Recent updates to Labyrinth: (Generated at 2014-03-09 21:19:04)
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Also, while I really want this card to work and be flavorful, I'm open to going another route entirely if it is necessary and/or works better.
Hmmm... right you are. Dang, it's almost kinda embarrassing to have that pointed out considering I'd made a similar argument once as to why I dislike Think Twice (in short: 5 mana for card advantage of 1). Lol.
But... this still doesn't do anything! It causes a shuffle, it replaces itself, but it doesn't actually do anything. Okay, it's a 1-mana instant cantrip so things like Wee Dragonauts and Nivix Cyclops will like it, but the point is they'd like a cantrip that actually does something (eg Crimson Wisps) much more. This doesn't "draw cards", it "draws a card", i.e. replaces itself. It doesn't fill up the graveyard like Burning Inquiry or Faithless Looting.
Changed the wording just a bit, so now we've got a freshly shuffled deck and the other cards out of the way and safely on the bottom.
And, yeah jmgariepy, that reverse brainstorm is actually a pretty clever idea. I'm gonna make that card if you don't. :p
Also, while idk if red 'needs' a cards like this, but it certainly does appeal to a certain archtype of player, I think. Personally, I love U/R and drawing cards. Burning Inquiry is one of my favorites.
You got to be careful with that line of thought, since red isn't supposed to get straight card draw, and this is, randomness aside, straight card draw. I mean, the top two cards of your library are just random cards, too. What difference does it really make if you take cards 1 and 3?
I'm not trying to be a spoiler. Though, I got to admit... I'm also in the camp that doesn't quite 'get' this card as it stands... but I also understand the need for a card like this, if not only to amuse a certain archtype of player. It's harmless... but draw two cards for instant speed stops being harmless, and starts breaking the color-pie.
As Alex's earlier comment; dumping the cards on the bottom instead of shuffling would at least help the "have to shuffle" horridness.
Getting two random cards would need a serious cost bump. Red does random; so it is at least a red card still. I can see it as an inspiration mirror - but the cost needs to be 4+
Maybe if you put two cards on top of your library first, then drew three random cards from the top six cards, like a reverse Brainstorm?
I may have designed a completely different card, though. 8p
Whoa, so it'd be a red Inspiration? That seems to be too far the other way.
I like it too, Vitenka. :D
Alex, would making it cost and adding: 'Draw a card.' be fine? I really want to keep the feeling of a 'random-scry' but you make a good point.
I like the concept of random-scry.
So... it's a red instant cantrip that forces a deck shuffle, and does nothing else. It's like Crimson Wisps that's worse in both gameplay and in logistics. I think at the very least this should put the other 3 cards on the bottom, to avoid the logistical pain.
I guess if the set has a lot of Index / Sage Owl / Halimar Depths effects, you can know when the top 4 cards are ones you want to skip past?
I think Jack's option would be basically useless. If I'm going to have to deal you 30 damage to mill you out, odds are I'll have won already by then. (Modulo a large amount of playable lifegain such as in Extort decks.)
V's right that good-in-combat creatures are safer to make good-out-of-combat too and cost them appropriately, but making safe cards isn't how you excite players...
Another possibility would be to do both, "whenever this deals damage to a player, put that many cards from the top of their library into their graveyard". I'm not sure that's a good idea, but it would be interesting.
I'm not sure which combination would balance best. Poison seemed to work surprisingly well. The difference is that poison is a secondary life total that starts at 10, but milling is a secondary life total that starts at 25-40. In theory poison creatures should be smaller, and mill-only creatures (though not mill twice times creatures) should be larger. (Eg. Drake is 3/2 rather than 2/2.) But I don't know how that affects the balancing.
Mmm, their fix there was Wither; which made it be ALWAYS infect, even when fighting creatures.
I don't know what the equivalent of that is when fighting creatures (Put them on owners library? Very harsh. Put them in hand?) but it might be worth considering as a direction to go.
As it is, in most decks, this is an efficient blocker with "Cannot usefully attack"; with the side option of there maybe being possible a deck with an alternative win condition; but it being very risky to allow such a deck to be built because it might completely dominate limited.
If the creatures are more useful when blocking or blocked; it would (counterintuitively) be safer to have them also be dangerous when unblocked - because then they're just a "This creature is good!" and easy to cost appropriately, rather than "This creature is usually terrible! But sometimes good! Argh!"
Also, of course, poison had been around for quite a while; they have a fair idea of whow powerful it is. Of course; that's also true of mill - and neither poison nor mill we see much of, in most sets.
That's an interesting question (assuming we're talking about should you, and not can you). I, um, don't know. Instead, let me ask you a question in response to that question. Do you think Scars of Mirrodin would have been a better block if Infect creature had the option of dealing normal damage, if their controller wanted to do that instead?
Possible? Totally. If you do, it gives the player the choice of win cons, which addresses jmg's issues; however, it also creates a tension, which may be bad. BTW, you should probably have a less generic name for this card.
So I just thought of this: would it be possible to make it modular? Something like: "When this would deal damage to a player, you may have that player mill that many instead." kinda like Ophidian and friends.
Tricky thing about the mechanic is that it's so much better in limited (Players have roughly 30 'life'. Questionable creatures can provide glue for decks. Creatures that deal damage can be run anlongside creatures with alternative victory conditions) than constructed (the opposite of all that). It makes it very tough to balance right. I suppose that also makes it rewarding when the effect is balanced right as well.
All I do know is that the set should have very few graveyard interactions. Talk about a way to nerf a good ability...
Yeah, and if it was hit by Giant Growth, it'd mill for 6. This is a damage-modification effect like wither and infect, and so its reminder text resembles the reminder text for wither as on Boggart Ram-Gang etc.
I think the point is that Drake would mill 3 on contact, not just 1.
Possible better wording for Erode,
Erode (Whenever this creature deals damage to a player, that player puts the top card of their library into their graveyard.)
Follows the standard wording of magic a bit better.
Reminds me of Ondu Cleric.