Custom sets: Pokémon part 2
Hello! Today and for the next couple of weeks, i’m going to reveal and take you through the creation of my recently finished Pokémon set.
When i introduced the set it was still early in creation, but a lot of it remained true to the end: a heavy focus on creatures, TMs as instants, sorceries and enchantments, plus a few artifacts and non-basic lands. The art restrictions were not only maintained but tightened, as i didn’t use any artwork that featured non-1st gen Pokémon. It did prove troublesome to find artwork for each attack, but it is done. As always, the artist’s name is in most cases their deviantART handle, in case you’re interested. There were quite a few artists with more than one image in the set.
For this first exposition i’m going to focus on the Pokémon themselves, namely how they were distributed along the color pie. If you’re not familiar or need a refresher on the several Pokémon types, here’s a handy list (note that’s a gen2 list which includes the Steel and Dark types, not yet present in gen1).
I’ll start with the hardest. White isn’t directly associated with any of the Pokémon types except, perhaps, Normal, which it got the largest chunk of. White also shares bird creatures with Blue, so i gave it the largest chunk of Flying. Finally it got some of the Fighting types, reflecting the color’s Soldier and Knight archetypes.
Blue, by contrast, was the easiest and has the largest amount of creatures. Blue is the domain of Water and Ice, and first gen had an unusually high ratio of Water creatures. Blue is also the domain of the mind, so it got a large chunk of Psychic creatures as well (note that both types also overlap quite a bit.)
Black is the domain of decay and sire of Poison. Being the color of corruption, it also got a small remaining chunk of Psychic and everything Ghost. Given the low ration of all of these, Black is the color with the least creatures. Note that Grass/Poison, the main occurrence of the latter, fell mainly with Green.
Red is master of the elements of Fire and Earth, the latter including Rock. By classic Magic fashion it is also the color of Electricity. Needless to say, it got a lot of creatures.
Finally, Green got Grass, Bug and the final chunk of Normal, representing Beasts and other creatures in their wild state.
You may have noticed the Dragon type missing. Given the complexity of types in Pokémon and the many, many creatures with two types, i chose to make a big portion of them multicolored. A few were simple to allocate, but the problem rose of making creatures readily available to each of the 10 color pairs, which made me have to improvise a bit. In the end each pair ended up more or less balanced, with 2-3 gold creatures for each of them, plus a few off-color activation costs and TMs. I also made sure to have at least one non-rare card in each pair in a further attempt to balance them. I’ll go through some of the gold creatures now:
White/Blue: The definite pairing for Flying, as well as the most defensive pair, which i tried to reflect with Cloyster. Note that Pidgey, a mono-White creature, evolves into a Gold creature. This is not accidental, and happens several times in the set.
Blue/Black: Here represented as the psychological colors of treachery, as well as the literal representations of Water and Poison.
Black/Red: The second color here acts as a theme for the first, primary color. It represents the impetuousness of the male Nidoran while adding to their primary Poison Black, whereas Marowak’s Red Ground is enhanced by its necrophagous motif.
Red/Green: The pairing of Nature in all its ferocity.
Green/White: The pairing of harmony and community.
White/Black: In symmetry with the males, this White represents the more docile and protective nature of the female Nidoran. This theme is further extended with Nidoqueen and Nidoking.
Blue/Red: Together, Blue and Red represent all four classical elements: Water, Fire, Air and Earth. What better combination to represent the mythic quality of the Dragon types?
Black/Green: The Poison subtype isn’t evidenced in most of the Grass/Poison creatures, but it shines its brightest here.
Red/White: Red is the subcolor here, adding Fire to the White color of Hounds (and domesticated animals in general) and passion to the White of Birds.
Green/Blue: In all three cases the pairing represents the Pokémon’s two types: Water/Fighting, Grass/Psychic and Bug/Flying.
This post is already way too long, so we’ll take a break here. Next week i’ll be discussing the set’s mechanics and cycles. Until then!