Design a Card

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Havtorn
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Re: Design a Card

Postby Havtorn » 08 Aug 2015, 00:40

Aarhg wrote:But, uh.. Spell Blast was an uncommon in M14.
Anyway, your card seems fun. Maybe a bit on the strong side, but the casting restriction balances it out, I suppose.


Right. I just remember an inch-high stack of unwanted spellblasts in a corner. I guess we must have redrafted the uncommons too.

I'll agree that it's a bit on the strong side. I was debating whether to put an additional U in there, but then again, you are already keeping an awful lot of mana up. I opted for erring on the side of power, 'cause who knows what kind of meta it would be played in anyway.

Aarhg wrote:I did another little card. This one's for an "alternate win condition" design contest.
And I know, the wording is a little clunky, but I can't figure out a better one. Feedback is very welcome!


I would agree with WP&P that you might want to split up the ability, but I like having the win-con as a part of the tap ability. Keeps you from winning out-of-the-blue when he hits the table and so forth.

So, here's a suggested rewording.

Image

If I understand the rules correctly, I think that would be functionally identical, with the small caveat that if Orilec (good name, btw, sticks quickly) were to be mind controlled himself, control of the "prisoners" would go to his new owner instead of their controllers, and if he were to lose the ability temporarily via something like Turn To Frog his prisoners would escape. Both of which I think would be kind of cool.

I kept in the ability to effectively pacify your own dudes, even though I wasn't sure that was intentional. I mean why not. Maybe your opponent has some crazy lifelink-thing you don't want your Mage-Ring bully to attack.

Edit: In making the art for the thopter thing, I made some art for another card on a sort-of-smiliar theme.

Image
Last edited by Havtorn on 09 Aug 2015, 16:35, edited 1 time in total.
Asthanius
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Re: Design a Card

Postby Asthanius » 09 Aug 2015, 11:43

@Havtorn: The cumulative upkeep should be worded so that you put the top card of your library into your graveyard.

---

I came up with the idea of a "library-matters" set based on the top card of your library and would like some feedback on the set's main mechanic: Reclaim.
Reclaim - Click to Expand
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Image Image
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And here's what the set's duals will look like:
Dual Land - Click to Expand
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Havtorn
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Re: Design a Card

Postby Havtorn » 09 Aug 2015, 17:22

Ah, yes, of course. I updated the card to make you put the top card away instead.

Regarding the Reclaim mechanic; I really like it. The neat thing about it is that it's a pretty clever way to get two different spells on one card, so I think it worked best on the cards where the abilities are drastically different, like Peace of Mind (Pacifism/Lifegain) and the Shocking Elemental(Hill Giant/Burn). On the other three the effect feels a bit more similar, which while fine might be argued that it doesn't live up to it's potential as much. Instead of being two diffrent -X/-X effects, the Sickening Feeling could be a -X/-X effect in one mode and maybe a discard effect in the other, or something? The Packrunner could give a couple of +1/+1 counters instead of a creature token, and idunno, maybe Recursion's Reclaim mode could be an Essence Scatter instead of a Griptide? Just spit-balling, of course.

Regarding the dual lands, are you sure you don't want to take the opportunity to have them give access to a shuffle effect? Maybe they enter tapped unless you shuffle your library?
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Re: Design a Card

Postby Asthanius » 09 Aug 2015, 17:38

If the lands entered tapped unless you shuffled, I don't care what format you're playing, these are the dual lands that you run since they will always enter the battlefield untapped.

The only other way I can think of to have them all give access to a shuffle effect is to make them all fetch lands, which I don't want to do.
Havtorn
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Re: Design a Card

Postby Havtorn » 10 Aug 2015, 04:22

I thought that the option/penalty of shuffling away your Reclaim cards could add fun tactical interaction, but yeah, looking back that is a way to powerful effect. I think I envisioned people being more attached to their Reclaim cards than is really realistic.
you could really just put an ETB shuffle effect on any existing dual-land. Or the set could just have Evolving Wilds in it. Or any number of shuffling spells, of course. I have no idea what's in the rest of your set.

