Friday, May 5, 2017

Weekend Design Challenge 050517—God-Pharaoh's Gift

Click through to see the design requirements for your single card submission, due Monday morning. Every submission warrants feedback, which you may use to revise your submission any number of times. I will aim to review the most recent submission from each designer.

Design a card for Hour of Devastation named God-Pharaoh's Gift.

45 comments:

  1. God-Pharaoh's Gift
    UUBBBRR
    Enchantment - Aura - Mythic Rare
    Enchant creature
    Enchanted creature has "When this creature deals combat damage to a player, he or she loses the game."
    /"You have done well, Gideon. I grant you my blessing."/ - Nicol Bolas

    DUN DUN DUUUUUUN

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Remember, Gate to the Afterlife can cheat God-Pharaoh's Gift onto the battlefield from anywhere for just 5 mana. Epic though it is, this design is just way too good for that.

      Delete
    2. For five mana and six creature cards in the graveyard. I'm more worried about academy researchers myself, though I still think it's probably not degenerate because it's so interactive.

      Delete
    3. Fair point. I'd forgotten about the graveyard requirement.

      Delete
    4. This aura wins you the game the turn you play it, provided you can get a creature through. That's not interactive enough to be fun on its own, even ignoring Gate to the Afterlife. I like the idea of a Cruel Ultimatum-priced aura, but take CU as a guide: That card is crazy broken but it's still not an auto-win. Give me an effect that's powerful; that can conditionally win the game, but sometimes be minor; that tells a story.

      Delete
    5. Tweaking slightly, then:

      God Pharoah's Gift
      UUBBBRR
      Enchantment - Aura - Mythic Rare
      Enchant creature
      At the beginning of your end step, if enchanted creature dealt damage to an opponent, he or she loses all but 1 life. That player can't gain life for the rest of the game.

      Delete
  2. God-Pharoh's Gift - 4
    Legendary Artifact - Rare
    GPG is indestructible as long as you control a nico bolas planeswalker.

    Your opponents can't win the game.

    Sacrifice GPG: gain life equal to your starting life total.





    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like the primary effect (templated here). I like the conditional indestructibility. And I like combo of those two.

      I hate the third ability: It's far too much life gain for a {4} 'sorcery;' Life gain isn't a Nicol Bolas specialty; and I can't figure out when you'd use it, given that you can't lose anyhow—it acts in counter-purpose to the rest of the card.

      Nix that third line and this design becomes much more appealing.

      It's an issue that {4} for "can't lose" on a non-creature artifact forces all decks out of the metagame that can't destroy artifacts. There's got to be some way for all decks to handle a killer artifact: Make it an artifact creature (but not this one); Give it an expiration; Create an implosion condition; Let your opponent sacrifice something to answer it.

      Delete
  3. God-Pharoh's Gift 3BB
    Enchantment - Aura Cartouche (Rare)
    Enchant creature you control
    When God-Pharoh's Gift enters the battlefield, destroy each creature without a Cartouche attached to it.
    Whenever enchanted creature deals combat damage, return target creature card from your graveyard to the battlefield.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Winds of Rath + free zombifies starting the turn you play it seems very strong.

      Delete
    2. Ah, for some reason I imagined it having summoning sickness. The cost should probably be like 2 higher.

      Delete
    3. Could probably make the first line "tap each creature, then destroy each creature without a Cartouche attached to it." Has a kind of "BOW BEFORE ME, THEN DIE" feel to it too?

      Delete
    4. Duneblast cost 7 in three colors. This has the downside that it may not get all your opponents' creatures, but that's more than compensated for by the fact that it might not get any of yours. Still, I love the flavor and gameplay implications, so I'd love to see this printed, it just needs to be a lot harder to cost. Pasteur's idea is nice too.

      Delete
  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. God-Pharoh's Gift 2BBUU
      Legendary Enchantment - Aura Curse (Rare)
      Enchant Opponent
      When enchanted opponent would lose the game, exile God-Pharoh's Gift instead. That player shuffles his or her graveyard into their library, and his or her life total becomes 10. You control that player.

      Delete
    2. God-Pharoh's Gift 2BBUU
      Legendary Enchantment - Aura Curse (Rare)
      Enchant Player
      When enchanted player would lose the game, exile God-Pharoh's Gift instead. That player shuffles his or her graveyard into their library, and his or her life total becomes 5. You control that player.

      Delete
    3. Fascinating. I don't think Wizards would print this as the actual God-Pharaoh's Gift since it does nothing in 2-player games, but it sure would be interesting in Commander.

      I like the "undead servant" flavor.

      Delete
    4. This would be awesome in a Commander product, although something like "they lose 2 life each turn" to help it along and make it do something in a duel might be good.

