The Top 10 Most Open Design Old Extended Keywords

Avenger, SMASH!

This list was started before the announcement of how Extended is going to change, but I decided to continue with it anyway. I thought it would be fun to take a look back at the top Old Extended legal mechanics that have the most open space. Of course, I’ve got rules for this before people get up in arms about what I left something out.

  • The first list I’m looking at keywords only. The second list in a following post will be game mechanics.
  • The mechanic has to debut between Mirrodin and now. If a mechanic debuted before hand (Say Cycling or Morph), it doesn’t count.
  • Keywords that used to be not keyworded (Flash, Vigilance, etc.) Don’t count.
  • This is not a list of the most broken (Affinity) nor heavily played (Exalted), but the ones that have the most open space to design more cards.

Why am I doing this? There has been a push by Wizards to start treating keywords more as renewable resources rather than just throw-aways (No Single Serving Friends here). Yes, you still see those throw-away mechanics here and there in some of the smaller sets (Prowl, Cascade), but for the most part keywords are being created to be used over and over. Seeing what open space is still left in mechanics instead of “wasting” new areas will not only allow that virgin space to last longer, but allow something to get fully explored to get more interesting with each generation of the mechanic. It’s always Wizards’ tradition to go with the easiest/simplest way of introducing a mechanic then ramping it up (See: almost every block that has a keyword mechanic). The second time around, it evolves.

This doesn’t mean that other mechanics can’t be used over for the same general purpose, it’s just they don’t have the chance to grow or evolve based on what they are set up to do. Two examples: Cascade and Threshold. Cascade, the way it’s set up, can’t do anything different then just cast cards less than the casting cost of the card; it’s very rigid in its ability (though every powerful). Threshold, while requiring you to have 7 cards in your graveyard, can do anything it wants once it meets that requirement (from a land becoming a creature to the only way a spell works). It’s that versatility that we’re looking for.

I’ll be creating a card with each of the mechanics to give one area of design still usable. And, again, if Wizards wants to use these designs, please feel free to do so.

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