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The blog is where we started, this forum is merely an offshoot of that.
You can keep posting here if you want, though.
By the way, if you have a google account, it will allow you to comment on all the blogs that use blogspot.

Re: Not commenting on blog by ChahChah, 14 Mar 2013 13:32

Just want to note that as much as I'd like to, I do not intend to so much as try to post comments on the blog. As much as I appreciate it, I have no intention of creating a new account anywhere just so I can make post comments on a single blog (I don,t care if that is a mandatory so-called upgrade or simply a spam-fighting measure. From my side, the end result is the same.)

Not commenting on blog by Agent CirceusAgent Circeus, 14 Mar 2013 05:58

There hasn't been much going on here lately, but I thought I'd throw out what I've been working on for Ekkremes. I know the inspiration for this version of operate came from somewhere on the forum, but I can't remember where.

Tank 4
Artifact Creature
~ can't attack or block unless it's being operated.
Operate 2 (2: Tap an untapped creature you control, you may choose not to untap it during your untap step. It's operating this as long as it's tapped.)
5/5

Goliath 3
Artifact Creature
Reach
~ can't attack or block unless it's being operated.
Operate 1 (1: Tap an untapped creature you control, you may choose not to untap it during your untap step. It's operating this as long as it's tapped.)
2/4

Electric Fence {2/R}{2/R}
Artifact
Operate 1 (1: Tap an untapped creature you control, you may choose not to untap it during your untap step. It's operating this as long as it's tapped.)
Whenever a creature attacks you or a planeswalker you control, if ~ is being operated, it deals 1 damage to that creature.

Machine Operator W
Creature
Artifact creatures ~ is operating get +1/+1
1/1

Smooth Operator U
Creature
Artifacts ~ is operating have hexproof
1/1

I think the key is to make Operating as exciting as attacking. Make it happen at sorcery speed, using alternate win cons as a way to supplant the combat phase.

Also, have a very token heavy environment so people can play with their machines and still swing with proper creatures.

That's the version I ultimately went with for my submission. I needed to recost the activations though. Gorilla Press, for example should likely be 3G, not 3.

For posterity's sake, here are the thoughts I had for implementing Operate in the comments for James' final round submission:

3. Ben N is 100% correct that losing creatures to operate feels terrible. Maybe instead of taking them out of combat we can tie it into combat:

Operate—[COST]:Do X for each tapped creature you control.

This still allows for costs that are tapping creatures, but also allows for mana costs on effects that get better because you attacked or activated the abilities of your utility creatures. There could also be sorcery speed restrictions or they could trigger like such:

Operate—Whenever one or more creatures you control attacks, do X for each tapped creature you control.

Re: Recruit
elektriktoadelektriktoad 14 Jan 2013 00:20
in discussion Mechanics / Ekkremes Mechanics » Recruit

I admit there may be memory problems with my first implementation. It might be okay to try it as is (just keep all your 'recruits' off to one side of the battlefield) and see how it goes. Failing that, Recruit could add "resistance counters" as a memory aid, or even up the cost and make it add +1/+1 counters for the memory aid. I do like the flavor of creatures joining the resistance and gaining the rebel type, but if the memory issues loom too large we could also try some sort of Ally-like ETB mechanic.

I think it would help the magic class's identity a lot to have some sort of fun resistance mechanic. It also opens design space for the technocracy:

Robocop {2/W}{2/W}
Artifact Creature - Construct
T: Tap target Rebel
2/2

Re: Recruit by elektriktoadelektriktoad, 14 Jan 2013 00:20

Memory problems galore! How about using the Ally ETB mechanic instead, so you don't have to keep track of quite so many creatures?

Re: Recruit by Agent CirceusAgent Circeus, 13 Jan 2013 16:57
Re: Recruit
elektriktoadelektriktoad 13 Jan 2013 16:53
in discussion Mechanics / Ekkremes Mechanics » Recruit

Another note regarding Recruit— it subtlely rewards multicolor decks, like slivers or allies, because you'll want to play with all the effect-granting rebels (I see recruit in all colors), making it a great fit for the anti-technology faction's gameplay.

Re: Recruit by elektriktoadelektriktoad, 13 Jan 2013 16:53
Recruit
elektriktoadelektriktoad 13 Jan 2013 04:24
in discussion Mechanics / Ekkremes Mechanics » Recruit

Rebel Shieldcrafter 1W
Creature - Human Rebel
Recruit (you may pay an additional 1 to cast each creature spell. If you do, that creature becomes a rebel in addition to its other types)
Other Rebels you control get +0/+1
2/2

A mechanic for the anti-technology rebellion. Recruit lets your other creatures become Rebels, and cards with Recruit will typically provide some benefit to Rebels. Not sure on the templating, but it's intended to also work well with Sunburst, helping you to max out your Sunburst effects on creatures that normally cost less than five.

