All About The Mana

Good day to you all. Anyone wants to make an educated guess about today’s topic? Here is a “Dora” silence for you to give your answer…

Yes, you are correct! Today we are going to make Mana. But no land card this time! Instead, we are going to look at a fetch land spell and a creature that makes mana in an unusual way. First, the spell.

Find ParadiseFind Paradise. This week’s article originated with a classic case of “let’s try and make a spell known for having limited use a little bit broader”.

Here, I want to make a fetch land – notoriously helpful at the start of the game –  a little more relevant in the later turns.

For that, Find Paradise is going to give you a life for each land you control, which should be better and even somewhat relevant later on.
Obviously the upside isn’t tremendous and I did make it a 3 mana sorcery, but I didn’t try for a constructed playable. I like it ok in limited though.

Next is Xalen Order FanaticXalen Order Fanatic. Or Fanatic of the Xalen Order, I wasn’t too sure.

I started thinking about making mana for red cards, and I figured that getting one to use on combat tricks could be a good idea. Little did I know that Radha, Heir to Keld  existed already.

From there, I thought it could be nice to have it be a symmetrical attack AND block ability, still for combat tricks, which led me to white.
Now, the 2/2 for 2 in red I originally thought was fine for rare, but I don’t think that card is rare any more, so it might need to be a 2/1.

That makes two designs! As every week I’m sure the designs need some ironing out but I like the concepts a lot. I most definitely am more of the creative kind and less development oriented, but with work and play-test I’m sure we can get to a correct balance for those.

That wraps it up for today. Coming up on article 99 and 100, I hope you are enjoying those as much as I do! I’ll see you next week, have a good one.

Nayan Gold

Hi all. Good old last minute article this week, but this time with a twist! After getting a couple of designs out from my vault to make into cards, I found a theme, which brought us to a bonus third one. Ready to see all of them?

Rethik Combat TrainerRethik Combat Trainer I meant to make into a card for a while. I wanted a creature that enables all your guys to start fighting on demand, and RCT does just that.

Well, not only. First, I thought it would be reasonable to balance it with a +1/-1 clause for a more recklessly aggressive effect.

Secondly, I figured I might want something a little splashier for the trainer himself so I gave him the over costed “shotgun” ability you can see there. Does he seem fun to you? What about the power balance?

Aevis Guardian of the CitadelAevis, Guardian of the Citadel. Here is a pretty legendary creature now. And by pretty I really mean badass.

For a while I wanted to make a card similar to Gaddock Teeg, helping small creatures and hindering bigger ones. I figured basing it on power and toughness then modifying those would be a nightmare, so I went for converted mana cost instead.
Fun story, I thought of making her a sweet token helper, as Selesnya doesn’t really have that, but I ended up removing the ability when I opted for a good and cheap body.

Kerathan WarlordAnd now for our bonus round: Kerathan Warlord.

When I discovered this week’s theme would be Naya two color combinations, I quickly came up with a simple and beefy design for the Gruul clan.

Our warlord is big, and she hits hard. 6/6 trample for 5 isn’t too shabby but not too crazy either, especially considering our friend Sagu Mauler.

The deathtouch part I mostly added because the design still felt a little too vanilla for my liking but I could easily see removing it. What do you think, is it a case of “less is more”?

That wraps it up for today! Fun times as usual, gold cards are pretty aren’t they? The more I make designs, the more I want to create more good commons and uncommons but today was a fine escape from that – not that I have been following my new common new diet too strictly recently anyways.

I hope you enjoyed them, let me know what you think over here or on facebook, twitter, Imgur or reddit. Time for me to say see you next time, and have a great week!


Hello, hello. Today we are looking at dramatic effects, world shaking spells. There is also a narrative: we are going to talk about war, and then what comes after.

Utter DestructionUtter Destruction.

This one would be war. The story of the design is I was looking for something chaotic and violent to make all players do.

Seems like we ended up on the violent side, with all creatures getting bigger and destroying permanents. I wanted something splashy and a lot of destruction, and I wanted all players to have access to it, to cause a great war. I hope this annihilator-light effect won’t be too disruptive… It would definitely shake things up a lot if played in a multiplayer game, like commander for example.

