Friday, March 14, 2014

Weekend Art Challenge 031414—JordyLakiere

Weekend Art Challenge
Click through to see this weekend's art and the design requirements for your single card submission, due Monday morning. Every submission warrants feedback, which I will try to provide, and which everyone is welcome to provide as well.

If you choose, you may use that feedback to revise your submission any number of times. I will post and review the most recent submission from each designer some time on Monday, life permitting. To help ensure I recreate your design accurately, please use CARDNAME instead of ~ in your submissions.


Design a common that is strictly worse than a well known common, using this art. (Thanks, Tommy.) Choose a different common than every other submission. Bonus points if your common is still appealing in some way (perhaps in the right environment, or to Vorthos, etc).





152 comments:

  1. Here is the obvious one:

    Empty the Caverns 3R
    Sorcery C
    Put two 1/1 red Goblin creature tokens onto the battlefield.
    Momentum — Copy this spell if you have cast another spell this turn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love how vastly worse this is than Empty the Warrens, yet still rather good in the right Limited deck (see unc Goblin Rally).

      Delete
    2. I also love how Momentum avoids most of the uncertainties people have about things like Reverberate adding to Storm count since they never come up without a spell being cast.

      Currently you have Momentum as an ability word rather than a keyword: are you planning to have more bonuses besides copying or different thresholds for spell numbers? Honestly I'd be happy with it as a fixed keyword.

      Delete
    3. I think I like it as an ability word as gives a lot more design space to play around with. e.g.

      Lightning Shock R
      Instant C
      CARDNAME deals 2 damage to target creature or player.
      Momentum -- CARDNAME deals 3 damage instead if you cast another spell this turn.

      Delete
    4. Very playable and clean. I'm on team keyword here. If keyworded, would a variable number be worth exploring? Momentum n (If this is the nth spell you've cast this turn, copy it.) Even if you do the cycling thing and make them all Momentum 2 for the initial release

      Delete
  2. Gang Up {1RR}
    instant
    Gang Up deals damage to target creature equal to the number of attacking creatures you control.

    a card which is a lot worse than massive raid in a lot of ways. but still seems sort of ok given the right format.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Still playable, and I love how the name and art explain the 'worse' text.

      Delete
    2. This is a great choice, and my submission later is directly inspired by this.

      Delete
    3. You almost hit the challenge twice given how close this card is to Dogpile, but I like it better at {1}{R}{R}.

      Delete
  3. Kralfen Brute 3R
    Creature — Giant
    Kralfen Brute can't attack unless a creature with power 2 or less attacks with it.
    3/3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is this a wacky limitation to Hill Giant, or a bigification of something I'm missing?

      Delete
    2. Given that without pump it works the same way, I think I'd prefer "a creature with lesser power," to make it a little bit easier to remember what the card does.

      Delete
  4. Large Growth 1G
    Sorcery - Common
    Target creature gets +3/+3 until end of turn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Strictly worse in two ways, eh?
      Still would be solid in Scars block.

      Delete
    2. Just the one way. This is Monstrous Growth, not Giant Growth. Growth.

      Delete
    3. I'd rather this was just a Monstrous Growth reprint. It's strictly worse than Titanic Growth and Phytoburst, and Phytoburst wasn't great to begin with. I don't see why we need a pump spell this weak.

      Delete
    4. I agree with Jules. Pump spells are bad enough already.

      Delete
  5. Added to the challenge:
    Bonus points if your common is still appealing in some way (perhaps in the right environment, or to Vorthos, etc).

    ReplyDelete
  6. I don't think "take an existing simple card and make it worse in a simple way" is particularly difficult or interesting or fun. I might sit this week out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought this was a nonsense challenge ("Design a worse Goblin Piker") until I realized just how many things it does. The first thing is to really analyze common staples and see what makes them tick, and how well they might still be able to tick while being demonstrably worse. That's a good general exercise for having a deeper understanding of the role cards play.
      But wait, there's more! Commonly, when designing a set, you can run into the case of the general power level being too high. It's good for cards to be playable, of course, but a happy balance needs to be found. It's incredibly plausible that you'd need a novel tweak on (at least) one card at common to help bring the power down to the right average.

      The third challenge is performative - what's the cleverest staple that can fit this art and hasn't had its underpowered version already printed? Is there something cool you can do within these parameters? The restrictions are sufficient to breed a lot of creativity. Bull Rush was an awesome card.

