Friday, March 15, 2013

Weekend Art Challenge 031513—Sephiroth

Weekend Art Challenge
Click through to see this weekend's art by Sephiroth and the design requirements for your card submission, due Monday morning. Remember that you may ask for feedback by mid-day Sunday and redesign your submission once after you get it.



(Click to view at full size)
This weekend, the set is Ankh-Theb, a plane inspired by Ancient Egypt. The set features a magepunk twist on the tales and culture of Egypt, including power-mad pharaohs, a dangerously active pantheon and breath-taking monuments, as well as the common people pressed into service for all the above. The central theme is ambition and the big new mechanic for the set, whatever it is, expresses the cost, benefits and overwhelming desire for power and wealth that ambition entails.

Your design doesn't need be a keyword or ability word, but it must relate directly to this underlying theme. Bonus points if your card rewards having a lot more of a particular card type than usual.


103 comments:

  1. Seht, the Fickle God WRB
    Planeswalker- Seht
    +2: Seht gains protection from the color of your choice until your next turn.
    -2: Each player sacrifices a permanent other than Seht.
    -8: Exchange life totals and permanents with target opponent.
    [3]

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. V2.0

      Seht, the Fickle God WRB
      Planeswalker- Seht
      +2: Creatures you control gain protection from the color of your choice until your next turn.
      -2: Choose a card type besides planeswalker. Each player sacrifices a permanent of that type.
      -8: Exchange life totals and control of non-land permanents with target opponent.

      And I'd still love feedback, if it's not too late.
      [3]

      Delete
    2. This +2 is much better. "Until your next turn" is unusual in Magic, but if it belongs anywhere, a Planeswalker makes sense.

      I'm not sure why the "besides planeswalker" is necessary in the -2. Even if your last PW, Seht, is dead before the ability resolves, you've still traded one for one.

      The -8 is cool. I'm also torn on whether it should transfer lands or not. If you've bothered to do it, you're probably winning anyhow, so I'm guessing the cleaner ultimate is better.

      I see white and black in this design. Not sure where the red comes in.

      Delete
  2. Serara, Mistress of the Sun 3RR
    Legendary Creature (M)

    Damage dealt by ~ cannot be prevented.

    Whenever an opponent with fewer lands than you taps a land for mana, ~ deals 1 damage to that player.

    During your upkeep reveal the top card of your library. If a mountain is revealed this way put it on the battlefield under your control. If a nonland card is revealed this way ~ deals five damage to you.

    5/4

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Serara, is a Cat Cleric btw.

      I would appreciate any feedback.

      Delete
    2. Your text is 10 lines long on the card. You've got to cut something. None of these three abilities requires the others to shine, so consider choosing just the most exciting/unique one. I'd keep the second or third ability. One-sided Mana Barbs is pretty enticing, and the condition on it is perfect for Ankh-Theb. Gambling for free lands is more unique, but it's tainted a bit by the green-ness of land acceleration. You could make the card green, but the gamble itself feels very red (or arguably black). RG?

      Delete
    3. Revised version:

      Serara, Mistress of the Sun 3RR
      Legendary Creature (M) - Cat Cleric

      Whenever an opponent with fewer lands than you taps a land for mana, that player loses 1 life.
      Whenever ~ deals damage to a player you may search your library for a mountain, reveal it and place into your hand.

      5/4

      Delete
  3. Culler of Duat
    BR
    Creature - Cat Zombie Cleric (U)
    2/1
    When Culler of Duat enters the battlefield, you may destroy target creature with power less than the number of lands you control.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Sekhmet, Lady of Slaughter
    3BBR
    Legendary Creature - Cat Zombie Warrior
    Double strike
    Whenever ~ deals combat damage to a player, you may return target creature card in that player's graveyard to the battlefield under your control. That creature is a black Zombie in addition to its other colors and types.
    3/6

    ReplyDelete
  5. http://i.imgur.com/pC4N2RG.jpg

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I recommend writing out what your card is, even if you're linking to an image of the card.

      Delete
    2. You got it.

      Bastet {1}{W}{B}{R}
      Legendary Creature - Cat (R)
      Haste, Deathtouch, Vigilance
      At the beginning of your upkeep, sacrifice a permanent other than Bastet, then the player who controls the most permanents gains control of Bastet.
      5/5

      Critique would be great.

      Delete
    3. Bastet is definitely exciting. If Ankh-Theb turns out to be the set where we feature enemy shards, then these colors make sense and the keywords fit the colors. If not, then I would ask what abilities are necessary to make Bastet worth fighting over. Haste is important as she moves around. Vigilance is nice. Deathtouch does almost nothing on our 5/5.

