Friday, July 21, 2017

Weekend Art Challenge 072117—bobkehl

Click through to see the illustration and 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 creature card for this illustration.


  1. Full art Lovisa Coldeyes reprint.

    (Will come up with a real card later, but holy heck this art is sweet!)

  2. Goldilocks, Bear Hunter 1BRG
    Planeswalker - Goldilocks
    When Goldilocks enters the battlefield and at the beginning of your first main phase, active one of her loyalty abilities at random.
    +1: Goldilocks deals 4 damage to each opponent
    -1: Draw two cards and lose 2 life
    0: Destroy target nonland permanent

    1. I believe the intent is we can't also choose an ability to activate; the choice is random each round.

      The first ability will only truly matter when it kills your opponent (or turns on bloodthirst), but is always helpful.

      The second ability will most often be welcome in a Jund deck, though it will occasionally kill you one way or another.

      The last ability will sometimes be fantastic (killing a planeswalker or a big artifact/enchantment) but will often be not just useless, but self-devastating: When your opponent has no nonland permanents, it will destroy one of yours. You will always have at least one: Goldilocks herself.

      There are some boards where any of the abilities will help you, and some where none of them will. The result is a planeswalker very few decks will want to play outside of Limited. Dev can reduce the cost or increase some numbers to make the gamble more efficient, but I'm seeing three different identities here (the flavor of goldilocks, grown up and bad-ass; the gimmick of a red planeswalker too chaotic to control; and a tri-color walker with one ability for each color) and little way or reason to keep them together.

    2. I supposed that there would always be a nonland permanent for the third ability to target, although I suppose it's not a given. Could just be destroy target permanent so it's not a problem.

      The flavor was intended to be top down Goldilocks: one ability was too hot, one ability was too cold and one was just right. It's just that you couldn't choose which ability you were going to get, just like in the story.

    3. Target permanent would work, but that's no longer mono-green. Target nonland permanent an opponent controls?

      Is the cold one black or green?

      There's nothing random in the story; Goldilocks always has to try all three before she finds the proper one.

    4. Fair enough:

      Goldilocks, Bear Hunter BGR
      Legendary Creature-Human Barbarian R
      When Goldilocks attacks, choose the next ability in order:
      1st- Goldilocks deals 3 damage to target creature or player
      2nd- Gain 3 life
      3rd- Draw three cards

    5. I really like the goldilocks idea, but I agree with Jay, I'm not really getting the hot/warm/cold thing from the abilities. Maybe just something about three bears? Or have abilities which are more linearly related (burn 1, burn 3, burn 5 or something) but with some reason you want to use all of them, or give them to different players or something?

    6. Something like, "deal 1 damage to target 1/1 creature, 2 damage to target 2/2 creature, and 3 damage to target 3/3 creature"?

    7. Progressive Goldilocks is pretty sweet.

  3. Kyta, Who Bears the Burden 2G
    Legendary - Human Barbarian
    When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, each player puts a nonbasic land they control on top of its owner's library.
    Battle cry
    "Of course, you could run up a tree. In that case you'll get a nice view before she knocks the tree down and kills you."

    For an Expert-level product, for sure.

    1. Who hurt you with non-basic lands, Pasteur? Between this and your art challenge card two weeks ago I'm sensing there's some history there :)

    2. I like lands, but I also like players having a variety of answers to fight against the inevitable next Eye of Ugin/accidentally-too-powerful-land. Stone Rains are mostly gone, probably for the better, and there's only so much you want to do of Anathemancer/Price of Progress effects. Letting eternal format/commander players have some extra incidental hate cards is a vein I think could be worth mining.

      I know this isn't an "answer" to particularly powerful lands, but, sometimes every bit helps.

    3. Nonbasic hate has historically been red, although I don't think it breaks anything getting it in green. Maro has repeatedly said that Plow Under is no longer party of greens pie, however.

    4. Hmm. Same stats,
      "When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, each player exerts a nonbasic land they control.
      You may exert CARDNAME as it attacks. If you do, put a +1/+1 counter on each creature you control." ?

    5. I'd be interested to see if more temporary-land-destruction can fulfil the tempo aspect of land destruction, without making it just too impossible for opponents to play their decks.

      But I do feel, "exert" is clearly something YOU do, not something that's done to you...

    6. Flavorwise, exert is something you do yourself, but having shorthand for "super-tap" would be awfully handy. What's really awkward is that exert just means it doesn't untap, you still have to tap it too.

      I like the exert version well enough. It still feels like green is impinging on red's mana-disruption, but it's not a huge effect, and a legend can definitely borrow from an adjacent color's pie a little.

      Pairing that with an exert-attack trigger feels far better than battle-cry did. The two effects don't tell a story on their own, but might well tell the Story of Kyta. (They would have to.)

    7. Detain was really close to that. In fact I'd forgotten it didn't tap until i went to check. I would like a word like that.

  4. Rordar, The Shoulder Bear
    Legendary Creature - Bear
    T: Rordar fights target blocking creature. Creatures that were blocked by that creature this combat gain trample until end of turn.

    1. That's a heck of an interpretation of that art. Nice mechanic though.

    2. I hate erasing this bad-ass woman's presence from the card, but kudos to the unique perspective on the challenge. If a bear that lives on someone's should is 4/4, does that someone have to be a giant? She could be...

      This creature is unique and useful, a little scary, and surprisingly simple considering. It punishes blocking, by letting it straight up kill a 3/3 that blocks, and nearly guaranteeing your attacker deals combat damage (perhaps triggering some saboteur ability). It's rare or mythic, so it won't come up too often in Limited, and I don't think it's a threat to Constructed at these numbers, so yeah, this is about ready to print (ignoring flavor-silliness).

