Friday, March 30, 2018

Weekend Design Challenge 033018 - Your Signature Spellbook

Click through to see the requirements for your design test, 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.

This weekend we're designing our own personalized Signature Spellbooks.

OK, this one's a little tricky, so here's how this works.
  1. Pick eight words that apply to you in some way. They can describe you, your occupation or hobbies, your beliefs and philosophies, what people think about you. Just pick eight words.
  2. Design one card for each of them, that reflects that word as applied to you. Pretend you're using this challenge to impress judges in a Great Designer Search, so creativity, knowledge of color pie and rarity, and elegance are, as always, paramount.
That's more or less it. You can submit up eight cards this week, and I will review up to two of them. Please note the two that you want me to review, or I'll just pick the two I have the most to say about.

By way of example. I'm mixing in a CCDD with this week. Here are my eight words, and the designs I was able to cobble together before I ran out of time.

  1. Balance
  2. Law
  3. Family
  4. Design
  5. Nomadic
  6. Story
  7. Music
  8. Curation

That's it. No obligation or expectation that you'll design all eight, that's just there as a framing device. Good luck, have fun, and I'll check back in Monday afternoon.


  1. Thanks for the challenge, I really enjoyed trying to come up with cards that fit the themes I chose. Though, I had to stop halfway through and remind myself that this wasn't the GDS3 challenge and I didn't have to design all multicolored cards.

    The words I chose were:
    1. Growth
    2. Individuality
    3. Comfort
    4. Imagination
    5. Support
    6. Peace
    7. Play
    8. Moderation

    Worldsoul Totem 2BBGG
    Creature - Spirit Avatar (M)
    When Worldsoul Totem enters the battlefield, you may exile any number of creature cards from your hand and/or graveyard as its totem. (When a creature with a totem dies, put a creature card in its totem onto the battlefield and the rest become that creature's totem.)

    Frontline Crasher 1R
    Creature - Human Berserker (C)
    Individuality — When Frontline Crasher enters the battlefield, if you control no other creatures that share a color with it, it gains haste until end of turn.

    Gluttonous Nobleman 2WB
    Creature - Human (R)
    Sacrifice a non-Human creature: You gain 3 life.
    1, Discard a card: Create a 0/1 white Goat creature token.

    Intellectual Creations 2UU
    Enchantment (R)
    At the beginning of your upkeep, target opponent gains control of a creature of your choice you control.
    1U: Create a 3/3 blue Illusion creature token with flying.

    Note: This is one card that I have a feeling is more on the cool side than the fun one, but I still really like the concept. It does paint a pretty pessimistic world-view, though.

    Mossbeard Caretaker 2G
    Creature - Treefolk (U)
    When Mossbeard Caretaker enters the battlefield, create a 0/1 green Plant creature token.
    At the beginning of your upkeep, put a +1/+1 counter on target Plant creature you control.

    Nonviolent Methodology 1W
    Enchantment - Aura (C)
    Enchant creature
    Whenever enchanted creature would deal damage, its controller gains that much life instead.

    Note: This one may be a bit too complex for common, I'm not sure. Also, the name is a really long way to say pacifism.

    Overexcite UR
    Instant (U)
    Target creature attacks this turn if able. It doesn't untap during its controller's next untap step. Draw a card.

    Sun the Indulgent 3RW
    Legendary Planeswalker - Suo
    When Suo the Indulgent has three or fewer loyalty counters on him, transform him.
    -1: Create a 1/1 red Elemental creature token with haste, then add R for each creature you control.
    -2: Suo the Indulgent deals 3 damage to any target.
    Suo the Abstinent
    When Suo the Abstinent has six or more loyalty counters on him, transform him.
    +1: Create a 1/1 white Soldier creature token with defender, then gain 1 life for each creature you control.
    +2: Until your next turn, if a source an opponent controls would deal damage to you or Suo, prevent 1 of that damage.

    1. Intellectual Creations is a type of card I feel like I'd enjoy playing both with, and against.

      I think Nonviolent Methodology could work at common, but I wouldn't be surprised to see it with a rider ability at a higher rarity.

    2. I like Intellectual Creations, too, though I wonder if it would be more or less interesting if the illusions had the typical illusion weakness (targeting=death).

      Personally I think Nonviolent Tendencies could work as common.

      Individuality is an interesting mechanic. It makes me think about the kind of set that might be built around it.

    3. I'm glad that Intellectual Creations is more appealing than I originally thought. My main concern was that newer players would just run it out and it would ruin the game for them.

    4. The original draft of this exercise had a ton more restrictions, making it more GDS challenge like, but after discussing it with some others, I decided to make it a little less restrictive (but not especially less less difficult).

      Worldsoul Totem is incredibly interesting, but would totem work in a non-rare/mythic context? If not, how much benefit is there to creating new language to cover what it does? I'd like to see a vertical cycle of cards that show off the boundaries of the mechanic before simply making it a one-off card, templated so it doesn't need new language added to the game.

    5. These are all interesting designs, and I wish I had the bandwidth to provide feedback for all of them, but I really do need to limit myself to two today.

      Nonviolent methodology is a great design. It reads so similarly to Pacifism but plays wildly differently. I'm a big fan.

  2. I'm very curious to see how age and life experiences influences the words people choose. I actually at one point had "ambivalent" on the list before realizing that nobody wants to play a Magic card that captures the feeling of ambivalence.

    Please review the Freeblade Rapier and whichever other card you think is most interesting.

    1. Introspection
    2. Patterns
    3. Liberty
    4. Collaboration
    5. Impatient
    6. Myths
    7. Future
    8. Mortality*

    1. Revisit the Question – UU2
    Instant (Uncommon)
    As an additional casting cost, discard a non-land, non-creature card. Search your library for all cards with the same name as the discarded card. Reveal them, put them in your hand, then shuffle your library.

    2. Predicted Responses – WU2
    Enchantment (Rare)
    When an opponent casts a sorcery or instant that shares the same name as a card in any graveyard, you gain three life and draw a card.

    3. Freeblade Rapier – 2
    Artifact – Equipment (Common)
    Equipped creature gets +1/+1 and unstoppable (It ignores effects that say it cannot attack, block, untap, or activate its abilities).
    Equip: 2

    4. Fathom Facilitator – 1UG
    Creature -- Merfolk (Uncommon)
    T: Add two mana of any color to your mana pool. Spend this mana only to pay activation costs.

    5. Rout or Rot – 3RRB
    Enchantment (Mythic Rare)
    At the beginning of each player's upkeep, that player loses four life and draws two cards. All creatures gain +2/+0 and haste and must attack each turn if able.

    6. Book of Bardsong – 5
    Legendary Artifact (Rare)
    Whenever any player casts a historic spell, put a Regale counter on CARDNAME.
    Remove 4 Regale counters from CARDNAME, tap: Gain control of target legendary permanent or planeswalker.

    7. Larcent, Always Seeking – UU1
    Legendary Creature – Human Advisor (Rare)
    Whenever you scry, you scry that many cards plus one.
    UT: Scry 1

    8. Weakened Bloodline—BB1
    Sorcery (Uncommon)
    Name a creature type. Distribute four -1/-1 counters among any number of target creatures of the chosen type.

    (*I'm not dying or anything, but family had a cascade of pretty serious health scares last fall. We're all okay, but it was a rough couple of months and the impact lingers.)

    1. 1. Hm, this feels slightly off on flavour. You're revisiting something that you never cast to begin with. I like this if it searches for copies of a card in your graveyard (and perhaps a restriction to not target a card called CARDNAME)

      2. Flavour win in my book, I like it.

      3. I like Freeblade Rapier. Resonates well with the chosen word, and definitely something we haven't seen before. Not sure how powerful it is though. Only concern is that unstoppable sounds like it should make it more difficult to be blocked, and it doesn't do that.

      4. Definitely feels like cooperation, and we don't see mana restricted to activation costs much. Should probably read "Spend this mana only to activate abilities" (see Smokebraider)

      5. This feels a bit like two cards stapled together to me. I get it from a flavour perspective: go fast!

      6. Hm, historic feels like a good fit for Myths, but I'm not sure why it gains controls of permanents (and why not also artifacts, since they're also historic?). Is it because you then know/are familiar with the myth?

      7. Seems like a fun scry lord, not much else to say

      8. This is cool, reminds me of Onslaught with the creature type matters

    2. The flavor of the Book is that it collects all these stories/songs about epic historical tales and people and then "regales" an existing planeswalker/legend to convince them to join your side.

    3. I like what Freeblade Rapier and Unstoppable are trying to do - making something immune from a subset of abilities is always a fun space to play around in. In practice, the kinds of corner cases it creates are why Protection from X ended up being an amalgamation of so many abilities, and ultimately discarded. If the simpler version of it is to either give it hexproof or blink+haste, that's where its design will end up. Creating a new word that lets it ignore WU limited tricks most likely isn't worth the burden adding vocabulary creates.

    4. Revisit the Question is phenomenal. It's a solid Jenny/Spike card that might be a smidge undercosted. I'd love to play around with it in standard and see if the weird and fun things I can do with it are better than the unfun games that I end up losing because of it. Very nice.

  3. 1. Gamer
    2. Intelligent
    3. Creative
    4. Trivia
    5. Humor
    6. Honest
    7. Jeskai
    8. Comics

    1. Vuldar, the Master of Games-3UR
    Legendary Creature-Sphinx Trickster
    UR: Reveal your hand. Place one card face down. Your opponent guesses the card. If they guess right discard the card, if they guess wrong, copy CARDNAME and draw a card.

    2. Boost the Brain-1UU
    Enchant Creature
    Enchanted creature gains T:Draw a card. If you have seven or more cards in hand enchanted creature gains hexproof.

    3. There is Always Another Design-5RR
    Exile your library. Create a red Design artifact token for each card exiled.

    4. The All Knowing Owl-2UU (Uncommon)
    You may look at the top card of your library.
    2UT: Draw a card.

    5. Artigum, the Jokester-2UR (Rare)
    Creature-Goblin Wizard
    When CARDNAME enters the battlefield create a Blue Pun Enchantment token with 1UU, Sacrifice this enchantment: Counter target spell or ability, a Colorless Pie Artifact Token with 1R, sacrifice this artifact: Deal 2 damage to target creature or player, and a Colorless Whoopie Cushion Artifact Token with U, sacrifice this artifact: Target creature gains flying until end of turn.

    6. Truth Seeking-1UB (Mythic Rare)
    Look at target players hand and the top three cards of their library, you may rearrange these in anyway, as long as the player has the same number of cards in their hand that they started with. (Rearrange means to take any of the cards from the hand and the top three cards of the library and swap them)

    7. The True Jeskai Lord-UWR
    Legendary Creature-Human Monk Wizard
    Prowess, Vigilance
    When CARDNAME enters the battlefield discard your hand. Put a +1/+1 counter on CARDNAME for each instant and sorcery discarded.

    8. The Reader-1UR
    Creature-Human Scribe
    When CARDNAME enters the battlefield create three colorless Knowledge Artifact Tokens with R, sacrifice this Artifact: Search your library for a card and put it into your hand, discard a card at random. If you control no Knowledge Tokens sacrifice CARDNAME.

    1. Whoops forgot to figure out what design tokens do, or it could be a theme of a set so this is a very big risk reward situation. I think most of these designs are rare. Maybe boost the brain could be uncommon. Probably would want There is Always Another Design at Mythic.

    2. 1) I'm confused about what Vuldar's ability does? Do you create a token copy of a legendary creature? If so, it's a lot of work to get to Frenetic Efreet.

      2) This is a really clever way of doing these effects on an aura. I really like that you can respond with instant speed card draw for a blowout.

      3) So you want There is Always Another Design to do nothing by itself at Mythic? That seems like a disappointing card even at rare.

