Rezatta Set Design - Uncommons Part 2

Hello everyone!  :)

It's time to refresh the Rezatta thread so people don't have to navigate over twenty pages of discussion xD

Rezatta is a custom set with a Renaissance flavour and a unique "Life-matters" mechanical core.
This project has been around on MTGCardsmith since 2017:
Luckily, there's no need for you to read any of that as I'm going to summarise it right now ;)


Rezatta is inspired by Italian Renaissance. Unlike Fiora, Rezatta has not always been in a perpetual state of Renaissance however. Thanks to the recent reincarnation of Serra on the plane, it is now living through a period of exciting change. Among the important markers of this period are: 

The Church of Serra — As the rebirth of Serra brought life to Rezatta, her many followers swarm the plane to spread the word of the Church of Serra and its four cardinal values: Art, Peace, Freedom and Discourse.
Living Art — On Rezatta, the art is so beautiful that it spontaneously comes to life.
Scientific Progress — Many renown geniuses on Rezatta invent new life-changing technologies.
Carnival — Everyone is celebrating the beginning of a new era with dances, banquets and fancy costumes.
Exploration — Now that the ice is melting, it's time to explore the terra incognita of Rezatta.
Spring — The rebirth of Serra brought a lush spring, covering Rezatta in colourful flowers and butterflies.
Winter — A small part of Rezatta is still resisting the change, stuck with cold, dreadful monsters, and ancient heresy.
Humanism — Many anthropomorphised animals highlight how humans are particularly influent on Rezatta.
Emotions — Mysterious muses of emotions are roaming the plane, inspiring artists, inventors and explorers alike.

The plot still has to be decided, though we have discussed the appearance of a couple iconic characters:
  • Leonardo Da Vinci as a genius planeswalker who travels to other planes in search of inspiration.
  • Mona Lisa as a living painting. She has many secrets, as her smile would suggest.
  • Serra is an existing old-school planeswalker that was dead, the story will tell of her rebirth.
  • Eco is a new character from Rezatta. She cannot speak with words, but she uses music to communicate her emotions.


The main mechanical focus of the set is life. Different archetypes will care about different aspects of life, from your life total to gaining life, losing life, etc. There are four new keywords to support this novel mechanical theme:

1) Renewal — The life-matters glue

Renewal If the sum of all life gained and lost this turn is 3 or more, EFFECT.

Renewal cares about all the different ways to have life totals change with one mechanic.

Here are some rules point about Renewal:

  • Renewal sums all life changes that happened this turn regardless of whether they are life gains or losses, how or when they happened, and which players they affected. For instance, if an opponent lost 1 life and you gained 2 life, that's 3 total life that was gained and/or lost this turn, Renewal is enabled.
  • Renewal counts life gains and losses, it doesn't look at the value of life totals. For instance, if you lose 2 life then gain 2 life, you've gained and lost a total of 4 life this turn, Renewal is enabled even if your life total didn't change!

2) Serran life — A new type of life points

You gain N serran life. (Pay 2 serran life: Add one mana of any color.)


Serran life is the most innovative and complex mechanic from the set. It functions a bit like shield points that you can exchange for mana. Like the Monarch mechanic, it has a reminder token but not all rules are on it.

Here are some of the main rules points about serran life: 

  • Serran life is part of your life total. While it's counted separately, if you have 20 regular life and 2 serran life, your life total is 22. Similarly, you can have 0 regular life and 1 serran life without losing the game.
  • You may pay 2 serran life at any moment to add one mana of any colour. This is a mana ability that doesn't use the stack, like tapping a land or sacrificing a Treasure token.
  • You lose serran life first when you don't control the source that made you lose life. This means that your opponent can remove your serran life by attacking you, using damage spell, or "you lose life" effects for instance. Once you don't have any serran life left, you start losing regular life. Think of it like shield points. 
  • You lose serran life last when you control the source that made you lose life. For instance, if you pay life as a cost to cast your spell, you will lose your non-serran life first. Then, if you don't have any regular life left, you will start to pay with your serran life.



