PDA

View Full Version : [MtG] The Blackhawk set



Jallorn
2016-07-28, 05:43 PM
So over here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?495357-MtG-GitP-Regulars-as-Magic-the-Gathering-Cards) I made a card which inspired more cards, which inspired more cards, and now I want to make a whole set covering all the colors and stuff. I hope Blackhawk748 will be my teammate, and I welcome any community members who wish to help, critique, or just gawk.

The original conceit for that original card: Blackhawk's avatar is a Scottish samurai. I couldn't find a good image for such, but I found something (sort of) similar: a Viking Samurai. Thus was the Kurotaka Clansman born. Blackhawk was inspired and created a series of Kurotaka warriors, a tribe of RWB Viking Samurai. I was inspired in turn, and created a handful of cards, mostly giants, with an intent towards creating another faction of GWB samurai.

So, to the construction of this set: five factions, covering the wedges. A mix of Norse, Celtic, and Japanese elements. Bushido, and therefore Samurai, as a faction agnostic mechanic, and a single deciduous mechanic for each faction. Each faction is based in the enemy color to a certain extent, but their methods are mostly of the allied colors (what I mean by this will be clearer in practice, I hope).

Here (https://www.dropbox.com/sh/5vtwemn74cbi50w/AADpmPeMVQihakCYiHmUboIia?dl=0) is a dropbox folder containing data for both Magic Set Editor 2.0 and Cockatrice of the cards we are currently playtesting.

The Factions
WBR
A clan of vicious raiders and vikings, led by Kurotaka, the First Blackguard. The Kurotaka warriors aren't especially honorable, but they are fiercely loyal to each other, and do find a certain honorable glory in battle.

White seed means that the Kurotaka are, first and foremost, a strong community that would gladly sacrifice themselves in battle for the good of the clan, but the Red and Black methods make them dangerous, amoral towards outsiders, prone to violence, fond of power over others, and passionate in battle.

The Kurotaka probably have a human tribal element, but that may not be their mechanic, and it might not be unique, though it will almost certainly be the strongest and most prevalent form.

WBG
Led by the mightiest of the giants, Kuroth, this faction is defined by the nature of power and the responsibility of society, both of the vassal to the lord and the lord to the vassal. A feudal society governed by allegiance to an individual of higher rank, this faction features both giants and humans, and while internal conflict is not unheard of, especially between competing individuals of equal rank, it is rarely overly destructive. Channeling the feudalism of the Tokugawa Shogunate.

The Black seed here makes this faction concerned with the nature of power as well as feeding each individual's sense of individual value. Thanks to the White, this faction believes that the individual should subsume his will to a greater purpose, but the Black means that the individual has the right to choose that purpose, choose his lord. The White brings in a sense of morality, that might does not make right, but the Green and Black together help to color it that might is of value unto itself, even if it must be restrained to morality. The White and Green together make for a unified faction, although one built around packs, as it were. Loyalty to your lord as the head of your pack, and his loyalty to his lord and so on. The strong rule, but they have as much responsibility to those who serve as those who serve have to them.

WUR
The Shirotsuro Church are united, as a faction, by their religious beliefs. Inspired by Shinto Buddhism, the Shirotsuro believe that the purpose of life is to experience, and learn from, as much of life as possible. Novelty and depth of emotion are equally important, and the devotion of one's life to either, or a balance of both, are all honored choices. They believe that the universe itself serves and rewards this purpose through reincarnation, and a life spent, for instance, farming, learning the particulars of your field, your crops, your herd, the weather, while perhaps less glamorous and honorable than finding a new chemical substance to open the mind or more directly serving the church as a caretaker of knowledge, is still a valuable experience, and those who are above such things only are for having lived that life already.

The Red seed makes the Shirotsuro quick to action, quick to new experiences and ideas, and ferociously zealous. The Blue and White give cunning and organization to their efforts. Whether working as sparse insurgents or a massive army, the Shirotsuro are dangerous due to their zeal, cunning, and broad experience.

This faction has a lot of U and W spirits, as well as humans.

URG
The Akashishi Tribe are a faction of bards, druids, and warriors, a people with a secret tongue who find might in secret knowledge and the preservation of history, a people who commune with the animist spirits of nature and revere the secrets they have to share. More of a pure Shinto angle.

A Blue seed creates a love of knowledge and discovery, while Green and Red bring in a natural, one might say grassroots, approach to it. The Bards preserve history and glorious deeds in song, the Druids are keepers of secrets gleaned from nature and commune with nature spirits, and the average warrior is emboldened to defend his peoples' passion for knowledge.

Has some spirits, mostly Green, but some Blue, and plenty of humans and a few giants.

UBG
Channeling the darker aspects and tales of the Fae, this is your court of tempters, sneaks, thieves, and assassins. Featuring such monsters as Changeling Ninjas (probably, still uncertain about using Changeling since it wouldn't be universal and kind of demands more tribal elements), tricksy pixies, and noble, dark, and dangerous high lords of the fae, this faction is all about power and manipulation because to their minds it is the right and natural order of things that the strong and clever should dominate. Definitely encourage some elements of Japanese demons, Oni, but I lack robust knowledge of that topic, so I may have to do a lot of research.

The Green seed makes the Fae a natural sort of demon, as opposed to the twisted monstrosities that Demons are, or even that some of the Fae's servants might be. But they are solidly Black and Blue, wielding their naturally mystic power and leveraging the knowledge of many lifetimes in every dark and twisted advantage they can manage.

Kurotaka Clan: Warfare
Unique Mechanic possibilities - Plunder, Human tribal, Bushido, Formation, Martyr, Renown, Prosperity/Dominance, Extort/Extort variant/Pillage, Morbid
Flagged for Playtesting: Martyr (Sacrifice this creature: all other creatures you control gain X), Pillage (Whenever this creature attacks, you may tap a creature. If you do, each opponent loses a life and you gain life equal to the life lost this way), Morbid
Japanese inspiration - Samurai inspiration
Celtic inspiration - Perhaps the Highlanders
Nordic inspiration - Viking inspiration
Other themes - largely human tribal element. Community willing to sacrifice selves for the clan.

Aokame Shogunate: Tradition, Responsibility
Unique mechanic possibilities - Heirlooms, Settlement, Fortify, Giri (social responsibility, ill defined mechanically assymetric or bottom up boons (cheaper creatures make more expensive ones better)), Graveyard focus, Prosperity (Life Focus), Radiance, Renown, Legacy, Headhunting
Flagged for Playtesting: Legacy (If this card is in the graveyard, you may cast it for its legacy cost. It becomes an enchantment. Enchanted creature gets X. If this card would go to the graveyard and its an enchantment, exile it instead), Renown
Japanese inspiration - Shogunate feudalism
Celtic inspiration - Pre-Galfridian (that is, original Welsh) King Arthur
Nordic inspiration - Giants. I could possibly see ties with the Wild Hunt (http://norse-mythology.org/the-wild-hunt/).
Other themes - Led by giants, features both giants and humans. Loyalty to "pack" leaders.

Shirotsuro Church: Religion
Unique mechanic possibilities - Reincarnation, Graveyard spell recovery, Legacy, Spellswap
Flagged for Playtesting: Reincarnation (When this creature dies, you may put a creature card with CMC X or less from your hand to the battlefield), Spellswap (When you cast this spell, you may instead cast an spell of the same time with CMC X or less from your graveyard)
Japanese inspiration - Shinto Buddhism
Celtic inspiration - Though not solely a Celtic event, the way in which Christianity spread through the Celts (and sometimes adopted local gods into Saints) can provide some worthwhile elements
Nordic inspiration - (I could see some potential ties to Norse mythology as well, such as more ties with valkyries and the Wild Hunt) I could certainly see Valkyries as a creature type, perhaps a Reincarnation (if we use that mechanic)
Other themes - Humans and spirits. Organization exists to give the freedom to seek perfection.

Akashishi Tribe: Technology
Unique mechanic possibilities - Graveyard spell recovery, Mana ramp, Convoke, Card Draw, Insight, Melody, Harmony, Research, Surge
Flagged for Playtesting: Research (This card casts 1 less for each instant or sorcery spell you've cast since the beginning of your last turn), Harmony (The next time you cast a spell this turn, add this card's effects to that spell), Surge, Totem Armor
Japanese inspiration: Pure Shinto/animist spirits of nature
Celtic inspiration - Druids, bards, etc, and their relation to nature
Nordic inspiration - Skalds would also be a good fit for "bards". Possibly the 'bards' of this celtic group could be a mix of Celtic bards and Nordic skalds. Skalds could also fit in as the more red/green aspect, the warrior poets more concerned with glory than history.
Other themes - Humans, some spirits, few giants. Preservation of nature's secrets.

Spirits of Aokoi: Commerce
Unique mechanic possibilities - Graveyard creature manipulation, creature control manipulation, Gold, Card Draw, Discarding, Looking at Opponent's Hands, Duplication, Insight, Wither, Retrace, Aura Swap, Promised
Flagged for Playtesting: Retrace, Promised
Japanese inspiration -Ninjas, Oni, Yokai, Japanese spirits (like maybe the Yuki-onna (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yuki-onna) (an inhumanly beautiful spirit that kills by freezing) and other spirits (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y%C5%8Dkai)).
Celtic inspiration - The fae. Many celtic fae would work very well, like Banshees (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banshee), a herald of death with relations with the Irish goddess of battle, or Leanan Sidhe (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leanan_s%C3%ADdhe), vampirelike fey who give inspiration to artists in exchange for their sanity and their life. Fits well.
Nordic inspiration - The nordic concept of elves, dwarves, Norns (who control fate), fylgja (spirits/shapeshifters/animals) could fit.
Other themes: Spirits, "natural demons", ...; Power and manipulation, leveraging knowledge and power and deceit into advantages.


Possible universal mechanics: Bushido, Fealty, Settlement, Fortify, Gold, Level Up, Gating, Land-matters, Totem Armor

Some of the possibilities for faction mechanics could still serve as non-keyword mechanics.

Blue Ghost
2016-07-28, 05:48 PM
I could attempt to help with this. I have next to no experience with set design, but I think I'm pretty good at individual cards. I'll offer critique and attempt to contribute my own cards. Note that designing a good set is much, much harder than designing good individual cards, as the pieces have to all fit together to make a working environment.

Blackhawk748
2016-07-28, 05:51 PM
Oh boy, here we go. :smallbiggrin:

While i was using Bushido with a couple of the cards in the Kurotaka Clan, im thinking that should just be a Block thing not a faction thing, mostly cuz (IIRC) thats how Kamigawa did it. And yes, Kurotaka is a Human Tribal, with a couple of Birds.

Jallorn
2016-07-28, 05:55 PM
I could attempt to help with this. I have next to no experience with set design, but I think I'm pretty good at individual cards. I'll offer critique and attempt to contribute my own cards. Note that designing a good set is much, much harder than designing good individual cards, as the pieces have to all fit together to make a working environment.

I'm guessing the key is to create, examine, test, and iterate/repeat. Should be good fun.

Blackhawk748
2016-07-28, 06:00 PM
I could attempt to help with this. I have next to no experience with set design, but I think I'm pretty good at individual cards. I'll offer critique and attempt to contribute my own cards. Note that designing a good set is much, much harder than designing good individual cards, as the pieces have to all fit together to make a working environment.

Glad to have you on board, we need you to double check us. :smallbiggrin:

Blue Ghost
2016-07-28, 06:32 PM
Do you want to do this the proper, methodical way, with exploratory design, set skeletons, commons-first, multiple rounds of playtesting? Or do you want to just throw things at the wall and see what sticks?

Jallorn
2016-07-28, 06:33 PM
Do you want to do this the proper, methodical way, with exploratory design, set skeletons, commons-first, multiple rounds of playtesting? Or do you want to just throw things at the wall and see what sticks?

I have been doing the latter, but I am not opposed to the former, though I know the method not.

Blue Ghost
2016-07-28, 06:40 PM
I have been doing the latter, but I am not opposed to the former, though I know the method not.

I've never designed a proper set myself, but I've observed some set design process, and we could try to imitate it. Before we commit any designs on paper, there's a good amount of time spent brainstorming the structure of the set, how we want it to feel, the mechanics we use, creative elements first. The commons are the first designs to be finalized, since they're the backbone of the set and shape how the set plays out in draft.

That's assuming that this is a standard set designed to be drafted. If it's constructed only, then things will look very different. I'd prefer a draftable set, since draft is my favorite Magic format, but I acknowledge that making a set work for draft is quite difficult.

Even if we don't aim for draft, we still need to know how the set will be played. If it's for constructed only, then I think our product would look more like a collection of decks than a real set. There would be a different process involved, probably a simpler one.

I'll let you guys take the lead on the design. I'm just on board to advise.

Jallorn
2016-07-28, 06:42 PM
I was absolutely imagining a genuine set, and if at the end we were able to draft it, that would be even better (draft is also my favorite format). I've got some kind of guidelines up for the set, but there's certainly more room to explore and expand.

Blackhawk748
2016-07-28, 06:47 PM
I've never designed a proper set myself, but I've observed some set design process, and we could try to imitate it. Before we commit any designs on paper, there's a good amount of time spent brainstorming the structure of the set, how we want it to feel, the mechanics we use, creative elements first. The commons are the first designs to be finalized, since they're the backbone of the set and shape how the set plays out in draft.

That's assuming that this is a standard set designed to be drafted. If it's constructed only, then things will look very different. I'd prefer a draftable set, since draft is my favorite Magic format, but I acknowledge that making a set work for draft is quite difficult.

Even if we don't aim for draft, we still need to know how the set will be played. If it's for constructed only, then I think our product would look more like a collection of decks than a real set. There would be a different process involved, probably a simpler one.

I'll let you guys take the lead on the design. I'm just on board to advise.

If we're doing this we may as well go for broke. Even if Draftable is to much work later on, its not like we can't shift to constructed.

At the moment i think Kurotaka Clan is fairly solid, its your standard Humans who all buff each other by simply existing, or coming into play etc. Jallorn seems to have a solid concept on the Giants, the Fae and the Celts have a solid theme but nothing like a mechanical background. The church is just empty right now.

So we need commons, which means some cannon fodder. Funnily enough we could make a 1 drop 1/1 Human Warrior for each color and it should work fine for each faction, cuz the Fae totally have human minions :smalltongue:

Blue Ghost
2016-07-28, 07:10 PM
Okay, so a draftable set it is.

The structure of the set as you envision it, with clearly delineated 3-color factions, is quite close to Khans of Tarkir, which happens to be one of my favorite sets. I think there's a lot we can take from Khans to apply here, though of course we'll want to differentiate ourselves as well.

Some features of Khans that I think are relevant:

The average deck played three colors, which was a radical departure from most sets, where two-color decks were the norm. To enable this, a lot of common color fixing was needed. This is definitely something we want to carry over in our set.

Each clan of Tarkir had a distinct playstyle and felt very different. This is always important in any set with clearly defined factions. We'll need to make sure that whatever mechanics we choose play differently.

At the same time, there was significant strategic overlap between the clans, especially the ones that shared two colors. There were distinct archetypes in each enemy-color pair, each of which could be played in two clans. It was pretty easy to start the draft with two enemy colors and decide on your third color later. That's a great feature that I think we should keep.

Khans of Tarkir had a stronger focus on creatures and combat than most sets. All the clan mechanics, as well as morph, dealt directly with creatures and combat, and that created the feeling of a tactical wargame. The feel of a set is very important. The flavor of the set seems to be leaning toward a similar combat focus, so if that's the way we want to go, we'll want all our mechanics to support that.

Morph was a huge part of what made Khans of Tarkir tick. It provided a huge array of tactical options, and most importantly, it helped with smoothing in a three-color environment, since morph cards can always be played even if you don't have all your colors. We're probably not using morph, and I doubt we can come up with a mechanic that's as good as it, but I think we'll at least need a smoothing mechanic.

So I guess our questions now are: How do we want the set to play? How do we want each faction to function? What mechanics do we want to use? I think we should brainstorm multiple ideas, and choose from the best.

Jallorn
2016-07-28, 07:22 PM
At the moment, the Abzan faction has taken bolster, because I thought it interacted interestingly with the crow spell Blackhawk made. My redesigned commander of the faction takes +1/+1 counters from other creatures and puts them in himself at two for one, then gives something (right now regeneration) to all creatures on his side with less toughness. I like this sort of assymetric support for them, with commanders taking power and giving abilitues in return.

I also like the idea of a full ten cycle of dual colored uncommons. The allied colors solidly representing their faction's mechanics while the enemy colors can fit either faction.

5a Violista
2016-07-28, 07:26 PM
I'm glad this thread was now made. So, confession: I'm pretty bad at balancing and making mechanics. On the other hand, I love coming up with narratives and mythological aspects and connecting lines.

First thing, I think we should come up with the core ideas and mechanics of each faction. Also, which part of the Nippo-Celto-Nordic theme they draw from. That way, themes and inspiration and factions don't get muddled.
Of course, there's the Bushido for all five factions. Another thing that could fit with all of them would be the concept of "Shrines". I remember those shrines appearing in Champions of Kamigawa. I think those would be thematically good.

Kurotaka Clan: What should the clan's unique mechanic be? "All other humans/somethings gain _ability_"? Something else?
Japanese inspiration - Samurai inspiration
Celtic inspiration - ???
Nordic inspiration - Viking inspiration
Other themes - largely human tribal element. Community willing to sacrifice selves for the clan.

Unnamed Civilization: Unique mechanic - Bolster
Japanese inspiration - Shogunate feudalism
Celtic inspiration - ???:
Nordic inspiration - Giants. I could possibly see ties with the Wild Hunt (http://norse-mythology.org/the-wild-hunt/).
Other themes - Led by giants, features both giants and humans. Loyalty to "pack" leaders.

Unnamed church: Unique mechanic - ???
Japanese inspiration - Shinto Buddhism
Celtic inspiration - ???
Nordic inspiration - ??? (I could see some potential ties to Norse mythology as well, such as more ties with valkyries and the Wild Hunt)
Other themes - Humans and spirits. Organization exists to give the freedom to seek perfection.

Unnamed Celts: Unique mechanic - ???
Japanese inspiration: Pure Shinto/animist spirits of nature
Celtic inspiration - Druids, bards, etc, and their relation to nature
Nordic inspiration - ???. Skalds would also be a good fit for "bards". Possibly the 'bards' of this celtic group could be a mix of Celtic bards and Nordic skalds.
Other themes - Humans, some spirits, few giants. Preservation of nature's secrets.

Unnamed Fae: Unique mechanic - ???
Japanese inspiration -Ninjas, Oni, Yokai, Japanese spirits (like maybe the Yuki-onna (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yuki-onna) (an inhumanly beautiful spirit that kills by freezing) and other spirits (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y%C5%8Dkai)).
Celtic inspiration - The fae. Many celtic fae would work very well, like Banshees (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banshee), a herald of death with relations with the Irish goddess of battle, or Leanan Sidhe (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leanan_s%C3%ADdhe), vampirelike fey who give inspiration to artists in exchange for their sanity and their life. Fits well.
Nordic inspiration - ???. The nordic concept of elves, dwarves, Norns (who control fate), fylgja (spirits/shapeshifters/animals) could fit.
Other themes: Spirits, "natural demons", ...; Power and manipulation, leveraging knowledge and power and deceit into advantages.

So, we need to answer these ???s and fill out the details.


I see people have posted since I started writing this, which is understandable because of how long it took for me to look them up. I'm just going to post this now and then read what everyone else has suggested so far.
I really like the concepts behind the Unnamed Fey group and the Unnamed Celts group.

Blue Ghost
2016-07-28, 07:35 PM
I think it would be good for us to have an overarching theme for the entire set, one that's broader than the five factions. Ravnica was about the interactions of guilds in the city, Khans of Tarkir was about war between rival warlords...

My proposal: Advancement and competition between rival civilizations. This is similar to the theme of Tarkir, but broader than just war. Each faction could be a different civilization with a different focus.

RWB: Warfare
GBW: Tradition
URG: Technology
WRU: Religion
BGU: Commerce

This could give us a broad direction to go in. Just a suggestion.

Blackhawk748
2016-07-28, 07:50 PM
Okay, so a draftable set it is.

The structure of the set as you envision it, with clearly delineated 3-color factions, is quite close to Khans of Tarkir, which happens to be one of my favorite sets. I think there's a lot we can take from Khans to apply here, though of course we'll want to differentiate ourselves as well.


I agree, Khans was a great block (even though i prefer Dragons)


The average deck played three colors, which was a radical departure from most sets, where two-color decks were the norm. To enable this, a lot of common color fixing was needed. This is definitely something we want to carry over in our set.

Each clan of Tarkir had a distinct playstyle and felt very different. This is always important in any set with clearly defined factions. We'll need to make sure that whatever mechanics we choose play differently.

At the same time, there was significant strategic overlap between the clans, especially the ones that shared two colors. There were distinct archetypes in each enemy-color pair, each of which could be played in two clans. It was pretty easy to start the draft with two enemy colors and decide on your third color later. That's a great feature that I think we should keep.

I agree, Khans did triple colors very, very well.


Khans of Tarkir had a stronger focus on creatures and combat than most sets. All the clan mechanics, as well as morph, dealt directly with creatures and combat, and that created the feeling of a tactical wargame. The feel of a set is very important. The flavor of the set seems to be leaning toward a similar combat focus, so if that's the way we want to go, we'll want all our mechanics to support that.

Morph was a huge part of what made Khans of Tarkir tick. It provided a huge array of tactical options, and most importantly, it helped with smoothing in a three-color environment, since morph cards can always be played even if you don't have all your colors. We're probably not using morph, and I doubt we can come up with a mechanic that's as good as it, but I think we'll at least need a smoothing mechanic.

I loved this about Tarkir. I'd say one of "universal" mechanics should be Bushido, while its primarily a White Red thing, Black has done it a few times, and Green has done it at least once. This won't work as a smoothing mechanic, but it does tie everyone together thematically.


So I guess our questions now are: How do we want the set to play? How do we want each faction to function? What mechanics do we want to use? I think we should brainstorm multiple ideas, and choose from the best.

Well, Kurotaka is obviously the United Army faction. They dont have a ton of huge creatures (im figuring they'll cap out a 4s base, maybe a 5) and they buff each other. Im probably gonna make their Faction Mechanic Battlecry.

The Giants are gonna be helping each other with Bolster.

The Celts i see as Instants the Deck, lots of spell chucking with both Red and Blue and getting some nice creatures and mana ramp with Green

I see the Fae as also doing Blue controlling, but using Green to boost their critters and Black to debuff the enemy, so Control the Deck.

And then we have the WUR faction, and im honestly not sure what to do here as im not sure how to blend these colors.


I think it would be good for us to have an overarching theme for the entire set, one that's broader than the five factions. Ravnica was about the interactions of guilds in the city, Khans of Tarkir was about war between rival warlords...

My proposal: Advancement and competition between rival civilizations. This is similar to the theme of Tarkir, but broader than just war. Each faction could be a different civilization with a different focus.

RWB: Warfare
GBW: Tradition
URG: Technology
WRU: Religion
BGU: Commerce

This could give us a broad direction to go in. Just a suggestion.

Well we did kinda walk into those themes. Clan Kurotaka has been about nothing but war from the word go (thats what happens when your namesake is an Elder Evil :smalltongue:) I can see the Tradition thing with the Giants, as Feudalism doesnt work unless you respect tradition.

I recommend changing Technology to Evolution so we can (at least somewhat) keep the nature ties. They are still all about changing and improving, but in a more "natural" way. I guess they could do the Simic counter manipulation thing, i always thought that was a neat tick.

Im good with the other two, the Fae are known for making deals after all.

5a Violista
2016-07-28, 08:24 PM
I think it would be good for us to have an overarching theme for the entire set, one that's broader than the five factions. Ravnica was about the interactions of guilds in the city, Khans of Tarkir was about war between rival warlords...

My proposal: Advancement and competition between rival civilizations. This is similar to the theme of Tarkir, but broader than just war. Each faction could be a different civilization with a different focus.

RWB: Warfare ("Kurotaka Clan")
GBW: Tradition ("Unnamed Civilization")
URG: Technology ("Unnamed Celts")
WRU: Religion ("Unnamed Church")
BGU: Commerce ("Unnamed Fae")

This could give us a broad direction to go in. Just a suggestion.

I like this suggestion, that the story of this set is about the interaction of different civilization concepts. The Kurotaka Clan is focused on warfare and conquering; the Giant/Human clan is focused on maintaining their tradition; the "Church" is focused on religion and belief; the "Celts" are focused on technology (how would we fit that with "druids and bards and Shinto"? I think it could work: they see technology as part of nature, something that ought to be revered and maintained, working towards technological superiority over the other civilizations because the other civilizations don't respect the knowledge enough to deserve it, or something); and the "Fae" focus on building civilization through commerce: trading secrets and knowledge, trading life and debts, hiring mercenaries and enforcers for debts, etc.

It makes for a good theme and good conflict.


Been thinking about the unnamed Church-group and the Celts-group:
I'm thinking the Celts-group see spirits as created by knowledge of the living: the greater knowledge you influence, the stronger spirit you become. The Church-group sees spirits as lost beings in need of liberation through letting go of the knowledge. The Fey-group (as fey from celtic and japanese mythology are frequently associated with spirits) would treat spirits as beings with a debt that still needs to be paid. [/idle thoughts]

Blue Ghost
2016-07-29, 12:02 AM
If we're going with those themes, some mechanical ideas. Disclaimer: I am not good at designing set mechanics. Take my suggestions with a grain of salt.

I don't think we should have bushido as a universal mechanic. Using it in every faction will push the entire set toward a warlike feel, and that doesn't seem like what we're going for. We don't need to have a universal mechanic; the Ravnica sets only have guild mechanics. We can decide on a universal mechanic later, depending on what the set needs mechanically.
One proposal I have for a universal mechanic is level up. It has issues, true, but I feel like it has a lot of potential. It can tie into a theme of advancement, which feels right for a set about the growth of civilizations. And it's a mana sink, and can potentially alleviate some of the mana problems a three-color set will inevitably have.

RWB: Kurotaka will be the most aggressive faction. Bushido or battle cry could work as a mechanic for it. If you want to go for a more organizational feel, I have this untested mechanic that we could try out.
Formation (Whenever this creature attacks, it gets +1/+0 until end of turn for each other attacking creature.)

GBW: A focus on tradition and the past might translate mechanically into a graveyard focus. Maybe a mechanic that cares about things in the graveyard, or activates from the graveyard?

URG: This faction would focus on advancement and growth. We could represent that with +1/+1 counters, but that feels more like the growth of individuals rather than the growth of the civilization. Maybe this set could focus on large cards with a cost reduction mechanic of some kind. Convoke could be a good flavor fit, representing people working together to achieve great things, but that's pretty firmly white/green. We could combine this with instants and sorceries, with a mechanic representing research that makes future spells cheaper, perhaps?

WRU: No ideas for this yet.

BGU: Commerce can be represented in a variety of ways. Lifegain could work, though a life theme would want to be part white. Maybe something around drawing cards.
An idea:
Tariff (When ~ enters the battlefield, an opponent may have you draw a card.)
Followed by some punishment if no one did. Punisher mechanics can be problematic, but maybe it's worth testing.

I remember they tested out Gold tokens for the Sultai mechanic. It ended up not working, because mana fixing appearing in a subset of colors led to color imbalance, but we could try it out for our BGU faction. Alternatively, Gold tokens could be a universal mechanic for all the factions.

We should pick some provisional names for the factions so we can talk about them more easily.

@Mahonri Violist: That's some great work. I appoint you director of the creative team!
... Wait. I don't have the authority to do that. Okay. I nominate you for director of the creative team!

Jallorn
2016-07-29, 12:51 AM
the "Celts" are focused on technology (how would we fit that with "druids and bards and Shinto"? I think it could work: they see technology as part of nature, something that ought to be revered and maintained, working towards technological superiority over the other civilizations because the other civilizations don't respect the knowledge enough to deserve it, or something);
I actually think it works very well for the druid side of things, as the druids, as I understand them, were men of nature and its mystic secrets. They worked magic through a mix of knowledge, knowing the right words (words are very powerful in Celtic mythologies) and names, knowing how to mix the right plants into a potion, and through a communion with nature, knowing when to give back, when to not take so much that nature can no longer give in the future. For the Druids, knowledge is a part of nature, a divine gift that gives one the power to control, if used wisely.


Been thinking about the unnamed Church-group and the Celts-group:
I'm thinking the Celts-group see spirits as created by knowledge of the living: the greater knowledge you influence, the stronger spirit you become. The Church-group sees spirits as lost beings in need of liberation through letting go of the knowledge. The Fey-group (as fey from celtic and japanese mythology are frequently associated with spirits) would treat spirits as beings with a debt that still needs to be paid. [/idle thoughts]

To expand on this, the Celts see a spirit as a kind of ascension, depending on the details, or as the natural state of some aspects of nature (your animist nature spirits), I would actually see spirits in the Church being considered partial ascension, perhaps a sort of Buddha analogue, staying behind to assist those who are not yet enlightened, and they both see Fae trapped spirits as cursed men.

As far as mechanics: what about giving each faction two mechanics, that it shares with its two neighbors? So Kurotaka and the Shogunate could share Bushido, while Kurotaka and the church share a Human tribal mechanic. This would help with the crossover and cohesiveness between factions for deck building, and serve as an excellent way to show how the factions aren't entirely all that different. So essentially, we tie mechanics to the enemy color pairs, so Bushido is a WB mechanic for example. That vastly simplifies the thematic demands of the mechanics and allows us to play with a greater breadth of abilities.

Maybe we could expand to include allied color mechanics, for a total of ten mechanics, but then we're looking at a block, because Ravnica released the guilds in two sets, and put them together in the third. Only five new mechanics per set. Then if we're doing a block, we'd need to ask whether we're doing an old style three part block or a new style four part, two pairs of sets block.

I'm also thinking, since Blackhawk gets Kurotaka, we could toss ourselves into the faction leaders to a certain extent likewise. Personally, I have a fun image of a changeling turned bard leading the Celts.

Also, I forgot to quote it, so it slipped through earlier, but I like the idea of including the Level Up mechanic, since Celtic and Nordic mythology had strong influence on western fantasy, and the image of the growing hero is a strong one (DnD anyone?), and one that has space in Japanese tales as well.

Blue Ghost
2016-07-29, 02:35 AM
The issue with sharing mechanics between factions is that it dilutes the identity of the factions. If we had five two-color mechanics, then we'd need something else to form the core identity of a three-color faction. I agree that we should have mechanical overlap between neighboring factions, but I don't think sharing keywords is the way to do it.

If we're expanding into a block, I think we should make it a two-set block. But I suggest we focus on the first set first, and let it stand alone. Don't bite off more than we can chew (though we might already have done that).

Jallorn
2016-07-29, 02:51 AM
My concern with only having faction mechanics is that Bushido really doesn't lend itself as well to a faction mechanic, at least not as the setting is now, but its one that I want to find a way to work with. Both the Kurotaka and the Shogunate have a strong need for Samurai and Bushido in their flavor. The former are literally Viking Samurai in basic concept, while the latter have a stronger tie to the moral ideal of the Samurai.

Beyond that, all the other factions could do some interesting things with Samurai. The Church can have Samurai as holy warriors, a sort of Japanese Paladin, as well as channeling the tea ceremony and the more morale influencing tools of Japanese war (idea: Whistling Arrows as a sorcery or instant), the Fae can have Changeling and corrupted Samurai, Ronin betrayers of their responsibilities or honorable men sworn to dishonorable masters, and the Celts can play up the artistic side of Samurai, the appeal of poetry and calligraphy, painting and rock gardening. None of the others have a strict need for Samurai in the way the first two do, but if we had Samurai and Bushido in all factions, there is some interesting creative space.

Now, perhaps we can have Samurai type creatures without Bushido, but every single Samurai that exists has Bushido, and I don't quite feel convinced that that should be changed.

I've had a thought regarding the church, that they should have two conflicting beliefs: first that all should rightfully follow their religion in a very evangelizing, Christian fashion, but also that the end goal of perfection is very user defined. They have rituals and paths laid out to lead you there, but the end goal is always unique, within some general parameters. Something of a conflict between white and red.

Blackhawk748
2016-07-29, 07:21 AM
All of the above is why i was thinking Bushido could be the "set" mechanic. I mean every faction is gonna have their Samurai, so let them have Bushido.

I like the idea for the church, could lead to some neat cards.

Elricaltovilla
2016-07-29, 09:17 AM
I am permanently behind the time when it comes to MTG cards, but I'd like to help out when I can if that's cool with you all. At the very least I can help with fluff. :smalltongue:

Blackhawk748
2016-07-29, 10:15 AM
I am permanently behind the time when it comes to MTG cards, but I'd like to help out when I can if that's cool with you all. At the very least I can help with fluff. :smalltongue:

Dont worry, the last set i actually knew well was probably the Lorwyn Block, i really picked it back up for Innistrad and then kinda skipped again until Tarkir, though i do really like the Devotion mechanic from Theros.

Blue Ghost
2016-07-29, 10:39 AM
Bushido as a set mechanic could work, but it doesn't mesh well with my proposed theme for the set. If you want to fit bushido in, we'll need to find a different theme. The theme isn't set in stone yet, so I'm fine with that.

"Every faction has samurai" and "Bushido as a set mechanic" don't seem like they should be locked in right now. That's a detail that comes later, unless you want "samurai world" to be the main theme of the set.

I think we should decide on a very broad, general direction for the set as our first step. Something that can be summed up in a simple phrase, like Innistrad was "horror world" and Khans of Tarkir was "warlord world". My proposal is "empires world," but that doesn't have to be our final decision. Once we pick one, everything else should be in service to it. Any ideas that don't further it should be shelved.

Elricaltovilla
2016-07-29, 11:17 AM
Bushido as a set mechanic could work, but it doesn't mesh well with my proposed theme for the set. If you want to fit bushido in, we'll need to find a different theme. The theme isn't set in stone yet, so I'm fine with that.

"Every faction has samurai" and "Bushido as a set mechanic" don't seem like they should be locked in right now. That's a detail that comes later, unless you want "samurai world" to be the main theme of the set.

I think we should decide on a very broad, general direction for the set as our first step. Something that can be summed up in a simple phrase, like Innistrad was "horror world" and Khans of Tarkir was "warlord world". My proposal is "empires world," but that doesn't have to be our final decision. Once we pick one, everything else should be in service to it. Any ideas that don't further it should be shelved.

Can you expand on "Empires World" a bit?

Jallorn
2016-07-29, 12:07 PM
I don't agree that it necessarily conflicts with the theme you're proposing. The Samurai (and we can put elements of the western knight in there as well, there's a reason they are seen as quite similar) while a soldier at the base, is more than that as well. Bushido in particular, though meaning literally Way of the Warrior, has a lot of elements and precepts that are not war focused. Some of them started as peaceful ways to train tangential skills, notably discipline and control, but even those became valued for their own sake.

The Samurai is not simply a warrior, nor even simply a warrior class, the Samurai is a nobility. The Samurai has a responsibility to their society, and they are a reflection of it. They are expected to be honorable, reflecting the values of their society. They are poets and politicians, leaders and protectors, warriors and schemers, and more.

The Samurai can very much be reflections of the core values of their faction, and be the angle that brings those larger conflicts into the more limited sphere of war, and even personal combat. Where the Kurotaka value Samurai as skilled and deadly warriors, the Shogunate values them for personal honor and leadership, as the structural backbone of their society. The church sees them as devoted warriors, swearing their honor and service to the religion, the Celts see them as poet warriors, committed to excellence in peace as well as war, and the Fae see them as soldiers, pawns to move around on the board, one limited, but still valuable, kind of power.

It brings the topic of war forward, perhaps, but any analysis of nations and empires ought to, I think, place some special emphasis on war. Magic is a game about conflict and combat, generally, and war is one of the main currencies that nations and power centers had to deal with each other for a long time.

Blackhawk748
2016-07-29, 12:20 PM
Great Stuff

Jallorn explained it better than i could, it also didnt help that i was still partially asleep.

5a Violista
2016-07-29, 12:35 PM
I think the problem with Bushido is that the mechanic Bushido is simply a combat-centered mechanic with themes of warfare. We can have each of the factions follow different aspects of (real) Bushido but if we want to use Bushido as a mechanic and have real-life samurai represented through every faction, then we either have to (1) give every faction a warfare-oriented mechanic, or (2) make Samurai-type Creatures without the mechanic Bushido, or (3) make samurai-themed Creatures without the creature type Samurai.

Choosing (1) makes Bushido an all-factions mechanic, which suggests a large thematic focus on feudal warfare as the setting, makes every faction combat-oriented and play similarly, and doesn't answer the problem of needing a universal mechanic that makes it easier to play a 3-color deck instead of a 2-color deck.
Choosing (2) is weird because every Samurai-subtype card has Bushido. It's pretty much a defining ability of Samurai-subtype Creatures.
Choosing (3) has the potential to cause confusion.

Jallorn
2016-07-29, 12:46 PM
Hmm... that... is a fair argument, and I will have to think on it some. I'm going to go do some research on the Kamigawa block and how that's set up. I think it will be a useful comparison.

Blue Ghost
2016-07-29, 12:47 PM
Can you expand on "Empires World" a bit?

Sorry, I meant the proposal I posted earlier, about the advancement and conflict of civilizations. Maybe it needs a catchier title.


I don't agree that it necessarily conflicts with the theme you're proposing. The Samurai (and we can put elements of the western knight in there as well, there's a reason they are seen as quite similar) while a soldier at the base, is more than that as well. Bushido in particular, though meaning literally Way of the Warrior, has a lot of elements and precepts that are not war focused. Some of them started as peaceful ways to train tangential skills, notably discipline and control, but even those became valued for their own sake.

The Samurai is not simply a warrior, nor even simply a warrior class, the Samurai is a nobility. The Samurai has a responsibility to their society, and they are a reflection of it. They are expected to be honorable, reflecting the values of their society. They are poets and politicians, leaders and protectors, warriors and schemers, and more.

The Samurai can very much be reflections of the core values of their faction, and be the angle that brings those larger conflicts into the more limited sphere of war, and even personal combat. Where the Kurotaka value Samurai as skilled and deadly warriors, the Shogunate values them for personal honor and leadership, as the structural backbone of their society. The church sees them as devoted warriors, swearing their honor and service to the religion, the Celts see them as poet warriors, committed to excellence in peace as well as war, and the Fae see them as soldiers, pawns to move around on the board, one limited, but still valuable, kind of power.

It brings the topic of war forward, perhaps, but any analysis of nations and empires ought to, I think, place some special emphasis on war. Magic is a game about conflict and combat, generally, and war is one of the main currencies that nations and power centers had to deal with each other for a long time.

All right, that's fair. There is the issue that real life samurai are heavily associated with a single culture, so in a set focusing on different civilizations, it seems strange that all of them have samurai. But I can accept it on a flavor standpoint.

My main issue is mechanical. We only have room for a single universal mechanic at most, and it will play a huge part in determining how the set plays, and using bushido as our universal mechanic will pull heavily toward a combat focus mechanically. We already have a combat-focused wedge set in Khans of Tarkir, so putting a heavy combat focus on our set will step on the toes of an existing set and set a very high standard for us.

We can try out bushido, but it may not be the optimal choice for our vision. How flexible are you on having bushido? Is it something that you'd be willing to give up on if it ends up not working out?

Also, are we decided on "empires world" (or "clash of civilizations", or whatever) being the theme of the set?


EDIT: Ninja'd by the bard. That is exactly what I'm trying to say.


Hmm... that... is a fair argument, and I will have to think on it some. I'm going to go do some research on the Kamigawa block and how that's set up. I think it will be a useful comparison.

That's a good idea, but note that Kamigawa made a lot of design mistakes and was quite poorly received. It did some things well, but not everything Kamigawa did is a good idea.

