Life Always Finds a Way

Hi everyone. You might have guessed, another week without work on Monday and I mistook Thursday for Wednesday again! Sorry for the delay, everything should come back to normal now. Our theme this week is going to be life gain. Two designs came to me in a short succession. I wasn’t particularly trying to fill a contract but they are still linked by the fact that they will tend to make your life total go up.

Searing LightOur first card is Searing Light, which to my great surprise isn’t a used name already – probably too many other searing things existing.

I was thinking about Soulfire Grand Master, and how we now know that Instants and Sorceries can have lifelink but aren’t printed with it yet.

For some reason I ended up falling in the middle and made a spell that grants lifelink to others, much like grand master. Unless I misunderstand the rules Searing Light shouldn’t have lifelink itself, hence not be strictly better than Lightning Helix, which would be completely dumb.

Gereth Archbishop of DolnGereth, Archbishop of Doln is a typical design gone out of control. My initial idea was to make the life stealing ability, quite obviously.

I first opted for creating a white bear which is something I’m defaulting to too often, I can now see that. But then I decided to make it black as well, and found this illustration that I felt was calling for a legendary creature. Two abilities later, we have ourselves a tiny bomb.

I think I could have made this card a bigger creature with more interesting abilities, since it’s a legendary mythic.

I’m still happy with the way the designs turned out, especially the instant. It would make for an interesting constructed card, but not overpowered either unless I’m missing something. I doubt so, seeing that Soulfire Grand Master can already do the same things.

I hope you enjoyed the article! I’ll be seeing you next week, this time on Wednesday. Have a great week!

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Mana Mana Mana

…Batman? Nevermind. As it turns out there was another subject I haven’t dealt with this year, and not that much since the beginning of this blog either: it’s making mana. At large, mana producing isn’t the biggest space in magic cards design – you don’t want to get too fancy with it and instead rely on good old basic lands – but it’s definitely an interesting area to explore.

Lucky you, this week you are getting an artifact – what we call a mana rock – and a full cycle of 10 two-color lands! Let’s check those out right away.

Eye of KerathAs you can see Eye of Kerath is the mana stone.

I was wondering what kind of card could be made, using for downside that producing mana of any color would let an opponent draw a card. I believe a free artifact might be it!

Now to keep this card in check, there are a couple things to look at: would the modern deck Affinity play it? What about Storm? Lastly, how does it impact Legacy? Commander?
I think we are mostly safe on all fronts, but just in case I wanted to experiment with making it legendary. I wonder why it was hardly ever done.

Citadel RuinsNw for the big cycle. Citadel Ruins is the first land I created.

My main idea was to make a cycle of dual lands with a color making you lose life, but the other one gaining you some back.

My biggest worry was that the downside wouldn’t be great enough, and soon that you would find yourself with a bunch of lands gaining you life every turn.

You are looking at my second iteration. It would still need work and testing, as we need a strong incentive to not just play 12 of those is every deck!

Do tell me what you think of those. Now I’ll be leaving you with the full cycle of those beautiful lands, hope you will enjoy them. It’s been tons of fun working on their flavor; I wasn’t really set to make a cycle but I could help myself in the end.

I’ll be talking to you next week, until then have a good one!

Cursed Crater

 

 

 

 

 

Frozen Necropolis

Hexed Jungle Highfalls Castle Marsh Road Raging Peak Rethik Academy Rumination Pool Woods Edge Temple

Uncharted Territories

Hey all. I received a lot of great feedback about the Endless on /r/custommagic, turns out people are passionate about them! This week, after making my first design I decided we were going weird, push creativity to places cards aren’t going often or perhaps at all! It should be exciting. Here is said first design:

Kerathan PlagiaristKerathan Plagiarist. I have thought of such design before but I don’t think I ever made it. It turned out quite a bit less complicated to implement than I would have thought.
Definitely makes for a powerful card, especially if used with expensive abilities, bypassing paying for their activation.

For that though, there was already Illusionist’s Bracers which wasn’t a particularly popular card. The advantages here are that you are getting a creature, and can copy any ability being used which could be helpful to counter something your opponents are doing.

Ozynn DynacasterOzynn Dynacaster came out while trying to make a second design as weird as possible.
And weird it is! So much that I don’t think it could be printed. The issue as I see it is that you don’t want to be churning out through all your deck every time, in the hope of finding a spell that you might not even have. It’s like cascade, but worse.

The card is fun though! It doesn’t do damage, but casts a spell for free every time it “hits”. The second ability was added for obvious facilitative reasons. The other remaining question is whether or not it is ok to to Dynacaster be that weak when blocked, and just do no damage.

Elarian BlacksmithI needed more this week so I set out to make a last design, which came to me pretty easily. It is Elarian Blacksmith, and it literally makes weapons.

There really isn’t that much to say about this ability, except that it is a much unexplored space that I assume will be filled one day, but already contains one single design, that is Nahiri, the Lithomancer.

Making it easy to use might create complex board states and is possibly a tad too powerful. Iterating on development would tell us about that.

That’s it for this week! As usual I hope you enjoyed the designs and I’ll be seeing you in 7 days for more. I’m leaving you with this equipment token made specially for Elarian Blacksmith. Have a great week!

Elarian Steel

Ending the Endless

Hey everyone, are you ready to take things where we left them last week? We are taking care of the three remaining members of the Endless today, Death, Dream and Delirium. This should be fun!

DeathOur first design is Death. It is probably time to acknowledge some critical aspect of the cycle. The cards aren’t supposed to be as powerful, omniscient and eternal as the Endless are. This is why Death isn’t just indestructible or neither can she kill any creature. I did consider making her shuffle into your library though.

Someone mentioned that I could have kept deathtouch instead of giving it to Despair and I agree. Instead I used Wither, for the inevitable aspect of Death and the idea of decay with age. It definitely makes for a more subtle than flashy death, much like Death of the Endless herself.

Delight / Delirium. Sorry for the spoilers, but Delirium used to be the incarnation of Delight. By the way, someone reminded me that Incarnations exist in Magic, so I switched away from using Avatars.

Delight

We know little about Delight, but isn’t gaining life when you were already gaining life delightful? I’d say it is. We don’t know what turned Delight into Delirium, so I opted for an event that says “the happy days of having tons of life are over”. It’s allegedly very easy to get there but why not, we want to see Delirium more than Delight anyways.

As for Delirium, again I tried to not fall into the trap of overstating things. I didn’t aim at making the most disturbed, random and chaotic card possible, or try and drive everybody insane. So I went for one of the red representations of madness in Magic, discarding at random. I did wanted Delirium to be red, because of her unpredictability.
Now ultimately 3/1 first strike with upside might still be a little overkill, even with the condition on it. You will tell me what you think.

DreamFinally, we are welcoming the Sandman himself to close this cycle! Dream will allow you to cast all creatures from the top of your library, with a downside. If you are familiar with the comic book, you know that dreams are all but illusions, but I do believe that it fits for a Magic crossover.

This might make him a reasonable version of a cheap Future Sight, but we would have to test it as it is still a very powerful ability to have for only 4.

There is an aspect of Dream I could have used for another two sided card, but I prefer not discussing that sort of spoiler here.

I am sure there are many different possible version of the Endless to be created as cards, and you know what, there are a lot of different version of the Endless themselves in the universe – or multiverse! So I guess that fits the bill. What you can see here are only a fragment of all the Endless evoked for me, and I am thankful for that.

I hope you enjoyed them, I am looking forward to discovering what next week is going to be about! Have a good one, you all.