EXTRA SWAPS: My Ideas for Amonkhet in Puzzle Quest

Mickleberry
Mickleberry Posts: 48 Just Dropped In

   >>>=INTRODUCTION=<<<


   I’ve been playing Magic: the Gathering since I was 9 years old, around the release of Fallen Empires. And as with Magic’s Puzzle Quest counterpart, I’ve watched the game grow in both fun-factor and complexity, with fascinating card interactions, a limitless variety of decks to design and near limitless number of strategies to utilize.

   When I look at the two games side-by-side, I can appreciate how well Magic: the Gathering has translated into the match-3 app we all know and love. I can also appreciate how the app game has managed to take something as infinitely complex as Magic and turn into something that, at its core, is much simpler, and I think it’s paid off. “Activate” gems to replace activated abilities, Void gems to fuel Devoid and Ingest strategies, Energized gems as a sort of “Shared-Activated” gems strategy and Clue and Fabricate token supports are inspired. I think that these types of small board changes with immediate and major impact on the game makes for a greater challenge and deeper strategy, and I hope this trend continues.

   That being said, I hope that this next set, Amonkhet, is one where WotC, D3go, Hibernum and Infinite Interactive do well to add depth, strategy and fun without giving into the impending doom that is complexity creep. All good games with a rotation of expansions eventually die from creating a game that has become so complex that it fails to bring in new players and eventually discourages the old players from continuing on. And with how much simpler (by the constricts of its own construction) it’s app counterpart is made, paper Magic has come up with ways to stave off complexity creep that Puzzle Quest may simply not be able to achieve.

   What follows are ideas that I think would be great for the future MTGPQ set of Amokhet, assuming that the above mentioned companies haven’t already created the set and are about to launch it on the app. It handles the mechanics and new ideas that are in paper set and how I would translate them into my favorite app game. And at the end I have a couple of other ideas that I think would be a good change to the game, whether it’s with aesthetics or gameplay.

   I’m not by any means saying this is exactly what the next set should be. I’m sure these guys can come up with all sorts of cool cards and ideas that I could even possibly imagine. This is more just an overview of what I think would be a lot of fun and exciting to play. Heck, if they decide to use even ONE of these ideas, I’d be immensely flattered and giddy as a school boy.


   >>>= MECHANIC: EMBALM =<<<


   As you probably know from MtG, Emblam on paper works as a sort of Flashback for creatures. You pay the embalm cost, exile it from your graveyard, and put a white zombie version of the creature on the battlefield via a token.

   I like the idea of tokens for Embalm when it comes to puzzle quest, since it helps support cards and strategies that benefit from bringing several creatures onto the battlefield (very much in white’s color identity) and fits with the fact that, in paper Magic, Embalm creates tokens. It also allows for better synergy with other cards with the same mechanic. Having four or five embalm creatures that give you a bunch of white zombies when they die can make for a very interesting game.

   Since you can’t really do all that much with the graveyard in Puzzle Quest (yet), It would make sense to have Embalm work as a mechanic version of the Puzle Quest card “Murder Investigation”, where creatures dying result in you getting creatures. With that in mind, Embalm could work in one of three ways:

   1. It could simply give you a number of 1/1 White Zombies equal to the creature’s power, or some arbitrary number which could alter the power level and cost of the card.

   2. It could create a number of token supports equal to the creature’s power, with an ability such as “When this support is destroyed, you summon a 1/1 White Zombie.”, similar to Clue tokens.

   3. It could convert a number of gems into 1-turn countdown special gems with “On Match Summon a 1/1 White Zombie” equal to the creature’s power.

   If it were my choice, I would opt for the third option, since it is slightly balanced by the fact that your opponent could match gems to prevent you from getting too many creatures, it utilizes a feature of the game that already exists without creating too many different types of token supports (with a golden countdown circle around them it could look very distinctive from other altered gems such as void and energized ones), and they wouldn’t muddle up the board for longer than a single turn making for a cleaner board in the long run.

   For this and every mechanic that follows, I'll put down some examples of cards in their paper MTG form followed by proposed Puzzle Quest versions.


PAPER VERSIONS OF AMONKHET CARDS WITH EMBALM


   TRUEHEART DUELIST (1 W) (Uncommon)

   Creature – Human Warrior

   Trueheart Duelist can block an additional creature each combat.

