11/17/2010 Feature: "GDS2, Episode 1: Contestants' Submissions"

153 posts / 0 new
Last post
This thread is for discussion of this Feature Article, which goes live Wednesday morning on magicthegathering.com.
Pegaweb's Mega Thread of Feedback:

(Beware: Thread is MEGA)


[sblock]


Jonathon Loucks



Penumbria
(My new world name.)


In an underground world, will you help spread the light, or embrace total darkness?


CR01 – Refracted Runner (common)
[Bolt Elemental -
community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
R
Creature – Dwarf Berserker
2/1
Trample, haste
Living Reflection (When Refracted Runner enters the battlefield, put a token that's a copy of it onto the battlefield except without its Living Reflection ability.) At the beginning of the end step, sacrifice Refracted Runner.


A very interesting mechanical idea. I had to read it a few times to get my head around it. I think saying "without this ability" would be much easier and clearer. Also, I think I'd show a card using a fairly normal version of this mechanic first.


This mechanic's name is also unnecessarily long.


CR02 – Sharpchucker (common)
1R
Creature – Orc Rogue
2/1
Morph 1R (You may cast this face down as a 2/2 creature for 3. Turn it face up any time for its morph cost.) When Sharpchucker is turned face up, target creature gains first strike until end of turn.


I know a real set has to have simple commons, but I think you've missed an opportunity here, by not coming up with a novel simple common here.


CR03 – Eager Cleaver (common)
[Orc Warmonger –
community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
1R
Creature-Dwarf Soldier
1/2
Whenever another creature enters the battlefield under your control, Eager Cleaver gets +1/+0 until end of turn.


CR04 – Orc Tunneler (common)
[Goblin Tunneler – Magic 2011]
1R
Creature – Orc Miner
1/1
T: Target creature with power 2 or less is unblockable this turn.


CR05 – Stout Guard
2R
Creature - Dwarf Soldier
2/3


A good developer puts cards like these in. But I'm not sure you get any design points for it.


CR06 – Trail Blazer (common)
2R
Creature – Dwarf Scout
2/2
When Trail Blazer enters the battlefield, illuminate the top card of your library. If you own an illuminated land card, add RRR to your mana pool. (To illuminate a card, exile it with a light counter on it.
For as long as it has a light counter, it has "If you would draw a card, you may instead put this card into your hand.")


Very linear, but that's already been said. Also, this ability seems like it could've been whittled down a lot. This definitely doesn't qualify as a common.


CR07 – Orc Bully (common)
[Orcish Bully -
community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
2R
Creature - Orc Warrior
3/3
If Orc Bully is blocked by more than one creature, prevent all combat damage it would deal.
Orc Bully can't block if more than one creature is attacking.


This card is great. However, you should've left the second line off. You have a novel and flavourful idea. Don't add extra sauce. As well as dragging down a great card, it probably makes your card an uncommon.


CR08 – Flashbomber (common)
2R
Creature – Dwarf Wizard
1/1
Living Reflection (When Flashbomber enters the battlefield, put a token that's a copy of it onto the battlefield except without its Living Reflection ability.) When Flashbomber enters the battlefield, target creature can't block this turn.


This is fine, but it isn't the best possible use of Living Reflection. The best use of this mechanic would create real synergy, rather than just being "some bonuses you get". How about a LR pinger, or a LR first-striker? Something where the copy matters beyond just being an extra guy+ability.

CR09 – Bloodthirsty Orc (common)
[Orcish Torchbearer –
community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
3R
Creature – Orc Warrior
3/3
Morph 4R (You may cast this face down as a 2/2 creature for 3. Turn it face up any time for its morph cost.) Bloodthirsty Orc's morph cost is 1R while blocked.


Great twist on Morph. This kind of card is essential if you're going to reuse and old mechanic.


CR10 – Lavaskin Thragg (common)
[Mirror Thragg–
community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
3RR
Creature - Beast
4/1
Living Reflection (When Lavaskin Thragg enters the battlefield, put a token that's a copy of it onto the battlefield except without its Living Reflection ability.)


Maybe this one should be at the top. I think I would've premiered this mechanic at the top of the page, on a french vanilla creature. First strike would add a nice synergy, but not distract from the shiny new mechanic.


CR11 – Cloaked Predator (common)
4R
Creature – Beast
5/1
Morph 3RR (You may cast this face down as a 2/2 creature for 3. Turn it face up any time for its morph cost.) Cloaked Predator's morph cost is 1R while it is an unblocked attacker.


Good. Not sure it's worth using a card slot to show the reverse of a previous card though.


CR12 – Steamdriller (common)
[Goblin Rappeller –
community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
4RR
Creature – Dwarf Miner
4/4
Mountainwalk
Dig 2 (Discard this card. Reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a land card. Put that card into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library in a random order.)


I really like Dig. I'm big on top-of-library shenanigans, using the randomness of the library as a source of variety for cards. The mechanic is well integrated into the card's flavour.

CR13 – Aggressive Tactics (common)
R
Instant
Creatures you control get +1/+0 until end of turn.


CR14 – Piercing Beam 1R (common)
Instant
Illuminate the top card of your library. (To illuminate a card, exile it with a light counter on it. For as long as it has a light counter, it has "If you would draw a card, you may instead put this card into your hand.") Piercing Beam deals 2 damage to target creature or player. If you own an illuminated red card, Piercing Beam deals 4 damage to that creature or player instead.


It's very easy to make some new linear thing, and then connect every simple mechanic to it. If you want to go linear, you need to do better than this.


CR15 – Enkindle (common)
[Engulfing Flames –
community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
2R
Enchantment - Aura
Enchant Creature
Enchanted creature gets +2/-2 and has first strike.


Good filler. Could you have come up with a more resonant flavour?


CR16 – Blackout (common)

[Stir the Earth –
community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
1RR
Sorcery
Turn target land face down. (It is a 2/2 creature.)


CR17 – Scattered Inquiry (common)
[Luminous Inspiration –
community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
3R
Sorcery
Draw three cards, then illuminate three cards at random from your hand. (To illuminate a card, exile it with a light counter on it. For as long as it has a light counter, it has "If you would draw a card, you may instead put this card into your hand.")


This just isn't exciting enough for its complexity. Drawing one of my discards, later on, isn't very compelling. I'm also not sure why this card is red.


Illuminated cards sit around all game, adding complexity, without really adding much gameplay.


CR18 – Blast Mining (common)
5R
Sorcery
Destroy target land. Blast Mining deals 5 damage to that land's controller.
Dig 2 (Discard this card. Reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a land card. Put that card into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library in a random order.)


Comments
I chose red because it's a color that's both light and dark. While red may look slightly mechanic-heavy, the mechanic as-fan is in balance – white and green don't get morphs or face-down cards and black doesn't get illuminate or living reflection.


Flavor update! Naturally occurring channels of highly reflective crystals conduit magic-infused surface light to the underground. The light-users harness the surface light's inherent magical qualities.


The major challenge with my theme: "Information is not as much fun as mystery." My answer is to make the light inherently powerful, causing creature's reflections on shiny cave walls to come to life. While Living Reflection does give the set many unique tokens, it's an extremely grokkable ability. Remembering the size and attributes of a token is very easy when a real copy is close by. Still, it's no accident that my common Living Reflection creatures are virtual vanilla.


Living reflection gave my set a direction. Players are going to control more and smaller creatures than normal, either through Living Reflection or face down cards (morph or otherwise). Knowing this allowed me to make simple commons that have meaning in the context of this set.


In order to make illuminate feel relevant, I've tied the card's effects to what a player has illuminated. To minimize the tension between wanting to draw a known card and wanting to power up your illuminate spells, I've made it an effect that's either on or off instead of scaling based on the number of infused cards.









Shawn Main



Wodotha


On doomed Wodotha, civilization struggles against the relentless Blight that eats away the world.


CB01 – Deathgreeter
[Shards of Alara]
B
Creature – Human Shaman
1/1
Whenever another creature is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, you may gain 1 life.


CB02 - Craven Imp
1B
Creature - Imp
1/1
Flying
Forsake 2 (2, Sacrifice this: Draw a card.)


CB03 – Gravechatter Rat
[Mindwiper, community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
1B
Creature - Rat
1/1
When Mindscraper is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, target player discards a card.


This mistake is easy to make. You change the card's name part way, and forget to change it in the card text. :>


CB04 - Doom Herald

2B
Creature - Horror
3/1
When Doom Herald enters the battlefield, blight target creature. (Destroy each permanent with a blight counter. Then put a blight counter on the blighted creature.)


Hmmm. Linear, but still more interesting than most linear mechanics.


CB05 - Cowering Zombie
2B
Creature - Zombie
2/2
Forsake 2 (2, Sacrifice this: Draw a card.)


For Forsake to be a keyword, this set had better have a whole lot of forsakable creatures, and a whole lot of stuff that makes sacrifice (or being in the GY) matter.


CB06 – Bone Courier
[Reverse Gravedigger, community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
2B
Creature - Zombie
2/1
When Bone Courier is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, return another target creature card from your graveyard to your hand.


An interesting idea, but the majority of the time, this guy just finds a pal, and they recur each other. It would've been nice to have this guy do something more interesting. You could do this by exiling him, or by putting a restriction on what he can dig up.


CB07 - Maggotgut Buzzard
[community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
3B
Creature - Zombie Bird
2/2
Flying
When Maggotgut Buzzard is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, put two 1/1 black Rat tokens onto the battlefield.


CB08 - Blightbearer
3B
Creature - Horror
1/4
Whenever Blightbearer deals damage to a creature, blight that creature. (Destroy each permanent with a blight counter. Then put a blight counter on the blighted creature.)


The idea of blight is very interesting, but I get the feeling players would typically avoid having their creatures blow up. I can't see anyone attacking into this, or blocking it.


Also, if both players are playing cards with blight, blight just becomes a random death-fest. That might be fun. I'm not sure. But it might just be a bit too random and stunted. Like Slivers vs Slivers.


 


CB09 - Entrail Eater
[Entrails Eater, community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
2BB
Creature - Zombie
3/3
Sacrifice a creature: Entrail Eater gets intimidate until end of turn.


CB10 – Decaying Horror
[Blighted Horror, community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
3BB
Creature - Horror
5/3
When Decaying Horror enters the battlefield, blight Decaying Horror. (Destroy each permanent with a blight counter. Then put a blight counter on the blighted creature.)


CB11 – Mark of Doom
[Spreading Blight, community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
B
Instant
Blight target nonblack creature. (Destroy each permanent with a blight counter. Then put a blight counter on the blighted creature.)


CB12 - Demon's Bite
B
Instant
Target creature gets +3/+0 until end of turn.
Bloodlust- If a creature was put into a graveyard from the battlefield this turn, that creature gains lifelink until end of turn.


CB13 – Spoil Soul
[community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
XB
Instant
Target creature gets -X/-X until end of turn.


CB14 - Diabolic Visage
[community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
1B
Enchantment - Aura
Enchant Creature
Enchanted creature gets +1/+0 and has intimidate.
Pitch 2 (2, Sacrifice this: Draw a card)


CB15 – Unmourn the Lost
[Graverobbing for Fun and Profit, community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
1B
Sorcery
Return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand. You gain life equal to its toughness.


CB16 – Blighted Expanse
[community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
2B
Enchantment - Aura
Enchant land
When enchanted land becomes tapped, blight it. (Destroy each permanent with a blight counter. Then put a blight counter on the blighted land.)


CB17 – Gnawing Suspicions
[Thought Plague, community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
1BB
Sorcery
Target player discards two cards. For each land card discarded this way, put a 1/1 Black Rat creature token on the battlefield.


CB18 – Demon's Joy
3B
Sorcery
Each opponent loses 2 and you gain that much life.
Bloodlust- If a creature was put into a graveyard from the battlefield this turn, instead each opponent loses 4 life and you gain that much life.


 


Before receiving the judges feedback, I imagined the Blight would serve only as the inciting incident for the story of Wodotha. Encouraged by the judges to make the Blight into the centerpiece of the story, I knew I had to find it a distinct mechanical role. After three days of false starts, someone suggested the game could accumulate blight counters as a clock to an event where marked permanents would die. I liked the flavor, but was wary of the complexity. Playtesting never clicked until I brought the number of counters needed for destruction all the way down to one. Suddenly, being blighted was a rush, feeling like your marked creature could vanish suddenly. The Blight itself had character in the game.


Making each blight action both destruction and marking makes it so that, under normal circumstances, there's only one blighted permanent at a time. Thus it feels like the Blight chases cards across the table. And, though I only used it once on the final design, it opens possibilities for self-blighting cards to be used as both an advantage and a drawback.


Once blight was locked in place, I decided to design for black, since it had the most space to utilize the mechanic. Because blight was so linear, I wanted the other set mechanics to be more modular. With a sadistic demon as the villain and secret initiator of the Blight, I figured black's flavor could focus on reveling in destruction while the world falls apart.


Your Forsake engine is just nowhere near interesting enough. You really need to make "dispoable Forsake guys" interesting somehow. Other than this weak theme, I don't realy see any novel cards here.




Devon Rule



Your Name: Devon Rule
Your Set Name: Utopia
Your updated logline: A once-peaceful world adapts itself for war.
Your commons:


CB01 – Industrial Spy
B
Creature - Goblin Mercenary
1/1
Intimidate


CB02 – Accountant
1B
Creature - Human Advisor
1/1
B, T: Gain a gold counter. (Gold counters can be spent as colorless mana or life payments.)


Interesting. Gold is a bit similar to the Spawn from ROE. Gold would probably be used as such, as well. People would use it for ramping, not for some innocent and entertaining purpose. If this were my mechanic, I'd take off the "life" bit, allow the gold to pay any colour mana, and probably limit the gold payment to one gold per cost paid.


(Each time you pay a mana cost, one gold counter can be spent as a mana of any color.)


CB03 – Tavern Sellsword
[Simple Mercenary by Guy Srinivasan - Labs:Gds/gds2/Utopia/CommonGround/Submissions]
1B
Creature - Human Mercenary
2/1


CB04 – Rental Imp
1B
Flying
Pay 1 life, T: Search your library for a Mercenary permanent card with converted mana cost 1 or less and put it onto the battlefield. Then shuffle your library.
1/1


CB05 – Smuggler
2B
Creature - Human Rogue Mercenary
1/3
When Smuggler deals combat damage to a player, gain 2 gold counters. (Gold counters can be spent as colorless mana or life payments.)


Good use of gold here. Gold needs this kind of variable and interactive use, to be interesting.


CB06 – Ghoul Messengers
Creature - Zombie Mercenary
2/2
Swampwalk
Pay 2 life, T: Search your library for a Mercenary permanent card with converted mana cost 2 or less and put it onto the battlefield. Then shuffle your library.


CB07 - Giant Cockroach
3B
Creature - Insect
4/2


CB08 – Elite Houseguard
[Big Mercenary by by Guy Srinivasan - Labs:Gds/gds2/Utopia/CommonGround/Submissions]
4B
Creature - Vampire Mercenary
4/3


CB09 – Vault Shade
[Yet Another Greedy Shade by Daniel - Labs:Gds/gds2/Utopia/CommonGround/Submissions]
3BB
Creature - Shade
2/2
2: Vault Shade gets +1/+1 until end of turn.
Pay 2 life: Vault Shade gains flying until end of turn.


CB10 – Extortion
B
[Twisted Vision by Havelock Vetinari - Labs:Gds/gds2/Utopia/Holes]
Sorcery
Choose a card type other than land. Target opponent reveals their hand. You choose a card of the chosen type from it. That player discards that card.


CB11 – Graverobbing
1B
Sorcery
Return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand. You may pay 3 life. If you do, return another target creature from your graveyard to your hand.


CB12 – Scary Reputation
[by Kallisti - Labs:Gds/gds2/Utopia/CommonGround/Submissions]
1B
Enchantment - Aura
Enchant creature
Enchanted creature gains intimidate
Sacrifice Scary Reputation: Enchanted creature gets +3/+0 until end of turn.


CB13 – Business Venture
1B
Sorcery
Draw a card. If you have any gold counters, draw another card.


CB14 – Snuff Out
[Reprint]
3B
Instant
If you control a Swamp, you may pay 4 life rather than pay Snuff Out's mana cost.
Destroy target nonblack creature. It can't be regenerated.


CB15 – Plagiarize
[Brain Drain by Havelock Vetinari - Labs:Gds/gds2/Utopia/CommonGround/Submissions]
2BB
Sorcery
Target player discards two cards. They lose two life and you gain two life.


CB16 – Reckless Looting
[Ransack by Shdwcat, Dig for Gold by Demons, altered at suggestion of Braman - Labs:Gds/gds2/Utopia/CommonGround/Submissions]
3BB
Sorcery
Destroy target creature or land. Gain 2 gold counters. (Gold counters can be spent as colorless mana or life payments.)


CB17 – Energy Drain
[I Can't Believe They Haven't Printed This by Havelock Vetinari - Labs:Gds/gds2/Utopia/CommonGround/Submissions]
XB
Instant
Target creature gets -X/-X until end of turn.


CB18 – Hoard
XB
Sorcery
Gain X gold counters. (Gold counters can be spent as colorless mana or life payments.)


