November MCC Round 2: Lend Me a Hand

slimytrout
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Post by slimytrout » 6 months ago

mcc11_19_2.jpg
This round's banner is my elaboration on the art of Midnight Charm, by John Avon.

November MCC Round 2

Lend Me a Hand
This month, we're going to be focusing on an important (and perhaps underappreciated) aspect of the game of Magic: its zones. Round 2 will be focused on the hand.

Six months have passed since you saved R&D's collective butt by creating the perfect card for their wildly successful graveyard set. On a quiet Sunday morning, your phone starts buzzing, and the area code is 425. This time, WotC is trying something they've hardly ever done before: a hand-matters set. And, once again, there's a crucial card that they just can't get right -- will you lend them a hand?


Main Challenge: Design a card for a hand-matters set that has the word "hand" in its rules text (excluding reminder text).

Subchallenge 1: Your card has no blue mana symbols on it.

Subchallenge 2: Your card is a permanent.
Clarifications
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Main Challenge
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The rules text (excluding the reminder text) has to include the word "hand" or "hands." It has to be one of those actual words, not words containing that sequence of letters. (Looking at you, Soul of Shandalar.)

N.B.: The fact that this card is going in a hand-matters set is part of the challenge itself, so be aware of that when designing your card. That is to say, the flavor, balance, and viability judgements of your card might be affected by whether your card would fit well in a hand-focused set.
Subchallenge 1
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If there are any blue mana symbols (including in reminder text) on the card, it fails the subchallenge. This includes hybrid and two-brid mana -- literally anything that has this symbol anywhere on it: U.
Subchallenge 2
Show
Pretty straightforward: if it's a creature, artifact, enchantment, land, or planeswalker, it passes. Otherwise, it fails.
If you have any further questions, don't hesitate to ask.

DEADLINES

Design deadline: Friday, November 15th 23:59 EST

Judging deadline: Tuesday, November 19th 23:59 EST



RUBRIC
MCC Rubric
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Design
(X/3) Appeal - Do the different player psychographics (Timmy/Johnny/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

slimytrout
bravelion83
DragonLover

PLAYERS

Icarii
Gateways7
Sojourner Dusk
void_nothing
netn10
Flatline
Kypster
Koopa
blydden
Subject16
The_Hittite
RaikouRider

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.
Please check out the MCC Guidelines and FAQ if you have the will and time -- all of the rules for this contest can be found here! Among the many things you can find there are a detailed explanation of the rubric (section 6.2) and the recommended card formatting (section 4) that you should use to format your text cards. Expect deductions in Quality otherwise.

BRACKETS

slimytrout:
blydden
RaikouRider
Sojourner Dusk
Kypster

bravelion83:
Flatline
netn10
The_Hittite
void_nothing

Dragonlover:
Icarii
Subject16
Gateways7
Last edited by slimytrout 6 months ago, edited 2 times in total.

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Sojourner Dusk
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Post by Sojourner Dusk » 6 months ago

Mindless Amalgam
Creature — Horror (M)
Mindless Amalgam gets -X/-X, where X is the number of cards in your hand.
Hellbent — At the beginning of your end step, return Mindless Amalgam from your graveyard to the battlefield if you have no cards in hand.
A sentient convergence of murderous intent.
6/6
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May your games be chaotic and your decks be rogue.



UBR Nekusar (EDH)
RGW Mayael, Naturally (EDH)

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Post by The_Hittite » 6 months ago

Sonder 3GG
Creature — Elemental Incarnation (R)
Trample
Sonder's power and toughness are each equal to the total number of cards in your opponents' hands.
As long as a player has seven or more cards in hand, Sonder has hexproof.
Everyone is the hero of their own story.
*/*
Last edited by The_Hittite 6 months ago, edited 1 time in total.

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RaikouRider
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Post by RaikouRider » 6 months ago

Dovin's Thought Suppressor W
Legendary Artifact {R}
Each player's maximum hand size is reduced by one.
If a card would be added to a player's hand from anywhere and would cause that player to have more cards in hand than their maximum hand size, instead they add that card to their hand, then exile a card from their hand.
Last edited by RaikouRider 6 months ago, edited 1 time in total.

