Friday, March 28, 2014

Weekend Art Challenge—Red/Blue Mechanic

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.




Choose one of these illustrations and design a mechanic that works for one or more permanent types in red and/or blue, preferably both. (Thanks, anastenazontas.)


123 comments:

  1. Omenfire Dragon 4UR
    Creature - Dragon (Rare)
    Manifest 2UR (2UR, Exile a creature you control: Put this card from your hand onto the battlefield. It gains haste. Exchange it with the exiled card at the beginning of the next end step if it’s still on the battlefield.)
    Flying
    UR, Discard a card: Omenfire Dragon gets +1/+0 until end of turn. Draw a card.
    4/4

    Render: http://i.imgur.com/ESJv8P1.jpg

    Comments:

    Manifest is a definitive red mechanic, inspired by cards like Archwing Dragon, Viashino Sandstalker, and Glitterfang. Why is it blue, then? Because it temporarily 'shapechanges' a creature into another form. Monoblue Manifest creatures would typically be more oriented towards defense or activated abilities, not towards offense. The main reason I like manifest is that it is a creature mechanic, which is difficult to find for U/R.

    Two problems I foresee with this mechanic: It makes blocking math extremely tricky. Perhaps a sorcery-speed restriction would help. In the same vein, another problem is that it gives red very effective blocks. Red does occasionally get some good cards for blocking - Furious Resistance, for instance - but an entire mechanic that helps red block is probably not for the best. Playtesting would help show whether this complication of combat math is good or bad.

    On the card itself, I wanted to give it something to encourage the player to manifest it even after they could hardcast it. I thought that giving it an activated ability that required mana would be a subtle way to do this, as it lets you activate the ability more.

    Thanks to anotherfan123 from reddit's /r/custommagic community for the initial inspiration behind this mechanic.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Assuming 'exchange' works, and the keyword fits on a card, how would common manifest cards look?
      Can we make a 2/1? A 1/3? Is most of the value at that scale flickering the existing creature to avoid removal and/or double ETB effects?

      Delete
    2. This is a mechanic with a lot of strategic complexity. The permanent exile at EOT is what makes it not broken. But the larger your manifested creature, the worse you feel when it's perma-exiled at EOT, while the smaller it is, the less likely it is to survive until EOT at all.

      I'm not sure having a bunch of instant-speed combat tricks grafted onto creatures is a good thing, but if you make the mechanic sorcery-speed only, it no longer feels blue.

      Delete
    3. I am thinking common creatures would, at most, be french vanilla creatures, yes. Uncommons would probably start treading in more interesting territory. I pictured Manifest being about the size of a guild mechanic, and pushed about as hard as, say, Cipher.

      Jenesis: Very fair points.

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  2. Moonfire Dragon 3UR
    Creature- Dragon (Rare)
    4/4
    Flying, haste
    Tactics (Whenever CARDNAME attacks, target creature can't block creatures other than CARDNAME this turn.)
    UR: Target creature gains flying until end of turn.


    Based on the design ideas here:

    http://mondaymorningmaro.blogspot.com/2014/01/unsolved-design-problems-blue-creature.html

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    Replies
    1. Tactics - besides the name - feels a bit green, no?

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    2. Yes... or white, or even black. The mechanic is novel enough that there's an argument to be made for just about any color combination, given proper flavor. In practice it will probably be more like a Panic effect (primary in red, secondary in black) but it also has elements of provoke. To be really precise, it's like a punisher card with modes "Panic your guy" and "Provoke your guy". That makes it solidly red in my book, but any of the other colors is plausible as a secondary color.

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    3. Irresistible Prey and Provoke are the best comparisons, I think. Id say its R/G/w.

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    4. Irresistible Prey and Provoke force the targeted creature to block (if able). Tactics doesn't-- the targeted creature can simply not block anything. (Unfortunately, my submission obscures this somewhat-- the last line makes players want it to work like Provoke.) Green doesn't usually get straight-up evasion effects, so I'm inclined to put Tactics in a somewhat more 'tricky' color.

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    5. Ah, I get the distinction now. Yeah, I can see it in more 'tricky' colors then.

      Delete
    6. "Target creature can't block this turn unless it blocks this creature." I get that that's better for a small creature with evasion than one without, but so is "can't be blocked by more than one creature." Mechanically, this really feels red/green to me. I do agree that flavor-wise, it could go pretty much anywhere.

      Delete
  3. Defection 1UR
    Enchantment - Aura
    Enchant creature
    When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, target opponent gains control of it.
    At the beginning of your end-step, if enchanted creature did not deal damage this turn, target opponent gains control of it and CARDNAME.