Comments:
I was very happy with how clear the feedback was on my previous submission, including an explicit assignment for this week. If I had wanted to submit the best selection of Utopian commons I could, I would have gone with red. However, I needed to show that I could innovate and hit more than one note of my theme. I chose to focus tightly on a "commerce" theme for black, using mercenaries, gold, and payments to bring this across mechanically.
Unlike their Rebel counterparts, Mercenaries were not very popular, so nostalgia was not a large factor in my decision to use them. Rather, I felt that the concept of "hiring for money" was resonant enough to stand on its own. Life payments are usually less popular with new players, but I felt that factor added to the appeal of gold counters by letting players "cheat" their way out of losing life. While I wanted to focus on the life payment side of Gold counters, I also made sure that there were several useful places to spend piles of colorless mana at common.
Utopia was intended to be a thematic set concept rather than a publishable title, but I'm quite proud of my new logline. The set was always meant to be more about adaptation than paradise.
Many thanks to Havelock Vetinari, Pojo, Daniel, Shdwcat, Kallisti, Guy Srinivasan, and all the other people who helped with the submission.


What's the deal with mercenaries? It seems like a poor, linear mechanic to bring back, and I don't see any new twist on it here.


Most of these cards are pretty drab, though some are reasonably well-executed in their own right. Gold is a reasonable mechanic, but you haven't used it much here. It also seems very out-of-colour. With such a generic mechanic, it might've been nice to try to have each colour have its own twist on Gold. Maybe by only putting it on a certain type of black spell (like discard, or creature kill, or something.)


 


 


 


Jay Treat



Escape to Muraganda


Empirian fugitives fight for survival with the primitive tribes of predator-infested Muraganda


Nateen Savage (CR01)
[NMEL's Nateen Bravo - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
R
Creature-Cat Barbarian
1/1
Whenever CARDNAME attacks, commune. If you succeed, CARDNAME gets +1/+1 until end of turn.
(To commune, reveal a card from your hand or the top of your library. You succeed if it shares a creature type with CARDNAME.)
{Cat Petroglyph Watermark}


Commune just seems like a worst-of-both-worlds "tribal clash". It's both linear and random.


Curious Thrash (CR02)
[NMEL's Recon Goblin - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
R
Creature-Goblin Scout Rebel
1/1
Whenever CARDNAME attacks, look at the top card of target player's library.


Nateen Warrior – (CR03)
[NMEL's Nateen Prowler - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
1R
Creature - Cat Warrior
2/1
{Cat Petroglyph Watermark}


Raknak Lookout (CR04)
1R
Creature-Lizard Scout
1/1
When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, Lizard creatures you and your allies control get +1/+0 and gain first strike until end of turn.
{Lizard Petroglyph Watermark}


Mokomoko (CR05)
[Viashino Grappler - gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details....]
2R
Creature-Lizard
3/1
G: CARDNAME gains trample until end of turn.
{Lizard Petroglyph Watermark}


Thrash Rally Chief (CR06)
1RR
Creature-Goblin Berserker Rebel
2/1
Resourceful—When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, choose one — Creatures you and your allies control with two or more creatures types gain haste until end of turn; or put a +1/+1 counter on CARDNAME.


You needed to hew as much complexity off this card as possible, by replacing the first choice with something much simpler. Not just for the sake of rarity, but so that you can start to clearly define what the mysterious "Resourceful" ability means.


Chirokai Champion (CR07)
[Cardkeeper's Chirokai Champion - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
3R
Creature-Beast Warrior
3/2
Intimidate
{Beast Petroglyph Watermark}


Distracting Thrash – (CR08)
[Braman's Thrash Intimidator - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
3R
Creature - Goblin Rogue Rebel
1/1
Resourceful—When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, choose one — Creatures with fewer than two creature types can't block this turn or put two +1/+1 counters on CARDNAME.


Pouncing Kiri (CR09)
4R
Creature-Cat
First Strike
3/2
Morph-1R
{Cat Petroglyph Watermark}


Canyon Bloodhowler – (CR10)
4R
Creature - Beast
3/4
Morph 4R
When CARDNAME is turned face-up, Beast creatures you control gain Trample until end of turn.
{Beast Petroglyph Watermark}


Tactical Strike (CR11)
R
Instant
Target creature you control deals 2 damage to target creature or player. If the creature you control has two or more creature types, it deals 4 damage to that creature or player instead.


Primal Mind (CR12)
R
Tribal Enchantment-Beast
Enchant creature
Enchanted creature is a Beast. It must attack each turn if able and it loses all activated abilities.
{Beast Petroglyph Watermark}


Fencer's Lunge (CR13)
[NMEL's Advanced tactics - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
1R
Instant
Target creature gets +2/+0 until end of turn.
If it has two or more creature types, it also gains first strike until end of turn.


Ancestral Spirit of the Raknak (CR14)
1R
Tribal Instant-Lizard
Until end of turn, target creature gains "R: This creature gets +1/+0 until end of turn."
Commune. If you succeed, add RRR to your mana pool.
(To commune, reveal a card from your hand or the top of your library. You succeed if it shares a creature type with CARDNAME.)
{Lizard Petroglyph Watermark}


The Tale of the Lazy Cat (CR15)
1R
Tribal Enchantment-Cat
Enchant creature
Enchanted creature gets +1/+1 and has first strike.
Cat Lore (Whenever a Cat creature enters the battlefield, you may cast CARDNAME from your graveyard targeting it.)
{Cat Petroglyph Watermark}


Tribal, but still good. Cat Lore is also a great name.


Terrifying Roar (CR16)
2R
Tribal Sorcery-Cat
Target creature gains Intimidate until end of turn.
Cat Creatures you control get +1/+0 until end of turn.
{Cat Petroglyph Watermark}


Volcanic Flow (CR17)
2RR
Sorcery
CARDNAME deals 5 damage to target creature.


Desecrate (CR18)
4R
Sorcery
Destroy target artifact or land. If that permanent has any creature types, CARDNAME deals 3 damage to that permanent's controller.


Comments:


Muraganda builds on the popular tribal theme of Onslaught and Lorwyn while casting its own unique spin. The two sides of the conflict in Escape both care about creature types, but the natives care about quality while the rebels care about quantity.


I scrapped almost everything and started rebuilding from scratch, considering myriad possibilities. Approaching, hybrid, living auras and bind familiar didn't make the transition. Spell morphs are uncommon and may not appear until the second set.


I knew the land had to have power that the Empirians could invade for in the last set but I didn't like the idea of an exact retread of Snow via Sacred / Mystic. Eventually I found that the Tribal type I had so quickly discarded would define the entire block. Tribal will exist on lands and artifacts from common and up, enabling type-checking and sentience-matters effects. Counting effects have been scaled back and types-in-play threshold effects are right out.


The next set sees Rebels adopting the Morph tactics of the local fauna and putting the power of Muraganda's land to use: They will use Tribal mana. I'm thinking, Spider mana, Frog mana and the like. Any mana produced by a permanent with creature type Bird is Bird mana. These symbols will match the petroglyphic watermarks of each tribe. I love the hidden-hybrid implications (each of five tribes belong to two colors each) but could also just use Tribal mana? This is the block to flaunt the word Tribal rather than hide it.


This submission has a few too many bland cards in it. However, it has a good sprinkling of interesting ideas. 


...possibly too many ideas....


Multiple creature types is a good way to separate animals from humanoids.


Resourceful has promise. I get the feeling that the mechanic is "this creature either helps itself, or helps others." I'm not sure who the "allies" are, but that's not important. I'd cull it from the ability. I'd also try to rein in the mechanic by cutting out some variation. The mechanic is still too open-ended to be meaningful. I'd set the second ability to always be "this gets two +1/+1 counters", and the first ability to always just be "creatures you control get [some bonus] until end of turn." I'd also rename the ability to better fit its flavour.


 


 


 


Scott Van Essen



Set Name:
Malgareth, the UnderPrison


Log Line:
Natives drive out prisoners as they overwhelm the guards in a forsaken subterranean prison.


Cards:
CB01
Rookie Escape Artist
[Jailbreaker Apprentice - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
B
Creature - Human Scout
1/1
Sacrifice CARDNAME: Target creature gains Intimidate until end of turn.
Watermark: Prisoner


CB02
Scintilla Farmer
[Unnamed Scintilla Collector Variant - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
B
Creature - Elf Shaman
0/0
CARDNAME enters the battlefield with one +1/+1 counter on it.
Remove a counter from CARDNAME: add B to your mana pool.
Watermark: Native


CB03
Neophyte Assassin
1B
Creature - Human Assassin
1/1
When CARDNAME is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, target player sacrifices a creature.
Watermark: Prisoner


CB04
Scintilla Collector
1B
Creature - Elf Druid
0/0
CARDNAME enters the battlefield with two +1/+1 counters on it.
CARDNAME can't block.
Watermark: Native


CB05
Cavern Bats
2B
Creature - Bat
2/1
Flying
Watermark: Native


CB06
Essence Thief
2B
2/1
Creature - Vampire Rogue
Swampwalk, Lifelink
Watermark: Prisoner


CB07
Watcher Informant
2B
Creature - Human Rogue
2/1
When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, target player discards a card. Gain life equal to the converted mana cost of the discarded card.
Watermark: Watcher


CB08
Mold Creeper
[Mold Creeper - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
3B
Creature - Fungus
2/2
Compost - Whenever a non-token creature you control is put in a graveyard from the battlefield, put a +1/+1 counter on CARDNAME.
B, Remove a counter from CARDNAME: Regenerate CARDNAME.
Watermark: Native


Does Compost really have enough design space for it to be keyworded? I guess it's possible to mine the design space. I'm not sure it'd yield a great variety of interesting cards though.


CB09
Big Bully
3BB
Creature - Ogre Thug
3/1
Whenever CARDNAME attacks a player, remove a counter from target permanent that player controls and put a +1/+1 counter on CARDNAME.
Watermark: Prisoner


This one hits the mark. Simple and flavourful. However, being a 3/1 means he'll just be blocked and die straight away, after using his ability. I would've gone for 2/2 here. (Any bigger and he's not common.)


CB10
Contaminated Puma
5B
Creature - Cat
3/4
Countercast - Each counter you remove from a permanent you control while casting this spell reduces its cost by 2.
Deathtouch
Watermark: Native


Good ability here. I'd write it bracketed as a keyword though.


I'd also liked to have seen a proper name for this mechanic.


CB11
Final Haunting
[Weaken with Souls - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
B
Sorcery
As an additional cost to play CARDNAME, exile a creature card in your graveyard.
Target creature gets -X/-X until end of turn where X is the exiled card's power.
Watermark: Native


CB12
Bribe the Guards
1B
Sorcery
Put a +1/+1 counter on up to two creatures, then tap those creatures.
Watermark: Prisoner


Excellent flavour and execution here. "Reversible cards" (where you can play it on your own guys or theirs) like this one are typically difficult to balance.


CB13
Drain the Land
1B
Enchantment - Aura
Enchant Land an opponent controls
Enchanted Land is a Swamp.
Whenever enchanted land is tapped, put a +1/+1 counter on a creature you control
Watermark: Native


Great simple common. I might've considered taking the "land is a swamp" clause off. I can see why it's there, but that could be a different card. It's a good novel common with just the +1/+1 counter bit. Taking the "is a swamp" part off also adds tension, because they will still want to use their best land, whereas there's far less reason for them to tap a swamp.


CB14
Insatiable Rot
[Noxious Shroomguy - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
1B
Enchantment
Compost - Whenever a non-token creature you control is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, target player loses 1 life and you gain 1 life.
Watermark: Native


I see. Compost is just "death-trigger" ability-worded. It has a nice flavour, but it's completely unnecessary. You could narrow it way down, and make a proper mechanic out of it, but as it is, it adds nothing.


CB15
Bonds of Reprisal
2B
Enchantment - Aura
Enchant Creature
Whenever enchanted creature attacks or blocks, it deals damage equal to its power to its controller.
Watermark: Watcher


Has this already been printed?




CB16
Grand Larceny
2B
Instant
Move up to two counters from target permanent to another permanent of the same type.
Watermark: Prisoner


More good flavour.


CB17
Strength Extraction
[Bash Through Guards - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
2B
Instant
Destroy target non-black creature.
Put a +1/+1 counter on target creature.
Watermark: Prisoner


CB18
Fungal Rebirth
3B
Sorcery
Countercast - Each counter you remove from a permanent you control while casting this spell reduces its cost by 2.
Return up to two target creature cards from your graveyard to your hand.
Watermark: Native


Comments
Per the judge comments, I removed Grift and Recycle from the set. I re-concepted +1/+1 counters as concentrated mana crystals (scintillae) that Natives create through composting and other methods and then consume for mana or utility effects. Prisoners mainly steal and trade counters and use them for their pump effect. Watchers will interact with them in a different way. Rage seemed the most liked mechanic so I focused on Black, which will define much of the rest of the set.


I went with a little less stealing and a little more killing, but the stealing feel is important so I made it less parasitic. Most counter theft abilities always give you a counter and then let you remove one if available. The exception is Grand Larceny, which is a Fate Transfer variant (the proportion of relevant counter generating cards at Common Black is the same as in Shadowmoor)


I kept the number of compost cards low (~5 at common between green and black) and they only see your creatures to minimize board complexity and number of triggers.


Countercast was created as a limited smoothing mechanic, but became quite popular in playtest. There's a nice interaction where you countercast out a big creature, killing your scintilla creature and triggering compost.


Both watcher cards use your opponents cards against them or for you.


Big Bully was changed from a saboteur trigger to an attack trigger so you could get more uses out of it before your opponent dies.


Counters are great, but they're a known mechanic, and overdoing them causes "work" problems for players.


Even if this submission has some issues (like compost), and over-uses counters, it has a few great cards, and utilises its world flavour well. (Though I'm not sure that world is big enough for a whole actual block.)



 



 






Daniel Williams



Deadsands


Disparate factions struggle to survive in a wild frontier filled with outlaws, violence, and death


CR1
Howling Coyote
R
Creature- Coyote
1/1
Reveal a card from your hand: If the card you revealed is red, target creature can't block this turn.


CR2
Marauding Bandits
1R
Creature- Human Rogue
2/1
Whenever Marauding Bandits attacks, reveal a card from your hand. If you reveal a red card this way, Marauding Bandits deals 1 damage to each player.


CR3
Spellslinger Outlaw
[Duelist- community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
1R
Creature-Human Rogue
1/1
When Spellslinger Outlaw enters the battlefield, have a showdown with target creature's controller or target opponent. If you win, Spellslinger Outlaw deals 2 damage to that creature or player. (Each player in the showdown draws a card. Then each of those players simultaneously discards a card from his or her hand. A player wins if the card he or she discarded had a higher converted mana cost.)


Very good. Showdown is a well-constructed mini-game. Be aware that Showdown should only appear on significant effects. Two damage is almost too small. If the effect is too small, players will always just discard lands, and the ability will just be an opportunity to filter.


CR4
Viashino Sandscout
[Viashino Sandscout- Urza's Legacy]
1R
Creature- Viashino Scout
2/1
Haste
At the beginning of the end step, return Viashino Sandscout to its owner's hand.


CR5
Loose Steer
[community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
2R
Creature- Aurochs
3/2
Loose Steer must attack each turn if able.
Whenever Loose Steers attacks, it gets +1/+0 unitl end of turn for each other attacking Aurochs.


CR6
Viashino War Priest 1rr
1rr
Creature- Viashino Shaman
2/2
Trample
When Sand Tribe War Priest enters the battlefield, have a showdown with target opponent. If you win, Sand Tribe War Priest gets +3/+0 and gains haste until end of turn. (Each player in the showdown draws a card. Then each of those players simultaneously discards a card from his or her hand. A player wins if the card he or she discarded had a higher converted mana cost.)


CR7
Sandtribe Raiders
[Waste Scavengers- community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
3r
Creature- Viashino Warrior
Retaliate- At the beginning of each player's end step, if a creature you control was destroyed this turn, put a 1/1 red Viashino Warrior creature token onto the battlefield.


Repeatable token creation isn't common.


You need to narrow Retaliate down. A once-off ability would've been fine here.


CR8
Swooping Thunderbird
3rr
Creature- Elemental Bird
4/1
Haste, Flying
Revelation- Whenever Swooping Thunderbird is revealed from your hand by a spell or ability, you may pay R. If you do, target creature you control has gains haste until end of turn.


A 4/1 Haste Flyer in red almost counts as rare, not common.


CR9
Crystalline Ritual
R
Sorcery
Add RRR to your mana pool. This mana cannot be spent to cast spells.


Good.


CR10
Unearthly Reflexes
[community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
R
Instant
Up to two target creatures gain first strike until end of turn.


Good. A mechanics-appropriate name would've been good. (Like "Duelling Duo", or something to do with their being two creatures.)


CR11
Burning Hatred
1R
Instant
Burning Hatred deals 2 damage to target creature or player.
Retaliate- If a creature your control was destroyed this turn, Burning Hatred deals 5 damage to that creature or player instead.


CR12
Fiery Deadeye
1R
Enchantment-Aura
Enchant creature
Enchanted creature has "R: This creature deals 1 damage to target creature blocking it."


CR13
Reckless Prospecting
1R
Sorcery
Draw 2 cards, then discard a card at random.


CR14
Viashino War Cry
1R
Instant
Target attacking creature gets +2/+0 until end of turn. Have a showdown with the defending player. If you win, that creature gains intimidate until end of turn. (Each player in the showdown draws a card. Then each of those players simultaneously discards a card from his or her hand. A player wins if the card he or she discarded had a higher converted mana cost.)