      4) I wouldn't change a thing.

      5) Artigum is a lot of things, but it's a lot of sweet things. Seems like you could prolly get most of the cool factor from just the Pun and Pie.

      6) Truth Seeking is bruuuutal. I bet most new players will think it is very bad until someone casts it on them.

      7) Could the True Jeskai Lord care about nonland, noncreature cards because prowess and all-in?

      8) Three Gambles, but it's not a gambler! For sooth! I don't personally like tutor effects, but this is a good way to build them so that it's just strong in a boring way.

    3. 1. You create a copy of CARDNAME, meaning Vuldar. The wording is a little weird.
      2. Thanks, yeah seemed like a simple effect that has not really been done and a weird way to interact with hexproof where you attack the hand.
      3. I don't know a card that creates 20 to 30 artifacts seems pretty Johnny. I was actually going to have the design tokens do something but clicked submit before actually completing my thought but I can imagine there is some deck that wants 7 mana create an obscene amount of artifacts.
      4. Thank you, sometimes the cleanest effects are the best.
      5. Yeah the Whoopie Cushion was a little tacked on, mainly cause it was another Comedy Trope, but getting a counter spell plus shock probably is enough.
      6. It is all the fun of brainstorm but can be used on either player, you end up down a card but like brainstorm it is super Spikey. Might slow down tournaments too much, definitely would need a lot of playtesting.
      7. It could but it might be pushing outside of jeskai territory, but maybe not. It was more red, blue with the white basically giving vigilance. Actually since prowess is jeskai probably could. I am trying to figure out if the creature is too good or not very good and I do like that.
      8. The Gamble is, did you read the right thing and can you recall it correctly. I like when cards repeat iconic effects. Not sure if gamble is iconic or not.

    4. There's something amusingly apropos about design brainstorming in inadvertently submitting 3 without figuring out what the tokens do.

      I imagine that each token has on it, first of all, that you don't lose the game because you can't draw cards. And then each token is sacrificed for some sort of effect.

      Maybe modal? Three choices: Damage, life gain, creature token creation?

      This could be an interesting weekend challenge of its own.

    5. I still think a card that creates an absurd amount of artifact tokens on its own is really powerful. Think with arcbound ravager or krark clan ironworks. I would love to hear ideas for what design tokens do. If it is a set theme I think there could be something like:
      Clockwork Gnome-4
      Artifact Creature-Gnome
      1: Create a Design token
      1: Sacrifice a Design token create a Colorless 1/1 Whirler Artifact Creature Token
      The Big Machine-20
      You may sacrifice 5 design tokens rather than pay the mana cost of CARDNAME. Search your library for any number of artifacts and put them into play tapped, sacrifice them at the end of turn.

      More Machine than Man-2R
      As an additional cost sacrifice a design token. Choose target creature, it gains one of the abilities below:
      2: This creature gains flying until end of turn.
      2: This creature gets +1/+0 until end of turn.
      2: This creature gains menace until end of turn.

    6. What happens if you activate Vuldar with no cards in hand?

    7. Well for cursed scroll you can't complete the action so nothing happens, probably same outcome, no point to activate the ability with less than two cards in hand.

    8. Just noticed I said "just strong in a boring way" when I meant to say the opposite. Must have been confusing.

    9. Can you elaborate on what you mean by boring but in a strong way?

    10. Truth seeking is beautiful, and probably not mythic rare. It can also be templated cleaner. Target player draws three cards, then you may look at that player's hand. Choose three cards in that players hand and put them on top of that player's library in any order. It can be very mean, and would need some testing to figure out appropriate cost and rarity, but that is quite fun. Fateseal as a mechanic had problems, but on a one-off card, I like it a lot.

    11. There is Always Another Design looks interesting, but do we really need to exile our library for an absurd amount of spare parts? There are sets that may want it in that form, but is the card more interesting or less if it follows a Myr Incubator approach? Or simply dumps 2, 5, 10, or 20 scrap tokens without touching your library? Cards that will want useless artifact dumps on the battlefield with no other bonus will either be able to immediately do what they want to do, making the exile your library meaningless, or won't, making them play around an already niche strategy for the card. It's a great place to start, but doesn't need to do the exile to be just as interesting.

  4. I'm not sure I can completely do this challenge, but I'll try a couple of cards.

    Perfectionist 2U
    Creature - Human Wizard
    ~ can't be blocked by creatures unless their power is a multiple of 3, can't be dealt damage unless its a multiple of 3, and can't deal damage to a creature or player unless its toughness or their life total is a multiple of 3.

    Cuddly 4W
    Creature - Snorlax
    Prevent all damage that would be dealt by Snorlax to creatures or dealt by creatures to Snorlax. The source's controller gains that much life instead.

    1. Perfectionist - Perfection _is_ the enemy of good. This is way more interesting than fun, as just sitting there calculating what on the board impacts it and vice versa eats up time and brainspace that could be spent playing magic. A super Mel card, and there's something interesting there, but it needs a little less rigidity.

      Snorlax is amazing, although I can't tell from the templating whether he gains you life or just your opponent. Either way, my big concern is that he can easily lead to some significant stalemates, where life totals keep rocketing up and he doesn't go anywhere. It fights against the natural inertia of the game in a big way, so testing would have to make sure that he does more than gum up the board in most games.

  5. This challenge is great! I just started designing for trial three of the GDS (literally, my first designs ever) and found that I love it. I'm really happy to know about this site.

    Review whatever you choose!

    1) Church of Theatre (mythic rare)
    When you cast this spell, each player exiles their hand, then draws that many cards.
    You may have CARDNAME enter the battlefield as a copy of any permanent or permanent card in any face-up zone, except it gains "Exile a card from your hand: Return this permanent to its owner's hand."

    2) Creative Gusto (mythic rare)
    Creature spells you cast from your hand have cascade.
    Instant and sorcery spells you control have rebound.

