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Unstable Q&A with Mark Rosewater
 
The Dos and Don'ts of Silver-Border Commander
 
Word of Command: Un-believable
  • posted a message on [Monthly Card Contest] ***MCC*** Discussion Thread
    Quote from void_nothing »
    Add one to the trophy case for bravelion83! Congrats, Leo!

    Thanks to you for hosting, to all the judges (I don't want to let their work go thankless because I know very well what it means) and to all the players for being awesome opponents. What can I say? I rarely play, but lately it looks like every time I do, I win... am I really so good at this? Smile Anyway, time to update my resume! Thanks again to everyone.

    I'll follow the contest from the outside on December, un-cards are not something I really like to design or judge, even though Unstable might easily be the first un-set I actually... (gasp, am I really about to say this?)... like. It has a structure that really appeals to me, and most of all it's not as out-of-the-box as the previous un-sets. It has no cards that force you to remove your pants and such. The worst it can happen is a Slaying Mantis being thrown around, or having to play Hangman, and that's nothing compared to previous un-sets. And no, Blurry Beeble is not a problem to me, I wear glasses all the time in real life (I'm myopic). I also really like both contraptions and host/augment, and I wouldn't mind seeing both of them in black border. Even though I understand why the rules don't currently allow them to be in black border, I hope someday that will change, and I think it's plausible. The adjustments required to support them look doable to me. Anyway, thanks again and back to lurking (and dealing with real life).
    Posted in: Custom Card Contests and Games
  • posted a message on November 2017 MCC Round 4 — The Presence

    Kovan, Ingenious Blacksmith 1UR
    Legendary Creature — Human Artificer (R)
    Haste
    Other Artificer creatures you control get +1/+1.
    Whenever Kovan, Ingenious Blacksmith deals combat damage to a player, you may tap or untap target artifact.
    “I’ve been a master blacksmith for most of my life. Now my work inspires a whole new generation of artificers.”
    2/3

    Kovan’s Mastery 2U
    Legendary Enchantment (M)
    When Kovan’s Mastery enters the battlefield, create a legendary artifact token named Kovan’s Tome with “Artifact spells you cast cost 1 less to cast.”
    Tap an untapped artifact you control: Add C to your mana pool. Spend this mana only to cast artifact spells or activate abilities of artifacts.
    “When I find myself stuck, I always turn to master Kovan’s books. They are the best source of inspiration.”
    —Neskan, young artificer
    Posted in: Custom Card Contests and Games
  • posted a message on November 2017 MCC Round 3 — Land of the Free

    Kovan, Ingenious Blacksmith 1UR
    Legendary Creature — Human Artificer (R)
    Haste
    Other Artificer creatures you control get +1/+1.
    Whenever Kovan, Ingenious Blacksmith deals combat damage to a player, you may tap or untap target artifact.
    “I’ve been a master blacksmith for most of my life. Now my work inspires a whole new generation of artificers.”
    2/3

    Rakmor, Unquiet Volcano
    Legendary Land — Volcano (R)
    T: Add R to your mana pool.
    Whenever a player casts a spell, Rakmor, Unquiet Volcano deals damage to each player equal to the number of Volcanoes on the battlefield.
    “The most malleable metal comes from the most restless of places.”
    —Kovan, master blacksmith
    Posted in: Custom Card Contests and Games
  • posted a message on November 2017 MCC Round 2 — Chosen to Rule

    link

    Kovan’s Hammer 2RR
    Legendary Artifact — Equipment (M)
    Equipped creature gets +2/+0 and has haste.
    R, T: Kovan’s Hammer deals 2 damage to target creature or player. Activate this ability only once each turn and only if Kovan’s Hammer is not attached to a creature.
    As long as Kovan’s Hammer is tapped, it can’t be attached to a creature.
    Equip 0

    Kovan, Ingenious Blacksmith 1UR
    Legendary Creature — Human Artificer (R)
    Haste
    Other Artificer creatures you control get +1/+1.
    Whenever Kovan, Ingenious Blacksmith deals combat damage to a player, you may tap or untap target artifact.
    “I’ve been a master blacksmith for most of my life. Now my work inspires a whole new generation of artificers.”
    2/3
    Posted in: Custom Card Contests and Games
  • posted a message on November 2017 MCC Round 1 — Made from Meteor Iron
    If I'm not needed as a judge, I'll sneak in at the last minute as a player.

    Kovan’s Hammer 2RR
    Legendary Artifact — Equipment (M)
    Equipped creature gets +2/+0 and has haste.
    R, T: Kovan’s Hammer deals 2 damage to target creature or player. Activate this ability only once each turn and only if Kovan’s Hammer is not attached to a creature.
    As long as Kovan’s Hammer is tapped, it can’t be attached to a creature.
    Equip 0
    Posted in: Custom Card Contests and Games
  • posted a message on November MCC Judge Signup Thread
    Thanks to Raptorchan and Flatline for showing up. Given the number of submissions so far and seeing that the deadline is tonight I think three judges will be enough, so neither I nor Flatline should be needed, but if you need a fourth judge for any reason, I'll gladly let Flatline do it. I can guarantee he has already judged before, as I was host when he did, and he did a wonderful job.
    Quote from Flatline »

    Edit: Or better yet, let's let the poor guy participate as a competitor for once. Smile
    As a certain someone says... maybe! Smile
    I've given no thought whatsoever to what I would submit for round 1 until just now though. Being a player takes up considerably less time than judging, so it's tempting as time is exactly my concern now. We'll see if an idea strikes me before going to bed tonight.
    Posted in: Custom Card Contests and Games
  • posted a message on November MCC Judge Signup Thread
    As usual, I technically could, but I'd really appreciate someone else showing up. If that doesn't happen, rather than seeing the constest die for lack of judges I'll do it again. Not that I don't like it, it's just my real job (yes, I'm working again until next June) that prevents me from being around as much as I used to be, as you all saw last month too.
    Posted in: Custom Card Contests and Games
  • posted a message on October 2017 MCC Finals — ...Laughs Best
    Judgments complete.

    Solemn Adjudicator 3WU
    Creature — Sphinx (R)
    Flying, vigilance
    t, Exile a spell you control: Exile target spell.
    Each member of the High Council takes an oath swearing to do their part to ensure the scales of justice remain balanced.
    4/4

    Design
    (3/3) Appeal - Timmy likes the body but doesn't care much about the activated ability, which is exactly what Johnny loves instead. Spike likes the mana-efficient body too and feels kind of neutral towards the activated ability, he'll just use it without any problem should he ever need it. There is something for everyone and someone who loves the card. However you see this section of the rubric, it is certainly satisfied.
    (2/3) Elegance - The use of the activated ability feels a bit counterintuitive: you have to cast a spell of yours in the first place to be able to pay the cost and exile your opponent's spell. Some players, especially less experienced ones, will definitely need time to get used to that. At least it's the good kind of complexity: the strategic one. There is no comprehension complexity here: What the card does is perfectly clear.

