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  • posted a message on Wizards anounces Historic format coming to Arena
    Quote from SavannahLion »
    Interesting logic they're using to justify requiring two wildcards to craft Historic-only cards there.

    My instant reaction was that they're trying to reduce as much as possible the event of new players crafting historic-only cards and then getting a bad feeling when they realize they can't use them. I'm not sure it's the right ratio, but it's been in Wizards' MO to be overly conservative with the economy. This seems like more of the same.
    At the same time, they want to give players the chance to kit up for Historic with the 1 month grace period - I know I'll be focusing on checklands during that time, real estate has a funny way of being the most annoying part of a deck to assemble in my experience.
    Posted in: MTG Arena
  • posted a message on [Monthly Card Contest] ***MCC*** Discussion Thread
    The reasoning for the 0 is this - since other auction cards force you to bid life, there becomes a cutoff point where you have to stop - that is, your life total. If you ever go beyond that, your opponents stop, and let you die at the next SBA check. Your card creates a situation where if it ever passes a cutoff point, you CANNOT stop bidding because you'll instantly lose. Going back to your argument of "shocking a x/3 with no follow up" - you're right. There is no reason not to open the bidding with a lethal amount of damage, to where if the bidding ever stops they're either dead or left with no board. And there's no way you can defend a 5-mana "target player loses the game" being balanced whatsoever. That's the logic behind that 0.

    Slimytrout: The odd multikicker effect is cool, and that design space is neat. I do appreciate that. But the fact still remains it's a very VERY close imitator of Commune with Lava, and as I laid out in my Scoring Outline, I deduct 1-2 points for cards that are functional reprints or have the same front-end effect but operate a bit differently in the backend application. With how close it was, that's why I did a full 2 points.
    Posted in: Custom Card Contests and Games
  • posted a message on July MCC Round 3 (finals) - It's over
    It wouldn't be MCC if it didn't go over schedule, wouldn't it? I apologize for spacing on this, gencon happened and I blanked out. Working on them now.

    Appeal: 2/3 - Timmy is not happy sacrificing creatures. Johnny LOVES sacrificing creatures when this is what he gets for it, and Spike is going to be okay with the tradeoff, assuming his deck cooperates.
    Elegance: 3/3 - You read it, you get it. Everything flows here, and it's a great image.

    Viability: 3/3 - Compares pretty favorably to its nearest point of comparison in Commune with Lava, this is 100% in red's pie, and Rare definitely feels right. I can't argue it should be mythic so I won't even try.
    Balance: 2.5/3 - Where Commune was basically restricted to Big Red commander decks and that's it, this has the potential to see play in 60 card formats. I can imagine something like dirty kitty (Skirk Prospector + Fecundity + Patriarch's Bidding) blowing this wide open. I don't think it'll be format shattering, but someone will find a way to make a big impact.

    Uniqueness: 1/3 - It's very nearly a dead ringer for Commune, with the only difference being how you figure out X. A card that I personally love, but a card I can't help but weigh heavily against.
    Flavor: 2/3 - You sort of have room to put in flavor text, it compresses the rules text but not enough for me to mark down for. What I am marking down for is the confusion for how melting down things creates spontaneous ideas? Also the flavor text bugs me significantly, "to be quiet" just begs to be "to stay quiet" instead in my mind, to where I had to read it again to make sure that wasn't how it actually went.

    Quality: 2/3 - Multikicker's reminder text should be "you may sacrifice any number of creatures as you cast this spell", the clause about othere costs doesn't appear. Also it should read "Exile X cards, where X is one plus the number of times Molten End was kicked" - see the Burst cycle for reference.
    Main Challenge: 2/2 - Main Challenge is met.
    Sub-Challenges: 1.5/2 - First subchallenge says you can't use "end of turn", you use "end of your next turn" - the clause is still there, I'm giving you half a point because it's technically true but obviously not an intended way around it.

    Total: 19/25

    Appeal: 1.5/3 - Timmy is confused. Johnny loves people misplaying into this. Spike understands it but angle shooting is a valid strat, so he'll try it once or twice.
    Elegance: 1/3 - There's a very good reason we haven't had an auction card printed in almost 15 years. This is an unfortunate case of where the effect is fairly simple in practice but the magic legalese needed to make it work is deafening.

    Viability: 2.5/3 - This is for sure a black card, almost splitting the cost of Choice of Damnations - I do feel it would have to be mythic rare just for complexity reasons, you don't want this showing up every draft - rare is right for power. For that reason I won't penalize you extra for what should violate a sub-challenge.
    Balance: 0/3 - This card can't function as intended. In the case of the other auction cards you are forced to pay life, so you can bid more than you have if you like, you just lose the game before you can do anything with the auction you won. With permanents, there's no restriction on how high you can go because the game will only make you do as much as you can - you can't sacrifice more permanents than you control, but you can bid to do exactly that, and if two players know that the bidding will just...never stop.

    Flavor: 2/3 - You don't have room for flavor text, but you desperately need to find some way to explain what's going on here.
    Uniqueness: 3/3 - Yeah, that's a pretty easy call.

    Quality: 3/3 = No errors here!
    Main Challenge: 2/2 - Main Challenge met.
    Sub-Challenges: 2/2 - Both Sub-challenges met.

