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 Post subject: [HGD] Cycling
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 2:32 am 
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In HGD, cycling is a returning mechanic. There are 15 common cards with cycling: 5 reprints of cycling lands, 5 basiclandcycling creatures, and 5 cycling colored cards.



Secluded Steppe
Lonely Sandbar
Barren Moor
Forgotten Cave
Tranquil Thicket



Children of the Wastes
Creature - Human Nomad (C)
Plainscycling (, Discard this card: Search your library for a Plains card, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library.)
The cataclysm that befell Sevrata – the Brightpyre, as it came to be known –, left it a wasteland and its people orphans.
3/2


Aged Qellop
Creature - Beast (C)
Islandcycling (, Discard this card: Search your library for an Island card, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library.)
Classic literature on hydrobiology is decidedly ambiguous on whether qellops are found near bodies of water or the opposite.
2/5


Jalhalla's Minion
Creature - Spirit Minion (C)
Swampcycling (, Discard this card: Search your library for a Swamp card, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library.)
“They sing and dance and spin and weave
and twist and turn to the Dead Man’s beat.”
— The Sovereign’s Aria (excerpt)

2/2


Qamagar Cragback
Creature - Beast (C)
Mountaincycling (, Discard this card: Search your library for a Mountain card, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library.)
Cragbacks are known to be conflict averse, but then who likes to be stepped on?
2/4


Fragment of Dur'ek
Creature - Elemental (C)
Forestcycling (, Discard this card: Search your library for a Forest card, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library.)
The first of them appeared on the valley of Funar, so the portent of a rattled slumber was witnessed by none; none but Nyræ’s skittering progeny.
3/4



Wall of Faith
Creature - Wall (C)
Defender
Whenever Wall of Faith blocks, you gain 1 life.
Cycling (, Discard this card: Draw a card.)
“It is our conviction given substance. That none can shake its foundations is no coincidence.”
0/4


Revise
Instant (C)
Counter target spell unless its controller pays .
Cycling (, Discard this card: Draw a card.)
“Very little is definitive in arcane matters, but I guess stupidity is an exception.”


Bury
Sorcery (C)
Destroy target creature with power 3 or less.
Cycling (, Discard this card: Draw a card.)
“Mord does not discriminate. The meek too have a place in the Underkingdom.”


Lava Splash
Instant (C)
Lava Splash deals 3 damage to target player. That player sacrifices an artifact.
Cycling (, Discard this card: Draw a card.)
In Andratul, the smell of molten flesh has passed, but that of molten metal yet lingers.


Terrace Watch
Creature - Human Archer (C)
Reach
Cycling (, Discard this card: Draw a card.)
Simbur is the last remnant of civilization in the continent of Makor. Were it not for their archers, the nyrathid would have rectified this long ago.
1/4


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 Post subject: Re: [HGD] Cycling
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 2:56 am 
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That is a very powerful Smash to Smithereens variant.

But yeah, you inspired a design from me.

Waste of Potential
Land
Basic Landcycling
:t:: Add to your mana pool.
Leave a field fallow long enough and nothing will grow there.

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 Post subject: Re: [HGD] Cycling
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 3:12 am 
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It might be that I gave more credit to the '>1 artifact' case than is due. 2 damage or 3 CMC are both options, though I favor the former.

There is a sixth common nonbasic land in the set, and it is similar to your design... in a sense.


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 Post subject: Re: [HGD] Cycling
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 4:09 am 
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Ah, it says sacrifice, yeah, its fine. It would probably be fine the other way too, but it is definitely fine that way.

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 Post subject: Re: [HGD] Cycling
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 4:51 am 
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Is it bad that I immediately recognized that Jalhalla is that fat ghost from Wind Waker? Because it's that fat ghost from Wind Waker.


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 Post subject: Re: [HGD] Cycling
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 9:21 am 
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I think that the Children and the Minion need to be a bit revised. Landcycling is useful whenever you don't have mana to cast anything, or you need more colored mana. Because of this, cards with it should either be expensive or color intensive. Having it on small, easy to cast creatures makes it too much of the same.

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 Post subject: Re: [HGD] Cycling
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 9:30 am 
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is there a reason the creature's bodies are so defensively oriented?

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 Post subject: Re: [HGD] Cycling
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 11:35 am 
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Mata Hari wrote:
Is it bad that I immediately recognized that Jalhalla is that fat ghost from Wind Waker? Because it's that fat ghost from Wind Waker.
That's super good actually!

Yushang wrote:
I think that the Children and the Minion need to be a bit revised. Landcycling is useful whenever you don't have mana to cast anything, or you need more colored mana. Because of this, cards with it should either be expensive or color intensive. Having it on small, easy to cast creatures makes it too much of the same.
I'm not quite sure I understand.

Ragnarokio wrote:
is there a reason the creature's bodies are so defensively oriented?
I don't think there's a particular reason, but I like to think the agressiveness shows up in other cards (which I haven't yet posted, so that's understandable). I guess aggro has the least room to spend early turns on cycling-like stuff.


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 Post subject: Re: [HGD] Cycling
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 12:20 pm 
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The advantage to having cycling on a card is generally so you have additional options when it's on a card that's situational or difficult to cast. "Revise" is a good use of the keyword because in the late game when your opponent can easily pay the 2 mana it's much less effective. Cycling it out for a different card that will suit your situation better is a valuable play. The cycling lands are similar. They're there for the times you get land-flooded and would rather take a chance on drawing a new card instead. Lots of more expensive creatures like Pale Recluse get cycling so you can make use of them in the early game when you can't afford a five or six mana creature. If you put cycling on a card that's fairly cheap and almost always playable, then it's not making as good use of the ability.

