Friday, January 3, 2014

Weekend Art Challenge 010314—fetsch

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.


Design a black creature with two abilities.
For bonus points, either make a NWO common or something impressively unique.




199 comments:

  1. The Lonely Lich's Lackey
    2BB
    Creature - Human Wizard (C)
    Deathtouch
    Whenever CARDNAME attacks and isn't blocked, put a +1/+1 counter on it and you lose 1 life.
    1/3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like a lot of what's going on here. Something about the combination of the trigger and the life loss feels a little off. What about "Whenever CARDNAME deals combat damage to a player, put a +1/+1 counter on it?"

      Delete
    2. Well, that'd be all fine and dandy, but I wanted a simple means of getting the bonus before the damage is dealt. That way there's a slightly more pressing question of whether to block the creature with deathtouch, and you get a hint of additional flavor, as the Lich's Lackey is draining your lifeforce to gain power, rather than that of your opponent.

      Admittedly, the "attacks and isn't blocked" clause is out of date. It may be better to just make this the Black Scroll Thief:

      The Lonely Lich's Lackey v.2
      1BB
      Creature - Human Wizard (C)
      Deathtouch
      Whenever CARDNAME deals combat damage to a player, draw a card and you lose 1 life.
      1/3

      Delete
    3. I would drop the "The" from your card name - it suggests uniqueness which suggests Legendary (and rare/mythic.)

      Delete
    4. Evil Scroll Thief is delightful.
      A little way too much better than Scorpion at common, though.

      Delete
    5. Well, it could just go back to being 2BB, which isn't wholly unthinkable. There's no real reason to assume that Black would want or need its Scroll Thief equivalent to sit in similar position on the curve.

      That said, being better than Giant Scorpion isn't outlandish, especially if we assume this is designed for an Expert set. Furthermore, there's something to be said for the effect the combat trigger has on how a player would use it. Where Giant Scorpion is often a troublesome roadblock that quickly shores up black's defenses, the Lich's Lackey will be getting sent into battle ASAP.

      Delete
    6. What about making this a 2/2? That would reduce the complexity slightly, and also would probably make the card a little weaker overall.

      Delete
    7. I actually wouldn't be opposed to making a 1/1 that costs BB.

      Lich's Lackey
      BB
      Creature - Human Wizard (C)
      Deathtouch
      Whenever CARDNAME deal combat damage to a player, draw a card then lose 1 life.
      1/1

      Delete
    8. A Spike card if ever I've seen one.

      Delete
    9. It's the little Typhoid Rat that could (make it into a tournament caliber deck).

      Delete
    10. This version smells uncommon to me. At common, I feel like it should lose deathtouch and cost something other than BB. Maybe a 1/2 for 1B.

      Delete
    11. I don't really disagree with you HV, but even in the landscape of NWO we still get aggressively pushed commons (i.e., Kingpin's Pet and Shambleshark) as well as the similar-in-design Academy Raiders.

      Perhaps a more Johnny-ish design evocative of Rot Wolf would better appeal to the broader ideal of a common:

      Hapless Coroner
      1B
      Creature - Human Wizard (C)
      Deathtouch
      Whenever a creature dealt damage by CARDNAME this turn dies, draw a card.
      1/1

      Delete
    12. The use of "the" in "The Lonely Lich's Lackey" seems ok to me. It just means there's a unique character named The Lonely Lich (who might be a legend card or not"). It doesn't necessarily mean the Lackey itself is legendary.

      Delete
    13. Frankly, the names I give my designs should not be construed as anything other than a comical attempt at providing additional flavor.

      Delete
    14. I agree that names shouldn't be the focus of card design discussion.

      If I see a card name being criticized for what seems to be the wrong reason, though, I think it's worth it to point it out.

      Delete
  2. This is a pretty open-ended challenge, so I'm going to take a shot at each bonus.

    NWO common:

    Terrifying Wizard 1UB
    Creature- Human Wizard (Common)
    2/1
    Flash
    When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, you may have target creature get -2/-1 until end of turn.

    Unique:

    Jace Corrupted 1UB
    Planeswalker Creature- Jace (Mythic)
    2
    (CARDNAME's power and toughness are each equal to the number of loyalty counters on it.)
    +1: CARDNAME gains haste until end of turn and can't be blocked this turn.
    -1: Whenever CARDNAME deals damage to a player this turn, that player discards a card and you draw a card.

    This art feels pretty blue-black to me. And yes, I realize the second design is really weird, but as far as I can tell it could actually be made to work rules-wise (e.g. a planeswalker creature can block even though it's being attacked).

    Feedback welcome and appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The deal with planeswalkers being creatures too is that damage dealt to them always, always, always removes loyalty counters. For instance, let's say you have equipped a newly cast Jace Corrupted with Batterskull, +1ed it, and attacked. If your opponent attacks with a 4/4 and you block with Jace, they trade. It isn't exactly intuitive, which is why both Gideons have built-in ways to avoid this issue (Gideon 1 had damage prevention, Gideon 2 had indestructible) and Gideon isn't even a creature all the time.

      Delete
    2. The intent of Jace Corrupted was that damage reduced his loyalty (kind of like infect damage)-- but you're right, Benjammn, that creates too much confusion because it's not the way creatures usually work. Any reasonable work-around would cause Jace to (1) cease being a creature and/or (2) have more than two abilities, so I'm officially abandoning that design. Terrifying Wizard it is.

      Delete
    3. I like Terrifying Wizard a lot, but Briarpack Alpha makes me wary of putting it at common.

      Delete
    4. On a side note about Jace Corrupted: I fully expect WotC to print a blue (could be multiple colors, but definitely one is blue) planeswalker with this ability:

      -?: This planeswalker becomes a ?/? Human creature with hexproof until end of turn. This planeswalker can't be blocked.

      Hexproof and unblockable together get around most of the damage problems with planeswalker creatures, but there are instant cards out there like Volcanic Fallout that would do "double-duty" against this planeswalker (2 damage to each creature damages it and the 2 damage to each player can be redirected).

