Monday, March 5, 2018

Scott Wilson's Design Test Submission

(These Tests are being backdated for administrative purposes. They were not disclosed to nor published on this site prior to their publication on the mothership.)

Design 1

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

Design 2

Trash Recycler (rare)
Creature - Human Insect
Whenever an opponent discards a card, exile that card.
You may play cards exiled with CARDNAME.
T: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool.

Design 3

Oasis Mirage (mythic rare)
Legendary Enchantment
You may have lands you play enter the battlefield as a copy of any permanent on the battlefield.

Design 4

Blessed Fists (common)
Target creature you control gains lifelink until end of turn. It fights target creature an opponent controls.

Design 5

Tomarin Blair, Lord of Time (mythic rare)
Planeswalker - Tomarin
+1: After this main phase, there is an additional upkeep step, followed by an additional main phase.
-3: Target opponent skips his or her next combat phase.
-8: Create a colorless Paradox artifact token with T, Sacrifice this artifact: End the turn.

Design 6

Come at Me Bros (uncommon)
Creatures target opponent controls attack this turn if able.
Untap target creature you control. It can block any number of creatures this turn.

Design 7

Elixa DuMort, Dragonstitcher (mythic rare)
Planeswalker - Elixa
+1: Target player discards a card. If you discard a card this way, draw a card.
-2: Exile target creature card from a graveyard. Create a 4/4 black and red Zombie Dragon creature token with flying.
-6: Exile target creature. Create a 10/10 black and red Zombie Dragon Horror creature token with flying, indestructible, and haste.

Design 8

Draft Chaff Blast (rare)
CARDNAME deals X damage to target creature or player. You may choose an artifact, instant, or sorcery card with converted mana cost X or less you own from outside the game, reveal that card, and put it into your hand.

Design 9

Blood Requirement (common)
Counter target spell unless its controller sacrifices a creature.

Design 10

Poisonous Prison (uncommon)
When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, exile target nonland permanent an opponent controls until CARDNAME leaves the battlefield.
When CARDNAME leaves the battlefield, each opponent loses 4 life.


  1. I'm doing my own mini-reviews of the design tests. I'm awarding a potential 2 points for each card, and will figure out what that all means when I get further along.

    1) Easily Excitea-Bull: Hee hee hee. It probably ought to be "gains or loses life" but otherwise. Lifelink might be a bit much, but I'd have to try to Jenny-break it first.

    2 points.

    2) Trash Recycler: I love it, except it's doing too much to squeeze some utility. Let your buildaround rare be a buildaround rare. And this buildaround rare is probably an enchantment.

    1 point.

    3) Oasis Mirage: That's amazing. And probably undercosted.

    2 points.

    1. 4) Blessed Fists: Somehow this isn't already a card? Prepare /// Fight is pretty close though. Solid common.

      2 points.

      5) Tomarin Blair, Lord of Time: Fantastic planeswalker. Unique identity, cohesive package, cool abilities. Karn is the official time travel walker, but this is a great take on it.

      2 points.

      6) Come at me Bros: That's interesting. It might be a little strong for uncommon, but I'd definitely want to test it.

      1 point.

    2. 7) Elixa DuMort, Dragonstitcher: Another great Planeswaker. I know who this character is, what she does, and what future iterations of her card could look like. Fantastic design.

      2 points.

      8) Draft Chaff Blast: Izzet gets to focus on nonpermanents, or it gets to focus on artifacts. A card should commit to one or the other. This card would have been another home run if it had.

      1 point.

      9) Blood Requirement: Good common design. Probably not a lot of people going to run it though. Would the better design have been a hybrid version, limited to creatures? It would have been a bend, possibly a break, but definitely more interesting a card.

      1 point.

  2. 10) Poisonous Prison: Not as inspired as the other cards, but it gets the job done. No flaws in color, rarity, or execution.

    1 point.

    Total Score: 15

  3. Easily Excitea-Bull- Wow. Connect with this once and it's a 4/4 haste lifelink. Did they swing back? OK, 5/5. Yes, it dies to removal, but it totally fits the "4-mana creature that takes over the game if unanswered" slot. Maybe just a bit too good, maybe not-- I don't know. In any case it's exciting and has a cool line of rules text.

    Trash Recycler- At first it reads overpowered, but the first ability takes quite a bit of building around. Tapping for 1 of any color is a clever choice way to let you cast most of the exiled cards with out the usual color-fixing clunkiness. Something about this design feels just a little off to me-- not just the Human Insect type line. Color pie maybe? But I can't put my finger on it, and every aspect of this that I can analyze, I like.

    Oasis Mirage- Wow, that's an exciting and concise line of text. Well done! Templating would probably change "you play" to "you control". I have minor reservations about the rarity (rare feels more correct), the tension of having this do nothing on turn 6 if you cast it then, and the flavor/resonance fit. But overall this is an awesome design.