      Regardless, I'd also take a look at how strong this card is. In Constructed, she would be very good if there's a deck that can both cast and use her, but surely not broken. In Limited, I'm less sure.

      If you get your mana just right (admittedly not trivial), you're dealing 5 damage on turn four and shutting down your opponent's counter-strike. On your next turn, you lose a permanent and Bastet, unless you've played one more card than your opponent. If you keep her, you knock him down to 10 but probably lose her next turn (unless you Dragon's Fodder). If your opponent gets her, he loses a permanent before he can use her and most likely sends her back your way. In fact, unless one of you can get ~2 permanents ahead every round, Bastet just steals the game away from both of you.

      Most of the time, you won't get her on turn 4 and I'm starting to think you probably don't want to cast her early. I would want to test this, but my guess is that apart from stealing the focus of the game pretty dramatically, it's probably okay to print. If there were some way to prevent her from Jokulhaups-ing the game over the course of 4+ rounds, that would be nice.

      Delete
  6. Subjugator BR
    Creature - Cat Zombie (R)
    Tap another untapped creature you control: Subjugator gets +1/+1 until the end of turn.
    Sacrifice another creature: Put a +1/+1 counter on Subjugator.
    2/1

    Originally had the pseudo keyword-
    Subjugate — Tap another untapped creature you control: do bleh

    Shows the creature using others to further there own goals but may be a little to generic to be a set mechanic? This could be extended to subjugate other permanent types but that doesn't really make flavor-sence as is.

    Feedback is welcome!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Subjugate wouldn't likely be a major mechanic, but I could definitely see it showing up in a cycle or so. I quite like the duality between tapping for a temporary boost and sacking for a permanent boost.

      The second ability is definitely black, but the color(s) of the subjugate ability is debatable. It's been green (Bramblesnap, Llanowar Behemoth, Topan Ascetic), but it could be white or black for the same reason Exalted was in M13. You could spread it across all five colors, but I don't see the need.

      In summary, I'm not sure why this is red.

      Delete
    2. I agree, I think the red just came from the art looking good in the B/R frame. I think BB is the more sensible cost for these abilities.

      Delete
  7. Jehuti Seer 3R
    Creature - Cat Cleric (R)
    Nonbasic lands are Mountains.
    Whenever a player taps a Mountain for mana, he or she adds R to his or her mana pool and Jehuti Seer deals 1 damage to him or her.
    2/2

    My inspiration came from the "blood moon" in the background of the art; Jehuti is an alternate spelling of the Egyptian moon deity's name. The dual nature of the "ambition" theme comes in not only dealing damage to yourself, but challenging your opponent to think of something to do with all that excess off-color mana. I know it's been a while since Mana Flare, but I think this effect "feels" close enough to red that it can be brought back sparingly in the right set, and in any case red needs more mechanics anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hireh, Death's Daughter 3BB
    Legendary Creature-Zombie Cat Wizard (M)
    Usurp (Whenever another creature dies you may pay X, where X is its power. If you do, put X +1/+1 counters on Hireh.)
    B, Sacrifice another creature: Destroy target creature.
    3/3

    I think that Usurp might actually be a strong enough mechanic to support a set: it has a lot of hidden depth. It allows you to capitalize on the toil of serf easily (pay as much mana as you want in one mana increments) while still allowing you to overthrow somebody powerful, but not in a whole different league (you won't have enough mana to take their mantle).

    It promotes attacking because you don't have to give up spellcasting in the hopes of death if the combat happens on your turn, but has both offensive and defensive applications. Pushing an attacker through with removal and growing it vs. trading off creatures until you have one too big to stop.

    As for color pie, the ability fits best in green and black, but "getting bigger" is general enough to stretch to other colors if the set demands it.

    The two concerns I have with it are:
    1. It necessitates using X on a lot of common cards, but then again, AVR had three.
    2. It could lead to board stalls if the player with Usurp creatures is low on life and their opponent doesn't want to attack into them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, and, uh, feedback is welcome.

      Delete
    2. Even without Usurp, Hireh's unlimited Bone Splinters ability is terrifying. Probably not broken at this cost and rarity, but impressive nonetheless. Add usurp and this is definitely a card that will turn heads.

      What stands out to me most about usurp (apart from the x-iness) is that it triggers from any creature. I would expect it to look at either your own creatures or your opponents' but not both. That doesn't make the choice wrong, but it does make me question the flavor. It's also curious that any number of creatures with usurp can all grow in response to a single death. What kind of story are we meant to imagine when this happens?

      Being able to get X counters, but having to pay X to do so is interesting. You're right that it limits how much you can abuse it early on. It also makes killing several small creatures better than killing a single large one.

