Friday, March 9, 2018

GDS3 Finalists Revealed!

Congratulations to Artisans Ari Nieh, Jay Treat, Ryan Siegel-Stechler, and Jeremy Geist for making it into the Top 8 of the Great Designer Search! Show those judges how its done.

Editor's note: Jeremy Geist was inadvertently omitted from an earlier version of this post because the author has trouble putting two and two together. Apologies.


  1. Awesome job guys! Best of luck!

  2. So happy that we have THREE Artisans in the top 8! Best of luck and best wishes to our friends and colleagues!!

    1. Wow!! Yeah, my apologies Jeremy Geist, I didn't recognize the name as I've been away, but I now see you've been an Artisan with us through the GDS! Congrats!!

  3. Congratulations all! I thought it was suspicious how silent Jay got right around the time contestants were being informed, but didn't want to say anything. Good luck to you all.

  4. Good luck to you all!

    Side comment, do you all want criticism/critiques on your card designs? I have a few from just what I have seen and some questions.

    1. I’d be totally happy to get some for mine! Just as an FYI though it’ll be hard for me to answer just yet - we all need to wait until the first show to discuss any specifics of what the judges thought of our cards, and that (obviously) colors my current opinion of them a lot.

    2. I think it could be cool to have a separate post for each of the top 8 contestant's designs. That would give some cool content to go over while we wait for the actual content to come in (since MaRo said there will be a brief delay before things actually start).

    3. That'd be awesome.
      Feedback is my lifeblood.

    4. On yours Ryan (and these can be pasted if there are more posts up) in order...

      1. Swallow Whole-
      Love flavor of it. Very much the right colors and effect. Phrasing is a bit awkward, and it has a gotcha for new players as it can target anything and will only do something in some cases. Also unsure of how it would interact with an opposing creature having more toughness, do you gain the life still?

      2. Sewer Skimmer -
      My favorite of your cards. Simple, elegant, and useful in many ways.

      3. Indescriminate Slaughter -
      Another gem, powerful, swingey, very on color. Not sure where they want wipes of this power though, so rare might be a close sell.

      4. See you Tomorrow -
      Might be too cheap. It works well, and has a good effect, but it looks a little close to a time-walk and a bounce.

      (Continuing in a bit)

    5. 5. Hearts Desire -
      A bit wordy. And not sure what color this fits into, but it seems alright here. Would recommend rephrasing to "twice that many instead".

      6. Kaya, Kingslayer -
      Wow... A 2 Mana walker is bold. A 1 loyalty walker is real bold. I think it is not too powerful (might need 1 more starting loyalty) but it seems like a good design.

      7. Cranky Hydra -
      I am a sucker for x spells so I like this one, but I feel like the red effect is a little too weak possibly. But the space is great.

      8. Ral, living experiment -
      Is this supposed to be a Ral Zerak? Fits him well enough. I think it has potential but needs number tweaking. His plus is CA and selection but no protection and do nothing center ability on the turn he comes down is odd. (Assuming turn 6 like normal)

      9. Alacrity -
      Short, sweet, to the point. Good common card, although keep in mind it bends a bit to give green vigil.

      10. Curse of Apprehension -
      I am apprehensive about this one. It seems like the right colors in some ways, but I feel like it could end up like moat so often that it becomes a problem. Great design, just potential danger.

    6. Now to get some work done, I will write up Jay's afterwards.

    7. I'll do a full post explaining my thoughts on each card once the judging is public. Until then, I'd only be able to tell half the story. But I'm happy to hear reactions now or later.

    8. I'm having fun matching your submissions with your rejected card names on Twitter.

    9. This comment has been removed by the author.

    10. That was Nyxian Ascension, right? I thought it was Mugai Creation Saga at first, but then that was obviously Bearer Than the Average Smart.

    11. Nah, all the bear names were for Mugai Creation Saga. Nyxian Ascension was The Power of Friendship.

  5. Thank you, my friends!
    I'm so grateful for all your support, before GDS3, through this moment, and going forward.
    I really love and value this community, and I'm so proud of the work we've done together.

  6. Thanks all! With three Artisans in the top eight, I honestly feel like I've already won.

    1. I feel the same way, I’m very proud to be representing this community and hope to make you all proud too!

  7. Congratulations! I was hoping to see some Artisans on the list, and you certainly delivered!

  8. Three Goblin Artisans is crazy odds when taken in the face of the ampunt of people who entered. You can't deny there's something there. Good luck to everyone.

  9. I'm looking forward to competing with you!

    1. Thanks Jeremy! Can’t wait to see more of your designs. 😃

    2. Hey Jeremy. Sorry for skipping your name above. I added it to the post.

    3. Me as well! Your designs look great.

    4. Love the avatar choice, haha

  10. HUGE congrats, Jay, HavelockV and R Stech! I'm so so proud of you, I was in anticipation for the top8 announcement like it was a soccer final, and exulted as such. I shall be rooting for all three of you!