    3) Dyslexia (Uncommon)
    Choose one--
    Switch target creature's power and toughness until end of turn.
    Exchange control of two target permanents until end of turn.
    Scry 1, then draw a card, then scry 1.

    4) Good Boy (Common)
    Creature -- Hound
    As CARDNAME enters the battlefield, choose Bark or Bite.
    Bark-- CARDNAME gets +0/+2.
    Bite-- CARDNAME gets +2/+0.

    5) Equivocator Mage (rare)
    Creature -- Human Wizard
    When CARDNAME deals combat damge to a player, choose a creature they control that hasn’t been chosen, then they do the same. Repeat this process until each creature they control has been chosen, then return the last-chosen creature to its owner’s hand.

    6) People's Justice (Uncommon)
    When you cast CARDNAME, each other player copies it.
    If a player controls more creatures than you, create a number of 1/1 white Human Soldier creature tokens equal to the difference.

    7) Melancholia (rare)
    Creature -- Horror Incarnation
    When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, exile all cards from your hand and graveyard until CARDNAME leaves the battlefield.
    When you control more than one creature, sacrifice CARDNAME.
    At the beginning of your upkeep, if CARDNAME is in your graveyard and you control no creatures, return it to the battlefield tapped.

    8) Suppressed Rage (Uncommon)
    Whenever a creature deals combat damage to you, put a suppression counter on CARDNAME. Then if CARDNAME has three or more suppression counters on it, sacrifice it and deal 3 damage to each of up to three target creatures.

    1. Trying to figure out if the church is strong or not and as a Johnny excites me. Actually a lot of your cards seem very Johnny. Good Boy is a nice simple common but I feel the size /payoff is too small for green the creature color. I think you could add reach for the defense boost and trample for the attack or deathtouch for defense, not sure if it is still common then. I like Melancholia very big path target but oh well. Also welcome to the community.

    2. Seconded, as probably the ex-newest member of the community, welcome.

      Cards I like: Church of Theatre, Melancholia. Both of these cards have really unique effects that I'd enjoy trying to build around. The only thing I might change on Melancholia is to make its return ability a may so that you don't have to keep bringing it back if you want to play other creatures.

      Equivocator Mage seems like a lot of work for what is essentially an underpowered bounce effect, and it's probably closer to uncommon than rare. I'm also thinking Suppressed Rage should probably read "Whenever one or more creatures deal combat damage to you" so it's a little harder to activate, otherwise the opponent will probably never want to attack.

    3. I agree about Equivocator Mage, except I think how complex the bounce ability reads might make it rare, plus the weirdness. One difference is it does not target so you can bounce a hexproof creature if you are lucky.

    4. You're right, I was thinking more about power level vs complexity for Equivocator Mage.

    5. Thanks! We're happy you found us and glad you're designing. It's a blast.

      Church of Theater is amazing. Designing 5 color cards is tricky, since most of the time they don't actually NEED to be 5 colors. Every single mechanic on that fits neatly into blue, for instance. But it's such a great out-of-the-box design that it would completely work as a 5-color mythic in the right set.

    6. There's a lot of good stuff to dissect here, but for my second pick I'm going with Dyslexia (which I'm using my official powers to rename Dyslexia Charm).

      I love the thematic synergy in the abilities, even though the mechanical synergy is not especially high (not that charms need mechanical synergy between their abilities).

      My biggest concern is that each of these modes on its own is highly complex, and adding that modality to a card with all three can make for exceptionally spikey plays. It's a very interesting design, but probably needs to be rare based on complexity alone.

  6. (1) Sincerity -

    Earnest Squire - W
    Creature - Kithkin Soldier {C}
    Spells you cast that target creatures you control costs 1 less to cast.

    2) Dauntlessness -

    Courageous Ironbark - 1GG
    Creature - Treefolk Knight (U)
    Sacrifice Courageous Ironbark: Target permanent you control gains indestructible until end of turn.

    3) Nonconformity -

    Curse of Deviance 3RR
    Enchantment - Aura (R)
    Enchant player
    Whenever a spell or ability enchanted player controls is put onto the stack, if it has a single target, reselect its target at random. (Select from among all legal targets.)

    4) Rationality

    Nexus of Knowledge - 7UU
    Enchantment (M)
    Affinity for Sorceries (This card costs {1} less to cast for each sorcery card in your graveyard.)
    Sorcery spells you cast cost {2} less to cast.
    Whenever you cast a sorcery spell, copy it. You may choose new targets for the copy.

    5) Loquaciousness -

    Babbling Taskmage U
    Creature - Gnome Wizard (U)
    Discard a card, T: Draw three cards, then put two cards from your hand on top of your library in any order.

    6) Passion -

    Paroxysm 3R
    Sorcery (R)
    Target player draws cards equal to the number of cards in their graveyard, then discards that many cards.

    7) Ethics

    Sworn Knight WW
    Creature - Human Knight (U)
    Vigilance, first strike
    Your opponents cannot gain control of creatures you control.

    8) Sadness

    Lost 3B // Found 2U
    Sorcery (U)
    Each player discards three cards.
    // Each player draws three cards.

    1. How many people want gnomes back, because I know I do. I like Nexus of Knowledge, I wonder how easy it is going to end up being to cast this for UU, this is almost a dredge seven you don't have to remove cards for, also I think you might want to use a different term than affinity, since affinity currently is about permanents you control, cool effect and up to the play design team to balance. Does earnest squire say colorless spells I cast that target creatures cost 1 less or is the colorless symbol not supposed to be there? It is a nice card in an aura deck and helps push the archetype, is it common? Oh now I think I got it, the site rendered common as colorless symbol. I like Courageous Ironbark, since it is a Treefolk Knight, but besides that it is very similar to Dauntless Escort, trying to figure out how often I would be saving noncreature permanents and if giving all my creatures indestructible is just better, but the fact it makes me ask that is good.

    2. Yes, Earnest Squire is common and meant to support an aura/pumpspell archetype. I always forget that this site has symbol support.

