What Red Needs

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As a note, I do not know how to link cards in my posts. If someone could help me that would be great.

Red is supposed to be the color that has the 2nd biggest monopoly on spell-manipulation as can be seen in Fork, Reverberate, Ricochet Trap, Shunt, Red Elemental Blast, Wild Ricochet, and now even Mindclaw Shaman.

However, this is not enough. Too often red's spell manipulation just pales in comparision to blue and its counterspells.

Here's what red needs:

Spell Stealing

Similar to its threaten effects, spell stealing is the abilty to gain control of spells AKA Commandeer.


Because right now, blue has so many effects can counter, redirect, or otherwise mess with the stack in some way. Red gets a tiny amount of the leftover. The other colors get next to nothing.

This is the biggest problem with the color blue throughout the history of Magic. No other color can answer instant and sorcery spells while they are on the stack as well as blue cards could.

Here is an example of a card with the effect:

3R
Instant
Gain control of target instant or sorcery spell and choose new targets for it.

If it's part of red's flavor to steal permanents until the end of turn, stealing spells is pretty much the same thing since its always going to be until end of turn anyway.

IMO spreading these type of effects out into the other colors is necessary for this game's health in order to help further even out the messed up color pie.
I'm a little surprised that spell stealing isn't more common. I know Commandeer causes some weird rules interactions, but I imagine it wouldn't be nearly as bad if it was restricted to instants and sorceries.

Mechanically, spell stealing is basically just Reverberate + Counterspell, but I think it could definitely be a red mechanic if costed correctly.

That said, it wouldn't help Red's slice of the pie much, since it probably wouldn't show up on very many cards. Reverberate and Redirect effects are pretty rare, and I can't see spell stealing being any different.

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Just give red some counters.
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Reversal of Fortune

Yes this, but actually playable.

Mindclaw Shaman was close.

If red can get creature stealing effects at common, why can't it get spell stealing at common as well? 
If red can get creature stealing effects at common, why can't it get spell stealing at common as well? 

Probably NWO, but I don't see why it oughtn't be done more frequently at rare or uncommon, yeah.
I think red should get some form of counterspells too. 

R
Instant
Counter target instant spell

Something simple like that. Red already is enemies with blue, which is the instant king. Shouldn't it have some instant hate? 
I think red should get some form of counterspells too. 

R
Instant
Counter target instant spell

Something simple like that. Red already is enemies with blue, which is the instant king. Shouldn't it have some instant hate? 



Counters aren't as flavorfully red as they are blue and white. It's not :R:'s style to wait around for your opponent to do something. I also hate red getting everything that blue does, but weaker (temporary mind controls, looting but not drawing, preventing creatures from blocking without being unblockable, Ect.)

Red should not have counter spells. Ever.
I think red should get some form of counterspells too. 

R
Instant
Counter target instant spell

Something simple like that. Red already is enemies with blue, which is the instant king. Shouldn't it have some instant hate? 



Counters aren't as flavorfully red as they are blue and white. It's not :R:'s style to wait around for your opponent to do something. I also hate red getting everything that blue does, but weaker (temporary mind controls, looting but not drawing, preventing creatures from blocking without being unblockable, Ect.)

Red should not have counter spells. Ever.

I agree. I think its time red has something better than what blue has, which is what I propose the spell-stealing to be.

And red counterspells don't have to be about waiting for the opponent to resolve stuff. The flavor can simply be forcing your other cards to go through unimpeded. 
 blue, which is the instant king.

This is what I'd rather Red steal. Red is fast, Blue is deliberate; Red thinks on its feet; Blue proceeds methodically. More subtly this also ups Red's option and surprise advantages, which also seem appropriate to the color. I can see why Flash is in Green for development reasons, but why White or Blue get it (and not Red) is somewhat of a mystery to me.
 blue, which is the instant king.

This is what I'd rather Red steal. Red is fast, Blue is deliberate; Red thinks on its feet; Blue proceeds methodically. More subtly this also ups Red's option and surprise advantages, which also seem appropriate to the color. I can see why Flash is in Green for development reasons, but why White or Blue get it (and not Red) is somewhat of a mystery to me.



