Post by shiftyhomunculus on Apr 4, 2018 23:25:38 GMT
Introduction to Magnificent Tales
So what the hell's going on here?
The high concept for Magnificent Tales was to tell three stories through a single set. It was important to me that these were small stories, the kind you couldn't really devote a large set to, and I felt that small stories deserved a small set of about 120 cards (which had the side benefit of being easier for my ADHD-addled ass to finish).
The first parts of all three written stories are already available on the old forum thread, and I'm working on porting them over. But I think it's about time I showed you all some of the actual set!
I'd like to kick things off by throwing the floor open to community spoilers! While I'm very pleased with this set and have plans for how quite a lot of it will be spoiled, there are still plenty of cards waiting for you lovely people to reveal them to the world. If you'd like to spoil a card from Magnificent Tales, please drop me a direct message. Feel free to include special requests for the kind of card you'd like to spoil, but this is a small set so I can't guarantee they'll all be fulfilled!
In the meantime, I'm not going to tip my hand and show you any actual new cards yet, but here are a few things to tease you all.
First things first, the tokens! True to the threes motif, cards in Magnificent Tales create three kinds of token...
Post by shiftyhomunculus on Apr 7, 2018 21:55:11 GMT
Back with a Vengeance
Spoiler season is officially upon us, and today I'm going to discuss four cards in Magnificent Tales that started life as one-off designs.
One of my mission statements for this set was to establish a home for cool cards that I probably couldn't get away with in a larger, more conventional expansion. Going back through the four separate files I keep my unsorted designs in, plus my Card of the Week entries, plus whatever else I could drag up from the old Miscellaneous Card Design Thread, turned up a sizeable longlist of cards which I eventually narrowed down to a shortlist of a dozen, and then a final list of four.
Let's start with the most obvious choice, a card I knew I couldn't not include.
Ecrah, one of the protagonists of Fools for the Fire, belongs to an organization known as Fortune's Fools, equal parts chaos cult and extreme sports club. Their schtick is embarking on randomly determined voyages across the Magnificent Isles with a focus on making the journey as interesting as possible, with little regard for speed or safety. Fortune's Fools were directly inspired by a card I designed roughly this time last year, when exam season was weighing on my mind almost as much as it is now...
Fortune's Fool is a more chaotic spin on card advantage enchantments like Phyrexian Arena. At the time, it was meant to capture the feelings of general uncertainty I was going through and put a positive spin on them, but it grew into a whole in-universe faction, ripe with stories to be told, and it'd be a disservice to leave it out of the set that introduces them to MSEverse as a whole.
Next up, we have a pair of unconventional tutors. I've always been fond of Imperial Recruiter and Recruiter of the Guard - I love toolbox-style cards, especially those that make you consider things you usually wouldn't when building your Swiss army knife. Ranger of Eos scratches a very similar itch for me. With that in mind, I had the idea one day last year of making these two a little weightier, and I ended up with these...
I ran the numbers on what these cards' fetch pools are like, using canonical Modern as a baseline, and found that they were both surprisingly diverse and spread across all five colors. Berserk Vanguard, for instance, fetches white staple Flickerwisp, while Senate Isle Paladin gets some unexpected targets like Izzet Staticaster and Baral, Chief of Compliance. If this set gets into MSEM, I'd be interested to see the kinds of toolboxes people build for these two.
And finally, we have the big one. The card I've been trying to print forever. I'm not even sure exactly how old it is. It was in the Fathom file for a while; before even that, I had plans to put it in a The Magnificent XX set before I realized that series was basically beyond help. It almost didn't make Magnificent Tales because it was a white-black card and Sergeant Para, Scurus' right-hand woman from Cold Company, was squatting in the set's single white-black slot. Luckily, universal spot removal fits in another color combination too... one that was conspicuously free.
Yep, after some color realignment, Stigmatize finally made it into an actual set! I know this card might be a little bit too quirky, and maybe I should have cut it for that, but I allowed myself a budget of couple of pieces of shameless self-indulgence, and I spent a sizeable pocket of that budget on this. Welcome to your new home, son. You've earned it.
I shall close this post with an announcement that fanspoilers have been sent out and will be dropping soon, so get ready for those!
My problem with Stigmatize has always been 1) that I'm not sure how many things it can actually hit (Planeswalkers, non-Curse Auras, Equipment, tokens, and a handful of creatures?) and 2) that there's no actual flavor reason why Phantom Monster can get hit by this and Phantom Warrior can't. (Also that this spell complicates typeline errata for flavor reasons)
Post by shiftyhomunculus on Apr 7, 2018 22:42:38 GMT
Watsonian explanation: In this set, the card is associated with the Cult of Thence, those people who kept screaming "notkin!" in the first chapter of Fools for the Fire. They view the world on completely different axes from everyone else because a sizeable part of their logic and philosophy has quite literally bled in from Elsewhere (more details on this later), so it makes sense that their magic is offbeat and unsettling.
Doylist explanation: Strange limitations on targeting are my jam, and sometimes you can't flavor 'em all that well.
OH GOD JUST REALIZED I NEVER DID THE SPOILER I WAS GIVEN I'M SO SORRY
The card I have shares many similarities with another card in Magic's history - Glare of Subdual.
Both the flavor and mechanics of Glare of Subdual represent one specific playstyle - using your own creatures to "subdue" the others, locking out your opponent from attacking or blocking with their creatures, which allows you to swing in with other creatures you have for the win. This strategy is very well suited to the green-white color pair, as they are the most likely to flood the board with creatures.
However, although the mechanics are similar between cards, the flavor could not be more different. Glare of Subdual represents stopping another creature from doing something by exposing them with light, while the flavor of this card is the opposite, about hiding from others in the midst of a crowd.