Friday, May 18, 2018

Weekend Design Challenge 051818 — You Might As Well Tribal

Hey, Artisans! Click through to see this weekend's design challenge, submissions due Monday morning.



Alright. Let's dive in.

This weekend, we'll be doing a version of the first round of the GDS3 challenges. We're doing things a little differently this week. Inanimate and I, along with a guest judge, will be "judging" submissions like Maro & co. with the Top 8's designs. Here are the design guidelines, lifted directly from the mothership:

Tribal themes (cards that mechanically care about one or more creature types) have been popular since Limited Edition (Alpha). For this challenge, we want you to choose a creature type, ideally one that hasn't seen a lot of love in Magic's history, and design eight cards. As this is a design challenge, there are few requirements you'll have to meet:
  • The creature type has to be unique from the other designers. We'll be taking requests first come, first served. Each designer will be using a different creature type. The creature type must be one that already exists in Magic and we strongly urge you avoid ones that have had a lot of previous tribal designs.
  • All the creatures should be designed as if they were from the same set. Assume the set is a Standard-legal set.
  • All eight cards must mechanically care about the creature type. They should not simply be the creature type.
  • Two cards must be designed in each rarity (common, uncommon, rare, and mythic rare).
  • At least two different colors must be used. The colors have to thematically fit the creature type in question. Multicolor designs are not required, but are allowed.
  • You must have at least one artifact, one creature, one enchantment, one instant, one land, and one sorcery among your cards. (The remaining cards can be whatever you'd like.)
  • For named keyword mechanics, you are allowed access to all evergreen mechanics and up to two non-evergreen mechanics (keywords and/or ability words). Note that there is no requirement to use named mechanics. Please do not create any new named keyword mechanics.

What will the judges be looking for?

Flavorful Design: The designs need to capture the feel of the creature type. These shouldn't be designs that any creature type could use, they should be designs that specifically make sense because of the creature type you're designing for.

Fun Gameplay: These cards can't just read well, they need to play well, most importantly in a tribal-themed deck. Make sure to build a tribal deck and playtest your designs.

Synergy: As the cards are all being designed as if they appear in the same set, we'll be looking at how well they play with one another.

Originality: Magic has made a lot of tribal cards over the years. We would like at least some of your designs to explore new tribal design space.

Color Pie Appropriateness: Your color choice needs to be appropriate to your flavor as well as your mechanical designs. Bends are allowed if appropriate (although be frugal with them), but breaks are not.

Rarity Appropriateness: Your designs need to fit into the rarity you're designing for. You can assume your tribal theme is large enough that it can show up in all rarities. Be careful in how you interact with creature types that aren't normally referenced at common.

Card Type Appropriateness: Make sure that your cards are properly representing the card type they're in. Note to be careful with cards that are mimicking other card types (for example, instants or sorceries that only create tokens). You have a little flexibility as we're only asking you to commit to six card types. You can use the extra cards to play in that space (aka if you make a sorcery that creates tokens, also make a sorcery that acts like a sorcery).

Comments: You will have up to 250 words to say whatever you want about your design. You are free to talk about individual cards, but I would suggest spending some of your words explaining holistically what you were up to with your overall design.



We'll make some slight modifications. More than one person can choose the same tribe, but don't pick any that the Top 8 actually used. You can design up to eight cards, but will not be docked points for submitting less. Please designate up to two cards you want us to specifically review. We'd love to give feedback on eight designs for a yet-to-be-determined number of submissions, but no. We will give overall submission feedback though, in addition to the two specific cards. 

We won't be ranking submissions, but we will discuss who we would consider the "winner" of this challenge. 

The usual weekend challenge guidelines apply. Give each other feedback, and revise your submissions based on that feedback. We're aiming to have the judge feedback posted around next Wednesday or so. 

As always, have a great weekend, have fun with the challenge, and we'll see you all next week!

209 comments:

  1. Claiming Kavu here, will pull up some cards later.

    G/R with a focus on animalism tendencies and turning dudes sideways.

    The easiest is the land.

    Prowling Grounds:
    Rare
    As prowling Grounds enters the battlefield you may reveal a Kavu from your hand. If you don't it enters tapped.
    Tap: G/R

    Yes, a play on Shadowmoor lands but this one hasn't been done and fits in decently.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Kavu are a predatory race, all about being on the top. They want to tear apart and devour. They want to grow up and fight and fight and fight.

      In terms of mechanics they care about growing and growing until they are the apex species. This is shown in the +1/1 counters on them. But in order to be at the apex, they must eat, and what better than those benath them? So they also have a focus on dealing damage, either through fighting or direct damage to opposing creatures.

      The ones I want real opinions on are Alpha Kavu, as it is a bit extreme as far as cards go, and if Rise of the Flametongued makes sense.


      Common -
      Chared Mouth Kavu
      2G
      Creature
      When this card enters play, you may put a +1/1 counter on up to 2 target Kavu you control.
      3/2

      Common -
      Pack Hunt
      3R
      Instant
      Each Kavu you control deals 2 damage to target creature.

      Uncommon -
      Rise of the Flame-tongued
      R
      Enchantment Aura
      Enchant Kavu
      When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, enchanted creature deals 4 damage to target creature you don't control.
      Enchanted Kavu has trample.


      Uncommon -
      Kavu Slagstone
      3
      Artifact
      Kavu Slagstone enters the battlefield with 3 mining counters on it.
      1, Tap, Remove a mining counter from this: Put a +1/1 counter on target Kavu you control.

      Rare - Land
      Prowling Grounds
      As prowling Grounds enters the battlefield you may reveal a Kavu from your hand. If you don't it enters tapped.
      Tap: G/R

      Rare -
      Pack Hunt
      3GG
      Each creature you control gains +2/2 until EoT. Each Kavu you control gains {tap: Fight another target creature}.

      Mythic -
      Rewards from a Feast
      3GR
      Enchantment
      Whenever a Kavu you control deals damage to a creature, you may put a +1/1 counter on each Kavu you control.

      Mythic -
      Alpha Kavu
      3GGRR
      This card costs 1 less for each creature that has been dealt damage by Kavu this turn.
      This card enters the battlefield with a +1/1 counter on it for each +1/1 counter on Kavu you control.
      Vigilance, Trample
      6/7

      Delete
    2. Could the Slagstone serve some other purpose once it's out of counters? Like when the Sunset Pyramid in Hour of Devastation ran out of brick counters you could use it to scry with.

      Delete
    3. I think the Chared Mouth Kavu might be too strong for common. The 4/3 for 3 is above rate, and that's assuming I can't choose itself as a target twice (otherwise it's a 5/4).

      Pack Hunt (common) seems OK power-wise, but for limited I wish it wasn't a total blank without a Kavu.

      Rise of the Flame-Tongue suffers the same problem in my opinion. It's got a really narrow set of creatures it can enchant. I wish it gave you an upgrade when used on a Kavu, rather than simply not being castable.

      Kavu Slagstone is probably fine at uncommon, since it is an on-board trick. I actually did not know Kavu were associated with mining, so that is neat.

      Prowling Grounds - I don't know what it does. Hybrid mana only makes sense as a cost. I don't think it can be produced (in the existing rules). Do you just mean T: Add R or G? If so, this land is kinda like the Lorwyn cycle I think.

      Pack Hunt (Rare) is the kinda card I like to see. It has a use without a full team of Kavu but becomes extremely strong with one. Only thing is, you used the same name before on your common card. There is also already a real Magic card named Pack Hunt.

      Rewards from a Feast does not feel mythic to me. It feels more like a Rare to me.

      Alpha Kavu is my favorite design of yours! I like how you tie cost reduction to damage dealt by Kavu.

      Delete
    4. A 4/3 for 3 isn't too much, See Rishakr Peema Renegade which is at worst a 3 Mana 3/3 with other upside and more likely to be a 4/4 with more upside.

      Rite of the Flame-tongued was a riff on Flame Tongue Kavu and a fkameslash won't see print without more conditions in modern magic is why I wanted it to be blanked.

      The Slagstone was meant as food. Kavu eat basically anything, including slag. The flavor was them eating it. Maybe Depletion counter works better here. I debated that and wasn't sure. Idk how I would make it do more with that flavor.

      Yes, Lorwyn cycle completion was the goal, accidental bad wording.

      Oops, names.

      Maybe all creatures get pumped. In a Kavu deck it would be mythic as all fighting and damage ETBs suddenly pump the team, but I can see the issue here.

      I only worry Alpha Kavu is too much.

      Delete
    5. I double-checked the wording and ruling on Rishkar, so it turns out you can't put both counters on it, which is good.

      But I still think the card you designed is too strong for common. Rishkar is at most a 3/3 that pumps something else, with upside, but he is a rare legendary creature.

      Delete
    6. Rite of the flame tongued could be our shock better shock in this set. 2 damage if not a kavu and 4 if it is but then it might not end up with the kavu drafter

      Delete
    7. Judson, I like the flavor you're going with here. That said, Rise of the Flametongued and Slagstone, and both Pack Hunts are all complete blanks without Kavu. Tribal cards played off-tribe should be weak, but they should usually still do something. One is okay, four in a single set's single tribe would not be.

      Charred-Mouth IS too much, at least for common. You can't compare commons to legendaries.

      Alpha Kavu is nice, but there's already a printed card by that name!

      Delete
  2. Instead of choosing a winner, in true GDS spirit, you should choose who gets eliminated. 😈😈😈

    (Kidding of course, have fun y’all!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm designating you official pre-deadline feedback-giver for this one.

      Delete
    2. Ha! I may not be able to due to travel but I’ll do what I can. 🙂

      Delete
    3. If we are eliminated, are we banned or just can never post again?

      Delete
  3. Wow, it's quite different trying to *do* the challenge.

    The contestants did amazingly well finding interesting tribes.

    I realise that my natural inclination is often to have a mechanic that ties a tribe together but that actually doesn't work here because of the "need to care about the tribe" instructions. My head copes with that better if I remember how helpful it is to work with existing creatures of that type, which usually means explicitly checking for that type (except for occasional creature types which already have some usual mechanic even though it's not usually used in a tribal way).

    I did notice, they never actually SAID all the creatures need to be OF that type, I don't know if you can submit a sneaky elf who cares how many plants or treefolk you have. I think it's probably better not to, though, unless it's REALLY core to the identity, it's just quite far from the spirit of the challenge which isn't the time to push the letter of the rules. And for that matter, there might be a common mechanical identity in addition to the cards you design (like, most goblins attack, and only some care about goblins).

    OK, off to have a think... :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agree wholeheartedly, this was a super hard challenge. The subtle “everything needs to CARE about the tribe, not just work well with it” deep-sixed a lot of my designs.

      Delete
    2. Yeah, I thought this was hard. And then I started brainstorming Challenge 2 last night. ... It's equally hard for the exact opposite reason.

      Delete
    3. I really like challenge 2.

      Delete
    4. It gets a lot more fun once you start turning your mechanical top-down ideas into actual recurring themes that you can play across cards.

      Delete
  4. I like Turtles. But they present some challenges. First, part of their identity is non-interactive: several past Turtles have shroud or hexproof. Second, another part of their identity is complicated by layering: power/toughness switching. Third, Turtles are almost always depicted as wild animals in Magic.

    I imagine a world in which Turtle folk are one of the major races. These sapient Turtles specialize in chronomancy, casting spells to slow or speed up time, and even affect the process of aging itself.

    While I do nod to Turtles’ existing identity, my design goal is to play up the patience, wisdom, and toughness of Turtles. Even though Treefolk are another toughness matters tribe, I think Turtles have enough resonant tropes to differentiate them.

    ***

    Seaborn Hatchling {G}
    Creature – Turtle (C)
    Seaborn Hatchling gets +1/+1 as long as you control an Island.
    Seaborn Hatchling gets as +1/+1 long as you control another Turtle.
    0/2

    Turn Turtle {U}
    Instant (C)
    Choose one or choose both if you control a Turtle—
    • Tap or untap target creature.
    • Switch target creature’s power and toughness until end of turn.

    Shell Shock {3}{G}
    Sorcery (U)
    Turtles you control gain vigilance until end of turn.
    Until end of turn, each creature assigns combat damage equal to its toughness rather than its power.

    Siege Carapece {2}
    Artifact – Equipment (U)
    Equipped creature gets +1/+1 and must be blocked each combat if able.
    If equipped creature is a Turtle, it has indestructible while attacking.
    Equip {2}

    Vengeful Snapper {1}{G}{G}
    Creature – Turtle Warrior (R)
    Creatures blocking or blocked by Vengeful Snapper have first strike.
    Whenever a Turtle you control is dealt damage, put a +1/+1 counter on Vengeful Snapper.
    2/4

    Kobe, Patient Sage {U}{G}
    Legendary Creature – Elder Turtle (R)
    Whenever another Turtle enters the battlefield under your control, you may put a +1/+1 counter on it and draw a card. If you do, that creature can’t attack during your next turn.
    1/4

    Gift of the Tortoise {1}{U}
    Enchantment (M)
    When Gift of the Tortoise enters the battlefield, target opponent takes an extra turn after this one.
    At the beginning of your end step, draw a card. Then draw another card if you control a Turtle.

    Aoku, World Turtle
    Legendary Land Creature – Turtle God (M)
    Aoku enters the battlefield tapped.
    {T}: Add {U} or {G}.
    Aoku isn’t a creature unless you control four or more Turtles.
    When Aoku dies, shuffle all Turtle cards from your graveyard into your library.
    8/16

    ***

    My favorite two designs are Shell Shock and Kobe, Patient Sage. The two designs I think need the most work and feedback are Seaborn Hatchling and Gift of the Tortoise. The former doesn’t fit the theme I have in mind for Turtles very well, and the latter is a spikey card draw spell (when Kobe already draws cards) whose power level I am totally unsure of.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These are cool!

      I really like Vengeful Snapper's ability that emulates "last strike" from Unstable. I don't think this has been done before, but if it has I haven't seen it.

      I don't think Siege Carapace will play very well when you add "must be blocked if able" to "indestructible", and you're boosting the creature's stats as well. I think it would play better with just 2 of those 3 things. That's really just a hunch, though.

      Seaborn Hatchling isn't exciting at all from a design standpoint. Plus it's just a better Kumena's Speaker.

      Aoku scares me, but in an exciting way. Something tells me there's a weird way to break this.

      Delete
    2. Actually, scratch that mythic enchantment. Making non-Turtles into Meandering Towershells seems way more fun/annoying/delightful? -

      Turtle Time {3}{U}{U}
      Enchantment (M)
      Whenever a non-Turtle creature attacks, exile it. Return it to the battlefield under its owner's control tapped and attacking at the beginning of the declare attackers step on its owner's next turn.

      Delete
    3. Thanks for the feedback Sage. I wasn't sure if last strike had been done this way before, but it seemed like a good fit for a Turtle.

      I think Siege Carapece and Seaborn Hatchling might be the weakest here. I need to think a bit about how to replace them. Together with Vengeful Snapper, they also give an impression that Turtles are much more militant. I skipped Ixalan, I definitely need to replace Seaborn Hatchling after looking up Kumena's Speaker.

      Delete
    4. Instead of turning non-turtles into something, which might be a bit off, maybe exile the turtles and when they come back they have some sort of big bonus? That way it is more tribal than anti-tribal. Either flipping p/t or like a +4/4. Slow moving but like a wall.

      Delete
    5. You might be on to something Judson. The card I designed is a wacky rare meant to make multiplayer games crazy. But it's not really much of a tribal card. The flavor I am going for is that the turtles have reversed the normal flow of time, but it might need to be tweaked.

      Delete
    6. Seaborn Hatchling
      A 2/4 for one seems like a bit much even with the build restrictions. This is totally unplayable. In a turtle deck this is an auto 4 of that’s better than. Also I’m not sure that the theme of Turtles have big butts and like other turtles is the primary thing you want to convey with your single common creature you get to make to show off the tribe.

      Turn Turtle
      I really like the idea of a modal card that gives you both if you control a specific subtype. This seems like a fine example of that. Good simple design. My only concern is that I’m not sure if you’re going for power/toughness swapping or toughness damage for your theme.

      Shell Shock
      I’m fine with the card but I feel like it needs a stat bonus that goes along with it. It’s also a pretty bad card, even if you control several turtles. Maybe if you give everything +0/+2 and step up the casting cost for more of an overrun type attack. This also doesn’t allow defenders to attack which would help it. The turtle vigilance add on is a cool aside that makes it a no risk win condition if you time it right.

      Siege Carapace
      I think I like this, but I’m not totally sure. I feel like the turtle strategy isn’t attacking but this allows you to get a power turtle swinging in there for a slow and grindy win. Which feels turtle like. My only concern is that I think this card won’t be fun to play against. They have a bunch of turtle walls and are swinging in with a single indestructible big creature.

      Vengeful Snapper
      I’ve worked through this idea on Last Strike before but I don’t think it works very well. If you block with one Last Strike creature and one regular creature you’re entire team now has last strike. I haven’t found a more elegant solution than this though. Additionally, this doesn’t fit your theme beyond turtles are slow. You need to build up a mechanical theme and build it around that more.

      Kobe, Patient Sage
      Now it looks like your theme is more turtles give you +1/+1 counters and get you cards. I see how that’s green and blue but it’s basically bad evolve. The idea of limiting a creature to not attack on a following turn is very difficult to track. Not untapping is not super easy either but adding another such restriction that may always lasts for an entire turn cycle seems problematic.

      Gift of the Tortoise
      I love this card. I’m not sure how well it would actually work. But I’m in love with what you’re doing here. This is the slow and steady wins the race card I’ve been looking for. That said, it may just be broken if you control a turtle. I also think you should probably not make the draw at the end step as that’s not an instinctual time to draw. This immediately replaces itself which is probably too good. Also the cost will likely need to be higher as playing this on turn 2 in limited is an auto win against most decks.

      Aoku, World Turtle
      This is a different take on land creatures and I really think it could work. I think your limit of 4 turtles is probably too and the stats too high. But the overall idea here of a land which comes to life based on a number of tribal creatures is a good idea which could easily become an interesting cycle for standard and EDH play.

      Overall
      You seem to be splitting turtles into a couple of directions with the Doran ability and a card draw mechanic. Having high toughness creatures that focus on card draw isn’t necessarily a mechanic that I’m excited to see a tribe built around. I mean, I’d play it because it’s good, but it isn’t particularly synergistic or original. So far most of what you have here can be summarized as card that likes creature type but without the central theme that ties it all together. I want to see how turtle 1 makes turtle 2 better in ways that isn’t specifically written on the card.

      Delete
    7. Marc, thank you so much for the detailed comments.

      Turn Turtle -- I liked the modal idea too. One of my concerns was that this card is fairly weak, but I see it as a useful one-of trick. It should generally be a one-for-one, but could be used to push through damage by tapping a blocker and swapping a high toughness guy. I don't think blue can do the Doran ability and I know green can't swap power and toughness. Do you think it is too distracting to use both?

      I do view Shell Shock as an Overrun effect. Maybe I need to juice it up a bit more, but given most Turtles have at least 4 toughness, it is effectively turning your attackers into 4/4's in a Turtle deck which is pretty strong. At the same time, I can see it going late enough to reward a Turtle drafter.

      I had considered dropping the +1/+1 on Siege Carapece, do you think that might help make it more acceptable? (I guess I would need time to playtest to see how unfun it is.) What I envision is that it allows you to swing in with a 2 or 3 power attacker each turn, something that could be reasonably blocked or raced with evasion. Maybe a higher equip cost would help too so the opponent has time to plan around it.

      Vengeful Snapper -- what do you think about only getting last strike when blocked? That would prevent the team last strike you're talking about. I kinda agree about the theme though. I sort of imagined this as a warrior / guard in a world where most turtles are scholars.

      I thought the counters on Kobe would help with memory tracking. I made him cheap because you want to play him before you play other Turtles. I could see him costing three though. I think he captures the idea of a patient play-style pretty well.

      Fewer turtles might be better for Aoku. Also something I would want to test. Once activated you only need 3, since it would count itself. Also, I just made it a big dork to shorten text and make it easy enough to remove.

      I was surprised you liked Gift of the Tortoise so much! Maybe I need to revisit that one. I thought it would be really unfun if removed, and really unfun to be losing against. I originally cost it at 3 but it felt a lot worse than something simple like Phyrexian Arena.

      I will dwell more on the theme. I need to hone in on that and fix my common creature to communicate it more.

      Delete
    8. Vague feedback, but you're getting so much already I don't want to pile on.

      Since you're essentially making turtle "people," you don't have to feel too tied to just green/blue. A patient, calm turtle society can easily drift into white, which gives you more interesting defensive mechanics to play with and even some useful access to lifelink that might be important in the grindy games the turtles are promising.

      Delete
    9. Thanks Larcent. I am still trying to process everything and provide feedback to others.

      White would be awesome, partially because of the Outlast mechanic. That mechanic feels very Turtle-like, and it actually synergizes with several of my original designs, but I was worried it wasn't in blue's color pie. But maybe there's a way to make a tribe mechanic work even if it's not in all of the tribe's colors...like off-color activations.

      Delete
    10. Here is my revised submission. I hope Outlast and Outlast-synergy help better capture the feeling of Turtles. I would like Kobe, Patient Sage (CARD 5) and Aoku, World Turtle (CARD 8) to be evaluated please. Siege Carapece (CARD 6) is the one that's still not quite where I want it. But I think it is functional and at a rarity where its power is suitable for limited.