      Delete
    2. These are not interesting challenges for designing a single card because whether something is "worse but viable" depends *entirely* on the format.

      Ember Shot is an amazing card if the format has no other removal spells, a ton of ramp, and very few cheaper spells. No one would want to play that format, of course, but cards don't exist in a vacuum, and "strictly worse" isn't interesting in a vacuum either.

      Delete
    3. Sorry you didn't like the challenge Evan!

      I admit this is almost a half design - half development challenge. You often see people's card evaluations end up off because they identify a card as being worse than a well-known card, and think that means it is bad (even when that card is something like Mind Control).

      We lose a lot of design space if we don't think of when cards could be worse. This can be an especially powerful tool for allowing cards to "float" in limited.

      Delete
  7. Ambassador Brute 2GR
    Creature- Giant (Common)
    3/3
    When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, put a 1/1 red and green Goblin creature token onto the battlefield.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ambassador Oak that requires two colors? Works with the art.

      Delete
    2. I figured this worked in RG becuase Goblins and Giants are both R/G in Shadowmoor. It's not very exciting, though, so I might look for another design option.

      Delete
    3. I'm excited. It's pretty darn good for a common.

      Delete
    4. The art makes red the obvious second color here, but I think I'd like a {G}{W} version better in a vacuum.

      Delete
    5. 3C to 2CD is not as obvious as 3C to 2CC. props on that! I'd argue that this is equally printable as Gruul, Selesnya, or Boros.

      Delete
  8. Ogremaul R
    Instant - (c)
    CARDNAME deals 3 damage to target creature or player and 3 damage to you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's a card that's been sitting in my CCDD folder that's exactly this, except the name.

      Delete
    2. Many LSPs love Lightning Bolt, but wouldn't dream of playing this card, and given that mono-red is often one of the cheaper decks in Standard I think it's worth our while to try to make it appeal to LSPs as a gateway to constructed Magic.

      That said, it's certainly a clean design I expect to see at some point, just not as frequently as Shock.

      Delete
    3. I like this a lot. That said, with the (somewhat) recent reprinting of Lightning Bolt, we're miles away from this level of downgrade being printed any time soon. In the current environment 1C=3 damage plus a rider. Whenever 1CC=3 damage becomes the norm Ogremaul would be accepted without much complaint.

      Delete
    4. I would hope this would be in an environment with other (better) removal, or else if this is too strong (a must-play rather than a maybe-play) you run the risk of forcing players (esp. LSPs) to do something they don't want to do in order to succeed (a thing long-lectured on and worth remembering.)

      The other concern to me is color. Between Sorin's Thirst, Bump in the Night, and Sign in Blood, are we sure this is not black?

      Delete
  9. Is Caterwauling Boggart well-known?

    Piggybacking Goblins 3R
    Creature - Goblin (C)
    Each Troll you control can't be blocked except by two or more creatures.
    2/2

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I almost did Caterwauling Boggart! Giving only Trolls that bonus is going to be pretty narrow. You should flip it:

      Warren Troll (Common)
      3R
      Creature - Troll Warrior
      2/2
      Each Goblin you control can’t be blocked except by two or more creatures.

      Delete
    2. Well enough. Familiarity isn't the more important part of the challenge.

      Delete
    3. I like this design! May I suggest "Cave Troll" as a name and flavor that matches the art perfectly?

      Delete
    4. I'm with Nich on the type flip, by the way. And my previous comment is assuming that happens.

      Delete
    5. I'll add my voice to the type-flip faction.

      Delete
    6. I'll go with "designer's choice" on the type flip, as long as the environment isn't being factored in.

      Delete
    7. Buffing Trolls was meant to swing some love to a minor tribe, but its ability and color aren't realistically going to help a Troll deck. Because of that, I'll switch it to Nich's version, which is more likely to make an impact in Limited.

      Cave Troll 3R
      Creature - Troll Warrior (C)
      Each Goblin you control can't be blocked except by two or more creatures.
      2/2

      Delete
  10. Based on Madcap Skills:

    On the Shoulders of Giants (Common)
    1R
    Enchantment – Aura
    Enchant creature
    Enchanted creature get +1/+0 and can’t be blocked except by two or more creatures.


    I would have liked to make the bonus +1/+1, but got scared off by "Strictly Worse".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice flavor! Keep the +1/+1 version in your file for rainy day, I think it's a solid card.

