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The Great Puzzle Designer Search

Challenge. Fun. Adventure. Here at Possibility Storm we’ve spent the past 2 years challenging you to solve our riddles to hone your Magic skills, have some fun, and maybe even win some prizes. Today we’re embarking on something a little bit different, and see how well you can challenge us and others. And if you’ve got what it takes, it could take you on a new adventure as a (paid) puzzle designer on the Possibility Storm team! That’s right, we’re doing our own Great Designer Search – Possibility Storm style – full of the challenge, fun, prizes, and opportunity to show off your Niv-Mizzet-level-intelligence that we bring through our puzzles every week. You can submit puzzles just for fun (and prizes), or to be part of the contest to become our new designer, or both!

Here’s the scoop:

The Possibility Storm Great Designer Search (GDS) will be run in four rounds with challenges of increasing complexity. If you’re submitting just for fun and prizes, you can submit up to two puzzles to each round. So long as they meet our criteria, we’ll share the best ones on your behalf through our social channels and enter you in a draw to win from a prize pool including things like MTG sealed product and Possibility Storm products (Playmats, etc.) If you’re submitting for GDS, you may only submit one puzzle for that purpose in each round. Everyone will be eligible for the first two rounds, and a rolling leaderboard will be published so you can see how you’re doing. After the second round, only a select group of top performers will be eligible to continue in the contest, with further cuts before we go into the finals. Once we get to the finals, we’ll get everyone following along to help us choose the winner!

The Rounds:

To keep things straight, please ensure your puzzles meet our general rules as well as the below design constraints for the given round. General Rules:
  1. All puzzles must begin at the beginning of your first main phase, and the solution must win before the turn is over.
  2. All cards used must be standard-legal.
  3. Unless otherwise specified in your puzzle’s notes section, unknown cards (such as those you could draw from your library) are to be treated as unknown and can’t be part of the solution.
  4. Except for the Mythic round, the opponent should not be able to cast spells or activate abilities. (Though they can have non-castable cards in hand if that matters.)
Round rules:
  1. Proto-puzzle (Deadline May 8, 11:59pm PT):
    1. Other than basic lands or dual lands, the puzzle may have no greater than seven total cards of any type combined between your hand, your battlefield, the opponent’s battlefield, and the graveyard (if applicable).
    2. In addition to that, you may have up to five lands that are either Basic lands, “Shock” lands, or Guild gates. Any additional lands subtract from your card total.
    3. Ideally, proto-puzzles should focus on a single interaction, (such as Deathtouch + Trample, for example), rather than several tricky steps.
    4. Do not worry about including flavour, realism, or distraction angles.
    5. See a sample puzzle + solution here.
  2. Uncommon puzzle (Deadline TBD)
    1. Other than basic lands or dual lands, the puzzle may have no greater than ten total cards of any type combined between your hand, your battlefield, your graveyard, and the opponent’s battlefield.
    2. In addition to that, you may have up to six lands that are either Basic lands, “Shock” lands, or Guild gates. Any additional lands subtract from your card total.
    3. Need more blockers? You may use additional Standard-legal tokens that do not count against your card total.
    4. The solution should involve no more than four meaningful steps and be solvable without advanced rules knowledge or stack tricks.
    5. See a sample puzzle + solution here.
  3. Rare puzzle (Deadline TBD)
    1. Other than basic lands or dual lands, the puzzle may have no greater than twelve total cards of any type combined between your hand, your battlefield, your graveyard, and the opponent’s battlefield.
    2. In addition to that, you may have up to eight lands that are either Basic lands, “Shock” lands, or Guild gates. Any additional lands subtract from your card total.
    3. Need more blockers? You may use additional Standard-legal tokens that do not count against your card total.
    4. The solution should involve no more than six meaningful steps and involve some level of complex interactions or counter-intuitive card use.
    5. See a sample puzzle + solution here.
  4. Mythic puzzle (Deadline TBD)
    1. Mythic puzzles have no card total limit or restrictions on solution complexity! Just make sure the puzzle is legible and not over-crowded. And remember, more stuff is not necessarily a better puzzle!
    2. See a sample puzzle + solution here.

How to submit:

  1. Download the template you want to use:
    1. Image-based: without graveyard // with graveyard
    2. Google Slides-based: without graveyard // with graveyard
    3. Need tips on template use, graphics editing, or card downloads? Click here.
  2. If image-based, open the template in the image editing program of your choice.
  3. Add cards to the appropriate zones by downloading images from sites like Scryfall.
  4. If you need counters or dice, you can use our dice graphics here (ZIP file).
  5. Enter your opponent’s life total, any relevant notes about the puzzle.
  6. Submit your puzzle using the form here.

Puzzle Submission Form

How we evaluate competitive submissions, in roughly the below order of priority:
  • Does the puzzle follow all the design rules (pass/fail)
  • Fun factor
  • Cleverness factor
  • Does the solution work as written
  • Suitable for difficulty level
  • Puzzles submitted for the contest will be evaluated within 1-2 weeks and your score updated on our GDS Leaderboard.
Prizes and other just-for-fun submission information:
  • Any puzzles submitted just for fun will be reviewed for quality and posted to Possibility Storm social channels with you tagged (if possible)
  • For every ten puzzles submitted to each round, we will add one prize (approximate value $10-20 US) to the pool and draw from among all submissions.
  • Non-US prize winners may be offered cash equivalent instead.
Fine print: All submissions become property of Possibility Storm, and any submission may be used within our social media channels, website, partner social media and websites, and our Patreon at any time. For any other questions, please contact us at mtgpuzzles@gmail.com! Good luck and have fun!

2018 – Another year of puzzling in review

Happy Holidays everyone, and thank you for making 2018 an unimaginably fun year for us! There’s no new puzzle this week as we do the whole holiday season thing, but for all you stats nerds, we have a slew of fun new data to show off! First, we’d like to acknowledge some milestones for the year:
  • Brought StarCityGames.com on board as a sponsor and had puzzle videos produced and broadcasted on Twitch at SCG Live events
  • Were featured in a series of videos on MTGGoldfish hosted by SaffronOlive
  • Were featured on stream by Jeff Hoogland in a series of solve-it-live puzzles
  • Attracted over 100 new Patrons and are slowly closing in on our 250+ Patron goal to unlock more perks
  • Got to officially preview two cards, courtesy of WOTC (and guess what, there’s another one coming on Jan 10!)
Woohoo! We’re pumped about all these accomplishments in 2018 and ready to bring you another great year of MTG puzzles in 2019. But enough rambling, time for the numbers:

Puzzle Overview

Puzzles published: 51
Total Patron answers graded: 633 (509 of which were correct – 80.4%)

2017: A Year of Puzzling in Review

Happy Holidays everyone, and thank you for making 2017 a fantastic first year for us! We’re big stats nerds over here, and over the last few weeks we’ve been running the numbers to show you some interesting things about the past year. Let’s keep the preamble nice and short and jump to the data!

Puzzle Overview

Puzzles published: 42
Total answers graded on Patreon: 912 (684 of which were correct – not bad!)
Approximate total puzzle views: 612,000
Full list of platforms: Possibility Storm Facebook and Twitter, Reddit posts from /u/taptwo and in subreddit /r/mtgpuzzles, MTGCanada.com, MTGGoldfish.com, and of course here at PossibilityStorm.com

12 Days of Puzzles Giveaway

Every day from Dec 13 – 24 we will be posting a puzzle on Facebook and Twitter, and on Christmas Day we will draw a random commentor to win a copy of Archenemy: Nicol Bolas! Rules and details in image below. Our FB and Twitter links can be found on the top right corner of this page. Good luck!