Friday, May 11, 2018

Weekend Design Challenge 051118 - Mother's Day Cards

Hey, Artisans! Click through to see this weekend's design challenge, submissions due Monday morning. Every submission warrants feedback, so after you've come up with your idea, tell people what you like or dislike about theirs. Also listen to what they had to say about your card, and armed with that critique, revise your submission any number of times. Over the course of Monday (and possibly bleeding into Tuesday, depending on submission volume), I'll review the most recent submission from each designer.

This weekend's challenge was pitched by Pasteur. This weekend, design a card that meets one of the following criteria:
  • Inspired by your mother or a mother you admire.
  • A card dedicated to your mother or a mother you admire.
  • Top-down card named "Mother's Day Celebration"
EDIT: One important note about feedback this week. When people give and receive feedback this week, it's important to emphasize that the critique is about the card, not anyone's mother. This challenge can have a very personal element to it, but our focus is, as always, on becoming better game designers.[/EDIT]
That's it! As always, I'll be checking out for the weekend, but I'll be back Monday to see what everyone's come up with. Have a great weekend, good luck with the challenge, and have fun!

80 comments:

  1. So, I'd like to make a card inspired in my mom. One of the aspects I admire the most from her is her uncanny ability to adapt to whichever environment she's in. I mean, we've lived in many places. From the heart of the Capital to a farm in the countryside without phone lines, and she fits in so perfectly one would think she's been there all of her life. Thus, I'd like to make a Morphling inspired on her (and all the mothers): Momling!

    On the other hand, another interesting thing I noticed is that there's not yet a white morphling (from a quick Scryfall search), so this could be an interesting thought exercise.

    Now, coming up with suitable abilities is tougher. I think that an important aspects of mothers is, of course, protecting her own. This would be my first draft:

    Momling - 5WW
    Creature - Human shapeshifter
    {W}: Until EOT, Momling can block any number of creatures.
    {W}: The next damage that would be dealt to you or to another creature you control is dealt to Momling instead.
    {W}: Change the target of a spell or ability an opponent controls that is targeting you or a permanent you control to Momling.
    {W}: Momling gains indestructible until end of turn.
    {1}: Momling gains +1/-1 until EOT.
    {1}: Momling gains -1/+1 until EOT.

    So she is kind of a morphling, but she changes into different kinds of protection.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I forgot P/T... I'd say that for that mana cost, she'd be a 5/5.

      Delete
    2. I thought this would be a million lines of text, but it's only 10. Can you get it down to 9?

      Delete
    3. 'Momling' is brilliant, btw.

      Delete
    4. I like this, but I'd kill indestructible.

      For one, it adds a sixth ability, which breaks the -ling standard.

      For two, making Momling herself unkillable kind of ruins the flavor. Instead of "this card is protecting my other cards", it becomes "this card is unkillable, and incidentally makes me and all my other stuff unkillable too." The closest thing I can find is Soul of New Phyrexia, which was unfun to play against in Limited, and Momling is arguably better (worse against Wraths, but negates any damage she can't block, and doesn't cost infinity mana to activate on consecutive turns).

      Delete
    5. I feel there also should only be 5 abilities, indestructible is definitely the strongest, to match other Morphlings, though, it would need a way to protect itself.

      Delete
    6. What about:
      W: Block an additional creature
      W: Redirect a spell or ability
      W: Prevent all damage to Mom

      That way she has a very obvious niche (protect your stuff and your life total from damage), but still leaves open targeted direct destruction and sweepers as counterplay. Block an additional creature instead of all also forces you to leave up more mana to make her useful on defense.

      You might even be able to get away with 5cmc. Maybe 4/4 for 6cmc.

      Delete
    7. Thank y'all for you replies! Taking your feedback into account, I'd reword it as follows:

      Momling - {4}{W}{W}
      Creature - Human shapeshifter
      {W}: Momling can block one additional creature.
      {W}:Change the target of a spell or ability that is targeting you or a permanent you control to Momling.
      {W}:Prevent the next damage that would be dealt to Momling this turn.
      {1}:Momling gets +1/-1 or -1/+1 unitl end of turn.
      4/5

      I like the suggestions from Jenesis and Doug. In this case, she helps you against damage but it becomes very mana intensive to keep it up. The damage prevention plays to the protective abilities of morphlings in a very white way I feel.

