Design League Season 2 – Finals Results

It’s time to reveal the winner of Design League – Season 2! You can review the original challenge here.

MonoWhiteBorder, Beacon of Creation host, Film connoisseur, and two-time Design League Tournament participant, had this to say at the onset of the Finals:

“Ludos and Platypeople. I can’t say I’m surprised that either of them made it this far. Platypeople has been my favorite to win the competition for awhile considering the strength of their designs in the preliminary qualifiers. Alternatively, I think Ludos has been putting together a really strong showing in the top 8 and the challenge plays into their strengths as a storyteller. It’s a tough one to call, but Platypeople has one thing going for them — no one has won two tournament rounds yet. I’m going to pick Platypeople to win their first tournament round at the most important time.

As far as what I expect to see? I’ve been on a real extra deck kick recently and this might be another good place to see the mechanic. Scrolls give me an artifact vibe and since they were placed by Tamiyo and manipulated by Tibalt it would make sense they are slightly out of the player’s control.”

If you haven’t checked out the submissions, then you should do so first!

LudosGD’s Submission Power Point

platypeople’s Submission Power Point

Ludos’ Submission

Ludos’ submission featured returning mechanics in Investigate and Sagas:

Additionally, Ludos created three new mechanics– two ability words in “Follow the Clues” and “Follow the Treasure“:

And finally, Decrypt, a transform mechanic that utilizes cards with different mana values in the graveyard:

What the Judges Had to Say

Juliet: There’s some gold here, but it doesn’t sing as more than the sum of its parts. Often, the cards themselves don’t seem like they’re rewarding you very much for pursuing these specific goals – rather, that what we’re getting is closer to its normal rate, but placed on the other end of a more-complicated-than-normal hoop.

Mark: I feel like you captured the race here pretty well, even if I wish there was a tad bit less Kamigawa relative to the rest. The theming of Nashi’s faction trying to clear Tamiyo’s name was extremely wholesome. I feel like this situates the setting extremely well.

Tim: Tamiyo’s Announcement art description gave me the feeling that this is a global (multi-planar) event. The narrative through the the pack made sense, though the good and bad guy teams didn’t come through.

Kayiu: Overall, feels like a mixed bag – there are high points and low points for each aspect of this pack. I think that the mechanics themselves starting at semi-flawed premises had a cascading effect on some of the individual card designs, which hurt the entry as a whole. Ultimately, though, I think that there are plenty of good ideas in here, and I think with some polish and iteration this would be a solid core for a set.

You can also listen to Tim and Kayiu’s first reaction to Ludos’ pack by checking out this episode of Beacon of Creation.

platypeople’s Submission:

platypeople opted to bring back Jump-Start for their submission, though featured in new colors than its debut in Guilds of Ravnica:

Additionally, platypeople created two new mechanics– the first is Castigate, a punisher mechanic:

And the second is Chasing Leads//Secrets, which uses an outside the game piece like Dungeons or the The Ring Tempts You:

You can hear Tim and Kayiu’s first impressions by listening to this Unpacking episode here.

What the Judges Had to Say

Juliet: The Secrets are a novel new Dungeon-esque idea, and on the whole I like the Secrets having specific ways to grow themselves (compared to merely Venture into Dungeon). However, the balance issues, memory, and extra-pieces problem of Dungeons seem to be pretty similar here, with not a lot of extra offsetting this. “Customs of the Jeskai” is the best piece of flavor writing or concepting in this whole pack.

Mark: Overall I think you buried the lead quite a bit (pardon the pun). I was waiting for leads to show up, and they just didn’t until the token slot. Personally, I think a card as complex and card-like as leads probably ought not be a token, although I get that that makes things a fair bit A+B. I’m not sure if the two leads shown are intended to be part of a set, but if so there’s a fair bit of complexity worry if choosing between, say, five leads. Worse, as colorless cards, there’s a very likelihood of one lead just being obviously better in a majority of cases, and some worry for the potential of bendy rewards. Should a white creature let you pursue a lead that ends in three treasures? All of that said, the subgame being like a race, and having a tension between doing what a lead says and playing a bunch of lead chase creatures is highly compelling.

Tim: Castigate is highlighted very well in the pack. Secrets give you lots of little bits of value to accumulate, though they don’t feel like secrets and don’t have a big ending. Not much narrative around the quest, and the flavor text from the hero characters all amounted to ‘wow, that’s unusual.’

Kayiu: Castigate is really the highlight here – what an insanely fun idea. Punishers are best when you can force your opponent into a tight spot no matter what they choose, so why not make it a mechanic so you can force them into that awkward position again and again? Individual design with it really sell the strength and play patterns of the mechanic as well.

You can also listen to Tim and Kayiu’s first reaction to platypeople’s pack by checking out this episode of Beacon of Creation.

For both participants, you can read the full feedback file (all 6000 words of it!) by clicking here.

And the Winner is…

All competitions must come to an end. Which Designer better captured the Lies and Lives of Tibalt and Tamiyo— and who will receive the coveted colored Discord name as our Design League Season 2 Winner?

By the narrowest margin, a mere 0.1667 difference in points


platypeople’s Qualifier Winning Design
platypeople’s Tournament Round 1 Archetype – UG Draw 2
playtypeople’s Tournament Round 2 – Mu Yanling on Ikoria
platypeople’s Tournament Round 3 – Mono Blue Illusions
playtpeople’s The Lies and Lives of Tibalt and Tamiyo

From a dominant performance in the first half of the qualifiers, winning the “It’s Unbelievable!” Qualifier, to stellar performances throughout our Design League Tournament, you proved MonoWhiteBorder’s prediction right, and won Design League Season 2! Congratulations!

Thank you to all of our Design League participants, whom contributed 231 unique card designs throughout this competition, and our esteemed Judges, who wrote 44,350 words of critique throughout this season. This competition would not be possible without your support.

Catch you all next season!