      I don't follow your reasoning about not having to give up spellcasting: You'll spend a good deal of mana on usurp and that will interfere with casting other spells.

      Not sure it's better, but I would also consider a static alternative for simplicity:
      Usurp 1B (Whenever another creature dies, you may pay 1B. If you do, put a +1/+1 counter on ~.)

      Delete
    3. By not giving up spellcasting I meant that if you're on the attack and they don't make any blocks to get things killed in combat, you haven't wasted any mana, you can spend it main phase 2. (The same reason our green land was problematic for M13).

      On triggering for both players' creatures, I imagined it as a vast political game, the players representing the "parties," but anyone can take over a vacated office.

      For multiple creatures triggering off the same death, it could be equivalent to a parent dying and splitting their belongings among their descendants. In some places a king's death meant one country became three or four.

      That said, if the flavor FEELS weird, it doesn't really matter whether or not I can justify it. Does anyone else have opinions on the matter?

      As for static Usurp, I think it reads less excitingly, and I was trying to maximize that aspect because I don't think it's a trigger that immediately jumps out as awesome. That said, gameplay comes first, so I'd switch it if we found any improvement on that front. I'm not sure how to balance the easiness/coolness scale.

      Thanks for the feedback, Jay!

      Delete
  9. I'm surprised by the number of multicolor submissions since I don't really associate ancient Egyptian with multicolor. I'd be interested to hear the reasons behind it from people who submitted gold cards.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think it's anything deeper than a response to the image being predominantly red and black, showcasing a mummified cat and a giant red moon.

      Delete
    2. True. Also, the art is spectacular enough that it lends itself to a legendary creature or planeswalker. Those are both more able to be gold than a traditional card.

      Delete
    3. A lot of cards are also rare or mythic so making them multicolored is less indicative of whether or not the set is multicolored.

      That said gold cards are always going to look a little more Egyptian than monocoloured.

      Delete
    4. I've long associated gold cards with an Egyptian/desert theme because A) the frame just looks right, and B) because the enemy color pairs especially really feel appropriate to me in a desert setting. WB undead pharaohs, UR djinni tricksters, BG desert predators, RW sun worshipers, and GU oasis guardians. It's a bit broader than a strict Ancient Egypt theme, but that would help give the setting some more depth IMO. Even Innistrad had a bit more going on than just strictly Gothic Horror tropes.

      Delete
  10. Oraba, Shepherd of Fiends (mythic)
    2RB
    Planeswalker - Oraba
    +1: Search your library for a creature card and put that card into your graveyard. Then shuffle your library.
    0: CARDNAME deals X damage to each creature, where X is the number of creature cards in your graveyard.
    -8: You get an emblem with "You may cast creature cards from your graveyard without paying their mana costs."
    5

    Feedback welcome.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The second ability costing 0 loyalty seems far too strong. Otherwise, this is pretty impressive design for the hardest cardtype. You're also just one game term away from being able to make this mono-black.

      Delete
    2. RB seemed to fit the art, but monoblack makes way more sense for a card that really, really cares about your graveyard.

      I also fiddled with the loyalty numbers a bit. It's interesting that no existing planeswalker has a boardwipe as a non-ultimate ability. My thought was that the second ability probably wouldn't be a boardwipe at early turns, but it does combo positively with itself, so it should probably be a minus ability.

      Oraba, Shepherd of Fiends (mythic)
      2BB
      Planeswalker - Oraba
      +1: Search your library for a creature card and put that card into your graveyard. Then shuffle your library.
      -3: All creatures get -X/-X until end of turn, where X is the number of creature cards in your graveyard.
      -7: You get an emblem with "You may cast creature cards from your graveyard without paying their mana costs."
      4

      Delete
  11. Wait a minute, it hasn't been decided that power, ambition, and greed are the central themes of Egypt. You're just exploring this, right?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Bastet's Guide 3WW

    Divine Creature - Cat Shaman

    Ascension through creatures (At the beginning of your upkeep, you may exile a creature card you own from your hand, battlefield, or graveyard. If you do, you gain an ascension counter.)

    At the beginning of each combat step, you may have target creature get +X/+X for each ascension counter you have.

    3/3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There could be Ascension through Lands where you can exile excess lands to power up an ability. I like this better than requiring players to count the number of permanents of a particular type each player controls and comparing the numbers.

      I'm just riffing with this at this stage - I wish it were more linear, rather than inspiring players to play different ascension methods in the same deck.

      I have no idea how a Divine card type is referenced. It just seems fitting for an Egyptian set. Maybe there can be a rule that whenever you play a Divine card, you return each other Divine card you control to your hand. That would work well with tablets of Divine law where you can change the law but only have one law in play at a time.