      Delete
    5. Jules, do you mean from a complexity perspective, or from a power level perspective? I could see a good argument for making this uncommon either way. The best precedents I can find at common are Blister Beetle and Liliana's Specter, but attaching an instant-speed removal spell to a creature might still be a bit much.

      Delete
    6. Not power level, exactly, but swinginess. This can alter the board state more drastically than I think a common ought to.

      Delete
    7. At the right cost, it could be balanced enough, kind of like Torch Slinger.

      Delete
  3. Kederekt Lich 5B
    Creature- Zombie Wizard (Unc)
    Cycling 1{ub}
    Unearth 1{br}
    5/5

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bigger, Grixis-ier Viscera Dragger.

      Delete
    2. After thinking about this, I'm not very happy with the hybrid costs. Does this read better:

      Kederekt Lich 5B
      Creature- Zombie Wizard (Unc)
      Cycling 1U
      Unearth 1R
      5/5

      I dunno. I'm not feeling this design anymore...

      Delete
    3. I like the un-hybrid version better.

      Delete
    4. Take 2:
      Soulbottler Witch 4B
      Creature- Human Wizard (Rare)
      Deathtouch
      Whenever CARDNAME deals combat damage to a player put a phylactery counter on target artifact. For as long as that artifact has a phylactery counter on it, you can't lose the game.
      1/2

      Delete
    5. So... "Target player without artifact removal can't win the game?"

      Delete
    6. They can just kill the Witch, but many players won't realize that.

      Delete
    7. Not if the card says "For as long as...". Those effects don't end.

      Delete
    8. Forest for the trees and whatnot...Unfortunately, I didn't have much time this weekend to stew on this.

      I'll just go with the non-hybrid version of my first card. even though its not very exciting or unique. Apparently "bonus points" are a trap (lol), so it doesn't really bother me very much that its an uncommon.

      Delete
  4. Evoker of Sorrows (common)
    2B
    Creature - Hag Wizard
    Lifelink
    Spellsurge - {T}: Target player draws two cards and loses 2 life. Activate this ability only if you've cast at least three spells this turn.
    2/2

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whoops, sorry about the {T} symbol. Force of habit. Unless it's no longer an issue for you in making the mockups, Jay.

      Delete
    2. This seems more appropriate as an uncommon, as it feels like the sort of dramatic build-around-me card that would facilitate the "Spellsurge" deck in its respective limited environment.

      A one-time use of "Spellsurge - Sacrifice CARDNAME: Target player draws two cards and loses 2 life. Activate this ability only if you've cast at least three spell this turn." may be a bit more appropriate.

      Delete
    3. Most symbols copy and paste well, but that one shows up as "Tap" for whatever reason. Not ideal, but not a big deal.

      Will new players wonder if the lifelink applies to the life loss?

      I'm guessing you're imagining a set where spellsurge always looks for three spells, and that's why the numbers don't line up. Three is a lot of spells to cast in one turn (but then, the ability's pretty damn good).

      Delete
    4. Yeah, three is the magic number for spellsurge. It can go on instants and sorceries, too, by offering an additional effect if you've cast three spells this turn. It's an attempt at creating the fun of storm (dumping your hand in one turn for a big payoff) without the brokenness.

      Two spells seems like it's not as exciting of a moment, and four spells seems too hard to ever hit in limited.

      Delete
    5. It all depends on the rest of the environment, but Innistrad's Werewolves definitely show that two can be an exciting cutoff. The question is if we want it to be something that WILL happen, or something you can strive to make happen. I suspect the former will be more fun, but I'd test both.

      Delete
    6. The werewolf "off switch" needed to be two spells so that non-werewolf decks had ways of (somewhat) reliably turning it off. I would hope that the person building the spellsurge deck would be running more Divinations and cheap spells with a shallow curve to create ways of getting herself to three spells in a turn. That onus is on the deckbuilder, not on her opponent.

      Delete
    7. Interesting. I would worry that a set that consistently enabled players to storm for at least 3 would probably introduce problems for eternal formats. Storm is always easier to get in constructed formats than it seems.

      Delete
  5. Vengeful Scab {1}{B}
    Creature- Human Wizard (Common)
    Vengeful Scab can’t block.
    Whenever a source deals damage to Vengeful Scab, Vengeful Scab deals that much damage to that source’s controller.
    2/1

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like this, though I wonder if it would be more in black's pie to simply have this be a death-trigger:

      When CARDNAME dies, CARDNAME deals two damage to each opponent.

      Delete
    2. I see what you mean. I like the micro-game of trying to kill the Scab with as little damage as possible, but it might not hold up as a black common.

      Delete
    3. I was thinking of a design almost identical to metaghost's, but Jay's trigger is explicitly flavorful. If black aggro was too strong in the format, metaghost's could change to different flavor with "when dies, gain 2 life."

      Delete
    4. I like Metaghost's idea simply because the idea of a source and a source's controller seem a bit complex for an NWO common.

      Delete
    5. That is a good point, Evan. Though in Jay's defense they did include Pay No Heed in M14, which is the only common with reference to a "source" in all of Standard.

      Still, my revision was based on the contention that damage-reciprocation is more of a red/white ability (as illustrated extensively during last week's challenge, and by Boros Reckoner and its brethren).

      So that's at least 1.5 Demerits on the first design. Now Jay's gotta go to detention.

      Delete
    6. To address Evan's point, you could change "source" to "creature". It plays the same way in most situations, and it's easier to understand (and arguably more flavorful).

      Delete
    7. Whenever a creature deals damage to Vengeful Scab, Vengeful Scab deals that much damage to that creature’s controller.

      or

      Whenever a creature deals damage to Vengeful Scab, Vengeful Scab deals that much damage to that creature.

      Delete
    8. I did understand your {RW} point, metaghost, and it is fair. Black can certainly be vengeful, though, so it's at least in the mantle of black's color pie. Is that good enough for a common? Probably not usually, but maybe depending on the set.

      Delete
    9. I meant the first version ("that creature's controller"). The second version is definitely {r/w}.

