Cloudpierce ConcludedThursday, 11th October 2018 ◆ Select stern doctor first (5) Magic: the Gathering
Our bootleg Magic: the Gathering set which I hinted at last month, Cloudpierce, was a success! Busting open a pack and rifling through all the new cards is really exciting.
The new mechanics introduced were:
- Strategize (When this creature attacks or blocks you may pay (1). If you do, choose two target creatures you control. Put a -1/-1 counter on one of them, and a +1/+1 counter on the other).
- Clearcast <cost> <condition> (If <condition> is met, you may cast this spell for <cost> as if it has flash).
- Aspire <cost> (<cost>: You may exile another target creature you control. When this creature dies, returns cards exiled this way to the battlefield under their owner's control).
Aspire cards will also explain what they do with the aspired cards. For example, "this creature has +X/+Y, where X and Y are the cumulative power and toughness of the aspired creatures".
We had not playtested the cards, so the fact that we had sensible decks was a minor miracle. There were lots of shenanigans, but nothing too shocking! We didn't make too many overpowered cards, but we were much more consistent than Magic. This means even the last pick in a pack was generally a pretty strong card! When we try again, I would like to have more simple vanilla cards.
There were so many exciting cards, but here are a selection of my favourites. They are towards the simpler end of the spectrum, but I think they are really nicely designed.
Counter target spell.
Draw a card if Equaliser counters a rare or mythic rare spell.
The wizards of Westspire believe that exotic magic should not be abused.
Equaliser cares about rarity, which I think is quite exciting. I suspect real black-border Magic couldn't do this because cards are sometimes reprinted in different rarities. It serves as a nice balancing mechanic in a format where rares and mythic rares can feel quite frustrating to play against.
Revere the Fallen 2W
If a creature you controlled died this turn, gain 7 life and draw a card.
Adept Pathreader 1G
Creature – Elf Shaman
There are many ways through the wilds beyond. Almost all of them deadly.
Revere the Fallen and Adept Pathreader have both managed to unite their name, art and ability. I think that's difficult to pull off, but its one of the things that I think makes Magic special. Revere the Fallen makes you feel excited about losing a creature; this is an interesting area and I think I am going to try and explore this more when making the next batch of cards. How can I try and turn negatives into positives? I also have a soft spot for life gain!
Adept Pathreader is telling a very coherent story. The elf is scouting the way ahead and telling my other creatures how best to attack. An advantage which manifests itself in the form of counters. A very simple card like this which encourages combat brings a lot of dynamism to the game.
Infernal Bargain 3B
Choose up to three –
- Destroy target non-black creature
- Create two 2/2 black Zombie tokens
- Target player discards a card
You get a Possesion counter for each you choose.
At the beginning of your upkeep, if Infernal Bargain is in your graveyard, you lose 1 life for each Possession counter you have.
A rare which makes the opponent groan isn't enjoyable, so I think the fact I got excited when my opponent played Infernal Bargain is a good thing. Most of the time I saw it played as a simple 4 mana kill spell with a downside. That's not great, but the temptation is there to pick more options, and sell more of your soul in the process!
If making Magic sounds interesting to you, I really encourage you to try it! Mark Rosewater, lead designer for Magic, has a series of articles explaining how one would go about making a custom set.
1st Nov 2022: I dug through the old printed cards and tried to find all the rares we made. I can only find these 9 out of a total of 12.