Blackhawk748
2016-07-29, 12:52 PM
Also, are we decided on "empires world" (or "clash of civilizations", or whatever) being the theme of the set?


Im fine with that.

Also Kamigawa had 3 big mechanics that i remember: Bushido, Ninjutsu, and Soulshift. Bushido was for the Samurai (who where typically White and Red) and Soulshift was for Spirits (Green, White and i wanna say Blue) Ninjutsu was a thing in Betrayers of Kamigawa, and it was obviously for Ninjas. I feel like im missing a mechanic.....


That's a good idea, but note that Kamigawa made a lot of design mistakes and was quite poorly received. It did some things well, but not everything Kamigawa did is a good idea.

I honestly feel one of its biggest issues was a lack of MultiColors. Since the set was Humans/Kitsune vs Spirits you'd have thought that colors wouldnt have mattered as much, except that there where no Multi Color cards and so you where kinda limited to, at most, a 2 color deck. Frankly Kamigawa plays best (IMO) as a mono color, so also keep that in mind when your looking at it.

Elricaltovilla
2016-07-29, 12:54 PM
That's a good idea, but note that Kamigawa made a lot of design mistakes and was quite poorly received. It did some things well, but not everything Kamigawa did is a good idea.

That's disappointing to me. I liked a lot of Kamigawa and how it played with a lot of the preconceptions that had been established in MTG.

Blackhawk748
2016-07-29, 12:58 PM
That's disappointing to me. I liked a lot of Kamigawa and how it played with a lot of the preconceptions that had been established in MTG.

Its a solid block, it just has its problems. I too am a big fan of Kamigawa, but i recognize that its a love/hate kind of block.

Elricaltovilla
2016-07-29, 12:59 PM
I think that Empire block sounds pretty good to me. We could have some fun with exploring ways to represent taking over "territory" in game.

Blue Ghost
2016-07-29, 01:00 PM
Im fine with that.

Also Kamigawa had 3 big mechanics that i remember: Bushido, Ninjutsu, and Soulshift. Bushido was for the Samurai (who where typically White and Red) and Soulshift was for Spirits (Green, White and i wanna say Blue) Ninjutsu was a thing in Betrayers of Kamigawa, and it was obviously for Ninjas. I feel like im missing a mechanic.....

There were several mechanics in Kamigawa block. Bushido, ninjutsu, and soulshift, along with channel in Saviors of Kamigawa, were all pretty decent. The other mechanics introduced (flip cards, arcane, offering, epic, sweep, hand-size-matters, legendary-matters) all had serious issues.

Blackhawk748
2016-07-29, 01:04 PM
There were several mechanics in Kamigawa block. Bushido, ninjutsu, and soulshift, along with channel in Saviors of Kamigawa, were all pretty decent. The other mechanics introduced (flip cards, arcane, offering, epic, sweep, hand-size-matters, legendary-matters) all had serious issues.

I know that Epic and Sweep had serious problems, that Legendary specific stuff only really worked properly inside the block and that Offering was just weird, but what was wrong with Flip Cards (who i see as the grandparents to our current Werewolves and similar cards) Arcane (which i thought was a neat ability) and Hand Size oriented effects?

Elricaltovilla
2016-07-29, 01:10 PM
Mind if I pitch an Imperialist themed ability?

Colonize: When you play this card, place a Territory token on target land you don't control. So long as that land has a territory token on it that you placed, you can tap that land for mana or other activated abilities. If you do so, it does not untap until your next untap step.

It's a bit different than just taking control of enemy lands, but the idea would be that you can add or remove these territory tokens in order to manipulate your opponent's mana production, possibly sacrificing them for spell effects and stuff. Just a rough idea for now.

Blue Ghost
2016-07-29, 01:15 PM
I know that Epic and Sweep had serious problems, that Legendary specific stuff only really worked properly inside the block and that Offering was just weird, but what was wrong with Flip Cards (who i see as the grandparents to our current Werewolves and similar cards) Arcane (which i thought was a neat ability) and Hand Size oriented effects?

For flip cards, the main problem was aesthetics. Flip cards are just really ugly. And it's also hard to tell which side is up when they're tapped.
Arcane is very parasitic. It's a self-confined mechanic that does not work with any cards outside the block. That's not necessarily a deal-breaker, but it is problematic. Splice also leads to repetitive gameplay.
Hand size oriented effects punish you for playing out the cards in your hand. That feels bad and leads to bad gameplay.


Mind if I pitch an Imperialist themed ability?

Colonize: When you play this card, place a Territory token on target land you don't control. So long as that land has a territory token on it that you placed, you can tap that land for mana or other activated abilities. If you do so, it does not untap until your next untap step.

It's a bit different than just taking control of enemy lands, but the idea would be that you can add or remove these territory tokens in order to manipulate your opponent's mana production, possibly sacrificing them for spell effects and stuff. Just a rough idea for now.

This will play exactly like taking control of enemy lands 95% of the time, with added complexity. And taking control of enemy lands is very problematic. But there's the seed of an idea there. We could look at mechanics to make improvements to your own lands. The fortification mechanic from Future Sight is a possibility, but an artifact-exclusive mechanic might not be a good idea in a wedge set.

Blackhawk748
2016-07-29, 01:26 PM
For flip cards, the main problem was aesthetics. Flip cards are just really ugly. And it's also hard to tell which side is up when they're tapped.
Arcane is very parasitic. It's a self-confined mechanic that does not work with any cards outside the block. That's not necessarily a deal-breaker, but it is problematic. Splice also leads to repetitive gameplay.
Hand size oriented effects punish you for playing out the cards in your hand. That feels bad and leads to bad gameplay.

Ok, that makes sense.


This will play exactly like taking control of enemy lands 95% of the time, with added complexity. And taking control of enemy lands is very problematic. But there's the seed of an idea there. We could look at mechanics to make improvements to your own lands. The fortification mechanic from Future Sight is a possibility, but an artifact-exclusive mechanic might not be a good idea in a wedge set.

You could change it to "At the beginning of your upkeep you gain 1 mana of the appropriate type for each Territory counter you have" This could help relive the issues with playing 3 colors as every faction shares at least 1 color.

If someone wants to write that better thatd be great.

Jallorn
2016-07-29, 01:39 PM
I think that Empire block sounds pretty good to me. We could have some fun with exploring ways to represent taking over "territory" in game.

Territory is one idea, put I want to toss out for consideration various kinds of power, soft and hard. So things like political pressure, economics, territory, and military might are all kinds of power that can be explored. I guess to some extent, these could line up somewhat with the empire themes. That's probably a good way to do it, actually, with the mechanics being broad enough to fit three into a deck, but with one, maybe two, primary and the third just splashed.

As far as the samurai discussion, we have two factions that both really want samurai, and the samurai creature type always has bushido. This is what I'm trying to reconcile with the fact that having two factions (that share two colors) with bushido, and not giving it to the others is awkward. My two solutions were: give everyone samurai, and tie mechanics to enemy color pairs so that each mechanic is shared between two factions.

I have two further proposals to attempt to reconcile this before I consider whether a redesign of one or more factions might be necessary.

First is to clarify that as a universal mechanic, it doesn't necessarily need to be a dominant one. Bushido doesn't need to be evenly split among the factions, just the colors (and not even entirely then). So the Fae have a single solitary samurai card, but they can play samurai that match their colors from other factions. The Celts and Church likewise have between 1 and 3 samurai cards each, leaving the bulk, maybe ten or fifteen total, to the Kurotaka and the Shogunate. If done this way, we might want to have a universal mechanic for sorceries and instants similarly distributed, and maybe another for artifacts.

The other idea is to return to the enemy color mechanics, but make those exclusively returning mechanics, and make a set of five all new mechanics for each faction's allied colors. I would suggest that the new mechanics all share a similar objective, (Thematically, the expansion of the state's influence. Mechanically, I'm not sure yet but probably some sort of control.) but that each mechanic does it through a different strategy. In this way, you can still mix between factions in draft, since the mechanics are somewhat compatible. This would mean we would have five direct combat mechanics, tied to the enemy colors, the conflict colors, and five strategic control mechanics tied to the allied colors. This would, admittedly, be a large task, and possibly overbloated with deciduous mechanics, but recycling half the mechanics should mitigate that somewhat.

My immediate thought as regards a redesign of factions would be to swap Samurai in the Shogunate for Knights, which might work okay, but I'd still be mildly disappointed about it. Although that does an odd thing with the Shogunate being Tradition based, something that was very important to the samurai when they knew their last days were coming during the Meiji Restoration and the military and political restructuring that was going on in that era. The Kurotaka become, in some fun ways, a reflection of those samurai who rebelled in the face of the fall of the (historical) Shogunate and the rise of the Emperor because they would be the only warring samurai, despite being about war, and not tradition.

Elricaltovilla
2016-07-29, 01:59 PM
This will play exactly like taking control of enemy lands 95% of the time, with added complexity. And taking control of enemy lands is very problematic. But there's the seed of an idea there. We could look at mechanics to make improvements to your own lands. The fortification mechanic from Future Sight is a possibility, but an artifact-exclusive mechanic might not be a good idea in a wedge set.

That's a fair critique. However, I personally like messing with other people's lands, and that's a tactic that I'd enjoy playing with.

Blue Ghost
2016-07-29, 02:11 PM
There's limited space for mechanics in a set, with five being the average. If we have a mechanic for each of the factions, we won't be able to fit five more enemy-color mechanics. For color overlap, we can do what Khans did, with a subtheme for each enemy pair, without a named mechanic. For reference, the subthemes in Khans for each color pair were:

WB (Abzan/Mardu): Warrior tribal
BG (Abzan/Sultai): Toughness matters
GU (Sultai/Temur): Morph focus
UR (Temur/Jeskai): Spells
RW (Jeskai/Mardu): Tokens

Having bushido as a minor mechanic could possibly work. It will add a bit of complexity, but it won't take up too much space in the set.

Do samurai necessarily have to have bushido? The Kamigawa samurai did, so there is some expectation there, but that's only a sample size of one block. I think there are ways to represent samurai without necessarily using the bushido mechanic.

The exploration of various kinds of power is a theme I'm fully behind. The question is how to translate that to a game of Magic. In Magic, there are already various different kinds of resources to fight over: life, hand, board position, mana, graveyard. Every deck needs each to some extent, but some focus particularly on one resource. I think that could map well to the different kinds of political power. Perhaps each faction has a mechanic that focuses particularly on one kind of resource.

Blackhawk748
2016-07-29, 02:22 PM
Do samurai necessarily have to have bushido? The Kamigawa samurai did, so there is some expectation there, but that's only a sample size of one block. I think there are ways to represent samurai without necessarily using the bushido mechanic.

Kamigawa is the only Samurai we have, so yes, all Samurai have Bushido. Does ours have to? No, but it feels like we would be breaking form if we didn't.


The exploration of various kinds of power is a theme I'm fully behind. The question is how to translate that to a game of Magic. In Magic, there are already various different kinds of resources to fight over: life, hand, board position, mana, graveyard. Every deck needs each to some extent, but some focus particularly on one resource. I think that could map well to the different kinds of political power. Perhaps each faction has a mechanic that focuses particularly on one kind of resource.

Hmmm i like this. I can see the Fae playing with the Graveyard. Clan Kurotaka is obviously just trying to destroy the opposition, so they'd be the board position ones (im pretty sure on this, i've never fully grasped MtG Board Position Theory)

Elricaltovilla
2016-07-29, 02:24 PM
Hmmm i like this. I can see the Fae playing with the Graveyard. Clan Kurotaka is obviously just trying to destroy the opposition, so they'd be the board position ones (im pretty sure on this, i've never fully grasped MtG Board Position Theory)

As long as it's not the church playing with the graveyard. I feel like that's a bit overdone and we'd just be drawing comparisons to Orzhov.

Blackhawk748
2016-07-29, 02:35 PM
As long as it's not the church playing with the graveyard. I feel like that's a bit overdone and we'd just be drawing comparisons to Orzhov.

Very true, lets let the Fae be the horrible Necromancers this time, shall we? :smalltongue:

Also i just thought of a decent way to let other factions have Samurai without making Samurai a major theme for them: Mercenary Samurai. So while Kurotaka and the Giants have their own personal samurai, everyone can get some by hiring Mercs. This also helps with our Empires theme as Empires oftentimes hired Mercs to do their dirty work.

Jallorn
2016-07-29, 02:37 PM
Now see, I would just do that as an expansion of Samurai being a faction agnostic type, with some such mercenary samurai not strictly being tied to a faction. That seems more than we need, however.

Amechra
2016-07-29, 02:39 PM
Some mechanic ideas:

1. Colonize: [Put a colorless Flag artifact token onto the battlefield. It has "2, Sacrifice this artifact: put a land from your hand onto the battlefield."]

This would be used like Investigate, Proliferate, or Populate - it's a tag, rather than a trigger. Sorry for stealing the name - I was too lazy to come up with my own. It's very Green.

2. Settlement: A subtype for Artifacts, much like Equipment - "equips" to a land, and unequips when the land untaps. Generally lets you do a thing instead of untapping the land. Not sold on the name.

3. Fealty {W/U/B/R/G}:

For example, you might have a UG card with a Fealty cost of R/B. Now you can play it [I]either the Celtic or Fae decks without being screwed WRT colors. Or a UR card with Fealty W/G, which can be played with either the Church or the Celtic factions. Fealty counters do nothing on their own - however, other effects might care about it. The term for "has a Fealty counter of color *" is "Fealty to *".

Some ideas are "Destroy target creature with Fealty to Green", "As long as the enchanted creature has Fealty to Red, it has +1/+1 and First Strike", or "If Diehard Stalwart does not have Fealty to White, sacrifice it". Hell, you can even do fancier stuff like "Vigilant Watchman has Protection from any color they have Fealty to".

Synergizes well with...

4. Subvert {cost}:

This is so Blue it [I]hurts... it's removal for cards like Diehard Stalwart, a debuff vs. Auras or other things that want your side to have Fealty to maybe two colors... I could see something that Subverts to Blue, and then takes control of something for as long as it has Fealty to Blue (which, since Fealty to Blue is the "dividing line" between Civilization and the Fae, as well as the Church and the Kurotaka Clan, makes a lot of sense).

5. Plunder: [Untap a land your opponent controls; you gain control of it until it becomes tapped.]

This is meant to mess with Settlement cards above - you put one of your opponent's strongholds into disarray and gain temporary control of the means for production. Very Red.

=---=

I could actually see Fealty as being a very solid base for a set. It's not too complicated (depending on your deck, you only need one or two colors to represent the different Fealty counters - the Celts, for example, would need Green and Red counters.), it's pretty versatile, and can introduce some really interesting tactics. Plus, it has some nice thematic stuff going for it.

Blackhawk748
2016-07-29, 02:40 PM
Now see, I would just do that as an expansion of Samurai being a faction agnostic type, with some such mercenary samurai not strictly being tied to a faction. That seems more than we need, however.

Well yes, but certain factions (The Fae most likely) probably wont have many, if any, Samurai of their own, so Mercs could help there. Also it helps add variety to the non Tribal decks as they don't really care about what Creature type a specific creature is.


Some mechanic ideas:

1. Colonize: [Put a colorless Flag artifact token onto the battlefield. It has "2, Sacrifice this artifact: put a land from your hand onto the battlefield."]


Huh, looks kinda like Clue tokens, and i've seen the cool stuff that those can do.


2. Settlement: A subtype for Artifacts, much like Equipment - "equips" to a land, and unequips when the land untaps. Generally lets you do a thing instead of untapping the land. Not sold on the name.

I like this, not entirely sure what we should have them do, but its an interesting mechanic.


3. Fealty {W/U/B/R/G}:

For example, you might have a UG card with a Fealty cost of R/B. Now you can play it [I]either the Celtic or Fae decks without being screwed WRT colors. Or a UR card with Fealty W/G, which can be played with either the Church or the Celtic factions. Fealty counters do nothing on their own - however, other effects might care about it. The term for "has a Fealty counter of color *" is "Fealty to *".

Some ideas are "Destroy target creature with Fealty to Green", "As long as the enchanted creature has Fealty to Red, it has +1/+1 and First Strike", or "If Diehard Stalwart does not have Fealty to White, sacrifice it". Hell, you can even do fancier stuff like "Vigilant Watchman has Protection from any color they have Fealty to".

Neat, it reminds me of Devotion in basic concept. Get a thing for having this color thing, i like it.


4. Subvert {cost}:

This is so Blue it [I]hurts... it's removal for cards like Diehard Stalwart, a debuff vs. Auras or other things that want your side to have Fealty to maybe two colors... I could see something that Subverts to Blue, and then takes control of something for as long as it has Fealty to Blue (which, since Fealty to Blue is the "dividing line" between Civilization and the Fae, as well as the Church and the Kurotaka Clan, makes a lot of sense).

That is just neat, its also nice and simple.


5. Plunder: [Untap a land your opponent controls; you gain control of it until it becomes tapped.]

This is meant to mess with Settlement cards above - you put one of your opponent's strongholds into disarray and gain temporary control of the means for production. Very Red.

Hahaha i love this, "Give me your mana, i need it for something!". However its a fairly potent ability to it needs to either be 1) Expensive, 2) Uncommon, 3) or only proc occasionally. For example "When Stronghold Raiders enters the battlefield Plunder 2."

All in all i like these ideas, though we will most likely need to smooth these out a bit, especially Plunder as that could get nuts.

Amechra
2016-07-29, 02:45 PM
As for control (you're forgetting Deck Control - you make mill players sad, Blue Ghost), I kinda want to see a non-Black faction have the Graveyard Control, to be honest. It'd be more distinct, to be honest, since you wouldn't be able to fall back on Zombies.

Blackhawk748
2016-07-29, 02:54 PM
As for control (you're forgetting Deck Control - you make mill players sad, Blue Ghost), I kinda want to see a non-Black faction have the Graveyard Control, to be honest. It'd be more distinct, to be honest, since you wouldn't be able to fall back on Zombies.

That would kind of force us to have the Church do it, which brings up the Orzhov comparisons again. However they are WUR so they would play very different. It would probably be a crap ton of Spirits and Clerics.

Blue Ghost
2016-07-29, 02:55 PM
Hmmm i like this. I can see the Fae playing with the Graveyard. Clan Kurotaka is obviously just trying to destroy the opposition, so they'd be the board position ones (im pretty sure on this, i've never fully grasped MtG Board Position Theory)

Agreed on Kurotaka being board position; it's a pretty direct mapping from board position to military power. Board position is very broad, and also by far the most important factor in most Limited matches, so we'll want to narrow it down a bit.

I'd like to push the WBG clan to have the graveyard focus. It doesn't exactly match the OP's current vision for it, but a focus on tradition and heritage feels like a natural tie to the graveyard, and those colors are the most graveyard focused.

The URG clan can focus on mana as a representation of scientific advancement. Outpace the other civilizations in technological growth, and be able to play the strongest cards before they can. Green is the color of mana ramp, and red and blue can add an aspect of advancement to it.

The Fae can focus on the hand and drawing cards to represent commerce and wealth. Blue, black and green are the colors most focused on card draw.

Still don't have anything satisfying for the Church. A life focus would be nice, but that really wants to be part black, and blue and red don't care about lifegain at all.

Jallorn
2016-07-29, 02:55 PM
I would make fealty an aspect of summoning, so Fealty Black would be, "If black mana was spent to summon this creature, put a Black Fealty token on it."

Fealty as you've described it is, then, another faction agnostic mechanic. But one that still gives unique flavor to each faction based on their color and their interaction with the mechanic. I think removing fealty should primarily be the purview of the Celts and adding another fealty to interact with should belong to the Fae, but I think the Church could maybe dabble in both to a lesser extent.

On the other hand, we could make fealty the mechanic of the Shogunate (as the faction most interested in personal loyalty) make it colorless (you either have fealty or not) and let the other factions interact with it, but not necessarily engage in it themselves. Fealty then, can become a sort of pseudo-tribal mechanic.

An idea for the Shogunate: tradition often manifests as heritage, as inheritance, so what about a mechanic where creatures become artifacts, mostly equipment, on death. The sword that has been in the family for generations or such? Though perhaps that just suggests an equipment that grows stronger as creatures you control die.

I'm also thinking that the Kurotaka should have some sacrifice mechanics, as they are described as being willing to sacrifice for the whole. The first draft of the Kurotaka Deathmage is a good example. Then the Fae can have other sacing, rather than the Deathmage's self sac.

If the Church did graveyard manipulation, we could do both spirits and rebirth, channeling Buddhist reincarnation.

Amechra
2016-07-29, 03:04 PM
That would kind of force us to have the Church do it, which brings up the Orzhov comparisons again. However they are WUR so they would play very different. It would probably be a crap ton of Spirits and Clerics.

Or the Celts.

And honestly, I kinda visualized Fealty being the color-fixing mechanic of the set - it lets you broaden your card choice without obligating you to have all three colors of mana. I could see, say, the Church getting White creatures with Fealty to Blue or Red (playable by them and the Kurotaka)., along with their WR cards with Fealty to Blue or Black (shared with Kurotaka) and their UR cards with Fealty to White or Green (shared with the Celts).

Blackhawk748
2016-07-29, 03:11 PM
I'm also thinking that the Kurotaka should have some sacrifice mechanics, as they are described as being willing to sacrifice for the whole. The first draft of the Kurotaka Deathmage is a good example. Then the Fae can have other sacing, rather than the Deathmage's self sac.

Im gonna take the second mechanic from Clan Shrine and make it into a Sorcery called Honor the Martyr which you sac a creature and get a number of 1/1 white flying spirit tokens equal to its toughness. Obviously this card isnt exclusive to Kurotaka, but its there. Was also thinking of making a mage that generates Crow tokens based around sacing stuff, though im not sure on the specifics.

Jallorn
2016-07-29, 03:12 PM
Or the Celts.

And honestly, I kinda visualized Fealty being the color-fixing mechanic of the set - it lets you broaden your card choice without obligating you to have all three colors of mana. I could see, say, the Church getting White creatures with Fealty to Blue or Red (playable by them and the Kurotaka)., along with their WR cards with Fealty to Blue or Black (shared with Kurotaka) and their UR cards with Fealty to White or Green (shared with the Celts).

Yeah, that's probably better.

It sounds like where we're maybe starting to head is setting wide mechanics, but faction specific strategy. So Kurotaka is battlefield control, the Fae is hand control, the Celts are deck control, the Church is graveyard control, etc. or maybe shifted around, but the point stands. As nations, each faction has the same basic tools, (fealty, colonization, etc.) but they use them differently.

Blackhawk748
2016-07-29, 03:14 PM
Yeah, that's probably better.

It sounds like where we're maybe starting to head is setting wide mechanics, but faction specific strategy. So Kurotaka is battlefield control, the Fae is hand control, the Celts are deck control, the Church is graveyard control, etc. or maybe shifted around, but the point stands. As nations, each faction has the same basic tools, (fealty, colonization, etc.) but they use them differently.

I agree, and obviously some factions will focus more on one mechanic over another. Like i dont see Kurotaka using Subvert a whole lot, but using the crap out of Plunder, which is not a bad thing.

5a Violista
2016-07-29, 03:22 PM
As for control (you're forgetting Deck Control - you make mill players sad, Blue Ghost), I kinda want to see a non-Black faction have the Graveyard Control, to be honest. It'd be more distinct, to be honest, since you wouldn't be able to fall back on Zombies.
That would kind of force us to have the Church do it, which brings up the Orzhov comparisons again. However they are WUR so they would play very different. It would probably be a crap ton of Spirits and Clerics.

There's other ways you can thematically interact with the graveyard without zombies: Spirits, for example, could work for "graveyard" theme (especially since a large proportion of Japanese and Celtic fae are, in fact, the spirits of the deceased). Clerics or Shamans who gain certain abilities if certain cards are in the graveyard. Maybe some Spirits that can only be played directly from the graveyard and not from the hand? And defeating it in combat would exile it instead of putting it back in the graveyard. Or maybe a mana-cost reduction if cards with a certain ability are in the graveyard. Or a card that can be freely played whenever a card is directly put into the graveyard from the library. Or reincarnation! That's an idea, too.
I don't know: I'm just trying to brainstorm non-zombie ideas. If I recall correctly, Zombies are more of an African/American concept than an Eastern Asia/Western Europe idea.

Aside: have we decided on names or at least temporary names for the factions yet?

Elricaltovilla
2016-07-29, 03:29 PM
Orzhov is full of spirit cards though, that's their major mechanic in at least one block and I'm still opposed to accidentally drawing comparison to Orzhov.

Jallorn
2016-07-29, 03:31 PM
One consideration, if we go with something like Settlement, is that it will tie up lands, demanding cheaper creatures and spells, a lot more ramp across the colors, or possibly both. I like the idea of Settlement a lot, I just think that we should be aware of how it will limit us.

I also think it should probably be a permanent attachment, excepting destruction of the land. So you can't settle a land with a group of settlers who already have a home. I also don't think they all need to interact with tapping or untapping, as I can imagine a strip mining sort of settlement that lets you sac lands to generate a lot more mana at one time, like three or four, or a Celtic settlement that just gives you an extra mana whenever the land taps due to advanced farming knowledge and oneness with nature. (or actually, "Whenever settled land taps, you may pay 2. If you do, [settlement] generates three mana of a color settled land could generate.")

Lastly, I think that settlements should be a mix of colored and colorless, and ought to be the bulk of artifacts.

I also like the idea of Colonize interacting with your opponent's lands, generating only mana your opponent can create. The problem with everything we've got for Colonize so far though is that it's not terribly broad, I don't see it having enough interactions to demand enough cards to really be a keyword.

RE: Names: Clan Kurotaka is pretty set in stone I'd say, and I've been using Shogunate, Church, Fae, and Celts as placeholders for the names of the other factions until we come up with proper ones.

Blue Ghost
2016-07-29, 03:33 PM
Some mechanic ideas:

1. Colonize: [Put a colorless Flag artifact token onto the battlefield. It has "2, Sacrifice this artifact: put a land from your hand onto the battlefield."]

This would be used like Investigate, Proliferate, or Populate - it's a tag, rather than a trigger. Sorry for stealing the name - I was too lazy to come up with my own. It's very Green.
I don't like this. The appeal of investigate is that it gives you something to do with excess mana, turning it into cards. Colonize can also only be used with excess mana, but it gives you... more mana, which is useless when you already have too much.


2. Settlement: A subtype for Artifacts, much like Equipment - "equips" to a land, and unequips when the land untaps. Generally lets you do a thing instead of untapping the land. Not sold on the name.
This sounds a lot like the Fortification type proposed in Future Sight. It has the issue of being an artifact mechanic, which is hard to fit into a multicolor set, but I could see it being worth testing.


3. Fealty {W/U/B/R/G}:

For example, you might have a UG card with a Fealty cost of R/B. Now you can play it [I]either the Celtic or Fae decks without being screwed WRT colors. Or a UR card with Fealty W/G, which can be played with either the Church or the Celtic factions. Fealty counters do nothing on their own - however, other effects might care about it. The term for "has a Fealty counter of color *" is "Fealty to *".

Some ideas are "Destroy target creature with Fealty to Green", "As long as the enchanted creature has Fealty to Red, it has +1/+1 and First Strike", or "If Diehard Stalwart does not have Fealty to White, sacrifice it". Hell, you can even do fancier stuff like "Vigilant Watchman has Protection from any color they have Fealty to".
I am also quite interested in fealty as the universal smoothing mechanic for the set. It seems like it has a lot of potential. But I would also want to playtest it and see if it lives up to that potential before locking it in.
Suggestion: Change it to "This card is all colors used to cast it." And have the effects based on what color it is. Seems more elegant that way.


Synergizes well with...

4. Subvert {cost}:

This is so Blue it [I]hurts... it's removal for cards like Diehard Stalwart, a debuff vs. Auras or other things that want your side to have Fealty to maybe two colors... I could see something that Subverts to Blue, and then takes control of something for as long as it has Fealty to Blue (which, since Fealty to Blue is the "dividing line" between Civilization and the Fae, as well as the Church and the Kurotaka Clan, makes a lot of sense).
Since I imagine most cards will only care about fealty to one or two colors, this will be equivalent to just removing fealty most of the time. I could see a few cards in the set having this kind of ability, but I don't think it's worth devoting a whole keyword.


5. Plunder: [Untap a land your opponent controls; you gain control of it until it becomes tapped.]

This is meant to mess with Settlement cards above - you put one of your opponent's strongholds into disarray and gain temporary control of the means for production. Very Red.
This can be used to effectively remove lands by stealing them and not tapping them. That is problematic. I could see it working with a one-turn limit. This might work as a faction-specific mechanic, though I don't think it fits any of our current proposed factions very well.[/QUOTE]


As for control (you're forgetting Deck Control - you make mill players sad, Blue Ghost), I kinda want to see a non-Black faction have the Graveyard Control, to be honest. It'd be more distinct, to be honest, since you wouldn't be able to fall back on Zombies.
The problem with mill is that it's very all-in, and pretty useless unless your entire deck is dedicated to it. If one of the factions were focused on mill, it wouldn't be able to play well with the other factions. We could have mill be a subtheme in the set, if we have room for it.
Blue and red don't deal with creatures in the graveyard. Though we could possibly make the church graveyard-focused, but with a focus on spells instead of creatures... That sounds kinda cool, actually.


Yeah, that's probably better.

It sounds like where we're maybe starting to head is setting wide mechanics, but faction specific strategy. So Kurotaka is battlefield control, the Fae is hand control, the Celts are deck control, the Church is graveyard control, etc. or maybe shifted around, but the point stands. As nations, each faction has the same basic tools, (fealty, colonization, etc.) but they use them differently.
Not using factions-specific mechanics means giving up on a major advantage of having keywords, namely signposting--pushing players toward a cohesive deck by labeling cards that work synergistically together. We'd have to find another way to push players into the specific factions, and that's going to be a lot harder to do without using keyword mechanics.

Ideally we want to brainstorm a large list of mechanics so we can playtest and choose from the best. Just because a lot of faction-agnostic mechanics have been proposed doesn't mean we have to use them all.

Amechra
2016-07-29, 03:46 PM
(I really only posted to drop off some mechanics - I don't have time to fully invest in set making.)

But I'll drop off some name ideas, too:

Why not...

WBR: Kurotaka Clan
WBG: Aokame City
WUR: Shirotsuro Church
URG: Akashishi Tribe
UBG: Aokoi Spirits

Jallorn
2016-07-29, 03:54 PM
Blue and red don't deal with creatures in the graveyard. Though we could possibly make the church graveyard-focused, but with a focus on spells instead of creatures... That sounds kinda cool, actually.
I actually like this a ton, fits in very well the role of Bards as keepers of history through song, and since Bards are the red/blue to the Druid's blue/green, that mechanically fits nicely there. Where it's awkward, however, is the green side of things. Green sometimes interacts with the graveyard, but mostly when working with black, and not generally interacting with sorceries and instants. Perhaps we ought to break up the graveyard control between the factions? So the Celts get red/blue knowledge recovery, and the Church or the Fae get black/something creature recovery?

Honestly, the Fae seem the best faction for creature recovery with their black/green and the fluff of not letting a debt go unpaid, even after death. I'm still interested in some mechanic for the Church involving reincarnation, but perhaps that would be more on the side of death-triggered transformations? More thoughts on that below.


Not using factions-specific mechanics means giving up on a major advantage of having keywords, namely signposting--pushing players toward a cohesive deck by labeling cards that work synergistically together. We'd have to find another way to push players into the specific factions, and that's going to be a lot harder to do without using keyword mechanics.

Ideally we want to brainstorm a large list of mechanics so we can playtest and choose from the best. Just because a lot of faction-agnostic mechanics have been proposed doesn't mean we have to use them all.

That is fair.

On that note, a few more thoughts on the Church and reincarnation: reincarnation strikes me as an oddly white/red mechanic if it's a death-triggered transformation. So sort of like Undying or Persist, but transforming instead of adding a token. The reason I'd say it's white is because it creates a sort of protection for creatures, and the reason I'd call it red is because I think it conveys well into an aggressive strategy, since the transformation is likely to be better than the base creature, meaning your opponent has to decide between stopping your assault or denying you a bigger assault till much later. It's even sort of blue in that card advantage fashion. It works well with the fluff too: commit yourself to the path of the church and you will be reborn greater than you were.

I'm still rather liking the idea of the Shogunate creatures becoming artifacts as well, though I also like the idea of an asymmetric relationship between the Shogunate's big creatures and its smaller ones as a representation of the asymmetric responsibilities between a lord and vassal.

Jallorn
2016-07-29, 06:48 PM
Kurotaka Clan: Warfare
Unique Mechanic possibilities - Plunder, Human tribal, Bushido
Japanese inspiration - Samurai inspiration
Celtic inspiration - Perhaps the Highlanders
Nordic inspiration - Viking inspiration
Other themes - largely human tribal element. Community willing to sacrifice selves for the clan.

Unnamed Civilization: Tradition, Responsibility
Unique mechanic possibilities - Bolster, Heirlooms, Settlement, Giri (social responsibility, ill defined mechanically assymetric or bottom up boons (cheaper creatures make more expensive ones better))
Japanese inspiration - Shogunate feudalism
Celtic inspiration - Pre-Galfridian (that is, original Welsh) King Arthur
Nordic inspiration - Giants. I could possibly see ties with the Wild Hunt (http://norse-mythology.org/the-wild-hunt/).
Other themes - Led by giants, features both giants and humans. Loyalty to "pack" leaders.

Unnamed church: Religion
Unique mechanic possibilities - Reincarnation
Japanese inspiration - Shinto Buddhism
Celtic inspiration - Though not solely a Celtic event, the way in which Christianity spread through the Celts (and sometimes adopted local gods into Saints) can provide some worthwhile elements
Nordic inspiration - (I could see some potential ties to Norse mythology as well, such as more ties with valkyries and the Wild Hunt) I could certainly see Valkyries as a creature type, perhaps a Reincarnation (if we use that mechanic)
Other themes - Humans and spirits. Organization exists to give the freedom to seek perfection.

Unnamed Celts: Technology
Unique mechanic possibilities - Graveyard spell recovery
Japanese inspiration: Pure Shinto/animist spirits of nature
Celtic inspiration - Druids, bards, etc, and their relation to nature
Nordic inspiration - Skalds would also be a good fit for "bards". Possibly the 'bards' of this celtic group could be a mix of Celtic bards and Nordic skalds. Skalds could also fit in as the more red/green aspect, the warrior poets more concerned with glory than history.
Other themes - Humans, some spirits, few giants. Preservation of nature's secrets.

Unnamed Fae: Commerce
Unique mechanic possibilities - Graveyard creature recovery, creature control manipulation
Japanese inspiration -Ninjas, Oni, Yokai, Japanese spirits (like maybe the Yuki-onna (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yuki-onna) (an inhumanly beautiful spirit that kills by freezing) and other spirits (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y%C5%8Dkai)).
Celtic inspiration - The fae. Many celtic fae would work very well, like Banshees (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banshee), a herald of death with relations with the Irish goddess of battle, or Leanan Sidhe (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leanan_s%C3%ADdhe), vampirelike fey who give inspiration to artists in exchange for their sanity and their life. Fits well.
Nordic inspiration - The nordic concept of elves, dwarves, Norns (who control fate), fylgja (spirits/shapeshifters/animals) could fit.
Other themes: Spirits, "natural demons", ...; Power and manipulation, leveraging knowledge and power and deceit into advantages.


Possible universal mechanics: Bushido, Fealty, Settlement


Thought I'd bring this back with a few changes and updates, some additions of my own and some cataloging. Let me know if I missed anything, I'm also putting it into the first post where it should be updated on occasion.

Blue Ghost
2016-07-30, 12:15 AM
There were some mechanics I had proposed earlier that you might have missed.

Level up and/or Gold counters for universal mechanics.

Formation for Kurotaka (Whenever this creature attacks, it gets +1/+0 until end of turn for each other attacking creature.)

Graveyard focus for the Shogunate.

I had pitched graveyard spell recovery for the Church. I think a technology focus for the Celts means that they should be doing new things rather than using things from the past.

Some mana ramp mechanic for the Celts.

A card draw mechanic for the Fae.

Another new idea. The Shogunate could have a life focus. Pitching the ability word prosperity, which gives you bonuses when you have the highest life total. It might be win-more, but it might also shift gameplay by making players place more focus on an aspect of the game that's usually secondary to considerations of board position and card advantage.

Amechra
2016-07-30, 12:37 AM
Level-Up was hideous, though. Really cluttered and just plain messy. Monstrous was a better execution of the concept, in my mind.

Blue Ghost
2016-07-30, 12:46 AM
Level-Up was hideous, though. Really cluttered and just plain messy. Monstrous was a better execution of the concept, in my mind.

I quite enjoyed it, though I know it has detractors. If people don't like it, we don't need to use it.

5a Violista
2016-07-30, 04:45 AM
(I really only posted to drop off some mechanics - I don't have time to fully invest in set making.)

But I'll drop off some name ideas, too:

Why not...

WBR: Kurotaka Clan
WBG: Aokame City
WUR: Shirotsuro Church
URG: Akashishi Tribe
UBG: Aokoi Spirits

I like these names!

Or the Celts.

And honestly, I kinda visualized Fealty being the color-fixing mechanic of the set - it lets you broaden your card choice without obligating you to have all three colors of mana. I could see, say, the Church getting White creatures with Fealty to Blue or Red (playable by them and the Kurotaka)., along with their WR cards with Fealty to Blue or Black (shared with Kurotaka) and their UR cards with Fealty to White or Green (shared with the Celts).

So I created a card just now, to visualize how Fealty might work. (I accidentally called it "Allegiant" instead of "Fealty" because I have the Divergent series on mind...) It was previously suggested that the Aokoi Spirits/UBG Fae might have the ability to grant Fealty, so I made this card and called it "Fey Pact". As-made, it could also be played by the Akashishi Tribe/URG Celts and the Aokame City/WBG Civilization.
Mana cost and abilities will probably still have to be balanced, but I think it's still a good way to see how Fealty might work as a universal mechanic. That way, we can better see what potential pitfalls and advantages we'll have with Fealty.

http://i1256.photobucket.com/albums/ii499/Mahonri_Violis/Fey%20Pact_zpshd9tewtw.png
except replace "is Allegiant to" with "has Fealty to"
and replace "if X mana was used, grant Fealty to X and ability..." with "Fealty X/Y; Fealty X: Grant ability; Fealty Y: Grant ability"
My analysis: Seems a little wordy. I like how it can be used best by one faction (the Aokoi Sprits) but can also be used in a more limited manner by two other factions (Akashishi Tribe and Aokame City). The Fealty ability may have to end up somewhat fitting all three thematically, but mostly has to fit the UBG Aokoi Spirits (which it does: both the Fealty to Blue and the Fealty to Black parts of the ability have to do with controlling hand size and usage). This particular card doesn't have enough Green in it, but it was largely for visualization purposes anyway. If I were to remake this card, I would give the enchantment itself Fealty U/B instead of giving Fealty to the enchanted creature (the enchanted creature would still have the effect depending on which Fealty it has. That way, there are fewer words and avoids the shenanigans of gving new Fealties to creatures that already have an ability for blue or black Fealty).

Conclusion: I can see the Fealty ability as working pretty well. Having the three faction's colors of mana gives you more options, but only having two of the colors is still usable. I like the Fealty mechanic so far.

Another example:
A {1}{W} Soldier card 1/2
with the ability Fealty {B}/{G}
Fealty to Blue: Pay {3} to recast a Sorcery from your graveyard with converted mana cost 3 or less. Then exile that sorcery.
Fealty to Green: Pay {3} to bring a Creature back from your graveyard until your next upkeep phase.
http://i1256.photobucket.com/albums/ii499/Mahonri_Violis/honoredwarrior_zpsidjxhy5k.png
Or something like that; may still need to be balanced.

