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

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Mon, 2016-09-19 18:40
ZephyrPhantom
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I had hoped to make a less wordy version of Animate Dead, but I misused Aura wording and I apologize for that. I'll be amending it to have a proper enchant <target> wording.


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Mon, 2016-09-19 18:50
Cajun
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I think you're aiming more at Rageform tho? That wording would also work.

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Mon, 2016-09-19 18:54
ZephyrPhantom
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@ Cajun - Yeah, a bit of debate with fluffy caused us to land on Cloudform wording; the Manifestforms are far closer to my intent. I'll be changing the wording to match that when I get home.


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Mon, 2016-09-19 20:24
ZephyrPhantom
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Alright so it seems like y'all either really love this card or are looking to douse me in kerosene right now and light a match, so here's an instant-speed fix to Monster Reborn! (I didn't actually give it instant speed, don't kill me, seriously.)

Monster Reborn has been altered to have Manifestform cycle wording and moved to Uncommon. As a peace offering of what's to come, here's a bonus spoiler of a concept returning from Delkor:


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Tue, 2016-09-20 04:25
Kixleart

as a member of the original Averlos team, i'm kind of disappointed that i wasn't invited to join the design team for this, or really been kept all that current on Averlos at all, in spite of it being partially my idea to begin with.

Tue, 2016-09-20 05:46
ZephyrPhantom
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@ Kix - I did my best to compile everything the last three attempts at sets did (Freeblades, flavortext characters becoming Hero cards, references to Aurum/Vulnos/Piberdo/Borgloth/Griff left and right, Animara is the protagonist, Griff is the morally questionable Templar, the Academy has plans of its own, capturing the mechanical feel of each faction, etc...), but one of the most consistent issues I noticed with previous Averlos sets was conflicting visions and lack of motivation due to "waiting for the team" dragging the sets down into incompletion. Combined with the fact Averlos has had numerous people evolve it beyond the original set development team and that I was adding Planar Chaos to the mix, I felt the only way to successfully complete the set was in a manner that encouraged a constant, driven pace, and that meant seizing all the runaway details by the horns and putting them in place.

To move from design to development to what if felt needed to be a high quality set, I felt it was important to turn to people with the ability to "blast test" the set - who better than the user who's openly made herself the best at doing so? Wind entered development due to his Planeswalker influencing the set on several levels - I've maintained that the Planeswalkers should influence the plane's cards to some degree since Revelations of Ziltrem. Even disregarding the fact that he's the MSEM plugin's founder as well as one of its set judges, his character's importance to the set necessitated some kind of check on whether I was portraying the characters from his work correctly.

If you feel disappointed by that, I'm genuinely sorry, but Averlos has had so many contributions made to it over the past 2-3 years on different sections of the forum that I felt someone had to put it all together - I did post it as one of the very first Custom Planes in hopes of gathering relevant feedback and details on its current state before I started seriously developing.


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Tue, 2016-09-20 21:02
Kixleart

@zephyrPhantom: so, what i'm getting from this is that your whole reason for not including me in this is that
a. you wanted specifically your vision for the plane to be made into a set, among all the "conflicting visions" which, as far as i know, started with Return to Averlos development, since "liberty" design seemed to go rather smoothly in that respect. and apparently, unbeknownst to myself, i was in conflict with your vision.
b. i'm not good enough to meet your standards for designing a set that follows your vision, so you assembled a team of people who meet said standards and excluded the person who not only designed multiple cards your possibly using, depending on how much your using from Averlos and "liberty", not to mention things like the name of the plane

Tue, 2016-09-20 21:04
ZephyrPhantom
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@ Kix - Neither is the case. I hadn't even conceived Fate around the time Liberty was made and I in no way meant to insult your ability as a designer.

