Thursday, January 26, 2012

Signature spells, part deux

Disclaimer: This article contains custom card designs. If you are a Wizards of the Coast employee you have my full permission to use any designs or ideas within this article without my explicit written consent or prior knowledge, or without giving me any sort of credit. I love this game and I want to help it in any way I can.

 Last time, I talked about the Planeswalker signature spells that Wizards started implementing in the Core Sets starting in M11, and I "completed" the missing cycles for Gideon and Jura since there were no uncommon signature spells in M12.

This time I would like to continue the tradition and make some new signature spells for another character.

I am going to choose Elspeth Tirel (the character, not the card).

First I am going to lay some ground rules for my process for designing signature spells.

1. I design primarily for mono-colored walkers, as they have the greatest chance to be printed/reprinted in a core set.

2. I plan to follow the initial design philosophy of the cards being a mix of effects similar to the particular Planeswalker card, and those that synergize with the Planeswalker card.

When I designed these cards I chose Elspeth, Knight-Errant so I wanted all of the cards to be something that you could build a deck around with.

Here's what I came up with for my common:
Simple and to the point, yeah?
It's just Elspeth's middle ability. I new from the get go, that this card already existed in the form of Angelic Blessing, a palatable but hardly exciting card. So what did I do to make it more interesting? Made it cheaper and an instant, but more color intensive.

Next is my uncommon:

Now the synergy here should be obvious. If you use Elspeth's middle ability (or her Blessing), this guy becomes ENORMOUS and evasive. It works similar effectively with other pump effects, evasive combat tricks, and hoses black and red toughness-based removal. That part was a happy accident since red and black are enemy colors of white.

Now here's my rare:

It's a temporary mimicry of Elspeth's ultimate! Designing this was a teensy bit tricky. I already knew that Elspeth sort of, kind of already had a signature rare, at least in concept, in the form of Dauntless Escort, so I had to make this effect different enough from that one to stand alone as its own card.

I'd like to think that I succeeded.

As an added bonus, this actually has amazing synergy with the other Elsepth's ultimate. How fortuitous.

Let me know what you think!

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