TERRANOVA Custom Set

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Terranova LogoTerranova is a custom Magic: the Gathering set comprising of 350 cards (20 of which are basic lands), and has been designed with Limited, self-contained Constructed (Terranova only) and existing formats (Standard, EDH, Modern, Legacy) all in mind.

This set wasn’t just about making cool cards. I wanted all the cards to work together as a functional whole. It was about creating a set that works and fits together.
But more than that, I wanted the set itself to tell a story. I put every bit of effort into creating a brand new world for Magic, and invested a lot in the flavor, background and top-down design of the cards. Central to this was finding all the right pieces of art, as I knew this would actually make the world itself come alive.

MECHANICS

The main mechanical theme behind the set is LANDS. Pretty much, lands matter- whether they’re on the battlefield, in your hand or in your graveyard. There are far more lands in this set than normally printed, including a whopping fifty nonbasic lands. What’s more, almost every card in the set interacts with lands in some particular way.

Land Mass Ucarb Shadowlasher

Land Mass is a mechanic that boosts your spells and creatures’ potency once you control seven or more lands. Small creatures get upgraded and cheap spells pack a bigger punch. Players will naturally want to ramp playing this set, so it means cheaper spells aren’t useless late game when all the fatties come out to play. It’s like Threshold or Metalcraft, but for lands.

Earthcast

Lose the Path

Earthcast allows players to cast certain spells without paying their mana costs. It’s very similar to the ‘pitch’ mechanic from Alliances, except players are discarding basic land cards rather than other spells. It brings the question ‘do I want to ramp, or cast this spell for free?’

Landcycling Magmapede

Landcycling is back, as both lands and fat creatures are integral to this set. It helps you hit your land drops, fix your mana, enable Land Mass and cater to Earthcast. It also means fatties.

It should be noted Wizards has mentioned they will never print Landcycling as a common mechanic again, as all the shuffling and searching slows down games. They have a valid point, but I understood it long after this set’s core design was well established. Anyway, it’s my set- not theirs.

Fortifications 

Ore Extractor

This set also brings us Fortifications. Introduced in Future Sight, this untapped design space was perfect for introducing to a land-based set.

Multicolor & Fatties

Wandering Hellkite

Whilst multicolor is not a central theme, there are plenty of multicolor cards and thanks to the huge amounts of land fixing one can easily play 3 or 4 colours in Limited. There are also an abnormal amount of larger creatures in the lower rarities and plenty of ramp options, so limited games tend to play out ‘battlecruiser’ style.

Planeswalker's Guide2

Terranova, the ‘New Earth’, is a mysterious and only partially explored continent, embroiled in a conflict between civilized nations seeking to establish themselves and the primitive tribes who call it home.

The Umyuk tribesmen and the elves of Quallinar venerate the land as a gift from a creator spirit they call the Rainbow Serpent; but the newly risen nations of Celenis and Kram see progress and expansion as their only gods, and carve the land up into outposts and estates. Stuck the middle are the nihilistic outcasts of Ucarb who mercenary themselves out to whichever side is winning, and mysterious wizards of Zuulanel, who foresee a far greater disaster in the coming of the Silhouette…

The Rainbow Serpent

A benevolent creator spirit, the Rainbow Serpent was said to have existed in the time before the beginning of time, called the Dreamtime by the shamans of Umyuk and Quallinar. It is said he fashioned the world of Terranova from the dusts of creation as a gift to those who would one day dwell upon it.
A vast and wild land of unbridled nature, the serpent watched over it for many millions of years. But over time his presence began to wane. As civilization took root, those connected with the land felt him recede. They now fear his total abandonment, as those who see him as ‘primitive nonsense’ begin to carve up the splendor he created.

Rainbow Serpent

Celenis

The bustling port nation of Celenis is one of the principle nations of Terranova. Composed primarily of humans, Celenis represents civilization at its finest; grand monuments, bustling ports, opulent palaces. Living is good, there’s comfort and order, and the marketplaces are great.
With no formal ruler, Celenis is run by a throng of aristocrats, all scheming and competing with each other over petty matters. Much of life in Celenis is based around them, or wanting to be like them. Social status is of paramount importance, and you are judged on how much you own.
Already a firmly established nation, what exists outside its borders is of token importance only. Unless it can be purchased. The people of Celenis don’t have a great spiritual side or any fervent passion to improve upon the world- comfort, apathy and a little bit of greed will do nicely thank you.