   Embalm 2W (2W, exile this card from your graveyard: Create a token that’s a copy of it, except it’s a white Zombie Human Warrior with no mana cost. Embalm only as a sorcery).

   2/2

 

   ANOINTER PRIEST (1W) (Common)

   Creature – Human Cleric

   Whenever a creature token enters the battlefield under your control, you gain 1 life.

   Embalm 3W (3W, exile this card from your graveyard: Create a token that’s a copy of it, except it’s a white Zombie Human Cleric with no mana cost. Embalm only as a sorcery).

   1/3

 

   ANGEL OF SANCTIONS (3WW) (Mythic)

   Creature – Angel

   Flying

   When Angel of Sanctions enters the battlefield, you may exile target nonland permanent until Angel of Sanctions leaves the battlefield.

   Embalm 5W (5W, exile this card from your graveyard: Create a token that’s a copy of it, except it’s a white Zombie Angel  with no mana cost. Embalm only as a sorcery).

 

   GLYPH KEEPER (3UU) (Rare)

   Creature – Sphinx

   Flying

   Whenever Glyph Keeper becomes the target of a spell or ability for the first time each turn, counter that spell or ability)

   Embalm 5UU (5UU, exile this card from your graveyard: Create a token that’s a copy of it, except it’s a white Zombie Sphinx with no mana cost. Embalm only as a sorcery).

 

PROPOSED PUZZLE QUEST VERSIONS OF AMONKHET CARDS WITH EMBALM


   TRUEHEART DUELIST (7) (Uncommon) (White)

   Creature – Human Warrior

   Defender

   Embalm 2 (When this creature dies, convert 2 gems into 1-turn countdown special gems with On Match Summon 1 1/1 White Zombie)

   2/2

 

   ANOINTER PRIEST (6) (Common) (White)

   Creature – Human Cleric

   Whenever another creature enters the battlefield under your control, you gain 1 life.

   Embalm 1 (When this creature dies, convert 1 gem into a 1-turn countdown special gem with On Match Summon 1 1/1 White Zombie)

   1/3

 

   ANGEL OF SANCTIONS (12) (Rare) (White)

   Creature – Angel

   Flying

   As long as you control this creature, the first creature your opponent controls is disabled.

   Embalm 3 (When this creature dies, convert 3 gems into 1-turn countdown special gems with On Match Summon 1 1/1 White Zombie).

   3/4

 

   GLYPH KEEPER (17) (Mythic) (Blue)

   Creature – Sphinx

   Flying

   Hexproof

   Embalm 5 (When this creature dies, convert 5 gems into 1-turn countdown special gems with On Match Summon 1 1/1 White Zombie).


   Of all the mechanics, I think Embalm would be the second easiest to translate into Puzzle Quest, even if it’s nothing like what I’ve proposed. Perhaps something more like the Transform mechanic from the Shadows Over Innistrad block could easily be used here as well. At any rate, I look forward to summoning droves of white zombies.

 

   >>>=MECHANIC: EXERT=<<<

 

   Exert is a bit of an odd one. It keeps creatures that are exerted tapped for an extra turn, but gives you a pretty sweet bonus for doing that. For puzzle Quest, a game that doesn’t tap anything, it would make sense to use the disable mechanic to give the very idea of exert the same feel as paper Magic. I see a couple ways to make this work:

   1. It could just be an Activate ability that gives you an extra boost, but disables the creature during your next turn.

   2. It could give you a choice whether or not to exert the creature when it attacks: if you choose to exert it, it disables the creature on your next turn.

   I like the choice being entirely up to you, so for me option 2 would be the way to go, again adding depth of strategy without being too complicated. Here are some examples, with paper Magic versions first. Again, I think what I’m proposing could be a lot of fun: with three exertable creatures, you could crank out a monster turn and win a game out of seemingly nowhere, and, like all choices in Puzzle Quest, getting the options of “Okay” or “Not Now”, is quick, easy, and gives way for a myriad of combat situations.

 

   PAPER VERSIONS OF AMONKHET CARDS WITH EXERT

 

   COMBAT CELEBRANT (2R) (Mythic)

   Creature – Human Warrior

   If Combat Celebrant hasn’t been exerted this turn, you may exert it as it attacks. When you do, untap all other creatures you control and after this phase, there is an additional combat phase. (An exerted creature won’t untap during your next untap step.)

