Tuesday, February 6, 2018

GDS 3 Design Trial Open Thread

Open thread to discuss the Design challenge that was posted by Mark this afternoon. THOSE IN THE TOP 94 SHOULD NOT POST DESIGNS UNTIL INSTRUCTED. Everyone else, have fun!


GDS3 Design Test
For Trial 3, the design test, you will need to design ten cards that meet the following criteria:
1.     All the cards will be two-color and each of the ten two-color combinations (listed below) need to be represented.
2.     Each of the following five card types (creature, enchantment, instant, planeswalker and sorcery) needs to be represented twice, and never on the same color.
3.     Each rarity (common, uncommon, rare, and mythic rare) must be represented on at least two cards.
4.     Submit your cards in order of quality of design from what you consider your best design (first) to what you consider your worst design (last).
Cards must be submitted in the following format:
Name (rarity) - Note: Normally the name is bolded, but your submission is plain text so that can be ignored in this case
Mana Cost
Card Type - Subtype
Power/Toughness - IF CREATURE, SKIP LINE IF NOT
Rules Text
Two examples solely for the purpose of card formatting (one creature, one spell):
Lab Experiment (common)
1GU
Creature - Bird Elephant Mutant
3/3
Flying, trample
That Should Hurt (uncommon)
3BR
Sorcery
CARDNAME deals 3 damage to target creature. That creature’s controller discards two cards.
Here are the abbreviations for how mana is written:
W = white
U = blue
B = black
R = red
G = green
Number = number of generic mana (i.e. 2 for two generic mana)
Here is the mana order for two-color spells (you must have one design of each):
WU - white/blue
UB - blue/black
BR - black/red
RG - red/green
GW - green/white
WB - white/black
UR - blue/red
BG - black/green
RW - red/white
GU - green/blue
You have until 11:59 pm PST on Sunday, February 4, 2018 to submit this form. Good luck!
I then sent out some follow-up instructions to the 94 contestants taking the trial:
• The designs were for an undefined Standard-legal set. They were told not to design for other formats (Commander, Conspiracy, Un-Sets, etc.)
• They were told not to make new named keyword/ability word mechanics. (They could write things out as long as they didn’t name them.) The only mechanics they should use were evergreen (flying, first strike, haste, etc.) or deciduous mechanics (hybrid, double-faced cards, split cards, etc.). They were not allowed to use old block keyword/ability word mechanics.
• The cards were being graded in a vacuum meaning the designs didn’t have to have a relevance to one another.
• They didn’t get any text to explain their designs. The cards had to speak for themselves.
• They could add creative elements, and everything needed to be named and costed, but they weren’t going to be graded on their creative work or costing.
I am now grading the design tests along with the other two trials to determine the Top 8. Because we want to keep the Top 8 design tests secret until the first GDS3 show on Friday, March 9, we are asking all of the 94 contestants to keep quiet about their submissions until we know who the Top 8 are. The non-Top 8 will be allowed to publicly show their tests once they have been informed they are not in the Top 8.

140 comments:

  1. I'm kicking myself for forgetting to check text length but otherwise I felt reasonably good about my work. I'm curious how many people planned everything out beforehand and how many made a couple cards they liked and filled the file in around them.

    This test is brilliant because it tests you on a lot of things relevant to Magic design, especially hole-filling. It really challenges you to work in spaces you're not used to and makes it so you can't just throw in ten previous designs and call it a day.

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    1. Agreed. My process was very much filling in the file around things, though I'd built up enough ideas in the past that none of the cards was 100% novel from my perspective.

      I forgot to check text length, but in general I'm in the habit of writing short text boxes because I keep most of my designs in an MSE file.

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    2. I locked in a few "must dos" noted possible colors and then shuffled wround effects, tweaking colors and types until I had everything slotted in.

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  2. I find it interesting that MARO asks you to order your designs from best to worst.

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    1. I think self reflection is an important metric. It also reveals what you think is important about design in ways you might not be able to describe.

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    2. Yeah I feel that must have been a tough decision, though. Not saying the test should be easy.

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    3. The main benefit of the solitaire playtesting I did was to make me realize that some of my cards should be further back in the order. :-|

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    4. >Playtesting

      Man playtesting cards without a sey was hard asf, like Ive done playtesys before for sets but ten loose cards I had no idea what to do.

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    5. I found ranking my designs really difficult and the thing I'm most worried I did incorrectly.

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    6. Wouldn't be surprised if they used the selfreported top three designs as a tiebreaker or something.

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  3. My biggest worry would be trying to craft anything in common that didn't closely resemble something they've already done. I think somebody in this round set a message to Blogatog complaining that designing common was hard. Now I know why.

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  4. That was me it was specifically concerning the seven drops. The main issue I have is, having dual colored cards in common is difficult. I actually came up with multiple seven drop sorceries and I'll see if I can make them multi color.

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  5. How would you show off a double faced card?

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    1. There was an FAQ answering that. Basically it's two cards, with the following line in between:

      ///

      ...and a color indicator, e.g. "(blue)", in place of the back side's mana cost.

      I interpreted the rules to mean that only the front side counted toward the color/type requirements.

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  6. Also, I hope somebody has the guts to submit that B/G Serra Angel from the quiz.

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    1. That would be gutsy but not really sure it is a great way to show off your design skills.

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    2. On that note, here's a design that I considered, but didn't submit:

      Contestant's Bane (common)
      1UB
      Creature- Human Wizard
      2/2
      Menace, prowess

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    3. funnily enough, it could be mono-red

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  7. I sort of half made some cards I like and then half planned/half hole filled around those.

    The commons were tough.

    I’m already kicking myself on at leas three cards where I could have ramped up the originality a bit. I focused on clean designs and wonder if I made the right or wrong choice.

    I may want to submit a new, different slate of 10 here while I’m waiting, to keep me from agonizing over choices unmade. Given MaRo’s request I think that should be kosher.

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    1. All he wants is to be the one to discuss your actual card designs, I believe. So providing fake cards I think should be no issue.

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  8. Things that were hard about this challenge for me (in a good way):

    - All multicolor. I had lots of interesting designs ready to go, but very few were multicolor. So then I had the problem of what colors to shift an effect to that would make sense without seeming like a stretch.

    - Not being able to do named mechanics. This is the single best resource for exciting GDS-style designs at common and uncommon and we were explicitly told we had no access to it. Writing out identical functionality was allowed, but I found that the resulting cards didn't read nearly as well.

    - The types-don't-share-colors restriction. Much harder to satisfy than it sounds. For example, if neither of your instants is green, you must now include a green card of each other type (sorcery, creature, enchantment, planeswalker). This turns the whole exercise into a gigantic logic problem on top of everything else.

    - Only being allowed two creatures. I mean, seriously, come on.

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    1. I had a RG Haste Mana dork I was REALLY proud of doing for common but I had a Red creature design I liked better so I had to cut it.

      I also contemplated a Coiling Oracle, but in Blue White where you revaled the top card of your library and drew it and if it was creature you gained life equal to its power. But I disliked how wordy it was.
      I also REALLY wanted to do a {U/W} "counter target noncreature spell unless its controller pays {1}" but I had a U instant design I liked better. I also had a U/G Hexproof fatty at common I really liked but I had a UG design I liked better.

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    2. Also no set mechanics was MURDUR. Aftermath especially. (God I love aftermath)

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    3. I really wanted to do a split card, but without access to fuse, what's the point?

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    4. You speak the truth. I briefly flirted with doing a split card with aftermath "spelled out" but there was no way that would fit.

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  9. I thought making everyone make two planeswalkers was very bold. Planeswalker design is haaarrrrd. I did those first so I could spend the most time on them.

    I also forced myself to do a few things that weren’t required:

    1: Represent several different points on the mana cost spectrum, to show off designs that are both cheap and expensive.

    2: Attempt to design at least two cards for each psychographic (Tammy/Timmy, Johnny/Jenny and Spike).

    3: Make sure none of the cards have functional reprints!!!

    4: Make a mix of some solid, clean designs and some cards did at least one thing or took an angle that Magic had never done before. (Balancing this was the hardest part for me, especially vis-a-vis rating them at the end.)

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    1. I am wondering how many people are actually design common cards.