    Development
    (3/3) Viability - Both colors are represented mechanically and rarity is the least it can be. I could easily see this as a mythic too because of how complex, special and splashy the activated ability is, but I think regular rare is also fine and plausible. I appreciate how the activated ability feels both blue, because the effect is effectively countering a spell, and white at the same time, because the ability plays into the equalization aspect of white: I give up one of my spell to make you give up one of yours.
    (2.5/3) Balance - In limited, Air Elemental is a good card. Serra Angel is almost a bomb. This is even better, so it gets rid of the "almost" and it's just a straight-up limited bomb. I can see this in constructed too, at Standard level, in decks where you can afford to cast a spell, which essentially needs to be an instant, without it resolving just to Mindbreak Trap another spell. At least the card is in the right colors for that plan. It reminds me of Delver of Secrets in a way: it needs a lot of instants in your deck to work properly. Except for the activated ability being counterintuitive, which I've already mentioned and is a problem in casual environments, I see no other problems there or in multiplayer.

    Creativity
    (2/3) Uniqueness - I've already mentioned the cards this is reminiscent of: Serra Angel and Air Elemental because of the body, Mindbreak Trap and now I'm adding Summary Dismissal because of the activated ability. The cost of that ability is very original though.
    (3/3) Flavor - Name and flavor text are both fine and fit the card just fine. I admit I've been thinking probably more than I should have about that "High Council"... what is it? And most of all, where does that imply this card is from? At first I thought about the city of Paliano on Fiora, but then I checked and I got confused, that's the "High City" of Paliano, not the "High Council". Then I went to check the wiki and I discovered the High Council of Mors Ridge, which I honestly knew nothing about until now. I do know some story from before I started playing (original Ravnica in 2005), but here we go too far back for me to know anything about it. I discovered that was on the plane of Dominaria a loooot of time ago, even before the Brothers' War (which I do know something about, not everything but at least the basic outline). You might have made a reference to that time, and if that's the case I both apologize because I don't get it due to my ignorance of very old Magic story, and am amazed at that reference at the same time. But maybe that's not the case, so then I thought about the Azorius on Ravnica, but then I remembered that the Orzhov are ruled by a (Ghost) Council, not the Azorius. There are no other clues on the card suggesting where it might be set, so I'm honestly still left wondering. That's just a minor curiosity of mine though, and does not impact the fact that the flavor of the card works just fine. I also appreciate the mention of "balance", which goes very nicely with my final remark in Viability, and tells me that aspect of the ability was totally intentional.

    Polish
    (3/3) Quality - All good.
    (2/2) Main Challenge - Good.
    (2/2) Subchallenges - Both met.

    Total: 22.5/25
    Timewinder’s Pocketwatch 1
    Artifact (R)
    U: Return target spell you control to its owner’s hand.
    W: Remove target attacking or blocking creature you control from combat and untap it.
    G: Return target land you control to its owner’s hand, then you may put a land card from your hand onto the battlefield. Activate this ability only once each turn.
    “Everyone makes mistakes. Of course, nobody has to know.”
    —Perseph, time mage


    Design
    (2/3) Appeal - I don't think Timmy is interested in this card. Lots of things for Johnny to do. Spike mostly likes the abilities, but this doesn't look to me like a card he'd go crazy about.
    (2/3) Elegance - The text is a bit long, but still easy enough for you to understand it right away the first time you read it. The first ability is also a bit counterintuitive, and I can see some players, especially less experienced ones, going like "why would I ever want to do that?"

    Development
    (3/3) Viability - Each ability works perfectly in its respective color. I really can't see this at any rarity less than rare, but I also have a hard time seeing this as a mythic, so I guess regular rare is the right choice.
    (2/3) Balance - There are a lot of different safety valves here, and I like that. Hitting only things you control is one (Maze of Ith levels of power could be reached if the white ability could hit your opponents' creatures, and the other abilities would be clearly overpowered too for their costs). Limiting the green ability to one use per turn is another (abusing it with landfall would be too easy otherwise). The main use for the blue ability would be in response to your opponent's counterspell to return the spell that's about to be countered to your hand so that you can cast it again later. Your opponent can see this coming though, as this need to already be on the battlefield for you to be able to use it. Overall, this looks like a nice "toolbox" kind of card, and cards that have many possible different uses are usually promising in terms of general playability. The color requirements are a bit hard in limited though. In constructed, I can honestly see this only at casual levels, not competitive formats. Of course, I might be wrong about that, but that's my first impression without playtest. I see no problems in multiplayer.

    Creativity
    (2/3) Uniqueness - We've seen similar cards before, ones that are essentially a list of many activated abilities. The different focus of each ability (the blue one cares about spells, the white one about creatures, the green one about lands) does give this card a nice mechanical structure though. As a full Melvin, I do appreciate details like this a lot.
    (3/3) Flavor - The word "Pocketwatch" does not strike me as something I would see on a Magic card, maybe because that's a bit too advanced for the usual level of technology we see in Magic worlds. But then Kaladesh does exist, and I do love that plane, so there may definitely be a place for this somewhere. I really like the flavor text a lot.

    Polish
    (2/3) Quality - After a thorough Gatherer search, I can safely say that in cases like this the abilities are always listed in color pie order The examples I found are the following: Vaevictis Asmadi, Keldon Mantle, Cromat (notice how the enemy color pairs are listed in proper WUBRG order), Wandering Mage, Savage Knuckleblade (Tarkir color order for wedges, which, by the way, is the new default as proved by Edgar Markov, Licia, Sanguine Tribune and Mathas, Fiend Seeker as recently as Commander 2017, and notice none of those three characters are from Tarkir so it's not just a "Tarkir vs other planes" thing), Phelddagrif (notice the difference between the printed mana cost and order of abilities vs the actual Oracle text), Questing Phelddagrif (-0.5). While still working perfectly as is functionally, I am convinced the white ability would be worded like Spires of Orazca: "Untap target attacking or blocking creature you control and remove it from combat." (-0.5)
    (2/2) Main Challenge - Good.
    (2/2) Subchallenges - Both met.

    Total: 20/25
    Vador, Warden of Astorec 3UW
    Legendary Creature - Warrior Spirit (M)
    Vigilance
    Whenever an opponent casts a spell, put a +1/+1 counter on Vador, Warden of Astorec.
    T: Target spell has no abilities until end of turn. (As it resolves, it does nothing.)
    “These "planeswalkers" have interfered with our world far too long. Astorec will remain pure!”
    4/4

    Design
    (3/3) Appeal - Timmy likes the growing body. Johnny and Spike both really like the activated ability for different reasons: tricks for Johnny, power for Spike.
    (2.5/3) Elegance - Not the shortest card in the world, but still clear enough. It makes complete intuitive sense, even though I'm not sure the activated ability works in the rules at all (more on that right away).

