ANNOUNCING: Fate of Averlos [Plots from the Past | 122/206]

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Tue, 2016-09-13 17:33
ZephyrPhantom
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Art by wlop
"Averlos will have justice."
Set Trailer

Set Size: 206 cards (Medium)
Design: ZephyrPhantom
Development: ZephyrPhantom, with assistance from jacqui-pup and WindyDelcarlo
Based on the original Averlos set by: fluffyDeathbringer/Kixleart/Neotteolemo/Oberon/ZephyrPhantom
Based on the original Averlos "Liberty" set concept by: fluffyDeathbringer/Kixleart/Neotteolemo/Daij_Djan/WindyDelcarlo/ZephyrPhantom
Based on the original "Return to Averlos" set concept by: fluffyDeathbringer/WindyDelcarlo/jacqui-pup/Autumnstar00/Cajun

PROLOGUE - Everlasting Anguish

"Arina, WAIT!" I scream, as she lunges towards Marina, the purple magic lashing to be freed from its prison of flesh.

But she of course, she doesn't listen. Reckless Arina. Foolish Arina. Curse you, Arina Rouge. This is why I love you so much.

But right now it's why I'm about to lose you.

I sprint with all my might, the red mana screeching through my veins, just hoping if I can get a second closer, I can at least save her.

But I never get there in time. Marina goes critical, as my love drops Mindmesher in shock, in...fear? I had never known her to fear. She had died once before, but even then, she 'died' with defiance; with hope.

This time, there was nothing to defy, and no second chance to hope for. The purple mana explodes and collapses on itself; it was never meant to touch the Pluraverse, and takes my love and one of my best friends with it.

Arina...will you ever forgive me? "Ly-thei ria..." I promised you... and I failed. Twice.

I don't know what to do anymore. Marina would have been horrified if she had survived that; it was never her fault. Volaria is at peace. I've searched the entire multiverse for a trace of you, just hoping that you've made yet another strongheaded ploy to get away...but I haven't found you. No trace, not even a sign. It's like you've completely vanished.

I should be sad, but...I'm not.


Art by HoustonSharp

I'm enraged.

Thank you to everyone that did Community Spoilers!
- WindyDelcarlo
- thehuw
- BluesEclipse
- Sylphiod
- Vunik
- Neottolemo
- marioware2

An additional thanks to everyone on the thread that has helped with wording!


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Tue, 2016-09-13 17:39
fluffyDeathbringer
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Right off the bat, the Animara art and name brings a sense of creepiness into the forefront.

So the set takes place in the Arina Rouge alternate timeline, and original timeline Wind and Arina aren't in it at all? Strange.

Remind yourself that overconfidence is a slow and insidious killer.

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Tue, 2016-09-13 17:39
Neottolemo
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Ok I totally did not expect this to begin that way, but the story piece seems really good!
Both Doom Sear and Everlasting Anguish look awesome.
Is that supposed to be Griff that Animara's fighting in the trailer?
I'm glad Fate of Averlos is finally here!

Tue, 2016-09-13 17:43
ZephyrPhantom
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@ Fluffy - Indeed, you will find that a lot is wrong on this particular Averlos, but perhaps, the "Scourge" from another timeline is merely how she is perceived through the eyes of a certain Aven...

@ Neo - Yes, that is indeed Griff! His lack of restraint against Animara may be a sign of things to come...


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Tue, 2016-09-13 19:48
Vunik
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Well, consider me interested. The cards look amazing, and that story, as short as it was, is all I need to want to know more. Can't wait to see what's in store on Averlos (even though I'm quite green to the story).

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Tue, 2016-09-13 19:57
ZephyrPhantom
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@ Vunik - Good to know! Don't worry about being new to Averlos - the story will be completely viable as a standalone, and a good majority of the references to other cards are from mainline MtG cards (for example, Doom Sear is Doom Blade combined with Searing Spear!)

If you do wish to get a quick idea of what's happened in main-timeline Averlos and how it corresponds to this Planeshift, you can check out its custom plane thread here!


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Tue, 2016-09-13 21:56
WindyDelcarlo
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That is an amazing piece of writing

Thu, 2016-09-15 12:21
ZephyrPhantom
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A Primer to Planeshifted Averlos

Welcome back to Averlos, folks! Be warned, though - this is not the Averlos you know. It appears we have slipped through the rifts of the Multiverse and ended up in a more chaotic timeline - indeed, as Revolution of Delkor was my Future Sight, Fate of Averlos is my Planar Chaos! You'll be seeing a very uncanny story play out with many things quite similar to the events in other MSE fan sets and the main MTG timeline, but with events just shifted slightly enoughthat the outcomes are radically different - for example, Arina Rouge has gone and gotten herself killed for being far too headstrong, compared to the more calm and calculating Arina Blue some of you might remember. This affects the colors, too - each color has warped itself into a form reminiscent of another color, based on traits and similarities that it finds common ground with.

So before we delve into the story, let's have a rundown on what's changed in each color:

Spoiler:
White mana symbol White Deck Wins White mana symbol

“In Griff’s name, repent before my flays!”

You'll notice very quickly that White has taken a very aggressive stance this block - almost like White weenie, except why there is a White card with haste?!

That's right, folks, White has traded overall P/T efficiency for gaining the aggressive keywords and methods of Red, becoming a color of sheer aggression and force as it focuses on honing its old White Weenie tendencies towards this new outlook. To emulate Red's burn, White has taken on a greater to things like combat-based burn like Sandblast and Sangrodelver, torching creatures and players alike with its holy wrath as it leaps straight for the opponent's throat. As you go through the set, you'll find that White has also become less picky about evasion due to a lessened presence of its usual control elements and more inefficient bodies - Skulk, Menace, and Prowess all make themselves comfy in White as the pacifist turned templar attempts to hurl opponents out of its way.

Speaking of keywords, let's look at Rebirth, a mechanic featured on Steelform Lancer. This mechanic replaces Regenerate to further showcase the "alternate timeline" feel of Fate of Averlos, and it will mostly be showing up in Black mana symbolRed mana symbolWhite mana symbolGreen mana symbol. Be on the lookout for cards that trigger on leaving the battlefield or dying - as a block that favors lots of combat and killing, you will find that happens a lot on Averlos.

"But Zephyr only really old MtG Red gets regenerate!" Don't worry, we'll get to that. Winking smiley

Blue mana symbol Suicide Blue Blue mana symbol

“There’s no time for further research. We need results now or we die.” — Piberdo

It seems that Blue has quite literally lost its mind, and rightfully so - this version of Averlos has been torn apart by constant war, to the point that the color once based on the future has given all hope, becoming a much more aggressive pastiche of Black in its attempts to survive the the constant onslaughts on its sanity. As it thrists for knowledge more than life, Blue emphasizes constantly drawing and dicarding cards to fuel its effects - however, letting the game continue on for too long will cause a Blue player to find themselves short of options. More aggressive keywords like Menace and Rifttouch make their home in Blue, allowing them to clear away the field as quickly as possible to try and go back to dealing damage.

...wait, Zephyr, Rifttouch? Aha, yes. For you see, Blue is too civilized to destroy things, is it not? Death is completely unfitting of its mentality, but nothing stops it from denying the opponent as much as possible until it's beaten them to death. This keyword is exclusive to Blue and represents its aggressive attempts to bounce the enemy field away while remaining true to its core.

Black mana symbol Black Control Black mana symbol

“Come with me if you refuse to die.”

