Rezatta, the life-matters Renaissance plane — SET DESIGN PHASE



  • @ningyounk

    Gossip Session - I was trying to kind of kill two birds with one stone. Having a life loss trigger for renaissance. I was originally going to do "an exile card you can play with any mana" thing, but I want sure if that would be too powerful.  Perhaps you can choose to put on the top or bottom. Or maybe have the opponent lose 3 life instead.

    Tragic Loss - I was thinking about historic from Domniaria and the "getting rid of the competition" flavor felt it might work if there is not too many mechanics that target masterworks. I understand where you are coming from with the potential unfun factor.
    And I now I see where you are going with the odd-even P/T thing which is very interesting. That gave me an idea.

    Curious Understudy - I will scrap and make something new tonight.
  • edited March 2020
    I've been keeping up with this project for a while now, and now that you need cards I figured I'd design a few green ones.

    (3-CMC Art Payoff)
     (Pump Spell that cares about even life total)

    The cards don’t have the Rezatta set symbol because I don’t have premium, so I can’t use it.
  • I thought I would try something to play off the "even numbers" concept. Inspired by one of my favorite black instance card skullduggery.  

  • edited March 2020
    Could use a white protection spell to fill out the last common? Indestructible, protection from a color, etc.?
  • had an idea for a black rare/mythic today. Made a couple of iterations.

  • @Aggroman15

    Wild Visionary: The idea is there, but it's closer to an uncommon complexity wise (it has X, counts the number of Arts, etc.) and power wise (it can get very swingy). The UBG Art tribal archetype is focused on recursion (blink, reanimation, etc.) so ideally it would care less about the number of Arts you control than Arts entering the battlefield under your control. 

    Nature's Gift: I like the idea of a pump spell, it fits well with the growth aspect of the archetype. I think it's a bit too swingy though in this iteration, having even life is not that big of a challenge, and giving +5/+5 at instant speed is a big boost. With Insatiable Appetite, you have to sacrifice a Food, and with Growth Cycle you need another one in your graveyard already, both are much more difficult to enable. So, I'd definitely dig deeper the pump spell idea, but with more subtle numbers and effects. Maybe it untaps the creature if your life total is even for instance?

  • edited March 2020

    I like the idea, it's actually why I added Trapped in a Statue in the set, it deforms any creature so its power and toughness aren't equal. Right now, I prefer the -3/-1, it's slightly more powerful and Black needed some help with its instant removal. We also already have a modal spell in Black (Pick Up the Pieces) and I don't want to do more than one in each colour.


    Macabre Composer:
    I really like the flavour of this card, I'm sure we can make it work ^^ Right now, the first version cares about Zombies. It implies we have a secondary theme of Zombie tribal in Black at higher rarity and, while we will look for original secondary themes for players to explore, Zombies is not a very good fit for the flavour of the set.
    I love the second version, it's original and daring, it just needs a bit of a security nest (it probably needs to tap and make you pay a bit of mana, that's a really strong ability). It could also be an ETB ability if we want to keep the immediate value.

  • @Faiths_Guide

    Hey it's not a bad idea, it's one of those staples I haven't already use in White, but I wonder if it's technically not the same slot as the damage prevention spell, Safe Practices:

  • edited March 2020
    Ok, I made a list of all the White instant/sorceries staple we have right now in Standard to see how we can fill that one free slot (outside token creation which counts towards a creature slot for the purpose of a set skeleton):

    • Removal for a creature with power 4 or greater
    • Expensive unconditional removal
    • Removal for an attacking/blocking/tapped creature
    • Enchantment and/or artifact removal
    • Tapping a creature
    • Untapping a creature
    • Granting +N/+N where N is 2 or less
    • Putting +1/+1 counters on creatures
    • Granting flying, lifelink, vigilance, or first strike until end of turn.
    • Granting indestructible, hexproof, or protection until end of turn.
    • Damage redirection / prevention (includes fog effects)
    • Blink
    • Life gain

    In this list, here are the ones we could need:

    Removal for a creature with power 4 or greater - This might actually be an option, I was thinking something softer but the big creatures have been a bit dominating in the set right now, especially when combined with Masterwork or some of the strongest enchantments. However, White is not exactly the colour struggling with the big stuff, it's well equipped already.

