Friday, November 29, 2013

Weekend Art Challenge 112913—Ninjatic

Weekend Art Challenge
Click through to see this weekend's art and the design requirements for your card submission, due Monday morning. Every submission warrants feedback, which I will try to provide, and which everyone is welcome to provide as well.

If you choose, you may use that feedback to revise your submission any number of times. I will post and review the most recent submission from each designer some time on Monday, life permitting. To help ensure I recreate your design accurately, please use CARDNAME instead of ~ in your submissions.

Chanukah Present of the Day - Maccabee Brothers

Day 2:


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Chanukah Present of the Day - Everlasting Oil

Happy (belated) first day of Chanukah! Also, happy Thanksgiving.


CCDD 112813—Cornucopia of Secrets

Cool Card Design of the Day
11/27/2013 - Accelerating the game is fun, especially when you can do it in two ways instead of just one.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

CCDD 112713—Ouroboros Ritual

Cool Card Design of the Day
11/27/2013 - Today's card is a mana ritual that only accelerates you ahead one mana, but can be reused, which falls somewhere between red's one-time acceleration and green's permanent acceleration, hence the hybrid cost.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

CCDD 112613—Spellbind

Cool Card Design of the Day
11/26/2013 - Almost two years ago, I explored spellbind and runeward, mechanics that would combat the risk of enchanting your own creatures. I recently found a better way to template the keyword.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Friday, November 22, 2013

Weekend [Art] Design Challenge 112213—New P/T

Weekend Art Challenge
Click through to see this weekend's design challenge. Your final submission is due by Monday morning. Every submission warrants feedback, which I will try to provide, and which everyone is encouraged to provide as well. You may use that feedback to revise your submission any number of times. If and only if you provide a direct link to art for your submission, and the artist's name, will I mock it up and include it in a follow-up review.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

CCDD 112113—Toxic Hunter

Cool Card Design of the Day
11/22/2013 - It's generally wise to avoid giving creatures abilities that don't do much: First strike on a 1/4 is pretty silly and regeneration is redundant on an indestructible creature.

Only one of Toxic Hunter's two abilities will ever be relevant at a time, but that's okay, because which one that is will vary from match to match. Every ability can be ignored in the right circumstances, but by having two abilities that work on different axes, Toxic Hunter will usually be more than just Scathe Zombies.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

CCDD 112013—Ethereal Interceptor

Cool Card Design of the Day
11/20/2013 - "This creature can block creatures as if they had no abilities" is more than a little confusing. Here's a simpler way:

Designing Suvnica, Week 17: Alpha Dog Days

The test deck we'll be pairing off our Illustrate test deck against will showcase this mechanic:


Pick a Tribe

 Changelings

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

CCDD 111913—Brutal Demonstration

Cool Card Design of the Day
11/19/2013 - Intimidation Bolt is just begging for an adaptation using fight.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Weekend Art Challenge Review 111513—leventep

Weekend Art Challenge Review
Here's the challenge we're reviewing today.

Pick a Plane

Dominaria

Suvnica Week 16 Review: Show Your Work (Illustrate Designs)

Illustrate was one of my favorite Suiroza mechanics to come out of this project so far. It does present us with a lot of problems, not all of which I'm convinced are surmountable, but I think of the exemplar family of mechanic designs, it had the most going for it - it was unique, memorable, fit nicely in both the {W}{U} color pie and Suiroza's creative vision.

However, it doesn't mesh too well with NWO (both in terms of mechanical and board complexity), it is very hard to create interesting cards that are useful as an aura that don't become bah-roken once they're global bonuses, and finally, the mechanic sits on auras, with all the baggage that comes with it - two-for-one removal, dead cards if you don't have an enchantable creature, etc.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Weekend Art Challenge 111513—leventep

Weekend Art Challenge
Click through to see this weekend's art and the design requirements for your card submission, due Monday morning. Every submission warrants feedback, which I will try to provide, and which everyone is welcome to provide as well.