CR15
Mob's Verdict
[Lynch- community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
2R
Instant
Mob's Verdict deals damage to target creature equal to the number of creatures you control.


CR16
Fiery Totem
3R
Sorcery
You may reveal a red card from your hand. If you do, put an X/1 red Elemental creature token with haste onto the battlefield, where X is the converted mana cost of the spell you revealed this way. Exile it at the beginning of the next end step.


Better to just have this be an X/1 creature, rather than creating a token. This card is also probably not common. Hitting someone for 5-6 is just a bit high for common.


C17
Gatling Volley
2RR
Sorcery
Gatling Volley deals 4 damage to target player.
Revelation- Whenever Gatling Volley is revealed from your hand, you may pay 1R. If you do, Gatling Volley deals 1 damage to target player.


C18
Blastminer Blitz
[community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
3RR
Sorcery
Destroy target land. Blastminer Blitz deals 3 damage to target creature without flying.


I chose red for this challenge because I felt that it had the greatest connection to Deadsands and its mechanics.


In regards to those mechanics, I choose Revelation over Hold Out as it has more design space, is more likely to yield a benefit to the player, and is more Timmy-friendly. I retooled Showdown to reveal less information and still be nonrandom. The discard was added in so that one player couldn't win every showdown by holding onto one big spell. The draw precedes the discard so that players with empty hands won't automatically lose...and then draw a card. Sadly, it no longer triggers Revelation, but I feel its an acceptable loss. I unkeyworded spellslinging since it the timing and frequency of the reveal varies dramatically between cards. I decided to stick to revealing cards of the same color, as my set does not have a multicolor theme. I tried using other card properties, but most of them proved too restrictive in terms of building a deck.


As for my commons, I utilized as many Western tropes as I could. I also made sure that there were multiple ways to cheaply reveal cards at common and that all of my mechanics were well represented.


Random notes:
-Viashino are combat focused, while the bandits are focused on noncombat damage
-Don't worry. Auroch's are not a major part of the set. I wanted a Magic creature type that represented cows/buffalos and they fit the bill quite well.


Lots of good stuff in this submission, though there were some rarity issues. Because revealing cards isn't done much in Magic, it makes the Revelation ability very linear, though it would have reasonable gameplay.

Retaliate needs to be narrowed down a lot, but is a fairly good idea.

Showdown is by far the best mechanic in this round. It's properly-executed, and would have massive design space and gameplay value. The only downfall is that you put it on cards where the effect was often too small for players to throw away cards for. Use it on bigger effects.




Jonathan Woodward



Golamo


Great civilizations of creatures grown large vie for power amongst Golamo's erratic mana geysers.


CG01 - Leaf-Spinner Druid
G
Creature - Spider Druid
0/2
Reach
Tap: Add G to your mana pool.


Would've liked to have sees 0/3 here, so he doesn't automatically go splat if he tries to block.


CG02 - Graforman Explorer
[Graforman Explorer -http://community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/wiki/labs:Gds/gds2/fractal/FirstChallenge/Green] - Havelock Vetinari
1G
Creature - Insect Scout
1/1
Tap, sacrifice Graforman Explorer: Search your library for a basic land card, put that card onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle your library.


CG03 - Thamarach Hunter
[Graforman Drone - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...] - Palpable
GG
Creature - Spider Warrior
2/3
When Thamarach Hunter enters the battlefield, put a card from your hand on top of your library.
Favored (When Thamarach Hunter enters the battlefield, look at the top four cards of your library. You may reveal an Aura card from among them and attach it to Thamarach Hunter. Put the rest on the bottom of your library in any order.)


If this set has a boat-load of auras in it, this is interesting. (As I said above, I'm a big fan of semi-random "top-of-library" effects.) Personally, I'd make the number of cards bigger (like 8), so you usually get an aura, and don't have to play 24 auras in your deck. I also don't entirely understand the mechanic's name.


CG04 - Thamarach Orb-Weaver
[Blessed Thamarach - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...] - Cardkeeper
2G
Creature - Spider Shaman
1/2
Reach
Favored (When Thamarach Orb-Weaver enters the battlefield, look at the top four cards of your library. You may reveal an Aura card from among them and attach it to Thamarach Orb-Weaver. Put the rest on the bottom of your library in any order.)


CG05 - Unweaver Mystic
2GG
Creature - Spider Shaman
1/3
When Unweaver Mystic enters the battlefield, you may destroy target aura.
Favored (When Unweaver Mystic enters the battlefield, look at the top four cards of your library. You may reveal an Aura card from among them and attach it to Unweaver Mystic. Put the rest on the bottom of your library in any order.)


CG06 - Monstrous Toad
3G
Creature - Toad
4/3


CG07 - Thamarach Mentor
4G
Creature - Spider Shaman
2/4
Reach
Favored (When Thamarach Mentor enters the battlefield, look at the top four cards of your library. You may reveal an Aura card from among them and attach it to Thamarach Mentor. Put the rest on the bottom of your library in any order.)


Two creatures with Favored and Reach? :<>


CG08 - Graforman Consul
[Graforman Consul - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...] - Cardkeeper
3GG
Creature - Insect Soldier
3/3
Swarm (Whenever a creature would block a creature with Swarm, it instead blocks all attacking creatures with Swarm. You choose the order in which the blocking creature deals combat damage.)
When Graforman Consul enters the battlefield, put two 1/1 green Insect tokens with Swarm onto the battlefield.


Isn't swarm going to create a big mass of creatures all attacking/blocking in one big scrum? I guess that's okay. But people would often just avoid blocking swarmers.


Choosing the blockers' order is too onerous. It's penalty enough having to block multiple creatures, without having to content with Banding too.


CG09 - Graforman Hexasquad
3GGG
Creature - Insect Soldier
6/6
Tram


(And this is where the forum deleted the reast of my thread, after initially accepting it for a few hours, and waiting for me to delete local backups.)

My final synopsis is that Daniel and Scott are currently the top two.


The Deadsands cards were wonderfully flavorful.
Deadsands CR1 is broken, as it has no cost to activate the ability.  You could make your entire army unblockable by targeting all your opponent's creatures.  Either it needs a mana cost, or a restrictio on how many times you can use the ability each turn.  I can see the judges having a problem with Showdown, as discarding cards is usually something players don't like to do and you are forcing opponents to discard IN RED over and over again.
Why is it so difficult to properly template things? Why are people still writing "Play" when that term's been obsolete for over a year? I know it has nothing to do with design, but i annoys the heck out of me when i read such common errors in a a submission.

On Epolith:

Show
Evolve seems like a bad idea. Having a bunch of creatures that all trigger at different events will be hard to track. And becasue they are all mandatory you'll quickly get into a fight about whether your cave bear's a 3/3 or 4/4. I'd much rather see just one execution like the plant/bear, and not like the others.

Of course you can't really use that version of evolve because you'd spend five minuites figuring out every evolve creature's current power. (Since they'd have thier own base stats plus counters).

In the end, i think evolve should have a uniform trigger that doesn't care about power or toughness.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

+1/+1 counter theme is cool, there was some of that in Lorwyn, but there's lots of room to grow. But the execution scares me. You have two cards at common that let you trade counters instead of paying thier cost... that seems a bit complex for a common.

Prosauropod is almost always going to be on, and i don't think this is the kind of card they'd put at common just because of how explosive it's going to  be in limited.

Finally, having a bunch of pennies on all your cards doesn't seem like a good idea. There's a reason counters normally aren't done at common, they clutter the board and make the game state confusing. You're gonig to have to eliminate basically all other counters from your set just to make sure the board's as easy to read as possible.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Overall, I think too many uncommons pretending to be common. I hope +1/+1 counters matter is your theme. Though the random "enchantment matters" cards makes me wonder.

Though if +1/+1 counters are embraced, i think it could be a cool set, if you can get over the design hurtles of using lots of counters at common.



Metanote: I'm interested to see which competitors choose to do red. As Maro said last GDS that red commons were the hardest to design.



On Penumbria


Show
Living reflection is a cool ability, though not common by any means.

Illuminates alot of hoops for what ends up being card filtering. I don't know how fun it will be, as there's no real way to intereact with cards that are illuminated. (Except to draw them). Once you have an illuminated land, your Trail Blazer is always going to be on.

Orc Bully is red... at all.

Flashbomber seems like an overly elaborate way of just writing "up to two target creatures can't block this turn." This card doesn't need reflection to work.

Bloodthirsty Orc is pretty cool. A unique twist on Morph. (Though not designed by Jonathon)

+X/-X isn't red. (Though this card wasn't designed by Jon)

Two land destruction cards at common seems brutal considering that they've actively been toning down LD overall.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Overall a nice, strong, flavor. Alot of the cards are solid, and besides some rarity issues, i don't see a major problem here.

I like Morph's new trick of changing it's cost, and illuminate's cool (if only there was a way to remove cards so that your cards weren't always on. )

Excellent work.




On Wodotha :

Show
I like Forsake, it's a simple evolution of cycling. Though unlike cycling, it doesn't smooth out your draws, so it shouldn't serve the same purpose as cycling does.

Blood lust is a cool abiltiy word.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Blight is the most parasidic mechanic i've ever seen. It's so bad, you can't even get a use from it until you've had your second blight card.

Worse yet, having a blight use counters means you can't use +1/+1 or -1/-1 counters in your block.
I'm also confused about how blight works, do my creatures get a blight counter? Or do i put it on any creature? If it's my creatures, why would i play the cards? And why would you play more than one blight card?

