Reverse Challenge

This challenge is pretty straight-forward. Unlike most challenges and contests where the creator puts forward criteria for you to design a card around, I want other people to put forward criteria for me to design around. Post a basic card idea using less than ten words, don't request anything that couldn't possibly be a real MTG card (like things from other games) and I will try to make a realistic and balanced card around your idea. The 'winner' will be the person whose idea resulted in the best card, prizes and end dates and such TBD.

I will explain the balance and reasoning for each card made as well as comparisons to existing cards where appropriate. I'll also try to address entries as fast as possible but I don't expect to be able to do more than a few a day so please pick and choose your ideas carefully since I'd rather not create cards for the same person multiple times in a row.


  • Can I request a custom mechanic design?
  • @Faiths_Guide you can request anything you can fit in ten or fewer words, including cards with a specific custom mechanic or a card that would be a proof of concept of a mechanic you're playing with.
  • A card that requires you and your opponent's to work together.
  • Sounds interesting. I have a request.

    A commander that can begin the game on the battlefield.

    Something like this, but you could probably make a better version:
  • edited May 2017
    Design a card using my "Belief" mechanic (for commander/multiplayer).

    Also see: -Mini Set Comment-
  • Create a creature with creature type "Weird *blank*"
  • Request:
    A card displaying the flavor of my "Cowardly" mechanic.

  • edited May 2017
    @meadowsatsunshine This is an interesting one. In multiplayer games, most cards that present a threat to both opponents (win conditions, zulaport cutthroats, etc) will make people work together for at least a little while. I did want to make something that met the criteria a bit more directly though and here is what I came up with:

    The wording may need some work but essentially, this is a two-fold 'enemy teamwork' card. First because it is a large threat that people will work together to try to remove. Second, the way the card works is that each opponent has to pay life equal to the combined CMC of the cards from the other players. In a three-player game, if you pick a bear off of me and an Emrakul off of my opponent, I have to pay 15 life and my other opponent has to pay 2 or both me and my opponent lose our permanents.

    Balancing isn't quiiiiiiite done and it has no real function outside multiplayer games but I'm happy with the idea.
  • A creature that embodies the concept of time.
  • Request:
    A legendary Cat creature to function as a Cat tribal Commander.

    Here's our example...
  • Next up for @BradXmagic:

    Starting the game on the battlefield is a very potent thing. Derevi's omnipresence on the battlefield is one of the reasons it is a busted commander. I wanted to make a card that had an impact when it was out but couldn't do damage to get you an early commander damage lead (so no power), was easy enough to remove and still felt worth playing.

    Esper control felt like the right place to find a sort of tax/restriction that was interesting and worth playing yet not the kind of thing that would be unfair. On its face, the ability prevents early reanimator, chating out creatures with birthing pod/tooth and nail and a lot of combos across the entire color spectrum, though not in a way that is unfair to your opponents. It's a prison-y, tax-y kind of thing that makes the game 'fair'.
  • For @faiths_guide:

    This is a tough one because I do not like this mechanic on its face. Anything that lets you cast a spell for free is going to be abused. Anything. All of them. All of the free things. Not only that, but this puts the onus on your opponent to have the solution (open mana) which is begging for abuse. This sort of combines old Prophecy rhystic cards which had a greater impact unless your opponent could pay a colorless cost with pacts/pitch cards. In order to try to balance it, I made the effect of the card itself something that isn't nearly as crazy as a counterspell, I made the 'balance' cost a whopping 1 that way an opponent is more likely to have it open and I made the hardcasting cost more expensive so that using it late game pretty much requires it to be hard cast because they will often have mana open.
  • edited May 2017

    Dimir wizard schemer card draw engine.
  • Request: a useful multicolored legendary creature using my custom mechanic Pacifism.

  • Request: A Simic lord.
  • Request:
    Create a powerful Sea Snake creature.
  • edited May 2017
    Creature with 'Dethroned' in name. White,black,red in color.
  • edited May 2017
    Sorry, @strongbelieves, but you got the mechanic wrong...

    The spell counters itself unless another player pays the belief cost. You're believing in others to get the spell cast. Usually it also benefits the ones who paid for belief which adds incentive to help out (but not always).

    I'd love to see you try again with the appropriate wording. It's a really fun and difficult to design around mechanic that automatically creates a lot of interplay in a commander setting (where the mechanic was intended to fit).

