August MCC Round 3 - A twisted walk through time (JUDGING)

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bravelion83
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Post by bravelion83 » 3 weeks ago

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(This month's banner is my own elaboration on the art of the card Ferocious Pup by Rudy Siswanto.)

August MCC Round 3

A twisted walk through time


Good news! We're now in a future where science has cracked time travel! It's now possible to use an elevator-like machine, first programming it to reach the specific time and place that you want to go to, and then physically entering it. The doors will close and you will travel through time exactly like an elevator taking you through the stories of a building. When the doors reopen, you exit the machine in the place and time you had chosen. And don't worry, the scientific principles behind this form of time travel imply that you will be able to interact with things and people in the past or future, no matter how far, without meaningfully altering the timeline. The only problem is that such travels are very expensive, and only few people on Earth can afford them. But...

Good news! We've been offered a collective free trip as a promotion! After much discussion, we had decided, as we are all Magic players and huge fans, that we wanted to see Richard Garfield's playtest sessions for Alpha before the first set was even published. So the scientists programmed the machine to send us back to Philadelphia in 1992, the place where Magic was first created and developed, and the year before Magic's debut in the summer of 1993. Playtest for Alpha was well underway, and...

Good news! Even without our help from the future, they had realized by themselves that Time Walk and Timetwister are broken and they had decided to remove those two cards from the set. (Hey, at least they caught two!) But the machine is strange. Sometimes it can also send you to alternate timelines and universes. In our specific case, we are in an alternate reality where they had already come up with the concept of collector number, even though at that time they were clearly assigned manually and not by a script like in our own space and time. In fact, it was late enough that those numbers were already locked in. Maybe we should have chosen to go to the late '80s, when Richard Garfield had just come up with the idea for Magic. But it was too late to change our mind. We were there, and they had a problem, but...

Good news! There was something we could do to help them! They had to create two new cards, both of them monoblue and with names that fit in alphabetical order between Thoughtlace and Twiddle. As they had understood that we were there from the future with the experience of more than 25 years of Magic design, and to optimize the time needed to solve the problem, they had decided to allow us to design one of those two new cards, while they would take care of the other. So, now it's up to us. What can we come up with to help them? Well...

Good news! We have a contest that can kinda work like a collective brainstorming session, to present them only the best cards we could create to fill that hole. So, let's get to work!


Main Challenge - Imagine that Time Walk and Timetwister are removed from Alpha, and that collector numbers already exist. Design a card that fits in that hole. To fit, it must be a monoblue card with a name that comes after Thoughtlace and before Twiddle in alphabetical order. You must design the card to today's standards. See clarifications for more info.

Subchallenge 1 - No mana symbols of any kind are there in the card's rules text.
(They don't know what color identity is yet.)

Subchallenge 2 - Your card is not a sorcery. (They have just removed two broken sorceries, they don't want to risk with more of them.)
Clarifications
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Main Challenge
• In short, the challenge is asking you to design a card that meets two requirements:
- It's monoblue.
- Its name is between Thoughtlace and Twiddle in alphabetical order.

• While not technically required, it's probably a good idea to avoid effects too similar to the two cards that have been cut, so extra turns or "shuffle then draw seven" effects are best avoided.
• The name of your card can include the word "time", but it doesn't have to. It just has to fit in between Thoughtlace and Twiddle in alphabetical order.
• As for all the rest, you can do whatever you want. Any current card type is fine, including those that didn't exist yet in Alpha, like planeswalkers for example. I said "current", so please no "interrupts", "mana sources", "mono/poly artifacts" or anything like that. Any monoblue mana cost is fine. Any rarity is fine, including mythic rare (if needed, they will move other cards up or down in rarity to let ours fit). Any text or abilities are fine. Any flavor text is fine. Any power and toughness if a creature or Vehicle and any starting loyalty if a planeswalker is fine. Flip cards (from Kamigawa), split cards, and DFCs (from Innistrad) are fine. Colored artifacts are fine. Basically, we're designing the card with any tool available today, not at the time of Alpha.
Your card will be judged against today's design sensibility and rules. In our imaginary scenario, the CR already exist and they are the current (M20) ones.
• That's also true for wording. Your wording should be in today's style and rigorous according to today's templating.
• That's also true for the color pie. Your card must respect the modern color pie.
• If your card is a flip card, split card, or DFC, the name of the left half or the front face is the one that matters to assign collector numbers, so this challenge only cares about those. The names of the right half or back side are ignored, so they can be whatever they want with no restrictions on alphabetical order for the right half or back side.
• Remember that lands are normally colorless, so asking for a monoblue card automatically excludes them, unless some Dryad Arbor-like kind of shenanigans are going on, but I heavily encourage you to avoid those.

Subchallenge 1
From the discussion thread:
bravelion83 wrote:
3 weeks ago
Oh, and by the way, I'll take this chance to specify that if you do the same trick as Force of Nature, typing U in the rules text without writing it as a mana symbol, not only it does NOT count for subchallenge 1, but it's also a serious Quality mistake, so please just don't do that.
Subchallenge 2
• Your card can be an instant. It can also be just a permanent card. You can do whatever you want as long as the word "sorcery" is NOT there in your card's type line.

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask in the discussion thread.