    Development
    (1/3) Viability - No problems with the color pie and the activated ability definitely makes this card feel mythic, which gives you the one point here. There is a rules problem with it though: it only works properly if the targeted spell is an instant or sorcery. I reread all of Section 112 ("Abilities") in the CR, because at first I thought the ability didn't work at all. I discovered that the popular belief that only three kinds of abilities exist (triggered, activated, static) is wrong, there are actually four! Those three are the kinds of abilities that permanents can have, but there is a fourth type of ability that's called "spell ability" (see rule 112.3a), that is essentially one produced by any text on instants and sorceries. So, if the spell that's losing all abilities is an instant or sorcery, no problem: it loses all spell abilities, triggered, activated, and static abilities. Nothing is left, so the spell will still resolve but do nothing, then go to the graveyard. Now, what happens when the spell that's losing all abilities is not an instant or sorcery, but a permanent spell? That's not an instant or sorcery, so it has no spell abilities. It might have triggered, activated, or static abilities, and it loses those. But remember: text is not abilities, rather it generates abilities, just like abilities aren't effects but they generate effects. That permanent spell has lost its abilities but not its text. So, what will happen when it tries to do what permanent spells do: enter the battlefield? Notice that entering the battlefield is NOT an ability of the spell (if it were, it would be lost and the spell would still resolve but go to the graveyard, like instants and sorceries, which I think is the effect you were trying to do) but it's the last step of the resolution of a permanent spell, so it's NOT erased by the effect of this card. So, finally, what does that permanent spell do? Where does it go? Such case is actually not defined in the CR, probably because it never happened in real Magic. After all, there must be a reason why only permanents have ever lost abilities in real Magic so far, and not spells. This card doesn't work as is, or better, it doesn't always work, and that's what would make it a perfect silver-bordered card: it does something that makes perfect sense intuitively but doesn't work in the rules because of, let's call them such, technicalities.
    (1.5/3) Balance - This looks very playable in most formats: in limited it's just a bomb, while in constructed the fact that the activated ability is repeatable (and for free!) once every turn cycle (not necessarily during your own turn) is very relevant, and I admit it worries me. It does feel a bit oppressive though from the opponent's point of view. I think this would see a lot of play in Standard, but I'm not sure it would be fun. It reminds me of Emrakul, the Promised End in that aspect. In bigger formats five mana might be a lot to pay, but the potential is definitely there. In multiplayer, the fact that the triggered ability triggers from any opponent casting a spell makes this card even more powerful there. That doesn't always mean more fun though.

    Creativity
    (2.5/3) Uniqueness - The original part in this card is the activated ability, which is clearly inspired from spells that make permanents lose all abilities they have. It still feels new and splashy though.
    (3/3) Flavor - Name and flavor text are good and fitting with what the card mechanically does. I think this card is set on a new plane, or at least Astorec is not a known place on any known plane. Despite that, the flavor text definitely gives me an Ixalan feel, mainly because of the spell we know as Ixalan's Binding in-story. This is a bit different though, as on Ixalan planeswalkers are prevented from leaving (so far, that is obviously going to change soon), here it looks like someone wants to prevent them from entering whatever plane this card is set on. We have seen similar things before, like the original Guildpact preventing planeswalkers from reaching Ravnica, or the Shard of the Twelve Worlds on Dominaria. It would be very interesting to go deeper on the flavor that this card implies. In the meantime, it works just fine.

    Polish
    (0/3) Quality - Wrong order of mana symbols in the mana cost, which is a serious mistake in a contest as formal as the MCC (-1). In the race-class model, race always comes before class, so this should be a Spirit Warrior (another very well known thing by now as the race-class model started way back in 2003 with Mirrodin, so -1 again). "...has no abilities" is non-standard template found on no real cards (I checked Gatherer to be sure and "has no abilities" returns zero results). The standard template is "loses all abilities" (-0.5). The quotation marks surrounding the word "planeswalker" in the flavor text should be single quotes, as they are themselves within ordinary double quotation marks. Relatively recent examples include Benalish Knight and Incinerate from Tenth Edition, and Akki Drillmaster from Kamigawa (hey, I said relatively recent... at least they are from modern Magic design, both in the sense of the format and the ordinary English word, -0.5).
    (2/2) Main Challenge - Good.
    (2/2) Subchallenges - Both met.

    Total: 17.5/25


    Flatline: 22.5
    RickyRister: 20
    IcariiFA: 17.5
    Posted in: Custom Card Contests and Games
  • posted a message on October 2017 MCC Round 3 — Jump Scare
    Judgments complete. Again, because of real life, I don't think I will be able to revise these before the deadline. I'm sorry.


    Ruthless Master 1BR
    Creature — Demon (R)
    Menace, haste
    Whenever Ruthless Master deals combat damage to a player, sacrifice a creature.
    "The lives of my minions are of no concern to me. I am interested only in the death of my enemies."
    5/4

    Design
    (2.5/3) Appeal - Timmy likes this until he gets to the drawback. He wouldn't mind paying more mana to avoid it, unlike Spike, who really likes this as is instead. Johnny has the challenge to get around the drawback. The Johnny/Spike hybrid loves this card.
    (3/3) Elegance - Harder to do better than this here.

    Development
    (3/3) Viability - Everything is in color and rarity looks right.
    (3/3) Balance - This is interesting because it has haste yet it's an horrible play on an empty board. If you play this and then attack with it, you will have to sacrifice it right away if you control no other creatures. You really have to either not attack (wasting the value from haste) or wait until you have some expendable creatures. As a result, this won't often be a turn three play despite costing three mana, at least in limited. I can see this card has been really thought off, and I really like that. I can see it in constructed (casual for sure, probably Standard too) in some kind of token decks or reanimator decks, or simply as a good sacrifice outlet. I see no particular problems in multiplayer.

    Creativity
    (0.5/3) Uniqueness - Just another undercosted Demon with a drawback. Nothing new here.
    (3/3) Flavor - The name is fine and the flavor text is good both by itself and paired with the mechanics.

    Polish
    (2.5/3) Quality - Haste comes before menace in the order of keywords. See Chittering Host and Lose Calm (Oracle text) for examples (-0.5).
    (2/2) Main Challenge - Good.
    (2/2) Subchallenges - Both met.

    Total: 21.5/25

    Stalking Raptor Pack 4RR
    Creature - Dinosaur (U)
    Menace
    Creatures with menace you control must be blocked if able.
    Whenever Stalking Raptor Pack deals combat damage to a player, create a 2/2 red Dinosaur creature token with menace.
    5/5

    Design
    (2.5/3) Appeal - Timmy loves this card. Not much for Johnny here. Spike has very high expectations from a six-drop, and while this is certainly good he might want even more for that price.
    (2.5/3) Elegance - The tension between the two non-keyword abilities (more on it later) hurts a little here, though it's strategic complexity, which is the right kind of complexity. No problems with comprehension complexity.

    Development
    (1.5/3) Viability - Everything is in color, but in my opinion this is clearly a rare, both for splashiness and gameplay.
    (3/3) Balance - This card has a very interesting tension because it includes itself in the creatures that must be blocked yet it has to connect to create the token. By the way, yet another reason why this card is better suited for rare. This looks to me like a limited bomb, or at least it's very close. As for constructed, I wouldn't be surprised to see this in Standard, but I would in bigger formats (not a problem). I see no problems in casual or multiplayer.

