Fellowship of the Ring: Comments

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Mechanics | Skeleton

I like the flavor you've got going.

Legends for the Block:

Set 1:

­{w}: Frodo

­{u}: Elrond

­{b}: Ringwraith

­{r}: Boromir

­{g}: Tom Bombadil

­{w}{u}: Gandalf

­{u}{r}: Merry and Pippin

­{b}{g}: Old Man Willow

­{g}{w}: Sam

­{r}{w}: Aragorn

­{w}: Glorfindel

­{u}: Arwen

­{b}: Bill Ferny

­{r}: Barliman Butterbur

Set 2:

­{w}: Bilbo

­{u}: Watcher in the Water

­{b}: Sauron

­{r}: Ugluk

­{g}: Legolas

­{w}{b}: Saruman

­{u}{b}: Gollum

­{b}{r}: Balrog

­{g}{u}: Galadriel

­{r}{g}: Gimli

­{g}: Celeborn

I think Boromir works much better as a mono-red legend. Gimli doesn't strike as a {u/r} character to me though, more accurately I don't think he's very blue. Maybe swap him with merry and pippin? Those two have a strong element of impulsive curiosity. (e.g. the Palantir incident).

Also the Barrow-Wights are (as I remember it) generic creatures in the universe of LotR, so I don't think it should be a legendary {u/b} creature. Maybe Denethor would make a good fit for those colors, if we take, as with Saruman, black as a marker of corruption?

Denethor doesn't appear in book one, but I could switch Gimli and Merry/Pippin. I just put Gimli in {u}{r} because of an artifact theme in those colors which fits the dwarves. You're right, the Barrow Wights are generic, but I couldn't think of another {u}{b} Legend.

EDIT: Fixed. Put Bill Ferny in as a {u}{b} legend.

EDIT 2: Removed Bill Ferny, put in Old Man Willow as {b}{g}, switched some legends between sets, Gollum now {u}{b}.

I wanted to suggest that Gollum could become {u/b}, but couldn't think of a good {g/b} character. Old Man Willow is the perfect fit for those colors!

Also, have you considered switch Sam and Frodo? Sam is much more green than Frodo, what with his gardening and his keener interest in food.

Good point on Sam and Frodo, I think I'll do that.

Commons complete! (Though comments on commons are still welcome)

What do you think of Elevate? It was suggested by reddit user Tahazzar, who had named it Distinguished. I don't really like either name here very much, but I like the mechanic a lot. Any name suggestions?

Elevate is a cool idea, but it implies a legendary theme which is currently absent in any other common card,.

If it fits the flavor of the set well and has enough design space, I would add some more at common. Currently, I have 4 commons with elevate and 1 that cares about legends, I'd try to have 10ish with elevate and 5ish that care about legends.

More accurately, elevate is like devoid: it does absolutely nothing on its own. Maybe a small (or even not so small) bonus could be considered.

I suspect a cycle of elevate cards and 2-3 "care about legends" would be good enough for common (especially if you decide this should be a specific draft archetype). Even just making one removal "nonlegendary" would have interesting implications.

I now have a common cycle of Elevate creatures and one "care about legends" card at common in each color, so I think I'll stick with the keyword. Any better ideas for names though? Also, I'm struggling to come up with a {u}{r} draft archetype. This is what I have for the other colors:

­{w}{u}: Lore Control (or Tempo?)

­{u}{b}: Discard Control, Graveyard Matters Subtheme

­{b}{r}: Bloodthirst Aggro

­{r}{g}: Beatdown

­{g}{w}: Midrange/Weenies (or Steadfast?)

­{w}{b}: Control with an enchantment subtheme

­{b}{g}: Sacrifice Control?

­{g}{u}: Ramp into Fatties and Big Spells

­{u}{r}: ?

­{r}{w}: Soldiers

?: Legends Matter

Personally I'm not hot at all on lore and discard control. A deck that draws a bunch of extra cards for lore control is already burying the opponent in card advantage and probably isn't in need of lore effects in the first place.

If anything, Lore might be a better fit for UB or UR. Steadfast might make for an interesting basis for a lifegain archetype. There is almost always a graveyard-centric build in limited (though sometimes it's concentrated on death triggers), and that seems to be missing. You also probably want a "legends matter" archetype somewhere in there. Whether or not that is also a Fellowship-centric archetype I'll leave it to you, but it seems to me that people would want to assemble the fellowship and be rewarded for it.

On a completely unrelated issue, do you absolutely need the Townsfolk type? It has been obsoleted and not using a second type sounds like a fine option to me.

