Friday, July 13, 2018

Weekend Design Challenge 071318—Eternal

Click through to see the requirements for your design test, due Monday morning. Every submission warrants feedback, which you may use to revise your submission any number of times. I will aim to review the most recent submission from each designer.

Let's give Zefferal a weekend off.

Choose a skill or other keyword from Eternal that Magic hasn't done, and make a Magic card with it. Bonus points for finding an elegant solution to a difficult digital=>analog translation.

58 comments:

  1. Echoing Pterosaur
    1WU
    Creature - Dinosaur - Uncommon
    Flying
    When you draw ~, you may reveal it. If you do, choose a creature card you own from outside the game named ~, reveal that card, and put it into your hand.
    2/1

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  2. I don't suppose it's paid vacation?

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    1. You're such a good worker, I'll pay double your usual rate.

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    2. I'll finally have enough to buy that foil beta Mox Ruby I've always wanted!

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    3. Man, I can’t wait until I’m senior enough to pull in that kind of dough...

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  3. Woolen Mentor 3GG
    Creature - Minotaur Monk (u)
    Flash
    When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, target other creature you control gets +2/+2 until end of turn. You may tap CARDNAME and that creature. If you do, put two +1/+1 counters on that creature as well.
    He'll teach you how to dodge and weave.
    2/2

    Worsted Governess 3G
    Creature - Minotaur Advisor (u)
    Proctor - When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, target creature gets +2/+2 until end of turn and becomes a Pupil in addition to its other types.
    1G, T: Tap target untapped Pupil and put two +1/+1 counters on it.
    She'll make sure you make the grade.
    2/2

    Playing off of Mentor/Student. I'm also positing a Magic where, following Amonkhet, "Minotaur" is used for all upright even-toed ungulates. I think I prefer the Governess, but the argument against creature type bookkeeping and onboard-blocking-tricks exists.

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    1. For as simple as these cards are to understand, boy are they wordy!

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    2. Woolen Mentor feels greedy. Does it need to grant +2/+2 and put two +1/+1 counters on the creature?

      If Governess' first ability grants counters, that'll help us track what's a pupil (in a pretend world where Magic isn't infested with +1/+1 counters).

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    3. The idea I had with Woolen Mentor is that either way it's putting 4/4 onto the board that turn, it's just a matter of how and where you want to use it. Straying further from Eternal, but using existing Magic tech:

      Woven Proctor {1}{GW}
      Creature - Minotaur Advisor
      Soulbond
      When Woven Proctor becomes paired, you may tap its pair. If you do, put a +1/+1 counter on that creature.
      GW: Tap target untapped paired creature. Put a +1/+1 counter on it and its pair.
      2/2

      Or the simplest version I could come up with, where you can just pick whichever creature each turn:

      Mouflon Mentor 1GW
      Creature - Minotaur Advisor (u)
      After your draw step, you may tap target creature you control. If you do, put a +1/+1 counter on it and ~.
      2/2

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    4. Mouflon Mentor is elegant, flavorful, and exciting.

      Delete
  4. *Miracle frame*

    Crowding Goblin R
    Swarming Creature - Goblin
    (When you draw this card, you may reveal it. If you do, put a copy of Crowding Goblin you own from outside the game and put it into your hand.)
    1/1


    Swarming is a super type with rules baggage. The reminder text applies to all Swarming cards. You may have as many Swarming cards in your sideboard as you want, these do not count toward the maximum of 15. You many not start a game with Swarming cards from your sideboard in your deck. We can also apply this rule to Basic lands, to allow for fetchland variants that reduce shuffling.

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    1. The main problem I see with this is that players may accidentally shuffle the copies into their decks when the game ends.

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    2. That's true, I was thinking that the same problem could also occur between matches, but I'll try to think if there's a decent fix.

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    3. We could make half-sized versions of swarming cards. You couldn't shuffle them into your deck, but you couldn't shuffle them into your deck.

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    4. After iterating some more I came up with Flashback token creators, lol.
      I think that’s basically what this mechanic is if you remove the ability to tuck the copies.
      Not giving up though

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    5. Echo is a lot like flashback, in practice.

