Challenge 1 — Alex Werner — Design 7

    Kyrza, Ichormancer Eternal (mythic rare)
    Legendary Planeswalker — Kyrza
    You may play CARDNAME's loyalty abilities twice each turn instead of once.
    +1: Create a 3/2 black Horror creature token.
    -3: This turn, whenever a Horror enters the battlefield under your control, you may return target creature to its owner's hand.
    -13: You get an emblem with "Whenever a Horror enters the battlefield under your control, return target permanent to its owner's hand. That player discards a card."

    Why I selected this card:
    Alex Werner kind of messed up the execution, but it's still a really cool concept if you found abilities that combine differently depending on how you sequence them in the same turn.

    Challenge 1 — Jay Treat — Design 3

    Moonspire Diabolist (uncommon)
    Creature — Vampire Shaman
    Moonspire Diabolist has lifelink and deathtouch as long as you've activated an ability of a Shaman this turn.

    Why I selected this card:
    "As long as you've activated an ability"

    Challenge 1 — Jeremy Geist — Design 3

    Hulking Henchman (uncommon)
    Creature — Ogre Rogue
    Hulking Henchman's power is equal to the number of differently named Rogues you control. (Tokens have the same name as their creature types.)

    Why I selected this card:
    "The number of differently named", that's a line of text that could work great to represent novelty, progress, discoveries, or artistic improvisation in our set.


    Challenge 1 — Alex Werner — Design 6

    Ichormantic Pit (rare)
    At the beginning of your end step, you may sacrifice a Horror. If you do, reveal cards from your library until you reveal a Horror card. Put it onto the battlefield, then put all other cards revealed this way on the bottom of your library in a random order.

    Mark Rosewater commented:
    One of the early lessons of design is the difference between what someone having fun will do with the card and what someone trying to win will do with the card. If you're having fun, you fill your deck with Horrors and every sacrifice brings a new surprise. If you're trying to win, you put just one potent Horror in your deck (with cards that make Horror tokens) so that when your Horror dies, you know exactly what you're going to get. That's where this design fails for me. You want to design your tribal cards so that the correct way to play them to win encourages being tribal and not anti-tribal.

    What is the lesson from this mistake:
    Alway ask yourself what is the worst way of abusing a card. If it allows you to win, players will do it even if it's unfun.

    Challenge 1 — Alex Werner — Design 7

    Design 7
    Kyrza, Ichormancer Eternal (mythic rare)
    Legendary Planeswalker — Kyrza
    You may play CARDNAME's loyalty abilities twice each turn instead of once.

    Alexis Janson commented:
    Planeswalkers have very restrictive design space, and yet we need them to be in almost every set. As such, we try to use that design space up very deliberately. I doubt we would put a unique mana cost, a static ability, and a niche tribal planeswalker all on one card.

    What is the lesson from this mistake:
    One innovation at a time with planeswalkers.

    Challenge 1 — Chris Mooney — Design 2

    B-ooze-ster Shot (common)
    Put two +1/+1 counters on target creature. It gains hexproof until end of turn. If that creature is not an Ooze, remove those counters at the beginning of the next end step.

    Alexis Janson commented:
    This has mechanical issues. Your creature will lose its toughness boost before damage is removed, making the toughness boost a trap.

    What is the lesson from this mistake:
    This is a very common mistake that has been made numerous times during the competition, I'm showing just this one as an example. Make sure that when you give a boost to a creature it won't go away before the combat damage is removed from the creature. Another common form of this trap would be "CARDNAME gets +1/+1 as long as you control a SOMETHING." If the SOMETHING is removed, CARDNAME could very well die in cascade from damage it took earlier in the turn.

    Challenge 1 — Chris Mooney — OVERALL JUDGE COMMENTARY

    Erik Lauer commented:
    Often the problems you, as the designer, should solve are based on the experience of the opponent. The player playing Oozes doesn't mind the bookkeeping, but there might be a lot of people who need to see the creatures they are facing, which is why they are playing a card game. A lot of players don't enjoy playing against a bunch of tokens with dice on them, and you did nothing to ameliorate the situation.

    What is the lesson from this mistake:
    Think of how the play style of your cards affect the opponent's experience as well.

    Challenge 1 — Jeremy Gesit — Design 4

    Clever Disguise (uncommon)
    Enchantment — Aura
    Enchant creature
    Enchanted creature can't be blocked.
    If enchanted creature is a nonlegendary Rogue, it's named Innocent Citizen and has "U: Exile this creature, then return it to the battlefield under its owner's control."

    Eli Shiffrin commented:
    Congratulations, you're the first designer this season to step in a pile of layers! Text changes, like names, are handled in a separate layer of continuous effects before type changes. We'd have to investigate whether to juggle around the layer system or push back on this card. Maybe the name change is just being too cute and the card is better off without it?

