/2014 - I made several terrible iterations on this mechanic before settling on this one. I'd say it's neither great nor awful: usable, perhaps with some tweaking.

Purely for reference, here's the first pass, which sought to explore free/sudden casting as a reward for fulfilling certain conditions ala Qasali Ambusher, but ideally proactive ones. Because it's a surprise, I wanted to find a condition your opponent could watch for, so that she could predict your potential ambush. But that version made players averse to attacking, so I gravitated toward this sorcery-speed version.

The end result feels a bit like cascade, with some obvious differences. I think my biggest concern with ridealong as it stands is that a single Rumbling Baloth lets you cast any number of Ridealong Banditos from your hand as well as any cheaper ridealong cards. We could make it more like cascade to solve that (but then we're back to an OP mechanic with unattractive stats):

All of these have power level concerns. The question is whether there's something interesting/exciting enough happening that makes developing the mechanic into something printable worthwhile.


  1. Why does it have to be completely free?

    Head Bandit
    Creature - Human Warrior
    Lead the Way (The next spell you cast this turn that shares a color with Head Bandit costs 1 less to cast.)

    1. That is pretty unexciting. I've already spent three mana, how much do I have left over. On turn 4 I can play this and a Grizzly Bears? And that is the absolute best case?

      I can't even abuse it by casting a bunch more (not that I want to make a storm mechanic, but I think that is where Jay is going)?

      Note: You could say "When ~ ETBs, add G to your mana pool." and have almost the same effect.

      I cannot imagine this as a keyword.

    2. I've made a very similar mechanic, as follows:

      Mkalimlima Guide {3}{R}
      Creature - Elemental Scout (C)
      Trailblaze (Each other spell you cast this turn costs {1} less to cast.)

  2. What about something like this?

    Ridealong Bandito 2G
    When you cast Ridealong Bandito, if it's the second spell you cast this turn, you may pay 0 rather than pay its mana cost.

    I don't know if that templating works, but I'm sure there is a way to do it within the rules. Or we could require the first spell be a certain color (like you did) to keep color pie shenanigans at bay.

  3. Guys, are we forgetting this Future Sight, future shifted card?

    Patrician's Scorn (COM) 3W
    If you've cast another white spell this turn, you may cast Patrician's Scorn without paying its mana cost.
    Destroy all enchantments.

    It basically has Ridealong without the CMC wording. The trick was the free effect isn't something you'd want to play 4 of all in a turn (as opposed to a 2/3 for free.)

    1. I remember this. I think we actually discussed it in a previous CCDD, if I remember correctly.

      The problem I noted with it was - how many effects can you think of that you wouldn't want to play 4 of all in a turn? Here's what I can see:

      - Legendary creatures (Except for ETB triggers but that seems fine since you're still spending cards)
      - Stuff that grants a non-stacking keyword to everything
      - Stuff that destroys / bounces / taps / exiles everything (Untap is too good alongside tap abilities)

      Now how many of those are really common effects? Not many. Even Patrician's Scorn is undeniably uncommon nowadays.

      It's such a fun mechanic, but just unfortunately not doable as an actual keyword.

    2. Why are we worried about a player casting 4 of the same card in a single turn? How are they going to get every copy in to their hand (in a way that doesn't win them the game otherwise)?

  4. Important difference between this and cascade: cascade is a card-advantage mechanic, while this is not.

    One possible templating fix:
    Ridealong (If the last spell you cast this turn cost more than CARDNAME, you may cast CARDNAME without paying its mana cost.)