Then, the WBR Kurotaka Clan can play it as a regular human foot soldier. WBG Aokame City can use Fealty to Green to use defensively, sort-of fitting in with an "ancestral honor" theme. WUR Shirotsuro Church can use Fealty to Blue to cast spells from the graveyard, fitting in with their "knowledge beyond life" theme.

Potential problem: The above enchantment can grant Fealty to creatures, so this creature could have both its Green Fealty ability and Blue Fealty ability as well as the Blue Fealty enchantment‘s ability. Solution: The enchantment does not grant Fealty, but instead has Fealty in and for itself, and it grants abilities depending on which Fealty it has, rather than granting both Fealty and abilities depending on mana paid. I feel having multiple Fealties is something only certain powerful creatures should have.

Experimenting with Fealty again (and trying another design for how it could be shown). Experimenting with WUR Shirotsuro Church's possible Reincarnation ability. Experimenting with URG Akashishi Tribe's possible mana ramp-up ability. Combining the Church's and Tribe's themes of studying/perfecting, with their lesser themes of Bard/Skald dichotomies. Note: I was going to make it cost {2} or {3} {U}{R} instead of {1}{U/R}{U/R}{U}{R} but then I realized {2} gives the option to gain both Fealties. I mean, there's nothing particularly wrong with having two Fealties with more powerful cards, but if you have the option then why not do it every time even when it's thematically weird?
Probably not a balanced cost-to-effect card. Again, just to visualize how abilities work. To be honest, {2}{U}{R} would probably be a better cost for it.
http://i1256.photobucket.com/albums/ii499/Mahonri_Violis/studious%20skald_zpsp8izrmea.png

So now that I've made three prototype sample cards to showcase possible abilities and themes, what are people's thoughts on them?
Also, I somehow made three different ways to use Fealty before noticing:
(1) Works best with one deck (UBG) but can be used in two others with less versatility or power (URG,WBG). Forces you to pick one or the other.
(2) Works well with two decks (WBG, WUR) but can be used without abilities in a third (WBR), by using one color.
(3) Can work equally well in two decks (WUR, URG) with different abilities.
(4) I have just conceived a fourth way: let me make a card to show it.
This versatility of this mechanic makes me like it even more.
Thoughts?

http://i1256.photobucket.com/albums/ii499/Mahonri_Violis/SampleCard_zpsb12exgs6.png
Possible abilities:
White ability: Protection or Life gain or Summon soldiers or something; should be relatively generic.
Fealty to Black Ability: White ability and Black ability, like recast a spell from the graveyard or something(needs to fit both Kurotaka Clan and Shirotsuro Church)
Fealty to Red Ability: White ability and Red ability, like granting Haste to summoned soldiers or giving them +1/+0 (needs to fit with both Kurotaka Clan and Aokame City)
Fealty to Black and Red: Combination of all the above; only needs to fit Kurotaka Clan.

This one is similar to (1) except only uses one color. One set has more versatility/power while two others can use the same card with lesser/fixed effect. Like (3), is monochromatic
Also, I noticed: While I don't particularly like the idea of Creatures with multiple Fealties yet (give me time; I will eventually warm up to it), Sorceries/Instants with multiple Fealties seems like it could work. Actually, I just realized: A Fealty between allied colors is always split between two different factions (i.e. a white card with Fealty Blue/Green is split between WBG and WUR). A Fealty between enemy colors is actually focused on a single faction (i.e. a white card with Fealty Black/Red is focused on the faction WBR).

These options basically raise the question of whether a card can/should force into a Fealty, give the option of a Fealty, or get two Fealties.

Jallorn
2016-07-30, 08:15 AM
Another way to run fealty is for creatures to have fealty but not necessarily need an effect based on it, but then storks and even artifacts do something based on the target's fealty colors. In that case, fealty would be the, "Every cookie used to cast this creature," variety. We could then channel the dual color enchantments from Lorwyn/Shadowmoor (I think that's the source block? Maybe it's original Ravnica?)

To clarify: Fealty would read, "This creature is [color] if [color] mana was spent to cast it." Then spells and effects interacting with fealty would interact with the target's color, making them interact with a mechanic used outside our set. A few spells might still have fealty, a blue fealty spell that draws target player a card of the spell is blue, for example.

It occurs to me that this variety (all really, bit this one especially) interacts to make resurrect effects less good.

As for reincarnation, I found a model for it: Accursed Witch. When she dies, she flips.

5a Violista
2016-07-30, 08:41 AM
Oh, so something like Convoke (worded to be "Each creature with Fealty to Such-and-Such, when casting a spell you may tap to pay for {1} or one mana of that creature's color") or Radiance (worded to be "Target creature and each other creature that shares a Fealty with it get X effect/damage/bonus"). Those could definitely work. A Convoke-like ability could work easily into URG Akashishi Tribe's technological advancement, and the UBG Aokoi Spirits have the right feel for a Radiance-like ability (taking advantage of declared alliances/Fealty). But then that would take away from their commercial/cards-in-hand feel. Alternatively, WBG Aokame City's focus on tradition would fit with a Radiance-like ability, where their tradition causes them to gain power together, or rely on the strength of the stronger leaders, or something along those lines.

Then,
URG Akashishi Tribe would have a Convoke-like keyword and ... something. Mana?
WBG Aokame City could have a Radiance-like keyword and ... something to do with graveyards.
UBG Aokoi Spirits can have ... something, and hand control card focus.
WUR Shirotsuro Church would have the Reincarnation keyword and casting-sorceries-from-graveyard focus
WBR Kurotaka Clan can have some kind of combat-related keyword attack bonus and a field control (tapping/vigilance, blocking boost, ...)
and Fealty would be the universal mechanic keyword.

Jallorn
2016-07-30, 08:57 AM
Edited in some thoughts above. If the Tribe has convoke, they already have a mana ability. I would give card draw to them as a secondary theme, where the Spirits get to look at hands, force discarding, and make use of enemy cards.

Idea for a possible Gold mechanic: giving your opponent gold tokens that can be used to generate mana or buff creatures and getting to copy something they have either for a turn or forever.

(Also, when I hey home from my morning class I'll update the front post, but I can't from my phone.)

Jallorn
2016-07-30, 09:46 AM
Thought: mercenaries, smaller independent states, and NGOs (in this context, merchant guilds) could make an interesting base for a second, smaller set to make part two of a block. Obviously a bit ahead of where we are, but still a neat idea.

Amechra
2016-07-30, 01:34 PM
I did a mock-up of how I originally intended Fealty to work (First is with reminder text, the second is without it):

http://i.imgur.com/eTw3DEu.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/zu2gAcJ.jpg

Jallorn
2016-07-30, 01:52 PM
I am thinking that a creature with fealty should be the color or colors it has fealty to, since that will interact more strongly outside of the block. I also think we should closely examine and consider whether creatures should be able to have more than one fealty. We need to weigh whether the strategic restraints of limit one makes the game more interesting than the more diverse possibilities of no limits. Also consider that no limit means we have to be on the lookout for runaway combinations that trigger off many fealty colors. More clearly: limit one will be easier to control the power of, force players to make decisions about which color they want, but has slightly more limited design space, while no limit had more design space, potentially more power, and rewards mana diversity.

Perhaps limit one per instance of fealty? So fealty {B/R} is one or the other, while fealty {B}, {R} can be both?

Jallorn
2016-07-30, 03:15 PM
Okay, first post updated.

I'm going to operate under the assumption that we are going with Fealty as our core universal mechanic. I like it, and I think it would be a very solid choice to do so, as long as we can deliver on that mechanic well. Now given that, I'm going to explore what Fealty means to the various factions.

Kurotaka Clan: Fealty and Loyalty to the clan is paramount. Promises aren't made to outsiders because the clan always takes precedent and a promise to an outsider could come into conflict with responsibilities and duties to the clan. Fealty is something you're born into. If you're part of the clan, then you owe the clan your honor and allegiance.

Aokami Shogunate: Fealty is something sworn to someone who has earned it, but you also don't have a place of any consequence in the Shogunate unless you are in some sort of fealty relationship. Fealty is a personal thing, man to man, without which you are an honorless Ronin. Honor in this context being different from integrity. You can be reliable and, "honorable," and still be honorless because you do not have the humility to bow before someone greater and are not respected enough to have someone bow before you. At the same time, though Fealty is a personal promise, it's also an ancestral one. Being the child of someone of great honor buys you honor as well. Being from a long line of loyal servants is an honored and trusted position.

Shirotsuro Church: Fealty is a commitment to selflessness, to a higher calling. One swears Fealty not to a fallible man, but to the Church, a material representation of divine perfection. Swearing Fealty is a choice, one that can only be made truly and rightly at a certain point on the path, but it is also the right thing to, a moral imperative. When one swears Fealty, they are not taking on new responsibilities, burdens, or restrictions, but rather being freed from them because they have aligned their cause with what is right and just, and so long as you act in faith to that promise, you will have greater personal freedom. Fealty is submission before what is right above any demands of the material world.

Akashishi Tribe: Fealty is, like with the Shogunate, a personal agreement, man to man, or man to spirit. It is an honorable thing, to keep Fealty, and betrayal forever tarnishes your Fealty, but it is not a concrete promise, never to be broken. Fealty bows to pressures, so long as it is rescinded honorably, with proper notice. You cannot keep Fealty with one whose soul's calling no longer matches your own. Very few promises of Fealty are eternal, but these are the mightiest, the binding of two souls in love, even if not romantic love.

Aokoi Spirits: Fealty is a contract, a social agreement. It is a powerful bond of promise that cannot be broken, but it need not necessarily be permanent. The Spirits themselves are incapable of breaking a promise or deal, by their nature and their magic, and they deal harshly with mortals who attempt to cheat a deal or break faith. Fealty is a cold kind of sacred thing; without the integrity to keep your word, it becomes valueless, and the power of a promise with integrity makes one strong, and the weak perish, so without Fealty, you perish.


And extrapolating to what Fealty is to each individual color (had to do this to figure out how the Tribe sees Fealty, and then decided it was worthwhile on its own merit as well)

White: Fealty is a moral and social imperative. If you are honorable and righteous, then you must have Fealty to something or someone. We see this in all three factions that are White. The Shogunate sees Fealty as both morally and socially required, as those outside the system of Fealty have no honor and no social status. The Kurotaka see Fealty as a social imperative bar none: you must be loyal to the clan or you are not a part of the clan. The Church sees Fealty as a moral imperative, you must have Fealty to the divine cause of morality.

Green: Fealty is personal. A man must earn the Fealty sworn to him and it is a sign of trust and commitment. In the Shogunate, the personal responsibility of Fealty ties the mightiest to the meekest, giving a human (or sometimes giant) face to social responsibility as a whole. Among the Tribe, Fealty is sworn to those who earn it, and must be maintained, else the commitment become too costly, too emotionally difficult to maintain. Among the Spirits, Fealty is held by an individual as a personal promise, and often a personal debt; it is not a condition of the society, but a result of it.

Red: Fealty is natural. Fealty is sworn only when it is right, when it should be, and when it feels right. Among the Tribe, Fealty is sworn when it feels earned, and it is lost when it no longer feels earned. Among the Kurotaka, Fealty is natural, you are born into it, the clan is your family, and should you break your Fealty, you will lose all you have called home. In the Church, Fealty is not sworn until you have reached that point in the path, and on swearing that Fealty, you find the freedom to be, no longer as burdened by the demands of the world.

Black: Fealty is power. Fealty is the transference of power from one to another, the commitment of individual power into something greater. For the Kurotaka, the commitment of Fealty is their strength; so long as they stand united, they stand mighty, powerful, and deadly. For the Spirits, those who hold the Fealty of others are the mightiest, because they can wield not only their personal power, but the power of those whose Fealty they own. For the Shogunate, the strongest are most worthy of others' Fealty because they can best fulfill the commitments called for in return.

Blue: Fealty is a commodity. Fealty is a promise, a bond of your word, and a thing of value; as such, it is natural that one should be compensated for it. For the Spirits, this means that Fealty may be traded, such that a man sworn to the service of one Spirit may find his service traded to another master. For the Church, it is of such value to release one from the demands of the acolyte, the limitations of the ordinary unenlightened. For the Tribe, it is a free thing, maleable, in some ways an incentive to encourage and bolster those who behave as you would have them behave.

5a Violista
2016-07-30, 03:59 PM
Suggestion: Add to the first post, under Aokoi Spirit's mechanics things such as "discarding" and "looking at opponent's hand", since that has been discussed as well.

I think we should combine those two ideas on how Fealty works (Amechra's explanation is much more clear than my vision of it, and Jallorn's concept is much more elegant than mine): combine "As long as XXX has Fealty to Blue, something cool happens" and "Having Fealty to Blue makes XXX also Blue". The former gives us a larger design space and the latter does let it interact with previous sets and other mechanics. So now I'm thinking that not necessarily every card with Fealty {color} should have something cool happen, but that the faction mechanics should interact with fealty somehow (example: Convoke interacts with it because you can tap the card to grant mana of the card's color; Fealty gives the card an extra color. Radiance grants abilities/things to every card that matches its color, and Fealty gives the card an extra color). With Fealty as a universal mechanic and some of the factions' abilities taking advantage of Fealty, it feels like it would only be fair if all the faction-unique mechanics somehow interacted with it.

This is how I see the Akashishi Tribe would see Fealty, with their focus on technology and knowledge:
Akashishi Tribe: Fealty is...a ritual which allows you to unlock or receive greater knowledge and power. It connects you to the great heroes of the past and passes on your power to the great visionaries of the future.
I also like what you edited in.

Aokami Shogunate's feel seems to fit with mechanics like Radiance, where the powerful grant strength to those under their Fealty, or maybe abilities that make the powerful even more powerful. (This also works because Green frequently has abilities that make the powerful even more powerful, and one of the Shogunate's colors is Green.) Also, Aokami Shogunate sounds better than Aokami City.



Perhaps limit one per instance of fealty? So fealty {B/R} is one or the other, while fealty {B}, {R} can be both?
I like larger design spaces, but we do have to be careful with rampant/unforeseen combinations that could crop up.
I like this suggestion: it matches with my earlier opinion that I came to, namely that some cards' flavors seem to work better as exclusively one or the other, while other cards may work with both options open, and something cool happening for both.

Jallorn
2016-07-30, 04:04 PM
Also check out what I just edited in about how the individual colors see Fealty.

Blue Ghost
2016-07-30, 04:25 PM
The simplest implementation of fealty would be a monocolor card that has fealty to a single second color. We could have a few commons that do that.

I also think fealty is a really nice mechanic, but I think we should test it a bit and see if it plays as well as it sounds before locking it into the set. Also, I don't think that the entire set should revolve around fealty. It should be a mechanic that goes on a substantial but small subset of cards, like morph in Khans of Tarkir, perhaps with a few specific support cards.

I agree that fealty making the card become the color would be the best implementation, and the most backward-compatible. Something like:

Example Samurai 1R
Creature - Human Samurai (C)
Fealty (This card is all colors used to cast it.)
Example Samurai has first strike as long as it's white.
2/1

Another possible implementation.

Example Ronin 1W
Creature - Human Samurai (U)
Fealty (1: Example Ronin becomes the color of mana used to activate this ability.)
Example Ronin has first strike as long as it's red.
Example Ronin has deathtouch as long as it's black.
2/1

Jallorn
2016-07-30, 04:39 PM
Another thing to keep an eye out as we explore Fealty is that with Fealty as [Casting Cost], it can put some odd pressures into play. First, it makes any form of putting a creature into play without casting less good because Fealty won't trigger. Second, it can interact oddly with cards that increase mana cost, potentially making them good. That Ronin, for instance. If my opponent has Grand Arbiter Augustine IV (http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=370420) on the battlefield, or a similar card, I can suddenly give him Fealty to both Red and Black, for a 2/1 First Strike, Deathtouch for {R}{B}{W}, CMC 3. That is phenomenally good, although I don't know if it's something that a player can plan for. It can also force us into making cards with more color mana costs than generic mana costs, which would be awkward and difficult to balance, as well as likely making mana problems more likely.

The latter may have a similar issue with creatures getting multiple Fealties when we it's not balanced to, unless the ability functions like Monstrous and can only be activated once, or can't be activated while the creature has a Fealty counter (and only at Sorcery speed so you can't stack the triggers).

Of course, some of these potential pitfalls could also be features, so long as we design around them properly. The idea of a deck that intentionally increases creature costs so as to get more Fealty colors is an intriguing one.

Blue Ghost
2016-07-30, 04:58 PM
Another thing to keep an eye out as we explore Fealty is that with Fealty as [Casting Cost], it can put some odd pressures into play. First, it makes any form of putting a creature into play without casting less good because Fealty won't trigger. Second, it can interact oddly with cards that increase mana cost, potentially making them good. That Ronin, for instance. If my opponent has Grand Arbiter Augustine IV (http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=370420) on the battlefield, or a similar card, I can suddenly give him Fealty to both Red and Black, for a 2/1 First Strike, Deathtouch for {R}{B}{W}, CMC 3. That is phenomenally good, although I don't know if it's something that a player can plan for. It can also force us into making cards with more color mana costs than generic mana costs, which would be awkward and difficult to balance, as well as likely making mana problems more likely.

The latter may have a similar issue with creatures getting multiple Fealties when we it's not balanced to, unless the ability functions like Monstrous and can only be activated once, or can't be activated while the creature has a Fealty counter (and only at Sorcery speed so you can't stack the triggers).

Of course, some of these potential pitfalls could also be features, so long as we design around them properly. The idea of a deck that intentionally increases creature costs so as to get more Fealty colors is an intriguing one.

Most sets don't have cost-increase cards. If our environment is self-contained, then we can just follow the lead of most sets and eschew them. I don't think mixing them with older cards is much of a problem, considering there are much more broken things you can do in eternal formats. The issue of the weight of generic mana costs is real, but I think it's something we can balance around. Using less generic mana is probably not the best solution, since that would require more color weight, which would make cards very difficult to cast in a multicolor set. But I think it would be fairly easy to balance cards so that they won't be broken if granted multiple fealties.

The second implementation of fealty I proposed makes it such that activating fealty changes the card's color entirely, not simply adding on a new color. So a card with my fealty v2 would only have one color at a time, and thus, only one fealty. I'm not sure if that's the best implementation; just clarifying what I intended by it.

Blackhawk748
2016-07-31, 10:14 AM
I think we should go with the Fealty thats " [Mana/Mana] This card gets a fealty counter thats X color, it counts as being that color"

Jallorn
2016-07-31, 10:31 AM
I think we should playtest the lot of them.

Blackhawk748
2016-07-31, 10:51 AM
I think we should playtest the lot of them.

This is also a good idea, but how do we go about that?

5a Violista
2016-07-31, 04:21 PM
If game design is anything like product design, we need to make prototypes and models and then run preliminary testing, probably by playing games with them over in the PbP.
(I've never done game design, though, so maybe it's different.)

Jallorn
2016-07-31, 08:31 PM
So I found this (http://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/making-magic/nuts-bolts-three-stages-design-2015-03-30), and am in the process of reading it through. It's an insight into the official MtG design process.

Things I've learned so far:
We should decide on the framework of the set before we can really move towards playtesting mechanics. The brainstorming is great, and I think it should continue, but I'm going to start moving a little more effort towards the nuts and bolts.

To that end, we should decide the size of this set, how many cards are common, uncommon, and rare, as well as considering whether we want 10 or 15 rares to be mythic, though that will remain flexible until well into card design.

The default large set size since Magic 2015, according to the MtG Salvation wiki, is 269, including a cycle of twenty(?) basic lands, leaving us a design space of 249. I see no good reason not to use this standard for our set, but I'm open for discussion. (My current research confuses this a bit. Shadows of Innistrad and Dragons of Tarkir (admittedly not a block opener) had 15 basic lands, Battle for Zendikar and Magic Origins (again, not exactly a one to one example being a stand alone set) had 25, and both Theros and Khans of Tarkir had 20.)

In some older set designs, commons, uncommons, and rares were split evenly in number of designs. I am doing some research on the division of recent sets, but if we were to do that with our space of 249, we would have 83 cards in each rarity (including mythics as rares, which we might not do) and within those rarities we might have 3 artifacts and 16 cards of each color (how multicolored works into that will complicate the math, and I definitely want to do some more research before finalizing this stage of assigning our design space.

After that, we should build a framework, assigning out design spaces in the various categories to different card types (creatures, instants, sorceries, enchantments) and then creature sizes (in broad terms), keywords, and so on, slowly adding more complexity and moving towards actual card design. This is still a framework, not a commitment. If we said a creature of medium size has vigilance, but we want to change that and use vigilance on a small creature, that's something we can do.

Then, I guess, we engage in more specific card design, testing, and move towards finalizing the set. I'm probably glossing over a lot of detail on those steps, but what's here is plenty to move on for now. I will continue doing some research tonight, and may even generate a preliminary framework of sorts.

Countups of Two recent enough sets:
Shadows over Innistrad: 282 cards (297 including Basic Lands)
Basic Lands: 15
Commons: 106
Uncommons: 99
Rares: 77 (18 of which are Mythic)

Number of single color cards in each color are equal in Shadows over Innistrad, but possibly only in total, and not within rarities (so one color might have more commons and less uncommons than another, I don't know, I haven't counted) but among dual color cards, White and Black have one more representation each than the others 5 each, with the others having 4 each. There are 18 colorless artifacts and 4 Planeswalkers, only one of which is single colored. 10 dual color lands and 3 unique lands, 11 dual color cards, and no triple or more color cards. 16 transforming cards increase design space somewhat, but not meaningfully for the design skeleton.


Khans of Tarkir: 249 cards (269 w/ Basic Lands)
Basic Lands: 20
Commons: 102
Uncommons: 79
Rares: 68 (15 Mythics)

Between the great variety of multicolored cards and the source I'm using being sorted by clans, I have nothing useful to say about color counts. However, Tarkir makes frequent use of cycles of five, eg the five Khans, the five Ascendancies, the five charms, the five creatures of cmc 5 (funny one that one), etc. Of the clans, they all have the same number of multi-colored cards except the Sultai, who have one more, and of single color cards, Mardu has the least, with Jeskai and Abzan both having one more than Mardu, Temur having one more than them, and Sultai having a full four more than Temur. The last clan cards are two more five cycles: the banners and the tri-color lands.

Outside the clan cards, there are 16 single colored cards, divided unevenly among the colors, likely because the other inequalities are among the clans. Blue and Green have the least, with Black having two more than they, and White and Red both having one more than Black. There are then ten non-clan dual color cards, and nine colorless artifacts. There is a single unique land, ten dual color lands, and the five search lands. Among the non-clan dual color cards, there are 4 White mana symbols, 5 Blue, 3 Black, 4 Red, and 3 Green. It is likely that such disparity is due to the numerous other multicolored cards in the set keeping things more in balance, though as seen in SoI, imbalances can happen. There are 2 Planeswalkers, one dual colored and one single colored.

This is admittedly probably not well organized, and likely some of the information is unnecessary, but it's something to look at to get a sort of image in one's head.

Looking over this and considering the nature of our mechanic of Fealty, I'm inclined to lean more weight towards naturally single color cards than Tarkir did, such that although we have tri-color factions, we can permit the building of effective two color decks. More thoughts to come soon.

Blue Ghost
2016-07-31, 10:56 PM
A design skeleton is a crucial part of the design process, but I think that should come after we have a rough idea what mechanics the set should use. Playtesting the set is after the design skeleton, but playtesting mechanics to decide whether or not to commit them to the set can come before.

Before playtesting, I think we should look at the downsides of fealty as a mechanic. Even the best mechanics aren't perfect, and I think it's important to consider the flaws, how we can mitigate them, and whether or not the mechanic is worth using in spite of them.
The two biggest flaws I see with fealty are:
- It's quite fiddly. Having to keep track of fealties/colors on creatures will require the use of a lot of different counters, so it could potentially get high in tracking complexity.
- I'm not sure if it adds enough unique gameplay. The best set mechanics (landfall, devotion, morph, etc.) all changed the game in fundamental ways or made players care about things they don't normally care about. All our proposals for fealty so far seem to be along the lines of "get a bonus if you play this color", which might not be exciting enough. It could open design space for cards that care about fealty, but I don't think there will be very much of that.
Some help brainstorming some other possible downsides, as well as upsides, and what we hope to accomplish with the mechanic, would be nice.

As for the actual playtesting itself, I have never been part of an actual exploratory design playtest, so I don't exactly know how it goes, but I have some proposals.
We should get some playtest decks built as soon as possible. These should be very bare-bones, probably 9x4 (9 cards at 4 copies each, plus lands). And since we're doing a three-color set, playtest decks should be three-color.
The cards themselves should be as simple as possible while including all the necessary components we want to playtest. Early playtesting is very scattershot, so we want to include as many different implementations of fealty as possible. Don't worry about the names or flavor of the cards; those can be decided on later. Try to eyeball the balance level, but don't worry too much about it; we're testing the broad mechanics, not the balance level of specific cards.
And for the medium for the playtest, Cockatrice (https://cockatrice.github.io/) is as good a tool as any.

Jallorn
2016-07-31, 11:44 PM
I think some of the framework is worth sorting out early, but I think you may be right and I may have jumped the gun just a tad.

Another thought to toss in, not about Fealty, but about the possible Reincarnation mechanic: I was thinking that it should read, "When this creature dies, you may pay [mana]. If you do, transform it instead of putting it into the graveyard." This then encourages players to keep mana open. It's not novel, Blue is already infamous for it, and it exists in any deck that has nice useful instants, as well as being a thing with Morph, but it's more interesting than simply, "When this creature dies, transform it instead."

I think the question of unique gameplay is a very good one to raise, and I wish I'd spotted it myself. I think Fealty as a mechanic is really more of a color fixing one, and while we've had a couple ideas about unique faction mechanics that interact with it, most of the mechanic ideas that really excite me don't. It's still a mechanic I like, and I think a pro to it is that it allows two color decks in a three color set, something you couldn't do in Tarkir. That is based, admittedly, on a sample card that costs only 2 CMC, and so could only have one of its fealty abilities, as opposed to potential cards that might be larger and so have no reason not to take advantage of their extra fealties, but the possibility of using Fealty to permit more focused decks is an interesting one.

I would also consider that this mechanic won't be the only one to consider in the set, as we're also going to have the faction mechanics. Perhaps we should do some more work on those?

On some consideration, fealty (the word) suggests to me the power of the promise, of the contract, of diplomacy. But specifically in how those things function on a social level. Fealty is at the core of the feudal structure, and can certainly be argued to exist in some forms in other structures of society. It is, then, about the interaction between the individual and the society or the state. The way that those people who make up a group shape it, and vice versa. I don't think this is necessarily a problem, but it does move our stated target of the theme of Civilizations. Frankly, I think it's a better target, as its a more complex topic that can have more said about it through mechanics.

The basic core mechanic of Fealty is that creatures can have or gain colors other than what their mana cost dictates. I think this is a partial representation of the theme it suggests to me: that is, it definitely represents how society shapes the individual. In fact, with that mechanical interpretation, it brings the theme back a bit towards being more about civilizations than individuals. If we wanted to keep the element of how individuals shape society, we'd need to put a strong emphasis on creatures with Fealty having an impact on other cards, changing how they play. However, that would be reserved mostly for rares, and perhaps a few uncommons, as it quickly becomes too complex for a well designed common. This also kind of ties into the fact that people who are more powerful in and more valuable to a society are often more influential to its culture.

So at its core, the basic Fealty mechanic, on a common creature, is one that allows them to be affected by others. On a common, Fealty should more often be about opening up the possibilities for your more valuable cards, rather than altering the card with Fealty. That's not to say commons that have a keyword if they are a certain color aren't a good idea, they just should be less numerous I think, at least in the theory of theme. They still hold a worthwhile place as individuals whose expression is affected by their community. On the other hand, playtesting may suggest that Fealty is just not worthwhile and interesting unless it has an immediate impact on the card, in fact I expect that to be the case.

As an aside: Commons should all be mono-color, dual color should be reserved for uncommons and rares, and tri-color should be solely the realm of rares.

I will also add that, as much as I really like the idea of the Reincarnation mechanic, it's probably too complex and difficult to balance for commons, and also probably doesn't need to be a keyword mechanic, instead simply being a flavor inspiration for 1 or 3 (probably 3) cards in the Church's colors that transform on death. Other transform ideas can include Shogunate creatures becoming Artifacts (which might interact with Fealty), Spirit creatures becoming twisted monsters, and Tribe creatures becoming one with nature. This last is admittedly the weakest, really only suggesting one druid creature, and I have no ideas for transforming Clan creatures, it doesn't really seem to fit them.

So I think my conclusion for now is that Fealty is a worthwhile mechanic to continue pursuing and exploring, so long as the faction mechanics interact with it interestingly. A way to look at it is that Fealty is the soft power that holds society together, and the unique mechanics are how various factions employ that soft power, from translating it into more soft power through keen trading, to turning it into hard power by calling up your banners, to developing knowledge and technology, and so on.

I'm going to spend some time pondering this problem of the unique mechanics before I go to sleep, see what I come up with over night.

5a Violista
2016-08-01, 01:47 AM
According to the design article Jallorn linked, the stage we're currently on is the "Vision Stage", creating the Card File. In the article's words, "the point in the design where you create all the commons and usually most of the uncommons. The goal of this stage is to get to a point where you can start playtesting, first with all commons and eventually with uncommons mixed in. This is also the stage where you start to figure out what mechanics the set is going to have." The following step is to playtest it, and repeat these steps in a cycle: making then playtesting then editing then playtesting...etc


Or, in other words, our current goal should should be to create a too-many amount of Common cards (like the Example Samurai and Example Ronin Blue Ghost made above) and a handful of Uncommon cards so we can playtest them. The purpose of cycling through design and testing would be to explore and analyze the theme, mechanics, and structure.

Of course, in order to create these prototype cards, we do need to have basic ideas behind some (if not all) of the faction mechanics.
So far, we're looking at is listed in the first post. I want to look at (and think we should use as a starting point):
Kurotaka WBR Clan - Formation with lots of creatures
Aokami WBG Shogunate - Radiance with asymmetric bonuses to creatures
Shirotsuro WUR Church - Reincarnation with lots of spell-recovery from graveyard
Akashishi URG Tribe - Convoke with some library-searching cards
Aokoi UBG Spirits - Discarding/looking at hands and creature-control.
and also Fealty in some variation.
As we come up with good ideas, we can test those cards and replace bad ones with the new ones. This would get us to a point where we can start playtesting, though. Looks like right now we need to make 15 to 25 sample Commons for each faction (5 for each of the three colors in a faction). That would bring us to a point where we can start playtesting mechanics (according to the article). Of course, to start playtesting we only need to start with one or two factions and we can playtest those factions by making decks for them.
Now, I need to read up on guidelines on making Common cards.


Idea: Alternative option for Fealty? Cards that grant "Fealty tokens" to creatures and that allows you to use their abilities or apply effects to all of them (like Radiance) or use them all to power your spells (like Convoke) or deal stronger effects depending on how many creatures have Fealty tokens. Then, stronger cards grant these Fealty tokens and give you the option to manipulate the cards with these tokens.

Jallorn
2016-08-01, 02:15 AM
Okay, so I edited in a whole bunch to my last post, and then there was another post. I wasn't expecting anyone else to be posting this late.

That idea, while more dynamic, is more complex and can, I think, be more simply engaged with clan unique mechanics.

I'm starting to consider Convoke as more appropriate for the spirits, where the Fealty of a vassal is a resource to be exploited for acquiring more resources. It's a little farther away from its origin as a White/Green mechanic, both having Green and not White, but the Tribe having Red, an ally of Green, rather than Black, an enemy of both.

So basic creatures for a Fealty mechanic:

CW01
Cost: 1W
2/1
Fealty (This creature gains the colors of any mana spent to cast it)
If this creature is Red, it gains First Strike.
If this creature is Black, it gains Deathtouch.

(Seems like a solid example to me.)

CU01
Cost: 1U
1/1 Flying
Fealty (This creature gains the colors of any mana spent to cast it)
If this creature is Green, it gains +2/+2
If this creature is Red, it gains [R]:This creature gets +1/+0

CB01
Cost: 1B
1/1 Lifelink
Fealty (This creature gains the colors of any mana spent to cast it)
If this creature is White, it gains Vigilance.
If this creature is Green, it gains [G]:Regenerate

CR01
Cost: 1R
2/1 Haste
If this creature is White, it gains First Strike.
If this creature is Blue, it gains Flying.

CG01
Cost: 1G
2/2
If creature is Blue, it gains Hexproof.
If creature is Black, it gains Menace.

5a Violista
2016-08-01, 02:57 AM
Those all seem like (relatively) simple Common-level cards that showcase the Fealty mechanic; I like them. Seems like they would work well to both show what it's about and be able to playtest it.
I think there should also be Fealty cards with ally-color options, too: like, a White with Fealty Blue/Green; a Green with Fealty Red/White, and so on. In my head, it seems to have a different flavor: Fealty with enemy colors is associated with a single faction and Fealty with ally colors is torn equally between two factions. Ally-color Fealty would probably need faction-specific abilities instead of generic color-specific abilities, to highlight the choice of choosing between one or the other faction. Sort-of like what I demonstrated with my "Honored Warrior" example back in my other post. (edit: of course, we'd first have to define what the faction-specific abilities are, so...)

Anyway.
Yes, I agree that my idea was more complex and probably would work better with faction-unique mechanics.

I should probably go now before I get too much in this. I'm too distracted to think through all of my thoughts at the moment.

Blackhawk748
2016-08-01, 09:56 AM
Is Formation an ability that actually exists now or are we making it up? Cuz everything i search for on it gives me Instants and Sorceries that grant Banding, and im not a huge fan of Banding as it just seems a bit over complicated.

Blue Ghost
2016-08-01, 12:57 PM
I think fealty at common should be restricted to fealty to a single color. Tracking multiple fealties can get complex quickly. If we have two fealty cards in each color, each caring about one of the enemy colors, we can fill up ten common slots, which sounds about right.

What interactions can we have with the fealty mechanic? I think it'll only be worth having if we can have some support in the set; otherwise monocolor cards with off-color activated abilities can fill the same role.

Jallorn
2016-08-01, 01:34 PM
I think this isn't any more complex, on the tracking, at least. Due to the 2 CMC cost, each of these creatures only has one Fealty at any time. Now, the argument that its too many options, and thus too complex in that fashion, for a common is one I don't know where to fall on yet. I also wonder if it's too many keywords used by too few cards, though putting more Fealty effects that change power and toughness could mitigate that. Perhaps one of the keywords becomes +1/+3, and another becomes +3/+0 or something.

I do think that in the uncommons there should be a cycle of enemy color creatures that have possible Fealties to allied colors. That's getting ahead of us again, but better to jot down such ideas and plans than forget them.

Formation is a new keyword name for an ability that already exists: "When this creature attacks, it gets +1/+0 for each other attacking creature."

Amechra
2016-08-01, 01:36 PM
There's a reason I had it be its own thing, rather than part of the casting cost.

Final revision for my version of Fealty:

Fealty X When this enters the battlefield, you may pay its Fealty cost. If you do, put a Fealty counter on it - it has Fealty to that color as long as it has a Fealty counter.

Fealty to {Color}: This card is {Color} in addition to its other colors.

Note: Fealty costs are always CMC 1. ALWAYS.

=---=

I changed it to EtB to make it more versatile (and so it isn't just an exotic form of Kicker). Plus, I rolled the "it is also the fealty color" into the rules for Fealty to {Color} as well, to avoid clutter.

As for stuff to work with Fealty (rough sketches):

1. "Creatures you control with Fealty to Blue have Flying. Creatures you control with Fealty to White have Vigilance."
2. "Tap two creatures you control with Fealty to White: tap a permanent that shares a color with one of those creatures."
3. "Put a Fealty counter on enchanted creature - it has Fealty to Red. Red creatures your opponent controls cannot block."
4. "Equip: Remove a Fealty counter from target creature."
5. "Tap all permanents with a Fealty counter. They do not untap during their controller's next untap step."
6. "Remove a Fealty counter from target permanent. You may immediately repay its Fealty cost."
7. "Exile target permanent with a Fealty counter, then return it to play under your control at the beginning of your next turn."
8. "Fealty 1; T: Add one mana with the same color as this land to your mana pool."

1 through 5 are straightforward - 6 is interesting, since it lets you rejigger your permanent's colors (as a response to, say, 3). 7 works best with my revision of Fealty above, since it's predicated on being able to repay the Fealty cost when it comes back into play. 8 is just me playing around - normally, lands are colorless, so this is a (probably legendary) land that can be played for any color of mana.

EDIT: Grr, #3 doesn't work too well - it can lead to cards with Fealty to multiple colors, and messes with the balance of stuff like #6. Then again, stuff like Fate Transfer also messes with stuff - what happens when a Fealty counter is moved to another permanent? Does that permanent gain Fealty to any colors, or is the counter just dead weight?

These things must be considered.

Jallorn
2016-08-01, 02:21 PM
That quickly raises it out of the Common pool, however. The advantage of cards that have a keyword based on their color is that it allows us to test Fealty in the Commons since a pretty solid rule of rarity is that Commons don't alter how other cards play.

I've been thinking that perhaps we treat Fealty much the same as Tarkir treated Morph: it is a color fixing mechanic, perhaps more common among some of the factions than others. (Although Morph was also a way to bridge the three sets of the Tarkir block together, so the second set could be played with either the first set or the third. I think we're looking at this as either a single stand-alone set, or part of the new model two set block, so that's not really an element we need to worry about I think.) On the other hand, it might be nice to have such a unifying mechanic as we've been trying to make Fealty into.

I also think we should place a solid no on any mechanic created specifically for Tarkir, as we want to avoid being too similar in style to that set. If we're too similar, what's the point of this as a new set in a new setting when we could just return to Tarkir? This means that Bolster and Prowess and all the others would be off limits.

I've also thought of a new way to run Reincarnation that is very much more Red. Rather than transforming, and thus having flip cards, Reincarnation will allow you to put a permanent into play with a CMC up to a certain size. So you might have a two drop with Reincarnation 3 (When this creature dies, you may put a permanent into play from your hand with a converted mana cost of 3 or less.) This becomes extremely Red, as it means you don't mind the loss of your creatures because you can replace them, as long as you've got something in your hand. Suddenly, you've got an aggressive red style strategy that wants a lot of blue draw effects. It also means that you can have a number of red spells that damage every creature, and not mind their drawback so much, in fact, it could be an intended strategy. The only color that doesn't immediately have a mechanical influence to Reincarnation is White, and that has a very strong flavor influence. Religion, souls, and the afterlife are a very White topic.

I think all of the faction mechanics should be buried in the enemy color first in a similar fashion, mechanically. I'm going to brainstorm some more such mechanics, and remove Bolster from the possible mechanics in the first post.

We should maybe also consider exploring some of the other ideas we had for universal mechanics, specifically Settlements. I very much like Fealty's color fixing effect, but Settlements is certainly a new concept that does something very new and doesn't really want to be limited to a single faction or color collection.

Blue Ghost
2016-08-01, 03:03 PM
Any cards that specifically care about fealty will be very parasitic. We can try them out regardless, but lack of backward compatibility is an issue we'll have to watch out for. I suggested using color as an alternative thing to care about, but that may be too broad and not lend itself to deckbuilding. Plus mechanics that care about specific colors could dilute the focus of a three-color set.

Settlements as a flavor concept are worth exploring. We could represent settlements as cards, or we could have them be counters that go on lands. Or we could try out Gold tokens. Ideally, though, we should have a mechanic that cares about something that's already in the game, but doesn't get much attention. Like landfall did for lands, or devotion did for colored mana costs.