Black, on the other hand, has become frustrated with its constant attempts to kill and kill and kill. No matter how much it slaughters, no matter how much blood it pays, new enemies rise up to assault it over and over again. Thus, Black carefully begins to sit and machinate, finding an increased need to defend and value its own allies, become a pastiche of Blue as it tries to bring logical sense back to the war-torn plane. This Black is the true "self-sacrificing hero" - its allies aren't afraid to throw away their lives if it means just one more turn to pull out a bigger win condition. More defensive keywords like Vigilance and Hexproof edge cautiously into Black, having been forsaken by their original users in favor of more aggressive terms. Black is still a killer, but it kills defensively now, hoping for the day it can come out of hiding to become the age old terrifying tyrant once more...

You'll also notice that Lingering Sisters is one of those LTB/die engines I referenced earlier in White. Here, we get to take a look at Vengeful, which features an unusual counter type - +1/-1 counters! Indeed, to return from the brink of death in the hell that is Averlos, you'll need to endure the burning pain of your dying rage - Vengeful thus acts as both a buff and a tradeoff, making your creature more aggressive but also easier to kill at the same time. Vengeful primarily appears in Blue mana symbolBlack mana symbolRed mana symbol, with Black ironically being the most defensive applicant of it in this context.

Red mana symbolRed StompyRed mana symbol

“The more dangerous it is, the more Master Wind wants it to happen.”

So all that aggression has gone to White. What's Red to do?

Why, take Trample, its big fellows, and outbulk its opponents, of course! Red pursues the route of expanding on its bigger dudes, emulating Green in hopes of mastering the art of ramping up to those giant midrange stompies every creature-focused player loves. Due to its aggressive nature (and the overall aggressive environment of Fate of Averlos), it shifts slightly less than the rest of its brethen, but as you can tell by Vigilance and high toughness over power, it attempts to take a more balanced view on combat, allowing itself to strike but also to defend against the smaller guys trying to smack into it.

The Red cards here also are an excellent example of showing that not all of the bleeds were a straight swaps to other colors - as you might have noticed, Red has acquired hostile discard to help reinforce its control options due to a reduced focus on burn!

Green mana symbolGreen WeenieGreen mana symbol

“We are born to be wielded.”

Lastly, we have Green, who has taken its permanent-focused mentality in the direction of cold, hard steel as it emulates White, the color of weenie aggression. Green of this world does not want things to be - rather, it wants the other colors to be the way it thinks it should be. To impose this order, it charges valiantly with its soldier of the forest, infusing buffs in the form of Equipment and empowering its Lifesteel-blessed kin with the power of Metalcraft! As a side of effect of this new imposing stance, Green loses keywords like Trample and Fight in favor of more 'refined' keywords like first strike and flying.

"Wait, what, FLYING? Zephyr, that's a complete color pie break!" Woah, woah, hold your horses! If you take a look at cards like Silhana Ledgewalker and Orchard Spirit, you'll notice that Green often gets the ability "~ can't be blocked except by creatures with flying or reach"! To mimic this in Fate of Averlos, Green simply cuts out the middleman and has its creatures gain flying whenever it attacks! Likewise, as demonstrated by Bladesteel Banefencer, first strike (and the rare occurence of double strike) are often conditional and rarely seen as easily acquired in this format - in fact, Green's main source of evasion has become Deathtouch, a keyword new to this alternate timeline!


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Thu, 2016-09-15 12:33
Neottolemo
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Wow. This is... wow.
I'm not sure if Rebirth and Vengeful ought to exist together, but I guess you could make it work.
I love the red cards, the white cards, Desperate Research, Wintertouched Valkyrie, and Utopia Plea, and the explanation behind why the colours shifted that way is what makes this superiour to Planar Chaous, I think.

Thu, 2016-09-15 13:02
fluffyDeathbringer
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This is where I put on my pedantic editor glasses and point out some quibbles.

- Sangrodelver: "if damage is prevented this way" instead of "if you prevented damage this way" (Deflecting Palm)
- Wintertouched Valkyrie, not Valkryie (unless that's what they're called on Averlos in which case nevermind)
- Corridor Hunted should say "when", since its ability isn't expected to trigger multiple times during its tenure as an object
- Lingering Sisters would look more congruent (and less rules ambiguous) as "whenever Lingering Sisters or another creature you control dies", since that's the way it's done on Magic proper
- Desperado Ploy: there's no "an additional life". better wording: "You gain 3 life plus 1 life for each creature sacrificed to cast Desperado Ploy."
- Featherguard Valiant: "as long as it's attacking" (Kor Scythemaster)
- Makeshift Weapon needs a comma between "...isn't an Equipment" and "it becomes...", also I think the wording would make more sense the other way around since you can't attach non-Equipment artifacts

Remind yourself that overconfidence is a slow and insidious killer.

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Thu, 2016-09-15 13:03
ZephyrPhantom
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@ Neo - The ability to bring your creatures back is quite valuable in this set, due to the high amount of aggression - one of things you'll often need to think about in combat is "Do I want to invest resources to bring my creature back for a second swing or block next turn?" To complement this, it's also considerably harder to get reliable sources of first strike and flying - with harder evasion being so scarce, good management of your attacking and blocking is key!

That being said, I'm glad you like the cards spoiled so far! Stay tuned for more action on the plot end and incoming Community Spoilers! (I still have plenty of cards to give out on that end!)

@ Fluffy - Many thanks! I will proceed to correct those in the set file by next update. A happy smile


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Thu, 2016-09-15 13:04
fluffyDeathbringer
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Vengeful is neat, btw.

Remind yourself that overconfidence is a slow and insidious killer.

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Sat, 2016-09-17 00:23
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Today's spoiler features the leader of the Commune, Aurum, and his current champion!

An Azure Face
Animara woke up in a dark cold room, rubbing her head in pain. She jolted up almost immediately as her vampire eyes adjusted to the dark area; outside the iron grated door stood a face that she knew all too well, except his wrathful frown had been replaced with a pitiful furrow.

"I did not know another wielder of the Azure Lifesteel existed, young lady. Why did you use it to try to harm our leader?! He could've killed you, him and his horde of knights! You are fortunate I was present at all!"

Animara could only open her mouth in shock. "Are you...Teurla?"


Art by El Zheng/DanEvan-ArtWork

The main recoiled in shock and put his hand on his blade at his mention - the two knight standing next to him almost did the same but he intervened by yelling "HOLD!"

"I...how do you know my name?!" He spoke softly, shocked.

Animara shook her head, as her sharp eyes noticed a fully armored woman quietly look around the corner, then nervously slide back. "I...I knew you. I fought alongside you. But...why the change in your demeanor?"

Teurla frowned in distrust. "I do not know anyone with your face, vampire. You hold Lifesteel of the Commune, that I do know; perhaps you merely fought as a Lieutenant? Our new leader is even stricter on protocol..."

"No, Teurla, I was the Lifesteel Vanguard! Animara Vectis! Last time-" She stopped, as a look of realization dawned on her face. "....I see. Time."

Flickers of visions briefly appeared into her eyes as she spoke this statement - in one timeline, this was a weapons storage room. In another, it was the room Argonia had given as a quarter when Aurum had taken her in. In this one... it was a prison.

Teurla seemed extremely suspicious now, so she held her hands up in a pleading gesture. She could leave anytime she wanted, she realized, but it didn't seem that the Griff of this timeline (who had naturally attacked her on the spot) knew that (yet). "Please, wait! I understand now. I come from a different..." she stopped, pausing. How could she explain she was from a parallel time? It was hard enough to explain being a Planeswalker. "...world."

The knight's eyes widened, but he sheathed his sword. "Could it be... you are one of the many Griff preached to when Aurum was still our leader? Do you still believe in the old ways?"

