Wednesday, February 14, 2018

CCDD 021418 - Rashka, the Slayer and Autumn Willow

I've been thinking about Legendary Matters as a theme for a dumb vanity project I'm working on, and have been trying to come up with a Marquee mechanic to highlight that element of the design. Specifically, I want to get a sense of passing a destined role from generation to generation. I came up with these absurdly long mechanics.




Legacy treats the legend similarly to a commander, allowing you to recur it over the course of the game.


Destiny is more cumulative, and lets you keep adding abilities to the next generation's chosen one.

These are very wordy mechanics, and they need some tweaking, but I'm interested in both playtesting them and hearing feedback on them.

56 comments:

  1. Is Legacy supposed to trigger from the graveyard?

    Why are we doubling down on preventing players from playing their cards (by increasing the number of legendary names in play)?

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    1. Begin legendary matters, and keeping the names makes it feel like a inherited destiny is being passed down. I'm not sure how much it will impact gameplay without testing, but that is a concern.

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    2. And legacy only triggers from the GY.

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    3. I'm not so certain about a keyword that only goes on rares and above. Would the as fan even be worth it?

      We have had uncommon and above keywords but rare and mythic only seems like not worth it.

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    4. There can be uncommon legends but with the complexity of the abilities mught not be able to put it on uncommon.

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    5. In a legendary heavy set, which it would be, it could appear on 10 cards, and easily more. That's a higher rate than some mechanics ever appear in a set.

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    6. I actually think it would be cool on a black knight type mantle. If the character is legendary in lore still could have simple abilities to pass on.

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    7. Not neccesarily zeff, as fan is the key here, 10 rares are going to show up less than 5 uncommons (for example)

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  2. I really like the idea of trying to make a commander like mechanic for legends matter. My first reaction to legacy is that A) the flavor seems off. It seems very ruthless, it sacrifices others to bring itself back from the dead. While that might work for some legends, in general I dont think it feels right. B) How necessary is it that the legends keep the sacrificed name? It sounds really cool and flavorful to say, but it seems generally unnecessary mechanically and with the right flavor I think just coming back in place of a creature somehow would convey the flavor you want by itself. How exactly to do that that doesn't feel distinctly nasty and mean I'm not sure. Maybe tapping? Something related to convoke? Maybe instead of the grave it can be in exile as a "memory" so it isnt hidden by other cards and it feels less like coming back from the dead?

    Either way I think the nugget is here. Trying to mechanically do commander recursion really works well for legendary matters stuff since it allows you to keep playing your champion for the cards that care about legends. Gameplay-wise, it seems cool that your deck would become about playing and maintaining your champion you pulled in a draft. It's a totally different angle than I've ever thought of for a legends matters mechanic. I'd say the biggest risk might be developmental and redundant play patterns.

    I don't love Destiny as a gut reaction as is as it seems like a lot you have to do and track, though maybe its okay since it'd presumably only be on a few rare cards. If you're interested in workshopping it, I would, perhaps, do something with exile in a way that lets you tuck it O-Ring style under its "descendants" so it's easier to see and track all associated cards. I think this also has a really nice visual element if you imagine it. You can see the "lineage" of heroes. I feel like if it can be figured out, it'd be great flavor for a Kamigawa return.

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    1. As far as flavor, that's part of the reason I let it adopt the name. Mechanically the creature is being sacrificed, but flavorfully, it's that creature which is becoming the new incarnation of the legacy legend.

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    2. Well, I understand, but I don't think it mitigates the brutality of whats actually happening mechanically. It just feels too much like bodysnatching or something to come across as reincarnation. I kill you and replace you. Maybe its just me?

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    3. No, it's fair critique. Capturing what I want mechanically is tricky, but I think there's some good mechanical space to tease out here.

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  3. Reincarnate - when you play a creature, you may pay [cost]. If you do, return CARDNAME from your graveyard to the battlefield enchanting that creature.

    This ability on enchantment creatures? Basically bestow from the yard?

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    1. Maybe add an exile clause to prevent it from repeating too much?

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    2. I was specifically avoiding successors to bestow simply because I don't want the legends to be enchantments too, but it may be too elegant an approach to ignore.

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    3. I can understand not wanting to use an aura mechanic since it feels too tied to enchantment creatures and thats a heavy flavor and mechanical burden. You could, though, do something like haunt, in that while it doesnt actually become an aura, you still exile it and tie it to the creature somehow, and you would tuck it under to mark that. Again, no clue how to template that though.

