Mundara, the World of Shifting Sands (Creative Design)

edited August 2017 in Custom Card Sets
Hello, everyone. This is a new concept for a plane, and I need some help designing for it. If the concept intrigues you, feel free to contribute however you see fit. Any help is much appreciated.

The setting is Mundara, a crystalline world that spirals in on itself--trapped in a perpetual cycle that lasts eight days. Within those eight days, six are spent on the surface, where the sun is visible, and the land can be seen from the Blind Eternities. However, the other two days are spent spiraling down the center of the world--two days in the inky darkness of the Maw, where death rates skyrocket, and the consumed regions are riddled with paranoia. Beyond this cycle, the shifting world clears a path for amazing breakthroughs, along with devastating calamities. Entire cities have been swallowed by the world, only to resurface several decades later. Lost artifacts and missing pieces of history seem to unearth themselves after disappearing for millennia. These random occurrences leave everyone on the ground at risk, and very few are lucky enough to fully escape the dangers of Mundara.

There are five main regions of Mundara, along with one unmoving landmark.

Tixalni is mostly associated with the c, and is a technologically advanced paradise consisting of floating islands. (Ink-Treader)

Puntarr is heavily forested, and its reaches are dotted with small tribes, each with their own notable attribute. (Glint-Eye)

The Nagashim is a river that circles around the world multiple times, but it is never completely necessary to cross it. (Witch)

Loku is a mountainous region, mostly known for its two warring families. (Dune)

Phantirda was once a fertile region, but it has recently devolved into a wasteland. Two great necromancers inhabit Phantirda. (Yore)

The Maw is a giant hole through the center of Mundara. Each part of the world spends two days in the Maw out of every eight. (Chrome)

This set is a 'four-colours matters' set with 'bottom of library matters' secondarily. There will be four or five mechanics in total, and one of them will be cycling. I will update this as time goes on and more ideas are bounced around. Thanks to all who contribute, and have a wonderful day!

Current mechanics:

Cycling: /cost/--Discard this card, draw a card.

Spiral: At the beginning of your upkeep, reveal the bottom card of your library and put it on top. (Credit to @MagicChess)


  • There are a lot of specific things without covering general basics. What aesthetic does the plane have, what races chill there, how advanced is it, where is the good to contrast to the bad?
  • @brcien

    The general aesthetic would be similar to a desert, though the crystalline structures make the entire world more reflective. Not quite blinding, but noticeably reflective. Of course, different regions will have their own distinct look, but that best describes neutral areas.

    In general, Mundara is somewhere between Amonkhet and Zendikar in terms of advancement. However, this changes depending on the region.

    I'm not quite sure what you mean by 'the good in contrast to the bad.' Could you please be more specific?
  • @NokiSkaur
    I think brcien is referring to good vs evil groups in terms of conflict.
  • in conflict yes, but in general. what are times like when they are good if this isn't hell. Like what is the plane like when the world is normal.
  • @NokiSkaur, interesting idea. I like how cycling has both a mechanical relation and (literally) a lore relation (get it? since the plane cycles down???? haha? *sigh* never mind.) But yes, the first step in creative design is determining what the conflict is. Who or what is the antagonist and who or what is the protagonist? There doesn't necessarily have to be one, however. It could just as easily be a set about the struggles of people to survive the Maw and the rival peoples. I think an interesting goal of some characters could be to stop the cycle.
    I also really like the idea of a crystal plane, since there is a lot of cool art available.
  • @brcien

    Well, this world is never truly great. There this always danger on the ground, and Loku is constantly at war. Things can never be better than I originally described--They can only get worse. However, for each negative, there is an equal and opposite positive. History can be lost, but it will always come back. Cities can be swallowed, but they will be spat out. The Maw kills many, but grants stability in turn.


    The main antagonist will be one of the two necromancers on Phantirda. I have names for them, and I have basic concepts for them, but I don't know who will be on what side. They both know how Planeswalker sparks work, and their plan is to expand the Maw, destroy whatever force makes it survivable, and ignite the spark as Mundara destroys itself. The main protagonist (probably a prominent figure from Puntarr, backed by the second necromancer) plans to sacrifice history for the sake of an entire world--they wish to stop the cycle and uproot Mundara's biggest problem.
  • @brcien