      Affinity for sorceries is probably just a playtesting joke, but it might be fine for a Commander product. The fact that Nexus only cares about sorceries on its front and back end should be enough to keep it from just slotting into any all-in graveyard/dredge strategies. Playing 16 sorceries in constructed is a really big cost and I don't know how the deck would combo-kill.

      Thanks for the feedback!

    3. My favorite of these is Sworn Knight. The name is simple and evocative, the effect is nice in the color pie and more straightforward than previous red or green variants. WoTC has moved away from CC-cost two-drops in recent years, which I think does improve gameplay. Maybe there's a version at 1W that would play better.

      Curse of Deviance is the kind of card I would love to play with in casual Magic. Admittedly, I'm a monster.

    4. I'm not sure Curse of Deviance (I prefer to think of it as an Opportunity for Deviance myself) requires referencing the stack. Maybe something like:

      "When a spell or ability by enchanted player targets a single target, that target is chosen randomly among all legal targets." Granted, that does say "target" a lot, doesn't it?

      Maybe "Sorcery Mastery" for Nexus of Knowledge? It was Spell Mastery that cared about the graveyard. I am having a hard time trying to figure out what to do with this card, but maybe that's the point? I'd really have to sit down and brew. Blame it on an environment that has become way too fast and focused on instant speed effects.

      As somebody looking for ways to soften control decks without resorting to hexproof, I really like the Sworn Knight. I think the ability could also fit well philosophically in green, too.

    5. I love most of these, they capture the feel of the words so well

    6. I'm a fan of Nexus of Knowledge, but it's doing one thing too many. Affinity for sorceries (in your graveyard) is great, but I would drop the mana reduction ability and double down on the doubling effect.

      Arguably red cares slightly more about sorceries and blue more about instants, and this card could be printed in any of Blue, Red, or Izzet. It could also easily be a rare, unless the set it's in has a heavy spell-matters theme, in which case this would be a centerpiece of the set and should stay mythic. Fantastic design.

    7. Paroxysm asks the question, at what point does red's failure to net card advantage through it's style of drawing cards cross the line? I definitely think this is over the line. Yes, you're not netting cards, which is the big concern with red, but you're also making the distinction kind of meaningless since you have the potential to dig relatively deep for the thing you need. I personally think that red should be capped at three cards deep to find stuff before it really pushes up against the color pie boundaries.

      How could we fix it? Making it multicolor, either izzet or rakdos, solves the biggest problem. If you had less control over what ended up in your hand at the end of the effect, either through random discard or opponents choosing what ends up there, that would also do the trick. I like where the card is going though.

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  8. Awesome challenge! I love being given some restrictions for design, allows for much more focused and creative design.

    Here goes, review whichever you have most to say about :)

    1. Introspection
    2. Teaching
    3. Improvement
    4. Computing
    5. Intuition
    6. Self
    7. Cooking
    8. Calm

    Introspection (Common)
    Enchantment - Aura
    Enchant creature you control
    At the beginning of your upkeep, scry X, where X is equal to the power of enchanted creature.

    Eager Teacher (Uncommon)
    Creature - Human Wizard
    {T}: Target opponent draws two cards. Draw a card.
    As the student learns from the master, so too does the master learn from the student.

    Virtue of Failure (Uncommon)
    Whenever a creature with power 2 or less you control dies, you pay may {1}{W}. If you do, return it to the battlefield under its owner's control and put a +1/+1 counter on it.
    That didn't go very well... Time to do better!

    Computing (Mythic)
    Reveal the top three cards of your library. Choose one of those cards and put it into your hand. Put the rest on the bottom of your library in any order.
    Repeat this process until you have at least seven cards in hand or your library is empty.

    Intuition (Uncommon)
    Exile the top three cards of your library face down. Look at one of those cards. (You can't look at the others.) You may play that card this turn.
    Add {R}

    Self Above All (Mythic)
    If you would lose the game, you may instead sacrifice all creatures you control. If you sacrifice at least one creature this way, you can't lose or win the game this turn.

    Cooking Pot (Common)
    {T}, Tap an untapped land and creature you control, Discard a card: Gain 2 life and draw a card.
    Some sugar, some spice, and everything nice.

    Calm // Collected (Rare)
    {2}{W} // {3}{G}{G}
    Instant // Instant
    Prevent all damage that would be dealt this turn by creatures target opponent controls
    Whenever damage is prevented this turn, create a 1/1 green Squirrel creature token for each 1 damage prevented.

    P.S. I'm new here, how do I edit a post? I can't find an edit button anywhere...

    1. Sadly you cannot edit posts. I would say copy it, edit it, repost and delete the original.

    2. Cooking Pot should gain 3 life, not 2

    3. I like the flavor of Eager Teacher, not sure how it would play, probably similar to Humble Defector which was a fun card. Your Mythics definitely feel Mythic, they catch something truly crazy, the card advantage on Computing is awesome. I like what cooking pot is doing, I think it might be pushing into uncommon.

    4. Welcome! I don't want to repeat myself, so I'll just say that the flavor on literally all of these is top notch.

      1) Flavorwin, but being a multicolor and an aura are two pretty harsh downsides for this effect. I would be disappointed as the UG player if this was my gold card.

      2) This is sweet. Is it targeted for multiplayer? Humble Defector was mentioned, but that set also had ways of sacrificing it in response to it's ability. Why does my opponent draw more than me?

      3) I personally don't like how this makes 1 power creatures recur forever, but the psuedo-Undying tech is really clever.

      4) Perfect blue mythic. I would only change this if someone suggested a more elegant way to close the loop, but I can't think of one.

      5) This seems like it's probably too strong, but maybe if this was the only storm enabler out there it would be cool?

      6) I think the mana cost is a little aggro, but this is a great way to do Worship in Black. In my mind it would be more Black if it made you sacrifice your creatures every turn, not just when it was helping you.

      7) 9/10. I don't think 3 life is necessary for this to be strong. This effect should probably be uncommon.