Fate of Averlos was conceived as "Averlos on an alternate timeline", long after Return to Averlos (by fluffyDeathbringer) had disbanded. In light of that and Liberty never actually having a release, I had no idea that anyone on the original team felt so strongly about Averlos's reuse, especially since fluffy and Neo didn't object on chat and supported the idea despite not being involved in design (not to mention I explicitly stated when posting Averlos's plane thread that I would be making a set based on it and hoped for everyone to contribute details). I asked jacqui and Wind to help balance the set in development for the sake of playability in MSE Modern and respecting the fact Planeswalkers from -other- sets were appearing on it - Scars of Mirrodin featured Elspeth and Venser, for example. How is this any different from asking someone who designed Time Spiral Venser to come check up on Scars of Mirrodin Venser?

For that matter, one of the very first things I said in posting Averlos's plane thread was "Averlos has yet to have a real high-quality set dedicated to it - something I hope to change by the end of 2017. To do that, I'd like to ask for everyone who's worked on/written things about Averlos to post lore suggestions or events I might've missed. Thanks!" This was an open invitation for help that was posted at least 2 months ago; I wasn't even trying to hide the fact I was making an Averlos set!

This is meant to be a homage that pays tribute to the previous attempts, not a theft of property or a direct sequel, part of the reason it takes place on an alternate Averlos is that it leaves original Averlos completely untouched. If it means anything I can credit everyone involved in Averlos, Liberty, and Return, but I honestly don't understand why you feel like I'm disrespecting the content.

============
With the Darkblades addressed and Animara headed towards the Academy, let's see how the Commune's doing in their pursuit of both!

It cleans.
The Lifesteel cleans. The Lifesteel cleans.

Borlial watched solemnly as the ethereal flames flickered and danced from the explosions of the spellmines, cleansing the world of the filthy heathens. It was a blessing, an honor to do this sacred work, to clean the souls of the vile as a prestigious champion of the Commune. He had helped purify so many, and some of the worthy even bowed to the might of the Lifesteel's serene grace, making their beautiful hymn its own.

Lifesteel cleans. Lifesteel cleans. Lifesteel cleans.

Borlial did not understand why the heathens resisted. Some were strong. Others were beautiful. All would have their best brought out in them by the Lifesteel. Even the inferiors held their place as cleaned, honored citizens of society. None needed to eat. None needed to...think. The purging was all that mattered.

Lifesteel clean. Lifesteel clean. Lifesteel clean. Lifesteel clean.

When Borlial tried to think, he could not remember much. He knew that he was once a very bad person. But he had been saved, like many others. Saved by their blessed Leader, Griff. He remembered the hawk's soothing growl speaking to him, telling him promises of servitude and the great joy he would feel in cleaning others.

Steelclean steelclean steelclean steelclean steelclean

He shuddered as a strange emotion washed over his metal feathers, then felt delight as the hymns began to sing again. This must be the joy of the purification.

Cleancleancleancleancleancleanclean

Borlial didn't need to think. He felt so good. So clean. Others deserved this feeling. He too would make them feel

clean


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Tue, 2016-09-20 21:20
fluffyDeathbringer
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This fluff was really enjoyable to read - it exuded a feeling of unnatural bliss, with something trying to fight it but ultimately failing. A feeling of something truly benevolent, but still creepy and still in the service of an evil. Almost like a child, not knowing what it's doing. Also, Borgloth becoming Borlial was really surprising, as was him becoming a Phoenix.

As a card, Borlial actually kind of works in RG and is really cool - pretty good MSEDH material, actually! I might just make a Borlial deck once this hits Lackey.

Remind yourself that overconfidence is a slow and insidious killer.

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Tue, 2016-09-20 21:52
Kixleart

@ZephyrPhantom: thank you for clearing that up, however, there is still two things that bug me: you didn't contact me at all, leaving me to find out about this long after the other members of the original team did, and it was my understanding open invitation was more for collecting existing lore, not designing new cards, which is what i was talking about not being invited to help with.

Tue, 2016-09-20 22:25
ZephyrPhantom
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@ Kixle - That was a miscommunication and I'll apologize for that - after a certain point almost all of the former developers from all three sets appeared to have to heard it through word-of-mouth and were constantly talking with me about it, so I thought they all were okay with the distanced development stance. I'll be more clear with statements like those in the future.


