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Mechanics

CardName: Three Changes Cost: C Type: Pow/Tgh: / Rules Text: Choose one or more — • Color indocators are now symbolic. • Phyrexian mana now looks like hybrid mana. • Devoid is now a batch word. Flavour Text: Comments appreciated. Set/Rarity: Conversation Rare

Three Changes
{c}
 
 R 
 
Choose one or more —
• Color indocators are now symbolic.
• Phyrexian mana now looks like hybrid mana.
• Devoid is now a batch word.
Comments appreciated.
Updated on 23 Aug 2019 by SecretInfiltrator

History: [-]

2019-08-23 07:04:04: SecretInfiltrator created and commented on the card Three Changes

(For discussion of the content found also here)

Three changes to the game I propose to retroactively always have been that way (since the introduction of the concept that causes them to exist):

Color Indicators

Color indicators should not be just colored circles, but instead or additionally make use of the color symbols. This serves two purposes.

On the one hand this is much more friendly to the colorblind. Frames are more or less discernible for the colorblind (you won't mix up white and black), but an indicator that uses a means other than color to convey that information would be very useful.

On the other hand it solves the devoid issue. Devoid was made a keyword because they couldn't find a meaningful way to represent colorlessness with a color indicator. But just one set after devoid's introduction they introduce a colorless mana symbol that everyone gets. If color indicators used the same symbols as mana symbols, you get to introduce the colorless symbol sneakily one set early - and have an argument to immediately change the cards adding colorless mana without having to errata them by the second set of the block without actually revealing your plan to introduce colorless mana costs.

Visual Sample

Phyrexian Mana

The color of Phyrexian mana is kinda hard to distinguish without the ability to see color. Like color indicators they eschew one of the most accessible ways we represent and recognize color: sun, drop, skull, flame, tree - the symbolic encoding of the colors used in mana symbols.

One might argue that you cannot simply use a colored mana symbol since you also want to use the Phyrexian symbol in your symbol for thematic reasons. Fortunately we already do that every now and then with hybrid mana symbols. I hence introduce: Phybrid mana.

A Phyrexian cost symbol actually cannot be paid with mana, but can only be paid with 2 life. But since Phyrexian hybrid mana symbols are hybrids of one colored mana symbol and one Phyrexian mana symbol you can pay either 2 life for the Phyrexian cost or the appropriate color of mana for the mana cost. The change is entirely visible and not functional - unless you count the opportunity to later actually use the Phyrexian cost symbol by itself on some colorless card that can be paid only in blood life.

Visual Sample

Devoid

Remember how I removed the need for devoid to exist with the first change? Well, now that the word is no longer used as a keyword ability it may still be of use (after all some cards still might want to refer to it for compatibility with Eldrazi explicitly over e. g. artifacts and lands which are also colorless but not devoid).

Here is the new definition of devoid as a batch word: Any card that has a colorless mana symbol in its cost or rules text and any card that is defined as colorless by a characteristic-defining ability or color indicator (which now also uses the colorless mana symbol, remember) is devoid.

This is a functional change since previously only cards now using a colorless indicator would be devoid. This change though groups (some) Eldrazi with colorless identity and (some) with colored identity together - which one might actually consider preferable. I wouldn't at all be against now allowing the single devoid legendary creature to helm a Commander deck with any devoid creature in it (the colorless Eldrazi that are not devoid get in anyway).

I've been a fan of making the color indicator an actual mana symbol, although once you start including multicolor indicators, it gets really hard to read. Also, once you try to include devoid cards, you run into the issue of conflicting mana symbols on the card. Remember, Magic players are stupid

Phyrexian mana always has reminder text with the full mana symbols in it, so I don't see the added utility of phybrid. You'd still need the same reminder text

I really don't see the point of your devoid batching word. For some reason it includes true colorless cards, devoid cards, and anything that can produce colorless mana. Why is Deranged Assistant devoid?

"I've been a fan of making the color indicator an actual mana symbol, although once you start including multicolor indicators, it gets really hard to read. Also, once you try to include devoid cards, you run into the issue of conflicting mana symbols on the card. Remember, Magic players are stupid"

I've considered these points.

  • Multicolor indicators up to two colors can easily use resized symbols similar to hybrid mana symbols. For more colors than that currently a color indicator is not used anyway. Recall Sphinx of the Guildpact.
  • I intentionally do not use full mana symbols, but leave out the colored circles to differentiate them from mana symbols as seen in costs - ideally the symbol could be integrated in a way beyond my abilities by a graphic designer to make the distinction more apparent.

Phyrexian mana always has reminder text with the full mana symbols in it, so I don't see the added utility of phybrid. You'd still need the same reminder text

I'm a custom card designer, so let's talk about a custom case: A multicolored card with Phyrexian mana. If we take precedent from Reaper King, we can assume that the reminder text will explain one of the two colored symbols, but not the other.

Further this means you'll have to use reminder text even if it is inconvenient. All despite the fact that there is already a way to communicate that a symbol combines two different cost options.

I really don't see the point of your devoid batching word. For some reason it includes true colorless cards, devoid cards, and anything that can produce colorless mana. Why is Deranged Assistant devoid?

For consistency with color identity. Deranged Assistant is devoid for the same reason Quenchable Fire has a blue color identity.

To be honest the original reason I created the batch word is to give a way to recreate certain designs that refer to devoid, but I figured that giving "true colorless" a deeper identity is even better.

Counterpoint to Sphinx of the Guildpact: Nicol Bolas, the Arisen. I didn't notice that you weren't using the full mana symbol, since it was very small on my phone. I like what you did instead

So does that make Deranged Assistant's color identity both blue and devoid, like how Quenchable Fire is both red and blue?

Counterpoint to Sphinx of the Guildpact: Nicol Bolas, the Arisen. I didn't notice that you weren't using the full mana symbol, since it was very small on my phone. I like what you did instead

Three symbols still are discernible arranged tri-brid style - at least equally as easy as discerning for certain whether a third of a current color indicator is blue or green.

For DFC planeswalkers that keep their three colors I maintain recognizability will not be worse - but it will be better in other more common cases.

So does that make Deranged Assistant's color identity both blue and devoid, like how Quenchable Fire is both red and blue?

No and yes.

  • Yes, Deranged Assistant will have both blue color identity and be devoid.
  • No, it's color identity will not be devoid since color identity does only include color, not any other classification.

Devoid will stand apart from color identity in that you can built your deck either according to color identity or to devoid-ness. The rule does not seek to make it impossible to play any card currently legal for Mistform Ultimus to be no longer legal.

Maybe I'm overeaching with devoid and should only consider mana cost and color indicator - or only color indicator as that is keeping the change nonfunctional.

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