Happy New Year

Hey all. I’ll be honest, when I started writing this article I was mostly thinking about the next stage of the design contest. In that sense it’s a follow up of last week’s article, hence the title. I gathered quite a few votes last week, mostly from reddit, and here are the semi-finalists: Forges of Insanity (61%), Damion Colebane (57%), Binding Ritual (51%), Lord of Lambholt (67%).
It’s surprising to see Lord getting the most votes, as he was also criticized the most by other people, for understandable reason – one of which being an anthem in black.

Either way, this week we are doing the semi-finals, and for that I will use the fantastic looking versions from redditor Amane_VIII, made using Magic Set Editor. Here we go:

Forges of Insanity   vs   Binding Ritual

Damion ColebanevsLord of Lambholt

Don’t they look amazing? I just realized that there is a mistake on Binding Ritual though, it’s supposed to drain your opponent’s life for 2 when it comes into play, and drain you back when it leaves. Please vote though; I’m excited to know who will win, and you might still get to win something!

Old Ways EmissaryI don’t want to make this post too long, but I thought I could slip some new design in it, as it’s been a couple weeks since last time I did.

Old Ways Emissary is an attempt to make an artifact hoser for formats like Modern or even Legacy. I didn’t want to make it straight up kill those decks, but that’s something sidedeck cards tend to do in those formats – see Hurkyl’s Recall or Stony Silence.

I love the idea of shutting down triggered abilities; while somewhat weird, it attacks from a new angle.

You might have noticed that I used Magic Set Editor here and I love it… I’m not sure I will sustain this in the future though, as it takes longer to use and I’m usually not around my windows desktop when I make cards. Time will tell!

I’m glad the previous round of design contest had so many votes, and I’m looking forward to this week’s results and next week’s finals. Hope you are too! Have a great week.

Happy Birthday Bullzzai

Hi all. This week we are finally celebrating the one year anniversary of the blog! It’s been great fun writing those 43 posts so far. 43 is slightly under one a week, – that would make 52 posts – but since a few months ago I have gotten pretty good at posting every Tuesday or Wednesday. I’m not completely satisfied with where my writing skills are at just yet, but I’m pleased with what I learned about running a blog so far. I now try and come up with a coherent theme every week, keep it simple, and make sure I link the content as much as I can on various social platforms.

I have lots of various celebrations events for us this week, so let’s get started. First announcement this week, I have acquired http://www.bullzzai.com! I’m still ironing out the kinks coming with the transition, but you can already change your bookmarks. Pretty exciting, isn’t it?

1407199128589122Second surprise is our 1 year commemorative card, Bullzzai, Mindbound.

It can obviously do some crazy things, and will be fueled by your imagination! Past the obvious Mass Calcify, Red Elemental Blast and Nature’s Ruin combos, it can do some neat tricks with Thragtusk and let’s say… Benthic Djinn. Just about anything, really; just think about it!

I thought of giving control over your opponent’s spells as well, but we don’t want to play God that bad… Or do we?
howto6-06Next! A quick preview of the work in progress on my app MTG20 LifeCounter.

It is still in progress and we have a whole bunch more to achieve before release, but so far it looks like it’s going to be great!

I’m taking a close look at how we will make the app easier and more enjoyable to use, and I have the help of a designer to make it more beautiful as well.

Obviously I’ll keep the “player profile” feature, and try and bring the draft organizer up to snuff.

fa3be45ab1fee88c46253617175d4b3d_largeNow number four:
Bullzzai is proud to announce the sponsor of our local game shop, Endgame, in Oakland CA. It’s a great shop, with a great magic community until recently lead by the superhero judge Sean Catanese. Endgame just successfully founded a kickstarter to open their cafe, and Bullzzai will be displayed on they wall of honor as a backer!

You can see the concept art for the wall in the picture here, it’s going to be quite epic. Our logo will also be on there, along with the new website url.

other

Click to see the rest

And now, our last announcement… I’m starting a contest for the best design of the year! There are 8 cards in competition and you can see the first half here on the side.

I have posted all of them on reddit and Magic Salvation forums and I invite you all to vote on here as well!

We will elect the best of those 8 designs and I will also pick the most accurate voter and offer him a few steam games 🙂 I have a dozen votes so far and am sharing with friends now.

That about wraps it up for our first year of Bullzzai designs 🙂 I have a lot of plans for the future, and I hope they will encounter greater success as time goes by. I am obviously thinking about more cards, cycles, sets, different games and apps I’m thinking about and working on as well, streaming, podcasts, updating the blog’s layout… You name it; there’s a lot of possibilities out there.

