Friday, August 16, 2019

Weekend Design Challenge 08162019 - Red Summer

Hey Artisans! I think we're a little overdue for a design challenge. Click through to see this weekend's design parameters. With those as your guidelines, design a custom magic card. Over the course of the weekend, give feedback to your fellow designers on their designs, and incorporate their feedback to iterate on your own. If I have time over the course of next week, I will try to offer some of my own feedback.


Last time we did this, we did Black Spring. This time around, let's do Red Summer. Design a mono-Red card that evokes the season of Summer.

Good luck, have fun, and I'll see you all next week.

19 comments:

  1. Glad to have GA back!

    School is the most WU thing ever and Red is all about escaping that. So:

    School's Out 1R
    Enchantment (Rare)
    You can't draw more than one card per turn.
    2R, discard a card: Untap all creatures you control. After this combat phase, there is an additional combat phase. Activate this ability only on your turn and only during combat.

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    1. Cool to see exploration of red's non-combat flavour, like freedom.

      The drawback seems a bit unnecessary, since red doesn't get to draw a lot of cards anyway. I feel like it might be cleaner to just add a once-per-turn restriction to the activated ability. I suppose that way you can't activate this multiple times in one turn, but that might be a bit too strong anyway?

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    2. You're right, the restriction isn't doing much here. It was more for flavor than for balance reasons, but the single ability still captures the basic idea. Besides, any player who assembles a board that nets cards *and* mana on this kind of deserves to be rewarded.

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    3. I love the flavor on the first one, but I understand why we should pull away from it. Does it make any difference if its symmetrical? It adds a lot of utility to commander games, and plays in the Stranglehold and Alms Collector space. I think 2R is about right. The cheapest we see this effect is 2RR, and it's more typically 3RR. Maybe 1RR to offset splashing in a blue or green deck? Very cool (hot?) summer card.

      Delete
  2. Glad to see those design challenges back.

    When I think summer, I think heat wave, especially the last few years. Top Down a heat wave slows things down as people prefer just lazing about or staying inside as much as possible, which reminded me of the 'land freezing' that WotC has experimented with somewhat as 'soft land destruction'.

    Scorching Heat Wave 2RR
    Sorcery (Rare)
    Tap two target lands you control and up to two target lands you don't control. They don't untap during their controller's next untap step.

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    1. Nice interpretation!

      Right now I think the cost of the card is too steep since it costs you 6 mana and a card to deny the opponent 2 mana. Maybe remove the requirement to target your own lands, and hit up to 3 of the opponent's?

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    2. Well, it only costs you 4 mana this turn and 2 next turn (recall it doesn't tell you to tap untapped lands you control). I wanted to cost it pretty conservatively because LD can really feel bad. Admittedly, the only possible comparison I have is Stensia Innkeeper which wasn't exactly constructed playable.

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    3. It's dangerous to use wording that goes against strongly rooted precedent (as Ipaulsen's assumption shows). Tapping untapped stuff is usually used because it's pretty unintuitive to tap lands that are already tapped.

      Perhaps you can update your design to clean this up?

      Other than that I feel like this is a neat take on new land destruction.

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    4. I think this one bears a little bit of deep analysis, so apologies for the mini-lecture.

      Wizards experimented with soft land destruction because land destruction ruins fun for the person not running it. Like overly agressive counterspells and discard spells, efficient land destruction just denies your opponent the chance to even play their deck. Some players get a kick out of this, but very few players feel good playing a game where they're denied the ability to do anything.

      Soft land destruction (which appears to have been a failed experiment - there aren't any cards in standard with it) was an attempt to capture the fun, high-concept of red liking to blow things up without the costs to net-fun that efficient land destruction carries. I'll slow you down, but you won't be in topdeck mode for the rest of the game - that feels a lot more fair to the player on the receiving end.

      Which brings us to Scorching Heat Wave. This may dress itself in the trappings of soft land destruction - tapping/exerting instead of destroying, but in practice it's a double Rishadan Port, an infamously unfun card to play against.

      That said, the concept is solid, and there's something there to work with. Change this to a Sorcery, make it actual soft land destruction in the spirit of Chandra's Revolution. Give it the Last Spell exert-your-land tech, and then give it one more effect to really tie the whole thing together.

      Your homework is to finish this card:
      Scorching Heat Wave [COST]
      Sorcery (R)
      Tap [number] target lands you don't control. They don't untap during their controller's next untap step. [Additional effect].
      Lands you control don't untap during your next untap step.

      Delete
    5. Scorching Heat Wave 2RR
      Sorcery (R)
      Tap up to four target lands you don't control. They don't untap during their controller's next untap step. Creatures opponents control can't block this turn.
      Lands you control don't untap during your next untap step.

      See also: Savor the Moment. This is better in that you get a free attack, but worse in that the opponent gets to draw a card.

      Delete
  3. Red Summer 2RR
    Enchantment R
    Whenever a creature attacks, Red Summer deals 3 damage to that creature.

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    Replies
    1. Flavor checks out. So... hot... outside...

      The effect is exciting but it runs into a bit of a play-design trap here, where this mostly just means "creatures with toughness 3 or less can't attack". That isn't exactly a red effect and it could shut some games down completely.

      For comparison: Circle of Flame is a lot less oppressive and a lot more likely to help you take down an attacker instead of just making it useless to attack in the first place. Also, it never just stops a game since it only affects creatures attacking you.

      Delete
    2. Red Summer 2RR
      Enchantment R
      Whenever a creature attacks, Red Summer deals 2 damage to that creature.
      Creatures have, "TAP: Deal 1 damage to any target."

      Delete
    3. I think that's a much more interesting take than the first iteration. I wonder if it would be more interesting still if the tap ability would just damage players and planeswalkers though. Now it's best use case would be to play this and ping down your enemy's board right away.

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    4. That's a fun concept, but it does kind of feel anti-red in a couple of ways. Red always wants to encourage attacking, and this distinctly discourages combat across the board. The pinging is nice, but as Brawl demonstrates, this ends up resulting in kind of complicated chess matches, another distinctly un-red outcome. Isao's suggestion that the targets be limited to players and PWs is well made.

      The thing about this flavor is that it does actually go both ways. Yes, summer heat can beat you down and make you unwilling to do anything outside, but summer heat is also the time to be out there finding ways to cool down. Let the enchantment force attacks. Yes, it will do 1 point of damage whenever a creature attacks, but those creatures have to get out there. Don't run it in a Goblin deck, but plenty of red decks will find something fun to do with this:

      Red Summer 2RR
      Enchantment (R)
      Creatures must attack each turn if able.
      Whenever a creature attacks, CARDNAME deals 1 damage to that creature.

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  4. Overheat {2}{R}{R}
    Sorcery U
    Until your next turn, whenever a permanent becomes tapped, it deals 1 damage to its controller.

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    1. I like this one a lot. Reminds me of punisher cards like Risk Factor, in that it probably doesn't anything unless you're pressuring the opponent's life total... and then it does a *lot*. Depending on the decks and the situation this probably represents 5+ points of damage by the time you cast it, which sounds like enough to matter.

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    2. Basically just everything lpaulsen said. That's a great card, forcing your opponent to deal with the brutal summer heat one way or another. Like bad summer barbecue, well done.

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    ReplyDelete