If you choose, you may use that feedback to revise your submission any number of times. I will post and review the most recent submission from each designer some time on Monday, life permitting. To help ensure I recreate your design accurately, please use CARDNAME instead of ~ in your submissions.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

CCDD 111413—Circle of Fire: White

Cool Card Design of the Day
11/14/2013 - I was tempted to give this a silver border. Probably should've. I guess it's funnier this way.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

CCDD 111313—Coiling Growth

Cool Card Design of the Day
11/13/2013 - You've seen Two Explores.
Here's Half-An-Explore.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

CCDD 111213—Respiratory Ignition

Cool Card Design of the Day
11/12/2013 - The ability to deal X damage to a creature is not what makes Blaze a strong Limited card. It's the ability to do an unbounded amount of damage directly to your opponent—with the added option to kill a creature instead if circumstances require it—that makes it so strong. So I set about thinking up other ways to Blaze.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Weekend [Art] Challenge Review 110813—Born of the Gods

Weekend Art Challenge Review
Here's the challenge we're reviewing today, since TehWERR took the time to mock the submissions up with art and all. What a guy!


Akhilleus doesn't represent a new mechanic for Born of the Gods, but it is a really cool top-down design of a trope you can bet Wizards will execute on before the block is out. Evan is aware that {1}{W}{W} 2/2 Doublestrike is a little too similar to Fabled Hero and expects Development would vary it up a bit. My money is on 3/1 {2}{W}{W} or something.


Rally is thematically fitting and plays very well with heroic, monstrosity and the myriad auras and tricks that enhance creatures. TehWERR wisely avoided a stat increase effect since the power half of it would make it harder to turn your opponent's rally off once it's on, and since toughness that can disappear before EOT is a huge feel-bad trap.

Jules mentioned concern that your opponent can turn off rally with a single piece of instant removal. That's not inherently bad, but if they commonly do so while also wasting your heroic trigger and half your bestow all at once, that could prove too swingy. Warrants playtesting.


It's not impossible to confuse the divinity counters on Ascended Akroan for +1/+1 counters or vice-versa, but the fact that this creature becomes a non-creature enchantment when it ascends means you only get confused in a very long game with multiple Akroans.

This particular execution leaves me a bit wanting as a 1/1 for four is quite underwhelming even with first strike. "Creatures you control have first strike" is conditionally great, but Knighthood was {2}{W} and I'd prefer something even splashier (or just more efficient). Even so, Ben's concept is neat and I could see a cycle of these at a higher power level.

Not sure the divinity counter is necessary with the total type change, though it is a fun callback to Kamigawa.


Lobster explored a few as-yet-unused uses for devotion, and Disciple of Iroas really does look plausible if not downright likely.


Shadows explored off-color bestow, which seems like a solid evolution for the mechanic. This particular execution has a flaw where it breaks [player's confidence about the rules] if you ever cast it on an opponent's creature. You wouldn't, but that's not the point. He proposed:
Emissary of Iroas and enchanted creature each have +X/+X where X is the total power of the creatures with a different controller.
which he is aware isn't great. I propose:
Emissary of Iroas and enchanted creature each get +X/+X where X is the number of creatures you control.

Jules' spectacle is similar to Rally but is a triggered ability instead of a static one, so it can't be turned off half-way through combat or right after. Instead of boosting the creature with the ability, it boosts the creature that got big, which is more exciting with Dauntless Onslaught. Good stuff.


Tommy speculates that Born of the Gods will slow the format down. I'm not sure if that's true, but it easily might be and I love his reasoning. I'm hesitant about his solution of creating a cycle of expensive common double-cantripping cards. My problem with that is that cantripping is in all colors because you're merely replacing the card you spent casting it, so that mana was your only real payment. Doubling a negation doesn't really compute and players aren't going to get that idea: They're going to see crazy white and red Divination plus on-color effect cards.


Alex' Fleeting Eidolon is an execution of bestow Wizards would have been foolish to print in the first set. It's perfect for a small set. If it represents a cycle, I hope it's a loose cycle where each member gets a different ability that interacts with bestow in a wacky way, since black and red should basically never be able to bounce their own stuff.


Reverence is pretty sweet. Doubling your spells seems like a lovely reward from your favorite deity. Mike was definitely right that pairing reverence on a Clone spell warrants rareness. I love spells like this.

Most reverence cards wouldn't have this problem, but how many players will argue whether the new permanent's mana cost counts toward your devotion total for reverence?


Nich's Hubris is a neat idea for a single aura (though underpowered next to Scourgemark) and/or a creature or two in black or red (maybe a vertical cycle). It's not something we'd want to do enough of to warrant a keyword.


Ant explored what the multicolor gods in the next two sets might look like. It's tricky since they have so many abilities. Originally, he explored "devotion to red or white" which I think is likely to happen in some form, but here he split them up: If you have enough red, Iroas becomes an undercosted creature. If you have enough white, it becomes an overcosted Glorious Anthem. With both, you get both (making your god 6/6).