      If the criteria was different I would have considered this card's first ability to be "Whenever a creature you control dies while attacking, exile it and you gain an ascension counter."

      Delete
    2. How nice would it be for templating if we could just say "your battlefield" rather than "permanents you control", particularly in sentences like this one.

      The Divine supertype is an interesting hint at something more in the set. Do you want to elaborate on that, or leave it a mystery?

      Not every player is going to be willing to exile creatures from her hand, much less from play (unless they've been mind controlled away) and those that do won't be happy about it. Well, they'll be happy they were clever enough to see when it's subtly the right play, but they won't appreciate the card disadvantage. In contrast, exiling dead creatures might be too easy a choice.

      Ascension counters themselves are pretty neat. Like pieces of an emblem. They're individually weak, but since multiple cards can capitalize on them, and they can't easily be messed with (though proliferate does interact), collecting them could well be worth it in the right deck.

      Rarity?

      Delete
    3. Didn't see your follow-up until I posted this, so ignore the Divine question.

      I prefer the version that doesn't fulfill the bonus criterion. It's like the creatures deaths mean something.

      Delete
    4. Bastet's Guide 3WW
      Divine Creature - Cat Shaman
      Whenever a creature you control dies while attacking, exile it. If you do, gain a Soul counter.
      At the beginning of each combat step, you may have target creature get +X/+X for each Soul counter you have.
      3/3

      Delete
    5. I'm starting to get the feeling that this +X/+X bonus looks familiar. Has anyone posted something like this before?

      Delete
    6. I've been reading about Egyptian beliefs, it seems there's many parts of the soul.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Egyptian_concept_of_the_soul

      Ba is the soul that flies to heaven if you've been good.

      Akh is like a ghost that roams this world and can influence the living, helping or harming them.

      So there can even be a mechanical contrast where some factions want to convert their dead dudes into Ba (soul) counters to count for beneficial bonuses, while some factions bring back the Akh as Shadow creatures.

      Delete
    7. I wonder if this should be a Ba counter or a Soul counter. I don't think the ki counters in Kamigawa were too confusing, but then again I'm Japanese.

      Delete
    8. Ki is fairly well known, at least among the gamers I associate with. Ba, not so much.

      Is this rare or uncommon?

      Delete
    9. The second version seems like a lot more fun to play. I kind of like the idea of having a cycle of rare/mythic (both?) gods that each want you to do different things for them and you curry divine favor by doing so.

      Delete
  13. Stet, High Embalmer
    Mythic Rare
    Legendary Creature -- Cat Priest
    4BB
    4/6
    Whenever a face-up creature card is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, you may return it to the graveyard face-down.
    Face down creature cards you control have death-touch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Return it to the battlefield face-down?"

      Delete
    2. Oops, yes, thank you.

      And yes, count the first one, sorry, I got carried away.

      Delete
  14. Crimson High Priest
    Mythic Rare
    Legendary Creature -- Cat Cleric
    2RR
    4/4
    Haste
    Ascension -- {R}, Exile 5 red cards from your graveyard, ~ deals 5 damage to target creature or player.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm using Stet, High Embalmer as your submission unless I hear otherwise.

      Delete
  15. Gifts of Lady Bastet
    1RU
    Enchantment - Uncommon
    1R: Creatures you control with first strike have double strike until end of turn.
    1U: Creatures you control with flying are unblockable until end of turn.
    ~A scythe for her warriors and a mask for her shadowkin.~

    A real shame the full weapon gets cut off in the card version. Not sure this goes with the art as such, unfortunately. Comments welcome!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like the upgrade-this-ability thing you're doing here. It does strike me as a little odd to have these global effects on an enchantment, yet they need to be activated every turn you want them.

      Delete
    2. I think that's a better design - people would be much happier just getting the boost rather than having to think about investing in it.

      Gifts of Lady Bastet
      2RU
      Enchantment - Uncommon (or Rare)
      Creatures you control with first strike have double strike.
      Creatures you control with flying are unblockable.

      I suppose you could go the other way as well; cost this far less and have it only affect individual creatures:

      Gifts of Lady Bastet
      RU
      Enchantment - Uncommon
      R: Target creature with first strike has double strike until end of turn.
      U: Target creature with flying is unblockable until end of turn.

      Ultimately I think the latter might be even better - it's more aggressively costed, which is appealing.