   4/1

 

   WATCHFUL NAGA (2G) (Uncommon)

   Creature – Naga Wizard

   You may exert Watchful Naga as it attacks. When you do, draw a card. (An exerted creature doesn’t untap during your next untap step.)

   2/2

 

   RHET-CROP SPEARMASTER (2W) (Common)

   Creature – Human Warrior

   You may exert Rhet-Crop Spearmaster as it attacks. When you do, it gets +1/+0 and gains first strike until end of turn. (An exerted creature doesn’t untap during your next untap step.)

   3/1

 

   PROPOSED PUZZLE QUEST VERSIONS OF AMONKHET CARDS WITH EXERT

 

   COMBAT CELEBRANT (13) (Red) (Mythic)

   Menace

   When this creature attacks, you may exert it. If you do, creatures you control gain double strike until end of turn. (An exerted creature becomes disabled during your next turn.)

   4/1

 

   WATCHFUL NAGA (7) (Green) (Uncommon)

   When this creature, attacks, you may exert it. If you do, draw 1 card. (An exerted creature becomes disabled during your next turn.)

   2/2

 

   RHET-CROP SPEARMASTER (6) (Common)

   Creature – Human Warrior

   When this creature attacks, you may exert it. If you do, it gets +1/+0 and first strike until end of turn. (An exerted creature becomes disabled during your next turn.)

   3/1

 

   I think these kinds of creatures would be a lot of fun to play, and I could see an entire exert deck being both challenging and satisfying.

 

    >>>=MECHANIC: CYCLING=<<<

 

   In paper Magic, cycling has always been a great way to ditch unneeded or unwanted cards in search of better ones. Hand getting muddled with lands? Cycle an Irrigated Farmland with the hopes that you get that sweet removal spell you desperately need. Adding cycling to a card can also offer some extra boosted effects, like with

    With the last two blocks of Puzzle Quest, there has been a lot of cards that discards cards from your hand as an additional cost or as an activated ability, and with Madness being a pretty affective mechanic in MTGPQ, making cycling a discarding ability may lead to degenerate Madness builds. Instead, my thought is have cycling work with the other third thing you can do with cards in your hand: EXILE them.

   The cycling mechanic can make exiling cards matter in MTGPQ, and by making cycling a mechanic that trades mana for their benefits helps to ensure that a cycling-centric deck doesn’t warp the metagame. So my proposal is this: make cycling an ability that gives you a choice of whether you want to “Cycle” the card (provided you have enough mana) or “Exile” the card.

   

   If you choose to “Exile” it, it’s treated like any other card you exile.

   BUT

   If you choose instead to “Cycle” the card, you lose the amount of mana specified and you fetch the next card from your library, and gain any other benefits you get from cycling the card.

 

   The reason I say “fetch the next card from your library” instead of “draw 1 card” is so that supports like Alhammarret’s Archive and/or Sphinx’s Tutelage don’t create crazy mechanics-based combos that could make things potentially miserable. Here’s some examples of what we can make with Cycling a la Puzzle Quest.

 

 PAPER VERSIONS OF AMONKHET CARDS WITH CYCLING

 

   RENEWED FAITH (2W) (Uncommon)

   Instant

   You gain 6 life.

   Cycling 1W (1W, Discard this card: Draw a card.)

   When you cycle Renewed Faith, you may gain 2 life.

 

   SHEFET MONITOR (5G) (Uncommon)

   Creature - Lizard

   Cycling 3G (3G, Discard this card: Draw a card.)

   When you cycle Shefet Monitor, you may search your library for a basic land card or a Desert card, put it onto the battlefield, then shuffle your library (Do this before you draw.)

   6/5

 

   SCATTERED GROVES (-)(Rare)

   Land - Forest Plains

   (T: Add G or W to your mana pool.)

   Scattered Groves enters the battlefield tapped.

   Cycling 2 (2, Discard this card: Draw a card)

 

   PROPOSED PUZZLE QUEST VERSIONS OF AMONKHET CARDS WITH CYCLING

 

   RENEWED FAITH (5) (White) (Uncommon)

   Spell

   You gain 6 life.

   Cycling 4 (If you exile this card and have at least 4 mana, you may lose 4 mana. If you do, fetch the next card from your library.)

   If you cycle this card, you gain 2 life.

