Thursday, October 18, 2012

Set Design: Get Your Pitches Ready!

There are only two days left to submit pitches for the upcoming set design project!  Here are some bottom-up mechanical themes to get your creative juices flowing.  Feel free to post your own excess ideas, either top-down or bottom-up, in the comments.  The more pitches we get, the higher quality of the sets we'll be able to select from!

Enchantments.  It's been a long time since Urza Block.  The biggest challenge here is finding a genuinely new mechanic for playing with enchantments.

Wedges.  (I.e., nonadjacent three-color combinations like Teneb, the Harvester.)  Think of the Commander potential!  Again, the hardest part is not making "Shards of Alara: Wedge Remix".  What would make this multicolor set different from the many other multicolor sets?

Double-faced cards.  It is fairly obvious that Innistrad block barely scratched the surface of the design space left in these.  Creatures that flip into auras?  Artifacts that flip into creatures?  I think there's a ton of room here, enough to fuel several large sets!  

Delve.  Tombstalker has a lot of potential.  It didn't fit well in Innistrad because of conflicts with flashback and zombies, but I could certainly see it as a main mechanic in a set which had some other reason to fill up graveyards.  Cycling?  Evoke?  Something like Fleshwrither, but less tutor-y?

Things that reward attacking.  Assault was very well received in GDS2.  Can you find something similarly exciting?  I thought Battle Charge was rather bland, but Exalted was pure genius.

Battlecruiser Magic.  This has been done once with Rise of the Eldrazi.  Can we approach it from an entirely different angle?  Annihilator was an excellent game-ender; I'd love to see a similar mechanic for big mana haymakers.


  1. Some more ideas:

    - Proxy Wars between Angels and Demons
    I've tried to make a tribal set that cares about classes, and wondered what classes would be cool enough that people care about them.

    To me, Knights, Assassins, maybe Wizards seemed to be the coolest classes.

    What kind of world does that imply? Cabals with secret missions, fighting a proxy war for Angels and Demons that are trapped in another dimension!

    With this context of "secret societies," Clerics might be cool too. Maybe there could be a clan of Berserkers who worship some war Angel or war Demon?

    The main world could be a civilized and refined world that has forgotten the existence of Angels and Demons, to contrast with the fascinating mystical forces these returning Angels and Demons represent.

    Since modern sets are seldom about focusing on just one mechanical aspect such as "tribes" or "the graveyard" but rather about painting a world, there need to be more mechanics that reflect the secret struggles of these clans.

  2. I have to say that within the "multicolor category," and the fact that we're doing just a single large set, means that, in addition to wedges, we can pursue the four-color set idea. ;)

    And, yes, I do not mind us going in that direction given that I had already established "four-color matters set" as part of my "brand" when it comes to looking at Magic: The Gathering design and the amateur designers.

    I just want four-color cards to happen, whether it will be through this avenue or me finally getting around to designing a four-color set. =)