Friday, July 24, 2015

Weekend Art Challenge 072415—ninjatic

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 someone volunteers to render the cards.


A

B

Pair off with a partner. Design two cards with your partner that complement each other. They needn't be the same type, rarity, or color, but they do get printed in the same set, and neither would be quite as special if the other didn't exist. Improve your partner's design.

59 comments:

  1. I am looking for a partner. @anastenazontas on twitter to discuss about the designs.

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    1. Story based design would be the road I would take... The beginng of the perilous journey would be in the first card and the final combat the second card.

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    2. Hey. I'm down for teaming up (although my internet access will be sporadic and unpredictable through the weekend, so if you want to pass on me as a partner, I won't take offence.)

      This guy looks like the sole (human) survivor of an apocalypse to me. Indestructible would be one path, but let's tell more of a story here (and give you some design space to riff off of.)

      Finn, the Last Human 4WW
      [A]
      Legendary Creature - Human Knight
      Indestructible
      When ~ enters the battlefield, destroy all other creatures.
      ~ can't attack unless the defending player controls a creature.
      3/3

      Delete
    3. Although I like the idea of him being the last human, I think that the curent set designing process involves a type of story-telling that would be hard-pressed to tell a story of only one last human. I agree that the world looks quite desolate though.

      I like the first part of the ability (wrath), and commander players would love that part, but not being able to attack would be a bit strange mechanicly, even though it fits the flavor of not being able to attack if there is no one to attack. (nice adventure time reference btw)

      How about:

      Finn, Lord of the Wasted Lands 4WB
      [A]
      Legendary Creature - Human Knight
      Indestructible
      When ~ enters the battlefield, destroy all other creatures.
      You cannot play creature spells.
      3/3

      As for the other image:

      Wasteland Blade 3R
      Enchantmnent - Aura [uncommon]
      [B]
      Enchant creature.
      Whenever enchanted creature attacks it deals damage equal to its power to all creatures.

      Perhaps the set is populated by extremelly strong creatures ducking it out?

      Delete
    4. I love when blogger eats my long replies. Let's try this again:

      When I concepted him as a last human, I was going to name him Lister, but then the giant hound in the background of [B] reminded me of Jake, so Finn he became.

      With the changed drawback on Finn (which I like) I think he could cost less. While he has a very dark art, which would justify black, I wouldn't want to have him be WB and the synergy card be R. I would put him at 3WW.

      That said, I'm not sold on a weapon of any sort being an aura in a world with equipment. If the focus is on the blade, it can still be a magical blade. Also, there's not a lot going on in either design as is that makes me want to play the other. What if the blade keyed off of Finn's wrath on a stick in some way?

      Wasteland Blade
      Equipment
      When equipped creature attacks, it deals damage to defending player equal to the number of creatures in that players GY?

      Delete
    5. I agree with you about the cost reduction, but I would really like him to be in WB, so something like 3WB because legendary creatures these days should have very strong reasons to be mono-colored when considering commander.

      I agree that the blade being red would not be perfect.

      I like the direction you took it from a melvin point of view, but I got some doubts about the card being an equipment and/or aura after all.

      It seems like it is the early stages of a duel between Finn and a HUUUGE dog-demon. How about:

      Last Bastion 2WW
      Enchantment (uncommon)
      As long as you control exactly one creature, that creature gets +3/+3, vigilance and can block an additional creature each turn.
      When all that stands between the monsters and remains of civilization is you, there is no hesitation.

      Delete
    6. I like that one. I'd call it a rare, as it's a bit much for uncommon, but otherwise it's solid.

      I'll cave on the multicolor since we're no longer dabbling in red and there need to be more WB commanders that aren't honed in on life totals.

      Delete
    7. It is certainly strong as an uncommon, but we have recently seen black having similar uncommons (http://tinyurl.com/p6aako2).
      I will be ok with your verdict after considering these two cards.

      Delete
  2. Here's a bash at a pair of cards:

    Front-Line Captain 1WW
    Creature - Human Knight (U)
    Vigilance
    Prevent all noncombat damage that would be dealt to Front-Line Captain.
    3/2
    “I am a sword to those who cannot wield one.”

