Friday, August 22, 2014

Weekend Art Challenge 082214—Aaron Miller

Weekend Art Challenge
Greetings, artisans! Click through to see this weekend's art and the design requirements for your single card submission, due Monday morning. Every submission warrants feedback, and everyone is encouraged to give feedback. You may use that feedback to revise your submission any number of times, though only the version rendered will be included in the review, if that happens.


Design a creature card. Try to find an old mechanic (remember, not all mechanics are keywords) and bring it back improved somehow. Perhaps you iterate on the mechanic, or put it on a more flavorful card, or a card exhibiting modern power levels and color philosophy, or just something more NWO-friendly.

I will review the cards in a post next week if one or more artisans volunteer to mock up all the submissions and get them to me however.

65 comments:

  1. Bojuka Hopper Patrol 2G
    Creature - Human Scout Ally (UNC)
    Whenever CARDNAME or another Ally enters the battlefield, put a +1/+1 counter on CARDNAME. It gains islandwalk and swampwalk until end of turn.
    2/1

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Solid design, and perfect for this art.

      Delete
  2. I always loved the Laccoliths. Here's a flavor adjustment and some rules simplification

    Stonearrow’s Cavalry 2R (COM)
    Creature – Dwarf Archer 2/2
    Strike range 2 (Whenever this blocks or becomes blocked by a creature, it gets –2/-0 until end of turn and deals 2 damage to target attacking or blocking creature.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unprintable at common in NWO

      Delete
    2. I've tried this mechanic out in a couple of places, and I think the following version is more friendly rules-wise:

      Rangestrike (You may have this creature deal its combat damage to any attacking or blocking creature.)

      Delete
    3. I'm curious why you think this card doesn't pass the test for NWO. Personally, I think Overload has tougher comprehension complexity. Morbid or undying create as much board complexity. Are you just saying that because it triggers everytime it blocks or is blocked? Because Heroic also could trigger at any time. With strike range your opponent has a lot more control over the effect.

      Look at the figure on the lizard. He's drawing a bow. He has red hair and a beard. His arms and legs are short. Dwarf Archer seems appropriate to me.

      Delete
    4. Board complexity is the issue, not comprehension. It's one creature that potentially effects every other creature during combat. It makes combat math much trickier to figure out in advance, even with completely open information. I might be off base, but I don't think I am. That said, it doesn't mean it can't be keyworded, or that it's a bad ability. I just don't think you can put strike range on a common. See the redflagging DTW.

      Delete
    5. Nich, assuming that the ability is technically fine at common, it seems doubtful that you would ever want more than two "rangestrikers" in a given set, so I'm not sure it would ever be eligible for keywording. First Strike (and Double Strike) are already capable of much of basic work that such an ability would do, all without the added baggage of triggers and additional combat complexity generated by the fact that each Rangestriker can interact with up to two enemy combatants.

      And ever since Prodigal Pyromancer got booted up to Uncommon, it would seem less likely that a hybrid First Strike / Ping mechanic is plausible at Common.

      Delete
    6. I'm at least somewhat willing to defend rangestrike (however it's implemented) as a matter of board complexity. As long as we keep common rangestrikers to 1 or 2 toughness (and power), they won't create too much complexity because they have to block or get blocked anyway. So making use of rangestrike would be more or less equivalent to sacrificing the creature, which limits the amount of complexity it can create. Or you can think of it as follows: basically it comes down to the same damage-ordering problem that you face with multi-blocking anyway. As long as you prevent rangestrike from operating at first-strike speed or faster, there isn't too much weirdness to deal with, and in a set with a fair amount of rangestrike players would get used to it quickly.

      Delete
    7. As much as that seems like a fine rationale, it doesn't make rangestrike sound like an appealing keyword ("more or less equivalent to sacrificing the creature"); would you ever consider keywording the functionality of Mogg Fanatic?