    This... doesn't really fulfill the challenge, but it has the grain of an idea.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Akroan Horse is really hard to read. It might only be the relationship to the Trojan Horse that does it for a lot of players.

      Delete
  4. Shimmering Dragon 3UR
    Creature - Dragon (U)
    Flying
    Invert (Whenever this creature attacks or blocks, you may switch its power and toughness until end of turn.)
    3/5

    Because u/r could use a creature combat mechanic that isn't evasion.

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    1. I'm not sure p/t switching is available at common, especially in large quantities.

      Delete
    2. I like the idea a lot in principle, but Inanimate's concern is a valid one (especially considering the weirdness of the layer system). In the right context-- maybe an expert expansion with no asymmetrical stat changes at common-- I could see it working well. Also, there's an interesting design decision to be made for "attacks or blocks" versus "blocks or becomes blocked".

      Delete
    3. I like this a lot, I was going to submit something similar. I thought it was more interesting as "blocks or blocked", but I'm not sure. "Attacks or blocks" makes for simpler combat maths which is better at common.

      I'm not sure there's a problem with too much P/T swapping at common. It's a bit niche, and complicated if it can happen at any time. But "invert" happens only at well defined points you can predict, so it doesn't seem any worse than when this attacks it gets +1/+1 or +1/+0 etc.

      Delete
    4. Jack: The issue is concerning the layer rules. Will a global buff take place after I switch p/t, or has that already been accounted for? What about auras, do they add 'after' the switch, or before? And so on, and so forth.

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    5. You're right, in my love of swapping I forgot, that is a problem.

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    6. I considered "blocks or becomes blocked," but my problem with that is that you can generate situations such that no matter what your opponent blocks with, you'll get a favorable trade, which creates feel-bads and ends up making invert yet another evasion mechanic. I didn't want that, so I decided to force you to commit to the creature's size right off the bat if you're attacking. It's possible that invert ends up being best on defense, and I'm ok with that too.

      As for the complexity issue, it's possible that invert eats up more complexity points than it's worth. I envisioned it appearing in quantities similar to fight or proliferate. Once you learn the layers rule of "switching applies last," it's not that hard to figure out even an asymmetrical creature with multiple p/t changes -- it's just tedious. Which could be a strike against it. But I figure if players can grok protection and double-faced cards and bestow at common, they shouldn't have too hard of a time with invert.

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    7. P/T switching is tricky, but not all keywords have to appear at common, and if it were keyworded, there would be a Tips card explaining how it works.

      I like switching at attack time best.

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    8. The rules for switching are actually easy: it's ALWAYS the last thing to apply. I can't for the life of me figure out why it doesn't have reminder text.

      (Apply other changes to power and toughness first.)

      Delete
  5. Seize 2UR
    Sorcery - U
    Gain control of target creature you don’t control until end of turn. Untap that creature. It gains haste until end of turn.
    Bifurcate (You may copy this spell. If you do, target opponent copies this spell. Each player may choose new targets. (Your opponents spell resolves first))

    I'm very tired this could probably be worded better but seems wacky enough for UR.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Challenge asks for a keyword that can appear on one or more permanent types, unfortunately.

      Delete
  6. You clearly forgot that I told you ages ago I wanted to try and run this challenge! :P

    Okay... so what we really want is a U/R common creature keyword that isn't evasion...

    Niv-Mizzet, Adorned in Victory [2UURR]
    Legendary Creature – Dragon [mythic]
    Flying
    Spellcharge (Whenever you cast an instant or sorcery spell, put a +1/+1 counter on this creature.)
    Whenever CARDNAME deals combat damage to an opponent, you may draw up to that many cards and deal that much damage divided any way you choose amongst creatures controlled by that opponent.
    4/4

    I think this could work as a common U/R creature keyword. If you want to push it to non-creature permanents:

    Molten Lake
    Land [rare]
    Spellcharge (Whenever you cast an instant or sorcery spell, put a charge counter on this land.)
    T: Add 1 to your mana pool.
    T, Remove a charge counter from CARDNAME: Add UR to your mana pool.

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    1. I don't know if Spellcharge works as a keyword by itself. Maybe it works if it specifies the type of counter, e.g. "Spellcharge - +1/+1 counter" or "Spellcharge - charge counter".

      Delete
    2. It works. Sunburst did the same. It just has different rules for different permanent types.

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    3. I forget lots of things. Also, this sounds different.

      Inanimate is right, this is cromulent. Seems to have a lot of potential too.

