So, I finally finished that 52-card Magic: the Gathering deck I wanted to test some of my ideas with — it took far longer than I originally hoped it would, but I finished it nonetheless. And already, I have some questions about this game I’m designing. How does one card Banish another and why?

Part of the process of arbitrarily assigning cards to the deck left me with a problem when it turned out I didn’t have enough enchantments with a converted casting cost of 3, and I improvised — which opened my eyes to another problem of what purpose low-valued cards serve on the board, how they can be anything but a liability.

Let’s say I put an enchantment on the board with a value of 1. An opponent need only target the enchantment for Banishment to wipe out a good chunk of my deck. I stand to lose five or six cards, assuming an average card. One possibility I thought of was to “protect” card types, so characters could only attack characters, and so forth.

If you played an enchantment, for instance, that wasn’t too terribly powerful, then your opponent would likewise need an enchantment in order to Banish yours. But that doesn’t make sense. What’s the point of putting a variety of things in your Reserves if they have restrictions like that. I think a blanket restriction would only hurt the game.

Then another possibility sprang to mind, based on just what I had in front of me — Power and Toughness. Even the Star Wars CCG used additional numbers on the cards to represent attributes, Power, Armor, and Ability. In that case, I worry about what the value of a card will mean — will it mean anything at all?

SWCCG had a pretty good idea going with special and “named” characters being worth less in terms of Destiny, while smaller enemies, like stormtroopers and such, were worth more. It’s possible for a single cast member to take on several mooks, but decks built around massed troopers have better odds in a fight.

I think what I’ve learned so far — and honestly, this is just from looking at the first seven bloody cards in the deck — is that I don’t know anything about what I’m doing. I’m totally in the dark, and the only way I’ll know if I have something playable is by trying to play it. I know I’ve been going on about playtesting … it’s important.

I need it at this point, to figure out where to go next.