Friday, January 4, 2008


WotC has started previewing cards from Morningtide, the expansion set for Lorwyn.

It looks like Morningtide is going to play very well with my set - some very similar mechanics and themes being explored. THIS IS FANTASTIC NEWS FOR ME BECAUSE IT VALIDATES THE WORK I'VE BEEN DOING; THERE IS NO CHANCE THAT WotC "STOLE" ANY OF THE IDEAS!!! Of course, my set has no focus on "Tribal", but other than that there are several areas of commonality.

Both sets have:
  • "+1/+1 counters" sub-theme.
  • "creature tokens" theme (much bigger in my set than in Morningtide.)
  • "top card of your library matters" sub-theme (WotC's "Kinship" mechanic did a much better job of this than my "Mindfly" mechanic - see below)
  • "converted mana cost matters" sub-theme (I did a much better job of this than WotC did - see below. Note that I'm stretching clash pretty thin to say that Morningtide has a "converted mana cost matters" theme.)
  • I'm going to stretch the comparison almost to breaking here and suggest that there's also a shared theme of "alternate uses for cards" as well thanks to their "Reinforce" and my "Debris" concepts.
I'm going to talk a bit about how Lorwyn block and my set explored these themes.

Converted mana cost matters
You're probably thinking that I must have looked at different Lorwyn/Morningtide cards than you did if I think there's a "CMC-matters" theme in there. But there is, because of Clash. What baffles me is that they didn't build more of the block around "CMC-matters" to create some synergy with Clash. There's nothing about the Lorwyn block that says "this set would suffer if we took clash out"; by contrast, think about what would happen to Odyseey block if they took out Threshold.

Top card of your library matters
Clash and Kinship both care about the top card of your library. I have a similar theme in that there are a) many effects that reveal the top card of your library, and b) several effects that trigger when they are revealed from the top of your library.

The cards in my group "a" are fine, but the cards in group "b" are weak because they require that you also have a card from group "a" to use them! I solved this by putting a lot of group "a" cards into the set, but the real solution would have been to replace "b" with a mechanic that is self-contained.

To be fair to myself, you can look at a ton of official cards and see that they're only good if surrounded by related cards (ex: any Tribal card.) But now that I've noticed this, I'm irritated that I designed something like it into my set - it feels like it's just one step above the cards in the Star Wars and Star Trek games that say something like "play this only if you have Luke Skywalker at the Death Star" or "if you have Data on the Enterprise then X..." etc.

Finally (I as I mentioned above), I'm surprised at how isolated Clash is from the rest of the set in terms of "CMC-matters"; well I'm equally surprised that both Clash and Kinship live without a mechanic that manipulates the top card of your library (ex: Scry).

Click the following links to see some Morningtide cards alongside related ones of mine:

+1/+1 counters become creatures

Reveal top card of library to create a creature token

Blue manipulating +1/+1 counters

Blue creates X creature tokens

(There are links to my set's "spoiler" cardlists in the bar on the right-side of your screen.)