Excellion (finished set, MSE file posted)

  • #1
    So back last summer, just prior to Zendikar's release, many believed the set to be an Indiana Jones-esque set of adventure and treasures and danger. At that point, the prevailing speculation was that poison was back in the set to go along with the dangerous jungles and ancient civilizations feel we thought the set had.

    We were, of course, just off the mark. But that speculation was a goldmine and got me to thinking about what that set would have looked like. What would a Magic set in the vein of Indiana Jones be like?

    We of course we have to start with our plucky hero.

    Picaro Makama 1RR
    Planeswalker — Picaro (M)
    +1: Put an artifact card from your hand into play.
    -4: Destroy all artifacts target player controls.
    -6: Put all Treasure cards from all graveyards into play under your control.
    [2]

    Picaro here is a 'walker who has lived for adventure for years. No temple too precious, no foreboding jungle too perilous. He lives for the thrill of acquisition, the fortune and glory. For him, there's no greater accomplishment than taking something that everyone else had failed to secure, to succeed where others have failed. He's brash, boastful and reckless, but not altogether aloof. His charm and wits have fared him well just as often as his survival instincts and his battle skills. His knack for surviving where so many others would fall has earned him the respect of many throughout the multiverse who have hired him to secure for them objects of interest from dangerous locales. Picaro was growing bored with the routine his life was beginning to adopt when a stolen ledger from one of his former employers made mention of the Pyxis of Ages, an artifact of mythical power that was said to have been lost on its homeplane of Excellion a thousand years ago. His curiosity suitable piqued, Picaro planeswalked to Excellion intending to be the first in a thousand years to succeed in finding the lost Pyxis. Little does he know that his journey would be of catastrophic importance not just to himself or Excellion, but to the whole of the Multiverse.

    A familiar archetype, I know, but it's popular for a reason. We love roguish anti-heroes and where would this genre be if not for its Indiana Joneses, Allan Quartermaines and Nathan Drakes?

    Another character archetype this genre favors is that of the hero's damsel in distress. Though, as is the case with this genre, not everything is as it seems and damsels in distress have just as much spunk as the heroes.

    Azella Kinneas, Tomb Raider 3W
    Legendary Creature — Human Rogue (R)
    Vigilance
    T: The next time a Treasure would be put into a graveyard from play this turn, put it into play under your control instead.
    2/3

    Azella here is a native to Excellion, and one who has made it her life's work to preserve the relics of the plane's lost civilizations. A thousand years prior to the set's story, Excellion was the site of a massive disaster that rendered its largest civilizations completely destroyed. Ancient palaces, cities and strongholds are now overgrown ruins and the modern world has no answers as to what happened a millennium before. Excellion as it stands now only sees these ruins as troves of riches and sites of exploration and the only mind paid to the travesties of old are in the folktales of a few disparate clans and tribes. But some look at these ruins as global treasures to be studied and respected, not raped for personal gain. Azella is one such intrepid adventurer, traveling the world in search of new sites to study, funding her research by selling the treasures she finds to the museum at Bel Arvadran. She's headstrong and independent and is known by many expedition houses as a nuisance and menace for her penchant for charming her way into adventuring parties and sabotaging them before they can plunder her ruins. But in her eyes, she's only doing what is just in the pursuit of preserving the past.

    In play, she acts as a perfect defense for your precious treasures, saving them from destruction. Of course, she also has a knack for nabbing your opponents' treasures as well, in the pursuit of saving them from oblivion.

    Of course, what are these treasures that these two cards refer to? Well, they're artifacts, ones that have worth beyond their text boxes. Here, I'll show you a common one for easy analysis:

    Quartz Cameo 2
    Artifact — Treasure (C)
    (At end of turn, if the total combined treasure value of Treasures you control is 25 or more, you win the game.)
    T: Add W to your mana pool.
    “It gleams with every ray of sun ever to beat down upon the Caloris Panitia where it was discovered. And now it lights my coffers.” -Fylona Kes, Gjoan proprietor
    [1]

    The [1] at the bottom is Quartz Cameo's Treasure Value and denotes how much the permanent adds to your total Treasure Value. I know this forum has discussed this mechanic before and I think it's rather intuitive and grokkable. And yes, this Cameo is part of a cycle.

    And yes, Treasure Values can be much more impressive than that.

    Eskriba, Sacred Blade 5
    Legendary Artifact — Equipment Treasure (M)
    Equipped creature gets +3/+3, has double strike and is indestructible.
    Equip 3
    “For a thousand years it sat upon its altar, and even now its edge is prepared to cull the unworthy.” -Azella Kinneas
    [5]

    Some Treasures are equipment as well, representing the ancient and priceless wargear found in Excellion's ruins amid the priceless jewels, works of art and devices. Even without a hand to wield it, Eskriba here can win you games, its priceless nature adding heft to your coffers.

    Excellion is a world where even upon the brink of death, a man can claim victory based on the vast wealth of his prizes. Though adventurers should remain wary, a purse full of coin or a chest brimming with jewels is not the only path to victory and others are pursuing their own means of winning. Picaro Makama has embarked on his quest for the Pyxis of Ages with headstrong Azella Kinneas in tow as his guide to Excellion's perils, but other denizens of the plane have their own plans in mind and will stop at nothing to stop him.



    **** EDIT ****

    The MSE file can be found in this post. Updates are still going on as I get feedback.
    Last edited by mikeyG: 6/12/2010 1:01:13 PM
  • #2
    i really want to see the rest of this set, but clearly its going to be a while.

    so are we talking a week, 2 3?
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  • #3
    *claps* A Treasure set! Can't wait to see more. I hope you'll eventually post the set file for perusal.

    Did you take advantage of the feature I added to magic-new-extra for this, or did you represent them some other way on the cards?
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  • #4
    Quote from Mshnik
    i really want to see the rest of this set, but clearly its going to be a while.

    so are we talking a week, 2 3?


    I usually do previews not unlike Wizards, centering on 4-5 cards to display a particular aspect of the set (in this case, Treasures) each time I post. The more activity the thread has, generally the more I reveal.

    Though I usually post the whole thing within a week or two.

    For this post, I'll say that I 'reprinted' Lay of the Land, Trash for Treasure, Traumatize, Awe Strike, Burst of Energy, Diversionary Tactics, and Covetous Dragon. A string of cards that actually does a good job at hinting at other aspects of the set. And retrace reappears along with another keyword (which I'll reveal later in its own post).

    I should mention now that my design was influenced by Zendikar and as such, Allies, Quests and Traps found their way in. Though in one case, in a radically different form than in Zendikar.

    Quote from Pichoro
    *claps* A Treasure set! Can't wait to see more. I hope you'll eventually post the set file for perusal.


    I will, for sure. I'll even post the MSE file itself so people can download/export/play with the set if they like it.

    Did you take advantage of the feature I added to magic-new-extra for this, or did you represent them some other way on the cards?


    There was a feature!? I just put the Treasure Value in the Loyalty spot. Since I don't plan on making Artifact Creature - Treasure Golem cards, I didn't see it being an issue. But I know we talked once about putting the value near where the Tombstone icon lived.
  • #5
    I don't really like how the Cameos obsolete the Diamonds in three ways, but I suppose the Diamonds were never that great.

    Will there be an "artifacts matter" subtheme in addition to the Treasures? I like how they can be useful in either a Treasure deck or on their own, and the alt-wincon doesn't crowd out the text or require fiddly bits like counters.

    Why was the decision made to have the alt-wincon trigger at end of turn, rather than at the beginning of your upkeep?


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  • #6
    Quote from Jenesis
    I don't really like how the Cameos obsolete the Diamonds in three ways, but I suppose the Diamonds were never that great.


    I was aware when I made them that they do obsolete the Diamonds, but I allowed it for a few reasons. One being, as you said, the Diamond cycle was never really amazing. I wanted the Treasures to really dazzle, so to speak, where even the common ones with overall low TVs (Treasure Values) still commanded attention without necessarily being game winners alone. And with the decision to include the Treasure win condition text on every non-mythic Treasure, it really squeezed out room on a vast sum of artifacts (another artifact-slanted mechanic had a similar effect) and I knew I wanted flavor text on at least one set of Treasures at common to give them a bit of flavor heft. I could've included the cipt clause, but that really crowded the text box. In the end, it was a clause I was willing to exclude.

    The set as a whole is a bit of a different beast in that straight-up aggressive creature strategies (both of the weenie and fatty varieties) are largely discouraged in favor of control and combo strategies. So you're not acceling into the usual weenie squad or fatty. Note that I say 'aggressive creature strategies' since creatures are a mainstay of the game, I didn't backburner them entirely. Creatures have a major presence in Excellion, they're just largely not the attacking force we're used to. But I'll get to that.

    Will there be an "artifacts matter" subtheme in addition to the Treasures?


    Yes and no. Artifacts will matter more for sure since one of the major mechanics is Artifact-only, but I decided not to devote a large portion to the set to artifacts-matters cards. There are a few, and a handful more dedicated to Treasure-matters, but it's not much more than a minor theme. The cards that care about artifacts could have just cared about treasures, but I loosened some of them up to decrease the amount of parasitism in the set.

    I like how they can be useful in either a Treasure deck or on their own, and the alt-wincon doesn't crowd out the text or require fiddly bits like counters.


    It was precisely that that gave me hope that the mechanic had design space back when we discussed it a few months back.

    Treasure is interesting in that it encourages you to play with a lot of treasure, but you can also use specific ones in decks not devoted to the win-con. The idea was that each card had a use of its own as well as a use as a cog in the great treasure machine of winning. On some cards, the treasure value is what you're after most of the time, for others it's the abilities apart from that, and some have different uses in different decks and situations.

    Why was the decision made to have the alt-wincon trigger at end of turn, rather than at the beginning of your upkeep?


    You know, I don't quite remember. When the mechanic was first developed, I think we just settled on end of turn with little argument and it just stuck. It takes enough time and mana investment that I think it's alright that the window to disrupt your plan once you're able to 'go off' is small. There's enough instant-speed artifact removal in the game that I think it's alright.

    Besides, there's another mechanic that uses the upkeep as its check, and I wanted to distance the two as much as possible.

    Why don't I explain.

    The plane of Excellion doesn't really have a dominant ideology or religion. After the cataclysm that shook the world a thousand years ago, civilizations are for the most part small and insular. There isn't any kingdoms or empires and the various races are individualistic and self-involved. Sure, there are nature-tribes and scholarly sects, orders of knights and expedition houses; but there's no armies, no world-spanning religions, no direction or purpose beyond the here and now.

    Stelmarria Jonell was a page girl in the island-spanning museum and repository of knowledge at Bel Arvadran. She toiled away for years under the watchful eyes of the scholars and historians, soaking up all the knowledge she could from the faded scrolls and dusty tomes. One day, several years ago, she was caught trying to steal an ancient manuscript from one of the Bel Arvadran high scholars and was sentenced to one year in their mystical oubliette. Stelmarria was to be deprived of light and sound and of all contact with the world outside, kept alive by the magic of the cell. It was there that she found solace in meditation. She sat in the darkness of her prison and closed her eyes, closing herself off to her conscious thoughts and opening herself up to a higher level of thought. In a moment of perfect clarity, her spark ignited and she ascended as a planeswalker. Her first, involuntary planeswalk left her confused and alone on a foreign plane. As she realized what had happened, Stelmarria found joy in her newfound powers and in the power of her meditation.

    Convinced that she had been chosen by a higher power to spread her enlightening word, Stelmarria began to teach and proselytize. Her movement spread far and wide, beginning first with the unnamed plane she woke to after her ascension, but soon on other worlds including a small sect of followers on Ravnica. In a trance one day, Stelmarria had a vision of Excellion wasting away in a sea of bile and darkness. Convinced it was a sign of Excellion's fate without the intervention of her divine word, she set out to return home for the first time since her imprisonment, the self-styled demi-goddess intent on saving the people of Excellion from their own ignorance.

    Stelmarria Jonell 2WU
    Planeswalker — Stelmarria (M)
    +1: You may tap target creature. It doesn’t untap during its controller’s next untap step.
    -2: The next time target creature would untap, it becomes innervated instead.
    -6: Destroy all uninnervated creatures.
    [3]

    As a 'walker, Stelmarria is controlling and seeks to enlighten those who follow her. And destroy the ones who choose to remain ignorant.

    Of course, the key to her power lies in this mysterious "innervation". What is it? Innervation was my attempt to make creatures matter in winning games for something other than attacking for damage. Whenever a creature with innervate would untap, you may pay its innervate cost to have it become innervated instead. At the beginning of your upkeep, if you control six or more innervated creatures, you win the game. Conceptually, as your creatures find enlightenment by letting go of mortal senses and opening themselves up to the energies of the aether, you get closer to using their connection to tap into the Blind Eternities itself.

    Disciple of Mada'Zyl W
    Creature — Kithkin Soldier (C)
    Innervate W (If this creature would untap, you may pay its innervate cost instead. If you do, it's innervated. At the beginning of your upkeep, if you control six or more innervated creatures, you win the game.)
    1/1

    This little guy is the most basic innervate creature in the set. Attack once (or better yet, use it to fuel the handful of effects that using tapping your creatures as a cost) and the next time it would untap, you can pay W and keep it tapped to innervate it. Then, during your upkeep, if you control 6 such creatures, you win.

    It sounds easy, but it requires a few hoops. Six creatures, mana, tapping, untapping - but it's a very different kind of play than attacking, which is the whole point. Innervate creatures are almost universally more fragile than the norm, but some make up for it by gaining abilities when they become innervated. And like treasures, some innervate creatures lend themselves to other strategies for winning:

    Repentant Thief 1U
    Creature — Vedalken Wizard (U)
    Innervate U (If this creature would untap, you may pay its innervate cost instead. If you do, it's innervated. At the beginning of your upkeep, if you control six or more innervated creatures, you win the game.)
    1U, T: Put the top four cards of target library into their owner’s graveyard.
    1/2

    Lifetwister Monk 1G
    Creature — Human Monk (U)
    Innervate G (If this creature would untap, you may pay its innervate cost instead. If you do, it's innervated. At the beginning of your upkeep, if you control six or more innervated creatures, you win the game.)
    T: Gain 1 life for each innervated creature you control.
    1/1

    In case you hadn't guessed by now, the overall theme for Excellion is that of alternate win conditions. Treasure and Innervate are two, there are still two others, one of which is only moderate in size (but spans well over a decade in history in the game).
  • #7
    Quote from {mikeyG}
    The set as a whole is a bit of a different beast in that straight-up aggressive creature strategies (both of the weenie and fatty varieties) are largely discouraged in favor of control and combo strategies.


    So, in other words, the complete opposite of Zendikar? Wink

    Innervate, as a mechanic, I like a lot less than Treasure:
    * You'd have to rewrite the rules to allow players to activate mana abilities during the untap step, or you'd only be able to innervate in conjunction with "untap ~" abilities.
    * Is "innervated" an ability, a status, or just something that's true about a permanent?
    * How long does "innervated" last? Do you pay once, then the ability has no duration? Do you have to repeatedly pay or the creature becomes "un-innervated" when it untaps?
    * How is a player reasonably expected to keep track of which creatures are and aren't innervated? (Particularly with the 'walker, which can give "innervated" to creatures that don't even have the "Innervate" ability.)
    * The mechanic seems a lot more parasitic than Treasure; by their nature, innervated creatures have to be small and fragile, so they'll be much worse in decks that aren't slavishly devoted to the alt-win.
    * Was there any other word considered for the mechanic? Players are notorious for giving nicknames to things (Ramp, Sac, Lupper) and "innervated" is quite a mouthful. Writing the word four times on every card with Innervate also takes up a nontrivial amount of space.

    Regarding the triggered alt-wins: exactly how do they play out? If I control 6 innervated Lifetwister Monks, would 6 triggers go on the stack at the beginning of my upkeep? Same for Treasure at EOT (it seems to be a triggered ability inherent to a subtype; that's fine).

    What if I control 6 creatures innervated by Stelmarria Jonell, but none of them have the "Innervate" ability themselves? Does anything trigger?

    (Don't take this as a flame, please; if I didn't like your set I wouldn't be writing so many words about it! Can't wait to see more!)


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  • #8
    Quote from Jenesis
    So, in other words, the complete opposite of Zendikar? Wink


    Haha, pretty much. Excellion was intended to be sort of a distorted mirror of Zendikar.

    * You'd have to rewrite the rules to allow players to activate mana abilities during the untap step, or you'd only be able to innervate in conjunction with "untap ~" abilities.


    I truly didn't know that rule existed (obviously). Would a rewrite necessarily break much in the game?

    * Is "innervated" an ability, a status, or just something that's true about a permanent?


    It's like tapped/untapped, flipped/not flipped, etc. It's something that the creature is.

    * How long does "innervated" last? Do you pay once, then the ability has no duration? Do you have to repeatedly pay or the creature becomes "un-innervated" when it untaps?


    The ability has no duration. Like flipping, there are currently no ways to un-innervate a creature.

    * How is a player reasonably expected to keep track of which creatures are and aren't innervated? (Particularly with the 'walker, which can give "innervated" to creatures that don't even have the "Innervate" ability.)


    Given that decks using the mechanic likely wouldn't have many creatures outside the theme, nor would they have more than five or six innervated creatures in play at once, I don't feel it's unreasonable to simply divide one's creatures.

    I toyed with the idea of using a counter, but I felt it was too clunky (the set already had enough special counters flying around in addition to the usual +1/+1).

    * The mechanic seems a lot more parasitic than Treasure; by their nature, innervated creatures have to be small and fragile, so they'll be much worse in decks that aren't slavishly devoted to the alt-win.


    Indeed, that wasn't completely unintentional. I felt that since several of the set's themes were much more modular, it was alright to include one or two that felt much more insular. Innervate decks still play decently outside of the set since there's a wealth of cards that tap and untap that inherently make innervating easier to accomplish.

    Of course, there are a few innervate creatures that aren't small and fragile. As mentioned before, some gain additional benefits to becoming enlightened. The green and white ends of the three innervate colors especially get creatures that get beefier and/or learn new tricks to offset the drawback of having to remain tapped that extra turn to become innervated (remember that the creatures becomes innervated instead of untapping).

    Stalwart Observer 3G
    Creature — Human Monk (C)
    Innervate 2G (If this creature would untap, you may pay its innervate cost instead. If you do, it's innervated. At the beginning of your upkeep, if you control six or more innervated creatures, you win the game.)
    Stalwart Observer gets +3/+3 and has shroud as long as it’s innervated.
    3/3

    My question is this, though: If I play this on the fourth turn, somehow give it haste and attack, can I innervate it on my next turn, or would I not have my lands available to untap until after my chance to pay the innervate cost is over?

    If not, the mechanic is in serious trouble as that would severely hamper its uses. Trouble is, it would have to be tweaked in such a way as to not cause too much to change since the mechanic as it stands is an intricate part of the set. Cards with innervate or included/designed specifically to interact with it comprise a decent chunk, perhaps around an eighth of the set.

    * Was there any other word considered for the mechanic? Players are notorious for giving nicknames to things (Ramp, Sac, Lupper) and "innervated" is quite a mouthful. Writing the word four times on every card with Innervate also takes up a nontrivial amount of space.