    Blessed Fists- This will surely be a printed card at some point. I tend to be a little disappointed by designs that are "merely" synergistic stapler jobs with existing effects. But there's nothing wrong with the card, and it makes a good common.

    Tomarin Blair, Lord of Time- Epic name. The +1 is super weird (there are rules issues with sandwiching a bare upkeep step between two main phases, I think) and not very useful unless you've built around it with upkeep triggers. -3 is a good protection effect, and it's right to cost it that conservatively. -8 is super-cool; great flavor, and there's some lenticular design where it's actually much better than a Time Walk if used right. I'm not sure of all the numbers, but planeswalkers are hard that way, and the overall concept is (ahem) fantastic.

    Come At Me Bros- Color pie alert! "Can block any number of creatures" is mono-white. Also, there's some tension in how the effects read and it's a little complex / swingy for an uncommon. I want the first line to read "creatures attack you this turn if able". The effect itself is fine and I bet it plays interestingly, but overall this is a miss for me.

    Elixa DuMort, Dragonstitcher- Another epic planeswalker name. +1 is a little cutesy for my tastes, but both modes are relevant and appropriate. -2 is exactly what I want a Dragonstitcher to do; not innovative but it seems like it would play well. -6 does a very good job of being a powerful, exciting, and thematic, but not back-breaking, ultimate. The plusses on both walkers have been a bit too cautious but I'm otherwise liking the designs.

    Draft Chaff Blast- Yeah right. You have to expect that this is Wishing for a splashed bomb, or a Lightning Bolt, or a Lion's Eye Diamond, or something equally broken. As such it's most likely getting cast for X=1 to 3 in Constructed-- that's where it generates the most value-- and that's not where I like my X spells to be. To me this is an example of a misguided, non-synergistic stapler design.

    Blood Requirement- Wait, this isn't a card already? Definitely checks out. Clean, resonant, fun. I'd want to try it at UB, but I'd probably be wrong.

    Poisonous Prison- Good uncommon. We've seen several Banishing-Light-deluxe designs recently, and this one fits right in. The extra ability is spiteful in a very fun way that's perfect for black. As usual, design #10 deserves to be several spots further up.

    1. Using the same scoring system as zefferal, I get:
      Easily Excitea-Bull - 1
      Trash Recycler - 2
      Oasis Mirage - 2
      Blessed Fists - 1
      Tomarin Blair - 1
      Come At Me - 0
      Elixa DuMort - 2
      Draft Chaff Blast - 0
      Blood Requirement - 2
      Poisonous Prison - 2
      for a total of 13.

  4. 1. Easily Excitea-bull. Trying to get brownie points with MaRo with puns, I see. I like this card (partly because I've been fiddling with designs that care about life total changes, too). I think there may be some confusion with players at first about how many counters it gets and that it's not for each life point change. But I don't think it's too complicated.

    2. Trash Recycler. Interesting and kind of hard to evaluate. The mana tap feels really weird even though it's on-pie and necessary for casting the exiled cards.

    3. Oasis Mirage. Well ... that's certainly a card. It's funny how simple it is, but it never occurred to me to go there because it seems so very obviously broken. But is it? My big fear would actually be game stalls--that it would cause opponents to be afraid to play game-winning permanents for fear they'll be cloned on the cheap.

    4. Blessed Fists. Fun and simple, and the Amonkhet aftermath version of this was a workhorse in limited. As with the BG fight card Alex made, I appreciate that this is a sorcery.

    5. Tomarin. Rules wise, this plus won't let him plus repeatedly in a single turn, correct? Tomarin is interesting, but not entirely sure how valuable the plus even is, though you can certainly make it more valuable when you've got permanents with upkeep components. So maybe it's a build-around walker.

    6. Come at me Bros. Simple and fun design. But as IPaulsen notes, multi-blocking is white.

    7. Elixa. I have an image of my held of an elderly lady sitting in a rocking chair, knitting up zombie dragons. The format is fine and she has good flavor, but I currently have an idea germinating in my brain that RB planeswalkers need to not be functioning like other color planeswalkers, because of reckless, extremely aggressive components of the color combo. I think Elixa protects herself too easily when you minus her on play. She's flavorful, but she doesn't really capture RB risky behavior. I think overall design-wise, we're playing it too safe on RB walkers.

    8. Draft Chaff Blast. What a weird combo. I don't really like it. I think I'd prefer to make the player dig down X cards into the library. I feel like this rewards lazy deck-building, which is kind of the opposite of what UR is all about.

    9. Blood Requirement. I too thought it was already a card, lol. But if it's not it should be.

    10. Poisonous Prison. I like it but the one relatively minor flaw is that these enchantments rarely ever get removed anyway, especially in limited formats, so I'm not sure how frequently the bonus black effect is going to trigger.