      Delete
    2. Having demonstrated understanding of the challenge, choose awesome over in-bounds. That said, +1/+1 makes the feel significantly greener to me.

      Delete
    3. Sure, although I don't think Green gets the War Drums ability. It gets the opposite, the Stalking Tiger ability. +1/+0 it is.

      Now to cook up some fun Goblin flavor text...

      Delete
    4. Okay, two things. First, I like On the Shoulders of Giants but it doesn't sound appropriate for an Aura. Also, that +1/+0 seems so strange and obviously weird. So I made a significant tweak:

      On the Shoulders of Giants (Common)
      1R
      Sorcery
      Target creature gets +3/+0 until end of turn and can’t be blocked except by two or more creatures this turn.
      To the goblin’s surprise and delight, he wasn’t hiding in a tree afterall.

      Now here's a card I can actually imagine getting printed!

      Delete
    5. That's a nice way to do "strictly worse". And it seems like it wouldn't be too horribly bad, either.

      Delete
    6. I love how well this preserves fun parts of Madcap Skills' gameplay while simultaneously getting rid of the numerous games it destroys.

      Delete
    7. You beat me to Aura>Sorceries. Great choice on Madcap. No further changes please. Its perfect :)

      Delete
  11. Scab-Clan Marauder [RG]
    Creature – Ogre Berserker
    Bloodthirst 2
    Tap an untapped Goblin creature you control: CARDNAME gains trample until end of turn.
    1/1

    My thinking is the appeal would be this is more powerful in the Theros or Shadowmoor enviroments thanks to Untap and Inspired, despite being strictly worse than just simply having Trample.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Neither of those environments have bloodthirst, but certainly there could be a place where bloodthirst and untap/inspired effects co-exist.

      Delete
    2. No, but in Standard it's easily possible. Bloodthrist was in M12, and RtR and Theros are currently together in Stanard.

      Delete
    3. The Goblin tapping makes very little sense to me. If it's just supposed to represent the one on it's back I'd just as soon make it "CARDNAME has trample as long as you control a Goblin." But really I want something like "CARDNAME has trample as long as you control an unblocked attacking creature."

      Delete
    4. I'm confused as to what the reference is.

      Delete
    5. Scab-Clan Mauler: http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=96904

      Delete
  12. From Fire Elemental:
    Oblivious Oaf 3RR
    Creature-Ogre Berserker (C)
    CARDNAME can't attack or block alone.
    5/4

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Still not used to Fire Elemental being common.
      S'good.

      Delete
    2. D'oh, you beat me to Fire Elemental! I'd have gone "Can't block" or "attacks each turn if able", but only because they seem to be testing out the buddy system in white now.

      Delete
  13. Lead the Charge {2}{R}
    Sorcery
    Target creature and Goblin creatures you control get +2/+0 until end of turn.

    alternately: "and each creature that shares a type with it"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like the second one better. Also, I'd predict Trumpet Blast would be more beloved if the word Goblin were just added to it because players would think that meant it was good for their Goblin decks.

      Delete
    2. I really like the latter one too, particularly if you just say "Goblin."

      Delete
    3. I'm so confused. Do you guys like the on that says "Goblin" or the second/latter one?

      Delete
    4. "Goblin creatures you control get +2/+0 until end of turn"

      Delete
    5. The second one. It just got me thinking about the Goblins option and I realized that players who aren't great at judging power level are more likely to think it's good if it makes specific reference to something they're playing with because they assume every card should be good if you're maximizing it and bad otherwise. It's the same reason LSPs are unlikely to play Agent of Horizons in their non-blue decks.

      Delete
    6. I'm with Ipaulsen. Nix the "target creature" part and I'm totally sold. It reads like an English sentence. Something I'd love to see more of in this game.

      Delete
  14. Enslaved Troll 5B
    Creature - Troll (C)
    2B: Regenerate Enslaved Troll. (The next time this creature would be destroyed this turn, it isn’t. Instead tap it, remove all damage from it, and remove it from combat.)
    5/3

    Strictly worse than Twisted Abomination. Still probably does work in a Core Set as the controlling black archetype's top-end finisher.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, Twisted Abomination is insane at common. I'd certainly still play this in most environments.

      Delete
    2. That's a beast common for black limited! Not a deal breaker, its just that it appears playable. Black's creatures have become increasingly less appealing as of late. Also, I wonder if the power level of this is too high for common. At uncommon, I'm all in. Love it.