    I looked high and low for a word with a wide enough meaning to encapsulate how the various colors see the mechanic. White sees a righteous calling, blue sees a transcendant form of thought, green sees a spiritual way of tapping into inner strength. Looking at innervate in a Thesaurus gives a wide array of other words, but they either don't convey the various perspectives, already have ties to the game or don't sound very Magic-y at all. I needed a word that was both high-minded.

    I agree that innervate doesn't flow as well as the ability wants it to, but nothing else stuck out as a viable replacement. I am absolutely all ears for great suggestions, though.

    Regarding the triggered alt-wins: exactly how do they play out? If I control 6 innervated Lifetwister Monks, would 6 triggers go on the stack at the beginning of my upkeep? Same for Treasure at EOT (it seems to be a triggered ability inherent to a subtype; that's fine).

    What if I control 6 creatures innervated by Stelmarria Jonell, but none of them have the "Innervate" ability themselves? Does anything trigger?


    I'm not sure whether it's so much a trigger as it is a check of SBEs, particularly with Treasure. With Treasure, I always envisioned it as something SBEs checked during cleanup with no shift in priority or chance to respond. Like losing for having 0 life.

    (Don't take this as a flame, please; if I didn't like your set I wouldn't be writing so many words about it! Can't wait to see more!)


    Certainly not. If I didn't want any criticism at all, I wouldn't have posted a thing.

    But for you, a treat. A revisit of Quests, this time subtype supported!

    Hunt of the Sable Wolf 2G
    Enchantment — Quest (U)
    Whenever a creature comes into play under your control, put a quest counter on Hunt of the Sable Wolf.
    1G: Put a 4/4 green Wolf Beast creature token into play. Play this ability only if there are five or more quest counters on Hunt of the Sable Wolf.

    I never liked that Quests had to be sacced for their effect. I like the idea that the journey has a lasting impression on you once you've completed it. Such as this one. As more men join your hunt, you find the elusive Sable Wolf of Iskendrun. And once found, you learn how to summon the beast to aid you in your path.

    Delving the Darkest Tombs 1B
    Enchantment — Quest (C)
    Whenever a creature is put into your graveyard from play, put a quest counter on Delving the Darkest Tombs.
    Creature cards in your graveyard have retrace if there are seven or more quest counters on Delving the Darkest Tombs.

    Fill your tombs too full, and eventually some of its denizens will want out.

    But what if a Quest has no end?

    Voyage of Chryst-Kings 3W
    Enchantment — Quest (R)
    At end of turn, if you were dealt no damage his turn, put a quest counter on Voyage of Chryst-Kings.
    At the beginning of your upkeep, put a 1/1 white Soldier creature token into play for each quest counter on Voyage of Chryst-Kings.

    A cycle of rares explores the idea of Quests without an end. This one in particular highlights the plight of Naloa. Once a prosperous kingdom known as the seat of the Chryst-Kings, Naloa fell along with all the other ancient civilizations of Excellion a thousand years ago. Now known as Naloa Tor (Tor being the word used to denote ruins that were once seats of power in the ancient world) the survivors of its past live in exile. But some believe that lost somewhere in the bloodlines of the surviving Naloans lies the scion to the Chryst-Kings of old and they believe someday a scion will rise and his royal blood will restore the kingdom to its former glory. Yearly, knights still dedicated to the old kingdom make pilgrimages to Naloa Tor with chosen men believed to be potential scions. The pilgrimages bring the scions to the ancient throne room to verify the bloodlines and each year, though ending in failure, summons countless Naloans as the caravans wind their way through the world back to the southern continent where Naloa once ruled.

    This quest represents those pilgrimages. As the voyage begins, you start to attract company as one by one, Naloans from all corners recognize your glorious pilgrimage. These voyages never truly end and never will until a true scion is found and a new Chryst-King takes his throne.

    Of course, Quests aren't limited to just Enchantments.

    Aged Spellcaster 3RR
    Creature — Minotaur Shaman (R)
    Whenever you cast a spell, put a quest counter on Aged Spellcaster.
    At end of turn, you win the game if there are thirteen or more quest counters on Aged Spellcaster.
    4/3

    Some creatures have personal quests as well. Though not gifted with the subtype for obvious reasons, such creatures fit the theme. This minotaur badass just wants to see you cast spells. He remembers when spellcasting was an art and not some pragmatic part of daily life. He wants to experience the revelry of tapping into the raw elements, and will reward you handsomely when his thirst is sated.

    Journeyman's Mount 2W
    Creature — Griffin (C)
    Journeyman's Mount has flying as long as you control a Quest.
    “Kyfalan here is as loyal as any hound or arm-for-hire. She has walked beside me as I traversed Hylonia and when I was tasked with rescuing a group of relic hunters from Miracuff, she flew us there in the knick of time.” -Jerada, Azaadha journeyman
    2/3

    Some creatures are better if you embark on a Quest. This trained griffin is land-bound at her master's behest, but once her gifts of flight are needed to succeed in a quest, the tether comes off and she's soaring.


    Unscrupulous Journeyman 1UU
    Creature — Human Pirate Rogue (U)
    As long as you control a Quest with five or more quest counters on it, Unscrupulous Journeyman is 3/4 and has intimidate and “Whenever Unscrupulous Journeyman deals combat damage to an opponent, he or she puts the top five cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.”
    2/2

    Once you've proven yourself an able adventurer, this pirate shows his true colors and lends you his considerable talents.

    Eldergorge Traitor 3B
    Creature — Ogre Rogue Mercenary (U)
    Remove a quest counter from a permanent you control: Eldergorge Traitor gets +1/+1 and gains first strike until end of turn.
    The ogres make for appealing muscle on any expedition, but the addition of such power comes at the price of progress.
    3/2

    Not everyone is out to be a team player. As I mentioned earlier, the world of Excellion is very individualistic. And for every Ally who joins your cause with the aim to succeed, there's a Mercenary who has no trouble sabotaging your efforts for his own personal gain.

    Tavern Rumormonger 2R
    Creature — Human (C)
    When Tavern Rumormonger comes into play, search your library for a Quest card, reveal it and put it into your hand. Shuffle your library.
    “I heard from a friend that south of Libreton, out by the Menephon coast, there’s this massive beast that guards the entrance to some sort of old temple or some such thing ....”
    2/1

    Ah, the tavernmaster, bringer of ale, singer of songs and informant to anyone out to make a few bucks. An RPG staple and the card more than any other that convinced me that Quests needed to have a subtype.
  • #9
    Quote from {mikeyG}
    There was a feature!? I just put the Treasure Value in the Loyalty spot. Since I don't plan on making Artifact Creature - Treasure Golem cards, I didn't see it being an issue. But I know we talked once about putting the value near where the Tombstone icon lived.


    Yeah. Way back when, when you first posted about the mechanic in custom cards, it got me going and wanting to make some of my own. So the next update to Magic New w/ Extra Colors after that added "treasure values" to the template. I'll attach a render from back then. I still wish I had a better coin to use. It just looks kinda out of place where I positioned it. I went with that location because many locations were not possible without changing the game file (which is something I refuse to do with magic-new-extra), and because in that spot, they should be visible in a fanned hand of cards. Smile

    I really liked the idea, and knew I wanted to use it. I find building a large set daunting, and so I've taken to what I call "mini-sets". In particular, I did a "mini-set" of 60 cards around the Treasure theme. Really more of an experiment than a set, I suppose.




    Also, I love the other stuff you're doing, but I love alternate win conditions. I've thought about doing my own, but perhaps I will wait awhile now, to put this one farther back in my memory. Smile
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  • #10
    Quote from {mikeyG}
    I truly didn't know that rule existed (obviously). Would a rewrite necessarily break much in the game?


    Probably the cleanest way to do it would be, "Pay {cost}, Tap ~: ~ becomes innervated. Activate this ability only during your upkeep and only if ~ was tapped at the beginning of your turn." This doesn't have any rules complications, but does trigger "When [something] becomes un/tapped" abilities.

    Another alternative is "You may choose not to untap ~ during your untap step. If you do, at the beginning of your upkeep, pay {cost}. If you do, ~ becomes innervated. If you don't, untap ~."

    This also neatly gets around the question of "do my lands untap before or after I choose to innervate?" by making it always, non-negotiably, before.

    It's like tapped/untapped, flipped/not flipped, etc. It's something that the creature is.


    OK, so it's a status.

    Given that decks using the mechanic likely wouldn't have many creatures outside the theme, nor would they have more than five or six innervated creatures in play at once, I don't feel it's unreasonable to simply divide one's creatures.


    So in other words, the door is wide open for people to cheat. Pen and paper, then. (For example, if a player controls two creatures with the same name and one with a different name, there is a tendency to physically clump the two same-name cards together.)

    I'm not sure whether it's so much a trigger as it is a check of SBEs, particularly with Treasure. With Treasure, I always envisioned it as something SBEs checked during cleanup with no shift in priority or chance to respond. Like losing for having 0 life.


    What you mean is a turn-based action, then, like combat damage being assigned and dealt (i.e. it doesn't use the stack). A minor rewrite of the ability so it doesn't start with "At" should do the trick; as written, it appears that it goes on the stack, and I can prevent it by killing one of your permanents in response.

    Hunt of the Sable Wolf: I'm not sure what the difference between a Wolf and a Wolf Beast is, but it's a decent card...if a bit close to 'narc.

    Delving the Darkest Tombs: Nice riff on retrace, even not in the "lands matter" set. On a common there should be reminder text, though.

    Voyage of Chryst-Kings: The name is unnervingly close to real-world religion for me, but the card is quite interesting...unlike 'narc, turn 4 should give your opponents plenty of time to build up an attacking army. Shouldn't this say "at the end of each opponent's turn"? It's kind of cheating if it cares that you didn't take any damage on your own turn, especially since Burn isn't a viable archetype.

    Aged Spellcaster: Needs intervening if clause, otherwise fine.

    Unscrupulous Journeyman: Is there a reason you use "is 3/4" instead of "gets +1/+2"?

    Tavern Rumormonger 2R
    Creature — Human (C)
    When Tavern Rumormonger comes into play, search your library for a Quest card, reveal it and put it into your hand. Shuffle your library.
    “I heard from a friend that south of Libreton, out by the Menephon coast, there’s this massive beast that guards the entrance to some sort of old temple or some such thing ....”
    2/1


    The card is great and very flavorful, but is this last bit necessary? There's only so much interesting you can pack into one breath...


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  • #11
    Why not use the 'walker's example of how to template Innervate?

    Innervate W (Tap this creature. If you do, during your next untap step, instead of untapping it becomes innervated. At the beginning of your upkeep, if you control six or more innervated creatures, you win the game.)

    It will let you innervate as an instant, but it still locks them down for a turn.

    Also, I love this concept and it looks like you've done a great job with it. I think naming the people looking for their prophesized savior to return and rule them something so similar to "Christ" was kind a little too unsubtle, but I still like all the flavor so far (especially the second 'walker, even though I don't like her mechanics as much).

    I was discussing this very same block theme with a friend of mine a while back, so it's really interesting to see someone who had the same idea and who actually tried it out. Judging from the other cards, I'd guess Poison and Milling are other supported alt-win-cons.

    Keep up the good work!

    Edit: Sarnath'd (by nearly two hours, that'll teach me to read the entire thread before posting) by just about everything Jenesis said. Also, my proposed innervate fix probably won't work since I now realize a lot of them have tap effects already that will be competing with the keyword. Hmmm.
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  • #12
    Quote from Jenesis
    Probably the cleanest way to do it would be, "Pay {cost}, Tap ~: ~ becomes innervated. Activate this ability only during your upkeep and only if ~ was tapped at the beginning of your turn." This doesn't have any rules complications, but does trigger "When [something] becomes un/tapped" abilities.

    Another alternative is "You may choose not to untap ~ during your untap step. If you do, at the beginning of your upkeep, pay {cost}. If you do, ~ becomes innervated. If you don't, untap ~."

    This also neatly gets around the question of "do my lands untap before or after I choose to innervate?" by making it always, non-negotiably, before.


    Good enough, I'll test the templating out. Thank you! Smile

    What you mean is a turn-based action, then, like combat damage being assigned and dealt (i.e. it doesn't use the stack). A minor rewrite of the ability so it doesn't start with "At" should do the trick; as written, it appears that it goes on the stack, and I can prevent it by killing one of your permanents in response.
    Ah, didn't think of that. I can't profess to be a rules guru by any stretch so often things I design have slight issues in conveying intent versus functioning within the rules.

    Hunt of the Sable Wolf: I'm not sure what the difference between a Wolf and a Wolf Beast is, but it's a decent card...if a bit close to 'narc.
    I wanted to make it clear that the Sable Wolf was different from regular wolves (though not legendary) beyond size. The Sable Wolf is larger but also far more bestial and ferocious. Think Gmork from The Neverending Story.

    'narc?

    Delving the Darkest Tombs: Nice riff on retrace, even not in the "lands matter" set. On a common there should be reminder text, though.
    Retrace is a returning mechanic and has its reminder text on many cards throughout the rarities. I thought that Wizards' policy was such that a returning mechanic may go without reminder text in situations where it would clog up text boxes as long as the reminder text existed often enough in the set?

    Retrace here returns as a way of denoting the remembrance of ancient times in Excellion, a way of highlighting that many of the plane's inhabitants are searching for answers in the past.

    Voyage of Chryst-Kings: The name is unnervingly close to real-world religion for me, but the card is quite interesting...unlike 'narc, turn 4 should give your opponents plenty of time to build up an attacking army. Shouldn't this say "at the end of each opponent's turn"? It's kind of cheating if it cares that you didn't take any damage on your own turn, especially since Burn isn't a viable archetype.
    I felt that the card would be nearly impossible to get going if not for the cheat. Aggressive creature strategies are downplayed, but they're still a central component and most decks will still use them to some degree (though the set is seeded with tools to assist players going completely creatureless). By turn five, you'd likely be suffering some damage and even if not, at best this will net you two 1/1s who won't be able to attack until turn 6. It's certainly a cute little weenie engine but even with the cheat, it's slow.

    The name, ironically enough, was never something I connected to real-world religions. It started as a riff on FFXII's use of the word 'Chryst', and it was with that intention that I used it.

    Aged Spellcaster: Needs intervening if clause, otherwise fine.
    In what way?

    Unscrupulous Journeyman: Is there a reason you use "is 3/4" instead of "gets +1/+2"?
    I liked the flavor that he's not getting a bonus per se should you have proven yourself, he reveals the power and talent he was hiding all along. It's a case of bucking the tradition to underscore flavor without really jeopardizing function.

    The card is great and very flavorful, but is this last bit necessary? There's only so much interesting you can pack into one breath...
    Hahaha, true enough.

    Quote from Dodavehu
    Why not use the 'walker's example of how to template Innervate?

    Innervate W (Tap this creature. If you do, during your next untap step it doesn't untap and becomes innervated. At the beginning of your upkeep, if you control six or more innervated creatures, you win the game.)

    It will let you innervate as an instant, but it still locks them down for a turn.


    Certainly a great fix, though it does in turn now call into question the need for cards to assist you in tapping your creatures. Not a major deal (at most it's 5-7 cards spread through three colors at low rarities), but a consideration.

    Also, I love this concept and it looks like you've done a great job with it. I think naming the people looking for their prophesized savior to return and rule them something so similar to "Christ" was kind a little too unsubtle, but I still like all the flavor so far
    Redface

    Entirely coincidence. Naloa Tor was envisioned as a giant palace made of crystal (in its heyday, obviously now it's lost much of its splendor), and its kings so named for the image of their kingdom's crowning jewel. The whole aesthetic for the Naloans has a jewel/crystal theme with the throne itself carved out of the flawless crystal that would glow a particular color when occupied by a member of the royal bloodline (thus the pilgrimages to Naloa Tor).

    Some other cards depicting Naloans and the Naloan tradition:

    Awe Strike W
    Instant (C)
    The next time target creature would deal damage this turn, prevent that damage. You gain life equal to the damage prevented this way.
    “Our king may no longer sit proudly upon his throne, but you will bow to his glory nonetheless.” Jalona Tal, Knight-Captain of Naloa Tor

    Chryst of Kings W
    Artifact — Treasure (C)
    (At end of turn, if the total combined treasure value of Treasures you control is 25 or more, you win the game.)
    Whenever you cast a white spell, gain 1 life.
    [1]

    Chryst-King Liege 3WW
    Creature — Human Knight (U)
    First strike
    Chryst-King Liege can block may number of creatures.
    The knights of the fallen kingdom of Naloa guard not only the ruined palace, but the scions of the royal bloodline, believing that one day both will be restored to their former glory.
    3/4

    Keeper of the Southern Span 2W
    Creature — Human Knight (C)
    Lifelink
    Keeper of the Southern Span has first strike if you have 25 or more life.
    “The old kingdom of the Chryst-Kings is no more, but its descendants still eke out a living defending its honor. If you ask me, putting yourself in harm’s way to protect a fallen kingdom is foolhardy when one could put that effort into profiting from its fall.” -Picaro Makama
    2/2

    Shield of Naloa Tor 2W
    Artifact — Equipment Treasure (U)
    (At end of turn, if the total combined treasure value of Treasures you control is 25 or more, you win the game.)
    Whenever a face down artifact is turned face up, put a +1/+1 counter on equipped creature and choose a color. Equipped creature has protection from each color chosen this way. This effect does not remove Shield of Naloa Tor.
    Equip 2
    [2]

    Naloa Tor, Seat of Chryst-Kings
    Legendary Land — Ruins (M)
    When Naloa Tor, Seat of Chryst-Kings comes into play, tap it and gain 2 life.
    T: Add W to your mana pool.
    Equipment Treasures you control have “Equipped creature is indestructible.”


    (especially the second 'walker, even though I don't like her mechanics as much).
    The set has four 'walkers, each tied (either subtly or explicitly) to one of four mechanics in the set. And all four are heavily flavored and that flavor is reflected in how they play. Picaro is a boisterous treasure hunter with a knack for surviving and his card accents his ability to play well with Treasure cards. Stelmarria is a self-involved, self-made demi-goddess with her nose in the air and her card displays her drive to convert and enlighten as well as destroy those who choose to ignore her calling. We still have N'Longo Ugo, an elven witchdoctor with strong ties to ancient sadistic ritualism; and Rulah, a very old dryad priestess who knows the secret of protecting life.

    Keep up the good work!
    Thank you very much!!
    Last edited by mikeyG: 5/11/2010 2:56:29 PM
  • #13
    I think if you changed the Naloan ancestors to something as simple as "Crystal-Kings" it would divorce it enough (while paradoxically making it more generic).

    Other options from the top of my head: Shard-Kings, Shattered-Kings, Quartz-Kings, Sparkling-Kings, or maybe Halcyon-Kings. None save Quartz have the monosyllabic kick though.

    Absolutely love the image of a broken order of knights who bow to the once great shattered throne.

    Also, was Cyrst of Kings supposed to have a treasure value or is this a hint that some treasure is worthless? Which is kind of interesting, the first idea I had when you were explaining treasure, was the johnny card:
    Bauble 2
    Artifact [r]
    [4]

    Might be too unsubtle though.
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  • #14
    Quote from Dodavehu
    I think if you changed the Naloan ancestors to something as simple as "Crystal-Kings" it would divorce it enough (while paradoxically making it more generic).


    I guess that leaves me with the trouble of deciding if the divorce is worth the generic result.

