Friday, July 5, 2013

Suvnica Week 9 Review, Part 2: Do the Evolution (Evolving Cycle Review)

The cycle challenge was pretty  tricky. The goal was to show how a cycle that was represented across all ten guilds would evolve over the course of the block. This meant that not only did you have to capture the guild's feel in its representative card in the cycle, but also that there had to be some clear mechanical shift in the way the card would operate if the guild were placed in a different set in the block.

Circeus' Fates

Circeus decided to explore some more design space that our fate counter discussions have opened up. The evolution in the cycle is 1) benefit one of my guys, 2) penalize one of your guys, 3) benefit a lot of my guys. I like the idea in theory, but I would like to see more variety in the types of bonuses and penalties. Are the other seven guilds also just going to do PT shifts based on fate counters? Also, if we use a mechanic similar to condemn for the Zhavi in set one, are we going to have a Zhavi card that rewards fate counters when the guild otherwise wants to use them as a penalty?

Jules' Cycle

Jules suggested that giving Suvnica's 4 guilds two cards each at common for the cycle, then giving the three guilds each in sets 2 and 3 1 contributor to the cycle.

The Suvnica doubles would be in one color and trigger off of casting a spell of the other color.

Set 2 representatives would be hybrid and trigger off of either color spell being cast.

The Set 3 representatives would be gold and only trigger off of multicolor cards.

The biggest problem with unbalanced cycles is that every guild is going to be somebody's favorite guild. If you start granting some guilds more cards, even if they are weaker than the cards you offer other guilds, it's going to make fans of the guilds with less representation feel like they were shafted.

I do like the way that this cycle evolves over the course of the block, although the set three cards are much harder to trigger, and should probably scale up in terms of power as a result.

Aura's Cycles

One of the big problems with this challenge was that it was sometimes difficult to pinpoint if and how the cycle actually evolved over the course of the three cards. I would really like to see Aura provide the reverse cards here ({G} with {W} bonus, {U} with {B} bonus, and {R} with {G} bonus) so we could get a better picture of how the cycle differs from set to set.

That said, I really like this versions a lot.

Aura also pitched a ten-card cycle of Shadowmoor-style artifact-creature scarecrows that care about two colors.

Aura actually submitted one for all ten guilds. The other seven are down at the end of the review. They could definitely use a little bit of fudging around with the numbers, and I want to see a way to really distinguish them from Shadowmoor's - maybe by adding a third ability that only goes live when you have both colors represented.

Benjammn's Modal Cycle

Benjammn's evolution took modal spells, and added modes in each set. It's a cool development, but I guarantee every player whose guild doesn't get a command is gonna feel like they were robbed. Also, the Grohm command just isn't going to fly - you need to have relativley short modes so that they'll fit in a readable font size. I'm very skeptical that there's enough material to fit ten guilds for commands... but what about a new type of modal spell: choose two out of three modes? Of course, if someone can fill out an entire cycle of commands (that reasonably fit on cards) I would be super impressed.

lpaulsen's Neighborhoods

lpaulsen had this great cycle of dual lands. Why should our dual land cycle for the set be tight and simple? Lets do weird stuff.

Lands in Suvnica: the Set sac for powerful creature tokens.

Meanwhile, in set 2, the cycle will be for an effect.

Set three you get an enchantment! I wonder if saccing it to create an enchantment token would be better. Definitely not easy to remember (bad token!) but at least it would mirror the rest of the cycle.

Lobster667's Fables

That's some serious value. I assume that the cards in Set 1 involve dropping tokens.

Here the evolution is temporary effect that turns permanent if you're playing color 2.

I'm not exactly sure what the evolution is in set 3. Are they all nonpermanents that turn superawesome with the required card type?

I like this cycle because it makes a lot of guild-alligned cards draftable even if you're not committed to that guild. For instance, any red player would snap up Fabled Revolution even if they're beyond the point of drafting any green.

The Cozen's Cycles

The Cozen is a card-generating machine. He came up with a full cycle of X-hybrids, and then, on top of that, he pitched a cycle that has four cards per guild, and came up with all four representatives for six of the guilds.

The rest of the cycle is down below. As far as these, I like where he was going with them. That said, they are very unbalanced, and most definitely feel like one color gets the better part of the deal. I think the non-x part of the casting cost may need to vary from card to card just to make sure that they are fair. I also wish there was some type of development or evolution between the sets. It's a cool cycle, but didn't exactly hit what I was looking for in the challenge.

The Cozen's other cycle is a doozy. There was a bit of discussion about including cards from each guild in each of the sets, even if a set only really focuses on three or four guilds. Cozen suggested a pair of 20-card cycles: One where each guild gets two commons that appear in the set that hosts that guild; and another where each guild gets two uncommons, one per set that the guild isn't featured in. 

For instance, Set 1 features The Sahleen. They get these two commons.

As a quick critique, I would reverse the trample and the first strike between the two, since you want the extra cost to feel like that color contributed to the card.

Set 1 would also include these uncommons from Rimid and Grohm, who otherwise aren't featured in the set:

Some interesting stuff here.

In set 2, which features Rimid, we have

Finally, in set three, there is

I like the cycle in theory, although I wish it felt more cycle-ly. The off color bonuses are the only unifying feature, so again we're left without any sense of evolution over the course of the block. Also, 40 cards is A LOT of cards to dedicate to what is effectively a single cycle. That said, I think having the "away" cycle of cards like this in the guilds' off-sets would be a fun twist, even if we got rid of the "home" part of the cycle.


For Aura's and The Cozen's cards that weren't part of the featured guilds in this exercize, I'm just putting them here. Enjoy.


1 comment:

  1. Here's a shot at completing my cycle (it's not clear to me what ordering the 4/3/3 what supposed to have). I'd like to point out that although my original proposal happened to have all creature stat effects, it was meant to benefit/punish a PLAYER in the first two part of the cycle: as long as the effect is directly detrimental/beneficial to someone, it fits the cycle.

    Zhavi Fate {B}{W}
    For each fate counter on permanents you control, target opponent loses 1 life and you gain 1 life.

    Kisme Fate {U}{G}
    Look at the top X card of your library, where X is the number of fate counters on permanent you control. You may reveal a card from among them and put the revealed card into your hand. Put the rest on the bottom of your library in any order.

    Tezzi Fate {U}{R}
    For each fate counter on permanents you control, you may draw a card, then discard a card.

    Sorba Fate {R}{W}
    Sorba Fate deals 2 damage to target player for each fate counters on permanents he or she controls.

    Rakdar Fate {B}{R}
    Target player discards a card for each fate counter on permanents he or she controls.

    (This one is possibly the least elegant design, but I felt the cycle wanted at least one discard effect, but Rimid might've been a better place for that)

    Suiroza Fate {W}{U}
    For each fate counter on permanents you control, choose target permanent. You may tap or untap each of those permanents.

    Gilrog Fate {G}{B}
    For each fate counter on permanents you control, choose target card in a graveyard. return each of those cards to their owner's hand.