Buyers Markets

 Kram

Unlike the status-obsessed people of Celenis, the Kramites are obsessed with progress. They constantly push themselves to develop, refine and expand their civilization. Whilst Celenis might be the wealthiest nation, Kram is the largest and is constantly pushing its borders.
The Kramites see themselves as harbingers of a new social order and espouse a new philosophy, where what is created by nature is inferior to what is created by man. A structured society can better support people, and vast armies and powerful magic can better protect them.
They aggressively expand into new territory, and employ large armies to deal with local primitives who don’t seem to understand the progress they espouse. The Kramites routinely skirmish with the Umyuk, which don’t seem to budge, and are responsible for removing the elves from the prime timberlands of Quallinar. They have no beef with their neighbours Celenis though, seeing them as brothers in arms in the march of civilization.

Development Site

 Umyuk

The lush grasslands and sheltered valleys of Umyuk are home to a great many native  human tribes.
Unlike the nations of Celenis and Kram, the Umyuk venerate the land they walk on. They see it as the land owning them, rather than the other way round. Their shamans are known as Serpentsingers, and they still call upon the Rainbow Serpent through song and dance despite fearing it has long since abandoned them. Their greatest warriors are the Lionhearts, who are trained to protect their tribes from vicious local fauna.
The tribes have long lived in relative peace, but lately that peace has been disrupted. Every day the Kramites seize new territory and Celenis Aristocrats try to buy it out from under their noses. The tribes have united to push back the invaders, but the daily skirmishes are beginning to turn into all-out war.

Empower

 Quallinar

Quallinar is a tranquil woodland, and a powerful locus of green mana. It is said here that the connection to the Rainbow Spirit is greatest, even if the Earthspeakers have long since been able to feel it clearly. It is home to all manner of woodland creatures, dryads, and a long-standing civilization of elves. All of which was shattered during the recent Kramite invasion.
The elves, long used to peace, simply didn’t have the skills or the gall to defend their homeland, and were forced from their lands. They are now a lost people. Led by the enigmatic Princess of the Stars, they cling to a hope of finding new, peaceful lands to inhabit.
However Quallinar’s other main inhabitants, the dryads, intimately bound to the trees, couldn’t leave and have mounted a resistance against the Kramite occupiers. Their secret groves lie hidden, and one among, Shanna-Nali, suspects the Kramite invasion is a mere portent of larger cataclysm.

Quallinar Ranger

Ucarb

Bordering on the edges of Celenis lie the vast swamplands of Ucarb. Its muggy mist-shrouded bogs and waterways are an unlikely spot for civilization to appear, but it is home to a large population of outcasts and renegades that have been shunned by their societies. Makeshift cities built into the trees and riverbanks form most of Ucarb’s prime real estate.
Ucarb is largely lawless, and an easy place for an individual to hide in. The population is  nihilistic, and care little about what happens around them. The region is a haven for witches, bounty hunters and other people offering questionable services.

Swamp.2

Zuulanel

Far into the ocean lies a relatively isolated archipelago. It is home to a reclusive society of wizards that have turned their backs on the material trappings of Celenis and Kram, knowing there is more to the world out there than status and territory. Although not entirely sympathetic to the plight of Umyuk and Quallinar, they believe a greater connection to the land indeed exists and seek to rebuild that connection, albeit through logic rather than spiritual reverence.
They are the greatest holders of knowledge in the civilized world, and have come to understand the Rainbow Serpent exists- or at least once did. What’s more important, they have begun to glean glimpses of the Silhouette.

Academy Geographer

The Undercity

Although little known about by much of the surface population, a vast network of natural caverns exists deep below the streets of Celenis. The caverns surge with vast quantities of black mana, powering forbidden experiments and divinations with demonic beings. They are home to a cabal of wizards and necromancers unbound by morals or ethics, who seek personal power and observe no limits in doing so.
The cabal appear to be unconcerned with what goes on in the world above. But powerful wizards with amoral values systems can be inherently useful to the aspiring aristocrat. Sometimes in Celenis it can be hard to tell who’s really pulling the strings.

