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  • posted a message on Club Flamingo ☆ Exclusively for Custom Card Connoisseurs and Great People
    Alright, let's see what we have to eat!

    Sephon19: A mana rock with an added ability when it is put into the graveyard from the battlefield? That's pretty neat. What does it do when it is put into the graveyard from the battlefield? . . . Everything? . . . Oh, everything-but-in-the-wrong-colors? Okay, I think I understand.

    Though, more seriously, I like the idea that, when the color pie dies, you get color bleed. A very cool concept. The only issue is that, usually, color bleed is considered a flaw in a card. Also, rolling dice is not the best mechanic in the world. Also, giving a player an ability is not something that happens. I like the colorless ability, though. If that were on a card by itself, I would be intrigued. On this mountain of text, though, not so much.

    Mergatroid Jones: I love the series of cards inspired by the idea of food artifacts. I'm only going to judge the Poisonberry Pie, but I am happy that the challenge conjured up some cool ideas. I think these would need to use the phrase "a Food artifact named [insert name here]" instead of just referring to them by name.

    So, I like the idea that enemies attacking you steal a slice of the pie and eat it along the way, and the flavor-rooted mechanic that there are only so many slices to go around. The mechanic is a little bit underpowered, though. Unless this were a set where getting a -1/-1 counter on your creatures in limited spells easy death, in which case this could be a limited bomb, dissuading attackers very effectively. In constructed play, I think the mechanic would be a bit too underpowered at any cmc.

    Stille Nacht: Zat flavair text kind of maks me theng you'ré makng a jok. Though, la card isn't altogethair seeh-lee. Ai suppose eet eez kind of strange zat you 'avé mak a bakd itém into a wéapon, but putténg zat flavair oddnez aside fair a momont, you 'ave a fair-lee simple, +1/+0 équipmont zat can also sairve as . . . Blue ramp? That's a bit of culair buhled. Zeré are mono-blue ramp spells. Look at Deranged Assistant air Vodalian Arcanist. Howévair, those ramp spélls are rare-lee unrestricted. Pairhaps ze restricshe-on haire eez zat you 'ave to sacrifice an artifact to gét eet to wairk? Steehl, eet eez a lit-téll bit thin.

    TheRavenManIsSquee: Now this one is just straight up an Un-card. Almost exactly like Ashnod's Coupon. This doesn't specify the method the snack is obtained, nor what qualifies as a snack. Also, what is the playing area? If you play this is a game shop, is the whole shop the playing area? Why can't they get you a snack from inside the playing area? Though, most importantly:

    Why does it get a bread counter that is then never used?

    Subject16: Oh, single use Drop of Honey? Or perhaps I should say that it's a single use Porphyry Nodes. Either way, I like this design. It pulls from an existing card which references food, and is balanced by the lack of control you get over what is destroyed. In fact, I think the design might even be underpowered as it is, now. Thinking about how little use Porphyry Nodes actually gets, when it costs one mana. This could have gotten away with no mana cost at all in the activated ability.

    TotallyHaywire: Ah, okay, instead of just going for an artifact card, you made a creature which generates artifact tokens. A clever way to approach the challenge. I like the (B/R) twist on a chef, too. A chef who takes any creature who dies and cooks them up into a pie. A pie which then can deal damage? I'm not sure about the flavor on that part? Is the target eating the pie and getting poisoned, maybe? That's the only thing that makes sense in my head. The other side, though, the ability that allows you to gain control of other creatures, I don't see how meat pies could cause that.

    Mechanically, you have a Blood Seeker with a downside (costs (B/R) for each pie) and a big upside (doesn't have to be loss of life, as meat pies can be saved up for spot removal) and another upside (if you want to, you can save up five pies and gain two Act of Treason/removal effects, which is smaller because five creatures dying might be a bit difficult to achieve). You don't give a rarity, but I think this would make a good rare or a heavily pushed uncommon.
    I think I'll have to give this one to TotallyHaywire. I was a fan of Mergatroid Jones's series of cards, but the official submission wasn't strong enough. Also, Subject16's card almost got me, but the similarity to existing cards kind of weighed it down a little bit. All in all, TotallyHaywire's design played around with some interesting ideas, even if all of the flavor in the card didn't gel with me too much.

