Wednesday, December 16, 2015

CCDD 121615—Enrage the Stone

Cool Card Design of the Day
12/16/2015 - What do you do when you've got a clever effect that's not quite strong enough to be its own card?

This can be used to lure an enemy creature to its death, or negate the value of a 0/6 wall; it can be used to turn your Wall of Razors into a threat; and the combination of effects resonates very well.

But even just {R} feels a bit overcosted, making this a weak card. It's not a bad design for a weak card, though, still serving an audience—Vorthos—and having legitimate play value in some unusual circumstances. The question is, do we stick with the simple and 'bad' version, or…

The most common way to bring a cheap card up in value is to staple a cantrip on. It doesn't add to the flavor at all, but it doesn't hurt it much either.

Sometimes, we can add another kind of bonus that's a bit more flavorful, and a bit more interesting in how it plays. I kind of like the idea of the magically-agitated creature exploding in a burst of emotion, useable as red mana, though I admit it's not the most intuitive flavor.

I'd love to hear which of these three versions you prefer, and why.


  1. In my own sets, I'd generally aim to have each common at least marginally playable in limited. So I'll tend to go for the cantrip approach or something similar.

    I like the wackier take on it, adding mana or whatever, but that makes it feel like the card does three different things, where the cantrip just feels like "two things and a cantrip".

  2. I think the second version could see print and get played in limited. The basic first one could be alright if there was a defenders matters theme.
    The third one might be a cool way to make an interactive ritual but it feels too complicated. It's hard to talk about the flavor of something intended for walls but can be used on any creature just because the flavor of walls is already weird. What if the ritual was reflavored to focus on harvesting rage and made an instant that gave mana immediately on death? There are a couple examples now of red doing things in combat that can help you cast things in the next mainphase so maybe that's not as complicated as it looks to me.

    1. I think the flavor works on any creature, but flavor is always subjective. I do think #3 is doing too many things for common.

  3. It's not that the third is a priori too complex for common, but is it where you want to spend your common complexity points?

  4. Would version three work better if you could cash in the aura for it's mana cost rather than waiting for the creature to die?

    Enrage the Stone (COMMON)
    Enchant creature
    Enchanted creature attacks each turn if able, and can attack as though it didn't have defender.
    Sacrifice Enrage the Stone: Add R to your mana pool.

    1. This loses significant flavor from the bonus, but this is printable where my #3 really isn't (because it's two cards).

  5. I really love it. How about just adding, "It assigns combat damage equal to its toughness." So it becomes a mini (but very angry) Doran?