Conspiracy: Jumpstart #05: Marchesa
Conspiracy: Jumpstart is a National Game Design Month project, where a game (or, in this case, a Magic: The Gathering product) is designed in one month, during November 2020.
Previous Devlog Updates:
Mechanic Revision: Sway of the City
MonoWhiteBorder of “Building 31 creative monowhite decks in 31 days for Moxtober” fame helped to try to solve the problem of sway of the city discouraging players from playing their Citizen cards early. It’s not until sway of the city is out in play that the negative tension is diminished. If you already gained sway of the city in a turn, you can be happy knowing that you can get a draw next turn.
With being in “the 11th hour” of this month, and only having 50% of the packs completed, I’m now not looking to change sway of the city. However, I’ve figured a hotfix. Before going further, a reminder of what sway of the city is now locked into:
Considering that, if sway of the city is already present, players are more encouraged to cast their Citizen spells, I’ll propose what players like to do in casual Commander games with monarch: start the game with sway of the city “in the middle.”
Sway of the city is up for grabs, right from the start of the game.
This makes any creatures that gain you sway of the city when they enter the battlefield functionally identical to having the “Citizen” creature type, which means revisiting existing creature card designs to explain why they aren’t already a Citizen.
Brago: the flying dove gains you sway of the city because Citizens can’t fly.
Selvala: The rhino that gains sway of the city: while a Citizen can be a 4/4 by flavoring it as a group of Citizens, it’d be something like Elf Citizen or Human Citizen. Selvala needs the single creature type to match the pack’s mechanical theme of “single creature type.”
Muzzio: (No creature cards with sway of the city.)
Marchesa: The Paladin has a nuanced clause. It wants to give you sway of the city, but it rewards you with a Citizen token if you already had sway of the city. While you could make the Paladin a Citizen, you’d need some different templating that might be more complex. Besides, first strike is tertiary in black, and because of the Knight shtick, so I especially wanted to keep the creature type.
Lastly, to address a concern: does this mean we expect Commander or Legacy games to start with sway of the city? No, they won’t begin with sway of the city available for grabs.
Because Conspiracy: Jumpstart is a boxed product, it has extra rules contained within its environment. This is like the Explorers of Ixalan “board game-y” tiles and how Unsanctioned is a self-contained pack-mashup experience much like this product.
Marchesa’s mechanical theme is conspire. Most packs have two conspire cards. The opposite of Muzzio’s one conspire card, Marchesa has twice as mnay conspire cards in her pack, besides a couple other cards that care about conspire.
Marchesa’s color identity history is also a strength here, given conspire is based on creature colors matching conspire cards. Marchesa used to be blue-black-red with Conspiracy, then shifted into red-white-black for Conspiracy: Take the Crown. Since Conspiracy: Jumpstart is not locked into a particular time period, we pay homage to both Marchesa cards.
UPDATE: Some cards below have been updated thanks to feedback from perryk, dJemba, and An Auspicious Frog God! on the Beacon of Creation Discord.