    What is the lesson from this mistake:
    This is just one example of a very common mistake even people in R&D admit to make all the time. Basically, the game checks the qualities of each card in a specific order to know how changes interact with each other. This is called the layer system. The problem with the card of Jeremy Geist is that if you had Arcane adaptation set on Rogue (all your creatures are Rogues) for instance, the game would check if your creature is a nonlegendary Rogue, apply or not the effect of "Clever Disguise" and THEN give it the subtype Rogue.
    One of the most common ways I've see the layer system causing problem is trying to give an ability based on a stat boost. This doesn' work because of piles: "Target creature gets +1/+1 and flying if its power is 3 or more." That's because the game would give the flying effect before the +1/+1 effect.
  • heres an idea

    Avinzi's Masterpiece



    2: Until end of turn, Avinzi's Masterpiece becomes an X/X Art creature where X is equal to the number of art creatures you control.
  • edited June 2018
    Artisan Expertise



    When Artisan Expertise emters the battlefield, compose 1 three times.

    2W, Sacrifice Artisan Expertise: You gain psylian life equal to the number of art creatures you control.
  • @shadow123
    Those cards are quite narrow, I like that at least the second version gives you some Art tokens so it's not sitting on the battlefield doing nothing, but it doesn't exactly comboes with the second ability because it would require 7-mana to play and sacrifice that card in the same turn. Really my main problem is that the rewards for both cards are not worth it. The first card will likely spend a lot of time doing nothing at all, and when you do have Art I'm not expecting it to be more than a 3/3 at best most of the time. For the second card, I'd be surprised if we ended up costing "one-shot compose 3 times" at 4 mana, and gaining a little bit of life is just not worth going through all those loops.

    I get the concept you're going for, but typically I don't think those effects scale well with number of Art creatures since most of those are going to be ephemeral. Having a mana cost on those abilities is especially hurting since you already have to spend mana in the same turn to make the Art tokens.

    The challenges 2 and 4 are much more restrictive than the other challenges, so I found less lessons from them which is why I'm putting them together:

    Challenge 2 & 4: "A CIRCUS ACT" & "A WORK OF ART"

    Challenge 2 — Jeremy Geist — Design 2

    Traveling Circus (common)
    As an additional cost to play Traveling Circus, sacrifice a land.
    Search your library for a basic land card and put it on the battlefield tapped. Then shuffle your library.
    Draw a card.

    Erik Lauer commented:
    Standard only wants so many one-mana cantrips, especially those that shuffle. Draft only wants so many common shuffling effects. This pushes up against both of those, and I don't see this being so great that it would be worth using those resources. I would probably replace this with a card that merely puts the land in your hand.

    What is the lesson from this mistake:
    One-mana cantrips is a ressource to use with a lot of precautions because they add up quickly.

    Challenge 2 — Jeremy Geist — Design 4

    Knife Thrower (uncommon)
    Creature — Vampire Rogue
    Knife Thrower enters the battlefield with two +1/+1 counters.
    Remove a +1/+1 counter from Knife Thrower: Target creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn. Activate this ability only when you could play a sorcery.

    Mark Rosewater commented:
    I would put some mana on the activation. As a general rule, we like to have "shields down" moments on effects that can kill creatures.

    What is the lesson from this mistake:
    The concept of a "shield-down moment" is a very important concept that was mentioned a lot during the competition. Reactive abilities like counterspells or removal need to be unavailable from time to time, so the opponent has a window to sneak in. Basically, that's why Walking Ballista in Standard feels so oppressive.

    Challenge 2 — Jay Treat — OVERALL JUDGE COMMENTARY

    Erik Lauer commented:
    Planeswalkers tend to give repeated card advantage, so we are unlikely to have many other mythic rares that give an extra card per turn.

    What is the lesson from this mistake:
    Always make sure that your effects are not too redudand at each rarity. Also, remember that planeswalkers that stick to the battlefield are basically giving you an extra card per turn.

    Challenge 2 — Chris Mooney — Design 5

    Knife Thrower (rare)
    Creature — Human Rogue
    When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, exile the top card three cards of your library face down. (You can't look at them.)
    Whenever CARDNAME attacks, turn one of the remaining face down exiled cards face up at random. CARDNAME deals damage to target creature equal to that card's converted mana cost.

    Eli Shiffrin commented:
    You . . . you actually put the "Throwing Knife Problem" on Knife Thrower! I love it! Remember, if you first mention "target" after revealing hidden information, it will be misplayed more often than not. You can lean into the randomness by explicitly requiring a target first (Choose target creature. Turn one of the . . . damage to that creature . . . etc.) or you can avoid the issue by using a reflexive trigger. Did you also intend that Knife Thrower must throw knives at itself if it's the only creature? Might want to only target a creature an opponent controls.

