The Great Designer Search 2 Finalists: Ethan Fleischer

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Ethan Fleischer

Penumbria

In the deep places of the earth, you can spread the light or embrace the darkness.

Common Cycle:

CW01 –
Bore Lightshaft
5W
Instant
Tap up to three target creatures.
Dig 2 (2, Discard this card: Reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a land card. Put that card into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library in a random order.)

CU01 –
Strike Water
[http://community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/wiki/Labs_talk:Gds/gds2/pariah_press/challenge3skeleton]
5U
Instant
Return up to two target permanents to their owners' hands.
Dig 2 (2, Discard this card: Reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a land card. Put that card into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library in a random order.)

CB01 –
Exhume Corpses
[Unearth Corpses - http://community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/wiki/Labs_talk:Gds/gds2/pariah_press/challenge3skeleton]
5B
Instant
Return up to two target creature cards from your graveyard to your hand.
Dig 2 (2, Discard this card: Reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a land card. Put that card into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library in a random order.)

CR01 –
Blast Bunker
[Dynamite - http://community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/wiki/Labs_talk:Gds/gds2/pariah_press/challenge3skeleton]
5R
Instant
CARDNAME deals 5 damage to target player.
Dig 2 (2, Discard this card: Reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a land card. Put that card into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library in a random order.)

CG01 –
Bury Nuisance
[Dig into the Past - http://community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/wiki/Labs_talk:Gds/gds2/pariah_press/challenge3skeleton]
5G
Instant
Destroy target noncreature permanent.
Dig 2 (2, Discard this card: Reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a land card. Put that card into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library in a random order.)

Uncommon Cycle:

UW01 –
Shining Knight
2W
Creature - Human Knight
2/3
First strike
Reflect - When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, you may pay 2W. If you do, put a 3/2 white Human Knight creature token with first strike onto the battlefield.

UU01 –
Mirror-wing Drake
3U
Creature - Drake
2/3
Flying
Reflect - When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, you may pay 3U. If you do, put a 3/2 blue Drake creature token with flying onto the battlefield.

UB01 –
Double Agent
2B
Creature - Human Rogue
2/2
Morph 2B (You may cast this face down as a 2/2 creature for 3. Turn it face up any time for its morph cost.)
When CARDNAME is turned face up, put a 2/2 black Human Rogue creature token onto the battlefield.

UR01 –
Giltshield Grudgebearer
1RR
Creature - Dwarf Berserker
1/2
Double strike
Reflect - When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, you may pay 1RR. If you do, put a 2/1 red Dwarf Berserker creature token with double strike onto the battlefield.

UG01 –
Silverscale Wurm
3GG
Creature - Wurm
4/6
Trample
Reflect - When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, you may pay 3GG. If you do, put a 6/4 green Wurm creature token with trample onto the battlefield.

Rare Cycle:

RZ01 –
Left Side:
Hell
3BB
Sorcery
Destroy all creatures.

Right Side:
Back
5WW
Sorcery
Each player returns all creature cards from his or her graveyard to the battlefield.

RZ02 –
Left Side:
Give
[http://community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/wiki/Labs_talk:Gds/gds2/pariah_press/challenge3skeleton]
2RR
Sorcery
Target player gains control of target permanent you control.

Right Side:
Take
[http://community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/wiki/Labs_talk:Gds/gds2/pariah_press/challenge3skeleton]
5UU
Sorcery
Gain control of target permanent.

RZ03 –
Left Side:
Flesh
[http://community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/wiki/Labs_talk:Gds/gds2/pariah_press/challenge3skeleton]
XGG
Sorcery
Put an X/X green Beast creature token into play. Gain X life.

Right Side:
Blood
[http://community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/wiki/Labs_talk:Gds/gds2/pariah_press/challenge3skeleton]
XBB
Sorcery
Target creature gets -X/-X until end of turn. Its controller loses X life.

RZ04 –
Left Side:
Love
[http://community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/wiki/Labs_talk:Gds/gds2/pariah_press/challenge3skeleton]
2WW
Sorcery
Gain 2 life for each creature you and target opponent control.

Right Side:
War
3RR
Sorcery
CARDNAME deals damage to target player equal to twice the number of creatures you control.

RZ05 –
Left Side:
Now
[http://community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/wiki/Labs_talk:Gds/gds2/pariah_press/challenge3skeleton]
3UU
Sorcery
Look at the top 10 cards of your library. Put two of them into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library in any order.

Right Side:
Then
[http://community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/wiki/Labs_talk:Gds/gds2/pariah_press/challenge3skeleton]
2GG
Sorcery
Put up to two target nonland, noncreature permanents on the bottom of their owners' libraries in any order.

Commentary:

Each card in my common cycle has to do with tunneling or excavating, making the addition of the Dig keyword natural.

Light needed a counterpart to Dark's sneaky Morph mechanic. Why would Dark resort to sneaky guerrilla tactics? Because it's outnumbered! I simplified Jon's Living Reflection mechanic, then introduced the twist of switching the token's power and toughness. My focus-group testing indicates that the power and toughness switch appeals to some players, but not to others. It serves a useful game function, however, giving a control deck a defensive creature early in the game, and a bonus aggressive creature later in the game, once the control player has stabilized the battlefield. The Light faction is comprised of four colors, which makes a cycle of such cards difficult. Black's member of the cycle is a morph creature with a similar ability, flavored as spy.

The rare cycle gets to the heart of the set, at least as I perceive it. A battle between Light and Darkness suggests dualism, Manichaeism, dichotomy. This theme implies split cards, with one half Dark-themed and one half Light-themed. White always represents Light and black always represent Darkness. This time, the math worked out in my favor, and each of the three other colors got to be Dark on one card and Light on another. We tried to make the Light effects positive and the Dark effects negative. Some of these cards are still a bit rough, but the structure of the cycle is sound, I think.



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