THE DIRE TIMES; Last Breath of Vaevictis Asmadi, PHASE 1 - Mechanic and Archetype desinging



  • edited February 2021
    Don't know If you'd want to use these, but I made some basic desert lands, similar to snow-covered basic lands.

    I attached links to the cards if you want to use them.
  • a few days ago I actually used the art of windswept dunes for a creature card
    I mean not that anybody cares. just saying.
  • @feralitator Very nice. We need basics like this. I will create things for this as well! Thank you!
  • @Red_TowerI don't know why I have to tell this to people, "I CAN"T USE MAGIC SET EDITOR!" Plus, gee, what you're saying is "Scrap your mechanics, archetypes, and start it again." Huh? Also, I've done all the algorithms, I know exactly what I'm gonna do. One step at a time. Calculated and created a filter for ideas. But, if you must do what you like, say what you like. Here I'm bendin' da rules.

    @feralitator One more thing to say about these. Lovely, and I will try and develop a "Sand" type. Like "Snow", just different.
  • I only got MSE recently.
  • edited February 2021
    No I use the other one.
  • i can't use MSE because my school chromebook just isn't good enough.
  • @Yonkers11 A CHROMEBOOK? God damn it, what are alll these trashy brands doing?
  • i mean, my school probably doesn't want to spend all their money on something half-decent for us, so...

    also they break super easily the one im using right now just doesn't charge anymore we have to turn it in soon to get a new one.
  • Yeah, right now I'm using a MacOS desktop. Schools always buy chrome-books.
  • I have an Acer Chromebook that isn't owned by my school, but I use my school account on it. Since it's a school account, I can't download apps or stuff on this account. In addition, I've been having a problem where if my computer falls asleep for long enough, I need to restart the whole computer. I'm suspecting that it has to do with the school, but it could just be a problem with the computer.
  • my school didn't actually use chromebooks for the school computers
  • @TheDukeOfPork Firstly, I'm not telling you to use MSE. But it is very helpful for making and remaking a large number of cards and keeping track of them all. I tried sharing this link with you for how to use it on Mac but it seems like you gave up at some point.

    Second, and most importantly, I am not trying to say "scrap your mechanics and start over" what I'm trying to say is that as it is right now, they have some major problems that will only get worse if you continue with them as they are without trying to fix them. And yes, sometimes a mechanic can't be fixed and has to get scrapped, or sometimes in the process of trying to fix it, it becomes something new/different. But that is all part of the creative process.
    And I warn you about messing with the color pie because even the most veteran cardsmiths, even the most veteran WotC designers, get called out all the time for weird or different choices with the color pie and balancing. And they often have very good, well thought-out design choices for them, and if not then they are rightfully called out for careless disregard for one of the main balancing points of Magic.

    But finally, if your "mechanics and archetypes" are all a series of things that force you to attack and stops the opponent from ever blocking, that is honestly pretty boring, noninteractive, and frustrating. It also limits your design space considerably.
  • I'm honestly with @Red_Tower on this. I think it's best to keep the "color pie breaking" to a minimum. Before even card designing, you need clear archetypes and less confusing mechanics. I think that a lot of your mechanics are really similar to each other, but usually each color/two color/three color would have a simple and clean mechanic, or at least a greater diversity of ideas, rather than the constant use of Must attack/no blocks idea.
  • edited February 2021
    I agree too, especially with the mechanic balancing/rework/scrapping bit. As someone else who is currently on the mechanic/archetype planning phase of my own set, you don't want to make all of your mechanics have similar types of strategies, which tips most of your mechanics into one color and either leaves the other colors without any mechanics, or you are trying to force colors to use a mechanic that doesn't quite fit its color identity.

    For instance, two of my old mechanics, Opening wormholes (Exile the bottom card of your library, until end of turn you may pay {1} to add it to your hand) and forgotten (Turn this card face-down in exile: [effect]) were really heavy in the exile direction, and would have forced my set into an awkward position where it wouldn't work well as a real magic set. Right now, I'm still brainstorming the mechanics of my set, but I can assure you that making sure that you have a variety of unique mechanics really helps when it will eventually come to creating your archetypes.

