Friday, August 29, 2014

Weekend Art Challenge 082914—sc0pe

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 moody card. Try to make the act of playing this card, or its effect on the game, feel like the mood you're evoking. Bonus points for making a non-black card, but remember bonus points are usually a trap.

76 comments:

  1. An Encroaching Nothing
    3BUR
    Enchantment (M)
    Whenever a permanent becomes tapped or untapped, put a blight counter on it. Then, if there are 10 or more blight counters on the battlefield, each player sacrifices all permanents with a blight counter on it.
    Pay half your life, rounded up: Destroy CARDNAME. (Any player may activate this ability.)

    An homage to the blight mechanic Shawn Main (and the rest of us) toiled to get presentable. Here it's mostly just a Punisher Smokestack that is a bit less punishing than the actual Smokestack. Definitely needs the activated ability so that people with 10 tapped permanents don't just untap and lose.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't like the second activated so much. I understand why you want it though. Some alternatives:

      Limit blighting to when something becomes tapped, not untapped as well.

      When you cast CARDNAME, any player may pay 5 life. If a player does, return CARDNAME to its owner's hand.

      Delete
    2. RE: Only on tapping — I don't want the solution for avoiding the blight be "don't do anything", but I recognize why making such an alteration could improve the design.

      Can you better explain why you're opposed to the activated ability?

      Delete
    3. I don't like how--

      1) The most optimal time to play this card is in direct opposition to the mood the flavor creates, i.e. when there's a whole bunch of tapped things in play so it blows up almost immediately (via either ability); and
      2) Because of the way triggers go on the stack, you can tap a bunch of things at once, blow up AEN, and then have the rest of the triggers resolve putting a bunch of useless blight counters on the field (especially annoying on lands).

      Delete
    4. I get #1 (for the most part), but it's sort of hard to say that there is a truly optimal time in a two player game. Assuming that the opponent has fewer than 10 tapped permanents, there's a great likeliness that the controlling player will be sacrificing a healthy amount of lands in the near future, if not other permanents.

      Regardless, I'll try to figure something out that's a bit less finicky and oppressive.

      Delete
    5. Alternative Design:

      Cryostasis
      3UB
      Enchantment (R)
      Skip your untap step.
      If damage would be dealt to you, instead tap that many permanents you control.
      At the beginning of the end step, if all your permanents are tapped, you lose the game.

      Delete
    6. Touch of the Eternal meets Lich? Very interesting, and probably better than the original design. For what it's worth, I think this would be balanced *without* the untap-skipping ability since you usually need to tap permanents to accomplish things anyway.

      Delete
    7. The original version will almost always cause the caster to lose the 6 lands used to cast the card. Maybe it shouldn't work on lands or just basic lands?

      Delete
    8. @Ipaulsen — I suppose that's true. I was just being conservative and felt that the skip-clause fit the flavor.

      What I really wanted to do was a Monoblue Lich card that used ice counters, but it was way too wordy.

      Delete
  2. Hopeless Struggle 2B
    Enchantment
    Whenever a nonzombie creature enters the battlefield, its controller sacrifices it.
    Whenever a nontoken creature enters a graveyard from the battlefield, its controller puts a 2/2 Zombie token onto the battlefield tapped.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. maybe it should be ALL creatures, it kinda seems if you play a zombie deck you would get a slightly better exchange......

      Delete
    2. This suffers from what I'll call a Spirit Bonds problem-- it isn't clear whether it should make you care about tokens or Zombies or both. But once you understand what's happening, the flavor is so cool that it's hard to resist.

      I think this would work best condensed into a single ability: "Whenever a non-Zombie creature enters the battlefield, its controller sacrifices it and puts a 2/2 Zombie token onto the battlefield tapped."

      Templating aside, this is a really great design. I love how it makes Undead Minotaur a force to be reckoned with.

      Delete
    3. Is it important for the trigger to happen upon ETB? Perhaps it's better to align it with stuff like Call to the Grave and Archdemon of Unx?

      Hopeless Struggle
      2B
      Enchantment (R)
      At the beginning of each player's upkeep, that player sacrifices a non-Zombie creature, then puts a 2/2 Zombie creature token onto the battlefield tapped.
      At the beginning of the end step, if no non-Zombie creatures died this turn, sacrifice CARDNAME.