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Subject16
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Post by Subject16 » 6 months ago

Patternblade Paladin 2WW
Creature — Human Knight (Rare)
Flash
Calibrate 4 1W (You may cast this card for its calibrate cost if you have exactly four cards in hand.)
First strike, Lifelink
When Patternblade Paladin enters the battlefield, you may return a creature you control to its owner's hand.
"The only certainty in these lands is your end at my hand."
3/3

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Icarii
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Post by Icarii » 6 months ago

Koshataka, Bushi Mentor 1WW
Legendary Creature - Fox Samurai (R)
Bushido 2
If an opponent would draw a card and that player has more cards in hand than you, you may pay 1. If you do, instead that player skips that draw.
"Keen intellect, body, and blade are a rare balance on the battlefield."
2/2
Last edited by Icarii 6 months ago, edited 3 times in total.

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Post by netn10 » 6 months ago

Hallowed Light4WW
Creature - Avatar (Rare)
Mirrored 4BB (You may cast the other face of this card for 4BB)
At the beginning of your upkeep, each player draws a card.
Hallowed Light's power and toughness are each equal to the number of cards in the hand of the opponent with the most cards in hand.
*/*
////////
Hollowed Darkness 4BB
Creature - Avatar (Rare)
Mirrored 4WW (You may cast the other face of this card for 4WW)
At the beginning of your upkeep, you draw a card and you lose 1 life.
Hallowed Light's power and toughness are each equal to the number of cards in your hand.
*/*

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Flatline
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Post by Flatline » 6 months ago

Cardname 1ub
Creature — Human Rogue (R)
~ has protection from each opponent with more cards in hand than you. (This creature can't be blocked, targeted, dealt damage, or enchanted by anything controlled by an opponent with more cards in hand than you.)
Whenever ~ deals combat damage to a player, that player discards a card.
2/2

Haunting Reminder BB
Enchantment (U)
Whenever a player discards a card, Haunting Reminder becomes a 2/2 black Specter creature with flying until end of turn.
At the beginning of each opponent's upkeep, if that player has one or fewer cards in hand, they lose 3 life.
"Each morning is a reminder of all that I've lost."
Last edited by Flatline 6 months ago, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by Kypster » 6 months ago

Bareth Leadhoof 2RR
Legendary Planeswalker - Bareth {U}
0: Discard a card. If you do, Bareth Leadhoof deals 3 damage to any target.
0: Remove X loyalty counters from Bareth Leadhoof and destroy X target artifacts, where X is equal to the number of cards in your hand.
4
Last edited by Kypster 6 months ago, edited 7 times in total.

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Titles & Recognition

Post by void_nothing » 6 months ago

Empyrial Bishop 3WW
Creature - Human Cleric (U)
When Empyrial Bishop enters the battlefield, you gain 1 life for each card in your hand.
Whenever Empyrial Bishop blocks or becomes blocked, it gets +1/+1 until end of turn for each card in your hand.
W, Discard a card: Empyrial Bishop can block an additional creature this turn.
"All my wisdom is valueless if not used to defend my people."
2/2
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Post by Gateways7 » 6 months ago

Enlightenment 2W
Sorcery (uncommon)
Target player gains 2 life for each card in players' hands.
"When the individual mind breaches the secrets of life, they become enlightened. When those secrets are shared, all the world becomes enlightened."
—Song of All, canto 912

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Post by Blydden » 6 months ago

Obsidian Damnator 2B
Artifact (U)
1BB, Discard a card: Each opponent loses 2 life and you gain 2 life.
HellbentBBB: Obsidian Damnator becomes a 5/5 black Demon artifact creature with flying and trample until end of turn. Activate this ability only if you have no cards in hand.
Forged from blackened glass, bloodstained by countless battles, and animated with rites forbidden.

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Post by slimytrout » 6 months ago

Round is closed. Brackets are listed above - unfortunately Koopa did not submit an entry so we're one short. Top 2 advance from each bracket.