Oddly enough, there's already a mechanic basically designed to do what Shawn wants to do, -1/-1 counters. they've only been done twice in modern design, so there's still plenty of design space, and it conveys blight without being parasidic.

~~~~~~~~~~

Overall:

Blight sinks this submission for me. I like the rest of it, but unfortuantely i can't overlook the main theme. We already saw with Kamigawa what happens when you focus on parasidic mechanic with no backwards compatibility.


On Utopia:

[sblock]Gold counters aren't going to work. Zendikar tried using "mana crystals" in thier design before settling on Eldrazi spawn tokens. Also are life payments common in your set, and why not just trade the counter for life gain?

Not much to say otherwise since there isn't much there. There's a heavy "life payment" theme running through black, and i presume through the rest of the set which seems like a bad idea. If players don't like pain lands, why would they enjoy a set choked full of life payment cards? One or two is fine, but enough to support gold counters seems like a poor idea.

Mercenaries aren't all that exciting. While fun in principal, i think they create too much repitition in game play.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Overall, I'm a little underwhelmed, I see gold counters and mercenaries, but not much else. Where's the limited helping mechanic? Where's the random mechanics that fill out the set? While you get the idea of commerce across, i don't think it's all that exciting.
… and then, the squirrels came.
Heh, not surprised that nobody decided to make the blue cards.

I really like the way Blight was retooled, although it's a shame it's such a parasitic mechanic. Decaying Horror (CB10) should definitely have haste (black haste!), since otherwise you might never get an attack in.
No love for blue or white?
I really like the way Blight was retooled, although it's a shame it's such a parasitic mechanic. Decaying Horror (CB10) should definitely have haste (black haste!), since otherwise you might never get an attack in.



Thanks. You make a really good point- haste would have been a boon here (though he would have needed to shrink in size to compensate). The wiki appreciates contributions, if you want to join us there in the future.
@Pegaweb: We were supposed to put our cards in ascending order of CMC, so we didn't get to shape the presentation by putting our best foot forward. 

@Bedford: I'm wondering how much the judges are going to mark David down for that Coyote. It's utterly broken as is, but clearly wasn't intended to work like it does.

@Oporaca: I suspect that blue and white were avoided because of their extreme creature counts. It's a lot easier to show off your themes with 50/50 creatures/noncreatures than 20/80 or 80/20.
Great Designer Search 2 Finalist - If you're interested in getting involved, check out my Wiki Page.
@Pegaweb: We were supposed to put our cards in ascending order of CMC, so we didn't get to shape the presentation by putting our best foot forward.



Ahh ok. \:>
@Skibbo on Utopia:  Based on the sets flavor I get the feeling the mechanics are each bound to a color and based on the rarely seen sides of that color. So their isn't much mechanic crossing between the colors.  Think Shards or Ravinica with one color factions.
It's really interesting reading the commentary on each submission from the candidates. I wonder if it will count against some of them that their cards made way more sense to me after I'd read the blurb?
I got bored with all the +1/+1 counter themes. Several of them didn't even feel like there was any real flavor behind them. Jonathan's struck the most exciting to me, but his eruption mechanic was disappointing. I might reccomend eruption be something like when a spell resolves, if there are exactly three instants or sorceries in the graveyard, remove all of them for an effect?
First off, congrats to all of the Top 8. Getting to here is a remarkable achievement and you should all be very proud.

And now for some unabashed opinions:

Scott Van Essen and Daniel Williams (despite forgetting to give a P/T for Sandtribe Raiders) have presented the 2 sets I'd actually like to play. I also really like the retooling of Blight in Shawn's set. The others, while having some interesting ideas, just don't sound as fun. Some sound downright tedious and unfun. (sorry guys)

Some other comments:

Epolith's Evolve ability is going to cause confusion because each card's Evolve ability is triggered by something different (creature w/ higher power, creature w/ flying, land, etc) If it is a keyword it should all have the same trigger so you know how every card with Evolve works, instead of having to read each one. I understand the idea is to have different cards evolve under different conditions, just doesn't seem very elegant the way it currently is.

And why does Penumbria's Dig ability have the player put the cards on the bottom in a random order? That just seems fiddly and unneccessary, not to mention that it slows down gameplay. Should be 'in any order'.

Shawn has 2 abilities on his cards that seem to be identical: Forsake and Pitch. Two names, one effect. Why? Or was this just an editing mistake?

Also, I really don't understand Devon's "Hoard" card. In his blurb he says he developed some X spells as outlets for Gold counters. But if a player uses gold counters to cast Hoard, all he does is get his gold counters back. Woo. And being able to use them to pay life costs on a 1:1 basis might be broken. (Hoard + Necropotence anybody?) Maybe it should be 2:1 or more. I like some of Devon's ideas just not sure how well they'd play out.

that's my 2 cents...but if these become booster packs my 2 cents turns into $$$ that I would or would not spend depending on how interesting the set is. Right now Deadsands is gunnin' for my money.
Just gotta say how impressed I am by all the candidate's submissions.  Everyone improved hugely over their initial designs and I saw many more cards that looked like they could be printed as-is and lots more that looked fun to try out.

(Blight & Showdown both seem awesome in my book, though obviously I haven't tested them.)
Magic Judge Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Rules Theory and Templating: "They may be crazy, but they're good." --Matt Tabak, Rules Manager*
On Golamo:

I like what favored can do. Swarm almost seems like psuedo-banding, but understandable!

I think however, that CG03 - Thamarach Hunter wouldnt be a card that we would see at common. I feel that it is uncommon in the power that it can burst out with.

CG05 - Unweaver Mystic is a spider without reach which just seems off.

CG14 - Embodiment of Wisdom seems like it is in the wrong colour. It's a curiousity in green?


On Deadsands:
CR7 Sandtribe Raiders This card doesnt have a P/T. I originally thought it was a red enchantment when I first looked through it.

CR14 Viashino War Cry Since this is an instant, more times than not, I am going to be casting it after blockers are declared on either an unblocked creature, or on a creature that has already been blocked and needs the extra boost to kill the blocker. I dont see the point behind the showdown that gives intimidate

CR16 Fiery Totem This feels like it should have trample as well, as it reminds me of cards like Blistering Firecat and Ball Lightning.


On Malgareth, the UnderPrison
I honestly love the countercast ability. Mining the area around the counters on creatures is always a good thing

CB08 Mold Creeper I know that the +1 counters are going to be a theme in the block, but looking at other blocks as well, do you want this creature to be able to remove -1 counters to regen? Or even spore counters?

CB09 Big Bully I thought this might have ended up a little overcosted, and then I thought to myself, this can kill a planeswalker with 5 loyalty counters on it with 1 attack.

CB13 Drain the Land I am going to agree with a previous poster, and say that the extra tack on for the land being a swamp will hinder the card. I think if you have it become a swamp in addition to whatever it is might do what you want.


On Escape to Muraganda

What is up with some of the abilities affecting creatures your allies control? Unless you are building a set that belongs with something like Archenemy, I would just scrap the allies bit altogether. Also, in reading what was planned for the next set, I dont think having specific types of mana is all that good of an idea. You could, at one point, have a G bird mana, R goblin, B zombie, G spider, and 2 colourless in your pool at one time, which would be a real PITA to keep track of, for all the players involved, especially if the specific manas could only be spent on certain things. Remember, magic players are lazy, and the less we have to remember, the better.

The Tale of the Lazy Cat (CR15) I dont think this needs to have the Cat Lore keyword, unless there is going to be a good deal more of them.

On Utopia
I think the gold counters could end up working for you, since we are currently tracking a different type of counter in the current block (that being poison obviously). I am assuming that 1 gold counter would be equal to one life in terms of using it for life payment? Otherwise, some of the secondary costs on the spells might be a little easy to pull off.

CB04 – Rental Imp This doesnt have a creature type. Imp is the obvious choice, but is it a Imp Mercenary? All the creatures that could search for mercenaries in the older block was a mercenary itself.

On Wodotha
I would definitely need to play with cards that have blight to see how it would work out. It seems like it could end up being very...random almost, especially if there were two decks both playing blight.

CB12 - Demon's Bite The way this is worded, the creature that was put in the GY would gain lifelink?

CB14 - Diabolic Visage Is there a reason this is keyworded Pitch instead of Forsake?


On Penumbria
I can end up liking the concept of the Living Reflection,  but I can definitely see it making a game more complicated, since you have to keep track of which tokens are a copy of which card, which if a game goes late, which it probably will since you will have all these creatures out, it will frustrate some people.

CR01 – Refracted Runner I dont think this is a common. Hellspark Elemental cost 1 extra and ends up dealing 1 less damage on the first cast.

CR12 – Steamdriller What is up with the 2 after dig. It doesnt seem to have any point since you are digging until you find a land anyway. Does it mean you get to dig twice when you discard it?

CR17 – Scattered Inquiry This should probably end up at uncommon at least. Also, from what I have seen, all the other cards with illuminate deal with the top card of the library. Why make the switch for this one to do cards from hand when you can have that be part of the evolution of the mechanic in the other 2 sets?


On Epolith
Evole definitely sounds interesting. I definitely like the plant spirit (is there a reason it isnt a spider?) evolving to be able to better deal with the flying creatures coming against it, since that is the main reason for evolution, to adapt better with the surroundings. I dont like it on the bears all that much since it is only evolving because something bigger came around? If that were the case, we would have all sorts of 10ft animals around. Smile

I'm going for Ethan's Epolith.  While I think several of the other worlds/cards/mechanics are stronger in the abstract, I like Epolith as a world the best - it's the kind of creative concept that makes me want to play Magic in the first place.  I think the rest will fall into place for Ethan as we go - I think you have a lot more chance of success with a good world than with a good mechanic or two but no bigger picture.  I also think the way Ethan approaches the problem is closest to that of the last GDS's runner-up - you know, the guy who's judging now...

All the entries are strong mind you - this is really all upside for us players, especially if there was any doubt about the future of Magic...
utopia is far and away my favourite, not only is it nice to see mercenaries getting some love but it just seemed the most flavorsome.
Time for some thrilling heroics....
You know, I remember this game I used to play back in the late '90s. It, too, was set in a world where magic and monsters had crept into the Old West — they even had a "gold rush" for magic crystals. Gunslingers, bandits, the whole nine yards. They made a CCG out of it for a while, as well.

But there's no chance of confusion with that game.

It was called "Deadlands."

Totally different. 
Daniel Williams's showdown mechanic is interesting. Maybe it should be "each player exiles a card face down". Hard for each player to show a card at same time, plus feeding a graveyard might have negative effect in formats that like a full graveyard. Good with threshold, madness, dredge, and flashback?
Three consecutive posters with the same avatar?

I wonder if Havelock Vetinari is eligible to win the GDS2 if he ends up designing more submitted cards than any of the eight contestants.

I was enjoying Pegaweb's review, mostly because it was easier to read than clicking on each contestant's entry.  I didn't understand all the "nothing novel" criticism though -- has there really been much novel in the game since Alliances?  It seems like Magic design now is about creating a new set that makes Limited/Standard play differently than its recent past and not about making novel cards.



And why does Penumbria's Dig ability have the player put the cards on the bottom in a random order? That just seems fiddly and unneccessary, not to mention that it slows down gameplay. Should be 'in any order'.




The point of the random order is to NOT slow down game play.  It's just like Cascade.  Dig has the potential to reveal 5-7 spells at once.  Asking a player to put those back in any order could slow down the game with little upside (since those cards probably wouldn't be drawn again).  It's also possible that Legacy deck with no lands could use Dig to stack its entire deck.

I was enjoying Pegaweb's review, mostly because it was easier to read than clicking on each contestant's entry.  I didn't understand all the "nothing novel" criticism though -- has there really been much novel in the game since Alliances?  It seems like Magic design now is about creating a new set that makes Limited/Standard play differently than its recent past and not about making novel cards.



I'm not looking for things that are fundamentally novel, just new combinations or flavours. There were a few such novel cards, but not many. Just because a designer has to make commons, it doesn't absolve them of the need to make creative and interesting cards. It just adds a few extra requirements on top of that (like simplicity, non-swinginess, and non-situationality). Most of the commons I saw were just mechanically-acceptable filler, or mechanically-acceptable filler with world-relevant names and types.

It's okay to create really basic cards, if they help to build up a bigger picture, but I didn't really see much of that either.

If any of the contestants wants more specific feedback on their submission, I'm happy to give it.

Shawn has 2 abilities on his cards that seem to be identical: Forsake and Pitch. Two names, one effect. Why? Or was this just an editing mistake?


It's a typo that came from working right up until the last minute. At 11 PM, I was getting negative reactions to Pitch as a name (though I've come around on it a little). Next time, I'll be sure the last hour is dedicated to editing rather than flavor massage.

Shawn has 2 abilities on his cards that seem to be identical: Forsake and Pitch. Two names, one effect. Why? Or was this just an editing mistake?


It's a typo that came from working right up until the last minute. At 11 PM, I was getting negative reactions to Pitch as a name (though I've come around on it a little). Next time, I'll be sure the last hour is dedicated to editing rather than flavor massage.



Forsake is much better. There's no reason to name a mechanic something game-jargon-related and flavourless, like Pitch.

...or Kicker. :>
I also like the way Penumbria was retooled a lot. Illuminating cards sounds fun, and I like the way the spells presented trigger if you have other illuminated cards that qualify. I could see a rare or mythic that illuminates a significant portion of your library being pretty awesome. (5UU: Illuminate half your library? Awesome, although it would be a bit of a time nightmare and you'd lose randomness.)

EDIT: Not sure Dig is needed, though. Why does it have a number if you go til you find a land?
I assume the number after dig is a mana cost. That would be logical.

I'd say the judges will likely interpret it as such, but it will cost a brownie point.

...but then again, the judges will tear into these cards so hard that Ken will have to get out a thesaurus to maintain his status as the crankiest one. Leaving out some reminder text isn't going to matter in the impending bloodbath. :>
Yes, the number after Dig is a mana cost, just like Cycling.
On Jonathon Loucks

why does DIG have a numerical component (ala Dig 2)?  You search till you find a land in both instances, what is the 2 for?

Piercing Beam and Trail Blazer both tell you to illuminate a card as the first part of their effect, then say "do X, but do Y if you own an illuminated card".  That's confusing, the way its worded you will ALWAYS do Y, since you are fullfilling the requirement automatically prior to the effect going off.   Seems like the cards want to illuminate after the other effects, not before. 

Of course, that makes illuminate a linear mechanic, since you have to have cast an iliminate card to turn on all following ones, but it seems like thats what this mechanic wants to be.



if the 2 on Dig is a mana cost, that was not clear to me at all.  My first assumption was that it was how far down you were able to "dig" for land

It's okay to create really basic cards, if they help to build up a bigger picture, but I didn't really see much of that either.



Fair enough, that's what I wanted to see, too.  These entries are kind of an information overload so I can't really decide yet how the candidates did in this regard.  The best way is probably to print them all out and play them like the judges are doing, but I don't think I have the time/resources for that.

 Random question: does anyone else find Jay Treat's wordings like

"Creatures you and your allies control with two or more creatures types gain haste until end of turn"

difficult to comprehend on first read?  The nod to multiplayer is nice but seeing "allies" used like this on a Magic card throws my mind for a loop when trying to understand a new mechanic.  I also just don't like the phrase "two or more." For some reason, I find "more than one" easier to grasp.  So for the quoted ability above I would prefer

"Creatures you control with more than one creature type gain haste until end of turn"
Pegaweb is awesome, but we can help too!
Ethan Fleischer
Epolith

Planeswalkers exploit the evolutionary potential of a primitive plane where centuries pass in hours.



This just got a lot cooler.  *thumbs up*


CG01
Eohippus
G
Creature - Horse
0/1
Evolve - Whenever a creature with a power greater than CARDNAME's power enters the battlefield under your control, put a +1/+1 counter on CARDNAME.



I now like evolve a lot more.  It could get complicated.  Also, while this entered my mind later, it's extremely relevant: I read a comment about Evolve having seperate triggers...you could chalk this up to me being lazy but I did a double take.  "It does?"  I completely glazed over any further iterations of Evolve as I assumed it would be the same every time.  Maybe you want this to be Landfall and have different triggers?  I think it works much better as a keyword that does the same thing every time.  That said it would close off a lot of space for Evolve. 


CG02
Wandering Elf
[Sylvan Ranger - Magic 2011]
1G
Creature — Elf Nomad
1/1
When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, you may search your library for a basic land card, reveal it, put it into your hand, then shuffle your library.


CG03
Cave Bear
[Growing Bear - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
1G
Creature - Bear
2/2
Evolve - Whenever a creature with a power greater than CARDNAME's power enters the battlefield under your control, put a +1/+1 counter on CARDNAME.


CG04
Fertility Shaman
[Totally Subtle Elf Design - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
1G
Creature - Elf Shaman
2/2
Whenever you cast an Enchantment spell, put a 1/1 green Elf creature token onto the battlefield.


CG05
Mischievous Monkey
[Curious Ape - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
2G
Creature - Ape
2/2
When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, put target artifact into its owner's library third from the top.

Awesome card is awesome. For 3 mana though I want it to be bigger or get rid of the enchant entirely.  Red Destroys artifacts for the same cost and body.  Not saying Green is "better" at Artifact destruction but it certainly isn't "worse."


CG06
Leaping Ornitholestes
[CG06 (unnamed) - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
2G
Creature - Lizard
3/1
G, Sacrifice CARDNAME: CARDNAME deals 3 damage to target creature with flying.


CG07
Wing-grabber Tree Spirit
[Arduous Arachnid - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
2G
Creature - Plant Spirit
1/3
Reach
Evolve - Whenever a creature with flying enters the battlefield under an opponent's control, put a +1/+1 counter on CARDNAME.

