Monday, March 21, 2016

CCDD 032116—delve for artifacts

Cool Card Design of the Day
3/21/2016 - The nice thing about delve that isn't true of affinity, is that it can feel free but it isn't. You do have to spend your alternate resource, so instead of accelerating unhindered as affinity does, you have to keep fueling your graveyard if you want to delve more.

Today I explore a hybrid of the two mechanics.

ala Frogmite
Okay, so it's not affinity at all, but it is "for artifacts." I discovered pretty quickly that delve-for-type needs to offer a bigger reward than usual, which is why each card pays {2}. I believe that's about right because it allows me to 'reprint' some Limited affinity staples with the same stats, but I know it's not nearly as abusable, since the resource is finite.

ala Myr Enforcer
ala Thoughtcast
We can expect an artifact-focused set to see a fair number of artifact creatures—or disposable artifacts like Sunbeam Spellbomb—to find their way into the graveyard organically, but you always want to include some cards that actively support a mechanic like this…

Notably, delve for artifacts would also work quite nicely with dig.

It was actually quite challenging finding a way to pay homage to Arcbound Ravager that featured or supported the new mechanic (given that the original did neither for affinity, it rewarded it instead) while still resembling the original sufficiently. I expect there are still better solutions, but I can tell you this design is a lot closer than the preceding handful.


  1. I like it pretty much. And can be extended to other card types to, like delve for lands. In KTK limited i remebered that having too much delve in your deck wasnt always a good idea. every second delve card you added was worst than the first.
    Other fact that is true is that afinity is bad in an empty board and a win more mechanic if you are wining. Combined with delve and you balance that difference!

    1. Good point. Delve for artifacts is much more helpful when you're behind than affinity for artifacts.

      And yes, we could use delve for [quality] and look at other card types, or even colors (though it would be stronger for anything a deck can easily have a ton of, and get in the graveyard), or weirder things (but "delve for cards with CMC 3+" is surely too narrow, too weird, and too wordy").