Occult Studies

Khorr 

Eventually the flat plains of Umyuk stretch out into a vast expanse of nothing but heat and sand and dust. Its fringes are home to several hardy Umyuk tribes, and mysterious caravans of nomads are known to wander its interior. It is also major if seldom traveled trade route between Celenis, Kram and several outlying territories. Only the confident or the foolhardy dare to make the trek though, for the desert harbors savage predators and perilous conditions.
Occasionally the shifting dunes will uncover ruins that seem to hint at an ancient civilization, but whatever the desert reveals is quickly swallowed back up again.

Mountain.2

Vallinost

The vast jungle of Vallinost borders on the Ucarb swamps and stretches out into the unknown. It is largely regarded as impassable and has no native culture or civilization, barring a few savage treefolk. The only law here is the law of the jungle, and the largest predator is king. Meat-eating plants, monstrous insects and ferocious canopy lizards form a complex net of predators that all hunt and feed off each other. Anything as stupid as an explorer wandering in is practically a free meal.
No expedition party has safely crossed through it. The Umyuk avoid it unless they have to, and even the elves of Quallinar have think twice about venturing in.

Forest.2

Ironbark

The ancient forest of Ironbark is said to be the oldest place on Terranova. It is a place of myth and rumour, far away from civilized lands. Here the trees grow to the size of mountains, and have bark harder than tempered steel. The whole forest is said to have a way of coming alive.
Ironbark is home to a race of treefolk, said to be as old as the forest itself. They see themselves as protectors of the land, and sometimes impart the wisdom of ages to those who seek their counsel. But those who anger them bear witness to their incredible might.

Consult the Ancients

Negoti

Between the plains of Umyuk and the swamps of Ucarb lie the Negoti scrublands. The landscape is bleak, riven with quagmires and constantly blasted by strong winds.  Disease is more prevalent here, often carried by vicious scurrying fauna unique to the region.
The primitive tribes found here have long since disassociated themselves from the Umyuk. They are grim and humorless, and have little interest in the growing war. Many dabble in black magic or are outright witches, but are famed for their healing skills and the powerful remedies they craft. Others are just driven mad by the wind.

Bleak Scrub

Deeptrench

Between the Zuulanel archipelago and Terranova’s coastline there is a sudden plummet in the ocean floor. This is Deeptrench, and its lightless depths are home to the spiteful merfolk. Savage and uncivilized, the merfolk are allied with no-one. They refer to the humans and elves as ‘shorebound’ and constantly harass the trade ships that cross the trench and send floods and tides to inundate coastal communities.
But merfolk are the least of the problem. Deep below titanic creatures writhe, and occasionally rise from the depths to consume the shorebound. When they do, the whole coastline trembles.

Rise from the Deep

Vorokan

Of all the realms and territories of Terranova, none is more treacherous than Vorokan. Here the land is in constant seismic upheaval and volcanoes belch fire and ash into the sky. The only stable parts of the region are endless lava fields, awash with molten rock. Insane pyromancers and would-be dragon wranglers are drawn to the region, thinking they can absorb its power or tame its fierce wildlife. Whether they do or not, Vorokan draws in many of those too insane, erratic or power-hungry to otherwise exist in conventional society.

Seismic Surge

Tuskwood

Tuskwood is a haunted mass of twisted trees with grappling branches and pockets of shade that have never seen the sun. It is home to countless predators, many of them undead, that feed on terror as much as they feed on flesh. Few who have ventured into the depths of Tuskwood have ever made their way out, as the paths and trails that wind through it only ever lead deeper and mysteriously disappear or turn back on themselves when one tries to follow them out.
Tuskwood is home to the satyrs, who cavort with the darkness that manifests in their realm, and seek to lure the unwary in.

Lumbering Satyr

Frigoria

To the very north lies the frigid land of Frigoria. It is a remote territory of mountains and glaciers and can only be reached by a treacherous sea voyage. There are no native inhabitants other than a few hardy animals, and the temperature here is low enough to freeze the blood while still in its veins.
Oddly enough Frigoria receives a fair amount of visitors. Artifacts from the region command a high price and many merchants make their way here, along with adventurers seeking to make a name for themselves. The territory is also rich in blue and red mana, a fact not unnoticed by power-hungry eyes.

Island.2

Kralis

An impossibly long chain of mountains, Kralis forms the natural border between many of Terranova’s realms and regions. The mountains start far in the north in Frigoria and wind their way south, into the Umyuk plains, where they are known as the Kralis Foothills.
The Kramites have long noted their strategic importance, as many of the valleys are wide enough to hide entire armies. But the territory has been remarkably difficult to seize, as the canyons are prone to army-crushing rockslides and the hills have a funny way of coming alive. They may well be the key to winning the war but so far the only conquerors have been dragons.

Mountain.1

Shanna Nali

Shanna Nali felt the first bite of the saw against the tree’s trunk as if it was her own flesh. Exploding out of the tree in pain and panic and anger she saw a human. Humans rarely ventured into Quallinar and this one was dressed in a way she’d never seen before, with all these shiny plates of metal on his body. In surprise he lunged at her, and in a flash she turned her arm into a sharp splinter of wood, impaling him.

She found the other dryads were mobilizing and the elves had already gone. The forest was being invaded, desecrated by forces unknown.
Suddenly she felt her body undergo immense pain, like she was being torn limb from limb. She knew they had returned to cut down the tree she was bound to. Racing back, she made it just in time to see her tree fall. Then something happened.
The death of a dryad’s tree should automatically kill the dryad bound to it, but in Shanna it was like something ignited instead. A forest of thorns burst up around the invaders, and a wave of beasts stampeded forth to crush them. She didn’t know how she did it but she did. And it was suddenly like Shanna could see beyond her tree, beyond Quallinar and beyond the world itself.

She soon left the forest, to view the human civilizations that had sprung up around it. She saw a world tensed on its edge, waiting in silence for a conflict about to happen. She saw nature usurped by man and faith lost in the Creator. And somewhere out there, in the void behind the stars where it seemed only she could see, a dark and colossal shadow was slithering ever closer.

Shanna Nali Creations Hand

The Silhouette

As the world was in turmoil, Shanna saw other subtler things hinting at cataclysm. In Tuskwood the shadows grew longer. In Vorokan the mountains grew angrier. In Frigoria the temperatures grew colder and in Negoti the plague winds blew harder.

Travelling back to Quallinar she found the dryads concerned only with what was happening in their forest. The Spiritcallers of Umyuk were too busy fighting the Kramites, and those civilized humans she dared reveal herself to scoffed at her nonsense. Only in Zuulanel did an old archmagus confirm he had seen the slithering shadow too.

Finally in Ironbark, seeking the counsel of the oldest of treefolk, she got her first real answer.
“The shadow you see is the Serpent’s Silhouette. As the Rainbow Serpent was the creator, his Shadow is the destroyer”.

“Why does it seek to destroy us?” she asked.
“Why are there two sides to everything?” the treefolk asked back.
“But why has it come?” Shanna cried.
The eldest of the treefolk sighed that resigned sigh one gives to a child who does not understand.
“Because we have brought it, daughter.”

As Shanna walked out of Ironbark she knew she had only one choice: to stop the war from happening.

Serpent’s Silhouette

~~THE CARDS~~

DESIGN NOTES

My personal mission in this set’s design was to create the most professional, polished set I could- the set I would make if I really was a Magic designer. This set has taken me six or seven years to make, it was just something I’d spend a few days on every few months. The 350 cards you see here are the best, most flavourful and most synergistic of the five thousand or so I actually created for it.

I started work on this set some time around 2005 or 2006 I think. Lands had never been done as a set mechanic then so I wanted to make one. The world of Terranova was initially inspired by Australian Aboriginal myth, but it obviously evolved away from that.

