Monday, June 6, 2016

CCDD 060616—Flashback as Kicker

Cool Card Design of the Day
6/6/2016 - The Kicker Problem is that players love to maximize value from their cards and will often not play a Kavu Titan on turn 2 even when they really should. Monstrosity is an excellent solution because it provides a mana sink for the late game but it doesn't ask players to restrain their card play. Flashback does much the same thing.

I started exploring an iteration of flashback that felt more like kicker, by offering a bonus when you flashback a spell the same turn you cast it, and I quickly found doing so explicitly was terribly ham-fisted (and lead to The Kicker Problem again). It felt much more natural to find effects that simply got better when you cast them twice in a single turn.


  1. "Draw a card for each card you've drawn this turn" made me smile.

  2. I love cards like this with "hidden text" but printing multiple in the same set greatly undermines this. I'd greatly prefer to sneak the good ones of these in one at a time.

  3. I like these designs a lot, especially the statement that Persistent Plague is making.


  4. To me, these cards read more like "Play me after you've played another similar spell." For example, I'd rather play Titanic Growth followed by "Doubling Might." Then I'd save the flashback effect for later.

    I'm also concerned about finding numbers for these that are both fair and useful. "Firebolted" for {2RRR} is a lot stronger than Geistflame for {3RR}.

    1. Players finding better combos is fantastic.

      Yeah, developing flashback is pretty tricky. Firebolted is almost certainly wrong as-is.

    2. Oh yeah, alternate combos would be a plus! I just wanted to point out that I read it differently than you intended.

      Maybe they'd be easier to develop if the Flashback costs were off-color?

      Tongues of the Fire {1}{R}
      Instant (C)
      If target creature has been dealt damage this turn, destroy it. Otherwise, Tongues of Fire deals 1 damage to it.
      Flashback {1}{B}{B}

      This would be almost on par with Black's other common removal, with bonus flexibility. But only in a BR deck!

      In the same vein:
      Cathar's Might {1}{W}
      Instant (C)
      Target creature gets +2/+2 until end of turn. If its power is 6 or greater, it gains trample until end of turn.
      Flashback {2}{G}

    3. Hooray for lenticular design!

      I prefer Tongues of Fire to Firebolted.
      Could get behind Cathar's Might too.