Mechanics: Evoke (returning) Flashback (returning) Unite (new)
I have planned out a five block arc for this project, and will be telling the story through cards and flavor text, and probably some story article-esque short-story chapters. We'll see how it goes. (This post will be prettier later. As I'm editing this it's 2am, so I'm not finishing it now)
Post by pacifistwestwoman on Apr 11, 2020 22:32:02 GMT
Spoiler Session One: The World of May
The plane of May is full of all kinds of life, and is divided into different nations, geographies, and cultures.
The Halidom of Vestia ( Spirit Tribal, Evoke)
The Halidom of Vestia is a religious nation, worshipping the mighty god Min. Min once had a common presence on the world, walking among and protecting his people. While it has been thousands of years since Min has made an appearance, the faith is as strong as ever. The only beings to speak to Min directly have been a select few spirits. While these spirits are the only link the Vestian people have to their God, they must also maintain vigorous rituals to ensure that only the virtuous live on as spirits, to ensure that there is minimal threat of dangerous, malevolent spirits.
Only half a century old, the Republic of Zadar branched off from Vestia during the aptly-named War of Zadar. Today, while they still wear scars from the war, they maintain an identity of cohesion through difference, and are populated by all sorts, from elves in the western forests, to minotaurs from the northern mountains, as well as plenty of humans. While many people worship Min, some have adopted the faith of the Dovaski Tribal peoples to the north, who worship the goddess Voyna, who stands for courage and victory. While she is self-admittedly less powerful than Min, she maintains more of a presence among her followers, and in her temples.
The Motus Hold is a gathering of mostly human and naga territories working together for self-preservation. "Working together" is used loosely, since usually, they are more than happy to stab each other in the back. However, what they lack in cooperation, they make up for in magical talent and wealth.
Within the lands of Zadar and Vestia, as well as in some areas to the west, lie untamed places, where some worship dark powers, and monsters wander freely. A group of elves known as the Edgewood Hunt operate here, as they live on the edge of the Firan Wood, a forest of uncertainly massive size. Also operating in this area is an organization known as the Rangers, a league of bounty hunters who often fight the monsters living in the area.
- I think based on Return to the Earth Banish the Spirits could just be worded: "Counter target instant or sorcery spell, or target creature spell with evoke." (also evoke doesn't get capitalized here)
- Retrive from Memories is kind of a weird first card to showcase for a Flashback centric group considering it's working against the mechanic. (It's a fine card, just probably not the best choice for this first spoiler imho)
Post by pacifistwestwoman on Apr 17, 2020 2:37:01 GMT
Spoiler Session Two: Mechanics Elaboration
I'm not great at coming up with mechanics, and so this set started off with two things: A world I had already come up with, and a list of existing mechanics I wanted to reprint. How well those two came together is up for debate. Evoke as a mechanic has interested me since I found out about it. It allows for choice, which is good, and it allows creatures to be played as instants and sorceries, which strikes me as the opposite of Adventure, which I like.
For Unite, I wanted to figure something out for how to make a creature swarm mechanic that would work with Zadar's theme of being a swarm with a bunch of different types, without using creature tokens. I figured to use an enter the battlefield trigger, and had to specify nontoken, because I wanted it to be able to make creature tokens without looping.
As said before, I had the world thought out already before I started making any cards. Knowing that a nation of mages would be among the main factions, I figured I would need a mechanic that focuses around instants and sorceries. And while I am a huge fan of some of the mechanics from the third Ravnica block, Jump-Start just struck me as nerfed flashback. Which was disappointing, because Surveil seemed to be buffed scry. Maybe that's just me though.
With my other factions and colors decided, I was left with black and green. Black and green together is often connected by the graveyard, and their interactions with it. ...I dunno I can't think of what to say about this.
In terms of progress, the rest of the art required is protagonists, so, as jarring and low-quality as the art is going to be, I'm going to be doing the art for those, for consistency and availability if nothing else.
Post by pacifistwestwoman on Apr 20, 2020 6:01:24 GMT
Spoiler Session Three: Characters, Part One
Here we find the first of our protagonists, and the first card that I've done the art for. It turned out a lot better than I thought:
First but not least is Jesit Nazeth, a naga who is native to the plane of May, and a resident of Motus. Most recently awakened among our three protagonists, Jesit is currently training under Zachaeus Akharu, the Motus lord with the most favor, widely regarded as Zachaeus of the Wise Law. Taking after his master, Jesit is a prodigy of magical skills, standing out in control magics, clairvoyance, as well as decent standing in telepathy. These abilities make him a cunning strategist, and he has earned quite a reputation among the lords of Motus.
not even remotely, dawn of hope at least requires you to be doing a white thing (gaining life), but zadarian scribe checks any and all creature etbs. even mentor of the meek is considered a break now and this is that on steroids
disregard inconsistent mtg syntax, acquire personal wording style
abolish mythic, abolish frivolously adding new creature types
Looks cool. I like the interaction between evoke and unite, that is really cool. Spirit Flash is a really cool card but honestly this kind of steps on flashback. I am not sure flashback is the best choice in this setting and other mechanics. I am also not sure it is bad.
