Card Design Thread For Improving Vintage Metagame and Gameplay



  • We already have an “anything goes” card design thread. I’d like to start a similar thread that is a bit more focused. I’d like for this thread to be for cards that, if published, would likely result in an improved vintage metagame and improved vintage gameplay.

    Improving the vintage metagame means that the card should either reduce the effectiveness of current dominant strategies, or increase the effectiveness of current second-tier strategies. A good litmus test here is to see which cards are a hot discussion for potential restriction. But the effect should not be too violent (e.g., a card that says “I win if you have Mishra’s Workshop in play”).

    Improving vintage gameplay means that the card improves the interactivity and skill-level of the game as a whole. The publishing of the card should increase the likelihood that the more skilled player wins. This can be achieved either by designing a card which requires skill to play with/against, or by designing a card which neuters the effect of existing skill-reducing cards. To illustrate, highly skilled players are better able to reason about hidden information, so cards like Gitaxian Probe which reduce hidden information reduce the skill advantage, making it a poor design choice. A card that somehow makes Gitaxian Probe less playable would be a good entry for this thread by virtue of neutering a skill-reducing card.

    To put further constraints on design, the card should not introduce power creep. Ideally, the card is not playable in Standard. This makes it more likely that Wizards might adopt some of the popular proposals without worrying about the effect of the card on more important formats.



  • I will start with a proposal for a green anti-aggro-Workshops planeswalker. The key ability for vintage relevance is the bolded one; I didn’t put much thought into any other aspect of the card.

    Nissa, Wolf Whisperer
    1GG
    Planeswalker - Nissa
    3
    +1: Create a 2/1 green Wolf creature token.
    +1: Put a +1/+1 counter on each creature you control.
    -2: Move all +1/+1 counters in play onto target creature.
    -6: All creatures you control gain first strike and trample until end of turn.



  • Well, these I just posted in the other thread would be cool. Make Eldrazi Great Again!

    Thalia's Sanctuary
    Legendary Land
    T: Add 1
    T: Add 1W. Use this mana only to cast creature spells

    Thalia's Servant - W
    Creature - Human Soldier
    Whenever you cast a creature spell, until your next turn, non-creature spells your opponent cast costs 1 more to cast.
    2/1

    Thalia's Blacksmith - 2W
    Creature - Human Soldier
    Tap two untapped Human creatures you control: Destroy target artifact or enchantment.
    2/2



  • I've always wanted to see the Elemental Blast cycle finished like this:

    White Elemental Blast - Counter target black spell, destroy target black permanent.
    Black Elemental Blast - Counter target white spell, destroy target white permanent.
    Green Elemental Blast - Counter target BLUE spell, destroy target BLUE permanent.



  • Gatherer of the Communion
    Human Mentor
    1G
    Flash
    X/X
    Power and toughness equal to number of creatures you control. Draw Y cards during your upkeep where Y is equal to half the number of creatures you control rounded down.



  • @serracollector that would put our SotF deck over the top



  • Sorry about the meta-like post without any card designs myself:
    In reading this question, I wonder whether the prompt is talking about skill in deckbuilding, in in-game play, or both. I think it is challenging to create cards that will clearly do both, but it is a reasonable goal, and I would love to see how designers think their creations would address these considerations.

    Personally, I think that bolstering enchantments as a permanent type could open up space in the metagame. This could come from a toolbox/opalescence planeswalker as well as additional printings. And by shifting the metagame (were such a strategy to become feasible), sideboard and deck construction would have to adapt, making in-game sequencing and permanent removal more of a consideration.

    Unrelated, I would love to see a card that requires players have at least as many lands in play to cast a spell, for many of the same reasons as above.

    Last, a mechanic that gave an effect/put a permanent directly into play without the stack (similar to forecast, without the resuability) would be interesting (if a slippery slope), since it would dodge both sphere effects and counters.

    Just some thoughts. Thanks for the thread!



  • @archae that mechanic already exists in the channel mechanic from kamigawa, and assorted other variants(bloodrush, cycling variants) of the: pay some amount of mana, discard this card, get an effect. slice and dice is an example of a card that sees some play.



    1. unrestrict fastbond
    2. strong black creature thanks to which it is possible to play mono-black or BG creature deck.


  • -Insert cool name here-
    1W
    Enchantment

    Whenever a creature enters the battlefield, you may exile target permanent opponent controls and then return it to the battlefield.

    Sacrifice -insert cool name here-: Exile target permanent you control, then return it to the battlefield. If -insert cool name here- would go to a graveyard from anywhere, exile it and all cards in all graveyards.

    (And then I woke up...)



  • @blindtherapy True! But none of those effects puts that permanent onto the battlefield, and that possibility is one I find intriguing.



  • @archae if you want things to enter the battlefield without being cast, there's already plenty of options, they just don't come from the hand. vengevine or all of dredge.

    there's quite a few things printed with alternate casting costs from the hand but specifically printing something that puts itself into play from the hand is mostly just confusing, since in most situations why not just cast it?
    obviously we might want it to ignore spheres/counterspells, but the former doesn't exist much in the formats wizards focuses on for design and they print uncounterable things occasionally for the latter.

    if you want to put permanents into play ignoring spheres and counterspells in the meantime play lands.