Direct feedback: Right now that dual land effectively reads that it has a (Lands left in Library)/(Cards left in library) chance of entering untapped unless the card on top is a reclaim card you put there in which case the chance is 0%, correct?. So that's penalizing playing reclaim cards and is usually going to happen slightly less then 50% of the time, entirely outside the player's control unless you have something in the set that puts lands on top of librarys. For me personally that's a bit too much of a flip-a-coin mechanic. Most other duals that can enter untapped do so by allowing the player to pay a cost (return a land to your hand, pay life, etc) or setting up a board state (Have a certain basic, etc) that guarantees it.

I would rather see something that either rewarded using the mechanic (i.e. Reveal the top card of your library, CARDNAME enters tapped ifthe top card is a land) or that actively would interact with it, like... Scry? Tbh the Scrylands could be cool in a set with Reclaim.
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Re: Design a Card

Postby SixFootTurkey » 10 Aug 2015, 06:07

@Aarhg
You could have it exile face down, as double face cards technically have three potential 'faces'; they have their 'front', their 'transformed side', and then a 'back' which is used for things like morph/manifest or exiling face down, as well as when the card is in your hand (so the opponent doesn't see which card it is - necessitating either a placeholder card or opaque sleeves). Alternatively you could tie the two abilities together. ("When [card] dies, exile it instead. If you do, as long as it is in exile you may pay [cost] to return it to the battlefield transformed.")

@Havtorn
Well, uncommons are seldom sought after rares... Artificer's Trap on the other hand, seems too strong. Even if all you do is counter a three-drop, you're spending four mana to counter a three mana spell, and getting three power and three toughness over three bodies in the air, at instant speed... One of the downsides of counterspells is that they are reactionary and don't develop your board. Having a counterspell that develops your board needs to be considered accordingly. (This is especially true for an unconditional counter that only has a single point of colored mana.)

@Aarhg (take two)
How about just make part of it a static ability: "Players can't attack, block, or use activated abilities of creatures they don't own." Splitting the ability in two adds additional utility, as well as cutting at least a few words out.

@Havtorn
If you're using 'arrest' as filler, I would recommend not doing so without making it clear - i.e., using brackets. I would also not recommend filler when something being too wordy is the issue at hand, as it defeats the purpose of the new wording. If you are using the term intentionally as a new word, I also advise against that. It is not an existing keyword (and couldn't be thanks to a card of the same name), there is no existing terminology that does what we want, and inventing a keyword for a specific card is non-ideal.

I do agree that having the win-con as part of the tap has its benefits (from a development standpoint; it's an obvious disadvantage from a player pov).

I don't know if Plauge of Locusts is necessarily green; Maro has stated that Hornet Queen was a color pie break, that it was a mistake. (I would guess Hornet's Nest as well, but a lesser one.)
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Re: Design a Card

Postby SixFootTurkey » 10 Aug 2015, 06:23

@Asthanius
Minor caveat, 'Reclaim' exists as a card name, so it cannot be an ability name. It's a cross between buyback and dredge... I'm honestly not sure how I feel about it at the moment. I don't think I would have 'reclaim' on anything other than instant or sorcery cards; while there is value, I think you would be better off using that design space on another mechanic. Adding it to creatures makes it take up too much design space, while not adding much more than just using a mechanic like evoke would do (for Shocking Elemental).

