Friday, March 11, 2016

Weekend Art Challenge 031116—GaudiBuendia

Weekend Art Challenge
Hello Artisans. Are you feeling cunning today? I sure hope so.

Your challenge this week is one for which I have not found any elegant solution yet.

Many people keep submitting cards with abilities like:
"Secretly choose a creature. If the opponent guesses that creature [something happens]. Otherwise [something else]."
How do you secretly choose something without using pen and paper, counters or "simultaneously" revealing your how many fingers you are holding up?

Design a mechanic that allows you to secretly select a card or number and compare it with your opponent… without access to tokens, pen or paper.

This is something R&D seem to be struggling with too, so finding a solution to that (Clash, anyone?) seems like a worthwhile endeavor.

The art we are designing for is of this Sphinx by GaudiBuendia:


Try to design a card for that art that fits the challenge given above. Failing that, explore mechanics that are enigmatic. Bonus points if this can be printed at lower rarities.

I will try to give feedback on your submissions over the week-end. Each Artisan is allowed one submission, but can update it as many times as needed. Please state the rarity of the card you submit. If you have a creative-commons art that better fits your card, please include a link to it and I will render the card with that art.

66 comments:

  1. Fraternal Twins {3}{G}{G}
    http://orig02.deviantart.net/f712/f/2013/093/e/e/fire_vs_lightning_by_vandervals-d60aapr.jpgkid
    Sorcery (rare)
    Search the top half (rounded up) of your library for a creature card. Target opponent searches the other half of your library for a creature card. Reveal both. If you reveal cards with different names, put both into your hand. Shuffle your library.

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    Replies
    1. Neat idea. How about:

      Search the top half (rounded up) of your deck for up to three creature cards. Your opponent searches the bottom half of your library for up to three creature cards. Reveal both, and put each card that does not share a name with a card chosen by your opponent into your hand.

      ------------

      This obviously isn't quite right, because of singleton decks, so it probably needs an elegant way to exclude singletons, but I like making the opponent's job straightforward: Guess what you will pick.

      My reason for this tweak is that in your version your opponent has to guess whether you will pick the best card, or another card, and if they pick the best card and you don't, it generates a huge feel bad moment. On the other hand, if they do guess your card you spent 5 mana to do nothing.

      Delete
    2. True. I stuck with two since a singleton deck guarantees 100% success (and six creatures is a lot).

      Much less risky:
      {1}{G}{G}
      Search the top half (rounded up) of your library for a creature card. Target opponent searches the other half of your library for a creature card. Reveal both. If their converted mana costs are different, put one into your hand. Then shuffle your library.

      Delete
    3. I disagree Tommy, Jay's card leads to different deck-building, with less 4-of a card, which is good for variance.

      Given that you can build your deck, you can generally know which creatures you have in it and in what numbers and deduce what your opponent has in his half, giving you an unfair advantage.

      Most of this time this will be a semi-reliable tutor for an important card and a less important one.

      I like the art and flavor here, and it is a solution to the design challenge, but I fear it is a puzzle to much tilted in your favor if you deck-build right. I especially worry about the opponent's ability to "not find a creature"...

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    4. I love the idea. I do think it might be better if it were less all-or-nothing, but I'm not quite sure how to do that.

      I also think there needs to be a better way of splitting the library. "Half" presumably means exactly so you need to actually count it out. Ideally it would have wording to allow or encourage you to split it in two, opponent chooses one half.

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    5. If you've only got one of your star creature, you likely won't find it in your half of the deck. Even if you've just got a few silver bullets, you might get the worst or even none of them in your half. And if you find no creatures, your opponent can fail to find. I think you have to run a good number of creatures to make this work.


      {G}{G}
      Divide your library into two stacks. Target opponent chooses one and searches it for a creature card. You search the other for a creature card. Reveal both. If their converted mana costs are different (or if only one was found), put one into your hand. Then shuffle your library.

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    6. Oh I realize mine wasn't quite clear, my goal was that you can't possibly get the cards your opponent chooses, so you only get a max of the three you chose, not a max of 6, which is obviously absurd.

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    7. I missed that, but see it now.
      Less risk / feel bad for opponent, but even more broken in singleton.

      My latest has the flaw that it's a lot of effort for not that much reward. Hmm.

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    8. Fraternal Twins {2}{G}{G}
      http://orig02.deviantart.net/f712/f/2013/093/e/e/fire_vs_lightning_by_vandervals-d60aapr.jpgkid
      Sorcery (rare)
      Divide your library into two stacks. Target opponent chooses one and searches it for a creature card. You search the other for a creature card. If only one is found, put it onto the battlefield. If two are found, reveal them; If their converted mana costs are different, put both into your hand. Shuffle your library.

