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.
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.
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 =<<<
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
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.
VERSIONS OF AMONKHET CARDS WITH EMBALM
DUELIST (1 W) (Uncommon)
Trueheart Duelist can block an
additional creature each combat.
(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
PRIEST (1W) (Common)
creature token enters the battlefield under your control, you gain 1 life.
(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
SANCTIONS (3WW) (Mythic)
of Sanctions enters the battlefield, you may exile target nonland permanent
until Angel of Sanctions leaves the battlefield.
(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).
KEEPER (3UU) (Rare)
Glyph Keeper becomes the target of a spell or ability for the first time each
turn, counter that spell or ability)
(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).
PUZZLE QUEST VERSIONS OF AMONKHET CARDS WITH EMBALM
DUELIST (7) (Uncommon) (White)
(When this creature dies, convert 2 gems into 1-turn countdown special gems
with On Match Summon 1 1/1 White Zombie)
PRIEST (6) (Common) (White)
creature enters the battlefield under your control, you gain 1 life.
(When this creature dies, convert 1 gem into a 1-turn countdown special gem
with On Match Summon 1 1/1 White Zombie)
SANCTIONS (12) (Rare) (White)
As long as
you control this creature, the first creature your opponent controls is
(When this creature dies, convert 3 gems into 1-turn countdown special gems
with On Match Summon 1 1/1 White Zombie).
KEEPER (17) (Mythic) (Blue)
(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
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.
VERSIONS OF AMONKHET CARDS WITH EXERT
CELEBRANT (2R) (Mythic)
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
NAGA (2G) (Uncommon)
exert Watchful Naga as it attacks. When you do, draw a card. (An exerted
creature doesn’t untap during your next untap step.)
SPEARMASTER (2W) (Common)
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.)
PUZZLE QUEST VERSIONS OF AMONKHET CARDS WITH EXERT
CELEBRANT (13) (Red) (Mythic)
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.)
NAGA (7) (Green) (Uncommon)
creature, attacks, you may exert it. If you do, draw 1 card. (An exerted
creature becomes disabled during your next turn.)
SPEARMASTER (6) (Common)
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
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.
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
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:
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.
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
RENEWED FAITH (2W) (Uncommon)
You gain 6 life.
Cycling 1W (1W, Discard this card:
Draw a card.)
When you cycle Renewed Faith, you
may gain 2 life.
MONITOR (5G) (Uncommon)
(3G, Discard this card: Draw a card.)
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.)
SCATTERED GROVES (-)(Rare)
(T: Add G
or W to your mana pool.)
Scattered Groves enters the
(2, Discard this card: Draw a card)
PUZZLE QUEST VERSIONS OF AMONKHET CARDS WITH CYCLING
FAITH (5) (White) (Uncommon)
You gain 6
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.)
cycle this card, you gain 2 life.
MONITOR (16) (Green) (Uncommon)
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.)
cycle this card, convert 3 gems to green.
beginning of your turn, convert 1 gem to green and 1 gem to white.
(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.)
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
PAPER VERSIONS OF AMONKHET CARDS
library for a basic land card, put it onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle
(Cast this spell only from your graveyard. Then exile it.)
target spell to its owner’s hand.
card name. Until your next turn, your opponent can’t cast spells with the
PUZZLE QUEST VERSIONS OF AMONKHET CARDS WITH AFTERMATH (RENAMED “RECOVER”)
gems to your planeswalker’s color. Then Recover this card. (A recovered card is
put into your hand flipped to its other side.)
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.)
card in your opponent’s hand costs 300 more mana until the beginning of your
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
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
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:
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
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.
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.
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.
Love, and Extra Swaps to all.
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 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!