I like making Magic cards. It’s easily my favourite way to engage with the game. In the name of discipline, in the name of getting cards done I will sometimes make cards I’m not wildly happy with, but largely, I like my cards. Since my normal theme of April is to try and focus on me and on being indulgent, it can be challenging to really nail down what makes a me month worth of cards. After all, many of them are my precious babies.
What can the cards be about then, in this context?
Warning: Wizards employees, this post contains primarily custom magic cards.
The April theme was Hate. Oh, and after a month of bears, no less. That had to be confusing, right? But no, it was not a month for hate bears, but a month for creatures who stand in the path of powerful strategies, in the path of your opponents winning the game somehow, and says no.
The rules for April’s cards was:
- These cards had to be primarily designed to counter a strategy, not enable one
- Creatures had to meaningfully advance the game beyond their ability – no Drannith Magistrate style 1/3s, these cards had to have some purpose in making your opponents lose by conventional, fair means.
- The cards couldn’t all just be bears. Each card would need a good reason to be a bear.
- The cards couldn’t be useless hosers that beat up on strategies narrowly with no counterplay.
Sound difficult? I found it pretty challenging. Here’s the gallery!
One thing I found I was worried by was the way that many of these cards are about dealing with specific strategies. Alias Predator, Crash Courser and Hart of the Song are all very much things that I feel should ‘fight’ Thassa’s Oracle, which should only be a problem for a play table if that’s the only way players have to win the game. On the other hand, I did try hard to make sure that a lot of these bigger, bulkier cards could still get out in time to fight the things they’re meant to stop, hence the use of things like Echo, Foretell, and Escape.
Also, I just really like Virtue of the Silent. Special mention there: I almost never use flavour text, at all. I think that flavour text is too hard to do well, and a card that needs it isn’t doing enough with the rest of its pieces, plus I hate doing Thing Doer Doer Of Things Did The Thing style writing. In this case, that flavour text, which I kind of grade at a ‘decent, but needlessly cute 7/10’ value is there to push the rules text up higher so it doesn’t squish into the power/toughness box.
There are some punny names I deeply love, which I don’t normally dwell on.
- Virtue of the Silent can be an enchantment or an angel (virtues are a trype of angel),
- Crash Courser is a combination of the plural term for rhinos and for someone who makes you learn something fast (‘a crash course’).
- Maw of Less is a pun on ‘more or less.’
- Coiled Totemic is a reference to Cursed Totem, which is why it wound up a snake. It was shockingly unliked, like, not even people looking to complain about it.
- Decisive Anther is a pun on Decisive Answer.
- Midden-Heap witch is a reference to Night Soil. A Midden and Night Soil are both terms for places human waste accumulate, just Night Soil means poo.
- Tabi is named after Tab, because I think it’s a cool nongendered name. They got shifted from eminence to split second, because ‘talking to other players’ is something that makes redditors piss their pants.
- A Flame Crown is a thing in forest fires, where the tops of trees catch flame and spread flame between themselves, without actually touching the debris on the ground.
- The Kher-Keep demagogue update is extremely different to what it was, and I like the new version better.