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 Post subject: Rethinking Black
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:58 am 
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Today marks the one year anniversary of the very first Starstill thread. Now that I've let the cards in this set percolate in my head for as many months as we spent working on the set, I think I have a better grasp on what about the set works and what doesn't.

Let me start with Chronicler Sphinx. I think Chronicler Sphinx is actually an example of Starstill at its finest, because it serves an excellent role in the larger web of the set. What does care about in this set? Artifacts, and spells. Chronicler Sphinx is so beautiful because it ties the artifact deck and the spell deck into one.

But look at the other most powerful card in the set: Bahraz the Tyrant. What does he care about? Does he tie into the set's themes?

When you look at Bahraz, you must ask yourself: What does care about in Starstill? Looking at Bahraz, you'd just think, "Control." But is that really what we designed Black to care about in Limited?

It's my opinion that there shouldn't be such a stark disconnect between what's going on on the Constructed level and the Limited level with a color. In Limited, Black would be about Brittle Bones and Deathly Chill. How can we get that to click?

First of all, Black is too spread out. Artifacts are already a Thing in , , and . There's no room in the set for black cards that care about artifacts. We should make the black cards that care about artifacts care about enchantments instead:

Weight of Despair
Enchantment – Aura
Flash
Enchanted creature gets -X/-X, where X is the number of enchantments you control.


The enchantment deck needs a color it can splash, anyway, and it's a good counterpoint to the spell deck.

I think that Black should care about Creatures, but specifically, dead creatures. Scavenging Wendigo would be improved flavorfully and mechanically if instead of exiling two cards, it exiled a creature card.

The RG ETB doesn't really come together when you look at the spoiler. Sure, there's Viashino Sandscout, but without even a Primal Forcemage, it's not clear that that's, like, an archetype. And if we really do want that to be an archetype, we need to make creaturefall a thing that has in this set so that players get it.

But what if Viashino Sandscout were Spark Elemental? What if we threw in Fatal Frenzy? What if we made Irondeep Spelunker the star of the show by driving home the point that when get together in limited, they want their dudes to die, so that they can do their dead creature thing. It's already there with Test Subject and Mass of Bones.

Which brings me back to Bahraz. Wouldn't it make Black's goal so much clearer if the posterchild for Black in this set read:

Bahraz, the Tyrant
Planeswalker – Bahraz
Whenever a creature dies, put a loyalty counter on Bahraz, the Tyrant.
Destroy all creatures.
As long as Bahraz, the Tyrant has ten or more loyalty counters on him, he's a 20/20 Bahraz God planeswalker creature.


This also makes Bahraz much more grokkable as a character from his card text alone.

My point is that focusing black on dead creatures will give it more options than just piggybacking onto other color's themes. And have enchantments be that secondary theme for the people who don't wanna pretend this in Innistrad.

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 Post subject: Re: Rethinking Black
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 3:14 am 
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Good points all around. I'm in favor. If you reopen the card submission contests, I'll throw my hat in the ring as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Rethinking Black
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:36 pm 
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I hate the current Bahraz but this one is awesome. All of this is sweet.

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 Post subject: Re: Rethinking Black
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2015 11:08 pm 
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I like the sounds of it.
Blacks priorities should be:
  • Stuff dying
  • Stuff in graveyards
  • Enchantments
  • Mastery? Enchantments are already the hardest part of mastery and black doesn't favour any type heavily, so it would be a good fit.

The deck is Stuff Dying.dec. Sac your own guys for bonuses, send aggro creatures to die on the frontlines and put that graveyard to use. Would something like Cauldron Dance be in order?
might want in on some graveyard action too, but probably not in the same way. To differentiate I say we go Innistrad style and have want to keep things in the yard and want to use them up.

As for RG I say we throw our weight behind creature etb. Either with straight up Primal Forcemage or Allies.

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 Post subject: Re: Rethinking Black
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2015 11:16 pm 
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Good points all around. I'm in favor. If you reopen the card submission contests, I'll throw my hat in the ring as well.

Are you approving the Baharz edits or just the idea in general?

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Cato wrote:
CotW is a method for ranking cards in increasing order of printability.

*"To YMTC it up" means to design cards that have value mostly from a design perspective. i.e. you would put them in a case under glass in your living room and visitors could remark upon the wonderful design principles, with nobody ever worring if the cards are annoying/pointless/confusing in actual play

TPrizesW
TPortfolioW


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 Post subject: Re: Rethinking Black
PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 8:15 am 
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Everything.

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YMtC: My Deck of Many Things | NGA Masters | 2 | 3 | Roses of Paliano | Duel Decks: War of the Wheel | Jakkard: Wild Cards | From Maral's Vault | Taramir: The Dark Tide
Solphos: Solphos | Fool's Gold | Planeswalker's Guide | The Guiding Light | The Weight of a Soul
Game design: Pokémon Tales | Fleets of Ossia: War Machines | Hunter Killer | Red Jackie's Run


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