Designer's Gauntlet [Week 2] - It's the Cycle of Life



  • This is not my entry, but I do have a cycle of Noggles that I wanted to enter.  As @Faiths_Guide said, Noggle art is hard to find ... so I took out a pencil and did one myself, LOL :smiley:

  • So, I hope this a pretty understandable progression cycle. I chose to go a slight off kilter and not revolve around creatures. Charge counters are the 3rd most used counter in MtG, and thought I could work off of that.
  • @shadow123 Sorry it took me a bit to get back to you! I understand the draw of building on past creations but I'd much prefer you to use new ideas.
  • @DomriKade Thanks for getting back to me! I finally came up with an idea I think is good, so I’ll definitely use new cards only.
  • Here’s my vertical cycle:

    The Monarch Thief Cycle -

    The cards are supposed to form a loose story that starts with a petty thief who steals crowns who eventually evolves past that and finally ends up achieving his dream of wearing the crown. Each of the creatures help you become the monarch (steal the crown) normally through means of trample and haste. Finally, the rare is supposed to convey you actually wearing the crown, so it gives you the double strike benefit to replace the “crown stealing ability” (trample). I hope this little explanation made sense!
  • edited July 2020
    I'd like to formally accuse bnew07 of being a mind reader/taker. His cards have similar mechanics, flavor, and art as the cards I was about to make (although my cards were going to be White and focus on number of creature you control). Glad I checked here before I posted them and looked like a massive hack/fraud/hack-fraud.

    Oh well. Back to the drawing board. Going to be a little cramped on time.
  • @Phelgming
    Did you actually make the cards in a tangible form?

  • edited July 2020
    Curse of Piracy Fortune PlundererShipwreck Discovery Last Luck Spent
  • @Phelgming
    i guess great minds think alike.
  • edited July 2020
    No, but I still might even if I don't enter them into the contest.

    Unfortunately for me... -_-' ... That's alright, though. I feel like my new designs are shaping up to be better than my previous ones.
  • @ningyounk Regarding your cycle, does the first adventure really work for an adventure? That seems like something that would be on a permanent. Please correct me if I’m wrong.
  • shadow123

    You're not wrong on that, usually these kinds of effects are on permanents, not instants and sorceries because R&D has a rule that you don't do lasting effects indefinitely. That's stuff for silver border. 

    Black border can totally support it though, if we're getting technical it's because of this rule:

    611.2a A continuous effect generated by the resolution of a spell or ability lasts as long as stated by the spell or ability creating it (such as “until end of turn”). If no duration is stated, it lasts until the end of the game.

    On soothing Voyager, there's is nothing that ends the ability (even the card leaving the adventure doesn't end it actually, though it checks for this specific card — not a name — so it's factually the same), which means this ability will be true for the remainder of the game. 

    Now it's not because you can do something like this that you should xD But in this case we never had a situation this weird before with a sorcery attached to the same card as a creature. The main reason this is not allowed in black border is memory issues (that's why they even created emblems for planeswalkers, they could totally have done the same effects without emblems). In this case, I'd argue it's fine because the rules text is attached to the exiled creature. So yes, in the back scene is doesn't work through regular ways, but the end result is that it intuitively works exactly as you'd expect it to do, I don't think I can find a single corner case with an interaction that would be do something differently if the rules was on a creature side. And the upsides is that the card is much cleaner, otherwise I would need to have a blank page on the left (or more likely an additional ability just to fill it), and the right page would feature a whole block of text that you're supposed to ignore once on the battlefield. By doing it like this, it's just so much more intuitive and clean to look at and play with, even if the nitty-gritty of how the rules really interact with it at a deep level is not intuitive, it will never matter in-game.
  • edited July 2020
    @ningyounk Hey boss, you are using MtG Set Editor right? So, how do you change the font because the font isn't in that usual MtG style after I downloaded and tried it.
  • @Fallen_Lord_Vulganos, you have to download the Beleren font.
  • Fallen_Lord_Vulganos

    I personally didn't change the font, if all the cards you make on MSE have the wrong font, it means that you didn't download all the fonts file (it's not just Beleren, I believe the font for the rules text is called Plantin? In any case that's definitely not written in Beleren). If it's only for one type of card... There's a bug somewhere and this is way over my abilities to fix it sorry xD My best advice would be to re-install the package then check online if some people have the same issues. 
  • (Here I go again)
  • My submissions should come
  • edited July 2020

    I present my vertical cycle. I honestly wanted to go a Green one since no one else has posted any Green cards, but it's been a really rough week and I had to scrap my original vertical cycle fairly late into the week. Anyway, I'm still very happy with this one. It's inspired by Homicidal Seclusion, a card I've wanted to play for a while despite it really not being worth it.

