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Introducing Eathouria

Well, after nearly half a year of development, I am pleased to announce the rough completion of my newest set, Eathouria!
Lore:
Eathouria is a plane where thoughts and dreams shape reality. The plane consists of an endless sky filled with floating islands, each with a drastically different size, appearance, and environment from the others.
image
(Art credit to Julie Dillon, an amazingly talented artist who has done a few mtg card arts before and was one of my main art inspirations for finding art that captures the feel of Eathouria as a plane.)

Sentient beings on the plane can use passionate enough emotions, thoughts, and dreams to shape the land of the plane as they wish in ways that would be seen as godly on other planes, a process called dreamscaping. This has allowed the plane to flourish with a wide variety of life and environments, unlike any seen on other planes.

As for the story of the set, on Eathouria, nightmares have always been a dangerous and powerful force. On a plane where any thought can be brought into reality with enough effort, a nightmare can manifest itself and terrorize its unintentional creator in horrible ways. However, a nightmare's lifespan is typically short since they come about usually unintentionally and thus aren't as stable as an intentional feat of dreamscaping when created. While nightmares have always been a natural and relatively normal occurrence, recently the plane has been suffering from a new breed of nightmares. These nightmares are lasting and warp the plane in unnatural, eldritch ways (they aren't eldrazi, I'm just using eldritch as an adjective). Many of eathouria's citizens have fallen into eternal rest, plagued by these terrors, and the plane is beginning to turn dark. Somnium, a spirit planeswalker from Theros who has made Eathouria his adopted home, seeing this, realizes his world is in trouble and needs help discovering and stopping whatever has caused this new breed of nightmares.

This help comes in the form of Nissa Ravane, an Elf planeswalker and member of the Gatewatch. After her defeat at the hands of Nicol Bolas on Amonkhet, she planeswalked away nearly dead. Upon waking, she found herself on Eathouria and being cared for by Somnium, who had recognized the Elf from a previous meeting with her and the rest of the gatewatch back when he first planeswalked. After Nissa was nursed back to health, she found her ability to connect with planes resulted in her being a very gifted dreamscaper, rivaling that of Somnium, who is largely considered to be one of the most powerful dreamscapers on the plane. Seeing her talent, Somnium enlists her to help with finding the source of these nightmares.
Details:
-Is a large set and part of a two set block (henceforth known as Eathouria Block).
-Has 274 cards (25 basic lands, 101 commons, 80 uncommons, 53 rares, 15 mythic rares)
-Features the following mechanics:
o Envision [cost] (If this card is in your opening hand, you may begin the game with it in exile. You may cast this face up card from exile for its envision cost.)
o Fantasize--If you own seven or more cards in exile, [effect].
o Imprint--...exile a [something] from [somewhere]... (brought back from Mirrodin block)
o Terror [cost] ([cost]: If this card is face up in exile and isn’t terrorizing a creature, this card terrorizes target creature until that creature leaves the battlefield or until this card leaves exile. Terrorize only as a sorcery.)
o Horizon--...if you own a/[number] or more face up land cards in exile, [effect]. OR ...for each face up land card you own in exile...
o Hideaway (This land enters the battlefield tapped. When it does, look at the top four cards of your library, exile one face down, then put the rest on the bottom of your library.) (brought back from Lorwyn block)
Points of Interest:
-Mechanically the set has a very heavy focus on self-exile, representing dreaming, thinking, and imagination. (Note: I realize this is something Wizard's would virtually never tackle for an entire set, so I wanted to try my hand at it.)
-The art for this set was largely chosen to ensure the set looked very beautiful and colorful.
-Every single rare and mythic rare card (except planeswalkers) is a full art card.
-All land cards in the set are full art cards.
-Finishes the creature land cycle started by Dryad Arbor.
-Includes 5 new Magus cards representing popular enchantments from Magic's history.

If you wish to view the set, please check it out here! http://www.planesculptors.net/set/eathouria
*If you're wondering why this takes you to a site other than MTGCS, that is because I actually used another custom card creator, Magic Set Editor, to allow me to make the full art cards as well as give me access to a 4-ability planeswalker template, which meant I could not post them directly to my profile.

Feedback, positive or critical, would be greatly appreciated, as this is a set that has been particularly difficult for me to gauge power and balance on. Also it would be great if you could help me to catch any spelling or wording errors in the cards. Just let me know in the comments!

