Friday, June 23, 2017

Weekend Art Challenge 062317—samice

Click through to see the illustration and design requirements for your single  card submission, due Monday morning. Every submission warrants feedback, which you may use to revise your submission any number of times. I will aim to review the most recent submission from each designer.

Design a creature for this art.


  1. Arcar the Obliterator
    Legendary Creature - Giant Warrior - Mythic Rare
    Whenever Arcar deals combat damage to a creature, exile that creature.
    Whenever Arcar deals combat damage to a player, put a wound counter on that player, then if that player has two or more wound counters, he or she loses the game.

    1. Oh, interesting. Somewhere between poison and phage.

      Proliferate doesn't help, which is probably appropriate for WRB.

      I feel like the ability doesn't add that much over 14 damage, but I'm still excited by it, so that's probably a good place to be.

      Is the first ability supposed to exile the creature whether or not it would die anyway? Or only if it doesn't?

    2. Whether or not - I actually had it keyworded as "exiletouch" but I think the flavor wasn't great.

      And in standard I think the ability doesn't add a ton over 14 damage, but Commander is where this would be most exciting (and what this was an attempted design for).

      And proliferate not helping was, in fact, on purpose! :D

    3. Good point, I wasn't thinking about commander, I agree that looks v good.

    4. Took me a minute to figure out why proliferate doesn't help. It does make more wound counters, but doesn't kill the player.

      Arcar feels like a callback to Legends, when legends were necessarily huge and arbitrarily gold. And appealing just the same. He's less lethal to you and your opponent than Phage the Untouchable but more lethal to creatures. He's also just bigger.

      In fact, he's big enough that all of that text—7 lines of it—almost never matters. It does upgrade you from winning in three hits to two (both in duel and Commander, assuming he's your commander), but it's mostly trinket text because of his size. One or two lines of trinket text are generally fine, but this is kinda disappointing. Would be different if he were small and you had to work out how to enjoy his abilities.

    5. Counterpoint - He combos well enough with any way to give him trample that it could be a fun opportunity for newer players to take that (admittedly small) step. I do agree that lowering the price and power isn't out of the question, though.

  2. High Ground Nomad (R)(G/B)

    Creature - Human Warrior Uncommon

    When High-Ground Nomad enters the battlefield, if you attacked with creature this turn, it enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it.

    When High-Ground Nomad enters the battlefield, if you control a creature with 4 or more power, it enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it.


    The art, made me think of KTK, but the dude seems a bit Temur, and a bit Mardu: this is exploratory design to a posible aliance between clans to defeat the dragons. Hibrid mana restrict him to both of those clans.

    Could this be a 2/3??

    1. My first design had my Giant as a Mardu guy, hence the colors. Definitely a distinct KTK feel to the art.

    2. I'm not sure how successful the Jund Hackblade cycle is considered by R&D: They're easier to play that normal two-color gold cards, but they look more complicated. As a player, I enjoyed them.

      I could definitely see a return to Tarkir that features hybrid and maybe even clans teaming up against their draconic overlords.

      I like how this card can be a 4/4 for two, but never on its own on turn 2, and often not even before turn 4 (and that's kind of assuming you play a 4/2 for three on turn 3).

  3. Temur Vanguard 1RG
    Creature - Human Warrior - U
    First strike
    If your opponent controls a white permanent "" gets +1/+1
    If your opponent controls a black permanent "" gets +1/+1

    1. I assume "" is Kevin's shorthand for CARDNAME. ~ is the standard around here.

      This starts as a 3-power first striker for three, which is quite good, but not too good for uncommon (esp with just 1 toughness). It can become 5/3 which is terrifying with first strike, but that depends not only on what deck your opponent is playing, but what cards they've drawn from it.

      That band of gameplay also contains landwalk, intimidate, and protection-from-color, and Wizards generally avoids it because it's entirely dependent on factors outside your own control (except sideboarding, where they tend to be too strong / non-interactive). I'd rather see a bonus for getting your third color, blue in this case, or for doing something specifically temur-ish.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Rafiq the Alone 1WUG
      Legendary Creature — Human Knight (R)
      Double Strike, Trample
      No more than one creature can attack each combat.
      "I remember the old ways"

    2. I like how you tried to continue the story of Rafiq of the Many, though I'm not sure how well you succeeded, since Rafiq was already all about attacking one creature at a time. We've shifted from rewarding players for doing that to forcing it, and pushing you much harder to choose Rafiq to be that creature, for the upside of trample, which is certainly relevant.

      This development does make me wonder what has happened to Bant since we saw it last, that the knights of the land no longer support each other in ceremonial combat.

  5. Lion Eater 1R
    Creature - Shapeshifter Barbarian (r)
    ~ attacks each turn if able.
    When ~ attacks, choose one —
    • Put a +1/+1 counter on ~.
    • ~ gets +1/+1 for each counter on it until end of turn.
    • ~ gains trample until end of turn.