    It should be noted that each card is designed for limited. I would never expect any of these cards to perform well in constructed (the rare could if only because of its ETB and self protection, but it's quite a gamble on an expensive card so I doubt it would be viable). I wanted each card to be below average to okay without its "loneliness clause" in effect and fairly good for its rarity and what you pay with the loneliness clause active.

    Unaccompanied Thrull - These days a vanilla 2/2 at common just doesn't cut it. This one was somewhat difficult to find a satisfying balance for. I didn't want to give it more than two toughness otherwise it becomes difficult to deal with through combat nor did I want to increase its power too much while giving it a keyword like menace as it could quickly become too threatening in the early game. I decided on this. I think with the loneliness clause in effect it's still a little under average as it's easy to kill in a myriad of ways in most limited formats, but in some more defensive formats it can easily come through as a wall breaker.

    Reclusive Vampire - As I increased rarity, I wanted to give each creature a way to enable their own loneliness clause. For Reclusive Vampire, we have a pretty common ability seen in Black. I think a mana cost on the ability is necessary for balance purposes as well as making it so it's not too easy to turn the loneliness clause on. I think I could have made the ability cost more, but I'm not so sure of that. Either way, I think it has a lot of potential to be a very strong card in limited. The only thing stopping it is a lack of evasion and no inherent protection (two things very desirable on something asking you to go all in).

    Sequestered Archfiend - For the rare I wanted to give it an ability that would 1) have an immediate impact on the game and 2) allowed it to immediately activate its loneliness clause without any outside help. Obviously this means it asks you to go all in on it a lot sooner than it can attack, but it also gains self protection in indestructible to help get it to your next turn's combat. I also want to note that it has TWO evasion keywords to really help close out a game. The biggest threat you face with this is at full power is your opponent(s) going around you to win before you can. Fortunately the life gain from its ETB ability helps a bit in that regard. I'd also like to note that the baseline for this card (without an active loneliness clause) is still very good as it has a decent body and the ETB ability can be used to only sac off weaker creatures that have lost their usefulness as the game progresses. Overall I'm very happy with this one.

    I hope everyone enjoys!

    Edit: Also wanted to note all their names are references to being alone. That is all.
  • Here be my entry: The life cycle of a dragonfruit!
    image image image image
    If the addition of red to the colour identity is a problem, I apologise.
  • Here's my entry:
    The vertical cycle that I decided to create centers around 2/2 Power/Toughness matters, and are themed as an Elf/Wolf tribe.
    Other interesting notes about the cycle:
    - All of them have base P/T 2/2, so they all are able to benefit off of each other (except the common + uncommon, unless the common ETBs when you control no other 2/2s - but if you control other 2/2s, then it's ok, because you can just target them with the Uncommon's ability).
    - As the rarity increases, the amount of colored mana symbols doubles in the mana cost
    - All represent some type of bond between Elves & Wolves.


  • @TheCenterOfTheUniverse That’s a lovely entry! How did you scout out the art for all those cards? I love it!

  • I'm sorry if these are out of order. I have little time and have to go shortly. Anyway, it tells the life story of Nod.
  • @shadow123 Thank you! I really just lucked out I guess - I looked up variations of "Elf," "Elf Ranger," & "Elf Druid" on Artstation until I got ones that I think worked (it did take a decent amount of time) - I didn't intend originally for all of them to have wolves in the art, but I'm super happy that they do!
  • I'm looking forward to seeing the results of this! There's so many awesome entries.
  • @Ranshi Yes I did it that but the location is messy so I can't seem to find the folder of the said font that needs to be changed.
  • Just put it in resources, open the file, and then click “apply font”, or something like that.
  • What a remarkable show! This week proved especially difficult to judge as there were so many great submissions that covered a broad range of material. In the end, the heats were incredibly close, especially between 1st and 2nd. The top several spots changed quite a lot during discussion but I'm pleased with where things ended up. As before, thank you for making this so challenging!

