Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Tesla Design Challenge 0328016 — Top-Down Designs

Hello again, everyone! Yes, this week is a Tesla double feature! Yesterday, I discussed some approaches to filling the Tesla set skeleton as a team. One such method I mentioned was producing 'bounties', various ideas that simply must be in the final set as a card. This week, we're going to be focusing on one such bounty... the top-down design!
Your challenge this week is to design a top-down card for Tesla. Make sure to look to the skeleton page to see if there are any openings, or any cards you think could be replaced by a more flavorful design. When designing top-down cards for Tesla, remember that it is based on Kaladesh, which means we are aiming for three major sources of inspiration: 
  • Steampunk fiction. Note that Kaladesh does not use steam for its inventions, but instead aether canisters. Still, ideas like flying ships, sky pirates, lightbulbs, and more are all fair game!
  • Dystopian fiction. We are emphasizing the brutal regime that the Counsel have enforced on Kaladesh, and how they hunt down mages and oppress the empire with their monopoly on artifice. Drawing inspiration from existing dystopian fiction, and making references, is a great idea. Think 1984, Fahrenheit 451, Brave New World, Soylent Green, Anthem, and so on and forth.
  • Progress and development. This is more an 'experience' than an actual top-down idea, but we want cards that capture the feeling of progress, and growth, and improvement. Cards like Woodborn Behemoth, Forced Adaptation, and the Slith are great examples.
  • The region and history of India. This one is the lightest theme, but we can definitely draw inspiration from their wildlife, including tigers, elephants, cobras, and so on. We also feature three nonhuman races inspired by India - the Tigrala (tigerfolk), NagaVanara, and any other ideas you can convince us of!
In addition, if you want to give yourself extra challenge, here are four ways you can earn bonus points:
  • Design a common. We need all the commons we can get, and the more top-down designs we have at common, the better! However, not all top-down ideas can be common, so keep that in mind. 
  • Design a card that doesn't use a set mechanic. Cards featuring set mechanics can often get by on their own, and while it's nice to have them also be top-down, it's not necessary.
  • Design an elegant and simple card. Many top-down designs initially end up clunky and complicated in attempting to capture the intricacies of their flavor inspiration. One specific way to know if you're on the right track here is to design a card that wouldn't be red-flagged, and you've likely hit this bonus point!
Best of luck with this design challenge! I eagerly look forward to your guys' suggestions and submissions!

17 comments:

  1. I know we can't have real-world quotes, but "dystopian Indian steampunk" was too much to resist:

    Aspsassin
    Artifact Creature - Snake
    1/1
    {5},{T}, Sacrifice CARDNAME: Destroy target creature that dealt damage this turn.
    "It can pick one man out of a crowd, regardless of the body he wears. There is no known antidote for its venom." -- Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm not sure if you want multiples, but:

    Surveillance Master
    1U
    Creature - Human Rogue
    As long as you control a thopter, ~ has flying and "Whenever this deals combat damage to an opponent, draw a card".

    Although maybe I should have gone bigger with "??. Government Surveillance. Enchantment. Whenever a thopter you control deals damage to an opponent, draw a card."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Electro-Ankus
      R
      instant
      CARDNAME deals 1 damage to target creature with toughness 3 or greater. It gains haste and attacks this turn if able.

      Delete
    2. Multiples are fine. :)

      I love the flavor of a surveillance state, and the reference to Thopter Spy Network.

      Delete
  3. Surveillance Thopter (2)
    Artifact Creature - Thopter (C)
    Flying
    Whenever CARDNAME deals combat damage to a player, you may look at the top card of that player's library.
    1/2

    ReplyDelete
  4. Detain Radicals {1}{W}
    Enchantment
    Enchant creature with one or more activated abilities
    Enchanted creature can't attack or block, and its abilities can't be activated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. or
      Detain Radicals {1}{W}
      Enchantment
      Enchant creature
      When you cast ~, draw a card.
      Enchanted creature's abilities can't be activated.

      Delete
  5. Tiger {2}{G}
    Creature-Cat
    3/3

    or

    Tiger {2}{G}
    Creature-Cat
    Flash
    2/3

    or

    Tiger {2}{G}
    Creature-Cat
    Flash
    When ~ ETB, cats you control get +1/+1 until EOT.
    2/2

    ReplyDelete
  6. Banking slightly more towards "victorian/steam/progress" and away from "dystopia" so much:

    Indecorous Costermonger {2}{R}
    Creature - Human (u)
    CARDNAME attacks each turn if able.
    Tap a creature with power greater than 2, discard a card:
    Transform CARDNAME.
    2/1
    //
    Glamorous Gadabout (red)
    Creature - Human Advisor
    When Glamorous Gadabout attacks, gain control of target permanent until end of turn. Untap it. It gains haste until end of turn.
    0/3


    Urchin Scrapper {3}{B}
    Creature - Human Artificer (c)
    When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, exile an artifact card from your graveyard. If you do, put a 4/6 Construct artifact creature token onto the battlefield tapped.
    1/2

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree that we definitely want more steampunk cards in the file.

      The salesman is nice, and while I get the flavor of the activation cost on the front, it could probably be cleaned up a little bit.

      Urchin Scrapper could be interesting as a Thopter maker in black, perhaps? Could be a 2/3 then.

      Delete
  7. Solar Chakra {W}
    Enchantment-Chakra
    At the end of your turn, if no damage was dealt this turn, gain X life. X is the number of Chakras you control.

    3rd Eye Chakra {2}{U}
    Enchantment-Chakra
    At the end of your turn, if no damage was dealt this turn, scry X. X is the number of Chakras you control.

    Crown Chakra {3}{B}
    Enchantment-Chakra
    At the end of your turn, if no damage was dealt this turn, each opponent loses X life. X is the number of Chakras you control.

    Heart Chakra {1}{R}
    Enchantment-Chakra
    At the end of your turn, if no damage was dealt this turn, look at the top card of your library. If it's CMC is X-, you may play it without paying its mana cost. X is the number of Chakras you control.

    Root Chakra {4}{G}
    Enchantment-Chakra
    At the end of your turn, if no damage was dealt this turn, put an X/X green Avatar token OTB. X is the number of Chakras you control.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Pacifist {1}{W}
    Creature-Human Monk (cmn)
    If ~ would deal combat damage, gain that much life instead.
    3/3

    Martyr {1}{G}
    Creature-Human Monk (cmn)
    When ~ dies, draw a card.
    1/3

    Counselor {1}{R}
    Creature-Human Monk (rare)
    Whenever a source deals damage for the first time in a turn, add {R} to your mana pool.
    1/2

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pacifist and Martyr are both really cool.

      Delete