Fixing Old Cards: Beta Green

(This is a link to the previous installment of this series. Chain clicks to find them all.)

 

Berserk

Berserk Original

Wizards have already tried to fix Berserk several times. Their first attempt involving its initial aspect of doubling the creature’s power was Surge of Strength, while the closest was Fatal Frenzy, completing the move of this design into Red. But I just noticed that the original isn’t actually quite as overpowered as many remember – take a look at this card from a recent set:

Temur Battle Rage

Just like Berserk, it effectively doubles the creature’s power, and in those cases where Berserk might seem overpowered, it also gives trample! And all that for only two mana without killing the creature (okay, this takes away the option of killing an opponent’s creature with it, but that was just a fringe use of that card)!

I have to conclude that Berserk isn’t really much too strong, but mainly too awkwardly phrased. In my redesign however, I decided to get a bit out of the way of Temur Battle Rage, accepting that this effect is now in Red for whatever reason, and concentrate on the flavor-driven aspect of killing the berserked creature instead. That reduces the card’s value as a finisher, but gives Green some kind of roundabout removal (something it is still in dire need of), while not violating the paradigm that green removal must be tied to it having creatures in some way.

My design:

Berserk

 

Camouflage

Camouflage Original

When a card’s Oracle text is twice as long as its original rules text which already fills up its text box to the brim, you know that you’re looking at a design which just doesn’t work. I tried to preserve the surprise element of making the opponent deal with your board in an unexpected way, and exercised a bit of creative license otherwise. Fudging with creature stats in this way is possibly more a blue effect, but I see no reason why it couldn’t be at least secondary in Green.

My design:

Camouflage

(It’s a pity that Americans probably won’t get the flavor text reference.)

 

Ice Storm

Ice Storm Original

I just discussed the issues of land destruction in the previous installment of this series. I decided to create a four mana spell with upside again, somehow mirroring my Sinkhole design.

My design:

Ice Storm

 

Natural Selection

Natural Selection Original

Well, when you have a card which does almost nothing, you can usually save it by turning it into a cantrip. You will have noticed that I already used that trick a few times. This card, though, would just have turned out really annoying if I had done that. I instead went with a typical green effect matching the card name’s flavor (trying to match that art would have been futile).

My design:

Natural Selection
(My original design had a flaw pointed out by Max in the comments: The cards looked at were, of course, still in the library! That meant that you drew one of the three cards you had looked at if you didn’t reveal, which was not my intent, and also lead to the issue of having to prove which card you drew. Max’s suggestion to fix my fix was what I actually wanted the card to do in the first place, so I adopted it.)

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8 Gedanken zu „Fixing Old Cards: Beta Green

  1. Max sagt:

    The Natural Selection Design could be problematic. Normally, when you are allowed to look at multiple cards on top of your library, the original order does not matter. However, in your design, if you do not reveal a creature, both players need to be able to identify the card that was originally on top of the library.
    Maybe you could put the cards you looked at on the bottom and if you have not revealed you may draw (i.e., if creatures are included in top 3 cards, player could decide between known creature and random card)?

    • Zeromant sagt:

      I overlooked this issue – thanks for the heads-up! I’ll change the card a little to solve it.

      • Zeromant sagt:

        Done.

        I realized that the card could be worded much cleaner if it just exiled from the top of the library, but I did not want to do that because it somehow feels wrong, since it’s a green card, and Green doesn’t do this. I believe it does not fit its flavor.

        BTW, an obvious alternative would be to put the cards in the graveyard, but a 1-mana cantrip which not only offers some card selection, but also puts 2-3 additional cards into the graveyard would really be too strong.

  2. Simon sagt:

    I also really like to design cards myself and often look through magiccards info to get some ideas. It’s always nice what one can do with some random cards to kickstart new designs.
    Looking at your versions of old cards is similar – some really out oft he box design variants here.

    Berserk: I always wanted to create something similar. A card that kills every blocker. I think I designed a similar card acutally, but as a creature, not a combat trick. I think it was some kind of super fighter monk that always had power equal to all creatures toughness blocking or blocked by it
    Anyway, your card could also work as „Target creature gains deathtouch and trample until end of turn“ But your aim was to resemble old cards, so yours is closer. But still interesting how similar some cards can be.

    Camouflage:
    I think this effect is white and red nowadays (similar to rearranging blockers in Master Warcraft) or even General Jarkeld. Making base p/t switches could fit into green though. Green hast he most use of big stats to swap around. I like this card and hope it gets printed some day.

    Ice Storm: Just a general thought: I like nonbasic-land hate.

    Natural Selection: It’s funny that even when reading only your already fixed version, I had to read it twice, because I assumed the same thing as Max.

  3. Zeromant sagt:

    Yes, deathtouch plus trample is similar, although my version of Berserk deals 1 damage per blocker more to the defending player. More importantly, though, deathtouch does not fit the flavor of the card.

    Rearranging blockers not being in Green is one reason why I went for switching creature stats instead. The other is that I find that mechanic inelegant. (Note that Master Warcraft does not undo blocking, just changes who makes the decisions, which is a lot simpler.)

  4. jashinc sagt:

    I like your Ice Storm but I fear that tacking a possible Time Walk onto a land destruction spell at four mana is too strong…

    • Zeromant sagt:

      It is meant to be a strong card (just like its counterpart, Sinkhole), but it’s not a Time Walk at all – it’s a Mana Vapors. You probably won’t remember that card… Almost noone does, and that says something.

      And don’t overlook that you just spent four mana in your main phase, so you also essentially timewalked yourself for that effect in your terms.

      • jashinc sagt:

        I meant „Time Walk“ in the same sense that the term is sometimes referred to Explore, cause it makes you cast stuff a turn earlier than the opponent. I am very well aware that it’s not the same as getting a real additional turn.

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