Monday, August 3, 2015

Zeffrikomons, Part 2: White Creatures and Spells

Hi Artisans. I'm still doing a bunch of Zeffrikar work behind the scenes, and I'm hoping to have the final list of skeleton commons ready to go before Battle for Zendikar spoiler season really starts. I haven't had a lot of time to write up much as far as the development goes, but I have most of my common pool completed, except for a few segments I wanted to write about separately. This week I'll be starting to piece together the skeleton for the white commons. Today I'm posting the white cards I have so far, and I'll follow up with some other materials and exercises I want to consider before the design skeleton starts in earnest.

So without further ado (or much in the way of commentary), may I present the White Zeffrikommons:

  1. Bravado, vigilance 
  2. Bravado, defender 
  3. Bravado, lifelink 
    • I'm designing towards color pair archetypes. While I would like additional draft archetypes beyond the ones each color pair pushes, those are not a primary focus for me right now. The white-relevant archetypes (which, alongside the others, can also be reviewed on the Zeffrikar index page linked on the GA landing page), are Spellcraft Tempo (focusing on traps) for WU, weenie/sacrifice for WB, equipment matters for RW, and weenie/aggro for GW.
    • Defender is the weird one here. I was just going through evergreens and thought it might be an interesting pairing. Probably won't make it to the final cut. I assume only one or two white common bravado cards will make it through to the skeleton, and one will probably have bravado and no other rules text. The lifelink/bravado could easily be an uncommon.
  4. W 1/1 As long as ~ is equipped it gets +1/+1 
  5. As long as ~ is equipped it gets +2/+2 and has lifelink. 
  6. As long as ~ is equipped it gets +0/+3 and has bravado. 
  7. When ~ enters the battlefield, attach target equipment to target creature 
    • I'm not sure where the right balance is for the "equipment matters" archetype. It requires a threshhold commitment, and while it overlaps with a few of the other archetypes I'm planning, at higher volumes it looks a little strange next to the other pronounced themes of the set. I assume white will probably have three commons caring directly about equipment, and red will have two (since red has ghostfire to pick up some of the slack there).
  8. Flash, when ~ enters the battlefield, prevent all damage that would be dealt to target creature this turn. 
  9. Flash, when ~ enters the battlefield, target creature gets +0/+4 until end of turn 
    • Eldrazi have to have answers. Here are some of white's solutions, that also play into some of the draft archetypes.
  10. When ~ enters the battlefield, if an opponent controls more lands than you, search your library for a plains card and put it onto the battlefield tapped. 
  11. When ~ enters the battlefield, gain 4 life. 
  12. When ~ enters the battlefield, excavate 1. Whenever you excavate, gain 1 life. 
  13. Whenever you excavate, target creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn. 
  14. Prowess, Whenever you cast a trap spell, ~ gains lifelink until end of turn. 
    • I'm torn on this. White has prowess tertiarilly, i.e. at uncommon. However, it plays so nicely with the trap-heavy deck I want WU to draft. White will probably have to drop prowess from this card or else move it to uncommon and find something different to care about traps.
  15. When a creature you control dies, transform ~ // [bigger] 
  16. At end of turn, if ~ attacked this turn, transform it. // Vigilance 
    • I was having such a beast of a time designing NWO-friendly DFCs. A review of the Innistrad common DFCs made me realize how many of those storytelling cards were entirely carried by flavor. I had to step back and stop my melvin-centric approach to commons generating for this exercise and think about the kinds of stories that these commons could tell. 
  17. T: Tap target creature unless its controller pays 4. 
    • White is taxing high in this set for a few reasons. First, you don't want massive Eldrazi shut down entirely by dinky white commons. Second, Spawn tokens and land-mechanics mean there's a little more mana than usual floating around.
  18. Sorcery - Put [2-4] 1/1 white Soldier creature tokens onto the battlefield. 
  19. 1/1 When ~ dies, put a 2/2 white Knight creature token with first strike onto the battlefield. 
  20. Whenever a creature you control dies, gain 1 life. 


  1. Aura - Enchanted creature can't attack or block unless it's controller pays 4. 
  2. Aura - When ~ enters the battlefield, excavate 1. Enchanted creature has vigilance and "Whenever you excavate, this creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn." (Cycle) 
  3. Enchantment - Whenever a creature you control dies, gain life equal to its toughness. 
    • This is almost certainly an uncommon. Common global enchantments are a very rare thing. Still, I wanted to make sure that the WB sacrifice deck had some options when I'm filling out the skeleton. Most likely not making it that far.
  4. Quest Enchantment - Whenever a creature you control transforms, sacrifice ~ and put two +1/+1 counters on that creature. 
  5. Quest Enchantment - Whenever you gain life, you may sacrifice ~ and return target creature with converted mana cost 2 or less from your graveyard to the battlefield. 
    • Designing my quests with the different trigger made me appreciate Zendikar 1.0's quest design. I don't think I can use their approach, at least not with the number of counters my current mechanics are demanding. These will probably need some revising.
  6. 2W Instant - Trap - If an opponent is attacking with any number of creatures that have a total power of 5 or more, you may pay 0 rather than pay ~'s mana cost. Exile target attacking creature. Return it to the battlefield at the end of turn. 
    • Probably am going to need one more trap card for the skeleton. 
  7. Instant - Prevent all damage that would be dealt to and by target creature until end of turn. 
  8. Instant - Destroy target artifact or enchantment. Gain life equal to its converted mana cost. 
  9. Curtain of Light 1W Instant - Cast ~ only during combat after blockers are declared. Target unblocked attacking creature becomes blocked. (This spell works on creatures that can't be blocked.) Draw a card. 
  10. Instant - Destroy target creature that dealt damage to you this turn. 
  11. Instant - Target creature gets +1/+1 and lifelink until end of turn. 
  12. Instant - Target creature gains indestructible until end of turn. 
  13. Sorcery - Choose one or both -- Return target artifact from your graveyard to your hand; and/or return target creature from your graveyard to your hand. (Reprint?) 
  14. Sorcery - Creatures you control get +1/+1 and gain Bravado 1 until end of turn. 
  15. Sorcery - Gain life equal to the number of Plains you control (Cycle)
That's it for now. Next time I'll be talking about some cycles and cards that aren't cycles but whose designs I approach like I'm dealing with cycles, and adding the resulting cards to the mix.

1 comment:

  1. Bravado/Defender helps the GW pairing if you have a common fight spell and the defender has decent p/t. It's even better if you have a chance to fight after Bravado gives it +n/+n. The pairing also gives you a tough blocker for all the Eldrazi you have planned, without leaving common Red burn and Black -n/-n effects unable to interact.