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    2. Those are some very good self restrictions. I'd be surprised if things like that didn't factor into MaRo's grades. Kudos for being willing to place additional restrictions on yourself.

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    3. After that planeswalkers are hard. I also started with two planeswalkers and filled in from there.

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    4. Planeswalkers and commons were definitely the hard points. I started there and filled in the gaps.

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  10. Also for anyone (like me) low-key panicking that you mispelled your email address somehow, MaRo confirmed that all 94 people who qualified submitted their tests!

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  11. I was SOOOOO pissed when Maro said a lot of people didnt know how many words fit on a card. I was like YES! I checked everything in Mtg.design.

    Then I realized in horror I didnt check the Planeswalkers and basically shat the bed.

    Coupled with what I feel was a sloppier than it should be essay and I feel I graded a "Double maybe", good luck everyone else I'm rooting for you!

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  12. I think I would put the Planeswalkers at the bottom, given how often MARO says Planeswalker design is not really a Design thing.

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  13. As I said on Reddit, my tears are a flood. I basically did all ten Ravnica guilds as a brainstorm file with mechanics and more. More to come after work. I intend to show off hypothetical Boros and Rakdos here first. Some of the requirements I would really have to think on.

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  14. Are the cards supposed to seem like they are from the same set? Could it be a core set?

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    1. I think that was up to you, based on Maro's Tumblr post, but I get the feeling they were meant to be in a vacuum, which is part of the reason for no new keyword making, I'll wager. (I'm guessing this is what triggered the too much text tweets.)

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    2. Nope, they're just all from arbitrary standard-legal sets. No unifying theme, evaluated independently.

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  15. I also started with Planeswalkers, since they're hard and I wanted to nail them. I picked color pairs where I thought there was a good mechanical theme or archetype that hadn't been explored. After that, I picked my creatures- with only two, I wanted both of those to be as strong as possible. Then I filled in with whatever I could, trying to find a balance between:

    * demonstrating mechanics that could become set-wide keywords (and hoping the reader would recognize them as such)
    * solving problems they've had in the past or will encounter in the future (mechanical or flavor)
    * brevity
    * "wow!" factor

    Also, my list of rejected card names:

    #sorrynotsorry
    Pilates Class
    The Power of Friendship
    Totally Not Odin
    I Came In Like A Wrecking Brawl
    Smashing!
    Those Horrible Triplets
    Un-bear-able Fate
    Brain Bears
    Beargeyser
    Bearer Than Your Average Smart
    Provincetown Bear Party
    Shut Up, Lumière
    Eye Of The Taiga

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    1. I actually like Eye of the Taiga.

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    2. I had a Totally Not Odin in my file too. And a Totally Not Thor.

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    3. Chip and Dale’s Rescue Rangers

      Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better

      I Know This Card Totally Doesn’t Work Without A Major Overhaul Of The Combat Rules

      The Second Copy Fizzles

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    4. Monocle of Futility was in my submission at one point.

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    5. Some of mine:

      Muscle Draught
      The World Tree
      Blast-off!
      Expand the Kingdom
      Plow New Fields
      Grumpy Giant
      Memory Broker
      Abiogenesis

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    6. Oh, I can't wait to see which card inspired "Provincetown Bear Party."

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    7. I briefly considered naming one of my cards "Secretly Also a Fling," but that felt a little on the nose

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  16. So were there supposed to be 2 commons, 2 uncommons, 2 rares, and 2 mythic rares and the other two rarities can be anything?

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  17. I haven't taken the time to try this out yet, but I think my baseline strategy would be to design commons for every (or most) color combinations and pick what I felt were the strongest, then fill in after those. Multicolor commons seem very restrictive so I'm surprised to see a few people say they started with the Planeswalkers. I feel like it shouldn't be too difficult to use the Planeswalkers to fill the last holes.

    Also I think I'd do 3 commons, 2 uncommons, 2 rares, 3 mythics. But again all of this is theorycrafting at this point.

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    1. Well you know the planeswalkers are 2 of your mythic rares.

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    2. Right, which is why I'd probably want another slot at mythic to 'show off' a bit. Planeswalkers aren't really even design's purview according to MaRo so I feel like it's fair to use them to fill in your color holes at the end.

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    3. Ha. It's kind of funny you say this as your hypothetical breakdown, because this is exactly where I ended up at, albeit for slightly different reasons. When I did it for fun (see below), I made sure the two "any rarity I want" slots were the last to be filled, though they were constrained to BR Sorcery and UR Instant. And they ended up as a mythic sorcery and common instant, for 3/2/2/3. Hmm.

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    4. I find planeswalkers very challenging to design. They need to have three abilities with some mechanical synergy that also paint a picture of their character.

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    5. Planeswalker for me were wide open. Their "charm" nature meant there designs we most flexible, that is any given walker design could be shifted into a bunch of other color pairs with minimal tweaking if at all, so i started with designs that worked in the smallest number of color pairs/card types, locked those in and then boxed myself from there.

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  18. Here are the impressions I get out of the restrictions:
    How are you at hole filling? By necessity, completing this challenge will leave you with a few card slots where all of the characteristics have been decided for you, like a red/green uncommon instant, for example.

    How do you respond to tight requirements on a schedule? Anyone who belongs design will be able to knock most of these out of the park given a reasonable time frame. We're not going to give you that. Make it work.

    How comfortable are you with the color pie? No, REALLY?
    Restricting contestants from rehashing established set mechanics prevents players from taking the easy way out. Keywords are the palette of brevity. How comfortable are you expressing colors in more complex terms?

    Let your design speak.
    Not letting contestants make up NEW mechanics or explain their design process really forces them to focus on what matters. You can't present a card with a mechanic that matches those colors because those are the colors that get that mechanic in your made-up set. The substance of the mechanic has to stand on its own. Likewise, you can't explain that this card is one of many similar cards in the set and they have this cool interaction when you put them all together and it goes like this. MaRo has 94 of these to get through, and not enough time to get through them. The cards must communicate and encapsulate what they need to, and no more.

    Design matters. Aesthetics and power do not.
    Contestants aren't judged on correct costing or overall design aesthetics. On the one hand, you don't need to worry about whether your cards are too powerful, just focus on making the concepts sing. On the other hand, you can't rely on name, art, or subtypes to tie the card together. We care about the raw card, and how it plays.

    Can you be metacognitive about your work?
    Asking players to sort their cards based on self-perceived strength accomplishes a few goals. First, it lets the judges know what they should look at, what's really important to the submission at crunch time. Second, it lets the judges know what each contestant THINKS is important. How important is the color pie? Do they like chinese menu or uncharted waters? Which do they think is more important at which rarity? There's only so much you can communicate with order, but it does give a glimpse. Third, the order lets the judges evaluate how perceptive each contestant is when it comes to their strengths and weaknesses. If a design is a little weak (not a lot, but maybe it was the last hole), but a contestant KNOWS it's weak, that's a very different thing than the same design coming in at the head of the order. Know your weaknesses. Be honest.

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    1. There's nothing like being out of contention to really let inhibitions fly. Obviously being unencumbered with making an impression lets me worry less about how the cards are received, or time limit, or second drafts. Without further ado, here's my first draft submission in this challenge, had it not been for talking myself out of one too many questions.

      Oracle of the Zenith (mythic)
      {1}{G}{W}
      Creature - Camel Shaman
      2/3
      Play with the top card of your library revealed.
      You may play the top card of your library if it's an enchantment card.
      Enchantment spells you cast cost {1} less to cast.

      Azorius Reconditioning (uncommon)
      {1}{W}{U}
      Enchantment - Aura
      Enchant creature
      You control enchanted creature.
      Enchanted creature cannot attack or block.

      Peddle Rumor (common)
      {1}{U}{B}
      Sorcery
      Look at the top card of each player's library. You may put any of those cards into their owners' graveyards.
      Draw two cards.

      Twisted Loyalty (uncommon)
      {1}{R}{W}
      Sorcery
      Untap target creature. It gains haste and vigilance until end of turn. Gain control of it until your next turn.

      Sparking Bubblegust (common)
      {2}{U}{R}
      Creature - Weird
      3/2
      Hexproof, menace

      Subvert Oblivion (rare)
      {1}{W}{B}
      Instant
      Until end of turn, if a permanent would be put into a graveyard, exile it instead.
      At the beginning of your next upkeep, return all cards exiled with Subvert Oblivion to the battlefield under your control.

