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CardName: Rethinking Apocalypse Chime Cost: Type: Legendary Artifact Pow/Tgh: / Rules Text: Flavour Text: Set/Rarity: Conversation Mythic

Rethinking Apocalypse Chime
 
 M 
Legendary Artifact
Updated on 22 Jul 2015 by jmgariepy

History: [-]

2015-07-14 03:31:09: jmgariepy created and commented on the card Rethinking Apocalypse Chime

­Apocalypse Chime is a card from Homelands. It looks like this:

­[[Apocalypse Chime]]

In Homelands Restored, my goal is to do the least to update the cards to feel like they're modern. Most times that means that if a Modern card can do something, and it doesn't interfere with the needs of the set, then the only thing I do is alter the casting cost to be appropriate to modern standards.

Not knowing quite what to do with the chime, I just increased the cost and the activation by one and called it a day. But this still bugs me. For what I assume would be obvious reasons to a modern player, Wizards doesn't print cards like this anymore.

So I need to update the Apocalypse Chime. But I'm not sure how. It turns out the Chime appeared in the 1996 comic book. Details to follow:

­

The Planeswalker Ravi won a bitter, deadly fight in an Ulgrotha that existed before the action in Homelands. Having survived that, she crawled to a mountain ledge only to see nothing but madness and war from other fighting planeswalkers. In an attempt to stop the chaos, she rang her chime--a gift from her mentor who instructed her to use it in an emergency, but never explained to her the full impact of the chime.

The Apocalypse Chime destroyed everything, "Creatures, artifacts and planeswalkers" ruined the land, killing all access to mana and setting the plane out of alignment. Mana would eventually flow to Ulgrotha... but the mana doesn't come from this plane (the font is beneath Castle Sengir. Where the mana is coming from is still a bit of a mystery.) Later, Serra and Feroz would act as caretakers to correct the damage that was done. Ravi, meanwhile, didn't die. But she lost her spark and went mad. The Baron Sengir found her trapped under a pillar in the dead mana zone and brought her home. Ravi eventually became known as Grandmother Sengir.

So, we have a chime that when you ring it destroys everything, rips all mana from the land, removes the planeswalker's spark, but the walker and the chime sticks around. Just talking this through, I'm starting to get an idea of how to shape this card. But it would be very silly of me to ask for help, only to design the card and say "You know what. Forget it." Besides, I wouldn't mind seeing how other people would approach this Mythic Legendary Artifact.

Sounds to me like a Perilous Vault functional reprint...

First thing I thought of was an updated Nevinyrral's Disk, but Perilous Vault is good too. Exile might be better.

Was thinking that something like this would do:

­

It wipes the board, but sticks around after. It also blasts the lands, but they can recover over time.

I tossed around making it indestructible, then decided against it. But the non-indestructible version of this card doesn't do what you'd want it to do if any player cast Smelt after it was activated. I had the 'return a land' be part of the ability and be independent of whether the Chime is in play, but that's confusing (and, at the very least, busy since it requires reminder text.) In the end, I decided it was better to leave indestructible on and let players deal with that.

That's pretty cool.

I really don't like an indestructible, repeatable Armageddon. I don't see how connecting the two abilities would be confusing or busy; in fact, I think it's cleaner. "Exile all permanents. At the beginning of each player's upkeep, that player may return a land they own exiled this way to the battlefield under their control."

Personally, I would think you'd have to include "(This ability continues to trigger even if Apocalypse Chime is no longer on the battlefield)".

I mean, we know that connecting the two sentences together makes it part of the same ability, and the ability is ongoing independent of what's on the battlefield. But I would assume most players up to 5 years of experience wouldn't make that connection (and even some veteran players wouldn't immediately notice the distinction.)"

For what it's worth, I did make the activation high so that there would be a solid period of recovery. Theoretically, you could ramp back up to 9, but then you'd just end up exiling your ramp anyway.

Hmm. Maybe I'll just mock up both designs and show them to people off the server and ask them which they prefer. We'll probably get a better reaction from side by side comparisons of uninvested people then by arguing (reasonable) semantics here.

I think, to me, it's easier to parse as one ability, so I'd rather write it the way I expect it to work and add reminder text if necessary.

There are permanents that say things like "Exile target creature, return it to the battlefield at the beginning of the next end step" without clarification.

Or, you could sidestep the templating problem by having this sacrifice.

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