    A art.

    Captain’s Choice 2R
    Sorcery (U)
    Choose one:
    - Target creature you control gets +1/+0 until end of turn. It fights target creature you don’t control.
    - Captain’s Choice deals 2 damage to each creature.

    B art.

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    1. Totally missed it was meant to be a collab. Oh well, I guess these are still fine.

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  3. Me and Tommy Occhipinti collaborated on this one! He made almost all of Parley with Ziagur, and I made most of Declaration of War. They are intended to represent moments in the set's story.

    Declaration of War {3}{B}{R}
    Sorcery
    Declaration of War deals 4 damage to target player. That player discards a card and sacrifices a creature.
    After so many years of peace, there was suddenly war between the kingdoms of men and Ziagur’s dragons once more. Finneas wondered: what went wrong?

    Parley with Ziagur {3}{W}{U}
    Sorcery
    An opponent chooses one, then you choose the other two —
    • Draw two cards.
    • Gain 10 life.
    • Put a legendary 5/5 red Dragon creature token with flying and defender named Ziagur onto the battlefield.

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    1. Story: Long ago, Ziagur and her dragons warred with the realm perpetually over resources. But then a treaty was struck, and peace settled over the kingdom for centuries.

      However, during the story of this set, Ziagur's dragons begin attacking again for unknown reasons. Finneas, our non-planeswalker protagonist, is given a quest - stop Ziagur's rampage, by any means necessary.

      Luckily, violence isn't always the answer.

      Delete
    2. Amused that you and Zefferal came up with such similar names for the human character!

      Declaration of War is solid, though I'm unconvinced of it at rare. I'd pretty much always rather have Blightning. Compare also Crackling Doom, which at least forces your opponent to sacrifice one of their better creatures.

      Parley with Ziagur seems like a non-choice most of the time. Against control decks, they will always draw two cards, since the dragon can't attack. Against aggro decks, you'll always get at least one of a) gain life or b) get dragon, so unless they have direct burn they're hosed regardless.

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    3. If the red-black player has Declaration of War in their deck (out of the sideboard perhaps?), it seems like "draw 2 cards" is the correct choice every time. UW pays 5 mana for a dragon and some life. RB pays 5 mana to kill the dragon, make the opponent discard a card, and additionally is still up 1 card in hand from the Parley.

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    4. I don't think the choice on Parley will be agonizing, but I do think people will take all three options at various times depending on the deck you're playing against. If they take the life, though, the parley probably isn't going well for you.

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    5. As MaRo said on tumblr a bit ago, not all parts of a card need to see equal play. This is pretty clear from a lot of modal cards. But they should all see some amount of play. I think the modes here aren't equal, of course, but they'll each get picked in different contexts, which is good.

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  4. Looking for a partner. I'm not on Twitter so we'd have to collaborate via comments. Anyone interested?

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    1. I'm down lpaulsen! I also don't have twitter. So this is fine. Thoughts?

      The first looks to me like either a red creature (crop left) or some kind of enchantment (crop right). The second is either a creature (with the sword, not the background thing) or combat trick (maybe an aura?), either way probably with some white.

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    2. I like the enchantment angle on the first card, or maybe it's a sorcery. Either way it seems big, red, and expensive.

      Second card, I totally agree-- white combat trick or (small) creature.

      How are we going to make the cards complement each other? I like the idea of having a big, unexpected mechanical interaction between a splashy rare (the first card) and an efficient common or uncommon (the second card). Just as a random example, the first card might deal a bunch of damage to a creature and the second card might redirect that damage.

      Delete
    3. There's also those sort of beacons in the first art, if we want to riff on that.

      Big red enchantment:
      War-Torn Hellscape (4RRR?)
      Enchantement (R)
      Players can't play lands. (maybe Players can’t gain life.?)
      At the beginning of each player’s upkeep, War-Torn Hellscape deals damage to that player equal to the number of lands they control. Then that player sacrifices a land.

      Combat trick could even just be a Moment of Heroism reprint.