    Creativity
    (2.5/3) Uniqueness - I can't remember an ability like the second one before. The rest is nothing new though.
    (2/3) Flavor - The name is fine, even if it would sound more realistic to me for a Magic card dropping the word "Raptor". Not a big problem. About the absence of flavor text, while the text box looks fine without it in MSE, a couple lines would still have fit without any problem.

    Polish
    (2.5/3) Quality - It should be "Creatures you control with menace" (see Favorable Winds for an example, -0.5).
    (2/2) Main Challenge - Good.
    (2/2) Subchallenges - Would I be scared if I had a (pack of) dinosaur(s) in front of me? Definitely! So, both met.

    Total: 20.5/25


    Arvaga, The Eternal Nightmare 3UB
    Legendary Creature - Spirit (R)
    Menace
    Whenever Arvaga, The Eternal Nightmare deals combat damage to a player, tap target creature he or she controls. Creatures don't untap during that player's next untap step.
    "Sleep will be the last thing you do, but not the last thing you fear."
    5/4

    Design
    (2.5/3) Appeal - Perfect for Timmy. Not much for Johnny here. Looks efficient enough for Spike.
    (2.5/3) Elegance - This could have been a little more intuitive in my opinion if it said "Creatures that player controls don't untap during that player's next untap step." Even though functionally equivalent most of the time, there are corner cases where that can matter, for example if you have a card that lets you untap creatures at every untap step. But again, these are just corner cases, which do not really feel like they are worth of serious punishment.

    Development
    (3/3) Viability - Everything is in color and acceptable as a rare. I could have seen this at mythic too, but there is nothing wrong with regular rare.
    (3/3) Balance - A 5/4 with evasion and additional upside for five mana is definitely pushed, even though it requires two different colors. I don't think this is broken though. Must play in limited, and I can definitely see this in constructed (casual and Standard, not bigger formats but it's not a problem). No problems in multiplayer.

    Creativity
    (1/3) Uniqueness - Interesting mix of abilities, but nothing we haven't seen before.
    (3/3) Flavor - Excellent flavor, both name and flavor text. Nothing to say here.

    Polish
    (2.5/3) Quality - It should be "tap target creature that player controls" (-0.5).
    (2/2) Main Challenge - Good.
    (2/2) Subchallenges - Would I be scared if I had a spirit appear right in front of me. Probably yes, but it really depends on what kind of spirit it is. This is clearly a malevolent spirit, so I'll let it count as scary. Both met.

    Total: 21.5/25

    Kyzeth, the Mysophant 4BB
    Legendary Creature - Germ Horror (Mythic)
    Menace
    Whenever Kyzeth, the Mysophant deals combat damage to a player, he or she creates that many 0/1 black Germ creature tokens with "When this creature dies, you get a poison counter."
    Whenever a player loses the game, if that player had ten or more poison counters, you gain 7 life and draw seven cards.
    "Behold Kyzeth, the Hallowed Plague, whom even I dare not touch."
    -Sheoldred, Whispering One

    5/5

    Design
    (2.5/3) Appeal - I expect most Timmies to like this. Johnny tends to like weird cards like this. I'm not sure how much Spike is interested.
    (1/3) Elegance - The text is very long. Cards that give opponents tokens can sometimes be a bit unintuitive at first glance.

    Development
    (2.5/3) Viability - Black usually loses life to draw cards, but this is certainly no break. Other than that, no problems with the color pie. This just has to be mythic.
    (2.5/3) Balance - This looks good in regular duel, and it's kind of a limited bomb, but I can tell from the last ability that this card has been created with multiplayer in mind. I guess that ability is fine, it's kind of "high investment, high reward" but we've already seen big abilities that trigger "whenever a player loses the game". I don't think this would see play in regular competitive constructed formats, but I may be wrong.

    Creativity
    (3/3) Uniqueness - A new and original take on poison. It just deserves full points here.
    (1.5/3) Flavor - The name is fine in a vacuum. I'll confess my ignorance: despite being half English I do not know what the word "mysophant" means, and for once strangely Google didn't help. As for flavor text, it's really good but if you copy and paste it in MSE along with the rules text you will see that the font gets really small, to the point of being unrealistic. This is an example of a card where the right choice would have been to not have any flavor text. Finally, I want to highlight the mechanical execution of the disease flavor, that's really well done.

    Polish
    (2.5/3) Quality - It should be "that player creates..." (-0.5).
    (2/2) Main Challenge - Good.
    (2/2) Subchallenges - Both met. A Horror is scary by definition.

    Total: 19.5/25


    Flatline: 21.5
    doomfish: 20.5

    IcariiFA: 21.5
    Subject16: 19.5
    Posted in: Custom Card Contests and Games
  • posted a message on October 2017 MCC Round 2 — Mischief Night Branches
    Judgments complete. As last time, I'm not sure I will have time to revise these before the deadline. Not only I'm still recovering from surgery (even though I'm almost completely fine now), but this past Monday I started working again, and I will be until next June.


    Watering Can 2
    Artifact — Equipment (U)
    When Watering Can enters the battlefield, create three 0/1 green Plant creature tokens.
    Whenever equipped creature attacks, put a +1/+1 counter on each Plant you control.
    Equip 2
    "Only those that faithfully water their seeds during spring shall be rewarded come autumn."

    Design
    (2.5/3) Appeal - Timmy likes tokens, attacking and creature pumping, so he should like this. Johnny can do something with the tokens. Spike will like this if it proves efficient enough.
    (3/3) Elegance - As short as it can be and very easy to understand.

    Development
    (2.5/3) Viability - I see nothing that colorless artifacts can't do. I'm still debating in my head whether this should be a rare or it's fine as an uncommon. It's three three tokens for two mana after all. Playtest would probably help sort that out.
    (2.5/3) Balance - This can looks pretty well balanced to me at first glance. The three 0/1's for two mana are probably fine, as they can't deal combat damage without being buffed somehow. Then to be able to use the pump ability you have to equip it (paying the equip cost) at least once. I think this should be playable in limited. This doesn't strike me as a card that sees heavy play in constructed, but Avenger of Zendikar was a big thing in Standard in its day, so who knows? Triggering on attack is very different than landfall though, because you have to risk the creature. I see no problems in casual or multiplayer.

    Creativity
    (1.5/3) Uniqueness - Turn any creature into an Avenger of Zendikar. Technically new, but the inspiration is evident.
    (1.5/3) Flavor - While the overall flavor works very well (you seed the plants and then water them and they grow over time), it doesn't look to me like something that I would see on a real Magic card. It might be better suited for a silver-bordered card.

    Polish
    (3/3) Quality - All good.
    (2/2) Main Challenge - Good.
    (2/2) Subchallenges - Both met.

