Monday, January 28, 2013

Daily Card Redesign #27: Shunt

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.

God, I love Shunt. Changing the targets of spells and abilities being a blue and red thing is awesome. I still harbor this desire for more Gnomes to exist in Magic: The Gathering and within the blue and red colors so that they can do tricky things like Switcheroo and effects like Shunt's. Though, I do believe it's important that an effect like Shunt's, being widely applicable to your opponent's spells, that this type of effect should stay at rare. Uncommon is a low enough rarity that makes opponents scared of casting their spells as normal, which is not a good feeling and/or behavior to induce in players.

Anyway. Card redesign! Poof:

From the art, it looks like the Vulshok person is in a defensive stance. Because of this, I opted for something that reflected the defensive nature of the situation. That blue magical stuff isn't an offensive thing.

I decided that the Vulshok here is a creature that you've designated for this defensive spell you're doing. However, white is defensive. Red's defense is offense. It threatens.

I thought of the spell Silence. While white would make sure that opponents just can't do it at all to prevent bad things from happening, red would instead give a dirty, menacing look at the opponent saying, "Hey, if you do this, I'm going to hurt you."

Also, having it be sorcery so that it focuses on just your turn is an extension of not being proactive in being defensive like white is with Silence. It's, "Hey, let me do my thing (which is smash your face in), and if you try anything, you're going to hear from me."

I decided NOT to have the wording of the card use "target creature you control" in case the opponent responds to THIS spell and destroys the creature you want to use. Instead, this will ensure that you will likely have a creature you can use, even if the opponent responds by killing just one of your creatures.

It LOOKS like the creature could be scowling, right? The word fits between Savage Beating and Slobad, Goblin Tinkerer. It also depicts the mid-result of the opponent actually having the audacity to cast a spell even after your scowl. Looks like a more "Ah, you're going to get hurt now! I freakin' told you!"


  1. Commentary!

    First, your text matches the art really well. Hitting a spell back at the opponent works in a number of ways mechanically, and this is clearly that.

    That said, this card does nothing. It could cost single red and draw you a card and nobody but uber-Johnnies would ever play it, because it is a sorcery. The opponent will just cast their instant in response 99% of the time.
    This makes it great for hole filling (because hole filling cards have to be very conservative in power level), but a sad card. It is so bad it made me grimace in sympathy for whomever had to open it as the first rare they see from the set.

    And the name is negotiable once you have text that works.

    All in all, thumbs up for doing this series and getting one I think lines up with the goals really well.

    1. Once again, you're right! I seem to be lacking in my ability to be able to look at the bigger picture in terms of gameplay. I must work on this!

      I was thinking about how it'd be nice to have something like Basandra's ability but not on a creature. It gets into the spirit of "let's fight and not mess around with tricky spells." But the ability being on an Angel is really great and better than a one-shot. A one-shot of a sorcery.

      You know what? There should be a rare enchantment that says "Players can't cast spells during combat." But it being a monored card FEELS wrong since white is the one that makes the rules that prevent things from happening. Red more does things like Mass Hysteria.

    2. There is! Hand to Hand: