General Custom Cards: The Lab

Spreading Spores.pngCliffs of Insanity.pngMurky Warren.pngFloating Refuge.pngCradle of Civilization.png


I like lands. I like Studio Ghibli. I like the Planar Chaos frames. This is the result.

------

It's hard to find lands that generate mana in a way that significantly changes play patterns, and these are some first drafts at addressing that problem.

Green--you're guaranteed to hit your land drops for the rest of the game, provided you don't need further fixing! Also, it asks you to jump through some hoops in deckbuilding, as my cube is roughly 30% Humans. It's a flavor win, but can often be harder to hit the highest highs with.

Red and Blue--I think these workaround work? Neither is an especially original idea, but they're classics for a reason. The art feels a little too flat on Blue, though.

Black--I am least happy with this one, as it's just a riff Dakmor Salvage but almost worse due to not being able to dump stuff into the GY (? I'm still unsure about whether it's a net upside or a downside, which I guess is a good thing!). Still, it's definitely powerful enough to see play. The art and frame are also mediocre, which might be the biggest loss.

White--The big ugly clause at the beginning is there to allow some counterplay. Is a one-time Cradle effect still worth a slot if it can be a Plains? My gut says yes. One tweak I'm thinking of is removing the CIPT clause and making it {W} for each nontoken creature.
 
Last edited:
Green: What's with the extremely weird anti-tribal clause? Regardless, specifically for a singleton cube environment, I would word it as "At the beginning of your end step, if you didn't play a land this turn, you may create a tapped colorless Forest land token." If you don't want it to be busted in multiples you need it to expend land plays in a more direct way.
Red: "You may play ~ from your graveyard if you discarded it this turn."
Black: You don't need to specify "this turn" twice.
Blue: The rules very specifically prohibit you from playing lands on other player's turns (305.3.) You write "as though it were a spell with flash", but then you'd be casting it, not playing it, and you couldn't do that either as it would be a spell without a mana cost. In a context where this is an exclusive effect you can easily make it work with an activated ability that juts puts it into play from your hand, but if you want several copies of this without it giving you a potentially free extra land-play, I actually don't know how to salvage that. I can't really say I see much value in this effect unless you exploit it with that purpose in mind though.

I like the red and black land. Green one seems kind of busted, blue one is nonsensical to me, and the white one I've not made an opinion of yet, the ability to turn your fetchland into 5 mana at end step seems very situationally powerful.
 
Very interesting @Zoss This is creative!

I agree with @Mown above.

I think Spreading could also be mono black.

The blue flash land could get a ‘0: Put this land onto the battlefield from your hand’ with your restriction wording.
 
@Mown -- Oh, Green is absolutely a flavor thing. In that movie, the jungle both spreads very rapidly and spews poison that explicitly kills humans but not animals, so I thought it would be a nice reference to that while curbing some of the power that you noted. Good change otherwise for that and for Red!

Blue is a hot mess, and this sort of thing historically always has been. I'd thought that "You may play CARDNAME as if it were a spell with flash" would be sufficient text to say that you can play it as if it were a spell and thereby establish that you don't have to follow land-related restrictions. I'm not a judge, though, so it's very likely that I've tripped up somewhere. @Velrun 's suggestion is a good one and in line with a couple of drafts I discarded. Here are two of them:

Floating Refuge as Instant.pngFloating Refuge as TDFC.png

The reason why I used the card as written was to keep or prevent certain triggers from firing (Prowess, Storm, Landfall etc.) and also because I think these are kind of ugly (well, the instant is cute), but it may not be worth the effort. Actually, these triggers might be beneficial, not something to reign in. What do you think? I thought that getting to surprise someone with an extra land would be enough benefit, but maybe not.

The point is definitely for these to be build-arounds :)
 
Hate that you posted those in reverse WUBRG order.

White: I dunno. Tapped one-shot Cradle is probably pretty damn strong, but maybe alright. "Nontoken" clause kind of eliminates a key incentive to build around it, unfortunately.

Blue: Pretty sure this is worded wrong. What's the point of this? I don't play a land and the payoff is... I can play a land? I don't see how this helps your blue decks. Maybe make it a free land drop once you've cast N spells during your opponent's turn or drawn your Nth card in a turn?

Black: Wording's a little off. This doesn't feel like a payoff for the sac deck, if that's what it's trying to do. It feels like something you'll always get to play from the graveyard because creatures die all the time. Make it trigger off of a few deaths? If not, maybe give it Morbid, if that's a keyword your group is familiar with? Also, this steps all over the red land because you can discard it and then play it at almost any time you want.

Red: This needs its own wording, which doesn't include Madness. "If you discard this card, discard it into exile. When you do, you may play it if you have not played a land this turn. If you do, you may not play lands until the end of your next turn." or something.

Green: I dunno. Seems like this provides infinite tapped lands? That can vary from useless to broken, depending on format speed. Seems kind of fun to untap, but I'm not sure what deck this is a payoff for because there's no work being done to achieve it.
 
@Mown
The reason why I used the card as written was to keep or prevent certain triggers from firing (Prowess, Storm, Landfall etc.) and also because I think these are kind of ugly (well, the instant is cute), but it may not be worth the effort. Actually, these triggers might be beneficial, not something to reign in. What do you think? I thought that getting to surprise someone with an extra land would be enough benefit, but maybe not.
Is Prowess and Storm on the list that you intended to keep or prevent? Because it's not very easily deduced. The long and short of it is that lands don't belong on the stack, and you should do your best to not do something that would imply they end up there.