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Post by Flatline » 6 months ago

I apologize for having submitted two cards. I've had a busy couple of days. I meant to delete the first, unfinished card. I don't want to edit my post after the deadline, but if no one objects, can "Haunting Reminder" be considered my entry? I understand if I'm just DQ'ed though.

Edit: I probably should have posted this in the discussion thread. Sorry.
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Post by bravelion83 » 6 months ago

Ok, now that everything has been cleared, I can start.

Judgments complete. Between waiting to start to clear Flatline's thing (I think I started a full day after the design deadline, or maybe even a little more) and other things in real life that had to take precedence, as I always say, I was running a marathon, going as fast as I could because the deadline was in... just... ten... minutes... No, wait!... Eight... minutes... now... *figuratively screams in panic* when I realized... "Wait! I've calculated time zones wrong! The deadline is actually tomorrow at this time! Phew..." Anyway, since I have them I might as well post them. Just leave me the time to fix all the typos that Word's correction tool will inevitably find, even though it will certainly leave some, as it always does, and then copy/paste them here.

Ok, I took it easy after realizing I had one more day and I reread everything. It took me more than an hour, and I think you'll understand why very soon. Just keep reading. Anyway, I had said I would have judged the Main Challenge separating the points again, but then I saw that everybody would have gotten both points anyway (having the word "hand" in the text and being at home in a "hand-matters" set), so I just did it normally.

Oh, and before we begin, [mention]netn10[/mention], please read that final message I wrote to you in your spoiler, and know that I am totally serious about that.
Flatline
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bravelion83 wrote:
6 months ago
slimytrout wrote:
6 months ago
After some discussion, we've decided to consider only the finished entry for this submission and disregard the unfinished one. We want to encourage people to come forward with problems like these rather than trying to sneakily edit their entry without permission, and in cases like this where it was a clear mistake, it just makes the contest more fun if everyone gets to participate. So bravelion will be judging the entry as if it didn't have the unfinished submission.
As the involved judge, I confirm everything. Just so it's clear for everybody, in the context of the quoted message "we" means "slimytrout (as host) and bravelion83 (as the involved judge)".

And I will, in fact, judge only Haunting Reminder as the official entry. And after clearing this, I can actually start my judgment. Heading to the round thread right now.



