You Make The Standard: Thoughts/Interest

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I'm always impressed when individuals are able to churn out sets of their own cards; I've never been able to do that myself. The amount of commitment and creativity required combined with the amount of scrutiny I tend to put into my own work makes it hard for me to make consistent progress towards making 250-ish cards. Still, I've always been fascinated by the idea of making a block, making another block, then making my own core set, and having my own Standard. To be honest, I don't think I'm capable of doing that on my own, but it's a project I'd be happy to share. The splendor of drafting a set I've personally worked on seems too rewarding to pass up. Having cube drafted with my own cards before makes drafting a custom set seem like an even more powerful experience.

So, would you be interested in collaborating with myself and others towards the goal of making a core set and two blocks? If so, what thoughts do you have on this project as far as structure and design are concerned? If not, do you have any suggestions that would help the project out?

If all goes well with this project, we could perhaps even repeat it a few times and end up with an Extended format.
alight i'm game... If you want some sort of writer involved... I do have some cool card ideas that are in my computer but I take more pride in story telling.


btw i know it's lame but i want this... the comedic value of goblins.

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To the window did I flee, chased by the spirits of three, I took out my gun and aimed for his head, Nailed myself to the floor with a bullet insted.
I know that this inevitably will fail, but I'm up for doing it anyway.

Yxoque wrote:
This forum can't even ****ing self-destruct properly.

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I know that this inevitably will fail, but I'm up for doing it anyway.



Pretty much this.

I think most individuals are attracted to the idea of creating a custom block from which they can actually play from, but too few are willing to put in the effort it takes to do so. I'm currently trying my hand at a set of my own, but without any sort of team... I can't see it going anywhere. Rallying a group of creative individuals that practice their craft autonomously to a single cause is difficult.
Okay, well interest has been expressed, so let's start brainstorming.

For the core set, I personally really like the mechanics Evoke and Kicker. Even though I know they won't put Mulldrifter in a core set, I get sad every time I see Divination reprinted in its stead. As for Kicker, I like being able to get just a little more value out of my cards later on in the game. I also thought of using the core set (and Evoke) to revisit a few creatures that I personally like. Mogg Fanatic was 'revisited'--redesigned to suit the new combat damage mechancis--with Goblin Arsonist. We could do the same for Bottle Gnomes or other pet creatures.

What are you thoughts on Evoke and/or Kicker? What mechanics would you like to see in a core set?

Also, would anyone like to suggest ideas or themes for our blocks?

As for the project inevitably failing, maybe so. A lot of people assumed that about the Space: the Convergence cube, but now the project is almost done. It went through tides of popularity, and has had many different people work on it.
I want Clockwork again. not the new stuff but the old like Clockwork Steed i love winding my little clocks up only to have them torn to pieces... Artifact sunburst might be fun as well.
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To the window did I flee, chased by the spirits of three, I took out my gun and aimed for his head, Nailed myself to the floor with a bullet insted.
I'm game.

I think you should lay out the foundations of the set then send your designers maybe 15 cards at a time like:

"cheap Evoke blue common"

or

"Bomby limited green mythic"

And have them do it in chunks. You'd be done in no time!
Official Rules Advisor
I want Clockwork again. not the new stuff but the old like Clockwork Steed i love winding my little clocks up only to have them torn to pieces... Artifact sunburst might be fun as well.


I never really liked the clockwork dudes. I'm partial to Clockwork Dragon, but that's about it. Personally, For now, I'd pass on clockwork creatures, but you could try to sell me on it or get a few other users to side with you.

**It appears old clockwork dudes work differently than the newer ones I'm familiar with. I still don't really like them, but I'm more open to the idea. Would you be against making a new clockwork creature in the old fashion?
I'm game.

I think you should lay out the foundations of the set then send your designers maybe 15 cards at a time like:

"cheap Evoke blue common"

or

"Bomby limited green mythic"

And have them do it in chunks. You'd be done in no time!


This seems like a pretty good design philosophy. 15 cards per person 'at a time' seems like a lot, depending on the time interval.