    Total: 20.5/25

    Encroaching Forest
    Land - Forest (Rare)
    (T: Add G to your mana pool.)
    Encroaching Forest enters the battlefield tapped.
    Whenever another Forest enters the battlefield under your control, you may pay 1G. If you do, search your library for a Forest card and put that card onto the battlefield tapped. Then shuffle your library.

    Design
    (2/3) Appeal - Timmy likes ramp, but I have a hard time seeing him getting too excited over a land. Johnny can definitely use the effect in multiple ways. The cost will make or break the card for Spike.
    (2.5/3) Elegance - Not the shortest text, but not too long either and still easy enough to understand.

    Development
    (3/3) Viability - No problems with the color pie or rarity.
    (1.5/3) Balance - I think this is probably fine in Standard, but I'm a bit concerned about this card in bigger formats (read: Modern and beyond) because of how easy it is to trigger it with fetchlands and because of the fact that it both triggers out of and can find any Forest, not just a basic one, so all lands with basic land types count as well. That notably includes shocklands, the original dual lands from Alpha, and this card itself (also notice that it's not legendary so you can have multiple copies out). Another thing to notice is that Rampant Growth costs two mana. Comparing it to this, this can only find Forests but also non-basic ones. One downside, one upside, so I'll assume the two effects are comparable. If so, a repeatable version should cost more than the one-shot one. As for playability, I expect this to be very playable in most formats, both casual and probably competitive ones too. Ramp decks would love this for sure.

    Creativity
    (3/3) Uniqueness - I can't remember any existing card working in a similar way.
    (2/3) Flavor - The name is fine. Using the word Forest is fine mostly because this card has the Forest land type itself. No flavor text, but it's not that big of a problem as it would fit on the card but just barely.

    Polish
    (3/3) Quality - All good.
    (2/2) Main Challenge - Good.
    (2/2) Subchallenges - Lands are colorless, so they're not green. I'm not sure about subchallenge 2, but it's a beneficial effect and it's tied to Forests, so I'll let it pass even though it's not a bonus gained by those Forests.

    Total: 21/25

    Hymn to Gaea 3W
    Instant (Uncommon)
    Untap all Forests you control. Until the beginning of the next end step, Forests you control become white 3/4 Treefolk creatures with defender and lifelink. They are still lands.
    "The Dryads sing that the trees are the forest's first line of defense."

    Design
    (1.5/3) Appeal - Too many restrictions for Spike to care, especially in deckbuilding, which is also exactly why Johnny likes this a lot. He likes to use cards that other people dismiss. Timmy likes turning his lands into creatures that gain him life, but he would probably like a permanent effect more, one like Life and Limb.
    (1.5/3) Elegance - I would have liked "until end of turn" much more than "until the beginning of the next end step". It's an instant anyway, so the functionality would remain almost unaltered with a big gain in clarity, especially for less experienced players. Also, it's very weird to see a monowhite card interacting with Forests and not with Plains. At least, the card it not too long and easy enough to understand.

    Development
    (1/3) Viability - There is the precedent of awaken awkwardly centered in white and blue because of the needs of the set it was in, but I don't really see this as a monowhite effect. Eveything except lifelink just screams green. I would have totally made this a green/white gold card. It is clear this is monowhite just to pass subchallenge 1. I'm not sure about rarity either, I honestly see this better suited for rare.
    (2/3) Balance - Should be playable in limited, at least as a combat trick, but it requires you to be in two specific colors. I honestly can't see this in competitive constructed, maybe in casual. No problems in multiplayer.

    Creativity
    (3/3) Uniqueness - I can't remember a white card intereacting with Forests in a similar way before.
    (1.5/3) Flavor - Outside of something like Planar Chaos, I can't really see a monowhite card tied to Gaea. I checked Gatherer just to be safe and all cards named after Gaea are green, and all monogreen except Gaea's Skyfolk which still has green as one of its colors. Yet one more point in favor of making this a green/white card. The flavor text is fine.

    Polish
    (3/3) Quality - All good.
    (2/2) Main Challenge - Good.
    (2/2) Subchallenges - Both met.

    Total: 17.5/25

    Parasitic Propagation G
    Enchantment - Aura (R)
    Enchant Dryad, Fungus, Plant or Treefolk
    You may have Forests you control enter the battlefield as a copy of enchanted creature. (If you do, they're no longer Forest lands.)

    Design
    (1.5/3) Appeal - Timmy likes tribal mechanics. Johnny likes trying to exploit cards others dismiss, especially cards with such a particular effect. I don't think Spike is too interested.
    (3/3) Elegance - It's hard to do better than this with such a particular effect. I'm not sure the reminder text is strictly necessary, but it's always better to err on the side of clarity, so I can't really blame you for including it.

    Development
    (3/3) Viability - Green is secondary in cloning, and even though it usually (but not always) does so with tokens, I don't feel this is outside of the color pie. Rarity can't certainly be any lower.
    (1/3) Balance - Potential memory issues, as only Forests that entered while this was on the battlefield (not before it entered or after it left) will copy enchanted creature, and they will still be copies of that creature after this has left the battlefield. You essentially have to keep those Forests separated from your other lands to remember which ones they are. As for playability, having to control one of those few specific creature types to even cast this in the first place looks like a very big hoop to jump through. It looks like a very flavorful card but also very (too?) narrow. As a result, I think this would not see a lot of play in any format. In limited a critical mass of those creatures types in the set would be necessary, and I can't see that being the case outside of a tribal block. Treefolk were a tribe in Lorwyn after all. In competitive constructed, that enchant line looks way too restrictive. This card's best chances are in casual constructed.

    Creativity
    (3/3) Uniqueness - I can't remember a card with that "enchant" line before. Essence of the Wild exists and I suspect it might have been the mechanical inspiration for this card, but it still works very differently.
    (2/3) Flavor - The name is very good and fits the mechanics very well. Too bad there is no flavor text. Here there is certainly room for it. Bonus points for the very flavorful enchant line.

    Polish
    (2.5/3) Quality - In Magic templating, the Oxford comma is always used. This should read "...Plant, or Treefolk" (-0.5).
    (2/2) Main Challenge - Good.
    (1/2) Subchallenges - Optional copying creatures is certainly a beneficial effect and it's tied to Forests, so I'll let it pass for subchallenge 2 even though it's not a bonus granted to enchanted permanent. Subchallenge 1 is objectively not met as this card is green.

    Total: 19/25


    Marco: 21
    Flatline: 20.5
    ManyCookies: 19
    DaAwesomeCheeto: 17.5
    Posted in: Custom Card Contests and Games
  • posted a message on [Monthly Card Contest] ***MCC*** Discussion Thread
    Quote from void_nothing »
    Quote from Raptorchan »
    But can you please add ohe more day to the judging deadline due to recent circumstances?

    Yes, of course - I think Leo and I may need it too.

