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CardName: Blue/Red keyword ability Cost: UR Type: Pow/Tgh: / Rules Text: There is badly a need for some sort of common keyword in UR. This is for discussing this issue. Flavour Text: Set/Rarity: Conversation None

Blue/Red keyword ability
There is badly a need for some sort of common keyword in UR. This is for discussing this issue.
Updated on 18 Nov 2021 by Alex

History: [-]

2013-04-28 01:50:28: Circeus created the card Blue/Red keyword ability

Working on Ankh-Duat, where Blue dips into red with semi-hybrid cards (i.e. with {u/r}{u} costs), I am finding myself scrabbling for partial {u/r} design space. There is currently much need for a {u/r} keyword (inexistent) and extra variations in both blue and red's segments of the pie.

Has anyone designed interesting ideas for a potential {u/r} evergreen mechanic? Here are the constrains I've defined so far (but there are probably more):

  1. It cannot be directly evasive (deathtouch and trample are indirectly evasive). Blue has too much evasion already. ­
  2. ­
  3. It cannot have a cost (unless it's a keyword action à la regeneration). ­
  4. ­
  5. It must be usable at common. ­
  6. ­
  7. It cannot be a downside mechanic. ­
  8. ­
  9. It cannot be a partial version of another evergreen mechanic. (The second ability on ((C24980)) is nice, but "partial haste" would make a poor evergreen mechanic. Besides red already has haste. Sadly, this eliminate "taphaste" from the original concept of Bonded Fetch.)
  10. ­

So far, my only idea has been "reverse vigilance" and I'm not all that confident about it: "this creature can block while tapped." In red, it allows the color to get extra aggressive, and in blue, it lets the color do the opposite by allowing it to tap for its effect without hobbling itself on the next turn.

Taunt (At the beginning of each opponent's combat, target creature that player controls attacks if able.)

We're looking for an evergreen keyword that could appear on a {u/r} creature? Well, if looting were keyworded, it would be a good fit. The Alluring Siren/Heckling Fiends ability fits in both colors, as does forced blocking, but I'm not sure how the first might be keyworded, and the second is too similar to provoke.
Perhaps something like "Evade (Whenever this creature becomes blocked, return it to your hand.)" Or the opposite, "Glare (Whenever this creature becomes blocked, return the blocking creature to its owner's hand.)" The second stretches the pie more because of the red bounce. The first can be justified in red by things like Archwing Dragon or possibly Norin the Wary. I think people would view it as a draw back, though.
Honestly, coming up with a new evergreen mechanic is very difficult, because what's been established works so well already.

not evergreen, but discount for each instant or sorcery you cast this turn. where black has delve and green/white has convoke.

Depreciate (This spell costs {2} less to cast for each instant or sorcery spell you cast this turn.)

it doesn't have to go on instants or sorceries. you can put it on creatures and enchantments, too.

My thoughts on this depends on whether you want a keyword mechanic, or a mechanical identity. For example, I think it would be cool to see blue/red have a lot of power and toughness switchers in one set. That's not really a keyword, but people would start to notice it if done in abundance.

Alternatively, p/t setting could be kind of neat. That's kind of every color's keyword ability, but blue is number one, and if you chose one static 'reddish' creature that the creatures kept turning into "Target creature becomes a 4/1 red and blue elemental until end of turn.// When this creature attacks, it becomes a 4/1 red and blue elemental until end of turn.// All creatures opponents control become 4/1 red and blue elementals until end of turn" it would start to feel blue/red.

Also, I think you could get some mileage on 'hurts to target and to block'. So something along these lines:

Creature - Illsusion
Whenever this creature is blocked or targeted by a spell or ability an opponent controls, you may draw a card.

Same deal on the red cards, but they deal damage, or maybe sacrifice permanents or something. Again, not really a keyword. More a mechanical identity. Though, I admit that that last ability borders on evasion.

Shift {N} ({N}: This creature gets your choice of +1/-1 or -1/+1 UEOT.)
Although really, I don't see the point of keywording this. It's just a suggestion.

High flying, just like flying, except:
1. can only be blocked by other creatures with flying and high flying (not reach).
2. can't block creatures without flying or high flying.
3. spells that affect flying can also affect high flying (e.g. Hurricane also hurts high flying.)
4. mostly occurs in blue, white, and red

1. creatures with different power than this creature can't block it.

1. whenever this creature attacks or blocks, you may switch its power and toughness until end of turn.


