(Metagame Archive) Fan Card Crossover – Week 7: Design Eye for the Gamer Guy

By The Ben Seck

Hi, Vs. fans! We’re back for another week of the Fan Card Crossover. Last week, I asked for your input on the most important feature of our fan card, the game text. I was expecting a lot of you to show a great interest in this aspect of the card—and boy, did you come through! I had to review a full mailbox of entries that included some great ideas. I’m glad to see that there are some very inspired minds out there thinking about this great game. Many of you were thinking along the same wavelength, even to the point that you submitted identical game texts.

Before I announce the finalists, here are some design hints related to some of your entries:

  • Many of you were fond of giving effects that were not in flavor for the League of Assassins, such as endurance gain, card draw, and “cannot be stunned while attacking.” While these are cool abilities, one of the toughest areas of card design is keeping the focus clear. Every team in Vs. would start to look the same rather quickly if we didn’t keep a tight rein on what each team represents.
  • Too much text makes players sad. Though it is important to keep the game interesting with varied and complex effects, you don’t want the complexity to lie in the fact that you need a magnifying glass and a PhD to work the card out. The biggest flaws that I saw in the entries were attempts to fit too many different powers onto one card. It’s OK to have a couple of different abilities, but they should relate to one another for the most part.
  • Though we do love combo cards, we don’t really want to make cards whose sole purpose is to create loops. This is why we have to be especially wary of “ready” effects (even for locations) that are not locked to using once per turn.
  • Speaking of “once per turn,” many players had interesting effects that broke only because they failed to put a “once per turn” tag onto them. I’ve learned this lesson the hard way on many occasions, as the development team has often broken my cards within minutes. I think Vs. developer Antonino DeRosa broke the internal record for breaking a card when he made Patrick Sullivan scoop by turn 3!
  • I wanted you guys to let your minds run free with this card, but I did outline some pretty specific rules that you had to follow in last week’s contest. I had to discard some interesting powers that didn’t have the League’s location theme at heart, so keep that in mind for next time.
  • Don’t be discouraged if your entry wasn’t picked. I know I’ve had hundreds of my card design ideas vetoed by the Vs. development team! Many of your submissions were very close to making the cut, and by the interest you’ve shown, you can be sure that we will be running this contest again in the future.


And now, on to the finalists of the game text portion of the Fan Card Crossover:

Nyssa Raatko

6-Cost Character

League of Assassins

  1. “The World According to the League”


Change the text of locations you control by changing all instances of any team affiliation to “League of Assassins.”

This card initially had the following text: “Activate => KO any number of locations you control. Move that number of locations target opponent controls to your resource row. For each location you moved this way, that opponent puts the top card of his deck face down into his resource row.” However, we decided that putting Remake the World onto a character would be cooler if you just played both cards in conjunction.

  1. “Locations at Any Cost”


Leader: Whenever a character adjacent to Nyssa Raatko becomes stunned, you may KO a resource you control. If you do, search your deck for a location card, reveal it, put it face-down into your resource row, and shuffle your deck.

Stun a League of Assassins character you control => Put a +1 ATK / +1 DEF counter on Nyssa Raatko. Use this power only once per turn.

This entry really captures the theme of getting all your locations out at once. The connection with the second mechanic is also a nice touch.

  1. “Last Controller of the Pit”


Loyalty, Concealed—Optional

You are considered to control Ra’s al Ghul.

Exhaust X locations you control => KO or recover target stunned character if its cost is less than X.

The simplicity of this effect is what caught R&D’s eye.

4.   “Heir to the Demon’s Head”


Leader: Stunned characters adjacent to Nyssa Raatko cannot be KO’d by effects your opponents control.

Whenever Nyssa Raatko stuns a character with cost less than or equal to the number of locations you control, KO that character.

This entry has a nice connection to Ra’s al Ghul, Eternal Nemesis, and it also works to protect your Lazarus Pit characters.

5.  “Master of Assassins”



Leader: KO a ready League of Assassins character adjacent to Nyssa Raatko => KO target character if its cost is less than the number of locations you control. Use this power only once per turn and only during your attack step.


Just a powerful KO ability that reinforces not only the location theme, but also the theme of KO’ing characters directly.

Now it’s time for you to vote on your favorite game text, which will then be tested and tweaked by the Vs. development team. To vote, email fancardcrossover@gmail.com with your name and UDE number (if you have one). Then, put the number of the game text you’re voting for in the header of the email. Also, I want to open up next week to a mailbag about anything card design–related. You can ask me anything, from why we do certain things all the way to why Danny’s cubicle smells so bad. Just put your questions in the body of the email that contains your vote!

Good Gaming,



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