Gonna reply in here because I think a reply of this length is what the Discussion thread is for.

Krishnath wrote: ↑4 years ago

Rithaniel: Kloam is broken. A nearly free

Hymn to Tourach on all your opponents on the first turn basically guarantees that you'll win since you get to choose what to get rid of from your hand, while your opponents don't. It would quickly get banned in all formats it would ever matter in.

Thank you for the feedback. I was hoping the card would spark some conversation. I actually edited the design about four times, into it's current form, so I've thought about it, and I'm inclined to disagree with your assessment.

In the event that you get the effect to go off, you have to sacrifice three cards from your hand to get two cards from your opponent's hand, which actually puts you in a losing position. Sure, you get to choose what you discard and your opponent doesn't, but that's just to balance the fact that you're starting with one fewer card in hand than your opponent. It's random, after all, so you can't say for sure if you'll be able to claim advantage from the effect. It's more likely than if your opponents were choosing the cards, but still not ensured.

This design actually came up as a result of judging in the MCC. I started actually calculating the probability that a particular card would be in your opening hand. If you have a sixty card deck and four copies of the card, then the probability of at least one being in your first seven card hand is about 40% (I wrote 39% in my judgings, but I was being sloppy and rounded down when I should have rounded up. Also, in EDH, you'd have a 7% chance). So, my conclusion was that an effect would need to be considerable in order to be worth making that 40% gamble. Most printed cards with "opening hand" effects are satisfying for this kind of gamble, but I kind of disagree with the idea of having their "cost" be that they are overpriced. However, what other kind of cost could you pay before the game even begins? Pay life if cheap, so that's no good. What about giving up cards from your hand?

Now, I should mention other numbers. The probability of drawing two other black cards as well as Kloam is more complex than just drawing Kloam. I still don't know what the real numbers are, but some naive calculation gives me that you could expect a 95% chance if you have nothing but lands and black cards and 55% if you're two color with about an even split between black and a second color. Chances of drawing Kloam with other numbers of copies: With three copies you have 32% chance. With two copies, you have 22% chance. With one copy, you have 12% chance. So, all together, your chance of getting Kloam's effect in a game are (after heavy rounding):

Four copies: 38% in monoblack. 22% in two color.

Three copies: 30% in monoblack. 18% in two color.

Two copies: 20% in monoblack. 12% in two color.

One copy: 11% in monoblack. 7% in two color.

So, the only chance to see the effect in more than one out of three games is if you're dedicated to it: playing monoblack with four copies of the card. Also, the chances of getting a second Kloam to go off is much lower. Something around 4% even if you have four copies in a monoblack deck. Meanwhile, you have a curve with a upper end dedicated to four six-mana spots, which isn't necessarily bad, but it also isn't necessarily a good thing to have, either. Other decks are going to have more aggressive creatures at those spots than a 4/4 flier.

Perhaps it should have been less impactful, giving up two cards in exchange for one discarded at random, perhaps. Though, I was in the mood to design a "swingy" card yesterday. Sometimes you just want to make something that makes people say, "Hold up a second, what?"