Utter RemorseUtter Remorse.

This is what is supposed to happen after a total war. If you haven’t noticed, each creature is inflicting its own strength to itself, which I thought was a nice flavour for remorse.

This is ultimately a very powerful, very build-aroundable effect and as such I wanted to make it cost a healthy amount. I ended up making it three colors instead as a parallel to Utter Destruction. I hope that works, I’m thinking you can make it great if you build around it, but you can’t do anything about your opponent’s creatures surviving if they have a higher toughness either.

That wraps it up for today. Those really make me feel like creating a cycle, but I didn’t have time and pushing for a cycle always create a chance of ending up with slightly contrived designs. Plus the two don’t actually share a mechanic. I think I’ll definitely give it a try though!

Whatever happens, I will be seeing you in 7 days. Hope you all have a great week!

Temporal Mastery


Hi friends. For this 96th article we are going to be looking at tempo strategies, as the title so subtly hinted at. To that effect I have created two creatures, you can see right here bellow.

Rethik PhasebladeRethik Phaseblade is our first agent of Tempo.

When looking for such effects, I figured shutting down combat tricks for a turn should be interesting, especially on a creature with haste. Looking further into it, since the ability will only affect the turn she comes into play, I preferred the simpler solution of shutting down all spells. If you cast her with flash, good on you for the granted Time Walk effect.

I had to look up Izzet creatures with haste and it seems just about none have high power. I guess blue can’t really have access to that.

Imposing SeakiteImposing Seakite.

Another creative way to look at tempo could be reducing enemy creatures’ power, thus enabling an attack. I did want to make a common creature so a repeatable effect seemed like a bad idea. In the end I went for another etb effect.

quick study of common 4/4 flyiers for 4 led me to believe I could pull off similar stats, which to me is more enticing than the 3/3 for 3UU I had to begin with.
I’m pretty happy with were I landed on that one. It seems limited playable and reasonable, but good.

Simple stuff, good stuff. It has been a while I want to refocus as often as possible on common cards and the limited format. The tough part is that when inspiration comes, it rarely brings low power or low impact effects, but rather splashy sophisticated ones. On the other hand common cards need to be deliberate designs, and they demand more work to come up with.

Seems like it’s still possible to pull those off though! I hope you enjoyed them as much as I did.
I’ll see you next week for more. Have a good one!

Alternative Rock

Hi everyone! In recent tradition, I have been dealing with this article at the last minute.
It turned out for the best though and you are about to witness an article similar to the one from a couple weeks ago about different states of water. Turns out this time we are going to look at phases… Of stone! Or rock, if you prefer.

We aren’t teaching physics here so don’t look too much into it, but we are going to see designs dealing with liquid and solid rock. Sounds good? Let’s see them.

Lava ClawsLava Claws. Liquid rock, get it?
In case you haven’t noticed, it is based on Lava Axe. Lava axe does 5 damage to an opponent for 5 mana, at sorcery speed.
Admittedly not the best effect in the history of Magic, and that’s ok. In fact I am possibly making it even slightly worse.

The idea behind Lava Claws is that it is a Lava Axe that needs a creature to get through, so we can easily shave off one mana from the cost. To be honest I wouldn’t be surprised if we could even take it down two mana. High power mechanics could make the card better though.

Koth LithomasterKoth, Lithomaster. He’s back, and he is angry.

I had this concept of a Planeswalker losing loyalty for a while, and another couple of ideas took me to this version of Koth.

First, a +1 that creates mana so that you can still use burn spells or gobelins without Koth ticking down too much. Second, a classic “lands are now creatures” ability which matches well with the idea that lands aren’t there for mana any more.

Lastly an ultimate to wreck havoc with your army of land elementals. I dunno about balance, but he look like a ton of fun to me!

Would you play Koth? I am not asking about Lava Claws because I think it would be a fairly bad card, even in limited. There is a chance one could build interesting combos with it though, and either way it is ok to make weak cards as long as they aren’t dumb designs.

Hope you enjoyed today’s Red Rock article, I will be seeing you in 7 days for another one! Have a great week.