Because flash is about suprise, not speed. Blue keeps it's strategies to itself until the time is right. Haste is about speed. Red is about action and blue is about reaction. This is the difference between haste and flash. I'm not really sure why white gets flash, but I like Village Bell-Ringer, so I'm not complaining.

I do like the idea of red getting spell stealing, but it doesn't seem to fit very well with red flavor when used to take control of creatures. That actually seems more like a black mind control effect.
I'm not quite sure why Blue is about reaction, though. I mean, I can make up reasons, but on the order of "First Strike is Black, because Black will do anything to win." Ideally Blue's weakness should be that it's the most flustered when things stop going according to plan. 

Temporary creature control isn't Red because Red is stealing your creatures; it's because, like, your Court Hussar got all huffy and jealous because he thought your Serra Angel was cheating on him, but don't worry, he'll get over it. Or at least that's how I concieve of it. 

(Riffing off of that, why is the exclusion of nonviolent Red themes justified on grounds that "well, the game is about fighting" when we get to see plenty of nonviolent stuff from Green and Blue (and to a slightly lesser extent Black and White?))
Red is about passion and emotion, that's why red often gets weaker versions of blue mechanics. You know, the whole emotion vs careful thought thing. They're both offshoots of each other. Red likes to manipulate other's emotions too, using empathy. At least that's the only way I can figure it's getting it
I'm not quite sure why Blue is about reaction, though. I mean, I can make up reasons, but on the order of "First Strike is Black, because Black will do anything to win." Ideally Blue's weakness should be that it's the most flustered when things stop going according to plan. 

Temporary creature control isn't Red because Red is stealing your creatures; it's because, like, your Court Hussar got all huffy and jealous because he thought your Serra Angel was cheating on him, but don't worry, he'll get over it. Or at least that's how I concieve of it. 

(Riffing off of that, why is the exclusion of nonviolent Red themes justified on grounds that "well, the game is about fighting" when we get to see plenty of nonviolent stuff from Green and Blue (and to a slightly lesser extent Black and White?))



Blue is about reaction because it plans ahead. Blue's character is to be prepared for anything. It's prepared for attackers with flash creatures and for spells with counters. If you want to do something, blue has an answer for it. Blue is about trickery and deception like these in addition to knowlege. This is whe blue has flash creatures.

As Chaos said, red controls by manipulating emotions. Act of treason spells do this with anger. Crossway vampire seems to use love/lust magic to control her victims as well. Emotions aren't permanent though. Adrenaline only lasts so long and you will be back to normal in moments. Emotions don't last, so the difference is both flavorful and mechanical.
I think red should get some form of counterspells too. 

R
Instant
Counter target instant spell

Something simple like that. Red already is enemies with blue, which is the instant king. Shouldn't it have some instant hate? 

Guttural Response.

Spell stealing sounds complicated, which why they might refrain from doing it at common. But it would be a great thing for Red to have. Removes some of the "Red is stupid"-aspects as well.


And for linking the cards:


Calcite Snapper


Just give red some counters.


Counters could probably stand being spread around a bit more, but Red isn't the best fit, in my opinion.
(Riffing off of that, why is the exclusion of nonviolent Red themes justified on grounds that "well, the game is about fighting" when we get to see plenty of nonviolent stuff from Green and Blue (and to a slightly lesser extent Black and White?))


This bothers me as well. A lot.

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(Riffing off of that, why is the exclusion of nonviolent Red themes justified on grounds that "well, the game is about fighting" when we get to see plenty of nonviolent stuff from Green and Blue (and to a slightly lesser extent Black and White?))


This bothers me as well. A lot.

I share this feeling.

What do people think of red getting Explore effects? It fits red both flavorfully (red breaking a rule it doesn't like, namely the one-land per turn one) and is somewhat close to ritual effects in that it hastens your mana but doesn't generate CA, while being an opportunity for non-violent themes in red.
"Red breaking a rule it doesn't like" is just as bad flavor as "Black will do anything to win". Red getting temporary mana accelleration to green's permanent accelleration is already a fine divide to work with--no need to blur that line. Ritual effects can already potentially be flavored as nonviolent in nature.