And with landcycling, the design space is even more restricted. You're not exchanging the card for a random card, you're specifically searching for lands. Making sure you hit your land drops is extremely important in the early game, but generally not valuable in the late game. Putting landcycling on a cheap, efficient creature isn't going to be very useful because you're rarely going to have a situation where you need an extra land but your three mana creature isn't playable. Most of your landcycling creatures are going to be playable right away in the early game, and then never get landcycled because by the late game you don't really want the extra lands anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: [HGD] Cycling
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 12:30 pm 
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Ah, but you see, we didn't get to retrace yet. Maybe I should have swapped order. Retrace is another returning mechanic, and adds value to landcycling (even lategame I guess?). If this does not prove to be good enough incentive I will have to switch some things around to keep the common mana curve reasonable.


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 Post subject: Re: [HGD] Cycling
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 12:46 pm 
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Landcycling filled a similar role in the Alara/Zendikar environment (not sure if it got played that way in Standard, but the cross-block synergy was there). But even though it was primarily there as an enabler for Landfall and Domain cards, it still lived up to its normal role as a mana fixing mechanic.

A few oddball cards that only exist for the Retrace decks in Limited is good, but in general the mechanic should still have value and play well on its own.

(Also in general I feel like adding Cycling to the card should increase its cost more than you currently are doing. The flexibility of having the extra mode really counts for a lot in playability.)


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 Post subject: Re: [HGD] Cycling
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 6:23 pm 
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This is a legitimate question; Landcycling (or cycling in general) on cheap bodies is necessarily bad design? Why is is that? I felt the point of cycling was about the added options moreso than the added timings.

I understand that Children in particular is an outlier in that it is pretty efficient.


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 Post subject: Re: [HGD] Cycling
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 6:24 pm 
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I like these cards.

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 Post subject: Re: [HGD] Cycling
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 7:12 pm 
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Azhorium wrote:
This is a legitimate question; Landcycling (or cycling in general) on cheap bodies is necessarily bad design? Why is is that? I felt the point of cycling was about the added options moreso than the added timings.

cycling is ok, because if you draw a cheap body late you can toss it for a new card. but landcycling means tossing it for a basic land, and there's not really much you want less than basic lands in the late game.

:duel:

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 Post subject: Re: [HGD] Cycling
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 7:32 pm 
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I like these cards.
Thanks!

razorborne wrote:
Azhorium wrote:
This is a legitimate question; Landcycling (or cycling in general) on cheap bodies is necessarily bad design? Why is is that? I felt the point of cycling was about the added options moreso than the added timings.

cycling is ok, because if you draw a cheap body late you can toss it for a new card. but landcycling means tossing it for a basic land, and there's not really much you want less than basic lands in the late game.
I understand this. This was precisely my point: the fact that is not an added timing (early game vs late game; although retrace is meant to mitigate this).


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 Post subject: Re: [HGD] Cycling
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 7:49 pm 
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Azhorium wrote:
This is a legitimate question; Landcycling (or cycling in general) on cheap bodies is necessarily bad design? Why is is that? I felt the point of cycling was about the added options moreso than the added timings.

I understand that Children in particular is an outlier in that it is pretty efficient.


The way I look at it, the different options are only a good thing if they serve a purpose in different scenarios.

Imagine a Charm that said "Choose one: Kill Charm deals 3 damage to target creature, or target creature gets +3/-3 until end of turn, or destroy target creature with converted mana cost 3 or less." There are times when each one of those modes plays in a unique way, but a lot of the time you'll be in a scenario where either all three modes do the same thing, or all three modes are useless. The choice doesn't really matter much. That's an extreme example, but it shows how having more choices doesn't always matter.

I think that Cycling is at its best when the main effect of the card is sometimes a thing you really want, and sometimes a thing you don't. If it's something that's always pretty good, then Cycling just doesn't matter much. A card like Expunge is cycling done poorly, because the spell is useful in such a wide array of scenarios that having a backup option doesn't add a lot to the card. Mid-sized efficient creatures are similarly useful, which makes the secondary option uninteresting.


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 Post subject: Re: [HGD] Cycling
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 8:14 pm 
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Azhorium wrote:
I understand this. This was precisely my point: the fact that is not an added timing (early game vs late game; although retrace is meant to mitigate this).

for cycling, I agree. but for landcycling, the timing is the entire function. you would never draw Chartooth Cougar on turn 9 and 7 lands in play and go "yeah Imma toss that". (unless none of those lands are mountains maybe?) there's no point in the game where both options are simultaneously viable. that's why landcycling works: you'd never run a plains that cost you extra to play, but you might run a 3/6 vigilance and if you can't cast it 'cause your lands aren't working it can be worth cycling. but if you can cast it, but it's so useless to you that you'd rather pay mana to get a basic land? that card probably sucks. Retrace, as you say, does a little mitigating work, but Retrace effects aren't efficient for their costs because they're meant to be safety valves for unwanted landflood, and you're tacking on an additional to it, so I doubt even with Retrace I'd ever be willing to invest in the landcycling until I'm so late in the game that mana just doesn't matter at all.

:duel:

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 Post subject: Re: [HGD] Cycling
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 9:25 pm 
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I keep reading this as HGH Cycling and expect to see a discussion of performance enhancing drugs in sports.

Also, to touch on the landcycling discussion. A bear with basic landcycling might not be bad, but it definitely isn't the best use of the mechanic, and it is worth asking yourself if there is a better place to use it.

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 Post subject: Re: [HGD] Cycling
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 9:48 pm 
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Alright, I can see your points. I have changed some things around. Children is now a 3/5 and Minion is now a 4/1. Moreover, Fragment is now 3/3.


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