      Delete
    10. My feeling is that this is the sort of near overlap bleed that would be fine between blue and black but should be avoided here because red and black are already a bit too similar. It's not quite as severe as {G}{W}, but we still want every piece of delineation we can get

      Delete
    11. Mogg Maniac doesn't bother with "source" in it's templating.

      "Whenever Vengeful Scab is dealt damage, it deals that much damage to each opponent."

      Or you could use target, but it loses a bit of flavor. You could do it to each player, but then you're in Coalhauler Swine territory. Still, it's a very red thing to do.

      Delete
    12. Agreed, this kind of angry revenge is very Red. It could probably be White as well. It doesn't seem completely out of place in Black, although Black probably just hurts your opponents regardless of what they did.

      I think damage reflection is a very flavorful ability and deserves to be used a little more often, as long as it's used in a way that doesn't induce a board stall (like Vengeful Scab manages to do with the "can't block" ability).

      Delete
    13. The consensus is pretty clearly: Vengeful Scab is red.
      So...

      Keeper of the Night 1BB
      Creature-Human Wizard (unc)
      B: Keeper of the Night gets +1/+1 until end of turn.
      Sacrifice another creature: Keeper of the Night gets +2/+2 until end of turn.
      1/1

      Delete
  6. Nightmare Conjurer [1B]
    Creature — Human Wizard [common]
    Intimidate
    1U: CARDNAME becomes the color of your choice until end of turn. (The colors are white, blue, black, red, and green.)
    "Even death fears me."
    2/1

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Repeatable color-changing on an Intimidator? Way to conjure some on-board nightmares for beginners.

      Delete
    2. This feels overdesigned. Unless your opponent is running a 5-color deck, this is essentially "1U: This turn, CARDNAME can't be blocked except by artifact creatures."

      Delete
    3. I'm not convinced it's common, but I do like it. Perhaps adding a sorcery-clause would help avoid some of the confusion?

      Delete
    4. I agree with Evan, unless this lives in a universe where color matters in a big way, this is just a really complicated Agent of Horizons.

      Delete
    5. Nightmare Conjurer [1B]
      Creature — Human Wizard [common]
      Intimidate
      1U: CARDNAME can't be blocked this turn.
      "Even death fears me."
      2/1

      Delete
    6. The mostly redundant abilities just feel weird. I'd just as soon save Slight Evasion Upgrade Dude for a block where color matters enough to justify Bass' version.

      Delete
    7. It's perfect as it is, as all my designs always are. Particularly the bad ones. But Jay's fix is even more perfect. (Curses.)

      Delete
  7. Not exciting, but certainly a card I expect to see someday. Have fun last picking this!

    Mind Meddler
    4B
    Creature - Human Wizard (C)
    Intimidate (This creature can’t be blocked except by artifact creatures and/or creatures that share a color with it.)
    Whenever Mind Meddler deals combat damage to a player, that player discards a card.
    “This will hurt you more than it hurts me. Actually, I’ll be unharmed. Isn’t that great?”
    2/3

    Feedback as always appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Perhaps not overly unique, but exciting enough. While Boulderfall has taught us anything simple enough can be common at high enough of a price, I'm at most 50% sure this is a 'common' price for this creature. Uncommon? All set. Rare? {2}{B}{B}

      Delete
    2. I'd say 4B is the correct cost. Depending on context, this design may be more likely to end up like Dementia Bats/Mindstab Thrull (in that you have to sacrifice it to get the effect), but even as a repeatable effect 4B is a safe cost.

      Delete
    3. This is Abyssal Specter with intimidate rather than flying. That's usually regarded as a major trade up, especially on creatures that are unlikely to block-- see Nimbus Naiad versus Cavern Lampad, for example. The Specter is a powerful uncommon at 2BB. A common rule of thumb is that one colored mana can be traded for two colorless in a casting cost. Add all that up, and you get that Mind Meddler should cost 3BB at least, and probably more.

      Delete
    4. I don't think the Nimbus Naiad vs. Cavern Lampad dichotomy is an appropriate means to evaluate how R&D weighs flying vs. intimidate. In context, Lampad's Intimidate is a lot more like unblockability due to the absence of significant artifact creatures and the higher likelihood of nonblock monocolor decks.

      Delete
    5. Moreover, Cavern Lampad is a weaker card than Nimbus Naiad despite the fact that in Bestowing it you can choose to give Intimidate to a creature of a color your opponent's not playing (unless you're the same 2 colors).

      Delete
    6. Good points. Looking at the cards more closely, you guys are right-- it appears intimidate isn't worth a whole mana more than flying-- so this is going to require a more detailed argument.

      Bladetusk Boar and Accursed Spirit are at about the same or slightly higher power level compared to Assault Griffin; there is no common 2/2 intimidate or fear creature for 2C (the closest is Blind Zealot, which is weaker because of all the artifact creatures on Mirrodin, and Severed Legion for 1BB); and 2/1 intimidate costs CC (Highborn Ghoul) while 2/1 flying costs 1C (Stormfront Pegasus) at a similar power level. So in general, intimidate *is* as valuable or slightly more valuable than flying, and that often translates to a more restrictive mana cost.

      Two additional factors: first, part of flying's value is that it is better than intimidate for defense, but the Specter ability only works on offense, so we should expect intimidate to be more of an upgrade on the Specter. Second, Abyssal Specter is a rather powerful uncommon, and as Jay has mentioned, big card-advantagey spells like Thassa's Bounty or Boulderfall tend to cost at least {1} extra at common. The Specter ability is a source of repeatable card advantage and I can find no precedent for printing such a creature at common (especially under NWO), so I'd still argue that Mind Meddler should cost 3BB at the very least.

      Delete
    7. Well argued. If we wanted to keep it at 4B (say, to make devotion harder is Theros), would making it a 1/2 justify that? Just wondering.

      Officially 3BB now.

      Delete
    8. Just pointing out, like I did below, that this is just an updated Order of Yawgmoth. It cost 2BB

      While strong, that seems like a reasonable uncommon in a modern set with maybe a slightly higher than normal artifact or black creature count. I wouldn't imagine this card at common as it leads to unfun play experiences with multiple copies and enough removal.

