Sunday, March 22, 2020

CCDD 032220 - A Little Something Extra

Combat tricks are a bad value proposition in many ways. They aren't consistently worth a card, they're vulnerable to instant-speed removal, and so on. What's more, they aren't even all that tricky. Because they cost mana they're at least somewhat telegraphed, and easy to play around once they're suspected. What would it take to work around that problem? Here's one idea.

Zero-mana spells are notoriously hard to balance-- see: Mox OpalMemnite, etc. enabling broken strategies in Modern-- but if Gut Shot is fine then I figure this should be too. The interesting question is how much power we can safely put into a 0-mana combat trick. Would +1/+1 be all right? +2/+0? At what point is it too good with stuff like Glistener Elf or Favored Hopilte? Would "fair" decks (and Limited decks) actually want to play it before that point, or will the "broken" usages of combat tricks always just be better?


  1. I have the feeling that colorless is a trap. At the same time, if it is not a 0-cost spell, it is problematic. I think that the uper limit for this would be two target creatures get +1/+0.

    I woulkd however think that 0 cost spells that have a color identity might be better, if they have the following riders:

    Cardname is [Color]. You can play [Cardname] only of you control a basic [land of corresponding color].

    Then I would feel all right uping its power. I believe the things that could get printed on such cards are easy to identify: check all 1/2 costed cantrips, and see what the other effects on the cantrip are. Remove the manacost and the cantrip et voila!

  2. Mutagenic growth is +2/+2 for free but is probably pushed. Convoke is a nice way to do combat tricks.

  3. Yeah, I'm torn between "a card is expensive for such a small combat trick" vs "but pulling it out when you're tapped out is really valuable".

    I wonder if there's a mechanic in "as an additional cost to cast ~, untap a tapped mountain you control"? Which obviously looks awesome but most of the time will actually be a requirement to play red. But, might be too combo-enabling.