Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Color Identity of Snow – Creatures


Figuring out which creatures should be Snow in our set is going to be a bit of a problem. In the entire history of magic there are 29 Snow creatures. Since Snow is going to be a big deal in Frostmere, we're going to need quite a few more than that. To get an idea of what Snow creatures can do, we should look at their history. All but one of these cards were in Coldsnap. The last was a Future Sight card. Looking at these, we see a few themes repeating.

  1. Flying. 11 of 29 Snow creatures have flying.
  2. Activated abilities. 21 out of the 29 have at least one activated ability. 17 of those abilites are activated with Snow mana.
  3. 2 can give first strike
  4. 2 can regenerate
  5. 2 can sacrifice creatures for an effect
  6. 2 use ice counters
  7. 4 can pump themselves or others. (+1/+1 and +1/+0)
  8. 2 are multicolored
  9. 3 are artifact creatures
  10. None of them require Snow mana to cast.
  11. 12 of them are unnecessarily snow. Meaning, they have no cost associated with snow mana.

We will keep a few of these conventions, and replace some others. A few rules for our Snow creatures.

  1. Flying. This is a big part of Snow creatures. There will be more Snow flying creatures than non-Snow flying creatures in the set.
  2. There will be at least 2 Snow creatures that can regenerate.
  3. Ice counters will see some use in this set.
  4. There will be some +1/+1s in Snow.
  5. There are no multicolored Snow cards in the set, and therefore no multicolored Snow creatures.
  6. A great deal of them will require only Snow mana to cast.
  7. There will be no unnecessarily Snow creatures. They will all have either a mana cost or activation cost that requires Snow mana.

Let's get designing!

First of all, let's make a colorless snow creature.


This guy is your basic 2/3 for 3, with a decent ability. Nice and snow.

Here's another:



I feel like Snow creatures should generally have toughness higher than power. Now that we have a few colorless snow guys let's try something a bit different. Since so is so pervasive on this plane, it influences all colors of mana. Here are some examples:











Now that you have an idea of what kinds of creatures we'll be seeing in this set, feel free to design a few and post them here.


Here's a sneak peek at a few things we will see in this set:

  1. A snow lord
  2. A Snow Planeswalker
  3. A new ability word, Icy, that counts the amount of Snow permanents you control.
  4. A new mechanic, Mount, that lets your creatures combine to do cooler stuff.
  5. Enchantments that do things we've never seen before.

Next Friday's post will be about Enchantments and Snow.



4 comments:

  1. I recently was working on a Mount ability as well:

    Mount 2 (2: Attach to target creature you control. If this or the creature it is attached to attacks or blocks the other other must also. If they do, they form a band. Mount only as a sorcery.)


    This is still a rough draft as there are alot of issues with attaching creatures to creatures. I am not sure if my version is intuitive enough or if it really work within the rules. I am excited to see your take.

    I'll try to do some digging to see if I have any snow creature and I will post them later.

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  2. Although your wording is a bit better than what I have, it still forces players to understand what banding is. Most people who started playing in the last ten years won't understand that. I'm still trying to figure out a better way to say it. Once I publish my blog about Mount, we can hash it out.

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  3. Banding is tough out of context, but the sets I have worked on tend to utilize it. It fits my meta but probably not yours. Mount also screams "make me evergreen!" which could not happen (at this point) if banding was part of it.

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  4. I seem to have not done much work on Snow. Of all the things I have made, I found only one Snow card:

    She-Wolf
    1G
    Snow Creature - Wolf
    At the beginning of your upkeep, put a -1/-1 counter on She-Wolf.
    She-Wolf attacks each turn if able.
    “And down his track,/ a She-Wolf drove upon me, a straved horror/ ravening and wasted beyond all belief./ She seemed a rack for avarice, gaunt and craving.”
    —Dante
    5/5

    I made a handful of cards based around Dante's Inferno. This is one of the three beasts he faces in the beginning.

    ReplyDelete