Alright, so me and some buddies of mine are toying around with constructing a set of our own, and we were thinking of some cool new mechanics and keywords we could put in. My idea was something called Excavate, and it would only be used on creatures. It would go something like this:
Excavate 2: Tap [creature]. Search your library for two basic land cards and put them on the battlefield tapped. [Creature] doesn't untap during your next untap step.
Originally I had it work so that the lands came in untapped, and the lands didn't have to be basic lands, but I decided that it was all too much so I scaled it back a bit. The numbers that go along with Excavate would be consistent with the lands you would get to put onto the battlefield, so Excavate 1 = 1 land, Excavate 2 = 2 lands, and so on and so forth. It would obviously go great with landfall cards like Grazing Gladehart and gives a solid mana base for larger spells at the expense of leaving yourself wide open for attack to begin.
So what do you guys think?
Excavate sounds more like something to do with bringing either lands or artifacts (or both) back from the graveyard. At least to me it does.
I also think that losing a blocker for a turn or two does not equate to .
Yeah... this sounds like an ability which would either be overpowered if put in cards of all types of mana costs... or so limited (because the cost of the ability is high enough to cut down a significant portion of cards which could have the ability) that it doesn't really need to be keyworded.
I totally agree with both of you guys. In terms of it being too powerful, I was thinking that there could be a bunch of creatures with Haste to take advantage of a player while their creatures are tapped? I'm open to other ways of accomplishing this aswell, obviously there has to be some way to keep this in check. Possibly some spells to keep these creatures tapped EVEN longer? Something like: Target creature you don't control. If that creature wouldn't untap, it doesn't untap for an extra turn.
I think balancing this is very hard. I don't think you need the number behind it, you almost never want to have it find more than one land. It's also basically only a Green mechanic. Giving it other costs such as mana to activate and making it sorcery speed are suggestions for balancing it.
Lobster, I had actually forgot to mention that I wanted it to be sorcery speed, thank you for reminding me. Ive toyed with having to pay mana to use the ability, maybe thats the best way to make it work. 1 mana per land grabbed? I really like that there are different degrees of the mechanic though, it makes it a bit more interesting than just having a multitude of creatures with different stats grabbing the one land.
It is mostly a green mechanic. I'll always be a green player at heart, my first deck was a trample threshhold deck and I loved it. I can see it being used in other colors aswell though, probably black.
If you need to put two (or even three!) excavates on the same thing, it needs to be rare or mythic, and then you can just pull something like this:
Asrab, Sage of the Soil
Legendary Creature - Elf Druid (MR)
: Excavate (to excavate, search your library for a basic land, put it onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle your library).
, : Excavate, then excavate.
, : Excavate, then excavate, then excavate.
~'s power and toughness are equal to the number of basic forests you control.
I think the biggest problem it has (apart from being very hard to balance) is that it doesn't really play any differently on different creatures. A 1/1 flyer with Exalted fills a completely different role compared to a 3/3 Trampler with Exalted. A creature with Persist can have all kinds of cool ETB or combat abilities. Same with almost any mechanic you find on creatures; adding things like Deathtouch or Flying can completely change the way the mechanic gets used.
But a creature with Excavate is always going to be activating its ability in the same way, regardless of whether it's an otherwise-vanilla 1/1, a 2/3 with a cool combat skill, or a hulking 5/5 brute. Which means that there aren't many variations of the ability that will still feel unique and useful.
All great feedback, I really appreciate all of it. When I came up with Excavate it was more of a mechanic that I thought could be used to combo with other cards, as well as being alright on their own. A combo with landfall or a creature with soulbond, ex. Galvanic Alchemist . @Fallingman, I totally get where your coming from, it does just sort of sit there and do the same thing without really being used by different kinds of creatures for different things. However, that was kind of what I was going for, and thats where the landfall and such would come into the picture.
I was just wondering what you guys thought if it, it's my first time out of the gate in terms of trying to come up with mechanics/keywords, and I thought I would share it and see what the feedback was like.
Lol @ the duelling smileys.
Yeah I hear that, coming up with this stuff isn't exactly easy. I would love to be a fly on the wall during a WotC development meeting when these things are picthed. Not getting it perfect the first time just makes me want to try harder to nail it down ever more, I'm definitely gonna keep working on it. Thanks to everyone who gave their input, I appreciate it.
I have no idea why that duplicated so many times. But I do indeed quite enjoy the duelling smileys.
Finding land isn't excavation, and I second what Fallingman said about variation in design.
As is my mandate, I will now pay for my negative feedback with positive ideas! How about something like this is:
As a pseudo keyword, you can put it on a variety of things to have varying effects. You can make discarding to pay costs a thing in the set since you have excavators. You can have lands that sac for cool effects, too.
Hope that helps!
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