Laying out foundations is the idea of this thread, though. I'm trying to get some ideas flowing right now, talking about the returning mechanics in the core set and potential reprints. Before we can really get down and dirty, though, we should have a good idea of what the blocks mechanics will be. I'd like to include some 'sleeper' cards in the core set and the first block whose functionality improves as more sets are added to our Standard.

I imagine deciding on mechanics and maybe brainstorming over the sets' mythics would be a decent enough outline.
Posting the set skeleton would help, along with the cards you want. If you want to brainstorm that, then at least set up guidelines and the unifying theme.

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Clockwork Menice
Artifact Creature - Construct
Sunburst
When ~ attacks or blocks remove a +1/+1 counter from ~ after combat.
If a creature delt combat damage by ~ is sent to the graveyard from play this turn put 2 +1/+1 counters on ~.
0/0

That is a newer version... if i wanted a cool older type i could do...

Clockwork Protector
Artifact Creature - Construct
~ comes into play with 6 +1/+0 counters.
When ~ attacks or blocks remove a +1/+0 counter from ~ after combat.
When ~ has no more +1/+0 counters on it, sacrifice ~. Remove all constructsin play from the game and put them back into play.
:x:, : Put X +1/+0 counters on ~. This ability can't cause the total number of +1/+0 counters on ~ to be greater than six. Activate this ability only during your upkeep.
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To the window did I flee, chased by the spirits of three, I took out my gun and aimed for his head, Nailed myself to the floor with a bullet insted.
Evoke and kicker (multikicker) are good, basic mechanics to have. I would also like to see Choose spells make a comeback.

Set structure is: 15 mythics, 53 rares, 60 uncommons, 101 commons (going by M10)


I'd like to apply to be "Blue lead", if there's such a thing. 'Cos... You know. Blue... Best colour XD


I think once we have the basic mechanics down (and what we're planting for the block) we should start with cycles. This lays a basic framework to work by.

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Bring back the Pain lands. I think those were the bestest :D
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I really think you need a better starting point than "I like Evoke".

Yxoque wrote:
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Well, for our core set, we can simply base ourselves off of the core sets' numbers and make small alterations as we see fit.

249 cards;
101 commons
60 uncommons
53 rares
15 mythic rares

I'm okay with power creep in certain places, and I'm okay with toning down certain things. Lightning Bolt is really good, but it invalidates a lot of creatures very easily; personally, I'd prefer Burst Lightning to it. I like Into the Roil or Vapor Snag more than Unsummon, on the other hand.

Wizards tries hard to not print artifacts at common in core sets. How much do we care about that? I know Manalith is in the most recent core set, so we can probably put at least one artifact in there comfortably.

Finally, I really like nonbasic lands. I'd love to include them in this set. Whether we do that by making new dual lands, by making new manlands, by making new fetchlands, or simply by including Terramorphic Expanse/Evolving Wilds and 'completing' the current core set dual land cycle, I want to have nonbasic lands in the set.
Reprints in the Core Set? or All new cards?
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Reprints in the Core Set? or All new cards?


I have no objections to including reprints in any of the sets. The core set should have new cards in it, though, and perhaps even some "de-flavored" popular cards.
Core Set -

Mana burn is back. (Because Spectral Searchlight likes to ping for 1...among other reasons)
Combat damage using the stack is back. (Because taking away the most confusing thing [the stack] away from ONE part of the game makes no sense.)
All reprints. (Because that's what a core set should be. Honestly, how do you not reprint Giant Growth?)
No planeswalkers. (Because they're gimmicks created to make more money. Also, they should only be printed in expansion sets.)
No mythic rares. (See above)
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Mana Symbol Order
One color - list that color: (ubrg), (w) (brg), (wu) (rg), (wub) (g), or (wubr) Two "ally" (i.e. adjacent) colors - start in the empty space, then move clockwise: (brg) , (rgw) , (gwu) , (wub) , or (ubr) Two "enemy" (i.e. not adjacent) colors - start in the larger of the two empty spaces, then move clockwise: (rg) (u) , (gw) (b) , (wu) (r) , (ub) (g) , or (br) (w) Three "ally" colors (Alara shards) - start in the empty space, the move clockwise: (rg) , (gw) , (wu) , (ub) , or (br) Three "wedge" colors (two adjacent and one away from the other two) - start with the "enemy" color, then move clockwise: (u) (g), (b) (w), (r) (u), (g) (b), or (w) (r) Four colors - start in the empty space, then move clockwise: (g) , (w) , (u) , (b) , or (r) Five colors - start with white, then move clockwise:
FYI:
M12 contains 249 cards.  98 of those are new.  The remaining 151 cards are reprints.  I suggest perhaps a 50% rule like there was in M10 leaving you 130 cards to design for the core set.

