Monday, February 29, 2016

Tesla Design Challenge 022916 — Aggressive Mechanics

Howdy all! Let's start off the week with a Tesla design challenge! Last week, there was some discussion on the Multiverse about finding a possible replacement for Renown, given how often it's been overlapping with Revolution. So let's address the issue with a design challenge!
Your challenge: propose an aggressive mechanic for Tesla to replace Renown! OR showcase the unique design space difference between Renown and Revolution!

If you choose the first option, your proposal can be a new design of your own, a revisit of an older Tesla mechanic, or a suggested returning mechanic. In addition, consider these parameters - it should be a flavor fit for Kaladesh and the theme of progress, and a mechanical fit for Tesla's other mechanics (Canisters, Thopters, Revolution, Research).

If you choose the second option, I'd love to see some examples of how you think Renown and Revolution can be differentiated best at common! (If the differences only exist at higher rarities, it's not helpful for our design.)

I look forward to seeing your guys' submissions!


  1. Vandalize - Whenever CARDNAME deals combat damage to an opponent, you may destroy target artifact. If you do CARDNAME deals 1 damage to target creature or player.

    Boobytrap - whenever CARDNAME attacks, put a trap counter on it. When an artifact is put into a graveyard from play, CARNAME deals X damage to target creature or player and X damage to itself.


    1. Dash could work.

      What's the X on Boobytrap based on? Also, we can't mix trap counters with +1/+1 counters.

      Vandalize requires artifacts to work, which makes it hard to develop and a bit strong of hate. Unless you mean the pseudo is "Whenever ~ deals combat damage to an opponent", which could work.

    2. Vandalize would indeed be better if it was just a keyword that signified when CARDNAME deals combat damage to an opponent, do something bad.

  2. I agree with the potential overlap. I feel revolution is missing something, in fact, though I'm not sure what.

    This isn't really an entry, but random ideas:

    * Whenever anyone tries to define a card that changes state with a counter, it's way too wordy. What are those ideas, would any be appropriate for a full back side?
    * Is there some important way the back sides could be the same, like many common werewolves had double P/T stats?
    * Ideally something *other* than P/T since reknown does that. If possible maybe the P/T doesn't change.
    * Eg. a global effect, "when this attacks, other attacking creatures get +P/+T and gain KEYWORD-THIS-CREATURE-HAS"
    * Eg. they're all utility creatures with a tap effect, and the reverse has a double ability that has to be spelt out, eg. "draw 1, discard 1" -> "draw 2, discard 2"

    1. Currently the backsides have all been +1/+1 and gaining a keyword.

      I do like the idea that their P/T could stay the same but their ability spreads / improves to share among their fellow revolutionaries, like slivers. Hard to design for common though.

  3. We've got a ton of aggressive mechanics. Can you give us some explicit parameters?

    1. Yes, certainly. The hope is to have it synergize with the mechanics in the file and fit into the flavor of Kaladesh.

      Honorable Death could be great, actually, if we reflavored it into something like Protest or Resist or Martyr. It synergizes nicely with Canisters, letting you risk it on the attack and on the block.

    2. Well-Liked Rebel {1}{W}
      2/2 Rebel (cmn)
      Martyr — When ~ dies during combat, gain 4 life.

      Violent Rebel {1}{R}
      2/1 Rebel (cmn)
      Martyr — When ~ dies during combat, it deals 1 damage to target c/p.

      Well-Armed Rebel {1}{G}
      2/2 Rebel (cmn)
      Martyr — When ~ dies during combat, you may put a +1/+1 counter on target creature.

      Two Zombies in a Trenchcoat {2}{B}{B}
      4/4 Rebel (rare)
      Martyr — When ~ dies during combat, put two 2/2 zombie tokens OTB.

    3. Ooh, I don't know how much Indian culture Kaladesh has, but honorable death could be an ok fit for fire some things, like reincarnation maybe? Especially if combined with revolt/martyr flavor add you say.

    4. Jack: Kaladesh is "techno-India" and while we've been focusing on the techno side, I do think that more India might be nice.

      Jay: Great designs. Two Zombies in a Trenchcoat made me laugh out loud!

    5. Oh yes, two zombies in a trench coat is an AMAZING name.

    6. I think "dies during your combat phase" or "dies while attacking" is more explicit if you really want aggression.

    7. Tommy: True. It does remove a lot of possibilities from the mechanic. Also, "while attacking" does extend into the combat damage step, right?

    8. It does, but so does "during combat" I presume, but I think that phrase is currently undefined (but I could be wrong!)

  4. Improvised Juggernaut {4}
    5/3 Juggernaut (cmn)
    Jury-Rig {3}{R} (You may cast this for its jury-rig cost. If you do, draw a card; It gains haste; sacrifice it at end of turn.)
    CARDNAME must attack each turn if able.

    Slightly Cool Manipulator {4}
    Artifact (unc)
    Jury-Rig {1}{U} (You may cast this for its jury-rig cost. If you do, draw a card; sacrifice it at end of turn.)
    {T}: Tap target creature.

    Smashbot {4}
    3/3 Construct (unc)
    Jury-Rig — Sacrifice an artifact. (You may cast this for its jury-rig cost. If you do, draw a card; It gains haste; sacrifice it at end of turn.)

    The last two combo with batteries. The card draw negates all card disadvantage from the sacrifice.

    1. Oooooh!!!! I'm a huge fan of Jury-Rig now drawing a card! That makes them a lot easier to balance a lot more exciting. It's basically Cycling with a 'one turn only' deal. That seems very promising, and a great way to smooth a bit!

      I think this could definitely have a lot of potential. :)

    2. I'm not sure about "draw a card", it feels tacked on, but I agree, something about that string mashes the mechanic a lot more interesting. Is there anything else that might work?

    3. It definitely feels tacked on to me, but I bet there is a way to do the same thing where it will feel natural. Maybe the right thing is to call it Cycling, and say "When you cycle ~, ..."?

    4. "When you cycle ~, put on the battlefield until EOT. [It gains haste.]"?

    5. Tommy + Jay: Hm, that could maybe work for a cycle, and realistically, I don't think Jury-Rig would need a very large presence in a set, so yeah, could work.

    6. If you're using cycling anyhow, Tommy's method is best. If not, I'd either use Jury-Rig or forget the whole thing.

  5. Caste stuff might be a touchy subject, but:

    Untouchable {R}
    1/1 Rogue (cmn)
    Shadow (This can't block or be blocked by creatures without shadow.)

    Leper {1}{B}
    1/3 Rogue (cmn)
    Frenzy 2 (Whenever this attacks and isn't blocked, it gets +2/+0 until end of turn.)

    The other problem being neither of these mechanics are stellar (though they are aggressive).

    1. Neither of these are printable as-is, since Shadow and Frenzy both have immense development issues, but some way of representing 'lower class' through evasion could be nice...

    2. I'm not sure but I think this really really needs to get someone with some knowledge of Indian culture to suggest what might be ok. I think there's some flavor potential there, especially if it could be combined with "revolutionary" flavor. But I think guessing may be likely to risk using something really offensive by accident.

  6. Replies
    1. Yeah, as you said, it certainly fits with the progress themes. And if we drop Renown we get more +1/+1 counters available to us. This is definitely one of the simplest options we can use, and a solid choice.