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  • posted a message on Scrystrike
    Those are both interesting suggestions. I've put a few Scrystrikers into my latest playtest to see how they run, but these two ideas are also worth trying out.
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on Scrystrike
    Quote from Crypt Rat »
    As an ability on ~4 cards in a draft environment at various rarities, maybe? But evergreen status or even as a block mechanic seems far more dubious.
    As I'll repeat, I see this appearing at a low rate somewhere between lifelink and double strike. Being evergreen doesn't mean it's going to have levels of exposure like flying or menace. Prowess appears on one to two cards per set, and only ever once at common unless there's a specific deck for it to support. Double strike almost never appears at common outside of combat tricks, and even then it's usually on uncommons and rares.

    Basically I'm just saying that evergreen doesn't mean it has to show up at a high volume whatsoever. In fact, I think evergreen might be the only place this mechanic would work to begin with. In an environment where you had tons of scrystrikers they'd be too efficient together. Being evergreen would allow the mechanic to shine in heavy moderation, not unlike most other evergreen mechanics (imagine how miserable limited would be if you could get a deck of all first strikes, or all deathtouchers, etc.)
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on Scrystrike
    I could see a big problem with Scrystrike and combat boosts.
    Simplest of which would be [Thing with Scrystrike], Giant Growth, scry for more boost spells.
    Or maybe the sorcery stuff that also gives trample.

    What I'm saying is it might be a bit unstable to tie it to power given the number of cheap boost spells there are.
    I still see this as a huge boon, not a downside. I feel like the same thing would be said about double strike if it were suggested today. If I giant growth my scrystrike creature then I'm choosing to spend a card in order to gain card selection. Deciding when and where to make that trade, and my opponent playing around the threat of that decision, adds a lot of gameplay to the mechanic. Of course, this is based on the watered down version suggested (where you "Scry 1 that many times"). It still lets me dig pretty deep, but it doesn't let me set up my draws the same way Scry N would.

    It seems like this really just needs to be tested, since the main concern everyone has is power level.
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on Scrystrike
    Quote from Crypt Rat »
    We haven't seen anything on the power level of Merfolk Looter in ages and even when we got Sigiled Starfish, it was a common in a third set, so it only showed up in 1/3 the packs. Then was reprinted at uncommon in a core set.
    So the big difference between cards like Looter and Scryfish and a card with Scrystrike is that Scrystrike requires interaction. Looter is strong in part because it never has to enter combat. It generates value just be existing, and if my opponent wants to get rid of it they have to invest a card. This isn't true of Scrystrike. On both offense and defense I'm required to put my creature into harms way if I want to get my value.

    Compare a 1/3 with Scrystrike to Sigiled Starfish. The Scrystriker doesn't get to scry unless it attacks into harms way, or I leave it back to block and my opponent attacks. If I really want to scry, I can attack and leave myself open to the crack back. If I want to play it safe, then my opponent could forego attacking and I don't get my value that turn. The cards are comparable, but the Scrystriker doesn't get to both play defense and generate value the way Scryfish does.

    What is the design space for a creature with this ability? Anything with 2 or more power is bonkers strong if you can back it up with any kind of combat trick or if it can't be blocked for any reason.

    A 3/3 with the version of the ability you're suggesting would have to cost around 6 mana based on the amount of filtering it provides. A 2/1 would probably cost 3.

    The only bodies that start to look good while still being balanced are things like a 1/3 for 2 or a 1/1 with flying for 2.
    I think you've got a lack of imagination here, I'd say this ability has about as much design space as lifelink. Yes it would probably have to cost 1 or 2 mana more (at common especially), but that leaves quite a lot of room. Examples from standard alone:

    - Vampire Cutthroat: Small, evasive creatures that generate repeated value
    - Contraband Kingpin: Low power, high toughness creatures good for either attacking safely or a rattlesnake blocker
    - Nearheath Chaplain: High power, low toughness creatures that generate a single instance of burst scry
    - Faithbearer Paladin: Expensive, beefy creatures
    - Indulgent Aristocrat: Any creature that can grow in size
    - Rush of Vitality: Combat tricks that grant Scrystrike at instant speed. Much like lifelink granting combat tricks, they can be played on larger creatures to generate huge value once, without risk of repeated abuse. Plus, the scry helps combat the inherent card disadvantage potential often found in combat tricks.

    As I mentioned I think Scrystrike would show up in numbers somewhere between lifelink and double strike, but that still leaves plenty of space open. It plays interestingly on creatures of all shapes and sizes, as well as non-creatures. I'd say design space is far from the biggest problem here.

    Don't get me wrong, repeatable scry is powerful and it would be difficult to develop, but I think if used sparingly this would hardly be an insurmountable development task. I mean right now in Standard we've only got a single instance of a common lifelinker with power 3. If you just keep the higher numbers out of the lower rarities it seems fine to me. (FWIW, I do think getting huge 5 or 6 card scrys at higher rarities is a positive aspect of this. Like a 5/5 flying Sphinx with Scrystrike feels appropriately awesome the same way a huge lifelinker like Griselbrand does. Comparatively, scrying once only per hit would feel like Grave Titan's deathtouch)

    I think limiting it only to combat damage to players is the first thing development would do at minimum. But I can't see the design space being large enough to make it to keyword status (at least not immediately) but I can see it on a single flashy rare in a set where it makes sense with a possible similar uncommon thrown in for draftaround purpose.