      Concussive Growth (uncommon)
      {2}{R}{G}
      Instant
      Target creature gets +2/+2 and gains trample until end of turn.
      Concussive Growth deals 2 damage to each creature.

      Korvac the Sadist (mythic)
      {1}{B}{R}
      Planeswalker - Korvac
      5
      +2: Korvac the Sadist deals 1 damage to target creature or player and 1 damage to you.
      -2: Exile the top card of your library. Korvac deals damage to you equal to its casting cost. Until end of turn, you may play that card.
      -8: You get an emblem with "If a source you control would deal damage to a permanent or player, it deals that much damage plus 2 to that permanent or player instead."

      Perverted Ecosystem (rare)
      {1}{B}{G}
      Enchantment
      Players may cast creature cards from their graveyards.
      If a creature would die, exile it instead.

      Myrdah, the Last Witness (mythic)
      {4}{G}{U}
      Planeswalker - Myrdah
      7
      +2: Create two 1/1 green and blue elemental tokens with hexproof.
      -3: Until end of turn, whenever a creature you control deals combat damage, draw a card.
      -10: You get an emblem with "Creatures you control get +X/+X, where X is the number of cards in your hand."

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    2. My first complaint is that red currently takes control and then untaps. Normally it isn't relevant but there are likely to be corner cases (Wakethrasher or something like that).

      Korvik looks great for a 3 Mana walker to not be horribly busted, but he has too much loyalty to start. Most decks could never kill him before ulting

      Not sure about wording on Subvert Oblivion, as I don't know any instants or sorceries that reference themselves, but I could be overthinking.

      Otherwise they all look great and seem to fit the requirements!

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    3. Twisted Loyalty confuses me. Is this hinting at a set with Convoke or Conspire or something?

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    4. I agree with the planeswalker comment. On a second pass I'd have reduced Korvac's starting loyalty and ultimate cost by 2 each. Myrdah I'd be tempted to make hybrid, but even if it works I don't know if she needs it (although it would help her stand out I guess)

      On twisted loyalty I ordered the effects by immediacy and duration, I didn't want the lasting until your next turn instead of end of turn to get lost. It was inspired by making a threaten that plays in multiplayer, actually. Since you keep the critter until your next turn, you get to block with it as well.

      Subvert Oblivion could use some retemplating, I agree, but the effect works. Especially if you combine the spell abilities into one paragraph. I'd use Vanish into Memory as a guide I think.

      Thanks for the feedback!

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    5. I like Peddle Rumor a lot, aside from the feel-bad of top-controlling your opponent

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  19. 1. The Chilling Wind-2UW (Uncommon)
    Creature-Spirit
    2/2
    Flying
    3UUT: Gain control of target creature for as long as you control CARDAME. CARDNAME does not untap during your untap step.

    2. The Insane Enlightening-XBW (Mythic Rare)
    Sorcery
    Choose X, you may choose the same mode more than once:
    Draw a card and lose 1 life.
    Gain 5 life.
    Destroy target creature.
    Destroy target artifact or enchantment.

    3. Shadowy Cloak -2BU (Uncommon)
    Enchantment – Aura
    Enchant Creature
    U: Enchanted Creature gains hexproof
    Enchanted creature can't be blocked and gets +2/+0.
    4. The Undead Forest-4BG (Common)
    Creature-Zombie Elemental
    CARDNAME enters the battlefield tapped.
    You may play CARDNAME as your land drop for the turn, if you do transform it.
    Deathtouch
    2/7
    --Flipped side Below
    The Darkened Forest
    Land
    T: Add G or B to your mana Pool

    5. A Fiery Discovery 3RG (Common)
    Sorcery
    Search you library for a basic land and put it into play tapped. Target creature gets +X/+0 until end of turn, where X is the number of basic lands you control.
    6. Darwin, the Accelerator-4UG (Mythic Rare)
    +1: Put a +1/+1 counter on up to two creatures.
    -3: Add X Green mana to your mana pool, where X is the number of +1/+1 counters you control.
    -6: Scry X, where X is the number of +1/+1 counters you control. Reveal the top card of your library, if it is a creature cast it without paying its mana cost.
    6 Loyalty
    7. The Energy Reserve 4GW (Rare)
    Instant
    Create a 3/3 Green Cat Ooze token. Creatures you control get +3/+3, vigilance, and lifelink.
    8. The Fiery Escape-1UR (Uncommon)
    Instant
    Deal 2 damage to target creature or player. Return up to one creature to their owner's hand.
    9. Fortified Castle 4RW (Rare)
    Enchantment
    Creatures without flying cannot attack, and you have hexproof. At the beginning of your upkeep deal 1 damage to target creature or player. Creatures your opponent control have T: Put a destruction counter on CARDNAME. If there are 10 destruction counters on CARDNAME, sacrifice CARDNAME.
    10. Elmrac, the Mad-3BR(Mythic Rare)
    Legendary Planeswalker-Elmrac
    +X: Discard X cards, draw X cards
    0: Return target creature from your graveyard to play. It gains haste and sacrifice it at the end of turn.
    -5: Flip a coin for each creature in your graveyard. For each heads return a creature from your graveyard to play. Target player loses X life where X is the number of tails
    5 Loyalty

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    1. I like The Insane Enlightening.

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    2. Do I pay mana to play The Darkened Forest or is it a dual land?

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    3. The idea was it could be a come into play tapped dual. Maybe I should have put without paying the mana cost, but then it would be getting cast and I don't want it to be something that can be responded to. Not sure if it works withing the rules or not.

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    4. Imagine it as a land with a one-way activated ability to transform into that creature. I think that does what you want for cleaner. Then, though, I worry it's definitely, definitely not common -- and it's pretty strong (compare to Stalking Stones). In that context, it also loses some originality points for me -- the originality is mostly tied up in the wonky, confusing execution. Long story short, not my favorite among your designs.

      Also, on Insane Enlightening -- the modes are very unbalanced. How about toning down the creature kill to -2/-2 (making you care more about using a big X on that), making the cards cost 2 life each, toning down the life gain to 3 each (because seriously paying 6 to gain 20 life is a little crazy, especially considering how much of a bonus you get from the flexibility of this charm; compare to Dawnglow Infusion)... and maybe the last mode just kills enchantments, since white isn't primary at killing artifacts these days (and black doesn't do it at all).

      -2,-2 a creature
      draw a card lose 2
      gain 3
      destroy enchantment

      I love the design, just not the specifics of the costing/execution in these regards.

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    5. Yeah, I was having trouble deciding how big the life gain should be. Yeah not sure if 4 mana kill two creatures ends up being too strong. As recent as Aether Revolt white gets artifact and enchantment destruction at common and is still secondary in artifact destruction but I can see how it could be a color stretch. I am wondering with toning it down are you still excited. For the creature I want it to be a dual purpose card, either a dual land or creature, similar to how Kaijudo functions. As long as play as your land would be in the rules to mean put into play without paying mana cost, I think the card works as intended. If it works in the rules I think it is a cool card, if not it is a big flop.

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    6. Doug, the thing is, people underestimate just how powerful charms are. The flexibility here adds a LOT of value to this. I mean, look at Collective Brutality -- it's a good comp in a lot of ways, and it's Modern playable. Maybe you can tweak numbers back up slightly from mine, but I'm pretty sure yours were overkill.

      Half of my "enchantments only" issue was that white is only secondary there, and half was just toning it down slightly. I mean, damn, that's so much utility. In what situation other than "I didn't have 5+ mana" or "it got countered" does this card not just outright win the game as originally written?

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    7. For six mana:

      Burn deck? I gain 20 life.
      Midrange creature battle? Wrath your side and only your side.
      Some artifact/enchantment-based combo deck? Destroy ALL of your combo pieces.
      Board control attrition war? Draw a crapton of cards.

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    8. I see your point. Selecting modes where it felt Mythic, like you were doing something truly awesome is what I was going for. Maybe a token creation mode might have been better. Overall creating a Modal X spell where you could put as much as you want into X was a fun design.

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    9. I think it IS a fun design. You may have jammed too much in there though.

      Choose X, you may choose the same mode more than once is sexy. It's also extremely flexible. The commands all make you pay through the nose for flexibility, and they don't let you double up on your choices.