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Wed, 2016-09-21 00:28
Cajun
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Convert is neat, but should probably have an 'if you do add...' unless your intent is the mana dodging removal, and should add Colorless mana symbol instead of 1 mana symbol. Manarust is lovely nonsense, iunno how useful it is, but it's great all the same.

And call it what you will, Intolerance will always be You Wanna Go, Bro? in my heart :P

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Thu, 2016-09-22 04:53
loopsorspool
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@Zephyr, how do community spoilers work? To me, it seems like you are giving incomplete copies of the set to certain people so that they can expand upon the story you have already written.

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Thu, 2016-09-22 05:14
ZephyrPhantom
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@ Cajun - "If you do" was intended, yeah. I'll tweak that accordingly once I've got time to spoil the next update!

@ Loops - A user asks the set creator for a card(s), and the set creator provides a card he/she thinks is appropriate. The user then writes up a spoiler post revealing the card in question.


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Sun, 2016-09-25 23:25
ZephyrPhantom
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They think of us as weak.

Independent, unbelonging, scattered doves. Standing on our own, waving our little torches in defiance.

But none of us are alone

Put out one fire, and ten more will spring in its place. We are not of the briars, of the alphas, but we remember balance.

To save we must purge

We are not mere fireballs, meteors, lingering and flickering out. We are giants, waiting for our time to come.

Not for persecution but for justice

Do you know who we are, pretender? We kept balance long before your Commune tempered the steel in our ancient flames. I am the last of my kind the rest gave their lives to save Averlos, eons ago.

But no. The human that awakened me has awakened me to a world where the past is forgotten, and all mindlessly charge for petty wars in the present. The taking of life is considered beautiful - the twisting of the Lifesteel, even more so.

The Shichifukujin bring luck to those that earn their blessings. I will teach all of you the pain of a thousand misfortunes.

Spoiler:


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Mon, 2016-09-26 03:52
fluffyDeathbringer
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So Averlos is Portal China now? Stick out your tongue Also Wind's talking pretty poetic for someone whose characterization for this set is "rage boner".

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Mon, 2016-09-26 04:06
ZephyrPhantom
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You'll find references pulled from all across MtG and MSE. =P

The narrator's the Shichifukujin Fenghuang, btw. "The human that awakened me" is Wind. =P


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Mon, 2016-09-26 04:34
fluffyDeathbringer
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I meant the flavour texts, but thanks for clarifying.

Remind yourself that overconfidence is a slow and insidious killer.

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Mon, 2016-09-26 04:48
ZephyrPhantom
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Oh, my bad. X) But yeah, this Wind does still have a soft side to him - something that probably won't come up in the stories is that in this timeline, he's Black/red mana symbol, whereas Arina is Blue/red mana symbol, which makes their common color Red mana symbol instead of Blue mana symbol. Red mana symbol does make him more violent, but it also reminds him of Arina!


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Mon, 2016-09-26 17:12
Neottolemo
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Assorted thoughts:
-Wind being soft-hearted and poetic but also full of rage and grievance doesn't seem contradictory to me; if anything, it makes him more interesting.
-That Phoenix seems really complicated but I guess it's okay considering its cost and its rarity.
-Giant's Vigor is a pretty cool pump spell and Catalyst Tracer seems really cool (toughness matters in Red mana symbol? nice!). The horse Arcis is also neat, despite being a near direct colourshift of a Green mana symbol card. For some reason I don't like the Wardfeather as much but I can't really put my finger on why. The flavourtext is good though.
-The Borlial spoiler and the cards in it also seem cool. Not sure how you turn a Demon into a Phoenix but I guess he did rise from the ashes this time. The name change perplexes me a bit more.

With that out of the way, have a fanspoiler! Big smile

A Rovers Heyday
A Rover’s Heyday

“So, Ander”, Drael screamed off the top of her lungs to cover the whirring of the engines, “what do you think about this new rover!?”

“I’m impressed”, the short wizard clad in red robes dully answered, as he clung to his seat for dear life.

“Oh, come on!”, Drael shrieked. “Could you try sounding a bit more enthusiastic!?”

