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I created this card recently and just want to make sure that it's balanced and that its ability is worded correctly/functionally:

Wojek Lionheart (1)RW
Creature - Human Soldier [Uncommon]
First strike
Wojek Lionheart may block while tapped and blocks each turn if able.
"The people may rise against us, but that does not excuse me of my oath to defend them."
2/1

Is there a better way to word that second ability?

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Thanks for the formatting edit. –  Lord_Gareth Jan 30 '13 at 16:30
1  
For examples of similar card text, consider Masako the Humorless, Hellraiser Goblin‌​, and Mark for Death. –  Alex P Jan 30 '13 at 16:32
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It's not possible to say if it is balanced because we don't know what else is in the set. So if you want to say if it's balanced or not, we need to know "balanced against what?" –  corsiKa Jan 30 '13 at 22:31
    
My apologies; let's say current Standard, if that helps at all. –  Lord_Gareth Jan 31 '13 at 1:48
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"(1)RW" makes me think: "cmc = 1, mc = RW". I would write that "1RW" or "{1}{R}{W}". –  ikegami Jan 31 '13 at 6:06
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2 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

While the way you have the ability worded is 'proper', normally they give a creature this mechanic in the form of Vigilance. In this way, the card may be tapped by some external source and then made unable to block, but will not be unable to block because he attacked last turn (which is the most common reason he would become tapped). To have a creature that cannot be evaded by tapping him significantly increases his power level, but as noted in the comments greatly increases his complexity. I find it hard to justify the complexity increase for the increase gained when such an elegant alternative exists.

On a related note:

Being attack heavy is very much red's thing. It is part of red's color pie to force opponents to block (flavor wise, that's being so aggressive they simply must defend themselves), not very much in red's color pie to block themselves. Simply put, red is not a very block-happy color. Boros (the guild of this card) is very haste heavy,

I would compare your card to Truefire Paladin if you're looking for recent examples of similar creatures.

As far as tweaking it to make it red, I would do one of the following:

  • Make it cost RW and make it First strike, vigilance, ~ attacks each turn if able. ~ blocks each turn if able.
  • Make it First strike, vigilance, haste.

Bottom line: adding red does not encourage it to block. Adding red would make it much less likely to be able to block. If you want to keep the tap-blocking mechanic, I would make it cost 1WW.

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I am aware of Vigilance, and was actually looking to increase the power level by that slight edge you mentioned; the "must block" clause was both a balancing factor and a way to fit him into the flavor of the Wojek. I do still have power level concerns, but the card I was comparing to was Nightguard Patrol (2/1 First strike vigilance for (2)W). Essentially, as far as the pie goes, I'd felt that being able to block while tapped encouraged a very Red-like aggression. –  Lord_Gareth Jan 30 '13 at 18:54
    
I agree with your idea that Vigilance is a simpler and more interesting implementation of the basic concept. Also, that this card is mono white, not white and red! –  thesunneversets Jan 30 '13 at 20:52
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@Lord_Gareth The thing is that the corner cases of 'can blocked even if tapped by external factors' are so small that it's simply not worth the additional complexity over simply declaring it with Vigilance in the first place. Your comparison to Nightguard Patrol is an apt one, but that's also a point - you've made it harder to cast and given it a drawback in the process. I would agree with corsiKa's first suggestion (First strike, Vigilance, must attack, must block, one mana cheaper); I think it perfectly captures the flavor. –  Steven Stadnicki Jan 30 '13 at 23:03
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First strike is written as First strike, not First Strike.

Also, "Wojek Lionheart may block while tapped and blocks each turn if able" matches more with other 'must attack/block' creatures such as Razorgrass Screen.

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