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Baby Steps Part II (A Fan Set) October 17, 2013

Posted by James in : all, fake cards , trackback

You should first take a look at Baby Steps Part 1: Teaching Kids Magic Using Baby Steps. This is part 2.

Baby Steps Part 1 (the beginner difficulty level) basically has the commons, and Baby Steps Part 2 (the intermediate difficulty level) basically has the uncommons. The beginner level requires only the bare bones (creatures, sorceries, and basic lands), only one creature ability (flying), and only colored mana. It was a challenge to come up with cards that could keep the game interesting, but I think I was successful.

Still, Baby Steps Part 2 can liven things up quite a bit by adding the following:

  1. Generic mana
  2. Enchantments
  3. Auras
  4. Nonbasic lands
  5. The following keywords: first strike, lifelink, haste, reach, and vigilance

The term “generic mana” isn’t used by Magic players a lot, and it basically refers to colorless mana costs. I decided that generic mana might be a little confusing to a new player, so it was not included in Baby Steps Part 1. The only activated abilities in Part 1 were from basic lands. Now nonbasic lands also have activated abilities, but they also have basic land types and only activate using the same abilities as the basic lands.


Other than activated abilities from basic lands players are expected to understand a little about static abilities (like Flying). This version adds some more static abilities, but they are all explained on the cards. Players are not expected to memorize keywords.

T Rex

This set also includes Auras (which are also enchantments). All the auras have a static ability, which is explained on the cards. It is also explained what it means to enchant a creature (or a tapped creature).

sleep curse

Finally, it might be worth noting what I decided not to include in Baby Steps Part 2 and why:

  1. Instants (or cards with flash) — I was initially going to include instants, but I decided that instants are probably the most confusing element of the entire game. It can be included in Baby Steps Part 3 (the advanced difficulty level). Teaching people how the stack works and the whole last in first out stuff is something I would like to avoid for a little while. However, that means there’s no combat tricks in any of the cards at this point, which would have been fun. I will make sure to have some rare combat tricks.
  2. Exile – The exile zone is a part of the game that is only needed for certain cards (like Oblivion Ring). It is not an especially important part of the game, and it could make the game unnecessarily complex.
  3. Activated abilities — Players know how to use activated abilities insofar as they know how to tap lands, but activated abilities are basically instants and would undermine the whole idea of leaving instants out of the game. Also, instants are at least somewhat complex and I would like to keep things as simple as possible for the game to stay interesting.
  4. Triggered abilities — Putting in triggered abilities is tempting, but I just think they would ultimately make the game unnecessarily complex for new players.
  5. Trample, deathtouch, intimidate, hexproof, landwalk, protection, etc. — Some of these keyword abilities really are more complex than others, so they are abilities I would only consider introducing to players ready for the advanced level of the game. Other keywords are excluded just to simplify things. I would like to limit the number of keywords introduced in a new difficulty level to five.
  6. Other needlessly complex mechanics and elements — Multicolor, hybrid, and legendary are a few examples of game elements that can add some fun to the game, but they can also be needlessly complex when teaching new people how to play the game. They can be introduced at higher difficulty levels.

The cards and rules for Baby Steps 2 are available here: Baby Steps 2: The Intermediate Level



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