Commerce and Trade set Idea. (Give me feedback and ideas)

edited September 2019 in Custom Card Sets
I know, we've been to relatively peaceful planes were most cards are productive tools and good stuff rather than war machines (Kaladesh's first set was all about exploring a city in a golden era of innovation) and it was one of my favorite sets to date just because of this.

This set, however will never reach any particular armed conflict like Aether Revolt did, it will simply be about predatory economic systems, trade and commerce. As you may have already guessed, I'm an economics major, so this stuff is exciting to me, and I would love to make it exciting for everyone else.


Some returning mechanics that i'm initially hoping can appear are:

Treasure tokens (This is an obvious one, treasures are already evergreen and flavorful)
Food Tokens (These are new, however, you can't tell me they aren't perfect for this set)
Populate (Population growth is an important factor of markets)
Energy (Energy arguably is the single most relevant factor in developing economies, this is also a good chance to fix that mechanic)
Prolferate (Another recently printed thing, but it has synergy with energy)
Buyback (It has the word BUY in it, lol. But, really it makes you administrate your mana)

Obviously the set can't contain all-recycled nor so many of them.


Some things that I would like to add that increase interaction

Card draw tradeoff. Basically, you give your opponent the choice of drawing cards in exchange for increasing your spell's power. This was mediocrely explored in cards like Bargain.

Occupy (Gain control of target land youdon't control until this permanent leaves the battlefield/Until end of turn. Untap it)
I looks like an easily problematic mechanic, but I think this is the set to try it.

Randomizing/coin flipping/die rolling The markets are very sensitive playthings, you never know what will happen next for sure, random chance isn't an strictly red thing, maybe all colors can have some.

Full moon (It is full moon every third turn. If players aren't counting, it becomes full moon and start counting)
Natural cycles matter for productive activities, I designed this for a werewolf mechanic, but it really adds a very simple timer that changes the way players act, it makes them wait for the perfect moment. It doesn't have to be named Full moon.


Black: Black markets, illegal activities, predatory capitalism.
Red: Arts markets, gambling.
Green: Agriculture, seasonal cycles, resources.
White: Legal frame, organiziations, equality.
Blue: Innovation, Exchange.


I wouldn't mind a return to a plane, some of my top picks are:
Kaladesh (As I said, this was a heavy inspiration)
Innistrad (It is still rebuilding from all the mess that happened there, this is a good moment to recover )
Ixalan (I live in latin america, it is well known that it was after conquest, competitive markets took over)
Fiora (Italian reinessance is very evokative of commerce)
Segovia (Idk)

Otherwise, if the plane is new, i would really like it to be centered around the sea, like a caribbean style thing.

What do you think?, I've never made a full set before, I need criticism.



  • I'm not experienced in building sets, but this is a great idea. You'll need to make factions, obviously. As for the mechanics, these are my ideas:
    - Occupy. I like the flavor, but this is too powerful if it isn't until end of turn. I think this has potential with adjustments.
    - Randomizing. This is cool, and I thonk you should make an ability or keyword for it.
    - Full moon. The moon cycle is meh flavorfully, should be changed. I think this is a nice mechanic but interchangeable in this set.

    I think you should make a major mechanic representing trade as a whole, it could span all colors.

    Will be back.
  • edited September 2019
    I like this idea, it reminds me of an old card:
    I like full moon*, and think it would work well in the rural areas as 'Faction ability', maybe? (I really like your Family Values card, but not the werewolf bit.)

    *I made a full moon mechanic that is very different; it's activated I think, and transforms all transforming cards.

    This idea may interest you:
  • edited September 2019

    Sorry about my brief earlier post; I was on my phone/busy.

    So, treasure/food. Both should be included, but you'll need to find a balance, have them be interchangeable with slight differences, or focus different factions or draft archetypes around them. You could also create a new "trinket" that represents all kinds of trade. I recommend just using the first two, though.

    Now, populate. This I love. The flavor, as well as the synergy with the food/treasures makes populate a mechanic that I could see define a faction or archetype. It'll have to be differentiated from Selesnya, though.