    I think with knobs at "only player combat damage" and "scry 1 regardless of power" it could feasibly make it to evergreen status, but I think it would be like with Menace where they just print a card with it each set for a few years before deciding whether or not to keyword it. It would be at the right power level for limited and could go on bodies that aren't as anemic as looters tend to be based on the value they spew out.
    Well I definitely agree that removing the power interactions cuts out most of the interesting design space.
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on Scrystrike
    It seems like our disagreements are mostly based on larger opinions, namely that I like the current iteration of Scry and you do not. Thanks for your feedback though, you bring up good points.

    Nested Scry seems like the way to go. It also makes "Scry 1 that many times" seem like the most appealing version of the mechanic.
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on Scrystrike
    There's another thread about UB mechanics on the front page where you can suggest your own ideas. Looting has been covered pretty extensively over there. I'm going to keep the discussion focused here.

    Quote from atogstorm »
    I loved Scry in Mirrodin. It was a fun, nice, simple keyword to place on spells for added effect. But now Scry is everywhere; it's not a keyword, but a keyword action... and that's just rules baggage that hinders new players for esoteric card quality advantage.
    I pretty much fully disagree here. IMO, Scry is a great smoothing mechanic that's added very little rules baggage. Scry 1, which is the most common usage, is very easy for even new players to understand and play with. Scry 2+ is almost always kept to Blue cards, and simply replaces the "not-scry scry" abilities that would usually have to be written out anyway.

    Putting this mechanic on a creature feels really bad - if it only triggers on player damage, you scry too early.
    I don't quite understand your meaning here. I suppose the absolute "best" time to scry is on your opponent's end step, but this logic just means that any sorcery speed scry effect is "too early."

    If it triggers on any damage, it's incentive for your opponents not to attack you.
    Similar to how lifelink, deathtouch, and first/double strike do the same thing. Mechanics that are only defensive are undesirable, but that doesn't mean having defensive utility makes a mechanic worse.
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on Scrystrike
    Quote from Crypt Rat »
    This is on combat damage, so it can happen repeatedly until the creature leaves play. The complexity of planning and ordering multiple draws will drag out games.
    Another reason this is more suited to one or two cards usually at higher rarities. FWIW, limiting this to Scry 1 N times shortens it a lot as well (once you decide to keep, the rest are meaningless).

    Also why not just have it be something not tied to power, like Scry 2 or even just Scry 1?
    It's in the OP.

    On an unrelated note, I would like "Scry." to also mean "Scry 1."
    I agree.
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on Scrystrike
    I really don't like smashing them together, mostly because of how bad it looks in text, but multiple triggers is definitely something I hadn't considered. FWIW this does make the "Scry 1 N times" more appealing.

    I agree that green would be another good choice for this ability, and in my own world I'd make this primary in blue and secondary in black and green. Green is second best at card selection but it often selects specific things like creatures/lands/permanents. (Again, I would extend black to have more scrying in this universe.)
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on Top-Down Jace card
    I like granting tap abilities, it's actually a pretty creative way to give instant speed abilities. It's pretty dang awkward, but the gameplay is pretty nice at first glance.

    The design here is a bit disjointed though. The first two abilities are kinda connected conceptually, but the second two really aren't. Planeswalkers already have tons of abilities, they don't need to also have two completely different abilities stapled into one. The ultimate, while fun-ish (for one player), doesn't really help end the game. Ultimates that are only disruptive and not proactive can lead to long stalled out games and underwhelming endings (I ulted my planeswalker! Then lost after a stalled out game). If you compare to other disruptive ults, it's not as splashy as Ajani, Mentor of Heroes' 100 life, nor as back breaking as Ajani Vengeant's armageddon.
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on Scrystrike
    Quote from void_nothing »
    Reasonable, if seen in small numbers; too much of this would slow down the game considerably.
    I mean it might push even higher than lifelink to doublestrike territory (uncommons and rares, costed highly, etc.)

    Also, the million dollar question is: Could you conceivably put this in black?
    Honestly I think yes, but I'm not going to argue against those who disagree. Personally I think black and blue need to share space and "Scry beyond 1" I think is space they could share, but I also know some people (including some WotC members) don't want to change either of their pie slices to find overlap (which seems unrealistic to me).
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on Scrystrike
    Scrystrike (Whenever this creature deals combat damage, look at that many cards from the top of your library. You may put any number of them on the bottom of your library, then put the rest back on top in any order.)

    So I was brainstorming for blue combat mechanics the other day and thought of this. This is sort of Blue's version of lifelink, using combat damage as a way to gain an non-combat advantage (in this case it's card selection instead of life). It's simple and uses concepts already familiar to players. The only real issue here is how powerful the ability is, it'd have to be costed even more prohibitively than lifelink.

