Belltower Lurker

Custom Cards forum

Posted on Sept. 21, 2018, 8:45 a.m. by seshiro_of_the_orochi

An idea for a flavourful bat card, showing a giant bat that's harmlessly sleeping in a belltower but can be woken up to be a very dangerous raptor. Thoughts?

Belltower Lurker

Creature - Bat Horror

Flying, Lifelink

As long as ~ is untapped, it gets +3/+3.

, pay 2 life: untap ~.


When ringing a bell can lead to dying, you'd better not be recognized.

Artworkwork hopefully shows a man-sized bat, crawling down a bell in a belltower, shown in frog perspective.

Boza says... #2

In terms of design, this is a nice spot and it is flavorful. From a balance standpoint, it needs tweaking, 4 mana flying lifelink if it only sits back is powerful, but it can also attack for 5 damage and gain 3 if you pay 2 mana.

Either the untapped bonus should +2/+2 or the mana cost of the ability should at least 1 or even 2 more, or the stats of this should be 1/1 instead. It is supremely powerful otherwise.

September 21, 2018 9:34 a.m.

Funkydiscogod says... #3

I'm having a difficult time trying to explain why I dislike those abilities, and I think it's because its ability gives no real options on when to use it: after attacking, before damage is dealt is the correct time to activate it, and the only time you don't want to activate it, is if the opponent has an even larger flying threat.

It would be an interesting choice as a creature that gets weaker when attacking, but the "untap this" ability is better than vigilance: even Cryptic Command doesn't stop it from being a 5/5 flying lifelinking blocker.

Other cards that depend on whether it's tapped or untapped, are usually like Castle Raptors, Hollow Dogs, Fortress Cyclops or Sphinx Sovereign. It's rare to get an increase in power for blocking, or to get an increase in defense for attacking.

The only example I have of a "tapped matters" that comes with a built-in untap ability is Sword of the Paruns, which gives different bonuses based on whether its tapped or untapped.

That bat card only has a bonus for being untapped, so there's never a choice to be made. To fix that card, the first step is to get rid of that self-untap ability.

September 21, 2018 11:38 a.m.

MagicalHacker says... #4

I don't think this makes sense regarding flavor in my opinion. By saying "a giant bat that's harmlessly sleeping in a belltower but can be woken up to be a very dangerous raptor" it makes me think that you are trying to go for a design that makes the creature able to attack and block if you wake it up by attacking its controller, like Slumbering Dragon or Guardian of the Ages.

If your flavor instead is that it is a strong creature that you don't want to attack into except the process of wanting to attack makes it weaker, but it can be rejuvenated with your blood... Then your design would be a great flavor fit.

But I don't think that is what you were intending here, right?

September 21, 2018 1:33 p.m.

Thanks for the feedback :)

Boza: making the bonus +2/+2 seems fine. Making it a 1/1 would make it too weak.

Funkydiscogod: as read above, I'll change the bonus. How about I give it hexproof while tapped, so being a 5/5 or a 2/2 hexprrof really makes a difference? I also had the idea to make the ability "[manacost], tap an untapped artifact you control: untap ~". This way, you have to go out of your way a little more as playing many artifacts in orzhov isn't the usual thing to do, while still being flavourful (tap the artifact = ring the bell). A life cost might still be necessary though.

MagicalHacker: this indeed isn't the intended flavour. Do you have an idea for the "slumbering dragon option" without having the card lose its bat flavour?

September 21, 2018 5:22 p.m.

Funkydiscogod says... #6

"woken up to be very dangerous" seems to imply an ability that causes it to be a good blocker when blocking and a good attacker when attacking. Valakut Fireboar seems to have the perfect kind of ability for this: as long as it's not "woken up to be very dangerous", it's not much of a threat.

There are a few cards in black that increase power at the cost of toughness, like Nameless Inversion or Carrion Howler. You could make it a 2/5, that gets +3/-3 when it attacks, and keep the "5 toughness when its calm, 5 power when its angry" ability that I think you were going for.

If you want the "bloodsucking vampire bat" flavor, an ability like Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief might work.

September 22, 2018 12:18 p.m.

PIayswithFlRE says... #7

What about if it starts as a 1/6

Flying, lifelink, defender

Whenever Belltower Lurker blocks, put a +1/+0 counter on it.

: Until end of turn, Belltower Lurker loses defender, gains menace and its power and toughness are switched. Use this ability only when you could cast a sorcery

September 23, 2018 6:20 a.m.

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