    I completely missed your question about races. As with many other things, it depends on the region. Humans and elves are the most common species, but vedalken and kithkin also live on the islands of Tixalni, vyren (sentient, humanoid tangles of vine) are seen throughout Puntarr, the Nagashim is mostly inhabited by aquatic naga, Loku has an advanced species of goblin along with a crystalline animal similar to the felidar. I have a lot more planned than what I originally wrote--I cut out a lot in an attempt to keep the idea more open.
  • Does anyone have specific ideas for additional mechanics? A simple way to start would be a mechanic that rotated your library before you draw (putting N cards from the bottom of your library on top) to make cards that counter to the bottom less potent. Cards like Nissa's Chosen could repeatedly appear on the top of your library, simply because of a mechanic like this. That would also make those cards significantly more powerful, but it's impossible to make a new mechanic without devaluing/adding value to other cards.
  • @NokiSkaur
    Here's a very simple idea: "Spiral N (Look at the bottom N cards of your library, then put them on the top of your library in any order)." ? Like reverse scrying, though in a different way than fateseal. Speaking of fateseal, this also might be a good set to bring Fatesealing into (though we shouldn't have a bottom-of-library mechanic and fateseal in the same set).
  • @MagicChess

    I'm already planning on putting Scrying into the set, so it would probably be better to have a separate card with a text similar to 'Whenever you scry, you may instead look at the bottom cards of your library.' That way, we don't throw in an unnecessary mechanic for inverted scrying.
  • @NokiSkaur, okay. How about "Spiral (At the beginning of your upkeep, you may look at the bottom card of your library and put it on the top. Spiral effects are cumulative.)" So it rewards you for having a lot of permanents with spiral.
  • @MagicChess

    That would work, but it would be best,if the cards were either revealed, or not looked at. That way, you're not must picking and choosing which card will end up on top, or if you are, there would be a consequence of everyone knowing your card. Maybe removing the 'you may' could help balance it as well.
  • @NokiSkaur, sounds good. "Spiral (At the beginning of your upkeep, reveal the bottom card of your library and put it on the top. Spiral effects are cumulative.)"
  • edited July 2017
    Each of the five factions (correlating with the five regions) have a loose cycle associated with them. I have already received feedback from ningyounk, but I would like to hear the rest of the community's thoughts.

    Shuffled in Library-->Graveyard-->Hand-->Battlefield-->Shuffled in Library

    Exile-->Battlefield-->Exile (Weenies)
    Hand-->Battlefield/-->Graveyard-->Bottom of Library (Fatties)

    No true cycle--just basic progression of Magic. Tixalni is the only region unaffected by the Maw, so this makes sense from a flavour perspective.

    Hand-->Battlefield-->Bottom of Library-->Top of Library-->Hand


    (Loku's arrow should be branching off from the slash, not the word 'hand')
  • @NokiSkaur, I don't get Loku's cycle. Could you clarify, please?
  • @MagicChess

    Weenies are supposed to follow more of a blinking strategy, attacking by escaping exile. Fatties die to the graveyard and are moved to the bottom of your library. Loku is the only one with a branching cycle.
  • @NokiSkaur, oh, okay :) I didn't get the up carrot above "hand"
  • I explained that under the cycles.
  • @NokiSkaur, yes; I just didn't understand the explanation XD Thanks for clarifying.
    Remember to change Spiral to "Spiral (At the beginning of your upkeep, reveal the bottom card of your library and put it on the top. Spiral effects are cumulative.)

    Hey, I just got a crazy idea. So you've proposed two sides so far: the necromancer who wants to destroy the world, then Planeswalk away (how will he get his spark, btw?), and the guy from Loku who wants to stop the cycle. What if there is another person (presumably from Tixalni) who doesn't want to stop the cycle, for several reasons: First it would destroy the plane's history, which he/she doesn't want, and second, it would condemn to death everybody in the Maw at the moment the cycle stopped. His/her solution is to create more floating islands and move everyone off the surface of the plane.

    Also, I got another idea for a mechanic. I remember about a year ago somebody made a pretty cool mechanic called Crystallize. I forget who it was (maybe @TheMechanix knows?), but I think it would be perfect for this plane.
    I changed it a little bit to make it more smooth: Crystallize {thing} (Exile it, then return it to the battlefield under its owner's control face down as a colorless artifact called Crystal. It has "{2}, Sacrifice this artifact: Scry 1.")
    Perhaps that should be {1}, sacrifice this artifact: scry 1? If you're doing it to your own creatures, it's underpowered, because you basically sacked a creature to do it, and compared to Clue tokens, it's not worth it. However, If you're doing it to your opponent's creatures, you're getting rid of them, so the crystal thing balances it, since your opponent gets something back in return, making it kind of a 1/2-for-1. What do you think?
  • @MagicChess

    The necromancer's spark would ignite during the last few seconds before the world tears itself apart. As he enters the Blind Eternities, the spark will ignite.

