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Fan Card Design Hub: Discussion (+Card Design Contest Discussion)


So which features you think work and which don’t? I’d appreciate some feedback on the current card description :slight_smile: .


I don’t feel it is that weak as much as it is just out of its proper context. Even with Hearthsisters and Mesmerizes i feel the baseline concept would end up as a frosty Rust Crawler - more often just a body than an effect. Accounting for Rebuke might be useful yet it has been months i don’t see one cast since all lizards i find are playing Commander in MTG, so i can’t exactly say it is really worth doing so.

Personally i’d go for the route of giving it more tools to actually reach there. Making it a vespyr simply put should suffice if followed by Dryad, although i could see myself looking for other answers.

What i feel is that it doesn’t know whether it wants to be a finisher or a recovery tool. Fluctuating costs based on enemy health makes it essentially just a death sentence to foes already too low, thus healing yourself shouldn’t be necessary at this point - it becomes a nearly free Ankh, but better. Also spirals into deep win-more as you can just cassy spell-rake people down to shreds and the act of winning makes winning even easier.
That said, if making it a recovery tool, taking away your other tools to clear board with it suddenly makes it inefficient.

All in all it could use a better defined goal. The mechanics are interesting, but i feel it is bloated.


Please, I have too many ideas for the competition, tell me which one you like the best (and any balance stuff):

Ram’ssyba, Seed of Destruction
8 Mana
Abyssian Minion (1/1)
Deathwatch: Gains “Grow: +1/+1.”

Embrace Death
7 Mana
Magmar Spell
For the rest of the game, your Grow abilities act like Deathwatch abilities instead.

Dishonorable Captain
2 Mana
Lyonar Minion (2/3)
Your Zeal abilities act like Infiltrate abilities instead.

False Knight
4 Mana
Lyonar Minion (3/5)
Provoke, Backstab: (1)
When this backstabs, transform it into a Shifting Tengu.

Shifting Tengu (token)
4 Mana
Songhai Minion (3/5)
When this moves through a minion, this transforms into an EXACT copy of that minion with this ability.

  • Ram’ssyba, Seed of Destruction
  • Embrace Death
  • Dishonorable Captain
  • False Knight

0 voters


As not only the host but also a previous judge of the CDC, I should not be playing favorites.

However, as a player, your seed is too strong due to the invulnerable, your captain seems lack lustre, and your Knight seems too confusing.

Embrace death needs a name change but fits the best for me. However appeal to the judges not me.


False Knight/Shifting Tengu is the most inspired one of the bunch and i adore the potential position play this can have. Extra madness if considering stealing the shape of a flier in order to move through big foes and pull surprise murder by turning a bird into a WORLDBREAKING GOLEM.

Everything here is delightfully inspired, my only qualms on how Ram’ssyba is a bit too slow (although no one can blame, given how absurdly resilient it is) and how Embrace Death needs perhaps a bit too much setup to be immediately impactful, but oh boy how it shifts Magmar’s visage from simple fat dudes to ravenous predators.


I had to sleep on this to think about what I disliked, because I was thinking about how to break it. Vanar (I think) has only 2 ways to move a friendly unit, Hearth Sister and Lightning Blitz, Sister is obviously the more reliable, but a Lightning Blitz does sound somehwat scary with this unit to be honest.

So firstly I’ll say I’m a fan of the simple/clean design that has a lot more going on when you think about it, I think Infiltrate and Backstab are a great pairing thematically and mechanically. Before I saw your design I was thinking about the pairing from a Songhai unit perspective where the Infiltrate gave you an additional reward for doing a successful backstab.

That out of the way, dislike how high the backstab value is, 6 damage is a lot, and it feels like this guy can backstab better than near all of the Songhai roster, once you get in position of course. At worst the 2/3 body is a servicable opener though, but you’re trying to do a difficulty/reward balance that I don’t quite like, it feels like when this goes off it will be bloody, and at 3hp it may get to do so again.

Consider this play: open this minion P1.
Turn 2 take the mana tile, deploy gravity well, hearth sister into position, clear the enemy unit. They are now position-compromised, provoked and unit-less, with more damage or minion clears incoming if they do not clear the 2/3.
Of course there are ways to get out of the situation safely, but that seems like a pretty easy to accomplish high reward play.