    As a reminder:
    • Judging is always subjective, but we aim to hold everyone to equal standards and offer our rating based on our proposed criteria.
    • I'll typically only be sharing notes on the top 4 each week. If you'd like our feedback on your entry please message me and I'll get it sent to you.
    • DK is me (DomriKade) and LL is LuckyLooter!
    Here are your top 8 for week 2!

    @ningyounk @Fallen_Lord_Vulganos @KorandAngels @Volos

    There's so much to say about 5-8, but for brevity I'll offer these quick thoughts:
    8th - I loved the cohesive parallels on cost to creature size, but power scaling held you back.
    7th - This was one of our favorite themes and it had some neat ideas but the execution was a bit scattered.
    6th - Devotion was a great hook for a cycle, but the functional redundancy hurt the submission.
    5th - We argued at length about your adventurous submission. In general, I'm (DK) pretty down on threats that are difficult to interact with and being 'on an adventure' is inherently that. Some really sharp ideas in here though!

    4th - @Faiths_Guide 
    Minotaur SentryDomriKade's Favorite!
    DK: Even though it's pushed in power, but this is easily my favorite use of tribute.
    LL: Even as someone who didn’t like tribute, I like this a lot!

    Minotaur Hit Man
    DK: Also on the high end of power, this doesn't provide quite as much tension - damage will almost never get picked.
    LL: There is a potential feel-bad moment when your opponent has (or plays) no creatures so they give you no counter and you get no bonus. Maybe “any target”?

    Minotaur Lavablood
    DK: I'll note here that I really like the cycle reversing in CMC, though I would have liked for them to have a different title than simply 'Minotar [role]'
    LL: How dangerous would this be to simply say “Red spells you cast cost {2} less to cast”? The double-Red cost hoping for turn two play already has us leaning towards a more Red deck.

    3rd - @Ranshi
    DK: I really like the story element of these
    LL: ^

    This is a prime example of a slightly off-the-wall design that really paid off. The cards are connected by mechanics to a degree, but the flavor and progression really clicked for us. We debated this at length but agreed that the story and the execution fulfilled the requirements quite well. There are a few changes to recommend (such as reversing effect order on Practice the Forbidden for continuity or lining up costs more consistently) but this was a solid submission.

    3rd - @TheCenterOfTheUniverse
    Packbond Ranger

    DK: This is the biggest mark against this cycle - getting a +1/+1 counter makes this not work with the other cards in the cycle.

    Packbond Advocate
    DK: Really cool payoff for the archetype and I'm glad it works with itself.

    Packbond Evoker
    DK: Going from two colors to quadruple color weight may be a bit much but this is a great payoff for going in on the theme.
    LL: Very cool! My only change would be to make the common get temporary +1/+1 on attack/block so that it still works with the others.

    1st - @bnew07
    Rise of the PeasantsLuckyLooter's Favorite!
    DK: Even though it takes casting the third one of these to feel like you've cheated, this is a great starting point for a 'multiples matter' theme.

    Revolt of the Peasants
    DK: I sort of want to see the ‘Muscle Burst’ clause on these, but I imagine that would spike power too much. Having the higher rarities track the common is clever.

    Triumph of the Peasants
    DK: This feels like too much at this cost and it'll scale up really powerfully.
    LL: Oh I really like this. My favorite cycle and a very clever dive into new mechanical space. My only criticism is that the rare may be undercosted for how much value it potentially generates, especially in Limited where the number of commons in the deck may exceed four.

    This brings us to our STANDINGS for week 2:

    Congratulations again to our winners for Week 2 and another massive 'thank you' to all of the participants - see you tomorrow for your Week 3 challenge of the Designer's Gauntlet.
  • Congrats to the top 8, and great job yet again @bnew07!!
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