    Ok, so it doesn't seem like I'm trying to tell you to start over, I'm gonna give some suggestions on your mechanics.
    • Khans Tokens: I definitely agree that Khans Tokens are way too strong as they are right now. I think that you could still have Khans Tokens, but I think that they should be temporary buffs rather than permanent ones. I'm thinking either you sacrifice the tokens to give your creatures +1/+1 until end of turn, or the token gives +1/+1 to your creatures but is sacrificed during your end step. I think that the latter is the better choice.

    • Fantasize: I like how the number of cards you scry can vary, but in control decks, you could probably scry through your entire deck in only a few triggers. I think that you could possibly have a maximum and a minimum so when you have no cards or a bunch of cards, you are always scrying a similar number of cards. I'm thinking a max of 3-4 and a min of 1?

    • Rule: Red_Tower already mentioned this, but tapping your opponent's creatures isn't really red or black's thing. This might be one of the mechanics you may want to redo. Nicol Bolas and grixis in general have a lot of effect relating to card advantage and disadvantage (drawing cards and forcing your opponent to get rid of cards). My suggestion is to look for something that Grixis does a good job a doing, and replicate that in the form of a mechanic.

    • Mad/Madden: I think that this one doesn't really fit into the colors of Palladia-Mors, and as Red_Tower said, it's very similar to unleash, which was a Rakdos ability back in the Return to Ravnica block. I think that the best way to represent mindless destruction in Naya, while keeping with Naya's identity of creatures with high power would be to maybe have something like this, which is similar to battle cry:
    Mad X - (Whenever this creature attacks, this gets +X/+0 until end of turn.)
    In order to keep the mechanic simple, you could just have some creatures have "must attack each turn if able", but you might be able to find a way to slip it into the ability itself.
    • Mutable: As Chromium is able to transform into humans, you might want to have Mutable resemble that ability to change form, rather than only being sneaky (you could still keep the sneakiness part as I'm about to explain). Mutable could be a creature ability similar to riot, but in Esper colors, where you can choose between two modes when it enters the battlefield. One option could slightly lower stats for evasion, and the other could keep the creature as its normal self.

    • Unbowed: Vaevictis Asmadi is the most skilled of the dragons? I think that you could have some effect for unbowed that shows that superior aspect of the dragon. How about Unbowed could be something similar to Ferocious, where if you control the creature with the greatest power or tied for the greatest power, you get some payoff.
    I think that your set definitely has potential. The only thing is that you might want to think about polishing up your mechanics and creating archetypes for certain color combinations, like what I'm currently doing with my mechanics and my set. Also, don't forget that some of us are definitely willing to help with balancing mechanics and creating archetypes.  :)
  • @AboveAndAbout @feralitator ; @Red_Tower ; Ok, I think I've calmed down. At first I was like "Gee, why are they being so annoying?" And then I actually read what you've said, and this is really helpful. I made some ideas.

    Mutable: I changed this into more changeable, like this:
    Mutable (At the beginning of your upkeep, choose a creature type. This creature becomes that type in addition to its others until end of turn.)
    Mad: I completely scrapped the "Madden" part and changed it to this:
    Mad {cost} (Whenever this creature attacks, you may pay {cost}. If you do, it gets +3/+0 until end of turn.)
    Rule: I agree, this completely breaks the pie. I didn't have any ideas for this, so maybe you could help?

    Rule (?)

    Fantasize: I changed this so it's still scrying a lot, but  only once.

    Fantasize (When this creature enters the battlefield, scry X, where X is the number of cards in your hand.)

    Khan tokens: This was an interesting one for me, but I definitely want this to have a lasting effect, like food. So I did this.

    {g}{r}, {t}: Creatures you control get +1/+1 until end of turn.

    Unbowed: I made a mechanic similair to @feralitator's idea, called alpha.

    Alpha - As long as this creature has the greatest power among creatures you control, {effect}.

    Do you think that could work? If not, I did another one.

    Unbowed {cost} - Whenever this creature becomes blocked, you may pay {cost}. If you do, {effect}.


    Thank for for the ideas. I made three-color archetypes.

