Custom Card Game Design
Dreams of Lyanar
July 10, 2014Posted by on
although I mostly worked on Beginnings the last couple of weeks, I still made some progress with my Dream Set, which I presented a few months ago. It is now called Dreams of Lyanar.
A quick recap: Dreams of Lyanar is an enchantment based set, where dreamborn creatures are represented as living enchantments. Unlike Theros, Lyanar will not focus on Auras but on global enchantments instead. An example of this is the Nightmare mechanic, used only on enchantment creatures. Nightmare creatures put the fear into your opponents: They must prevent the nightmare from becoming a reality at all costs.
I also experimented with an ability word named Fantasy, but not much came out of that. They will reappear in a different form, though. When you are drafting your set, someone from the core group is always missing, and you have to fill up with someone who has never drafted the format before. These people will always claim that they have no idea what they are doing and that their deck is terrible — and sometimes it actually is. This issue I want to alleviate with the Fantasies. They are a cycle of uncommon, multicolored global enchantments that change the game rules in some way.
They are all symmetrical, but you can draft around them to break the symmetry. For example, the blue-white one will have the Doran effect, changing the rules so that each creature deals damage equal to its toughness instead. Such gimmicky build-around cards are very popular in casual drafts and they give first-time drafters a way to say “Ok, I have no idea what this format is about, but this card looks fun. I am going to draft this deck.” Besides Nightmare and Fantasies, I have two more mechanics planned. These are Dreamscape and Sleepwalk.
Dreamscape is an ability word that signals an ability that works only if you control three or more enchantments. This might seem a bit boring, just a mere clone of Metalcraft, but I do believe that it fits perfectly into a slow, global enchantment based set.
With Dreamscape, you can do basically the exact same things as you can do with Metalcraft. It is nice to have a simple mechanic in a set for once, something which I am not known for.
Sleepwalk on the other hand is a bit more complex. It is an evasion mechanic for creatures:
Sleepwalk (This creature can only be blocked by tapped creatures.)
This is an evasion mechanic I can get behind. I understand that limited needs creatures with evasion or Falter type effects so that games come to a conclusion eventually, but they always play out very uninteractively. Sleepwalk creatures almost guarantee that at least one creature can attack (if no creature can attack, then sleepwalk creatures can attack!), but you can interact with them by just attacking yourself. If your opponent has a good defense, it will not be that easy, but you can try.
While the reminder text for sleepwalk is fairly simple, the actual correct rules text would be far more confusing. Other rules of blocking still apply — a creature with sleepwalk can only be blocked by tapped creatures that could block that creature if they were untapped and if that creature did not have sleepwalk.
Sleepwalk is not my original design, but a design from Socrates of MTGSalvation.
Rímen and Myldis
To round things up, here is the second planeswalker for ‘Dreams of Lyanar’, the other being Ashiok. This card actually represents a planeswalker duo and has two planeswalker types. The duo consists of two lovers, Rímen and Myldis. Rímen is a red aligned human planeswalker. He traveled the multiverse without a greater purpose, reveling in a care free life and living only for the day. But his travels left him ultimately unfulfilled. He heard rumors of Lyanar, a plane where your dreams can become reality. Though he was sceptical, he had nothing better to do, so he took his chances and traveled to this mythical plane. On one night, while he was sleeping, the plane answered and endowed him with what he truly desired — a companion with whom he can share the wonders of the multiverse. And so the elven planeswalker Myldis came into existence.
But Myldis does not know that she is a dreamborn. She inherited Rímen’s adventurous nature and constantly urges him that they leave Lyanar and continue to explore other worlds. But being a creation of the plane, she cannot exist outside its boundaries and planeswalking away would instantly kill her. So, he has to come up with more and more excuses why they cannot leave the plane yet, meanwhile trying to find out more about the magic of Lyanar.
Rímen and Myldis is the overhaul of my earlier Ajani design. The ability to copy a loyalty ability transformed into the static ability to activate two loyalty abilities each turn. The loyalty abilities are designed in a way to allow for many different combinations and synergies. Both planeswalkers of this pair share the first ability, each granting keywords of their respective color to a creature. Myldis is represented on the second ability and Rímen on the third. As Myldis is a dreamborn, she produces enchantment creature tokens.
While the synergies between the abilities are cool, they make Rímen and Myldis very deck independent and just a plain, good card — a card that will go into every deck in their colors. That is something I dislike, and their abilities might still be changed because of it.