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  5. Undying Dragon-3RR
    Creature-Dragon
    Flying
    Revenge 10- When this creature dies, if it had no +1/+1 counters on it,remove it from play with ten time counters. Whenever you draw a card, remove a time counter from CARDNAME. When the last time counter is removed cast it without paying its mana cost and it enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter and haste.
    6/4

    A combination of suspend and undying to represent revenge in Eternal.

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    Replies
    1. This is cool but if Revenge is going to be that high a number it might work better as just an individual card than a keyword. This seems like it's coming back around Turn 15 which is a good insurance policy for "If I survive that long, I win"", but I'd be curious to see what cards with around Revenge 1-3 are like!

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    2. I chose 10 because eternal puts it under the top 10 cards. If you cast glimmer of genius it removes 2 counters, same with divination. I agree that 10 is a large number but was just trying to make it as close to the source material. I feel 1-3 might be too fast especially if you sacrifice your creature to an effect and then cast a draw spell, could probably get crazy fast.

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    3. I'm not at all sure, but I had the impression that Eternal's Revenge choose puts the card among the top ten at random.
      In any case, do what you need to make it fit Magic.

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    4. I have not played Eternal but this seemed the cleanest way to get something similar

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    5. Normally, I'd say a big red flying creature that comes back after death has to be a phoenix, but revenge is delayed enough that this just feels like a dragon who's more vengeful than mortal. 10 cards is more than will happen in most games normally, but it wouldn't be hard to run this with card draw or self-mill and make it really scary. Cool.

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  6. Aegis, of course, begs to be the "fixed" hexproof that everybody's always looking for. I have a different take for Magic.

    Mercurial Sea Drake (Uncommon)
    UU3
    Creature - Drake
    Flying, Aegis 1 (This creature enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter. When it's the target of an opponent's spell or ability, remove a +1/+1 counter. If you do, counter that spell or ability)
    2/2

    So you have some levers you can pull to control power level by fiddling with the number of counters it gets.

    Though, removing counters in order to counter spells reminds me of that hilarious un-card whose name I forget.

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    1. Aegis is a great choice of port. Super interesting to have it numbered -- so a creature with Aegis 2 would be able to protect itself from two spells before your opponent breaks through the Aegis.

      An alternative would be to flip it a la Persist/Undying, so that a creature gets bigger once it's been targeted, but now it's vulnerable to removal.

      Shieldbearer
      3U
      2/2
      Flying, Aegis 1 (When a spell you don’t control targets this creature, if this creature has no +1/+1 counters, put a +1/+1 counter on it and counter that spell.)

      Sleeping Giant
      2GG
      0/5
      Aegis 5
      At the beginning of combat on your turn, if ~ has no +1/+1 counters on it, target creature gets +2/+2 until end of turn and you gain 2 life.

      This version is trickier to design because virtual vanillas with the ability don't really do anything -- there's no incentive for your opponents to target your Aegis bear. But there's still some cool space.

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    2. I like your approach here a lot. I don't much want to see an Aegis 2+ card as that's a lot of card advantage, but my bigger concern is losing that point of toughness; When I hit your Drake for 2 and it survives, are you going to expect it to die to any spell?

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    3. I see the +1/+1 counter as an important part of the mechanic (in contrast to my Runic suggestions below, which use a special counter type to represent something similar).

      The advantages of using a +1/+1 counter are:\
      1. It's the existing default counter type for creatures, which makes tracking things so much easier.
      2. It's important to let the opponent get *some* value out of their removal spell. Otherwise it's pure card disadvantage and Aegis would basically just be hexproof most of the time.

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    4. Bradley's aegis is the Undying to Larcent's aegis' Persist. It reads better and won't lead to gotchas. It's worse for the opponent, but they're not targeting it unless they can 1-2 it anyhow.

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    5. Yeah, I think I like Bradley's version, too. It also makes for a fun tension in blue, for example, where you can hold back on a counterspell and wait for that second spell, like I've seen folks due with that sphinx from Amonkhet.

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  7. I'm trying to play around a little with other ways to use emblems. There's a lot of text, but I think it's still doable.

