You’re a Designer, Harry! #11 – The Kingdom and the Jet Packs

Welcome to another installment of You’re a Designer, Harry! This week, I’ll be going over the mechanics of the five factions. More specifically, the nongreen and nonblack factions. As for the puzzles to solve that are the “hybrid and/or traditional multicolor decision” and figuring out the four-color mechanic: I haven’t yet come up with a solution, so just sit tight on that part!

Lights, Camera, Faction!

For those of you just coming in to this series or as a refresher: We’re designing a set where playing with exactly four colors is the focus. We’ll call this theme “four colors matter.”

Flavorwise, this is represented by a single plane with five, separated civilizations that do not interact with each other. Each civilization is blocked off from the others by one of five barriers, representing one of the five colors of mana. Because of this barrier representing one color of mana, each faction has sworn off using that color of mana and only uses four colors instead. Eventually, though, each faction breaks through the barriers and finds out about each other (seems familiar… *cough* Shards of Alara *cough*)

Mechanically, this will be represented by attributing a mechanic and/or style of play that is specific to each faction. Whatever the mechanics may be, the color that isn’t included should be discouraging to include. Also, the set would be designed to make it very hard to go five colors and/or benefit very much from having four colors. Each faction will have a central two colors with stretching toward the two adjacent colors. Going four colors should be tough, but attainable. A four-color specific mechanic may also be designed to further encourage “exactly four colors” play.

This set is planned to be part of a whole block. Also, the first set may only feature three factions to make room for all the mechanics. Large sets usually have four mechanics in it. One of them might be a four-color focused mechanic. Or it may be one to help smoothing mana curves (like kicker did for Zendikar and cycling did for Shards of Alara). This would leave room for just three keyword mechanics. Also, small sets tend to introduce two new keywords. This would be perfect to give each faction its own proper keyword mechanic (or ability word). This is to avoid doing workarounds like Shards of Alara‘s Esper’s everything-about-artifacts (and colored ones at that) and Naya’s “power 5 or greater is sweet!” themes.

With that said, let’s discuss each faction!

Nonwhite

The nonwhite faction is separated by a wall of blinding light. The denizens of this faction first start out by retreating underground to avoid the light and live in darkness. They later, through a process of evolution, lose their sense of sight. Through this process of evolution, they re-emerge to the surface where the blinding light does not bother them, and they are able to simply walk through it.

The traits of the nonwhite faction is that they don’t actually function like a civilization. This faction has the least amount in terms of population with the rest of the factions. They have no organization, they’re selfish, they use means of violence to get what they want, and they don’t share their secrets with each other. The best they do in terms of a group of people is forming gangs/clans or having loved ones (though, it’s only for a mutual selfish interest).

Mechanically, I haven’t really spent too much time on coming up with the mechanic for this faction. I’ve designed different attempts at representing the faction’s blindness by making it a blind experience for you (without it feeling too much of a drawback). In the end, it seems like embracing this faction’s underground darkness is best.

With this, I’ve proposed the return of the morph mechanic. With morph, it represents how each card can be independent flavorfully representing how this faction’s people don’t work well with each other, yet; the gameplay of morph encourages playing with more morph cards. To discourage white, there wouldn’t be any white morph cards.
This darkness represented through morph is similar to Jon Loucks’ GDS2 efforts for portraying his underground world.

In fact, there’s even more eerie similarities with Jon Loucks’ GDS2 designs. Another reason for including morph is that it has synergy with a planned sixth faction. This faction would be a colorless faction. Now, whether or not a colorless faction is possible, that still hasn’t been answered, yet. This faction would be introduced in the third set of the block (The second introduces the last two factions, with the third set colorlessness faction being one of the “twists” that third sets typically tend to do like Rise of the Eldrazi and New Phyrexia did.

The faction also goes underground. I swear, this wasn’t intended. It was just a series of answers to questions that somehow led to a piecing together that was his underground world. Let’s adopt it, then (I kid)!