      Maybe cost it at {X}{X}{W}{B}?

      That's several two-to-three-mana effects. You get a bad rate on the first one. That's fine, this is an X spell, and a charm to boot. You get a fair rate on X=2 and it goes up from there. A spell like this should demand epic mana for the epic effect. Or you could scale down the effect, find some nice mirrored abilities and staple them together.

      Dubious Enlightenment
      {X}{W}{B}
      Sorcery
      Choose one. Repeat this process X times.
      You gain 3 life.
      Draw a card and you lose 1 life.

      Delete
    10. Good job posting these pretty quickly! My thoughts: Fiery Discovery is a great simple common. The Darkened Forest and the Insane Enlightening are both quite unique. Good job on the planeswalkers! They have solid related combinations.

      It's hard for me to think about whether safe printable cards or crazy abilities are better for this challenge. I guess we'll see when the top 8 comes out!

      Delete
    11. Thanks, I always hear Maro say planeswalkers abilities should read like a story. I still thought they were weak design. I actually like the dubious enlightenment, Noah, I was sort of seeing the X Modal spell as good at low mana cost, which Spikes would like and Timmies would love the big X but did not think what different combinations people might choose/extreme flexibility. I actually keyworded the mechanic for Darkened Forest as Landmark, but was original on monocolor cards and thought would be a good smoothing mechanic for limited like basic landcycling. If I made the top 100 I would have gone with simple on commons obviously, so maybe go with 4 commons and make the rares super wacky. I am a little disappointed there has been no comments on the fortified castle, I really liked the idea of opponent's creatures blowing up the castle and how it is like Moat plus giving you hexproof.

      Delete
    12. The Chilling Wind -- This feels mono blue; I don't think there is anything white is contributing to this card. I think vigilance would make a fine addition here. I'm kind of on the fence as to whether it should be rare or not, though. The text itself is fine though, but I'd probably make the steal ability sorcery speed.

      The Insane Enlightening -- I'm a huge fan of this, because I did something similar during my brainstorming research. Rauck-Chauv was a mythic sorcery for Gruul that said 'choose X times where X is the number of +1/+1 counters on creatures you control' and it too had four modes (gain two life; 'red loot'; fight; destroy a noncreature permanent). I have nothing but praise for this card.

      Shadowy Cloak -- Aside from the fact I think this is a rare, it gets the job done. However, I do think this is mono-blue and doesn't have black providing anything to it. If it had a black activation for something like, say, lifelink, I think that would do the trick nicely (but would probably solidify it as rare).

      The Undead Forest -- I think the wording you're looking for would be around these lines: "Rather than play a land, you may put CARDNAME onto the battlefield transformed and tapped." As it stands right now, only the front face is what would end up on the battlefield tapped, since The Darkened Forest sees only what's on that back face. I'm on the fence if as to whether this is a common card or not, because the land is a dual land. I think if the land was "T: Add C to your mana pool." and "1, T: Add G or B to your mana pool." that would make it more common. Most dual lands are uncommon+ at minimum and/or have a steeper drawback than entering play tapped.

      A Fiery Discovery -- This effect is just fine. It makes me think of Exploding Borders, except the damage is coming from something swinging for your opponent's face. I'm glad trample isn't granted by this, and I'm on the fence if it's closer to uncommon because in Limited this card can close the game from nowhere.

      Delete
    13. Darwin, the Accelerator -- Synergy is present. I'd probably change the -3 to "mana of any color", but overall I have zero issues with what this card does in a vacuum, even the fact it can ultimate the turn it comes down, since the ultimate has a build-around condition that sometimes only its +1 will provide.

      The Energy Reserve -- Yes please. And meow. I would probably change the vigilance to reach to better synergize with it being an instant, though. Vigilance is better suited on sorceries as it is relevant before attacking and this being an instant that can provide a massive swing in life totals as well as provide a surprise blocker leans the gameplay of the card heavily towards times after vigilance will matter.

      The Fiery Escape -- Funnily enough, I think this could be a common card (but not at 3CMC). It's a simple effect and it gets the job done.

      Fortified Castle -- I really like what's involved with this. Personally, I'd change it to ETB with the counters on it, "When it has no fortification counters, sacrifice it." and change the ability to "T: Remove a fortification counter from a card name Fortified Castle." It better evokes the flavor of breaking it down. Look through the cards with brick counters in Hour of Devastation. Amonkhet built things; Hour 'destroyed' things. I think evoking the same flavor here is important for selling the card.

      Elmrac, the Mad -- Synergy definitely present here. I would change the first ability to both a fixed amount of cards and a fixed gain in loyalty, so that you can't just +7 every turn and have a full hand after it resolves (as well as potentially ult. an arbitrary amount of times by doing +25 or higher). The ultimate is a very interesting take on coin flipping results. I think "loses life equal to twice the number of tails" would be a better option as the possibility of all tails wouldn't be very fun for most people. It's a dramatic ability, but I think a planeswalker's ultimate needs to have some pop to it, even if chance says you're not getting many creatures from it.

      Delete
    14. All tails would be fun for dredge with 20 creatures in the graveyard, but yeah I was thinking hopefully you would get at least 1 heads and since you get to choose the creature it makes up for it.

      Delete
    15. Doesn't it enter the battlefield and then transform, so it would still be tapped? I need to check the comprehensive rules to see what play as a land drop may entail.

      Delete
    16. A similar comparison to what you want would be the DFC planeswalkers in Magic Origins.

      Delete
    17. Do we have any judges/rules people in here, to say if play as your land drop means anything. Well not exactly because with those you are exiling them, this is closer to Garruk, where it is the same instance of the card, so you can't activate more than one ability a turn.

      Delete
  20. The color constraints was the hardest part. At first you might have a cool idea but then notice your remaining colors did not work out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep. This is exactly where I am at right now. I completely forgot about that restriction at first. When I audited the list, four of the five types were overlapping. Yikes.

      The color restriction alone made it exponentially harder. I love this test.

      Delete
  21. Guh. This challenge makes me even more bummed I didn't make the cut. I love this test.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Yeah even just a first run at it was fun and I got to reuse a lot of designs I already created. I had keyworded the ability for the first spirit to possess and thought it would be cool in all colors but putting it just on one card is cool. People love control magic.

    ReplyDelete
  23. So as I kind of hinted in another location (my GDS3 on MTGSalvation), I've been thinking on a hypothetical Ravnica 3 for some time. A great deal of what I would have submitted dates from my Dec-Jan brainstorm period. It began when GDS3 was announced, and once Trial 2 was released, I put a hold on it as I wanted both time for it to gel, and also to see if I would pass this time (nope ;.;). That said, this is what my hypothetical submission would have been, and they are ordered in what I think are strongest-to-weakest feeling designs... but with commentary added.


    Nurtured Growth (Common)
    1GU
    Sorcery
    Put one or two +1/+1 counters on target creature. If you put two, tap that creature and it doesn't untap during its controller's next untap step.

    (This ability came from Combine Guildmage, as I wanted to 'synthesize' the Gestate keyword via the Guildmage.)


    Battle Standard (Rare)
    3RW
    Enchantment
    At the beginning of your combat phase, you may reveal a creature or noncreature card from your hand until end of combat. If you do --
    * Creature -- Put a +1/+1 counter on each creature you control.
    * Noncreature -- Creatures you control gain your choice of lifelink, flying, or menace until end of turn. (The ability you choose affects each of your creatures; you don't choose individual abilities for each creature.)

    (There's the Boros mechanic's name doubling down as the card's name. The general idea for battle standard was that it was plays-well-alone linear, similar to Exalted. You wanted more, but it did work on its own. In the case of Battle Standard, the mechanic, it was meant to be a way of choosing modes for your creatures that could be easily remembered each round. Originally, it was revealing the top card of your library, but as that seemed random and kind of defeated the purpose of the Boros having tactical organization, I changed it to a reveal from your hand type of trigger to give you control over how your creatures were going to handle combat. Note that the mechanic was supposed to be at most one card revealed, and that choice affected every creature of yours with Battle Standard.

