Custom Card Game Design

The Fix to Dominion

Dominion is a promising mechanic, but it has a lot of problems. Engaging in a pump spell war to control the biggest creature sounds exciting, but when the players lack the right cards to do so, which happens more often than not, the mechanic feels uncontrollable, random, and swingy. That it doesn’t work within the rules isn’t that great either. To avoid the feel-bad moments, players should always have some control over the power of the dominion creature. “My opponent played a bigger creature? Alright, now I have to change my line of play, but I’m not just being stopped dead in my tracks.” Each creature with a dominion effect should be able to pump itself, but the efficiency should be inferior to most pump spells.

Meet the mechanic with the uninspired name Growth:

The new dominion.

Growth allows you to buff your creature continuously, but it becomes more costly each time you do it, so you can’t go on forever. Dominion is no longer a mechanic, but these types of abilities still accompany Growth on most creatures that have it. They all trigger when the creature attacks.

Alright, I think this should work. The arms race we engaged in during playtesting was certainly fun. I ended up with a 16/13 Serpent creature before I finally busted through my opponent’s defenses. What do you think? Would you enjoy this type of gameplay from time to time?


5 responses to “The Fix to Dominion

  1. reubencovington May 31, 2015 at 9:07 am

    I think this mechanic is very promising ever since I saw it in the Goblin Artisans, mechanic roundup. Seems like a good fit for your set.
    My main concern is getting a good wording template that is easily grokkable. The current one is ok but I’d like to see if any alternatives are even better.

  2. Udelude June 1, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    I think it’s quite interesting. I’ve made a similar mechanic myself, but without the additional cost part. It’s a promising mechanic, and a good fit for the set and to replace Dominion.

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