Also, another great mechanic attempt based off of some design-brainstorming on the nonblack faction is Chah’s lurk mechanic. Like morph, it also has face-down cards. It’s like a hybrid of morph and haunt, I guess. Here’s two executions of his lurk mechanic below. You can see more by clicking here.

Whatever the direction for the colorless faction and this one, there still needs to be more time for the nonwhite faction to develop. So, let’s move on to the next one.

Nonblue

The nonblue faction is separated by a humongous coastal whirlpool where the inhabitants live on a giant land mass in the shape of a ball. It constantly spins around the whirlpool, always shifting around. The inhabitants have grown accustomed to a constantly shifting land, and all of their buildings have been reinforced to withstand the forces of water and gravity as their buildings even sometimes are submerged underwater! One day, this sphere land spins out of the whirlpool vortex and makes it to land. The inhabitants wander off to explore.

This faction are masters at adaptation. They’re all about living in the now because they have to. Life is constantly moving, so they’re constantly moving, too. They have to do this to survive. They work together to ensure the survival of the whole faction with some having duties such as standing watch over the land’s movement or reinforcing their buildings, etc. Long-term planning is useless because of an ever-changing situation. It’s impossible to take the time to study anything, too. As such, these people simply have acute survival instincts.

I have yet to come up with a mechanic that represents this faction. I imagine an ever-changing board state, but I haven’t sat down and spent much time with this faction, yet. Perhaps any of you have ideas for mechanics that represent the ever-changing adapt-to-survive life of the nonblue faction?

Nonblack

The nonblack faction is separated by… Actually, I haven’t yet settled on what the nonblack faction should be separated by. It’s lame to say that there would be a barrier of a super-moat of swamps and bogs. And, after all, creatures with flying can simply fly over. One suggestion for what the barrier is: The king.

Oh, right, what I need to tell you is that this is supposed to be a hierarchical kingdom. Everyone has their place, and everyone works together. They play their part and are happy about it. There are the bakers, the farmers, the knight military, etc. No one has any intention of trying to do things for themselves. It’s a structured society that acts as one entity. This kingdom does make progress, though. …But, they’re directed by the king.

The king is actually a malicious force that has lasted for centuries (a lich king! …Ah, World of Warcraft reference. Fun fact: I’ve never played WoW). It is the best clue of all the barriers as to why these factions are separated. Anyway, the king directs how the kingdom should operate; and, mysteriously, the kingdom doesn’t really progress as much as it should, despite how long they have been at it. Their population doesn’t seem to increase much, either. Sometimes, bad things happen, but no one knows why. But, no one really questions it, either! Until, one day…

Anyway, mechanic! I’ve got a proposed one with some cards to show you:


(Yeah, I know, this one’s weird in terms of the color and word pairings. Perhaps all the more reason not to use this name!)

Let me explain some things:

First of all, you may be wondering why this is. I dipped into the flavor that this is an organized and structured civilization working together. The people here have jobs. Thus, they have classes, as in the race/class model of modern-day Magic: The Gathering humanoid creatures. Also, because they work together (the two central colors are green/white, after all, like the Selesnya Conclave guild from Ravnica block). So, it’s mechanically represented by every one of your two-creature-typed creatures working together to ensure success.

Secondly, some of you may be wondering why the nonblack faction instead of the nongreen faction cares about there being two or more creature types among creatures you control. Green is the color of nature, right? The one that likes all the bears, wurms, snakes, and elks! Well, it turns out that many of the sets I searched had black as the one with the most creatures with the least amount of creature types. This might be due to the fact that green has more creatures and can fit more creatures with a race and a class.

Anyway, so to discourage players from dipping into black, we’ll take advantage of black’s many creature types that are just a single type. Here are some: zombie, skeleton, vampire (Zendikar block, since it had a whole tribe of them, added a class type to these guys, but there are definitely many with just one type), bat, rat, shade, horror, imp, bird. It seems like we’ll have plenty to still support other factions without black’s creatures being too weird.

