Monday, March 5, 2018

GDS3 Discussions: Ari Nieh's Challenge 2 Submission

(These posts are being backdated for administrative purposes. They were not disclosed to nor published on this site prior to their publication on the mothership. You can read the judge commentary on Ari's submission on his official GDS page)

What makes a circus special? You can see acrobatics at a gymnastics meet, or comedy at a stand-up club, or animals at a zoo. What circuses have is a diverse, colorful array of acts. And these acts themselves have multiple interesting facets. A great juggler doesn't simply show off the largest number of balls they can keep aloft—they also do flashy tricks with clubs, knives, and torches.

My mechanical reflection of this variety is through multicolored cards. Bigtopia also sees the return of the converge ability word. Both gold cards and converge are supported by strong mana fixing and generation of Gold tokens, which also reflect the financial nature of the enterprise.

Circuses are also a place for surprise—deeds so difficult, dangerous, or marvelous that the audience gasps. Bigtopia wants to create big, splashy plays, the kind that you tell your friends about after the Prerelease.

Lastly, circuses are a place for humor. I tried to evoke humor not through literal mechanical portrayal of funny tropes, but instead by incentivizing amusing gameplay patterns and situations.

Notes on Individual Cards:
Acrobatics: I was concerned about insufficient counterplay, but playtesters enjoyed playing around it. Motivates different blocking patterns.
Unicycle: Once granted trample for humor. Removed for balance.
Clown Car: Was initially 1/1. Playtesters liked it bigger for reuse.
Feats of Strength: 3GG converge looks odd, but was too strong and splashable otherwise.
Maxine: A "multicolored matters" legend for Commander/Brawl.

As always, thank you to my fantastic playtesters.

1) Trained Elephant (common)
Creature — Elephant
CARDNAME has vigilance as long as you control a Human.

2) Acrobatics (common)
If target creature is blocked, it becomes unblocked. (It's still attacking.)
Draw a card.

3) Feats of Strength (uncommon)
Converge - Target creature gets +2/+2 for each color of mana spent to cast CARDNAME and gains trample until end of turn. It must be blocked this turn if able.

4) Unicycle (uncommon)
Artifact — Equipment
Equip 2
Equipped creature gets +1/+1 and has haste.
Whenever a creature with equal power and toughness enters the battlefield under your control, you may attach CARDNAME to it.

5) Traveling Circus (rare)
CARDNAME enters the battlefield tapped.
When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, add one mana of any color.
T: Add 1.
2: Return CARDNAME to your hand. Activate this ability only if you control a multicolored permanent.

6) Clown Car (rare)
Artifact — Vehicle
Crew 1
Whenever CARDNAME attacks, draw a card for each creature that crewed it this turn.

7) Maxine, Keeper of Marvels [Ringmaster] (mythic rare)
Legendary Creature — Human Rogue
Whenever you cast a multicolored spell, create a colorless artifact token named Gold. It has "Sacrifice this artifact: Add one mana of any color."
WUBRG: Put three +1/+1 counters on target multicolored creature. It gains vigilance, flying, and haste until end of turn.

8) The Astonishing Alfonso! [Magician] (mythic rare)
Legendary Planeswalker — Alfonso
+2: You may exile a non-Rabbit permanent you control. If you do, create an 0/1 white Rabbit creature token.
-3: Exile target non-Bird permanent. Create a 1/1 white Bird creature token with flying.
-7: You may play any number of cards exiled by CARDNAME without paying their mana costs.

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