The flavor is solid but, again, I completely missed the "flying" trigger here.  I really want to emphasize what happened (I missed the different trigger) but also that it may not be a bad thing.  We all got used to Landfall after all.  And the flavor really is solid.


CG08
Elven Memory Keeper
[Elvish Totem-Scroungers - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
3G
Creature - Elf Shaman
3/3
When CARDNAME comes into play, you may return an enchantment card from your graveyard to your hand.

This seems very strong, especially compared to the monkey and Centaur Courser.  I'm not sure this is common either.


CG09
Sluggish Sauropod
[Lumbering Maiasaur - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
3G
Creature - Lizard
6/4
Whenever CARDNAME attacks, it doesn't untap during its controller's next untap step.

Meh.  I don't see this card making the evolutionary cut...maybe that's what you were going for?  A decent common I suppose.


CG10
Velociraptor Pack
2GG
Creature - Lizard
4/3
Flash

This is stroooong in limited and would most likely be pumped to uncommon at the least.


CG11
Prosauropod
[community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
3GG
Creature - Lizard
4/4
Evolve - Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, put a +1/+1 counter on CARDNAME.
CARDNAME has trample as long as it has a +1/+1 counter on it.

Again, very strong.  Reminds me of Bramblewood Paragon.


CG12
Megalosaurus
4GG
Creature - Lizard
7/4

A weak submission considering the Sluggish Saurapod.


CG13
Nature's Sacrifice
[CG14 (unnamed) - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
G
Instant
Destroy target artifact or enchantment. Its controller may put a +1/+1 counter on a creature he or she controls.


Meh, okay.  It's a Nature's Claim I guess.

CG14
Selection Pressure
1G
Instant
Put two +1/+1 counters on target creature.

I'd make this cost GG I think.  It's Battlegrowth X 2 and that's pretty strong.


CG15
Heavy Shell
1G
[community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
Enchantment - Aura
Enchant creature
You may remove a +1/+1 counter from CARDNAME's target rather than pay CARDNAME's mana cost.
Enchanted creature can't be the target of spells and abilities your opponents control.
1G: Regenerate enchanted creature.

This looks like it may need some templating...also, it's mana heavy just to regenerate something.  Also, regeneration is not cool.  Repeatable regeneration at common is also troublesome for some.  M11 only had Cudgel Troll and that was at Uncommon.  I'd make this a spell that you could remove a +1/+1 counters instead of paying the cost.  This may circumvent the target bit you have here but it's already too wordy as is.


CG16
Primordial Fog
2G
Instant
Prevent all combat damage that would be dealt this turn.
Gain 1 life for each +1/+1 counter on creatures you control.

Fog effects are rarely playable even in limited according to some players (I've always had success with them).  This could cost 1 less maybe.  Blunt the Assault for example.


CG17
Gather
[Food From the Foliage - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
2G
Sorcery
Search your library for a basic land and put it onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle your library. You may put a +1/+1 counter on a creature you control.


CG18
Venom Glands
3G
Enchantment - Aura
Enchant Creature
Flash
You may remove two +1/+1 counters from CARDNAME's target rather than pay CARDNAME's mana cost.
Enchanted creature has deathtouch.

Okay, so I see the template again so maybe it's okay.  I could see this costing slightly less still though.  Winged Coatl gets you the body AND flying, granted with a Blue.  Maybe 2G?  1G?


Comments:


The Evolve mechanic represents the inhabitants of Epolith improving over time in response to conditions in their environment. This improvement could be biological evolution, green's specialty, or other types of improvement such as the invention of new weapons or the adoption of better food production methods. Each color will have its own unique triggers to generate +1/+1 counters. Mechanically, the counters can be spent as a resource for specialized adaptations. In the second set of the block, the diffusion of innovation via trade routes could be represented by players giving their counters to their opponent's creatures for some beneficial effect, and in the last set the scarcity of resources will lead to a zero-sum game of imperialism and war, with players taking each others' +1/+1 counters.


Everyone knows that elves evolved before humans, but we never get to see the hard evidence, until now! The Elves of Epolith are pretty much as they are in other Magic sets, albeit with primitive stone tools. Their White human allies, however are quite primitive (Creature - Ape Human). The Evolve mechanic, at least in green, was turning into a one-note mana ramp deck, and I wanted to give deckbuilders some more archetypes to play with, hence a GW tokens deck, with tiny weak humanoids surviving the only way they can: through sheer numbers bolstered with magic.


The excess of artifact removal is because I plan to have more artifacts than usual in the set.

You've definitely improved and I like what this is moving towards.  I wonder how far into the "future" the set will go?  Even Mirrodin is actually pretty lacklustre when it comes to technology (outside of perhaps Vedalken and Neurok bits). People are still using swords for crying out loud!

Jonathon Loucks
Penumbria
(My new world name.)

In an underground world, will you help spread the light, or embrace total darkness?

I know some people rag on Mark Rosewater for what he chooses to focus on...but the updating lines here have become much better and really do a  lot of work.  Kudos on all contestants for taking his suggestion and reworking things.


CR01 – Refracted Runner (common)
[Bolt Elemental -
community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
R
Creature – Dwarf Berserker
2/1
Trample, haste
Living Reflection (When Refracted Runner enters the battlefield, put a token that's a copy of it onto the battlefield except without its Living Reflection ability.) At the beginning of the end step, sacrifice Refracted Runner.

ZOMG this is goooood!  And by "good" I mean, WOW, throw this in with Hellspark Elemental.  Why is this so cheap for 4 damage on turn 1?  I get that it's a take on Spark Elemental but this may be a bit too strong.  Even at 1R it does, potentially, more than Hellspark Elemental at half the mana.


CR02 – Sharpchucker (common)
1R
Creature – Orc Rogue
2/1
Morph 1R (You may cast this face down as a 2/2 creature for 3. Turn it face up any time for its morph cost.) When Sharpchucker is turned face up, target creature gains first strike until end of turn.

You can probably turn the morph cost down as playing it as a morph already costs you more than putting it on the board.


CR03 – Eager Cleaver (common)
[Orc Warmonger –
community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
1R
Creature-Dwarf Soldier
1/2
Whenever another creature enters the battlefield under your control, Eager Cleaver gets +1/+0 until end of turn.


CR04 – Orc Tunneler (common)
[Goblin Tunneler – Magic 2011]
1R
Creature – Orc Miner
1/1
T: Target creature with power 2 or less is unblockable this turn.


CR05 – Stout Guard
2R
Creature - Dwarf Soldier
2/3


CR06 – Trail Blazer (common)
2R
Creature – Dwarf Scout
2/2
When Trail Blazer enters the battlefield, illuminate the top card of your library. If you own an illuminated land card, add RRR to your mana pool. (To illuminate a card, exile it with a light counter on it.
For as long as it has a light counter, it has "If you would draw a card, you may instead put this card into your hand.")

Illuminate seems like a Blue ability (in that it is sooo good).  It also seems like it will add a ton of off-board complexity.  I'll only illuminate when I know what I want is exactly what I want to draw and since I can always get it I can just draw until I need it.  This will be tested extensively I'm sure.  You definitely took Mark's advice in making it more "relevent," but it is not really all that "exciting."  There is NO tension here.  Even with the mana.


CR07 – Orc Bully (common)
[Orcish Bully -
community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
2R
Creature - Orc Warrior
3/3
If Orc Bully is blocked by more than one creature, prevent all combat damage it would deal.
Orc Bully can't block if more than one creature is attacking.


CR08 – Flashbomber (common)
2R
Creature – Dwarf Wizard
1/1
Living Reflection (When Flashbomber enters the battlefield, put a token that's a copy of it onto the battlefield except without its Living Reflection ability.) When Flashbomber enters the battlefield, target creature can't block this turn.


CR09 – Bloodthirsty Orc (common)
[Orcish Torchbearer –
community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
3R
Creature – Orc Warrior
3/3
Morph 4R (You may cast this face down as a 2/2 creature for 3. Turn it face up any time for its morph cost.) Bloodthirsty Orc's morph cost is 1R while blocked.

As long as it works rule-wise than this is pretty cool.  I'd probably turn down both morph costs though.  See Gathan raiders.


CR10 – Lavaskin Thragg (common)
[Mirror Thragg–
community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
3RR
Creature - Beast
4/1
Living Reflection (When Lavaskin Thragg enters the battlefield, put a token that's a copy of it onto the battlefield except without its Living Reflection ability.)

Possibly pushing the envelope but seems good.


CR11 – Cloaked Predator (common)
4R
Creature – Beast
5/1
Morph 3RR (You may cast this face down as a 2/2 creature for 3. Turn it face up any time for its morph cost.) Cloaked Predator's morph cost is 1R while it is an unblocked attacker.

Again, could turn down the morph cost.  Also seems weird to submit this with the other in the same file.  Only so many cards to show yourself off.


CR12 – Steamdriller (common)
[Goblin Rappeller –
community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
4RR
Creature – Dwarf Miner
4/4
Mountainwalk
Dig 2 (Discard this card. Reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a land card. Put that card into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library in a random order.)

Uh...what's the 2 for?  Also, that's a BIG Dwarf.


CR13 – Aggressive Tactics (common)
R
Instant
Creatures you control get +1/+0 until end of turn.

Love it.


CR14 – Piercing Beam 1R (common)
Instant
Illuminate the top card of your library. (To illuminate a card, exile it with a light counter on it. For as long as it has a light counter, it has "If you would draw a card, you may instead put this card into your hand.") Piercing Beam deals 2 damage to target creature or player. If you own an illuminated red card, Piercing Beam deals 4 damage to that creature or player instead.

At first I thought this cost R and it was insane.  At 1R it's ok but edgy.  Not sure why I would ever play the illuminated card if it turns all my Beams into Javalins unless it killed my opponent.  Again, I feel not tension from this mechanic.  It's all upside which isn't a bad thing but it's a LOT of upside.


CR15 – Enkindle (common)
[Engulfing Flames –
community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
2R
Enchantment - Aura
Enchant Creature
Enchanted creature gets +2/-2 and has first strike.


CR16 – Blackout (common)
[Stir the Earth –
community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
1RR
Sorcery
Turn target land face down. (It is a 2/2 creature.)


CR17 – Scattered Inquiry (common)
[Luminous Inspiration –
community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
3R
Sorcery
Draw three cards, then illuminate three cards at random from your hand. (To illuminate a card, exile it with a light counter on it. For as long as it has a light counter, it has "If you would draw a card, you may instead put this card into your hand.")

This is a Blue card.  A ridiculously powerful Blue card. A Blue card I don't want to see print.  Okay, maybe it isn't too powerful as you get the cards one at a time, it costs 4 and is sorcery speed but WOW.  There are some serious alarm bells ringing.


CR18 – Blast Mining (common)
5R
Sorcery
Destroy target land. Blast Mining deals 5 damage to that land's controller.
Dig 2 (Discard this card. Reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a land card. Put that card into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library in a random order.)

It may cost more than Lava Axe but it also gets around Leyline of Sanctity.  It also gets me a card.  Wow.  Also, why the Dig "2" again?  Is it a cost? Feels like Kicker (lol).


Comments
I chose red because it's a color that's both light and dark. While red may look slightly mechanic-heavy, the mechanic as-fan is in balance – white and green don't get morphs or face-down cards and black doesn't get illuminate or living reflection.


Flavor update! Naturally occurring channels of highly reflective crystals conduit magic-infused surface light to the underground. The light-users harness the surface light's inherent magical qualities.


The major challenge with my theme: "Information is not as much fun as mystery." My answer is to make the light inherently powerful, causing creature's reflections on shiny cave walls to come to life. While Living Reflection does give the set many unique tokens, it's an extremely grokkable ability. Remembering the size and attributes of a token is very easy when a real copy is close by. Still, it's no accident that my common Living Reflection creatures are virtual vanilla.


Living reflection gave my set a direction. Players are going to control more and smaller creatures than normal, either through Living Reflection or face down cards (morph or otherwise). Knowing this allowed me to make simple commons that have meaning in the context of this set.


In order to make illuminate feel relevant, I've tied the card's effects to what a player has illuminated. To minimize the tension between wanting to draw a known card and wanting to power up your illuminate spells, I've made it an effect that's either on or off instead of scaling based on the number of infused cards.


I approve of many of the flavor tweaks.  I can see similarities between another contestants Tokens-As-Burn but the idea is awesome so I'm glad it is here as well.  I didn't comment on rarity levels here as much as the first poster but now that I think about it I'm not sure if many of these are common.

Shawn Main
Wodotha

On doomed Wodotha, civilization struggles against the relentless Blight that eats away the world.


CB01 – Deathgreeter
[Shards of Alara]
B
Creature – Human Shaman
1/1
Whenever another creature is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, you may gain 1 life.


CB02 - Craven Imp
1B
Creature - Imp
1/1
Flying
Forsake 2 (2, Sacrifice this: Draw a card.)

I get to beat face until my opponent plays a relevant blocker and then I get to dig for an answer?  This may need to cost more.  It does keep limited moving along though which is cool.  I just feel like saccing a dude for cards usually requires another card enabling it as such.  Even Viscera Seer only lets you scry.  Needs testing but will most likely be awesome.


CB03 – Gravechatter Rat
[Mindwiper, community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
1B
Creature - Rat
1/1
When Mindscraper is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, target player discards a card.


CB04 - Doom Herald
2B
Creature - Horror
3/1
When Doom Herald enters the battlefield, blight target creature. (Destroy each permanent with a blight counter. Then put a blight counter on the blighted creature.)

The wording here is very awkward especially as the various triggers are different.  Maybe "Put a Blight counter on Target creature, destroy all other permanents with a Blight counter on them," and be careful about the triggers (on a spell, on an activation, on damage, it's weird).  Maybe not an issue but wording tweaks need to happen.


CB05 - Cowering Zombie
2B
Creature - Zombie
2/2
Forsake 2 (2, Sacrifice this: Draw a card.)


CB06 – Bone Courier
[Reverse Gravedigger, community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
2B
Creature - Zombie
2/1
When Bone Courier is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, return another target creature card from your graveyard to your hand.


CB07 - Maggotgut Buzzard
[community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
3B
Creature - Zombie Bird
2/2
Flying
When Maggotgut Buzzard is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, put two 1/1 black Rat tokens onto the battlefield.


CB08 - Blightbearer
3B
Creature - Horror
1/4
Whenever Blightbearer deals damage to a creature, blight that creature. (Destroy each permanent with a blight counter. Then put a blight counter on the blighted creature.)


CB09 - Entrail Eater
[Entrails Eater, community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
2BB
Creature - Zombie
3/3
Sacrifice a creature: Entrail Eater gets intimidate until end of turn.


CB10 – Decaying Horror
[Blighted Horror, community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
3BB
Creature - Horror
5/3
When Decaying Horror enters the battlefield, blight Decaying Horror. (Destroy each permanent with a blight counter. Then put a blight counter on the blighted creature.)


CB11 – Mark of Doom
[Spreading Blight, community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
B
Instant
Blight target nonblack creature. (Destroy each permanent with a blight counter. Then put a blight counter on the blighted creature.)


CB12 - Demon's Bite
B
Instant
Target creature gets +3/+0 until end of turn.
Bloodlust- If a creature was put into a graveyard from the battlefield this turn, that creature gains lifelink until end of turn.


CB13 – Spoil Soul
[community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
XB
Instant
Target creature gets -X/-X until end of turn.


CB14 - Diabolic Visage
[community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
1B
Enchantment - Aura
Enchant Creature
Enchanted creature gets +1/+0 and has intimidate.
Pitch 2 (2, Sacrifice this: Draw a card)

lol, editing error I assume.  I won't say more since I already read your comment in the forums. I hope this doesn't lose you any points on judging.


CB15 – Unmourn the Lost
[Graverobbing for Fun and Profit, community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
1B
Sorcery
Return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand. You gain life equal to its toughness.

Feels White bro.


CB16 – Blighted Expanse
[community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
2B
Enchantment - Aura
Enchant land
When enchanted land becomes tapped, blight it. (Destroy each permanent with a blight counter. Then put a blight counter on the blighted land.)


CB17 – Gnawing Suspicions
[Thought Plague, community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
1BB
Sorcery
Target player discards two cards. For each land card discarded this way, put a 1/1 Black Rat creature token on the battlefield.


CB18 – Demon's Joy
3B
Sorcery
Each opponent loses 2 and you gain that much life.
Bloodlust- If a creature was put into a graveyard from the battlefield this turn, instead each opponent loses 4 life and you gain that much life.


Before receiving the judges feedback, I imagined the Blight would serve only as the inciting incident for the story of Wodotha. Encouraged by the judges to make the Blight into the centerpiece of the story, I knew I had to find it a distinct mechanical role. After three days of false starts, someone suggested the game could accumulate blight counters as a clock to an event where marked permanents would die. I liked the flavor, but was wary of the complexity. Playtesting never clicked until I brought the number of counters needed for destruction all the way down to one. Suddenly, being blighted was a rush, feeling like your marked creature could vanish suddenly. The Blight itself had character in the game.


Making each blight action both destruction and marking makes it so that, under normal circumstances, there's only one blighted permanent at a time. Thus it feels like the Blight chases cards across the table. And, though I only used it once on the final design, it opens possibilities for self-blighting cards to be used as both an advantage and a drawback.


Once blight was locked in place, I decided to design for black, since it had the most space to utilize the mechanic. Because blight was so linear, I wanted the other set mechanics to be more modular. With a sadistic demon as the villain and secret initiator of the Blight, I figured black's flavor could focus on reveling in destruction while the world falls apart.


Overall, nice job.

Devon Rule

Utopia

A once-peaceful world adapts itself for war.


This tagline is better, but not nearly as exciting as it needs to be.  I can't remember if Mark harped on you or another contestant about this.  While being short and sweet IS a positive, it is only so if it gets what you want across.  Yes, pointing out something is "on the desk" may be correct, it may also be completely useless if said desk is cluttered with a million things.  All worlds adapt when confronted with war.  I've tried to write a few tag lines for you but the blandness of the original has actually caused me to forgot what your world is even about.  That's the biggest issue I suppose.  There is not grokkability with your tagline and this may even be an issue with your world.  I just went back and looked at your first submission to remind me and it's still pretty bland.  The best part of your world is the alternative look at classic mechanics so you need to build up the flavor significantly because that actually has very little to do with the story.  Didn't Mark want you to name the "bad guys?"  Well, if he didn't, you need to and fast.  I need to know what is going on story-wise because every set brings it's own twist to Magic.