The goal is to have little to no black creatures with more than one creature type! Especially at common. I also like how the nonwhite faction, if it uses morph, has a mechanic that makes use of creatures with no types – definitely not two creature types!

Nonred

The nonred faction is separated by an encircling mountain range – scratch that – a volcanic mountain range. The only way out of this valley they’re in is to pass through these volcanoes which have unpredictable fiery activity. It spews lava with no regular schedule and frequently enough to make it so that those who attempt to traverse past this volcanic mountain range will surely be incinerated.

The people of this land hate the randomness. They swear off all unpredictability. With the variable that is the volcanic activity, they could use less variance in their lives. As such, the whole faction operates under one master plan. Their goal: To escape this imprisonment.

To further ensure their success and cut out unforeseen circumstances, they have planned their entire faction’s development. The faction needs scientists to research and develop new technologies for their society. This is a continual process that may last several lifetimes. As such, they’ve planned positions for everyone. They’ve planned births and the occupations for those births so their society can keep moving along with its master plan. Eventually, they figure out the solution to escape past the volcano range.

This one feels like I still need more time on this. I’m trying to take advantage of the long-term planning by leveraging the ability to reveal cards from the top cards of libraries. Ideas?

Nongreen

The nongreen faction is separated by a giant beanstalk. More specifically, a gargantuan deadly vegetation protruding from the earth and upwards toward the sky. It is so massive that it pretty much forms a second flooring of nature’s deadliest natural defenses up among the clouds. These defenses include toxins and deadly plant creatures.

Because of this, the people of the nongreen faction live among the clouds. They seek to break through this ugly side of nature and explore beyond the clouds. They are blocked off by natural resources, but they have developed technology to be able to make use of the clouds they live among: extracting water. With this foundation in technology, they’ve developed artificial foods and steam power (Yes, this is a steampunk society). Many beings have wings, but some are dependent on technology developed for granting flight including air ships and even jet-pack-esque (powered by steam, of course) contraptions.

Eventually, their technology allows them to travel further and further from their original location in the clouds. So much so that they make it past to an area in the sky where they could actually see the earth below (and have access to it).

I haven’t decided on a mechanic, but I do know that this will be the flying faction. They use technology to help them fly when they can’t as well, which makes me think of artifacts, both Equipment and non-Equipment. The whole steam-powered jet-pack thing makes me excited.

One cluster of cards I’m thinking about doing are ones that fetch Equipment from your deck when they enter the battlefield that make them fly. There are two ways I can do this to narrow down only Equipment that help you fly as Equipment that these guys search for. One is to specialize the Equip, as in Jon Loucks’ Dwarven Flame-Axe design. (I happened to see it from the same link I provided earlier, by chance!)

Funny thing I noticed: This list of cards that contain all the cards that grant flying. Four of them have 2 mana as an equip cost. This has past interaction, if we go with a wording similar to Gadget Vampire’s. (We don’t have to search libraries, or put them into hands either.)

This may or may not accompany a keyword mechanic for the nongreen faction. One thing I’m considering is that I’ll include all five factions in the first set. And this flying faction could do without a keyword to free up space for another faction.

And if there’s no keyword mechanic, then there will just be a bunch of flying-supportive guys. And flying-granting. Etc. I’ll get more into this faction later when I have more time.

That’s All, Folks

We’ve got a lot of things to consider for the mechanics of this set that would form the puzzle pieces, shaped according to our whims, that would hopefully fit together perfectly. This includes each faction’s mechanic in addition to all the factors of hybrid, traditional multicolor, and the colorless sixth faction (Actually, if the nongreen faction has artifacts that equip nongreen creatures, then hybrid would be less of an appealing option).