Amechra
2016-08-01, 03:26 PM
OK, focusing away from Fealty for a moment (because if you don't use it here, I'll use it somewhere else)... some "ooh, ooh, I care about that now!" mechanics:

A Hellbent-style mechanic

When you have 0 of X, Y happens. Stuff that you could have X of are "cards in your graveyard", "creatures on your side of the battlefield", "Auras on the battlefield", "effects on the stack"...

A Landfall-style mechanic
When X enters the battlefield, Y happens. This one's... kinda already taken.

A reverse Landfall-style mechanic
When X leaves play, Y happens. This could be... interesting ("yes, please continue destroying my lands").

A Madness-style mechanic
You may pay X instead of this card's mana cost to cast it when Y happens. Some ideas for Y would be "when this card is returned to your hand", "when this is the first card you drew this turn", "when you have less than Z Life", "when one of your creatures is removed from play", "when your opponent flips you off because you just insulted their mother"...

Miscellaneous
Some miscellaneous ideas would be parasite tribal (rather than make Elves that care about Elves, make Elves that care about Knights, and Knight cards that care about Elves) or unbalanced soulbond (Like soulbond, except each side gets a different benefit).

Jallorn
2016-08-01, 03:47 PM
How being based in the enemy color shapes the factions:

Kurotaka Clan: White is the color of community, order, and peace. The Kurotaka Clan, then, simply wants their family to be safe. They recognize, however, that the world is full of selfish, cruel people, even that some of their own might be like that. Nothing matters to the clan, however, above the bonds of family. The Clan, then, refuses to let anyone harm their family. They don't engage with outsiders through anything save hostility, if they never trust then they can never be betrayed, and they are quite active in the desire to remove threats. "Why wait," they think, "for the enemy to attack? If you strike first, then you are safer. Let them bleed, rather than us." But they are also devoted to each other such that they would gladly sacrifice themselves for the clan. No clansman would ever ask another to make a sacrifice he was not already planning to make himself. Warfare, though perhaps not the ideal world a Kurotaka might want to live in, is the tool used to preserve the ideal, loving community they live in, to ensure that unwanted elements can never disrupt the tight bonds of their community.

Aokami Shogunate: Black is the color of power, of amoral self-interest. The Aokami Shogunate, then, is founded on ideas of enlightened self-interest. The Shogunate believes that a community of individuals who seek their own advancement, and who recognize that helping others can bring good to oneself, will be a healthy, strong community, and that all will be advanced together. The Shogunate is willing to exploit others outside of the community, but not so openly as the Kurotaka Clan, because they want outsiders to join the community in time; the more individuals who take part in the Shogunate, the better for those on top of it. The Shogunate is based, then, on a simple promise: if you pay your dues, things will get better for you. Tradition is vital to this structure because it is the method by which paid dues are rewarded. Those at the top have, in theory, contributed the most to the society, or their ancestors have, and so they reap the most rewards. If that were to change, then enlightened self interest would destroy the society as it would no longer be in one's interest to participate.

Shirotsuro Church: Red is the color of emotion, passion, and freedom. It gives, then, a zealotry to the Shirotsuro Church. The supplicants of the church seek perfection, and they won't be restrained in their search for it. The Church itself may restrain the novitiate, but only because they do not yet have the wisdom to really know the right path to follow. Only once the novice graduates into the church hierarchy proper can they know how to act, and this is true of outsiders as well. The laws of others, then, are to be ignored, since members of the Church are wiser and more in tune with the truth, with the moral right. They may listen to outsiders and novices, they may teach patiently and compassionately, but they know right from wrong in their hearts, and they won't allow anyone to restrain them from what is right. This gives them a passion and zeal for their cause that can often inspire them to martyrdom. Of course, the promise of ascension, or barring that, rebirth, reincarnation, helps banish the fear of death.

Akashishi Tribe: Blue is the color of knowledge, discovery, and perfection. The Akashishi Tribe, then, seeks perfection through the wisdom and knowledge of nature. They seek to adapt and evolve, and they trust in their instincts and passions to lead them there. The Akashishi tribe is not ordered; they have traditions and rituals, but each has a purpose well understood and none are mysteriously arcane, at least to those who know. History and adventure are valued highly among the Akashishi, both can be learned from, and the bards preserve such in song. Nature is seen as the best teacher, as nature has had more time to test and iterate on perfection than anything else. Immortal spirits are valued for what they can teach, and respect and self-restraint are gifts given them, but never to the point of true limitation. A druid learning from a boar spirit may choose not to eat pig during his tutelage out of respect, but when it is done he will see no problem with it. The Akashishi do not merely seek some cold, factual sort of perfection. Sensation is information, and pleasure is a kind of good to strive for as well. And each tribesman is likely to have his own vision of perfection to reach for, some humble, some ambitious, but they are also not selfish in their search. The Akashishi recognize their interconnectedness, and seek perfection as a whole, as well as as individuals. Technology, the recording and common implementation of knowledge, is their method. By pooling knowledge, sharing and informing, they may know more, learn faster, and reach perfection together more quickly, more holistically, and with fewer mistakes.

Aokoi Spirits: Green is the color of nature, truth, growth, and acceptance. The Spirits of the Aokoi are as they were made: powerful, ageless, and cunning. Their word is their bond and they want nothing more in life than to grow and enjoy all the world has to offer. They are patient and cunning, and see no problem with the cold facts of the world, that the weak die and the strong thrive. Were they not bound to their word, it would not be sacred to them, but nature made it so, and so it is so. They have no especial desire to change the world, except perhaps for personal amusement or curiosity, but they also lack a conviction to maintain a static world; the world will change if they want it to or not, they seek only to remain atop the pile, secure, powerful, and amused. Commerce, then, is the safest and most certain way to maintain that power. Were the Spirits to enter open conflict with one another, they would quickly crumble to outside mortal pressures, and as their very nature makes a promise binding, it is easy to trust in each others' promises, so long as they were worded precisely. Commerce is, also, a field they will always triumph over mortals in, because they simply have so much more time to amass their wealth, to ride the tides of fortune, and more knowledge with which to recognize opportunities.

Side note: I think I like Spirits of the Aokoi as a better name, since it's different from the others' formats, and it seems to say more about them as a people.

Blue Ghost
2016-08-01, 03:48 PM
What do those names mean, for the non-Japanese-speakers here?

Jallorn
2016-08-01, 03:49 PM
Well, Kuro is black and Taka is hawk. Other than that, I don't know. My google translate-fu was not helpful in providing answers.

Amechra
2016-08-01, 04:29 PM
In order?

Black Hawk Clan
Green Turtle Shogunate
White Crane Church
Red Lion Tribe
Blue Koi Spirits

Blackhawk748
2016-08-01, 06:40 PM
Formation is a new keyword name for an ability that already exists: "When this creature attacks, it gets +1/+0 for each other attacking creature."

Ah, so its reverse Battlecry, gotcha.


I've also thought of a new way to run Reincarnation that is very much more Red. Rather than transforming, and thus having flip cards, Reincarnation will allow you to put a permanent into play with a CMC up to a certain size. So you might have a two drop with Reincarnation 3 (When this creature dies, you may put a permanent into play from your hand with a converted mana cost of 3 or less.) This becomes extremely Red, as it means you don't mind the loss of your creatures because you can replace them, as long as you've got something in your hand. Suddenly, you've got an aggressive red style strategy that wants a lot of blue draw effects. It also means that you can have a number of red spells that damage every creature, and not mind their drawback so much, in fact, it could be an intended strategy. The only color that doesn't immediately have a mechanical influence to Reincarnation is White, and that has a very strong flavor influence. Religion, souls, and the afterlife are a very White topic.

Thats similar to Kamigawas Soulshift, except that was Spirit specific.

Jallorn
2016-08-02, 02:30 AM
After several hours of thought and brainstorming I've come to the following conclusion about faction specific mechanics: They should be based in one of the enemy color pairs, slightly more on the enemy color if possible, and should encourage some element of the third color. I come to this conclusion based on two things: trying to make space for all three colors fully is incredibly tricky and far more limiting, and an analysis of Tarkir's mechanics. Raid is solidly black/red, Bolster is even more so green/white, Ferocious is really mostly green, but green/red tends to tread that particular territory just as heavily, Prowess is the first odd man, being arguably more blue/red than white, and Delve is the other odd man. Delve is the closest to really solidly representing all three colors, channeling green's mana affinity, black's use of odd resources, green/black's use of the graveyard, and even, though to a lesser extent, blue's card advantage desires, potentially permitting more effect from fewer cards.

So far, the mechanic I'm happiest with for clan specific mechanics is Reincarnation. I think it is pretty solidly a red/white mechanic that has a lot of space for blue. It inspires a very red strategy with your creatures, tinged by white's army, albeit not all at once as white normally would, and benefits greatly from blue's card draw, while also providing the opportunity to leverage the mechanic into having more mana available for instants.

The next one is Formation for the Kurotaka, but altered slightly, reading, "When this creature attacks, it gets +1/+0 for each other attacking creature. When this creature blocks, it gets +0/+1 for each other blocking creature." The problem here is that this mechanic is extremely white/red, a niche that we already have filled with Reincarnation. So we need, instead, a mechanic that is more white/black.

To which I present Martyr X: Sacrifice this creature, other creatures you control get +X/+X (and possibly a keyword) until end of turn. As a mechanic, this is black in its sacrificing of creatures, though arguably that's red as well, and it benefits greatly from having several other creatures to empower, which is white. It can be used offensively, sacing a doomed attacker to bolster the others, or defensively, similarly sacing a doomed defender. It is reminiscent of Scavenge, save that it is temporary, and is a touch on the complex side because it interacts so heavily with other creatures.

Next is a mechanic that I considered for white/black, but ultimately decided fit black/green, and the Shogunate, better: Headhunting X: Whenever a creature an opponent controls dies, if this creature dealt damage to it this turn, place X +1/+1 counters on this creature (Usually 1, maybe sometimes 2, never more than 3 probably). This is still very much a work in progress, and even within the tweaking I'm not certain I like it. As a mechanic it disincentivises chump blocking for your opponents, and can nicely solidify your defensive line, but is really a fairly tricky mechanic to activate. It's not enough to trade creatures, yours has to survive, making big, white butts fairly attractive. A good card it suggests is one that gives all your creatures Headhunting 1, making their Headhunting stronger and giving it to any creatures you might have played that don't have it. It is nicely green/black, caring about the deaths of opponents' creatures, and putting +1/+1 counters on creatures, but I fear it is too similar to Bolster or Evolve, in that a large amounts of the design space surrounding +1/+1 counters has been explored already, and so this ability and the peripheries that would surround it might feel too derivative.

Because green/black goes to the Shogunate, the Spirits get green/blue, which is kind of a shame, because I really wanted to play up their black qualities. This could, however, differentiate them nicely from straight black demons, so let's continue to work with it. That said, I have no idea what to do with them as of yet. Simic-like effects aren't appealing to me, not having much space for black and mostly involving +1/+1 counters, which have already been done with Headhunting (though I admit that may not last mostly due to the fact that it's so much harder to trigger). Green is the creature and mana focused color, and green/blue is often doing card draw, but none of that immediately suggests a good mechanic. Needs more thought, but I need sleep.

Anyway, that leaves blue/red as the color focus of the Tribe. Again, I haven't got a new idea for the mechanic, but it definitely suggests that whatever it is is likely spell focused. The need to leave space for green may suggest a lot of creature focused spells, but I think that need may expand the mechanic to something more dynamic, something applicable to creatures as well as spells.

And as a final thought, Gating, where a creature's EtB effect forces you to return a creature that shares a color with it to your hand (meaning it bounces itself if you don't have anything else to bounce) could interact really interestingly with Fealty.

Blue Ghost
2016-08-02, 01:53 PM
Each of the clan mechanics in Khans of Tarkir was centered in a single color. Each mechanic had four commons: two in the color it was centered in, and one in each of the clan's other colors. Single-color centering seems to me the most elegant way to distribute the mechanics, though centering in two colors could work as well. If we do go the two-color approach, it makes sense that each clan would be focused in the two colors that its Tarkir counterpart did not focus in.

I'd suggest having three different mechanics for each clan for our initial playtest. That gives us a good variety of mechanics to test, with each one still able to get a good amount of focus.

For the mechanics proposed in the previous post: I think Martyr is worth testing. There are different implementations we can play around with, like mana cost in addition to sacrifice, giving a bonus to one creature or multiple, temporary or permanent (+1/+1 counter) bonuses. It may be a bit too close to Reincarnation in design space in that both trigger on creatures dying. With Martyr you have to sacrifice them yourself, but the mechanical difference there is smaller than it looks. But both can be playtested.

Would Headhunting be the same as Sengir Vampire's ability? I think it's too narrow to be a good set mechanic. Only creatures that are already big to start with are likely to get into combat with another creature and survive. And the ability triggering is entirely dependent on the opponent blocking or attacking into it. I don't think that a mechanic using +1/+1 counters is an issue; there is a LOT of design space around +1/+1 counters, and it's easy to make a mechanic that uses +1/+1 counters while playing differently from anything that came before. If we're using a +1/+1 counter mechanic, the Shogunate is probably the best clan for it; I just don't think Headhunting is the way to go here.

Some other mechanic ideas (all names are provisional):

Reproposing Prosperity, but for the Clan instead of the Shogunate, possibly renamed Dominance. It's a strongly white/black centered mechanic, and red can give another angle of achieving dominance by directly attacking your competitors' life totals instead of just boosting your own.

Renown (from Magic Origins) for the Clan.

Legacy X (X: Return this card from your graveyard to the battlefield as an Aura enchantment attached to target creature. Exile it when it leaves the battlefield.)
For the Shogunate. Basically a reverse bestow. Yes, it's another graveyard mechanic, but green/black are the graveyard colors, and in Theros played a part as the enchantment-matters colors, so this could be a good fit. Might also work for the Church.

Insight (Whenever you draw a card, X)
Alternatively, whenever you draw a card outside your draw step. For either the Spirits or the Tribe.

I've been playing with a couple spells-matters mechanics, and maybe they could find room in the Tribe. Obviously will need renaming.
Melody (Add this card's effects to the next instant or sorcery spell you cast this turn.)
Harmony--If you've cast another instant or sorcery spell this turn, X
Will require a lot of instant and sorcery support to be worth it though.

Research (This card costs 1 less to cast for each instant or sorcery you've cast since the beginning of your last turn.)
For the Tribe. This obviously has serious memory issues, since it cares about what happened the previous turn, but I think it could potentially have some nice gameplay with using instant and sorcery cards (blue and red) to ramp into big creatures (green).

Land is a major facet of civilization, so we could have a land-matters mechanic, either for one of the factions or for a universal mechanic. Some ideas:
Landfall
Cares about having X or more lands
Cares about having nonbasic lands
Cares about having X or more different (basic) lands

Amechra
2016-08-02, 03:07 PM
Reverse Landfall - You care about when your lands leave play - obviously would need to also have mechanics that bounce lands back into your hands/sacrifice lands/temporarily exile lands.

Inverse Landfall - You care about when your opponent's lands enter play. Probably more of a punishment mechanic, and would probably need another limit.

Conquistador Landfall - You care about when you gain control of a land. Works kinda like Landfall, except it works well with a deck that steals lands.

Multi-Landfall - Landfall + you can immediately choose to tap the land that came into play for FABULOUS PRIZES.

Colonize - Yep, I'm bringing this one up again. A different take on it:


Colonize (Put a Flag counter on a land you control. That land gains 'T: Return this land your hand. You may play an additional land this turn.')

Jallorn
2016-08-02, 08:17 PM
I've updated the first post with some of this recent brainstorming. I added Renown as a possible to the Shogunate as well as the Clan, since that fits with their flavor, and their colors, decently.

I really really like Legacy, its kind of what I was trying to do with Heirlooms. Might need a clause that if the card is an enchantment and it would go to the graveyard, it is exiled instead, unless we want to let the Shogunate infinitely recycle enchantments.

Insight seems worth exploring, and fits a touch better in spirits because green/blue is more about card draw than green/red.

If we go with Melody, I'd prefer it be named Harmony; I like that Harmony can channel both the music of the Bards and the Druids' harmony with nature. It is an excellent fluff name.

Research is interesting enough that even if it's too tricky to run as a core mechanic, it might make a good artifact or enchantment: Whenever you cast an instant or sorcery, place a charge counter on Research. At the beginning of your upkeep, remove all charge counters from Research and add X mana to your mana pool, where X is the number of charge counters removed from Research.

As for your twists on Landfall, Amechra, I think Multi-Landfall has the most potential. I'm not a fan of Conquistador Landfall, because I generally feel that messing with other players' lands makes the game less fun. While a few times a game can give you an edge, making a mechanic around it suggests it will be happening a lot, and that's when it gets into not fun territory.

Reverse Landfall does have precedence, though, with Gitrog, and it's certainly got some potential. It would need some pretty significant bonuses to be worthwhile, though, and I think I'd give it to the Shogunate. It's sort of similar to Exploit.

Xefas
2016-08-02, 10:49 PM
Land is a major facet of civilization, so we could have a land-matters mechanic, either for one of the factions or for a universal mechanic. Some ideas:
Landfall
Cares about having X or more lands
Cares about having nonbasic lands
Cares about having X or more different (basic) lands

The nonbasic land thing - that seems like it could dovetail with the 'mana fixing' special lands that I assume a three-color set would require. I remember Alara had non-basic lands that could generate three colors of mana, or Evolving Wilds, which could search for more land.

That and the idea mentioned at some point upthread about putting tokens on your basic lands that then activate when you tap the land. If the token caused it to be considered a non-basic land, that would add even more functionality.

LaZodiac
2016-08-03, 01:22 AM
Reading this thread in chunks every so often. Some ideas.

The WRB faction could go with Bloodlust. It's a fairly simple mechanic but one that could work, and provide a subtheme of "counters matter" that might fit the rest of the set quite well. It'd also make Bushido math more variable and interesting. Bloodrush could also work, I feel. Perhaps even better than Bloodlust, since it has a degree of self sacrifice to it. I am dying so that you may become stronger. It'd also leave us open, counter wise, for the actual true and best answer to the UBG faction.

The WBG faction could try out exalted. IT doesn't SUPER fit, but it sort of feels like it does. "Attacking alone" is a pretty brave thing, and the white+green aspect of it, flavorwise, would be them supporting his decision to attack forward. A group of unity through singularity would probably do something like that, I feel.

WUR is an interesting challenge since it's a church like organization that isn't white or whiteblack to some degree, so a lot of the mechanics that have that kind of feel aren't really in it's colours. That being said, a theoretical possibility is perhaps maybe Auraswap? The aura's could symbolize meditations, religious protections, and other such divine gifts, but due to their inherent red nature they are capable of quickly shifting with but a thought or prayer. Or maybe the spirits are literally living blessings, and flavor wise all enchantments and auras in the set are caused by spirits attaching to someone. Maybe have a cycle of spirits that poof into creatures when broken. Hell, maybe we do Bestow! Bestow could work!

The URG faction is pretty tough as well, though I do like the idea of Convoke. Everyone gets together and studies to make a spell easier. It helps that green and to a degree red do a lot of token stuff, so it has some natural support there.

The UBG faction is interesting, though I'd like to make a note that unless it's been outdated, the idea of putting Oni here is probably not the best. Oni are firmly Red Green. They get in fights and have fun smashing stuff. Is there a thing in front of them that they think needs smashing? Smash it. The UBG faction is never going to be a big smashy one based on it's colours. It's poison and nastiness. In that case I actually recommend elves. You want to mix norse, celt, and japanese stuff? You want elves. They're nasty mysterious buggers who just kinda look at you weirdly and then stab you and take your money because you stepped into a ring of mushrooms. I'm going to say that with the flavor you have here you want Wither, and though that WILL mess with the set due to it having -1-1 counters, it does however balance out. Bushido being for everyone means Wither will have some interesting interactions going on.

Like I said these are just some brief ideas I thought of. The only thing I heavily encourage is elves for the UBG faction. Oni aren't evil they're just typically dumb as rocks and like smashing things together. Elves and their equivilants in all three of these mythologies are duplicitous and mysterious and will probably stab your kidneys.

khadgar567
2016-08-03, 01:33 AM
small question are we try to use fealty as color fixing mechanic like we want that red card in our blue/black deck but can't put any reds to support it so we just put a token and change it to something we have already have plenty of support

Jallorn
2016-08-03, 01:54 AM
Reading this thread in chunks every so often. Some ideas.

The WRB faction could go with Bloodlust. It's a fairly simple mechanic but one that could work, and provide a subtheme of "counters matter" that might fit the rest of the set quite well. It'd also make Bushido math more variable and interesting. Bloodrush could also work, I feel. Perhaps even better than Bloodlust, since it has a degree of self sacrifice to it. I am dying so that you may become stronger. It'd also leave us open, counter wise, for the actual true and best answer to the UBG faction.
Do you mean Bloodthirst? I'm not sure I see how it makes Bushido math more variable exactly? It could work, but it's more of a black/red mechanic, which doesn't touch on the enemy color emphasis we're going for. Bloodrush is similar, being a red/green mechanic.


The WBG faction could try out exalted. IT doesn't SUPER fit, but it sort of feels like it does. "Attacking alone" is a pretty brave thing, and the white+green aspect of it, flavorwise, would be them supporting his decision to attack forward. A group of unity through singularity would probably do something like that, I feel.
Exalted could actually work decently well for the Shogunate in a vacuum, being a mechanic that is very white, and a little green and a little black (and a little blue, but that's okay), but it's a very exclusive mechanic. If you're playing Exalted, then you're not playing non-Exalted, so Exalted really only works as a mostly universal mechanic, and doesn't work in the context of this set.


The UBG faction is interesting, though I'd like to make a note that unless it's been outdated, the idea of putting Oni here is probably not the best. Oni are firmly Red Green. They get in fights and have fun smashing stuff. Is there a thing in front of them that they think needs smashing? Smash it. The UBG faction is never going to be a big smashy one based on it's colours. It's poison and nastiness. In that case I actually recommend elves. You want to mix norse, celt, and japanese stuff? You want elves. They're nasty mysterious buggers who just kinda look at you weirdly and then stab you and take your money because you stepped into a ring of mushrooms. I'm going to say that with the flavor you have here you want Wither, and though that WILL mess with the set due to it having -1-1 counters, it does however balance out. Bushido being for everyone means Wither will have some interesting interactions going on.
Wither might be an interesting choice to consider, yeah.

I still haven't given up on the idea of five entirely original mechanics though, so original mechanics are definitely more likely to draw my eye.


small question are we try to use fealty as color fixing mechanic like we want that red card in our blue/black deck but can't put any reds to support it so we just put a token and change it to something we have already have plenty of support

So far, Fealty is being used to make a card that can fit into three decks by way of basically being a two color card where the second color is optional. So the White card with Fealty Red/Black is either a White/Red or a White/Black card, so you can play it as a 2/1 First Strike for WR in a WR, WRU, or WRG deck, as a 2/1 Deathtouch in a WB, WBU, or WBG deck, or as either in a WRB deck. It gives the card a lot of versatility, making it highly valuable in sealed, especially draft, and potentially strategically interesting in constructed.

I've just realized, any card that can give additional Fealties (and I'm now assuming that we're using the EtB version of Fealty if we're using it, since I think it's the most elegant) should be Rare and expensive, tricky to cast and powerful. This is because it needs to be the kind of card that has a place in constructed, but not a place in limited. Fealty in limited is about versatility in building, the security of knowing you can fit it into several builds. Fealty in constructed is about versatility in play, to be able to have whichever version is more necessary, and the potential of having both versions at once is more of a constructed bonus. We should also either do a cycle, or make it a single colorless card.

khadgar567
2016-08-03, 02:15 AM
So far, Fealty is being used to make a card that can fit into three decks by way of basically being a two color card where the second color is optional. So the White card with Fealty Red/Black is either a White/Red or a White/Black card, so you can play it as a 2/1 First Strike for WR in a WR, WRU, or WRG deck, as a 2/1 Deathtouch in a WB, WBU, or WBG deck, or as either in a WRB deck. It gives the card a lot of versatility, making it highly valuable in sealed, especially draft, and potentially strategically interesting in constructed.

I've just realized, any card that can give additional Fealties (and I'm now assuming that we're using the EtB version of Fealty if we're using it, since I think it's the most elegant) should be Rare and expensive, tricky to cast and powerful. This is because it needs to be the kind of card that has a place in constructed, but not a place in limited. Fealty in limited is about versatility in building, the security of knowing you can fit it into several builds. Fealty in constructed is about versatility in play, to be able to have whichever version is more necessary, and the potential of having both versions at once is more of a constructed bonus. We should also either do a cycle, or make it a single colorless card.
so what i say its true than we try to create a way to change our favorite cards color so we can used in both inquisition( aggressive church with delusional pope) deck and kurotaka deck same time

5a Violista
2016-08-03, 03:56 AM
WUR is an interesting challenge since it's a church like organization that isn't white or whiteblack to some degree, so a lot of the mechanics that have that kind of feel aren't really in it's colours. That being said, a theoretical possibility is perhaps maybe Auraswap? The aura's could symbolize meditations, religious protections, and other such divine gifts, but due to their inherent red nature they are capable of quickly shifting with but a thought or prayer. Or maybe the spirits are literally living blessings, and flavor wise all enchantments and auras in the set are caused by spirits attaching to someone. Maybe have a cycle of spirits that poof into creatures when broken. Hell, maybe we do Bestow! Bestow could work!.
This part made me think of a keyword mechanic we could do that fits the characterization of the Shirotsuro Church that we‘ve discussed earlier in the thread. It was probably the word “Auraswap“ so I‘ll call this new keyword “Spellswap“ : meaning, When you pay for/play this card, you may instead play target card of same converted mana cost and type that shares a color, from the graveyard. Then discard this card.

Blackhawk748
2016-08-03, 09:39 AM
Do you mean Bloodthirst? I'm not sure I see how it makes Bushido math more variable exactly? It could work, but it's more of a black/red mechanic, which doesn't touch on the enemy color emphasis we're going for. Bloodrush is similar, being a red/green mechanic.

Ya, but Bloodrush very much does fit the vibe we are going for, and im honestly surprised it isnt a Black mechanic as well.

Jallorn
2016-08-03, 02:28 PM
Ya, but Bloodrush very much does fit the vibe we are going for, and im honestly surprised it isnt a Black mechanic as well.

Perhaps, but it's not especially white. Extort might be decent for the Kurotaka, as a plunder sort of mechanic, though I'm not certain how much space for red it has. Perhaps a variant? Plunder: when this creature deals damage to an opponent, you may pay w/b. If you do, that opponent loses ine life, and you gain one life. Smarts a bit of a limited damage boost and lifelink. Perhaps switch back to each opponent, so you hit one with a creature and the others hurt too. Fluff wise, trade suffers when the Kurotaka raid. It still functions weirdly in single player though.

A thought: the fluff of the factions can still be malleable. So if we come up with a mechanic that fits the colors, but requires a change to elements of the factions, that could work.

Blue Ghost
2016-08-03, 02:57 PM
How about a mechanic that triggers when an opponent's creature dies? That would encourage removal and discourage the opponent blocking, which would fit the aggressive feel of the Clan.

Jallorn
2016-08-03, 10:07 PM
This part made me think of a keyword mechanic we could do that fits the characterization of the Shirotsuro Church that we‘ve discussed earlier in the thread. It was probably the word “Auraswap“ so I‘ll call this new keyword “Spellswap“ : meaning, When you pay for/play this card, you may instead play target card of same converted mana cost and type that shares a color, from the graveyard. Then discard this card.
It would need to be more limited than that I'd say. As is it's not quite as bad as making every spell into a reanimate spell, but its incredibly versatile.

How about a mechanic that triggers when an opponent's creature dies? That would encourage removal and discourage the opponent blocking, which would fit the aggressive feel of the Clan.

Morbid? I've added it to the list. Also, added Aura Swap as a possibility for the Spirits of the Aokoi, Surge as a consideration for the Tribe, and Totem Armor as a possible universal mechanic.

Special mention for Surge: its extremely similar to Harmony, probably enough so that Melody should be renamed Harmony now, and instead of Harmony we should consider Surge. In fact, I'm going to make that as official as I can (I seem to be mostly the main director here, but I don't want to be in any way dictatorial since I really value collaboration). The idea of Harmony has been done before as Surge, so henceforth we will consider it thus. Since Harmony is a better name than Melody, the idea of Melody will now be named Harmony.

Harmony, therefore is the ability that was written as, "Add this card's effects to the next instant or sorcery spell you cast this turn."

5a Violista
2016-08-04, 12:43 AM
It would need to be more limited than that I'd say. As is it's not quite as bad as making every spell into a reanimate spell, but its incredibly versatile.

Would it be better if it could only be replaced with sorceries? Spellswap: "When you play this card, you may instead play target Sorcery of same converted mana cost that shares a color, from your graveyard. Then discard this card."
Or would it be better to read "of the same or less converted mana cost"? Is there a way to make it less wordy?
Anyone else also have an opinion on this?


Also: I really like the ability "Harmony: Add this card's effects to the next instant or sorcery spell you cast this turn." I just like it. It's pretty cool.

Jallorn
2016-08-04, 02:15 AM
Would it be better if it could only be replaced with sorceries? Spellswap: "When you play this card, you may instead play target Sorcery of same converted mana cost that shares a color, from your graveyard. Then discard this card."
Or would it be better to read "of the same or less converted mana cost"? Is there a way to make it less wordy?
Anyone else also have an opinion on this?
Honestly, I think we'd need to do lots of playtesting to find the right balance, so I could be wrong, but any spell (including artifacts, creatures, enchantments, etc.) seems a bit too broad to me.


Also: I really like the ability "Harmony: Add this card's effects to the next instant or sorcery spell you cast this turn." I just like it. It's pretty cool.

I do as well. Right now, it's probably my favorite of the mechanics suggested for the Tribe just for the fluff alone, and the mechanics have some really interesting possibilities. I do worry that it's not intuitive enough, and might be a touch too complicated, but that's what playtesting is for. Also, I'd consider making it next spell, so it can synergize with the creatures green loves so much. It's also a mechanic that makes me want to include a Twincast spell or effect in the set just for the extra value. We do need to figure out, though, if Harmony is a result of casting the spell, so if its countered, the next spell still gets the copy effect, or if its part of the spell's resolution, meaning if you counter the original, there is no duplicate effect.

And I just figured out how a Kurotaka Extort effect should work:
Pillage: When this creature attacks another player, you may pay {W/B}. If you do, each opponent loses 1 life and you gain life equal to the life lost this way.
Assured damage, even if your creatures are blocked, using a white/black mechanic to support red aggression. Might want to include attacking Planeswalkers in the rules text. Might be some concern about mana with this strategy. Hmm maybe:
Pillage: When this creature attacks an opponent or a Planeswalker an opponent controls, you may pay {W/B} or tap a creature you control. If you do, each opponent loses 1 life and you gain life equal to the life lost this way.

khadgar567
2016-08-04, 03:05 AM
And I just figured out how a Kurotaka Extort effect should work:
Pillage: When this creature attacks another player, you may pay {W/B}. If you do, each opponent loses 1 life and you gain life equal to the life lost this way.
Assured damage, even if your creatures are blocked, using a white/black mechanic to support red aggression. Might want to include attacking Planeswalkers in the rules text. Might be some concern about mana with this strategy. Hmm maybe:
Pillage: When this creature attacks an opponent or a Planeswalker an opponent controls, you may pay {W/B} or tap a creature you control. If you do, each opponent loses 1 life and you gain life equal to the life lost this way.
Thats little bit to powerful sacriface one health for two or three heal is bit to much

Jallorn
2016-08-04, 11:57 AM
Thats little bit to powerful sacriface one health for two or three heal is bit to much

No? That's how extort works as is, just the trigger is when you cast a spell, while this is when you attack. Which is probably a good argument against being able to tap creatures to pay the cost, but we can hammer that out in playtesting.

And I have no clue what you mean by, "sacrifice one health for two or three heal," there's no sacrificing anything, certainly not health. The effect drains health from opponents.

Blue Ghost
2016-08-04, 01:03 PM
I don't see why the mana cost should be restricted to W/B, considering we're doing three-color factions. I'd recommend not including the "tap a creature" clause, as that adds unnecessary complications.

Jallorn
2016-08-04, 02:30 PM
Except there's no such thing as a tricolor mana symbol, and I don't consider this a good enough reason to go against the more experienced minds that decided it shouldn't be a thing. So since its primarily a black/white mechanic, black/white is the cost.

Blue Ghost
2016-08-04, 03:12 PM
Except there's no such thing as a tricolor mana symbol, and I don't consider this a good enough reason to go against the more experienced minds that decided it shouldn't be a thing. So since its primarily a black/white mechanic, black/white is the cost.

I was thinking generic mana, not tricolor mana. I don't really know why extort didn't use generic mana in the first place, except to frustrate the commander rules committee.

Jallorn
2016-08-04, 03:27 PM
I was thinking generic mana, not tricolor mana. I don't really know why extort didn't use generic mana in the first place, except to frustrate the commander rules committee.

That's an odd position. I'm not sure I understand it, it always seemed to make decent sense for Extort to be colored as its a colored mechanic. On the other hand, in this three color format, it does mean that any red card with Pillage would require a deck with white/red, and that makes it less versatile than we want it to be. Hmmm... anyone else care to weigh an opinion in on this?

What about no mana cost, just the, "tap a creature you control," cost? Makes vigilance into kind of a red mechanic, which I like a lot for the Kurotaka.

Jallorn
2016-08-05, 01:59 AM
First post update: Kurotaka clam has 3 mechanics flagged for playtesting, Aokame Shogunate has 2, Shirotsuro Church has 2, Akishishi Tribe has 3, and Spirits of Aokoi have 2. So we need three more solid mechanic ideas to move forward with playtesting.

Also I think someone else said it earlier, but to confirm: Tarkir had four commons in each faction with each unique mechanic. Also four uncommons and 1 to 3 (usually 3) rares. The exception is Dragons, where they had five commons. I am inclined, because of color balancing, to go with five commons so that we can have two enemy colored, two for the emphasized ally color, and one for the other ally color. Then in uncommons, we'd probably do two enemy and one each for allied.

So, when playtesting time comes around, we'll be creating fifteen commons for each faction (five for each mechanic) and we probably want a handful of non-mechanic commons as well (though fortunately, we can probably reuse those. We might want to also include any universal mechanics we want to use as well though. Personally I'd want to see Bushido and Fealty in there, and I could be persuaded if there's a strong supporter of Landfall, Settlement/Fortify, or Level Up. Totem Armor I've decided would make more sense in a second set, along with Ninjitsu. (Although if Aura Swap is the mechanic for the Spirits, then Totem Armor in a second set would make for some really powerful support, but that's probably an issue for playtesting that second set.)

Blue Ghost
2016-08-05, 01:46 PM
Maybe playtesting with preconstructed decks would be easier and faster to start? Sealed playtesting is crucial, of course, but it'll take more time to hammer out all the playtest commons. With precons, we can just make the cards we need for the decks, as few or as many as we need.

I'll be out of town for the weekend, but I'll be glad to help with playtesting when I get back.

Jallorn
2016-08-05, 02:12 PM
That sounds like a decent idea to me. It just occurred to me that we don't actually have to make all of the commons for each mechanic, just, like, three for each, to cover the three colors. Perhaps then, five decks, one for each faction, with space left open for the mechanics we're testing, but otherwise identical? Perhaps to limit our necessary work, use commons from an older set as the generics?

Amechra
2016-08-07, 09:26 AM
I've been looking, and I haven't been able to find anything about making precon decks for playtesting sets. I'm mostly unsure of how many commons we'd need to make.

Anyone else have more luck?

Jallorn
2016-08-07, 12:34 PM
Well, nothing specifically related to that, but the point, as I see it, is to figure out which of the mechanics fills a number of criteria (in no particular order):

First, to feel right for the colors and the flavor of the faction. This one should be generally filled for most of them, but it's possible that the mechanic doesn't play quite as we think it will.

Second, to be easily understood. For this, we ought to bring in other playtesters purely to see how easily they grasp each mechanic. The more clarification questions are needed the more closely we need to examine a mechanic and consider whether its just a rules phrasing issue, or if its simply too complex a rule.

Third, to be balanced. For some mechanics, this can be tweaked by the number that follows them, and would be so tweaked if chosen as a final mechanic, but if a mechanic is so good that no one wants to play anything else, then we may not want it as a final mechanic.

Finally, to be viable as a dip. This one might be trickiest to playtest with precon decks, but since one of our objectives is to keep the walls between color combinations lower despite the wedge structure of the set, we'll want to make sure that each of these mechanics is worth playing one or two cards in a deck that is mostly built around another strategy. If a mechanic is ok for dipping, and really good when focused, that might be okay. If a mechanic is so good when focused that it doesn't feel fun to dip because you're not getting the most of it, or if a mechanic is only good when focused and doesn't work as a dip, then we have a problem with that mechanic.

To the end of those qualities, we probably only need, I'm thinking, three cards of each mechanic, one for each color, to see how it functions in each of its colors. Perhaps we don't even need that many, but the point is that we only need enough to make sure that any game played will involve the mechanic being tested. We're not quite refining what these cards will look like, so much as we are seeing how the mechanic functions and interacts with the most basic elements of the game.

Blackhawk748
2016-08-07, 08:44 PM
I gotta say that i like Pillage, though i think i prefer the mana cost over the tap cost, but we can figure that out in playtesting.

Blue Ghost
2016-08-08, 12:35 AM
Here's a rough draft of a playtest deck for the Shogunate that I threw together, using legacy, prosperity, and fealty.

4x Honored Warrior
4x Shogun’s Vanguard
4x Revered Spirit
4x Shogunate Elite
4x Spiteful Giant
4x Stalwart Giant
4x Aokame Warlord
4x Show of Arms
4x Shogun’s Sanction
3x Sandsteppe Citadel
7x Forest
7x Swamp
7x Plains

Honored Samurai 1G
Creature – Human Samurai
Legacy 3G (3G: Return this card from your graveyard to the battlefield as an Aura enchantment attached to target creature. Exile it if it leaves the battlefield.)
Enchanted creature gets +2/+2.
2/2

Shogun’s Vanguard 1W
Creature – Human Samurai
Fealty (This card is all colors used to cast it.)
Shogun’s Vanguard has deathtouch as long as it is black.
2/1

Revered Spirit 2W
Creature – Spirit
Flying
Legacy 4W (4W: Return this card from your graveyard to the battlefield as an Aura enchantment attached to target creature. Exile it if it leaves the battlefield.)
Enchanted creature gets +2/+2 and has flying.
2/2

Shogunate Elite 2W
Creature – Human Samurai
Prosperity— If you have more life than each opponent, Shogunate Elite gets +1/+1.
2/3


Spiteful Giant 3B
Creature – Giant
Legacy 5B (5B: Return this card from your graveyard to the battlefield as an Aura enchantment attached to target creature. Exile it if it leaves the battlefield.)
Enchanted creature gets -3/-3.
3/3

Stalwart Giant 3G
Creature – Giant
Fealty (This card is all colors used to cast it.)
Stalwart Giant has vigilance as long as it’s white.
Stalwart Giant has lifelink as long as it’s black.
3/4

Aokame Warlord 4B
Creature – Human Samurai
Prosperity—If you have more life than each opponent, creatures you control have menace.
5/4

Show of Arms 1G
Sorcery
Target creature you control fights target creature you don’t control.
Prosperity—If you have more life than each opponent, instead the creature you control deals damage equal to its power to the creature you don’t control.

Shogun’s Sanction 2B
Sorcery
Fealty (This card is all colors used to cast it.)
Target creature gets -3/-3 until end of turn. If Shogun’s Sanction is white, you gain 3 life. If Shogun’s Sanction is green, untap target land.

Jallorn
2016-08-08, 01:43 AM
See, now that's not how I'd have done it. I don't see that it makes sense to put all of those mechanics into a single deck, since we're only going with one. It will probably mean more playtesting, but our results will be less contaminated by the interaction of effects that are mutually incompatible. I am, as ever, open to counter arguments.

