Saturday, February 29, 2020

CCDD 022920 - Mama Bear

Bear with Set's Mechanic has become such a design cliche that it's now an official joke card. But it's a cliche for a reason. Sometimes the best way to show off a neat bread-and-butter mechanic idea really is to put it on a bear.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

CCDD 022720 - Villainous Monologue

I forget whether this was originally a Vorthos design or a Mel design. Both aspects of it are pretty goofy. Which do you think works better?

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

CCDD 022620 – Rouse the Rabble

I got inspiration from Divine Visitation, but I took it in a different direction.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

CCDD 022520 - Reality Pillar

What do you do with a fun static ability that isn't worth a whole card? You could put it on a card anyway and cost it aggressively, but that might make it too swingy-- oppressive when it works, disappointing when it doesn't. You could put it on a creature, but that might change how it reads and plays. Or you could staple it to other kinds of effects. Cantrips are a popular example (e.g. Blood Sun) but depending on the context there might be better choices. With today's card I ended up taking an unusual approach.

Monday, February 24, 2020

CCDD 022420 - Eroding Hiking Trail

Like many here (I bet), I have a stable of card design hobby-horses that I keep coming back to. One of those is enters-the-battlefield-untapped dual lands. (I tend to think we have plenty of enters-the-battlefield-tapped-with-upside duals. Finding downsides that let the land enter untapped is harder.) Here's an example:

Sunday, February 23, 2020

CCDD 022320 – Squire of the Hypotenuse

A dumb silver-border design based on one of my favorite jokes. I tried to make it playable with a general triangle theme instead of making players square root numbers, though the joke becomes a little thinner.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

CCDD 022220 - Mental Block

Holding up mana for Cancel (and other counterspells) during an opponent's turn is stressful. You more or less commit to countering whatever they cast, and hope they don't figure out your plan. So a counterspell enchantment that you can cast in advance and use on demand is appealing. In fact it's too appealing. It shuts down interaction and creates frustrating play patterns-- at least, I assume that's we've never seen one (unless you count Common Courtesy). But maybe there's a similar effect that could work.

Friday, February 21, 2020

CCDD 022120 - Struck Blind

Pacifism is an iconic way for white to "remove" creatures by keeping them out of combat. Many powerful creatures these days can just shrug it off, though. Kenrith, the Returned King doesn't have to attack or block to make an impact. To counter this, recently we've seen more variants like Arrest and Trapped in the Tower that turn off activated abilities as well. But then what can we do about creatures like God-Eternal Oketra and Niv-Mizzet, Parun?

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

CCDD 021920 - Playing With Fire

Rituals (spells that generate more mana than they cost) are tricky to design. Aggressive decks getting to trade cards for tempo is a cool idea, but almost any ritual that's good at that is even better at powering broken strategies. (Storm decks are the best-known example.) On the other side of the power scale, weak or restricted ritual effects aren't consistently good enough to be worth a card in most decks. If only we could print a ritual effect that didn't take up an entire card...

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

CCDD 021820 - Boogeyman

Reanimation spells like Cauldron's Gift usually have to target expensive creatures to be worth it. If you're spending 4-5 mana and a card, you want to be getting a creature that's worth at least that much, not some random 3/3. Even creatures with reanimation built-in often want extra bonuses when they come back-- like Pharika's Spawn and the other Escape creatures from Theros Beyond Death. So what would it take to make a 1-mana creature an appealing reanimation target?

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Legends of Runeterra

Riot just released the beta for the League of Legends CCG, Legends of Runeterra. I thought I'd share my reactions: