Based on the current standard environment and all we know about how they chose the mechanics for GRN, I think Proliferate is likely to be used as Simic's mechanic.
They aren't opposed to using returning mechanics, and returning mechanics don't need to have been guild mechanics in the past.
It plays well with Simic's previous mechanics which use +1/+1 counters.
It plays well with Explore, Sagas, and Kicker, mainly in green.
Gruul has used +1/+1 counters in the past, making it somewhat likely that it would use +1/+1 counters again. This would synergize nicely with Proliferate, which was one of the things they are aiming for in guild mechanics.
Assuming it goes on a lot of blue spells, it potentially works well with Azorius, depending on what its mechanic ends up being.
There are a number of potential plants that make for fun build-around cards with Proliferate, like Djinn of Wishes.
Similar to how the tribal commander decks got a bunch of support from the standard sets of the same year, this year's planeswalker decks like Proliferate.
They've said they looked at using Proliferate for Simic before.
Alternatively, I could see a Proliferate variant that moves counters instead of just increasing them, for more tricky interactions.
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Nov 6, 2018Posted in: The Rumor Mill
That makes sense. I didn't know about the deck boxes or the mistweet.Quote from BlazingRagnarok »
There are a series of ten deckboxes, five with the arts from the GRN shocklands and five with these arts. That, and that the Orzhov one was accidentally referred to as Godless Shrine before the tweet was deleted, should be enough evidence that these are shocklands, your personal opinions on the art notwithstanding.
Oct 30, 2018Posted in: The Rumor Mill
I disagree. I can't find a single commonality in the structures depicted in the two art pieces. There appears to be A fountain way off in the distance in the new art, but who knows if that's the Hallowed Fountain.
Oct 29, 2018Posted in: The Rumor Mill
I feel like we need to define "cash grab." The fact of the matter is that WotC regularly charges $3.99 for a few cents worth of card stock, ink, and shrink wrap, most of which gets tossed into a bin at the end of the day. In my book, that's about as much of a cash grab as basically anything else WotC releases. Getting upset because they decided to put out another subjectively overpriced product just isn't rational in the grand scheme of things.Quote from Guesswork »Fact: WotC could fold tomorrow, shut down the presses, and we could all still be playing Magic until we die. These kinds of "WotC gotta eat" arguments are specious.
I give WotC money for interesting game design and enjoyable play experiences. This product offers neither. And since I think they've been struggling to justify getting my money for those two reasons as of late, my opinion is that their efforts with this product are misdirected.
Oct 29, 2018The Orzhov, Azorius, and Rakdos arts look more like they're depicting Gates to me. Are these all confirmed to be shocklands?Posted in: The Rumor Mill
Oct 29, 2018Posted in: The Rumor Mill
"This new product created by a business whose goal is to make money is just another cash grab! How vexing!"Quote from Neuroticneurok »I'm completely jaded at this point, so I view any 'new' products that Wizards comes out with as just another blatant cash grab.
Oct 11, 2018Posted in: Custom Card Creation
I like your "attacks or blocks if able" suggestion.Quote from Anachronity »Stoic Protestor is functionally just "put a +1/+1 counter on ~" since you can just activate it post-combat to avoid needing to attack. Which raises the question why it's forced to be sorcery speed at all.
The rest all range from good to decent, but the need to make it preferable to play these cards before combat limits the design space quite a bit.
You might change it to "attacks or blocks this turn if able" to make sorcery-speed Rile more relevant, particularly because forcing blocks fits neatly into green's wheelhouse and isn't unheard of in red. The fact that you'd be giving the enemy creature a +1/+1 counter helps to mitigate its impact as ubiquitous soft removal.
That way Stoic Protestor could be "at the beginning of each upkeep, you may pay 1G. If you do, Rile ~."
So you must decide whether or not to grow it each turn at the cost of forcing it to participate in a combat which you're not necessarily sure it will survive at this point in the turn, since the active player hasn't even drawn their card yet.
Maybe a bit too complicated to keep it at common, though. A good common design might just be a 1/1 for 1G with "At the beginning of your upkeep, you may Rile ~."
As for Stoic Protestor, I'm not a fan of putting an upkeep trigger on a common card. I thought about the fact that one could activate the rile ability during the postcombat main phase to avoid the "attacks if able" drawback and decided that I'm okay with it. Players are naturally incentivised to pump their creatures before an attack anyway.
If it does turn out to be a problem card, though, there are plenty of other designs that work just as well in the green common slot. For example:
Loss Of Temper 2G
Rile target creature you control. It deals damage equal to its power to target creature you don't control.
This design encourages you to use it to clear away a blocker before going in for an attack. As it's sorcery speed, using it before combat is optimal.