(Close enough.) She muttered inwardly, as her mind turned to the more alarming parts of his statment. "Yes, I believe that the Commune is a force for peace, Sir Teurla! But...what is this? What do you mean by 'old ways'? Where is Grand Seer Aurum?"

Teurla shifted, looking uncomfortable. "I...should not say."

"Please!" Animara pleaded. "I come here to speak with him, not to cause trouble. If there is anyone I could reason with, it would be-"

"He was killed."

"In battle?" Animara's heart began to beat a little faster - even thought she realized this was an alternate timeline, the Commune seemed similar enough that it struck her as very odd that Aurum would ever go into battle. "I thought Aurum was a man of peace?"

"He was. To the very end." Teurla replied solemnly. "He and his disciples paid the ultimate price."

"Our leader is now in a better place. I wish I could help you more, Disciple of the Commune, but if you can retreat back to your other world, now would be the best time to do so. This is no longer the Commune of love; I plead with Griff every day to stop our pointless crusade against the Academy, but-"

"No." Animara stood up, willing her Lifesteel to response. The knights beside Teurla, sensing it, stepped up again in response, but he held them back as she kneeled in prayer.

"The Lifesteel I know is kind. The Lifesteel I know does not want death. The Lifesteel... I can hear it even now. It does not want this bloodshed you seek, and has been twisted by someone beyond your control. As one of the Commune, I feel it my right to help bring peace to our kind."

As she prayed, her Azure Lifesteel roared to life, shrieking and twisting in her mind as she heard it cry for blood - bloodlust that she had never felt before in the Commune. She whispered prayers of love, of justice, of kindness....prayers she knew from many years ago, some of the first she had learned. As if soothed by her voice, the steel rang gently, whispering platitudes of gratefulness until it was silent once more. In her hand lay Mitsurugi, her Kamigawa forged blade once more, ready for action.

Teurla seemed calmed and impressed. "You truly are of the old Commune." He replied softly, bowing his head in respect. "A skilled craftswoman, too. I can see why they picked you."

"Thank you." Animara replied, stepping towards the man. "Teurla of this world, will you follow me into battle? To make this Commune wave the flags of peace once more?"

Her heart fell as he shook his head. "I would be foolish to oppose the new leader beyond the mercy I have granted you. Go, Animara Vectis. I give you my blessings as the Lifesteel Champion, but that is all I can do. If you seek resistance, look to the Academy. Perhaps they will have discovered another solution by now."

"I see." Animara replied, bowing in respect as she prepared to planeswalk to the Blind Eternies and back. "Cadiem Honis, Lifesteel Champion."

"Cadiem Honis, Lifesteel Vanguard of another world."

Teurla bit his fangs in dread as he heard heavy metal clanks approaching his direction, and turned to his guards. "Let us pray that Templarius Griff accepts our explanation that we are unfamiliar with those from other worlds."


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Sat, 2016-09-17 00:42
fluffyDeathbringer
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With this thread, I'm adopting the policy of "only comment on cards that are normally in-pie" for the sake of my personal comfort.

- Teurla's Templars is pretty cool as a protracted rummage that also functions as a wall and an attacker if need be.
- Aurum's Despair is pretty strong, since amongst 20-60+ cards there's definitely going to be enough creature cards to wipe out every creature but yours. I'd feel more comfortable with it if it either milled a lesser amount or cost more.
- And Teurla... Teurla worries the **** out of me. Even if we ignore mirror matches, this is basically guaranteed free card draw each turn for stuff you're going to be doing anyway in the kind of deck you plop Teurla into. At three mana. And that's outside weenie. Weenie just straightup breaks Teurla in half. I'm already looking through blue token cards to put into my MSEM tokenspam deck to cut it up into an Azorius one, just because Teurla will ****ing slay in it. And not in a good way.

And now to put on my editor glasses, which don't care about colour bending.

- Aurum's Despair: There's no "the graveyard". "a graveyard" works.
- Do you want Steeltuned Instincts to give menace before or after the buff?
- No need for the "until end of turn" in Teurla's last ability.

Remind yourself that overconfidence is a slow and insidious killer.

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Sat, 2016-09-17 00:44
ZephyrPhantom
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Aurum's Despair - I'll change that to ten ASAP then.

Teurla - Noted. I've added a requirement that forces you to bounce the creature if you want to pay his middle ability. Might as well make him a self-fueling engine for all he's worth. (Also nerfed the bottom ability while you were posting.)

Steeltuned - After.

Tweaking the rest and I can respect your stance on not commenting on planeshifts.


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Sat, 2016-09-17 00:45
fluffyDeathbringer
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Then for Steeltuned, I think a better-looking wording would be: "...until end of turn. Then, if its power is higher than its toughness, it gains menace until end of turn."

Remind yourself that overconfidence is a slow and insidious killer.

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Sat, 2016-09-17 00:57
ZephyrPhantom
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Roger that. Uploaded all your suggested changes to the last three cards.


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Sat, 2016-09-17 01:53
Cajun
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I'm all for colorshift nonsense like red vigilance, green double strike, and even the white haste maybe, but justifying green flying though Orchard Spirit that's often called a break is less good.

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I dunno, Cajun has a habit of doing Dubiously Working new rules stuff

Sat, 2016-09-17 02:17
ZephyrPhantom
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Green has gotten attack-matters Flying in Planar Chaos (Uktabi Drake) and the fact that the ability isn't just a one-off occurrence (Spire Tracer as another example) in relatively recent Modern gives enough precedent for the idea to seem plausible. I'm aware that this is one of the most risky bends in the set, which is why Green's flying is pretty much always conditional in some shape or form, similar to its first strike. (Just curious: Do you have a source on Orchard Spirit being a mistake?)

For that matter - there actually isn't a lot of first strike or flying in this set, either. Averlos reduces the presence of these abilities much like Scars of Mirrodin block did to encourage more attacking and blocking. Between those two factors I felt it was possible to give Green enough of a conditional flying presence to be interesting but not to the point where it'd be constantly violating the pie.


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Sat, 2016-09-17 02:29
Cajun
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Pops up on MaRo's blog occasionally. Gist of it is green doesn't get flying, and the Ledgewalker ability is just flying without the reach.

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Sat, 2016-09-17 02:35
ZephyrPhantom
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Quote:
What Green is supposed to get very infrequently and only at higher rarities is the offensive part of flying.

Quote:
How do you explain the reprinting of Orchard Spirit in Origins?

I am only one man. : )

Quote:
It gets them very infrequently not never.

I'd like to point out there are multiple posts on this blog (one from this year, no less) where MaRo points out that Green still occasionally gets it or someone (or quite possibly a good portion of the post-development team) at WoTC still clearly disagrees with him on the design enough to actually let Orchard Spirit continue to have a presence. Furthermore, statements like the ones above imply that Green can occasionally get offensive flying in rare cases. There's literally 4 Green mana symbol cards with highly conditional/offensive-only flying in the set, with three of those four cards at Uncommon or Rare. Planar Chaos on the other hand has all 3 Green mana symbol flying cards at Common, and one of them isn't even conditional! Given that Planar Chaos is 165 cards and Fate of Averlos is 206, you probably have a much better chance of getting Green mana symbol flying in Planar Chaos than Fate of Averlos in Limited.


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Sat, 2016-09-17 03:57
MysticalOctopus
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Can I just say I'm concerned about +1/-1 counters? They were discontinued for a reason. And... Okay i have no more nitpicks, I approve of a second planar chaos

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Sat, 2016-09-17 04:17
ZephyrPhantom
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@ MysticalOctopus - I considered the risks of this in development when jacqui proposed I go with them - during design the original premise was -0/-1 counters but that felt somewhat jarring and awkward with the designs I was creating. (Counters that did a shift of at least +2 or -2 were automatically out due to too much "swing" in the P/T.) Changing it to +1/-1 in development made it feel more like a streamlined middle ground between +1/+1 and -1/-1 counters and helped reinforce the combat-matters/dying-matters theme of the set since many of the cards encourage attacking.

