Wednesday, December 15, 2010

GDS2 Cycles Design Test Commentary - part 5 of 6

Moving on to the next submission of cards for the GDS2 "cycle" design challenge.

Scott's cards:

Common Cycle

CW01
Weary of Death
1W
Sorcery
Target player gains 4 life.
Requiem - If a creature was put into a graveyard from the battlefield this turn, that player gains 8 life instead.

Now where have I seen this before? Something about lands, I think. 
This is a fine card, but too obviously derivative for a design test.

CU01
Vapors of the Blight
U
Sorcery
Put the top three cards of target player's library into his or her graveyard.
Requiem - If a creature was put into a graveyard from the battlefield this turn, put the top six cards of that player's library into his or her graveyard instead.

Your decision to make them sorceries was, I believe, very correct. Your explanation shows you understand why they should be sorceries and you're right. Well done.

CB01
Memories of Bereavement
1B
Sorcery
Target player discards a card.
Requiem - If a creature was put into a graveyard from the battlefield this turn, that player discards two cards instead.

Acceptable. In a good way.

CR01
Flames of Retribution
1R
Sorcery
CARDNAME deals 2 damage to target creature or player.
Requiem - If a creature was put into a graveyard from play this turn, CARDNAME deals 4 damage to that creature or player instead.

Really? Galvanic Blast, after the judges previously criticized people for making multiple Galvanic Blasts? It's an okay design, but I would have gone for 3 and 6 or 1 target, 2 targets, anything to make it a little more distinguishable. 

CG01
Seeds of Rebirth
2G
Sorcery
Put two 1/1 green Saproling creature tokens onto the battlefield.
Requiem - If a creature was put into a graveyard from play this turn, put four 1/1 green Saproling creature tokens onto the battlefield instead.

I always feel the green token makers, especially the small ones, should have strong ties to the set. Are there going to be other Saproling cards, or cards the help them? Could just be me.


Uncommon Cycle

UW01
Rescue from the Blight
2W
Enchantment - Aura
Enchant Creature
Flash
Enchanted Creature gets +1/+1
When enchanted creature is put into a graveyard, return that card to its owner's hand.

I am very wary of flash, especially from new designers, as they tend to put it on everything because they like instants and tricking their opponents. They also like damage using the stack. You're not one of those, are you?
I think you're not. This is an okay use of flash, letting this card respond to a kill spell, though I would have gone without it.

UU01
Rise above the Blight
2U
Enchantment - Aura
Enchant Creature
Enchanted creature gets +1/+1 and has flying
When enchanted creature is put into a graveyard, return that card to its owner's hand.

Any reason these are all +1/+1? You could have gotten more mileage out of them with different bonuses, I think. You've kept the cycle tight (which is just a description, not a good or bad judgement) and the word count low with simple abilities and matching numbers and costs... but you've also kept the cycle boring by doing that.

UB01
Feast on the Blight
2B
Enchantment - Aura
Enchant Creature
Enchanted creature gets +1/+1 and has lifelink.
When enchanted creature is put into a graveyard, return that card to its owner's hand.

Yeah, fine, still a little boring.

UR01
Charge through the Blight
2R
Enchantment - Aura
Enchant Creature
Enchanted creature gets +1/+1 and can't be blocked except by two or more creatures.
When enchanted creature is put into a graveyard, return that card to its owner's hand.

Oh goody, the card in the cycle where you couldn't find a keyword you liked so you wrote out something simple, but it kinda leaves you with that unsatisfied feeling of not being as elegant as you wanted to be. It happens all the time, in magic design.

UG01
Endure the Blight
2G
Enchantment - Aura
Enchant Creature
Enchanted creature gets +1/+1 and has shroud.
When enchanted creature is put into a graveyard, return that card to its owner's hand.

No. Bad designer, no biscuit. Shroud is not very fun, and if R&D could turn back the clock many of them would have keyworded troll-shroud instead of shroud. You might have gotten away with it if you combined it with flash, so it could counter a kill spell, but you didn't. This card is lame and there are more interesting things you could have done.


Mythic Rare Cycle

MW01
Celiana, the Protector
4WW
Legendary Creature - Angel
5/5
Flash, Flying
When CARDNAME enters the battlefield or is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, you may return any number of other permanents you control to their owner's hand.

This use of flash is better. White's use of "bounce my stuff" has seen flash before, and this mega Whitemane Lion is a cool card. Incidentially a sweet combo with Jonathon's Overcome.

MU01
Ventaro, the Preserver
4UU
Legendary Creature - Sphinx Wizard
4/4
Flying
When CARDNAME enters the battlefield or is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, return all instants and sorceries in your graveyard to your hand.

Eww, that's going to be really, really annoying to play against as the finisher in a control deck. Also, it doesn't really do a lot when it dies, does it? How often are you going to cast a bunch of instants and sorceries between casting this and having it Doom Bladed? I would have said "return target instant card and/or target sorcery card from your graveyard to your hand." This change does two great things for the card. It refines the build-around instructions of the deck to demand both instants and sorceries, and it makes the death trigger work out almost all the time.

MB01
Maltor, the Betrayer
4BB
Legendary Creature - Demon
5/5
Intimidate
When CARDNAME enters the battlefield or is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, Blight all other creatures. (Destroy each permanent with a Blight counter. Then put a Blight counter on each Blighted creature)

I was worried that Blight, the only really awesome thing about this set's concept, was going to be absent again. Luckily, it showed up here! I like this one. Has a nice rattlesnake aspect too - if you kill me, everyone else dies too.

MR01
Rantor, the Ravager
4RR
Legendary Creature - Giant Warrior
5/5
First Strike
When CARDNAME enters the battlefield or is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, blight target creature, then untap it and gain control of it until end of turn. It gain haste until end of turn. (To Blight a creature Destroy each permanent with a Blight counter. Then put a Blight counter on each Blighted creature)

Haha, blight and steal. I love it. "You can have this back now, sorry I got a little blight on it, it'll probably be okay though, right?" Hilarious. However, I would put that text on an uncommon sorcery for this set, and find something else for this guy. Are you surprised I would kill a mythic design for the sake of an uncommon slot? Don't be. That's what it takes to do great Magic design - you have to put the good of the game and the set above the good of your babies.

MG01
Gaesta, the Rebirther
4GG
Legendary Creature - Spirit
6/6
Trample
When CARDNAME enters the battlefield or is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, return all other creature cards from your graveyard to your hand.

Another one on which both triggers rarely work. Think them through a little more, please. There's no reason this has to say "all." Or it could just make a 6/6 trample token. How good is Broodmate Dragon when coming and going, amirite?

I like your intentions here, but the execution was flawed in most cases. Normally that would keep you in good standing, but if the judges have similar reactions to mine and the other submissions are good (which they are) you could be in trouble. Good luck!

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