    Next Challenge: Legendary Auras
    Posted in: Custom Card Contests and Games
  • posted a message on Club Flamingo ☆ Exclusively for Custom Card Connoisseurs and Great People
    Alright, starting to get a couple more submissions. I'll go ahead and say that I'll judge in about 12 hours, unless more people want to submit, in which case I will extend that time a little bit.

    Edit: Actually, should we be migrating Club Flamingo over to Nexus?
    Posted in: Custom Card Contests and Games
  • posted a message on Club Flamingo ☆ Exclusively for Custom Card Connoisseurs and Great People
    Well, it's been 3 days and there have only been two non-joke cards submitted. I get the feeling that people aren't too keen on this challenge. Do you guys think I should I just go ahead and judge or give people some more time?
    Posted in: Custom Card Contests and Games
  • posted a message on [Monthly Card Contest] ***MCC*** Discussion Thread
    Quote from bravelion83 »
    It's true that every day you learn something new. This is what I've learned today. Thank you, and again a lot of respect to the Mongolians in general, and to you personally if you are Mongolian or have Mongolian heritage.


    I would be very surprised if I found out that I had Mongolian heritage. If anything, I'm mostly Scots-Irish. I just randomly find myself researching trends and conventions from different cultures, from time to time.

    Also, I have respect for your Italian and English roots as well.

    Quote from bravelion83 »
    I would be very pleased if everybody kept a low tone. I'm sure you all understand, and I thank you for that.


    Of course. Perhaps I came out of the gate too aggressively. I do massively appreciate all the work provided by judges, and my comments are in good humor, with no intention of changing any stated scores. If anything, my reactions are as if a referee at some sports game made a call that I thought was ridiculous. It's not that I would ask for anything to change. They are the referee and it's their call. They have to follow their own instinct. I have instincts, too, though.
    Posted in: Custom Card Contests and Games
  • posted a message on [Monthly Card Contest] ***MCC*** Discussion Thread
    Quote from Algernone25 »
    Judgings are FINAL. Whine about them, or not.


    Buddy, you're already past the original deadline. These had better be final.

    None the less, I thank all judges for the time they have or will put in for critiques.

    Quote from bravelion83 »
    (3/3) Flavor - I had to google the name of the character to know if it was an already existing character, either in MTG or elsewhere. It turns out it doesn't, but that's how I discovered that the word "Möngke" means "eternal" in the Mongolian language. I guess that's intended as some kind of hidden Easter egg in the flavor text, and it works perfectly in that regard. No problems with the card name, and the card concept is also very good, with the association between gods and enchantments we've seen in Theros.
    Quote from Algernone25 »
    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.


    I'm surprised you guys actually googled it. Though, yes, Möngke is a name meaning "eternal," very rarely given, as I understand it. "Enebish" is a more common name, roughly translating to "not this one," and is meant to confuse and dissuade evil spirits from messing with the bearer of the name. Mongolian naming conventions give people three names. Their given name, their father's name, and then their family name. For centuries, family names were not tracked (there was a big thing in the 90s about recovering them, actually) and so everyone had two names. The character in the flavor text of this card is effectively "Enebish, son of Möngke."

    Quote from Algernone25 »
    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.


    Yeah, just like how an artifact having color makes it obvious that it's from Alara.

    No, this is meant to be a different plane altogether. Not Theros and not Tarkir. A plane of old gods, who have long since died or faded away into nothingness, but who still leave behind remnants of their power. The card I designed for round one was meant to be from the same plane. The same for the card I would have designed for round three.

    Quote from Algernone25 »
    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.