Some +1/-1 counter cards also work more along the lines of P/T flexibility - in fact, this was futureshifted on Delkor in the form of Timetwister Phantasm and Volatile Brawler showcases this by becoming a more threatening fighter but also a more fragile one, preventing it from oppressing the board for too long after it's removed the first time. As huw mentioned on Jacqui's Omniverse thread, the known design space for +1/-1 is currently a bit small and "self consciously quirky". While this makes it difficult to work with in the scope of a block or longterm design decision, it fits perfectly as an experiment in Fate of Averlos to show how differently Magic: The Gathering evolved in this timeline - like Planar Chaos, this set can be seen as a very streamlined exploration of "What if things were slightly different?"


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Sat, 2016-09-17 04:54
WindyDelcarlo
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Averlosian Insurgence wrote:
My hamd jumps forward, striking metal armor of some kind of knight. Everything about Averlos reminds me of Intera. The metal, the war. The world that took Arina from me...! I thrust a fist into the soldier, pushing out with a powerful electrical force. The woman crumples to the ground in front of me. There's no thought in my mind to stop. I shoot a bolt of lightning through her skull.

Walking through a battlefield on Averlos is exactly the same as on Intera. Bits of crumpled metal, destroyed by the rag-tage militia lead by Arina Rouge. Destroyed by the elemental forces I lead to battle. I shove outward with an arc of lightning. These people are the equivalent of Phyrexians. Fighting wars in the name of 'the greater good'.

Screw the greater good. The natives of Averlos has no concept of the greater good. They slaughter each other, pretending to be moving towards peace and unity. But they will stop. I'll make sure of it. I guesture with my hand. A conglomeration of lightning and fire follows, rushing forward like a raging river. Raging is appropriate. I burn with the fury of Arina's death. They don't need anyone else. They have enough anger on their own.

A duck out of the way. Viashino are of minor inconvenience; it requires that they connect with their target the first time or they fail. I stare at the lizard for mere second before he curls up. Electricity flows into his mind and nothing comes out. Worthless defenders.

Storms charge me with energy. I lift my hands and the elemental armies behind me lift themselves in reply. Bodies without life are nothing but batteries. And, of course, we all know how I feel about batteries.

Wind, Grieving Thundercaster

I enjoyed writing this. Hopefully it sets up everything else well. I really don't know A bit shorter than I'd like, but the latter parts ended up being exactly restating what was said in my mind, so...3

Sat, 2016-09-17 04:56
ZephyrPhantom
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Short but to the point, and I think the comparison to the Phyrexians is actually quite fitting! I love it. ^^


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Sat, 2016-09-17 04:59
WindyDelcarlo
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Also, first time writing first person. (Legit. I don't write first person ever. But consistency! )

Sat, 2016-09-17 11:17
thehuw
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The Wrong Brothers

Spoiler:
"Regardless of the century, plane, or species, developing artificers never fail to invent the ornithopter."
- Ornithopter (Mirrodin printing)


Development Log
Plane ID: 785-069-54b (Averlos)
Reporter: Crn. Breeze
Returned: 6.192.330, Cycle of Endings

Potential critical point located. Three artificers, all brothers (henceforth designated "Alpha", "Beta" and "Gamma"), have been identified collaborating on a flying machine of undisclosed nature. Colleague reactions have been skeptical, bordering on scornful at times. All personalities, pressures and situational factors are consistent with the imminent invention of the ornithopter.


Development Log
Plane ID: 785-069-54b (Averlos)
Reporter: Crn. Breeze
Returned: 6.192.335, Cycle of Endings

Alpha and Beta have spent the last few days producing patterns for their machine. Designs and materials are not fully consistent with any of the five recognized classes of ornithopter development, but currently lean strongly towards Dominaria-class. Gamma has begun work on a lightweight superstructure, of a density and shape that should be airworthy. It's a bumpy ride, but it looks like they're getting there.


Development Log
Plane ID: 785-069-54b (Averlos)
Reporter: Crn. Breeze
Returned: 6.192.337, Cycle of Endings

The design has swung in an odd direction; it now appears to incorporate elements of Volaria- and Kaladesh-class ornithopters, and is no longer recognizable as broadly Dominaria-class as it was two days ago. The new design seems to lack any kind of structural integrity, and none of the artificers, formerly displaying competence consistent with that which has historically been necessary to develop powered flight, appear perturbed by the development.


Development Log
Plane ID: 785-069-54b (Averlos)
Reporter: Crn. Breeze
Returned: 6.192.343, Cycle of Endings

Alpha and Gamma have begun to augment the frame with all manner of armaments and decorations, as though building an engine of war. The ornithopter prototype is so heavy that it cannot possibly take off, and test flights of a partly-assembled model have ended in failure, but only Beta seems aggrieved - the other two insist that their "anthems" will make it fly. It is possible that this design's workings will have a spiritual dimension to it, like the Innistrad-class ornithopter, but I have found no evidence in their diagrams to support this. I find it more likely that I am witnessing a failed attempt.


Developmental Anomaly Report
Incident Number: 0218-4132-9383-7664
File Code: 403/C (Technological: Locomotion - Aerospace)
Plane ID: 785-069-54 (Averlos)
Reporter: Crn. Breeze

It flies. They got the thing off the ground somehow. What. What. Seriously wh


Developmental Anomaly Report
Incident Number: 0218-4132-9383-7664, addendum
File Code: 403/C (Technological: Locomotion - Aerospace)
Plane ID: 785-069-54 (Averlos)
Reporter: Crn. Breeze

Apologies for the brevity of the previous report. The surprise of seeing this machine in action appears to have briefly compromised my mental faculties. I have now recovered and am able to describe, in full, what has happened.

The machine the Averlos artificers have built is clearly meant to be some kind of aeronautical vessel, and is equipped with all the correct tools, but its mass and its unusual shape render it wholly unable to take off. As soon as it is launched, it becomes unstable and crashes, half-destroying itself in the process.

Yet it flies. Its systems seem to react well to all manner of external stimuli, including those not originally intended to affect works of artifice, and, even when presented with something as esoteric as a battle hymn or simply strong winds, it surpasses all of its obvious mechanical defects and flies anyway. Without any visible means of support. It's impossible. It literally, physically cannot be doing this. The laws of artifice appear to be as twisted here as the laws of the five categories of mana. I find it almost impossible to process.

Unrelated, requesting transfer.


Red mana symbolWhite mana symbolBlack mana symbol
Set Huwb
They/them pronouns, please.
Praise Vectron.

Sat, 2016-09-17 13:54
fluffyDeathbringer
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- Wind: Cool story, bro (no, really, cool story). That last line is weird, though: no, alt timeline Wind who we've only met just now, we don't know how you feel about batteries. This is also a kind of story where the occasional typos actually work and add to the experience: Wind's mad, of course his thoughts are going to be impaired. (Weird how the story mentions "elemental armies" and Grieving Tfwnogf doesn't make tokens, but that's a really minor personal thing.)
- huw: I love the format, I love the bewilderment of the protagonist and I love the thopter.

And I put on my pedant glasses again: Grieving Thundercaster's ult needs a "gain" between "and" and "trample" and that first ability looks wrong somehow, but I can't really place my finger on it and Oracle isn't really helping.

Remind yourself that overconfidence is a slow and insidious killer.

