The Great Cardsmith Designer Search - Stage 1: The Design Challenge



  • @brcien
    Yes, I did make mention of Amonkhet in my blurb for Mixed Emotions (above). If you haven't read it, I think it might contain some pertinent insight. You're welcome to submit your card any way you'd like, but I think it might be advantageous for you to do a little more exploration there. :)
  • @ningyounk
    I like that so much more XD
  • edited October 2018
    I have made an update for balance purposes (once again thanks to @ningyounk) on Mocking Barrier.
  • I have now made 2.
  • Hey everyone just a reminder that there are a little over two days left to get your submissions in. So far, 6 of 16 Cardsmiths have posted their submissions and I am excited to see the rest of them.
  • *silently praying Phenax* "Please make the rest think that the due date is a week from now."
  • @brcien I made some comments on your cards if you're interested in feedback, but you didn't have any comment on the card page so you probably didn't receive any notifications. (I also commented on your submissions @saveria201 but you probably received a notification.)
  • edited October 2018
    I got around to making mine. Unlike everyone else, I'm pretty stinkin' bad with explanations and describing my thought process, but I'll give it a shot anyways, in the order that I made them.


    I wanted to make a card that does what white and black both do, which was gain life, but I wanted it to make the player feel clever and good about doing it, so I snuck a little conditional creature destruction clause, especially to help the black feel like it belongs.


    I wanted to make a classic design for BG, and figured some deathtouch and land retrieval would work. Few dredge players like losing a big bundle of their lands, and this helps to mitigate that. At worse, it's still a deathtouch bear.


    I was never an Izzet player, and red and blue have a lot of things they do the same, so I decided to try to keep this design safe. Was originally called Harness the Storm. Thank goodness I decided to cross reference the name.


    RW loves their armies, so I decided to go all-in on that philosophy. Turn those creatures sideways, for Gondor!


    One of my first decks I used was the Dragon's Maze Simic starter deck, and I loved watching my creatures grow bigger and bigger. Forced Adaptation was a big inspiration for this design.
  • edited October 2018
    WOW. I had a feeling that those were for this.
  • @Lujikul: commented on Embrace the Storm
  • edited October 2018
    Here are my entries, a long with a blurb for each one about that one. They are ordered by the order in which I came up with the idea for them, but not necessarily the order by which I made them on MTGCardsmith.

    Valorous Strike is a fairly simple design that is intended to be a one mana combat trick that has to be played in two colors. I made this card in Red/White because they care most about creatures among all enemy color combinations, with the intent that you can cast it with white mana if you already have red creatures but not red mana, and vice versa. Also, the reason I would argue that it isn't a color pie bend because you can in theory cast it in a mono deck with token/color change, but otherwise it mirrors the list of cards that can be cast for no mana cost when you control certain lands.

    Arcane Rupture is meant as a spell that untaps the lands spent to cast it while still being balanced. We most recently saw Unwind in Dominaria, which managed to get through that by being expensive and reactive. In this case, there are multiple safeguards to protect against extreme combo potential: it requires two separate colors of mana to cast, requires an instant or sorcery in the graveyard, requires a target, and only untaps two lands while costing three. Also, it's uncommon, so it won't destroy pauper.

    Soul's Confinement is probably the riskiest design due to its possible absurd potential, but I don't think it is too much of a stretch. It is obviously a take on Journey to Nowhere, except it destroys and returns a creature from the graveyard, thus adding black to the effect. I would say it isn't monoblack simply because black doesn't get this type of temporary enchantment removal. Also, the reason I decided upon it being two mana is, despite the possibilities in both multiplayer and with RIP effects, they just printed Justice Strike, which is a permanent two mana instant removal spell at uncommon, albeit with drawbacks.

    Tainted Reclaimer is a pretty simple design with an obvious line of play: Cast it, discard a land, then return the land to the battlefield when it dies. It was going to be four mana, but then you both lose the potential of being able to somewhat ramp with it and also greatly decrease the chance that you can play it on curve and discard a land with it.