Recruit by elektriktoadelektriktoad, 13 Jan 2013 04:24

Another take on Operate: Convoke for activated abilities. One downside is that this is yet another mechanic that fiddles with mana costs, like Sunburst and Twobrid do.

Energy Machine 2
Artifact
Operate {2/W}{2/W},T: Untap target artifact (Each creature you tap while activating this ability reduces its cost by 1 or by one mana of that creature's color)

Thinking Machine 3
Artifact
Operate {2/U}{2/U}{2/U},T: Draw a card (Each creature you tap while activating this ability reduces its cost by 1 or by one mana of that creature's color)

Rat Machine 3
Artifact
Operate {2/B}{2/B}{2/B},T: Put a 1/1 black rat creature token onto the battlefield. (Each creature you tap while activating this ability reduces its cost by 1 or by one mana of that creature's color)

Cannon Machine 2
Artifact
Operate {2/R}{2/R},T: ~ deals 1 damage to target creature or player (Each creature you tap while activating this ability reduces its cost by 1 or by one mana of that creature's color)

Mana Machine 1
Artifact
Operate {2/G},T: add one mana of any color to your mana pool (Each creature you tap while activating this ability reduces its cost by 1 or by one mana of that creature's color)

I like how this makes it free to "unattach" at the beginning of your turn so you can attack with the creature if you want, and it's quite a simple execution. Free from Toil is interesting— it seems to suggest some Artifacts that provide continuous effects when operated that you want to "shut off":

Electric Fence 1
Artifact (Uncommon)
Operate 2 (2: Tap an untapped creature you control. It's operating this artifact as long as it's tapped. You may choose not to untap it during your untap step)
As long as a creature is operating ~, whenever a creature attacks you or a planeswalker you control, ~ deals 1 damage to that creature.

I came up with a different description of Operate:

Operate N (N: Tap an untapped creature you control. It's operating this artifact as long as it's tapped. You may choose not to untap it during your untap step.)

Here are a couple card ideas based on that version:

Free from Toil 1W
Instant (Uncommon)
Untap all creatures target player controls.

Goblin Laborer R
Creature - Goblin 1/1 (Common)
When Goblin Laborer enters the battlefield, it can operate target artifact you control without paying that artifact's operate cost.

Steamtown Machinist 1RR
Creature - Goblin Artificer 2/2 (Uncommon)
At the beginning of your upkeep, choose target artifact you control. Steamtown Machinist can operate that artifact until end of turn without paying its operate cost.

Circuit Breaker 1UU
Creature - Salamander Artificer 1/1 (Uncommon)
Operate costs you pay cost 2 less.
2U: Untap another target creature you control.

I think the technocracy's twobrid artifacts are pretty exciting to design. Here's a possible cycle of 6 CMC Uncommons.

Fibermane Angel (2/W)(2/W)(2/W)
Artifact Creature - Angel 3/3 (Uncommon)
Flying, vigilance

Aerial Spycraft (2/U)(2/U)(2/U)
Artifact - Equipment (Uncommon)
Equipped creature has flying, hexproof and "Whenever this creature deals combat damage to a player, you may draw that many cards."
Equip (2/U)(2/U)

Disaster Gremlin (2/B)(2/B)(2/B)
Artifact Creature - Gremlin 2/2 (Uncommon)
When Disaster Gremlin enters the battlefield, destroy target tapped creature or land.

Inferno Coil (2/R)(2/R)(2/R)
Artifact (Uncommon)
T: Inferno Coil deals damage equal to the number of creatures operating it divided as you choose among target creature and that creature's controller.
Operate (2/R) (Reminder text)

Slammer Ball (2/G)(2/G)(2/G)
Artifact - Equipment (Uncommon)
Equipped creature gets +3/+3 and has trample and haste.
Equip (2/G)(2/G)

Thanks for the comments, gang! I appreciate it quite a bit. Here are my candid responses to you all.