    Energy is fairly low on my list, mainly because if Wizards messed up, it'll be tough to improve it, and this makes it risky. Also flavor-fully it's strong but not as strong as others. If you're insistent on using it I could see it work, but I don't recommend it.

    Proliferate works with energy, but if we ain't using that, we'll need to create a new or find another alternative to energy. (Imagine proliferate in Shadows Over Innistrad) Proliferate is also only medium in terms of flavor.

    I like Buyback, but it's lower than the first two on my list. I could see it appear as a minor mechanic, because this seems like a permanent-focused set. Maybe a permanent-focused version of this?

    I forgot card draw tradeoff in my earlier post, and I can't express how much I love this. The flavor is great and it could be an awesome mechanic in-game two. I could see it being giving them food/treasure, life, or other things instead (not because they're better, but because they work too.) Should be a keyword or mechanic (ex. Entice 2 (When cast, you may have target opponent draw 2, if so EFFECT)). It's like a better Tribute, but optional for you.

    The Big Mechanic: Monopoly*
    v1 - Monarch version: Monopoly (You have monopoly as long as you control the most permanents of all players. At the beginning of your upkeep, if you have monopoly, create a food/treasure token)
    v2 - City's blessing version: Monopoly (You have monopoly as long as you control the most permanents of all players.)
    Wording could be changed.
    *Don't feel inclined to use this, I just think it fits the set.

    As for draft archetypes, here's my idea:

    WB Hired Assassins
    The idea is that you have creatures with ETB abilities, -1/-1 counter synergy, and death triggers/general creature killing. Could see buyback appear on noncreature spells here, as well as proliferate on all kinds. This works with monopoly by lowering the permanent number of your opponents.

    WG Populate
    Basic selesnya ramp using treasure and food, as well as land-fetching and land synergy as a minor theme. Populate is the obvious mechanic, but I think we could go crazy by allowing repeat populates on artifacts and smaller creatures, solidifying the archetype as "crazy go wide and swarm opponents to death and win" instead of "go wide, then copy huge creatures and win." Obvious monopoly synergy. (other factions use artifact tokens too, though.)

    BR Gamblers
    I'm less sure on how this would work, but it synergizes with monopoly by allowing for lucky combos that change who has monopoly, allowing for a fun line of play when one player dominates. I like the element of risk, like betting creatures on your board and cards in your hand for stronger effects.

    GU Sailors
    This is where the land-stealing part would come in, though the end of turn act of treason effect feels off in GU, and the other option is too strong. I like seeing counters at play here, with certain counters being put on lands so that you can use them only on your turn or only on the opponent's, depending on if we want to encourage flash in the archetype. I also like +1/+1 counter/proliferate, vehicle, and ramp synergy here. Unfortunately this doesn't really synergize with monopoly, so maybe we could change it to fetching lands or completing quests (like adventure from Eldraine). We'll see as we develop it.

    UR Switcheroo
    This is where the card draw tradeoff comes in, most likely as the major mechanic. But I also like switching permanents and gaining control of them. To differentiate from ravnica's Izzet, there should be slightly less noncreature spell synergy than normal. Maybe wizards? Maybe gaining control of cards could be a major mechanic, but I don't want to forsake the tradeoff. Monopoly synergy comes from less noncreature spells and gaining control of stuff.

    EDIT: I think this should be a new plane, incorporating the mechanics of other planes would be too difficult. Also, we'll have to add a few more gameplay elements to flesh out the plane itself, beyond trade. (Kaladesh was more than artifacts, Ravnica more than guilds)
  • The idea of a food token is giving me PTSD from early stages of Dumaran's development
  • @EnvyReaper I heard about that, I think food tokens will be used more sparingly here so I hope it isn't as scarring.
  • edited September 2019
    @Steampunkdragon that's a very detailed plan, damn. and it looks solid. I agree with many of those.

    Energy really is the most likely to be rejected, if not with proliferate, it has little reason to be there other than flavor.

