Almos: Territory Cycle #1

Territories are a big part of the Almos set that I’m designing. In addition to providing functionality on their own, they will be involved in a win condition card and a loss condition card. It’s likely that they will also feature in the design of other cards, counting the number of territories that a player controls.

As such, there will also be cards which can conquer territories for you. However, I’m getting ahead of myself.

First, territories need to be meaningful. What I don’t want to happen is for territories to simply become a rather meaningless little mini game to be played only if you happen to be designing around the win or loss condition cards. That means that they need to be powerful in and of themselves.

They shouldn’t be game-breakingly powerful, but I do think it’s okay for their design to be pushed, with the overall idea being that these are cards you’d want to play if you draft them, or build a deck around them.

Fortunately, there’s a lot of design room for them. I’m not sure how many territories I’ll shoot for at the end, but a rough idea would be something like:

  • A Common Cycle
  • An Uncommon Cycle
  • A Rare Cycle
  • An Allied Color Cycle
  • Perhaps an Enemy Color Cycle

The rarity cycles alone would account for 15 possible territories. Adding in allied and enemy color cycles would bring it up to 25. That’s a lot of territory options, and that’s something I feel that I want for the set.

For now, however, I only have the uncommon cycle. The common cycle might be more difficult, we’ll see, but I feel like uncommons are particularly difficult to balance. Their relative rarity makes them good for pushing, because you know they won’t be oversaturated in a random pool. However, push them too much and they can take over the meta.

Since the only real meta for the set is Draft and Set Constructed, it’s perhaps less of a concern. However, the set being insular shouldn’t be an excuse for creating something with too high of a power level, or too linear of a meta. So the idea for uncommons is to create an appealing territory card, something you’d be likely to want to play if you could, but not something so powerful that playing it will break the games it’s in.

All that being said, let’s look at the actual cycle itself:

A white card reading... name: Province of Hallia. Cost: Plains, Plains. Type: Enchantment, sub-type: Territory. Rarity: Uncommon. Rules: When Province of Hallia enters the battlefield, choose a creature you control to occupy it (When an occupying creature dies, its controller may choose a new creature that they that doesn’t occupy a territory to occupy it.)
As long as Province of Hallia is occupied, creatures you control that share a color with the occupying creature get +1/+1. Number: 4 of 21. Rarity text: Uncommon. Creator: sblea. Artist: Carlos Herrera.

The art on the card depicts an idyllic plain with rolling hills in the background, a bit of forest in the middle, and then waves of grain, potentially wheat, in the foreground, with wildflowers mixed in.

Starting with White…

Province of Hallia (W)(W)
Enchantment – Territory (Uncommon)

When Province of Hallia enters the battlefield, choose a creature you control to occupy it (When an occupying creature dies, its controller may choose a new creature that they that doesn’t occupy a territory to occupy it.)
As long as Province of Hallia is occupied, creatures you control that share a color with the occupying creature get +1/+1.

Number: 4 of 21. Rarity text: Uncommon. Creator: sblea

Artist: Carlos Herrera

A blue card reading... name: Province of Dushwyn Cost: Blue, Blue. Type: Enchantment, sub-type: Territory. Rarity: Uncommon. Rules: When Province of Dushwyn enters the battlefield, choose a creature you control to occupy it (When an occupying creature dies, its controller may choose a new creature that they that doesn’t occupy a territory to occupy it.) As long as Province of Dushwyn is occupied, creatures you control that share a color with the occupying creature have hexproof from red. Number: 10 of 23. Rarity text: Uncommon. Creator: sblea. Artist: Lorenzo Lanfranconi  The art on the card depicts a forest in transition, perhaps the fall. The trees in the background are a yellow-green, but in the midground they're golden yellow and the foreground they're shaded, possibly red or brown. The grass on the forest floor is green, however. Just off center to the right is a rock outcropping, upon which is a stone arch which leads to nowhere.

…then Blue…

Province of Dushwyn (U)(U)
Enchantment – Territory (Uncommon)

When Province of Dushwyn enters the battlefield, choose a creature you control to occupy it (When an occupying creature dies, its controller may choose a new creature that they that doesn’t occupy a territory to occupy it.) As long as Province of Dushwyn is occupied, creatures you control that share a color with the occupying creature have hexproof from red.

