Monday, March 5, 2018

GDS3 Discussions: Jeremy Geist'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 Jeremy's submission on his official GDS page)

This assignment seemed easier than the tribal one at first glance, but it had a lot of secret challenges that I tried my best to work with.

The first was that there were maybe one or two names in the whole list of 25 that made sense as black cards. White, green, and red were well represented, and there were a decent number of blue cards if you squinted, but it was tough to make a resonant card in black. I basically built the entire set around Knife Thrower, since I couldn't do without it.

The second challenge was filling out the two mythic rare slots, since most of the names didn't make sense as huge, splashy cards. I tried making a Ringmaster planeswalker for a while, but it's really hard to make grokkable planeswalkers because they have so many moving parts.

The third was making the cards feel like they were from the same set. It's difficult to show traditional things like set-wide mechanics or synergies under the boundaries of the assignment, so I instead tried to capture the emotional feel of the circus: Exhilaration, anticipation, and exaggeration. It's no coincidence that Feats of Strength rewards you for having the strongest creature on Earth.

Favorite card of this batch: Trapeze Artist. It doesn't look much different from other cards like it, but it plays very differently and captures its flavor in a really elegant way.

1) Trapeze Artist (common)
Creature — Human
When Trapeze Artist attacks, target creature you control gains flying until end of turn.

2) Traveling Circus (common)
As an additional cost to play Traveling Circus, sacrifice a land.
Search your library for a basic land card and put it on the battlefield tapped. Then shuffle your library.
Draw a card.

3) Feats of Strength (uncommon)
Feats of Strength costs X less to cast, where X is the greatest power among creatures you control.
Put two +1/+1 counters on target creature.

4) Knife Thrower (uncommon)
Creature — Vampire Rogue
Knife Thrower enters the battlefield with two +1/+1 counters.
Remove a +1/+1 counter from Knife Thrower: Target creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn. Activate this ability only when you could play a sorcery.

5) Three Rings (rare)
When Three Rings enters the battlefield, exile the top three cards of your library.
If you would draw a card, instead put a card you own that was exiled by Three Rings into your hand, then exile the top card of your library.

6) Clown Car (rare)
Clown Car enters the battlefield with X troupe counters.
At the beginning of your upkeep, remove a troupe counter from Clown Car. If you do, create a 1/1 red Clown creature token.
2: Put a troupe counter on Clown Car.

7) Redundo the Magician (mythic rare)
Legendary Creature — Human Wizard
Whenever you cast a spell, you may activate one –
• R: Redundo deals 2 damage to target player.
• 1U: Return target creature to its owner's hand.
• 2W: Create two 1/1 white Bird creature tokens with flying.

8) Human Cannonball (mythic rare)
You can't cast spells.
At the beginning of your end step, if you didn't cast Human Cannonball this turn, sacrifice it. If you do, Human Cannonball deals 5 damage to each creature target opponent controls and 5 damage to you.

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