Friday, May 9, 2014

Weekend Art Challenge 050914—desmondwoot

Weekend Art Challenge
Click through to see this weekend's art and the design requirements for your single 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.


Choose crop A or B and design a card as unlike any of the other submissions as possible.

A
B

204 comments:

  1. This is kind of a hard challenge to start off! Restrictions breed creativity, I guess...

    OK, I'll go for a top-down design of sorts:

    World Turtle 3GG
    Creature- Turtle (Rare)
    4/4
    When CARDNAME leaves the battlefield, put a token that's a copy of it onto the battlefield at the beginning of the next upkeep.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So it's not just unkillable, but all of its Flicker-created tokens are too?

      Delete
    2. I think the "turtles all the way down" metaphor holds just fine if it's just a death trigger. Either way, I'd kind of like the top of the library representing this, and that adds a balancing factor, but the gameplay might not be good enough.

      Delete
    3. Yes, Crop A, and the tokens are meant to have the same ability.

      As to the death trigger, I'm very much torn. On the one hand, it makes the card much more likely to be balanced. On the other hand, it reduces splashiness and flavor slightly. I think that on balance you guys are right, and I'll change the final version to a death trigger.

      Delete
    4. Final submission:

      Crop A

      World Turtle 3GG
      Creature- Turtle
      4/4
      When CARDNAME dies, put a token that's a copy of it onto the battlefield at the beginning of the next upkeep.

      Delete
    5. Trample perhaps? Otherwise very very interesting.

      Delete
  2. Tread New Ground 4G
    [crop B]
    Sorcery (U)
    Search you library for up to X basic land cards and put them onto the battlefield tapped, where X is the greatest power among creatures you control. Then shuffle your library.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a lot of setup for something you don't need much of in the late game. On the other hand, if Boundless Realms is a thing, there's no reason why this shouldn't be.

      Delete
    2. Not hard to imagine some players excited by the prospect of following a Polukranos with 5 Rampant Growths. Speaking of which, should get basics, forests, or basic forests? (Thinking about domain)

      Delete
  3. Orr, the Eterniturtle (mythic rare)
    3GWU
    Planeswalker - Orr
    +2: You get an emblem with "At the beginning of your upkeep, draw a card."
    +2: You get an emblem with "At the beginning of each of your main phases, add GWU to your mana pool."
    +2: You get an emblem with "At the beginning of combat on your turn, put three +1/+1 counters on target creature you control."
    (6)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Crop A. (Planeswalker formatted, obviously.)

      Delete
    2. Making multiple different emblems and adding a new one every turn is going to get really hard to track really quickly.

      Delete
    3. I really wish that this was symmetrical: "You get an emblem iwth "Ath the beninning of each players first main phase each turn, that player adds GWU to his or her mana pool."

      Delete
    4. Trostani's Summoner is an uncommon that makes three kinds of creature tokens simultaneously in a block that encourages token copying. Surely a mythic rare making three kinds of emblems is fine?

      Delete
    5. It would be neat if we could replace the last one with an ability more white, and hopefully more powerful for aesthetics.

      Well, my aesthetics. But maybe you share them?

      Delete
    6. Evan, considering the Eterniturtle seems like one of your joke designs, I can't really tell if you're being serious in your defense of the viability of printing a card that churns out emblems.

      But the simple answer is that token creatures can be interacted with, and creatures are a common and fundamental part of the game; emblems are their antithesis.

      Delete
    7. This is different enough from your average planeswalker design that I'd consider trying to make it an enchantment or something.

      Delete
    8. I know it doesn't fit the flavor, but I really wish those +'s were -'s. 6 mana for an uninteractable one-sided Howling Mine seems like a great card already. Stapled onto an 8 loyalty planeswalker with two more plus abilities, it's too much.

      Also, regarding Trostani's Summoner, that card was released half a year after RTR, at which time players would have had ample opportunity to collect the relevant token cards. This card requires its owner to collect multiple copies of three different "mythic rare tokens" in order to properly represent the game state, which seems entirely unfeasible per WotC's current token distribution process.

      Delete
    9. Orr, the Eterniturtle (mythic rare)
      3GWU
      Planeswalker - Orr
      +1: You get an emblem with "At the beginning of your upkeep, draw a card."
      +1: You get an emblem with "At the beginning of your upkeep, gain 1 life for each creature you control."
      +1: You get an emblem with "At the beginning of your upkeep, put a 2/2 green Turtle creature token with trample onto the battlefield."
      (6)

      Delete
    10. FYI: http://markrosewater.tumblr.com/post/85339992978/would-you-ever-print-a-planeswalker-that-makes-more

      Delete
    11. Emblems are invisible game rules. They are things with no physical representation that impact the game heavily. What makes that justifiable is that it takes a lot of effort to produce one and a herculean effort to produce more than one. One big effect, players can remember. Two, maybe. Three or four, is asking far too much.

      Of the ten cards in all of Magic that produce emblems, only Sorin can do so the turn it ETB. It's not hard for him to produce multiples (though it will take three unmolested turns to make two), but they do stack well, and he never makes different kinds.

      I would be okay with a card that could produce a single emblem, but offers a choice between three different kinds, because it's not the variety of emblems possible that's the problem, so much as knowing what emblems are currently active in the game.

      That's why I don't think Orm would be printable even if all of its abilities were -2s.

      Delete
    12. There are lots of ways that this can be improved but I don't think an emblem-generating machine is inherently unprintable at an appropriately high enough mana cost. Magic has *lots* of invisible game state elements (life totals, damaged marked on creatures, poison counters, creatures that have been detained, etc.) and several that aren't easy to track even in decks that care about them (say, number of creature cards in your graveyard.)

      Obviously this isn't something you'd want to print a lot of in any given environment but I don't think it's unmanageable. Most players show up to the table with tools for keeping track of game state.

      Delete
    13. I find the idea cool, but I do not think that it would be implemented as is. Also, one of your emblems is far stronger in my oppinion than the others. If we went in the dirrection you started I would shift the numbers a lot.

      Delete
  4. I've been lurking for a while, but this is my first post here. My compliments on the blog.

    Cityback Tortoise 6GG
    Creature - Turtle
    Trample, Hexproof
    When Cityback Tortoise enters the battlefield, search your library for a nonbasic land card and put it onto the battlefield. Then shuffle your library.
    5/8

    Crop A, in case it's not obvious.

    Considered having the land be sacrificed when the turtle dies, but it seemed needlessly complex.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome!

      Solid design. It's not immediately clear why you would want an extra land when you already have 8 mana, but "nonbasic" is a very helpful hint in that regard. Seems great for Commander.

      Delete
    2. Presumably Flavor Judges worldwide will only allow you to search out City of Brass or Library of Alexandria.

      Fetching Kher Keep is a match loss.

      Delete
    3. Welcome! I'm not sure it needs both trample and hexproof, but still, solid design.

      Delete
    4. Welcome!

      I wish the hexproof made sense from a flavor perspective. It's a giant turtle. Why can't I throw a lightning bolt at it?

      Submissions to these challenges typically include a suggested rarity. (This looks rare to me; trample and hexproof on an uncommon would warp draft environments, and making it mythic would invite unfavorable comparisons to Primeval Titan.)

      Delete
    5. Fun card. I could see removing either trample or hexproof and pitching this as an uncommon for the right set.

      Delete
    6. Yeah, it was intended as a rare.

      I included the Hexproof because I wanted the card to be turtle-y and well-protected. But it's not important to the concept.

      Going with Pasteur's suggestion of making it uncommon, we could try something like...

      Cityback Tortoise 5GG (Uncommon)
      Creature - Turtle
      Trample
      When Cityback Tortoise enters the battlefield, search your library for a nonbasic land card and put it onto the battlefield. Then shuffle your library.
      5/7

      Delete
    7. Indestructible could replace hexproof for the "protected" idea.

