Ravnic's Custom Pokémagic-Cube

As some of you might've read in @Brad 's Pokémon thread, I had been designing a similar project for a while. I tried as well to create a custom cube, that's a hybrid of magic (mechanically) and Pokémon (flavorwise). After I aw all the cool designs Brad postet and the appreciation he got for those, I felt motivated to share what I'm doing as well.

So, my general approach was to keep the colors of magic and fit the Pokémon into those. I also try to stay true to Magic's color pie. Two big new things are the evolution mechanic and the status changes. I'll show you what I mean right now with the first bunch of cards, than regularly I'll post more and more, just like Brad only maybe a bit slower. Please feel free to leave me any kind of feedback!

Bulbasaur evolution and "poisoned"


GC2 Bisasam 1.jpg

~Energetic Bulbasaur {1}{G}
Pokémon - Grass, Poison
Reach
At the beginning of your upkeep you gain 1 life.
2/2

Reach stand for Bulbasaur's vine whip attack, the lifegain is it's absorb move and it plays into a green theme.

GC2 Bisasam 2.jpg

~Flourishing Bulbasaur {1}{G}
Pokémon - Grass Poison
Reach
{G} , {T}: Put a +1/+1 counter on ~. Activate only as a sorcery (renamed as "Aktion").
2/2

The counter represent the growth move. Counters is another theme you'll find on more cards.

GC2 Bisasam 3.jpg

Vertania Bulbasaur {1}{G}
Pokémon - Grass Poison
Reach
{1}{G}, {T}: Target Pokémon without a status change is now poisoned. Activate only as a sorcery (renamed as "Aktion").
2/2

Huh, poisoned? I'll show you

Z Statusveränderung vergiftet.jpg

When a Pokémon get's a status change, you just attach one of those marker cards. Think of it like an aura token. Poisoned says: "At the beginning of your upkeep, this Pokémons controller puts a -1/-1 counter on it."

But that's only one of the two big things.

GC4 Bisaknosp 1.jpg

Resting Ivysaur {2}{G}{G}
Pokemon - Grass Poison
Evolution from Bulbasaur {G}
Reach
Whenever ~ evolves, you gain 3 life.
3/3

So evolution works almost like mutate, except you can only put the evolution on top. They become one Pokémon with the text boxes of both. And "evolution from XY" can only be played on a Pokémon with XY in it's name. In many cases, you also have evolve triggers, those work both ways. So when you put Ivysaur on Bubasaur, you'll gain 3 life, and when you put Venusaur on Ivysaur, you'll gain 3 more. The toughest part is to make evolving good and tempting without making the evolutions wortless to hardcast.

GC4 Bisaknosp 2.jpg

~Growing Ivysaur {2}{G}{G}
Pokémon - Grass Poison
Evolution from Bulbasaur {1}{G}
Reach
Whenever ~ evolves, proliferate.

I tried to have further synergies between basic Pokémon and evolve triggers to make it more worthwhile.
A cycling theme is supposed to help with finding the right pieces, while most of the removal will be kept sorcery speed to reduce the amount of 2-for-1's.

And finally ...

GC6 Bisaflor.jpg

~Venusaur, Force of Nature {4}{G}{G}
Pokémon - Grass Poison
Evolution from Ivysaur {2}{G}
Reach, trample
At the beginning of combat on your turn, put a solar counter on ~- Then, if there are two ore more solar counters on ~, remove them and it deals damage equal to it's power to target Pokémon.
5/5

The solar counter ability is bviously meant to mimic it's solar beam attack!

Excited to finally share those!
 
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I'll probably steal the status effects. I have the Obsidian Fireheart text (but for creatures) on Vulpix and Ninetails as a burn already. Which ones do you have?

I worry that Evolution is going to feel really luck based in how many of the lower tiers you picked up in the draft and then if you happen to draw them, as well. That said, you could give it split second to make it so your format isn't bound to the old aura vs removal issue.

The variety of names and art is pretty cute.

i love the art and the design of the cards! the good ol’ yellow border is very nostalgic
Think I should tick a couple boxes and switch to yellow on mine? I considered it in the early phases but decided to worry about it later. I probably should, considering I'm using Pokemon card backgrounds, huh?
 
i am a pokémon tcg player from way back in the Red/Blue days, and one thing i’ve always loved about the tcg is the art direction. you get all kinds of cute stuff like crocheted/knitted pokémon, pokémon made of clay… and the overall aesthetic of the cards is just so energetic and fun.
 
