Rare Adjustments

I realized I'd lost track of the rares in each color. This adjusts so there's an even count across all five.
Spirit of the Hearth > Swell of CourageTwilight Shepherd > Mosquito GuardAuntie's Snitch > Prickly BoggartFendeep Summoner > Weed-Pruner PoplarBroken Ambitions > Thought Reflection

Scaling Back RG Warriors

I managed to make enough swaps to get Warriors down to the range of the other tribes. In so doing, I ended up shift UR toward straight-up Counterburn, away from the vague "Evasive Aggro" theme it had been before.
Rustrazor Butcher > Boggart ShenanigansHatchet Bully > Burn TrailHeartlash Cinder > Puncture BoltNoggle Ransacker > Inside OutCrag Puca > Banishing KnackBiting Tether > NucklaveeWinnower Patrol > Gilt-Leaf SeerGilt-Leaf Ambush > Lys Alana BowmasterHunting Triad > Drove of ElvesBattlewand Oak > Tilling TreefolkUnstoppable Ash > Bog-Strider Ash

Design Notes #4: Tribal Balance

Synergies aside, I want to make sure each tribe has about the same quantity of support. Most tribes have 4 or 5 cards that care about the tribe and around 20 to 25 cards of its creature type in the set, with allied pairs on the low end of that scale and shards on the high end. There are some exceptions: GOBLINS This tribe has twice as many cards that care about its creature type as any other tribe, but I think that's okay because many of these call for sacrificing a Goblin, so it's inherently degenerative. GIANTS This tribe has only 17 Giants, the fewest of any tribe. However, this seems to have been by design in Lorwyn, as Giants are all expensive cards, and the assumption was probably that you'd pair them up with some cheap creatures to carry you over till you could cast your Giants. I'm not too worried about this one. WARRIORS This tribe is the only one that might be problematic. It's got 34 Warriors, more than any other tribe by far, and that doesn't even count several Warriors outside Red and Green. I'd pare them back, but they're all integral to other tribes. The suite dedicated to Warriors in Red has three key "Warriors matter" cards and a Giant; there's only one card I'd consider swapping out. The parallel suite in Green is all Elves; cutting them would lead to a shortage in that tribe.

Design Notes #3: Enemy Pairs

I gotta say I'm considerably less enamored with Shadowmoor than Lorwyn. Its focus on monocolor decks results in a lack of variety, especially when the deck strategies themselves are so generic. Speaking of generic, there were a number of cycles here with barely distinguishable cards across all the enemy pairs. While that works for making versatile spells that can fit in any number of decks, it just makes those decks seem increasingly similar. Needless to say, I did not include these cycles. Fortunately, many of the creature types from Lorwyn can be found here, so these cards have a role in allied color decks. In addition, I'd already seeded the strongest cards from Shadowmoor into this set, so there's a foundation for some slightly different directions for enemy pairs to take. WB PERSIST This deck is sort of the inverse of BG's below. Instead of gradually wearing the opponent down with -1/-1 counters, this deck gradually outlasts the opponent by returning its creatures to play with -1/-1 counters. Reinforce can get rid of those counters as well as stock the graveyard with some creatures that will come back via Pyrrhic Revival. A couple ways to exile cards from your opponent's graveyard helps make that cards less symmetric UR EVASIVE AGGRO / COUNTERBURN It's a little unclear how this will shake out. Monored aggro was supposedly very strong in Shadowmoor, and I have most of the pieces here, albeit in lower density. Blue contributes some evasion, which other decks like UB Faeries and WU Merfolk wouldn't mind. An underutilized counterspell suite could pair with early burn picks to make the usual UR Counterburn, and I might put Nucklavee back in, which would gain value in a deck like that. BG WITHER This deck seeks to gradually wear down the oppenent's forces with wither (-1/-1 counters). Green contributes ramp effects that can help power out the Doomgape, and Black provides the creatures you don't mind sacrificing to it. Although this isn't anything fancy, it does feel a little less like "vanilla Magic" than these other enemy pairs. RW GO WIDE This archetype seems pretty clean. Red and White already have a ton of cheap creatures from BR Goblins and gWu Kithkin. Throw them together with double strike and anthem spells, and you've got yourself a deck. Alternatively, those spells will fit well into either of the aforementioned decks, and both tribes pick up a relevant creature as well. GU TEMPO As always, this is an awkward one. Ultimately, it probably just helps to extend UW Merfolk with some untapping abilities and an additional Merfolk, but the idea is to somehow outlast the opponent with bounce spells and conditional removal, drawing cards, and eventually turning some fattie like a Duskdale Wurm into an absurd flyer.

Design Notes #2: Allied Pairs & Shards

After sketching this out based mostly on the archetypes in Lorwyn, I wanted to see how I could work in the class synergies of Morningtide. Unfortunately, these didn't really seem to interlace evenly across the five colors. As a result, I took a step back to reassess the balance of support for the allied archetypes. I kept three of the five basically the same but came up with new approaches for the other two: WU MERFOLK This one should run pretty close to the original design in Lorwyn. Get tons of Merfolk on the board and start tapping and untapping them for value. The cards that would draw you into this archetype are too expensive for me, so this is going to be a "sleeper" archetype. I'll need to provide it a bit more quantity to make up for it missing out on the top end. I considered shifting this to GU because there are a few decent Merfolk in Green, but it just wasn't enough of a pull. UB FAERIES As with the original Lorwyn, this is basically "UB Flyers" with some incentives for doing stuff on your opponent's turn. BR GOBLINS This deck also stick to the original game plan of sacrificing Goblins for added effect. One of them can come back from the graveyard, but there doesn't seem to be a lot of graveyard retrieval in this set. RG WARRIORS Original Lorwyn had Elementals across all five colors but the core of the deck was in Red, with Green supporting on mana to get other colors involved. I will still probably try to bake some kind of 5C Elementals deck into this set, but for now I went with Morningtide's Warriors theme, which overlaps heavily with Green's Elves but crosses into multiple Red tribes. GW ELVES This is the biggest departure from Lorwyn's original design, which had Elves in BG. This version relies heavily on Shadowmoor's version of the Elves, with GW hybrid cards and a considerably more menacing tone. After taking stock of how additional tribes were shaping up within the above archetypes, I grafted on further support for them across shards: GWU KITHKIN/SOLDIERS This was originally Wg in Lorwyn, and a GW Weenies/Tokens deck drawn from Elves and Kithkin is probably a thing in this set. The Kithkin/Soldier payoffs are in White, so this won't ever be just GU, but you can probably do WU Soldiers, GW Kithkin, or the mashup of the two together. WUB WIZARDS As with the previous archetype, the payoffs here are in the central color (Blue). The UB version will probably just be UB Faeries with a little more card draw, but WU Wizards could be an decent control deck. UBr ROGUES Red doesn't have a strong presence here, but any build of this will be "borrowing" cards from BR Goblins. The Prowl mechanic gives this tribe a bit more identity than the others, and it has a few more cards available to it as well. However, most of those cards will be in demand in other decks, so I don't think this tribe is overloaded. BRG SHAMANS Unlike the other shards, this one has payoffs spread between two colors and a decent number of cards in each of the three. BG is probably the toughest to see coming together, but it could work, especially if I augment it with a little Treefolk synergy. BR should work too, but RG is probably the place to be. RGW GIANTS This diverges from the other shards in that the main color here is probably Red. The Giants in White and Green are weaker, and Red has all the payoffs. However, Green and White have all the cheap cards that are going to get you to the point where you're able to cast your Giants. Original Lorwyn had this situated in RW, so my version isn't too far off the mark.

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