      Delete
  3. Curse of Melancholy 3BB
    Enchantment -- Curse (R)

    Enchant Player

    Whenever a creature enchanted player controls dies, creatures that player controls get -1/-1 until end of turn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ouch. This is a really awesome design; I only wonder if "melancholy" is too weak a term for the feeling that it generates.

      Delete
    2. Johnny's version of Plague Wind. What's not to like?

      Delete
    3. Ooh, a targeted Last Laugh.

      Delete
  4. I'll do the renders this week, sometime Monday.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Mire of Despair
    Land (Rare)
    T: Add 1 to your mana pool.
    3B, T: Put a -1/-1 counter on target attacking creature.

    Kind of a sleazy way to get the bonus points, but I think the art justifies it.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Treading Water UU
    Enchantment - Aura (U)
    Enchant creature
    Enchanted creature doesn’t untap during its controller’s untap step.
    At the beginning of enchanted creature’s controller’s upkeep, that player may pay X, where X is the number of Islands you control. If that player does, untap enchanted creature. Otherwise, tap it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great job-- I'm feeling exhausted just thinking about this. The last sentence reads a little weirdly until you realize it'll be relevant the first time around. Maybe a better way to template this would be:

      When ~ ETB, tap enchanted creature.
      Enchanted creature doesn't untap during its controller's untap step unless that player pays 1 for each Island you control.

      Delete
    2. The problem with that is that I wanted to avoid the situation of a player being able to untap their creature once, then sit around with it untapped and on defense for the rest of the game.

      I experimented with giving the creature an activated ability, then a Curse of Chains-esque thing, and eventually this was the most precise wording I could think of to create the intended "moody" decision point. I'm not thrilled that the current text is so wordy and MTGO-non-compliant either.

      Delete
    3. I think the way you wrote it you don't actually need the "Enchanted creature doesn't untap during its controller's untap step" line. I think it can just say

      At the beginning of enchanted creature's controller's upkeep, that player may pay X, where X is the number of Islands you control. If that player doesn't, tap it.

      It recovers 90% of the functionality with something like 50% of the words.

      Delete
    4. I like Tommy's version a lot. Arguably more flavorful, too.

      Delete
    5. Combining ideas?

      Enchant creature
      When Treading Water enters the battlefield, tap enchanted creature.
      At the beginning of the upkeep of enchanted creature’s controller, tap that creature unless that player pays X, where X is the number of Islands you control.

      Delete
    6. Works for me. Quite cool in any case.

      Delete
    7. I think untapping and then tappping every turn better thematically communicates treading water, just like physically thrashing around.

      Delete
  7. I'm in a rush, so this isn't going to be perfect, but I wanted something that could riff off the art.

    Final Resurrection 3WWW
    Enchantment (Rare)
    When ~ enters the battlefield and at the beginning of your upkeep each player may return a creature card from their graveyard to the battlefield.
    If a creature would die, exile it instead.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is pretty solid, and a neat reversal of the mood that other people are getting from the art. If you want to avoid the ETB clause, you could make it trigger at the end of your turn.

      I'm guessing the mood you want to evoke is an apocalyptic feeling of "everything's suddenly changed" or something like that? That's what this design does for me.

      Delete
  8. Mare Mire
    Land
    t, pay 1 life: Add W or B to your mana pool.
    6wb, t, sacrifice Mare Mire: Put X 1/1 black and white Skeleton Pegasus creature tokens with flying onto the battlefield, where X is your life total.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Celestial Colonnade to Caves of Koilos's Azorius Guildgate. I like the interaction going on here. What mood are you trying to evoke?

      Delete
    2. I'm not sure I like having an uncounterable Storm Herd stapled onto a manafixing land, even though the cost (in both life and mana) will probably be too prohibitive for every format other than EDH.

      Delete
    3. Reminds me of Tomb of Urami.

      Delete
  9. Sorrow Kelpie 1BB
    Creature - Kelpie (UC)
    Whenever another creature dies, you lose 1 life.
    4/4
    It mourns for its victims even as it delivers its deadly touch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice twist on Black's "efficient creature that hurts you" trope. Would play in a Blood Artist deck.