    Total: 17/25
    Appeal: 2/3 - Timmy doesn't like weird stuff like this. Johnny likes a fog that can also negate opposing combat tricks, which is the real reason Spike is looking at it.
    Elegance: 2/3 - Much like Icarii's card, the legalese needed to make this work ends up making a normally simple effect really pretty tough to grok. It's doable, but you need a lot of help.

    Viability: 3/3 - White has enough "during combat" effects to make this viable, Rare is probably right, maybe mythic for complexity reasons but the case isn't as strong so I'll let it slide.
    Balance: 2/3 - Every application of this card is going to be so niche that you'll have to re-read how it interacts with things to figure then all out. It's not game-breaking but it'll either be very good or very dead, with little in between.

    Uniqueness: 2.5/3 - It's a fog, and there's plenty of those, but it's a weird enough fog mechanically that I can only just barely classify it as such so it's only a minor penalty.
    Flavor: 3/3 - Bigger Stick Diplomacy is never not going to work in situations like this. Once you see how it works you'll really start to get a deeper insight into the roots of things.

    Quality: 2/3 - Should be "cast End it Now only during combat" - see Curtain of Light and Angelic Favor. Should also specify that it becomes the POSTCOMBAT Main Phase, which is a term Wizards has used, most recently on Neheb, the Eternal.
    Main Challenge: 2/2 - Main Challenge is met.
    Sub-Challenge: 2/2 - Both Subchallenges met.

    Total: 20.5/25

    IcariiFA - 17/25
    slimytrout - 19/25
    JimmyGroove - 20.5/25
    Posted in: Custom Card Contests and Games
  • posted a message on [Monthly Card Contest] ***MCC*** Discussion Thread
    My judgings have been posted and finalized.

    From group A, I have issued a disqualification to Netn10. While his card in the most technical sense works in that it gets that physical copy of Emrakul off the board, the only way to not instantly lose the game is to give them another copy of Emrakul. This leaves you in the same state as you were when you started - staring down Emmy and needing a spell to be rid of it. I do not consider this as satisfying the main challenge. If the DQ is overturned, his score of 19 will stand. DQ has been overturned at moderator's request, Score stands as posted.

    From group B, I have issued a disqualification to Hemlock. His card reduces Emrakul to a 1/1 with no abilities and makes the next creature he plays with at least 1 power finish the job with a mandatory fight trigger, but the clarifications make clear the removal has to be self-contained within the single card submitted. Hemlock's card alone does not take Emrakul off the board, so the main challenge is not satisfied. If the DQ is overturned, his score of 20 will stand.
    Posted in: Custom Card Contests and Games
  • posted a message on July MCC Round 2 - The promised end
    Apologies for being so late on this, but I'll be done before midnight on the west coast at least dot dot dot

    Judgings are FINAL. Whine about them, or not.

    Appeal: 2/3 - Timmy likes dragons costing 7 mana, but not donothing rocks. Johnny and Spike see 7 colorless mana as a magic number and get in on this for about the same reason.
    Elegance: 3/3 - It's very orderly, very simple to understand.

    Viability: 2.5/3 - This is pretty hard to judge, partly because of the push to move away from colorless artifacts, and -x/-x is a black effect more than anything. That said, This probably fits within the narrowness of effects wizards is willing to give colorless, especially since it only affects colorless cards. I would prefer this be black and will mark down for that, but forego the usual extra half-point deduction related to the subchallenge because it's really just borderline. Mythic feels right.
    Balance: 2/3 - This is an interesting card for what it hoses. In a vacuum it's an incredibly inefficient removal engine, but it's a potential mirrorbreaker in tron and obliterates the affinity matchup besides. In commander it might get use as well, but other than that I can't see many people wanting it over things like Lux Cannon.

    Uniqueness: 3/3 - There's a few one-shot -x/-x effects and a few static power and toughness reducing effects, but nothing on this scope that I'd feel willing to draw enough parallels to justify docking you for it.
    Flavor: 2.5/3 - the text is a bit smushed with the length of flavor text you have, so there's a deduction there. I do like the flavor you have though - it doesn't explain everything, just enough to make me want to know a bit more.

    Quality: 3/3 - No errors here!
    Main Challenge: 2/2 - In a vacuum of just this and just emmy, end result is one dead emmy. Main Challenge is met.
    Sub-Challenges: 2/2 - Both sub-challenges met.

    Total Score: 22/25
    Appeal: 1.5/3 - Timmy HATES everything about this card. Johnny LOVES everything about this card. Spike...he sees the utility but he's not thrilled about it. He'll still play it though when push comes to shove.
    Elegance: 2.5/3 - There's going to be the standard confusion over what CMCs *actually* are of various stuff that's going to make this a pain at FNMs the world over. Even though the effect itself is elegant, in practice the application is very messy.

    Viability: 2.5/3 - Again, there's precedent for this effect to be black (see Disembowel) but there's enough justification to also be colorless in historical precedent that I can't justify the extra half-point I normally would take. Rare is...probably right, I could see mythic as well.
    Balance: 2/3 - It's four mana to destroy all tokens on the spot, wiping a field of 1 and 2-mana beaters is also hyper efficient. This is a card that will stifle aggro decks pretty badly, but a good aggro deck should have a control deck close to dead by then, and it in theory creates a shields down moment. In practice...it's going to be a card you hate to see.

