The Great Cardsmith Design Search - Stage 3: The Mechanic Redux Challenge



  • edited November 2018
    When I saw Boros exalted the first thing I thought of was that red/white is the color combination of heroism, and that meant legendaries. The Boros exalt their leaders and generals. So, I decided to combine the challenge mechanic of Exalted with a theme of "legendary creatures matter" in my designs this week.

    Common Enchantment

    Uncommon Creature
    I decided to leave the wording as is to show the Exalted N variation of exalted. Since it's a "whenever" trigger, exalted can check creature typing when it triggers.

    Uncommon Creature
    With this one, the first thing I wanted to do was "if a creature gets +X/+X, it gets +2X/+0 instead", but thought that might be too complicated.

    Rare Land
    I did not have the space for reminder text, but the exalted does stack as per Sublime Arcangel.

    Mythic Artifact
    Changed from Justicia. One of the things I wanted to do with the mythic slot was partially alleviate the exalted problem of having to attack alone and if that creature dies, you basically got fogged. By having creatures return as exalted "spirits", it powers up the rest of your board.

  • @fiskerton
    I really like the idea of mixing exalted with a Legendary theme! It's very flavourful ^^ I did see a few templating issues, I'll comment on the card page directly :)
  • Here's my submission for Exploit with Orzhov:

    image image image image image

    As always, feedback is very welcome :)
  • @ningyounk

    So I've been thinking about your comment on layers with Bogoro Wulfram. I believe it works as I was intending because it is a dependent effect, and according to MTG's article on layers:

    If an effect is dependent on another effect, they will be applied in timestamp order unless the independent effect would be applied after the dependent one. If this is the case, the dependent effect is held until after the independent effect has been applied and then it is applied.

    So it should always be held before any other effect, then applied once the if clause gets fulfilled.

  • edited November 2018
    I apologize for the imminent ad nauseum butttt

    Tribute is a mechanic I have played with and against a lot. My brother played table top magic with me everyday for a year or two. He started out with a mono green Theros stompy and gradually did the 360 to play Jeskai good stuff. His killer cards were Nessian Demolok and Nessian Wilds Ravager . The deck had a few early guys to chip in on you and quickly puts you into a position that you have to let them have the +1/+1 counters and hope you get more kill spells. The biggest difference between my cards and those beloveds from Theros is that now we're in control colors instead of aggro colors. The problem with pushing stuff into weird mechanical directions because the effect is so lengthy. I thought of a few things, I only did one, because it is the only easily printable of the ideas. That is "If tribute was paid" instead of "If tribute wasn't paid." This reverses the design capabilites of tribute. The other main weird one I did not do was a self blink tribute effect. I tried a few different activated/triggered abilities to try getting an Obzedat feel, but none of them were both simple enough for an average player, short enough to fit on a card, and fun enough to be worth it.


    This is the one with the "If tribute was paid." I think this is the most likely avenue for expansion of the mechanic, but I think they would want to bold the words "If tribute was paid." I wrote out a few others of these, but since these couldn't be fully realized in my image of having the bolded text and being easy to distinguish from the other trigger, I decided to only include one. Interestingly, Most of the time you pay tribute if they play this one because of how much extra time to deal the damage per turn from the counter.


    This is my favorite one. The main idea I was going with these cards that since they have strong etb effects, most of the time you give them the counters, but, over time, if you have given them the counters on two or three, they're never gonna get through your bulky people. Prioress is key to the strategy as vigilance helps the walking shield idea. Or you just get a vindicate on a stick, which is so good. Interestingly, for commander, you can team up with a player and blink this a bunch of times to decimate another player.


    Toughness matters is a cool thing they need to have more of. Can you tell I like Soul Sisters? This gets better the more times they refuse to pay tribute because you have more potential for life gain, which is a danger of playing against a control deck.


    This is coolest card anyone will ever see in draft. Don Corleone wants his money back.


    This one would be "If tribute WAS paid" both players gain 10 life, but seriously I would not want to check the card everytime to figure out how the card works. This guy is either a better Serra Angel or Filigree Angel. He's the top end finisher if he stays out.
  • Hello, I have a busy weekend and would like to delay my deadline. Thanks!
  • @Temurzoa

    No problem how many days would you like to use (1, 2, or 3)?
  • edited November 2018
    Orzhov Devotion. Yes, I'm alive.
  • @bnew07
    Can I address a permanent as being "devoted to" a color? Maybe that's a bit too much of a stretch.
  • Just a little over 24 hours until the submission deadline!
  • @Faiths_Guide

    That depends on what “devoted to a color” means. Can you elaborate?
  • edited November 2018
    I think I've decided to avoid it. It was going to mean how many mana symbols of that color the permanent had in its mana cost.

    I'm noticing how wrong devotion feels in a multicolor format.
  • edited November 2018

    Don't know if there's time to both get and address feedback, but any and all is welcome.
  • Here are my Entries.
    To start off, I discussed with @bnew07 about removing the "This permanent enters the battlefield tapped" clause on Hideaway, as it caused several problems with designing balanced creatures and just looked weird on enchantments.
    Secondly, in order to experiment with new design space, none of my cards actually let you directly cast the exiled card. Some let you put the card into your hand, while others care about traits of the card; all are meant to somehow represent the Dimir's way of collecting secrets and information.

