Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Bob - Lol Card of the Day: Alistar

Whoops, totally forgot to post a League card of the day earlier.

Alistar's a tanky bull character, not known to deal damage, but has a good setup of disruptive abilities. His ultimate greatly increases his damage mitigation, lowering the damage he takes by 50-70% This is represented by his passive. His active is a combination of abilities, where he knocks opponents up in the air and/or headbutts them out of the fight.

Bob - Aggro at Rarity: Red Rare

I wanted a "goblin guide" variant for the red rare. The problem is coming up with a suitable drawback. I've seen Wizards attempting to push the "all opponents creatures must attack" ability on a a lot of red cards recently, trying to make it a valid effect to put on your opponent, but it has yet to seem to catch on. But why not try it the other way around? And so I made it a drawback to increase the power of my raging goblin.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Chimzar's Card of the Day #8 - Rina, Daughter of Norin

I have been playing Norin EHD alot recently and I thought I would improve on my favorite general.

So much fun to be had with her!

Bob - Aggro at Rarity: Red Common

Spitting earth, welcome to the world of being a ball lightning.

Bob - LoL Card of the Day: Karthus

Designed off of his mass slow "fence" and his ultimate, which commonly gets cast once he's dead. I thought about building him with unearth or some form for 1 turn only reanimation when he dies, but figured it would be overly complicated.

On a less serious note:

Monday, February 27, 2012

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Bob - Aggro at Rarity: Blue Uncommon

A 1/1 on the opponents turn, and a 2/2 on yours, with possible shenanigans involved. I wanted the card to let blue players rethink how they play their draw spells, and not just at the end of the opponents turn. Also yes, this is horribly abusive with Sylvan Library, but it's definitely not the first card to do so.

Bob - LoL Card of the Day: Caitlyn

I previously made another version of Caitlyn that was red & white, and needlessly complicated. I feel like this one is a lot simpler, and portrays her ultimate quite well. For those who don't play LoL, Caitlyn's ultimate attempts to snipe an enemy character, however there's a charge up time while she takes aim, and the game shows the path of the bullet, so enemy team mates can stand in the path and take the bullet that might kill one of their team.

Flavorfully, the card lets the opponent choose which of their team is going to bite the bullet, and if they have a tanky character, it's not really an issue (same as in the game).

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Chimzar - Designing Ante, Part 2

Last time I spoke on the basics of ante (seen here).  This time, I’ll be talking about designing ante cards.  In my designs I have found there are two main types of ante cards, normal cards with an ante twist and the scary good cards (like this one).  Sorry, but I am leaving the scary good to next time.

Normal with an ante twist seems easy, but understanding its true cost is more difficult than it seems.  Paying mana or life is a simple to understand value.  Take Snuff Out for instance.  I can pay 4 life or 3B to kill a nonblack creature.  As a designer, I can easily see the cost and its effect on the game.  With ante, however, it can be much harder to see.  Take this example:

White loves to have low cost exiling removal with an added twist, but how is ante judged?  Mechanical, you are exile the top card of your library to exile a creature.  That by itself would be the best removal ever.  However, the chance of losing another card is there and that is where value is uncertain.  What if you just anted a Black Lotus?!  Seriously, what anteing a card does is literally up the stakes of the game.  The more cards you have in the ante the more you want to win, the more you are willing to sacrifice to win.  Ante cards should be the best at what they do, because by playing them the player is saying “I want to win at the cost of losing more cards if I don’t win.”

One important aspect of ante is the loss of control.  All of my normal ante cards have an element of unpredictability of what you could lose.  Ante is gambling and should feel like gambling.  What makes it interesting is how a player can manipulate his or her odds.

I’ve tried to showcase different aspects of ante in this uncommon cycle.  The key is they are very powerful and should help you win, but if you don’t, you are set to lose even more.  I hope you have enjoyed ante so far and I look forward to next time when ante goes crazy!