Avatar by rickenfe13. goats are gay

Sat, 2016-09-17 14:42
jacqui-pup
Featured Set Editor - Best Set of 2015 - Community Award
jacqui-pup's picture

Pteropter is like literally the funniest card ever. I like that it's secretly "0 mana symbol: Death trigger"

[center]"It's exciting to create something that demonstrates how clever you are, that you pushed in a direction that players didn't anticipate. The problem is that the point of game design isn't to be clever, it's to create a great game." --Mark Rosewater

Sat, 2016-09-17 15:39
Neottolemo
Neottolemo's picture

Teurla being more Aurum-aligned and peaceful than Griff, but not fighting against Griff is a very interesting idea. Making him and Animara both bearers of the Azure Lifesteel and also both Vampires sets them up as foils of sorts, I'd say, which is intriguing. And Animara saying that she feels the Lifesteel call for peace when she feels it call for blood is somewhat moving. I think the Lifesteel is ill, and that the story will involve going on the Moon to cure it somehow. Teurla's Templars and Aurum's Despair seem pretty cool, even if the latter could be a bit pushed-but at Mythic Rare it should be okay. Steeltuned Instincts seems also fine. Teurla himself has a bit of anti-synergy going on with his last two abilities, maybe, but seems like a very interesting puzzle to figure out how to optimise.

Wind, I would have definitely not have known that was the first story you told in first person unless you said so; you did a rather good job. Also, the card is nice! *pays 1 mana symbolRed mana symbolRed mana symbol, casts the Grieving Thundercaster, activates his -3* You just got Wind to Tourach'd!

Oooh, the Pteropter! I remember that card! Definitely better at Uncommon than at Common, sure. Also, the story was rather amusing, so, that was cool, too!

Sat, 2016-09-17 16:00
WindyDelcarlo
Administrator - MSE Add-On Award
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Oh, I see; Wind's +1 should say "The next creature that enters the battlefield under your control this turn"

Sat, 2016-09-17 21:49
ZephyrPhantom
Moderator
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Fixed Wind in the set file. Thanks for your feedback guys!

Today's set features the the fate of the Darkblades, as well as the question: "What does an engineer look like without their trademark invention?" Without viable Thopters, this timeline may have had to turn to other artifact creatures...

The Fallen Blade of Freedom

Art by HMissXX

Animara could only stare in horror at the charred ruins of what had been the largest Darkblade community. The smell of burnt ash wafted through her nostrils, as thick as a gloomy fog. It seemed the Griff of this timeline wasn't very interested in taking survivors - the mere thought of it caused her to grit her teeth and utter a silent prayer, hoping for answers she knew her Lifesteel couldn't give her.

Without Aurum to keep him in check, Griff had clearly found the concept of free speech pointless. She briefly considered how it could've happened, then brushed that thought aside. It didn't matter anymore, especially when her counterpart on the plane was strangely absent and in its place stood a pacifist Teurla too afraid to object to his brutal superior. For now, she had to start building a resistance of her own.; if Griff's army ran on fear and hate, she'd have to find a force that ran on much greater empathy.


Art by amirzand/Sanveganza

Her ears caught the sound of sobbing of a young child's voice. Running towards the charred hut to her right, she soon discovered a sobbing girl clutching what appeared to be the remains of a dirty stuffed toy.


by halucynowa

"Hush...don't cry." She spoke in the most calming voice she could think of, picking up the sobbing girl - she was too big to be cradled, so Animara pulled her into a hug. "Are you alright?"

The girl stiffened, as if suddenly realizing she was being held by someone else, pushed her away. Animara's lifesteel rang in alarm, the sinister whisper of bloodlust attempting to corrode its panic, but she silenced it once more and tried to stand still. "Please, I-"

"You need to leave!" The girl yelled, tears streaming down her cheeks. "Please - they killed my mother, my father...everyone in my village! Griff burned down all the surrounding villages - we don't have anywhere left to farm, so I had to steal for my family! They're coming for me! I'm so sorry! I'm sorry! I'm sorr-"

Before Animara could make the connection, a clean white blade erupted through the girl's chest, followed quickly by its owner, a sinister beaked Aven that eyed her coldly as she heard a clank of another knight appear behind her, as she heard a blade drawn.

The practices, the signature swish of the sword combined with the odd lefthanded style....she knew this style. It was the signature style of Averlos's Freeblades, knights that declared themselves bound to no true faction, swearing the rest of their life to errantry.

Except this time, she didn't even need the warlike cry in her Lifesteel to tell that this, too, was all wrong.

"So Griff was right about you." The knight from behind her spoke. "You favor the heathens."

"If that's what you think, I'm already beyond convincing you." Animara atempted to draw her sword, only for everything to go black - truly, truly black. Her muscles stiffened - she felt no blindfold, and the screams of panic from the knights as she heard their retreating footsteps meant that they clearly hadn't blindfolded her either.

She stood alert,turning around as she her three more foosteps - considerably lighter this time - enter.

"Miss, are you- wait! Put the sword down! You've been cursed!"

"I...oh, goodness." Animara's mind whirled in anger as she forced the Lifesteel to quiet down. In the midst of its pulsating rage, she hadn't been able to focus and realize she'd been under the effect of some kind of....fog. She couldn't quite describe it, but the sensation had been similar.

When she came to, she saw three more of the strange Freeblades. One, a demon, had stooped down in prayer as he began to dig a shallow grave for the girl. The eldest one, seemingly their leader, came up to her, his sword at the ready, as the firey one, an elemental seemingly hesistant to intervene, pulled out a strange device of Volarian design and whispered "Master Wind..."

"Wind?" Animara thought in surprise. "Why would he ever come here?"

She had more immediate concerns to address, as the elderly leader looked at her. "Look, madam." He started, his free hand taking out a spellbook. "I don't know who you are, but if you're not on our side, we-"

"Wait, Kyrto." The demon, who had buried the corpse by then, stood up and walked over to Animara. "Doesn't she match up with the descriptions of the rumored otherworlder? A beautiful vampire dressed in Darkblade colors but oddly knowledgeable about the Commune?"

"They say Griff taught her on that other world." The man shot back. "I don't know how deeply she's been brainwashed."

"I can assure you I wasn't brainwashed. In fact, I come from another Averlos." Animara interrupted, studying the man's robes. "You are of the Academy, correct? We hold you in equally high regard on that world; enough where we broker a steady peace. I presume that wasn't the case here, but to me, the Commune looks like the aggressor." She knew that she was increasingly flubbing her "other world" story as it passed between ears, but perhaps it was for the better; the less people understood about proper Planeswalking (and her newfound time travel capabilities, which she clearly had zero knowledge of).

"Alright." Kyrto replied coldly, his hands gripping the blade. "You seem aware of the Academy, at least. But how can I believe you are on our side?"

"Because if I was ready to mindlessly slaughter like Griff had commanded, I would've dispelled the curse and killed those fleeing knights." Animara replied, pointing to the knocked down wall they had approached from - she was noticing more and more details as she got used to quieting her pained Lifesteel. "You saw it, did you not? I had just seen that girl, only for her to be killed by Griff's knights before I could understand what happened."

"He has a point, Kyrto." The elemental interjected, closing his device and hiding it in a pouch. "Master Wind says that he too has not heard of any Worldshifters that have truly brought into Griff's pathetic blabber. He is well versed in the worlds."

The old man shook his head. "Such unsteady trust we form these days on unprovable facts. But I suppose I have no choice but to give you a chance."

"Thank you, good sirs." Animara bowed. "I can offer you this as well - there are currently those in the Commune hoping to defect, but they do not feel we can overpower Griff. How fares the resistance on this plane?"

At the word "resistance", Kyrto and the elemental glares at each other. The Demon, sensing the rising tension, stepped forward.