-And it just occurred to me that perhaps you're intending Prosperity as a universal mechanic? I don't think so, since we never talked about it as such, but if you are then I guess it's fine? If not, I strongly advocate separating it from Legacy. I also still think that Prosperity might be too much of a win-more mechanic, but I'm certainly open to testing that in play if you're a strong advocate of the ability.

If you strip out one of the mechanics, don't be afraid to include some generic commons that don't have any abilities as replacements. I'd figured on having plenty of those in the playtest.

I also think that we should test the more powerful versions (and perhaps we should put together a deck or two purely using another set for a power comparison?) of abilities. I know you've expressed a desire to have weaker commons only have one fealty ability, but we'll really only know if a Shogun Vanguard that also has a green fealty ability is too much if we test it, so I think it's better to start the testing with more and strip things than to start with less and add things. Especially since, for that particular card, it would be an aspect of testing a card's flexibility and versatility rather than pure power because it can only have one fealty at a time.

For further specific effects:

Prosperity should maybe include, "Or are tied for most."

I'm mixed about the Spiteful Giant. On the one hand, it is a very black ability, and could represent a death curse, but on the other, I almost feel like Legacy should be, due to fluff, a purely self-buffing ability, a matter of having inherited the Legacy of a past (and passed) member of society. I say playtest with it for now, mostly because I think it will turn out to be a more powerful effect than a common should have, but also because I think that on a higher rarity card with the right fluff (I don't think Spiteful Giant is quite right for that effect as a variant of Legacy, it ought to be something a little more witchy and blatantly curse-y) could make it okay. Although I do like the diversity of a Bestow-like card giving something other than precisely what the card is as a creature.

Some thoughts on Legacy: in some ways its more powerful than Bestow because it works into the curve more easily. You can play it on curve as a creature, and then later on curve as an enchantment, rather than Bestow making you choose between on curve creature, or later as enchantment. I think that grabbing the idea of Legacy not giving an identical enchantment to what it is, perhaps just a little less, say +1/+1 and Flying for that Spirit, rather than +2/+2, might give two benefits: balancing it in comparison to Bestow, and differentiating it from it. Legacy could even give a totally different benefit, such as a big green trampler, that gives Regeneration as a Legacy effect, and not Trample. Though that might be a bit too complicated.

For now, though, stick with the full effect versions I'd say, due to my philosophy of starting big and pulling back.

5a Violista
2016-08-08, 02:52 AM
Here's a rough draft of a playtest deck for the Shogunate that I threw together, using legacy, prosperity, and fealty.

4x Honored Warrior
4x Shogun’s Vanguard
4x Revered Spirit
4x Shogunate Elite
4x Spiteful Giant
4x Stalwart Giant
4x Aokame Warlord
4x Show of Arms
4x Shogun’s Sanction
3x Sandsteppe Citadel
7x Forest
7x Swamp
7x Plains

Honored Samurai 1G
Creature – Human Samurai
Legacy 3G (3G: Return this card from your graveyard to the battlefield as an Aura enchantment attached to target creature. Exile it if it leaves the battlefield.)
Enchanted creature gets +2/+2.
2/2

Shogun’s Vanguard 1W
Creature – Human Samurai
Fealty (This card is all colors used to cast it.)
Shogun’s Vanguard has deathtouch as long as it is black.
2/1

Revered Spirit 2W
Creature – Spirit
Flying
Legacy 4W (4W: Return this card from your graveyard to the battlefield as an Aura enchantment attached to target creature. Exile it if it leaves the battlefield.)
Enchanted creature gets +2/+2 and has flying.
2/2

Shogunate Elite 2W
Creature – Human Samurai
Prosperity— If you have more life than each opponent, Shogunate Elite gets +1/+1.
2/3


Spiteful Giant 3B
Creature – Giant
Legacy 5B (5B: Return this card from your graveyard to the battlefield as an Aura enchantment attached to target creature. Exile it if it leaves the battlefield.)
Enchanted creature gets -3/-3.
3/3

Stalwart Giant 3G
Creature – Giant
Fealty (This card is all colors used to cast it.)
Stalwart Giant has vigilance as long as it’s white.
Stalwart Giant has lifelink as long as it’s black.
3/4

Aokame Warlord 4B
Creature – Human Samurai
Prosperity—If you have more life than each opponent, creatures you control have menace.
5/4

Show of Arms 1G
Sorcery
Target creature you control fights target creature you don’t control.
Prosperity—If you have more life than each opponent, instead the creature you control deals damage equal to its power to the creature you don’t control.

Shogun’s Sanction 2B
Sorcery
Fealty (This card is all colors used to cast it.)
Target creature gets -3/-3 until end of turn. If Shogun’s Sanction is white, you gain 3 life. If Shogun’s Sanction is green, untap target land.


What a coincidence; I was just making a sample Common deck for URG Akashishi Tribe. Basically, I just need to work out how much things cost to summon and how powerful effects should be, which is the hardest part.

LaZodiac
2016-08-08, 02:58 AM
See, now that's not how I'd have done it. I don't see that it makes sense to put all of those mechanics into a single deck, since we're only going with one. It will probably mean more playtesting, but our results will be less contaminated by the interaction of effects that are mutually incompatible. I am, as ever, open to counter arguments.

Testing one mechanic at a time is woefully slow and not actually how this works. This is a simple playtest to determine "how the mechanics play, at all". Once playtesting is done to see how those mechanics actually feel to play, then we'd do more indepth playtesting to refine the keywords.

Also it's important to have this amount of keywords in the sample deck to ensure "we get them". There is no point in playtesting if the games aren't played as if they are regular games of Magic.

5a Violista
2016-08-08, 03:59 AM
What a coincidence; I was just making a sample Common deck for URG Akashishi Tribe. Basically, I just need to work out how much things cost to summon and how powerful effects should be, which is the hardest part.

So, finished.

7x Forest, 7x Mountain, 7x Island
3x Frontier Bivouac

3x Spiritual Advice
3x Ballad of Secrets
3x Eloquent Bard
3x Flame Song
3x Curious Engineer
3x Inspiring Skald
3x Healing Song
3x Kami of Knowledge
3x Studious Bard
3x Hidden Archive
2x Spirit Fire
2x Animist Priest
2x Countertune



Fealty: This card is all colors used to cast it (I didn't write it this way in the cards below, so replace "Fealty to <color>" with "If this card is <color>")
Harmony: The next time you cast a spell this turn, add this card's effects to that spell
Spellswap: (from a different faction, but that faction shares 2 colors and this card could fit either faction; I just wanted to see how it would interact with Harmony) When you cast this spell, you may instead cast a spell that shares a type and color, with CMC X or less from your graveyard.

1: 3U. Spiritual Advice. Sorcery. Harmony, Fealty. Look at top 3 cards of your library and put them in any order. Fealty to Green: Draw a card.

2: 2UU. Ballad of Secrets. Sorcery. Draw 2 cards; Harmony.

3: 1U. Eloquent Bard. Creature – Human Mystic. 1/1. Tap, Red: target creature gains Haste; Harmony.

4: 1R. Flame Song. Sorcery. Harmony. Deal 3 damage to target player or creature.

5: 2RR. Curious Engineer. Fealty. Creature - Human Artificer. 2/1. Exile target artifact upon entering battlefield. Fealty to Blue: tap, XUU: Create artifact token identical to exiled artifact, where X is that artifact’s converted mana cost.

6: 3RR; Inspiring Skald. Creature – Giant Druid. 4/2. Trample. Tap: target creature gains trample until end of turn.

7: 1G; Healing Song. Sorcery. Harmony. Gain 2 life.

8: 1GG; Kami of Knowledge. Creature – Spirit Druid. 2/1. Fealty Red/Blue. Fealty Red: Tap, RR, next sorcery you cast has Harmony. Fealty Blue: Tap, next sorcery you cast costs 1 less.

9: G; Studious Bard. Creature – Human Shaman. 1/1. 3U: Draw a card

10: 3; Hidden Archive. Artifact. Tap: add 1 colorless mana to mana pool. Tap and Sacrifice: draw a card

11: 3R; Spirit Fire. Sorcery. Deal 4 damage to target player. Spellswap.

12: 3G; Animist Priest. Creature – Giant Shaman. 3/2. 1,tap: untap target land, Harmony

13: 1UU; Countertune. Instant. Harmony, Counter target spell.




I may have done the cost of them wrong, and I haven't put in the reminder text yet.
With two sample Common Decks made, we can start our first playtest while the other three decks are being made.

Blue Ghost
2016-08-08, 01:39 PM
@Jallorn: I see your point, but I think a more scattershot approach would be best for early playtesting. Test as many different things as possible, to see what has the most potential. These mechanics are definitely not going to be all in the final product, but I'd like all of them to get some exposure. Yes, there will be issues with mechanical incompatibility, but I think we should be able to separate them from issues inherent to the mechanics themselves, which are what we're most concerned about here.

No, not proposing prosperity as a universal mechanic, just a potential one for the Clan or the Shogunate. I also have concerns about it being win-more, but I'd like to test it and see if it has potential.

Power level shouldn't be our main concern right now, unless we find that a mechanic is inherently difficult to balance. We can tweak the numbers later; our main concern is seeing which mechanics have potential to play well.

Commons having only one fealty ability isn't a matter of power, but of complexity. I included a card with a single fealty ability and another card with two, so we can test it both ways and see which plays better. I'd have liked to include a card with two fealty abilities and only one generic mana, but didn't have space in the deck for it.

I can see prosperity going either way. Don't know if we should split it right now; even in a playtest, that might be too confusing. But I can see testing it with allowing ties in the future, if it passes the first playtest.

I'm not sure on Spiteful Giant either. I included it as a potential use of harmony to test; might not make it into our final product.


@Viola: That looks workable for a playtest deck. Might have some issues, but I think playing would be more efficient for discovering them than armchair discussion.

Shall we start doing some playtests then? We should find a channel for communication. I'm available on Skype, or anything else anyone prefers.

Amechra
2016-08-08, 02:11 PM
What were the mechanics decided on for the Aokoi again? I might try my hand at making a deck for them.

Also, I'm... unsure how Eloquent Bard and Animist Priest's Harmony effects work.

Jallorn
2016-08-08, 02:19 PM
I've got a lists of proposed mechanics and smaller lists of once I flagged for playtesting in the first post. Bottom spoiler. I'll see if I can't scrape together a Church playtest deck then.

And yeah, Harmony is pretty much just an instant/sorcery mechanic.

Amechra
2016-08-08, 02:30 PM
Alright, I'll work on it.

5a Violista
2016-08-08, 02:59 PM
Also, I'm... unsure how Eloquent Bard and Animist Priest's Harmony effects work.

I was thinking "This ability would be extremely limited if it could only applied to Sorceries and Instants; I wonder if applying it to activated abilities would make sense and be clear." Almost thought-for-thought what I was thinking. It would still work the same as-written: When an activated ability with Harmony is used, its effect is also added to the next spell cast. I don't know if it would work or if it needs to be reworded, but I feel it's worth playtesting to see.



@Viola: That looks workable for a playtest deck. Might have some issues, but I think playing would be more efficient for discovering them than armchair discussion.

Shall we start doing some playtests then? We should find a channel for communication. I'm available on Skype, or anything else anyone prefers.
Yes, let's start some playtests. If someone else wants to use this deck, feel free.

I don't have Skype, and I don't know any other communication channels, other than IRC. So, are there other better ones that anyone knows of?

Amechra
2016-08-08, 04:10 PM
Here's the Aokoi sample deck - I'll try to make it nice and pretty later.

Island x7, Swamp x7, Forest x7
Opulent Palace x3

CREATURES
Wise Oni x3
Bitterheart Banshee x3
Frostheart Maiden x3
Loretrader Elf x3
Sapmaw Librarian x2

ENCHANTMENTS
Flowering Mantle x3
Scholar's Mantle x3
Loreflooded Mind x3
Wilderness Library x3
Halls of the Fae x2
Whimsy Lorevault x2

INSTANTS/SORCERIES
Mischievous Denial x3
Faerie Bargain x3

Wise Oni {1B} Creature - Demon 1/2
Fealty (This card is all colors used to cast it.)
Wise Oni has "Insight - an opponent discards a card" as long as it is blue.
Wise Oni has +1/+1 as long as it is green.

Bitterheart Banshee {1UU} Creature - Spirit 1/2
Flying, Fealty (This card is all colors used to cast it.)
Insight - Tap target creature; it doesn't untap during its controller's next upkeep. If Bitterheart Banshee is black, that creature's controller discards a card.

Frostheart Maiden (2UG) Creature - Fairy Rogue 2/5
Whenever a creature blocks Frostheart Maiden, tap it. It doesn't untap during its owner's next upkeep.
Insight - Target creature blocks Frostheart Maiden this turn if able.

Loretrader Elf {1G} Creature - Elf Wizard 1/1
Fealty (This card is all colors used to cast it.)
Loretrader Elf has "Insight - add GG to your mana pool" as long as it is blue.
Loretrader Elf has "Discard a card: add G to your mana pool" as long as it is black.

Sapmaw Librarian {3UG} Creature - Spirit Wizard 3/4
Whenever an Aura you control is returned to your hand, draw a card.
Insight - Put a 1/1 Green Saproling token onto the battlefield.

Flowering Mantle {1G} Enchantment - Aura
Enchant Creature
Enchanted Creature gains "T: Add one mana that shares a color with this creature to your mana pool".
Aura Swap {2G}

Scholar's Mantle {U} Enchantment - Aura
Enchant Creature
Enchanted Creature gains "Insight - Scry 1".
Aura Swap {1U}

Loreflooded Mind {1UU} Enchantment - Aura
Fealty (This card is all colors used to cast it.)
Enchanted Creature gains "Insight - untap this creature".
The enchanted creature's controller loses 2 life whenever it untaps if Loreflooded Mind is black.

Wilderness Library {2G} Enchantment - Aura
Enchant Land
Whenever the enchanted land becomes tapped, draw a card.
Aura Swap {3G}

Halls of the Fae {1G} Enchantment - Aura
Enchant Land
Whenever you would return an Aura to your hand, you may return the enchanted land to your hand instead.

Whimsy Lorevault {3U} Enchantment
When Whimsy Lorevault enters the battlefield, exile the top card of your library.
Insight - Exile the top card of your library.
{2} Put a card exiled by Whimsy Lorevault into your hand.

Mischievous Denial {1UU} Instant
Fealty (This card is all colors used to cast it.)
Return target permanent to its owner's hand.
If Mischievous Denial is black, that permanent's owner also discards a card.
If Mischievous Denial is green, put a +1/+1 counter on a creature you control.

Faerie Bargain {2UB} Sorcery
Return a permanent you control and a permanent target opponent controls to your hands.
Then you draw a card and that opponent discards a card.

5a Violista
2016-08-08, 04:56 PM
(Noticed a slight error: you put "Plains" instead of "Forest" at the beginning of the deck)

I like it, though. It looks pretty neat.

Amechra
2016-08-08, 06:02 PM
(Noticed a slight error: you put "Plains" instead of "Forest" at the beginning of the deck)

I like it, though. It looks pretty neat.

I fixed it. I also made Loretrader Elf a bit stronger - the Insight trigger now gives you GG. I can change it back to G if people think that's too much ramp.

Not sure how it will play, though.

EDIT: I also have an idea for the Shirotsuro testing deck.

Blue Ghost
2016-08-08, 06:32 PM
Are you using the version of insight that triggers whenever you draw a card? If so, making the opponent discard a card/locking down a creature every turn would probably be quite excessive.

Amechra
2016-08-08, 08:00 PM
Yes, I am.

I stuck the discard effects onto creatures with tiny bodies for a reason - you'll get them for a few turns at most.

EDIT: Also, this is what playtesting is for - if it shakes out as too weak or too strong, we can go from there.

Rerem115
2016-08-08, 08:32 PM
Yes, I am.

I stuck the discard effects onto creatures with tiny bodies for a reason - you'll get them for a few turns at most.


I beg to differ. A 1/3 flyer for 3, in Blue of all colors is pretty big. Targeted lockdown and messing with your opponent's hand every time you draw a card (and you're playing UB, so you're going to be drawing cards) is a significant rider on a creature that would already be decent in draft.

Amechra
2016-08-08, 08:36 PM
To be honest, I kinda threw numbers at the wall. You might want to drop it to a 1/1 or 1/2.

EDIT: I shrunk Bitterheart Banshee to a 1/2 - and I think someone else should do the Shirotsuro deck.

Jallorn
2016-08-08, 08:47 PM
To be honest, I kinda threw numbers at the wall. You might want to drop it to a 1/1 or 1/2.

EDIT: I shrunk Bitterheart Banshee to a 1/2 - and I think someone else should do the Shirotsuro deck.

I'm working on it. Distractedly, admittedly, so it's slow going, but it is going.

Jallorn
2016-08-08, 10:14 PM
Shirotsuro Playtest deck

Mountain x7, Plains x7, Island x7
Mystic Monastery x3

Creatures:
Acolyte of the First Circle x4
Crusader of the Shirotsuro x4
Hamlet Father x3
Martyr's Yurei x4
Pious Samurai x4
Fae Scholar x3
Sage Dragon x2

Spells:
Ancestor's Blessing x3
Fury of the Faithful x4
Remembrance of Past Lives x3
Crisis of Faith x2

Acolyte of the First Circle - Human W
1/1, Reincarnation 3 (When this creature dies, you may put a creature into play whose converted mana cost is equal to or less than 3.)

Crusader of the Shirotsuro - Human Warrior 3R
3/2, Haste, Reincarnation 4 (When this creature dies, you may put a creature into play whose converted mana cost is equal to or less than 4.)

Hamlet Father - Human Cleric 2U
1/2, When Hamlet Father enters the battlefield, tap target creature an opponent controls. That creature does not untap during its controller's next untap step. Reincarnation 5. (When this creature dies, you may put a creature into play whose converted mana cost is equal to or less than 5.)

Martyr's Yurei - Spirit 1R
2/1, Fealty (This creature is all colors of mana used to summon it.)
As long as Martyr's Yurei is white, it has First Strike.
As long as Martyr's Yurei is blue, it has Flying.

Pious Samurai - Human Samurai 3W
2/3, Bushido 1, Vigilance, Fealty (This creature is all colors of mana used to summon it.)
As long as Pious Samurai is blue, it has Hexproof.

Fae Scholar - Fairy 2U
1/3, Flying, Fealty (This creature is all colors of mana used to summon it.)
As long as Fae Scholar is white, it has Lifelink.
As long as Fae Scholar is red, it has, {R}: Fae Scholar gains +1/+0 until end of turn.

Sage Dragon - Dragon 3UU
5/5, Flying

Ancestor's Blessing - Sorcery 3W
Put two 1/1 white Spirit creature tokens with Flying onto the battlefield. Spellswap. (When you cast this spell, you may counter it to cast a spell with the same converted mana cost or less from your graveyard instead.)

Fury of the Faithful - Instant 3R
Fury of the Faithful deals 5 damage divided as you choose among any number of target creatures. Spellswap. (When you cast this spell, you may counter it to cast a spell with the same converted mana cost or less from your graveyard instead.)

Remembrance of Past Lives - Sorcery 3U
Draw two cards. Spellswap. (When you cast this spell, you may counter it to cast a spell with the same converted mana cost or less from your graveyard instead.)
If you Spellswap Remembrance of Past Lives, you may pay {U}. If you do, draw a card.

Crisis of Faith - Sorcery 2U
Return up to two target creatures from the battlefield to their owner's hand. You may pay 1RU instead of this card's normal mana cost to cast Crisis of Faith as if it had Flash.

Blackhawk748
2016-08-09, 01:25 AM
Ill get around to a Kurotaka deck at some point.

5a Violista
2016-08-09, 11:08 PM
So...
since I don't have Skype and other people haven't brought up other ideas:
We could use the play-by-post on this forum to playtest. Downsides: it will take a lot longer.

Or, actually, the play-by-post may work if it's also paired with Skype for those who have it, or IRC for those who don't.
Or we could use that Cockatrice that was linked back in post 85? How does that work? Now that we've got decks to playtest, we do need to figure out a method to do it.

Also, after the Kurotaka sampledeck is built, we can begin looking at Sealed(?) playtesting. But first, need to begin it.

Jallorn
2016-08-09, 11:46 PM
I think sealed should wait until we've chosen the mechanics we're using and have commons, at least, under solid construction.

Also, I didn't say it before, but wrt the Reincarnation mechanic, ETB Fealty is vastly preferable to mana cost Fealty, since a creature that enters through Reincarnation technically becomes colorless.

Actually, any creature that isn't cast when entering the battlefield under mana cost Fealty as written is colorless. That seems like not what we want.

I was also thinking I might print out these decks and have some of my magic playing friends playtest and give feedback. It wouldn't happen for probably a week or two, but I've been planning to use them as playtesters for a while.

Rerem115
2016-08-09, 11:52 PM
Hmmmm.....Why not combine the two? Have the effect be Fealty: You may cast this card by paying [Blank] instead of its converted mana cost. If you do so, [Blank] happens.

*Edit*
That still wouldn't solve the Reincarnation issue. Maybe have Reincarnation be this? Reincarnation: When this creature is sent to the graveyard from the battlefield, you gain [Blank] mana that you can use to cast a creature as though it had Flash. You can only use this mana to cast a creature card. You cannot use mana from any other source with Reincarnation mana.

Jallorn
2016-08-10, 12:00 AM
Hmmmm.....Why not combine the two? Have the effect be Fealty: You may cast this card by paying [Blank] instead of its converted mana cost. If you do so, [Blank] happens.

First, I can see that being much wordier, especially if a creature has multiple Fealties, limiting the way we can use it, especially if we want it alongside other key mechanics (at higher rarity of course). It also doesn't solve the limitation imposed on Reincarnation, though only playtesting would be able to tell us if that's good or not. Frankly, right now, EtB Fealty, as a sort of specialized Kicker, is my preferred version, but since the first deck wrote Fealty as the mana cost version, that's what we're playtesting right now.

Ah, I see you edited in noticing the non-solution for Reincarnation. Again, it's wordier, although that's not a terrible thought if such a rewrite were needed. In case I'm being too oblique in my reference, EtB Fealty was a version suggested where Fealty is an ability that triggers whenever a creature enters the battlefield, allowing you to pay a mana and give the creature the color of that mana and some ability. It makes certain designs, such as the 2 drops, a little more awkward to design, since a creature swearing Fealty always costs one mana more than one without, but it seems to otherwise be somewhat more elegant.

I also just recalled that I was thinking that Spellswap would probably be best for the Spirits of the Aokoi, because its graveyard focus is more Black/Blue, or even very Blue/Green with its flexibility of resources being somewhat reminiscent of Simic's Graft and the way Simic usually plays with somewhat mobile counters. It doesn't hurt that Green sometimes does graveyard shenanigans. Disclaimer: My fervent support for Reincarnation as the Church mechanic may have a little bit of influence in this opinion.

Amechra
2016-08-10, 12:37 AM
Fealty {*} (When this card enters the battlefield, you may pay its mana cost. If you do, it is also that color.)

* is a single or double mana symbol.

=---=

Here's a few mock-ups of Bitterheart Banshee as examples of how that'd fit (I like v.3, which is a bit weaker than what has been written up previously.)

IMGUR needs to go smack itself, seriously. (http://imgur.com/a/SDou7)


EDIT: I was planning on mocking up cards for the Aokoi deck, just because that makes Cockatrice easier.

Jallorn
2016-08-10, 01:02 AM
Might need reminder text for Insight as well, though I suppose we haven't really settled on exactly when that is relevant. For now I'd go with, "Whenever you draw a card..." in which case I agree, that tapping is enough, and preventing untapping is too much for a 2 drop.

We might want a new name for Insight if we use it, I keep thinking it's Inspired. Not a giant deal, but it would probably be better for comprehension to use a less similar name. Perhaps Divination?

Blue Ghost
2016-08-10, 01:54 PM
For playtests, I think we should use an IRC channel to coordinate, and Cockatrice to do the playtesting. Just install the program, and we can add our cards to it.

Blackhawk748
2016-08-10, 04:43 PM
Just giving a heads up that im still working on Kurotaka. The deck im making will be using Morbid as its the mechanic im most comfortable making cards with

Jallorn
2016-08-10, 06:21 PM
Just giving a heads up that im still working on Kurotaka. The deck im making will be using Morbid as its the mechanic im most comfortable making cards with

Well, the point of this phase is to compare mechanics and see how they function and which we want to go with, so we should include at least one more mechanic. If you want someone else to help with those cards, we certainly can.

Blue Ghost
2016-08-10, 07:40 PM
I believe the idea for morbid came out of my pillage suggestion? What I had in mind wasn't quite the same as morbid. It was an ability that triggers whenever an opponent's creature dies. Morbid is a condition ability word, like delirium--either a creature died this turn, or it didn't. I don't think it's quite the right feel for Kurotaka.

Blackhawk748
2016-08-10, 08:35 PM
I believe the idea for morbid came out of my pillage suggestion? What I had in mind wasn't quite the same as morbid. It was an ability that triggers whenever an opponent's creature dies. Morbid is a condition ability word, like delirium--either a creature died this turn, or it didn't. I don't think it's quite the right feel for Kurotaka.

I like that ability more, im just not sure quite what to do with it. Morbid was pretty simple, thing dies, hand out bonus, move on.

I mean an easy thing to do with the ability your suggesting is "When an opponents creature dies gain 1 life." and while that is a neat ability on, say, an enchantment, im not real sure what else to do with it.


Clan Martyr 1W
Human Cleric
Sacrifice Clan Martyr: Prevent all combat damage that would be dealt this turn
1/1

Crow Caller 2B
Human Wizard
Morbid: When Crow Caller enters the battlefield, if a creature died this turn you may put 2 1/1 Black Crow Tokens with flying onto the battlefield
1/1

Kurotaka Warcaller 2R
Human Samurai
Bushido 1
Morbid: If a creature died this turn all creatures you control gain +1/+1 until end of turn

Kurotaka Deathmage 2B
Human Wizard
T: Target creature takes -1/-1 until end of turn
B T: Sacrifice Kurotaka Deathmage: Kurotaka Deathmage deals 2 damage on up to 3 target creatures.
1/1

Kurotaka Blademaster 3W
Human Samurai
Bushido 2
Morbid: If a creature died this turn increase the Bushido value of all creatures you control by 1.
2/2

Clan Fanatic 1R
Human Berzerker
Sacrifice Clan Fanatic: Tap target creature, it doesnt untap during its controllers next untap step
1/1


Deathmage and Crow Caller are definitely uncommons, Blademaster may be too.

Blue Ghost
2016-08-11, 01:06 AM
"Whenever a creature an opponent controls dies, put a +1/+1 counter on ~."
"Whenever a creature an opponent controls dies, you draw a card and lose 1 life."
"Whenever a creature an opponent controls dies, add RR to your mana pool."

The possibilities are endless.

Amechra
2016-08-13, 10:38 AM
Kurotaka Deathmage's tap effect should probably cost R (and should cost more).

Blackhawk748
2016-08-13, 11:35 AM
Ok, heres the deck


7 Plains, 7 Mountains, 7 Swamps
3 Clan Shrines

Creatures
3 Clan Fanatics
3 Clan Martyrs
3 Crow Callers
3 Howling Hordes
3 Kurotaka Warcallers
3 Kurotaka Warcallers
3 Kurotaka Shieldbreakers
3 Kurotaka Clansmen
3 Kurotaka Reapers

Instants
3 Lightning Bolts

Sorcery
2 Feed the Crows

Enchantments
2 Carrion Calls
2 Funeral Pyres

Creatures
Clan Fanatic 1R
Human Berzerker
Sacrifice Clan Fanatic: Tap target creature, it doesnt untap during its controllers next untap step
1/1

Clan Martyr 1W
Human Cleric
Sacrifice Clan Martyr: Prevent all combat damage that would be dealt this turn
1/1

Crow Caller 2B
Human Wizard
Bloodlust: When Crow Caller enters the battlefield, if a creature your opponent controls died this turn, put 2 1/1 Black Crow Tokens with Flying onto the battlefield.
1/1

Howling Horde 2R
Human Berzerkers
Trample
Howling Horde enters the battlefield with a number of +1/+1 counters on it equal to the number of Humans you control.
0/0

Kurotaka Warcaller 2R
Human Samurai
Bushido 1
Sacrifice a creature you control: all creatures you control gain +1/+1 until end of turn
1/1

Kurotaka Blademaster 3W
Human Samurai
Bushido 2
Bloodlust: If a creature your opponent controls died this turn increase the Bushido value of all creatures you control by 1.
2/2

Kurotaka Shieldbreaker 4R
Human Warrior
Haste
R: Kurotaka Shieldbreaker gains +1/+0 until end of turn
4/3

Kurotaka Clansmen 4W
Human Samurai
Bushido 2, Vigilance
3/4

Kurotaka Reapers 2B
Human Warrior
Bushido 1
Bloodlust: When Kurotaka Reaper enters the battlefield, if an opponents creature died this turn, it gains Deathtouch.
2/2

Sorcery
Feed the Crows 2BR
Sorcery
Destroy target creature and put a number of 1/1 Black Crow tokens with Flying onto the battlefield equal to that creatures Toughness.

Enchantments
Funeral Pyre 2WR
Enchantment
Whenever a creature you control dies, gain 1 life.

Carrion Call 2BB
Enchantment
2 Sacrifice a creature you control: put a number of 1/1 Black Crow Tokens with Flying onto the battlefield equal to the sacrificed creatures Toughness. Activate this ability only as a sorcery.

Lands
Clan Shrine
T: add one W, R, or B mana to your mana pool.


Yes i brought in Lightning bolt but i feel it mixes well with the rest of the deck.

Jallorn
2016-08-13, 12:30 PM
The problem with Martyr as, "If a creature you control died this turn, do X," is that most of the time that will be after combat unless the deck is committed to sacrifice effects, making them largely useless for creature buff effects, which they currently are. This is extremely limiting on the mechanic because it places severe limits on the decks it can be in. If the mechanic requires self-sacrifice effects, it should simply be a sacrifice effect. If it needs other cards to sacrifice creatures, then you've placed a limit on the creative freedom of such a deck and killed it in draft.

That said, a rare (or maybe uncommon) that reads, "Whenever a creature you control Martyrs itself, you may activate the Martyr abilities of each other creature you control without sacrificing them," would be a really fun card.

You also changed what Pillage does. I realize that its hard to fit a third mechanic into these decks and feel like its getting tested properly, so while I do think Pillage should be tested, I'm understand its not being in the deck. However, since we did say that Pillage is an Extort variant ability, taking its name for a Morbid variant ability will make things confusing, so you ought to use a different name. If we go with it and we like Pillage as a better name, then we can switch it then, but right now its important to be able to differentiate between abilities that are, at their core, different (as opposed to different versions of the same ability).

Do keep in mind, that the point here, beyond creating a complete deck, is to playtest and compare mechanics. The goal isn't so much balance or fun, as it is to see how the mechanics work.

I hope I'm not coming off as overly negative, I don't mean to be berating or anything, I just think that this deck kind of missed the mark in a few ways.

Amechra
2016-08-13, 02:31 PM
re:Balance and fun - Yeah, the Aokoi deck kinda has nowhere to go other than "draw/discard/tap ALL THE THINGS".

Blackhawk748
2016-08-13, 02:42 PM
The problem with Martyr as, "If a creature you control died this turn, do X," is that most of the time that will be after combat unless the deck is committed to sacrifice effects, making them largely useless for creature buff effects, which they currently are. This is extremely limiting on the mechanic because it places severe limits on the decks it can be in. If the mechanic requires self-sacrifice effects, it should simply be a sacrifice effect. If it needs other cards to sacrifice creatures, then you've placed a limit on the creative freedom of such a deck and killed it in draft.

This is true, Martyr felt an awful lot like "Sac creature, do X" which doesnt really need a keyword, though i do like the effects that some of them are doing.


That said, a rare (or maybe uncommon) that reads, "Whenever a creature you control Martyrs itself, you may activate the Martyr abilities of each other creature you control without sacrificing them," would be a really fun card.

Thoughts for later.


You also changed what Pillage does. I realize that its hard to fit a third mechanic into these decks and feel like its getting tested properly, so while I do think Pillage should be tested, I'm understand its not being in the deck. However, since we did say that Pillage is an Extort variant ability, taking its name for a Morbid variant ability will make things confusing, so you ought to use a different name. If we go with it and we like Pillage as a better name, then we can switch it then, but right now its important to be able to differentiate between abilities that are, at their core, different (as opposed to different versions of the same ability).

I got that idea from something Blue Ghost said a little upthread about how Morbid came out of his Pillage suggestion, so i apparently mis-interpreted that. Ill call this one Raid.


Do keep in mind, that the point here, beyond creating a complete deck, is to playtest and compare mechanics. The goal isn't so much balance or fun, as it is to see how the mechanics work.

I hope I'm not coming off as overly negative, I don't mean to be berating or anything, I just think that this deck kind of missed the mark in a few ways.

Its fine, i was kind of winging it as Sacrifice based mechanics aren't really a thing i usually use. So i think im gonna drop Martyr as a keyword and change the name of Pillage to Raid.

Edit: Keywords have been changed

Jallorn
2016-08-13, 02:44 PM
re:Balance and fun - Yeah, the Aokoi deck kinda has nowhere to go other than "draw/discard/tap ALL THE THINGS".

Well, Aura Swap does something different. Although I'm not actually sure what you're meaning here? Do you mean that this is a problem, or that this is a consequence of what we're really trying to test?

Also, Raid is the Mardu mechanic. Perhaps... Bloodlust?

Blackhawk748
2016-08-13, 02:53 PM
Also, Raid is the Mardu mechanic. Perhaps... Bloodlust?

Bugger. Bloodlust should work, ill swap that out.

Amechra
2016-08-13, 03:00 PM
Well, Aura Swap does something different. Although I'm not actually sure what you're meaning here? Do you mean that this is a problem, or that this is a consequence of what we're really trying to test?

It's a consequence, not a bad thing. And Sapmaw Librarian/Halls of the Fey are really just my attempt to make Aura Swap actually synergise with Insight (the first because it slaps a cantrip on Aura Swap, and the second because it lets you break Aura Swap's parity.)

Oh, and:

Martyr (When this permanent would enter the graveyard, you may instead exile it to [BLANK].)

Ruleswise, it'd look like:

Martyr - Gain 2 life.
Martyr - Put a 1/1 Black Crow token with Flying onto the battlefield.
Martyr - Put a +1/+1 token on a creature you control.

It's in-theme for the Kurotaka, White as hell, and synergises well with Red/Black. Plus you can stick it on sorceries and instants to give them a more powerful effect that puts them outside the reach of most "nab stuff that I've used" methods.

Jallorn
2016-08-13, 03:08 PM
It's a consequence, not a bad thing. And Sapmaw Librarian/Halls of the Fey are really just my attempt to make Aura Swap actually synergise with Insight (the first because it slaps a cantrip on Aura Swap, and the second because it lets you break Aura Swap's parity.)
Well, we're not using both ultimately, so synergy at this point is unimportant, and could give us a slightly inaccurate picture of the mechanics, arguably. Mechanics that are sharing a deck right now are actually more in competition with each other than anything.


Oh, and:

Martyr (When this permanent would enter the graveyard, you may instead exile it to [BLANK].)

Ruleswise, it'd look like:

Martyr - Gain 2 life.
Martyr - Put a 1/1 Black Crow token with Flying onto the battlefield.
Martyr - Put a +1/+1 token on a creature you control.

It's in-theme for the Kurotaka, White as hell, and synergises well with Red/Black. Plus you can stick it on sorceries and instants to give them a more powerful effect that puts them outside the reach of most "nab stuff that I've used" methods.

Hmm, I rather like that, yeah.

To toss in a few of the other mechanics I think are worth considering, I'm going to work up another Kurotaka deck, using Pillage and Renown (though since Renown was looked at as a Shogunate mechanic, it'll not have any red) and another Tribes deck using Research and Surge.

Jallorn
2016-08-14, 09:34 PM
So the Kurotaka deck kinda got away from me, and it became more of a revamp of what Blackhawk made than its own thing, but uh, here:
7x Mountain
7x Plains
7x Swamp
3x Nomad Outpost

3x Village Raider
4x Steadfast Soldier
2x Kurotaka Blooddrinker
2x Kurotaka Blademaster
4x Kurotaka Reaper
4x Crow Caller
4x Willing Conscript
3x Risen Plaguebearer

3x Act of Subornation
2x Dutiful Return
3x Kill Shot
2x Carrion Call

Keywords:
Pillage: When this creature attacks, you may tap a creature you control. If you do, each opponent loses 1 life, and you gain life equal to the life lost this way.

Berserk: When this creature enters the battlefield, if an opponent's creature died this turn, this creature becomes Berserk. (Renamed Bloodlust only because I change how it works so as to make the Kurotaka Blademaster work better.)

Martyr: When this card is put into the graveyard from either the battlefield or the stack, you may exile it to do something.

Creatures:
Village Raider 2R
Human Warrior
1/2 Pillage, Haste

Steadfast Soldier 2W
Human Soldier
2/2 Pillage, Vigilance

Kurotaka Blooddrinker 3B
Human Warrior
3/3 Pillage

Kurotaka Blademaster 3W
Human Samurai
2/2 Bushido 2, Berserk, As long as Kurotaka Blademaster is Berserk, all other creatures you control gain Bushido 1.

Kurotaka Reaper 2R
Human Warrior
1/2 Berserk, As long as Kurotaka Reaper is Berserk, it has Double Strike.

Crow Caller 2B
Human Mage
1/1 Berserk, When Crow Caller becomes Berserk, put two 1/1 Black Flying Bird creature tokens into play.

Willing Conscript W
Human
1/1 Martyr: Put a +1/+1 counter on up to two different target creatures you control.

Risen Plaguebearer 4B
Human Horror
4/4 Martyr: Put a -1/-1 counter on each creature you don't control.

Spells:
Act of Subornation 1RR
Sorcery
Take control of target creature until end of turn. Untap that creature. It gains haste until end of turn.
Martyr: Destroy target artifact.

Carrion Call 2BB
Enchantment
2, Sacrifice a creature: Put a number of 1/1 Black Flying Bird creature tokens into play equal to the sacrificed creature's toughness. Activate this ability only any time you could cast a sorcery.

Dutiful Return and Kill Shot are recycled cards.

Jallorn
2016-08-16, 09:58 PM
So how do we go about this Cockatrice thing? I'm not getting any images on mine, and I'm not sure how to add our cards to it.

Blue Ghost
2016-08-18, 11:10 PM
So how do we go about this Cockatrice thing? I'm not getting any images on mine, and I'm not sure how to add our cards to it.

We could try making them in Magic Set Editor (http://magicseteditor.sourceforge.net/) and exporting (http://magicseteditor.sourceforge.net/node/7812) them to Cockatrice. Not sure if there's a simpler way.

Jallorn
2016-08-19, 12:17 AM
We could try making them in Magic Set Editor (http://magicseteditor.sourceforge.net/) and exporting (http://magicseteditor.sourceforge.net/node/7812) them to Cockatrice. Not sure if there's a simpler way.

I'll get to work on that then. I have lots of free time for the nonce.

Jallorn
2016-08-19, 04:37 AM
Halls of the Fae {1G} Enchantment - Aura
Enchant Land
Whenever you would return an Aura to your hand, you may return the enchanted land to your hand instead.

Would work better as a Fortify artifact. As written, you return a land to hand (sometimes a good thing admittedly) and sac an enchantment.

Only critique I've had as a result of putting the cards into a set (no pictures right now) that seems worth sharing right now.