      Delete
  16. Seti, Death-Broker (Mythic Rare)
    1BBR
    Planeswalker — Seti
    Loyalty 2
    Seti, Death-Broker can’t be attacked except by creatures with shadow.
    +1: Up to one target creature gains afterlife. (When it dies, if it doesn’t have shadow, return it to the battlefield with shadow.)
    -6: Each creature with shadow deals 1 damage to each creature without shadow and each opponent.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Set'Mua, Living Death - 3BB
    Legendary Creature - Zombie Cat Wizard
    Intimidate
    When ~ dies, each player exiles all creature cards from his or her graveyard, then sacrifices all creatures he or she controls, then puts all cards he or she exiled this way onto the battlefield. You lose life equal to the number of creatures returned to the battlefield this way.
    5/2

    Alternatively:

    Set'Mua, Living Famine - BBBB
    Legendary Creature - Zombie Cat Wizard
    Whenever a player loses life, that player exiles that many permanents.
    When ~ dies, return all permanents exiled this way to the battlefield under target opponent's control.
    3/4

    I'd contemplate putting the pestilence ability on this too, but would rather reprint Pestilence at rare.

    I'd like feedback.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure if I worded the first proper, but the idea is She casts Living Death, returning herself and taking life as payment.

      High power + evasion gives you a chance to race.

      Delete
    2. I like Living Death much better. Living Famine is high risk / high reward, but the risk is Huge. More importantly, it doesn't make any sense. Why does everything that withered away come back and why does it all go to one player?

      When I first read Living Death, the life loss seemed extraneous, but now that I understand Set'Mua always bring herself back, I see why there needs to be an extra cost there. Even so, it's a bit odd that you pay for everyone's creatures. Cool concept.

      Delete
  18. Mua'Tet, Plague of Blood - 2R
    Legendary Creature - Cat Shaman
    Each land is a Mountain in addition to its other land types.
    At the beginning of each player's upkeep, if that player controls the most Mountains, that player gains control of ~, then, if there are twenty or more Mountain on the battlefield, that player wins the game.
    2/2

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm using Set'Mua, Living Death as your submission unless I hear otherwise.

      Delete
    2. Please do - I'll leave to you whether or not to use Wobbles' alternate wording:

      Set'Mua, Living Death - 3BB
      Legendary Creature - Zombie Cat Wizard
      Intimidate
      When ~ dies, each player returns all creature cards from their graveyard to the battlefield. Those creatures are black Zombies in addition to their other colors and types. Each player then sacrifices all non-Zombie creatures. You lose life equal to the number of creatures on the battlefield.
      5/2

      Delete
  19. Embalmed Leonin (common)
    B
    Creature- Zombie Cat
    2/2
    At the beginning of your upkeep, you lose 1 life unless there are three or more creature cards among all graveyards.

    ---

    I think "suicide black aggro" qualifies as an "ambitious" strategy. :) And it encourages you to have many creatures simply by virtue of being a very aggressive creature itself, and of course that helps turn off the life loss effect on later turns after some early trades and removal spells.

    Feedback is welcome, however much can be given for such a simple design.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The "unless there are three or more creature cards" harms this design, IMHO. It's much more alluring if there's no way to turn off the pain it causes you, and also creates interesting counterplay (your opponent can Pacify it to turn the tables on you with no easy way for you to shut it off.)

      Delete
    2. Considering how similar it is to Vampire Lacerator, Embalmed Leonin can't be far off. Finding the right threshold will absolutely require playtesting, but 3 dead creatures seems like a good place to start.

      I will point out that not all humanoid cats are Leonin. That particular lineage is from Alara (and pulled to Mirrodin by Memnarch).

      What's the flavor behind Embalmed Leonin being unhappy until things are dead?

      Delete
    3. Have we had confirmation that the Mirran leonin originated on Naya? The nacatl have much more varied appearances than the Mirrans, who have a much more uniform and lion-like coloration.

      Regardless, for the time being, "leonin" is the general term for the species, with more specific populations having other names like "nacatl." And I don't see why "leonin" wouldn't be a perfectly appropriate term for a populatin of cat-people on a plane inspired by Egypt (or Northern Africa, more generally). There could certainly be a more specific regional term as well, as mentioned.

      As for flavor, I went with the assumption that a zombified leonin would be more feral and predatory than the typical living member of the species (which often have strong cultural themes of honor and dignity, presumably on this plane as well). The sapient portion of the creature's soul is gone, leaving only the bestial id to be enslaved. As such, it revels in its bloodlust until it can be sated by, well, enough "meat."

      It's not exactly a top-down design, but when I looked at the picture, "small, aggressive black creature" is what I immediately thought of, and so that's what I went with.

      Delete
    4. And to make the design a bit more unique, and bit more flavorful:

      Embalmed Leonin (uncommon)
      B
      Creature - Cat Zombie
      2/2
      Embalmed Leonin can't block unless you exile a creature card from your graveyard.

