QS Booze Cube: Absynthian Hellkite

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The QS Booze Cube is an ongoing project to support QS Insider member and all-around good guy Scott Peitzer's popular passion project. The Booze Cube is just for fun (and adults over the legal drinking age, ideally). Don't sell these or try to make money from them in any way. You can't buy these cards from us. If you want to give us money (and really, who doesn't?), sign up for a QS Insider subscription instead.

Absynthian Hellkite

Design Goals: This card is the big bomb of the Absynthia group of cards, and the first we'll preview.   Absinthe is a green liquor purported to cause hallucinations and insanity, rumored to be a favorite among crazy artsy types like Van Gogh, Oscar Wilde and Ernest Hemmingway.  The Absynthia cards are a cross between the Hidden Guerillas cycle and the Thassa, God of the Sea cycle.  Though this particular card doesn't have a static ability like the Theros block Gods do, some others will.

This hallucination becomes a reality after your opponent has consumed at least 7 drinks in a single turn.  If that turn happens to be your turn, then it can attack (as long as it hasn't got summoning sickness).   We wanted to force heavy devotion to green because the Absynthia cards are all very synergistic (as you will see in future previews); someone who drafts this with their first pick will commit to green almost automatically, and be heavily rewarded for sticking with it.

Most of the Absynthia cards revolve around a combination of drinking and discarding cards (which, in Magic, is analogous to going mad).  In this case, once you unleash the dragon, you go almost completely insane.  We originally thought about making the ability empty the opponent's entire hand, but that was deemed too powerful.  Another card from this same theme, which I'll preview soon, gets a nice little buff each time an opponent discards a card.  Others have the same "drink" trigger at lower (or higher!) numbers.

This sub-theme has proven to be one of the most challenging to design, since it adds an entirely new consequence for drinking. Balancing this has been difficult to say the least.  Of all the cards previewed so far, this is the one that I believe will take the most revisions before the set is finalized.

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Some notes: We don't try to replicate proper Magic templating language in the rules text of cards. We do this to save space and make the cards more human-readable. Remember, you're probably real drunk when you're playing and the subtleties of the Intervening-If clause may elude you.

4 thoughts on “QS Booze Cube: Absynthian Hellkite

  1. This is easily my favorite name ever, but I don’t really get why the card does what it does. When I read it, I feel like… I’ve been drinking absinthe or something… I see what you did.

  2. The absinthe creatures are meant to be illusions of sorts until you drink enough and the hallucinations become reality. In this case, when that happens, the hallucination is so horrible that you go mostly insane (discard most of your hand).

    Does that make any sense?

      1. I mean, “green cards” have done a lot of different things in Magic. Green in this particular subset of cards means something totally different than anywhere else in magic. Green, in this set, is the color of insanity, envy, and temptation.

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