DEADLINES

Design deadline: Saturday, August 24th 23:59 EDT

Judging deadline: Tuesday, August 27th 23:59 EDT


To avoid having a versus round with an odd number of players, I'm extending both deadlines by one day, hoping that's enough for Superbajt to post. Any player can take advantage of the extra time to edit or change their entries if they wish to do so. New design deadline is Sunday, August 25th 23:59 EDT. New judging deadline is Wednesday, August 28th 23:59 EDT.


RUBRIC

The rubric has undergone no changes in the transition from MTGSalvation to MTGNexus. As a reminder for everyone, here it is. As usual, it will be there in all round threads. If you want a more detailed explanation of the rubric, you can find it in the brand new MTGNexus MCC Guidelines and FAQ, written by me and approved by void_nothing (Custom Card moderator). The detailed explanation of the rubric is in section 6.2. If you have time and will to read that (admittedly long) document in its entirety, I invite you to do so.
MCC Rubric
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Design
(X/3) Appeal - Do the different player psychographics (Timmy/Johhny/Spike) have a use for the card?
(X/3) Elegance - Is the card easily understandable at a glance? Do all the flavor and mechanics combined as a whole make sense?

Development
(X/3) Viability - How well does the card fit into the color wheel? Does it break or bend the rules of the game? Is it the appropriate rarity?
(X/3) Balance - Does the card have a power level appropriate for contemporary constructed/limited environments without breaking them? Does it play well in casual and multiplayer formats? Does it create or fit into a deck/archetype? Does it create an oppressive environment?

Creativity
(X/3) Uniqueness - Has a card like this ever been printed before? Does it use new mechanics, ideas, or design space? Does it combine old ideas in a new way? Overall, does it feel "fresh"?
(X/3) Flavor - Does the name seem realistic for a card? Does the flavor text sound professional? Do all the flavor elements synch together to please Vorthos players?

Polish
(X/3) Quality - Points deducted for incorrect spelling, grammar, and templating.
(X/2) Main Challenge (*) - Was the main challenge satisfied? Was it approached in a unique or interesting way? Does the card fit the intent of the challenge?
(X/2) Subchallenges - One point awarded per satisfied subchallenge condition.

Total: X/25
*An entry with 0 points here is subject to disqualification.

JUDGES

bravelion83
void_nothing
Rithaniel
mellifluoresce (see discussion thread)


A reminder to everyone:
In the MCC, putting rarity on cards is mandatory! If you don't put a rarity on your card, expect huge deductions in both Viability AND Quality.
Also, you should format your text cards accordingly to the brand new MTGNexus MCC Guidelines and FAQ. Again, expect deductions in Quality otherwise. The recommended card formatting is in section 4. As I've said before, if you have time and will to read that document in its entirety, I invite you to do so. It should be useful to everybody, hosts, judges, and players. And speaking of players...


PLAYERS

barbecube
Jimmy Groove
netn10
SecretInfiltrator
Sojourner Dusk
Superbajt (didn't post a card within the extended design deadline)

This is the versus round. Players will be paired in 1v1 matchups, each judged by two judges, and the player with the highest combined score in each matchup will advance to Round 4, the final round.


BRACKETS
Jimmy Groove vs Sojourner Dusk
barbecube vs netn10 vs SecretInfiltrator

All judges judge all 5 cards. The player will the lowest combined score from each bracket will be eliminated. Judging may begin right now. A reminder that the judging deadline is Wednesday, August 28th 23:59 EDT.
Last edited by bravelion83 3 weeks ago, edited 8 times in total.
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MCC - Winner (6): Oct 2014, Apr Nov 2017, Jan 2018, Apr Jun 2019 || Host (16): Dec 2014, Apr Jul Aug Dec 2015, Mar Jul Aug Oct 2016, Feb Jul 2017, Jun Nov 2018, Feb Jul 2019 (last ever on MTGSalvation), Aug 2019 (first ever on MTGNexus) || Judge (36): every month from Nov 2014 to Nov 2016 except Oct 2015, every month from Feb to Jul 2017 except Apr 2017, then Oct 2017, May Jun Nov 2018, Feb Jul 2019 (last ever on MTGSalvation), Aug 2019 (first ever on MTGNexus) Sep 2019
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Sojourner Dusk
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Post by Sojourner Dusk » 3 weeks ago

Time to decide.

Timequake UUUU
Instant (M)
Target opponent chooses one:
  • That player returns all nonland permanents they control to their owner's hands.
  • That player skips their next turn.
Which do you prefer: an hour, or the hourglass that marks its passage?
Last edited by Sojourner Dusk 3 weeks ago, edited 3 times in total.
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Post by Jimmy Groove » 3 weeks ago

Timeless Tutor 1UU
Creature - Human Wizard (R)
At the beginning of your upkeep, put a lore counter on Timeless Tutor, then you may reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal an instant or sorcery card with converted mana cost equal to the number of lore counters on Timeless Tutor. Put that card into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library in a random order.
All who grow to become wise mentors began as mere students.
1/3

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Post by SecretInfiltrator » 3 weeks ago

Time Refraction 5UU
Instant (M)
Choose target monocolored creature. For each color that creature isn't, create a token that is a copy of the creature except it's that color.
A time prism is much harder to create than a glass prism, but otherwise the same principles apply.