    As for the new character from Tixalni, that would make the plot more interesting, but I'd need to make a reason why there are hundreds of clustered stones above a certain area of a plane, make a way to create more, while still making it different from Zendikar's explanation. That would be annoying at best and infuriating at worst.

    Crystallize would work, but again, I'd need a reason for things to make other things into crystals. Why would a creature become a crystal if it isn't already? Why would you crystallize something if it's already a crystal?

    I do have an idea for a card type--Crystalline Lands. You can tap it for the normal mana type it would make, and you can tap two permanents you control to make an extra mana of the same type. (Text for Crystalline Mountain--Whenever you tap this land for mana, you may tap any number of other permanents you control. If you to, add {r} to your mana pool for every two permanents tapped this way. It can certainly be refined, but it's got the basic idea.)
  • @NokiSkaur, how does the necromancer know that he has an un-ignited spark?

    As for crystallize, it would be a way to represent the spiraling thing (history swallowed, returned, etc.), because, remember, you don't have to crystallize creatures; it can be any permanent specified on the card.

    Here's an idea for the explanation of the floating islands and stuff: There are these things called Crystal Hearts (or something) that can be infused with mana. The Tixalni have discovered how to harness this power, and use it to create their floating islands, and their constructs, etc. Similar to how aether in Kaladesh or etherium from Shards worked. But Crystal Hearts grow in the Maw, so it's incredibly dangerous to harvest them.
  • @MagicChess
    Crystallize by @Teacup
    (To crystalize _____ , put that card onto the battlefield face down as a 0/1 creature under its owner's control.)
  • @Corwinn, thank you. Maybe the one I found was inspired by that one? Both are interesting. I saw it first on @TheMechanix's Crystal Sanctuary (
    @NokiSkaur, what do you think of @Teacup's version? To crystallize ___, but that card onto the battlefield face down as a colorless 0/1 creature called Crystal.
  • Because this is a four-colored set, I guess I will separate the areas into their own faction:

    * Tixalni should be WUBR, with no green. They like technology, and the ideology of green mana gets in the way.

    * Puntarr should be WUBG, with no red. I guess heavily forested areas don't like spontaneous fire/lightning magic.

    * The Nagashim should be WURG, with no black. Maybe it could specialize in trading and diplomacy?

    * Loku should be WBRG, with no blue. You know, war and all.

    * Phantirda should be UBRG, with no white. Necromancy can happen in white mana (like in spirits and mummies), but it would be a stretch.

    * The Maw should be WUBRG, all colors.

    Anybody object?

  • @Gelectrode

    I forgot to post the colours each region would correspond with.

    Glint-Eye: Puntarr--I made Puntarr primary green, secondary red/black, and tertiary blue. This version of red is much less fire and lightning and more power/aggression. I decided to opt out of making Puntarr white because many of the tribes tend to favour accomplishment over community.

    Dune: Loku--Because war 'n stuff.

    Ink-Treader: Tixalni--While the excess of technology seems to go against green's naturalistic perspectives, Tixalni holds other values of green, most of which are shared with the values of white.

    Witch: Nagashim--The Naga on Mundara mostly keep to themselves, and they have no need for shows of power. They are tertiary in black because, even without competition, they will always fend for themselves and follow their own ambitions.

    Yore: Phantirda--The lands of Phantirda have devolved from a fertile, sprawling concentration of cities to a barren wasteland, devoid of anything green stands for. There are only two living residents, and they are both necromancers.
  • @MagicChess

    I still don't understand why, in a world made of crystals, people would be turning random things into crystals. I know that sounds a lot like nitpicking, but logic is very important to me. If something doesn't make sense to me, I'm probably not going to like it.
  • I just created a new mechanic for Mundara.

    Obscured: At the beginning of your upkeep, choose one of this card's colours. It loses all other colours until end of turn.

    This would be used most frequently with chrome cards, but it could still work with the flavour of the plane if other cards had it. What do you guys think?
  • Interesting idea. It relies on how it's implemented and how large the pool of cards are though.
  • edited August 2017

    By 'how it's implemented' do you mean why it's necessary? I could have something similar to 'If this creature is not red, it loses trample and gains flying,' or an enchantment in Yore with 'Nonred creatures you control have +0/+2.' That's just the most basic form, though. I could certainly come up with much better if I tried.
This discussion has been closed.