Code Geass

Code Geass by Alex

229 cards in Multiverse

33 with no rarity, 95 commons, 57 uncommons,
39 rares, 5 mythics

3 colourless, 36 white, 42 blue, 37 black, 37 red,
34 green, 16 multicolour, 20 hybrid, 3 artifact, 1 land

570 comments total

Bringing the epic anime series into Magic.

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Mechanics | Introduction and General Invitation | Proxies for playtest | Design Challenge 2 | Colour-pair archetypes | Skeleton

I'm designing a Magic: the Gathering cardset based on the anime Code Geass.

Current candidate mechanics include:

Geass

Lelouch's Geass is a fascinating power. He can compel absolute obedience, but only once from each person. This is reflected by the new Geass subtype, shared by many instants, sorceries and Auras in the set. Some are positive, some are negative, but each one can only be used on a creature that hasn't already been Geassed.

 C 
Instant – Geass
(Exile this spell when it resolves. Its target gains protection from other Geasses indefinitely.)
Target creature gets +1/+1 and first strike until end of turn.
 C 
Instant – Geass
(Exile this spell when it resolves. Its target gains protection from other Geasses indefinitely.)
Tap target creature. That creature doesn't untap during its controller's next untap step.
 U 
Sorcery – Geass
(Exile this spell when it resolves. Its target gains protection from other Geasses indefinitely.)
Target creature deals damage to itself equal to its power.
 C 
Enchantment – Aura Geass
Flash
Enchant creature
Enchanted creature has haste.
When Geass to Betray enters the battlefield, untap enchanted creature and gain control of it until end of turn.
(Enchanted creature has protection from other Geasses.)

 U 
Enchantment – Aura Geass
(Enchanted creature has protection from other Geasses.)
Enchant creature
If enchanted creature would be destroyed, instead regenerate it and its controller sacrifices another permanent or discards a card.
 C 
Enchantment – Aura Geass
(Enchanted creature has protection from other Geasses.)
Enchant creature
Enchanted creature can't attack or block.
 C 
Enchantment – Aura Geass
(Enchanted creature has protection from other Geasses.)
Enchant creature
Enchanted creature gets +2/+1 and has lifelink.
 U 
Instant
Exile target creature, then return it to the battlefield under its owner's control.

Instants and Prepare

Code Geass is a series characterised by tactical plots, ploys and counterploys, dramatic turnarounds and secret plans being revealed at the best (or worst) possible moment. I want the experience of playing Code Geass to feel like you're a master strategist, making plans, predicting your opponents' moves, and perhaps thinking on your feet, to come out ahead. The flagship mechanic for this aspect of the series is prepare, a mechanic which allows you to take cards which would normally be cast at sorcery speed and set them up exiled face down, from where they can later be cast at instant speed often for a discount. There's also a higher than usual number of instants, cantrips and combat tricks, to keep the combat step feeling dynamic and unpredictable.

 C 
Enchantment – Aura
Prepare {1}{u} ({2} as a sorcery: Exile this face down from your hand. On future turns you may cast it from exile for its prepare cost as if it had flash.)
Enchant creature
Enchanted creature gets -5/-0, doesn't untap during its controller's untap step, and its activated abilities can't be activated.
 R 
Sorcery
Prepare {1}{u} ({2} as a sorcery: Exile this face down from your hand. On future turns you may cast it from exile for its prepare cost as if it had flash.)
Each creature you control becomes a copy of target creature you control until end of turn, except they aren't legendary if that creature is legendary.
 U 
Sorcery
Prepare {0} ({2} as a sorcery: Exile this face down from your hand. On future turns you may cast it from exile for its prepare cost as if it had flash.)
If you control a Mountain or a Plains, target creature gets +1/+0 and gains first strike until end of turn.
 R 
Sorcery
Prepare {x}{r} ({2} as a sorcery: Exile this face down from your hand. On future turns you may cast it from exile for its prepare cost as if it had flash.)
Seismic Instability deals X damage to each creature without flying and each planeswalker.

