Sword of Life and Limb
Posted on Oct. 24, 2020, 7:58 p.m. by DemonDragonJ
There are still three cards remaining to complete the "sword of X an Y" cycle (green/white, black/blue, and red/green), so here is my guess for the white/green sword in that cycle:
Sword of Life and Limb Show
Artifact - equipment
Equipped creature gets +2/+2 and has protection from green and white.
Whenever equipped creature deals combat damage to a player, create a 1/1 green saproling creature token, then populate.
This card was heavily inspired by Sword of Truth and Justice, since they share a color and both have effects that synergize with themselves.
I had forgotten that there is already a card named Life and Limb when I made this card, so, when I remember that that other card existed, I briefly considered changing the name of this card to "sword of vigor and vitality," but that name was not a easy to remember, since every sword, with the exception of Sword of Sinew and Steel, has a name that contains a popular phrase containing two opposing (or complimentary) elements.
What does everyone else think of this card? Do you like it?
I think it's a cool card overall, but it seems a little underpowered compared to some of the other swords, maybe consider putting some lifegain or something in there? I'm not sure.
October 24, 2020 11:11 p.m.
Underwhelming, but that's actually great. Can't have another SoFaF
The mechanic is on-theme, and mildly abusable (copying a myriad token, etc)--but again, not insanely powerful nor a must-run whatsoever. Good design overall
October 24, 2020 11:13 p.m.
I like it, but it does seem odd that it makes a green token instead of a green and white token. It can either make a token that's both colors, or one token for each color. What if it made a green saproling and a white spirit token, then populated? It won't be too far off from other equipment like Sword of Body and Mind, Captain's Claws, or Moonsilver Spear.
October 25, 2020 12:14 a.m.
October 25, 2020 3:33 a.m.
Benthehen333, an alternate idea that I had considered was "whenever equipped creatures deals combat damage to a player, create a 1/1 green saproling creature token, then you gain 1 life for each creature that you control;" would that have been an interesting idea, or not, since two other swords already have life-gaining abilities?
Lanzo493, I actually considered having the sword create a 2/2 token, but I felt that that would be too powerful, since the player could then populate it and have creatures with a total of 4 power. Even if the sword generated two 1/1 tokens, the player would still have creatures with a total of 3 power, whereas Sword of Body and Mind creates only a single creature with 2 power.
ClockworkSwordfish, that is an excellent point.
October 25, 2020 8:53 a.m.
You could also just make it a 0/2 plant token or give the token a keyword ability like reach.
October 25, 2020 11:35 a.m.
I love the name and think it has great flavor. However, I think it can stand to be a little stronger, because I don't think the protection aspect was taken into balancing account. Protection from white is very good, but protection from green less so. This is because pro-green is most useful when blocking giant green dudes, but Sword-wielders want to attack. Otherwise, it doesn't protect you from much removal. I think that's the main reason that Sword of Light and Shadow has relatively underwhelming effects; pro-white and pro-black are probably the best two protection colors in the game. Same with War and Peace.
Some ideas to make it slightly stronger:
- Make a 2/1 Saproling
- Proliferate twice
- Make a creature token with a very relevant creature type, like a Human Druid or an Elf
Personally, I like the last option. I think it's a really subtle buff that would make it a great possibility in tribal decks. I also think they'd be slightly more on-flavor, since Saprolings aren't in white.
October 25, 2020 11:48 a.m.
Yikes, don't make it proliferate twice. Having this sword be a musthave in Elfball would be interesting, though--I kinda like that
October 25, 2020 12:25 p.m.
Omniscience_is_life Lmao oops I meant "Populate, then populate again". In most decks that's still just "Make 3 1/1s" but I guess it would still be very good.
October 25, 2020 12:42 p.m.
abby315, what if the ability was "whenever equipped creature deals combat damage to a player, create a 1/1 green saproling creature token, then populate, then you gain 1 life for each creature that you control," or would that be too powerful (and it also would break from the pattern of the other swords in that it would have three abilities, instead of only two)?
October 25, 2020 3:15 p.m.
I find it a bit amusing how not two months ago there was posted a thread specifically dedicated to brew card ideas for the remaining 3 Swords of X and Y and then this shows up.
DemonDragonJ I would agree that having three abilities would break the pattern.
There is already token generation with Sword of Body and Mind.
Personally I think the Sword should do something a bit different than that. Please keep in mind that the Swords have generally been designed to be beneficial to most colors and multiple strategies - hence why a Sword like Sword of Body and Mind is generally considered the worst/most niche, closely followed by Sword of War and Peace. The latter because it doesn't affect the board and lifegain is... only relevant in certain situations. If you make a token generator + Populate effect, it works by itself but is generally not useful for many decks.
Take a Sword like Sword of Truth and Justice. It plays well by itself by enabling its own scaling when you have multiple creatures. However you can also utilize the Proliferate on poison counters, -1/-1 counters, planeswalker loyalty counters. It has built-in support for multiple strategies.