      Using the lake.

      Delete
    4. Missed these comments. Yep, as Inanimate points out, it works like Sunburst.

      I love that this is cromulent. I have embiggened this challenge.

      Delete
  7. Smokecrown Drake (Common)
    1(u/r)(u/r)
    Creature - Drake
    2/1
    Flying
    Mercurial (Whenever a player casts a spell, you may return this to its owner’s hand.)
    Like a boomerang that doesn’t snapback, Juirli imagined a familiar that wouldn’t be unsummoned, or repulsed by his foes.

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    1. That is actually pretty interesting. I think new players would think "why would I want to do that?" But make a couple of them reasonable enough stats to play, and they'll realise the first time a removal spell is pointed at one.

      Much more exciting when put on a Merchant of Secrets or Sparkmage Apprentice, of course. But those might need to be uncommon.

      Delete
    2. Funny how red never gets 2/1 fliers for 3, but totally could if it were hybrid. Hyrbid is crazy.

      Mercurial might even be too strong. Do we want to make an army of common Blinking Spirits? I would add a cost or conditional.

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    3. Having costless mercurial feels too much like hexproof. "My spells get to do good things to my creature; your bad spells don't get to do anything." Granted, if the opponent has tempo, bouncing isn't "nothing," but if s/he is behind or stalled on board it might as well be.

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    4. I didn't want to make an evasion ability since Red has Intimidate and Blue has flying. A king-of-combat ability like deathtouch or first strike doesn't acknowledge what the color pair is good at. So I went with a resilience mechanic like indestuctible or regenerate. But instead of resilience in combat I thought resilience to spells. Kind of like a hexproof you need to pay for (when you recast the spell.)

      I want to keep the effect simple and clean, so I don't want to add a cost. None of the other evergreen's have a cost.

      As for being too strong at common, the fix is simple. Make design rules for what can and cannot get mercurial at common, like how lifelink (almost) never has more than 2 power, or how hexproof isn't combined with evasion (anymore).

      Delete
    5. Does a 2/1 removal-proof evasive creature belong at common? At this cost?

      Delete
    6. Well, I think removal via combat damage is a thing. Let's push that! Changes made to fix the power level a bit AND give some strong flavor to the keyword. (Plus, non-jokey flavor text.)

      Smokecrown Drake (Common)
      1(u/r)(u/r)
      Creature - Drake
      2/1
      Flying
      Teleport (Whenever an opponent casts a spell, you may return this to its owner’s hand.)
      It could use aerial manuevers to avoid blasts of lava and boiling geyers, but prefers to use its magical talent.

      Delete
    7. Better power level. I'd personally rather see proactive shenanigans than something defensive:
      Teleport (Whenever you cast a spell, you may return this to its owner’s hand.)

      Delete
    8. I like that! If you haven't already written up your reviews and made mocks ups, use that version.

      Delete
  8. Wow, this is a toughie. I don't think I can really come up with a legit mechanic, but I'd be interested in talking about where Red and Blue intersect (mechanically and creatively). Is that a fair fit for this comment section, or should I do it somewhere else?

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    Replies
    1. It seems like a reasonable thing to discuss here. If it would ever get to be too much, we can always make another post as an Open Thread for a given topic's discussion.

      Delete
    2. Here's a rough list of mechanical overlaps:

      Instants/sorceries matter
      Returning instants/sorceries to hand
      Looting and similar discard/draw abilities
      Gaining and/or giving control
      Switching power and toughness
      Focused on evasion rather than direct combat
      Forcing opponents' creatures to attack
      Uses randomness (esp. top card of library)
      Copying and redirecting spells
      Making copies of creatures
      Lack of life-gain effects
      Lack of graveyard interaction
      Creatures that return themselves to owner's hand
      Bypassing summoning sickness (flash / haste)

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    3. Creative overlap:

      Creativity - Passion + knowledge = creation.
      Innovation - Freedom + learning = discovery.
      Irreverence - Red's liberation + Blue's individuality = disregard for tradition.
      Trickery - Red's playfulness + blue's meddling = mischief.
      Cunning - Red's impulsiveness + blue's adaptbility = guile.

      Delete
    4. Hm. I'm curious about the forcing creatures to attack bit.

      If fusing creatures and spells wasn't such a great design mechanic that MtG has dipped into many times for all colors, I'd be tempted to make ETB or Evoke or something a UR mechanic.

      Delete
    5. Also, would surprise be something they both share? Blue uses it as an advantage, and Red surprises you as a side effect of its methods

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    6. Super on-topic and mega-welcome.

