MTG: November 2022’s Custom Cards

Ah, No-Effort November is over. But the cards of the month were made the month earlier, which is why despite it being No Effort November, there was, in fact, effort for these cards! How dreadful! But the theme of the month – I’m sure you’ve already worked it out, right?

Warning: Wizards employees, this post contains primarily custom magic cards.

It’s NOvember, a month dedicated to reasons to say No. I design a lot of cards for commander, and commander is a format where most countermagic is kind of frowned on. See, part of it is that players dislike them, but not only that, the strategy tends to fail – which means a counterspell based player will often have to struggle to keep up with other players. That means you get this situation where one player does a thing that upsets another player, and they don’t even win but they sure did make one other person feel unhappy.

But counterspells are still a part of the game, and this month’s designs were for counterspells that don’t just stop the game. Normally I like hateful cards to prevent further options, to limit players from doing things you don’t want them to do. This time, the plan is counterspells that advance your game plan.

  • The default mana value was 5
  • I tried to stick to ‘counter target spell’ being isolated to cards with two coloured pips
  • I tried to make sure the cards would be good even if they were your only counterspell; that it was okay to have a deck which could occasionally say no, without needing it to be part of a big wall of counterspells.
  • Names and art, for this particular genre of effect, is surprisingly difficult, so I gave myself a bit of a pass on these.

Some small tidbits about specific cards:

  • Runic Gains’ name is based on Rune Snag, a counterspell from Coldsnap I used when it was standard legal.
  • Summoner’s Song was known as ‘John Cena’s Music’
  • The joke of Jubilee Festival is that it’s a reference to NO – New Orleans