Custom Card Game Design

Random Card – 4/7/12

Emblems are cool.   This card has gone through many, many iterations, and I’m not going to claim it’s balanced in the slightest – it’s only been designed, and it needs to be vetted in a development process as well as playtested.   But I like the overall idea.

This, by the way, is a card intended for Amaretto (or, as it will most likely be called, Eldrazi Unleashed).  Being a format in which the Eldrazi appear, I’ve tried to follow the model that WotC established and make it a slower format.  There aren’t a lot of effecient offensive creatures at common, while there are a lot of defensive creature, lots of cheap removal that only works on cheap creatures, lots of cheap lifegain, etc.  But in a format like the (Battlecruiser Magic), you need to have cards that break the midgame stall.  This is one of those cards, although the enterprising Johnny will see this and try to figure the easiest way to pop this dude as early as possible.

A few things that were kept in mind as this card was being designed.  The first though for the card was a 6cmc Sorcery that simply put the emblem into play.  This obviously is not fun, and the opponent doesn’t have much they can do about it unless they’re blue and have some free counterspells.  Changing this to a creature was one of two options I played with (the other being an echantment), and I like the creature route a lot better for several reasons:

  • Creatures are far easier to deal with, in this format especially if they are 3cmc or less.
  • It feels more green.  Though the enchantment route would’ve worked for green, I think it’s much more green-ish to have a creature that starts out midsized and grows into an enormous force of nature.
  • It gives the opponent time to deal with the ability.  Even if you went Feral Dominator – Memnite – Memnite – Memnite on turn two (which wouldn’t be possible in block or standard, but could of course happen in legacy), the opponent still has plenty they can do to prevent you from popping before your next upkeep (especially in legacy, which is the only place this would be a problem anyway.  Unless of course, you did it on turn 1, but the trip greens makes that tough)
  • Even if you pop the emblem early, you still have to get to a point where you’re dropping 6cmc spells before you get to start vindicating things.

A powerful card, but I’m hoping that playtesting will show that it’s workable, even with a little tweaking.

Speaking of playtesting, I intend to do some more for the first set (Caeia) and would love the help of anyone out there who’s been reading and is remotely interested.  If I get some interest (something I’m doubtful on…  this early on, I’m not sure if I even have any readers), I’ll post some more details.  And also, if you live in the Oklahoma City metro area, I’ll be trying to do some playtests in person next weekend.

If you’re reading and like what you’re seeing, or have anything to say, please leave some feedback!


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