    What is the lesson from this mistake:
    This is just one of many many examples of Eli Shiffrin advertising the reflexive triggers (no, really, it's kinda new and he really likes them xD). The idea is to make the player choose their target after an effect of the card has happened instead of when the spell is cast, to allow the player to have more information before choosing their target. Here, the card probably wants to say "Turn one of the remaining face down exiled cards face up at random. Choose up to one target creature. CARDNAME deals damage to that creature equal to the revealed card's mana cost."

    Challenge 4 — Chris Mooney — Design 8

    Self Infliction (Rare)
    Choose any target. Until end of turn, whenever a source you control deals damage to you or a permanent you control, CARDNAME deals that much damage to the chosen target.
    CARDNAME deals 2 damage to you.
    "You're next."

    Mark Rosewater commented:
    The key to a good Johnny/Jenny card is that forces the player to have to figure out how to use it. This card has some execution issues, but how to use it is pretty straightforward—put in a lot of cards that damage you. That makes it more of a Spike optimization card than a Johnny/Jenny card.

    What is the lesson from this mistake:
    It's not because it's weird and narrow that it's for Johnny/Jehnny, what they really want is a card that makes them wonder how to use it.

    Challenge 5: PACK & PLAY

    Challenge 5 — Ari Nieh — Design 4
    Vedalken Archivist (common)
    Creature — Vedalken Artificer
    Whenever an artifact enters the battlefield under your control, target player puts the top two cards of their library into their graveyard.
    Watermark: Mirran

    Erik Lauer commented:
    Whenever I cast an artifact, I have to remember I have this card. That creates an ongoing memory burden. For that reason, I strongly prefer common cards with rules that only activate when I am already looking at that card.

    What is the lesson from this mistake:
    At common, try to have effects that activate when you're looking at the card.

    Challenge 5 — Ari Nieh — Design 7
    Junkheap Explosion (common)
    As an additional cost to cast CARDNAME, exile an artifact card from your graveyard.
    CARDNAME deals 4 damage to target creature.
    Watermark: Mirran

    Erik Lauer commented:
    At common, I would like people to be able to play their cards, so I would want a way of using this when they don't have an artifact in their graveyard, such as pay an additional four mana.

    What is the lesson from this mistake:
    Keep the cards that can only be played in one deck for uncommon and higher. Think things like Sacred Excavation.

    Challenge 5 — Ari Nieh — Design 10
    Contagion Feeder (common)
    Artifact Creature — Horror
    Sacrifice CARDNAME: Proliferate. (You choose any number of permanents and/or players with counters on them, then give each another counter of a kind already there.)
    Watermark: Phyrexian

    Melissa DeTora commented:
    We often take for granted how much on-board tracking there is in Magic for inexperienced players. It's not fun to lose to on-board tricks that you forgot about. The threat of sacking this whenever also makes it very hard to play around. I don't think this card follows New World Order.

    What is the lesson from this mistake:
    Don't make tricks that stay on the battlefield so everyone forget about it for a while until you activate it by surprise 10 turns later and steal the game (at least not at common). In doubt, restrict it at sorcery speed.

    Challenge 5 — Chris Mooney — Design 4
    Regulate (common)
    Counter target spell unless its controller pays 1 plus an additional 2 if you control a multicolor permanent.

    Mark Rosewater commented:
    Usually, common is about having the quality and uncommon and higher are about [caring about] the quality. Yes, we will make "___ matters" sets and cards at common will care, but usually that's the singular focus.

    Note: I corrected MaRo's feedback based on his own correction on his blog.

    What is the lesson from this mistake:
    It's fine to care about the main theme of the set at common (for instance "Whenever you play a historic spell" is completely fine on a Dominaria common) but try to avoid caring about smaller themes ("Whenever you play a Saproling spell" is not that fine). Interestingly, the limit is quite blurry as shown by cards like Ghitu Journeymage.

    Challenge 5 — Chris Mooney — Design 10
    Design 10
    Wolf Pup (common)
    Creature — Wolf
    Wolf Pup gets +2/+2 as long as you control a non-Human Werewolf.
    The moonlight sends even the runts into a frenzy.

    Melissa DeTora commented:
    This card suffers from "cascading death" syndrome, which is how we refer to a card that has a static toughness boost they can suddenly lose after combat, which would then cause them to die to state-based actions.

    What is the lesson from this mistake:
    Just another example of a grand classic I talked about before. Watch out for toughness boosts that could disappear before end of turn.


    This concludes my little series by the way! ^^ GDS3 was definitely a gold mine of information on how to make a Magic set and I feel Rezatta is going to be much more realistic because it had the chance to be designed while this was going on.