On dual lands that care about library order, I would consider just reprinting the temples (scry lands) - looks like Havtorn came to the same conclusion. It's not a great idea, but you could have it enter tapped unless an opponent shuffles their library. (Allowing an opponent a choice typically just makes it worse for you, so I would probably rather have a land that always enters tapped, but there might be something to work with there.)
Havtorn
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Re: Design a Card

Postby Havtorn » 10 Aug 2015, 09:02

SixFootTurkey wrote:@Havtorn
Well, uncommons are seldom sought after rares... Artificer's Trap on the other hand, seems too strong. Even if all you do is counter a three-drop, you're spending four mana to counter a three mana spell, and getting three power and three toughness over three bodies in the air, at instant speed... One of the downsides of counterspells is that they are reactionary and don't develop your board. Having a counterspell that develops your board needs to be considered accordingly. (This is especially true for an unconditional counter that only has a single point of colored mana.).)


The thing with Spell Blast is that you never know how much mana you need to keep open, so comparing it to fixed-cost counterspells becomes very tricky. The closest cards in effect to what the Artificer's Trap is trying to do is Draining Whelk and Mystic Genesis, since they leave a board presence depending on the cmc of the casted spell, but both have fixed cmcs that allow you to plan ahead. They're pretty expensive, true, but they counter anything and you actually hope your opponent plays something as large as possible.

Maybe the solution here is just to remove X from the thopter count and just make it a single thopter. That doesn't have anywhere near the same "HA! Gotcha!" potential, but perhaps anything better would be too good.

SixFootTurkey wrote:@Aarhg (take two)
How about just make part of it a static ability: "Players can't attack, block, or use activated abilities of creatures they don't own." Splitting the ability in two adds additional utility, as well as cutting at least a few words out.

This will mean that other Mind Control and Act of Treason effects significantly worse, even the ones in Orilec's owners deck. Which there will probably be a few. I think that could totally work, but he might be a bit overcosted then.

SixFootTurkey wrote:@Havtorn
If you're using 'arrest' as filler, I would recommend not doing so without making it clear - i.e., using brackets. I would also not recommend filler when something being too wordy is the issue at hand, as it defeats the purpose of the new wording. If you are using the term intentionally as a new word, I also advise against that. It is not an existing keyword (and couldn't be thanks to a card of the same name), there is no existing terminology that does what we want, and inventing a keyword for a specific card is non-ideal.

The 'Arrest' thing was an attempt to keep the character count down and tidy up the whole thing while trying to change the actual effect of the card Aarhg wrote as little as possible. The fact that "Orilec, Keeper of Peace" is a mouthful to begin with didn't help.
I got the idea that maybe instead of making a keyword you can just use Creature Type, like with Boldwyr Intimidator.

Image

It's still kind of wordy, but now Act of Treason-ing him will not make him shut down, he won't take his prisoners with him, and it won't affect other mind-controlled creatures.
Changelings get a bit shafted, but I'm sure that's not the first time that would happen.

If multiplayer wasn't an issiue you could move almost everything to the static ability:

Image

But I have no idea how that would work in a 3+ player game with more than one Orilec in play.

SixFootTurkey wrote:@I don't know if Plauge of Locusts is necessarily green; Maro has stated that Hornet Queen was a color pie break, that it was a mistake. (I would guess Hornet's Nest as well, but a lesser one.)

You're right, tbh I mostly made it green because I immideately associate self-mill with golgari, and there already was a flying insect with deathtouch that happened to be green, but just making the enchantment mono-black won't change much and makes more sense.
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Aarhg
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Re: Design a Card

Postby Aarhg » 10 Aug 2015, 10:47

Update on Orilec for anyone interested. This was the final version I submitted for the design contest. Seems dece.
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SixFootTurkey
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Re: Design a Card

Postby SixFootTurkey » 10 Aug 2015, 13:37

Havtorn wrote:Maybe the solution here is just to remove X from the thopter count and just make it a single thopter. That doesn't have anywhere near the same "HA! Gotcha!" potential, but perhaps anything better would be too good.


I think the issue comes primarily from the fact that it gives multiple bodies. Unless your opponent has a board wipe, you likely just got very far ahead on board. Countering a 3 mana spell puts them on a 7 turn clock, a 4 mana spell on a 5 turn clock. This card alone basically blanks a lot of mono red decks, as you counter a spell, then get to trade for 2-3 creatures.