That's a little lopsided (making Iroas better for mono-red than mono-white), but it kinda pales compared to the last ability which is arguably the best of all the gods' abilities.

The other interesting question is whether hybrid mana will show up. It's slightly out of place having just left Ravnica again, but they're doing gold anyhow and it really does work well with devotion. My guess is that if it does appear, precious few cards will have more than one in their mana cost. (Iroas deviates from Theros gods by counting 2 toward his own devotion—you could argue that mitigates needing to get 5 red and 5 white for full effect).

BTW, Ant did included indestructible in the final version, but that was probably after the cards were rendered.


Rebound is a lovely fit for Theros mechanically. I'm concerned it's too themeless to fit in such a top-down block, but there are tricks Creative could employ to make it feel more thematic.

Pasteur positioned Pomegranite Harvest to both help players make it to the late game and to reward them for making huge monsters in said end game. Nice.


The most distinct idea I had for a new mechanic was something enabled by scry, but with the flavor of devotion. (An alternate version combo'd more directly with devotion, but was a bit too complex.) Other implementations of prayer could use specific attributes of the revealed card, or the card itself.


We already covered one of Ant's submissions, but since TehWERR went to the trouble of rendering this way, we'll show how it combines heroic and bestow. That's a little complex, but at rare that should be fine. Very exciting. Bonus points for being literally born of the gods.


R Stech proposed a cycle of bestow cards you'd sometimes want to cast on opposing creatures. We brainstormed some ideas to see how that would look in other colors. There's a very thin line here; it's treadable, but delicate enough I could see Dev abandoning it before completion. Steadfast Lampad is definitely one of the better executions.


Ipaulsen's Prophesy looks fun and plays well with scry. There's some less-than-ideal flavor overlap, but that can be reduced with a little reconcepting. "Pray" would work well, especially given Theros religious themes and the existence of the not-dissimilar miracle.

Temple Ritual is neat in itself. It'll net you one mana, which could help you cast whatever card you reveal, which is what you really want. There's some tangy risk/reward in there.


Jenesis proposes that cards without monstrosity will refer to monstrosity, which makes fine sense, and her execution on Trumphant Slayer shows a wise naunce where the reference is just a bonus effect, not a primary conditional.


Friday, November 8, 2013

Weekend [Art] Challenge 110813—Born of the Gods

Weekend Art Challenge
Click through to see this weekend's design challenge. Your card submission is due Monday morning. Every submission warrants feedback, which I will try to provide, and which everyone is encouraged to provide as well. You may use that feedback to revise your submission any number of times. There will be no separate review posted, the feedback and dialog that occurs in the comments below is the review.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

CCDD 110713—Wishing Well

Cool Card Design of the Day
11/7/2013 - I originally made this artifact such that it could net you an extra card every turn if you were preposterously lucky or fixing the top of your deck, but that difference was too swingy—Whatever cost you put on the artifact was both too high and too low. So I made a version that uses the same player input, but only ever helps with card selection and never card advantage:

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

CCDD 110613—Revert

Cool Card Design of the Day
11/6/2013 - I couldn't find anything in Gatherer that suggests this card has already been made, so if you do, please share. If not, I humbly submit this Unsummon variant as something I'd like to see printed not just once.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

CCDD 110513—Improvable Bear and Upgrade

Cool Card Design of the Day
11/5/2013 - I've explored an ability along these lines before, but it had a different focus. Overcharge was about gambling with excess mana for a chance at a free spell. Upgrade never gets you more, but it can get you something better. And there's no gambling because you'll never spend mana for no gain.

Monday, November 4, 2013

CCDD 110413—Unbelievable Being

Cool Card Design of the Day
11/4/2013 - I recently explored other options to express the illusionary creature concept. I've got three variations below all based on the core idea that an opponent must actively disbelieve the illusion's existence (but unlike Phantom Beast, they don't need a targeting effect to do it).

Friday, November 1, 2013

Designing for Low-Skill Players: Conclusion

In the course of this series, we've talked about the various desires and priorities that appear more strongly in LSPs than their more skilled counterparts. We've discussed what sorts of designs appeal most to LSPs. But there's an underlying question we haven't addressed: to what extent should the game cater to LSPs?

Here's my answer: Magic needs cards that appeal to all LSP tendencies. However, only a handful of those cards need to be good in tournament play.