Oct 10, 2018Based on the flavor text and card names of certain cards in GRN, it looks like Gruul will be doing a lot of rioting and violetly protesting and similar civil-unrest-type stuff, which I thought was a pretty novel take on the guild. It's certainly a different take than the last two blocks which have made them look more like violent dumb brutes that just like to break and kill stuff or thrill-seeking dumb brutes that just like to fight. It got me thinking about what kind of mechanic they'll have this time, and what I came up with is this:Posted in: Custom Card Creation
"Rile target creature. (Put a +1/+1 counter on that creature. It attacks this turn if able.)"
Here's what I like about it:
1. It's complexity is all in the timing of the effect, which is easy to control on an individual-card-basis. Otherwise, I see this as one of the simplest mechanics I've ever made, which is important, considering what MaRo has said about wanting to err toward simple mechanics in a set with five of them.
2. It's got plenty of design space. It can essentially be used just like any other effect that adds +1/+1 counters to creatures. The "attacks if able" rider suggests a lot about how the effect should be used, which does limit design space considerably, but that still leaves more than enough for a set.
3. It's flavorful. Riling up creatures is exactly what an anarchist, nature-loving riot guild wants to do. Empower them to act. make a stand. All that good stuff. The name Rile is resonant and easy to remember. The only drawback is that a card named Rile exists, and it's not exactly the same effect. Oh well.
4. Assuming that, like in Ravnica Allegiance, Gruul appears in the same set as a guild like Simic, which is known for messing a lot with +1/+1 counters, Rile offers quite a lot of synergy. Synergy between guilds is important for enabling a lot of different playstyles and strategies
5. It's rather low-impact, which makes it very easy to stick onto other card effects like Scry without affecting the mana cost of a spell too much, which lets us avoid the Scavenge-esque problem of having a mechanic costed so high that it's mostly useless.
6. It does a very good job of encouraging interaction and advancing the game-state while avoiding the problem that lots of mechanics fall into of letting players build up a wall of increasingly powerful creatures without doing anything with them.
Here's what I don't like about it:
1. It has a little bit of depth, but that mostly extends to stragetically using it on an opponent's creature or something like that. Otherwise, it's pretty straight-forward, which isn't necessarily bad, it's just not exactly exciting in the way that Surveil or Convoke is.
2. It's not innovative. I'm all for work-horse mechanics and using existing tools in new ways, but I also like mechanics that are novel and make you really think. There's a certain charm in mechanics like Overload and Historic and Energy that jusy do things that have never been done before. Rile feels more like Mentor, which is a serviceable mechanic for sure, but nothing you really want to build a deck around. One could say that it's modular and flexible, which increases its chances of being playable. One could also say it's boring.
3. It's a tiny bit of a bend, putting the "attacks if able" effect in green, but I think this case is okay.
Anyway, here are some examples:
Burning-Tree Rioteer 2R
Creature - Goblin Warrior (C)
When ~ enters the battlefield, rile target creature.
Bellowing Warcry 1R
Rile target creature. Up to one other target creature can't block this turn.
Get Angry R
Rile target creature. It gains haste until end of turn.
Draw a card.
Explosion of Fury 1RR
Rile up to one creature you control. Then, ~ deals 3 damage to each creature.
Stoic Protestor 1G
Creature - Human Warrior (C)
1G: Rile ~. Activate this ability only any time you could cast a sorcery and only once each turn.
Take to the Streets 3G
Rile each creature you control. They gain trample until end of turn.
Jeering Challenger 3G
Creature - Ogre Warrior (U)
When ~ enters the battlefield, rile target creature an opponent controls.
Heroic Martyrdom 3GG
Whenever a creature you control dies, you draw cards equal to its power and gain life equal to its toughness.
At the beginning of combat on your turn, rile target creature.
Gruul Horn-Blower 1RG
Creature - Elf Shaman (R)
First strike, vigilance
At the beginning of combat on each player's turn, you may rile target creature that player controls.
The trick is to design these cards in such a way that they encourage using them before combat. I think these designs do a pretty good job of that without saying "do this only during a precombat main phase," which would be pretty messy.
I can also think of dozens of cards that would work very nicely as rile enablers and supporters. Stuff like:
Creature - ??? (U)
Creature - ??? (U)
All creatures able to block ~ do so.
It's just very easy to design around a mechanic like Rile, which is why I could easily see it being the structural backbone of the Gruul in a set.
Anyway, what do you guys think?
Oct 7, 2018We've had Alara and Tarkir, both of which have ended up changed to the point where they can't easily do tricolor again. I was thinking about how they might possibly be restored, but decided that I'd prefer a new world which could support ally and enemy combinations. Furthermore, this allows each set to mix them up so they aren't treated as "ally" and "enemy," like in Ravnica.Posted in: Custom Set Creation and Discussion
Here's what I've got for a color distribution over two sets:
I figure it would be good to also include a small number of two-color cards. Each set will use the two-color combos that are present in two of the tricolor combos.
