Atlantis-Themed Set

edited March 2021 in Custom Card Sets
Hey all!

After considering my options for possible set ideas, I came across one that I really liked, which is a plane that is (almost) completely underwater! Yes, this might seem crazy, but I think this could be a very fun idea.

Here are some of the bigger theme ideas that I am thinking of:
  • Atlantis
  • Sunken Treasure/Sunken Ships
  • Merfolk and other Sea Creatures
  • Pirates (Cuz not everything needs to be underwater. Also, pirates might not be blue in this set, because most, if not all blue cards will probably have to do with underwater, and underwater sea creatures)
  • Maybe some small land theme (Possibly with some land type, similar to snow lands)
Here are some ideas I have that could probably happen:
  • Underwater volcanoes
  • Bright lights (Involving things like an angler fish and a jellyfish)
  • Sea Witches
  • Underwater Plants
  • A Shark-man Planeswalker

I don't think that the "Atlantis" in this set is going to be a lost city, because I don't want this to become Ixalan 2 (Electric Boogaloo). Most likely, "Atlantis" will probably just be the home to merfolk creatures.

I see only two problems as of now. First, I'm not entirely sure how white would fit in all of this. I know that there was some white merfolk in the Lorwyn block, and it's possible to have white merfolk again, but it would probably be a good thing to think of a few other ideas for possible themes in white. The other thing that I'm unsure about is what the set feel is going to be like. I don't think that I want this set to have an exact explorer/adventurer feel, because I don't want this to become Ixalan 2, but I'm not quite sure what else this set's feel could be.

As of now, I don't think that I'm forgetting anything, so any and all suggestions are welcome!


  • edited March 2021
    Here's some art that I collected so far, and some ideas that I have for them. I don't think I'm trying to rush anything in the process, but I do want to be conscious about what themes are represented in the art I pick, and how they could be used:

    Artist: Dominik Mayer

    Idea: This will probably be one of two cards. One, a burn spell (It doesn't have to do with pirates). Two, some red spell that exiles cards from your library, and allows you to play them until the end of your next turn.

    Artist: Katinka Thorondor

    Idea: Probably some mono-white or white-blue spell. I'm leaning towards a mono-white card here, because not every card in this set can be blue, just because of the ocean.

    Artist: Ihor Reshetnikov

    Idea: Some artifact that would be tied to sea witches somehow. It will probably have a black activated ability or will be a black artifact.

    Artist: 光翼学园

    Idea: I'm thinking that this will be a planeswalker card. Since Magic doesn't use guns (anymore), the pistol on the side will probably need to be photoshopped out. If pirates actually aren't blue, I think this would be the only blue card relating to pirates (Like Vraska being the only green card relating to pirates in Ixalan).

    Just another thought:
    I think that merfolk will spread across all colors in this set, but merfolk-tribal might be focused in Bant colors (White, Blue, Green). Merfolk have been white in Lorwyn, and green in Ixalan, so I think Bant merfolk makes sense. I think that if there are going to be red merfolk, it might be just a one-off red merfolk wizard or a red merfolk pirate. Black merfolk would probably be sea witches or zombie merfolk.
  • Pre-skeleton, this looks great! As for some points:

    • White. White is colour. This is a VERY new concept idea, and the main reason WotC hasn't tried this before is because of lack of farity. 
    • Repetition. Having a constant theme can be dangerous. In Ixalan, the origial concept was "Vampire Conquisidators". That turned to "Dinosaurs, Ancient Aztec-Themed Empire, Dinos". Having a constant "Underwater" theme may limit your design space a teensy bit. 
    • Theme Exclusion. This set seems like the effects would be limited, and non-mean effects could be rare. Most sets need at least a portion of things like ramp, or non-costly life gain.

    Also, aside from that, here's some (Merfolk) art:

    Artist: thegryph on DeciantArt

    A youthful merfolk king lounges on his throne underwater

    Artist: Andrew Mar

    Artist: thegryph on DeciantArt
  • edited March 2021

    About the "underwater" thing, I do want a majority of this to be underwater stuff, but I think that since I'm planning on having pirates, I think that there will probably be a small island town setting, where pirates and other humans would live on. So, I don't think that ALL of the set is underwater sea stuff, but a majority of it would be. Maybe another theme will happen without being underwater, but I just want to see what I can do with the underwater stuff for now.

