Salutations! Welcome to the Final Round of the September CCL, 2009. We come to the final matchup between Twilight Kiwi and Gerrard's Mom, two very capable designers who have shown time and time again of their ingenuity with this month's Card Creation Contest. Now we draw to the final round, and the voting of who will take the mantle of the winner of the September CCL.
Your task is to make 6 cards once more. These must represent your evolved avatar's escape from the throne room of Arenz Valkyrie to the Elysian Fields, through the crumbling world that you are stuck in. These cards may be whatever you wish, instants, sorceries, different forms of your avatar, whatever. Remember, you have to go through the Arenz Valkyrie, the Ring of Elementals and the Ring of Beasts, on your way back to the Elysian Fields, so keep those in mind when your making your cards.
As mortar and stone crumbled in on the dead shapeshifter, Kogra settled into a vaguely humanoid form and glanced at the only other being that had survived the battle. For a moment they seemed to size each other up, but Kogra shook his head. This was no time to see who was stronger. It went against every simulated bone in the shapeshifter's usually selfish and independent body, but...
A mouth emerged from the featureless face. "Perhaps we should work together, to ensure that we both get out of here alive..?"
Kogra did not wait for the other's response; there was no time for debate. If the other agreed, they would cooperate as they went or not at all. To survive now, he would have to act faster than ever before, to take unfamiliar shapes that previously he had felt were too unlike himself to be worth using. His skin shuddering almost as violently as the floor, he solidified as a being he knew would not be hindered by the castle's hazards and took off as quickly as his now-human legs would allow.
Creature - Human Scout (C)
Protection from artifacts and lands "Natural or artificial - no obstacle can keep me from what I seek."
Surprisingly, it wasn't long before they ran into the castle's remaining guards. Whether compelled by duty, magic, or sheer stubbornness, it seemed a few of them were unwilling to abandon their posts even with the castle walls crumbling swiftly around them. If Kogra were to try and fight his way past all of them, even with all the wondrous new abilities he'd picked up or developed in this world, he'd be crushed in rubble. Thinking quickly, he sampled the form of the first guard that accosted him - a humanoid soldier - and focused as a ripple of magic shuddered through the collapsing walls. As he assumed the soldier's form, so too was everyone else nearby forced into it!
Whenever a creature enters the battlefield, all creatures on the battlefield become copies of that creature. The magocracy of Bakala devised a unique solution to prevent prejudice and racism.
In the ensuing confusion, Kogra easily slipped past the guards and managed to make it out of the massive castle just before it caved in on itself. Still, much ground was left to cover, and that ground was growing more dangerous and unpredictable by the second. He knew the other shapeshifter had a strong connection to the land, and so drew on its power for himself to become a creature much more in tune with it than he had ever been on his own. Reveling in his new bond with the land, he forged a path past the terrain surrounding the castle with relative ease.
Creature - Elf Shaman (R)
Whenever a land enters the battlefield, Geomancer gains all of that land's abilities until another land enters the battlefield. "They take 'becoming one with the land' quite literally." - Tok Ghaska, wandering scholar
Soon, they were once again confronted by the teeming mass of elementals. Last time he had faced these beings, Kogra had taken on a defensive form to slowly work his way past them. Now repressed anger at Vanshal's madness in bringing them here welled up inside him, combining with the indignation he felt that these mere elementals would dare stand in his way again; the emotion twisted his form, and he unleashed it at the beings that sought to stop his escape.
Creature - Incarnation (R)
Arrogance gets +1/+0 for each other creature on the battlefield.
Other creatures can't attack or block.
When Arrogance is put into a graveyard from anywhere, shuffle it into its owner’s library.
Cowed by the powerful waves of self-importance almost literally blasting out of Kogra's brilliant, physically perfect form, the elementals parted and let him pass without further incident. However, when he reached the border of the area that held the first obstacle they had faced, mere hours ago that now felt like weeks - all that stood now between them and the portal - Kogra's form fell apart as he felt his resolve ebbing. The horde of massive beasts had been agitated into a blind, chaotic fury by the devastation being wrought around them; mere force of will would not be enough to stop their rampage. They tore into the vegetation, the already-sundering land, and each other, going berserk at everything in sight.
They were big. Kogra was small. He could change that balance in his favor with enough effort.
Creature - Elemental (M)
Chroma - Each creature's power and toughness are each equal to the number of colored mana symbols in its mana cost. It brings forth the primal core of all that stand before it.
Taking long, thunderous strides past the beasts that seemed so insignificant in comparison now, Kogra finally spotted the portal. He could see now that he and the other shapeshifter were not the only beings seeking escape; a large number of native people and creatures were converging on the Elysian Fields from every direction. If they didn't make it there first, it would be far too crowded for them to get through before the entire plane was destroyed. Paying little heed now to whether or not his companion kept up with him, Kogra shifted rapidly between the fastest, most agile forms he knew, combining several when that didn't work, leeching off those who were still outpacing him until they fell behind his ever-hastening form...
But it wasn't going to be enough. He wasn't going to make it.
He was going to die.
In that instant of utter hopelessness, a sudden revelation dawned upon Kogra. Unlike most shapeshifters, it was as easy for him to alter the forms of others as it was his own.
So how hard could it be, then, to alter the very world around him?
