Friday, November 30, 2018

Weekend Design Challenge 113018 -- Keyword Action Triggers

Good morning, Artisans. Click through to see the requirements for this weekend's design challenge, due Monday morning. Every submission warrants feedback, so once you've got your great idea down, give some thoughtful critique to your peers. Revise your submission any number of times, and I'll review the most recent submission from each designer some time next week.

Before we dive in, we are aware of the reply to comment buttons not working in some browsers. If you want to leave feedback or revise your submission, I've heard that the reply works in Firefox. I've also had it working on mobile browsers. If you want to force the mobile version of the site from your desktop, you can add the string "?m=1" to the URL after the .html bit. Here's a hyperlink to this page for mobile: https://goblinartisans.blogspot.com/2018/11/weekend-design-challenge-113018-keyword.html?m=1

It won't be as pretty on the desktop, but you'll be able to revise your own designs and give feedback to others'.

OK! That out of the way, this weekend, lets design some build-around uncommons that trigger off of performing a keyword action. Keyword actions are a specific subset of keywords (listed here) ranging from things such as Draw to the recent Surveil.

Good luck, have fun, and I'll see you all Monday.

21 comments:

  1. Heavyweight Trainer 3G
    Creature - Human Warrior Uncommon
    When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, you may have it fight target creature.
    Whenever a creature you control fights another creature, if it survives, put a +1/+1 counter on it.
    2/3

    Someone had to pick the low-hanging fruit :) "If it survives" isn't necessary from a rules perspective, but it makes it clear to everyone that the counter only happens after the fight, which is the natural problem with triggers that care about fighting.

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    1. So why is something uncommon? It usually falls into one of three categories. First, it can be too complex for common. Second and third (related), it either is too powerful for common, or we want to seed a fun archetype with a powerful payoff card.

      At least at first pass, a slightly less potent Foe-Razer Regent seems like it should go in uncommon, but how many times would you ever have it trigger in limited? Without its first line of rules (which was a very smart include), maybe once? And if it's a constructed card, shouldn't it just be rare so it doesn't gum up uncommons in draft?

      I love the design (although the aforementioned Green Dragon has better templating), and while that first line of rules text does a lot to justify it in uncommon, I do believe that this should be a rare. Incidentally, if that's the harshest critique I can come up with, you had a very strong submission.

      Delete
  2. Augurer's Call - 1UG
    Enchantment - Uncommon
    Whenever you reveal cards, create a 1/1 blue Merfolk token creature with hexproof.

    With Azorious returning I was thinking about whether there was anything to make Forecast interesting instead of going to that typical UW control well.

    So that got me thinking about whether there could be a way to reward revealing cards. Which was a dumb idea for forecast when I thought about it because that's what forecast literally is.

    SO! I thought about niche possibilities for build-arounds instead of some set-defining mechanic that is hard to design and has shallow mechanical space. Blue and green both let you dig into your deck for select card types, which therefore mandates that you have to reveal them. So I felt like rewarding for revealing could be an interesting U/G buildaround card for ramp decks.

    As a fun bonus, it kind of punishes some types of black discard spells that make players show their hands, but not so much that it's oppressive. Maybe it should be written that you get a merfolk for each card? Not sure.

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    1. This design seems like fun, and definitely something I'd try and build a deck around. However it seems proplematic with a card like Telepathy.

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    2. That seems like a bit of an edge case and not game-breakingly powerful (it will get a merfolk when either it or Telepathy ETB and every time an opponent draws a card based on how it's currently worded.)

      If that ends up being a problem, it could be worded "Whenever you reveal any of your cards." of "cards you own."

      Delete
    3. Actually, as I read it, I'm not even sure Telepathy triggers it at all. The card says when "YOU" reveal cards, not something like "when a spell or effect you control reveals cards." So wouldn't it trigger only when you reveal your cards and not when an opponent reveals cards?