The set’s main mechanic was originally ‘Earthlink’, which is pretty much the Imperiosaur ability. It was meant to pose the conundrum of either playing powerful nonbasic lands or powerful spells that demanded only basics. But ultimately crafting a set around a drawback just wasn’t a good idea.
The Earthcast and Landcycling sub-mechanics were around from the start, but Land Mass wasn’t conceived of until much later. It is in many ways a response to Zendikar‘s Landfall, because that was Wizards’s own ‘land set’ and I felt they completely botched it up. Fortifications were also added around that time. You may notice too that there are no creature auras or equipment, a conscious choice.

Updated Version

After about four months of farting about on the internet for everyone to see, I decided to update the set. Part of this was based on other people’s reactions to the set, and part my own feelings about it.

The main change I made was to just stop trying to be so clever with the damn thing, and take out some of the ‘smart’ and replace it with ‘AWESOME’.
I couldn’t help looking at other Battlecruiser sets in Magic such as Rise of the Eldrazi the very recent Theros, and note how they were allowed players to play like that- where I had the feeling Terranova didn’t. So the main core changes I made, so the set would play out the way I wanted it to:

  1. Cut the boring cards, and put in AWESOME cards instead (Case in point: compare the old Grixis rare Noxious Tar Pit to the new one Caliph of Khorr). Above all other things, this set is meant to be shit-giggly fun!
  2. Cut the unfun cards, and put in AWESOME cards instead. This included putting a halt on some of land destruction options players had, particularly in limited.
  3. Cut a lot of pure fatty removal. Players should not be punished for playing fatties.
  4. Tweaked a lot of numbers. For example the common landcycling artifact creatures had their base stats upped to 6/6, as well as improving the stats of the ‘Dormant’ cycle of land auras.

There were also a stack of functionality changes, a whole bunch of cards got new art. I also changed over the lands to reference storage counters in every instance- charge counters are for artifacts!

For those interested in what cards got removed, they are at the bottom of this article.

Individual Card Design Notes

Here are some notes on some of the cards with interesting design stories:

Serpent’s Silhouette– Originally the set’s poster bad-boy was the black mythic, a fact I was not entirely at ease with. But as this set’s redesign started with ‘man I really gotta Zaanuu‘, that opened up a spare slot. He is now colourless as he should be and provides a nice contrast between the creator Rainbow Serpent.

Call the Valkyries– This was one of the last cards I designed. There was a hole for a high mana cost splashy white rare. This was around the time of Avacyn Restored, and I had just won about 60 beautiful angel tokens at the prerelease. So it had to be something that created them. This is what I came up with.

Kramite Sentinel & Wall of Faith– When going over the set as part of my redesign, I worked to eliminate cards that easily removed fatties (Faith’s Fetters) or were otherwise too aggressive in nature (Wayfarer Knight). In their place I put in cards I felt slowed down the environment, but still held their own late-game.

Terra Eternal– Why make something new when something already exists that does the job perfectly? There are a number of reprints in this set, and it was a lot of fun giving existing Magic cards new themes and flavour. Whilst the obvious kinds of reprints exist- like Demolish and Spreading Seas– this set was an opportunity to bring back lesser known and more interesting cards.

Vale Griffin– Melissa Benson was by far my favourite of Magic’s original artists, and her Nightmare and Shivan Dragon were a big reason I fell in love with the game. Finding this piece on her personal site, I knew I had to use it.

Zadeki, Storm Feather– I love Zuberi, Golden Feather. It’s such a cute card. I’m really sorry to say this though, but unfortunately I feel that’s all he really is- ‘cute’. Griffins need a proper lord, and this is my homage to him.

Aragus, Coil of Oceans– Other than Griffins, the other mini-tribal subtheme included is Serpents, as I feel Sea Serpents are misrepresented in Magic (as in all of them suck). I wanted my set to include good playable Sea Serpents. This is the biggest baddest one of all; a serpent so large and ancient it floods the land when it rises.

Monstrous Octopus– Pre-revision this guy was a 3/3 that got +3/+3 with Land Mass. But  feedback posted on a forum thread said “I expect more from a creature with that name, art and (most importantly) reputation.” As a die-hard sea monster lover that really hit home with me, so I added a mini-Lorthos ability to make it a force to be reckoned with.

Nix– This odd reprint might seem a little out of place, but then consider that there are twenty cards in this set that allow you to cast them for free.