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Post by netn10 » 3 weeks ago

Time After Time 1UU
Enchantment (Rare)
Whenever a player cast a spell, until end of turn, that player may cast only spells that shares a card type with that spell.
It is the nature of history to repeat itself.

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Post by barbecube » 3 weeks ago

Tomorrow Window 1UU
Enchantment (R)
If you would draw a card, instead look at the top two cards of your library. Put one in your hand and one on top of your library.
Useful for predicting the weather.
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Post by bravelion83 » 3 weeks ago

To avoid having a versus round with an odd number of players, I'm extending both deadlines by one day, hoping that's enough for Superbajt to post. Any player can take advantage of the extra time to edit or change their entries if they wish to do so. New design deadline is Sunday, August 25th 23:59 EDT. New judging deadline is Wednesday, August 28th 23:59 EDT.



Ok, so I just have to acknowledge that Superbajt hasn't posted a card and have to deal with an odd number of players in the versus round. After consulting with void_nothing, I've decided to divide the 5 players into a group of 2 and a group of 3. All the judges will judge each card, and the player with the lowest combined score in each bracket will be eliminated. The other three will advance to the final round. Brackets have been determined randomly: I've ordered the 5 players in alphabetical order and physically rolled two d6's (you're free to not believe me but that's what I've actually done). I've rolled a 2 and a 5, and I've put those two players in the bracket of 2. So...

BRACKETS
Jimmy Groove vs Sojourner Dusk
barbecube vs netn10 vs SecretInfiltrator

Again, all judges judge all 5 cards. The player will the lowest combined score from each bracket will be eliminated. Judging may begin right now. A reminder that the judging deadline is Wednesday, August 28th 23:59 EDT.



Judgments complete.
Jimmy Groove
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Jimmy Groove wrote:
3 weeks ago
Timeless Tutor 1UU
Creature - Human Wizard (R)
At the beginning of your upkeep, put a lore counter on Timeless Tutor, then you may reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal an instant or sorcery card with converted mana cost equal to the number of lore counters on Timeless Tutor. Put that card into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library in a random order.
All who grow to become wise mentors began as mere students.
1/3
Design
(2/3) Appeal - Timmy doesn't care too much. Johnny will try to manipulate the number of counters. Spike likes the card advantage.
(2/3) Elegance - The text is easy enough to understand but it's really long. Including the flavor text, it's a total of nine lines in MSE, seven of which are rules text. Still within limits, but very long indeed. Also, some players will definitely misread this to say "equal to or less than".

Development
(3/3) Viability - I see no problems with the color pie or rarity.
(3/3) Balance - It looks like the main balancing factor on this card is the fact that it doesn't mention "less than" and also that putting a counter is not optional. Also, you still have to pay the costs of the card you draw. I think that this card is playable in limited and the fact that it's a creature helps there, but where this card shines is in constructed, where you can build your whole deck based on this card. It kinda remembers me of Delver of Secrets in that, a card that needs to be in a deck full of instants and sorceries to be optimized. No problems in casual and multiplayer.

Creativity
(1/3) Uniqueness - There are many existing cards working in a similar way. It didn't feel new to me as I first read it, and Gatherer did nothing but confirm my first impression.
(2.5/3) Flavor - The name feels a bit generic to me but I absolutely love the flavor text. It's just true.

Polish
(3/3) Quality - All good.
(2/2) Main Challenge - Good.
(2/2) Subchallenges - Both met.

Total: 20.5/25
Sojourner Dusk
Show
Sojourner Dusk wrote:
3 weeks ago
Timequake UUUU
Instant (M)
Target opponent chooses one:
  • That player returns all nonland permanents they control to their owner's hands.
  • That player skips their next turn.
Which do you prefer: an hour, or the hourglass that marks its passage?
Design
(2.5/3) Appeal - Timmy might appreciate the first mode to free the way to his own creatures, even if he's not the greatest fan of this card. Johnny can also use that mode on himself to abuse ETB effects or something like that. Spike is also interested in both kinds of plays, and the second mode is strictly for her.
(3/3) Elegance - No problems here.

Development
(3/3) Viability - I see no problems with the color pie or rarity. Cards messing with turns tend to just be automatically mythic these days.
(2.5/3) Balance - Making your opponent skip their next turn is essentially the same as you gaining an extra turn. Both that and the first mode tend to cost 6 mana or more in contemporary design. If you consider two colored mana to be the equivalent of one generic, a cost of 4UU is very close to one of UUUU. I think that in limited you will use the first mode most of the times, but you would definitely play this card, as in constructed, as long as you are able to pay the mana cost. In casual, it doesn't look like the most fun card to play against. In multiplayer, the fact that you have to target a specific opponent could imply interesting politic decisions for the players who like them. I am not one of those, but that doesn't matter.

Creativity
(1.5/3) Uniqueness - Two modes that have never been put together on the same card as far as I know, but neither of them is new.
(2.5/3) Flavor - The only problem I have with the flavor of this card is that I can't really understand which mode is supposed to represent the hour and which the hourglass. I only get that the flavor text refers to the two modes, but not how. But maybe it's just me. Anyway, I felt like this was something to mention, but it's not a big problem.

Polish
(1.5/3) Quality - The colon is used only for activated abilities, which this is not. An em dash was needed in its place. Functional mistake, so -1. Wrong position of the apostrophe at the end of the first mode, it should be "their owners' hands" as it's plural (-0.5).
(2/2) Main Challenge - Good.
(2/2) Subchallenges - Both met.