“I would, if only we weren’t being chased by hostile natives right now. If you had just let me talk to them, we…”

“Whoa!” The rover suddenly swerved as Drael narrowly avoided a sharp rock, creating wavelets in the water. “Boy, that was a close one!” But now, they were headed on a course of collision with another one. Drael pressed a button, and shot it out of the way, disintegrating it. “No time to waste”, she thought.

Ander closed his eyes sighed deeply, but not in relief. “So… what’d you name this one? It has a name, right?”

“I call this one Jim! It can turn into a ball and goes really fast...but it falls into the water if I’m not constantly piloting it.” Drael expressed her displeasure towards this particular feature of Jim with a wailing sound which sounded approximately like this: “Uwaaaaah...”

Ander tried his best to ignore the hated sounds. He concentrated on the whirring of Jim’s engines instead, which helped drown the wailing. “That… that honestly sounds like a design flaw, Drael. Is Jim an incomplete prototype, or did you just want him to be more similar to a shark?”

“Uh… Little bit of column A, little bit of column B.”

“Ah, I don’t… Hey, watch out, cliffs ahead.”

“Uwaaaaah!!!”

“Oh, no, please, not the sounds. Not the sounds again…”

“I heard that!”

Much later in the timeline…

There were many rovers to which Drael had connected a net of memories of her past. Looking at Jim again brought her mind to that moment, from before the incident. She couldn’t bear to be like that with Ander anymore. She could barely manage to be near him. If he had been here, her morale would be sinking, her joy extinguished. But there was only Jim there. Jim was an happy memory. Drael had no interest in lingering with her thoughts on what happened with Ander long after that. She became sombre for a split second, but she didn’t dwell in sadness: she simply reminisced. And perhaps… times as happy as Jim’s heyday could come again. The thought brought a smile to her face. Not with Ander, though. Never again.

She turned to face Animara and grinned. “Alright, we’ve got to go over a lake next to reach Piberdo! Tell me, Animara… Are you ready to roll!?”

Spoiler:

Sat, 2016-10-08 18:45
ZephyrPhantom
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A Vanguard's Resolve

Spoiler:
"Pursue the otherworld heretic; expel her for the threat she poses to hearth and home."

"Do not let the Academy take her in, with their twisted whispers and lies."

"She is already lost. If she falls, she will corrupt the hymns."

"Let her not seek refuge in the flames of origin, for Borgloth had tainted them beyond salvation."

"Eliminate her utterly, so we may once more have peace."

...so why do I feel this...resonation with her?



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Sat, 2016-10-08 18:54
fluffyDeathbringer
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I love how all of the other basics are stuff you can find on the plane's surface and then the Black mana symbol one is just "Moon". Man, Altverlos sure does have a lot of moons apparently.

Other than that, good spoiler. As always, wording comments elsewhere.

Remind yourself that overconfidence is a slow and insidious killer.

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Sat, 2016-10-08 19:02
ZephyrPhantom
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Considering main Averlos's Moon is entirely Lifesteel, I guess fate realized more wars here would require more supplies of them. Winking smiley

(On other planes, Basic Land - Moon would be akin to summoning a miniature moon. It's also a deliberate reference to how how moons in MtG seem to screw with mana - in this timeline, they're a mana source.)


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Sun, 2016-10-09 04:35
MysticalOctopus
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but Imprisoned in the Moon makes mana... /s

Also... Tribal Flames becomes super OP. Turn 1 forest, turn 2 forest Nylea's Presence, turn 3 exile Simian Spirit Guide and double Tibal Flames for the win

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Sun, 2016-10-09 05:19
ZephyrPhantom
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An unfortunate consequence of being able to access two timelines, unforunately. Stick out your tongue

I don't think such a combo exists in MSEM atm, but if it does arise in a format one could simply ban the planeshifted basics and their types.


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Sun, 2016-10-09 09:06
Neottolemo
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Possible solution: remove the basic land types, a la Wastes, and errata Molten Mastery to say "cards named Tectonics"? Idk, though.
Linebreaker Zealot looks a bit weak but overall this spoiler was very interesting! I did not expect different basic lands here, but I think they fit extremely well! Big smile

Sat, 2016-10-15 02:40
ZephyrPhantom
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Scarred Platinum
"Must we maim so tirelessly, Masters? The children yearn for teachings of life, not teachings of lives lost..."

