The Great Designer Search 2 Finalists: Ethan Fleischer

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Ethan Fleischer

Epolith

In a world where centuries pass in hours, only the fittest will survive!



CU01
Lazy Pterosaur
[http://community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/wiki/Labs_talk:Gds/gds2/pariah_press/challenge2skeleton]
U
Creature - Bird Lizard
1/1
1U: CARDNAME gets +1/+0 and gains flying until end of turn. Activate this ability only once each turn.

CU02
Primitive Tool-maker
1U
Creature - Merfolk Fish Artificer
1/2
When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, look at the top five cards of your library. You may reveal an artifact card from among them and put it into your hand. Then put the rest on the bottom of your library in any order.

CU03
Ætherstorm Archaeopteryx
1U
Creature - Bird Lizard
1/1
Flying
Develop - Whenever you cast a spell, if it's the second spell you cast this turn, you may put +1/+1 counter on CARDNAME.

CU04
Lungfish
1U
Creature - Fish
2/3
CARDNAME can't attack unless defending player controls an Island.
Whenever you cast a creature spell without flying, you may sacrifice CARDNAME. If you do, that creature enters the battlefield with two +1/+1 counters on it.

CU05
Tempest Caller
2U
Creature - Merfolk Fish Shaman
2/2
When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, put a flood counter on target land. That land is an Island in addition to its other types for as long as it has a flood counter on it.

CU06
Feathered Theropod
[Evolvable Raptor - http://community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/wiki/Labs:Gds/gds2/pariah_press/challenge2brainstorm]
2U
Creature - Lizard
2/2
Whenever you cast a creature spell with flying, you may sacrifice CARDNAME. If you do, that creature enters the battlefield with two +1/+1 counters on it.

CU07
Trilobite Colony
3U
Creature - Crab
1/5

CU08
Quetzalcoatlus
2UU
Creature - Bird Lizard
3/3
Flying

CU09
Ætherstorm Mosasaur
4U
Creature - Whale Lizard
4/4
CARDNAME can't attack unless its power is 6 or greater.
Develop - Whenever you cast a spell, if it's the second spell you cast this turn, you may put +1/+1 counter on CARDNAME.

CU10
Now and Then
[Past and Future - http://community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/wiki/Labs_talk:Gds/gds2/pariah_press/challenge2skeleton]
U
Sorcery
Look at the top card and bottom card of your library. Put one in your hand and one in your graveyard.

CU11
Rain Dance Charm
[http://community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/wiki/Labs_talk:Gds/gds2/pariah_press/challenge2skeleton]
U
Instant
Choose one--draw a card; or target creature gains flying until end of turn; or target land is an island until the beginning of the next end step.

CU12
Cold-blooded Torpor
[The Harder They Fall - http://community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/wiki/Labs_talk:Gds/gds2/pariah_press/challenge2skeleton]
1U
Instant
Tap target creature. It doesn't untap during its controller's next untap step.

CU13
Energize
[http://community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/wiki/Labs_talk:Gds/gds2/pariah_press/challenge2skeleton]
1U
Instant
Untap target permanent.
Draw a card.

CU14
Reject Innovation
[Mana Leak of the Fittest - http://community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/wiki/Labs_talk:Gds/gds2/pariah_press/challenge2skeleton]
1U
Instant
Counter target spell unless its controller pays X, where X is the highest power among creatures you control.

CU15
Fossilize
[Turn to Fossil - http://community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/wiki/Labs_talk:Gds/gds2/pariah_press/challenge2skeleton]
1UU
Enchantment - Aura
Enchant creature
Enchanted creature doesn't untap during it's controller's untap step and is an artifact in addition to its other types.

CU16
Tidal Lash
[http://community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/wiki/Labs_talk:Gds/gds2/pariah_press/challenge2skeleton]
1UU
Instant
Choose one - Counter target creature spell; or tap up to two target creatures.

CU17
Turn Back Time
3U
Instant
Return target permanent to its owner's hand.
Draw a card.

CU18
Theriomancy
[Primal Knowledge - http://community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/wiki/Labs:Gds/gds2/pariah_press/challenge2brainstorm]
4U
Sorcery
Preeminence (This spell costs X less to cast, where X is the highest power among creatures you control.)
Draw two cards.

Comments:

One of my transformative experiences playing Magic was piloting a mono-blue storm combo deck. I wanted to capture some of that feeling of casting a bunch of small spells to build up to some reward with Develop, blue's version of the Evolve mechanic. Flavor-wise, it represents species adapting to the constant presence of magic spells being cast by the Planeswalkers who are meddling with Epolith's development.

At this point, my thinking is that each color will have a separate ability word representing a unique trigger that adds +1/+1 counters. Later sets in the block will keep the same ability words and triggers in each color, but have other abilities, as giant dinosaurs will be extinct or in decline by then.

All of these +1/+1 counters and giant dinosaurs suggested that power should matter in other ways, hence the Preeminence keyword. My thought is that if "X" is always "your most powerful creature's power," it should be easier to get a handle on.

I explored some other evolutionarily-themed mechanics. Two cards tell the stories of fish evolving into reptiles, and reptiles into birds, respectively.

Common artifacts will be essential to show the progression from the Stone Age in the first set to the Bronze Age and Iron Age in the subsequent sets. An artifact subtheme like the Equipment subtheme in Zendikar will help this along.



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