      8) 9/10. No comment. Thumbs up for Squirrels.

    5. Cheers for the feedback :)

      Yeah Cooking Pot is probably a tad too complex for common, it was a bit simpler at first and I didn't change the rarity afterwards.

      Teacher is (at least partially) aimed at multiplayer. It can also be interesting in a Howling Mine style deck.

      Introspection: more exciting if the scry happens at the end of turn rather than upkeep?

      Intuition: Yeah Storm ruins a lot of design space :p Still, this is 'random', and if you look at a land card you basically just went down a card to up your storm count by 1.

    6. Introspection sibling!

      I strongly disagree with Devin on the power of Introspection and in fact said too myself "That's too powerful for common" before scrolling down and seeing Devin's comments. I would happily pinwheel slam this card. Being able to scry every upkeep for no cost at all is powerful and putting in green means it could end up on a creature with power 3 early in the game (and also possibly a hexproof creature). That's crazy powerful utility.

      I think players tend to undervalue the power of scry because the knowledge doesn't provide immediate advantage unless it's combined with card draw. But then, if you scroll up and see my contributions, I've made myself a scry lord, LOL.

      For Intuition I'd maybe increase the casting cost of the spell, then let them play the chosen card without paying the casting cost. If you're going to invoke randomness, maybe make it feel rewarding when you hit the jackpot.

      I'm not sure Self Above All needs more than four black in the casting cost to make sure it ends up in a monoblack deck. But then I started thinking about an environment where devotion is a thing and possible shenanigans tying devotion to graveyard recursion combos.

    7. I also have an all knowing owl that lets you just look at the top card of your library which I feel is strong also, any knowledge in Magic is insanely strong, especially in the hands of better players.

    8. First off, welcome! Unfortunately, our site doesn't support editing, so we're generally pretty forgiving of tpyos and gramatically incorrect.

      I'd love to go through all of your designs, as there's so much there to dissect, but I'll stick with two so I finish this before its time for the next weekend challenge.

      Your rarity was generally a little off. Introspection cannot be common. Scrying for more than two is difficult to do at common in general, as it becomes much much more powerful with each incremental tick up the integer ladder. Scry X in Simic can easily and at common be scry 5 or 6 each turn, and that is powerful and time consuming. That should be something that happens once per draft, not each game. I like the upkeep trigger for the ability, but it might also be interesting to do as a sabateur ability, which gives it different uses at different points in the game and adds a bit of strategic depth to it.

    9. Cooking pot is such a fun and flavorful design. Other than 3 life, as others suggested, I wouldn't change a thing.

      It might be fun to have different effects based on the discarded ingredient - +1/+1 for a creature, life for a land, card for a spell. It adds a lot of complexity, but it makes you feel more like a chef and less like a line cook.

  9. Such a neat challenge! I'm torn between 1-3 & 6.

    1. "Sleepy"
    Drowsy Fencer 1R
    Creature - Human Rogue (c)
    Double strike
    When CARDNAME attacks, flip two coins. If you lose either flip, exert it.

    2. "Starve"
    Pitiless Struggle WUB
    Enchantment - (r)
    Creatures you control have base power and toughness 1/1.
    Whenever a creature you control deals damage, draw a card and lose 1 life.

    3. "Nourish"
    Blade of the Ready 1R/W
    Artifact - Equipment (u)
    Whenever this becomes equipped to a creature, that creature gets +2/+2 and double strike until end of turn.
    Equip 4

    4. "Earnest"
    Earnest Smile
    Enchantment (u)
    At the beginning of your end step, reveal your hand.

    5. "Affable"
    Caravan Dromedary W
    Creature - Camel (u)
    T: Target opponent gains control of ~. You gain 4 life.
    4: Gain control of ~. Each player draws a card. Activate this ability only if you don't control ~.

    6. "Cheer"
    Memento Mori 1BB
    Enchantment (r)
    When Memento Mori enters the battlefield, put a +1/+1 counter on each creature.
    All creatures get -1/-1.

    7. "Queer"
    Queer Thing Genius 2U
    Creature - Weird (r)
    When Queer Thing Genius enters the battlefield, name a card.
    1, Return Queer Thing Genius to its owner’s hand: Reveal the top card of your library. If it has the chosen name, put it into your hand.

    8. "Text"
    Tome of Forked Tongues 1
    Artifact - Equipment (c)
    Equipped creature gets +1/+1 and can block as though it were two creatures.
    Equip 2

    1. I like Blade of the Ready's take on Vulshok Gauntlets' incentivized re-equip. It's a very Jenny equipment, of which there are sadly too few. I'm not sure if it's improved by having the double strike be static and the +2/+2 trigger on equip (or vice versa), but I think it would certainly be less niche. Very fun.

    2. Memento Mori is another fantastic Jenny card. Hunter of Eyeblights found the tool it's been dreaming of. I'm not sure if it wants to be in Dimir or Golgari so the Counter colors would have more fun playing with it, but I'm in love with it as printed.

  10. I'll try this, but I'm no good at describing myself. Most of these cards are designed more to fit the theme than to be actual cards. Some are silver-bordered.

    1. Optimism
    2. Math
    3. Foresight
    4. Soft-spoken
    5. Escape
    6. Procrastination
    7. W
    8. Learning

    1. Optimism
    The Future is Bright (R)
    At the beginning of your upkeep, if you took no damage last turn, exile this and take an extra turn after this one. Otherwise, exile this.

    2. Math
    Composite Cataclysm (Un-U)
    Destroy three target creatures if their converted mana costs share no factors other than 1 (0 has no factors).

    3. Foresight
    Don't Even Think About It (Un-U)
    Choose a nonland card name. Target opponent reveals their sideboard and removes all cards with that name from their sideboard.

    4. Soft-Spoken
    Soft Speaker (U)
    Creature - Human Monk
    You can only cast one spell each turn.
    Spells you control can't be countered by spells or abilities.

