Aszakir was my first custom set project. It started about a year ago.
“I want to make the feeling of a “Chaotic World” to have a direct impact on the game.
I will do this by trying to make the five colors feel unique and interacting in new ways with elements of the game.”
—Aszakir design goal, taken from the main MtgSalvation thread
After a few months designing cards for this project, I realized how flawed this design goal was. It made Aszakir not feel like a set as a whole but more like a mashup of original design ideas I’ve had during the time I worked on it. This led me to close Aszakir’s main MtgSalvation thread and start working on a new project,
Kazundoo. There, I wanted to make a set that flavorfully felt more like one. I think I really succeded on the flavor level, but I had issues with the mechanics and how they interacted with one another, so I also put this project on hold. I didn’t want to stop designing cards so I started to work on a third custom set, Ænyr.
To this day, Ænyr is my favorite project and I really like creating cards for this Art World. I also don’t want my work on Kazundoo to go to waste as I’m thinking about making duel decks or something similar.
Because of all those much cooler ideas I have, I decided to stop the Aszakir project for good.
This is a compilation of my favorite cards from that project.
The bottom of the library was an important part of blue’s identity in Aszakir. I felt like it had some interesting design space, as shown in this card.
“Why not Zombies?” Because this exiles reatures that are not from this world.
Lands in the graveyard were the mechanical representation of the plane’s destruction and rising chaos.
I made this card while asking myself “What would a burn spell with trample look like?”
This card felt very mythic to me. It’s almost straight card draw in green, but you have to draw a creature with it.
This is part of an ennemy color cycle of rare modal spells. The goal here was: “Each option has to be both colors and needs to be the opposite of the other option.”
A very simple common card for the G/W lifegain archetype. I feel like this could be an uncommon, but none of the cards here have been playtested so I can’t really tell. I really like the idea, though and might even end up reusing it in Ænyr.
Green has had at common two very circumstancial effects like fog and flying hate. I stapled the two on a single card for more versatility.
A very white mass removal rare. The number two has a special meaning because of an alliance between priests and mages to fight chaos. The Soulbond ability in the set reinforced that.
The UR card of the cycle mentionne above.
YOU get a fork! And YOU get a fork! And YOU get a fork!
Induction is a nice little ability that cares about having an instant or library card on top of your library. Chaos is often associated with randomness, and the top of the library felt like something random enough.
I wanted to make a Planeswalker clone…. or a planeswalclone, if you wish. In the set’s story, it was this guy’s fault that chaos was unleashed upon the world. He lost his identity and became No One… what?
So yeah, soulbond. As I said before, this ability was used to depict the alliance between priests (white) and wizards (blue) in a great crusade against chaos.
A really cool soulbond common that I’m surprised hasn’t been printed in AVR.
My take on an above-Tibalt-level 2 drop green planeswalker. It’s very creature centered and can’t protect itself, so I think it’s O.K. at 2 CMC.
Since induction’s effect is so random, I can put it on some commons that wouldn’t usually benefit from such an effect. This common would probably still be redflagged for possible 2 for 1.
I received a lot of very positive comments on this card when I posted it on reddit. With the top of the library being so important in the set, I couldn’t not create a clone like this. It would probably be a very strong card.
I like this mythic a lot. In Aszakir, black and white had an “exile matters” theme that I tried to explore here.
One of my favorite uncommons I’ve ever created. There is a strong chance I’ll move this one to Ænyr!
My take on a monoblack assassin planeswalker that doesn’t care about the graveyard at all.
A vert cool card for the GW Spirit/lifegain archetype. Its lifelink ability doesn’t quite enable its other ability, and I think it’s great that way since it encourages the player to play certain other cards with it.
My take on making your life total be something else than a simple shield.
A cool ramp engine that’s different than what we usually see. It gives lots of mana but it’s scattered among all main phases so I think it’s O.K. this way.
I’ve been told that this card is actually pretty strong and I agreed. It could easily be moved to uncommon. At the time, I hadn’t read much about New World Order, which I really care about because I want to make my sets as Wizards-like as possible.
This is probably one of my coolest designs ever. It might also be moved to Ænyr!
I tried to make a Spirit related planeswalker that didn’t need to be in a tribal deck like the first Nissa.
I actually made a card in Ænyr which was inspired by this design, but in reverse. In Ænyr, the spell extracts spirit from the soul of an opponent to fight against them.
This design is inspired by Bonds of Faith but works a bit differently. I wanted an aura that could work as semi-removal but also as a buff.
Discharge was another ability I created that was related to the chaos of the plane. It allowed you to cast your spells at a much lower cost but it gave tokens to your opponent in the process.
This comes close to Mantra of Infinite Blessings in my list of favorite designs ever. It’s the first card that inspired the rare modal cycle.
I wanted an effect similar to “silence” in hearthstone, which removes all abilities from a creature. I’m quite happy with this card.
Another design I really like. The fact that having multiples doesn’t change anything might be a reason to boost it to rare. It’s also really good with any shuffling abilities.
My take on an “extra turn” effect in black.
What about a creature with Soulbond that doesn’t only affect the creature it’s paired with but all paired creatures you control?
This was specifically designed for the Induction ability. It puts itself on top of your library and it triggers the ability since it’s an instand and sorcery when it’s not on the battlefield. Also, that name!
A common blue induction spell. Not much to say here.
The RW card of the ennemy color modal cycle. The WB card isn’t in this gallery because I didn’t like it as much as the others.
A core card for the “exile matters” strategy.
Discarge could be seen in all colors. Is an almost strictly better Spell Pierce worth giving 2 elementals to your opponent?
We’ve already seen strictly worse Lightning Bolts that were still very good. That’s what this card is.
The classic creature revival spell in black.
Another card for the “exile matters” strategy.
Featured image art by Michael Gauss on Deviantart.