Alacaw / MesoAmerican Call (Closed)

edited June 2017 in Custom Card Sets
Ever since Theros block, I have wanted a mesoamerican block, and Ixalan is the probably the closest chance we've got to that happening for the next few years. So, in anticipation, let's organize and make some cards, a big set if we could manage. If this goes well, I will update what is needed as we solve and develop problems.

I have a few baselines after having thought about it.

First, I want to avoid some of the cliches some people I have talked to immediately gravitated to. No sun dragon (Well maybe a myth of one), no invading white people or cheesy plagues, no pointless moss covered ruins, and no big focuses on sacrifices will be welcome in my envisionment of Ixalan (feel free to make them on your own if you want though).

Second, I want five abilities, keyword or otherwise, and I would like to keep them flavorfully fitting shards, even though i do not want this to be a multicolor matters set. There will simply be several cards in shard colors that share an ability. The only one I am currently attached to, is Oppress, which would be the esper keyword. See the cards below.

Third is the story. In my view, Ixalan would have a circular map, with a lake in the middle that let out a few rivers. Close to the lake would be dense jungle and the big city Kelixalan (Kul-Iix-ah-lawn). The jungle is filled with cats and snakes and whatever else we want. Further, there are deciduous forests darted with villages. There are a race of giants, Leopard people(like Jedit Ojanen or Wild Nacatl), humans and maybe elves or some other humanoid race. The idea I had, thought this is not strict, would be that the people of Ixalan are failing to push off the forces of nature and they declare war on the world for their own survival(perhaps specifically the giants and beasts).

So, whoever read through all this, what I want us to do first is gather up a bunch of Card worthy art that we can use for what we want, I want more specific details of the plane, and I want keywords or general abilities for the other 4 shards. Feel free to post any thoughts regarding these, or a card if you're inspired. I will try to look through everyone's cards who posts on this and will drop a favorite if I see stuff I like.

Bant--???I'm really bad with bant???
Grixis--Suspend Matters??? (Throwback to Ancestrals and the Mayan Doomsday we all wish would have kept 2005 from happening)
Jund--???Something that feels Black???



  • I'd like to help you, I just don't have enough immediate knowledge of Meso-American culture, lore, etc. to immediately do anything with this set.
  • Why don't you want the few things that make mesoamerican-themed games/game expansions different than just a generic jungle set? The "gods", the invaders, their plagues, and the native's sacrifices give the area a unique story. Otherwise, it's just another jungle set.
    "oh no, what are we going to do about that hydra?"
    "we'll just use the same strategy that we used against every other hydra."
  • edited June 2017
    I think this is basically saying I want something that is a skewed perspective on history and past culture. I understand some things are less desirable to reference, but changing that defeats the purpose of it being this theme overall. Otherwise, we have an arbitrary label with no purpose.

    Remember this is past culture as shown in these cards. This isn't recent Modern culture in general. We can remove the term "slave" from Amonkhet, but not the historical significance.

    As for the artwork, I agree it's hard to find. In addition we don't enjoy the art style, but that's more for the community to decide. Unless you have a lot of art sources, likely nobody will join in on this.
  • edited June 2017
    Yeah, I'll help if I can. But I'd have to look into what the theme entails. Otherwise, I won't know what search terms to use other than stuff more Egyptian.
  • When mtg remakes a plane, they put "magic twist" on it. Since RnD has been vocal about cultural sensitivity, I think that knocks out the 'oh those Native Americans are just savages that kill each other trope.' The world wouldn't be in ruins since it is not plane where people are looking at remains of a civilization; it is the civilization itself. The conquistadors and plagues are super over done. Kaladesh was not the Rampayana and oh actually Amonkhet is basically Return of the Mummy. I do understand the concerns though, but I agree with Mark Rosewater, "Restrictions breed creativity." How do we make MesoAmerican Magic still look and feel MesoAmerican without those?
  • Also, sorry I'm being super wordy. This is dealing with the philosophical development of mtg a lot as well as the literal mechanics.
  • edited June 2017
    Once again, I agree that we can refer to different phases of history. (Not every day is an Eldrazi attack!) But even WotC doesn't take out the negative aspects of past culture. They tend to deal with the subject matter in a way that is cautious but revealing when you look at the cards' artwork and analyze the flavor of the cards.
  • edited June 2017
    I apologize if this offends you in a personal way, I just think that subjects shouldn't be overlooked in the way you exclaimed. Rather they should be subtler and avoid terminology that has a heavy connotation to past troubles among those communities.