Anyway, I’ll wrap up for now. I’d like to hear what any of you have to say about the proposed mechanics / card designs above! Thanks for reading.

Cheers,

Bradley

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About Bradley Rose

I'm a Timmy/Johnny Melthos red/white/blue kind of guy. And, no, that combination doesn't have anything to do with an affinity for the United States. Here's how I got into Magic: Once upon a time (let's say the year 2000), I bought my first Magic: The Gathering product in the form of a starter of ...Starter 2000. And that's when Trained Orgg's eyes and mine met for the first time. It was true love. Until I traded most of my Magic cards away for Pokemon ones. Whoops. O.K, so once upon a time (This time, 2001), I got into Magic: The Gathering with a shiny new One-Two Punch theme deck of the Odyssey set. And, surprisingly enough, I didn't trade away my ol' Trained Orgg, so in the deck it went, and we fell in love all over again. Flash-forward nearly a decade, and I've won the Bragster.com / Wizards of the Coast "Design Your Own Card" contest. That was neat, but then, a few months later, the Great Designer Search 2 happened. I managed to make it to the top 101 of the 1000 applicants. So, after years of reading Mark Rosewater's Making Magic column along with a rising interest in game design, I managed to prove that (while not the best) I'm more of a Magic designer than the average bear. I'll keep working on putting more ranks in my Magic design skill, and the design articles I write here will help me do just that. Hopefully, any of my readers with a serious interest in Magic design would feel inclined to pursue their interest as well, either by participating in my collaborative design articles or working on making Magic on their own. This effort toward improving my Magic design capabilities correlates somewhat with a single goal I would like to accomplish before I die: Have lunch with Mark Rosewater. Also, I still have that Trained Orgg, and we're still madly in love with each other.

Posted on July 7, 2011, in You're a Designer Harry!. Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Lurk is stylin’ and interesting, but Civilizations seems like a terrible idea. “Number of creature types matters” was not popular when Jay Treat suggested it for the GDS2, and Magic has a lot of Goat Beasts and Plant Zombies.

  2. Prepare for some long-winded thoughts:

    I’m not sure Morph is the best idea for the nonwhite faction. As was mentioned in the GDS2, Morph has a very high complexity level, but because it works well with itself, needs to be at common. If I was going to bring back morph for a set, I would wait for it to be much more integral to the block than 1 of 6 faction mechanics. I just don’t think we can spare the ‘complexity points.’ Chah’s second implementation of Lurk is certainly a possibility, and it conveys underground, but I’m wondering if there’s another way to convey lack of light than lack of information. If not, I still really like the blindness idea. I wonder if we could make it feel like upside by letting you cast things cheaply with it, but that might be hard to balance. Anyway, for the sake of discussion:

    Blind Seer (Not the Urza[s]’s Legacy[/s] One) URG
    Creature – Fungus Shaman (C)
    Blindcast (Discard a card: Exile the top card of your library. You may play that card this turn. If you do, it costs 1 less to cast for each permanent with blindcast you control.)
    2/2

    On the nonblue faction, the first thing that came to mind was another fairly random mechanic. I’m not sure we could swing one random mechanic, much less two, but if Blindcast is terrible (I’m not very good at evaluating my designs in the moment), then maybe this has a chance.

    Prize Steer 2RG
    Creature – Aurochs (C)
    Migrate (At the beginning of the end step, exchange control of ~ and a random permanent that shares a card type with it.)
    5/3

    I kind of like that you might keep it, but it could definitely work only changing with opponents’ stuff. I was also thinking about making this a delayed trigger off of attacking which would
    1. Let you use it at least once
    2. Give you some control over the situation
    3. Maintain the functionality of making them unsure if they want to trade for it, especially if double blocking.

    Then again, this whole mechanic is a bit (a lot) too blue, so it should probably be scrapped. Stop deceiving me Confusion in the Ranks!