    Giving your opponents stuff really has a lot of interaction but I am hesitant to add too much resources. As an example of this, look at Declaration in stone. It really is what this set is about, you can push the power level significantly high.

    Monopoly isn't exactly what I had in mind but I see the approach, I will test it.

    @korandangels that is an extremly rule-bending yet very interesting concept. I see the theme of the set might be about fake friendships, making peace until the time is right.

    And maybe yes, maybe a full moon style mechanic can be the theme for the agricultural faction. However it is a likely mechanic to be scrapped.
  • @Pepperoni I'm currently working on a test card for each faction, which I think will correlate with the draft archetypes. I recommend working on lore soon, it really helps you get the feel of the set. Just vague stuff first, details come after.
  • edited September 2019
    Before the test cards come out, how're these?

    Tempt N -- When you cast this card, you may have target opponent draw N cards. If you do, EFFECT.
    Tempt -- When you cast this card, you may have target opponent draw a card. If you do, EFFECT.

    Wager [Cost] (You may cast this creature for its wager cost. When you do, flip a coin. If tails, it's sacrificed when it enters the battlefield.)

    Keyword - Settle
    (Tap this creature, then gain control of target land for as long as this creature is tapped.)
    Example: Target creature settles. Draw a card.

    EDIT: We could also just replace settle with explore.
  • Ok so, here's a couple Ideas I had while I was [redacted]

    Make it a "lands matter" subtheme, but not necessarily animating them like Zendikar. As you know, colorless lands are allowed to have relevant effects because you are risking your mana consistency. Core set 2020 explored a little bit of this.

    Strategic lands also open a couple directions this could go:
    1. a new non-eldrazi colorless matters subtheme.
    2. Occupy design space. Better get those lands
    3. Tempo/late game abilities from these lands. Most land matters decks just want to pull a combo and win.
    4. Expansion of the Fortify mechanic. You know, infreastructure.
  • edited September 2019
    @Steampunkdragon right off the bat, I don't like Wager, it doesn't feel like a good idea to have in the deck. We should keep looking at that randomizing thing.

    I do like Tempt, i can already imagine a fixed Bargain.

    Bargaining power 1W


    Tempt 1(As you cast this spell,
    target opponet may draw up to

    You gain 6 life for each card that
    was drawn this turn.

    Settle also looks good, attaching the land steal to a creature makes WAY more interactive.
  • edited September 2019

    As this Is likely a new plane. Seemingly a Caribbean one with lots of tropical Islands, some pirates, ancient knowledge covered by the market's overwhelming power. I thought of this:

    Traders in this plane just recently discovered planeswalking and wish to create a network of trade across the multiverse using planeswalkers' ability to take small objects with them, planeswalkers receive HUGE economic benefits from this and many are drawn to enter this business. However, the gatewatch sees this as a threat to the multiverse's a stability since this makes everyone aware of the existence of the multiverse, it lacks proper regulation of objects moving accross planes, thus they suspend this until further regulation is determined.

    The market Is always more powerful so this doesn't stop there, many planeswalkers still are secretly involved and they are offered exorbitant amounts of wealth for information about Tezzeret's Planar bridge...

    You know where this Is going, artificial planeswalker experimentation, recreating the Planar Bridge, these are the stuff that would drive the story forward and the gatewatch tries to control it before the wrong person does it. HELL maybe even next set can have the first creature-planeswalkers. But I'm getting ahead of myself
  • I made some changes, but these aren't final:



    I'm not looking for feedback on the cards so much as on the factions they represent and the mechanics they use.
  • edited September 2019
    @steampunkdragon the flavor Is ON POINT, now I see more clearly what you're doing. And first that seems to be too many things going on so here are my thoughts:

    Rooftop sneak. Orzhov has usually been two things: Aristocracy or the passage to death. Proliferate in this set, as we decided that energy is a no-go, will only synergyze with -1/-1, +1/+1 and any other kind of counter that may appear on permanents. The fact that it is an assassin diverts a little bit from the purely economic theme, but violence IS IN FACT a business and it must be contemplated.

