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Jaya Ballard Returns
 
The Magic Market Index for Nov 17, 2017
  • posted a message on Optimized Card Frame
    I had a laundry list of problems. But I've shortened it to these two points:
    1. Magic cards contain more information than normal playing cards. You can get everything you need to know about a Jack of Clubs, or a an Uno Yellow 7, by looking at the upper left hand corner. You cannot do this with a magic card.
    2. Placing the p/t box and mana boxes (variable from 1 to... like 11? boxes) in the same place confuses players; one set of boxes is relevant to play the card, and the last, final, box is only relevant when the card is on the field, yet they occupy the same space.

    Long story short: To read a magic card, in most cases you need to read the entire card. Redesigning the card frame to prioritize an incomplete set of information (and unrelated information at that) is inherently confusing. You understand your design, but it's not intuitive.

    If you don't know what your cards do, do not fan them. If you know what your cards do, fanning them doesn't obscure information that you don't already know. At best, your card design is aimed to benefit the section of magic players that have memorized a card's text box, but not it's mana cost or power/toughness.

    This is to say that your target audience has memorized the blue parts, but not the red parts of Akroma, Angel of Wrath
    5WWW
    Legendary Creature — Angel
    Flying, first strike, vigilance, trample, haste, protection from black and from red

    6/6

    Your target audience routinely confuses Open Fire and lightning bolt because they've memorized the game text, but have trouble remembering their mana costs.

    Maybe some people have these troubles. But I've never heard anyone express them before. Do you often hear people expressing these problems, or do you infer this from observation?

    I'm open to the possibility that the current card frame is not ideal. As far as I can tell, you haven't made that case yet. And the changes that you've suggested have made the card harder to interpret, and has prioritized an arbitrary subset of the card's data, seemingly to solve a problem that I've never experienced before - that some people confuse Open Fire and lightning bolt and need to be reminded, at a moment's notice, that one costs R and one 2R. And they need to be reminded without looking at the entire card... for some reason.
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on How many evergreen keywords can you shove on a 1-drop?
    Quote from harlannowick »
    If we are only shooting for "isn't op in any constructed formats," and are honestly trying to maximize the number of keywords I think we can go at least one further. Smile

    Eldric the (in)Sane W
    Legendary Creature - Human Soldier Archer (R)
    Vigilance, Reach, Flash, First Strike, Lifelink, Defender
    1/2

    You forgot haste.
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on August 6th, 2017
    StonerOfKruphix, Subject16

    Collusion Denier 1U
    Creature - Human Wizard (R)
    Vigilance
    When Collusion Denier enters the battlefield, name two cards. Whenever a player casts a card with one of the chosen names, until end of turn he or she cannot cast a card with the other chosen name.
    "You can do anything you want. You just can't do everything you want all at once."
    1/3
    Posted in: Custom Card Contests and Games
  • posted a message on Core Set Proposal: Full-Art Instant cycles and Nighthawk (U) Cycle
    Blue's evergreen colorpie status is notoriously unsatisfying. I touched on this in my Evergreen Bingo thread, but I'll say it here: Ideally we'll have 10 2-color pairs for evergreen keywords, not counting Flash, Flying, defender, and other "can be used anywhere, when appropriate" keywords. (This is a rough shorthand, for a finger discussion see that thread).

    Blue's problem is that it's tied for #1 at flying with W and #1 at Flash with G; but since both are for every color, saying flying is WU or flash is GU is a mistake.

    This leaves us with:
    UW Vigilance
    UG Hexproof (which WOTC keeps threatening to retire, despite it's importance)
    UR Prowess
    UB ???

    We've got a thread about how evergreen BU is difficult to make; I really don't see a reason to open one up for WU or to pretend that Flying is good for WU when it would buck the cycle.

    Am I asking you to swallow a pill here? I'm sure I am. Maybe somewhere along the way we'll stumble across an evergreen WU mechanic that makes a lot of sense and we want in every set. Maybe Wizards will hobble Flash to be WU (I hope not!). But until then, I think we need to consider blue getting vigilance.

    Flavorwise, blue being "awake" all the time, IE ever vigilant, makes a lot of sense. Green was said to get vigilance to represent beast's predatory nature, always being on. But it never got any iconic vigilance cards. Furthermore, as I mentioned above, it really diminished the strategy involved with fat creatures.

