Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Tesla: Common Cause


Last week I announced that we would be preparing to playtest Tesla. There will be opportunities to play all next week, so if you’re interested make sure to fill in your availability here.

For the time being, let's figure out what we're testing with.
We’ve determined the progress mechanics we want to try in this first go, but cards can’t be played in isolation. Therefore we’ll be following standard design practice and doing an all common playtest, and that means filling out the 101 common slots for a large expansion. There’s a lot going on in your average set, so if you haven’t already (or could use a refresher), I’d highly recommend reading Mark Rosewater’s article on filling a design skeleton.

But there’s no need to worry about all those details right now if you don’t want to. All you need to do is look through the mechanics we’ve decided to try and start designing commons for Tesla. Those could be cards with the proposed mechanics, cards that synergize with them, or unrelated cards you’d expect to see at common in this set.

And yes, if you missed the boat last week, you’re still free to submit a progress mechanic for the playtest, just make sure to also add some supporting designs since other readers won’t have as much time to cover those bases. For now let’s take a look at what we already have:


As your thoughts come in, I’ll be compiling cards into a file which we’ll use via LackeyTCG. Please give me an email address so that I can get you the relevant files and info to use the client, or email me directly at julesdrobinsATgmailDOTcom.


I realize that’s all pretty open-ended, and a blank canvas can be intimidating, so I’m going to let you in on a secret: despite their enormous differences, Magic sets share a lot of underlying structure. For instance, green gets a Naturalize variant at common in large expansions. In Scars of Mirrodin it got Sylvok Replica to complement the artifact theme and in Theros there was Fade Into Antiquity to answer the gods, but there’s always something. So if you want inspiration for commons, take a gander through the Magic 2015's and think about how you might twist any of those for use in Tesla. I can’t wait to see what you come up with.

68 comments:

  1. For the power source crowd:
    Toiling all Night and Day 1U
    Instant
    You may tap or untap target permanent, then you may tap or untap another target permanent.

    Energizer Bunny 3
    Artifact Creature - Construct
    Power source
    1/2

    Volt Amplifier
    Artifact
    Power source
    2, T: Target creature gets +1/+1 until EoT.

    Workshop Gnome 1
    Artifact Creature - Gnome
    4: Untap CARDNAME.
    1/1

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Volt Amplifier has mana cost of 2

      Delete
    2. I like these a lot, though Volt Amplifier probably has to be uncommon for board complexity: a problem the Power Source mechanic as a whole faces.

      Delete
    3. Restrict Volt Amplifier to sorcery speed for this test?

      Delete
  2. Hardwire 2B
    Enchantment - Aura
    Enchant artifact
    Whenever enchanted artifact becomes untapped, it's controller loses 1 life.

    Electrical Fire 1R
    Instant
    Destroy target artifact.
    Dominance -- ... exile it instead.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Electrical Fire is sweet (though despite Into the Core it still feels a little bit off to me in red)

      Delete
  3. Dope Core 1
    Artifact Equipment
    Combine
    Whenever you cast a spell, equipped creature gets +2/+2 until end of turn.
    Equip 1
    //
    Whenever you cast a spell, ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That was a rare last time it was printed. Might be too splashy for common?

      Delete
    2. Agreed, I think, though Nivix Cyclops and friends do make an argument for.

      Delete
  4. Recycle 1U
    Instant
    Return target artifact you control or target artifact card in your graveyard to it's owner's hand.
    Mine.

    Sow and resow 2G
    Sorcery
    Search your library for a basic land card and put it OTB tapped, then shuffle.
    Return a basic land card from your graveyard to the battlefield tapped.
    --OR--
    Harrow

    Crystalium Sentinel 4
    Artifact Creature—Golem
    When you cast ~, mine.
    ~ ETB with a +1/+1 counter on it for each land card in your graveyard.