Political Manuever– If I had to pick my one favourite design from everything in this set, it would be this card. It just has so many hidden applications. The idea hit me whilst I was tuning my Zedruu EDH deck, wondering just what would be ‘the perfect card’ for it. The amount of political shenanigans you can cause is amazing and if I was allowed to pick one card from this set to be printed for real, it would be this.

Sumah, Deeptrench Summoner– This girl only came in in the revision, and I admit I really, really like her. I also admit I really liked Anna Fibbs, the previous blue legend too, but she just wasn’t cool enough. This card came from musing how awesome it would be to have Deeptrench Summoner as an EDH commander, as well as realizing that card made no sense at common.

Angzil the Icehearted– For a while I rather fancied making a whole Terranova block, and one thing that was never elaborated anywhere was that in the second set a powerful lich would emerge from the Undercity and serve as the main villain, at least until the Silhouette shows up. After shuffling the mythics around, and figuring I might never complete the block, I realized I could put him in this set.

Howling Shade– Late in the design process I realized that, as a set that generally wanted players to ramp in limited, it needed a few mana sinks. Land Mass was only half of the solution, as after you had all those lands you needed to have something to do with them. Hence a fair number of cards were added or tweaked to make use of all the lands lying around. Howling Shade is one of them, and my new take on the ‘shade’ ability.

Syphon Power– Second only to Political Maneuver, this is my other favourite design. Can’t you tell I love funky multiplayer cards?

Corsair Ransacker– I was playing a lot of Dragon Stompy at the time, and getting routinely hammered by UW Stoneforge Mystic decks. I brainstormed what the ‘perfect creature’ would be, and my design slipped in perfectly with the image of a pirate.

Demolish– I consider this card to be my reprint triumph. A perfect match of an existing card with art and flavor text.

Lightning Storm– This batshit insane card is actually a reprint. Yeah, seriously. During my revision I just couldn’t resist. Goes great with all the landcycling!

Pyrodancer– Some cards were inspired simply by finding an amazing piece of artwork I just had to use. This is one of them.

Vicious Sandworm & Colossal Sandworm– There was originally a vertical cycle of sandworms, featuring ‘Monstrous Sandworm’- a 6/2 trample haste for RRR that required a two land sacrifice at uncommon. It got cut as I worried a Ball Lightning variant would be too much to handle at uncommon.

Chimbaloo– There was this children’s book I loved as a kid, ‘The Ten Monster Islands’. Of all the monsters in it, my favourite were the Chimbaloos, fabulous but elusive creatures hunted for their golden horns. This is a top-down design of such a creature; always hunted but never caught. Mechanically it’s kind of like a beefed-up Jackalope Herd, another card I also really liked.

Enchantress’s Awakening– This was the very last card designed for the set. There was a hole for a green rare and I had been mulling over the fact there actually were a lot of enchantments in the set but nothing that really fed off them. Combining enchantments with a land theme gave me this, and I’ve got to say it’s one of my personal favorites. It’s exactly the kind of awesome Johnny power that would make me drool in real life.

Vallinost Awakening– It always annoyed me that Natural Affinity denied me the chance to attack with all my lands. After I cut the original rare green Earthcast spell (an Early Harvest variant) for being a bit unbalanced everything clicked and I jumped at the chance to create a land animator that actually allowed me to attack with everything I had.

Cloudfin Ray– This card is deliberately weird, and for such simple text it has so many hidden gameplay applications.

Man-Eating Tree & Scythewing Amphitere– As part of Operation Awesome, I took out cards I didn’t feel were facilitating Battlecruiser style gameplay enough and replaced them with those that did. Ideally cards like these are meant to be powerful enough to skew a player into their colours in limited.

Steam Elemental– These double landcycling creatures singlehandedly make playing three or even four colours in limited viable. They were originally common, but I found having them there made players want to spread their color base to much. Hence they were bumped to uncommon, where they belong.

Enviromorph– Undoubtedly a rules nightmare, this little innovation was far too cool and flavorful to pass up.

Rainbow Serpent– One of the central themes of many Aboriginal myths is that of a creator spirit called the Rainbow Serpent who crafted the world from his coils. The idea for this card originated from the very start and didn’t change a bit.

