[RESULTS] The HALF-Great Designer Search 3 — Challenge 4: Finding a Good Mechanic



  • edited March 2019
    @ningyounk Yeah, I meant the Kami (I just figured I'd copy the wording from the list of factions. I feel that with their theme of changing into something else (channel/soulshift) they have their unique feel compared to most spirits.

    @kandra127 Because most faeries are low cmc, it might be wise to nerf it a little for "dream the top card of your library" (it is better than drawing a card in a lot of cases atm). Otherwise you won't be able to make realistic commons. I'd probably make the card castable as long as you control a faerie/card with the dream ability (either or).

    @ouser94501 I don't think there has been an effect in MtG with the ability written like that. The closest is extort so I would probably go with making the cost the same for all the cards with the ability and then you can just have it in the reminder text.
  • So I have an idea of a mechanic now but I'm not sure how to use it, it's called "Pack"

    So for example you'd have a card with "Pack 1 (You may (t) a target friendly creature that shares the same type as this card, you gain +1/+1 until end of turn)

    Obvious if you had "Pack 2" it would gain you +2/+2 until the end of the turn.

    Any tips of a better way to word this or if this has been used before?
  • @SmallJem
    The closest existing mechanic I can think of is Cohort, it's up to you to decide whether or not you think you can make your mechanic feel unique enough, but it should give you some good basis for the templating ^^
  • This Better?
    (exile that card with a dream counter on it. for as long as it has a dream counter on it and you control a Faerie, you may cast it, and spend mana as if it were mana of any color to cast it)
  • My mechanic is Chivalry, paired with the Bant shard of Alara. Flavorwise, this mechanic exemplifies Bant's commitment to peace, protection, and honorable battle. Additionally, Bant is home to many knights who guard the realm, making it even more of a flavorful fit.

    Mechanically, Chivalry represents the creature with Chivalry stepping up to defend a weaker creature (tapping it so it can’t be put in harms way through combat) and showing off their prowess in battle (stat boost). Chivalry would go on mostly Knight creatures due to the strong connection between the Code of Chivalry and Knights in medieval fantasy tropes but could go other creature types as well.

    It is reminiscent of Exalted, the existing Bant mechanic without being too similar to it and also playing out differently by allowing more choices to be made by the player. Chivalry can only go on creatures.

    Chivalry N (Whenever this creature attacks, you may tap an untapped creature you control with lesser power. If you do, this creature gets +N/+N until end of turn.)

    This card is the perfect common for Chivalry as it is incredibly simple, balanced, yet still provides the strategic complexity that is a hallmark of lenticular design. In an environment with Chivalry, the fact that this card makes two creatures with low power (one of which also has Chivalry itself) adds to its power level in a contextual and nuanced way. In my opinion, this is by far my best design of the four.


    This card represents a complex take on an otherwise simple mechanic which is appropriate for rare. The flavor of the card being a knight so valorous he doesn’t want to harm weaker opponents ties the Chivalry mechanic to the final ability. This card is definitely pushed for constructed in terms of raw power but is balanced by a few contextual factors: 1) Legendary 2) restrictive mana cost 3) One toughness 4) Multicolor environment. In particular, putting this card in a shard set where 3 color decks are enabled generally involves lots of taplands and WU being easier to achieve that WW, for example.


    This card puts a different spin on Chivalry, making the payoff be the increase in size to enable its combat damage trigger. This creature is much more difficult to block without chunking as a 4/6 than a 3/5. Even without chivalry, this creature is quite strong on its own as a 3,color draft uncommon and requires a lot of effort from the opponent to effectively manage.


    This card is designed to function well in a low to the ground creature deck. It’s chivalry ability synergizes well with mana dorks as they can both power this out Ahead of schedule and tap to make it big. The combat damage ability scales with the chivalry ability to encourage careful and thoughtful deck construction. When enables, it is both an effective threat and a card advantage engine but isn’t too useful when not supported or as the game goes on and it can no longer attack effectively. As with my second entry, this card loses some consistency in a 3-color environment due to its double color mana cost which helps to balance it.

    NOTE: You may be wondering why I did not design any mono blue Chivalry cards. The reason is that blue doesn’t fit as well as W/G with either the flavor or mechanics of chivalry. In this way it is pretty similar to exalted and there were only 3 mono blue cards across the 3 Alara sets with exalted. I contemplated some designs that felt blue (like a 0 power creature with chivalry) which involved some shenanigans or tricky interactions, but none were good enough to make the top 4.
  • edited March 2019
    The zombies are coming! They're coming! Aaaargh!
    Ahem- well, okay, maybe not. Still, though, you ought to be careful. Innistrad is a dark and dangerous place, with necromantic magic staining the very land itself with its corruption. It takes little to unsettle the corpses lurking beneath the ground and raise them to life once more. With so many ambitious skabaren and ghoulcallers stalking the world, the dead are practically jumping out of their graves. No one is buried deep enough.