    The mechanic's name of battle standard was partly top down, and what I found most interesting about it was that it harkened back to modal research I had been conducting a while back, around when Kaladesh came around, but put on hold due to all sorts of things. Here we are with that similar mechanic, only with the memory issue alleviated since the card you reveal makes it clear which 'mode' everything was set to.

    Another point: the creature-revealed mode was intentionally meant to be better for combat. In Limited, you want to play creatures. This mechanic somewhat encouraged you not to do so. It also gives a use for 'dead' creatures you draw later in the game, though that is likely going to be a minority of the times compared to others. Actual creatures with the mechanic were balanced around the assumption that noncreature-revealed was going to be the default, though this isn't necessarily true all the time.)


    Hasten the End (Mythic)
    5BBR
    Sorcery
    For the rest of the game, players pay life instead of mana. (The life can pay for costs as though it were mana of any color and/or type.)

    (This card came about because of the constraints of the test forcing me to do BR as a sorcery and UR as an instant. Hmm. As I filled the rarities and left the "wildcard rarity" slots open, I got to do pretty much whatever I wanted for each! Yay! This card came about because I wanted to make a mythic sorcery that hasn't really been done before, but something very destructive that could close out the game. So why not make people put their life total where their mana was? It's a weird form of "Armageddon", except eventually someone's going to give for their life total hitting close to 0.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. X'nar, Master of Lore (Mythic)
      3UB
      Legendary Planeswalker - X'nar
      {3}
      +2: Until your next turn, whenever you cast a spell, target creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn.
      -3: You get an emblem with "Spells you cast cost 1 less to cast."
      -8: You get an emblem with, "Play with the top three cards of your library revealed. You may play cards revealed this way, and draw one of them instead of the top card of your library."

      (The ultimate is what tickles me pink. It's basically meant to be "triple Future Sight", as well as being able to draw any of the top three cards of your library instead of just the top card.)


      Driven Bruiser (Common)
      1RG
      Creature - Ogre Warrior
      3/3
      When Driven Bruiser enters the battlefield, if another creature on the battlefield has greater power, put a +1/+1 counter on Driven Bruiser.

      (This is the Gruul mechanic I came up with, written out in text rather than the 'Might N' that I concepted it to be. The idea behind it was basically a pseudo-catchup mechanism. Red-green has the *strongest* creatures, so the mechanic should match that by allowing them to potentially become equal to the strongest, or at least better.)


      Punish Insolence (Uncommon)
      1WB
      Instant
      Counter target spell unless its controller pays you 5 life. (You gain the amount of life paid this way.)

      (White gets taxing counterspells. Black gets life drain. A + B = not a whole lot (hi Dash Hopes), so I added one little word: "you". I came up with the idea of "you being paid" by an opponent when searching for a mechanic for Orzhov. The value of life paid is high, because I wanted it to be very clear that this counterspell made the controller of the spell think hard on just how much that spell was worth.)


      Wrathful Earth (Rare)
      3BGG
      Enchantment
      You may have land cards you play enter the battlefield tapped.

      Whenever a land enters the battlefield tapped and under your control, it becomes a 3/3 black and green Elemental with menace.

      (This was a hole-fill, but one that I've kind of explored in past research into modality. You have the option to get it as a land, or play it as normal. Note there's a drawback for lands that enter tapped already, which suits me as it makes the card feel more black, being unable to control it for some. Most land you want to keep enters the battlefield tapped anyway, so that suits me just fine that it's more easily removed.)

      Delete
    2. Meditating Mage (Uncommon)
      2WU
      Creature - Human Wizard
      2/2
      You may choose not to untap Meditating Mage during your untap step.

      At the beginning of your upkeep, if you didn’t untap Meditating Mage during your untap step, you may pay 1WU. If you do, put a +1/+1 counter on Meditating Mage and draw a card.

      (This is the wordy version of the Azorius mechanic I came up with, except the +1/+1 counter was baked into choosing not to untap it. I'd been thinking about putting it with the cost for some time, and this is the inevitable result. It's a LOT less text with the keyword, but again, can't use that for this test.)


      V'dya, Who Bonds All (Mythic)
      3GGW
      Legendary Planeswalker - V'dya
      {5}
      +3: Create a colorless artifact token named Worldsoul's Gift with "T, Sacrifice this artifact: Add C to your mana pool. You may spend it as though it were of any color and/or type."
      +1: You gain 2 life.
      -4: Search your library for a creature card and put it onto the battlefield, then shuffle your library.
      -6: Choose a loyalty ability on another target planeswalker. This loyalty ability becomes the chosen ability except for its cost.

      (In the file, this lady is mono-green. I'm not sure where the heck the "ultimate" ability would fall, color pie wise, but I'm concerned it would be blue somehow. I don't think this type of mechanic is really defined, however.)


      Shocking Idea (Common)
      UR
      Instant
      Shocking Idea deals 2 damage to target creature or player, then you draw a card. You may pay 4 to repeat this process (the target you chose remains the same).

      (This was from the Izzet section of the file, although the mechanic is completely different than what I wrote here. The concept is basically the same (do it again), just not worded to be exactly like kicker... even though it technically is. That's the reason why it's here at the bottom as the 'worst' I came up with, design wise.)

      Delete
    3. I like Hasten the End and Driven Bruiser.

      Delete
    4. Driven Bruiser seems pretty strong for common.

      Delete
    5. Costing doesn't count for this Trial. I mean, at some stats I think it's fine. 2/2 for RG? Who knows? But the ability is nice and clean. It's the best design in this set IMO.

      Delete
    6. Yes, I love the ability. A 3/3 for 3 at common that becomes a 4/4 is really good. Kind of a reverse Evolve.

      Delete
    7. And Evolve was exactly what inspired it. So why did I put it near middle of the list? Because I have a huge crush on cards with choices, like Nurture Growth, or something neat like X'nar's ultimate. I figured Driven Bruiser was a bit too close to "It's an Evolve riff" to be considered good.

      Delete
  24. A hint for anyone trying this logic puzzle:

    Once you choose a multicolor card and corresponding type, write out the 3 color combinations that don't share a color. One of those 3 needs to have the same type. For example, if you have a BW creature you also need an RG, UR, or GU creature.

    After a couple type pairs it can help to get your whole skeleton down; I know the first few combinations I thought of were actually impossible!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Bloodwurm Ritual (Rare)
    3BG
    Enchantment
    At the beginning of your end step, put an X/X green Wurm creature token with trample onto the battlefield, where X is the amount of life you lost this turn.

    Rocket Jump (Uncommon)
    1UR
    Instant
    As an additional cost to cast Rocket Jump, return a creature you control to its owner’s hand.
    Rocket Jump deals damage equal to the returned creature’s power to target creature or player.

    Close Ranks (Rare)
    3RW
    Enchantment
    Creatures you control get +2/+2 and can’t attack or block alone.
    RW, Sacrifice Close Ranks: Creatures you control get +2/+2 until end of turn.

    Akalwi, Mutant Genius (Mythic)
    2GU
    Legendary Planeswalker - Akalwi
    {3}
    +1: Until your next turn, up to one target creature or planeswalker loses all abilities and becomes a green mutant creature with base power and toughness 1/1.
    -2: Exchange control of target creature or planeswalker you control and target creature or planeswalker an opponent controls.
    -8: Target opponent gets an emblem with “Each creature and planeswalker you control loses all abilities and becomes a green mutant creature with base power and toughness 1/1.”

    Patient Wizard (Common)
    2UW
    Creature - Human Wizard
    3/3
    When Patient Wizard enters the battlefield, you may tap it. If you do, return another target creature to its owner’s hand and Patient Wizard doesn’t untap during your next untap step.

    Zinnia, Intimidator Elite (Mythic)
    3BR
    Legendary Creature - Minotaur Shaman
    Haste
    When Zinnia, Intimidator Elite enters the battlefield, untap target creature an opponent controls and gain control of it until end of turn. It gains haste until end of turn.
    Tap, Sacrifice another creature: That creature's owner loses X life, where X is the power of the sacrificed creature.
    2/2

    Koori, Vengeful Deacon (Mythic)
    3WB
    Legendary Planeswalker - Koori
    {4}
    +1: Each opponent exiles a card from his or her hand until Koori leaves the battlefield. You gain life equal to the exiled card's converted mana cost.
    -2: Until your next turn, if Koori dies, destroy all creatures.
    -3: Exile target creature until Koori leaves the battlefield.

