Thursday, May 17, 2018

CCDD 051718 - Wishing for a Shot at Challenge 1

Well, I wanted to take a shot at the first Challenge amidst hopelessly failing to keep up with the pace of the GDS. Here are my very unplaytested, very uniterated, cards for the tribal challenge.

Feedback appreciated and welcome. Please ignore the enchantment type on the creatures in your critiques. I'm a strong proponent of having evergreen enchantment creatures for elementals, shades, illusions, and, apparently, djinns. As a fan designer, I get to regularly publish my wishful thinking, but I would not have put that in an actual submission. And while I welcome debate on the topic, I'd prefer feedback for this design be focused on it as a potential challenge 1 submission.

OK. Back to actually reading the real submissions and judge feedback.


  1. Reading through my submission, I realize I didn't do the processor part of my A/B exile mechanic theme enough. I needed at least one more card at lower rarity to care about things having been exiled. Probably two.

  2. Zefferal,

    I will be writing my thoughts as I read your cards, I do think that djinns is an interesting choice of Magic history.

    Angry Djinn: I don't think I'd like to play this in any deck, even in complete tribal ones. Reason being that in my mind it will be usually tapped and dealing me damage because the payoff for exiling cards from my hand is not worth it. Also, if I don't have any cards in hand I cannot avoid the effect so I'm being disincentivized to play my cards.

    Wild Inspiration: I like this card. I see from this that the theme is playing with the exile zone. I don't know how many card draw spells exile in blue after resolving, but that is a minor issue.

    Aether madness: This card also shows that the theme is Exile, but in this case this feels like a "win-more" as you're already dealing damage. I also concur with you that the "processor" part of the strategy is not nearly as much in here so I don't know what would be potential payoffs for exiling.

    Vicious Aether: I think this is a very powerful enchantment but I like it. It makes me want to play it in non-djinn decks. Actually, I think that this is best in swarm / sacrifice decks as they tend to make a lot of bodies. A good way to get around this is to check for nontoken creatures instead.

    The aetherstorm Heart: this is a nice payoff for the exiling, but this checks ALL cards in exile? I think that self exile is different than opponent exile. In this case, maybe Djinns would prefer self-exile instead? This would give them a different identity to a part of the eldrazi processors.

    Wishmaker: For me this reads "draw and additional card during your next two turns then start attacking with a 3/3 flyer". The last wish is the one that has the most tension but I think that unless you're really losing you won't use the last draw and lose a creature.

    Zil-da: I think this would have been more powerful if you could cast him from exile without the help of other cards. The effect would have been maybe too strong but that's a mythic for you eh? You can give the mind control ability sorcery speed avoid making him unkillable.

    Bottle of Djinn: The thing I don't like about this is that it's useless by itself, but it's a Mythic. Funnily enough, many broken artifacts and spells go to exile to avoid you abusing them but in this case if you could exile this card, you could recast it infinitely.

    Overall, I think that the idea is interesting but it could overlap a bit with BFZ eldrazi. Additionally, I am not very adept to giving feedback so I apologize if I sounded rude or didn't explain myself very well. I'm always game for discussion and thank you very much for your effort!

    1. You didn't sound rude at all, and I appreciate the feedback. Thank you! I think I needed to pick on self-exiling or opponent exiling in all instances to keep the coherency better, and I definitely needed more cards that moved exiled cards somewhere else to make it all payoff.

  3. I think I'm not clear enough what you're going for. I guess, exile your stuff, care about exiling your stuff?

    I love love the design of angry djinnling, but when I look at it again, I agree, needing to discard a card every turn to keep it around is pretty fierce, even though I suppose if it keeps attacking and not trading you're coming out fairly well on the deal.

    I think *recovering* cards from exile is really controversial, it's sailing even closer to the wind than the eldrazi processor mechanic was. Maybe care about total cards exiled but only recover cards exiled with Djinn you control?

    I like the basic idea, but I want Djinn to feel angry and/or wish-y, I'm not sure if that will come across or not, I guess I'd need to try playing with them.

    1. wish stuff almost always reads as rare. I wanted a mechanical hook I could do at all rarities, which didn't land as well as I'd hoped on a first pass.

  4. I have problems with zil-da and the bottle. Zil-da is much to expensive to see play in any format, much less casting him more than once. I also feel that casting a creature from exile for double its cmc usually won't be worth it.

    1. Zil'da is definitely built primarily for commander, where he goes to the command zone repeatedly, deals tablewide damage repeatedly, and keeps stealing the biggest threats. I could have made him a little more standard friendly tho.

  5. I found it very, very difficult to look past the very first card and imagining what it would feel like to keep getting wheeled those in a draft environment.

    It's just too self-destructive a card to be at common, even if you take into account parasitic non-tribal spells that will bring your cards back from exile or play them somehow. What the djinn offers doesn't make up for the incredibly dramatic sacrifice you have to make. He needs to be bigger and rarer.

    Wild Inspiration kind of feels similarly, though not quite so harsh. Magic has socialized gamers to treat exile is a very serious drawback, so essentially turning into another type of discard is hard to wrap your head around.

    For Aether Madness, will there be an opportunity for a djinn player to use the opponents' exiled cards?

    For Vicious Aether, I feel like the payoff needs to be higher for exiling. Again, maybe it's the fear of exile in me. But given that this feels like a control-ly midrange tribe, a plink here and there doesn't seem that useful for its slot. How many times would this trigger in an average game?

    The Aetherstorm Heart is awfully confusing. It really doesn't want the djinn trigger and you've forced it into it to make it comply with the rules.

    Wishmaker feels way too costly for what it does, especially given its drawbacks. And I'm not sure of it's connection to the playstyle of your other djinns.

    Zil-da: I agree with Amarant that it needs ways to come back when you're going to make it the top-end mythic of a tribal deck (Spoiler: My mythic tribal creature plays around with going in and out of exile)

    I like Bottle of Djinn, but I would lose the tribal trigger on the sacrifice. I don't think it needs that much mathiness given everything else it's doing. Maybe just one free spell from exile?

  6. The good: These designs are definitely flavorful and original. There's some synergy. Your cards are all the appropriate card type and mostly the appropriate rarity and color. Wishmaker and Zil-Da are great, and I would be hype to play Zil-Da as a commander. Aetherstorm Heart fixes mana, which is good for a 3-color tribe.

    The bad: Angry Djinnling is a NO, NEVER. At common, this will actively drive people away from playing Limited with this set. There's a visceral reaction to it. My first exposure to the processer-esque theme needs to be a card that's functional even when it doesn't exile.

    Anyway, there's too much double-color costing for a tricolor tribe here. Wild Inspiration especially seems a little overcosted (see Compulsive Research). Aether Madness isn't something I want to play, it does nothing on its own except mill your opponent in an aggro deck, which is basically nothing. It's your other big miss. Vicious Aether could work in mono-black. I didn't understand Aetherstorm Heart for a couple of reads, it's very awkward. Bottle of Djinn, beside yes, being totally dead outside of tribe, has a second ability that will confuse new players: does playing the Djinn from exile chain and let you play more Djinn from exile?

    In conclusion, awful first impression, but you started to win me back over with the rares and mythics.