Thanks for checking this out!
--Arceus8523
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Comments

  • Known issues:
    -Master of the Forge's final ability should read "XRR, T: Create a token copy of the exiled card if it has converted mana cost X."
  • Hey =D

    First, congratulations on finishing a full set, it's a tremendous effort! I have just glanced over the cards without playtesting them so I won't do an in-depths review, I just wanted to give you my first impression. I hope this helps a bit, though it's a feedback you can take lighlty as I could change my mind entirely once I actually play with your cards :)

    Here are a couple things I liked at first glance:
    - The mechanical originality. When you're doing a custom MTG set it is very important to challenge the player more than a regulat MTG set. I don't want to read a core set made out of 300 random cards that don't actually exist. I think your strong exile theme provided just that, it sounds definitely different from other MTG set and it sparks my interest!
    - The good selling points. I think you did a good job at adding some hooks to your set. The land-creature cycle and the Magus cycle are very good arguments, and you have a couple of very eye-catching or just very poetic cards that you could pick to show to a friend if you wanted them to play a game with you on Eathouria.
    - The visual experimentation. You made the choice to not only use the full-art lands template but you also made all Rares and Mythic Rares full-art. It's quite daring, I was certainly not expecting that and was pleasantly surprised.

    Here are a couple things I'm more concerned about:
    - The one-archetype trap. I repeat that I have not played with the cards so I could be very very wrong on this. But it looks to me that the whole set asks you to self-exile, and there's literally nothing else to do if you don't like this style of play. Notably, all six mechanics are about self-exiling, and they appear on a very large proportion of the cards in the set (I didn't count but it seemed to me that you increased the proportion of cards with keywords considerably compared to a regular set?)
    - The mismatched flavour. I know you explain that the dream world is composed of an infinity of islands with their own specific environment. I understand the concept of it, still I think it inherently makes the cards look like a soup of unrelated things, and I can't get a feel of the plane because of it. I liked the extra effort you made to tie things together through the card names though ^^
    - The complexity. It's fine to have a more-complex set than average when you do custom MTG, but a priori the interaction between all the exile cards sound quite intimidating to me. Especially at common, you have quite some cards that look like they should be rarer because of complexity (e.g. Archive.) The Terror mechanic in particular sounded very complex, and at first I didn't get that you could play the Envision cost if you exiled the card with something else than its Envision ability.

    By the way, you may be interested in this video that reviews the Dreamscape set (which is about dreams and nightmares): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTPrnX-oJro&list=PLUTcDWnOIZUxtlE2mGEARpYt7nAGYhb9K&index=7
    I believe the comparison could be interesting to you :)
  • @ningyounk
    Thank you so much for the feedback! It was a great read and I very much appreciate it. I’d like to briefly address my perspective on your criticisms, just to see if it helps shed some light on those points.
    The one-archetype trap: This one, like you mentioned, can’t be fully addressed until playtesting if the set had been done, particularly in draft, however I will say the variation in archetypes comes from what you do with the cards in exile and how the cards of the archetype behave given their effects. There is, at least from what I can see, a significant variation between, say, a WU envision archetype and a GR Horizon archetype. It’s sort of like how the majority of cards in Innistrad block and Shadows block cared about the graveyard or putting cards into the graveyard (through discard and/or sacrifice), but the archetypes felt mechanically different.
    The Mismatched Flavor: This one you are completely right on and it irked me throughout the entire design process. The biggest challenge with uniting a custom set through its artwork is that, unlike Wizards, you don’t have the time or money to hire artists to make art given guidelines for how the plane should look. Therefore I had to resort to just looking for pictures that sort of fit, but not really. If you have s suggestion on how to better address this, I will gladly hear it.
    The complexity: This is another one I’ve been struggling with, the main problem being that a set with this much self-exile is inherently complex already. I acknowledge that this is something wizards would never do and this is one of the main reasons. As for the keywords, Terror is in my opinion a simple idea that needs a lot of rules text to explain it. Basically you pay a cost for a card you own in exile to permanently “enchant” a creature on the battlefield. Envision, on the other hand, might see the removal of the “leyline” part of the effect and just be “You can cast this card in exile for its envision cost,” But we’ll have to see. If this set were real and envision stayed the same, I’d be sure it was stressed in card reveals and mechanic explanations that you can cast something in exile for its envision cost regardless of how it got there.

    Anyway, once again thank you for the criticism. I understand the set is far from perfect, so anything of that depth and understanding is a great help.
  • For the mismatch flavour, here are a couple ways I know to help make the flavour of the set more cohesive:

    - Define your flavour subthemes that appear on multiple cards and try to compartimentalize them by colour and archetype. For instance:
    1) Paths and doors --> Horizon cards in Green/blue
    2) Weird animals mismatch --> Red/Green
    3) Stars and space stuff --> White/Red
    4) Spirits made of smokes and light --> Blue/Black
    5) Big bad wolves --> Black/Green
    6) Libraries and archivists --> Blue/Black
    7) Labyrinths --> Green/White
    etc.

