Friday, February 23, 2018

Beacon of Creation Episode 11 Notes

Host/Augment Challenge: Make a pair of cards that meld into one card/ All three cards must be different colors.

Worldbuilding Challenge:  Create a common cycle unique to Castmire.

Brad's Blog post about this Princess Lucrezia Deck:

Let us know what you think about the upcoming products!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

GDS3 Designs for Trial Three

Hey everyone.

So I didn't make it make past Trial Three.  Now that I know, I am allowed to share the designs I submitted to Wizards, for better or worse.

Please tear these apart; I, like many others, learn best from criticism.

My first submission was a card I designed a long time ago.  It has mirrored abilities, and I think it's quite lovely.

If you know my design style, I try to use elegance and simplicity.  I try not to use to many words to get the point across.  My second submission shows how powerful, simple spells can sometimes be all you need. It was originally designed as a Host/Augment challenge for the Beacon of Creation podcast, which I co-host. I changed it to not destroy lands because the original design was made with Commander in mind and not for Standard.  I wanted to make it a little more fair.

My third submission was a hole-filler.  After all was said and done, I needed a red/green enchantment and a blue/black instant.  I really wanted to show off snowfall, and this seemed like the best place to do it.  As I was following the rules of the submissions I wasn't use the ability word, but the rules text is the same.  This card has the most text out of any of my submissions, and I feel like it should probably be lower on the list, but here it is.

My fourth submission was another one of my podcast cards, but this time it was from a worldbuilding challenge. It was the perfect fit for a blue/white sorcery, but I after I submitted my final designs I noticed that my submission had it listed as common, when it should be at least uncommon.  Oh, well.

My fifth submission was the first of my two planeswalker designs.  I found these to be some of the most difficult designs, especially becasue they have so many knobs to fiddle with.  (In design terms, knobs are all the numbers that can be changed.)  Tibalt has more numbers than most planeswalkers, and I would say he was the most challenging to design. I wanted to get the flavor just right as well, and his being a torturer fit right in. If there was one thing I would change about Tibalt, it would be his first ability.  I would change it to life loss so less experienced players wouldn't get frustrated when they weren't able to redirect the backlash damage he deals to himself.

As I look back on my designs, I think that #6 should probably be higher on the list.  It just makes me smile. Remember noggles? From EVENTIDE?!  ANYONE!?!? Well, They were great. And here is one with Grandeur.

My seventh card was my second planeswalker.  He's fine.  I made him with a Phyrexian lean and a +1/+1 counter theme.  I like that you can ult him right away to draw a bunch of cards in the right deck.

The eighth card was a combat trick!  A rare one, at that.  It's basically game over if you cast this for more than 5 mana with a few creatures attacking.

#9 was an enchantment that basically reflects how I feel when there are a bunch of people around. It's also pretty good removal in white/black.

My final submission is my blue/black instant that I wasn't able to come up with for a long time.  It's a simple, powerful effect that would have modern players excited.

And that's it.  I'm serious, by the way, about being brutally honest with how well I pulled these off.  I want to be the best designer I can be, and padding the criticism is not necessary.

I am so glad that I had a chance to compete, and I will try again if given the chance.

Thanks for reading it all, and have a good one.


Friday, February 16, 2018

Beacon of Creation Episode 10 notes

Hey Beaconeers,

This week we had Zarepath on to talk about the difference between innovation and creativity.

Our host/augment challenge is to design a 4-color charm that has only two modes.

Our worldbuilding challenge is to design the artifact Dack is coming to the plane for.  It must be tied flavorfully to the world and its inhabitants.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Beacon of Creation Episode 9 notes

Hey Folks,

This week we had Jay Zeffren (@Zefferal) on to talk about self-imposed design restrictions.

Our Host/Augment challenge for this week is: The designed card must fit the following flavor text: “Those who laugh the loudest tend to laugh the shortest.”/ establish a mechanical hook that isn't directly related to the other keywords

Our worldbuilding challenge is just to come up with a name for the plane we have been working on, and the set name, if it's different.

Listen to it here!

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Beacon of Creation Episode 8 notes

Hey folks.

I know it's been over two weeks since the last episode, but the episode that we recorded last Monday (the day before the results of trial 2 were released) and on Tuesday, I received word that I made it to the next round. I wasn't able to edit the podcast in time to get it released on Friday, but I finished my third design challenge and finished edited the extra-long episode minuted before it was released.

Thanks for your patience, everyone.

Now that that is out of the way, let's get into what this episode is about. Our guest is Michelle Rapp, a game lore expert, cohost of the Loregoyfs podcast, and many other things. We talk a lot about trial 2 of GDS3, which was the 75 question multiple choice test, and deep dive into the noir spooky mansion set we are building.

World Design challenge this week:  Design a ghost who "lives" in the mansion, and is the one that Tacatta is investigating.

Host/Augment challenge: Design a mythic rare Sliver that isn't five colors/ show how it represents duality of nature.

Enjoy the episode, and send us an email at with your designs and follow us on twitter @magicdesigncast to say hi and give feedback.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Beacon of Creation 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.