Wednesday, September 20, 2017

CCDD 092017—territorial

Cool Card Design of the Day
9/20/2017 - It was mentioned on the mothership that monstrosity was briefly considered for Ixalan's dinosaur mechanic. I think enrage is great and wouldn't question that choice, but this still got me thinking about other ways we could express dinosaurs mechanically.

This idea started as when-you've-got-enough-lands-all-your-dinos-become-monstrous, so that we could have dinosaurs spread across the mana curve, but still become huge if you give them room to grow unrestricted.

That quickly got simplified to the state-based threshold effect you see above, which might remind you of Sylvan Advocate. I chose eight or more lands because I wanted it to be a real feat to strive for and to have substantial rewards.

This Pteradon 'merely' becomes a Serra Angel, but as a common white Hill Giant to start, it's not a bad play in Limited anyhow.

Territorial isn't strictly limited to creature cards, though we do want it to play in that space regardless.

There's a fair bit of variance in the power level of these designs. We really can't know what's right without playtesting. Still, Rumbling Baloth into Force of Nature seems solid.

Not all territorial bonuses have to be P/T boosts.

The biggest benefit of territorial is that it keeps the cost down on your dinos, but it can also act as a safeguard against degenerate reanimation.

Design a territorial dinosaur in the comments below.


  1. Nice! That fits the flavour of dinosaurs quite well.

    I notice you didn't use any instants and sorceries, but it could work well there, either as a kicker effect, or a "flashback if you meet this condition". And particularly, help cement some instants and sorceries as belonging to the dinosaur tribe without trying to use a tribal type or anything.

    1. You could use territorial as a kicker effect on spells, though you lose the upside that permanents have (except Sunwing Pteradon) that you can cast them whenever but still get the upgraded effect later. Territorial-Flashback solves that problem well: I'm just not sure you how you flavor that so it fits.

      I might just rather put landcycling or rampant-growth-kicker on the spells in my dinosaur colors to help enable territorial.

  2. This is really, really great. I love Dragonmaster Outcast and would love a set based around big mana. The examples are lovely and it's obvious this is just scratching the surface of what you can do. Nice work!!

    1. I wasn't consciously thinking of Dragonmaster Outcast or Scute Mob but I'm a big fan of those too. That makes me reconsider lowering the threshold from 8 to 6, though that dramatically reduces how splashy the bonuses can be. I mean, we'd playtest 6 and 7 and 8 to be sure.