      Delete
    8. Do we want to go all the way with mirroring and make it a 5 drop? I feel like 3/3 nowadays is too weak.

      Delete
    9. I like that you pared down the abilities based on feedback regarding length. Aetherling tells us that it's ok to switch up the traditional Morphling formula if the rest of the design warrants it. That said, you combined the flowstone abilities into a single activated, which definitely flies in the face of previous templating. Given that she can already prevent damage done to her with one ability, I would stick with strictly +1/-1 and forgo toughness pumping entirely.

      This is a strong start. There's definitely some templating tweaking that need to be done. Changing the target of a spell is currently in Blue (Spellskite), but it's not used often enough that I would consider it firmly a blue thing.

      I like that the card screams "protector" on all fronts, and it carries that theme well.

      Delete
  2. This challenge has an unforeseen complication:
    We're going to have to be careful with our feedback, and understand that the feedback we get is about the card and not our mothers.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Worrywart 2W
    Creature - Human (R)
    When Worrywart enters the battlefield, choose another creature you control. That creature can't attack or block unless its toughness is 5 or greater.
    At the beginning of your upkeep, if the chosen creature's toughness is less than 5, put a +1/+1 counter on it.
    2/4

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love the name because you're going to spend an excess of brainpower keeping track of all the things you can and can't do with the chosen creature.

      Delete
    2. I can't tell if you're advocating for changing the card or not. At the time it didn't seem too complicated, but you're probably right that it's a bit much. It might be better if it didn't choose a creature and just pumped your whole team, like:

      Worrywart 2WW
      Creature - Human (R)
      Creatures you control with toughness 4 or less can't attack or block.
      At the beginning of your upkeep, put a +1/+1 counter on each creature you control with toughness less than 4.
      2/4

      I moved the toughness check to 4, but it might still be too powerful and need to be 3.

      Delete
    3. I'm going to assume it's less than 4 instead of 4 or less? Seems nice for a tokens deck with some defensive walls/spells.

      Is this supposed to affect itself?

      Delete
    4. Yes, it's supposed to be less than 4. I don't want it to pump itself most of the time (thus its toughness being 4), but I figure the flavor still makes sense in the corner cases with the context of the mother making sure to take care of herself as well as her kids.

      Delete
    5. I love this design. That's a great "mother" capture - keep your small creatures out of harms way until they're big enough to fend for themselves.

      Color-wise, I'm not sure I love it in mono-W. I could see arguments made for Bant or any of its subset color combos, but Pacifying the weenie color's weenies seems a little out of place. Color aside, I'm a huge fan of this card.

      Delete
  4. A mother we admire, eh?

    Mom 2UB
    Legendary Creature - Human Artificer (M)
    Artifact creatures you control have deathtouch.
    2UUT: Gain control of target artifact creature.
    2/3

    You'll have to figure out who this is on your own. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice capture. Being able to steal multiple creatures (even if limited to a particular subset) permanently is a big red flag. Beguiler of Wills didn't really bust anything open, but she had some checks and balances on the number of things she could take. Neurok Transmuter would be this mom's favorite son, but Memnarch did all that in one package already, so maybe it's all fine.

      It's a very cool design, and a great tribute. Well done.

      Delete
  5. Well heres my card based on my mom. It's a horse lord. Because she has far too many horses (In my personal opinion) It buffs them up and gives them lifelink to combo off of Crested Sunmare and to use all those high powers. It also taps for mana to summon horses especially off color ones, to represent her buying horses even the ones she shouldn't.

    Aggressive Ranch Head 1GW
    Creature - Human Scout (R)
    Horse spells you cast cost {1} less to cast
    Horse creatures you control get +1/+1 and lifelink
    {TAP}: Add one mana of any color. Only use this to cast horse spells
    1/3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Change creature type to Human Rancher.
      Wanted to use an official creature class, but screw it calling this thing a scout is bothering me greatly.