  11. Conga rats! Relentless, Pack, and Colony Rats!

    I expect great things from you four! Especially if you get hit with an Un-challenge. :D

  12. Feeling positive, so I'm going to just list my favorite design of each finalist (not just the artisans).

    Alex Warner -- I found many of the cards to be overly complex, but I loved the minigame in this one.

    Zyym, Mesmeric Lord (mythic rare)
    Legendary Creature — Vampire Wizard
    Flying, deathtouch
    When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, target opponent chooses an order for the cards in his or her hand, then reveals them one by one, until you say stop. That player then discards the most recently revealed card.

    (Would you show the card you least want to lose first, hoping that your opponent would assume you're trying to protect better cards?)

    Ari Nieh -- I love the bear party but I'm a sucker for this guy:

    The Raven Lord (mythic rare)
    Legendary Creature — God
    When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, create two 1/1 white Bird tokens with flying.
    Flying creatures you control have 1, T: Draw a card.
    As long as you've drawn two or more cards this turn, CARDNAME has indestructible.

    I've iterated several designs for lords for U/W flyer decks. What I realized is that you want something other than anthem effects to make them interesting (and not broken due to the innate evasion), and that's exactly what you did here. My one critique (which based on judging rules wouldn't effect your score) is that I immediately associate ravens with black and Liliana, so maybe a different name.

    Chris Mooney -- I will confess here that I flat-out don't understand what some of Chris's cards actually do. I do like:

    Borrowed Time (rare)
    Untap all permanents you control. Draw a card.
    Skip your next beginning phase. (The beginning phase consists of the untap, upkeep, and draw steps.)
    Exile CARDNAME.

    Take an extra turn without actually taking an extra turn. Skipping your next upkeep may not actually be a bad thing depending what sort of permanents you've got in play.

    Jay Treat -- Every card was absolutely clear and clean about what it did, even the complex Bucket List. Great job on the templating. Gotta give it up for the puppy, though:

    Echidna's Two-Headed Pup (uncommon)
    Creature — Chimera
    Menace, Vigilance
    CARDNAME can block an additional creature each combat.
    One head loves being petted and the other hates it. Good luck.

    I could almost see this as a rare.

    1. Jeremy Geist -- Lots of fun, modal stuff. Complex cards, but I had no problem following what they did (even Pam). My fave, though:

      Bewitch (rare)
      Enchantment — Aura
      Enchant creature
      You control enchanted creature.
      Enchanted creature gets -2/-2.

      I would be half-tempted to argue making it -3/-0 to really type it as a control magic specifically for creatures with activated abilities that aren't intended to be used in battles and to downplay it as a removal spell.

      Linus Ulysses Hamilton -- Gets three bonus points for having that name. This looks fun:

      Mirror Trick (rare)
      Return target creature you control to its owner's hand. Create a token that's a copy of it.

      It's extremely undercosted though, especially when you consider interactions with creature with ETB abilities and the likelihood you'll be able to resummon the creature immediately if you cast this on your turn.

      Ryan Siegel-Stechler -- Ryan, I hope nobody is giving you too much crap about the fact that Indiscriminate Slaughter duplicates the ability of a fairly well known Hearthstone card named "Brawl." I'm assuming you didn't know about it when you submitted your card. I'm fond of:

      Cranky Hydra (rare)
      Creature — Hydra
      When Cranky Hydra enters the battlefield, choose X. You may choose the same mode more than once —
      * Put a +1/+1 counter on Cranky Hydra.
      * Cranky Hydra deals 1 damage to target player.
      * Destroy target artifact or enchantment.

      Though it would be kind of funny to play it as a fireball to just win the game outright after a certain point.

      Scott Wilson -- Normally I'd have to root for him because we share a name. But I'll just have to split my cheering for all the artisans. I'm partial to this one:

      Easily Excitea-Bull (rare)
      Creature - Beast
      Haste, lifelink
      Whenever a player's life total changes, put a +1/+1 counter on CARDNAME.

      I brainstormed upan artifact that makes golem tokens based on your life total changes so I like the concept. This would be fun in multiplayer, for sure.

    2. I did not know that card existed until you mentioned it just now! Not super surprised it’s in another game though, as basic an effect as it is (I’m frankly a bit shocked it hasn’t been in Magic yet!). It’s one of the designs I’ve had in my back pocket for a looooong time.

  13. Hey guys. Made a landing page for us to discuss each player's design test. I'll try to get everyone's up ASAP.

  14. Congrats to all the artisans who made it ! Looking forward to read your name in the credit of "Core Set 2022" ;)