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    7. That was exactly the idea I wanted to get discussed when I suggested this to Jay. I feel that red and blue interact thought instants and sorceries according to wizards, but this has always seemed to miss the target for me (replicate, overcharge, power/toughness switch). There should be a bit more space to this, and I am convinced it has to pass through a permanent type to be a bit more interesting. I am sad I noticed the challenge only on Sunday night here in Paris.

      Delete
    8. My ideas on the topic included:

      * Etb effect permanents that get bounced back to your hand when you cast a spell with CMC > than theur cost

      * Effects that cause you reavel until you reveal a non-permanent card with CMC > its cost, then put it in your hand

      * A hidaway like ability to put non-creature spells under permanents, and cast the exiled spell when they leave play, or when a creture dies you reveal cards from your library until you find an instant costing equal or less its cost and may cast it.


      * A mechanic that would add a spell like effect to every sorcery/instant you cast. (like 1 damage, scry 1, creatures get +1/+0), or cast an imprinted spell of CMC X or less.

      * A mechanic that would allow you to steal permanents based attacking (Larcenry: durring you second main phase, you may permanently gain control of target non-land permanent with converted mana cost equal or less to the total damage dealt by creatures you control with larcenry)

      *battalion that cares about number of non-creature spells cast this turn

      *A mechanic that copies all sorceries with the same mana cost (not converted) as the permanent it is on.

      Delete
  9. Spectraphax 1UR
    Creature - Drake Weird (U)
    Haste
    Catalysis (When you cast this spell, name a card. Whenever an opponent casts the named spell, this permanent catalyzes.)
    When ~ catalyzes, put two +1/+1 counters on it and it deals 2 damage to target creature or player.
    2/1

    Because how are we ever going to get better at remembering complicated board states if we don't challenge ourselves?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. While obviously the memory issues are a problem, this mechanic is really cool. I like it a lot. Perhaps as a MODO only mechanic? :)

      Delete
    2. Solutions exist, but are wordy and laborious. Ignoring its use here, the keyword itself feels more WU.

      Delete
    3. Meddling Mage says "I will out-think you, and then make a new rule to restrict you" which is blue before the comma and white after it.

      This card says "I will out-think you, and then punish you if I'm right" which is blue before the comma and red after it.

      Delete
    4. This mechanic says "I will out-think, and then grow as a result" which is blue-green. Unless all cards with catalyst have a red effect like dealing damage, which the keyword makes no indication of.

      Delete
    5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    6. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    7. Perhaps adding a little flavor to the transformation will make it feel more on point?

      Spectraphax 1UR (U)
      Creature - Drake
      Flying, haste
      Catalysis (When you cast this spell, name a card. Whenever an opponent casts the named card, this creature catalyzes.)
      When Spectraphax catalyzes it becomes a Dragon. Then put two +1/+1 counters on it and it deals 2 damage to target creature or player.
      2/1

      Catalyze does nothing on its own, it's basically an elaborate trigger that rewards you for knowing the metagame. It could be on any blue card, but if you put it explicitly in Blue/Red, you'd just choose triggers that fit those colors. In this case, I chose "Becomes a Dragon and then breathes crazy magic lightning-fire!"

      Note: Multiple slight word changes compelled me to repost.

      Delete
    8. I'm not sure I ever want to play blue in the Limited format where a bunch of blue commons are overcosted to accommodate a mechanic that will do nothing 99% of the time.

      "Catalysis" and "Catalyzes" on the same card are a bit of a mouthful, especially since they sound almost the same.

      Is it really important that the Drake becomes a Dragon, on top of the other memory issues? "Drake transforms into a Dragon and gains awesome new powers" sounds like a story that would excite Timmy more on a chase rare rather than a random uncommon (and maybe even Spike, if the card is pushed for Constructed playability).

      Delete
    9. It is worth highlighting that even when you do name a card in the opponent's hand, they can choose whether it's worth casting it or not despite the catalysis trigger. Effectively this is a punisher mechanic that turns off completely when you guess a card that's not in your opponent's deck, or is lower in their library.

      I like the "becomes a Dragon" part a lot. Would retract the color concerns if all executions are very red/blue.

      Delete
  10. Niv-Mizzet Unleashed
    4UURR
    Legendary Creature - Dragon Wizard - Mythic Rare
    Flying
    Tempo (If you attacked with a creature and cast a spell this turn, this permanent has tempo.)
    (U/R)(U/R)(U/R): Choose one - Deal 2 damage to target creature or player or draw a card. If Niv-Mizzet has tempo, choose both.
    6/6

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Making it "you have tempo" could save you some letters, as well as allow you to put it on instants/sorceries. This is a really interesting mechanic.

