Monday, September 24, 2018

CCDD 092418—Scorchknight

Cool Card Design of the Day
Here's a rare to reward you for playing damage effects.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

CCDD 092218—Hale Hydra

Cool Card Design of the Day
Hale Hydra is meant to be compelling to Tammy and new players without being over-complicated.

Weekend Design Challenge 092118 - What's Bolas Up To, Anyway?

Hey Artisans. Click through to see the requirements for this weekend's design challenge, due Monday morning. Every submission warrants feedback, so once you've got your great idea down, give some thoughtful critique to some of your peers. Revise your submission any number of times, and I'll review the most recent submission from each designer on Monday evening.


Thursday, September 20, 2018

CCDD 092018—Fever Dreamling

Cool Card Design of the Day
Fever Dreamling was designed to appeal to enfranchised players looking for new cards with great potential.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

CCDD 091818—Dimir mechanics

Cool Card Design of the Day
Surveil is clearly a good mechanic because scry is a good mechanic and this also sets up your graveyard for interaction, which Dimir, Golgari, and Izzet all benefit from. Even so, my initial reaction was disappointment because it's the most familiar and least innovative of the Return to Return to Ravnica guild mechanics (after convoke, obv). It's wise to include familiar mechanics in a set with five keywords and it's also great to create synergy with the adjacent guild mechanics, so I wouldn't undo the choice to use surveil as the Dimir mechanic. That doesn't mean I could stop myself from considering alternatives…

Monday, September 17, 2018

CCDD 091718—Patient Tutor

Cool Card Design of the Day
I think this was top-down from the art. I recognize that the lineage of cards from Demonic Tutor mean this would need a name tweak.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Weekend Design Challenge 091418 - Out-of-Guild Ravnica Keywords


Hey Artisans. Click through to see the requirements for this weekend's design challenge, due Monday morning. Every submission warrants feedback, so once you've got your great idea down, give some thoughtful critique to some of your peers. Revise your submission any number of times, and I'll review the most recent submission from each designer.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

CCDD 091318—Exploit Weakness

Cool Card Design of the Day
Discard lives in an awkward spot where it can't be too focused or too efficient. When we can pair it with another small effect it a way that feels mechanically or thematically organic, that helps us justify that little bit of extra cost.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

CCDD 091218—Ever Vigilant

Cool Card Design of the Day
How kosher is it to grant a keyword to all your creatures, but first reward all your creatures that already have that keyword?

Walk with me.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Tinkering With the "No-Shuffle Solution"

Aaron Forsythe had some interesting Twitter comments about R&D's move towards using "look at the top N cards for [card type(s)], put it into your hand and the rest on the bottom" technology rather than tutoring or card draw, which led to a discussion of whether the mechanic inherently had bad feelings associated with it.

Monday, September 10, 2018

CCDD 091018—Gold Mine

Cool Card Design of the Day
What should a gold mine look like in Magic? We know what gold is, and we know the card's a land. The trouble is that gold can put players ahead on mana in a way we're not comfortable with our land doing, particularly not repeatedly (which is what we expect from a mine).

Friday, September 7, 2018

Weekend Design Challenge 090718 - Planeswalker's Artifacts


Hey Artisans. Click through to see the requirements for this weekend's design challenge, due Monday Wednesday morning. Every submission warrants feedback, so once you've got your great idea down, give some thoughtful critique to some of your peers. Revise your submission any number of times. I'll be AFK during Rosh Hashanah Monday and Tuesday, but Wednesday-ish, I'll review the most recent submission from each designer.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

CCDD 090618 - The Arkbow

I was reading the Vivien Reid story, and thought how her signature weapon might be captured on a card like with Pyromancer's Goggles, The Chain Veil, and Sword of the Animist.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

CCDD 090518 - Ghostfireball

This is something I came across in my file while working on something else, and I don't think I ever posted it.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

CCDD 090418—lowlander

Cool Card Design of the Day
Here's an idea I explored two seasons back. It started off called Highlander, with the intention that it would reward you for casting only one of a legend.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Weekend Design Challenge 083118 - No Judge Free-for-All II: Free-er for More than All

It's a holiday weekend, and I'm swamped with non-Magic stuff at the moment, so we'll do another No-Judge Free-for-all. Got a cool idea for a card you want feedback from the Artisan community on? Drop it below in the comments, and then offer someone else some feedback. No one's doing a formal judging this week, but if you have something interesting to show off, I'm sure you'll get some good feedback on it.