      Delete
    2. Other potential official classes:
      Citizen
      Elder
      Monger (does she deal or trade in horse-related gear?)
      Nomad
      Rebel

      Does she need both the first and the third ability? Double-ramping is a bit weird.

      Delete
    3. Yeah, maybe the first ability is a bit too redundant, with the third one fitting in more flavorably. And does solely buying horses count? Let's test it out to see how it looks So with that in mind, maybe this would be a better version

      Aggressive Ranch Head 1GW
      Creature - Human Monger (R)
      Horse creatures you control get +1/+1 and lifelink
      {T}: Add one mana of any color. Only use this to cast horse spells
      1/3

      Delete
    4. The original version had one too many abilities on it, and I'm glad you edited one out in the revised version.

      Horses are such a weird tribe in Magic. I agree that GW is where they ought to be, but Black has historically had more horses than any other color. Adding one mana of any color is a good call on that front, but limiting it to Horse creatures is a major feelbad given the low standard of quality of equine creatures thus far. I would suggest rearranging those abilities just a little. Have a static boost for lifelink, add one of any color only to cast creatures, but if a horse is cast with that mana, it EsTB with a +1/+1 counter?

      Also, I think we can safely retire monger as a creature type. If none of the standard classes really apply, you can forego them (a lot of herders and farmers in magic don't have a type beyond race), or use something with such a broad flavor definition (i.e. shaman) that no one will give it a second thought.

      This is an excellent tribute card, distilling one aspect of your mother to a cohesive mechanical interpretation.

      Delete
    5. Thank you for the feedback, so taking that into account, how does this version of the card look?

      Aggressive Ranch Head 1GW
      Creature - Human (One day, there will be an appropriate creature class. One day.) (R)
      Horse creatures you control get lifelink
      {T}: Add one mana of any color. Only use this to cast creature spells. If that creature spell was a horse, put a +1/+1 counter on it.
      1/3

      Delete
  6. Maternal Role Model 3G
    Creature - Human Warrior
    4/4
    Whenever ~ attacks you may put a +1/+1 counter on target attacking creature you control with power less than CARDNAME.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love how this and Worryward above come from such a similar place, and that their execution results in a wildly different yet kind of the same card, both mechanically and flavorfully. Two representations of two very different mother tropes, that could easily be in the same set for the purposes of contrasting them against each other.

      Rarity wasn't provided, but that's a rare.

      Green is fine for this, and red, gruul, boros and naya would all be appropriate selections as well. Very nice design.

      Delete
  7. Mother Goose 1WW
    Creature - Bird Bard
    Flying
    Whenever a Saga you control would have a lore counter put on it, you may put 0, 1 or 2 lore counters on it instead.
    2/3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Really like the flavor. Wonder how often I will decide to put 0 lore counters.

      Delete
    2. Sometimes you just don't want to spoil the ending to Fall of Thran

      Also, this should probably be Legendary and Bard should be a real creature type.

      Delete
    3. Of the 3 existing Bards, looks like two pretend to be rogues and one a shaman.

      Delete
    4. Hilarious.

      There's nothing there I would change, at uncommon anyway. There's rules implications for putting on more than one counter simultaneously, which are probably covered in the FAQ, but do you skip the relevant chapter? Most likely not.

      At rare, I would probably let this fetch a saga from library and/or GY, either on ETB or LTB, in addition to its very cool storytelling powers. Fantastic job.

      Delete
  8. Mother Nature 1GG (R)
    Creature-Treefolk Elemental
    */*
    Trample
    When CARDNAME enters the battlefield search your library for a forest and put into play tapped. CARDNAME's power and toughness is equal to the number of forests you control.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Put it and are. Hate that there is not an edit option.

      Delete
    2. I kind of want this to get the forest on cast, so that she isn't randomly -1/-1 before her trigger resolves.

      Delete
    3. I actually was thinking that but do we want this to be immune to bolt?

      Delete
    4. You could also go the other way and make the rampant growth come on combat damage or something.

      Delete
    5. So many great mother concepts are being developed here.

