The Great Designer Search 2 Finalists: Devon Rule

Posted in Feature on January 5, 2011

By Staff

Devon Rule


Let the tools of peace become the weapons of war.

1) Common Card #1 – Arowan Refugee
Creature - Human Nomad
Survival 2 (At end of combat, if this creature attacked or blocked and has less than 2 counters on it, put a +1/+1 counter on it.)

Art: The disheveled refugee hides from a devil. A weapon lies just out of reach.

2) Common Card #2 – Unified Charge
Creatures you control get +1/+1 until end of turn. If you control more creatures than each opponent, creatures you control get +2/+2 until end of turn instead.

Art: A diverse group of soldiers, farmers, and scholars charge in unison.

3) Common Card #3 – Trancecaster
[Dream Sniper by Shdwcat - Labs:Gds/gds2/Utopia/BoosterShot/CU1]
Creature - Human Wizard
Dreamwalk (This creature is unblockable as long as the defending player controls a tapped creature.)
When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, you may tap target creature.

Art: An ethereal wizard steps out of a sleeping guard.

4) Common Card #4Research Grant
Draw two cards and gain two gold counters. (Gold counters can be spent as colorless mana or life payments.)

Art: A wizard works as a noble watches over her shoulder with crossed arms.

5) Common Card #5 – Smuggler
Creature - Human Rogue Mercenary
Whenever CARDNAME deals combat damage to a player, gain 2 gold counters.(Gold counters can be spent as colorless mana or life payments.)

Art: The smuggler carries a small chest across a darkened swamp.

6) Common Card #6 – Demanding Goblin
[Motivated Merc by Jay Treat - Labs:Gds/gds2/Utopia/BoosterShot/CRMerc]
Creature - Goblin Mercenary
When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, it gains haste if you've spent any gold counters this turn.

Art: A goblin grabs at a gold coin held just out of reach.

7) Common Card #7 – Loosed Plowwurm
[Survival Wurm by Chah - Labs:Gds/gds2/Utopia/BoosterShot/CG1]
Creature - Wurm
Survival 2 (At end of combat, if this creature attacked or blocked and has less than 2 counters on it, put a +1/+1 counter on it.)

Art: A wurm attempts to free itself from a plow harness.

8) Common Card #8 – Wilderness Seclusion
[Perfect Serenity by Havelock Vetinari - Labs:Gds/gds2/Utopia/BoosterShot/CG2]
At the beginning of your upkeep, you may gain 1 life.
1G, sacrifice CARDNAME: Prevent all combat damage that would be dealt this turn.

Art: A druid mediates in a forest clearing, surrounded by a circle of green energy.

9) Common Card #9 – Riftborn Rage
[Angry Pants by Havelock Vetinari - Labs:Gds/gds2/Utopia/BoosterShot/Cards]
Target creature gets +3/-3 until end of turn.

Art: A man screams in pain and rage as a glowing portal opens in his chest.

10) Premium Mythic Card – Malaziel Sellscale
Legendary Creature - Dragon Mercenary
Whenever CARDNAME deals combat damage to a player, you may pay X life. If you do, search your library for any number of Mercenary creature cards with total converted mana cost X or less and put them onto the battlefield. Then shuffle your library.

Art: A huge black dragon flying at the head of a mercenary army.

11) Uncommon Card #1 – Unflipped: Champion's Shrine
T: Add W to your mana pool.
1WW, T: Untap and flip CARDNAME.
Flipped: Champion's Sword
Artifact - Equipment
Equipped creature gets +1/+1 and has first strike and lifelink.
Equip 2

Art: A shrine including the sword in a temple // Warrior fighting with same sword.

12) Uncommon Card #2 – Desperate Flameweaver
Creature - Human Shaman
Whenever CARDNAME attacks, put three 1/1 red Elemental tokens with haste onto the battlefield tapped and attacking. Exile them at the beginning of the next end step.

Art: A weeping man charges the camera surrounded by three spirals of flame.

13) Uncommon Card #3Goldbreather
Creature - Elemental
CARDNAME gets +1/+1 for each gold counter you have.

Art: A nonhumanoid elemental inhales a stream of golden energy.

14) Rare Card – Thief of Voices
[Silent Puppet by Shdwcat - Labs:Gds/gds2/Utopia/BoosterShot/RareInvader]
Creature - Devil
Intimidate (This creature can't be blocked except by artifact creatures and/or creatures that share a color with it.)
Your opponents cannot play the activated abilities of creatures they control.
CARDNAME has all the activated abilities of creatures your opponents control.

Art: Tendrils of glowing energy connect clutched throats to a Devil's upraised fist.

15) Basic Land Card – Island
Basic Land - Island

Art: A bridge connects an island-bound academy to the mainland.

16) Token Card – Gold Counter
Gold counters can be spent as colorless mana or life payments.

Art: An ancient golden coin glows with power.


The biggest goal this round was to ensure that the colors played well together while maintaining their Utopian identities. Each color still has its own themes, but we're seeing more bleed into allied colors. To fit this, I've moved from the idea of separate Utopian societies to factions within a larger civilization.

We have a number of things going on in this pack. Survival is a green-centered mechanic we've been working on to represent "adapting for war" at lower rarities. Dreamwalk shows a unique combat tactic for blue. The Shrine cycle shows off the flavor I'm going for with flip cards - peaceful objects being turned into weapons. And we've still got Gold and Mercenaries.

Mobilize/Creaturefall was a fine mechanic, but didn't represent Utopia well enough to keep. I like Mandate ("if you have the most creatures") quite a bit, but I don't think it has enough safe design space to warrant a heavy theme or ability word.

Woodward and Treat's idea of Hybrid Invaders was well-received last round, so I decided to explore that idea. The goal was to make them feel scary and alien across all colors, without violating the color pie or identities. They also allow me to use some important effects that don't fit well into Utopia, such as burn.

The Shrine untapping when it flips and the Flameweaver making hasty tokens are both technically unnecessary, but sync up with related cards.

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