I'll probably steal the status effects. I have the Obsidian Fireheart text (but for creatures) on Vulpix and Ninetails as a burn already. Which ones do you have?
I do have confused (50% of dealig it's damage to controller instead), paralyzed (50% chance of getting tapped on upkeep) and asleep (tap and only untap when you wi the flip) coming. Yeah, there are coinflips involved, but these are all just removal-light. I think poison will get used the most.

I worry that Evolution is going to feel really luck based in how many of the lower tiers you picked up in the draft and then if you happen to draw them, as well. That said, you could give it split second to make it so your format isn't bound to the old aura vs removal issue.
I hope to design it in a way that just hardcasting a evolution is worse, but not by much. That's the mot ricky part however. I think evolving instead of casting is worse until you make the evolve cost real cheap and/or add triggers.

If as it is now, I think it will happen that people chose to cast Ivysaur when they have a Bulbasaur on board. Three life/proliferating might just not do much at some points in the game, and when the mana discount doesn't matter all that much, you'd rather have the extra body and extra stats.
 
Day two of "spoilers", continuing to post the starters ...

Charmander-Evolution

RC2 Glumanda 1.jpg

Clever Charmander {1}{R}
Pokéon - Fire
When ~ enters the battlefield or evolves, it deals 2 damage to target player.
2/1

Charmander basically just has simple attack moves, so I just tried to create decent aggressive two's here. This one's a slightly better Viashino Pyromancer. But there's more!

RC2 Glumanda 2.jpg

Raging Charmander {1}{R}
Pokémon - Fire
First strike while attacking
{R}: +1/+0 until eot. Activate this ability only once per turn.
2/1

This one interacts interestingly with one version of Charmeleon and Charizard. Remember the firebreathing ability!

RC2 Glumanda 3.jpg

Flaring(?) Charmander {1}{R}
Pokémon - Fire
Whenever ~ blocks or becomes blocked by a Pokémon, i deals 1 damage to that Pokémon.
2/1

Here we have an Ashmouth Hound with the slight upside of potentially evolving later. Asit is, it's a nice little beater for the early game. {R/W} is the typical aggro deck and they need cards like this to function.

RC4 Glutexo 1.jpg

Flamethrower-Charmeleon {2}{R}{R}
Pokémon - Fire
Evolution from Carmander {1}{R}
has first strike as long as it's evolved.
{R}: +1/+0 until eot. Activate this ability only up to twice each turn.
3/2

The idea here is, that you can use the firebreathing with first strike, if you evolved it, and one additional time even when you evolved it from Raging Charmander.

RC4 Glutexo 2.jpg

Inspired Charmeleon {2}{R}{R}
Pokémon - Fire
Evolution from Charmander {1}{R}
Whenever ~ evolves, exile the top card of your library. You may play it until the end of your next turn.
3/2

This one might just be a little too dependend on you evolving it, as a 3/2 vanilla for 4 is pretty bad. Maybe it should get a keyword too?
It's basically a cantripping aura if evolved, but it can trigger later when you got this bad boy:

RC6 Glurak.jpg

Charizard, Skyinferno {4}{R}{R}
Evolution from Charmeleon {2}{R}
Flying, Haste
{R}: +1/+0 until eot. Activate this ability only up to three times each turn.
5/5

thi on the other hand is still a killer when hardcast. However, if you get the whole evolution done with the right pre-versions, it can firebreath twice as much!

I am burning to hear your feedback!
 
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First patch coming!

GC4 Bisaknosp 1.jpg GC4 Bisaknosp 2.jpg GC6 Bisaflor.jpg

I gave the Ivysaurs a simple +0/+1, as a 3/4 reach for 4 feels like a better floor when you can't evolve them for the lifegain/proliferate trigger.
Venusaur gets the same stat bonus for continuity's sake. It lost trample as it's definitely strong enough as a 5/6 reach that deals 5 every other turn.

Here, the poison ability was little cheap, I made it cost 3 now.

GC2 Bisasam 3.jpg

Vertania Bulbasaur {1}{G}
Pokémon - Grass Poison
Reach
{2}{G}, {T}: Target Pokémon without a status change is now poisoned. Activate only as a sorcery (renamed as "Aktion").
2/2


RC4 Glutexo 1.jpg RC4 Glutexo 2.jpg

The Charmeleons got upgraded, to make evolving less of a necessity to feel good about them.