In real life as well, I’m still working on my cube, looking at commander meetups in my area, – making steady progress on a squirrel deck – and some shop could use my help as a rule advisor or judge,- I’m still training my judging skills. Lastly, I think it’s been a while I haven’t gone to a competitive event, PTQ or even Grand Prix.

Lots of things, you see. I hope you keep enjoying them. Don’t hesitate to give me vote and feedback, and see you next year!

The Choice is Yours

Hi all! I’m still experimenting with the blog format, and for now I think I’ll be doing two cards a week. It won’t be too hard making two, and on the other hand I think it might be frustrating to stick to only one! I came up with bunch this week already.
Now the theme for this week is… Choice! If you go all the way back to my very first post, you will be reminded that I believe choice is the most valuable thing to look for in a card, after raw power – though power is mostly an all-encompassing arbitrary attribute. Turns out the goal of the two cards I’ll present today is to add a little bit of versatility – choice – into classic effects.

bloodsacramentBlood Sacrament.
This instant combines Doom Blade and Diabolic Edict.
This will cost 3 black mana though. It may seem a little intense but please consider that the card can be either targeted – which is practical when there is one very important target in the middle of a few creatures – or non targeted removal – which is great when you are trying to deal with an hexproof or pro-black creature.
This spell takes care of both Blood Baron of Viskopa and Master of Waves, which is no small feat. I wonder it should have been able to target black creatures as well…

searchforparadiseSearch For Paradise.
The biggest downside to Rampant Growth is that it is not very useful late in the game. You usually don’t want to spend a card to fetch an extra land when you already have 7 or 8 of them in play.

By just bumping the price of the spell by 1, – making it two and a green – I gave it the ability to make a bird token. There isn’t really a good card with this ability, but we can mention Beckon Apparition.
I also offered it instant speed, which is – very – big deal, and I don’t know if it’s ok to leave it there. I think so, but that makes for a pretty good card.

I really like making spells more flexible. It’s always very exciting to add dimensions to something you already know well, and to try and make it useful is even more scenarios. Those very often make for great cards. What do you think about them? Are they worth spending an extra mana?
I hope you liked them and can’t wait for more; now is the time to say bye and see you next week!

All over the place

Hey all, I know it’s been a while… I don’t have specific cards yet, but I thought I’d feel you in on a couple things I have been working on since my last post!

First, without further ado, I’m pleased to introduce the first version of my Magic life counter app: MTG20 LifeCounter! Catchy, isn’t it? It’s finally in google play store, and you can download it for free!shotIt contains a bunch of features; the usual ones (actually track life, dice, coin, restart, poison, etc.) and I added a couple things that I found very nice to have:

  • Make/save your own profile (including text color and cropped background images)!
  • Organize a tournament/draft with friends and keep track of the scores!

There is still a few quirks and I intend to add more features in the near future, make sure it works well on tablet and add it to the amazon app store! Here is the address, if you haven’t picked up on the two previous links 😉 https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.banzz.lifecounter&hl=en

I have also been tracking the progress of my peers that have been working with me during this game jam I went to over a month ago. We made a nice little game during one weekend, and hopefully soon I’ll be showing you what it looks like and giving you the links for the Android/iOS store!

Magical Announcement

Now for you Magic enjoyment, breaking news! I’m working on a full magic extension. I have been digging some numbers on how many cards I should be making, how many creatures, instants, how many high cost, how many commons, uncommons, rares, how many new mechanics… Some of them are defined, some of them not just yet, but here are my candidates:

  • “High Flyiers” (not in the way WotC uses the word) that can only block others and simple flyiers and can only be blocked by other “high flyiers”.
  • “Low” creatures that can’t be blocked by flyiers and “high flyiers”.
  • Villages.
  • Tribal types.
  • Lots of protection + color change.
  • Creatures with a few “Fate” counters that go away on specific actions, and grant abilities when all gone.

Don’t hesitate to tell me if you like some more than others 🙂

Limited Information

As I probably already mentioned, I’m a great fan of limited Magic. I regularly post my drafts on twitter (follow me!), and play regularly both online, at pre-release, and at home with a league of friends. If you are interested in limited information, check out this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UkbsS8wmMc

Zach Hill tries to guess first pick in the first pack, for a draft of Hall of Famers at Pro Tour Theros. Very interesting stuff! Especially since Theros is still fairly fresh in everybody’s minds. In the same vein, if you like limited you really should know about Limited Resources. Marshall Sutcliffe‘s podcast is a long running, enjoyable and useful weekly episode and you should try it out!

And that’s it for now! I’m working on a quick post about cool magic rules that you should enjoy, and I’ll try and get back into the habit of posting card designs here. I can’t be designing only for my own edition, I want to share some with you and the blog! 🙂

Spooky Halloween everyone!