    If Vigilance is WU, we get a NICE PLAY DIFFERENCE between the colors. White gets to have vigilance creatures that intend to attack and block. Throwing lifelink of them feels really good. But BLUE gets to have vigilance creatures that intend to attack, then tap to do some kind of special blue thing. Counter a spell unless a player pays 1. Scry 1. Loot. Think of that cool Haste, Defender card blue got; Blue Vigilance can explore the same kind of concept, but instead of tapping 1st turn, you're attacking and then also tapping.

    Maybe you don't think it's a good idea to have 10 core set evergreen keywords aligned to each color pair. But by all measures, we've got somewhere between 6-8 set in stone and not moving. WU and BU are the two holdouts, with GU's hexproof a target and RU playing significantly differently than other mechanics (and historically being WUR. But I do like evergreen bingo as both an education tool ("Okay, new player. Can you tell me what the evergreen keyword associated with RB is? That's right, Menace!") and a designer's tool (I want to design a hybrid B/R mana creature with two keywords. Haste is GRB and menace is RB so it'll be a 2/2 haste menace for :symrb::symrb: )

    Re: Flash Prowess Hexproof - I think you're underestimating Hexproof here. The fact of the matter is that it makes this a voltron body not to be trifled with. Prowess, as I've said earlier, plays significantly differently than the other keywords and to put it on blue's member of the cycle feels like a disconnect to me. Maybe I'm wrong here.

    Re: 2. You say "they would expect that this is just something blue does regularly", which it is! Blue is #1 at "playing things at instant speed", where it be instants or flash. Quicken effectively gives the next sorcery you cast flash. And that's very blue; no?

    But, more importantly, Quicken is a teaching tool. You open a started deck (LOL, I miss those) of magic cards and you separate cards into types. What's the difference between instants and sorceries? Quicken hints that there is one! Quicken helps to teach players the differences between the types, and the value of playing things at instant speed - two essential features of the game.

    Maybe I'm wrong and focus groups will show that quicken confuses new players, rather than teaches them. But in terms of design; this is elegant, well costed, and pays for itself by cantripping (also a very blue thing). In terms of limited play, at (C) it matters in an interesting and unique way. In terms of constructed play, it gives control decks a reason to run blue other than counterspells. That's a lot of upside in one card.
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on Optimized Card Frame
    Don't fan your cards; this isn't poker and the idea that all of the information should be in the upper lefthand corner of the card is absurd.

    Are you going to put a box for keywords, so you know your angel has flying when fanning your cards?

    I just don't get this. I've never seen anyone play a creeature and then say "Oh, wait, I didn't realize that was its power and toughness."

    Is this a design intended to benefit the person who constructs the deck? Or is this a design intended to benefit someone who has never played magic before? Because seeing at a glance that Tarmogoyf is a 0/1 isn't going to help anyone.
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on How many evergreen keywords can you shove on a 1-drop?
    Vampire Nighthawk is a great design, a fun aggressive creature that despite not having the best stats for it's cost, really shows off what evergreen keywords can do, and what they can do together.

    So I thought to myself - How many keywords can I shove on a 1 drop.

    Here's what I think we could get:

    Eldric the Sane W
    Legendary Creature - Human Soldier Archer (R)
    Vigilance
    Reach
    Flash
    First Strike
    Lifelink
    1/2

    More or less, this is the Akroma of 1-drops... and I hate to say it, I don't know if he'd see much play. With flying, he'd see play. Reach + First Strike helps to make him an interesting, and possibly useful.

    Really, though, all this guy is good at is being a target for equipment and auras... and I'm okay with that.

    In any case, on a more practical note, here's a cycle of evergreen keyword having 1 drops - a strict cycle of 1/1s for C.

    Sprite Spy U Creature - Faerie Wizard (C) Flying, Flash 1/1
    Precedent: Faerie Miscreant, Hypnotic Siren, Judge's Familiar, Mausoleum Wanderer
    Kjeldoran Pikemen W Creature - Human Solider (C) Flash, First Strike 1/1
    Precedent: Mosquito Guard, Boros Recruit
    Note: If the set also has a flash, first strike knight, I think this could be subbed for Lifelink, First Strike... which is rather interesting in itself. Making it an archer with Reach and First Strike could work too.
    Nether Widow G Creature - Spider (C) Reach, Deathtouch 1/1
    Precedent: Gnarlwood Dryad
    Menacing Whelp R Creature - Goblin Warrior (C) Haste, Menace 1/1
    Precedent: Legion Loyalist, Village Messenger, Skitter of Lizards, Insolent Neonate
    Diseased Vermin B Creature - Zombie Rat (C) Menace, Deathtouch 1/1
    Precedent: Ruthless Ripper
    Alternatives: Something with Deathtouch and lifelink would be interesting (not better, but not terrible), but steps on Vampire Nighthawk's heels. Menace works really well on a Deathtoucher, I think, since you effectively kill your opponent's 2nd worst creature, instead of their worst. However, equipping it means you get to kill both.

