[RESULTS] The HALF-Great Designer Search 3 — Challenge 1: The Multicolour Grid

Hello everyone!

I'm just getting out of the Great Cardsmith Designer Search by @bnew07 where we had a closed contest à la GDS, and it was a lot of fun. I wanted to offer a similar experience to everyone that couldn't participate (which includes bnew07 themselves), and revisit some of the original challenges of GDS3 that we skipped. So I created...


Welcome to the HALF-Great Designer Search 3 =D The premise of this contest is simple:
1) It follows the original GDS3 challenges. You can find the original challenges HERE!
2) You only need to design half the cards compared to the original rules (usually going from 8-10 to 4-5 cards). I adapted the rules accordingly.
3) A little twist has been added to each challenge so people who followed the GDS3 can't come too prepared.
4) No elimination, you can skip any round or jump in at any moment.

Without further ado, let's jump to the first phase:


You can find the rules of the original challenge HERE, and additional rules information HERE!
I took them and cut them in half:


1) You must design 5 cards.
2) All the cards will be two-color and each color must appear exactly twice.
3) Design one card of each of the following card types: creature, enchantment, instant, sorcery, and planeswalker.
4) The following card types cannot share the same color: planeswalker and creature, instant and sorcery. For instance, if you design a white/blue planeswalker card, your creature card cannot be either white or blue.
5) Each rarity must be represented at least once (common, uncommon, rare, mythic rare).
6) You are allowed access to all evergreen keywords and deciduous mechanics (hybrid, double-faced cards, split cards, etc.). Please do not create any new named keyword mechanics and do not use old block keyword/ability word mechanics.
7) Submit your cards in order of quality of design from what you consider your best design (first) to what you consider your worst design (last).

But that's not all. To prevent people who already did the full original challenge from having too much of a head start, I added... a twist.


7) Each cardsmith who wants to participate will receive A RANDOM SET OF FIVE TWO-COLOURS COMBINATION. To know which colour combinations you have to design, take the first letter of your username on this forum and look at the table below. For instance, my username is ningyounk, I look at the letter N, I would have to design the following five cards: WU - UB - BG - RG - RW.



Here are some additional information for the contest:
OLD CARDS ARE: Allowed, as long as they fit within the restrictions
FORMAT: Design cards for an undefined Standard-legal set
TEXT-ONLY CARDS ARE: Allowed, but you must link the illustration that would go with it. Try to make the card image happen if you can, but I understand there are some difficult cases like phone users that don't have access to the "Make planeswalker" option or if you have an idea that would require a specific frame and you can't make it work on Magic Set Editor or Photoshop. If you contact me by private message, I might be able to help you render simple stuff like 4-abilities planeswalkers, vehicles, split cards etc. depending on the time I have ^^
DEADLINE: [EDIT: POSTPONED] Saturday, February 02
- 1st place — 5 favourites of their choice
- 2st place — 3 favourites of their choice
- 3st place — 1 favourite of their choice

Now remember, this challenge is all about digging up your best designs in a vacuum and twisting them to fit all those restrictions ;) Last little tip to you all: instead of a grid, I highly recommend putting your colours in a cycle to know which slots are still available to which card types as you fill in the connections between the colours.

Let the Half-Great Designer Search begin! =D


  • I'm going to join, so...
    As a note to self:
    G/R (Heck Yeah!)
    R/W (Yay....)
  • @Bowler218
    That's exactly it! (You actually have the same combination as me) Good luck to you! =D
  • Here is the link to the set, top left is best, bottom left is worst, and the last two are equal in how good they are:
  • WU - UR - RG - GB - WB
  • W/U G/U B/G B/R R/W

    This will be fun
  • edited January 18

    Wow this looks awesome! Are old cards allowed? Also, are hybrid, split cards, or transform cards allowed like the original challenge?
  • @bnew07

    Old cards are allowed as long as they fit within the restrictions.
    Deciduous mechanics like hybrid mana, split cards and double-faced cards are allowed, like in the original challenge.

