Sets (VOW) Crimson Vow Testing/Includes Thread

Chris Taylor

Contributor
Cleave is certainly a bit weird. (Understatement of the year)
I'm not one to let "this is the only card with mechanic X" stop me from running a card I genuinely enjoy, but on the other hand:

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I've been fixing WotC design mistakes for years, what's one more?
 
We haven’t seen a kicker worded like that before. Suggestion to alternative solutions:

“Your maximum hand size is reducere by three for the rest of the game. Draw three cards. If Inspired Idea was kicked, instead draw three cards.”
 
Agree with Velrun, but I think there's a cleaner template available.



Using this Sphinx as an example, we could write it as "Draw three cards. Then if Inspired Idea wasn't kicked, your maximum hand size is reduced by three for the rest of the game."
 

Chris Taylor

Contributor
These are both fine solutions.

Anyone else notice they're running 1-2 cards of a given mechanic or are y'all not like me
 
We haven't seen it written before like this is a fallacy. We haven't seen cleave before...
Write it such that it is clear to the reader. We all live and learn. How it is written in the past does not matter.
The original (kicker) one is great!

Less mechanics/keywords is often better!
 
These are both fine solutions.

Anyone else notice they're running 1-2 cards of a given mechanic or are y'all not like me
Usually it comes down to how much additional upkeep there is for its inclusion. Like I'm not going to play cards featuring the Energy mechanic, but something like the occasional Eternalize off an Earthshaker Khenra or Champion of Wits is fine since drafters can literally just have part of the card poking out of the sleeve as an indicator. Well defined mechanics that do typical Magic things are fine by me, but not anything that introduces additional tracking elements. It's part of why I stay away from weird unique counters, just not worth the hassle.
 
A very imprecise list of mechanics that have minor representation in my cube:
Boast
Eternalize
Coven
Revolt
Plainscycling
Overload
Blurry (lol)
Adapt
Adventure
Prowess
Transform
Raid
Explore
Escape
Madness
Unearth
Delve
Dredge
Aftermath
Delirium
Unleash
Dash
Bloodthirst
Mountaincycling
Convoke
Retrace
Enchant Creature
Food
Scavenge
Evoke
Embalm
Class
Companion
Mentor
Saga
Magecraft
Disturb
Phyrexian Mana
Encore

With my criteria being "approximately 3 or less spells" and gleaned by quickly scanning through the visual spoiler. I would guess that many if not most cubes have lists like this once you actually take a close look. Keeping it to strictly 2 or less would crop the list a bit, but that's a harder number to keep in mind when you are just poring over a wall of pictures.
 
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We haven't seen it written before like this is a fallacy. We haven't seen cleave before...
Write it such that it is clear to the reader. We all live and learn. How it is written in the past does not matter.
The original (kicker) one is great!

Less mechanics/keywords is often better!

I agree with everything.

I just wanted to help (if you can call it help). People often want to use the same wording Wizards use because it gives resonance and makes the card look like a real Magic card. But custom cards are never real Magic cards so everything goes.
 
Decayed 1
Embalm 1
Energy 1
Escape 1
Evolve 1
Jump-start 1
Persist 1
Entwine 1
Scavenge 1
Unleash 1
Wither 1
Affinity 1
Cascade 1

The biggest offender is probably Ethersworn Sphinx with two abilities on no other cards, one of which is also tricky and both have to be understood before casting. I'll look for a replacement.

I can also probably replace Aether Swooper and Goblin War Party quite easily.

With Embalm, Escape and Jump-Start I'll just hope to get more cards in the future.

Ascend 2
Echo 2
Evoke 2
Renowned 2
Mentor 2
Reinforce 2
Surveil 2
Unearth 2
Undying 2
 
These are both fine solutions.

Anyone else notice they're running 1-2 cards of a given mechanic or are y'all not like me
It's certainly an interesting topic. One we have had before. I think this topis strongly depends on the community that plays that specific cube.
 

Chris Taylor

Contributor
It's certainly an interesting topic. One we have had before. I think this topis strongly depends on the community that plays that specific cube.
Yeah I heard about it in the recent mechanics episode of Lucky Paper Radio, so it's on my mind again.