    Removal for an attacking/blocking/tapped creature - I'm less enclined towards this one. It's still a "soft" removal but it might be a bit much combined with the other white removal cards.

    Tapping a creature — We have one 5-mana creature that does that, but it would be really beneficial to have a cheaper instant spell that does that too.

    Granting +N/+N until end of turn & putting +1/+1 counters on creatures — Sets oscillate between two and three boost spells at common in White (counting enchantments). Right now we have two (an enchantment and an instant) so a third pump spell could be an option. Notably, the only card granting +1/+1 counters in White at common so far is a 6-mana creature.

    Granting indestructible / hexproof / protection — We have a damage prevention spell, but this might be a different enough type of protection that this is a good option. It has synergy with the growth archetype though not in the right colours.

    Blink — I've been trying to avoid a white blink effect to cement blue/black/green as the recursion colours, but it does have some synergy even if it's not in the right colour.
  • @ningyounk Thanks for the feedback! I didn't know that the art archetype was more ETB focused, and I guess I thought Nature's Gift was more balanced than it was. I'll make some edits and post the fixed cards here soon.
  • Here's what I feel are "fixed" versions of Wild Visionary and Nature's Gift.

    For Nature's Gift, I looked at some other pump spells that increase based on some factor, and decided that +2/+2 and +4/+4 was more balanced than +3/+3 and +5/+5

    For Wild Visionary, I took how art is more ETB focused and the fact that this is a life matters set and made Wild Visionary gain you life rather than pumping your arts. 

    While I was at it, I also made the requested art artifact creature with CMC 4 or greater:

  • @Aggroman15

    Nature's Gift: It seems more reasonable ^^ I'll still continue to explore this a bit because it feels more like a downgrade if your life total is odd than an upgrade if your life total is even.

    Wild Visionary: That's more in line with what the archetype is trying to do ^^ However, because we have serran life in the set, I'm trying to avoid cards that give regular life outside of lifelink, and we have a fixed number of life gain cards in white, black and green (1 repeatable, 1 one-shot creature, 1 one-shot non-creature). I don't want the repeatable serran life gain in Green to be linked to another parasitic archetype like Art tribal.

    Stonework Angel: I like it! Adding vigilance might be a bit much for an artifact creature though. The common equipment already provides colorless evasion, so this push the evasion levels of the set a bit high (I need to test it).
  • Ok, for the green creatures, I've been trying to find the right combination of effects but the only satisfying way I could find to care about Art entering the battlefield was the "Whenever an Art enters the battlefield under your control, CARDNAME gets +1/+1 until end of turn" used on the black creature of the cycle as well. It's completely fine to have two creatures with this effect but, because the only slots available are 2 and 3 mana, it's very difficult to make an interesting design that's not too close to the black one. 

    So I tried something different. I actually liked the original design (Marble Maiden) because it was caring about recursion in a different way. My main concern about it was that it was the second creature in Green that could grow almost indefinitely, and Green was a bit strong on its big creatures at the moment. My solution was therefore to change the other growing card (Endangered Winterhowl) instead, to leave room to Marble Maiden.


  • edited April 2020
    Alright, here's a try at filling the holes in Black: 

    • 1 creature with CMC = 1 (not too agressive, preferably)
    • 2 instants/sorceries (no CMC restriction)

    • Needs a sacrifice enabler.
    • Needs an agressive creature caring about losing life.
    • Needs a mana sink.
    • Needs a discard spell.
    • Needs an enchantment removal

    First I tried to make the 1-mana creature. It had to be agressive and care about life, and synergise more with the set than the previous card. I kept the idea of making it the black mana sink. By decreasing the mana cost for the shade ability, it was suddenly much more realistic to use serran life to pay for the activation, which also give it menace: 


    Then, I tried to fix the discard Renaissance card. The previous version was doing something a bit weird and was extremely wordy. I tried to put the Renaissance keyword on the unconditional removal but it got squeezed between the 5-mana white Renaissance removal and the 4-mana black enchantment removal so this wasn't really working. 