    Viashino Warrior 3R
    4/2

    How to Influence People 1R
    Aura
    Transcend
    Enchanted creature gains bully.
    If CARDNAME is an artifact, it is an equipment and has Equip 1.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Crystallium Gear 2
      Artifact
      Power source
      T, Mine: Add 1 to your mana pool.

      Delete
    2. auras with transcend turning into equipment is very not common, especially in first set of the block.

      Delete
    3. Similarly, I think Recycle has enough going on without mine and it's going to feel bad when you flip an artifact you'd rather have returned. Sow and Resow, on the other hand, seems awesome in the Crystallium Sentinel setup.

      Delete
  5. Wind Cog 2
    Artifact
    Cogwork (Same as power source)
    2, T: Target creature gains or loses flying until end of turn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think allowing us to get rid of flying pushes this over the NWO line into uncommon, but I like it.

      Delete
  6. Gearwork Library 2
    Artifact
    1, T: Discard a card, then draw a card.
    2, T, Tap an untapped artifact you control: Draw a card.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Does this need both of these abilities at common?

      Delete
  7. Jules, are we putting any kind of submission cap in place?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't set a hard cap in part because I'm not sure when over the course of my cousin's wedding I'll have a chance to really put things together. It looks like people might be playtesting on Monday and certainly by Tuesday, so I suppose we'll have Monday morning as a soft cap.

      Delete
    2. I meant more in terms of a hard cap as far as number of submissions, but I guess not.

      Delete
    3. No, without to a whole skeleton there's no way everything will fit even if we had fewer than 101 cards. I was planning to slot in as many designs as I could make work and then fill in the rest myself to get a reasonable set of commons.

      Delete
  8. Power to the People 4W
    Sorcery (C)
    Overthrow (This costs 1 less to cast for each creature you attacked with this turn.)
    Destroy target creature with power 4 or greater.

    Icarus Aspirant 1U
    Creature - Human Artificer (C)
    Aspire — As long as you control a creature with power greater than Icarus Aspirant, it has flying.

    Overseer Braggart 3B
    Creature - Human Rogue (C)
    Dominate (Whenever a creature with less power than Overseer Braggart enters the battlefield, put a +1/+1 counter on Overseer Braggart.)
    3/2

    Yhidrin Scavenger 2R
    Creature - Viashino Artificer (C)
    When Yhidrin Scavenger enters the battlefield, excavate 2. (Reveal the top two cards of your library. Put up to one artifact card revealed in this way into your hand and the rest into your graveyard.)
    2/2

    Archaeotech Druid 1G
    Creature - Elf Druid (C)
    Whenever Archaeotech Druid attacks, you may salvage. (Exile an artifact card from your graveyard under this.)
    Archaeotech Druid gets +1/+1 for each card it has salvaged.
    2/2

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These are all really solid implementations of their respective mechanics, but unfortunately due to space limitations I had to limit each designer to one major piece of mechanical space to explore. Maybe others will opt to pick up the others, but which of these would you most like to explore?

      Delete
    2. Pick whichever you think the set would benefit from most based on the mechanics already, I suppose. I don't have any huge personal preference. We don't seem to have a lot of mechanic encouraging creatures so perhaps Overthrow, Aspire or Dominate?

      Delete
    3. We already have a lot of greater power matters, so let's go with Overthrow.

      Delete
  9. Wings of the Free 4W
    Enchantment - Aura (C)
    Enchant creature
    Enchanted creature has flying and gets +1/+1 for each creature you control.
    “If you possess strength, share it with the people. You will find you rise too.”

    Renegade Infiltrator 4U
    Creature - Human Rebel (C)
    When Renegade Infiltrator enters the battlefield, you may return target creature to its owner’s hand.
    1/4
    “I know they’re hiding something here. I’m determined to find out what.”