      Delete
    2. I always love mechanics with interesting and unique wording, like Obsidian Fireheart and stuff. Therefore, I adore this mechanic. (:

      One problem with it, though - This creature always 'has' Tempo, just like a creature with flying always 'has' flying. You need the status it grants itself (like 'monstrous') to be different than the keyword's name. Right now, by the rules, this creature always 'has' tempo.

      Going with Pasteur's fix and granting YOU tempo would both save letters, as he noted, but also rectify this problem. How handy!

      Delete
    3. Niv-Mizzet Unleashed
      4UURR
      Legendary Creature - Dragon Wizard - Mythic Rare
      Flying
      Momentum (If you attacked with a creature and cast a spell this turn, you have tempo.)
      (U/R)(U/R)(U/R): Choose one - Deal 2 damage to target creature or player or draw a card. If you have tempo, choose both.
      6/6

      Going with both fixes just to make sure everything is clear to everyone playing with it. Thanks guys.

      Delete
    4. Out of curiosity, show me a red common and a blue common with momentum.

      Delete
    5. I'd go with this templating.

      Tempo Guy 1U
      Creature - Guy (Common)
      CARDNAME can not be blocked if you have tempo. (If you attacked with a creature and cast a spell this turn, you have tempo.)
      2/1

      Tempo Gal 1RR
      Creature - Gal (Common)
      CARDNAME has trample if you have tempo. (If you have attacked with a creature and played a spell this turn, you have tempo.)
      4/1

      For what it is worth, I think this might just want to be "If you've cast a spell this turn" rather than having both pieces. It would be functionally identical on both of my designs, of course.

      Delete
    6. I had thought of something similar, but rather check if you have cast an instant or sorcery.

      Delete
    7. Tempo Kin 1R
      Creature - Guy (c)
      Momentum (If you attacked with a creature and cast a spell this turn, you have tempo.)
      When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, if you have tempo, put a +1/+1 counter on it.
      2/1

      Tempo Pilferer 2U
      Creature - Merfolk (c)
      Tempo (If you attacked with a creature and cast a spell this turn, you have tempo.)
      When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, draw a card, then discard a card. If you have tempo, draw a card instead.
      2/1

      Delete
    8. I dislike any design that says "if you did X and Y" that also does X or Y for you. As Tommy notes, the mechanic might be better without Y.

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    9. I completely neglected the fact that entering the battlefield would mean the creature would be cast that turn - hmm. Maybe "another spell", or "noncreature spell"? I really like the concert of effects, but maybe it's back to the drawing board.

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    10. I don't think "another spell" would do it without lots of rules fanagling. Still, this is design, so wild wild west style templating is probably fine.

      I think the best way to do it, though, is to make this landfall for spells, which I think is a very interesting mechanic, that people will really like. It will totally change how people play their turns, which will have interesting effects on card evaluation (e.g. expensive combat tricks get much worse).

      On the other hand, I think Spellfall is really a mechanic a whole block could be based around, and could easily fit in all five colors.

      Delete
  11. Assault Drake
    1UR
    Creature - Drake (C)
    Flying, First Strike
    Maximize 6UR (You may cast this spell for its Maximize cost. If you do, search your library for any number of cards named CARDNAME and cast those cards without paying their mana costs.)
    2/1

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oooh, that is a very clever mechanic! It's a bit feel-bad that it can only hit the other copies in your library - if you have any in your hand, it's a bit disappointing! Really cool mechanic though, I like it!

      Delete
    2. I think this is going to play poorly in limited. This is somewhat similar to Ripple, and you may recall that did not go over well.

      That said, I think you chose a good body to put the mechanic on, as having multiples of a first striker does scale more than linearly.

      This is awfully complex for a common, but it can't really exist at any other rarity.

      Perhaps, in the right set, they could put this mechanic on super commons that appeared more often then regular commons?

      I think the mechanic definitely feels blue, I'm not sure about red... I'd guess green for the second color.

      Delete
    3. Overload for creatures, sure, but switching to creatures changes the colors. Probably GW, honestly. Issues in Limited too, but certainly the dream is nice.