Have fun, and enjoy the weekend.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

CCDD 083018—Dread Shade

Cool Card Design of the Day
This is an older design I found sitting in my file. Not sure how it came to be. I do dig the flavor of it possessing and animating corpses, and how you usually have to pay black mana to do that.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

CCDD 082918—Hobgoblin Warlord & Master Illusionist

Cool Card Design of the Day
Since yesterday's CCDD turned out not to be new, here are two. These both explore double-tribal.

But first, let's briefly explore some good and bad tribal designs.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

CCDD 082818—Paired Strike

Cool Card Design of the Day
Here's a top-down-from-the-art implementation of two combatants coordinating an attack on a third.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Multiplicative Design

Today I want to dig into a broad design concept called multiplicative design, and look at how we can approach Magic design through that context.


Friday, August 24, 2018

Weekend Design Challenge 082418 - What's in the Box?

Click through to see the requirements for your design challenge, due by Monday morning. Every submission warrants feedback, which you may use to revise your submission any number of times. I encourage you all to revise your designs at least once in response to feedback. I will review the most recent submission from each designer, or whichever submission you specify you wish to have reviewed.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

CCDD 082318—Nightmare's Truth

Cool Card Design of the Day
What makes a horror truly terrifying is not knowing whether you can kill it or not. Or worse, watching it grow stronger when you try to.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

As Garfield Intended

I’m a big fan of variant formats. Not only do they add some spice and variety for long time players, but they also allow for more flexibility when scheduling Magic events with your friends (I’m always looking for more limited formats that don’t require 8 people in the same place for multiple hours). When I saw the most recent episode of Enter the Battlefield about Richard Garfield and the Alpha Playtesters, I became inspired. The “original” Magic format they described, full of surprises and built around trading, sounded like a lot of fun! It got me thinking: how can we best recreate that original Magic environment using modern technology and design sensibilities? In this article I’m going to explore the best way to play Magic “as Garfield intended”, literally.


CCDD 082218 - Fastball Special

My current design obsession is translating X-Men mythos into magic cards. Part of what makes the X-Men tick is when they are able to combine their powers in cool and interesting ways.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

CCDD 082118—Hell's Hydra

Cool Card Design of the Day
Here's a green-black interpretation of a hydra.
Heads-up: This execution is real mythic.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Weekend Design Challenge 081718 — Over the Counter

Golden Guardian by Svetlin Velinov
Click through to see the requirements for your design challenge, due by Monday morning. Every submission warrants feedback, which you may use to revise your submission any number of times. I encourage you all to revise your designs at least once in response to feedback. I will review the most recent submission from each designer, or whichever submission you specify you wish to have reviewed.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Why Designing Other Games Makes You Better At Designing Magic


I spent several years before the GDS working on non-Magic games, and the experience I gained from that is what gave me the skills necessary to get second place. I wanted to share a couple specific reasons how designing these games helped me as a Magic designer and to help illustrate an alternate path to becoming a Great Designer.


CCDD 081618—Claim Dinner

Cool Card Design of the Day
This Prey Upon variant came top-down from the art. It's essentially a spell version of Polukranos, World Eater's monstrosity trigger, but using a very different template.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

CCDD 081518—Killed in the Chaos

Cool Card Design of the Day
It feels great when you can tie an effect that serves a purpose for your game to a strong thematic concept. As the cardname suggests, this story is straight out of Assassin's Creed: No one will see a quiet stabbing in a bustling marketplace.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

CCDD 081418 — Limit Break

Cool Card Design of the Day
Time for me to take charge! Today's design was inspired by me wondering, what could creatures do with charge counters?

Friday, August 10, 2018

Weekend Design Challenge 081018 - Guild Leaders/Champions


Hey Artisans. Click through to see the requirements for this weekend's design challenge, due Monday morning. Every submission warrants feedback, so once you've got your great idea down, give some thoughtful critique to some of your peers. Revise your submission any number of times, and on Monday-ish, I'll review the most recent submission from each designer.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

CCDD 080918 - Guild Excommunicates

This week we looked into joining a guild, and benefiting from being a part of it. Have any cards explored what leaving a guild looks like?

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

CCDD 080818 - Guild Loyalty Cards

Moving right along with some more Ravnica 3 stuff, I'm pretty convinced at this point that devotion is a fantastic mechanic for a world built around belonging (or not) to a guild. So here's some devotion cards.