      Delete
    9. What if we Slate Street Ruffian-ed it?

      4B
      Intimidate
      Whenever this becomes blocked, defending player discards a card
      1/2

      My gut says that could be common.

      Delete
    10. That could be common. I would say that they don't make commons that terrible anymore, but I could be wrong. It's /interesting/ how the intimidate actually makes this card worse.

      Delete
    11. Nice. You could make it a bit better then.
      Maybe 2/1 for 3B?

      Delete
    12. I'd prefer it square then I think. Is 2BB 2/2 too good?

      Alternatively we could make it Spikey and have it with deathtouch and Slate Street. I think I still prefer intimidate. Just a thought.

      Delete
    13. Seems quite good, but printable. Same name and flavor?

      Delete
    14. Mind Meddler
      2BB
      Creature - Human Wizard (C)
      Intimidate (This creature can’t be blocked except by artifact creatures and/or creatures that share a color with it.)
      Whenever Mind Meddler becomes blocked, defending player discards a card.
      2/2
      “Well, I could stab you in the gut with my staff, or I could stab you in the brain with my magic. Your choice.”

      It occurs to me this is now just SSR with intimidate for another B. I'm okay with this. Reminder text is intentional as this is a common card. Please someone make that flavor text better. xP

      Delete
    15. "I can kill you quickly or slowly. I'm just kidding, slow is so much more fun!"

      But that's a lot of text for a common.

      Delete
    16. Official flavor text:

      “Fear not. Both choices end in your death.”

      Delete
  8. Hazy Witch UB
    Creature - Human Wizard (c)
    CARDNAME is black and blue.
    Intimidate (This creature can't be blocked except by artifact creatures and/or creatures that share a color with it.)
    2/1

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is "CARDNAME is black and blue" an ability? If so, why?

      Delete
    2. I'm not sure if it is. Is characteristic-defining text an ability? If it's humbled… wait a second—This is already black and blue! [Checks for wallet. Pants are gone]

      Delete
    3. I meant "why is this ability on this card?"

      Delete
    4. Pasteur's a philosopher.

      That's why it's on the card.

      But yeah, is this a case where if Blind Seer makes this green it's still black and blue as well?

      I guess that'd be kinda neat in the proper context. But maybe not on a common.

      Delete
    5. As written, it's an ability. In the set in mind it doesn't do anything - no Blind Seers, or layer checks, or anything like that - but it helps explain something to new players. This sort of templating isn't something we do in modern Magic, but in a post-NWO Portal set, it's conceivable.

      Why not make it reminder text? Well, on the one hand, new players sometimes don't read reminder text. On another hand, it's a unique ability that /maybe/ could mean something to some johnny somewhere. But largely it's to answer the design criteria, and to think of just how explicitly we can state things in specifically-targeted sets.

      Delete
    6. New New New World Order it is, then.

      Grizzly Bears
      {1}{G}
      Creature - Bear
      Grizzly Bears costs {1}{G} to cast.
      Grizzly Bears is a creature.
      Grizzly Bears is a Bear.
      Grizzly Bears is green.
      Grizzly Bears has a power of 2.
      Grizzly Bears has a toughness of 2.
      2/2

      Delete
    7. Obviously overwhelming. But imagine a set - a small one, to say the least, but a set regardless - where creatures all had "This creature can attack and block", "This creature can block but not attack" and "This creature can attack but not block".

      The effect would be very Duels of the Planeswalkers-y, very Portal-y. We think of vanilla creatures as being boring, but combat math can be fun & fascinating. Think of it like chess pieces that have the directions written on them. We don't want all the text you listed, but emphasizing the important things:

      Grizzly Bears (larger than normal {1}{G} symbols)
      (art)
      Creature - Bear
      Grizzly Bears can attack and block.
      2/2

      Delete
    8. Even if this is an appropriate thing to tell new players, reminder text is surely the way to go. On the other hand, there's some interesting design space to be mined with extra colors + intimidate. What about a mono-black cost and "CARDNAME is blue and red in addition to its other colors"? I could definitely see that text at common, in addition to (or maybe in place of) a Grixis color indicator.

      Delete
    9. Is it really easier for new players to have to read "This creature can attack and block" on every creature instead of just having that be one of the rules a new player needs to learn? What's worse is that it might train players to ignore that text, so when "This creature can only block" appears they might ignore that, too.

      Now as far having text to indicate color, it'd help clarify things like intimidate on gold cards. That said, I'm not sure that an intro level set would really want to throw that at players as they're learning the game. After all the only multicolored card with intimidate is a mythic rare released in a speciality set for highly enfranchised players. The interaction could happen, but it seems best for it to remain an odd corner case.

      Delete
    10. Magic is an exception-based game, so every single thing you read in the text box is understood to be an exception to the baseline. Anything else is confusing. To everyone.

      Delete
    11. The fact that not all games are exception-based makes me wonder whether all Magic ought to be that way. But the good news is the sort of product I'm envisioning could be group-tested even more than a normal set, so whether or not redundant instructions foster confusion could be sorted out under a corporate budget.

      The point about gold Intimidate being avoided for early-learners is well-taken, though. I was trying to think of a reason why a card would want to make its color identity more clear to a player who hadn't encountered gold cards, and missed the tree for the forest.

      Delete
  9. For mine, can you zoom in on the mages face more, to show her expression, but try to keep the blue fire hand.

    Curse of Madness 3BB
    Enchantment - Aura Curse
    Enchant player
    When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, enchanted player shuffles five basic swamps into his or her library.
    When CARDNAME leaves the battlefield, enchanted player searches his or her library for 5 swamps and exiles them, then shuffles.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The challenge was to design a creature, but I'd let that slide if this were crazy awesome. But I'm not really sure what its for.
      If we ignore that adding cards from places other than the sideboard is new ground, it's still awkward that when I search my library I can fail to find anything, but I can't fail to find swamps to put in.