Of the new cards in M10, 6 of the Mythics were new, 29 of the rares were new, 21 of the Uncommons were new and 55 of the commons were new.

Take the 249 and then subtract 20 (Basics) and you are left with 229 total slots.  You're left with roughly 115 new slots and 114 reprint slots.

I think you're on the right track about picking a returning mechanic early, but you also have to think of a Gimmick to grab players and loosen their wallets for a new core set.
ATTENTION WIZARDS OF THE COAST: You have full rights to use any of my intellectual property found on these boards (I'm not going to use it and it'd be a shame to waste it). -Dr. Stinkyjoeterry, Ph.D.
I am game for this on the sole provision that we reprint Shock . In all seriousness it sounds fun, if a bit lacking in direction right now... then again it's just starting, so it's to be expected.

On kicker and evoke, I suggest we stick to evoke if we make a choice between the two... kicker is one of the most broad mechanics of all time, however, it lacks a fair bit in terms of flavor. Evoke, on the other hand, is a lot more flavorful. You can cast a creature as a creature, or a spell.

And because I can:

Shock Adept
Creature - Goblin Shaman
When Shock Adept enters the battlefield, it deals 2 damage to target creature or player.
Evoke
1/1

Unsummon Adept
Creature - Human Wizard
When Unsummon Adept enters the battlefield, you may return target creature to its owners hand.
Evoke
1/1

Of course, this has the problem that if we make a theme out of this, we'll have a lot of traditional instants at sorcery speeds, which is probably a bad thing...
Evoke is probably a good candidate for the feature non-evergreen keyword.
ATTENTION WIZARDS OF THE COAST: You have full rights to use any of my intellectual property found on these boards (I'm not going to use it and it'd be a shame to waste it). -Dr. Stinkyjoeterry, Ph.D.
Clockwork Menice
Artifact Creature - Construct
Sunburst
When ~ attacks or blocks remove a +1/+1 counter from ~ after combat.
If a creature delt combat damage by ~ is sent to the graveyard from play this turn put 2 +1/+1 counters on ~.
0/0

That is a newer version... if i wanted a cool older type i could do...

Clockwork Protector
Artifact Creature - Construct
~ comes into play with 6 +1/+0 counters.
When ~ attacks or blocks remove a +1/+0 counter from ~ after combat.
When ~ has no more +1/+0 counters on it, sacrifice ~. Remove all constructsin play from the game and put them back into play.
:x:, : Put X +1/+0 counters on ~. This ability can't cause the total number of +1/+0 counters on ~ to be greater than six. Activate this ability only during your upkeep.
0/5



Remember Core Sets always tend to favor elegance and simplicity, with a few exceptions.
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Core Set -



I personally disagree with un-changing things, but I'll wait to make a decision on this until I hear others' opinions.

FYI:
I think you're on the right track about picking a returning mechanic early, but you also have to think of a Gimmick to grab players and loosen their wallets for a new core set.



Thanks for putting out those numbers. I like the idea of 50/50 old/new.

At picking returning mechanic(s) early, I've been wanting Evoke and Kicker to be in a core set for some time now.

At gimmicks, I'm not to concerned with them, but I'm sure we will come up with one together. I was already thinking of suggesting a cycle of new planeswalkers.

I am game for this on the sole provision that we reprint Shock . In all seriousness it sounds fun, if a bit lacking in direction right now... then again it's just starting, so it's to be expected.

On kicker and evoke, I suggest we stick to evoke if we make a choice between the two... kicker is one of the most broad mechanics of all time, however, it lacks a fair bit in terms of flavor. Evoke, on the other hand, is a lot more flavorful. You can cast a creature as a creature, or a spell.

