Saturday, October 8, 2016

Tesla Design Challenge: Inspiring Rares

Hi everybody! Over at the Multiverse, we've been working hard to design more rares for Tesla. This week, as a part of the final push, let's have a weekend design challenge - to finish up the rares, and make some exciting build-arounds while we're at it.

This weekend's design challenge: Design a rare that inspires someone. Whether to include it in an existing deck of theirs, or to make a new deck around it, that's up to you.

Before you start the design challenge, I'd like to take a moment of your time and explain why I chose this challenge specifically.

Every card in a set does have to serve a purpose for the set, but it's also important for cards to strive to have purpose outside of a set as well. Over the years we've worked on Tesla, and the months we've been striving to perfect this iteration, many of us have gotten a good sense of 'needs' our set has, and what cards will fulfill them. But as this sense is honed, and cards get more and more specific usages in Tesla's limited environment, we begin to lose sight of what makes cards exciting outside of that environment as well.

It's important that we include cards in Tesla that reverse this order of priorities - cards that players will look at and immediately imagine using outside of Tesla, but that also have a subtle purpose within the set as well.

For one, we need to have cards that inspire deckbuilders. Cards that a player will look at and think, "I should build a deck around this", or, "I know just the deck that needs this."

And for two, if every card in Tesla has an obvious role in its Limited format, then it'll become a shallow format. Some cards need to have lenticular roles - an obvious use and a hidden use - and others need to be more subtle. Cards like Panharmonicon in Kaladesh are a good example of that: a build-around rare that excites players in many formats, and has more subtle synergies with Kaladesh itself.

I recommend to design a card for yourself. What card do you wish existed, whether for an existing deck of yours, or to make a new deck? Design that card, and then find a way to put a subtle Tesla twist on it. (This is how I designed Furtive Mage.)

And a reminder: we have room for one double-faced card in each color at rare! So feel free to design double-faced cards, but not too many!

Best of luck, designers! I look forward to seeing all of your designs.


  1. EDH ramp/fixing artifact rare for multicolor or mana hungry decks.

    Terraform Machine 5
    Artifact (R)
    You may play an additional land on each of your turns.
    Whenever you play your first land each turn, search your library for a basic land card, reveal it, put it into your hand, then shuffle your library.

    1. I don't like that this lets me play a land every turn for the rest of the game, and actually kind of encourages me not to play my second land, which counteracts the first ability.

      I'd prefer either only keeping the second ability (which is a neat design, and does guaruntee hitting land drops ad infinitum) or something like:

      You may play an additional land on each of your turns. Whenever you play a land, draw a card.

  2. >>> This started out as an homage to Gelectrode but it kinda went in another direction... It was also supposed to encourage use of canisters, but I couldn't get the numbers to work. Is there any or much toughness-upping equipment? I guess you can still use canisters to take a shot on every turn rather than just your own!

    Electrode Fanatic {1}{U}{R}
    Creature - Human Artificer (Rare)
    Whenever damage is dealt to ~, you may have it deal 2 damage to target creature or player.
    {T}: ~ deals 2 damage to itself.

    >>> I forgot to make this a build-around and ended up just making a green raid + canister card >_> flavour is... flexible.

    "Artifact Gardener? Collector? Thief? Repurposer?" {2}{G}{G}
    (Legendary?) Creature - Human? Artificer? Citizen? (Rare)
    Raid -- At the beginning of your end step, if you attacked with a creature this turn, destroy target artifact and recharge.

    >>> achievement DFC based on canisters

    Canister Collector [COST???]
    Creature - Human (Rare)
    At the beginning of your upkeep, recharge. Then if you have ten or more canisters, transform ~.
    {T}: ~ gets +2/+2 until end of turn.
    Canister Hoarder
    Creature - Mutant (Does the other side even show its rarity? If so, rare, obv)
    {T}: ~ gets +4/+4 until end of turn.

    >>> maybe I'll make.. a develop rare?

    Hex, but for artifacts {4}{R}{R}
    Sorcery (Rare)
    Destroy six target artifacts.

    or it could destroy eight... Hex => Hexadecimal, Hexcode, basically "16". but 8's good enough. it's a byte!
    16 would be pretty badass though.

    Hexadecimal Error {4}{R}{R}
    Sorcery (Very Rare)
    Destroy sixteen target artifacts.


  3. Gemstone Rock Charm {2}
    Artifact (unc)
    Whenever ~ becomes tapped, put a charge counter on it. If you put the third charge counter on it, sacrifice it.
    T: Add C to your mana pool.
    1, T: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool.
    2, T, Discard a land card: Draw a card.