Friday, June 22, 2018

Weekend Design Challenge 062218 - Random Redesign

Hey Artisans. Click through to see the requirements for this weekend's design challenge, due Monday morning. Every submission warrants feedback, so once you've got your great idea down, give some thoughtful critique to some of your peers. Revise your submission any number of times, and on Monday-ish, I'll review the most recent submission from each designer.

For this weekend's challenge, you're going to select a card at random, keep the name, the art, and the rarity, and redesign it from the top down. This is similar to the Weatherlight Crew remix we did a little while back. You can keep rolling random cards until you find one that speaks to you, but don't just pick one you've thought about redesigning for ages. If you come across a card that has since been reprinted, please assume I'll be looking at the most recent art/rarity

Critique will contrast your redesign with the original, taking the original's context (set mechanics, era of design, etc.), plus the usual color pie, rarity, elegance, cohesion, etc. things I focus on.

That's it. Good luck everyone, have fun, and I'll see you all on Monday.


  1. First hit was Bloodpyre Elemental. It's never been reprinted, so it's still from Shards. If it's not bending the assignment too much, I'm gonna move it to Alara Reborn.

    Bloodpyre Elemental
    Creature - Demon Elemental
    BR, sacrifice a creature: Return ~ from your graveyard to your hand. Activate this ability only any time you could cast a sorcery.

    Complexity at common was higher during Alara, but hopefully this recursive (albeit slow, expensive, and weak) threat isn't too out there. It's meant to both synergize with Unearth Creatures as well as Naya's 5+ power matters themes while eschewing Devour (which this already didn't work with). Hopefully this plays into the idea of the Shards merging.

    1. A fun Grixis card that plays well with others. The flavor of draining your creature of blood to summon a blood elemental works well imo.

  2. Replies
    1. I'm going to design assuming I'm updating the whole cycle, and every set after Beta.

    2. These things were common until 8th Edition!

      CoP: White {1}{W}
      Enchantment (cmn)
      If a white source would deal damage to you, prevent 1 of that damage.

      Still problematic, but better.

    3. Could do "white spells costs 1 more to cast against you" but eh.

    4. They were so common, I have basically an entire Set Bundle box full of them.

    5. What if CoP: Green was a green card?

    6. Circle of Flame & Circle of Affliction already exist; I think if you stretch the concept like those two do, you could probably make all five colors.

    7. Circle of Flame & Circle of Affliction

      I can definitely imagine a cycle that triggers on damage dealt by its color, but they'd do different things than prevent damage, and I'm not sure they'd keep the name "circle of protection."

  3. Arlinn Kord {2}{R}{G}

    Planeswalker — Arlinn

    +2: Target creature you control gets +2/+2 and gains vigilance until your next upkeep.

    +1: Create a 1/1 white Human creature token.

    0: At the beginning of your next end step, Transform CARDNAME

    Starting Loyalty: 2


    Arlinn, Touched by the Moon

    Planeswalker — Arlinn

    You may activate loyalty abilities of CARDNAME any number of times.

    At the beginning of your end step, transform CARDNAME.

    -2: Exile the top 2 cards of your library, you may play those cards this turn. Add 2 mana in any combination of {R} and {G}.

    -4: Creatures you control gain haste until end of turn. At the beginning of your next main phase, untap all creatures you control. After that main phase, there is an additional combat phase followed by an additional main phase.

  4. Remove Soul 2U
    Enchantment -Aura (C)
    Enchant Non-artifact creature
    Enchanted creature becomes a 1/1 creature with flying.

    1. Remove Soul

      Why does removing a soul turn the creature into a spirit. Didn't we remove that?

  5. Dragonstorm, from Scourge.

    Sooo ... kind of restrictive name, art, and set. Guess I have to keep the dragon ... and the storm, lol.

    Dragonstorm (Rare)
    Create a 4/4 red Dragon token with flying. Dragonstorm deals 1 damage to each creature without flying.

    I have never actually played in an environment that includes storm, so I'm not sure how busted this is other than the obvious busting because it's a storm card.

    1. Dragonstorm

      If this dealt 1 damage to all creatures, then it would be a storm card you don't (usually) want to 4+ copies of.

    2. You'd have to time so the damage happens after all the copies have resolved, otherwise it'd just leave you always making 3 dragons if you had 3+ storm.

    3. "Create a 4/4 red Dragon token with flying. It has "At the beginning of your end step, if this creature entered the battlefield this turn, deal 1 damage to each target.""

      A bit of a mouthful, but that means you'll typically want to cast it when storm is <=3, or >= your opponent's life total? Seems kind of interesting. Or a way to at least force a draw.

  6. A curveball, for sure, in the TSP uncommon Cavalry Master (the "flanking stacks" lord). What's a good replacement that keeps the weird of Time Spiral but leaves less board complexity behind?

    Cavalry Master 1WW
    Creature - Zombie Knight (u, TSP)
    When this enters the battlefield, choose one —
    • Counter target enchantment spell.
    • Instants and sorceries you cast this turn can’t be countered.
    • Until end of turn, Knight creatures you control gain “{B}: Regenerate this” and swampwalk.

    1. The pun here is that this casts a version of Presence of the Master, Overmaster, or a (one-turn) Zombie Master. Is three color bends a smart choice, when all three seem at least white-adjacent, but (n)one of them make any flavor sense? Well,

    2. Cavalry Master 2WW
      Creature - Human Knight (u)
      Flanking (Whenever a creature without flanking blocks this creature, the blocking creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn.)
      Whenever CARDNAME blocks, it gets +1/+1 until end of turn.