      Delete
    2. "Targeting me? I hope you have five matching sleeves with you..."

      Delete
    3. Maybe you swap cards in your opponents' library for swamps. That would take care of the sleeve problem (although it would be tedious to execute.)

      It's an interesting place to explore and at least think about for craziness.

      Both blue and black get mill, and supposedly black's method of milling is excising, but in reality Black's milling isn't always that different from Blue. What if Black could also turn opponent's cards into Swamps. That would be like "corrupting" the opponents' deck.

      Delete
    4. Didn't even think of sleeves. O the humanity!

      Delete
    5. the thought was that you are clogging up the opponents deck with swamps, which will most likely be dead draws for them. too wacky? haha. Ill think of something else.

      Delete
    6. how about:

      Bloodfrost Witch 1UB
      Creature - Human Witch Assassin
      When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, tap target creature.
      When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, destroy target tapped creature.
      1/1

      Delete
    7. Definitely uncommon. I'm sure most new players will read this as "when this ETB, destroy target creature" which isn't true. That worries me.

      Delete
    8. "When ~ ETB, destroy target tapped creature, then tap another target creature" doesn't quite have the same ring.

      Delete
    9. ben thats a good point...

      how about:
      Bloodfrost Witch 1UB
      Creature - Human Witch Assassin
      When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, tap target creature, then that creatures controller loses life equal to that creatures toughness.

      Delete
  10. Crazed Sorceress BBR
    Creature - Human Wizard
    Pay 3 life: Regenerate CARDNAME.
    Whenever you discard a card, you lose 1 life and draw a card.
    2/1

    Not sure if the second ability is too abusable. Originally had it templated as:

    Whenever you discard a card, you lose life equal to the number of cards you discarded this turn and draw a card.

    Which do you prefer?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The former. Since the card has no way to make you discard cards, and people don't naturally discard cards, let's not junk up the ability with words that will usually equal '1.'

      Rare? What's the story here?

      Delete
    2. The ability is far too abusable, I'd add having to pay {1} or something. Otherwise people do things like curve Wild Mongrel into this for a turn 3 kill.

      Delete
    3. That doesn't seem very good? I mean, you're playing Jund for a two card combo that costs 19 life and requires attacking...

      I guess you do get to draw whatever 5 cards you want... Spirit Guide, Spirit Guide, Pyretic, Pyretic... no... There is probably a 5 card win in Modern. And I guess you could always get some protection too... How about this?!

      Witch of Black Sun BR (R)
      Creature - Human Wizard
      Pay 3 life: Regenerate CARDNAME.
      Whenever you discard your first card in a turn, lose 1 life and draw a card.
      2/1

      She's like a magical black-hole. Her powers are fueled by other peoples lost potential magic, but the siphoning process is violent. It harms those she feeds off of and leaves behind a vacuum which has to be filled. The end result- a living mystical battery.

      Delete
  11. Death's Pilgrim
    3B
    Creature - Zombie Cleric - Common
    Swampwalk, lifelink
    2/2
    "Even a dead land has sustenance aplenty, if you don't mind the taste of flesh."

    I know landwalk is frowned upon in NWO, but I think this combination of abilities will show up on something at some point.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The reason landwalk is frowned upon is because it's so arbitrarily swingy: this would be one of the better cards in your deck against black (and they might well have 0 actual answers) and your worst card against everyone else. The issue's worse when they're maindeck-able, but the main reason to put them in sideboards is to speed up an overly slow mirror match, and lifelink doesn't serve that goal.

      Delete
    2. A black deck that can't answer a 2/2—even a black 2/2—is already taking risks; losing to a card that's bad in every other matchup seems reasonable.

      Delete
    3. I'm not arguing that it's too good, I'm arguing that it's too swingy. Yeah, they might have an out or two, but that doesn't solve the underlying problem of a largely non-interactive card deciding a bunch of games. It's just not fun for most people.

      Delete
  12. Take 1:
    Reclaimer of Grixis 2B
    Creature-Human Wizard (C)
    When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, if you control a blue permanent, look at the top card of your library. You may put that card into your graveyard.
    When CARDNAME dies, if you control a red permanent, you may discard a card. If you do, draw a card.
    2/2

    The art is very suggestive of a blue ability and a red one. I'm not sure that's doable on a monoblack common under NWO, but it'll be hard to get it simpler than the above.

    Take 2:
    Reclaimer of Grixis UBR
    Creature-Human Wizard (C)
    Flying, haste
    2/3

    Not a perfect match for the art, and awfully derivative of Sewn-Eyed Drake, but the overlapping keywords thing is a nice, elegant way to make a Shard common.

    Ultimately, I think the more fruitful challenge to pursue is the unique one:

    Take 3:
    Lichmaster of Grixis 4BB
    Creature-Zombie Wizard (M)
    If you would draw one or more cards, instead draw twice that many cards and lose twice that much life.
    If a source you control would deal damage, instead it deals that much damage and you gain that much life.
    4/2

    It turns all your card draw and burn into their black equivalents. It's possible that the first ability should just be a drawback (or be templated to let you hurt your opponents with Inspiration) instead of doubling your draws, but I think it's better if both the blue and red aspects read beneficially.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh man. I love the Lichmaster.

      Delete
    2. Reclaimer of Grixis 2B
      Creature-Human Wizard (C)
      ~ has flying as long as you control an Island.
      ~ has first strike as long as you control a Mountain.
      2/2

      Reclaimer of Grixis 2B
      Creature-Human Wizard (C)
      1U: ~ gains flying until EOT.
      R: ~ gets +1/+0 until EOT.
      2/2

      just for argument's sake

      Delete
    3. Lichmaster's first ability had me expecting "If a source you control would deal damage, instead it deals twice that much damage and you lose that much life." Apart from the 180' turn, though, that's some neat liching.

      Delete
    4. I mean, black has gotten Bond of Agony, so that may be a better way to meet expectations. Honestly, aside from the constraints of the challenge these abilities could each be on their own card. As for the commons, the basic land idea never occurred to me so I skipped static abilities (they'd be complex with colored permanents); I really like this version. On the other hand, the activations add more board complexity than the enters/death triggers, so they're probably not the way to go.