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    4. This probably plays better than it looks in Limited. A lot of LSPs will tunnel vision in on best-case scenarios and either ignore the Drake entirely, thinking it's terrible (because its maximize cost is 8), or snap up 3+ Drakes in the draft then die before hitting 8 lands in their games because they deliberately didn't play their first Drake on curve. If you ignore the big ugly block of text at the bottom, what you're left with is a 3 mana two power first strike/flier, which is perfectly serviceable even as a one-of. Of course, one could argue that in a challenge specifically to create a new mechanic, making the player pay the attention to the mechanic is the entire point...

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    5. It could be something Maximize: Exile any number of instant and or sorcery cards with CMC = to CARDNAME from your library, you may put that many token copies of this creature on the battlefield.

      Delete
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    1. Dragon's Glare 3{U/R}{U/R}
      Sorcery (U)
      Stun creatures your opponents control. (Stunned creatures are tapped and don't untap during their controllers next untap step)

      Delete
    2. I don't think red is going to get tap-down effects like this any time soon. (Though I personally think sorcery-speed tapping should be red, preventing untap probably shouldn't.) This is a blue/white mechanic, not red/white.

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    3. I mean, Red's got Thundermaw Hellkite and Rimescale Dragon, so it's not entirely unprecedented. I also like that it feels blue defensively while its red aggressively. Red's the color that'd hit hard enough to knock you out. I'd imagine the ability is primary blue (as it is now), with a bleed to red and white. Specifically blue on spells and creature abilities, red on dealing damage with creatures and spells, and white on enchantments/some ETB.

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    4. Red isn't far down the list of colors to bleed stun into, but this not a mechanic for permanents.

      Delete
  13. Cracked-Mirror Drake 1UR
    Creature-Drake (C)
    Flying
    Surge 2 (Whenever CARDNAME attacks, you may have it get +2/-2 until end of turn.)
    1/3

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    Replies
    1. Reminds me of Invert, but a lot more grokkable at common. It'd be nice if you could control the shift - make it a 2/2, a 1/3, or a 3/1 - but I can't think of any good wording for that.

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    2. Oh, one problem I note - this always has to go from high toughness to low toughness, but red doesn't really get many high toughness / low power creatures.

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    3. Good point. Certainly, red could have this on some square creatures, but this keyword does push the environment to be pretty defensive. (Though a paired mechanic that rewards attacking, even with X/1s could help a lot.)

      Delete
  14. Thunderwise the Ancient (mythic)
    3URR
    Legendary Creature - Dragon
    Flying
    Augment - R: Target instant or sorcery spell gains "This spell deals 3 damage to target creature or player." Activate this ability only once per spell.
    Whenever an instant or sorcery spell deals damage to a creature or player, you may draw a card.
    4/4

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    1. Dragon art, in case it wasn't obvious.

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    2. This doesn't actually work rules-wise. Splice has to do some weird stuff to work because you can't add targets after a spell is cast, but we could change this mechanic to work like Splice. The real issue is that you can do things like Augment an Overload spell and there's no rules meaning to "Tap up to two each creatures." That's why Splice onto Instant or Sorcery has never seen the light of day.

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    3. "Add [effect] to the next instant or sorcery spell you cast this turn."

      Ironically, this is most like extort.

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  15. Double Dragon
    4UR
    Creature - Dragon
    Flying
    Astral Projection (When this attacks, put a token that's a copy of it onto the battlefield tapped and attacking. Exile it at the beginning of the next end step.)

    This probably can't be evergreen at common, but it could be a mechanic for a U/R guild focussed more on creatures than Izzet. You could have common creatures that are not more confusing than other guild mechanics (although ideally they would have sizes and types that matched to other tokens in the set).

    U and R both get creature copy of various sorts, usually U permanently and R temporarily, but this is somewhere between. It plays into U evasion and R "all in attack". And combos with ETB triggers from both.

    It's similar to broodmate dragon, or double strike, but different from either, so I hope that qualifies it as a U/R combat mechanic. And I think it's not quite as simple, but I think even beginners would get the general idea (block the original if you can).

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    Replies
    1. Oops, I forgot to say, that should be 4/4 and use the dragon art :)

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    2. I like this a lot, my biggest concern is that this is going to have the "undying problem" where if costed appropriately the cards will just look bad.

      Suppose we want to have a 3/1 with this ability in red, at common. What does it cost?

      What if it is an uncommon and we want to throw on Haste? (though this might not be a great idea, since I think the mechanic wants to play with combat tricks so you can reuse it).

      All in all, excellent work though!

      Delete
    3. Possibly
      "Whenever this attacks, you may pay its mana cost. If you do, put a token that's a copy of ~ OTB tapped and attacking."

