Thursday, August 2, 2012

Challenge #7: Results

Greetings, designers!  Apologies for the long delay in getting back to you.  As Jay mentioned, I've been quite occupied by non-magical concerns recently, but I tore myself away from work long enough to judge this design challenge.  Now that we're all eagerly awaiting the new guild keywords in Return to Ravnica, let's whet our appetites with some reader-submitted creations.

Third Place
Winner: Ben Nassau

Drifting Somnian (C)
Creature - Spirit
When Drifting Somnian enters the battlefield, sedate target creature. (Tap it. It doesn't untap during its controller's next untap step.)
Duskmantle Infiltrator (U)
Creature - Human Rogue
Whenever Duskmantle Infiltrator deals combat damage to a player, sedate target creature. (Tap it. It doesn't untap during its controller's next untap step.)
We already know that sedate is a viable action word, since it plays just fine on cards like Crippling Chill, Kor Hookmaster, and Mana Skimmer.  It's not an innovative mechanic, but it's a perfect flavor fit for the secretive Dimir and their covert operatives.  It also has some flexibility in terms of affecting other permanent types, although a name other than "sedate" might make more sense.

Second Place
Winner: Jay Treat

Orzhov Squire (C)
Creature - Human Soldier
Inheritance — When Orzhov Squire dies, gain a gold counter. It has “Sacrifice this: Add 1 to your mana pool.”
Orphanage Matron (U)
Creature - Human Wizard
Inheritance — When Orphanage Matron dies, gain a gold counter. It has “Sacrifice this: Add 1 to your mana pool.”
X, Sacrifice a creature: Gain X life.
This gold counter mechanic is of course borrowed from Devon Rule's GDS2 world.  I think it's especially good for the Orzhov, who care a lot about accumulating wealth throughout generations.  I'm not sure whether the gameplay of a death trigger is the best choice; waiting until after your creatures die to gain gold will sometimes delay the benefit until after its peak usefulness.

First Place
Winner: Prophylaxis

Frost Interloper (C)
Creature - Goblin Shaman
Knowledge - Whenever you draw a card, you may pay 2. If so, Frost Interloper deals 1 damage to target creature. Tap that creature.
Mizzium Dragon (R)
Creature - Dragon
Knowledge - Whenever you draw a card, you may cast an instant or sorcery card from your hand without paying its mana cost.
At first, one might wonder why "whenever you draw a card" makes for a compelling trigger at all.  Doesn't it function like an upkeep trigger most of the time?  What makes this a great Izzet keyword is that it works well with looting, which appears at common in both colors.  What's more, it feels like proper mad science: you read a book, and then something exciting happens.

While I like the keyword a lot, the actual cards submitted had some problems.  Frost Interloper should certainly be gold instead of hybrid for color pie reasons.  Mizzium Dragon is exciting, but the potential for chaining draw spells is worrisome.  Still, I'm confident that this mechanic, along with some cantrips and looting spells, would make for wacky Izzet fun.


  1. Yes, you're right. I was submitting this on my iPhone at midnight, so I had to think of something fast. The rare was pretty easy, but it was hard for me to find a common effect for this.

  2. I'm happy to see resolution for this contest. Sedate seems more appropriate for w/u than u/b, no?

    1. I was kinda thinking that myself. Would probably get some kind of prison/shackles/limbo flavor, though 'sedate' still works. Still, it's nice to see it keyworded.

    2. Yeah, I could easily see it on U/W.

    3. You could even see it as the Azorius keyword! The legal cobwebs had multiple tapdown commons last time - Minister of Impediments, Plumes of Peace - and it does fit the imprisoment flavour, while also being useful in the Azorius's secretive alter ego of white-blue aggression: tap-and-stun their blockers or the dudes that would otherwise give you a pounding for leaving yourself without blockers.

      I always think of the mechanic as "stun", as it was nicknamed on all the Kamigawa snakes that had it like Kashi-Tribe Reavers and Matsu-Tribe Sniper. Funny that it's been in four colours.

    4. I should have made it Azorius and named it "detain" and made it so it Arrests permanents for a turn. That would've been cool. Maybe someday.

  3. I'm not sure how much inheritance separates itself from just "gain 1 life" aside from flavor and being proliferate-able, can someone tell me if I'm missing something? Also, sedate is really cool, I never thought of keywording that but it'd be very useful and save wordspace. I'd recommend "exhaust" (or maybe "deplete"?) personally so it'd make more sense on non-creature permanents.

  4. This week, my blog is having a tribute to gold counters. Check it out: