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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    posted a message on Club Flamingo ☆ Exclusively for Custom Card Connoisseurs and Great People
    Call to the Unspeakable (2/W)(2/U)(2/B)
    Sorcery R
    Devoid
    Choose two in any order -
    • Each player returns a creature they control to its owner's hand.
    • Each player discards a card.
    • Each player returns a creature card from their graveyard to the battlefield.

    IIW: Lands with the text "the game" on them.
    Posted in: Custom Card Contests and Games
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    posted a message on The Mighty Morphin' Magic Card
    Sparkling Dragonling + Soulblast

    Soul Flush 4URG
    Instant
    As an additional cost to cast Soul Flush, return all creatures you control to their owner's hands.
    Choose one —
    • Soul Flush deals X damage to any target, where X is the total power of the returned creatures.
    • Create an X/X green Avatar creature token, where X is the total toughness of the returned creatures.
    Posted in: Custom Card Contests and Games
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    posted a message on The Mighty Morphin' Magic Card
    Shivan Pinnacle + Whispers of the Muse

    Phoenix Cliffs
    Land
    Phoenix Cliffs enters the battlefield tapped.
    T: Add R to your mana pool.
    4R: Return Phoenix Cliffs from your graveyard to the battlefield.
    Posted in: Custom Card Contests and Games
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    posted a message on Club Flamingo ☆ Exclusively for Custom Card Connoisseurs and Great People
    Basing this around the Ascension cycle from Zendikar

    Lawkeeper Ascension WU
    Enchantment R
    Whenever an opponent casts a spell, you may put a quest counter on Lawkeeper Ascension.
    As long as Lawkeeper Ascension has five or more quest counters on it, spells you opponents cast cost 1 more to cast.

    Necromancer Ascension UB
    Enchantment R
    At the beginning of each end step, if you put a card from your graveyard into your hand or library this turn, you may put a quest counter on Necromancer Ascension.
    At the beginning of your upkeep, if Necromancer Ascension has two or more quest counters on it, each player puts the top seven cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.

    Torturer Ascension BR
    Enchantment R
    At the beginning of each end step, if an opponent discarded a card this turn, you may put a quest counter on Torturer Ascension
    As long as Torturer Ascension has three or more quest counters on it, each opponent's maximum hand size is reduced by seven.

    Animist Ascension RG
    Enchantment R
    Whenever you play a land card, you may put a quest counter on Animist Ascension.
    As long as Animist Ascension has five or more quest counters on it, lands you control are 3/3 Elemental creatures with haste and trample. They're still lands.

    Prophet Ascension GW
    Enchantment R
    At the beginning of each end step, if your life total is greater than your starting life total, you may put a quest counter on Prophet Ascension.
    As long as Prophet Ascension has ten or more quest counters on it, your life total cannot be reduced below your starting life total.

    IIW: Lands which directly interact with win conditions, two examples would be (1) introducing new win conditions or (2) making it so that certain players can't win or lose.
    Posted in: Custom Card Contests and Games
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    posted a message on Club Flamingo ☆ Exclusively for Custom Card Connoisseurs and Great People
    Venju, Kaloomte’ of Death GUB
    Planeswalker - Venju M
    • [+1] Each player puts the top five cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.
    • [0] Choose a loyalty ability of target planeswalker card in a graveyard. Venju gains that ability.
    • [-X] Target player sacrifices a nonland permanent with converted mana cost X.
    • [-8] Return any number of target cards from your graveyard to your hand.
    [[5]]

    IIW: Lands with abilities that specifically state "you win the game."
    Posted in: Custom Card Contests and Games
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