Tag Archives: creature

Goku

Art is a screenshot of the series.

Well, this one was a headache for balancing.

Let’s start with the basics. Goku gets more and more powerful as Dragon Ball got more and more letters added to its title. In the show, the way he got powerful is mostly “deciding” he needed to be, screaming a lot, and dying his hair.

I found that difficult to work with.

So I went back to the roots: he gets powerful because his enemies become so, and by fighting them, he becomes a better combatant.

Anyway, at the end of the show Goku is nothing short of a demigod, so I knew the end state would have to be a quasi-Progenitus beast. The problem was getting him there without: a) starting off too close as to not make the transition fun or motivating, and b) starting off too weak and getting our of character (he was a powerhouse already as a kid).

I think I managed to get a pretty cool balance. Okay, for six mana you get a 4/4 guy. But picture this. If they chump block it, next turn you get a flying 5/5 – and now they’re in trouble. If they don’t, you are getting four damage through consistently. And you still are motivated to keep leveling him up, of course – there are worlds of difference between a 5/5 with flying and a 10/10 with flying, first-strike and indestructible. I almost feel like attaching annihilator there.

Cost was upped enough so at first the card is disadvantageous, so you are motivated to look for a level up. Color was picked  because Goku is a simple minded creature guided by emotions (hunger and rage, most commonly).

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Mercadia mercenary

Art is a still shot from the beloved TV show Firefly. I never played in Mercadia block, but the treacherous bazaar feeling always reminded me of Firefly.

In Reddit, at the Custom Magic subreddit, there was a challenge to come up for a card that could be in a hypothetical Future Sight 2 set.

Since when you have a hammer, all you see are nails, and I still had my Special Promotion ability keyword rummaging through my head, I went with that.

I was thinking on how could I apply that keyword for creatures. Because of memory issues, I knew it could only be a vanilla or virtual vanilla. Black is supposed to be third at haste, and Future Sight (although less than Planar Chaos) was not afraid of some colour bleeding.

In the end, the creature is something quite simple and not overpowered, so common seemed like a natural fit (I have a saying: if something can be a common, let it be a common…). I think the contest was looking for something a bit more splashy, but every set needs its commons, and this one does it job of showing a new cool mechanic!

I am not sure of its design space. Perhaps converted mana costs don’t need to be even, and the recruitment cost can be rounded down. But I’m sure the creatures need to be of low complexity. ETB triggers, french vanillas and that’s it. At most, you can squeeze a spring large set out of this.

Final touches of flavor came from me feeling like previewing a return to a previous plane and Mercadia was the first thing that popped into my head. In that block, mercenaries, like rebels, fetched each other from the battlefield. This is a new take on representing that kind of mechanic.

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Market thugs

Art by Forges.

This card was inspired by two things. First, my attempt to make a simple common instead of a splashy uncommon/rare; and preferably black. Second, the financial crisis. Flavor behind the card is the market hunger for bringing countries down to their knees and raze them.

Initial version of this card was as complex as it gets. By discarding a creature card, you placed a +1/+1 counter on it. Then, by removing three counters AND if you had threshold, you could destroy a target land. I wanted to symbolize how the economic powers get big on personal tragedy, and once they get out of control, they can even tackle whole countries.

Then I remembered I wanted a common. After New World Order, I can’t spare so many complex points. So I completely removed the second ability, and kept the first albeit discarding a land card. But markets have a demonic sense into them: it’s not that they get bigger when you sacrifice countries to them, it’s that you are forced to! Or else!

You don’t always have land cards in hand to spare, so instead of making you lose life as consequence of noy paying your debts, I decided to simply tap it. Markets won’t collaborate with you unless you concede to their wishes.

I changed the card to this kind of demonic ability and called it a day.

Then I realized I had reinvented Carnophage.

Well, here it is, as is, as a testament of my honesty.

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Teddy bear

I realized I haven’t been giving proper credit to the people creating the images I use in my cards. I’ve been mercilessly ravaging the internet and not looking back. And that is wrong. Like, wrong wrong in the sense of “come on, man”.

So starting from this entry, I will add proper artist credit on the cards and the post. This great imagery for today was drawn by begemott.

Now on to the card!

By now you probably realized I am a sucker for epic, sweeping one liners on cards. I blame my foil Tenth Edition Time Stop, which is simply gorgeous. But they have their advantages: brevity is elegant, as they are easier to grok, and get to the point.

Flavor for this one is self-evident. When we were kids and things lurked in the dark, we all knew what to do: shielding ourselves with our blankets and trusting our brave teddy bears to fight the terrors for us. We had nothing to fear with them on our side!

Unfortunately, they are stills teddy bears, so don’t expect them to endure a lot. As for crunching the other factors, knight connotations placed the card on white,  and cost at a minimum since actual utility is doubtful.

But it’s short, resonant, and sweet. Definitely one of my favourites so far.

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Crash Test Dummy

In my mind, I picture the dummy jumping in front of an incoming Lightning Bolt or charging Progenitus to save a fellow battlemate. Poor expendable soul.

Instead of regenerating a creature, preventing all damage to you by one source was my other main contendant. But the effect wasn’t good enough. And preventing all damage for the turn dissolved too much the idea I reflected on the first paragraph.

(mm, now that I think about it, Meat Shield would’ve been a more fitting name…)

For costing I based myself mostly on Herbal Poultice (although with an eye on Pteron Ghost). I costed it a bit more aggresively, since for a mana less in casting and no mana in activation you get a 1/2 body. I never put Herbal Poultice in my Limited decks, but I think I would play Crash Test Dummy.

The 1/2 allows you to get something else besides the ability from it. You can use it to block incoming damage, then sacrifice it to save another blocking creature. With nothing else on the battlefield, and being an early bird at 2 mana, perhaps you can even make it deal some damage through.

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Tetris Player

I wanted the ability to be reusable, so I chose a negligible casting cost and paired it with a high activation cost. I didn’t set it that higher, though, because I compensated by making it quite frail. You would probably get at most one use out of this before being killed, since you are probably casting it in a dedicated deck and sort of abusing it.

Blue is the color of messing with tapping and face-down, so that was a no-brainer.

Templating is probably not right; I tried changing it to “Choose one – Target permanent spell enters the battlefield tapped, or target permanent spell etc” — I think that’s how it would be written in real MtG. But it became too wordy and ofuscated the joke. So I let this one slide too.

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