 

   SHEFET MONITOR (16) (Green) (Uncommon)

   Creature - Lizard

   Cycling 6 (If you exile this card and have at least 6 mana, you may lose 6 mana. If you do, fetch the next card from your library.)

   If you cycle this card, convert 3 gems to green.

   6/5

 

   SCATTERED GROVES (6)(Green/White)(Rare)

   Support

   At the beginning of your turn, convert 1 gem to green and 1 gem to white.

   Cycling 3 (If you exile this card and have at least 3 mana, you may lose 3 mana. If you do, fetch the next card from your library.)

 

   I think that cycling could make for some better quality games, ensuring that, even if you start the game with a dead hand, you might be able to cycle through your library and get caught up. For this reason, cycling should be a must-include for Puzzle Quest.

 

   >>>=MECHANIC: -1/-1 COUNTERS=<<<

 

   Remember when I said that Embalm would be the SECOND-easiest mechanic to translate into Puzzle Quest? This would be number one in making it work for the app game. Instead of “put -1/-1 counters on a creature you control”, we could simply reword it with “give target creature you control -1/-1.” Or “The first creature you control gets -1/-1” as a sort of “anti-fabricate”. However it’s done, it will be easy as cake to pull this off. I’m not going to bother with example cards: they’ll look almost identical.

 

   >>>=MECHANIC: AFTERMATH=<<<

 

   On the other hand, I think the most difficult mechanic to translate into Puzzle Quest would be Aftermath, a split-card variant of Flashback where the spell you cast in your hand is different from, but related to, the spell in you cast from your graveyard.

   With aftermath, I imagine spell cards being ones that turn into the graveyard counterparts upon being cast. It could almost act like a Transform variant for spell cards in Puzzle Quest, allowing the card to replace itself with the “other side” being a transformed version of the original spell.

   For bonus flavor points, we could give the original side of a spell card with aftermath an “Ankh” (An Egyptian symbol for life) and give the Aftermath version an “Amenta” (An Egyptian symbol that represents the Underworld or Land of the Dead).

   If the spell card flips after being cast, we could call it “Transform” then return it to your hand. The other option is that we could call it something else like “Recover” or even “Aftermath” and have the card flip vertically instead of horizontally as with Transform cards. Here’s what a couple cards would look like.

 

 PAPER VERSIONS OF AMONKHET CARDS WITH AFTERMATH 

 

   SPRING//MIND (Uncommon)

   SPRING (2G)

   Sorcery

   Search your library for a basic land card, put it onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle your library.

   MIND (4UU)

   Instant

   Aftermath (Cast this spell only from your graveyard. Then exile it.)

   Draw two cards.

 

   FAILURE//COMPLY (Rare)

   FAILURE (1U)

   Instant

   Return target spell to its owner’s hand.

   COMPLY (W)

   Aftermath (Cast this spell only from your graveyard. Then exile it.)

   Choose a card name. Until your next turn, your opponent can’t cast spells with the chosen name.

 

   PROPOSED PUZZLE QUEST VERSIONS OF AMONKHET CARDS WITH AFTERMATH (RENAMED “RECOVER”)

 

   SPRING//MIND (Uncommon)

   SPRING (4) (Green/Blue)

   Spell

   Convert 3 gems to your planeswalker’s color. Then Recover this card. (A recovered card is put into your hand flipped to its other side.)

   MIND (8) (Green/Blue)

   Spell

   Draw 2 cards.

 

   FAILURE//COMPLY (Rare)

   FAILURE (6) (White/Blue)

   Spell

   The first card in your opponent’s hand is drained of all mana. Then Recover this card. (A recovered card is put into your hand flipped to its other side.)

   COMPLY (4) (White/Blue)

   Spell

   The first card in your opponent’s hand costs 300 more mana until the beginning of your next turn.

 

   If this doesn’t happen, there are ways these cards would work.

   1. Have a spell that’s the combination of the two and call the Spells “Spring to Mind” and “Failure to Comply”.

   2. Have the card use the effects of the first spell and then create a support with the effects of the second spell upon the support being destroyed.

   3. Have the card use the effects of the first spell immediately and then use the effects of the second spell at the end of the turn.

 

Any of these options would be viable and interesting. Either way, I’m excited to see what the Aftermath mechanic will look like in Puzzle Quest.

