Possibly Misguided Vintage Card Design Theory!

@moorebrother1 / @Griselbrother

I feel like these designs are telling.

"Ancestral" is just good and it would be run in most blue decks. I suspect it's better than Ponder in almost everything, and better than Brainstorm in decks that specific reasons to want to discard. I would love to play with this card but I doubt it makes the format more balanced.

"Erase" is just a strictly better Fragmentize. Since Fragmentize is already very good, this would obviously see play. Note that "uncounterable" is the least important in artifact hate, because a Workshop deck isn't going to misstep this. Even if it didn't have the "uncounterable" clause, this would be the best Disenchant effect ever printed. I don't know that it would hurt the format, but I'm not sure whether we want them to be that good.

but "Ritual" and "Growth" are just unplayable affects. No deck would be improved by these cards, and I'm having difficulty imagining the situation in which I would want to have counters for them. Without deviating too much from the design discussion, I really feel like if you're looking at a card like "add BB, uncounterable" as better than "add BBB", then you are dramatically overestimating how bad it is to get your cards countered, and you're probably not running cards that you should be running, out of fear that someone might answer them. Getting your cards countered isn't nearly as bad as not running any cards that are worth being countered.

"Lightning", though, is the most interesting card, which I could see being relevant in maybe a Delver metagame? It has close parallels with Sudden Shock which costs one more but is also much better against Arcbound Ravager and Monastery Mentor and sees almost no play anymore. Still, I think this card would have no downside to the format, and have some small positive impact.

Let's try something :

"Sacrifice Not"
Enchant world (could be classic enchantment but i like the flavour of it)

  • Any static or triggered ability that has 'sacrifice' in its effect should be read as if there was no sacrifice to be done and the ability will resolve as if the sacrifice had been done.
  • Any activated ability that has 'sacrifice' in its cost can't be activated.

I am very bad at wording so it could be obviously improved. However, the goal here is to promote some new strategy while hurting a few other ones as a side-effect. Namely :

I can't find any vintage playable card that fits the first ability of that card so i guess it won't produce overpowered effect but it may make some new cards vintage playable. The most obvious synergy is with cards such as ball lightning and similar cards (that happen to be mostly red). I could not look at every card but maybe some obscure card could become a combo.
The second ability hurts quite a lot of cards but if we look only at vintage playables the main targets are ravager and fetchlands. In that way, this card is not so far from blood sun.
Basically it could enhance blood moon decks while putting some nice restrictions on blue and shop decks (by the way, shop decks have no easy way to deal with enchantment).
Maybe i missed some importante card and this could lead to overstrong effect because sacrifice is usually a strong way to reduce card power.

last edited by albarkhane

@brass-man These are like opening bids.

Erase probably needs a cap like enchantment or artifact with CMC 2 or less

Ancestral is similar to See Beyond and could be played at the 1 blue as a sorcery.

The ritual card is to make black combo more playable. Making it BBB is broken, I thought 2 could make it work. Maybe something like B and 2 colorless as uncounterable?

The green card is weak, maybe adding a berserk like effect could make it better but as an uncounterable spell you have to be careful. If it doubles a creatures power like berserk and did not give trample the creature may not be too powerful. Or it could add Hexproof, and pump but there are already quite a few of those spells.

last edited by moorebrother1

@moorebrother1 at cmc 2 or less erase is still considerable as a 4 of for dredge i think. dredge wants uncounterable 1 mana disenchant much more than anyone else because everyone else wants them primarily for shops which doesn't have counters while dredge wants them more for everyone else's cages, RiP, crypt, etc. we already play abrupt decay, and uncounterable shock or 1 mana disenchant would definitely see play.

Really interesting thread Andy - and though I largely agree with your opening statement, I think 1) WOTC pays too little attention to the format for us to get these cards other than by pure fluke and 2) The dribble of relevant hate cards we get is still useful. I think a card like Thalia, Guardian of Thraben is a nice example of a card that sits somewhere between the two - we probably mostly saw it as just another hatebear when printed, but she is also probably the nearest card we have to legitimising various underplayed aggro strategies.

I'd really like to see a non-blue card that helped make Cabal Therapy a thing - it feels like one of the few cards that could help a green-black deck disrupt opponents efficiently enough to keep up.

Something like:
Sepulchral Scout
When Scout comes into play, look at target players hand.
When Scout dies, draw a card.

But hell, I'll settle for anything format playable in the next set...Damping Sphere, though a hate card, looks promising. I think we lost Null Rod as a strategy once Delver hit the scene... be interesting to see if this could replace it.

Peace out!

Some ideas. I tried to keep these remotely printable

The greatest disenchant 2WW
Destroy up to two target Artifacts or Enchantments
Cycling 2W
When you cycle ~, destroy target artifact or enchantment

This is a slow, but essentially unstoppable, disenchant. You can't be prisoned out of this or countered out of this, and relevantly, isn't a 1-for-1. Likely on the very strong end, as Krosan Grip has seen play in the past, and is a very similar spell. Certainly sees play, but isn't some world beater

Solemnity in Peace 2W
When ~ enters the battlefield, remove all counters from all permanents
Counters can't be put on permanents

This shuts out Ravager almost entirely. It also shuts out planeswalkers out of the blue decks (and can get value on the way in). Finally, it does prop up a Dark Depths strategy. Likely a completely fair and printable card, though unlikely to be printed since Solemnity exists. Kind of a null rod for planeswalkers (with the side benefit of crushing ravager).

Let's play Fair 1W
(1): Counter target Activated or Triggered Ability unless it's its owner pays (2)

Likely a nightmare of power level, but this is fantastically strong, flexible...and can cleanly hose most current strategies. You could tweak the numbers to work with the power level, but there's legitimate play in the card.

@hierarchnoble said in Possibly Misguided Vintage Card Design Theory!:

Here is my attempt:

Hum of the Forest - 2G
Surge G
Draw a card for each creature you control with power 4 or greater.

This is designed to create a modern Oshawa Stompy deck in the current metagame. It would be a deck using Survival of the Fittest and Bazaar of Baghdad to fuel quick Vengevines by casting cheap or free Basking Rootwallas and Hollow Ones. A deck like that requires card draw to make up for the card disadvantage of its engine.

I based this card off of Inspiring Call. The drawback of which creatures count is roughly similar, maybe even in favor of Inspiring Call. I figured slowing the card from Instant to Sorcery and removing the indestructable clause was enough to make a situational cost reduction. Since Vengevine already promotes casting multiple spells in the same turn, Surge seemed like an elegant way to reduce the cost.

The problem with this spell is the amount that it is win more. If I have 2 4/4s in play, I'm (usually) just winning the old fashioned way--no need to draw more cards. If I have 3, I'm winning even more!

A cooler example might be "draw a card for each creature with power 4 or greater in your graveyard" (and make the card an instant. it still has some clever tricks (around Vengevine+Survival, maybe dredging), but, but it's primarily excellent when behind and bad when ahead early, which gives a real tension in how many of the card you want in your deck.

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