Havtorn wrote:This will mean that other Mind Control and Act of Treason effects significantly worse, even the ones in Orilec's owners deck. Which there will probably be a few. I think that could totally work, but he might be a bit overcosted then.

I'm fine with a cost change, I think the static ability is also more fitting with the flavor of the character. White doesn't have a lot of mind control effects, and blue gets fewer than red. As the basis of the card is about taking creatures, blue or red make more sense to me as the primary color. If you want something that works - flavor wise - with Act of Treason, the card should probably be recolored to include red, and change the flavor from peacekeeper to something more akin to Enthralling Victor (where you inspire enough passion in the ranks of your foes that some of them join you).

Havtorn wrote:The 'Arrest' thing was an attempt to keep the character count down and tidy up the whole thing while trying to change the actual effect of the card Aarhg wrote as little as possible. The fact that "Orilec, Keeper of Peace" is a mouthful to begin with didn't help.
I got the idea that maybe instead of making a keyword you can just use Creature Type, like with Boldwyr Intimidator.

You'd need a static ability explaining the relevance of the creature type, but it would also have interactions with other cards; you mentioned changeling, but anything that can add or change a creature type. Also, removing the Prisoner creature type would make it so they can attack again. I'm not sure if any of this creates a problem for you, but it's additional baggage caused by using the subtype route.

Havtorn wrote:If multiplayer wasn't an issiue you could move almost everything to the static ability. / But I have no idea how that would work in a 3+ player game with more than one Orilec in play.

It would use timestamp order, but depend on whether you're playing a format with allies. If it was a FFA game, the controller of the most recent Orilec would end up with all Prisoners on the battlefield, except for those they owned, which would be under the control of the second most recent Orilec's controller. This gets a tad more complicated if any of the Orilecs were to ever change control or creature type, which would then use the layering system's time stamp v independent/dependent rules. (I haven't yet learned the specifics of how those would be applied, but I know that's what would be relevant.)

I'm not going to try to figure out how it would work in star magic... (A variation on any multiplayer format, where your allies are the two players adjacent to you, and your opponents are the two players opposite you.)

Havtorn wrote:You're right, tbh I mostly made it green because I immideately associate self-mill with golgari, and there already was a flying insect with deathtouch that happened to be green, but just making the enchantment mono-black won't change much and makes more sense.


Complete aside.. I kind of want something that makes 0/1's with deathtouch... Basically creatures that are quite venemous, they just aren't large enough to be a threat to humans (or dragons), use some magic to enhance them though... Alternatively a 1/1 with deathtouch that doesn't deal damage to creatures above a certain size, etc.
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Re: Design a Card

Postby Havtorn » 11 Aug 2015, 21:08

SixFootTurkey wrote:Complete aside.. I kind of want something that makes 0/1's with deathtouch... Basically creatures that are quite venemous, they just aren't large enough to be a threat to humans (or dragons), use some magic to enhance them though... Alternatively a 1/1 with deathtouch that doesn't deal damage to creatures above a certain size, etc.


I like it. The first way to buff the power that came to mind for me was equipment, though, and the image of a poisonous beetle wielding a knife. :D But that's always the problem with equipment in this game.

For some reason, this made me think "Hey, what if Master of Waves was part of a cycle?"

Image

Now, when he hits the board he's a color-shifted Veteran Swordsmith. If you have multiples we can start talking, since you now can sacrifice either to get <devotion> 1/1 deathtouchers, but what this card really would love is graveyard recursion, I think. Play him, sac him, reanimate him. It's slower and less punchy than Master of Waves, but I kind of feel like that's appropriate.

