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  • posted a message on Adeistal: 360 Cube/Mega Set (Temporary Name)
    I commend you for stating your intentions at the top. It makes it much easier to provide relevant feedback.

    I think making ten 3-color archetypes "work" in a limited environment is possible, but you really have to build your entire draft environment around it. My primary suggestion is that you relax the singleton restriction and print two or better yet three copies of each common. Here is my reasoning:
    1. Singleton draft is a lot to ask of drafters, especially when the cards are novel and complex. Keep in mind that your word counts on cards are well above sets like Modern Horizons. You might have trouble persuading people to do a second draft if the first one takes more than an hour.
    2. You don't have enough color fixing. Each player will get 2.5 pieces of fixing per draft on average, which is much too low for a tricolor set. However, adding more tri-color fixers to the set will probably make 5-color decks viable at the same time that 3-color decks become viable. I have an idea for special fixing cards (see below), and you will probably need many copies of 2-3 exact designs to make it work. Also, all your dual lands are busted and I would draft all of them first out of any pack.

    A while back, I thought a bit about a Ravnica set that had all 10 guilds in one set. Not rocket-science because most draft sets have ten color-pair archetypes, but I devised a mechanic to make it feel like you were playing for a guild. It went something like this:

    Guildmagic (If you haven't yet this game, choose a pair of guild colors)

    Your guild colors were then locked in for the rest of the game, and cards with Guildmagic would care about your guild colors in their other text. This mechanic allowed me to make a generic mana rock that only tapped for a player's chosen color pair. Technically you could use this to get access to colors you didn't have, but then you would lose the benefits of the many other guildmagic cards that cared about you casting lots of spells in the chosen colors or casting multicolored spells with that specific combination.

    I think something similar could help you. Maybe something like 20+ copies of a land like Command Tower, where you can lock in a tri-color combination at the start of the game by declaring it or maybe revealing a God from your deck and swearing loyalty. Using a mechanic like guildmagic in the set should enable you to give players enough fixing while making it worth their while to stick to focus on three colors.

    You also might want to consider a rule that a player can only have one god in his or her deck. This would prevent players from grabbing multiple gods in a draft and trying to play five-color-good-stuff decks, and virtually ensure that all the drafters end up with a big payoff card for focusing on three colors.

    Also, you can ease the color-fixing issues by exercising restraint with your gold card counts. Alara was considered to be sub-standard draft block because of its high number of gold cards and insufficient. Khans was very successful, largely because it had fewer actual tri-color cards. Keep in mind that normally a draft deck has trouble to play three different colors of mono-colored cards in a draft deck. A few things to consider:
    • Maybe the gods are the only tri-color cards? Maybe 10-20 tri-color cards + 20-30 two-color cards. Keep in mind that you don't need a lot of tri-color cards to make player's want to play three colors, and having too many in a set with all 10 combinations will actually encourage them to play 4-5 colors instead.
    • Khans also used morph very effectively to delay the need to specific colors. Cycling is another excellent mechanic, but cards need to cycle for 2 colorless, and cycling needs be on multiple cards in each colors. You can emphasize cycling as a them in one or two colors, but for utility purposes every tri-color combination will need it.
    • Avoid using multiple mana of the same color in your costs. I saw you had some stuff that had RRR or WWBB in the cost. This pushes players towards mono and two-color mana bases. Instead, you want to increase the amount of colorless and hybrid cards at lower costs. Hybrid is nice because it makes the set feel more multi-colored, while actually reducing the risks of playing with a three color mana-base.

    I hope this helps.
    Posted in: Custom Set Creation and Discussion
  • posted a message on Custom Set Assistance?
    Zealous Torch Bearer is definitely much too powerful. A Stoke 1-drop can't have haste, and a Stoke 2 creature would need to cost 3 mana at minimum.

    If you want to worry about player comprehension best practices, I'd recommend removing the number from Stoke and just making it a fixed 1. My guess is that for balance and space reasons most of the Stoke creatures would be Stoke 1, with only two or three having higher numbers. In this situation its usually better to lose the number for simplicity, then give one or two rarer cards an un-keyworded super version of the ability.
    Posted in: Custom Set Creation and Discussion
  • posted a message on Custom Set Assistance?
    I see some interesting things here, but I'd caution that each of these mechanics falls into the category of things that Wizards has done and later regretted, or things that Wizards has never done for very good reason. My perspective and feedback tends to be from the perspective of someone trying to engineer a good draft format. What formats are you and your friends designing for?