Obviously as Armchair designers we don’t really get to playtest our cards to know how often and how hard they go off, maybe the situation I’m describing is quite rare, or not effective as I’m envisioning. Maybe it’s comparable to Songhai’s Backstab shenanigans in ease and efficiency and would be okay. But my feeling is that 6 damage is A LOT in the early game.

On the flip side if you don’t get it off, it’s not too interesting, a 2/3 is fine as an opening play, but probably isn’t going to be too scary later with both of its restrictions. So it feels like there’s a big gap between it’s best and worst case scenario, which makes evaluating it hard to be honest.

I don’t like any of your possible changes, as I don’t think adding Vespyr to it make sense, and don’t think it should enable all of Vanar to backstab as Massacre Artist.

@anjosustrakr my favourite of those is easily Captain, as i mentioned up slightly I like those elegant designs that have more going on than they seem, and transforming your Honor Guard into a Rogue Splinter Cell definitely sounds interesting for an aggressive deck that closes the enemy into their side quickly. I think power level wise Zeal is the better keyword, and a better fit for most of the minions that have it, but I really like the idea and what it could bring.


Giving feedback is not the same as playing favorites, m8. You can’t vote anymore, so there is no way you could influence the competition…

Could it be that you hate Abyssian too? Most people would say that it is trash and far too slow because it’s a 1/1 for 8. I know it would be very powerful, but due to its slowness your opponent still has a few turns left to try and win (more if they run). Do you think it should cost 9?

You mean the ability is not good? Perhaps you’re right. Not sure how to improve it though.

It is complicated, but not confusing… unlike this, I must say:

Yeah, maybe.

Ok. @thematsjo, @oranos, @halcyon98, @rustyrat, you heard the boss! I would appreciate your opinions here.


Honestly, that sounds offensive to people.

dishonorable captain

wording could use some cleaning but is otherwise solid. not especially interesting, but solid

lich master

feels like a beefier priestess, but easier to trigger. not sure why it needs provoke since that decreases the slots for wraithling summons. i get its a lyonar mix, but…

lavaspout broodmother

not bad, i kinda like it. seems a little strong, but i guess it would need to be since all magmars good removal has anti-synergy with this card

judgement sea relic

this is purely a win more card. not to mention you are equipping an artifact that removes itself and cant even be played with jank unless your at the very end of the game.

hunting hound

+1/1 isnt quite enough to make up for the strict requirements of fulfilling zeal AND infiltrate. and the extra movement has anti-synergy with zeal

sunrise martyr

it feels like a lyonar gnasher. while tempting to assume abyssian is the dying wish archetype, both abyssian and vetruvian have dying wish manipulation cards and a simple aoe dying wish feels very neutral.

inxikrah elder

seems like a cop out. id say its borderline disqualified since it doesnt actually integrate 2 factions, and just copies them all. not to mention how nightmarish this would be to balance. also, remember. invulnerable is a keyword


i like it. its similar in spirit to something ive thrown out in ye contests of old but its nice to see the rebirth: serpenti code wont dissapear. feels like it could use a better name though.

shinobi of the frozen moon

simple, but solid. has a shocking amount of synergy with things like lightning blitz and avalanche. backstab 4 seems a little too strong for a 2 drop though even with the added infiltrate condition

will review the rest later




Appreciate the feedback, I suppose here is as good a place as any to justify my choices. This is actually an incredibly easy requirement to fulfill as Player 1, simply walk forward twice and play it forward and BAM! 3 mana 4/4. Which is actually quite strong (particularly in a gauntlet scenario, but I think most people discount this mode). But a 3 mana 3/3 is not dire by any means, so hopefully it’s weak but not unplayable when 3/3 and strong but not broken when 4/4.

What I had in mind when designing this was that it’s quite plausible that Kara, or even Faie/Ilena could make use of tamed dogs (or wolves?) when exploring the Vanar Landscapes. I don’t go deep on the lore, so maybe this is misguided, but I’m sure there is some transferable concept.

When in the safety of home, it is still a strong creauture, but when in the wilderness of unknown territory it gets free from the (metaphorical) leash. Of course it is still much stronger when working together with master. One thing that flavourfully I liked is that the buff let’s it survive damage that would otherwise kill it, but if they return safely home, or it is parted from it’s master, then it can die from it’s wounds.

