In this post, I'll be going into what is in store for those pesky effects your Pokemon catch in battle like herpes off the proverbial toilet seat. I am of course, referring to those 5 special conditions Confusion, Paralysis, Sleep, Poison, and Burn. How will they be handled in a game of Magic? Well, let's get into it.
All of these conditions will involve counters. They will be assigned numeric values much like how Pokevolve is given a number determining how many +1/+1s will be placed on the creature. If a creature is given Confusion 3, for example, it will have 3 confusion counters placed on it. These counters will be removed once per turn at the end of the controller's NEXT turn. This means if you are attacking and become blocked by something that gives your creature a Confusion counter, it will not be able to be removed until the end of your next turn. But if it's your opponent's turn when your creature gets that Confusion counter, you'll get to remove the counter at the end of your turn, not having to wait until the next turn after that. These are the basic ground rules for how a lot of the special condition mechanics will work, so now we can get into the specifics.
PART 1 - Confusion
Whenever a creature is given a Confusion counter, it will only be affected by this when attacking. After you declare attackers, but before blockers are declared, flip a coin for each attacker with a Confusion counter on it. If the coin lands heads up, that attacker will enter combat without any issues. But if a coin lands tails, it will be removed from combat (and remain tapped, assuming the creature would have become tapped) and then deal damage to itself equal to its power. It does not matter how many Confusion counters are on a creature, the affects will remain the same.
PART 2 - Paralysis
Paralysis is a lot like Confusion, but instead of only applying to attackers, it will also have an effect on your ability to block. The same rules apply here for the most part, but I'll go into it anyway. When a creature you control that has a Paralysis counter tries to attack, after it is declared and tapped (but again, before blockers are declared), you will flip a coin for it. If heads, it attacks as usual, but if it lands tails, it will be removed from combat, remain tapped, and deal no damage. But then the issue comes up with blocking. Whenever you attempt to block with a creature that has a Paralysis counter on it, again, you have to flip a coin. Heads and you can block as usual, but if it lands tails (unless you chose to block with an additional creature) this blocker will be removed from combat and the attacker will go unblocked. Keep in mind, you flip the coin AFTER you have declared al of your blockers. That means if you lose the coin flip, you won't be able to change your mind and block with a different creature.
PART 3 - Sleep
The best way I could think to make Sleep work is basically putting a complete hold on its attacking, and temporarily reducing the afflicted creature's power to 0, making it only able to block and deal no damage whatsoever until the Sleep affect has worn off. This prevents Sleep from being a less randomized ability, and also keeps it from being much more impairing than the other two. Allowing a sleeping creature to block without doing any damage seems appropriate. And I repeat, a Pokemon with a Sleep counter on it CANNOT attack.
PART 4 - Poison
Sadly, Poison has already been established as a part of the MTG universe, so my hands are somewhat tied here. But since Poison isn't an ability, and is instead a form of alternative life points, what I have in mind will probably just be like a weaker version of Wither, dealing damage to creatures and giving them Poison counters that lower the toughness of the afflicted by -0/-X, where X is the Poison level the creatures were hit by. There isn't much I can do with this one that's terribly original, but the idea here is that, unlike the previous conditions, a creature that's poisoned can only be given a limited number of counters. If a creature gets hit with Poison 1 and then is hit by another creature with Poison 1, instead of stacking, it will only get that single counter. To put it differently, if a creature has 2 Poison counters on it and is then hit by Poison 4, the number of counters on that creature will be increased to 4, not 6. Hopefully that makes it more clear.
PART 5 - Burn
Much like Poison, this one doesn't accumulate any higher than the max Burn level a creature is inflicted with. Effectively, this is the same concept as Poison, but instead of weakening the toughness of the creatures by X, Burn will deal direct damage to the controller of creatures afflicted by it at the beginning of their upkeep. If a creature has 2 Burn counters on it at the beginning of their upkeep, the player who controls the creature will be dealt 2 damage by their own creature. Despite the damage being dealt directly to a players lifepoints, Burn will not actually have any affect on the creature that suffers from it.
PART 6 - Reiteration
All of these conditions involve counters. Creatures afflicted by them can slowly heal, but various spells that will be introduced later on will be change the way these counters function. It's all just a part of something bigger. And I plan on making this a pretty expansive set.