RE: Circeus
1.) My biggest concern with Eternal Servitude would be how many cards with it would be appropriate for the set, and how much depth does it have as a mechanic. (Do free 2/2's matter?)
2.) Ankh is parasitic(linear), but that's fine because both Eternal Servitude and Retrace are modular. Every successful set has a mix of both because they appeal to different types of players.
3.) 5 Retrace is way, way, more than I needed, I think the set would probably have 10-15 retrace cards, if that.
4. and 5.) it's a graveyard set, but the twist is that many of the cards do their work from the graveyard and stay there. It could be too graveyard focued though. So I think it could feel very different from Odyssey or Innistrad.
6.) I'm not sure what to do with Ankh yet, I'll get into it below. As for the enemy color, mechanically, there are stronger links between enemy colors than I could see in ally colors. Eternal Servitude seems primary Black, with secondary in green and white. Retrace on spells seems very Blue and Red. but that may not be as clear to others as it is to me.

RE: Pasteur
I think Retrace has more than enough depth for a Core Set or a standalone set like we're making.

Ankh is flavor-wonky right now, but I have faith it could be given a very clever identity that makes it at least as obvious as Snow permanents, or Arcane spells. I like the mechanical possibilities, and have faith in the flavor. (I puposely used the word Ankh because it's in the name of the plane.)

I agree that retraceble permanents are more promise than eternal servitude. Interesting that neither work with tokens at all. I wouldn't hate a token-light set, btw.

RE: Antny223
I think an Egyptian-themed set should have a heavy graveyard/recycling focus. I had a hard time not designing in that direction. For a while I had a sort of reversed Delve mechanic before I realized I needed to include a returning mechanic and added Retrace (which I think is the most successful part of the submission).

Harvester Annubis's combo with Morph creatures will be fun for casual formats down the road. I'm not sure that interaction should be a concern. Does WotC playtest for older formats?

I'm not sure if new players will hate using up their land drop for a dual land, the way they famously hated losing 1 life. But the interaction of bouncing them the turn you play them for c or D was intentional. These duals would be a classic case of Strategic Complexity, where they reward a player who knows how to best use them, without frustrating newer players.

Ankh needs work. How does each color use the supertype, why are some spells ankh and others aren't. It's tough even for WotC though, if you look at Coldsnap, you may have trouble remembering which cards are snow permanents. Artic Shelf or Arctic Nishoba? Rimewind Cryomancer or Rimefeather Owl? Karplusan Strider or Ohran Yeti? I didn't get a chance to crack the flavor and mechancial guidelines, but I could see that process as being a lot of fun during a full set design.

There are some interesting ideas in this set, although very heavily built around both the graveyard and eternal servitude seems to heavily lean into morph, to the extent that Harvester of Souls appears to offer virtual immortality to any creature with morph.

I think irrigation ditch is a very clever design around retrace, although I wonder whether it's meant to be designed so that even though it enters tapped, I can still return for coloured mana on the turn it enters. Feels a little counter intuitive for a dual land.

As for Ankh, my only though is that its unclear why certain spells are ankh and others aren't. Is there a reason why Wheatfield Mummy is Ankh but afterworld servent isn't?

I like Retrace as a way to represent both cyclical fertility and undeath, and there's definitely-probably some design space left to explore there. Finding compelling effects that aren't "this is why we don't do Buyback" is a priority.

Addercoil Staff is very clever.

It seems like if we could find a cohesive way of saying "Ankh cards on your side of the table", Ankh would be more promising, but as is, sure. It's parasitic and I don't really get what it *means* (as opposed to something like Arcane being "the spirit side of things"), but it's space to play around in.

Eternal Servitude is interesting, but less intriguing than retraceable permanents in my book.

1) I think Eternal Servitude is a really fascinating take on a Wither/Undying variant.
2) Ankh strikes me as a terribly parasitic mechanic. It would be easy to plug into Eternal Servitude instead by using colorless creatures.
3) A more technical quibble: for a pack-pitch, 5 retrace cards is probably more than needed.
4) I'm not entirely convinced having two "return from the grave" mechanics for permanents in the same set (retrace and eternal servitude) is wise.
5) Between retrace, eternal servitude and the way you use Ankh, this feels like a graveyard set, and I'm not clear if this was your goal (and making on the heels of Innistrad is not all that tempting to me).
6) Ankh creatures with retrace or eternal servitude seem to conflict pretty badly with the ankh-in-graveyard theme.

There are many interesting designs (the retrace sorceries in particular), but I'm not sure they transmit the themes you intended to transmit (cf. the "graveyard set" feel). For examples, retrace doesn't exactly screams "fertileness" to me (but I might be in the minority there), and the enemy color themes doesn't come through at all.

