Tarkir Unwritten (my take on an "Unwritten Now" featuring Narset as a protagonist)

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Mon, 2017-03-20 13:56
GamerZack87
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My laptop may no longer work properly, but that won't stop me from my newest concept: Tarkir Unwritten! I love the Temur concept of the Unwritten Now, a world in which events have played out differently than what is known, and so I figured I would write my own story in an alternate version of Tarkir (one of my favourite planes), with the lead character being not Sarkhan Vol, but Narset (one of my favourite Planeswalkers and one with whom I can relate).

I'm currently working on world-building for the first part of the story, which is called (surprise, surprise) Tarkir Unwritten, which is compiled in a way that it could potentially be the base for a custom set. In this Tarkir, the familiar clans exist, but for each of them, one of their secondary colours is replaced with another, shifting them from enemy wedges to ally arcs. This means the philosophies and ideals of each of the clans is different, though they have a few similarities to the "real" ones; the Jeskai Order, for example, still train to hone both body and mind, but replacing white mana with black mana makes them a lot shiftier, with them sneaking into other clans in order to glean much needed intel in relation to the war, and manipulating the minds of enemies in order to unmask the truths that they keep; this is reflected in their reverence of the aspect of truth, represented by the Eye of the Dragon, whether by seeking or hiding it.

In the storyline, Narset has already ascended as a Planeswalker, but chose to remain in her world of Tarkir in order to learn everything she could, and hopefully find a way to end the war as peacefully as possible. Her quest for peace puts her at odds with the Jeskai's ruthless Khan, Taigam, who exiles Narset and orders her to never return...under threat of execution. So Narset makes her way to the deserts of the Abzan Lorekeepers in order to learn what she can, and hopefully find a way to end the bloodshed. Of course, Narset eventually crosses paths with Vol, but I'm reluctant to reveal his purpose in this version of the story. Anyway, this was just a brief insight into my idea, which is already in the pre-planning stage. More info to come!

EDIT: At long last, the Planeswalker's Guide (other clans and info added later):

A Planeswalker's Guide to Tarkir Unwritten

Introduction
Welcome to Tarkir, a plane where five distinct clans coexist in relative harmony. That's not to say that no tension lies between them: each of the clans is very protective of the lands they call home, and all are wary of rival clans claiming parts of their territory as their own.

Tarkir is also a world in which dragons have been driven to extinction, defeated when the five clans banded together in order to defeat the menace that threatened them. The clans of today each observe a different aspect of dragonkind, using it as a symbol of their ways of life and adorning their buildings, flags and clothing with them.

Each clan is led by a khan, one who embodies all the ideals of their clan, and who is respected by those who serve them. The khans typically have the interests of their clans at heart, though some also have their own agendas which conflict with those of their underlings.


TheAbzanLorekeepers
The Abzan Lorekeepers White mana symbolBlue mana symbolBlack mana symbol
The golden sands are home to the repositories of the Abzan, Tarkir's ancient order of scholars and chroniclers. The Lorekeepers gather knowledge to an extreme that would boggle the minds of some bright individuals on other planes, though every piece of literature, whether fiction or non-fiction, is catalogued using a strict method of organisation, and any tome, scroll or information card that is not put into the correct place will result in swift, often ironic, punishment upon the infractor. Much of the lore contained within the repositories of the clan is many centuries old and, while mostly outdated, is painstakingly kept in pristine condition using various forms of preservation, and it is important for anyone within the halls and libraries to exercise caution when reading anything, lest something be severely damaged with no chance of repair; naturally, this kind of infraction also warrants punishment.

The Lorekeepers' insistence on preserving the past doesn't merely apply to literature, but also to the clan's own members. There are two main methods of preserving a clan member, which are both seen as types of ritual. The first and most common ritual is intended to preserve the essence of a person's mind and spirit, transforming the individual into a translucent entity resembling them. The benefit of this method is that it is simple to perform, and virtually anyone regardless of rank or status can undergo the ritual, even within a day of them passing away. The main drawback is that the ritual must be performed near an oasis, a large body of water within the desert sands, with the essence of the individual bound to it; fortunately, each of the repositories is built within a short distance of a suitable oasis, and entities are always willing to empart their wisdom and knowledge to those who seek it.

The second ritual is meant to preserve the body as well as the mind, which allows an individual to exist indefinitely as a being called a revenant, one who is able to continue serving their clan while keeping a physical form. The upside of this ritual is that a revenant is not bound to an oasis, allowing them to move freely throughout the repository in which they currently reside, and even venture outside at night. The downside, however, is that the ritual used to transform a person into a revenant is not only difficult enough that only certain people are allowed to undergo it, but that it must be performed on a still-living individual; this, combined with their dulled, cool-to-the-touch bodies and slightly watered-down personalities mean that many choose not to become revenants, opting for the seemingly-more pleasant alternative.

The khan of the Abzan is Reyhan, who is said to have been amongst the first of the entire clan to undergo the revenant ritual some 1,000 years ago. Reyhan is actually quite humble for a revenant, always attentive to the needs of her people and to the pursuit of gathering lore. She also has a somewhat witty, almost unsettlingly on-point sense of humour, and strives to keep up with today's style of jokes; many claim that the only reason the Sandsteppe Repository even HAS a comedy section is because she herself decrees it, and makes sure her people don't forget. The fact that she has remained khan for all this time is a testament to the clan's commitment to the aspect of preservation, with its symbol being the Scale of the Dragon, an insignia that displays strength and long-lasting quality. The repositories are often adorned with images of this symbol, reminding all to avoid tampering with anything, and to leave things where they were found.

* Abzan Colours: White mana symbol (primary), Blue mana symbolBlack mana symbol (secondary)
* Abzan Themes: Organisation (White mana symbolBlue mana symbol), Whim (White mana symbolBlack mana symbol)
* Abzan Philosophies: Support the community; preservation and compilation of knowledge is paramount; everyone has ambitions, not just you
* Abzan Symbol: Scale of the Dragon (preservation)
* Abzan Races: Humans, ainok (mostly White mana symbol, partly Blue mana symbol), spirits (mostly White mana symbol), aven (mostly Blue mana symbol, partly White mana symbol), revenants (mostly Black mana symbol)
* The Khan: Reyhan, Reverent Leader (White mana symbolBlue mana symbolBlack mana symbol)

Favourite 'walkers: Narset, Chandra Nalaar, Nissa Revane, Ral Zarek and Ajani Goldmane
Works-in-Progress: Tarkir Unwritten, Touch of Fate, Tarkir Rewritten, "Undercooked", "Base", "Expansion", "DLC"

Tue, 2017-03-21 01:02
marioware2
Moderator
marioware2's picture

Just stopping by to say that I really like this:

Evil Jeskai wrote:
this is reflected in their reverence of the aspect of truth, represented by the Eye of the Dragon, whether by seeking or hiding it.

Brings a whole new meaning to the term Dark Jeskai. Stick out your tongue

Thu, 2017-03-23 02:01
GamerZack87
GamerZack87's picture

Thank you! I've put a spin on each clan and thought about how they might be if they each had one colour differently, and I'm sure there may be a few surprises. I've also chosen some characters from the lore of "real" Tarkir to be featured as Khans, though some may not be what the readers expect; the Abzan Khan, for example, has been leading them for more than a thousand years...

EDIT: Just thought I'd ask if there's anywhere appropriate I can put the storyline and/or Planeswalker's Guide in the forums, or if this is the best thread to post them.