      Delete
    9. "If two cards found this way have the same converted mana cost, shuffle them into your library. Otherwise, put all of them into your hand, then shuffle your library." works and doesn't confuse people who don't understand the fail to find rule.

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    10. I love this version, it is the closest to the intent of the challenge.

      Delete
    11. This sounds like you want to run it in a deck with 4 copies of the same OP creature. That way, as long as you have at least one creature card in each stack, you'll always get to put that creature into play (since if your opponent finds, you can choose to fail to find, and vice versa).

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    12. I was wondering about that, but I do not remember in the rules if your opponent has to reveal if she found or not a card before you do.

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    13. It depends on the wording. Right now it seems like your opponent has to finish their search before you do your search. If it's reworded to have both players search at the same time, the active player (probably you) has to "lock in" their choice first.

      Delete
    14. And we solve that by combining the two search sentences with an 'and?' Or a 'while?' Sounds good.

      Delete
  2. Show, Don't Tell 2U
    Sorcery (R)
    Each player may secretly choose a card in his or her hand. Reveal all cards chosen this way, then if all those cards are permanents, put them onto the battlefield. Otherwise, each player who revealed a card discards that card and draws a card.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting. Perhaps non-land permanent, so that every deck can opt for no?

      Delete
    2. Hm. Why does it have to be secretly? Aren't card in your hand already secret? How does this secretly work?

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    3. I think it just means "don't show everyone, but do separate it from the rest of your hand". I think that's mostly clear, if may not quite be comp-rules-compatible.

      Delete
    4. It's the same elaborate dance you do selecting cards for Show and Tell.

      I could make it nonland. It seems like it might be too easy to turn the card into "each player cycles a land" though. On the other hand, this card's power ceiling is really high.

      Delete
    5. I was doing a devil's advocate thing about the term secretly in the first phrase, which I like but am unsure of.

      I agree that the power ceiling is frightening, but I think it will be interesting none the less.

      Delete
  3. Sphinx's Riddle
    1U
    Instant
    Reveal the top five cards of your library and secretly choose one of them. Target opponent guesses its name. If they guessed wrong, you may reveal it and put it into your hand. Put the remaining cards on the bottom of your library in any order.

    Fairly simple, a bit like spells like Truth or Tale. But gets some of the flavour of "opponent guesses which thing you choose".

    I have some ideas that might work for things other than cards, but none of them have come through clearly yet.

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    Replies
    1. Sphinx's Strength
      1G
      Sorcery
      Uncommon
      Riddle Game (You and target opponent each simultaneously reveal a card from your hand.)
      Put X +1/+1 counters on target creature where X is the difference between the CMCs of the revealed cards.

      I put both designs at uncommon because I think it's simple enough for common in a non-core set, but riddling will take time and attention and it's best it doesn't come up too often.

      I like Sphinx's riddle more as a card, but I think Sphinx's Strength has more potential to be used on multiple cards (maybe one cycle? or more with a different effect than "difference in CMC"?)

      Delete
    2. How do you indicate which card you chose for Riddle?

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    3. I also have Jay's question. I love Riddle Game, it could belong in a Hobbit-style (light fantasy) custom set.

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    4. I like Riddle Game as a pure gameplay concept, but flavorwise it feels out of place in non-blue-or-red.

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    5. Jay, you mean how do you choose for Sphinx riddle, or for riddle game?

      For Sphinx Riddle, take the five cards, show opponent, shuffle them, look at them, separate one face down from for face down, opponent chooses, reveal the one. Rules wise they're all still in your library all the time.

      For riddle game, each player chooses a card and puts it face down on the table, then both turn them up.

      I assumed that was obvious and that it didn't need rules text, do you think it needs rules or reminder text?

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    6. Since you just revealed them, yes.

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    7. ...can you be clearer what you're actually objecting to? Like, if you and Daniel think it's not clear, then by definition, it's NOT clear because you're both really experienced players. But I don't know what you're objection IS, I think you're referring to Sphinx's riddle but I'm not sure?

      You say, "since you just revealed them". Do you mean, when you reveal the cards, they stay revealed until the ability finished resolving? Because I don't think that's what it says in the comp rules, have I misunderstood them? I think "reveal" DOES mean "show everyone and then hide them again" as opposed to "permanently reveal".

      Or do you mean, "they know which card is which when they're face down because they looked at them"? I think you're allowed to shuffle the cards even as they're part of your library, if the next part of the effect is "put them on the bottom of your library in any order". Are you not? There are certainly cards that allow you to secretly separate the top five cards of your library into two piles, which prevents your opponent knowing which order they were in (I think?)

