Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A Set in Four Cards: Galdreth

Yudra Inquisitor (Uncommon)
Creature - Human Cleric
Vengeful - Whenever you cast a spell that targets an opponent or a creature an opponent controls, CARDNAME deals 2 damage to that opponent and you gain 2 life.

Avrem Fief (Common)
{T}: Add {1} to your mana pool.
{T}, Sacrifice CARDNAME: Search your library for a basic Island, Mountain, or Forest card and put it onto the battlefield tapped. Then shuffle your library.

Mosi Taskmage (Uncommon)
Creature - Human Wizard
{2}{R}: Attacking creatures you control get +1/+0 until end of turn.
{2}{WU}: Tap target creature.

Krin Redeemer
Creature - Centaur Shaman
Soulspin - When CARDNAME enters the battlefield, you may exile a creature card from your graveyard. If you do, put two +1/+1 counters on CARDNAME.


  1. Bizalara is certainly worth pursuing at some point, but it seems difficult to convey with this approach given the five factions in four cards. In fact, have you considered making these posts with five cards instead? It seems like that would give you a lot more flexibility for representing something like Return to Ravnica.

    Anyway, when it comes to faction mechanics, Vengeful doesn't really feel vengeful to me. Mechanics like "Whenever ~ is dealt damage, do something to that opponent." are tough to execute because they tend to discourage your opponent from attacking or blocking, but I think whatever alternative we decide on still needs to feel like they did something to you first.
    As for Soulspin, I can only assume it's meant to be in the {G}{U}{B} or {G}{B}{W} faction. It's a good mechanic, but it only feels {G}{B} to me. Then again, Unearth wasn't at all blue either.

    1. Unearth was blue AND the Stitched-together Undying. But yeah.

    2. Good point. My goal is minimalism: communicate the maximum amount of information with only four designs. I can imagine restarting this exercise with five instead of four, but I don't particularly want to change the name of the series now. Also, adding a fifth card would probably increase my writing time more than linearly.

      Re: Vengeful, the mechanic is the important part, not its name. If we decide it needs to be "vindictive" or "spite" or whatever, that's fine. I'm definitely not interested in a keyword mechanic that only triggers when your opponent lets it!

      Soulspin is indeed {G}{B}{W}. To my mind, white is a very afterlifey color, with cards like Beckon Apparition and Funeral Pyre that do exactly this sort of thing.

    3. I'd vote vicious or relentless, or maybe opportunistic.

      If Galdreth or Bizalara is a reference to an existing fiction, it's lost on me. All I'm getting is that this is an enemy wedge set with a nice tempo ability word and an 'eh' grave-spending ability word.

      Mosi Taskmage is bad-ass.

  2. So these are fiefdoms? Does this means Avrem has a {u} overlord with {r} and {g} vassals?

    Are the names inspired by an Earth culture or are they pure fantasy?

    I'm curious as to what the themes for Avrem and Mosi are.

    1. I'm glad you noticed some of the implications of the names. (Which are, of course, quite vague!) I was envisioning a "five noble houses" power dynamic, but hadn't worked out the color relationships of aristocracy. The C D/E casting costs are for gameplay reasons, but could very well have a flavor reflection.

      There is no real-world origin for these names. I prioritized (A) phonemes that could all make sense in the same culture and (B) short, easy-to-pronounce names that could supplant "junk" etc.

      Mosi's taskmage is meant as a hint towards the house's mechanical theme.

    2. That's incredible, Havelock! Some time ago I had a pre-project on BizzarAlara, and I had too the idea of the five Wedge houses (my guess is we're all influenced by A song of Fire and Ice...), for which I envisioned a cycle of five tre colour House Chiefs and some vague structure, which is very similar to what you did here, yours is better of course.

  3. Wedge will definitely happen at some point. When it does, I seriously hope it has the Mosi Taskmage cycle in it, because that's an awesome card.

  4. ... Is this the next community project? ;)