Favourite 'walkers: Narset, Chandra Nalaar, Nissa Revane, Ral Zarek and Ajani Goldmane
Works-in-Progress: Tarkir Unwritten, Touch of Fate, Tarkir Rewritten, "Undercooked", "Base", "Expansion", "DLC"

Thu, 2017-03-23 02:05
Vunik
Vunik's picture

Probably should keep the Planeswalker guide in here for now - you can always move it into a finished project thread.

Vunik's Neverending Hub

TWOK is the best!

Thu, 2017-03-23 03:58
Guitarweeps
Head Administrator
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You can keep it here. The forums do have set hubs or custom planes threads but this is not an original plane and is likely limited to just this block so here is probably best. Finished projects can be showed off at the showcase forum.

Check out my updated set hub.

Fri, 2017-03-24 21:30
GamerZack87
GamerZack87's picture

Thanks for the heads-up, Vunik and Guitarweeps. I'll be sure to keep both the Planeswalker's Guide and the storyline in this thread for now.

Speaking of the storyline, here's the introductory blurb:

"The shamans of the clan known alternately as the Temur and the Atarka whisper stories of the Unwritten Now, the world as it could be. Here, things are the same, and yet very different, where the events of history have taken a different course.

In one Now, the world was besieged by a never-ending clash between five warring clans, each led by a mighty khan, and the dragons had long since become extinct. That is, until the High Khan dared to venture through the mists of time and alter the course of fate, ensuring the survival of the dragons and reforging the Now, repairing both the broken world and himself.

In this Now, just as in the High Khan's, the world is broken, its clans at odds and its dragon tempests no longer billowing in the skies. Here, there is no High Khan; instead, it is up to one ever-curious young woman to fulfill this path. Cast out of her clan for uncovering forbidden truths and tapping into unfathomable potential, she now journeys to the deserts of the Lorekeepers in order to sate her voracious appetite for knowledge..."

EDIT #1: With the way my take on the clans is fleshing-out, it seems more like the clans are not at war, but rather in a state of (for lack of a better term) peace. They mainly keep to themselves, but this also makes them somewhat territorial, with them taking action on trespassers and interlopers (who, more often than not, are agents of the Jeskai who wind up caught); of all the clans, the Mardu are the most wary of potential invasion, making sure that every border of their lands is guarded and maintained. More info to come!

EDIT #2: I know multi-posting is generally not allowed in...well, any web forum, really, but I feel as though my posts could get pretty long if I constantly edit them to add new info. Is the "no multi-posting" rule still in place in this board, or am I allowed to do so in order to prevent post clutter? Thanks.

Favourite 'walkers: Narset, Chandra Nalaar, Nissa Revane, Ral Zarek and Ajani Goldmane
Works-in-Progress: Tarkir Unwritten, Touch of Fate, Tarkir Rewritten, "Undercooked", "Base", "Expansion", "DLC"

Fri, 2017-03-24 21:50
Daij_Djan
Moderator Best Set of 2016
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Especially when you want to address/note very different topics and especially within your own thread, multi-posting is fine.

As Photobucket wants me to pay 400$/year to link to my images, I'll relocate all renders.

Thu, 2017-04-06 13:59
GamerZack87
GamerZack87's picture

Thanks for the heads-up. I'll be sure to use spoiler tags for wordier posts as well. A happy smile

Speaking of which, what is the forum code for spoiler tags with/without descriptions?

And now for a brief rundown of the clans:

TheAbzanLorekeepers
Colours: White mana symbol (primary), Blue mana symbolBlack mana symbol (secondary)
Symbol: Scale of the Dragon (preservation)
Races: Humans (all colours), ainok (mainly White mana symbol, partly Blue mana symbol), spirits (typically White mana symbol), aven (mainly Blue mana symbol, partly White mana symbol), revenants (typically Black mana symbol)

TheJeskaiOrder
Colours: Blue mana symbol (primary), Black mana symbolRed mana symbol (secondary)
Symbol: Eye of the Dragon (truth)
Races: Humans (all colours), aven (mainly Blue mana symbol, partly Black mana symbol), djinni (typically Blue mana symbol), vampires (mainly Black mana symbol, partly Blue mana symbol), efreeti (typically Red mana symbol)

TheSultaiTribes
Colours: Black mana symbol (primary), Red mana symbolGreen mana symbol (secondary)
Symbol: Fang of the Dragon (survival)
Races: Humans (all colours), vampires (mainly Black mana symbol, partly Red mana symbol), shades (typically Black mana symbol), orcs (mainly Red mana symbol, partly Black mana symbol), nagas (typically Green mana symbol)

TheMarduRangers
Colours: Red mana symbol (primary), Green mana symbolWhite mana symbol (secondary)
Symbol: Wing of the Dragon (freedom)
Races: Humans (all colours), orcs (mainly Red mana symbol, partly Green mana symbol), goblins (typically Red mana symbol), rhoxes (mainly Green mana symbol, partly Red mana symbol), loxodons (typically White mana symbol)

TheTemurGuardians
Colours: Green mana symbol (primary), White mana symbolBlue mana symbol (secondary)
Symbol: Claw of the Dragon (instinct)
Races: Humans (all colours), rhoxes (mainly Green mana symbol, partly White mana symbol), ogres (typically Green mana symbol), ainok (mainly White mana symbol, partly Green mana symbol), frostkin (typically Blue mana symbol)

More info to come!

Favourite 'walkers: Narset, Chandra Nalaar, Nissa Revane, Ral Zarek and Ajani Goldmane
Works-in-Progress: Tarkir Unwritten, Touch of Fate, Tarkir Rewritten, "Undercooked", "Base", "Expansion", "DLC"

Sat, 2017-03-25 02:11
Vunik
Vunik's picture

[spoiler][/spoiler] will get you

Spoiler:

and [spoiler=TitleYouWant][/spoiler] will get you
TitleYouWant

Vunik's Neverending Hub

TWOK is the best!

Sat, 2017-03-25 04:16
GamerZack87
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Thanks. A happy smile

Favourite 'walkers: Narset, Chandra Nalaar, Nissa Revane, Ral Zarek and Ajani Goldmane
Works-in-Progress: Tarkir Unwritten, Touch of Fate, Tarkir Rewritten, "Undercooked", "Base", "Expansion", "DLC"

Mon, 2017-03-27 07:47
GamerZack87
GamerZack87's picture

Should Tarkir Unwritten be made into a block, I've begun to work out themes and details for each individual set, as well as shared themes throughout the block:

Shared block themes: "Colour identity matters"; parallels
Tarkir Unwritten themes: Multicolour arcs; factions
Touch of Fate themes: "Bridging the gap"; khans vs. dragons
Tarkir Rewritten themes: Enemy colour pairs; dragons

Now for some finer details. One theme that I want to see in Tarkir Unwritten block is the concept of parallels, as in things having an equal and/or opposite counterpart, not just between the large sets of this block but also this block and the official one. Some examples of the latter include:

Spoiler:
-Khans block has a bit of a colourless theme running through it, with Ugin and the three flavours of morphs; to differentiate Tarkir Unwritten block from its official counterpart, I'd like to use a "colour identity matters" theme, as in cards and a mechanic that care about the colour(s) of something, and Bolas receiving a card rather than Ugin
-Khans of Tarkir is a wedge set, and Dragons of Tarkir is a set with ally-coloured elder dragons; Tarkir Unwritten should be an arc set, and Tarkir Rewritten a set with enemy-coloured elder dragons
-Khans of Tarkir block has five Planeswalker cards: Sorin, Ugin, Narset (who also has a legendary creature card) and two versions of Sarkhan; each of those 'walkers should have counterparts, with Sarkhan and Narset essentially switching roles

More info to come!