    Uniqueness: 1.5/3 - It's like Toxic Deluge and Ratchet Bomb had a one-night stand, and this is what came of it. The influence is obvious.
    Flavor: 2/3 - Artifact Enchantment and the diefic reference makes it obvious this is supposed to be from Theros. Having a name more suited for Tarkir (Mongolian, the internet tells me) bugs me for several reasons. Also the flavor text cuts off at the bottom of the card, it's a bit too long.

    Quality: 3/3 - Everything's in place here. Nice work.
    Main Challenge: 2/2 - Short of indestructible there's no way this doesn't kill Emmy. Main Challenge is met.
    Sub-Challeges: 2/2 - Subchallenges are met.

    Total Score: 19/25
    Appeal: 1/3 - Timmy shudders at having to give up one of his creatures. Johnny wants to abuse this with Abyssal Persecutor. Spike sees the advantage of a one-mana blue kill spell, then realizes doing so 2-for-0s himself and promptly loses interest.
    Elegance: 2.5/3 - Switching is fine, stealing is not. There's a tiny bit of confusion on who "it" in "its owner" refers to as well as the CMC of things like a 6/6 Hydroid Krasis, but play it once or twice it'll clear up.

    Viability: 3/3 - Everything here is in blue's wheelhouse. Donating stuff, switching control of stuff, exiling creatures with a downside. It's perfectly placed, and rare makes great sense.
    Balance: 2.5/3 - This is going to be a total blank unless you're playing creatures. A mono-blue tempo deck might have a wide enough range to pick something off and live, but such a steep drawback even at one mana means you're going to look at everything else you possibly can before picking it up.

    Uniqueness: 2.5/3 - A one-night stand between Reality shift and Donate, but this has a lot of interactions that neither of the other two cards can really compare with.
    Flavor: 2.5/3 You need to use some imagination with this, for a one-word card name I'd like something more explicit. I also would like some flavor text, but there's not that much room to work with so you get a pass there.

    Quality: 3/3 - No errors here.
    Main Challenge: 0.5/2 - This is where I have to burst your bubble. Because the penalty for failing the scam is "you lose the game", you have to have a 13-mana creature to swap out. Your only option is...another Emrakul, the Promised End. Had the penalty been "skip your next turn" you would have been fine (and in color!), but the only end state after casting this card that keeps the game going is your opponent still has Emrakul still on board. (it's a different card but it's the same creature) Only in the most technical sense of the letter does this fulfill the challenge, and my initial suggestion was a 0 here. After review, I'm going to give you some credit because technically correct is the best kind of correct.
    Sub-Challenges: 2/2 Both sub-challenges met.

    Total Score: 19.5/25

    Appeal: 2.5/3 - Timmy loves making his dudes huge, Johnny can't windmill slam this fast enough. Spike sees 4 colored mana symbols and dreams of back when you could just play swords to plowshares and be done with it.
    Elegance: 2.5/3 - It's easy enough to understand once it's been played, but LKI is surprisingly hard to work out sometimes. There will be enough cases of judge calls to double check math that it'll get annoying.

    Viability: 2.5/3 - This is peak blue/green, but normally blue exiling spells give your opponent something, not you. (See Pongify, Reality Shift and Rapid Hybridization). I also am pretty sure removal plus pump (especially if you're removing a big creature) should be rare.
    Balance: 1.5/3 - This card is going to be picked over a LOT of rares in draft, just because it's clean removal that not only invalidates your opponent's bomb but gives you a giant beater to counter with. It warps limited something fierce, constructed can handle it but it's never not going to be a card you hate seeing every time you see it.

    Uniqueness: 2.5/3 - Fits into the mold of blue "Exile a creature but..." spells, but also benefits you more than just being a removal spell. Very cool.
    Flavor: 3/3 - Takes up all the space you have without taking any extra. You don't give an attribution, but it makes sense as a phyrexian and the colors fit as well. Nice job.

    Quality: 3/3 - Ravenous Slime says the syntax of the second half of the ability is perfect.
    Main Challenge: 2/2 - There are ways to stop it but in a vacuum that's a dead Emmy. Main challenge is met.
    Sub-Challenges: 2/2 - Both Subchallenges met.

    Total Score: 21.5/25
    Appeal: 2/3 - Timmy will figure it out and likes his stuff killing puny wimpy creatures on your opponent's side. Johnny is all in on this, Spike sees upside but also sees card disadvantage.
    Elegance: 2.5/3 - Any aura that's supposed to be put on the other side of the table is going to get people not understanding it, but in time it'll make sense.

    Viability: 3/3 - It's got blue and green effects pretty cleanly. Most auras that do similar are commons (see Kasmina's Transmutation and Deep Freeze, but the extra removal clause I think warrants the rarity bump.
    Balance: 2.5/3 - It's another card that's going to be picked over a lot of rares, because it beats most bombs. Cards like this are why enchantment removal is played in Arena limited maindecks, and at uncommon you're going to see it enough to be sick of it. Outside of limited I doubt it'll be too impactful. That the fight is mandatory also makes it less great in some instances.