      Or do you mean, "it's well-defined according to comp rules, but most players won't understand how to choose one card out of five"? I thought that was well known to anyone who'd ever played with any sort of card, but I'd be happy to spell it out a bit more, if I can do so without screwing up the template.

      I assume I DO need to fix the wording, but I'm still not clear exactly what isn't clear, as it were...

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    8. Doh, sorry for being frustrated. I totally do need to make the wording to be clear, I'm just not communicating clearly today :(

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    9. When you reveal things, they stay revealed until the ability finishes resolving by default.

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    10. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    11. I mean, I pictured Fact or Fiction where the cards are revealed face up and stay that way. If you want it to work the way you want I'd suggest:

      Sphinx's Riddle
      1U
      Instant
      Target opponent looks at the top five cards of your library, then you look at the top five cards of your library and choose one. That opponent guesses the name of the card you chose. If they guessed wrong, you may reveal it and put it into your hand. Put the remaining cards on the bottom of your library in any order.

      Delete
    12. Ah! Thank you. I'm sorry it took me a while to figure out. Can you clarify if that's actually in the rules anywhere?

      The comp rules say "701.13a To reveal a card, show that card to all players for a brief time. If an effect causes a card to be revealed, it remains revealed for as long as necessary to complete the parts of the effect that card is relevant to. If the cost to cast a spell or activate an ability includes revealing a card, the card remains revealed from the time the spell or ability is announced until the time it leaves the stack."

      Which seems to explicitly exclude "it remains revealed until the end of the resolution". Is that in the judge rules or something?

      If everyone plays it another way, I definitely DO need to clarify the wording though. But I think wizards also avoid putting redundant instructions in rules text, because they imply that when you DON'T say "reveal, and hide them again" that doesn't apply.

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    13. OK, FWIW, I'll stick with Sphinx's Revelation as my submission. I agree it needs better wording, but I can't think of anything tonight.

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    14. Another approach: http://www.magicmultiverse.net/cards/61697

      Delete
  4. Not sure if this counts, since neither you nor your opponent actually "choose" a card, but I figure it's worth a shot:

    Masking Sphinx 3UU
    Creature - Sphinx (R)
    Flying
    Whenever Masking Sphinx attacks, you may exile it and any number of other nontoken creatures you control in a face-down pile, shuffle that pile, then manifest those cards tapped and attacking.
    If Masking Sphinx attacks while it's face down and isn't blocked, turn all face-down creatures you control face up, then draw three cards.
    3/3

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    Replies
    1. So it's the same kind of guessing game as Jeskai Infiltrator, except the difficulty scales with the number of creatures you control?

      The second ability also needs to be a 'may', since there's no way to force you to look at your face-down cards to see which one(s) got blocked.

      Delete
    2. Indeed. Also this is one of the times where this wording ( and isn't blocked) is probably the right call, even though I very much dislike it. I might have gone with "at the end of declare blockers phase, if CARDNAME is attacking and unblocked, you may turn all face-down creatures you control face up, ...

      However those few extra words make the card to text-crowded, so I guess it is the correct wording.

      Delete
    3. I really like the idea. I'm not sure if the draw cards is redundant, just forcing the opponent to blind-block seems interesting by itself. I might consider a bigger version, so it's more scary for the opponent to guess wrong, and safer to attack with. Flying is a bit of an awkward choice when using the ability turns it off.

      Delete
  5. Oracle Sphinx 1UU
    Creautre Sphinx (U)
    Oracle Sphinx enters the battlefield tapped.
    Flying
    When you untap Oracle Sphinx exile your hand in a face-down pile and name a card. Then reveal a card from that pile at random. If it is the named card, draw a card. Return the exiled cards to your hand afterwards.
    2/2

    The idea of this card is that mangoose effects are pretty powerful at the begening of the game. But this ability gets more powerfull as the game advance or if you are lucky. Fair enought.

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    Replies
    1. The Inspired-like mechanic is more a flavor direction, couse the ability didn't feel agrresive to me for it to be a when attack triggered ability. I think this should say "When Name becomes untapped...". May be that could be more comboable with untap effects. Other way to do it is: "at the begening of your upkeep..." but i feel like that the sphinx should do something for it to see the future.

      Delete
    2. "When you untapped ~, name a card. An opponent reveals a card at random from your hand. If it's the named card, draw a card."
      Is there an effect that can care which card you name/reveal?

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    3. There is a drawback, couse you are showing cards to your opponent. Wich card is the named/revealed don't change nothing for now. What do you sugest?

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    4. Each player returns a permanent they control to their hand that shares a type with the revealed card?
      The revealed card costs 0 to cast this turn?

      Delete
    5. Oracle Sphinx 1UU
      Creature - Sphinx (U)
      Oracle Sphinx enters the battlefield tapped.
      When Oracle Sphinx becomes untapped, name a card. An oponent reveals a card from your hand. If it is the named card, draw a card.
      2/2

      Delete
    6. May be, it can be a 3/2 and discard the card if you dont gess it. Buy i dont feel that the effect could be complex, couse the mechanic is kind of akward.

      Delete
  6. An attempt to solve the general problem posed by the challenge:

    Sphinx's Banishing U
    Instant - Common?!
    Secretly choose a creature an opponent controls. That player names a card. If they did not name the chosen creature, put it on top of its owner's library. (To secretly choose, shuffle the cards you could choose in a face-down pile, look at them, then choose one and put it into its own pile.)

    Could this card or mechanic actually appear at common?

    Joke version: (When you secretly choose, tell a judge which card you chose.)

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    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. I like it. But how this work in multiplayer? you choose an oponent first? so it should say target player, for the spell to have a target as it is casted? Or you shuffle all creatures controlled by all oponents, that would be caotic. I like that it can play arround hexproof.

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    3. This is a mess if there are auras, counters, equipment, etc floating around.

      More esoterically, if there are two identical creatures that differ in some way, like one has damage marked on it, or one has counters, etc, stuff gets weird.

      Delete
    4. Eco: you're right, I do need it to choose an opponent first. Thanks!

      Tommy: good points. I don't know how to fix this, thoughthe existence of cards like Do or Die (http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=23059) make me think that piling isn't the problem so much as face-down-ness. Hm.

      Delete
    5. may be you should exile that creatures and then return all but one to the battlefield...

      Delete
    6. Re: Tommy: After more thought, I don't think this is a problem I'm going to try to solve. Gameplay-wise, when there are multiple creatures with the same name, the player choosing the card will choose which creature they've chosen, including damage, counters, auras, attacking/ blocking status, etc, and if the guessing player just gets the name right they win. Logistical-mess-wise, it might well prove to be too messy to deal with, but it doesn't seem too horrifying to me in a typical game -- playtesting would tell. Anyway, thanks for the feedback, I wouldn't have thought of those issues!

      Sphinx's Banishing U
      Instant - Common?!
      Secretly choose a creature target opponent controls. That player names a card. If they did not name the chosen creature, put it on top of its owner's library. (To secretly choose, shuffle the cards you could choose in a face-down pile, look at them, then choose one and put it into its own pile.)

      Delete
  7. Sphinx of Lost Mysteries 4UB
    Creature- Sphinx (Rare)
    3/3
    Flying, hexproof
    When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, exile any number of cards from your graveyard facedown.
    2UB: Choose a card exiled with CARDNAME. Target opponent names a card. You may cast the chosen card without paying its mana cost if it wasn't the named card.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, let's make these costs UG rather than UB. I originally thought this would reanimate creatures only. Re-buying stuff from the graveyard and casting for free tend to belong more in UG. Also, it's a color pair that needs more Constructed love. In UB this would just be an oppressive finisher for control decks; in UG it might be more fun. And for bonus points, it would now fit quite well on Theros, which has lots of Sphinxes and a UG god of mysteries.

      Delete
    2. This is sweet, I want four.

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    3. After I name a card correctly, my opponent can't swap around its position to confuse me, correct?

      Hexproof fits UG better than UB anyway.

      Delete
    4. Good point Jenesis. I meant it to work the opposite way-- fresh choice every time-- but I think the rules for face-down exiled cards say the opposite. In fact, even the initial exile-from-graveyard maneuver might not work as intended without some kind of shuffle clause. Oh well.

      Delete
  8. Returned Sphinx 2UB
    Creature - Sphinx (R)
    Flying
    When Returned Sphinx would die, you may pay 2 and exile it and a card from your hand face down. An opponent chooses one. You may cast the chosen card without paying its mana cost. Place the other card in your graveyard.
    4/3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Free Sphinx or Cruel Ultimatum. Bam.

      Delete
  9. Quicknote to everyone: this week I will probably have to postpone the review until thursday! Keep up the good work everyone.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Sphinx of Petty Lies 2U
    Creature- Sphinx (rare)
    Flying
    1U, Exile CARDNAME face-down: Exile the top card of target player's library face-down. Then shuffle it and CARDNAME together and manifest them both.
    1/4

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    Replies
    1. This is basically 3UU: Get a 2/2, which might be OK at uncommon if it was just that, but combined with the instant speed blinking, potential of better-than-a-2/2, and stealing opponents' cards probably puts it at rare.

      Why "target player"? To randomly disadvantage opponents who are using the same sleeves as yours?

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