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If anything, I think red Llanowar Elves makes more sense than red Explore. I've always like Smokebraider. Maybe red could get mana fixing?

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Rainbow manafixing for red was what I suggested in the Goblin Artisans challenge to extend red's colour pie, and they awarded me third place. I was building on Smokebraider, Wild Cantor and Manamorphose. I think it'd work well. I think it's a step too far from tradition to move Llanowar Elves to red, but I think "rainbow rituals" would be fine:

Pyrokinetic Ritual
Sorcery, 1R, common
Add three mana of any one colour to your mana pool.

Fireblossom
Creature - Elemental, 3R, uncommon
3/1
Trample
Whenever ~ deals combat damage to a player, at the beginning of your next main phase, add to your mana pool mana of any one colour equal to the damage dealt this way.
Rainbow manafixing for red was what I suggested in the Goblin Artisans challenge to extend red's colour pie, and they awarded me third place. I was building on Smokebraider, Wild Cantor and Manamorphose. I think it'd work well. I think it's a step too far from tradition to move Llanowar Elves to red, but I think "rainbow rituals" would be fine:

Pyrokinetic Ritual
Sorcery, 1R, common
Add three mana of any one colour to your mana pool.

Fireblossom
Creature - Elemental, 3R, uncommon
3/1
Trample
Whenever ~ deals combat damage to a player, at the beginning of your next main phase, add to your mana pool mana of any one colour equal to the damage dealt this way.

I like this.

If they gave red more ritual based effects it might have something else to work with other than burn.

Giving it untap land effects might be pretty cool too ala Koth

Seismic Uprising 3R
Sorcery
Deal 2 damage to each creature.
Untap all mountains you control

Red wants to play as many cards as it can, so wouldn't it make sense to give it the ability to do so? This would both fit well in with its storm spells and it combos with green well because green is the color that gives you more lands, so red can then untap them.
I also think that extra land drops could be a red mechanic. I'm not sure if I would use rule breaking to justify it (Imagine where you can go with that. "I want to untap every turn!", for example.) However, it's a pretty close relative to rituals, and fits with the mechanical feeling of speed that red has in comparison to other colors. However, extra land drops usually suck, so it's not going to be all that interesting.

wotc always seems to toy with the effect of red manipulating instants and sorceries, but it seems like it just keeps it at a distance and pokes it with a stick. I'd like to see them actually embrace it and do something about it, as it can lead to a lot of both interesting and powerful utility options that differ from what red usually is played for, which is just raw damage. I'm hoping that they're going to commit to a side after spending some time with Izzet.

Enkindle
Instant
Cast target sorcery card in a graveyard with converted mana cost 2 or less.

Sudden Insight
Sorcery
Reveal the top three cards of your library. You may cast any number of instant and sorcery cards revealed this way, then put the rest on the bottom of your library.

Are these too much of a stretch? Sudden Insight looks a lot like a draw spell, but doesn't have the planning aspect as you need to use it right now. Enkindle seems to be to be a logical bridge from copy effects and Reversal of Fortune.

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Another one I've seen a lot of is red bounce. Extended that to the "red likes to manipulate spells" kinda thing. Making you cast your creature or artifact or whatever again.
Part of the reason that instants tend to be more blue than red is that, if you want to play cards on your opponents turn, you have to leave mana open instead of spending it all immediately.  This fits blue's plan ahead philosophy more than red's instant gratification philosophy.  So what if red gets instants that you don't have to leave mana open for.  For example it could get pact type effects or effects that have an alternative non-mana cost.  I don't now how much design space there is there but it might work.
Part of the reason that instants tend to be more blue than red is that, if you want to play cards on your opponents turn, you have to leave mana open instead of spending it all immediately.  This fits blue's plan ahead philosophy more than red's instant gratification philosophy.  So what if red gets instants that you don't have to leave mana open for.  For example it could get pact type effects or effects that have an alternative non-mana cost.  I don't now how much design space there is there but it might work.