    - Story spotlight cards and cards that hint at important characters. Think how WOTC included Jace cards a bit everywhere when he got stuck on Ixalan. If you rename a card like "Explore Eathouria" into "Nissa's Wandering" and show a Nissa artwork, suddendly we get a better sense of what's happening, and the set starts to make more sense ^^

    _________

    Also, an additional thought on complexity:
    - Fantasize and Horizon each count cards you own in exile. You could consider fusing them into one mechanic ^^
    - Imprint and Hideaway are both returning mechanics meant to exile your cards. You can probably make the Hideaway lands work with Imprint? (Reducing the number of keywords make a set less intimidating to learn.)
  • edited December 2017
    Words cannot describe how in love I am with you and this set... Hope to see the entire block finished soon!
  • @ningyounk
    Okay I see what you’re gettjng at for the art and themes and such.

    As for Story spotlights, I originally intended to put them in, but MSE doesn’t have the planeswalker symbol as a watermark and I couldn’t find a download for it, I intended Explore Eathouria and Nissa’s Ascension to be two of them, but never fit around to the other three. I’ll probably go back and rename/remake cards to make the others.

    As for merging Horizon and Fantasize. I honestly like them separate since Horizon cares exclusively about lands while Fabrasize is threshold for exile. They feel different enough imho to be separate.

    Imprint and Hideaway is another story. I could see myself cutting hideaway all together, but I’d like to see what others think about it first.

    @ManaChrome
    Thank you so much! I’m glad to see you like it. Do you have any feedback otherwise you might wish to give? I just want to make this the best I can.
  • edited December 2017
    I think you're doing amazing so far! This is one of those types of sets where I am sad that I didn't find out about it earlier! Hope to somehow contribute in some way in the future! Oh! And I'm hoping to draft this as well :)
  • edited December 2017
    @ManaChrome
    This is V1.0 for a reason. Im looking to fix and update the set. Part of planesculptirs is that you can apparently host events using the set, so stay tuned for that as it’ll be important for playtesting.
  • The set looks amazing! The mechanics are beautifully designed to work together, and the selection of art is equally beautiful. The card frames for the rares really draws the eye, and I like how you use the card names to tie together cards within a color. I would be very interested in drafting the set, as it seems pretty complicated and certainly intriguing.
  • @Nicholas_Bolas
    Thank you so much! It means a lot to hear such kind words! Do you have any recommendations improvements I should make to the set? I just want to make this the best I can.
  • When are you planning to host this playtesting event?
  • edited December 2017
    Oh! And here are some things I like about the set!:
    -The flavor is a 10/10! Looking forward to what the stories will be like!
    -I love the outcast lands cycle and the land creature cycle
    -The full art mythics and rare are AMAZING!
    -The themes really do line up amazingly, which makes the set perfect for draft!
    -The art you chose is godsent!

    Probably gonna be making lot's of cards with my perspective on Eathouria XD I love this concept and plane!

    As a suggestion, flashback would be a flavorful include. And it interacts with the exile zone! Warden of the Beyond is also a flavorful and functional reprint!

    Also, I think this set is a set that's worth sending to MTG Meow, the same Youtube channel that reviewed Dreamscape!

    Looking forward to the rest of the block!
  • edited December 2017
    Amazing work! I remember you helped me making a set before, so I'll help you back!

    I have looked almost about half of the set. Here are some thoughts that I got so far.

    --------
    Not enough good cards for control deck, especially board wipe card. I think it would be more fun if we can build many types of deck out of a set.
    --------
    I don't know if this was intentional or not but I think Tradewind Raptor should be worded like-
    "Tradewind Raptor can't attack or block unless you exile a nonland card from your hand."
    Otherwise there's no drawback if you have no cards in your hand.
    --------
    Nightmare Adept
    Typo in creature type
    --------
    Prophet of False Dreams
    Terror mechanics's reminder says "only as a sorcery." But this card says "When Prophet of False Dreams terrorizes a creature, you may exile target spell."
    (Edited: Ignore this sry)
    --------
    Ana, Dreamsurge Artist
    If you use cards like Tormod's Crypt, it's easy to bump up her loyalty to 10 or more at once. "At the beginning of your end step, if a card you own was exiled this turn, put two loyalty counters on Ana, Dreamsurge Artist." is better I think.
    Her Bolt ability should cost [-3].
    I think WotC would word that emblem like; "You may cast face up cards you own in exile without paying their mana cost." If it says "casting cost", I think it includes additional costs. That might be dangerous.
    --------

    I'll look more when I have time!
  • edited December 2017
    In line with the card errors:

    -You can shorten the text of cards like Stairway to the Beyond and Boundless One by just giving them shroud instead of "CARDNAME can't be the target of spells or abilities."

    -I believe Enlightened sovereign should read sixty-five instead of 65.

    -Finishing Force's flavor text "sometimes a hefty does" ---> "sometimes a hefty dose"

    -Hypertoxin Sprout's flavor text "baine" ---> "bane"

    -Is there a reason that Maiden of Decay uses rot counters instead of -1/-1 counters?