      Delete
    8. I'd definitely consider keywording the Mogg Fanatic functionality (maybe with a mana cost to make it easier to balance). I seem to remember that something along those lines was suggested as a BR mechanic in the Suvnica project.

      Delete
    9. So:

      Combustible X (X, Sacrifice CARDNAME: CARDNAME deals X damage to target creature.)

      Keywording a subset of sacrifice effects seems bit strange to me. I guess it's just that I can't think of abilities other than Vanishing/Fading that merely define a permanent's transient existence. While something like Combustible may not truly be a keyworded drawback, it can certainly read like one.

      Delete
    10. @lpaulsen I really like Rangestrike as a cleaner implementation except for the fact that it's a monster to develop. Power pumps are everywhere in Magic, which makes Rangestrike way overpowered. Strike Range 2's 2 damage and -2/-0 may be ugly, but it gives the mechanic a lot more flexibility in implementation and a safety valve for Development. No matter how big that creature gets, it's arrows are only going to be good for 2 damage.

      @zefferal The board complexity it creates is so fragile though that I'm skeptical it would boot it from Common. These are not Prodigal Pyromancers at all. They have to be in combat to do anything. That means if your opponent wants to take them out, it is well within their power to do so. Certainly newer players will see a creature with strike range under their opponent's control and choose not to attack for a while. But as soon as they play a bigger creature they will get over that fear. Conversely, they will probably attack with a range strike creature to kill an evasive threat, not even considering their opponent may cut off the option and not block. But hey, they're still getting damage in that way. So it's not a feel bad moment.

      @metaghost I have a lot of design ideas for Strike Range, certainly enough for keywording. Off the top of my head, an Uncommon equipment that gives a creature strike range 1. A rare 5/5 with strike range 2. A common flying 1/1 creature with strike range 1. A common with strike range 1 and haste. A creature with strike range and defender. A creature with strike range that must attack if able. Like any mechanic, it would have to fit the design of the set it's in. And though a creature with strike range interacts with up to two creatures in combat, your opponent can take it out of the equation by not blocking it, or by blocking with a creature that will certainly kill it. They can also choose not to attack into it, or only attack with evasive creatures. Plus, creatures with strike range can take out each other. I like the mechanic for a set with a strong "armies vs armies" theme.

      Delete
  3. Murajunni Mucktrailer 1UG
    Creature - Human Scout (UC)
    Whenever you draw a card, Murajunni Mucktrailer levels up.
    2/2
    Level 2-3 = 3/3, Trample
    Level 4+ = 4/4, Trample, Hexproof

    A combination of the level up guys from Rise and the Quests from Zendikar/Worldwake.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like this card, but I worry about getting bonuses on top of doing possibly the most powerful action in the game. Next turn Concentrate (+regular draw step) gets him to max level.

      Delete
    2. "If that card is not the first you drew this turn" // "Whenever you draw a card, if it's not your draw step..."

      Delete
    3. I really like the idea of having different level-up triggers, and I doubt this would be overpowered (plus, you can always tweak the level cutoffs if it is). Compare this to Chasm Skulker, for example.

      Delete
    4. This card is an excellent design. I would not want to change it to only level up once per turn like some have suggested, because then it could just be an upkeep trigger.

      Having a bunch of level up guys who level up when you draw a card makes cantrips matter in a whole new way, but instant speed card draw will have to be either very limited or non-existent.

      Delete
  4. Crocolurk Rider 2B
    Creature - Human Mercenary (U)
    Swampwalk (This creature can't be blocked as long as defending player controls a Swamp.)
    5, T: Reveal the top five cards of your library. You may put a Mercenary creature card from among them onto the battlefield. Put the rest on the bottom of your library in any order.

    I wasn't around for Rebels and Mercenaries, but this seems like a simpler way to do it: not a lot of shuffling and not worrying about cost. This probably doesn't belong on common cards.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like this-- it's a kind of tribal that hasn't really been done before, including by the old Rebels/Mercenaries. And there's plenty of precedent for printing Rebels or Mercenaries without a searching ability at common, so keeping it out of common for NWO should be fine.