I'm not going to lie, this submission has room for improvement. I know these aren't the most exciting implementations of these concepts and mechanics. I unlocked my concept for the set very late and only was able to come up with a few cards before submissions were due. But I like the glimpse of what could be in this set concept.
-Nich

Which set are you pitching?

Ankh-Theb

What is the name of your pitch?

The Fertile Land

What are the major mechanical themes in the set according to your vision?

1.) Ankh is a supertype that is referenced in the set by spells and effects. Each color uses it differently. It’s most unique feature in this set is that effects count even in the graveyard. That should give it a sufficient afterlife feel.
2.) Eternal Servitude’s flavor is lesser souls of the Plane returning after death to serve the more powerful. It uses the rules created by Morph (minus the ability to flip face up).
3.) Retrace is the returning mechanic. It’ll have a fortune-telling hieroglyph flavor this go around. The twist is that it’ll also be on permanents.
4.) Enemy color theme. Dictated by the flavor of the setting, I see strong reasons to include multicolor enemy colors.

Present a booster pack (10 commons, 3 uncommons, and 1 rare or mythic rare) that shows off the set as well as possible. These cards need not be original designs; previous challenges and other people's ideas are fair game.

Afterlife Seer 3B (Common)
Creature — Human Cleric 3/2
Haste
When Afterlife Seer enters the battlefield, target creature gains eternal servitude until end of turn. (When it dies face up, return it to the battlefield face down as a 2/2 creature.)

Court Servant 1W (Common)
Creature — Thrull 2/2
Eternal servitude (When this creature dies face up, return it to the battlefield face down as a 2/2 creature.)

Foretold Victory 1R (Common)
Sorcery
Creatures you control get +1/+0 and gain haste until end of turn.
Retrace (You may cast this card from your graveyard by discarding a land card in addition to paying its other costs.)

Public Knowledge U (Common)
Instant
Each player draws a card.
Retrace (You may cast this card from your graveyard by discarding a land card in addition to paying its other costs.)

Addercoil Staff 2 (Common)
Artifact – Equipment
Equipped creature gets +0/+2.
1, Sacrifice Addercoil Staff: Equipped creature gets +2/+2 until end of turn.
Equip 2

Descendant from Greatness W (Common)
Enchantment — Aura
Enchant creature
Enchanted creature gets +1/+1.
Retrace (You may cast this card from your graveyard by discarding a land card in addition to paying its other costs.)

Wheatfield Mummy 1WB (Common)
Ankh Creature — Zombie 2/3
Retrace (You may cast this card from your graveyard by discarding a land card in addition to paying its other costs.)

Reedbraid Cranes 1UU (Common)
Ankh Sorcery
Put a 2/2 blue Bird creature token with flying onto the battlefield.
Retrace (You may cast this card from your graveyard by discarding a land card in addition to paying its other costs.)

Shadowfeed B (Common)(Reprint)
Instant
Exile target card from a graveyard. You gain 3 life.

Taskmaster’s Tomb (Common)
Land
2, T, Sacrifice Taskmaster’s Tomb: Search your library for a basic land card and put it onto the battlefield tapped. Then shuffle your library.
Eternal servitude (When this permanent is put into a graveyard from the battlefield face up, return it the battlefield face down as a 2/2 creature.)

Irrigation Arch (Uncommon)
Land
Irrigation Arch enters the battlefield tapped.
T: Add 1 to your mana pool.
Return Irrigation Arch to its owner’s hand: Add U or R to your mana pool.

Serpent God’s Prayer 5G (Uncommon)
Ankh Sorcery
Put a 1/1 green Snake creature token onto the battlefield for each ankh permanent you control and each ankh card in your graveyard.

Caravan Harrier 1RR (Uncommon)
Ankh Creature – Viashino Warrior 1/1
Haste
When Caravan Harrier enters the battlefield, target creature gets +X/+0 until end of turn, where X equals the number of ankh permanents you control plus the number of ankh cards in your graveyard.
At the beginning of the end step, return Caravan Harrier to its owner’s hand.

Harvester Anubis 2GG (Rare)
Ankh Creature — Hound Shaman 3/3
Other creatures you control get +1/+1 and have eternal servitude.
(When a creature with eternal servitude dies face-up, return it to the battlefield face down as a 2/2 creature.)
G, Tap an untapped face down creature you control: Harvester Anubis gets +3/+3 until end of turn.

Oh, I see what you mean: "only any time" instead of "only when", because "when" is usually reserved for triggered abilities. Sounds like a reasonable explanation to me.

Re: Horsemanship by HavelockVHavelockV, 20 Dec 2012 03:18
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