Creature — Dinosaur
|Have (2)||, metalmagic|
Printings View all
|Core Set 2019 (M19)||Rare|
Combos Browse all
|Commander / EDH||Legal|
Latest Decks as Commander
6 days ago
Hello everyone. I’m DeinoStinkus, TappedOut’s resident crocodile and ultimate master of jank and underappreciated strategies. This is the article series Strange Tales, where we’ll be exploring everything custom, from the craziest custom cards and user-made formats to wild speculation and analysis of sets.
Today we will be viewing the wonderful (and sometimes controversial) world of custom cards. Custom cards are one of my favorite MTG activities. However, it is often difficult to design a custom card well, and this is why some people do not like custom cards. These people see custom cards as a waste of time and they think people make the most broken cards they can whenever they can just to show off. While this may be true of some custom card designers, it is certainly not true of all if not many creators. Many custom card designers are there to create fun cards, and try to keep them balanced. Of course, it may combo with this card or that, but this phenomenon happens all the time in real R&D (think Faeburrow Elder infinite combos or that god-awful Cauldron Familiar combo) so it is really not a viable reason to not like custom card design. However, there are a few people who devote much of their time to custom card design. TappedOut has an incredibly large thread known as the “Custom Card Challenge” which actually first introduced me to the idea of custom cards. Now I’ve been doing custom cards for over a year and I have to say it is a really sweet experience. However, there are some things you have to remember when designing a balanced custom card. These will be discussed below.
The first element of a balanced custom card is average mana investment. This is the average amount of mana one would pay for a certain ability, power, toughness, et cetera. For power/toughness, the general rule I go by is this:
The sum of the power and toughness divided by 2 is the mana cost. Toughness carries significantly less weight than power on this note, which is why Aegis Turtle exists but we have never seen a 1-mana 3/1. Additionally, as the mana cost gets higher, the mana cost will often be lower than the P/T. Vorstclaw is a good example of this phenomenon, but many green rares also fall under this rule. These include Gargos, Vicious Watcher, Aggressive Mammoth, Gigantosaurus, and Elder Gargaroth. While on the topic of the first three, another rule I hold by is this:
The more colored mana a creature has, the better its P/T can be for its mana cost. This is why cards like Niv-Mizzet Reborn are not analyzed as deeply, because the chances of having true rainbow by turn 5 or less is low enough so as not to break parity with the rest of the board.
Flying also contributes to mana cost. In fact, I have a pretty routine list of abilities and their average contribution to mana cost:
+1 mana: flying, menace, skulk, “: Add one mana of any color”, and double strike
+½ mana: the rest of the abilities, including but not limited to trample, first strike, reach, and vigilance
These are just examples of how much mana one might routinely put into these abilities, but what about other abilities? Well, that’s up to you. Activated abilities are more about balancing the mana cost of the ability itself rather than adding mana to the CMC, and triggered abilities are more subjective. In general, adding two mana for card draw is decent but not overpowered.
We’ve only been talking about creatures, but what about instants/sorceries? In general, here are the rules for balanced variables:
Lifegain: an average of 3 life per 1 cmc is fine, lower cmcs can have a lot (like Chaplain's Blessing). Card draw: one card per 1.5 cmc is general, adding other effects to a single card draw is acceptable (see Preordain). A general formula for drawing X cards is . Destroying creatures: 1 per 3 cmc, cmc decreases as more creatures get destroyed. Conditional effects based on P/T or cmc are usually 3 cmc while conditional effects based on color are usually 1 or 2 cmc, such as Deathmark or Doom Blade. Damage: Usually 1.5-2 damage per mana spent is pretty good. Artifact/enchantment removal: In general, removing one of the two specifically is one mana while removing either is 2 mana. I hope this clears things up about what mana costs typically apply to custom cards.
