Tuesday, June 20, 2017

CCDD 062017—Sympathetic Magic

Cool Card Design of the Day
6/20/2017 - Sympathetic Magic is a Fantasy concept where a spell is made stronger when you cast it in ways that align with its fundamental nature. It kind of explains spell components and the contents of rituals. Below, we line that idea up with another take on devotion.

Free spells are always dangerous, but assuming Dev can balance the mechanic enough to print—and that's a real question, given the way sympathetic magic chains upward like affinity—I like both the flavor and the deck-building incentives here.

If Dev can't balance this on permanents, we can still use it on sorceries and instants, where it doesn't snowball.

Kendali Wanderer is meant to be very strong to showcase the mechanic (not unlike Lotus Cobra for landfall). The fact that Sympathetic Magic is all-or-nothing cost-reduction rather than incremental is what keeps it from being entirely broken. Otherwise, you could play out four of these on turn two and have {G}{G}{G} to spare. As is, you can only do that if you play a one-drop on your first turn… Okay, maybe Wanderer is still too strong.

Design a card with this keyword in the comments below.


  1. Wild Magic
    Sorcery - Mythic Rare
    Sympathetic Magic WUBRG
    Create two 1/1 green Insect tokens. Deal 3 damage to target creature or player. Return target nonland permanent to its owner's hand. Target player discards a card. Gain 7 life.

    1. Weird and fun. Did you intentionally reverse the order of effects (GRUBW)?

    2. The first iteration of this had each step doing something that "took back" part of the previous step ("make two creatures, then sac a creature to deal damage, then have an opponent gain life to draw cards, then discard a card to have an opponent discard, etc) , where the order was important. It obviously iterated well past that - I imagine the effects would be in the typical order.

  2. This would be an interesting place for
    Devotion to go, but it is really risky. Free sorrels are problematic and it would place a lot of pressure on surrounding sets to avoid high devotion permanents.

    1. You could instead count the number of [quality] permanents, but I'd definitely try this way first.

    2. When it comes to weird restraints to place on surrounding sets, being constrained on token production (for x permanents of a color) has got to be easier to build around than worrying about color pips (for devotion).