    And, really, that's what these guys should serve to do - encourage you to equip, enchant, or drop +1/+1 counters and anthem effects.

    I genuinely hope the upcoming 2019 Core set features cards like this - cards that teach new players about the evergreen keywords, and encourages them to make interesting deckbuilding decisions.

    At present, WOTC is trying to push 1 drops by giving them stupid amounts of abilities (This from the creator of Eldric the Sane...) or by making them tremor-proof by making them 1/2s, or just making them 2/1s. 1/2s and 2/1s are important. Elsewhere I've argued green can get a 1/3 Treefolk for G even, and that's a vanilla I want to see printed for tribal as well as just general principle. But I like this "double keyword" template for common 1/1s as well. I don't think you'd ever choose most of these over Elite Vanguard, but they're still neat deckbuilding options.

    Note: I love Ranger of Eos. I genuinely hope as many invitational cards as possible get reprinted in the upcoming core set, but this is one of the most straightforward, but really adds spice to your generic White Weenie archetype. Suddenly you're not just running playsets of the best 1 drop, you're toolboxing. Dark Confidant is probably too good to make the cut, and Meddling Mage is 2 colors, something that I'm not sure we want a core set to be. Solemn Simulacrum could make it though...

    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on Imprint - Sideshow cycle
    Hatedrafting is a skill any drafter should develop.
    If you're in your 2nd pack, and you have 15 playable cards, and you have to choose between a bomb or removal off color that would wreck your deck, or a mediocre creature, you probably want to hatedraft.

    Sideshow Wizard is not great in draft; but it does make your opponent think before acting. Maybe that face-down card is lightning bolt, do you dare cast it when it can backfire? (Yes. IN most cases you do. But sometimes you don't!).
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on Optimized Card Frame
    Re: Two boxes for name/cost and type/subtype. I think the current convention of "don't overdo it" has been practical up until now. I would hate it if Progenitus's cost were to become standard, or if 5-6 creature types were to become standard. Legendary Creature - Human Orc Ninja Assassin Soldier Rebel, for example. The current card frame guards against this, in a sense.

    However, I would be interested in optional 2nd boxes for relevant cards. Arguably, I'd like to see a Legendary "subtype" line, along the lines of Planeswalkers, that helps to fix the flavor of the legend rule; and this could go out-of-box in some cases. Similarly, some names/costs might require two lines of text. I'd be okay with a 2nd line of text below the relevant one; these would be special, not standard.

    Re: Circle - You'd need it to be a symbol with a number in it. A tree with a number. A sun with a number. A fireball? with a number. A teardrop with a number. And... uh... Black's not gonna work, is it? This is why I don't think your changes work.

    It would be a lot easier for WOTC to just stop printing stupid things than it would be to revise the cardframe to allow them to print stupid things. Progenitus is kind of stupid, and it'd be more stupid with a longer name. EEEEEE is very stupid. And, yes, GGGGGG is very stupid. If you've got 5 green mana, I'm pretty sure the rest can be colorless.
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on Salvation's SCCT/OCaaT - Single Card Ideas By YOU!
    I suppose I see why you put the Scry on there... but I don't think you can get away with a 5/5 for 3GG then. Maybe just make it a 5/5 for 5G.

    Re: Mana abilities - you're probably right; cut the colorless one. Good call.

    Re: ?? - I like the thing you're going for here... but is there a way to do this so he doesn't die? Maybe "~ gains haste and double strike UEOT."?

    Also, put it onto the battlefield from where?

    Partner might fit, given his low P/T... but still, I'd want to see a suitable partner for this commander product.

