Magic: the Gathering in the UK
So, what's the plan for this. I'll either clear out Multiverse or add multiple set capability to it in the next few days.
But let's do some predesign(tm). What's the plan for this set?
What's the theme?
Update: Multiverse now has the Wedges set in it. Please do contribute - all are welcome to add cards or just comment on cards created by others!
So I think we have two choices for this:
1) Design another set "Wizards Style", aka Towerfall v2
I think we want a new theme (probably dragons, busty maidens, or busty dragon maidens going by the art that is available)
2) Design a cube. Here I think we want to communally design a core block of 150 or so cards, then have each player design 15 or so cards that they discuss with one other designer, and only reveal on the day. This gives us a bit of the best of both worlds with some central design and discussion, while still retaining some of the joy of discovery for everyone, with almost half of the cards unknown to you at the prerelease.
My vote is #2, for a couple of reasons, I have plenty of card ideas already, having a central theme/story is not so important for cube, the ability to retain format discovery for all designers. The obvious con is that in the privately designed cards there are some totally overpowered designs. I would suggest that if you have cards that you are not sure about, you submit those to the core communal design, and keep back your simple, solid, good designs for your private cards.
With regards to multiverse, I would like a multiple set capability ideally, so we don't lose all our Towerfall work, but if that is awkward or time consuming, then sure just reset it.
I'm with Simon on this - doing a cube would be way easier than trying to make another set, and we can still support any themes we want by putting in cards that support certain strategies as they develop. There won't be so many build-around archetypes, but we get the benefit of designing more cards, having more choices in draft, less chance of broken interactions between multiples of certain cards and some surprise the first time it gets played.
If we do go ahead and make a cube, though, we'll have to consider rarities - do we want all the cards to be rare? Or do we want a standard rarity layout so that all the boosters will have 1 rare, 3 uncommons and 11 commons? I'd be tempted to go for the latter just because designing loads of rares would likely lead to some pretty broken results!
As for the multiverse, just do whatever is easiest!
I am not to sure about this, I would suggest rather than building a magic set like normal, why not try and come up with some fun, something with a theme (like the drinking set that we played some of when mills left), not saying that but something?
Otherwise a cube type thing seems a bit more interesting
Maybe we could do a themed cube? You know how there are some cube ideas that are good but just don't work in practice - like Baker's 'Graveyard Cube' which is great but in which White is almost unplayable and Red has very little to do with the rest of the set just because the support isn't there in real cards. If we made our own cards (possibly with some judicious reprints to keep Tom happy) we could make something like that work a lot better.
A few random ideas for if we wanted to try a themed cube:
Multicolour Cube – Make multicolour cards for every possible colour combination. That or some other form of multicolour like hybrid cards or even colour ‘wedges’ (since that’s never been done before!).
Broken Cube – Everything has a ridiculously high power level – but it doesn’t matter because everything does!
Fixed Graveyard Cube – Since this was the inspiration for this idea. Make all the colours work with a graveyard theme.
Tribal Cube – Loads of different creature types. Like Lorwyn block but with more options.
Land Cube – I think there were a lot of leftover ideas from the ‘land’ set. I know Baker tried to get them all into Towerfall!
Comedy Cube – Every card has a ‘hilarious’ comedy element. I doubt there would be much replay value on something like that, though!
the other option would be to do a cube but split it by the number of designers into groups so say Baker would have 20 cards for the recurssion section, I would have 20 cards on mana fixing etc, then pass these along a chain for review and suggestions.
I would suggest a themed cube, as it would almost certainly be unique, maybe based on the UK magic community
Graveyard cube is already amazing! I agree that Red was and White is a problem but look at the decks we had the other day.
2 x GU mill yourself
1 x Mono Red aggro
1 x Rx aggro
1 x GU durdly card advantage (Teachings for Gifts, Gifts for Fact or Fiction, Regrowth, Snapcaster Mage)
1 x Lands! With Worm Harvest, Tilling Treefolk, Hermit Druid and more than half nonbasic lands.
1 x WB Reanimator
3 x don't know what the other decks were but Milling is a genuine (the best?) archetype.