      Delete
  15. I was considering some sort of Diabolic Edict variant, but the art makes me want to design something more about having someone's little creatures revolt against a bigger one and whoops different card entirely

    Make an Example {B}
    Sorcery (C)
    As an additional cost to play CARDNAME, sacrifice a creature.
    Each other player sacrifices a creature.

    Basically Innocent Blood without the "HINT: Cast this when you have no creatures." Is that compelling to any of you guys?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As a bonus, it's also worse than Bone Splinters (except in multiplayer).

      Delete
    2. Worse than Bone Splinters... wow. That says a lot more than "worse than Innocent Blood".

      Delete
    3. I think I view everything from a multiplayer lens, because I considered saying it was worse than bone splinters, but for how I usually play, it really isn't.

      Delete
    4. I enjoy how cleverly this meets the challenge and I'm amused that it can be significantly better when an opposing counterspell can't stop you from killing your Pitchburn Devils.

      Delete
    5. This is an elegant solution to the challenge. Points!

      Delete
  16. Goblin Platoon Leader 2RR
    Creature — Goblin Warrior
    When ~ enters the battlefield or dies, put a 1/1 red Goblin creature token onto the battlefield.
    1/1

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was literally considering this exact design! I like it a lot, and I'd be very interested to see the Limited environment in which it makes a good card.

      Delete
    2. Amusing that this is much better on turn 4 before an Overrun.

      Delete
    3. How many Echo cards would read this miserably with the same treatment? Sweet concept.

      Delete
  17. Goblin War Marshal 1R
    Creature - Goblin Warrior (Common)
    Cumulative upkeep 1 (At the beginning of your upkeep, put an age counter on this permanent, then sacrifice it unless you pay its upkeep cost for each age counter on it.)
    Whenever Goblin War Marshal's cumulative upkeep is paid, put a 1/1 red Goblin creature token onto the battlefield.
    1/1

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's definitely not strictly worse. But it is sweet.

      Delete
    2. Although I'm pretty sure it's based off of the same card Axxle chose.

      Delete
  18. Drag to the ground
    3BB - Instant
    Affinity for creatures

    Target creature gets -4/-4 until the end of the turn.

    PS: I'm glad I suggested this, I've been super impressed with the range of the suggestions so far!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's been fun.
      I'm not recognizing the common this is strictly worse than.

      Delete
    2. Grasp of Darkness... I thought it might be a little obscure, and this started as Dead Weight, and then it was Disfigure, but the numbers didn't make it an actually interesting card, so it ended up at Grasp of Darkness.

      I was going to say that in the thing, but I noticed as I read them I was having fun guessing what card it was strictly worse than, so I left it out as a puzzle.

      I could easily even see this being 4BB or 5BB as the cost (especially if you compare to the more modern Lash of the Whip). I think "Affinity for creatures" is a little weird to appear in black, but it fit super well with the art, I felt, and I could imagine it in a set where, perhaps, zombies and goblins are played up.

      Delete
    3. Could be affinity for goblins…

      Delete
    4. I like Affinity for Goblins, I'll go with that!

      Delete
    5. Also, this makes me realize that I think "Affinity for zombies" would be a really great mechanic for conveying the slow but ultimately overwhelming nature of zombies.

      Delete
    6. For me, "Affinity for Goblins" reads weirdly on a card that costs double-black (even though there were heavily black Goblin cards in Lorwyn). Personally I'd argue that Affinity for creatures is the better call. This is not for power level reasons-- Lash of the Whip is still quite reasonable in Limited-- but because the Goblin version will very often be trinket text, which isn't supposed to go on commons.

      Delete
    7. I like "Affinity for goblins" better, but it obviously has to go in a very specific set. It also tells a much better story than "Affinity for creatures," which means a lot to me.

      Also, the affinity for creatures version just goes in any black deck, which is not as interesting.

      For what it's worth, I would probably make this single black if I wasn't doing this challenge (maybe 5B).

      Delete
    8. Obviously the cost is really environment dependent, but I'd start this at {4}{B}{B} for aesthetic purposes in the absence of other information. Cool how this reverses the gameplay of Death Rattle where you either trade creatures or don't so that you can deal with a big threat.

      Delete
    9. I have no trouble imagining a set like Lorwyn or Theros, where black cares about (and/or shares) a creature type that's usually red.

