Custom Esper Commander advice?
Posted on Oct. 16, 2020, 7:59 p.m. by TheAbstruse
Hi, I don't make cards very often and I wanted to get some advice on this card I made. I just want to make sure that it's not overpowered and I also need help with the wording.
Daraphim, the Equalizer
Legendary Creature - Angel Sphinx 3/4
Creatures you control have the keyword abilities of each creature other than Daraphim in addition to their own abilities.
Creatures you control get +1/+1 for each keyword ability they have.
If you have any questions or advice regarding this card, please feel free to comment.
I think this card has a number of significant problems.
To start, this turns every card with keyword soup (i.e. lots of keywords) into a juggernaut. Many keyword soup cards, particularly in Esper, have access to evasion, meaning your large, powerful creatures are likely to be difficult to block (recall that Esper has access to pretty much every evasion ability--flying, fear, intimidate, horsemenship, sulk, shadow, menace, landwalk, protection).
Likewise, it turns cards that grant keywords into keyword granting abilities with anthem effects slapped on. Heaven forbid someone resolves an Akroma's Memorial or similar multi-keyword card.
Next, this creature is a 5/6 for 4 mana that cannot be removed easily du to hexproof. That alone would be powerful, without its ability to boost itself higher.
A lot of keywords are not redundant, and this would see each instance of various keywords. Take Sublime Archangel, for example. Let's say you have 6 total creatures and this commander. Archangel gives each of them Exalted. This Commander now has 7 instances of exalted. It attacks alone, it gets +14/+14 from the exalted, and another +7+7 from having 7 keyword abilities on it. Instant commander kill.
Finally, you would be conferring a number of abilities to this creature that do nothing other than boost its power. Ninjitsu, mutate, flash, etc.
Unfortunately, I do not think there is a great way to fix this. Its ability is just too powerful to cost effectively--there is a reason effects like this tend to be limited in nature, specifically stating what keywords they can confer (see Rayami, First of the Fallen).
October 16, 2020 8:46 p.m.
Realizing that "keyword abilities" can reference more abilities than I thought, I think I should be more clear.
The keyword abilities that Daraphim will be able give other creatures and itself are limited to: Flying, Vigilance, Trample, Haste, Deathtouch, Defender, First Strike, Double Strike, Hexproof, Indestructible, Lifelink, and Menace.
October 16, 2020 8:49 p.m.
Thanks for the constructive criticism. If it helps balance the power and simplify it more, I could take out hexproof and indestructible from the exhaustive list along with Defender (because I realized giving my creatures Defender is pointless).
October 16, 2020 8:54 p.m.
So based on your suggestion of mimicking Rayami, First of the Fallen maybe I could have an ability like this? As long as a creature other than Daraphim, the Equalizer has flying, each creature you control also has flying. The same is true for first strike, double strike, deathtouch, haste, hexproof, indestructible, lifelink, menace, reach, trample, and vigilance.
October 16, 2020 9:11 p.m.
I think that would be fairly reasonable, provided you do not have the Power/Toughness boosting ability also. That ability is still incredibly powerful, even with the limitations you placed. Think of it this way: You are turning a Vampire Nighthawk into "Creatures you control have flying, deathtouch, lifelink, and get +3/+3". That's terrifying.
And, with that broken ability removed, we've basically reinvented Odric, Lunarch Marshal, albeit one that can use the keywords defensively.
October 16, 2020 9:19 p.m.
Would removing the toughness boost and/or doubling the CMC bring the power down enough or should I get rid of the boosting ability altogether?
October 16, 2020 9:34 p.m.
I think the P/T boost is always going to be too powerful when combined with the other ability--I think you can only use one or the other. For both to be together, I think you are going to have to make the mana cost a whole lot more restrictive, to the point where it would not be worth playing.
October 16, 2020 10:04 p.m.
I just thought of something else that could lower the power of this card. Maybe just limit the acquiring of new abilities to Daraphim only and then change the power/toughness boosting ability to Creatures you control get +1/+1 for each keyword on them.
with new abilities: Daraphim will acquire deathtouch, lifelink, first strike, haste and get +6/+6, then Vampire Nighthawk and Gurmag Swiftwing will get +3/+3.
If the +6/+6 on Daraphim is too much, I could restrict the boosting ability to only affect other creatures (in which case it wouldn't get a boost all) or cut its power toughness boost to be half the number of keywords it has rounded down.
October 16, 2020 10:25 p.m.
Oops. Didn't realize that the boosting ability change I proposed in my last comment isn't different from the original.
October 16, 2020 10:47 p.m.
After all of the comments I've been given tonight, here's what I'm thinking for Daraphim:
Daraphim, Power Adept
Legendary Creature - Angel Sphinx 3/4
As long as another creature has flying, Daraphim, Power Adept has flying. The same is true for first strike, double strike, deathtouch, haste, hexproof, indestructible, lifelink, menace, reach, trample, and vigilance.
Other creatures you control get +1/+1 for each ability shared with Daraphim, Power Adept.
I hope these changes are enough to make it playable.
October 16, 2020 11:29 p.m.
I still think the boosting ability along with keywording is insanely overpowered. You have to consider the context these cards will be used in. Your creature can be the commander of a custom built deck taking advantage of his ability.
October 17, 2020 12:42 a.m.
October 17, 2020 3:15 a.m.
I reflected on what I wanted to accomplish with this commander and in the end what I want is to boost creatures with keywords.
Here is my most recent version of the card:
Name: Daraphim, Power Adept
Type: Legendary Creature - Angel Sphinx
Abilities: Flying, hexproof
If (a/another) creature you control has flying, it gets +1/+1. The same is true for first strike, double strike, deathtouch, haste, hexproof, indestructible, lifelink, menace, reach, trample, and vigilance.
October 17, 2020 4:58 p.m.
I'd like for Daraphim's name, type, and its first two abilities (Flying, hexproof) to remain the same.
What I need help with is
1 Deciding on a final version of Daraphim's third ability
Should it begin with "If a creature..." or "If another creature..."?
If the third ability begins with "If a creature...", then I would want to make it either a 1/2 or a 2/3.
If the third ability begins with "If another creature...", then I would want to keep it as a 3/4.
3 Mana Cost:
I'd like to keep this as close to its proposed mana cost as possible, but if needed I am willing to increase and/or restrict the mana cost more.
For 1, I'd like to know if none, one, or both versions are viable for Commander.
For 2, If at least one version of the ability is viable, do the power/toughness I'm proposing for that version need to be changed or do they make sense?
For 3, If the mana cost of this card needs to be changed to make it playable, what do think is an appropriate mana cost?