Friday, January 22, 2016

Weekend Art Challenge 012216—Knights

Weekend Art Challenge
Greetings, artisans! This weekend we've got a guest reviewer: Anastase aka fadingshadowsofamemorybeloved created this challenge and will be judging it.

Click through to see this weekend's art and the design requirements for your single card submission, due Monday morning. Every submission warrants feedback, and everyone is encouraged to give feedback. You may use that feedback to revise your submission any number of times, though only the version rendered will be included in the review.

Black knight by Darrken :

Red knight by Ralph Horseley :

Green knight by blayrd :

White knight by Redpeggy :

Blue knight by david.s.hong :

Hello to you all! This week we re-examine knights!

White Knight and Black Knight have been re-imagined many times over in mtg. Nowadays we do not have protections to mirror those knights!

Choose one of the illustrations and re-imagine what a knight does when it is tied to a specific color.
If you have better art to suggest for your knight, please link to it (as long as the art is under creative commons)!


  1. 4 out of 5 of these art pieces depict a knight riding a horse. I like that the blue knight provides an option for a horse-less Knight design since some Knights in Magic don't ride a mount. And when they do, many times they have a larger body because of it (not the traditional White Knight or Black Knight, of course).

  2. I really dislike the 'blue' knight art here. Here's some pieces I think work better as depicting a blue-aligned knight: (And it's no accident that this one is supposedly an elf. If you want to find fantasy characters who are blue-aligned and knightly, in non-MtG sources tons of them are going to be elves. A blue knight should be fighting by magic, agility, subterfuge, and superior weapons and tactical skill, and all of those are attributes of the archetypal elf.)

    1. Three more potential blue knights

    2. Thank you for the links guys. My inner Vorthos is still not satisfied by all of those...

      The style of mtg is quite precise and these cards did not feel as they could be "today" mtg.

      The last ones of both of you are the most interesting, but (for Czynski's) I was imagining this round to be about "creature - knight human" and (for Jay's) I think they try to avoid Kiora, the Crashing Wave posture situations. I think we can let the last one be for now, unless we find one that is spot on (I will keep searching).

    3. I am using the third art and asserting that it depicts a human, because the art doesn't actually contradict that at all.

      Hunter of Monsters 2U

      Creature - Human Knight (uncommon)


      When Hunter of Monsters blocks or becomes blocked by a creature with power 4 or greater, you may remove it from combat.


  3. What are our top knight tropes?
    In service to King/Queen

    1. Heh, I'm writing a blog post that covers these very traits. =) Still writing as we speak.

    2. Sworn to uphold a code
      Joust each other with lances
      Become knighted
      Have squires

    3. 12 out of 119 knights in Modern aren't depicted with mounts. In the same way Magic angels are all female, it seems like "knight" is more closely aligned with "rider" than anything else.

    4. Finished my blog post! Here are the thoughts I had on Knight traits while I was designing my submission, contained within:

    5. This is the kind of discussion I wanted to see from this challenge!
      Good research work guys!
      Excellent post Bradley! Very well done.

    6. Most of the non-riding Knights are Ravnican Boros or Azorius (mounts are inconvenient unless they fly) or Mirran (only flying mounts are available for some reason, I don't know).

  4. an uncommon cycle

    {2}{W} 2/2
    Holy Knight has double strike as long as you haven’t cast any black or red spells this game.

    {1}{U} 2/2
    Frost Knight has prowess as long as you haven’t cast any red or green spells this game.

    {2}{B} 2/3
    Dark Knight has deathtouch as long as you haven’t cast any green or white spells this game.

    {2}{R} 3/1
    Crimson Knight has menace as long as you haven’t cast any white or blue spells this game.

    {2}{G} 3/3
    Verdant Knight has vigilance as long as you haven’t cast any blue or black spells this game.

    1. The "as long as you haven't cast any COLOR or COLOR spells this game" clause is pretty cool. =)

      I also like the choice of keywords. Prowess for blue is pretty flavorful for what a Knight's skills entail. And double strike for white is a neat way to have a departure from first strike, especially when green had to take vigilance for fitting the Knight flavor.

      This is strong, Treat.

    2. Indeed this is a very cool uncommon cycle. The color spells also have no memory issues (99% of the time) since you can usually see what each player has cast. It is an interesting choice to limit yourself in colors and not go the other way:

      If an opponent has cast a X or Y spell this game, CARDNAME has KEYWORLD.

    3. One could definitely use the flavor that a knight sees its enemy and goes out to defeat it. Here, I'm more looking at a knight following its principles and swearing fealty to a lord who exemplifies those same principles.

      Since I've got to choose one, I'll go with Holy Knight. Verdant Knight is my favorite, but everyone's going green.

    4. Holy and Verdant do seem like the strongest ones for Limited (where they will be turned on 99% of the time).

  5. Green Knight GG
    Creature - Human Knight
    Creatures blocking or blocked by ~ lose first strike.
    Whenever ~ and one or more creatures it dealt combat damage to die at the same time, return ~ and one of those creatures to the battlefield tapped.

    I may come back for another iteration, but this was my first idea. What's the famous reference to a green knight? The Arthurian story of Gawain and the Green Knight and being healed of a fatal wound. I added "anti-first-strike" so it could stand up in battle to black knight and white knight, without using protection which is now a bit out of date. I don't know what colour "lose first strike" is but it made sense in G/U as colours which don't have it and G as a "fight straight up" colour.

    1. What about double strike?

      The second ability is very unique. Does it need the first to shine?