 U 
Instant
The next creature card you play this turn can be played as though it had flash.
Draw a card.
 C 
Instant
Return target nonland permanent to its owner's hand.
Draw a card.
 C 
Instant
Target creature gains indestructible until end of turn.
Draw a card.
 U 
Creature – Human Soldier
Spells you cast during combat cast {1} less.
2/3

Knightmares and Eject

The Knightmare Frame mecha in the series are represented by Equipment cards. They mostly have a new keyword mechanic eject representing the ejection pods built into most Knightmare Frames in the series, which save their pilot when the mech is severely damaged in combat. A number of blue and white cards give you bonuses for using artifacts or equipment.

 C 
Artifact – Equipment
Equipped creature gets +2/+1.
Eject (If equipped creature would be destroyed, instead remove all damage from it and destroy this Equipment.)
Equip {1}
 U 
Artifact – Equipment
{2}: Equipped creature becomes 3/2 and gains flying.
{2}: Equipped creature becomes 5/4 and loses flying.
Eject (If equipped creature would be destroyed, instead remove all damage from it and destroy this Equipment.)
Equip {2}
 R 
Artifact – Equipment
Equipped creature gets +3/+3.
At the beginning of each combat, choose first strike, vigilance, or lifelink. Equipped creature gains that ability until end of turn.
Equip {4}
 R 
Artifact – Equipment
Equipped creature gets +2/+2 and double strike.
Eject (If equipped creature would be destroyed, instead remove all damage from it and destroy this Equipment.)
Equip {3}

 C 
Creature – Human Soldier
Flash
When Test Pilot enters the battlefield, you may attach target Equipment you control to it.
2/1
 R 
Legendary Creature – Human Artificer
Whenever an equipped creature you control attacks, draw a card.
Whenever an equipped creature you control blocks, draw a card.
"Data! I need d-a-t-a!"
1/4
 U 
Creature – Human Soldier
Whenever an Equipment enters the battlefield under your control, you may return Tenacious Pilot from your graveyard to the battlefield.
"Let me guess. You thought I was dead."
2/2
 C 
Creature – Human Artificer
{t}: Add two mana of any one color to your mana pool. Spend this mana only to cast artifact spells or activate abilities of artifacts.
1/1

The Britannian Empire and Decadence

The world-spanning Holy Britannian Empire believe they're naturally superior to other races. They have a very well-organised military, but suffer from excessive internal politics, entitlement, arrogance, and racism, especially towards the conquered natives. Some of their most corrupt and indulgent characters have the new decadence mechanic. This grants you powerful effects, getting more powerful as you accumulate more of them, but also costing you most of your mana each turn. Britannia is represented by mostly white and black cards and some in blue.

 C 
Creature – Human Soldier
Decadence 1 (At the beginning of your upkeep, if you haven't paid decadence this turn, you may pay {x}, where X is your total decadence.)
Whenever you pay decadence, Smug Cavalier gets +X/+X until end of turn, where X is the amount you paid.
1/1
 U 
Creature – Human Soldier
Decadence 2 (At the beginning of your upkeep, if you haven't paid decadence this turn, you may pay {x}, where X is your total decadence.)
Whenever you pay decadence, you may tap up to that many target creatures.
3/3
 R 
Creature – Human Noble
Decadence 1 (At the beginning of your upkeep, if you haven't paid decadence this turn, you may pay {x}, where X is your total decadence.)
Whenever you pay decadence, you may destroy target creature with converted mana cost that much or less.
2/1
 C 
Creature – Human Soldier
Decadence 1 (At the beginning of your upkeep, if you haven't paid decadence this turn, you may pay {x}, where X is your total decadence.)
Whenever you pay decadence, up to that many target creatures gain lifelink until end of turn.
1/1

The Black Knights and Revolt

The Black Knights are the rebel insurgency. Once terrorists, but now under the leadership of Zero they've become a fully-fledged resistance movement, a rebel army, trying to kick out the oppressors and reclaim their homeland for themselves. Their anger can be particularly provoked if some of their comrades have suffered, represented by the returning revolt mechanic. Cards with revolt give you extra bonuses if a permanent you control has left the battlefield this turn. The Black Knights are represented by mainly red cards with some green.