      Delete
    8. Funny, is had thought the exact same name! That said, solid design, i prefer the version with less keywords attached. The more elegant version has more focus.

      Delete
    9. Yeah, I like the Uncommon version better too.

      Delete
    10. You guys are good. Hexproof was exactly what I was going to suggest excising here.

      This could potentially be uncommon in the right set, but I would default this to rare. Having 7 toughness feels plenty turtle-y to me.

      I love the idea that this carries a city/land on its back, and I agree it's best not to bother sacking that land when this dies, Sanctaphrax.

      Delete
    11. I would have loved it to have toughness equal to the non-basic you control personally.

      Delete
  5. Joke design to be as different from any other design:

    Lightning Bolt
    R
    Instant (C)
    Lightning Bolt deals 3 damage to target creature or player.
    Crop B, obviously.

    ...yeah. Srs submission:

    There Might be Giants
    6GGUU
    Instant (M)
    Draw a card for each land you control, then you may put any number of creature cards from your hand onto the battlefield.
    Just when you thought you had found a nice, quiet neighborhood.
    Crop A.

    This is an instant to be different (ala the criteria), but I wonder if this is printable as an instant. Is it okay to even have this at sorcery speed? Feedback appreciated as always.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, wow.

      Very cool. No idea whether it's fair for Commander (and other big-mana formats) or not, but I like the combination of drawing cards and putting them into play.

      (The deleted post below was this one, which I posted in the wrong place.)

      Delete
    2. I would make this cost 16GGUU. Herald in a new age of Magic where we have real haymakers at real haymaker costs. Plus, the combo with Riddle of Lightning isn't half bad.

      Delete
    3. I'm not sure it's a good idea to print cards with converted mana cost 20. I don't think instant Riddle Of Lightning/Erratic Explosion/Kaboom!/whatever kills are particularly desirable.

      Delete
    4. Shouldn't this be a sorcery? Played during your opponent's end step, it feels more like "surprise, I win!" than anything else.

      Delete
    5. Yeah. Officially changing it to a sorcery.

      In terms of mana costs: http://markrosewater.tumblr.com/post/81692566724/is-draco-considered-some-kind-of-soft-cap-when-it-comes

      Also, my favorite part of this is that if it's cheated out early on, it's basically just an overcosted (read: properly costed) Show and Tell.

      Delete
    6. Modern Magic design has established that "You win the game" costs somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 mana. Compare Door to Nothingness, Omniscience, Enter the Infinite, and Emrakul. That makes me think CMC 10 is about right for this.

      Delete
    7. Omniscience and Enter the Infinite are, to me, crimes against fun that should never have been printed. But that's just me. I would be reasonably satisfied with 10-12GGUU.

      Delete
    8. Should this be monogreen now that it's no longer an instant?

      Delete
    9. I think the massive draw that isn't really tied to creatures justifies the blue. Also, making it GGGG makes it way more achievable and thus dangerous in mono-green.

      Delete
    10. Ignoring power/cost concerns for a moment, Why isn't draw cards = your lands a spell? Why, if I've got so many lands, do I need to get a mana discount on some of the cards I draw?

      Delete
    11. For fun! xP I think the free creatures works better with the art and the name, and makes for an exciting mythic spell.

      As for why there isn't already a draw cards = lands you control spell yet, my hunch is that it would probably be too poewrful in Turbo-Fog decks.

      Delete
    12. Not relevant to your design, but I'm really interested in this card, keyed off of a creature's P/T rather than # of lands, as a RUG ultimatum for Bizzaralara.

      Delete
  6. Stand Among Giants
    Conspiracy
    Creatures other players control are 7/7 and lose all abilities.
    Dethrone - When you are dealt damage, return CARDNAME to the bottom of your conspiracy pile, and the owner of the source of that damage discovers a Conspiracy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Assembling contraptions, I see.

      Delete
    2. Well played Evan. But even more well played Pasteur-- the idea of a "king of the hill"-style game is very attractive and fits well with what we know of Conspiracy so far. It's really funny that this makes you want to draft 'weak' Conspiracies.

      Delete
    3. These may be a thing for the summer release product:
      http://www.magicspoiler.com/mtg-spoiler/new-card-type/

      Delete
    4. Not sure how to evaluate this.
      Are we assuming there's something inherently beneficial to having a Conspiracy in play, even if it helps your opponents as this one does?

      Delete
    5. I don't actually have a clue what Conspiracy will entail, so I admittedly was hedging my bets with this design.

      +7/+7 can be a big enough bonus that some players would rather defend you to keep it in play; likewise, turning off something like a Griselbrand, Emrakul, or Boggle can be worth it for you or worth some real political points. In my head, Conspiracies would grant all other players an ability that had drawback and upside. I doubt in reality that they'll go with a "World Enchantment" sort of feel like I'm hitting here, but it's an interesting direction to go.

      If there are specific cards that key off of having a Conspiracy in play X turns, that could be an interesting incentive to have a card like Stand Among Giants in your Conspiracy pile. Alternatively, there could be a sort of "backdrafting Conspiracy cards" sort of thing, where you deal out each Conspiracy you drafted face down to a player at the table, and the player who plays first Discovers a conspiracy to start the game. Either case could hopefully work with CARDNAME - which will hopefully satisfy the Johnny-Spike-Multiplayer demo that as far as I can tell Conspiracy is aimed at.

      Delete
  7. M Torterra EX 250 HP {G}
    Evolves from Torterra EX
    Mega Evolution Rule: When 1 of your Pokèmon evolves into a Mega Evolution Pokèmon, your turn ends.
    {G}{G}{W}{W} Earthbreaker: 100 - This attack deals 20 damage to each benched Pokèmon for every {W} in their Retreat Costs.
    Pokèmon EX Rule: When a Pokémon-EX has been Knocked Out, your opponent takes 2 Prize cards.
    Weakness: {R} x 2
    Resistance:
    Retreat Cost: {W}{W}{W}{W}
    *

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Forgot to specify Crop A.

      Delete
    2. I have literally no criticisms. This seems pretty well balanced, and Earthbreaker has good flavor and adequate costing.

      Delete
    3. I do not fully understand this and am not sure I want to...

      Delete
    4. I'm going to assume this is clever and hilarious. I can't mock this up, but if you want to...

      Delete
    5. Nah. The PTCG has always had a very stunted MSE template development, and the new Mega frames are new enough that I'm not sure there are even any good .psd files for them.

      Delete
  8. Turtleback City
    Land (rare?)
    T: Add 1 color to your mana pool.
    2: Exile Turtleback City, then return it to the battlefield under its owner’s control at the beginning of the next end step.
    A city in constant motion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I assume that by "1 color" you just mean "1" (i.e. 1 colorless mana)? Otherwise this is way better than Alpha duals!

      I really like the Johnny puzzle of the second ability. Landfall is the obvious way to go, but I'm sure there are others.

      Delete
    2. Yes, it's colorless. My bad.
      Corrected:

      Turtleback City
      Land (rare)
      T: Add 1 to your mana pool.
      2: Exile Turtleback City, then return it to the battlefield under its owner’s control at the beginning of the next end step.
      A city in constant motion. Literally.

      Delete
    3. I love it when there are completely different different mechanical expressions for the same concept.

      What if this added any color, but /any/ player could pay to exile it?

      Delete
    4. Uhm, certainly it would be more interesting and could appeal to Spikes; it's different from what was the original intention, but intersting nonetheless. My concern is that abilities that can be used by every player read very badly for a lot of players. I guess the visceral feeling of helping the opponent is too unfun.

      Delete
  9. Áo
    Legendary Land
    Lands you control enter the battlefield tapped.
    You may play an additional land on each of your turns.
    Its moments are measured in eons.

    Render: http://i.imgur.com/guTsCnQ.jpg

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure whether Áo will ETB tapped or not, since its static ability doesn't go into effect until this is on the battlefield, but that doesn't matter because this land doesn't produce mana, which does matter a lot in modern magic. Also, this is better than Exploration, which is dangerous.

