Monday, March 5, 2018

GDS3 Discussions: Ryan Siegel-Stechler's Challenge 1 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 Ryan's submission on his official GDS page)

Tribal Choice: Imp
I chose Imps for this challenge because they don't really have a mechanical identity in Magic right now, which is a shame, as their creative is super clear; Imps are tricky, annoying, and well . . . impish!

I didn't want to encroach on Faeries, so I knew I wanted Imps to be proactive rather than reactive. I also didn't want them to just seem like flying Goblins, so I shied away from token creation. I hoped to slot them in a sweet spot between those two tribes, where they'd have the intelligence and trickiness of Fae with the nastiness and aggression of Goblins.

Discarding Imps was meant to evoke the uncertainty of whether an Imp was lurking behind any given corner, ready to jump out and poke at you. From a game design perspective, it also helped give a tribe with only small creatures more late-game reach. Lastly, it helps Chimney Imp potentially be not terrible? (Probably not. Poor Chimney Imp.)

The punisher cards were meant to give players a chance to feel a little like an Imp themselves. "Hey, you wanna discard a card? Hey, you wanna sacrifice some stuff? How about now? How about now?"

I wanted to ensure there was a legendary Imp for the Commander crowd, leading to Ixix (which also features nostalgia nods to Nettling Imp and Imp's Mischief). I also tried to make the commons fit in the sweet spot for Draft where they're playable by anyone, but often make it to the Imp player

Hope you're imp-ressed!

1) Tiny Pitchfork (common)
Artifact — Equipment
Equipped creature gets +1/+0 and has first strike.
Tiny Pitchfork's equip ability costs 1 less to activate if it targets an Imp creature.
Equip 2

2) Imp Pulse (common)
As an additional cost to cast Imp Pulse, discard a card.
Draw two cards. If you discarded an Imp card to cast Imp Pulse, Imp Pulse deals 2 damage to each opponent.

3) Leave an Imp-ression (uncommon)
At the beginning of combat on your turn, Imps you control get +1/+0 until end of turn unless target opponent discards a card. Repeat this process once.

4) Lead Into A Trap (uncommon)
Lead Into A Trap deals 2 damage to each creature blocking or blocked by an Imp.

5) Hell's Gate (rare)
Hell's Gate enters the battlefield tapped.
T: Add B or R to your mana pool.
1BR, T, Sacrifice Hell's Gate: Return an Imp creature card at random from your graveyard to the battlefield. Activate this ability only any time you could cast a sorcery.

6) Noxious Imp (rare)
Creature — Imp
Whenever you discard an Imp card, Imps you control get +1/+0 until end of turn.
1B, Discard a card: Each opponent discards a card. Activate this ability only any time you could cast a sorcery.
3BB, Discard two cards: Each opponent sacrifices a creature.

7) Four Torments (mythic rare)
Put a +1/+1 counter on each Imp you control unless target opponent sacrifices a creature. Repeat this process three times, replacing "sacrifices a creature" with "sacrifices two lands," "discards three cards," and "loses 4 life."

8) Ixix the Trickster (mythic rare)
Legendary Creature — Imp
Flying, haste
Discard an Imp card: Choose one —
• Change the target of target spell with a single target.
• Target creature attacks this turn if able.
• Target creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn.

1 comment:

  1. So when I was attempting to play along at home, I found myself in an U/B tribe where the strategy revolved around gaining advantages from discards/milling.

    I realized the difficulties of it when combined with this challenge, especially rule 3. Making it appear to be a coherent tribe requires the use of supportive spells/creatures that feed the mechanics but don't actually "mechanically compare about tribes."

    I bring that up because I think that's the source of the critique that you've got contradictory goals here. Boosting imps is awkward when you're trying to encourage players to discard them. I realized that I was not going to be able to introduce any tribal power/toughness boosts for my tribe and kind of ended up hitting a design wall trying to navigate rule three.

    You did better than me, certainly.