      CARD 1

      Tortoise Rejuvenator {2}{U/G}
      Creature – Turtle Wizard (C)
      At the beginning of your end step, untap target Turtle.
      1/4

      CARD 2

      Turn Turtle {U}
      Instant (C)
      Choose one or choose both if you control a Turtle—
      • Tap or untap target creature.
      • Switch target creature’s power and toughness until end of turn.

      CARD 3

      Stoic Snapper {3}{U}
      Creature – Turtle Monk (U)
      Outlast {G}
      Whenever you activate the outlast ability of a Turtle you control, scry 1.
      2/5

      CARD 4

      Shell Shock {3}{G}
      Sorcery (U)
      Turtles you control gain vigilance until end of turn.
      Until end of turn, each creature assigns combat damage equal to its toughness rather than its power.

      CARD 5

      Kobe, Patient Sage {U}{G}
      Legendary Creature – Elder Turtle (R)
      Whenever another Turtle enters the battlefield under your control, you may put a +1/+1 counter on it and draw a card. If you do, that creature can’t attack during your next turn.
      1/4

      CARD 6

      Siege Carapece {2}
      Artifact – Equipment (R)
      Equipped creature gets +1/+1 and must be blocked each combat if able.
      If equipped creature is a Turtle, it has indestructible while attacking.
      Equip {2}

      CARD 7

      Turtle Time {3}{U}{U}
      Enchantment (M)
      Whenever a non-Turtle creature attacks, exile it. Return it to the battlefield under its owner's control tapped and attacking at the beginning of the declare attackers step on its owner's next turn.

      Aoku, World Turtle
      Legendary Land Creature – Turtle God (M)
      Aoku enters the battlefield tapped.
      {T}: Add {U} or {G}.
      Aoku isn’t a creature unless you control four or more Turtles.
      When Aoku dies, shuffle all Turtle cards from your graveyard into your library.
      8/16

      Delete
    11. It's noteworthy that Aoku counts itself and shuffles itself in. Something pretty easy to miss on first read. I assume that's intended? I'm not sure how appropriate an 8/16 attacker that dodges sorcery speed removal on turn 3 is.

      Also, the second ability triggers even if it is put into a graveyard as a non-creature land, which I imagine would cause some confusion (or at least get criticised as such by the judges). Maybe just write it out?

      Delete
    12. Aoku only counts itself once it becomes a creature I believe, since Turtle isn't a land subtype. This reduces the possibility of a turn 3 play. Even though it is a big guy, every color has a way to deal with it. Red and green - land destruction; black and white - creature kill; blue - bounce it or bounce/counter other Turtles.

      Since lands can't die, does the second ability trigger if it goes to the graveyard as a non-creature land?

      Delete
    13. Can non-creatures "die" actually? I do want to shuffle it in though, as its God trait. But I did think it would only shuffle itself in if a creature.

      Delete
    14. I don't think it shuffling itself in when destroyed as a land is necessarily a problem, but you're right that it should be spelled out. "dies" should probably be replaced with "is put into the graveyard from the battlefield" to avoid the type of confusion I had.

      Delete
    15. To quote the comprehensive rules "700.4. The term dies means “is put into a graveyard from the battlefield.”"
      But yeah, definitely would cause some rules confusion.

      Delete
  5. I actually did a quick attempt at this challenge before I had read any of the actual contestant submissions. This has no testing and only a little bit of revision, but I'm travelling starting tomorrow and don't really have any more time to put into this attempt at the moment.

    The creature type I chose was Nomad. I decided to have GW Nomads that had the usual GW 'power in numbers' theme but with additional synergy with lands (to capture the 'always on the move' flavor). This led me to Landfall as a returning mechanic I'd make us of. The hardest thing about this challenge was definitely the fact that each card had to have EXPLICIT synergy with nomads, meaning that even if I created a cool card that synergized with the playstyle I had created for Nomads, the card wouldn't actually count for the challenge unless it explicitly said "Nomad" on it. That was rough, and I think one of my designs technically doesn't meet the criteria for the challenge. Anyway, here are my cards:

    Nomadic Pegasus (C)
    1W
    Creature - Pegasus Nomad
    1/1
    Flying
    Landfall - Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, another target Nomad you control gains flying until end of turn.

    Gather the Wanderers (C)
    2W
    Sorcery
    Create a 2/2 Nomad creature token for each land that entered the battlefield under your control this turn.

    Uproot the Camp (U)
    1G
    Sorcery
    This spell costs 1 less to cast if you control a Nomad.
    Sacrifice a land. Search your library for a land card and put it onto the battlefield. Then shuffle your library.

    Leyline Sensor (U)
    3
    Artifact
    2, T: Look at the top card of your library. If it's a Land or Nomad you may reveal it and put it into your hand. Otherwise, you may put it on the bottom of your library.

    Wandering Leylines (R)
    2GW
    Enchantment
    You may reveal Wandering Leylines from your opening hand. If you do, search your library for a basic land and put it into your hand, then shuffle your library.
    Nomads you control get +1/+1.

    Nomad Camp (R)
    Land
    T: Add C.
    T, Sacrifice Nomad Camp: Search your library for a basic land card and put it onto the battlefield, then shuffle your library. Activate this ability only if you control a Nomad.

    Nomad Chieftain (M)
    3GW
    Legendary Creature - Human Nomad
    Nomad Chieftain's power and toughness are each equal to the number of Nomads you control.
    Landfall - Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, create a 2/2 Nomad creature token.
    */*

    NomadShift (M)
    XGG
    Instant
    This spell costs 1 less to cast for each Nomad you control.
    Sacrifice up to X lands. Search your library for that many lands and put them onto the battlefield, then shuffle your library.

    ---

    The card I most want reviewed would be Wandering Leylines. If another sticks out as worth individual review then go for it. I appreciate any and all critique!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you need to reword Wandering Leyline as currently it takes away from the normal Leyline mechanic as it currently doesn't go into play immediately. Also it doesn't really play too well into the themes of the deck, it gets a land once and anthems, which is fine, but why not have it give you the ability to pick up untapped lands for an additional land drop? That effect makes sense on a Leyline as it is specific and plays to the theme. Also it should be an etb to search and a reveal and play for free probably.

      Delete
    2. I wanted it to be a play on other Leylines without just coming into play. I thought it fit pretty well with the imagined flavor I had, which is that the Nomads were following the shiftling leylines of the plane to find fertile new ground.

      The *only* reason this says "Your Nomads get +1/+1" instead of something cool and synergistic with the Nomad playstyle is because it had to in order to actually fit the criteria for the challenge. The one upside of this line of text is that the "search for a land if this is in your opening hand" is sort of a scary effect for any deck to have and this at least limits the ability to Nomad decks while we test the waters.

      Delete
    3. If you want a riff on leylines you can't have the name Leyline. Going forward we know what they do.

      I was thinking something like
      2GR - Wandering Leylines
      You may reveal this from your opening hand and put it into play.

      When ETBs, you may search your library for a basic land and put it into your hand. Shuffle.
      Return an untapped land you control to your hand, target Nomad gets +1/1 and trample until Eot.

      This let's it be only good with nomads, have a reasonable effect and fit with.

      Delete
    4. I really like your Leyline riff Sage. I think the alternative might be too wordy. The word Leyline has no mechanical significance in magic except by association. For instance, see Leyline Phantom.

      Uproot the Camp has an amazing name, but the effect feels a little underwhelming, and it feels a bit similar to NomadShift. I wonder if you could use that name on a white card which bounced a land or nomad you control back to your hand for some effect. That might have decent synergy with the tribe while still fitting the name.

      Delete
    5. I realize that Leylines are very evocative and people understand what they do at this point, but there's nothing that says every card with "Leyline" in its name has to do exactly what the other Leylines do (the most recent Leylines are 8 years old at this point, btw). I did explicitly avoid calling this card "Leyline of ______" to try to avoid some resonance conflicts, and the ability is still certainly in the theme of the Leylines. Some people may still be disappointed at it's not literally just another Leyline, but I'm trying to push boundaries not just make new versions of cards we already have.

      Uproot the Camp was pretty much the first card I designed as Nomad Crop Rotation, but it's probably pretty weak. Crop Rotation is a very powerful card in eternal formats and I think it would be cool to see a version in Standard, but there's a high chance I just kept it because it was a pet card and not because it's actually the best card that could go there. That would also free up a slot so NomadShift could be a Sorcery and I'd have an opportunity for a different instant design.

      Delete
    6. I missed the of language with Leylines. One thing to think about with the Leyline is it does give you card advantage for free, and plays may have to discard if they are on the draw.

      Nomadshift probably should be a sorcery as it is a bit splashy effect that works at sorcery speed.

      Delete
    7. Nomadic Pegasus
      I keep wanting this to cost more or be better but it’s totally fine as is. There’s no major problem here except that this card is basically free in every nomad deck because no one else will want it. Seems fine.

      Gatherer the Wanderers
      As a common that is a 3 mana 2/2 for normal decks and is terrible late in the game this is a miss for me. However, if you make it an instant you have a much more interesting card. It’d be usable on your opponent’s turn sometimes as a trap, or cast end of turn. This seems weird but it may be too much complexity at common. I understand it’s not complex, but it seems more complex than it is. This also doesn’t meet the criteria of doing anything but make nomads.

      Uproot the Camp
      I like the idea here. It allows you to fix mana or get a better dual land. It’s a pretty bad card in limited most of the time unless you have specific lands to fetch. I feel like drawing a card might be worth adding on and upping the cost to adjust the idea that this does very little but costs a card.

      Leyline Censor
      I like leyline censor because it’s not terrible with a couple of nomads. It’s basically filtering with the added bonus if you hit a land or nomad. Seems pretty cool but costs may need to change in play design.

      Wandering Leylines
      There’s a big problem if you’re on the play here. You end up with 9 cards, play a land, then are sad. The color fixing is too good, the nomad bonus is too parasitic. So far leylines have symmetric effects. If you want the effect early on it’s the same later when you cast it. This has an amazing ability upfront and an incredibly narrow ability on the back end.

      Nomad Camp
      This fits the similar issues I’ve run into for cards that are free rares if you’re in the deck. If you play nomads, you want this card. If you’re not it’s unplayable. Free pass rares like this aren’t great for limited overall.

      Nomad Chieftan
      A 1/1 with landfall make a 2/2 and gains +1/+1 seems okay, not necessarily mythic though. This seems more like a rare to me. A good rare. It also doesn’t need nomads to be good. I like the landfall ability but I actually want it to be more broken at mythic. Add something like, whenever a non-token nomad enters the battlefield, fetch a basic land. Then you really have a nomad engine.

      NomadShift
      I see what you’re doing with this card but I really think it needs to be rare instead of mythic. This is a dead card in most decks and only really broken if you have a Nomad Chieftan as far as what you’ve presented. This is also just a worse scapeshift. If one of your mythics of your tribe is really just a bad version of a niche rare from an older format, you might be missing something.

      Overall
      I like where you were going but I feel your Rares and Mythics really missed. Mythics need to be big and splashy and I feel like you looked more at constructed with a general disregard to limited. A lot of what you’re doing here is just trying to make landfall enablers but there isn’t much payoff at present outside of your mythic and a fairly questionable common. I feel like this will be an incredibly difficult deck to pull off drafting without a ton of landfall support. I think I need to see the build around uncommon that makes this a deck.

      Delete
    8. Going with a broad critique rather than card by card: While everything is following the rules, the nomads don't seem to be making anything actually special happen that wouldn't already be happening with these colors.

      I think the big issue here is that you say you want a go-wide strategy, but your special focus on lands actually makes it feel like you're supposed to be ramping toward something. I'm not entirely sure what the land manipulation is all for.

      Delete
  6. Please take a look at Design 3 and 7.

    Everyone Loves Badgers
    I actually know someone that collects badger cards. I’ve even signed them.

    I wanted to build around the idea of badgers being unimpressive until they get stirred up somehow. I liked the idea of a momentum based tribe that could be easily muted if they were calmed down. I settled on using +1/+1 counters because angry badgers should be in some sort of frenzy. Because of this I went primarily Green for the +1/+1 and natural feel of badgers but stretched into red to represent the anger.

    After trying around with a few options I went with the idea that badgers that don’t attack calm themselves down giving them all the “At the end of combat, if this creature did not attack, remove all +1/+1 counters from it.” This does create a need to make sure you play badgers after combat, not before, but I don’t think that’s too difficult a concept to introduce.

    This meant that tapping down a badger could calm them down out of their frenzy but otherwise they were incentivized to keep attacking. I’m hoping this could belong in a set with a couple of ice spells and some moderately cheap tappers to help decrease the power level of an overly aggressive tribe.

    Additionally, this opens up the opportunity for some interesting play around counter effects that would matter for the tribe and have other implications in the game as a whole.


    Design 1 (YOUR FIRST COMMON)

    Mother Badger
    1G
    Creature - Badger
    When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, if there is a badger in your graveyard, put two +1/+1 counters on CARDNAME.
    At the end of combat, if this creature did not attack, remove all +1/+1 counters from it.
    2/1

    Design 2 (YOUR SECOND COMMON)
    Badger Song
    Sorcery
    3GG
    CARDNAME costs 1 less for each badger you control.
    Put a +1/+1 counter on each creature you control.

    Design 3 (YOUR FIRST UNCOMMON)
    Anger Beyond Measure
    RG
    Instant
    Put a +1/+1 counter on target creature, it must attack this turn if able. If that creature is a badger it fights another target creature.

    Design 4 (YOUR SECOND UNCOMMON)
    Old Badger’s Glasses
    3
    Artifact
    4, T: Put a +1/+1 counter on target creature. If that creature is a badger you may double the number of +1/+1 counters instead.

    Design 5 (YOUR FIRST RARE)
    Eternal Fervor
    3G
    Enchantment
    Whenever a badger you control with a +1/+1 counter attacks. Put another +1/+1 counter on that creature.
    Counters can not be removed from permanents. (Costs that include removing a counter can not be paid.)

    Design 6 (YOUR SECOND RARE)
    The Great Burrow (rare)
    Legendary Land
    CARDNAME enters the battlefield tapped.
    T: Add R or G.
    2G T, Sacrifice CARDNAME: Put a +1/+1 counter on each Badger you control.
    We all knew it as a place of peace until it was destroyed, now it is source of our fury.

    Design 7 (YOUR FIRST MYTHIC RARE)
    Vinka, Badger Priest
    2GR
    Legendary Planeswalker - Vinka
    +1: Put a +1/+1 creature on each creature you control with a +1/+1 counter.
    0: Create a 2/2 green badger creature token with “At the end of combat, if this creature did not attack, remove all +1/+1 counters from it.”
    -5: Double all counters on all permanents. Badgers you control gain double strike and trample until end of turn.
    4

    Design 8 (YOUR SECOND MYTHIC RARE)
    Arnagorn, King of the Badgers (Mythic Rare)
    3GG
    Legendary Creature - Badger
    Whenever another badger enters the battlefield under your control, put a +1 +1 counter on each creature you control.
    At the end of combat, if this creature did not attack, remove all +1/+1 counters from it.
    7/3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A couple of notes I think would come up:
      1. Mother Badger might want to be a 3 Mana 3/2 so the tribal payoff happens more.
      2. Not sure if too complex for a common but seems fine. Not super inventive but fits the theme.
      3. This tricky card is a bit odd. I think it needs to be tested as it has 2 modes, 1 of which is fine even outside of badger decks. Giving opponent's counter is a bit unintuitive as well.
      4. I like the "you may" here so you can choose your fate of which is better. Also with how Badgers are designed here it will never make a monster unless that monster is always attacking. But a heavy Mana sink in a deck that wants to attack each turn seems a bit useless.
      5. This breaks a lot of things I feel and that can be fine. I don't think it needs new 'another' text, I think just saying put one on makes sense. Bit weak on tribal effect for an enchant though. Also not sure if green has access to that effect and not white?
      6. This one is neat and makes sense with other cards shown and in print. I like having color on here and the payoff is good. All-around seems decent.
      7. Too low of an ultimate that will likely end the game next turn if allowed. Tezzeret Agent of Bolas had that mistake. Ult should probably be -6 to avoid that and maybe it would be fine in general? Again, tribal seems like a bit of an afterthought rather than the theme here.
      8. I feel bad for this guy, he doesn't trigger himself to make him sad. Let him trigger himself and be a 6/2 at least.

      Overall thoughts, One major issue is a play pattern change which is better in general but necessary here to cast in second main phase or you will feel bad when your counters get wiped away. You could use a few keywords like Haste and Trample on cards in order to let them do something right away, keep their counters, or avoid loosing to just a wall of mini-dudes. I like the aggressive need here but it needs to be refined so that it has less bad feelings and more focus on the tribe itself as some cards seem to just tack it on as a bonus, not have it be the center point.


      Delete
    2. 1) Mama at 2G for a 3/2 would probably be better. I wanted to push the aggressive nature of the deck as much as I could but that probably comes across fine.

      3) Having an unintuitive mode is something I really like for cards because it allows people to find hidden uses that less experience players would likely miss.

      5) This was trying to be on theme for badgers and give it some reach in limited. In sealed, this is a fantastic card, okay in draft, and probably not what standard badgers is going for.

      7) One issue I ran into with the ultimate is that in most formats it could be a do nothing ultimate. In others it's totally broken. It requires the synergy of having other +1/+1 counters. With the right combo, it's super powerful, sometimes it's a dud. -6 would be fine though.

      Overall, I recognize the play pattern difficulty but I also think that training people to play their creatures after combat is a worth while goal. 90% of the time you SHOULD be playing creatures after combat. I'd expect to see some other badgers with haste as well. Maybe we make Mama badger a 2R 2/2 haste.

      Delete
    3. My response is that part of red's combat identity is purposefully violating that play pattern of waiting until after combat to play creatures. So I think this dynamic ends up sending mixed, confusing messages to players.

      Delete
    4. Nice set of cards. I never expected to see badgers show up. Cool!

      Onto the specifics,

      1. I'm worried Mama Badger is really wordy for common. Maybe in theoretical Badger world, you could keyword the "remove counters if this didn't attack" since that takes a lot of room.

      2&3. Love both of these, especially Anger Beyond Measure. Strong card but weak enough outside of Badgers that it gets to the Badger drafter just often enough.

      4. This card just doesn't excite me that much. I get that Badgers have a +1/+1 counter theme, but seeing it on every card comes on strong to me. I might consider mixing things up here. Maybe incorporate some keywords like haste that also feel aggressive.

      5. You might be able to remove "another."

      6. Seems fine. I don't think it needs to be Legendary honestly.

      Neat package overall. What do you think about the frenzy mechanic? It feels like the perfect word to describe Badgers, but not sure about the gameplay.

      Delete
  7. I won't be able to sit and do this properly until Sunday, but I've been thinking a lot about what tribe to do and, whew, it's mega tough.

    Initial inclinations make me want to try Chimeras in Temur (i'd choose two colors though). I am not calling this tribe though. Another idea would be WB Skeletons but I fear they might overlap with WB zombies. I'll post the cards on Sun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So, after a lot of thinking (and no testing) I settled on Hounds, but I wanted to focus on their keen ability to search up for stuff. This resulted in a mill / recover theme.
      Doing this challenge made me realize again how tough is to design many magic cards and that I need much more practice. However, I hope you find some interesting designs. I like the idea of "Enemy threshold / Delirium" from Boon of the tracker to be quite intriguing. The cards look also wordy because mill is not keyworded.



      [b]K-9[/b] 3U
      Creature — Hound Scout :common:
      When K-9 enters the battlefied, if you control Hound, each player puts the top three cards of their library into their graveyard.
      3/3

      [b]Bite back[/b] 1G
      Instant :uncommon:
      Choose target creature you control and up to one target creature you don’t control. If you chose a Hound you control this way, it gains indestructible until end of turn. These creatures fight each other.

      [b]Boon of the tracker[/b] 2GU
      Enchantment :uncommon:
      Whenever a Hound enters the battlefield under your control, target opponent puts the top two cards of their library into their graveyard.
      Creatures you control get +1/+1 as long as any opponent has seven or more cards in their graveyard.

      [b]Finder of unsolved truths[/b] GU
      Creature — Hound Scout :mythic:
      Trample
      Whenever Finder attacks, it gets +X/+X and each player puts the top X cards of their library into their graveyard, where X is the number of Hounds attacking.
      2/2

      [b]Follow the trail[/b] GU
      Sorcery :common:
      Each player puts the top three cards of their library into their graveyard. If you control a Hound, you may return target nonland permanent from your graveyard to your hand.

      [b]Roog, tracker leader[/b] 3GU
      Legendary Planeswalker — Roog :mythic:
      Starting Loyalty: 3
      +1: You may return a nonland card from your graveyard to your hand with converted mana cost less than or equal to the number of Hounds you control.
      -1: Create a 2/2 Hound creature. Each player puts the top two cards of their library into their graveyard.
      -8: Create X 2/2 Hound creatures where X is the number of cards in target player’s graveyard.