    Stop thinking about Jesus, dammit! :p

    Other options from the top of my head: Shard-Kings, Shattered-Kings, Quartz-Kings, Sparkling-Kings, or maybe Halcyon-Kings. None save Quartz have the monosyllabic kick though.


    Kruos-Kings may work (derived from an old Greek word for "icy cold, frost" from which we get crystal in the first place), but sort of diminishes the high-fantasy element Chryst implies.

    Dammit, stop thinking about Jesus!! Hahahahahaha

    Absolutely love the image of a broken order of knights who bow to the once great shattered throne.


    It's a bit cliche, but I think it really suits the world. A lot of groups are trying to recapture lost roots, though many others are attempting to distance themselves from the wreckage and begin anew. The cataclysm had drastic effects on everyone and the world of Excellion now owes everything to the events 1000 years in its past. Groups exist now that would have been snuffed outright ages ago if not for their oppressors toppling in the Great Fall. Others, like the Naloans, live scattered in exile in the centuries after the loss of their kingdom.

    Much like Zendikar, permanent settlements of any massive scale are very rare on Excellion. There's no Roil tearing things asunder, but on a very basic level, the inhabitants of the plane fear another cataclysm and feel that avoiding massive civilizations is the key to avoid history repeating itself.

    Though there are cities. Razalen, the Gold Horizon crowns the northernmost reaches of the western continent, a city heralded for its healers, mediators and benevolent paladins. On the southern reach of the same continent lies both Bazanda, a moderate-sized port city famed for its marketplace as well as Azaadha, a large outpost that holds most of Excellion's prestigious expedition houses. To the northeast on a small island continent lies Lisala, a known center of mercenary activity. Further east is the village of Gjoa, perched halfway along the course of the Kithwash River, a massive tributary that splits Excellion's largest continent in half, it's a bit of a hub for adventurers and a great place to rest and restock before setting out again. Far to the east is Zehaan, a corrupt city amidst a huge marsh called Endermire; home to many assassins, necromancers and thieves, this is not a settlement for the faint of heart. On the plane's southernmost continent lies the small town of Libreton, a haven for the free and a known hub for hunters and poachers.

    But none of these settlements are overly large, and none possess much in the way of militaristic or political clout. Razalen may have its paladins and Bazanda its loose navy, but the world is at a stalemate, in terms of the balance of power. The nations are simply too small to really gain much ground over one another. Racial tensions and xenophobia are common in some areas (the elven natives of the Bangou region to the northeast in particular have a reputation for being openly hostile to outsiders), but in the interest of self-interest, many willingly overlook race and ideology if it will help them achieve their own goals.

    (I have a metric ton of flavor info in my head for this set, I'll probably end up writing A Planeswalker's Guide to Excellion and post it in Personal Writing after the set is posted)

    Also, was Cyrst of Kings supposed to have a treasure value or is this a hint that some treasure is worthless?


    Yes, it's [1]. Exporting doesn't carry TVs over and I remembered to add the Shield's on, but not the Chryst's.

    No, at this point no treasure is without a TV.

    Which is kind of interesting, the first idea I had when you were explaining treasure, was the johnny card:
    Bauble 2
    Artifact [r]
    [4]

    Might be too unsubtle though.
    --


    For now, I've tried to give all Treasure a dual purpose. Even if one purpose seems more a drawback, they all at least have one other ability beyond their TV, in the interest of keeping things dynamic. Some abilities are small (like the Chryst, which is part of another cycle), while others are interesting in their own right (most of the Equipment Treasures fall into this category). I felt that diversity gives the type a bit of room to play beyond just as an alt-win-con.
  • #15
    Quote from {mikeyG}
    'narc?


    My nickname for Luminarch Ascension.

    Retrace is a returning mechanic and has its reminder text on many cards throughout the rarities. I thought that Wizards' policy was such that a returning mechanic may go without reminder text in situations where it would clog up text boxes as long as the reminder text existed often enough in the set?


    From Mark Gottlieb's July 2009 Update Bulletin:
    Sometimes, if a block-specific keyword like transmute or suspend has long reminder text, we'll leave that reminder text off of some cards (usually rares) for space reasons. Grozoth, for example, has transmute but no reminder text. When you're busting open Ravnica packs, the odds are that if you've found a Grozoth, you've also got some other transmute cards that explain how the ability works.

    A few years down the line, however, that doesn't necessarily hold true. It's much more likely for a player to pick up a random Grozoth without any other Ravnica cards nearby and have absolutely no idea what transmute means.


    See also Kicker in Zendikar; even though it's a returning mechanic, the reminder text is on every card except Gigantiform. This card is a common, so entirely possible for a player to open it in a booster and have no idea what the heck "Retrace" means. Furthermore, adding the reminder text (even with post M10 wording) isn't so bad, as long as you don't have flavor text:

    In what way?


    "At end of turn, if there are thirteen or more quest counters on Aged Spellcaster, you win the game."

    Essentially the same, except it doesn't trigger at all if there are fewer than the requisite 13 quest counters. Mainly to not piss off MTGO players by triggering every turn for no good reason. Yes, this prevents you from playing instants in response to the trigger, but you could probably have just played them during the postcombat main anyway.

    Chryst of Kings W
    Artifact — Treasure (C)
    (At end of turn, if the total combined treasure value of Treasures you control is 25 or more, you win the game.)
    Whenever you cast a white spell, gain 1 life.
    [1]


    Is that a cycle of Lucky Charms I see? (i.e. Ivory Cup,/Angel's Feather, etc)

    Shield of Naloa Tor 2W
    Artifact — Equipment Treasure (U)
    (At end of turn, if the total combined treasure value of Treasures you control is 25 or more, you win the game.)
    Whenever a face down artifact is turned face up, put a +1/+1 counter on equipped creature and choose a color. Equipped creature has protection from each color chosen this way. This effect does not remove Shield of Naloa Tor.
    Equip 2
    [2]


    ...Morph? Hmm...

    I'd love to see more flavor about the different races that populate the world.
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  • #16
    Quote from Jenesis


    From Mark Gottlieb's July 2009 Update Bulletin:


    See also Kicker in Zendikar; even though it's a returning mechanic, the reminder text is on every card except Gigantiform. This card is a common, so entirely possible for a player to open it in a booster and have no idea what the heck "Retrace" means. Furthermore, adding the reminder text (even with post M10 wording) isn't so bad, as long as you don't have flavor text:


    Not as squeezed as I would have thought. Hmmm. Good enough, tweaked.

    "At end of turn, if there are thirteen or more quest counters on Aged Spellcaster, you win the game."

    Essentially the same, except it doesn't trigger at all if there are fewer than the requisite 13 quest counters. Mainly to not piss off MTGO players by triggering every turn for no good reason. Yes, this prevents you from playing instants in response to the trigger, but you could probably have just played them during the postcombat main anyway.
    Duly noted. Card updated in the set file.

    Thank you. Little tweaks like that to make the cards function more smoothly and line up with existing trends are exactly what I'm looking for.

    Is that a cycle of Lucky Charms I see? (i.e. Ivory Cup,/Angel's Feather, etc)
    Oh you know it is. A set-specific take on a classic cycle? How could I resist?

    Colored artifacts are sprinkled throughout the set btw, so these lucky charms play well with fellow colored Treasures, colored cards to protect them as well as the subtle theme of life totals mattering (which I will explain in more detail later, suffice as to say, the diminished focus on damage as a win con in light of the alts in focus left the life total a little underappreciated until this theme stepped in). You saw the theme hinted at on Keeper of the Southern Span, but it extends farther than that for sure.

    ...Morph? Hmm...
    Nice catch, but no.

    I'd love to see more flavor about the different races that populate the world.
    One race that stands out are the Razalen Unicorn-people. Essentially, they're bipedal, sentient unicorns. Remember Wishmonger? Yeah, it's a whole race of him.

    They reside in their city, which has become nicknamed The Gold Horizon for its citizens' reputation for being welcoming, benevolent and protective. Spiritual but not preachy, kind but not pushovers, stalwart but not righteous; the unicorns exhibit all the best qualities of white. Though they were nearly driven to extinction prior to the Great Fall. In that time, the race had settlements elsewhere on the plane but they were systematically wiped out in the decades prior to the cataclysm. Razalen was only spared by the valor of its defending paladins and healers as well as its strategic location north of a series of mountains called the Giltwall Bluffs that force invading armies to bottleneck at a single passage. Razalen survived until the cataclysm sundered their would-be killers, leaving the race in peace.

    Lesser races would respond spitefully and withdraw from the world, but not the unicorns. They remain welcoming as well as open-minded, forgiving of the trespasses of old. Spiritual sects make regular treks to the Gold Horizon, seeking the spiritual guidance of the warm-hearted priests within. The ailing seek the salvation of the city's healers, renowned for their treatments for most any disease. And adventurers constantly beseech the assistance of the Razalen paladins for their prowess in battle.

    If anything, though, the city's inhabitants may be too welcoming. Recently, Stelmarria's supporters have erected a 'school' in her honor, in truth a mere platform to preach and convert. So far, Razalen officials have been slow to stop these activities, and the city is beginning to feel the strain of discord. Stelmarria's followers broker no argument and suffer no apparent refusal to accept their goddess' divine word.

    Frontier Healer 3W
    Creature — Unicorn Cleric (U)
    T: Each player gains 2 life.
    T: Prevent the next 5 damage that would be dealt this turn to any number of target creatures and/or players, divided as you choose. Play this ability only if you have 25 or more life.
    1/4

    As I mentioned, life is still important in gameplay with this set, but typically in ways other than what we're used to.

