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CardName: Block Idea: Noncreature types Cost: Type: Pow/Tgh: / Rules Text: Down-top set/block with the main idea being to apply/justify the _"Great Noncreature Type Update"_. That is, to add flavorful ("tribal") subtypes for instants, sorceries, and possibly enchantments. Flavour Text: Set/Rarity: Conversation None

Block Idea: Noncreature types
Down-top set/block with the main idea being to apply/justify the "Great Noncreature Type Update". That is, to add flavorful ("tribal") subtypes for instants, sorceries, and possibly enchantments.
Updated on 14 Dec 2017 by Tahazzar

History: [-]

2017-12-12 13:50:31: Tahazzar created and commented on the card Block Idea: Noncreature types

To me, the first questions are

  • What noncreature types there will be and how are they categorized?
  • What is the setting?

For another project, I've been thinking of this kind of elemental/sphere/"spell school" cycle/cosmology:

  • 1) Void/Mind/Origin
  • 2) Astral/Correspondence/Thought (distance, gravity, relation)
  • 3) Energy/Dynamism/Elementalism (fire, kinetics)
  • 4) Material/Pattern
  • 5) "Entropy"/Transition (necromancy)
  • 6) Symmetry/Memory/Spectral (fey, nature)
  • back to 1)

I had a whole list of noncreature types for spells in my "Turn Magic into an LCG" project that will probably never see the light of day, but for the most part it's hard to make them have relevant tribal support -AND- include enough spell domains that each spell could reasonably belong to. Though I had something like 20-30 spell types, with only a few having tribal synergies.

I think the cosmology you listed would be fine for a standalone block, though some of them feel a bit abstract - entropy including necromancy, for example. Is Raise Dead really entropic? It seems more like Memory/Spectral or Energy to me. Which would make it weird when Zombify is something else. Any block with noncreature types would have to have more grounded types that people can look at and go "Oh, I guess I see how that's a Fire spell" or "Oh, I can tell it's a Martial spell because it involves dudes punching stuff harder".

You mean like this? It's a little out-of-date, but contains some ideas.

I'm going to go against the grain here: I think that the subtypes should not be equivalent to 'schools' or 'types' of magic (i.e. Necromancy, Conjuration, Abjuration from DnD; or, 'Fire', 'Water', 'Poison' from PokeMon and a million other such works). I think the subtypes should be defined by an identifiable / associated card text, i.e. Aura always has Enchant [X] and Cantrip always has 'Draw a card'.

As for actual subtype ideas, well... I've mentioned Charm (for spells with modal effects, so this would include cards with Entwine, Fuse, and Escalate, etc) and Ritual for Sorceries that would generate mana (i.e. Rite of Flame, Seething Song, Dark Ritual, High Tide?, etc.) and maybe Tutor? could be on cards that said, "Search your library for a card, reveal it, and put it into your hand."

I actually brain farted with that sphere cosmology thingie since that's closer to a new color pie distribution if even applicable for mtg as it is in practice. "Entropy" sphere (not the quotation marks) could be when traversed in reverse from symmetry to material known as "entropic animancy" which would be necromancy. Specifically doing a "symmetry skip" by combining "entropy" + void/mind would be the thing, but whatever. I would need to a wiki for that system to explain it properly.

So yes, these functionally related types are good and I recall referring to them before when brainstorming this block concept - specifically to that post SecretInfiltrator linked to. That contains a very good list already so I think the thing would be to formulate a proper composition for a setting.

So just parsing that specific list, I would consider filtering them somewhat as I see fit

Enchantment: Circle, Font-Seal, Hymn-Quest, Law, Leyline, Shrine, Siege, Ward-Mark

Spells: Arcane (splice onto instant/sorcery?), Beacon-Zenith, Cantrip, Charm-Command, Pact, Primal, Psionic, Ritual, Skill-Tactic (warcast/during combat), Summon, Trap, Tutor-Wish, Ultimatum.

Artifacts: Assembly, Banner-Signet-Borderpost, Bauble-Bomb-Implement, Fortification, Gem, Monument, Potion, Stone, Totem, Treasure, Trigon.

Would Shrines from New Phyrexia be listed as Shrines or Hymns? Anyway...

Perhaps initially I would go for a smaller number - trying to get a handle for "tribal" themes/archetypes by choosing two or so from each of those categories.


  • Seal-Font/Hymn-Quest (enchantments that are sacced)
  • Law/Control/Leyline/Circle/Shrine (controlly enchantments)
  • Ward/Mark (enchantments that buff - "enchanted [creature] tribal")


  • Cantrip/Beacon-Zenith/Tutor (spells that replace themselves)
  • Trap/Skill-Tactic/Charm-Commands (ready for any situtation)


  • Assembly/Trigon/Fortification (building something I guess, dunno)


What kind of world/setting would have those and be specifically focused on them? How do they map to colors? etc

Would Shrines from New Phyrexia be listed as Shrines or Hymns?

Neither since they are artifacts and both Shrine and Hymn are enchantment types. The issue here clearly is that Shrine - the only canonical among these beside Arcane, Fortification and Treasure - should thematically never have been an enchantment type. But being an actual printed type it is the hardest to shift.

(As a side-note Hymns also were supposed to be used for "Anthem" cards. But that's just because I had a system that would make an enchantment without subtype about as common as a creature without subtype. :) )

I think I have clasified them as Monument - my catcha-all type for artifacts representing large structures not a sufficient fit for other types with a deeper mechanical definition.

Back when I made the list Ixalan treasures were not yet a thing, but technically Treasure is now an official artifact type tied to something valuable you sacrifice for an effect that New Phyrexia shrines could fall into. Otherwise Totem is an option.

You also seem to miss that Fortification is an official artifact type with associated rules.

To adress the actual world... well, I always assumed that I would not have a singular world introducing all concepts at once e. g. I would have a "land tribal" world (I thought about a return to Rabiah that would give us returning Desert and new Market etc.).

That would be followed up by maybe a Might & Magic world where the distinction between arcane mages and physical warriors is pronounced (establishing the "nonmagical" subtypes like Tactic, maybe Assembly and Monument etc.).

But more generally a good idea is usually to have a thematic underlying social system that can give meaning to the distinct types e. g. a society of actual guilds - but not (necessarily) the color-coded type of Ravnica. There would be a builder's guild for Monuments/Fortifications as opposed to an alchemists guild brewing Potions, an explorer/adventurer's guild that uses Traps/Tactic combat tricks on their Quests, a thaumaturge's guild which builds Shrines and hands out Charms and casts Wards (divine), a scholar's guild that offers Tutors and can cast Arcane magic.

I guess it'd want to be a world with weird and different magic rules, strong enough to force the planeswalkers to kowtow to those rules rather than the magic they know. Or storywise, giving them a very good reason to do so.

Probably the latter, since you also want a reason for this foreign magic to sipill out and change the rules of the multiverse and.. that way lies badness. How about just not doing that?

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