      Delete
    5. I'd only they were printing some sort of Bolas themed multiplayer product *cough* http://magic.wizards.com/en/products/archenemy-nicol-bolas*cough*

      Note, it has been updated so that you can cast it on yourself, so at least it's OK in two player.

      Delete
    6. I'm glad Wobbles reminded us of the upcoming Archenemy set. I've been assuming GPG would definitely be in Hour of Devestation, but it might not. The Limited connection definitely pushes it that way, but some cards exist purely for Constructed, and even purely for Commander.

      This is so novel, and so flavorful. You could never make a card that lets you permanently mindslaver a player, but if they're knocked out of the game anyhow, why not?

      Being able to play it on yourself to live one turn longer isn't a terribly strong play, but absolutely adds value.

      My only question is about the colors. What makes this blue? I'd rather see this mono-black or full-grixis (not that it's terribly grixis, but it's also a novel effect that has to do with transgressive controlling resurrection).

      Delete
    7. This is cute thematically, but in practice may as well be blank text when you enchant anyone other than yourself. Leaving aside doing nothing in duels, players HATE being mindslavered. It's a big part of the reason why Emrakul was banned. A perma-mindslaver effect is basically excluding that player from the game, so there's nothing to incentivize them not to concede, pick up their cards, and do something more valuable with their time than watching someone else play Magic with their deck. If it's an Archenemy situation there's even more incentive to concede. The only player who will see the appeal in being on the receiving end of this effect is the revenge-driven type ("I'm already dead, but I'm going to take you with me"), who are generally not people I like to have in my multiplayer games anyway.

      Delete
    8. The intention is that the mindslavered player would basically keep playing, just on your team. I guess you could have "that player is your teammate" rather than controlling them, but that pushes it even further into silver border land.

      Delete
  5. God-Pharaoh's Gift 1BB
    Enchantment (m)
    At the beginning of your upkeep, choose one:
    - Lose half your life, rounded down, then draw that many cards.
    - Discard your hand and target opponent gains control of target permanent.
    - Put three -1/-1 counters on target creature and end the turn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think we couldn't print this:

      {1}{B}{B} Sorcery
      Lose half your life, rounded down, then draw that many cards.

      This is closer, since it's trying to kill you, and drawing a 5 cards right after drawing 10 cards isn't often great:

      {1}{B}{B} Enchantment (m)
      At the beginning of your upkeep, lose half your life, rounded down, then draw that many cards.

      (And I'd definitely round up the life loss, so it actually can kill you.)

      The GPG where you can choose the mode, definitely the strongest of all these cards, and way too strong. I'm not even sure it's fair at 5cc, though 7 might work.

      That said, I love the concept: Choose one of three likely very painful options, but you get something very awesome in exchange. The last option seems significantly lesser.

      Delete
  6. God-Pharaoh's Gift 6
    Artifact - Equipment (Uncommon)
    When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, you may exile a creature card from your graveyard. If you do, create a token that's a copy of that creature, except that it's white, has no mana cost, and is a Zombie in addition to its other types.
    Equipped creature gets +1/+1 and has lifelink as long as it's a token.
    Equip 2

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Auto attach the equipment to the creature?
      Also, wording suggestion: (though it might make card take up too much space)
      Equipped creature gets +1/+1. If it's a token, it has lifelink.

      Delete
    2. Yeah, I was considering auto-attaching.

      I like the idea that the equipment only benefits tokens. Or Zombies maybe. But it's probably not worth the trinket text.

      New text:

      When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, you may exile a creature card from your graveyard. If you do, create a token that's a copy of that creature, except that it's white, has no mana cost, and is a Zombie in addition to its other types. Attach CARDNAME to that creature.
      Equipped creature gets +1/+1 and has lifelink.
      Equip 3

      Now a lifelinking colorless Vigor Mortis. Maybe too good?

      Delete
    3. You could probably do a lifelinking colorless Vigor Mortis at {7} or so, and that's pretty cool. I'm just not real sure why, after it does that awesome thing, the card becomes a little Behemoth Sledge. What if this granted indestructible instead of lifelink (and +1/+1 for that matter)?

      Delete
  7. God Pharaoh's Gift 3UBR

    Sorcery

    Whenever a creature dies this turn, return it to the battlefield under the control of a different player chosen at random, it is a zombie in addition to it's other types.

    All creatures get -5/-5 until end of turn



    how is this fomatted "return it to the battlefield under the control of a different player chosen at random"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Perhaps "under the control of another player, chosen at random."

      This feels very black and red, but I'm not seeing any blue in it. It's worth calling out that there's nothing random about this sorcery in a duel (because of that 'another'/'different'): It just swaps control of all creatures with toughness 5-. Multiple Mind Controls is a pretty good reason to play fewer creatures yourself. Ah, I guess that's where the blue comes in—that this kills or resurrects things is almost immaterial.

