Cardsmith Horizons aka Mechanics Masters

Good evening, smiths! I really loved Modern Horizons and I'm really looking forward to what the second iterration this year will bring. But I don't really play modern - weird, right?

Well, the thing I loved about Modern Horizons was the use of old Mtg mechanics in new and creative ways, combining them together and other stuff.

So your challange is: Create cards that brings back a non-evergreen mechanic. Bonus points if the mechanic is underused (under 20 cars). Bonus points if you use more mechanics at once in a cool way.

You can submit up to 3 cards and none of them can be old (you can post older cards that fit the requirements because I am really interested, but please clearly mark them and they will not enter for judging). Speaking of judging, that will happen around the end of February.

1st place: 4 faves
2nd place: 3 faves
3rd place: 2 faves
Honorable mentions: A good feeling :)


  • Here's a new one:

    Maybe a bit cheap for its cost, but it would take a considerable amount of luck to cast all four copies of it from one. Even then you would only get an extra turn. After that, you would still need four more copies to win the game, so it could be op, it may not be op, idk.
  • Yesss this is so cool I love sticking a bunch of mechanics on cards
  • Very interested to take on this challenge, was scrolling through the list of mechanics when Epic jumped out at me. Talk about underused!... and rightly so. Let's see if we can make a fun new Epic card for my first entry:

    I did some research regarding copying spells and I believe we're good for this to work. I believe if a spell is copied, the copy is created on the stack (avoiding the inability to cast). As there wouldn't be a cast you don't get to choose targets, and as the spell you're copying isn't currently on the stack with a target, I added the line allowing you to choose targets as part of the action, similar to the usual wording of "Copy target spell. You may choose new targets for it."

    So each turn you get to create a beefy creature and "cast" an instant or sorcery for each one, you're still playing the game despite having used an Epic spell! Goes infinite with timewalk spells, but it's some set-up, and really what doesn't?
  • edited February 9

    We have offering, having been used on the Patron cycle from Betrayers of Kamigawa. The next two have only been used on one card each. Gravestorm, on Bitter Ideal (I love this card) and frenzy on Frenzy Sliver, both from Future Sight.

    I couldn't fit the reminder text for all three mechanics so left off frenzy, as it seemed the easiest to remember: Whenever  a creature with frenzy attacks and isn't blocked, it gets +1/+0 until end of turn.

    I'm super happy with this card myself (other than Kaldheim not having a set symbol on the list yet). The offering mechanic enables the gravestorm mechanic, and allows the spell to turn into an effective combat trick at instant speed. Frenzy feels flavourful for berserkers, and the idea of it being a spell that has caused you to grow stronger from being hurt adds to that idea.

    *Alas, Jadefire has pointed out Frenzy being gained at instant speed isn't much of a trick, as there's no priority between blockers being declared and when it would trigger to buff the creature. The next opportunity to cast would be in damage, and at that point it's too late to trigger the "isn't blocked" element of the effect. So offering giving the spell instant speed is pointless, but still relevant as a gravestorm enabler.


    The reminder text of totem armor made it slightly not fit, so I had to cut it. For a reminder, totem armor is: (If enchanted permanent would be destroyed, instead remove all damage marked on it and destroy this Aura.)

    I might be mistaken, but since totem armor destroys itself, Guardian Kami should become a creature when it would be destroyed by totem armor effect.
  • edited February 14

    Couldn't find art as badass as M13 Stuffy Doll, oh well.

    EDIT: Just realized the last ability could've been keyworded as Enrage but I guess it wouldn't fit as well flavourwise.

    Shout-out to the Greek speakers out there, it's not just a nonsense name.


    I'm surprised that there wasn't a creature with both provoke and rampage.
  • @feralitator Yes!!! This is exactly what I was looking for! I feel like many of the entries so far were a bit too overcomplicated, but this is just lovely - clear, understandable, functionalon its own. Beautiful, just beautiful.
  • But.. overcomplication is my life's creed! :smile: I left myself one entry because I really want to tackle "haunt" and have given it some time to percolate.
  • @TheRacingTurtle Nothing against anyone's life creed, boss :smiley: Looking forward to your next entry!
  • Entry number three. I couldn't help but fill the box with text :smile: . It's interesting, Wizards have made a few comments on all three of these mechanics that they weren't quite right, design space was limited, and they're unlikely to be used again, but I think they all have merit.

    Anyways, sweet dreams everyone, now that I've witnessed this art I think it's bed time.

  • It seems that the possibility of complexity is upped exponentially when we're given free reign to combine mechanics spanning multiple sets and eras that weren't necessarily created to play with one another, especially mechanics that didn't meet Wizards' own screening process for reusability, possibly for reasons of lack of clarity/simplicity.  Complexity = flexibility in many cases so it often rewards the creative player who thinks outside of the box in how they use the card but, at the end of the day, it's just a difference of preferences.
  • edited February 16
    Here are some older cards that show interactions with several mechanics.  These push the "complexity as versatility" theme even further because I'm a fan of cards that can be played in multiple ways to suit whatever situation is at hand.

  • @Jadefire True point! But looking back at this, I probably should have allowed only up to two non-evergreen keyworded abilities, because whenever there's three (or even more) it becomes really hard to understand the whole card quickly and easily. 
  • This will be judged soon, stay tuned and don't submit anything more unless you really want to!
  • Can I enter? I missed this and I want to do it so bad. I know Cascade returned in Commander Legends but it’s technically not evergreen and I love it. Please let me know if I’m allowed to enter this close to the deadline.
  • @RandomFandom Yeah, I'd love to see some more cards. Go ahead, I'll judge this after

  • Technically this guy was from like two weeks ago, so I dunno if he’s viable for judging or not. Anyway, I love him because Averna Cascade is one of my favorite decks and he fits perfectly into it. (As intended.)
  • @RandomFandom I have an Averna cascade deck and I absolutely love it, so this card is beautiful for my eyes xd

    Unfortunately I said that old cards can be posted but will not enter judging, so this may only get like a Honorably honorable mention or something.
  • I've just realised I totally forgot about this... I'll get to the judging
  • Okay, here we go!

    3rd place: Priestess of the Sacred Circle by @MemoryHead
    This is a simple yet powerful and interesting card. I love seeing old mechanics in new colors and white graft is just nice. The two mechanics you've picked also work in a very interesting way together and that's great. You get two faves.

    2nd place: Phyrexian Gearhulk by @Fallen_Lord_Vulganos
    One thing I especially love about this card is that it has also the "mechanic" of being a Gearhulk, which are an established cycle in Kaladesh, but it gives it a nice twist. The other mechanics are quite well know, but that only makes the card more undertandable. It might be too OP, I'm not sure, but it looks great. You get three faves.

    1st place: Icelair Behemoth by @feralitator
    As I've said before, this card is beautiful. It has only three keywords, nothing else, but they work perfectly in unison and I love it. The card is cool, balanced, original, it brings back underused mechanics... That's first place material right here. Four faves are awarded.

    Thanks all for submiting and I hope you enjoyed the challange.
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