Zaldinfox Card Design Part 3

This is the 3rd installment, which is slightly briefer than the other two postings. Many of the cards presented here focus on particular board states.

You can find the other installments here:

A few imbalanced ideas, but a lot of nice concepts. I miss those PlayFaeria contests!

Mostly I just admire your MS paint skills. Do you use a graphics tablet?


Haha, yes my OP paint skills on display. I should stick to those large crayola crayons! If you viewed the other two posts, there was more of an effort to get an appropriate picture, but I find it also lead to some distraction as I tried to mesh the theme with the image! I think one of the bog frogs in those earlier posts was mega OP.

I would be interested to know which specific cards you considered inbalanced in this set, and why - it always helps as I move forward with card design ideas. Thanks.

I’m back for another analysis, I guess. So :

  • taiga elementalist : for 1 more stat and taunt we create a land where we want… It might be too powerful in the early game, as you won’t need to develop your lands if it fights twice.
  • kobold trap : why not use the incendiary bomb then ? I’d rather say 5 or 6 damage
  • suffocating decay : a 0 faeria last nightmare as soon as midgame is reached ? for only 2 lands ? how can that even seem balanced ?
  • parched warrior : too strong in pandora, and in decks without events in general
  • oasis muse : has balance disappeared ? it gives lethal way too easily for Yrush/Blue event : you move your creature and at the same time you push away their taunt !
  • frog call : costs way too much for a card that only adds 3 cards to your hand, look at hold the line or tales of the old turtle !
  • gabrian dam : it will be difficult to make it worth its cost : you should move at least 5 lands while it’s not destroyed, which is way too much
  • crimson zealot : when you’ll be able to play it, it will only cost 6… may I remind you that instead you have a 8/8 protection taunt for 1 more whose price can’t be reduced any more, while you already have the taunt and charge 2… a bit too strong in my opinion, but it also doesn’t fit at all these color’s themes (not even an earthcraft or wild growth !)
  • fish food : you will never have more than one ruby fish on the board, and if you haven’t it costs 4 times its cost. It should cost only 2, being that specific
  • aged frog : too game-changing in my opinion, but I like the concept. But I’d rather have it 2/2

Thanks for the feedback Berelex! A few responses:

taiga: you seem to be expressing conflicting opinions here. Taiga is simply another land ramp option, with the detraction that it has to be in combat to function (and thus is susceptible to removal). Combat is such a slow mechanic in terms of board impact, that it is hardly close to being too powerful.

kobold trap: while it is a bit of a niche idea and overlaps slightly with Firebomb, there are some interesting interactions worth considering. You can play this on one of your opponent’s lands, preventing them from summoning a creature. This kind of delayed play which is tied to the board is really good for the tactics of the game.

decay: while it is true that sacrificing 5 creatures is not the hardest thing to do, the card is balanced around the fact that it is dead in hand without sacrificing effectively. It could stand to be more expensive and something like 2 desert and 2 forest.

parched warrior: most pandora decks do run events, though this card, if it were drafted in that format, would be quite strong. I don’t see Pandora as a significant place to balance card design since it is heavily RNG anyway. In constructed, you would be very hard pressed to make a competitive deck in Blue or Yellow without event use, and there are currently far less Yellow and Blue creatures that are both cheap and very sturdy (c.f. for example Axe Grinder and Verduran Force, Ground Shaker), or have really significant board impact.

oasis muse: yellow rush might find it useful, but I don’t think it would impact the approach in defending against them - the body is not great, and the trick can be defended against. It is really best suited for control decks. BY event would appreciate it, but then it takes up valuable draw/faeria mechanics in the form of events.

Frog call: could be right, might be too expensive, though it is adding a great deal of value to hand and can benefit from reductions (i.e. Mochi)

gabrian dam: the way I envision the card, Prophet of Tides would give you +2 faeria if you have a dam down. So it breaks even after 3 land movements. The point is not to make it extremely efficient but to bring a new mechanic to consider when buiding decks, and let deck builders find a way to maximize its use.

zealot: the real detriment to running this card is the land requirement, but it becomes a really healthy swing card if you can pump out land either quickly or in the late game. It will be dead in hand (like Icerock) for much of the game. The mechanics taunt and charge are well represented in red (taunt) and yellow (charge).

fish food: you talk like you don’t understand card design. The point is to create cards which give players tools to pursue new ideas, to re-evaluate cards which they have left alone. Ruby Fish and Gabrian Noble suddenly get an interesting new synergy, and it is all related to new kinds of board control (having the ability to drop fish all over the map. Fish Food is pretty strong as a card that allows you to plop a 1/1 body almost anywhere on the map. That is why it is so highly costed. But if it hits more than 1 Ruby Fish, it is very efficient as a buff spell (c.f. Ruunin’s Command). The card is in a good spot imo.

aged frog: jump and taunt are decent, but the requirement is specific enough that you need pieces in play for it to be broken. It could be strong enough to warrant a reduction to a 2/2 body though.

Thanks again for your thoughts and comments.

Sure, here’s my opinion on each one:

Taiga Elementalist - I love this card!

Kobold Trap - How is this ever better than Fire Bomb? On the very rare occasion that the enemy has only 1 good land to play a low Health creature on and wants to immediately buff it out of Fire Bomb range? I think I’d keep the cost the same but make it 5 damage, which is a lot more likely to actually kill a creature that’s played right on top of it.

Suffocating Decay - Kill any creature for free on like turn 4-5 for GY sac? Are you kidding me? This is the one card that just seems completely thoughtless.

Parched Warrior - Really good idea, but I think a gives too big a tempo advantage. 5-5 for 3 more might be better balance.

Oasis Muse - Way too strong. Costs the same as an offensive Flash Wind and gets both effects and a free 2-2.

Frog Call - That’s a pretty hefty cost, I can’t see how it would ever be close to worth it.

Gabrian Dam - I really like this one. It seems fair (and a really good substitute for Library in OTK decks bahaha).

Crimson Zealot - Not a very inspired design but seems fair to me. I guess I agree with Berelex that it’s kind of off theme.

Fish food - Does the new Ruby Fish get buffed? If so, too strong, if not, this could be a pretty fun card.

Aged Frog - I don’t think the land req. makes 1-3 Triton banquets for less than 1F fair. Also idk why a B/R card would give taunt, which is a Green thing. Jump and +1 Attack?