Chimzar's Card of the Day #6 - Boggart (Black Common)

Today's card is very flavorful and quite good.

Sorry, I had to go with the cheap joke image from Harry Potter.

Bob - Aggro at Rarity: White Uncommon

Personally I think the taxation to counter ability can go in any color, much like the rhystic cards from prophecy. I'm still unsure if it's properly balanced, however the way I costed the ability was based off of the average mana spent on a removal spell for a creature (including counter spells), weighted by attempting to make the card powerful in the first turn or two, and occasionally decent later on in the game.

While not a top down design card, thematically, I wanted to portray a knight being attacked/ambushed on her way to the field of battle.

Bob - LoL Card of the Day #3: Tryndamere

I wanted Tryndamere to have this awesome, end game, pumped up feeling that fed Trynds get during a game of League of Legends. However, good Trynds need be fed, and that either comes from farming or killing, so I gave him two abilities to generate Fury counters. His activated ability is his in game ultimate, which when activated also gives him fury so he can crit more or use it for healing (an ability that was left off of the card, as regen & indestructible accomplish similar goals). This card is also the first to use Fury counters, which will be a running mechanic through some of the fighters, which will have other cards that work with it mechanically.

Pitzer - Green goes Black, White goes green

Dear faithful readers, which probably only exist in my delusions....  I have been super busy over the last 2 weeks and therefore haven't written in a while, sorry....  Im going to give you 2 cards to digest today, as that only seems fair.  One finishes the cycle that I was doing, the other begins the next one... On to card one.

So a big black creature(no this is not the start to a porn).  Generally black has had some fatties like lord of the pit, and alike, and they all seem to be demons.  SO that was the likely starting point, at least in my head.  He is big, powerful, has a sweet activated ability, and really makes the timmy in me wanna play black instead of teh usual green.  I give you Zalk!


So, here is what I came up with.  He is big, 6/4 is out of bolt range but will die easily if attacking happens.  He costs alot, cause 3BBB is difficult.  ANd he does something absolutely silly, Re-animate at instant speed, yes please.  The possibly most important thing to note is the fact that he can sacrifice himself to the cause if need be.  It is powerful, maybe even too powerful, but i like it and I made the card accordingly...  Suggestions are always appreciated.  

Card Two of the day looks at a new color, because the cards of the actual colors will be revealed at the end of the set.  I want to look at White and its many fantastic effects...  or OP if you choose to look at it like that.  White grants protection in its many forms.  Things like walls are white, and so are defenders, but the 2 keywords that always come to mind when i think white are vigilance and lifelink.  Both allow you to survive in a game for much longer as you have more blockers and more life.  When I make the cards I want them to have a feeling of sustainability.   Since green was left out last time... We will start with it.  

I want a green creature that allows for sustainability.  Walls were and idea, but green has walls already(I know its not a wall!!!).  The next one was vigilance, but vigilance just seems like a tree thing, and i did not want to make a treefolk, cause doran beat me earlier on MTGO.  Sorry...  I decided that a life gain type feel is best, so I came up with this diddy that satisfied my want and need for sustainability in a creature.  

I'll let you protect my land any day!

She has a large butt, DEFENSE WISE YOU PERV!!!  But honestly, she can block, and she protects you.  I did not give her defender cause that would feel like a wall and I wanted enchantments to be sweet on her. the life gain is another big part of the sustainability, so it helps layers that arent trying to be greedy with their mana base like many do in a boo draft.    It feels protective and feels powerful to me.. I was considering reach, but then I can't use the sexier picture, so I decided to avoid it.  Let me know what you think.  


Friday, February 24, 2012

Bob - LoL Card of the Day #2: Fiddlesticks

The original design created a crowstorm effect, which was a little bit too powerful. Instead I decided to exemplify the Drain ability, which for anyone who's attempted to dual a fiddlesticks without crowd control effects, knows is insanely abusive. The tap cost on the ability represents his inability to attack while draining, and the intimidate comes from his fear & silence abilities.

