Simple and straight to the point.
Is Grandmaster Zendo good or bad design, and if so, what does he open up?
Ignoring his power level for the moment, I want to focus on Zendo’s design. A recent core tenant in card design is “Don’t fuck over your opponent”, or to be more exact “Don’t force your opponent to do things.”. This is why discards effects and effects like “You MUST attack this turn” or “If you have a spell, you MUST play it.” tend to not show up. Because it’s not very fun for the opponent to do something against their will.
And then in walks Grandmaster Zendo. A minion that literally forces the enemy to move and attack against their will. And not just any enemy. It forces their general, their player itself, to perform actions they might not be willing to do. Is this healthy design? Obviously, I’m going with ‘No’. No matter how small, taking the ability to act and choose away from the opponent is an unfun mechanic. Not only does it affect your entire strategy, but it does so in a way thats intrinsically irritating. Imagine in the next expansion we got a card like “Grandmaster Nezdo, 6 mana, 4/6, If your opponent has their BBS available they must activate it.” That doesn’t sound very appealing, does it? It forces your opponent to act outside of their control. And Zendo is exactly the same, or so I feel.
So more to the point, I’d like to hear how others feel. Is this kind of design acceptable, or not? If it is, why? If it isn’t, what would be a good replacement?