Total: 20.5/25
barbecube
Show
barbecube wrote:
3 weeks ago
Tomorrow Window 1UU
Enchantment (R)
If you would draw a card, instead look at the top two cards of your library. Put one in your hand and one on top of your library.
Useful for predicting the weather.
Design
(2/3) Appeal - Timmy doesn't care too much. Johnny likes the card selection to dig for combo pieces and such. Spike would probably prefer this to just say "scry 2 then draw a card", but she can and will still definitely use this, especially with some way to shuffle away unwanted cards (fetchlands in Modern immediately come to mind). She really likes how this card improves the quality of her draws.
(3/3) Elegance - No problems here.

Development
(3/3) Viability - I see no problems with the color pie or rarity.
(3/3) Balance - This card looks very strong to me, but probably not broken. Playtest would really be needed to determine whether the cost is right. If you have room in your deck, you would certainly play this card in limited. I can also easily see this in Standard and maybe even older formats. I see no problems in casual and multiplayer.

Creativity
(2/3) Uniqueness - This immediately reminded me of several existing cards, and I found them all on Gatherer (too many to be listed here), but almost all of them say either "put one into your hand and the other on the bottom" or "put the other into your graveyard". I've found no such cards that put the other card back on top. The closest I've been able to find is Write into Being, that allows you to keep the other card on top if you want. So, in short, apparently technically new but heavily reminiscent of several existing cards.
(2/3) Flavor - The name is fine and reflects the mechanics nicely, even though I'm convinced that if the round restrictions hadn't been there this card would have been named "Window on Tomorrow". It just feels better to me, even though the meaning is really just the same. Also, a "Window" feels more like an artifact to me. Or it might be intended to be just a magical portal letting you see through time, in which case it does make sense as an enchantment. I feel like this is a case where seeing the art would matter a lot. The art will clearly depict either one or the other, leaving no doubts on what this card represents. The flavor text lets you understand that you can see the future through this window, and it does that job just fine, but it just feels bland to me.

Polish
(2/3) Quality - It should be "into your hand", not "in" (-0.5), and "the other on top...", not "one on top...", see for example Final Parting (-0.5).
(2/2) Main Challenge - Good.
(2/2) Subchallenges - Both met.

Total: 21/25
netn10
Show
netn10 wrote:
3 weeks ago
Time After Time 1UU
Enchantment (Rare)
Whenever a player cast a spell, until end of turn, that player may cast only spells that shares a card type with that spell.
It is the nature of history to repeat itself.
Design
(1/3) Appeal - Not only Timmy doesn't care, but he would just hate playing against this card. This card poses a real challenge to Johnny, one that he's eager to accept. Spike really doesn't like that this affects herself too.
(2.5/3) Elegance - Not the simplest card, I've had to focus to understand what it does in my first reading, and it did require one more reading to be sure. If that's true for a person that has been a Magic player continuously for the last 14 years, some less experienced players will definitely have to think a little to grasp this.

Development
(3/3) Viability - I could also see this in white, but I think it also makes sense in blue. Rarity is obviously right.
(1.5/3) Balance - I find it very hard to judge this card in this area. In my eyes, more than the playability of this card, the problem is that it looks very unfun to play against, like most cards that prevent you from doing things. Where this card looks stronger to me is in prison decks, that a few players like but most, included me, just find unfun. This is not a great example of putting the power where the fun is, which is a thing that they have tried to do more in recent times. If it proves strong enough you'll play this in competitive formats regardless, but let's remember that casual is the most played "format", and a card being unfun is a problem there. This affecting all players also has huge implications in multiplayer.

Creativity
(3/3) Uniqueness - I can't remember or find any existing card working like this. The closest is something like Reflector Mage that prevents things with the same name as something to be cast, or things like Possibility Storm. Both are actually quite different from this card.
(3/3) Flavor - I have no problems with the flavor of this card. The name is good and the flavor text is even better, I really like it, and they both fit well with the mechanics.

Polish
(2/3) Quality - I think the wording is right. Just a typo in the trigger: in "...casts a spell...", the third-person "s" is missing (-0.5). The exact reverse mistake is in "...spells that share...", that has an extra "s" (it's plural, -0.5).
(2/2) Main Challenge - Good.
(2/2) Subchallenges - Both met.

Total: 20/25
SecretInfiltrator
Show
SecretInfiltrator wrote:
3 weeks ago
Time Refraction 5UU
Instant (M)
Choose target monocolored creature. For each color that creature isn't, create a token that is a copy of the creature except it's that color.
A time prism is much harder to create than a glass prism, but otherwise the same principles apply.
Design
(2.5/3) Appeal - Timmy dreams of casting this on something like a huge monogreen creature to create an army of monsters. Johnny can definitely use this in several ways. Spike likes the effects but she's not a fan of the high mana cost.
(2.5/3) Elegance - Potential memory issues in remembering which color each token is. There is no reminder of any kind for that.

Development
(3/3) Viability - Blue can just copy everything in every way, so no problems with this. It could probably be green too. I can see this at mythic.
(3/3) Balance - I see this card as a finisher, both in limited and constructed. It's not that hard to add to any deck that's heavy in a single color. What I like is that at least it closes the game very fast. The fact that you can also target your opponents' creatures is very relevant, especially in multiplayer. The very high mana cost is definitely appropriate.