  • 3) Masterwork — The mechanic of geniuses

    Masterwork (Choose a creature you control as this resolves. It becomes your only masterwork.)

    Masterwork is a combat-oriented mechanic that lets you pile up plenty of combat abilities onto one creature.

    Here are some rules notes about masterwork:

    • You can never have more than one masterwork at all times. If for some reason you end up with two masterworks at any time, you need to choose one as your only masterwork. It works the same way the legendary rules works, except you don't need to sacrifice anything.
    • If you play a spell with masterwork, you need to choose a masterwork as long as you control a creature. However, you don't need to change your masterwork if you already have one. 
    • You cannot choose a new masterwork or change your masterwork unless an effects tells you to do so.
    • Technically, masterwork is two different mechanics. It happens as a permanent enters the battlefield or as a nonpermanent spell resolves depending on the card it's on.
    • Becoming a masterwork doesn't use the stack and doesn't target. This means that your opponent can't try to remove your masterwork between the moment you choose it and the moment it becomes your masterwork. You can also have a creature become your masterwork even if it has protection from the colour of the spell with masterwork. Finally, it also means that permanents that choose themselves as the masterwork and grants an ability will be considered to enter the battlefield with that ability, as the choice happens at the same time as it enters the battlefield. 

    4) Discover — Science and exploration breakthroughs

    Discover (Look at the top card of your library. You may cast it. If you don't, you may put it into your graveyard.)

    Discover works as a card filtering and mana sink for the set.

    Here are some rules point about Discover:

    • Discover works like a better Scry or Surveil. Once you look at the top card of your library, you have three options: 1) Leave it on top of your library. 2) Put it into your graveyard. 3) Cast it.
    • If you want to cast a spell you discover, you need to pay its cost and you need to cast it now, you can't keep it for later.
    • Land cards are played, not cast, so you can't play lands with discover, even if you still haven't played a land this turn.
    • Discover ignores the usual time restrictions associated with card types. For instance, if you discover a creature card during your opponent's turn, you can cast it even if it doesn't have flash!
    • When cards care about when you discover, you don't need to cast the card you discover to trigger their ability — just looking at the top card of your library will count as discovering.
    • Some cards care about objects you've discovered. A card is considered discovered if you are looking at it while discovering or if you've cast it as part of discovering. However, if you don't cast it on the moment, draw it later then cast it normally, it won't count as having been discovered.

  • edited February 2021


    The commons are organised around five shard archetypes for simplification purpose. At uncommon, they are supported mainly by the five ally-coloured combination while the five enemy-coloured combinations branch out into five different archetypes that were seeded more subtly at common.

    Here are the ten main archetypes:

    WU (+R) — Second spell (disruptive aggro). In this archetype, you get boosted effects for when you play your second spell each turn. The deck tries to win by getting ahead in ressources and tempo.

    UB (+G) — Art tribal (combo). This archetype cares about Art creatures entering and leaving the battlefield under your control. It's a slower combo type of deck that abuses enters/leaves the battlefield through blink, bounce, reanimation, etc.

    BR (+W) — Suicide aggro (turbo aggro). This archetypes tries to win quickly by using your own life total as a fuel. It cares about losing life a lot.

    RG (+W) — Even life (midrange). This hybrid archetype is the most versatile in its style of play. It tries to attack/defend with over-the-curve creatures by making sure your life total is always even — as opposed to odd.

    GW (+G) — Serran life (control). Cards in this archetype give you serran life and want you to protect it. It's a ticking bomb archetype, you build a strong defense until you reach a threshold of serran life that lets you win in a couple attacks.

    WB — Angel and Clerics tribal (control). In this tribal archetype, you get rewards for playing angels, playing clerics, and then additional synergies for playing both at the same type. This archetype is focused on resilience and removal.

    UR — Discover (disruptive aggro). Make the best of the discover mechanic to quickly overwhelm your opponent with card advantage and incidental damage.

    BG — Renewal (midrange). This archetype cares about the sum of all life that is gained and lost each turn. The more life is swinging around, the more powerful your cards will be. The archetype has a strong recursion and resilience theme.

