Lakas' Desolation


Inspired by (and published with permission from) @HeroKP's Colonisers contest series. I really liked the idea of an interactive event, so here we are.

Plane Description

Lakas is a plane that is physically flat. Its terrain is Earth-like, and its inhabitants tend to stay away from the edges of this bizarre, circular plane of existence. Life slowly fades out, being the most abundant and dense in the center of Lakas. The plane is lifeless and hostile at its edges, reaching temperatures that will strip most life of everything it has.

Beautiful rainforests thrive in its center, which dissolve into forests and mountains, into grass-covered plains, and ultimately into desolate landscapes. Cities dot its landscape, the values and cultures of each so different from one another that interaction would lead to extreme wars, but as the once-definitive edges that marked the deserts of Lakas begin to creep inward, populations follow suit. Divided cultures begin to clash, while others form new alliances and friendships.

The Challenge

Design at least three cards to represent your city, faction, etc. Perhaps you'll be a blue and red city of inventions like the citizens of Kaladesh, a tribe of worshipers of death, wealth, and the afterlife like the Orzhov of Ravnica, or an UBRG clan of chaos-bringers—the choice is yours! Make sure the ideology of the culture aligns with the colours you choose. You can also check the Wiki for the names of the colour combinations and their values (i.e. UBRG is officially named "Chaos").

This first set of cards should include at least:
• An overseer of some kind (whether this be the chancellor of a democracy, a dictator, a tribe leader, whatever fits!)
• An average citizen
• An artifact or enchantment to represent your group (such as a weapon, or a magical artifact/enchantment to indicate your group's ties to magic) and their values

Other ideas if you want to do more could be:
• Sorceries and/or instants that represent key events in your group's history
• Renowned members of your society

Design at least two cards to represent your group's response to the stirring conflict. Ideas include:
• Militarization
• Diplomacy
• Weaponry
• Shelter or refuge

After submissions have ended, this contest will be interactive. You will interact with one another, and with events and situations that get sent your way.


You will earn points based on your response and the difficulty of the obstacles. Easy challenges will award up to 3 points, hard up to 6, and challenging up to 10. This is based upon creativity in the response, whether it seems to fit the flavor of your culture, and, if a card is designed, on the design of that card.

You may respond to challenges either through cards (creatures such as soldiers to take out a threat or sorceries and instants such as "Fire the Cannons") or explaining your response through text. Challenging challenges will require card creation. You may give verbal explanation to complement the card.

You may request an obstacle of a particular difficulty once each week.


As the deserts of Lakas push deeper into its center, more and more conflict comes to be. You will start to bump into other factions, and may choose to resolve through conflict or through diplomacy. Perhaps even, you will choose to go your separate ways.

Points are awarded here through the interaction, not the resolution. Your participation will grant points, and your willingness to accept potential defeats or losses is also factored into that. Creativity in your responses and consistency within your culture's values are also part of this. Up to 7 points can be awarded each interaction.


Submissions will be taken until the August 3, after which the interaction and obstacles will slowly be introduced, with ever-increasing difficulty.

Other Notes

The cards should be fairly realistic. No joke cards. Preferably no cards designed before this, but if you'd like to use old ones, then you are more than welcome to.

Have fun! I hope this goes well!

Untap is a pretty cool site that lets you play MTG online for free! You can upload custom cards to it. If you'd like to opt into potential matches (probably in an off-brand commander format), let me know. Any cards you've used in this challenge, both in original submissions and in facing objectives and other factions, should be used (at least your five "core" cards). I'll be checking them for balancing and for clarity. Just include in your post whether you'd be interested in participating in things like that or not.

You may not use cards I submit to this challenge for duels unless explicitly stated.

If you opt in, you may also face challenges in the form of matches against me. These may be deck-to-deck duels, or you trying to use a small pool of your cards to remove of an already-setup threat.


  • @SammySammyson Now that you've described it, there will be an unanticipated twist: I MYSELF SHALL JOIN THE CHALLENGE!

    (P.S.: You might want to push the starting date back, since these things take a while to get rolling)
  • I don't want to fight, but don't come at me. No one is technologically farther than me. And you don't want me using my technology against you now do you?
  • edited August 2019
    You know dem JUNGLES in the middle of the THING aight? Well dem jungles have caves under 'em, don't they? So BUGS.

    Speaking seriously, this contest, I'm gonna do what I do best. Sultai!

    The society of R'jkqu is one of intelligent insects, connected by a semi-hivemind. As in, every bug has free will, but bugs higher up the hierarchy can send telepathic commands to lower-ranking members, and they will be inclined to follow them, though this can be resisted through extreme willpower.


    Another important aspect of their society is reincarnation. When a bug dies, if he was well fed and happened to pass away in a humid and warm place, then eggs will spawn from their dying body. Those have a chance to hatch, and carry the bug's destiny on. The perfect conditions for this exist in the deep caves of R'jkqu, hence the ability.

    There are several tiers of bug existence:

    1. Egg
    2. Larvae
    3. Nymph
    4. Adult (most die here without reaching any further)
    5. Glorybug
    6. Highbug

    The hive doesn't have a singular leader, but they are often led by the living Highbugs. There aren't usually a lot of them. There is always at least one, and the record is nine at a time. For now, three are living. I will make cards for all of them, but here is one for the time being.