      [b]Spiked Harness[/b] 3
      Artifact — Equipment :rare:
      Equipped creature has +X/+X, where X is the number of nonland permanent cards in your graveyard and “whenever this deals combat damage to a player, each player puts the top three cards from their library into their graveyard.”
      If equipped creature is a Hound, it has trample.
      Equip 4

      [b]Training Den[/b]
      Land :rare:
      Training Den enters the battlefield tapped.
      T: Add 1.
      2G, T, Sacrifice Training Den: Return up to one target nonland permanent card from your graveyard to your hand. Activate this ability only if you control a Hound.

      Delete
    2. Critizicing my own work, I think that I focused too much on the mechanical side and stapled it into a tribe. Even if Hounds do not feel "blue", the same could be said for white Zombies pre-amonkhet. However, the mill/recover mechanic could have also been used for some kind of Scout theme. I also focused too much on making playable cards that got slightly better with the tribal component. I do like Bite back. It was originally worded like Ambuscade if you targeted your hound.
      BTW, the K-9 has a typo and it should be "another" hound.

      Delete
  8. Ok this should be fun, since I love tribal and would like to practice designing cards. But what tribe should it be? Hmm there are so many options to pick from, I could never-

    -The answer is Gremlins.
    There is no alternative.
    None.

    Now, what exactly ARE gremlins in Magic?
    Gremlins are a Red/Black creature type that focuses on dismantling machinery. So artifact hate is mandatory. Now Gremlins are Red/Black and red fits pretty well in the idea of small artifact eating monsters, but black? Not so much. So we're replacing black with green. My 2 designs I'd like to be reviewed are Design 1 and Design 5.

    Hide your artifacts, because they are NOT safe.

    DESIGN 1
    Spiel, Engine Heart Ravager - 2RG
    Legendary Creature - Gremlin Mutant (M)
    Haste
    1RG, Sacrifice X artifacts: Monstrosity 2X(If this permanent isn't monstrous, put 2X +1/+1 counters on it and it becomes monstrous.)
    When CARD NAME becomes monstrous gremlins you control gain trample until EOT
    3/3

    DESIGN 2
    Gorging Gremlin - R
    Creature - Gremlin (U)
    Whenever an artifact is sacrificed or destroyed due to a Gremlin's effect CARD NAME gets +1/+1
    1/2

    DESIGN 3
    Tenacious Grub - 1G
    Creature - Gremlin (C)
    Sacrifice an artifact: target Gremlin gains indestructible until EOT
    2/1

    DESIGN 4
    Poorly Planned Gremlin Bait - 3
    Artifact (R)
    Gremlin spells you cast cost {1} less to cast
    When CARD NAME is sacrificed or destroyed because of a gremlin’s effect, put a +1/+1 counter on that gremlin

    DESIGN 5
    Gremlin Population Boom - RG
    Enchantment (R)
    At the end of the turn for each player that put an artifact they control into a graveyard due to the effect of a gremlin creature put a Grub counter on this enchantment.
    {T}, sacrifice this enchantment: Create X 2/2 red Gremlin creature tokens where X is the number of Grub counters on CARD NAME

    DESIGN 6
    Gremlin Nest
    Land (U)
    CARD NAME enters tapped unless you tap a gremlin you control
    {T}: Add R/G
    {T}, sacrifice an artifact: Add RG

    DESIGN 7
    Unintelligent Nest Invasion - X1G
    Instant (C)
    Destroy target artifact creature with CMC of X or less. Create a X/X green gremlin creature token.

    DESIGN 8
    Eat the (Radioactive) Scraps - 4GG
    Sorcery (M)
    Target Gremlin you control gets +X/+X and trample where X is the number of artifacts in target player’s graveyard

    And those are my designs. With the 8 card limit and the requirements for this I couldn't show off more creatures due to everything needing to help the tribe directly. Examples being the staple RG uncommon, some artifact generators, etc. etc. But these are my favorite designs. I especially like Gremlin Population Boom, though it might need some work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know you said that you couldn't include all the support for the tribe, but I feel like having at least one artifact generator to show that the gremlins have a way to not run out of food would go a long way.

      A few other notes:
      - I feel like the "due to a Gremlin's effect" stuff is a little unnecessary and mostly tacked on to fit the challenge's requirements.
      - Design 3 does not feel common, since it messes with combat at instant speed.
      - Design 7 doesn't mechanically care about Gremlins.
      - Design 8 feels extremely underpowered and overcosted, especially for a mythic.

      On the other hand, I like where you're going with designs 4 and 5. While they could probably use some polishing, I feel like building up rewards from sacrificing artifacts could be a good direction to head in.

      Delete
    2. That land is dangerous and I don't think it would be acceptable. Multi-mana lands are avoided, and this one probably does too much too quickly too.

      Delete

    3. Spiel, Engine Heart Ravager
      Where are all these artifacts coming from. If it costs me 3 cards to get my mythic +6/+6 I’m not really happy with it.

      Gorging Gremlin
      I’m not entirely sure this works in the rules. Plus it’s going to be difficult to make worth while at that cost. This could be a 2/1 for 1R just fine I think..

      Tenacious Grub
      This is super solid. Fits theme, seems great.

      Poorly Planned Gremlin Bait
      The idea of a card that helps you cast spells early on but can be eaten later for value. However, this card is stone dead in a non gremlin deck. That’s a pretty sad rare maybe you just make the ability a “whenever an artifact is sacrificed” something happens instead so it may have value outside of just gremlin decks. I really don’t opening a dead rare in Sealed.

      Gremlin Population Boom
      I don’t see why this needs to once each turn. So you eat 5 things in one turn then crack this. Then you’re good. Also, you don’t generally tap enchantments.

      Gremlin Nest
      I think that untapped dual lands would need to be rare. But I love the card. I’d almost rather see this as a non dual with the ability that comes in untapped if you control the gremlin. Right now, this card is too powerful all around but has great ideas going on.


      Unintelligent Nest Invasion
      This would need to be in an artifact block to be common, otherwise it’s an uncommon. If it’s in an artifact block, it’s a really sold two for one at common. But it’s expensive. I like the flexibility on the target though. Seems like a great draw late game. Might need to be uncommon realistically but I’m willing to wait and see.

      Eat the Radioactive Scraps
      This is mythic? This seems like a really bad common for G. If you’re generating tokens, you won’t have anything in your graveyard. How is this supposed to win you games?

      Overall
      You haven’t really provided the support for your tribe. I’d assume it would need to be in a set with lots of cards like Ichor Wellspring or Scrapheap Scrounger which you want to end up in your graveyard. I think you need to include something that fuels the engine otherwise you end up with what feels like a very underpowered tribe. Again, this needs to exist in an artifact block or something with treasures/clues or something similar to function. Without the engine to see how this works I feel disconnected from its potential. Additionally, because of the build around difficulty, I’m not inclined to do anything with gremlins compared to other tribes.

      Delete
    4. I think the "effect of a gremlin" trigger is going to cause some real rules confusion, particularly when interacting with artifact creatures. Presumably, an artifact creature killed by blocking or being blocked by a gremlin doesn't trigger this clause? Or does it? What if you use a fight spell to cause a gremlin to fight an artifact creature? If you use an aura that grants a gremlin an activated ability, and that activated ability destroys an artifact, does that count as a gremlin ability?

      Delete
  9. Darn, and I spent the past 24 hours doing the circus challenge! Wouldn't it be more fun for us to show off our versions of the tests before seeing what the contestants did?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ^^ I agree with this. I'd love to see both challenges happen this weekend, with a new thread for each challenge when the article goes up.

      Delete
    2. I'd love this too, but doing two judgings in a single weekend would be very tricky for us.

      Delete
    3. I thought that, but are the contestants actually doing challenge to for real now, or did they already do it? If they're still doing it, it might be prudent not to post designs somewhere they might see in case there's accidentally overlap or similar

      Delete
    4. We did them weeks ago. You're all clear.

      Delete
    5. I hope to the gods somebody somehow made a mythic seltzer bottle.

      Delete
    6. A mythic clown car would be pretty sweet but probably mythic ringmaster.

      Delete
    7. I, in fact, have made BOTH a mythic clown card and a mythic ringmaster for my set of cards.

      Sadly, my seltzer bottle is just common. But it turns creatures into clowns! Which will be relevant for the clown car.

      Delete
    8. I always felt a bag of holding is missing from Magic.

      Delete
  10. I'm choosing Dwarves. Dwarves have a long history in fantasy, but have never had a solid execution as a tribe in Magic.
    I'm going to choose W/r. The hallmarks of Dwarves are their loyalty, their steadfastness, and their industrious nature.
    To that end, I've focused dwarves more towards their defensive prowess, their interaction with technology, and their stength as a community.

    Dwarven Ironfoot 3W
    Creature - Dwarf Soldier (C)
    Dwarven Ironfoot gets +1/+0 and has first strike as long as you control another dwarf.
    2/3

    Ironskin 2W
    Instant (C)
    Prevent all damage that would be dealt by creatures to target blocked or blocking creature this turn.
    If that creature is a dwarf, redirect that damage to its source instead.

    Runic Hammer 2
    Artifact - Equipment (U)
    Equipped creatre gets +0/+2 and gains vigilance.
    If equipped creature is a dwarf, artifacts and equip costs of artifact cards you control are reduced by 1.
    Equip 2

    Forge Fresh Steel 3RW
    Sorcery (U)
    Search your library for an Equipment card, reveal it, put it into your hand, then shuffle your library.
    If you control a dwarf creature, you may put that equipment onto the battlefield attached to a dwarf you control.

    Wotan's Runic Teachings 1WW
    Enchantment - (R)
    Whenever a creature enters the battlefield under you control, put a +1/+1 counter on it.
    If that creature is a dwarf, instead put a +1/+1 counter on each creature you control.

    Khazad-Dum, the First Runeforge
    Land (R)
    TAP: Add 1 to your mana pool.
    WR, TAP: Dwarves you control gain your choice of Vigilance, First Strike, or Lifelink until end of turn.

    Kharad, War Thane 2WW
    Legendary Creature - Dwarf
    Dwarves you control get +1/+1 for each dwarf you control.
    When Kharad attacks, if you control 3 or more attacking dwarves, other dwarves you control gain indestrucible until end of turn.
    1/1

    Vulcas, Runesmith WR
    Legendary Creature - Dwarf Artifacer (M)
    Equipped dwarves you control have haste.
    1WR, TAP: Create a token copy of an equipment you control.
    2/2

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    Replies
    1. Holy moly this is a lot...
      1.good straightforward common. Works with others and is pretty poor otherwise.
      2. I misread this at first and thought it would reflect everything. I feel like this could cause some oddities with spells having damage redirected to themselves. You might need that source's controller or do something about damage based spells.
      3. A hammer which doesn't boost attack? That is really weird and awkward. And then it buffs a lot but only with a dwarf? I see tribal here but it feels kinda stapled together.
      4.Forge Fresh Steel I feel could be a Mana cheaper. I see it somewhere with Refurbish and Steelshapers Gift and as it is 5 Mana is too much. 4 is likely too much out of a dwarf deck but it could be playable in. You sure you don't want vehicles too?
      5. This card is too good. Always Watching is the closest here but it doesn't affect tokens and it answered did nothing. This can do nothing, but it can also just win a game. Cathar's Crusade is 5 Mana for a reason.
      6. A fine land, helps dwarves, makes Mana, decent effect. Might be a bit much to affect all but it is a rate. Might need to tack on a colorless more.
      7. This is a hell of a Lord. I don't think we have another Lord which statically buffs as much as this could. Sneakily a 2/2 base it doesn't even need the second effect, but that makes you just alpha every turn, not making any room or need for decisions. Not a fan of the simple same always play pattern it will make.
      8. This one I feel is a fair card. Small cost, good abikity, but it feels like you took a reasonable card, needed to make it tribal, and tacked on something that makes a little sense. Maybe do something where the equipmenttment could be equipped for free to things already there? Allow for a bit that makes this scream play with other dwarfs, not play this with equiptment.

      Overall I feel like the numbers are way out of scale. Effects giving massive static bonuses or large bonuses very quickly. There are also some flavor fails and things that look like they don't quite fit in a tribal based set.

      Delete
    2. Dwarven Ironfoot
      Better with more dwarves. Quite dwarfy. However, this is a really bad card without another dwarf. I’d give it first strike always then the +1/+0 with another dwarf. Also doesn’t seem to support your theme (see below)

      Ironskin
      This is way too complex for common. I get the idea. I like the idea, but this isn’t common. See Deflecting Palm.

      Runic Hammer
      I dislike this only because you haven’t decided what your theme is. If your theme is the dwarves helping dwarves, then this doesn’t fit. If your theme is dwarves like equipment, then cool, this belongs. I pick one of these two themes to focus on instead of splitting between them.

      Forge Fresh Steel
      Casting cost seems way off here and could be broken depending on what else is in the set. Also, specifically doesn’t synergise well with Runic Hammer in a dwarf deck.

      Wotan’s Runic Teachings
      The basic idea here is fine. I might limit the dwarf bonus to each dwarf you control for a smaller and more tribal upside. Again, this doesn’t really match an overall theme or any synergy.

      Khazad-Dum
      I get the theme here, but this card is just unplayable outside of a dwarf deck. This means every-one will go to the dwarf player at the table and you’ll be facing this in about 50% of dwarf decks you encounter in a draft. I’m not sure this is what you want. I’d increase it to at least be a tapped land and multi-colored and increase the activation cost. Giving a tribal deck across the board lifelink or first strike is really good.

      Kharad, War Thrane
      Power level here is way off, even for a mythic. This with two other 2/2 dwarves means you’re attacking with a 4/4 and two 5/5 all indestructible on turn five. I think this should probably cost something like seven, not four.

      Vulcas, Runesmith
      Spewing out equipment at that speed is pretty scary. What happens when someone starts copying batterskull. Costs are an issue here. Also, because equipment can be moved around so easily, everyone basically gains haste assuming you have any equipment. Maybe you make it so that you can attach any equipment to a dwarf entering the battlefield instead of giving them haste. This is really dependant on the quality of equipment in the set.

      Overall
      I feel like you need to focus on the equipped dwarves idea and less on the more dwarves idea. This would mean changing your common dwarf to care about other equipped dwarves and try to get the theme of equipment into pretty much every card design. I realize this may be difficult with the carrying about creature type requirement but right now you have three cards that are on the equipment theme and two are a Non-Bo, and the rest are just dwarves.

      Delete
    3. I would love to see a really strong equipment tribal RW theme. Their stab at "equipment matters" creatures in Dominaria was largely disappointing.

      Delete
    4. Dwarven Ironfoot 3W
      Creature - Dwarf Soldier (C)
      Dwarven Ironfoot gets +1/+0 and has first strike as long as you control another dwarf.
      2/4

      Ironskin 2W
      Instant (C)
      Prevent all damage that would be dealt by creatures to target blocking creature this turn.
      If the target creature is a dwarf, it gets +1/+0 until end of turn for each dawf you control.

      Runesmith's Hammer 2
      Artifact - Equipment (U)
      Equipped creatre gets +2/+2 and gains defender.
      If equipped creature is a dwarf, equip costs of artifact cards you control are reduced by 1.
      Equip 2

      Forge Fresh Steel 3RW
      Sorcery (U)
      Search your library for an Equipment card, reveal it, put it into your hand, then shuffle your library.
      If you control a dwarf creature, you may put that equipment onto the battlefield attached to a dwarf you control instead.

      Wotan's Runic Teachings 1WW
      Enchantment - (R)
      Whenever a dwarf enters the battlefield under you control, +1/+1 counter on each creature you control.

      Khazad-Dum, the First Runeforge
      Land (R)
      TAP: Add 1 to your mana pool.
      1WR, TAP: Dwarves you control gain Vigilance or First Strike until end of turn.

      Kharad, War Thane 3WW
      Legendary Creature - Dwarf
      When Kharad attacks, other dwarves you control get +1/+1 for each dwarf you control and gain indestrucible until end of turn.
      3/4

      Vulcas, Runesmith WR
      Legendary Creature - Dwarf Artifacer (M)
      Equipped dwarves you control have haste.
      1WR, TAP: Create a token copy of an equipment you control.
      2/2

      Focus is on 4 and 7

      Delete
    5. Changes:
      Ironskin 2W
      Instant (c)
      Prevent all damage that would be dealt by creatures to target blocking creature this turn.
      If the target creature is a dwarf, it gains double strike until end of turn.

      Delete
    6. Changes:
      Ruesmith's Hammer 2
      Equipped creature gets +2/+2 and gains defender.
      If equipped creature is a dwarf, equipment you play costs 2 less.
      Equip - 0

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

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  12. I'm choosing Germs, in B/G. They have plenty of resonant tropes, and their unusually low stats allow for some unique design space.

    Germs only appear as 0/0 tokens, and rely on other cards to generate them and keep them alive. They're slow and somewhat fragile, focusing on grinding out a win with token makers and protecting their lords. They use deathtouch, removal (including -1/-1 counters), and graveyard synergies to break stalls and control the board.

    Apologies to Ari, whose Maggot-Infested Wound inspired Insidious Infection (it turns out Insects and Germs have quite a bit of overlap thematically.)

    Filth Warden (1G)
    Creature - Human Druid (C)
    When Filth Warden enters the battlefield, create a 0/0 black Germ creature token.
    Germs you control get +1/+1.
    1/1

    Festering Sickness (1B)
    Sorcery (C)
    Target non-Germ creature gets -2/-2 until end of turn. If you control a Germ, destroy that creature.

    Insidious Infection (1B)
    Enchantment - Aura (U)
    Enchant non-Germ creature
    Germs you control get +1/+1.
    At the beginning of your upkeep, put a -1/-1 counter on enchanted creature and create a 0/0 black Germ creature token.

    Cleansing Chalice (1)
    Artifact (U)
    If a Germ would deal damage to you or a permanent you control, prevent 1 of that damage.
    Whenever a Germ dies, you gain 1 life.

    Lethal Outbreak (3BG)
    Instant (R)
    Create three 0/0 black Germ creature tokens. Germs you control get +1/+1 and gain deathtouch until end of turn.

    Plague District
    Land (R)
    Plague District enters the battlefield tapped.
    T: Add B or G to your mana pool.
    BG, T: If you control a Germ, create a 0/0 black Germ creature token.

    Contagious Pestilence (2BB)
    Enchantment (M)
    At the beginning of each player’s upkeep, that player sacrifices a non-Germ creature. If they do, create a 0/0 black Germ creature token.
    Germs you control get +1/+1.
    At the beginning of each end step, if there are no non-Germ creatures on the battlefield, sacrifice Contagious Pestilence.

    Malond, Plague of Worlds (2BG)
    Legendary Planeswalker - Malond (M)
    +1: You get an emblem with “Germs you control get +1/+1 as long as you control a Malond planeswalker.”
    +1: Create two 0/0 black Germ creature tokens.
    -8: Each opponent loses X life, discards X cards, and sacrifices X permanents, where X is three times the number of Germs you control.
    4

    The cards I'd most want reviewed are the two mythics.

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    Replies
    1. I absolutely love the direction you've taken germs, it feels super unique and flavorful. My only concern is that the gameplay with them might be too swingy, with players being blown out by having their lord destroyed at an inopportune time, or from the other side, being unable to remove a lord.

      I'm not sure why you would ever want to make a card like Cleansing Chalice; it completely hoses the germ strategy for just 1 mana. Don't excite me with all these sweet germ cards and then make me unable to play them.

      On a side note, I feel like Malond's emblem should at least be a 0. It might get out of hand otherwise.

      Delete
    2. I love Contagious Pestilence feeling like Pestilence but in a different way and also having an Abyss feel.

      Delete
    3. Wow! This was really trippy in a fantastic way. Being able to make a tribe out of 0/0 creatures is intriguing to say the least. I agree with what rkhon said about Cleansing Chalice. I can imagine they might feel pretty swingy and momentum-based, so I would be curious to see how they fare in playtesting. Another potential challenge is by showing up on strong removal cards, other decks will want to draft Germs stuff which may hurt the dedicated Germs drafter.

      Delete
    4. Thank you all for the feedback so far! Cleansing Chalice was meant to be a top-down disinfectant, that could serve as a Germ sideboard card in the mirror match where you get triggers off your own germs dying as well. I figured that being a narrower and less deadly Illness in the Ranks would make it okay, but in retrospect being available to any color is probably too much. I'm tentatively replacing it with the following:

      Petri Dish (1)
      Artifact (U)
      Whenever a Germ you control dies, put a research counter on Petri Dish.
      1, T, Remove a research counter from Petri Dish: You draw a card and lose 1 life.

      Delete
    5. I like Petri Dish. First off, great flavor. Second, it helps mitigate the swinginess of Germs a bit by allowing you to refuel.

      Delete
    6. I am confused a bit by the lack of equipment manipulation. Are you pulling them away from that identity?

      Delete
    7. These are meant to be "natural" germs, not Phyrexian bioweapons. Equipment manipulation didn't seem to fit.

      Delete
    8. Ah, interesting! So this is one of those situations where MaRo's discussion of why "As-Fan" matters, the frequency that germ-related cards show up in boosters.

      My big worry with your germ tribal is whether a player in a limited formats would have enough access to the lords/buffs that would even keep the germs alive in the first place. You do a good job demonstrating how germ players would get these boosts, but it's really hard to tell whether I -- attempting to draft germs -- would be able to even play them at all.