Flatline wrote:
6 months ago
Haunting Reminder BB
Enchantment (U)
Whenever a player discards a card, Haunting Reminder becomes a 2/2 black Specter creature with flying until end of turn.
At the beginning of each opponent's upkeep, if that player has one or fewer cards in hand, they lose 3 life.
"Each morning is a reminder of all that I've lost."
Design
Appeal 2/3 - I think some Timmies could be interested in this card. The fact that there is no built-in way to make your opponent discard is an awesome deckbuilding challenge for Johnny and a disappointment to Spike at the same time. She doesn't like cards that need other cards to work.
Elegance 2.5/3 - The text is clear enough and not too long. I just hope all players, especially beginners, get that this card doesn't let you have your opponent discard by itself.
Development
Viability 3/3 - As black as it can get. Ok, it's the third time I'm saying this, and it won't be the last one, but I just feel like it's the main point of this card: the fact that it doesn't have built-in ways to make your opponent discard and that other cards are needed to do that is also what allows this card to be uncommon instead of rare. So I feel that in this specific case, rarity is acceptable.
Balance 2/3 - Do I have to say it a fourth time? Really? Nah, you know what I'm talking about. That's relevant here too. That's what allows this card to cost only two mana, which given that, I think is fine. Not splashable, which is good seeing how strong this card can be in a dedicated discard deck. In limited it's what I'd define an uncommon build-around, and every set needs a few of those. The problem is that usually there won't be enough discard spells in a single set (today, all drafts are triple of the latest set) to do it effectively, unless there is a whole mechanic centered in discard, like madness in SOI for example. In sets like that I could see building around this card in limited as a more plausible thing. In constructed, the thought of a discard deck built around this scares me a little, especially if we're talking about Modern or even older formats. My knowledge of Legacy and Vintage isn't the best, but I think that a discard archetype featuring The Rack and Black Vise already exists. Maybe called something like "12-Rack" if I recall correctly? Even if I don't remember what was the third Rack... Anyway, I wouldn't exclude that this card could also find its home there, and turn that archetype into "16-Rack", which honestly scares me a little. And all of this without even talking about adding Davriel, Rogue Shadowmage to the mix. In Standard and recent formats, probably Pioneer too (even if I still don't know that format well enough), I don't think there are enough good discard spells to build a whole deck centered around this, which calms me down a little. As for casual, where fun is probably the most important thing, I have to mention that strong discard, together with strong counterspells, is definitely up there in the virtual list of the most hated things. Strong removal would probably be at the third place, but the first two places are definitely taken by those other two. You could argue which one is the worse, in the sense of the most unfun from the opposite side of the table. I'm in the camp that counterspells are probably first and discard a close second, especially when forced, Thoughtseize-style. This is one of the typical things that are fun if you're playing them, but very unfun when they're played against you. In multiplayer, the first ability triggering from any player discarding and the second saying "each opponent's upkeep" are obviously very relevant, and I'm happy those are worded the way they are for players who like multiplayer (not me, the only multiplayer format I not even like, but love, is Two-Headed-Giant).
Creativity
Uniqueness 1.5/3 - The first ability is, as you'd probably expect me to say if you're a regular reader of my judgments, just old elements put together in a new way, even if I can't remember an enchantment animating from any player discarding before. *checks* And in fact I haven't been able to find any in Gatherer. Small point in your favor. The second ability is just too reminiscent of cards like The Rack and similar.
Flavor 3/3 - The flavor text is very good and I like it a lot. Besides being very real to me, and a few people around here, including you but not only you, should understand what I'm talking about (but that doesn't matter here), it also makes a lot of sense with the mechanics, and that matters a lot here. Having a Specter attacking you and also losing life in chunks of 3 are definitely good reminders of the cards that you've lost (aka discarded). It does feel a little strange that the Specter, when animated, doesn't make you discard as it hits you, but having no built-in ways to make opponents discard is part of the balance of the card as I've already said too many times (I think this is the fifth one?), and also there are some Specters without the discard ability, and we have an example right in the most recent set: Reaper of Night from ELD. The name is also something that I could definitely see printed on a real card.
Polish
Quality 3/3 - All good.
Main Challenge 2/2 - Good.
Subchallenges 2/2 - Both met.