      This is actually a fairly common Treefolk mechanical execution (relatively speaking). They haven't attached a Rampant Growth to it yet, and I like that a lot. It might need to cost one more so you're not getting a 4/4 trample for 3, but Steel Leaf Champion tells me that maybe that's not as outlandish as it sounds.

      Either way, a very strong representation.

      Delete
    6. Yeah and with the trigger on the stack you can bolt it.

      Delete
  9. Mother of Invention-4UU (R)
    Creature-Avatar
    4/6
    Flying
    When you cast CARDNAME search your library for an artifact and put it into your hand.
    Sacrifice CARDNAME: Artifacts you control gain indestructible until end of turn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm assuming the cast trigger is to avoid reanimation shenanigans?

      Why is monoblue giving things indestructible?

      Delete
    2. I actually put the cast trigger to get around feel bad when this is countered. I guess we can make this 4UW. Since it is making artifacts indestructible I thought maybe it could get away with being monoblue and be more of a bend than a break.

      Delete
    3. I really like how this feels like an "Avatar" creature type. The name and power level are on point. I think blue-white makes sense. Granting indestructible to artifacts has been done in colorless before, so maybe it's a bend.

      If you are referencing necessity being the mother of invention, maybe a Fateful-Hour-like comeback component could be involved.

      Delete
    4. I agree with Jenesis on the mono-U regenerating being a little off. Blue has had Argivian Restoration and Reconstruction, but it doesn't do much to protect the artifacts currently on the field. The move to Azorius was a good one.

      I don't know that making it a cast trigger is necessary. Sometimes your big splashy creatures get countered, and the game is ok with that.

      I love the concept, but as an unabashed Jenny, I feel like this is falling a little short on the Patron Avatar of Inventors it wants to be. Tutoring for artifacts is great, but we have three Mages that do that in various forms, among other things. Likewise, regenerating the artifacts doesn't read inventor as much as museum curator. For my money, the Quicksmiths are Magic's best take on inventors. That's just my jennyness though, and this is a very strong interpretation of that patron avatar.

      Delete
    5. I really like avatar as a creature type. I agree it could have had something like sacrifice CARDNAME create two copies of target artifact instead, that might be more interesting actually.

      Delete
  10. Mama Bear 2GG
    Creature - Bear (R)
    1G, T: Create a 2/2 green Bear creature token named Bear Cub.
    Whenever a Bear you control with power less than Mama Bear's power dies, Mama Bear gets +3/+3 and fights up to one target creature an opponent controls.
    4/4

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel like Mama Bear wants vigilance but it already is a really strong card.

      Delete
    2. This is very cute! I think the flavor would still come through if you simplified the text to:
      Whenever a creature you control with power less than CARDNAME dies, CARDNAME gets...

      ie removing the token making and Bear text. Specific Bear text might actually be more popular though!

      Delete
    3. I like this idea very much!

      I think that the mama bear would ALWAYS get angry if a cub dies, independently of its strength. Then you can change the text to "whenever another Bear you control dies, mama fights target creature an opponent controls." I also think that she is already a good rate being a 4/4 for 4 mana so extra P/T would be very powerful?

      Delete
    4. I think creating at least one token provides a good visual cue of a baby bear and a mama bear. So if you decide to tone it down, maybe she could just make one token when she enters the battlefield and cost slightly more.

      Great top-down design though. Love it!

      Delete
    5. Amazing work. This might be a little too close and too recent after Enrage/Dinos, but I would think that damage to any bear, regardless of its power or its death, would still be a flavor home run. If you really wanted to double down on flavor (and I was a big detractor of Ixalan incentivizing you to abuse your own dinos) you could limit the damage to sources an opponent controls. It might make worse gameplay, but it tells a much better story.

      Playtesting may show that making a constant stream of bears that could result in a 7/7 fighter might be a little oppressive. She might need to just ETB with a bear or two and call it a day.

      Either way, that is such a cool design. If we ever get a bear lord in the game, I hope it looks like Mama Bear.

      Delete
    6. I'd just make it +2/+2 to match our other numbers.

      Delete
  11. First time poster here!