"Silence your questions, children. Our enemy is the sick one, and we are the scalpels that will purge it."

That is what they all claim. But they are not the ones splattered with blood, crying in fear, crying in loss, crying to drink no more. From this day on...



=====
One quick patch note: I've gone with removing the basic land types and styling the alt-timeline lands in the same manner as Wastes, so that formats doesn't have to worry about Fate of Averlos and Domain problems. Thanks, Neottolemo!


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Sat, 2016-10-15 03:20
fluffyDeathbringer
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Does Ixcalib unattach Auras, therefore destroying all Auras when it ETBs?

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Sat, 2016-10-15 03:22
MysticalOctopus
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Ixcalib + Mycosynth lattice + Bludgeon Brawl + Tempered Steel turns all your lands into 2/2 artifact creatures with flying. Sweet. That's my next combo deck.

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Sat, 2016-10-15 04:28
ZephyrPhantom
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@ fluffy - Yes, it does. Ixcalib despises all forms of wielded weaponry being used by another being - in its mind, it's fighting for the rights of its Lifesteel-forged 'brothers' to live peacefully on their own and to do so means no more armaments of any kind. Needless to say, the Lifesteel isn't taking Griff's forced coercion of it sitting down.


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Sat, 2016-10-15 05:10
fluffyDeathbringer
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So this raises an interesting question: how powerful are Griff and the Lifesteel in comparison to each other, here?

Remind yourself that overconfidence is a slow and insidious killer.

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Sat, 2016-10-15 10:44
Neottolemo
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Fluffy's question seems interesting, and the cards look good. Does Ixcalib exist in the main timeline? I forget...

Sat, 2016-10-15 20:25
ZephyrPhantom
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Ixcalib does not exist in the main timeline. If it does, it's probably just another Lifesteel sword happy to defend the cause, much like how the Hero cycle exists only as background flavortext NPCs.

Griff here is considerably more threatening due to the fact he's fighting without any moral restrictions. As his card will show, this means he's used his affinity for all things war magic to essentially force everything to go his way, Lifesteel included. (His ability to dominate Lifesteel is a heavy element on his card, for that matter. Winking smiley ) A good analogy would be to say the that Lifesteel is normally a horse ridden with compassion and care, but Griff is forcing it to run across a path of hot coals by breaking its will - it's not willing to do so and finds the experience incredibly painful, but because it leads towards a destination Griff wants it has no choice but to comply.


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Tue, 2016-10-18 15:03
isaac the awesome
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I think it shouldn't be an aura. It should just reanimate and whenever the creature or the enchantment leave the battlefield the controller sacs the other. And make uncommon

Tue, 2016-10-18 16:34
ZephyrPhantom
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Isaac - This was already addressed on page 2. Monster Reborn is currently not an Aura, is at Uncommon, and uses Cloudform wording.


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Fri, 2016-10-21 07:51
ZephyrPhantom
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The Vengeful Dean

"So I hear to wished you wished to see me, the leader of this dying laboratory of the free."

"Correct. My name is Animara-"

"Hold it.

"Don't move, Lifesteel woman. How do I know you are not one of our enemy's leaders?"

"Does yours have the last name 'Vectis'? You should know that, if you're anything like the Piberdo I knew."

"I do know that. What I don't know is if you're making your name up."

Common sense is gold, woman. Look at the red and the black mana in my hands, shaped into fire and death. Do you think someone of the Commune would even go near these magics? Or are you too clouded by rage at all the lives lost?

"Productive learning is not spurred on by rage, Ms. Vectis. But the books have no words to speak against revenge."



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Fri, 2016-10-21 14:06
MysticalOctopus
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Doesn't stuff like persist, undying and by extension vengeful not work on tokens? Is gold splicer supposed to fit into a nontoken Thrull deck?

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Fri, 2016-10-21 15:03
ZephyrPhantom
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Goldsplicer is supposed to work with nontoken Thrulls in general. The idea is that you'd sacrifice a normal Thrull and get it back along with a token.