      Delete
    2. Oh, the discussion is down there.

      Delete
  10. Regardless of whether this is developmentally realistic, don't forget that lands should still be able to tap for at least 1 colorless mana.

    I presume you chose to remove such a function to make this somewhat more balanced, but if the goal is design in the image of contemporary design philosophy, I don't think we have the privilege to make such a choice.

    That said, you've done a great job balancing flavor, function, and simplicity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It took me a while to get the math right, but as I understand it this lets you go 0 mana, 1 mana, 3 mana, 5 mana... which is, surprisingly enough, not unreasonable. On the other hand, metaghost has a good point about needing to tap for mana. What if you replaced the second line of text with "T: Add 1 to your mana pool" and "T: You may play an additional land this turn"?

      Delete
    2. "... developmentally realistic ..."

      Upon first reading the card most people seem to react surely this must be completely broken. But so far no one has actually come up with a way to break it. (Understanding that "broken" means different things in different formats.) I think it might actually be ok :o

      "... lands should still be able to tap for at least 1 colorless mana ... contemporary design philosophy ..."

      *Cough* Eye of Ugin. I'm aware of the purported modern design philosophy behind lands, but honestly, such rules are made to be broken.

      (Also, Rosewater frequently says things are ways they actually aren't, so don't take his word as gospel. For example, mere months before printing Nykthos, he repeated the laughable claim "We really don't do legendary lands any more." The reality is of course they still print legendary lands, they just use the technology more exclusively now, for a variety of reasons.)

      Anyway, this land clearly "produces mana" in a very real sense, so it complies with the spirit of the law, if not the letter, just like Eye of Ugin.

      (Also, let's say you disagree with a particular design philosophy. How would an actual WotC designer express that? By pushing boundaries and designing cards that bend the rules a bit.)

      "That said, you've done a great job balancing flavor, function, and simplicity."

      Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed it :)

      Delete
    3. Let's just say I'm strongly opposed to your suggested changes, lpaulsen. I believe the design is perfect as submitted.

      "Il semble que la perfection soit atteinte non quand il n'y a plus rien à ajouter, mais quand il n'y a plus rien à retrancher."
      —Antoine de Saint Exupéry

      Delete
    4. "Perfect" is a strong term for any design, Nickolas. I agree that your design is extremely elegant-- and I do like it a lot-- but I think the possibilities here might be worth a bit more careful consideration.

      Eye of Ugin and Nykthos are good analogies, as is Maze's End, but they all "produce" mana in some sense of the term (and all but the Eye actively tap for colorless). Also, they're all much more wordy than Ao, even with my proposed change.

      I'm as big a fan of concise templating as anyone else here, but you only need to look at something like Birthing Pod to see that a design can be close to "perfect" while also being quite wordy.

      That's not to say my proposal is the right way to go; I recognize that it plays differently and is a bit clunkier. But considerations like how something actually plays, and how consistent it is with Magic's broader direction, are at least as relevant as elegance in evaluating a design.

      Delete
    5. Dumb question: Does this cause itself to enter untapped?

      On the design: I adore this design, not just because it's dangerous but maybe printable, but mostly because it's the kind of card that we can debate and argue and see conflicting design philosophies. It promotes good discussion. Good work.

      Delete
    6. Ben -- no, and this is one reason (beyond what lpaulsen might call my obsession with elegance) why Áo shouldn't tap for mana.

      As it stands, the answer to your question doesn't actually matter, except in edge cases with (presumably) out-of-block-and-standard cards like Chromatic Lantern, Urborg, Riftstone Portal, etc.

      Add in a tap ability, and all of a sudden there is the potential for less rules-knowledgeable players to get confused.

      Delete
    7. (Of course it's easy to fix, just say "Áo and lands you control enter the battlefield tapped" and hypothetical tap abilities become unambiguous... but words.)

      Delete
    8. "Dumb question: Does this cause itself to enter untapped?"

      Yes, for the same reason that Orb of Dreams enters untapped.

      My personal hatred of non-ASCII characters in card names aside, flavorwise what the heck does Vietnamese upper-body clothing have to do with an exploring turtle?

      Delete
    9. Áo is a dragon-turtle origin myth in (chinese?) mythology. We'd magic-ify the name, but this is solid, and I like the flavor and the crunch.

      Delete
    10. Ben -- to be clear, Áo doesn't cause itself to enter the battlefield tapped, as it does to other lands. (I misread your question. Jenesis is mostly correct in that Áo enters the battlefield untapped, though it doesn't cause itself to be. It enters the battlefield untapped because that's what things do unless otherwise specified.)

      Jensis -- as Pasteur noted, Áo is simply the name of a mythological "World Turtle". The design isn't supposed to be a literal representation of Áo. The name is just an indication of the flavor/concept that guided me. Again, as Pasteur noted, it would obviously be changed in a real set.

      Delete
    11. Setting aside your hatred of more words Nickolas, why not "Other lands you control enter the battlefield tapped."? I understand it rarely matters, but I feel like the clarity is worth it when it does.

      Delete
    12. Ben -- heh, all joking aside, I don't actually hate words, I just prefer to be parsimonious with them in designs. (And nowhere else, it seems.)

      Your wording is perfectly fine to me, though I don't think it's a necessary change. I am open to arguments that one wording or another is less likely to cause misunderstandings, and I certainly value rules simplicity as much as I value concision ...

      But I'm also completely ok with interactions between rares and mythic rares resulting in the occasional obscure edge case. (Though I don't actually think this case is unreasonably difficult to figure out, or even difficult at all.)

      What I am against is failing to elucidate common interactions on common cards, which is why, say, Bestow's reminder text is such an affront to humanity, but any potential issues with Áo can be legitimately (in my opinion) rebutted with "eh, learn2play."

      Delete
    13. But then again, maybe I'm not the best person to decide what's "simple enough" when comparing two nearly identical designs. I defer to your judgment, Ben: http://i.imgur.com/2duaYJd.jpg

      (Now it's merely more perfect, lpaulsen ;o )

      Delete
    14. So, just to step back to developmental questions and the philosophy of making lands independently produce mana:

      A) How much do we value the ability to play additional lands?

      There's no obvious metric based on the printed cards. In the Modern-format era, all permanent sources of such an ability cost at least 2G, but each of these permanents and associated spells tend to grant a bonus effect intended to either give you a way to leverage your additional lands or simply give you the lands to play.

      This would seem to say that the effect isn't considered to be that valuable in a "mana cost" sense, but that it is nevertheless detrimental to the initial turns of a match. That sentiment may have something to do with the inefficiency of contemporary mana-denial, or it may be because it draws away from preferred sources of ramp (i.e. our plentiful and highly interactive mana dorks).

      B) Without the ability to produce mana of any sort, does this design significantly distinguish itself as a land in contrast to its enchantment siblings?

      In a context with Wasteland, I can see a strong argument that it does, but outside of that I'm not sure.

      Ultimately, I don't think this is an especially dangerous design under most circumstances (even should it produce colorless mana). But do we really want to give this effect to every color? Is that a valuable boundary to push? Or should we have learned a lesson from the Ravnica signets?

      Delete
    15. metaghost -- given that, as far as anyone can tell, Áo isn't actually any good at ramp, I'm quite comfortable letting all colors have access to it.

      (Not to say there aren't halfway decent combos. It might be good in a deck with bouncelands, but I doubt it would be particularly disruptive to bounceland-legal formats.)

      As to your question as to whether this should be an enchantment ... it could be, but the design just looks so much nicer (to me) as a land that cares about lands, and cares about lands some more. I enjoy the tight focus of those abilities much more on a land than I would on an enchantment.

      Besides, one mana seems expensive for the effect. So it kind of naturally restricts itself to being a land or a 0-mana artifact.

      Also, I don't think enchantments have (or should have) a monopoly on the "weird global or half-global effects that don't do anything on their own" concept.