Creativity
(3/3) Uniqueness - I can't remember or find any existing card working even just remotely like this. There are multiple cards that create token copies of creatures, but none like this.
(3/3) Flavor - As a science man (teacher of a scientific subject with two scientific degrees, even though that subject is chemistry in my case and not physics, but we also study a lot of physics, including optics, as part of those chemistry degrees, at least here in Italy), I'm just in love with the flavor of this card. It just makes a lot of sense to me to associate the physical process of optical refraction with the mechanics of this card creating token copies of creatures, that has been historically flavored as reflections, and making them of different colors, like a ray of light that has been refracted by a prism. The famous cover of the album "The dark side of the moon" by Pink Floyd immediately came to my mind. I could easily see something very similar being the art of this card. Excellent job!

Polish
(2.5/3) Quality - It should say "...a copy of that creature...", not "the" (-0.5). I haven't been able to find any precedent for "except it's that color" but it sounds plausible, so I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt on this.
(2/2) Main Challenge - Good.
(2/2) Subchallenges - Both met.

Total: 23.5/25
Results
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Jimmy Groove: 20.5
Sojourner Dusk: 20.5

SecretInfiltrator: 23.5
barbecube: 21
netn10: 20
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Post by Rithaniel » 2 weeks ago

I Judged the Cards
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Jimmy Groove
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Jimmy Groove wrote:
3 weeks ago
Timeless Tutor 1UU
Creature - Human Wizard (R)
At the beginning of your upkeep, put a lore counter on Timeless Tutor, then you may reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal an instant or sorcery card with converted mana cost equal to the number of lore counters on Timeless Tutor. Put that card into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library in a random order.
All who grow to become wise mentors began as mere students.
1/3



Design
(2/3) Appeal — Timmy sees a 1/3 creature that does stuff with his hand, instead of directly making an impact on the field. Johnny sees an enabler for his sorcery-based combo, and would also love to manipulate counters on this guy to get big sorceries far earlier than normally allowed. Johnny would also game the system by including instants and sorceries with mana costs including in them. Johnny loves this thing. Spike, meanwhile, sees an enabler for his "no fun allowed" control decks. First dig gets a Spell Pierce. Second digs gets a Logic Knot. Not to mention that all this card advantage is effectively free.
(3/3) Elegance — A nice and simple effect. A single ability with a single stated goal.

Development
(2/3) Viability — Rare is correct, blue is correct, but I don't know about this being a creature. Why not just make it an enchantment?
(1.5/3) Balance — So, if we take Abundance to be a well balanced card, we can make direct comparisons. The shift from enchantment to 1/3 creature, I think, is a neutral move. Sure, you get some more potential use out of the card, but a 1/3 is nothing to write home about, and now it's also vulnerable to more commonly seen (but somewhat more mana-intensive) removal spells. So the balance comparison should be on the ability alone. Overall, I think this ability is too aggressive, as it goes online on turn four, and in a control deck, this nets you maybe three or four counterspells on top of your normal card draws. Not to mention that, with some clever deck design, this can effectively allow you to search out specific cards every turn.

Creativity
(3/3) Uniqueness — The closest design to this which I can think of would probably be Abundance. All other repeatable effects like this either are attached to planeswalkers, making them more complicated, or require some sort of sacrifice in order to use the effect. There are no cards like this which search specifically for instants and sorceries, I will note. So, as far as I'm concerned, you're gold when it comes to uniqueness.
(2/3) Flavor — The ability here works very well together with the flavor text. I'm not 100% on the name necessarily lining up with the concept in the body of the card. When I think of "timeless" I think of something separated from time, so they don't age and couldn't grow. Aside from that one nitpick, though, the flavor is good.

Polish
(3/3) Quality — Things are all good.
(2/2) Main Challenge — Check.
(2/2) Subchallenges — Double check.

Total: 20.5/25
Sojourner Dusk
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Sojourner Dusk wrote:
3 weeks ago
Timequake UUUU
Instant (M)
Target opponent chooses one:
  • That player returns all nonland permanents they control to their owner's hands.
  • That player skips their next turn.
Which do you prefer: an hour, or the hourglass that marks its passage?



Design
(1.5/3) Appeal — Timmy is excited about the big, splashy effects of this card. Johnny doesn't see any real combos to work with this, except perhaps if they can figure out how to casts it again and again, every turn, but then it's honestly better to go with any other extra turn spell, because this gives your opponent a way to break that combo. Spike, meanwhile, has mixed feelings about this desgin. On one hand, both effects are ones he would love to cast at four mana. On the other, there would be situations where this card is effectively dead in your hand.
(2/3) Elegance — I would have actually rolled these together into a single ability ala Browbeat. Something like "Any player may return all nonland permanents they control to their owners' hands. If no one does, take an extra turn after this one." It being a choose ability which relies on the opponent making a choice could potentially lead newer players to confusion.