      Delete
  10. Muckhole
    Sorcery - (R)
    Your creatures get -1/-1.
    Yep. This is your rare.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Taking the challenge meta, I see. That's quite clever. But I frankly don't find this design very appealing even as a joke-- it's missing a mana cost, and there are much better ways to execute a "bad card" in this vein.

      Delete
    2. What, not "One with Mudhole"?

      Delete
    3. I agree - I would give this an alternate cost to cast. Maybe "discard all cards from your hand" or "exile your graveyard"? Both have their merits.

      Delete
    4. Oh, I totally forgot the cost. My bad.

      Delete
  11. Swamp of sorrow 1B
    Enchantment - Aura (R)
    enchant creature
    Put a -1/-1 on enchanted creature in your upkeep. If enchanted creature dies, enchant [cardname] to another target creature if possible.

    Do not help the halfdrowned as the will only pull you in. Do not feel sorrow, or the swamp will lure you in - local guide

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Intentional that this can also hurt your creatures, if no others are left?

      Delete
    2. Indeed, that was intentional. It has to eat

      Delete
    3. Would it be better if the controller of the dying creature got to choose where it went next? There have been a few designs like this, including Nettlevine Blight, one of my favorites.

      Delete
    4. At seccond tought, maybe that's better.

      Swamp of sorrow 2B
      Enchantment - Aura (R)
      enchant creature

      Enchanted Creature has: During your upkeep put a -1/-1 counter on this creature. If enchanted creature dies, attach [Cardname] to another creature you control.

      Do not help the halfdrowned as the will only pull you in. Do not feel sorrow, or the swamp will lure you in - local guide

      Delete
  12. Stalking Death 1UB

    Creature - Skeleton Shapeshifter

    Deathtouch

    When ~ enters the battlefield, put a tracking counter on target creature. When that creature dies, Stalking Death becomes a copy of it except that it gains deathtouch.

    Death is the most patient, and most familiar, of hunters.

    1/1

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's extremely cool. I'd argue that the design would work better without the deathtouch-granting and maybe with better starting stats, but I can see the appeal of this version.

      Delete
    2. I considered having it lose the deathtouch when it becomes a copy, but I want to avoid the play experience that would give where occasionally you want to keep the tracked creature alive.

      Better starting stats are possible, but I'd probably opt to lower the mana cost to UB instead. It getting big is a cool Timmy moment and making it tiny maximizes that.

      Delete
    3. Good points. You're totally right to make sure that the trigger always feels like an upgrade.

      Delete
    4. I don't like that if it successfully stalks the creature, blocking it and killing it with deathtouch, you don't get the thing.

      How about having it have Deathtouch and Protection from creatures with tracking counters?

      Delete
    5. I agree that it's weird that it's likely to lose a fight to the creature it's stalking. I like the Johnny puzzle, but it seems to be a flavor fail.

      Tommy's protection suggestion plays into R&D's push to give blue pro from things that aren't colors, but I'm generally against using protection from anything ever as it's a horrible ability.

      Lose deathtouch and give it 2BB, T: Destroy target (attacking?) creature with a tracking counter on it?

      Delete
    6. I agree about Protection generally, but while we still have the tool, might as well use it.

      I'd be equally happy with "Prevent all damage that would be dealt to ~ by creatures with tracking counters."

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

      Delete
    8. It's a good point, and would probably be better with some change that direction. I erred toward the simpler version (I usually do, it's a good heuristic).

      If renders haven't been made yet, change it to:

      Stalking Death 1UB

      Creature - Skeleton Shapeshifter

      Deathtouch

      When Stalking Death enters the battlefield, put a tracking counter on target creature and Stalking Death gains protection from that creature. When that creature dies, Stalking Death becomes a copy of it except that it gains deathtouch.

      Death is the most patient, and most familiar, of hunters.

      Delete
    9. You could also try "Whenever Stalking Death blocks or is blocked by a creature with a tracking counter on it, destroy that creature."
      That way it has pseudo deathtouch but only to its prey and remains weak to other creatures until it upgrades. It also won't get killed by the target in combat.

      Delete
  13. Swallowing Mire

    Land (Rare)

    Swallowing Mire enters the battlefield tapped.
    T: Add B to your mana pool.
    4BB, T, Sacrifice Swallowing Mire: Target creature get -3/-3 until end of turn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like it. Straightforward, flavorful, and plenty interesting to Spikes.