    I updated the rules in the introduction with those points of rules, and I added a link to the additional rules information for the original challenge from the "Reading the Designs" article ;)

    Anyone can ask me any rules question here or by private message if you're not sure what's allowed. Generally, the spirit is to stick to the original GDS3 challenge so you can assume the rules are the same unless I specifically state otherwise in the introduction ^^
  • @Bowler218

    Light of the tree is too high costing in my opinion. Dark Ritual does the same thing at the same rarity for one mana and no downsides.

    Three of my favourite colour combinations in here? I guess the universe just knew, lol.
  • edited January 18
    Aren't you a K though? I think you're looking at the M line ^^

    K line: WR - BR - UB - GU - GW

    It trades WU and RG for WR and GU, hope it's still fine with you ^^
  • Me too! i got rakdos, dimir, boros, simic, and selesnya! count me in!
  • edited January 19
    The fact that the Sorcery is color-restricted in regard to both Instants and Enchantments means that as soon as you've picked it, you have to choose between two of the remaining four options for both of those other card types. This tripped me up once already because I'd chosen a creature that took one of those options without realizing it. I'd actually prefer if this ambiguous restriction were removed. You could even leave the Planeswalker/Creature Instant/Sorcery color-restriction in place.

    Also, just to clarify, there is no thematic restriction and no bonus to having cards that are related, correct? They are each judged on their own merit and essentially "in a vacuum?"
  • The original contest has very specific formatting instructions for the designed cards. Would you like us to follow those formatting instructions instead of posting the cards, or in addition to posting the cards?
  • @Faiths_Guide
    Haha yes once you've picked your first card, you actually have two series of two options ahead of you for the remaining card types. The goal was to find back that aspect of the original challenge where you started free but you couldn't choose what your last cards were going to be. But ok, maybe four options is a little too low, we're only 24h in so I'll make a quick change to the rules. I'll do the second option where I just remove one restriction on the sorcery type, this way you're free to design your creature in of of the slots that doesn't share a colour with the sorcery, it will simply force your hand on the instant slot ^^

    @Bowler218 @notmyprimespeaker @Faiths_Guide @pjbear2005 @KalamMekhar @kandra127 @kickash

    Following some feedback, I have REMOVED the following rules: "Your sorcery card and enchantment card cannot share the same colour." This should double the possible combinations of card types and colour pair.

    Sorry about that! I hope this doesn't disturb anyone too much? I figured since it's not even 24h in it was still time for a quick feedback loop to happen >.<

    Since this is an MTGCardsmith contest, we're using mock-up cards using the website so you don't need to post the text of your card as long as you post the image or the link of it ^^ That being said, you are allowed to do so if you like, it's just not mandatory.
  • edited January 27
    WR - UR - UB - BG - GW

    (Too busy this week to make the rest of cards. But here they are:)

    WR: Common Creature
    Blade of the Army

    Tried to make another efficient creature like Skyline Legionnaire.

    (second and third are probably debatable)

    UB: Uncommon Instant
    Painful Denial

    Literally Essence Scatter / Murder. Overcosted for either on their own, seems right for the choice.

    BG: Mythic Planeswalker
    Rikas Ralojor
    3BG Planeswalker - Rikas
    +2: Each player discards a card.
    -2: Return a permanent card from your graveyard to your hand.
    -5: You get an emblem with "Whenever a permanent card enters your graveyard from anywhere, return it to your hand at the beginning of the next end step."
    Loyalty: 4
    (Note: the last ability is 149 characters, including spaces. Hopefully works)
    (link to art: https://cdna.artstation.com/p/assets/images/images/011/677/768/large/shady-curi-half-elf.jpg?1530811914)(Yes, I realise the art is landscape)

    Sorta forced into this color of planeswalker, but wanted to do something different about these colors. Since their both utilize the graveyard, why not make a planeswalker about it?
    +2 is clearly black, -2 is clearly green, and the emblem is sorta both (maybe?). The next end step clause is to prevent people from comboing too much. Also gives a window for opponents to interact.