    Volug is a glowworm, with the arcane abilities to fascinate the minds of unsuspecting surface-dwellers, and cause them to get lost in the tunnels. If they spend long enough in the presence of Volug, they get connected to the bug Hivemind, and become themselves, a half-bug.


    Limac is one of the frontier bugs, who set up camp above ground, in the dense jungle of Core Lakas when he was a glorybug. His followers grew and grew, and more and more explorers from the surface came to try and slay the mysterious jungle beetle. None of them suceeded, and Limac continued to feed. Eventually, he grew so large he ascended the hierarchy of the hivemind, and became a Highbug.


    Runa was there before R'jkqu was finished, and the burrows complete. She is the oldest bug in the hive, but her power is not yet fading away. She is the major force keeping the secret hive secret, because she warps the minds of those who get close. However, recently, Volug has pushed her to lift this veil, since he predicts a great future for the hive if they upgrade to a full-level nation. So slowly, but surely, she is letting some of the other powers on the disc to find out about her.
  • P.S: @Bowler218 Fite me, we'll see how your fancy guns match up against SHEER BUG.
  • Ya know @HeroKP, Thanakar 1 shots Volug and possibly before Volug even thinks about attacking.
  • @Bowler218 But Volug can easily mind-control Thanakar the second you try to attack with him.
  • @HeroKP But Thanakar will be attacking from a distance so Volug won't be in range to take control.
  • edited August 2019
    Behold the White Alliance!
  • edited August 2019
    Although the white alliance intends to protect the world from evil, it is opposed by many well-meaning factions who believe that the Alliance is mistaken. As such, it is in conflict with many of the other factions.
    The Alliance is positioned along the southern side of the ring up to the swamps, were their territory stops. The northernmost and southernmost points are heavily guarded, since the desolation is a realm of evil, and the rain-forests are a fortress of insects who live below it.

    @SammySammyson Is the world supported discworld-style, or does it just float?
  • edited July 2019
    @HeroKP, I shall push the date back, thanks! Dunno just how far I should go...let me know what you'd set it to if my current isn't far enough back.
  • @KorandAngels the world is just sort of...there. There isn't anything "below" it, and then there seems to be endless sky above. The edges of the world...well, we'll deal with those if and when some brave soldiers wander the vast, unforgiving deserts of Lakan.
  • I love seeing y'all build the plane with me, and that's what I intended. A rough description, and then have it pieced together from there.

    @HeroKP i like ur bugs

    And now, off I go to begin some design for obstacles and stuff! Rah!
  • edited July 2019
    Also, if you could all @ me either with a finished card set or a full list of all cards, that'd be much appreciated. Just so I can keep track of the factions and what their different parts are. Yeet B)
  • edited July 2019
    Also, I'll be editing the post to include this, but if you have interest in using to play with these cards, pitting them against each other (in a sort of off-brand commander format probably), let me know! I'll probably have people opt into or out of this, and go from there. Participation will require (hopefully) balanced cards; I'll be reading over them beforehand of course, both for clarification if needed, and for balancing.
  • edited July 2019

    Edited to include Limac and Runa.
  • Also, apparently attack discouraging is my niche now
  • edited July 2019

    This was a mistake
  • edited July 2019
    @HeroKP if you want it to be broken, have it say "if you control X or more..." because, unless I'm a buffoon, it'll require you have exactly that many creatures as it is right now.
  • @SammySammyson But I don't want it to be broken! Ask Volug, a lot of logistics goes into managing a hive. If you have too many, you won't have enough food to feed them. For true bug ascension, you must get the number just right.
  • edited July 2019
    Mechanic I will use: Promote (Put it into your command zone), instead of writing put target _____ into your command zone.
    Inasala is our explorer. She has even tried to look into the rainforest, although at that time the beetle lord living around there was a perfect match with him; they both survived. She has trained in striking fast enough to avoid the claws, and is now awaiting another confrontation with Limac.

    I made a set for this:
  • edited July 2019
    @HeroKP yeet

    Also I don't think I wanna talk to Volug anytime soon, I'd rather...keep my will.
  • @KorandAngels from a mechanical standpoint, tokens can't exist in your command zone. Like, they literally cease existing in it. While this is casual, you may want to include text on Salam to make it so they can. i.e. '...creature tokens with "This token may be in your command zone as if it were a creature card." ' or something. Dunno what the best way to get around it would be.
  • Spoiler warning.

    I'm going to be posting cards for this all here. Figured I'd share since you can go to my profile and find the set anyway.
  • @SammySammyson *sighs* it was worth a try

    @KorandAngels Limac is not a scorpion, he is a beetle. The scorpion you are talking about sounds like Snood, he passed away recently.
  • @HeroKP kek

    If you check out that set, lemme know what you think about our good friend It of the Desolate...spent a whole lot o' time trying to make it balanced-ish, but I'm worried it might actually be underpowered even with the alternative payments

    so far it's the only card in it kek
  • @HeroKP But.. he has claws!
  • @KorandAngels He is a clawed beetle. Do not question.
  • edited July 2019

    In response to touble brewing, we do two things. First, we adapt Runa's blight to be a fertilizer, an adapter. We begin terraforming the jungles to be supreme BUG habitat.


    Second, we gather an army of adult and nymph flying bugs and send a swarm to survey land just outside our domain.
  • @SammySammyson

    Are you going to draw up a map of the land?
  • image

    And finally, an average member of the species
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