    Hired Brute 1R
    Creature - Ogre Warrior (C)
    Hired Brute can’t attack or block unless you control a creature with greater power.
    3/3

    Powersurge Mystic 2R
    Creature - Human Rebel Shaman (C)
    Haste
    When Powersurge Mystic enters the battlefield, target creature gets +2/+0 until end of turn.
    2/2
    “Their reliance on those little machines is always so funny.”

    Violent Revolutionary 1R
    Creature - Human Rebel (C)
    R, T: Violent Revolutionary fights target creature with power greater than it.
    2/1

    Supplyback Baloth 3G
    Creature - Beast (C)
    When Supplyback Baloth enters the battlefield, put a 1/1 green Elf creature token onto the battlefield.
    3/3
    All rebels for the cause need a good supply line.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love Violent Revolutionary. Awesome design.

      Delete
    2. Wings of the Free probably needs to be uncommon, but these are also all really solid designs. Good stuff!

      Delete
  10. Who's Bigger Now? R
    Instant
    Until end of turn, target creature gets +1/+0 and gains trample.

    Magitech Salvager 1BB
    Creature - Human Wizard
    Whenever Magitech Salvager attacks, you may exile target card from a graveyard.
    2/3

    Re-energize U
    Sorcery
    Untap target artifact or creature.
    Draw a card.

    Witness to the Lost 2G
    Creature - Human Shaman
    When Witness to the Lost enters the battlefield, if you have a creature card in your graveyard, you gain 3 life.
    3/2
    "I remember our lost ones, and for that I am stronger."

    Belligerent Rootwalla G
    Creature - Lizard
    3G: Belligerent Rootwalla gets +2/+2 until end of turn. Activate this ability only once each turn.
    1/1

    Improvised Detonation 2R
    Instant
    As an additional cost to cast Improvised Detonation, sacrifice an artifact.
    Improvised Detonation deals 4 damage to target creature.

    Steadfast Core 4
    Artifact - Core Equipment
    Combine (You may transform a core artifact you control with a chassis artifact you control when either enters the battlefield. If you do, untap them and they become one permanent.)
    Equipped creature has vigilance
    Equip 2
    ================
    Steadfast...
    Artifact Creature
    Vigilance
    Whenever this creature attacks,...

    Brand with Trust 1W
    Sorcery
    You gain 3 life.
    Refine--If another card in your graveyard costs 1W, you gain an additional 5 life.

    Rapid Construction 2W
    Instant
    Put two 1/1 colorless Construct artifact creature tokens onto the battlefield.

    Remote Control Serpent 5U
    Creature - Serpent
    Remote Control Serpent can't attack unless you control an artifact.
    4/5

    Reject Simplicity 2UU
    Instant
    Counter target spell. Mine. (Reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a land card. Put one of those cards on top of your library and the rest in your graveyard.)

    Turn to Scrap 5BB
    Sorcery
    Eureka!--When you draw Turn to Scrap, you may reveal it. If you do, and if no card named Turn to Scrap has been cast or revealed this way this game, target creature gets -2/-2 until end of turn.
    Destroy target creature.

    Savage Surge 1G [Reprint]
    Instant
    Target creature gets +2/+2 until end of turn. Untap that creature.

    Inspire the Wilds 3G
    Sorcery
    Destroy target artifact or enchantment.
    Dominance--Creatures you control gain trample until end of turn if you control each creature with the greatest power.
    "Come! Now is the time to show them our natural fury!"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lots of good designs here, I especially like Belligerent Rootwalla as a Progress 2.0 enabler. My biggest gripe is that the two pieces of Inspire the Wilds feel disconnected. Trample makes a lot of sense as a Dominance reward, but why on this card?

      Delete
    2. I wanted to make a Naturalize with a Dominance reward. My feeling is that Naturalize is going to be pretty powerful in this format, so I bumped up the cost and gave it, power-wise for its cost, an appropriate Dominance thing. If it doesn't work, I'm open to other suggestions.