    In addition, I am thinking of some other types of creatures that could work underwater for non-blue stuff, such as sea witches (sea witches might be blue-black, but the idea of witches and dark magic allows for black to do things underwater, without that theme being in the way). Another idea that I had was some volcano and magma elemental type of thing, but that would depend on if there is enough art for that. I think that as long as there is a reason that stuff like mana ramp and lifegain can happen underwater, I don't think that the underwater theme will get in the way.

    I am a little confused about what you are saying in regards to White. Could you elaborate a bit on that? Are you talking about White creatures being mostly humans and animals?
  • @feralitator

    I mean this set doesn't seem like it would have a fair number of white creatures.  
  • Ah. I see what you mean. I think that some merfolk will be white, and there will probably be some other creature type that will be in white's colors. Also, there may be some humans that live in the small island town. It is possible that there will be fewer white creatures than normal, but I don't think that there will be a lot less.
  • No, that's fine. In my new set (I'm currently planning) there's going to be a lot less green cards than the rest.
  • Hey ^^ Liking the new set idea, the illustrations look like there could be some interesting themes.

    About White creatures, I strongly advice against changing its creature ratio (62%) or that of any colour for that matter. This is especially important if you want the set to work in Limited. You can simply shift some existing creature types into White to fill the gap, or create a new creature type entirely ^^ In an underwater set, you might want merfolks and Sirens of all colours for instance.

  • @ningyounk

    From what I am thinking right now, this is almost definitely going to be a tribal set.

    I think that there will be merfolk in all colors, but merfolk tribal will probably be focused on in White-Blue-Green. Red will most likely have the least merfolk, and I think that at least a few sea witches (I'm leaning towards Blue-Black with this creature type/tribe) will be merfolk.

    As for the other tribes that I'm thinking about:
    • Pirates: Pirates will probably be mostly in Black-Red, and I'm feeling like there will be some support in white. I don't think that the white part will be pirate-tribal based, but I think that it will probably focus on whatever pirates do (Probably attacking).

    • Elementals: Originally, I wanted there to be some lava elemental race that lives in an underwater volcano, but I think that the volcano could easily be above water since volcanoes are the locations where new islands are formed. I'd like this to be Red-Green, but if Lava and Magma doesn't feel like green, I don't mind changing the theme of this tribe to just elementals, so that nature elementals can also be included.

    • Sea Witches: These will probably be in Blue-Black. I have a feeling that this tribe will try to perform rituals in order to summon krakens, leviathans, and all that other stuff. Instead of creating a witch creature type, these creatures will be Warlocks, which could be compared to witches.

  • In addition to those four tribes, there will definitely be a good number of sea creatures. Fish of all kinds (Normal fish, Starfish, Jellyfish), Sharks, Water Dragons, Octopus, Krakens, etc.
  • edited March 2021
    For the elemental tribe, there's at least some green land destruction along with what's in red, and considering the fact that volcanoes are rather destructive, there's a fair argument for having at least some minor land destruction in that tribe. Maybe as an ETB for some of the bigger/rarer elementals in the vein of Meteor Golem or Sundering Titan.
  • There was some Gruul land destruction in Kaldheim, so I could definitely see some land destruction effects.
  • (Waterwold flashback), then..ideas on the pirates to share:

    Hey you know what, ships are made of wood.  On earth that means you need an island, but in a fantasy setting you can have have a huge forest made of trees and vegetation that float.

    This gives you a unique opportunity for a tribe mostly Green pirates.  They lie on the floating islands.  Which would tend to get trapped in the centers of circular ocean currents.  Then they would make ships to go out and fetch things like metal from the islands.

    They may even have things like Battleship island in japan.  Where a small island is really just the head of an enormous mining operation that burrows far under the waters and gets them the metal.

    These pirates are also the most likely sort to have submarines and magic.  If a land-dwelling species, they are likely to have needed to develop magic or changed themselves to be able to breath water.  

    Some living beings might be like that Shark captain.

    Pirate Zombies are a big thing.  They have no need to breathe and their dark magic can hold back the rot.  I'm thinking each island might have a living population topside.  Aided by an Undead one that lives beneath, among the "swamp" of the roots. 

    The two communities bound together strongly.   The people need the zombies to comb the ocean floor for resources.  The zombies need the people to survive because zombies do wear out and without people, no new zombies.  Emotionally - ancestor worship gets more interesting when great great grandparents can still climb up top for a visit decades after their death.

    The floating communities look like tribe would be Green/Black.  the living would likely be nomads - stickling to the migratory floating isles and actual stone islands.   Any Pirate action going on would be between different surface communities.