      Delete
    16. Amulet of Vigor and Ravnica bouncelands make this a bit scary. It would be interesting to compare a version on an enchantment that costs one green mana perhaps?

      Delete
    17. Aura -- If you think the comparison would be interesting, then actually make the comparison, and see what you can see.

      Put together Matthias Hunt's PTBNG deck and goldfish with both versions of Áo. (1-3 copies, for Glimmerpost, then Slaughter Pact, then Azusa is what I did.)

      • As an enchantment for G, it's awful and you never want to see it.

      • As a land, it's awkward in some situations, but can also be a key component in some very fast draws.

      Even in those fast draws, however, Áo doesn't actually enable a faster kill than the deck had before, and it's not clear to me that it increased the deck's consistency or decreased the average turn-on-kill. (I am admittedly not an expert with the deck or an expert player in general.)

      When you think about it, for one green mana you can get Deathrite Shaman or Noble Hierarch. (Or Elvish Mystic, for that matter, which Áo is also weaker than.) Áo for G becomes boring, crappy, unplayable, and impossible to build around, which isn't a design philosophy I can get behind. Nor does the drawback even make sense in green (or any color, particularly.)

      From a flavor perspective, being an enchantment also doesn't make sense. The picture is of a giant turtle, so it's either ... an actual giant turtle (a creature), a giant turtle statue (an artifact), or a turtle that lives on scales so massive and slow that cities are built on and around it, and mountains flow like rivers before its unblinking gaze (a weird land.)

      Delete
    18. Nickolas, it seems that your efforts to express the... uh... virtues of your design have left the impression that it's actually best understood as a "trap"; if it barely functions in the seemingly ideal context, who should the design appeal to? Have you envisioned an environment in which the design would best appear?

      Delete
    19. May I suggest...

      "Lands enter the battlefield tapped.
      You may play an additional land on each of your turns."

      Delete
    20. metaghost -- take care that you don't use Aura's original power level concerns as a straw man. The fact that Áo (probably) doesn't propel the Amulet of Vigor combo deck into God Tier doesn't mean it "barely functions" or is a "trap".

      The design obviously appeals to players that like interesting and unusual effects that you can build decks around. And at the risk of sounding immodest, it also appeals to anyone that appreciates elegance and simplicity, because the design is quite elegant and simple, and has a unique combination of abilities.

      Pasteur -- that's just clearly unfair and broken. It would at least be reasonable if both abilities affected all players, but that's just a worse design, in my opinion. I've found that "reciprocal effects aren't nearly as interesting or as fun as you want them to be" is a remarkably consistent rule of thumb.

      Delete
    21. I'll grant that it's very pretty to look at, but I'm going to side with metaghost here - is there an environment in which you envision this seeing print? When do you want to include this in your deck?

      Root maze may be effective in the right deck, but putting it on a land might actually make it a little closer to neutral.

      Delete
    22. We'll never see everyone agree whether this card could be printed today or not, but it's at least a discussion and that's good enough. What I have yet to see is why this card would be printed. Elegance and novelty are great bonuses, but they are not a reason to be. They're certainly not a reason to make a big exception. Exceptions are splashy and need to serve a highly visible purpose.

      Delete
    23. Pasteur -- the question is hardly apropos, as I believe you know, because mechanical environments aren't (conceptually) defined by their mythics.

      I also have a hard time believing you're acting in good faith when you ask when you'd want Áo in your deck. It's obviously quite good with bouncelands, and probably good in many situations we have yet to imagine.

      The previous power level discussion was just to address whether it was too good with bouncelands, which metaghost strawmanned into "if it's not broken, it's not good for anything at all", which is fallacious.

      Also keep in mind that different things are good to different people. Power level is mainly a discussion of "is this good for Spike?" But there is another class of people for whom cards that scream "BREAK ME!" are good, even if they're not tournament viable, and a class of people that enjoy elegance in design, etc. But you know this as well.

      Jay -- Even taking for granted your assumption that exceptions must be splashy and "serve a highly visible purpose" (which is simply false, that's merely one function of some exceptional cards), Áo is pretty clearly splashy.

      Consider, metaghost's first reaction to Áo was "this is not developmentally realistic". That's splash. The first thing out of the mouths of literally everyone I've shown the card to is "There's no way that can be printed!!" Then I say, "Do the math." Then they say, "Hmm, ok, but there's got to be a way to break it!" Call me crazy, but that seems pretty splashy. It's no Search the City, though, I'll give you that.

      (And, it must be said, I think your main issue with Áo is just that our past interactions have prejudiced you against me personally.)

      Delete
    24. I'm not sure what interactions you're referring to, but from this thread alone it seems like you're much more interested in proving that your design is perfect than considering how it might be improved.

      Delete
    25. I can't agree with your rhetoric in defending the design, Nickolas, but somehow I've come to really like the design itself. This card is all about lands mechanically; costing you a land drop (that doesn't produce mana) is an essential part of the design; and it also wants to be a land for flavor purposes. For those reasons, it's justified in breaking the land-design 'rules' the same way that fetch-lands are. Actively justifying its existence is a bit harder, but that's not something we normally need to do with our designs. It could make a splashy stand-alone rare, or it could be justified by themes in a Zendikar-esque or top-down Chinese mythology block. Development would definitely want to take a close look at it-- for example, I'm guessing that it would be a little too good in a Standard environment with scry-lands-- but ultimately that's not our main concern. And it *is* a very pretty design.

      Delete
    26. Jay -- that's a strange conclusion to draw from the discussion so far. The simple truth is that most of the criticisms given so far have not been substantive (and thus I have refuted them), and most of the suggested improvements clearly resulted in weaker designs.

      Which of the questions and criticisms already discussed do you think I answered incorrectly, and why?

      lpaulsen -- you note that I adjusted my tone as suggestions spiraled from "misguided" to "clearly incorrect or irrelevant" to "pointlessly argumentative and logically contradicting the previous contention" to "wait, that's just ad hominem", but I think I've remained reasonable and fair throughout.

      For example, the idea that you have to "justify" cool cards is grotesque (and is also a criticism not leveled at any other design in this challenge ... why?) What does it even mean to "justify" a design in this context? Jay's peculiar thought that "[he has] yet to see is why this card would be printed" isn't even well-formed, so what's a meaningful response?

      Why wouldn't it be printed? Isn't making cool / interesting / fun / splashy / novel cards and interactions pretty much the point of it all? Isn't that what WotC tries to do with every new set and product? Craft new experiences?

      It would be nice if the nay-sayers could decide whether they think Áo is unprintably strong, or unplayably weak, or whether or not I need to design an entire block around it first before submitting it to a weekend challenge ...

      Delete
    27. This isn't debate club, this is a collaborative discussion group. There are lots of talented designers here and, regardless of whether you agree with them, they have well-reasoned and interesting things to say. A lot of design amounts to subjectivity and it is entirely possible that two people can arrive at differing conclusions in good faith. I've had lots of designs I've really liked shot down by other people. That's okay! It betters me as a designer to know what other people think of my work.

      Delete
    28. Nickolas--

      I wanted to be confident in what I was saying before I replied to your comment, so I went back and reviewed the whole thread. First of all, I should mention that the length of this discussion is a sign that you're onto something very interesting design-wise. I personally think that Ao is an excellent Magic design, leaving aside the question of what hypothetical universes it can be printed in. The fact that we're asking these kinds of questions shows that it's a good design, not the reverse.

      Getting to the details: Metaghost's and my initial comments on your design were positive but raised what seem to me to be legitimate questions about the design.

      1. Is it something that development could handle? (If it's powerful, OK, but there aren't any 'knobs' to change on this card, so development might have to make major changes to the environment.)

