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!
Okay here are some MaRo articles on Shards design:
State of Design 2009 - talks about lessons from Shards block:
Good work finding those articles. It's interesting that he talks about making sure there are enough synergies between abilities - something which we totally failed to do in the last block.
I guess this means we really should work out some sort of overall theme for each colour group rather than just making things and seeing what happens, which was my original idea. In hindsight, my suggestion of making legends to define the colours was probably not a good idea since you can't really tell much about set themes by looking at the rares!
Wedges were actually done before, although not that structured, back in Invasion block:
Ana - GUB
Ceta - URG
Dega - WBR
Necra - BGW
Raka - RWU
Don't know if we want to adopt these as our wedges, or just look at some of their cards for inspiration: Wedge cards
I agree there needs to be more of a theme than just "wedge".
Honestly the complexity of wedge and the fact that a wedge has basically no coherent meaning make me think we should either just do "multicolor" making all combinations interesting/possible or rewind back to "Lands" as the theme.
I don't think I would be against trying lands out as the theme instead. The wedge designs are pretty difficult, every card seems pretty complex and it's going to be really hard to integrate the wedges with each other. Also I haven't really found the theme to be that inspiring so far!
I added a "Lands!" set alongside Towerfall and Wedges. See if you like that better.
Note that whatever set you select gets remembered by your browser. So if you select Towerfall in one browser window then add a new card in another window it will get added to Towerfall. If this ends up confusing I'll add some checking.
We can be all cube-ish and not care about flavor but I think it would be nice to work out why the Lands cube cares about lands (the world is alive, the world was artificially created by an old-school planeswalker and has special properties, the land is the source of all mana and druidism is the universal religion, something something something). Although it's true to say that Magic and planeswalkers care about land in general because it is the source of mana.
Same goes for wedges. What is the meaning of wedges? If we are pursuing that.
I think noncombat Landfall has to return in the Lands set. Retrace too, probably. Not Domain. Some new twist on manlands (what?). Maybe Beseech the Queen/Korlash-style how many lands of type X. Landwalk. Awakener Druid-style cards. Probably not Genju or Zendikon-style enchantments. Sac lands.
Ah, I was just starting to warm up to Wedges, although I agree having no thematic backbone does make it a bit tricky. How about we just use the Planar Chaos dragons (Oros, Numot, Intet, Teneb and Vorosh) as a basis, and the world/theme is based on their constant struggle for dominance, leading their clans/followers/vassals against each other in both overt and covert ways. Each of the dragons represents a colour, and its two enemies, but whereby Alara had almost no overlap between the shards, I think we could easily keep the enemy colour pairs useful across the two wedges they cover. Imagine them being the border between two competing dragons wedges, and they are constantly trying to influence or coerce them to aid their side.
I think we could design new versions of each of the dragons that are a bit more representative of their wedge, or relevant to the themes they represent. Some further thoughts on the identities of each wedge:
Vorosh G(UB) - Base green but more focused on the individual rather than the group. Lack of red and white indicates less order and less instinct, more thoughtful and selfish. Keen on self improvement, Voroshi creatures use magic and dark arts to enhance themselves.
Intet U(RG) - Base blue, but driven by natural instinct rather than rational thought. Focus on propagation and change, URG cards would be big impact and splashy. Always driving action and growth, but with a guided hand.
Oros W(BR) - Base white and about the group, but aggressively protective of their own and short sighted. Focus on the present rather than the future. Most militant of the wedges but in a frenzied rather than tactical way. No use for intellect and growth, Oros rules with an iron fist.
Teneb B(GW) - Base black and most religious of the wedges, but in a natural shamanistic/pagan kind of way (cultish). Care about the cycle of life and death in a way that benefits them, and willing to make use of any part of it to further their goal. No use for science/technology or the freedom of its members.
Numot R(WU) - Base red but tempered by order and thoughtfulness. The urge to destroy things is realised more as imposing your will/control on others. No interest in nature or the importance of self.
Okay feel free to weigh in on any of that with your thoughts. No matter which theme we go for, I agree with Tom that it is important to have some idea up front of why the colours are doing certain things and what is happening in the world, also helps a lot with designing cards.
So to clarify, are we designing a "set" or a "cube"? And what are the guidelines for who is doing what/number of cards etc? (if you don't mind me chipping in)
Russ you are more than welcome to join in, the more the merrier!
I think we are doing a 'cube' style rather than a set with rarities and so on, but it is probably worth everyone chiming in on what they would prefer. Regarding who is doing what, generally everyone does a bit of everything, but I still like the idea of holding some cards back from the Bakerverse to provide some newness on the day.
I've deleted all my stuff from the Wedge set so I can start over with some new ideas based on Simon's ideas above. I guess I'm willing to give wedges another go - mostly because multicolour sets are always the best!
As for cube vs set, I think cube is the way forward. As for card numbers, we'll want at least an 8-man draft set, and probably some extra so we can support a couple more people just in case!
I still think before we actually make some cards we need to agree on the process, ideally:
1 - concept
2 - mechanics
3 - numbers splits
4 - design
Just think going in blink might cause us more problems, for instance last time we had to adjust a lot of cards to fit the theme rather than getting the theme sorted then making the cards to fit the themes
I agree Glenn, and here is my first stab:
1. Concept - see my attempt above
2. Numbers - 360 total cards (drafting with 13 card boosters will be fine if we need to squeeze in an extra player)
5x65 cards per 'wedge' (this can include associated wedge lands and artifacts)
35 non-wedge or non aligned cards
Actual breakdowns per wedge of creatures/spells etc will come soon, but follow usual Magic ratios.
3. Mechanics - I think these might grow organically out of card design, but if anyone has good ideas now then reveal them
When I mention 'wedge' cards above, I don't mean tri-coloured multicolour cards, but cards that would thematically fit in their wedge (e.g. Hissing Iguanar in Alara was a Jund card, despite not having devour or multi-colours).