Building a custom set part 2: Creatures

Hello! Last time we figured out the definition of The Binding of Isaac and that the set would be built in a tribal theme. That means i had to divide all the monsters in the game into tribes. I’m obviously not going to list all the monsters, but i am going to list the main tribes i ended up with.

Creature types

First up come the Abominations. I defined Abominations as all humanoid or humanoid-like creatures, with a few exceptions. Simple enough. I thought of calling them Horrors (since that’s what Abomination was errated to) but decided against it. I prefer using new or very uncommon types, mainly because they feel more unique but also, and this is important, because it prevents unforeseen interactions with already existing cards of that type (not that these cards will ever be used among other cards, but the thought still counts).

I’m humanoid-like!

The next two tribes are pretty straightforward: Flies and Worms. Again, i avoided the Insect type for the former for the same reasons as above. Worm does exist but is extremely rare.

Finally comes an extremely small tribe, that of the Humans. There’s five (well, six) characters you can choose to play as, so i grouped them all together. I hesitate to call this a tribe since they’re all legendary creatures.

All humans get reach because all characters can hit flying enemies.

There’s a fifth “unofficial” tribe, Avatars, that i used specifically for a couple of cycles, but those will have their own post.

Creature colors and guidelines

Now that the tribes are defined, they have to be divided among colors. If you’ve been paying attention, you may have already figured out what colors i decided on. I ran into a couple of problems in this phase.

To start off, the number of Abominations in the game greatly outnumbers the other monster types, so i couldn’t put them into a single color. I divided them among red and blue, keeping the ground-based “rushers” in red and the fliers/jumpers in blue.

 

Red’s creatures are based around forced attacking or inability to block and generally have greater power than blue’s, who get a lot of evasion through things like shroud or conditional unblockable instead.

Black gets the flies, which feel right at home in the color of pestilence. All of them have flying and often have some kind of effect when they die.

Green keeps worms, and has some focus on poison counters.

All of this leads me to my greatest problem: White. This is a set completely about things trying to kill you, after all, and it’s not easy to see any of these archetypes in White. I had no choice but to leave it as the color with less creatures and try to compensate later on the items. Thankfully there’s flavor in this too, since it represents the overwhelming forces chasing the characters and backing them to a corner on every turn. The non-Human creatures i left on the color are all gold with the exception of a single Abomination i managed to scrape (and an Avatar):

I’m a victim!

Creature Lords

The last thing a tribal set should have are the so-called creature Lords. These come from classic cards like Goblin King or Lord of Atlantis (who had the subtype Lord) that give +1/+1 and some sort of ability to their tribe, in this case Goblins and Merfolk respectively. Dark Ascension had Spirit, Vampire, Zombie and Wolf lords as well. I decided to use bosses to fill this role.

The problem is that the bosses in the game don’t boost their brethren in any way, so i couldn’t keep the +1/+1 boost if i wanted to follow the flavor. What they do, however, is spawn more creatures of their tribe. In that sense i defined the “lords” of this set as creatures who create more creatures of their type.

 

Yes, this counts.

Okay, so i cheated a little bit with Gemini, but he’s the only boss that “spawns” Abominations. On that note, the blue “lord” can hardly be called a lord at all; he was simply the only boss i could fit in blue.

Did you notice they all cost 5? Details, details. The other bosses (except a few special ones) are all gold to ensure that these reign as “official” lords. I’d show some, but i think there’s already a lot of cards here for today. However! Were you wondering if i bothered to make the tokens these lords produce? No? Well it might surprise you that i did, then:

  

There’s really no feat in that, i just thought they were cute. Alas, i believe that’s all there is to say about creatures. Join me next time when i talk about the items.

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