    Why not just say "Scry X"? WotC doesn't like nested keywords, plus you'd probably just have to write out the scry text anyway. The only thing you lose is interactions with scry triggers (which maybe is relevant enough?)

    Why not "Scry 1" N times instead of "Scry N"? That would help curb the power level. This could be the way to go, but it seems harder to parse as reminder text (you'd have to use "repeat this process N times" or something) and more confusing to an inexperienced player.

    Why not have it trigger only on combat damage to players? That could also curb the power level. This could also be the way to go, especially since it makes it more aggressive and plays into Blue's evasion. What you lose is a lot of design space for defensive creatures and creatures that are bad attackers. A 1/4 with an ability that only cares about hitting players is lot less useful. Who knows, this might be an acceptable loss.

    Why not just make it a flat number instead of having it scale with the damage done? Mostly because having it scale makes is way more interesting. You get a ton of extra design space for different sized creatures, you make ability granting cards (auras, equipment, combat tricks, etc.) a lot more exciting, and you line up better next to most other evergreen keywords.
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on The Archester Revival Thread! (Steampunk Set)
    Quote from Raptor1210 »
    I've also been thinking about Clues and Living weapons and came up with a possible solution to our issue with Component requiring another artifact to do anything. What if Components ETB attached to a blank colorless artifact token, similar to how Living weapons came in attached to Germs?
    I'm not too fond of this idea. Not only does it increase the complexity of mechanic, but it kind of undermines the idea of upgrading in general. If they all came with a natural token, we'd have to make them cost a lot more, which in turn would make them less appealing (especially having many of them in the same deck). It would also reduce the need to combine them together. Plus as grim pointed out the tokens would need to have a tap ability, which would add even more complexity.

    That said, I agree that components may be too narrow to work as a large theme at common, and we may want to look into tweaking them in some way. I'm just not sure that Living Weapon is the right way to go.

    Finally, how did you make the stickers? I've been looking around but I haven't found anything that looks good.
    I just bought some 8.5x11 sheets of full sticker paper then printed them and used a paper cutter to trim to size. The template is one of Pichoro's MSE templates.

    Quote from deritof »
    Very nice for you to be able to playtest. I have three possible solutions for Windup: We could either change the base token to be something without flying (it can remain an artifact if we want for Components), cut the artifact tag, or make it so Windup can only put counters on non-token artifact creatures.

    Honestly, I think cutting flying is a good idea since giving the "go wide" strategy evasion by default is a bad idea.
    I agree that this makes the most sense as a starting point. I'll test next time with them as ground 1/1s and see how things go.

    FWIW, the Salvage version where you exile two cards from your graveyard played OK. I think it has a lot of interesting potential but it needs some more work (and slightly more exciting cards).

    Also, I think we should do a bit of brainstorming on hybrid effects, since in all of the games we played nobody ever actually used the colorless version of the cost. Paying extra just wasn't worth it, since it was quite unlikely that you'd draw two lands before you drew one of the color you needed. The only cards were the colorless hybrid worked out well were the repeatable activation cards (i.e. the Prophet's cycle)
    Posted in: Custom Set Creation and Discussion
  • posted a message on The Archester Revival Thread! (Steampunk Set)
    Hey guys, sorry for the hiatus again but I've got news to report this time: actual playtests!

    I decided that while I was moving and would be away from the internet for a while, I'd print out some physical cards to play some games with. I just threw in a bunch of placeholder designs for the cards we hadn't figured out together yet. You can find my photo evidence here!

    This was a short session so we didn't get to play with everything. There were just a few things that we discovered right away, most notably that Windup was ridiculously strong on fliers (even at sorcery speed). Right away I'm thinking we may have to change our Thopter tokens into non-flying tokens like Soldiers or Assembly workers just to cap Windup at a reasonable power level.

    I'll let you all know more when I get to playtest again.
    Posted in: Custom Set Creation and Discussion
  • posted a message on The Archester Revival Thread! (Steampunk Set)
    For once I actually have a decent amount of free time, so if we can finish things up quickly I can start playtesting and relay my findings back to you guy.
    Posted in: Custom Set Creation and Discussion
  • posted a message on The Archester Revival Thread! (Steampunk Set)
    Hey guys, don't know if yall are still around, but I'm finally back from dealing with some family matters. I apologize for all of the delays these last few months.

    Now onto some cards:

    - I've replaced Clock In with Unwind at 2W.
    - Midnight Thopting is a bit over the curve at 2(2/W), our options are either to make it a sorcery or bump it up to 3(2/W) (which might be good now that Clock In is gone)
    - Now that Clock In is gone we should find another lifegain card. Currently we've got Pillarfield Ox as a placeholder, so we can easily slot in a french vanilla lifelinker. Alternatively, we could give Unfinished Guardian lifelink instead of vigilance and give vigilance to the Pillarfield Ox slot.

    - I left a comment on Complacent Crew: If we're changing it I'd prefer something even simpler
    - I like grim's suggested complex change.
    - Should Twitch.tv target lands?
    Posted in: Custom Set Creation and Discussion
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