    Allow me to introduce the unsettle keyword - AKA Desecrated Tomb, the mechanic. When a card with unsettle leaves your graveyard, you create a 2/2 black Zombie creature token. It doesn't matter what kind of card it is, be it creature, land, instant or sorcery, nor how the card leaves your graveyard, and a clever necromancer stocks their arsenal with a number of means of unsettling the dead. (On a side note, unsettle cards play VERY well with R&D's Secret Lair as simply picking them up out of the 'yard creates a token).

    A plague of ghouls spreads faster than a disease, for they recruit with each death they cause. Free creatures is pretty powerful at common, I know, but I'm basing the rarity on limited, in which there are fairly few ways to reliably remove the card from the graveyard at common, except for the occasional Soul Salvage.
    A lich's tomb never seems to end. At every corner, a zombie awaits to strike out at you. This one is themed a little after cards like Kindle and Accumulated knowledge in that it gets more powerful if you have copies in the 'yard.
    A king of the dead is a king of little more than dust and ashes. I'm pretty sure this is a bit broken in EDH, but there we go.
    MOOOORE POOOOWER! Innistrad is the home of the Snapcaster mage, so I couldn't help but add in a tribute.
  • @Undead
    I like your mechanic, it's so, you!
  • @Faiths_Guide
    Thanks! I basically designed all these cards specifically to slot into a zombie deck of mine.
  • @kandra127 I think the wording should be something like this: "Dream _ ( Exile _ with a dream counter on it. You may cast that card for as long as you control a faerie and you may spend mana as though it was mana of any color to cast that spell."
    I just based it on Psychic Intrusion and Isareth, somebody correct me if I'm wrong.
  • Okay! thanks!
  • I'll work on some cards now.
  • edited March 2019

    Mardu Humans. Not necessarily warriors and their friends, more or less.

    Also, I'm always open for advices/critics/suggestions.

    image image image image
  • Here's my planned mechanic:

    Dominion (When this creature enters the battlefield, it claims an unclaimed land you control for as long as you control both of them.)

    Then each card has different abilities for their own claimed lands (Loosely similar to soulbond).

    Any advice, suggestion, or criticisms are welcome. Here are a couple of specific questions about it that I have:

    - Any better name than dominion? The name works, but it doesn't perfectly capture the essence of the River Heralds, who live with the land instead of conquering it.

    - Is the wording clear? Any thoughts on a better way to word it? The reason you have to control both of them is so an opponent can't steal one of them and the benefit still occurs.

    - How would I word the ability if it occurs twice? My current thought was "Dominion, Dominion (When this creature enters the battlefield, it claims an unclaimed land you control for as long as you control both of them. Then do it again.)," similar to Maelstrom Wanderer, but the grammar seems a bit off. I'd also rather not change the mechanic to "Dominion N," where N lands are claimed. Any suggestions?
  • edited March 2019

    1) Maybe territory? It isn’t perfectly flavorful either.

    2) Wording is good.

    3) I would just make the reminder text for double dominion

    (when etb, it claim two unclaimed lands....
  • @TheCenterOfTheUniverse
    Tracking this will be even more difficult than soulbond (which was already an issue according to MaRo). I believe @ningyounk will call you out on this in judging, but there isn't anything technically wrong or hard to understand about it.
  • @bnew07

    Thank you for your help.

    Thank you; I saw that soulbond has memory problems, and this could have more because its a land instead of a creature, but it also can't "reclaim" if the land leaves the battlefield, so I decided to risk it.

  • @TheCenterOfTheUniverse
    The benefit to "claiming" creatures (with soulbond) versus the lands here, is that you could group creatures together on the battlefield to make memory very simple for all players. You won't have the luxury of grouping your lands together with your creatures on the battlefield, so, even though the controller might be perfectly capable of remembering, it will never be obvious to all players. I would consider this a downfall of the mechanic and wouldn't pursue it personally.
  • edited March 2019
    @TheCenterOfTheUniverse I think "claims an unclaimed land" is too vague for a reminder text. For soulbond pairing described what you actually did with the cards. So it should probably be something around the lines of "target land you control that is not claimed becomes claimed for as long as you control both it and (card name)". I'm a bit iffy on my version too but the main difficulty is that two different permanent types make it hard to write the ability concisely (compared to soulbond).