Now, custom abilities. Designers can often fall into the trap of designing custom abilities that are either way too complicated or way too pointless. I’d say that for a custom ability you should always at least try to envision how it would play out in a deck. If the ability dominates or just has no effect, cut it. An example of an effect that just feels meh is first strike. First strike was intended to be a decent ability for creatures to have. It can come in handy for some games (for example, Grim Initiate is a powerful common creature partly because of its first strike) but the higher P/T you have the less impressive first strike seems. However, first strike has its applications. Combined with deathtouch your creature becomes nigh untouchable. Glissa, the Traitor and Pestilent Kathari have these two abilities together. Combining a custom keyword/ability with another is often a unique way to bring life to a custom card. Custom abilities such as thoughtlink (whenever this creature deals combat damage to a player, draw a card) are interesting and replace text that already exists (in this example, on cards like Curious Obsession and Sixth Sense). Meanwhile, there are many abilities with quite a bit of text that while incredibly difficult to understand at first glance make for really interesting gameplay. One such example from the main game is Mutate, featured on cards like Nethroi, Apex of Death and Migratory Greathorn.
Overall, custom cards can be built very well or they can be the ultimately powerful entities many people believe them to be. Personally, I see nothing wrong with designing a 13/13 with flying, trample, infect, menace, rampage 10, and afflict 10. If you’re designing it for play, obviously this will not make the cut, but there is no issue with people letting loose and designing an insanely broken card every once in a while. My version of this is redesigning powerful cards. Everyone has something different that
Thanks for reading my article! Feel free to leave some feedback below or contact me about any ideas you have for future articles, I plan them one in advance. My email is [email protected] if you want to reach me that way. If not, have a good day, be cool and kind to everyone, and GIVE ALL YOUR WORLDLY POSSESSIONS TO seshiro_of_the_orochi, a fabulous custom card designer from whom I have learned much about balancing custom cards. See you next time where we will talk about an issue in cEDH that plagues the whole format! See you then!
4 weeks ago
Gigantosaurus Rex G G G G G G G G G G
Legendary Creature - Elder Dinosaur
'Cause, there needed to be another Gigantosaurus, with trample that kills people instantly via commander damage.
Challenge: Make a legend card for Steve from Minecraft.
1 month ago
Massacar and AT23, although these are all good suggestions, I don't think they are the best for the deck. Scence this deck generates so much mana, I feel that Steelbane Hydra is a better removal card. It is unlikely that my opponent will play anything that desperately needs to be removed in the first 3-4 turns, ant by then I am tapping for about 7 mana. Even if I play Steelbane Hydra for only 4, My opponents will hesitate to play any enchantments. As an added bonus, I can pump it up with Leyline of Abundance for basically infinite removal. As for Carnage Tyrant, I am not sure how much better it is with how I currently use the deck. Gigantosaurus is mainly used for either it's devotion to green and sacing for card draw, and I usually attack with a pumped up hydra with a Declare Dominance. Carnage Tyrant will definitely go in the sideboard though, for if gigantosaurus keeps getting removed or countered.
1 month ago
1 month ago
1 month ago
Gigantosaurus is also a very good green devotion card, as it is a 10/10 for only 5 green mana.
2 months ago
Talara's Battalion, Steel Leaf Champion, Golden Guardian Flip, Shifting Ceratops, Yeva, Nature's Herald, Challenger Troll, Garruk's Packleader, Garenbrig Paladin, Gigantosaurus, Thragtusk? Keep in mind I don't play modern, and don't know your meta. that being said, hope this helps
2 months ago
Recommended additions and reasoning:
Mirari's Wake, Mana Reflection: These come at cheaper mana costs than your Zendikar Resurgent. Drawing a card on the Resurgent is good, but not good enough, since you have to cast the creature. While you likely will have enough mana to do so, it is going to be less common than cheating out the creatures. Additionally, Mana Reflection will work with all permanents, not just land. So your creature and artifact mana will double as well.
Exploration, Oracle of Mul Daya, Bloom Tender: all phenomenal sources of ramp. Highly recommend Oracle for the ability to remove land fromt he top of your deck, allowing you to dig that one card deeper... where you will find...
Kozilek, Butcher of Truth: Even if you aren't casting Kozi, you get a massive beater with Annihilator, and as a huge bonus, he helps recycle your graveyard in the event of a board wipe. Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx, Gaea's Cradle: You run a ton of green permanents, and if you take the Mana Reflections from earlier, you double the number of green you get from it. It is a really cool way to generate a ton of mana super quickly. about the Cradle, creature heavy decks can always benefit from it, and again... Mana Reflections doubles it.