    Now, what's going to happen? Here are the stuff we have to pick up where we left them:

    1) MECHANICS & SET FEEL: Based on GDS3 feedback, I feel we have to deal with the lack of synergy of our mechanics now instead of trying to patch it later with glue. The idea is to define how playing this set is going to feel, and refine the mechanics around that idea instead of being a patch-work of unconnected mechanics.

    2) DESIGN SKELETON: The basic skeleton is complete, what is missing is the ratio of set mechanics. I was planning on doing a first file with kind of a soup with every keyword in every colour. Now that I've read more about how they play test their ideas at WOTC, I feel it may be better to start by building different decks with the mechanics and play them against each other before deciding the colours they go in.

    3) PLAYTEST MECHANICS DECKS: So that's the new feature I was talking about, I did that to some extent with a few mechanics already but we should try to push mechanics in different directions using different decks.
  • edited June 2018
    I have a concept card incoming, and this most recent gds3 lessons review is about to help me make sure I’ve got it right.

    Concept card: Compose hate/aggressive option for the RB suicide decks

  • @Lujikul
    Ooh the play pattern is interesting, the opponent is incentivized to let the 1/1 through so you just lose life as well. That's a big drawback though and makes the card quite narrow. I would have went the other way actually: "Whenever you sacrifice a creature, CARDNAME deals 1 damage to each opponent." This way they're really incentivized to not ignore the hasty 1/1, and it combos with nasty pump spells or things like "Art creatures you control have deathtouch ".
  • I prefer Opus as it is. It feels so perfectly black to shock yourself for power.
  • @ningyounk so we need to make some cards and some decks to see if the mechanics are fun to play? I'm down for that.
  • Opus also punishes opponents for sacrificing creatures as well.
  • FEEL OF THE SET ————

    Okay, one of the things we haven't really discussed yet was how the set is supposed to play as a whole. It's not really at the specific archetype level though those definitely play a role, and it's not either about the flavour of the set (though it pushes in certain directions) but really how mechanically it is supposed to play. This is important because this will actually affect all our choices to the mechanics themselves.

    As the concept of "set feel" can be a bit blurry, I thought I'd go back to recent set and try to capture their feel the best I could. It's similar to a post I've done a few weeks ago, I'm just going slightly deeper.

    Let's start with something very blunt, the Battlebond supplemental set. The set wants you to make you feel like you are a fighter in an arena playing against an other team of two fighters with a friend and you mutually help each other. As it's meant to be played in two-headed giant, it's a very extreme example of the feel of the set meeting the feel of literally playing the game. To accomplish this feeling of Mutual Aid, they added many details to the set:

    - The Partner mechanic on enemy colour pairs in an ally colour set incentivized you to put a partner in each deck.
    - The Assist mechanic allowed two players to cast one spell together.
    - The Support mechanic allowed you to pump other players.
    - The set favoured "Target player" instead of "You" whenever possible.
    - The set introduced the concept of teams, and had a lot of global effects that could boost your teammate cards as well.
    - The set has a lot of cards that would help all players, even the opponents.
    - The set had a light and goofy flavour. You didn't fight to death, there was a lot of colours, funny outfits, and puns all around. It really emphasized that it was just a game.


    The set is about Bolas, which is described by R&D as cruel, manipulative, intelligent, ancient and powerful. Now, if you go back to the Making Magic articles of Hour of Devastation, this is what they say:

    "One of the things we realized very early in Hour of Devastation is that the fun in this story was on Bolas's side. Do you want to be the people watching the world tumble down around them, or do you want to be the one destroying the world?"

    This basically means that the feel of the set is being Bolas, a.k.a. being cruel, manipulative, intelligent, ancient and powerful. Here's the elements they used I could identify:
    - Graveyard is still a main mechanical theme with Eternalize, Cycling, Aftermath, zombie tribal and many graveyard-matters cards.
    - The -1/-1 counters are still here to represent slow death and ruthlessness.
    - Eternalize and Afflict are two mechanics showing off Bolas plans. Afflict is a cruel mechanic that will hurt your opponent and present bad dillemas, Eternalize is a meaner version of Embalm.
    - The Desert theme represents the city being destroyed.
    - Death and defeat was absolutely everywhere, with the very notable Planeswalkers' Defeat and Last Action of the Gods cycles.

  • (I've been in Berlin for a week without my computer but fly back today, I'll catch up in a couple of days! ^^ Sorry for the inactivity meanwhile >.<)
  • edited July 2018
    So, about the Feel of the Set.

    Actually, I think the theme is pretty obvious: the set needs to feel like Renaissance, it's up to us to define what it means. Just like the "Bolas feel" on Amonkhet that was defined as being :

    - Cruel
    - Manipulative
    - Intelligent
    - Ancient
    - Powerful

    Here's my personal little brainstorming on the subject:

    - Optimism: I agree with the comments above, Renaissance feels like something good is happening. In terms of cards, we could look at how Battlebond and Kaladesh handled an optimistic tone. It was more about building than destroying mechanically, and flavourfully the negative things like death were treated with a more poetic angle or a humorous one (the Aetherlings that have short lives full of parties, the absence of real death in the stadium of Valor Reach,...)


