Friday, October 7, 2016

CCDD 100716—Baby Kraken (Feed)

Cool Card Design of the Day
10/25/2016 - I won't have time this weekend or Monday to run an art challenge. If you're inspired to make a card with feed, or related to feed or Baby Kraken in some way, feel free to share it in the comments.

Feed varies from monstrosity in two big ways. First, any player can enlarge your creature and whoever does will be rewarded. Second, it can be activated in response to itself; which means that when the first person feeds it, everyone can respond by feeding it further. Once that flurry of feeding is done, your creature will be up some number of +1/+1 counters, and everyone who contributed will receive some rewards, but then it can never be fed again.

While feed could work in a duel, it would be most fun in a multiplayer format. My biggest concern is that it's counter-intuitive: It's far from obvious that you're expected to feed it multiple times (it's been a while since they've made a Goblin Cannon), and a good chunk of players will be turned off by the idea of feeding their opponent's creature or of rewarding their opponents for feeding their own (though I expect that's mitigated by putting it in a multiplayer product).


  1. I like feed! I'm less of a fan that I we can only feed the kraken once. Not only is that a bit of a flavor fail, it means the mini-game these cards come with is pretty lack luster and more than a bit "rhystic" (conditional on factors you can't control).

    I'd go for:

    Baby Kraken 1U
    Creature Kraken (U)
    Feed 4 (4: Put a +1/+1 counter on Baby Kraken. Any player may play this ability during their turn.)
    Whenever a player feeds Baby Kraken, that player draws a card.

    Lil Zombo B
    Creature - Zombie (U)
    Feed 2
    At the beginning of each player's end step, lil Zombo deals 1 damage to that player unless he or she fed Lil Zombo this turn.

    1. Big Pig 2GG
      Creature Pig (C)
      Feed 2
      When you feed Big Pig for the third time in a turn, gain life equal to its power.

    2. The rhystic point is well taken.

      Maybe a trigger?
      Feed 3 (At the beginning of each player's upkeep, he or she may pay 3 to put a +1/+1 counter on ~).

      Lil Zombo is fun.

  2. I really don't like that "Any player can activate this ability." I've played with the Flailing cards and they did not make for fun game play. This seems even less fun than those cards.

    But my bigger problem is that I really, really don't like that to use this properly you have to know you can respond to your own ability. For example, if I play this, I can activate it three times in response to each other and draw three cards. That is both busted and unintuitive.

    While the occasional Melvin-y card that rewards intricate knowledge of the stack might be okay (though look what happened to Oblivion Ring), a whole mechanic based around, for instance, people knowing the MTGO shortcut to hold priority, is too much.

    1. The second part I totally agree with. The first part they have done a way better job with recently than the Flailing creatures and the Monger cycle - see for example Deadly Designs and all of the voting cards from Conspiracy. I think this clearly falls on the "fun and interesting" side and would be a perfect inclusion in Conspiracy 3

    2. The examples you give both do something that Jay's design doesn't, which is that they only benefit you. In the voting cards, you get something cool, but the other players have sway over what the cool thing is. A small number of cards may occasionally backfire (e.g. Coercive Portal), but I'm getting the cool thing.

      In Feed, my opponent gets the cool thing (like drawing the card) and I get a lesser cool thing (a measly +1/+1 counter). That just feels bad, even if the power level ultimately comes out in my favor. One Master of the Feast every couple of years is fine, but I never want to see a Master of the Feast mechanic.

    3. Tommy, how many ways can you name that Baby Kraken is better in multiplayer?

    4. Better than what? Better than in a duel? As a card, or as a design? It certainly adds more politics in multiplayer, which a certain faction of players will like and a certain faction won't. The faction that won't like it probably doesn't play multiplayer Magic.

      If your claim is "this is a bad design for two player Magic, but Commander players will love it" I'm really not the person to judge (multiplayer Magic is basically everything I don't want from a multiplayer game).

  3. Agree with Wobbles - all the below use the "whenever you want, an unlimited number of times" version of Feed.

    Hungry Serpent
    Creature - Serpent - Uncommon
    Feed 6
    Hungry Serpent can't attack players who have fed it.

    Hungry Hungry Hippo
    Creature - Beast -Common
    Feed 4
    Hungry Hungry Hippo must be fed before other creatures are fed each turn.

    Starving Mercenaries
    Creature - Human Warrior - Common
    Haste, Feed 3
    Starving Mercenaries attacks the player who fed it the least or is tied for feeding it the least each turn if able.

    Insatiable Snake
    Creature - Snake - Common
    Feed 3
    Whenever Insatiable Snake is fed, it's controller loses 1 life.

    Famished Ox
    Creature - Ox - Common
    Feed 2
    Whenever a player feeds Famished Ox, he or she may feed another target creature without paying its Feed cost.

    1. Starving Mercenaries should either be Feed 1 and a 1/1 or Feed 3 and a 3/3 - was between the two designs and forgot to change it back.

    2. So Much Flavor.

      (And 1.5 memory issues)

    3. And these were just off the top - I think this is a seriously deep design space. Major kudos for a cool mechanic design - this is one of my favorites in a while.