Custom Card Game Design
The Fix to Dominion
May 29, 2015Posted by on
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:
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?