Friday, December 21, 2012

CCDD 122112—Panic Elemental

Cool Card Design of the Day
12/21/2012 - I didn't design this for today, nor even consciously select it for today, but it does seem appropriate for the day the world was supposed to end.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

CCDD 122012—Deep Contemplation

Cool Card Design of the Day
12/20/2012 - I'm guessing Deep Contemplation is broken in a couple combo decks and nearly unplayable in everything else. Of course, that's true for most cards made to be combo pieces.

Somewhere between Hatching Plans and Cloudshift, I can see this getting some decent use in Limited. Bounce an ETB creature so you can recast it with a cantrip attached. Maybe two if you're mad for value.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

CCDD 121912—Gnarly Aurakin

Cool Card Design of the Day
12/19/2012 - Force of Savagery is a pretty awesome Johnny card. It comes with a great big hoop and an equally sized reward. I was curious to see if we couldn't make a version with broader appeal by making it significantly easier to use (at the cost of some raw power). One of the questions casual players ask is if they can enchant Force before it dies to keep it alive. They can't. But maybe they should be able to:

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

CCDD 121812—Consult the Dragon

Cool Card Design of the Day
12/18/2012 - What happens when you ask a Dragon for advice? If you're lucky or clever, it might give you a powerful secret. If you're not, it'll likely kill you on the spot. You'll learn something important either way, though that may be cold comfort to a dragon's meal.

Consult the Dragon will always draw you a card, and might help you hit hard or remove an opposing creature. Which one is entirely up to fate. Or, if you're a blue mage, you.

Monday, December 17, 2012

CCDD 121712—Headstrong Tutor

Cool Card Design of the Day
12/17/2012 - I think the inspiration for this design was probably, "What kind of Tutor can we get for four mana? What's an effect worth 1 less than Diabolic Tutor?" The only other possibility I can imagine is that I was thinking about how all the good black cards cost 4 and how cute it would be to have an efficient way to tutor them up. 

All I'm saying is, if this was a top-down design, lock me up immediately.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

What makes a major set mechanic?

The final pitches are due tomorrow at midnight, so I thought I'd say a bit about what I consider to be the most important questions in determining what makes a good central mechanic for a set.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

CCDD 121312—Nessian Battalion

Cool Card Design of the Day
12/13/2012 - Affinity got a bad rap in Mirrodin because it enabled one of the most broken Standard decks ever. We all know that the keyword has potential in another form. Many of us have messed with it a bit, and today is one of my attempts.

There are a few ways you can go with Affinity. Remember, it's a reward for getting a bunch of a certain type of permanent out. You could choose something ubiquitous like Affinity for lands, but that's silly; Lands are already a metric for how much you can cast and that ability would just mean "this card costs half what is says it does" most of the time. The Oxidda Golem cycle keyed off specific basic land types and while that's similar, it's kind of halfway toward Imperiosaur, Spectral Procession or Leatherback Baloth where we're asking the player to build her land base—and thus her deck—in a particular way.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Set Design: Final Pitches!

The three sets that made it to the last round have each undergone lots of revisions.  This challenge is your chance to present a "final" vision of how the entire set fits together.  Your task is to create a booster pack of Ekkremes, Frontier, or Ankh-Theb that illustrates most of the set's mechanics.  Your pack should be an ideal introduction to the set for a player who knows nothing about it.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

CCDD 120512—Starry Landscape

Cool Card Design of the Day
12/5/2012 - This card is probably busted. Ultimately, any land that either generates mana of any color or draws you cards, regardless of the conditions and drawbacks ends up being busted in some deck. Given that this draws a card and gives you mana of any color, the question is, how busted is it, as measured by how many decks it goes into across Standard, Modern and Legacy?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Set Design: Round 3 Pitches are Up!

The third round pitches have been pored over with fine-toothed combs, and we are down to three sets left from the original eight.  The survivors are:
The sets we're cutting are:
  • Sephorgia.  Despite many promising attempts, we never found a truly satisfying mechanical heart for the enchantment set.  I have no doubt that it's possible, but it was far enough behind the other candidates that we gave it the boot.
  • Athambia Academy.  We loved this set a lot, but finding the right thing to focus on proved a serious difficulty.  There was no one direction that we found sufficiently promising, so it also had to go.
Our sincerest thanks to everyone who submitted pitches in the third round!  You may not know it, but we spend a lot of time reading and pondering the merits of everything you design for us.  This entire design process wouldn't happen without you, and we're very grateful for your time and creativity.

Now that we're down to three candidates, there's only one step to go before we choose which of these ideas will become an actual set.  The final challenge will be posted in a few days.  In the meantime, please post feedback in the comments of the entries (or on the message board) so that we know what you like and don't like about our top three options.  It's also never too soon to brainstorm where you think each set should go.  In the final round, there will be no restrictions at all on who can pitch which set.

Ekkremes: Embrace the Age of Mana

HV: This pitch is by James Bartolotti.  My comments are in blue.  Here are the pitches from rounds one and two.

Set: Ekkremes

Pitch Name: Embrace the age of mana

Mechanical Themes: Sunburst, Monocolor-Hybrid, Colorless matters (with Building subtype for colorless-producing lands)

50 Word Summary:
Sunburst, representing Ekkremes's reemergence of mana, appears in all colors but is focused in Green and Red, with Red getting one-shot mana filtering to support it. Monocolor-Hybrid and colorless-matters (all colors, but mostly Blue/Black/White) represent the technotopia that dominated a mana-poor world. Smoothing mechanic Bulldoze supports both multicolor and colorless.

Frontier: "This town ain't big enough."

HV: This pitch is by Pasteur.  My comments are in blue.  Here are the pitches from rounds one and two.

What set are you pitching?

What is the name of your pitch?
"This town ain't big enough."

What are the major mechanical themes in the set according to your vision?
Madness, Duel, and powering out huge fatties.

Please present six common cards of a color different from the color in the second round pitch.  These cards should clearly demonstrate at least one major mechanical theme of the set.

Ankh-Theb: The Mummy Returns

HV: This pitch is by James Bartolotti.  My comments are in blue.  Here are the pitches from rounds one and two.

Set: Ankh-Theb

Pitch Name: The Mummy Returns

Mechanical Themes: WBR desert society, with Mummify and Exiling creatures from graveyards as a cost. GU river society, with Cyclic growth ("Thallid" mechanic).

50 Word summary:
The path to the afterlife is getting harder to achieve. Instead of finding peace, the recently deceased are returning as undead husks of their former selves. Some blame the secularization of the river society, who forgo the gods for bountiful life on earth. Others blame the cultists who desecrate the dead.

CCDD 120312—Encase in Solitude

Cool Card Design of the Day
12/3/2012 - Arrest is a very white card. The idea of answers that can be answered is fairly unique to white. Blue has a bunch of Frozen Solid auras that end up being similar even though the design focus is on the creature not untapping rather than the aura being disenchantable. In a similar way, today's card is black and uses the effect not to impinge on white's 'thang' but for its own reasons.