Monday, March 21, 2016

Weekend Art Challenge Review 031816—aquasixio

Weekend Art Challenge Review
Hello artisans! Anastase here, with the review of this week's challenge!

I should probably have proposed more drawings for this challenge since the artwork of aquasixio is quite blue/green/red and sent people down parallel design paths. At the same time, green and red are the most apt at producing mana, so I guess it is not that ill-fitting of an art.

Quick reminder that I also included in the comments:
You are NOT obliged to design for that image. If you have a design and a creative commons illustration whose author we can credit, just design for that art, include the link to it and I will render that card with that art.
In this challenge I was hoping to see interactions between mana generation and things we have not yet seen like:
  • cards drawn since the beginning of the turn.
  • cards in hand.
  • an element of creature size/type that we have not seen yet.
However the cards you came up with are quite interesting and generated a lot of back and forth:

Jack's Mana Tide was initially scaring me with its ability to generate huge amounts of mana in a young pyromancer shell since it allowed you to target any player at the time. This is an interesting card that lets you push through for some damage / the win on a stalled board and—in the case of the former—might let you play a creature to block with after the attack.

A general theme of this week's submissions was dealing with the dissipation of the mana at the end of a phase. Jack's card is a sorcery that makes you cast it in your first main phase so that you can use the extra mana generated by it.

MaRo has states that {Q} was one of the least popular mechanics ever, and as such has a very low probability of seeing print again. Pili-Pala endless mana combos scared us into suggesting an activate-only-once-per-turn clause to the card. I like the card a lot. It is close to a 1/1 vigilance elf for 1 and it pleases me it usually has to attack to be able to untap. That said, Elves and Merfolk are seldom seen breeding and a creature that could be played with {U} and generate mana might not be a very welcome addition to some formats.

Daniel did proclaim a willingness to iterate on this design but I guess real life held him from updating his submission. This card, as is, can be quite frightening and busted. It would probably warp many formats around it, pushing people to "have to" include enchantment hate. Given that you can have an original Eldrazi titan in your deck, this could turn into 10 mana every turn if we follow Daniel's intent about lands producing {C} when milled. (However you cannot add colorless mana with en effect that states "one mana of any color / among that card's colors".)

By the way, as I said before:

Still. For this much mana, I would expect this card to be 6+ CMC and even then I would not be eager to see it printed. I like the risk of milling oneself, but the reward is too strong here.

This card plain scares me. It reads too close to high tide's 5 to 8... But I guess it is slightly less powerful. It does fulfill this week challenge neatly, and development could make sure it is costed appropriately (perhaps {2}{U}{U} and draw a card?).

When I read creature type 'surfer' I had this stuck in my head… Ben's card again tries to tie a combat trigger with mana generation (not unlike Hardened Berserker). The same effect could more or less have been achieved with: "add X mana in any combination of green and/or blue to your mana pool, at the beginning of your next main phase, where X is the number of untapped creatures defending player control…" provided you want to cast creatures and not combat tricks.

However the whole of the card feels UR to me due to it having prowess. I was wondering if changing prowess to trample would make this feel more UG.

Well done James. Simple, elegant and fitting for blue. Also not seen before.

I misread Wobble's card the first time thinking that the lands would go into overgrowth mode and add two extra mana. Then I read it again and now I wonder why this has not been printed yet.

The more expensive version of Jenesis' card costed {2} extra mana. I like this cheaper version that can potentially accelerate you in the right deck, it can protect your creatures from some nasty spells, and can bring your combo pieces in play. My only reserve is whether we should take a page out of Woodland Bellower's book and restrict the creature to sharing a color with the sacrificed creature. Then again that would add text to the card, so I am not quite sure about it.

Ipaulsen went way out of the box with his initial submission, imagining negative mana that you had to add to your mana pool as a cost…

It felt weird but it was a very interesting exercise to figure out why.

With the days of mana-burn gone, triggers that care about mana emptying from your mana pool are scarce. This effect pretty much requires you to either not have other cards in hand or to have a second card that is immediately castable. I wonder if the tension created warrants the effect, but I guess we would need to playtest and design some more cards to fully feel the potential of sync.

Another thing: it being a sorcery seems counter-intuitive.

​I did not find an illustration for theo's wolfir. Much information was missing here, so I guess that the rarity is relatively low, and the stats not that high either? Also, this week elves have been combined with some interesting races… first merfolk, now wolf, I wonder what follows.

I guess this effect could be more interesting if it generated more mana and/or triggered off your own spells (but not abilities) instead of just those of your opponent.

I like this card, but I would prefer it being a 1/3 and costing {1}{R}{U} or be 1/3, lose Prowess for Reach and cost {1}{G}{U}.

I like how this does not accelerate you, but again blue is frightening with non-artifact-tied mana generation.

Another card that scares me a lot. Camille's card is original and interesting, making your creatures, planeswalkers, enchantments and artifacts into lands that can then, unfortunately, be used to fuel a card that evacuates all non-land permanents, breaking symmetry to a big degree.

Pasteur created a card that is a love poem to Wort, and an interesting one at that. It gives you flexibility in the way your mana can explode: due to a very power-skewed creature or due to an army of goblin tokens.

Finally we have Zeno's hold back the tides. It is a stalling card, that can sometimes amount to a time-walk and some time amount to nothing at all.

Some commenters suggested split second, but I am split on the matter.

That's all for this week, Artisans! As always great work, I really enjoyed the interaction in the comments this week.

Until Friday, good crafting to you all!

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