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Ethan Fleischer @EthanFleischer
, 9 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
I wanted to make Dragon Tribal a deck you could build in #MTGM19 Limited, due to the thematic tie-in with Sarkhan. #M19CardStories #WOTCstaff 1/9
This meant that we would have to get our Dragon as-fan high enough. (As-fan is the average number of cards of a given quality in a booster pack.) An uncommon Dragon increases the Dragon as-fan by 0.0375. while a common increases it by 0.099. 2/9
We had a couple of great reprints at uncommon, Volcanic Dragon, which is a simple, elegant card, and Dragon Egg, which is a great top-down design and counts as two Dragons for the purposes of some interactions. 3/9
That wasn't enough to get our as-fan high enough, and I didn't want to make every uncommon red creature a Dragon. It's important to have a variety of concepts, both to demonstrate the breadth of Magic's worldbuilding and to make it easy to distinguish cards from one another. 4/9
What we needed was a common Dragon. We'd only ever designed two common Dragons before (not including downshifts in Masters sets): Dragon Hatchling and Lightning Shrieker. 5/9
Lightning Shrieker, from Fate Reforged, is a pretty cool design, but it's relatively weak and involves too much shuffling. (See my earlier thread on Elvish Rejuvenator for why shuffling causes problems.) 6/9
Dragon Hatchling from M13 was causing me cognitive dissonance. Why was the Dragon token that hatches out of the Dragon Egg a 2/2, while this card was a 0/1? I guess you could argue that they're different species or something, but it just felt too weird to me. 7/9
We decided to design a new card. After a lot of iteration, we landed on this 3/3 flier with a pseudo-kicker that felt like a breath weapon. This is a good reward for ramping in Limited, and comes with flood insurance. 8/9
We wouldn't normally put a 3/3 flying creature at common in red, but this is an example of bending the color pie to accommodate a set's themes. 9/9
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