Idunno if I agree on the philosophy here. It seems just as plausible to say that Red hates commitment and likes to keep its options open, while Blue makes a plan and executes each step according to its timetable. Doing certain things earlier sometimes feels impulsive, but casting spells at Sorcery speed doesn't: it feels slower, more deliberate, more restrictive. But then I think of cleverness, as distinct from intelligence, as more Red than Blue; Red is the color that wins at the dozens, has more skillful reflexes; it should be the superior at reaction.

Which isn't to say that Red shouldn't feel slightly (or very) antsy. More cantrips, maybe? (Not that I disagree with free spells being on-theme, they just perform a very limited role, as you observe.)
Part of the mistake when originally desiging the color pie is that blue immediately became the "intelligent" color, while red and green were the "savage, dumb" colors.

This doesn't work so well when transitioned into competitive play, because competitive players realized that magic is a strategy based game, and thus want to play with the cards that are most skill-intensive.

Wizarsd has to learn that all 5 colors have intelligence, which is what the players want anyway.
Not exactly.  You're confusing flavour with game restrictions.  I agree with the beginning of this thread a lot, but not so much with the end of it.

Red in terms of restriction can't keep anything.  That's its downside.  To get new cards, it'll cost you more cards.  To get a good creature, it'll need to die pretty quick.  Red's primary point is that it costs you card advantage.

It's like land producing mana.  As MaRo says a lot about how wonderful Magic's mana system is, the colour pie works very similarly.  Red is limited to never being able to keep anything good.  Green is limited to having expensive things, if it wants to have them.  Blue is limited to not winning quickly/being splashy.  White and black have changed a lot over time, so they are a much harder arguement to make without people getting into stupid arguements.

I'm not sure what came first, the chicken (limitations) or the egg (flavour) (I do say egg), but the colour pie is not 100% built from flavour.  If that were the case, Magic would be a lot different.

I agree, red should steal spells.  This is how cards like Shunt work.  I think that they belong at uncommon and should be in every core set.  They do this pretty regularly at rare and sorcery speed, which means that it must come from their hand, because red doesn't get as many instants as it does sorceries... but giving it some regular instant forms I think is pretty healthy.
On that same line of thought...
Red should steal creatures for a turn at common (look at Act of Treason).  Red should also get more rare clones for a turn, like Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker and Splinter Twin.

Red and blue should steal things, but differently. Magnetic Thief is a good example for red.
For some dumb reason, stealing things is considered blue, because you have to be "crafty" to steal something: Master Thief.  Both should be able to steal things, but in different ways.  Red is the bully who steal's blue's lunch money.  Blue is crafty and steal's red's bank account.

Am I making sense or just rambling? I feel like I'm rambling now, but I know that I have a point in there somewhere.
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Sounds like red kinda sucks powerwise if everything is only temporary.
Sounds like red kinda sucks powerwise if everything is only temporary.

No, because there are lots of knobs other than "how long something lasts." 

(I do think giving Red more temporary versions of things other colors have permanently is an obvious way to give the color more diversity.)
Sounds like red kinda sucks powerwise if everything is only temporary.

No, because there are lots of knobs other than "how long something lasts." 

(I do think giving Red more temporary versions of things other colors have permanently is an obvious way to give the color more diversity.)



That's what if means.
Sounds like red kinda sucks powerwise if everything is only temporary.



Not entirely true. Act of Treason is arguably better than Mind Control since it give haste and untaps the creature in addition to being cheaper. Act of Aggression is the same cost as mind control (unless you pay life) but can also take out 2 attacking creatures by gaining control of one and blocking another with it if they are equal. In a deck that's both blue and red, it might actually be better to go with Act of Aggression instead of mind control.
I said if and everything. :IIIII
Yes, but what you put after "if" was that Red's effects would be temporary. Infiknight and I were denying that your statement holds even when the conditional clause is satisfied: that Red may have effects which are balanced, even though temporary, because they compensate in other respects. If we were like "yeah, but Red gets some steady beaters and enchantments," then saying your statement was meant to apply only if Red's effects are only temporary would make sense.

