As I'm building green, it's too easy to fall into having everything relate directly to mutate or fecund. I realized in the rare slot I could actually craft a creature that works with the B/G vermin theme. I didn't want to do a typical "vermin lord," so I came up with this. It can work with just green, but it's better if you play it with black.
I really like the relatively new W/R concept of caring about a creature's combat skills. There are enough creatures in this set for this to work. It also works with green, which has a few vigilance creatures in this set.
Initially I had this scribe have you draw a card for each bird you controlled, but the ceiling for the number of cards you might draw seemed high for uncommon, and I thought maybe he was too niche for rare. So I put a limit of two to make it fit the slot.
So I decided to bump up the power, cost, and rarity of this one. Zombie tokens in this set all have base 2/2. Interesting detail on its use in the set besides just trying to sweep tokens: Since it only targets one creature, it can deal damage to mutate creatures without giving them counters. There are creatures, like elementals and lizards, where some have mutate and some don't.
An interesting design challenge with the Choked Fen Nest, B/G signpost card: There's a natural inclination to want to give all the small critters in black and green fecund already, given that it's the set mechanic. But if all the selected creatures already have fecund, it makes the enchantment meaningless. It doesn't stack. So I did my best to make sure that most of the fecund creatures, especially at common, did not share the targeted creature types. Scorpions are not on the list.
There are two common lands that sac to give you some fixing and five uncommon lands that sac for effects. I think that's enough to get lands in the graveyard to assist with R/B reave cards.
Since white and blue are so heavily dependent on flying and defensive tactics, I wanted to give red tools to be aggressive with them. Red also has a reach creature (a wizard) with reave that does damage to a flying creature if you pay the reave kicker.
There is not quite enough of the suppress mechanic in this set, particularly given that the U/W uncommon signpost card rewards you for suppressing. There are only eight cards that suppress, four in blue and four in white. I will probably want at least one more in each color.
I've weakened the main spell here so that it's no longer -2/-2 creature removal. That seemed a little strong, and I'm using reave in the set for other -X/-X effects in black.
This guy hasn't really changed much at all, other than me fixing the wording so that it enters the battlefield with the counters.
Yes, I'm going to go with the familiar set pattern of putting in a vanilla in each color to help fill out curves in a limited format. I made the green vanilla a snake and the black vanilla an insect, so you can give them fecund with Choked Fen Nest.
So when I designed this, it became clear how much fecund is just free embalming (compare to Sacred Cat). The difference is that you cannot control when the token is created the way you can with embalm, which could potentially be a weakness. I'm still not sure if that means I'm undercosting these creatures up front.
With the absence of a devoted mana-smoothing or card-sorting mechanic in this set, I'm spreading scry around a bit.
Note the death trigger here rather than the enter-the-battlefield trigger. That's going to be typical for the cephalids.