    Common Creature
    Nightspire Operative is a simple design: A cheaper, weaker Stealer of Secrets that only triggers once but gets an impulse when it does. I'm not entirely sure about the "When" instead of "Whenever" but it only ever does something once, so I went with "When."

    Uncommon Creature
    Duskmantle Surgeon is one of the cards meant to test out different ways of carrying about hideaway. In this case, it is a form of Duress/Despise, in which it can only hit what you hit with the Surgeon's hideaway.

    Uncommon Artifact
    Phantasm's Hourglass is the first test of converted mana cost; in this case, at worst it's a surveiling Darksteel Pendant which can later be used to return a few of your creatures. I'm sorry about the Innistrad-y feel of the picture, but I couldn't find a better one.

    Rare Creature
    Taking on the role of the Dimir Monster among this group, the Nightmare Gorger is a take on Havoc Demon, with the added twist that the information on the power of the wrath is hidden until the moment at which it occurs.

    Mythic Enchantment
    Eyes of the City is meant to encapsulate the Dimir as a whole: A secretive group, keeping tabs on everything that is happening. The main ability is the extra view of cards on the top of your library; the reason it is "two or more" is to avoid confusion with effects such as Into the Wilds (Can you put them all into play?). As for the final ability, that was the only effect that could care about the exiled card and still fit in the remaining space.
  • For Investigate, am I allowed to design cards that deal with the investigate mechanic and Clues, or just investigate?
  • @Temurzoa since clues are part of investigate, I will allow up to 2 cards that care about clues but don't have investigate
  • Oh are we allowed to stretch and have a card or two that likes the mechanic but isn't the mechanic itself?
  • edited November 2018
    Here are my entries (All of them are creatures):

    Common: Preacher of Rage — 2R (3)

    Uncommon: Conjuror of Strength — 2GG (4)

    Uncommon: Infernal Beast — 4RG (6)

    Rare: Scourge of the Skies — 5GG (7)

    Rare: Ari, Martyr of Fire — 2RG (4)

    I won't be able to address it, but feedback is welcome.
  • @brcien every card has to reference the mechanic you chose directly. Since investigate makes clues and clues are inextricably tied to investigate, I think it is okay but none of the other chosen mechanics had that quality so it wouldn’t really apply.
  • image

    So if this fits that parameter I would rather have this guy than the one sharing the art. This is one of the things I wanted to do but thought it didn't count.
  • @brcien sounds good I will make that your 5th entry
  • @bnew07 I edited my entry
  • Going back to my delay time, 2 days would be awesome. Thanks!
  • @fiskerton thanks for the heads up.

    @Temurzoa will do, your entries are due this Tuesday 11/6 at 11:59 PM EST
  • This challenge is now closed! No more edits or entries will be accepted. Judging will begin when @Temurzoa submits his entries or after his extended deadline of 11/6 at Midnight EST
  • edited November 2018
    Thank you for your patience, here are my entries.

    I think the fundamental problem with Clues is creating new design space. This is perhaps why Clues are such a good mechanic: they are flexible, grokkable, and good for any kind of deck. So with these entries, I did my best to explore as much flavor space as possible as well as mechanical space.


    Much of the common design space was already filled up, so I tried something more complex. Senate Prober temporarily imprisons your opponents's creatures and brings into questioning. If their will, aka their toughness is too low, you can gather Clues from their confessions. If anything else, Senate Prober is a good blocker for Limited games.


    This is my favorite entry. Incriminating Evidence arrests a creature, and, if you have done some sleuthing that turn and gathered information, sentences it to capital punishment. This card is uncommon because it relies on building around the mechanic. Nice and simple.


    Not much to say here. Moving on.


    Errant Inquisitor provides an incentive to investigate and sacrifice Clues, along with a new way of generating them. It's like Mentor for the Meek, except slower and scarier.


    An interesting way to use Clue tokens. I have always wanted a real topdeck commander, so Perdus would fit the bill. To counteract the potentially stifling ability, I made the investigating ability counteractive to the goal of draw-go decks.
  • @Temurzoa
    I'm digging that set symbol!
  • All right everyone the results are in! Refer to the google doc link below for all the written feedback and scores. Let me know if anyone has trouble with the link.

    There were a lot of great entries but only the top 6 can move on.

    7th Place: @brcien with 64 pts
    6th Place: @ChuckTesta with 73 pts
    4th Place: @fiskerton with 78 pts
    4th Place: @Temurzoa with 78 pts
    3rd Place: @TheCenterOfTheUniverse with 87 pts
    2nd Place: @Faiths_Guide with 88 pts
    1se Place: @ningyounk with 89 pts

    @brcien , unfortunately you came up short this challenge and are eliminated. You get 5 favorites of your choice.

    Congrats to everyone moving on!!! I will post the next stage's challenge in the next few days.

    The top 3 placing Cardsmiths from this stage can request the following amount of faves of their choice from me:
    3rd Place: 1 fave
    2nd Place: 2 faves
    1st Place: 3 faves

    I also owe some favorites from both this an from previous challenges so please request the following total amounts:

    @brcien: 5 faves
    @Lujikul: 4 faves
    @The CenterOfTheUniverse: 4 faves
    @ningyounk: 4 faves
    @Faiths_Guide: 4 faves
    @Temurzoa: 5 faves
  • @bnew07 can you favorite any four from this set that you haven't already:
This discussion has been closed.