      Delete
    4. I kind of want the astral projection to have shadow…

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    5. Jon Loucks had something a lot like this in GDS2, but I think it put the token into play when you played the card. That feels a lot less blue though!

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    6. I think that adding: the token cannot be blocked, or cardname cannot be blocked unless the token is blocked too could be interesting.

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    7. I think it is better to keep it streamlined, and it is already so powerful!

      Delete
  16. Deathtide Dragon: http://i.imgur.com/BrFUW9t.jpg

    Most of Deathtide Dragon's design was necessitated by the art, but "splash" is the UR mechanic. See the second half of this article for more discussion of splash: http://www.infinitegyre.com/2012/09/blue-creature-keywords.html

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    Replies
    1. Very cool idea. I'm not at all convinced that it belongs in blue, though. Blue's combat strategy is all about *not* getting blocked, and in my experience "splash damage" is much more aligned with red and/or black than with blue flavor-wise.

      Delete
    2. Weird trample. Considering we barely see deathtouch and trample on the same card, it's probably ambitious to include splash and deathtouch. It's also a bit odd that it can only hit one blocker instead of just chaining.

      In your article you mention wanting this ability on spells, which I think would be cool, but the way it's templated would make it hard to use on other card types.

      I love the concept! Great piggybacking going on there. I think the way you use the name to help it fit more easily into blue is great.

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    3. I think Wobbles is right about the intuitive thing being to get to keep spreading damage, but it's tough to make that work cleanly within the rules. The best approximation I've got is actually making other blockers also block the Splash creature, but that changes the play a lot.

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    4. Owner will be sad when the Dragon's blocker is the only blocker.

      Deathtouch + Splash will kill 5 blocking creatures on its own here...

      Delete
    5. Wow! This is very very interesting!

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    6. lpaulsen - splash is blue because it makes your opponents not want to block the creature, which, like random weirdos like Drelnoch, is an approximation of unblockable. Also, let's be real, it's blue because "splash" is what water does.

      Wobbles - beware my caveat, "most of Deathtide Dragon's design was necessitated by the art." It has flying because the picture is a dragon with wings, not because I thought it was aesthetic to pair an evasion ability with a pseudo-evasion ability. Call it Withengard syndrome.

      It has deathtouch because the picture is a dragon with a skull on its forehead, not because I intended the design to be "ambitious" (I must admit I don't really know what you mean by that), nor because I thought it plausible that deathtouch and (pseudo)trample were likely to be printed on the same card in the real world, though I have no personal qualms with it.

      Jules - I don't see any rules issues with chain splashing. I certainly considered it, but I thought it was too powerful, and I hate giving too powerful abilities to blue. Regardless, I would template it like this: "If this would deal enough damage to destroy its own blockers, you may assign the rest to other blockers", or maybe "... you may split the rest among other blockers". Either option is pretty simple and straightforward, in my opinion. I realize both in my original and this chaining version I deviated from the canonical trample text quite a bit, but I think trample's reminder text is unnecessarily formal.

      Jay - yes, well, at the end of the day, splash is often just pseudo-evasion that sometimes has interesting interactions with Giant Growth. Note that the version of splash I put on the card will not kill 5 blocking creatures as you surmise, as the rest of the damage only splashes to "another blocker" and not "other blockers".

      The chain version that Jules and Wobbles want could theoretically nuke a board with deathtouch, though, yes. Let's be real, though, deathtouch and splash don't really belong together, I just gave the dragon deathtouch because it had a skull on its head, and the challenge was just to design a UR mechanic, not "make an entirely realistic card." That being said, I personally have no issues with pairing splash/trample and deathtouch (once ever few years, on a rare or mythic.)

      Delete
    7. Splitting among other blockers doesn't capture the intuitive gameplay because it doesn't function like normal blocking: you don't need to assign lethal damage sequentially. We can make it work that way, but it's hard to keep the reminder text from being ambiguous (like the first version) without making it texty. That said, I really have no idea how many players would misinterpret that text. Maybe it would be fine.

      Delete
    8. I think you're being a tad overzealous in the pursuit of "intuitiveness". First and foremost, what complexity splash has, it largely shares with trample, and trample already exists. Second, it really seems like you're trying to push some of deathtouch's complexity onto splash, simply because Deathtide Dragon happens to have both abilities. (I *almost* didn't give the dragon deathtouch for this reason ... but it had a skull on its head ...)

      In reality, splash doesn't change how normal blocking works at all. Creatures with and without splash are blocked in exactly the same way, and distribute damage to those blockers in exactly the same way. Splash just lets you get a little extra juice from the excess, and in a way that seems wholly uncomplicated to me.

