Thursday, October 19, 2017

CCDD 101917—Jungle Hunt, Hunt through the Mist, & Feral Curiosity

Cool Card Design of the Day
10/19/2017 - Here are three cards that show a progression into a vein of design space.

Jungle Hunt started as a test of explore-via-spells. That quickly led to offering a bonus based on the result, and because explore is win-win, so to speak, so is the bonus.

The result is a conditional effect that players can leave to luck, but that they can also guarantee by targeting a particularly large or small creature. If my goal is to kill something, I can cast this on a 4/4 and be guaranteed to fight. If my goal is to draw lands and/or get +1/+1 counters, I can cast this on a 2/2 and be guaranteed to explore twice. I can also cast this on a 3/3 and let luck decide how I profit.

Players love to make intentional choices, so I decided to see how this design would look with no luck at all. Hunt through the Mist has two modes and you have as much control over which one you get as you do over which creatures you have in play…

Let's unpack that last statement a bit:
You don't have full control over which creatures you have in play. But you do have a lot of influence in the way you build your deck and in the timing of your card plays. That means this card does have variance, but it's hidden by the game's intrinsic nature, and so it helps you feel more in control. This seems like some really powerful design tech.

Feral Curiosity is a bit different but plays in a similar space. You can cast it on any creature and get card advantage provided your opponent doesn't resist, but you can cast it on a bigger creature and potentially overcome that resistance. Again, the full effect is ultimately conditional, but more within the player's control than a fully random effect.

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