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    4. A variation on Haunt is exactly what I was thinking:

      Inspire (when this dies, you may exile it inspiring target creature. That creature gains all of this card's abilities except Inspire.)

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  4. Devotee of Autumn
    1G
    Creature - Elf Shaman
    T: Add G to your mana pool.
    Legacy - As long as a legendary creature card that shares a color with ~ is in your graveyard, CARDNAME has “T: Add GG to your mana pool.”
    1/1

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    1. Could replace “shares a color” with “named XYZ” for more flavor at the cost of more parasitism

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    2. A little dry, but I actually like this a lot. Its funny how easy the answer can be sometimes. Fixes my issues with the version of legacy in the OP. It's not flashy, and I would word this to work like deserts matter cards in HOU so that it works with legends in play as well, but its very functional. I think legends lean towards being multicolor in general, which also happens to have nice synergy with caring about its colors.

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    3. Great call regarding the desert technology! The flavor works well too.

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    4. I was actually worried the flavor was a little too sideways if it cared about the battlefield with the current version. But I thought the functionality would override it.

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    5. Meant more about the name of the card/overall flavor of “inspired by a legend”, less about the name “legacy” (which I only used because Jay did).

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    6. That's a great mechanic for the set, but falls short of the "Buffy is this generation's slayer, who can draw on the wisdom and strength of all who proceeded her" kind of feel I was going for.

      Unless...

      What if that mechanic appeared on legendary creatures itself? So legends would benefit from previous legends?

      or like you have it, but it becomes legendary as part of the deal?

      or

      As a one-off, unnamed mechanic, a legend with reverse granduer/kindle legend, that gets stronger for each copy of it in your GY?

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    7. The kindling legend sounds very cool as a standalone card. It interacts positively with the legend rule too, interestingly enough. I think thats an excellent card idea on its own merit. I actually would even like it as a cycle as it perfectly captures your flavor of leaving a legacy and passing the torch to a new generation. though probably unkeyworded if it were obviously.

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  5. I'd rather use a Champion variant from the yard instead of Destiny. Mirroring Enzio's comment, exiling it, rather than tracking counters and abilities on permanents outside of the battlefield, is a lot easier (yes it's been done, but I don't think Mairsil should exist in standard).

    On my 'Legendary Matters' set, I took the easy way out, using DFCs to work in the space that the Kamigawa flips did, with ordinary creatures that became heroes. It's worked well for playtests, but I know you've got a different feel in mind.

    Since you're specifically looking at those who have taken up the mantle of a prior legend (a new wielder of Excalibur, per se), I think that the exile from the graveyard version would work best. It doesn't create a super-duper long lineage, but still captures the flavor in the average game.

    I'd combine the two and put it like this on the Summon Legend in question:
    Destiny {3}{W}{W} (When a non-legendary creature enters the battlefield under your control, you may pay {3}{W}{W}, If you do, exile this card Guiding that creature. Creatures have the names and activated abilities of creatures Guiding them, and are Legendary.

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    1. I completely overlooked mairsil when figuring this out.

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  6. Legacy feels like it needs to be a specific sort of creature that connects with the original, which I realizes complicates the mechanic even further. But it feels off that just any creature, no matter how opposite of the original legend, can inherit its background.

    I do like the concept of Destiny. Like Enzio I think it needs to be handled like an exile rather than putting counters on cards in graveyards.

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  7. These seem fun for a fan set where you are building a cube because there's no worry about rarity, duplicates, and your players are more experienced to handle the rules nuance and memory issues. It's also easier to make small cycle mechanics like Epic, which is probably the design space where these mechanics exist.

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    1. Fair, but I am aiming this at a standard set.

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  8. Legacy feels like it ought flavor-wise to be a tribal or at least same color thing. Some random goblin isn’t going to carry on Rashka’s legacy.

    And it should probably exile rather than sacrifice to answer Enzio’s legitimate flavor concern (compare champion). The exile should be part of the conditional “if you do” effect rather than part of the cost, too.

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    1. This mechanic also has some repetitive game state concerns if it’s strong. Could it exile the Legacy creature and make the new creature a copy of the original? The exile would help memory issues since you could put it with the new creature. And it would limit you to one “flashback” per legend.

