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CardName: Splitting Spirit Cost: 2W Type: Creature - Spirit Pow/Tgh: 2/2 Rules Text: Lifelink Bifurcate {4}{B} ({4}{B}: Create a token that is a copy of this permanent.) Flavour Text: Set/Rarity: [Assorted] Card Repository Uncommon

Splitting Spirit
Creature – Spirit
Bifurcate {4}{b} ({4}{b}: Create a token that is a copy of this permanent.)
Updated on 27 Mar 2017 by SecretInfiltrator


History: [-]

2017-03-10 09:59:15: SecretInfiltrator created and commented on the card Splitting Spirit


  • rarity: added
  • increased activation cost of bifurcate significantly (+{2})

Doesn't this have extreme levels of memory issues? IMO something like the "projection" seems more plausible.

It does have memory issues. As I made the mechanic up on the spot to make a different point that is unrelated to the memory issue, that question never came up. (I also think it maybe shouldn't work at instant speed.)

I recall projection and like its possibilities, but what do you think about the following alternate solution for this effect?

  • Bifurcate {?} ({?}: Exile this permanent. If you do, create two tokens that are copies of it. Bifurcate as a sorcery.)

I'm partial to using exiled cards as memory aids.

Can you keep "splitting" the tokens as well? Imagine if you "split" this twice then drop one or two other bifurcate creatures and split them as well. Then you tap like half of them attack or so. You got a grand mess right there.

The exile clause IMO isn't that helpful in this scenario since it immediately needs to keep "track of" multiple objects. It's like an Aura that attempted to be enchanting two creatures simultaneously.

I would need to playtest this, but experience tells me that using a single card to keep track of multiple - even many - tokens is quite often comfortable e. g. I just used two differently colored dice or two solitary token cards plus dice to represent my hybrid Squirrel/Saproling horde (or depending on the deck the Bird/Spirit/Soldier horde).

Additionally if I were to use this mechanic or a similar one I have already a plan for "generic" tokens - which each represent copies and come in multiple (e. g. four) variants so as long as you are not having token copies of more than four different originals you are fine.

That works for a prerelease or whathaveyou.

This is my default kitchen table mtg scenario / assumption: There are 3-players having a multiplayer match on a small dining table. They use pen and paper to keep track of their life totals (the iphone app is pretty popular too), have no dice (maybe one of them has that D20 for life total), use pennies and such for +1/+1 / loyalty counters, and none of them care to drag a bunch of token cards with them. For creature tokens they use face down cards from decks that aren't being used.

DFCs for example can be a pain if you don't have nontransparent sleeves - the official proxies are used in decks with transparent sleeves, but the actual card might be omitted (in the case of a card such Delver of Secrets but maybe not with the planeswalkers) since none of the players have sideboards anyway so having to carry cards that "aren't actually part of your deck" isn't that common of a practice.

I have a solution to such scenarios that can handle large amounts of tokens. I could go through the motions with you. But you would always have to ask yourself: how would they play a deck with the above mentioned Bird/Spirit/Soldier token combination or a RtR-populate deck that makes full use of... let's say... Miming Slime, Giant Adephage and Urbis Protector in addition to populate cards like Eyes in the Skies, Vitu-Ghazi Guildmage and Horncaller's Chant.

Any solution I propose to you will be better than what they could do for that populate deck even if they play more than six differently named cards with bifurcate.

tl;dr: I propose they use the same solution that they use for any diverse token deck with the free bonus of having the exiled cards as markers that they usually wouldn't have.

Separating same sized creature tokens that have flying and don't have flying is a common nuisance but still manageable (sometimes barely).

With all those other different tokens they are usually of different sizes so you can slap some "+1/+1 counters" on them to differentiate them. Also, the tokens usually have the decency of being fairly vanilla - which might or might not be true for bifurcate but it does seem like it's calling for some not-so-vanilla designs that might or might not share the same (squared?) p/t stats along with many bifurcate cards.

I imagine if I pick up this mechanic for a set it would feature on about ten cards - mostly vanillas and french vanillas. Something as straightforward as Scion of the Wild could be rare.

p.s.: If you are okay with reading potential spoilers for an upcoming canon product, I suggest checking out this. Apparently Wizards is willing to go even further than me with the tokens... though adittedly they don't plan on growing the numbers the same way.

I feel okay about pushing the envelope just a little bit further considering that as a custom card product designer I will likely be personally present for more than half the gameplay these cards will experience and can provide token support. :)

At first I was like "WTF WotC?!", but after further thinking it's right around the limit what I would expect them to try to pull off.

It looks to me like this is their flagship flavor mechanic so they are willing to go a bit further with it. You can pretty much use the card itself when it's in that "state" - maybe with some kind of marker on it. The obvious problem being the potential mixup with +1/+1 counters and such which they are attempting to address.

So was mechanic made to prove a point about that specifically or something? Ie. you just running with the concept? The problem still remains the multiple tokens, so the rise in complexity is like "n2" compared to the new spoiled mechanic's "n" complexity.

Obviously you can do whatever you want, although using that excuse does sound like it could end up being a slippery slope.

I have the source linked above. The discussion concerned only the application of the color pie to mechanics with activated costs/alternate casting costs or similar.

I could see the tokens losing bifurcate anyway if testing comes up showing its a problem - just uses up even more text space.

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