Designer's Gauntlet [Week 2] - It's the Cycle of Life
5 weeks, 5 challenges, participate in as many or as few as you'd like! Prizes are awarded at the end of each week and the 'Smith with the highest cumulative total score will claim the title of Designer's Gauntlet Champion.
We have a top-secret in-house grading system but points are awarded each week based on placement as follows:
1st - 20 points, 2nd - 16 points, 3rd - 12 points, 4th - 10 points
5th - 8 points, 6th - 7 points, 7th - 6 points, 8th - 5 points
Each other participant gets 3 points just for playing. Additionally, those who aren't currently in the top 8 are eligible to receive additional points from bonus challenges. This week, the bonus is worth 2 additional points.
This Week's Philosophy:
Who doesn't enjoy scaling power? Connecting cards in theme and function has long been a taxing task for designers and cycles (linked sets of cards) have been a great way to explore options. Cycles come in several forms, though most broadly they're grouped as either Horizontal or Vertical. A Horizontal cycle is one that is typically represented by a card in each color (think the Blighted lands from BFZ or the keyword-counter-cyclers from IKO) while a Vertical cycle looks to amp up a card's function across multiple rarities.
With that in mind, rarity shouldn't always equate to power. Rarity is best used as a measure of complexity and impact. Sometimes impact is power, but the most interesting cards use the flexibility of their rarity to engage with the game in unique, meaningful ways. You have more "knobs" at your disposal at higher rarity - see if you can express development beyond simply increasing damage dealt or cards drawn (unless that modifies your function of course!).
This Week's Challenge:
Design a Vertical Cycle of three cards. There are no limits on what type your cycle must be, but permanents have historically been the most accessible. A few restrictions and a bonus:
- You must design a common, an uncommon, and a rare
- Your cards must be newly created for this contest (no old cards)
- Bonus (for those not currently in the top 8) - design the Mythic Rare for your cycle
Submissions are due on Saturday, July 25th at 8pm CST. Late entries will not be accepted.
Some helpful links:
2017 Mechanical Color Pie
MTG Wiki: Vertical Cycle