    Sold Separately 1U
    Enchantment (R)
    When ~ enters the battlefield, draw a card, then name two cards. If any player casts one of the named cards, he or she cannot cast the other card this turn.
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on August 5th, 2017
    rudyard, FirstTurnManaBurn

    Cottonspore Sower 1G
    Creature - Elf Shaman (R)
    Graft 1 (This permanent enters the battlefield with 2 +1/+1 counters on it. Whenever another creature enters the battlefield, if this permanent has a +1/+1 counter on it, you may move a +1/+1 counter from this permanent onto that creature.)
    Creatures with +1/+1 counters deal no combat damage.
    1/2
    Posted in: Custom Card Contests and Games
  • posted a message on Salvation's SCCT/OCaaT - Single Card Ideas By YOU!
    You do realize that a 5/5 trample, curiosity alone would probably be super good for 3GG. No reason to make this more complex.

    Gategorger Maw
    Legendary Land Creature - Gate Spider
    Gategorder Maw is not a creature unless you control 8 other gates.
    Deathtouch, Reach
    T: Add C to your mana pool.
    Pay 2 life, T: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool.
    8/8
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on Core Set Proposal: Full-Art Instant cycles and Nighthawk (U) Cycle
    1. Re: Faerie Guard.
    Re: Vigilance - Currently WOTC wants us to think Flying is (merely) UW aligned. This is nonsense. So we need a true UW aligned evergreen keyword, and U is the worst color to design keywords for. Historically, it got vigilance, so I'm returning it here. Green vigilance is never really that interesting. On small creatures, it's irrelevant, and on large creatures it removes tension of "do I attack with my fat guy or block favorably with it?"

    Re: Prowess. Prowess would make the card far, far too strong. As would Hexproof, the UG mechanic. Which leaves the UW and UB mechanics, the latter of which is notoriously hard to get right. So, again, vigilance works and it's about the only thing that would work.

    2. Re: Quicken - Why? Indeed, making it common is perhaps the only way to make it interesting. At (U) or (R), you'll never see it coming. At (C), then whenever you play a blue/x player, you assume their sorcery-spells will have flash.

    3. Re: Red 1CMC instant - Yup. IN my Proposal 2, I've ditched the idea of having verticle and horizontal 1CMC instant cycles; downgrading Lightning Bolt to common. With this in mind, there's no impetus to have a 1CMC instant red spell, iconic or otherwise. Quite frankly a rare or mythic card that costs 1 mana feels off in most cases. How is it rare if I can get it down on turn 1. For creatures, you have the excuse that you don't run into them very often. Traverse the Ulvenwald always felt off to me. Sure, it's trying to be a worldly tutor, but it often merely plays like Land Grant.
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on Encrypt
    Could be there is too much design space. But I doubt it.

    Really?
    Just the fact that you're able to encrypt from ANY ZONE means that hand, library, battlefield, top-of-library, graveyard, and outside-the-game... not to mention exile, and target opponent counterparts of all of those... means you can't get all of them even halfway developed in only 30 cards.

    I intend to use the mechanic like energy,

    Energy is arguably the worst executed mechanic in the game's history. It's mana... done with counters... poorly. This is ingest w/ your cards, and ingest is something WOTC doesn't think will come back.

    meaning I'm going to have on the order of 50 Encrypt cards in the set.

    I'll give this to you. Kaladesh has 47 energy cards.
    http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Search/Default.aspx?action=advanced&text= [energy]&set=+[%22Kaladesh%22]

    But NONE of energy's mechanics work for me; there's so much overlap and subtle differences between the filler cards, that outside of maybe 1 cycle (the 2 drop cycle), you have to reread cards many times or you'll make a mistake. Oh, it's +2/+2 and not a +1/+1 counter. (Oh, and referencing +1/+1 counters and energy counters on the same *(^&(^&ing card...)

    So if you run 50 cards with at least Encrypt 1, then you have plenty of room for 15-20 Decrypt [cost] cards; probably staple effects. IE, Decrypt Naturalize, lightning bolt. grizzly bear, etc, etc, etc. (I assume there will be few cards with both mechanics).

    However, like energy, it seems at best you'll have cycles that do the same thing. But given we talked about ~6 zones up top, this and you'd want 1x copy for your zone, and 1x copy for your opponent's zone (if you're fully developing the open-ended mechanic of encrypt-from-anywhere), then we're talking 12 zones. Even if I give you 60 Encrypt cards, this means you have a tight cycle for each color for each zone. IE, you have a blue card that exiles from your hand, a black card that exiles from your hand, a green card that exiles from your hand... so forth and so on.