    On nonblack, as a general rule I’m not sure the Civilization mechanic is a problem, but if we’re pretending that this is a block currently in design for creation, I think Lorwyn is too recent. With all of the cards printed to the Grand Creature Type Update, virtually nobody has any idea how many subtypes their creatures have. It’s backwards compatibility is its downfall. That said, we may not be designing this set for now with Shards so recently ingrained in our memories, and this is a mechanic which I think could work well about eight years down the line.

    For the nonred group, I could definitely see using the top card as a resource, and that’s probably the best solution. Nevertheless, I immediately wondered about announcing you future plays. Something like:

    Purposeful Infantry WU
    Creature – Human Soldier (C)
    Dictate (When ~ enters the battlefield, choose a number then put that many time counters on ~. At the beginning of your upkeep remove a time counter from ~. When you remove the last time counter from ~, it must attack this turn if able and you draw a card.)
    2/2

    It could of course have a different bonus or penalty for each creature, but I think it’s complicated enough as is.

    If we go with the top card of library mechanic, I think we should have them all key off of the same aspect so that they’re either on or off, each needing a different condition would get too difficult to process very quickly. To that end, I would propose:

    Readied Guard 2W
    Creature – Human Soldier (C)
    Preparation–First strike (Play with the top card of your library revealed, as long as the top card of your library is a land card, ~ has first strike.)
    2/3

    I think the land/nonland duality makes the most sense for an on/off mechanism, and made land the positive for a few reasons:
    1. It will be off more than on. This discourages running these cards in other factions’ decks, but they should still be strong enough with the heavy dose of library manipulation the nonred faction is bound to have.
    2. It encourages players to play more lands which should help them to avoid color screw in this multicolored enviroment.
    3. If you’re drawing spells you’re generally the one winning, I thought the mechanic might be too swingy if it helped you while you were ahead, but it might be unfun to intentionally flood yourself to work for this bonus.

    And last, but not least, the nongreen assembly. I think the flying focus is certainly in order, and equipment does seem appropriate, but I’m unsure of the equip nongreen mechanic. In my opinion, it seems to blatant where the other factions are subtle, but perhaps the equip 2 version could work. To that end we’d need a few different equipments that cost 2 to equip and gave flying at common, and we could account for their other effects with their mana costs, but the searching text takes a lot of room, so a simpler implementation might help.

    One thought, since we currently have no creature counters unless we use Dictate, is that the nongreen assembly could use steam counters.

    Turbine Tender 1U
    Creature – Human Artificier (C)
    ~ enters the battlefield with a steam counter on it. (Creatures with steam counters have flying.)
    Remove a steam counter from ~: Tap target creature.
    1/2

    Bellows 2
    Artifact (U)
    3, T: Put a steam counter on target creature. (Creatures with steam counters have flying.)

    With this implementation, we’d need tokens for Steam Counters which would of course also have the reminder text, but it all still feels a bit messy to me.

    That’s all for now, I hope some of those thoughts were useful.

  3. Your “civilization” ability seems similar to the one Jay used in the GDS2, and it didn’t seem to work very well there (and the judges didn’t care for it much). Furthermore, it seems to be written as a downside ability – you have this cool power, but then you play another guy and it turns off.

    What if, instead, the ability turned on when you control another creature that shares a type with it? Now there’s actual cooperation going on between your creatures, and drafting/deckbuilding could be an interesting puzzle for Johnny types. It also has some tribal aspects without being explicitly tribal.

    Alternatively, you could go a step further and require two other creatures that share a type. I think this could lead to some neat interactions between a creature’s race and class, but I’m concerned that it also creates too much board complexity. “I have an elf shaman, a human shaman, and a human wizard. The human shaman’s civilization ability turns on, but the elf shaman’s does not.”

  4. The overall impression I get from what you’ve presented today—apart from the fact that you have put a lot of thought and care into the project—is that you are focusing too much on keeping players from drafting more than one faction and not enough on the synergies between the factions. Should a player be able to draft as many cards from that faction as possible and then reap the rewards? Yes. Should a player who just drafts a couple colors (from multiple factions) end up with jank because none of his cards work together? That would suck.