Development
(2/3) Viability — Color is on point, and mythic feels appropriate. However, I don't see this as making sense as a instant. If you cast it during your opponent's turn (to try and interrupt an attack, perhaps), chances are that your opponent will have a presence on the board which you want to disrupt, but in that case, they'll always choose the second mode in order to perserve that board presence which you are trying to remove.
(2/3) Balance — So, when do you cast this card? Do you cast it when your opponent has no board state and neither do you? Obviously not, because then they'll choose the first mode and return little or perhaps nothing to their hand. It's the same situation as when you have a board state but they don't. Now, if you lack a board state, but your opponent has a established board state, the second mode is what will be used, but then this effectively just allows you to draw a card and get a second chance at stabilizing. The best situation for this card is when both you and your opponent have board states, as it becomes a meaningful decision. Now, this can be the most common situation, because this is including any board state, even when you each have two or three tokens and nothing else. However, those other three cases will still occur often enough to impact how useful the card is. When it is useful, this design is a very powerful one, which will almost invariably swing the game in the caster's favor for only four mana (a color intensive cost, but still a low cost). This tension, between being a game-winning card and a dead card, makes me feel that it could use some rebalancing.

Creativity
(3/3) Uniqueness — I've never seen these two effects juxtaposed against one another. In fact, there don't exist many cards which skip turns at all. When cards do skip turns, it's not been made into a weapon, yet. So, altogether, I think you're in very unique territory.
(3/3) Flavor — I like the flavor text commenting on the effect of the card as a whole. On one side you get time. On the other, you get to keep your stuff. I kind of enjoy the mental image that, by choosing time, you also rewind time, thereby justifying why permanents return to their owners' hands. I don't get a particularly unified concept of what a timequake is supposed to be, but nothing outright contradicts anything else, so I believe you are fine.

Polish
(2/3) Quality — Modes are chosen when the card is being cast, but before targets are announced. Therefore it is impossible for a targeted player to choose a mode. It should be "An opponent chooses one."
(2/2) Main Challenge — Check.
(2/2) Subchallenges — Double check.

Total: 19.5/25



barbecube
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barbecube wrote:
3 weeks ago
Tomorrow Window 1UU
Enchantment (R)
If you would draw a card, instead look at the top two cards of your library. Put one in your hand and one on top of your library.
Useful for predicting the weather.



Design
(1/3) Appeal — Timmy sees a small effect and wishes it were bigger. Johnny sees an effect that doesn't stack with itself, but which gives him information that he can use to know when to shuffle his deck. There are not many combos to build with this card, but Johnny is at least somewhat fond of the slight dig ability it provides. Spike, meanwhile, sees this as an overcosted Sleight of Hand which can earn slightly more mileage, provided the right cards are on top of the library.
(3/3) Elegance — A single line of text. It being a replacement effect makes it smoothly change the flow of the game, as well. A very elegant design.

Development
(2/3) Viability — I'm sold on this being blue, and I'm sold on it being an enchantment. I'm not sure it's quite a rare. It's a useful effect, don't get me wrong, but just small enough that I would expect it to be an uncommon.
(1.5/3) Balance — There is a bit to unpack with this design. On one hand, you have the ability to control and predict which cards you draw. On the other, the fact that this puts one of the two cards back on top of the library kind of dampens the impact. You are only ever one card deeper than you otherwise would be. Granted, being one card deeper can be a good advantage to have, but there are better ways to acquire that advantage. If we want cards to compare to, look at Eyes Everywhere, which allows you to potentially toss a card to the bottom of the deck for an easier cost, even if you don't get to look at two cards at once. Alternatively, compare to Sultai Ascendancy or Tomorrow, Azami's Familiar (whom I believe you got some inspiration from). Ascendancy is less repeatable, but has a similar mana cost and allows the player to toss cards into the graveyard. Tomorrow costs twice as much, but digs deeper and allows the player to throw cards to the bottom of the library. Overall, I think the idea is good in principle, but it kind of shoots itself in the foot because of the fact that it limits itself to the top of the library.

Creativity
(1.5/3) Uniqueness — I would be willing to believe that this card is inspired by Tomorrow, Azami's Familiar, Future Sight, or perhaps Thought Reflection. It's similar enough to these other designs that I can't give full credit on originality, even if the words on the card are a unique interpretation of the effect.
(2/3) Flavor — Cute flavor text, I approve of that. Though the idea here is that you have a window which allows you to see the future. That's a fairly standard idea, and this doesn't bring much of anything new to the table, unfortunately.

Polish
(1.5/3) Quality — Two mistakes, one minor and the other a bit bigger: "Put one in your hand and one on top of your library." should be "Put one into your hand and the other on top of your library."
(2/2) Main Challenge — Check.
(2/2) Subchallenges — Double check.

Total: 16.5/25
netn10
Show
netn10 wrote:
3 weeks ago
Time After Time 1UU
Enchantment (Rare)
Whenever a player cast a spell, until end of turn, that player may cast only spells that shares a card type with that spell.
It is the nature of history to repeat itself.



Design
(1/3) Appeal — Timmy doesn't like the fact that it prevents them from casting spells. Johnny sees some potential in this card, but it's difficult for him to control the game enough to actually make use of the ability. Meanwhile, he would certainly have fun building a deck where all spells share a card type, so that he can maximize the chance of him not being affected by the enchantment. Spike, meanwhile, is not so much a fan. The chance that the card might not ever give him any advantage is too high for Spike's taste.
(2/3) Elegance — A simple effect. However, since it's a triggered ability, players could cast instants or spells with flash on top of creatures before the triggered ability resolves. This might not be apparent to new players who might expect this to function like a static ability which 'turns on' the moment you cast a spell.