    Season’s Strife (Common)
    GW
    Instant
    If it’s your turn, target attacking creature gets +2/+2 until end of turn. If it’s not your turn, destroy target attacking creature with power 2 or less.

    Digging for Sandwurms (Uncommon)
    RG
    Sorcery
    Reveal the top card of your library. If it’s a land card, put it onto the battlefield tapped. If it’s a nonland card, Digging for Sandwurms deals 3 damage to target creature or player.

    Forced Devolution (Rare)
    1UB
    Sorcery
    Exile target creature an opponent controls. That player reveals cards from the top of his or her library until a creature card with a lower converted mana cost is revealed. The player puts that card onto the battlefield, then shuffles the rest into his or her library.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Woah, that's hard. I used to design individual cards a lot, but now I usually focus on mechanics or sets, it's really hard to design an individual card that says "I'm such a good designer".

    I'm almost glad I didn't have to try this.

    And the combination is hard as well, although a good idea: fulfilling weird combinations of requirements shows off a breadth and depth of design skills.

    I would have been tempted to randomly choose a valid combination of colours and rarities and types, and then design ten cards to fit that, rather that constantly trying to rejig stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Some cards I wish I had done (but didn't; I'm kicking myself hard here):

    Fleetfoot Protector (uncommon)
    1GW
    Creature - Cat
    3/4
    Flash
    When Fleetfoot Protector enters the battlefield, return a spell or permanent you control to its owner's hand.

    Rapture of Aldric (mythic rare)
    (2/w)(2/w)(2/w)(2/w)(2/b)(2/b)(2/b)(2/b)
    Sorcery
    Rapture of Aldric costs X less to cast, where X is the amount of life you’ve gained this turn.
    Exile all creatures and all creature cards from graveyards. Create a 1/1 white spirit creature token with flying and lifelink for each card exiled in this way.

    Vexing Apparition (uncommon)
    UB
    Creature - Illusion
    2/3
    Flying
    When Vexing Apparition becomes the target of a spell or ability, sacrifice it.
    When Vexing Apparition dies, you may exile it attached to target creature. If you do, that creature gains “when this creature becomes the target of a spell or ability, sacrifice it.”

    (note that MaRo claims Haunt is tied to specifically the Ravnica execution, and therefore this is "not haunt" and does not violate the "no old set abilities" restriction.)

    Young Nellyn (mythic rare)
    GU
    Planeswalker - Nellyn
    1
    +1: Create a 1/1 green squirrel creature token.
    +2: Draw a card, then discard a card.
    +3: Untap target land.
    When Nellyn has 10 or more loyalty, transform it.
    //
    Nellyn the Mighty
    0: Create five 4/4 green beast creature tokens.
    0: Draw seven cards.
    0: Untap all lands you control, then you get an emblem with "whenever you tap a land for mana, add one additional mana to your mana pool of any type that land could have produced."

    More to come...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That squirrel planeswalker would have had you make top 8 easy, hope you still make it.

      Delete
    2. Damn, damn, damn. /kicks self harder.

      I really should've done a flip 'walker. (I didn't.)

      I love the idea of watching your cute little baby planeswalker grow up. If I make top 8 and have any opportunity, I promise to use these designs. If I don't make it, and some of you do, and you have the opportunity, please feel free to use these ideas in your own designs.

      Delete
    3. My favorite design I have made is an artifact that flips into a planeswalker, but no artifacts for this test and I love artifacts.

      Delete
    4. I love the idea of a walker that flips as it's ult. Making it have a bunch of broken 0s for its backside is brillant its like it is its own emblem.

      Although the abilties have little intermal synergy i would touch it up

      Delete
    5. Fair enough. I kind of figured as "just a kid" Nellyn doesn't really have the skill to be particularly self-synergistic. She's just sort of dabbling in random weakish blue-green abilities, trying to find her way.

      And as a grown-up who needs synergy when you're doing things that sick?

      Still, fair criticism. It's definitely a big fat Chinese menu.

      Delete
    6. And of course the point of the back is they're the "grown-up" version of the front, so if the front has no self-synergy, it's hard to make the back have self-synergy.

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

      Delete
    8. Flip 'walkers are fun. I definitely dig the flip condition. Here's a riff:

      Fella the Martyr (mythic)
      {2}{W}{B}
      Legendary Planeswalker - Fella
      4
      When Fella has ten or more loyalty counters on her, transform her.
      +2: Sacrifice a creature. Each opponent creates a 1/1 white Spirit Creature token.
      +2: Discard a card. Each opponent draws a card.
      ///
      Fella Ascendant
      Legendary Planeswalker - Fella
      0: Each opponent loses 2 life. You gain life equal to the life lost this way.
      0: Each opponent sacrifices a creature. You create a 2/2 black Zombie creature token for each creature sacrificed this way.
      0: Each opponent discards a card. You draw a card for each card discarded this way.

      Delete
    9. I like the idea but that’s an awful lot of hurting myself for not a huge payoff isn’t it?

      Delete
    10. Statue of Jace 3
      Artifact
      U: Scry 1
      1: Put a loyalty counter on CARDNAME
      UU: Transform CARDNAME
      ///
      Jace, the Imprisoned
      -1: Draw a Card
      0: Scry 2

      Delete
    11. @KingRitz It's hurting yourself with a workaround. Sacrificing creatures and discarding cards are part of the effect, not the cost. If you have no creatures, sacrificing one doesn't hurt. If you have no cards in hand, discarding one doesn't hurt. In both cases, the penalty to you can be gotten around with deck building, and the payoffs may not be large but they add up and will not stop until your opponent deals with her. I mostly like that she casts Syphon Soul, Syphon Flesh, or Syphon Mind each turn for you.

      Delete
    12. Noah, I just think that, at best, you're spending four mana, waiting three turns of no upside at all, and giving your opponent three creatures and/or cards, in order to get a flipped planeswalker that is a bit better than (admittedly powerful) Liliana of the Veil.

      I think you're underselling how bad this feels. Players don't like this sort of downside. It's too clever for its own good, and it doesn't sell me that it's worth the effort (and I say this as a Johnny/Spike who doesn't mind drawbacks on cards).

      Sorry to be negative. We can certainly agree to disagree on this one.

      Delete
    13. I fucking love that artifact Doug, perfect for Sorin.

      Delete
    14. I was thinking Vraska turning Jace to stone. I also have one for Chandra but it was not as clean but I'll post that too.

      Delete
    15. Statue of Chandra-3
      R: Deal 1 damage to target creature or player
      1: Put a loyalty counter on CARDNAME
      RR: Transform CARDNAME
      ///
      Chandra, the Confined (Red indicator)
      -1: Deal 2 damage to target player and each creature they control
      0: Discard a card, Draw a caed

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

    ReplyDelete
  29. This really does push you into interesting places. Some of these card concepts I had already been germinating, but my favorite creation came completely on the fly. The ones I liked least felt kind of lazy and the serpent I tossed in last as my weakest could probably be mono-green.

    Frother, Rakdos Hellspawn (Mythic Rare)
    3RB
    Planeswalker – Frother
    0: Sacrifice a creature: Put X loyalty counters on CARDNAME equal to sacrificed creature's power.
    -2: Each opponent chooses a creature he or she controls. CARDNAME deals three damage to each of these creatures.
    -5: Create a 5/5 red and black Demon creature token with haste and menace.
    Loyalty: 3

    Tezzeret's Vanguard (Rare)
    3UB
    Enchantment
    Whenever a non-token, non-artifact creature you control dies, create a token that is a copy of that creature, but is a colorless artifact.

    Snap Spark (Common)
    RU
    Instant
    Scry 2. For each card you put on the bottom of your library, deal 1 damage to target creature.

    Mist-Shrouded Preparations (Uncommon)
    2WG
    Instant
    Creatures deal no combat damage this turn. Create X 1/1 white Soldier creature tokens with vigilance, where X is equal to the number of creatures that attacked this turn.

    Heretical Harrier (Uncommon)
    3BW
    Creature – Vampire Knight
    4/4
    At the beginning of each combat, you may sacrifice a creature. If you do, CARDNAME gets lifelink and deathtouch until the end of the turn.