TOTAL 21/25
netn10
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netn10 wrote:
6 months ago
Hallowed Light4WW
Creature - Avatar (Rare)
Mirrored 4BB (You may cast the other face of this card for 4BB)
At the beginning of your upkeep, each player draws a card.
Hallowed Light's power and toughness are each equal to the number of cards in the hand of the opponent with the most cards in hand.
*/*
////////
Hollowed Darkness 4BB
Creature - Avatar (Rare)
Mirrored 4WW (You may cast the other face of this card for 4WW)
At the beginning of your upkeep, you draw a card and you lose 1 life.
Hallowed Light's power and toughness are each equal to the number of cards in your hand.
*/*
Design
Appeal 2/3 - I can't really see Timmy getting excited by this card. Johnny, at the contrary...
What's that you said, Johnny?
"I greeted you, Leo. I'm sorry but I have to run home, I have a physical need to go brewing right now! Bye, Leo!"
Well, thank you for your contribution, Johnny, I guess... Spike also doesn't dislike this, but she's still here.
"Yeah, seeing this card doesn't make me run away immediately to build a deck with it... But let's see what Johnny comes up with. That could be interesting.
Because you think he's gonna be back?
"Yeah, Leo. You aren't wrong."
Elegance 0.5/3 - Now we get to what will be the theme of this particular judgment, like the no built-in way to discard in Flatline's card...
"Really, Leo, it's like the sixth time you mention this, and you're not even judging his card but another one!"
Yeah, brain, thanks for reminding me. At least this time you worked properly... But I digress, as usual. What's the theme here? The mechanic mirrored. There is an ambiguity, and a pretty big one. Is this essentially a creature split card, where you choose which face to cast as you're casting this from your hand and mirrored is essentially just a reminder telling you "Hey, remember you can also cast the other face instead of me if you want!" kinda like the small P/T in the lower right corner of a DFC creature that have no meaning but only serve to remind you how big the other face is? In that case, mirrored is just a "do nothing" mechanic, kinda like devoid in BFZ, and we know those aren't usually liked by most players. Or is it the other possibility, that's that mirrored actually grants you permission to cast the other face from the battlefield instead of your hand? In that case, it's really just a complicated and counterable (so worse) way to just say "transform this creature". From the reminder text, I just can't understand which one is the case, and neither would the vast majority of players. This ambiguity hits hard here, and will hit in other areas too. It will be the theme of this judgment. The rest of the text is functional and understandable, and that's why this is not a full zero.
Development
Viability 1.5/3 - Oh, look! The player that has competed with me in the DCC for several days trying to find the best use of "each player draws a card" now being allowed as a white ability did it again here! What a surprise! :) But yes, as of today, that's fine in white. The characteristics-setting ability of Hallowed Light is something that I've only found in red (Adamaro, First to Desire). Anyway, it doesn't undermine white's weakness, so at most it's a bend that also synergizes with the other perfectly-in-the-color-pie ability. (By the way, those are hyphens. An em dash is this: —. See Quality.) Hollowed Darkness has a very similar problem. Its first ability is perfect in black. The Maro ability (as in both the ability of the card Maro and an ability created by Mark Rosewater by the way, both are true) is firmly in blue and green in the modern color pie, not in black. But again, it doesn't undermine black's weakness and it synergizes with the other ability, so it's another bend and not a break. I totally agree with this card being at regular rare. Oh, and obviously you can't print this until you clear the ambiguity of mirrored. (Storm count is 2.)
Balance 0.5/3 - Again, what does mirrored actually do? (Storm count is 3.) Because knowing what it actually does heavily impacts here. How can I judge the balance of a card that I don't even understand how it's supposed to work? The high mana costs reassure me whatever this card actually does, and it's probably playable in limited anyway, as most rare creatures are (this assumption is the whole reason this isn't a full zero). But I just can't judge constructed without understanding what the card really does. Casual players would very probably be even more confused than me, and I can already see a table of casual players going like:
Person A: "Friends, I'm sorry but I have to ask you a question before casting this. *reveals this card to the whole table from their hand* How does this actually work? I suppose I can cast the side that I prefer from my hand now... but then what? That's it? Or can I cast it again later as the other face?"
Person B: "Doesn't this have reminder text?"
A: "Yes, it does, but it doesn't say. It just says I can cast the other face for the other cost. But from where? From my hand, or from the battlefield?"
Person C: "You're right, it doesn't specify!"
A: "And what if it happens to be in my graveyard, or in exile? It says that I may cast it, so I guess it means from anywhere."