      2. Is it 'land-y' enough to justify breaking a rather strong and well-established rule of Magic design?

      Again, I think the answer to both questions is yes, but they're still worth asking. Other people also raised good questions to which the answers are non-obvious: Amulet of Vigor interactions, tappedness / templating, and the comparison with enchantments. Your responses were on-point and for the most part convincing, but they strike me as needlessly defensive in tone.

      You claimed-- seriously, as far as I can tell-- that your design was 'perfect'; you accused other commenters of ad hominems that I cannot find; you misrepresented my words twice; and in your last few comments you used confrontational language to describe your "misguided" "nay-sayers". I get the impression that you are treating this as a formal debate in which proposals must be defended, not a forum for constructive discussion and feedback. Even if you are not wrong about your design, you are wrong about that.

      There are things that I'm dissatisfied with about the discussion so far-- I think that asking for additional reasons for printing the card isn't productive, and I wish there had been more discussion of what exactly this does as a ramp spell. But no design or designer is perfect, and frankly your claims of being totally in the right are not credible. Constructive criticism is a big part of what goes on here, and I would humbly suggest that a more moderate response on your part is called for.

      Delete
    29. This design looks to me like it fell out of a really old set... like pre-Mirage era. Back then they'd print a ton of cards that were interesting without really having a set purpose. They don't print many of those cards anymore. Part of that is because those cards end up broken in a really unfun way no one anticipates, and part of that is because they excite a very small fraction of the player's base. (Show 95% of players Yawgmoth's Will or Bazaar of Bagdhad and they will just yawn.)

      If I'm honest, personally, I'm in the 95+% that this doesn't excite. That doesn't bother me though. If 1% of the playerbase would be really excited by this card (and I think they would), then I think printing it is great under two conditions:

      A) There is a legitimate deck (not necessarily one that already exists) in vintage/modern/legacy that wants to play it.

      B) It is not horribly broken in vintage, legacy, and modern.

      I highlight the eternal formats (and modern which isn't technically an eternal format even though it should be by any reasonable definition) because I suspect that is where the majority of that 1% of players who would be excited by this card live, and if you are going to print a card that is a throwback to a bygone time, that is where it belongs.

      Unfortunately, in the span of this board, no one will be able to answer A or B. This card will scare development a lot (and if it doesn't, it isn't doing its job!). It will take a lot of actual testing to decide if it is too weak or too powerful, but that's okay!

      Delete
    30. And, to follow up on the above, this is in my blog moderator voice:

      Nickolas, your tone in this thread has been inappropriately combative and condescending. The Goblin Artisans community is a supportive environment for people to discuss Magic design. Either treat others with greater respect, or find another forum where your tone is considered more appropriate.

      Delete
    31. Evan -- debate club or no, well-reasoned ideas should be able to withstand the pressure of reason.

      Consider, for example, the comparison of Áo to Root Maze, a card that's quite different in actual effect and intent:

      Root maze's primary function is "Artifacts and lands your opponents control enter the battlefield tapped." It's conceptually an offensive card that disrupts your opponent's ability to realize their gameplan. In other perhaps more familiar terms, it's a "debuff" for your opponent.

      Áo's primary function is "You may play an additional land on each of your turns." Conceptually, it serves to enhance your capability to realize your own gameplan. It's a "buff" for yourself.

      Where the cards overlap is in their drawback. They both happen to have the drawback of "Lands you control enter the battlefield tapped." So, yes, there's a superficial link between the two cards, just as there's a superficial link between, say, Altar's Reap and Bone Splinters, but it's not a very relevant observation.

      "Root maze may be effective in the right deck, but putting it on a land might actually make it a little closer to neutral" isn't even wrong. It actually just has no bearing on the conversation. If, by the standards of this community, it is impolite to make this observation, I apologize.

      I agree with you that a lot of design is subjective, and had someone said something like, "I disagree, I personally just like this a lot better on an enchantment, it feels overwhelmingly enchanty to me," then there wouldn't really have been anything to talk about. But no one said much of anything like that. Instead people offered reasons, backed by supposed logic and evidence, which can be examined, and then endorsed or refuted.

      It's also particularly bizarre for the conversation to take a turn from "This is really good with bouncelands. It might even be so good with them that it breaks the Amulet of Vigor deck" to "Gosh, when would you even want this?" It gives the impression that people are being intentionally belligerent, or perhaps aren't paying very much attention. Either way, it seems reasonable to suggest that such parties aren't acting in good faith.

      Delete
    32. lpaulsen --

      "You claimed-- seriously, as far as I can tell-- that your design was 'perfect'"

      It's odd to me that you thought I was being entirely serious when I, for example, changed the design at Ben's suggestion and then poked fun (at myself) for my previous comment.

      "you accused other commenters of ad hominems that I cannot find"

      Not commenters, just Jay, when he posted "I'm not sure what interactions you're referring to, but from this thread alone it seems like you're much more interested in proving that your design is perfect than considering how it might be improved."

      That's not a logically defensible criticism, nor does it have any relevance to the prior discussion.

      At this point, you may consider it natural to ask: was my previous suggestion to Jay that perhaps "our past interactions have prejudiced you against me personally" ad hominem? Am I about to be hoist by my own petard, here? I would say no, for two reasons:

      1) That was a parenthetical made at the end of a substantive refutation of one of Jay's claims, namely that Áo wasn't splashy.

      2) Jay did make the … unusual … claim that "[he has] yet to see is why this card would be printed." Opinions may differ, but to me that indicated he was just fishing for negative things to say, so I said as much.

      "you misrepresented my words twice"

      What are you referring to?

      "I get the impression that you are treating this as a formal debate in which proposals must be defended, not a forum for constructive discussion and feedback. Even if you are not wrong about your design, you are wrong about that."

      I think this is a red herring, perhaps guided by the human tendency to argue to moderation. Words like "collaborative" and "constructive" and "feedback" are bandied about as if they're supposed to differentiate between agreement and disagreement.

      When we actually discussed the design, much of the discussion was highly constructive. Questions were asked, and questions were answered:

      • People had misgivings about the power level of the design, which were adequately addressed.
      • People had questions about the most appropriate permanent type and cost, which were adequately addressed.
      • People took exception to the, well, exceptional nature of the design as a land that doesn't tap for mana, which were adequately addressed.
      • People had questions about the template's potential for confusion, which were adequately addressed (by me actually accepting Ben's argument and altering the card! Though, now that I think about it, maybe the flavor would be more coherent if Áo entered the battlefield tapped instead of untapped …)

      Disagreeing with a suggestion or refuting an argument doesn't make a discussion not collaborative, not constructive, or not feedback. This is how adults figure things out. I don't think you actually loathe disagreement, or that you believe this should primarily be a forum for patting each other on the back, but maybe you're swept up in the wave of negativity that arose from knee-jerk reactions to me saying, "I disagree with pretty much everything you just said, and here's why."

      "Constructive criticism is a big part of what goes on here, and I would humbly suggest that a more moderate response on your part is called for."

      Again, I believe that most of the actual design discussion was constructive. Remember what I said about the human tendency to argue to moderation?

      Delete
    33. Again, in my mod voice:

      Nickolas, this is exactly the kind of condescension I'm talking about. You are being abrasive, hyperbolic, and assuming bad faith based on distorted readings of others' arguments. I am now the fourth person to point out that your tone is inappropriate, and you've made nothing resembling an apology. (No, what you wrote above certainly does not count as one.) Please take a two week break from commenting at Goblin Artisans to think things over. Feel free to return on May 27 or later if you find yourself in a more civil frame of mind.

      Delete
  11. Burgback Tortoise 5UU
    Creature -- Turtle (Mythic)

    When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, exile your hand and draw 7 cards.

    When CARDNAME leaves the battlefield, discard your hand and return each card exiled by CARDNAME to your hand.

    4/8

    (Crop A)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I spent a lot of time debating the pow/toughness. I could see maybe 7/14 for aesthetics.

      Delete
    2. Maybe I like him being a 3/7 or a 4/7? That at least gets a 7 in there! It can then probably cost 4UU?