Favourite 'walkers: Narset, Chandra Nalaar, Nissa Revane, Ral Zarek and Ajani Goldmane
Works-in-Progress: Tarkir Unwritten, Touch of Fate, Tarkir Rewritten, "Undercooked", "Base", "Expansion", "DLC"

Tue, 2017-03-28 16:13
Autumnstar
Autumnstar's picture

So are your blocks going to change the original fate of the dragons? Or is unwritten basically khans with this new theme and rewritten being fate reforged or dragons? Just curious. And how much will clan strategies be changed?

Wed, 2017-03-29 12:37
GamerZack87
GamerZack87's picture

Put simply, Tarkir Unwritten is "Khans of Tarkir with arcs instead of wedges", but there's more to it than that. The story of Tarkir Unwritten takes place in an alternate version of Tarkir, one in which the clans developed differently than in the official version. I guess you could call it a "what-if" scenario of sorts. Some examples include:

-What if the clans were arc-coloured rather than wedge-coloured? How would they differ from their counterparts in Khans of Tarkir? Would they still be at war, or would they not really interact with each other, behaving in a somewhat territorial manner?
-What if Narset ascended as a planeswalker instead of Sarkhan? Would their roles be switched, with Sarkhan the leader of his clan and Narset travelling into the past? Would Sarkhan sacrifice himself to see Narset achieve her goal?
-What if the clans were led by different khans? What would they have in common with their official counterparts? How would they differ?

The story is similar, but told from the perspective of Narset in this different version of the world. Some things may seem familiar, but it's mostly different, as I try to be as unique as possible with my story-writing and world-building, evidently even when doing a take on an already-existent fictional world. I'm definitely an ideas guy, with my own ongoing fantasy series and roughly 47 fictional worlds under my belt. A happy smile

As for the cards, I'd like to do the creative aspect first, including the fiction, and then build the sets around it later (I wouldn't say no to some collaboration and/or help with designing the cards, but only if anyone's interested). The clans have a few similarities to their official versions, but they each have one colour switched, leading to some different playstyles, such as the Jeskai being the "infiltrator clan", spying on the other factions in order to keep an eye on them and maybe take advantage; and the Mardu being the "free-roaming clan", patrolling every corner of their lands and making sure noone intrudes on their turf, with swift retribution brought to any who do.

Oh yeah, and Touch of Fate and Tarkir Rewritten are basically what-if takes on Fate Reforged and Dragons of Tarkir, respectively. Winking smiley

Favourite 'walkers: Narset, Chandra Nalaar, Nissa Revane, Ral Zarek and Ajani Goldmane
Works-in-Progress: Tarkir Unwritten, Touch of Fate, Tarkir Rewritten, "Undercooked", "Base", "Expansion", "DLC"

Wed, 2017-03-29 13:36
Guitarweeps
Head Administrator
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So my biggest disappointment with Tarkir was that we got awesome wedges and then they scrapped them for allied color set. I would strongly urge you NOT to do basically the same thing. Also, if the set becomes dragon themed then you need to have at least one at common...

Check out my updated set hub.

Wed, 2017-03-29 23:48
GamerZack87
GamerZack87's picture

Well, my idea was to have the counterparts to the dragon broods be enemy-coloured pairs, dropping a colour much like in the official source, but I don't really want to abandon tricolour entirely. I'm thinking about having certain "rogue elements" within each clan who still cling to the old ways, and secretly train others to do so as well. This could be achieved through some straight-up tricolour gold cards or monocolour cards with hybrid mana in their text boxes. They could even bend the dragon-ruled clans slightly more to the original wedge configurations. I'm still working out ideas for TFT and TRW, but one thing that is clear to me is that I'm eager to bend the formula in order to fulfill the "colour identity matters" theme.

By the way, I'm thinking of Bolas' card in TFT to have "Destroy target planeswalker" as his ultimate, but I'm not sure if it's too bland or OP. Thoughts?

Favourite 'walkers: Narset, Chandra Nalaar, Nissa Revane, Ral Zarek and Ajani Goldmane
Works-in-Progress: Tarkir Unwritten, Touch of Fate, Tarkir Rewritten, "Undercooked", "Base", "Expansion", "DLC"

Thu, 2017-03-30 01:36
Simonbarsinister
Simonbarsinister's picture

Garruck apex predator has that as a +1 so I'd say it's a little weak.

Thu, 2017-03-30 02:18
Vunik
Vunik's picture

Not to mention that Garruk had an additional +1 that did something else. "Destroy target planeswalker" is really, really narrow as a Planeswalker ability, as it completely depends on the other person playing a planeswalker. (That's why Garruk could justify having an + ability with removal.) A way to include planeswalkers in a much more powerful ultimate might be "Destroy all permanents with counters on them". Gets rid of planeswalkers, levelers, charged artifacts, and that annoying 17/17 kraken that got its counters doubled by Vorel last turn.

Vunik's Neverending Hub

TWOK is the best!

Thu, 2017-03-30 02:57
GamerZack87
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Thanks for the advice. Much appreciated. A happy smile

Favourite 'walkers: Narset, Chandra Nalaar, Nissa Revane, Ral Zarek and Ajani Goldmane
Works-in-Progress: Tarkir Unwritten, Touch of Fate, Tarkir Rewritten, "Undercooked", "Base", "Expansion", "DLC"

Thu, 2017-03-30 16:41
Simonbarsinister
Simonbarsinister's picture

"Destroy all other permanents with counters on them". We don't want it to kill itself.

Thu, 2017-03-30 21:37
GamerZack87
GamerZack87's picture

I'm pretty sure Bolas is the LAST person who wants Bolas destroyed. Stick out your tongue

I've been writing mini-rundowns of each chapter in the storyline. My plan is for Tarkir Unwritten, Touch of Fate and Tarkir Rewritten to have five episodes (chapters) each, with an extra episode linking TUW and TFT and one linking TFT and TRW, for a total of 17 episodes. I've already detailed the basic plot of the pilot episode, Exiled, in a previous post. Oh, and I have a different style of writing than what is used in the official Magic fiction, so I just thought I'd better let you know.

More info to come! A happy smile

Favourite 'walkers: Narset, Chandra Nalaar, Nissa Revane, Ral Zarek and Ajani Goldmane
Works-in-Progress: Tarkir Unwritten, Touch of Fate, Tarkir Rewritten, "Undercooked", "Base", "Expansion", "DLC"

Sat, 2017-04-01 11:51
GamerZack87
GamerZack87's picture

I've been building a framework of all three sets in MSE, though there's nothing overly detailed yet, as it's just defining exactly which kinds of cards are to be in the set file. Some unfinished examples from TUW* include:

Spoiler:
-A common red creature with a black activated ability and the Sultai watermark
-A mono-blue planeswalker with the Narset subtype
-A mythic rare Blue mana symbolBlack mana symbolRed mana symbol Legendary Creature named Taigam, the Shrouded Storm

...and many more. All that's currently finished is the cycles of lands, which I will briefly explain in this spoiler tag:
Spoiler:
The first cycle is a set of functional reprints of the uncommon Shards of Alara trilands. They have unique names, but they all do pretty much the same thing: enter the battlefield tapped and tap for one of three colours of mana; Patrolled Border, for example, is a functional reprint of Jungle Shrine, and taps for either Red mana symbol, Green mana symbol or White mana symbol.

The second cycle (well, mega-cycle) is a set of lifelands, five straight reprints (enemy pairs) and five functional reprints (ally pairs) from KTK; the new names of the latter quintet are meant to capture the essence of the unique terrains of this version of Tarkir, such as Oasis Shore (the White mana symbolBlue mana symbol land) representing the ancestral oases of the Abzan Lorekeepers.

