Friday, January 25, 2013

Gatecrash Art Challenge 7 — Matthias Kollros

Today we're covering Matthias Kollros's art work.

In arbitrary order:

C. This card text would work well on a black card with different art and another name. While the flavor here is great (a white hero sacrificing himself to defeat a terrible threat), two-thirds of this effect are distinctly non-white.

A. Charge the Den's flavor is great and Last Stand is how I expressed it. Mechanically, it's Smite meets Vanquish, so we don't have to bend the color pie to get the same thematic effect.

B. Sweet effect. The name is uninspired and the card isn't a perfect match for the art, but it's pretty close and… the effect is just really great (and very Gruul). I would make this short and symmetrical:
Players must attack or block with at least one creature each turn if able.

C. Two submissions named Gruul War(s)? Must be a better name than I thought. 

I like this effect, but it's nearly Guild Feud. It's a one-shot instead of repeatable, and you get to search for any creature card instead of it being random, which makes me wonder if it shouldn't be green. 

I made minor templating tweaks to all the submissions when it was clear what was intended, but I'm not sure how this second sentence is meant to play out. Obviously, it's the players that choose whether the creatures fight and not the creatures themselves, but can the two creatures fight each other twice? Is it intentional that they can fight other creatures, despite the only valid targets being creatures that Gruul Wars' caster foolishly cast before this spell?

B. This name and effect match the art perfectly. It's also much worse than Righteousness, which is already not a high draft-pick. Heroic Effort does trump deathtouch, but costing six times as much is a problem.

B. I also felt this art was just begging for a Righteousness update. Mine is no more original, but it fills a slightly different role in Limited as a common.

A? This is a very gold card, using white's near-exclusionary claim on indestructibility and red's secondary claim on fight to make a conditional, yet very playable removal spell. Jules was smart to make this a sorcery, not just for balance reasons, but to keep Outmatch from being an automatic 2:1 when you cast it after your creature is blocked. My only hesitation is that despite being red-white mechanically (though green-white is arguably a better fit), it doesn't feel very Boros.

Mark for Death turns out to use the opposite flavor from what we all thought. It's not the tiny brave hero challenging the big bad, it's the big bad picking on the little guy! Hilarious, in a dark way. Though it feels more Rakdos than Boros, you could argue it's pretty Gruul. (Though unguilded, the card still needs to fit into existing Ravnican sensibilities.) Part of me loves that this is an amazing finisher because it removes every blocker but the one of your choice, and part of me hates that what seems like a rider is actually the most important part of the card. This is sometimes as good as Overrun.


  1. "This card text would work well on a black card with different art and another name."

    I thought it would be fun to color shift Launch Party from Return to Ravnica. The card as a whole feels sufficiently White to me, even if the pieces aren't.

    1. If you're going to color shift Launch Party to white, this is definitely the way to do it.

    2. The problem I've always had with this sort of card in white is that the life gain makes it feel like you're happy about killing things...putting it straight back into black territory.