    Vengeful Tribesman 1R
    Creature - Human Berserker (U)
    When Vengeful Tribesman enters the battlefield, if you didn't spend mana to cast it, it deals 3 damage to target player or planeswalker.
    Revenge (When this creature dies, shuffle it into the top ten cards of your library. You gain an emblem with "When you draw a card named Vengeful Tribesman, you may cast it without paying its mana cost. If you do, draw a card and remove this emblem.")
    2/1

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    1. 9 lines is a lot for uncommon. I'd say we could only do vanilla revenge below rare.

      It's slightly wonky that this revenge might end up casting the wrong Tribesman, but since we shuffle it in, there's no way to know, so it's fine. An emblem removing itself is new; not sure how I feel about that.

      We do get the Miracle problem of revealing a draw before putting it in our hand, but half the submissions have that so far.

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  8. Iterating on Aegis:

    Runewoven Dwarf I 1W
    Creature- Dwarf Soldier
    2/2
    Runic 1 (This creature enters the battlefield with a rune counter on it. Whenever it would be dealt damage, you may remove a rune counter to prevent that damage.)

    Runewoven Dwarf II 1W
    Creature- Dwarf Soldier
    2/2
    Runic 1 (This creature enters the battlefield with a rune counter on it. Whenever an effect would cause it the battlefield, you may remove a rune counter instead.)

    Runewoven Dwarf III 1W
    Creature- Dwarf Soldier
    2/2
    Runic 1 (This creature enters the battlefield with a rune counter on it. You may remove a rune counter to give it protection from a name of your choice until end of turn.)

    Runewoven Dwarf IV 1W
    Creature- Dwarf Soldier
    2/2
    Runic 1 (This creature enters the battlefield with a rune counter on it. You may remove a rune counter to give it indestructible until end of turn.)

    Runewoven Dwarf V 1W
    Creature- Dwarf Soldier
    2/2
    Runic 1 (This creature enters the battlefield with a rune counter on it. You may remove a rune counter to exile it until end of turn. It returns to the battlefield with one fewer rune counter on it.)

    The nice / nasty thing about all the different kinds of removal in Magic is that there isn't a well-defined concept of "no, seriously, just don't". Anyone have a favorite (or least favorite) version of Runic? Which version best captures the feel of the Eternal mechanic?

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    1. *"cause it to leave the battlefield" on Runewoven Dwarf II (note that this isn't intended to protect against damage, sacrifice, or -X/-X).

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    2. Not "Runic (This creature enters the battlefield with a rune counter on it. You may remove a rune counter to give it hexproof until end of turn.)"

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    3. Yeah, that would be the most straightforwardly like Aegis. Not exactly the same, though, since AFAICT Aegis would also protect a creature from Wrath-like effects.

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    4. Runic 1 (~ enters the battlefield with 1 rune counter. Whenever ~ would be targeted, dealt damage, or destroyed by a spell or ability an opponent controls, remove a rune counter from ~ instead.)

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    5. This last version feels very close to Aegis.

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  9. Warcry:

    Warcry Militia 1R
    Creature- Human Warrior
    2/1
    Whenever CARDNAME attacks, arm. (You get an armament counter. The next time a creature enters the battlefield under your control, remove that counter and put a +1/+1 counter on that creature.)

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    Replies
    1. Not identical, but pretty close.
      Simple and interesting.
      Notably stronger.

      Delete
  10. Fists of Chicxulub 4RG
    World Enchantment - Aura
    Enchant Yourself
    As Fists of Chicxulub enters the battlefield, note your life total and then gain 6 life. If your life returns to the noted total, sacrifice Fists.
    T: Deal 6 damage to any target. If that target is a creature, it deals damage equal to its power to you.

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    Replies
    1. Does the world supertype mean that my Fists erase your Fists?
      This is a nice translation of relic weapons. It does allow you to hit your opponent while they have creatures which relic weapons don't, but that detail does carry a real elegance cost.

      Delete
    2. Fists of Chicxulub 4RG
      Enchantment - Aura Manifestation (R)
      Enchant Yourself
      As Fists of Chicxulub enters the battlefield, note your life total and then gain 6 life. If your life returns to the noted total or you attach another Manifestation, sacrifice Fists.
      T: Deal 6 damage to any target. If that target is a creature, it deals damage equal to its power to you.