    Uniqueness: 2/3 - Clear hearkening back to those other auras that make a creature no longer a problem, but provides a way to answer the problem as well, ideally before they can Disenchant it is unique.
    Flavor: 3/3 - There is a certain sublime essence to "Well if this doesn't work, it's still got meat" in Simic research mentality. I like this, and it doesn't squish the text box.

    Quality: 3/3 - No issues here.
    Main Challenge: 0/2 - Because I have to be Prince Puppy-kicker and ruin everyone's hopes and dreams. The clarifications say that a non-creature permanent must always be able to take out Emrakul by casting it, the permanent entering the battlefield, or using an activated ability of the permanent. This sets you up to take out Emmy, but it does not on its own do the job. Therefore this card does NOT meet the challenge criteria, and is summarily disqualified.
    Sub-Challenge: 2/2 - Both subchallenges met.

    Total Score: DQ - Fails Main Challenge
    Appeal: 2/3 - Timmy is okay with it but would like it a bit bigger. Johnny wants to machine gun people to death with pebbles, Spike will take a Goblin Cavaliers with potential upside after rebate, but he's not jumping up and down over it.
    Elegance: 3/3 - The directions on this card couldn't be more simple. Do this, then do this. When this, that happens. It's very clean.

    Viability: 2/3 - When it says "colorless" the immediate thought should be "artifact". Knowing Wizards' new design philsophy change that was brought up in round one, this is a clear twist on pie to get a challenge cleared, so the additional penalties are applied. That said, rare is right, and while Disciple of the Vault is a thing, Red is justifiable.
    Balance: 2.5/3 - Disciple was banned for being OP because at 1 mana you could just go off incredibly fast. At 4 mana, it's much safer even if you can figure out an infinite loop, Modern says turn 4 infinites are okay. Not sure how well it'd play in standard or limited, Commander will love this but again, not SUPER overpowered.

    Uniqueness: 3/3 - There's lingering elements of a few cards here, but overall it feels fresh, at least fresh enough that I can't justify a deduction.
    Flavor: 2.5/3 - I get more of a goblin vibe from the action, but dwarf also makes sense. Being able to use "Numismancer" and making treasure tokens is a great touch as well. I only have to deduct a little because you really don't have any flavor text room, the box is cramped as it is.

    Quality: 3/3 - Someone clearly looked at scryfall or Rapacious Dragon when designing this, because that's the only printed card with the now correct Oracle text. I'm honestly impressed.
    Main Challenge: 1.5/2 - Meets the main challenge, but it's pretty clear this card's design is stretched to kill Emmy. Here's the deduction for that.
    Sub-Challenges: 2/2 - Both Subchallenges met.

    Total Score: 21.5/25

    Group A:
    IcariiFA - 22/25 - ADVANCING
    netn10 - 19.5/25
    Mr. Rithaniel - 19/25

    Eventide Soujourner - 21.5/25
    Slimytrout - 21.5/25
    Hemlock - DQ (would score 20/25)
    Posted in: Custom Card Contests and Games
  • posted a message on SDCC Promo - Nightpack Ambusher
    I remember seeing Convention Promos at Gencon last year, we got Death Baron and Deeproot Champion, they were free with every entry into one of the formal events (along with cupcakes since we were celebrating Magic's 25th anniversary). This is almost certainly more of the same. Just play an event at the convention and you should get one.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on New to MTG:Arena, how does matchmaking work?
    In ranked mode, the game will pair you with someone who is in similar tiers on the ladder, usually within 1 or 2 ranks of you. In free play mode, it uses an as-of yet unspecified "deck strength" metric - we assume it has something to do with how many rares, mythic rares, and wildcards used in your deck, but we don't know for sure.
    Posted in: MTG Arena
  • posted a message on [Monthly Card Contest] ***MCC*** Discussion Thread
    This is actually kind of cool, it never occurred to me that they were focusing on the shard/wedge's central color being the middle and going around the wheel to fill in the rest of the order. Glad I learned something new today.
    Posted in: Custom Card Contests and Games
  • posted a message on [Monthly Card Contest] ***MCC*** Discussion Thread
    One of my contestants produced a card with the mana cost BBGGUU. I had been about to mark off for the mana symbols being in the wrong order, but referring back to sultai colored cards that have been printed says that black-green-blue is the correct order for that mana color combination.

    I have not deducted any points for the symbols out of order, but now I'm curious as to why it's right - I'd always been under the impression that mana symbols are always printed in WUBRG order, with the exception of white-green cards being inverted (where green is first) and so it should be UUBBGG.

    Can anyone explain why it's different, or if there's some other oddity involved?
    Posted in: Custom Card Contests and Games
  • posted a message on July MCC Round 1 - Kaleidoscopic end
    Judgeholder, will have these finished by tonight. If anyone wants to know where my numbers come from, here you go.

    Appeal: 2/3 - Timmy likes mana ramp and loves creatures, even if this is on the smaller side he's in. Johnny sees potential to do things, but these colors aren't condusive to what he's got in mind. Spike looks at this and just rolls his eyes, uninterested in a Gray Ogre but he'll take it in limited. Probably.
    Elegance: 3/3 - One look at this and it's immediately obvious what you're going for. Making up a new keyword is a little odd, but we'll touch on that later.