Flamethrower-Charmeleon {2}{R}{R}
Pokémon - Fire
Evolution from Carmander {1}{R}
{R}: +1/+0 until eot. Activate this ability only up to twice each turn.
3/3

This one lost the evolved-conditional first strike but got +0/+1 to be less fragile.

Ambitioned Charmeleon {2}{R}{R}
Pokémon - Fire
Evolution from Charmander {1}{R}
Haste
Whenever ~ evolves, you may untap target Pokémon an opponent controls. You may have it gain reach until end of turn. It blocks ~ this turn if able.
3/3

This one still can get you a card when it evolves, but it comes more from the synergy with Charmanders/Charizard.

Next post will be Squirtles!
 
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Squirtle-Evolution


UC2 Schiggy 1.jpg

Torrent-Squirtle {1}{U}
Pokémon - Water
~ gets +1/-1 as long as it's tapped.
Cycling {U}
1/3

The idea here is that it comes out of his shell to battle. And it's flexible as a 2/2 attacker, a 1/3 blocker or a 1-mana cantrip that works with the {U/B} discard archetype.


UC2 Schiggy 2.jpg

Curious Squirtle {1}{U}
Pokémon - Water
Whenever ~ evolves, draw a card.
1/3

It can be a early blocker that draws you a couple cards, but maybe this one is again too reliant on evolution?


UC2 Schiggy 3.jpg

Wild Squirtle {1}{U}
Pokémon - Water
{1}{U}, {T}: Tap target Pokémon.
1/3

I am a fan of cheap tappers, especially when they have other upsides too - like working with the {W/U} tappers theme.


UC4 Schillok 1.jpg

Irascible Wartortle {2}{U}{U}
Pokémon - Water
Evolution from Squirtle {1}{U}
Flash
Ward {1}
3/4

This is a great surprise blocker, but the combination of flash and evolution lets it work as a combat trick too! I'm proud of this design tbh.


UC4 Schillok 2.jpg

Surfing Wartortle {2}{U}{U}
Evolution from Squirtle {1}{U}
Ward {1}
Whenever ~ evolve, return target tapped Pokémon an opponent controls to it's owner's hand.
3/4

Here we have a mild tappers payoff, that bounces Pokémon with it's surfer move. It also follows the priciple of solid body plus solid evolve trigger, which is probably the way to go for those middle evolutions.

Ready for the big boy?


UC6 Turtok.jpg

~Blastoise, Hydropumper {4}{U}{U}
Pokémon - Water
Evolution from Wartortle {2}{U}
Ward {2}
At the beginning of combat on your turn, return target tapped Pokémon an opponent controls to it's owner's hand.
4/6

Also rewards you for tapping. Or having a Wartortle. Or just casting this card.
And note how the ward abilities of it and the Wartortles stack when you evolve here.
 
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Now you picked your starter! Your eager to start your epic adventure, walk out into the wilds and the first Pokémon you encounter is ...

... Rattata!

Not exactly the most glorified Pokémon, but I've alays had a soft spot for those little rats. So I tried my best to create simple but cool cards, that would have their uses in my environment. I've long debated wether I wanted them in black or white (or maybe even red). Rats have been traditionally black in magic, although they are social field animals, just because they like dirt and garbage - but that part wasn't ever a part of how Pokémon depicted Rattata and Raticate, so I decided to do them in white.

Rattata-Evolution


WC1 Rattfratz 2.jpg

Wild Rattata {W}
Pokémon - Normal
2/1

The basic Savannah Lion just seemd to fit it perfectly. It's super simple, super cheap, yet can actually cause quite some damage.


WC1 Rattfratz 1.jpg

Dousing Rattata {W}
Pokémon - Normal
As long as ~ is tapped, it gets +1/+0
1/1

This one might seem strictly worse, but it actually isn't as it keeps that ability when you can evolve it into Raticate.


WC3 Rattikarl.jpg

Disciplined Raticate {2}{W}
Pokémon - Normal
Evolution from Rattata {W}
As long as you've cast two or more spells ("Handlungen") this turn, ~ hast first strike.
4/2

The {R/W} archetype is 2-spell aggro, where this should be a hit in. Also, casting two spells just isn't two hard and it can be threatening with instant-mana up. If you cast it for it's evolution cost, that's also very cheap, which makes it easy to have your 4/2 or 5/2 first striker hit them immediately.
 