    Ratchet Bomb has an entirely different mechanic and different converted mana cost. Toxic Deluge kills in an entirely different way and is an entirely different card type. No card in existence has a design remotely close to the card I posted. Maybe there's enough similarity to ratchet bomb to warrant a half point, but half score? What are you smoking?
    Posted in: Custom Card Contests and Games
  • posted a message on CCL July, Top 6: All Must Be Compleat
    So, to start out I'll mention that, in my opinion, Phyrexian mana was a fairly large misstep on part of R&D. It's easy to make a card which costs Phyrexian mana overpowered by making it simply too easy to cast. A lot of the task, here, is to make a card which is balanced even if it was cast for the minimal amount of mana.
    Concept (2/2): The 3/3 for GW is something that we've seen before, though the twist of making it so that you can cast it for free is a new touch. The added fact that you don't just lose life, but your opponent gains 1/1 weenies, is also intelligent. Flavor wise, this harkens back pretty seriously to existing New Phyrexia cards. There's the mention of splicers in the name and the flavor text even mentions the same person as Mental Misstep does. Not the most original flavor, but a homeage doesn't necessarily need to be.

    Design (2/2): So, we have three options. The first is a 3/3 for GW, which is the safest and most well-known option. Nothing to report there. The second is a 3/3 for (G/W) which also costs 2 life and gives your opponent two 1/1s. The third option is a 3/3 which costs 4 life and gives your opponent four 1/1s. Now, the life loss is a small enough thing that I feel safe in discounting it as a cost altogether. The real cost here are the 1/1s your opponent gains. Considering those, I think the best of the three would probably be the free 3/3. In a vacuum, where this is the only card you cast and your opponent doesn't cast anything, four 1/1s is going to be more difficult to work around. However, these cards don't get played in situations like that, and it will be a rare situation that you're fine with giving your opponent two 1/1s but not with giving them four. So, I think that this is either going to be a 3/3 for GW if you can't deal with weenies, or a 3/3 for nothing if you can. As such, I think this card is going to end up being a bit overpowered, but I honestly do not believe it will be too overpowered. It will just be an extremely aggressively costed, colorless beat stick.

    Execution (1/2): I'm not sure this comes together in a clear way. Why does a Splicer's Summon give your opponent 1/1 Myrs? The flavor text is fairly bog standard Phyrexia and doesn't really inform the mechanics that much. Nothing in the mechanics involves flesh being usurped for metal. Just metal begetting more metal. All the pieces are there, the concept is fine, the flavor is fine, the balance is fine, and the rule text is fine. It just doesn't all come together towards the same target.

    Overall: 5/6
    Concept (1/2): There's nothing special in this concept. It's a run-of-the-mill discard spell. There is the added touch that this particular combination, of making the opponent discard a card at random while you draw a card, has never been printed on any particular card, so there is credit to give for that. Though, in terms of flavor, there's nothing to make this card stand out.

    Design (0/2): This would have been pushed even if it cost UB, but here we get to cast it for free. Compare to Baleful Strix, which allows a player to remove one threatening creature on the opposing field and also replaces itself. Either that, or it draws out a removal spell after replacing itself. It provides very good card advantage for only two mana. Cerebral Seizure does the same thing, but with different touches. It targets the hand and removes control over what is removed from any player, so it has benefits and drawbacks compared to Baleful Strix, so I think it's fair to say that they're about on-par with each other, mechanically. However, Cerebral Seizure can be cast turn one for no mana at all. It's a free cantrip that decimates your opponent's hand. If you're lucky and get two or three in your opening hand, you end up starting at 12 or 8 life, but your opponent might very easily end up with no lands in their hand, while you still have a full hand of seven cards and can still do things you normally would. Way too powerful.

    Execution (1/2): I like the dual meaning of "Seizure" in the name, and the fact that the flavor text feeds back into it. That's a nice touch. While being a fairly run-of-the-mill concept, it is executed well enough. The only part which stands out as far as the execution is concerned, however, is the inclusion of Phyrexian mana. What does this have to do with Phyrexia? Part of this is a result of the original concept of "Phyrexian mana," where the logo of Phyrexia is on the mana symbol, so it's not really your fault, in the long term. However, you also can't really get away from that bit.

    Overall: 2/6
    Concept (2/2): So, Phyrexia invades the prison realm where Nicol Bolas is trapped and turns him into a Phyrexian dude? That's definitely an interesting concept, and a cool way to take the story. Mechanically, this thing is all over the place. It exiles, it recurs, and then deals damage. There is no card in existence, as far as I know, which does things quite like this. There is no faulting the fact that this is an original and interesting concept.