CB01 – Industrial Spy
B
Creature - Goblin Mercenary
1/1
Intimidate


CB02 – Accountant
1B
Creature - Human Advisor
1/1
B, T: Gain a gold counter. (Gold counters can be spent as colorless mana or life payments.)

I've even less reason to be "nice" than Ken Nagle.  This seems terrible and I'm pretty sure it doesn't even work as written without a rule on the outside giving abilities to the counters.  Also, Demon's care not for Gold so why would they take these tokens rather than bits of your soul?  Also, what's special about the Gold that it can produce the fundamental of all Magic, mana?  Didn't they try this with the Eldrazi and eventually just made them into the Spawn tokens?


CB03 – Tavern Sellsword
[Simple Mercenary by Guy Srinivasan - Labs:Gds/gds2/Utopia/CommonGround/Submissions]
1B
Creature - Human Mercenary
2/1


CB04 – Rental Imp
1B
Flying
Pay 1 life, T: Search your library for a Mercenary permanent card with converted mana cost 1 or less and put it onto the battlefield. Then shuffle your library.
1/1

I remember this from Time Spiral, or was that Rebels?  I guess it can work here...still parasitic though.  Especially right after Allies.


CB05 – Smuggler
2B
Creature - Human Rogue Mercenary
1/3
When Smuggler deals combat damage to a player, gain 2 gold counters. (Gold counters can be spent as colorless mana or life payments.)

Most of your cards are not very exciting.  I get that you had to design commons but still. At least I haven't encountered anything that is balatenly NOT a common.


CB06 – Ghoul Messengers
Creature - Zombie Mercenary
2/2
Swampwalk
Pay 2 life, T: Search your library for a Mercenary permanent card with converted mana cost 2 or less and put it onto the battlefield. Then shuffle your library.


CB07 - Giant Cockroach
3B
Creature - Insect
4/2


CB08 – Elite Houseguard
[Big Mercenary by by Guy Srinivasan - Labs:Gds/gds2/Utopia/CommonGround/Submissions]
4B
Creature - Vampire Mercenary
4/3


CB09 – Vault Shade
[Yet Another Greedy Shade by Daniel - Labs:Gds/gds2/Utopia/CommonGround/Submissions]
3BB
Creature - Shade
2/2
2: Vault Shade gets +1/+1 until end of turn.
Pay 2 life: Vault Shade gains flying until end of turn.

This seems blatently terrible even compared to Nightwing Shade.


CB10 – Extortion
B
[Twisted Vision by Havelock Vetinari - Labs:Gds/gds2/Utopia/Holes]
Sorcery
Choose a card type other than land. Target opponent reveals their hand. You choose a card of the chosen type from it. That player discards that card.

It took a bit but I got it and it's ok.  Wording may need some help though.


CB11 – Graverobbing
1B
Sorcery
Return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand. You may pay 3 life. If you do, return another target creature from your graveyard to your hand.

Nice kicker ya' got there.


CB12 – Scary Reputation
[by Kallisti - Labs:Gds/gds2/Utopia/CommonGround/Submissions]
1B
Enchantment - Aura
Enchant creature
Enchanted creature gains intimidate
Sacrifice Scary Reputation: Enchanted creature gets +3/+0 until end of turn.

For what it's worth, my fiancee came over and read this card and loved it.


CB13 – Business Venture
1B
Sorcery
Draw a card. If you have any gold counters, draw another card.

Seems Blue dude.


CB14 – Snuff Out
[Reprint]
3B
Instant
If you control a Swamp, you may pay 4 life rather than pay Snuff Out's mana cost.
Destroy target nonblack creature. It can't be regenerated.


I really don't see anything concerning your peaceful-magics-turned-round anywhere here.

CB15 – Plagiarize
[Brain Drain by Havelock Vetinari - Labs:Gds/gds2/Utopia/CommonGround/Submissions]
2BB
Sorcery
Target player discards two cards. They lose two life and you gain two life.

"They" doesn't mean anything in Magic.


CB16 – Reckless Looting
[Ransack by Shdwcat, Dig for Gold by Demons, altered at suggestion of Braman - Labs:Gds/gds2/Utopia/CommonGround/Submissions]
3BB
Sorcery
Destroy target creature or land. Gain 2 gold counters. (Gold counters can be spent as colorless mana or life payments.)


CB17 – Energy Drain
[I Can't Believe They Haven't Printed This by Havelock Vetinari - Labs:Gds/gds2/Utopia/CommonGround/Submissions]
XB
Instant
Target creature gets -X/-X until end of turn.


CB18 – Hoard
XB
Sorcery
Gain X gold counters. (Gold counters can be spent as colorless mana or life payments.)


Comments:
I was very happy with how clear the feedback was on my previous submission, including an explicit assignment for this week. If I had wanted to submit the best selection of Utopian commons I could, I would have gone with red. However, I needed to show that I could innovate and hit more than one note of my theme. I chose to focus tightly on a "commerce" theme for black, using mercenaries, gold, and payments to bring this across mechanically.
Unlike their Rebel counterparts, Mercenaries were not very popular, so nostalgia was not a large factor in my decision to use them. Rather, I felt that the concept of "hiring for money" was resonant enough to stand on its own. Life payments are usually less popular with new players, but I felt that factor added to the appeal of gold counters by letting players "cheat" their way out of losing life. While I wanted to focus on the life payment side of Gold counters, I also made sure that there were several useful places to spend piles of colorless mana at common.
Utopia was intended to be a thematic set concept rather than a publishable title, but I'm quite proud of my new logline. The set was always meant to be more about adaptation than paradise.
Many thanks to Havelock Vetinari, Pojo, Daniel, Shdwcat, Kallisti, Guy Srinivasan, and all the other people who helped with the submission.

I wish all those people you just named turned you away from Gold counters.  Maybe they are fine and I'm totally wrong for being so skeptical but right now I don't really like it.  This is coming form a guy that loves Poison...and I know a LOT of people who don't like Poison.

Part 2 is next!


[sblock=Pegaweb is awesome, but we can help too!]
Ethan Fleischer
Epolith

Planeswalkers exploit the evolutionary potential of a primitive plane where centuries pass in hours.



This just got a lot cooler.  *thumbs up*


CG01
Eohippus
G
Creature - Horse
0/1
Evolve - Whenever a creature with a power greater than CARDNAME's power enters the battlefield under your control, put a +1/+1 counter on CARDNAME.



I now like evolve a lot more.  It could get complicated.  Also, while this entered my mind later, it's extremely relevant: I read a comment about Evolve having seperate triggers...you could chalk this up to me being lazy but I did a double take.  "It does?"  I completely glazed over any further iterations of Evolve as I assumed it would be the same every time.  Maybe you want this to be Landfall and have different triggers?  I think it works much better as a keyword that does the same thing every time.  That said it would close off a lot of space for Evolve. 


CG02
Wandering Elf
[Sylvan Ranger - Magic 2011]
1G
Creature — Elf Nomad
1/1
When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, you may search your library for a basic land card, reveal it, put it into your hand, then shuffle your library.


CG03
Cave Bear
[Growing Bear - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
1G
Creature - Bear
2/2
Evolve - Whenever a creature with a power greater than CARDNAME's power enters the battlefield under your control, put a +1/+1 counter on CARDNAME.


CG04
Fertility Shaman
[Totally Subtle Elf Design - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
1G
Creature - Elf Shaman
2/2
Whenever you cast an Enchantment spell, put a 1/1 green Elf creature token onto the battlefield.


CG05
Mischievous Monkey
[Curious Ape - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
2G
Creature - Ape
2/2
When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, put target artifact into its owner's library third from the top.

Awesome card is awesome. For 3 mana though I want it to be bigger or get rid of the enchant entirely.  Red Destroys artifacts for the same cost and body.  Not saying Green is "better" at Artifact destruction but it certainly isn't "worse."


CG06
Leaping Ornitholestes
[CG06 (unnamed) - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
2G
Creature - Lizard
3/1
G, Sacrifice CARDNAME: CARDNAME deals 3 damage to target creature with flying.


CG07
Wing-grabber Tree Spirit
[Arduous Arachnid - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
2G
Creature - Plant Spirit
1/3
Reach
Evolve - Whenever a creature with flying enters the battlefield under an opponent's control, put a +1/+1 counter on CARDNAME.

The flavor is solid but, again, I completely missed the "flying" trigger here.  I really want to emphasize what happened (I missed the different trigger) but also that it may not be a bad thing.  We all got used to Landfall after all.  And the flavor really is solid.


CG08
Elven Memory Keeper
[Elvish Totem-Scroungers - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
3G
Creature - Elf Shaman
3/3
When CARDNAME comes into play, you may return an enchantment card from your graveyard to your hand.

This seems very strong, especially compared to the monkey and Centaur Courser.  I'm not sure this is common either.


CG09
Sluggish Sauropod
[Lumbering Maiasaur - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
3G
Creature - Lizard
6/4
Whenever CARDNAME attacks, it doesn't untap during its controller's next untap step.

Meh.  I don't see this card making the evolutionary cut...maybe that's what you were going for?  A decent common I suppose.


CG10
Velociraptor Pack
2GG
Creature - Lizard
4/3
Flash

This is stroooong in limited and would most likely be pumped to uncommon at the least.


CG11
Prosauropod
[community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
3GG
Creature - Lizard
4/4
Evolve - Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, put a +1/+1 counter on CARDNAME.
CARDNAME has trample as long as it has a +1/+1 counter on it.

Again, very strong.  Reminds me of Bramblewood Paragon.


CG12
Megalosaurus
4GG
Creature - Lizard
7/4

A weak submission considering the Sluggish Saurapod.


CG13
Nature's Sacrifice
[CG14 (unnamed) - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
G
Instant
Destroy target artifact or enchantment. Its controller may put a +1/+1 counter on a creature he or she controls.


Meh, okay.  It's a Nature's Claim I guess.

CG14
Selection Pressure
1G
Instant
Put two +1/+1 counters on target creature.

I'd make this cost GG I think.  It's Battlegrowth X 2 and that's pretty strong.


CG15
Heavy Shell
1G
[community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
Enchantment - Aura
Enchant creature
You may remove a +1/+1 counter from CARDNAME's target rather than pay CARDNAME's mana cost.
Enchanted creature can't be the target of spells and abilities your opponents control.
1G: Regenerate enchanted creature.

This looks like it may need some templating...also, it's mana heavy just to regenerate something.  Also, regeneration is not cool.  Repeatable regeneration at common is also troublesome for some.  M11 only had Cudgel Troll and that was at Uncommon.  I'd make this a spell that you could remove a +1/+1 counters instead of paying the cost.  This may circumvent the target bit you have here but it's already too wordy as is.


CG16
Primordial Fog
2G
Instant
Prevent all combat damage that would be dealt this turn.
Gain 1 life for each +1/+1 counter on creatures you control.

Fog effects are rarely playable even in limited according to some players (I've always had success with them).  This could cost 1 less maybe.  Blunt the Assault for example.


CG17
Gather
[Food From the Foliage - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
2G
Sorcery
Search your library for a basic land and put it onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle your library. You may put a +1/+1 counter on a creature you control.


CG18
Venom Glands
3G
Enchantment - Aura
Enchant Creature
Flash
You may remove two +1/+1 counters from CARDNAME's target rather than pay CARDNAME's mana cost.
Enchanted creature has deathtouch.

Okay, so I see the template again so maybe it's okay.  I could see this costing slightly less still though.  Winged Coatl gets you the body AND flying, granted with a Blue.  Maybe 2G?  1G?


Comments:


The Evolve mechanic represents the inhabitants of Epolith improving over time in response to conditions in their environment. This improvement could be biological evolution, green's specialty, or other types of improvement such as the invention of new weapons or the adoption of better food production methods. Each color will have its own unique triggers to generate +1/+1 counters. Mechanically, the counters can be spent as a resource for specialized adaptations. In the second set of the block, the diffusion of innovation via trade routes could be represented by players giving their counters to their opponent's creatures for some beneficial effect, and in the last set the scarcity of resources will lead to a zero-sum game of imperialism and war, with players taking each others' +1/+1 counters.


Everyone knows that elves evolved before humans, but we never get to see the hard evidence, until now! The Elves of Epolith are pretty much as they are in other Magic sets, albeit with primitive stone tools. Their White human allies, however are quite primitive (Creature - Ape Human). The Evolve mechanic, at least in green, was turning into a one-note mana ramp deck, and I wanted to give deckbuilders some more archetypes to play with, hence a GW tokens deck, with tiny weak humanoids surviving the only way they can: through sheer numbers bolstered with magic.


The excess of artifact removal is because I plan to have more artifacts than usual in the set.

You've definitely improved and I like what this is moving towards.  I wonder how far into the "future" the set will go?  Even Mirrodin is actually pretty lacklustre when it comes to technology (outside of perhaps Vedalken and Neurok bits). People are still using swords for crying out loud!

[sblock=Jonathon Loucks]Penumbria
(My new world name.)

In an underground world, will you help spread the light, or embrace total darkness?

I know some people rag on Mark Rosewater for what he chooses to focus on...but the updating lines here have become much better and really do a  lot of work.  Kudos on all contestants for taking his suggestion and reworking things.


CR01 – Refracted Runner (common)
[Bolt Elemental -
community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
R
Creature – Dwarf Berserker
2/1
Trample, haste
Living Reflection (When Refracted Runner enters the battlefield, put a token that's a copy of it onto the battlefield except without its Living Reflection ability.) At the beginning of the end step, sacrifice Refracted Runner.

ZOMG this is goooood!  And by "good" I mean, WOW, throw this in with Hellspark Elemental.  Why is this so cheap for 4 damage on turn 1?  I get that it's a take on Spark Elemental but this may be a bit too strong.  Even at 1R it does, potentially, more than Hellspark Elemental at half the mana.


CR02 – Sharpchucker (common)
1R
Creature – Orc Rogue
2/1
Morph 1R (You may cast this face down as a 2/2 creature for 3. Turn it face up any time for its morph cost.) When Sharpchucker is turned face up, target creature gains first strike until end of turn.

You can probably turn the morph cost down as playing it as a morph already costs you more than putting it on the board.


CR03 – Eager Cleaver (common)
[Orc Warmonger –
community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
1R
Creature-Dwarf Soldier
1/2
Whenever another creature enters the battlefield under your control, Eager Cleaver gets +1/+0 until end of turn.


CR04 – Orc Tunneler (common)
[Goblin Tunneler – Magic 2011]
1R
Creature – Orc Miner
1/1
T: Target creature with power 2 or less is unblockable this turn.


CR05 – Stout Guard
2R
Creature - Dwarf Soldier
2/3


CR06 – Trail Blazer (common)
2R
Creature – Dwarf Scout
2/2
When Trail Blazer enters the battlefield, illuminate the top card of your library. If you own an illuminated land card, add RRR to your mana pool. (To illuminate a card, exile it with a light counter on it.
For as long as it has a light counter, it has "If you would draw a card, you may instead put this card into your hand.")

Illuminate seems like a Blue ability (in that it is sooo good).  It also seems like it will add a ton of off-board complexity.  I'll only illuminate when I know what I want is exactly what I want to draw and since I can always get it I can just draw until I need it.  This will be tested extensively I'm sure.  You definitely took Mark's advice in making it more "relevent," but it is not really all that "exciting."  There is NO tension here.  Even with the mana.


CR07 – Orc Bully (common)
[Orcish Bully -
community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
2R
Creature - Orc Warrior
3/3
If Orc Bully is blocked by more than one creature, prevent all combat damage it would deal.
Orc Bully can't block if more than one creature is attacking.


CR08 – Flashbomber (common)
2R
Creature – Dwarf Wizard
1/1
Living Reflection (When Flashbomber enters the battlefield, put a token that's a copy of it onto the battlefield except without its Living Reflection ability.) When Flashbomber enters the battlefield, target creature can't block this turn.


CR09 – Bloodthirsty Orc (common)
[Orcish Torchbearer –
community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
3R
Creature – Orc Warrior
3/3
Morph 4R (You may cast this face down as a 2/2 creature for 3. Turn it face up any time for its morph cost.) Bloodthirsty Orc's morph cost is 1R while blocked.

As long as it works rule-wise than this is pretty cool.  I'd probably turn down both morph costs though.  See Gathan raiders.


CR10 – Lavaskin Thragg (common)
[Mirror Thragg–
community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
3RR
Creature - Beast
4/1
Living Reflection (When Lavaskin Thragg enters the battlefield, put a token that's a copy of it onto the battlefield except without its Living Reflection ability.)

Possibly pushing the envelope but seems good.


CR11 – Cloaked Predator (common)
4R
Creature – Beast
5/1
Morph 3RR (You may cast this face down as a 2/2 creature for 3. Turn it face up any time for its morph cost.) Cloaked Predator's morph cost is 1R while it is an unblocked attacker.

Again, could turn down the morph cost.  Also seems weird to submit this with the other in the same file.  Only so many cards to show yourself off.


CR12 – Steamdriller (common)
[Goblin Rappeller –
community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
4RR
Creature – Dwarf Miner
4/4
Mountainwalk
Dig 2 (Discard this card. Reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a land card. Put that card into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library in a random order.)

Uh...what's the 2 for?  Also, that's a BIG Dwarf.


CR13 – Aggressive Tactics (common)
R
Instant
Creatures you control get +1/+0 until end of turn.

Love it.


CR14 – Piercing Beam 1R (common)
Instant
Illuminate the top card of your library. (To illuminate a card, exile it with a light counter on it. For as long as it has a light counter, it has "If you would draw a card, you may instead put this card into your hand.") Piercing Beam deals 2 damage to target creature or player. If you own an illuminated red card, Piercing Beam deals 4 damage to that creature or player instead.

At first I thought this cost R and it was insane.  At 1R it's ok but edgy.  Not sure why I would ever play the illuminated card if it turns all my Beams into Javalins unless it killed my opponent.  Again, I feel not tension from this mechanic.  It's all upside which isn't a bad thing but it's a LOT of upside.


CR15 – Enkindle (common)
[Engulfing Flames –
community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
2R
Enchantment - Aura
Enchant Creature
Enchanted creature gets +2/-2 and has first strike.


CR16 – Blackout (common)
[Stir the Earth –
community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
1RR
Sorcery
Turn target land face down. (It is a 2/2 creature.)


CR17 – Scattered Inquiry (common)
[Luminous Inspiration –

Part 2
Jay Treat

Escape to Muraganda


Empirian fugitives fight for survival with the primitive tribes of predator-infested Muraganda


Meh.  Better than Devon's but not all that exciting.  "Desperate refugees fight for survival on the primordial plane of Muraganda.  Will either survive when ____ catches up to them?" may be better.

Nateen Savage (CR01)
[NMEL's Nateen Bravo - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
R
Creature-Cat Barbarian
1/1
Whenever CARDNAME attacks, commune. If you succeed, CARDNAME gets +1/+1 until end of turn.
(To commune, reveal a card from your hand or the top of your library. You succeed if it shares a creature type with CARDNAME.)
{Cat Petroglyph Watermark}

Uh, this looks like clash or whatever that thing was...it's still bad.


Curious Thrash (CR02)
[NMEL's Recon Goblin - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
R
Creature-Goblin Scout Rebel
1/1
Whenever CARDNAME attacks, look at the top card of target player's library.


Nateen Warrior – (CR03)
[NMEL's Nateen Prowler - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
1R
Creature - Cat Warrior
2/1
{Cat Petroglyph Watermark}


Raknak Lookout (CR04)
1R
Creature-Lizard Scout
1/1
When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, Lizard creatures you and your allies control get +1/+0 and gain first strike until end of turn.
{Lizard Petroglyph Watermark}

Maybe it should just say "creatures your opponent do not control."


Mokomoko (CR05)
[Viashino Grappler - gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details....]
