Doom of Wodotha
As the Blight eats away their world, bands of desperate survivors vie for what remains.
CU01 - Deepsea Lookout
Creature – Merfolk Scout
When Deepsea Lookout enters the battlefield, look at the top card of your library. You may put that card into your graveyard.
CU02 – Obscured Ibis
Creature – Bird
CU03 – Forsaken Scholar
[Merfolk Studier, http://community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/wiki/Labs:Gds/gds2/NoShoes/CardIdeas]
Creature – Merfolk Wizard
2, Sacrifice Forsaken Scholar: Draw a card.
CU04 – Skydive Ambusher
Creature – Merfolk Soldier
Assault- Whenever three or more creatures you control attack, Skydive Ambusher gets +2/+2 and gains flying until end of turn.
CU05 – Purple Moon Jellyfish
Creature – Jellyfish
When Purple Moon Jellyfish is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, return target creature to its owner's hand.
CU06 – Harried Drake
[Snoozing Drake http://community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/wiki/Labs:Gds/gds2/NoShoes/CardIdeas]
Creature – Drake
Harried Drake enters the battlefield tapped.
CU07 – Isle Watchguard
Creature – Merfolk Soldier
CU08 – Book Hoarder Crow
[Magic-hoarding Crow http://community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/wiki/Labs:Gds/gds2/NoShoes/Demons]
Creature – Bird
When Book Hoarder Crow enters the battlefield, return target instant or sorcery card from your graveyard to your hand.
CU09 – Tidewinder Serpent
Creature - Serpent
Assault- Whenever you attack with three or more creatures, Tidewinder Serpent is unblockable until end of turn.
CU10 – Weathered Wisdom
Look at a number of cards from the top of your library equal to the number of tapped creatures you control. Put one of them into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library.
CU11 - Desperate Denial
Counter target spell unless its controller pays 1 for each tapped creature you control.
CU12 - Winding Way
Choose one: Tap up to two target creatures; or untap up to two target creatures.
CU13 – To Wings!
[Up, up in the air! http://community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/wiki/Labs:Gds/gds2/NoShoes/CardIdeas]
Up to two target creatures gain flying until end of turn.
CU14 – Dizzying Vision
[Temporary Restrainment http://community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/wiki/Labs:Gds/gds2/NoShoes/CardIdeas]
Enchantment - Aura
Enchanted creature gets -2/-0
2, Sacrifice Dizzying Vision: Draw a card.
CU15 – Unexpected Retreat
[Bounce after assault http://community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/wiki/Labs:Gds/gds2/NoShoes/CardIdeas]
Return target tapped creature to its owner's hand.
Draw a card.
CU16 – Put Back
Counter target spell. Look at the top card of your library. You may put that card into your graveyard.
CU17 – Autopsy
[Blight Insight http://community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/wiki/Labs:Gds/gds2/NoShoes/CardIdeas]
Draw two cards.
Requiem - If a creature was put into a graveyard from the battlefield this turn, instead draw three cards.
CU18 – Stake Down
Enchantment – Aura
When Stake Down enters the battlefield, tap enchanted creature.
Enchanted creature doesn't untap during its controller's untap step.
After figuring out the blight mechanic for the first challenge, there was a temptation to wrap everything in Wodotha around it. Because Blight was only going to work in black with small doses in red and green, blue needed to be subtle. I considered themes of counter manipulation and gating as a means of curing blighted creatures, but playtesting showed that blue wasn't doing anything on its own, only being tricky with black cards. The question quickly became: "How does blue respond to the end of the world?" Many mechanics were considered, playtested, and rejected.
The breakthrough moment came after contemplating what the world of Wodotha might look like: small bands of survivors, fleeing blighted lands, driven into conflict with their neighbors. Mechanically, this brought me to the assault mechanic. There was often an air of desperation to the combat it set up, which felt very appropriate and it played well, even in blue, even against blight. I imagine assault to be a central mechanic in each color. I toyed with the idea of "battle plan" assault enchantments like Zendikar's quests or assault spells like Worldwake's landfall instants, but both had a complexity that felt inappropriate for first set commons.
Once assault was in place, a minor tapped-creatures-matter theme was brought back into blue to represent its on-the-ground scholarship and to ensure blue would play distinctly from other colors.