    Design (0/2): So, that cost is very steep, but can also be ignored entirely. This card can be cast for 2 and 12 life, so it will be. 12 life is a lot to pay, but you start with 20, so you can cast this on turn two with no issue. Maybe there is a long term issue if your opponent can sneak 8 damage in edgewise, but consider what this card does, first. It gives you a free creature or planeswalker. Any free creature or planeswalker. If a deck is well designed to take advantage of this card, it will fill the graveyard or exile with potential targets on turn one for this card to take advantage of on turn two. This isn't that difficult to do. A Soul Spike or Nourishing Shoal can give you a Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger or a Garruk, Apex Predator. Alternatively, if you want it to fuel itself, Worldly Tutor with this gives you whatever creature you want. I'm not even really considering the damage at the moment, because it's just icing on the cake, but it is something to consider. Play this card correctly and you can get 15 damage on your opponent on turn two. There is the limiting factor in that you have to specifically strategize to try and make targets available for the spell, but the card can potentially give rise to an entire deck specifically designed to take advantage of it's mechanics in one way or another. That raises major red flags, in my opinion.

    Execution (1/2): I'm not a fan of the lack of targeting in the damage portion of the effect. Also, the four cards being exiled makes sense for the mechanics, but not so much for the flavor of the card. These are minor issues, though, and beyond them, the mechanics do come together to unify with the idea in the flavor of the card. The act of drawing a target out of exile, in particular, works well with the notion that this is an invasion of a realm meant to keep something dangerous trapped away from the rest of the multiverse.

    Overall: 3/6
    Concept (1/2): I'm not sure what the concept is, here. It's an artifact thing that unites? How does it do the uniting? Why does it do the uniting? In terms of flavor, I don't know what's going on, here. In terms of mechanics, though, I have a better sense of what's happening. This is very unique card, mechanically. Even the first ability, which reduces the cost of creatures based on the amount of life paid this turn, is something I've not seen before. So, while the flavor might not be the most crystal clear, the mechanics make the concept of the card at least interesting to consider.

    Design (1/2): So, at a cost of 7, you can get away with some nutty effects. This creature, with it's static ability and the activated ability which gives you the chance to pay up to 6 life on a dime, essentially makes it so that you only have to play the colored mana costs of creature spells. I think this is appropriate for a card that you have to pay 7 for. The only issue I have with this card is the activated ability. It's a bit all over the place. It's a great removal spell, allowing you to move -1/-1 counters onto creatures with hexproof, and as many times a turn as you have life to pay for the ability. I can see what each part is meant to do. You generate the -1/-1 counter, you move it onto the creature you want it to be on, and then you put another -1/-1 counter on that creature. However, why not just have the -1/-1 counter placement be the part that doesn't target? Does it also need to clean off your creatures? Why does this card want to consolidate planeswalker loyalty? The design of that particular ability needs to be a bit cleaner.

    Execution (0/2): So, since I don't really know what the intended concept of this card is, I can't really determine if the mechanics and the flavor work together to express this concept. Though, the mechanics seem scatterbrained, with one ability to give a discount and one ability to remove creatures, save creatures, and boost planeswalkers. The lack of a creature type also ends up confusing me a bit, as I further lack the ability to get a grasp of what is intended in this design. Altogether, whatever the intention was, here, it could have been executed a bit better.

    Overall: 2/6
    Concept (2/2): Birds of Paradise, but Phyrexian? Nice idea. Simply stated and simply executed, yet still this is not something I would have dreamed up, so you get full points on the base idea. Mechanically speaking, these aren't the most original abilities, as the first ability amounts to Birds of Paradise and the second amounts to Contagion Engine. Of course, these abilities have never appeared on the same card, and their costs are also fairly unique. This is an interesting concept, through and through.