      I'd also start this at 6, personally.

      Delete
    10. I'll make my submission 4BB and Affinity for goblins.

      I do think it'd probably end up at 5B, but the joy of these challenges is that you end up in spaces your head wouldn't normally go to!

      Delete
    11. This got me thinking that Fatal Attraction might make a cool goblin card.

      Goblin Dogpile RR
      Enchantment — Aura (C)
      Enchant creature
      When ~ enters the battlefield and at the beginning of your upkeep, ~ deals damage to enchanted creature equal to the number of goblins you control.

      Delete
  19. Conscripted Troll 2B
    Creature - Troll
    Unchain 2 - (This creature enters the battlefield with two delay counters on it. At the beginning of your upkeep remove one counter. When the last counter is removed, CARDNAME is unchained.)
    When CARDNAME becomes unchained, draw a card and lose 1 life.
    2/2

    I'm toying with this suspend riff. The counter type would be subject to change depending on the flavor of the setting (alternatives could be Adapt with Adaptation counters, Rise Up with Rising counters, or Conquer with Conquest counters) but the basic idea is that you get a creature with an enters the battlefield effect that goes off a few turns from now.

    The effect wouldn't always be strictly worse (Imagine Ghitu Slinger if it went off next turn instead of right away), so it took me a while to find an effect that is definitely worse but still sort of appealing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like the mechanic idea (though I'm not entirely sure it's worth the text—I enjoyed suspend, but even that's a tough sell).

      Delete
    2. That's exactly where I'm at. I think it plays differently enough to be worth it, but I imagine there might be a simpler way to implement this.

      Delete
    3. Potential N (When this creature enters the battlefield, you get N time counters. A player loses a time counter at the beginning of his or her upkeep.)
      When your last time counter is removed, EFFECT.

      This is kind of weird, but makes it a lot easier to track and than having a separate count for each permanent and lets cards interact: playing a new card with potential will increase your wait time, but give you a better reward, and you also can try to trigger the same card repeatedly.

      That said, I'm not sure any version of this mechanic is NWO-compliant, and the only real backwards compatibility is with Proliferate.

      Delete
    4. Playing a second potential card is bad, because it gives your opponent more time to kill the first one (and the option to kill the second, if it's better).
      If it /compounded/ the effects, so that the risk was higher but the reward was higher too, that'd be something:
      "When your last time counter is removed, EFFECT for each permanent with Potential you control."

      Actually, I suppose you can reactivate a creature that's already met its potential by playing a new one. Hmm.

      A totally different direction:
      Chained (~ ETB with a chain counter on it. When it deals combat damage, remove a chain counter from it. It becomes unchained.)

      Delete
    5. I'd prefer if it were a -1/-1 counter so the ability did something on its own.

      Delete
    6. I would also prefer the mechanic used -1/-1 counters, in which case it would fit nice in a prison set, like Scott van Essen's GDS2 world.

      Chained Ogre 3B
      Creature - Ogre
      Shackles 3 (This enters the battlefield with three -1/-1 counters on it. At the beginning of your upkeep, remove a -1/-1 counter from this.)
      ~ can't attack as long as it has a -1/-1 counter on it.
      4/4

      The "can't attack" text is optional and flavor-driven. Uncommons and Rares could have "when you remove the last -1/-1 counter from this, effect"

      Delete
    7. I like Chain counters in this instance. I see the -1/-1 angle, but we haven't seen anything like this in a while. (Charge counters in Scars and what? Time counters in Spiral block?) VERY interesting design space, but this individual design hampers its overall allure due to the challenge constraints.

      Delete
    8. Having counters that aren't +1/+1 or -1/-1 on creatures has a huge opportunity cost. I think all this ability wants is "When ~ loses summoning sickness, EFFECT." Of course it should be reworded to whatever actually works within the rules. I was thinking "The first time ~ attacks" but that might have memory issues.

      Delete
    9. Do people prefer:

      Imprisoned Arsonist 2R
      Creature - Goblin
      Shackles 2 (This enters the battlefield with three -1/-1 counters on it. At the beginning of your upkeep, remove a -1/-1 counter from this.)
      When the last -1/-1 counter is removed from ~, it deals 2 damage to target creature or player.
      2/3

      Or:

      Imprisoned Arsonist 3B
      Creature - Goblin
      Shackles 2 (This enters the battlefield with three -1/-1 counters on it. At the beginning of your upkeep, remove a -1/-1 counter from this, it becomes unchained.)
      When ~ becomes unchained, it deals 2 damage to target creature or player.
      2/3

      Delete
    10. Oops. Both cost 2R, obviously.