      ----

      Much better, I think. Now she won't block for you unless you "feed" her first. And it coincidentally reminds me of the Delve mechanic, which is perfect for the setting and definitely fits a "greed" theme perfectly.

      Delete
    5. And if it's not too late, one final tweak:

      Embalmed Leonin (common)
      1B
      Creature - Cat Zombie
      3/1
      Embalmed Leonin can't block unless you exile a creature card from your graveyard.

      ---

      2/2 for B with the new drawback is just a little more than I'm comfortable with, Diregraf Ghoul aside. But a zombified Blade of the Sixth Pride makes quite a bit of sense and is still quite aggressive for black.

      Delete
  20. Priestess of Bast 3WB
    Creature - Cat Cleric (R)
    Lifelink
    Revere (Put a +1/+1 counter on this for each creature you tap as this enters the battlefield.)
    2/2

    Revere is meant to play into the player's greed: Do I tap all my creatures, leaving myself more open to a counterattack? Non-creature permanents with Revere (e.g., Monuments) would get charge counters. I would appreciate feedback!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This certainly feels like an elegant, playable keyword that leans into the absolute power theme. I want to play this card already but I think it could be simple enough to play at uncommon, particularly with the mana cost.

      Delete
    2. I really like the keyword as well. It's conceptually similar to Exalted and Convoke, two of my favorite mechanics, it has great flavor, and seems like it could have interesting gameplay.

      Delete
    3. Two things:

      1. Revere should likely have an "other" between "each" and "creature", as the flavor of revering oneself is a bit strange.

      2. I'd be tempted to do this as an ability word (or whatever they're called), as reverence feels like something that should be illustrated in different ways. Plus, then you get to reprint Jaddi Lifestrider!

      Delete
    4. Well, a functional reprint of Jaddi Lifestrider that doesn't get to tap itself.

      Delete
    5. I went in between Uncommon and Rare for this card. Big lifelinkers can be powerful in limited, but at least this one makes you jump through a hoop for it, so I would like to try it at Uncommon. I agree creatures definitely shouldn't be able to revere themselves. I made Revere a keyword since Jaddi Lifestrider's rules text is so long and I wanted to shorten it, but it would be fun to open it to other effects. A rare blue card-drawing Revere creature could be pretty sweet.

      Delete
    6. Revere is a home-run. It's simple, easy to understand, and offers a lot of interesting choices without leaving players wondering "how the heck am I supposed to use this?" The fact that a card flipping sideways can be interpreted as a bow of reverence is even cooler.

      As for the card itself, I feel like 5cmc is a bit too much for a multicolor card that is essentially Ajani's Sunstriker unless you pump it, especially at Rare. I'm thinking either make this a 4/4 or drop it to 1WB.

      Delete
    7. I'm less certain Revere is perfect, but I am similarly optimistic. As a player, my response is "eh, sure." As a designer, I'm getting vibrations that suggest this could be much more fun and interesting once you actually hold it in your hand.

      It's sort of a convoke for power, which fits both the ruler-of-the-masses feel as well as a sub-theme of holiness and worship that Ankh-Theb will want to feature. I wonder what kind of play environment revere would be best in. It has to be relevant that your creatures are tapping rather than attacking or blocking, but I'm not sure if the baseline level of aggression in Magic is enough for that or not.

      If Priestess were uncommon, I'd be happy with this size/cost because you want to force players to use the mechanic to optimize the card. At rare, I have to agree Priestess isn't quite pulling its weight as-is.

      I'll use this template unless you instruct otherwise:
      Revere (As Priestess of Bast enters the battlefield, you may tap any number of other untapped creatures you control. Put a +1/+1 counter on this for each creature tapped this way.)

      Delete
    8. I am similarly cautious in my optimism, since I don't think Revere is printable at common, which is a major strike against a potential keyword. I think it belongs on a cycle of rare gods, and not as a keyword.

      Delete
    9. Another thought: what if you could only tap up to N creatures? Or exactly N? And then use unbounded Reverence on the big godly rare creatures.

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    10. (not a suggestion for this artwork, just throwing it out there:)

      Avatar of Worship (rare)
      0
      Creature - Avatar
      (Color identity: white)
      Revere
      0/0

      Delete
    11. There's nothing wrong with a keyword that exists only at rare. See Offering. It just wouldn't be the set's common mechanic.

      Delete
    12. Maybe. I think keywording Offering was a mistake. A set can only fit so many keywords, and using one on a mechanic with low as-fan presence seems wasteful. I would rather just call the card "Revered God of Healing" or something, which communicates the same flavor without unnecessary rules and text.