And because I can:

Shock Adept
Creature - Goblin Shaman
When Shock Adept enters the battlefield, it deals 2 damage to target creature or player.
Evoke
1/1

Unsummon Adept
Creature - Human Wizard
When Unsummon Adept enters the battlefield, you may return target creature to its owners hand.
Evoke
1/1

Of course, this has the problem that if we make a theme out of this, we'll have a lot of traditional instants at sorcery speeds, which is probably a bad thing...



I was sort of intending to keep Evoke among elementals, as that's what I think it suits best, or at least less 'corporeal' creature types, like spirits.

Evoke is probably a good candidate for the feature non-evergreen keyword.



I see a lot of people favoring Evoke over Kicker.

Remember Core Sets always tend to favor elegance and simplicity, with a few exceptions.



That's a good point. Perhaps we can tickle the clockwork fancy in one of our sets/blocks somewhere.

Let's try getting down to business a little bit:

What do you think of Outside_the_Asylum's suggestions?
Evoke or Kicker? Or both?
What about Free-Kill's suggestion of Choose Spells?
How many dual lands do you want? [5 (Allied cycle or Enemy cycle)? 10?]
How many other nonbasic lands do you want?
I disagree with everyone of Outside_the_Asylum's suggestions. These are relatively recent rules changes, and I don't think Core Sets should undo the rules changes of previous Core Sets.

Evoke only. Kicker was recently brought back in Zendikar. Let's give it some time to breathe. I feel like our ideas would just be eclipsed by the recent design space that has been used.

I like modal spells, that's technical term for them. I feel like they would add an interesting aspect to the Core Set. The real question is would we want to showcase them and Evoke at the same time? Is there enough overlap to make interesting interactions between the two? I think the answer is no. However, I feel like we can treat it like Tribal was treated in M12 (when compared to Bloodthirst) and make it a completely separate aspect of the set. So, I like it.

I like dual lands, but this really depends on the current and future Standard. Are they multicolored Blocks? Tricolored? Wedges? Monocolored? Etc.

This last issue is pretty trivial at this point in the design process.
Contest-Specific Redeemable Prizes: DaytimeLantern - +5 points on any score-based contest. Redeemable once. If contest is multiple rounds, only redeemable in a single round.
Evoke isn't even the best candidate that ends in -voke.
I would ask you what you're referring to, but I wouldn't want to provoke you.
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Dunno, if we could convoke enough designers it might be possible to find an agreeable medium.

EDIT: Here is a section from my own set design thread.  Use it if you find it at all of any use though the number do not reference any core set..


When setting the skeleton of the set I referenced and averaged the composition of each color across the following sets: Tempest, Urza, Masques, Kamigawa, Time Spiral.  I'd have loved to included Ravinca in this but in a color purity set it'd have skewed the numbers too much.  If anyone is interested the color break downs are roughly as follows.


Per Color Card Type Distribution

White

55% Creature, 24% Enchantment, 14% Instant, 5% Sorcery


Blue

52% Creature, 19% Enchantment, 19% Instant, 7% Sorcery


Black

50% Creature, 17% Enchantment, 9% Instant, 16% Sorcery


Red

54% Creature, 15% Enchantment, 13% Instant, 15% Sorcery


Green

60% Creature, 18% Enchantment, 8% Instant, 10% Sorcery


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One of the things that makes the core sets different from normal sets is its focus on simplicity. Core sets tend to have simple tribal agro decks that play into fantasy tropes (m12 has goblins, vampires, zombies, elves and illusions, for instance). Since Evoke almost demands certain creature types for flavor reasons, why not turn all of these elementals and spirits into the new tribal groups? White spirits and red elementals would work.

A cycle of charms would work quite well in a core set. Its a very efficient way to explain to new players what each color is good at .

Does anyone else like a Sacrifice-matters first block or set? It would work really well with evoke. 
Asylum is silly.

Evoke is cooler than kicker, though don't restrict it to elementals. It's flavourful no-matter what.

I like my suggestion of Choose spells XD. It's the kind of thing that isn't a big deal, but opens design space and teaches new players good concepts.

I think I would like a basic enemy land cycle. Combinations like WB and UR are some of the coolest in magic, and we should encourage them again!