    Design (0/2): So, a free mana rock is going to be an issue. Just from the first two abilities, alone, this card is going to be on Mox levels of power. Granted, you have to pay two life whenever you tap it for mana, but you start with 20 life (16 after you cast this), so you can handle paying 2 life a couple of times. The fact that this is a creature means that it can effectively be treated as a mox that enters the battlefield tapped. Is a Mox that costs 4 life when it enters the battlefield, which enters the battlefield tapped, and which costs 2 life when you tap it, going to be a fair card? It will be fairly powerful no matter, but as far as moxen have been in the past, that might even be fair enough to print. It would still be stupidly powerful, as moxen tend to be, even rivaling Chrome Mox in power, I believe, so probably a bit too powerful for what modern cards tend to be. However, with this in mind, you also gave it a second ability. The ability to pay 10 life and proliferate twice. This is arguably a fairly low power effect, but it pushes the card too much, in my opinion.

    Execution (1/2): I'm not sure what the proliferate ability is doing on Phyrexia's version of a Birds of Paradise. I mean, it's a Phyrexian thing to be doing, sure, but it's not a very Birds of Paradise thing to be doing. Other than that, things do come together quite well in the execution of the card. One nice touch is that the flavor text gives a twisted reflection of Birds of Paradise, whose flavor text also directly mention the bird's tail.

    Overall: 3/6
    1. bravelion83
    2. Subject16
    3. Jimmy Groove
    Posted in: Custom Card Contests and Games
  • posted a message on Club Flamingo ☆ Exclusively for Custom Card Connoisseurs and Great People
    Let's go in the opposite direction:

    Burgeoning Energy 1GG
    Enchantment R
    Land creatures you control have "T: Add X mana of any one color, where X is this creature's toughness."
    When the land can think for itself, it's true power can be brought to bear.

    IIW: Baked goods as artifacts
    Posted in: Custom Card Contests and Games
  • posted a message on [Monthly Card Contest] ***MCC*** Discussion Thread
    I like this challenge, even if it might be a little fuzzily defined.
    Posted in: Custom Card Contests and Games
  • posted a message on CCL July, Top 6: All Must Be Compleat
    Horrid Contortion (G/P)(U/P)(R/P)
    Instant U
    Spend at least one colored mana to cast Horrid Contortion.
    Target creature loses all abilities and becomes a colorless Eldrazi with base power and toughness 4/4. At the beginning of the next end step, that creature's controller sacrifices it.
    The Mirrans had thought they had seen the worst conceivable horrors during the war against Phyrexia. Then the Eldrazi came.
    Posted in: Custom Card Contests and Games
  • posted a message on July MCC Round 2 - The promised end
    Steel Wind 4
    Enchantment Artifact R
    T, Pay X life, Sacrifice Steel Wind: Destroy each nonland permanent with converted mana cost X.
    "A gust which cuts and rends as though it were made of hardened metal? Only a god could have dreamed up something like this."
    —Enebish Möngke, caravan guide.
    Posted in: Custom Card Contests and Games
  • posted a message on [Card Creation League] CCL Discussion Thread
    Ah shoot, I missed the critique deadline for round two. I should have been paying more attention to the dates.
    Posted in: Custom Card Contests and Games
  • posted a message on The Mighty Morphin' Magic Card
    Souleater's Rite + Bearer of Silence

    Dark Meal BB
    Sorcery
    Target player sacrifices a creature. If a green or white creature was sacrificed this way, you gain life equal to it's toughness.
    Posted in: Custom Card Contests and Games
  • posted a message on [Card Creation League] CCL Discussion Thread
    Quote from bravelion83 »
    Thanks to Mr. Rithaniel for the very detailed MCC-style critique. I just wanted to answer a few points.

    You are very welcome, and I'll be trying to provide the same level of detail and effort for each round.

    Quote from bravelion83 »
    Close. In my head I imagined it as a hydra but made of different natural elements instead of flesh.

    Same Difference. It's a cool concept either way.

    Quote from bravelion83 »
    The latter, definitely. It's true that I've had troubles with its title. I've been thinking about a better one until the deadline, but it didn't come to my mind. As is, I imagined it as the whole forest awakening, with its trees but also the rivers, rocks and mount peaks, but I didn't want to use the word "Forest" because it has a different specific meaning in MTG. I don't know how strong this idea is, but this is what it is.