    - Rediscovery: Renaissance was about rediscovering things from Antiquity and building upon them.
    Rebirth is the mechanic that represents that by repurposing a creature. That said, I think there are designs that would work better than others mechanically and flavourfully to tell the story of rediscovering something old. Maybe the rediscovery feel would be reinforced if the mechanic cared about something lost (life, graveyard?)
    Cards that you can replay also strongly ties into that theme.
    That said, these types of mechanics tend to push towards graveyard-matters sets and we can't ask players to track both the life swings and what happens in their graveyard all the time.


    - Progress: A lot of important scientific discoveries were made during Renaissance, it was really moving forward compared to Middle-Age.
    Mechanically, +1/+1 counters are always a good way of showing progress, as well as anything that enhances what you're playing.
    The only current mechanic that is really building up is the Rebirth mechanic. We could consider pushing this progress/grindy aspect by looking to mechanics like Level Up or Outlast that are repeatable?


    - Creativity: Art is core to Renaissance, but I'd argue scientific discoveries also requires creativity sometimes. Kaladesh also had a creativity feel so it's a good starting point.
    Surprise is a tool we can use mechanically, by trying to push for effects at instant speed and/or randomness for instance.
    Discover is supposed to give you that "eureka" feeling but idealy it should feel more like the Miracle mechanic than it does now.
    Compose can create surprise attackers and blockers. But I don't feel it's creative enough and could be more open-ended. Kaladesh had a mechanic for a while that is basically the -2 of Saheeli Rai, to give the set a more combo-y feel. I believe Rezatta could use something similar for Compose maybe. A modal mechanic like Fabricate could also help the issue.


    - Turmoil: There are many ways of dealing with emotions as a main theme. I'm picturing a feverish excitement, with a lot of different emotions. We can create big gameplay moments, representing overwhelming emotions. We can also encourage activity over passivity. For instance by flavouring the life changes as emotions, and pushing players to make sure someone is always gaining or losing life every turn? Or maybe something similar to the werewolf mechanic and their day/night mechanic?

  • First off, my gut is telling me to praise God. He's there when no one else is. I've been going through some bad trains of thought for a few months but there are good days I go back to him and remember how great he'sbeen to us.

    Atmosphere wise--
    Renaissance is exciting because you can't wait to see what will be invented or painted next. It's optimistic because their is the bubbly creativity, but it is also a regal optimism. The painterly masters are servants of rich lords. Even roughneck Caravaggio was tied to the upper class. Like in Kaladesh, we should have cards that people look at and get very curious how they play out. What cool things can I do with "Gain 1 Psylian life. Draw a card?" I think mechanically this means a few looser card. Needing other cards to get the effect of a card is typically seen as bad design, but there is a right way to do it. Who will say Paradox Engine doesn't deserve to be a mythic? I also have pet cards like Izzet Transreliquat that I know will be good one day. So the problem with these is that they are win more. How did Kaladesh deal with it? Fabricate could help you catch back up and even get ahead if you fall behind so that even in games that your opponent had a faster open than you, you can catch up and play your Johnny cards. I think the combination of Psylian Life and Discover could do a similar thing for our set. Rather than stapling card advantage on single cards, you get to find extra relevant cards and then cash in your Psylian life to catch up if you're behind, then if you're ahead you play some of the fun weird cards. Renaissance is there as a basic scream in your face mechanic. I think it and virtuoso must be strong enough that the value engines don't make slow games.

    On the emotional side, that goes with life matters, but I think we could step back and look at the feel of each color instead of just the feel of the set in general. Red is exciting and happy or mad. Look at Cathartic reunion or Anger. They are both very Red but very different. Red is probably the most emotionally diverse color so it is the hardest to pin down. So, the design of the red cards should be intense in examination of how it makes the player feel playing it. Is the card depicting anger a card a player wants to play when they're getting mad all their boys keep getting countered? Is the card depicting excitement a card the player whispers a happy "yes!" When they draw? There are probably a million ways to rationale how to do this, but overall the color red feels like it shows different emotion depending on how different the life totals are. I'm picturing a creature whose power and toughness are equal to the difference of your life and the highest life total. The lower you are from your opponent, the angrier and stronger your creature is. The higher you are than them, the happier and more charged your creature.

    Black is hatred (like the actual card hatred) or is elated in power (like deviant glee). To catch that, we need to make the player feel they are causing suffering. It's a bit demented but black is a comparatively demented color. Drain and denial are classic ways to do that, but with Psylian life floating around, perhaps there is another way to achieve it. Can you even capture sorrow in a cardboard game piece? I'm pretty bad at designing for black so I'll leave that to y'all.

    Blue is seen as the least emotional color. The vedalken are a race of mostly emotionless blue people. We have talked about fear for them because of cards like Agoraphobia. Fear is a black blue idea. Think of Ashiok, Triskadekophobia, Totally Lost. We could have a very Ashiok-ish group in the setting if not Ashiok xerself. Fear is blue because we often freeze up when we are scared. So, blue is probably pretty standard here since that's always what blue does. We can also work with contemplation, as that has appeared before. But again that's pretty textbook blue.

    Green is neat. It is the color of life, perhaps along with red the color of love? It is the color of vigor and energy. A green player should feel ready to Hulk Smash the world. So green can have bright, colorful cards. It goes more in bursts than the other colors in Rezatta. This taps onto virtuoso being a token mechanic and green being the biggest token color (again tied red because of the life span of the tokens). Rebirth in it's current state seems like a green mechanic. It makes me think of Monstrous mixed with evoke. I think to make Rebirth feel different enough and to pack more emotion than Monstrous, the focus needs to be on the enter the battlefield ability rather than the +1. An example would would a creature that pumps a dude on entry instead of a guy with an evergreen word.

    This leaves white, the other color I'm not so hot with. But bravery, faith, hope, perhaps some love and humility fit into white. White should be able to stand confidently when in the face of defeat. I think what can make Rezatta white different than other sets is an uncertainty. Perhaps blue as a fear color could deal with this as well, but the notion that you have to have faith in your topdecks. You mentioned miracle. I don't think it fits in this set, but some cards that let you be at rest not knowing what you will draw seems like a white concept. Maybe that's highly philosophical and impossible to make into math, but how do you capture that into a mechanic. I can topdeck a bad card and be okay because "insert effect."

    What do you guys think of my five cents? Agree, disagree? Add, subtract?
  • @brcien, a very thorough examination of color/emotion pairings.

    I think we should take (yet another) step backwards and take another look at our list of each color, the emotion(s) associated with it that we would like to emphasize in the set, and the life-matters mechanical representation of those emotions. @ningyounk's original version (at the top of pg. 1) is as follows:


    Judging by brcien's comment above, we might consider some revisions.
    - White and Black are solid, in my opinion, and also the two simplest.
    - Blue I think also works well.
    - Red I'm personally fine with, but @brcien mentioned something to do with differences between life totals (which actually sounds more black to me --> ambition). Thoughts?
    - Green is the one I most want to revisit. It has a sort of conflicted flavor to it: a strange hybridization of group hug and kill-everyone-else. It simultaneously rewards you for helping other players AND for harming them. The first part definitely represents love (Green's proposed emotion), but I don't understand the rationale for the second. Thoughts?
  • imageimage
    These two pop into my mind when thinking of emotional representation in green. Brawn is usually just used to talk about strength when compared to intellect, but considering it is in a cycle with wonder and anger, I think we can talk about it as an emotion. That feeling when something good happens and you're ready to take on the world is what I would call vigor or brawn. I don't really know how to catch that in a life matters way though!
  • I somehow just saw this and uh... simply put, I'd like to just say you guys are all doing amazing. I'm not one for the Renaissance myself usually, but I've always imagined myself making a set (I actually had a basic one or two in mind at one point) and just seeing someone doing this and seeing this process... my gosh you guys are honestly amazing. Keep up the good work, I hope you guys the best.
  • edited July 2018

    Also, just kinda noticed and read this after my last comment, so I thought I'd throw a small tad of input.

    If you went with brawn or something similar (I'm not always the best at words) you could have it themed around 'If you have creatures (or art creatures, or something specific) with total power X, then this happens' (like that one ability from Khans of Tarkir I can't remember. - Vigor from strength and power.

    Or even, 'If you control X amount of creatures, X happens.' - Vigor from family support

    Maybe even if you've crafted X amount of tokens; or placed X amount of +1/+1 counters; or X creatures entered the battlefield under your control this turn: then X happens.' - Vigor from a feeling of 'I've got this'

    May not make sense, but just some things that came to mind. Hope it starts up some ideas and trains of thought.
  • edited July 2018
    There are a lot of interesting thoughts in what you just wrote that I'd like to emphasize:

    - The concept of "bubbly" creativity. It's a concept I think could translate well mechanically as "something must always be happening", a bit like I mentioned above in the "emotion" section. I come back to this below, but pushing players to make sure life totals are changing every turn could be an interesting on-theme way to represent "bubbly creativity", or "feverish excitement"?