  5. Vayara, Bearkiller
    Legendary Creature - Human Barbarian - MR
    ~ enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter.
    RG, T: ~ fights target creature. If that creature dies this turn, exile it and put a +1/+1 counter on ~.

    1. Why come in with the counter if she has no way to spend them? Also, is the sengir ability green? Predator Ooze, possibly Trophy Hunter are the only precedents. It's never been monored. Vein Drinker, Blood Cultist, and Zurgo Helmsmasher all tell me this needs to be golgari or jund.

    2. The idea is that the art and the +1/+1 counter tell a story that is explained by the ability - the cool bear pelt IS the +1/+1 counter, and represents the first fight she won (against a bear, aka a 2/2).

      I can see this being Jund, but the idea of "win fight, take pelt, become more swole" doesn't necessitate it IMO.

    3. I appreciate the story that counter's going for, but it's more distracting than evocative. You'd do better to name her after a creature that's usually 2/3 but making her a 3/4. Hurloon Helga?

      Repeated fight is dangerous, but definitely doable at mythic rare. Getting that upside on a 3/4 for three is pretty generous.

      How will players feel when they attack with Vayara, and the opponent chump blocks, but Vayara doesn't grow? I'd break that part out of the activated ability.

      Sengir can be Gruul at mythic, methinks.

    4. It'd be nice to play up the "I kept a pelt" flavour but I don't think it needs to have one to start with -- lots of cards are depicted having done things that mechanically they have yet to do. IIRC some level-up creatures they explicitly chose to depict the most awesome version, even though it wasn't the ETB version.

  6. Lovisa, Who Honors the Fierce 1G
    Legendary Creature - Human Shaman (M)
    Whenever a bear you control dies, put a +1/+1 counter on CARDNAME.
    Whenever a bear creature enters the battlefield under your control, create a token that's a copy of that creature for each +1/+1 counter on CARDNAME.

    1. name clearly inspired by the first two posts.

    2. A little bit of an art miss without additional bears in the background, and giving her bear stats is too cute but bad design. 2GG for 4/4 is better, but maybe pushed too much.

    3. Threshold—ALL
      That is, Lovisa is unplayable without bears, and not even particularly good with one out.
      You really want your deck to be full of bears, so that Lovisa can grow quickly and you can make a ton of bear tokens.

      (BTW, this card is broken as written, because making bears triggers more bear makes bear bear makes bear makes makes bear.)

      I kind of want to replace the second effect with:
      Whenever a bear creature enters the battlefield under your control, put a +1/+1 counter on it for each +1/+1 counter on CARDNAME.
      Bears you control get +1/+1 for each +1/+1 counter on CARDNAME.
      …both so that she can be a proper bear lord, and because I don't get the flavor of her spawning bears.

    4. Missed the recursive bear trap. Nontoken clause is necessary. How much would your analysis change for the second ability if it was a Goblin lord instead?

      Krenko, Rabble-Rouser 1R
      Legendary Creature - Goblin Warrior (M)
      Whenever a goblin you control dies, put a +1/+1 counter on CARDNAME.
      Whenever a nontoken goblin creature enters the battlefield under your control, create a token that's a copy of that creature for each +1/+1 counter on CARDNAME.

    5. Flavorwise, it becomes much more favorable and goblins are known to be generated without reproduction.

      Threshold-wise, it makes more sense because all-goblin decks already exist.

      Power-wise, it seems insane: Siege-Gang Commander #1 gives Krenko 3-4 counters and Siege-Gang Commander #2 gives you one million goblins.

  7. Lovisa Deposed
    {3}{R}: ~ deals 3 damage to target creature. If that creature was a Barbarian, a Warrior, or a Berserker you control, put two +1/+1 counters on ~.

    1. I thought Lovisa Coldeyes was the obvious reference once someone pointed it out, but I wanted to tell a story by going somewhere beyond just more of the same. The card looked a younger version, but I couldn't get that to work, so I went with more alone. I was aiming for a violent lashing out feel, but trying to arrange it that it rewarded a BWB deck while feeling like it hated on them.

    2. I like how you evolved the character. Given that she's kind of turning on her own (and your own, both), is she still mono-red? Does she really gain nothing from murdering your other creatures?

      I wonder how often she'll actually earn counters in practice. Lightning Bolt seems generally more useful than sack-Armor of Thorns.

    3. Yeah. An earlier version did draw one or two cards, but that didn't quite seem to fit. It might in black though. I think the flavour is fine in red -- revenge can be entirely passion, rather than viciousness. But it would fit in BR and then "sac -> cards" would make a lot more sense. I like that a lot.

      OTOH, I'm ok with it only happening sometimes: if the opponent plays round it, or you have a 4-toughness berserker, you can take advantage.

  8. Shtarrok, Last Vestige of the Temur 4UGR

    Legendary Creature Human Shaman Warrior


    When Shtarrok enters the battlefield choose 2

    - Draw card equal to the highest power among creature you control

    - Shtarrok, deals damage to target creature equal to the highest power among creature you control

    - Gain control of target creature with power less than the highest power among creature you control for as long as you control Shtarroks


    1. That's a lot of fun. Flash is probably unnecessary, and I'm not sure that you're type line is going to fit. Monster commander though.

    2. You know you've got some powerful effects when scaling direct damage is the weakest among them.

      This design doesn't need flash to be unique and splashy, but otherwise I like most everything about this. Rewarding power without limit is nice, and starting the bar at 4 is a great callback.

      If playtesting shows one of the three abilities is always chosen, and/or one is almost never chosen, I'd remove the choice.