Monday, March 5, 2018

GDS3 Discussions: Scott Wilson'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 Scott's submission on his official GDS page)

Tribal Choice: Samurai
To design Samurai cards (in white, black, and red . . . Sorry, Isao), I had to find their mechanical and thematic hearts. What sets Samurai apart from similar tribes, like Warriors?

Mechanically, Warriors care about attacking—but Samurai care about attacking and blocking, due to their bushido mechanic. I expressed this with cards granting vigilance, triggering on attacking andblocking, or triggering during each player's combat. Since each Samurai has bushido, unfortunately an often-ignorable mechanic, I gave bushido more relevance with Sacred Temple Grounds and Umezawa (his three modes a nod to Umezawa's Jitte).

Thematically, Samurai have a sense of honor; they don't care so much about hitting the opponent or using kill spells, they want to engage in combat and die honorably by the sword. I expressed this in cards that benefit honorable fights/deaths like Love of the Fight and Ritualistic Disembowelment. They also have a sense of brotherhood. I expressed this with cards giving two Samurai a bonus, or one giving it to another.

The judges challenged me to make flavorful designs, so I set forth to do that throughout. For Shichiro, I wanted to explore more tribal planeswalker space, having an "ultimate" that is faster in a Samurai deck but achievable anywhere. As a Samurai himself, Shichiro attacks, blocks, and isn't afraid to die—unlike attacking-only indestructible Gideon. Samurai feel like the only tribe that could have loyalty counters on a creature, and tying them to bushido was too flavorful to pass up.

Now let's go swing some katanas!

1) Chrysanthemum Crest (common)
Enchantment — Aura
Enchant creature
Enchanted creature gets +1/+1 and has vigilance.
When Chrysanthemum Crest enters the battlefield, Samurai you control gain vigilance until end of turn.

2) Ritualistic Disembowelment (common)
As an additional cost to cast Ritualistic Disembowelment, sacrifice a creature.
Draw two cards. If the sacrificed creature was a Samurai, each opponent loses life equal to its power.

3) Brother in Battle (uncommon)
Creature — Human Samurai
Bushido 1
Whenever Brother in Battle attacks or blocks, put a +1/+1 counter on another target attacking or blocking Samurai you control.

4) Love of the Fight (uncommon)
Up to two target creatures must be blocked this turn if able. Each Samurai targeted this way gets +1/+0 and gains first strike until end of turn.

5) Yamazaki Memorial (rare)
Legendary Artifact
At the beginning of each combat, if you control two or more Samurai, two target Samurai you control each get +2/+2 and gain haste until end of turn.

6) Sacred Temple Grounds (rare)
Sacred Temple Grounds enters the battlefield tapped.
T: Add R, W, or B to your mana pool.
1, T: Target Samurai gets +1/+1 until end of turn for each point of bushido it has.

7) Umezawa, Samurai Savior (mythic rare)
Legendary Creature — Human Samurai
Bushido 3
Whenever a Samurai you control attacks or blocks, choose one—
• You gain 2 life for each point of bushido it has.
• It deals 1 damage to target creature or player for each point of bushido it has.
• You lose 1 life and draw 1 card for each point of bushido it has.

8) Shichiro, Seventh Samurai (mythic rare)
Legendary Planeswalker — Shichiro
+1: Create two 1/1 white Samurai creature tokens with bushido 1. Then, if you control six or more Samurai, you may transform Shichiro, Seventh Samurai
-2: Return target creature card from your graveyard to the battlefield with a training counter on it. That creature gains haste, bushido 1, and is a Samurai in addition to its other types.
Shichiro, Lord General
Legendary Creature — Human Samurai
Haste, vigilance
Samurai you control have bushido X, where X is the number of loyalty counters on Shichiro, Lord General.

1 comment:

  1. Unfortunately I wasn't playing Magic during this block, so it's a bit tough to evaluate. It all felt very, very mathy and challenging to track what was happening. It kind of made me think of the Ixalan merfolk in a bad way. The merfolk only have a couple of tricks that they efficiently do over and over again until it's just overwhelming to try to keep track of and then you discover there's no point to it because you're dead on board anyway.

    I really did like the two mythics. Probably my favorite.