    -Thoughtwoods Hydra is spelled incorrectly in it's rules text and in the name of the card itself.

    Also, @Tomigon, Prophet of False Dreams has "You may activate Prophet of False Dream’s Terror ability at any time you could cast an instant." in it's text. I know it's kind of hard to read XD

    Also, Arceus, do you have a deck with the cards that make up the set? They could be good for introducing new people to the mechanics of the set!


  • edited December 2017
    @ManaChrome
    My bad! xD

    ---------
    Living Tempest
    It needs hyphen and period.
    "Envision—Pay 3 life."
    http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=118872
    ---------
    Magus of Sulfur
    I think it can simply say "Players can't gain life."
    ---------
    Master of the Forge
    What is "x" in the activated ability's cost? Also the correct wording is "Create a token that's a copy of the exiled card."
    http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=249663
    ---------
    Mindwoken Ravager
    Seems a bit op.. The activated ability should deal damage only to creatures, I think.
    ---------
    Beckoner of the Thoughtwoods
    This might be a bit too dangerous.. I think people would try to put out Progenitus or Emrakul from exile. It should cost at least 3 mana. Beautiful art!
    ---------
    Daunting Colossus
    This effect is a bit unfun.. How about "Horizon—As long as you own five or more face up land cards in exile, creatures you don't control get -2/-0."?
    ---------


    I think it would be more interesting if the set has cards with effects that move exiled cards to other zones, for example "Choose up to three cards target player owns in exile. That player shuffles them into his or her library."
  • @Tomigon, wanna help me do some deckbuilding/playtesting with the set? I just really wanna see this set in action!
  • @ManaChrome I want to, but I'm not sure how much I can. I also want to spend time on my card/set making.
    I use Untap.in when I test custom cards. I have played with Arceus too. If cards in the set were uploaded to Untap, I want to play. But the set isn't finished yet, so I'll help fix some cards first.
  • @Tomigon, sure! I'm always free, so you can tell me when you're free for playtesting
  • edited December 2017
    Okay, just had a test game and I had a BLAST! I played the Simic Horizon deck, and here are just a bunch of notes I had!

    -Endless Potential is so good in the deck, I'd recommend having it be 1U

    -Lostworld Ancient is too good! Maybe a 5/4, 4/4, or a 4/3 would be better instead for P/T?

    -Vinewoven Mimic is amazing! But maybe a CMC of 4 instead of 3 since you can copy your opponents creatures?

    -Playing against Maiden of the Mist (I forgot the name XD, it's the terror creature that makes the owner of the terrorized creature sacrifice it) was actually hard since my board kept on decreasing everyime I tried to play something!

    Also, Arceus, are you open for anybody in the design team for the next set?
  • @Tomigon @ManaChrome
    Thanks so much for the help! This is all incredibly helpful! I’m pretty busy today, but I’ll get around to making the suggested changes and everything.

    May I see the decklists used in this practice game just out of curiosity?

    Also, @MamaChrome , you mentioned the design team for the next set. I’m all for assembling a group of those interested!
  • edited December 2017
    @Tomigon @ManaChrome
    Okay so here are a few clarifications on your suggestions:
    -Tradewind Raptor was intentional.
    -Stairway to the Beyond got a complete effect overhaul.
    -Boundless one does not have shroud because shroud is a retired evergreen keyword, barring any reprints.
    -Magus of Sulfur has the exact same text as the oracle text for Sulfuric Vortex. I’m just going to keep it like that so it’s an accurate throwback.
    -Maiden of Decayuses rot counters since -1/-1 counters typically are a set exclusive mechanic.
    -The X in Master if the Forge was meant to be the cmc of the exiled artifact. Forgot to put that in. If you look at the first comment, I list that as a known issue.

  • @Tomigon @ManaChrome
    Fixes made in editor, will update set page in a bit.
  • I look forward, if I am allowed, to drafting this set and helping play test.
  • @DoctorFro
    As soon as it is ready to be drafted I’ll let you know!
  • edited December 2017
    Enlightened Sovereign is misspelled.
    You spelled it “Soveirgn”.
    (Sorry, I’m a spelling nazi :P)
  • @TezzeretofCarmot
    Thanks for the catch! Fixed in editor, will be seen the next time I update the set!
  • @Arceus8523 No problem! The set inspired me to make my own custom set which I am working on right now. Eathouria is really cool!
  • @TezzeretofCarmot21
    Really? Thank you so much! Good luck with your set!
  • edited December 2017
    Wow, I'm late to the party! :) I also have some suggestions, and I'm going to make an Esper build to playtest.
    @Arceus8523
    Ana's new since I last saw the set. I didn't go through all the way; did you take out one of the other walkers? I can't remember if there were previously more than Nissa and Somnium.
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