2R
Creature-Lizard
3/1
G: CARDNAME gains trample until end of turn.
{Lizard Petroglyph Watermark}


Thrash Rally Chief (CR06)
1RR
Creature-Goblin Berserker Rebel
2/1
Resourceful—When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, choose one — Creatures you and your allies control with two or more creatures types gain haste until end of turn; or put a +1/+1 counter on CARDNAME.


Chirokai Champion (CR07)
[Cardkeeper's Chirokai Champion - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
3R
Creature-Beast Warrior
3/2
Intimidate
{Beast Petroglyph Watermark}


Distracting Thrash – (CR08)
[Braman's Thrash Intimidator - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
3R
Creature - Goblin Rogue Rebel
1/1
Resourceful—When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, choose one — Creatures with fewer than two creature types can't block this turn or put two +1/+1 counters on CARDNAME.


Pouncing Kiri (CR09)
4R
Creature-Cat
First Strike
3/2
Morph-1R
{Cat Petroglyph Watermark}


Canyon Bloodhowler – (CR10)
4R
Creature - Beast
3/4
Morph 4R
When CARDNAME is turned face-up, Beast creatures you control gain Trample until end of turn.
{Beast Petroglyph Watermark}


Tactical Strike (CR11)
R
Instant
Target creature you control deals 2 damage to target creature or player. If the creature you control has two or more creature types, it deals 4 damage to that creature or player instead.

Well, I do like Soul's Fire.


Primal Mind (CR12)
R
Tribal Enchantment-Beast
Enchant creature
Enchanted creature is a Beast. It must attack each turn if able and it loses all activated abilities.
{Beast Petroglyph Watermark}


Fencer's Lunge (CR13)
[NMEL's Advanced tactics - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
1R
Instant
Target creature gets +2/+0 until end of turn.
If it has two or more creature types, it also gains first strike until end of turn.

Strictly worse Thunder Strike?  Also, the flavor of your card names don't quite resonate with the text on the card.


Ancestral Spirit of the Raknak (CR14)
1R
Tribal Instant-Lizard
Until end of turn, target creature gains "R: This creature gets +1/+0 until end of turn."
Commune. If you succeed, add RRR to your mana pool.
(To commune, reveal a card from your hand or the top of your library. You succeed if it shares a creature type with CARDNAME.)
{Lizard Petroglyph Watermark}


The Tale of the Lazy Cat (CR15)
1R
Tribal Enchantment-Cat
Enchant creature
Enchanted creature gets +1/+1 and has first strike.
Cat Lore (Whenever a Cat creature enters the battlefield, you may cast CARDNAME from your graveyard targeting it.)
{Cat Petroglyph Watermark}


Terrifying Roar (CR16)
2R
Tribal Sorcery-Cat
Target creature gains Intimidate until end of turn.
Cat Creatures you control get +1/+0 until end of turn.
{Cat Petroglyph Watermark}


Volcanic Flow (CR17)
2RR
Sorcery
CARDNAME deals 5 damage to target creature.


Desecrate (CR18)
4R
Sorcery
Destroy target artifact or land. If that permanent has any creature types, CARDNAME deals 3 damage to that permanent's controller.


Comments:


Muraganda builds on the popular tribal theme of Onslaught and Lorwyn while casting its own unique spin. The two sides of the conflict in Escape both care about creature types, but the natives care about quality while the rebels care about quantity.


I scrapped almost everything and started rebuilding from scratch, considering myriad possibilities. Approaching, hybrid, living auras and bind familiar didn't make the transition. Spell morphs are uncommon and may not appear until the second set.


I knew the land had to have power that the Empirians could invade for in the last set but I didn't like the idea of an exact retread of Snow via Sacred / Mystic. Eventually I found that the Tribal type I had so quickly discarded would define the entire block. Tribal will exist on lands and artifacts from common and up, enabling type-checking and sentience-matters effects. Counting effects have been scaled back and types-in-play threshold effects are right out.


The next set sees Rebels adopting the Morph tactics of the local fauna and putting the power of Muraganda's land to use: They will use Tribal mana. I'm thinking, Spider mana, Frog mana and the like. Any mana produced by a permanent with creature type Bird is Bird mana. These symbols will match the petroglyphic watermarks of each tribe. I love the hidden-hybrid implications (each of five tribes belong to two colors each) but could also just use Tribal mana? This is the block to flaunt the word Tribal rather than hide it.


Tribal mana seems terrible.
Scott Van Essen

Set Name:
Malgareth, the UnderPrison


Log Line:
Natives drive out prisoners as they overwhelm the guards in a forsaken subterranean prison.

This whole things sounds more like a movie or a D&D scenario rather than an epic Magic set.


Cards:
CB01
Rookie Escape Artist
[Jailbreaker Apprentice - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
B
Creature - Human Scout
1/1
Sacrifice CARDNAME: Target creature gains Intimidate until end of turn.
Watermark: Prisoner


CB02
Scintilla Farmer
[Unnamed Scintilla Collector Variant - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
B
Creature - Elf Shaman
0/0
CARDNAME enters the battlefield with one +1/+1 counter on it.
Remove a counter from CARDNAME: add B to your mana pool.
Watermark: Native

I'd make this a 1/1 at 2B for sure.


CB03
Neophyte Assassin
1B
Creature - Human Assassin
1/1
When CARDNAME is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, target player sacrifices a creature.
Watermark: Prisoner

Interesting spin on Abyssal Gatekeeper/Diabolic Edict.


CB04
Scintilla Collector
1B
Creature - Elf Druid
0/0
CARDNAME enters the battlefield with two +1/+1 counters on it.
CARDNAME can't block.
Watermark: Native


CB05
Cavern Bats
2B
Creature - Bat
2/1
Flying
Watermark: Native

This is your reprint right?  Weren't those supposed to be noted in some way?


CB06
Essence Thief
2B
2/1
Creature - Vampire Rogue
Swampwalk, Lifelink
Watermark: Prisoner


CB07
Watcher Informant
2B
Creature - Human Rogue
2/1
When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, target player discards a card. Gain life equal to the converted mana cost of the discarded card.
Watermark: Watcher


CB08
Mold Creeper
[Mold Creeper - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
3B
Creature - Fungus
2/2
Compost - Whenever a non-token creature you control is put in a graveyard from the battlefield, put a +1/+1 counter on CARDNAME.
B, Remove a counter from CARDNAME: Regenerate CARDNAME.
Watermark: Native


CB09
Big Bully
3BB
Creature - Ogre Thug
3/1
Whenever CARDNAME attacks a player, remove a counter from target permanent that player controls and put a +1/+1 counter on CARDNAME.
Watermark: Prisoner


CB10
Contaminated Puma
5B
Creature - Cat
3/4
Countercast - Each counter you remove from a permanent you control while casting this spell reduces its cost by 2.
Deathtouch
Watermark: Native

Countercast is pretty cool actually.  Feel G/W but I can see it.  This card as a whole feels entirely Green.  Change the creaturetype to Horror or something.  Also, what's a puma doing down here?=


CB11
Final Haunting
[Weaken with Souls - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
B
Sorcery
As an additional cost to play CARDNAME, exile a creature card in your graveyard.
Target creature gets -X/-X until end of turn where X is the exiled card's power.
Watermark: Native


CB12
Bribe the Guards
1B
Sorcery
Put a +1/+1 counter on up to two creatures, then tap those creatures.
Watermark: Prisoner


CB13
Drain the Land
1B
Enchantment - Aura
Enchant Land an opponent controls
Enchanted Land is a Swamp.
Whenever enchanted land is tapped, put a +1/+1 counter on a creature you control
Watermark: Native

As others have said, remove the swamp bit.  I'd also add the second part of Pooling Venom to make it marginally playable.


CB14
Insatiable Rot
[Noxious Shroomguy - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
1B
Enchantment
Compost - Whenever a non-token creature you control is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, target player loses 1 life and you gain 1 life.
Watermark: Native

Interesting...doesn't seem that impactful at the moment though.


CB15
Bonds of Reprisal
2B
Enchantment - Aura
Enchant Creature
Whenever enchanted creature attacks or blocks, it deals damage equal to its power to its controller.
Watermark: Watcher


CB16
Grand Larceny
2B
Instant
Move up to two counters from target permanent to another permanent of the same type.
Watermark: Prisoner


CB17
Strength Extraction
[Bash Through Guards - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
2B
Instant
Destroy target non-black creature.
Put a +1/+1 counter on target creature.
Watermark: Prisoner


CB18
Fungal Rebirth
3B
Sorcery
Countercast - Each counter you remove from a permanent you control while casting this spell reduces its cost by 2.
Return up to two target creature cards from your graveyard to your hand.
Watermark: Native


Comments
Per the judge comments, I removed Grift and Recycle from the set. I re-concepted +1/+1 counters as concentrated mana crystals (scintillae) that Natives create through composting and other methods and then consume for mana or utility effects. Prisoners mainly steal and trade counters and use them for their pump effect. Watchers will interact with them in a different way. Rage seemed the most liked mechanic so I focused on Black, which will define much of the rest of the set.


I went with a little less stealing and a little more killing, but the stealing feel is important so I made it less parasitic. Most counter theft abilities always give you a counter and then let you remove one if available. The exception is Grand Larceny, which is a Fate Transfer variant (the proportion of relevant counter generating cards at Common Black is the same as in Shadowmoor)


I kept the number of compost cards low (~5 at common between green and black) and they only see your creatures to minimize board complexity and number of triggers.


Countercast was created as a limited smoothing mechanic, but became quite popular in playtest. There's a nice interaction where you countercast out a big creature, killing your scintilla creature and triggering compost.


Both watcher cards use your opponents cards against them or for you.


Big Bully was changed from a saboteur trigger to an attack trigger so you could get more uses out of it before your opponent dies.


Overall it's ok but, like Pegaweb said, I'm not sure this is a Magic set so much as a small piece of a much larger world.
Daniel Williams
Deadsands

Disparate factions struggle to survive in a wild frontier filled with outlaws, violence, and death.

This actually lost some impact in my opinion.  I know Mark told you to "not use the word Magic" but you still had one of the best taglines.  I guess you need to choose between sounding like Oregon Trail or The Man With No Name.  I strongly suggest the latter.  I also think it's interesting that so many people are fixated on the Deadlands bit when I see The Dark Tower EVERYWHERE.


CR1
Howling Coyote
R
Creature- Coyote
1/1
Reveal a card from your hand: If the card you revealed is red, target creature can't block this turn.


CR2
Marauding Bandits
1R
Creature- Human Rogue
2/1
Whenever Marauding Bandits attacks, reveal a card from your hand. If you reveal a red card this way, Marauding Bandits deals 1 damage to each player.


CR3
Spellslinger Outlaw
[Duelist- community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
1R
Creature-Human Rogue
1/1
When Spellslinger Outlaw enters the battlefield, have a showdown with target creature's controller or target opponent. If you win, Spellslinger Outlaw deals 2 damage to that creature or player. (Each player in the showdown draws a card. Then each of those players simultaneously discards a card from his or her hand. A player wins if the card he or she discarded had a higher converted mana cost.)

This is a bit wordy but maybe you wanted ways to trigger Showdown without strictly targeting an opponent. It looks a lot better than before.  Seems like a good limited mechanic but I'm not sure if it should be scaled up or kept down in power. This is probably a good thing.


CR4
Viashino Sandscout
[Viashino Sandscout- Urza's Legacy]
1R
Creature- Viashino Scout
2/1
Haste
At the beginning of the end step, return Viashino Sandscout to its owner's hand.


CR5
Loose Steer
[community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
2R
Creature- Aurochs
3/2
Loose Steer must attack each turn if able.
Whenever Loose Steers attacks, it gets +1/+0 unitl end of turn for each other attacking Aurochs.


Steer.dec looks awesome in limited.

CR6
Viashino War Priest 1rr
1rr
Creature- Viashino Shaman
2/2
Trample
When Sand Tribe War Priest enters the battlefield, have a showdown with target opponent. If you win, Sand Tribe War Priest gets +3/+0 and gains haste until end of turn. (Each player in the showdown draws a card. Then each of those players simultaneously discards a card from his or her hand. A player wins if the card he or she discarded had a higher converted mana cost.)

Yeah, this is just really weird.  Not I don't have the option to dodge a Leyline of Sanctity effect by targeting a creature?  I get that you had the showdown bit with the Slinger because you wanted to shoot the creature but still.

"When Spellslinger Outlaw enters the battlefield, have a showdown with target creature's controller or target opponent. If you win, Spellslinger Outlaw deals 2 damage to that creature or player."

Needs to be:

When Spellslinger Outlaw enters the battlefield, have a showdown with target opponent. If you win, Spellslinger Outlaw deals 2 damage to target creature or player.


CR7
Sandtribe Raiders
[Waste Scavengers- community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
3r
Creature- Viashino Warrior
Retaliate- At the beginning of each player's end step, if a creature you control was destroyed this turn, put a 1/1 red Viashino Warrior creature token onto the battlefield.


P/T?


CR8
Swooping Thunderbird
3rr
Creature- Elemental Bird
4/1
Haste, Flying
Revelation- Whenever Swooping Thunderbird is revealed from your hand by a spell or ability, you may pay R. If you do, target creature you control has gains haste until end of turn.


Looks like a Phoenix to me and I hear those are Rare.


CR9
Crystalline Ritual
R
Sorcery
Add RRR to your mana pool. This mana cannot be spent to cast spells.

I wonder how many people will misplay this/not notice their opponents misplaying it.  It also feels super awkward that I can't spend this mana to cast more Crystalline Rituals.


CR10
Unearthly Reflexes
[community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
R
Instant
Up to two target creatures gain first strike until end of turn.


CR11
Burning Hatred
1R
Instant
Burning Hatred deals 2 damage to target creature or player.
Retaliate- If a creature your control was destroyed this turn, Burning Hatred deals 5 damage to that creature or player instead.


CR12
Fiery Deadeye
1R
Enchantment-Aura
Enchant creature
Enchanted creature has "R: This creature deals 1 damage to target creature blocking it."

I don't see a reason to make this worse that Power of Fire which is worse than Fire Whip.


CR13
Reckless Prospecting
1R
Sorcery
Draw 2 cards, then discard a card at random.


CR14
Viashino War Cry
1R
Instant
Target attacking creature gets +2/+0 until end of turn. Have a showdown with the defending player. If you win, that creature gains intimidate until end of turn. (Each player in the showdown draws a card. Then each of those players simultaneously discards a card from his or her hand. A player wins if the card he or she discarded had a higher converted mana cost.)

Switch the effects here.  Intimidate base, power boost as reward please.  Otherwise this card is just really awkward.  I could possibly just burn the spell if I don't get Intimidate off the Showdown against a clogged board.  Also, your Showdown target is different, AGAIN. In fact, this one doesn't even target.  Yes it makes "sense" but you want such an important facet of your set to be as easy to understand as possible to all players.


CR15
Mob's Verdict
[Lynch- community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
2R
Instant
Mob's Verdict deals damage to target creature equal to the number of creatures you control.


CR16
Fiery Totem
3R
Sorcery
You may reveal a red card from your hand. If you do, put an X/1 red Elemental creature token with haste onto the battlefield, where X is the converted mana cost of the spell you revealed this way. Exile it at the beginning of the next end step.

What is "it?"  I have to assume you mean the tokens but that's because I am trying to understand you.  Players trying to duke it out on the battlefield are not pulling for you, they are just trying to play cards.  Do you mean the spell you cast?  The card you revealed?  The tokens?  I assume the tokens.


C17
Gatling Volley
2RR
Sorcery
Gatling Volley deals 4 damage to target player.
Revelation- Whenever Gatling Volley is revealed from your hand, you may pay 1R. If you do, Gatling Volley deals 1 damage to target player.


C18
Blastminer Blitz
[community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
3RR
Sorcery
Destroy target land. Blastminer Blitz deals 3 damage to target creature without flying.


I chose red for this challenge because I felt that it had the greatest connection to Deadsands and its mechanics.


In regards to those mechanics, I choose Revelation over Hold Out as it has more design space, is more likely to yield a benefit to the player, and is more Timmy-friendly. I retooled Showdown to reveal less information and still be nonrandom. The discard was added in so that one player couldn't win every showdown by holding onto one big spell. The draw precedes the discard so that players with empty hands won't automatically lose...and then draw a card. Sadly, it no longer triggers Revelation, but I feel its an acceptable loss. I unkeyworded spellslinging since it the timing and frequency of the reveal varies dramatically between cards. I decided to stick to revealing cards of the same color, as my set does not have a multicolor theme. I tried using other card properties, but most of them proved too restrictive in terms of building a deck.


As for my commons, I utilized as many Western tropes as I could. I also made sure that there were multiple ways to cheaply reveal cards at common and that all of my mechanics were well represented.


Random notes:
-Viashino are combat focused, while the bandits are focused on noncombat damage
-Don't worry. Auroch's are not a major part of the set. I wanted a Magic creature type that represented cows/buffalos and they fit the bill quite well.


I think you have a good chance of making this happen.  Do not screw it up by getting cocky or sloppy.  (I see a lot of sloppy).
Jonathan Woodward
Golamo

Great civilizations of creatures grown large vie for power amongst Golamo's erratic mana geysers.


CG01 - Leaf-Spinner Druid
G
Creature - Spider Druid
0/2
Reach
Tap: Add G to your mana pool.


CG02 - Graforman Explorer
[Graforman Explorer -http://community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/wiki/labs:Gds/gds2/fractal/FirstChallenge/Green] - Havelock Vetinari
1G
Creature - Insect Scout
1/1
Tap, sacrifice Graforman Explorer: Search your library for a basic land card, put that card onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle your library.

What was wrong with Sakura Tribe Elder?


CG03 - Thamarach Hunter
[Graforman Drone - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...] - Palpable
GG
Creature - Spider Warrior
2/3
When Thamarach Hunter enters the battlefield, put a card from your hand on top of your library.
Favored (When Thamarach Hunter enters the battlefield, look at the top four cards of your library. You may reveal an Aura card from among them and attach it to Thamarach Hunter. Put the rest on the bottom of your library in any order.)

I get that it isn't an elf but this seems better than even Nissa's Chosen.


CG04 - Thamarach Orb-Weaver
[Blessed Thamarach - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...] - Cardkeeper
2G
Creature - Spider Shaman
1/2
Reach
Favored (When Thamarach Orb-Weaver enters the battlefield, look at the top four cards of your library. You may reveal an Aura card from among them and attach it to Thamarach Orb-Weaver. Put the rest on the bottom of your library in any order.)


CG05 - Unweaver Mystic
2GG
Creature - Spider Shaman
1/3
When Unweaver Mystic enters the battlefield, you may destroy target aura.
Favored (When Unweaver Mystic enters the battlefield, look at the top four cards of your library. You may reveal an Aura card from among them and attach it to Unweaver Mystic. Put the rest on the bottom of your library in any order.)

I feel like many a casual deck is going to get wrecked by a bunch of Favored cards and auras like Eldrazi Conscription.


CG06 - Monstrous Toad
3G
Creature - Toad
4/3


CG07 - Thamarach Mentor
4G
Creature - Spider Shaman
2/4
Reach
Favored (When Thamarach Mentor enters the battlefield, look at the top four cards of your library. You may reveal an Aura card from among them and attach it to Thamarach Mentor. Put the rest on the bottom of your library in any order.)

This is a whole lot of "the same" in an 8 card submission to get a dream job.


CG08 - Graforman Consul
[Graforman Consul - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...] - Cardkeeper
3GG
Creature - Insect Soldier
3/3
Swarm (Whenever a creature would block a creature with Swarm, it instead blocks all attacking creatures with Swarm. You choose the order in which the blocking creature deals combat damage.)
When Graforman Consul enters the battlefield, put two 1/1 green Insect tokens with Swarm onto the battlefield.

