Custom Card Game Design
Catering to Casual
May 4, 2012Posted by on
I’ve never played Planechase or Vanguard, my Archenemy experience is limited to Duels of the Planeswalkers, and the only Commander I’ve ever played are a few 1-on-1 duels using the pre-cons. This makes me a bit sad. Last night, I started delving into the rules for each of these game types, and I liked what I saw. As these are all casual formats, and custom set design is (in my opinion) the ultimate casual format, I’ve decided that all my sets need to be accompanied with some cards that support these formats. Now, the cards I’m about to link are rough ideas that have never been playtested. In fact, as said before, I’ve never played these formats so I don’t know what the correct power level should be, rather I’m basing it off of what I see online. But here are some rough ideas…
This would represent the most basic facet of the plane Caeia – colors of mana are segregated and don’t mix at all. The formatting on this card seems a little off, visually, which is something I’ll have to play with, but the concept should be obvious. Playing this in your planar deck definitely helps you (assuming you’re playing a Purity deck, which if you’re playing this you should be), allowing you to ignore the drawback but seeing it potentially hurt your opponents. The Chaos ability might be a bit over the top, if it ever gets to be playtested we’ll adjust it accordingly.
Archenemy is a fun prospect, suited perfect for the character of Elaara (the Vampire Planeswalker from the first set). Of all the casual formats, this is the one I most hope to test. I’m not sure if I’ll develop Schemes for anyone other than Elaara, but I have some fun ideas with Elaara. Creature destruction, Mind Control effects, 1/1 black vampire creature tokens, and discard effects would all fall within her formidable arsenal, and I can see her being quite a challenge to take down. Sounds like fun to me.
The last casual format I intend to design for is Vanguard. As I understand it, Vanguard is the oldest of these formats, dating back almost to the beginning of the game. I’ve seen the Vanguard cards on MTGO but never paid them much attention. Of all these formats, Vanguard is the one I’m most unfamiliar with, and the card above may range anywhere from insanely broken to so underpowered in the format that it will never see play. Still, it looks like a fun casual format, and the one that’s arguably the most accessible. I’m not sold on the frames, as these haven’t seen updates for the modern era. I might do some digging at the MSE2 home page and see if there are any updated templates that I might use.
This card is representative of the green planeswalker from the first set, Avienne, Greenspeaker, and the ability on this card links closely to Avienne’s +1 ability as well as the signature ability of Aldrean Greenspeaker. The Greenspeakers are a sort of druidic order that serve Emriss, the Grovetender, and cultivate the forests on Caeia (namely the forest of Aldrea). Avienne is my favorite card from set #1.
That’s all for today. I keep seeing hits on the site, so I’m going to keep posting. If you like what you read, or have any suggestions or input, leave some comments!