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    4. My corner case was from the perspective that your opponent controlled the telepathy (as infrequent as that might be). Either way a clear ruling is important as there are a handful of ways to interpret it: the way you described as the one time trigger, a possible infinite solution given that you are in a constant state of revealing the cards in your hand, and a word lawyering that would say telepathy targets the hand and while a hand is usually comprised of cards telepathy only states you reveal the hand and the cards within just happen to be extraneous .

      Overall it's a low probability but I find it fun to think through corner cases.

      Delete
  3. Elvish Swindeler U{B/G}
    Creature - Elf Rogue Uncommon
    Flash
    When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, you may shuffle your library.
    Whenever you shuffle your library, scry 3.
    How is she always so lucky?
    1/1

    This started as a rare, non-elf UB card with a bigger scry effect. But then I reread the challenge. At uncommon most shuffle effects are green, so I tried to do a little shoehorning, but I kinda think it works. It would probably have to be a particular kind of set to have enough shuffling to make it worth building around though. But this into district guide or skittering surveyor might not be the worst thing in the world.

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  5. Oops, I also missed the "uncommon" part. How about:

    Keeper of Souls 1WB
    Creature - Human Cleric (U)
    Whenever you exile one or more creature cards from anywhere, create a 1/1 white and black Spirit creature token with flying.
    2/3

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    1. Nice work finding a keyword action that hasn't been directly referenced yet! (Lots of designs reference exiled cards but I don't know of any that trigger off the actual action.) I like the reward and how you made it flavorful, too.

      Delete
  6. Goblin Recycler R
    Creature - Goblin Shaman Uncommon
    Whenever you discard a nonland card, you may exile it from your graveyard. If you do, you may cast that card until end of turn.
    1/1


    Among other things, it turns cycling costs into what is effectively a cantripping kicker. Not sure if power level is appropriate, though.

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    1. I like it a lot! Equivalently it grants all your cards madness [cost]. Madness tends to support pretty aggressive costing, so I bet the power level here is fine.

      Delete
  7. Azorius Jailer 1WU
    Creature- Human Soldier (Uncommon)
    2/1
    Lifelink, hexproof
    Whenever you detain a creature, put a +1/+1 counter on CARDNAME.

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    1. Alternate design:

      Kind Dryad 1G
      Creature- Dryad (Uncommon)
      2/4
      Spells and abilities you control can't destroy permanents. (This only applies to effects that say "destroy".)

      Delete
  8. Catologue of Oblivion
    2WU
    Enchantment
    Whenever a permanent would enter the battlefield from Exile, create a token copy of that permanent.

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  9. Oh, cool. I agree, keyword action are great for keying off like this.

    It's surprisingly hard. Lots of potential ideas aren't really uncommon build-arounds, e.g. I really wanted to do "whenever you double something, double it again", but I don't think that ever comes up enough to be a limited effect. And many are too confusing, e.g. you can't do anything with "reveal", because players won't be clear that revealing only happens as a specific action, not just whenever you show someone a card, there's no reason to trigger off creating rather than a token permanent entering the battlefield (or usually, a nonland permanent entering the battlefield). And I kept writing replacement effects instead of triggers by accident :)

    In fact, I had trouble thinking of one that made sense, but wasn't already covered by existing cards (like discard). But I'll try.

    Plague Breather 1B
    Creature - Horror
    2/1
    Whenever you proliferate, you may (afterwards) put a -1/-1 counter on target creature without any counters on.

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  10. Archmage's Spell-Circle 3UU
    Enchantment
    Whenever you counter a spell, exile it.
    X: You may cast a card with converted mana cost X exiled with CARDNAME. Activate this ability only once per turn and only when you could cast a sorcery.

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    1. Woops, should have "Without paying its mana cost."

      Delete
  11. Scry Guy 1UR
    Creature
    2/3
    Whenever you scry, you may pay 1 for each card you looked at. If you do, ~ deals that much damage to target creature.

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