    Cult of the Sacred Breath 3WW
    Creature — Unicorn Cleric (R)
    Vigilance, lifelink
    Whenever Cult of the Sacred Breath blocks, you win the game if you have 30 or more life.
    “Protect life to earn life.” -cultist chant
    2/6

    Giltwall Champion 1WW
    Creature — Unicorn Knight (U)
    First strike
    Innervate 1W (If this creature would untap, you may pay its innervate cost instead. If you do, it's innervated. At the beginning of your upkeep, if you control six or more innervated creatures, you win the game.)
    Giltwall Champion has protection from black and from red as long as it’s innervated.
    2/2

    Worse than Paladin en-Vec, I know, but that was a conscious decision both to depower aggressive weenies as well as guide players to innervate cards.

    Paladin of Razalen WW
    Creature — Unicorn Knight Ally (U)
    First strike
    When Paladin of Razalen or another Ally comes into play, put a +1/+1 counter on target creature.
    “The path ahead is fraught with horrors best not braved alone, little one. I’ll accompany you as far as Azaadha if I cannot bid you abandon this trek.”
    1/1

    Loses vigilance from Kazandu Blademaster, but can empower creatures other than itself. An interesting trade, I think, particularly for Limited.

    Pilgrimage to Gold Horizon 2W
    Enchantment — Quest (U)
    At end of turn, if you gained 5 or more life this turn, put a quest counter on Pilgrimage to Gold Horizon.
    1W: Double target player’s life total. Play this ability only if there are four or more quest counters on Pilgrimage to Gold Horizon.

    Once you reach the city of the Gold Horizon, your life is forever blessed. Of course, the journey there isn't as easy as you may have planned.

    Shallow Comfort 2WW
    Enchantment (R)
    Prevent all damage that would be dealt to you as long as you control no nontoken creatures.
    “Take solace in the fact that no harm will come to you on your journey. But be mournful that your journey is one to be taken alone.” -benediction of Gold Horizon

    Creatureless control decks are given a few tools to really depart from the usual deckbuilding choices. A UW counter-control deck using Treasure to win is a viable option here, and Shallow Comfort is one of the reasons why.

    Terminal Reprieve 1WW
    Instant (R)
    The next time an opponent would win the game or you would lose the game this turn, instead shuffle all nonland permanents into their owners’ libraries, you lose all poison counters and your life total becomes 10.

    Eagle-eyed forum goers may recognize this card as one I posted a while back on its own. Here it represents not only the Razalen healers' knack for saving lives that would under any other circumstances succumbed to their injuries, it's a nifty trick for snatching victory from your opponents' hands.

    Wandering Dreamwalker 2WW
    Creature — Unicorn Cleric Ally (R)
    Whenever Wandering Dreamwalker or another Ally comes into play, exile target creature. Return it to play under its owner’s control at end of turn.
    2/4

    Yes, Allies are back, and pretty much how we left them. They still help each other out and though I tried to make them less aggressive than their Zendikar brothers and sisters, they represent one of the few cohesive creature strategies that will involve a lot of attacking. Many of their abilities are slanted more toward utility than battle (there's only one +1/+1 'grower' per color) and in some cases the Allies are costed a bit higher or more mana-intensive than they would have been in Zendikar. They're still viable (RGW-Ally decks ought to be able to assemble a decent fighting crew in Excellion while wUB-Allies cover a decent control game), but not an overwhelming force. They're slower to get steamrolling which is good because many of the alt-win-cons take some time to really get going or are a touch more fragile than the usual. Control and combo are fighting back against aggro here.
  • #17
    I demand more updates! :p
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  • #18
    Hahahaha, calm down.

    Alright. So how about we talk a bit about our villain?

    N'Longo Ugo is an elf hailing from the Bangou region in the northeast of Excellion. The elven natives of Bangou were a tribe divided until N'Longo ascended and rose to prominence. A powerful witchdoctor even before his ascension, N'Longo specialized in sadistic blood arts and the use of powerful natural venoms to induce trances. After ascension, his ruthless nature and powerful reputation fueled a campaign of fear and intimidation that led to leadership of the Bangou nation within years. His rule over the past 110 years has been an exercise in brutality and fear. Bangou is a horror story to adventurers in Excellion, tales of bogeymen-like natives, cannibalism, blood magic, deadly strikes on any perceived as trespassers, but the reality is far worse. The typical response to outsiders by the Bangou is to fire a warning shot, which may not seem terrible, but these eagle-eyed shots fired into arms, shoulders and legs are deadlier than they appear. Bangou arrows don't miss, they're aimed very precisely to land near major veins and arteries, for the arrows are tipped with slow-acting poisons. Bangou mercy is restricted to allowing you a few days to return home so you can say your goodbyes as your brain and heart stop functioning. And they're the lucky ones. Faring worse are those who don't simply stray near their territory, but delve within it. Interlopers of that kind are brought to N'Longo himself for torture, interrogation and eventual public slaughter so his tribe may feast upon their enemies.

    One such interloper was brought to N'Longo 60 years ago. A Vedalken man who claimed to be searching for a treasure of immense power. Interest piqued, N'Longo used every spell and technique in his power to scrape through the explorer's mind for details. All he could derive was a name: The Pyxis of Ages.

    N'Longo knew little but that the Pyxis was a source of formidable power and he wanted it for himself to bring the rest of Excellion under his grasp. No longer would the Bangou be subject to intrusions, no longer would they be whispered about or treated with disrespect. Perhaps with such power, N'Longo could take his tribe away, leave Excellion behind and conquer new worlds. But he needed more that hearsay to find it. So he sent emissaries out to the far reaches of Excellion, posing as Bangours in exile, to raid every tomb, infiltrate every reliquary, and interrogate every adventurer and soothsayer ever to speak of the Pyxis. N'Longo turned up few solid leads this way, but a surprising side effect was that a cult began to develop in pockets across Excellion. A cult claiming to follow the teachings of the Bloodmaster N'Longo. Using dark arts and dangerous poisons, they emulate the witchdoctor but without his training or experience. The cult's activities regularly cause its cultists harm, many have died. But few have strayed and the movement is gaining momentum. It's not the full-scale conversion of Stelmarria's sect, but N'Longo's cult is a growing force in the world, and they know what he's seeking and will give their lives in that pursuit.

    N'Longo himself is a sadist. Just as life and death are viewed as two natural ends of one circle, he sees pain as a natural part of life. Something to be embraced as a source of strength, not feared and avoided. Power is something only attained through sacrifice, and N'Longo is no stranger to sacrifice. His ascension was triggered when he used his younger brother as a blood sacrifice to fuel one of his trances. His followers are important to him, but he would sacrifice each and every one of them to further his goals. So long as the Pyxis of Ages remains outside his grasp, N'Longo Ugo will stop at nothing to find it.

    And as an ally, he's completely willing to sacrifice you, as well.


    N'Longa Ugo 3BG
    Planeswalker — N'Longa (M)
    +1: Each player gains a poison counter.
    -3: Destroy target creature. You lose a poison counter.
    -5: Destroy all other nonland permanents with a converted mana cost less than or equal to the number of poison counters you have.
    [3]

    N'Longo's power is great, but it comes at a price. Are you brave enough to pay his price? If you are, you've earned yourself a potent ally indeed. His +1 ability is, interestingly enough, the one that will win the game for you. And his ultimate is technically usable quite quickly, but isn't truly a bomb play until you've proven to Ugo that his power will not be wasted upon you. In the meantime, you can use his second ability to protect him while his poisons work away at everyone else. If N'Longo had his way, he'd be the only planeswalker standing, so partnerships with him are tempestuous at best.

    Advice of the Witchdoctor 1BB
    Sorcery (R)
    Search your library for a card and put it into your hand. Shuffle your library and you get two poison counters.
    “You’ve journeyed far and survived much to have an audience with me. But are you truly ready to pay the cost of what I can bestow upon you?” N’Longo Ugo

    Defiling Contagion B
    Instant (C)
    Destroy target creature. You gain a poison counter.
    “Why agonize over the guilt murder brings when the act brings you one step closer to your end? Free yourself from misery and embrace death.” N’Longa Ugo

    As are alliances with his followers.

    Gis Bangou Sentry B
    Creature — Elf Warrior (C)
    Poisonous 1 (Whenever this creature deals combat damage to a player, that player gets a poison counter. A player with ten or more poison counters loses the game.)
    1/1

    Lord of Agonies 1BB
    Creature — Elemental Horror (R)
    Poisonous 1 (Whenever this creature deals combat damage to a player, that player gets a poison counter. A player with ten or more poison counters loses the game.)
    Lord of Agonies’s power and toughness are each equal to the total number of poison counters each player has.
    */*

    Gis Bangou Underling 3G
    Creature — Elf Rogue (C)
    Gis Bangou Underling is unblockable if the defending player has a poison counter.
    “Deep within Bangou territory resides N’Longo Ugo, a witchdoctor of unparalleled skill and menace. He teaches his subjects how to strike as swiftly and as deadly as a viper. I highly suggest we take the long way around.” -Saskia, indomitable guide
    3/2

    Needlebrake Sporopod G
    Creature — Fungus (C)
    When Needlebrake Sporopod is put into a graveyard from play, each player gets a poison counter.
    “Be wary of the sporopod. It may appear harmless, but the cloud released when Haldur touched it corroded his skin from his bones and killed those in our party unlucky enough to inhale the spores.” -Delnach, expedition leader
    2/1

    Spoilcleave BBB
    Enchantment (R)
    At the beginning of each upkeep, destroy target nonblack creature with power less than or equal to the number of poison counters you have.

    A great number of cards in Excellion care about poison counters. Both how many your opponents have as well as how many you have. N'Longo and his followers would have you skirt death, but the rewards are great. Unfortunately, the risks can be great since it puts your perilously close to losing the game. Many cards deliver poison counters, making self-poisoning strategies risky. And yet the power it grants can be alluring, just ask the hundreds now willingly following N'Longo's methodology.

