A long time ago, in a Discord server far, far away, we finished the final qualifier round of Design League Season 2. We asked our designers to take us out of this world, and they did not disappoint. Let’s take a look at the challenge!
Qualifier 7 – Triumph
Create a new mechanic (keyword ability/action, ability word, batching word, card type or subtype) that uses the word ‘Triumph.’ Then design a card for a Space Opera Battle set using that keyword.
- One card submission.
- Must use and define your new mechanic ‘Triumph’ within the card. (Triumphed, Triumphs, and Triumphant are okay.)
- No rarity restrictions.
- No card type restrictions.
- Card flavoring should be ‘Space Opera.’
- Standard set power level.
Kayiu: Flavor is a tricky thing in magic. It’s tempting to go all-in on representing exactly what a word would mean in a magic context. However, in reality, there are dozens to hundreds of ways to represent any given flavor conceit. What matters isn’t representing the flavor perfectly, its getting something that actually plays well. I think this round has a serious risk of creating mechanics that read nice, but play awful, so I’m interested in seeing how people mitigate that.
You can check out the full comments document for round 7 here.
Qualifier 7 – Runners Up
Republic Fleet Rescue by Juliet
Tim: Very solid mechanic and card. I like that it preserves the buffs for turns where I’m actually attacking. Lots of opportunity to sequence my attacks. Also avoids the Saga weirdness like the last chapter of Binding of the Old Gods giving deathtouch for a turn. Artifact-Propaganda doesn’t quite hit the mark for me.
Redbay: This is such a well flavored card; I really appreciate the whole package between name, flavor words, mechanics, and art description. I think artifact is a heads up choice for the card type, as a Space Opera Battle set will likely lean more into artifact themes than enchantment. The mass blink mode feels a bit heavy for a common, though I think it’s probably difficult to convert it into serious value considering you have to commit your creatures to an attack.
Desperate renegades by grrrbear
Tim: Pirate kitties are serious! I love a cheap little token! It’s clutch that hitting the opponent is what creates a Triumph. It wouldn’t connect for me if I could tap to create a Triumph or something passive like that. We’ve seen abilities that spend Blood and Food before so it makes sense to do something like that here, too. Giving haste seems like a decent tradeoff for losing the 2 power.
Kayiu: This feels like a card I would like to see in a pack in a set. Immediately clues me in to a theme of it, and is simple/easily parseable. I like how triumphs push for aggression without being combat tricks/without making the creature harder to kill on blocks. I also like how a single connection with this makes subsequent ones easier if you just keep cracking the Triumph. Showing an awareness of alternate uses of the token is also heads-up. Overall, I’m a big fan of this card, and I thinkits one of the best expressions of “what would this mechanic look like in a set?” in this round.
Qualifier 7 Winner:
Intrepid Tri-Wing by MonoWhiteBorder
Tim: A bit of kicker, a bit of Battalion, the mechanic seems fun. Card design is also appealing and solid.
Redbay: I’d need to do video commentary in order to properly capture the joy I felt reading “It enters triumphantly, tapped and attacking” for the first time. The timing window on casting spells for their Triumph cost looks like the kind of thing where new and experienced players will get it right, but that group inbetween might miss it because they think they can get away with something. I think you’ve captured that Triumphant feel with the combination of setup, costing, and pay off– my only concern is developing an environment where if Triumph is good, then sitting back to block is likely bad, and then your combat step isn’t that interactive.
Kayiu: Oh, this is really cool. I love this being a colorless card at its base but spiking/getting better in a red deck – even though this is a rare, I could see that duality being a recurring trend at lower rarities as well, allowing these Vehicles to be solid playables in a variety of decks but getting better in the right strategy. Great flavor resonance with “enters triumphantly.” I think this card is nicely balanced to be very attractive for constructed without being obscene. Yeah, not much else to say, I think you nailed it. (I also think this card definitely benefited from the revisions you made to it, because I remember seeing an earlier version and thinking WHEW that would not fly 😛 )
Congratulations, MonoWhiteBorder! You’re joining NorthernGun, Sage B, Dillon, platypeople, Rowan, LudosGD, and one other person in the Design League Season 2 Tournament!
Who’s one other person?
Your Judge Vote Winner…
Across the seven Qualifiers, each Judge has issued a vote to the top three-five individuals that they felt designed the best cards for the challenge prompt. The 8th Tournament slot has been reserved for the individual that had the highest and most consistent performance, without otherwise winning an individual Qualifying round.
We are happy to welcome, with a total of 9 Judge Votes, perryk to your Design League Season 2 Tournament. Congratulations, Perry!
Thank you to all of our participants, our judges, and remember…
Our tournament starts next week!