    As Rowanalpha mentioned, there are problems with using mechanics that discourage attacking. So much so that Wizards essentially does not print these mechanics (Enrage is the only thing that comes close). Magic's core systems already heavily favor the blocking player, and the developers actually need to devote a lot of space in each set to cards and mechanics that break stalled board states and encourage attacking. This is why we see mechanics like Battalion and Dash, but never their defensive counterparts.

    Ambush has the same limitation as Flash. Flash works as an evergreen keyword where you have 1-3 flash creatures in a set, having many more flash creatures starts to discourage attacking. Ambush creatures with Etb also cause the repetitive play problem. Wizards considers Forecast and Buyback mistakes because they lead players to just do the same thing over and over again for the rest of the game. Notice that Dash creatures had "When this attacks" triggers instead of EtBs because it gave the opponent an opportunity to interact with them before they returned to your hand.

    A fixed version of Ambush might read Ambush [Higher Cost] (You may cast this as though it had flash for its Ambush cost.) The Ambush cost would be over-rate, allowing for a better rate on the creature's normal mana rate (typically flash creatures need to be a bit below rate to account for the flash). Though I would still worry about this causing stalled boards if there were too many cards with this mechanic.

    Plot works but can't really be pushed. It can be dangerous to let players discard a card for an outsized effect in the early game, and in the late game you can discard a small spell that is no longer relevant. I've thought of a similar mechanic awhile ago where the player always draws a card then discards a card, and gets a bonus effect if they are able to discard a card with a specific quality (a card type or creature type, a specific creature keyword, etc...)

    Stampede has Storm's issue, which is more nuanced than it just being really busted. Storm's problem is that because it can so powerful in specific circumstances, balancing the cards makes them really under-powered in all other situations. I'd recommend making Stampede an ability word that goes on creatures with EtB effects that scale with the number of creatures spells you have cast that turn: Stampede - When this creature enters the battlefield [Do
    something] for each creature spell you have cast this turn. This gives you more levers to adjust the cost, baseline power, and scaling of each card.

    Exiling cards from your own library is not a real cost in the same way that exiling cards from your graveyard is. Rabid Looter reminded me of the is the Hardened Berserker effect. I actually think the berserker's effect is a good candidate for set mechanic and would synergize with stampede nicely. Note that this kind of cost reduction is primary in red and would be secondary in green. It's not something black is really allowed to do.

    Sorry if this was a lot of me saying that things don't work. I definitely think there are some interesting things here. You have it structured as a faction set, but some of your mechanics seem like they would want to go on a few cards in each color, so you could try experimenting with the new typical structure like Eldraine (3 - 3.5 mechanics, non-keyworded themes for most color pairs).
    Posted in: Custom Set Creation and Discussion
  • posted a message on Custom Tribal set
    For play-testing, have you heard of Magic Set Editor? It can format custom magic cards and print sheets of proxies. It's a windows program, but there are ways to get it to run on mac.


    It makes testing a lot easier. Use generic core set cards to fill holes in your mana curve and just throw some decks together to see how things play.

    Posted in: Custom Set Creation and Discussion
  • posted a message on Custom Tribal set
    Two favorite cards. Wash Out and Cut the Thread. Cut is perfect. Wash Out is just the right hosing effect for hags, but it's weak. It needs to be cheaper, tap two creatures, or come with a body. Maybe a creature that taps a target, and the target stays tapped for a turn if its a hag.

    Besides that there are plenty of little balance and color-pie issues. Some of the cards would not normally see print at common if that is something you want to worry about it. Don't worry about it too much at this point.

    The cyclopes cards seem to have variations on the reveal mechanic: When this cyclops is revealed, reveal another cyclops, count how many cyclops are revealed, etc... This is good for testing. Eventually you may want to make them work more consistently, especially at common.

    It can be iffy to have both +1/+1 counters and sprout counters in the same set since players can get confused about what the counters on a creature represent (although in this set there is generally a creature type delineation). I had an idea for elemental tribal a while back that might apply well to plants. Put most off the tribal support for plants on lands, then give some of the plants effects that dig for lands.

    Planning to test? You almost have enough to throw together some rough limited decks.
    Posted in: Custom Set Creation and Discussion
  • posted a message on Custom Tribal set
    Yeah, I built a pauper cube a few years ago and I put Eye Gouge + a bunch of cyclops in it. Weird

    If you do make two sets, I'd recommend trying out a bunch of tribes (10+), before narrowing it down to the ten that interest you the most and dividing them into two color-balanced sets of 5. That way you can pair tribes together that best compliment and contrast each other.

    I'd think about how each tribe works together as a deck. The plants having a split aggro/control focus seems like it might discourage you from putting green and black plants together. I like the way you described the cyclopes better, where red and blue cyclopes contribute their colors effects to a unified game plan. This is more something to do on the level of individual rare cards that push a tribal archetype in a specific direction.

