Monday, February 18, 2013

Daily Card Redesign #49: Runeclaw Bear

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.

Whoa. The staple 2/2 common green creature of Core Sets. Actually, green has a history of having 2/2s for 1G that do a little something else. This sets it ahead of white and black who also get 2/2s for two mana. Check out this list of 2/2s for two with a little something-something. In fact, in Magic 2013, Runeclaw Bear was ousted by the strictly-better Timberpack Wolf. So, let's do the same.


Because there is a skull underneath the bear's foot, I wanted to have this redesign fight another creature upon it entering the battlefield. But fight hadn't yet been keyworded when Magic 2010 had been released, which would mean a very wordy textbox. I couldn't do that. Also, it may have been a bit too powerful to appear frequently in Limited and perhaps would be an uncommon. Scratch this.

Next, I wanted this bear to be able to do this:

"Tap an untapped Forest you control: Relentless Bear gains reach until end of turn."

Because bears can climb trees. For real. But in Magic 2010, there were already two common Spider cards in green that have reach.

I wanted to have this bear be able to give you a honeycomb of honey upon entering the battlefield, like a Honeycomb Bear or something, which would give you 1 or 2 life. But the art shows a vicious bear totally not doing anything honey related. Better save that design for art depicting a more gentler bear.

I then decided to key in on the "runeclaws" it has, which makes it a magical bear. Magic! Spells! And why not? It replace Grizzly Bears - it should at least have the decency to actually be magically better in some way.

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