 C 
Creature – Human Rebel
Revolt — At the beginning of your end step, if a permanent you controlled left the battlefield this turn, Vicious Firebrand deals 2 damage to each opponent.
3/3
 C 
Creature – Human Warrior
Revolt — When Nationalist Brawlers enters the battlefield, if a permanent you controlled left the battlefield this turn, you may have it fight target creature.
3/3
 U 
Instant
Return target permanent card in your graveyard with converted mana cost less than or equal to the number of lands you control to your hand.
Revolt — Put it onto the battlefield instead if a permanent you controlled left the battlefield this turn.
 U 
Creature – Human Rebel
Flash
When Traditionalist Insurgents enters the battlefield, draw a card.
Revolt — Traditionalist Insurgents costs {3} less to cast if a permanent you controlled left the battlefield this turn.
2/2

Control Change

The anime is known for characters changing sides, whether due to shifting loyalties, blackmail, Geass, or more dramatic and spoilersome reasons. This is represented by a high density of control-change effects in the set. Who can you trust?

 C 
Creature – Human Rebel Rogue
When Silvertongued Rebel enters the battlefield, gain control of target creature an opponent controls with power 3 or less until end of turn. Untap that creature. It gains haste until end of turn.
3/3
 R 
Instant
When target creature dies this turn, return that card to the battlefield under your control.
"I spare you."
 R 
Sorcery
Prepare {1}{b}{b} ({2} as a sorcery: Exile this face down from your hand. On future turns you may cast it from exile for its prepare cost as if it had flash.)
When target creature deals combat damage to an opponent this turn, put target creature card from that player's graveyard onto the battlefield under your control.
 R 
Creature – Human Rebel
Raid — When Charismatic Revolutionary enters the battlefield, if you attacked with a creature this turn, look at the top four cards of target opponent's library. You may put a creature card from among them onto the battlefield under your control. That player puts the other cards on the bottom in a random order.
3/1
 M 
Sorcery
Prepare {w}{b} ({2} as a sorcery: Exile this face down from your hand. On future turns you may cast it from exile for its prepare cost as if it had flash.)
Until your next turn, if damage dealt by a source an opponent controls would reduce your life total to less than 1, instead prevent that damage and gain control of that source.

 U 
Creature – Human
When Propaganda Officer enters the battlefield, gain control of target creature with power 1 or less for as long as Propaganda Officer remains on the battlefield.
2/2
 R 
Sorcery
Attach target Equipment you control to target creature with converted mana cost less than or equal to that Equipment's. Gain control of that creature for as long as the Equipment is attached to it.
 R 
Instant
Each player gains control of all permanents he or she owns.
Draw a card.
 U 
Sorcery
Choose target creature. If you attacked that creature's controller this turn, and that creature didn't block, gain control of it.

Other mechanics

A few other mechanics from Magic's history return. Raid cards in red and black give you rewards for attacking even if your attackers won't survive combat - which can give opponents a hard time knowing whether to block or not. The traditionalist Japanese soldiers have Bushido, making them more fearsome in combat. A few creatures have channel, giving the cards an alternate use as combat tricks. And the chess motif of the series is represented by a cycle of gambit cards where you deliberately put a creature of yours at risk for the sake of a greater reward.

 U 
Creature – Human Soldier
Raid — When Jailbreak Liberator enters the battlefield, if you attacked with a creature this turn, you may return target creature card from a graveyard to its owner's hand.
2/1
 R 
Creature – Human Rebel
Raid — When Daring Hijacker enters the battlefield, if you attacked with a creature this turn, gain control of target artifact. If it's an Equipment, you may attach it to target creature you control.
1/1
 U 
Creature – Human Rebel
Raid – At the beginning of your postcombat main phase, if you attacked with a creature this turn, put a +1/+1 counter on Guerrilla Tactician.
"With each raid we gather more resources, techniques, supporters. It's only a matter of time before Britannia falls."
1/1
 C 
Creature – Human Rebel
Raid — When People's Champion enters the battlefield, if you attacked with a creature this turn, create a 1/1 red Citizen creature token.
3/1

 C 
Legendary Creature – Human Samurai
Reach
Bushido 2 (Whenever this creature blocks or becomes blocked, it gets +2/+2 until end of turn.)
2/3
 C 
Sorcery
Create two 1/1 white Soldier creature tokens.
Gambit — When target creature you control dies during combat this turn, create another two of those tokens.
 C 
Sorcery
Aggressive Gambit deals 3 damage to target creature.
Gambit — When target creature you control dies during combat this turn, choose another target creature. Aggressive Gambit deals 3 damage to that creature.
 C 
Creature – Human Student
Lifelink
Channel{w}, Discard Compassionate Athlete: Target creature gains lifelink until end of turn.
2/1

Cardset comments (22) | Add a comment on this cardset

The set creator would like to draw your attention to these comments:

On The Ends Don't Justify the Means (reply):

Thinking it through, maybe it's something like this.