    I finally gave up on trying to make it a Mind Rot since I really could not find an easy way to scale this effectively with Renaissance. I simply made the base effect an inquisition instead of the Mind Rot, and that simplified the card considerably: 


    This meant that discard was a little low for black at common. To compensate, I replaced one of the existing Art creatures with a discard effect. Because the set pushes you to blink Art creatures, that could be problematic at instant speed since it would create a lock. It's not unheard of though at common (Burglar Rat etc.) so what I did was watering down the effect by allowing to sacrifice an enchantment instead of discarding. This kills two birds in one stone from a set building perspective: 


    This left the set a little light on removal. The four-mana removal was already taken in Black by the enchantment Death Row which is unconditional but very slow and with a one-turn window to be removed so I wouldn't mind something a bit strong to complement it. On the other side, the White Instant New Journey was pressuring the 5-mana spot. So, instead of going 6-mana, I decided to go the other way around and made an instant speed Bone Splinters for 2-mana, not unlike Final Payment. This also fills the sacrifice slot:

  • I really like the idea behind the change for Animated Tragedy, but something about the card feels weird to me now. It just seems far too precise for a set that doesn't have a major enchantment theme. Also, the wording doesn't let them sacrifice an enchantment if they don't control one, right? I'm not 100% sure.

    I think one of the problems is the disconnect between sacrificing an enchantment and discarding a card. Maybe make it a 1/1 or a 1/2 and have the effect being sacrificing a creature or enchantment instead, and only affecting one target opponent? You have New Decadence for the discard effect anyways.

    There's nothing really mechanically wrong with the card, but the effect just doesn't seem like something that Wizards would print.
  • SteampunkDragon 
    I'm not entirely sure because it's been part of Black's colour pie for only one set and a half but, if I understand correctly, WOTC's intention is that it's supposed to be a staple effect in every set, not just because of Theros' enchantment theme. Like you would have a naturalize-like effect in green for every set. If there's none in Ikoria, I'll probably just remove the enchantment sacrifice part from the card ^^

    For your question, here's how it works:
    • If you have both an enchantment onto the battlefield and a card in hand: Choose to either discard a card OR sacrifice an enchantment.
    • If you have an enchantment onto the battlefield but no card in hand: You are forced to sacrifice the enchantment.
    • If you have a card in hand but no enchantment onto the battlefield: You are forced to discard a card.

  • @ningyounk thanks for the explanation! That's what I thought.

    Just to clarify, the enchantment-sacrificing isn't what I'm confused about. It's just the combination of that and discarding as seemingly unrelated effects. For example, I feel like Pharika's Libation from Theros Beyond Death works because the enchantment-sacrifice effect is directly related to the other option, which is sacrificing a creature. I really love what you've done here and honestly I think all the other cards are great, but Animated Tragedy seems a little unfocused to me as it is.

    I dunno. You definitely seem to know what you're doing, so I trust your opinion lol. Just my two cents.
  • edited April 2020
    Quick question, do you thing this is too close to unconditional removal for Green?

    I tried different way of doing the fight spell in Green, but I really liked the idea of having a potential creature of pump spell on top of the library that could change the fight at the last second. The last version was confusing people because I used a reflexive trigger "When you do" which could be interpretated as "If you actually cast a spell with Discover" if you didn't know the mechanic well enough. This version doesn't need a reflexive trigger so it's less confusing, I think.

    Now, do you think this is too close to "Destroy target creature" in Green?

    My idea was that you still have to control creatures for this to work so it would still be respecting the colour pie, while being less sensitive to removal than regular fight spells. I figured there is already a three-mana instant version that counts two creatures. I was counting on the fact that most creatures can't survive getting attacked by two creatures at the same time anyways, so being attacked by all creatures you control isn't that big of a change.

  • @ningyounk I'm not sure that works, because once a spell starts resolving, no other spells can resolve before the first spell finishes resolving. So, even if you reveal a creature spell and cast it, Scour the Wilds will resolve its second part before the creature spell resolves.