Development
(1/3) Viability — Well, there is a bigger issue: I believe this would be white (or perhaps a colorless artifact with a high mana cost) and not blue. Blue doesn't get cards with widespread casting restrictions. It might counter spells unless mana is paid, but it doesn't do the Rule of Law thing. Not since 7th Edition, at least. Also, considering that Rule of Law got bumped down to uncommon, I would argue that this card would find it's home on that rarity as well. The effect is more complex, but not any more impactful, and complex cards are fine at uncommon.
(2/3) Balance — This is a tricky card to evaluate. The main comparisons I can find are Rule of Law and Ward of Bones. This design is similar to Ward of Bones, but inverted. Instead of limiting the number of types that can be on the field, this design forces more of the same. In that sense, it does nothing to stop the opponent. It's similar to Rule of Law in the converted mana cost, and the fact that it changes how the game is played. Rule of Law has a more drastic effect, I would say, but it lacks the ability to completely eliminate card types from the game. So, on that front, this should be on par with Rule of Law. Yet, the card is only as powerful as Rule of Law if an opponent only has one card to cast of any particular type available to them to cast. It's only better than Rule of Law if your opponent is in this situation, but you are not. If the former situation is uncommon, which I think it is, then the latter situation is even more uncommon.

Creativity
(3/3) Uniqueness — Effects like this generally limit how spells can be cast in other ways, such as forbidding a particular type or number of spells. I've never seen an effect that leaves things relatively open, but instead requires that spells cast in a turn have a repetitive quality to them. I can't fault you on originality.
(3/3) Flavor — So the idea here is that this a spell which causes events to happen again and again. It comes across quite well, if that's the case, and I don't believe I've seen a card that utilizes the idea of Groundhog's Day in a fantasy setting. It's good flavor.

Polish
(2/3) Quality — An "s" was transposed from the first instance of the word "cast" to the only instance of the word "share." I also want to say that the triggered ability wouldn't be worded this way, but I can't find enough justification for say for sure that this is the case.
(2/2) Main Challenge — Check.
(2/2) Subchallenges — Double check.

Total: 18/25
SecretInfiltrator
Show
SecretInfiltrator wrote:
3 weeks ago
Time Refraction 5UU
Instant (M)
Choose target monocolored creature. For each color that creature isn't, create a token that is a copy of the creature except it's that color.
A time prism is much harder to create than a glass prism, but otherwise the same principles apply.



Design
(2/3) Appeal — Timmy likes this. Three more copies of his Balefire Dragon? He'll jump at the chance. Johnny, meanwhile, wants to combo this with Avenger of Zendikar to make an instant army of plants. Spike, thinks that he could spend seven mana on a spell that isn't conditional on the existence of a good target for it.
(3/3) Elegance — Split one creature into five. That's a very straightforward and well-executed idea. The fact that it only can target monocolored creatures might surprise some players, but it also might align with the expectations of other players, so I feel that is likely a neutral move. All in all, nothing to fault on the elegance front.

Development
(3/3) Viability — This feels potentially mythic. The color is also appropriate. Instant is an interesting choice, but there exist cards that have had this kind of effect at instant speed before, so no harm there.
(3/3) Balance — This is closest to Rite of Replication, and comparing the two, I think they're fairly equivalent, with Rite of Replication coming out slightly ahead. On the one hand, Rite of Replication gives five creatures at sorcery speed for . Time Refraction gives four creatures, with limited targets, at instant speed for . The instant speed and it costing less are both major benefits, bumping the card up in power. The limited targets is a notable drawback, but not enough to really change the power of the card. Meanwhile the four tokens instead of five is a more major drawback. Of course, Rite of Replication also has an alternate mode which gives the player the ability to cast the spell for far cheaper. That last effect actually pushes Rite ahead of Refraction, in my opinion. Yet, overall, they're well balanced against each other. Granted, Rite of Replication might not be the most well balanced card in the world, but it's at least acceptable.

Creativity
(1.5/3) Uniqueness — Splitting a creature into multiple colors is an interesting twist on a copy creature effect. However, it's not the biggest change in the world, and we've seen dozens of copy creature effects during our time in magic. As a result, even if this is a new spin on the idea, I can't give more than half credit on uniqueness.
(1/3) Flavor — The flavor is tantalizing, but a bit muddy. I can't exactly see a fully fledged idea. Sure, this is about splitting an entity into multiple facets of itself, but why the connection to time? What makes this particular fracturing temporal in nature? You say the same principles apply to a time prism as a glass prism, but I'm not really sure what that is meant to entail. The way it's structured makes me think that the base principles of how you make a time prism are the same, but I suspect you meant that the way a time prism works. What even is a time prism?

Polish
(2.5/3) Quality — One minor mistake: "the creature" should be "that creature."
(2/2) Main Challenge — Check.
(2/2) Subchallenges — Double check.