    Viability: 3/3 - Yep, that's a wedge mana rock. Signets and Keyrunes say the costing is right and uncommon is correct, and since they cost colored mana to cast I'm okay with needing colorless to activate. You might have been able to get away with making the animation cost 2, but I'm fine with this as is.
    Balance: 2.5/3 - It's hardly the most exciting thing in limited, but a creature that's immune to sorcery-speed kill has value, and mana rocks with upside generally make the cut. I can't see anyone really wanting this in any constructed format though, outside of MAYBE a super-tribal commander deck.

    Uniqueness: 1/3 - It's a keyrune/signet hybrid for wedges and shards, there's not much unique. Also the "mettle" ability is a word-for-word copy of Bushido, but since they can't flavorfully print bushido outside of another Kamigawa block I'll give you a pass on this.
    Flavor: 3/3 - Vestige is a PERFECT word for this, given how Tarkir ended up. You don't have any room for flavor text, but you don't need it in all honesty.

    Quality: 2/3 - The ordering of payment of activated abilities is mana, tap/untap symbol, other costs - so it should be "1, T:" instead of "T, 1:". Additionally, cards like Guild Globe say that even with the change the syntax should be "add two MANA in any combination..."
    Main Challenge: 3/3 - Main Challenge is met.
    Sub-Challenges: 1/2 - "until end of turn." - two instances, in fact. The challenge was to NOT include that word on the card.

    Total Score: 20.5/25
    Appeal: 2/3 - Timmy just looks at this blankly while Johnny and Spike offer to trade him all the dragons he can dream of for it.
    Elegance: 2/3 - This is going to make people double-take, for sure. There's also a distinct inelegance as to what happens if you have multiples. I would have liked to see this be legendary to avoid that circumstance.

    Viability: 2/3 - Red and blue is for sure right for caring about spells, but red tends to care more about sorceries than blue so I'd have preferred seeing URR as the cost. (see Anarchist or Burning Wish) Also I don't think this can be justified as a rare, you have to make it a mythic for power, as I'll get into next.
    Balance: 1/3 - Hooo boy. Most format's it's only just an okay gimmick card. This wouldn't be crazy if not for the fact that storm is a thing, and this just makes them EXPLODE. Doubling all their draw spells (and their storm spells!) and having them add to the storm count, all for only 3 mana up front? Yeah this is getting things banned in a heartbeat. I'm a storm player in modern and legacy, and even I think it's too much. Deducting 2 whole points for the egregiousness.

    Uniqueness: 2.5/3 - Nothing does exactly this, but it's in the same lane as several well-known cards like Isochron Scepter and Spellweaver Helix and Past in Flames. The parallels are too overt to not mark down for it.
    Flavor: 2.5/3 - I'd want this legendary but not for flavor reasons, so I won't deduct for that. However, this screams "mad Izzet experiment about to go horribly wrong" and I would have hoped for something bringing me towards that.

    Quality: 2.5/3 - If you're copying all the imprinted spells, you'll be casting the COPIES, not the cards. I would very much have liked the imprint reminder text on this card, there's enough room even with the flavor text, but Scars of Mirrodin chose to omit reminder text for it, so no penalty for doing the same.
    Main Challenge: 3/3 - Main Challenge is met.
    Sub-Challenges: 2/2 - Both subchallenges met.

    Total: 19.5/25
    Appeal: 2/3 - Timmy thinks the only thing cooler than dragons are METAL dragons. Johnny is in combo heaven, Spike sees six colored mana and dry heaves.
    Elegance: 2.5/3 - You don't need any rereads to understand what it's doing and it's well within its right to do so. But the long name plus the long mana cost squishes the text in the card name box. I have to mark down for that somewhere, this seems the most convenient place to do so.

    Viability: 2.5/3 - Making this sultai colors is a small stretch, but the obvious nature of the Mirran-Phyrexian War and having Muldrotha as recent precedent say this is fine. I would like seeing this as mythic though, with Mikaeus, the Unhallowed as the closest point of comparison.
    Balance: 2.5/3 - Yeah, this is one of those "if I untap with this you're dead" cards. It goes infinite with any persist creature, but we have better wheels for those engines already and the combo is...manageable, generally. This offers a new way to do the same combo but doesn't make it any worse to go up against. The casting cost seems restrictive, but it probably isn't that bad. Major pain in the butt in limited, constructed I think can handle it.

    Uniqueness: 2/3 - This draws very overt comparisons to Mikaeus, the Unhallowed, with a condition that much harder to shake off and infinite with. That you get to steal your opponent's creatures is interesting, but it's still rather clear where this comes from.
    Flavor: 3/3 - If there were a way to give bonus points for successfully using "Transmogrification" I would do so. But the Priest of Calvin's Cardboard Box is every bit the imposing figure you make him out to be, and it really encapsulates what's going on. Superb job.

    Quality: 2.5/3 - "Artifact" in the typeline, and "Transmogrification" in the name. It's clearly a fat finger in the first case and a very hard to catch vowel sound on the second with a word I'm sure almost no one has seen, so a half-point deduction for those combined seems right. I was sure the mana symbols were out of order but apparently not. I'm not entirely sure why, but BBGGUU is correct.
    Main Challenge: 3/3 - Main Challenge was met.
    Sub-Challenges: 2/2 - Both sub-challenges met.