    Feathered Farmhand. The art choice is beautiful, white-green has always been a bit weak compared to others if not for value, this could be their time to shine, being productive Is what wins here. This combines three things selesnya does best: Tokens, lifegain and fetching lands (white does it as a Land tax) and if settle Is going to be a thing, this becomes more relevant. The agricultural faction has to be very stay-in-your-own-lawn kind of thing, and that's what makes them powerful.

    Bazaar weaponsmith. This is the least problematic, doesn't add too much complexity and we do agree on how does tempt work. Card advantage and punisher effects perfectly represents Izzet. The faction isn't totally clear but I like it so far.

    Daring Castaway. I'm not sure if settle Is best in Simic, but the card is very good. My only problem Is settle's reminder text, it's not clear if the creature that settled untaps as normal during untap step. I'm not quite getting the faction here, GU doesn't feel like pirates as much as it feels like explorers and nomad merchants.

    Sly trickster. This is the only card I don't like, it kinda breaks the color pie and the second ability, wager is a bit... Counterintuitive. Three mana Is a lot if you wanna be casting a lot of spells from your pile, yet you never know if you're maximizing it's value. Maybe I just say it because I don't like to play like that, but maybe this isn't a good way to play rakdos. As for the faction, I do like, it obviously comes from the darkest córners of the market, a place with great things if you are willing to deal with the devil.
  • edited September 2019
    Yeah. I think we need to work the most on Rakdos, Simic, and Orzhov the most, in that order, in terms of mechanics.

    For Orzhov I think we could totally throw away counter synergy to switch to -X/-X until end of turn stuff, or maybe destroying creatures for prices, or using opponents to kill creatures for a lower mana cost.

    I was thinking Izzet could have an artifact subtheme and be inventors n' stuff, but that's not necessary.

    For settle it untaps as normal, otherwise it would be too strong. I think this mechanic needs refining because it seems very much like a homebrew mechanic at the moment.

    And for Trickster, I pretty much expected this sort of reaction. Wager is too complicated even if I like it more than thee previous iteration, but I think there's a way to do it right. Maybe casting a random card from your hand for a certain amount of mana? Maybe looking at 2 cards, flipping a coin, and getting one? Maybe just a simple ETB coin flip with a positive heads effect and a negative tails one, like this:
    Wager -- When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, flip a coin. If heads, EFFECT. If tails, EFFECT.

    I think we need to find a solid list of themes to define the set. Here are a few.
    - Trade and commerce, trades between players.
    - Flourishing and abundance, lots of permanents.
    - Order, law and fighting against it. (I think order could be Orzhov, and that Rakdos could be all illegal crime. We'll need the law faction to interact with the theme of the set, though.)
    - Caribbean setting.

    We should have a few more, but remember to differentiate (from other sets.)
  • edited September 2019
    Izzet inventors is a safe route, doesn't add any complexity and it gives consistency to the set, that one stays.

    I'll iterate some more on the coin flipping, I'll let you know when I have a lead.

    And I get it now with Settle, that's why it is until end of turn. That's clever, plus, if we include white and blue tap effects you can keep the land on your side for longer. I really like that one.

    Here's some other ideas to smooth things out:

    Ore/mineral/silver tokens. Artifacts with "Tap, sacrifice this artifact: Add one mana of a random color"

    You may exchange control of Ore tokens at any moment if an opponent agrees the exchange.
    Keyword Exchangable (You may exchange control of this permanent at any moment for any number of permanents if their owner's agree)
    Keyword Exchange (Players may exchange control of permanents simoultaneously)
    Exchange (At the beginning of each end step, players may exchange control of permanents simoultaneously)
    this is just to make it a triggered ability.
  • @pepperoni I looove the concept of exchangeable, here's how I would do it:

    Choose any number of target permanents. Their controller may have you gain control of them. If they do, they gain control of this permanent.