    Yeah, with the name that it has, I got the sense that it was a whole bunch of animate trees. To evoke what you were going for, I would have said something along the lines of "Countryside Awakened" or "Nature Awakened" or perhaps even gone with the abstract route and style the name after the plane which Hakolp calls home (something like "Karoth Awakened").

    Quote from bravelion83 »
    It's kinda supposed to. It's meant to be a strange chimera made up of different elements instead of different animals. The image is kinda comical.

    I would have reversed it, honestly. Describe it's spine as a mountain range and it's teeth as redwoods (or "giant trees," as redwoods might be too specific). As is, I'm imagining a planet-sized head being supported by a toothpick of a neck.

    Quote from bravelion83 »
    Totally intentional. It probably shows that I've thought about rate a lot on this card.

    You did very well on that front.

    Quote from bravelion83 »
    That's there as a safety valve against potential infinite loops and things like that. I don't know if it's really needed, but I decided to put it in just to be safe. As the saying goes, better safe than sorry.

    Well, you might be able to engineer some manner of infinite combo from it, but I honestly cannot think of how you would put it together. That being said, if it's a real concern, you can say "activate this ability no more than three times each turn." and you're fine. As is, the best comparison to the card really is Falkenrath Marauders and, comparing the two, the vampire is better in almost every way. Judging from my experience when I tried to play a deck with Falkenrath Marauders, I can tell you that it is an underpowered card, which I think makes it fair to assert that Hakolp is also going to be very underpowered.

    Removing the mana cost doesn't entirely fix this problem, but it makes things better, at least.

    Quote from bravelion83 »
    Not as of Dominaria. This is part of the wording changes introduced in that set. What's true is that the verb should be "gains" and not "gets", that's just an unfortunate leftover from an earlier version of the card, where that activated ability also granted a P/T bonus (that requires the verb "gets") which I later removed to both shorten the text and simplify the card, forgetting to change the verb to "gains" as I did. That's my real mistake, the "it" not only isn't wrong according to current editing rules, but it's actually the required wording now.

    Really? Every card that I could find from this period disagrees with that assertion.

    Quote from bravelion83 »
    Mechanics. It's just a list of three abilities found in each of the three colors. No flavor reason.

    Fair, though in that case, you could have gone with a longer list. Perhaps "first strike, flying, haste, hexproof, menace, or trample," as a thought? With only three keywords, it seemed like you were going for something.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Though, don't worry about my judgments too much. It seems a trend that you're getting placed in people's top 3 list, so it could be that my assessment is incorrect. Even if it isn't, you're still likely to get a decent collection of points from this round.
    Posted in: Custom Card Contests and Games
  • posted a message on CCL July, Round 2 - Optional Payment Plan
    Burbling Slough
    Land R
    T: Add C.
    (2/B)(2/G), Sacrifice a creature: Put a +1/+1 counter on Burbling Slough. Until end of turn, it becomes a 0/0 black and green Ooze creature. It's still a land.
    Fed the ground
    —Snakekin military slang meaning
    "Lost and presumed dead"
    Posted in: Custom Card Contests and Games
  • posted a message on CCL July, Round 1 - Weight on the Scales
    Concept (1/2): So, I believe the idea behind this is that Hakolp is an elemental which takes the form of an immense hydra? That is what I get from the type line, colors, and flavor text, at least. The title "Woods Awakened" throws me off a little bit, however. Is Hakolp more of a giant wood elemental or a mixture of different elements? Could be a little bit more cohesive. (Also, the mental image of a head containing mountain ranges for teeth being supported by a tiny tree trunk made me laugh a little.)

    Design (1/2): I like the power to cost ratios you've establish. Four mana for a 2/2, five mana for a 4/4, six mana for a 6/6, etcetera. The only cost where you might argue that it's power and toughness are too low is when it would be a 2/2 for four mana. Aside from that, all potential cost-to-power-and-toughness ratios seem to be on-point. However, overall, I believe this design is underpowered. The culprit of that is the cost of 1 in the activated ability. Compare to Falkenrath Marauders, a disposable rare from Innistrad. For Hakolp to be a 2/2 with flying and haste the turn it hits the field, it would cost 4GUR overall. Granted, Hakolp can come into play even bigger, but that costs even more mana. If there wasn't a mana cost in the activated ability, it could be much more versitile. As is, Hakolp doesn't strike me as a very powerful creature. It's also not the weakest creature, of course, so there's some saving grace there.