Reaching out desperately, he caught hold of the fabric of reality he could now tentatively sense around him, dragging and folding edges together, reshaping the path of destiny to his will...
And suddenly he stood breathlessly before the portal, well before anyone else had reached it.
Choose a player. That player takes a turn. (The player whose turn it is finishes their turn where they left off after the chosen player takes a turn.)
Without further hesitation or contemplation, Kogra dove for the beckoning gate. The other shifter's fate was in its own hands now, and the whims of the universe.
The Manaweaver paused only a moment as Lord Vanshal melted to the floor. Somewhere, it heard the call of another creature, the only other remaining here, but in its vision everything was now a delicate weave of mana strands, a sight too overwhelming to respond. Riding the last swells of mana from the titanic clash that had just taken place, it pressed forward toward the hall. Tracking close by the pattern that corresponded to the other survivor, it came into a chamber of dull, lifeless mana. The wall buckled and tore, bulging forth into the shape of a stony warrior. The Manaweaver could not bother to stop and play with this new adversary, so it sent a brief shock through the remaining mana in its clutch.
Mana Ignition deals 1 damage to target creature or player. If you have 4 or more mana in your mana pool, Mana Ignition deals 4 damage to that creature or player instead.
Spilling through the hole opened in the wreckage that was Arenz Valkyrie, the Manaweaver paused to regroup. Somewhere it sensed the other still racing forth, but as the strands of mana came loose around it, the curious creature found it had little energy left to dispense. Flickering through forms, it found one that would let it make the most of what remained, at the cost of its own life energy.
Deadgrove Veinletter :symb::symg:
Creature - Vampire Druid (R)
You may spend life as though it were colorless mana to pay the mana cost of creature spells. No suffering is eased without price.
With a pained cry, the Manaweaver pulled forth the wrought iron of fallen spires and the granite shards of ancient walls into a massive new skeleton, a single-minded engine of destruction. In this ravaged and depleted landscape, it could advance without penalty.
Artifact Creature - Juggernaut (R)
Monument Crusher doesn't untap during its controller's untap step.
:xmana:: Choose an opponent, then untap Monument Crusher. X is the number of untapped lands that player controls.
Shrugging off the strange energies of the crazed elementals that remained near Arenz Valkyrie, the Manaweaver in its chosen form clove a furrowed path in the very earth itself. Yet the exertion soon drained its mana reserves. As a thunderous herd of beasts closed in, it sighted the pulsing portal in the distance, and with the last of its mana formed a taut field of mana currents around itself, allowing it to reactivate on its own inherent energy.
Enchantment - Aura (U)
Whenever enchanted permanent becomes tapped, add to your mana pool, where X is that permanent's converted mana cost.
A few short moments later, and the Manaweaver stood unopposed in the Elysian Fields, its goal at hand. It had lost sight of the other survivor, whether unraveled or woven into a new form, it knew not. Here, though, the ghosts of a hundred other shapeshifters that had fallen in this cruel competition crowded the meadow, each raising a cry from a different mind and a different world.
Fields of Memory
Plane - Arenz
All creatures have ": Draw a card."
Whenever you roll , target player puts the top X cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard, where X is the number of cards in your hand.
Here, the Manaweaver stopped and waited. As the rest of the plane crumbled around it, it listened to a hundred secrets, heard a hundred hopes. As the weave of this plane crumbled to its final threads, the arcane field surrounding the hulking mass of masonry hummed, and a chain reaction began. Drawing the accumulated knowledge of these wisps of consciousness into itself, it willfully sublimated the rest of the plane, leaving only the afterimage of what had been.
Fixed Ideal :3mana::symw::symw:
When Fixed Ideal comes into play, exile target nonland permanent or target nonland card in an opponent's graveyard. That player can only play spells that share a color and a card type with the exiled card.
Where once a plane of mutability had been, a single crisp image remained, a neverchanging slice of eternity frozen in the reaches of the Blind Eternities. The Manaweaver moved on.
Starting at the moment I post this, 6: 00 PM of Monday, 5th of October EST, the poll will go on for a week, during which people will have to vote for who they think shown take the gold and win this month's contest.
Thanks to everyone who joined in this month's CCL. We hope you have the best and join in the future contests!
I like the idea of Tesseract, although I don't know that Gottlieb would on the rules front. We know it's possible to add extra phases and skip them as well, so it seems like it might work. Manacore Sovereign is a cool use of Chroma, and I like the Geomancer but it's nearly the same as my original avatar, Terramorph
My inspiration for this submission was thinking about mana in new ways, because of my evolved avatar that was doing the action here:
Creature - Shapeshifter (M)
Whenever a player activates a mana ability of a land, copy that ability. The threads of mana are never truly cut, if you know how to follow them.
Just in case anybody doesn't spot it, my submission includes a 3-card combo if a player has four or less untapped lands out, which allows you to draw your deck and generate a whole bunch of mana.
Doesn't it go to tomorrow? Don't 8 people want to vote for me by then?
The only card I would comment on more is Twilight Kiwi's Arrogance, what's the thinking there? Arrogance seems more like a drawback to me, so if I had to design an Avatar for it I'd probably make something that was cheap but died if it was outclassed in size. Black is the most obvious, white I can see, but I don't know that red has real strong connections to arrogance conceptually.
I'm most proud of my Mana Ignition and the Vampire, but I wonder if anybody found that one broken?