      It's almost as though you actually need more germ boosts in the "as-fan" for this set than you need the germs themselves. You need to make sure you have the appropriately filthy environment for germs to survive before you attempt to play them.

      This is a situation where not only do you need to playtest the cards, you need to playtest the draft experience.

      Delete
    9. Agreed. I was actually thinking that all Germ token makers could also boost them, at least temporarily (except the land, but note it only makes more Germs if you can already sustain one). Maybe one card would let you make germs without boosting any, but it would be a one-off design in the same vein as Bloodied Ghost from Shadowmoor block.

      This admittedly makes Germs much more parasitic than most tribes, but then so are Slivers.

      Delete
    10. Where are you on Infect? I wonder if the Germ tokens having Infect would help achieve a germ burst victory more easily.

      Delete
    11. Infect would be super flavorful, but my main concern is that it would make Germs even more parasitic and swingy. I considered giving the germ tokens Wither, but the tribe is probably complex enough as it is.

      Delete
    12. One thing I just thought of: have you considered using vanishing to help balance out all of the lord effects? I think it would go really well with the flavor and play style of the germs. For example:

      1B
      Enchantment
      Vanishing 2
      Germs you control get +0/+1.
      Whenever a Germ you control attacks, each opponent loses 1 life.

      I also think having this effect rather than +1/+1 some of the time could help balance having multiple lords.

      Delete

    13. Filth Warden
      Are Germs bad enough to allow for a common lord? I know that we’ve seen common sliver lords. This gives you a 1/1 and a 1/1 germ. Though if you kill the 1/1 you lose the germ. Two of them gives you two 1/1s and two 2/2s. Seems good, not sure if it’s broken. This card is a pretty easy early pick in any green deck so I think it could work. Complexity at common may be an issue but it’s a theme so I can see it happening. I’m cautiously optimistic.

      Festering Sickness
      I read this card wrong three times before getting it right. I think you need to tone it down a bit, like giving -2/-2 and -3/-3 if you control a germ. Maybe -4/-4. Getting terminate in one color is a huge payoff for having germs, probably too good for common. Could be as written at uncommon.

      Insidious Infection
      Reading the term non-germ over and over is getting to me. I’d suggest non-token creature as that would rule out germs. But I love this card. It has a payoff that could be really good. You’d have to be careful about what walls you put into your deck with this. A 0/7 could make a lot of germs.

      Cleansing Chalice
      I’m not sure who wants this card. Is it for germ decks against other germ decks? Is it for people playing against germ decks? This one is basically a miss for me. While I get the theme I don’t get the synergy unless you have a germs pinging you for 1 theme.

      Lethal Outbreak
      This seems great. Might need to see the casting cost go up because it’s a really powerful effect that can win you the game on the spot. Card is worded correctly too. Good job.

      Plague District
      In a germ deck this card is nuts, in every other deck it’s a tapped dual land. Not sure how to take that. If germs are BG then every germ drafter will likely get this. Probably needs to see the activation cost go up just incase. Remember, without germ lords, this does nothing.

      Contagious Pestilence
      I’m not sure who gets the germ token. As a mythic, I should, but even still this seems really weak and niche for a mythic. We need to see something way flashier. Seems like a mediocre rare more than a mythic.

      Malord, Plague of Worlds
      I see what you’re doing here but I think there’s some huge problems. Assuming you have some germs this card is insane, plus the ultimate is beyond Ugin/Nicol Bolas on steroids. I think the +1 should be create two germ tokens. That’s on theme. The emblem is something that hasn’t been done before but I think it’s okay. I think it’s not okay as a +1. Probably fine as a 0. The idea of having 4 emblems that don’t do anything is a little weird but I see what you’re doing there and am willing to see how it goes. The ultimate needs a lot of work. With 2 germs made the previous turn it causes your opponent to sac 6 permanents. Also your opponent probably has zero cards on thun 8 when you make this thing happen and it does stone nothing when you don’t have any germs in play. I’d rewrite it something like “-8: You get three 0/0 germ tokens. Germ tokens you control have T: Destroy target permanent, create a 0/0 germ token under your control.”

      Delete
  13. I will go with Apes. There is not much identity to Apes but I am going to center on the love of trees and go with red and green.
    1. Hungry Ape-1G (Common)
    Creature-Ape
    2/2
    When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, if you control another ape create a 1/1 green insect creature token.

    2. Hide in the Trees-2G (Uncommon)
    Instant
    Choose one or both:
    -Return target Ape you control to your hand
    -Search your library for a basic forest and put it into play tapped.

    3. Planet of the Apes (Rare)
    Land
    CARDNAME enters the battlefield tapped.
    T: Add R or G.
    1GG, T: Create a 1/2 red ape creature token.

    4. Bites and Scratches-2R (Common)
    Instant
    Deal 4 damage to target creature and 1 damage to that creature's controller for each ape you control.

    5. The Golden Banana-5 (Mythic Rare)
    Legendary Artifact
    CARDNAME enters the battlefield with a banana counter for each Ape you control.
    G, remove a banana counter from CARDNAME: Gain 1 life and create a 1/1 green ape creature token.
    R, remove a banana counter from CARDNAME: Deal 2 damage to any target.
    1G, tap an untapped ape you control: Put a banana counter on CARDNAME.

    6. Ape Frenzy-RG (Uncommon)
    Enchantment-Aura
    Enchant Creature
    Enchanted creature gets trample and tap an untapped ape you control: this creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn.
    7. Ape Roaring Good Time-XRG (Rare)
    Sorcery
    Create X 2/2 green ape creature tokens. Apes you control get +1/+1, trample, and haste until end of turn.

    8. The Ape God-3RG (Mythic Rare)
    Legendary Creature-Ape God
    6/4
    CARDNAME is indestructible.
    1GG, return a forest you control to your hand: Apes you control gain hexproof until end of turn.
    Tap two untapped apes you control: Create a 1/1 green ape creature token.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would like the Golden Banana and Bites and Scratches reviewed.

      Delete
    2. Is the flavor of Hungry Ape that one ape is picking a bug out of another ape's fur? Because that'd be great with the right artwork.

      I love Bites and Scratches, but I think at common you could probably bump the cost up to 4R and even make it a sorcery potentially. The problem I foresee is that at instant 2R any drafter would love to have removal that strong.

      Golden Banana is a really strong engine card, but I don't quite get how it fits with Apes. You can use the first and third ability together to repeatedly make apes and gain life for each 1GG you have, so that seems quite strong. You can also gun down creatures for each R you have. I just don't see how the pieces all fit together.

      Delete
    3. Yes that is the flavor and I am happy it tracked. I was wondering if people would ask why it didn't make an ape. I agree with all the commentary for bites and scratches that the rate might be too good but I was using searing blaze and cards like that but yeah it might not make it to the ape drafter or they first pick it and move in. The idea was you feed each of the apes which is healing and the golden banana insights aggression. Probably would need story points to make it work. Could do a monkey totem that becomes a creature.

      Delete
    4. I do like the imagery of a Golden Banana. Is it a trope? A monkey totem sounds evocative too though.

      Maybe "Banana Treasure Trove" would make more sense to me. Then the abilities correspond to feeding, throwing bananas, and apes going forth to retrieve more bananas.

      Delete
    5. Yeah, I asked for feedback on the two cards specifically for what you are addressing. I was thinking a golden banana that just radiates energy and draws apes to it, so the rays can be strong or healing.

      The Monkey Totem-6 (Mythic Rare)
      Legendary Artifact
      Creatures you control get +1/+1 and trample.
      If you control 4 or more apes, CARDNAME is a 7/7 green ape creature.

      Might be under powered.

      Delete
    6. For Hide in the Trees, I think returning creatures to your hand in this context is a color pie break for green. I think only blue and white are allowed to do so in this fashion.

      Do both damage parts of Bites and Scratches increase based on number apes? I'm a little confused by the wording. If it's only the damage to opponent that escalates, maybe you need to break it into two sentences.

      Delete
    7. Yeah it is just to the controller, what part of it makes it seem to also increase the 4 damage, I could have had it be deal X damage to target creature and player where X is the number of apes you control but using X isn't allowed in common. You might be right, technically wirewood symbiote allowed you to bounce creatures and since I play a good bit of Legacy the color pie might be a little off. Let me consult the mechanical color pie article.

      Delete
    8. Technically green is secondary in bounce and I think the flavor justifies it being monogreen but I could see the argument the other way.

      Delete
    9. Oh, if they're secondary in bounce, go for it. It just happens so rarely that I didn't even realize it was listed.

      Delete




    10. That there isn't another verb separating the two parts of Bites and Scratches makes it seem like the card is checking apes for both. How about this wording?

      Deal 4 damage to target creature, and for each ape you control, deal 1 damage to that creature's controller.

      Delete
    11. Actually I have a good example of green having bounce in a recent set, temur sabretooth, also it was a busted card and green having bounce usually causes some really strong cards. I am fine with that wording, the goal of magic cards is to reduce complexity but still have good gameplay.

      Delete
    12. I just remembered what I wanted my artifact to be.
      Monkey See, Monkey Do-5 (Mythic Rare)
      Legendary Artifact
      Whenever a player targets a single Ape with a spell or ability, that player copies that spell or ability for each other Ape that spell or ability target could target. Each copy targets a different one of those Apes.
      2GG: Target Ape get +2/+2 and trample.

      Delete
    13. The green bounce discussion is interesting as an aside. I actually didn't realize green could do that outside of gating at sorcery speed.

      Anyway, Monkey See, Monkey Do is fantastic to me. Maybe I am partial to it as a Johnny. The only shame is it opens your Apes up to mass removal. Perhaps you could make it so you decide whether to copy the spell or ability or not.

      Delete
    14. Another one invasive species. Green bounce is a lot of fun.

      Delete
  14. "When knowledge equals survival, hoarding information becomes a capital crime."

    While the heroes are gallivanting around Dominaria, the cephalid are dying of deadly plagues and nobody cares. They aren't even considered a real creature type anymore. So taking my cue from avens ("birds") and khenra ("jackals"), I'm recasting cephalids with the "octopus" creature type.

    The cephalids were not good people, and nobody (certainly not the merfolk) is rushing to assist them. The possibility of extinction has not made them kinder. It has done the opposite. They have gone from predatory information brokers to cruel intellect devourers and murderers, looking for any tidbit of information that could potentially break them of this deadly plague. Wizards, clerics, even cabalists are potential targets. They even turn on each other when they get weak from plague, cutting apart their bodies, picking through their brains, looking for any sliver of possibility their sharp minds have not yet considered.

    Gameplay with the cephalids involves combining blue's milling and black's discard and sacrifice to sift through graveyards for any advantage over others. But they're not necromancers. They're scavenging for spells, not bodies. I've brought in the flashback mechanic to feed into their desperate hunt for any magical opportunity to get ahead. And in their pursuit, they've found bits and pieces of an ancient, long-lost myth referring to giant ancestor from which they've descended sleeping deeper than they've ever been. Maybe its blood is pure from the plague? Maybe they can bring it forth? Maybe it will save them.

    (Reviewers: Feedback please on my two extremely bonkers mythics)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ashtide Psychclutch - 2B (Common)
      Creature – Octopus
      When ~ enters the battlefield, if there's an octopus card in your graveyard, target opponent discards a card.
      2/2

      Scour the Seas - 2U (Common)
      Instant
      Draw two cards, then discard a card.
      Flashback – B, Sacrifice an octopus.

      Ashtide Coast Reaver - 3BU (Uncommon)
      Creature – Octopus Wizard
      Menace
      Whenever you cast a spell from anywhere other than your hand, ~ deals X damage to target opponent, where X is the number of octopus cards in your graveyard.
      3/3

      Mindrot Claw – 2 (Uncommon)
      Artifact – Equipment
      Equipped creature has +1/+1 and deathtouch.
      If equipped creature is an octopus, it also has "When this creature deals combat damage to an opponent, they discard a card."
      Equip: 3

      Cephalid Ruins (Rare)
      Land
      ~ enters the battlefield tapped.
      T: Add B or U. If you use this mana to cast an octopus spell, target player puts the top two cards of their library into their graveyard.

      Traumatic Epidemic – 3BB (Rare)
      Sorcery
      All creatures get -3/-3 until the end of the turn. At the beginning of your next end step, draw a card for each octopus you controlled that died this turn.

      Xexov'a, Fathoms Deep - UUU4 (Mythic)
      Legendary Creature – Octopus Leviathan
      ~ can be cast only from exile.
      UU, Discard this card from your hand: Each player puts the top four cards of their library into their graveyard.
      2UU, exile this card from your graveyard: Tap all non-octopus creatures.
      Trample, Hexproof
      9/9

      Ruthless Recall - 3BU (Mythic)
      Enchantment
      When ~ enters the battlefield, exile up to two target sorceries or instants from any opponents' graveyards.
      UUBB, sacrifice an octopus: Copy a spell exiled by Ruthless Recall. If you do, you may cast it without paying its casting costs.

      Delete
    2. Neat! I was considering doing cephalids as Magic's mind flayer race, so it's good to see we were kind of on the same page.

      I'm not quite as clear about what the thematic link is between these. Do octopuses care about discard, the graveyard, or exile? Do they care about dying (death triggers) or can they be self milled. I get that these are somewhat related, it's just hard to find the common thread.

      Delete
    3. Yeah, that's where the parasitic non-tribal blue/black spells come in that aren't here. The tribe cares about spells in both yours and your opponents' graveyards and using them. Some concepts that I couldn't include in the challenge because they don't "care about tribal" include a cephalid that lets you trigger a flashback card from an opponent's graveyard (Like if a snapcaster mage were black) and damage in black that triggers when a sorcery or instant goes into a graveyard without being played.

      Consider this play dynamic.

      Turn X: You play Scour the Seas. You discard an octopus. Next turn, you cast Ashtide Psychclutch. Your opponent discards a sorcery they didn't have the mana to cast anyway. Next turn you cast Ashtide Coast Reaver. Then you sacrifice Psychclutch to flashback Scour the Seas. Because you played Scour the Seas from your graveyard, it triggers Coast Reaver's special ability, and it does at least 1 (possibly more) damage to your opponent. Later you cast Ruthless Recall and take that sorcery your opponent discarded.

      It's some extreme jank and very parasitic. It won't work without a hardcore tribal set like Ixalan.

      Delete
    4. Consider the octopus sacrifices to be resource gatekeepers to keep spell recursion from getting out of hand too quickly. Note the lack of octopus token creation. That's very deliberate.

      Delete
    5. Oh! And the reason Ruthless Recall cannot hit your own graveyard is to prevent an infinite turns combo where the player can mill out one of their own extra turn sorceries that would normally be exiled when cast and then snag it with Ruthless Recall.

      Mind you, if your opponent has an extra turn sorcery and you mill it or make them discard it, LOLOLOLOLOL.

      Delete
    6. I like the idea of a tribe that would rather be in the graveyard than on the battlefield. Making them Cephalids/Octopi works for me, given their previous graveyard synergy and the way you sort of reflavor graveyard/exile as being submerged.

      With that in mind, Mindrot Claw doesn't quite seem to fit with the other designs. I don't want my cephalids attacking, I want them in the graveyard where they belong!

      Xexov'a is absolutely my favorite of these designs. It really evokes the feeling of a forgotten eldritch horror, which is a perfect fit for an Octopus tribal mythic.

      I actually think Ruthless Recall seems really weak. Compare Spelltwine, which does hit your own graveyard and lets you cast both spells immediately for only one more mana.

      Delete
    7. When I was reading over the judges' comments in the contest, a few of them talked about the viability of various cards in limited formats. So knowing how combo-centric this tribal concept was, I did make some choices to make sure you would be able to find ways to beat your opponent even if you weren't able to get all parts of the graveyard jank machine. The claw was definitely one of those. You would never play that if you were constructing an octopus deck from scratch, but in limited, you're probably going to need to swing in with those octopuses a few times to soften up the enemy. That's also why I gave the Coast Reaver menace. Xexov'a and Traumatic Epidemic are also both designed to be viable strong first picks even if you aren't able to take advantage of the tribal components.

      As for Ruthless Recall, note that because it's an enchantment, it and those cards you exiled don't go away. They can be recast over, and over again. This isn't Spelltwine. It's more like an octopus-powers, uberpowerful Isochron Scepter.

      Delete
    8. In my opinion, Xexov'a would work better without trample and hexproof. If an opponent uses removal on it, you can just exile it again and recast it, so hexproof is redundant. Also, since Xexov'a is so hard to deal with, I think removing trample and letting opponents chump-block it would be safer.

      Delete
    9. Man, what a strange and eerie animal. Given all the oddness surrounding octopus DNA, their amorphousness, and their isolation at extreme depths, they feel like a good fit for a mindflayer race. I also like the backstory you created a lot.

      Xexov'a is for sure my favorite, but I agree with what rkhon said.

      One little factoid about the octopus is that the mother dies soon after their eggs hatch. Maybe that could be used to make an artifact somehow, but I think you justified the functionality of your artifact well already.

      Delete
    10. I could see maybe losing hexproof, given the infinite recursion of it. Even if it gets hit with a pacifism enchant, you could do something like sacrificing it to flashback Scour the Seas or duplicate a spell with Ruthless Recall. And then it goes to the graveyard and yada yada yada.

      But I think I want to keep trample to make sure it is a big, huge board threat that you can't deal with just by chumping turn after turn. This isn't like the blue elder dinosaur from RIX. That recursion costs a lot of time and mana, and this is a tribe that doesn't go either wide or tall and have a strong battlefield presence. I don't think it could survive and win if too much chump blocking is possible.

      Delete
    11. About Xexov'a, Trample feels out of place in UB but from a quick search I see that some big beaters in B and several sea creatures in U have it, so I think it's fine.

      The Mythic Enchantment looks fine because even though you could go infinite with time warps, you'd also need a constant flux of Octopuses to fuel it.

      I like the first common, but wouldnt it be better for the strategy to make both players discard? this way you an keep the other shenanigans in your deck.

      Overall is a very thoughtful design!

      Delete
  15. (Made a few changes, so I'm reposting this)

    So, I'm going to try my hand at Devils. They'll appear in B/R and center around sacrificial rituals. Devils use their rituals to drain and damage their opponents, as well as attempt to summon help from other worlds.

    DESIGN 1
    Cult Initiate 1B
    Creature - Devil (C)
    When Cult Initiate dies, reveal the top card of your library and put it into your hand. If the revealed card was a Devil, each opponent loses 1 life and you gain 1 life.
    1/1

    DESIGN 2
    Sacrificial Victim 2B
    Instant (C)
    Target player sacrifices a creature. If you control a Devil, that player loses 1 life and you gain 1 life.

    DESIGN 3
    Gang Recruitment 4R
    Sorcery (U)
    Create two 1/1 red Devil creature tokens with "When this creature dies, it deals 1 damage to any target."
    Devil creatures you control gain haste until end of turn and must be blocked this turn if able.

    DESIGN 4
    Devil's Rite 2BR
    Sorcery (U)
    As an additional cost to cast Devil's Rite, sacrifice a Devil.
    Add BBBRRR. When one or more mana produced this way is spent to cast a Devil spell, each opponent loses 1 life and you gain 1 life.

    DESIGN 5
    Ritual Leader 1BR
    Creature - Devil (R)
    Other Devils you control get +1/+0.
    At the beginning of each end step, if three or more Devils you control died this turn, you may return target Devil card from your graveyard to your hand.
    2/2

    DESIGN 6
    Otherworldly Chamber
    Land (R)
    Otherworldly Chamber enters the battlefield tapped.
    T: Add B or R.
    T: Flip a coin three times, then create a colorless 1/1 Spirit creature token for each flip you won. Activate this ability only if three or more Devils you control died this turn.

    DESIGN 7
    Summoning Ritual 2BB
    Enchantment (M)
    1, Sacrifice a creature: Put a charge counter on Summoning Ritual. If that creature was a Devil, each opponent loses 1 life and you gain 1 life.
    Sacrifice Summoning Ritual: If it had four or more charge counters on it, create three 1/1 colorless Spirit creature tokens. If it had six or more charge counters on it, create a 6/6 black Demon Spirit creature token with flying.

    DESIGN 8
    Ibrithil, the Lost Altar 6
    Legendary Artifact (M)
    At the beginning of your upkeep, create a 1/1 colorless Spirit creature token.
    Sacrifice a Spirit: Copy target activated or triggered ability you control. You may choose new targets for the copy. Activate this ability only if a Devil you control died this turn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, and please review Devil's Rite and Ibrithil, the Lost Altar

      Delete
    2. I like this design space for devils a lot. Caring about being sacrificed works well with their established flavor, and lifegain plus demon summoning grants late-game options that help them feel more sinister and stand out from other black-red tribes.

      Devil's Rite seems awkward because I expect Devils to be cheap, so I'm not sure why I'd use an expensive ritual to summon them. If it said "Demon or Devil spell" it would make more sense to me.

      I like how Ibrithil's second ability combos with Summoning Ritual and presumably other big ritual effects. I get the flavor of the Spirit tokens, but feel like they're fighting with Devils for mechanical space, since both are small creatures that care about being sacrificed. I'd probably make them all Devils for consistency.

      Delete
    3. I actually like how it starts drifting into other tribes, creating a dynamic of a sinister agenda coming into fruition. They're not just a bunch of similar creatures. Their goal is to perform certain devilish tasks leading to an outcome.