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    2. Whenever a nonlegendary creature that shares a color or a type with ~ enters the battlefield, if ~ is in your graveyard, you may pay [cost]. If you do, exile ~ attached to that creature and that creature gains all abilities of ~.

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    3. *“a creature type”

      How’s this? Also note I like “gains abilities” rather than “copy” technology because it creates far more interesting interactions, lets you stack these if you can afford to, and differentiates this from Embalm.

      I know you want to graft “legendary” but I’m not sure how without creating problems or even far more text than the ability already has.

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    4. Not sure where I got "redundant play patterns", repetitive game states is what I meant. I guess theyre similar in meaning but the latter was my intended meaning. It might need playtesting to know for sure since the purpose of the mechanic so far as I can tell is to enable legends matters mechanics even if you dont have a ton of legends while conveying the feeling of creatures taking up the legend's mantle. In other words, while you're playing the same card multiple times, maybe the other cards it enables breaks it up enough? I kind of like that legendback idea though, but no clue how to template it it. Something like haunt?

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  9. Off-topic but perhaps relevant for design thoughts: WotC today announced a new product this year called Battlebond, a draft set specifically designed for two-headed giant play. It will have 85 new cards legal also legal in Commander, Vintage, and Legacy. And apparently new mechanics.

    I've honestly never thought about the design of a card specifically with two-headed giant in mind. Should be interesting.

    Link here: https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/news/announcing-battlebond-2018-02-14

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    2. I'm interested in seeing if this going to be a purely draft format pack like a Masters or Core set or if it will have a world built for it like Conspiracy. I'm excited to see it especially if it's the latter. I wonder what kind of world that would be. I don't think I'm alone in feeling Fiora is a very cool setting.

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    3. It does have it's own world! Unfortunately it sounds terrible!

      The setting is a new play called Kylem that apparently revolves around arena fighting. They acknowledge that the inspiration is E-Sports. The whole thing has a corporate whiff of "THE KIDS ARE INTO THE MOBAS, YOU GUYS HAVE TO DO SOMETHING. WE HAD LEGENDS BEFORE LEAGUE OF LEGENDS."

      I hope they're able to break off an interesting way to present it. It's going to be hard though. It's such heavily trod space.

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    4. "Arena world" is a concept they've been playing around with for a long time, since like... Mirrodin iirc. I guess it makes sense mechanically. For some reason I got a western vibe from the concept, but I think that was wishful thinking as I'm not exactly sure why I got the feeling since the big showdown theme wouldnt make sense for two-headed giant (some sort of lone ranger + tonto thing maybe?). I wonder if this will be the world Licia is from. Roman gladiator arena seems like a cool aesthetic. OGW used a lot of obvious two-headed giant space (opponent helps cast spells with surge and players can pump each others creatures with support) so I wonder what mechanical space they'll use. A name like Battlebond reminds me of a two-headed giant custom set I'd heard of where the design goal was to make you feel like high-fiving your partner. If its like Conspiracy then we can probably guess Battlebond itself is a mechanic.

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    5. I wouldn't go so far as to assume this is apeing mobas (or if it were, that it would be so bad). The romanesque gladiator/colosseum pitch seems like a strong reflavoring for a product, and it's a welcome change of pace from the planar combat of the standard sets and the florentine intrigue of Conspiracy (which I do also enjoy). We'll see what ideas they picked up for 2v2 play since OGW.

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    6. Maybe it will be a legend-heavy set to play up the celebrity focus of MOBA characters/sports stars, thus making all this on-topic after all.

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    7. I'm excited for Battlebond and I would love to design for a 2HG-only set.

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  10. My main question is why should it be a mechanic rather than just a cycle? I'm not a fan of keywords like Hideaway that only appear on a tiny number of higher rarity cards. (At least in Standard expansions.)

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    1. The main reason is I'm looking for a marquee mechanic for the set, as the other stuff I'm working with is more workhorse. I want something splashy and loud and headscratching that looks good during previews.

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  11. How about:

    Lineage (As long as this is in your graveyard, legendary creatures you control have all of its activated abilities)

    That might be repetitive, but that's hard to avoid, and it gives a good sense of continuity while being much less texty.

    You could try variants (e.g. it only applies to one creature at once, it exiles when it dies and only counts from exile not graveyard.)

    I considered ways to make it more easily answerable, so the whole game didn't resolve around one ability, but none seemed promising (and you can try killing all the legendary creatures opponent plays)

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    1. Designing for legendary creatures is just inherently hard. You want them to feel big and unique. But you don't want that to translate into "you never play them". Removing the legendary rule might be an improvement, but there's still not positive notion of legendary creatures.