    2. Indeed this is quite unique (although I think I have seen something kind of similar in goblin artisans at some point). Is this iconic?

      Some Vorthos will like the nudge to Gawain, others will dislike it since it will not appear in a core set (R.I.P. core sets), but wizards always likes to give each kind of kid a cookie, so this is very probably something they would still do.

      Also important: stats! is this a 2/2?

      What rarity is it? The rules are tough on this one, so I imagine uncommon/rare?

    3. Oh yes, uncommon 2/2.

      Jay: I agree, it would be a better card design with just the one ability, but I'm not sure it would be a better knight design, I just felt like the first Colour Knight needs to reference first strike, even if there might be other knights of that colour as well.

      Unfortunately here, both "the first green knight" and "the reference to gawain" both want to be called "Green Knight".

      Fading Shadows: What do you mean about not appearing in a core set?

    4. They have discontinued the Core sets this year when they introduced the two-set paradigm. But that was a digression on my part.

      Similarly to what I said bellow to Bradley, I believe the first ability also is very unique but will it occur often enough to matter as a printed line? Or does it carry enough flavor by itself to justify putting it on the card? (Halo Hunter)

    5. I mean, I know there are no core sets, but I wasn't sure why that made a difference to having a green knight card. I guess you mean, because references to specific real world fiction has usually been in core sets? But I didn't see green knight as having to actually BE the arthurian green knight, just vaguely reminiscent of it, which seeemed to fit on any plane. (Though maybe Bant would be especially good, as a plane which really WANTS knights in G as well as W and U)

    6. That was the gist of my meaning indeed.

      I fear this is quite a complicated NWO card given both abilities. It could perhaps see print, but my feeling is similar to Jay's in that the first ability does not serve enough of a purpose to be justified.

  6. This is the green Knight art.

    Jaded Vineguard 2GG
    Creature - Human Knight (Uncommon)
    Deathtouch, hexproof
    CARDNAME can't be blocked by creatures with deathtouch or hexproof.

    Flavor text: Nature's entanglement can be both protective and deadly.

    The art depicts a knight wrapped in magical vines, so these vines are used to both protect the knight and choke enemies.

    You can imagine the rest of the cycle filling in for the other colors with these keywords: lifelink, first strike, and prowess (deathtouch and hexproof are also in there, of course)

    Blog post with the thoughts behind my design process here, which includes covering what makes a Knight a Knight, among other thoughts:

    1. I melvin-y dig how your cycle relates to each other via their keywords. I'm not sure they stand on their own as well: What does it mean that Jaded Vanguard is unblockable by Giant Scorpion and Geist of Saint Traft?

    2. First things first: I love the analysis in the blogpost!

      That being said, indeed the card feels slightly lackluster to me. {2}{G}{G} for a 2/2 in green?

      I do understand the strength of deathtoutch and hexproof and they do fit the green knight, but still, this is not an uncommon I will get excited to draft.

      I believe the second line also is very unique making it generally unblockable by the few black and/or green creatures that have deathtoutch and the few greeen and/or blue hexproof creatures of the set but will it occur often enough to matter as a printed line? Or does it carry enough flavor by itself to justify putting it on the card? (Halo Hunter)

      I think this needs a bit of itereation still.

    3. FWIW, I think this could be {1}{G}{G}.

  7. Knight of Knowledge {2}{U}
    At the start of each main phase, if ~ has 4 or more power, draw a card.

    1. I agree with Jay. I like however how it fits the blue knight. Prowess was a slam-dunk mechanic from R&D!

  8. I see that the puzzle that the green and blue knights are has attracted most of you guys like moths to a very delicious looking cloth (though I would say fire, didn't you? It does not fit the analogy I wanted to make). I cannot blame you. We prefer uncharted territory, but bear in mind that it would be interesting to think about how they would make the others nowadays.

    I have been really enjoying this week's challenge so far.

    If you want me to add a different graphic to your cards, please tell me so, and remember that you are encouraged to suggest flavor text to other people's cards.

    Keep up the good work!

  9. Two competing Knight concepts. Unsure which I like better.

    Platinum Knight WW
    Creature - Knight (R)
    First strike, vigilance
    If a source would deal damage to you, you may have that damage be dealt to Platinum Knight instead.

    The chivalrous defender, willing to lay down his life for his liege.

    Onyx Knight BB
    Creature - Knight (R)
    Deathtouch, trample
    Whenever Onyx Knight attacks and isn’t blocked, you may remove it from combat. If you do, destroy target untapped creature defending player controls.

    The brutal marauder, quick to take offense at those who cowardly fail to meet him in combat.

  10. I like the concept of pariah white knight and crazed enemy slaying black knight.

    I guess that the onyx knight is 2/2?

    Onyx always looses to platinum by the way, is that intended?

    Also does Onyx's unique ability triggers automatically during declare attacker phase, or is that my impression?

    1. Onyx is indeed 2/2.

      That's more of a mechanics thing than a flavor thing, but white is the color of small dudes being good at combat, so I'm ok with it.

      Onyx triggers after your opponent declares blockers and chooses not to block him.

  11. Moose Rider {2}{G}{G}
    Creature - Human Knight (U)
    Team-up (You may have this creature and one or two other nonteamed creatures join a team when they all attack.)
    When CARDNAME joins a team, each creature in that team gets +1/+1 and gains trample until end of turn.

    Sage Knight {2}{U}
    Creature - Human Knight (U)
    Team-up (You may have this creature and one or two other nonteamed creatures join a team when they all attack.)
    When Sage Knight joins a team, scry X, where X is the number or creatures in its team.

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