Tuesday, September 26, 2017

CCDD 092617—treasure hunt

Cool Card Design of the Day
9/26/2017 - Ixalan's primary smoothing mechanic is explore, which can draw you a much-needed land or allow you to scry. Treasure can help fix your colors but not until mid- to late-game because it's hard to get on anything cheap. I'm musing about a cycling-for-treasure mechanic.

Because it costs you a card instead of being a bonus on another effect, treasurecycling can be cheaper. I originally had it at {2} which is definitely safe (compare to Wily Goblin) but I wanted to see how it looks at one mana. You can cycle this on turn 1 and then cast a three-mana card on turn 2, which is very good but still no Dark Ritual, especially without a Hypnotic Specter slinking around. You could also cycle three of these by turn 2 and cast a six-drop on turn 3 if you're willing to fill a deck full of treasure cyclers and hope to draw three of them and three lands and your game-winning bomb in your first nine cards.

As I was considering alternatives to that straight-forward approach, the phrase "treasure hunt" occurred to me and I was compelled to explore a mechanic that felt more like searching for buried treasure. Unfortunately, the result is extremely wordy and impinges even further on explore's territory.

The better of these two is definitely the first, though I would definitely call it "treasure hunt."

As I hinted at the start, I don't think Ixalan would be improved by the presence of treasure hunt because explore and treasure are doing the job sufficiently already and this would pull focus from explore. Treasure is much worse at the job of smoothing than card draw, so treasure hunt doesn't compete with regular cycling either. It's not inconceivable that there could be a set that wants to discard cards for treasure, but it's still quite unlikely.


  1. Treasure Hunt (Discard this card: Discover a colorless land Treasure token with "T, sacrifice Treasure: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool." Discovering a land token can only be done when you could play a land.)

    You could still have the regular "create" land tokens used as well for Wily Goblin style cards. This would also be pretty fun with Territorial.

    1. We'd need a landier name than 'treasure' but I like how this ties in with territorial (and landfall).

    2. 'Ruins' would be perfect for a post-apocalyptic set.