I don't get the assignment of damage.  Aren't you just going to maximize it every time?  AKA, I will always have my opponent's creature only kill 1 of my swarmers.  This doesn't seem like much of a choice unless I want them to kill more of my own guys.  Banding was never good.


CG09 - Graforman Hexasquad
3GGG
Creature - Insect Soldier
6/6
Trample


CG10 - Giant Growth
[Giant Growth - Alpha]
G
Instant
Target creature gets +3/+3 until end of turn.

I approve.


CG11 - Venomous Bite
G
Enchantment - Aura
Enchant Creature
Enchanted Creature has deathtouch.


CG12 - Essence of Might
1G
Enchantment - Aura
Enchant Creature
Enchanted Creature gets +2/+2 and has Trample.
Incarnate 1G (Pay 1G and exile this card from your hand: Put a 0/0 colorless Weird creature token onto the battlefield, then put this card onto the battlefield attached to that token. Activate this ability only any time you could cast a sorcery.


Best Bear ever?  Okay, not really but the Incarnate cost in this case may need to cost more than the Casting Cost.  I rarely see myself ever risking the 2-for-1 to put this on an actual dude. Yes, a 4/4 for trample can "get through" better than a 2/2 and a 2/2 w/trample.  But then if I'm playing removal...it doesn't.  And if they are playing removal...it doesn't.  It's almost always going to be better to just play tight magic and Incarnate it.


CG13 - Colonize
[Graforman Patrol - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...] - Cardkeeper
1G
Sorcery
Put two 1/1 green Insect creature tokens with Swarm onto the battlefield. (Whenever a creature would block a creature with Swarm, it instead blocks all attacking creatures with Swarm. You choose the order in which the blocking creature deals combat damage.)


CG14 - Embodiment of Wisdom
[Ophidian Aura - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...] - Jeff
2G
Enchantment - Aura
Enchant Creature
Enchanted creature gets +1/+1 and has "Whenever enchanted creature deals combat damage to an opponent, you may draw a card".
Incarnate 2G (Pay 2G and exile this card from your hand: Put a 0/0 colorless Weird creature token onto the battlefield, then put this card onto the battlefield attached to that token. Activate this ability only any time you could cast a sorcery.

I love combat-based draw in Green.


I'm not sure why this costs so much compared to the Bear/Trample Aura though.  Keen Sense only costs G.

CG15 - Unravel/Acidic Flow
[Unravel - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...] - Jeff
2G
Instant
Erupt 3 (As an additional cost to cast this spell, you may exile three instant or sorcery cards from your graveyard.)
Destroy target artifact or enchantment. If you paid the erupt cost, destroy another target artifact or enchantment.

Nice kicker.  I know it may not be "kicker" especially given the various defining that Mark has recently done but still.


CG16 - Bubbling Spring
3G
Sorcery
Erupt 3 (As an additional cost to cast this spell, you may exile three instant or sorcery cards from your graveyard.)
You gain five life. If you paid the erupt cost, you gain ten life instead.

I can see myself paying 4 to gain 10...maybe.  I highly doubt I'll ever pay 4 to gain 5.  Even Rest for the Weary has better number than this.  Heck, Whitesun's Passage and that card is terrible.


CG17 - Grove-Spanning Web
2GG
Instant
Prevent all combat damage that would be dealt by unblocked creatures this turn. They do not untap as normal during their controller's next untap step.

Love it...well, except maybe the name.  *shrug*


CG18 - Tendrils of Growth
2GG
Enchantment - Aura
Enchant Creature
Enchanted Creature gets +3/+3.
Incarnate 2GG (Pay 2GG and exile this card from your hand: Put a 0/0 colorless Weird creature token onto the battlefield, then put this card onto the battlefield attached to that token. Activate this ability only any time you could cast a sorcery.

Boar Umbra costs 3.  Why doesn't this?


Discussion:


Green shares the Thamarach spiders with Blue. These solitary creatures focus upon using the Favored mechanic to bolster themselves in unpredictable ways. Incarnate Auras in all five colors support this strategy, as well as providing a use for drawn Auras that does not risk card disadvantage, and bolsters creature counts. Some Auras are good enough for any deck, others are only acceptable when used with Favored creatures.


The Graforman ants exist in Green and White (more in White than Green, due to their communal nature), and rely upon numbers to overwhelm their opponents. Tokens with the Swarm mechanic support this; when creatures with Swarm attack together, any creature that blocks one blocks them all. That can help the opponent live another turn, but it almost guarantees the destruction of the blocking creature, even if it is larger than the attackers. The surviving Graformans can attack again the following turn.


The flavor of the erratic geysers of Golamo is displayed by the Erupt mechanic. Your opponent may be safe for a while, but as Instants and Sorceries accumulate, the danger of an eruption increases. Most Erupt spells are in Red and Blue, but a few exist in each of the other colors.


In a lot of ways all you have are some solid cards and some weird creature types.  I'd work on that.  Show me why should get this job and not someone else.



Scott Van Essen



Set Name:
Malgareth, the UnderPrison


Log Line:
Natives drive out prisoners as they overwhelm the guards in a forsaken subterranean prison.


Cards:
CB01
Rookie Escape Artist
[Jailbreaker Apprentice - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
B
Creature - Human Scout
1/1
Sacrifice CARDNAME: Target creature gains Intimidate until end of turn.
Watermark: Prisoner


CB02
Scintilla Farmer
[Unnamed Scintilla Collector Variant - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
B
Creature - Elf Shaman
0/0
CARDNAME enters the battlefield with one +1/+1 counter on it.
Remove a counter from CARDNAME: add B to your mana pool.
Watermark: Native


CB03
Neophyte Assassin
1B
Creature - Human Assassin
1/1
When CARDNAME is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, target player sacrifices a creature.
Watermark: Prisoner


CB04
Scintilla Collector
1B
Creature - Elf Druid
0/0
CARDNAME enters the battlefield with two +1/+1 counters on it.
CARDNAME can't block.
Watermark: Native


CB05
Cavern Bats
2B
Creature - Bat
2/1
Flying
Watermark: Native


CB06
Essence Thief
2B
2/1
Creature - Vampire Rogue
Swampwalk, Lifelink
Watermark: Prisoner


CB07
Watcher Informant
2B
Creature - Human Rogue
2/1
When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, target player discards a card. Gain life equal to the converted mana cost of the discarded card.
Watermark: Watcher


CB08
Mold Creeper
[Mold Creeper - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
3B
Creature - Fungus
2/2
Compost - Whenever a non-token creature you control is put in a graveyard from the battlefield, put a +1/+1 counter on CARDNAME.
B, Remove a counter from CARDNAME: Regenerate CARDNAME.
Watermark: Native


CB09
Big Bully
3BB
Creature - Ogre Thug
3/1
Whenever CARDNAME attacks a player, remove a counter from target permanent that player controls and put a +1/+1 counter on CARDNAME.
Watermark: Prisoner


CB10
Contaminated Puma
5B
Creature - Cat
3/4
Countercast - Each counter you remove from a permanent you control while casting this spell reduces its cost by 2.
Deathtouch
Watermark: Native


CB11
Final Haunting
[Weaken with Souls - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
B
Sorcery
As an additional cost to play CARDNAME, exile a creature card in your graveyard.
Target creature gets -X/-X until end of turn where X is the exiled card's power.
Watermark: Native


CB12
Bribe the Guards
1B
Sorcery
Put a +1/+1 counter on up to two creatures, then tap those creatures.
Watermark: Prisoner


CB13
Drain the Land
1B
Enchantment - Aura
Enchant Land an opponent controls
Enchanted Land is a Swamp.
Whenever enchanted land is tapped, put a +1/+1 counter on a creature you control
Watermark: Native


CB14
Insatiable Rot
[Noxious Shroomguy - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
1B
Enchantment
Compost - Whenever a non-token creature you control is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, target player loses 1 life and you gain 1 life.
Watermark: Native


CB15
Bonds of Reprisal
2B
Enchantment - Aura
Enchant Creature
Whenever enchanted creature attacks or blocks, it deals damage equal to its power to its controller.
Watermark: Watcher


CB16
Grand Larceny
2B
Instant
Move up to two counters from target permanent to another permanent of the same type.
Watermark: Prisoner


CB17
Strength Extraction
[Bash Through Guards - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...]
2B
Instant
Destroy target non-black creature.
Put a +1/+1 counter on target creature.
Watermark: Prisoner


CB18
Fungal Rebirth
3B
Sorcery
Countercast - Each counter you remove from a permanent you control while casting this spell reduces its cost by 2.
Return up to two target creature cards from your graveyard to your hand.
Watermark: Native


Comments
Per the judge comments, I removed Grift and Recycle from the set. I re-concepted +1/+1 counters as concentrated mana crystals (scintillae) that Natives create through composting and other methods and then consume for mana or utility effects. Prisoners mainly steal and trade counters and use them for their pump effect. Watchers will interact with them in a different way. Rage seemed the most liked mechanic so I focused on Black, which will define much of the rest of the set.


I went with a little less stealing and a little more killing, but the stealing feel is important so I made it less parasitic. Most counter theft abilities always give you a counter and then let you remove one if available. The exception is Grand Larceny, which is a Fate Transfer variant (the proportion of relevant counter generating cards at Common Black is the same as in Shadowmoor)


I kept the number of compost cards low (~5 at common between green and black) and they only see your creatures to minimize board complexity and number of triggers.


Countercast was created as a limited smoothing mechanic, but became quite popular in playtest. There's a nice interaction where you countercast out a big creature, killing your scintilla creature and triggering compost.


Both watcher cards use your opponents cards against them or for you.


Big Bully was changed from a saboteur trigger to an attack trigger so you could get more uses out of it before your opponent dies.


Jonathan Woodward's Swarm ability still doesn't work. As written, it is a triggered ability, and would trigger after all blockers have been declared and after blocker assignment order has been chosen... I am not sure if it would work if reworded as a replacement effect.
Swarm (If a creature is declared as a blocker for a creature with Swarm, it instead blocks all creatures with Swarm.)
I like the idea, and would like to see a way to make it work.

As for sets as a whole thus far, I am liking Utopia and Penumbria. Am liking the flavor of both of these worlds, and the mechanics introduced in both are very interesting. I especially like the idea of Gold Counters.
MTG Rules Advisor Autocarding helps a lot -> [c]Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas[/c] = Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas "But keep in mind when the internet dies with the electrical system in 2012, you can still play paper magic, while digital cards will have gone the way of the dodo. In the post apocalyptic world, magic cards will be our currency!" - Samot, explaining to someone the ramifications of switching to MTGO!
I am Blue/Black
I am Blue/Black
I am Blue/Black
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
I'm both selfish and rational. I'm scheming, secretive and manipulative; I use knowledge as a tool for personal gain, and in turn obtaining more knowledge. At best, I am mysterious and stealthy; at worst, I am distrustful and opportunistic.

I just had a couple things I wanted to put out there...

I agree with several others on what's going on here.  Daniel and Shawn's sets feel the best, the most fun/interesting to play.

Jonathan's is close behind them, but I feel like something different needs to happen with Illuminate.  Like, it is trying to be cool, I want it to be cool, but it's not quite there.  I can't put my finger on what's missing though... tough call...

As for Daniel's set... Showdown excites me, for some reason I think it would be a lot of fun.  I did have an idea though, given what else has been said about it:  perhaps Showdown should be a "may" ability as opposed to what it is now.  You know, give a buff and then you "may" have a Showdown for something else to make a double plusJust a thought...

Shawn's set seems just really neat mechanically.  Blight could be awesome good times.  It reminded me at first a little bit like Infect, but waaaaaay more fun!


I just wanted to get all that off my chest... whew, thanks

Jonathan Woodward's Swarm ability still doesn't work. As written, it is a triggered ability, and would trigger after all blockers have been declared and after blocker assignment order has been chosen... I am not sure if it would work if reworded as a replacement effect.
Swarm (If a creature is declared as a blocker for a creature with Swarm, it instead blocks all creatures with Swarm.)

I like the idea, and would like to see a way to make it work.


The wording I used in my submission was this:

Swarm (Whenever a creature would block a creature with Swarm, it instead blocks all attacking creatures with Swarm. You choose the order in which the blocking creature deals combat damage.)


The "You" is poorly placed, I admit (intended as reminder text, but it's a bit ambiguous as written), but I hope the ability's behavior as a replacement effect is clear now?

Thanks to everyone who helped with the design of the plane of Golamo in the Great Designer Search 2!
My Decks
These are the decks I have assembled at the moment:
Tournament Decks (4)
Kicker Aggro (Invasion Block) Sunforger/Izzet Guildmage Midrange (Ravnica/Time Spiral/Xth Standard) Dragonstorm Combo (Time Spiral/Lorwyn/Xth Standard) Bant Midrange (Lorwyn/Shards/M10 Standard)
Casual Multiplayer Decks (50)
Angel Resurrection Casual Soul Sisters Sindbad's Adventures with Djinn of Wishes Sphinx-Bone Wand Buyback Morph (No Instants or Sorceries) Cabal Coffers Control Zombie Aggro Hungry, Hungry Greater Gargadon/War Elemental Flashfires/Boil/Ruination - Boom! Call of the Wild Teysa, Orzhov Scion with Twilight Drover, Sun Titan, and Hivestone Slivers Rebels Cairn Wanderer Knights Only Gold and () Spells Captain Sisay Toolbox Spellweaver Helix Combo Merfolk Wizards Izzet Guildmage/The Unspeakable Arcane Combo Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind and his Wizards Creatureless Wild Research/Reins of Power Madness Creatureless Pyromancer Ascension Anarchist Living Death Anvil of Bogardan Madness Shamen with Goblin Game/Wound Reflection Combo Mass damage Quest for Pure Flame Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle/Clear the Land with 40+ Lands Doubling Season Thallids Juniper Order Ranger Graft/Tokens Elf Archer Druids Equilibrium/Aluren Combo Experiment Kraj Combo Reap Combo False Cure/Kavu Predator Combo Savra, Queen of the Golgari Sacrifice/Dredge Elf Warriors Eight-Post Sneak Attack Where Ancients Tread Zur the Enchanter with Opal creatures Tamanoa/Kavu Predator/Collapsing Borders Esper Aggro Mishra, Artificer Prodigy and his Darksteel Reactor Theft and Control Unearth Aggro Soul's Fire Vampires Devour Tokens Phytohydra with Powerstone Minefield Treefolk Friendly? Questing Phelddagrif Slivers Dragon Arch Fun I'm probably forgetting a few...
like most people here, i love showdown...but it still needs work.  these are the problems I identify:

1-- the effects you are getting should be bigger since your discarding a card and aren't guaranteed anything even if you do that.

2--needs to be optional for the opponent somehow, like they can just concede the showdown.  It will make unfun times for the opponent when they have no cards in hand, then are forced to draw something awesome, then are forced to discard it.  And after discarding it, things either stay the same or get worse for them.  (these are exactly the sorts of things that developers worry about, having to discard something cool feels worse to players than never drawing it at all, even without any card disadvantage). 
A possible fix for swarm? (though I'm no rules guru):

Swarm (an attacking creature with swarm can't be blocked unless all attacking creatures with swarm are assigned blockers.  Any blocking creature may be assigned to block any number of creatures with swarm).
like most people here, i love showdown...but it still needs work.  these are the problems I identify:

1-- the effects you are getting should be bigger since your discarding a card and aren't guaranteed anything even if you do that.

2--needs to be optional for the opponent somehow, like they can just concede the showdown.  It will make unfun times for the opponent when they have no cards in hand, then are forced to draw something awesome, then are forced to discard it.  And after discarding it, things either stay the same or get worse for them.  (these are exactly the sorts of things that developers worry about, having to discard something cool feels worse to players than never drawing it at all, even without any card disadvantage). 


This.  I forgot to mention it but a-thousand-times this.
Deadsands still looks super awesome; I have to disagree that the effects aren't big enough, as metalcraft has just as "small" effects on common and it is still a very powerful mechanic to build around. Getting a 3cc 5 power haste creature is powerful, and hardly a "small" effect. Shocking a creature with an enter-the-battlfield trigger is also worth building around. The flavor of the mechanics and of the submitted cards really resonate with me; red has lots of haste and burn, which really plays into the uncertainty of the wild west.

Crystalline Ritual, however, seems out of place. This feels like it would make more of a splash in some nasty legacy deck than fit with anything you have previewed from red's commons; maybe there are a lot more ways to spend the red mana at uncommon and rare, but just from looking at the commons, I don't get it.

"Sadly, it no longer triggers Revelation, but I feel its an acceptable loss"
I wish that showdown and revelation would work better together, although it really isn't necessary, more of just a you-got-your-chocolate-in-my-peanut-butter levels of awesome.

Daniel: is there any place we can see some more design ideas, specifically for the other colors?
So far Jonathon Loucks and Daniel Williams are the ones impressing me the most.

I'm not sure if living reflection is a good mechanic, though. The name sucks (but names change, no big deal), and it feels weird that we get 4/1 tokens, especially at common. I think these tokens should be all with equal P/T and virtual vanilla, most of them probably at the same P/T.

Stout Guard is clever. Blackout is awesome.

Illuminate is good, though I liked the elegance of the original one. That they care about illuminated cards is linear but not parasitic, as illuminate already does something by itself.

-

The new showdown mechanic is awesome, though I agree with Pegaweb that the showdown effect needs to be bigger in order not to make it just a filtering device. I feel Crystalline Ritual should be both an uncommon and an instant, if only to pay for revelation costs of cards revealed during an opponent's turn. 
Jonathan Woodward's Swarm ability still doesn't work. As written, it is a triggered ability, and would trigger after all blockers have been declared and after blocker assignment order has been chosen... I am not sure if it would work if reworded as a replacement effect.
Swarm (If a creature is declared as a blocker for a creature with Swarm, it instead blocks all creatures with Swarm.)

I like the idea, and would like to see a way to make it work.


The wording I used in my submission was this:

Swarm (Whenever a creature would block a creature with Swarm, it instead blocks all attacking creatures with Swarm. You choose the order in which the blocking creature deals combat damage.)


The "You" is poorly placed, I admit (intended as reminder text, but it's a bit ambiguous as written), but I hope the ability's behavior as a replacement effect is clear now?



The problem I am still seeing is that, as you worded it, it is still a triggered ability(begins with Whenever), and would only go on the stack after all other choices are made. 
I worded it so that it would be a replacement effect and could happen during blocker declaration, though I am not sure if the rules currently allow that to happen. 
I suppose that the current rules team could fix things up to allow this to happen, though, were they so inclined. 
MTG Rules Advisor Autocarding helps a lot -> [c]Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas[/c] = Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas "But keep in mind when the internet dies with the electrical system in 2012, you can still play paper magic, while digital cards will have gone the way of the dodo. In the post apocalyptic world, magic cards will be our currency!" - Samot, explaining to someone the ramifications of switching to MTGO!
I am Blue/Black
I am Blue/Black
I am Blue/Black
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
I'm both selfish and rational. I'm scheming, secretive and manipulative; I use knowledge as a tool for personal gain, and in turn obtaining more knowledge. At best, I am mysterious and stealthy; at worst, I am distrustful and opportunistic.