Custom Card Game Design

Riffing on Ravnica – Part 1 (Golgari)

Hello, and thanks for reading!  First off, if you haven’t gotten a chance, head over to this link and watch the MtG panel from Comic Con.  There’s some great stuff there, including information on commander (new commander products every year), and the upcoming Autumn set – Return to Ravnica!

As someone who missed out on the original Ravnica, I’ve been looking forward to visiting Ravnica for a long time.  In fact, prior to RtR  being announced, I had planned to have a follow-up to my custom block that took place on Ravnica.   Alas, this project has been completely scrapped, as I’m sure WotC will do it better than I do.  But…  if RtR’s story involves planeswalkers from across the multiverse coordinating against recent threats (read: Eldrazi, Phyrexia), only to realize that Nicol Bolas intntionally drew them altogether in an effort to drain their sparks and regain his lost godhood, then I’m calling shenaigans!

Anyway, along with the Comic Con panel comes a ton of new RtR art, including art for all 10 guild leaders.  Being, at this point, quite enthusiastic about custom card creation, I just had to make some cards around these arts.

Today’s subject is the guild leader of the Golgari Swarm:  Jarad.

What we know so far…

So far, Jarad’s casting cost and name have been revealed, but nothing else.  Since I’m new to the Ravnica scene, I’ve had to do my research, and I’ve learned quite a bit.  I’ve learned that this guy is the brother to the former ruler of the Golgari, who herself had usurped the previous ruler.  I know that Jarad is an accomplished warrior and a talented Lich.

Of the Golgari, I’ve learned a bit more.  Their guild philosophy is that, to truly live, you must first die.  Death isn’t just a natural part of the cycle of life, to them – it’s a means to grow in power.  The Golgari truly believe that death can’t stop you.

The original mechanic for the Golgari was Dredge, and I’m given to understand that it was extremely competitive and still remains a viable strategy in Eternal formats.  Dredge is representative of the Golgari’s belief that Death is just the first step on the path to power – in this case, getting the card into your graveyard is just the first step in setting up several possible combos to utilize the mechanic effectively.

For my take on the Golgari, I’m looking at something a bit different.  My understanding of Jarad, the current guildmaster, is that he is not only an accomplished necromancer, he also has a great deal of martial prowess.  Jarad strikes me as a character of action, and so I’ve taken a creature-based approach to the Golgari mechanic.

Here’s my take on Jarad:

Jarad, Golgari Lichlord. Or, my version at least.

Resurge is a mechanic that would allow the Golgari dead to return to the world of the living, stronger than before.  One of the things mentioned at the Comic Con panel was that none of the guilds would see a return of their old mechanics, but the new mechanics would play very well with the old.  I think this hold true here, as many of the same strategies you would use for Dredge (self mill, creature sacrifice) would also allow you to set up Resurge combos.

I see lots of hits on this blog daily, so I know folks are visiting.  So, for you lurkers out there, what do you think.  Any ideas on how you would design Jarad?


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