      The one thing I'd change is the ritual leader bringing devils back. It seems to run counter to the sacrifice theme and the focus on token creatures.

      Delete
    4. Thanks for the feedback! You both make some good points. After thinking about it, it really doesn't make sense for Devil's Rite to want you to cast devils with the mana it creates, both mechanically and flavor-wise. Therefore, I'm changing it to not care what kind of spell is cast.

      Devil's Rite 2BR
      Sorcery (U)
      As an additional cost to cast Devil's Rite, sacrifice a Devil.
      Add BBBRRR. When one or more mana produced this way is spent to cast a spell, each opponent loses 1 life and you gain 1 life.

      As for Ritual Leader, I think its ability would greatly depend on how many devil creatures are in the set versus noncreature token producers. In my head, there's more creatures (Gang Recruitment aside), so the ability makes sense. If it were the other way around, I would likely change it to draw a card and lose 1 life.

      Finally, in regards to the spirit tokens, I actually think they provide an important role for the devil deck. It allows players to maintain board presence whilst sacrificing devils, as well as prevent them from sacrificing devils to produce devils and loop repeatedly. For example, if Otherworldly Chamber made devils, it would be broken.


      Delete
    5. I like the new version of Devil's Rite. I can imagine artwork of devils dancing around a fire gleefully. A mana ritual seems like something devils would be keen on, and it's very synergistic with the sacrifice effects. I wonder, on average, how much it'll drain for? I think in it'd be hard to get more than 2 drain and 2 mana out of it, which is a little small of a payoff for 2 cards (the sacrificed card and Devil's Rite). It might be possible to push the card even more.

      Delete
    6. Last minute edit; just realized Ibrithil has kind of a broken combo with Otherworldy Chamber. Ibrithil will now be:

      Ibrithil, the Lost Altar 6
      Legendary Artifact (M)
      At the beginning of your upkeep, create a 1/1 colorless Spirit creature token.
      Sacrifice a Spirit: Copy target activated or triggered ability you control. You may choose new targets for the copy. Activate this ability only if a Devil you control died this turn and no more than twice each turn.

      Delete
  16. So I'm going to do two versions. 1.0 and 2.0, based on Chris Mooney himself giving feedback on my Ooze attempts. (If you really want to see that, it's on /r/GDS3.)

    Cards

    Thicken (Common)
    1G
    Instant
    Thicken costs 1 less to cast if it targets an Ooze.
    Target creature gets +3/+3 until end of turn.


    Panoptic Mutaform (Common)
    4GG
    Creature -- Ooze
    4/6
    Vigilance
    G: Target Ooze creature gains vigilance until end of turn.
    1G: Target creature gains vigilance until end of turn.


    Flourishing Ooze (Uncommon)
    1G
    Creature -- Ooze
    2/2
    Whenever another Ooze enters the battlefield under your control, put a +1/+1 counter on Flourishing Ooze.
    G, Remove a +1/+1 counter from Flourishing Ooze: You gain 2 life.


    Winged Mutaform (Uncommon)
    2U
    Creature -- Ooze
    2/2
    Flying
    U: Target Ooze creature gains flying until end of turn.
    2U: Target creature gains flying until end of turn.


    Sludge Pools (Rare)
    Land
    Sludge Pools enters the battlefield tapped.
    T: Add G or U.
    2GU, T: Create a 2/2 blue and green Ooze creature token.


    Fluid Steel (Rare)
    5
    Artifact - Equipment
    Whenever equipped creature attacks, choose one. If equipped creature is an Ooze, choose all —
    * Equipped creature gets +2/+2 until end of turn.
    * Equipped creature gains flying until end of turn.
    * Whenever equipped creature deals combat damage to a player this turn, draw a card.
    Equip 3


    Fluidform (Mythic)
    2GGUU
    Enchantment
    Whenever a creature you control attacks, choose 1 or 2. If it's an Ooze, instead choose 1, 2, 3 or 4. Until end of turn, that creature has the chosen base power and toughness and gains the chosen abilities.
    1> 2/1; "This creature can't be blocked."
    2> 5/5; trample
    3> 4/4; flying, trample
    4> 7/7; indestructible


    Mutate (Mythic)
    2UU
    Sorcery
    You may pay 4UUU to cast Mutate if each creature you control is an Ooze.
    Target creature you control becomes a copy of another target creature. If you paid 4UUU to cast Mutate, instead each creature you control becomes a copy of that creature.


    Commentary
    Hello! First up, the biggest point I want to stress is that several of these cards (the commons and uncommons) were designed with Limited in mind. I "let my hair down" for the higher rarities.

    Mechanic wise, I considered using Morph and Graft. Graft was quickly dismissed as I quickly began repeating what Dissension did for the Simic guild, which was a bust for originality. Morph had a similar difficulty, in that I felt like I was copying the past, but also that it didn't feel like an Ooze so much as solely Mutants and Shapeshifters. In the end, I settled for ignoring old mechanics altogether and starting over from scratch as though this were the Design Test. I decided to stick with "evergreen only" text.

    I chose to do extra creatures for my two unrestricted-type cards; creatures are what Tribal is all about, after all. Two of the creatures also deliberately have similar text boxes to better hint at Limited play with this tribe. I also intentionally left out a lord, even though it was probably expected. Why? Because I wanted to show how to bolster the tribe without doing something obvious; it was an intentional restriction in order to find other tribal mechanics.

    From a Creative standpoint, I concepted them as "jelly figures," not completely unlike how the Changelings of Lorwyn were depicted as they were a visual inspiration in addition to other works.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. v2.0!

      Plasmhulk (Common)
      4GG
      Creature — Ooze
      5/5
      When Plasmhulk enters the battlefield, put a +1/+1 counter on each other Ooze creature you control.

      Needless to say, I made a new green common creature that better implies the "get lots" theme.

      Flourish (Common)
      1G
      Instant
      Target creature gets +2/+2 until end of turn. If it's an Ooze, you gain 2 life.
      Replicate 2G (When you cast this spell, copy it for each time you paid its replicate cost. You may choose new targets for the copies.)

      Alas, poor Thicken got axed into a new name because of the need for having to care about Ooze tribal while hinting at the theme... indirectly. I'm still wondering if this is closer to Uncommon, due to the conditional life gain and how it only requires one Ooze to go bonkers. But then, that's why the price tag is 2G for the copies, so you're generally going to have 2 copies (up to 6 life gained) for most castings late game.

      The two commons should make it pretty clear on what the theme is. I don't recall exactly how Replicate came to mind, but it went close to this in my head: "Oozes beget Oozes. Ooze spells make Ooze spells. Oh! Replicate! The keyword name even fits!" And here we are.

      Flourishing Ooze (Uncommon)
      1G
      Creature — Ooze
      2/2
      Whenever another Ooze enters the battlefield under your control, put a +1/+1 counter on Flourishing Ooze.
      G, Remove a +1/+1 counter from Flourishing Ooze: You gain 2 life.

      No changes here. It still supports the "lots of Oozes!" theme.

      Fluid Steel (Uncommon)
      3
      Artifact — Equipment
      Whenever equipped creature attacks, choose one. If equipped creature is an Ooze, instead choose both —
      * Equipped creature gets +2/+2 until end of turn.
      * Whenever equipped creature deals combat damage to a player this turn, create a 2/2 blue and green Ooze creature token.
      Equip 3 or GU

      And here's one notable change. This used to be a rare for CMC 5, and it's now two modes, uncommon at CMC 3, and it helps enable itself and the tribe theme by creating Oozes if the wielder connects. I also gave the equip cost a second cost to make it easier to equip if you were in the tribe's colors.

      Delete
    2. Liquifier (Rare)
      3UU
      Creature — Ooze
      2/2
      2U: Target Ooze creature can't be blocked this turn.
      3UU, T: Exile target non-Ooze creature. Its controller creates a 2/2 blue and green Ooze creature token.

      And here's something out of left field that should better play into what Oozes are. This card was partially inspired by Elusive Tormenter // Insidious Mist (mostly Insidious Mist's art). It dissolves creatures into Oozes in a blue way (polymorphing)! You want to use it on your creatures for the unblockable shenanigans, and you want to use it on their creatures for obvious reasons. I'm unsure if this card is too bomby or splashy for Limited and rare respectively, however.


      Sludge Pools (Rare)
      Land
      Sludge Pools enters the battlefield tapped unless you control an Ooze.
      T: Add G or U.
      2GU, T: Create a 2/2 blue and green Ooze creature token.

      I didn't have "tribe matters" text the first time. Giving you the dual land untapped if you have a member of the tribe on the battlefield seemed an appropriate bonus, since the land enables untapped future copies of itself that you draw.


      Mutate (Mythic)
      2UU
      Sorcery
      Target creature you control becomes a copy of another target creature.
      Replicate 2U or Tap an untapped Ooze you control. (When you cast this spell, copy it for each time you paid its replicate cost. You may choose new targets for the copies.)

      I still like the idea of your Oozes enabling copy shenanigans. Once I hit upon Replicate as a returning keyword, I knew I wanted one where Oozes could "convoke" the copies.


      Fluidform (Mythic)
      2GGUU
      Enchantment
      Whenever one or more creatures you control attack, choose A or B. If each of those is an Ooze, you may choose C instead. Until end of turn, each of those creatures has the chosen base power and toughness and only the chosen ability.
      A> 2/2; "This creature can't be blocked."
      B> 5/5; Trample
      C> 4/4; "This creature can assign combat damage as though it weren't blocked."

      Again, a bit of a change. I made it three modes, and still used a "only Oozes attacking means they can potentially all be crazy" mode. I didn't hit upon the Thorn Elemental ability for some time, as I wanted A and B to be modes you'd want to choose, but C to be a mode that was kind of A, kind of B, but still a bit wild.

      Delete
    3. The more I think on it, the more I'm dissatisfied with Mutate, so this is what I came up with to replace it and better convey the reproductive inevitability of the tribe.

      Mimitosis (Mythic)
      2UU
      Sorcery
      Create a token that's a copy of target creature, except it's an Ooze in addition to its other types.
      Replicate 2U or "U, Tap an untapped Ooze creature you control." (When you cast this spell, copy it for each time you paid its replicate cost. You may choose new targets for the copies.)

      Delete
    4. Plasmhulk seems a lot for common, not so much its size, which is fine for green. But putting counters on all oozes is a lot when combined with its size. Maybe just one other ooze?

      Replicate is great for oozes. I like Flourish. I don't think it's too much at common.

      Fluid Steel doesn't really have the choices it seems like it's presenting. If you think the creature is going to be blocked, you choose one. If you think it's not (or it can't be blocked), choose two.

      Liquifier is way too powerful for limited, especially because it's a repeatable trigger. If it's just once, okay. But this is likely to be the most powerful creature removal in a set and it's mono-blue.

      Fluidform and Mimitosis are both appropriately fun and weird and difficult to evaluate outside of testing. Fluidform might be a problem in limited if it remains a "must." People may have some really good non-Ooze creatures they want to keep intact for whatever reason (like it has indestructible or double strike or something like that).

      Delete
  17. I realize I picked one of the tribes in the Top 8, but Reddit on /r/GDS3 is my source that I made Oozes v1.0 before I knew it was chosen by the Top 8!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Card One - Common
    Young Sprout
    G
    Creature - Plant
    0/1
    Whenever you cast a Plant spell, put a +1/+1 counter on Young Sprout.

    Card Two - Common
    Leech Seed
    BG
    Instant
    Choose one, or if you control a Plant, choose both--
    *Up to one target creature an opponent controls gets -1/-1 until end of turn.
    *Put a +1/+1 counter on target creature you control.

    Card Three - Uncommon
    Root Network
    3G
    Enchantment - Aura
    Enchant creature
    When Root Network enters the battlefield and at the beginning of your upkeep, put a +1/+1 counter on enchanted creature.
    G: Attach Root Network to target Plant you control.

    Card Four - Uncommon
    Life Finds a Way
    2B
    Sorcery
    Return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand. If it's a Plant, you may return it to the battlefield instead.

    Rares to come.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just want to say, love all of these so far. Great names and mechanical identity. Looking forward to the rest.

      Delete
    2. Card Five - Rare
      Flourishing Marsh
      Land
      Flourishing Marsh enters the battlefield tapped.
      T: Add B or G.
      Plants you control have "T: Add B or G."

      Card Six - Rare
      Pitcher Plant
      4BG
      Creature - Plant
      1/4
      Defender
      At the beginning of combat on each opponent's turn, choose target creature that opponent controls. That creature attacks you this turn if able.
      When Pitcher Plant blocks a creature with power less than Pitcher Plant's toughness, exile that creature. Put a +1/+1 counter on Pitcher Plant, then you gain life equal to Pitcher Plant's toughness.

      Card Seven - Mythic Rare
      Cultivator's Hothouse
      3
      Artifact
      Untap all Plants you control during each other player's untap step.
      X, T, Sacrifice a Plant creature with converted mana cost X: Create two tapped tokens that are copies of the sacrificed creature.

      Card Eight - Mythic Rare
      Overgrown World
      4GGG
      Enchantment
      At the beginning of your upkeep, you win the game if you control Plants with total power and toughness 100 or greater. Otherwise, search your graveyard or library for a Plant card and put it into your hand. If you searched your library this way, shuffle it.

      Will post the elevator pitch if anyone cares.

      An alternate layout included a common wall, a common token making instant, an uncommon kill spell sorcery, and a rare regrowing land, but with a largely similar suite of effects.

      The hardest part of this challenge? Not overlapping on Dryads/Druids/Saprolings/Treefolk!

      Delete
    3. I am curious about the elevator pitch. I enjoyed the designs very much.

      For Root Network, I think it could probably cost 1G to cast. Forced Adaptation costs G, even though that doesn't get you a counter immediately or allow swapping. If 1G ends up too strong, 2G seems reasonable too.

      Flourishing Marsh -- this might be too strong. The fact that it grants you an extra mana (uncounterable) for every Plant you control the turn you cast seems very good for a land. On the other hand, I really like granting that effect to plants. Just not sure what drawback / cost would be enough to justify that power.

      Pitcher Plant - I don't think this meets the "cares about Plants" criterion.

      Overgrown World - I dig this card. Feels epic. Having both mythics only care about Plants and not work at all without them, might be a bit much though.

      Delete
    4. Aargh this is what I get for doing this super late at night.

      Rarity shift Hothouse down to rare.

      Card Seven - Mythic Rare
      Wailing Yew
      1BG
      Creature - Plant
      1/3
      Deathtouch
      G, Exile a creature card from a graveyard: Put a +1/+1 counter on Wailing Yew.
      B, Remove two +1/+1 counters from Wailing Yew: Target creature gets -2/-2 until end of turn. You gain 2 life.
      BG: Target Plant you control gains all activated abilities of Wailing Yew until end of turn.

      Delete
  19. Bards!

    Palliative Flautist 2G
    Creature - Rabbit Bard (C)
    Whenever Palliative Flautist is tapped, gain 1 life for each bard you control.
    2/3

    Eye of the Tiger R
    Sorcery (C)
    You may tap any number of bards you control as an additional cost to cast this spell.
    Target creature gets +2/+0 and haste until end of turn. For each bard tapped to cast this spell, that creature gets +1/+0 until end of turn.

    Solo Percussionist RR
    Creature - Beast Bard
    Whenever Solo Percussionist becomes tapped, it gets +2/+2 as long as it's the only tapped bard you control.
    2/1

    Recording Studio
    Land (U)
    T: Add 1
    Tap a creature you control, T: Add a mana of any color. If that creature was a bard, untap it.

    Kizth, Band Leader 2RG
    Legendary Creature - Lizard Bard R
    Trample
    When Kizth, Band Leader becomes tapped, you may tap two other bards you control. If you do, double the amount of damage Kizth would deal this turn.
    5/3

    Touring Caravan 3
    Artifact - Vehicle (R)
    You may untap all creatures you control during your opponents untap step.
    The first time Touring Caravan is crewed each turn, put a +1/+1 counter on it.
    Bard Crew 3
    2/2

    Surprise Encore 2RR
    Instant (M)
    Untap all attacking creatures you control. After this phase, there is an additional combat phase.
    Copy all abilities that are triggered by bards tapping until end of turn. You may choose new targets for those copies.

    Béy, Heavenly Voice 3WW
    Creature - Angle Bard (M)
    Flying, Lifelink
    Whenever Béy, Heavenly Voice becomes tapped, put a +1/+1 counter on each creature you control.
    3/4

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ugh, need an enchantment. Cut Kizth for:

      Mosh Pit 1RW
      Enchantment (R)
      1R, Tap a creature you control: That creature fights another target creature you don't control.
      W, tap a bard you control: Untap another target creature.

      Delete
    2. And Bey should be

      Bey, Heavenly Voice 3WW
      Legendary Creature Angel Bard (M)
      Flying
      Tapped bards you control can block as though they were untapped.
      When Bey becomes tapped, you may put a +1/+1 counter on each creature you control.
      3/3

      Delete
    3. Bards totally should be a creature class! They aren't yet though, so technically you weren't allowed to use them for this challenge. Then again, bards!

      When I read the first two cards, it seemed very clear to me what direction you were headed: Bards care about tapping, community, and supporting eachother/boosting morale. That resonates with my image of bards in games, and is cleanly executed, kudos!

      Solo Percussionist pulls me in a completely different direction, and seems to go against the theme established by your commons. Sure, it still cares about tapping, but it's a nonbo with the other themes.

      I absolutely love Recording studio. That's a land I can play in a non-bard deck to fix my colors, but it gets a lot better in a bard deck, all while playing into your themes. Awesome :)

      Mosh Pit seems ok, nice as a top-down design. I definitely like the second ability, but the first feels slightly out of place in Bard tribal.

      The idea of Touring Caravan is solid, but I think the Bard requirement should be on the untapping rather than the crewing. That way this card is ok in a non-bard deck, but a ton better in a bard deck, being supported by AND supporting the bards at the same time.

      Surprise Encore is a lovely design, both from a flavour perspective as well as a mechanical. I think there might be some combo potential with the double triggers, but I don't think its a red flag, so well done :)

      Bey's static ability seems a bit finnicky for what is functionally often the same as Touring Caravan's static ability. I'm concerned that people will be so used to looking at untapped creatures for blockers, that they might unconsciously forget about Bey and mess up. I think the second ability is fine, but not massively exciting.

      Overall I think you have a solid theme going on here, but some of the cards could be a bit more in tune (ha) with it.


      Delete
    4. That makes a lot of sense! Solo Percussionist is a top down design for Animal from the Muppets, but you're right that should not run counter to the other themes of the submission. Maybe

      Glamour Rocker 2RR
      Creature - Goblin Bard (U)
      Haste
      Other Bards you control have "Whenever this creature becomes tapped, Glamour Rocker gains +1/+1 until end of turn"
      3/3

      That's a good changing for the Tour Bus!

      Touring Caravan 3
      Artifact - Vehicle (R)
      Untap all bards you control during your opponents untap step.
      Whenever Touring Caravan becomes tapped, put a +1/+1 counter on it.
      Crew 3
      2/2

      Mosh Pit RW
      Enchantment (R)
      Mosh Pit enters the battlefield with a verse counter on it.
      Creatures you control get +1/+0 for each verse counter on Mosh Pit.
      1(R/W), tap an untapped bard you control: Add a verse counter to Mosh Pit.

      Boltagon, Heavenly Voice 3WW
      Legendary Creature - Angel Bard
      Flying, Vigilance
      Whenever Boltagon becomes tapped, destroy all non-bard creatures.
      5/5

      Delete
    5. Effects for tapping just clicks for what it means to be a bard. It really hits for me, although I am surprised how aggressive these bards are.

      The other aspect of bards that comes to mind, is that their abilities are usually about supporting others (a magical song that boosts the whole party). In that sense they could probably show up in white, even though bards seem a bit more rowdy and lawless than typical white cards.

      One thing I was hoping to see was a Saga of some type. Maybe something about the assembly or break up of the band. Sagas seem bard-like, and Mosh Pit sounds more like a place to me. My inclination would be to make the fight ability on the original Mosh Pit bard-exclusive, and make that a land replacing recording studio in order to fit in a Saga. That's really just a hunch though. All of the cards look fine and fun as is.

      Delete
    6. Bards telling Sagas about Bards felt a bit too meta unless I was doing a top down Carly Simon design. But I do like that interaction, see my design from last week.

      As for being more aggressive, that's a concession to gameplay. Having a tribe of creatures that have activated abilities that don't engage in combat is just too frustrating for most limited decks to deal with. Magic was rotten with those creatures up through Lorwyn, and scaling way back on them was a great choice.

      Delete
    7. I think you did a really good job on this! All the cards were flavorful and there was an obvious theme.

      I'm not sure Palliative Flautist should gain life equal to the bards you control. It could easily be 2 life, which would reduce the complexity. In addition, if you just have a lot of bards out and untapping/tapping synergies, your life total in Limited could become very high and your opponent just might not win. Therefore I'd rather have it just be a set life total gained.

