Custom Card Game Design

Beginnings and an Ajani

I posted some cards before from the second set of Esparand block, called ‘Storm of Chaos.’ I was positive that I would use that terrible name only until I could think of a better one, but now I have thrown the entire concept of the set out of the window. The concept was that without its arbiter to control the Storm of Time, chaos on the plane would be unbound. Now I am working on a new concept for the second set and it is currently called ‘Beginnings.’ Here, the two protagonists Telar and Niusha, together with a few allies, travel back in time to an era that was previously deemed inaccessible. The beginning of time, or “zero” as it is called, is an era where not everything is messed up yet. As the plane has not yet been ravaged by the Storm of Time, in this era, Esparand is anything but a lifeless desert.

Just like Esparand, Beginnings has three mechanics. The first mechanic is Foreshadow, as it appeared in its predecessor. Epitaph is replaced by Flashback, and Consign by a yet undecided mechanic, as these two mechanics do not seem to fit the setting I am going for. That will be a lot of mechanics for the entire block, but I hope I can make it work. The different mechanics just have to work well with those from Esparand.

Ajani, Primal Soul

Here is the first preview card from Beginnings. I wanted to have a green planeswalker in the block, as the other four colors are covered already. I started with a green-white version of Ajani, but he evolved into Naya, then into red-green. I already made a green-white planeswalker back in Iamur, so I like it this way better anyway. The only problem is: It does not feel like an Ajani anymore. But Ajani Vengeant did not as well, so is it that big of a problem? Maybe this version of Ajani is closely related to Ajani Vengeant, or an event in the future turned him into this more savage character (time travel explains everything!).

Far too few dragons to be a Sarkhan.

I learned that planeswalkers that just durdle around with their abilities need an ultimate, or they are not very interesting to play with. But this Ajani here just kills people if he lives, so an ultimate would never be activated anyway. Whether this is the best loyalty setup for him has to be tested. On paper, abilities like the zero-ability always look more powerful than they really are: When was the last time you wanted to pay five mana for a planeswalker that did nothing on the turn he entered the battlefield?

Another possible loyalty setup is +1 // +1 // -3 // {4}. Here is the main difference: With the current setup, when you have charges from the 0-ability floating and things go wrong, you may have to waste those charges to +1 on nothing. Should it be this way? That may turn out to be frustrating, but on the other hand, building up loyalty while also building up charges may be too powerful.

  • Epitaph {cost} (When this is put into your graveyard from anywhere, you may pay {cost} and remember it. If you don’t, exile it.) // As long as ~ is remembered, {effect}.
  • Consign {cost} (Pay {cost} and exile this card from your hand consigned to target creature you control. That creature gains “T: You may cast a copy of the exiled card without paying its mana cost.” Consign only as a sorcery.)
  • Foreshadow {cost} (Pay {cost} and play with this card revealed from your hand. You can’t cast it this turn. Foreshadow only as a sorcery.)

3 responses to “Beginnings and an Ajani

  1. Circeus January 10, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    I suspect the problem is clearly that Ajani is a white planeswalker. You can fiddle around with adding a color (cf. Sarkhan, Garruk, or on a nonplaneswalker level, Glissa the Traitor), but I seriously doubt you can just change a planeswalker color entirely.

    Furthermore, each planeswalker has elements that characterize him or her. In Ajani’s case, it’s generally been life gain and/or +1/+1 counters, neither of which feature anywhere on this planeswalker. This is just not an Ajani in any way or form. If anything, it’s a pretty straightforward green/red Garruk.

  2. Pingback: Dreams of Lyanar | Adventares - Custom Card Game Design

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