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CardName: Horned Guardian Cost: 1W Type: Creature - Minotaur Warrior Pow/Tgh: 1/2 Rules Text: Torpor (You may put a +1/+1 on this creature instead of untapping it.) Horned Guardian can block an additional creature each combat as long as Horned Guardian has a +1/+1 counter on it. Flavour Text: Set/Rarity: Ulaqat Common

Horned Guardian
{1}{w}
 
 C 
Creature – Minotaur Warrior
Torpor (You may put a +1/+1 on this creature instead of untapping it.)

Horned Guardian can block an additional creature each combat as long as Horned Guardian has a +1/+1 counter on it.
1/2
Updated on 26 Aug 2018 by Sorrow

History: [-]

2018-08-26 01:59:56: Sorrow created the card Horned Guardian
2018-08-26 02:00:06: Sorrow edited Horned Guardian

Huh. I went peeking in your cardlist to see if there are a lot of ways to tap your own creatures in this set. But that doesn't seem to be a thing.

Torpor seems like a good variation on Outlast. But swinging with your Squire on turn three... man that's rough. Making up for that problem lends toward swinginess.

That is, unless the creature doesn't need to be tapped for Torpor to trigger. I'm not quite sure which way this mechanic is supposed to go. But if that's the case, then this mechanic might be surprisingly better than it looks. Let's pretend this card existed in Timespiral:

Horned Guardian
­{6}{w}
Creature - Minotaur Warrior
Suspend 3 - {1}{w}
Horned Guardian can block an additional creature each combat.
4/5

It compares favorably to Errant Ephemeron who was considered a first draft pick. Granted suspend is different, there's a round of haste, and creature creep. But imagine if you could stop the suspend on Errant Ephemeron whenever you wanted. And you could restart it whenever you wanted. That card would have been pretty bonkers.

Do you think Torpor is salvageable? I've admittedly leaned towards swinginess with most of my mechanics that have involved +1/+1 counters, and Torpor is completely within the player's control, and only drawback is being potentially left open.

You just need a built in tap ability. Or go full tension and add "~ may etb tapped". But its a very slow lot of decisions type of mechanic. You need a set that supports it. Lots of sets the existence of (b) and(r) would flatten it before it going.

Te obvious thing to do would be link the abilities. "(t): up to torrpor creatures become blocked."

I really like Vitenka's suggestion of making all/many of the torpor creatures enter the battlefield tapped. It not only gets the party started, but also gives the creature a drawback that's underated to help make up for a powerful ability that's going to be underated. It will probably make the creature more powerful in a number of cases... But sometimes it won't, like when you print torpor on an evasive creature. So there's a sort of balance going on.

Personally, I don't think there's anything 'wrong' with torpor that isn't also wrong with outlast (assuming there's some way to tap torpor creatures.) I just think they're tricky to cost in a way that's fair, but also looks appealing. Horned Guardian, for example, might be more correctly costed as a 0/1 for {1}{w} that enters the battlefield tapped. It sounds horrible, but it's probably a secret super-strong round 2 drop. Attacking with your 5/6 every turn starting round 7 is no joke. (In contrast, a card like Ainok Bond-Kin had an efficient body because it cost an incredible amount of mana over time. A 5/4 first striker would end up costing {4}{w}{w}{w}{w}.)

I would find more ways to tap your creatures, though, so you can get the ball rolling again. Lorwyn has a handful of these effects to play with Merfolk, so it makes for a good set to base the numbers on. You don't need a lot. Lorwyn isn't brimming with them. You also want most of them to be mediocre cards... if they get first draft picked before the torpor decks gets their hands on them, then they aren't doing their job.

Oh, and since it's hard to print these cards at cheap costs, I would also think about doing some wonky riders that makes attacking and blocking a problem. "When this creature attacks or blocks, lose life equal to the number of +1/+1 counters on it" is a real stinker (which I would never use at common) but it works.

I'm surprised Vigean Hydropon's trick of "can't attack or block" was never used again. It seems really useful for making big creatures that care about power/toughness or +1/+1 counters, without breaking combat.

There's plenty more to play with... I'm just scratching the surface over here.

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