    Nurturing Home 2WG
    Enchantment - Saga
    I - Create three 0/1 Child tokens with "When this dies, loose 3 life."
    II - Put two +1/+1 counters on each Child you control.
    III - Put two +1/+1 counters on each Child you control. Gain 6 life for each Child you control.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is wonderful. Starts off adorable and then gets scary. Just like real people!

      Delete
    2. Welcome, Clark!

      I like the saga design. Perhaps it's not as specific a tale as the sagas usually capture, but sagas do a great job of capturing linear progression to a definitive end cleanly that other card types don't.

      Selesnya is a fine pairing for this. You didn't include rarity, so I'm going to guess Uncommon, as it's lacking enough splash to really make it feel rare. If it is uncommon, I think the life loss/gain triggers can be dropped. They make a nice story, but are a much more complicated design, and I don't think that the flavor is strong enough to carry that much mechanical (and textual) extra.

      Less risk for losing a child means that other knobs on this need to be tweaked to make it less powerful. Still, this is a very interesting design, and I'm looking forward to seeing your future contributions.

      Delete
  12. Silver-border

    Art description: Mother of Runes, Grandmother Sengir, Pia Nalaar, and Sliver Queen (possibly other characters) are seated around a table at brunch, laughing joyously. Delicious food and drinks are served.

    Mother's Day Celebration 1WW
    Enchantment (Mythic)
    At the beginning of your upkeep, call a mother you know and tell her you appreciate her. If you do, put a +1/+1 counter on each creature you control. Those creatures gain lifelink until end of turn.

    I'm gonna need an un-ruling on voicemails!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let's see, other mothers:
      Autumn Willow
      Dragon Broodmother
      Lovisa Coldeyes
      Marwyn, the Nurturer
      Mother Kangaroo
      Oona, Queen of the Fae
      Rayne, Academy Chancellor
      Sakiko, Mother of Summer
      Verix Bladewing
      Wasitora, Nekoru Queen

      And if you add metaphorical mothers, you can probably go even deeper!

      I'd say that leaving a voicemail is fine, as long as you can prove that the number you called was actually a mother. If you get a disconnected or wrong number, you'll have to try again.

      Delete
    2. Think you'll need to consult Rosewater unjudge

      Delete
    3. There's a rich well of moms in Magic to draw from. Wow. I didn't realize there were so many. I even forgot Wort. In retrospect, the lifelink part was kind of tacked on. Maybe I would want to grant hexproof from a color as a nod to Mother of Runes instead. Or just gain one life for each creature controlled. The creatures are supposed to represent the children in this scenario I guess.

      Delete
    4. That's a fantastic undesign.

      Having a repeatable trigger that requires a phone call might cause a few too many games to grind to a halt, especially if the caller has trouble getting off the phone. I'd suggest converting it to a sorcery with a kicker effect for making the call, and possibly a downside if the mother didn't pick up that would be offset by leaving a voicemail. Maybe a little complex that way, but I think one phone call per game (or at least per casting of this card) is about as much as the game is willing to sustain.

      Delete
  13. Amycus, the Inspiring Dancer 2RR
    Legendary Creature - Human
    Haste
    When Amycus attacks, attacking creatures you control get +2/+0 until end of turn.
    2/2

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really like this. I think it captures the flavor of an inspiring dancer really well. It's quite powerful too. It surprises me we haven't seen too many dancers in Magic.

      Delete
    2. Art would have to carry a lot of the weight here, as the translation of "art" into "combat magic" in red is always a little hard to sustain without it.

      That's a solid, elegant design. As a legend, I do wish it had a little more unique design space. Haste and the number combo is unique enough, and not every legend needs to be doing something that hasn't really been done before, but I feel like a card flavored after a dancer ought to.

      Still, a very clean and elegant submission.

      Delete
  14. Encourage {G}
    Instant
    Escalate {1} (Pay this cost for each mode chosen beyond the first.)
    Choose one or more —
    • Target creature gains hexproof until EOT.
    • Put a +1/+1 counter on target creature.
    • This turn, whenever you activate an ability of that creature, activate it twice instead.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the last mode needs to be worded ,"This turn, whenever you activate an ability of target creature, activate it twice instead."

