Thursday, March 16, 2017

CCDD 031617—Stream Forder

Cool Card Design of the Day
3/16/2017 - I was playing a Limited game online a while back and was struck by the distinct moment when my strategy switched from primarily aggressive to totally controlling. I observed that the benefits of racing as I had been were dropping slowly but that I wasn't far from establishing sufficient board control to reach inevitability.

What if there were a card that helped a player switch from aggro to control?

We don't want a ton of these in games, so rare seems right, which is why it's a 2/4 for three with conditional upside.

Scry X is dangerous because of the amount of control players get at scry 4+, and it's slow because it's computationally difficult to think many turns ahead. That's limited somewhat here by the amount of damage you've managed to deal so far (and by your desire to actually give up on the race), but still a real concern.

Here's a much safer version, letting you scry 2 twice if you're okay giving your opponent life. It's easier to use, and much less swingy, thus uncommon (and thus 2/3).

While I'm relatively pleased with that design, I'm also not sure how beneficial it is to the game. After all, a card doesn't have to explicitly serve this purpose for such moments to come up. Not that I think designs like this are necessarily bad for the game either (except for the obvious concern that if there are too many cards like this in a set, you'll push games to go longer and that's far from ideal).


  1. Don't get me wrong, I want to Scry 6+, that sounds great. But I absolutely don't want to sit there and watch my opponent Scry 6, it is pretty agonizing to watch!

    The second design is a nice idea, though it has too many things going on for my tastes.

  2. At the risk of being too literal:

    Raging Berserker
    Creature - Human Barbarian- Common
    CARDNAME can't block.
    W: Transform CARDNAME.
    Reformed Sword
    Color identity: White - Creature - Human Cleric

    1. Make the transform an out-of-combat trigger and I dig it.

    2. You're right - needs an "activate only as a sorcery" clause

  3. I'm not sure a vanilla 2 power body for three is really what I want when I'm going aggro, so I'm pretty sure all of these cards feel much more control oriented.

  4. I'd like to see more cards that encourage including attacking in non aggro decks

  5. Indeed, modern magic sometimes gets there with "When attacks, trigger". Example vehicles these days.

    I agree though, the first rare is interesting in that it would be hard to build a deck around it. Whereas the second one can go in any control deck but would never see play in an aggro deck.

  6. I think the first card wants the shrine of piercing visions ability: "Look at the top X cards of your library, where X is the amount of life that player gained this way. Put one of those cards into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library in any order."