The KISS version of your island just has "0: Put ~ from your hand onto the battlefield. You can't play lands during your next turn. Activate this ability only if it's not your turn, and you didn't play a land during your last turn." Personally I don't really understand why you have to skip two land drops for a very marginal benefit, setting aside combos like how it makes infinite tokens with Meloku. If I were to make a suggestion, I would consider a land that untaps at the end of your turn instead of the start of it.
 
The green and the white ones are broken (as in too powerful), the blue and the red ones are broken (as in they can't work by the rules), the black one seems very cool. Well, they all are pretty out of the box ideas, so you get a lot of cool points, but I think some of these need tweaking :D

Some suggestions (in WUBRG order)

Oh, by the way, nonbasic typed lands have a reminder text to indicate what they tap for. See Idyllic Grange and Mistveil Plains, for example.

Alright, back to the suggestions. They might or not might be up your alley, but I tried to riff on your ideas a bit :)

Cradle of Civilization
Land - Plains
({T}: Add {W}
{T}: Add {W}{W}. Activate this ability only if you attacked with three or more creatures this turn.

Floating Refuge
Land - Island
({T}: Add {U}
Whenever an opponent plays a land, you may reveal ~ from your hand. Put it onto the battlefield if you revealed no other cards named ~ from your hand this turn. You can't play land cards during your next turn.

Murky Warren
Land - Swamp
({T}: Add {B}
Morbid
-- You may play ~ from your graveyard if a creature died this turn.

Cliffs of Insanity
Land - Mountain
({T}: Add {R}
When you discard ~, add {R}. Spend this mana only to cast artifact or creature spells.

Spreading Spores
Land - Forest
({T}: Add {G}
{G}, {T}, sacrifice a nontoken creature: Create a tapped Forest land token.
 
I guess we're evaluating things entirely differently, because having extra mana during an opponent's turn when they don't expect it, especially in a deck with countermagic, seems backbreaking to me. It's like getting a Lotus Petal but with flash during an opponent's turn that can also be played as an Island, so there's no downside. The upside, on the other hand, is that sometimes you get to blow your opponent out of the water by having enough mana for an Unsummon, being able to flash in a 2/2 and bounce something with only 3 mana up, ruining their alpha strike, or even just being able to activate an Ulvenwald Tracker off of {G} alone. I'm worried about this breaking my cube in half on the basis of this sort of thing being way too good for Constructed.

I don't want it to be too easy to get these sorts of advantages, though, which is why I'm trying to engineer so many constraints into these things. Maybe I just need to let things be broken, as my attempts at damage control seem to be doing more harm than good, lol.




Is Prowess and Storm on the list that you intended to keep or prevent? Because it's not very easily deduced.

I waffled on these, but decided against them because I think the above possibilities stemming from the tempo advantage are plenty on their own. Landfall, however, wound up not being super important in this cube, so I realized it was okay to keep that trigger.




The green and the white ones are broken (as in too powerful), the blue and the red ones are broken (as in they can't work by the rules), the black one seems very cool. Well, they all are pretty out of the box ideas, so you get a lot of cool points, but I think some of these need tweaking :D

Some suggestions (in WUBRG order)

Oh, by the way, nonbasic typed lands have a reminder text to indicate what they tap for. See Idyllic Grange and Mistveil Plains, for example.

Alright, back to the suggestions. They might or not might be up your alley, but I tried to riff on your ideas a bit :)

Cradle of Civilization
Land - Plains
({T}: Add {W}
{T}: Add {W}{W}. Activate this ability only if you attacked with three or more creatures this turn.

Floating Refuge
Land - Island
({T}: Add {U}
Whenever an opponent plays a land, you may reveal ~ from your hand. Put it onto the battlefield if you revealed no other cards named ~ from your hand this turn. You can't play land cards during your next turn.

Murky Warren
Land - Swamp
({T}: Add {B}
Morbid
-- You may play ~ from your graveyard if a creature died this turn.

Cliffs of Insanity
Land - Mountain
({T}: Add {R}
When you discard ~, add {R}. Spend this mana only to cast artifact or creature spells.

Oh, wait!

Spreading Spores
Land - Forest
({T}: Add {G}
At the beginning of your upkeep, sacrifice a Human. If you do, create a tapped Forest land token.

Let's go!


You're absolutely right on the power level being all over the place, and I think these are really elegant changes that keep the spirit of these experiments while reining that in! Thanks, I'll probably wind up using most of these! @Velrun -- I agree that sacrificing a creature is far more Black than Green, but Green certainly is the next most likely to do this sort of thing, especially if it's flavored as turning them into a Forest. (Song of the Dryads) While Song doesn't sacrifice them, the flavor of the source material for this particular card demands death for this transformation, so I'm okay with it being a bend considering that it's another way to achieve an established effect of turning creatures into lands.
 

Chris Taylor

Contributor
This info is coming from the MPC Autofill (not technically called that anymore) discord. Make Playing Cards (or PrinterStudio, their EU storefront) is the actual company that does the printing, so I've ordered from them twice.

Now I ordered from them in 2020, so it's been a while, but nothing has happened to me.
 
Top