Design League Season 2 – Qualifier 1 Results

Hello, and welcome to Beacon of Creation’s Design League – Season 2! We’ve closed out our first Qualifier and had a fantastic pool of submissions to review. Let’s review the challenge.

Qualifier 1 – All Along the Omenpaths

March of the Machine and Aftermath recently reintroduced interplanar travel to non-planeswalkers across the multiverse. We’d like to see some characters taken from their home plane and put somewhere new.

Design a card with a canonical, non-planeswalker MTG character transported to a new plane via an Omenpath.

• Non-planeswalker characters only (either current or de-sparked planeswalkers disallowed for this challenge.)
• Can’t use the planeswalker card type; all other card types are acceptable.
• No rarity restriction.
• Standard set power level.
• One card submission.
• MOM Aftermath Timeline, please.

Qualifier 1 – Runners Up

We’ve compiled all of the judge’s commentary in a Google Sheet, which includes this season’s current tally of Judge votes for the 8th Qualifier slot. You can click here to review that document. Below, you’ll find our top 5 performers in this challenge, as well as our Qualifier 1 Winner.

Captain sygg by monowhiteborder

Redbay: I like the mix of Sygg mechanics from Lorwynn and Shadowmoor (Granting Merfolk abilities and drawing cards.) The Merfolk or Pirate call out is nice to bring the two tribes together within this shared color pair. Missing a little bit of Sygg’s adorable Catfish face in this AI render.

Kayiu: From one river to another, Sygg is still on that grind. I’m a fan of all the abilities here – the “stealing an opponent’s card” to mirror original Sygg’s draw ability, no color washing so the Treasure generation matters more even over and above it being a compelling “failcase,” and allowing other creatures to go unblocked to keep enabling him – but not himself, so it isn’t trivial. The creatures being Merfolk and Pirates, both of which are plentiful on Ixalan, also makes sense. I also like some of the more minute choices here ie it being an end step trigger, only being able to cast those spells as long as you control Sygg, feels like appropriate and measured safety valves/powerlevel knobs. I do wish this was 1UB, with maybe an adjustment to the AA’s cost to compensate; very much feels like a card that you want to aggressively curve out with, and 4 mana is right at that cusp where cards need to be JUICED to justify themselves in aggro these days.

Ardenn, sworn to greed by grrrbear

Kayiu: One of my favorite things in magic is storytelling entirely through mechanics, and I think this does a great job of that. Don’t go graverobbing, lest you get stuck with a cursed sword and become Evil ™. I think the mechanics here are also pushed and fun for Hammer Time style decks, being pricier and therefore slower than the usual combo decks can afford in exchange for consistency in having multiple pieces of the combo on a single card. (And of course, in this case slower is much better since we do love having more room to interact with combo decks.) But yeah, not much more to say overall – just has fun flavor and is exciting to play with and build around mechanically.

Naban, Dean of Duplication by perryk

Tim: I couldn’t have told you if this is what Naban did in the first place. After looking him up I get the fusion now. This definitely turbo charges Magecraft!

Redbay: Copying and pasting the flavor text between Naban, Dean of Iteration and this design is *Chef’s Kiss* to me. I can see that Naban has travelled to Strixhaven between the rules text nod to Magecraft and the fact that Naban is a Dean, but I would have appreciated some art or art description to help nail the connection.

Kayiu: I’m almost mad at how clean this is. I think this definitely could’ve gone wrong, feeling more cheeky than genuinely compelling, but I think the choice of the Magecraft trigger doubling is a slam dunk way to emphatically tie Naban to the new plane, despite the other aspects of him remaining unchanged. (And also synergizing with a dizzying number of other things, notably prowess, for a variety of buildaround options.) Flavorfully, makes complete sense to transport the only non-Strixhaven “Dean” to the college plane. The big downside to this card is how much the non-Naban part of this card is also borrowed from another card in Veyran, Voice of Duality. Pushing it to two mana and making it monocolor are meaningful enough knobs, but I think that the one unique part of the card is borrowed from another design hurts this significantly for what was otherwise a slam-dunk.

Sidisi, GOlgari Usurper by platypeople

Tim: Funny tech and appealing to play with.

Redbay: I love a midrange delve spell, where it’s more of a fun bonus, though tying it in with the activated ability gives the player a nice nudge in the right direction.

And your Qualifier 1 Winner…

Winota, Ferocious bonder by Northerngun

Tim: A good combo of Winota and dinosaur themes. Good fit for the challenge.

Redbay: Fun mechanical blend of Ikoria’s Human/Non-Human theme with Ixalan’s Dinosaur-matters theme. The ability has some cool spice for deckbuilding, trying to hit some human or dinosaur pingers to keep a long chain going, though I think this setup is steeper than the original Winota. Fun Fact: It took this card for me to realize that Winota is missing an arm, showing how much I pay attention.

Qualifier 2

Qualifier 2 starts Tuesday, May 30th. Pop onto the Beacon of Creation Discord to participate in the design-league channel. We’re excited to see a new challenge and a whole new batch of submissions!