Card Design Contest 101

Hey everybody! I am extremely pleased with how popular last week’s contest has been. I had a lot of work evaluating, commenting and electing the top designs. You can check out most of them here on reddit, please do have a look. As you are about to see, I also decided to create cards for the ones that have been given to me in text form, which also took me a while to prepare this article.

I am going to introduce a slew of those great designs made by you, and announce the winners plus some additional showcased designs. Let’s start with the later, shall we?

A Hundred Voices ScreamingA Hundred Voices Screaming. Because of its great flavor and interesting design space, I had to mention this one.

The sole purpose of this sorcery is to create victims and execute them right away. Making very easy and abundant something that shouldn’t matter in most cases is something very dangerous, as there is always a way to make it actually matter.

That being said, I figure that if you pay three black mana and a card at sorcery speed, you should be able to get rewarded with 5 death triggers. It doesn’t seem unfair to me.

12072700_10204045805860187_5360212146908646706_n One-Hundred Serpent Snare.

I wanted to feature this card as well, even though it didn’t make it to the shortest of lists.

This enchantment is a straight forward token maker with an incremental twist as it happens sometimes, like with Assemble the Legion and Endless Ranks of the Dead.

This time though I ran the numbers and without interruption you will get 2, 6, 14, 30, 62, and finally 126 snakes. That is a lot more than the legion and is scary to say the least.

Let’s move on to the top 5, shall we? It’s been quite hard putting them all in order, and I mostly wanted to feature a dozen on here, but I don’t have that sort of time on my hands and I promised prizes! So here we go:

Prism of the FinaleNumber 5: Prism of the Finale by cj_the_magic_man on reddit.

Our theme being “one hundred”, several designs came up with a 100-themed condition on a “win the game” spell. Prism is one of the most straight forward ones, which… Is quite telling, but I think the topic caused that.
Ultimately I think you cant have players count things and do math up to a 100 any time they want to know about casting their spell, regardless of what they are counting. The idea is still pretty neat and it almost feel like the sort of nonsense that goes around in commander games.

Hundred Shields of AkrosNumber 4: Hundred Shields of Akros by CoolDude678.
Fun little card, though I’ll admit I have been judging it with the mental filter of changing quite a few little things to it.

The flavor is real, and this instant should make you think of Hundred-Handed One, which makes me wonder why we didn’t pick the exact same number of blocks here; I don’t think tracking the number of targets in a turn is viable. I do think as well that the cost should be revised to be playable and Split Second feels tacked on, but I judged based on the spirit of the card, which I liked a bunch.

One Hundred CutsNumber 3: One Hundred Cuts.
Another great flavor hit by mooseattack. A design possibly very fun to play, except perhaps for one fact: I am afraid it would be hard to balance such a powerful effect, capable to do dealing a whole lot of damage to all your enemies every turn, as well as upon activation.
Most times I try to not judge based on balance anyways, as the design can often live regardless of tweaks to its power.
I am quite fond of the card but I think I might have been drawn to “100 theme mechanics” more than I expected, hence the following cards made it higher on the list. Good job though.

12143116_10207571737512578_8570523791881707701_nNumber 2: Pinnacle of Faith by Kevin.
I have seen many “get to a hundred counters and you win” designs recently, and this one I think is my favorite.
A throwback to Helix Pinnacle, which should tell us that this card is not overpowered. I do believe that if your opponent can’t help tapping that many permanents by the end of the game, you could likely make your own 100 mana instead. This could end up being extremely annoying for token and combo strategies though, or in multiplayer.
The biggest risk I’m seeing with Pinnacle is that if the mechanic isn’t actually balanced in the end, I don’t think we can easily tweak it.

Kings ReiforcementsNumber 1: King’s Reinforcments by PhoenixBurning.
Do forgive me for the typo on the title, at the time of posting I can’t remake the card…
I will start by saying we need to make sure this card can’t be cast for free, otherwise it can’t exist.

Other than that, a card making a single token a turn by cleverly using the Suspend mechanic, and also featuring a “10 turns later you win the game” seems great to me, especially since this way of winning the game isn’t the most powerful there is, at it is affected by summoning sickness and countered by mass removal or mass bounce.

Congratulations to the winners of this contest! I will contact you soon. Also thank you all so very much for submitting designs. I have had an amazing time reviewing about 30 of them, most of which were creative, fun and flavorful. Sorry if you didn’t make the short list, I had to keep it somewhat short and yet this article features 7 cards!

One last time thank you all for your attention and participation, I am looking forward to our next hundred articles with you. Have an amazing week.

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