    RW — Weenies Go Wide (turbo aggro). This archetype cares about having a lot of creatures with power 2 or less. Instead of making your creatures bigger, it makes their assault scarier in plenty of other ways.

    GU — Masterwork (combo). In this archetype, you must build the most efficient masterwork to win. The archetype is oriented towards combat but in a Go Tall way. It has a lot of pumps, protections, and evasion.

    In addition to these main draft archetypes, some secondary themes are already floating around:
    • A 5-colour-matters archetype is centred around green and will hopefully fuel a 5-coloured masterwork deck.
    • There's a light theme in Black that hates on creatures whose power and toughness aren't equal.
    • A few cards in Blue care about lands going in the graveyard.
    • There's a subtheme of ephemeral tokens in red.

  • edited February 2021


    This is the cards we have in the set so far. We're in the middle of creating the uncommons. We are still missing the colorless uncommons and there will be a bunch of playtesting to do after that. Please note that every flavour element from name to illustration is just a place holder for now ^^

    A • COMMONS (x101)

    1) WHITE (x19)

    2) BLUE (x19)

  • edited February 2021

    3) BLACK (x19)

    4) RED (x19)

  • edited February 2021
    5) GREEN (x19)

    6) COLORLESS (x6)

  • B • UNCOMMONS (x80, missing 10 colorless)

    1) WHITE (x12)

    2) BLUE (x12)

  • 3) BLACK (x12)

    4) RED (x12)

  • edited February 2021
    5) GREEN (x12)

    6) MULTICOLORED (x12)

    7) COLORLESS (x10)

    That's the next step! =D
  • Could there be a colorless card that worked around the 5-color-masterwork archetype?
  • @SpellPiper2213

    Definitely! I'd like something similar to Stonework Packbeast that encouraged you to play a 5-coloured party deck in Zendikar Rising, but more suited for uncommon power wise.

    Stonework Packbeast ZNR
  • i want to do this... but i am not good at making balanced cards and i dont have premium so i wouldnt be able to make the cards have the custom set icon thing. but yeah, cool set, i like it so far, also you should probably put the set icon here so new people could download it. Have fun everyone!
  • Well actually it's one of the premium icons, not a custom set symbol url. 
  • Maybe an 1/1 artifact creature with trample that enters with a +1/+1 for each color spent to cast it and maybe a sac effect to add that much colorless mana to work towards a card with masterpiece? Or maybe gets a buff for each color in your masterwork?
  • oh ok. well i still dont have premium. (im trying to get my parents to get it, but they just keep being like "not now, maybe later." i mean come on im paying for it.)
  • edited February 2021

    Don't worry, there's no need to make the cards perfectly balanced with the right set icon and everything, we're at a more conceptual stage right now ^^ We're looking more for general ideas we can tweak to fit the set than finished cards, a lot of participants just post their cards as text with no illustration and even sometimes no name to be quicker. 

    That being said, if you want to make a card that looks nice with the set symbol and everything it is available as one of the premium set symbols on MTGCardsmith without having to download it as a custom set symbol, or you can use this image if you want to make it on a software like Magic Set Editor:

    The set symbol was designed by Faiths_Guide by the way! =D It represents a heart, for the life theme, with a butterfly in it (symbolising Renaissance as rebirth) whose wings are made of two paint palettes (for the art theme). Interestingly, it's one of those set symbols that gets black inside when it goes higher in rarity, it's not simply transparent ;)

  • Is this any good?
    Flawless Idol

  • cool. ill try to think of some ideas. hmmmm... i want to do something with serran life... ill think of something, thats for sure, it just might take a day (or a few weeks)
  • edited February 2021
    The first idea is interesting but it would have to go with a rider that's slightly more directional towards a Masterwork deck. The second idea sounds promising, I'll try something along those lines while making sure it's not too close to Imaginative Amateur, the green uncommon.

