Urza, Interplanar Savior
Posted on Sept. 2, 2019, 2:05 p.m. by DemonDragonJ
Now that WotC has finally printed a card of Urza in a black-bordered set, I wish to make my own such card. Since WtC's card depicted him when he was still a human, I wish to show him after his spark ignited. Of course, given that he was one of the most powerful planeswalkers who ever existed, I doubt that any card could truly and properly portray him at the height of his powers.
Urza, Interplanar Savior Show
Planeswalker - Urza
+1: draw two cards, then discard a card. Urza, interplanar savior deals damage to any target equal to the converted mana cost of the discarded card.
-2: search your library for an artifact, enchantment, instant, or sorcery card, reveal that card, put it into your hand, then shuffle your library.
-10: you may cast any number of spells from your hand and/or graveyard this turn without paying their mana costs. Creature spells that you cast this way gain haste. If a spell that you cast this way would be put into a graveyard this turn, exile it instead. For each spell that you cast this way, you lose life equal to that spell’s converted mana cost.
I know that he is very powerful, but he is Urza, one of the most powerful beings who ever existed in this game’s story. I chose to make him red/white/blue to mirror Mishra, whose card was red/black/blue.
His first ability represents his careful and methodical planning, but also how he was occasionally reckless and scattered in his thoughts. I chose to have it draw one more card than what it discards, so that his controller will gain card advantage from it. Should I make it grant the player life, in the manner of lightning helix, or would that make it too powerful?
His second ability portrays his breakthroughs and radical discoveries and/or innovations. For it, white can search for artifacts and enchantments, and red and blue can search for instants and sorceries, but it is usually green that searches for creatures and lands. I contemplated having him be able to search for other planeswalkers, referencing to him gathering eight other planeswalkers to battle against Phryexia, but I decided that doing so would make him too powerful.
His final ability is intended to demonstrate his amazing power in full force, representing how he devoted all of his resources to fighting Phryexia. I know that black is the only color than can cause direct loss of life, but I felt that I could bend that rule in this case, since it would take too many words to have the ability deal damage, and I did not want the player to be able to prevent that damage/loss of life. Should I increase the cost of the final ability, to prevent it from being too powerful? Should I increase his overall mana cost?
What does everyone think of this card? Does it properly portray Urza at the height of his powers?
I don't think his abilities will all fit on a card.
September 2, 2019 3:55 p.m.
Too many words, a plus ability that has removal, an unconditional (mana cost) tutor and an "I win the game" ultimate ability, all for the cost of 6 mana. Hmmmm, it seems about as balanced as a fat kid on a see-saw.
As a general rule, you're trying to make each ability do too much (basically the thing that everybody on mtgcardsmith does) as well as trying to balance out busted effects by just making them cost more. Not to mention the whole colour pie thing.
Some feedback would be to pick ONE thing for each ability to do (maybe tie each ability to a colour) and just nail that. But don't make a card where they have to print the rest of the words on the back of the card because they ran out of space on the front.
September 2, 2019 11:09 p.m.
The +1 is definitely too powerful while the rest of the abilities are here. Card advantage and selection on top of spot removal/burn damage is a very powerful combo on a single ability. Having other worthwhile abilities just makes it stronger.
The tutor is definitely also powerful but it is limited and thus reveals, so your opponent(s) can take account for it.
The ultimate I would actually say is a bit too conditional I would say. You need to +5 him before you can go off (or Doubling Season and you need some really powerful cards in your graveyard - otherwise you might as well have used Omniscience or Tamiyo, Field Researcher . So what you get is to cast cards from your graveyard by "paying" life (you lose life and thus can go into negatives with it). This is basically Bolas's Citadel paired with Yawgmoth's Will ... it does feel very .
When activating the ultimate you need a setup of cards in hand and/or graveyard that straight out can win you the game or cause you to be sufficiently far ahead of your opponents with no risk to your life total.
It kinda feels like a game of chicken. You need to pull enough value out of the effect without going too far and risk to crash and burn.
In a way that is a beautiful balance between power and risk, but that again feels very .
I don't think the ability suits Urza and would rather think that he went the path of cost reductions;
"-10 Exile all nonland cards from your graveyard. Until end of turn you may cast cards exiled with Urza, and spells you cast costs less to cast. Cards cast from exile this way are exiled on resolving."
This way you get a more blue red white effect fitting the cost reductions seen in especially blue and red. You also avoid that playing cards from your hand suddenly gets them exiled. If an exiled spell is countered it actually puts them in the graveyard rather than exile this way.
It is much less powerful in terms of just going off, but it feels more in line with the color pairing and frankly this Urza don't need additional power.
I would probably axe the damage on discard on the +1. Perhaps consider making it draw 3, discard 2. In the color pairing this is strong for Flashback and similar effects but removing the damage leaves the ability feeling a bit wanting.
I would change the ultimate to a cost reduction, rather than cost alternate, remove the exiling of cards cast from hand and possibly make it -8 rather than -10.
September 3, 2019 10:24 a.m.
All of these suggestions are great, so I shall keep them in consideration, but I currently have limited access to the internet, since I am staying at my grandmother's house while the bathroom at my house is renovated, so I shall post in greater detail after that is completed.