    Aero, the Falconer (Mythic Rare)
    2UW
    Planeswalker – Aero
    +1: Up to one target creature with flying you control gains +2/+2 and lifelink until the end of the turn.
    -1: Create a 1/1 blue Bird creature token with flying.
    -5: You get an emblem with "Your creatures with flying get +1/+1."
    Loyalty: 4

    Stolen Strength (Uncommon)
    1BG
    Sorcery
    Remove all counters from permanents you control. Put that many +1/+1 counters on target creature.

    Primal Rush (Common)
    1RG
    Enchantment—Aura
    Enchant Creature
    Enchanted creature gains +2/+2 and trample. It attacks each combat if able.

    Martial Rebuke (Rare)
    3RW
    Sorcery
    Choose one:
    - Destroy all creatures that attacked this turn.
    - Destroy all creatures that blocked this turn.

    Riverwake Serpent (Rare)
    4UG
    Creature—Serpent
    6/5
    Trample. Whenever CARDNAME deals damage to a creature, you may draw a card.
    3GUT: CARDNAME fights target creature opponent controls.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, now that I look at them, Martial Rebuke could probably be mono-white (I hate that white can destroy blockers--too much) and possibly Primal Rush could be mono-red, even if granting of trample is typically in green. No wonder I tossed them on the bottom.

      Delete
    2. Um. Wait. I totally screwed up Martial Rebuke, lol. I originally had WR as an instant and then had to move it to sorcery to make the colors work. This makes no sense as a sorcery at all [plays sad trombone]. Man, good thing I was already bounced, though I would have spent more time on these than two hours, certainly.

      Delete
    3. Cough...

      Martial Rebuke (Rare)
      2RW
      Sorcery
      Destroy all creatures that neither attacked, nor blocked, this turn.

      Still not that good a spell.

      Delete
    4. So wait, that's just RW Wrath of God with upside to possibly be asymmetrical.

      Cough, *broken*, cough.

      Delete
    5. 1RW choose one: deal 3 to each tapped creature or deal 3 to each untapped creature. How’s that?

      Delete
    6. RW is one of my least favorite color pairings, second only to "just slap trample on it" RG. I'll probably start that one over from scratch.

      Delete
    7. OKAY! [Sound of gears grinding and shifting]

      Martial Elites (Rare)
      3RW
      Sorcery
      Create three 2/1 red and white soldier token creatures with first strike and haste. At the end of your turn sacrifice each of these creatures that did not deal combat damage to an opponent.

      Delete
  30. One other random (and, sure, somewhat self-interested) thought:

    Wizards can't look at our unsolicited submissions. But *we* have been looking at one another's unsolicited submissions for years. If any of us make it and get a job over there, I think we ought to all agree that when/if another such position opens up, we vouch for the other members here. I think we all know this is the best group of card designers not currently employed by Wizards.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am happy I found this community and I can imagine a handful of you will make top 8 and am excited to see your designs and play along at home.

      Delete
    2. Indeed! We want Wizards to look to Goblin Artisans first for the future designers.

      Delete
  31. Clean textboxes are usually one of my strongest points as a designer, but on a tight schedule and with two mandatory planeswalkers, compromises are made.

    Burn the Blueprint (rare)
    {B}{R}
    Sorcery
    Destroy target artifact creature. Search its controller’s graveyard, hand, and library for any number of cards with that name and exile them. Then that player shuffles his or her library.

    Fearless Confidence (uncommon)
    {R}{W}
    Enchantment - Aura
    Enchant creature
    Enchanted creature has double strike.

    Jinsly, Goblin Scholar (mythic rare)
    {U}{R}
    Planeswalker - Jinsly
    [+1] Destroy a permanent you control, then draw a card.
    [-2] Discard your hand, then draw two cards.
    [-2] Choose a card name, then reveal a card at random from your hand. If that card has the chosen name, CARDNAME deals 4 damage to target player.
    ~[2]~

    Eldritch Serenade (rare)
    {2}{U}{B}
    Instant
    Counter target spell. If you controlled that spell, you may exile ~ and search your library for a card, then shuffle your library and put that card on top.

    Seedweft Infusion (uncommon)
    {X}{G}{U}
    Sorcery
    Put a +1/+1 counter on each of X target creatures. Those creatures gain flying until end of turn.

    Fangtail Vanguard (common)
    {R}{G}
    Creature - Viashino Knight
    3/2
    Trample

    Waveshelter Leviathan (rare)
    {4}{W}{U}
    Creature - Leviathan
    4/8
    Other creatures you control have indestructible.
    Tap an untapped creature you control: Tap target creature.

    Feat of the Unicorn (common)
    {1}{G}{W}
    Instant
    Target creature you control gains lifelink until end of turn. Then, it deals damage equal to its power to target creature you don’t control.

    Zur, Planeswept Enchanter (mythic rare)
    {2}{W}{B}
    Planeswalker - Zur
    [+1] Create a 0/1 white Homonculus creature token with “Aura spells that target this cost 3 less to cast.”
    [+1] Exile target enchanted creature and each card attached to it. Then, you may return each card exiled this way to the battlefield.
    [-6] Reveal the top 6 cards of your library. You may put up to three enchantment cards revealed this way into your hand or onto the battlefield.
    ~[3]~

    Seal of Skulls (common)
    {1}{B}{G}
    Enchantment
    Sacrifice CARDNAME: Put target card in your graveyard on top of your library. If it’s a creature card, target player loses 1 life and you gain 1 life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice commons.
      Seedweft Infusion is good.
      Eldritch Serenade makes no sense.
      What is Waveshelter Leviathan? How does those abilities relate?
      I love Feat of the Unicorn.
      It's neat that Zur can transfer your discounted auras to better creatures, but it's a problem that the card doesn't just say what it does and you have to know the rules about exiled tokens to understand the card.
      Seal of Skulls's rider is too small to be conditional.

      Delete
    2. Thanks, Jay! The idea behind Eldritch Serenade is that it's a counterspell mixed with a vampiric tutor when you want one, or in flavor terms, a haunting demonic promise that if you throw away your hard work (the spell you've cast) you can get a reward (the tutored card). For Waveshelter Leviathan, picture it making huge, cresting tidal waves that protect your creatures and let them knock your opponent's creatures over... the flavor of which I think made more sense in my head.

      For Zur, could we make the second ability clearer with "Then, you may return each nontoken permanent exiled this way to the battlefield." ? Or, reminder text (Tokens aren't cards.)?

      Delete
  32. I found it useful to re-read about ally and enemy color pairings as well as each pairing:

    Ally Pairs—PIE FIGHTS

    Enemy Pairs—THANK YOU FOR BEING A FRIEND

    WU—SLOW AND STEADY

    UB—PRETTY SNEAKY SIS

    BR—HEDONISM WITH ATTITUDE

    RG—AAAARGH!!!

    GW—GROUP THINK

    WB—PLAYING BY THEIR OWN RULES

    BG—LIFE AND DEATH

    GU—IMPROVING UPON NATURE

    UR—CREATIVE DIFFERENCES

    RW—DISORDERLY CONDUCT

    (Because green's goal was clarified from Growth to Acceptance after these were written, all the green one's are a bit outdated.)

    ReplyDelete
  33. As said above "There's nothing like being out of contention to really let inhibitions fly." so here is draft one first impresions

    Fevered Inspiration (Uncommon)
    UR
    Instant
    Scry 3
    Exile the top card of your library; you may play that card until end of turn.

    Beasts In Flight (Uncommon)
    3GU
    Sorcery
    Creatures you control get +1/+1 and gain flying until end of turn

    Pain and misery (Uncommon)
    BR
    Sorcery
    Target creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn.
    Target player loses one life.
    Deal one damage to target creature.
    Deal one damage to target player or planeswalker.

    Life’s Bounty (Common)
    GW
    Instant
    Gain 2 life for each creature you control

    Gust Rider (Common)
    2WU
    Creature- Bird Soldier
    3/3
    flying

    Snake Charmer (Rare)
    1BG
    Creature
    1/1
    Death-touch
    T: create a 1/1 green snake token with death-touch
    BG: Target creature you control fights target creature you don’t control

    Abandon Memories (Mythic)
    1UB
    Enchantment
    Whenever a player casts a spell each player put the top card of their library into their graveyard.
    3UB exile two cards from you graveyard: you may cast target instant or sorcery card in your graveyard until end of turn, if you do exile it as it resolves.