  • @blindtherapy I understand what you're saying; I'm trying to respond to the idea in the original post. I'm not looking to play these cards, but rather suggesting design space that would be interesting for vintage. The OP even talked about making a card that would not impact Standard but would in Vintage.

    I'm not sure you're understanding my post, or the goals/desires stated therein.



  • @archae I think i kinda forgot what thread i was in...

    thinking more of what wizards would actually print into standard mechanics-wise more than what cards would fit the prompt if they were printed

    anyway wizards should print a tabernacle for artifacts, that's my suggestion for this thread. make it tap for a colorless since they don't like doing non mana producing lands



  • Duty-Free Zone
    Legendary Forest Island
    When Duty-Free Zone enters the battlefield, exile a card in your hand.
    Tap, Pay 1 Life: Add {G} or {U} to your mana pool.
    If a permanent controlled by an opponent would increase the casting cost of a spell you would cast, it instead reduces the casting cost by an equal amount.
    "Welcome to the Tropics."

    Population Control
    1W
    Instant
    Split Second
    Exile target creature and all tokens that share a color with it.
    Flashback 2WW
    When Population Control is cast from a graveyard, draw two cards.

    Protection from Abuse
    2W
    Enchantment - Trap
    If you or a land you control becomes the target of a spell or ability controlled by an opponent, you may put Protection from Abuse directly onto the battlefield.
    Whenever a spell or ability controlled by an opponent targets a land you control, that land gains hexproof until end of turn and you may destroy up to one land that opponent controls. You may search your library for a land and put it onto the battlefield, tapped.
    Whenever you become the target of a black sorcery controlled by an opponent that would cause you to discard one or more cards, you gain hexproof until end of turn and may draw a card. You may then have that opponent discard a card or you may choose up to three cards in that opponent's graveyard and exile them.
    Cycling: {W}
    "It's quite fair. If you don't like the punishment, don't do the crime."

    Voice of the Oppressed
    1G
    Human Advisor
    Flash
    Lifelink
    When Voice of the Oppressed enters the battlefield, gain control of all blue planeswalkers target opponent controls.
    Instants that target creatures you control cost {1} more to cast.
    2/2
    "Somebody had to put an end to all that nonsense."



  • Unmount - 1W

    Instant - Trap

    Split second

    If a counter is put on one or more permanents an opponent controls this turn, you may cast Unmount without paying its mana cost.

    Remove all counters from target permanent.

    If a counter is put on two or more permanents an opponent controls this turn, instead remove all counters from all permanents that opponent controls.


    Cemetery Peacekeeper - 1W

    Creature - Human

    Flash

    If an opponent had two or more cards put into their graveyard from anywhere this turn, you may cast Cemetery Peacekeeper without paying its mana cost.

    When Cemetery Peacekeeper enters the battlefield choose sorcery, instant, creature, artifact or enchantment. Exile all cards from target opponents graveyard of the chosen type.

    2/2


    Kjeldoran Saboteur - 2W

    Creature - Human Soldier

    Flash

    If an opponent controls four or more artifacts, you may cast Kjeldoran Saboteur without paying its mana cost.

    When you cast Kjeldoran Saboteur, until end of turn activated abilities of artifacts your opponent controls can't be activated.

    When Kjeldoran Saboteur enters the battlefield, destroy target artifact.

    2/2


    Kjeldoran Hero - 2WW

    Creature - Human Knight

    Flash

    In an opponent controls five or more artifacts, you may cast Kjeldoran Hero without paying its mana cost.

    When Kjeldoran Hero enters the battlefield, until end of turn creatures you control gets +1/+1, lifelink, first strike and protection from artifacts.

    3/3


    Battlefield Peacekeeper - 2W

    Creature - Human Cleric

    Flash

    If an opponent had one or more creature enter the battlefield from their library or graveyard this turn, you may cast Battlefield Peacekeeper without paying its mana cost.

    When Battlefield Peacekeeper enters the battlefield, exile target creature. That creature's controller may search his or her library for a creature card, reveal it and put it into their hand.

    Whenever a non-token creature enters the battlefield under your opponent's control, if it wasn't cast, return Battlefield Peacekeeper to its owner's hand.

    2/1



  • Sphere of Bluesistance
    Artifact 2
    Blue and Artifact spells cost 1 more to cast.



  • Warped Enoptron -
    1
    artifact

    Tap, exile a card in a player's graveyard: Put target card in that player's graveyard on top of that player's library.

    Players draw from the bottom, rather than the top of their libraries.



  • Manteia

    2u - Instant

    look at the top 3 cards of target players library and put them back in any order.
    Draw a card during the next upkeep.

    You may cast Manteia for u if it is cast during any player's end step.



  • Kioku-no-ouchi

    (b/w) (b/u) b
    enchantment

    Cumulative Upkeep: 1 life

    If an opponent would tap a permanent for mana, that opponent loses life equal to that amount of mana and you gain that much life. Then that opponent adds that amount and type of mana to their mana pool.

    When Kioku-no-ouchi leaves play, draw a card.


 

WAF/WHF