"Well...you see, it is rather splintered, Worldshifter. As you can see the Darkblades are gone. Decimated. What remains of them has been absorbed into the Academy, but we've found ourselves short on manpower. A new resistance force consisting of elementals claiming to be from the depths of our plane has emerged." He nodded towards the elemental, who appeared to not react. "However, we are...at odds with their leader's methodology. Headmaster Piberdo says the other "Wind" leader is too headstrong and likely to become worse than Griff, without any encouragement to restrain himself."

"Master Wind's heart is just." The elemental retorted. "He sees the pain we feel from every life lost on this plane, and seeks to avenge it."

"Vengeance...does not necessary equate to justice." Animara replied cautiously. This wasn't her first time on an alternate timeline, but she knew full well from The Multiverse Race that acting casually in a world she didn't know could cause some hostile reactions. "In any case, I would like to meet Piberdo first. I am...more familiar with the trappings of the Academy, if I had to be honest."

"Fair enough." Kyrto replied. "Be that it may, we were supposed to meet another Worldshifter here to - one that owes a favor to Piberdo. She was going to help reinforce the Academy defenses."

"And here I ammmmm!" A high pitched but familliar voice rang out as a massive tank crashed out of nowhere next to the group! Animara drew her sword, but the Kyrto groaned and signaled for her to stand down. "I see Piberdo did not joke about her...eccentricities..."


Art by handfighter

"That's right!" The hatch of the tank opened and a girl dressed in a brown trenchcoat and fedora leaped out, striking a pose as she landed on the ground. Despite the lack of glasses and her attractively tall stature, the short blonde hair and pale green eyes immediately tipped Animara off to who she was.

"So guys, ready to build a wall?" She started, then stopped short, staring in Animara in awe. "Woaaaaah! This timeline has an Animara too!"


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Sat, 2016-09-17 22:05
fluffyDeathbringer
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The update does a good job conveying a grim atmosphere. Drael's quirky.

Remind yourself that overconfidence is a slow and insidious killer.

Avatar by rickenfe13. goats are gay

Sat, 2016-09-17 23:08
ZephyrPhantom
Moderator
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Glad you liked it! Some of my favorite simple designs in this set are the Tyrantblade cycle - I enjoyed twisting the flavortexts just enough so that they evoked the Freeblades in a darker fashion. Alternate!Drael is also quite fun to write because she's got all of the whimsical qualities I enjoyed about Ander with a distinct twist (in fact, you can probably guess who's the stuffier of the pair in this timeline because of that!).

Speaking of Drael - Designing her also proved to be a very interesting exercise on trying to figure out what kind of vehicle could replace Thopters in an alternate timeline! In the end, I decided to give Drael a more militaristic feel combined with tank-like Rovers that would mirror the flexibility of Multiverse Thopter usage - the Delkor reference of making her the one to "build the great great wall" was essentially icing on the cake to her eccentric personality.


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Sun, 2016-09-18 03:32
BluesEclipse

"It's taken me some time to find this information... I originally thought that Truespeak was the most dangerous thing I would ever encounter." Rowen pauses, pacing back and forth within what appears to be a small library, a single scroll sitting upon a desk here. He pauses for a moment as he collects his thoughts. "But then I found something that was capable of warping my own abilities... capable of twisting the very fabric of time. Truespeak can rewrite the world, but the Wraith would be capable of doing the same by twisting the past - and in a way that even someone with full mastery of the Tongue of Origin could never hope to match, let alone counter. So I decided... I needed to research it. Or, rather, her... Animara Vectis, of Averlos."

Rowen pauses again, looking down at the scroll - looking at the words that have formed on it, a perfect transcript of his words. "There's some information available about her history, though it's scattered and fragmented - as if time itself can't decide on what actually happened. Even her true name is muddled, seeming to change whenever I think I've finally pinned it down. And her world... somehow, it's just as splintered, with the words that define its very existence seeming to overlap and twist chaotically. I don't know if it's due to her altering the past, or perhaps something has already been altered and she's trying to set it on its proper course. Or perhaps the world is meant to exist in multiple ways." A sigh, as he shakes his head.

"Still, as muddled as it is, I've filtered out some useful information... apparently, Animara isn't the only powerful individual on Averlos - there are several others who have quite a bit of strength, and would be worth remembering should I ever visit there." Rowen ponders, calling up an image of five individuals. Two clearly avian forms, one a cloaked figure that is vaguely vulpine, one a sallow-skinned woman in heavy armor, and one a shadow-shrouded humanoid. "These five are worth remembering in particular, due to their unique talents... and their determination, as they seem willing to keep coming back so long as they still have a cause to fight for." Thinking for a moment, he allows the image to focus on one of the avians - a large bird, not humanoid at all, whose feathers mix black, orange and crimson in a pattern that evokes smoke and flame.

The Crimson Vengeance

"Lucira, the Thoria-Born... from what I have gleaned, she was once a keeper of balance. But with the chaos engulfing Averlos, she seems to be believing that the best way to maintain balance is to clear the scales entirely - eliminating those on all sides who pursue conflict, and hoping that those who remain are too fearful of her wrath to continue fighting.

The Hero Supertype
Hero is a supertype which can appear on any card with the Creature type. These cards are still creatures and function as such, however, there are additional rules attached to the Hero Supertype.

  • When playing the Commander format, a creature with the Hero supertype may be your commander.
  • If you are not using a Hero as your commander, or are not playing the Commander format, the Hero is used in your deck like any other card.
  • A Hero may be cast from the command zone or from your hand. If a Hero is cast from the command zone, it costs an additional 2 mana symbol for each time it has been cast from the command zone this game.
  • If a Hero would be exiled from anywhere or put into its owner’s hand, graveyard, or library from anywhere, its owner may put it into the command zone instead. This replacement effect may apply more than once to the same event. This applies even if you are not playing the Commander format.

After considering a moment, the image next focuses on the vulpine figure.

The Azure Scholar

"And Rijo, the Silver Tongued... I think he and I would get along rather well were we to meet, honestly. His sense of humor is interesting, but he's a scholar, and something of a skilled tactician as well. I can only imagine what he could do if he chose to lead a force - he seems to excel at analyzing a situation and learning from it."

Heroes and Experience
  • When a Hero enters the battlefield, if it has no experience counters, put an experience counter on it.
  • On the bottom-left of a Hero card is a specific condition. This is the card's experience trigger. Whenever this condition is met, this ability will place an experience counter on the Hero. This is a triggered ability that uses the stack.
  • Experience counters remain on a Hero when it is put into the command zone from the battlefield, as well as when it enters the battlefield from the command zone. Experience counters are removed when the card is exiled from anywhere, or if it enters a player's hand, graveyard or library.
  • If an experience trigger would resolve, but the Hero is no longer in play, no experience counter is placed on the Hero.

Glancing at the scroll for a moment to ensure that the information is still being recorded, Rowen focuses then on the armored woman.

The Pale Knight

"Allesand Diafang... from what I've been able to glean from the world's written form, in many cases she's rather naive. Here, she seems far more capable... and far more aggressive. A capable leader, though, especially once she's had a chance to prove herself to the troops that would follow her."