One color is still underrepresented so far. I feel like the whole Pokémon world is leaning less towards black than the other colors, but there are actually a few fitting beings and concepts. Here is one evolution that works well in black and supports two cool draft themes with "poison" and "discard matters".

Grimer-Evolution

BC3 Sleima 1.jpg

Hungry Grimer {2}{B}
Pokémon - Poison
Whenever you discard a card, put a +1/+1 counter on ~.
Cycling {2}
2/1

It feeds from the trash. That you discard. get it?


BC3 Sleima 2.jpg

Toxic Grimer {2}{B}
Pokémon - Poison
When ~ enters the battlefield, up to one target Pokémon without a status change is now poisoned.
2/1

It's like a cheaper, slow Nekrataal.


BC5 Sleimok.jpg

Mean Muk {2}{B}{B}
Pokémon - Poison
Evolution from Grimer {1}{B}
Whenever ~ evolves, up to one target Pokémon without a status change is now poisoned.
Poisoned Pokémon get -1/-1.
Cycling {2}
3/3

This ooze-y friend here is basically a living blob of toxic waste, seems logical to me to make it a poison-lord, increasing the speed of the poisoned Pokémon dying. It's good if you can evolve it OR in a dedicated poison deck OR if you really care about cycling maybe, but it should be very desireable once your deck ticks two of these boxes.

Come back tomorrow to see what a spell looks like in this cube!
 
Today, I'll not only how you a spell, but also a draft-archetype sign post for {G/U}!


G/U - "Gotta catch them all!"

YGU Eichs Fachwissen.jpg

Oak's Expertise {6}{G}{U}
Sorcery
~ costs {1} less to cast for each type among Pokémon you conrol.
Scry 3, then draw three cards.


With this archetype, just like in the video games, you are rewarded for having a variety of Pokémon types in your team. Drafting different types and multi-type Pokémon gets you cheaper/stronger effects. The flavor is: The more you know about different types of Pokémon, the better a trainer you can be.

Regarding the artwork, I would prefer to not use screenshots from the Anime, but I haven't found anything better or even remotely useful for a depiction of Professor Oak, so this one stays for now.
 
Following yesterdays theme, here is another spell. This one is a nice intersection between the "Gotta catch them all!"-archetype and the +1/+1 counter archetype. It also depicts Erika, who is one of the five (six) trainers that will be depicted on mutliple cards.

GN3 Richtige Pflege.jpg

Proper Care {2}{G}
Sorcery
For each Pokémon-type among Pokémon you control, put a +1/+1 counter on up to one target Pokémon of that type.
A good trainer understands the individual needs of her Pokémon.
 
Today I'm gonna show off three kinds of removal spells this cube will have.

RN2 Flammenwurf.jpg

Flamethrower {1}{R}
Sorcery
A Fire-Pokémon you control deals damage equal to it's power plus 2 to target Pokémon. If that Pokémon is type Grass, Bug or Metal, it deals twice that much damage instead.
Cycling {2}

The first category are attacks, that want youto have (a) specific type(s) of Pokémon. Those tend to be more powerful if you can cast them and most of them will have cycling. I'm trying to stick close the flavor and lore here.


WN1 Sternchauer.jpg

Swift {W}
Sorcery
This spell can't be countered.
A Pokémon you control deals 3 damage to target Pokémon.

The second category are attacks that can be learned by a high variety of Pokémon, thus you still need something in play but it doesn't matter which type it is.
Here we have swift, which always hits (can't be countered) and always deals a certain amount of damage.


BN4 Giovannis Kommando.jpg

Giovanni's Command {3}{B}
Sorcery
Chose two -
- Return target Pokémon card from your graveyard to your hand.
- Target Pokémon gets +2/-2 until end of turn.
- Sacrifice a Pokémon. If you do, draw cards equal to it's power.

The third kind are your regular removal spells. Those are actions by humans and not flavored as attacks.
Here we have Giovanni's Command, which showcases how Team Rocket's boss exploits Pokémon for his own gain. It might also be part of a very cool cycle, we will see tomorrow ...
 
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As you can see, with the attack spells I included weaknesses into the mix. That being said, I'm still not quite sure how I want to implement these. Since most of the removal spells will be damage based anyway, I'm considering this versio for them. It's an elegant template, but quite a lot of extra information. Do you guys think that's worth it?

