Monday, January 13, 2014

Weekend [Art] Challenge Review 011014—Sturmkraft

Weekend Art Challenge Review
Here's the challenge we're reviewing today.

Ashfurt Recruiter likes to be tapped which, like inspiration, you can always do by attacking but can do more safely by leveraging another tap effect. In the case of Sturmkraft, that would be board. This particular "when tapped" produces more guys which makes your vehicles even better because they can all board together and make a huge, low-risk creature.

Clairvoyance Amplifier turns any creature into a generator of artifact mana, which is important to the set because of the Gear mana symbol. Implant is an alternate way to attach equipment to creatures, with a cybernetics vibe, that can't be reused until the original creature LTB. That's mostly a downside mechanic (but not entirely, as seen here, enhancing the quality of mana the creature produces) but equipment can easily be overpowered so this might let us print a more reasonable Bonesplitter.

Devious Bountyhunter sports the same ability word that was revealed to be in Theros today, this time combo'ing with board. It's basically the same idea as Ashfurt Recruiter's trigger, but with delayed gratification (and less of a guarantee of getting at least one activation), which is slightly more complicated but should promote more interesting combat decisions.

Hammer Blow is to Shatter what Warriors' Lesson is to Divination. Except that it works off a single creature which it also casts Assault Strobe on. Mechanically, that's a strange combination, but with the art, this tells a little story of mad destruction. Good times.

I'm not sure how often the ability to give haste (and trample) to a vehicle will be worth sacrificing it (but it will surely close a few games out of nowhere), but I don't care because Hotwire Goblin's flavor is delightful (and it's not a terrible card anyhow).

I'm pretty fond of the idea of remodel appearing not just on artifacts but green and/or red cards as well. If remodel were real, I wouldn't question the existence of Hull-Eater Slug for a moment.

Flash on a slug is unusual. Maybe there's some turbo-charged reference to explain it. Hmm.

King Cog represents a group of gnomes with tap abilities that produce mana and/or untap less expensive artifacts, allowing players to build a flexible chain of artifact effects and earn the satisfaction of constructing a clever, complex contraption.

I had to share Corporate Cog as well just because I was amused with the flavor.

Novice Mechanic proposes translating the gold tokens we've discussed before into this steampunk world and with good reason: The fact that they are artifacts producing colorless mana is much more relevant with Gear mana running around. In fact, if most sources of Gear mana are single-use batteries, that can help us regulate its appearance and value substantially.

Imagine the snow mana symbol here is the gear we've been talking about. (I can't see it, but I'm told this is a unicode gear character: ⚙).

If artifact mana is easy to produce (like Corporate Cog suggests), Powersuit Paladin's second ability is too strong. If it's hard to produce (like Novice Mechanic suggests), it's first ability is too weak. Regardless, the idea of warriors in powersuits that can be boosted with artifact mana is pretty neat.

Iron Giant is relatively simple because I had some difficulty making the "doesn't untap until boarded" version I originally aimed for. Even so, I'm happy with a juggernaut whose worse on his own, comparable with a single passenger, and potentially game winning with more.

By removing the mana cost, we can instead make the bonus a variable. The first set would surely stick with +N/+N, but you could theoretically include keywords later on. Probably better to just add "CARDNAME has KEYWORD as long as it's boarded."

The 'not' makes Shut Down a bit harder to parse, but basically this is a strictly better Go for the Throat because it can Murder if you cast it with mana from a Gnome or Battery (for instance). I'd rather something more restrictive (and without a 'not') to start, but if Sturmkraft has a lot of artifact creatures, this might be an important restriction.

Steamflogged Tinkerer is the best execution of assembling a contraption I've seen because it answers the questions "How is assembling different from putting a token OTB?" and "What makes a contraption unique, and also worth assembling?" Chah suggested that different cards might assemble contraptions of different costs, which I would also want to try if I was designing this set.

Ubergolem is very hard to cast because you have to produce three mana from an artifact sources, but you can 'cycle' it away for another artifact. I'd argue you're basically expected to use this for research. And research is a nice ability. Basically a steampunk'd dig, the ability to search for a particular kind of card means you won't end up drawing land, and could even construct your deck to fetch one particular artifact.

Given the open-ended nature of the challenge, I was a bit surprised how many {2}{R} cards were designed. Coincidence? Zeitgeist?

As usual, this community produced a lot of unique and solid ideas, and worked together to help refine each other's ideas. Enough to reveal Sturmkraft's potential in an exciting way. Very cool.

Check out the cards that didn't meet the requirements to be mocked up too, there are some neat ones there as well.


  1. I love the idea of "gear" mana in combination with the Battery tokens. That could make for a very fun and interesting limited environment.

  2. Hotwire Goblin is a 3/1, not a 2/2.

    There's also a bit of stealth synergy with Remodel intended: attack with your Vehicle, the opponent doesn't bother to block and trade because it will die anyway, then sacrifice it post-combat for even more value!

    I find it really amusing how many people glommed onto the tapping/untapping aspects of Board and {GEAR}.

    1. Fixed.
      Ah, a nice benefit to sacrificing at EOT instead of EOC.

  3. The reminder text for contraptions should be "exile that card any time ~ isn't on the battlefield." The flavor is that you need the tinkerer around, otherwise the contraption falls apart.

  4. My design must have gotten lost in the shuffle:

    Stoke the Furnace XRR
    Deal X damage to target creature / player

    1. I'm new, so sorry for the silly question...
      but did I had to provide an art too?

    2. The rules of the challenge were that you needed to provide art (and the artist's name) if you wanted your card rendered for the review.