Now I kind of want to make a white, green and red one too.
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Re: Design a Card

Postby Asthanius » 16 Aug 2015, 09:28

I'm making dual lands for a plane that's being torn apart, resulting in its mana losing a lot of its potency. I'm wondering what other people think of the way I'm trying to convey that:
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susu.exp
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Re: Design a Card

Postby susu.exp » 16 Aug 2015, 10:51

How about this:
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Re: Design a Card

Postby Asthanius » 16 Aug 2015, 12:43

I'd rather not make it so that players can only use a certain color of mana by playing certain types of spells. By using this land, players are required to run counterspells. And if they don't draw a counterspell over the course of the game, this land never transforms.

Also, I can see a situation in limited where somebody's drafting a U/W fliers deck, and they can't use this land because they have no counterspells.

Side note: You have to be careful with transforming lands because that means that if you don't include other transform cards, it feels out-of-place.
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Re: Design a Card

Postby Aaron9797 » 16 Aug 2015, 17:06

1 u/r
instant
choose one
scry 2
draw 2 discard 2
draw a card
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Re: Design a Card

Postby AdmiralMemo » 16 Aug 2015, 22:16

Also: "transformed" is a state which means that the "transformed" side is up. If "Fertile Cove" says you return the card to the battlefield "transformed" it will always be "Fertile Cove" when it comes back, which is not the flavor you're looking for.

If you want to change it back to "Barren Cove" then change "return it to the battlefield transformed" to just "return it to the battlefield" instead.

(I think the issue is that you're confusing the "transform" mechanic with the "transformed" state. When you "transform" something, you flip it from one state to the other, no matter which side is currently up. If something is "transformed" then it's on the back side.)
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Re: Design a Card

Postby susu.exp » 17 Aug 2015, 06:37

@Asthanius: It's more a proof of concept card and you could change the transform conditions. One rather straightforward option would be:
Side A
T: Add U to your mana pool
T: Add 1 to your mana pool transform CARDNAME
Side B
T: Add W to your mana pool
T: Add 1 to your mana pool transform CARDNAME

@AdmiralMemo: I think the change in wording for the new PWs fooled me into thinking that "exile CARDNAME then return it to the battlefield transformed" would always work like "transform CARDNAME".
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Re: Design a Card

Postby Re'ozul » 17 Aug 2015, 07:38

I like the transform land. Imagine that in a landfall deck.
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Re: Design a Card

Postby Asthanius » 17 Aug 2015, 09:35

Speaking of which, landfall's back!
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Re: Design a Card

Postby SixFootTurkey » 19 Aug 2015, 02:13

Regarding transformations, exiling them doesn't make sense. The original DFCs with transform were werewolves, and transforming didn't involve changing zones. The current DFCs exile and return transformed largely for flavor reasons (that is their first planeswalk), so having a land wander off to another plane seems odd. (Also, if you're exiling it, not only would it be insane with landfall, but it would have to return tapped to prevent even more absurd abuse cases.)

I know Maro's talked about 'reduced magic planes' on his blog, and I believe he's mentioned it in his podcast as well. Short version is, at least as some were asking, they determined it to have more drawbacks than it was worth. This isn't to discourage you from going this route, just a heads up that you may want to proceed with caution.

Onto your original idea though:

1) 'Depletion counter' definitely doesn't fit with the current mechanic, as you're 'gaining depletion' which is giving you access to more mana. (This just means a renaming, or tweaking how the mechanic works.)

2) My main issue is that tap lands and pain lands already seem to fit the bill for this world pretty well, so designs are likely to fit a bit snugly next to each other. Also, these may be a bit too close to 'duals w/o a downside'. They come into play untapped, and although you can't use colored mana the turn you play them, you can also just leave them up and tap them EoT to add counters (especially in a control deck).

On the 'counter land', it feels odd that you need to counter a spell (or have a spell countered) to get access to White mana; a color that doesn't have anything to do with countering spells. (It would make more sense as an XU land, giving X to start with and only giving U if you counter a spell.)

Transforming to change what color it produces fits with an unstable world, but one that is more about change than decay.