      Also, just as a sidenote, I'm assuming Springleaf Drum is printed in this theoretical set? XD

      Delete
  20. Designing eight tribal cards is tantamount to designing a slice of a whole world. An average Magic set doesn't have eight cards in it that mechanically care about a particular tribe -- none of the Ixalan tribes had eight cards that could've fit these criteria, for example. To my mind, that means whatever tribe I choose needs to be woven inseparably into the fabric of its setting

    I've decided on an American mythic setting. That means Cowboys, and that means Horses!

    Horses are symbols of autonomy, which put them solidly in red, and they tend to be domesticated, which puts them in white. Since red/white hasn't done much tribally with small creatures, it's a nice fit.

    Cheap spells, haste, first strike, untapping/speeding up tap abilities, and cantrips (adding velocity to your draw) help give horses a sense of speed. They're prey animals: speedy, and feisty, but also nervous. This makes them a natural fit for Dash.

    White doesn't get haste, but it does get the other half of Dash -- "return a creature you control to your hand,” and the flavor of a domestic animal darting in and running away before it can get hit feels good in white. Dash also offers cool strategic wrinkles for the standard "threshold 1" tribal. It allows for some rewarding tension – some cards can care about having Horses around, while others can care about Horses dashing.

    Saddle up and take a look!

    Common #1

    Wild Mustang (Common)
    R
    Creature -- Horse
    2/1
    Whenever a player casts a non-Horse spell, tap CARDNAME.
    Dash 1R

    Lasso Up (common)
    1W
    Instant
    CARDNAME costs 1 less to cast if you control a Horse.
    Tap target creature. Draw a card.

    Stampede Mentality (Uncommon)
    2R
    Enchantment
    Creatures you control have haste.
    Whenever a Horse enters the battlefield under your control, it gets +2/+0 until end of turn.

    Riding Boots (uncommon)
    2
    Artifact
    Equipped creature gets +1/+1.
    Whenever equipped creature attacks, Horses you control gain first strike until end of turn.
    Equip 2

    Homestead (rare)
    Land
    CARDNAME enters the battlefield tapped.
    T: Add W.
    2W, T: Untap target attacking creature you control. If you control a Horse, you may remove that creature from combat. (It neither deals nor receives combat damage.)

    Vaquero Gunslinger (rare)
    4RR
    Creature -- Human
    4/4
    CARDNAME enters the battlefield with six Ammo counters.
    R, T, remove an Ammo counter from CARDNAME: CARDNAME deals 1 damage to target creature. If you control a Horse, untap CARDNAME.

    Widowmaker (mythic rare)
    2WW
    Legendary Creature -- Horse
    3/3
    Whenever a Horse enters the battlefield under your control, creatures you control get +1/+1 until end of turn.
    Whenever a Horse you control leaves the battlefield, you gain 2 life.
    Dash 2W

    Frontier Shootout (mythic rare)
    XRR
    Sorcery
    As an additional cost to cast this spell, tap an untapped Horse you control for each target beyond the first.
    CARDNAME deals X damage to any number of targets.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These feel basically perfect to me. The only thing that I don't quite get is the drawback on Wild Mustang. Is there a particular flavor or reason behond it?

      Delete
    2. Thank you!

      Flavorfully: I like that the horse is fast, but gets easily spooked, so a mini-Norin the Wary drawback on a very cheap creature felt right. Plus, he's not scared of other horses, only people.

      Mechanically: I love Ogre Recluse as a teaching tool so that new players learn to cast their spells postcombat. It messes up haste creatures, but a lot of the haste creatures in this set would be Horses with Dash, which don't tap this guy.

      Delete
    3. The idea of a horse theme deck without any riders makes many of these cards hilarious to me. Like, Frontier Shootout with just an army of horses, no riders just horses with guns.

      Delete
    4. When Crested Sunmare was released, I remember some people saying they hoped there was some horse tribal plan to come. (Apparently that plan ended up being, "play them with lifelink vampire tokens, get lots of horses!")

      I like the concepts altogether. I think your uncommons are maybe too powerful. If Stampede Mentality were on a creature, it would probably be okay, given that black/red legend in Dominaria. But as an enchantment, it is hard to respond to.

      Maybe Riding Boots is okay, but anything that has the potential to give multiple creatures first strike repeatedly has me going "yikes."

      And for reasons I cannot adequately explain, I feel like your gunslinger should be a legend. I feel like it's very dangerous to have multiples out at once, but the mana cost for the trigger kind of mitigates that. It just makes me feel uneasy.

      Delete
    5. Wobbles: Yes, that is my true vision. Horses riding horses, lassoing other horses.

      Regarding Boots: As far as I know, the thing that makes lots of first strikers problematic is the possibility of stalling the ground with a wall of first strikers on blocks. First strike on attacks, as far as I can tell, isn't terribly problematic. Does anyone know if there are other reasons WoTC doesn't like lots of first strikers?

      Regarding Stampede: Multiple people have responded this way now, which probably means you have a very solid point. It's definitely a beating. Fires of Yavimaya and Minotaur Skullcleaver are two cards I always enjoyed, but both at once may well be too much. I didn't draft Dragons of Tarkir much -- how good was Ambuscade Shaman?

      Delete
    6. Ah, the easily spooked thing makes sense. Also, I agree the gunslinger feels like a legend.

      Delete
  21. Phew, this was one tough challenge! I considered a few types (Insects, Aetherborn, Faeries, Plants, Archers), but eventually decided I would challenge myself even more and picked Assassins. They have great resonance, but are difficult to pull off in lower rarities and more than just black.
    Assassins can finish off easier targets by themselves, but take down some of the biggest, meanest, most well-protected targets, they will need to work together. I played around with bounty counters a bit, but those felt too parasitic and binary. In the end I attempted to capture this by having them mechanically care about toughness 3 or less, and using -1/-1 counters or toughness-setting effects to make targets vulnerable enough.
    As second color I chose blue: In order to take down a target, assassins need to be well prepared and gather enough info on their mark to reach them unobstructed. While designing, I found it very difficult to capture the ´gather intel before killing´ in card mechanics (especially given the very limited amount of common/uncommon slots, and the ´must care about creature type´ requirement). Instead I focused more on showing how an assassin can be just blue too.
    Overall I felt like I would need more commons and uncommon slots, and cards that are part of/support the tribe but don´t ´care´ about the tribe, to really show off how Assassins can work as a Black/Blue tribe, but hopefully I nonetheless managed to convey some of the feel and mechanics. Please let me know what you think :)

    Design 1
    Mark for Death (Common)
    {1}{B}
    Instant
    Put a -1/-1 counter on target creature. Then if its toughness is 3 or less and you control an Assassin creature, destroy it.

    Design 2
    Target Marker (Common)
    {2}{B}
    Creature - Rat Assassin
    2/2
    When ~ or another Assassin creature enters the battlefield under your control, put a -1/-1 counter on target creature you don´t control.

    Design 3
    Defense Disruptor (Uncommon)
    {3}{U}
    Creature - Vedalken Assassin
    1/1
    Whenever an Assassin creature enters the battlefield under your control, untap ~.
    {1}{U}, {T}: Target creature has base toughness 1 until end of turn.

    Design 4
    Shadow Highway (Uncommon)
    Land
    {T}: Add {1}.
    {T}: Add {U} or {B}. Spend this mana only on Assassin spells or activated abilities of Assassin creatures. If that mana is spent on an Assassin spell, you may cast that spell as though it had flash.

    Design 5
    Night of Knives (Rare)
    {U}{B}{B}
    Sorcery
    Return any number of Assassin creatures you control to their owners´ hands, then reveal any number of Assassin creature cards from your hand. When you do, choose one for each card revealed this way, then choose one:
    - Put a -1/-1 counter on target creature
    - Destroy target creature with toughness 3 or less.

    Design 6
    Bounty Board (Rare)
    {U}{B}
    Enchantment
    When ~ or an Assassin creature enters the battlefield under your control, put a bounty counter on target creature you don´t control.
    Whenever a creature you don´t control with a bounty counter on it dies, draw a card.

    Design 7
    Spinelodger (Mythic)
    {2}
    Legendary Artifact - Equipment
    Equip {2}
    As long as you control equipped creature, it has ¨{2}, {T}, Unattach ~: Choose target creature you don´t control. If it has toughness 3 or less, destroy it. Otherwise attach ~ to it.¨
    As long as you don´t control equipped creature, its base toughness is 3.

    Design 8
    Raaf, Guildmaster (Mythic)
    {U}{B}
    Legendary Creature - Vedalken Assassin
    3/1
    {B}, Tap an untapped Assassin creature you control: Put a -1/-1 counter on target creature.
    {U}, Return an Assassin creature you control to its owner´s hand: Target creature has base toughness 3 until end of turn.

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    Replies
    1. I think you have done a good job evoking the feel of Assasins. Not to mention, you did so without even using deathtouch.

      Mark for Death - wouldn't change a thing. Great card.

      Target Marker - repeatable removal like this is pretty strong for common. Not sure if too strong?

      Defense Disruptor - very strong card, makes combat math tougher but probably OK on an uncommon. I like this toughness changing ability, but I think I like it more as a one-of than a theme (see later comments).

      Shadow Highway - I like it. I was hoping to see some sneaky flash action with assassins.

      Knight of Knives - I really really like the cost, the name, and the picking up Assassins part. Here is my problem with this card. If you are already playing the Assasin deck, at some point, you have to ask yourself what is left on the board to kill (especially against a control deck). I like the possibility of Assasins killing cards in the hand or library too. Maybe instead of toughness setting, the second mode could be like a Cranial Extraction for creatures. Imagine a night where all of these creatures, even in the library, suddenly vanish. Mysterious!

      Bounty Board - I might consider making it cost one more and using -1/-1 counters. I just don't think it's worth using a second type of counter for this one card.

      Raaf - Very cool. Again, I might consider changing the toughness setting, but if anything it might be more at home here than on an uncommon.

      Just one last random thought, did you consider poison? It seems like a very Assasin-like thing to do, but a pretty different direction as well.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the feedback :)

      Your comment on Night of Knives about running out of stuff to kill is a very valid concern, one which definitely crossed my mind several times during design. I decided to go with it here because it seemed more resonant than killing stuff before it appears, and this again shows that Assassins might be a bit too limited to use as a serious tribe. While I think Extraction-like effects are ok thematically, I think between searching and shuffling they are too time-consuming to use as a theme.

      Target Marker might be on the strong side. In my mind it was less removal and more of an enabler, but if you do have a solid number of Assassins it is indeed very strong.

      On the toughness changing: That was mostly because I had invested some time into Assassins already, and was having trouble with the two color requirement. Rather than abandon the tribe, I figured I'd see where it took me. Capturing an Assassin feel on blue creatures turned out to be very difficult. This seemed like the best way to make a blue creature appear lethal/deadly while making use of blue mechanics. With playtesting I would not be surprised if it turned out to give rise to a fairly uninteresting play pattern though. If I were to design Assassin tribal outside of this challenge, I would almost certainly keep it mono-black, or black with a blue splash.

      Absolutely correct on Bounty Board, my file even has a note saying 'bounty counters possible concern in environment with -1/-1 counters'. I also have your solution as an alternative design in the file, but felt this captured the flavour better. You confirmed that I should sacrifice some flavour for overall cohesion and clarity, thanks :)

      I did not consider poison/poisonous, though I did consider Wither. Poisonous might be interesting to create more incentive to attack, but would require a much larger commitment to the set than just Assassin tribal. I ended up not using Wither because it felt slightly less like assassination (though poisons slowly killing a target also plays into the theme), and more imporantly because I didn't have any slots left to use it on :P

      Delete
    3. Oh, I forgot: please judge Design 5 (Night of Knives) and Design 8 (Raaf, Guildmaster).

      Delete
    4. It looks like it's really tough to try to balance a tribe across the various rarities when its identity is fundamentally about flat-out murdering stuff immediately, which is a huge balance challenge.

      I think Target Marker is way, way, waaaaaay too powerful to be common. That's a rare. Keep in mind you've also included a heavy emphasis on bouncing assassins back to your hand. And it's not a legend, so there can be more than one of these out, triggering each time one of its buddies plays.

      Then with the Defense Disruptor combined with the Target Marker, this deck is just going to go bonkers and murder everything every turn.

      The higher rarity cards seem better in comparison, if only because everything here is so terrifyingly synergistic already. I can imagine your opponent breathing a sigh of relief when you cast the Bounty Board because at least for one brief moment, everything isn't dying.

      I think maybe the blue components in here make them too powerful as a tribe. I can't really think of a fix, unfortunately. A shift into red would be right as far as mechanics go, but red is too reckless a color to represent assassins.

      Delete
    5. Agreed with Larcent, mostly (I think Target Marker could be uncommon, and the assassins look fragile enough to make the "murder everything" setup pretty vulnerable to removal).

      Have you considered tapping down or freezing creatures for the blue assassins? That sort of disruption might work thematically for the tribe (distraction, sleeper holds, etc.), and combos well with the "destroy target tapped creature" effect that assassins often get.

      Delete
    6. That was definitely my concern Larcent. I tried to reign that in by only have them murder 'weak' things, but I didn't playtest it. If I was doing the challenge for real I would definitely have abandoned Assassins as a tribe, but I figured I'd use it as an exercise to explore difficult terrain.

      Target Marker should be uncommon, I glossed over multiple copies of it being fairly easy to obtain at common, but I don't think it needs to be rare (maybe cost 3B though).

      I considered other colors, but as you said, red seems to reckless and impulsive for assassins. White might be a better fit thematically (assassins guild with strict moral code and rules), but I think its even more difficult to make a mono-white assassin. Similar story for green: could make it a theme that they murder to prevent change or something (but that'd be pushing it), but mechanically also very difficult.

      I briefly considered using blue to tap/freeze things and black to care about killing tapped creatures Taresivon, but caring about tapped creatures would dissuade the opponent from ever attacking, which leads to very unfun gameplay, so I went a different route.

      Overall I think this was a very good exercise to learn more about tribal design and its limits, but I have to conclude that Assassin tribal is very difficult, if not impossible, to pull off, and should likely be monoblack if attempted.

      Delete
    7. What about this as redesign for Target Marker? It's on the wordy side for a common, but I think it solves the power-level concerns the old version had. On top of that it reinforces the 'return to hand' theme.

      Design 2
      Target Marker (Common)
      2B
      Creature - Rat Assassin
      2/2
      When ~ enters the battlefield, put a -1/-1 counter on target creature you don't control.
      Whenever another Assassin enters the battlefield under your control, you may return ~ to its owner's hand.

      Delete
    8. I think having a creature at common that can both remove another creature when it ETB and also can return to your hand is just still too much value for common. And if you have multiples, they're bouncing each other.

      Delete
    9. I think it's closer to being common. Might be wordy, but what if it can only put a -1/-1 counter on a creature without any counters on it? That would avoid it directly killing cards with 2+ toughness, and it feels more like marking targets for future killing (maybe?). It could probably still be uncommon though.

      Delete
    10. I mean, at this point in order to have it kill a 2/2, you need to invest 6 mana AND play another Assassin. I feel like that's ok?

      Delete
  22. OK, wolves!

    Wolves have seen a little tribal alongside werewolves, but I didn't feel it really felt wolf-like. Wolf packs aren't just "endless wolves", they're tactical, two wolves can take down a beast much bigger than themselves, and a wolf pack can work together amazingly efficiently.

    I'm not sure it will work, but the best implementation I could think of was somewhere a bit short of slivers, where attacking or blocking wolves often grant appropriate abilities to "target wolf". I also considered trying to do a "cares about having two wolves" mechanic, or a "when this attacks, all attacking wolves get X" mechanic, but those didn't feel as good.

    Yearling Wolf 1R
    Creature - Wolf (Common)
    2/1
    Whenever CARDNAME attacks or blocks, you may have target wolf creature you control gain first strike UEOT.

    Pack Hunt 3G
    Instant (Common)
    Any number of creatures you control deal damage equal to their power to target creature. That creature deals damage equal to its power divided equally rounded down to those creatures.
    If all the creatures you choose are wolves, ~ costs 3 less to cast.

    Timber Wolf 2G
    Creature - Wolf (Uncommon)
    3/2
    Whenever CARDNAME attacks or blocks, you may have target wolf get +1/+1 UEOT.

    Wolf-bot 3000 5
    Artifact Creature - Wolf (Rare)
    4/4
    Indestructible, Haste
    ~ attacks each turn if able unless you control another Wolf.
    *clank clank clank GROWL*

    Teeth in the Night 4RG
    Sorcery (Mythic Rare)
    As an additional cost to cast ~ reveal the top 10 cards of your library.
    Put any number of creature cards revealed this way with CMC 6 or less OTB and the rest into your graveyard. You may have any wolf creature cards put onto the battlefield this way deal damage equal to their power to any target.

    And I still need to fill in an a land (Wolf Den), an enchantment that enables wolves in some way, and a massive mythic rare wolf The Wolf of the Evening or the All Consuming or similar.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Question for the top 8, what are the limitations for the playtesters, at what point does the design steer in the direction that maybe the playtester came up with the best parts but it is still your idea?

      Delete
    2. Oh, and comments especially on Timber Wolf as representative of typical wonder and teeth in the night as "can I design a wow mythic" :)

      Delete
    3. I actually think Timber Wolf could be common.

      Delete
    4. These are cool! I love Wolves and I think your take on them is really good. A few random thoughts:

      The description you included in your intro about wolves working together made me expect to see some white Wolves.

      Pack Hunt has some templating issues -- you need to target your creatures, too. The multiple targeting and the "divided evenly" I think push this card to uncommon -- only two cards in MTG history have done "divided evenly" (Fireball and Dwarven Catapult) and they're both uncommon.

      Ingenious to make an artifact creature for this challenge. These sets are starved for creatures. Is there a way to make its artifact-ness mechanically relevant?

      Timber Wolf is great (albeit an unlikely cardname, given the existence of Timberpack Wolf). Why is it a may ability? I'm never forced to target my opponent's creature, since I can just target my own Timber Wolf.

      The idea of Teeth in the Night -- an army of wolves coming from the top of your library -- is great. This iteration of the effect is broken. Compare it to See the Unwritten! Collected Company was unhealthy card as an easy on-board two-for-one. Here, for 1R and sorcery speed, you get:

      At least twice as many creatures, often more;

      Much beefier creatures (four, five, and six drops);

      And a Plague Wind effect if you're using wolves.

      This effect could be eight mana easily and still be extremely powerful.

      Delete
    5. I like your implementation of Wolves.

      Pack Hunt is an existing magic card, so unfortunately, that name won't work. If the templating can be cleaned up, maybe it could stay common, but it is pretty wordy.

      I would consider switching Timber Wolf to common but costing it at 1GG. It is quite strong even in its shields-down state and it works on blocks (compare to Hungry Spriggan). Also, funny to note that Timber Wolves and Timberpack Wolf are both existing magic cards, but not Timber Wolf!

      I also think white could be a good way to go, for the main reason that the "Squadron Hawk" ability feels very wolf-pack-like.

      Delete
    6. We were told that the playtesters are not our design team; all design with must come from us. I certainly used the playtesters' feedback as much as possible, and sometimes that feedback suggested new directions for designs, but I avoided letting them articulate ideas for cards.

      Delete
    7. Thanks for the feedback because I know how much they are trying to steer away from GDS2 so collaboration a little lower.

      Delete
  23. I'm also going for Devils, because it's a fruitful tribe, and an excuse to bring Shakespeare back to the flavor text. Also the format for this challenge leans away from so much of what I like about tribal cards (which is the subtle synergies, and being able to say more with less), but they do say restrictions breed creativity! I really like the creatures I came up with and "In the Details", the other noncreatures a little less-so. A lot of fun to be had with Haunt in a red death-happy tribe, but limited slots to show it out in so I kept to an implication of more clean cards offscreen. (Judge the bold pair.)

    Lingerlaugh Cackler 1R
    Creature - Devil (c)
    Haunt (When this card dies, exile it haunting target creature.)
    Haunted creature is a Coward and can’t block Devil creatures alone.
    2/1

    Goading Horns R
    Instant (c)
    Choose one —
    • Deal 1 damage to target creature. It attacks this turn if able.
    • Creatures haunted by Devils must attack this turn if able.

    In the Details 1R
    Enchantment (u)
    Whenever you cast a spell, if you control a Devil or have dealt damage to an opponent this turn, you may pay {R}.
    If you do, create a 1/1 red Devil creature token.

    Incendiary Pitchfork 1
    Artifact - Equipment (u)
    Equipped creature gets first strike and attacks each turn if able.
    As long as equipped creature is a Devil, it gets +1/+1.
    Equip 2

    Sulfurdoor, Gate to Hell
    Legendary Land (r)
    T: Add 1.
    2, Sacrifice a permanent: Add RR.
    When CARDNAME is put into a graveyard from play, all creatures get +1/+0 and become red Devils in addition to their other types until end of turn.

    The Sulfur Ambassador 1RW
    Legendary Creature - Devil Advisor (r)
    Whenever you’re dealt damage, you may put a +1/+1 counter on target creature.
    At the beginning of combat on your turn, Devil and Human creatures you control get +1/+1 for each creature your opponents control with a counter on them until end of turn.
    1/1

    Judithe, Who Bars the Door 1WW
    Legendary Creature - Human Soldier (mr)
    CARDNAME can block any number of creatures.
    When Judithe blocks a creature, create a 1/1 red Devil creature token with “This creature attacks each turn if able” under attacking player’s control.
    When Judithe dies, gain control of all Devils.
    3/4

    Nihilistic Abandon XRRR
    Sorcery (mr)
    As an additional cost to cast Nihilistic Abandon, tap X untapped Devils you control.
    Destroy X target artifacts or lands an opponent controls at random.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You picked the haunt creature because you know how much the artisans love haunt, right?