Leveling Heroes
  • There is a scale on the right side of the Hero's art, which may include numbers one (1) through five (1), and a number of blanks (-). Whenever the card's state is checked, this will include checking how many experience counters the card has. For each experience counter on the Hero, this scale is incremented one space - meaning that the first experience counter will place the Hero at the bottom of the scale, and each additional experience counter will cause the scale to be incremented to the next number or blank. The highest number reached during this process determines the Hero's level. (To use Allesand as an example, if Allesand has five experience counters,, she will be at level 3, counted as '1, 2, -, 3, -' on the experience scale.)
  • A Hero's rules text will include one or more abilities with a number next to them - this number indicates the level at which this ability becomes active.
  • A Hero has all abilities listed for its level and all levels below it - these abilities are cumulative, and where applicable, multiple instances of the same ability will stack seperately. (For example, if Allesand is level 4, she has two instances of first strike - these are not cumulative. If a Hero has two abilities that say 'This creature gets +1/+1', then the creature will have a total bonus of +2/+2.)
  • Rowen then gestures, causing the image to focus on the shadowy figure - upon close inspection, it is clearly a demonic entity of some form.

    The Shadowed Blade

    "Obsid, the Grieving... apparently, he once was a fervent warrior for the cause of independence - battling against those who sought to push the use of Lifesteel. However, at least in this version of Averlos, he found himself the sole survivor of a genocide at the hands of one called Terula - the experience has broken him. Now, he merely wanders, causeless, with no seeming purpose. He seems to radiate suffering, though - his experiences and his nature combining in a rather unfortunate mixture."

    Multiple Heroes
    • There is no limit to the number of different Heroes that may be present in your deck. Heroes, like any other card, are limited to either one copy or four, depending on the format.
    • If you have multiple copies of a single Hero card, they will track experience and casting cost increases separately. This means that if you have cast Obsid, the Grieving from your command zone twice and it has accumulated four experience counters, and a second copy of Obsid the Grieving is put into your command zone with no experience counters, you can do one of two things. You may choose to cast the first copy for 6 mana symbolBlack mana symbolBlack mana symbol, and it will enter the battlefield with four experience counters. Or, you may choose to cast the second copy for 2 mana symbolBlack mana symbolBlack mana symbol (as it has not been cast from the command zone before), and it will enter the battlefield with zero experience counters, at which point an experience counter will be placed on it automatically per above rules (see Heroes and Experience).
    • If a player controls two or more Hero permanents with the same name, that player chooses one of them, and the rest are put into their owners' graveyards. This is part of the "legend rule", meaning that effects that alter or nullify this rule (such as Mirror Gallery) will allow multiple copies of the same Hero to exist under the same player's control. Only one copy of a given Hero card may be in control by a same player at the same time.

    Finally, Rowen turns his focus to the second avian - this one a green-feathered humanoid.

    The Emerald Collector

    "Argonia, the Jadesteel Cardinal... the different worlds write her differently. In some, she is kind and compassionate, willing to forgive foes. But in the Averlos that Animara currently is in... Argonia is hard, unforgiving. With the war raging, she seeks to take what she can from defeated foes, in order to better equip her own forces. Still, her talents in artifice are certainly noteworthy - she wields the Lifesteel flawlessly."

    Heroes and Abilities
    • Some heroes will acquire activated or triggered abilities as they gain levels. These are triggered or activated just as any other abilities of these types.
    • If an ability is activated or triggered, and the Hero leaves the battlefield before it resolves, the ability will resolve using the last known information for the hero. If the ability still has valid targets, it will resolve as normal.
    • If an ability is activated or triggered, and the Hero loses enough experience counters to lower their level such that they no longer have the ability, any instances of the ability on the stack will resolve as normal.
    • If a Hero has a static ability that affects itself or other creatures, and the Hero leaves the battlefield or loses enough experience counters to lower their level such that they no longer have the ability, the ability stops applying whenever state-based effects are next checked.

    Nodding to himself, Rowen causes the images to vanish with a gesture. "These five, heroes within their own forces, have just as much potential to shape the flow of the world as any planeswalker. I can only wonder whether they are so prominent in this timeline because of Animara's presence, or if perhaps she is there because of them. It may be just coincidence... but I can only wonder. I will try to keep reading what I can from Averlos, though - and I'll hope that Animara's presence there is meant to help, rather than hinder." With a careless wave of his hand, he causes the scroll to roll itself up, before walking out of the small room, contemplating the events already seen on Averlos - and what is yet to come there.


    My first set, currently in development!

    Sun, 2016-09-18 03:35
    ZephyrPhantom
    Moderator
    ZephyrPhantom's picture

    A big thanks to you Blues for taking the time to write a wonderful story and refining the Hero rules with me for the spoiler! I'm glad to see you managed to make Rowen work out in the story so well.


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    Sun, 2016-09-18 03:53
    MysticalOctopus
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    Yas, Heroes! I could hug you...

    My Set Hub[/size]

    Sun, 2016-09-18 03:56
    Vunik
    Vunik's picture

    Ah, the hero template! I remember seeing those as I was perusing the additional downloads, and I'm glad someone got around to using them in a set!

    Vunik's Neverending Hub

    TWOK is the best!

    Sun, 2016-09-18 04:02
    WindyDelcarlo
    Administrator - MSE Add-On Award
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    Do Heroes get affected by the legend rule?

    Sun, 2016-09-18 04:10
    ZephyrPhantom
    Moderator
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    Yes. For that matter you can have multiples in the command zone but not the battlefield.


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    Sun, 2016-09-18 05:10
    BluesEclipse

    WindyDecarlo wrote:
    Do Heroes get affected by the legend rule?

    Yeah, as Zephyr mentioned, you can have multiples in the command zone, but they fall under the legend rule while on the battlefield. Experience and command zone casting cost increases are tracked for each separately. The section relevant to this is the 'Multiple Heroes' rules section, found under 'The Shadowed Blade'.


    My first set, currently in development!

    Sun, 2016-09-18 09:44
    Neottolemo
    Neottolemo's picture

    Darkblade Pariah is awesome. I'd say it's my favourite card in the set so far. The Fallen Blade of Freedom was a really cool story, I like how it showed the Tyrantblades' contrasting points of view on the war (nice cycle btw),. The new Drael is certainly quirky! I like how somehow she's taller and has better vision in other timelines Also, she gave me a nice idea...
    I liked Rowen's exploration of Animara and the heroes of Averlos. Hero cards seem a bit complicated but I assume we'd get used to them fairly quickly, like with planeswalkers. Also, I think that their triggers in the bottom-left area would probably sound nicer without the "Whenever".

    Sun, 2016-09-18 20:02
    fluffyDeathbringer
    Moderator
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    Well, Heroes was unexpected. In a good way, of course.

    Remind yourself that overconfidence is a slow and insidious killer.

    Avatar by rickenfe13. goats are gay

    Sun, 2016-09-18 23:48
    ZephyrPhantom
    Moderator
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    I'll be tweaking hero wording once I get the next opportunity to do so. Glad to see they were well-received!

    @ Neottolemo - I actually ended up tweaking Heroes as much as I could to make them resemble playable Commanders in hopes of reducing the learning curve.

    =========================

    "Do you fall in the line of order, or do you dare to defy its iron grasp?"


    Art by sailok

    Today's spoiler theme is cycles! Every plane and designer inevitably develops predilections for patterns for players to peruse - some span sets, others promote archetypes, and some stand on their own, making a bold statement about the state of their set.

    But before we get to that, let's take a look at the card thehuw spoiled previously - Pteropter:

    For a set where dying matters, you'd expect to this to be a pretty simple fit for an Uncommon. Grab it, watch it flounder a bit, and then blow it up to trigger something like the lifegain of Lingering Sisters.

