Design Challenge #4: "Booster Shot"

Posted in Feature on December 22, 2010

By Mark Rosewater

Working in R&D since '95, Mark became Magic head designer in '03. His hobbies: spending time with family, writing about Magic in all mediums, and creating short bios.

They say you only have one chance to make a good first impression. For this Design Challenge I am going to give each of you the chance to create the best first impression you can. Imagine a player is opening his or her first booster from your set. I want you to build the perfect booster for that player to open.

The idea of this challenge is to present your set to someone who has never seen it before in the best possible light using only the contents from a single booster pack. Your booster will have:

  • 9 commons
  • 3 uncommons
  • 1 rare or mythic rare
  • 1 premium card of any rarity (it is the perfect booster after all)
  • 1 basic land
  • 1 token card

For each card besides the card text we are also going to allow you to explain what will be pictured in your art. Note that we aren't looking for an art description just a list of the relevant thing being pictured (e.g. "We see an elf dying to the Blight."). You may use no more than fifteen words to describe each piece of art.

Please use the following template for your submission:

Name of World:

1) Common Card #1
2) Common Card #2
3) Common Card #3
4) Common Card #4
5) Common Card #5
6) Common Card #6
7) Common Card #7
8) Common Card #8
9) Common Card #9
10) Premium Card – (remember to label the rarity of this card)
11) Uncommon Card #1
12) Uncommon Card #2
13) Uncommon Card #3
14) Rare/Mythic Rare Card
15) Basic Land Card
16) Token Card – (list whatever text will appear on this card)

Comments: (restricted to 250 words)

Each section should look like this:

Common Card #1 –
Wee Squirrel
Creature – Squirrel

Art: We see a cute little squirrel.

A minimum of six cards must be designed solely by you, and a minimum of six cards may not be designed by you. You may use cards previously submitted for the Design Test or other Design Challenges, including cards submitted by other designers for your world.

Here is what you'll be judged on:

Introduction to Your Set: This booster is supposed to be the ideal introduction to your set. The judges will be judging how well your cards fulfill this task.

Improvement to Your World: You've been getting a lot of feedback about your world, including some work by a fellow designer. The judges will be looking at the overall state of your world (and set) as viewed through this booster pack.

Individual Card Quality: These cards not only have to make the big picture work but they also have to stand alone as cards. The judges will examine each card on its own merits.

The Subject of the Art of Your Cards: The reason we are asking you to say what is in the art of each card is because we believe the art is an important part of introducing your set. Once again, we do not want a full art description, but just a listing of the relevant subject(s) of the art. Also, remember that each art listing is restricted to 15 words or less.

The deadline for your submission is 11:59 EST, Sunday, January 2. Please submit them to both emails you have. Good luck!

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