    I unfortunately can't think of a way that would make it work - all my thoughts involve putting the fight on the stack on top of the discovered spell, or are overly complicated.
  • TheCenterOfTheUniverse
    Ah dammit, you're right! This noncreature discover spell is really giving me a hard time xD
  • edited January 19
    Ok, I'm getting another pass at the noncreature Green cards. Here are the requirements:
    • 5 instant/sorceries (I put Restore Beauty in the mixer as well)
    • Two or three pump spells
    • A fight spell
    • A discover spell
    • A card caring about having even life synergizing with big creatures
    • A tutor effect from the top of the library
    • A removal for flyiers
    • Ideally, at least a card that puts a +1/+1 counter to seed the theme at uncommon

    First the two pump spells: (As usual, the old version is on the left, the new version on the right)


    I wanted to streamline them a bit, making two cards that clearly were defined as 2-mana and 3-mana pump spells.
    Winter Resistance is slightly less simple than I had hoped. I wanted it to give +3/+3 and check for an even life total to give trample, but I wanted a +1/+1 counter somewhere and it's surprisingly difficult to make space for it. (The other solution was to put the +1/+1 counter on the fight spell, but then I wouldn't fit discover anywhere satisfying...) Still, I think it turned out close enough, it's not that complicated I hope.
    Restore Beauty was in a weird spot for me so I just added a power boost for one additional mana. It looks a bit red with this "+3/+0" boost but the additional ability is basically a weird toughness boost, in a sense. At least now I think it's playable in any Green deck even without Art.

    Now for the removal. I needed a fight spell and a flyier removal spell:


    Through the Dirt is now a real sideboard removal instead of a hybrid pump + removal spell. I had a try at a simple staple-life effect that could potentially be reprinted. The idea is that, if 3 damage isn't enough to kill it, now that it lost flying your blockers on the ground can finish it.
    Scour the Wilds has to be my biggest concession here :/ I tried different things to make it a bit cooler. At some point, instead of Discover it said to put a +1/+1 counter on your creature when the creature if fought died this turn which I liked because it allowed Winter Resistance to be simpler as well. But I needed some simple spell to put Discover on and in the end this was the only spot where it made sense (most other Green spells are instants, and putting it on the tutor made it incredibly wordy and too close to the Blue 2-mana discover spell). 

    The last slot is the tutor:


    Angelic Revelation is the fruit of many restrictions. Those effects are always super wordy so I didn't try anything too cute with it. I wanted to avoid the 3-mana sorcery slot that was occupied by the black draw spell, and I wanted it to be an instant as both blue spells and the black spell that draw cards were sorceries (at common, I don't want the opponent attacking you to enable your Renaissance spells, and I don't want you discovering at instant speed, so the set mechanics pushes commons towards sorcery speed.) Still, I slipped in a light synergy with Discover as putting a card on top of the library means you can discover it right away if you cast this during your turn.
  • Are we considering reprints at all for the set? Because plummet also works solidly as flying hate, and has been steadily printed at common iirc.
  • edited April 2020
    Yeap, reprints are an option ^^ Though I want to use them scarcely, it's a custom set so people  are kind of expecting more of the original stuff. I started with one reprint per colour but two disappeared during the iterations, currently we're left with those three:

    I actually think three commons is a decent number of reprints, but yeah Plummet is totally on the table if needed. So far, Through the Dirt already kills without help all five common flyiers in the set except for Soaring Painter in blue or a Thunder Drake that boosted itself twice (should be pretty rare). Of note, Mighty Leap in White, Soaring Painter in Blue and the colorless artifact Kitesail also can give flying to another creature. Let's say if it appears that flyiers become too much of a concern we switch to Plummet ^^

  • Also, random note but since we're talking about flyiers, it made me think of a design I made not long ago while thinking of cool ways to use life in the set. If you have ideas about stuff that would be cool and especially relevant in a life-matters set, don't hesitate to post them too ^^

    Here's the design: 

    P.S: This is not part of the set, just a random potential design ^^
  • @ningyounk Isn’t Thunder Drake a 2/3?
  • edited April 2020
    Oh yeah good catch! That's a typo ^^

  • I know this is probably completely unrelated to anything going on right now, but has fencing been explored at all? 
  • edited April 2020

  • I'd make that concept a Human Soldier, like Fencing Ace.
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