Tuesday, August 21, 2018

CCDD 082118—Hell's Hydra

Cool Card Design of the Day
Here's a green-black interpretation of a hydra.
Heads-up: This execution is real mythic.

The only concession this mythic allows is not copying itself immediately, so that you at least have to wait a turn before sacrificing your new army.

In practice, it likely needs some kind of limit despite that: Maybe you have to pay {1} to get your copies; Maybe the tokens get smaller each time; Maybe we add "ETB: Lose 2 life" to make too many copies risky.

It's tricky to find something that keeps a card like this safe for Standard without ruining the elegant-all-upside-wtf-ness mythic rares demand.


  1. My guess is it’s fine as a 7 mana 6/6 or something. This line of text is appealing enough for Jenny and Tammy that I think you can sacrifice some of the Spike efficiency.

  2. This could also maybe use a "if you didn't sacrifice it" clause to prevent some real shenanigans.

    1. "This creature can't be sacrificed"

      Reads like all upside but it most definitely isn't here.

  3. Hi guys,

    first time post of an irregular visitor but fellow card designer (aspiring):

    @Jay: Really elegant Hydra! I like it very much. Regarding your thoughts for an appropriate limit, which doesn't interfere too much with the elgance of the simple rules text, how about the following minor tweak:

    Hell's Hydra - {3}{B}{G}
    Creature - Hydra Horror - (Mythic rare)
    Whenever CARDNAME dies, create two token copies of it at the beginning of your next upkeep.

    I think this provides "shields down" moments in two ways limiting the cards power:

    Due to summoning sickness, the copies are not an immediate threat (or at least need some haste enabling back-up) and can be answered again if the opponenent manages to cast consecutive removal spells (which is difficult and hence appropriate against a mythic rare I presume).
    The second thing to notice is, that removal does not immediately get invalidated be the two replacments, hence the opponent may still have a chance to find windows for attacks.

    I think this tweek keeps the design as elegant and simple as you made it to be and doesn't sacrifice the splashyness of getting a growing hydra horrors army which I think still wins against the "feel bad moment" of not getting them immediately. :)

    1. Welcome Ryuujin!

      That's a good option.

      I don't know how much the feel bad of not getting to use your hydras for a full extra round weighs compared to your opponent's feel bad.
      Would want to playtest.

      In between these two options is having them ETB tapped.