    But poison doesn't just have fun in black and green (though a majority of poison related cards are focused there). Blue is left out entirely (but don't worry, it's not lacking for great mechanics), but white gets a few cards to protect and heal and red's interest in poison is reckless.

    Elixir Vitae 3W
    Sorcery (U)
    Remove all poison counters from a player. That player gains 2 life for each counter removed this way.
    “This venom nearly claimed your life, but our treatments have cured you. May this be a lesson to you.” -Uhuak outpost medic

    Burn Off 2RR
    Sorcery (U)
    Burn Off deals 2 damage to each player for each poison counter he or she has. Then each player loses all poison counters.
    “You will lose your deadly fever. Unfortunately, you’ll also lose the infected arm.” -Drampeak witch

    Medic's Satchel 1
    Artifact — Equipment (C)
    Equipped creature has “T: Target player loses a poison counter and gains 1 life.”
    Equip 2

    Poison takes up a rather large chunk of the set, second only to Treasure which scoots be on the grace of it appearing across all five colors. Be mindful of that when considering poison cards. The environment is designed in such a way as to make self-poisoning riskier than usual as justification for making those cards powerful enough to warrant serious attention.
  • #19
    You may want to consider retemplating Gis Bangou Underling for proper templating.

    Gis Bangou Underling :3mana::symb:
    Whenever Gis Bangou Underling attacks, it becomes unblockable if the defending player has a poison counter.
    3/2

    There isn't a defending player until a creature attacks, and so the templating you have may cause confusion as to when exactly Gis Bangou is unblockable.

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  • #20
    Is the 'walker's name supposed to be N'Longo or N'Longa?

    Defiling Contagion: This seems way, way too good. Against the poison deck, if it stops them from hitting you once, it's already done its job. (And considering the number of cards which treat poison as an advantage, I'm not even sure it's a drawback.) Against any non-poison deck, including the Treasure deck, the Ally deck, and the innervate deck, this is mana advantage and sometimes card advantage for no disadvantage whatsoever. Heck, unlike Vendetta, it can even hit black creatures!

    At 1B and sorcery speed this would be fair. Maybe at BB and instant speed.

    Advice of the Witchdoctor is similar, but 1) nobody plays Diabolic Tutor anyway and 2) some decks don't care about the life loss of Grim Tutor, so I'll allow it. Hey, it is a rare, and it's not like it's the second coming of B$A or anything.

    Lord of Agonies: Minor templating nitpick - should say "all players have." See Multani, Maro-Sorcerer.

    Gis Bangou Underling:
    Quote from Trancebam
    There isn't a defending player until a creature attacks, and so the templating you have may cause confusion as to when exactly Gis Bangou is unblockable.


    Non-active players may or may not become defending players at beginning of combat.

    507. Beginning of Combat Step
    507.1. First, if the game being played is a multiplayer game in which the active player’s opponent’s don’t all automatically become defending players, the active player chooses one of his or her opponents. That player becomes the defending player. This turn-based action doesn’t use the stack. (See rule 506.2.)


    This card is also worded the same as the rules for landwalk, so it seems fine.

    For example, in a three-player game in which the active player’s opponent’s don’t all automatically become defending players, Alvin chooses Betty as the defending player at the beginning of his beginning of combat step. Betty controls an Island, so Alvin's River Boa is unblockable. Chris can therefore decide not to cast his Deluge, knowing that Alvin's creature couldn't attack him anyway.

    Needlebrake Sporopod: Go go aggro deck! You say that control and combo should have lots of tools to deal with this, so I'll take your word that it's fine.

    Spoilcleave: "Each upkeep" seems really good, especially in multiplayer. The fact that it only keys off your own poison counters makes it less crazy, as against non-poison decks you'll have to come up with some creative way to poison yourself (and even then you'll only be hitting small fry for a while). A good rare, if possibly undercosted by crap Johnny rare standards.

    Medic's Satchel: Random poison hate! Was making it uncommon and slightly more powerful ever considered? It's absolute crap against non-poison decks (the very definition of "sideboard card"). And you need to be playing enough creatures to reliably use it. Great design, otherwise.


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  • #21
    Quote from Jenesis
    Is the 'walker's name supposed to be N'Longo or N'Longa?


    Evidently, early in my design (keep in mind this was started somewhere in the vicinity of November) he was N'Longa. At some indeterminable time since then, I made a typo and N'Longo stuck from then on.

    My bad. Let's just fix the three times N'Longa shows up and call it even.

    Defiling Contagion: This seems way, way too good. Against the poison deck, if it stops them from hitting you once, it's already done its job. (And considering the number of cards which treat poison as an advantage, I'm not even sure it's a drawback.) Against any non-poison deck, including the Treasure deck, the Ally deck, and the innervate deck, this is mana advantage and sometimes card advantage for no disadvantage whatsoever. Heck, unlike Vendetta, it can even hit black creatures!

    At 1B and sorcery speed this would be fair. Maybe at BB and instant speed.


    Added a nonblack clause, sorcery speed and 1 mana. I initially intended for this card to represent a very potent answer to aggro. But you're right, it can still do that without being insane.

    Advice of the Witchdoctor is similar, but 1) nobody plays Diabolic Tutor anyway and 2) some decks don't care about the life loss of Grim Tutor, so I'll allow it. Hey, it is a rare, and it's not like it's the second coming of B$A or anything.


    It also has no direct effect on the game state save for tutoring up whatever's needed.

    Lord of Agonies: Minor templating nitpick - should say "all players have." See Multani, Maro-Sorcerer.


    Noted.

    Needlebrake Sporopod: Go go aggro deck! You say that control and combo should have lots of tools to deal with this, so I'll take your word that it's fine.


    Between life gain (which is, surprisingly enough, competitive in its own way), light burn, creature control and a mechanic I'm about to reveal, creatures are going to have a hard time. Sporopod is an aggro player's best friend, a poisonous Jackal Pup with an even less disastrous drawback in some cases - but like Terror in Mirrodin, it's a bit of a false lead. Every color has good answers to it at common (artifacts in particular aid with that including one that I'll preview soon).

    Spoilcleave: "Each upkeep" seems really good, especially in multiplayer. The fact that it only keys off your own poison counters makes it less crazy, as against non-poison decks you'll have to come up with some creative way to poison yourself (and even then you'll only be hitting small fry for a while). A good rare, if possibly undercosted by crap Johnny rare standards.


    I felt that it was worth going off each turn as it really does nothing on its own. It takes a bit of jumping through hoops to get it to work. In a way it's both a strong anti-poison-aggro sideboard card as well as a funky poison-related Johnny card.

    Medic's Satchel: Random poison hate! Was making it uncommon and slightly more powerful ever considered? It's absolute crap against non-poison decks (the very definition of "sideboard card"). And you need to be playing enough creatures to reliably use it. Great design, otherwise.


    Nope. I needed a common answer to poison decks that any color could use in limited. That it also subtly plays well with both innervate and life gain at common helped. It's a very basic, underpowered limited smoother but sometimes that's all a very basic common needs to be.

    Now. We've seen the priceless treasures, the plucky heroes and the angry natives but what of the deadly peril?

    Much like Zendikar, Excellion's ancient civilizations left behind a lot of jewels and riches to plunder. But they didn't just leave the doors wide open.

    The ancient world was dominated by five great empires: Solna, Yuvira, Umbra, Naloa and Gabran. We've already had a look at the Naloans with their great throne of iridescent crystal now cracked and darkened and its knights who were once so proud and glorious now endlessly searching for the one who would revive their kingdom.

    The Umbra Barony was a ruthless civilization that little is known about today. Some believe it was populated by vampires, but Bel Arvadran scholars disagree to this day about just who controlled Umbra. One theory states that humans ruled Umbra and took the vampires as slaves, but few vampires live now to confirm such theories. What is known is that Umbra led several crusades in the centuries prior to the Great Fall to cull various species of Excellion. First the centaurs of Iskendrun (now extinct), then the Minotaurs of Scidaz (used as mercenaries then driven into exile) and finally the Unicorn-folk (which survived only in Razalen behind the Giltwall and then only because Umbra itself fell).

    Yuvira stood at the mouth of the Kithwash River, a fearsome Ogre empire of unrivaled military might. Held in check only by its proximity to the Solna Imperium, Yuvira's growing impatience with being restrained by its neighbor was a major contributing factor in the Great Fall. Bel Arvadran historians know that much, but further research is made difficult by both the ancient Yuviran traps throughout the ruins as well as modern day ogres who frequently ward off curious intruders.

    The Solna Imperium was an ancient Vedalken empire, reputed to be the most powerful of the five ancient worlds. Modern Vedalken scholars at Bel Arvadran know little of their own ancestors as the massive libraries of Solna and all the records held within were burned during the Great Fall. Solna as it stands now is a veritable labyrinth of identical passages, disorienting corridors and subtle doorways.

    The Gabran Wilds was a beautiful elven palisade located on an isolated island far to the southwest called Kafur Isi. A lush forested paradice crowned by an opulent temple constructed of hanging gardens, intricately-constructed aqueducts and fountains, as well as vine-knotted ropeways. Last of the ancient empires to fall, the cataclysm centered here and the effect was drastic. A permanent hurricane is positioned over the island and has remained for 1000 years, an oddity that has puzzled scholars for centuries. Approaching the island is tantamount to suicide but those who survive claim Gabran Tor to be as magnificent as the legends describe. The few elves who survived Gabran fled north and settled in Lysgalen to live a life of solitude and sorrow.

    What do these five nations have in common besides having been destroyed in the Great Fall? They're dangerous. Booby trapped even in ancient times, many of these ruins were revisited in the years after the cataclysm by survivors who further fortified their crumbled homes from thieves and graverobbers. Such actions have left the ruins of Excellion gravely dangerous for explorers and researchers alike.

