Spira (Final Fantasy X): Special Design Notes

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Mechanics | Special Design Notes | Draft Archetypes | Skeleton


This is meant to be a standalone draftable set, removed from the MTG canon and not intended to be legal in any format minus kitchen table and EDH. However, it is not a joke set, so it remains black-bordered. It is not intended for use with any other set and is primarily a draft set. Unlike other draft sets though, NWO isn't adhered to. It is meant to be played similar to how a low-powered cube (Pauper or Peasant) would play more than anything.

Because FFX is part of the Final Fantasy franchise, many franchise staple themes, characters, races, and spells will not be represented. Instead, it will focus only on the parts of FFX that are unique to it and its sequels/spin-offs. Creatures like Tonberries and Chocobo will be heavily underrepresented. Races that have special presence in the world (such as Cactuar), or recurring monsters (such as Ochu, Couerl, or Malboro) may have some representation. Spells like Fira, Blizzaga and Haste will not receive cards, but more unique spells like Osmose, Quick Hit, Lancet, and Mighty Guard are eligible for cards. Since most overdrives are character related, they won't be represented, other than Rikku's various Mix overdrives. Weapon names will be used as a pool of names to draw from for equipment or noncreature spells.

Named characters are avoided unless relevant to the world as a whole. You won't be seeing cards for Auron, Tidus, Wakka, Yuna, etc., but you may see cards for Yunalesca, Maester Mika, and the Aeons. In other words, this is a set about the world of Spira, not the game of FFX. Blitzball teams will be referenced, but individual players will not be. In terms of time period, let's say that this is set around the time of Braska's high summoning.

Design Themes

Across all mechanics, there's a theme of cyclicity - since the world is named Spira and one of the primary themes is the "cycle of death" that Spira embodies, it's only natural to have the themes of cycles be evident in the mechanics. Each mechanic will focus on a cyclical "entering and leaving" gameplay based on a different zone. For example, Blitz focuses on entering and leaving the battlefield, while Unsent focuses on entering and leaving the graveyard, while the Summoner/Aeon archetype focuses on entering and leaving the library.

Pyreflies, a resource mechanic that is primarily used as fuel to Raise Dead or Zombify certain creatures (and serve as fuel for Sin and Sinspawn), illustrate that. It's a very parasitic mechanic on its own, but since this set isn't meant to be played with cards not in this set, I'm happy to include it. Salvage embodies Al Bhed obsession with Machina; their culture of reusing and repurposing ancient Machina. Blitz is a mechanic that represents blitzball players and other aquatic creatures (albeit primarily represented in {r}{w}). The cyclical nature of it is represented in leaving and returning to the battlefield for another attack. For better gameplay, it enters the battlefield with haste instead of just immediately attacking. Finally, the mechanic with no named mechanic is the {g}{u} team, because their main gameplay mechanic relies entirely in drafting Aeons and Summoners. All summoners that can call Aeons (AKA everything but the generic summoners) allow you to cast Aeons of any color and have abilities that will help you cast and tutor Aeons. Aeons themselves will go into your library when they die, giving you a neverending threat base as long as you have the tools to tutor them. Finally, certain spell cards with Hymn will recur themselves automatically when sacrificing an enchantment, as a sort of {w}{b}-esque version of Buyback.

Because of the cyclical themes, there is a small concern that it will lead to repetitive gameplay. It's a concern that will be monitored going forward.

This is an enemy color set with overarching wedge subthemes. Allied colors are draftable and playable, though the primary archetypes will be in enemy colors. It just ended up working out that way.

This is a -1/-1 counter set. They will be used sparingly, but they'll be there. One of the major motifs of the worldbuilding in FFX is how people accept death. Therefore, just accept -1/-1 counters.

There are a lot of activated abilities with high mana costs. Gameplay will be slower (not ROE slow, but slow). Most activated abilities are just to give the creature something to do later in the game or have another effect. Might cut some abilities out later on.

Power level of this set is generally a step below masters but a step above most limited sets.

New Creature Types

The set introduces a number of new creature types:

Fiend - This is a creature class type that signifies that the creature will leave a Pyreflies upon death. While almost all malevolent creatures in FFX are called fiends, the fiend type will be reserved only for non-Sin creatures that interact with Pyreflies in some way.

Sinspawn - Colorless creature type. Functionally, they occupy the same space as colorless eldrazi do - weird, usually larger, colorless creatures.

Guado - The Elf-stand-in for FFX. Generally regulated to Green and Blue, they fulfill many of the same roles that Elves fill in normal MTG.

Ronso - The Leonin-stand-in for FFX. Ronso are generally regulated to the Naya colors. They share a non-keyworded mechanic that lets them mimic keywords of creatures on the battlefield. For the most part, this is vigilance, first strike, trample, double strike, and lifelink.

Hypello - Dopey creatures that do not have a lot of representation. Relegated to Green.

Shoopuff - Blue elephant-like thing. Does not have a lot of representation. Relegated to White.

Cactuar - Animated cactuses that are a staple of Final Fantasy in general. Since they are in Final Fantasy in general, they will not be represented strongly here and will be relegated to a single card.

Machina - Blanket term for "Machine" used in Spira. This replaces "Construct" in most cases. Certain larger machina will also have Golem attached to them. Since this is a standalone set, I don't have to worry about potential construct tribal (????) issues.

Summoner - A special class for Spira. All humanoid races can be summoners (minus Hypello). Summoners interact primarily with Aeons. They exist in {g}{u}, with some bleed into {w}. All summoners that can tutor for Aeons have some way of getting them out easier. Certain summoners will have ways to cast Aeons of different colors.

Aeon - Special class for summoned aeons. All Aeons are enchantment creatures in addition to being beaters with strong effects. They all have relatively uncommon and odd effects for their color pie.

Fiends will generally have the creature type of the monster they are based on. For example, Funguars will be Fungi, Raptors will be Lizards, Flans will be Oozes. Machina will almost entirely be constructs or golems.

Note that Al Bhed are a subspecies of Humans, but instead will almost entirely interact with artifacts in Red and Blue. Spiran summoners will be Blue and Green, while the Crusaders will be White and Red. Important Yevonite clergy will be White with some Black, with Black representing the darker or more heretical side of Yevon.

Updated on 12 Sep 2017 by Mal