Rate the power level of my mardu custom commander.

Custom Cards forum

Posted on Oct. 15, 2020, 4:11 p.m. by StopShot

I have the feeling this might be too strong to be fair, but I wanted to run it by on what other people think.

Negative power is not a concept you see on most Magic cards, but for the most part it functions identically to 0 power, however; you'd need to give Remnant of Dust +3 power before it can start dealing combat damage. Ideally if this card is too strong I'd like to know how much negative power should be given to make it fairer if possible. Increasing the CMC and/or reanimation cost is another alternative as well.

Another uncommon mechanic this card features is wither which made its debut in the Shadowmoor set. Combat damage to players is treated normally, however; this creature deals damage in the form of -1/-1 counters to other creatures. It's more or less a water-down version of deathtouch.

Lastly it has an activated ability with an "untap" symbol which functions like the mirror opposite to the tap symbol. In order for the creature to activate that ability it must be tapped. Activating the ability then untaps the creature as part of the payment which prevents the creature from making multiple activations. In a way its like pseudo-vigilance but you got to pay for it.

I suppose all the mechanics make it some sort of monstrosity you'd expect to see in the Time-Spiral block, but I wanted it to have that feeling attached to it without going too overboard. Thoughts?

Lanzo493 says... #2

Considering this card is somewhat comparable to Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon, it's underwhelming at the moment. In my opinion. Wither is a decent ability, but it's only relevant when hitting creatures, so it's not always relevant. Double strike along with evasion is what makes this card strong. It's untap ability is interesting and balanced because it'll be very difficult to activate it more than once a turn (if you even do it that often). I think making it a 2/2 would be fine. It is a card that's heavy on the color requirements so it can be strong to make up for that. If you make the reanimate cost only then the total cost to reanimate and untap it will be the same as it's original mana cost, which feels flavorful to me.

October 15, 2020 5 p.m.

LeaPlath says... #3

Its just a pile of unrelated, inconsistant abilities and keyword soup. It doesnt sell on on a direction. It lets me ignore counters and commander tax. Its got - power for balancing but all that does is up the complexity for no need. Its just meh.

You have 6 things that effect combat. 2 that effect the board. 2 that effect handsize. 1 that effects life. Etc

Pick a concept and stick to it. Is it a puzzle commander. Is it an engine. Is it a recurssive. What is it

October 15, 2020 6:13 p.m. Edited.

StopShot says... #4

@LeaPlath, I was thinking something along the lines of a Phoenix Lord, but I felt it would have been boring if it just "pumped" phoenixes.

Phoenixes tend to make pretty good recursion creatures, but how each phoenix is recurred to the battlefield varies wildly which makes it hard for a commander to devote to that tribe, so I half-devoted to phoenix tribal with this so you can run it in a non-tribal deck if you want too.

How it devotes to phoenixes are; it has a pretty standard phoenix recursion effect, it is a "phoenix" in its creature-typing and you get card draw and wider field presence off of sacrificing phoenixes. Now of course I could have specified that only phoenixes could be sacrificed and I could have made the creature tokens phoenixes themselves, but as I said devoting to phoenixes is already complex enough as it is which would mean how the deck would be built would be incredibly tight and would have a lack of room for variance which I didn't like. Hence why I didn't over-commit and why I made it black and white so that other reanimation strategies could work if you weren't devoting entirely to phoenixes.

Given its a phoenix it only makes sense that it would have flying and haste. Those aspects would have been mandatory along with the reanimation effect. The reanimation effect didn't have to be land discard, but I didn't want something you could just pop off whenever you want as that's kind of Derevi, Empyrial Tactician's thing. Well, since the recursion practically neutralizes the command tax why not have the recursion eat up land cards, you know? Eating up lands sure is a red thing to do.

As for double strike and wither, those are just to better align the general in white and black. Double strike I think is very over-used in smashing face as hard a possible and its not used very often in the sense of "doubling combat triggers" you might get from effects like Mask of Memory. Plus the commander has a recursion effect so slapping double strike would make for an obnoxious voltron commander unless I really powered down the power. Let's also keep in mind, first strike damage + wither is a really nice combat synergy as it can be used to avoid lethal damage to your commander.

I mean, I know all that sounds all over the place but I feel there's a lot of different ways these could be expanded upon and as the player you could choose to devote to any one of them or you could try them all at once if you preferred. I like flexibility and even if this doesn't have a clear direction I think it definitely asks the player to make of it as they will. I would not slap this on a beginner-level commander product, but maybe a surprise card you'd expect to find in Modern Horizons for the more experienced player who really wants to put all kinds of mileage on a card.

I might be leaving some stuff out, but that's more or less my thought process regarding it. Oh, and I added life-gain because the sac ability was feeling a little too black in nature for dual white-black hybrid and heck it just provides another meaningless outlet you can choose to either build off of or to have as some extra insurance to last in the game. My real concern isn't if the design is too concise but if the design is too strong/broken.

October 15, 2020 7:03 p.m.

Caerwyn says... #5

The Untap symbol is one of the most dangerous things Magic has; there is a reason Wizards does not print new cards with it. It is rather abusable and, perhaps more problematic, probably one of the easiest mechanics for Wizards to accidently break through creating new cards.

Negative power is a mistake. Though it is not technically impossible such a card could be printed under the rules, "technically possible" does not mean it should happen. No need to make something that is unnecessarily complicated and likely would cause confusion on the battlefield (keeping track of the negative can get annoying since players are not used to it, particularly if there are +1/+1 counters or other P/T boosts in play).

I second LeaPlath's complaint that there is keyword soup. You don't need Double Strike and Whither.

Remove it entering tapped. I could go into how entering tapped makes it easier to activate its untap ability, but the real problem: That many lines of text would not fit on a real Magic card.

I find its resurrection ability to be okay, but a bit boring. I'd hope whatever real Phoenix legend we get has something a bit more complicated than "pay some mana and discard an excess land"--that's part of the fun of playing with Phoenixes.

October 15, 2020 8:05 p.m.

Flooremoji says... #6

Caerwyn: A slight correction, negative power isn't just something that could happen, it already exists on two black bordered cards and one silver bordered card.

Char-Rumbler- Printed in future sight, whih explains a lot. It was an interesting design, but I'm glad it was left pretty much at this.

Spinal Parasite- Wizards really must have hated sunburst I guess, a strange way to balance a card for sure and Wotc seems to agree based on the complete and utter lack of negative base power we have seen.

Half-Squirrel, Half-- I assume they gave it negative power as a joke.

October 16, 2020 2:53 a.m.

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