Design League Season 2 – Qualifier 3 Results

We’re keeping this Love Boat afloat as we finish up Qualifier 3– let’s recap the challenge and discuss the results.

Qualifier 3 – Love is a Battlefield

Design a card where two creatures that are fighting fall in love, and make it spicy for the singles out there by designing it for singleton formats.

  • One card submission.
  • No rarity or card type restrictions.
  • Eternal legal.
  • Designed for Commander, Cube, and/or Highlander formats.

Redbay: I think this challenge proved tricky between being top-down design and attempting to break that barrier to entry in these eternal formats. We had a really tight race at the top that took a lot of deliberation between the judges in order to choose a winner.

If you’d like to skip the article, you can find the full comments file here.

Qualifier 3 – Runners Up

Wrenching Plea by CryptRat

Tim: Middle sentence took some re-reading. There’s a flavor nugget that is really novel to me, the “come to your senses we should be on the same side” trope. Built for multiplayer and it’s a funny effect there. Takes a bit of imagination to see getting ahead with this card but I suppose there’s the baseline of handing off downside creatures.

Redbay: This Donate/Harmless Offering effect is a little more difficult to evaluate since we can only offer up creatures, which puts it firmly in the multiplayer political zone for me (short of Zedruu shenanigans.) The double goad is a nice touch to force something to happen with the two creatures. Can’t see a great use case for this in 1v1. I’m not familiar with She-Ra but the flavor of this card is generally fun to read and I think a player could add some fun “please, you have to kill so-and-so, have my creature” dialogue.

Kayiu: I wasn’t sure how to feel about this for a while – the Donation felt like a steep cost to goad something forever – but restructuring how I think about it, if the Donate is the point and the Goad is just gravy, this becomes a neat card for decks like Zedruu, that further adds to their ability to play politics/group hug while forcing your opponents to kill each other. Neat!

Meet Cute by Juliet

Note: Juliet’s Meet Cute and Grrrbear’s Besmitten have some shared feedback due to similarities in the design. For full feedback, check out the comments sheet linked here.

Kayiu: Oop, looks like we have an instance of convergent design here between this and Grrbear’s Besmitten. I do end up higher on this design than Besmitten, because I think the one difference – Meet Cute costing one less – is actually huge for its playability in Highlander and Cube formats.

Redbay: Meet Cute and Besmitten share a lot of qualities. I like the 1-mv for most higher-powered cube environments; it also helps tie the effect, name, and flavor text together– it’s a cute, little spell. I think uncommon is generally a safer place to put this effect but not really relevant to this challenge.

Lovestruck by Perryk

Tim: Simple and resonant, with the Flash helping to bridge the gap between it and Grasp of Fate. Seems multiplayer-only; hard to see a way to take advantage of exiling your own thing.

Kayiu: In a challenge where I think there was lots of opportunity to overcomplicate in an attempt to hit the flavor beat, I like that this keeps it mechanically simple; a Seal Away variant that explicitly requires multiplayer to make it not card disadvantage for yourself. I think this runs into the same issue that platy’s Midsummer Night’s Dream did for me – the fact that you’re getting to 2-for-1 opponents should be respected/acknowledged more in the costing of this. However, I think it being more interactable as a permanent that two different players will be gunning for makes it a little more reasonable for me.

And now, I present to you…

Qualifier 3 Winner:

Endearing Corsage by Dillon

Tim: It’s fun to make a deal like this in commander. Lifelink is a good ability in commander, too. Seems like it would lock the game up a bit once it gets down to two standing players.

Redbay: Art description helps sell this one for me. Kind of entertaining that you can give somebody a corsage, equip, and then attack them before they get the chance to equip. This isn’t really a magic card in 1v1, which isn’t necessarily a knock against it but a pet peeve of mine. Heads up thinking on using the cast trigger.

Kayiu: This is great. Lots of little knobs here, none of which feel redundant or pointless. I like that you get to equip and attack first, if you want to get one last swing on them off. If there’s something I would’ve liked here, it’s that the equipment itself had a more beefy effect – sort of like the Vow cycle from Commander 2011.

Congratulations, Dillon! You’ll be joining NorthernGun and Sage B in the Design League Season 2 tournament!

Judge Vote Update

There are only four more qualifiers to go in the opening half of this tournament. The 8th tournament slot is reserved for the designer that received the most judge votes throughout the qualifiers, without winning a Qualifier.

Platypeople has snuck ahead in the Judge votes at the end of Qualifier 3–

DesignerJudge Votes
Bradley Rose1

Watch the design-league channel in the Beacon of Creation Discord for the start of Qualifier 4!