      They totally synergize because one deals damage and the other gains life! /ugh, bad argument

      The more I look at the second, the more I see combat trick. Maybe we should start with that and then build the big red thing?

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    4. OK, here's a stab at an interesting-ish combat trick:

      Shining Fervor W
      Instant (U)
      Until end of turn, target creature gains first strike and lifelink and gets +X/+X, where X is the amount of damage that's been dealt to you this turn.

      I feel like this may be a design trap, though. The second half of the card seems like the cool part, but it isn't often relevant. Spike might sideboard this against certain red decks, and Johnny might build a deck with this + Earthquake + Darksteel Myr... I guess. The point is that it gets a lot more interesting when it's in the same set with a card that deals a bunch of damage to you during your upkeep.

      I like the idea of damage + land destruction for the first art. It seems very appropriate. My worry with the current design is that it could lead to stalled game states where neither player controls a land and neither player is dead. But there are plenty of ways to fix that up. One idea that I came up with based on your design is something like this:

      Scorched Earth 4RRR
      At the beginning of each player's upkeep, if that player's life total is greater than the number of permanents he or she controls, his or her life total becomes that number. Otherwise, he or she sacrifices permanents until the number of permanents he or she controls is equal to his or her life total.

      Basically Touch of the Eternal as a red card. :-) Unfortunately it's wordy and I have no idea how it could interact interestingly with a combat trick.

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    5. What if instead of an instant, it's a sorcery? Something like:

      Ferverent Shining WW
      Sorcery (U)
      Until end of turn, target creature gain lifelink and gets +X/+X, where X is the amount of life you've lost this turn.

      This shouts more loudly "Hey! Take damage before you attack!" It's now definitely a Jenny/Johnny card, though the cost change could reflect that better. This also works off of paying life like using fetchlands or the like, which I think is good.

      Oh man, just realized that the art would be a really good reprint for Price of Progress, which would tie in well, but that's definitely way too powerful. How about an update?

      Progress's Price 3RR
      Sorcery (R)
      Progress's Price deals damage to each player equal to the number of (nonbasic????) lands he or she controls.

      Makes for a great blowout turn.

      Scorched Earth is cool, though I don't think it has much to gain from being an enchantment over a sorcery that just hits all players at once (also the name's already taken).

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    6. I like where this is going. My main worry with the 'life loss' phrasing is that Immolating Souleater (for example) into Fervent Shining is too easy of a turn 3 kill in Modern. (It even comes up in Standard thanks to Shadowcloak Vampire.) Also, comparison with other pump spells convinces me that this wants to be a 1-mana instant. So:

      Stroke of Restoration W
      Instant (W)
      Until end of turn, target creature gain lifelink and gets +X/+X, where X is the amount of damage you've been dealt this turn.

      You're totally right about removing the first strike, though-- it's confusing and rarely relevant.

      I like Progress's Price, but I feel like there's a lot of tension in it. In what scenarios would I really rather be holding it than just a Lava Axe? For it to really be of benefit the opponent has to have played 7+ lands-- which means either that they're mana flooded and I'm winning anyway, or that their game plan is working and they're prepared to handle whatever my red deck throws at them. Meanwhile I'm taking at least 5 damage for my trouble and I've had to wait well past turn 5.

      But I think there's a cool tweak that we can make to get around that (and move back toward Price of Progress). What do you think of this?

      Collapse of Civilization 3RR
      Sorcery (R)
      CARDNAME deals damage to each player equal to the total number of lands he or she controls plus the number of nonbasic lands he or she controls.

      It bums me out that the combat trick can't be used to counteract the red damage anymore, only as a 6-mana combo. After all, who's going to cast a spell like that on their first main phase? That's one of the reasons I liked the enchantment, upkeep-damage version.

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    7. Can we make Collapse an enchantment though? Seems like having that every turn is a crazy finisher, and should probably be way more expensive to compensate.

      What about

      Wasted Civilization 2RR
      Enchantment (R)
      At the beginning of your upkeep, Wasted Civilization deals damage to each player equal to the number of nonbasic lands that player controls.

      ?

