Saturday, March 6, 2021

Weekend Design Challenge 030521 - Track Down

Hey Artisans! Click through to see this weekend's design challenge. Your mission is to design a custom Magic card that follows the guidelines. Over the course of the weekend, give feedback to your fellow designers on their designs and incorporate their feedback to iterate on your own. I'll try to offer some feedback of my own starting on Monday.

Today the Random Card button blessed me with Track Down, a lovely (though underpowered) design from M21 that I hadn't known about before now. I'm a big fan of the creative use of scry here and the way it plays into the card's flavor. Care to try designing another such card? Make sure it uses scry in a resonant way, and for bonus points, make it a common.

Good luck and have fun!


  1. Grind down 2BB
    Scry 3
    You may mill 1. If you do, destroy target creatue with mana value less or equal to the card milled.

    1. So this doesn't quite work out probably as planned. You have to choose a legal target for Grind Down when you cast it, so before you even scry or mill. When we're choosing a target creature to destroy, we don't know the mana value of the card that was milled.

      You'd either have to borrow the wording of Fatal Push ("If you do, destroy target creature if it has a mana value less than or equal to the mana value of the milled card"), or you use a reflexive trigger to make it a separate trigger after you mill ("You may mill a card. When you do, destroy target creature...")

    2. Oh yeah, I like the flavour. I think it does need something like the separate trigger: it's just too annoying to have to choose the target before knowing what spell you'll discard.

      I wonder if it would make sense as "scry 3, then exile a card from your graveyard", so if you already have a card, you don't need to get lucky with the scry, and can scry the exciting card to the top of your deck? I think that's sufficinetly "grind"y even though it doesn't explicitly say "mill".

    3. @Natedogg, you are very correct. I should have caught that.

      @Jack I really wanted the scry to play an important role, different to the one we are used to: you scry the card you want to the second place, and let the other card on top to mill an kill. Also it makes it an interesting dilema: do I want this card bad enough to not kill a creature? I am having doubts about how common this card is, though.

    4. Like Natedogg, said, this would have to be templated as "scry 3, mill 1, then destroy target creature if its mana value is <= the card milled". In that form I like it-- it creates a fun game of "how confident am I that I can hit a mana value >= X?"

      Mill vs reveal is interesting. With 4 mana available you presumably are looking to keep spells on top, even somewhat expensive ones, so it stings to have to mill one of those. That adds some tension to the card, but I think it's good tension overall (and of course it's fun with graveyard synergies). Also, it's nice to not be revealing your next draw to the opponent.

      I'm not getting a super-strong sense of the flavor but this seems like a reasonable common even in a core set. Good work.

    5. The flavos was supposed to be in the grinding of a millstone, I saw someone being thrown in a mill.

  2. Extreme Haruspicy 1UR
    Deal 3 damage to target creature. If that creature dies this turn, scry X where X is its toughness.

    I updated an idea I had ages ago. I just love the idea of this order of battle wizards who go out and kill the most dangerous animals in order to get prophecies from their entrails, or start with a bit of pre-mortem disembowling and prophecy.

    I think the flavour would be better in B, but the gameplay is better in R: damage felt better than -/-, and R plays better with U's style of a rolling series of scry instants, and R more often makes you work to kill something big, and I wanted to avoid this being a complicated "stack the top six cards of your deck" card unless someone commits to that concept. Even scry 3 is a lot but I think it's ok.

    1. This made me want to see a card with scy vs damage compromise. Scry up to five cards, then deal damage to target creature equal to five minus the number of cards scried.

    2. Oh, interesting-- this reverses the synergy I'd expected. In general R&D avoids large scries because they're so decision-intensive so I doubt this could be common (and I'd rather see it at UR and 2 damage, assuming that doesn't step on Magma Jet's toes too much). That being said, this is a creative direction to take the prompt, and the flavor made me smile. Good work!