      Delete
    5. "If you would draw one or more cards, instead draw twice that many cards and lose twice that much life."

      This templating is a bit weird, does the second that refer to the original amount of cards or the doubled amount of cards?

      This is also awkward "Whenever you would draw a card, instead draw two cards and lose two life", but it would work.

      Delete
    6. Reclaimer of Grixis 2B
      Creature-Human Wizard (C)
      When Reclaimer of Grixis enters the battlefield, if {U} was spent to cast it, target creature can't be blocked this turn.

      When Reclaimer of Grixis enters the battlefield, if {R} was spent to cast it, target creature gains haste this turn.
      2/2

      Delete
    7. Wobbles, I like that design a lot, particularly for Limited. Works in Esper and Jund, but it goes best in Grixis.

      Delete
    8. For the Lich, how about "If you would draw one or more cards, instead draw twice that many cards and lose 1 life for each card drawn this way."

      As for the second ability, how about "Permanents and spells you control have lifelink."

      Delete
    9. Wobble's Reclaimer of Grixis is awesome. I'm sad that the haste is most likely going to be used only on itself though.

      I wonder if the "if {U} was spent to cast it" could be "for each {U} that was spent to cast it." It could be some kind of set mechanic.

      Delete
    10. Jules' Reclaimer of Grixis part 1 is cool in a Melvin way, if seen as an exposition of how Blue and Red's stance on research is different. (Blue's based on future forecasting and planning while Red's based on recklessness)

      But it may be too cluttered. I'm not sure it's worth doing it just for the sake of exposition. A better way to enjoy a contrast between colors might be to have a cycle of Scholars in each color. (Maybe it's a set about a planar school or something.)

      The green one could be, "Discard a creature card, reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a creature card and put it into your hand," etc.

      Delete
    11. Ooh, I like Wobbles' a lot. As for my submission, let's go with this tweak:

      Take 4:
      Lichmaster of Grixis 4BB
      Creature-Zombie Wizard (M)
      If you would draw one or more cards, instead you lose that much life and draw twice that many cards.
      If a source you control would deal damage, instead you lose that much life and it deals twice that much damage.
      4/2

      Delete
  13. Curse Carrier (2)(B)
    Creature-Human Wizard
    When Curse Carrier enters the battlefield, you lose 3 life.
    When Curse Carrier leaves the battlefield, you gain 3 life.
    3/3

    Is Banisher Priest template works on this card? if it does, she has only one ability now. When Curse Carrier enters the battlefield, you lose 3 life until Curse Carrier leaves the battlefield. (You gain 3 life.) Hmm.. looks a little bit strange.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome, Dai. I think this is better templated as-is.
      Common?

      Delete
    2. I think they technically could template this like they do Banisher Priest, but I'm not sure there's a good reason to.

      Banisher Priest needed that change in order to fix the stacking loophole that other such cards have.

      Delete
    3. Oops, It's common. I also didn't notice that this doesn't cause stacking loophole problem. Temporary life loss seems really strange so now I think this card should be as it is. Thank you all!

      Delete
    4. Welcome! And a really nice design, too. Clean, interesting, and totally appropriate as a NWO common.

      Delete
    5. Welcome! I like this a lot. I especially like the cmc 3, p/t 3, "borrowed life" of 3.

      Delete
    6. I'm impressed with this one, though I worry a little about a black getting something as efficient as Centaur Courser. Maybe 1BB?

      Delete
    7. Serpent Warrior shall ease your worries with its fantastic Ron Spencer art.

      Delete
    8. Thanks, I don't think I'd thought about that card before. I think I'm convinced, though I think this would be a pretty high pick in drafts (though I am a man who loves a Centaur Courser).

      Delete
    9. Thanks! this is a strict better of Serpent Warrior indeed. But we still have Necrogen Scudder (at uncommon). If the set needed 1BB for a common, it can be changed. I'm sure R&D won't make 3/3 vanilla for 1BB:)

      Delete
  14. Disciple of Vinn 1B
    Creature - Human Wizard (C)

    When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, return all cards named CARDNAME from your graveyard to your hand.

    Cycling 2
    1/1

    Alternatively:

    Disciple of Vinn 2B
    Creature - Human Wizard (C)

    Deathtouch

    When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, return all cards named CARDNAME from your graveyard to your hand.

    1/1

    The value junky Melvin in me likes the first one better, but the flavor Vorthos-y part of me wants to see the things actually die, and that part likes the second better.

    If the second one wanted to be played in constructed (the black squadron hawk) it would be cost at 1B, but at 2B someone can be "that guy" in the draft and pick up tons of these. Thoughts?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I prefer the first design, though I don't think either could be common. As a baseline for this sort of attritiony card advantage, Undead Gladiator is probably the most appropriate reference, not Squadron Hawk. And honestly, I'm surprised they let Undead Gladiator block.

      It may seem unintuitive, but I think the first design would be less powerful if it just returned them all to battlefield.

      Delete
    2. I think this needs to be a common for draft, and it deliberately can't do anything by itself, nor can you loop them (like you can with the Gladiator).

      Delete
    3. This is an interesting kind of solution: cards that are common not because of complexity, but because of the big collect-me factor. Which makes me realize-- Shadowborn Apostle would be pretty much the perfect design for this challenge and art.

      Delete
    4. The first one is interesting. The second is depressing.

      Delete
    5. This would create some interesting strategies in draft, especially in conjunction with self-milling or sacrifice.

      The deathtouch version might be a little too annoying when it works, though.

      It might actually be more balanced if it returned all cards with the same name to the battlefield rather than your hand, so that you can't hold back a copy to loop them all over again.

      Delete
    6. I think I am convinced to go with the first one, but I think people are really being victims of "best case scenario mentality" when imaging how good the second one would actually be in practice.

      I certainly had a set with a self-mill theme in mind when I was making the card, that would be fun!