      I kinda want to throw in some additional ability like "Hexproof" but I don't want the second clause to never matter. Maybe something like the Frost Titan "hard to target" ability would be appropriate?

      Delete
    3. Sanctaphrax's Cityback Turtoise was a 5/7 for 5CC, the 5 matching the colorless mana component and the 7 matching the total cost. Nearly as aesthetic is 2/7, matching on the number of colored mana symbols.

      Is this blue or red? (Probably blue, just prompting discussion)

      Delete
    4. I could see a red version of this effect, though I think there are few things less red than a turtle.

      I will make it a 4UUU 3/7. I think the name can be something like "Ancient-borne Library" to make the theme more clear.

      Other considered abilities include "You have no maximum hand size." and "Skip your draw step."

      Delete
    5. Turtle's are vehemently un-red, I agree.
      Does the new flavor (which is fairly neat) make more sense with regular card-drawing (either immediately or 1/turn)? Why does this turtlebrary make you forget what you knew previously, and then remind you as its dying?

      Delete
    6. I picture you go live in the library for a while and only think about the stuff there because it is so compelling and irresistible. (Which was the reasoning that went into it giving you "Skip your draw step," though I wasn't sure about putting a downside on a sweet mythic.)

      Delete
    7. This inspires me for a turtle with:
      At the beggining of you upkeep, exile the top card of your library face down under CARDNAME. When CARDNAME dies you may discard your hand and put all exiles cards under CARDNAME in your hand.

      Delete
  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Impenetrable City 6GW
      Creature - Turtle Wall (Rare)
      Defender, reach, indestructible
      Impenetrable City can block any number of creatures.
      0/16

      Delete
    2. Something like this was proposed before. The complete non-interactivity of this card frightens me a bit. Also, I think this needs to be a mythic for limited purposes.

      Don't Commander players want this to be Legendary?

      Delete
    3. I like it-- this has got to become a thing at some point. Legendary is probably a good call. I would strongly suggest replacing "indestructible" with "hexproof"; the 16 toughness (which is the most interesting part of the card) becomes mostly irrelevant when combat damage doesn't destroy this anyway. Beyond that, the hypothetical Goblin Artisans Development Team can adjust the toughness to address Tommy's concerns.

      Delete
    4. Indestructible is there because I didn't want it to die to Wrath effects. I considered hexproof, but I felt that killed the ability to interact with it too much - every color has access to some kind of targeting non-destroy effect (except green?) at lower rarities, but not every color has access to non-damage board wipes. I swapped hexproof for reach for the "green ability" because it seemed like it'd play well, and it fit the art.

      As far as rarity, in Limited: it costs 8 mana and can't win you the game on its own. It will be definitely difficult to deal with if it hits, but assuming there are a sufficient number of good fast decks in the format, I think it's ifne.

      I like the legendary suggestion (though more for flavor rather than Commander purposes). Adding legendary and changing the name to "The Impenetrable City."

      Delete
    5. My reasoning for wanting it to be Mythic in limited isn't that it is too powerful, but htat it will lead to games that end with someone getting decked a lot (and those are excruciating).

      Some huge percentage of limited decks have no answers to this, but they will be forced to keep playing anyway, because as you say, it can't win the game.

      I will definitely second Ipaulson that the thrill of having 16 toughness is lost when it is also indestructible.

      Delete
    6. They printed Wall of Denial at uncommon. This will slow games down considerably less thanks to its mana cost.

      Why shouldn't this die to Wrath of God? Why should it be Unsummon-able or Pacify-able?

      Delete
    7. Oh, I only just processed that last line. So yeah, you can't lose the game once you cast this (unless opponent has Griptide or Banishing Light or Last Breath). Costing 8 definitely makes lasting that long a risk, but I'm still sad how unbeatable this is if you do. Adding "and must block all creatures it can" would at least make it surmountable if opponent could amass a big army—if this weren't also indestructible.

      Delete
    8. What do people think of this tweak:

      Defender, reach
      The Impenetrable City can block any number of creatures.
      The Impenetrable City can’t be destroyed unless lethal damage is marked on it.

      It appears that people think the high toughness is cool. So let's make it a puzzle that (hopefully) each color has its own way to solve:
      White - army + combat tricks, or exile it
      Blue - bounce, counter, or evade it
      Black - sacrifice effects, evasion, or -x/-x postcombat
      Red - lots of burn, or just win before turn 8
      Green - sufficiently large creatures + fight

      Delete
    9. I'm not at all a fan of a confusing line of rules text.

      I think I'd rather make it indestructible and have an ability like "When a source deals damage to ~, put a -1/-1 counter on it."

      Delete
    10. I like "can't be killed by spells" as an alternative to indestructible/hexproof.

      It's still the case that your opponent can have two 15/15 creatures (or 6 3/3s) and still not have any chance to pull the game out as long as this guy's controller can chump-block one (or soak up that one creature's damage for the turn).

      You may be more comfortable with that than I am.

      Delete
    11. I don't think "Can't be killed by spells" is a thing. What if a 3/3 has that ability and you lightning bolt it? Does it die? (To me it is obvious the answer is no, but try explaining that to a new player.)

      Delete
    12. That was my shorthand for "The Impenetrable City can’t be destroyed unless lethal damage is marked on it." which is actually not safe from LBolt unless you add 'combat' in there.

      Delete
    13. Could/should we consider "protection from black" in place of "can't be destroyed unless lethal damage is marked on it"? It dies to Wrath or Fireball of x=16, but not to Doom Blade.

      Delete
  13. Replies
    1. Excellent. This is truly different from all the other designs, yet follows the art closely. For anyone else who reads this-- I'm eager to see more low-CMC spell designs for this art!

      Delete
    2. Thank you! If I had time I would have tried to think of an original entry, but I didn't have any time this weekend.

      I'm sorry for the one-line post, I was posting from my phone. I don't mind if it's mocked up or not, but for the record, the full text is:

      Titanic Growth
      1G
      Instant
      Target creature gets +4/+4 until end of turn.
      Common

      Delete
  14. Surprised no one has proposed an actual man-land yet.

    Ponderous Palisade
    Land (R)
    CARDNAME enters the battlefield tapped.
    T: Add U or G to your mana pool.
    2UG: Until end of turn, CARDNAME becomes a 1/4 green and blue Turtle creature with hexproof and "whenever this creature attacks or blocks, scry 2 then draw a card."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Manland is brilliant.
      Does the creature side need both hexproof and scry+draw?

      Delete
    2. Honestly, this was a pretty lazy design just intended to say "hey, where are all the actual man-lands?"

      And thinking about it more, I don't have a good sense for what a U/G manland would look like. The modern gameplay of U/G archetypes in limited seems very much in flux, and you don't really see U/G in constructed without a third color (i.e. Bant Control in Standard or Shardless BUG in Legacy).

      Maybe it'd be a good opportunity for a Maro/Molimo hybrid:

      3UG: Until end of turn, CARDNAME becomes an X/X green and blue Turtle creature, where X is equal to the number of lands you control plus the number of cards in your hand. It's still a land.

      Delete
    3. Does a manland need to be that much bigger than a 6/6? I mean, isn't a Maro or Molimo manland interesting enough on its own?

      Delete
    4. I'm not going to deny that, but y'know... it's blue AND green, two colors combined --- you gotta do some addition to feel proper powerful.

      Delete
    5. Further iteration:

      1UG: Until end of turn, CARDNAME becomes a 3/3 green and blue Turtle creature with "whenever this creatures deals combat damage to a player, if you have three or fewer cards in hand, you may draw a card." It's still a land.

      This doesn't quite address to largeness of the turtle in the picture, but it does feel like it pushes the concept of a U/G towards something that could complement multiple approaches to U/G gameplay in a given environment (as opposed to being primarily control-oriented, which is where most man-lands sit on the spectrum).

