Thursday, June 23, 2016

Weekend Art Challenge Review 061716—Samuel Bak

Here's Pasteur's review of last weekend's art challenge.

A new, pretty sweet take on the Chromatic family of color fixers. For an extra mana over Prophetic Prism, we get two extra cards, but delayed over the next three turns. Is that a fair card advantage? Doesn’t seem too far out of line from Hedron Archive, but the third card—even on a delay—might make this too much CA for three colorless mana.

I like the idea of a weighty charm. Each of these abilities seems strong on their own, but they all definitely give an opponent room to breathe, especially at eight mana. Would it be ridiculous to use "choose two" on a charm with only three non-synergous options? If anyone has ideas for other 6+CMC charms in other colors, feel free to put them in the comments.

I think Graft still has some legs on it - it's straightforward enough of a +1/+1 counter mechanic, and a slightly less extreme Vigean Hydropon could probably work as a little armory or a colorless anthem.

We talked a little about whether the Pawns could have Renown, since even before paying {3} you need to boost their power to make the trigger hit. It'd be interesting to see this sort of setup either with Thopters (multiple 0/1 fliers with the slith ability, perhaps?) or Kobolds, since they're a new rage. Kobolds and Pawns do seem kind of like equivalents. (The fact that Pawns promote is also A+.)

While this can sometimes leave a board cluttered, I think it could definitely work in a set with supporting flavor. I wonder whether we could word it "They become colorless artifact creatures in addition to their other types, gain defender, and cannot block", just to support synergies that look for the defender keyword specifically? Not sure if that’s too strange.

Once we’re paying {W} and {B}, do we get a discount on our wrath effects? The answer may be "maybe no."

Very exciting! The chance of success and the dream of getting three-for-every-one both seem strong enough to make me want to build around this. I would add "would enter the battlefield from a player’s hand" to the first clause to make sure it doesn’t just loop until there’s a failure.

A good "everybody take a break!" card. If you need to hit land drops, draw a critical mass of cards, or sequence planeswalker activations, this card may be the right one for you. If you haven’t built around it, your opponent does get to untap after the hiatus first, which—combined with you being down a card—might keep this fair. I could see this being a fun card, but an absolute nightmare in conjunction with Mines/Bells in a Turbo-Fog archetype that doesn’t need to particularly cast spells. Something to watch out for, at least.

A weird, weird card. Sure to have some implications on eternal formats, possibly too devastating alongside Mishra's Workshop in Vintage.

(A solid reprint choice, especially for a card that could use new art.)

This is uncommonly straightforward and strong for a colorless three-drop. Typically we get Gray Ogres with a relevant tribal type, or Gargoyle Sentinel style cards with drawback/upside. I might try an 0/3 with "{3}: ~ gets +3/+0, activate once per turn) or honestly a Gargoyle Sentinel without flying could still be close to serviceable. A real question beckons: the vanilla 3/3 for {3} will never break Constructed, so is it any problem to do in Limited?

Any way we could get away from referencing multiple spells on the stack, I think would be a good step - I do think it invites complication and misunderstanding on its own. How far this is away from normal Kindle effects is interesting, since normally each incremental Kindle rewards you for casting it whenever possible, and this rewards you for holding onto your cards. I think the "oh I drew all of them but I cast one earlier in the game" punishment is really sad, but maybe this is a Jenny card designed for use with Ascension/Snapcaster/Scepter? In the end I think the hoop and the reward could both be lowered, or this should be moved to a higher rarity.

Assuming this is printed in a product like Commander or Conspiracy, I really do like it. I'm skeptical of World's return, but it's not out of the question as a way to differentiate an expert-level product (though it seems to share too much space with Planechase). Either way, though, it's a wonderfully griefing ticking time-bomb that still allows room to strike back.

Great job to everybody this week! I really appreciate the good showing across the card type spectrum.


  1. Another possibility for Chromatic Ruins:
    {1}, {T}, Remove a charge counter from ~: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool. If there are no charge counters on ~, sacrifice it and draw three cards.

    But three does still seem like a lot.

    1. I does seem a lot, and control decks don't need more help. Perhaps lower its CMC and the card draw to 2?

  2. Massive charms do seem inevitable, given the popularity of commands. Omega Charm probably goes to 8 lines when you "discard the cards from hand" in mode 3 but mythics can go long.

    1. Alpha Charm 5WWW
      Choose one:
      -Put 4 4/4 white angel token with flying into play
      -Exile all non-creature permanents you do not control
      -You gain life equal to the total toughness of creatures on the battlefield.

      Beta Charm 5UUU
      Choose one:
      -You may cast all sorcerys from your graveyard without paying their casting cost until end of turn.
      -Exile all non-land permanents target opponent controls. He puts that many 0/1 blue sheep tokens into play.
      -For each permanent target opponent controls he must put 5 cards from the top of his library into his graveyard or reurn it to his hand.

      Gamma Charm 5GGG
      Choose one:
      -Creatures you ccontrol gain +X/+X and trample until end of turn, where X is the highest power among creatures you control
      -Untap all your permanents and draw 4 cards.
      -Each of your creatures deals damage equal to their power to another target creature.

      Kapa Charm 5RRR
      Choose one:
      -Target player chooses five permanents they control and shuffles them into their library and draw 3 cards.
      -CARDNAME deals damage to each creature equal to the number of tapped permanents on the battlefield.
      -Deal 8 damage to target opponent.

  3. 0/1 creatures can't trigger promote on their own…

  4. A triggered ability can't trigger itself, but player intuition is just as important as actual rules, so it still makes sense to clarify Reality is Perception.

  5. Another take on Word of Erosion:
    "Target player exiles the top 3 cards of his or her library for each spell named ~ cast this turn."

  6. Why does World Erosion end itself after three rounds? Obviously we want it to end eventually for gameplay, but that line breaks the theme. Maybe:

    "At the beginning of your upkeep, put an erosion counter on ~. Each player sacrifices a non-creature permanent for each erosion counter on ~."

    Then it eventually gets itself.