Total: 20/25
Top Scores in Bold
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  1. Jimmy Groove: 20.5
  2. Sojourner Dusk: 19.5



  1. SecretInfiltrator: 20
  2. netn10: 18
  3. barbecube: 16.5
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Post by void_nothing » 2 weeks ago

Sojourner Dusk
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Design
(1.5/3) Appeal - Mostly a Txmmy card. Jxnny finds it relatively uninteractive, and Spike likes the mana efficiency of both effects but not the color intensity of the cost and HATES giving opponents choices.
(2.5/3) Elegance - Using modal here adds unnecessary complication to something that could just as easily be a punisher effect: "Target opponent skips their next turn unless they return all nonland permanents they control to their owner's hands."

Development
(3/3) Viability - Colors and rarity look fine.
(3/3) Balance - Time Warp is slightly more expensive but much more consistent; "not as good as a very good card" is a fine place to be.

Creativity
(1/3) Uniqueness - Temporal Extortion + Cyclonic Rift
(3/3) Flavor - Flavor is a little abstract but it works.

Polish
(2/3) Quality - Modal choices are preceded by a hyphen and not a colon. And there are too many line breaks here.
(2/2) Main Challenge (*) - Done.
(2/2) Subchallenges - Done.

Total: 20/25
Jimmy Groove
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Design
(3/3) Appeal - Txmmy likes to put extra cards in hand by any means and growing effects, Jxnny sees huge enabler and combo potential, and Spike thinks they could get lots of value out of this and effectively use it as, well, a multi-time tutor.
(2.5/3) Elegance - A bit complicated in terms of bookkeeping and then rummaging through your library, but not hard to understand.

Development
(3/3) Viability - Definitely a blue rare.
(2.5/3) Balance - The scary part about this card is depending on your deck construction this can put specific cards in your hand multiple times over for only three mana. However, it's all quite slow and on a relatively frail creature body, so I'm not TOO worried. I'd just playtest the heck out of something like this.

Creativity
(2.5/3) Uniqueness - Reveal-from-top-of-library pseudo-tutoring has a long history, but this has plenty of new wrinkles.
(2.5/3) Flavor - Oddly enough "Tutor" feels odd as the name of a creature in Magic given its long history as part of the name of instants and sorceries.

Polish
(3/3) Quality - Looks good.
(2/2) Main Challenge (*) - Done.
(2/2) Subchallenges - And done.

Total: 23/25
SecretInfiltrator
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Design
(3/3) Appeal - Depending on what Spike can do with this in Standard, I think this one is an easy home run. Also for Vorthos and Mel!
(3/3) Elegance - An elegant execution on an even more elegant idea.

Development
(3/3) Viability - Very blue VERY mythic.
(3/3) Balance - Splashy, and probably amazing in Limited, but it's a seven-mana card that needs setup.

Creativity
(3/3) Uniqueness - Multiple token copies have been done before but the color stuff is so novel yet so simple that I have to give full points here.
(3/3) Flavor - Wonderful. Flavor text is a bit cheesy but totally fitting. Only thing that could make this MORE perfect would be if the flavor text quote were attributed to Taysir.

Polish
(3/3) Quality - Fine.
(2/2) Main Challenge (*) - Done.
(2/2) Subchallenges - And done.

Total: 25/25
barbecube
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Design
(2/3) Appeal - Mostly a Jxnny/Spike card as those are the psychographics who like to smooth their draws the most.
(3/3) Elegance - Looks fine.

Development
(3/3) Viability - Definitely a blue rare.
(3/3) Balance - Nothing objectionable; the worst thing about this card is if someone uses it and stalls over which card to keep.

Creativity
(1.5/3) Uniqueness - Name is practically a tipoff that it's a Tomorrow, Azami's Familiar riff, which in itself is something like a scry variant.
(2.5/3) Flavor - I feel like this flavor text would come off better as "...predicting the whether."

Polish
(3/3) Quality - Looks good.
(2/2) Main Challenge (*) - Done.
(2/2) Subchallenges - And done.

Total: 22/25
netn10
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Design
(1/3) Appeal - The symmetricality of this effect limits what Txmmy and Jxnny can do, so this is firmly placed as a Spike sideboard tech piece.
(3/3) Elegance - Pretty elegant.

Development
(2.5/3) Viability - This effect feels more white than blue these days; if it were one color I'd have this card be white but ideally I'd make it WU. However, monoblue is okay.
(2.5/3) Balance - If anything this card is underpowered; usually Rule of Law/Arcane Laboratory will have stronger results for the same CMC and less color intensity. I think you could have knocked 1 off that cost.

Creativity
(1.5/3) Uniqueness - Precedent from many "one spell per turn" and similar effects but it's done in a unique fashion.
(3/3) Flavor - Looks good, nice name-to-effect tie-in.

Polish
(3/3) Quality - Good.
(2/2) Main Challenge (*) - Done.
(2/2) Subchallenges - And done.

Total: 20.5/25
Results
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Jimmy Groove 23 vs. Sojourner Dusk 20
barbecube 22 vs. netn10 20.5 vs. SecretInfiltrator 25

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bravelion83
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Post by bravelion83 » 2 weeks ago

Final scores (bold advance)

Jimmy Groove: 20.5 + 20.5 + 23 = 64
Sojourner Dusk: 19.5 + 20.5 + 20 = 60

SecretInfiltrator: 20 + 23.5 + 25 = 68.5
barbecube: 16.5 + 21 + 22 = 59.5
netn10: 18 + 20 + 21 = 58.5

Round 4 coming in a few minutes.
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