I have always been a big fan of Lum and the Neutral decks in general in Codex, so I set off to make a Lum the third character so I could use the neutral deck as a complete unit. There's a lot of fun stuff with them and I felt like they deserved more use. I wanted to make Lum's units, spells and buildings based around casinos, gambling and a lot of the lore found in Pandante. So bonus points for Pandante fans!
Starting off, I made a few small adjustments to the Neutral starting deck. I removed Wither and Messenger because they were weaker cards that I felt could be replaced by buildings to make Neutral have a unique feel. The two replacement cards are:
Big Paw Club Casino: Building. 3 Cost: 2 Life: Gain +1 Gold from the bank at the start of each opponent's Upkeep.
Who cares if it’s legal? It makes money!
Jokers Wild Resort: Building: 2 Cost. 4 Life: Pay 1, Stash a card face-down under this building. (Max: 3). One turn after Stashing you may summon a unit for its cost with an additional +1/+1 token, or you may play a spell or upgrade for -1 gold cost. (If the building is destroyed or taken, all units and/or spells in the resort go with it.)
These two cards give a unique economy and stash effects that can allow some wiggle room early.
Next, I made Lum. I wanted Lum to be both a solid fighter and have a gambling ability like how he played in Yomi.
Lum Hero card:
Level 1-3: Pay 1 then flip a coin.
On heads: Do nothing
On tails: Gain 2 coins.
Once per turn
Level 4-5: Tap: Target: Spend money to deal X damage to a hero or unit, where X is the amount of gold spent.
Level 6: Gain an additional +1 gold from the bank if you win any gamble.
His basic gamble ability is a simple way to get some economy, and at max level, you can really start to get an economic advantage on the opponent. His target ability is essentially his coin throw attack from Yomi, so you can use some of that economy to take out the opponents.
Next was his Ultimate. I wanted it to emulate his Acs in Yomi, so I tried to create a Codex version of playing blackjack.
Pandamonium: 2 cost
Draw the top two cards from your discard pile and your draw pile, one face down and one face up and then chose one card from your hand. If the total gold value of the revealed cards is less than 21, you may reveal one or two of the facedown cards or end Pandamonium. If you end under 21, gain +4 gold and draw one card. If you go above 21 at any point, all player bases take 2 damage, including your own and you discard 2 cards. If you end with 21 exactly, gain +10 gold and deal 5 damage to all opponent’s bases. Discard all cards used in Pandamonium.
This ability could use some work, but it's a fun start.
Next, his tech 0 spells. I wanted gambling to shine through here, so I made two spells about gambling and one spell about summoning basic defenders.
Ante Up!: 0 Cost: Gambling Magic: Each player Ante’s 1 gold then reveals the top card of their deck. The player with the highest gold value card wins the pot. You may either place the revealed card at the top or bottom of your deck. If a player can not Ante 1, their base takes 1 damage instead and they are removed from the pot.
The largest gains can come from the smallest gambles.
Protect Your Assets: 4 Cost: Gambling Magic. Summon two 0/3 Bouncers. Bouncers have: Can not deal combat damage; while in play an opponent cannot attack your buildings.
Nothing in life is free. We make sure to keep the prices low.
All-In: Cost: 0. Roll one D-6. If you roll above a 5 or above, double your gold. If you roll 4 or below, you lose all your gold and your base takes 2 damage.
What’s the point of gambling if you have nothing to lose?
If you are feeling risky, you can gain a big economic boost with these gambling cards. If you want to play is safe, bouncers act as a weak but useful stall if your opponent is running through your buildings.
As far as tech 1 units, I wanted to make a basic unit with armor and resistance and a unique unit that you can build up using gold. So:
Doublepaw Den Dealer: 3 Cost: Unit- Mercenary: 2/3 w/Resist 1 and +1 Armor.
There’s two rules at the table. 1: Always tip the dealer and 2: The dealer will win any fight you start.
Gold Hog: 0 Cost: Unit- Pig: 0/1. Ability: Pay 1 gold to place a +1/+1 counter on Gold Hog, up to two per turn (Maximum of 5).
No matter how much he wins, this old Hog will never leave the table.
Gold Hog may need to cost at least 1, but the jury is still out on that.
Now, tech II units I had some fun with. I wanted to do some things a little different than the other decks, so I made some effects unique to Gambling.
Quince’s Palace Casino: Legendary Building: 4 cost: 5 health. Tap: Roll a D-6. On a 1 or 2 summon a tech 1 or 2 unit corresponding to the role from your Codex for free (ignoring all requirements) with: Illusion, ‘When dies trash’. On a 5 or 6 play, a non-ultimate spell from your codex for free (ignoring all requirements) then trash the spell. On any other number, draw a card.
At least once a week a ‘cease and desist’ order is filed by Flagstone. No attempt has been made beyond this to shut down the casino.
The Cooler: 6 Cost. Unit- Mercenary 5/4 with Haste; May replace a unit who has taken damage. If replacing a unit, lower the summoning cost by 1 gold per damage on the unit, to a minimum of 1.
It’s not that he can’t be beat, it just hasn't happened before.
Yakkusa: 3 cost: Unit- Yakk Enforcer: 4/4. Tap: Target: Pay the gold value of a tech 1 or tech 2 unit on the field and return it to the controlling player’s Codex. Exhaust Yakkusa. (Doesn’t untap during the next upkeep phase).
The casino has ways of making problem clientele disappear.
George ‘The Whale’: 6 cost. Legendary Unit- Sophisticated Whale. 6/8 with Gain 3 gold each upkeep. At the end of your turn, all opponents flip a coin. If heads, they gain +2 Gold. If tails, nothing happens.
Money has no value to him anymore. If he wins, marvelous! If he loses… well, let’s say the other poor sap just needed it more today.
Stanfor Shark: 3 cost. Unit- Card Shark. 3/5 with: Haste, Stealth. Opponents reveal the first card they draw each turn. I folded because I already knew what you drew. I also know what your next draw is. It isn’t good.
Quince gives you a unique way to play cards from your codex with a bit of gambling involved. Cooler and Stanfor give you different haste options to bring in some quick damage. Yakkusa is a hard removal and George is just a powerful unit in both economy and power. These cards a lot of fun to use and give the neutral deck a unique feel when chosen.
Finally, the tech III. Who else could it be other than G. Panda? I wanted to bring in a lot of Pandante here, so I made it Panda and his entourage. The entourage are all as true to their Pandante selves as I could make them.
10 Cost. Legendary Unit- Panda Lord: 0/10: Arrival: Summon G. Panda’s Entourage
G. Panda's Entourage
Waggles: 1/3 with Flagbearer
Lea-Leafa: 2/2 With: When attacking, draw 1 card.
Cassy: 2/2 with: Arrives: Look at the top 4 cards of your deck. You may reorganize these cards however you see fit.
Fern: One 2/2 with Arrives steal 2 gold from all opponents.
Bumbleclod: 4/4 with: Arrives: Exhausted. Overpower
Mari-Dori: 0/2 with: At the start of your upkeep, you may pretend Mari-Dori is another card from your hand, and your opponents must go along with it. (Place it on top of Mari-Dori, use its attack/ damage and abilities, then discard it at the end of your turn.)
It’s impossible for me to bust… I own the casino!