Person D: "Yeah, maybe."
A: "But then is this a creature that can come back from my graveyard any number of times?"
B: "I guess?"
A: "And I can cast it even from exile if I just cast the other face? Kinda like that goblin from Dominaria... What was his name? Squee, I think... Anyway, him. One that makes trips between exile and the battlefield. Does this work like that too?"
C: "Who knows?"
A: "That's the point! I don't know! Does any of you know?"
B: "No."
C: "Me neither."
D: "Don't look at me, friends!"
A: "Nor can I understand it from the reminder text!"
B: "I think nobody here does."
A: "And so what do we do?"
And at this point, the best case is:
B: "Let's just change the card. Do you have another card here from your collection or whatever that you could cast for the same mana cost?"
A: "Maybe... Let's go take a look. Would you help me, friends?"
The worst case is:
B: "Let's just give up and go do something else!"
C: "Yeah!"
D: "Agreed."
A: "Yeah, that's better!"
And I haven't even mentioned all the judge calls in competitive Magic:
Player: "Judge!"
*Leo, that could totally be a real judge if his real personal life allowed for it, goes to the table*
Leo: "Hi, players! My name is Leo, how can I help you?"
Player: "My opponent has just cast this card... *hands it over to Leo* ...but neither of us understands how the ability works. From where can you cast this for the mirrored cost? And does it do anything more? Could you please explain this to us?"
Leo: "Uhm... Let me check. *Leo checks Gatherer for this card and finds it on his mobile device, no rulings are there* I'd love to, but I'm not sure I can. This reminder text isn't really clear, and there are no Gatherer rulings on this card."
Player: "So what do we do?"
Leo: "Wait a minute, I'll go call the Head Judge."
That's not good from a Magic point of view. And all of this due to what? The ambiguity of mirrored! (What's the storm count? 4 I think?)
Creativity
Uniqueness 1/3 - Regardless of what mirrored does (storm count should be 5 if I kept it correctly), it's not new. It's either the way to make permanent split cards, and we've seen several kinds of split cards already (yes, ones that are permanents would get full points here, but is this it?), or a more complicated and strictly worse transform. Yes, "strictly" is appropriate here, because the end result is exactly the same but you risk to run into counterspells and such. And we've seen transform and DFCs in a lot of sets by now. We've also seen multiple Maro abilities like that on Hollowed Darkness. If this is not a zero it's because of two reasons: first, that's reserved for straight up reprints or functional reprints of existing cards, which this is not, and because of the last ability on Hallowed Light, that we've only seen once in the whole history of Magic, and fifteen years ago, in Kamigawa: the aforementioned Adamaro, First to Desire. And a good part of people playing today didn't even play at the time so they can't directly remember it.
Another piece of my personal Magic life
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I belong to that group. I would have started playing Magic the following year, with original Ravnica. Yes, Kamigawa was still in Standard, and that was my own first Standard format, Kamigawa-Ravnica, but it wasn't the most recent block. As a result, today I own a few cards from Kamigawa, but not too many. I own a lot of cards from original Ravnica block instead. To me, at the time, playing Standard meant essentially playing my Boros intro deck, with very few modifications, against people who also played Kamigawa cards. I have always mostly played against Kamigawa cards rather than with them. If I know most relevant Kamigawa cards, it's because I've played against them, not with them. And yes, that obviously includes Umezawa's Jitte... Or was it banned in Standard at the time? I can't remember now. Anyway, they'd no longer make such a Standard format today. And I'll be honest: there's a part of me that misses that kind of Standard format. Then the other part of me remembers the Magnivore land destruction deck from that time, that I absolutely hated, and is glad that today's Standard formats aren't like that.
Flavor 3/3 - Finally an area where I can talk well of this card without mentioning the ambiguity of mirr... Damn! I just did it again! (Storm count = 6) Really, the light/dark mirror (pun intended) works perfectly, and I just love the certainly intended pun in the names between "Hallowed" and "Hollowed"! Full points here!"
Polish
Quality 2/3 - No space between the card name and the name cost on the front face (Hallowed Light, -0.5). Hyphens in the type line instead of em dashes on both faces, but no point deduction for this. A full stop is missing at the end of the reminder text for mirrored on both faces (let's put them both together in a single -0.5). Adamaro, First to Desire says the wording for the characteristics-setting ability on Hallowed Light is correct. Two forward slashes are enough to separate the two faces of the card, eight of them aren't needed (yes, I've counted them), but again no deduction for that, I just wanted to mention it.
Main Challenge 2/2 - Good.
Subchallenges 2/2 - Both met.
TOTAL 14.5/25