    Grixis (R/U/B) - Vampire Wizard

    Bant (W/U/G) - Protection from black and/or red.

    Jund (R/B/G) - Viashino or dragon.

    Naya (R/G/W) - Attack triggers.

    Esper (U/W/B) - Changeling.

  • edited February 2021
    On a final note about MSE, I don't actually want to use it. It's much too complicated and I'll just be sticking to cardsmith and Plus, you could be slightly less "Rubbing in the point" about everything.

    @AboveAndAbout Red_Tower
    I'm not breaking the colour pie, I'm shifting it. That allows new design space and greater ideas, like @RohanDragoon's point on Ixalan. Why was there white vampires? For story purposes. Like this.
  • @TheDukeOfPork I will apologize for my response to you, I should have waited to respond with a clearer head and collect my thoughts.
    It was however a direct response to your reply that came off very dismissive and arrogant when I was only trying to help.
    I could have also waited to finish my initial post until I had more time available to polish it and provide more constructive feedback and more suggestions as opposed to mostly pointing out issues during my criticism. I'll make an effort to provide more constructive and suggestive criticism in the future.

    I'm also sorry about the situation around MSE. I had seen someone trying to help you get it set up, you seemed to be struggling, I attempted to add some resources I found, and I only mentioned it again here because Potato had mentioned it elsewhere as being a useful tool for managing a set and making multiple edits to cards (both good reasons) which is why I echoed that here. Your response to that was to put in all caps that you "couldn't" get it to work followed by a short discussion that seemed like you were still just having trouble with it on Mac, which is why I added that last part in. If you don't have any desire to use it is a different thing entirely.
  • @TheDukeOfPork

    creating a set is hard hahahaha

    Duke, I actually really love the new khan tokens. It can really help late game if you don't have much card draw so that you can get maximum utility!

    Another thing you could do with Mad(den) is give creatures multiple instances or something like Mad N. I personally thought the madden effect was really ingenious, so I'll drop a couple of considerations on how you could possibly salvage that if you're still interest:
    • Make mad something like "whenever this creature attacks, it gets +1/+0 until end of turn". Then, stack multiple instances like prowess so a creature might have "Trample, mad, mad, mad, mad" So when it attacks it gets +4/+0 (THE BIG MAD). Then, you could have creatures madden others by saying "madden target creature three times"
    • Make mad something like "Mad X; Whenever this creature attacks, it gets +X/+0 until end of turn". Then madden can be, "Madden X (Target creature gains Mad X)
    Both of these can be done with paying a cost as well

    An option for Rule:

    Creatures can't block this creature unless it's controller pays {cost} for each creature blocking it.

    That way it's still very black/red in that an opponent has to pay, but isn't color pie breaking, and still conserves the original idea of being a terrifying opponent!

    Also, I've created two sets (I nuked one though hahahaha) and never used MSE, so it's not that big a problem. It's all however you want to do it! I just use an excel spreadsheet to keep track of the things I want to keep track of, and then just go with it! Have fun and I hope some of this might be helpful!! Cheers!
  • @Red_Tower Really sorry about my reply, my life has been stressful and hard recently. Hopefully you can forgive me.
  • @RohanDragoon I actually really like the Rule, like single creature propaganda!  But I think that your first Mad(den) is a bit Basic for a mechanic. But I like your second idea, I might use that.
  • Understandable, and no worries.
  • Ok, next batch, and progress on polishing mechanics. I've made some descisions on the card descisions.

    I'm going to start with the commons first, and once we start card designing, we'll move on to Phase 2.

    For this version, I'll go through the new mechanics and archetypes, reveal some art I plan to use and to test runs!


    For the mechanics, I made some edits:

    Rule (This creature can't be blocked unless defending player pays X life, where X is this creature's power.)
    Partly based on @RohanDragoon's idea for Rule. This seems red/black enough, but if it need edits, please tell  me.

