Tag Archives: black

Mercadia mercenary

Art is a still shot from the beloved TV show Firefly. I never played in Mercadia block, but the treacherous bazaar feeling always reminded me of Firefly.

In Reddit, at the Custom Magic subreddit, there was a challenge to come up for a card that could be in a hypothetical Future Sight 2 set.

Since when you have a hammer, all you see are nails, and I still had my Special Promotion ability keyword rummaging through my head, I went with that.

I was thinking on how could I apply that keyword for creatures. Because of memory issues, I knew it could only be a vanilla or virtual vanilla. Black is supposed to be third at haste, and Future Sight (although less than Planar Chaos) was not afraid of some colour bleeding.

In the end, the creature is something quite simple and not overpowered, so common seemed like a natural fit (I have a saying: if something can be a common, let it be a common…). I think the contest was looking for something a bit more splashy, but every set needs its commons, and this one does it job of showing a new cool mechanic!

I am not sure of its design space. Perhaps converted mana costs don’t need to be even, and the recruitment cost can be rounded down. But I’m sure the creatures need to be of low complexity. ETB triggers, french vanillas and that’s it. At most, you can squeeze a spring large set out of this.

Final touches of flavor came from me feeling like previewing a return to a previous plane and Mercadia was the first thing that popped into my head. In that block, mercenaries, like rebels, fetched each other from the battlefield. This is a new take on representing that kind of mechanic.

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Market thugs

Art by Forges.

This card was inspired by two things. First, my attempt to make a simple common instead of a splashy uncommon/rare; and preferably black. Second, the financial crisis. Flavor behind the card is the market hunger for bringing countries down to their knees and raze them.

Initial version of this card was as complex as it gets. By discarding a creature card, you placed a +1/+1 counter on it. Then, by removing three counters AND if you had threshold, you could destroy a target land. I wanted to symbolize how the economic powers get big on personal tragedy, and once they get out of control, they can even tackle whole countries.

Then I remembered I wanted a common. After New World Order, I can’t spare so many complex points. So I completely removed the second ability, and kept the first albeit discarding a land card. But markets have a demonic sense into them: it’s not that they get bigger when you sacrifice countries to them, it’s that you are forced to! Or else!

You don’t always have land cards in hand to spare, so instead of making you lose life as consequence of noy paying your debts, I decided to simply tap it. Markets won’t collaborate with you unless you concede to their wishes.

I changed the card to this kind of demonic ability and called it a day.

Then I realized I had reinvented Carnophage.

Well, here it is, as is, as a testament of my honesty.

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