      In the Details seems uberstrong for red. Maybe it should be a non-creature spell or maybe the mana cost to make a devil should be higher?

      Judithe makes for an interesting sub-game. I'm trying to think through any un-fun ways it's likely to play out, but it's not my strong suit. I'm terrible at predicting combat behavior.

      I don't think WOTC would ever print a spell that would let you destroy that many lands at once unless it affected all players. I was surprised they made Haphazard Bombardment. (Though even then some folks don't even use it for just lands)

      Delete
    2. These are super evocative. For Lingerlaugh Cackler, it might not be too busted to remove the word "alone". I think that simplifies combat surrounding that card a fair bit. Really clean use of Haunt in my opinion.

      Judithe, I'm unsure of. I can foresee the opponent never attacking into it, although I suppose that's where the goading effects come in. Once they do attack in, how many devils are you getting? If you lack a goad, they are probably only sending a ground creature that is 4/4 or bigger, meaning you can chump or double-block with another creature to get a single devil when Judithe dies. You sort of need tricks / goads to get multiple devils out of Judithe, but her body and multi-blocking are pretty strong already...so I think she is OK. I'm really stumped. Probably one that playtesting would help a lot with.

      In the Details could probably cost 2R and still be quite strong.

      I adore the idea of Humans making deals with devils, so I appreciate the cross-tribal synergy of The Sulfur Ambassador.

      One other small comment on Sulfurdoor, I don't think this technically meets the "cares about Devils" criterion.

      Delete
  24. I'm gonna work on some Spider designs and post them tomorrow. Until then, step into my parlor...

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    Replies
    1. Alright, it's ready. I think Ravenous Tarantula and Ol' Granny Longlegs are my designs that could most do with critique.

      Spiders already have an established mechanical identity: they typically have reach, sometimes deathtouch, and a defensive stat spread. While I acknowledge and continue those themes in my cards, I expanded the mechanical identity of Spiders by investigating their flavor identity. What ideas do Spiders evoke? Webs, poison, yes, but also fear, lurking, predation, deception, spawning many spiderlings, and biding one's time. With that in mind, my Spiders are a defensive, controlling tribe that waits for (or creates) an opening, and then converts its resources to go for a devastating blow. Along the way, I also found a high-cost instant design for that other design challenge some weeks back. I opted to keep Innistrad's 1/2 reach spider tokens - if it ain't broke, you know?

      Unused card names: Under the Crawlspace, World-Wide Web, Web Shooters, Web Trampoline, Invisible Strands...

      Common 1: Male Widow Spider, 1G
      Creature - Spider
      1/3
      Reach
      1B, Sacrifice CARDNAME: Target Spider gets +2/+2 and indestructible until end of turn.

      Common 2: Venomous Bite, 2B
      Sorcery
      Destroy target creature with toughness 2 or less. If you control a Spider, instead destroy target creature.

      Uncommon 1: Corrosive Webbing, 3B
      Enchantment
      Whenever a creature attacks you, it gets -1/-1 until end of turn.
      4B, sacrifice CARDNAME: Each opponent loses X life, where X is the number of Spiders you control.

      Uncommon 2: Ravenous Tarantula, 2BG
      Creature - Spider
      2/2
      Whenever a nontoken creature dies, put a +1/+1 counter on CARDNAME. Then, if that creature was a Spider, create a 1/2 green Spider creature token with reach.

      Rare 1: Four Pairs of Greaves, 3
      Artifact - Equipment
      Equipped creature gets +0/+2 and assigns combat damage equal to its toughness rather than its power. If equipped creature is a Spider, it gets an additional +0/+2.
      Equip 3

      Rare 2: Silk-Strewn Caverns
      Land
      CARDNAME enters the battlefield tapped.
      T: Add B or G.
      2, T: Target attacking creature doesn't untap during its controller's next untap step. Activate this ability only if you control a Spider.

      Mythic 1: Thousands of Babies!, 5BG
      Instant
      Exile any number of creature cards from graveyards. For each card exiled this way, create a 1/2 green spider creature token with reach. For each Spider card exiled this way, create two tokens instead.
      Spiders you control gain deathtouch until end of turn.

      Mythic 2: Ol' Granny Longlegs, 5GGG
      Legendary Creature - Elder Spider
      8/8
      Reach
      Spiders you control have trample.
      When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, distribute up to eight +1/+1 counters among Spiders you control.

      Delete
    2. Instant-speed onboard tricks are a lot at common, but MWS at least is limited to other Spiders.

      Corrosive Webbing's first half is a neat ability for a Spider-themed deck, but its second half doesn't feel connected at all to the first.

      Is Ravenous Tarantula also cannibalistic? It does combo well with your first common. Is this meant to check both sides of the board?

      Both of your rares are really evocative ideas, and I think my favorite of the bunch.

      Thousands of Babies certainly could turn the tide of battle, especially in a multiplayer game. Ol' Granny Longlegs is big and a solid drop (16/16 trample reach for 8?) which I think makes it splashy enough for mythic?

      Delete
    3. I know those can make feel-bads. I explored some on-death triggers for MWS instead, but this best captured the "male is eaten during mating" flavor.

      Corrosive Webbing's second half represents offensive use of the corrosion. It's part of the spiders' "shields down for a big attack" endgame strategy.

      Ravenous Tarantula does eat your guys, too, yes. It'd be weird if it just punished your opponent for also playing Spiders. I thought a twist on Scavenger Drake would be on-theme and useful.

      Thanks. Four Pairs of Greaves is silly, but I love the toughness-based attacking for Spiders and it's never been on an equipment before.

      Ol' Granny is actually better if you have a couple of Spiders on board already, as then she acts as a pseudo-Overrun. Maybe I should make it so she doesn't get trample or can't put counters on herself, because 16/16 trample seems too strong for a fail case.

      Delete
    4. Spiders

      Male Widow Spider
      This seems such an odd name to me. But I see what you’re doing here. Seems fine. Depends on the set on if a one-three reach is worth anything. It would need to be a set with spirits but a set with both spirits and spiders sounds like a terrible set to be playing spirits in.

      Venomous Bite
      I feel like this should be -1/-1 counters. Maybe two of them or four if you control a spider. Common 2B destroy target creature is a bit much.

      Corrosive Webbing
      This seems bad. Like, notably bad. Maybe you should give it a -1/-1 counter when it attacks, but this is a really bad card for uncommon. It’s even a bad card for common. Doesn’t make me want to play spiders.

      Ravenous Tarantula
      Seems solid. Good payoff for the tribe. Interesting that it doesn’t have reach but I kind of like that, except for then the new spiders have reach. It should probably just be a one-two with reach.

      Four Pairs of Greaves
      I love this name, However, it give +4/+4 to spiders. I like equipment that gives the Doran ability because it can be moved around to the best card. It also fits spiders based on their high toughness. Giving a creature +2/+2 for three seems acceptably bad. But this probably goes to every spider player for free. I think I’d look at decreasing the bonus to +1 and +1 for spiders and decreasing the cost.

      Silk-Strewn Caverns
      This small bonus is great. Plus the card is good enough that it’ll be picked up by anyone even if they just have 2-3 spiders. I’d probably give it a colored cost. One concern is that Icy is usually a blue ability but I think it fits so well here that it should be a green ability as well.

      Thousands of Babies
      This seems like a rehash of spider spawning but I’m not convinced it’s actually any better. It seems worse than the uncommon build around was. Doesn’t seem mythic, seems uncommon.

      Ol’Granny Longlegs
      Why do spiders have trample?
      This just looks like a bad Verdurous Gearhulk. This isn’t exciting as a mythic and it’s pretty narrow. I’d rather see it as a 6/7 reach for 4GG. I get the 8 +1/+1 counters thing. But this doesn’t seem that original.

      Overall
      There seems to be a lacking theme about spiders and what spiders do and what spiders need to do. So far, it seems like spiders want spiders to die and they want to create one-two spiders. That’s not really synergy. Ideally tribal synergy should be greater than the sum of its parts. This seems to be exactly the sum of its parts. There’s plenty of cool design here but most of it feels like it’d belong in a minor spider sub theme rather than a major spider tribal theme.

      Delete
  25. Hello, this is my first submission to the blog. I ‘ve been silently following it for a while and this challenge finally gave me the courage to participate.

    The tribe I chose is Dogs. I mean, Hounds. The idea, which I totally stole from Jay Treat’s post about the first challenge, is pairing them with Humans as a sort of dual tribe.

    I settled on two main mechanical aspects:
    (1) effects that reward you for having both a Hound and a Human (a dog and its owner).
    (2) Humans teaching “tricks” ({T} activated abilities) to Hounds.

    The colors that made most sense to me were {W} and {G}, both for flavor and mechanics. It is also cool that these two colors share vigilance and the ability of untapping creatures, which plays well with the {T} theme. I decided most of the Humans should create Hound tokens, so that they’re not completely useless by themselves. Green makes bigger, “dumber” dogs (2/2), while the white ones are smaller but more trained (1/1 with vigilance).

    DESIGN #1
    Bond of Friendship {1}{G}
    Sorcery (C)
    Put a +1/+1 counter on each of up to two target creatures you control.
    If Bond of Friendship targets a Hound and a Human, draw a card.

    DESIGN #2
    Dog Whistle {3}
    Artifact (C)
    {T}: Add {C}
    {T}: Untap target Hound you control. Activate this ability only any time you could cast a sorcery.

    DESIGN #3
    Truffle Hunter {3}{G}
    Creature – Human (U)
    When Truffle Hunter enters the battlefield, create a 2/2 green Hound creature token.
    Each Hound you control has “{T}: Add {G}.”
    2/2

    DESIGN #4
    Go Fetch {1}{G}
    Instant (U)
    Until end of turn, up to two target Hounds you control each gain “{T}: Draw a card.”

    DESIGN #5
    Watchdog Trainer {3}{W}{W}
    Creature – Human Soldier (R)
    When Watchdog Trainer enters the battlefield, create two 1/1 white Hound creature tokens with vigilance.
    Each Hound you control has “{2}{W}, {T}: Tap target creature.”
    2/2

    DESIGN #6
    Dog Park
    Land (R)
    As Dog Park enters the battlefield, you may reveal up to two cards from your hand. Dog Park enters the battlefield tapped unless there are a Hound and a Human among the revealed cards and/or creatures you control.
    {T}: Add {G} or {W}.

    DESIGN #7
    Balthus, Dog Breeder {4}{G}{W}
    Legendary Creature – Human
    When Balthus, Dog Breeder enters the battlefield, create a 2/2 green Hound creature token and a 1/1 white Hound creature token with vigilance.
    {T}: Tap two untapped Hounds you control. Create a Hound creature token with their total power, toughness, abilities, and colors.
    3/3

    DESIGN #8
    Dog Heaven {4}{W}{W}{W}
    Enchantment
    When Dog Heaven enters the battlefield, return all Hound creature cards from your graveyard to the battlefield.
    Whenever a non-Angel Hound you control dies, return it to the battlefield under its owner's control with a +1/+1 counter on it. It has flying and is an Angel in addition to its other types.

    I think Designs #1 (Bond of Friendship) and #7 (Balthus, Dog Breeder) are the best ones, so please judge them.

    Thanks a lot. Feel free to comment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You win this round for introducing us all to angel hounds.

      Delete
    2. I really like all of these. I think the breeder has great top down flavor, as does Bond of Friendship. I also like how Truffle Hunter and Watchdog Trainer showcase how different types of dogs specialize in different things (humans teaching them tricks). And Dog Heaven is a masterpiece.

      Delete
    3. Submitting tribal cards where none of the creatures is of the tribe seems like a bold choice. Not wrong, just surprising.

      Delete
    4. Bond of Friendship
      This is a perfectly designed card. Goes in to any deck, big bonus if you’re playing hounds/humans. Big payoff but still somehow doesn’t feel broken.

      Dog Whistle
      This card seems fine. It’s not particularly impressive but seems to go with the theme. Doesn’t really involve humans though which seems to be a underlying theme.

      Truffle Hunter
      This isn’t a hound card. This is a powerful uncommon. Generally a 4/4 for 2GG at uncommon is fine. This gives you two solid creatures and makes you able to ramp with one of them. It’s a solid high level draft uncommon.

      Go Fetch
      This is a totally dead card without hounds. That’s generally not a great uncommon. I’d look at adding something like Creatures you control get +1/+1 until end of turn or something so this isn’t free for every hound player. I’d also take of the limit of two. If you have five and can tap them, draw away. But this needs to exist beyond something for just hound players.

      Watchdog Trainer
      Another solid card. Seems fair and fun. Turns your team into a bunch of tappers but the cost is perfect and makes things balance out really well. I love the idea that humans give hounds abilities. Solid card, great design.

      Dog Park
      Untapped creature lands are a cool idea. One potential problem I see you having here is a lot of your hounds are tokens. Watchdog trainer can’t count as both. It’d be difficult to have this hit when zero of your creatures are hounds. Probably need to rethink how this plays into the overall strategy. Maybe you make it ETB untapped if you control a human and hound rather than reveal it.

      Balthus, Dog Breeder
      I think what you’re going for here is too cute. While it comes in with its own engine, it’s really weak if part of that engine dies. Looks like more of a rare. To be mythic it needs the ability to work all the time. Maybe you give it the ability to create either of those creatures for mana instead of just giving them for free. 2W put a 1/1 white vigilance, 3G put a 2/2 green. Then give the tap ability. The wording on your tap ability needs some help because i think it’s far more complex than that from a rules perspective. But it might be workable and is fun to imagine.

      Dog Heaven
      Again, a mythic that does nothing outside of a hound deck is a significant limitation that you don’t really want. Also this is a nonbo with all your created cards. Again, your hounds are all tokens and you don’t have anything to bring back. I like your dogs returning as dog angels but the card needs to do something to be mythic.

      Overall
      You need to pick a theme and really stick with it. If you hounds are tokens then you need to make sure that you aren’t doing things with them that requires them to be in the graveyard. Also you need to make sure that your mythics aren’t parasitic. Opening a mythic that doesn’t do anything is really sad. They need to be awesome to open AND care about the tribe. That said you have some really solid designs built around great concepts. Just try to build around them more.

      Delete
    5. Personally, I feel like having unity between your tokens is very important. While having 2/2 Hounds and 1/1 white hounds with vigilance is cool, if I'm just playing a casual game without any representation of tokens besides maybe some crackers or glass counters, it's very easy to get them confused.

      I think the flavor behind your land is cool, but it doesn't seem like a good land in general. Having to have two specific cards to have it enter untapped is super restrictive and doesn't give me any incentives to play this over a scryland or shockland.

      I think Go Fetch breaks color pie a lot. Just having tap draw a card is very good in general. I think to make this card more green and not just a pure card draw spell, I'd make it 1G instant - up to two target hounds get +1/+1 and gain "whenever this creature deals combat damage to a player, draw a card"

      As a final note, I don't really think you need to limit yourself to just giving dogs activated abilities as your trick theme. Giving them keywords like vigilance, trample, lifelink, etc. would also fit flavorly and reduce the complexity of some of your cards.

      Overall, I think you designed a lot of cards well but I think that you didn't take gameplay and color pie into mind as much as you should've.

      Delete
  26. So I did a find in page and Ninja was still available?! Definitely doing ninjas...

    Ninjas, specifically ninjutsu, worked very well flavorfully and mechanically, so I will be reusing and iterating on the mechanic. I've moved Ninjas from Dimir to Grixis, and decided them into subfactions for each two-color pair, Kabuki preformers and tricksters (U/R), Bandits (also frequently Oni demons) in B/R, and true Shinobi spies/assassins in U/B. Kamigawa equipped virtually all of the ninjas with saboteur abilities, so I wanted to experiment more with the changing of zones, similar to Sakashima's Student. I focused most U/B on saboteurs, U/R on zone changes, and B/R on caring about more ninjas (building a bandit crew).

    1. Kabuki Paints {1}{R} (U)
    Enchantment - Aura
    Enchant Creature
    Enchanted Creature gains +2/+0 and has Menace.
    When enchanted Creature leaves the battlefield, if it was a Ninja, you may return this card to the battlefield enchanting another creature you control.

    2. Shadowshroud Sadist {1}{B}{B} (C)
    Creature - Human Ninja
    Ninjutsu {B}{B}
    When this creature deals damage to an opponent, put a -1/-1 counter on target creature an opponent controls.
    2/2

    3. Mistshroud {U} (C)
    Sorcery
    Choose one or both -
    -Target creature can't be blocked this turn.
    -Target Ninja can't be blocked this turn.

    4. Kabuki Fire-Juggler {1}{U}{R} (U)
    Ninjutsu {U}{R}
    When this creature or another Ninja enters the battlefield under your control, that creature deals 1 damage to target creature or player.

    5. Synchronized Silence {3}{B} (R)
    Instant
    Kicker - tap two untapped Ninjas you control.
    Destroy Target Creature. If this spell was kicked, destroy up to two target creatures instead.

    6. Hatashiro, House of Art (R)
    Legendary Land
    {T}: Add {U}, {B}, or {R}.
    {T}: Add two mana in any combination of colors to your Mana pool. Use this Mana only to activate Ninjutsu abilities of cards in your hand or activated abilities of Ninjas you control.

    7. Shiro, Patron of the Arts {2}{U}{B}{R} (M)
    Legendary Creature - Demon Ninja
    Ninjutsu {U}{B}{R}
    Menace
    You may activate Shiro's ninjutsu ability while he is in any public zone.

    Whenever you activate the Ninjutsu ability of a card in your hand, return target nonland permanent an opponent controls to it's owners hand. That player discards a card.
    5/4

    8. Desuko's Scarf {3} (M)
    Legendary Artifact - Equipment
    Equipped creature gains +2/+0 and has First Strike.
    Whenever a Ninja enters the battlefield under your control, you may equip this card to it.
    Whenever equipped creature deals combat damage to a player, if it is a Ninja, put target creature from a graveyard onto the battlefield under your control.
    Equip 3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oops, oversight! Yeah, it should definitely enter tapped.

      Delete
  27. Oh man, I brainstormed all day my Ninja submission, only to come here and find it already taken! No ill feeling to you, Skye, of course :)
    Oh well, I’ll post it anyway, seeing as our submissions are fairly different. Here it is:


    Here I am, I'll go with Ninjas! Ninjas were present in Betrayers of Kamigawa, but surprisingly they were in very low volume (only 8 total). They had all the ninjutsu ability; while I consider it a very successful mechanic, I chose to expand their mechanical identity, and I won't have any new card with ninjutsu. However, I want to keep at center their flavor and lore: ninjas are masters of illusions, poisons, and are adept in a vast array of weapons; they play “dirty”, they’re tricky and thrive on making their opponents always unsure of their position and actions. To reflect this in gameplay, I chose to have ninjas the masters of “combat tricks”, alluring opponents into blocking them, only to finally show their secret weapons. I expanded them into red, to have the possibility of three different decks in an hypothetical Limited environment.

    Ninja Carrier{1}{R}
    Creature - Human Ninja (common)
    Prowess
    Whenever Ninja Carrier deals combat damage to a player, if you control another Ninja, you may discard a card. If you do, draw a card.
    1/3

    Poisonous Weapon{1}{B}
    Instant (common)
    Target attacking creature gets +1/+2 and gains deathtouch until end of turn. If that creature is a Ninja, it also gains first strike until end of turn.

    Fire-Way Ritualist{2}{R}
    Creature - Orc Ninja (uncommon)
    Whenever Fire-Way Ritualist attacks, add {U}{B}{R}. Spend this mana only to cast instant, Equipment or Ninja spells. Until end of turn, you don’t lose this mana as steps and phases end.
    4/1

    Hidden Kunai{1}
    Artifact- Equipment (uncommon)
    Hidden Kunai has flash as long as you control a Ninja.
    When Hidden Kunai enters the battlefield, attach it to target creature you control.
    Equipped creature gets +1/+1.
    Equip {1}

    Koshito, Concealed Hideout
    Legendary Land(rare)
    Koshito, Concealed Hideout enters the battlefield tapped.
    Ninjas you control get +0/+1 as long as it’s your turn.
    {T}, Pay 1 life: Add {U}, {R} or {B}.
    {1}, Return an untapped land you control to your hand: Put Koshito, Concealed Hideout onto the battlefield tapped.

    Hanoke, the Shadow{2}{U}
    Legendary Creature - Human Ninja (rare)
    Flash
    Whenever you cast a spell during combat, draw a card.
    You may cast Ninja creature spells as though they had flash.
    2/3

    Back for Another Mission{3}{B}
    Sorcery (mythic)
    Until end of turn, you may cast Ninja spells from your graveyard.

    Trick of the Three Phantoms{3}{U}{U}
    Enchantment - Aura(mythic)
    Enchant creature
    When Trick of the Three Phantoms enters the battlefield, create two tokens that are copies of enchanted creature, except they’re Ninja Illusions in addition.
    Ninjas you control have “{2}{U}, Sacrifice this creature: Counter target spell that targets a creature you control.”

