Tuesday, November 28, 2017

CCDD 112817—tribal auras

Cool Card Design of the Day
11/28/2017 - Most auras can hit any permanent of the appropriate type. Sometimes there are conditions about who controls the permanent. With the exception of 'enchant wall,' there are no auras that care about their target's creature type.

That makes sense for the most part: Such auras would be quite narrow. Even so, augment has me thinking we could make a few tribal auras.

These are uncommon because we don't want too many cards this narrow running around. They are generally strong because they're uncommon and narrow. Design a tribal aura in the comments.


  1. I get where you’re going but feel like templating these like the Innistrad Human-matters equipment removes the narrowness and doesn’t cost you much, e.g.:

    Rabble Rousing
    Enchantment - Aura - Common
    Enchanted creature gets +1/+1.
    If enchanted creature is a Goblin, it gains first strike and haste.

    1. I'm inclined to agree.
      Creature-auras already find themselves unplayable when you don't have a creature out. Limiting them further seems silly.
      The exception being in a supplemental product with a tribal theme.
      That said, Rabble Rousing doesn't seem like a big improvement, because I'd be 90% as sad to pay RR for +1/+1 as I would be to not be able to cast it at all.

    2. As well you should! It was a typo, meant to put +2/+1.

  2. Yeah, I was interested how they got augment to work. I wonder if as-fan of hosts is surprisingly higher than it looks (are many common?) but I didn't try to do the maths. It must help that they're in all colours. I wonder whether a "normal" tribe would reach similar numbers, or not.

    I agree, the "bonus if" approach is probably usually better.

    I did wonder if the augments could also be more general, e.g. they grant a flicker effect to creature on a particular trigger (like effervese, but something that already has a rules meaning), so they're especially useful on creatures that have a come-into-play ability, but are still can be useful on other creatures.

    1. Hosts are about 23% of commons in the set, and it's a small set (75 commons). It should give everyone a few hosts at least.

      In a normal set, Augments would be auras and probably flicker the creature so they'd be less parasitic. Here it didn't matter sense the cards can't be played outside the set anyway.

    2. "Whenever [event], abilities of enchanted creature that trigger when it enters the battlefield trigger again."

      Yeah, that's awkward. Just checking. (Unfortunately, so is flickering an enchanted creature and re-attaching the aura to it. Especially for combat triggers and +1/+1 effects.)

    3. "Whenever [event], enchanted creature reenters the battlefield."

    4. "Whenever [event], triggered abilities of enchanted creature trigger."

      "Whenever [event], trigger a triggered ability of enchanted creature."

      Just requires knowledge of which abilities 'triggered abilities' are. (Where by 'just' I mean, "too bad that vocabulary is essentially a deal-breaker.)

    5. Tocatli Honor Guard

      "Trigger abilities of creatures you control as if they had just entered the battlefield."

    6. My preference would be to of load that baggage to a new game term like "reenter".

      If you wanted to write it out it'd be:

      "Abilities of target creatures trigger as though that creature had just entered the battlefield."

      I think that helps to clarify what's happening without getting too lost in the weeds.

    7. I like that solution for multiple reasons.

  3. Non-Magic games like Hearthstone and Faeria have the benefit of keywording things like ETB & LTB with Battle cry/death rattle/ etc.

    Magic could do this and just backwards-oracle the past few decades of cards. Will they? Probably not in this era of design and templating. (It would be a heady feat, and probably take hundreds of hours all-told). But Magic's templating by and large is arguably a legacy artifact for the worse - see "the beginning of your end step", et al.

    1. Elvish Visionary 1G
      Creature - Elf Shaman
      Summon -- Draw a card.

      Opening Meditation 2G
      Trigger your creature's summon abilities.
      Draw a card.

      Of course, things like Primeval Titan (etb-or-attacks, effect) get trickier. But... we'll see.

    2. Opening Meditation 2G
      At the beginning of your upkeep, creatures you control reenter the battlefield. (Those creatures trigger abilities as though they just entered the battlefield without leaving the battlefield.)

    3. Agreed that keyword actions would be much cleaner and more flavorful than all the text we use now. "Dies" was a great step up from "goes to the GY from the BF." LTB is a weird case—Even though it's just the opposite of ETB—because it covers so many fates.

    4. Primeval Titan becomes "When ~ ETB, search... Whenever ~ attacks, it reETBs."

      The only side effect of "re-enters" is that other cards that care when you creatures ETB will see this too, which might not be a deal-breaker but isn't the intended effect.

  4. Is there a reason not to flicker when you want to trigger ETB effects?

    You could also make a halfway house by having a new keyword that automatically triggers on ETB but can also be triggered other ways, but I'm not sure if it would benefit.

    I guess there's design space in other games I don't see in magic because I'm just used to it, of creatures where a one-off ability is more part of the game?

    You could also do "ETB with a +1/+1 counter. Remove it: effect", but that would also be fiddly.

    1. Flickering your Feral Hydra is bad. Flickering your enchanted or equipped creatures is bad. Flickering your attacking creatures is bad.

    2. Flickering in response to a spell is confusing.
      Flickering to prevent an opponent's creature from attacking is confusing.
      Flickering a creature that's blocking is confusing.

      Flickering is the most Melvin-y aspect to the game right now and not in a good way.

    3. I mean, yes, but how much do "re-trigger ETB" need to be instant?

    4. If it's a sorcery that flickers it means the creature either has to take the turn off from attacking, it has to give haste, or the creature has to attack and survive combat.

  5. Human Fault 1UU

    Enchantment aura R

    Enchant human

    If you own enchanted creature it gets +2/+2 and has flying, otherwise you control enchanted creature.

    1. If I got the flavor, I'd be 100% on board for this.
      Maybe inspires a WAC...