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CardName: Ringwatcher Eagle Cost: 4W Type: Creature - Bird Artificer Pow/Tgh: 3/3 Rules Text: Flying When Ringwatcher Eagle enters the battlefield, Provision a Gadget (Create a Gadget token of your choice.) Flavour Text: The Ringwatchers are responsible for monitoring the Mage Rings which can't be directly maintained by emissaries of the Mage Elite. Set/Rarity: Vryn Common

Ringwatcher Eagle
Creature – Bird Artificer
When Ringwatcher Eagle enters the battlefield, Provision a Gadget (Create a Gadget token of your choice.)
The Ringwatchers are responsible for monitoring the Mage Rings which can't be directly maintained by emissaries of the Mage Elite.
Updated on 15 Nov 2021 by Nodle

Code: CW01

History: [-]

2018-01-04 07:10:44: Nodle created the card Ringwatcher Eagle
2018-01-04 07:34:50: Mal edited Ringwatcher Eagle

The capitalization is inconsistent.

"Provision a Gadget", huh? I think you are undercosting this fabricate variant.

The mechanic obviously is extremely mentally taxing since the many possible outcomes are not visible. This is like a textless Incendiary Command at common - without mouse-over, could you tell me what it does?

I'm fully aware that Gadgets are taxing and that wotc wouldn't do them as the reminder text doesn't really explain the ability. I generally take the philosophy that custom card design should be, in part, about doing things WotC wouldn't do normally, but would lead to fun and interesting gameplay. You can think of this set as an experiment in how far Modal Design can be pushed. At present, all of the mechanics in this set are just ways of doing Modal. It remains to be seen if doing so much Modal is a good idea, or if players get overloaded by it. (I'm inclined to predict it will be the latter, but we will see.) It's worth noting that because this set is my own thing, it will never be sold as individual packs, and any time anyone plays with these cards, they should have easy access to the physical Gadget tokens.

2018-01-04 20:45:16: Nodle edited Ringwatcher Eagle

My first complaint is that if you run any gadget creating cards you need to have five token cards at hand - of which some are quite complex for token cards btw.

Speaking of complexity, this is like if fabricate went off the rails. This is crazy, man. I mean five possible things that are represented as tokens and you can accumulate.

I have made multiple cubes of complex custom cards and I can tell you that having a bunch of cards that are basically mini-games of their own is inevitably gonna bog down the gameplay a lot in the long run.

I'm aware that players will need the gadget tokens in order for the mechanic to work. I've already stated that this will not be a problem for me, though it would be a problem for WotC, which is a big part of the reason I'm testing the mechanic. I want to do things that are fun that WotC can't do.

I'm about 90% sure at the moment that 5 possible gadgets is going to be trimmed to 4 but I'm waiting to do a playtest before I make further changes to mechanics.

These cards aren't mini games, they are modal spells. And by making all the spells have the same modes, I'm hoping players will be able to more easily grapple with the complexity. We will see what happens in the first playtest. It is perfectly possible, even likely that I'm pushing too far, but I won't be sure until I do a playtest.

@Tahazzar @SecretInfiltrator

I've removed the gadget creature and come up with a partial sollution to the gadget token distribution problem. I've created a 4 way split card with all Gadget tokens printed on it. All tokens in this set will be double sided with one sided having this 4 way split card. In this way, I guarantee that every 'pack' has the tools needed to understand and use each card. A mock up of the 4 way token is linked below.


Ugh, still seems pretty rough to me. Putting that aside for a second, isn't it highly questionable for the color pie that every color that provides gadgets can loot, tap creatures, and do colorless rituals? All of those are pretty okay for {u} to do (though colorless ramp without any restrictions is more on the questionable side) but {w} looting and colorless ritual-ing isn't really.

This is a color pie bend more than a break as Gadgets are colorless and colorless already has access to tapping creatures, making mana, looting, and +1/+1 counters.

In general, I expect Vryn to be Blue-Black tinged in a way that is similar to how Scars of Mirrodin was Black tinged. I'm trying to use espionage as a theme for a set which is traditionally very blue black. There is going to be quite a bit of flavor bleed and hopefully only some minor mechanical bends.

2018-01-15 20:20:45: Nodle edited Ringwatcher Eagle
2018-01-29 22:55:44: Nodle edited Ringwatcher Eagle:

Updated to use automated reminder text

2018-01-30 04:10:10: Nodle edited Ringwatcher Eagle

> This is a color pie bend more than a break as Gadgets are colorless and colorless already has access to tapping creatures, making mana, looting, and +1/+1 counters.

Is anyone else buying this? 'Cause I'm not. That Gadget could be Pink (Water Gun Balloon Game) for all I care since it doesn't matter at least 95 % of cases. It's a {w} card that makes it. That's what matters.

With that reasoning I could make a black creature that creates a colorless artifact token with "{t}, Sacrifice this: Destroy target permanent."