    Feedback, as always, very appreciated. For the reviewers, I'd like to have the review of the one card you liked most, and the one you liked least, if it is not too much hassle.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hey P, sorry about the scoop!
    Big fan of Fire Way Ritualist, I think it's a strong uncommon that would influence your drafting decisions.

    I'm still trying to understand Koshito - I know it's supposed to catch people as a combat trick/land, and only works to be aggressive with, but it still feels really weird. There's a reason lands that affect combat are almost always sorcery speed activations. I think it's definitely cool, and does interesting things, but I still don't think it would play super great and lead to a lot of feel-bad moments.

    Trick is great! It's like double team - makes copies and they blank your opponents spells. Definitely a fan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're both okay! The rule was that we couldn't pick the same tribes as the contestants, but we could pick the same tribes as each other.

      Delete
    2. No need to apologize, Skye, and thanks for the feedback. About the Land, I went for the "you don't know where the secret base is, it could be anywhere, it could be here!" trope. I get that it reads strangely, but I attempted to lessen the feel-bad, by gving a boost that should very rarely get you card advantage.

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

    ReplyDelete
  30. Ok, here we go. I'm gonna try to do Gorgons.
    (i might over or under shoot some rarities, sorry)

    1 : Gorgon Mind-taker {3}{u}{u}{w}
    Creature - Gorgon (mythic rare)
    Whenever a creature you dont control deals combat damage, if the number of cards in your hand is greater than it's power; you may gain control of that creature for as long as you control Gorgon Mindtaker.
    1/6

    2: Cleanse the Unpure {b}{b}{w}{w}
    Sorcery (mythic rare)
    Exile all creatures. For each of those creatures, it's controller creates a 0/1 Statue artifact creature token with defender.

    3: Protector of the Clan {2}{w}{b}{g}
    Creature - Gorgon (rare)
    Whenever a creature you control dies, you may create a token copy of that creature, except that token is an artifact in addition to it's other types, its base power is 0, and it has defender.
    2/6

    4: Gorgons' Stare {2}{u}{u}
    Instant (rare)
    Tap target creature.
    If you cast this spell on your opponent's turn, you may tap all creatures target player controls, instead.

    5: Gorgon's Stare {2}{u/w}{u/w}
    Enchant - Aura (uncommon)
    Enchant creature
    When Gorgon's Stare enters the battlefield, tap enchanted creature.
    Enchanted creature doesn’t untap during its controller’s untap step and it's activated abilities cannot be activated.

    6: Fledgling Gorgon {2}{b}{g}
    Creature - Gorgon (uncommon)
    Deathtouch
    When Fledgling Gorgon enters the battlefield, you may destroy target creature.
    1/3

    7: Poison Fangs {r}{b}
    Instant (common)
    Target creature gets +1/+0 and gains deathtouchuntil end of turn. That creature deals damage equal to it's power to target player.

    8: Flay {2}{b}{g}
    Instant (common)
    Target creature you control gets +2/+0 until end of turn.
    Target creature you don't control gets -1/-1 until end of turn.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Part of the contest was asking for new ways to do tribal, so I though it would be interesting to twist the normal tribal approach of rewarding players for controlling as many of a creature type as possible to rewarding players for controlling as strong a creature of that type instead. Quality over quantity and whatnot. From that grew the idea of Plants that care about controlling a Plant with high toughness.

    ----

    Sunseed Sapling (Common)
    G
    Creature - Plant
    0/3
    When Sunseed Sapling enters the battlefield, you gain life equal to the greatest toughness among Plants you control.

    Vineweft Blessing (Common)
    W
    Instant
    Put a +1/+1 counter on target creature. If you control a Plant, draw a card.

    Thriving Phytolith (Uncommon)
    2GG
    Creature - Plant
    2/2
    When Thriving Phyolith enters the battlefield, put X +1/+1 counters on it, where X is the greatest toughness among Plants you control.

    Blooming Meadow (Uncommon)
    Land
    Blooming Meadow enters the battlefield tapped.
    When Blooming Meadow enters the battlefield, target Plant you control gets +1/+1 until end of turn.
    T: Add G or W.

    Flourishing Glade (Rare)
    1G
    Enchantment
    2G: Create a 1/1 green Plant creature token.
    At the beginning of your upkeep, put a +1/+1 counter on target Plant you control.

    Sunseed Reclaimer (Rare)
    2W
    Creature - Plant
    0/2
    2W, T: Return target creature card with converted mana cost X or less from your graveyard to the battlefield, where X is the greatest toughness among Plants you control.

    Nature's Exuberance (Mythic rare)
    9GGG
    Sorcery
    This spell costs X less to cast, where X is the greatest toughness among Plants you control.
    Reveal the top nine cards of your library. Put up to three permanent cards from among them onto the battlefield. Put the rest into your graveyard.

    Verdant Amulet (Mythic Rare)
    4
    Artifact
    T: Create a 1/1 green Plant creature token.
    2GW, T: Put X +1/+1 counters on target Plant, where X is the greatest toughness among Plants you control.

    ----

    For specific feedback, I'd like to ask for opinions on Verdant Amulet in particular, especially whether it feels mythic enough on its own.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sunseed Sapling
      This is a really good Wall of Wood. I don’t think it’s too good, actually I think it’s pretty bad. But I think it’s a great common. I like how it gains some additional utility late in the game where it could give you 5-7 life

      Vineweft Blessing
      White for a +1/+1 counter is below rate. That means this goes to every plant player for the most part. I think that’s okay. This makes me want to see a +1/+1 counter theme for plants. I’m curious what will come next. Growth is a cool theme.

      Thriviny Phytolith
      This is a 4/4 at minimum which is already a solid uncommon. It could be even more which seems like a bit much. This should probably be a 0/2, maybe a one-two but that may be stretching it for the potential payoff.

      Blooming Meadow
      Uncommon Tap land with a stat bonus isn’t really synergy. This land is fine but it doesn’t support the theme you’re developing. Even under ideal circumstances I’d rather play this on turn one doing nothing than waiting.

      Flourishing Glade
      Um… this card is insane. It does everything. It makes tokens for cheap and makes them bigger each turn. This is an easy first pick and should probably cost something like 3G. This is almost pack rat levels of power in limited.

      Sunseed Reclaimer
      I dislike using the greatest toughness among plants you control to bring something back based on CMC. Why not just use it to return something with Toughness X. Also repeatable graveyard is pretty sick. I like the limit that you can’t bring anything back that’s bigger than anything you currently have. But still. I also like that this allows you to bring back smaller creatures on its own but has a payoff for plant that takes it over the top.

      Natures Exuberance
      Considering you’re not going to have a x/9 plant this is probably going to cost anywhere from 4ggg-7ggg. I think the cost reduction on a mythic here isn’t a good idea. It’s a mythic that is basically unplayable unless you have plants. I’d rather see this as an X spell where plants cause some bonus like extra cards you get to look at or something. This seems too expensive and unplayable for a mythic.

      Verdant Amulet
      Throne of empires without a mana cost. I think you want a mana cost here even if it’s only a single one. Alone this give you +1/+1 the first time you activate it, followed by +2/+2. If you have plant you probably can’t activate it for counters the first turn but it’ll get out of hand really quick. This seems like a powerful but reasonable mythic. Harkens back to Whisperwood Elemental a little bit but it more difficult to deal with. It’s both slow and incredibly powerful which makes me think it’s fair.

      Overall
      Several of your cards are really solid design but a few others have some serious balance issues. Your theme of toughness matters along with +1/+1 counters isn’t super synergistic but I think it works out fine. I’d want to see a card like a 1/7 plant at common to bring things together for this all to work out but with something like that there’s some good ability to connect the for a cool draft deck.

      Delete
  32. I'm gonna go ahead and cheat.

    COMMONS

    Grand Spire
    Land
    T: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool. You may only use this mana to cast noble creature spells. (Noble creatures are Advisors, Knights, and creatures with converted mana cost 4 or greater.)

    Kneel Before Me!
    1U
    Instant
    Tap all creatures blocking or blocked by target creature you control, and exert them if they are not noble. (Noble creatures are Advisors, Knights, and creatures with converted mana cost 4 or greater.)

    UNCOMMONS

    Battlefield Knighting
    1WW
    Enchantment - Aura
    Enchant Creature
    Flash
    Enchanted creature gets +1/+1 and first strike, and is a Knight in addition to its other types.

    Ostracize the Malcontent
    BW
    Sorcery
    Exile target non-noble creature. You gain 2 life. (Noble creatures are Advisors, Knights, and creatures with converted mana cost 4 or greater.)

    RARES

    Lord of the Exchequer
    1UU
    Creature - Human Advisor
    Non-noble creatures gain "At the beginning of your upkeep, pay 1 or tap this creature."
    2/2

    The Gibbering Masses
    2BRG
    Creature - Human Elf Orc Kithkin
    Trample, haste
    When ~ enters the battlefield, destroy target land if its controller controls a noble creature.
    5/5

    OMEGA RARES

    His Wicked Majesty
    1UWBB
    Legendary Creature - Human
    At the beginning of your upkeep, if you control the most noble creatures of any player, gain control of target land for as long as ~ remains on the battlefield.
    5/5

    Madam Guillotine
    4
    Legendary Artifact
    4W, T: Destroy target noble creature. You lose life equal to its power.
    5B, T: Destroy target creature. You lose life equal to its power.

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  33. I wanted to pick a tribe with a lot of resonance that did not have much tribal support, so I picked Dwarves. This tribe was fairly clearly R/W, given the typical dwarves being associated with mountains in fiction but their characteristics (strong community focus, affinity for equipment) and recent depictions in Magic lean heavily white. I chose to try and shift from classical "go-wide" strategies that involve pumping the entire team via power toughness boosts, but in keeping with R/W, i wanted to make the tribe stronger in numbers. I focused on the toughness associated with dwarves and their ability to work together. I also wanted to play up their tropes of using terrain to their advantage and using equipment.

    Dwarven Sentinel (C)
    3W
    Creature - Dwarf Soldier
    2/4
    As long as you control another dwarf, CARDNAME has vigilance.

    Armor Up! (c)
    W
    Instant
    Put a +1/+1 counter on target creature. If that creature is a dwarf, it gains indestructible until end of turn.

    Dwarven Tunnel Coordinator (U)
    2RW
    Creature - Dwarf Warrior
    2/3
    Dwarf creatures you control with power 2 or less can't be blocked.

    Dwarven Battle Hymn (U)
    3RR
    Enchantment
    Whenever a dwarf creature you control dies, if that creature attacked and was blocked this turn, put a eulogy counter on CARDNAME.

    Dwarf creatures you control have +1/+0 for each eulogy counter on CARDNAME.

    Glodo, Ancient Dwarven King (R)
    3RW
    Legendary Creature - Dwarf
    3/5
    Whenever a attacking dwarf you control becomes blocked by one or more creatures, you may tap an untapped dwarf you control that isn't attacking. If you do, that creature also attacks the defending player and is also blocked by creatures blocking the other dwarf.

    Meneas, Summit of Prosperity (R)
    Land
    CARDNAME enters the battlefield tapped
    T: Add R
    Tap an untapped dwarf you control: Put a mining counter on CARDNAME. Activate this ability only when you could play a sorcery.

    At the beginning of your upkeep, if CARDNAME has 15 or more mining counters on it, you win the game.

    Remnants of the Sacred Hammer (MR)
    5
    Legendary Artifact - Equipment
    Equipped creature has +0/+5 and has vigilance.
    Equip 4
    Tap five dwarves you control: transform CARDNAME
    ////
    Mithros, the Hammer of Legend
    Legendary Artifact - Equipment
    Equipped creature gets +5/+5.
    Equipped creature gets vigilance, lifelink, double strike and trample if it's a dwarf.
    When CARDNAME dies, you may return it to the battlefield at the beginning of the next end step (it returns to the battlefield as Remnants of the Sacred Hammer).

    Thalos, Dwarven Planeswalker (MR)
    3RW
    Planeswalker - Thalos
    [+2] Gain 2 life.
    [+1] Create two 1/1 red and white dwarf tokens
    [0] Thalos deals 4 damage to target creature, that creature deals damages equal to its power to Thalos.
    When Thalos is sent from the battlefield to the graveyard, you get an emblem with "dwarf creatures you control with power 2 or less have vigilance and haste"

    _______________

    I am most interested on feedback about Glodo and Meneas especially if Glodo seems worth the complicated rules aspects and if Meneas seems fun to play (it's not legendary so that players can run four copies to build around it).

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    Replies
    1. Sorry the equip cost for the transformed equipment is also 4.

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    2. I think Meneas has lots of combo potential, especially in EDH in a Paradox Engine deck or just in Casual/Standard if someone plays a deck with Dramatic Reversals and Dwarf Tokens. I like that there's a mining theme, but maybe it shouldn't be an alternate wincon. Maybe tap 3 dwarves, create a gold token w sacrifice it add a mana of any color to convey the mining theme.

      Glodo is cool, its just a really complicated design, and as such I doubt it would see print. Maybe it should be tap an untapped dawrf that hasn't attacked this turn; deal damage equal to that dwarf's power to target creature that blocked a dwarf this turn? Then again, having such a powerful on-board trick seems unfun for the opponent to navigate as well. I think there maybe should just be a different card in that slot overall

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  34. Hey, I wrote an article on this on tappedout, but I figured I might as well post my designs for this here too since why not? I'd like them looked at, but if you don't want to judge me as winning or not, that's fine

    One tribe that probably gets the least time in the spotlight is Crabs. While obviously not the most powerful or resonant tribe, crabs have a lot of inherent untapped design space that creates a lot of interesting cards.
    Crabs have been based almost entirely in blue in the past, but I decided to expand crabs to black as well. The blue crabs dwell near the shore and the upper levels of the ocean, while the black crabs reside on the sea floor and scavenge whatever meat they can find, whether alive or dead.
    The most defining features of crabs printed previously are their high toughness and low power, so I decided to give crabs a strong toughness matters theme where bonuses are given based on controlling the creature with the greatest toughness (which will often be a Crab you control). While not all Crabs need to have power much lower than their toughness, every crab should have a power equal to or lower than its toughness.
    Since the black crabs are bottom-dwelling scavengers, some black Crab cards exile creatures from the graveyard as a cost for an ability to represent the crabs scavenging the corpses to survive the treacherous depths.
    Finally, it doesn’t seem fun to not have crabs attacking at all, so some of the crabs have skulk as a keyword mechanic to have them be able to get in and deal damage instead of bouncing off opposing creatures.

    Hardened Carapace 1U
    Instant (Common)
    Target creature you control gets +0/+3 and hexproof until end of turn. If that creature is a Crab, draw a card.

    Rock Scraper 2U
    Creature – Crab (common)
    When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, if you control the creature with the greatest toughness, draw a card, then discard a card.
    2/3

    Frothing Bottomfeeder 2BB
    Creature – Crab (uncommon)
    Deathtouch
    Other Crabs you control with toughness 3 or greater have deathtouch
    1/4

    Crushing Claws 1U
    Sorcery (uncommon)
    Return target creature you don’t control to its opponents hand. If you control the creature with the greatest toughness, put that creature on top of its owner’s library instead.

    Crawling Grounds
    Land (Rare)
    T: Add 1 to your mana pool.
    T: Add U or B to your mana pool. Spend this mana only to cast Crab creature spells.
    2UB,T: Put target creature an opponent controls that doesn’t have or isn’t tied for the greatest toughness on top of its opponent’s library.

    Seafloor Feast 3BB
    Enchantment (Rare)
    At the beginning of your end step, exile target creature card from a graveyard. Create X 1/2 Blue Crab creature tokens, where X is the toughness of the exiled creature card.

    The Crustacean Abomination [[3]][[U[][[B]]
    Legendary Creature – Crab (mythic)
    Crabs you control have skulk
    Whenever a Crab you control deals combat damage to a player, you may draw a card. If you do, discard a card.
    2UB, Exile two creature cards from any graveyard: Scry 1, then put a +1/+1 counter on each Crab you control.
    3/6

    Tidal Totem 3
    Legendary Artifact (Mythic)
    At the beginning of your main phase, remove all tide counters from CARDNAME. If a counter was removed from CARDNAME, return target creature an opponent controls to their hand. Otherwise, put a tide counter on CARDNAME and put a +1/+1 counter on each Crab, Fish, Kraken, Octopus, Squid, and Starfish you control. They become unblockable until end of turn.

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    Replies
    1. For specific review (if you don't mind) I'd like to have The Crustacean Abomination and Frothing Bottomfeeder reviewed. If you're feeling extra generous I'd be curious about Tidal Totem and Crawling Grounds as well

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  35. a bit late but fun none the less.



    Birds
    The idea was a slightly less top down theme and more turning UW skies into a fun tribal deck. The bird subtheme is big toughness bird keepers with plays well with the skies theme


    Design 1 (YOUR FIRST COMMON)
    War Falcon 1W
    Creature -Bird
    When War falcon attacks target bird gets +1/+0 until end of turn
    1/1

    Design 2 (YOUR SECOND COMMON)
    Healing of the Flight W
    Sorcery
    Target creature get +1/+1 and gains lifelink until end of turn, if that creature was a bird draw a card.

    Design 3 (YOUR FIRST UNCOMMON)
    Fly Away 1U
    Instant
    Choose one or both:
    Target creature gets +0/+3
    Untap target bird you control, it gains hexproof until end of turn

    Design 4 (YOUR SECOND UNCOMMON)
    Falconeer’s Stratagem UW
    Enchantment
    Untapped non-bird creatures you control get +0/+1
    Tapped bird creatures you control get +1/+0

    Design 5 (YOUR FIRST RARE)
    Haram, Master Falconeer 3WW
    Legendary Creature – Human Soldier
    When ~ enters the battlefield create three 1/1 white bird token with flying
    Attacking birds you control get +1/+0
    2/4

    Design 6 (YOUR SECOND RARE)
    Pidgeon Intelligence Tower
    Land
    T: add C
    1WU T: draw a card, activate this ability only if you attacked with three or more bird during your last combat step

    Design 7 (YOUR FIRST MYTHIC RARE)
    Bird Cage 3
    Artifact
    exile a bird you control: scry 1
    T: add C
    When Bird cage becomes untapped return all bird creatures exiled with it to the battlefield under your control, put a +1/+1 counter on each of those creatures

    Design 8 (YOUR SECOND MYTHIC RARE)
    Krazranian Bird keeper 2UW
    Creature Human Soldier
    When Krazranian Bird keeper enters the battlefield create two 1/1 white bird tokens
    If you control [2 || 4 || 6] or more birds, birds you control have [vigilance || hexproof || +2/+2] and all lower options
    1/5


    My favourite cards are design 7 and design 4 but I most interested in thoughts on 8 and 4

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    Replies
    1. War Falcon
      Please tell me you meant this to have flying... It should have flying. I don't think you want another bird to have +1/+0. I think you want War Falcon to get +1/+0 if you control another bird or are attacking with another bird. Something like that.

      Healing Flight
      +1/+1 and lifelink is a pretty bad sorcery. I feel like this would be a better instant for 1W. I'm also not sure about how much I'm seeing a "if the target is an [subtype] draw a card" tacked onto otherwise unimpressive combat tricks. I feel like there's got to be something better you can do that is more on theme.

      Fly Away
      Is this really an uncommon? Dive down was just U and did both of these things even if it wasn't a bird, and that was at common. It didn't untap but still. I'm not sure this is at the power level for an uncommon.

      Falconer's Stratagem
      This does what you want it to, however I think you just need to give the bonus to attacking birds so it's super clear. I'm curious how valuable +0/+1 is with only a couple birds in a deck. Seems fine but not impressive which means this card is pretty fair.

      Haram, Master Falconer
      There's nothing inherently wrong with this card besides it's totally overpowered. You get a total of 8 power, 7 toughness with 6 of the power at flying. Possibly more. This should probably be a 2/2 and give two birds for 4WW. At current stats I'd expect it to be 4WWW or it's just broken in limited. Imagine blinking this guy, eww.

      Pidgeon Intelligence Tower
      Rares lands that are dead outside of a tribe are pretty bad. Plus, if you attacked with three birds, you're winning. This is just win more and every time it comes up it goes to the bird drafter for free.

      Bird Cage
      This is almost a dead mythic if you don't control a bird. You really don't want a 3 mana colorless mana rock. Also, a bunch of your birds are tokens. You exile the tokens, then it doesn't come back. In the bird deck the power level means you can't ever kill a bird so it should probably tap to exile the bird. But overall it needs to be playable outside of birds.

      Karazraian Bird Keeper
      The modal nature of this card is really interesting. You get two birds with vigilance and with more you get more. This card needs to be an engine in itself. Give it T: Create a 1/1 flying bird token and make it a 2/3. Then it can win games on it's own and is busted in a bird deck. I really like the design direction here but it'd need to be a theme in the deck overall somehow to not be too weird but making lords that care about how many you have is really cool. It's basically a planeswalker/lord type card.

      Overall
      You need to make sure that your cards aren't so narrow as to be worthless outside of the tribe especially at rare and mythic. No one wants to open a mythic artifact and not be able to play it because they're Green Black. Your overall theme is simple, it looks cautious and not overly original but you have really good material here within the normal bounds of Magic that I really appreciate.

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