      Delete
    2. A nice interpretation. Out of the three modes, the doubling activation is the only one that really reads "encourage" to me. The others are more protect/foster, also attributes we'd probably expect to see on a Mom card.

      Is this meant to have more than one potential target? As printed, it does. It might be interesting to pick a target before the modes listed, so all modes must hit the same target.

      There's no printed rarity. Without the last ability, I would guess uncommon, but doubling an activation would push this to rare.

      On that note, copying an activated isn't something that's been done on an instant before, and maybe ought to appear on its own before becoming a mode on an otherwise combat trick? Also, is it green?

      This kind of challenge really wants you to go the Creature route, and I'm glad you designed a combat trick/utility instant. A very interesting and creative submission, and definitely something I'd want to run in a deck.

      Delete
    3. Probably rare for complexity, though I could see uncommon.

      I agree we should print the trigger copying ability on its own before mashing it up with other cards. And yeah, copying a trigger is most likely not green.

      Mothers can have multiple children and encourage them in different ways, so I wouldn't force a single target, at least not for thematic reasons.

      Delete
  15. Baseless Praise 1UW
    Enchantment - Aura (UNcommon)
    Enchant Player
    At the beginning of your draw step, draw a card.
    Whenever enchanted player takes any action, compliment them. (Actions include drawing cards, playing cards, activating abilities, attacking, blocking, changing phases, ending turns, and making decisions). Whenever you forget this trigger, sacrifice this card.

    Silver-bordered, obviously.

    PS: I do love my mother.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love the idea of this! I would maybe nix the changing phases / ending turns as counting as an action. I think you start to get into double-digit territory with the compliments in a single turn quickly.

      Delete
    2. You're probably right. I wanted the number of compliments to be excessive, but worrying about changing phases just isn't fun.

      Delete
    3. I can see it still being pretty excessive, which fits the flavor. Tracking phases and stuff just gets harder in paper magic. Maybe you could up the reward if you want it to do that. =)

      Delete
    4. I want to compliment the creativity and fun in this submission, but I'm worried it might come off as sarcastic. It isn't. A great submission for an un-card, and great flavor.

      As Moonfolklore pointed out, the triggering events can probably be pruned. Cast a spell/Activate an ability/attack or block with one or more creatures? I'd probably even cut out the blocking, having it only apply when the player is taking active steps that move the game along.

      I think this is safe as a general enchantment without limiting it to one player. In multiplayer it becomes even more hilarious if you have to sustain it across four player's turns.

      It could possibly be mono-U, but I'm happy with Azorius too.

      *heaps on extra helpings of praise for good measure*

      Delete
  16. Make Do RW
    Instant (u)
    Gain 2 life.
    At the beginning of your next main phase, add RW. Then, you may discard a card. If you do, draw a card and gain 2 life.
    Do what you can with what you've got.

    A trait I strongly identify with my mother is "scrappiness", and there are a lot of ways to show that idea in Magic, but this is a take on a different one. I would believe it if I were told this should be RG, but I like it at RW to start with.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really like what you've done here mechanically. This seems doable in RW yet I don't recall ever seeing something like this in RW before.

      Delete
    2. That is a fascinating design. It absolutely could be done in RG, and the ritual element would feel more at home there, but I buy it in Boros. It might read slightly better if it added RR instead, but that's far from a dealbreaker.

      Having so much stuff happen after the ritual effect is a little strange. Taking so many steps with mana floating may result in some misplays, or at least excessive confusion. But maybe not. I'd have to see it out in the wild. It could also be offset by just having the ritual effect at the very end of the spell.

      It is a little busy, and a little difficult to parse as a result. Would this be improved by having a pick two of three modes, each with a round-robin cost and resource generator? It might need some color tweaking, but it would definitely read as being resourceful and finding the best way to manage resources.

      This is definitely the start of a great top down design. I'd like to see some iteration on it to clean it up a bit, and see where it ends up. Well done.

      Delete
  17. As always Artisans, you took a difficult challenge and made some incredible cards. I always love how surprised I am when reading through submissions like these, and the novel approaches and designs that I never would have imagined in a million years turn up. Well done all around. Your mothers would be proud.

    ReplyDelete