 

>>>=A LAST COUPLE OF IDEAS FOR CHANGES=<<<

 

These last couple of ideas are just thoughts that I think would be great for the game, whether they are functional or just dealing with the aesthetics of the game. Here they are:

 

   MASTERPIECE CARDS

 

   The Masterpiece cards from Kaladesh and Aether Revolt are awesome. And I would love to see invocations in Puzzle Quest. When they arrive, I certainly hope that two things happen:

   1. The Masterpiece boosters guarantee you a Masterpiece card from either KLD/AER or Amonkhet. (If this doesn’t happen, no biggie: I’ll take my chances.)

   2. The Masterpiece rarity symbol changes to glowing purple.

 

   The second I think would be great not only because it would be much more able to distinguish from Mythic Rares, but it would match the booster pack symbol’s color, it matches the in-game currency required to purchase those boosters, and it would match a color previously used on physical cards in the paper set Time Spiral to denote a “special” rarity.

 

   MORE STORY MODE

 

   I think everybody wants to see more of this. They’re a lot of fun, and it would give everyone a few more options for one-shot crystal boosts.

 

   MORE ACHIEVEMENTS

 

   While we wait for events requiring specific decks (Beginner, Expert, and Master) why not add achievements to story mode encounters for winning a match with a Beginner Deck, winning a match with an Expert Deck, and winning a match with a Master Deck? It will encourage players to use these decks and aim to complete them for sure.

 

   >>>=IN CONCLUSION=<<<

 

   No matter what comes out of Amonkhet and future versions of Magic the Gathering Puzzle Quest, I’m sure it will be great. I love this game and I don’t see myself giving it up any time soon. And while I’d absolutely love many of these ideas and changes to become reality, I’m more or less just like any other MTGPQ player: swiping the screen to victory and eagerly awaiting for the next wave of sweet cards, sweet changes, and more fun.

 

   Peace, Love, and Extra Swaps to all.

 

   Mick, a.k.a. “Mickleberry”

Comments

  • Mickleberry
    Mickleberry Posts: 48 Just Dropped In
    With all the threads on the forum talking about the game being "ruined forever" with recent changes, I'm curious to see what of these mechanics would be ones that everyone thinks would be good or bad for the game. Feel free to comment.
  • Laeuftbeidir
    Laeuftbeidir Posts: 1,840 Chairperson of the Boards
    I do see a lot of threads speaking about the problems of recent and old decisions / developments..but there are very few comments saying that the game would be ruined forever.
    I'd love to see more story mode - I finished it yesterday - and the ideas listed above seem to be interesting; but I guess the concept should be already finished by devs side 
  • Mickleberry
    Mickleberry Posts: 48 Just Dropped In
    I do see a lot of threads speaking about the problems of recent and old decisions / developments..but there are very few comments saying that the game would be ruined forever.
    I'd love to see more story mode - I finished it yesterday - and the ideas listed above seem to be interesting; but I guess the concept should be already finished by devs side 
    I'll concede that "ruined forever" was a bit doom and gloom on my part. Definitely agree that there are lots of threads about problems they're experiencing and reservations/concerns they're voicing.

    Here's hoping that new story mode chapters for the two recent blocks come out in the near future.
  • babar3355
    babar3355 Posts: 1,128 Chairperson of the Boards

    Mickleberry,

    I enjoyed your take... sorry I didn't take the time to add a thoughtful response.  I pretty much agree with most of your ideas.  Not sure about the exhile mechanic working in that manner.. but I wouldn't be opposed to it if that's what they went with.

    I actually think the aftermath mechanic could be one of the easiest.  When you cast a card with aftermath, it immediately comes back into your hand on the reverse side.  Seems like a pretty simple interpretation, although not really having anything to do with the graveyard.

    It's nice to have a fresh voice excited about the game as many of us seasoned players have been really frustrated with the direction of the game recently.  Mostly around lack of card balance and stripping the game of content or prizes worth fighting for.  But yes, most of us are stoked for AKH and look forward to seeing how the new mechanics are implemented!

  • Phillmoore
    Phillmoore Posts: 203 Tile Toppler
    the game could also do with  cycleing cards out of rotation to encourage some new ideas and game play with the new cards.  Game restrictions should come in so if you want to play with the older decks side battles where they can be used are set up. But the latest edition is the one that gets the new events etc.  This way power creep doesn't beCome an issue as the older power horses eventually no longer fit the present event structures and the play ground is levelled out more frequently