Wednesday, November 23, 2016

CCDD 112316—In Darkness, Opportunity

Cool Card Design of the Day
11/23/2016 - What if we could use extra mana to help protect our spells?

Spoiler: It's easy to fall into a trap sometimes.

Force doesn't use the word 'stack' but it's clearly only usable while on the stack. I can threaten to trump your countermagic as long as my spell leaves me with more spare mana than yours.

X is a little complicated, and this mechanic doesn't need to be complicated. Hale just lets you protect your spell for a flat two mana.

Except you'll never actually pay any mana. If you present the ability to pay it, no one will try to counter your spell. It seems like we should have to pay for this benefit:

Dedicated does just that. It's kicker for uncounterability. Of those three, this is the best design. Only problem is, this is strictly worse than "can't be countered" an ability that has appeared on 51 out of 16505 cards. If that ability isn't common enough to warrant a keyword, clearly a subset of it doesn't. Not even close.

Actually, there is one keyword that encompasses "can't be countered."

Split Second is more interesting because it prevents countermagic, redirection, or any response whatsoever. And even that is a 7 on the storm scale because it's more confusing than it is relevant.

We don't care to find a mechanic we can reuse for this effect, because it's not an effect worth reusing. Now that said, there's no reason we couldn't use it once. Ideally, it would appear on a card that begs to be countered, something bigger and rare than this, but not something so big you'd never pay to make it uncounterable, and not something so dangerous we're okay with it never getting countered. IDO is just a two-for-one I slapped together because I needed some spell to protect with our mechanic. If you were going to make the only card in the game with this uncounterable-kicker, what would you make?


  1. Overwhelming Doom XB
    Creatures get -X/-X until end of turn.
    If X is more than the greatest toughness among creatures on the battlefield, Overwhelming Doom can't be countered and if a creature would die this turn, exile it instead

  2. Overwhelming Knowledge XUU
    Draw X cards.
    If X is more than the total number of cards in your hand, shuffle your graveyard into your library and Overwhelming Knowledge can't be countered.

    1. Overwhelming Destruction XRR
      Each player sacrifices X nonbasic lands.
      If X is more than the total number of nonbasic lands on the battlefield, Overwhelming Knowledge can't be countered and deals 1 damage to each player for every land they sacrifice this way.

    2. Yeah, this one doesn't really work for me. Though it makes me think of an unrelated design with the rider:

      "If X is greater than the number of cards in your library, you win the game."

    3. Why does the blue one care how many cards you currently have, as opposed to how many you can draw without discarding or what your hand size is?

      Why does the red one (which seems nuts just with the first ability) care about the total # of lands, even though each player is sacrificing X?


    4. I thought about that for the blue one, but the translating Isa nightmare:

      "If X is more than the difference between the number of cards in your hand and your maximum hand size..."

      The red one is good, maybe safer at XXR? 5 mana to kill 3 lands is pretty good. The kicker should probably be "If X is more than the greatest number of nonbasic lands any player controls"