The Great Designer Search 2 Finalists: Shawn Main

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Shawn Main

Malgareth, the UnderPrison

You can barely remember the Sun, but you'll sacrifice anything for a stab at freedom.

Common Cycle:

CW01 – Substitute Shield
[Alt white, http://community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/wiki/Labs:Gds/gds2/NoShoes/Challenge3/]
1W
Instant
You may remove a counter from a white permanent you control rather than pay CARDNAME's mana cost.
Prevent all damage target creature would deal this turn.

CU01 – Converted Bonds
1U
Instant
You may remove a counter from a blue permanent you control rather than pay CARDNAME's mana cost.
Tap or untap target permanent.

CB01 – Improvised Garrote
1B
Instant
You may remove a counter from a black permanent you control rather than pay CARDNAME's mana cost.
Put a -1/-1 counter on target creature.

CR01 – Makeshift Shank
1R
Instant
You may remove a counter from a red permanent you control rather than pay CARDNAME's mana cost.
Target creature gets +1/+0 and gains first strike until end of turn.

CG01 – Impromptu Gauntlets
[Ironbar Gauntlets, http://community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/wiki/Labs:Gds/gds2/NoShoes/Challenge3/]
1G
Instant
You may remove a counter from a green permanent you control rather than pay CARDNAME's mana cost.
Target creature gets +2/+2 until end of turn.

Uncommon Cycle:

UB01 – Corpsefly Feeding
[Poisionfly Feeding, http://community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/wiki/Labs:Gds/gds2/NoShoes/Challenge3//demons]
2B
Enchantment
Whenever a creature you control is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, you may pay B. If you do, target creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn.

UR01 – Babbling Blood
2R
Enchantment
Whenever a creature you control is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, you may pay R. If you do, draw a card, then discard a card.

UG01 – Offal Feast
[Edible Algae Feeding, http://community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/wiki/Labs:Gds/gds2/NoShoes/Challenge3//demons]
2G
Enchantment
Whenever a creature you control is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, you may pay G. If you do, gain 3 life.

Rare Cycle:

RW01 – Watcher's Safeguard
[http://community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/wiki/Labs:Tobyornottoby/challenge2/shawnformalgareth]
4WW
Sorcery
Choose one or both- Search your library for an enchantment card and put it onto the battlefield. Then shuffle your library; and/or search another target player's library for an enchantment card and put it onto the battlefield under your control. Then that player shuffles his or her library.

RU01 – Watcher's Mirror
4UU
Sorcery
Choose one or both- Put a token onto the battlefield that's a copy of target creature you control; and/or put a token onto the battlefield that's a copy of target creature you don't control.

RB01 – Watcher's Revival
4BB
Sorcery
Choose one or both- Return target creature card in your graveyard to the battlefield; and/or return target creature card in another player's graveyard to the battlefield under your control.

Mythic Rare Cycle:

MW01 – Olorah, the Shackled Judge
WW
Legendary Creature – Angel
6/6
Flying, Vigilance
CARDNAME enters the battlefield with four -1/-1 counters on it.
2WW, Remove two -1/-1 counters from CARDNAME: Destroy each tapped creature.

MU01 – Seham, the Bound Deceiver
UU
Legendary Creature – Djinn
6/6
Flying
CARDNAME enters the battlefield with four -1/-1 counters on it.
2UU, Remove two -1/-1 counters from CARDNAME: Other creatures become 1/1 and lose all abilities until end of turn.

MB01 – Tyvaal, the First Prisoner
BB
Legendary Creature – Demon
6/6
Trample
CARDNAME enters the battlefield with four -1/-1 counters on it.
1BB, Remove two -1/-1 counters from CARDNAME: Target player sacrifices a creature.

MR01 – Angathrak, the Chained Tyrant
RR
Legendary Creature – Dragon
8/8
Flying, Trample
CARDNAME enters the battlefield with six -1/-1 counters on it.
3RR, Remove three -1/-1 counters from CARDNAME: Untap target creature and gain control of it until end of turn. It gains haste until end of turn.

MG01 – Naal, the Fettered Growth
[http://community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/wiki/Labs:Gds/gds2/NoShoes/Unbrokencircle_contributions]
GG
Legendary Creature – Treefolk
8/8
Trample, Vigilance
CARDNAME enters the battlefield with six -1/-1 counters on it.
3G, Remove three -1/-1 counters from CARDNAME: Put three 1/1 green Saproling creature tokens onto the battlefield.

Commentary:

I made two daring moves with my Malgareth designs- asking Scott if I could reverse his counter theme and asking Mark if I could embrace Malgareth's factionalism by using two 3-card cycles (divided along Native and Watcher colors) in place of one the 5-card cycles.

Scott's initial counter theme played up stealing, but, with that gone, I wanted to explore Ken's suggestion that removing -1/-1 counters would be more fun than constantly removing bonuses. It also felt appropriate to the story that the prisoners were now breaking free and turning on the Watchers. This image lead to common instants that retooled Scott's countercast spells, requiring a payment of something that is normally a penalty. On a larger scale, this lead to exploring legends who broke free from their bonds.

The legends were met with resistance on the wiki by some who felt the counters read like too much downside, but I feel players start by reading a card's name and looking at its artwork, which have potential to be amazing. They then glance at mana cost and power/toughness. Here, that ratio should drop jaws. Players will start on the text, find the expected downside, but keep reading to realize undoing that downside is further upside.

The uncommon composters were inspired by Insatiable Rot, Snarling Iguanar, and the desire to reward Scott's sacrifice theme. The rare Watcher spells attempted to play into the Watchers' strategy of using an enemy's resources against them, but without making them unplayable against the wrong opponent.



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