Venomtail Manticore– Despite loving dragons, when I was adding more fatti- *cough* revising the set I wanted to have a large red-based flyer somewhere that wasn’t a dragon. First pick in Rochester Draft, guaranteed.

Arcane Vault– I admit, this is pretty out-there. But the whole time I was thinking about how my favourite lands of all time were the Hideaway lands, so when I was revising the set damn straight I did something about it!

Firegrass Plantation– There were plenty of cool flora and fauna I came up with to populate the world of Terranova. One of the quirkier of these was Firegrass; ground-covering vegetation with the ability to spontaneously combust. I sure hope it wasn’t lost on you.

Street Sweeper– I couldn’t resist reprinting this guy. He’s an absolute beast in the format.

Terraformer Matrix– There had to be a mythic fortification made, and this was about as mythic as I could make it. Really want to drop it on a Cloudpost!

Ambush Canyons & Fireblossom Jungle– As a land set, I wanted to have a whole of lands. The coolest thing I could think of was having a set of dual lands that also provided a one-shot spell effect. That set turned into two sets, one at uncommon and one at rare. The uncommon spell lands require a sacrifice and the rare ones come with a charge counter that doesn’t cost you the land.

Mulaya, Heart of Vallinost– When the ‘mythic’ rarity got introduced I decided I wanted a full cycle of mythic rare lands. They had to be super splashy, and the idea originally came to me as storage lands that never lost their storage counters. I dare say these would be extremely popular if they were ever printed, and the new legendary rule as of June 2013 only upgrades the power of these lands.

Silent Swathe– This is the only land that exiles itself instead of sacrificing, and it’s all thanks to Crucible of Worlds. ScepterChant doesn’t need another lock engine!

Tropical Lagoon– This card used to untap only three permanents (designed to be used in conjunction with lands that tap for more than one) but it was just too weak. Now it’s possibly the strongest of the rare ‘spell lands’ and there are a variety of impressive combos you fire of with it. Think Bustling Port, Quallinar Ranger and Distant Oasis.

Forest– Whilst not a game mechanic in any sense, all basic lands now directly reference a game world location. I didn’t like it how you had places like Murasa and Utvara and the Dross, but for such important locations you never actually got to see what they looked like. Even if basic lands did depict those regions, they were still labelled as generic Mountains and Forests. Now they tie into the places referenced on so many other cards, and you can see what kind of environment everything comes from.

Ugin, Cosmic Dragon– Ugin is probably the most surprising inclusion in this set. Ability wise I made sure one of his powers was a Ghostfire and the other could kill off Eldrazi, his ancient enemy. As for what he’s doing or done in Terranova… can you puzzle it out? There’s a clue hidden in one of the cards…

Deleted Cards

These are cards that didn’t make through the revision I did (ie: ‘Operation Awesome’). Some were boring, some went against the environment I was trying to create, and some were completely broken (I’m looking at you Zaanuu).
These cuts are for the best, but I really will miss one of them- Locust Plague.

***

To all of those who made it up to here, thank you for reading this far. Here is your reward. Rest assured I have no plans to create another custom Magic set anytime soon.

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6 Responses to TERRANOVA Custom Set

  1. Belaran says:

    This is spectacular work. I admire your dedication, and I hope to see more!
    But perhaps never to have to encounter this in the field…

    Looks formidable.

  2. Charles says:

    GREAT WORK!
    Fascinating Style and looks great to play….. Dude go to Wizards and give ’em Hell! 😀

  3. Chris Crow says:

    I love the entire idea and set i would lovve to help wiht anything if you need such help

  4. Adam says:

    I would love to use your set to draft, assuming that is alright, but I would have no idea on how much of each card to use. I.E. How many reprints of the same card? Any help?

    • Haha that’s very flattering man! Glad you like it!
      I’m not sure of the distribution, but I always assumed 1x Rare/Mythic, 2x Uncommon and 4x Common. I’m sure somebody somewhere has a more accurate idea of just how many copies of each rarity get printed so if you scout around I’m sure you’ll find out.
      And if you do end up drafting my set, please let me know how it goes! 😀

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