    Total: 22/25
    Appeal: 2/3 - Timmy is okay with recursion but he's not really interested in this, Johnny sees this and cries about how KCI is banned in modern. Spike sheds a tear for the same reason, then realizes it works with black lotus and LED and feels better.
    Elegance: 3/3 - It's simple what it does, and it does it well. Nothing to say here.

    Viability: 2.5/3 - I'm...really not sure why red is here, between blue and white you've got "recur artifacts when they die" pretty covered, so this is an odd pie break. No extra deduction because it would still meet the sub-challenge with red taken off. Constant recursion I think is right at rare, for having to pay every time.
    Balance: 3/3 - This is a card that'll find a home somewhere, and it'll be a good card but not a game-breaking card. Power-level wise it seems fine, you can break it but you really need to go out of your way to do so.

    Uniqueness: 2.5/3 - There's no shortage of cards that recur artifacts, but rather few of them can do so over and over again - only Hanna, Ship's Navigator and Argivian Archaeologist seem to fill that role.
    Flavor: 2.5/3 - Named creature is legendary, check. But the flavor text...it's there but it doesn't TELL me anything, and that bugs me. I wouldn't normally penalize for the flavor text being bad, but this is a degree where I don't even think WotC would do it.

    Quality: 3/3 - Formatting here is fine!
    Main Challenge: 3/3 - Main Challenge is met.
    Sub-Challenges: 1.5/2 - You're clearly playing with fire on that second sub-challenge. You got burned.

    Total: 22/25
    Appeal: 2/3 - Timmy likes the statline but hates having to sac creatures to do it, Johnny loves the statline and LOVES saccing creatures to do it, Spike likes the typeline and is okay with saccing creatures to have a 4-turn clock.
    Elegance: 3/3 - Yep, for a card with a name like that it does exactly what you say it'll do. All clean here.

    Viability: 3/3 - Compared with other rare vehicles, this certainly slots in as a good contender. It's a little pushed, but not so much that I think it has to be mythic. Forcing you to sac the creatures that crew it is also a wonderful way of saying "yep this is a black card".
    Balance: 2/3 - I am concerned that this can just get out of hand with anything that can make tokens, or other expendable creatures. The fact that you can push through 20 damage with just one Lingering Souls is a sign that it might be a bit too high-power in 60-card formats. That exiling removal is becoming more prominent helps, but...still have some worries for both standard and modern applications.

    Uniqueness: 3/3 - It's a vehicle, the type still has enough of that new-car smell for me to not ding you for that. but we don't have a black vehicle yet and this perfectly encapsulates what a black one would look like. I'll take it.
    Flavor: 3/3 - I could make a contrived Iron Man 2 reference, or I could just give you the points. I'm just going to give you the points.

    Quality: 2/3 "Indestructible" and "Haste" should be capitalized. Crew is still new enough to need reminder text at rare, see Mizzium Tank et al. (there's still enough room for the flavor text even with it) There's no card with all three keywords, but between Kefnet the Mindful and Hazoret the Fervent I'm fairly certain you have them in the right order.
    Main Challenge: 3/3 - Main Challenge is met.
    Sub-Challenges: 0/2 - Not multi-colored. Crew's rules text (which needs to be included for this rarity) has "until end of turn" in it, so I can't give you that one either.

    Total: 20/25

    All of these scores were super close, and the cut between 3rd and 4th was so close that I almost had to flip a coin.

    JimmyGroove: 22/25
    Superbajt: 22/25
    Cardz5000: 20.5/25
    The_Hittite: 20/25
    Freyleyes: 19.5/25
    Posted in: Custom Card Contests and Games
  • posted a message on July MCC - Judge signup thread
    Quote from bravelion83 »
    Thank you. I've also been toying with the idea to write such a note regarding myself for years, but I've never actually done it so far, and it seems pointless to me to do it right before the contests (and myself with them) migrating to Nexus. Anyway, one of the intents behind the current rubric (which I happen to be one of the creators of, by the way) was that no such things would have been needed because we thought that this rubric would have improved uniformity among judgments, which hasn't actually happened in the measure we were hoping for.
    I say "one of the intents" because there were also other ones, like getting a full zero in the Main Challenge category being the only way a submission could ever get DQ'ed, but I don't want to bring up that recent discussion now (which I followed from behind the scenes willingly restraining myself from commenting, so I do know what you're talking about).
    For clarity, I'll say it now as the host for this month: a card will only be DQ'ed this month if it gets a zero in the Main Challenge category, and that should only happen if it completely fails the Main Challenge (for example if the Main Challenge asks for a monowhite card and the player designs a monored one, I know this is a bad example but it's the first that came to my mind), and the rubric will be applied with all the original intents behind it, which, again, I know as one of its creators.
    All of this is meant only as information, I'm not scolding you or anything like that. I'm always at discomfort in such things, because it's impossible to convey tone in writing. Please just read this as if I was talking in a friendly tone. I'm actually looking forward to work with you this month, and I'm sure you will do an excellent job. Putting you in as a judge right now.

    I understand that it's difficult if not impossible to convey tone just by words, and thank you for your candor. I'll follow the guidelines as set forth.