      Delete
    7. That may be true, Tommy.

      But it's worrisome that in a card's best case scenario it seems kinda oppressive (in a mundane way), rather than awesomely fun.

      Delete
    8. Yeah, I wrote that it would be annoying when it works. I didn't say it would usually work.

      The best case should be epically awesome rather than being annoying (it mostly makes it very hard for your opponent to attack profitably rather than driving you towards victory.)

      Delete
    9. We must have different senses of fun! Maybe I enjoy Bestowing a Baleful Eidelon on a Disciple of Phenax too much!

      Delete
    10. I actually enjoy grinding out the opponent with card advantage, but just because I personally enjoy it doesn't mean it's good for the game to encourage long but one-sided grind-out games.

      Delete
    11. I totally hear all the comments, even if I think people are overestimating this a bit. I was thinking of what would make a weaker deathtouch, and I decided I liked the gameplay of:

      Phyrexian Vassal 1B
      Creature - Zombie Wizard (C)

      Infect

      When you put CARDNAME into play, return all cards named CARDNAME from your graveyard to your hand.

      1/1

      Delete
  15. NWO Common

    Spectral Witch 1B
    Creature- Spirit Shaman (C)
    Intimidate
    Spectral Witch can't block.
    2/1

    (Nezumi Shortfang FTW. Inspired by Ben Nassau's update of Order of Yawgmoth)

    and because this is a full length image and how do you expect us not to design a planeswalker

    Vlaakith, Lich Queen BBBB
    Planeswalker Vlaakith (M)
    When the last loyalty counter is removed from Vlaakith, you lose the game.
    +1: Sacrifice another permanent. Put loyalty counters on Vlaakith equal to its converted mana cost and you gain that much life.
    0: You can't be targeted or dealt damage by anything controlled by your opponents until your next turn.
    [6]

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. can block only black creatures....

      Delete
    2. It'd be an interesting twist, but it would eat complexity points. Especially because "can only block black creatures" doesn't work like intimidate. Spelling it out "Can only block artifact and/or creatures that share a color with it." only makes it more wordy and complex. I'd go for the shorter version to just make it easy.

      Delete
    3. Vlaakith, Lich Queen BBBB
      Planeswalker (M)
      You can't lose the game and your opponents can't win the game.
      +1: Destroy target creature. You lose half your life rounded up.
      +1: Put target creature card from a graveyard onto the battlefield under your control. You lose half your life rounded up.
      [8]

      Delete
    4. "and because this is a full length image and how do you expect us not to design a planeswalker"

      Because you're a good designer and designing a creature is a fairly reasonable restriction?

      Delete
    5. I loved Nezumi Cutthroat, and I love Spectral Witch.

      Delete
    6. Using a planeswalker to represent a Lich (not losing to life loss, etc.) is an awesome idea and I hope they do something like that someday.

      Delete
    7. What can I say, Evan. I like me a 'walker.

      Delete
    8. Yeah, the Lich Walker idea is excellent: Phil Lacktery, Hoarcrux of So-and-so.

      Delete
  16. Went through multiple iterations before I finally settled on Seal of Douse in Gloom/Last Kiss/Sorin's Thirst/Pharika's Cure:

    Dread Alchemist 1BB
    Creature - Human Wizard (C)
    Lifelink
    Sacrifice Dread Alchemist: Dread Alchemist deals 2 damage to target creature.
    2/2

    I debated making him a Spellshaper, but repeatable removal at common doesn't seem to be NWO compliant anymore.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When reading this, I didn't realize at first that the Shock effect worked with the lifelink (and I'm still not sure I understand why it does, rules-wise). The subtlety of the interaction suggests to me that this shouldn't be a common.

      Delete
    2. The rules text for lifelink is something like "Whenever this creature deals damage, you gain life equal to the damage dealt." The key word is just "damage", rather than "combat damage".

      Delete
    3. Yes, but in this case, when the damage is dealt the creature isn't on the battlefield anymore. I realize that the ability damage is still 'lifelink damage'; I just don't think that would be clear to a beginner at all.

      Delete
    4. Oh you mean last known info. Gotcha, that is pretty confusing for beginners.

      Delete
    5. They avoid combining lifelink (and deathtouch) with damage-after-death triggers to avoid that confusion. Reminder text?

      My instinct says this ability needs a mana cost.

      Delete
    6. Yes: As is, it is IMHO a very very powerful common. It needs to maybe have increased cost and/or an activation cost for the ability.
      Also you could drop lifelink (which in black flavorwise I like only for vampires - and this guy for image restrictions doesn't appear as one) and add a lose 2 part to the activated ability.

      Delete
    7. Even beyond power level/board complexity concerns, this doesn't feel mono-black to me.

      Delete
  17. Spitemage - 1UB
    Creature - Human Wizard (c)
    Deathtouch
    Whenever CARDNAME dies, choose one: target player discards a card; or draw a card.
    1/1

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seems very reasonable. "Choose one-- draw a card; or each opponent discards a card" might be a slightly better way of wording it.

      Delete
    2. Yeah, I think you are right. It makes a little better, but that's fine. I originally wanted it to do both effects, but that was absurdly good. :P

      TBH, I don't know if it needs to be blue. Blue and black have both shared the card-draw-on-death clause (Harvester of Souls and Dark Prophecy vs. Oculus and Alchemist's Apprentice).

      Delete
    3. So the new card would be:

      Spitemage - 2B
      Creature - Human Wizard (c)
      Deathtouch
      When CARDNAME dies, choose one -- Draw a card; or each opponent discards a card.
      1/1

      Delete
    4. There's kind of a lot going on here for a common.

      Delete
    5. You mean technically or power-level-wise? 2B might be a little too good. I don't know if 1UB or 1BB would be better.

      Delete
    6. Deathtouch, plus a death trigger, plus a choice of where to apply your card advantage. Yes, it's a bit too good for common, but I'm more concerned with how much board complexity this adds.

