Friday, January 19, 2018

Beacon of Creation Podcast - Episode 7 Notes

Hey everyone!

Thanks for checking out the notes for this week's podcast.  This week we had Reuben Covington as our guest, and he was great. You can find him on twitter @ReubenCovington, or you can find his Magic design podcast, Re-making Magic, at

He made an awesome video showing how test on Cockatrice.

This week's challenges are as follows:


The card must have art depicting four creatures, two of which are being hit by something bad.  The card must also be appealing for EDH/commander.  Card text and an art description are required.

Worldbuilding Challenge:

Design an equipment that fits into the world we are creating together.  The place is a spooky mansion in a 1930's noir setting.

Email your submissions to

Some more notes on the world:

The world will have four planeswalkers; Kaya (B/W), Dack (R/U), Tacatta (W/U), and an unnamed (as-of-yet) mono-green planeswalker.  Brad and I are working on a story to tie all these characters together, and we are excited to work with all of you to make this set cool and fun!

The mechanics (and the colors they are featured in) are as follows:

Haunt (GWR)
Shadow (BUG)
Investigate (RWU)
Detain (WBU)
Gates (RBG)

Doing them this way to start gives each color three mechanics to play with.

White has haunt, investigate, and detain
Blue has shadow, investigate, and detain
Black has shadow, detain, and gates
Red has haunt, investigate, and gates
Green has haunt, shadow, and gates

Keep in  mind that playtesting will be a big factor on the final designs and certain mechanics may leave if we find them to be un-fun.

One other mechanic we are playing with is  "free if you played another spell of this color this turn"  as featured on Patrician's Scorn, a card we are looking at reprinting in this set.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Beacon of Creation Episode 6 notes

Hey everyone.

I haven't posted in a while, I know, but I've got something exciting going forward.  I've teamed up with Bradley Rose to make a podcast about Magic design. If you haven't listened yet, do so! (And give us a good rating!) I will be posting these every week as a supplement to the podcast so you, the listeners, can look at what happened while you are listening (or after.)

This week, we had Jay Treat on, of He is a smart dude, and he had a lot of cool stuff to say about magic design. 

This week's challenges (send your submissions to

Host/Augment: A vertical cycle that must use only one or two lines of rules text. A vertical cycle, if you don't know, is three (or four if you go mythic) cards of different rarites that do something similar. The bloodfire cycle is an example.

Worldbuilding challenge: Design a story spotlight card that features two of the created planeswalkers from last week.  Use one old, and one new.  You can mix and match any way that you like.

Here are some mockups of those planeswalkers, if you missed them before. Just a warning I edited some of their abilites from the original versions to clean them up and make them work a little better.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Card of the Day - Tunneling Badger

This mechanic is not mine.  I found it on a reddit post where u/socialscalie had a rough version on the card for his Wurm tribe.  I cleaned it up a bit and here it is.  I think it's a really cool form of evasion that green and red could share.  This thing gets in one hit and then it can do normal creature things.  I'm sure there's a red creature with Burrow and Haste that is going to be awesome.

If anyone has more concise wording for the ability, let me know.  I might use this in a future set.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Card of the Day - Hateful Fiend

I think it's about time that I get back into designing.  I know I promised all of ya'll that I would be doing a card every day, and I've obviously not done that.  New promise: sometimes I will make cards, and sometimes they will be good.   That is all.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Card of the Day - Squirrel Blast

The art from this is when Squirrel Girl defeats Dr. Doom in the Marvel comic.  I wanted to make this monogreen, but I wanted it to hit players as well, so I changed it to green red. I think this could be a green effect as long as it only hits creatures, since the damage is based on how many creatures you control.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Card of the Day - Secret Squirrel

This was the first card I thought of when designing Squirrels.  The real Secret Squirrel is a Hanna-Barbera property, but I'm doing it anyway.  This art was from a comic book version I think?

Monday, August 7, 2017

Card of the Day - Squirrel Matron

The cards this week all have real art!  I have always liked Squirrel cards, and even though they are little too silly for regular Magic, I made some anyway.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Card of the Day - Unity Charm

This one is my favorite of the four color charm cycle.  The last mode makes a token copy of any creature, and it can even give you a double of your favorite legendary creature, without all the legendary baggage.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Card of the Day - Compleation Charm

Atraxa really enjoys this. We all know she really likes working with planeswalkers and their counters.  Blinking three of your planeswalkers with the third mode on Compleation Charm should finish the game for you, if it hasn't been compleated already. /awesomepun

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Card of the Day - Maelstrom Charm

Yidris would find this pleasing. Works well with a few different strategies. The second mode seems like the best one, but either of the others could win the game for you.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Card of the Day - Artifice Charm

This one would have been in the Breya deck, which deals in artifice.  The second ability is a version of Soulquake for artifacts.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Card of the Day - Swarm Charm