    Also as promised, here is my personal view of the rubric, please say something if you have questions or concerns.

    Appeal: 1 point for each psychographic if they would like the card. Half-point deduction if they would go "I like this but..." or would warm up to the card eventually. Full point deduction if they hate it. (e.g. Timmy having to pay life, Johnny being completely locked out of combos, Spike seeing severe overcost/undervalue)

    Elegance: Full points if I can explain what it does to someone who knows nothing about magic. If I have to reread it to understand how it works, half point deduction for each time I have to work through and re-read it until it makes sense. (re-reads to check on viability and rules text are excluded from this count)

    Viability: I lean heavily on Scryfall to see how already printed cards use the closest approximation to the abilities. Half-point deduction for wrong rarity and/or color for effects, will cite cards to show why it's wrong. If the card has effects that are paradoxical or create clearly unintended consequences, deductions up to 2 points may be applied based on severity. An additional half-point deduction will be applied here if the error was specifically tied to a subchallenge. (e.g. making a card that should be mono-red a red/white card because "is multicolored" is a subchallenge)

    Balance: Balance is judged based on Limited, Standard, Modern, and Commander aspects - Is this a card I'd want for a deck? Does it do something better than what's already in the deck for that purpose? Is it a card I groan every time my opponent plays it? Can I imagine people saying it should be banned? Full marks unless there's a convincing "NO" for the first two questions or a convincing "YES" for the last two - and an explanation why. Generally a half-point deduction for a moderate error, up to 2 point deduction for a gross error (Talking cat combo levels of screwup here)

    Uniqueness: How immediately do comparisons come to mind? Up to half-point deduction if the card falls into a known or easily established pattern of previous cards, 1 to 2 point deduction for variant reprint (It's the same as [card] but for [different card type]) or effectively functional reprint, 3 point deduction for a word-for-word reprint. Generally waived if part of the main challenge.

    Flavor: Half-point to 1 point deduction for name/typeline mismatch, (Named person/place/thing but not Legendary, card type contradicts naming schema) half point to 2 point deduction for ignorance or breaking of currently established canon, depending on how severe or obvious the flavor fail is. Half-point deduction for flavor text with no space, or no flavor text when the card doesn't explain itself well on its own. Content of the flavor text will only be penalized if it's grossly inappropriate for the card.

    Quality: In general, half-point deduction per error (multiple instances of the same error count as a single error.) Reminder text should be appended for all non-evergreen keywords.

    Main Challenge/Sub-challenges: Points if you did them, no points if you didn't. A half-point deduction will be applied if by fulfilling a challenge you made the card less viable.
    Posted in: Custom Card Contests and Games
  • posted a message on July MCC - Judge signup thread
    I'm willing to judge again. When I get off work I'll write up how I use the rubric to grade cards and what deductions I usually apply in what amounts, since that seemed to be a source of confusion last month.
    Posted in: Custom Card Contests and Games
  • posted a message on MTG Arena Events - What did you guys think?
    Quote from user_938036 »
    Part I: Ravnica at War - Momir - Once I realize I had to make a 3 drop or lose to whatever 4 mana planeswalker my opponent had it was an enjoyable experience. It always sucks in Momir when you are blown out by RNG but its a risk you take playing the format.

    Part II: No Escape - Pauper - It was pauper, I played mono red and it was over fast enough that I didn't get bored of playing.

    Part III: Storm the Citadel - Singleton - I had wanted to play a stupid Practitioners or Rat colony deck but again fell to mono-red just to get it over with.

    Part IV: Commence the Endgame - Counters - I have to say this was the most fun by far. I played a lot of decks trying to find one that really worked. I tried control with Dovin Baan locking down their dreadhorde, I tried superfriends to take advantage of the proliferate, and was WG counters deck for the same reason. I settled on my BG Citadel deck that took advantage of the effect but largely did its own thing.

    Part V: Gideons Sacrifice - Ravnica - I tried my gate deck that I built because of budget. It worked and didn't work. Without gates ablaze it was a very uphill battle that wasn't enjoyable. I ended with a simic ramp deck that felt awful but won fast thanks to Nissa.

    Out of all of Arena's unique formats, these don't rate as the worst. But Omniscience Draft was by far the best. I think I hated the Cascade format the most.

    I'll echo that Omniscience draft is hands-down my favorite variant format on Arena and I will gladly pay full price for it every time it comes up. You couldn't really make it work in paper - it only really works because the bots don't take the variant rules into account when drafting so everyone just has these broken decks throwing haymakers back and forth.
    Posted in: MTG Arena
  • posted a message on MTG Arena Events - What did you guys think?
    Here's my take, for what it's worth:

    Momir: Adding planeswalkers to your deck made for some interesting lines of play (as well as making Demonlord Belzenlok not an instant loss) but ultimately momir is by design 90% luck and 10% skill. As long as you go into it with that in mind you should do okay.