Not a keyword and L2i0n0k7 already said it, but Frostburn Weird.

Aether Influence - Whenever you cast an instant or sorcery ~ gets your choice of +1/+0 or +0/+1 until end of turn.

Feel U/R and good for common.

Example commons
Ember Hound
Creature - Animal
Aether Influence, Trample

Elemental Bird
Creature Bird
Aether Influence, Flying

re: Aether Influence
I think it's narrow enough that +1/+1 would be fine.

Yeah. It was already on Blistercoil Weird and Wee Dragonauts

My two cents:

Spellcraft (This costs {1} less to cast for each spell cast before it this turn.)

**Can go on pretty much anything, but I think it would be fine as a red/blue mechanic (maybe 'bleed' a little into the other colors, or return in a later set in additional colors).

**Cards can be appropriately costed so as to avoid ridiculousness.

Besides, in a game of magic, is there a more perfect mechanic name?

Also, Shift as a power-toughness switcher seems fine and flavorful.

And, the ability of Aether Influence seems good, but a slightly less wordy mechanic name would be preferable, imo. :3

Oh, and High Flying reminds me of Bonded Fetch because I read an article once about how R&D and/or Maro was looking for a keyword for what was essentially 'skill haste': the ability to tap immediately upon playing, but not attacking. Sounds like it'd be a good fit for U/R if only we can think of a suitable keyword. :D


Target creature has prepared.

How about "activity", which sounds like activate?

I wouldn't use High Flying as en evergreen keyword, as it breaks two of my rules. It's an evasion keyword and it's a downside mechanic. It also feels like an overly complicated version of the existing high-flying, and keywords that partly overlap are just asking for trouble IMO.

This one wouldn't work for U/R, but maybe for U alone?

Deflate (Creatures blocking or blocked by this creature gets -1/-0.)

Divert (You may have damage that would be dealt to this creature be dealt to you instead.)

Hydra X (X additional creatures are needed to block this creature.)

Passage {x} ({x}: Target creature can't block this creature this turn.)

Crawl (This creature can be blocked by tapped creatures and can't be blocked by untapped creatures.)

Recast (Whenever an ability or spell targets this permanent, you may copy that ability or spell. You may choose new targets for the copy.)

Red could keyword "When ~ blocks or is blocked by a creature, it deals _1 damage to it" Dunno what to call it.
It already gets first strike, and this unkeyworded firstest strike.

Conceivably, you could keyword 'firebreathing'

Blue gets 'unblockable', woiuld be nice to use 'illusion' as a keyword, but it already means the downside 'this will vanish'.

Flicker? As in 'exile, unexile'? It's a common enough ability for blue.

Flickering is white-and-blue, though, not blue-and-red. (Momentary Blink, Turn to Mist, etc; Avacyn Restored has a flickering theme and its commons included Cloudshift and Ghostly Flicker.)

Oh; I was looking for blue things, and red things. Blue red overlap is pretty much "Non-creature".

Let's see. Weird, Elemental, Djinn, Shapeshifter, Wizard...

Oh, how about "You may move power to toughness and vice-versa"? Not sure how to template it, it's been done a few ways over time; but it captures the shapeshifting fluidity that UR share.

Otherwise, it's all "something something instant or sorcery something something" Which isn't really keywordable, let alone at common.

I guess you could make something a bit like rampage? "Whenever you cast a non-creature spell, ~ gets +1/+1 UEOT" that might be keywordable?

I kind of like combining unblockability with firebreathing...

Saboteur 3 (When you attack with this creature, you may give it +3/+0 until end of turn. If you do, it becomes unblockable until end of turn, then sacrifice ~.)

Astral Projection on Double Dragon: i can see it in U/R. it's just unfortunate that this effect is seen more in white. which means this could be a WUR keyword as well.

I can't think of a white card that does that. What am I forgetting? Are you talking about Brimaz, King of Oreskos or Hero of Bladehold?

To truly answer this question, we have to look at what {u}{r} needs and what you/we want {u}{r} to be. Frankly, Wizards couldn't care less about this color combination. Sure they'll gives us a bone here and there and pull us along with some trap johnny cards, but there is not (and probably never will be) a coherent set of cards or mechanic to form a staple strategy or archetype like other color combinations. Their focus right now is all about creatures and creature-based strategies. And this color combination is as alternative from their mainstream profit as it gets.