    Plants are another tricky tribe because it is hard to distinguish them thematically from treefolk, elementals, and fungus. If you wanted a weird take on plants, what about moving them to green/red? You know how some forest ecosystems are adapted to burn down periodically and then regrow rapidly? The plant people use their own dead leaves and twigs to power their pyromancy. See Creeping Trailblazer from the M2020 spoiler.

    Not a big fan of Graze mechanic for goats. For one thing, it let's mono-red and mono-white cards do things they are not supposed to. I wouldn't worry about finding a keyword mechanic for each tribe, and I'd be careful about defining each tribe too narrowly around a mechanic, because it limits the types of creature card you can make (For example, its hard to do tribal with subtypes that by convention are expected to have flying, deathtouch, or some other keyword).

    Will let you know if I think of any more ideas/solutions.
    Posted in: Custom Set Creation and Discussion
  • posted a message on Custom Tribal set
    The beauty of custom sets is you can do what you want Smile

    Wizards has never printed a cyclops smaller than a 3/3 because they have always adhered to the mythological depiction of cyclopes as a type of giants. Making smaller cyclopes would make things a lot easier. You just say on this plane that some cyclops are smaller, or some are big but defensive (2U 1/4) or they are big but have drawbacks like "can't attack or block alone." The important thing for a tribal deck is that is that it's mana curve isn't too skewed.

    The other challenge is the popular conception of cyclops that stems from the Odyssey. The "community" of cyclopes in the Odyssey were totally unhelpful when Polyphemus gets his eye poked out. But now that I think about it, there is another other depiction of cyclopes in Greek mythology–Arges, Brontes, and Steropes–who worked for Hephaestus and forged thunderbolts for Zeus. That depiction would fit well with a blue-red instants and sorceries theme or maybe a white-red equipment smithing theme.

    The only other thing I can think of is that Polyphemus kept goats and sheep. I've always found dual-tribe themes interesting (Ogres and Demons in Kamigawa), so how about Goat/Cyclops mutualism. Smile

    Posted in: Custom Set Creation and Discussion
  • posted a message on Custom Tribal set
    For drafting, it's good to have each tribe present in at least two colors. This also gives you a more range in the kinds of effects and creatures you can make.

    Hags are definitely an unusual tribe. I like your "Power of Three" concept, though its exactness might be difficult to get it to play well in limited. The best comparison would be the artifact density of 33% in Scars of Mirrodin to support metalcraft. Your deck does nothing when you draw too few hags or your opponent saves removal to keep you off three. If your deck is full of hags and you draw a bunch, most of will sit dead in your hand (though your coven on the board should be winning you the game).

    As is, I'd recommend making the hags better at baseline and reducing the potency of the coven effects to reduce the swingy-ness of the mechanic.

    It might be better to have effects scale up to a limit of three hags. For example "Put a +1/+1 counter on up to three target hags." or "Draw a card and lose 1 life for each hag you control up to three." This wording might be a little confusing on some effects.

    What if hags had a keyword "Toil" (Tap this and two other creatures you control to toil), and then an additional rider "When this toils [do something]." So a hag can tap with any two other creatures to trigger its effect, but if the other creatures are hags, their toil effects will also trigger. You could have assembly-line synergies among effects: "Create a 1/1 frog creature token" -> "Opponents lose 1 life for each hag and frog you control" -> "Sacrifice a creature. Draw a card."

    As for cyclops, their main challenge is that they are medium-to-large creatures, which means they must be handled differently from smaller tribes like goblins more elves.

    Because cyclops are associated with the Izzet there are several existing cyclops cards that care about instants and sorceries. You could try doing cyclops and in red and blue, with mechanics built around counting instants and sorceries in the graveyard. The play pattern of the deck would be to cast cheap instant and sorcery spells in the early turns, which strengthens the cyclops that you play in the mid and late game. The explicitly tribal effects could go on some of the instants and sorceries, maybe asking you to reveal a cyclops from your hand (like dragon tribal in Dragons of Tarkir).

    Tribal suggestions/requests: Centaur, Clamfolk, Egg, Eye, Gamer, Goat, Hatificer, Kangaroo, Salamander, Weird.
    Posted in: Custom Set Creation and Discussion
  • posted a message on THE CORE, another set of Armulun
    I have some feedback about complexity of play. If that is not something you want to worry about, please disregard. Smile

    All these mechanics use different counter types, which can make it difficult for players to keep track of the board state. WotC R&D actually has a rule for standard sets where they avoid having two types of counters in a set that both go on the same permanent type. For example they had -1/-1 and brick counters in Amonkhet, but the brick counters only went on non-creature artifacts.