    5. Escape
    Shackled Angel (R)
    Creature - Angel
    When this enters the battlefield, put a shackle counter on target land you control.
    While you control no permanents with shackle counters on them, this gets +2/+2 Flying, Lifelink, and Vigilance.

    6. Procrastination
    Giant Sloth (Un-U)
    Creature - Sloth
    If you would win the game, instead win the game next turn.

    7. W
    Wesley, Wandering Wayfarer (Un-C)
    Wcreature - Weird Warrior Wizard
    When Wesley, Wandering Wayfarer would wage war, Wesley, Wandering Wayfarer wages war with Wither.

    8. Learning
    I'm Starting to Understand (Un-C)
    Counter target spell if a spell with the same name has resolved this game.

    1. Love the type weird warrior wizard, just like I enjoyed making a cat ooze.I think Giant Sloth might work but would need to be a sacrifice effect. If you would win the game instead sacrifice CARDNAME and win the game next turn. Enjoy :the puzzle for shackled angel but is probably busted in Modern 4/4 flying, vigilance, and lifelink for 3. I like foresight I wish it could be black bordered, this would be a tough one to black border because I think the rules stop it. Soft Speaker is fun.

    2. I like Shackled Angel a lot as well, and honestly it's a 3-mana creature without a relevant creature type that takes a full turn before it has any effect, which might be "playable but safe" for modern given the competition. Giant Sloth is a great Un-design - honestly this is a fun and inventive batch of cards.

    3. Nice designs! I'd put the shackled angel in red over white. White blowing up its Own lands is a thing, but this still feels like a color pie bend.

      I also really enjoyed the alliteration creature! Wacky!

      The learning counterspell is neat, but from a game play perspective I'd imagine it would want to counter the spell with the same name was in the battlefield/graveyard. Otherwise it's super hard to track.

    4. I really like Soft Speaker and Shackled Angel.

      I do think Soft Speaker ought to be rare.

      I disagree with Wobbles, and think Shackled Angel is good in white. White keeps things in check and suppresses, which this does, and tying it to a land doesn't feel particularly out of place. There's no actual blowing lands up going on, it just wants you to. Only gripe I have with this card is that it feels a bit too free while it's still shackled (it can already attack and all, so that's a pretty long chain... at least in my mind it's shackled to a land by chain)

    5. Thanks for all the great comments, guys!

      Giant Sloth probably doesn't quite work the way that I want. As-is, I'm not sure if this indefinitely delays the win as long as Sloth is on board or if it only delays it once. I think zone-changing replacement effects only work once on the same instance, but I don't know how it would work here.

      Shackled Angel could be too good, but to pair it with fetchlands in Modern it's essentially a 4-drop and this doesn't compare to most Modern-playable 4 drops. I probably should have made it an 'as it enters the battlefield' type effect because it's a bit weird and unintuitive that it's a 4/4 while the ability is on the stack (hard to Bolt).

      It might be better card design for Shackled Angel to just be a 4/4 with all those abilities that can't attack or block while there's a shackle counter, but I wanted it to feel restricted not fully bricked. It was supposed to represent the idea of "held back by my home town".

    6. Giant Sloth could read:
      If an opponent would lose the game, they gain an emblem with "You can't lose the game except from this emblem's effects. At the beginning of your next end step, you lose the game."

      The wording could also be simplified if we allow the possibility of having the emblem destroy itself.

    7. This comment has been removed by the author.

    8. Hmm, actually this wouldn't work if Giant Sloth was still on the battlefield. This is a tricky one.

    9. I suppose you'd have to do:
      If you would win the game and Giant Sloth doesn't have a victory counter on it, you gain an emblem with "You can't win the game and your opponents can't lose the game. At the beginning of your upkeep, destroy this emblem and win the game.", then put a victory counter on Giant Sloth.

    10. Why doesn't my version with a delayed trigger work? If you would win the game instead sacrifice Giant Sloth and you win the game at the beginning of the next upkeep.

    11. Your way definitely works, I was just trying to come up with a way that doesn't involve sacrificing it.

    12. Well since you are winning the game, I think sacrificing it doesn't matter, or we can just keep it in Silver-Bordered land and pretend it works as intended.

    13. Probably just doeantd actually work without clunky text. Since death is state-based, your opponent would constantly be losing the game. It works as long as you understand what it's supposed to do, which makes it feel pretty silver bordered to me

    14. All fun designs, and most of them are less silverborder than you made them out to be. For Math, I think a solid design (and honestly, probably not that different from the un version) would be to just require three targets with different CMCs. It might need to cost one more, but it's a nice and potent design.

      Soft Speaker is very interesting. There are a couple of tweaks I would make. First, it's really a sideboard card, so I wouldn't have it in multiple colors and and I would bump it to rare so it isn't gumming up drafts. Blue would make the most sense, but green works too. Should sideboard strategy hosers like this include a drawback by default? I'd have to consult with Play Design and Spikes to get their take on that, but it would at the very least make an interesting experiment.

  11. 1. Choices
    Book of Endless Pages {5} (Rare)
    Cards in your hand have Cycling {2}.
    Whenever you cycle a card, gain 1 life.

    2. Science
    The scientific method {3}{U}{U} (Mythic)
    Enchantment - Saga
    As ~ enters the battlefield, name a card type.
    I, II: Scry 3, then you may reveal the top card of your library. If the revealed card is of the named type, put it into your hand.
    III: you may cast cards with the named type without paying their Mana costs this turn.

    3: Headgames
    Gifts Ungiven {3}{U}
    I can't have a signature spell book without having my favorite spell in it, come on! It utilises my favorite quality about magic in limited information and player interaction.

    4: Motorcycle
    Ghirapur Gearbike {3} (Unc.)
    Artifact - Vehicle
    ~ can only be blocked by creatures with haste.
    Crew 1

    5: Ruthless
    Salt the Soil {1}{B} (Rare)
    Buyback - pay 2 life, sacrifice a land.
    Each player sacrifices a creature.