The third cycle is an example of the "parallels" theme within the block, meaning having the equal-opposite of a KTK cycle in TUW*; in this case, it is reprints of the enemy fetchlands, which can be used to get any of the basic lands included in the set. Speaking of basic lands, if the cards had artwork, they would be themed around the landscapes of each faction in a similar pattern to KTK; the Jeskai, for example, would get two Islands, a Swamp and a Mountain.

*=Tarkir Unwritten's three-letter code, "TUW"

More info to come! A happy smile

Favourite 'walkers: Narset, Chandra Nalaar, Nissa Revane, Ral Zarek and Ajani Goldmane
Works-in-Progress: Tarkir Unwritten, Touch of Fate, Tarkir Rewritten, "Undercooked", "Base", "Expansion", "DLC"

Sun, 2017-04-02 07:45
GamerZack87
GamerZack87's picture

I'm thinking about mechanics and/or keywords to include in each set of the block, which I'd like to fit the flavour of each of the clans. Here's a breakdown of how I'd like them to be distributed:

-Clan-specific keywords/mechanics: either two per faction, with one in Tarkir Unwritten and one in Tarkir Rewritten; or one per faction, with slight variations between both sets. Either way, Touch of Fate gets a keyword/mechanic overlap per faction in a similar manner to Fate Reforged.

-A modular, non-clan-specific mechanic: a single mechanic that is used in all three sets, ideally one that fits the main themes of the block. Each set should get its own iteration of that mechanic (if you thought I meant modular from Darksteel... Stick out your tongue).

For clan mechanics and keywords, I'm looking to either create my own or use pre-existing ones, possibly currently-unused ones from Future Sight that show promise; I could even use a mixture of the two. As for the non-clan mechanic, it should be one that works well in a colour-themed block, and one that is easy enough to be "spun-off" into different iterations. The best match that I can find is cycling, which was used in the (also arc-themed) Shards of Alara block, but I'd like to check out other equally-modular mechanics that work well in a colour-heavy block design. If anyone has ideas, please let me know in a post below (you will be credited if your suggestion is used). A happy smile

Favourite 'walkers: Narset, Chandra Nalaar, Nissa Revane, Ral Zarek and Ajani Goldmane
Works-in-Progress: Tarkir Unwritten, Touch of Fate, Tarkir Rewritten, "Undercooked", "Base", "Expansion", "DLC"

Tue, 2017-04-04 06:56
GamerZack87
GamerZack87's picture

I've begun to work out some possible mechanics for a few of the five clans featured in Tarkir Unwritten:

AbzanLorekeepers
The Abzan are gatherers of lore and cataloguers of literature, with well-organised repositories of information. I thought maybe their mechanic could have to do with the library in some way, but since library-based effects are mostly centered in blue and the Abzan are primarily white (though blue is still quite relevant), it makes that rather tricky. The Abzan also strive to preserve that knowledge, ensuring it lasts through the ages, so perhaps something to do with the aspect of preservation is more mechanically-flavourful.

JeskaiOrder
The Jeskai keep tabs on all the other clans and, truth be told (excuse the pun), have some influence on their actions. A good Jeskai mechanic could involve controlling aspects of opponents in some way, whether their creatures, mana base or even entire turn phases, essentially turning a player's actions into the Jeskai player's own. Balancing could prove tricky in that regard, since a mechanic like that could potentially become ridiculously overpowered, so maybe a mechanic designed to "spy" on opponents would work better.

MarduRangers
The Mardu are all about exploring and defending their lands, with a sense of unbound freedom driving them to roam their realm as they see fit. Perhaps a mini-lands matter theme is appropriate for them, with them being able to do all sorts of things unique to them based on things like type(s) and number of lands, but that seems more appropriate for a green-centered clan than a red-centered one (although green is still an important part of this Mardu clan's colour identity). Perhaps something else that plays into their theme of freedom instead...

It looks like I still have quite a bit of work ahead of me in terms of initial planning. More info to come!

Favourite 'walkers: Narset, Chandra Nalaar, Nissa Revane, Ral Zarek and Ajani Goldmane
Works-in-Progress: Tarkir Unwritten, Touch of Fate, Tarkir Rewritten, "Undercooked", "Base", "Expansion", "DLC"

Fri, 2017-04-07 07:41
GamerZack87
GamerZack87's picture

I've finished fine-tuning the themes and philosophies associated with each clan, and the colour-shift has resulted in some very different takes on how they're presented in KTK. Like the official set, I've broken each clan into two colour pairs (one ally, one enemy) and assigned a specific theme with each one, using both as a base that helps define the clan as a whole. Here are the themes and philosophies of the five clans:

Spoiler:
The Abzan Lorekeepers
Themes: Organisation (White mana symbolBlue mana symbol), Whim (White mana symbolBlack mana symbol)
Philosophies: Support the community; preservation and compilation of knowledge is paramount; everyone has ambitions, not just you

The Jeskai Order
Themes: Manipulation (Blue mana symbolBlack mana symbol), Discipline (Blue mana symbolRed mana symbol)
Philosophies: Explore the potential of mind and body; deception and subtlety are useful skills; know your place, respect your masters

The Sultai Tribes
Themes: Brutality (Black mana symbolRed mana symbol), Predation (Black mana symbolGreen mana symbol)
Philosophies: Take what you can to survive; raw emotion is key to survival; everything is prey for something

The Mardu Rangers
Themes: Free-roaming (Red mana symbolGreen mana symbol), Defence (Red mana symbolWhite mana symbol)
Philosophies: You and only you can decide your path; wanderlust is both encouraged and rewarded; protect the land and those who live there

The Temur Guardians
Themes: Tradition (Green mana symbolWhite mana symbol), Progress (Green mana symbolBlue mana symbol)
Philosophies: Respect and revere nature; take only what you need from the wilds; remember to learn from nature, and to always keep learning


More info to come! A happy smile

Favourite 'walkers: Narset, Chandra Nalaar, Nissa Revane, Ral Zarek and Ajani Goldmane
Works-in-Progress: Tarkir Unwritten, Touch of Fate, Tarkir Rewritten, "Undercooked", "Base", "Expansion", "DLC"

Tue, 2017-04-04 09:55
thehuw
thehuw's picture

If you're looking for a good clanless mechanic to fill the shoes of morph, here are a few suggestions:

  • Gold formats adore cycling, as you mentioned - it'd be a very fine mechanic indeed here, and, as you say, there are plenty of potential variations and riffs on it.

  • While kicker gets a lot of flak for being unnecessarily broad, it's an extremely versatile mechanic. Off-color kicker costs let you push a multicolor theme on cards that aren't true gold cards, and the mechanic tends to be good for slower formats in general (and gold-focused formats usually are on the slow side).

  • Sticking with kicker-like mechanics for a moment, and playing off Fate Reforged's rather underdeveloped "choices" theme, I rather like the idea of three different spins on some kind of choice-based mechanic. Entwine or escalate might be a fine choice (probably not both, though) - one idea might be having escalate (more options for a spell) as the "prototype" version in the middle set, then having it branch out into either replicate (more iterations of a spell) or strive (more targets for a spell). This might not be mechanically unified enough for your tastes, though.

  • Hybrid mana is an option - as always, be careful with it, but you could, for instance, give every hybrid card in each set a mechanic to tie them together. Perhaps something along the lines of

    KEYWORD (This creature enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it if you spent mana of both its colors to cast it.)

  • A trio of discard- or sac-based, kicker-like abilities that demonstrate the shift from diversity to uniformity, like so:

    KEYWORD1 (You may discard a nonland card / sacrifice a nonland permanent that doesn't share a color with this spell as you cast it.) An interesting option for a three-color approach that doesn't focus so heavily on actual gold cards, if that's a route you're interested in taking.

