Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Daily Card Redesign #16: Fear

Daily Card Redesign is a daily Magic: The Gathering design exercise where I randomly choose a card for the scenario of it being killed late during its own set's development, and I design a replacement card that uses the same art, is the same color, is the same rarity, and has a name that, alphabetically, keeps it within the same collector number for the set.

Oh, man, the classic! Fear's effect is granting fear, so we're going to stay completely away from that. The art itself looks like it's depicting a "spell" happening, so I would go with either keeping it an enchantment or making it into a sorcery or instant. There isn't a focus within the art to indicate it as being a creature, and we can't make this into an artifact or land because it has to be a black card. So, options are: enchantment, enchantment - aura, sorcery, or instant.

Next, let's examine what sort of thing is happening in the art, and what kind of gameplay would match that. For example, regeneration doesn't seem to match this art. The art is too morbid-like and nothing showing coming back to life. The lady in the art is afraid, obviously. She's afraid of a bunch of skulls. The skulls can represent death. So, she could be afraid of dying. Scared to death? Hehe. This could also be a tormented woman. She's got a guilty conscience looming over her, perhaps.

If she's scared to death, then... well, that's just the card Terror! Hah. And the effect plays into the same flavor that Fear plays into.

I thought that those skulls could look like a wall made out of skulls. But Wall of Bone already exists!

Suddenly, I get the idea that the skulls are symbolic not of the concept/idea of death, but of the number of deaths that have occurred. Which means counting the number of creatures in a graveyard or graveyards. And because the lady in the art is being scared of this, this wouldn't be a spell you would cast on yourself or one of your own creatures. This would be a spell for targeting an opponent's creature - or even the player itself?

But Terror already exists, as I mentioned earlier. Ah, but what about giving a creature -1/-1 for each creature card in a graveyard that is counted? And then there's losing life, which would be targeting the player. Now I gotta see if these cards have already been done before. *searches MagicCards.Info database*

Oh, look. Chill Haunting already exists and does exactly what I wanted to do.

But I didn't find something that caused a player to lose life in this way. So, I'm going to do that!

I attempted to match the wording to how it might have been done in Alpha. The name falls between Evil Presence and Frozen Shade, with "exhumed" being about unburying and "haunting" being something that does harm or unrest to a player, thus them losing life. Looking a little pale there, friend!


When I researched whether the effect I eventually ended up with had existed before or not, I did not do enough diligence on this research, because there's already a card that exists exactly as I designed. Except, with damage instead of life loss. I think this is why I was thrown off and missed it - that difference in how the opponent loses life. Anyway, here's the card I unintentionally duplicated:

I like how "Haunting" is a common word among Chill Haunting, this card, and the card I designed. Unintentional!


  1. You remade Haunting Misery from Weatherlight, just cheaper:

    1. Holy crap! I had completely missed this when searching for whether this exists! I think the fact that it deals damage instead of causing life loss threw me off. Thanks, man! On an interesting note, it's nice to see that "Haunting" is shared between the two, unwittingly.