      This doesn't feel like it belongs to Amonkhet (since it's not embalming creatures), and I'm only feeling about 60% flavor match with "God Pharaoh's Gift," but it does feel like a Nicol Bolas signature spell, and it is a sort of afterlife.

      Delete
  8. God-Pharaoh's Gift 2BB
    Enchantment (R)
    When ~ enters the battlefield, return target creature from a graveyard to the battlefield under your control.
    Sacrifice ~: Destroy target creature.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Development concern: this is really good with Restoration Specialist in Standard. (Recurring murders). Can this just murder a thing on ETB? Just increasing costs on both sides works too TBH.

      Delete
    2. I hear that. Updated text:
      When ~ enters the battlefield, return target creature from a graveyard to the battlefield under your control.

      1BB, Sacrifice ~, pay 4 life: Destroy target creature.

      Delete
    3. Better, to help feed a Gate to the Afterlife loop kind of thing:

      When ~ enters the battlefield, return target creature from a graveyard to the battlefield under your control.

      Sacrifice two creatures: Destroy target creature.

      Delete
    4. **Sacrifice ~ and two other creatures: Destroy target creature.**

      Delete
    5. {2}{B}{B} is about the going rate to resurrect a card from your own graveyard. Rise from the Grave can grab any corpse for 5, but I can see reducing the cost for a rare. Added value beyond that seems like a real push, but sacrificing two creatures to destroy one is about half a Bone Splinters so I can see it.

      Mechanically, I was expecting an Animate Dead that you could kill a creature when it fails, and that would be a pretty cool card. This card is attractive in that it's strong enough, but I'm not getting a lot of identity from it, mechanically or flavorfully. Here's something similar that feels more unified/coherent:

      {2}{B}{B}{B}
      Sorcery
      Destroy target creature and return target creature card from a gy to the battlefield under your control.

      or

      {3}{B}{B}
      Sorcery
      Each player sacrifices a creature.
      Return target creature card from a gy to the battlefield under your control.

      Delete
  9. God-Pharaoh's Gift 6
    Artifact
    Creature cards in your graveyard have embalm. The embalm cost is equal to its manacost.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Probably could be cheaper or give some other bonus? Obviously it's decent card advantage but since the mana cost has to be paid, there's probably space to make it splash a little bit more.

      Delete
    2. This is simple, fits the set, and will have a huge impact. I could see it landing anywhere between {5} and {7} depending on how it tests out.

      Makes me wonder what the art depicts. What shape does this artifact Bolas as given to Amonkhet take?

      Story-wise, this has a slight problem in that it's been established that everything on the plane returns to life, it's just a question of whether it's a wild zombie or anointed. So more necromancy isn't a big gift, and giving the unworthy an honorable undeath is actually anathema to their values.

      Delete
    3. Inspires:

      God-Pharaoh's Gift {2}{U}{B}{R}
      Enchantment
      At the beginning of each player's end step, exile each creature card that was put there from the battlefield since that player's last turn. Create creature tokens that are copies of those creatures, except they have no mana cost and are black Zombies in addition to their other colors and types. The exiled card's controller chooses an opponent to gain control of each of these Zombies.

      Super wordy and awkward and all that, but I'm amused how it fits alongside the set's mechanics to tell the story of the plane's necromancy: "Are you going to embalm that?"

      Delete
    4. Story implications are a toughie, and not something I hit here. I mainly went with "What would play well with Gate to the Afterlife?" It even makes the nontoken clause relevant! (if worse).

      For manacost, it's also secretly an artifact version of Back from the Brink (why was this blue?). And that seemed somewhat irrelevant given Gate to the Afterlife could tutor it onto the battlefield.

      A lot of people gave good board wipes and multiplayer designs. Maybe extra choices from yours with something like:

      God-Pharoah's Gift 2UBR
      Enchantment
      At the beginning of your upkeep, each player chooses a creature card from his or her graveyard. Return those creatures from the graveyard to the battlefield under you control. They gain haste and are black Zombies in addition to their other colors and types.
      At the beginning of your end step, sacrifice all creatures you control.

      Delete
  10. It was fun seeing the various solutions you designed. The space seemed fairly limited, but we've got an impressive variety here nonethless. Well done, Artisans.

    Surprise bonus points to the cards that managed to combo with Gate to the Afterlife's first ability in some way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How do you link to cards? [[]]? [[Gate to the Afterlife]]?

      Delete
    2. <A>Gate to the Afterlife</A>

      Check out these links under About Us on the top right:
      Card Links & Mana Symbols

      Delete