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Elemental Clash: The Master Set» Forums » General

Subject: EC Villans rss

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Thomas W.
United States
Louisiana
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One of the early decisions Magic: the Gathering made was to have a villainous set of cards and creatures. Early on it was phyrexians, monoblack or artifact technozombies/horrors. Then we had slivers for a short stent. Then world devouring eldrazi cthulhu things. I think this is a brilliant marketing move, the forbidden magic and playing the bad guys.

What does this matter for Elememtal Clash? Well, EC doesn't have this. Like, as far as I can tell you get a bit of necromancy in earth, spirit stuff in air, and some demons and devils in fire, but no cohesive villian. Could there be one in EC? Sure, but do you go with the single villian aka Nicol Bolas or Yagmoth approach? No, not enough material. Do you go big and world ending? Probably not, too limited in design space.

That leaves slivers and phyrexia. Well, slivers have a great design space, especially if you also incorporate the space used by allies (whom were modeled after slivers specifically). All four elements and neutral can get pieces, and it can be its own expansion. What makes slivers scary is being small and in innocuous individually, but unstoppable when together. The downside is of course having to play multiple colors to get the full benefit.

Phyrexians are magic's oldest villian, since alpha and antiqueties. Phyrexians were initially limited im design space and design aesthetic. A creepy monoblack spell could be phyrexian or it could just be a creepy monoblack spell. But in Scars of Mirrodin block, they had a chance to reboot and redesign phyrexia, and both of these were tackled. Phyrexia has an inevitability and a hopelessness. Different from annihilator with eldrazi.

One of the recommendations I made to MaRo, was thay since infect had such a developmental problem, it could solved with a fixed poison (read: poisonous) equal to the printed power and variable wither equal to current power. Then proliferate becomes the wild card mechanic that phyrexia needed.

EC rarely uses -1/-1 counters, mostly because there isn't a lot of design space when most creatures don't have toughness greater than 2. But EC does have poison x and purge with a few destroy effects too.

But rather than recreating Magic's villians, it is important to make EC's own villian. Making it all 4 elements has the most space, but risks either railroading deck building (slivers) or risks diluting its own identity (old phyrexia).

So first off: its own identity that is villianous. It either needs to work in all 4 elements or can be used to further that strategy. I don't really know, but the idea intrigues me.
 
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Thomas W.
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Louisiana
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So thinking about it further. A way to make it fit in all the elements without too much difficulty while feeling distinct could be by changing how the cost is paid. Now this is a powerful mechanic because it bypasses the normal costing restriction in EC, but it also depleats the ability of the player to do anything. Unlike MtG's phyrexian mana, the cost of which is life which rarely affects gameplay and who's cost can be paid in combination of mana and life, mechanic "Q", if you will, must be paid entirely one way or the other and the alternative cost is discarding cards from hand, which is significant.
Example:

Vanilla Bear Lvl 1 Earth
Q1 - You may summon this creature to any element stack regardless of its stones by discarding 1 card from your hand to your archive.

So this means 2 things. You can summon/cast on a stack without stones and you can summon/cast on a stack with the wrong stones or stack containing too few stones. This can be particularly strong in decks that also play salvage or heavy card draw. Sometimes the cost must be higher than the spell level because of power level. And since most salvage spells are red, costing red "Q" spells and creatures will likely need to be taken into account.

So, with this as a defining trait, I imagine we could start to develop a flavor for this new villian. Discarding from the hand can be seen as a kind of trauma to the player, like a nightmare tearing itself out of the players mind. So I am thinking "Living Nightmare" and the alternative cost would be called "Manifest Q" where "Q" is the number of cards discarded to summon/cast the card.
 
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