Modal Keyword on Hybrid Coloured Spells

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Sun, 2017-09-10 22:16
kinotherapy
kinotherapy's picture

(moved my post to a separate thread as it was quite long)

I have a currently unnamed and flavourless keyword I'd like feedback on. I'm using the working name "Switch" - if you can think of any flavour or name I'm open to suggestions. It's a modal mechanic appearing on instants and sorceries that causes different effects on how you pay hybrid mana costs. The current wording is

Switch (Choose the mode corresponding to majority color of mana spent to cast this spell.)

and an example:

example
dimir 4 modal Blue/black mana symbolBlue/black mana symbolBlue/black mana symbol
Instant Common
Switch (Choose the mode corresponding to majority color of mana spent to cast this spell.)
Blue mana symbolBlue mana symbolBlue/black mana symbol — Target creature gets -X/+X until end of turn, where X is its power minus one.
Black mana symbolBlack mana symbolBlue/black mana symbol — Target creature gets +X/-X until end of turn, where X is its toughness minus one.

The idea is that each spell has two modes, one that leans more to one colour (in this case the "blue" mode) and one for the other (the "black" mode). If you cast Blue/black mana symbolBlue/black mana symbolBlue/black mana symbol for Blue mana symbolBlue mana symbolBlue mana symbol or Blue mana symbolBlue mana symbolBlack mana symbol, the blue mode occurs; if you cast it for Blue mana symbolBlack mana symbolBlack mana symbol or Black mana symbolBlack mana symbolBlack mana symbol the black one does instead. (Switch spells with an even CMC have a third "balanced" mode.) I was inspired by that one cycle from Ravnica but I don't know if anything similar like this has been done before, maybe on this site?

I'm mainly looking for help evaluating the power level, because I honestly have no idea how strong the effects should be. Some other (probably overpowered) examples:

Dilapidate
Dilapidate Red/green mana symbol
Instant Uncommon
Switch (Choose the mode corresponding to majority color of mana spent to cast this spell.)
Red mana symbol — Destroy target artifact.
Green mana symbol — Destroy target enchantment.

Cosmic Ritual
Cosmic Ritual Blue/red mana symbolBlue/red mana symbol
Instant Rare
Switch (Choose the mode corresponding to majority color of mana spent to cast this spell.)
Blue mana symbolBlue mana symbol — Draw two cards, then put a card from your hand on top of your library.
Blue mana symbolRed mana symbol — Copy target instant or sorcery spell you control with no targets.
Red mana symbolRed mana symbol — Add Red mana symbolRed mana symbolRed mana symbol to your mana pool.

Prejudice
Prejudice White/black mana symbolWhite/black mana symbolWhite/black mana symbolWhite/black mana symbolWhite/black mana symbol
Sorcery Mythic Rare
As an additional cost to cast Prejudice, pay X life.
Switch (Choose the mode corresponding to majority color of mana spent to cast this spell.)
White mana symbolWhite mana symbolWhite mana symbolWhite/black mana symbolWhite/black mana symbol — Destroy each creature with power X or greater.
Black mana symbolBlack mana symbolBlack mana symbolWhite/black mana symbolWhite/black mana symbol — Destroy each creature with power X or less.

Is the wording okay? Does the formatting for the modal part look right? Any feedback or criticism at all would be great!

Sun, 2017-09-10 22:38
WindyDelcarlo
Administrator - MSE Add-On Award
WindyDelcarlo's picture

There's a frame that might be better suited to what you're doing called the Augment frame. It gives you room for three separate mana costs so you could do something like this without having to try to keyword it.

Sun, 2017-09-10 23:48
kinotherapy
kinotherapy's picture

@WindyDelcarlo: Thank you for the speedy response! The frame does seem to fit very well except that the way I've phrased the mana costs means I can't go above CMC 3. I consider changing the White mana symbolWhite mana symbolWhite mana symbolWhite/black mana symbolWhite/black mana symbol part to read something more like White mana symbol > Black mana symbol, but that would require adding a mana cost to the frame which I wouldn't know where to begin with... any thoughts? And any comments on the balance of the examples? I could use all the advice I can get (´・ω・`)

Wed, 2017-09-13 02:56
The5lacker
The5lacker's picture

The simplest way to do this isn't even with a keyword.

Choose one -
• If Blue mana symbolBlue mana symbol was spent to cast ~, [effect]
• If Black mana symbolBlack mana symbol was spent to cast ~, [effect]

And I'm curious why this can't just be formatted like the Shadowmoor/Eventide cards, and/or just turned into Split Cards. Making a whole new mechanic for a more restrictive version of those strikes me as unnecessary.

Concept vs. Execution: The most important Making Magic article.