Gavin Verhey used today’s episode of Good Morning Magic to interview members of Wizards of the Coast (WotC) to talk about how they created ideas for legendary creatures from Commander Legends.
First up is Annie Sardelis, from the Magic design team, talks about Averna, the Chaos Bloom. She pitched Averna’s rules text years ago and it eventually wound up on this new Temur Elemental Shaman. She wanted a way to take advantage of all the lands that get skipped over while cascading, allowing utility lands to be a bonus and extra effect.
Sardelis recommends building the Averna deck as a landfall ramp deck, utilizing the Retreat to Coralhelm combo with Simic Growth Chamber and Sakura-Tribe Scout to generate endless landfall triggers with cards like Ruin Crab, Scute Swarm, and Moraug, Fury of Akoum. The deck can also take on an Elemental sub theme to go with all the cascade cards.
Noah Millrod, member of the sales team helped on vision design, pitched Hans Eriksson, encapsulating his sense of exploration and foolhardy recklessness. You can build around him with Vigor, Darksteel Plate, Eldrazi Monument, and Yavimaya Hollow, then explorative enchantments and artifacts, along with tutors. Wrap it all up with giant creatures from Magic history and Gods from Theros blocks.
Robert Schuster, of the digital team, explained how Amareth, the Lustrous, came to be. He needed to come up with something for green and white drafters to have more cards in hand in the mid and late game to stay relevant, so he pitched the ability from Amareth on a Selesnya Angel. The idea worked in testing and the card changed after the vision design blue print was handed off, the team moved to three color archetypes and made the card a Bant creature. Amareth encourages playing permanents and many that are already good with other blink type Commanders. You can use cards like Captain of the Watch, Druidic Satchel, and Blinkmoth Nexus can be activated with Amareth’s trigger on the stack to hit creature or land off the top of the deck.
David McDarby, operation administrator and game designer, talks about Ghen, Arcanum Weaver. One of his favorite things in Magic is exchanging resources, so he took one an old favorite, Goblin Welder, and swapped it to enchantments. He started with a Boros variant and it went to Mardu with the three color archetypes similar to how Amareth. Ghen wants to play with the massive and expensive enchantments like Eldrazi Conscription, looting cards help fill the graveyard, then cheap enchantments that cantrip to allow fodder to sacrifice and fuel the engine.