Custom Card Game Design

Riffing on Ravnica – Part 2 (Selesnya)

The Selesnya Conclave is the Green & White guild from Ravnica, which means that they are most likely going to be the guild I choose come pre-release.  Green and White are my favorite colors , my favorite constructed deck having been a GW Eldrazi Ramp deck.  So, when looking into making a custom card for the Selesnya guild leader, I’m pretty excited about the possibilities.

The Selesnya are not just a guild on Ravnica, they are a religious sect who believe in unity above all else.  They not only believe that it’s their purpose to bring all other beings into their fold, they believe that, deep down, all beings desire to be a part of the Conclave.  Their leader in the original Ravnica block was the Chorus of the Conclave, and their leader in the upcoming Return to Ravnica block is called Trostani.  Like the chorus, Trostani is the collective consciousness of three separate beings – three dryads, to be exact – who have merged into one being.

As mentioned previously, Wizards has said that the guilds will each have a brand new mechanic in Return to Ravnica, but one of their design constraints is that the new mechanic has to play well with the old – if you shuffle the two together, they should play well together and feel thematically linked.  Keeping myself focused on the same guidelines brought me to this:

Commune.  A verb meaning ‘to be in intimate communication or rapport’.  The Selesnya believe in unity among all else, and so they share what they have amongst their number.  Now, I’m not here to claim that this mechanic is balanced – it’s quite possibly busted in half – but this post isn’t so much about development as it is design and think, from a design standpoint, this captures the flavor and feel of the Selesnya Conclave quite well (Any rules or balance issues would of course be worked out as the card would go through development.)

Giving all your creature spells ‘affinity for creatures’ is something that just puts this over the top, but I think is more than just ‘text’, as it does a few things.  First, it obviously fits the flavor of the character and, indeed, the entire guild, quite well.  Second, it plays extremely well with Convoke, the original Selesnya mechanic.  Finally, it interacts very well with commune – you’ve got the potent ability to be able to copy one spell three different times – now you need more creatures on the field to utilize the ability to its fullest!

Is it perfect?  No.  But I think it fits the flavor well, and works well mechanically.  What do you guys think?


5 responses to “Riffing on Ravnica – Part 2 (Selesnya)

  1. antaresmtg July 18, 2012 at 9:30 am

    Copying spells is not something green/white would get. This would fit more into Izzet (red/blue). The second ability sounds better and something similar might become the keyword for Selesnya. If you want to get big (Ulamog, Emrakul), Trostani is a fine stop on the way up to it. The first ability though doesn’t make that much sense.

  2. adventmtg July 18, 2012 at 10:05 am

    I dunno… I know it’s not something green gets currently, but I think philosophically it fits very well. The card definitely isn’t perfect though, just a (very basic) thought built around the philosophy and ideals of the guild.

  3. jwaz August 4, 2012 at 2:43 am

    ……… Ummmm this guy kinda sucks……. and doesn’t really go with Selesnya at all…… i think this interpretation fits the bill much better:

    • jwaz August 4, 2012 at 2:47 am

      OH, and green will never have copying spells, it doesn’t make any sense……. Selesnya is about team effort and making lots of tokens whereas Izzet is about copying spells.

  4. adventmtg August 10, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    I dunno… yes, Izzet is much more likely to copy spells, but I think there is some space in Green/.White to copy spells, so long as those spells only target creatures you control. I think it definitely fits the communal nature of G/W, at least philosophically speaking.

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