Today is my graduation ceremony, and tomorrow is a trip to Utopia. No, seriously. It's a real place.
What I'm getting at, though, is that I won't be here tomorrow and I'll probably be worn out on Sunday and not feel like posting anything. So I'm getting it all out of my system now. Three days worth of cards, all in one day. Exciting, no?
Didn't post this yesterday because I was at my magic group's third random standard tournament. It's like choose your own standard, except you don't get to choose. More on this tomorrow (i.e. later today) when it's not 3 A.M.
"Protection from Humans" is a dangerous ability to put on a card. It turns humans into a tribe, something Wizards has tried very hard to steer clear from. It's not exactly a human lord, but it's something.
Interesting. On a noncreature permanent, "protection from BLANK" is the equivalent of "can't be the target of BLANK spells or abilities." But although they mean the same thing, this way is more elegant. And if anyone should go to the effort of making Shadowscape into a creature, there's no reason it can't have added protection.
Surprisingly, nothing has protection from tokens yet. Vindictive Mob scurries right on past saprolings and Dogged Hunter eats any kind of token for breakfast, but neither of them are immune to tokeny violence. I think that wizards should print a card with protection from tokens. I'm not so sure that card should be aggressive, though.
Guardian Horror was initially designed top-down. I found the art, knew what I wanted the name to be, and designed the card from there. This is not the method of design that I reccomend as practicality can become lost in fervently pursuing your initial ideals. However, it is mighty tempting. In the Horror's case, I think it turned out all right. Guardian angels are supposed to protect you from bad things, and this Horror is a bad thing that protects itself from you.
Torturous End does something entirely different using scatter. The other cards essentially said "Each player does BLANK." Torturous End says "BLANK happens once for each person playing." Those two phrases may sound alike, but they have entirely different meanings. Trust me.
The length of scatter's rules text bugs me. It's just long enough to go onto that third line, but not long enough to have much of a presence there, you know? That little "it" sticking out there, all alone. It doesn't look good. Nor does the isolated "turn." I could just shrink the font by adding flavor text, but I can rarely come up with text I like enough to use.
If you thought that last card was crazy... This thing is sick even in two-player. They may get insects, but you'll have twice as many. After all the copies (and the original) have resolved, you will control at least half of the creatures on the board, no matter how many people are playing. And consider multiplayer for a moment. Let's say Timmy, Jhonny, Spike, Melvin, and Vorthos each have one creature. Timmy plays Swarm Calling and it scatters. The Callings resolve from the top down. Vorthos gets 5 insects. Melvin gets 10. Spike gets 20. Jhonny gets 40. Timmy gets a whopping 80 insects. He smiles a Timmy smile, passes the turn to Jhonny, and dies end of turn to Hidetsugu's Second Rite. Don't act so surprised. Melvin always plays this deck and every time he manages to pull off the Rite. It's uncanny.
EDIT: I already used the art for Swarm Calling on another card. You got a problem with that?
What scatter basically means is that each player plays the spell. It's slightly more complex than that, but that's mostly nitpicky rules issues that won't matter most of the time. Here's how it goes down:
You play a spell with scatter. The spell goes on the stack. The scatter ability goes on the stack. Each other player puts a copy of the spell on the stack. If there are two or more other players, the put the spells on the stack in turn order. Since these spells are copies, the scatter ability does not trigger. The spells resolve. Because of the way the stack works, they should resolve in reverse turn order. Barring any (as of yet nonexistent) stack-order-manipulation, your spell will resolve last.
Scatter isn't a wuss mechanic like ripple or cascade. There is no "may" in the text. Each other player must play his or her copy. Mana production is my favorite thing to be even-handed with as the same amount of mana can seriously help you and seriously hurt your opponent. Unless, of course, Wizards gets rid of mana burn. That would be tragic.
Hey now! You rememberreclaim? There's a whole lot of copying going on here, so let me clarify things:
Both reclaim and scatter are triggered at the same time, so I believe you get to choose how to stack them. When the scatter ability resolves, each other player copies this spell. Since their versions are copies, their scatter abilities don't trigger. However, the reclaim abilities of these copies still trigger, so your opponents are given the option of reclaiming two lands to copy their Dreamcrafts. When the reclaim ability resolves, if you reclaim two lands, you can copy your Dreamcraft.