      Delete
    2. Power / toughness? I'm guessing 3/2.

      Delete
    3. I think if you are going to do Rebels/Mercenaries you have to have to spend the points to have a common searcher for both.

      This particular design seems like it might want to be "X, tap: reveal the top X cards of your library..." (something I used in a game design recently actually...).

      Delete
    4. Whoops! I had it as a 2/3

      I imagined there would be a rare card with "X, T: Reveal the top X..."
      I like uncommons with fixed numbers (some at 5 or 6 or others like "top X where X is the number of creatures you control" or something)

      As for commons, I could see having a few small searchers ("Reveal the top card of your library"), but that potential for lots of free creatures is something I don't think belongs at common. Certainly there would be lots of common Rebels/Mercenaries/what-have-you, but in type only.

      Delete
    5. Reveal the top 1 is too swingy I think. It is like putting Cellar Door on steroids all over the place.

      If the deck wants to be consistent in draft, it has to be on reasonable commons (a lesson I don't think WOTC has completely learned yet).

      Delete
  5. Crocodile Guide [no mana cost]
    Enchantment Creature- Crocodile (Rare)
    3/2
    Bestow 2BG
    Intimidate
    Enchanted creature gets +3/+2 and has intimidate.


    Because I just realized that Griffin Guide and Elephant Guide are almost exactly bestowed creatures.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Intimidate may not be the best choice, true (especially with bestow). What about +5/+1, uncommon, and no ability? That's more in line with what Crocodiles historically look like in Magic...

      Delete
    2. Then you've basically made Spirespine. I mean, technically you can play it without bestowing, but you might as well not be able to.

      Delete
    3. Forgot about Spirespine. I might go ahead and make the multicolored Intimidate creature. There's no real precedent for it, but intimidate hasn't been around for all that long anyway, and Cavern Lampad and Korozda Guildmage are both encouraging examples.

      Delete
    4. Oh, right. This should be totally fine, then.

      Delete
  6. Ruin Crawler 1G
    Creature - Human Scout

    Hunts nonbasic land *(While this creature is attacking a player who controls a nonbasic land, it gets +1/+1)*

    2/1

    R&D is pretty down on landwalk (and intimidate), so here's a different way to do that. Alternatively, if you're ignoring the big head island:

    Ruin Crawler 2G
    Creature - Human Scout

    Hunts island, hunts swamp *(While this creature is attacking a player who controls an island, it gets +1/+1. While this creature is attacking a player who controls a swamp, it gets +1/+1)*

    2/2

    Also, Hello! I recently found this blog (though I actually was tangentially helping in GDS2). Here's a tool I've made, which may be useful: a spreadsheet containing every mechanic from all of Magic that I could remember, including every keyword. It also gives a random selection whenever it's modified, for supplying inspiration. http://goo.gl/Xrgd2k

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. that is indeed a great help, i was having troube with this chalange

      Delete
    2. Welcome to the GA community, Czynski!

      I like the concept of a modified landwalk that doesn't diminish interactivity, though I suspect it might need a flavor-makeover.

      Delete
    3. Welcome!

      The hunts land ability (I'd be inclined to call it "islandhunt" etc.) is interesting because it's sometimes better than landwalk, sometimes worse. I think I prefer it mechanically, but metaghost is right that the flavor isn't nearly as clear.

      Delete
    4. I'm going to re-template the hunts ability so that it triggers on attack and grants +1/+1 until end of turn. That prevents the 2/1 Ruin Crawler from dying if it attacks a nonbasic land controller and gets blocked by a 1/1 creature, which I assume is the intention.

      Delete
    5. Yeah, that's the intention. Sorry it took me a while to respond, I have to jump through hoops to get Blogspot to let me comment.