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Fri, 2016-10-21 15:43
MysticalOctopus
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Ah, I see.

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Fri, 2016-10-21 16:49
Neottolemo
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Piberdo and her doods seem really interesting. Nice work!

Sat, 2016-10-29 11:46
ZephyrPhantom
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Spoiler:
Entry log 2547: We are running out of resources to synthesize new thrulls and have turned to mass hallucinations to bolster our forces.

Piberdo has recalled us. I am grateful, for negotations with the remnants have problem troublesome. The deserters from both remaining sides have little desire to return. Most would rather meet us with pointed tooth, fang, and spear.

They probably expected the headmistress to storm out herself, but it was I, Rijo. Believe or not, that woman does have a sensible side, even if it has to be dragged out of her.


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In any case, I make my return from the last remnants of the Darkblades, led by a pitiful figurehead that would rather sleep than resist. We've rounded up every Darkblade willing to join us, so I suppose the only Darkblades left are the ones that would rather run and hide.

The only hope we can now hope for is that of an otherworlder's aid. But will the ones I've heard rumors of be able to cooperate?


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Sat, 2016-10-29 14:39
fluffyDeathbringer
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Weird that something with the title "the Lethargic" would encourage attacking and increase power, but that's just me. Good spoiler. (I especially like Imaginary Assailant.)

Remind yourself that overconfidence is a slow and insidious killer.

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Sat, 2016-10-29 16:46
WindyDelcarlo
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It also just sits there and eats any creature an opponent plays with toughness 2 or less

Sat, 2016-10-29 16:55
MysticalOctopus
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That includes most tokens... Oh and it shuts down Vengeful too.

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Sat, 2016-10-29 19:05
ZephyrPhantom
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The impression of "eating" a massive amount of tokens/weenies and being a partial Vengeful hoser was intended, since it's a demon of lethargy. Does it feel too strong as is or does it just effectively fill its niche?


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Sat, 2016-10-29 19:51
jacqui-pup
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It works just as well with a single counter imo. Or more expensive.

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Sat, 2016-10-29 20:29
fluffyDeathbringer
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Yeah now that I look at it again it's definitely too strong. I suggest reducing to just a single counter and/or making it more expensive.

Remind yourself that overconfidence is a slow and insidious killer.

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Sun, 2016-10-30 01:08
ThisisSakon
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Elphego is especially strong considering anything that survives two +1/-1 counters can't ever block. And having 8 toughness makes it incredibly hard to kill.

Imaginary Assailant is my favorite card of the batch, but it needs to return to its owner's hand because, well, you know.

Blacken Hatchling should probably be a 0/3 so it's not so incredibly efficient.

Is there a particular reason Looting Deserters is an artifact vampire?

Sun, 2016-10-30 03:25
ZephyrPhantom
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ZephyrPhantom's picture

I'll nerf Elphego to one counter and make it a 0/6 by the time of the next update along with the other wording/balance fixes you've suggested.

Looting Deserters is an artifact Vampire because I wanted every color except Black mana symbol to have some sort of artifact option for more varied drafts - while White and Green are the Metalcraft colors and Blue mana symbol gets Innistrad-esque Stitchers (Splicers), this is the only artifacts-matter card Red mana symbol gets since it's normally the artifact hate color. It's mainly intended to help enable Green mana symbolRed mana symbol get Metalcraft triggers in Limited, but also acts as an option to do Boros Vampire tribal for the one player that keeps picking them up as a late pick.(In fact, if you're willing to risk your manabase, I believe it's possible to go Naya Vampires, Bant Vampires, or even Jeskai Vampires.) The Boros facet is also is a bit of a setup to Ghakar, where enemy colors will take up most of the multicolor and unusual draft directions may occur due to the appearance of "unusual" cards.


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Tue, 2016-11-01 06:05
marioware2
Moderator
marioware2's picture

> read Sakon's comments
> came here to post that "Blacken Hatchling" is a terrible name
> checked cards first
> realized Sakon is troll

Sakon pls