Tuesday, June 5, 2018

CCDD 060518—GDS3 Oozes

Cool Card Design of the Day
For the tribal challenge in GDS3, I built and tested five tribes. Oozes were my first choice, but Chris Mooney got there first. Shamans got a full day more development than Oozes (and that clearly wasn't enough), so these are very under-cooked, but I thought I'd share some of the more promising veins of design among the 83 cards I brainstormed.

Nutritious Ooze is the most common Ooze.
(Not a significant source of vitamins for non-Ooze creatures. May contain nuts.)
In retrospect, Slimeball is absolutely mono-green. Also, this template suffers from dying to damage post-combat, so we'd fix that too. The Timberpack Wolf model seems solid for Oozes.
Ooze Boss is a simple Ooze lord.
Ooze Diplomat asks you to play Oozes and non-Oozes. It's a dual- (or multi-) tribal reward.
Grave Slime is a simple you-can't-ever-fully-kill-The-Blob ooze.
Evolve is a great mechanic for Oozes.

Monstrosity is a solid mechanic for oozes. Basic Slime is an Acidic Slime with monstrosity.
Mama Slime births a whole brood! Isn't that …cute?
Some Oozes just want to watch the world burn. Like a marshmallow. Which they then consume.

Actually, given the order of this trigger+effect, I have to assume Murderous Ooze is just a strapping young slime going through some very confusing growth spurts that make it very hungry for pizza. Or literally anything.

Clockwork creatures deal with putting on and removing +1/+1 counters, so I thought I'd see what a Clockwork Ooze would look like. This harkens back to the days of Primordial Ooze, where things could grow unbounded but you had to pay upkeep on them.
Here's an aura in that same vein, which you can use to pump your own creature to tax your opponent's. (Oozeify probably wouldn't make the cut because its versatility doesn't really pay for its always-kind-of-bad-ness.)
This one is more flexible and less harsh, but still in the same capitalist headspace.
My first Form of the Ooze used that same get-counters-and-pay-for-them model; this one is more all-upside with risk coming from your life total starting tiny before it grows inevitably insurmountable. I like that the Naturalize gives this some proactive value and how that gives you a way to accelerate its growth, but this card is awfully swingy on two vectors as a result and unlikely to make it far in development.

Consume Oozing is named thus because it shows off my here's-a-mechanic-I'm-not-allowed-to-label, Oozing. All the other Oozing cards used this exact effect (not the removal part)…
…except this one (which does both, because mythic)…
…and this one (which is just "Ooze X times."):
IIRC, testing showed that Oozing was fine, but fiddly and not at all innovative (following Fabricate).

A really elegant way to reward Ooze tribal is to count +1/+1 counters. Because the challenge required every card to explicitly reward the creature type, though, otherwise elegant cards like Consumé got riders like this one.
As is, This Is Your Brain on Ooze is mono-blue and not mono-black; it needs to reanimate or something.

This card shows another way I tried to satisfy the overwrought requirement in an otherwise relatively elegant design. It actually works well here where you're fine with big numbers, but falls apart quickly and most other effects.
In the Slimelight is one of the few examples where this scaling still works. Milling, life gain, and individual creature removal are probably about it.
To clarify, you win the game if you control Ooze Dominion and 73 power worth of Oozes. It's '0073' because that's 'OOZE' in 1337 (leet).

What if you could spend +1/+1 counters to cast spells? Icky Thing could be a 4/3 for {0} but it'll cost you 3 power to get, and not just any 3 power.
While that's neat from a Mel perspective, it sucks from a Tammy perspective: +1/+1 counters are awesome. Why would I play spells that lose me them?
This is the most generous. It only costs you one +1/+1 counter, but you do have to control a black creature (so that you're not breaking the color pie) and it has to be an Ooze (because the challenge said so).
This version works like convoke; you can only tap creatures with +1/+1 counters on them for the benefit, but a single creature with multiple counters does extra work. Even in a set with Ooze tribal and other +1/+1 counter themes, Convooze is likely just too niche.
I took one more pass at this idea by doing away with tapping and partial payment and just going full threshold. I could see this on a cycle in a +1/+1-heavy set, but that's it. Besides, none of these ideas name Oozes and wouldn't do for the challenge.

Remember modular? (You might not if it weren't for Arcbound Ravager.) Anyhow, that's a mad slimey mechanic.
Converting defeated Ooze-matter is pretty slimey too.
In fact, glomming biomass from other creatures is trés slimey.
Shedding it to escape destruction is too.
And so is cell division.

And here's a bunch of random Oozes and Ooze-support:
You might recognize this wording from the Shaman equipment in my actual submission. Given the judges' response, we might just see a smidgen of this in a few years. The flavor is even better on Muck.
Peak wordplay achieved. Also, I think Ooze Cruise is a really sweet vehicle.
I don't know what you'd have to do to make Ooze Engine printable, but I do like the idea of adding slime to a creature until it forgets what it was and becomes a mindless Ooze, as well as the tension between making your creatures bigger or the risk of trying to steal your opponents' creatures.
Ooze the Boss is arguably green-blue, or blue-black, or maybe green-black, but not mono-black.
While Look, Ooze Talking is fine, I wouldn't be sharing it except for the pun. It's crazy how well-suited Oozes are for puns.
I couldn't even fool myself into making The Paradox Haze Aura anything but blue. Still, it would be sweet with a lot of these Oozes.
Sorry I'm late. My Elephant Guide got eaten by another traveler's Slime Guide. You know how it is.
I would make this a 0/0 token in a vacuum, but the rest of my cards use 1/1 Ooze tokens, so.
Slime Support is pretty literal.
I like this execution on green-creatures-can-banish-things-by-eating-them because Smothering Ooze simplifies the reward to a single +1/+1 counter, which is plenty.
And the requisite land. The Big Oozy is just Oran-Rief, the Vastwood for Oozes.

Remember, these are the first drafts of the cards/mechanics/tribe. I don't know which ones would survive more playtesting, or how they'd change, or what new ideas that testing would lead to.


  1. I'm going to play the role of Eli and point out that 2 Envioozes and any effect that increases your +1/+1 counters can make an unbreakable loop.

  2. I think oozing captures a very interesting idea, though I'm unsure if it's the perfect execution. I really like the idea that you can sort of combine oozes with one on the battlefield, or it can just be a seperate ooze basically you can play oozes seperate or have them enter as "part" of another ooze somehow.

    1. Bestow and Champion could be very oozey mechanics!

    2. I submitted an Ooze to GA a long time ago that was something along the lines of:

      Ooze Lord
      Creature - Ooze - MR
      Champion 3 Oozes

    3. Funny you mention that. I went off to brainstorm a way to execute on that idea... Then realized I had just made bestow, including "splitting off" when the first one died!

  3. I'm trying to imagine what the art request looks like on "Clockwork Ooze."

    1. The result will either be trash or The Best Art.

  4. Oh yeah, I like where you're going with this. And I love the names!

    I'm not sure which mechanics are most ooz-y (other than, stuff with +1/+1 tokens and fungible ooze tokens).

    Can "clockwork" be something a bit more biological sounding..? It can still be a construct :)

    Hm, maybe instead of paradox haze, a more limited version of doubling season (or whatever the +1/+1 counter version is).

  5. Enivooze is my favorite. Would print. Though I worry that it would lead to some two card combo where the game got stuck in a loop.