    Execution (0/2): "It gets" should be "Hakolp gains." Also, this doesn't feel like a super-impressive mythic, to me. The flavor is there, in a nebulous form, but the mechanics don't really speak to the power of this incredibly awesome, giant, hydra-elemental creature. Like, why does it have to sacrifice it's strength to fly or to trample? Why are we using that particular list of keywords?

    Overall: 2/6
    Concept (2/2): An extension of the shoal cycle from Betrayers? That's a cool concept. I assume the flavor here is that the eldrazi have begun to invade Kamigawa and they're destroying the world of the kami first, leading to even more bizarre spirits than what is normal on Kamigawa. If that was your intention, it's executed quite well with only context clues (judging from the fact that I picked up on it). I'll give credit for it even though I can't confirm that was the real intention.

    Design (2/2): The closest card to this design is Disrupting Shoal, for sure. Comparing pros and cons: The two biggest pros I can think of are, first, that Hollowing Shoal can deal with nonland permanents after they've resolved, so it can be more useful as a top deck, and, second, that it exiles when Disrupting just counters. The cons are that Hollowing can't do anything in regards to instant and sorceries, and, also, it will likely be more difficult to cast for it's alternate cost that Disrupting, because colorless cards are fewer and farther between. So, in light of this, I think this design's balance is right on par with that of Disrupting, which I think makes it just right.

    Execution (1/2): The mechanics make sense and work well with the flavor that I have inferred from the design. The only thing that I can't say for sure is whether the flavor I have inferred is actually the intended flavor. That gap could be bridged by a slightly different name, perhaps, such as "Oblivating Shoal" or "Deadening Shoal." It could also be bridged by flavor text.

    Overall: 5/6
    Concept (1/2): Alright, this is pretty clear. It's a big demon who eats anything and everything that there is to eat, and who grows big and terrifying in the process. It's a concept that is conveyed well with the card. I feel like I've seen this before, however. Demon of Death's Gate and Feaster of Fools come to mind as examples.

    Design (1/2): So, there are a few gauges that can be turned on this card. Though, devour always makes things difficult to predict, seeing as even devour 1 can provide you with a giant creature, assuming you have the correct board state to fuel the ability. That being said, devour 3 is better than devour 2, and I think your costing of "two mana for +1 to the devour ability" is appropriate. The ability which makes opponents sacrifice creatures, meanwhile, is the main appeal of the card. Being able to thin out the opponents side of the board while growing your own creature larger is something a player would naturally want. I personally think that the ability is overcosted, though. I mean, for nine mana, I don't want to get only three creatures and a 4/3. For five mana I don't want to get one creature and a 2/1. How you rebalance the ability, I don't know. Granted, this changes in multiplayer, but that's an entirely different can of worms to consider. However, one last detail to consider is that, without creatures for this guy to eat, he's a dead card to draw. He would have benefited from having higher base power and toughness.

    Execution (1/2): The fact that devour and this guy's other ability work in wildly different ways make it potentially difficult to understand the card at a glance, or difficult to explain to another player. Also, the power and toughness of 1/0 isn't a good look. Not many creatures have 0 toughness and greater than 0 power at the same time. Also, the +1/+0 doesn't really improve the card all that much. Though, all the abilities do work well together to convey the flavor of the card.

    Overall: 3/6
    Concept (2/2): A card that makes legitimate sleeper agents. That is a very cool idea. I can't think of any cards that do things quite like this. There are cards like Akroan Horse or Jinxed Idol, but none flavored around the idea of controlling a rebellion from the inside. The mechanics are also fairly unique, with the only card with even remotely the same kind of game impact being Humble Defector, as far as I know.