The extra movement therefore is firstly to make it slightly easier to stay by it’s master’s side, within zeal range wherever they both want to end up positioned. Secondly It gives it mobility to dash about from all sides of them, I was particularly thinking of when you get provoked on a corner and your general body blocks your own minion from attacking to defend you, but other scenarios or body blocks may apply. Thirdly, the extra movement acts as the ability to send your hound sprinting out towards a particular distant target.

I also just sort of like it as a bit of spice on the card for making advantageous positioning scenarios. And Icing on the cake since as you say the +1/+1 potentially was not quite enough.

My points of reference for balance were Crystal Cloaker, Bloodshard Golem & Prongbok. Hopefully that gives good insight into what I had in mind for the card.

arcane alembic

im pretty sure that promote doesnt specify that everything keeps its cost after being upgraded. could be interesting, could be horribly broken. but then again thats cause the current promotion only works on minions already on the field.

call of the seeker

nice to see some positioning effects worked in there. cool name. low cost per effect justified by also affecting enemy minions. :+1:

abominable augmentation

thats op. either bump it up to 9 mana or make it dispellable

chakri bodyguard

nice, effective, and simple


seems op.if it survives 1 turn its a 3 mana 4/5 and only gets bigger from there. not to mention lyonar has plenty of provokes and minions with enough beef to abule primal flourish tiles

suntide priestess

not very creative. just making a bloodmoon priestess spawn tiles instead of wraithlings

sand pillar

again, borderline disqualification since just steling your opponents keywords doesnt really imtegrate 2 factions

pawn of the monoloth

super strong. scales very hard. the only balanced abilities are the songhai one and maybe the lyonar and vanar ones

smouldering spectre

too strong. since its ephemeral itself, if you summon one and let it fade, the next one you summon and suicide will spawn a spectre, and if that dies it creates essentially an infinite loop. not to mention summoning 8 wind dervishes and a tiger for 5 mana is busted.

also you dont need to specify “if it doesnt already have it” since giving something double rush effectively does nothing.

green menhir

personally i would have made a fertilizer reference, but whatever. its also extremly close the the suntide priestess submission with the main difference in it veing a magmar structure and way cheaper

tree of life

seems weird to make a structure grow since it cant actually gain attack points. doesnt seem especially useful though

soul stealer

seems convoluted and skirting the line of what is acceptable for the prompt. saying “any possible effect” then adding a disclaimer of “not actually any effect” is just purposefully obscuring the true abilities of the card


Thanks for the feedback. You think 4 seems to strong? I could always nix the Vespyr tag if need be, but I still fear it will be to weak with how difficult it will be to set up. And while I could tone down the damage its self I am worried it would be to weak if I did and of course it also messes with the flavor a bit.

@niklaren to make much use of the card at all you sort of have to build a deck around it, and then invest two to three cards to get it to go off, all of which have loads of counterplay. As a two drop with the ideal body and the Vespyr tag its still good as just a two drop without its effect but not an issue. And again without things like inner focus and an excess of easy ways to pull the effect off songhai will still be the suprerior backstabbers. While six damage may be high, I think the investment to pull it off is reasonable, and still not game winning even if you do considering the investment of cards and deck building. Unfortunately if you do not like the risk/reward aspect there is not much to be done there as it is the crucial part of the design.

Now to return the favor:


Lavaspout Broodmother:

Structures are really awkward for magmars removal package, its pretty expensive but its effect is pretty terrifying to be immediate, yet if it was not immediate it would be to slow. I also do not quite follow how this combines factions?

Hunting Hound:

This seems really under-tuned, while perhaps not as difficult to pull off as backstab, zeal and infiltrate is no easy task, especially not in the early game. I think you ought to split the effects in two, make zeal give it the extra movement to help it get infiltrated, and then it gets its statbuff from infiltrate of which I think you may also be lowballing.

Alternatively it could be a much more expensive card with a scary statline and maybe even provoke, as sort of a lategame bomb that comes down once you have managed to get to your opponents side of the field with your general.