    To finish up, we have Abrupt Metamorphosis. This took inspiration from some (maybe) obvious sources: Pongifyand Rapid Hybridization. Like all of those, can be used in two ways: 1, to buff one of your creatures and give it hexproof, at the cost of removing all other abilities, or 2, to remove a humongous threat on the opponent's board. This is both blue and green because a)blue can't give trample and doesn't often give a possible increase in power and toughness and b)green doesn't remove abilities from creatures - Lignify was a break/severe bend (as was Song of the Dryads).
  • edited October 2018
    Fiery Devotion, Swish, Emburden, and Soul Searcher were all updated. I'm updating the images I posted to correspond to the changes now.
  • Now that judging is approaching, here is how I will be approaching a tie for 8th Place if it occurs:

    If 2 or more Cardsmiths are tied for 8th Place, then Cardsmith who has the highest total score of their best 3 cards will advance. If there is still a tie, I will use each Cardsmith's top 2 cards. If there is a tie again, I will use only their best cards. If this is still tied, I will use their total score for the Card Design category, and if by some great coincidence that this is still a tie, then I will just pick one to move forward.
  • @bnew07, can I preview the entries so far and you give me a range on score?
  • @Ranshi922 sorry no previews, scores will only be given out when the entry period is over and judging commences
  • ok... *far away screaming as though away from a mic*
  • edited October 2018
    Here's my five, with brief commentary:

    BG: Swamp Sloth

    The first entry here is the most recent, being all of a few minutes old. Golgari had me the most confused as to what to make. It's a colour combination renowned for its 'value' cards and general utility nature, so it was hard to make something exciting at uncommon. Eventually I came across this sloth while browsing art, and decided to make a 'big creature with drawbacks' that is sometimes seen in Golgari, such as Charnel Troll in Guilds of Ravnica. The stats are exceedingly good for the CMC but unless you have a way to untap it, it is effectively a 2/4 (it's good on defense, though).

    Edit: changed deathtouch to first strike

    UR: Conflicting Forces

    In contrast, this was the first to be finalized, being one of my original five designs for this contest. I love me some colour hate, and Pyroblast/Hydroblast are among my favourite cards, simply because of how unnatural their effects are for their respective colours. This card features the less color pie break-y halves of each, costed at 2 for the flexibility it offers. This is largely sideboard material, and is probably more useful in older formats. You won't always get to use both halves, but there are some common scenarios where you can do both (most notably, this really hates on the common Snapcaster-into-Bolt line of play, both countering the Bolt and killing the Snap). Every set has a card or two intended for older formats, and this is probably one of them.

    RW: Defier of Odds

    The only other one of my original five to survive (mostly) unscathed. I knew Boros had to be a creature. I was torn, though. One of my issues with how Wizards treats Boros is how it always ends up revolving around 'play creatures, turn em sideways'. Combat oriented mechanics are fine, but I've wanted to see a bit more gameplay to it. What I like about this card is that it plays well on defense as well as offence. The 3 toughness is mostly arbitrary while attacking (since they'll have to double block it anyway), but it makes a major difference while on blocking mode, being able to hold off multitudes of tokens and weenies (the kind of go-wide deck red aggro isn't too good against). Wanted to go for something simple in terms of design yet complex in terms of decision-making.

    GU: Let There Be Flight

    Auras have issues: they are sensitive to disruption, they can get you 2-for-1'd, they lie dead in your hand if you have nothing to enchant. This aura attempts to solve those issues. It creates a token upon being cast, so even if it is countered, you got value out of it. Moreover, the token has hexproof (the p/t, colours, and creature type are a callback to Slippery Bogle), so the risk of having your target removed is eliminated. Moreover, this autogenerated token gives you a target to enchant even on an empty board. And a 3/1 hexproof flier for 4 isn't a bad rate at all. I was in fact concerned that a 3 power evasive hexproof threat for 4 might be too good for uncommon, but then again Vine Mare is a thing. While this looks mono blue, there are two key things that make it green. Firstly, blue doesn't usually get this kind of incidental token generation, often being limited to various conditional token engines like Drake Haven or Talrand. Secondly, +2/+0 isn't blue at all, and that's sort of green-ish (Rancor was the inspiration here). I might have got a bit too cute with the name, though.

    WB: Collect Dues

    The last card is my personal favourite. Like auras, edict effects also have issues: giving the opponent a choice. You will almost always snag their worst creature. This card attempts to solve that issue by disincentivising the opponent to sac their worst creature, which would often be a one or two drop. While the 'return CMC 2 or less to battlefield' has sometimes been done in black, it still feels extremely white to me. This is particularly effective in the early game. Plus, you'll snag a Tarmogoyf every now and then, and that'll make you feel good.