      Delete
    11. My gut says the first one. There are very few effects you want happening repeatedly at common, but plenty that you want to wait more than a turn for. Of course if this were a real set I'd want to playtest both since neither seems implausible and intuitions can be wrong.

      Delete
    12. Double oops! The second one is not meant to be repeatable. This is what I get for copy-pasting.

      Imprisoned Arsonist 2R
      Creature - Goblin
      Shackles 2 (This enters the battlefield with three -1/-1 counters on it. At the beginning of your upkeep, remove a -1/-1 counter from this. When the last is removed it becomes unchained.)
      When ~ becomes unchained, it deals 2 damage to target creature or player.
      2/3

      The difference is whether we name the event of losing your last counter or not. If we name it, then the abilities are less wordy and once you get the mechanic you get it. If we don't, the mechanic is less wordy and we can make the simplest possible designs.

      Delete
    13. Ah, I'd go for not naming the event. That saves us questions about whether things trigger when more counters are added after the last came off, and lets us also do static effects as long as a creature has no counters/has power N or greater.

      Delete
    14. With this many words, we want to save as many as possible.

      Delete
  20. Think I found a way to have fun with this challenge.

    Scornful Ogretist
    7R
    Creature - Ogre Warrior
    1/1
    "You want creature? You cast creature."

    (silver border)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just reflexively applauded this submission. Well done!

      Delete
    2. I will say, I think if they printed this card, it would be very popular with a certain subset of players.

      Delete
    3. Clearly, he wants to be Legendary for Commander purposes.

      Delete
  21. Devil on the Shoulder 1R
    Sorcery
    Target creature gets +2/+0 and gains first strike until end of turn.
    "It's one thing when he screams in your ear. It's another when he throws his spear at the enemy."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like this space a lot. I'm surprised they haven't, to my knowledge, printed something like this. They always print sorcery speed pump like Phytoburst in Green, where it doesn't do much because Green's creatures are already huge, but this sort of pump could let little red attackers through in the late game.

      Delete
    2. Crazy how much instant->sorcery weakens this card.
      Great name.

      Delete
    3. This is a better fit for the art, but a Sorcery that's just the overload on Weapon Surge would make for another good card in a similar vein.

      Delete
  22. Scumback Marauders
    4R
    Creature - Troll Warrior (C)
    Trample
    Persist (When this creature is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, if it had no -1/-1 counters on it, return it to the battlefield under its owner’s control with a -1/-1 counter on it.)
    5/2

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't believe this card was a common! Old school development was so different!

      Delete
    2. What's crazy is that I think the justification for this as a red card is that the red player would only get it half the time, since the green player also wanted as many of these as he could get.

      Delete
    3. In defense of the development, Scuzzleback Marauders wasn't overly powerful in its limited and would likely hold up to todays standards. It's already very comparable to Nearheath Stalker with the main difference being that in Shadowmoor there were a lot more ways to kill persist creatures without them coming back. Wither put a huge damper on persist that Undying didn't have, and out side of wither there were a lot of other -1/-1 counters floating around.

      Also, Shadowmoor was a VERY tempo friendly limited format because of conspire. With low drops being more playable, this guy had a difficult time getting through low drops.

      Delete
  23. Bushwhacker Giant
    3R
    Creature - Giant - Common
    Kicker 2R
    When Bushwhacker Giant enters the battlefield, if it was kicked, creatures you control get +1/+0 and gain haste until end of turn.
    3/3

    I am not sure this is "strictly" worse. But it's definitely worse!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're correct on both counts.

      Delete
    2. The haste granting feels off on a version this expensive: unlike the Goblin it'll never be kicked the same turn that you cast another creature. I'd rather just give the giant itself haste naturally and leave the kicked for pumping.

      Delete
    3. Once you're at seven mana (and no creatures in hand), it's better, but I agree this is definitely worse as a team-pump the majority of the time. (It's also much better on its lonesome).

      Delete
  24. Ogre War Cry 1R
    Sorcery (C)
    Creatures can't be blocked this turn except by two or more creatures.

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    Replies
    1. Crop the art lower for this one, so that the two soldiers are visible in the foreground.