      Delete
    3. It just feels disconnected. If it, say, gained life equal to the CMC it would feel like part of the same card as the first ability. I don't think it's unprintable as is, it just doesn't feel as clean as it could to me.

      Delete
    4. I don't know that I want to mention CMC on a common card due to NWO. Let's just make it Dominance--... draw a card.

      Delete
    5. Re-flavoring:

      Ruinous Blast 3G
      Sorcery
      Destroy target artifact or enchantment.
      Dominance--If you control each creature with the greatest power, draw a card.

      Delete
  11. Fists of the Anvil 1R [Reprint]
    Instant
    Target creature gets +4/+0 until end of turn.

    Break the Strike 1U
    Instant
    Creatures target player controls get -2/-0 until end of turn.

    Massive Riot 3WW
    Sorcery
    Show of Force (Your creatures can help you cast this spell. Each tapped creature you untap while casting this spell pays for 1 or one mana of that creature’s color.)
    Put three 1/1 white Human creature tokens onto the battlefield.

    Confluence Lasher 5R
    Creature-Elemental
    5G: CARDNAME gains trample until end of turn.
    6/3

    Disinter 1B
    Sorcery
    Choose two target creature cards from your graveyard. Put one into your hand and the other on the top of your library.

    Radiant Fountain [Reprint]
    Land
    When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, you gain 2 life.
    T: Add 1 to your mana pool.

    Collapsed Shaft
    Land
    When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, mine. (Reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a land card. Put one of those cards on top of your library and the rest into your graveyard.)
    T: Add 1 to your mana pool.

    Abandoned Mill
    Land
    T, Put the top card of your library into your graveyard: Add 1 to your mana pool.

    Temper W
    Instant
    Target artifact gains indestructible until end of turn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Perhaps Slaughter Cry over Fists of the Anvil since it's a better combat trick? Still useable for Dominance and Bully but stronger alone.

      Delete
    2. Some good stuff here.
      Not sure how to balance reverse-Convoke, but given the existence of Q, it's worth trying.
      I like Shaft and Mill. Final set would only want one, of course.

      Delete
    3. @Aura: Certainly a more generally useful card, but at least for Dominance the low cost is important. What about:

      Overwhelm R
      Instant
      Target creature gets +2/+0 until end of turn. If it's being blocked by one or more creatures with less power, it gains first strike until end of turn.

      Delete
  12. Flamestoker Fists R
    Enchantment - Aura (C)
    XR: Enchanted creature gets +X/+0 until end of turn.
    When Flamestoker Fists enters the battlefield, draw a card.

    Supports Bully, Dominance, and Progress 2.0.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very nice. I'm a little wary of X at common, could we have a fixed cost on the activation? As long as it's high-ish it still helps Progress 2.0.

      Delete
  13. Hmm I like the idea of Power Source, it feels like a bunch of gears turning each other. What if it was switched around a bit to better play this up? instead of untapping a linked artifact what if it tapped one (this can be used to circumvent high tap costs) for example:

    Life Gear 2
    Artifact
    Geartrain 2 (you may pay 2 to link this to target artifact you control. Whenever this becomes tapped, tap the artifact this is linked to.)
    Whenever CARDNAME becomes tapped, you gain 1 life.
    3: Tap CARDNAME.

    Mind Gear 2
    Artifact
    Geartrain 2 (you may pay 2 to link this to target artifact you control. Whenever this becomes tapped, tap the artifact this is linked to.)
    Whenever CARDNAME becomes tapped, you draw a card
    5: Tap CARDNAME.

    Death Gear 2
    Artifact
    Geartrain 2 (you may pay 2 to link this to target artifact you control. Whenever this becomes tapped, tap the artifact this is linked to.)
    Whenever CARDNAME becomes tapped, you may have target creature get -2/-2 until end of turn.
    6: Tap CARDNAME.