I think we need enough nonbasics to be interesting, but not overwhelming.



I think we need to get reprints out of the way (including an old cycle or two), then lay the framework for the new cards, divvy up the jobs and let people work their stuff. This should be fun
Official Rules Advisor
Evoke is a terrible keyword. Doubly terrible in a core set.
Of course, this has the problem that if we make a theme out of this, we'll have a lot of traditional instants at sorcery speeds, which is probably a bad thing...



Flash?
Of course, this has the problem that if we make a theme out of this, we'll have a lot of traditional instants at sorcery speeds, which is probably a bad thing...



Flash?


I wish it were that simple, but you can only Evoke as a sorcery regardless of... actually I better double check that.

...nope, I was completely wrong, Flash works. For some reason I had it in my head that Evoke had as part of it's reminder text 'Evoke only as a sorcery'. Color me corrected.
Evoke is a terrible keyword. Doubly terrible in a core set.



Why? Evoke is sweet! Sure it only really works on creatures, but that's the same as Bloodthirst. It's a fun effect.
Official Rules Advisor
Of course, this has the problem that if we make a theme out of this, we'll have a lot of traditional instants at sorcery speeds, which is probably a bad thing...



Flash?


I wish it were that simple, but you can only Evoke as a sorcery regardless of... actually I better double check that.

...nope, I was completely wrong, Flash works. For some reason I had it in my head that Evoke had as part of it's reminder text 'Evoke only as a sorcery'. Color me corrected.

The new giant growth in this case...

Briarhorn with the return of Shriekmaw
So I would replace the adepts with a different more interesting name :D

Blitzborn 
Creature - Elemental
When ~ enters the battlefield, it deals 2 damage to target creature or player.
Evoke
3/1

Shiftbosh
Creature - Elemental
When ~ enters the battlefield, you may return target permanent to its owners hand.
Evoke
3/2

Calmcoon :W::W:
Creature - Elemental
First Strike
When ~ enters the battlefield, prevent all combat damage that would be dealt this turn by creatures your opponent control.
2/1
Evoke is a terrible keyword. Doubly terrible in a core set.



Why? Evoke is sweet! Sure it only really works on creatures, but that's the same as Bloodthirst. It's a fun effect.


Because in a core set you don't want to be blurring the lines between spells and creatures so early.  I personally am not a fan of Evoke either.  It reduces the number of viable spell cards that aren't overshadowed by creatures with Evoke.  My on that matter.

IMO, Kicker, Entwine, and Landfall are probably some of the most core friendly mechanics, though Entwine brushes against reducing spell quantity in the same way Evoke does.

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Vomit Elemental :B: Creature - Elemental Tap an untapped creature you control: Vomit Elemental gets +2/+2 until end of turn. Other creatures you control don't untap during your untap step. "Drink and feed me, my followers!" 1/1
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All of those Elementals are crazy good in limited and possibly constructed playable. Not something you want to be doing with a common or uncommon cycle.

Anyway, my take on the charm cycle:

Order Charm

Instant (U)

Choose one – Target creature gains first strike until end of turn; or tap up to two target creatures; or you gain 4 life. (A creature with first strike deals combat damage before creatures without first strike.)

Insight Charm

Instant (U)

Choose one – Target creature gains flying until end of turn; or counter target spell unless its controller pays ; or return target creature to its owner's hand. (A creature with flying can't be blocked except by creatures with flying or reach.)

Ambition Charm

Instant (U)

Choose one – Target creature gains deathtouch until end of turn; or target player discards a card; or return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand. (Any amount of damage a creature with deathtouch deals to a creature is enough to destroy it.)

Passion Charm

Instant (U)

Choose one – Target creature gains haste until end of turn; or Passion Charm deals 2 damage to target creature or player; or add to your mana pool. (A creature with haste can attack and even if it just came under your control.)

Growth Charm

Instant (U)

Choose one – Target creature gains trample until end of turn; or target creature blocks target creature this turn if able; or destroy target artifact or enchantment. (If a creature with trample would assign enough damage to its blockers to destroy them, you may have it assign the rest of its damage to defending player or planeswalker.)

Embrace imagination.