      Delete
    6. What a party-pooper you are, HV; you have to at least admit that Raging Ravine is a little more espresso than French vanilla, and vigilance gives Celestial Colonnade some stealth complexity. Hell, Lavaclaw Reaches uses an activated ability to grant itself an activated ability! How weird is that? Surely more than your typical French vanilla can muster.

      But I jest. Considering it's definitely a Turtle (that much is indisputable), at the very least it shall have the form of a Turtle.

      1UG: Until end of turn, CARDNAME becomes a 2/4 green and blue Turtle creature with "whenever this creature deals combat damage to a player, you may draw a card." It's still a land.

      Delete
  15. Slumbering Ancient
    Legendary Land
    T: add 1 to your mana pool
    2 W/U W/U: CARDNAME becomes a 4/9 Blue and White turtle creature with vigilance and shroud until a creature enters the battlefield.

    crop 1

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ... and metaghost posts a manland two hours before I do... because I didn't refresh the page. well... they seem different enough.

      Delete
    2. (1) Manlands are "until end of turn" by convention and for memory reasons.
      (2) Modern design uses hexproof, not shroud.
      (3) Otherwise, solid design.

      Delete
    3. Stalking Stones was replaced by Gargoyle Castle, so it happens, but via tokens in modern magic. That said, legendary goes a long way toward making this palatable. I have to add that this could become a $15 card if WU control is a force in its Standard format. It's pretty amazing with Essence Scatter.

      Delete
  16. Using Crop B:
    Peer Into the Distance 3UU
    Enchantment (rare)
    At the beginning of your upkeep, put a sight counter on CARDNAME, then look at the top X cards of your library and put them back in any order, where X is the number of sight counters on CARDNAME.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So each turn after the first you see two cards you haven't seen before?

      My biggest complaint about this is that the first turn, yo uget to look at 1 cards and put them back in any order, which doesn't o anything, meaning it takes two turns before this does anything, and even then it doesn't do very much. I'd either want some hacky way of making it look at two cards the first time, or make it much, much cheaper.

      Delete
    2. Could make it enter the battlefield with a sight counter. Or you could make it Scry. I don't think you need to worry very much about making it overpowered.

      Delete
    3. I like that this isn't Scry, but Tommy makes a good point about the slowness. Probably the easiest way to address that is just to lower the mana cost by 1 (or more if need be).

      Delete
    4. Yeah, this can almost certainly cost way less. Compare to Mind Unbound. I don't think I'd be psyched to run this even at 1U.

      Delete
    5. I'd run this at 1U in a Limited control deck. Would definitely need to combo with constellation or other cards to warrant in Standard.

      Delete
    6. Yeah, I deliberately said "psyched" cause I think it would be runnable.

      Delete
  17. Gongadar, the World Turtle 4GG
    Legendary Creature - Turtle (MR)
    Indestructible, hexproof, trample
    Gongadar can’t block creatures with less power than it.
    When Gongadar enters the battlefield, put four 0/3 green Turtle Leg creature tokens with taunt onto the battlefield. When you control no Turtle Legs, sacrifice Gongadar.
    7/7

    Crop A

    Turtle Leg
    Creature - Turtle Leg (Token)
    Taunt (Turtle Leg may be attacked as though it was a player. Damage dealt to it is treated as though it had wither.)
    If you control more than four creatures named Turtle Leg, sacrifice all but four of them.
    0/3

    Crop B (on a token template)

    A little bit messy, but you get the general idea I think.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The name also shoulda been Gondagar (easier to say xD) but that is a minor fix.

      Delete
    2. Very daring and interesting idea. There are a few too many things going on here, though. Can you reduce this to its essentials somehow?

      Delete
    3. It's fairly easy to cut a few thing: the 4 or more legs clause, trample, and the wither clause on taunt. Cutting the 4 or more legs clause allows for some weird stuff (playing a 2nd Gondagar, getting a whole new stack of legs to make him harder to kill off), but the wither clause can be dropped and the legs , and removing trample allows his base stats to get bigger, maybe 8/8 or 9/9.

      Having no wither and requiring a 3 power guy makes it harder to try and cut through the turtle legs. There's an argument for making them 0/1s, I think. It feels a little bit wrong flavorwise to have such squishy 0/1 legs, but it reduces the complexity. I'm unsure. I also realised I forgot to put defender on the legs, haha xD They have no business attacking on their own.

      The can't block ability is wordy but flavorful and it's sorta needed to stop Gondagar himself defending his own legs. Sadly I think that's gotta stay for gameplay reasons. Other than that, I'm not sure what else can go :/

      Delete
    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    5. Gah, I wish there was an edit button, I keep making mistakes xD Vulnerable is also probably a better name for the ability than taunt, the legs aren't really taunting anybody xD Making those changes we get something like this:

      Gongadar, the World Turtle 4GG
      Legendary Creature - Turtle (MR)
      Indestructible, hexproof
      Gongadar can’t block creatures with less power than it.
      When Gongadar enters the battlefield, put four 0/3 green Turtle Leg creature tokens with vulnerable onto the battlefield. When you control no Turtle Legs, sacrifice Gongadar.
      8/8

      Crop A

      Turtle Leg
      Creature - Turtle Leg (Token)
      Defender
      Vulnerable (Turtle Leg may be attacked as though it was a player.)
      0/3

      Delete
    6. The loss of the wither clause sorta hurts the "killability" of the legs. Making the legs 0/1s works fine too, I don't mind that hitting them with a 1/1 Soldier kills a leg, but I'm not sure how I feel about all of him dying to a Pyroclasm or similar spell.

      Delete
    7. Burn the ground, knock the feet out from under him? It's at least plausible.

      If you don't want to get into the rules issues of "may be attacked as though it was a player", you could always give the legs "blocks every turn if able" instead. More or less the same, and in some respects better for flavor.

      Delete
    8. "Must be blocked if able" is def. cleaner and easier to do in the current rules. It doesn't let you run under the turtle and try to kill the opponent before it kills you though, and it also lets you gang-block all the legs on one creature that can't kill them all.

      0/1s with the "may be attacked as though they were a player" thing is probably the way I'd like to go, but those rules are a bit messy (can it still block normally, etc). It almost wants an ability like a planeswalker, where it can be attacked without being able to block. Planeswalker tokens with three starting loyalty and no abilities actually fits pretty well with the original concept and includes the withertouch self-built in, but I'm not sure if I want to get into that sort of mess, haha.

      Delete
    9. Much respect for trying something pretty radical. The new version is much better than the first too.

      There's a logistical issue here and that is we can't rely on a token card to know what that token does. Specifically, Vulnerable has to be a keyword elsewhere in the set for it to be referenced without defining it on Gondagar. Is that an ability worth keywording and showcasing in its set? If we unkeyword it, then the full text has to appear on Gondagar.

      Delete
    10. It just about fits on the card as text. I could see a cycle of mythic "bosses" with vulnerabilities (a big elemental and you have to attack the summoner, a horde of zombies and you attack the necromancer, a dragon where you attack a nest or hoard, etc), but you're right that this wouldn't be a major set mechanic.

      Gongadar, the World Turtle 4GG
      Legendary Creature - Turtle (MR)
      Indestructible, hexproof
      Gongadar can’t block creatures with less power than it.
      When Gongadar enters the battlefield, put four 0/1 green Turtle Leg creature tokens with "This creature may be attacked as though it was a player." onto the battlefield. When you control no Turtle Legs, sacrifice Gongadar.
      8/8

      Crop A

      Turtle Leg
      Creature - Turtle Leg (Token)
      Defender
      Turtle Leg may be attacked as though it was a player.
      0/1

      Is how I think the final card would look including the full text.

      Delete
    11. Possibly "Turtle Leg can't attack or block" to get a more "planeswalker mechanic" type effect and stop the weird rules questions like whether you can block a creature attacking you with legs even though other creatures are attacking it. There's a lot of variants but I'm not sure which is the right call without getting more people's reactions and playtesting the card.

