Possible Set Idea - Need Suggestions on Specific Plot Elements, Mechanics, Cards, etc.

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So I've been thinking of this idea for a little while and found this forum where I can hopefully get some good feedback on my idea. The general plot of the set would be that there would be this ancient race of artifact creatures with all sorts of artifacts, equipments, etc. hidden in these vast cave systems recently discovered. All five groups () would be in somewhat in a race to get control of these ancient artifacts, and bring the artifact creatures to there side. I was thinking white would be Human - mainly Soldiers and Knights. Green would be elves and some beasts that they allied with. Black would be really anything undead; mainly Zombie but with other characteristics as well. I'm debating on whether red should be Demon or Goblin. And blue would be wizards. 

I thought of some potential mechanics that could be used. Here are a few:

Bribe: Pay X and gain control of target artifact, where X is target artifact's mana cost. Tap that artifact.

This could be on any colored spell. It would fit into the plot element of the colors trying to gain control of the ancient artifacts for themselves.

Allegiance: If you control at least 3 creatures that share a creature type with this creature, (ability). (Basically Metalcraft for colored creatures).

Refuse: X mana or X life (where X is the permanent's converted mana cost): Counter target permanent's activated ability. Tap that permanent. Play this ability only once each turn.

This would be an artifact's response to Bribe. For example:

Creature |
Bribe
2/2

Artifact Creature |
Refuse
2/2

Creature Bribes Artifact Creature. Artifact Creature may then pay or 3 life to refuse the bribary from Creature, and tap it. 

Step Forth: Exchange this artifact with target permanent. Tap both the permanent and this artifact.

This would basically resemble an artifact creature deciding to go along with one of the groups (the colors). I'll try to make this creatures also have other good abilities or cost a lot of mana as to not make them OP.

Undecisive Myr |
Artifact Creature - Myr
: add to your mana pool.
Step Forth
1/1

Coveted: At the beginning of your upkeep, [ability] unless a player pays .

Possible card ideas:

The Grand Market |
Enchantment (R)
At the beginning of your upkeep, you may Bribe. 

Inspired by both Growing Ranks and Martial Law as it's a similar ability and same mana cost.

(Place from set) Fortune Teller |
Creature - Zombie Wizard (R)
Tap a Zombie you control: Look at the top 3 cards of your library. You may reveal any number of Zombie cards from among them. For each Zombie revealed this way, zombies you control get +2/+1 until end of turn. Put those Zombies in your graveyard.
2/1

Those are the only mechanics I've thought of so far. I'm open to any suggestions on these mechanics, and of other ones that may fit the set. Also specific plot ideas are welcome. Feel free to create your own cards using these mechanics for this set and I may wind up using them if I like it, if I get around to completing the set. I'll be posting some cards I've already thought of throughout the thread.

Red should be Goblin

Mafia Game Slots:

1. Open

2. Hundred Acres (Dead Town)

3. Open

4. Open

5. Open

6. Open

Red should be Goblin


I'll decide once other mechanics are decided upon.
Possible card?

Rickedy Gate |
Artifact Creature - Gate
Defender
Artifacts you control have hexproof.
0/2
Allegiance probably shouldn't show up in large numbers, which means it doesn't work very well as a keyword (It fills the same role as Changelings in Lorwyn, except it does all the work for you instead of just giving incremental advantages.  Having just one on the battlefield makes your tribal deck way too easy.)  And I really don't think it should appear on the same card as something that cares about that creature type.  A creature having P/T equal to the number of Zombies you control is cool, because you can make a Zombie deck that makes it really powerful.  A card that makes everything into a Zombie is also a little bit cool, because you can also use it in a Zombie deck to make all your other Zombie-type-matters cards a bit stronger.  But a card that does both doesn't care if you play it in a Zombie deck or not.  It's always going to have power and toughness equal to the number of creatures you control.  The combo is already done for you.  Remember, as a player it's nice to have things "solved" because they're stronger and help you win games.  But as a designer, you want to just give players the pieces of the puzzle so they can "solve" things themselves.