    A challenge - making gunpowder is going to be a challenge for them.   
    Bonus - their culture can be vital to the whole world.  If almost all life is underwater, they're going to have a  near monopoly on making and forging metal.  So allied aquatic communities would likely protect them from hostile ones.

  • edited March 2021
    A tribal set might be a good suit for the concept and it's definitely a good idea to lay down the potential tribes and associated mechanical identities you'd like to explore, but it can be good to take a step back at the beginning and leave yourself open to other possibilities. Maybe you'll realise there's a mechanical link between some tribes you're exploring and you'll be best ditching the rest of the tribes (from a mechanical tribe point of view only) to focus on that mechanical link.

    Faction sets are the bread and butter of MTG, which makes them a bit of a low-hanging fruit though they are fun to play and people rarely get bored of them. But if you go for it, it might be a good idea to think of a potential twist that brings something never seen, the way Ixalan had the 5-colours distributed into 4 tribes, for instance.

    Again, I'm not saying you shouldn't go tribal. Just that, while you explore tribes you'd like, stay on the lookout for other potential themes to focus the set on ;)
  • So I actually realized that yesterday. In my opinion, even though Kaldheim has a good amount of tribal-based stuff, I wouldn't really call it a tribal set. For instance, the pairings like White-Red or Red-Green are based on a certain tribe, but those color pairs aren't focused on tribal synergies.

    One of my ideas is a special land type called drowned/sunken lands, which would be like snow lands in the way that they could be basic lands, but similar to deserts in the way that they don't produce a special type of mana. An idea that I had for elementals would be to have multiple effects that allow you to sacrifice lands, return them to the battlefield, and they will lose the drowned/sunken type if applied (Think of how volcanoes are the reason that new landforms are created). In addition, other elementals could care about when or if you sacrifice a land, and give you bonuses if they were drowned/sunken lands.

    I was also thinking about how Sea Witches/Warlocks seems like it wouldn't be a tribal thing, but would probably care more about whatever they do.

    Pirates and Merfolk could be tribal, but I think that pirates could also care about attacking, and merfolk could care about drowned/sunken lands in addition to tribal synergies. So I don't think that this set would be too invested in tribal themes, but I think that some tribal synergies could be fine.

    I can think of some other tribes to use. Maybe there could be a fish theme, similar to the Kraken, Serpent, Octopus, and Leviathan theme, but for smaller sea creatures.
  • [Kevin Costner's Waterworld has entered the chat] lol
  • edited March 2021
    I'm gonna be honest, I had not heard of Waterworld until it was mentioned here.
  • Also, I LOooOOOooVE the idea for this set!!
    If you're interested in adding these to your set, I have some pirate-y lands you might like, and you've got my permission to use them!

  • edited March 2021
    Oh, and hey, since they're doing a crossover with DND later, be aware that there's a Black/Red underwater race of Chaotic Evil slave-driver manta rays (sometimes called Devil Rays) called Ixitxachitl. You might like to add them as a tribe, or at least for some flavor? :smile:

  • edited March 2021

    I like those lands, but they feel very strong, since you get three mana on turn two, without casting any spells. Maybe once it comes time to creating cards, I'll create a land that's similar to your land, but I'm not sure if those exact cards will be in this set.

    For the Ixitxachitl, I could see some reference to it, but I don't think that it would be a whole tribe. In addition, I don't think that WotC would ever mention slaves nowadays, so it would probably be changed so that it just controls people's minds (and would probably be a blue-black creature).
  • @feralitator
    Agreed about the Ixitxachitl :smile:  I was just offering some suggestions to add to your own creative juices, I would never presume to co-opt your idea or try to steal thunder.  Teamwork makes the dream work :smile:

    The lands might feel strong, but when I designed them, I was looking at the MTG Lands website, and after tweaking the Wreck lands for a while, I felt like I got them to be at the same power level as a cross between Khalni Garden and Crumbling Vestige.
    Both ETB tapped, and Crumbling Vestige gives you a mana of any color the turn it drops.  Khalni Garden gives you a token.  To your point about having three mana the second turn, you get no mana the turn it ETB's if you don't crack it, so it's still only two mana on the second turn, right?  :smile:

  • So I think that the two options that I could choose from are a mix of two-color pairs and three-color pairs, like in Ixalan, or just a mix of wedges and shards. I think that if I go with the first option, then I can go with four factions. However, I think that I should think of another faction if I go with the second option.