    KEYWORD2 (You may discard a land card / sacrifice a land as you cast this spell.) This'd be the Touch of Fate variant.

    KEYWORD3 (You may discard a nonland card / sacrifice a nonland permanent that shares a color with this spell as you cast it.) The Tarkir Rewritten variant.

Really liking what I'm seeing here in terms of worldbuilding! You seem to have a very clear idea of each new clan's direction, and I'm keen to see how they manifest themselves mechanically.

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

Tue, 2017-04-04 11:35
GamerZack87
GamerZack87's picture

Thanks! I've been putting quite a bit of effort into this project, so it's nice to see that people are enjoying the details I've been posting. Big smile

Those are some excellent suggestions for the non-clan mechanic, with each one showing some promise and, hopefully, leading to something that fits this block like a...um...what would a dragon wear, anyway? Besides a mummified khan necklace (I'm looking at you, DTK Silumgar... O_o). Hybrid mana is already a factor for both Touch of Fate and Tarkir Rewritten, which I intend to use in off-colour activated abilities in a similar manner to the Fate Reforged khans; multiple colours doesn't nescessarily mean it has to be gold, right?

Oh, and there's a twist to the clans in Tarkir Rewritten, one which I'm reluctant to explain right now... Winking smiley

Favourite 'walkers: Narset, Chandra Nalaar, Nissa Revane, Ral Zarek and Ajani Goldmane
Works-in-Progress: Tarkir Unwritten, Touch of Fate, Tarkir Rewritten, "Undercooked", "Base", "Expansion", "DLC"

Wed, 2017-04-05 14:12
GamerZack87
GamerZack87's picture

I've been working out ideas for characters to appear in all three sets of the block, with my choices for Tarkir Unwritten being as follows:

Spoiler:
Legendary Creatures (5)
Reyhan, Reverent Leader (White mana symbolBlue mana symbolBlack mana symbol)
Taigam, the Shrouded Storm (Blue mana symbolBlack mana symbolRed mana symbol)
Gvar the Brutal (Black mana symbolRed mana symbolGreen mana symbol)
Vol, Who Ventures Beyond (Red mana symbolGreen mana symbolWhite mana symbol)
Arel Dragonclaw (Green mana symbolWhite mana symbolBlue mana symbol)

Planeswalkers (2)
Narset, Seeker of Knowledge (Blue mana symbol)
Garruk, Stalker of Victims (Black mana symbolGreen mana symbol)


More info to come! A happy smile

Favourite 'walkers: Narset, Chandra Nalaar, Nissa Revane, Ral Zarek and Ajani Goldmane
Works-in-Progress: Tarkir Unwritten, Touch of Fate, Tarkir Rewritten, "Undercooked", "Base", "Expansion", "DLC"

Wed, 2017-04-05 15:47
fluffyDeathbringer
Moderator
fluffyDeathbringer's picture

I'd rename Garruk "the Nightstalker" or "Remorseless Stalker", because the current title is a bit awkward. But that's just me.

Remind yourself that overconfidence is a slow and insidious killer.

Thu, 2017-04-06 06:23
GamerZack87
GamerZack87's picture

I'm open to the idea of renaming Garruk. The name I chose is a reference to the fact that he's replacing Sorin in Tarkir Unwritten (Solemn Visitor / Stalker of Victims), though all but one of the planeswalker cards in this block has a [Name], [adverb] of [noun] naming structure, so I could probably think of something less awkward (I also thought of "Stalking Predator", which sounds similar to "Solemn Visitor", but I figured it was too similar to "Apex Predator").

Also, why Garruk? Well, none of the other planeswalkers in the block have Green mana symbol in their mana costs, and I wanted there to be some amount of colour balance. I thought about which green-aligned planeswalkers might have a reason to be on Tarkir, so I created a mental list and went through it, analysing each option, and whichever one I chose was to be Sorin's replacement.

The one that jumped out at me the most was Garruk. An interplanar hunter whose favourite prey is other planeswalkers? Sounds like he could have a reason for being on Tarkir, the homeworld of Ugin, an elusive spirit dragon planeswalker who hasn't been seen in centuries. A fine hunt if ever there was one. Of course, Garruk's intended hunt could prove fruitless, but I doubt he'd want to leave Tarkir empty-handed...hm...could there be any other planeswalkers on Tarkir...?

More info to come! A happy smile

Favourite 'walkers: Narset, Chandra Nalaar, Nissa Revane, Ral Zarek and Ajani Goldmane
Works-in-Progress: Tarkir Unwritten, Touch of Fate, Tarkir Rewritten, "Undercooked", "Base", "Expansion", "DLC"

Thu, 2017-04-06 06:41
GamerZack87
GamerZack87's picture

I've been brainstorming possible variants of cycling that could work in this block, with examples detailed below:

Colorcycling
A card with colorcycling allows you to pay a cost and discard it in order to find a card of a particular colour in your library. An example would be:

Bluecycling 2 mana symbol (2 mana symbol, Discard this card: Search your library for a blue card, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library.)

This variant plays into the "colour identity matters" theme.


Doublecycling
A card with doublecycling (the name needs work, I know) is pretty much cycling squared: pay a cost and discard it in order to draw two cards:

Doublecycling 3 mana symbol (3 mana symbol, Discard this card: Draw two cards)


Dragoncycling
This one does what it says on the tin: it allows you to discard a card and trade up to a dragon:

Dragoncycling 2 mana symbol (2 mana symbol, Discard this card: Search your library for a Dragon creature card, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library.)

This could be handy to have in Tarkir Rewritten.


I've also thought of possibly doing a cycle of "cycling-centric" cards (excuse the pun) that allow you to pay an extra cost for an additional effect when you cycle them, sort of like a reverse-cantrip. Here's an example of what I mean:
Spoiler:
lolnope 0 mana symbol
Blue color identityInstant Uncommon
Cycling 2 mana symbol (2 mana symbol, Discard this card: Draw a card)
When ~ is cycled, you may pay 1 mana symbolBlue mana symbolBlue mana symbol. If you do, counter target spell.

More info to come!

Favourite 'walkers: Narset, Chandra Nalaar, Nissa Revane, Ral Zarek and Ajani Goldmane
Works-in-Progress: Tarkir Unwritten, Touch of Fate, Tarkir Rewritten, "Undercooked", "Base", "Expansion", "DLC"

Thu, 2017-04-06 07:19
Daij_Djan
Moderator Best Set of 2016
Daij_Djan's picture

Typecycling is cool, I liked using it in Penada as well Winking smiley Doublecycling sounds like way to powerful, though. Drawing two cards at instant speed normally costs 3 mana symbolBlue mana symbol to start - and this one even can't be countered and has the rest of the card as another option as well..

Also I'm personally not a big fan of the lolnope approach.. Maybe as rare cycle, but I don't enjoy this at uncommon (let alone below)

As Photobucket wants me to pay 400$/year to link to my images, I'll relocate all renders.

Thu, 2017-04-06 08:11
GamerZack87
GamerZack87's picture

Well, I haven't actually settled on a specific rarity for the lolnope cycle (that name's now stuck, it seems), and I usually just default to uncommon in such circumstances until I have a clear idea of which rarity to use. To be honest, my first thought was rare, but I wasn't entirely sure (plus it's merely an example of a possibility).

