In the December CCL Finals, FuriouslySleepingIdea and Jimmy Groove had a simple task - to make a Holiday Card in the vein of the Wizards promo cards, seen here. I asked them to provide art descriptions as well, since the art would be a large part of the humor. Here are their submissions:
Quote from FuriouslySleepingIdea »
Festivus Cracker :3mana::symr::symg:
Sacrifice Festivus Cracker. You and target opponent each exile the top 3 cards of your library. Beginning with you, each of you may cast a spell exiled this way without paying its mana cost. Repeat this process until neither player casts a spell. "Pop."
The art for festivus cracker is a giant Christmas Cracker, it is being pulled apart by two hands, obviously from different creatures in the border of the frame. The contents are exploding out showing various goodies from magic's history.
Quote from Jimmy Groove »
Santa Claws :symw::symg::symr:
Legendary Creature - Bear Ninja (MR)
Whenever Santa Claws attacks, you may search your library for a permanent card and give it to an opponent. (That opponent puts it onto the battlefield, controls it, and owns it. This change in ownership doesn't end at end of game.) Santa Claws gets +3/+3 and has trample and first strike as long as any opponent controls 3 or more rare permanents. And you thought "bear arms" was a bad pun. 3/3
The art is the exact same art as Werebear, except that the werebear has a fake beard and Santa Claus suit lazily pasted over it.
Select your favorite and vote! This poll will be up for one week.
The poll is now closed, which means it comes down to my judgment. Here are some comments:
Festivus Cracker is the weaker of the two in the flavor department; the Seinfeld reference is probably a little too narrow for the general Magic-playing audience, although it does avoid any particular religious associations. I've never opened a Christmas Cracker myself either, but I'm vaguely aware of them existing. The art seems like it could be done in a funny way. As for the card mechanically, it works pretty well, but there are a few things I would do differently. You could probably cut down the cost, given that these will be rare enough and not legal for tournaments anyway, and the effect is symmetrical. You have to go to enough work to break the symmetry that it seems fine to price it at maybe CMC 3 or so. Either that or dig a few cards deeper, maybe 1 per CMC. The colors fit, and artifact seems to be the closest card type, but I generally don't think we should do colored artifacts. Anyway, the main effect is fun and certainly festive, and embodies the holiday spirit quite well since you get free things and can share them with a "friend."
Jimmy's choice of pun would probably be well received, and I think it could work on a Magic card, even though they have avoided direct Christmas references so far. I guess the colors were chosen more to be Christmas colors than anything else, although that may have added a little more complication than is necessary. Ninja is always funny but seems out of place as well. I can't help but feel that something is off with the mechanics; not only is permanently giving cards something that few people will want to do, the fact that being super-sized keys off rarity means that you would often be able to use it without "giving gifts" against most competitive decks. The flavor of it is a little odd in either case; giving presents is fine, but why does it then make him angry? If you are going for an anti-Santa, maybe it would have been funny to have him take things from the opponents, or go beserk if they don't let him.
Excellent efforts from both players in a difficult challenge. It's a tough choice, but I will go for the slightly neater package, so to speak: FuriouslySleepingIdea's card. Congratulations and thanks to both of you!