Warstorm Surge, Stalking Vengeance: 2 enchantments that give you free damage that you can use as removal for opponent's creatures or nukes to the face. Additionally, fun interaction with the surge and the Blightsteel Colossus I also recommend, the Surge says the creature deals the damage... unblockable 11 infect shoots someone out of the game.
Panharmonicon: In a deck with a ton of creature based ETB effects, this artifact is a must. With the Surge from earlier out, now you get 2 of those triggers.... Eternal Witness: Phenomenal recursion, and can save you by getting back something you need from the graveyard.
Genesis Wave: Now that we have you pumping mana out like a pro, Genesis Wave for 40, and watch as a large amount of unnecessarily large creatures enter the battlefield and turn them sideways because you have...
Urabrask the Hidden: Yeah that's right, get that haste, and if someone tries to flash in a blocker it's useless.
Avacyn, Angel of Hope, Sigarda, Host of Herons, Privileged Position, Vigor: Because nothing says "fun" like having a boardstate that is hard to remove. Additionally, damage to your creatures makes them bigger. Thank you, Vigor.
Craterhoof Behemoth: You play this with 10+ creatures on the board, and you have an automatic 100 damage added to your total.
Tooth and Nail, Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, Zealous Conscripts: This is an infinite combo as well as the tutor to get it. Tap Kiki, copy the conscripts, use the new copy's trigger to target Kiki, untap Kiki. Tap Kiki, copy the conscripts... Create infinite Zealous Conscripts to attack everyone for yes damage.
Gisela, Blade of Goldnight: Amazing for both extra damage and protection.
Vedalken Orrery: Because playing on your opponent's turn is funny. And your Seedborn Muse really gets to put in work in a 4 player game, on top of the Mayael useage.
Vexing Shusher: Because nobody likes blue. This card is a big middle finger to blue.
Lurking Predators: So your opponent wants to cast things? Maybe you get a free creature for it. Can be quite useful.
Recommended cuts and the reasoning:
Desolation Twin,Krosan Tusker: They don't do enough to better your boardstate in my opinion. Desolation Twin is a 10/10 sure, but other than that, nothing. Chances are, you won't be casting it that much to get the second 10/10 anyways. The Tuskar only benefits you if you cycle it, otherwise it is just a mediocre creature. Additionally, cycling it only gets a basic land, of which you are running very few. This is not a criticism of your land base. I didn't want to touch it too much because my own landbase is significantly more expensive.
Pathbreaker Wurm, Tectonic Hellion, Tyrant of Discord: These guys are all decent, but the Pathbreaker only helps one other creature. The Hellion is cool, but what if you have the most lands? You aren't running Crucible of Worlds, but your opponents might be. the Tyrant is more of a personal preference, I don't like it because of it's random factor.
Rith's Grove: It is a bounce land, without the benefit of tapping for 2 mana like the dual color bounce lands. Not worth running in my opinion.
Pure / Simple: This card is too restrictive. Running the Krosan Grip, Swords to Plowshares, and Path to Exile are all better options. They don't force you to choose multicolor creature, or equipment or aura. They just remove a target.
Tragic Arrogance: I love boardwipes as much as the next guy, but this hits you just as hard as your opponents, and instead of using Invincibility to get through it, you have to sacrifice. Wrath of God would be a much better option in my opinion.
Rith's Charm: To me it doesn't do enough by itself to warrant keeping. You have little to no ways of getting it back or making more uses of it, so it is a 1 shot item. I'm sure by now you have noticed I prefer things that have multiple and recurring uses.
Overall, I love it. I love Mayael, and she has been my strongest and favorite deck for a very long time (2012). My current version relies very little on her ability, because I played with a bunch of rather rude people that played Pithing Needle and named her all the time. It was not fun, but building my deck to use her ability as an option, instead of a strategy, changed the way I used her, meaning that the needle no longer leaves my deck dead in the water.
Please keep in mind that my recommendations are just that. if that Gigantosaurus doesn't do anything, but you like it because it's a dinosaur, and you don't want to cut it, you do not have to. I unfortunately gave up all my dreams of having cards I like for flavor, aesthetics, etc, because I decided to build my deck to compete and even stomp on combo and control decks. I have no room for cards that don't serve to better my boardstate as a whole.
Final Note: I will be more than happy to provide further insight and feedback if you have any other questions.