Westpeak Stormcalled seems really powerful. This effect would be good even if it just triggered once from itself. Is being forced to wait for another creature to trigger it enough to tone it down? I don't think so. This could easily be abused and would be abysmal to sit across from in limited.
Warding Specter with evoke is just Counterspell...which is well above the power level of current counters. But then you have the additional flexibility of casting it as a very efficient creature too. The evoke cost should be at least 1UU or it should be a soft counter.
Zadarian Scribe - Hmmm, I am not sure how Mentor of the Meek is considered, it was printed as recent as M19 so that seems to point that it isn't too far off. This is not Dawn of Hope, I would not compare it to that. It is quite powerful and potentially bending the color pie. You could opt for a scry with no cost instead of draw.
Planned Foresight is too efficient a card draw spell. Yes it is seven mana to draw 4 but over two turns. And the base spell is on curve with the effect. Even the jump start version of this card costs more (although I admit it is instant). I would add one mana to either side at least. Maybe bump to uncommon. Commons that draw four cards are a bit much.
Jesit - This does a lot for three mana and three mana planeswalkers tend to be...suspect for overpoweredness. I don't think this is too far. I don't like how none of the abilities feed into the ultimate when it feels it should. For the first ability I would have this look at the top card and put it on top or in the graveyard. Then you can plant something you want later if you wish. Also why only two players draw? It isn't really worth the words, I would just let each player draw. The minus ability could maybe mill you as well to feed the ultimate. I am concerned about this as a very efficient discard as a -1 ability on a walker that also has a + ability. Remember Davriel has no plus ability so once he uses the three discard effects he is gone. I think it should either make all players discard but that is close to Lilly or be -2.
Dark Slope can kill enchantments and artifacts. That is way out of color for black. And really no hoops to jump through, just straight removal. You might be able to swing it if the last option was you die as that puts a great risk and cost to it but even then I think it is just a break.
Post by pacifistwestwoman on Apr 23, 2020 6:10:41 GMT
"Patch Notes", based on feedback:
Banish the Spirits has received different wording, but has the same effect, and has received flavor text.
Zadarian Scribe has been changed to be based on Inspiring Commander from Arena instead of Mentor of the Meek or Dawn of Hope.
Warding Specter has had its Evoke cost changed from to . (This was partially to make the counterspell cost more, but mostly to take into consideration that it counts for Unite and for Spirit-related triggers.)
Planned Foresight had its Flashback cost changed from to .
Jesit, Impeccable Mind had his +1 changed to "Surveil 1, then each player draws a card." His -1 was changed to -2, and to "Target opponent discards a card, then each player puts the top card of their library into their graveyard."
Post by pacifistwestwoman on Apr 29, 2020 3:48:10 GMT
Story Part One: The Man from Nowhere (Jesit)
In any span of time, there is a beginning, and an end. Some beginnings are vaguer than others, but I think that this beginning was about as blatant as any one could be. This story began with a letter. This letter was delivered to me as I sat in my office in the Arcanum Hall, the political theater of Motus, and living quarters for Zachaeus Akharu and myself, Jesit Nazeth. The letter was not unusual at first glace. The parchment was weathered enough to know that it came from outside of the country, and it's seal was white wax, with the letters "NV". I was not expecting a letter from House Vane, let alone an invitation. My talon cut across the seal, and opened the letter. "To Jesit," it read, "I have an upcoming business proposition that I think you would find interesting. I would like to discuss it with you privately at my next masquerade event, which will be during the next full moon. I am aware that you do not usually attend such events, and have prepared plenty of spaces to be set aside for private matters. I do hope you'll be able to make it. Signed, Nidus Vane."
Its vagueness, if nothing else, had captured my interest. Besides, it would be rude not to attend when invited. The next morning, I had a carriage prepared to make the journey to Lord Vane's manor. He struck me as a strange person, especially since no one knew where he was from. Avus and I knew that he was like us, a planeswalker, as they called it. At the time, I was the only one who hadn't gone on a journey through the Multiverse. The others had seen the high spires of Ravnica, or the majesty of Amonkhet's deserts. I had heard about them from Avus, and about his plane. It seemed insane to me that such worlds might exist. And even though I was told of Avus' world, and that these conversations that had happened between the three of us, I knew next to nothing about Nidus' world. It was strange to know so little about someone so important. I was looking forward to the chance to learn more about the lord's experience planeswalking.