    Pauper: THIS on the other hand I think is a true skill tester because the format is shockingly wide open. (The petitioners ban was very welcome and likely contributed to that) You had UR Drakes with Burning Prophet, Spellgorger Weird and most of the normal Drakes toys; you had WB decks with Ill-Gotten Inheritance and Epicure of Blood with enough incedental lifegain to grind people out; you had mono green stompy with Thundering Ceratok to join Siege Wurm and Wrecking Beast; you had the Rat Colony deck but everyone was ready for it so you had to branch out beyond 20 swamp 40 rat; you had my favored deck in RW tokens that went super wide with Martyr of Dusk and Sworn Companions and getting kills with things like Burn Bright and Cosmotronic Wave. And I'm sure there were more. Love this format every time it comes around.

    Singleton: This, on the other hand, was a slog. In a format designed to reduce consistency, obviously the two best decks in the format are the ones that have nothing but consistency. I ended up on a sultai pile whose first goal was to tutor up Unmoored Ego however I could, and eventually try to win with Command the Dreadhorde. In practice I never found any tutors and it just sucked.

    Counters: After the first day I realized that you just need to play things with trample or evasion so their little tokens can't bog you down. Drakes or mono blue probably would have been great here if you had it made, ignore their blockers and go to the dome.

    Block Constructed: This format is...a thing. All I'm going to say is there's a reason it hasn't been seen at a pro-level event since Journey into Nyx and leave it there. Also if you got the damage triggers off a Cry of the Carnarium that's a bug and probably should be reported to wizards - if the fiends and devils get exiled by cry they never died, so their effects shouldn't trigger.
    Posted in: MTG Arena
  • posted a message on CCL The Last? (June '19) - Top 5
    We haven't been told explicitly to do critiques but everyone's posted and the deadline has passed so Imma do critiques.
    Morph variant isn't within listed color identity. (Mono-Green)
    Walker: This is going to be immediately taking over the game if you untap with him, but 2 toughness makes it just viable enough for stuff to get around indestructible to pick him off. on the flip it's pure gas, +6 power and trample is completely absurd, and his plus will always find you a dude if there's anything to find. Flavor is on point here as well.

    Morph: I really like the idea, given how I took a similar line. That said, because of how turning instants and sorceries face up currently works with the rules the card as it stands today doesn't work:
    Quote from Gatherer Rulings »
    There are no cards in the Fate Reforged set that would turn a face-down instant or sorcery card on the battlefield face up, but some older cards can try to do this. If something tries to turn a face-down instant or sorcery card on the battlefield face up, reveal that card to show all players it’s an instant or sorcery card. The permanent remains on the battlefield face down. Abilities that trigger when a permanent turns face up won’t trigger, because even though you revealed the card, it never turned face up.

    However if we assume that your mechanic was printed we also should assume the CR would have a corresponding update to allow it to work. As far as the card itself it's nice, but maybe a bit too nice - for your opponents anyway.

    Both cards are within listed color identity (colorless)
    Walker: This takes a bit of setup to really go live, but once it does you can really get some dumb things going. I do wonder if it's too prohibitive to get going though, seeing as you can't use artifact tokens to get the job done. Sure you'll get the artifacts back eventually...but is that too late to matter? He isn't flipping until turn 9 at the earliest, and 4 more turns to ult.

    Morph: In interesting twist on bestow, where you can pump your team and not get 10-for-1'd by an untimely edict. It also makes it less favorable to kill the creature with the morphs on it, since they'll all flip. I think this is sneaky powerful and will be slept on until someone breaks it.

    Both cards within listed color identity (Mono-White)
    Walker: Naming is a bit too on point for my personal taste. Also most introductions to walkers use their full given name in their initial card, and I'm a bit sad to not see his family name (MTG Wiki says it's "Verada") on the flip side. As far as the card itself...you're going to have a really rough time flipping him safely, and even when you do he's...just okay, not really amazing. Would not exactly be thrilled to see this as a mythic in my pack.

    Morph: "Geomorph" to me implies this mechanic cares about lands, not creatures. Even with a full field this is costing 5 to morph and flip, very often it'll be cheaper to just rawdog it unless you're really mana-pinched. The effect is cool and makes flavorful sense, but the card's just clunky all around.

    Both cards within listed color identity (Simic). Submitted after the listed deadline, but there's been precedent for allowing entries a little late and you're doubtlessly busy juggling two sites' CCC loads. It'd be wrong of me to hold that against you.

    Walker: Unlike Teyo we don't have any hint of family name for Tamiyo, so as much as I want to see a walker card with her full name we won't get it. Power-wise she's solid on curve, but there's no way to help herself flip built into the card, and 8 cards might be a lot to get to without help. Flip-side, making Ophidians has a lot of upside, and the ult is just back-breaking without being too hard to hit from starting loyalty. This is powerful, but not TOO powerful.

    Morph: Going back to the suspend well, I see. That you can suspend it face-down turn 1 gives you a surprise factor that can really put some big things into play under the radar, and there's an obvious benefit to doing it this way. The card is fine, I really like the flavor and mechanics interaction, but it still feels...kinda clunky. Templating is also off for suspend's reminder text.

    1st - Subjet16
    2nd - void_nothing
    3rd - IcariiFA

    Eventide not only made a card outside the challenge criteria, but the morph card under today's rules doesn't work (and that's why I specifically worded my variant as a a replacement effect so the game never tries flipping the spell face-up and encountering that weirdness). Nice cards but an easy decision to put in the basement.
    Posted in: Custom Card Contests and Games
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