    Hrukk, Hunter (Mythic)
    2RG
    Legendary Planeswalker Hrukk
    +4 Hrukk deals 3 damage to target creature, that creature deals damage equal to its power to Hrukk
    -5 Put a creature from your hand onto the battlefield, that creature fights target creature you don’t control.
    -12 exile the top 8 cards of your library, put all creatures exiled this way onto the battlefield under your control, each of those creatures deals damage equal to its power to target creature or player.
    4

    Ashreya Seer Divine (Mythic)
    Legendary Planeswalker- Ashreya
    2WB
    +1 Tap X untapped creatures you control scry X and gain X life.
    -1 Draw a card and loose a life
    -5 search your library for five cards, shuffle your library and put those cards on top in a random order.
    3

    No-Man’s Land (Rare)
    1RW
    Enchantment
    Whenever a creature attacks put a warfare counter on No-Man’s Land
    Whenever a creature blocks remove a warfare counter from No-Man’s Land
    Attacking creatures get +1/+1 for each warfare counter on No-Man’s Land


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Would you like critical feedback on these?

      Delete
    2. Beasts in Flight is more WU than GU.
      Pain and Misery will confuse more players than it pleases.
      Why does Snake Charmer have death touch? Isn't making poisonous snakes every turn enough? (That looks un-fun, like Royal Assassin.)
      Abandon Memories' first ability promises that the second ability will care about your opponent's graveyard and then fails to deliver on that promise twice.
      Hrukk is neat. The last ability would be more fun+consistent if it couldn't target players. As written, I want to play Hrukk with 2+ 0/1 creatures (or a single 0/5 creature) so I can ultimate on his third turn, which doesn't feel red-green.
      I like Ashreya's abilities, but I don't see a through-line that tells me who Ashreya is.
      No-Man’s Land sounds like busywork.

      Delete
  34. I enjoyed this so much going to provide another list of 10.
    1. Demonic Soldier (B/W) (Common)
    Creature-Demon Soldier
    2/1
    If you paid W to cast CARDNAME transform CARDNAME.
    CARDNAME can't block
    ///
    Angelic Defender(White Color Indicator)
    Creature-Angel
    Defender
    ½
    2. Tatters, the Keeper-1GGU (Rare)
    Legendary Creature-Human Wizard
    3/3
    3: Choose a keyword, all creatures lose this keyword until end of turn.
    3: Choose flying, hexproof, or trample. Other creatures you control gain the chosen keyword until end of turn.
    “With one word he could make the birds fall and the frogs fly.”-The Resistance

    3. My Turn?? 2RU (Rare)
    Sorcery
    As you cast CARDNAME you may pay an additional 1, if you do you win the flip. Flip a coin, if you win the flip take an extra turn. If you lose the flip draw three cards.
    4. Tricky Maneuver -1GW (Uncommon)
    Instant
    Create a 2/2 Green Ape creature token under target player's control. Exile a creature that player controls, return it to play at the beginning of the next end step.
    5. Sarkhan, One with the Dragons-3RG (Mythic Rare)
    Legendary Planeswalker-Sarkhan
    +1: Create a 3/3 Red and Green Dragon creature token with flying and trample.
    0: Search your library for a Dragon card and put it into your hand.
    -5: Reveal your hand then cast each Dragon card revealed this way without paying their mana cost.
    4 Loyalty

    6. Hidden Dragon -2RW (Rare)
    Enchantment
    If you control 3 or more creatures, CARDNAME is a 5/5 red and white dragon with flying, haste, and lifelink.
    7. Halmrac, Illusionist- UW (Mythic Rare)
    Planeswalker-Halmrac
    +1: Create a 1/1 blue and white illusion creature token with flying and when this creature becomes the target of a spell or ability sacrifice it.
    -2: You get an emblem with illusions get +1/+1 and vigilance.
    2 loyalty
    8. Summon the Rabid Bear (B/G)(B/G) (common)
    Sorcery
    Create a 2/2 Green and black bear creature token with deathtouch.
    9. The Mechanized Way-1UB (Uncommon)
    Enchantment
    (B/U) Sacrifice a creature or artifact: Scry 1, Draw a card and lose 1 life.

    10. -XRRBB (Mythic Rare)
    Instant
    Choose X, you may choose the same mode more than once:
    Draw a card and lose a life.
    Create 2 1/1 red and black demon creature tokens with deathtouch.
    Deal 2 damage to target player and 2 damage to target creature.


    ReplyDelete
  35. Like Doug, I challenged myself to do another set of 10.

    Fight Analyst (Common)
    UR
    Creature - Human Warrior Wizard
    2/1
    Fight Analyst gets +1/+1 as long as you casted a noncreature spell this turn.

    (NOTE: This card is my answer to the prowess problem. It's my proposal for a static ability form of prowess. It becomes an on/off mechanic that just gives +1/+1, which is easier to track, maintains general functionality, and can stack with itself if necessary.
    More on that, uh, "soon"!)


    Espionage (Rare)
    3UB
    Sorcery
    Look at the top five cards of target player's library, then put them back in any order.
    Draw three cards.


    Sthenophobia (Common)
    1BR
    Enchantment - Aura
    Enchant creature
    Enchanted creature gets -2/-0 and can't block creatures with greater power.


    Rona the Sturmborn (Mythic)
    1RG
    Planeswalker - Rona
    2
    [+1]: Rona the Sturmborn deals 1 damage to target creature or player.
    [+1]: Creatures you control get +1/+1 until end of turn.
    [-5]: You get an emblem with, "If a source you control would deal damage to an opponent or a creature or planeswalker an opponent controls, it deals double that damage instead."


    Ley Creeper (Uncommon)
    1BG
    Creature - Elemental
    3/1
    Menace
    1, Exile Ley Creeper from your graveyard: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool.


    Fickle Lifefire (Uncommon)
    RW
    Instant
    Reveal the top card of your library as you choose a target for Fickle Lifefire. If it’s a creature, target a creature. Otherwise, target a player.
    Fickle Lifefire deals 3 damage to the chosen target. You gain 3 life.


    Idea Realized (Rare)
    4GU
    Instant
    X is the number of cards in your hand as Idea Realized resolves.
    Reveal the top X cards of your library. You may put a permanent card with converted mana cost X or less from among them onto the battlefield.


    Zero to Hero (Uncommon)
    GW
    Sorcery
    Put a +1/+1 counter on target creature. Repeat this process until it has the greatest power or is tied for the greatest.


    Arvahn, Grand Inquisitor (Mythic)
    3WB
    Planeswalker - Arvahn
    3
    [+1]: You gain 2 life. If you have the highest life total, draw a card.
    [-2]: Create a colorless Guillotine artifact token with, "1WB, Sacrifice this artifact: Destroy target creature if it attacked, blocked, or dealt damage to you this turn."
    [-6]: Target opponent gets an emblem with, "If you would draw a card, exile it instead. The owner of this emblem may play it without paying its mana cost. If he or she doesn’t, put that card into your hand."


    Dominion (Mythic)
    7WU
    Enchantment
    If a spell would be countered by a source you control, exile it instead.
    If an ability would be countered by a source you control, exile that ability and the source of it.
    You may play cards exiled by Dominion without paying their mana cost.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Idea Realized seems like it would do so little since it is a six drop, how many cards are expected to be in your hand. I feel like it could be dropped to 4 mana but that is a development concern it is a cool effect. I like Fight Analyst but the name is so close to Flight I was expecting it to fly or since it is fight maybe actually fight, is that still partly in red's pie? I think it is pretty much fully green now. I love zero to hero. I feel like Fickle Lifefire is a Timmy card costed for Spike, due to the randomness I think increase the cost and up the ability. Ley Creeper is cool, very black/green. Do you think your second batch was better or worse than your first? I actually really liked my second batch and got to show off my reflection mechanic by using hybrid mana.

      Delete
    2. I'd rank batch two slightly under batch 1. Batch 1 had a lot more original stuff due to a lot of transplants from the archive, as it were. I like the WB planeswalker I did from a Vorthos perspective, but I have no idea how it would be received. The RG one feels more solid, particularly as a 3-mana one, but it's a bit tame for abilities.

      Delete