      Delete
    12. Works. (Also, I'm fine with the legs being 0/3)

      Last question:
      "Gongadar can’t block creatures with less power than it." is flavorful, but is it necessary?

      Delete
    13. I didn't start with it on the card, but I saw the problem that without it, he can get in the way of attacks against his own legs, which feels very odd and makes the drawback of killable legs matter a lot less (especially since not a lot will be punching through an 8/8 indestructible). What do you think; is it worth the loss of that to lower the overall complexity? I'm erring on the side of no, but I'd like to see what yours (and any other people's) opinions are.

      Delete
    14. Seems reasonable to me that if he can move to attack, that he should be able to defend one of his legs when beset upon.

      Delete
    15. I suppose so, yeah. It will also shorten the card text which is a kinda big thing xD I do quite like that it removes the tension of trying to leave your 8/8 back as a blocker though. Alright, let's say remove it; either way, I think to really know, you'd have to playtest.

      Gongadar, the World Turtle 4GG
      Legendary Creature - Turtle (MR)
      Indestructible, hexproof
      When Gongadar enters the battlefield, put four 0/1 green Turtle Leg creature tokens with "This can't attack or block." and "This may be attacked as though it was a player." onto the battlefield. When you control no Turtle Legs, sacrifice Gongadar.
      8/8

      Turtle Leg
      Creature - Turtle Leg (Token)
      Turtle Leg can't attack or block.
      Turtle Leg may be attacked as though it was a player.
      0/1

      Delete
    16. Imagine a world turtle hopping towards you on one leg, intent on getting in there for 8.

      Delete
    17. Clearly the best reason to print this.

      Delete
  18. World Turtle UG
    Creature -- Turtle U
    Look at the top three cards of your library. You may reveal an land card from among them and put it into your hand. Put the rest on the bottom of your library in any order.
    1/3

    Cut A, probably too strong for limited at uncommon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Meant to be at the beginning of upkeep ! Probably works better as an enters the battlefield trigger..

      Delete
    2. Was also meant to be 2UG, had a bit of mare posting this..

      Delete
    3. Given that this is a Satyr Wayfinder with 2 more toughness and a slightly weaker effect, UG and uncommon should be fine.

      Delete
    4. Unless its triggering per upkeep (better as an attack trigger?). Let me know what you settle on.

      Delete
    5. Oops, totally missed that this was a repeated effect. Sorry!

      Delete
    6. Was meant to be an upkeep trigger at a cost of 2UG. The turtle roaming around.

      Delete
  19. Kurma, the Unbounded 4UG

    Legendary Creature - Turtle Spirit (MR)

    When Kurma, the Unbounded enters the battlefield, return two lands you control to their owner's hand.

    Landfall - Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, reveal the top card of your library. If it's a creature card, put that card into your hand. Otherwise, put a +1/+1 counter on Kurma.

    4/6

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mechanically, this looks fun to play with. Flavor-wise, I'm really not sure what all is happening here. Does it need all of landfall and library-reveal and +1/+1 counters?

      Delete
  20. Beast of Burden 5GG
    Creature - Turtle Beast (Mythic)
    1: Put a storage counter on CARDNAME.
    T, Remove X storage counters from CARDNAME, add X colorless mana to your mana pool.
    3GG, T: Double the number of counters on CARDNAME.
    8/8

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This set of abilities might work better on a smaller creature; you probably don't want to be tapping your 8/8 for mana.

      Delete
    2. valid point. lets make it a 2/10 instead of an 8/8

      Delete
    3. Aura touches on a key point, that you don't really want to use your fatties for something other than getting rowdy. If you are going to put a tap-ability on a non-vigilant fatty, make sure that the effect is greater than or equivalent to the "visceral" joy of attacking for 8. And I know the art shows a turtle, but that doesn't absolutely mean its functions should result in gameplay that's slow as molasses.

      A splashy iteration to illustrate:

      Beast of Bourbon
      3GGG
      Creature - Turtle Drunkard (M)
      5/5
      Trample
      G: Put a +1/+1 counter on CARDNAME.
      Whenever CARDNAME deals damage to a player, you may remove all +1/+1 counters from it. If you do, you may put a permanent card with converted mana cost equal to the number of counters removed this way from your hand onto the battlefield.

      Delete
    4. This guy can produce a lot of mana. What do we want to do with a lot of mana? Cast huge creatures! What do we want to do with our huge creatures? The answer isn't usually produce more mana.

      Delete
  21. Incomprehensible Landscape 2RU
    Enchantment - Aura
    Enchant target land you control.
    Enchanted land has "tap, reveal X land cards from your hand: target creature with power less than X cannot attack or block this turn."
    The land had legs and the birds were as big as dragons, and you expect us to go and fight there?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Being different from the other submissions is pretty hard by this point, but you've definitely succeeded. I'd recommend a couple of wording changes-- "Enchant land" shouldn't contain a "target", "X or less" is preferable to "less than X", and I'd rather just tap the creature than prevent it from attacking or blocking. I'm also curious as to what makes this blue-red mechanically. As a top-down design for this challenge, though, I like the idea a lot.

      Delete
    2. Very different, which is cool. Guessing Crop B and… uncommon?

      Delete
    3. For once I saw the challenge early and thought to myself, wait until Monday morning, it will be harder.

      @ Ipaulsen: As far as the color identity, I am not sure what color should get this. Tapping is white. I was thinking it would have blue for the illusion and control feel, and perhaps, arguably, red again for the illusion and landsape altering feel. Could probably be 2UU. Or perhaps green for the land to hand theme? I am really not sure.

      I agree with the templating changes however. The new version is:

      Incomprehensible Landscape 2GU
      Enchantment - Aura (uncommon)
      Enchant land.
      Enchanted land has "tap, reveal X land cards from your hand: tap target creature with power X or less"
      The land had legs and the birds were as big as dragons, and you expect us to go and fight there?

      Crop B

      @Jay: indeed.

      Delete
  22. Coming Doom {1}{B}
    (crop B)
    Enchantment (rare)
    At the beginning of each player’s upkeep, he or she may sacrifice a permanent. If that player does, put a doom counter on Coming Doom. Otherwise, that player loses life equal to the number of doom counters on Coming Doom.

    It's kind of terrible that this does nothing until a player voluntarily sacrifices a permanent. That said, Johnny could build a deck that produces lots of permanents and then grinds out the win with Coming Doom. Not sure that's good enough.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why not: That player sacrifices a permanent or puts a doom counter on Coming Doom and loses life equal to the number of doom counters on it?

      Delete
    2. Because I'm slow in the head.
      Your version is much better.

      Delete
    3. I could totally see running this in an aggro deck (especially with something like Gravecrawler or Chandra's Phoenix) as a late-game plan against control strategies. Personally, I kind of like that it's off until someone decides that it's on-- which makes it more powerful, most likely.

      Delete
  23. Crop A

    Path of the Palace 1WR
    Enchantment- Aura (R)
    Enchant Land (R)
    If enchanted land would untap during its controller's untap step, that land's controller gains 2 life and attaches Path of the Palace to a land of his or her choice instead.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very neat. At rare, /maybe/ could be pushed to WR for constructed. I'm digging the flavor, and the ability for a player to keep the Palace going back and forth on their own lands if they can spare the mana and want the life.

      Delete
    2. My guess is that Red is there for the land-destruction-esque effect and/or because of Ajani Vengeant. But I agree that it's a bit suspect; in my opinion white-blue would be a slightly better combination.

      Delete
  24. Ah, the mana denial part, because it does not untap. The "instead" had evaded me.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Ibraham, Spirit Tortoise WUG
    Legendary Creature - Tortoise
    Whenever a creature would be exiled, exile it under CARDNAME instead.
    WGU: Put a token onto the battlefield that's a copy of any creature exiled under CARDNAME.
    0/3

    ReplyDelete