Tuesday, August 7, 2018

CCDD 080718 - Guild Recruitment

I don't know if I made this quite clear yet, but I'm super pumped to be spending a whole year on Ravnica. I was revisiting my dusty old thread about what I would do if I was in charge of designing Ravnica 3, and one of the themes I wanted to explore was being recruited into a guild.


Friday, August 3, 2018

Weekend Design Challenge 080318 - Return 3x Combo!!!


Hey Artisans. Click through to see the requirements for this weekend's design challenge, due Monday morning. Every submission warrants feedback, so once you've got your great idea down, give some thoughtful critique to some of your peers. Revise your submission any number of times, and on Monday-ish, I'll review the most recent submission from each designer.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

CCDD 080218—Tale Teller

Cool Card Design of the Day
This idea started as a way for red to mitigate countermagic played against it, but then I saw no reason not to open it up for proactive use.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

CCDD 080118—Not Your Time

Cool Card Design of the Day
Here's a counterspell that doesn't net you a card if its target costs more.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

CCDD 073118—Torches & Pitchforks

Cool Card Design of the Day
I wanted a damage spell where I could do a little to two targets, or a bit more to one.

Monday, July 30, 2018

CCDD 073018—Hit 'Em High || Hit 'Em Low

Cool Card Design of the Day
I found this art and it just screamed to be a fuse split between Smite the Monstrous and Reave Soul. Look how pretty these cards are together!

Friday, July 27, 2018

Weekend Art Challenge 072718—Wraths

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.


CCDD 0727/18—some other wraths

Cool Card Design of the Day
Here are a few Wrath effects that don't address the problem of disrupting the game's story, but work a bit differently than most.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

CCDD 072618—some better wraths

Cool Card Design of the Day
Let's look at a few Wrath effects that are less disruptive to the game's story.
Divine Reckoning, Cataclysm/Cataclysmic Gearhulk, Barter in Blood,  and Pyroclasm are a few of the existing sweepers that mitigate the problem by affecting fewer permanents. Settle the Wreckage offers compensation (which is sometimes irrelevant, but often not).

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

CCDD 072518 - Tithe of the Deity

Jay's discussion regarding Wrath of God effects yesterday was very interesting. I don't fully agree with his thesis, but it definitely raised some interesting questions.

In the meantime, it had me thinking about wrath effects, and I came up with this.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Wrath Effects Are Bad for the Game.

Hypothesis: Effects that kill everything hurt the game.

A game session is a story. Actually, it's two. One story is being told by the game about the fiction of the game's world. In Magic, it is a story of a conflict between two powerful wizards, whose spell repertoire represents the most powerful magic across many planes of existence. The other story is about the players themselves, and their card-based duel.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Weekend Design Challenge Review 052118 — You Might As Well Tribal: Review

Hello, Artisans! It took us a little while to get to here, but today we're reviewing the first of our Play-At-Home GDS Challenges, You Might as Well Tribal.
Our guest judge for this first play-along challenge is Reuben Covington. Reuben is a pillar of the custom magic design community, having long been active on the MTGSalvation custom magic forum, the Custom Magic discord, and of course, here at GA. He helped take our community project Tesla over the finish line, and has created/is creating other sets, including Dreamscape and Vastuum. He hosted the Remaking Magic Podcast, and has written one of THE defining pieces on NWO and Redflagging. Plus, he’s an all-around awesome dude. Welcome Reuben.


So you Artisans came up with a frankly absurd amount of tribal cards for this challenge. The volume of submissions, along with doing whatever we could to keep pace with the GDS show, made it a very busy few weeks since these were submitted. We tried to give meaningful feedback as best we could. If we came off slightly more critical or dismissive than usual, it’s because we are trying to emulate the “GDS Judge Voice.” But know we were all incredibly impressed with the thoughtfulness, creativity, and excitement you all poured into your designs. It showed, and frankly reinforced just how proud we are to be a part of this community

All that gushing aside, let’s get on with the show!

Friday, July 20, 2018

Weekend Design Challenge 072018 - For Designing: Magic Cards, Never Printed

Hey Artisans. Click through to see the requirements for this weekend's design challenge, due Monday morning. Every submission warrants feedback, so once you've got your great idea down, give some thoughtful critique to some of your peers. Revise your submission any number of times, and on Monday-ish, I'll review the most recent submission from each designer.


Thursday, July 19, 2018

CCDD 071918—Exploit Disorder

Cool Card Design of the Day
Here's another. This card was designed to be a two-for-one, and appealing in that regard. But automatic, guaranteed two-for-ones are boring, so I found a pair of related states we could craft some removal around.