La'akea, the World of Isles Infinite

So, earlier today, I was thinking about a set I had an idea for creating - themed after Asian cultures. The trouble was 1) I knew almost nothing of Asian cultures and 2) I could never find the right art or names or anything!
Then I had an epiphany - why not ask a few fellow smiths?
EDIT: So we've established that this set will be Polynesian flavored. But what will be the mechanics, who will be the tribes, and what will matter in this set? Once we've established that, submit all your concept cards and story ideas. Everyone, the creation challenge? It is ON!


  • A few things. One: Tarkir is a Asian-inspired world with five, warring factions. Two, blue also commonly got ninjas; it was about even. Three, this would be like Tarkir more, but if each faction was based on a different culture, that faction's god could be the manifestation of the base culture's religion. Four, the whit faction could be Samurais
  • In all honesty, Kamigawa generally failed due to the cards being unplayable/weak for the most part.

    If you can balance the tribal themes better without resorting to too many simple anthem effects, I think you'll do well.

    I'd be interested in what tribes you'd use though!
  • @modnation675
    Didn't Kamigawa go down as one of the greatest standards in history?
  • @Modnation
    Kamigawa-Ravnica, Ravnica-Time Spiral and Innistrad-Return to Ravnica are famous for having an incredibly diverse set of viable decks. The enormous amount of mana fixing that shows up in Ravnica blocks (to enable cross-guild decks in draft) gives deckbuilders a ton of flexibility in builds. KAM-RAV standard had bouncelands, guildgates, shocklands, slow lands, and the signets.

    The average power level of Kamigawa cards was somewhat low, but the high points were extremely powerful (Keiga, Dosan, whatever), so when combined with the mana-fixing from Ravnica, decks could easily pick and choose the tools they wanted. These two combined to form a memorably diverse and balanced standard.
  • edited August 2017
    I don't believe in high points. I believe in overall quality or that it's badly made. (High points are just concerns of things being unbalanced!)

    I have yet to be convinced otherwise over our years of gaming.
  • @Stormtide, you make a good point on Tarkir. Maybe this could be more religious...
    @modnation675, I'm not 100% sure about the tribes. But I was thinking, maybe it could be kind of like Mind versus Might - blue-black versus red-green. Only, don't red and blue often create arcane decks? Even in the mind versus might duel decks, Mind is red-blue.
    Hmm... Maybe we could have more cards like Bump in the Night for black?
  • I have an idea.
    Maybe the black god looks like Genghis Khan, and it is basically a territory war... I can never find good enough art for sets like this though.
  • Or maybe three guilds,blue-black, green-red, and one that is white but also kind of blue green
  • edited August 2017
    I usually salvage art online. This here is an older Magic card's art. I made this dude as a disciple of the red god, Xiyu. I have no idea what any of these names mean in Chinese, and I'm slighty afraid to find out...
  • @modnation675
    I didn't say that Kamigawa was a good block, just that those high points combined with Ravnica's mana fixing allowed for a memorably diverse standard.
  • edited August 2017
    True. I just meant that it's important to make sure the majority of cards are playable so it has a relevant effect on most formats. I try to look at sets in a vacuum first to see if the cards benefiting formats are from them or just their neighbor sets.

    A lot of the cards from the block were just a bit under curve. In addition, the Bushido mechanic made not blocking, not very painful for control players. (Very dangerous with it as major theme, alongside having good mana fixing available!)
  • The problem with the set could be that Kamigawa, Tarkir and Kaladesh were all based on Asian cultures. While there are many other interesting myths in other parts of Asia, these three cover some of the most easy-to-translate myths to magic ideas. With some work, it could be done, though.
  • Also, a lot of the myths in Asia are often quite similar
  • @jazipa
    Ouch, that's gotta hurt Easterners! XD
  • edited August 2017
    maybe we could do less common ones? Like Kamigawa was Japan. Kaladesh was India. I'm not quite sure about Tarkir. Maybe a different country...
  • Okay, from the MTG Wiki Khans of Tarkir block article: The Mardu are based on the Mongol hordes, the Jeskai are based on the Chinese Shaolin Monks, the Abzan are based on the Ottoman Turks, the Sultai are based on the Khmer Empire and the Temur are based on shamanistic Siberian culture.
  • So, Mongolia, China, Turkey, Russia, most of Southeast Asia... Gee.
  • Kaladesh didn't get very deep into actual Indian culture or myth did it?
  • @saveria201 Not too much, to my (limited) knowledge. They used some of the aesthetics and names, and the occasional creature (like bandars). I could be very wrong about that.
  • MTG tries not to go into literal culture for purpose of being sensitive to differences. Which is why they usually look at culture in terms of aesthetics.
  • @Stormtide Maybe that's a viable idea...
  • Okay, I'm stuck. Maybe it should be Korea or something... I've to do some more research.
  • @Everyone got any ideas? This is my first (serious) set-creatin' rodeo, so I'm kinda stuck on this... *slinks off to go create more Star Wars cards*
  • You could do central Asian cultures like Kyrgyzstan, etc, influenced by Persian culture.

    Or go southward and do Oceania. Tons of untapped myths and cultural references there. Could draw some influences from Ixalan even, with themes of exploration of islands and jungles, ocean life/underwater fantasy, whatnot.
  • @saveria201 Dang... You have a point there with Oceania!
    There could be a Hawaiian/Polynesian themed one. Hmm... Got to do more research...
  • edited August 2017
    I'll contribute mechanics or ideas or cards if you want to work on an Oceania set. I have several ideas and drafts for cards, after seeing moana last year but never got around to designing cards for it...
  • image
    I based this one... after... basically Hawaiian-flavored Thassa.
  • Yeah, sure! You can help @saveria201
  • edited August 2017
    Come to think of it, I never saw Moana. I have to watch it if I'm doing this
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