But it's perfectly possible that you omitted a word or something, and so we're justing having some accidental confusion; happens to me all the time. 
I concur with Red needing more spell manipulation as a core part of its identity.  Redirect effects tend to be rare, but Swerve proves it can work as an Uncommon.  And Threaten and Act of Treason were always Uncommons for a long period of time until Magic 2011 put it into the Common slot.

The wording is a little bit weird with all those "target"s, but I think that a more user-friendly fix could make it accessible enough to be a Red Common in some future set.  , Instant, "Choose target instant or sorcery spell with a single target. You may change its target."
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Or just "You may choose new targets for target spell."

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Rainbow manafixing for red was what I suggested in the Goblin Artisans challenge to extend red's colour pie, and they awarded me third place. I was building on Smokebraider, Wild Cantor and Manamorphose. I think it'd work well. I think it's a step too far from tradition to move Llanowar Elves to red, but I think "rainbow rituals" would be fine:



The connect between rainbow rituals and red as the artistic color (ya know; paints, pigments) is AMAZING.

FUND IT. 
I don't think the problem is just that red's color pie is small, but that Wizards just doesn't use all of it. I don't believe that nobody at Wizards has ever considered letting red's rituals make multicolor mana. And even more annoying than them not using this obvious design space, they rarely even print ritual cards to begin with. When they do print rituals in a set, they only print one. I don't believe there was a ritual in M12 or M13 at all. I also don't remember seeing a ritual spoiled for RTR (correct me if I'm wrong).
You are correct. RTR has no rituals.  Typically we get one ritual in about every four sets.  MAYBE two.

I think that the issue with red making multi-colour rituals is that they don't want to give a mono-colour card a multi-colour identity, unless multi-colour is about to happen or is happening.  They would need to word it something like...

Artistic Ritual :Rm::Rm:
Instant
Add three mana of any colour to your mana pool.

They want to avoid a mana cost like :Rm: and text like "Add :Bm::Rm::Gm: to your mana pool." or "Add :Bm::Bm::Bm: to your mana pool."

EDIT: They also don't want to make a red Joiner Adept for two reasons.  1) That's green's territory.  2) That's paying now for later use/rewards, which stands against what red does.

Know what I mean?
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Your "artistic ritual" is more what I'm talking about as far as mana fixing. What about giving red more "free" spells like Priest of Urabrask that give you a refund upon ETB. Red would have a lot more variety with just a couple of these in each set and they could even do this for instants and sorceries.

Spirit Fire :R::R:
Instant
Spirit Fire deals 2 damage to target creature or player. Add :R::R::R: to your mana pool.


Refund spells like that would be a great representation of Red mechanically and flavorfully.
I like it! Deconstruct and Turn to Dust were an interesting concept but were too restricted in use. This has a lot of potential.

It does have potential to go bad. Remember how abusive Palinchron and Time Spiral were. Even Cloud of Faeries caused problems, though I don't quite know how. Adding mana straight back to your pool is definitely a step in the right direction, both flavourwise feeling more red and development-wise making it less abusable with multi-mana-lands and by saving lands for later.
I like it! Deconstruct and Turn to Dust were an interesting concept but were too restricted in use. This has a lot of potential.

It does have potential to go bad. Remember how abusive Palinchron and Time Spiral were. Even Cloud of Fairies caused problems, though I don't quite know how. Adding mana straight back to your pool is definitely a step in the right direction, both flavourwise feeling more red and development-wise making it less abusable with multi-mana-lands and by saving lands for later.




I agree. Wizards is going to need to be careful not to make them overpowered. Maybe if some of them only gave partial refunds like Coal Stoker does (but without the boring "if you cast it from your hand" clause). Either way, I would like to see refund cards become as popular in red as firebreathing abilities are.
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