    While there are pros and cons to each of the mechanics you’ve suggested, others have covered most of the cons of a given mechanic. What concerns me is the larger picture. What will a player think when he opens his first booster pack and sees a morph guy, a civ guy, an equipment/flying guy, a dude with forecast, an adaptive creature and multicolor/hybrid/anti-mana? Head asplode?

    I know we’re looking to Shards of Alara and the guilds of Ravnica as our model and that they had a different mechanic per faction—and I’m not saying that’s wrong*—but perhaps we need less novel/complex mechanics. In Alara, we had Unearth, Devour, 5+ Power Matters, Exalted and Artifacts-matter. There are just three keywords here and a number of synergies—Unearth helps you devour more creatures. 5+ Power Matters works more with Devour creatures and Exalted creatures. At the very least, none of mechanics actively negate each other.

    *From what I’ve heard, Ravnica is the most popular block of all time and I *know* it’s my favorite. That said, it was not flawless. Some mechanics were terrible (Radiate), some were misplaced (Replicate), and some were great but had no synergy with the others (Dredge). There were also TEN of them across the block, which is a bit of a stretch (and part of the reason there was so much design space left for Bloodthirst in M12). Best ever != perfect. Even if it was, we still have to aim to do even better with new sets.

    It would be particularly helpful to end this comment with a suggestion for what to actually use. That’s not going to happen. I’d love to, but I know as well as you how much time and mental energy that takes, and I’m already running on empty. If something comes to mind later on, I’ll be sure to share it. Good luck; keep up the good work!

  5. The idea of a barrier of Volcanoes preventing things from passing is a hard sell. Magic is filled with such diverse and amazing creatures that all of them can’t be contained by the same thing. Some will fly very high, some will be very tough or have protection from Red, maybe some can even teleport, or swim through lava.

    Since the non-Black world has the king act as the “Black barrier,” it makes me think, all the worlds can be different like that. They don’t have to be regions shut off by a wall of what they hate. They could just be different regions of the same connected world that each suffer an affliction based on a particular element. For example, the lights don’t need to surround the region or world, they can just be weird lights in the sky that hold the viewer mesmerized and paralyzed. The non-Black kingdom could be suffering from Zombie attacks, in a region where the dead don’t stay dead.

    That way, the story could be about “why did mana go wild?” instead of “how did the world get separated into shards?” (By the way, if this was a Final Fantasy game, I know what the reason would be… but I must think differently…)

    I like how the shifting shorelines in the non-Blue world makes planning meaningless.

  6. I think it’s clever that the Civilization mechanic can make you not want to play black creatures. However, I have a feeling that not all of the mechanics will be color-exclusive to the same degree. There should be another way of making players not want to splash for a fifth color. It could be a set-wide keyword, or it could be about how the mana fixing works.

    Jay has a great point. The biggest challenge is to eventually find overlap and common ground between neighboring colors.

    At this stage, I think we just need to produce more and more candidates mechanics and/or descriptions of the world regions/shards to work with. It might be possible to adjust the mechanics to be friendly with each other. Or even if the mechanics aren’t inherently complementary, at least some connector pieces could designed as cards.

  7. Just an idea: Each faction could have a theme tied to a card type (like creature, land, etc). That could allow for a natural kind of linearity without being parasitic. There’s lots of room for designing theme-connectors.

    Creatures: non-Blue
    Artifacts: non-Green
    Instants & Sorceries: non-White?
    Enchantments: non-Red?
    Lands: non-Black?

    It would be interesting to brainstorm what kind of mechanics can be devised for these, and what kind of world they represent. (Or the reverse – what a world that lacks or despises these things are like, and what mechanics would represent that.)