I'm also more inclined to go with colorcycling and Dragoncycling as the variants in Touch of Fate and Tarkir Rewritten, respectively, with regular cycling (or maybe landcycling) in Tarkir Unwritten. I'd still like to think of every possible option before I make a decision, though. Anyway, thanks for the feedback. Much appreciated! Big smile

Favourite 'walkers: Narset, Chandra Nalaar, Nissa Revane, Ral Zarek and Ajani Goldmane
Works-in-Progress: Tarkir Unwritten, Touch of Fate, Tarkir Rewritten, "Undercooked", "Base", "Expansion", "DLC"

Thu, 2017-04-06 09:33
GamerZack87
GamerZack87's picture

I'm going over ideas for a mega-cycle of tri-lands to be used in Touch of Fate and Tarkir Rewritten, though they have to work differently than the ones in Shards of Alara, Khans of Tarkir and Tarkir Unwritten. Some example ideas include:

FilterTriLands
Jeskai Filter Land
Land Rare
~ enters the battlefield tapped unless you control two or more blue permanents.
Tap symbol: Add Blue mana symbol to your mana pool.
Blue mana symbol, Tap symbol: Add Blue mana symbolBlack mana symbol, Blue mana symbolRed mana symbol or Black mana symbolRed mana symbol to your mana pool.

IdentityTriLands
Mardu Identity Land
Land Rare
~ enters the battlefield tapped unless you don't control a Forest or Plains.
Tap symbol: Add Red mana symbol to your mana pool.
Tap symbol: Add Green mana symbol or White mana symbol to your mana pool. Activate this ability only if you control a Forest or Plains.

Favourite 'walkers: Narset, Chandra Nalaar, Nissa Revane, Ral Zarek and Ajani Goldmane
Works-in-Progress: Tarkir Unwritten, Touch of Fate, Tarkir Rewritten, "Undercooked", "Base", "Expansion", "DLC"

Thu, 2017-04-06 10:37
Guitarweeps
Head Administrator
Guitarweeps's picture

Color cycling is really good. Pretty much each color cycling card can tutor for like 1/6 of all magic cards every made. So you would have to use it sparingly and likely at higher costs. Also it becomes less interesting if you have a lot of it. Other than that it seems cool.

Identity lands are worded a little confusingly. It takes some analysis to even know how it enters tapped or untapped. I had to read it like six times. With that said I think it is a little too easy to enter untapped. I kinda like combining the ideas:

Tridentity Land
Land
~ enters the battlefield tapped unless you control an Island, Swamp, or Mountain.
Tap symbol: Add Colorless mana symbol to your mana pool.
1 mana symbol, Tap symbol: Add Blue mana symbolBlack mana symbol, Blue mana symbolRed mana symbol, or Black mana symbolRed mana symbol to your mana pool.

Check out my updated set hub.

Thu, 2017-04-06 23:30
GamerZack87
GamerZack87's picture

Whoa, that is brilliant! It pretty much captures the essence of the kind of tri-land I'm aiming to use! In any case, the arc ones should be put into Touch of Fate and the wedge ones into Tarkir Rewritten.

As for planeswalkers, I still feel like there's not enough green spread across their colour identities. As it stands right now, the combined planeswalker colour weight is White mana symbolWhite mana symbolBlue mana symbolBlue mana symbolBlue mana symbolBlack mana symbolBlack mana symbolRed mana symbolRed mana symbolGreen mana symbol (plus either Black mana symbol or Red mana symbol). Tarkir Unwritten and Tarkir Rewritten each have two planeswalkers, while Touch of Fate currently has one. There are two tri-colour 'walkers, two enemy pair ones and a single monocolour one.

To wit, I'm giving thought towards adding a sixth 'walker into the mix, most likely a mono-Green mana symbol or Green mana symbolWhite mana symbol one, to be included in Touch of Fate. Due to the fact that TFT is set roughly 1,000 years in Tarkir's past, this means that I could create a brand-new character to fill the role, one who doesn't necessarily need to be a Tarkiran(?) native. I'm a fan of Kamigawa, so perhaps a Green mana symbol orochi planeswalker who finds a kinship with the nagas of the Sultai?

More info to come! A happy smile

EDIT: In regards to colorcycling, I agree that too much is a mistake, so I might limit it to two or three cycles of cards, with at least one cycle having "off-colourcycling" (ie. a white card with bluecycling, which could be useful in a deck with White mana symbolBlue mana symbol in it), just to keep things interesting. I'm also wondering if having both regular cycling and colorcycling in Touch of Fate is a good idea, as otherwise there won't be very much cycling in it at all.

Favourite 'walkers: Narset, Chandra Nalaar, Nissa Revane, Ral Zarek and Ajani Goldmane
Works-in-Progress: Tarkir Unwritten, Touch of Fate, Tarkir Rewritten, "Undercooked", "Base", "Expansion", "DLC"

Fri, 2017-04-07 02:10
GamerZack87
GamerZack87's picture

So I have an idea for two versions of a Jeskai mechanic that fits into the whole "spying on opponents" theme that also allows a little bit of control of what they are able to do:

Spy
Spy X (Tap symbol: Look at target opponent's hand. You may discard target card with converted mana cost X or less from it.)

The wording's way off, I know, but it basically lets you peek at an opponent's hand, then discard a card that is equal to or less than the specified cmc from it. This one seems more Blue mana symbolBlack mana symbol, and not very Red mana symbol at all. Also has the potential to be too good.


Seize
Seize X (Tap symbol: Look at target opponent's hand. You may cast a nonland card with converted mana cost X or less from it.)

This one basically allows you to choose a nonland card in your opponent's hand and cast it yourself (there should also be a clause that any colour of mana can be paid to cast it, but I'm not sure how to word it). Again, I feel that this one leans more to two of the colours, in this case Blue mana symbolRed mana symbol, but not so much Black mana symbol. It may be less prone to breakage than the above mechanic, but it also seems strong.


More info to come! A happy smile

Favourite 'walkers: Narset, Chandra Nalaar, Nissa Revane, Ral Zarek and Ajani Goldmane
Works-in-Progress: Tarkir Unwritten, Touch of Fate, Tarkir Rewritten, "Undercooked", "Base", "Expansion", "DLC"

Fri, 2017-04-07 02:25
Cajun
Cajun's picture

Neither of those should be Tap symbol mechanics. I wouldn't want two cards with those effects in the same set, let alone 10-15.

Cajun's Explorations
Planeswalker Template Overhaul
fluffyDeathbringer wrote:
I dunno, Cajun has a habit of doing Dubiously Working new rules stuff

Fri, 2017-04-07 02:36
Vunik
Vunik's picture

The main problem with both of these is that they're free ways to either force a discard, or a free way to steal a spell. On average, just forcing a discard costs 3 mana. Adding the limit of CMC could probably drop that down to only 2, but only if it was a one-time effect.

Out of the two, spy seems the most likely to actually work as a keyworded mechanic - stealing cards is just too strong for common. I would recommend a wording like:

Spy <cost>-<number> (<cost>, Tap symbol: Target opponent reveals his or her hand. You choose a card from it with converted mana cost <number> or less from it. That player discards that card.)

-OR-

Spy <number> (3 mana symbol, Tap symbol: Target opponent reveals his or her hand. You choose a card from it with converted mana cost <number> or less from it. That player discards that card.)

The advantage of the first is you get more dials to play around with, and can make some pretty powerful iterations. The advantage of the second is that it's easier to keep track of (you always know that the ability need 3 mana to activate), and cuts down on space. If you go the second route, playtest what the "locked in" cost should be - three might be too good, or it might make most low-number iterations unplayable.

EDIT: Cajun makes a good point. Most official sets only have these types of effects appear once, maybe two or three times. Unless there's a good graveyard mechanic, or good ways to get things out of the graveyard, you should probably reconsider this one.