    Design (0/2): So, this effect boils down into a sorcery which generates X Phyrexian Arenas which your opponents can make decisions about. On top of this, you can potentially block or destroy the 1/1 Rogues so that you don't have to take the 1 damage on a particular turn. Obviously, this is a massively powerful effect, as you can pay five mana and get to draw three cards each turn for the rest of the game. There is a bit of additional downside, in that your opponent could use the creatures for other purposes, but not many decks are going to be able to take great advantage of a generic 1/1 at a moment's notice. So, that downside isn't as large as it could be. Now, if these Rogues were 2/2s or 2/1s, it'd be a different matter, but as it is, I think this card is far too powerful.

    Execution (2/2): Everything on the card comes together to express the concept very well. I like the added touch of giving the tokens a name. It's a nice thing to differentiate them from normal Rogues. Moving on, the card is powerful enough to feel mythic and is on-color. Perhaps the name could use a little work, to make it slightly more clear or "punchy," but that's a minor issue, if it's an issue at all. Really, this is a very well-executed card.

    Overall: 4/6
    Concept (1/2): So, this is meant to be a hydra where each individual head is a hellion? Kind of like Ulasht, the Hate Seed? Also, since it's name mentions earthquakes and has multiple abilities dealing with lands, I am getting a sense that this is meant to be a creature which causes massive tectonic upheaval as it moves through the world. If that's the case, then yeah, the flavor comes through, but it takes a bit of thought to piece it together, for me, at least. On the mechanics side, I don't think I've ever seen a card that has quite these abilities, so credit for that.

    Design (1/2): This feels underpowered. Compare to Mistcutter Hydra, which comes into play with X counters and then has three strictly positive abilities on top of that. This costs a hybrid mana, which is a benefit, to be sure, but also requires a land to be sacrificed, and then it has a second ability which I would describe as "neutral" in terms of power (It triggers on combat damage, which is a decent hoop to jump through, and, after that trigger, in my opinion, it has a completely fair cost-to-benefit balance). Honestly, I'd probably put this card as being on-par with Ivy Elemental more than anything. Perhaps the added complexity of the second ability makes it worthy of the uncommon rarity, even, though I wouldn't put it at rare.

    Execution (0/2): So, I'm not sure about the motivation for the "sacrifice a land" cost. Was that to fuel the ability which triggers on combat damage? If so, then the benefit isn't too amazing, and it'd be fine to remove that line. Also, the combat damage ability is very awkwardly worded (Not only that but it's a difficult ability to exactly parse). I personally think it would be better to write it as "Whenever Earthquake Ariser deals combat damage to a player, that many land cards in your graveyard gain 'Exile this card from your graveyard: Add one mana of any color.' until end of turn." Further, I'm not sure that the concept you had in mind for this card came together very well.

    Overall: 2/6
    Concept (1/2): Unfortunately, this is a fairly generic concept. A spell that allows you to make tokens that are copies of other creatures. Some flavor text or a more evocative name might have helped. Mechanically, this is unique enough, being the only card I've seen which can freely copy both creatures on the battlefield and creature cards in graveyards.

    Design (2/2): I take it that this is mechanically inspired by Hour of Eternity. Comparing the two, I'd say that Familiar Faces is the stronger one. The three benefits this card has, in my opinion, out-balance the increased difficulty to cast. First, there is the obvious benefit that is the ability to make copies of creatures on the battlefield. Second, you have the ability to leave a copied creature card in the graveyard instead of exiling it. Third, you don't have to make the tokens be 4/4. So, I'd argue that Familiar Faces is a step above Hour of Eternity, being more on par with Mass Manipulation, as a result. This is actually good, as Hour of Eternity was a little underpowered. I think the balance of this card is right where it needs to be.

    Execution (1/2): I believe that this should be worded as "Choose X target creatures or creature cards in graveyards. For each creature or creature card, create a token that's a copy of that creature or creature card." So, there is a point off for that. Beyond this, things look fine. Even if this is just a generic mirror world/necromancy spell, it is a well-executed mirror world/necromancy spell.

    Overall: 4/6
    1. Eventide Sojourner
    2. netn10
    3. Jimmy Groove
    Posted in: Custom Card Contests and Games
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