Command Tower from Magic The Gathering

Design League Season 3 – Qualifier 4 Results

Qualifier 4 was a doozy, let’s recap the challenge!

Qualifier 4 – Coming Home

Last year, we saw several Return to Planes (Phyrexia: All Will Be One, Wilds of Eldraine, and Lost Caverns of Ixalan, to name a few) and each were accompanied with a set of Commander Pre-Constructed (Precon) decks; designing for a precon is a skill unto itself, so here’s your challenge.

Design a face commander for a Commander precon deck, showing us your interpretation of a Return to Plane using one of the planes from the list below:

  • Alara
  • Amonkhet
  • Arcavios (Strixhaven)
  • Ikoria
  • Kaladesh
  • Kaldheim
  • Lorwyn / Shadowmoor
  • New Capenna
  • Tarkir
  • One Card submission.
  • Legendary card that can be played as a person’s Commander (it can be a pre-existing character from a canon card, from canon lore, or new/original.)
  • Card depicts a return to one of the planes outlined in the available list through the use of card name, art, flavor text, mechanics, etc.
  • Face commanders have a certain sales appeal to players (new mechanical niche, familiar character, splashy effects, etc.)
  • Examples of Face Commanders

Ludos was excited for the challenge, and had this to share for designs they would hope to see!

Ludos: Seeing someone tackle the prophesied GUR energy commander from Kaladesh would be cool. Hoping to see some interpretation of Tarkir or Ikoria characters too; most of all, I want to see the participants try to bridge the “old” and the “new” in their design! It’s no easy task, so I’m really curious to see where they’ll land.

You can read the full judge commentary for Season 3 Qualifier 4 by clicking here.

Qualifier 4 – Runners Up

Kari Zev, Sky Smuggler by CryptRat and Dyrit, Dreaming Skald by JamesDaltonBell

Tim, on Kari Zev: That’s a lot of juice for my 4 mana! I’m turbo shredding through my library with this. I barely need other Pirate or Vehicle support to keep the cards flowing. I can’t remember seeing Vehicles fully function in a commander deck but throwing 3 extra draws at the problem certainly helps things.

Juliet, on Dyrit:

Horse and the bard I sing, who forced by fate
And face commanders’ attractive rate
Re-tell the tales of sagas old
And tell them quick, before they’re cold.

This is a stand-out card for me; you’ve got the six jeskai sagas of the first visit to Kaldheim, plus another seventy cards that could be fit in to the deck, doing a new thing displaying a new mechanic that is plausible enough to show up in the main Kaldheim set. Sing and Sequel together both indicate almost too-heavy of a focus on sagas, but with common creature-token generator sagas and some Legends in the mix, I can see this theming bearing mechanical fruit.

Qualifier 4 – Winner

Lutri, Prismari Pupil by Bradley Rose

Mark: Really rewarding theming here. It implies enchantment subtypes on Strixhaven, but also plays with Shrines or Sagas. It’s narrow enough to encourage some weirdness, but wide enough that I don’t think filling out a 99 would be a massive strain. I feel like I don’t love the “Until another card is exiled with ~” template that exists now, but I think that’s just personal preference from having accidentally messed it up a few times. I do think stuff like Arcane, Trap, and Lesson would be a strain to play in a deck, but the sort of ‘island of misfit toys’ aspect of it is very Johnny. This is just a really solid design, and the lore tidbit of a silly magic cat going to wizard school on the Omenpaths is the cherry on top.

Ludos: There’s a lot to love in this design. We are on Arcavios/Strixhaven, and Lutri is a fine character to bring in thanks to Omenpaths, since he has the Prismari colors. Prismari’s token is Elemental, Lutri is an Elemental and Lutri gives spells affinity for Elementals. Sagecraft is a riff on Magecraft; focusing on typed enchantments/instants/sorceries is a cool twist, especially considering Strixhaven is home to Lessons; the Sagecraft trigger encourages you to play lots of “Sage” spells, but doesn’t easily enable storm, since it allows to play only one exiled card at a time. I’m a big fan of this seemingly harmless restriction. And finally, the flavor text — in-lore, it’s Lutri feeling at home in Prismari. But it’s also a reference to Lutri being finally legal in commander! Enchantments on Strixhaven are not unbelievable but would require quite the justification, which I don’t see here. Still, a fantastic entry.

Redbay: Congratulations, Bradley Rose! It’s been a long time coming, having submitted to qualifiers going back to Design League Season 2, Qualifier Number 1! You’re joining khord22, Garduu, and perryk in the Season 3 Tournament!

The Qualification Point Race

With only a couple qualifiers left, the big shake up from this week’s qualifier was CryptRat overtaking Pat on the leaderboard, while Craftedlavaistrue acquires another qualification point to firmly establish themselves in the third position.

DesignerQual Points
Northern Gun2

Stay tuned in the Discord for our next Design League Qualifier!