Design League Season 2 – Tournament Challenge 1 Results

We dared venture where few other designers had ventured before, by asking our designers to complete a suite of Space Opera cards. You can review the original challenge here.

We asked the judges what they felt the biggest challenge would be for the designers:

“My first guess when it comes to difficulty is making it Magic. Sci fi is a pretty commonly defined line in the sand for Magic design, something official sets have avoided outside of silver border. Finding the right balance of “we made a lightsaber” and “this card feels like a lightsaber that fits into Magic’s setting” is tough.” -Mark Confidant

“Working around Triumph is the hardest part of this challenge — designing a draft archetype that is novel, unique, hits the flavor, and includes a Triumph card.” -Juliet

After the challenge was completed, the designers offered up their own experience with the challenge:

“My main flavor concern was trying to make sure the stuff I implied about the world didn’t just look like an obvious star wars reskin.” -platypeople, Q4 Winner

“My biggest fear with all this is that I leaned to hard into one color. I think I should have branched out more into blue rather than staying mostly white. I think it might be my downfall here” -Sage B, Q2 Winner

“Had to be aggressive, couldn’t be UW were the two restrictions I felt. Considered tribal or a similar parasitic creature archetype, but wasn’t a fan of the idea that players would have to choose between drafting creatures for the archetype or for triumph. Go wide felt like the easiest solution, as triumph itself very clearly points the drafter in that direction. Wasn’t fancy, but I figured designing good cards was more important than reinventing the wheel” -Rowan, Q5 Winner

You can find all 8 designer’s submissions by clicking here.

Who came out on top? Who’s Design League tournament comes to an end? Let’s do the good news first.

Tournament Round 1 High Score

perryk’s RG Combat Spells Matter

perryk’s Uncommon multicolor card, defining the RG Combat Spells matter archetype

Juliet: No qualms with this, it’s straight up the middle, and does something other than generic RW. Alliance and Triumph are a good fit together, and the cleanliness of the cards gets points from me.

Mark: Alliance for the Rebel Alliance might be a little bit on the nose, but I like it. Cheeky, clever, and plays well with Triumph vehicles. Guerrilla Tactician is a pretty novel concept, and Vanguar Arms Master seems like a really appealing Johnny card, but other than that things are a fair bit safe.

Tim: Smart clause for Triumph build around that also rewards some classic gruul combat tricks. My opponents are going to have no idea what I’m casting the turn after I play this. I do have to pay an up front cost of a 3 mana 2/2 in gruul but I’m confident I can earn it back. I appreciated the jungle squad vibes and I found the cards to be appealing enough.

Kayiu: Huge fan of Guerrilla Tactician. I think this extension of what Triumph does is a really neat knob to pick out, one that I hadn’t thought of before. Allowing combat tricks and flash shenanigans is a great way to widen the scope of the archetype, but not so much that its definition is meaningless.

Congratulations, perry! It’s great to see that momentum from you throughout the qualifiers carrying through this first tournament round.

The Eliminated

For some, the Space Opera Draft Archetype challenge represents the end of Design League Season 2. We are eliminating the two Designers that received the lowest total score from the judges.

We thank Sage B and MonoWhiteBorder for their valiant effort during this challenge round, and look forward to seeing you again in future Design Leagues.

To review the full feedback from the judges, you can click here.

Design League Season 2 – Tournament Challenge 2 is right around the corner. Watch the Beacon of Creation Discord for the announcement, where you’ll get to see perryk, Northern Gun, Rowan, LudosGD, Dillon, and platypeople battle it out for a spot in the Semi-Finals!