Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Set Design: Ekkremes 2

HV: This pitch is by Jacob Munford.  My comments are in blue.  The pitch from round one is here.  The wiki page for this set is here

Experimental Glidecrafter
Creature – Human Artificer
3U, T: Target creature gains flying until end of turn. If that creature is an artifact creature, it gets +1/+1 until end of turn.

It looks like we're taking a mage-tech direction with Ekkremes.  This card is more meaningful once you've seen the rest, so let's move on for now...

T: Target player puts the top card of their library into their graveyard. If there is a creature attached to Mindgrinder, that player instead puts the top 2 cards of their library into their graveyard.
Operate [2] (Attach an unattached creature you control to this artifact. An attached creature can't attack or block. Operate only as a sorcery)

As before, this mechanic seems steampunk-ish to me.  The fact that creatures are unable to stop operating an artifact is probably just because it makes the rules text simpler, but it also evokes some kind of technocratic dystopia where citizens are forced to pedal machines like rats on treadmills.  Or am I reading too much into it?

Sailing Sweeper
Artifact Creature – Human Mutant

Colorless hybrid is fruitful design space, and this is very much the correct way to do it: by keeping the card (and its cost) simple.  I like how this is feasible to play off a few blue sources, but also rewards you for playing more of them.  This is one of the few uses of colored artifacts I've seen that really makes sense.  It kinda seems like we're in a transhumanist set, but one quite different from Phyrexia.

Sudden Knowledge
Target player draws 1 card.
Surge 4U (You may cast this spell for its Surge cost. If you do, change its text by doubling all numbers.)

Sweeping Gale
Tap up to 2 target creatures. Those creatures don't untap during their controller's next untap step.
Surge 7U (You may cast this spell for its Surge cost. If you do, change its text by doubling all numbers.)

Given that I suggested this form of the Surge mechanic, I can't judge it too harshly.  But I'm no longer sure what it has to do with the theme, which took a distinctly artifact-y direction since the last round.  

Waking Wall
Artifact Creature - Spirit

Perhaps not the best showcase card for a central mechanic.  Then again, some players love their walls.  (Also, this needs the creature type Wall.)


I think this pitch has taken Ekkremes in an entirely new direction, and it's pretty exciting.  We still don't know much about the world.  (In part, that's because I didn't request any sort of text describing the flavor choices; that was a mistake, and I'll fix it in the next round!)  There was concern among some of the judges that the direction this pitch is going in is too cerebral and might not have wide enough player appeal.  As the set continues to get fleshed out, it'll be interesting to see how that develops.


  1. I think Surge is present because Jacob tried to keep the idea of an artifact side and a non-artifact side (which is another good way to differentiate this set from The two Mirrodin blocks). It's pretty much the same as the artifact theme of Esper vs. the unrelated mechanics of the other Alara shards.

  2. When ~ ETB, put a +1/+1 counter on it for each colorless mana spent casting it.
    1G — 2/2
    3G — 2/2
    2/G 2/G — 2/2

    Barry's Land?

    Flux Land
    T: Add 1 to your mana pool. If your life total is odd, add one mana of any color to your mana pool instead.

    Pulse Land
    Spells costs up to 1 less to cast.

    Drought Shaman 1G
    1/1 Elf Shaman
    Whenever you cast a spell, gain 1 life for each colorless mana spent casting it.

    We've had numerous sets bent around two-color, three-color or five-color matters, but none that really push mono-color. That idea gets tossed around some on sites like this one and there are different ways to execute it. One way is to increase the prevalence and worth of colorless mana, thus making the default two-color Limited deck less viable. Might be terrible, IDK, but it seems like a path worth considering for Ekkremes.