We should probably leave fixing graveyard cube to graveyard cube? If we make our own graveyard themed set without Life from the Loam or Spider Spawning or Wonder or Fauna Shaman won't it just be a worse version of the same thing?
That said the graveyard is the best zone in Magic and has the most depth.
I don't like Tribal Cube because I can't think how to make it interesting. Sure we have the synergies that make it right to pick a 9th Druid card even over premium removal in the beginning of Pack 3 or something. But mostly you just pick your tribe early and keep picking it. If we can think of a way to make that more interesting (more than just Race + Class being relevant!) I might change my mind.
Broken Cube is something I feel like we've already done. We already had a draft with 10+ Titan variants in it, 5 Sword of X, etc. The problem with broken cube is that although it is meant to balance out but it's the hardest one to balance of all of them (compare: only vanilla creatures and conditional removal spells which is basically guaranteed to be balanced no matter what you print). Could be fun but would require the most playtesting to get to a point where it is fun out of all the options.
Wedges is a theme where we have a lot of guidance from Wizards design (Shards in particular) but gives us some virgin territory. So that is very appealing to me.
Land is also a mostly unexplored area. Lands that are also spells, lands that have effects from other zones, manlands, Retrace, decks in which playing 20+ land is the correct thing to do, non-combat Landfall (let's not make another Zendikar), etc. Also good.
Comedy cube or UK Magic cube sounds more like a one-off event than something I would want to work on making balanced over a longish period of time.
So, a vote for Wedges or Land for me but I wouldn't mind Graveyard, Tribal (if we have some original ideas) or some other Multicolor. I don't have any ideas that are better than these.
Wedges: WUR (America), UBG (BUG), BRW (Team Italia), RGU (RUG), GWB (Junk). That list is quite exciting!
I agree with Tom with regards to Tribal and Comedy cube. Broken cube is something I think we could do, but calling it "broken" cube irritates me already, we need to be more optimistic in our abilities :-)
Enemy wedges looks like it might have legs, although I worry a little about the depth of crossover in actual tri-colour cards. Lets see what is common to them:
WUR - Control; Big flying monsters (angels/dragons/sphinx), counterspells, sweepers
UBG - Aggro/Control; Saboteur monsters, card drawing/manipulation, bounce
BRW - Aggro; Small creatures, removal
RGU - Ramp/Combo; Mana acceleration, big finishers (creatures and spells)
GWB - Midrange; Disruption, efficient dudes, graveyard manipulation
Hmm, perhaps there is something there.
Lands is something I'm always interested in as a card type. Probably the trickiest to balance, and likely doesn't have quite the depth of something like graveyard, but that makes it a challenge.
Out of my own suggestions, Wedge multicolour is the one I'd most like to try simply because it's never been done before in a real set and I'm sure there's loads of awesome designs on it just waiting to happen. Plus Simon has helpfully laid out the cross-colour themes, so we're halfway there! Would definitely get my vote unless someone comes up with something more awesome.
Wedge cards are pretty much going to have to be a mash of abilities from their colors but I think that's OK. This is about as close as I could get to a real joining of the colors:
Shadow Sentry WUR
T: ~ deals 1 damage to target creature. Tap that creature.
There will have to be strong reasons to play a wedge other than a few power cards if wedge is a thing. Allied colored two drops with enemy colored activated ability a la Guildmages and enemy colored creatures with two allied colored abilities, that kind of thing. And fixing that favors wedges.
I have Multiverse working with multiple sets locally. Let me push that live ...
OK, multiple-sets Multiverse is live at mv.bluebones.net - if you find any bugs (there will be some) let me know. It is currently impossible to change which set you are looking at, you can only look at the current one. I'll add some UI for switching soon.
I added the set switcher in the menu bar.
Do we have any thoughts on either the flavor or the mechanical reasons to care about wedges?
Should I add a set for Lands too so we can work on both and pick which one we like better in a short while?
Awesome. Time to think of some actual cards. We can sort the flavour out later!
Having multiple sets up seems like a good idea to me just in case one goes wrong!