    Spark Gear 2
    Artifact
    Geartrain 2 (you may pay 2 to link this to target artifact you control. Whenever this becomes tapped, tap the artifact this is linked to.)
    Whenever CARDNAME becomes tapped, you may deal 1 damage to target
    4: Tap CARDNAME.

    Land Gear 2
    Artifact
    Geartrain 2 (you may pay 2 to link this to target artifact you control. Whenever this becomes tapped, tap the artifact this is linked to.)
    Whenever CARDNAME becomes tapped, you may untap target land
    4: Tap CARDNAME.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. if you had all of these linked to each other, then you could pay 3 and tap the life gear to:

      Gain 1 life, Draw a card, give a dood -2/-2, shoot something for 1, and untap a land.

      Delete
    2. another way to template this would be to have all the artifacts have a subtype of "gear" and have all gears come with the rules text of:
      "Whenever this becomes tapped, you may tap target gear you control"

      or

      "Whenever this becomes tapped, you may pay 1, if you do tap target gear you control" if its too powerful for development.

      Delete
    3. I like the look of this. It's a bit similar to the Connectors in my steampunk set, but more focused and consistent from card to card, which is a good thing. I playtested that with the deck from near the bottom of this page, and here's the playtest discussion. Looks like the implementation here will avoid most of the problems we had with Connectors.

      However, there's still the big one, which is that they're hard for the opponent to interact with. Is this the kind of set where every deck will need to maindeck 4 artifact removal? If so, then that's fine. If not, this looks like it could get pretty frustrating for the opponent.

      Delete
    4. I wish there was a way where we could connect all the gears together on the battlefield into a "gear train"

      You could make one large one that was all connected, but then the opponent could shatter a vital gear, separating the chain into two smaller ones independent of each other. Ill have to mess around and see if there is an intuitive way to connect the cards in this way...

      Delete
    5. I agree the untapping version is more likely to run into issues. I had an implementation that fit everything you're looking for, but it ended up rather verbose:

      Cog (If this has no input as it taps, you may have another non-input artifact you control becomes its input. Whenever its input becomes tapped, you may activate CARDNAME’s ability without paying mana.)

      Delete
  14. Brutish Badger G
    Creature - Badger
    Bully
    1/1

    Goblin Bowling Team 1RR
    Creature Goblin Warrior
    Bully
    CARDNAME attacks each turn if able.
    3/1

    Zombie Thug
    Creature - Zombie
    Bully
    Whenever CARDNAME is dealt damage, you lose that much life.
    2/2

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd rather see Brutish Grizzly Bears.

      Delete
    2. Yeah, badgers seem to be more a second or third set Johnny treat.

      Delete
  15. Reposting my original Euraka cycle, as I designed them for common as it was. Renamed for line length:

    Miracle Drug 2W
    Instant
    Eureka! — When you draw ~, you may reveal it. If you do, and if no card named ~ has been cast or revealed this way this game, gain 5 life.
    Prevent all damage that would be dealt to target creature this turn.

    Breakthrough 2U
    Sorcery
    Eureka! -- When you draw ~, you may reveal it. If you do, and if no card named ~ has been cast or revealed this way this game, draw a card.
    Draw two cards.

    Supervirus 2B
    Sorcery
    Eureka! — When you draw ~, you may reveal it. If you do, and if no card named ~ has been cast or revealed this way this game, target player puts the top two cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.
    Target player discards two cards.

    Flawed Design 2R
    Instant
    Eureka! — When you draw ~, you may reveal it. If you do, and if no card named ~ has been cast or revealed this way this game, target creature can’t block this turn.
    Destroy target artifact.

    Chia Dirt 2G
    Sorcery
    Eureka! -- When you draw ~, you may reveal it. If you do, and if no card named ~ has been cast or revealed this way this game, add GG to your mana pool.
    Search your library for a basic land card, put it onto the battlefield tapped, and shuffle your library.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm okay with most of these levels of ability syncing, but for the whole cycle I'd like them to be synced to the same degree. Part of the same effect like Breakthrough is fine, as is similar feel like Miracle Drug, but they're weird side by side.

