They say that the best way to ruin your dreams is to fulfil them.
Well, you've fulfilled your dream, you've become a fully-fledged Magic: the Gathering designer. The road was long, and sometimes bizarre (why was there a military obstacle training course, you'll probably never know), but after months of trails, you've received a shiny contract from Wizards of the Coast, Inc ,(a subsidiary of Hasbro Inc. All rights reserved). You sign the monstrous 178 page contract without even reading it, and that's it. You're in. You've made your way in to the heart of Magic .
At first, things are fairly normal. You go to work in the morning, design cards all day, play epic EDH games with the team on Thursdays, and playtest with the development team during lunch breaks. Life's good.
Then your phone rings in the middle of the night. Mark-fricking-Rosewater is on the other side:
"Hey, kid, we need you to come in. It's urgent." He says, and hangs up. You look at your clock. It's 03:00 am, but you can't say no to MaRo.
Half an hour later, you enter the halls of Wizards' HQ. It's dark, with most of the lights gone, and quiet. As you approach the elevator, you're surprised to see Aaron Forsythe standing next it.
"Good, you're here", he says. Up until now you weren't even sure if he knew who you were. Aaron signals you into the elevator, then presses the buttons in a quick order, and then the buttons change. He pushes the button marked G23 and the elevator starts going down. Down? you thought this was the ground floor.
You go out of the elevator into a hallway you've never seen before. The walls look metallic, and you can't quite see where the light is coming from. Aaron leads you into a locker room, and hands you a thick bundle.
"Get dressed. Briefing is at 04:00", he says, then leaves before you can ask any questions.
You open the bundle to find a heavy looking weather suit in blue and grey camo-colors. Having nothing better to do, you wear it, then proceeds through the doors that Aaron went through.
The room you enter looks like a movie theater. There are many seats, all facing the large screen at the back of the room. You take the first vacant seat you can find. Soon the room starts to fill. Some of the people are high-ranking members of R&D, but most are newbies like you. You notice only the newbies are wearing the camo-gear.
MaRo enters the room and takes his place near the large screen. The room grows quiet as if given a signal. It's funny, but the strange lighting makes it seem as though MaRo has little demon horns growing from his forehead. But surely, that must be your imagination, right?
MaRo speaks up: "As everyone here knows, Gleemax has put some of his incredible intelligence to the effort of better understanding Human culture, and has recently began to grasp the significance of our holidays. Gleemax calculated that a winter-theme set that would come out for Christmas would gain popularity with a young audience, and thanks to the addictive ink and subliminal messages in the artwork, we should expect this to allow Magic to grow over the next few years, keeping our cover intact for a long time."
Several of the other newbies raise their hands to ask a question, but MaRo ignores them. "As we are already in December, time is of the essence. We're sending our new recruits on an exploraratory design committee to gain as many card assets as possible for us to incorporate into a new set."
A picture of a vast, snowy wasteland appears on the screen. "This is the plane Gleemax has identified as the most fitting to stage the new set in. It's known as Svalverden, and it might be the source of many Christmas-related myths, as well as Nordic and Inuit mythology. You are to go through the planar portal and retrive as many cards as you can based on your findings there."
Someone shouts from the back: "So we're supposed to go there and design cards according to what we see there?"
All veteran member of R&D laugh at this. You see Alexis Janson holding her sides.
"No, no", says MaRo with a smile. "You'll use the Cardmaker 3000, of course".
Someone hands him a weird looking gun. "Just aim it at the targets, and it'll turn them into cards. Don't forget the change the setting according to the card type you want to get, of course. Now, head off! there's no time to waste!"
With that, the senior members of R&D start corralling you newbies into the adjacent room, where a large, gate-like shape occupies most of it. You are each given a Cardmaker 3000, and then rushed towards the gate. A countdown is sounded, and when it reaches zero the gate flashes with a bright light, and you can see the same cold wastseland on the other side.
"Just a reminder", says MaRo before you leave, "That according to section 146.1.2 subsection D of your contract, should you perish during this mission, Gleemax will erase all memory of you from everyone who knew you, and your card collection will be divided between the senior members of R&D".
You start to regret not reading that contract fully, but then you are pushed forward and step into the portal.
You look around you at the snowy landscape, then at the sci-fi gun in your hand. You're at Svalverden, and you have a mission.
Your mission is to use the Cardmaker 3000 to design a non-legendary, non-planeswalker card that represents a place, an indigenous species, or a unique culture of Svalverden, the snowy plane.
You have until the end of December 5th.
Important note: This is meant to be a return to form for the CCL. There will be three rounds followed by a top 8, then semifinals and finals. Do join in the fun.
Creature - Goblin (U)
If a source would deal damage to Svalverdenian Goblin, instead it deals double that damage to Svalverdenian Goblin and its controller. The goblins of Svalverden have a thick plating, perfect for surviving the cold, but brittle to the touch.
Snow Creature - Yeti (C)
Whenever Svalverden Yeti blocks or becomes blocked by a nonsnow creature, Svalverden Yeti gains first strike until end of turn. Few creatures are as unaffected by the snow as a yeti.
Sarxx, Ice-Blood Weaver3UU
Legendary Creature - Human Wizard (R)
Other creatures don't untap during their controllers untap step unless their controller pays 1 for each creature he or she controls. "May you be cursed to see the sun but never feel it."
Creature - Faerie Rogue (C)
When Fickle Forst-Biters enters the battlefield, you may have it deal 1 damage to target creature. Tap that creature. They do worse then nip at your nose.
Creature - Human Scout (U) R, T: Put a verse counter on Bladesinger Skald, then target creature gets +X/+0 until end of turn, where X is the number of verse counters on Bladesinger Skald. A great many skalds choose to memorize the exploits of great warriors, inspiring future generations to seek greater glories.
