[RESULTS] Pack and Play: The HALF-Great Designer Search 3 — Challenge 6

Hello everyone!

It's finally time for the sixth and final round of...


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 challenge:


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


1) You must design 8 cards.
2) Those 8 cards will constitute a MTG Arena booster pack: 5 commons, 2 uncommons, and 1 rare or mythic rare.
3) You must claim a Modern-legal black-bordered Magic expansion set by claiming it in the comments. This will be first come, first served. Unlike the original challenge though, two people can claim two different sets from the same block. For instance, if you choose the set "Khans of Tarkir", the other sets from this block "Fate Reforged" and "Dragons of Tarkir" will still be viable options for other participants.
4) You must design all cards as if they belong to the expansion you've chosen. Note this means you will only be able to use keywords or ability words found in that expansion (and you will be limited to evergreen mechanics that existed in that set).
5) All colors must appear in your entry at least once. Your pack should reflect the set you've chosen though, especially if your set has a higher rate of colorless cards (artifacts, eldrazi, etc.) or multicoloured cards.

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.


6) To shake up a bit the cards you'd want to design, YOU MUST SATISFY A NUMBER OF CONSTRAINTS DEPENDENT ON HOW WELL YOU'VE PERFORMED IN PREVIOUS ROUNDS. You'll find just below the four constraints with the criteria determining which one you have to satisfy with your entry.

CRITERIA: For everyone

• I want a card with the name of a character born on the chosen plane in its title. It can be the character themselves or a signature card like "Ajani's Pridemate", or "Chandra's Pyrohelix".

CRITERIA: For all participants who have received a medal in previous rounds.
Arinska, bigbadbooknerd, bnew07, Bowler218, brcien, Corwinnn, Derfaulehelmut, Domrikade, Faiths_Guide, kandra127, kickash, KorandAngels, LeSelton, LuckyLooter, LyndonF, Netherin5, NicholasBolas, ouser94501, Project1734, Ranshi922, Revan, sanjaya666, SmallJem, TheCenterOfTheUniverse, Undead

• I want a card with a subtype that is exclusive or almost-exclusive to the chosen plane in its rules box. (Please mention the subtype.) This means that the subtype must be, in your opinion, very tied to your set, even if some other sets have used it. This can be any kind of subtype that appear after the dash "—" in the type box like "Aetherborn", "Saga" or "Gate". The card can interact with it in any way by caring about it, boosting it, destroying it, etc.

CRITERIA: For all participants who got ranked in previous rounds.
bnew07, Derfaulehelmut, Faiths_Guide, kandra127, LuckyLooter, NicholasBolas, Ranshi922, sanjaya666, Undead

• I want a card that would help at least two distinct Draft archetypes from the chosen set. (Please mention which two archetypes the card is helping.)

CRITERIA: For all participants who got ranked at least twice in previous rounds.
bnew07, Derfaulehelmut, Faiths_Guide, Undead

• I want a card that tries to fix a general issue with the set. (Please mention the issue.) The best place to find those issues would probably be the yearly State of Design articles by Mark Rosewater.

This means that you can have up to four restrictions to satisfy with your eight cards. Note that you can have multiple cards satisfying the same constraint, and you can have a single card satisfying multiple constraints at once.


ELDRITCH MOON — sanjaya666
BORN OF THE GODS — Ranshi922
DOMINARIA — TheCenterOfTheUniverse
KALADESH — kandra127
THEROS — Faiths_Guide
IXALAN — Domrikade
FATE REFORGED — shadow123
RIVALS OF IXALAN — ouser94501



Here are some additional information for the contest:
FORMAT: Design cards for the set you've chosen.
TEXT-ONLY CARDS ARE: Allowed, but you must link the illustration that would go with it.
DEADLINE: Sunday, May 26th (3 weeks from now)
- 1st place — 5 favourites of their choice
- 2st place — 3 favourites of their choice
- 3st place — 1 favourite of their choice

The main difficulty of this final challenge is that you have to design a lot of commons, and that will be your first medium for conveying what the whole set is about in only 8 cards. My advice is to look at all the constraints, even if you're not concerned by all of them. I designed them not trick you but to guide you, they're all pinpointing elements that you need to think about to understand what makes your set unique ;)

I wish you all good luck, let the sixth and final round of the HALF-GDS3 begin! =D


  • In addition to the contest, to celebrate the final challenge of this series, I've created a little mini-game!
    If you've followed the Half-Great Designer Search from the beginning and you've been observant, you may have noticed that I used a different banner to announce the twist of each challenge:


    Each of these banners uses an illustration from an actual MTG card! The first participant to give me the name of those six original cards in one post will earn a favourite on the first card they post in the contest =)
  • I claim battle for zendikar
  • I claim Khans of tarkir
  • edited May 6
    I claim Eldritch Moon
  • Cruel Ultimatum
    Macabre Waltz
    Spatial Contortion
    Drill Bit
    Broken Concentration
    Injury (From Insult // Injury)
  • Oh no. Final round.
  • I take it that I can't do the banner card name thing being that LyndonF has already done it?
  • I think I will take Kaladesh.
  • @ningyounk

    The original rules state that we must design one common of each color...is this still the case?
  • I'll take Dominaria
  • Darn! I wanted Kaladesh! Oh well. I'll take Theros.
  • WAIT!!! @kandra127, I forgot about Theros somehow. Do you still want Kaladesh, because I will take Theros if you do?
  • edited May 6
    @ningyounk, @kandra127, & @Ranshi922
    But, but, I wanted Theros.

    Journey into Nyx please!
  • @Faiths_Guide, which had the archetype cycle?
  • @bnew07
    No, because you have access to only 5 commons you don't need to have a common of each colour, but all colours must appear in your total entry at least once :)
  • @LyndonF
    Congratulations! You got the right answer first ^^ As promised, I'll favourite your first entry in the contest if you participate ^^

    Here's the complete visual answer:

    image image
    image image
    image image
  • edited May 6
    Neither. Born of the Gods had them ;)

    I'd actually like to switch from JOU to BNG because, according to MaRo, it had more issues and should be easier to satisfy my CONSTRAINT #4 in than JOU would be.
  • @ningyounk

    For constraint #2, can we use a unique combination of subtypes? For example, Rakshasa are unique to Tarkir but they have the subtypes Cat Demon, neither of which are unique to Tarkir alone but are unique together
  • @ningyounk @kandra127
    I want my set to be Born of the Gods!
  • edited May 6
    @ningyounk @kandra127 @Ranshi922

    K, let's straighten this out (since I also swithced to BNG).

    kandra127 - Are you good with Kaladesh? If so, I'll take Theros and give Ranshi Born of the Gods.

    ningyounk - Sorry for being a part of this confusion.
  • I'll take Ixalan
  • I'll take Kaladesh if nobody else is taking it! It, Theros block, and SOM block are my favorites.
  • edited May 6

    @kandra127 - Kaladesh
    @Ranshi922 - Born of the Gods
    @MeMyselfI - Theros

    Thanks ;)
  • edited May 6
    Oh right, my bad I didn't realise that Khans of Tarkir didn't have a unique subtype anymore after Nagas appeared again on Amonkhet. I'll make a quick change to the second constraint:

    • I want a card with a subtype that is exclusive or almost-exclusive to the chosen plane in its rules rules box.

    This will let people have a bit more wiggle room, for instance Khans of Tarkir now has a handful of especially flavourful subtypes that are tied to this plane though they appeared on other planes from time to time. For the Rashkasa specific problem, I'll rule that it's ok as long as it's very clearly refered to as a "Cat Demon", in the rules text ^^

    @Faiths_Guide @kandra127 @Ranshi922
    If you are all on board with this distribution then it's settled ^^
  • edited May 6
    Constraint #1:
    Any Legendary character, or just a Planeswalker?

    Constraint #2:
    Appears to be only Sable or Lamia on Theros. Close, but probably not allowed, include Cockatrice, Nautilus, Nymph, Starfish, and Satyr.

    Ooh, more options!
  • @Faiths_Guide
    Any character that's born on that plane (in your case Theros), it can be a planeswalker, not a planeswalker, a character that already got a card, or a character that didn't but appeared in the lore. As mentioned in the rules, you can make a card picturing them, or a signature card for them.

    I have changed the constraint #2 slightly so it gives people more wiggle room. Use your best judgement, in your case I'd say that any mythological creature inspired by Greek mythology is now fair game.
  • edited May 6

    Could you provide us with an average card type distribution in a set (so we can approximate in a pack)?
    I might even suggest, at this 8-card level, that you outline a minimum number of the card types.
  • edited May 6
    Here's what I would suggest for the as-fan of most sets if I opened a pack of 8 cards (bear in mind that each set has its own specificities):

    - 3,5 Creatures
    - 2,5 Instants/Sorceries
    - 1,0 Enchantment
    - 0,6 Artefact
    - 0,4 Land

    I'd say you could go plus or minus 1.5 on each one and still be realistic though a little skewed. But that depends on the subtype, 2 land cards are going to look weirder than 5 creatures.

    And once again, EACH SET HAS ITS OWN NEEDS! ;)
  • Aren’t nymphs only on theros?
  • @Ranshi922
    No, but I think we've been given the "okay" to use them for the constraint now.
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