Vunik's Neverending Hub

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Fri, 2017-04-07 03:20
GamerZack87
GamerZack87's picture

Fair enough. It's back to the drawing board! A happy smile

EDIT: Okay, here's an example of what I'm trying to achieve flavour-wise with the Sultai:

Spoiler:
Consume <number> <cost> (<cost>: Destroy target creature with converted mana cost <number> or less, then put a +1/+1 counter on this creature. Activate this ability only once each turn)

This is essentially my attempt at symbolising the survival aspect of the Sultai. Everything is prey for something, which means things are gonna get eaten. It may be too similar to devour, though...

Favourite 'walkers: Narset, Chandra Nalaar, Nissa Revane, Ral Zarek and Ajani Goldmane
Works-in-Progress: Tarkir Unwritten, Touch of Fate, Tarkir Rewritten, "Undercooked", "Base", "Expansion", "DLC"

Fri, 2017-04-07 03:27
jacqui-pup
Featured Set Editor - Best Set of 2015 - Community Award
jacqui-pup's picture

This is still bad b/c keywording repeatable removal is a terrible idea.

You want something far vaguer and able to go in all the colors you need it to (which is another problem, namely that all these mechanics are silly outside of Black mana symbol). Do you have a pseudo yet (ie, a threshold ability like Delirium or Metalcraft, or a consistent trigger like Battalion or Landfall)? Those are useful for the trickier color combos.

[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

Fri, 2017-04-07 05:53
GamerZack87
GamerZack87's picture

I haven't thought of any yet to be honest, but it's definitely something I want to do. I've thought of a different way to start brainstorming ideas for keywords and ability words (it mainly involves charts, cross-sections and comparisons), so I'll see what ideas I have. If anyone else has possible ideas, then please let me know (the themes of each clan have been posted above). You will be credited for any contributions. A happy smile

Favourite 'walkers: Narset, Chandra Nalaar, Nissa Revane, Ral Zarek and Ajani Goldmane
Works-in-Progress: Tarkir Unwritten, Touch of Fate, Tarkir Rewritten, "Undercooked", "Base", "Expansion", "DLC"

Fri, 2017-04-07 06:32
fluffyDeathbringer
Moderator
fluffyDeathbringer's picture

How about

Abandon -- Whenever one or more cards are put into your graveyard from your hand or library, <thing>

Represents the reliance of New Sultai on raw emotion to the point of abandoning reason (flavoured as gaining strength from shedding cards from your hand and library, two zones associated with the player's mind).

Remind yourself that overconfidence is a slow and insidious killer.

Fri, 2017-04-07 08:12
GamerZack87
GamerZack87's picture

It could definitely work. The main theme of the Sultai Tribes is a black-centric "survival of the fittest", and most of its creatures are pretty mindless, thinking only of their own survival, ie. "You're in my way? Then you're my lunch!". Actually, that'd make some pretty good flavour text...

I thought of a mechanic for the Abzan that fits its theme of preservation, and is also in-flavour and (hopefully) in-colour:

Preserve (When this is put into its owner's graveyard from anywhere*, its owner shuffles it into their library)

*replace with appropriate zone if "anywhere" is too powerful

I also thought about doing a cycle of creatures with cycling that each allow you to pay an extra cost in order to create a creature token when cycled, which would either be a downgraded version of that creature, or exactly the same (or stronger) but with a "sacrifice it at the beginning of the end step" clause. Not sure if that'd be fun, though...anyway, an example of the latter would be:

Spoiler:
Big Scary Crocodile 3 mana symbolBlack mana symbolBlack mana symbol
Creature - Crocodile Uncommon
Menace
Cycling 1 mana symbolBlack mana symbolBlack mana symbol (1 mana symbolBlack mana symbolBlack mana symbol, Discard this card: Draw a card)
When ~ is cycled, create a 4/3 black Crocodile creature token with haste, menace and "Sacrifice this creature at the beginning of the end step".
4/3

Favourite 'walkers: Narset, Chandra Nalaar, Nissa Revane, Ral Zarek and Ajani Goldmane
Works-in-Progress: Tarkir Unwritten, Touch of Fate, Tarkir Rewritten, "Undercooked", "Base", "Expansion", "DLC"

Fri, 2017-04-07 16:54
marioware2
Moderator
marioware2's picture

I just want to step in and say that I like how you're walking us through your whole thought process here - it's a really different way than most people spoil sets and I'm enjoying it!

Sun, 2017-04-09 00:06
GamerZack87
GamerZack87's picture

I didn't realise my approach was so different. In any case, thanks very much! A happy smile

One of the themes of Tarkir Unwritten is parallels, which includes counterparts of cards and cycles from Khans of Tarkir. One of those cycles is what I call the "wedge morphers", which are common 6 CMC creatures that all have wedge colours and morph. Since TUW is an arc set rather than a wedge set, and since it has cycling in-place of morph (I hope you can see where this is going), that means that the equivalent cycle in this set is basically "arc cyclers", common 6 CMC creatures that all have arc colours and cycling. So if you have one in your opening hand, you may want to cycle it and try to get something you can use right away, but if it's turn 6 (or later), then you can cast it and add to your team of lorekeepers, rangers etc. ready to follow your commands.

EDIT: Here's an example of an arc cycler (final version pending):

Spoiler:
Jeskai Assassin 3 mana symbolBlue mana symbolBlack mana symbolRed mana symbol
Creature - Human Assassin Common
Deathtouch, haste
When ~ enters the battlefield, target opponent puts the top two cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.
Cycling 2 mana symbol (2 mana symbol, Discard this card: Draw a card)
3/1

More info to come!

Favourite 'walkers: Narset, Chandra Nalaar, Nissa Revane, Ral Zarek and Ajani Goldmane
Works-in-Progress: Tarkir Unwritten, Touch of Fate, Tarkir Rewritten, "Undercooked", "Base", "Expansion", "DLC"

Mon, 2017-04-10 03:31
GamerZack87
GamerZack87's picture

Just a quick update regarding the races and classes of the five khans:

Spoiler:
Reyhan, Reverent Leader (White mana symbolBlue mana symbolBlack mana symbol) - Zombie Advisor
Taigam, the Shrouded Storm (Blue mana symbolBlack mana symbolRed mana symbol) - Human Ninja
Gvar the Brutal (Black mana symbolRed mana symbolGreen mana symbol) - Orc Berserker
Vol, Who Ventures Beyond (Red mana symbolGreen mana symbolWhite mana symbol) - Human Scout
Arel Dragonclaw (Green mana symbolWhite mana symbolBlue mana symbol) - Human Shaman

More info to come!

Favourite 'walkers: Narset, Chandra Nalaar, Nissa Revane, Ral Zarek and Ajani Goldmane
Works-in-Progress: Tarkir Unwritten, Touch of Fate, Tarkir Rewritten, "Undercooked", "Base", "Expansion", "DLC"

Mon, 2017-04-10 23:08
GamerZack87
GamerZack87's picture

I've settled on a short-list of mechanics from which to include across all three sets of the block, which includes both keywords and ability words, some of which are pre-existing, some tweaks of pre-existing ones (a creature-based version of metalcraft as a Mardu possibility), and one of which is of my own design (the Abzan possibility known as preserve). Here are all the options from which I can pick:

TarkirUnwritten
The Abzan Lorekeepers (White mana symbolBlue mana symbolBlack mana symbol)
Spoiler:
Preserve (When this is put into its owner's graveyard from anywhere, its owner shuffles it into their library.) - original concept

Flashback <cost> (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)

Buyback <cost> (You may pay an additional <cost> as you cast this spell. If the buyback cost was paid, put this spell into its owner’s hand instead of into that player’s graveyard as it resolves.)


