Having now put some thought into this set, I decided this set would be a land set. This goes well with the vikings themselves, as they went everywhere. Well, relatively for medieval people, but still. Their travels took them to quite a few places.
So, to show how these people have reasons to go to new places, I’m going to use Landfall, or something similar. On top of that, I’m going to have more lands than usual in the set. Not like a huge amount, but more than usual. Zendikar had 25 lands, including basic lands, which is maybe about 50%-100% more than normal large sets, or up to 200% if you take out the basic lands. I’m not doing more than that.
One thing about the vikings was their ability to find these places. This leads me to my first mechanic for dual lands:
Whenever you search your library for any kind of card, you may search for this card instead.
This doesn’t have a name, so many people don’t think of it as a mechanic, but it is one.
These cards would come into play tapped and produce two colors of mana. Of course, to make these usable, I need to put some searching abilities into the set, or these will become a sole possession of green, which can search for stuff anyway.
On the other hand, we don’t want “loading screens” that result from continuous shuffling. So, maybe searching should only happen in part of the library. This might result in feel-bad moments, as you might often miss.
On the other hand, I can minimize that problem by adding cards like these lands into the mix. Maybe even another monocolored cycle which come into play untapped, but have some minor upside to make them better than the dual lands.
On top of that, if the set has plenty of good landfall cards, people might not even be that bummed by finding one of these lands instead of whatever they were looking for.
One thing that might come up with my silly little searching thing is notes. If you can look at – say – top ten cards of your library to search for something, you will want to make a note of the cards you saw… which takes time. Maybe not in casual play, but in tournaments people would do this for sure. Maybe even use strange codes to keep their opponents away from the scent. Or maybe just put those cards on the bottom of your library. I guess its hard to call this actual searching, but calling it searching lets the aforementioned mechanic be much less parasitic (in other words less dependent on the microenvironment, parasitic cards are the reason Kamigawa-block is still very popular as a draft format, but doesn’t get much attention in constructed).
Anyhow, searching will be involved and it would be good to mitigate its downsides. Also, if I’m going to use this for other cards, I need to keep their power level low, as there are cards like [card]Ranger’s Path[/card]. Also, its hard to keep these consistent. I probably can’t make any cards that use this mechanic, which aren’t permanents, for just such reasons as Ranger’s Path.