      Delete
  18. Split-Eye Harvester (Common)
    3B
    Creature - Human Wizard
    2/2
    B, Sacrifice another creature: Regenerate Split-Eye Harvester.
    1B, Sacrifice two other creatures: Put two +1/+1 counters on Split-Eye Harvester.
    Reborn Alara’s overabundance of Vis has been targeted for harvesting by every Vital, coven and lichlord of Grixis.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This feels uncommon to me, in a sort of Guildmage-y way.

      Delete
    2. Indeed, the number of common creatures with multiple repeatable-use activated abilities currently in Standard is "0".

      In a world in which they get around to revising how Regenerate is phrased/executed, I wouldn't mind seeing:

      Bloodier Bairn
      3B
      Creature - Vampire
      2B, Sacrifice another creature: CARDNAME gets +2/+2 and a regeneration shield until end of turn.
      2/2

      Delete
    3. The two abilities have nothing in common (beyond the cost), not even synergy?

      "Reborn Alara" is a phrase I don't see any character familiar with Alara using. It was Alara. It is Alara. It's different, but they don't need to clarify because the old Alara isn't threatening to return.

      Delete
    4. Jay, my flavor text isn't a quote, so reference to a meta-event of the plane isn't that weird. Think about all the Shadowmoor flavor text that directly references the Aurora. The characters referenced in the text aren't calling it Reborn Alara, just the onmiscent narrator. Does "Unified Alara" suit you better? It doesn't suggest the history your iffy about.

      Delete
    5. I also don't see how the abilities aren't synergistic. It's a simple synergy (An ability that makes the creature hard to remove and an ability that makes it a bigger threat.) but still, what do you want from two abilities that ask you to sacrifice other resources?

      I was also hoping that the Grixis flavor would help sell the high commitment to sacrificing creatures. Alara was filled with token creatures, even at common.

      Lpaulsen, there could be an Uncommon version of this as a decent build-around-me if it had better stats, like a 3/3 for 3BB.

      Meta, the criteria asked for two abilities, so if I was going to use two activiated abilities, this is the most logical time to do so. And I tried to make them as simple and straight forward as possible. (That's why their costs are similar, and turn off, and only affect the creature itself.) If Standard wanted a common creature with two activated abilities, I don't see NWO preventing it. The complexity can be mitigated, as I did here.

      Delete
    6. I definitely agree this is an uncommon. Look at Vampire Warlord. We don't see a lot of commons that can win their game on their own like this.

      Delete
    7. Synergy is a scale. There's a low end, where any two things have a synergy simply by co-existing. These two abilities aren't asynergistic (except that they both consume a usually very limited resource), and you're right, it's nice to be able to protect a creature you've invested in growing. I just meant there's no mechanical combo between them; and both express the same idea. That's not a bad thing, if the goal is to double down on that concept.

      This doesn't need to be uncommon for power reasons, it needs to be uncommon (or perhaps a rare legend) because it's such a unique card, and one you very much don't want 4 of in your Limited deck.

      Delete
    8. Thanks for all the feedback. I thought it would be good in Limited because multiple copies provide redundancy and can feed the first one that sticks. And I thought it's one-noted-ness helped strip it of bad complexity, while still offering good complexity. I thought it was Lenticular design.

      Delete
  19. Heartless Cursemage B
    Creature - Human Wizard (C)
    When Heartless Cursemage enters the battlefield or dies, target opponent loses 1 life.
    1\1

    I know it's one phrase but one is a death trigger and one an ETB, so they are indeed two different abilities :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Could be interesting in a set with some flickers or a draftable sacrifice deck, like how Maggot Carrier was interesting in Planeshift with all the gating creatures.

      Delete
    2. Good 1/1s for 1 at common are hard to do (they're often underpowered), but this guy seems pretty reasonable in Limited-- if they don't have a 2-drop, he's better than Bump in the Night.

      Delete
    3. I love the ETB or dies triggers! Here's one I made a while ago:
      http://madolaf.blogspot.com/2012/12/card-of-day-thought-robber.html

      Delete
  20. This challenge made me really how difficult making simple commons is. Especially as the two abilities made me really want to make a card that comboed with itself, but I think that's something best left for uncommon or rare. Commons should combo with each other!
    But, for a simple common:
    Tombstone Replacer
    Creature - Zombie
    Defender
    When CARDNAME dies, return another target creature card from your graveyard to your hand.
    2/2

    I'm not sure if this exactly works, but the intent is that you can't loop this guy as an infinite blocker, but you could if you had 2.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm still amazed there hasn't been a death trigger Gravedigger yet. No wonder it got submitted in GDS so much. This works as you want it, and the defender prevents it from getting too out of hand. I'm afraid this might slow the game state down a bit if you start looping 2 of them, and so in that sense maybe it's better to have an aggressive ability like haste (which would be uncommon).

      Also, what's the cost on this?

      Delete
    2. Ah cost is 2B.
      I think loooping them is a good reward for getting 2 out (though it is easier since one in your graveyard works just as well). One reason there is not a death trigger gravedigger yet is probably that they require good knowledge of death order/stack. By the time the trigger goes on the stack, is this card already in the graveyard and ready to be targeted?
      To avoid such a question.
      Tombstone Replacer 2B
      Creature - Zombie
      Defender
      When CARDNAME dies, return target creature card not put there this turn from your graveyard to your hand.
      2/2

      Delete
    3. I think the "another" covers that problem in a less wordy way, but that's your call. I think the card's fine as is.

      Delete
  21. Ignoring my previous entry:

    Bogbond Witch 1B
    Creature - Human Shaman (c)
    Defender
    Pay 1 life, T: Target swamp you control produces BB this turn.
    1/1

    And because this art seems to scream for it:

    Shadow Guildmage B
    Creature - Human Wizard (u)
    U, T: Put target creature you control on top of its owner's library.
    R, T: CARDNAME deals 1 damage to target creature or player and 1 damage to you.
    1/1

    ReplyDelete
  22. Disciple of Gargut S[R/B]
    Snow Creature - Human Wizard
    T: Put an ice counter on target creature.
    T: Target creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn for each ice counter on it.
    2/1

    ReplyDelete