Friday, October 16, 2020

Weekend Design Challenge 101620 - Loam Dweller Knockoff

Happy Friday, Artisans! Click through to see this weekend's design challenge. Your mission is to design a custom magic card that follows the guidelines. Over the course of the weekend, give feedback to your fellow designers on their designs and incorporate their feedback to iterate on your own. I'll try to offer some feedback of my own starting on Monday.

Out of half-baked ideas for a design challenge, I spun the "random card" wheel and got Loam Dweller. That is... certainly a Magic card. It reminds me a little of Ranging Raptors and Migratory Greathorn in that it's a ramp payoff for building your deck around a theme of the set. One could argue that Whisperer of the Wilds and Khalni Heart Expedition are also examples of this. Ramp payoffs are tricky to balance because they need to turn on early and reliably to have full value, while satisfying the theme early and reliably is difficult by design.

So here's your challenge: Pick a set mechanic or theme and design a green card (common or uncommon) that rewards that theme by ramping. For bonus points, use a novel mechanic or theme, or at least one that we haven't yet seen a card like this for.

Good luck and have fun!


  1. Ah, interesting. Do you mean, either an existing set, or a hypothetical or fan set?

    1. It's right, it is a hard niche to identify though. Usually ramp OR theme is a deck archetype, so there's not that many decks that want both.

  2. Person Who Turns Swords to Plowshares 2G
    Creature - Human Artificer
    T, Unattach an Equipment from a creature you control: Search your library for a basic land card, put it onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle your library.

    1. Cool concept! "Unattach" being repeatable makes the gameplay even tougher to balance-- this is a better Frontier Guide as long as you control an Equipment-- and I'm not sure it fits the flavor. (Also, Mono-green caring about equipment is kind of unusual.) But requiring a sacrifice would make this too often not worth it, and the need to build a deck with a critical mass of equipment is a great choice of a hoop to jump through.

  3. Magus of the Swell GU
    Creature - Elf Wizard (U)
    Whenever you copy a spell, you may search your library for a basic land card and put it onto the battlefield tapped.

    OK, themes want ramp? Ones that can make use of the extra mana. Let's say, replicate. That could be green with a flavour of "overpowering vastness spell" instead of "tricky quick spell". Although I realized the same idea would work for other mechanics that copy a spell as lots of them rely on having mana to copy an expensive spell.

    Probably I shouldn't do that, making the uncommon more open ended makes it more johnny-fun but less limited-signpost. It could always be tweaked to call out the mechanic in the current set.

    I tried to make this a spell that had replicate and awarded you for any spells with replicate, but it was too fiddly. So instead it just has a body, but gives you an extra reward for replication, even once.

  4. Kraul Composter 2GB
    Creature-Insect Shaman (Uncommon)
    Undergrowth-When ~ enters the battlefield reveal the top X cards of your library, where X is the number of creature cards in your graveyard. Put all land cards revealed this way onto the battlefield tapped and the rest into your graveyard.

  5. Remaha's Reclaimer 2G
    Creature - Human Druid
    Survivor - When ~ 's damage is removed, you may search your library for a basic land card and put it in play, tapped.

  6. Hermit Troll 1G
    Creature - Troll (Uncommon)
    When Hermit Troll enters the battlefield, create a Food token. (It’s an artifact with “{2}, {T}, Sacrifice this artifact: You gain 3 life.”)
    Whenever you sacrifice a Food, you may pay {2}. If you do, you may search your library for a basic land card, put it onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle your library.

    You can see the card here:

    I'm sorry I'm so late :( I designed the card in the weekend but forgot to post it here.

    1. Hi~! I'm new here :) I'm gonna try make an account because I'm posting as Unknown. Anyway, I'd love to hear feedback from you guys.
      Stay safe out there!

    2. This is a good design. I think that it would be fine if it had {2 or 3} Sacrifice a food: Search your library for a basic land card, put it onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle your library.

  7. Shaping the Garden
    Convoke(Your creatures can help cast this spell. Each creature you tap while casting this spell pays for 1 or one mana of that creature's color.)
    Search your library for X basic land cards and put them onto the battlefield tapped, where X is equal to the number of untapped lands you control.

    This might be rare. Without playing it, I’m unsure.

    1. I also considered making the number of lands equal the number of creatures you tapped to convoke it. I think that is more balanced overall. I fancied the idea of counting untapped lands. But after playing a game it is insane on any turn past turn 3. If you have three creatures you search for four basic lands and this gets worse every turn. So I would change it to the number of creatures tapped to convoke it. It still may be a rare.

    2. Also I missed the obvious shuffle effect, so imagine I didn’t forget please.