    There's probably room for improvement on these. Looking forward to some feedback!
  • I have to go somewhere. I will post my entries when I get back.
  • Here are my entries, from newest to oldest:

    WB: Chief of Bloodlust


    RW: Gift of War


    BG: Recycler of Life


    UG: Prosper in Numbers


    UR: Provocative Barrier


    If anyone has any suggestions, I'm open to them. However, I do not have premium and have to delete my cards to edit them so it's a bit difficult to put edits into practice.

  • @ChuckTesta, I don't want to be rude, but you aren't in the competition...
  • @Ranshi922 I messaged @bnew07 about joining
  • Oh. (**** another person I have to worry about...)
  • I won't be able to finish writing all of this in the minute before the wifi shuts down bc of a school policy... I will finish it tomorrow!
  • edited October 2018
    Here are the entries that I stressed over since last Saturday. @crazybrain228 can account for my circular stress induced rants... XD

    The first one I made caused was the most distressing. I wanted to get it just right as it is my favorite guild color. Here is my Izzet instant:
    Thermal Inversion
    My thought process went as such:
    What is the most Izzet Thing? Instants and Sorceries! What's the most red spell you can thing of? Shock. Alright, how about some direct damage? Alright, but we gotta have blue. How? Tapping stuff.
    I think I made a pretty good uncommon, because it varies, as it could either be terrible, or it could deal a lot of damage. Such circumstantial cards are what I think the essence of uncommons are. Next up is my Sorcery!

    I made a Boros sorcery with lifelink!
    Cleanse the Impure
    I wanted to make something special. I remembered playing with some Shadowmoor cards and I loved Puncture Blast as it was a spell with Wither; a concept that blew my mind at the time. I wanted to take the same idea and translated it to a... idk. I liked the idea of having a lifelink damage spell. I was originally going to make it be my Orzhov, but then it was brought to my attention that I broke the pie. So now it is Boros!

    For my Simic card I made an enchantment
    Leyline Link
    I was originally going to make a 1 drop instant that countered the acquisition of mana through a single land for one turn, but then I realized that it was not going to work because I wouldn't be able to include both colors without using a hybrid mana which isn't allowed! Anyway, this was the idea: Simic is all about those +1/+1 counters, and in most cases is heavily land oriented. So I put 2 and 2 together to make this. I must say I am happy with it, being that opponents can avoid giving you more +1/+1 counters by not using one of their lands, which is then a pretty sweet disadvantage.

    Next up is my Golgari dragon!
    Rotborn Scourge
    Golgari is a fun color group, because when you lose, you win. Death fuels your army and so then I decided to make a card that gets less expensive the longer the game is lasting or how badly you screwed the pooch! I edited it a couple times to fix a few errors, but now I am really happy with it and am going to let it speak for itself.

    Last but certainly not least is my Orzhov creature!
    Latent Learner
    This idea was sort of a haze to me. I wasn't sure where I was going to go with it. I really like how it turned out because I really do think that this card captures a good amount of what white black is about! I also really liked the idea of being forced to learn more in the afterlife, because you regretted not learning enough in life!

    Well! That is the culmination of a week of stress! Yay! While it was stressful, I felt extremely satisfied with each of these cards, being that I put everything into them! I really hope to make it past this preliminary round!
  • edited October 2018
    BG: Site Reclamation


    UG: Hoarder Sprite


    UR: Seek the Arcane


    RW: Immolating Fervor


    BW: Deem Unworthy


    Sorry, no blurbs besides trying to keep the power level to an uncommon and thinking about the impact on limited.
  • Just a reminder that there are about 12 more hours until the deadline.

    @TezzeretofCarmot21 @KJMartin @Shadow29870 @Jadeor @bigbadbooknerd @BorosPaladin

    You have not yet submitted your cards, so if you are still planning to enter make sure you get them in soon.
  • edited October 2018
    @Aggroman15 @Lujikul @TheCenterOfTheUniverse @KalamMekhar @ChuckTesta @Ranshi922 @fiskerton I went on a feedback rampage and commented on all of your cards XD If I skipped a card of yours, it means the link was not working (I think I skipped two cards in total.)
  • @ningyounk: I think I was in the process of remaking the sloth (the Golgari one) when you were commenting. The link should be okay now! Thanks for the excellent feedback! I've got some adjustments to do now!
  • @KalamMekhar Indeed! I left a comment now ^^
  • @ningyounk thank you for the comments
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