      This is partly an attempt to work round that by having the legendary creature have an influence on the game even when it dies, even if you only play one of it.

      But it doesn't really solve the problem, I'm not sure what will.

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    2. I like this distillation. The only thing that's missing is the tool to make a standard creature legendary as part of the story, but I can be ok with that.

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  12. This idea definitely needs some hammering out, and I may have to lost a lot of the flavorful stuff I have simply for the sake of making this ability play better.

    I think my biggest hesitation is that the more I strip away from these mechanics, the less they feel like the big splashy new marquee mechanic I want them to be for the set, and just end up being more workhorse.

    That said, I also don't want these to end up like Epic - much hype, mostly overlooked.

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    1. Ultimately, I just kind of wish Phoebe, Head of S.N.E.A.K.'s abilities were Black Border-worthy. If a creature could just give away its rules text when it went to the graveyard, that would be perfect.

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    2. What are the parts you want to highlight the most? That the same creature comes back around? And that another creature sort of takes over for it? I think there's other stuff that's important for flavour, but didn't come across to me from the mechanics alone.

      But it would be better if it could pass on... something about itself to another creature when it died?

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    3. This reminded me I'd seen a mechanic before where you payed a cost while the creature was in the grave and exiled it and until end of turn a creature you controlled gained all abilities of the exiled creature. The only fix Id make is make it sorcery speed only, and that comes close to being phoebe but on dead creatures (I dont know if I like this being a when the creature dies trigger since it seems kind of lame you'd have to keep mana open and also have another creature right then, but maybe its fine). If you dont want to be temporary, maybe something like

      Ordain {Cost} ({Cost}, Exile this card from your graveyard ordaining target creature. The ordained creature becomes a copy of this card except it has all its abilities. (???? No clue how to template thst. It feels like it should be possible because of Lazav))
      Could have some color or creature type limitation if you mind the flavor glitches (I don't necessarily, since this in the realm of equipment or auras for me in terms of functionality). Could also be a trigger that cares about other creatures entering but that seems more annoying to track imo. I dont think fuctionally this can keep the original name it had as that really messes with legend rule stuff, especially tokens. I think if your set is doing legendary matters and this mechanic is gonna be your main way of providing enough legendaries (by making each legendary count as two basically), then its important that it at least make the creature a legend.

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  13. If you're open to auras but don't feel like enchantment creatures are appropriate, how about something like:

    The Slayer
    Legendary Enchantment - Aura
    Enchanted creature has ability1 and ability2
    As ~ ETBs create a 2/4 human archer creature called Raksha and attach ~ to it.
    Legacy (When a creature enchanted by ~ dies, you may return ~ to the battlefield attached to another creature.)

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  14. Barbarian Chieftain 1RR
    Legendary Creature - Barbarian
    Champion (When this enters the battlefield, sacrifice it unless you exile another creature you control until this leaves the battlefield.)
    CARDNAME can be cast from your graveyard as long as another creature you control attacked this turn.
    Attacking creatures you control have +2/+0.
    4/2

    Helm of the Chieftain 1RR
    Artifact - Equipment
    Equipped creature is a 4/2 red Barbarian with Battle cry in addition to its other types and colors.
    Equip 2

    Chieftain's Legacy 1RR
    Enchantment - Aura
    Enchant creature you control
    Enchanted creature has trample and is a red Barbarian in addition to its other types.
    Attacking creatures you control have +2/+0.
    When CARDNAME is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, return CARDNAME to its owner's hand.

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    1. Here’s an idea. Make a legendary chieftain with the chieftain’s legacy ability and have it tutor chieftain’s legacy when it dies.

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    2. That's something we can do in black border but digital games like Hearthstone can do much more easily. Here's a fairly rote version of it as a DFC, which ensures the legacy will always follow the chieftain.

      Ciddoll, Clan Chieftain 2RR
      Legendary Creature - Barbarian
      Trample
      Attacking creatures you control get +1/+0.
      Whrn CARDNAME dies, return it to the battlefield transformed.
      4/2
      ///
      Chieftain's Legacy (red)
      Legendary Enchantment - Aura
      Enchant Creature you control
      Enchanted creature is a red Barbarian in addition to its other types.
      Attacking creatures you control get +1/0

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