    Just as they need to tread lightly, so do we.

    Pinlock Caltrops
    Artifact (C)
    Peril (You may play this face down as an artifact for 1.)
    Whenever a creature you don’t control attacks, you may pay 1 to turn Pinlock Caltrops face up.
    When Pinlock Caltrops is turned face up, it deals 1 damage to each attacking creature.

    The basic idea is a crossbreed of morph and traps to produce these. I always felt traps ought to have a more physical presence and the idea of having all these face-down surprises between your opponent and yourself just waiting to spring felt like a fun thing to explore.

    Before a rules guru steps in to rain on my parade, I'm aware that currently face down permanents in play are by default 2/2 creatures, but I'm obviously fiddling with things here.

    Seal of the Luminarch 3WWW
    Enchantment (U)
    Peril (You may play this face down as an artifact for 1.)
    When you have 5 or less life, you may turn Seal of the Luminarch face up.
    When you turn Seal of the Luminarch face up and at the beginning of your upkeep, put a 4/4 white Angel creature token with flying and lifelink into play.

    The trap need not be an artifact after being sprung. Some moss-covered stepping stones cover powerful enchantments of untold power.

    Stoneform Gargoyle 4WW
    Creature — Gargoyle (U)
    Flying, vigilance
    Peril (You may play this face down as an artifact for 1.)
    Whenever Stoneform Gargoyle blocks, it deals 1 damage to each attacking creature.
    Whenever a creature attacks you, you may pay 2W to turn Stoneform Gargoyle face up.
    3/5

    And some statues are more guarddog than ornament.

    Mirror of Treachery 3U
    Artifact (U)
    Peril (You may play this face down as an artifact for 1.)
    Whenever an opponent plays a spell that would deal damage, you may turn Mirror of Treachery face up.
    U, Sacrifice Mirror of Treachery: Change the target of target spell with a single target.

    Sands of Ill-Fate 3UU
    Artifact (R)
    Peril (You may play this face down as an artifact for 1.)
    Whenever an opponent controls no untapped creatures, you may pay 1U to turn Sands of Ill-Fate face up.
    Players can’t untap more than one artifact, creature and land during their untap steps.

    Imprisoned Sentinel 6R
    Creature — Cyclops (C)
    Peril (You may play this face down as an artifact for 1.)
    When an opponent attacks with two or less creatures, you may pay 2R to turn Imprisoned Sentinel face up.
    Imprisoned Sentinel can’t be blocked except by two or more creatures.
    5/4

    Hidden Spiketrap 4
    Artifact (C)
    Peril (You may play this face down as an artifact for 1.)
    Whenever three or more creatures attack you may pay 1W to turn Hidden Spiketrap face up.
    Sacrifice Hidden Spiketrap: Destroy target attacking creature.

    Morbid Spellbomb
    Artifact (C)
    Peril (You may play this face down as an artifact for 1.)
    Whenever a creature with toughness of 4 or greater comes into play, you may pay B to turn Morbid Spellbomb face up.
    When Morbid Spellbomb is turned face up, target creature gets -4/-4 until end of turn.

    (yes, I know I don't have a mana cost, there isn't one - I just can't seem to find a template that will allow me to put the "cards without mana costs can't be cast" clause on there comfortably)

    (cycle, btw)

    Silent Traplayer 1U
    Creature — Human Rogue (U)
    When Silent Traplayer comes into play, search your library for a card with peril, reveal it and put it into your hand. Shuffle your library.
    “If it was good enough for the ancient Solnarans, it’s good enough for me.”
    1/1

    Of course we have sneaky rogues who enjoy using ancient techniques for modern day security.

    Unarm W
    Instant (C)
    Turn target face down artifact face up. It loses all abilities until end of turn.
    “The real trick in identifying a worthy trapslipper is to count their fingers. If all are present and accounted for, he must be a pro. Or a novice just starting out.” -Gella Zal, trapnuller adept

    As well as crafty little buggers who specialize in nulling ancient traps to aid adventuring parties.

    Trapscout 1U
    Instant (C)
    Look at target face down artifact.
    Draw a card.
    “Don’t worry. Just stay off of those dark stones on the floor, stay out of the light and refrain from pulling any levers and I’m sure you’ll be fine.”

    I love the flavor here of a snarky trapscout taking a quick survey, informing the men who hired her just how screwed they are before exiting the old booby-trapped tomb with a smile.

    Perilous Tomb
    Land — Ruins (C)
    Hideaway (This land enters the battlefield tapped. When it does, look at the top four cards of your library, exile one face down, then put the rest on the bottom of your library.)
    T: Add 1 to your mana pool.
    2, T: You may play the exiled card without paying its mana cost if an artifact was turned face up this turn.

    Saved the best for last. Ruins is a new land type with a bit of mechanical weight in the set, but the true gem here is Hideaway, which is returning for much more than a 5-card cycle. What's the fun of an Indiana Jones set without ancient temples to figure out to claim a priceless relic? This one in particular requires that you survive its traps to nab what it is you're after.
  • #22
    Oh, I don't have a problem with the face-down artifacts. The peril cost is different from morph, it's always the same, and there's no morph in the set so it's not as though players can cheatyface and pretend that their face-down card is actually a 2/2 creature.

    The problem is that most of these traps have abilities that trigger when they're face down, and there's no way for the game to verify that there is, indeed, a triggered ability going on the stack when the opponent does X. (Face-down artifacts, after all, have no abilities by definition.)

    That's why, for instance, Pitfall Trap is worded "If exactly one creature is attacking [...] rather than "When a creature attacks alone [...]." This allows for unintuitive situations where the opponent can attack with 4 creatures, you can Arrow Volley Trap for its trap cost, then you can Pitfall Trap also for its trap cost, but it's what the devs decided to use to stay within the rules.

    The easiest way to do this is to use the morph rules, as such:

    Sands of Ill-Fate 3UU
    Artifact (R)
    Players can’t untap more than one artifact, creature and land during their untap steps.
    Trap 1U - Trap only if an opponent controls no untapped creatures. (You may cast this face down as an artifact for 1. To trap, turn it face up for its trap cost.)

    (Come to think about it...how does this work? If the only permanents I control are Dryad Arbor, Tree of Tales, and Arcbound Ravager, how many can I untap?)

    But this runs into problems on a couple cards, most notably Mirror of Treachery and Morbid Spellbomb. I'm not sure what can be done there.

    As for the cards with no mana cost, like Pinlock Caltrops, try Evermind's wording:
    (Nonexistent mana costs can't be paid.)
    Last edited by Jenesis: 5/14/2010 2:02:30 AM


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  • #23
    Quote from Jenesis
    Oh, I don't have a problem with the face-down artifacts. The peril cost is different from morph, it's always the same, and there's no morph in the set so it's not as though players can cheatyface and pretend that their face-down card is actually a 2/2 creature.

    The problem is that most of these traps have abilities that trigger when they're face down, and there's no way for the game to verify that there is, indeed, a triggered ability going on the stack when the opponent does X. (Face-down artifacts, after all, have no abilities by definition.)

    That's why, for instance, Pitfall Trap is worded "If exactly one creature is attacking [...] rather than "When a creature attacks alone [...]." This allows for unintuitive situations where the opponent can attack with 4 creatures, you can Arrow Volley Trap for its trap cost, then you can Pitfall Trap also for its trap cost, but it's what the devs decided to use to stay within the rules.

    The easiest way to do this is to use the morph rules, as such:

    Sands of Ill-Fate 3UU
    Artifact (R)
    Players can’t untap more than one artifact, creature and land during their untap steps.
    Trap 1U - Trap only if an opponent controls no untapped creatures. (You may cast this face down as an artifact for 1. To trap, turn it face up for its trap cost.)


    Well that is ... disheartening. I thought abilities could trigger from hidden zones (like your hand)? Maybe we should backtrack and see exactly where along the chain of events the problem is and address it at that level since I'd like to avoid monumental changes. Though I don't think your fix is that bad, I'm not sure if it would work well with every peril trigger in the set.

    (Come to think about it...how does this work? If the only permanents I control are Dryad Arbor, Tree of Tales, and Arcbound Ravager, how many can I untap?)


    I was under the impression that you choose which individual card you want to count for each permanent type. I suppose it could be worded with a bit more clarity.

    "Each player skips his or her untap step. At the beginning of each upkeep, that player chooses an artifact, a creature and a land he or she controls and untaps them."

    Or something.

    But this runs into problems on a couple cards, most notably Mirror of Treachery and Morbid Spellbomb. I'm not sure what can be done there.


    Frown

    As for the cards with no mana cost, like Pinlock Caltrops, try Evermind's wording:
    (Nonexistent mana costs can't be paid.)


    Indeed. I meant I had a hard time templating the card as a whole to not have everything squeezed in. Which is why I left the reminder text about nonexistent mana costs off the cycle (and the Pinlock Caltrops).
  • #24
    Quote from {mikeyG}
    Well that is ... disheartening. I thought abilities could trigger from hidden zones (like your hand)?


    I'm not aware of any such ability - could you give an example? There are plenty of abilities that activate from the hand, but doing so always involves revealing the card in question or moving it to a non-hidden zone.

    I was under the impression that you choose which individual card you want to count for each permanent type. I suppose it could be worded with a bit more clarity.

    "Each player skips his or her untap step. At the beginning of each player's upkeep, that player chooses an artifact, a creature and a land he or she controls and untaps them."


    That certainly works - like Hokori, Dust Drinker.


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    DCI Judge L2
  • #25
    What if, instead of a trigger, it's more like:

    "As long as an opponent controls a creature attacking you, you may pay [MANA] to turn this card face up."

    Or is that just more of the same problem?
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