      World Enchantments contain too much rules baggage, and they don't thematically fit.

      Delete
  11. Twin Terror 2B
    Instant U
    Twin: 2B (Pay 2B, exile Twin Terror from your hand with a time counter on it. Play a copy of Twin Terror. You may play Twin Terror from exile as long as it has a time counter on it.)
    Destroy target non-black creature.

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    Replies
    1. Twin Terror is a bit too strong for an uncommon. Two Dark Banishings for the price of one? Lightning Strike was uncommon in M19.

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    2. That's fair, probably up the cost to 2BB and sorcery speed.

      Delete
  12. A Warp / Revenge Hybrid:

    Hipshot (Uncommon)
    1R
    Sorcery
    If Hipshot is face up on top of your library, you may cast it.
    Hipshot deals 2 damage to any target.
    2R: Shuffle Hipshot face up from your graveyard into the top four cards of your library.

    Also, just for fun, a version of my favorite Eternal design:

    The Witching Hour (Mythic)
    20BBBB
    Sorcery
    Before the game, you may reveal a card named The Witching Hour from your deck. If you do, you get an emblem with "whenever you play a card, you get a Rapture counter."
    This spell costs 1 less to cast for each Rapture counter you have.
    Create four 4/4 black Spirit tokens with flying, lifelink, and deathtouch.

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    1. Quite possible the wording on Hipshot's activated ability should be:

      "Shuffle Hipshot from your graveyard into the top four cards of your library face up."

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    2. That's some novel stuff on Hipshot, very interesting, and possibly doable. Only concern is that you would have to keep your deck piled up very neatly, so you don't accidentally spot your Hipshot.

      Question: what would happen if, say, you scry 3 while Hipshot is in the top 3 cards face up? (I doubt there are rules for it yet, so what would you want to happen?)

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    3. You can't really shuffle 4 cards. "Put Hipshot face-up into the top four cards of your library randomly." We can combine abilities 1 and 3, since no other effects are going to make it face up on top of your deck without being able to cast it. But that's all just templating. Hipshot is real neat. I'd love to playtest it.

      The Witching Hour does a curious thing, setting up a tracker. Digital doesn't need that because the app tracks everything invisibly, but in Magic, you have to know to pay attention. I think that's a bit of a deal-breaker, unless the tracker itself is interactive.

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    4. The tracker itself being interactive is a really interesting notion. I'm having a hard time picturing what it might mean in practice -- does it mean your opponent can do things to add counters (a la Pardic Dragon)? Does it mean the number of counters you have affects gameplay in some way (when you add your fifth counter deal 1 damage to any target, when you add your tenth counter draw a card, et cetera)? Or do you just mean that your opponent should be able to interact with the tracker (i.e. Disenchant it)?

      I separated Hipshot's "You may cast it from the top of your library" text so as to avoid confusion with Future Sight effects. Otherwise you get into really hairy situations where you reveal a Hipshot, but you're not sure if it was the copy you shuffled in two turns ago, so you're not sure if you can cast it.

      I'm on the fence about whether I'd just want it to stay face up if shuffled or scried to the bottom. My instinct is that any time you shuffle your library you turn it face down, since a shuffle is designed to completely randomize.

      Delete
  13. Bruiserang 3G
    Sorcery C
    Reverberate (If this card wasn't revealed when it was cast, return it to your hand revealed as it resolves. It remains reveal as long as it's in your hand.)
    Create a 3/2 green Ape creature token.

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    Replies
    1. How do you cast a card without revealing it?

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    2. I'm guessing this is short-hand, for "the first time this resolves, put it into your hand, revealed," which is a pretty elegant solution, pending perma-reveal.

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    3. It just helps with the "put an echo card back on the deck tricks". That said, I think Csll of the Herd is just a better, cleaner implementation of the same idea.

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  14. Fancy Footwork R
    Instant (U)
    Swap (if this card is the first card you draw this turn, you may return it to the top of your library revealed. If you do, draw the second card in your library. You may cast this card as long as it's revealed on the top of your library.)
    Target creature gains +1/+0 and first strike until the end of turn.

    ReplyDelete