      Splitting damage is dead simple. It's not as if people don't understand, say, Arc Lightning. If you wanted to change the reminder text on chain splash to "If this would deal enough damage to destroy its own blockers, you may split the rest **as you choose** among other blockers", however, I wouldn't be /totally/ opposed to that.

      And with all that extra room on the now necessary fourth line, you can expand the last "blockers" to "blocking creatures", since it just seems a little more natural in that spot not to repeat the word "blockers": http://i.imgur.com/ynuFf39.jpg

      Delete
  17. Stealing Tigt's idea:

    Windfury Drake {1}{R}{U}
    Creature-Drake (unc)
    Flying
    When Windfury Drake enters the battlefield, target creature gets +2/+0 and gains flying until end of turn.
    Evoke {1}{UR} (You may cast this spell for its evoke cost. If you do, it’s sacrificed when it enters the battlefield.)
    2/2

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    Replies
    1. Under what condition would you Evoke this?

      Is it possible Red/Blue wants something like a creature/spell split card where you get a spell effect if you evoke it but not otherwise?

      Delete
    2. Evoke has always been Spell or Spell + Creature, making it Spell or Creature feels like a different mechanic.

      I might evoke this is in a U/W Skies deck or a Mono-Red Aggro deck where I couldn't cast the whole spell. The idea set up would be for a deck that would consider playing the Evoke version as a 23rd card, but is making a light splash for the other half of the spell, so it's not dead but you don't have to tax your mana to cast it.

      Delete
    3. Evoking here lets you effectively give it Haste and "sacrifice this creature at end of turn" for one less mana. Or, put another way, a Sorcery-speed Bloodrush. It might not break the color pie completely, but I'm not sure this is something I'd want to push in Blue.

      Delete
    4. Oh! I missed that the Evoke cost was hybrid, so you'd basically only evoke this if you were one color but not the other.

      Delete
    5. Could make it 2RU and common.

      Delete
  18. Skull of Replication 1{R/U}{R/U}{R/U}
    Artifact - Equipment (rare)
    Equipped creature has "whenever you cast an instant, you may put a token creature copy of this creature to the battlefield under your control"
    Whenever you cast a sorcery, you may equip CARDNAME to target creature.
    Equip 1{R/U}{R/U}

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    Replies
    1. Wait, mechanic! I forget the requirements!

      Goblin Fluxomancer RU
      Creature - Goblin (uncommon)
      1RU: return Goblin Fluxomancer to his owner's hand.
      Whenever CARDNAME enters or leaves the battlefield, it deals 1 damage to target creature or player.
      2/1

      or

      Noggle Aquisitor 2{R/U}{R/U}
      Creature (uncommon)
      Aquire (After your combat phase, you may permanently gain control of target non-creature, non-land permanent with converted mana cost equal or less to the total combat damage dealt to its controller by creatures with Aquire)
      2/3

      or

      AAAAAAAAAAAARGH we have art! I forgot!

      ok, ok.

      Helm or replicas X
      Artifact
      X can only be payed with {R/U} mana.
      Repeat X (Whenever you cast an instant or sorcery spell with cost X, you may copy it. You may choose new targets for the copy)

      There. For the first artwork. I am done.

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    2. No I am not!

      I will reformulate:

      Helm or replicas X
      Artifact
      X can only be payed with {R/U} mana.
      Iterate X (Whenever you cast an instant or sorcery spell with cost X, you may copy it. You may choose new targets for the copy)

      Delete
    3. As per usual you may choose what seems more interesting/ appropriate to you.

      Delete
    4. If you want this card to be played in U/R decks only, why not add a colored mana cost to the artifact? X=1 seems pretty degenerate anyway. (Is X legally able to be zero?)

      Card needs to use counters to track the value of X, since after the spell leaves the stack, it doesn't remember how much mana you paid for X.

      Delete
  19. art: land
    Meditation Wastes
    Land (Uncommon)
    T: Add 1 to your mana pool.
    Guess (Whenever you cast a spell, you may pay {U/R}. If you do, draw a card, then discard a cards.)

    Two thoughts: I don't know if the name is apt (I'm not an english native);
    It could (should?) be restricted to instants and sorceries.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Name seems okay.
      Restricting it to non-permanents would make it more blue-red.

      Delete
    2. So you imagine someone having multiple instances of this in play? That would be insane! Compare this to Desolate Lighthouse to give an idea how powerful this is.

      Don't get me wrong, as I player I seriously want to have this on all my permanents, but I think development would drive this into the ground.

      Delete
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