On transformation lands as a whole, while they're definitely a neat thought experiment, unless WotC figures out how to package them efficiently, we won't be seeing DFC lands anytime soon. (So if we're designing using WotC restrictions, they're out.)
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Re: Design a Card

Postby SixFootTurkey » 19 Aug 2015, 03:18

One final note about the depletion version. It currently works such that using mana (casting spells or otherwise tapping land for mana) is actually beneficial to a plane that is running on fumes. This seems to clash more than a bit with the flavor of the set.

I would look into etb tapped or stay tapped, or maybe something akin to a version of the vivid lands; lands that ETB with a limited lifespan, and you must figure out how to best utilize them before they're gone. Another mechanic to look into is sacrificing lands (or even cards or permanents). Maybe something like:

"L:WU"
L:WU etbs with three sadface counters.
T: add {1}
T, remove a sadface counter: add {W} or {U}

"L:WU"
T: add {1}
T: add {W} or {U}, L:WU doesn't untap during your next untap step.

"L:WU"
T: add {W}
T, sacrifice L:WU: add {U}
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Re: Design a Card

Postby susu.exp » 19 Aug 2015, 04:14

SixFootTurkey wrote:Transforming to change what color it produces fits with an unstable world, but one that is more about change than decay.


Well, one of the effects is that you need to tap for colorless mana to change the color. I think one of the interesting things about that particular design is that you basically advertise your plays in advance - if you transform to have two white open, that could heavily hint that you want to have that 3WW wrath effect next turn. Of course that in turn enables bluffing as well.

SixFootTurkey wrote:On transformation lands as a whole, while they're definitely a neat thought experiment, unless WotC figures out how to package them efficiently, we won't be seeing DFC lands anytime soon. (So if we're designing using WotC restrictions, they're out.)


I'm not so sure they couldn't be done. That would rather likely be a rare cycle (in fact this would make for a mega-mega cycle of 20 lands, because you don't only have the 10 color combinations but also a direction U->W and W->U are different cards).

I think the exile on the planeswalkers was a mechanical issue apart from flavor, because it makes it clear what happens if an effect targets the creature and some effect transforms it in response (which with the exiling in between clearly fizzles). If there was no exile step it wouldn't really be clear how - say - Heroes downfall would behave. Does "Destroy target creature or planeswalker" mean
a) Choose one:
-destroy target creature
-destroy target planeswalker
or
b) Destroy target creature or planeswalker if it is a creature or planeswalker.
Without exile both seem to be legitimate interpretations of the rules text.
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Re: Design a Card

Postby AdmiralMemo » 19 Aug 2015, 05:50

SixFootTurkey wrote:The current DFCs exile and return transformed largely for flavor reasons (that is their first planeswalk)
Not only that, but mechanical reasons as well. If you just straight transformed them without exiling them (and we've tested this on MtGO with Moonmist), they just die. This is due to the fact that a planeswalker needs to ETB to get loyalty counters. If you just transform them without exiling them, they become planeswalkers with no loyalty counters, which then go to the graveyard due to SBAs.

These lands wouldn't need to be exiled to transform, either flavor-wise or mechanically.
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Re: Design a Card

Postby SixFootTurkey » 19 Aug 2015, 11:55

@susu
They've stated that as things currently sit, DFCs are a huge cost. A cycle of rare DFC lands wouldn't have the impact or excitement factor necessary to make the cut. Look at two times we've seen the DFCs; we have a flavorful creature type that was one of the focal points of the set, and a cycle of planeswalkers that was _the_ focal point of the set. These lands would have to be pretty darn splashy to be worth the costs.

Also, rarity doesn't matter when it comes to the logistical difficulties of printing DFCs.

@Memo
You could technically add loyalty counters as part of the transformation effect, but yes, they would otherwise die.
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Re: Design a Card

Postby Asthanius » 19 Aug 2015, 12:39

But we're not printing a set for the general public, so the costs don't matter to us in any way, shape, or form.

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