    UR: Mythic Enchantment
    Burgeoning Ideas
    2UR Enchantment
    Whenever you cast a spell, put the top card of your library into your graveyard, then exile the top card of your library. If they share a card type and the exiled card has a lesser converted mana cost, you may cast it without paying its mana cost.
    (link to art: https://cdnb.artstation.com/p/assets/images/images/009/884/149/large/joanna-mcneilly-screenshot004.jpg?1521404920)

    Definitely mythic since we are cheating mana costs here. The mill clause is to make library manipulation slightly more difficult (needs scry 2 or more, or top, or good luck). Probably going to appear in UR spellslingers or UR artifacts (probably not)

    GW: Rare Sorcery
    GW Sorcery
    Two target creatures you control gain protection from everything but each other until end of turn.
    (link to art: https://images-wixmp-ed30a86b8c4ca887773594c2.wixmp.com/intermediary/f/672544ca-c6d3-4d2b-b8cc-22e66bbdd696/d2ecj28-ab80f7c4-f99e-4fcc-9fdc-a559fcd82e94.jpg/v1/fill/w_1280,h_519,q_70,strp/harmony_by_sedeptra_d2ecj28-fullview.jpg)

    Worked from image to card. Tried to capture feeling of a couple embracing(?) each other and are stronger together. Of course, they are absolutely okay with each other affecting themselves (positively). Also cheap card to force some damage through.
    (P.S. protection seems to be semi-retired, so is it okay? Happy to change to hexproof if not.)

    (Almost forgot to close the hyperlink tag. Oops.)
  • @ningyounk: oh it's first letter of our username? I thought it was first letter of our actual names, haha! Sorry about that!

    Trading WU though... :/
  • @KalamMekhar
    Sorry >.< Yes, I used public information to make sure you can't cheat as I have no idea what your real names are ;) (Is Mekhar a name? I don't recognize that language ^^)
  • @ningyounk: haha, fair enough! No, neither Kalam nor Mekhar are part of my real name; Kalam Mekhar is a character from a fantasy novel series.
  • @ningyounk

    So, basically what i would have to do is make a different card type for each of my color combinations, and make them each a different rarity?
  • edited January 19

    Yeap, with the added complication that your planeswalker can't share a colour with your creature, and your instant can't share a colour with your sorcery ^^ So the first card you design is anything your want but then you start to get forced into some colours for your last cards. This is meant to simulate the "Sudoku" aspect of the original challenge ^^
  • @ningyounk
    Is the creation of nonexistent tokens permissible?
  • edited January 21
    Mobile users can't make planeswalker cards. Is there a way to participate in this part of the contest or should I just wait for the next
  • edited January 21
    I'm speaking for @ningyounk here, but only because I'm sure that he'd concur. Feel free to enter! Just replace an actual card image entry with the format used on the actual WotC GDS Challenges for your Planeswalker entry.

    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."

    Because of the limitations of the Planewalker cardmaker here on the site, this might prove a better option for CPUs as well.
  • edited January 21
    Faiths_Guide is 100% right on this, I'll accept the planeswalker card as a simple text card if you prefer / can't do otherwise. More generally, if there is any idea that would require a specific frame not available on the website, you can use the text-only format just like in the original GDS3 challenge ^^ I'm going to make one small modification compared to the original challenge though (see below.) Also, note that the character limitation for each planeswalker ability should be about 145 characters, spaces included. I suppose it's not an easy-to-find information if you don't have access to the planeswalker maker ;)

    I would also add that, for these specific situations, you can contact me by private message with the text of your card and an illustration you'd want, and I may be able to make the card image for you on either MTGCardsmith or Magic Set Editor ^^

    The only change I'm going to add to the rules for these corner cases is this:

    If you create a text-only card, please link an illustration that would go with it, so it's easier to compare your cards with other cardsmiths, as finding the right illustration is an additional challenge on this website compared to the original challenge.
  • @ningyounk

    Can I make my cards on another card creator such as MTG.design or magic set editor?
  • edited January 24
    GB - Uncommon - Sorcery

    WU - Rare - Creature

    WB - Rare - Enchantment

    RG - Mythic - Planeswalker

    UR - Common - Instant
  • @Bigbadbooknerd
    You may, though I encourage you to use Mtgcardsmith when you can, just because we're on the MTGC forum ^^ But it's all about card concepts, so however you decide to present those concepts won't matter as much :)
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