    If I go with the first option, the color pairs could be:
    • Merfolk: White, Blue, Green
    • Elemental: Red, Green
    • Pirate: Black, Red (+White)
    • Sea Witch: Blue, Black

    If I go with an assortment of wedges and shards, I'm not 100% sure what they would look like, but I know that merfolk would be Bant, Elementals could be anything involving red & green, pirates could be Grixis or Mardu, and sea witches would probably be Esper or Sultai. A fifth faction would be whatever three colors are used one less time than the other two.

    Maybe something like this:
    • Merfolk: Bant
    • Elemental: Temur
    • Pirate: Mardu
    • Sea Witch: Esper
    • Other: Jund
    My only concern here is that I think Sea Witches might not feel like they should be in white. Maybe they could be in white (We saw white vampires in Ixalan, so I guess it could happen), but I do feel like Sultai is their best fit.
  • I like the thought or Esper witches better.  MTG has focused almost entirely on black witches.   Blue witches make a lot of sense and there is a strong sea-witch heritage.

    Good "white witches" are much more suited to witchcraft than wizard in this setting.  After all, wizarding as general rule needs lots of books.  Which seawater changes to mush.   People may depend upon them for protection from the sea. 

    The best example would be Glinda from The Wizard of Oz and the like or the White Witches from that Hanzel & Gretel movie not so long ago.  Actually there is a lot more art of beautiful woman doing magic than ugly ones.
  • Jund could be people who used to live on land before it sunk, and now ride around on huge sea-creatures, like Zaratans, which they have tamed to carry their civilisation around?
  • edited March 2021
    Arrgh yes, Sea Turtles!

    Actually a fair amount of art for that.

    Oh - great place to have electromancy replacing all the pyromancy.
  • edited March 2021
    if someone used electromancy in the ocean wouldn't that be mass genocide
  • I like the idea of a giant sea turtle. I don't think that that Korand meant that the tribe is a bunch of sea turtles, but rather a race of people who live on these giant turtles. However, I think that Elementals could become Jund, and then this race would be Temur. (I originally had elementals as Temur because I usually see elementals as those colors, so black elementals are a bit weird, but I think that it fits here)

    Electromancy could be used on some red board wipe. I have actually thought of using lavamancy to replace pyromancy in this set since it thematically works with the lava elemental faction.
  • edited March 2021
    I came up with general ideas for what legendary creature could look like for each of the factions. I tried to make them general enough that they didn't have to be put in a specific color (which is why they don't have a mana cost. They don't have a power or toughness since they don't have a mana cost), but I think that Pirates feel good as mardu, and elementals are definitely going to be red.

    I think this idea definitely encapsulates the "land rising from the depths of the ocean" feel that I'm thinking of with elementals. I think that this could work as Temur, but the more I think about it, the more it feels like Jund. (I just realized that it should be nondrowned land rather than non-drowned land)

    This is the sea witch idea I came up with. I don't think that this is exactly what a legendary sea witch card would look like (there would probably be more than just a tap ability), but I'm thinking that sea witches would use certain cards in your graveyard as fuel for their sinister magic. This is kinda why I thought of sea witches as Sultai, more than Esper.

    Pretty self-explanatory. Although most pirates wouldn't care about returning things from the graveyard, this still shows off how pirates would really care about attacking. (Note: If you return Captain Rattlebones from the graveyard tapped and attacking, the second ability doesn't trigger)

    For merfolk, which will probably be Bant, I'm thinking that maybe they mix the merfolk stuff from Lorwyn and the merfolk stuff from Ixalan. The Lorwyn merfolk seem to care about tapping and going wide, and the Ixalan merfolk did tapping, going wide, and buffing your creatures.

    So if the groups are Bant (Merfolk), Jund (Elementals), Sultai (Sea Witches), and Mardu (Pirates), then the last group would be Jeskai. I don't want to push any tribe into a specific color combo, but I actually think that these color combos work really well.
  • I could see how they could work. I don't like this "Drowned' mechanic, though. Is there any special significance to what Drowned cards do? It sfeels like it's taking up a bit of design space.
  • @TheDukeOfPork I was thinking of Drowned as a supertype like snow cards. However, instead of cards caring about mana from drowned sources, cards would just care if a card is or isn't a drowned card (I more or less didn't want cards caring about mana from drowned sources because MTGCS doesn't have any special custom mana symbols).

    Drowned cards are just an idea that I had, so it's not like that's a locked-in mechanic. I just thought that it could be an interesting way to represent cards being above or underwater.
  • Hmm. Makes sense. 
This discussion has been closed.