    Yes, I'd definitely appreciate that too.
    Posted in: Custom Card Contests and Games
  • posted a message on October 2017 MCC Round 1 — Cherry Bomb
    Judgments complete. I'm not sure I will be able to revise them before the deadline if the deadline is still tonight, so I hope I didn't miss anything. Scores are very close, so congratulations to everyone. I kind of feel bad for those who are going to get eliminated by as little as half a point, but I just can't have everyone advance. That's just not how the contest works. I hope to see all of you again next month.


    Orcish Pyromancer 1RR
    Creature - Orc Shaman (R)
    T, Discard a land card: Orcish Pyromancer deals 2 damage to target creature or player.
    "True enlightenment lies in the flames of passion."
    1/3

    Design
    (2.5/3) Appeal - I have a feeling this judgment will revolve a lot around the comparison with Orcish Artillery, this card's clear inspiration (and also Orcish Cannonade and the Artillery functional reprint Orcish Cannoneers). Timmy likes this much more than the Artillery, he prefers discarding a useless land rather than take any damage. Johnny also sees more combo potential here, discarding lands opens up a lot of relevant space with Life from the Loam-like cards. Spike is the one that might still prefer the Artillery, but I don't think he sees much of a difference at first glance. Gameplay will determine which one he likes the most.
    (3/3) Elegance - I'd say this is a little more elegant than the Artillery, as it gets rids of the "why would I ever want to damage myself" thought that less experienced players will definitely have as they read the Artillery for the first time. Discarding a land card is much more intuitive as a cost.

    Development
    (2.5/3) Viability - Everything is in color. I'm not sure this could not have been uncommon as all printings of the Artillery. The non-repeatable Cannonade was even common, but I concede Time Spiral was a very different time than today, some would say it was actually better that way. I don't want to place myself in either camp right now, but I was already a player back then, so I know what it was like. I don't think today the Cannonade would be printed at common, but I'm also not sure the Artillery would be printed as a rare today. Anyway, I'm just debating whether this card could have been uncommon, but it certainly doesn't break anything as a rare.
    (3/3) Balance - I don't know how discarding a land compares to taking 3 damage as a drawback for repeatability. On one hand it looks less of a drawback, but on the other hand you have to have the land in hand in the first place and you might also be setting yourself back on tempo by discarding a land. My first instinct is that the two drawbacks are quite comparable in the end and that this card should be fine, but as I often say playtest would be needed to be sure. Another interesting aspect I really like is that this card gives additional reach to monored decks, by letting them use extra lands in a similar fashion as Grim Lavamancer does with cards in graveyard. This card looks definitely playable in limited, and probably in monored constructed decks too, in Standard for sure, but maybe even in bigger formats where the extra reach is even more important. I don't see any problem in casual or multiplayer.

    Creativity
    (0.5/3) Uniqueness - The inspiration is too evident to get any big points here. Also, Molten Vortex was printed not too far ago and Seismic Assault is a very well known classic. Still, this is technically a new card in the sense of "this exact combination of types, costs and abilities has never been printed before", and that's why this is not a full zero.
    (2.5/3) Flavor - The flavor of this card is just fine, it does work but it's certainly not the best thing ever. I like the use of the word "Orcish" in the name for piggybacking. I hoped the flavor text was a riff out of some printing of the Artillery, but I looked at all of them in Gatherer (I also looked at all the printings of the Cannonade and Cannoneers) and I found that it's not. Not a big problem, but doing so would have made the piggybacking even stronger and it would have been a really nice Easter egg for Vorthos.

    Polish
    (3/3) Quality - I see no problems here.
    (2/2) Main Challenge - Good.
    (2/2) Subchallenges - Both met.

    Total: 21/25

    Electric Fence 3
    Artifact (U)
    Whenever an opponent casts a spell during your turn, Electric Fence deals 2 damage to that player.

    Design
    (1.5/3) Appeal - Spike just doesn't care. Timmy and especially Johnny might be interested in the protection this card gives them, even if it's not "hard" protection, in the sense that the opponent can still cast spells during your turn, they are discouraged but still allowed.
    (3/3) Elegance - Hard to do better in this regard.

    Development
    (2.5/3) Viability - Repeatable damage is no longer common these days and I don't think the ability would trigger enough to justify this being rare, so uncommon is probably the right rarity for this card. I'd also see this as a red enchantment (because of the damage and because it would play perfectly into the enemy relationship between red and blue as this would most often trigger off of your opponents casting blue instant spells such as counters), but it also makes sense as a colorless artifact. There is also precedent for colorless artifacts shocking things.
    (1/3) Balance - It's very easy for your opponent to play around this: just don't cast any spell during your turn. This looks exactly this card's real purpose: not so much actually dealing damage, rather discouraging opponents from playing things on your turn. That's fine as design intent, but I'm honestly not sure how much play this card would see. Except maybe for limited (where it's hard anyway for a noncreature spell that's not a removal spell or a combat trick to see play), I expect there to be better options to protect yourself in every format. Barring specific uses, which might be there, I don't see this card getting played very much if at all. Maybe in casual, where requirements are lower, but even there I'm not sure.

    Creativity
    (2.5/3) Uniqueness - Unexpectedly (to me), triggering on your opponent casting a spell during your turn is relatively new design space, in the sense that if checked Gatherer correctly it has only been done twice ever: Hermit of the Natterknolls//Lone Wolf of the Natterknolls in SOI and Voice of Resurgence in DGM. It has never been done on an artifact, and it has never been paired with a detrimental effect for the opponent. In summary, something similar has already been done before, but never in this way.
    (2/3) Flavor - This card manages to be very flavorful even without flavor text: a fence that protects you so that when the opponent wants to touch you they literally get shocked. Unfortunately, plenty of room for flavor text is available, so I really think this card should have it.

    Polish
    (3/3) Quality - All good.
    (2/2) Main Challenge - Good.
    (2/2) Subchallenges - Both met.

    Total: 19.5/25

    Junk Jet 4
    Artifact [R]
    1, T, Exile a card from your graveyard: Junk Jet deals 1 damage to target creature or player.
    Discard a card: Untap Junk Jet.
    One Mage's trash is another's ammo.

    Design
    (2/3) Appeal - Too low of a damage output for Timmy, and he also doesn't want to discard cards. Spike likes what this card is trying to do, but he would probably want this to be more efficient. This card is tailor made for Johnny, there are so many tricks he can do with this card that he doesn't even know where to begin!
    (3/3) Elegance - Definitely good enough. Exemplar integration of flavor and mechanics.

    Development
    (2.5/3) Viability - As I've already mentioned in a previous judgment, colorless artifacts can deal damage, just not too efficiently. There is precedent for it. Grim Lavamancer being rare and the ability being repeatable quite easily make me lean towards agreeing with this card being rare. I wonder if it really couldn't be uncommon though. Hard to say without playtest.
    (2/3) Balance - Easier to activate than Grim Lavamancer (one card to exile vs two and 1 vs R) but it deals less damage (1 vs 2) and can be reused right away if you discard a card (vs having to wait a whole turn cycle to reuse it but not giving up any card advantage). There are upsides and downsides, which is a sign of a card that's probably well balanced overall. As for playability, I expect this to be certainly playable in limited, while also seeing some fringe play in casual. I don't this this is enough for competitive constructed, I see this as either not enough or potentially degenerate if a strong combo is found. Thank goodness this has a mana cost attached to the ability!