...Holy s***, Asrama, that was a heck of a read. Seriously puts me to shame!
Cruelty of the Cold1UB
Whenever a creature attacks alone, destroy it at the end of combat. "The cold doesn't care about you. It doesn't care about your loved ones, waiting for you at home. Svelverden is not a place to be alone in." -Ajani Goldmane
Creature - Elf Shaman (U)
When Savean Oracle enters the battlefield, you may give a gift. (Exile the top card of your library attached to an opponent. If that card is not a land, that player may cast it using mana as though it were of any color.)
Whenever an opponent casts a gift, draw a card. Generosity is its own regard. But there is no reason you cannot make that reward just a bit more enticing.
Sacrifice a snow land: Put three snowball counters on Snowball Fight. 1, Remove a snowball counter from Snowball Fight: Snowball fight deals 1 damage to target creature or player. Despite the harsh and unforgiving conditions, Svalverdenians have happy moments too.
Creature - Elemental Monk (Rare)
Freeze (You may choose not to untap this permanent during your untap step.)
At the beginning of your upkeep, if Glacier Seer is tapped, scry 2.
, : Draw a card. "Through my sleep, I learn. Through my awaking, the world shall learn." 1/3
Kvelle is a location within Svalverden. Its a gigantic open icy prairie on top of a plateau, and home to several settled tribes of humans. The tribes on the plateau are mostly attuned to white mana and green mana.
Kvellen Solar FarmWW
At the beginning of your upkeep, you may put a solar counter on Kvellen Solar Farm for each Kvellan Solar Farm you control. 1, Remove a solar counter from Kvellen Solar Farm: Choose one --
Prevent the next 2 damage that would be dealt to target creature you control.
When Saehjall Den enters the battlefield, put a 4/4 green Beast creature token onto the battlefield.
Each creature with the highest power among creatures you control gets +1/+1 and has "1G: Regenerate this creature". "If you value your life, don't disturb saehjallir while they hibernate. Or brood. Or hunt. Anytime, really." - Torkvist, Unallek captain
Creature - Horror (U)
Whenever another creature dies, exile it. Put a +1/+1 counter on Ravenous Wendigo and you gain 1 life. "At winter's end, the wendigos rose up to devour those that the snow and wind had spared." - The Fall of Brevendal
Creature — Bird Wolf (U)
Flying B, Exile a creature card from your graveyard: Scavenging Valravn gets +2/+2 until end of turn. Filthy creatures. Would as soon eat a week-old dead elk as a king.
Kirgens are living humanoid Elementals made of pure ice. You can think of them as living snowmen. Mechanically, they have creature type Elemental and they use snow-hybrid mana, which you can pay for with a specific color or any snow mana.
Snow Creature — Elemental Wizard (R) ( can be paid with either U or one mana from a snow permanent.)
At the beginning of your upkeep, scry 1.
, T: Scry 1. The ice of his body diffracts the future as easily as light.
MCC - Winner (6): Oct 2014, Apr Nov 2017, Jan 2018, Apr Jun 2019 || Host (15): Dec 2014, Apr Jul Aug Dec 2015, Mar Jul Aug Oct 2016, Feb Jul 2017, Jun Nov 2018, Feb Jul 2019 (last one here) || Judge (34): every month from Nov 2014 to Nov 2016 except Oct 2015, every month from Feb to Jul 2017 except Apr 2017, then Oct 2017, May Jun Nov 2018, Feb Jul 2019 (last one here) CCL - Winner (3): Jul 2016 (tied with Flatline), May 2017, Jul 2019 (last one here) || Host (5): Feb 2015, Mar Apr May Jun 2016 DCC - Winner (1): Mar 2015 (tied with Piar) || Host (3): May Oct 2015, Jan 2016
• The two public custom sets I've been part a part of the design team for: "Brotherhood of Ormos" - Blog post with all info - set thread - design skeleton / card list || "Extinctia: Homo Evanuit" - Blog post with all info - set thread - card list spreadsheet
• "The Lion's Lair", my article series about MTG and custom card design in particular. Latest article here. Here is the article index.Rather outdated by now, and based on the old MCC rubric, but I'm leaving this here for anybody that might be interested anyway.
• My only public attempt at being a writer: the story of my Leonin custom planeswalker Jeff Lionheart. (I have a very big one that I'm working on right now but that's private for now, and I don't know if I will ever actually publish it, and I also have ideas for multiple future ones, including one where I'm going to reprise Jeff.)
Flurry Scamp 2WG
Snow Creature - Ouphe (U)
If Flurry Scamp would be exiled from anywhere, return it to the battlefield tapped under it's owner's control at the beginning of the next end step.
The giant who squashes the scamp into a snowbank risks breaking his fist. - Svalverden expression encouraging patience.
Private Mod Note
Rollback Post to RevisionRollBack
BInfect BWDeath & Taxes UBRAffinity
RBurn UBRSac Land Tendrils UBRGOops, All Spells
WUGPhelddagrif GGGOmnath, Locus of Mana BBBXiahou Dun, the One-Eyed RRRAshling, the Pilgrim BBWTeysa, Scion of Orzhov UUUTalrand, Sky Summoner UUBVela the Night-Clad GGBVhati il-Dal RUWRuhan of the Fomori
Yzgath, the Ranges's Leader2R
Legendary Snow Creature — Yeti (R)
Snow and Yeti spells you cast cost less to cast.
Other Snow and Yeti creatures you control have first strike. The Svalverden mountain range comprises one of the most scariest dangers in Svalverden: not the sierra itself, but those who are born inside it.
Private Mod Note
Rollback Post to RevisionRollBack
Thought of the Month: I gave up from trying to require the 'i' on my name: SolesticIo