Mathset Gimmick - Variables in the Euclidean Plane

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So, Imaginary creatures kinda suck. I think I might scrap that idea. But I still need a gimmick right? Then I thought back to coins. Coins were a good gimmick, but they were parasitic and they don't fit Mathset quite well enough.

Well, how about Variables?

1. Each player begins the game with a Variable of 0.
2. Any player may subtract 1 from his or her Variable at any time.
3. Variables cannot go below 0.

Now, what good is a Variable? Here are my thoughts - obviously:

X.

4a. You may subtract 1 from your Variable at any time to add to your mana pool. Spend this mana only to cast X spells.

But, that seems rather parasitic as well. I could alter it to this:

4b. You may subtract 1 from your Variable at any time to add to your mana pool.

But that seems slightly boring. Doesn't it? What if it were the opposite of Infect?

4c.  You may add 1 to your Variable at any time to add to your mana pool.
4d. If you have a Variable of 10 or more target opponent wins the game.

Like Poison counters that are kinda useful. And creatures wouldn't really have a Variable-infect. It would be more like effects of "Double target player's variable" or "If target player's variable becomes Seven or something" - of course, 4c is horribly broken probably. That is NINE free colourless mana right off the bat. I could say "Only one mana a turn" or something, but even then it is like a free Mox that starts on the battlefield and can't be removed or countered. So what is an effect that I could pair with 4d, that wouldn't break the game?

4e. You may add 1 to your Variable at any time to gain 1 life?

That's a lot less broken right? I'm not really into life gain, but I like the idea of killing yourself mathematically to keep yourself alive physically. So right now, I'm thinking either just 4b. or a combination of 4d and 4e. Thoughts?

Oh, yeah, e.g.

4b:

Tardom
Land (U)
~ enters the battlefield tapped.
: Choose one; Add to your mana pool; or Add one to your Variable.

"The tar preserves even the most incorporeal of concepts."

4de:
Quantified Pain
Sorcery (U)
~ deals 5 damage to target opponent, then that player doubles his or her Variable.

"I should've studied!"

I'm also well aware that 4de would change Legacy and Vintage. I'm cool with it. Spice those formats up for once.

139359831 wrote:
That is a lovely painting of Richard Garfield. It really brings out his feminine side.
Eh, I'm not sure why you need to do something like this. The first version is obviously broken, and the second means "you start the game with 29 life unless you are playing a variable deck". Besides being just boring when variables aren't a thing, I don't think this is design space worth exploring.

IMAGE(http://i1.minus.com/jbcBXM4z66fMtK.jpg)

192884403 wrote:
surely one can't say complex conditional passive language is bad grammar ?
Okay. I'm not convinced that 4b is broken.

I suspect you'd like 4e more if it milled - but in reality I agree with you that it might change the Meta more than I intended. What is an alternative to this?

Life gain is beneficial to certain strategies, but useless to others.

How can I make something that effects all strategies equally? This is a very difficult task. Let me throw out some ideas. Perhaps I can inspire someone to have a better idea than I can.

4f. You may add 1 to your Variable at any time to put a random card from your hand on the bottom of your library, and then draw a card?

4g. You may add 1 to your Variable at any time to exchange the bottom card in your library with a card from outside the game?

4h. You may add 1 to your Variable at any time to gain Priority?

4i. You may add 1 to your Variable at any time to shuffle your library?

I could also change it to "You may add 1 to your Variable at the beginning of your upkeep" or something.

If I can't work it out, then I may just go with 4b. It is interesting enough I guess.

139359831 wrote:
That is a lovely painting of Richard Garfield. It really brings out his feminine side.
Weird


4h. You may add 1 to your Variable at any time to gain Priority?



this one made me laugh for some reason
192884403 wrote:
firstrike
56965458 wrote:
97820278 wrote:
56965458 wrote:
97820278 wrote:
Ceci n'est pas une pipe.
This definitely doesn't mean what you think it means.
I was referring to the painting The Treachery of Images.
I know.


4h. You may add 1 to your Variable at any time to gain Priority?



this one made me laugh for some reason


Because you love it and think that I'm too clever for my own good?

139359831 wrote:
That is a lovely painting of Richard Garfield. It really brings out his feminine side.

I suspect you'd like 4e more if it milled


I like anyrything more if it mills.

4f. You may add 1 to your Variable at any time to put a random card from your hand on the bottom of your library, and then draw a card?


This is insane. Single handedly hoses mulliganing. Now that I think of it, hosing mulligans is cool so points for that. I think it's too good, if your hand is bad, you can use it and it will probably improve. Not to mention that when there is 1 card in your hand it lets you tutor for something in your library with a fairly low miss chance (obviously better for 4-ofs).

4g. You may add 1 to your Variable at any time to exchange the bottom card in your library with a card from outside the game?


I like this one. It seems useless, but it can be very relevant. This is the kind of effect I see working with this crazy variable idea. It kind of means that you will have your sideboard in your deck game 1 as well, which can be bad.

4h. You may add 1 to your Variable at any time to gain Priority?


NO, don't. Way too messy, it will be a nightmare for new players to understand and is just something way too weird, marginal and dangerous to play with.

4i. You may add 1 to your Variable at any time to shuffle your library?


This is fine as well. Constant shuffling can be very annoying though. This also makes fetchlands worse in legacy, interestingly enough. When are you benefitting from this, it's insane, when not, it's useless. The variance + annoyingness makes my verdict: nah.

IMAGE(http://i1.minus.com/jbcBXM4z66fMtK.jpg)

192884403 wrote:
surely one can't say complex conditional passive language is bad grammar ?