    I think there's potential, but the first ability is probably better off as just a regular Masterwork ability. The second ability is nice but sounds more like something you'd see at rare. Also, I'd be interested in having a rare or mythic white card with masterwork that grants indestructible. It gives me an idea though, we could go something like this:

    Artifact - Art
    1, T: Add one mana of any color.
    As long as CARDNAME is your masterwork, it's a 3/3 creature in addition to its other types.
  • Why is this not on lore stage yet? don't tell me I missed it.
  • @KorandAngels
    Nope, we've been focused on building the set skeleton so far. I'm kind of hoping that we'll stumble upon a design along the way that will spark a great idea about the main conflict in the story. If you have interesting story ideas though, feel free to share them ^^
  • i got an idea! it seems like something more white than colorless, but my idea is if you have more serran life than regular life, then something happens. like this card:
    yes, definetely not a card to go in the set, but just an idea.
  • It's interesting, but even at 20 life it's pretty unlikely you'll have that much serran life.
  • Here are some colourless cards that were made previously that I particularly liked: 

    1) An unfinished piece of art, like an empty frame, that you fill by exiling a creature from your graveyard, creating an Art token at instant speed. Here's an example:

    2) A variation over Crumbling Vestige, using serran life for life synergies and the potential to save that mana of any colour for later: 


    3) A piece of Art that's an unfinished Angel. There was this cool idea (I think it was from bnew? Might have been Potato though?) where the Angel had half lifelink and half flying. I'm just concerned it's a bit white and efficient to be a colorless card but the concept is super cool if we can make it work: 

    4) I was also interested in potentially having the happy and sad theater masks as a pair of equipments that mirror each other somehow:

    5) There was no design attached, but also could use some hate cards. I've been wary of doing any serran life hate because it's easy to interact with it through regular means, but it's an idea that comes up *A LOT* in suggestions so maybe an uncommon artifact would be the place for this. Similarly, a hate card against Art like "protection from Art" would be ok with me as long as it's flavourful and isn't the whole point of the card.
  • edited February 2021
    I like the concept a lot, though I think that's more a rare/mythic white card yeah ^^ I could see something like Righteous Valkyrie where you put serran life in there and you care about having more serran life than non-serran life for instance, so you can cheat a bit by using life payment cards: 

  • I came up with a concept idea for the two masks. Also, I have an idea for a white rare, but since you still are on uncommons, I'll wait until you start with the rares.

  • Angel of the Masterpiece

    Here's an idea I had for the second idea I had. I'm not sure if the final design should be either an angel or an art, but at this point of this idea this is the best I could do.
  • I had an idea for the theatre masks to be about card draw and card discard.....
  • edited February 2021

    Hate cards, huh?

    (I suppose it could cost more...)
  • edited February 2021

    I like how symmetrical they look mechanically but they also feel like they would be a but underwhelming to play with. The masks idea is cute but I won't force them into the skeleton unless they really feel like cards we would have added to the set without the meme aspect. KorangAngels idea about drawing and discarding cards might be promising!

    I have a problem with that first ability is that the set is not multicoloured-focused as a whole so we won't have 3- 4- and maybe even 5- coloured creatures. The idea would be to push players to put monocoloured masterwork cards from all colours together in the same deck instead. That means I'd rather care about the colours of your masterwork enablers than your masterwork itself.

    Actually, we might have the perfect slot for this already! I was thinking about it yesterday evening and realised that Imaginative Amateur had a really unhealthy play pattern in multiples. If you play one on turn 1 then another one on turn 2, the first one attacks for 4 on turn 2. Worst, it attacks for 9 on turn 2 if you somehow have a third copy in hand on turn two. That sounds a bit much. So here's my idea (before/after):


    This way if you play a second on turn 2, the first one attacks for 2, which is still a fine play but nowhere near as explosive. And if you got the third copy it attacks for 3, which is much more reasonable. It becomes much more viable to play a 2-mana masterwork card of another colour instead. 

    EDIT: Actually, we can even go even simpler and let it count colours among all your permanents for additional synergies. Notably, we could make the token created by Solstice Voyage all colours instead of colourless specifically for this kind of interactions: 

  • Hey @ningyounk making epic cards as usual!!!! I have made a few art creatures myself (5) all with the effect "If ~ is your masterwork...."! After long deliberation, I stopped toying around with serran life and started to get involved with this mechanic--

This discussion has been closed.