Lord of YMtC | Ten Rounds Contest Winner

Solphos – A fan set with a 'combo matters' theme

Fool's Gold – The second set of the Solphos block

Growth Charm is strictly better than Naturalize.

Passion Charm is strictly better than Pyretic Ritual
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Intentional.

Embrace imagination.

Lord of YMtC | Ten Rounds Contest Winner

Solphos – A fan set with a 'combo matters' theme

Fool's Gold – The second set of the Solphos block

Intentional.



Clearly you are a fanboy of the Pyretic Ritual/Naturalize combo deck.
Official Rules Advisor
All of those Elementals are crazy good in limited and possibly constructed playable. Not something you want to be doing with a common or uncommon cycle.

Anyway, my take on the charm cycle:

Order Charm

Instant (U)

Choose one – Target creature gains first strike until end of turn; or tap up to two target creatures; or you gain 4 life. (A creature with first strike deals combat damage before creatures without first strike.)

Insight Charm

Instant (U)

Choose one – Target creature gains flying until end of turn; or counter target spell unless its controller pays ; or return target creature to its owner's hand. (A creature with flying can't be blocked except by creatures with flying or reach.)

Ambition Charm

Instant (U)

Choose one – Target creature gains deathtouch until end of turn; or target player discards a card; or return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand. (Any amount of damage a creature with deathtouch deals to a creature is enough to destroy it.)

Passion Charm

Instant (U)

Choose one – Target creature gains haste until end of turn; or Passion Charm deals 2 damage to target creature or player; or add two mana of any color to your mana pool. (A creature with haste can attack and even if it just came under your control.)

Growth Charm

Instant (U)

Choose one – Target creature gains trample until end of turn; or target creature blocks target creature this turn if able; or destroy target artifact. (If a creature with trample would assign enough damage to its blockers to destroy them, you may have it assign the rest of its damage to defending player or planeswalker.)



/development

In all seriousness... I am actually starting to see what people mean when they say that Evoke isn't the best choice for the Coreset. In theory it's flavorful and simple (you can cast it as a spell or a creature!) but in practice... what new player WANTS to sacrifice their creature as soon as it hits the battlefield? It seems problematic.

Entwine on the other hand was brought up and it we're going to do a cycle of charms it seems like it'd be a good idea. Choice can be a little overwhelming, so if we use it as a theme introducing Entwine so they don't always HAVE to make a choice between effects seems like a good idea. The problem is that flavor wise it's about as deep and meaningful as Kicker.
All of those Elementals are crazy good in limited and possibly constructed playable. Not something you want to be doing with a common or uncommon cycle.

Anyway, my take on the charm cycle:

Order Charm

Instant (U)

Choose one – Target creature gains first strike until end of turn; or tap up to two target creatures; or you gain 4 life. (A creature with first strike deals combat damage before creatures without first strike.)

Insight Charm

Instant (U)

Choose one – Target creature gains flying until end of turn; or counter target spell unless its controller pays ; or return target creature to its owner's hand. (A creature with flying can't be blocked except by creatures with flying or reach.)

Ambition Charm

Instant (U)

Choose one – Target creature gains deathtouch until end of turn; or target player discards a card; or return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand. (Any amount of damage a creature with deathtouch deals to a creature is enough to destroy it.)

Passion Charm

Instant (U)

Choose one – Target creature gains haste until end of turn; or Passion Charm deals 2 damage to target creature or player; or add to your mana pool. (A creature with haste can attack and even if it just came under your control.)

Growth Charm

Instant (U)

Choose one – Target creature gains trample until end of turn; or target creature blocks target creature this turn if able; or destroy target artifact or enchantment. (If a creature with trample would assign enough damage to its blockers to destroy them, you may have it assign the rest of its damage to defending player or planeswalker.)



Cool charms. very nice
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Entwine woudl work well with a cycle of charms, but my number one choice would be transmute. Transmute is simple and flavorful AND it gives newer players something they desperately need: tutoring.

New players pull their first mythic from a pack, cram it into whatever deck runs that mythics colors, and patiently waits to draw it. And waits. And waits. Then they wait to cast it, before it is promptly doom bladed. Transmute means that people get to actually play with the card they are so excited about.