      Delete
    8. I like it. Optional alternative text:

      At the beginning of each player's upkeep, CARDNAME deals damage to that player equal to the number of nonbasic lands he or she controls. Then that player may sacrifice a land.

      Hits a little sooner but gives players a (painful) way out. I get that the "may sacrifice" without an effect stapled onto it is weird, though. Unless I hear otherwise I'll go with your version for the render.

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    9. What about punisher text? "..of each player's upkeep, that player may sacrifice a land. If he or she doesn't, CARDNAME deals damage to that player equal to the number of nonbasic lands he or she controls"? I like this actually (I'm probably too late)

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    10. Not too late! I'm just starting to render now.

      That probably moves it down to 3 mana... right?

      Delete
    11. Actually I think that may be moving a bit to far away from the relatedness of the two cards, since the we were trying to make the red enchantment expensive and seriously dangerous to life totals. I'm switching back to your original version, hope that's OK.

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  5. @hubatish here. Art looks to me like two enemy color knights facing off. How do you make such cards without protection these days?

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    1. Up for other thoughts as well though! Making combo cards is sweet.

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. Since I didn't see the collab thing when I submitted mine, here's a bash at a weird sort of pair between two Knight cards.

      Brave Gallant WW
      Creature - Human Knight (U)
      First strike
      Prevent all combat damage that would be dealt to Brave Gallant by creatures with power 4 or greater.
      2/2
      "I will hunt down the tyrant that has brought this land to ruin."

      Lord of the Wastes 2RR
      Creature - Human Knight (U)
      Trample
      Whenever Lord of the Wastes is dealt 2 or less combat damage, destroy it.
      4/4
      "Wretches. None of them are strong enough to oppose me."

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    4. Thanks for the reply Aura!

      I like how the 2/2 beats the 4/4 (in multiple ways!) and the symmetry between the text boxes.

      Can we get rid of the downside on the red one, and maybe add some uncertainty to who will win?

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    5. I feel like these are too powerful for modern uncommons but here's some quite symmetrical knights:

      Slayer of the Mighty 2WW
      Creature - Human Knight (U)
      Vigiliance
      When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, destroy target creature with power 4 or greater.
      2/2

      Crusher of the Meek 3BB
      Creature - Human Knight (U)
      Trample
      When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, destroy target creature with power two or less.

      I was also wondering about renown (so player who plays theirs first wins) or killing untapped/tapped creatures.

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    6. Yours also has some good/clear story (destined hero) that mine misses out on though.

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    7. I think you could probably get away with a 5 CMC 2/2 or 2/3 ETB Smite the Monstrous at uncommon, at least in the right set. I'm less sure about 2 power or less, because it's going to have a target in almost every game and is working towards tempo more than killing an opponent's bomb, but the effect is inherently less powerful. Since it needs to have 4 power for the mirroring to work, maybe 4/3 at 5 CMC would be OK.

      Either way, I like that they can kill each other which does have a nice subtle level of story, and it's probably fun to slam your version down to kill their version that just killed one of your creatures.

      One thing to note is that these *will* always have the option of killing each other whereas mine can actually stay out of combat and/or have shenanigans to stop the kill effect (for example, making the 2/2 have 3 power or the 4/4 have -1 power through some enchantment or whatever). I'm not sure what that means, but I just thought it was interesting to comment on.

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    8. Tough choices. For white/black knights, could make white's a 5 mana 2/4 & black's a 5 mana 4/2 for good symmetry.

      Also, riffing off your submission above (where white & red get along):

      Karshov Glory-Seeker 1RR
      Creature - Human Berserker
      Menace
      When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, CARDNAME deals 2 damage to each creature.
      3/2

      Karshov Protector WW
      Vigilance
      Sacrifice CARDNAME: Prevent all non-combat damage that would be dealt to creatures you control this turn
      2/2
      Flavor: I refuse to let even the fool-hardy of my company die.

      And, from the art, which one where you thinking is white?

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    9. I think you've hit on something really cool there. An undercosted red creature that sweeps the board (and itself) at rare, plus a white common that could save it, seems like a super cool idea.

