The Great Designer Search 2 Finalists: Jonathan Woodward

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Jonathan Woodward

Utopia

Invasion strikes Utopia -- now the tools of peace must become the weapons of war!

Common Cycle:

CW01: Farmer's Charm
[adapted from Farmer's Charm by shdwcat - http://community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/wiki/Labs_talk:Gds/gds2/fractal/Utopia/skeleton]
W
Instant
Choose one - Put a 1/1 white Citizen creature token onto the battlefield; or search your library for a Plains card, reveal it, put it into your hand, and shuffle your library; or gain 2 life.

CU01: Scholar's Charm
U
Instant
Choose one - Untap target creature; or target creature gains shroud until end of turn; or draw a card.

CB01: Smuggler's Charm
B
Instant
Choose one - Return target Mercenary card from your graveyard to your hand; or target creature gains Intimidate until end of turn; or you gain one Gold counter. (Gold counters may be spent as colorless mana or life payments.)

CR01: Flameweaver's Charm
R
Instant
Choose one - Destroy target non-creature artifact; or add RR to your mana pool; or target creature gets +2/+0 until end of turn.

CG01: Hunter's Charm
[adapted from Hunter's Charm by shdwcat - http://community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/wiki/Labs_talk:Gds/gds2/fractal/Utopia/skeleton]
G
Instant
Choose one - You may put a land card from your hand onto the battlefield; or target creature must block this turn if able; or put a +1/+1 counter on target creature.

Uncommon Cycle:

UZ01: Anunnaki Eraser
[ability from Fanoffans - http://community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/wiki/Labs_talk:Gds/gds2/fractal/Utopia/skeleton]
2(w/u)(w/u)
Creature - Anunnaki
1/4
Flash
When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, if you control another Anunnaki, exile another target permanent. Return that card to the battlefield under its owner's control at the beginning of the next end step.

UZ02: Anunnaki Infiltrator
2(u/b)(u/b)
Creature - Anunnaki
2/2
Flying
When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, if you control another Anunnaki, remove all counters from target permanent or opponent.

UZ03: Anunnaki Lacerator
2(b/r)(b/r)
Creature - Anunnaki
3/1
Haste
When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, if you control another Anunnaki, Anunnaki Lacerator deals 3 damage to target creature or player.

UZ04: Anunnaki Ravager
2(r/g)(r/g)
Creature - Anunnaki
3/2
Trample
When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, if you control another Anunnaki, destroy target land.

UZ05: Anunnaki Purifier
2(g/w)(g/w)
Creature - Anunnaki
2/3
Vigilance
When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, if you control another Anunnaki, destroy target artifact or enchantment.

Rare Cycle:

RW01: Majority Rule
[adapted from "People's Revolt by Kharg - http://community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/wiki/labs:Gds/gds2/fractal/Utopia]
2WW
Enchantment
At the beginning of your upkeep, if you control at least ten more creatures than each of your opponents, you win the game.

RU01: Omniscience
[suggested by Art M. and posted by eve_prime - http://community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/wiki/Labs_talk:Gds/gds2/fractal/Utopia/skeleton]
4UU
Enchantment
At the beginning of your upkeep, if you have fifteen or more cards in your hand, you win the game.

RB01: Vast Riches
[adapted from "Vast Riches" by Kharg - http://community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/wiki/labs:Gds/gds2/fractal/Utopia]
3BB
Enchantment
At the beginning of your upkeep, if you have twenty or more Gold counters, you win the game.

RR01: Walk through Fire
2RR
Enchantment
If all players would lose the game, you and your teammates win the game instead.

RG01: Lord of the Land
[adapted from "Back to Nature" by Kharg - http://community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/wiki/labs:Gds/gds2/fractal/Utopia]
3GG
Enchantment
At the beginning of your upkeep, if you control at least five more lands than each of your opponents, you win the game.

Commentary:

My design priorities were twofold: Clarify the color-based identities, and motivate gameplay by developing Devon's invasion idea.

Utopia focuses on aspects of each color that do not necessitate a fight to the death:
• White (community): creatures entering the battlefield; lifegain.
• Blue (scholarship): card draw; activated abilities.
• Black (ambition): gold; mercenaries.
• Red (art, passion): flameweaving; one-shot mana generation.
Green (growth): +1/+1 counters; proliferate; putting lands onto the battlefield.

I featured these mechanics in a common charm cycle for which each set of choices "tells a story" of what it means to belong to a color in Utopia. The rare win condition enchantments emphasize the values of each color.

For the invasion theme, I chose Jay Treat's idea of hybrid invaders. The hybrid border will make them easily distinguishable – it's almost as if they've invaded the booster pack! Hybrid contrasts with the natives' mono-colored themes, but still allows the invaders to use the colored effects that the natives avoid. Finally, with hybrid, a single invader card can fit into twice as many possible decks; two additional common cycles may suffice for Limited. I gave them a tribal ability that counts whether you control at least one other invader, which encourages including invaders in a deck only if there are enough to support each other. I named them "Anunnaki," after the upstart Sumerian deities, as I wanted a unique creature type for this new tribe.
Incidentally, I wasn't sure how we were supposed to express which cycle was inspired by a card designed by someone else. In my case, the rare alternate win condition cycle was suggested by Babblefish, and the first card for it designed by Kharg.

Here's the source in the wiki: http://community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/wiki/Labs:Gds/gds2/fractal/Utopia



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