Twilight Inquisitor (juror)

Interesting, initially I had some criticisms but the more I thought about it the more I realized all the neat things it had going on, it seemed simple on the surface but there is a lot of depth and deck building potential.


That’s fair feedback. I don’t dislike the idea of splitting the effects.

At the end of the day though I’m happy with the design and am okay if it’s too weak to see play. Also fine if it’s not voted. Reading through a lot of the designs I noticed that it’s pretty popular to design splashy legendaries with complicated or game winning effects, but I think I prefer looking at cards like yours and mine that are much more simple to parse, and get their complexity from how they interact with other simple effects. Even if that ends up with the card being slightly underwhelming.

The game is built upon it’s commons, and not every card has to make it into a constructed deck, or a deck built around it if it’s fun enough to play or think about.


It is a faction combination not in mechanics, but in playstyle/aesthetics, to (hyperswarm) Abyssian. It uses the Magma tokens in a fashion much similar to Wraithlings as mass-produced swarm of disposable flunkies that will be somewhat buffed before sent to the meat grinder.


a 2 mana 2/3 with backstab(4) is immensly powerful. imagine this

t1 play it
t2 gravity well hearth sister. then you backstab the general for 6 damage every turn they cant answer it. more if you buff it.

thats way too much damage potential for a 2 drop. remember katara when it first came out? dropping the backstab from 4 to 2 is more in line with whats balanced. 3 if your feeling generous.

dont forget that vanar actually has a lot of cards that punish or manipulate positioning. provoke, stun, teleports, walls, positional high damage aoe


For the seed, what I don’t like is that it’s unanswerable. Invulnerable means you can’t do anything to it. You can plop the seed right in front of them and they can’t interact with it. It can’t be targeted by soft removal such as demonic lore to move it away. It may be fun to play with by not so fun when it’s blocking your path from a potential lethal.

My suggestion is to buff the ability, give it deathwatch: Gain Grow: +1/+1 and grow. Dying wish: Summon a copy of this minions on a random space. Thus it gives it answers for players to counterplay way. It’s answer or die, not die.

PS: I love abyssian, and don’t ever say I don’t :grinning:.


I’ve recently began experimenting with Lyonar and they feel waaaaay more sturdy and hard to kill than Magmar, which got me thinking that having access to a single grow tile would make for some insane power, but at the same time, throwing out a small body with a very dispellable effect beyond 4 Mana seems suicidal and unplayable, hence the 3 Mana cost.

I considered giving it an even smaller body with 1 or 0 attack, but Strategos really doesn’t need any more help.

…Perhaps removing its own Grow and just leaving the Flourish tile is the answer? But what kinda magic sentient (possibly sacred because Lyonar) sunflower can’t grow on its own?


why not making it have a passive effect that augments hallowed ground to also grant +1 attack alongside the +1 health restoration


While these are interesting on paper, Lyonar lacks any sort of positioning tools bar Provoke which forces certain uncomfortable plays and Magnetize which is… gimmicky.

For that reason, Twilight Inquisitor seems more viable than Dishonorable Captain, and while I like the idea of a sub-faction of evil Lyonar creatures, backstab and infiltrate feel really out of place with the game in its current state. Maybe you guys could come up with a whole series of evil Lyonar minions to support the theme, but as standalone entries they feel weird.

The possibilities this has terrify me; Flashing it out while running Moloki and/or Godhammer, or while Wanderer’s effect is already in place, or with Gigaloth already active would make for some broken lists. It doesn’t seem too great on its own but it enables some crazy tempo moves.

Not gonna lie, love this one; but moving an additional space seems rather underwhelming. Maybe switch to a giant bird (the other Vanar sub-theme) and give it Zeal: Flying?

Not crazy about the name; he’d be a martyr if it were Dying Wish, but not with Deathwatch, plus the tiny body seems very counterproductive outside of Strategos… and Strategos is already doing great without more stuff thrown his way.

So… it transforms other things into Lyth? Rebirth may not be the right keyword to use here and it therefore feels incredibly Abyssian, not something out of another faction.

Love this one, but it seems like an awful lot of work for such a small payoff unless you’ve developed Gravity walls to keep your opponent pinned. Why not reduce the backstab damage and also give the dude Rush? I can see it being a Combo wincon with Wailing Overdrive and a positioning tool.