Gadgets are a new mechanic. They are in white because I say they are. (I also say they are in every other color) I'm totally ok with these effects being in every color because they are already available cheaply to ever color through colorless artifacts.

> With that reasoning I could make a black creature that creates a colorless artifact token with "{t}, Sacrifice this: Destroy target permanent."

Please stop being so absurd. There is gulf of a difference between colors getting minor effects that aren't explicitly forbidden to them as part of a new mechanic and what you are doing, which is just explicitly breaking the color pie by giving black straight removal for enchantments and artifacts as a random one off thing.

Gadgets are a new mechanic, They are in white.

2018-07-01 17:46:13: Nodle edited Ringwatcher Eagle

Fair enough; it's your set.

There's a fine line for you to tread though. You want gadgets to be good enough that people will play them. But make them too good, and you end up with the dreaded mirrodin colourless blob of doom.

Could this use Wolf of Shepherd's Meadow tech instead of tokens? I would imagine that the token slot or a common slot gets replaced with a dedicated "Gadget" slot - an artifact card with no means to be played that you put into your sideboard and just use rather than a token.

Heck, you could make it castable for an unattractive cost, but just being a Gadget means it's more desirable outside the game, where it is easily "provisioned" - and you can get away with not having the effect in the reminder text no matter how many different "Gadgets" you want to put out.

Alternatively a hybrid with Create tech/Master of the Hunt tech, so you can use a single Gadget to create multiple tokens.

How about this:

> When ~ enters the battlefield, provision a Gadget. (Reveal a Gadget card you own from outside the game. Create a token copy of it.)

It's not a free choice from four options, but if you cared you could probably find all four of them - or more.

Honestly, I'm probably just going to scrap the mechanic unless I can come up with more balanced effects anyway. Thanks for input though.

2018-07-03 03:15:31: Nodle edited Ringwatcher Eagle

Personally; I think this is an interesting expansion. But it would be hard to balance.

Certainly such small effects are permitted rewards for any colour doing "this sets mechanic". though that mechanic being just 'on ETB' feels a bit odd; I guess it's artificer tribal really.

But getting the CHOICE of four(ish) mechanics is much stronger. And would need a lot of attention to balance, since it could easily be '3 terrible things and one that you always take' (i.e. "draw a card").

Maybe to make it more obviously a tribal; it could be "If you control another artificer.."?

2018-07-04 04:09:03: Nodle edited Ringwatcher Eagle

The effects have been deliberately chosen to be good in different points of the game which encourages players to use more than one gadget type.

Provision is not in any way artificer tribal. It is just a new potential mechanic which fits my chosen mechanical and flavor themes.

I'm still working on finalizing my list of effects. At the moment, I'm testing the following three effects.

  1. Add C
  2. Tap target creature
  3. Scry 1

I'm open to hearing ideas for potential fourth effects.

It currently doesn't have an identity, then. Because the effect is "One of four thing" that's too wide to be an identity. And you don't have a single identifiable trigger (other than 'be an artificer' which you say isn't the identity?) so that doesn't help. It leave the mechanic feel like you have to work out what it is every time. Which isn't a great feeling.

I don't have a good suggestions for a fourth ability. Let's see what else you have in the set... how about sacrifice to escalate?

Doesn't producing mana already help to escalate?

"{t}, Sacrifice ~: Target Gadget you control becomes a 1/1 Servo artifact creature."? That's a lot more text than the really cool three short abilities you have already right now.

When in doubt, maybe three effects are enough. Maybe a rather specific keyword e. g. "Target creature gains haste". No, that would automatically turn Ringwatcher Eagle into Raging Goblin for white. :/ Flying UEOT? Overlaps with what you can achieve with tapping.

Target creature cannot attack might be a fourth.

And yes, adding {1} is heling escalate, I was thinking just plain "sacrifice: escalate target" might be interesting; since it would allow selection of a second mode on a card which doesn't itself have escalate.

> Target creature cannot attack might be a fourth.

With "Tap target creature" already in, I don't see that being used.

Oh yes, doh. Anything with card draw is too strong; destroying graveyards has no reason to be in the set... colour filtering? Untapping one of your creatures might be too good; maybe vigilance as a half-way, but that's pretty colour-mapped.
Looking at cheap sacrifice artifacts; most of the colourless ones are pretty old. +1/+1, maybe UEOT maybe counter? Kinda annoying to have a lot of those floating around. Gain 2 life?

Note that giving a card escalate doesn't actually do anything. The magic of the keyword lies in the rules text "choose one or more". The keyword itself is basically just a drawback to make the cards play in an interesting way.

And yes, a lot of the potential effects i could do have the problem of overlapping significantly with "tap target creature". They are also in general more complicated which is why I prefer tapping as an effect.

Gaining life is awkward for two reasons. First it overlaps with tapping creatures. Second it doesn't push the game to its conclusion. In general, its a bad idea to have a high asfan of life gain effects.

