Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Weekend Art Challenge Review 090916 -- Ooze, the Boss (88grzes)

Weekend Art Challenge Review
Show me an Ooze Lord

Monstrosity is the kind of ability that really doesn't work well with removing +1/+1 counters as a cost, since the counters are the major marker that the creature is now monstrous. Removing the counters doesn't remove the fact that it has done it's once-per-game monstrous boost, but this card will likely make a lot of players think otherwise. The second ability is fine, it just needs to be paired with a different first one. Even if it was just a standard ooze that ETBs with a handful of counters, that would be a much cleaner design.

Fantastic. Oozes tend to be Jenny cards, and here's one she'll love. There's a nice subtlety to the design too, in that once this lord slips through once or twice, you'll get exponential returns on your token making. Some tribal lords want to be legendary, and this feels like a commander to me.

The offbeat tribes, such as oozes, often have some kind of loose mechanical cohesion with one another. If you're going to make a lord, it's definitely worthwhile to play off that (which is a great failing of Ishkanah, Grafwidow imo). A lot of oozes grow or etb with counters, and this makes your oozes just that much oozier. I left what may have been shorthand templating alone on this one, but it likely would care about and only reward oozes you control.

It'd be really scary if it actually cloned itself at your upkeep, but probably developmentally problematic. This is a perfectly fine execution, and plenty scary on its own.

Devour is a weird mechanic. Given its home on Jund, you wouldn't expect it to be nearly as mathy as it is. Yet there's all sorts of number crunching you have to do when you drop a Devour creature with a variety of eligible morsels on your side of the board. Inevitable Mass takes that mathiness and cranks it up to 11. You can chain devour multiple times in one turn. It's a cool idea, but very confusing in practice.

Lord as a creature type is long-retired, but I asked for ooze lords, and I got one. I copied the templating, but this likely should only grant the lord bonus to other Oozes you control. I'm not sure that the Ooze eating ability has to be limited your own side of the board, but it could be.

All your oozes become Mitotic Slimes. Amazing. I'm not sure that the cost is good for the stats. It might be better as a cheaper 4/4, but at 8/8 this probably needs a little higher cost. Development's problem though.

We just saw Permeating Mass and this guy is a direct descendant. I tidied up some templating here, but I think the idea kept through. They turn into 1/3s to prevent attrition among oozes, making sure Moggan gets forever larger. I get that, although it's an odd stat grouping for green transformations. Also, you need to have at least a few oozes on your side or Moggan won't survive the first fight to start permeating. Unless you throw him at a wall.

I like this card, but it's text box is tiny. Each of the abilities are necessary to the overall design. Shortening the name would help, but there's not much else to do with it that doesn't fundamentally change the card. If necessary, I think the last ability is the one to keep. Maybe it could have base P/T and get counters some other way (dealing damage, exiling cards from GYs or death triggers). A nice design, just a little busy.

It isn't often we see lists of alternative costs (the ones that spring to mind are the crystals from mirrodin, and those used two alternative mana activation costs). Bullets don't really work here. Maybe list each possible activation separately? On that note, this feels way more black than Green. All of the activations, while precedented in Green, appear much more frequently in Black, and are more cohesive there.

There was some discussion in the comments about whether this should be 1/1 or */*. I think it's ok as a */*, although someone with better knowledge of the comprehensive rules may be able to explain why not. Either way, this is a fun buildaround design and commander. The Blue in the mana cost is questionable, although The Mimeoplasm sets that as precedent. Definitely Golgari base, but I could see including either red or white depending on the context of the set it was released in.

Leveraging some Novablast Wurm technology into a very swingy commander. I would absolutely build a deck around this. If ever oozes were to start bleeding into white, this would be the way to do it.

Another Blue ooze without much mechanical justification. This is absolutely fine in just Golgari colors. Indestructible isn't really needed given the damage prevention, other than to counteract a Murder or something similar. It doesn't really contribute to the overall design though, so I'd cut it. I wasn't sure whether this should care exclusively about your creatures dying or all creatures. Both are legitimate, and it makes sense to care about opponent's creatures dying as well. Othgar doesn't really qualify as a lord for oozes. It doesn't benefit the tribe, and oozes aren't generally made to be sacrificed themselves.

All your oozes are beefy Acidic Slimes. Simple and amazing.

I love this design. Champion is not exactly a keyword that was a runaway success, which is unfortunate because it boils the highly grokkable concept here down to three words of rules text. This would likely have to be spelled out.
As an additional cost to cast CARDNAME, exile three ooze permanents you control. When CARDNAME leaves the battlefield, return those permanents to the battlefield under their owner's control.

Oozes have appeared in four colors, and it would make sense for the upcoming Commander release to feature one as the not-white commander. I feel like this needs to have a can't block or must attack rider to prevent this indestructible guy from creating board stalls. I do wish there was some more mechanical justification for the four colors here. Phytohydra (and general intuition about damage prevention) tells me this is White, and nothing about it tells me that its red or blue.


SOOOOO MANY AWESOME OOZES! I really wanted to take each of these for a spin. You guys put together a really great group of lords for a tribe long overdue for one. Very impressive. Today's followup challenge. Show me a mono-blue or mono-white ooze that feels like an ooze and is squarely in-color.


  1. Spellwrithe
    Creature - Ooze - Rare
    Whenever a spell is cast, Spellwrithe's power and toughness become the converted mana cost of that spell.

    1. Though this is hard because a mono-U Ooze could almost always just be an Illusion or Shapeshifter.

    2. love how it starts out 2/2 at 2 cmc ;p

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Phantasmal Slime 3UU
      Creature - Illusion Ooze (R)
      Whenever Phantasmal Slime becomes the target of a spell or ability, sacrifice it. Put two tokens that are copies of it onto the battlefield at the beginning of the next turn's upkeep.

  3. gahddammit i was a few paces behind having a good design i have to think about how things look more

    1. That's why we do these. We test things out, give each other feedback, and all come out on the other side better designers.

  4. With the champion ooze couldn't you use Banisher Priest tech to further simplify the wording?

    1. Absolutely. I was winging it from the provided reminder text, but Banisher Priest works better.

    2. It gets very wordy very quickly to both return the creatures and make the exiling mandatory (it can't be an additional cost with Banisher Priest text, because it's not on the battlefield yet when you pay costs) and they sometimes bring back random mechanics for a one-off in Conspiracy or Commander sets. I still vouch for the original, sad underappreciated mechanic and all.

  5. I did wonder about making Catalytic Slime legendary, but it interacts very badly with the doubling...

  6. Gelatinous Cube 3W
    Creature - Ooze (R)
    Prevent all damage that would be dealt to CARDNAME.
    When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, exile another target creature until CARDNAME leaves the battlefield.

    Adaptamoeba 1UU
    Creature - Ooze (U)
    Whenever a +1/+1 counter is placed on CARDNAME, you may switch its power and toughness. (This effect lasts indefinitely.)