As far as mechanical identities, I'm a bit stuck. I have some vague ideas, but I want them to be at least somewhat different from the existing factions in Alara and Tarkir. So I'm thinking that the two-color combos will be the more defined ones, and the tricolor combos will act like the combinations of those strategies.
WU and RW, for example, would come together to make tempo-style effects. BR and BG would form a sort of graveyard-flicker kind of deck, thriving on recurring death triggers and such. Etc.
To clarify, each set's gold cards will be mostly three colors. I'm thinking two cycles in common and uncommon each will be two-color. The three-color designs will just be informed by the interaction between their component two-color combos. For example:
Many-Minded One XGWU
Creature - Hydra (R)
As ~ enters the battlefield, draw X cards. Then you gain life equal to the number of cards in your hand.
~ gets +1/+1 for each card in your hand.
Vindictive Berserker RWB
Creature - Berserker (R)
When ~ dies, if it was attacking, destroy target permanent.
What do you guys think?
Oct 5, 2018Posted in: Custom Card Creation
I think Pirates being weak to mass damage is important for balancing reasons. And, being in black, it has access to plenty of ways to either take advantage of that weakness or recover from it. Toughness boosts just feel out of place for such an aggressive tribe.Quote from ilovesaprolings »
I just saw that pirates are very weak against mass damage (like pyrohemia), so i wanted to help them. The vehicle clause was just for providing flavor and a little limitation, while giving you a reason to play vehicles with your pirates (right now there aren't many), but i guess i could drop the untapped clause.
i'm trying a new version of the grim captain, too.
EDIT: forgot to add haste to blazing boarder
As for the Vehicle problem, really that just comes down to having Vehicles worth playing. The problem is that Pirates want to attack and Vehicles want to be crewed, so they're fighting over the same resource. You might be able to compromise by mixing in some Pirates that don't want to attack (probably centered in blue) and Pirates that care about attacking alongside your Vehicles (probably in red). It's a strange balance to aim for.
The second version of Grim Captain looks better. It could be mono-black with its effects, but I don't think that's a huge problem. Making it mono-black would make it a poor choice for a commander, but more playable in formats like standard, so there is some trade off. You could also just add trinket text to make it more eed and blue if you want.
Oct 5, 2018I don't think that Vengevine is an fair comparison. Casting two creatures in a turn is a long-term investment. Casting three instants/sorceries in a turn is either going off in a strategy that doesn't need this Phoenix to win or desperately grasping for straws only to burn out and lose anyway, regardless of whether you have this Phoenix out.Posted in: The Rumor Mill
Not to mention that Vengevine has cards like Gravecrawler to work with.
Oct 5, 2018I like Dead Men Tell No Tales and Crookfang. They're cute and relatively elegant.Posted in: Custom Card Creation
Expert Carpenteer looks like it encourages a really unintuitive play pattern. Why even play vehicles if your cards encourage not attacking with them? Why give your aggro creatures a defense bonus? This card essentially punishes you for playing vehicles and Pirates the way they want to be played by taking away the "bonus" it gives your creatures.
Oct 1, 2018I think this would be a fine uncommon. Maybe even a passable rare. Can't fathom why on earth this is mythic, though. Compare to Warcry Phoenix. One might argue that this has better stats, but I can tell you that attacking with 3 creatures and paying 3 mana is way easier than casting 3 instants and sorceries in most decks.Posted in: The Rumor Mill
Maybe if its stats were bigger or if it cost less, I could see this being a justifiable mythic, but as it is, this card acts like a punishment for opening boosters.
Sep 29, 2018Watchwolf posted a message on Guilds of Ravnica - afterthoughts, please share your likes & dislikesI want to like the set, and there are a few individual cards that I enjoy, but I can't get past an overall feeling of disappointment. We've seen everything in this set somewhere else before, mostly from previous Ravnica visits (which was my biggest gripe with RTR block as well). There wasn't really anything new in this set. All the cycles are old, except for the DDMM uncommons, which I actually think is a great cycle to use to push players into committing to two colors. Most of the mechanics are tweaks on old mechanics. Three of them are returning mechanics. Split and hybrid feel shoehorned into the set, as though they were obligated to put them in the set and didn't have enough space. Even the individual card designs seem like revamps of old things. Mission Briefing is similar to Snapcaster Mage. Assassin's Trophy is just a better Abrupt Decay. Charnel Troll is a lot like Lotleth Troll.Posted in: New Card Discussion
The only individual card that really amused me was Divine Visitation.
I just hope our next visit ditches most of these trends and experiments more.
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