Jallorn
2016-08-20, 05:34 PM
I'm having trouble getting Cockatrice to load the custom set. I've got it exporting correctly to the right folder, but it doesn't ever show up with the usable cards in Cockatrice.

Amechra
2016-08-20, 06:08 PM
Would work better as a Fortify artifact. As written, you return a land to hand (sometimes a good thing admittedly) and sac an enchantment.

Only critique I've had as a result of putting the cards into a set (no pictures right now) that seems worth sharing right now.

As written is as intended.

It breaks the parity of Aura Swap, after all - and it's in Green, the one color that cares the least about losing lands.

Jallorn
2016-08-24, 12:12 AM
I'm having trouble getting Cockatrice to load the custom set. I've got it exporting correctly to the right folder, but it doesn't ever show up with the usable cards in Cockatrice.

Some progress on this. I'm not sure if the images are working properly, but I can build decks with the set.

Jallorn
2016-08-27, 04:58 PM
Update: I have successfully created a set in Cocaktrice of all the cards we created for our playtest decks, as well as giving them pretty pictures so you can actually know what you're looking in Cockatrice. It looks like if I can set up a server you might be able to just download the set and its pictures, but I don't have terribly fast internet, so I'm going to put the files together in my Dropbox later todaynight and then link ya'll to it.

Jallorn
2016-08-27, 08:07 PM
Here (https://www.dropbox.com/sh/5vtwemn74cbi50w/AADpmPeMVQihakCYiHmUboIia?dl=0)'tis, a Magic Set Editor 2 file (just in case you want it), a Cockatrice custom set, and a rar'ed up collection of images for Cockatrice.

Amechra
2016-08-28, 12:24 PM
So who's willing to playtest? And what server would we be using?

Jallorn
2016-08-28, 08:21 PM
I would be glad to playtest, I have, for the time being, a highly flexible schedule.

As for servers, looks like there's three main ones, Chickatrice and Poixen are EU based, Woogerverse I'm not certain, but circumstantial evidence suggests that it is the most used, maybe? So perhaps US based? I'm in the US, so if it is that will likely have the strongest connection for me, but an EU based one might be fine as well. I'm not certain how important a strong connection is. Where is everyone else located?

I've been doing some playtesting against myself, and I've come to the conclusion that Wise Oni's Insight ability is broken. Maybe, maybe, it could go on a fragile, high cost Legendary creature, but as is, that card wins games way too easily.

I was also thinking about Aura Swap in relation to the lore of the Aokoi, and how I'm not entirely certain it fits them. Specifically, with their promises being irrevocably binding, the ability to undo an enchantment for another seems out of character. While I like the element of commerce it creates, I'm concerned. Not enough to vote it down yet, but enough to ask if there might be some ability more cohesive to the fluff.

That said, I like the idea of a card or cards that give some benefit to an opponent, but a bigger benefit to you. Tying in that whole deal with a devilfaerie angle the Aokoi should have. Not necessarily a keyword, it could be as simple as, "Enchanted player plays with the top card of his deck flipped face up." Everyone knows what that player's next draw will be, information everyone finds useful. Though since a small collection of cards do that with a beneficial effect, it might need something more. Perhaps you can do something based on what kind of card enchanted player has on top of their deck? Things to think about.

I also would like to propose an idea for some lore about the Kurotaka, the man and the clan. Specifically that the Kurotaka were a part of another faction once, a red/white one, that was being pushed towards annihilation, and Kurotaka made a deal with a Fae Demon (as in no one is quite sure whether he's a Faerie or a Demon) named Anmor Jin. Anmor Jin has a crow aesthetic, and mirror's some of The Morrigan's nature. I'm not sure what Anmor got out of the deal, but Kurotaka gained dark magic that let him bolster his faction, at the cost of becoming less human. The nature of power led to some suspicions, which led to the RW faction discovering that he'd made the deal, and labeling him evil. Kurotaka had plenty of supporters, especially his family, however, and with their support, he could have annihilated the dissenters in the faction, but since he'd made the deal for them, he chose not to, leaving instead, taking his supporters with him to become the Kurotaka Clan. No allegiance exists now between him and this faction, which still exists thanks to the time he spent supporting it before the schism, but still much diminished in might compared to the Kurotaka.

Neither Anmor Jin nor this yet unnamed RW faction would need to be represented in this set, but if we go on to make the second smaller set, they would be the BR (Anmor Cultists) and RW factions.

For faction leaders so far, we've got Kurotaka, a dangerous man of questionable humanity who bestows his blessing only upon his clan, his family. We've got Kuroth, the Giant Shogun of the Aokami who rules through the might of his sword, his heritage, and his pragmatic strategy and politics. And that's about it so far.

I like the idea of the Shirotsuro Church's leader being a newcomer. A humble man of great passion and greater oratory, inciting the fervor of the people to spark growth in the Church never before seen.

The Spirits of the Aokoi, naturally, should have an ancient leader, though not necessarily one who has been their leader for so long. To lead the Aokoi requires you to have the promise of support of many Spirits, to be able to cunningly leverage that support to your advantage, and to be able to protect your assets and powerbase from the ambitions of your many rivals. We could have a single, ancient ruler, so talented as to be unmatched, and with a powerbase so mighty that others could not hope to undermine it, or perhaps an ephemeral leader, this century's winner, but who knows for how long, or perhaps there might be a council of sorts, an oligarchy of the mightiest, carefully leveraging each other to try for dominance, but all too skilled at the game to let any one opponent get the leg up to strike it out alone. Even with a single leader, the Aokoi are divided; you can only count on a Spirit to go as far as it promises, and no further.

As for the Akashishi, well, they are a people of bards and druids, warriors and skalds. Who better to lead them than one who embodies not one, but all of these ideals? A storied hero who can recite all the greatest tales and songs, and wrote hundreds of them personally; an elder in tune with nature, friend to the spirits, knowledgeable and wise, respected by all of the Tribe. A teacher and adviser. A de facto leader, the kind whose word of blessing or opposition is obeyed, but not a chieftain or king. This leader would be the voice of the Tribe, but more because they really do understand what they care about, what matters. He or she can speak because he knows, not because he decides.

Amechra
2016-08-28, 09:53 PM
I would be glad to playtest, I have, for the time being, a highly flexible schedule.I've been doing some playtesting against myself, and I've come to the conclusion that Wise Oni's Insight ability is broken. Maybe, maybe, it could go on a fragile, high cost Legendary creature, but as is, that card wins games way too easily.

That's entirely my fault - I keep forgetting how good discard is, comparatively.

Try playtesting again, but replace both Wise Oni's and Bitterheart Banshee's discard effects with a one-card mill. That should be a lot less broken, while in keeping with the Aokoi fluff-wise.

As for replacing Aura Swap, I'd say an Enchantment version of Persist/Undying. Something along the lines of:

Inherit - Whenever a non-token creature {$THIS} is attached to dies, put a 1/1 Illusion token onto play with the same colors as that creature into play, and return {$THIS} to the battlefield attached to it.

Needs editing, but it could work.

=---=

EDIT: Actually, quick question - why do you feel that Wise Oni, in particular, was consistently winning you games?

Blue Ghost
2016-08-28, 10:11 PM
I could probably help playtest, provided we find a suitable time. And we can just use the main server; it works as long as everyone involved has the cardsets required.

Jallorn
2016-08-28, 11:33 PM
That's entirely my fault - I keep forgetting how good discard is, comparatively.

Try playtesting again, but replace both Wise Oni's and Bitterheart Banshee's discard effects with a one-card mill. That should be a lot less broken, while in keeping with the Aokoi fluff-wise.

As for replacing Aura Swap, I'd say an Enchantment version of Persist/Undying. Something along the lines of:

Inherit - Whenever a non-token creature {$THIS} is attached to dies, put a 1/1 Illusion token onto play with the same colors as that creature into play, and return {$THIS} to the battlefield attached to it.

Needs editing, but it could work.

=---=

EDIT: Actually, quick question - why do you feel that Wise Oni, in particular, was consistently winning you games?

Starting with the direct question first: because the ability triggers at least once a turn, often more than. Blue, Green, and Black are all the colors most associated with card draw and card advantage, in that order, and the playtest deck has plenty of ways to draw cards. Within two or three turns, max, the opponent has no hand left if they didn't have a fast answer to the Wise Oni.

Mill would be a good switch, but I also think that Insight might be too powerful. Either a hard limit on activations per turn, two would be my thought, or not triggering during the draw phase, or possibly both? As written it's basically, "Once per turn do this. Do it again if you draw extra cards." If Insight doesn't trigger on the draw phase, its more of a mechanic to be strategized around (Though even then it just rewards an already good mechanic). On both players side, even, since an opponent could counterspell a draw spell.

Inherit is an interesting idea, and one I both kind of like and am also kind of uncertain how it works, both in terms of fluff. It's another interesting mirror of Reincarnation and Legacy, and is also sort of a reverse, enchantment based Living Weapon mechanic. It fits blue/green, applying a sort of regeneration effect to enchantments, but I wonder if Totem Armor might not fit better?

I will add/tweak mechanics some, not sure if tonight, but I'll add, rather than alter, for now, so we'll end up with more possible playtest stuff and more decks. I'll let everyone know when I've updated the stuff in the Dropbox folder (Which I will put the link to in the first post right now) so you can all update when I do.

Amechra
2016-08-28, 11:44 PM
To be entirely honest, the one-card mill would turn Wise Oni into a Jace's Erasure attached to a creature.

=---=

I think the problem lies more with Insight than the actual effects. Most similar "when this happens" triggers are either things that aren't dependable (Constellation, Landfall), or which are going to happen at most once a turn unless you're lucky or have a lot of synergy going (Heroic, Inspired, Landfall).

Card draw isn't either of those things. It's easy to get to 2+ draws per turn.

Luckily, since Insight is a keyword we're making up, it would be easy enough to change it to something like "when you draw your second card this turn, [Blank]". That way, Insight wouldn't run away on us.

Jallorn
2016-08-29, 12:05 AM
To be entirely honest, the one-card mill would turn Wise Oni into a Jace's Erasure attached to a creature.

=---=

I think the problem lies more with Insight than the actual effects. Most similar "when this happens" triggers are either things that aren't dependable (Constellation, Landfall), or which are going to happen at most once a turn unless you're lucky or have a lot of synergy going (Heroic, Inspired, Landfall).

Card draw isn't either of those things. It's easy to get to 2+ draws per turn.

Luckily, since Insight is a keyword we're making up, it would be easy enough to change it to something like "when you draw your second card this turn, [Blank]". That way, Insight wouldn't run away on us.

That probably seems best, yeah.

Jallorn
2016-08-29, 12:28 AM
Alright, I updated the files to adjust Insight to activate on your second draw each turn. I decided against doing anything with Inherit right now until we do some playtesting, since Aura Swap isn't the only contender for Aokoi keyword anyway.

Jallorn
2016-08-29, 09:36 PM
Alright, I've registered with and connected to the Woogerworks server (port 4747, not sure if that's important for us to match). Anyone interested in playtesting should do likewise and let me know when they have time to play one or more matches to test stuff.

Blue Ghost
2016-08-30, 10:31 PM
I may be able to playtest Thursday and/or Friday night.

Can we get an IRC channel set up to better coordinate?

Jallorn
2016-08-30, 11:18 PM
I may be able to playtest Thursday and/or Friday night.

Can we get an IRC channel set up to better coordinate?

I'm game if you can tell me how to. (I could probably figure it out, but where's the fun in that?)

Thursday is busy for me, but I should have time Friday evening (after my sister's birthday dinner).

Blackhawk748
2016-09-01, 05:47 AM
Thursday works for me, but Friday is out as i have a Shadowrun game that night.

Amechra
2016-09-01, 04:58 PM
I'm registering to Woogerworks now, and both days should work.

EDIT: Woogerworks is currently down, server-wise.

Amechra
2016-09-01, 06:35 PM
I did some testing against another deck that I've Cockatrice'd (a five-color Guildgate/Honden deck), and I have to say...

Fealty done as part of the casting cost slows down your curve a lot, since most of the CMC has to be one particular color.

Jallorn
2016-09-01, 09:50 PM
Hmm, you know, you're right. It was supposed to be, "You can cast this as one color for less," but I have found myself delaying casting for fealty. Hmm... we could have cards put fealty counters on other cards.

That immediately suggests a cycle of taplands that put a fealty counter out, either on playing, or if that is too slow, as an action to move a counter from the land to another card.

Amechra
2016-09-02, 09:39 PM
I was talking about the Ao- decks.

If you double-check the Aokame/Aokoi, they both do Fealty as part of the casting cost (rather than having it be something you pay separately). The difference is that the Aokoi can't have Fealty to multiple colors (since I made sure they never have more than 1 "general" mana in their casting cost), while the Aokame can.

Speaking of the Aokame, Stalwart Giant feels like it's too good, simply because it's really easy to hit both of the Fealty triggers.

=---=

That being said, I notice that we never established which rendition of Fealty we were going with before we tested it. Before we do the next cycle of testing, we should really nail down which we'll use.

=---=

After doing some testing against myself, I can report that Insight triggering on the second draw doesn't feel good. Also, I agree that Aura Swap isn't a good fit (it's also not something I've found myself using).

Some alternate ideas for the Aokoi:

• A Madness equivalent that lets you cast the spell from your deck if you see it when Scrying. Something like "Whenever you would put this card on the bottom on your Library, you may pay {X} to cast it instead." This lets an Aokoi player treat the top few cards of their deck as an extension of their hand, which feels more loremaster-y than "draw a bunch of cards".

• "Insurance (Whenever the enchanted creature would deal damage to you or a creature you control, put a 1/1 Blue Fairy token with Flying into play, then attach this Aura to it.)" The Fae giveth, the Fae taketh away.

• A variant on Parley ("Each player reveals the top card of their library. You get [X] for each nonland spell revealed this way, and then each player draws a card.") could be interesting. It's a White/Green mechanic in Conspiracy, but I think we could get it to work for the Aokoi.

Jallorn
2016-09-03, 12:58 AM
I was talking about the Ao- decks.

If you double-check the Aokame/Aokoi, they both do Fealty as part of the casting cost (rather than having it be something you pay separately). The difference is that the Aokoi can't have Fealty to multiple colors (since I made sure they never have more than 1 "general" mana in their casting cost), while the Aokame can.

Speaking of the Aokame, Stalwart Giant feels like it's too good, simply because it's really easy to hit both of the Fealty triggers.

That being said, I notice that we never established which rendition of Fealty we were going with before we tested it. Before we do the next cycle of testing, we should really nail down which we'll use.
For this round I went with Fealty as part of casting cost for every card. I figured keeping uniform functionality made more sense. My understanding was also that the current phase of testing is about nailing down such details, and figuring out the best model for the mechanics. I figured Fealty might undergo a few forms before we got it nailed down.

The thing is, the only other version of Fealty we suggested earlier was as a sort of kicker, on entering the battlefield. That slows down your curve even more since it not only adds an extra color, but also adds an extra mana. Maybe it would allow the cards to be somewhat more balanced for their non-fealty cost, making them decent plays for the 1 less mana cost though. Still, I can foresee people being tempted to delay for the slightly stronger version. Although, we could just plan this set to be a slightly slower one as a result? It's worth playtesting.

We could also do it as a Monstrosity variant, albeit cross-color instead of the same color as the card. That would suggest much stronger abilities and more +1/+1 counters. Again worth testing.

So the four variants of Fealty we've got on the table for consideration: Fealty as part of casting, Fealty as EtB triggered cost, Fealty as activated ability, and Fealty as EtB counter placement on another card. (This last one could still be viable in the others, though depending on how the power and cost of Fealty are balanced, might need be limited.)


After doing some testing against myself, I can report that Insight triggering on the second draw doesn't feel good. Also, I agree that Aura Swap isn't a good fit (it's also not something I've found myself using).
Might we try, with Insight, having it trigger on any extra draws? That avoids the issue of, "This triggers at least once a turn," but also allows it to be a fun mechanic where some turns you get several more triggers. Might be harder to balance, but worth considering?

I think I mostly used Aura Swap when I was also getting to draw a card at the same time. As a mechanic, I think Aura Swap is hugely dependent on what the other cards in the format are. If there are really good, but more expensive enchantments, it's good. If there's a lot of targeted enchantment destruction, it can be good, if it's on anything worth saving. I think Aura Swap would also be best in White, because it would enable some interesting combat tricks using some of White's enchantments. An instant speed Oblivion Ring would be really good, circumventing some of the limitations of White's removal spells.


Some alternate ideas for the Aokoi:

• A Madness equivalent that lets you cast the spell from your deck if you see it when Scrying. Something like "Whenever you would put this card on the bottom on your Library, you may pay {X} to cast it instead." This lets an Aokoi player treat the top few cards of their deck as an extension of their hand, which feels more loremaster-y than "draw a bunch of cards".
This appeals to me, though I would be inclined to limit it to creatures to keep it as a Greener mechanic, since Green is the paramount color of the Aokoi. I like the flavor of it for them though, sort of taking action to know what a creature wants before it asks for it.


• "Insurance (Whenever the enchanted creature would deal damage to you or a creature you control, put a 1/1 Blue Fairy token with Flying into play, then attach this Aura to it.)" The Fae giveth, the Fae taketh away.
Eh, pretty narrow in application. It's basically a counter to Red or Blue spells that take control of your creature. Alternately, it's kind of a thing for enchantments you place on an opponent's creature, but then why would you want it on your own? Maybe you could do an, "If you control this creature, X good thing. If an opponent control's this creature, Y bad thing," sort of thing, but then you've got a debuff that probably doesn't stick for long. Although, I suppose you could then have it do some really stupid things since it would only do them once. Like, "Whenever enchanted creature deals damage, the owner of this enchantment gains life equal to twice the damage dealt," as an opponent's creature only effect, so that as a one off, you make a creature heal you. I dunno, I don't know if there's enough there.


• A variant on Parley ("Each player reveals the top card of their library. You get [X] for each nonland spell revealed this way, and then each player draws a card.") could be interesting. It's a White/Green mechanic in Conspiracy, but I think we could get it to work for the Aokoi.

Would be rather more limited as a mechanic. Conspiracy is intended for games of more than 2 players, while most sets are designed primarily with 2 player matches in mind. Parley in a 2 player format caps at an X of 2. Not sure that's a good match for a faction mechanic unless maybe we did something based on CMC?



I also did some thinking recently about how some of the factions feel about each other. Specifically how they feel about the factions they share two colors with. I figure that factions are actually more antagonistic with those they share two colors with than just one because at the heart, those are the enemy color factions, even if the enemy color is one they share. Also can be seen as a kind of, "familiarity breeds contempt," thing where because they're so much more similar, they hate each other more because the different opinions are derived from a similar place but go somewhere more offensive, if that makes sense.

These opinions are also a bit more one way, in that the faction that commits more to the two shared colors has stronger emotions. So in my first case, the Kurotaka dislike the Aokami more than the inverse because the Kurotaka place White and Black as their main two colors, while the Aokami drop White as their third color.

So:

Kurotaka:Aokami, White/Black

To the Kurotaka, the individual and society are one. What is good for the family is good for the individual, and what is good for the individual is good for the family. To the Aokami, society serves the individuals that make it up. The Aokami value society, they value the security and structure it provides, as well as the power borne of unity, but it is ultimately a means to an end, rather than an end in itself. To the Aokami, society allows the individuals within it greater security to pursue their personal goals, and allows those on top to stay there. The Kurotaka find this position immoral, seeing how the lowest of such a society are oppressed and driven to act against the society's interests.

Shirotsuro:Kurotaka, White/Red

The Shirotsuro are defined by their passion and zeal for their religious beliefs, their philosophical teachings. They believe that they have discovered the true path to enlightenment and eternal happiness, and they intend to share it with all. Those same teachings, however, teach that an individual must be free to follow that path. The Kurotaka only believe in freedom that serves the family. Quarrels between family members are rarely private, and often quite heated, but only so that they may be resolved quickly. When interacting with outsiders, there is no taboo the Kurotaka will not break if it serves to protect and empower the Clan, but ambition that weakens the clan is frowned upon. The Shirotsuro see the Kurotaka as repressive brainwashers, molded and limited by their cult to their father figure, the man-turned-demon Kurotaka.

Akashishi:Shirotsuro, Blue/Red

For the Akashishi, what is best is the freedom to explore and discover, to be and to create. No one can ever know it all, but that only make it all the more worthwhile to try. No tale would be greater than success in the face of the impossible. For the Shirotsuro, however, everything of value is already known. Questions are important, but the church already has all the answers to guide their people to enlightenment, and questions are only permitted about the individual- the church is above question. The Akashishi find this attitude foolish, unwise, and beyond condescending. Life is change; last fall's leaves have rotted, and walking through this fall's leaves will sound different. Even beyond that, the Akashishi hold that an individual cannot truly grow without testing and questioning the world around them; individual growth comes from learning, not from being taught.

Aokoi:Akashishi, Green/Blue

The greatest of the Aokoi are ancient beings of long experience and set ways. Their word is their bond, not because they believe in honor or any sort of commitment to community, but because it is in their nature, it is some unalterable quality in them that they cannot lie or make false promise. The lesser beings among them, changelings, elves, even humans, hold the ancient wisdom of these faerie spirits as valuable. They believe in the value of the knowledge of one's untempered nature; they value cleverness applied to one's natural station. The Akashishi similarly value the wisdom of their kami teachers, but are unafraid to test their teachings personally, even being willing to disagree, or even to set out to change things that work because they think they have a better way. The Aokoi see the Akashishi as foolish, unwilling to accept information from a reputable source simply because they want the personal touch. What makes them hate the Akashishi more, though, is the Akashishi's obsession with changing the way things work. To the Aokoi, the natural order is sacrosanct, change happens naturally. You might create something new, see if it sticks, but to willfully attempt to change the natural order of things is unnatural and wrong. And that drive makes the Akashishi the most difficult people for the Aokoi to manipulate.

Aokami:Aokoi Black/Green

The Aokami are founded on the belief that the immutable nature of, well, nature, is the drive of essentially amoral individuals for the power to succeed in life. They believe that any world view that doesn't begin with that premise is fundamentally flawed and doomed to collapse in the face of the real world. Although they ascribe to a morality, and a sense of honor, they fully accept that it is a thing imposed on the world, and can only survive so long as it does not conflict with the world's true nature. To the Aokoi, power is a valuable thing, and it is natural for an individual to harbor ambition to be as great as it can be, to fulfill its natural role to the best of its ability, but power and ambition are not the reason for being; being is the reason for being. To the Aokami, the Aokoi are too static, too sedate. They believe the Spirits of the Aokoi have had power for too long, that they are a stagnant people, no longer reaching for excellence and might, doomed to die when they are overtaken by those with the strength and wisdom to reach for as much might as they can.

5a Violista
2016-09-03, 04:23 PM
• A Madness equivalent that lets you cast the spell from your deck if you see it when Scrying. Something like "Whenever you would put this card on the bottom on your Library, you may pay {X} to cast it instead." This lets an Aokoi player treat the top few cards of their deck as an extension of their hand, which feels more loremaster-y than "draw a bunch of cards".
Reading this, I'm deciding that I like this better than the Insight.

Also, re: faction relations, those are pretty similar to what I was imagining and I like them and how they're written out. Good job.

And...re:playtesting? I guess I ought to do that, too. Making an irc chatroom is pretty easy: pretty much you just have to go to an irc client, like Mibbit or Sorcery or another one, be online at the same time, then join the same #room and it pretty much auto-creates it as soon as you join it.

Jallorn
2016-09-04, 03:29 AM
So while looking at Aokoi mechanics, I realized that the two I was working with, Promised (what I've named the Madness-like mechanic) and Retrace, wouldn't work with Fealty because they're both changes to casting rules. This, I figured, was fine, there's no real need to have Fealty ever give the clan specific mechanic. But it occurred to me that perhaps, since Fealty and (most of) the clan mechanics we're considering are new mechanics, we should probably not combine them to keep complexity down. It would also keep the wordiness of Fealty down as well.

Amechra
2016-09-04, 12:08 PM
There's a reason my initial Fealty mechanic idea was a Kicker-style thing that triggered whenever you entered the battlefield. That way stuff like Madness wouldn't prevent it from working.

Jallorn
2016-09-04, 12:26 PM
There's a reason my initial Fealty mechanic idea was a Kicker-style thing that triggered whenever you entered the battlefield. That way stuff like Madness wouldn't prevent it from working.

Oh yeah, that would solve it.

I think perhaps it's time to try and build using that form of Fealty, so as to see if we can build cards that are satisfying to play without their fealty cost as well as with it. That is, I think, going to be vital for the mechanic; it needs to be an option, and not the reason you play the card. If it's the reason you play the card, then it's essentially a card that costs one more than its CMC. (Though I suppose Reincarnation kind of likes that then, as do other similar CMC mechanics.)

5a Violista
2016-09-04, 01:12 PM
Having it be as a kicker-mechanic that changes the color and the abilities would definitely make it simple. Having it mostly be on factionless cards (because in the Clans deck, only some of the cards were tied to factions and the remainder were clan-agnostic) keeps with the fluff of "swearing fealty to a faction". And, having the Fealty replace instead of add on new abilities would make both options attractive instead of just paying the additional cost every time.

Example on the last point:

Example Ronin (red card)
Kicker {W} (This card becomes white instead of red when its kicker cost is paid)
Fealty:
If Kicker was not paid, this card has Haste
If Kicker was paid, this card has First Strike
(Obviously, this isn't a good way to word it, but I feel it's clear enough for us to understand)

That way, you essentially have the option of playing a Red Haste creature or a slightly-more-expensive White First Strike creature. It makes your choice situational ("Do I need Haste or First Strike") instead of "do I have enough mana to pay for the better version", and this card has the feel of a lordless samurai choosing between continuing to be a ronin or swearing to a lord that supplies him.

Jallorn
2016-09-04, 07:32 PM
Well, I wouldn't do it as a replacement, since that makes it more expensive with the additional kicker cost for about the same value.

For now, I'd say let's test kicker as bonus, though I've thought of another way to do it that uses the dual color mana cost. Fealty is then an either or, this color of the other, making it a versatile card if you've got the mana, but entirely viable as just one of those colors because they're (theoretically) balanced. Mana cost would be something like, {2}{G/B}, and only which color pays for the {G/B} cost matters.

Might be simplest if it's a, "When you cast this creature pay {G} or {B} or counter it. If you pay {G}, this creature is Green. If you pay {B}, this creature is Black." But let's leave that for later testing if we don't like the kicker version.

Also, I have determined that if we were to go with Retrace as a mechanic, that Glamerdye should make a reappearance, because that would be silly with Fealty.

khadgar567
2016-09-05, 01:24 AM
Well, I wouldn't do it as a replacement, since that makes it more expensive with the additional kicker cost for about the same value.

For now, I'd say let's test kicker as bonus, though I've thought of another way to do it that uses the dual color mana cost. Fealty is then an either or, this color of the other, making it a versatile card if you've got the mana, but entirely viable as just one of those colors because they're (theoretically) balanced. Mana cost would be something like, {2}{G/B}, and only which color pays for the {G/B} cost matters.

Might be simplest if it's a, "When you cast this creature pay {G} or {B} or counter it. If you pay {G}, this creature is Green. If you pay {B}, this creature is Black." But let's leave that for later testing if we don't like the kicker version.
from someone who doesn't know anything about magic the gattering previous idea is some thing easily understand able and you want to make beginner deck for block simple so people can jump in game

Jallorn
2016-09-05, 02:48 AM
Simple mock-ups of the cards I'm looking at for testing Promised and Retrace as Aokoi mechanics.
Tender of the Vidrhus 1G
Elf Druid
1/1
When enters search basic land put in hand.
Fealty {B/U} (When enters you may pay {B} or {G} to put a Fealty counter of that color on creature. A creature is the color of a Fealty counter on it, as well as its other colors.
If Blue, has Landfall – ...you may scry 1.
If Black, whenever you discard a card, target opponent loses 1 life.

Feral Kaupin 3GG
Shapeshifter
3/4
Changeling
Trample
Promised 3G

Lifestring Apprentice B
Human Wizard
1/1
{T}, Discard a card: Target opponent discards a card unless they pay 1 life.
Fealty {U/G}
If Blue, has Shroud.
When dies, if Green, put a 2/2 Zombie creature token into play.

Tuar Aspirant 3B
Vampire
3/2
Lifelink
Promised 2B

Sister of the Leana 2U
Faerie
2/2
Flying
Fealty {G/B}
If Green, has, “Whenever deals damage to an opponent, draw a card.”
If Black, has, “Pay 2 life, Scry 3.”

Soul-Chained Debtor 3U
Spirit
1/4
Flying
Promised 2U

Blessing of the Aokoi 2G
Instant
Target creature gets +2/+2 until end of turn.
Retrace

Backup Plans 3U
Sorcery
Scry 3, if you put all cards seen this way on the bottom of your library, draw a card.
Retrace

Poisoned Desire 1BB
Instant
Target creature gets -2/-2 until end of turn.
Retrace

Garryl
2016-09-05, 03:03 AM
Have you considered something like Devotion for Fealty instead of basing it on how you play the card? Say, you have fealty to a color if you control more permanents of that color than of any other color? You could also have the faction lands get into it, too, by giving themselves a color or by playing off of your current fealty. For example:

Kurokata War Camp
Land
{This} enters the battlefield tapped.
{T}: Add {B}, {R}, or {W} to your mana pool. {This} becomes that color until end of turn.

Kurokata Village
Land
{T}: Add {1} to your mana pool.
Fealty to black - {T}: Add {R} or {W} to your mana pool. (Play this ability only if you control more black permanents than permanents of any other colors.)
Fealty to red - {T}: Add {B} or {W} to your mana pool. (Play this ability only if you control more red permanents than permanents of any other color.)
Fealty to white - {T}: Add {B} or {R} to your mana pool. (Play this ability only if you control more white permanents than permanents of any other color.)

Kurokata Council Chambers
Land
{This} enters the battlefield tapped.
{T}: Add {1} to your mana pool.
Fealty to black - {R/W}{B}, {T}: Target creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn. You lose 2 life.
Fealty to red - {B/W}{R}, {T}: {This} deals 2 damage to target player and 3 damage to you.
Fealty to white - {B/R}{W}, {T}: Target creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn.

Fealty would be a bit more dynamic this way. It means less to track for each individual card, since it's player-based, although it might take away of the idea of swearing fealty in a more permanent fashion.

I don't know if you're interested in this method, but I'm having too much fun to stop designing cards with it. I'm not promising that it's all balanced or anything, though.


Kurokata War Camp
Land
{This} enters the battlefield tapped.
{T}: Add {B}, {R}, or {W} to your mana pool. {This} becomes that color until end of turn.
- Note: Cycle of cards for each of the color combos.

Kurokata Village
Land
{T}: Add {1} to your mana pool.
Fealty to black - {T}: Add {R} or {W} to your mana pool. (Play this ability only if you control more black permanents than permanents of any other colors.)
Fealty to red - {T}: Add {B} or {W} to your mana pool. (Play this ability only if you control more red permanents than permanents of any other color.)
Fealty to white - {T}: Add {B} or {R} to your mana pool. (Play this ability only if you control more white permanents than permanents of any other color.)
- Note: Cycle of cards for each of the color combos.

Kurokata Council Chambers
Land
{This} enters the battlefield tapped.
{T}: Add {1} to your mana pool.
Fealty to black - {R/W}{B}, {T}: Target creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn. You lose 2 life.
Fealty to red - {B/W}{R}, {T}: {This} deals 2 damage to target player and 3 damage to you.
Fealty to white - {B/R}{W}, {T}: Target creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn.
- Note: Cycle of cards for each of the color combos, although different combos and colors have different abilities.

Mercenary Camp
Land
{T}: Add {1} to your mana pool.
{1}: {This} becomes the color of your choice until end of turn.
"They'll fight for anyone, as long as the pay is good."

Neutral Ground
Legendary Land
{T}: Add {1} to your mana pool.
{T}: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool. Play this ability only if you do not have fealty to any color.
"Where all are equal, as long as none say otherwise."

Fanatic of the Flame
{2}{R}{R}
Creature - Human Shaman
Haste
At the beginning of each other player's upkeep, if you do not have fealty to red, that player untaps {this} and gains control of it.
4/4
"Respect the flame, lest it burn you."

Faerie Whimsy
{1}{G}
Sorcery
Target creature gets +2/+2 until end of turn.
Fealty to black - That creature also gains deathtouch until end of turn.
Fealty to blue - That creature also gains flying until end of turn.
Fealty to green - That creature also gains trample until end of turn.

Wandering Nomads
{2}
Creature - Human Nomad
At the beginning of your upkeep, if you have fealty to a color, {this} becomes that color.
2/2
"Wherever they go, they find a home. When it doesn't want them, they move on."

Stalwart Giant
{3}{G}
Creature - Giant Soldier
Fealty to white - Vigilance. (If you control more white permanents than permanents of any other color, {this} has vigilance.)
4/4

Oni Regulator
{1}{B}{B}
Creature - Giant Warrior
Fealty to black - At the beginning of your upkeep, you lose 1 life.
Fealty to white - Lifelink.
3/4

Ragewood Oak
{1}{G}{G}
Creature - Plant
Reach
Fealty to green - Defender and +0/+3.
Fealty to red - Trample and +1/+0.
3/3
"Be wary when the trees march to war."

Malicious Portents
{2}{U}
Enchantment
At the beginning of your upkeep, scry 1.
Fealty to black - At the beginning of your upkeep, fateseal 1.

Ragewood Breastplate
{1}
Artifact - Equipment
Equipped creature has +1/+1.
Fealty to green - Equipped creature has trample.
Fealty to red - Equipped creature has "{R}: This creature gets +1/+0 until end of turn."
Equip {2}

Bound in Shadows
{2}{W}
Enchantment - Aura
Enchant Creature
Enchanted creature can't attack or block.
Fealty to white - Enchanted creature's activated abilities can't be played.
Fealty to black - At the beginning of enchanted creature's controller's upkeep, that player loses 1 life.

Song of Silence
{2}{U}{U}
Enchantment
Flash
When {this} enters the battlefield, you may counter target noncreature spell.
Fealty to blue - Whenever you counter a spell, you may exile it instead of putting it into its owner's graveyard.
Fealty to white - {X}{U}{W}: You may play a spell with converted mana cost X or less exiled by {this}.

Song of Fury
{2}{G}{G}
Enchantment
Flash
When {this} enters the battlefied, you may have target creature get +1/+1 and trample until end of turn.
Fealty to green - Whenever a creature you control deals combat damage to an opponent, put that many charge counters on {this}.
Fealty to red - {X}{G}{R}, remove X charge counters from {this}: {This} deals X damage to target player.

Akashishi Chanter
{1}{U}
Creature - Human Shaman
Fealty to blue - Whenever you play a spell, Scry 1.
Fealty to green - Whenever you play a spell, target creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn.
Fealty to red - Whenever you play a spell, {this} deals 1 damage to target opponent.
1/2

Sacred Burial Grounds
{W}
Enchantment
Creature cards in your graveyard cannot be targeted by spells or abilities.
Fealty to black - {1}{B}, exile a creature card in your graveyard: Put a 2/2 zombie creature token onto the battlefield.
"Sanctity and a rotting corpse is worth the corpse."

Jormun Hills War Paint
{2}
Artifact - Equipment
{T}: Equipped creature becomes red until end of turn.
Fealty to red - Equipped creature has +1/+0 and First Strike.
Equip {1}

Disloyal Automaton
{3}
Artifact Creature - Construct
If you have fealty to a color, {this} has protection from that color.
2/3

Stirring Oration
{2}{W}
Sorcery
Creatures you control get +1/+1 until end of turn.
Fealty to blue - Flash.
Fealty to red - Creatures you control gain Haste until end of turn.
Fealty to white - Gain 1 life for each creature you control.

Jallorn
2016-09-05, 06:59 PM
Have you considered something like Devotion for Fealty instead of basing it on how you play the card? Say, you have fealty to a color if you control more permanents of that color than of any other color? You could also have the faction lands get into it, too, by giving themselves a color or by playing off of your current fealty. For example:

Kurokata War Camp
Land
{This} enters the battlefield tapped.
{T}: Add {B}, {R}, or {W} to your mana pool. {This} becomes that color until end of turn.

Kurokata Village
Land
{T}: Add {1} to your mana pool.
Fealty to black - {T}: Add {R} or {W} to your mana pool. (Play this ability only if you control more black permanents than permanents of any other colors.)
Fealty to red - {T}: Add {B} or {W} to your mana pool. (Play this ability only if you control more red permanents than permanents of any other color.)
Fealty to white - {T}: Add {B} or {R} to your mana pool. (Play this ability only if you control more white permanents than permanents of any other color.)

Kurokata Council Chambers
Land
{This} enters the battlefield tapped.
{T}: Add {1} to your mana pool.
Fealty to black - {R/W}{B}, {T}: Target creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn. You lose 2 life.
Fealty to red - {B/W}{R}, {T}: {This} deals 2 damage to target player and 3 damage to you.
Fealty to white - {B/R}{W}, {T}: Target creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn.

Fealty would be a bit more dynamic this way. It means less to track for each individual card, since it's player-based, although it might take away of the idea of swearing fealty in a more permanent fashion.

I don't know if you're interested in this method, but I'm having too much fun to stop designing cards with it. I'm not promising that it's all balanced or anything, though.


Kurokata War Camp
Land
{This} enters the battlefield tapped.
{T}: Add {B}, {R}, or {W} to your mana pool. {This} becomes that color until end of turn.
- Note: Cycle of cards for each of the color combos.

Kurokata Village
Land
{T}: Add {1} to your mana pool.
Fealty to black - {T}: Add {R} or {W} to your mana pool. (Play this ability only if you control more black permanents than permanents of any other colors.)
Fealty to red - {T}: Add {B} or {W} to your mana pool. (Play this ability only if you control more red permanents than permanents of any other color.)
Fealty to white - {T}: Add {B} or {R} to your mana pool. (Play this ability only if you control more white permanents than permanents of any other color.)
- Note: Cycle of cards for each of the color combos.

Kurokata Council Chambers
Land
{This} enters the battlefield tapped.
{T}: Add {1} to your mana pool.
Fealty to black - {R/W}{B}, {T}: Target creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn. You lose 2 life.
Fealty to red - {B/W}{R}, {T}: {This} deals 2 damage to target player and 3 damage to you.
Fealty to white - {B/R}{W}, {T}: Target creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn.
- Note: Cycle of cards for each of the color combos, although different combos and colors have different abilities.

Mercenary Camp
Land
{T}: Add {1} to your mana pool.
{1}: {This} becomes the color of your choice until end of turn.
"They'll fight for anyone, as long as the pay is good."

Neutral Ground
Legendary Land
{T}: Add {1} to your mana pool.
{T}: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool. Play this ability only if you do not have fealty to any color.
"Where all are equal, as long as none say otherwise."

Fanatic of the Flame
{2}{R}{R}
Creature - Human Shaman
Haste
At the beginning of each other player's upkeep, if you do not have fealty to red, that player untaps {this} and gains control of it.
4/4
"Respect the flame, lest it burn you."

Faerie Whimsy
{1}{G}
Sorcery
Target creature gets +2/+2 until end of turn.
Fealty to black - That creature also gains deathtouch until end of turn.
Fealty to blue - That creature also gains flying until end of turn.
Fealty to green - That creature also gains trample until end of turn.

Wandering Nomads
{2}
Creature - Human Nomad
At the beginning of your upkeep, if you have fealty to a color, {this} becomes that color.
2/2
"Wherever they go, they find a home. When it doesn't want them, they move on."