Because of the way it works, scatter will only trigger once (on the original spell). I want reclaim to work so that it only triggers once for each scattered spell and once for the original. Unfortunately, I believe the current wording means that you can use reclaim on each of the copies created by reclaim abilities, which was not my intent. The easiest fix would be adding an "if it's not a copy" clause to reclaim, but that would change the way Dreamcraft functions. Currently (at least in my ideals), it makes each player draw a card and then gives each player the option of bouncing two of their lands to draw another. If I added a "not a copy" clause to reclaim, it would each player draw a card and then give only you the option of another.
Why yes, I did run Enigma Sphinx with only one Plains and no mana fixing. The one game I actually played it, I cascaded into a Soul Manipulation (The worst result possible). Still, I won that game by using Slave of Bolas to steal my opponent's Akrasan Squire and swinging for exactly lethal with my now 6/5 flier. You don't always have to use your stolen creature to attack.
Slave of Bolas is so good!
You know what's not so good? Flurry of Wings. I didn't get it, but Frank had it in his deck and it was completely underwhelming. He never attacked with enough creatures or was attacked by enough creatures for it to be good. It was a little disappointing, especially after I'd got so excited about it. Frank went 1-2. I blame his four-color deck (says the guy playing a four-color deck). He played an obelisk and a borderpost (Bant and Mistvein, I believe) although he had two more that he could have. I don't like playing obelisks and borderposts. Mana fixing is nice, but the cycling cards just strike me as far better options. If you draw one early game, it fixes your mana. If you draw one late game, it might actually be relevant. I might even prefer Monstrous Carabid and its ilk to the artifact, but that's just me. If you get the chance to draft borderposts and cyclers, go for it. But if it comes down to a choice between those two, I greatly favor the cycling dudes. What do I know about drafting? It's not like I went undefeated or anything.
If you ever find yourself in the vicinity of Austin, Texas, feel free to post a comment on the most recent Card of the Day. It would be my pleasure to meet, draft with, and ideally crush you. No hard feelings
This card wants to be part of a cycle, but it isn't. Come up with what the others should be and who knows, I might make them. Then again, I might not. No promises.
Vitaly S. Alexius is one of my favorite artists to use, along with SnowSkadi and Ling Yun. There are a lot of other spectacular artists on Deviantart but these are the best fantasy artists I've found whose work is both plentiful and consistently not copyrighted. Kudos to them. They are fine people. Denes Nagy and Adam Vehige deserve honorable mention in the category of prolific fantasy artists but I'm not such a huge fan of their styles and only use them when desperate. Mr. Vehige I find particularly cartoony.
This card is coming. Wizards will print it or some equivalent. Two mana (same color) straight-up destroy a creature. It may take five years, it may take twenty, it may take even more but I guarantee this card is coming.
A combination of Elvish Visionary, Ironshell Beetle, and Monk Realist.
The random standard thing went pretty well. Sergei showed up and used one of Benny's decks (Swath/Grapeshot combo) and Frank played a Mind over Matter/Arcanis/Dream Halls combo deck. Dream Halls might or might not be banned. Those of us with more than one deck switched them out, although I mainly stuck with red/white aggro and Benny usually went back a white weenie deck with Armageddon. The decklists may or may not show up at some point. I'm not gonna write a whole lot about it now as I have an AP test or two to study for and what with playing Magic all yesterday my time is sorta precious.
EDIT: We redistributed blocks and core sets using a random number-generating program. Here are the new blocks and core sets we've been assigned (as far as I remember): Grell - Time Spiral, Urza Block, and Ninth Draco - Shards, Masques, and Tenth Benny - Lorwyn, Tempest, and Seventh Frank - Shadowmoor, Invasion, and Eighth Sergei - Kamigawa, Odyssey, and Sixth
Red/Green aggro is looking pretty good for me and I'm itching to play a Wild Pair deck. It's all fairly exciting.
I have a W/U Griffin deck that I made to win a bet (it's actually fairly good); a R/W aggro deck that never seems to get the job done; a G aggro deck that runs Rogue Elephant, Harvest Wurm, Fallow Wurm, and Emperor Crocodile and works spectacularly when it works at all; and a W/B control deck that wrecks aggro. If you think I have a lot of white decks, you should know that I'm considering adding white to the mono-green one. Savannah Lions and Armadillo Cloak are so damn inviting. I know Draco has a Druid deck (he made it for the same bet), a Treefolk deck, two different elf decks, a Reveillark combo deck, and a Guile control deck. He was thinking about making a Faeries variant that ran Donate and Carnival of Souls but he might not have it done by then. I don't know what Frank's running and I'm not sure he knows either. Benny says he has eight decks, which is quite believable. I know one is mono-black control and I know one is a white weenie. After that, it's all a mystery. He probably has a madness deck, though.