Wednesday, December 15, 2010

GDS2 Cycles Design Test Commentary - part 4 of 6

Part 4 of my comments on this week's GDS2 card submissions. It's been a good group of cards overall so far, let's see how the next aspiring designer does.

Devon's cards:

Common Cycle

CW01 – Fledgling Greathawk
Creature - Bird
CARDNAME has flying as long as it's enchanted.

CU01 – Goliath Eel
Creature - Fish
CARDNAME cannot attack unless it's enchanted.

CB01 - Dire Stoat
Creature - Ferret
CARDNAME has intimidate as long as it's enchanted.

CR01 – Gargantuan Ocelot
Creature - Cat
CARDNAME has first strike as long as it's enchanted.

CG01 – Titanic Hound
Creature - Hound
CARDNAME has trample as long as it's enchanted.

Good common cycle. Simple, and they tell me there is an enchantment theme in this set. I don't agree 100% with some of the numbers, but that's minor enough to let slide, and without having the full set of commons in each color to compare to it's hard to be sure what I might want each of them to be. Green's is a little weak, for example, in that I'd expect to get that trample for free on an 8-mana 7/7.

Uncommon Cycle

UW01 – Manifest Purity
Enchantment - Aura
Enchant creature
Enchanted creature gets +2/+2 and has "Whenever this creature deals damage to an opponent, you may destroy target enchantment."
Incarnate 2W

What does Incarnate do again? You should remind us, especially since these mechanics keep changing with each new design test. It makes a 0/0 token, and for this to be attached to, right? Do I pay that in addition to, or instead of, the casting cost? I think this mechanic is something Magic can certainly do, and I think it's pretty neat to try. At first I balked at the repeated demystification, but cards like Dawning Purist and Rustmouth Ogre, plus the enchantment theme of the set, have convinced me that this is good.

UU01 – Manifest Intellect
Enchantment - Aura
Enchant creature
Enchanted creature gets +2/+2 and has "Whenever this creature deals damage to an opponent, you may draw a card."
Incarnate 2U

Typical, in a good way.

UB01 – Manifest Agony
Enchantment - Aura
Enchant creature
Enchanted creature gets +2/+2 and has "Whenever this creature deals damage to an opponent, they discard a card."
Incarnate 2B

Combat damage? You should default to combat damage on stuff like these auras. I know as high-level magic players you want the maximum openness in your cards, but WotC needs card designers first, not players, for their employees. There is a significant difference and you need to make the change in yourself. Not just because they keep telling you to, but because you have actually become a person more interested in the health of the game of Magic than a player who wants to make new cards just so you can put them into decks and beat up your friends.

UR01 – Manifest Fury
Enchantment - Aura
Enchant creature
Enchanted creature gets +2/+2 and has "Whenever this creature deals damage to an opponent, you may have it deal 2 damage to target creature."
Incarnate 2R

Definitely "combat damage" on all of these. This one is pretty odd on a pinger. Maybe "shoot you, ooooh and also your dude" is exciting upside, but I'm worried about the board states it can create, and the "no outs" feeling the opponent might have when you get it going.

UG01 – Manifest Destiny
Enchantment - Aura
Enchant creature
Enchanted creature gets +2/+2 and has "Whenever this creature deals damage to an opponent, you may search your library for a basic land card and put it onto the battlefield tapped. Then shuffle your library."
Incarnate 2G

I'm not sure about the repeated searching and shuffling this delivers. It's a strong cycle overall, and if you had just said "combat damage" on all of them I would have given you an A for these uncommons.

Rare Cycle

RW01 – Luminous Eruption
Triple your life total.

Power creep! Mutipliers creep! A fine card that I expect to see printed one day.

RU01 – Creative Eruption
For each card in your hand, draw two more cards.

I see how you got "triple your hand" to work out there.

RB01 – Ravenous Eruption
Exile any number of creature cards from your graveyard. For each card exiled this way, put three 1/1 black Rat creature tokens onto the battlefield.

Another good one. Remind me what tripling has to do with this block? Is tripling like growing super big? I would expect to see growth or hugeness related names, not seismic names, if that were the case.

RR01 – Furious Eruption
After this main phase, there are two additional combat phases followed by an additional main phase. At the beginning of each of those combat phases, untap all creatures that attacked this turn.

Hmm, triple attack is pretty cool. After World at War I guess I can't be the one to criticize this card.

RG01 – Verdant Eruption
Search your library for up to X basic land cards and put them onto the battlefield tapped, where X is twice the number of lands you control. Then shuffle your library.

Wow, that is quite a lot of land you've got there.

The less I have to say about the cards, the better. These seem like a fine cycle to me, though it would have been nice if the word "triple" could have appeared more often. Ideally, at least three of the cards would say "triple" on them. Maybe the names could use the word or a latin or greek root?

Overall a good submission that will keep you in the running. It's shaping up to be a very hard week for the judges, I think.


  1. Devon Rule, speaking:

    I've enjoyed these reviews quite a bit - looking forward to reading the last two.

    I agree that I probably should have put reminder text on the incarnate auras. At the time I was thinking it made the submission a bit cleaner to leave them off, but I'm worried about confusing the guest judges or appearing deceptive in terms of card text.

    As far as the "combat damage" issue, I went back and forth. I eventually decided to leave off the extra text in keeping with Snake Aura, but I can see going either way on this one.

    On the eruptions, I originally pushed for more wordings that used "three" and "triple." The blue one originally had you discard your hand, just so you could draw "triple the number of cards discarded." I decided to ease of a bit, though, and use proper designs/templates rather than pushing for clarity of theme.

  2. Cool, glad you read it. I hope my comments here will help you do well in the later stages. Don't forget to tell your friends to read em too! =)