    1. Awesome updated take on Slith Firewalker/Whirling Dervish et al. Could consider costing it RR as a throwback, but not necessary at all. Love the subtle Johnny angle of the second mode especially. Cool!

    2. Feels more like an uncommon considering red gets "must attack 3/2" at uncommon now. I like the tradeoff between option one and two, but I wish it were more of a choice right away. Right now I'm not choosing two until turn 4 with that creature. I'm also not sure it needs to attack every turn, it already has a huge incentive to attack.

      ~ enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter.
      When ~ attacks choose one:
      * put a +1+1 counter on
      * ~ gets +2/+2 for each counter on it until EOT

    3. This is definitely a fun and interesting card. I like how being forced to attack could make you choose the second option even when you'd prefer the first. The last ability is the worst, but will absolutely become important if your opponent can keep generating chump blockers.

      I wonder how bad this is to draw after turn 3. Seems pretty bad.

      I'm not convinced it's shape-shifting.

      I'm going to go design the opponent-chooses version of this now.

    4. Yeah, I was trying to get away from the "opponent chooses bad things" train I've been on for awhile, but another option for a similar card is "when ~ attacks, choose one at random". That wouldn't carry the "must attack" clause, so your choice to gamble becomes a real choice.

  6. King of the Mountain 3RR
    Creature - Human Berserker
    Whenever a creature blocks CARDNAME, it deals 5 damage to that creature's controller.

    1. King of the Mountain is a red Rhox. It can't regenerate, but it gets to deal damage to both the blocker and the opponent Nice simple effect, pretty evocative. This could be a very good uncommon or a just good rare.

    2. A 5 mana 5/4 afflict 5 might even see print in this upcoming set!

  7. Viking Plunderer 1RR
    Cre- human viking (u)
    Ransack (this creature can attack libraries. Damage this cre does to libraries is dealt in the form of exiling that many cards from that library)
    Whenever CARDNAME ransacks an artifact card, put a +1/+1 counter on CARDNAME.

    1. Funky! Does this have to choose Library or Player or could it hit a library every time it deals damage to a player? If the set has lots of Ransack, maybe this could trigger whenever any of your ransack cards ransack an artifact? Or whenever an artifact is exiled from anywhere so it's less parasitic?

    2. As lovely as the flavor of ransacking libraries is, it may not be worth the rules complication of declaring whom you're attacking how vs just "~ creature deals damage to players in the form of exiling cards from their library."

      Viking Plunderer is cool. With no text, he's slightly under-powered for uncommon, and ransack makes him weaker, but that triggered ability could potentially grow him very quickly against artifact-heavy decks. (Wouldn't want to see more than one card with that trigger, though, unless we're on Kaladesh or Mirrodin.)

  8. Gurag, Dragonsmasher 1WBR
    Legendary Creature - Human Warrior (M)
    TAP, Sacrifice 2 other creatures you control: Destroy target creature with power 4 or greater.
    "When Ugin returned and silenced the Tempests, the Mardu were the first clan to rebel against their dragon masters."

    1. We've got a 5/3 with haste for {1}{W}{B}{R} which will ocasionally be great and occasionally just good. Gurag can trade any two of your creatures (other than himself, the coward) for a Smite the Monstrous, though, including the turn you cast him.

      So he's best when your opponent doesn't have enough creatures to block him, or when you've got a ton of disposable creatures and need to deal with a big threat for your opponent. I guess that's a situation Mardu find themselves in often enough. I don't fully get the flavor and I wish his two functions were more aligned, but this does feel brutal, WBR, and at least rare.

  9. Amarant, Genius Cadet
    Legendary Creature - Human Warrior
    First Strike
    Heroic - Whenever you cast a spell that targets [CARDNAME], put a +1/+1 counter on it and you gain 2 life. Then, if [CARDNAME] has three or more +1/+1 counters on it, transform it.
    Amarant, the Exile (the art featured above)
    Legendary Creature - Human Berserker
    First Strike, Menace
    3B: Monstrosity 4
    As long as [CARDNAME] is monstrous, it is a black Demon Berserker and has "Whenever this creature deals combat damage to a creature or player, each opponent loses 2 life."

    1. I was not expecting to see heroic, transform, and monstrous all on a single card. This thing has like four identities (1/1 -> 3/3fs -> 4/2fsm -> 8/6fsm demon), which is a lot. Figure of Destiny kind of did some of that back in the day, but today we'd never do that anything less than the star of the block's story, and even then only if all four identities were important to the story.

      We'd almost certainly never pair monstrosity and transform on the same card, much less on different cards in the same block, because they serve the same mechanical purpose and having both is redundant.

      This card is epic, but it's also a mess. It's just doing too damn much. Do I play this in my heroic deck because I'm already running a lot of combat tricks and auras? Do I play it in my RWB deck because I can afford all the mana costs? Do I play it for the life gain? For the eventual life drain? How often will I get this fully ramped without my opponent casting Murder, Shock, or Unsummon? The most important thing for a design is focus: Communicate what the card is for in as few words as possible.