Black: "Ends justify the means" is a central black tenet. Black is all about efficiency, selfishness and ruthlessness. There are some exceptions (eg. YOUR means trump OTHER PEOPLE'S ends :))

White: White is very conflicted. White is about the community, about systems, about having principles and sticking to them. That's not so much "means over ends" as there are LOTS of ends and white is torn between them. Every white paladin facing down a hostage situation is weighing up "keep my word, so people trust it in future" vs "save the innocent in front of me" vs "dispense justice, so fewer people take hostages in future" etc etc. Other colours conveniently "forget" about things that aren't in front of your face. White doesn't have that luxury. Sometimes your immediate end is sacrificed on the alter of the means of a HIGHER end. If you're lucky, a worthwhile one. Sometimes not.

Green: What are these "ends" of what you speak? I do what comes naturally to me, and accept the consequences.

Red: What are these "means" of which you speak? Why would you put, like, extra steps between me and my goal? DO THE GOAL. That's the point. Stop overthinking everything!

Blue: I don't believe there's a one size fits all answer to this question, but if it helps, I'm absolutely definitely going to overthink everything.

On Urban Guerrilla (reply):

Flavour text: "I want a revolution thiiiiiiiiis big" :)

On Suzaku Kururugi (reply):

My rough feeling for power and toughness in this set goes:

  • 1 = Fairly weak human
  • 2 = normal, fairly strong human
  • 3 = unusually skilled human, or a mech with a poor pilot
  • 4 = exceptionally skilled human, bad human + good mech, good human + bad mech
  • 5 = Suzaku :) or good pilot + good mech
  • 6+ = good pilots in very good mechs

Most combat tricks will only grant +1/+1 or less. No Giant Growth in this set.

Recently active cards: (all recent activity)

 M 
Sorcery
Prepare {w}{b} ({2} as a sorcery: Exile this face down from your hand. On future turns you may cast it from exile for its prepare cost as if it had flash.)
Until your next turn, if damage dealt by a source an opponent controls would reduce your life total to less than 1, instead prevent that damage and gain control of that source.
8 comments
last 2020-11-24 21:09:43 by Vitenka
 M 
Legendary Creature – Human Noble
Whenever a nontoken creature you control dies, create a 1/1 white Human creature token.
{w}, Sacrifice a creature: Target creature becomes 1/1 until end of turn.
{b}, Sacrifice a creature: Target player sacrifices a creature.
4/4
1 comment
2020-11-23 17:26:45 by Alex
 R 
Legendary Creature – Human Noble
Flash, lifelink
When Marianne, "The Flash" dies, exile the top card of each player's library. Until the end of your next turn, you may play those cards and may spend mana as though it was mana of any colour to do so.
3/2
1 comment
2020-11-23 15:57:31 by Alex
 U 
Creature – Human Rebel
When Undercity Scavengers dies, return target permanent card with converted mana cost 3 or less from your graveyard to the battlefield.
3/3
1 comment
2020-11-19 18:32:24 by Alex
 C 
Sorcery
Prepare {1}{b} ({2} as a sorcery: Exile this face down from your hand. On future turns you may cast it from exile for its prepare cost as if it had flash.)
If target creature attacked or blocked this turn, it gets +3/-3.
1 comment
2020-11-19 18:13:07 by Alex

Recent comments: (all recent activity)
On Zero Requiem:

Hmm, well - Reverse Damage says this can be White. Control Magic says Blue. Black for the obvious "Yeah, I'm willing to freakin DIE to get control of that. And, you know, not actually die because that would be dumb." It's not really very green? It's the weak taking control of the strong, very un-green there. Red... is heavily against the planning flavour. Though for actual play value? "I'm playing a trap spell, and hoping you forget it exists. I'm sure that'll pay off for me. Shaddup." maybe :)

Honestly, {b/w} nails it for me. A red downside would be to make the control temporary (boo). Or global. ... ok, global is insanely Xanatos-roulette. I mean, in practical terms, when's it ever actually gonna come up that you fire this off and then you accidentally kill off an opponent so they get the effect and it keeps on trucking turn after turn? When you're a RED player, that's when!