  8. Here is an example:

    The non-Green world is a world where something is wrong with green mana, and vegetation has gone rampant. Anyone sleeping at ground level will be covered with strangling, carnivorous vines by the morning. People have developed the technology to live among the clouds.

    Steampack Assaulter 1(W/B)
    Creature – Human Soldier Artificer
    Lifelink
    Whenever you cast an artifact spell, ~ gets +2/+0 and gains flying until end of turn.
    2/1

    Golemist 3UB
    Creature – Human Artificer
    Steamcharge (Tap an untapped artifact you control: Put a steam counter on ~.)
    2UB, T, Remove three steam counters from ~: Put a colorless 3/3 Golem artifact creature token onto the battlefield.
    2/2

  9. Here’s a mechanic to enable 4-color play without enabling 5-color play.

    Terrascouting 2UU
    Sorcery
    Draw four cards, then discard three cards. Explore. (You may sacrifice a land as you cast this. If you do, search your library for a land card of a neighboring type of the sacrificed land and put it onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle your library. For example, Islands neighbor Swamps and Plains.)

    Magmatic Upheaval 2RR
    Instant
    Explore (You may sacrifice a land as you cast this. If you do, search your library for a land card of a neighboring type of the sacrificed land and put it onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle your library. For example, Mountains neighbor Swamps and Forests.)
    Magmatic Upheaval deals 4 damage to target creature or player.

    Flavorwise, it represents societies shut off by various dangers like flames, etc. trying to break out into new land.

    Mechanically, it lets you play like: 1 Swamp, 8 Mountains, 8 Forests, 1 Plains, and a couple of Explore spells.

    It would be really, really hard to go 5 colors, especially if the set is full of cards that make you want to play 2 main colors. In the above deck example, you would have to cast an Explore spell sac a Mountain to get a splash land like a Swamp, then cast another Explore spell to sack the splash Swamp to get an Island, but then you’d have trouble getting another Swamp again.

  10. I think there’s lots of space for cards that make you want 2 main colors early, then make use of 2 splash colors later.

    Tactical Phalanx 1GW
    Creature – Human Soldier
    GW: Tactical Phalanx gets +0/+3 until end of turn.
    UR: Switch Tactical Phalanx’s power and toughness until end the turn.
    3/3

    Devouring Ooze 2BR
    Creature – Ooze
    BR, Sacrifice a creature: Devouring Ooze gets +3/+3 until end of turn.
    GU: Devouring Ooze gains shroud until end of turn.
    2/2

    I also think kicker (or flashback) is really good for make it meaningful to splash colors in constructed.

    Learn from Nature (G/W)(G/W)
    Kicker UR (You may pay an additional UR as you cast this spell.)
    Search your library for a Forest card and a Plains card, reveal them, put them into your hand, then shuffle your library.
    If Learn from Nature was kicked, discard your hand, then draw that many cards.

    Steampowered Assault (U/B)(U/B)
    Sorcery
    Creatures you control gain flying until end of turn.
    Flashback 2WR
    If Steampowered Assault was flashbacked, put a colorless 3/3 Golem artifact creature token with haste onto the battlefield.

  11. An idea of non-Black land: The land is infested with masses of black ooze that blights the land. The ooze can cover wide areas such as whole Forests and devour it over a few months, then move to new areas. People must cooperate in small, tightly disciplined groups to keep watch and stay on the move, migrating and setting up camp elsewhere if necessary. One highly civilized walled city manages to keep the ooze out. But the ruler is corrupt.

    An idea of a non-Red land: The land is full of kinetic energy in the air. Sudden motion can cause explosions. People move very slowly, meditate a lot, and try to do things with their mind, using the help of a style of magic that uses runic inscriptions.

    Or, lava geysers burst out of the ground with very little warning. People live by warding off areas with protective runes.

  1. Pingback: You’re a Designer, Harry! #15 – Comment Ketchup « Red Site Wins

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