      Every gold card in TSP is either legendary or a sliver, so that's out. Hopefully a new Zhao Zilong, Tiger General is simpler than my first go.

      The math adds up very similarly to a 3/3 first striker, which isn't something we'll include in a lot of modern designs, but DOM had two of, so I think it's at least on the table.

  7. Lifetap-2UW
    Enchant Creature
    When Lifetap enters the battlefield tap enchanted creature and it does not untap during its controller's untap step. At the beginning of your upkeep gain 1 life.

    1. Oh, we could change color. Clever.


    2. I could not imagine a monoblue card that would be dealing with life.

  8. Jace, Memory Adept
    Legendary Planeswalker - Jace - MR
    +1: Draw two cards, then discard a card.
    +0: You get an emblem with “Whenever you draw a card, each opponent puts the top card of his or her library into his or her graveyard.”
    -8: Draw cards equal to the number of cards in the graveyard with the most cards in it.

    Intent is to make it less insane in limited, but still feel like a cool mill-based planeswalker.

    1. Very neat! The stacking emblem seems pretty quick to grasp math-wise, especially since it doesn't ever affect combat.

    2. Also it's much less strenuous on representation than one might think to represent the stacking emblem. Just use a die over the existing emblem.

      This is the sort of thing you'd probably check with Digital to make sure that their representation wouldn't just be a big, ugly pile of emblems though.

  9. I get: Iname, Death Aspect.


    OK, that's dripping with flavour, but is quite hard to redesign because it needs to fit with Iname as One and Iname, Life Aspect.

    And I might make it a bit stronger for a rare, give it flying to go with its BIG WINGS, but then it wouldn't really fit with the cycle or the rest of the set. (I could redesign the cycle but I'm stubborn.)

    However, I'm not sure why it's ONLY about spirits. I don't really understand the Kamigawa mythos, the spirits got into a war with humanity? But do death spirits still death humans or only spirits or what?

    But I feel like the best way of embracing "spirit of death" is:

    Iname, Death Aspect
    Creature - Spirit
    When ~ ETBs, you may discard a spirit card from your hand. If you do, destroy target creature.

    I kept the cost mostly for the symmetry with the other cards in the cycle and to power up spirit-in-graveyard mechanics.

    1. I have trouble imagining a more card that could have been selected that's more tightly wound up with other designs.

    2. It'd be a major stretch, but what if instead of discarding a spirit, this put the Spirit from your hand onto the battlefield and then immediately sacrificed it? (and destroyed target creature.)

      That would let you trigger either other Iname if you had them in your hand, and either of their LTB effects seem fine at the cost of (4BB + 2 cards + having the pieces at the same time).

    3. Well, it could have been a tight cycle, then I would have accepted I needed to redesign the cycle :) But yes, I think this is as restrective as it could get before I'd reject it

  10. My card is Utopia Tree from Ninth Edition.

    Considering the set has things like Wildfire and Bloodfire Colossus, I thought I'd turn Utopia Tree into a Johnny-ish combo piece.

    Utopia Tree 3G
    Creature - Plant (R)
    Whenever Utopia Tree is dealt damage, at the beginning of your next precombat main phase, add that much mana in any combination of colors.

    1. This is super cool. I like it a lot. I wonder if there's a version like:

      Mana Punching Bag
      Creature - Wall
      Whenever ~ is dealt damage, add R.

      ...or if that'd just get broken (indestructible & Pyrohemia?) & the delayed version is better.

    2. I don't think it would be broken, but I imagine it would feel bad to get mana that you couldn't use.

    3. That’s fair. I was thinking along the lines of original Radha, where you’d play it alongside activated abilities, but neglected to think about how the combat damage step is pretty much the absolute worst time to get mana!

    4. I think your Utopia Tree could maybe be 0/3 for 2G.

    5. I'd really like to see this, but with making Gold tokens. Maybe flavor it as a really rich guy who's getting punched so hard all his coinpurses break open.

    6. Golden Golem
      Artifact Creature - Construct - Rare
      ~ enters the battlefield with five +1/+1 counters.
      Whenever ~ is dealt damage, instead remove that many +1/+1 counters from it. Create a Gold token for each +1/+1 counter removed this way.

  11. Dwarven Warriors. (Original was a Goblin Tunneler for 2R.)

    Tons of possible iterations of this one. At common, I think it's a better approach to give a clean, more flavorful representation of the name Dwarven Warriors than it is to develop a more innovative use of "sneak a small creature through," since that doesn't have anything to do with being a Dwarf or a Warrior. So I'm going with something more tough and stout, in line with most fantasy depiction of Dwarves:

    Dwarven Warriors (common)
    Creature -- Dwarf Warrior
    As long as it's your turn, ~ gets +1/+1.

    Attacks as a 3/4, blocks as a 2/3. Uses Hardy Veteran tech on a sturdy attacker.

    I really wanted to put some variations of indestructible on this guy (indestructible on your turn, indestructible until it hits a player, et cetera) but unfortunately it's a color pie violation any way you slice it.

    1. Dwarven Warriors

      Feels very stout, very dwarven! I might be tempted to push it even further to 1/2->+2/+2, just to be a little more focused on the red aggression, but I'm sure Play Design could test that (and even 0/4 +X/+0!) and find the most suited.

    2. This is a nice solution.
      To pick a nit, I'd make this base 2/2 so it's 3/3 on the attack, both for simplicity/elegance and to more closely fit the power level of the day.