Bob - Aggro at Rarity: Green Rare

Made to be used in conjunction with green's love of mana ramp creatures, especially noble hierarchs. Plus, everybody loves grizzly bears right?

Chimzar's Card of the Day #5 - Cliff Diver (Blue Uncommon)

My card for today is my entry for Blue - Uncommon.

This idea first started as white, however the switching mechanic is blue and red.  In the end, I really like the flavor of this card.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Bob - LoL Card of the Day #1: Annie

For those who play League of Legends, you'll probably enjoy this series of cards.


Some of the more hardcore LoL players may be asking why she makes Tibbers after a set amount of spells instead of stunning something. While that's true, I won't be holding true to the characters in game abilities, instead taking inspiration from those abilities to create a card that I feel represents the overall character.

Bob - Design Challange: Aggro at Rarity

"Next Monday" Quickly turned into an extra week and a half... Needless to say, I'm glad at least one of us is updating on the blog.

I'd like to try a little challenge for any amateur card designers who read or post on this blog: Design an aggressive creature (one that can can be played on turns 1 or 2) for each color and rarity within that color (other than mythic). Try to make something unique and interesting that fulfills those requirements, and bonus points (not that we're counting) to those who also make mythic and colorless entries.

If you're an author please feel free to make them your card of the day or an article. If just a viewer or author who doesn't want to make a full post, reply in the comment sections with your entries. No prizes, and no winner, but just something fun to do and a goal in mind instead of just random design. If it works out, we can do more challenges based off of suggestions.

Here's my entry for Black - Uncommon

Monday, February 20, 2012

Chimzar - Designing Banding, Part 1

Banding is the most underutilized and misunderstood mechanic.  The people I play with either don’t really understand it or loath it.  However, in a game more increasingly utilizing combat, banding is the ultimate combat mechanic.  For those of you who don’t really understand banding, here are the official rules (look up 702.20) and the list of current banding creatures:

There are a lot of rules for this one keyword, but banding is much simpler than it seems.  Banding (not to be confused with bands with other, which will be talked about in a coming article) allows two or more creatures attack or block together, thus allowing their control to choose how he or she wants damage dealt to them.  Banding gives you a combat math advantage as you can choose which creatures (or more likely, a creature) will die.

From a design standpoint, banding is very flavorful.  It creates images of David and Goliath when a bunch of lowly 1/1s takes down a 7/7.  However, there are many problems with the original banding creatures.  For one, they are almost all over priced.  Once you get past 1/1s for one you get 2/2 for four or five.  Wizard’s gave some of these creatures other good abilities, like flying and first strike, but then made them 1/1s for five.  By themselves they are horrible creatures and because they cost so much you could never get many of them together on the battlefield.  The costs need to be adjusted or, as I would argue, they need to also be stand alone creature with some toughness to them.

Please note: Monarch is a creature type I will be discussing in a future article.

Another issue is that if one creature in a band can be blocked, they all can.  This inherently discourages bands.  In my designs, I try to find ways that bands can retain their blocking restrictions.

Lastly, banding was always considered a white keyword.  Of all the banding cards one is red (a promo), two are green (one needing a plains) and the rest are white or colorless.  In my designing, however, I have found banding to fit red just as much as white does.  White has soldier working together, where as red has mercenaries working together.  The feel of almost random creatures coming to work together is a red ideal.  Banding is still white, but red will have it in is own way.  (Green will have Bands with others, which can be a better Banding.)

Next time I will talk about ways to use banding and will show some more red banding creatures.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Chimzar - Vanilla Creature Chart

As I said I would on Mad Olaf's Blog (If you haven't been there, please check it out!), here is a chart of Vanilla creatures power/toughness compared by color and mana cost.  This chart does not take into account rarity, which did lead to some anomalies.  Only mono color Vanilla creature show up on this chart (list of cards excluded below).  Mad Olaf also has a theoretical chart posted on his blog that I would highly recommend.

