This Week's Best Thing Ever
It's been a quiet week for Magic. Sure, I played a multiplayer game where Deadpool actually got out Hive Mind and it was awesome and I used Djinn Illuminatus to replicate Book Burnings a dozen times, but I just haven't been engaged with the game lately. I put together two whole tiers of decks this week and haven't really been excited about them. I dunno. Maybe it's the doldrums. Maybe it's that I've been so busy running roleplaying games. Maybe it's the other projects I'm working on. Maybe it's my frustration over not being able to craft Heroic Magic.
On a positive note, I did manage to finally crack my 'sixth land' problem. Since I crafted my ten answers to the now-complete Great Designer Search (congratulations, Ethan Fleischer), one of the things that's interested me is the opportunity to introduce a sixth basic land type, a Remnant, when revisiting Zendikar.
On the one hand, I needed something evocative of that concept, something that gave generic mana, and had a complimentary ability that put it on the level of other basic lands. I was trying to get away from just making extra mana to avoid fueling artifact decks, but I was also reluctant to just have my Eldrazi-drained land just churn out colored mana.
My first pass was to let a player put one onto the battlefield when another land was put into a graveyard, which was cool, but it was pretty wordy, what with caveats about paying mana, only having one land enter the battlefield per turn, and/or limiting the ability to just one Remnant land per turn.
After kicking it around for a while, I came to terms with letting it provide colored mana. At first triggered whenever one of your lands went into a graveyard from anywhere (which was again long and susceptible to manipulation), but eventually, I came to a relatively simple, modest implementation.
The way I see it, Remnants aren't so great early, but depending on how you play it, they can be versatile and powerful later on. My only other option would be "Exile a card from your graveyard, T: Add one mana of any of the exiled card's colors to your mana pool," which would let it provide multicolored mana earlier, but only a few times. Both could be overpowered, but both could also be balanced and useful in a game.