      Delete
  7. Sorry, I'm also doing a level up:

    Slither Scout UG
    human scout

    Whenever you tap [Cardname], put a level counter on it in the next endstep.

    level 3-4: 2/2 swampwalk, islandwalk
    Level 5+: 3/3 unblockable, hexproof

    1/1

    With this wording it also is going to level up when you put a activated abilty on a creature. And flaverwise: it's going to level up when it does something

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cool! I especially like how swampwalk + islandwalk levels up to the strictly better unblockable. I don't like unblockable + hexproof, though, even at such a high level. (Recall the Invisible Stalker issues...)

      Also, to help with simplicity and memory issues, you might consider making the level-up trigger an untap trigger (as with Inspired). It's not exactly the same, but it plays the same way in almost all situations.

      Delete
    2. I think indeed that a inspired like abilty is better, but now effects of an enemy also gains you levels. But what doesn't kills you makes you stronger :P

      I don't think Hexproof and unblockable doens't get you somethink like a invisible stalker. He had those ablilty's right out of the gate, for this guy you have to work for. Fleecemace lion's Monstor ablitly looks complitely bonkers, but he mostly dies before you get to use those ability's.

      Delete
    3. Slither Scout UG
      human scout

      Whenever you untap [Cardname], put a level counter on it

      level 2-4: 2/2 swampwalk, islandwalk
      Level 5+: 3/3 unblockable, hexproof

      1/1

      Delete
    4. Why can't it just get the level counter when it taps (or when it attacks)? That seems like it would feel much better.

      Delete
    5. jeah, I also thought about that, put it's a bit wierd to level up, before you did something xD

      Delete
  8. Banding Croc-Rider 3G
    Creature - Crocodile
    Comradery - Whenever CARDNAME attacks or blocks, you may bond it with another attacking or blocking creature you control. Each of these creatures gains "If damage would be dealt to this creature, you may instead prevent and redirect that damage to the other bonded creature."
    2/4

    Banding has always been a really powerful and flavorful ability, but it had way too many knobs on it. I hope this interpretation removes some of the flavor but makes clear what the powerful part of banding is and tells people to use it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't totally figured out what this does yet, but it strikes me as rather different from banding (and still pretty wordy).

      A good start might be "You choose how damage is assigned to this creature." A little bit abstract, perhaps, but it conveys the basic idea and fits in a text box.

      Delete
    2. band: Whenever a player blocks a creature with band, he blocks all creatures with band.

      The only issue is who decides the order of attackers. It doens't say anything about that

      Delete
    3. The two aspects of banding are basically the "one creature blocking multiple" and the damage redirection to make that powerful. I was thinking together they would be too confusing, but poor execution (and lack of reminder text) probably didn't help the original version. Maybe just this addition to Lompe's version:

      Band (Whenever a player blocks a creature with band, he/she blocks all creatures with band. You may redistribute combat damage between all blocked creatures.)

      Delete
    4. Banding Croc v2
      Creature - Crocodile
      Band (Whenever a player blocks a creature with band, he/she blocks all creatures with band. You may redistribute combat damage between all blocked creatures.)
      3/2

      I also like the original version I submitted, but it does work different from existing banding.

      Delete
  9. Quiet weekend, isn't it? I guess I'll go ahead and mock up whatever gets submitted by midnight Eastern time on Sunday night, and post it as before.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Mrdef Strider 2U
    Creature - Elf Rogue

    ~ cannot be blocked if the defending player controls 6 or more lands.

    2/3

    This is an iteration on the old (old) beeble ability. I think this has a bit more play to it than the old version, since the opponent may opt not to play that land until he really needs it, but this will eventually be a 2/3 unblockable for 3.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kudos on finding a truly obscure mechanic and coming up with an interesting twist on it. I wonder how this would affect Limited play styles. We should generally be suspicious of abilities that punish opponents for playing normally-- and especially for playing lands-- but this one seems pretty plausible.

      Delete
    2. I'd really like to see this effect in a format with some emphasis on CMC=6 (a la Scourge).