    Greedy Cutthroat BB
    Creature - Human Pirate
    Whenever an opponent loses life, you may barter this creature.
  • @SteampunkDragon

    Don’t know if this is wanted but with all of the trade going on you could do a stealing or pillaging mechanic for the BR

    Such as:
    Bandit: Whenever this creature does combat damage to a player you may take control of target Treasure or Food they control.
  • @IzItTru that's smart, I was thinking of going down a more piratey route with them. I don't think your ability works because I think the treasures and stuff don't appear enough. I love the flavor though, will definitely think of this while working on them.
  • I was also thinking we could do something like exiling cards from your opponent's library and casting them with an element of chance, fits in Rakdos, pirates, and gamblers.
  • @SteampunkDragon Thanks, I think that the exiling ability could be cool.
  • edited September 2019
    Now it's getting some shape.

    Last ideas to get out of my head while we define mechanics:

    Capitalize(Create a Capital artifact token)

    They don't do anything on their own, the creature or enchantment that Capitalized may have "Capitals you control have 'Tap: You gain 1 life.'". It can also be replaced by treasures.
    Capitalize - Lands you control have "Tap...:"
    This is only to unify the lands matter theme and give Settle strategic targets. This can also be replaced by Fortifications.
    Capitalize - You may sacrifice a land [if you do create a Wastes Token with "Tap: Add C"]
  • edited September 2019
    I kinda want to scrap food tokens because we dont know how will Eldraine use them, we may do the exact same thing.

    @Izitru we kinda have the factions done, there are pirates, there is stealing, but mostly in the mechanic Settle.
  • edited September 2019
    Ok so, list of things that STAY:

    This creature SETTLES (Tap it. Gain control of target land until this creature untaps. Untap that land.)

    Remember to include tap effects to expand the window of time the land is controlled.

    It actually can entirely be replaced by BARTER. (Choose any number of target permanents. Their controller may have you gain control of them. If they do, they gain control of this permanent.)

    Both are satisfying as hell. I would choose Barter if I had to choose.
    TEMPT Target opponent may [Possitive effect for the opponent], if they do, [Extra effect or power for your spell]
    The mechanic doesn't even need a name. It can be anything from card draw, to creating treasures to gaining life.
  • @Pepperoni we know how food works now, check out the new Eldraine mechanics article on the Magic website. Also not sure how flavourful that idea is in this set. I think treasure is more suitable for a trading set.
  • @Mantis17 I know what they do, but besides gaining life, they will obviously be given more flexibility as they reveal cards. Just Gilded Goose and Oko already are playing with them in other ways. And yeah, the less similar tokens we have, the better.
  • Just a random idea, and one that might be completely crazy, but what if we had a resource similar to energy that was a shared resource between all players? Like it starts a a fixed amount like life, there are cards that generate it and cards that can use it, and all players could use it (I'm thinking only at sorcery speed or on their turn at this point). Just an idea!
  • @mantis17 the "all players could use it" confuses me. Do you mean...?

    a) The resource is owned by no player but everyone can use it if their cards allow it. Like, let's say, water counters, no one owns the sea and everyone has access but it can run dry.

    b) All players have access to it if they produce it. Essentially the same as energy but powered down at sorcery speed.
  • edited September 2019
    @mantis17 that... Is actually an interesting idea. A few things com to mind.
    1) It reflects the natural depletion of resources by competitive consumerism.
    2) It might force players to try to use it as fast as possible so their opponents can't and gives little to no incentive to refill it if someone else can refill it.
    3) Outside of limited, if not in mirror match, it works the same as Energy.
    4) It has less room for interaction than Enegy and it can't be used in trade, so it might not be the thing for this set.
    5)It can actually create some intense scenarios where players are guessing if they will be able to use the resource, wich can be fun.

    I'm 50/50 about it. Most likely it isn't the best for this set. Altough things that enter the battlefield under no player's control like lands, lets say, would fit like ring-to-finger for the Settle mechanic.
  • @Pepperoni I think you're probably right. However, it does open up room for a new multiplayer format like conspiracy. Let me think up a name and you should see a forum post in about 20 minutes...
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