      Karshov Glory-Seeker 2RR
      Creature - Human Knight (R)
      First strike, trample
      When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, CARDNAME deals 4 damage to each creature.
      5/4

      (I assume 2RR deal 4 to each creature would be an acceptable red rare these days, if we get Anger of the Gods and Languish).

      A art.

      Karshov Protector 1W
      Creature - Human Soldier (C)
      W, Sacrifice Karshov Protector: Prevent all damage that would be dealt to target creature you control this turn.
      2/2

      B art.

      This lets you assemble 2WRR deal 4 to each creature and get a 5/4 first strike trample in limited, but it's telegraphed by the existence of the 2-drop on the board which you can kill and technically uses two cards.

      Delete
    10. Both of the cards are also perfectly servicable maindeck cards in limited as well, which helps; the Glory-Seeker will trick newer players some of the time as being a 5/4 for 4, but luckily for them a 4 damage 2RR spell is just as high a pick so they still have a card to be excited about when they realise they aren't going to get their 5/4 unless they "combo off".

      Delete
    11. I like Glory-Seeker a lot more at rare, since it does have the potential to trick players. Perhaps in lieu of flavor text have a (Each creature includes CARDNAME) reminder?

      Not sure if established players would find that repulsive.

      Delete
    12. (That includes CARDNAME.) would be fine for clarity purposes, if we wanted it. I'm happy to call this set of two the final submission, but of course if there's any changes or concerns you want to voice first than go ahead.

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    13. The Timmy in me is repulsed by the giant chunks of extraneous text on Glory-Seeker in the expected use case. The Melvin in me appreciates that it's written that way to appeal to Johnny, though.

      Delete
  6. Also Jay, prompt idea: use the art from the 5 origin stories that don't have cards.

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    1. Good idea. Are those in a place?

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    2. It'd be a little bit of work to identify those that don't have cards, unless you know Origins very well already.

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    3. Wow, there are that many? I thought there were like five, for packaging or promotion. What do you suppose they commissioned all this art for? Surely not just for Arcana…

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    4. Anyone still need a partner (and can iterate several times today)?

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    5. I think they're probably used in the new Duels game? Otherwise I'm not sure.

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    6. Ah, right. I believe some Wizard said that. Forgot about Duels.

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    7. Link is broken to 3). 13) is the alternate art intro pack rare.

      The rest of them I believe are from Duels, and possibly also the SDCC coffee table art book that came with the black-foil planeswalker set.

      Delete
  7. No one's volunteered for the renders yet, right? I can do them for this week, Monday night probably.

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  8. JackV and I have been iterating back and forth over the course of the weekend. Our designs started from the observation that both pieces of art are very wide, and thus lend themselves to providing art for two cards in a diptych. So our cards both use Art A - one the left-hand side, one the right-hand side. They may overlap slightly, but that's no problem - just makes the diptych a little more obvious, like Gallantry / Repentant Vampire.

    Night of the Apocalypse
    (right-hand half of Art A)
    Sorcery, rare, 3RR
    CARDNAME deals 4 damage to each nonred creature.

    Knight of the Apocalypse
    (left-hand half of Art A)
    Creature - Human Knight, uncommon, 2/2, 1RR
    Haste
    When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, you may have it deal 4 damage to target red creature.


    We iterated quite a few times back and forth, so it's a bit hard to divide up attribution, but for the final calls between a few options, Night is mine and Knight is JackV's.

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  9. I paired with Inanimate, who ... already did this once ... but we did it anyway.

    Witness Victory 2RW
    Instant [U]
    Deal 2 damage to target creature you don't control.
    Put a 2/2 white Knight creature token with vigilance onto the battlefield.
    "We have won this war... but what what cost? The land burns, and the kingdom mourns. If this is the price of justice, then I regret it."

    Witness Courage 2GW
    Instant [U]
    Prevent all damage that would be dealt to target creature you control this turn.
    Put a 2/2 white Knight creature token with vigilance onto the battlefield.
    "The empire may be defeated, but I refuse to let my men go down with it."

    Each card acts as a response to the other (sort of!), the aftermath of which leaves both Witness knights unharmed & ready to clash.

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