    I think khan tokens are okay, but if you need me to edit them, then tell me. Here it is for convienience:

    {g}{r}, {t}: Creatures you control get +1/+1 until end of turn.
    For now, as I haven't received ideas or need to change, here is mutable:
    Mutable (At the beginning of your upkeep, choose a creature type. This creature becomes that type in addition to it's others until end of turn.)
    For Mad, I toyed around with this one, the pesky spike, but I got this in the end:

    Mad (This creature gets +1/+1 for each creature blocking it.)

    Unbowed was a particularily difficult one, as I had no ideas in the first place, but I did one simply.

    Unbowed (Whenever a creature you control leaves the battlefield,you mayexile this creature. You may cast from exile at any time at any time. When you do, you gain 3 life.)

    This one was interesting, maybe too unique to be a mechanic. 

    I did some experiments for the mechanics. (None of the test runs will be part of the set, only samples to refer to or to project the idea of the mechanic or archetype.) 

    Shapeshifting DeceiverUnruly DuskspeakerClan UnityDemon of TragedyBeholder of Ursa

    Mechanic color identities.....

    I am trying to aim some mechanics for certain colour identities. 


    Please tell me if you disagree with these, I just created them.

    Three-colour Archetypes

    Grixis (R/U/B) - Vampire Wizard
    Bant (W/U/G) - Protection from black and/or red.
    Jund (R/B/G) - Viashino or dragon.
    Naya (R/G/W) - Attack triggers.
    Esper (U/W/B) - Changeling.
    Mardu (R/B/W) - Vigilance.
    Sultai (U/G/B) - Recursion 
    Jeskai (U/R/W) - Prowess
    Abzan (B/G/W) - Card advantage.
    Temur (G/U/R) - Big creature trigger.

    I did test runs for Esper, Mardu and Jund. (None of the test runs will be part of the set, only samples to refer to or to project the idea of the mechanic or archetype.)

    Fearless ViashinoRoaming Hordechief

    Two-colour Archetypes

    G/R - Generic damage. 
    W/B - Creature sacrifice or treasure/gold tokens.
    U/W - Life gain. 
    R/U - Modal. 
    U/B - Card mill. 
    G/B - +1/+1 counters. 
    W/R - Haste, life gain. 
    U/G - Card advantage. 
    G/W - Indestructibe and/or hexproof. 
    B/R - Paying life. 

    (All archetypes and mechanics are suited to change, just tell me if you disagree.)

    Time for the test runs on Izzet, Orzhov and Selesnya. (None of the test runs will be part of the set, only samples to refer to or to project the idea of the mechanic or archetype.)


    I'm just gonna plan ahead for the process of finding art for the card ideas. It's also a a chance to project my ideas about the type of lore I want.

    Artwork 1.

    (Artist: Imad Awan)
     This is a very mystical vibe, and I decided I wanted samurai in here too. The lore is that there is several Samurai clans, so bushido might feature in this set.

    Artwork 2.

    (Artist: Greg Rutkowski)
    This is just some possible clan art. "Into the Battle" was one idea I had.

    Artwork 3.

    (Artist: Greg Rutkowski)

    This really gives an example of what I want for an art theme. Dragon summoner, mystical portal, really nice stuff.

    Artwork 4.

    Tooth Fairy
    (Artist: Saad Ifran)

    This like tribal, cool, mystical, and a tad spooky, if you look at the mouth around the central figure. This is very good for my rare/mythic section.

    Artwork 5.

  • Oops, I didn't mean to post that.
  • I think you could really flesh out these archetypes more. They currently seem very vague and undescriptive. For instance. R/G is "Generic Damage" while you could do something more creative. Also, I'm not sure if this was intentional, but both Abzan and Simic are the archetype "Card Advantage". I don't have anything against it, but I think that depending on the size of the set, it would be very difficult to have both two- and three-color archetypes.

    If you had just three-color archetypes, you could still have two-color cards, but especially with two tribals (Viashino and Dragon, Vampire Wizard) and one semi-tribal (since practically all Changeling cards are Shapeshifters), you really actually need to delve deeper into those kinds of archetypes for players to tell that it really is tribal.

