Wednesday, April 29, 2015

CCDD 042915—Spiteful Thug

Cool Card Design of the Day
4/29/2015 - Here's an example of a mechanic that's short and intuitive enough to be a keyword, but that doesn't have enough depth to make the quantity of cards that would justify an actual keyword. It would be better to leave vengeful unnamed on the tiny handful of cards that use it.


  1. Are "source" and "controller" allowed concepts in common under NWO?

  2. Agreed on the as-fan front. At high density this will leave players feeling hopeless too often when killing it will also kill them. Even a single common in Innistrad/M14/Conspiracy (Pitchburn Devils) was a tiny bit over the line I'd like.

    1. I can't imagine this in the same set as Blasphemous Act. Surprise!

    2. I do, I'm saying I'd ideally like it at slightly lower as-played than it was with one common in a large set. This could be accomplished by having two uncommons instead, or a slightly weaker common so it occasionally gets cut.

    3. I've never played a format where Pitchburn Devils made the cut most of the time. 5 mana for a 3/3 that doesn't do anything unless it dies is a huge ask, and it gives your opponent so much play.

    4. I'm not the only one who thinks otherwise:

    5. I'm not surprised the ISD set review ranks it highly, everyone thought it was going to be great when the set was spoiled, but I think everyone had pretty much moved off it by the end.

      I'm surprised the review is so favorable in the M14 review, given how it turned out in ISD, but admittedly I can't speak to how that panned out because I basically didn't play M14. Of course the fun part about limited is that opinions of these things vary a lot!

      That said, I certainly did a ton of Innistrad drafts, and I don't remember playing against it much. I can only vividly recall it being on the battlefield once. Part of that is because Red was both bad and aggressive in ISD, so there were fewer Red decks and they by and large did not want 5 drops.

      Going off topic a minute, the biggest failing of ISD draft was that 5 drops were punished so hard that it was very difficult to play them, both because of the aggressive WG human deck and because of strong tempo plays, especially Silent Departure (which I consider the largest mistake R&D made in ISD).

    6. Pitchburn was a conditional 6/3 for {4}{R}. It wasn't always good, but it was often good, and occasionally very good.

      The ability to hit creatures makes it better than Spiteful Thug; the reach vengeful gives is still relevant, but you can kill it with a 1/N and only suffer 1 damage.

    7. I'm certainly not claiming Pitchburn Devils was ever unplayable, just that it got overrated at first, and ended up in the sideboard more often than the main. It can certainly do a reasonable impression of a 4R Sorcery that does 6 damage to a creature without flying, as Jay points out. I think the card might be significantly better if it was a 3/1 instead.

      LSV writes "never has a two for one been so easy" but I think in reality it almost never happens. It does consistently one for one with better cards, however, which I probably underestimated at the time. My 5 drop durdle of choice has always been Seige Mastadon.


      It is a common theme that 5 drop common creatures nearly always end up being overrated in set reviews because decks have precious few slots for 5+ drops and most sets have a large number of higher rarity options in those slots which are just better.