    In this case there is a high chance that a creature with Reshape will also end up with both -1/-1 and deep counters on it, especially since players might be incetivized to put deep counters on reshapers to make it harder to activate them. I also noticed you have both conquer and charge counters on land.

    Collectively, these mechanics make doing combat and mana math much more complicated. Combat is tricky because you need to account for all the deep counter taxes, which are not uniform since creatures might have different numbers of counters. At the same time you need to worry about spending too much mana and tapping conquered lands, plus you need to remember the effective costs of your Interred spells (be careful not to tip the counter die when you pick them up to check their costs).

    If this is something you want to consider in your design, I'd recommend giving Deep counters and Inter more consistent "flat rate" functionalities. For Inter, it would be a common cost of, say, 3 to inter, and there would be a listed "unsealing" cost. Yeah, this is just "spell-morph" but would make it a lot easier for players to remember the cost. For deep counters, they wouldn't stack, it would just be a fixed cost of 2 to do anything. Another way to do the "lost" mechanic would be to exile or shutdown a creature until its owner pays X to remove X deep counters.
    Posted in: Custom Set Creation and Discussion
  • posted a message on Flying Vikings
    Thanks for the feedback.

    @void_nothing You are correct that Auramancy is by default not very cost efficient. I started out by making a 2G 2/3 Auramancy, but I realized that Oakenform just makes it a Vastwood Gorger, which isn't even common rate these days. The trick I've found is to pair Auramancy with keywords that scale well with power, like flying and first strike. This is convenient since the other pressure on auramancy creatures is text box space. So most of my auramancers are french vanillas. I don't put the same evergreen keywords on the Auras themselves to avoid overlap. Instead, the Auras buff p/t, and many have etb effects, so you are rewarded if you can recurse them multiple times.

    As for Levitate, here is what I was going for: White/Blue is a tempo deck that tries to race in the air, while slowing down enemy attackers on the ground. Instead of getting a 2/5 creature to block on the ground, it slows its opponents down by restricting their ability to attack every few turns with levitate. Enemy decks can get around this by running their own flyers and by using their ground creatures to crew flying vehicles. The whole "half the attackers must have flying" is sort of a nod to the Pegasus Courser effect, where your fliers help airlift some of your non-fliers, but it's probably not worth the added complexity.

    I'll probably remove levitate as a keyword and just put the effect on one or two efficient commons, so its becomes a factor in the draft format but you can't build a turbo fog deck with it. My goal is to make flying be something players think about more without doing anything super heavy-handed or format warping. I definitely don't want to give red and green flyers they aren't supposed to have. They would need to use colorless vehicles with flying (because those have historically been fair and balanced amirite). Red can occasionally get a flier at uncommon. What I really want to know is, can green have this:

    Skybranch Hermit G
    Creature - Elf Druid {C}

    On its own, it's basically Wall of Vines. However if levitate is in effect, you can attack with it to airlift one of your big green ground creatures. Is this okay? Probably not, especially in a set with multiple Aura buffs. I just like the idea of a crusty old elf sitting on his floating log and yelling at passing air-traffic.
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on Flying Vikings
    I've been toying around with an idea for a set: "Viking world" meets "sky world" i.e. there is a giant floating tree, with different regions on different branches, and vikings use the levitating wood of the tree to make flying long-ships i.e. FLYING VIKINGS!

    I'm looking for ideas and opinions on the organizing principles for a set like this. For example, Theros was built on the triad of Heroes, Gods, and Monsters. How would a Norse set be organized? I have some ideas for mechanics and themes that I want, but I need a few more ideas to fill in the gaps.

    Here is what I have so far:

    Auramancy(When this creature enters the battlefield, you may cast an Aura on it from your graveyard)
    Auramancy shows up in all colors but is primarily in white, green, and red. Functionally, it's kicker. It's presence means that the set has more Auras, particularly ones that can replace instant and sorcery effects in limited decks.

    Keyword Action: Levitate(Until your next turn, you can't be attacked unless half the attackers have flying.)
    Levitate is in white and blue, and it's an iffy mechanic. Originally it was just a temporary moat effect, but I'm worried that is too powerful. I'm trying to find a way to make flies significant without warping the limited format around them.

    Other structural notes:
    • There are a couple of flying longship vehicles to make sure all colors have a bit of access to flying.
    • I noticed that there are a lot of animal pairs in Norse mythology, and I became interested in a small theme around pairs of duplicate cards. Blue/Green seems like the natural home for this.
    • I'm messing around with Bird tribal in blue/black.
    • Overall I'm not sure what black wants to do.

    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
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