    This is best demonstrated in the Amonkhet set and WotC reducing the amount of printed cards that show things such as slavery or racial profiling.
  • They don't point them out though. Out of Theros, Kaladesh, and Amonkhet, which are the main planes based on similar things (Innistraad seems much more like horror in general with Germanic twists), the closest to pointing out things like those stereotypes are the slaves and Embalm mechanic from Amonkhet. This was because they wanted to point out the graveyard theme. I don't think if you had to pick what was quintessential about MesoAmerican life, it is sacrificing each other in vine covered ruins. If you believe it would be important to represent, I could concede partially, but I don't think it is central enough to make one of the main mechanic or plot points.
  • Even though they still have "slaves", just, the "slaves" are mummies. Look, you can take out the conquistadors and plagues, but it is a fantasy setting, so you're most likely going to have some sort of deities, and, well...
    ...they did have rituals. That is one thing you can't get rid of. The Aztecs and Mayans were not savages at all (they had quite a nice civilization after all), but the truth is that they did have a religion, and at least for the Aztecs, that meant occasionally having to sacrifice people for your religion. Now, don't tell me religion can't be referenced in MTG, just look at Innistrad and tell me Avacyn's religion isn't based off of Christianity, for example, and even though I am an atheist, even I can't argue that when making something based off of or referencing a point in history, it is best to include the people's religions, no matter how different they may be.

    Point is, at least include some gods and at least a little bit of sacrifice.
  • Gods are fine if they work with the world, just not Kukulkhan (Sorry if that one was not clear). And after this discussion, little sacrificing is fine, but not to a sacrifice matters extent. Also, I think it might be helpful to not Native America is North America as well, which lets open a ton of doors flavor wise.
  • edited June 2017
    May I ask you clarify the last sentence, I have difficulties when it comes to language cues?
  • @brcien
    That's fine, then. You really only need 1-2 cards that actually depict sacrifice.

    Also, is Quetzalcoatl fine?
  • edited June 2017
    You just reminded us how cute Coatls are.

    Edit: Wait, they are relevant thematically? Definitely making tons of these cutsies later.

    That and these awesome art pieces.

    Thank you so much, now we have some new card ideas!
  • 1--I used to play Smite as an Amterasu main but I've moved over to League

    2--Something like
    is a no in my books, but I like Drakes as much as the next guy so maybe having them there could be neat. More subtle though, like
    I could get behind, probably falling in Bant shard. Thoughts? and other ideas?
  • edited June 2017
    Cool, I'm more familiar with the term Coatl because it's adorable. Reminds us of Skinks, but with the legs replaced with wings.

    Check out this majestic and divine beast. Truly beats anything Yugioh has to offer in terms of beauty! XD

    Vs. Yugioh (Divine Beasts and other Lords)
  • Hopefully it doesn't space those images on your screen also.
  • What do you guys think about Bant for them?
  • edited June 2017
    Would it be okay if we find some artwork of lizards similar to Skinks?
  • edited June 2017
    I think that works. Although, I think rare creeps into the others could be okay.

    Edit: Accidentally forgot to favorite the thread for reminders of messages, which is why I posted out of order.
  • Yeah, but don't go overboard. 1-2 Skinks and 3-4 Coatls would be fine. You guys are designers XD, throw out whatever you want.
  • edited June 2017
    Yeah, no problem. I just want one or two as keepsakes for our account. Mercyque loves adorable creatures, especially Crows, Ravens and Lizards.

    Edit: I'll be making cards tomorrow as I'm just checking in before we go to sleep. *Chillin listening to music*
  • edited June 2017
    I made a card awhile ago that may show some cool design ideas that we could implement into the Dragon sub-theme. (We could change the artwork and other aspects to add it to the set.)

    It also strongly supports a control theme, but benefits all archetypes

  • XD I like parts of both cards but few notes. I would prefer them to be drakes if you guys are fine with that. Drakes could use some tribal love and the idea sounds closer to a drake. I would prefer to save the multicolored spots for really umph cards so would prefer Ampithere to be mono green. I adore Herd of Dragons (Though 3/1 for 2 with upsides seems a little too strong), but if we do go with Drakes, would need to be changed up a little. Also, feels a little more blue than green to me. SO CUTE THOUGH BUY ME 4
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