Thursday, January 29, 2015

CCDD 012915: Fyrnh, All-Consuming and Woll, Caller of Seasons

Today I'm wrapping up discussion of the nephilim. Click through to see the final two cards in the cycle.




As I mentioned in previous installment, I didn't want these commanders to sit on the sidelines. I tried to put them in a position where you would want to be aggressive with them. That spawned this little nightmare. He probably needs a sacrifice clause to keep him from being utterly insane if granted indestructibility, but I like the way he came out.


Green/White has a lot of mechanical overlap, but unfortunately, most of it is relatively meek, unworthy of eldritch horrors such as the Nephilim. I liked the idea of a land tax level of mythicness in the triggered ability. 

Blue/Red, on the other hand, has very little mechanical overlap, so I tried exploring some new space. Blue can let you take an extra turn, and there's some precedent for making players skip parts of their turn (see Fatespinner). While forcing a player to skip combat historically is white, it seems to me that skipping straight to combat should be red. That activated ability definitely needs some development, but I liked the way that this commander has a major control over the rhythm of a turn.


That's it for Nephilim week. What did you guys think of the series overall?

11 comments:

  1. I get that Fyrn gives you something to use it on, but I really don't like generating mana in combat unless there's a good chance it can be used for tricks. Otherwise it just feels bad. And given that, Fyrn doesn't do what it would need to in order to make tricks playable in Commander. (Trample, Double strike, some sort of built-in protection, not wrathing away all the creatures you could play tricks to save or kill.)

    All that aside, I don't think we're going to find much overlap between players who want to attack and those who want to Wrath over and over again.

    On Woll: I'm not really sure how much fun there is to be found in not letting players use their turns, but even if that plays better than I anticipate, cutting a player off both of their main phases is going to guarantee that the first ability doesn't trigger for them.

    Moral of the story: mythic doubly-hybrid design it hard.

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    1. Fyrnh's {WB} ability could be: Return a creature that dies this turn to the battlefield under your control.

      Not sure how to improve Woll, but I do like "Opponent skips her pre-combat main phase" as a red static effect.

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  2. I think this whole cycle is a really neat solution to the problem of 4-colr legends. As for Woll, that Activated ability though... 6 mana and 4 file for essentially a repeatable timewalk is probably way too strong, straight up limiting it to once per turn seems like it would be more reasonable, and still gives a lot of interesting play, you can either skip you opponent straight to combat, or force them to play all of their sorcery-speed effects pre-combat, out of respect for the possibility that they might not get a 2nd main phase. The templating is also a little strange, since you target a player, but there's only ever one player it will effect to begin with, but I'm not sure there's a way to avoid that, maybe something as simple as "1HH: skip the next Main Phase" would work, but I'm not sure.

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  3. You did better than the five guildpact nephilim, but I'm still not excited by any of these, from either a gameplay perspective or a deck construction perspective. For all the rules text these cards have, they lack an epic feel (like Progenitus, Horde of Notions, Sliver Hivelord, etc.) and don't suggest a particular unique deck archetype to support them (like Zedruu, Mimeoplasm, Talrand, etc.)

    It's cemented my view that 4-color design space is both extremely small and very difficult to achieve.

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  4. These abilites are all over the place, with wierd abilities. You said in an ealier one that you don't want to do chich├ęs for the collor pairs, but if you have 4 collours in 1 card, I would drop that in favor of cards wehre the abilites fit more together

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    1. One of the biggest lessons I learned in the GDS2 was not to make a significant challenge any harder than it needs to be. These four-color cards are crazy hard, and so low-hanging fruit seems like the way to go.

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    2. Fair point. I would argue that GDS design goals and process differs wildly from actual design/development. In GDS, you more or less had to nail it the first time from both a design and development perspective. Actual R&D gets to do significantly more iterative design over a prolonged period of time.

      If/when 4-color commanders happen, they will be marquis cards in the set. Using this model (which I think is really one of two legit options for 4c commanders), WU isn't going to be Vigilance, BG: creature in GY OTB (although UB is almost certainly going to be a mill card, because Dimir).

      My design goal with this series wasn't to hit it out of the park on the first try. I wanted to do a proof of concept for 4-color legendary cards that make interesting commanders. If you want to play 4 colors, there are 5 color commanders (as Evan pointed out above) that let you do so. By avoiding the guild cliches, I wanted to make someone want to play these commanders for the commander, not the color options.

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    3. All that said, they definitely all need some work. But as an experiment, I'm very happy with the results of the first iteration.

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    4. R&D gets to do far more iterative design than we did in GDS2, but we get to do far more than them since we have no deadlines. I strongly approve taking advantage of that fact. Will be curious to see the next iteration.

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  5. Suvnica!!!!!!!
    I read through the archive and have some ideas.
    Please can we keep on going!

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  6. Suvnica!!!!!!!
    I read through the archive and have some ideas.
    Please can we keep on going!

    ReplyDelete