    I also encourage a re-read of Proposed Altering.

    Correct mechanic wording:
    Belief [cost] (You may cast this card without paying its mana cost. If you do, each other player may pay [cost]. If no mana is paid this way, counter this spell.)

    A very political mechanic.
  • @gelectrode wanted to see a Weird creature, so I made a weird Weird:

    Weirds are always blue, always have an Izzet color identity and are creatures that act and interact with spells, especially instants and sorceries. In order to fit @gelectrode's criteria, I added the spirit type to it and in order to fit the theme, the color white. Red matters to the creature, though it isn't essential. It also has white's protective elements and the UR 'caring about spells' on top of it. I'm pretty satisfied with how this turned out though it may need some numbers tweaking, probably to make it stronger.
  • edited May 2017
    @faiths_guide is right! I misread the mechanic, hence why I thought it was awkward and reworded it on my card for him. Here's what I came up with for the actual mechanic:
  • edited May 2017
    Haha, there you go! But (for me), this is a bit too much rule bending where blocking is concerned. What about giving it a Maze of Ith style ability? Or somehow allow the "believers" to gain control of it when necessary?
  • @faiths_guide The combat rules should be rewritten anyway to allow for a greater development scope and simplify the number of steps there are during combat. Begin combat, triggers, priority, priority. Declare attackers, triggers, priority, priority. Declare blockers, triggers, priority, priority. First strike combat damage, triggers, priority, priority. Combat damage, triggers, priority, priority. End combat, triggers, priority, priority.

    That and saying 'combat' a tournament-level REL means 'I skip straight to declare attackers and miss all of my triggers.'
  • edited May 2017
    I still think the other two options I brought up would prove more interesting (and perhaps simpler).

    I like this variant:

    Belief {2}


    When AofA enters the battlefield, if a player paid its belief
    cost, that player gains control of it until end of turn.

    Only the defending player can pay AofA's belief cost.
  • Request: An Abzan card that also uses an Amonkhet mechanic.
  • In case anyone was wondering, I'm still working on @Death_Methods request. I've workshopped a few ideas but the main problem I'm having so far is that when you make an action repeatable (tapping/untapping), you're practically asking for someone to find a way to abuse it.
  • @strongbelieves - What if we promise NOT to abuse it.
  • edited May 2017
    Make a card that boasts teamwork in a multiplayer free for all format.

    Our example is the following, even though you've disapproved of our keyword.
  • edited May 2017
    I Looked at Death_Methods' ability, cowardly. But I see it being very easy to make a card that isn't unduly exploitable.

    As such, I think you're either misreading it or just missing the point.
  • @modnation675 I wasn't implying something was wrong with the ability, I was just saying that my initial idea was to work with tapping and untapping and I couldn't quite get it balanced right.

    Anyway, here's my card for @Death_Methods:

    So the flavor is that the cowardly bat rogue creature hides when your opponent is showing off but when you give it the proper attention, it can be a heroic blocker. Using heroic, meaning the spell you cast has to target it, let me limit how much abuse could come from it untapping. As an attacker, it is also essentially worse than a Kiln Fiend or the similar so I figured it was a fair tradeoff. It's an interesting bear and would have been very interesting in Theros block with all the creature targeting spells.
  • @corwinnn wants "a creature that embodies the concept of time"...

    Greeeeaaaaaaat... So, Teferi.
    Current ways 'time control' exists in MTG:
    • Suspend
    • Split Second
    • Preventing casting at instant speed/on other turns
    • Flash
    I don't want to do any of those things. Split Second is incredibly powerful, Suspend and casting speed locks/taxes have been done to death. That makes my design scope a bit smaller.

    So what did I do? I made something broken. Super broken. Mega broken. How did I balance it? I made it symmetrical. Does that make it fair? Not even a little bit.

    I decided to go a little crazy on this one. The mana cost is a tribute to Teferi and it has one similar ability but it is basically the ultimate enabler. Everything gets flash, creatures get haste and embalm, instants and sorceries get flashback. This is the kind of card you drop in a commander match to make the game go haywire. The flashback clause makes it super dangerous for combos (like Past in Flames or Yawgmoth's Will) but the symmetry and prohibitive cost should at least mute it a bit.

    TL;DR, they told me I could be anything, so I became everything.
This discussion has been closed.