Thursday, January 8, 2015

CCDD 010815—Phyrexian Grappler

Cool Card Design of the Day
1/8/2015 - Phyrexian Grappler doesn't have to be an artifact, or green, necessarily, but something about this effect just felt Phyrexian to me and this is how it came out.

I like the idea of a creature that scales up in multiplayer and I like how simple the ability is. Finding a decent combination of base stats, cost and boost wasn't as easy as you might expect. Even now, I wonder if Grappler should get +2/+2 instead to make its effect in multiplayer more pronounced, but at what cost is something that immediately gets +6/+6 in a four-player Commander game fair, and how weak does that make it in a duel?


  1. I like the bonus as is, otherwise we're left with it the card feeling anemic or busted. (I could also see base 4CMC 3/3).

    As for flavor, the Phyrexian one works, but I'd prefer a back against the wall/home under siege sort of flavor, which might suggest white for coloration

  2. More opponents means more total removal spells in the hands of your opponents. I'm fine with something that places such an obvious target on your back being a bit beefier.

    I do wish it didn't shrink when it eliminated players, though. Maybe put counters on it when it enters the battlefield?

    1. I'm kind of fond of that.
      A tiny bit of motivation to keep each opponent alive until you can crush them all at once.
      But players being caught off guard by that isn't great.

    2. I like the way it is now. Players tend to die all at once (or in quick succession) in multiplayer games anyway-- this could restore a little bit of balance.

  3. My first inclination would be to make it a bear in a duel. 1G for either a 0/0 with a +2/+2 or 1/1 with a +1/+1 bonus. The 0/0 scales too drastically and the 1/1 not enough. Possibly this ability doesn't belong on a small body.

    Would a good starting point be 4/4 for 2GG? 2/2 with +2/+2 could play fair.

    1. I started at 1G too, and abandoned it for the same reasons.
      A four mana 4/4 in a duel that becomes a 8/8 in a four player game seems Very Strong but maybe not too strong for that format.
      I like Jules' base 3/3 that gets +1/+1 for each opponent too.

  4. It makes me think about parley. Also a type of card that grows stronger te more oponents you have

  5. If you're worried about the cost, scale it?

    Phyrexian Grappler 1G
    Artifact Creature - Fungus
    As an additional cost to cast ~, pay {X} where X is the number of opponents
    ~ gets +2/+2 for each opponent

  6. Or you could go so big that the specifics aren't as important.

    Phyrexian Cloudscraper
    Creature - Beast Horror - Rare
    CARDNAME gets +3/+3 for each opponent.

    1. Yeah. This is another good solution. As long as the creature isn't likely to wipe someone out before they can handle it, almost any numbers are fine.

      Phyrexian Wurm
      Creature - Wurm Horror - Rare
      CARDNAME gets +2/+2 for each opponent.