It was the night of the party that I had finally arrived.
The carriage stopped at the gatehouse, as a horned, purple-skinned guard stepped up to the front of the carriage. His armor was bright and reflective, for sure, but it seemed to be more for show than for practical use. "Name?" he called. His accent was thick, but I couldn't place it. Perhaps it was northern. "Magus Nazeth," answered the driver. The keeper looked down at the list he was carrying before nodding and checking off a name, "Go ahead." We pulled ahead, past an ornate stone fountain, a proper amount of hedging, and four statues of the same warrior who looked like he might have been Nidus' father. Upon reaching the entrance to the manor, the carriage came to rest, and the driver opened the door. I departed the carriage, walked up to the open doors, and gave a sigh before entering.
Inside was a party well under way. The lobby of the building was full of humans, naga, and azra, all wearing ornate, colorful masks. I recognized a few of them from previous events, though I was glad that they were engrossed in their own conversations (and cups) to notice me. The room was large, lit by an exquisite golden chandelier, and consisted of a wide, polished stone floor with open doorways to other rooms, with a grand staircase in the back of the room, with various wooden landings for more guests to stand and talk. On the left wall was an open section that connected to the bar. A tired looking human woman was tending it, and to a few men who seemed to drunk to know better than to go somewhere else. With a pass of my arm, they began to fall asleep. Disgusting. I ascended the stairs, hoping that the party's host would not be far.
The upstairs was not nearly as loud or busy as the lobby. A hallway at the top of the stairs held a number of doors, and a group of well-dressed guests. Their conversation hushed as I passed, going towards the door at the end of the hall. Though a standard wooden door, it had a faint blue glow that reeked of enchantments. I knocked, knowing that this room was the one that Nidus liked to conduct business in.
The door was opened by a minotaur, whose horns, while large, did not take up much space away from her head. Even with this, she was barely shorter than the door. Dressed in a suit, it seemed that she was part of Nidus' staff. She moved aside, revealing the room. It would've been mistaken for an office, if not for the lack of a desk. Large windows in the back had a view of the gardens below, and four smooth chairs with leather seats surrounded a coffee table. Two seats were empty, while in another sat a woman who seemed familiar, but between the mask and the dim lightning, I wasn't quite sure. Seated in the last chair was Nidus himself, a red-skinned azra wearing a loose green shirt under a black and gold embroidered vest, with matching black pants and shoes. "Ah, Jesit, glad you could join us. Please, come in," he called. The minotaur at the door stepped away, and I sat in an empty chair.
"I... thought this would be a more private event," I said softly. "Not the sort of thing that would be open to the public."
"Yes, well, ironic as it is, the more people here, the easier to hide this meeting. Ah, speaking of which, I assume you and Alicia have met?" He motioned to the woman. Her mask was white, adorned with blue and black feathers, and her dress was loose and modest.
"Lady Nisthan! Forgive me for not recognizing you. Though I did not realize you were the type to attend Lord Vane's parties."
"It's not a problem, Magus. And normally I don't, though I do make exceptions for the exceptionally powerful mages." Lady Nisthan glanced at Nidus, smirking.
"Oh please, all I've shown anyone here is parlor tricks. Either way, to the matter at hand. Magus Nazeth, I've heard rumors that you wish to be the head of House Akharu, replacing your master. Is this true?"
"Erm- I suppose. Though is it not true that anyone that does not rule their House would want to?" I asked, taken aback by the suggestion. I had been noticing more and more flaws in the High Lord lately, and it was starting to get on my nerves that he would make such errors, though it was hardly appropriate to discuss things like that in good company.
"Well I suppose that's true. I have been designing a plan, which our Lady Nisthan seems to approve of, that would see you as ruler of Motus. It would definitely require some effort on your part, and your strategic mind and resources afterwards. Does this sound as interesting as I hope it does?" He asked slyly. If these were things not to be discussed in good company, then I thought that perhaps Nidus was... the correct kind of poor company.
"...you have my attention."
We ended up talking late into the next several nights, plotting, scheming, whatever you'd like to call it. It was only when I returned to the Arcanum Hall three weeks later that I realized I had never asked Nidus about his home plane, but by that time I had bigger things to take care of. Things that would shape the history of May for centuries to come. And I could not wait to get started.