- Yirivar - Custom Set Discussion

edited August 2018 in Custom Card Sets
Yirivar... Does that name sound as neat to you all as it does to me? I always have a lot of difficulty coming up with fantasy names of character/locations/etc. I have done some fantasy novel writing (started many, finished none) and then I've "named," in one way or another, so many fantasy things here on MTGCardsmith, but never have I ever been so happy with one I've come up with as this.

I've come up with names for cards within this set that I'm quite happy with as well: Burren, Ventus, etc.

When things feel like they're clicking inexplicably, that's when I get a good feeling about a project--regardless of the related field. It might be artwork (if you like dragons, this is the month of #smaugust and I've got some neat doodles up over here), or a fantasy novel, or land development projects at work, the feeling comes and grows; well it grows until there's a substantial setback or I lose interest. XD


I'VE created this discussion that I might share with you what I have so far and give you opportunity to change the course of its progression by offering advice or suggestions of any kind. I strongly encourage you to check out the set (linked above) and take a look at the cards there so far. I have had the privilege of receiving suggestions and critique from many of my favorite site Smiths on a good number of the cards already; the most recent of which was rewritten and published under various accounts until it landed in its current state with input from @ningyounk (and now @DomriKade as well).


By now you can tell that there is both voting and clashing and have likely surmised the multiplayer bent that the set was designed under. The set revolves around gaining control of other people's permanents with their consent, or, sometimes, without it. Burren, the set's antagonist, has a small backstory which I will here divulge.

"After shamelessly claiming for himself complete and total control over the soft-spoken tradesman people of Yirivar, Burren thought it only right that he should formally exact some form of tax upon these wealthy merchants. 'They can afford it, of course. If, however, they deem trifles of value enough to withhold them from me, they will be swiftly and publicly punished.'

The edifice in which he now sits was once known as 'Commerce Hall'; the throne on which he now sits was previously part of an extensive collection from an ancient era; the people over which he now sits are free men.

Burren, the villainous infidel who'd fallen out of favor with his distant knightly relatives and taken to a more barbarian lifestyle, took what he wished. There was little opposition here, exactly what he wanted.

One thing that did anger Burren was the Yirivar alliance with many bird species; cranes in particular were more than capable of delivering messages and smuggling smaller merchandise between the merchants of Yirivar. Burren reasoned that all that was necessary to bring this evasive method of communication to a halt was increased 'taxation' and more severe discipline for the disobedient.

Yes, I'm quoting myself... dangerous territory.

It is quite possible that this set will also showcase one or more "council" cards:

Will of the council - At the beginning of your upkeep, reveal the top card of your library. Then, starting with you, each player votes for buy or sell. If buy gets more votes, ___________ . If sell gets more votes or the vote is tied, ___________ .


I am happy to introduce you, especially the many with no former knowledge, to Yirivar and wish that you would join me in furthering its boundaries. I don't guarantee that concepts/suggestions/thoughts will be heeded, but I will guarantee that they'll be appreciated. Thank you for your time and your presence!

- Faiths_Guide


  • edited August 2018
    Here's a way that everyone can get involved and be rewarded for doing so:

    1. Provide a piece of art with the Artist's name that has something to do with birds and seems like it would fit with the set thematic so far (check to make sure that I'm not using it already in the set). Further, I'd prefer that Human(oids) were present in the image.

    2. Ask for a piece of art with some parameters and I will help you find it!
  • Here are a few bird-related illustrations! I wasn't sure what you were looking for specifically, so I just took the ones I found pretty from my collection ^^

    You can click on each of them to go to its Deviantart page where you can download the original and find the artist name if you're interested :)


  • @ningyounk
    Many of these are perfect, thank you!

    Any kinds of artwork you're looking for these days?
  • edited August 2018
    i couldn't find the artists name
    Couldn't find the artist
    Couldn't find Artist
  • @Faiths_Guide

    Glad you found some of them fitting! :)

    Well, actually, if you stumble upon illustrations in unconventional art styles (things like Sagas with tapestries, stained glass, etc.) I think we could find a use for them on Rezatta at some point ^^
  • edited August 2018
    This kind of art is hard to find. I don't think I did a very good job of it!
    image image image image
  • Thank you, @Bobman111!

    I've seen quite a few of these before, but they are neat ones :)

    Anything you'd like me to help you find?
  • @Faiths_Guide I am currently looking for anything for like a blue scholar type person for my set, Laryk. I'm working on the commons right now and need some art.
  • edited August 2018
    Hello @Faiths_Guide!

    First of all, your set looks awesome and super imaginative. I actually can't believe it's taken so long for you to make one! I really like utilizing Blue/White in a different way than just "flying creatures." (well...I guess...)