      Delete
    3. I think this lives in the nether region between common and uncommon where ti could really be either. I'll go with common and let pushing it up to uncommon be one of the first things development does with the set.

      Delete
  11. Mire-Bound Militant
    2BG
    Creature - Human Warrior (R)
    3/1
    First strike, deathtouch
    One with Nature (Instead of casting this card from your hand, you may play it transformed.)
    ///
    Ravenous Bog
    Land - Swamp Forest (R)
    ~ enters the battlefield tapped.
    T: Add {B} or {G} to your mana pool.

    This is mostly an attempt at trying to figure out if there is a means and/or a purpose to incorporating a mechanic that mirrors the Duel Masters resource system within Magic. Presumably it'd be best suited to an environment with Landfall, but I'm not sure that there is a suitable way to balance the concept, properly differentiate its effect from more traditional ideas like manlands or landcycling, and make it feel worthwhile as a use of the Transform mechanic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting concept! I don't know the Duel Masters system very well, but I bet this would be very powerful in the context of Magic. Surprisingly, I can't think of any Magic cards or mechanics that work even close to like this; landcycling is probably the one that comes the closest.

      Delete
    2. I've only played a little bit of Duel Masters (and apparently it's now dead, for the most part), but the basics of the resource system are:

      1. Any card can be played face-down as a "land".
      2. Any card that demands multiple colors of "land" will also function as a multi-land of those colors that ETBs tapped.

      I think that's basically it.

      Delete
    3. I think you'd need to fiddle the wording so it still counted as a land drop, but the basic idea is something I've messed around with before. I tried a variant of morph where you could play the creature as a CITP colorless land, then "unmorph" it later in the game for a cost if you drew too many real lands. i.e

      Rakhara Guardian 4
      Artifact Creature - Construct (C)
      Primordial 4 (You may play this face down as a land any time you could play a land. It enters the battlefield tapped and has “T: Add 1 to your mana pool.” You may turn it face up for its primordial cost.)
      3/3

      Bit wordy for common though, I think using transform cards is a much more elegant way of doing it. One with Nature "lands" are so much better than almost any other lands in Magic though, since you have a color-producing land in a land slot that can be cast as a body without taking either land drops or creature slots, so you'd likely have to really watch out for what creature halves could go on these.

      Delete
    4. Right.

      There is distinctly a power-level issue when applying this concept to Magic, especially with regards to how such an effect could facilitate deck-building practices. The Militant (and whatever other designs may fit at rare) likely aren't as powerful as a traditional manland, but extending the mechanic to lower rarities may prove detrimental to historical ideals of variance.

      Something like:

      Efreet a la Modality
      2RR
      Creature - Efreet (C)
      2/3
      R: CARDNAME gets +1/+0 until end of turn.
      One with Nature (Instead of casting this card from your hand, you may play it transformed. This counts as playing a land.)
      ///
      Cantankerous Cavern
      Land (C)
      ~ enters the battlefield tapped.
      T: Add {R} to your mana pool.

      To a certain extent it'd be like giving Forgotten Cave a form of creature-cycling, minus the search & shuffle. I don't know that you'd play it every Red deck in its limited format, but you'd probably play it in every controlling Red deck in its limited format.

      Delete
    5. I think 2BG for a 3/1 First Strike, Deathtouch is already pretty terrifying!

      Delete
  12. Karst Combatant 2BG
    Creature - Human Scout (U)

    Soulbond (You may pair this creature with another unpaired creature when either enters the battlefield. They remain paired for as long as you control both of them.)

    Karst Combatant can't be paired with Humans.

    As long as Karst Combatant is paired with another creature, each of these creatures has "Whenever an unpaired creature blocks this creature, the blocking creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn."

    3/2

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So... flanking meets soulbond? I like how it has a better 'flanking' flavor than the original ability, but it sounds like a nightmare for combat math.

      Delete
  13. Valley Searcher 2RG
    Creature - Dwarf Scout
    Cascade
    3/2

    ReplyDelete