Maybe is was when I started looking into Risk in greater depth, but something I said back in my entry, “Magic and Monsters, Part 5,” really struck me. The monsters in Magic: the Gathering really should be treated akin to armies in Risk. Maybe it’s the adrenaline talking but I think I’m on to something.

One of the problems with trying to equate Magic monsters with monsters in Arkham Horror and Dungeons & Dragons is that the former uses monsters in a very, very abstract sense. I’ve noticed that more recent expansions have tried to tone this way down, but the vast majority of Magic expansions build on the idea of monsters.

D&D and Arkham Horror by comparison, deal with very real, very literal monsters on an individual basis. When you summon a Royal Assassin in Magic, you can make it shadowy, clone it, kill it, bring it back from the dead, and do any number of other strange and/or unspeakable things to it. And it still destroys a tapped creature.

Really, the best way to probably think about any given creature card is as, say, one Risk army per point of Power. The problem with using Casting Cost in any calculations is that cost is usually balanced to power, toughness, and any creature types and/or abilities, and is further balanced based on the set in which it was released.

Look at Shock and Lightning Bolt for another classic example.

For a while, I’ve been trying to think of how best to introduce creatures with no Casting Cost into Magic, token creatures that could be called “Basic Creatures” akin to “Basic Lands,” which are played and playable on the turn they appear. Combining Magic and Risk in this fashion is probably the best route.

Let’s say that a Risk map contains all the basic lands that are played in Magic, and the creatures are played on the sidelines until I can figure out how to put them on the map. Conquering territories should enable a player to take lands that are played, or maybe it’s possible to eliminate Basic Lands entirely. *ponders*