So I say we can't rely on what Wizards may think or do about this color pair. I suggest we ourselves should forge an identity and playstyle for this color pair that we are satisfied. And most importantly, cost them appropriately and competitively, unlike those frivolous trap cards they use to trick us with--overcosted unplayable combo junk that even a retard knows is trash in every format.

This means we have to look at the past of {u}{r} and envision the future of {u}{r}. Past archetypes in {u}{r} are typically counter-burn control and combo. That's basically it. There are a few mechanical overlaps, like instant/sorcery focus, looting, copying, stealing, power-switching. However, most of these can't be the centerpiece of an archetype. Instant/sorcery might get there, but most of the time it's very little reward for going through a lot of hoops. Why bother with Blistercoil Weird when one can just cast a Giant Growth for a simple {g} for 3x the effect?

One philosophical identity overlap between {u}{r} I want to expand on is trickery and sabotage. Specifically to get an advantage when your creature successfully strikes an opponent. Also red is starting to get temporary card draw. Blue gets efficient real card draw on spells, but on creatures it is more expensive and slower. So maybe a middle ground like so:

Stash N (When this creature deals combat damage to an opponent, exile the top N cards of your library. You may play them this turn.)

Blue already has this effect where you get to draw a card, but only one at a time. With Stash, blue can effectively draw two or more cards when N >= 2. The downside is you have to play them the same turn. For red, this type of effect is still new, so N = 1 is fine for now. With access to double-strike, N is effectively doubled anyway. see Prophetic Flamespeaker.

Besides Stash, I'd also like to see other effects when a {u}{r} creature deals combat damage.

I don't think you can use a numbered mechanic as an evergreen. But making the flamespeaker ability into evergreen is probably an option. Curiosity is at common whiole red gets Academy Raider and Dangerous Wager. I suspect the flamespeaker effect will slowly buyt surely tricle down in rarity.

I like U/R. A lot of people like U/R (if we're to go by the Ravnica Guild war polls) and a lot of Wizards employees have gone on the record as saying their favorite combination is U/R (including MaRo). So, while I don't disagree with you that Wizards has a hard time wrapping their head around what blue-red represents in Modern Magic, I'm more optimistic about Wizards desire to find a better identity for that color combination than just "It's zany!"

That said, I don't really think blue-red is having a mechanical problem as 'the spell color', even in our creature creep world. Blue-Black aside, every two-color combinations is a rare sight in the tournament environment, due to the fact that there are ten of them. By rights, blue-red should pop up 10% of the time... which is about as often as it does show up.

It's true: We don't get Counter-Burn anymore. We get combination filled decks centered on oddball mechanics like Flashback. Wizards throws us bones, and forces us to find a way to create a skeleton out of it. I'm not sure that that's such a bad thing, though. If it didn't happen in blue-red, then I assume a group of players would be asking for it to happen to a less appropriate color combination.

I completely agree with giving Blue-Red more combat dealing goodness, though. I wouldn't mind seeing all those Jump variants mean something.

Combining the themes of chaos and tides, I present:

Drift N (This creature gets +N/+0 on your turn and -N/-0 on your opponents' turns.)

Looks good for red. Not sure about it in blue.

If N is positive, it gets boosted on your turn and shrunken on opponents' turns. If N is negative, vice versa. Multiple instances are cumulative If it has both positive and negative N, they may cancel out. Fits blue either way. damn crafty blue mages. Math teachers and students would love this.

Now what is acceptable for |N|? Most of the time it will be 1. And 2 or 3 is normal outer bound. Maybe a oddball rare or mythic may have N=10 or 20?

2015-04-03 21:53:49: Alex edited Blue/Red keyword ability

I made Liquid Doubt, which has Faze, the first idea I've had for this that I really liked.

Range (This creature may attack with another creature as a band. This creature is assigned combat damage after nonrange creatures.)

Primary {u/r}, secondary {w}

Ex. Izzet Sharpshooter

I designed a keyword that I had planned for blue-black-red a long while ago that was

> Taunt (Your opponents must attack with a creature each combat if able.)

The main problem was finding a good wording that emphasises that this ability stacks without sounding weird.

But the truth is probably that a static variant of prowess is a fine answer.

Mimicry (This creature may deal combat damage equal to the power of a creature that is blocking or blocked by this creature)

Basically it may copy the power of a creature it's dueling. Making it very dangerous to block it and as a blocker.

ex. 1/1 with mimcry blocks or is blocked by 5/5. now the 1/1 may deal 5 combat damage to 5/5.

ex. 1/1 with mimcry is unblocked. it deals 1 damage to opponent.

