New Custom Set: Syndicates!
Posted on Nov. 17, 2022, 2:29 p.m. by TheOfficialCreator
I am proud to announce that my second custom set, Syndicates, is complete!
This set is the first of my custom sets to take place in the multiverse of Magic: the Gathering, and it starts the story arc that I plan on expanding upon as I make more in the future. As such, I thought it would be good to get feedback from the community about this set, as I really want to make these new cards feel unique yet authentic.
Additionally, before I go on with this description, I do believe I had some users assisting me in the early stages of brainstorming, so if you happen to remember helping work on an Italian-inspired wedge-centered custom set some time back, please let me know so I can properly credit you! Alas, the original threads are lost to time so I do not remember who all was involved.
The Set in Review
Syndicates is a very large set, with 333 cards overall (10 basic lands, 10 tokens, and 313 main-set cards!).
The set is set (heh) on the plane of Fiora, which I have somewhat remodeled. Now, it serves as a dumping grounds for all sorts of trash from across the Multiverse (think Sakaar from Thor: Ragnarok).
This "trash heap" is symbolized in a card of the same name:
On this new version of Fiora, where all kinds of different technologies are allowed to interact, a new order has emerged to rule over it all. This order is divided into five crime syndicates: the Cattivo, Corrini, Pescante, Drezznor, and Pazzani, each one representing a color wedge and each one with its own unique strategies in both gameplay and throughout the story.
The Cattivo are your average crime syndicate, brimming with ruffians and those who would see your money separated from your person, with or without any other appendages attached. Their color identity is
The Cattivo are led by the human Raz, the Cap-Crusher, a charismatic man with a metal arm, a thirst for cheap beer, and a hunger for gold.
The Cattivo are known throughout Fiora for their simple yet effective protection schemes, whereby they protect the people of the plane from "threats to their person"... very likely to be themselves.
As you may have already noticed, the mechanic that primarily binds the Cattivo together is the Bounty mechanic, a keyword that signifies an ability that triggers whenever a creature an opponent controls with a bounty counter on it dies. This ability is meant to make your opponent's most powerful creatures shrink in fear of a threat to their immediate safety.
The Corrini are the syndicate of royalty in Fiora. They also happen to be almost exclusively made of vampires and their elf consorts, and are led by the elf vampire Father Corrini and his wife. They also have an heir, Sangue Amore.
The Corrini are incredibly wealthy, yes, but they have a bit of internal turmoil, since they are composed of three separate vampire subfamilies: the Duskro, the Sangui, and the Marquis. Each of these vampires possesses a different set of powers and skills.
The primary goal of the Corrini is adding to their ranks, and draining the blood of the innocent. This is accomplished through the creation of creature tokens, and life-drain abilities.
The Pescante are the refined shamans of Fiora. They are generally non-hierarchial, but their organizers, Amara and Aureum, encourage the Pescante to follow in the footsteps of the ancient being Primus, a representation of the wilds and secrets of Fiora.
The Pescante's ranks are many, but they primarily represent the outcasts of Fiora, the people who, set astray without meaning, seek out alternate ways to fulfill their life.
The Pescante also tame a variety of beasts and animals (well, tame is a strong word).
The Drezznor are the icky syndicate of Fiora, ruled by oozes and specifically the ooze Ummator, a crazed ancient ooze who desperately wants to obtain a planeswalker spark.
Ummator's plans seep into every facet of Fioran life, and their abduction of individuals for usage in his spark extraction experiments have raised great suspicions and even ridicule among the populace.
Ummator cares not. Their experiments continue, and the Drezznor continue to grow in power, slowly infiltrating every part of Fioran life.
Since the rise of the Drezznor is so important to the story of this set, and I don't want to necessarily spoil each part of the action before new stories are released, I'll withhold the rest for now.
The Pazzani are the police force for the city. They were once a simple bureau of justice, but after the rise of artificial intelligence they have become reborn. The new head of the Pazzani, Allamarrus, is making a swathe of changes to the judicial system of the plane, and not always for the better.
The newer enforcers of the Pazzani have been trained to dispense their justice without mercy or care, and this had led to contention amongst the people. New laws that seem to come out of nowhere restrict the day-to-day lives of these civilians, leading to more unrest.
These tensions came to a head with the instatement of a massive antimagic field on the plane. Massive city-wide protests began surging up, and the Pazzani took it upon themselves to quell the protests, often violently.
The Pazzani's mechanics often revolve around the returning mechanic modular, last used in Universes Beyond: Transformers but originally from the set Darksteel.
Modular synergizes with a wide variety of artifact-themed sacrifice abilities throughout the set.
This set certainly has a lot that it covers (I'm trying to scale back the massive infodump that this set was with my next set, but it's a work in progress), but hopefully it's not too much, especially as I release more of the official stories to AO3.
Here are the links to the ones out currently (and I'll post more in the comments here as I make them):
In addition, here is the link to the full set: Syndicates
I thoroughly hope you enjoyed this little walk-through of this pet project of mine! I've been working at it for almost a year now, so it's definitely been a labor of love for me.
I look forward to your feedback and to future custom sets to share with y'all.
This is sick. I've tried custom sets before, I've just got no patience. Good job, this one is really well thought out.
November 17, 2022 8:49 p.m.
Got a suggestion for The Pescante. I mean, you already made the full set but this was something I kind of was thinking about.
If your set has Minotaur, and they are within The Pescante which is Temur, I think a nice idea would be to go the route of deer / elk. We all know Minotaur are bulls, but we have seen them portrayed on Amonkhet as goats, and Zedruu the Greathearted appears to be a blackbuck antelope.
November 18, 2022 11 p.m. Edited.
TypicalTimmy that's a great idea! I'll just have to find/create some good art for it. The idea of deer minotaurs would create a kind of thematic separation from the standard minotaurs and tie them closer to Primus.
Definitely a great idea.
November 20, 2022 7:40 a.m.
If you type "Mythology, man with deer's head" into Google or Bing and move on over to images, you get some good results. Here are some hyperlinks to ones that I personally liked the most.
Additionally, as the user Lee Ballentine on Quora points out, that in Algonquin mythology, a being with the body of a Human and the head of a deer or stag is called a Wendigo. Now, unfortunately these are more horrific / demonic beings, but it begins to put us in the right direction. At least we have a name.
We also have Cernunnos, who is the Celtic god known as the "Lord of the Wild Things". Some artistic depictions show him as what we are looking for. The hyperlink marked "Second" is attributed toward him.