Tuesday, February 27, 2018

CCDD 022718 - Conjured Augmentation and Cascading Design Restrictions

Holy guacamole, the GDS3 design test is fun. My first two first draft designs were an Uncommon Azorius Enchantment and an Uncommon Orzhov Creature. Those decisions put the tightest squeeze on what I would be able to do in Boros and Selesnya, so those are the cards I decided to tackle next.

When you're crafting cards in a vacuum, individual card decisions don't really impact your future designs all that much. But when you're filling out a skeleton, even if that skeleton is only ten cards long, every decision dramatically impacts what you can do in the future. When I started with Azorius, it was arbitrary. I could have done any type of card, with any rarity. Once I ended up with an Uncommon Enchantment, I knew I wanted to do a blue or a white card next, since that's where I had started limiting the card types available to me. I chose Orzhov because I wanted to tackle that one while I still had a lot of leeway in the design, since I knew there's not a lot of novel design space there to show off my work.

I also knew I wanted the second card to be a common, since those are also going to be on the difficult side when it comes to showing off. I started designing it that way, but it didn't end up there. That meant, two cards in, I had most limited myself in what I could design in White, and I could maybe do one more uncommon at some point.

When I came to Boros, I knew I wanted to do a common again, and I was probably going to make a combat trick, which meant most likely instant.

I once again failed to make a common. I'm probably going to regret that in a few more cards.

I've been wanting to do this ability for a while, and this seemed like a good place to put it.

Temporary clones are a red thing, and caring about artifacts/enchantments is white. But could I get away with this as a red/white hybrid?

I mean, copying the enhancement is a bend in white, but ultimately it's a combat trick with a hoop. It would be pushing it to put it hybrid, but this test wants us to push things a little bit.


  1. This is kickin’ rad. I love it. I think hybrid is probably fine...?

    1. Also, a minor rules issue - you probably need to specify “or aura attached to a creature” - otherwise you get weirdness like using this to copy Abundant Growth.

    2. At last, a way to attach Dead Man's Chest to my own Ball Lightning!

  2. Would you really be able to attach Dead Man's Chest to your own creature with this? Wouldn't the fact that it specifies "enchant creature an opponent controls" mean that it would be an invalid target and/or fall off immediately? Or does Conjured Augmentation get around that rule somehow?

  3. It's definitely a push for {RW}, but a defensible one, and I feel like that's a good place to be (on one or two cards) in this challenge.

  4. I would be worried about submitting a card like this for the challenge. First, it's a color pie break for white, because it can't copy cards. It's a bend for red, because typically red can't mess with Enchantments even though it can temporarily copy permanents generally. Knowing that Rosewater is the grader would make me very reductant to submit cards that play fast and loose with the pie. This seems monored or UR.

    The second issue is that I'd worry about how printable this would be in a standard legal set. Most sets don't have a significant number of Auras or equipment to make this particularly playable in limited, and this doesn't seem particularly suited for constructed. It would be a very fun design for a Commander deck that focused on auras and equipment though.

    For that art at RW common I'd want:

    Fortuitous Armament {R/W}
    Instant (C)
    Create a Sword equipment token with "Equipped creature gets +1/+1. Equip 1". Attach it to target creature you control.

    1. White did copy cards in the Amonkhet block, though with embalm/eternalize. This was a very limited, mechanically-specific, set-specific copying, but nevertheless, it's there.

      That said, this is more flexible than embalm (even with the limited likely targets), so I'd still be worried about white getting yet another new tool.

    2. Embalm is really more of a recursion mechanic than a copy mechanic, which fits more solidly in White's color pie. It isn't a precident I would want to cite.

  5. I'm always a fan of coming up with new, neat uses of copying mechanics.

    That said, when I really think about this card in a deck, I'm struggling to figure out why I'd use this card instead of a conventional instant combat trick when playing R/W in many decks.

    But there are sets or environments where it would end up doing more than giving a creature +X/+X and a combat keyword, so maybe it needs to be in a specific kind of set.

    Part of me feels like hybrid mana is pushing it too far, but then again, since it's only until the end of turn ... maybe not?