    - The concept or regal optimism. I agree royalty is a good Renaissance trope to use and we have a ton of cool royalty-themed illustrations from WLOP I'd love to use. Interestingly, the first thing I think of mechanically for royalty is Aristocrats (sacrifice-matters) which is not optimistic. We could find an optimistic way to do it. Maybe through protection and fortresses?

    - "Needing other cards to get the effect of a card" is not bad design! It's basically called an "A/B" mechanic, and MTG does it all the time ^^ It's just tricky to balance and there are bad ways to do it, but inherently it's fine.

    - Re-thinking the emotional identity of the colours. I agree there's more work to do in that area, I'm talking about it a bit below.


    After having so much insights from the GDS3, I also believe we need to re-think the life-matters theme ^^ Basically, I think we need to unify the way the set cares about life. Except the blue and red ones, none of the previous triggers were possible to reach without support of other cards.

    Here's my take:

    Frisky — If 3 or more life was gained and/or lost this turn, EFFECT.

    This unified trigger lets every colour trigger it in different way, to let the players crack the puzzle as they'd like. White's lifelinkers, Blue's unblockable creatures, Black's drain effects, Red's blasts, Green's life gain, paying psylian life to get mana, just attacking, etc... There are a billion ways to keep the life swings going in every colour, and you can combine them to reach the treshold each turn ^^
    Moreover, it could tie quite well flavourfully with the idea of "bubbling creativity" mentioned above. The constant life changes could represent this kind of effervescence and become the defining feeling of the set mechanically. How does it feel to play Rezatta? Like bubbling creativity, everything is constantly in motion, your life total keeps moving up and down.

    On the downsides, the threshold can feel a bit technical but without it I think it's just too easy to trigger it every turn. Also, it has the issue that your opponent can trigger it for you, so we must be careful about when the resulting effect matters to avoid discouraging attacks.

    This unification also means the emotional flavour of each colour can be disconnected from a mechanical translation. We get to be more flexible with how each colour cares about life changes and we can revisit the repartition of emotions with more freedom (I still think it would be good to have a little bit of structure though, to make sure each colour feel as rich emotionally as the other ones).

    I think I see what you mean, it's basically the feeling of achievement? Maybe the emotion of Pride? I think it would go well with the creativity and research theme of Renaissance ^^ It's a theme we can explore mechanically in different ways without having to keyword it.

    Maybe a cycle of X-spell with "If X is N or more" like Martial Coup above? Or maybe a cycle of cards that reward you for doing something especially cool with the spell? For instance:

    W — Create two white 1/1 Soldier creature tokens. Then, if you control ten or more creatures, you gain 10 psylian life.

    U — Draw two cards. Then, if you have ten or more cards in hand, you gain 10 psylian life.

    B — Destroy target creature. Then, if there are ten or more creature cards in its owner's graveyard, you gain 10 psylian life.

    R — CARDNAME deals 5 damage to any target. Then, if any opponent lost 10 or more life this turn, you gain 10 psylian life.

    G — Search your library up to two forests and put them onto the battlefield tapped. Then, if you control ten or more lands, you gain 10 psylian life.

    The cycle is not balanced but you get the spirit x)
  • edited July 2018

    Ohhh, yes! Achievement! That's the word I couldn't remember.

    That actually works really well with your theme I think. Didn't expect you to reply but, yah, you guys can probably implement that rather well. I'll be checking this occasionally for sure if I get ideas. I love card making and mechanics. Story too.
  • edited July 2018

    And after that, I decided to make a card for each color as such, their preferred stage-plays (per se) in my mind.

    - White -

    Stage-play of Bliss {2}{w}{w}



    Create three 1/1 human creature tokens. If you gained life this turn, create twice as many tokens instead.

    - Blue -

    Stage-play of Fear {1}{b}



    Target creature you control gains hexproof until end of turn. If you didn't lose life since your last turn, three target creatures you control gain hexproof instead.

    - Black -

    Stage-play of Sorrow {b}{b}{b}



    Stage-play of Sorrow deals 4 damage to target creature and you gain 4 life. Then, if you lost life this turn, you gain 4 psylian life.

    "Many despise or even fear death. I find it to be
    a beautiful act depicting life's finale."

    - Red -

    Stage-play of Ire {1}{r}{r}



    Deal 5 damage to target creature. If an opponent lost life this turn, you may target players as well.

    - Green -

    Stage-play of Frisk {2}{g}



    Target creature gets +1/+1 and trample until end of turn. If 3 or more life was gained and/or lost this turn, that creature gets an additional +2/+2
  • @ningyounk
    I think that it's a great idea to have a unified mechanic for life-matters that works in every color. (I'm assuming that Frisky is a placeholder name XD).
    One concern is that with Psylian life, Virtuoso, Discover, and Rebirth, another mechanic might be pushing the limits. However, it's such a simple one that I don't think it's really much of a problem.