      Delete
  16. Screeching Stackpercher 3UU
    Creature - Drake
    Flying
    Whenever CARDNAME deals damage to a player, that player mines.
    3/3
    The drakes make their nests near the warm smokestacks. The overseers don't drive them away as the workers throw themselves into their labor to drown out the discordant screeches .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel like mine as a drawback is more of a second or third set thing. First we want to convince players its something they want to do.

      Delete
    2. Fair point. I would however have
      U
      Sorcery C
      Target player mines.

      in a first set.

      Delete
  17. Deadgang Foreman (COM)
    3B
    Creature - Zombie
    0/1
    Bully (NAME can't be blocked by creatures with less power than it.)
    NAME gets +1/+0 for each artifact you control.

    Minotaur Brute (COM)
    2R
    Creature - Minotaur
    2/2
    Bully (NAME can't be blocked by creatures with less power than it.)
    NAME attacks each turn if able.

    Irradiate (Reprint)
    3B
    Instant
    Target creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn for each artifact you control.


    Form the Company (COM)
    2W
    Sorcery
    Eureka! - When you draw NAME, you may reveal it. If you do, and no card named NAME has been cast or revealed this way this game, put a 1/1 white Soldier creature token onto the battlefield.
    Put two 1/1 white Soldier creature tokens onto the battlefield.

    Innovate the Assembly (COM)
    2U
    Sorcery
    Eureka! - When you draw NAME, you may reveal it. If you do, and no card named NAME has been cast or revealed this way this game, draw a card.
    Draw two cards.

    Cut the Wages (COM)
    2B
    Sorcery
    Eureka! - When you draw NAME, you may reveal it. If you do, and no card named NAME has been cast or revealed this way this game, target player discards a card.
    Target player discards two cards.

    Break the Strike (COM)
    R
    Instant
    Eureka! - When you draw NAME, you may reveal it. If you do, and no card named NAME has been cast or revealed this way this game, NAME deals 1 damage to target creature or player.
    NAME deals 2 damage to target creature or player.

    Reap the Profits (COM)
    G
    Instant
    Eureka! - When you draw NAME, you may reveal it. If you do, and no card named NAME has been cast or revealed this way this game, target creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn.
    Target creature gets +2/+2 until end of turn.

    Picketline Invoker
    3R
    Creature - Giant
    3/3
    Progress 2.0 (Whenever you pay an amount of mana greater than this creature's power, you may put a +1/+1 counter on this creature.)
    8: Each creature can't be blocked this turn except by two or more creatures.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wish I'd looked here before commenting above. These Eureka! cards are exactly what I was hoping for.

      I'm not sure Picketline Invoker wants to be common just because the self-combo is a bit in-your-face. I could see it at a higher rarity or in a later set.

      Delete
    2. Question: Do we want Eureka! to be a creature mechanic as well? Something like:

      Smart Grizzlies 1G
      Creature - Bear
      Eureka!--... you may put 2 +1/+1 counters on target creature.
      Smart Grizzlies enters the battlefield with 2 +1/+1 counters on it.
      0/0

      This specific design is an uncommon, but generally is this something we're interested in?

      Delete
    3. I could definitely see it on creatures with enters the battlefield triggers and you just get the trigger for Eureka!. The biggest issue is that it's really texty so making legible cards might be hard.

      Delete
  18. Are you guys married to Refine being worded that way? Like if it was worded slightly differently, you could make this card.


    Loose Screws XU
    Instant

    Counter target spell unless its caster pays X.
    Refine -- when you cast ~, if another card in your graveyard has mana cost XU, draw a card.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the two are fine to go in a set together. Who feels like it's weird if some are separate bonuses and some are upgrades?

      Delete
    2. Why not try it both ways and see what we think?

      Delete