    Creativity
    (1/3) Uniqueness - The effect is a bit too similar to cards like Grim Lavamancer, but with a little twist.
    (3/3) Flavor - I love the flavor of this card: a catapult that literally uses trash (cards in graveyard) as ammunition. The name and flavor text play perfectly into this, with a nice reference to the saying "one man's trash is another man's treasure". I picture a goblin firing the catapult as the art, and it's hilarious!

    Polish
    (2.5/3) Quality - I see no reason to capitalize the word "mage" in the flavor text (-0.5). All the rest is fine.
    (2/2) Main Challenge - Good.
    (2/2) Subchallenges - Both met.

    Total: 20/25

    Vindictive Embermage 2R
    Creature - Human Shaman (Uncommon)
    T: Vindictive Embermage deals 1 damage to target creature. If Vindictive Embermage has a death counter on it, it deals 2 damage to that creature instead.
    Rebirth 2RR (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its rebirth cost. If you do, it enters the battlefield with a death counter on it. If this creature would leave the battlefield, if it has a death counter on it, exile it instead.)
    1/1

    Design
    (2/3) Appeal - A bit too small for Timmy even though he likes dealing direct damage to creatures. Johnny could definitely use a pinger. Spike is disappointed that this doesn't hit players.
    (2.5/3) Elegance - Quite wordy but otherwise fine.

    Development
    (3/3) Viability - Everything is in color and rarity feels right to me.
    (2.5/3) Balance - Comparing this with previous pingers, it looks very reasonable. See for example Vithian Stinger. Making this a 1/1 rather than a 0/1 for three mana while not letting it hit players makes sense. In my opinion, rebirth is unearth done right. I never really liked how unearth is branded as "flashback for creatures" but it doesn't let you keep the creature. I understand the developmental necessity for that, but I honestly like this version more, provided of course that the cards are fairly costed and there is not a card with a too low rebirth cost, but this doesn't look the case to me, as the ability cost here is twice as much as the Stinger. This card looks definitely playable in limited to me, and maybe casual constructed too. Barring particular eventual combos, I can't really see this in competitive constructed. No problems in multiplayer.

    Creativity
    (1/3) Uniqueness - We've seen plenty of pingers before and rebirth heavily remembers unearth. The card has even the same subtypes as the aforementioned Vithian Stinger. There is a little twist with the "2 damage if it has a counter" part, but nothing more.
    (3/3) Flavor - The name is good and fits the mechanics well. No room for flavor text, so its absence is not a problem.

    Polish
    (2.5/3) Quality - Replacement effect don't use the intervening if (example: Undergrowth Champion). "If this creature would leave the battlefield while it has a death counter on it, exile it instead." This is alleviated by the fact that it's reminder text, but it still counts (-0.5).
    (2/2) Main Challenge - Good.
    (2/2) Subchallenges - Both met.

    Total: 20.5/25

    Iron Whip 3
    Artifact (R)
    1, T: Iron Whip deals 1 damage to target creature. Untap that creature. It get +1/+0 and gains haste until end of turn.
    Cruelty and discipline go hand in hand.

    Design
    (2/3) Appeal - "Damage your own creature" reads really bad to Timmy. Johnny could use this as a pseudo-pinger. Spike likes the flexibility of being able to use this both to enhance his own creatures and to kill opposing 1-toughness creatures.
    (3/3) Elegance - Not too long and very easy to understand. Good.

    Development
    (2/3) Viability - If this could be colored (for example if there are colored artifacts in the set this is supposed to come from), it would need to be red. Being an artifact makes being colorless much more acceptable, and there are precedents for artifacts dealing noncombat damage and doing the other things this card does. I wonder if this couldn't really be uncommon, hard to say without playtest.
    (2/3) Balance - If there is ever a limited environment where this would be playable, it's exactly Ixalan right now, because of enrage. In any other set, it would probably still pass the threshold to be playable, especially because it can get rid of 1-toughness creatures or untap your creatures to block, but it wouldn't be as good as in XLN and certainly not as exciting. I can't really see this card in competitive constructed, not even in dedicated enrage decks probably. In casual constructed it could certainly see some play though. No problems in multiplayer.

    Creativity
    (2/3) Uniqueness - This vaguely reminds me of other cards like Rile where you deal 1 damage to your creature for a benefit (triggering enrage in the case of Rile in XLN), but I can't remember any specific card working exactly like this.
    (2.5/3) Flavor - The flavor is very good overall, but the name really looks like that of an Equipment to me. I really like the flavor text.

    Polish
    (3/3) Quality - All good.
    (2/2) Main Challenge - Good.
    (2/2) Subchallenges - Both met.

    Total: 20.5/25

    Zealot of Iona 1RW
    Creature - Human Cleric (R)
    Lifelink
    As Zealot of Iona enters the battlefield, choose a color.
    Whenever an opponent casts a spell of the chosen color, Zealot of Iona deals 1 damage to that player.
    "Praise Iona! For her light prevailed certain doom!"
    2/2

    Design
    (2.5/3) Appeal - Timmy and Spike both like this, it's a reasonable creature that can deal damage to the opponent's face repeatedly. I don't see much for Johnny here.
    (2.5/3) Elegance - Not too long and easy to understand. Some less experienced players might not realize at first that lifelink counts for the last ability too, not just for combat damage.

    Development
    (3/3) Viability - Everything is in color and both colors are represented in rules text. Rarity feels right to me.
    (3/3) Balance - The cost seems fair. This is not a bomb, but still a must-play in limited if you can cast it. It might even be the card that pushes you towards red-white if you pick it early. I can see this card getting some play in Standard too, as the opponent is either discouraged to build up their board or they take damage, and you're happy either way. Probably not in bigger formats though, but that's not a big problem as the threshold to see play in Modern and beyond is very high. This card looks particularly interesting in multiplayer as it hits all opponents that play cards of the chosen color.

    Creativity
    (1/3) Uniqueness - There is a heavy piggybacking based on the original Iona going on here, both in flavor and mechanics. It works everywhere else, but in this area that's not so good.
    (3/3) Flavor - At the contrary, here is where you get to reap the benefits of your piggybacking. The name is very good and fits very well with this creature being red in addition to white, as the word "Zealot" has a red feeling to me. The flavor text is also very good, and I could see both of them printed as they are. The Cleric creature type obviously fits perfectly here.

    Polish
    (3/3) Quality - All good.
    (2/2) Main Challenge - Good.
    (2/2) Subchallenges - Both met.