A card like Sword of Sinew and Steel is more niche, but it has some very powerful removal effects to compensate. In addition the protections are very on-point in protecting against most targeted removal and all of red's board wipe repertoire.
Tokens for the sake of tokens is often not that impressive. That's why I would suggest to aim for something else than basic token generation.
If you are hellbent on the token generation I would consider granting a different incentive:
Alternative A Show
"Whenever equipped creature deals combat damage to a player, you may create a 1/1 green saproling creature token. If you do, then create a copy of a token you control. If you don't, create a Treasure token."
Hmm... I checked the wording on Populate, and for some reason WotC opted to make it copy only creature tokens. The word does make more sense to be used in tandem with creatures but this feels like a missed opportunity.
This grants purpose outside token strategies by giving you the option to opt for just a Treasure token and the swing after, if you kept the Treasure token, you can get another with the copy effect. Because there's a condition on getting some of the effects, I think it'll pass the "only allow 2 effects".
Alternative B Show
"Whenever equipped creature deals combat damage to a player, create a 1/1 green Saproling creature token. Until the beginning of your next turn, the first spell you cast has Convoke."
This effectively grants you a mana dork (with indirect haste) AND it plays well with broad strategies that is not necessarily token strategies. It grants potential chump blockers to certain decks that can double as mana - alas only for the first spell after the trigger. The card could be buffed a bit by granting convoke to the first spell each turn until your next turn - granting you more flexibility and use of its ability.
I don't think it has the same power level as Sword of Feast and Famine but it is somewhat closer to its power level, which I don't think is a bad place for a Sword to be in.
If we're being honest, most of the swords don't see play and those that do are mostly Sword of Feast and Famine and Sword of Fire and Ice. I've seen a fair bit of Sword of Truth and Justice as well. I think hitting around that spot would be ideal.
If we aim for something else than basic token generation, we could aim for some tech options.
Delve deeper Show
Green has the ability to look at what's to come and grab specific cards, with cards like Commune with the Gods, Commune with Nature, Commune with Dinosaurs, and many similar. White has had this effect as well, as seen in Acclaimed Contender, Board the Weatherlight, Courageous Outrider, and Militia Bugler. White's piece is more conditional and limited, whereas green is more flexible.
White has had treasure generation through taxing with Smothering Tithe. Green is the ramp color. The Sword could possibly create a treasure token.
White is usually the keyword hoarder, so what if they started being generous? With the introduction of keyword counters from Ikoria with something like Crystalline Giant, the Sword could have a trigger that spreads its keywords to another creature.
"Whenever equipped creature deals combat damage to a player, if equipped creature has flying, you may put a flying counter on target creature. Do the same for deathtouch, double strike, first strike, hexproof, lifelink, menace, reach, trample, and vigilance. The rest of the ability..."
By itself this doesn't do anything, and usually that would be a deal-breaker as an effect on this card. However I think there are enough Swords that are conditional on something else to get their effect. Usually not something that is particularly difficult to attain. Like Sword of Light and Shadow require a creature card in your graveyard to make use of half its effects.
This ability would also make it stronger in White, as White already has keyword soup creatures where this effect would be very strong, and even more so in Boros. You could use cards with the keywords themselves, equipment or auras that grant it or use buff cards that grant it temporarily. The latter can even be used in tandem with the Sword to permanently grant the equipped creature those keywords.
There are a few evergreen keywords missing, most notably indestructible. But there's also defender (could be used in a Arcades, the Strategist or similar deck to dish out defender counters) and haste (usually wont make a difference after combat step) - yes yes, there's also Flash but who cares when it's on the board. So a way to increase this ability's power could be to include indestructible at the very least.
I went in a big fat circle around this one, as I really don't think enchantment removal should be given on a repeatable colorless source like this. I know Sword of Sinew and Steel does it against artifacts and planeswalkers, and if I'm being frank it would be pretty easy for WotC to throw a Demystify on a Sword and something else and call it a day. However I really hope that wont be the case.
Brought Back but as a delayed trigger without target (to enable that you get back something you lost during combat damage step).
"Whenever equipped creature deals combat damage to a player, at the beginning of your end step you may return a permanent card from your graveyard to the battlefield if it was put there from the battlefield this turn."
This one kinda feels like it's impeding on Sword of the Animist's territory, but it is part of green's color pie. It could be differently implemented like:
"Whenever equipped creature deals combat damage to a player, look at the top five cards of your library. You may reveal up to one land card and up to one creature, aura, or equipment card from among them and put them into your hand. You may play an additional land this turn."
This is more a soft-ramp that can fail. Instead of granting additional land drops it could just put a found land onto the field tapped.
"Whenever equipped creature deals combat damage to a player, look at the top five cards of your library. You may reveal a land card from among them and put it onto the battlefield tapped. You may reveal a creature, aura, or equipment card from among them and put it into your hand. Put the rest on the bottom of your library in a random order."
Anyway, that's at least a little brainstorming on what else those two colors have to offer.