      Delete
    13. You can have a rare cycle without keywording. See Primordials from Gatecrash.

      Delete
    14. Is WW, 1/1, Revere really too good on a common creature?

      Delete
    15. In ancient Egypt plenty of minor deities or figures were worshiped as divine. Consider the following:

      Sacred Cat 1WW
      Creature - Cat (C)
      Revere (Put a +1/+1 counter on this for each creature you tap as this enters the battlefield.)
      1/1

      How big this gets will really depend on the environment and how easy it is to get tokens into play or small creatures into play, but dedicated revere decks would focus on weenies early on before slamming down their Revere creatures. It wont single handedly sell the set like transform cards but it could be one main archetype for limited and that will count for something.

      Delete
    16. Lol, as I was typing this up I was wavering between 1WW and WW for Sacred Cat for quite a while. Seems Evan was thinking the same thing. Great minds, eh.

      Delete
    17. Not necessarily overpowered, but definitely out of color pie. White simply shouldn't get a 4/4 (or 5/5 or 6/6) at common.

      Also, I don't think players are going to get excited about a 1/1 for WW, let alone 1WW. Keywords are supposed to market the set. Remember all the hate Scavenge got for cards like Drudge Beetle because they didn't look sexy enough?

      Delete
    18. Yeah, it's really hard to make Common Revere cards, even if the growth is bounded (i.e., Revere 3, you may tap three untapped creatures...). Branching out to other effects besides +1/+1 counters helps a little bit, but there aren't that many effects you can reasonably put on a common (life gain, pump... maybe mana?), and it starts to feel less like a lord gaining power from their people.

      We could flip the keyword, putting it on those who do the revering, instead of the lords, and just have a cycle of cards like Priestess of Bast at Rare. The flavor here is a bit weird though-- these guys will worship just about anything.

      Worshipper W
      Creature (C)
      Venerate (Whenever a creature enters the battlefield under your control, you may tap this. If you do, that creature enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter.)
      1/1

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    19. My thoughts on Revere are pretty much the same a Jay's.
      On Venerate: I imagine some good game play, but I think this version is significantly less exciting than Revere, and given that low excitement was already an issue, I doubt it can support a major set theme.

      Delete
    20. Some thoughts:

      * I believe the mechanic has more potential than just a rare cycle. It doesn't have to be pushed to rare just because it doesn't fit at common. The set could be designed so that a disproportionate large number of uncommons have it.

      * Maybe only creatures with less power/toughness than the revere guy can tap or less CMC.

      The less power restriction opens up the possibility of a common 2/1 revere creature. It also makes you think more about the deck type you're drafting (a la Evolve). After you take a few revere beaters, suddenly those zero and one-power creatures become more interesting.

      A problem is that a revere creature with lots of counters probably won't be able to revere the next revere creature you play. If this ANTISYNERGY is too much of an issue, you could go with the Evolve template and allow you to tap creatures with less power OR toughness, which opens up a more possibilities.

      Using CMC might be a little complicated for common, but it opens up tokens as a good source of tappers. On the other hand, it discourages aggressively-costed revere creatures.

      Delete
    21. I was really mainly looking for Sacred Cat to be a flavour example of why common revere creatures wouldn't seem out of place (i.e. why do all my creature starts worshiping any old common animal) but I get your point about large white creatures. If we switched it round the color wheel it could work. Blue and Black can get one large creature as long is it's not over costed (unlikely to be a problem here) and green wont be a problem.

      No ones saying lock Revere or Venerate in stone; just whether there are cards that can exist at common, without feeling overpowered, off flavour or over complicated. We'll need some more mechanics ideas and if it turns out that they test badly then revere's out, but it feels similar evolve except without the swinginess. If I draw revere early I can hold onto it and play it out later in the game (if possible). Imagine a possible rare:

      Fathom Deity (rare)
      2UG
      Revere 5 - Tap up to 5 untapped creatures you control, they don't untap during their next untap step, ~ gain a +1/+1 counter for each creature tapped this way.
      When ~ enters the battlefield draw cards equal to it's power.
      1/1

      I open this in my first draft pack it makes me want to play revere in my deck which gives me more a reason to play common revere cards which admittedly aren't that exciting but still decent. There's a lot of questions over the mechanic and clearly it isn't going to appeal to all players but then again what mechanic has?

      Also I still think the only reason scavenge took heat was the fact it wasn't as awesome as Dredge but I think RTR sales suggest it wasn't too big a turn off for players.