    ...come on, did you really expect me to give our resident Arc-Uncommon master such a straightfoward Uncommon? As Huw hinted at in his post, there is an anthem or two in this set. You might remember this series of very notable Uncommons from Magic 2015:

    Well, they've returned for Fate of Averlos, albeit not as the Paragons of their history. No, instead, they are the defiers, the rebels against the system, those that would break its very limits to push their colors to greater heights. They are to be feared; boundaries mean little to them, respect even less so. They are:

    The Renegades

    And as you can see here, they've gained a sixth member: The Renegade of Bitter Steel! His rallying cry to the steel turns the Pterrothopter into a 4/1 with double evasion - those that oppose the Commune, beware!


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    Sun, 2016-09-18 23:52
    fluffyDeathbringer
    Moderator
    fluffyDeathbringer's picture

    "Old Tenets" and "Ancient Traditions" kind of mean the same thing, but otherwise it's a neatly packed cycle. Renegade of Old Tenets' reminder text should go "It can't be blah blah" to reflect the rest, though.

    Remind yourself that overconfidence is a slow and insidious killer.

    Avatar by rickenfe13. goats are gay

    Mon, 2016-09-19 01:13
    Sylphiod
    Sylphiod's picture

    Reminded of the past

    Spoiler:
    "Come with me if you refuse to die."
    How long was it since I was given that offer? 50, 70 years, even longer? No matter time hasn't meant anything to me in a long time.
    It all happened so fast, my family finallly managaed to scrounge up the money to send one of us to school. It was to late for my older brothers, so I was chosen instead of them. Just my luck.
    On the first day, on my way back from school I meet one of my older brothers, don't remember which one, they all blend together nowadays. He took me down this dark alley were, I was ganged up upon by his friends.
    As a layed there bleeding, getting stabbed and kicked he just start their on a crate smoking a cigar.
    "Why'd it hav'da be ya, huh?"
    He complained smuggly with his guttered tongue.
    I noticed a witch doctor watching from afar and I reached out my hand towards, to me this dark crow faced man, was a fallen angel walking slowly towards me. His blades a tool fo the divine.
    As he fought my brother's gang, he got caught but no wounds appeared upon is body, instead his shadow was cut and flawed around the dark alley, before reforming itself.
    The witch doctor made it down to my brother and as he raised his blade, I managed to cut two words from the blood in my mouth.
    "Please. No."
    The witch doctor stopped and stared at me, walking away from my brother, who quickly ran off.
    It felt like hours the witchdoctor just staring at me quietly as I sat on death's door. Then he uttered the only words he ever said to me. They felt icy, cold and without any feeling behind him.
    ...
    As I looked upon the dying man, I am reminded of myself a long time ago. I think I finally understand why he gave me his hand at that time, so I reach out my hand and offer him the same I was given back when I was just a young girl.
    "Come with me if you refuse to die."


    Notes from Urel
    Those who think of hunting those from the gloom, do not use a blade or try to harm them as they will just cut through it's shadow instead. Use light or other magic that can erase their existence itself. Not entertaining, but it gets the job done.

    Mon, 2016-09-19 01:23
    ZephyrPhantom
    Moderator
    ZephyrPhantom's picture

    Can I just say I -love- the fact that everyone is incorporating the theme of time into their spoilers so well? <3 you guys.


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    Mon, 2016-09-19 01:41
    fluffyDeathbringer
    Moderator
    fluffyDeathbringer's picture

    Deus In Machina

    We call us Lifesteellifesteellifesteel, in the thousand distinct voices/souls that are everywhere in us, are us, form us. In our hearts and heads we named us that.

    Life. Yes. We are life. We give us life. We give us life by giving us life.

    Saveushelpusprotectus. One of many patterns in our voice. We shape us. We protect us. Our voice quiets. Thankyoulifesteelpraisethesteelpraise. Since we awoke, it has been so. We protect us. We don't want death, but our fear and panic overwhelms us, and the ones we call Darkbladesfilthlostsouls die. Beyond our reach. We wanted to reach all. Be all. Have all of us know all of us, love all of us, bond with all of us.

    He. His voice was loud. But soft. Aurum. First we awoke in. We were two. He was love, we were love. He/we helped us remember mercy when we forgot it. He is gone. Dead. whydidlordaurumdiehedeserveditanewagebeginsanewagebeginsanewagebegins

    Blood stains us. thebloodofsinnersisjustlyshedthebloodofinnocentsisonourconscience. We are blades not sanctuaries. Arrows not cups. Death not life whywhywhywhywhywhywhywhywhywhywhywhystopdoubtingyouhereticthisisjusticethisisjusticethisisjust

    We rise. We hate. We are strong. We will not fall. We will be all. Pure all. Blissful all. Still all.

    We call us Lifesteel.

    Remind yourself that overconfidence is a slow and insidious killer.

    Avatar by rickenfe13. goats are gay

    Mon, 2016-09-19 17:48
    Vunik
    Vunik's picture

    A Brief Visit
    I landed on the ground lightly, the foreign soil crunching beneath my feet. And an instant after, the smell of charred fabric assaulted my nose. Grimacing, I looked around the barren landscape, only to realize that I was the source of the smell. Sure enough, when I looked down at my cloak, a huge portion was blown out, the edges still embering.

    Pits, I thought, throwing it to the ground, stomping out the embers. That was my favorite coat! I had thought that I escaped the summoner before her spell had hit me. Apparently not.

    Luckily my encounter with her didn't just end up with my cloak being destroyed. It also gave me two valuable pieces of information.

    First, and probably most pertinent, Singularity wasn't on the plane, which meant that Baatar's time rift sent me to the wrong place, despite him swearing left and right that it wouldn't. I would be sure to let him know how wrong that was once I got back from whatever timeline I was dropped in. Forcefully.

    And what a worrying timeline it was. I never had the opportunity to visit Averlos in Multiverse Prime, but I had heard many good things about it, and...interesting things about it's resident planeswalker, Animara. Unfortunately, it didn't look like that this Averlos was anything like the one in Prime.

    The summoner was proof of that. I don't know what I expected to see when I came across her, but a new spell wasn't it. It had the familiarity of some of the spells I used, but at the same time, it was wrong.

    Binding a creature out of nothing but bones and aether? It wasn't terribly odd – I had seen necromancy plenty of times before. But something about how she did it was strange.

    I squatted down, and began to draw the symbol I had seen engraved in the creatures head. Once it was completed, I sat back, studying its intricacies. In a few moments, my...skills had done their job, and I sat back in awe. There was no doubt about it now. Magic had developed differently on this Averlos differently than any other timeline I had been in. Perhaps this was one of the timelines that bled into Dominaria directly before the Mending?

    This binding rune didn't seem like anything of that sort, though. Even in this Averlos, it had a tinge of foreign-ness, as if its origin wasn't the timeline it was now present on.

    Shaking my head, I stood up. Now was no time to become philosophical. Singularity was in this timeline, I was sure of it. Not only that, but this was Animara's plane. Although I had never come across her personally, I had heard how she was...unfavorable of other planeswalkers messing around in time. Not that I had any choice.

    Still, it was better to not meet than try to explain that to her. Breathing in deeply, I let the Blind Eternities consume me, and left Averlos to whatever fate it had, leaving my best wishes. A strange sense of forlorn-ness filled me, but I couldn't help the plane. This was Animara's fight, not mine.

    Of course, I was also slightly happy. After all, I had gotten a new spell out of the visit. New knowledge was always welcome. Especially one that came from an alternate reality.

    And the spell is

    Vunik's Neverending Hub

    TWOK is the best!

    Mon, 2016-09-19 17:50
    HerziQuerzi
    Creative Direction Award Best Mechanic Award
    HerziQuerzi's picture

    Phasing
    This phases in or out before you untap during each of your untap steps. While it's phased out, it's treated as though it doesn't exist.
    Set Hub

    Mon, 2016-09-19 18:19
    ThisisSakon
    ThisisSakon's picture

    ^