X-Axis is color; Y-Axis is mana cost; Highest and lowest total power and toughness shown if different.



L: 1/1; H: 0/3

L: 1/1; H: 0/3, 1/2, 2/1 (2/2*)
L: 1/1; H: 0/4
L: 1/1; H: 1/2


1/2, 2/1
L: 1/2; H: 2/2, 3/1
L: 1/2, 2/1; H: 1/3
L: 2/1; H: 2/2




L: 2/2; H: 1/5
1/4, 2/3
L: 2/2; H: 3/2
L: 2/2; H: 2/3, 3/2
L: 3/2, 4/1; H: 3/3


2/3, 3/2



L: 2/4, 3/3, 4/2; H: 1/7
L: 2/4, 3/3; H: 1/6
4/2, 5/1
3/3, 4/2, 5/1
3/4, 4/3


3/4, 4/3


L: 3/3; H: 4/4, 6/2
L: 6/1; H: 4/4
L: 3/5, 4/4; H: 3/6, 4/5, 5/4, 6/3,


L: 5/3; H: 4/5, 5/4
L: 3/6; H: 5/5


L: 6/4; H: 5/6


L:6/4; H:6/5




L: 6/4; H: 5/7


L: 8/5; H: 7/7





L – Lowest converted power/toughness
H – Highest converted power/toughness
* – Creature is Legendary (Isamaru, Hound of Konda)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Chimzar's Card of the Day #3 - Obstinate Vampire

Today's card makes me laugh.  Its rules text makes game sense, but its still funny to me.  I also think its a good lead into my next article, coming soon, on designing banding.

This is also a good example of a card with a drawback, of sorts, that still has limited playability.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Chimzar's Card of the Day #2 - Sage's Forethought

There was some worry about players cheating with Insightful Orator.  Now I'll let you deal with this card:

 Powerful: Yes!  Disruptable: Yes.  Printable: You be the Judge.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Chimzar - Designing Ante, Part 1

Ante is dead.  Wizards will never bring it back.  Even though it saddens me, I have accepted this fact.  However, I'm not wizards and can make whatever I want!

The only format my roommate and I play together is Zen (aka Ante).  I believe we started with a starter deck of Time Spiral and some packs, but now we both have deck with hundreds and hundreds of cards from every set of magic.  Our deck building is a bit unorthodox to traditional Zen as we can add whatever cards we want.  How could I not add ante cards?!

The biggest issue with the ante cards of old is that many suck because they give players ways of not losing ownership of a card by paying some amount of life (Bronze Tablet, Tempest Efreet) or anteing another card (Amulet of Quoz Timmerian Fiends).  If you're going to play ante, you want play something scary good, like the best card ever made, Contract from Below.

Which leads us to new Ante.  Ante needs to become a Supertype so it can be easily identified and removed when not play for ante.  This also enable cards to target or count Ante cards, like Snow.  In turn, the text "Remove ~ from your deck before playing if you’re not playing for ante." would become reminder text.

The original designers did get somethings right.  Ante cards should be hard to cast, which often means they need to be color intensive.  Zen is played with all five colors and their mana availability widely varies.  It is a good rule of thumb that ante cards cost three of a single color or, if colorless, cost 6 or more.  This plays rather nicely and makes their occurrences more exciting.

I'll leave you today with one of my favorites and I look forward to showing off more next time.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Chimzar's Card of the Day #1 - Slave Driver

Update!  Found art, renamed and reworded to make more printable:

For my first card of the day, I would like to show one of my favorite designs.

Sorry for the lack of art.  It has been hard for me to find a good Minotaur picture without it being attacked.

The original idea came while I was making a joke set of all the Jesus jokes on the web.  I apologize if you are offended as I don’t mean to be sacrilegious.

Sometimes my ideas come from the strangest of sources.