    Plus, I think this is a very very minor point, but personally I feel that if you include cards that are two-color in a three-color archetype, I (maybe not other players) would be very confused.
  • @AboveAndAbout @feralitator @RohanDragoon ; @Red_Tower

    Ok, everyone, I've come to a descision. This set is pretty bad, has limited design space, and I want to start over. I have a great idea for the next set, and I'll do a lot more planning. This set is shoddy, flawed, confusing to work with and frankly, unfixable. I'm starting again, and earlier today, I stared planning.

    Anyone Approve?
  • edited March 2021
    I think that you had a similar problem that I had with my set. We both had a good top-down idea (In my case, it was a space-fantasy-themed set, with yours, it was a story idea). The problem we both had was that we both tried jumping to making cards, without actually making sure that mechanics felt good from both a mechanical and flavor-based standpoint. I'm probably going to be replicating things that were said to me about my set.

    You have an idea for your story, where Vaevictis Asmadi has destroyed everything but Tarkir. This is the base of your set. Your first step is going to be worldbuilding, and the first part in that is picking what you want the player to feel like while playing this set. In Ixalan, it was feeling like an explorer. In Kaladesh, you wanted to feel like an inventor. Giving a specific feeling will help you decide on what you will want your design space to be. I'm getting major post-apocalyptic and dragon theme vibes (I think you said something about the elder dragons being there), so when you start to create your mechanics, if this is what your set to feel like, you might want to make mechanics that might feel like characters are trying to survive, or a mechanic that gives the feeling like dragons are thriving in this new world.

    Your next step will probably be to choose your themes, or if you want this to be a faction-based set like Ravnica or Tarkir, you will probably want to establish your different groups. You will want to decide on what these themes/groups are, before anything else. Do you want the dragon clans? Are the Khan clans going to return? You mentioned that there may be samurai in the set, assuming that they are from Kamigawa (I don't remember any samurai outside of Kamigawa), so do you want characters or even other groups from other planes to come to Tarkir? (I recommend around 5 groups, a set like Dragons Maze, which used all ten guilds wasn't well received because it was trying to do a bunch of things at the same time) How are your groups doing in this new world? This will help you later when it comes to mixing flavor vs. functionality while creating your mechanics.

    I think the next step after you decide on what your world will look like will be to create your mechanics. 3-5 mechanics is usually the best (You could do more than 5, but less allows you to give each mechanic enough space to fully explore its potential). If you are doing a faction set, I'd recommend going through each faction one at a time, and try to find a mechanic that could work at all rarities (when you come up with an idea for a mechanic, create a card for it. This has helped me see some possible flaws in how it could perform).

    Lastly, and probably the most important of all, I'd recommend posting all of your ideas here, even when you are worldbuilding. By posting your ideas here, you can get extra pairs of eyes on it, which allows others to help make sure that you aren't skipping any steps in the process, and can give advice when it comes to making both mechanics and cards.

    I hope this helps, and remember that we are here to help make sure that your set is the best that it can be!
  • Sorry I'm a little late, for some reason the @ didn't ping me

    I agree with feralitator. You've got a great story idea as a basis, the next step is creating the mechanics to synthesize the set. And not just the actual mechanics on cards, but overall.

    For example, I characterize my set Planar Collapse as a set which centers around six classes (Assassins, Advisors, Rebels, Monks, Scouts, and Spellshapers, which each have their own mechanic), legendaries, and nonbasic lands. So the core of the set was focused on balancing these things. For your set, I think as feralitator pointed out, it could be good to kind of start with conceptually what you want the set to focus on. Will there be dragon tribal stuff or are the dragons just there? Are there going to be "clans"? If so, what does each clan strive to do? etc.

    Another thing that I would always recommend doing is imagine yourself playing against a card you design in a set. Think about the different decks you could play and how each fares against a card (this is mainly for rares/mythics, but also for mechanics in general). Do they feel oppressive? Unfun to play against? Those can be things to think about as well (for example, I don't like Tibalt's Trickery because it feels unfun to play against. Sure, dropping Ulamog turn 2 is fun if you're doing it, but for the person you're playing against, that just isn't fun. And at the end of the day, magic is about fun.)

    But seriously, I definitely encourage you to try with a new set, ask questions, etc. If you ever start a new discussion for that set, feel free to @ me there as well, because I'd be more than happy to help out!
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