That sounds like a fun block mechanic, but I don't know about evergreen. It feels familiar, like maybe I made a similar suggestion but as a {u/b} mechanic. I can't find it, though.

You've all inspired me to make some trash and maybe something that could be passable or an abomination, I'm not sure.
Fir The Blue Test for a UR Evergreen. I like this ability, but I don't believe it's evergreen material, heck, it may not even be keywordaable.
Up next is Fast Goblin. I tried to flavorfully create something evocative for aspects of blue and red. Fast1 on the card, was getting toward where i needed to be, but still a far ways off, absolutely nopeland. But Fast2, maybe Fast2 is good. I don't know, maybe discount hexproof is really bad and whack.

I don't mean to step on Sorrow's cool ideas, but I couldn't help think of an old mechanic that doesn't work, and how keywording it helps to solve the problem.

Siren's Call (When an opponent declares attackers, they must attack with one creature for each creature with Siren's Call you control. This ability is not redundant.)

I always thought it was a neat idea, and way back in the day had a bunch of Creature Type - Enchantress with rules text that talked about how your opponent was supposed to attack with a number of creatures equal to the number of Enchantresses you controlled. But two enchantresses would mean four attacking creature. And trying to write your way out of that in 20 or so words was nigh impossible.

But reminder text doesn't need to be exact. It just needs to get the point across. "This ability is not redundant" is icky, and it doesn't do a perfect job saying that "Two creatures with Siren's Call means two attacking creatures, and not four." But if it isn't clear for some people, it will encourage those players to find out what the ability really does. They ask, or they read, and problem solved.

Huh. I do like that. The comp-ruling would be pretty horrible; "Opponents must attack you must attack you with at least x creatures (where x is the number of siren's call abilities you control" maybe.

I like it, a very nice red keyword. But it's only really blue for the historical pie. I'm also not sure I like the idea of it as an evergreen; but I'd want to see how it played out. Maybe it's more fun than I think it is.

Blue by grandfathering isn't great, admittedly. Strategically, though, it makes more sense for blue to encourage other colors to smash against its defensive walls. Add a few Horned Turtles and the mechanic works well in a way that wouldn't work as well with Lightning Elementals.

And anything that encourages designers to make more combat appropriate blue creatures is fine in my book. Worst in combat shouldn't mean 'skips combat'.

just realized Mimicry above in practice is just weaker deathtouch. so change it to capy any creature in combat.

Mimicry (This creature may deal combat damage equal to the power of another attacking or blocking creature.)

Now it can copy power of any creature in combat so it doesn't feel useless if not blocking/blocked. Alpha attacks would be crazy.

Ex. Attack with 1/1 with mimicry and 9/9. the 1/1 would deal 9 damage, too.

Taking this idea from Gwent. Spy (This creature enters the battlefield under target opponents control.)

These cards would have to have strong negative effects on their controller or even stronger positive effects on their owner.

I'm not sure how {u}{r} it is. Might also be {b}. Blue & Red do both have a lot of control changing cards.

In my quest to 'balance' the evergreen keywords for every color pair, I assigned three positive and one negative keyword to each pair.

I feel U/R are the masters of trickery, uncertainty, and imitation. Thus I assigned them Mimicry, Subsurface, and Ambush.

= Mimicry = As this enters, it gains a keyword from another creature on the field.

= Subsurface = Can't be blocked by flyers

= Ambush = You may cast this spell as though it had flash if you additionally pay its ambush cost.

= Demise = Sacrifice this at end of turn.


Mimicry effect must be evergreen rather than only appearing in specific sets. So that it can copy keywords in any set, in any format, from every set and every card from the beginning of time until the end of time.

Subsurface replaces similar older blue and red evasion. Namely landwalk, where Islandwalk and Mountainwalk were the most common forms thereof. Subsurface adds some tension against flying (the most common keyword). Flavorwise, blue creatures dwell below the surface of water, and red creatures below the surface of earth.

Ambush can be put on creatures, artifacts, enchantments, and even sorceries. Compared to flash, the base mana cost of the spell should be equal to or lower than the curve, and ambush is a straight-up bonus.

Demise is the negative keyword. Represents red's flash in the pan, and blue's fragility. Appearing more in red offensively and blue defensively.

I assume these make sense in your re-balanced world, but you can probably see why they don't answer the question very well in regard to canon MtG.

actually they were created in accordance with canon MTG.

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