On the downside, transmute needs to be handled very carefully. Mana costs between the awesome mythics and the transmute commons and uncommons would need to be lined up. We would have to be careful not to oversaturate the set with transmute, to the point where limited wound up shuffling every other turn.


So I would replace the adepts with a different more interesting name :D



This. We can give evoke creatures Flash if we want them to work like Instants. Also this, because I think evoke makes sense mostly on Elementals, Spirits, and other less corporeal-seeming creatures.

[Evoke is bad] Because in a core set you don't want to be blurring the lines between spells and creatures so early.  I personally am not a fan of Evoke either.  It reduces the number of viable spell cards that aren't overshadowed by creatures with Evoke.  My on that matter.

IMO, Kicker, Entwine, and Landfall are probably some of the most core friendly mechanics, though Entwine brushes against reducing spell quantity in the same way Evoke does.



I don't see a problem with 'blurring the lines between spells and creatures,' that's why I like Evoke. And I don't get the "so early" argument. I don't see the point in holding a player's hand, Evoke is an amazing tool for teaching players about entering the battlefield and leaving the battlefield. It's an excuse to distinguish between permanents being sacrificed and destroyed, too. And creatures with Evoke don't reduce the number of viable spells, if they're not broken (and Mulldrifter isn't broken), they demonstrate that cards (like Divination) have no business being printed in core sets and put into Standard. My point is, sure Mulldrifter is better than Divination, but that doesn't mean that Mulldrifter is too good for a core set, or that Mulldrifter invalidates cards like Frantic Search or any cool draw spell we want to put in our upcoming sets.

I don't get your argument about how Evoke and Entwine reduce spell quantity. Just put mroe spells in the set. Problem solved. If you ask me, it gives us more space for creativity.

Anyway, my take on the charm cycle:



A good place to start. But, charms don't have abilities that do this or that. Bant Charm blows up artifacts, and Esper Charm blows up enchantments. I don't think there's ever been a modular spell that has a mode that can do two different things, it's sort of unintuitive.

I say the white Charm can blow up Enchantments, and the red one can blow up Artifacts. A green creature can blow up both, or we can give Green Naturalize. I also don't know that our charms should be strictly better than other cards. The red charm shouldn't do damage to a creature or player, it should probably hit players, and the black charm could give -1/-1 to a creature or something to that effect.

All of those Elementals are crazy good in limited and possibly constructed playable. Not something you want to be doing with a common or uncommon cycle.



/development

In all seriousness... I am actually starting to see what people mean when they say that Evoke isn't the best choice for the Coreset. In theory it's flavorful and simple (you can cast it as a spell or a creature!) but in practice... what new player WANTS to sacrifice their creature as soon as it hits the battlefield? It seems problematic.

Entwine on the other hand was brought up and it we're going to do a cycle of charms it seems like it'd be a good idea. Choice can be a little overwhelming, so if we use it as a theme introducing Entwine so they don't always HAVE to make a choice between effects seems like a good idea. The problem is that flavor wise it's about as deep and meaningful as Kicker.



I see where you're going with the "what new player WANTS to sacrifice their creature as soon as it hits the battlefield?" thing, but that's sort of a good thing. Generally, casting creatures with evoke for their normal mana cost is better, as you usually get more value out of your card, but it allows you to make a sort of desperation move. Evoking Shriekmaw after you opponent sticks a scary creature is sometimes smarter than taking 8 damage before you can "hard cast" it.

Entwine woudl work well with a cycle of charms, but my number one choice would be transmute. Transmute is simple and flavorful AND it gives newer players something they desperately need: tutoring.

New players pull their first mythic from a pack, cram it into whatever deck runs that mythics colors, and patiently waits to draw it. And waits. And waits. Then they wait to cast it, before it is promptly doom bladed. Transmute means that people get to actually play with the card they are so excited about.



Entwine doesn't work well with charms, as Charms generally have more than two (3) effects, where as Entwine explicitly says "do both." Entwine only works with modular spells that have two modes, so far as I know.

That's a very interesting point about tutors, but I don't know that Transmute is the answer. Perhaps we can improve consistency more subtly? Including Terramorphic Expanse/Evolving Wilds (or something similar) is a good place to start there.
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