Stalwart Giant
{3}{G}
Creature - Giant Soldier
Fealty to white - Vigilance. (If you control more white permanents than permanents of any other color, {this} has vigilance.)
4/4

Oni Regulator
{1}{B}{B}
Creature - Giant Warrior
Fealty to black - At the beginning of your upkeep, you lose 1 life.
Fealty to white - Lifelink.
3/4

Ragewood Oak
{1}{G}{G}
Creature - Plant
Reach
Fealty to green - Defender and +0/+3.
Fealty to red - Trample and +1/+0.
3/3
"Be wary when the trees march to war."

Malicious Portents
{2}{U}
Enchantment
At the beginning of your upkeep, scry 1.
Fealty to black - At the beginning of your upkeep, fateseal 1.

Ragewood Breastplate
{1}
Artifact - Equipment
Equipped creature has +1/+1.
Fealty to green - Equipped creature has trample.
Fealty to red - Equipped creature has "{R}: This creature gets +1/+0 until end of turn."
Equip {2}

Bound in Shadows
{2}{W}
Enchantment - Aura
Enchant Creature
Enchanted creature can't attack or block.
Fealty to white - Enchanted creature's activated abilities can't be played.
Fealty to black - At the beginning of enchanted creature's controller's upkeep, that player loses 1 life.

Song of Silence
{2}{U}{U}
Enchantment
Flash
When {this} enters the battlefield, you may counter target noncreature spell.
Fealty to blue - Whenever you counter a spell, you may exile it instead of putting it into its owner's graveyard.
Fealty to white - {X}{U}{W}: You may play a spell with converted mana cost X or less exiled by {this}.

Song of Fury
{2}{G}{G}
Enchantment
Flash
When {this} enters the battlefied, you may have target creature get +1/+1 and trample until end of turn.
Fealty to green - Whenever a creature you control deals combat damage to an opponent, put that many charge counters on {this}.
Fealty to red - {X}{G}{R}, remove X charge counters from {this}: {This} deals X damage to target player.

Akashishi Chanter
{1}{U}
Creature - Human Shaman
Fealty to blue - Whenever you play a spell, Scry 1.
Fealty to green - Whenever you play a spell, target creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn.
Fealty to red - Whenever you play a spell, {this} deals 1 damage to target opponent.
1/2

Sacred Burial Grounds
{W}
Enchantment
Creature cards in your graveyard cannot be targeted by spells or abilities.
Fealty to black - {1}{B}, exile a creature card in your graveyard: Put a 2/2 zombie creature token onto the battlefield.
"Sanctity and a rotting corpse is worth the corpse."

Jormun Hills War Paint
{2}
Artifact - Equipment
{T}: Equipped creature becomes red until end of turn.
Fealty to red - Equipped creature has +1/+0 and First Strike.
Equip {1}

Disloyal Automaton
{3}
Artifact Creature - Construct
If you have fealty to a color, {this} has protection from that color.
2/3

Stirring Oration
{2}{W}
Sorcery
Creatures you control get +1/+1 until end of turn.
Fealty to blue - Flash.
Fealty to red - Creatures you control gain Haste until end of turn.
Fealty to white - Gain 1 life for each creature you control.



The problem with Fealty as a Devotion-like mechanic is that Devotion benefits mono-colored decks, which aren't really an option in a wedge set. This particular model, where you only have the one you have the most, even actively punishes three color decks since it's so much harder to control your strategic focus.

It's an interesting idea, but it doesn't fill the role we need Fealty to fill, which is as a temper for the strains of wedge decks. In Khans of Tarkir, Morph did this by providing colorless 2/2s that could later be flipped up, ensuring that you were never without something. Fealty is trying to be something that allows us to keep the number of cards that have to be multi-color down, whilst still capturing that feel and potential power of multicolored cards. It also rewards multi-color decks by providing them with some more options for how to use their creatures.

Amechra
2016-09-12, 11:19 PM
One of the problems I'm seeing with Fealty is that it's wordy. I didn't realise that when I suggested it - cards with Fealty effects tend to be... long.

What if we changed it so it's contingent on having other cards? Like, I dunno:


Shogunate Vanguard (1W) 1/2
Fealty to Black - Shogunate Vanguard gains Deathtouch as long as you control a Black creature.

Power-Hungry Shogun (1BB) 3/2
Creatures you control with Fealty to Black gain +1/+1.

Or, if we want a Lands Matter theme:


Shogunate Vanguard (1W) 1/2
Fealty to Black - As long as you control a Swamp, Shogunate Vanguard gains Deathtouch.

Or, in place of Devotion - what about stealing from Metalcraft?


Shogunate Vanguard (1W) 1/2
Fealty to Black - As long as you control 3 or more Black permanents, Shogunate Vanguard has Deathtouch.

Or, to go even further, what if Fealty to [Color] is a keyword, a la Protection from [Color]?


Shogunate Vanguard (1W) 1/2
Fealty to Black (You may pay B to cast this for {X}, where X is its converted mana cost.)
Shogunate Vanguard has Deathtouch as long as you control a Swamp.

I actually like the last one, just saying.

=---=

As a silly suggestion, what if we come up with "core" cards for each faction, and then made cards that got cool stuff based off having one of those cards out? So...


Shogunate Vanguard (1W) 1/2
Shogunate Vanguard has Deathtouch as long as you control a creature named Shogunate Elite.

Jallorn
2016-09-13, 02:08 AM
Ah good, I was just thinking it was time to return more of my focus to this project, and Amechra decided to voice something I hadn't recognized I had also seen. Thanks!

One of the problems I'm seeing with Fealty is that it's wordy. I didn't realise that when I suggested it - cards with Fealty effects tend to be... long.

What if we changed it so it's contingent on having other cards? Like, I dunno:



Or, if we want a Lands Matter theme:



Or, in place of Devotion - what about stealing from Metalcraft?



Or, to go even further, what if Fealty to [Color] is a keyword, a la Protection from [Color]?



I actually like the last one, just saying.

=---=

As a silly suggestion, what if we come up with "core" cards for each faction, and then made cards that got cool stuff based off having one of those cards out? So...

All of these are, to some extent viable. I'm going to attempt to respond to each individually, though I might have some similar things to say about the ones that are workable, but don't necessarily have my vote right now. That said, though I recognize that we need to revamp Fealty, as a Simic and Ghave player who loves me some counter shenanigans, I will miss the loss of Fealty counters.


Shogunate Vanguard (1W) 1/2
Fealty to Black - Shogunate Vanguard gains Deathtouch as long as you control a Black creature.

Power-Hungry Shogun (1BB) 3/2
Creatures you control with Fealty to Black gain +1/+1.
Certainly viable, rewards multicolored, reduces wording, I like that it allows that second card idea, though such may still be viable with other forms of Fealty. On the other hand, I'm not sure that second card would be entirely viable in either sealed or constructed. In either case, it very much encourages committing, at least somewhat, to a single Fealty. In constructed, it also commits you to the Fealty mechanic as a focus, rather than just a good card you toss in. I don't see the Power-Hungry Shogun ever getting played in serious constructed except maybe standard, and in sealed its limited to the cards you pull, and will only rarely be an appealing card to open, suggesting it might need to be pretty powerful, but since it's not broad enough to be worth a rare slot, it's definitely an uncommon, and it should be worthwhile with only one other card to buff.


Shogunate Vanguard (1W) 1/2
Fealty to Black - As long as you control a Swamp, Shogunate Vanguard gains Deathtouch.
This is potentially less constraining on deck building, since it reduces the necessity to commit to creature heavier decks, allowing low-creature strategies, but it's also a change that reduces the number of interesting options for the opponent. The decision to take creature A's damage while trading my creature with creature B is more interesting when creature A is also going to get weaker as a result. A better fix would be to make Fealty require any permanent of the right color, rather than just creatures, opening up to enchantments, and possibly artifacts, which are much more easily removed than lands, allowing more strategic options. I also find a land-matters version a bit less flavorful, outside perhaps a generic nationalism thing. Since we've mostly fluffed Fealty as a thing between individuals (except, perhaps, the Shirotsuro and the Kurotaka, but the latter is arguable) I definitely would argue against land-matters Fealty. Fealty to creatures is fealty to a person, to enchantments is to an idea, and to artifacts is to a heritage.


Shogunate Vanguard (1W) 1/2
Fealty to Black - As long as you control 3 or more Black permanents, Shogunate Vanguard has Deathtouch.
This has advantages and disadvantages. It broadens to permanents, which I think is good, but it's a much bigger commitment, which reduces the opportunities for color diversity. This version very much rewards building a deck with one main color and one or two splash colors, and using Fealty only for those splashed creatures. That's not terrible, as a mechanic, but I don't think it's right for the faction system we have set up. If we had a setting based on enemy color interactions, but where the factions were more single color focused, I think I would like this version. I can even already imaging this setting, built around the idea, "keep your enemies closer." Lots of political intrigue, very little open war. But we're too far in here, and I don't want to give up on this set, certainly not for what is little more than a seed of an idea. Other arguments against this include the fact that artifacts are a touch harder to destroy than the majority of colored permanents, and the way that metalcraft basically said, "Play lots of artifacts," tying into the fact that there were a lot of artifacts in that set. We don't really want Fealty to say, "Play lots of this color," in the same way, more, "Play multiple colors."


Shogunate Vanguard (1W) 1/2
Fealty to Black (You may pay B to cast this for {X}, where X is its converted mana cost.)
Shogunate Vanguard has Deathtouch as long as you control a Swamp.
I think I like this best. It works way better as a color fixing mechanic. As written, for one extra mana, you can cast this card for a different color. Casting a card a turn late is not ideal, but it's certainly better than casting it three turns late because you didn't draw the mana you needed. This gets my vote. I still like the idea of somehow including at least one cycle of reward creatures, who are better when paired with their enemy color, but I think the majority of Fealty creatures don't need to do that under this system. In this case, Fealty becomes something you don't so much build around, as use to allow yourself to build more colors without being as concerned about mana screw. I don't know if it would last as a worthwhile mechanic in constructed, but in sealed its certainly worthwhile.


Shogunate Vanguard (1W) 1/2
Shogunate Vanguard has Deathtouch as long as you control a creature named Shogunate Elite.
I do like the idea of a cycle of, say, fifteen cards. One cycle of five, the core creatures, and then a cycle of ten in the enemy colors that benefit from the core creature.

Or perhaps a cycle of ten, with one of them being two-colored and the other having Fealty to both of those colors, and both are better together.

You know what, this gets my full support, since it allows us to do several worthwhile things. First, the dual color creature would be representative of the two colors that get focus in their community. So the Shirotaka dual color would be White/Red, while the mate would be Blue. It allows us to create, then, one creature who is thoroughly committed to the faction, and one that is sort of an outsider, or at least an inhabitant of the community's fringe, representing the prominence of the colors in the flavor of these cards in addition to the emphasis in the number of cards of a color in a faction. It is also uniquely representative of the idea of Fealty, how the personal relationship between these two creature is what broadens the community and brings the value of the third color to the community.

I also think that Fealty should generally be limited to enemy colors, with the exception of the above double Fealty creature, which means that the cycle of allied color Fealty would be mono-directional.

Amechra
2016-09-13, 02:28 PM
For the ten-creature cycle, do you mean something like:

Beloved Shogun (2W/G) 4/2
Creature - Human Soldier
Creatures you control named Cruel Servant have +1/+1 and Menace.
Tap a creature you control: Deal 1 damage that would be dealt to Beloved Shogun to that creature instead.

Cruel Servant (1B) 1/1
Creature - Human Rogue
Fealty to White, Fealty to Green
Whenever noncombat damage is dealt to Cruel Servant, prevent 1 of that damage and target player loses 1 Life.

?

=---=

Because you could also do a ten-card cycle with enemy color pairs and monocolour cards, where each of the cards pairs with two others.

So you'd have Hidebound Shogun (G/B) caring about Selfless Servant (W) and Library Spirit (U), while Selfless Servant cares about Hidebound Shogun and Firebrand Abbot (U/R).

The idea being that you could run any 4 of the cards in a given faction's deck. I'm thinking the big, dual-colored ones can fetch your mono-colored ones, and your mono colors can have some extra benefit based off which dual-colors you have out.

So...

Hidebound Shogun (2G/B)
Creature - Human Warrior 3/2
Creatures you control named Selfless Servant and Library Spirit have +1/+1 and Menace.
1G/B, T: Search your library for a creature named Selfless Servant or Library Spirit. Put it into play tapped, then shuffle your library.

Selfless Servant (1W)
Creature - Human 1/1
Fealty to Black, Fealty to Red
Whenever a creature named Hidebound Shogun or Firebrand Abbot takes noncombat damage, prevent 1 of that damage. Selfless Servant takes damage equal to the amount of damage prevented this way.

(I'm working on a little 3-faction set where the UG faction's theme is "names matter" - I might post more about it once I get to the point where it's presentable.)

Jallorn
2016-09-13, 03:33 PM
For the ten-creature cycle, do you mean something like:

Beloved Shogun (2W/G) 4/2
Creature - Human Soldier
Creatures you control named Cruel Servant have +1/+1 and Menace.
Tap a creature you control: Deal 1 damage that would be dealt to Beloved Shogun to that creature instead.

Cruel Servant (1B) 1/1
Creature - Human Rogue
Fealty to White, Fealty to Green
Whenever noncombat damage is dealt to Cruel Servant, prevent 1 of that damage and target player loses 1 Life.

?

=---=

Because you could also do a ten-card cycle with enemy color pairs and monocolour cards, where each of the cards pairs with two others.

So you'd have Hidebound Shogun (G/B) caring about Selfless Servant (W) and Library Spirit (U), while Selfless Servant cares about Hidebound Shogun and Firebrand Abbot (U/R).

The idea being that you could run any 4 of the cards in a given faction's deck. I'm thinking the big, dual-colored ones can fetch your mono-colored ones, and your mono colors can have some extra benefit based off which dual-colors you have out.

So...

Hidebound Shogun (2G/B)
Creature - Human Warrior 3/2
Creatures you control named Selfless Servant and Library Spirit have +1/+1 and Menace.
1G/B, T: Search your library for a creature named Selfless Servant or Library Spirit. Put it into play tapped, then shuffle your library.

Selfless Servant (1W)
Creature - Human 1/1
Fealty to Black, Fealty to Red
Whenever a creature named Hidebound Shogun or Firebrand Abbot takes noncombat damage, prevent 1 of that damage. Selfless Servant takes damage equal to the amount of damage prevented this way.

(I'm working on a little 3-faction set where the UG faction's theme is "names matter" - I might post more about it once I get to the point where it's presentable.)

I was thinking more along the lines of enemy colored with just a single mate. So the Hidebound Shogun would only care about the Selfless Servant, who would likewise have Fealty to B/G, and would only care about the Hidebound Shogun. I do like the broader possibilities of the bidirectional pairings, but I also really liked the way the monodirectional setup really allowed a pair of cards to encapsulate the push and pull of the third color versus the primary two. Perhaps two cycles would be reasonable if we can find room. I think I would put the bidirectional cycle at a higher rarity than the monodirectional one.

Something along the lines of these four:

Battle-Scarred Shogun 1GB
Creature – Giant Soldier
4/2
Creatures you control named Chusei Kokoro have +1/+1 and Menace.
Tap a creature you control: Prevent 1 damage that would be dealt to Battle-Scarred Shogun. Deal twice the damage prevented this way to the tapped creature.

Chusei Kokoro 1W
Creature – Human Soldier
1/1
Fealty {G/B}
Whenever damage is dealt to Chusei Kokoro, prevent 1 of that damage and gain 1 life.

Priest of Kurotaka 1WB
Creature – Human Priest
3/3
Lifelink
Whenever you gain life, creatures you control named Kurotaka Bloodbound gain +1/+1 until end of turn.
Pay 2 life: Untap up to two creatures you control. Activate this ability only once per turn.


Kurotaka Bloodbound 1R
Creature – Human Warrior
2/1
Fealty {W/B}
Sacrifice Kurotaka Bloodbound: Deal X damage divided as you choose among any number of targets, where X is equal to Kurotaka Bloodbound's power.

Wanted to do more, got tired, ran out of ideas. Not entirely sold on keeping them all the same cost. Also not sure if too powerful. Very much more on the concept side of things.

Jallorn
2016-09-14, 01:27 PM
I was thinking more along the lines of enemy colored with just a single mate. So the Hidebound Shogun would only care about the Selfless Servant, who would likewise have Fealty to B/G, and would only care about the Hidebound Shogun. I do like the broader possibilities of the bidirectional pairings, but I also really liked the way the monodirectional setup really allowed a pair of cards to encapsulate the push and pull of the third color versus the primary two. Perhaps two cycles would be reasonable if we can find room. I think I would put the bidirectional cycle at a higher rarity than the monodirectional one.

Something along the lines of these four:

Battle-Scarred Shogun 1GB
Creature – Giant Soldier
4/2
Creatures you control named Chusei Kokoro have +1/+1 and Menace.
Tap a creature you control: Prevent 1 damage that would be dealt to Battle-Scarred Shogun. Deal twice the damage prevented this way to the tapped creature.

Chusei Kokoro 1W
Creature – Human Soldier
1/1
Fealty {G/B}
Whenever damage is dealt to Chusei Kokoro, prevent 1 of that damage and gain 1 life.

Priest of Kurotaka 1WB
Creature – Human Priest
3/3
Lifelink
Whenever you gain life, creatures you control named Kurotaka Bloodbound gain +1/+1 until end of turn.
Pay 2 life: Untap up to two creatures you control. Activate this ability only once per turn.


Kurotaka Bloodbound 1R
Creature – Human Warrior
2/1
Fealty {W/B}
Sacrifice Kurotaka Bloodbound: Deal X damage divided as you choose among any number of targets, where X is equal to Kurotaka Bloodbound's power.

Wanted to do more, got tired, ran out of ideas. Not entirely sold on keeping them all the same cost. Also not sure if too powerful. Very much more on the concept side of things.

I'm going to do some more work with this under the following assumptions:
Fealty is an alternate casting cost.

The mechanics for the tribes are:
Kurotaka: Pillage
Aokame: Legacy
Shirotsuro: Reincarnation
Akishishi: Harmony
Aokoi: Promised

I don't plan on including these tribe mechanics directly on the cards, but they will likely interact with it in some way.

khadgar567
2016-09-15, 02:01 AM
I'm going to do some more work with this under the following assumptions:
Fealty is an alternate casting cost.

The mechanics for the tribes are:
Kurotaka: Pillage
Aokame: Legacy
Shirotsuro: Reincarnation
Akishishi: Harmony
Aokoi: Promised

I don't plan on including these tribe mechanics directly on the cards, but they will likely interact with it in some way.
Do me a freaking favor mate just use amercha's idea

Jallorn
2016-09-15, 02:47 AM
Do me a freaking favor mate just use amercha's idea

Mmm, no? If you'd care to elaborate on why you consider Amechra's version better (to be honest I'm not even certain what idea you're referencing), I'd be glad to listen to your points. Even if I find them persuasive, I may still decide to follow mine out to the end. It's my volunteered time to a project that I consider myself to have a degree of ownership over. Not complete ownership, it is a collaborative project, after all, but if I decided to spend my time working on a complete revamp of mechanics I can do that. It might not amount to anything I come up with being adopted, but that's not the point.

Why do you seem so offended by my impulse to explore in one direction that I see value in? Am I coming off as dictatorial or controlling in any way? It is not my intention.

Amechra, do you have any problem with how I've been responding to your inputs? Does anyone else?

khadgar567
2016-09-15, 03:02 AM
Mmm, no? If you'd care to elaborate on why you consider Amechra's version better (to be honest I'm not even certain what idea you're referencing), I'd be glad to listen to your points. Even if I find them persuasive, I may still decide to follow mine out to the end. It's my volunteered time to a project that I consider myself to have a degree of ownership over. Not complete ownership, it is a collaborative project, after all, but if I decided to spend my time working on a complete revamp of mechanics I can do that. It might not amount to anything I come up with being adopted, but that's not the point.

Why do you seem so offended by my impulse to explore in one direction that I see value in? Am I coming off as dictatorial or controlling in any way? It is not my intention.

Amechra, do you have any problem with how I've been responding to your inputs? Does anyone else?
okay Jallorn my main problem is I can't understant sh*t about your fealty idea. while america's fealty idea feels like something i can start asap and create a deck with no problem since she gives pay little bit more mana to get card with different color I can make multi color deck with one color focus while you have two color multi color deck with no way to fix the deck to gain some cohesion in it with your fealty idea( care to explain it to outsider with no knowledge about game)
that's why I like amercha's idea instead of yours made yours is to complex to understanded by new player
and please lets put fealty to shelf and look the other mechanics so block has more stuff to build then fealty 2 universal mana this creature becomes kaiten bomber like effect

Jallorn
2016-09-15, 03:46 AM
okay Jallorn my main problem is I can't understant sh*t about your fealty idea. while america's fealty idea feels like something i can start asap and create a deck with no problem since she gives pay little bit more mana to get card with different color I can make multi color deck with one color focus while you have two color multi color deck with no way to fix the deck to gain some cohesion in it with your fealty idea( care to explain it to outsider with no knowledge about game)
that's why I like amercha's idea instead of yours made yours is to complex to understanded by new player
and please lets put fealty to shelf and look the other mechanics so block has more stuff to build then fealty 2 universal mana this creature becomes kaiten bomber like effect

... That's the one I'm working with... That's what I meant by Fealty as alternate mana cost.

I'll also point out that I don't have ownership of Fealty. Amechra came up with the original idea and it's been one of the main topics on hand, so I wouldn't say I have any more ownership than anyone else who has been involved in shaping its direction.

Perhaps it is unintentional or a misreading on my part, but I am detecting a fair amount of hostility and aggression in your latest posts. I find it hurtful, since my only objective here is, I imagine, the same as everyone else's: to create a cool set that we can be proud of. In particular it feels like you are taking it personally that I am (apparently) pursuing a design path that you consider to be wrong, and so are, in response, attacking me in an effort to prove my direction wrong. Again, I don't mean to affix malice or assume motive, I simply intend to report how your approach is impacting me. Since it is counterproductive to my ability to collaborate with you, I wish to address it. I don't want to make this a thing, or derail the thread, so if you feel anything else about this needs to be addressed please PM me, but I am also okay with leaving this here without response and moving on with the project.

Amechra
2016-09-15, 09:29 AM
No, I don't have a problem with the way you're taking my input.

Remind me - what did each of the "faction" mechanics do again?

Jallorn
2016-09-15, 02:35 PM
Kurotaka: Pillage
When this creature attacks, you may tap a creature you control. If you do, each opponent loses 1 life, and you gain life equal to the life lost this way.

Aokame: Legacy
You may cast this creature from your graveyard for its casting cost. If you do, it becomes an Enchantment-Aura attached to target creature instead of a creature. If this card would be sent to the graveyard and it is an Enchantment, exile it instead.

Shirotsuro: Reincarnation
When this creature dies, you may put a creature into play from your hand whose CMC is X or less.

Akishishi: Harmony
The next time you cast a spell this turn, add this card's effects to it.

Aokoi: Promised
If you would put this card on the bottom of your library from the top, you may reveal it and cast it for it's Promised cost.

So basically, attack triggered extort, reverse order Bestow, creature replacement, conditional and shorter-term rebound, and Scry-matters.

I'm not certain that these are our final options, let alone the final versions of these abilities, just of the ones we're looking at, they're the ones I like the most for each faction. I can certainly see a few issues with some of them. Pillage's tap-cost is a bit awkward, for instance, encouraging aggression but only with half your creatures (barring untap shenanigans and vigilance), and Legacy is arguably a bit more powerful Bestow since you never have to make the decision not to cast a creature on curve in order to Bestow it for the extra card value. Legacy doesn't have that same trade off decision.

khadgar567
2016-09-15, 02:53 PM
Kurotaka: Pillage
When this creature attacks, you may tap a creature you control. If you do, each opponent loses 1 life, and you gain life equal to the life lost this way.

Aokame: Legacy
You may cast this creature from your graveyard for its casting cost. If you do, it becomes an Enchantment-Aura attached to target creature instead of a creature. If this card would be sent to the graveyard and it is an Enchantment, exile it instead.

Shirotsuro: Reincarnation
When this creature dies, you may put a creature into play from your hand whose CMC is X or less.

Akishishi: Harmony
The next time you cast a spell this turn, add this card's effects to it.

Aokoi: Promised
If you would put this card on the bottom of your library from the top, you may reveal it and cast it for it's Promised cost.

So basically, attack triggered extort, reverse order Bestow, creature replacement, conditional and shorter-term rebound, and Scry-matters.

I'm not certain that these are our final options, let alone the final versions of these abilities, just of the ones we're looking at, they're the ones I like the most for each faction. I can certainly see a few issues with some of them. Pillage's tap-cost is a bit awkward, for instance, encouraging aggression but only with half your creatures (barring untap shenanigans and vigilance), and Legacy is arguably a bit more powerful Bestow since you never have to make the decision not to cast a creature on curve in order to Bestow it for the extra card value. Legacy doesn't have that same trade off decision.
Aokame and kurotaka looks juicy with proper fealty cards you can keep health high aokame monster into kurotaka as enchantment using fealty for synergy then tap to gain more life

Amechra
2016-09-15, 04:40 PM
Kurotaka: Pillage
When this creature attacks, you may tap a creature you control. If you do, each opponent loses 1 life, and you gain life equal to the life lost this way.

To increase the resemblance to Extort, why not change the "tap a creature" to "pay {X}"? Alternatively, a silly option is:

"When this creature attacks, you may have it deal 1 damage to you. If you do, each opponent loses 1 life, and you gain life equal to the life lost this way."

Yes, I'm aware that 90% of the time that's the same as doing nothing (exceptions are when you're playing in multiplayer, you're running something like Ajani's Pridemate (http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=205065), or your opponent is running stuff like Rain of Gore (http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?name=Rain%20of%20Gore))


Aokame: Legacy
You may cast this creature from your graveyard for its casting cost. If you do, it becomes an Enchantment-Aura attached to target creature instead of a creature. If this card would be sent to the graveyard and it is an Enchantment, exile it instead.

The problem I can see with casting-cost Legacy is that it doesn't fit with the other "you can play this from your graveyard" effects.

An alternate idea (stolen and tweaked from my UG faction¹):

Legacy - Whenever you successfully play a [creature type] while [this creature] is in your graveyard, you may [do blank]. If you do, exile [this creature].

So, for an example:

Samurai Mentor (1W)
Creature - Human Samurai 1/1
Bushido 1, Fealty to Green
Legacy - Whenever you successfully play a Human while Samurai Mentor is in your graveyard, you may put a +1/+1 counter on it. If you do, exile Samurai Mentor.

Brutal Suppressor (3B)
Creature - Giant Warrior 3/3
Fealty to White, Menace
Legacy - Whenever you successfully play a Giant while Brutal Suppressor is in your graveyard, you may give target creature -2/-2 until the end of turn. If you so, exile Brutal Suppressor.


Shirotsuro: Reincarnation
When this creature dies, you may put a creature into play from your hand whose CMC is X or less.

I'm assuming Reincarnation's X is always less than the creature's CMC? Otherwise, it's basically just "Cascade, but from my hand!".


Akishishi: Harmony
The next time you cast a spell this turn, add this card's effects to it.

Splice with Arcane meets Storm? Coincidentally, this is spectacularly broken when combined with Storm (and, hell, just by itself).

Consider an Instant called Explosive Song that deals 1 damage to each opponent, which has Harmony. In most cases, it's fine - if I cast Explosive Song, then Lightning Bolt a creature, I end up dealing 2 damage to each opponent and 3 to one creature. Cool!

If I were to instead, say, cast Empty the Warrens, it looks like:

1) I cast Explosive Song! I deal 1 damage to each opponent.
2) I cast Empty the Warrens! Explosive Song's Harmony effect kicks in, and Empty the Warrens now deals 1 damage to each opponent in addition to its normal effects.
3) Except Empty the Warrens has Storm, so I make a copy of it - and the Harmony effect along with it.

End result? Each opponent takes 3 damage, and I've got 4 1/1 Goblins. It's worse if I've cast another spell prior to it, like say Lightning Bolt to eliminate a creature - now my turn looks like 3 damage to a creature, 4 damage to each opponent, and 6 1/1s.

---

Now, notice I said "hell, just by itself"? By RAW, Harmony currently copies all of its effects onto the next spell you cast... including the Harmony keyword. So lets cast Explosive Song → Lightning Bolt → Empty the Warrens.

That's 5 damage to each opponent (thanks to Explosive Song), 12 extra damage in units of 3 (thanks to Lightning Bolt), and 6 1/1s (thanks to Empty the Warrens).

If I decided to cast it as Explosive Song → Empty the Warrens → Lightning Bolt, it looks like:

Explosive Song (Deal 1 damage to each opponent. Harmony)
Empty the Warrens (Deal 1 damage to each opponent, and put 2 1/1 Goblins into play. Harmony, Storm.)
Lightning Bolt (Deal 1 damage to each opponent, put 2 1/1 Goblins into play, and deal 3 damage to target creature or player. Harmony, Storm.)

You get Explosive Song's effect 6 times, Empty the Warren's effect 5 times, and Lightning Bolt's effects 3 times. You can blast someone for 15 damage and put 10 1/1s into play for peanuts.

---

A better wording is something like:

Harmony - The next time you cast an instant or sorcery this turn, [do blank].

Compare:

Explosive Song (1R)
Instant
Deal 1 damage to each opponent.
Harmony (The next time you cast a spell this turn, add this card's effects to it.)

Explosive Song (1R)
Instant
Deal 1 damage to each opponent.
Harmony - The next time you cast an instant or sorcery this turn, deal 1 damage to each opponent.


Aokoi: Promised
If you would put this card on the bottom of your library from the top, you may reveal it and cast it for it's Promised cost.

Its, not it's. Other than that, this looks fine.

=---=

I think you've probably noticed my preference for versatile mechanics by now. :D

=---=

¹ For those of you who are curious, this is what I adapted:

Regret - Whenever you successfully cast a spell named [card name] while [this] is in your graveyard, [do blank].

For an example:

Hindsight (1U)
Instant
Scry X+1, where X is the number of cards in your graveyard named Hindsight.
Regret - Whenever you successfully cast a spell named Hindsight while Hindsight is in your graveyard, draw a card.

Or, in short form:


Hindsight (1U)
Instant
Scry X+1, where X is the number of cards in your graveyard named Hindsight.
Regret - Draw a card.

Jallorn
2016-09-15, 05:19 PM
To increase the resemblance to Extort, why not change the "tap a creature" to "pay {X}"?
My logic in the past was: If it costs mana it should be colored, and there's no tri-color mana symbol.


Alternatively, a silly option is:

"When this creature attacks, you may have it deal 1 damage to you. If you do, each opponent loses 1 life, and you gain life equal to the life lost this way."

Yes, I'm aware that 90% of the time that's the same as doing nothing (exceptions are when you're playing in multiplayer, you're running something like Ajani's Pridemate (http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=205065), or your opponent is running stuff like Rain of Gore (http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?name=Rain%20of%20Gore))
Might be viable. I raised a concern about the tap-a-creature cost, but I still think it's potentially viable, as long as some elements of the Clan's design choices are built around the need to have some creatures untapped during combat. This suggests Vigilance sources (probably not too many passive ones though) and lots of 1/1s, probably in the form of tokens. In fact, since White and Red are the swarm-token colors (White because they're the weenie color, and red because Goblins) that's not a half bad design plan anyway.



The problem I can see with casting-cost Legacy is that it doesn't fit with the other "you can play this from your graveyard" effects.
That was a mistake on my part, should read Legacy cost, not casting cost. It costs a fair bit more to cast a Legacy than the creature did.


An alternate idea (stolen and tweaked from my UG faction¹):

Legacy - Whenever you successfully play a [creature type] while [this creature] is in your graveyard, you may [do blank]. If you do, exile [this creature].

So, for an example:

Samurai Mentor (1W)
Creature - Human Samurai 1/1
Bushido 1, Fealty to Green
Legacy - Whenever you successfully play a Human while Samurai Mentor is in your graveyard, you may put a +1/+1 counter on it. If you do, exile Samurai Mentor.

Brutal Suppressor (3B)
Creature - Giant Warrior 3/3
Fealty to White, Menace
Legacy - Whenever you successfully play a Giant while Brutal Suppressor is in your graveyard, you may give target creature -2/-2 until the end of turn. If you so, exile Brutal Suppressor.
I like the idea of this, but I worry about falling into too much tribal-ness with a faction that so far has been rather non-tribal. That said, I think this mechanical implementation is far more Green/Black, which is the goal, so I definitely want to explore it more.



I'm assuming Reincarnation's X is always less than the creature's CMC? Otherwise, it's basically just "Cascade, but from my hand!".
Not always, in fact, not usually. Cascade, but from my hand, is actually weaker than base cascade. You have to actually have something worthwhile in your hand. The trick is that most Reincarnation creatures are weaker for their mana cost/more expensive for their power. So you might have a 1/1 with Reincarnation 3 that costs 2. Maybe it gets a keyword and costs 3, I'm not sure about the power balance yet, but the idea is a rather aggressive red/white one, where you aren't so concerned about your creatures' survival since they'll become another creature when they die, as long as you're prepared enough to have a replacement in hand.



Splice with Arcane meets Storm? Coincidentally, this is spectacularly broken when combined with Storm (and, hell, just by itself).

Consider an Instant called Explosive Song that deals 1 damage to each opponent, which has Harmony. In most cases, it's fine - if I cast Explosive Song, then Lightning Bolt a creature, I end up dealing 2 damage to each opponent and 3 to one creature. Cool!

If I were to instead, say, cast Empty the Warrens, it looks like:

1) I cast Explosive Song! I deal 1 damage to each opponent.
2) I cast Empty the Warrens! Explosive Song's Harmony effect kicks in, and Empty the Warrens now deals 1 damage to each opponent in addition to its normal effects.
3) Except Empty the Warrens has Storm, so I make a copy of it - and the Harmony effect along with it.

End result? Each opponent takes 3 damage, and I've got 4 1/1 Goblins. It's worse if I've cast another spell prior to it, like say Lightning Bolt to eliminate a creature - now my turn looks like 3 damage to a creature, 4 damage to each opponent, and 6 1/1s.
This is probably a worthwhile concern for Modern. I've mostly been thinking Standard/Sealed. The way I was seeing Harmony, it was differentiated from Rebound or other recast-like effects because you could copy it and another spell more easily (as well as increasing counter efficiency for opponents). So while a possible fix would be to simply cast a copy, rather than add effects, it also loses enough differentiation to justify making a new mechanic.



Now, notice I said "hell, just by itself"? By RAW, Harmony currently copies all of its effects onto the next spell you cast... including the Harmony keyword. So lets cast Explosive Song → Lightning Bolt → Empty the Warrens.

That's 5 damage to each opponent (thanks to Explosive Song), 12 extra damage in units of 3 (thanks to Lightning Bolt), and 6 1/1s (thanks to Empty the Warrens).

If I decided to cast it as Explosive Song → Empty the Warrens → Lightning Bolt, it looks like:

Explosive Song (Deal 1 damage to each opponent. Harmony)
Empty the Warrens (Deal 1 damage to each opponent, and put 2 1/1 Goblins into play. Harmony, Storm.)
Lightning Bolt (Deal 1 damage to each opponent, put 2 1/1 Goblins into play, and deal 3 damage to target creature or player. Harmony, Storm.)

You get Explosive Song's effect 6 times, Empty the Warren's effect 5 times, and Lightning Bolt's effects 3 times. You can blast someone for 15 damage and put 10 1/1s into play for peanuts.
I may have mistyped this ability as well, or maybe we just missed it earlier, but it was intended to be a one-time copy. A better read of the intention would be, "copy all other effects on this card." That way Harmony can only trigger once (and Harmony into Harmony doesn't work because Harmony copies the effects on the card, not the effects of the spell the card is casting.) I also realize that Harmony absolutely should read, "Instant or Sorcery spell," and not any spell. Nope, I lied, the inclusion of any spell is so that Harmony can trigger on creature casting, accounting for green-ness.

I might suggest making Harmony creature-fed Storm (Copy this for each creature cast this turn), but that's a bit more Green/Red than Red/Blue, and the Akishishi mechanic should be more Red/Blue with space for Green. I suppose it could be seen as Green/Blue as well though... I'm not sure how I feel about the Green-ness of Harmony as creature-fed Storm. Opinions?



A better wording is something like:

Harmony - The next time you cast an instant or sorcery this turn, [do blank].

Compare:

Explosive Song (1R)
Instant
Deal 1 damage to each opponent.
Harmony (The next time you cast a spell this turn, add this card's effects to it.)

Explosive Song (1R)
Instant
Deal 1 damage to each opponent.
Harmony - The next time you cast an instant or sorcery this turn, deal 1 damage to each opponent.



Its, not it's. Other than that, this looks fine.

=---=

I think you've probably noticed my preference for versatile mechanics by now. :D
I do note that this version of Harmony could do different things from what the base spell does, and that has value. I don't think I'm quite ready to give up on the other version of Harmony just yet though.

5a Violista
2016-09-15, 05:21 PM
So I'll also go through the Fealty variations we've come up with and compare them to our design requirements for it. (The requirements are: (1) It makes playing a tri-color deck feasible and attractive, (2) It is clear and concise, (3) It doesn't invalidate a faction-mechanic, nor does it make one faction clearly the best choice, (4) It doesn't just make you delay playing a card in order to get a better effect, (5) It can be played without having a bloat of tokens or a need to memorize information about what was played when, (6) It can be fun or interesting for both players, (7) it fits with the intended theme, and (8) Can mesh adequately with previous sets without being parasitic or needing to be built around.) I feel like having the requirements written out really helps judge not only whether or not something is feasible, but also whether or not it's desirable.

The previous version of Fealty that we've been using violates requirement (2) and (4) and possibly (5) because we've found it to be wordy and, in practice, all it does is make you wait one turn longer to get the significantly-better effect. Re: (5), sometimes you did have to remember "I paid the Fealty cost for this card but not for this card". In addition, in certain cases it could violate (8) and feel parasitic without meshing well with others.

Now, the ones suggested in post #208:
Fealty to Black - Shogunate Vanguard gains Deathtouch as long as you control a Black creature.
(1) This does make multi-color decks (dual-color or tri-color) attractive but not necessarily more viable (i.e. it still has the "what if I don't draw the mana color I need" problem). (2) It is clear and easy to understand. (3) A "creatures" focus makes factions with many cheap creatures better than factions with many non-creatures or few but strong creatures. It has a huge favor towards Reincarnation as well, because Reincarnation basically lets you put down whatever color of creature you need. (4) It solves this problem: there's no reason to simply delay your plays. (5) No need to remember casting order/mana used to cast/etc. (6) It gives you the choice to play creatures to boost your own, and it gives your opponent choices to remove certain colors of creatures to weaken yours. (7) It does fit with the theme. (8) Previous sets have creatures, so that's good.

Addition to the previous: Creatures you control with Fealty to Black gain +1/+1.
(1) with this variation added to the previous, it seems like dual-color decks would be slightly more attractive than tri-color decks, simply because then you can focus your Fealty-Color bonuses around two colors instead of split between three. (2) is okay: it's clear, concise. In addition, with the creature focus, (3) is partially violated: decks with a swarm of creature focus (especially red-white decks) are very attractive while decks with few-strong creatures (such as green) or few creatures (blue) are less effective. Faction mechanics that focus on creatures (Pillage, Reincarnation) or alternate casting costs (Reincarnation, Promised) are then so much better than faction mechanics that focus on non-creatures (Harmony, Legacy). (4) is not violated. (5) is not violated. (6) is good on this one, because it adds the tactical option to target or protect key creatures. (7), the theme fits. (8) Would need to be built around if combined with previous sets.


Lands matter: Fealty to Black - As long as you control a Swamp, Shogunate Vanguard gains Deathtouch.