    What? You're not going to do Tight-cycles? If so, 2 points:
    1. How can you say you've fully explored your open-ended mechanic when only ONE card exiles a creature in play? (Also, doesn't that share more in common with Swords to Plowshares than any other encrypt card?
    2. Doesn't this just put you in the same bottle of poor design as Kaladesh? Where calling it "Encrypt" does nothing special, since every card works differently?
    Test: Take your sample cards. Replace "Encrypt" with "Exile." (or even "Exile Face down", which you can look at unless the card text says otherwise according to the rules.) Is there any substantive functional difference? I think not.

    Energy and Imprint don't affect the game on their own either.

    Energy is a garbage mechanic. It's mana with counters. Worse, it was used very poorly, as some cards traded in lots of energy for small effects, others traded in small amounts of energy for large effects. Sure, any energy producer that was strictly better than an existing card was something people looked at, but really? The energy decks ran cards that generated EEE not to use for their pathetic 1/1s, but to drop 15/15s or 10/10s with another card.

    But let's look at imprint.
    http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Search/Default.aspx?action=advanced&text= [imprint]

    27 cards total. Imprint lets you choose a card and IMPRINT it on another card. Why did this matter? Simple - Isochron Scepter let you play the imprinted card! This is to say that what you imprinted MATTERED for the card. Now, let's look at your sample cards:
    Enigma Encoder - doesn't care what you encrypt.
    Classified Information - ditto
    Dead Dropper - ditto
    Mole Hunter - ditto
    Unknowable Agent - ditto
    Whitewash - ditto
    Human Trafficker - ditto

    None of these cards CARE about what you Encrypt. But Imprint was all about CARING what you imprinted. That mattered FOR THE CARD. It DID THINGS.
    You're using Encrypt like Ingest.

    Ingest is a clunky bad mechanic that might mill your opponent and sought to make the milling matter by using the milled cards as "energy counters." (You see where I'm going with this?) Energy was a garbage mechanic, and Ingest is a garbage mechanic. Ingest has a terrible stormscale rating because it played so clunky.

    So, to recap: Your use of Encrypt is akin to two garbage mechanics that WOTC dislikes and won't use again. (You can wait a year after Kaladesh rotates for that announcement for energy...). However, you compare it to Energy (useful analogy for the #s alone) and Imprint, one of the BEST MECHANICS EVER, which produced several amazing cards still loved today.

    Like Imprint, you keep the open-endedness as to where the imprinted cards came from. Unlike Imprint, however, you don't care what is exiled. It doesn't matter for your cards. It doesn't matter for the game. It's a resource to be exploited. In fact, Encrypt is arguably just the "mana" system from the old Star Wars CCG...

    Flavor seems obvious to me

    I don't think you know what flavor is. The term "Encrypt" has a dictionary definition. From google:

    verb
    convert (information or data) into a cipher or code, especially to prevent unauthorized access.
    conceal data in (something) by converting it into a code.


    So when you encrypt your opponent's creature... are you turning it into data your opponent can read and you can't? As I recall, it's the only substantive example of your encrypting something other than the top card of YOUR DECK.

    Flavorwise, to encrypt something is to make it so your opponent has trouble reading/looking/finding it/understanding it. Putting information in exile sounds like encrypting... but, let's face it, it's no more "secret" there than it is in your hand.

    The more I think about it, the only interesting thing about your mechanic is the NAME of the mechanic. For the mechanic to fit, flavorfully, it has to represent keeping information secret in some way. Some way other than the normal secrecy of it being in your hand, which is usually secret enough on it's own.

    I've added this variant to the design file. I'll play with it some this weekend and see if it's worth doing.

    One final thought on this: You *NEED* to find an alternate use than "slow card draw" and "ingest 2.0" for encrypted cards.
    As I've hinted at in earlier posts, maybe make the cards that you encrypt matter.

    For example, maybe have a card that gets a special effect if you decrypt (here understood as putting into the yard, ingest style) a card of each color.

    Because your opponent cannot look at your face down cards, they'll never know whether you can activate that card's effect.

    Sample:
    Encryption Bolter 1R
    Creature - Human Wizard
    When you play ~, Encrypt 2 (To Encrypt N, exile the top N cards of your library face down. You may look at it at any time. If you would draw a card, you may instead put an encrypted card in your hand.).
    Decrypt two cards with different names, T: ~ deals 3 damage to target creature or player. (You decrypt a card, put an encrypted card you control into your graveyard face up.)
    2/1

    Note that WHAT you put into the yard matters here, and encrypting the card feels sort of secret (insofar as your opponent won't know if it satisfies the criteria in question. (Mind you, this is still ingest 2.0...).
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on Encrypt
    Your suspicion is false. In general, players will only have a few encrypted cards at any given time. The number can't get too large, or it will become cumbersome. Basically the same logic that is in place regarding hand size rules.
    I'm confident you can balance encrypt to cost better than WOTC did energy to cost.
    But even if you never Encrypt 2 on any other cards, I suspect you'll have quite a pool of cards in many constructed games. (Please don't try to make encrypt cards limited-only to avoid this.)