      Delete
  14. Bogged Down 3UBB
    Enchantment (R)
    When Bogged Down enters the battlefield, tap all creatures.
    Whenever a creature becomes tapped, its controller loses 1 life.

    Feedback appreciated as always.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's magnificent, and should already be a UB card, or possibly WB.

      Delete
    2. Agree on WB. I wouldn't say no to mono-black as long as it was still 5-6 CMC, but that may or may not fly with everyone. Great name/design, though.

      Delete
    3. Thanks. Why the preference for WB? Just wondering.

      Delete
    4. W can tap down, WB does life-related things. It can easily be UB also, but it fits with WB too.

      Delete
  15. It would be a perfect art for a Nightmare reprint. That said...

    Nightmare Herd 4BB
    Creature - Nightmare Horse (R)
    Nightmare Herd’s power and toughness are each equal to the number of Swamps you control.
    Whenever Nightmare Herd deals damage to a player, reveal the top card of your library. If it’s a Swamp, put it onto the battlefield tapped. Otherwise, put it into your graveyard.
    */*

    I'm not 100% sold on the second ability. I want it to get swamps somehow. Maybe Urborg instead?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Better:

      Nightmare Stables 5B
      Enchantment (R)
      Sacrifice a Swamp: Put a black Nightmare Horse token onto the battlefield with flying and “This creature’s power and toughness are each equal to the number of Swamps you control.”

      Delete
    2. Nice. Can we add mana to the ability so it's not as easy to make huge evasive blockers? I understand that making more than one will hurt them both, but playing this turn 6 and EOT making 2 4/4 flyers in mono black is insane.

      Delete
  16. Remission 1WB
    Instant (R)
    Destroy two target creatures. Return those cards to the battlefield at the beginning of the next end step.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very neat. I imagine it's most useful as double-Cloudshift that also does death triggers, but it also makes for a halfway-decent Fog or Panic when used on enemy creatures.

      What mood is this trying to evoke?

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

      Delete
    3. Depression. I'll add in some flavor text to make it more clear.

      Remission 1WB
      Instant (R)
      Destroy two target creatures. Return those cards to the battlefield at the beginning of the next end step.
      Even death can not escape despair.

      It might be better as a 4 drop since it can take out blockers, stall attackers, counter aura's, and trigger death and ETB effects. As a two-color rare though it needs to be better than ghostly flicker.

      Delete
  17. Re-emergance of nightmares 1BBB
    Enchantment
    At the beggining of your upkeep you may exile any number of creature cards from your graveyard. If you do, put an X/X black nightmare creature token with flying on the battlefield under your control. X is the number of creature cards you exiled.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Posting against (sorry since my computer is being wonky and I'm not sure if my first submissions went through, if it did I'll delete this one)
    Undying Mire 4GGBB
    Enchantment
    Whenever a creature you control dies, return that creature to the battlefield tapped at the beginning of the next end step. That creature is a Zombie in addition to its other types.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't worry about multi-posting, Kevin. Blogger is wonky, so it's better safe than sorry. If there is ever an abundance of a single post, it's easy enough to clean up on our end.

      Delete
    2. Thanks. I haven't used this site too much before so its nice to know that what I saw was not wholly unexpected

      Delete
  19. Muck's Embrace, BB
    Enchantment - Aura, uncommon
    Enchant creature
    Enchanted creature has "At the beginning of your upkeep, you may discard a card. If you don't, tap this creature and you lose 1 life."

    Looks like the emotions of hopelessness / despair are already well represented, so here I'm going for the slightly different feeling of "Ugh, what did you get on me? Can anyone scrape it off?" The lifeloss is important to differentiate this from Treading Water, make the slime all over your creature actively unpleasant.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I know I missed the deadline, but for posterity, I had this idea Friday night and never got to work on it:

    Frozen Dregscape (R)
    Land
    T, Pay 1 life: Add B to your mana pool.
    1B: Frozen Dregscape becomes a 2/2 Zombie land creature until end of turn.
    UR, T: Target creature you control gets +2/-1 or -1/+2 until end of turn.

    ReplyDelete