Number: 10 of 23. Rarity text: Uncommon. Creator: sblea.

Artist: Lorenzo Lanfranconi

A black card reading... name: Province of C'toil Cost: Black, Black. Type: Enchantment, sub-type: Territory. Rarity: Uncommon. Rules: When Province of C’toil enters the battlefield, choose a creature you control to occupy it (When an occupying creature dies, its controller may choose a new creature that they that doesn’t occupy a territory to occupy it.) As long as Province of C’toil is occupied, creatures you control that share a color with the occupying creature have deathtouch. Number: 14 of 22. Rarity text: Uncommon. Creator: sblea. Artist: Jan Weßbecher The art on the card depicts a foggy swampland. Dessicated trees dot a muddy, black earth as it shifts into murky water. Towards the right side is a solitary light, a torch inside of a scarecrow.

…and Black…

Province of C’toil (B)(B)
Enchantment – Territory (Uncommon)

When Province of C’toil enters the battlefield, choose a creature you control to occupy it (When an occupying creature dies, its controller may choose a new creature that they that doesn’t occupy a territory to occupy it.)
As long as Province of C’toil is occupied, creatures you control that share a color with the occupying creature have deathtouch.

Number: 14 of 22. Rarity text: Uncommon. Creator: sblea.

Artist: Jan Weßbecher

A red card reading... name: Province of Mount Gishta Cost: Red, Red. Type: Enchantment, sub-type: Territory. Rarity: Uncommon. Rules: When Province of Mount Gishta enters the battlefield, choose a creature you control to occupy it (When an occupying creature dies, its controller may choose a new creature that they that doesn’t occupy a territory to occupy it.)
As long as Province of Mount Gishta is occupied, creatures you control that share a color with the occupying creature have, “whenever this creature attacks it deals 1 damage to the player it is attacking.” Number: 16 of 21. Rarity text: Uncommon. Creator: sblea. Artist: Tomas Osang Muir

The art on the card depicts a rough mountain landscape. The mountains are roughly the same height and are forested at the base. In the foreground are flat moors, with what appears to be a rider on a horse riding to the right.

…and Red…

Province of Mount Gishta (R)(R)
Enchantment – Territory (Uncommon)

When Province of Mount Gishta enters the battlefield, choose a creature you control to occupy it (When an occupying creature dies, its controller may choose a new creature that they that doesn’t occupy a territory to occupy it.)
As long as Province of Mount Gishta is occupied, creatures you control that share a color with the occupying creature have, “whenever this creature attacks it deals 1 damage to the player it is attacking.”

Number: 16 of 21. Rarity text: Uncommon. Creator: sblea.

Artist: Tomas Osang Muir

A green card reading... name: Province of Ish'ar Cost: Green, Green. Type: Enchantment, sub-type: Territory. Rarity: Uncommon. Rules: When Province of Ish’ar enters the battlefield, choose a creature you control to occupy it (When an occupying creature dies, its controller may choose a new creature that they that doesn’t occupy a territory to occupy it.) As long as Province of Ish’ar is occupied, creatures you control that share a color with the occupying creature cost 1 less to play. Number: 20 of 21. Rarity text: Uncommon. Creator: sblea. Artist: Sylvain Sarrailh The art on the card depicts a forest in transition, perhaps the fall. The trees in the background are a yellow-green, but in the midground they're golden yellow and the foreground they're shaded, possibly red or brown. The grass on the forest floor is green, however. Just off center to the right is a rock outcropping, upon which is a stone arch which leads to nowhere.

…and finally, Green…

Province of Ish’ar (G)(G)
Enchantment – Territory (Uncommon)

When Province of Ish’ar enters the battlefield, choose a creature you control to occupy it (When an occupying creature dies, its controller may choose a new creature that they that doesn’t occupy a territory to occupy it.)
As long as Province of Ish’ar is occupied, creatures you control that share a color with the occupying creature cost 1 less to play.

Number: 21 of 22. Rarity text: Uncommon. Creator: sblea.

Artist: Sylvain Sarrailh

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *