Friday, September 6, 2019

Weekend Design Challenge 090619 - Eldraine Mechanics

Good afternoon, Artisans! 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.

Well we got a whole mess of Eldraine Previews this week. This weekend, let's design a card using one of the set's mechanics. Alternatively, you can take one of the fairy-tale designs that have been previewed, and do a different take on it, with or without one of the set's mechanics.

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


  1. I'm very curious as to whether it's possible to do some sort of dual-color adventure like they did with aftermath cards. I suspect not -- is the spell both colors or does it depend on which version side you're casting? But I thought I'd try to see how it looked.

    Soooo -- the big bad wolf:

    Briarhome Stalker 1GG - Uncommon
    Creature -- Werewolf
    Briarhome Stalker can't be blocked by creatures with power less than 2.

    The Prey Cowers - 2B
    Instant - Adventure
    Destroy target creature with power less than 2.

    Is this a BG spell? Is the wolf green and the instant black? Yeah, I think there's a problem and I suspect we won't see multicolor adventure cards. (MaRo did say on Blogatog that this is actually a mono-color-focused set, despite the wedge theme for the Brawl decks)

    1. Oops, make it "power 2 or less" on both parts of the card. Got that wording off and accidentally nerfed it.

    2. While flavourful, I'm not too excited about the anti-synergy between the adventure and the creature.

    3. It's definitely intended to be stronger against weenie decks. The flavor is of the wolf ambushing and killing on of the three little pigs (or whatever) and the others all scattering in fear.

    4. I agree that there's some anti-synergy but I think it's fine. There's still an interesting play decision here since it's asking you to decide "who's the beatdown". Off-color adventures aren't likely to come up in the first set but they seem like a nice, natural choice for a return set. (Besides, the first set seems to be taking the BG identity in a different direction.)

      As far as the design itself goes, I like it as a "pushed for Standard" card that clearly references the fairy tale without trying to be too on-the-nose.

    5. I'm a big fan of testing out multicolor adventures. I think some of the flavor may have been lost along the way, but with the explanation, it does read as a big bad wolf. I'm a fan, although stepping away from having the adventure mirror or echo the creature might be a misstep. I think the anti-synergy could be resolved by doubling down on flavor.

      Big Bad Wolf 1GG
      When ~ enters the battlefield, you may have it fight target creature you don't control. If that creature's controller doesn't control an artifact or nonbasic land, ~ gets +2/+2 until end of turn.
      Blow Your House Down 4R
      Sorcery - Adventure
      Choose one or more:
      * Destroy target artifact.
      * Destroy target nonbasic land.

      It definitely needs some tweaking/templating, but instead of focusing on the symmetry between the adventure and the creature, you can focus on the individual parts of the story. Those go a long way towards making the Adventure cards resonate.

  2. The base value of Food tokens seems so marginal that I decided to design a card around it.

    Stuff Your Face 1GW
    Create seven Food tokens.

    1. Fun follow-up question: how much Food would this have to make before it became better than Bow of Nylea?

      (Yes, there are synergies for having a bunch of artifacts on the battlefield even if they have no relevant rules text, e.g. Mechanized Production. But I bet a 3-mana spell in GW can afford to make a lot of artifacts before it reaches the point of being broken.)

    2. It's too soon to really grasp what the play themes are but UW seem to have a very strong emphasis of caring about artifacts in the set, counting them, rewarding casting artifacts (not relevant here), and animating them in blue. I think there's already three blue cards revealed that animate artifacts (I'm kind of happy because I really want to brew an animation deck in standard or for Brawl).

      They've already revealed a 1W aura that gives the enchanted creature +1/+1 for each aura and artifact you control, so you can with Stuff Your Face give a creature +8/+8 on turn three (or even earlier depending on green ramping). I don't think that's necessarily broken, given it requires three cards. I wonder what modern Bogles decks would think about the combo.

      If there are any cards in the set that reward artifacts or tokens ETB, it could be a problem in limited/standard even though it seems uninteresting on its own. You could end up in an Attune with Aether space with it.

    3. A week into previews, I still have no good grasp on whether your submission is a common, rare, or uncommon. Food seems to be doing a lot of structural work in the set, but in the abstract it's very weird, especially given the triviality of life gain most experienced players see in it.

      1GW All You Can Eat Buffet
      Artifact (U)
      2, T: Gain 3 life.

      That seems very good to me. Fountain of Youth is weak, but 3 life a turn for a trivial mana cost can make a difference.

      We really need more info, and some playtesting, to ever evaluate this card.

  3. Sugarbrew Witch {3}{B}
    Creature - Human Warlock
    {1}{B}, {T}, Sacrifice a creature: You gain 3 life and draw a card. Activate this ability only any time you could cast a sorcery.
    Sweets' Allure {1}{W}
    Sorcery - Adventure
    Create two 1/1 white Human creature tokens.

    1. I'm not sure Sweets' Allure has to be white just because it's making white tokens. The name of the adventure itself suggests corruption and treachery. But I do like the card. (Cute that the gaining of 3 life matches what happens when you sacrifice the Food tokens)

    2. It's a top-down design of the Hansel and Gretel fairy tale. Not sure that's getting across though? Would that be clearer if the adventure made 0/1 tokens instead?

      The adventure I made white because of flavour reasons (two kiddos), and because this would slot nicely into the WB aristocrats archetype.

      Glad the 3 life reference to food did get through though :)

    3. I like this a lot as a top-down design. My only complaint is that it seems like you'd almost always want to use the adventure mode here. That's probably something that Play Design would want to change.

    4. There's an interesting design issue here in that it's not clear that all these adventure cards need to be made with the same play pattern in mind.

      So far, I've seen cards where you want to try to play both sides the same turn, cards where you do the adventure early on and then play the creature several turns later, and at least one meant for limited or sideboards where you might only care about one side based on the board state (the Embereth Shieldbreaker that is a 2/1 vanilla knight with Shatter attached to him).

      I'm curious to see if different colors encourage different type of play patterns with adventure cards or if there's a mix across all five colors.

    5. That's a fun hansel and gretel card. Very gorkkable on first glance. I agree that there's very little tension between the halves as far as play order. From a development perspective, it's the kind of thing that can easily be tweaked - Make the different halves cost WW and 2BB respectively, making you less likely to be able to play either half immediately is one option, although it will probably create a good amount of feel bad mana screw moments.

      Another option is to just make the card bigger. make the tokens ineffeciently costed (3W for two 1/1s will make you think twice about putting in that upfront investment) or have the witch cost 5 mana instead, making your fragile doomed wanderers less likely to have stuck around. The card needs a little more tension, but its easy to find it.

    6. Whilst the previews have shown some cards where you (almost) always want to cast the adventure first, I agree that this one is probably a bit too much of a no-brainer at the current rate.

      I'm considering the following three options, which do you folks think would play best?
      - Adventure 2W, Creature 2BB (slightly more tension, still constructed viable)
      - Adventure 2W, Creature 2B and 1/4 (good amount more tension, solid limited build around)