Thursday, March 14, 2013

Daily Card Redesign #73: Dark Ritual

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. 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.


Black sometimes has card-drawing spells at a cost of life - except targeted so that you can even throw some life loss at a player. There's been Sign in Blood and Harrowing Journey already. So, how do we do something that's card-drawing in Alpha but have it NOT be one of these two cards that exist already? Well, drawing three cards is uncommon, so then drawing two cards - except at instant speed.

Having a card that draws one card and causes 1 life loss for one black mana just isn't enough to warrant it existing as a card that really does anything. Maybe in the right block where either life loss or card drawing is a bigge deal than usual. So, I didn't pursue this.

Blue had Ancestral Recall, but because of the fact that black can cause loss of life means that this card isn't strictly worse than Ancestral Recall. Cursed Lore offers up its own slice-of-its-color-pie version of card drawing.

P.S. I made no attempt to do a different version of temporary mana boosting because: 1) Black already has Sacrifice in Alpha; and 2) Dark Ritual was too powerful, so I have no interest in trying to achieve the same thing again. Well, there's also the color pie shift to red, but it was in black back then, and I can't change that Sacrifice also exists.


  1. Why not BBBB? It is alpha after all...

    1. Because then I would be encouraging the power level of Alpha. I don't want to give up on making balanced cards just because there are other imbalanced cards in the set. =)

      Also, someone pointed out that I made a mistake right from the get-go. I had forgotten that Dark Ritual was part of the "boon" cycle: Ancestral Recall, Giant Growth, Healing Salve, and Lightning Bolt are the other cards.