    I think Dominion, Dominion can work but I wouldn't go past that. I also wouldn't hide multiple dominion in the reminder text (you shouldn't be forced to read the reminder text if you know the mechanic).

    @sanjaya666 Maybe I misunderstood but I thought that the cards had to be linked to the actual existing faction so Mardu should have some Tarkir/Mongolian flavour to them.
  • edited March 2019
    @ningyounk Hey boss, does my chosen faction need to be Tarkir/Mongolian flavored or not?
  • @Faiths_Guide
    That's true.

    Thank you for the recommendation. I need a way to specify that the land is claimed by that specific creature, but that does make sense.
    Maybe something like "When this creature enters the battlefield, target unclaimed land you control becomes claimed by this creature for as long as you control both it and this creature."
  • @sanjaya666
    I will judge how well the mechanics and the entries in general are suiting the specific faction and not just the colours they are in. This does mean that I will take into account how Mardu your mechanic and cards feel, and that faction is pretty tied to the Tarkir/Mongolian flavour indeed ^^
  • edited March 2019
    @ningyounk Fine. Guess I'm gonna delete it then.

    Probably gonna make another things sometime later. Having a headache about this anyway.
  • edited April 2019
    Lore: To gain power against Lazav, Etrata trains herself a group of most female assassins with the promise of making them vampires and give the immortality after the job is done.
    Etrata prefers them to remain mortal so they keep loyal to their deal.

    Mechanic: Hemorrhage (This creature deals damage to players in the form of Bleed counters. At the begining of their upkeep, players lose 1 life for each Bleed counter they have.)

    I think it´s a quite fun Mechaninc compatible with the more controlish Dimir playstyle.





  • edited April 2019
    Tentative entry (with descriptions forthcoming), some may change:

    image image
    image image

    There were so many things to explore, lands to store treasure in, artifacts, alternate wordings (such as first time each turn), etc. It was very hard to decide, but I tried to limit myself and get a few simple cards to show off my mechanic. Any feedback on these?
  • My mechanic is Dominion, for the River Heralds (Merfolk) of Ixalan. I tried to get the flavor of wielding the force of the land without actually claiming power over it, despite not being able to find an ideal name for the mechanic.

    Dominion (When this creature enters the battlefield, an unclaimed land you control becomes claimed by it for as long as you control both of them.)
    - This wording was chosen for its similarities to Soulbond's wording, as well as remaining grammatically correct and also still providing space on the cards for their other abilities.

    Regarding the issues @Faiths_Guide pointed out about the memory issues, there is no perfect solution, but one possible fix would be a cross b/w the transform checklist cards in Innistrad and the pop-out cards from Amonkhet that could be put on a land as a reminder (something like a pop-out that has a fill-in to put on a land with "claimed by _______"):

    Now, here are the cards. I tried to make each card examine a different way that the mechanic could go:

    The most obvious mechanic for a land to be given is the ability to tap for any color, so I chose to go with it for my common. This ability is generally put at one mana with upside (Abundant Growth and Unbridled Growth), so I chose to go with just a one mana 1/2.

    Seafloor Skirmisher demonstrates one part of a land that can matter: the name. Generally, this is just a landfall ability in a mono-blue deck, and occurs half the time in limited, but there are scenarios where it works otherwise.

    This card is my attempt at demonstrating at how both the creature and the land matter. In this case, Jaded Champion is generally a 3 mana 3/4 where you can save him once by sacrificing a land, but the Cavern of Souls-like ability often matters as well.

    Mitica is one of the 9 leading shapers among the River Heralds. One of the interesting things about Dominion that I wanted to explore was the ability to claim multiple lands, so I chose to look at that with the Mythic Rare. As for the abilities themselves, land animation hadn't been explored with the rest of my cards, and Ixalan is a tribal plane, so I chose to go with those two abilities to tie those last things in.

    Any comments, suggestions, or criticisms are welcome.
  • edited April 2019
    Charge counters were used in Ixalan as a way to track things. Am I able to use charge counters on one of my designs without breaking any rules? What about the alternative landmark counter?
  • I’ll take rakdos.
  • @Faiths_Guide
    Charge counters are fair game as they're not a mechanic per se (notably, you don't need reminder text to know what they do). The same is true for landmark counters and any type of counter that doesn't have rules baggage attached to it (like +1/+1 and -1/+1 counters for instance).
  • @Netherin5
    Sorry, Rakdos has already been claimed by Potato13 ::/
    You can find a list of all the factions that are already claimed in the introduction :)
This discussion has been closed.