Obviously there's degrees.
I don't so much mind running a single cascade card, especially one with reminder text.
I don't mind running Esika's Chariot or Grizzly Fate or Ranger Class even though they're the only things that make those tokens in my cube. (Man why green eh?)
Cleave? Cleave I could take or leave. Hell Inspired Idea might not even make it long term. I'm basically seeing if you can combine the Memory Deluge and Chart a Course slots onto one card if you make both of them worse. (Yes I know this isn't exact)


Spoiler: 2-offs Ascend 2
Echo 2
Evoke 2
Renowned 2
Mentor 2
Reinforce 2
Surveil 2
Unearth 2
Undying 2
I'm honest: Reinforce surprised me, I had to go look.
Also I'm not sure Burrenton Bombardier is properly tagged as a "blink" card, unless you mean something different by it
 
I'm considering this one actually:



I've tried removing one-off mechanics before, but it's a super annoying constraint to maintain. Every card you remove might cause a cascade of "lonely" mechanics, and adding new mechanics requires them to be added in groups. I see the appeal, but the maintenance cost was too high for me. I'll still try to avoid complicated mechanics at all, like daybound, though.
 
Took some time, but I've done the exercise as well!

ONE HIT WONDERS


Defender; Part of the learn package. Kind of annoying that this doesn't spell out on the card what defender does. The card is a good fit though, so I'm reluctant to cut it. There's space on the card to sharpie on the reminder text myself, which I will probably do as soon as someone asks what defender is...


Emblem; I cut more and more planeswalkers from my cube, and with one half-exception ([cKytheon, Hero of Akros]Kytheon[/c]), they now reside in RUG exclusively. Jace is another one of those half-planeswalkers, and this happens to be the only one that makes an emblem. Still worth it I think, because it brings so much to the table.


Ward; This is a relatively new keyword, so I expect it to crop up a little bit more over time. On this card reminder text is included, and this is such a solid build around that I am willing to give it a try for now.


Bestow; Well. That's awkward. I used to include more bestow cards, but they all fell by the wayside. This is still in because it's a good flyer, and because Zur the Enchanter can fetch it up.


Devotion; This is probably not worth the single inclusion of devotion, but there isn't really a replacement that does largely the same thing without the awkward keyword. Will have to think on this.


Disturb; As discussed in this thread already, this is the perfect ninjutsu card. I wouldn't be surprised if this is a plant for Kamigawa 2.


Escalate; This is, quite possibly, the greatest 1B discard spell ever. I want my discard spells at two mana, so I am going to include this one. Luckily for me, it spells out on the card what escalate does. As with some of the other one offs, I used to run more escalate spells, but this is the one that stuck around.


Fabricate; Another last card standing. I finally cut the adorable Weaponcraft Enthusiast in my VOW update, after cutting Angel of Invention in an earlier update (for being 1 mana too expensive for the decks that want it). Unlike the other two inclusions, the Master is an exquisite build around card, and it's great fun to ping down people by saccing a bunch of treasures or thopter tokens.


Fading; A pet card. What can I say, I like a little griefing (see Smokestack). This is a great tool in an aggressive deck, but as my cube slowly lowers in average mana cost, this might need to come out for being too ineffective. Will need to test if this card still has what it takes.


Fear; One of the best evoke cards, with great art to boot, Shriekmaw is going nowhere. Luckily there are plenty of reprints available with reminder text for the fear ability!


Living Weapon; An experimental replacement for Cranial Plating, I could see this doing a bit too much. I might revert to the Plating based on the fact that this is the only instance of living weapon anyway.


Plainscycling; This is a grindy finisher for the white control player. It doesn't often come together, but this card is great at (eventually) slogging through any number of (your own) wrath effects, while fetching that critical mana in the early game. A definite upside is that this can search for shocklands and triomes and thus provides fixing as well.


Unearth; A very recent addition, and one that might come out again soon, considering that this is the only unearth spell, and {W/B} doesn't really need this effect.


Will of the Council; White's best blanket solution for any (nonland) permanent. It doesn't even target! Not so clean textually, unfortunately, but most players familiar with the card shortcut to "exile target permanent." I would gladly replace this with a cleaner alternative. Come on WotC! You can do it!

ONE TWO PUNCH


Hexproof; Let's be honest. Hexproof suuuuuuuuucks! But it's great on Blossoming Defense, and largely irrelevant on the Valkyrie. It's annoying that neither card spells out what hexproof does, but such is the fate of an evergreen keyword in an expert set...


Amass; This is a fun mechanic, and I wouldn't mind including more of it! Maybe I can reintroduce Dreadhorde Invasion as an enchantment 'creature' of sorts to replace Herald of Torment? Lazotep Plating is also a cool counterspell, and incidentally does contain reminder text for hexproof...


Battle cry; Secretly there's also Honored Crop-Captain. This is a very simple keyword that says what it does right on the card. I don't think that Accorder Paladin is better than my other 2 mv creatures in white (at least not in my mind), but I would gladly revisit this keyword if WotC ever decided to reuse it. A Mistral Charger with battle cry would be gaaaaaas!


Dredge; I'm waiting for a playable, but not broken, blue dredge card. Until then, Life from the Loam is a great build around, and Moldervine Cloak is good at beating people down and moral support for the previously lonely LftL.