Oh, and mass Hexproof is very frustrating when the source of the ability is also hexproof.  Privileged Position, Asceticism, Drogskoll Captain, Lord of the Unreal etc. are still vulnerable to targeted removal even if other things are protected.  Oh, and Leonin Abunas too.
The World of Eldangard - a three act M:tG block by Fallingman Eldangard Stormfront Ragnarok
Allegiance probably shouldn't show up in large numbers, which means it doesn't work very well as a keyword (It fills the same role as Changelings in Lorwyn, except it does all the work for you instead of just giving incremental advantages.  Having just one on the battlefield makes your tribal deck way too easy.)  And I really don't think it should appear on the same card as something that cares about that creature type.  A creature having P/T equal to the number of Zombies you control is cool, because you can make a Zombie deck that makes it really powerful.  A card that makes everything into a Zombie is also a little bit cool, because you can also use it in a Zombie deck to make all your other Zombie-type-matters cards a bit stronger.  But a card that does both doesn't care if you play it in a Zombie deck or not.  It's always going to have power and toughness equal to the number of creatures you control.  The combo is already done for you.  Remember, as a player it's nice to have things "solved" because they're stronger and help you win games.  But as a designer, you want to just give players the pieces of the puzzle so they can "solve" things themselves.



Very good feedback, thank you. This is my first shot at designing a set so your feedback is very helpful. I'll probably use your advice and split up the card - having one power and toughness equal the zombies you control and one making them into zombies.
Updated version of a Black General

Cool Name, Zombie General |
Legendary Creature - Zombie
Zombie Allegiance, Undying
2/1
Added more mechanics and possible cards. What do you guys think?
You need to define a trigger for Refuse, as at the moment it doesn't do anything.
Some food for thought: Thran Empire

Also, I'm not sure your mechanical premise exactly hits the mark. Not every color wants to 'take control' of things. Taking control is antithetical to green as a philosophy, though perhaps this will inspire you:

Ways colors 'control things':


  • Blue is pretty obvious.

  • Red temporarily controls things with Threaten effects. And it's been known to do it to artifacts with Metallic Mastery.

  • Black doesn't control as much as it enslaves. It'll also rule your dead body through Necromancy.

  • White's group think lets you choose, with cards like Preacher and Evangelize, though this ability is probably phased out. Jabari's Influence may be another way to look at it. White would rather send you on a Journey to Nowhere than take your free will.

  • Green is the least controlling color, though it's Lure effects like Golgari Decoy are pretty fresh. Also it has the ability to make you fight, though that's quite loose.


That blue-black zombie lord idea is awesome! I would add a mana activation cost though; potentially giving your zombie team +6/+3 necessitates it. If you want to reduce that, I'd make it like so:

Fallen Sarcomancer -
Creature - Zombie Wizard
, Tap two untapped Zombies you control: Put the top three cards of your library into your graveyard. Zombie creatures you control get +2/+1 for each Zombie card put into your graveyard this way.
Night rarely comes only once a day.
1/1 

I'm not sure what it has to do with your set, but it's a great design. 

Here are some mechanic ideas:

Allegiance: Metalcraft, but for creature types. This can be used to differentiate the warring factions from the Thran (or whatever other race you choose). Consider:

Zombie Ranks -
Creature - Zombie Warrior
Allegiance -- ~ gets +2/+2 as long as you control three or more Zombies.
Rank is right.
2/2


Coveted
: At the beginning of your end step, any player may pay . If a player does, he or she gains control of ~ unless you pay 2 life. Actually, this mechanic sucks...it's all downside. Let's try again:

Coveted
: At the beginning of your upkeep, [ability] unless a player pays . You can give this to commons, even:

Thran Warstone -
Artifact
Coveted -- At the beginning of your upkeep, target creature gets +2/+2 unless a player pays
: Add to your mana pool. 

Hmm, actually that's just like the Rhystic cards from Mercadian Masques (Rhystic Scrying).

Ok, not my best work but maybe you get inspired by some of it? Good luck! 
My latest set is in public beta! KOR - Kingdoms of Rabiah - Check it out! Like Uncle Istvan? Like Rabiah? Like Homelands? Then check out theScion's Parade of Planeswalkers Got Flavor? Throw it at me in my Gauntlet: theScion vs YMTC thread. Can the combined powers of YMTC defeat our favorite rainbow-faced card crafter?
Yes, this has been very helpful. I like the coveted ability and I shall tinker with it. The Thran Empire sounds great as I was looking into past famous artifacts that I could base it off (I'm not too knowledgeable on the story-lines from past sets). I very much enjoy Fallen Sarcomancer and I will plan to use him in the set most likely. I also like the change to Allegiance and will use that as well. Like Fallingman said, the original way of Allegiance is a bit too powerful and wouldn't be good as a mechanic. If you have any more suggestions for cards or mechanics I'd love to hear them. Thanks!
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