This week is the long-awaited spotlight on Seasons of War, the custom commander limited set! Creator Timespiraled joins the show to tell us everything they learned making it and what they enjoy about the final product!
Check out the cards in the set: https://msem-instigator.herokuapp.com/card?q=e%3Aswr
Go deep with the design doc: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1LXCrKJ-QoP2beLdMyKnmNQBeDafC5_ab1UyMNObTCGs/edit
Seasons of War of is a custom multiplayer set designed with Commander and Limited in mind. The inspiration for the idea came from Timespiraled’s playgroup who had started playing around when Conspiracy was released. The group wanted a multiplayer limited format that also felt like a game of commander. Timespiraled began workin on the idea long before the release of Commander Legends and thus landed on unique solutions to the query from what Commander Legends would eventually reach. The hosts discuss some of these differences and the reasons why the differences exist.
Timspiraled took time to explain the though process behind the design of the set. Rather than color pairs, the archetypes are primarily based around the available legends in the set. Timespiraled and their team worked hard to be certain that no card didn’t have a home with at least one of the commanders. The team also put an effort to make sure every card was playable to help ensure you could have plenty of playable for the commanders you pick up. Being sure the commanders had plenty of support was important for the designers. Tim, Kaiyu, and Timespiraled go over what this meant for design and ways it impacted the drafting experience.
After looking at the big picture, the hosts dive into the some of the mechanics of the set including one that appeared in a recent unpacking episode — Improve!
This is a mechanic that helps provide a mana sink when the board starts to stall and players have fewer spells to cast. The inspiration for improve came from playing with multi-kicker in Conspiracy.
The next mechanic the group talked about a mechanic that predates modified — Embattled.
The mechanic was created by another designer CanterburyEgg. Timspiraled loved both the theming of the mechanic, as well as, how open-ended it was.
The next mechanic comes from Conspiracy itself — Melee.
Melee is naturally at home in a multiplayer set and it’s one of Timspiraled’s favorite mechanics. Timespiraled also thought about Myriad, but decided to not include the mechanic because it didn’t also work in 1v1 formats.
Aelwen also is a part of a group of “Goldbrid” cards that are three colors with a hybrid symbol representing two of the colors. These cards add flexibility to the set especially because there is no color identity restriction in the format. This card can be easily splashed in any black deck.
The last mechanic identity the hosts looked at is the “legendary matters” or “banner” cards.
These cards help to boost your commander like the Lieutenant cycle from previous commander sets, but they also boost legends generally to help them play in constructed formats.
Those were the main mechanics of the set, but the set has tons of “guest” mechanics appearing on the legendary creatures of the set. TImespiraled set the goal of only using existing mechanics on the legends to help limit the complexity.
After going over some of the casts favorite legends in the set, Kaiyu reflects on the one that continues to get away and the infinite combo he continues to chase.
Timespiraled admitted that this infinite combo is known, and they are waiting to make a fix till after someone accomplishes it.
Timspiraled wraps up the discussion with a funny story about Barlick who was created as a fail case in the event someone doesn’t draft a legend but turned out to be great in the format’s knight deck.
And that’s Seasons of War hop into the discord to share your thoughts on the set!