The Jeskai Order (Blue mana symbolBlack mana symbolRed mana symbol)
Spoiler:
Ninjutsu <cost> (<cost>, Return an unblocked attacker you control to hand: Put this card onto the battlefield from your hand tapped and attacking.)

The Sultai Tribes (Black mana symbolRed mana symbolGreen mana symbol)
Spoiler:
Consume N (This comes into play with N +1/+1 counters on it. When it's put into a graveyard, you may put its +1/+1 counters on target creature.) - modified from modular

The Mardu Rangers (Red mana symbolGreen mana symbolWhite mana symbol)
Spoiler:
Patrol — ..., as long as you control three or more creatures, ... - modified from metalcraft

Sweep — Return any number of <basic land> you control to their owner's hand. ...


The Temur Guardians (Green mana symbolWhite mana symbolBlue mana symbol)
Spoiler:
Totem armor (If enchanted permanent would be destroyed, instead remove all damage marked on it and destroy this Aura.)

Evoke <cost> (You may cast this spell for its evoke cost. If you do, it's sacrificed when it enters the battlefield.)


Non-Clan Specific
Spoiler:
Cycling <cost> (<cost>, Discard this card: Draw a card.)

<basic land>cycling <cost> (<cost>, Discard this card: Search your library for a <basic land> card, reveal it and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library.)


TouchofFate
The Clans (White mana symbolBlack mana symbol/Blue mana symbol), (Blue mana symbolRed mana symbol/Black mana symbol), (Black mana symbolGreen mana symbol/Red mana symbol), (Red mana symbolWhite mana symbol/Green mana symbol), (Green mana symbolBlue mana symbol/White mana symbol)
Spoiler:
The various factions get mechanic overlaps as in Fate Reforged, 2-3 from each large set, with one per faction.

Non-Clan Specific

Spoiler:
Cycling <cost> (<cost>, Discard this card: Draw a card.)

<color>cycling <cost> (<cost>, Discard this card: Search your library for a <color> card, reveal it and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library.) - modified from "typecycling"


TarkirRewritten
The Dromoka (mainly White mana symbolBlack mana symbol)
Spoiler:
Recover <cost> (When a creature is put into your graveyard from the battlefield, you may pay <cost>. If you do, return this card from your graveyard to your hand. Otherwise, exile this card.)

The Ojutai (mainly Blue mana symbolRed mana symbol)
Spoiler:
Provoke (Whenever this attacks, you may have target creature defending player controls untap and block it if able.)

Soulbond (You may pair this creature with another unpaired creature when either enters the battlefield. They remain paired for as long as you control both of them.)


The Silumgar (mainly Black mana symbolGreen mana symbol)
Spoiler:
Undying (When this creature dies, if it had no +1/+1 counters on it, return it to the battlefield under its owner's control with a +1/+1 counter on it.)

Threshold — As long as there are seven or more cards in your graveyard, ...


The Kolaghan (mainly Red mana symbolWhite mana symbol)
Spoiler:
Battle cry (Whenever this creature attacks, each other attacking creature gets +1/+0 until end of turn.)

Flanking (Whenever a creature without flanking blocks this creature, the blocking creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn.)


The Atarka (mainly Green mana symbolBlue mana symbol)
Spoiler:
Multikicker <cost> (You may pay an additional <cost> any number of times as you cast this spell.)

Adapt N (As this creature enters the battlefield, another player of your choice may place N +1/+1 counters on it.) - modified from tribute


Non-Clan Specific
Spoiler:
Cycling <cost> (<cost>, Discard this card: Draw a card.)

Dragoncycling <cost> (<cost>, Discard this card: Search your library for a Dragon creature card, reveal it and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library.) - modified from "typecycling"


Any advice with choosing the right mechanics would be appreciated. More info to come!

EDIT: Specified which mechanics are original/modified ideas.

Favourite 'walkers: Narset, Chandra Nalaar, Nissa Revane, Ral Zarek and Ajani Goldmane
Works-in-Progress: Tarkir Unwritten, Touch of Fate, Tarkir Rewritten, "Undercooked", "Base", "Expansion", "DLC"

Mon, 2017-04-10 23:53
Vunik
Vunik's picture

As a point of reference, I'll give you the storm scale numbers of all your possible re-used mechanics - this should help with deciding somewhat. (Higher numbers have a lower chance of returning - most likely due to developmental and/or complexity reasons. 1 is inevitable, 10 is absolutely never; you should research anything below 5/6.)

Flashback - 1
Buyback - 6
Ninjitsu - (I would also recommend renaming this, since it has negative resonance with Kamigawa.)
Sweep - N/A (But I would place it low. Mass bounce is never fun.)
Totem armor - 5
Evoke - 3
Recover - 7
Provoke - 7
Soulbond - 5 (Big complexity issue on this one)
Undying - 4
Threshold - 8
Battle cry - 3
Flanking - 7? (If altered to effect creatures with flanking as well. There are conflicting numbers on this one.)/8 (If left unchanged.)
Multikicker - 5
(I've left out cycling; that's a solid choice no matter what IMO.)

And remember, mechanics can be justified with flavor as long as appropriate design and development choices are taken. Madness in SoI is a great example of this.

Vunik's Neverending Hub

TWOK is the best!

Tue, 2017-04-11 01:03
GamerZack87
GamerZack87's picture

So smaller number = better/safer option then? Or is it the other way around? Also, what's ninjutsu's rank on the storm scale? Thanks. A happy smile

Favourite 'walkers: Narset, Chandra Nalaar, Nissa Revane, Ral Zarek and Ajani Goldmane
Works-in-Progress: Tarkir Unwritten, Touch of Fate, Tarkir Rewritten, "Undercooked", "Base", "Expansion", "DLC"

Tue, 2017-04-11 03:30
Vunik
Vunik's picture

Yeah, smaller is the safer option. The Storm Scale is Mark Rosewater's personal metric of how likely a mechanic is to return in an official set, which implies how difficult it would be to implement in a custom set. Not that it's impossible - one can create a set with storm in it if they want, the challenges that come with creating a balanced set with it just increase dramatically. (And in storm's case, really dramatically.)

I thought I got ninjitsu, but it's a 6 - not a terrible choice if it's renamed and carefully implemented. (For future reference, check out this. I believe that list is current with MaRo's own Storm Scale. #shamelessselfplug)

EDIT: Oh, and when in doubt, I'll quote Brandon Sanderson's 0th Law: Always err on the side of awesome. If you think you can make something work, you've got nothing to lose by trying.

Vunik's Neverending Hub

TWOK is the best!

Tue, 2017-04-11 05:26
GamerZack87
GamerZack87's picture

Thanks. I also considered prowl as a Jeskai possibility (there should be two options per clan, four if you count the khan and dragon versions together, hence why the Abzan have three options and the Dromoka only one, since those options are partly mix-n-match). I'm not sure why it's disappeared from the list.

I also had wither as an extra option for the Silumgar as well, but the Sultai mechanic is supposed to use +1/+1 counters, and I know having both +1/+1 and -1/-1 counters in the same block is a no-no, barring special circumstances. Speaking of which, Tarkir Unwritten and Tarkir Rewritten are probably not going to be drafted together, meaning that wither could work for the Silumgar, which would also mean that the Sultai wouldn't technically have a mechanic in Touch of Fate, but probably just some cards and effects that play well with counters. Not proliferate, though, since that would up the number of mechanics in the block.

Favourite 'walkers: Narset, Chandra Nalaar, Nissa Revane, Ral Zarek and Ajani Goldmane
Works-in-Progress: Tarkir Unwritten, Touch of Fate, Tarkir Rewritten, "Undercooked", "Base", "Expansion", "DLC"