Deciduous mechanics seek to change Magic: The Gathering forever

Wizards of the Coast is putting a new spin on Magic: The Gatherings evergreen keywords and mechanics, expanding design possibilities through Deciduous keywords and mechanics instead.

older MTG mechanics that aren’t featured in a Standard release set have randomly appeared in the last few set launches. Cycling, for example, appeared in Strixhaven on the Triome land cards, but the mechanic wasn’t present on any other cards from that set. Within the Phyrexia: All Will Be One (ONE) set, both Affinity and Flashback are making random appearances despite the main mechanics being Toxic, Oil counters, For Mirrodin!, and Proliferate.

The intent behind using Deciduous mechanics is that it makes MTG cards easier to read as players can simply look up the keyword or mechanic if they don’t know what it means, according to game designer Gavin Verhey in his Good Morning Magic video today.

“We’re trying to be very conscious and not make complexity higher,” Verhey said.

Splashing older mechanics as Deciduous allows the design team additional flexibility when creating a set while using fewer words to describe an ability. And less text is typically a good thing in MTG when it comes to new and casual players.

The mechanics aren’t specifically evergreen, according to Verhey, but Deciduous, in that designers can add the mechanics how and when they see fit. They won’t show up in every set but may get splashed here and there.

Using Deciduous keywords and mechanics also supports Magics most popular format, Commander. There is an entire list that was put together by Verhey, Aaron Forsythe, and other MTG designers of keywords and mechanics the team feels will work as Deciduous. And Commander players are always looking for new cards to add into builds where keyword and mechanic synergies matter.

Players can test out Flashback and Affinity cards ONE when the set digitally releases on Feb. 7 and globally on Feb. 10.

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