All the 'give a creature a keyword' gadget designs have the issue of being pretty large color pie violations. They also tend to overlap strategically with existing gadgets.

The idea of gadgets being sideboard tokens sounds pretty nice.

Three is a magical number and only you usually want to go with if you have to decide between the number of options to have (maybe two is even more preferable). The three options I would personally be comfortable with color pie wise would be (from the top of my head):

  • Sacrifice this artifact: Scry 2.
  • Sacrifice this artifact: You gain 2 life.
  • {1}, Sacrifice this artifact: Add one mana of any color.

Life gain would suggest some support in the form of Ajani's Pridemate and such.

The color fixing ability is a bit awkward in that it requires some mana upfront while the other two don't. For the sake of consistency it might be better go with all of them requiring {1} mana to activate (also makes them slightly more common friendly so that they have some 'down time' when they can't be activated and don't have to be worried about) and because of that I would up the number of life gain and scry from 2 to 3 respectively.

Hmm, is scry 3 too strong? Going scry 2 might be better, but inconsistent a bit. Maybe still keep the numbers at 2 each? Then again life gain starts to sound too weak. Mayhaps "tap creature" would indeed be better in that case.


  • {1}, Sacrifice this artifact: Choose one —
    • Scry 2.
    • Tap target creature.
    • Add one mana of any color.

Tapping creatures at instant speed adds a lot of complexity gameplay wise though... Not so much as +1/+1 UEOT or anything like that, but still, at the start of each combat you would have to consider if you want to stop something from attacking / blocking and whether you would want to 'crack' the Gadget for something else instead.

Scrying you might want to consider at end step / upkeep, but otherwise it, color fixing, and gaining life are require low tactical thought which is good considering the mechanic is already presenting players with so many options, which only gets worse once you start to pile multiple Gadgets. Maybe "You gain 3 life" would still be better than tapping even if the numbers between it and the scrying could possibly be confused with each other at some rare occasions?

EDIT: On further thought, the supposed 'inconsistency' of the numbers would play into the mechanic's advantage as a memory rule. You either add one, scry two, or gain three. 1-2-3.

I plan to use gadgets a lot so I'm not building life gain or mana fixing into the gadgets themselves as those effects become very problematic in limited in higher numbers. I prefer scry 1 to scry 2 as I think it is easier to balance and is much faster for players to play with. Scry 2 has three times more possible outcomes than scry 1, meaning its much more complicated.

I'm not putting tokens into the sideboard because it would play worse and warp the set even more than gadgets already are. In order to support the gadgets in the sideboard version of the mechanic, I'd need to put dozens of gadgets in the set, much like contraptions in unstable. Balancing all of these effects would be miserable.

I'm satisfied with the current version of the mechanic. With only three modes. I still plan to include double faced tokens in the set with one side being a split card with all three available gadgets. This means that whenever someone opens a pack, it will feature everything they need to play with all the cards and I can just focus on the designs of the cards themselves.

2018-07-10 04:06:30: Nodle edited Ringwatcher Eagle

How is color fixing more problematic than mana acceleration? Color fixing encourages splashing and adding additional colors - ie. diversity. Mana acceleration asks for combos and powering out quickly your finishers. Chromatic Star is okay, but a Lotus Petal for colorless mana is not. Obviously Gold/Treasure tokens did both of these things, but they exclusively appeared in {r}, {b}, and {u}. Of all the colors, {w} would be the wrong one as far as I know.

Scry 2 is certainly more complex than scry 1, but if you start comparing it to the decision tree you have to do when thinking whether or not pop for 'tap creature' option, it's the more preferable option IMO.

I guess 'tap target' is a tolerable option, but it's obviously the most complex of all the choices, even if scry 2 would be accompanying it. Life gain would certainly be one of the simpler options you could possibly have here. I would at least consider playing around the issues it could potentially cause rather than drop it cold out-right.

That all aside, if you really want to push for these bends, I don't think the 3 current options you suggest are balanced with each other.

> Add {c}; or tap target creature; or scry 1.

IMO "scry 1" pales in comparison to the other two. I would find the mana generation one to be the strongest one. It gains you tempo and likely board presence you wouldn't be able to muster otherwise - likely even not in the span of multiple rounds. "Tap creature" is certainly a strong contender. Preventing from attacking is essentially life gain though, so it's just furthering the inevitable. Alpha attacking by making your dudes unblockable is pretty strong though. Especially as the opponent has to play around the possibility of you making the couple of dudes they leave to defend unable to do so, which is an additional step of complexity as it even affects the decisions of your opponents in addition to you.

The modes are balanced by virtue of being perpendicular to each other and desirable at different stages of the game. I'll worry about fine tuning balance later. There are definitely a lot of modes that could easily replace the scry 1 mode if I choose to make it more powerful.

2018-07-16 00:29:52: Nodle edited Ringwatcher Eagle
2021-11-15 06:25:19: Nodle edited Ringwatcher Eagle

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