RN2 Flammenwurf alt.jpg

It basically lists 3 types to which it will deal 2 extra damage and three type to which it will deal 2 less.

@Brad what do you think? Do you mention weaknesses/resistances in any way?
 
Finally ...

The Commands

I made the commands a pick-2-out-of-3-cycle, which just led to more cohesive designs than 4 options.
I also made some instat and some sorcery speed, because that freedom as well allowed for individually good designs.


WN4 Ashs Kommando.jpg

Ash's Command {3}{W}
Instant
Chose two -
- Prevent all damage that woud be dealt to target Pokémon.
- Return target Pokémon card with mv 2 or less from your graveyard to the battlefield.
- Draw a card.

Ash protects his Pokémon, he never gives them up, and he keeps learning. This spell is also a nice way to get some card advantage in a creature deck. This one's instant speed.


RN6 Jessie and James Kommando.jpg

Jessie's and Jame's Command {5}{R}
Sorcery
Chose two -
- Untap target Pokémon and gain control of it until end of turn. It gains haste until end of turn.
- Creatures you control get +2/+0 until end of turn.
- A Pokémon you control deals damage equal to it's power to any target.

Jessie and James steal your Pokémon (temporarily), they attack you with all they got and they use their Pokémon to Wreck Havoc. This Command represents a cool game ender where all the modes synergize in a different way with each other.


GN4 Erikas Kommando.jpg

Erika`s Command {3}{G}
Sorcery
Chose two -
- Put a +1/+1 counter on up to two target Pokémon.
- You gain life equal to the greatest power among creatures you control.
- Proliferate.

Erika makes her Pokémon stronger, she cares about resting and healing and she makes every plant(-pokémon) grow. A midrange-y, sorcery speed pump spell that synergizes with 3/4 green themes.


UN2 Mistys Kommando.jpg

Misty's Command {1}{U}
Instant
Chose two -
- Put a +1/+1 counter on target water Pokémon.
- Tap up to two target Pokémon.
- Draw a card, then discard a card.

Misty loves water Pokémon, she pushes through defenses with her aggressive temper and she is picky and knows what she wants. This one felt hard to balance. It had to be blue, by feeling, although Misty is a pretty red character actually. It's a tempo spell here.


BN4 Giovannis Kommando.jpg

You know this one already. Giovanni gives his Pokémon no rest, he makes them attack with no concern for their wellbeing and he prefers personal wealth over them.
 
@Brad what do you think? Do you mention weaknesses/resistances in any way?
I never got a notification for this. :rolleyes:

I'm hesitant to encourage too much weakness-related text because it can be feel bad to happen to be running the wrong kind of deck for the spell to either work really well or really poorly.

I like how you templated it, but I'm going to be really butthurt if I'm running a green deck against a red deck because I'm way behind as soon as I see you play a Mountain.
 
I never got a notification for this. :rolleyes:

I'm hesitant to encourage too much weakness-related text because it can be feel bad to happen to be running the wrong kind of deck for the spell to either work really well or really poorly.

I like how you templated it, but I'm going to be really butthurt if I'm running a green deck against a red deck because I'm way behind as soon as I see you play a Mountain.

I didn't include tribal because of this. Red will have two fire attacks, but also rock, ground and fight moves plus a few normal moves. And green decks will not only have plant and bug pokemon, but also poison and ground types. And in return, it has a plant attack move that's effective against red's ground/rock types. Sure, it is sometimes a little luck included, but almsot every deck will have pokemon that are vulnerable or resistant towards a spell like flamethrower.
 
I didn't include tribal because of this. Red will have two fire attacks, but also rock, ground and fight moves plus a few normal moves. And green decks will not only have plant and bug pokemon, but also poison and ground types. And in return, it has a plant attack move that's effective against red's ground/rock types. Sure, it is sometimes a little luck included, but almsot every deck will have pokemon that are vulnerable or resistant towards a spell like flamethrower.
I guess that the imperfect fit of Pokemon into MtG's colors does somewhat level out the imbalance, but I'd gravitate towards very mild buffs and debuffs.

"If it's X type and would die, exile it instead."
"Hexproof from X."
"Deal (large)N damage. If it's X type, destroy instead."
"Destroy target nonX creature."

Things where a card isn't twice as good in one matchup as it is in another.
 
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