I personally really like Townsfolk, and I use it, as well as Merchant and Noble, fairly often in my sets. I like the flavor it creates rather than simply having a race. I think Lore is a good ability for {w}{u}, especially since it represents the Council of the Wise, and will dabble in {g} at higher rarities with Elvish flavor. The limited archetype could be more of a tempo build, though. Steadfast could be a {g}{w} archetype, do you think there's enough design space? Legends matter could also be an archetype, but I'm not sure what colors. Graveyard could be split between {u}{b} Discard and a sacrifice theme in {b}{g}. Do you think a {b}{g} sacrifice theme is a good idea?

I suspect lifegain is better in a black color combination because black has life drain, but {g/w} would have things like trample, tokenmaking and stuff like "Sorcery {1}{w}; Creatures you control get +1/+2 UEOT. If you gained life this turn, they gain Vigilance UEOT." Or maybe Steadfast effects can be Rally effects that trigger on lifegain instead (allowing a little crossover effect in {w/r} tokens).

­{g/b} does not need to be a sacrifice archetype specifically. In return to ravnica, it was a self-mill deck powering Scavenge effects. In Theros it was a self-mill deck powering return effects and Nemesis of Mortals/Graverobber Spider. In Tarkir block it was thoughness matters or mill-into-Delve fatties and in Battle for Zendikar it's token sacrifice (often with a dose of lifegain), so you can have a lot of variation on what a "graveyard matter" archetype is.

Edited (as of 11/19) Limited Archetypes:

­{w}{u}: Tempo, Lore Subtheme

­{u}{b}: Control, Dread Subtheme

­{b}{r}: Aggro, Bloodthirst Subtheme

­{r}{g}: Midrange/Beatdown

­{g}{w}: Steadfast

­{w}{b}: Control, Lifegain Subtheme

­{b}{g}: Graveyard Midrange

­{g}{u}: Ramp

­{u}{r}: Evasion, Combat Tricks

­{r}{w}: Aggro, Soldiers Subtheme

Maybe blue-red can be an evasive+combat trick archetype? Fateful Leap can make such an archetype scarily efficient. Assuming you don't want a typical instant/sorcery matters thing, that is.

With the archetypes now updated in my previous post, do you think each archetype has enough representation at common? What other design space do you think should be filled at common, both for the mechanics and for the archetypes?

Looser archetypes (will be updated as patterns are found and built upon):

­{r}{w}{u} are the "legend colors" and will therefore have the most cards that care about legends. See Company of Heroes, Elrond's Research, etc.

­{r}{g}{w} are the "tribal colors". They will have several loose tribal themes such as Humans, Dwarves, and Townsfolk, which won't be large enough for limited, but will be fun for casual constructed play. Townsfolk is the largest of these themes, followed by hobbits ({g}{w} only), then Dwarves, then Humans. Soldier tribal is in {r}{w}, but it is a much larger theme and not at all a loose, casual pattern, it is made to be very playable in limited.

With 15 cards to go, how's the set looking? Any cards that are still big problems? Cards that are cool that I should support a little more as "build-around-me" cards?

Alright, I'm done with a first draft of the set. Any comments on specific cards that are still issues?

Seem to be far fewer creatures with power greater than toughness than the opposite, which could lead to very slow games.

Wow, you're right. The ratio was worse than RoE, which was a very battlecruiser environment for limited.

Fixed, now a bit closer to Zendikar than RoE (for reference, RoE had a ratio of 0.58 for greater power than toughness creatures to greater toughness than power creatures, this is 0.7, and ZEN was 0.78)

Good work. Where did you get those stats?

Long gatherer searches. I just set the search criteria to "IS a creature" and "IS from RoE (or Zendikar) and read through all the p/t stats, then did the same using the cardlist for this set.

As a side note, I was thinking about mechanics for set 2 when this terror popped into my head: Usurp {x} ({x}: You gain priority.) Because nobody cares about complexity anyway.

Does anybody know of good sources for Tolkien-related or general fantasy art for the set? I'm struggling to find art for generic hobbits and also for cards related to the Old Forest. Elves, Dwarves, Men, and legendary creatures will likely be fine for the most part, as they're pretty easy to find.

I only need art for seven more cards (!):

­Tuckborough Shirriff

­Bree-hill Miller

­Purge the Unnatural

­Hostile Growth

­Stouthearted Words

­Barrow-Cleansing

­Forceful Bloom

Does anyone know of art I could use for any of these?

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