I almost entirely cut the enrage package, but these two stragglers are still there. Enrage is fun, and I'm looking forward to WotC revisiting the keyword. For now, these two were the best suited for my cube in combination with both fight spells and the two Wildfires I run.


Level up; A weird mechanic, but these two one drops are pretty decent. In a pinch you can use them to ninjutsu something onto the battlefield, but they also both provide tons of value if untouched in the late game. I was excited when they spoiled a new level up card for Modern Horizons, but Hexdrinker doesn't look like an okay Magic card to me. If anyone wants to change my mind, feel free to chip in!


Raid; It's the same card! Yes, I run two copies of this lovely little human! Raid could have been a lovely little mechanic, but it wasn't pushed enough by WotC. I'm waiting for them to repeat raid and put it on actually good baseline cards.
 
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Oh damn, Onde's post made me realize that I forgot something ...



I run the sweet full art promo version with that shiny horse skull ghost ... I really don't want to cut it but it doesn't even have reminder text ... :oops:

I'm honest: Reinforce surprised me, I had to go look.
Also I'm not sure Burrenton Bombardier is properly tagged as a "blink" card, unless you mean something different by it

Reinforce is a boss mechanic. It turn every card into a modal spell, on half is a sticking combat trick, and it also works with quite a few themes like counters, bounce, graveyard stuff ... sadly there isn't much to chose from.

Bombardier gets the "Blink" tag for having synergy with "bounce your own stuff", which is what 90% of the enablers within that theme are actually. There is always confusion with "blink", "flicker" and "bounce", no idea what is the corrected terminology here. I use flicker for exile and return and blink for bouce to your own hand, refering to the old Blinking Spirit.
 
Bombardier gets the "Blink" tag for having synergy with "bounce your own stuff", which is what 90% of the enablers within that theme are actually. There is always confusion with "blink", "flicker" and "bounce", no idea what is the corrected terminology here. I use flicker for exile and return and blink for bouce to your own hand, refering to the old Blinking Spirit.
The term 'blinking' started to be used instead of 'flickering' after Momentary Blink got popular. I haven't heard anyone refer to exiling and returning a permanent to the battlefield as 'flickering' for a looooong time, while people still call it 'blinking' all the time. I've never heard people use 'blinking' for bouncing stuff to your own hand, either, so I understand Chris's confusion :) I've heard people refer to that as 'self bounce/bouncing', 'pick/picking up (your own permanents)', 'rescue/rescuing', 'return/returning', 'gate/gating', but there isn't anything that stuck in the wider community afaik.
 
If you want to make a distinction, then blinking something returns it immediately and flickering it returns it with a delayed trigger. I think both terms are still used, flickering probably mostly in the context of its associated wisp.
 
It's not so much that I forgot it, I know that's where it's derived from, I was more so saying that people use flicker as a verb when playing with flickerwisp, as an actual card that sees play. Well, it did at least, not sure if it's been power crept out of D&T after the latest Zendikar set and then some. Meanwhile you'll struggle to find even an edh deck packing actual Flicker in the 98.
 
The "reducing mechanics" exercise is a nice one! I do find that the complexity level of mechanics should be an important facor here, though. The addition of a single Planeswalker increases a cube's overall complexity more than the addition of Cycling, Kicker and Flashback would do combined. On top of that, is a card like Lightning Phoenix much easier to understand than Flamewake Phoenix? (reduced) Text length is the biggest factor, and I think AFR showed use how trinket words can help with resonance anyway. That being said:



Boast, Escape and Kicker are currently on my chopping block anyway, although that's just because I've found replacements of the individual cards.

Historic, Bestow, Overload, Magecraft and Splice into Instant or Sorcery are those kinds of mechanics I would just wish to have more more of. For most of them I even have additional cards at the ready. I'm even considering replacing a card like Coordinated Assault with Weapons Surge now...

the Suspend and Saga cards are ones I indiviually adore, but probably add too much complexity by their lone existence. Epochrasite is gone as soon as I find a decent replacement. After this discussion, The Mirari Conjecture is as well; there're just too few saga's relevant for my environment. That being said, I do see them returning some time in the future.

And Crackleburr is just a pet card :)



I was actually planning on expanding all these mechanics to more cards anyway (except for metalcraft, which might be gone in an update or two). But like previous people have posted: sometimes a one-off mechanic just doesn't have enough juice yet: Splice into Instant or Sorcery is only present on two cards total, for example.

I excluded all evergreen keywords from these lists. I found out that I have only one card with Menace, for example, but that can literally change every set. I assume most players are familiar with those keywords anyway. Another caveat is my 180 cube size might put me at a disadvantage for lonely keyword-count, or could give me an advantage instead? I'm not sure.
 
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