3 comments on “MtG Wild West Notes

  1. I picture “Wanted” not as an effect in itself, but as a temporary creature type that each color has different ways of interacting with; and your “quest” ideas mostly revolve around getting extra use out of a limited pool of land, so…

    Deed Stealing: target an untapped land controlled by an opponent; tap it as though you control it. Choose a target creature you control which is not Wanted; it is Wanted until the beginning of your next turn.

    Cattle Drive: Tap, pay X mana to gain X 0/1 cattle tokens. Tap, destroy Y cattle; gain Y mana. Tap, choose Z cattle, deal Z damage to target creature and lose up to Z cattle equal to target creature’s power. Upkeep: if the number of cattle exceeds the number (total across all players) of untapped lands in play, destroy the excess cattle.

    Sheriff, Federal Agent, Texas Ranger (minor stat and ability differences): +N/+N and First Strike against Wanted creatures. If it destroys a Wanted creature, that Wanted creature is exiled from the game. [variations by color; would love to see goblin lawmen or pinkertons]

    Judge: tap, 1 mana; target creature becomes Wanted. tap, 2 mana; target creature ceases to be Wanted.

    Hanging: Instant. Destroy target Wanted creature.

    Jailbreak: tap a creature you control, take a creature which was just destroyed and put it back into play tapped. Both creatures become Wanted and do not untap in your next untap phase.

    Outlaw: Enchantment. Target creature is Wanted; has Banding(Wanted); and has First Strike as long as target player has untapped lands.

    Drought: all players tap a land, all players destroy creatures or Life points whose toughness equals the total mana (across all players) generated. A player who has no untapped lands destroys a tapped land instead.

    Broken Treaty: choose a player with N untapped lands; exile a creature from your hand and gain N 1/1 Wanted creature tokens of the same type.

    Crooked Boss: creature, can’t become wanted. Power and toughness equal to the number of Wanted creatures you control. If you have at least 1 untapped land, each Wanted creature gains +1/+1. Tap, N mana: search library for a creature of the same type and put it into your hand.

    John Henry: has power and toughness equal to cost of highest-costing artifact in play. Destroy John Henry; mimic the effect of any artifact card in play.

    High Noon, Riverboat, others for other colors: non-basic lands with similar dueling/gambling mechanic. I’d go with blackjack as a model, using the top of the library for the hole card and a card from the hand for the other; the initiator chooses a single other player to challenge (who chooses to stand or fold), then the winner of that challenge chooses the next player to challenge, and so on.

    • I like graveyard-as-jail angle.

      Wanted wouldn’t really be a creature type; it’d a be a thing that a creature is. Theros’ monstrous and Magic Origin’s renown are similar, although they come with counters which aid memory (but aren’t technically, mechanically related). I like the concept and the disadvantage-as-advantage Crooked Boss.

      The untapped lands thing is pretty cool. When they did the latest Great Designer Search, my pitch for a mechanic to bring back was Prophecy’s rhystic ability (“Do a thing, then do more of a thing unless another player pays 1”). So the ability to nudge one mana one way and to interact with normally non-interactive lands is pretty cool.

      You make a good point; there’s no bluffing if there’s no bidding and the simplest implementations don’t allow that. Choose/partial reveal/bid-or-fold/full reveal is a lot of steps for a Magic mini-game. Blackjack is a good implementation of that.

      Peek at top card, reveal card in hand, reveal and declare value (cmc/color/power/toughness/type), raise(add’l hand cards)/meet/fold, reveal and resolve on all players meeting. Then reward/punishment.

      Again, I think it’s involved enough that it might not work within the confines of a Magic set, but it’d be fun in a game type, like the strategic game, that Ixalan board game, or commander.

      • Thanks, it makes sense that keywords and creature types are different mechanically. I have some qualms about how to implement Wanted without making it (to use the MtG parlance) “parasitic,” but I think that’s more an issue of working through the set than an actual design obstacle. Ideally there’d be more cards like Crooked Boss (presumably different colors would lean different ways).

        I think there’s something to your theme of slingers, riders and equipped artifacts, but I think I need to know MtG design practices better to see what a set or block needs from them. My reflex is to change your bullets into six legendary artifacts, one for each color + one colorless (and maybe ridiculously huge; the size of a railway car). Resurrect the “rigger” class, and maybe dig up old unused creature types too to make a migration and melting pot theme.

        I think elements of bidding and bluffing are present even if you only use two cards; your bid is inherent in choosing not to fold, the bluff is inherent in which card you choose to show, anyone who chooses to play is rewarded with a peek at the top of their library, and if you only ever reveal your “hole” card to the person you’re currently “dueling,” you don’t need to play or reveal additional cards. (I don’t know what risk or cost there might be, other than discarding, but there could be one easily enough.)

        You’re probably right that more extensive bidding or bluffing would require a new game type/format built around it. Tie it into the railway theme maybe, with each player gambling for “rail tokens,” and this rail gambling metagame has something to do with land limits and incentivizing or creating untapped lands. (Not going to think too hard about this because, like you said, this is just one-off spitballing.)

        Weirdly, graveyard-as-jail is the one thing I’m not happy with. I mean, graveyard-as-graveyard is still a thing in the Wild West genre, right? So I was trying to make the jail happen in between combat and the graveyard but oh my god I’m an idiot, the Jail should be a *wall* of COURSE it should be a Wall.

        Jail: wall, can block any “wanted” creature irrespective of other “can’t touch this” abilities. Creatures blocked by Jail don’t untap as normal.

        Jailbreak: tap a creature you control, that creature becomes Wanted; untap N target creatures.

        Homesteaders, trappers, frontiersmen, etc: weakish creatures which tap to add mana when you tap a basic land of the matching color? (Natives are similar, but for untapped lands.)

        I don’t know where to put Doxies, thematically. Maybe a bordello could be Green’s gambling/dueling land.

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