    6: Climbing
    Crazy Canyoneer {2}{R} (Uncommon)
    Creature - Human Scout
    ~'s power is equal to the number of Mountains you control.

    7. Storm!
    Page Turner {1}{U}{U} (Common)
    Draw a card.

    8: Patience
    Tender Sapling {1}{G} (Uncommon)
    Creature - Treefolk
    Landfall - whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, you gain 2 life. If that land was an Island, put a +1/+1 counter on ~.

    1. Motorcycle is incredible. Can only be blocked by creatures with keyword is a very interesting space to play in. I think if we were doing that, it should list two different keywords that are primary/secondary in three colors between them to keep it from being to often just unblockable. For morocycle, haste and reach? So green and red, and occasionally black creatures can block it? Awesome design.

    2. I love these designs. My goodness. Tender sapling is how I wish they'd do the draft guiding uncommons with more frequency than the gold cards. That's some fantastic flavor. It might need some cost adjustments, but I love the direction it's moving in.

    3. Thanks for the kind words, Zeff! I think Sapling should be 1GG, since that ensures you can't just splash it.
      For Motorcycle, I definitely thought about more keywords, but I couldn't decide, so I just left it as is to make it readable. I'd probably use first strike and double strike, and haste, but it's 6's either way.

  12. Honk, Honk! W
    Instant C
    Create a 0/1 white bird creature token with flying. It has indestructible until end of turn.

    Wobbles U
    Instant - C
    Return target creature spell to its owner's hand. Cards with the same name as that spell can't be played this turn.

    Goose R
    Sorcery - C
    Whenever a source you control would deal damage this turn, it deals that much damage plus 1 instead.

    1. Your next descriptors are inscrutable, unique, and surprise.

      Wobbles is a solid design. It might need to be bumped to uncommon because there's a bit of hidden complexity there, but maybe not.

      I love how simple each of these are, and how each has somehow not yet been printed? Incredible.

      Alright, you get homework. Let's see the 1-CMC common black and green spells that complete this cycle. you don't need to conform to terms, but you are encouraged to.

    2. Homework B
      Sorcery - C
      Scry 2. For each card put on the bottom of your library this way, Homework deals 1 damage to you.
      Draw a card.

      Shucks G
      Sorcery C
      Lands you control have "T: Add one mana of any color." until end of turn.
      Untap a land you control.

    3. So glad to see the cycle completed! What a nice batch of cards. Homework, especially, walks right up to the "absolutely playable in constructed" line while still being printable and interesting.

  13. bit late but going for it anyway

    1 Learning
    2 Analytical
    3 Spontaneous
    4 curious
    5 Games/puzzles
    6 Software
    7 Debate
    8 Work

    1 Learning
    Field Research UG
    Sorcery (U)
    add GG
    Until end of turn when a creature enters the battlefield if it does not share a creature type with creatures you control draw a card.

    2 Analytical
    Choose the Victory 3UB
    Sorcery M
    Target opponent searches you library for 5 different non land cards, you divide them into two piles, that opponent chooses one and cast all non land cards from it without paying thier mana costs, then you cast all non land cards from the other without paying thier mana costs

    3 Spontaneous
    Now || Not (C)
    Now 1U
    the next spell you cast may be cast as if it had flash
    draw a card
    Not 1U
    Counter target non creature spell

    4 curious
    curiousity Killed The Cat 3B
    Enchantment Arua R
    Enchant Creature R
    whenever enchanted creature deals damage to an opponent reveal the top that many cards of your library and put those cards into your hand. You lose life equal to thier converted mana costs.

    5 Games/puzzles
    The Great Games 3[RR || GG|| UU]
    Sorcery M
    Starting with you each player [has one creature they control deal damage to a creature they don't control || puts a permanent from thier hand onto the battlefield || casts an instant or sorcery without paying it's mana cost] this continues until one player connot or declines to do so.

    6 Software
    Programmable Hedron
    Artifact (M)
    As ~ enters the battlefield choose three activated abilities, A, B and C from three different permanents.(you must specify which ability is A and which is B and which is C)
    T: If an opponent controls three or more basic lands activate A
    else if you have no cards in hand activate B
    else activate C

    7 Debate
    Debate 2UU
    Sorcery (R)
    scry 3 then you and each opponent reveal the top three cards of your libraries, the player(s) who revelaed the highest or equal highest total converted mana cost puts those cards into thier hand, all other revealed card are put into thier owner's graveyard.

    8 Work
    Timber Tester G
    Creature- Human Wizard (U)
    (T) Sacrifice a forest: search your library for a land card and put it into your hand shuffle your library.

    (bonus- right name wrong flavour)
    Labratory Assistant 2U
    Creature - Human Wizard
    If you would draw a card while there are no cards in your library intead you may return target card from your graveyard to your hand.

    1. Another stellar batch of cards! Choose your victory is an uber-Tammy Fact or Fiction, and I almost love it, but having the opponent cast one of the stacks causes two problems. First, it doubles down the downside after the opponent already chose the 5 cards, and second, it makes dividing the piles take a significantly longer time as you have to weigh a lot of different scenarios. I'd just cast one pile of an opponents choice for free and exile the others, but otherwise a fantastic card.

      Programmable Hedron is technically doable in black border, but translating it into magic-ese wouldn't be as fun as if it was done in Silver border. I like where you're going with it, but it definitely needs some tightening up. I can name activated abilities from any magic card ever? That's too broad, and paradoxically means there's going to be a small handful of "right" choices to make. Maybe exile three cards from your deck, so you can use it as a toolkit, so long as the tools exist in your deck already.

    2. I read Programmable Hedron as choose three permanents on the battlefield, seems like it would choose 3 lands often. Also what is the CMC for the Hedron?

  14. Holy guacamole did you guys knock this challenge out of the park. I'm so impressed with the different designs you guys came up with, especially given the difficulty of the challenge. For all the descriptors and associated words you all came up with to define yourselves, you definitely need to include future GDS4 contestants to that list. Amazing job, one and all.