    That being said, if you want to make Yirivar a playable and grokkable set, I would advise you to 'dumb down' the cards a bit. Many of your uncommons are much too complex for their respective rarity, even though they are very crafty and creative. But if I was a new player using your set, I would be quickly overwhelmed.

    If you want help creating a skeleton for a custom set, I highly suggest checking out the one in this post. It has been very useful for me in the past.


    Oh, and can I offer a new mechanic for the Jund portion?

    Apex - Whenever ~ deals combat damage to a player, put a +1/+1 counter on it. Then if ~ has the highest power among creatures on the battlefield, {effect}.

    Good luck kind sir!
  • @Faiths_Guide Those are wonderful thanks =D
  • @Temurzoa
    Thank you very much for stopping by and commenting! You are correct with respect to complexity, the set is far too rifled with it as it stands, however, the cards so far are there for the intent of exploring the limits of the set. As it becomes more fleshed out (who knows how long that will take), it should settle to a more acceptable level.

    I will try and find time to review that link, thank you!

    There isn't really a Jund portion (though your mechanic seems pretty good in that space, though a bit complex :), the set is focused on "Good" & Evil in Bant and Grixis respectively. The other issue with your mechanic, as I see it, is that it contends with itself quite heavily. Each of your creatures with apex will be trying to be the biggest simultaneously and, while that is definitely on point from a flavor perspective, makes for difficult play and would likely cause frustration to a player who wanted to capitalize on it.

    I appreciate your well-wishes and your help/interest! Anything and everything is not only welcomed but encouraged.

  • Hrmm, the set is focused on Grixis and Bant? I would highly suggest considering balancing the color pie early before continuing further. Otherwise blue would be more important than the other colors, creating an imbalance.

    In addition to Grixis and Bant, you could have two minor enemy-colored factions G/B and W/R. The reason I think they should be enemy-colored is because it would create too much overlap otherwise. G/B could be something like the custodians/overseers of Yirivar, ensuring that Good/Evil are kept in check. W/R could be a previous form of government/group of power Burren overthrew, and are now pursuing vengeance.

  • @Temurzoa
    You're making good sense, more thought should be put into the skeleton of the set (at this point it's really just world exploration for the fun of doing so).

    Coming up with good reasons (as you've done) to help the colors balance out in interesting ways is something I might approach in the future, and now I have a good reference to a possible way to do so. Thank you!
  • Bant and Rakdos would be fine.

    I am obsessed with birds, but it seems like what you have designed so far is bird tribal and some political cards. You're free to use any of the Vryn cards I've made as inspiration on politics!

    So much great art. Good luck with this one!
  • edited August 2018
    @brcien @Temurzoa
    Is it possible to remain Bant and Grixis with understated blue in each (relative to the other 4 colors)?

    I guess with the set being so much about exchanging permanents, blue can't really be understated...
  • Random thought: Maybe the set could use some "Target opponent chooses one —", punisher effects, and Tribute-like mechanics? It sounds like the set wants more choices and players interactions than usual?

    Random card to go with the random thought: (It's part of an imaginary Shard cycle of "LANDNAME Corruption". Not very polished but you get the idea: involving other players as much as possible.)


  • @Faiths_Guide, you can certainly do it, but the draft environment (if you're even conscious about it!) would be wonky because everyone is more likely than not trying to grab blue. There is just a lot more emphasis on collecting blue cards, which would make it lopsided. I mean, WotC has done it in the past, like with Hour of Devastation, but it was very subtle and did not become parasitic.

  • edited August 2018
    I love both your random thoughts and cards.

    I very much like tribute and have tried playing with its constraints before.
    I should incorporate it somehow.

    Perhaps--for forbidding:
    An opponent of your choice may remove/exclude/forbid one. Then, choose one or more--

    Exclude may be best here, since it is similar to "except" terminology in existing cards.
    If it targets and your opponents have hexrpoof, it fizzles. I don't like that :P
    Notice that tribute also uses the work-around for hexproof problems.
    "Choose one or more" is a WoTC way to word "You may choose all..."

    I also recently developed a spin on "council" and made a couple cards:
    image image

    Good points.


    Also, with input from @DomriKade, Cast Your Vote was updated again!
  • edited August 2018
    For the merchants. Perhaps a few hired agents. Like: https://mtgcardsmith.com/view/daring-sky-couriers
  • Oooo. I have an idea. Why not use Revolt, Buyback, and Cipher for the merchants?
  • @fraziel07
    Buyback could be a flavorful inclusion! :)

    We've got a new design!
  • To me the name Yirivar makes me think of the norse
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