    Re-examining our Elder Muses might be wise in the wake of a new unified life-matters mechanic concept being aired. I still love the legendary enchantment idea from one of your Elder Muse concept cycles. Maybe the second ability on each Muse could be a "Frisky" trigger? Or maybe the color/emotion triggers discussed above?
  • edited July 2018
    Yes, I've tried to find a good name for this mechanic for a while but kind of gave up. In French, "Effervescence" is basically what I was trying to say but I believe the translation is not working x) I'm going to need the input of native speakers on this one ^^

    You're right that we might have a little too many mechanics now.

    Psylian life is a pillar to the set for me, we shouldn't touch it I think. The only thing I'd like is to find a better name that ties it to Renaissance. You're gaining life, it's kind of a rebirth no?

    Compose is like Embalm to Amonkhet, it's important to have a mechanic showing art coming to life though we can change what it does. I like that it's a simple mechanic, I just think we need to find a lighter flavour to justify the sacrifice aspect in an optimistic world.

    I'd put [frisky] third most important because it will actually do a lot of good to settle the life theme of the set in conjunction with psylian life.

    Rebirth is really there because we need a mechanic that screams Renaissance. It's not really synergistic mechanically with the rest of the set and could be removed if we managed to pass the Renaissance flavour through a new name for psylian life for instance. Also it's kind of long if we word it correctly.

    Discover is the one I would discard first. It's really wordy and we can convey the same flavour through regular tools like Scry, Impulsive Draw, Digging, Fetching etc.

    Looking at Dominaria, I think we'd be ok with just three major mechanics that synergize well with the theme of the set ^^
  • edited July 2018
    Vigor, zeal, enthusiasm, or even gusto may be along the lines of what you're looking for.

    Adjectives could be: Vigorous, vibrant, lively, ardent, elated, fervent, zealous, etc.
  • I would actually put virtuoso lower. You don't have to have a named mechanic making tokens to have several cards that make that kind of token. Also on that mechanic, you could have a separate destruction mechanic than sacrifice. You could have -1/-1, exile, etc. Yes it is a little unconventional, but that's ok. I think the rebirth mechanic or something like it is important. We don't have a bunch proposing combat and we want players to be attacking. I agree on the rest. Do the muses have to be entities? They could be enchantments in general that come back. It would seem more original to have giant seasonal enchantments than some great beings that come back or don't die.
  • @brcien, I disagree. Since art coming to life is basically the entire premise of the set (life-matters being the mechanical theme), we definitely need a keyword mechanic for it.

    In the last sentence of your above comment, are you suggesting that we drop both Rebirth and Discover? Just checking.
  • edited July 2018
    Gusto? x) It sounds fun but would it evoke excitment to people? Ideally, we need something that strongly suggest emotions. I think my favourites from the bunch are Enthusiasm (maybe Enthusiastic), Gusto, Lively and Elated (is it really a synonym of Exalted? That sounds like a really good fit, can you say that about someone? They're elated? x) It sounds weird to me xD)

    By the way, I just realized I skipped the last set symbol, my bad:


    The general shape keeps looking a bit alien to me at card size, the presence of the two palettes is very strong visually, I keep seeing two palettes first rather than a butterfly or a heart (which would probably be more intuitive and graceful shapes to see first.) Maybe using only one palette by picturing a butterfly on its side could make it look more natural? I like the general dynamism at full size, it looks like the pokemon Lunala to me, that could also be an inspiration on how to make the wings more stylized once we settle on a general concept ^^


    We can have Compose make something different than ephemeral tokens, but I think we really need an Art-Comes-To-Life mechanic in some form or another. It's like Embalm for Amonkhet, I believe it's important for flavour. What I like about this version of Compose is that it kind of synergizes with the "Frisky" mechanic (above) since it promotes making your opponent lose life, and it plays into a "Surprise" theme that reinforce the "bubbly excitment" feel we're looking for.

    It's a bit early to tell, but yes I could see Psylian life + "Frisky" + Compose as a core of mechanics, and the other two being optional until we prove they really work well.

    Rebirth is mostly important for its name, which we could implement into a new name for psylian life. I still want to playtest it but if we decide to use the complexity elsewhere (like making Compose a little more daring for instance) we could consider removing it.

    Discover doesn't really feel like what I've been trying to make out of it (a kind of Miracle mechanic, that gives you a "eureka" moment). On top of that, it's wordy AND not especially original or daring, I think it would be a good thing to put it aside and let the set breathe. We can still use the concept on some individual cards if we want to.
  • edited July 2018
    Yes, if someone is elated they are very happy or proud; jubilant; in high spirits. Kinda like exalted, except it doesn't require outside influences. More like "uplifted in spirit."

    I see your point. Maybe make the heart primary. I'll take another pass.
This discussion has been closed.