Custom Card Game Design

A random planeswalker

So, I’m stuck – I mean really stuck – on my cube.   I’m certainly not giving up on the project, but re-design has dragged to a crawl on it and I’m preparing myself to shelve the project for awhile in order to move on to other things, with the intention of picking it back up down the road.

All that said, I’ve been toying with some of the ideas that have come up during the design of the cube – ideas that I think may have potential to work in a traditional set – and have a card to share today.


Ilyria Balmore is a character that I’ve used before.  This is actually the third planeswalker I’ve designed for this same character, though this would likely be the first version of her to be released.  Ilyria is a young but greatly skilled crusader, part of a deeply religious order whose passionate and fierce beliefs often lead to holy wars with non-believers.  Her colors are Red and White, with some Black (though, on this card, the black isn’t represented.)

Mechanically, her identity lies in the -1 ability.  This is yet another version of my ‘Crusade’ mechanic that I’ve toyed with for the Red/White/Black wedge group in my cube.  Though some are very opposed to messing with the cleanup step, I love the idea.  This probably hearkens back to my background with the Star wars TCG and how much fun I used to have manipulating damage counters on my units.  I understand the argument against – MtG isn’t specifically suited for this type of gameplay, and it provides lots of memory issues.  In any set with this type of mechanic, I would provide a rules insert that explained the cleanup step and recommended using damage counters because of the existence of cards like this one.

The +1 is pretty powerful, especially on a 4cmc walker.  My rationale for this is that this planeswalker doesn’t protect itself – a hallmark of all the most powerful walkers – and so having such a powerful plus ability is balanced by the fragility of the card itself.

The ultimate is where I’m least content.  If this card were to be used, this would likely change quite a bit during development.



One response to “A random planeswalker

  1. antaresmtg July 26, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    +1 double strike is definitely very strong, but I don’t think the -1 does enough. Why not add a ping to it? Same goes for the ultimate. Maybe: “Whenever a creature dies, that creature deals damage equal to its converted mana cost to each opponent and you gain that much life.”

    I don’t have any problem with an ability like the -1 in general. Just use dice and it shouldn’t be an issue. It should also work within the rules.

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