On Zero Requiem:

Having realised I really want Emperor Charles zi Britannia to be a black-white mythic, that makes me think I might need to change this. Charles's card really needs to be black-white, but this could be whatever colours it fits. This wants to stay a mythic rare, as it represents the amazingly audacious plan which nobody except Lelouch could either come up with or carry out, but its colours are flexible.

I do quite like the current effects, so I'm wondering what colours this effect fits in? I think it could probably be anything part-blue (well, maybe not blue-green). If I were to make this blue-red, would the current rules text still fit that, do you think? I could maybe add "Your life total becomes 1" to make it feel a little more red.

On Emperor Charles zi Britannia:

The Emperor of the Holy Britannian Empire. Unashamedly supremacist and discriminatory, as exemplified by this quote:

All men are not created equal! Some are born swifter of foot, some with greater beauty, some are born into poverty, and others born sick and feeble. Both in birthland and upbringing, in sheer scope of ability every human is inherently different. Yes, that is why people discriminate against one another, which is why there is struggle, competition, and the unfaltering march of progress.

Inequality is not wrong -- equality is! Consider the EU, which made equality a right: rabble politics by a popularity contest! The Chinese Federation, with its equal distribution of wealth: a nation of lazy dullards! But not our beloved Britannia! We fight, we compete; evolution is continuous.

We will fight on. We shall struggle, compete, plunder, and dominate. And in the end, the future shall be ours. All Hail Britannia!

So I wanted some mechanics to represent his ruthlessness and imperial dogmas. Sacrificing creatures seems appropriate, and a way to get extra value from sacrificing your creatures seems apt as well.

Slightly annoyingly this design fits better with the (Black-green archetype) than the (White-black archetype), but not every rare has to fit into the archetypes. And the Emperor of Britannia, the black-white faction in this set, has to be black-white.

On Marianne, "The Flash":

Marianne, Lelouch's mother and one of the Emperor's many consorts. As well as being a lightning-fast fighter in a Knightmare (hence her nickname), she also had the power to stowaway in other people's subconscious when she died. I dunno how you represent that on a card, but getting the opportunity to play a card from each player's library seems as good as anything.

Originally I had her having flash and haste, but then there was basically nothing white on her card, and I think she should have white in her cost because she's a Britannian noble and a relatively caring one, and the colour red in this set is mostly associated with the rebels opposed to Britannia. So I swapped haste for lifelink.

On Undercity Scavengers:

An initial stab at a signpost gold uncommon for the (Black-green archetype).

On Synchronised Training:

A straightforward Travel Preparations/Gird for Battle which Prepares into a double Battlegrowth or two-thirds of a Reap What Is Sown.

On Catastrophic Orders:

I wanted a few more cards with my Prediction / planning mechanic, prepare. This is much better as a combat trick than as slow removal, so I think the costs of 1 vs 4 are about right.

Art from inside one of the Britannian control rooms with computer readouts showing all their units dying.

On Data Siphon:

I wanted a card to give the (White-black archetype) and (Blue-black archetype) some late-game bleeding-style reach/inevitability. I have fond memories of Death of a Thousand Stings so this is somewhat inspired by that. If this was an instant it'd need to cost at least 4, but I think as a sorcery 2 is fine because you can't leave mana up and have it as a "if you do nothing, I do this" backup plan for your mana.

On Avenging Samurai:

I came up with this design, then tried to find a flavour for it. The Avenging Samurai is a compelling one, but that means I either need to have this have "Samurai" in the name but not on the type line (big no-no), or have it be creature type Samurai without bushido (that was a no-no in Kamigawa), or add bushido with reminder text which makes this super wordy, or add bushido without reminder text which doesn't make much sense when there's only about 5-6 cards in the set with bushido. Or just find another name which fits with this being a green (traditionalist Japanese) Soldier or Rebel or Citizen.

I think I'm most inclined to break the "all Samurai must have bushido" rule. I think the plan then is to leave bushido specifically to the Four Holy Swords and Tohdoh, but I might have a couple more Samurai without it.

I might do a bit more brainstorming for a non-Samurai name though.

On Gekka Type-03F:

Yeah, that's a good point about the stats

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