This week's theme is Charms.  I really wanted there to be four colored charms in the last commander set, but I suppose we will have to settle for these.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Card of the Day - Glass Shark

Sharks are artifacts because sometimes people make them. This is a reference to a MBMBAM joke that you can find here.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Card of the Day - Hammerhead Hatchling

Sharks are red because of the loss of control that happens when they sense blood in the water. Shark frenzy is like berserker rage.  Dig it.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Card of the Day - Megalodon

Sharks are green because they are natural beings that survive on their instincts. Megalodons are an extinct species of giant shark that can be up to three times bigger than the biggest shark alive today. #sharkfacts

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Card of the Day - Brutal Mako

Sharks are black because they are selfish and do whatever they can to get on top (of the food chain.) This card is a nearly functional reprint of Sengir Vampire, with menace substituted for flying.  I think menace gives it a more interactive feel in combat than flying does.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Card of the Day - Misshapen Meditator

Imagine the future of magic. Emrakul escapes from the moon over Innistrad, and goes somewhere where elves live.  This is one of them.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Card of the Day - Patron of Renewal

A little love for my favorite guild. (Sorry Simic, you're second place.) This could be a mono-green card, but I think it fits in nicely with the flavor of the guild. Don't you?

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Card of the Day - Artoan Crasher

Today's Elf is quite a bit different from yesterday's. He is still a 2/2, but he has the Boost keyword.  Boost has a number after it, and that's how much this creature's power and toughness increase when it attacks.  If you can figure out a way to attack more than once per turn, the boosts stack. Yowza.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Card of the Day - Argothian Apologist

I designed this card with Commander in mind.  There are a lot of incidental Sol Rings and signets that this fella can use to his advantage.  Worst case, he's a 2/2 for 2.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Card of the Day - Sands of Uncertainty

Everyone loves modal spells!  This card is usable at any mana cost.  For 3, you can just kill a creature that's been bugging you, and for 8, you get 5 1/1s. 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Card of the Day - Stoic Krumar

Sometimes a vanilla creature with reasonable stats does good work. Abzan players would not scoff at this guy.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Card of the Day - Calculated Tragedy

I really like the idea of this. It might be better as a 4color card, but I think Abzan colors fit it well.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Card of the Day - Terrus Fen, the Anointed

Welcome to Abzan week. This week I will be featuring cards from my favorite wedge. Today's card is a two mana legendary creature.
The nice thing about creatures with off-color activation costs is that you can cast them and use them as a regular creature even if you don't have the mana to use the off-color ability.  Sure, the card gets better if you have it, but it's not necessary.

Friday, July 7, 2017

The Future of Mad Olaf's Magic Cards

Hello all,

If you've seen my blog before, you know that I usually just post a picture of a card that I designed and maybe a small explanation of it.

Not today.

When I first started this blog, sometime in 2012 (has it really been 5 years?), I promised to post a new card every day.  I did that faithfully for the first two and a half years, but I've been slacking. Since I've moved to Seattle, I'm that much closer to actually achieving my dream of working for Wizards of the Coast and I think it's time to review the vision for the blog.

Originally, I posted a card every day at midnight, central time.  To reach a bigger audience, I will be posting each weekday at 6am, pacific time.  You can expect a post every day, Monday through Friday.

That is all for now, and if you haven't been keeping an eye on my blog, now might be a good time to catch up.

Thank you all,


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Card of the Day - Alcazar, Dread Captain

 I've been thinking about the Commander 2017 set, which has decks based around creature types. The Dragon deck has been partially spoiled, but I think what we really need is a Grixis colored Pirate deck.  A good captain knows that his crew is what keeps the ship moving.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Card of the Day - Slime Spawner/Expelling Jelly/Gelatinous Cube

I was inspired to make these cards after playing someone's mono-green Ooze deck. Although the deck was super fun, it could really use a couple of cards like this.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Card of the Day - Turn into Newt

I noticed today that blue and green share the ability to change power and toughness on creatures.  This is a mix of Lignify and Illusory Wrappings. I think it's okay. 

Friday, April 28, 2017

Card of the Day - Gix, Yawgmoth Praetor

If you're not familiar with Gix, he was one of the original Phyrexian baddies. You can learn a bit more about him here.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Card of the Day - Tull, Desert City

If you don't know by now, I'm very excited for the Dark Tower movie to show up at my local theater the July.  Tull is the first inhabited place visited by the Gunslinger in the first book of the Dark Tower series.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Card of the Day - Exchange Favors

So Hollee said to me tonight, "Are there any bargain cards? Like a card that can let you trade a card in your hand with a card in an opponent's hand?" 

I thought for a minute and couldn't think of one, so I made it.

I had to rejigger the wording to make it mutual exile instead of just trading cards in hands, but if it makes you feel better, you can put that card in your hand if you like.  I give you my permission.