    Whitewash was designed as a Divine Verdict variant with integrated set themes. It's also fairly flavorful in my opinion.

    This is the ONLY card in the list that makes me think encrypting things other than the top card of your library is worth doing. HOWEVER, the mechanic would be a lot easier if all the cards acted in the same way. This is a fair design that I think should be modified for consistency. (Think if Sunburst gave +1/+1 counters to even non-creature artifacts; the slight uptick in power this would give to animate artifact is irrelevant to the bonus of the mechanic acting uniformly).

    I've considered adding a Decrypt keyword to go alongside Encrypt, but I don't think it's worth it. Decrypt would somehow be even more parasitic and just isn't overly interesting. I can include a card or two with "This may be cast from exile" or "this may be cast from exile while it is encrypted." if I want the effect, but it isn't something I would want a ton of.

    Decrypt [cost] would require lots of encrypt support. I'd be okay with that, it would lead to an archetype. It would lead to straightforward practical designs for cards that would see play in that archtype and no other, cards that would fill normal limited roles. (IE, that burn spell).

    Of course, you could make a "you may play this from exile for the cost" mechanic NOT called decrypt, that lets you play even cards that have been exiled in other ways... but that's got problems, since WOTC doesn't like interacting with exile (except when they do...). But if your set has encrypt, having decrypt feels really good as well (whatever that mechanic turns out to be).

    I think being able to encrypt any card is useful and interesting design space.

    I think it suffers from the same problem as Kicker - the design space is too big. Heck, look at your sample cards. Some use Encrypt as an alternate hand. Whitewash uses it as a removal/punishment.

    Effectively "Encrypt" as is is just face down exile, and that's not particularly interesting. There exist many cards that let you exile face down, and many that let you look at face down exiled cards in various ways/circumstances.

    Compare this to MY version of Whitewash (I should have given it a different name, sorry) - That card gives your opponent a resource they wouldn't otherwise have - a rather steep one if you go with suggestion b. - and yet, against a non-decrypt deck, it's a great card!

    Long story short: Limitations create design opportunities. Wizards has talked about this at length. Notably, WOTC explained that Kicker was too broad as effects like Evoke and Replicate could be done as kicker costs as well. Being able to encrypt spells from elsewhere is only interesting is encrypt does something, and I hate to say it, but right now encrypt's not doing anything. It's not affecting the game on it's own (where as Scry and clash do...), and it's not even clear what the flavor behind it is (especially if you can't decrypt).

    As second sets are no longer a thing (and I probably wouldn't go through the trouble of making one anyway)

    I'm not sure if this is a practical way of thinking. How long did the 2-block set format last?
    I'd prefer to explore the design space of Encrypt as much as reasonably possible in its first outing.

    And yet, if it's this open-ended, you CANNOT do this.

    Look at Evoke. Evoke has still not been fully explored, but it did a lot of great, clear things in it's opening set. Compare this with Kicker, where Kicker is still not fully explored.

    I intend to use Encrypt in all the ways you mention, and more besides

    Not in a 300 card set you don't. It's a keyword action; you won't have more than 30 cards with it, and maybe 10 with decrypt. Thus you need focus. What does Encrypt do?

    Again, I encourage you to do this:
    (To Encrypt N, exile the top N cards of your library face down. You may look at it at any time. If you would draw a card, you may instead put an encrypted card in your hand.)

    What does Encrypt do?
    1) It improves card selection.
    2) It acts as a resource (having encrypted cards can trigger effects; cards can get bonuses based on the # of encrypted cards you have, etc.)
    3) It lets you decrypt them (in some way).

    All three of these lead to interesting play experiences that play differently in different formats. There is variety in this limitation. There will be several kinds of Encrypt decks. And in limited, Encrypting w/o 2 or 3 is still useful, since it allows for card selection.
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on Forceful Will
    How about
    Forceful Will [no mana cost]
    Instant
    Counter Target spell.
    Flashback 3UU

    :p

    Yeah; yours is too good for standard. I suppose as an uncard it might be fun, but still...
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
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