(1) Having two or three (or more!) colors of lands is more attractive, but not made more feasible because there's still the question of "What if I don't draw enough of the right land?" (2) It is easily understood and concise. (3) It doesn't favor creature-decks or alternate-casting decks like the previous, but it does favor (and incentivize) the rare Red land-removal decks and Green land-searching decks. (4) There's little need to delay playing a card, unless you feel it's tactically advantageous. (5) There's no need to remember a lot or have a lot of tokens, and "which color of lands do I have" is really easy to see. (6) On the other hand, it makes games more same-same: unless your deck has many Land-Removal cards, you can't do anything new tactically, and all games will start out weaker and creep to glass cannon levels as players draw the right colors of lands. (7) As previously mentioned, the theme is slightly off from what it should be. (8) No problem.

Metalcraftalike: Fealty to Black - As long as you control 3 or more Black permanents, Shogunate Vanguard has Deathtouch.
(1) It makes two- and three-color decks more attractive (two-color decks especially, because you'll have more of any single color in a two-color deck than a three-color deck) and two-color decks with a splash of a third also attractive. Four- and five-color decks are similarly less attractive than some of the previous. Not necessarily more feasible, unless you have alternate means of casting permanents. (2) It makes sense, is clear, concise. (3) This doesn't exclusively favor creature-focused decks. The mechanics it favors the most, however, is Legacy and it makes Harmony stand out as being less useful (since it mostly affects sorceries instead of permanents). Of course, since Auras are easy to remove, the Legacy-favor isn't enormous and gives some options to both players. It also makes Reincarnation fairly attractive, because it allows you to essentially put down whatever color of permanent you want. Promised, as well, is somewhat attractive. (4) It doesn't give the sense of "Delay casting a turn for every card" so that's good. (5) No need to remember or have a bloat of tokens. (6) It can be very fun and interesting, giving strategic decisions to prevent or remove certain cards, especially if you're playing a deck with Legacy or Reincarnation or maybe even Promised. (7) It absolutely and definitely fits with the intended theme of having factions. (8) Other sets had permanents; no problem.

Finally, the Fealty to [Color]: Fealty to Black (You may pay B to cast this for {X}, where X is its converted mana cost.)

(1) This absolutely makes playing a tri-color deck more feasible, and slightly more attractive. Out of all the possible variations of Fealty, actually, this is the only one that achieves the intended purpose of Fealty, which is to make playing tri-color decks more feasible. To be honest, it can make a tri-color with splashes of a fourth or fifth somewhat attractive. (2) It is very clear and very concise. (3) Because it's another alternate-payment card, it sort-of does compete with Reincarnation or Promised, but not significantly. It can be used with both creatures and non-creature cards, so it doesn't favor any particular color. (4) Actually, it makes it so you can play cards even earlier if you don't have the right color of mana, without making it easily abused. So, it's pretty good on this requirement. (5) There's no need for tokens or remembering things and so on. (6) Playing cards at a higher cost when bad luck was otherwise preventing you is a good strategy. Granted, this means it's less useful late-game, but then we can have the faction-specific mechanics more important and more interesting late-game. (7) It doesn't support the theme exactly, but it doesn't contradict the theme either. It's a very theme-neutral mechanic, which helps the faction mechanics shine through, I suppose. (8)Other sets had mana; there's no problem here.

In summary, the last two options (Fealty as alternative casting cost, and Fealty as Controlling Permanents) are clearly the best.
Actually, even if we don't go with the second-to-last one, it would be fun to have Uncommons or a Rare that says "As long as you control 3 or more permanents, [this card] gains some ability." No need to make it a keyword.

So, Fealty as Alt Casting Cost, Pros: (*)It's the only Fealty mechanic we've come up with so far that actually fulfills the intended purpose of Fealty, which is: make it easier to play a tri-color deck. All the other versions of Fealty only make tricolor decks more interesting or more attractive, but not easier. (*) Easy to understand with no complexity. (*)It's fairly faction-neutral (does not favor any faction) and theme-neutral. (*) Even the faction mechanics that it comes in competition with (Reincarnation, Promised) they have different uses and it is only better than them early-game before you have time to set up deck-reveal or discarding combos. (*) Because in normal tri-color decks it is only useful early-game, it allows Faction-specific mechanics to shine mid-to-late game. (*)It's hard to abuse, regardless of what mechanic it's combined with. (*)Actually, though, it can be used late-game by having a splash color played exclusively through the Fealty mechanic (*)I just realized that having a splash color played through Fealty mechanic exclusively does fit with the theme of fealty to a faction. (*)Can be easily combined with "[creature] has [ability] as long as you control a [land]" in some Common and Uncommon cards to increase tactical options (*)Can be interesting on its own, but doesn't need to be attention-grabbing or built around.
Cons: (*) It somewhat comes into competition with Reincarnation and Promised in the early-mid game. (*) While it doesn't contradict the Factions-theme, it doesn't greatly support the theme either, unless you're using a splash color. (*) It doesn't exclusively support tri-color decks: it also allows two-color with a third splash and tri-color with a fourth or fifth splash color. This actually could be a pro because it helps with the theme and gives tactical options/creativity.

Fealty, as long as you control # of [Color] Permanents: Pros: (*) This idea can be used without making it a keyword, on some Uncommon or Rare cards. (*) Interesting, fun, and gives a lot of creative tactical and strategic options for certain decks. (*)Makes tri-color decks more attractive. (*)Clear and easily-understood. (*)Fits very well with the Factions theme.
Cons: (*)On its own as the universal mechanic, favors Legacy and Reincarnation and disfavors Harmony. (*) As a universal mechanic, favors Red and White decks (many cheap permanents), disfavors Green and Blue decks (easily-removable enchantments/few strong creatures or few creatures/many sorceries). (*)Does not make tri-color decks more feasible. (*)May draw attention away from other abilities, while adding some complexity.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, the Fealty to [color] as a keyword is the best overall: "Fealty to Black (You may pay B to cast this for {X}, where X is its converted mana cost.)" and we could give some Uncommons "As long as you control X, [something] happens" to make them interesting as well, without making that a keyword.
I like this version of Fealty. It fits, helps make tri-color decks easier, gives you strategic options when building your deck, and gives you tactical options early-game. Plus, it's easy to understand and it's concise so that's great. It can also be used with pretty much any mechanic/color/strategy without being easily exploitable or rendering that mechanic/color/strategy useless. Finally, it achieves the intended purpose of Fealty when we first came up with it. Good job, Amechra and Jallorn, for figuring this out and for playtesting them.

I think we should now alter the Commons we've created to fit with what we've found out during playtesting, add a dozen or so more Commons, and a handful of Uncommons.

5a Violista
2016-09-15, 05:40 PM
Legacy - Whenever you successfully play a [creature type] while [this creature] is in your graveyard, you may [do blank]. If you do, exile [this creature].
I like this because it's slightly simpler than the previous version of Legacy. Jallorn's point that it makes it somewhat Tribal is a good point. This faction was supposed to be largely Giants and Humans, though, right? And there's Giants in maybe one other faction, and Humans all over the place. I think the original inspiration for this faction was Giants, where you can sacrifice some humans or something to make them stronger. Whether or not we're still going with that, I don't know, but how would it be if we changed it to "Whenever you successfully play a [Color] Creature while..." instead? Would that be potentially exploitable or useless?




A better wording is something like:

Harmony - The next time you cast an instant or sorcery this turn, [do blank].
I like this wording a lot better; in fact, when I created the sample deck for this faction I was thinking along these lines. (I also gave it to some creatures' Activated Abilities, because this wording allows Creatures to have this ability in their activated ability.) Completely copying the everything is broken, and I like how this Harmony can be used in more varied ways than just "same as before, only repeat": it can be used to create a different undertone effect which fits the idea of harmonizing.

I would like it if Creatures with activated abilities could use this ability, because then it wouldn't force this faction exclusively into the "Creatures are Useless" territory.


Regarding the cycles and other ability rewordings and such that have been discussed on this page: Well, I don't know enough about MtG meta to really judge them. The discussion looks good, though.

Jallorn
2016-09-15, 05:56 PM
Putting some more thought into Legacy (When you cast X, you may exile this, if you do, Y).

I think to avoid excess tribalism without losing the fluff of creature-type-matters, we could make it, "When you cast a card that shares a subtype with this creature..." So if you've got a Giant Samurai, you could activate his Legacy with a Giant or a Samurai. Because a Human Samurai could be the student to the Giant Samurai, or vassal, or similar, thus carrying his Legacy.

I'm uncertain about color, since it either encourages fewer color decks by having a black creature wanting you to cast another black creature, or breaks from the feel of Legacy (at least intuitively) by needing you to cast a totally different creature.

The Shogunate was originally imagined as Giants and Humans, but the seed of that was really this idea that power is power, whether the wielder be a Human, a Giant, or something else, so this society ruled by the strong doesn't care about your species in the way that others might. So it's open to more creature types.

The idea of Humans being sacrificed to make the Giants stronger was brought up in an exploration of other ideas, but hasn't been expanded much, so the central mechanics we have mostly don't do much with it. If someone wants to try and incorporate that idea as a keyword mechanic, the door's not closed yet, but I don't think it needs to be necessarily, as we could still incorporate that idea into a rare or two.

The core conceit of the Aokame Shogunate is that might is right. Depending on your perspective, the Shogunate is either a tyrannical empire conquering people out of greed and convincing them that they're better off being ruled over, or they're a society where the powerful and mighty use their power to protect those they are responsible for, and are justly rewarded for it with service and loyalty.

Amechra
2016-09-15, 06:59 PM
I originally was going to suggest "shares a creature type" Legacy, but discarded it because it felt too open. Then again, I think in terms of Vintage/Legacy, so... it should be fine in context with this set and Standard.

I was out for a walk, and I came up with an alternate idea for Pillage - namely, it should encourage your opponent to block those creatures.

• Pillage (If this creature attacks and isn't blocked, that opponent loses 1 life and you gain 1 life.)

Jallorn
2016-09-15, 07:15 PM
I originally was going to suggest "shares a creature type" Legacy, but discarded it because it felt too open. Then again, I think in terms of Vintage/Legacy, so... it should be fine in context with this set and Standard.

I was out for a walk, and I came up with an alternate idea for Pillage - namely, it should encourage your opponent to block those creatures.

• Pillage (If this creature attacks and isn't blocked, that opponent loses 1 life and you gain 1 life.)

Hmm, that is much less clunky and works flavorfully: you better engage this guy in a fight or he's gonna steal your stuff.

khadgar567
2016-09-16, 12:35 AM
Noobs question for aokame kurotaka combo can encantment increasing attack allow kurotaka to gain( pillige )more health and force to block is nice in swarm wereyou summon bunch of low monsters, use spell to give them pilliage then go to town on your opponent

Jallorn
2016-09-16, 12:49 AM
Noobs question for aokame kurotaka combo can encantment increasing attack allow kurotaka to gain( pillige )more health and force to block is nice in swarm wereyou summon bunch of low monsters, use spell to give them pilliage then go to town on your opponent

I... don't know what you're asking here.

Amechra
2016-09-16, 01:04 AM
Noobs question for aokame kurotaka combo can encantment increasing attack allow kurotaka to gain( pillige )more health and force to block is nice in swarm wereyou summon bunch of low monsters, use spell to give them pilliage then go to town on your opponent

To translate for Jaillorn:


Noob question for my Aokami-Kurotaka combo: can an Aura increasing Power allow the Kurotaka player to gain (through Pillage) more life? Forcing your opponent to block when you swarm is nice - you summon a bunch of small creatures, use a spell to give them Pillage, then go to town on your opponent.

To answer - no, khadgar, Pillage does a constant amount of life loss/life gain, unrelated to the creature's power. If you want to get a ton of life out of it, you have to use it with a ton of creatures.

khadgar567
2016-09-16, 01:17 AM
To translate for Jaillorn:



To answer - no, khadgar, Pillage does a constant amount of life loss/life gain, unrelated to the creature's power. If you want to get a ton of life out of it, you have to use it with a ton of creatures.
thanks Amechra to bad my idea of keep health high not works like i hope
so pillage changes from grab mana from opponent land to grab health from opponent

Amechra
2016-11-12, 02:01 PM
Let's bring this back up, shall we? Here's an alternate version of the Aokoi test deck that uses Scry/Promised.


Island x7, Swamp x7, Forest x7
Mangrove Library x3

CREATURES
Wise Oni x3
Bitterheart Banshee x3
Frostheart Maiden x3
Loretrader Elf x3
Sapmaw Librarian x2
Spiteful Tomeguard x2

ENCHANTMENTS
Eternal Wisdom x3
Scholar's Burden x3
Inward Secrets x2
Whimsy Lorevault x2

INSTANTS/SORCERIES
Intense Study x3
Mischievous Denial x3
Fairy Bargain x2
Lorestained Prophecy x2

Mangrove Library - Land
T - Add 1 to your mana pool.
2, T - Add UBG to your mana pool, then Scry 1.

Wise Oni {1B} Creature - Demon 1/2
Fealty U/GW
Whenever you put a card on top of your library, you may put it in your graveyard instead. If you do so, target opponent discards a card.

Bitterheart Banshee {2U} Creature - Spirit 1/3
Flying, Promised 1U
When Bitterheart Banshee comes into play from your library, tap target creature. It doesn't untap during it's owner's next untap step.

Frostheart Maiden {2UB} Creature - Fairy Rogue 2/3
Promised 1UB
Whenever Frostheart Maiden or another creature dies, you may Scry 1.

Loretrader Elf {G} Creature - Elf Advisor 1/1
Fealty U
Whenever you put a card on top of your library, you may put it in your graveyard instead. If you do so, add G to your mana pool.

Sapmaw Librarian {3UG} Creature - Spirit Advisor 3/4
Whenever you play a creature from your Library, put a 1/1 Green Saproling token into play, then draw a card.

Spiteful Tomeguard {3BB} Creature - Demon 4/3
Whenever a player draws a card, Spiteful Tomeguard deals 1 damage to that player.
UB, lose 2 life: Look at the top card of your library. If it is an Instant or Sorcery, you may play it as if it had Promised U/B until the end of your turn.

Eternal Wisdom {UG} Enchantment - Aura
Enchant Creature
Whenever you put a card on top of your library, put a +1/+1 counter on the enchanted creature, and it gains Shroud until the end of the turn.
Whenever you put a card on the bottom of your library, return Eternal Wisdom to your hand.

Scholar's Burden {1U} Enchantment
Whenever you put a card on top of your library, you may put it in your graveyard instead. If you do, draw a card.

Inward Secrets {2UB} Enchantment
At the beginning of each upkeep, draw a card and put a card from your hand on top of your library.
At the beginning of each end step, discard a card and put a card from your hand on the bottom of your library.

Whimsy Lorevault {3U} Enchantment
When Whimsy Lorevault enters the battlefield, exile the top card of your library.
Whenever you put a card on top of your library, you may exile it instead.
{2} Put a card exiled by Whimsy Lorevault into your hand.

Intense Study {1U} Sorcery
Scry 1 and draw a card. Then Scry 1.

Mischievous Denial {UU} Instant
Fealty U
Return target permanent to its owner's hand.
If B was paid for Mishievous Denial, that permanent's controller then discards a card.
If G was paid for Mischievous Denial, put a +1/+1 counter on a creature you control.

Fairy Bargain {2UB} Sorcery
Return a permanent you control and a permanent target opponent controls to your hands.
Then you draw a card and that opponent discards a card.

Lorestained Prophecy {2UG} Sorcery
Search your Library for a creature with a Promised cost and put it on top of your library. Then Scry 1.
If you play a creature for its Promised cost this turn, put a +1/+1 counter on it.


If you'll notice, the Aokoi work off three closely-related mechanics:

- If you put a card on the bottom of your library, you can play it instead (Promised)
- If you put a card on top of your library, you can put it in your graveyard instead. (A cost for a few abilities)
- Scry.

Jallorn
2016-11-17, 05:00 AM
This also lends to a couple other mechanics besides scry with that wording, namely, bounce to library (top or bottom) and (possibly) return from hand to library. In most circumstances, it would be a cost, such as: Return target permanent you control to the top of your library. Return target permanent an opponent controls to the top of their library. You could then discard that card that you returned for another card's power. It would also give a form of protection against an opponent's bounce effects, meaning that Aokoi interact with each other differently than with the other factions, which fits fluff nicely.

Jallorn
2017-07-08, 02:59 PM
Hey guys, been a good long while, but I'd like to try and revive this, starting with some thoughts on the Shirotsuro Church.

Namely, that their flavor just isn't red enough. For faction centered on red, their motivation, enlightenment through karmic reincarnation, just doesn't fit. Instead, I'd propose that there is no karmic element to their reincarnation. Instead, the point of life is to experience and be as much as possible. Learning of and reincarnating as others are means to that end. The church is focused on the vibrancy of life and experiences, of love and discovery. That their leader happens to (at least appear to) be a Jesus expy shouldn't diminish their redness.

I have also noticed something that could be a solid set-wide theme: balance. As each of the factions is centered in the enemy color, the set becomes dominated by the interaction of enemy colors, always an exercise in balance, a push and pull. This blends well with the eastern influences, suggesting a liberal dusting of taoist yin-yang over everything. It shows in the factions, most especially in the Shogunate's balance of responsibility both upwards and downwards, and can be reflected in our named characters, defining them in relation to the balance of their own personality traits.

Given the reimagining I have given the Shirotsuro, I definitely think Spellswap suits them better thematically than Reincarnation. It's a more Red ability, being versatile, flexible, and hard to predict, since any spell could be another spell.

Jallorn
2017-08-30, 01:59 AM
I've been examining elements of this setting, thinking about the factions' relationships to their core color and thinking about leaders and legendary creatures.

With the Kurotaka I find it crucial to examine their leader, Kurotaka, the First Blackguard. With the clan being an extension of his goals and efforts, it follows then that he is, himself, primarily a White character. We also have a fair bit of story in his name: He is the first Blackguard. What is a Blackguard in this setting? Are the others members of the Kurotaka clan? Are they members of another faction, perhaps either the Aokami Shogunate or the Spirits of the Aokoi? The latter certainly draws me given the suggestion that Kurotaka cheated a demon for his power.

Perhaps it was Kurotaka's whiteness, his morality, his willingness to be selfless and community minded, that enabled him to cheat, or at least defeat, a demon. I see a possible narrative where Kurotaka, for the sake of his people, makes a deal for power. The demon banks on Kurotaka's fallibility as a man, that when the deal is concluded, whatever its conditions may be, he will be able to keep Kurotaka under his command. But Kurotaka triumphs beyond the demon's expectations, fulfilling and exceeding his role in the deal, earning the title of First of the Blackguards, mightiest of their number, and eventually his freedom, to return to his clan and lead them.

But perhaps that clashes with the intent some, and instead, it is Kurotaka's desire to serve his clan and craft them into a community that will weather all onslaughts that drives him to a more straightforward cheated deal with a demon.

Regardless, we have a man who is ruthless, pragmatic in his protection of his community. Individual lives are but resources in service to the clan, even his own life and soul.

Perhaps this is a tragedy, Kurotaka was a brave, honorable warrior who sought power for his clan's sake, and in the process lost his soul. Still he acts with that original intent, but it has been perverted, twisting his clan into a vicious, amoral mockery of itself, no longer valuing the individuals who compose it.

But I think I prefer the more heroic version. It clashes with the inescapable fact that on the grand scheme of things, the Kurotaka are not good guys. To have, then, a hero, albeit a dark, dangerous one, who truly earned his power, who truly doesn't see himself as greater than any other clansman, who is consistent in his morality and doesn't fall to the sin of hypocrisy, is more where my taste falls. I think, too, that it means people who play Kurotaka can embrace either side of them: the dark vicious side, or the heroic, WH40K-esque side.

And it begins to suggest an overarching narrative defined by the internal conflicts inherent in wedges.

Before I get to that narrative, I'd like to touch on the Shirotsuro Church. I had, for the longest time, an image of the leader of the Shirotsuro as a sort of Jesus or Buddha figure, one who was simple in appearance, yet holy and powerful for it. A monk-type, perhaps a bit bland but for the personality that rests within him. In short, I had an image that was very white, perhaps white/blue.

That was wrong. The Shirotsuro Church is red at it's core. They are moved by passion, zealotry, freedom, emotion. They are a force of change, not peace. And therefore their leader must be different as well. Not a faceless, "anyone could be me," kind of icon, representative of some collective mind, no, that is Kurotaka's place as the will of his clan. The Prophet of the Shirotsuro church, though perhaps nameless, is no flavorless leader, but a man of powerful charisma. He is a preacher of fire and brimstone, railing against those who would deny the holy truth, against those who would act evil on the true believers by restricting their proper worship, their proper search for truth and enlightenment. He rails against corruption, against abominations, against keepers of secrets, and against cultists. He screams and his followers listen, energized, invigorated, and impassioned to act.

But for all that he preaches freedom, chaos, and change as the paths to true enlightenment, the Prophet is a man with a plan, and agents besides. Chief among his agents are secret monks, scholars who travel and teach, converting the common man to the faith of the church and teaching them to fight for it, making pockets of peasant insurgents throughout the land. And though he seeks a world of freedom, devoid of secrets, where men can be more than they are, he does so through secret agents and espionage, through force and through nameless sacrifices.

And this brings me to my narrative. The dominant power of mortal society is the Aokami Shogunate. This monolith has ruled since an alliance between man and giant. This union enabled them to even claim dominion over the Akashishi Tribes, though they disagree. The Akishishi, those keepers of secrets, are then one of several subjugated people, and they are allied to many independent spirits, the wise, even peaceful, yet lawless Fae, enemies of the Aokoi. They continue their ways of life, holding to their secret ways to keep them safe. In the early days of the Aokami dominance, one man turned to dark powers to defy them, turning to an even darker ally than the giants: demons, the Aokoi. This man, Kurotaka, was as committed to being better than the Aokami as he was to keeping his people from being dominated by them, and he sought not to destroy or dominate them, merely to keep his people free of their boot. So it is that in the recent years, discontent has spread. Starting from teachings of the Akashishi, but growing to encompass the beliefs and cultures of many other oppressed people, in defiance of the corruption and stagnation that eats at the roots of the Aokami, rose a new movement, the Shirotsuro, and a passionate prophet to spread their word, a man who boldly defies the Aokami, daring them to silence him, daring them to make a martyr of him.

We have, then:
The Aokami Shogunate - Bastions of civilization or oppressive overlords.
The Akashishi Tribes - Wisemen and free folk or selfish, backwards primitives.
The Kurotaka Clan - Bold, independent warriors or demon-worshiping raiders.
The Shirotsuro Church - Divinely inspired revolutionaries or rabble rousing malcontents.
The Spirits of the Aokoi - A court that is the only restraint on the danger that is magic in nature or nothing more than cunning predators who see mankind as prey.

And the conflicts central to the narrative arise out of the conflicts between enemy colors within each faction. Kurotaka works for the good of his community, bringing them great heights of success and pleasure (aint no party like a Kurotaka party), but he is ruthless and excessively pragmatic in doing so, going too far in his passion, and doing so selfishly, heedless of other communities. The Aokami Shogunate is powerful and orderly, easily presenting the most peaceful life for the ordinary peasant, but they are ultimately rotten at their core, not as united as they appear, and at the end of the day, might makes right, and freedom and wisdom are undervalued. The Akashishi are a people of immense curiosity, who learn from and live in harmony with nature, free of restraint, but they are all too often uncaring and callous towards those not counted among their friends, so ruled by their passion for discovery. The Shirotsuro have a passion for freedom and truth, for all people, but aren't always sanguine on what that balance looks like, and are prone to tactics their own morality condemns. The Spirits of the Aokoi are part of the natural world, power and knowledge and the turning of the stars and sun, vital and beautiful, but they are alien in mind and morality, undeniably dangerous, as a hungry wolf.


Edit: I might be getting too caught up in the story and theming, but it's what catches my mind and what I have an easy time thinking about. It has helped me narrow in on why mechanics aren't working before as well, so...

Edit2: Oh, I'm also thinking that the Akashishi Tribes legendary leader might be a Cat Bard. Not a cat person or leonin or anything, literally a talking cat who is a bard. It has precedent in Celtic tales, and I think it's perfect for a faction defined by curiosity with green and red elements.

khadgar567
2017-08-30, 01:07 PM
İ liked the churchs i preach chaos as good and i am evil to the core focus its refreshing

Jallorn
2017-09-03, 12:26 AM
İ liked the churchs i preach chaos as good and i am evil to the core focus its refreshing

I don't think that position is any less true than it was before.

silphael
2017-09-05, 01:49 PM
I'm definitely interrested to help on that. Gonna check on the work done so far.

Jallorn
2017-09-05, 11:56 PM
I've been reexamining the faction mechanics. I still really like Pillage as, "If this creature is not blocked, defending player loses 1 life and you gain 1 life."

I also very much like Legacy, although I wonder if it might not be interesting to broaden it, "When you play a creature that shares a creature type with [name], you may exile this card from the battlefield or graveyard to do X." Adds that little twisted angle that sometimes the Legacy is more important than the creature who earned it, as well as providing the possibility that sometimes it's worth it to exile a creature from play. Although I do see possibly issues with control shenanigans, they don't quite worry me enough to not try the mechanic as such.

I think Promised shouldn't be an alternate cost, instead reading, "If you would put this card on the bottom of your library, you may cast it instead." That reading also expands beyond scry, allowing it to interact with other cards that return things to the bottom of the library. (though there aren't many, there are a few.) I still like it. I also think Promised will mostly be on creatures, as that fits the green focus of the Aokoi, but also allows for the ability to flash a couple creatures in from the top of your library with a scry effect.

I spent some time considering Spellswap as a Shirotsuro mechanic, since I no longer think Reincarnation is really all that good a fit for what is really more of a color set more prone to spells than creatures. I also spent some time considering Spellswap as an Akashishi mechanic, since graveyard shenanigans are more Green than White, but I didn't settle on anything there. The big problem with giving Akashishi Spellswap is that I really don't know what to give Shirotsuro then.

I also considered a variant on Harmony, where instead of copying spell effects, or causing another effect the next time you cast a spell, you instead had variable, numerical effects keyed off of how many instance of Harmony are in play. So a shock spell might read, "Deal X damage to target creature, where X is the number of Harmonious permanents you control and spells on the stack." Seems tricky to balance costs though. Also not sure what the ruling about what gets Harmony would be. You could have creatures have Harmony, while spells reference it, but then the spells are useless without Harmony creatures on the board, and the mechanic rewards a more white playstyle with lots of creatures. Could put it only on spells, but I'm not certain if it should read, "Spells on the stack," or, "spells cast this turn." The former makes more sense fluffwise, and presents an interesting push and pull, where to get powerful effects you almost have to let your opponent know your entire plan for the turn and give them a chance to collapse the whole thing, but it also might be significantly weaker because of that. It does seem a pretty blue/red mechanic that works with green, though, since it benefits especially from mana ramp.

I think, also, that it would be good to set out a checklist for the faction mechanics as 5a Violista did with Fealty. So what are the things we need the faction mechanics to do?

1. It needs to fit the fluff of the faction and help unify their themes with the mechanics. It should fit the mechanics of the faction's colors, favoring first the enemy color, then the more clockwise ally color, and finally the counter-clockwise ally color. (Using the proper order, and not the flipped order on the back of the cards) Of these, the latter two are more interchangeable; the enemy color should always have preeminence.
2. It needs to be powerful and unique enough to justify being a deck's central strategic focus, but not more powerful than the current MtG baseline.
3. It needs to be fun to play, both with and against. It should create interesting choices, or place extra tension on Magic's innate choices.
4. If possible, it should be worthwhile to play without building around it, though some loss in power is permissible.
5. It should not conflict with Fealty or another faction's mechanics such that they cannot be played together.
6. It should be clear and concise.

So let's examine some of the mechanics under these rules.

1. Absolutely fulfills this in every way. The Kurotaka are Vikings, and here, that means raiding and pillaging. As a mechanic it is similar to Extort and Lifelink, White/Black mechanics, but is triggered by attacking, giving it a Red flair. In addition to encouraging and rewarding aggression, it favors swarms, which fit both White and Red. It can also be played caring less for a creature's power and letting larger toughness (W) and the keywords Vigilance (W) and Deathtouch (B) balance out the downsides of the mechanic.

2. It's not entirely unique, being like Extort and Lifelink, but Extort is an interesting, powerful mechanic, and this puts a significant twist on it that rewards a very different strategy. If anything, it is probably a bit weaker than Extort,
but since Extort is already at the high end of the bell curve, that should be okay. The comparison to Lifelink is a bit more concerning, since it's a bit like a conditional, partial form of Lifelink. This might be fine, though, since you can have a lot more creatures with Extort than you can with Lifelink.

3. Attacking feels good, and Pillage makes it feel better. The possibilities for card combos centered around making Pillage work better are fun for me to imagine and the cards its attached to don't even exist yet. As a defending player, Pillage makes the equations of defending a bit different, especially if not all of the opponent's attacking creatures have Pillage. It will also feel really good when you get a board wipe off against that swarm of thieves.

4. Here, too, I think Pillage mostly succeeds. Playing one or two Pillage cards in a Blue deck that shares one or two of Pillage's colors has some possibilities with the ways Blue has for giving evasion of various types. Similarly with Green and Trample, though to a much lesser extent. Even just on its own, it's probably not so powerful that a creature in a deck not centered around it will be over costed.

5. It certainly doesn't conflict with Fealty, and so far it doesn't conflict with other clan mechanics. You always want to attack your opponent, it's hard to imagine a mechanic this would conflict with.

6. It's pretty straightforward, yeah.

1. Legacy works well for this one. The Aokami are more focused on the Feudal/Samurai side of things, where heredity and legacy matter. It also ties very strongly into the flavors of the faction's colors, especially White (caring about order) and Green (caring about tradition), but even to an extent Black (caring about ambition). As a mechanic, it says graveyard matters, creature type matters, and possibly sacrifices happen. The first is very Black, a bit Green, the second is pretty Green, a bit White, and the last is very Black. If anything, White is less prominent here than Red was in Pillage, but I think it is well within the desired parameters.

2. There are other graveyard matters mechanics, but none are quite like this, allowing you to, effectively, cast a spell for free in response to casting the right kind of creature. I think Legacy is more unique a mechanic than Pillage in that sense. It's definitely one you need to build around, needing shared creature types to trigger it.

3. Keeping track of what cards are in a player's graveyard has a long tradition in Magic and has always been fun for both sides.

4. Here, I think, Legacy falters. Legacy requires that you have creatures who share creature types to activate,
which doesn't always happen. This requirement can be mitigated somewhat by making sure all Legacy creatures (and probably most Aokami creatures in general) have at least two creature types. Probably all Legacy creatures will be Samurai, and any that aren't will mostly be Humans, though Giant will also be a viable Legacy tribe. Since tribes are a thing in Magic already as well, and since Samurai and Humans are both tribes, that also helps mitigate this failing.

5. Fealty and Legacy have no conflict. It might be a bit tricky to run Legacy cards in other factions, but just about everyone, except maybe the Aokoi, can run Human Legacies, Kurotaka (and maybe the Aokoi) can run Samurai Legacies, and the Akashishi can run Giant Legacies. The latter two are trickier to run though, and do impose limitations on your card choices.

6. It's a bit more complex than Pillage, but shouldn't be too hard to understand.

I'm also thinking that between Kurotaka's human tribal, Aokoi's fluff, and Aokami's Legacy pseudo-tribal, Changeling ought to be a mechanic in this set. That might suggest another objective with the way the factions are built, that they all can find the Changeling mechanic useful, that they all, in some fashion, care about creature type. But then, perhaps not. If there's only a small number of Changelings, and they're all limited to Black (keeping them in the factions that care about them so far) it could work out just fine.

Now before I go to bed, one of the less secure mechanics:
1. On this one, I'll start with colors: Spellswap is definitely a Blue/Red mechanic. It combines the unpredictability of Red with the sneakiness of Blue. Your spells are interchangeable, and something you already did can be done again. I'd be hard pressed to say it has a third color to it, though. Because it's a graveyward matters mechanic, maybe Black, but neither of the factions I'm considering this mechanic for have that color,
and it's not all that Black anyway, Snapcaster is Blue after all, and Flashback is pretty evenly in all colors, but Red slightly more than the others. Since Green is second on Flashback (and is the second graveyard matters color)
while White is last, this seems to suggest that color-wise it fits the Akashishi better. Certainly it fits fluff-wise, and could even be renamed to Harmony, suggesting that all Akashishi spells are in harmony, and can thus be easily turned to each other.

I am hard pressed to justify Spellswap as a White mechanic, but it certainly fits with the Shirotsuro's transcendent philosophy, their belief in reincarnation and learning from multiple lives. Perhaps the closest to seeing Spellswap as a White mechanic I can get is to say that like White subsumes individuals into the collective, Spellswap treats its spells as a collective as well.

2. Snapcaster is one of the most paradigm shifting cards in the game. And when I point that out, and that Spellswap is effectively 9/10s of Snapcaster, I begin to worry that it might be too powerful. The level of flexibility Spellswap gives you is definitely worth playing with, though given the probably higher costed spells, you probably want to mix them with some others as well. Spellswap might not be as central a mechanic as Legacy, but it would certainly make a splash.

3. Again, Snapcaster was paradigm shifting, and you don't know if your opponent has any Spellswap cards,
so you always have to be on the lookout for them.

4. Spellswap is almost stronger in smaller doses, in conjunction with other cards. Too much Spellswap makes for a slower deck.

5. Fealty and Spellswap don't really conflict, since Spellswap cares about the graveyard. In fact, Fealty on a Spellswap card enables it to target even more expensive spells.

6. Spellswap is a bit complex, but straightforward: pay for this spell, but cast another one.

khadgar567
2017-09-06, 08:57 AM
You know pillage and blues discard mechanic makes deadly combo

silphael
2017-09-06, 12:57 PM
I was thinking...

Could Legacy be creating enchantment : aura tokens ? A little like embalm or eternalize lately : you pay a cost, exile the card from your graveyard, and create an enchantment-token. Some of those could be auras, other more global, with potentially interresting effects.

Like, creatures with legacy could make a kind of reverse bestow effect, it's after your death that you enchant someone, probably some even with stuff that happens when they are coming back.

Quick example :

Reverred Heir WW
Creature : Human and Samourai
Legacy (1GB : Exile this card from your graveyard and create a token that's a copy of this card except it's an enchantment. Activate Legacy only any time you could play a sorcery)

Other creatures you control get +1/+1. If Reverred Heir is an enchantment, cretures you control get a further +1/+1 (For a total of +2/+2)
1/1

Jallorn
2017-09-06, 02:00 PM
You know pillage and blues discard mechanic makes deadly combo
How so? I don't see it.

I was thinking...

Could Legacy be creating enchantment : aura tokens ? A little like embalm or eternalize lately : you pay a cost, exile the card from your graveyard, and create an enchantment-token. Some of those could be auras, other more global, with potentially interresting effects.

Like, creatures with legacy could make a kind of reverse bestow effect, it's after your death that you enchant someone, probably some even with stuff that happens when they are coming back.

Quick example :

Reverred Heir WW
Creature : Human and Samourai
Legacy (1GB : Exile this card from your graveyard and create a token that's a copy of this card except it's an enchantment. Activate Legacy only any time you could play a sorcery)

Other creatures you control get +1/+1. If Reverred Heir is an enchantment, cretures you control get a further +1/+1 (For a total of +2/+2)
1/1
"Like-Bestow," was a version of Legacy we considered, and the possibility of that isn't gone entirely I think. I wouldn't limit it entirely to that though, at least not before testing. I think it's important that a Legacy affect not provide more creature usage though, or it becomes Embalm plus better Bestow. I think that I currently prefer the idea of Legacy as a one-off, "ETB effect for another card," but testing the variants is probably a good idea.

Perhaps run your variant through my list of Faction mechanic requirements:
1. It certainly fits fluff from one perspective, with the token being the descendant who bears the Legacy. I think making them enchantments is probably not so fluffy, and I might suggest just rewritting it to read, "If this creature is a token, X," instead of enchantment. Of course, then it's basically just Embalm with an emphasis on board-wide effects. As far as colors go, it is very much a Black mechanic, still being graveyard matters, but it's also more Green than White, with the emphasis on tokens and creatures, though it fits White well too, especially with the board-wide effects. I could maybe quibble and say that White ought to have a stronger emphasis than Green, but I don't think the margin is large enough to really be a problem.

2. Embalm is powerful and interesting enough, and this is basically a twist on Embalm. I think this is the biggest place where Legacy as ETB effect does the job better. I think there's more design space for an ETB effect, and I especially think it's a more unique mechanic, as well as one you need to build around a bit better.

3. This Legacy is potentially more fun to play with, as it is potentially more powerful. Having more creatures through tokens and having them strengthen each other is a rather multiplicatively powerful effect. On the flip side,
it's not more interesting to play against really. Return to hand or deck effects can become kill spells against the tokens, and you still care about what's in a person's graveyard, but where you could counter a creature to prevent a Legacy effect as well, you can't stop this version of Legacy. I don't think it fulfills this goal any better or worse than the other version, however.

4. Definitely does better here. This version of Legacy can be played with a few or many cards, though the secondary effects are likely to be better with more Legacy cards.

5. I don't really see much potential for problems here.

6. It's a bit less so than the alternative, but Embalm works, and this isn't all that different.

Amechra
2017-09-06, 07:04 PM
So, for the Aokoi...

I have had a change of heart about Promised, mainly because it is so specific. There aren't very many cool tricks you can pull with it, and that's a problem.

So may I suggest that they move from a specific keyword to "the bottom of the library matters"? Then we can have a few different tricks we can pull, blend, and use:

• Put the bottom card of your library into the graveyard - if it is a creature, [blank].
• Whenever you would put this card on the bottom of your library, you may cast it instead.
• Put the bottom card of your library into your hand (draw from the bottom).
• Pay X to put ~ on the bottom of your library instead of into your graveyard.

Etcetera, etcetera.

Jallorn
2017-09-06, 08:21 PM
So, for the Aokoi...

I have had a change of heart about Promised, mainly because it is so specific. There aren't very many cool tricks you can pull with it, and that's a problem.

So may I suggest that they move from a specific keyword to "the bottom of the library matters"? Then we can have a few different tricks we can pull, blend, and use:

• Put the bottom card of your library into the graveyard - if it is a creature, [blank].
• Whenever you would put this card on the bottom of your library, you may cast it instead.
• Put the bottom card of your library into your hand (draw from the bottom).
• Pay X to put ~ on the bottom of your library instead of into your graveyard.

Etcetera, etcetera.

I think I was sort of thinking about Promised that way. It's why I suggested expanding it beyond Scrying. I would still like to have a keyword for each faction, as that is part of how we communicate flavor for the set, but as far as faction/set design, I was already thinking that Aokoi would care about the bottom of the library. Well, I was mostly thinking they'd put things on the bottom of libraries, enabling them to activate Promised (and counter other Aokoi shenanigans used on them) but other angles of, "the bottom of the library matters," are certainly also a good expansion.

I rather like, however, that last one you suggested as the Keyword. So instead of, "When this card is placed on the bottom of your library, you may cast it instead," the Aokoi would have a graveyard recovery mechanic, putting things on the bottom of their deck instead of the graveyard for a cost. This strikes me as a much more color appropriate mechanic as well, and still leaves room for the other mechanics. It feels a lot more Green, to preserve things, than to hasten their casting.

An interesting setup might be this couple of cards:

Soul Seller B1
1/1 Shapeshifter
Changeling
Promised 1 (Whenever this card would be put in the graveyard, you may pay B to place it on the bottom of your library instead.)
Whenever this creature would be placed on the bottom of your library, you may cast it instead.

Brokered Truce U
Sorcery
Choose target creature you control and target creature an opponent controls. Return those creatures to the bottom of their owner's libraries.

khadgar567
2017-09-08, 03:05 AM
Pilliage deals damage and heal you with blue discard you are also burning opponents deck while keeping your life points high