The Great Designer Search 2 Finalists

Posted in Feature on November 17, 2010

By magicthegathering.com Staff

Devon Rule

Your Name: Devon Rule
Your Set Name: Utopia
Your updated logline: A once-peaceful world adapts itself for war.
Your commons:

CB01 – Industrial Spy
B
Creature - Goblin Mercenary
1/1
Intimidate

CB02 – Accountant
1B
Creature - Human Advisor
1/1
B, T: Gain a gold counter. (Gold counters can be spent as colorless mana or life payments.)

CB03 – Tavern Sellsword
[Simple Mercenary by Guy Srinivasan - Labs:Gds/gds2/Utopia/CommonGround/Submissions]
1B
Creature - Human Mercenary
2/1

CB04 – Rental Imp
1B
Flying
Pay 1 life, T: Search your library for a Mercenary permanent card with converted mana cost 1 or less and put it onto the battlefield. Then shuffle your library.
1/1

CB05 – Smuggler
2B
Creature - Human Rogue Mercenary
1/3
When Smuggler deals combat damage to a player, gain 2 gold counters. (Gold counters can be spent as colorless mana or life payments.)

CB06 – Ghoul Messengers
Creature - Zombie Mercenary
2/2
Swampwalk
Pay 2 life, T: Search your library for a Mercenary permanent card with converted mana cost 2 or less and put it onto the battlefield. Then shuffle your library.

CB07 - Giant Cockroach
3B
Creature - Insect
4/2

CB08 – Elite Houseguard
[Big Mercenary by by Guy Srinivasan - Labs:Gds/gds2/Utopia/CommonGround/Submissions]
4B
Creature - Vampire Mercenary
4/3

CB09 – Vault Shade
[Yet Another Greedy Shade by Daniel - Labs:Gds/gds2/Utopia/CommonGround/Submissions]
3BB
Creature - Shade
2/2
2: Vault Shade gets +1/+1 until end of turn.
Pay 2 life: Vault Shade gains flying until end of turn.

CB10 – Extortion
B
[Twisted Vision by Havelock Vetinari - Labs:Gds/gds2/Utopia/Holes]
Sorcery
Choose a card type other than land. Target opponent reveals their hand. You choose a card of the chosen type from it. That player discards that card.

CB11 – Graverobbing
1B
Sorcery
Return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand. You may pay 3 life. If you do, return another target creature from your graveyard to your hand.

CB12 – Scary Reputation
[by Kallisti - Labs:Gds/gds2/Utopia/CommonGround/Submissions]
1B
Enchantment - Aura
Enchant creature
Enchanted creature gains intimidate
Sacrifice Scary Reputation: Enchanted creature gets +3/+0 until end of turn.

CB13 – Business Venture
1B
Sorcery
Draw a card. If you have any gold counters, draw another card.

CB14 – Snuff Out
[Reprint]
3B
Instant
If you control a Swamp, you may pay 4 life rather than pay Snuff Out's mana cost.
Destroy target nonblack creature. It can't be regenerated.

CB15 – Plagiarize
[Brain Drain by Havelock Vetinari - Labs:Gds/gds2/Utopia/CommonGround/Submissions]
2BB
Sorcery
Target player discards two cards. They lose two life and you gain two life.

CB16 – Reckless Looting
[Ransack by Shdwcat, Dig for Gold by Demons, altered at suggestion of Braman - Labs:Gds/gds2/Utopia/CommonGround/Submissions]
3BB
Sorcery
Destroy target creature or land. Gain 2 gold counters. (Gold counters can be spent as colorless mana or life payments.)

CB17 – Energy Drain
[I Can't Believe They Haven't Printed This by Havelock Vetinari - Labs:Gds/gds2/Utopia/CommonGround/Submissions]
XB
Instant
Target creature gets -X/-X until end of turn.

CB18 – Hoard
XB
Sorcery
Gain X gold counters. (Gold counters can be spent as colorless mana or life payments.)

Comments:
I was very happy with how clear the feedback was on my previous submission, including an explicit assignment for this week. If I had wanted to submit the best selection of Utopian commons I could, I would have gone with red. However, I needed to show that I could innovate and hit more than one note of my theme. I chose to focus tightly on a "commerce" theme for black, using mercenaries, gold, and payments to bring this across mechanically.
Unlike their Rebel counterparts, Mercenaries were not very popular, so nostalgia was not a large factor in my decision to use them. Rather, I felt that the concept of "hiring for money" was resonant enough to stand on its own. Life payments are usually less popular with new players, but I felt that factor added to the appeal of gold counters by letting players "cheat" their way out of losing life. While I wanted to focus on the life payment side of Gold counters, I also made sure that there were several useful places to spend piles of colorless mana at common.
Utopia was intended to be a thematic set concept rather than a publishable title, but I'm quite proud of my new logline. The set was always meant to be more about adaptation than paradise.
Many thanks to Havelock Vetinari, Pojo, Daniel, Shdwcat, Kallisti, Guy Srinivasan, and all the other people who helped with the submission.

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