    Flintlock Pistol 3
    Artifact - Equipment (R)
    Whenever you equip Flintlock Pistol, put two charge counters on Flintlock Pistol.
    Remove a charge counter from Flintlock Pistol: Flintlock Pistol deals 2 damage to target creature or player. Activate this ability only once each turn.
    Equip 2

    Design
    (2/3) Appeal - This is a pure Johnny card, and he really likes it. If some potent combo is found, Spike will be interested too. Not sure about Timmy.
    (2.5/3) Elegance - Not very short, but still very easy to understand.

    Development
    (3/3) Viability - There is precedent for colorless artifact shocking things. Rarity is definitely right.
    (2.5/3) Balance - As long as you have a single creature on the battlefield (very easy requirement to meet and it should literally happen every game without you even trying unless you're playing a creatureless deck, which exist but are very rare these days), this is essentially "Pay 2 each turn for five turn cucles: You win the game". Thank goodness there is the "once each turn" clause, otherwise it would have really been a problem. An interesting fact is that the choice to give this exactly two counters on equip makes this play identically in single player and multiplayer, which would not be the case with any other number of counters. In fact, if the number of counters were higher, you could have activated this more in multiplayer than you would do in traditional two-player duel over the course of a turn cycle, as a multiplayer turn cycle is just made of more turns, and you can activate this"once each turn", not "each of your turns", including opponents' turns. With two counters, you can activate it only twice in a turn cycle even in multiplayer, which is a very interesting design choice (actually it's more of a development choice, but you get what I'm saying). I can see that this has been carefully thought out. There are still tricks to be done with proliferate and such, but the "once each turn" clause turns a potentially broken card into a very interesting Johnny toy. I just hope that clause is enough to restrict the potential brokenness. Hard to say without playtest. Definitely playable in limited, maybe constructed too, especially if those proliferate-like combos are available.

    Creativity
    (2/3) Uniqueness - Vaguely reminiscent of Umezawa's Jitte, but otherwise fine.
    (1.5/3) Flavor - While I personally have no big problems with it, we know that guns are best avoided in official Magic. That doesn't mean there is no place for them in the game, there is some precedent and some guns might be in Unstable, but if the purpose of the contest is to make realistically printable cards, I feel there might be some problems with this card. If the purpose is to make un-cards or cards for custom sets, it could be fine. Except for this, I have no problems with the name in a vacuum or with the absence of flavor text (no room for it).

    Polish
    (2.5/3) Quality - "Whenever you equip" is not standard template. Auras and Equipment "become attached" to creatures, so this should be "Whenever Flintlock Pistol becomes attached to a creature, put two charge counters on Flintlock Pistol." (-0.5).
    (2/2) Main Challenge - Good.
    (2/2) Subchallenges - Both met.

    Total: 20/25

    Hunting Rites of Otepec RG
    Legendary Enchantment (R)
    Whenever a creature enters the battlefield under your control, Hunting Rites of Otepec deals 1 damage to target creature or player. If that creature is a Dinosaur, Hunting Rites of Otepec deals 2 damage to target creature or player instead.
    Otepec hunters are almost as eager to hunt as their raptor companions.

    Design
    (2.5/3) Appeal - Timmy likes getting additional damage out of him playing creatures, which he would do anyway. Johnny could definitely do something with this, especially the first part. Spike likes the low mana cost but not the fact that this doesn't do anything by itself on the battlefield and just requires external help to work, in the form of creatures.
    (2.5/3) Elegance - Not the shortest text ever, but still very clear.

    Development
    (2/3) Viability - Where is the green here? I don't see it. The effect is purely red and it's not like it is an oversized creature for its mana cost so you could say the mana-cost-to-size ratio was the green part. This could (and very probably should) just have been a monored card. Rarity looks right.
    (2.5/3) Balance - As I've already mentioned, the mana cost is low but the card doesn't work by itself. It still looks like a good turn-two play in a Dinosaur deck, which should be a relatively free slot in the mana curve in those decks. If this costed more it would have competed for inclusion with the actual Dinosaurs. Definitely playable in limited if you have a Dinosaur deck, and trust me when I say I do know what that means (I like Dinosaurs so much that I often even try to force them in XLN limited, even when I probably shouldn't, but I digress...). Not sure about constructed, as I mentioned it might be an interesting option but not the only one in a Dinosaur deck. I don't see any problem in casual or multiplayer.

    Creativity
    (1/3) Uniqueness - Nothing particularly new, we've seen similar abilities before and there is plenty of Dinosaur tribal in XLN.
    (1.5/3) Flavor - The name is good in a vacuum, but its heavy resemblance to Growing Rites of Itlimoc makes me expect a DFC that turns into a land, essentially I expected a gold expansion of the legendary DFC enchantments of XLN. That expectation was met by the type line, the rarity, then... it's something else entirely, not even a DFC. This is a case of piggybacking but with no actual payoff. No problems with the flavor text, and it does fit on the card.

    Polish
    (2.5/3) Quality - It should be "...deals 2 damage to that creature or player instead." The way it is now, you're choosing targets twice and that is clearly not the intent (-0.5). See Akoum Hellkite for an example (I'm sure that are others but this is the first one the comes to my mind).
    (2/2) Main Challenge - Good.
    (2/2) Subchallenges - Both met.

    Total: 18.5/25


    Vertain: 22
    BrainPo: 21
    Marco: 20.5
    RickyRister: 20.5
    The_Hittite: 20
    Sub_Silentio: 20
    Legend: 19.5
    StonerOfKruphix: 18.5
    Posted in: Custom Card Contests and Games
  • posted a message on [Monthly Card Contest] ***MCC*** Discussion Thread
    Quote from void_nothing »

    Can I put you down as an official reserve judge? Keep in mind there are still a couple days left, someone might very well swoop in.

    Go ahead. We'll see if I'm needed. If I am, I'll be there.
    Posted in: Custom Card Contests and Games
  • posted a message on October MCC Judge Signup Thread
    Quoting myself from the discussion thread, with emphasis added to the part relevant to this thread. Consider me as a (very probably needed) reserve.

    Quote from bravelion83 »
    Quote from Legend »
    Quote from bravelion83 »
    I've undergone surgery...

    Finally got that brain transplant? Grin

    JK. Get well.

    No, do not worry, my brain is always that same bad old one... it was something else entirely. Smile Anyway, my healing is proceeding, although very slowly. I think I'll try to judge if the "no judges" emergency continues. If somebody comes up at the last moment wanting to judge I'll be more than happy to give up my spot if it comes to that. I don't think I would post an entry anyway.
    Posted in: Custom Card Contests and Games
  • posted a message on [Monthly Card Contest] ***MCC*** Discussion Thread
    Quote from Legend »
    Quote from bravelion83 »
    I've undergone surgery...

    Finally got that brain transplant? Grin

    JK. Get well.

    No, do not worry, my brain is always that same bad old one... it was something else entirely. Smile Anyway, my healing is proceeding, although very slowly. I think I'll try to judge if the "no judges" emergency continues. If somebody comes up at the last moment wanting to judge I'll be more than happy to give up my spot if it comes to that. I don't think I would post an entry anyway.
    Posted in: Custom Card Contests and Games
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