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    2. I like it. This is a clever way of sounding quite different while not actually being very different. Not strictly worse because of the "without flying" clause, but substantially worse on average, which is saying a lot.

      EDIT: I wrote the above assuming that this was based on Seismic Stomp. I had no idea Gorilla War Cry existed until I searched Gatherer for "war cry" on a whim. What's more, I think this design makes a better worsening of Seismic Stomp than of Gorilla War Cry. Weird.

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    3. I'm surprised this doesn't exist yet!

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    4. @ipaulsen I like to think its a worsening of both cards. But still a fine common effect considering every block has one or two red falters anymore.

      @Jules As was I. The sad thing is that they've already used Goblin War Cry on a Portal card.

      @jay Thanks!

      Delete
  25. Scion of Despair
    4GGBB
    6/6
    ~ attacks each turn if able. Whenever ~ deals combat damage to a player, that player sacrifices a permanent.

    Based on Ulamog's Crusher. This still looks a bit too good for common, but it probably isn't if it costs 8.

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    Replies
    1. This isn't too good for a common, but it still isn't a common. (Ulamog's Crusher isn't a common either, except when the environment really needs it to be.) Between the size, the restrictive mana cost, and two non-keyword abilities with little connection, it's just a bit too much. Hand of Emrakul might be a better bet: a 6/6 for 8C with annihilator 1 and no alternate-cost clause seems like it would make a plausible common.

      Basically, I like the idea in principle, but you'll have to be careful of the complexity.

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    2. I think Ipaulsen's got the right of it.

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  26. Sorry, that was me.

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  27. Doesn't fit the art, but this challenge made me think; how dangerous is this?

    Loambonestone Rain {B}{R}{G}
    Sorcery
    Destroy target land.

    Too dangerous still?

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    Replies
    1. Feels uncommon, if only in cost.

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    2. Yeah, definitely not something I'd put at common either.

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    3. With less color-fixing than the average, non-gold set, this could probably be fine in Limited. Surely it's not a contender in Modern, but I can't speak to Standard or Block where it might just be Stone Rain (not that it matters whether it's common or rare for Constructed).

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    4. I just don't see a good reason to test these waters. If the card's too weak to play unless a player's really dead set on it, then they won't be dissuaded from playing it at 4CMC, but if it's not then we ruin games for tons of people. As far as I can tell, there's no upside in taking a chance that it'll be good.

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    5. It matters for Constructed in the sense that the more expensive a deck is, the fewer people are likely to acquire the cards to play it, and consequently the fewer people will care about whether it's fun to play against. If this card shows up in a format where 12StoneRain.dec has an average win rate but is significantly cheaper than the average deck, I can see a lot of less cutthroat play groups quitting the format.

      Also, for Limited purposes, why would a non-gold-themed set have gold cards showing up at any rarity lower than uncommon?

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    6. It wouldn't.I left the rarity off, but I should have been clearer that this was just a notion inspired by the challenge, but related only in that it's strictly worse than a famous card.

      At least in terms of color pie it works, I guess.

      Delete
  28. Seeker of Kookus 2RR
    Creature — Ogre
    CARDNAME attacks each combat if able unless you control a creature named Keeper of Kookus.
    5/3

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    Replies
    1. On the surface, this looks like a cosmetic change, Bear with me here...My "strictly worse" tweak is an environmental change, rather than a nuts-and-bolts development change.

      Keepers of Kookus are oblivious to Seekers, whereas Advocate of the Beast has synergy with Marauding Maulhorn. Even better if Keepers aren't reprinted until the second or third set in this implied "Return to Mirage" block.

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    2. It seems like a letdown to have a bunch of stuff referencing Kookus and no Kookus, but that's not a card that deserves reprinting. Are you planning to make a new card: "Kookus, Some Title or Other"?

      If so, I'd rather have the Seeker interact with Kookus than his Keeper.

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    3. Oh man, no love for Kookus? I'm not clamoring for its return, but a functional reprint (at uncommon) could be plausible. Its no Niall Silvain! lol

      My gut was to name Grim Lavamancer and change the Maulhorn into an uncontrollable lava elemental, but that doesn't fit the art. Basically Kookus isn't integral to the change, its just the first compelling example of red naming other cards that popped into my head.

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  29. Goblin Gang 3B
    Creature - Goblin (common)
    Goblin Gang attack or block alone.
    5/1

    It's strictly worse of famous crocodile!

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