Wednesday, June 29, 2016

New Mechanic Review—Meld

WotC revealed the new keywords in Eldritch Moon Monday and you've been very patient as I've slowly built up to reviewing Meld from a Design perspective. There are lots of strong feelings about this mechanic, and rightly so.

Official spoilers follow, but no custom cards do.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

New Mechanic Review—Emerge

WotC revealed the new keywords in Eldritch Moon Monday and I'm killing time until the Prerelease by reviewing them from a Design perspective instead. Today, we'll take a look at emerge.

Official spoilers follow, but no custom cards do.

Monday, June 27, 2016

New Mechanic Review—Escalate

WotC revealed the new keywords in Eldritch Moon today and I'm very excited to try them out. Since the Prerelease isn't also today, let's review them from a Design perspective instead. Today, we'll take a look at escalate.

Official spoilers follow, but no custom cards do.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Weekend Art Challenge 062416—Eddie Smith

Hello all! Anastase here, with some free time again.

I will review the previous challenges soon, but in the meantime, let us get on with this challenge:

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Tesla: Types of Archetypes

Hello again, everyone! We've been hard at work over at the Magic Multiverse, filling in and polishing up the various archetypes, including the ones we discussed last time. This week, we're going to look extensively not only at the philosophy behind archetypes, but at the different kinds of archetypes - and we're going to use these lessons to design better archetypes, and cards in those archetypes, for Tesla.

Weekend Art Challenge Review 061716—Samuel Bak

Here's Pasteur's review of last weekend's art challenge.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

CCDD 062216—Game of Venom

Cool Card Design of the Day
6/22/2016 - Clash gets some nuance in the form of risk-reward analysis on this lone rare. You have some information to inform your decision, and can bet high or low depending on your confidence (or desperation).

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

CCDD 062116—Crookshank Instigator

Cool Card Design of the Day
6/21/2016 - Zefferal inspired me to make a kobold card. Looking back, kobolds were kind of ahead of their time.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Friday, June 17, 2016

Weekend Art Challenge 061716—Samuel Bak

Greetings, good morning, and good afternoon! Your friendly neighborhood Pasteur has arrived with a new Weekend Challenge. Click through to see this weekend's art and the design requirements for your single card submission.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

CCDD 061616—Kickstart

Cool Card Design of the Day
6/16/2016 - Not unlike yesterday's "if you cast something more expensive," kickstart began life as "if you control something more expensive" but I quickly found it nearly impossible to create any inexpensive cards that was worth the text, because it's so easy to control a 2- or 3cc creature. So kickstart just always cares about CMC 5+. I think we meddled with this briefly while exploring Tesla?

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

CCDD 061516—Coattails

Cool Card Design of the Day
6/15/2016 - As much promise as ridealong shows, it's a cost-reduction mechanic that kicks in when you've got more mana, letting you cast more of your cards faster, but only once you've got plenty of mana. A more reliably gratifying mechanic would give you a bonus for casting your small card late.

Coattails is kicker except you get to use the mana that improves your card on another spell. Of course, you've got to have a bigger spell to do that…

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

CCDD 061416—Ridealong

Cool Card Design of the Day
6/14/2016 - A year and half ago, Ipaulsen upgraded a mechanic I was calling ridealong. It's similar to surge and pretty cool, so I wanted to explore it more.

(You may notice "costs more" in place of "has a higher converted mana cost…" After two years, I'm quite comfortable with that. Feels right.)

Friday, June 10, 2016

Weekend Art Challenge 060916—A-B Mechanics

Anastase's been busy. I'm running this weekend's challenge. I'll be traveling next weekend, if anyone else wants to volunteer (before Wednesday).

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

You may use that feedback to revise your submission any number of times. I will review the most recent submission from each designer some time on Monday, life permitting, in the comments below (so no renders).

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

CCDD 060816—Midnight Stroll

Cool Card Design of the Day
6/8/2016 - A black Fog + Bloodshed Fever.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

CCDD 060716—Madness

Cool Card Design of the Day
6/6/2016 - One way to balance madness would be to make a lesser version of the full effect. But we don't care for apparent downside abilities. There's a similar solution, however, that's incredibly thematic. I'd love to see unpredictable madness effects—stuff that might go horribly wrong, or might go horribly right.

Monday, June 6, 2016

CCDD 060616—Flashback as Kicker

Cool Card Design of the Day
6/6/2016 - The Kicker Problem is that players love to maximize value from their cards and will often not play a Kavu Titan on turn 2 even when they really should. Monstrosity is an excellent solution because it provides a mana sink for the late game but it doesn't ask players to restrain their card play. Flashback does much the same thing.

I started exploring an iteration of flashback that felt more like kicker, by offering a bonus when you flashback a spell the same turn you cast it, and I quickly found doing so explicitly was terribly ham-fisted (and lead to The Kicker Problem again). It felt much more natural to find effects that simply got better when you cast them twice in a single turn.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Weekend Art Challenge 060316—littlepoop

Hey Artisans!
Anastase here. This week we are going to be designing for this art:

CCDD 060316—Countermagic in Other Colors

Cool Card Design of the Day
6/3/2016 - I don't often argue that countermagic shouldn't belong solely to blue, but not because it's okay for blue to dominate magical ability, because countermagic isn't much fun to play against and the game really doesn't need more of it.

But it's worth exploring the argument that blue magic shouldn't be more magical than any other color of magic. This isn't a game of warriors and wizards, running the gambit of actions from swords to sorcery. Yes, we summon muggles to fight for us. We summon them with magic because we are wizards.

Our school of magic (color, in Magic terms) determines the nature of our spells, their modes, methods, and motives. And those characteristics are what makes the colors not just interesting, but their relationship dynamic, driving the game's drama. Blue magic is more studious than green or red's, and that's important, but it isn't somehow more magical. It's all magic.

And that's why it's ridiculous that blue holds singular domain over fundamental magical concepts like countermagic and card drawing.

White should host countermagic because it's the color of rules and prevention. Black should host countermagic because it has the negative energy to cancel positive magic, and because it can do anything for a price. Red should host countermagic through sheer force of will—A powerful red mage should be able to shout 'no' when her dearest family and ideals are threatened. Green should host countermagic because it is all about rejecting the aberrant, enforcing natural destiny.

Some cards…

Thursday, June 2, 2016

CCDD 060216—Warp Spell

Cool Card Design of the Day
6/2/2016 - Looks like it's going to be countermagic week.

Ignore the hybrid mana cost on Warp Spell for now, we'll discuss that tomorrow. I just thought getting to cascade would blunt the sting of having your spell countered a bit.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

CCDD 060116—Remand Leak

Cool Card Design of the Day
6/1/2016 - Memory Lapse, Mana Leak, and Remand are somewhere between a bit too good for Standard and way too good. Can we make a less powerful card that's evocative of these popular cards?