      Delete
  21. Goddess of the Red Moon 3BB
    Creature - Zombie Cat Avatar (R)
    At the end of each turn, each opponent loses life equal to the number of creatures which died this turn. You gain that much life.
    Sacrifice another creature: ~ deals 1 damage to each other creature and each player.
    3/3

    (It's first effect only happens if it is on the battlefield. How greedy do you get with saccing your own guys if your opponent might be able to remove it?)

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    Replies
    1. Well, if you're smart, you can wait until the ability goes on the stack, sac your entire board, probably wipe your opponent's board, and drain back all of the life you lost. (Unless you intend for the ability to only finish resolving if Goddess is still on the battlefield? But that's at odds with how every other life-drain trigger in the game works...I can't think of an exception.)

      Delete
    2. As per the problem Jenesis pointed out, the wording you're looking for is:
      At the end of each end step, if ~ is on the battlefield, each opponent loses life equal to the number of creatures that died this turn. You gain life equal to the number of creatures that died this turn.

      (The other wording is easy to misinterpret as being equal to the life loss).
      Other notes include that referencing a color that the card isn't in its name is probably a bad idea. Also I'm not sure that this is the best sacrifice effect for the card, as it leaves you unthreatened even if they do have removal. What if just made players lose life?

      Delete
  22. Baast the Pain Empress 1RR
    Legendary Creature - Cat Warrior Pharaoh (Mythic)
    Whenever Baast attacks, subjugate, then subjugate again.
    Whenever Baast subjugates a creature, it deals 1 damage to that creature.
    "Only warriors shall have the honor of my rule"
    3/2

    REMINDER TEXT FOR SUBJUGATE:

    Subjugate (Gain control of target untapped creature, artifact, or land target player controls until the end of turn.)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Priestess of the Waning Moon 4BB
    Creature - Cat Zombie Cleric (U)
    Human Offering (You may cast this card any time you could cast an instant by sacrificing a Human and paying the difference in mana costs between this and the sacrificed Human. Mana cost includes color.)

    When Priestess of the Waning Moon enters the battlefield, creatures you control gain Deathtouch and Lifelink until end of turn.
    3/4

    ReplyDelete
  24. Crimson Sky - RRR
    Enchantment - Rare
    At the beginning of your upkeep, ~ deals X damage to each creature and player, where X is equal to the number of red permanents you control.
    R: Target permanent becomes red until end of turn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This card is screaming to either be a Blood Moon reprint or something that cares about red. I thought a pyrohemia variant might work.

      Very Johnny card. Rewards you for having many red permanents, but if they're creatures, as they typically would be, wouldn't survive very long.

      Delete
    2. Why? This arts focus isn't on the moon, it's on the crazy Egyptian cat mummy lady in the foreground. She happens to be standing in front of a red background, but it's not changing anythings color.

      Delete
  25. Plague of the Scorched Heavens 1R
    Enchantment - Uncommon
    Creatures with flying cannot block.

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    Replies
    1. Alternative enchantment. Suggests a cycle of color hosing "plagues" (passover is around the corner) that don't call out a particular color. This hates on Azorius, and while hating on flying is more green than red, the not blocking thing justifies red here. Other cards in the cycle? I'll try the white one quickly.

      Plague of Ineffective Spellcasting - 1W
      Enchantment - Uncommon
      Whenever a creature you control is targeted by an instant or sorcery spell controlled by an opponent the first time this turn, regenerate that creature.

      Delete
  26. Kerl, the Bloodworship 3BB
    Legendary Creature - Cat Cleric
    1/2
    Lifelink
    At the beginning of your upkeep, put a -1/-1 counter on target creature you control.
    CARDNAME gets +2/+2 for each -1/-1 counter on creatures you control.

    It is intentional that you are able to put a -1/-1 counter on Kerl. The player has a choice to bleed their own creatures for maximum bonus (as long as they stay alive) or have Kerl hurt herself for a safer, more diminished bonus.

    Kerl wants her followers to keep following her and bleeding, but she wants them alive to be able to keep bleeding for her. This is reflected in how the gameplay turns out: you don't want your bleeders to bleed themselves to death, stopping the bleeding. So you play more creatures to ensure awesomeness.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Also, normally, I'd have a beef with so much red in the art for a black card - but relating the blood theme makes the red feel less like it should belong on a red card.

      Delete
  27. Bast the Soul-eater - 2BB
    Legendary Creature - Cat Demi-God
    First Strike
    Whenever a creature is put in a graveyard from anywhere, put a +1/+1 counter on Bast the Soul-eater.
    Grandeur — Discard another card named Bast the Soul-eater: return X creatures from any graveyards into play, where X is the number of +1/+1 counters on Bast the Soul-eater.
    3/3

    ReplyDelete