Thursday, November 10, 2016

CCDD 111016—Briartooth & Sea Lionicorn

Cool Card Design of the Day
11/10/2016 - Most of the evoke creatures in Lorwyn were very strong and Briarhorn was no exception. It was a Giant Growth that gave you a 3/3 body for {3} mana more. On defense, you could boost a defender and make one, killing a small and a medium/large creature at no loss. You can even play it on it's own to kill an attacking 5/5. In Dark Ascension, we got Briarpack Alpha, which gave a reduced bonus and couldn't be alternately casted. Still good. Briartooth is an attempt to nerf this concept another way:

ETBT would be a silly clause on a vanilla flash creature, because the whole point of flash in that context is to create surprise blockers after attackers are declared (though blue can use such for draw-go strategies), but Briartooth is not a vanilla creature. Its ETB effect—combined with the body—is its identity. This card can still boost another creature in combat, and it's still basically a Hill Giant, it just can't gobble up incoming Moss Kamis. That reduces our possibilities a bit, but it also increases the challenge of optimal use; that should decrease our power level without decreasing net fun.

As a bonus, Sea Lionicorn shows another effect you might want on such a creature, as well as a bit more flexibility: You can choose between the effect and entering untapped. That added decision could be stressful when both options are important, but on this particular card that won't be often. Would you add that tweak to Briartooth?


  1. You actually don't even need flash to make the second ability relevant!

    Wilding Shaman
    Creature - Human Shaman - U
    When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, you may tap it. If you do, add RR to your mana pool.

    Sea Gate Scryer
    Creature - Human Wizard - U
    When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, you may tap it. If you do, scry 1, then draw a card. If you don't, draw a card.

    1. Very true!
      Definitely more relevant on creatures you'd hope to block with on their first turn.

    2. Goblin Librarian
      Creature - Goblin Advisor - U
      When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, you may tap it. If you do, discard a card then draw a card.

  2. While I like both of these sideways solutions, I expect the best way to avoid eating 5/5s is to put "When Briartooth enters the battlefield, another target creature gets +3/+3 until end of turn." Simple and effective at getting the job done.

    1. True. Still pretty easy to get a 2:1 with that.