Monday, February 4, 2019

CCDD 020419 - Goblin Mail Carrier

So we did the Goblin Game a couple weeks ago on Twitter. The first round every year is to design a common Goblin, and this year I offered up this art:

Art by Shiprock
That bomb he's holding is so distracting. It begs you to come up with on-board direct damage, which is very difficult to make at common. There were some great takes on it in the game, although I question the rarity call on some.

I decided to skip the direct damage and try something a little different.

Complexity-wise, this is safe as a common. It has a single use combat trick. But it is very wordy, and comprehension complexity is something we do need to be aware of. I submit it to the Artisans. Is this too much for common? A shorter name helps the line count, but not all that significantly (six instead of seven).


  1. I love the play of it, but I imagine the unique counter pushes away from common in most sets.

    Really though, this as an object lesson in how/why you don't just want to be trading bears onto to the field/how even a ping of removal can get away from a headache is pretty fun.

    1. If the set skipped +1/+1 counters, and just had random counters and punch out cards like with amonkhet (I want a punch out cardboard bomb!), I would definitely feel more justified.

      This is one of those things where I could use a +1/+1 counter, but it completely changes the design of the card when I do.

  2. I don't think it's too much for common, but like Pasteur I wonder what sort of environment it could be in with a special counter on it.

    It really does feel weird in the sense that the art just really, really wants to push you into some sort of direct damage effect. Maybe this is the white goblin you were looking for? (But then menace can't work.)

  3. Remove the second line of text and I'm sold.

    1. I hear ya. I just like the idea of a goblin holding a bomb to be inherently menacing, but losing it once the bomb is gone. But honestly, potential FS and menace are mostly just two similar forms of evasion, so I could see the argument.

    2. I agree, and then we're left with Alex Werner's Swiftblade Pikeman from the GDS3 design trial!

      Swiftblade Pikeman (common)
      Creature — Human Soldier
      CARDNAME enters the battlefield with a blade counter on it.
      Remove a blade counter from CARDNAME: CARDNAME gains first strike until end of turn.

      The judges still had problems with this at common, and with the unique counter as well.

    3. Good call. I usually check my stuff against a scryfall search, but it never occurred to me to check it against the design challenge!

  4. Anvil Carrier 2R
    Creature - Goblin Soldier (c)
    ~ enters the battlefield with a -1/-1 counter on it.
    Remove a counter from ~: ~ gains first strike until end of turn.

  5. How many times do you need to use first strike for it to do its thing? All these designs say once. I say never. First strike is mostly a rattlesnake. Technically I can chump-block this once, use up your counter, and then this is just a 3/1, but that's card advantage and not common. It's also just a lot harder to process than 'first strike' with 99% identical play.

    1. Maybe "whenever a red spell you control deals damage, ~ gains first strike until EOT." That's pretty menacing.