And I managed to end this judgment with the same storm count as Flatline's. Yes, this is totally intentional. It's just my innate detail-oriented eyes and brain at work. Have I really just said that my brain works? Because it technically doesn't, or at least not properly... But don't care about this. That's just my own personal problem. What follows is my message to you personally, and I want it to be public.

I'm really sorry for this judgment, [mention]netn10[/mention]. You're a very good designer, one that I like very much and one of the best around here in my opinion. You just did a (very probably unintended) mistake, and we're just human. You can't even imagine how many mistakes I keep doing everyday. We're on the same boat. So don't let this final score or anything that I've written bring your mood down. I've treated this more like one of my stories than a traditional judgment, as I'm sure is noticeable. I've told you little stories, little scenes that I pictured in my mind, and I've even told a piece of my life story with this game that we all love, and I've even hinted at very personal things of mine. Do you know why I did all of that? It was just a way for me to joke and try to make this judgment less sour, because I knew how it would have gone in the very moment that I read your card for the first time. I immediately noticed the problem, and I didn't want you to suffer because of this. I had to do this, but I wanted to do this in the most friendly way I could, because I care about people like you. A lot. Please don't give up! Know that I really like you and your work, and that I have a very high opinion of you as a designer. I can't say as a person, but just because we've never met or got to know each other in a more personal way. I'm sure you're also a wonderful person! You've always been awesome! Please just forget about this, remember that you matter both as a designer and most of all as a person, and keep being awesome! I hope to be able to give you a perfect score soon! I think I've only done it maybe twice in all my judging career, which is very long as the spoiler in my signature testimonies. I'd love if you were the third someday next month, or soon. You'd totally deserve it for all your, again, awesome work here in the MTGNexus Custom Card community!
—Leo
The_Hittite
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The_Hittite wrote:
6 months ago
Sonder 3GG
Creature — Elemental Incarnation (R)
Trample
Sonder's power and toughness are each equal to the total number of cards in your opponents' hands.
As long as a player has seven or more cards in hand, Sonder has hexproof.
Everyone is the hero of their own story.
*/*
Design
Appeal 2.5/3 - Timmy approves! Look at him over there! He's so happy that he's improvising a quick dance of joy! Johnny could do something with this, trying to manipulate his opponent's hand size. Spike doesn't really like cards that depend on what her opponent does, but she does like the trample here.
Elegance 3/3 - I see no problems here.
Development
Viability 3/3 - No problems with the color pie, rarity, or the rules.
Balance 2/3 - I'll be honest: I don't really like this in traditional duel. Under ordinary circumstances, this will get smaller over time, and die as soon as they're in topdeck mode, which will eventually happen. It's also a very strange card: to make this bigger and potentially give it hexproof, you want your opponent to draw as many cards as possible, and possibly some more. (Linguistic tricks like this are what you self-learn when you finish writing a 1200 pages long story...) But normally I don't want to make my opponent draw cards. Now, first, this reversal is already worthy of notice, because this card will make you look at the game from a totally different perspective, and that's good, and second, you will give them more gas, which is bad, (yes, more linguistic tricks with the same origin...) especially against an aggro deck, like, say, the ones that I tend to prefer playing... But's that's my own personal preference, and this is supposed to be an objective judgment, or at least as objective as possible. I'm so glad this has trample, otherwise it would just get chump blocked forever. I'd probably play this in limited but more out of curiosity ("let's see how this plays") than anything else. In constructed, I can definitely see Johnny trying to build a deck that makes his opponent draw a bunch of cards and then winning by attacking with this, in as few attacks as possible. His dream would be to get his opponent to have twenty cards in hand or something like that, give this haste and attack for the win, one-shot-one-kill-style!
An unrelated (to the judgment) piece of my life
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Yes, I've played Call of Duty for years in my past, and I've always sucked at it. I only played it because a former friend of mine was kind of a monster at that game, and we played together. He was really good at it, I always lost from him, and at a certain point I told him, my best friend at the time: "I want to play with you, not against you! I just can't play against you!" and he went: "Sure, we'll build a clan! I'll be the head and you my vice-in-command!" So we did, and for several months everything went well... Well, I still sucked and I was the vice-commander of the clan only because I was the commander's best friend in real life, but at least now I had him at my side instead of against me! Then eventually both broke. First, our clan, and then our friendship, for other reasons... And anyway, trust me, you don't want to know what my kills-to-deaths ratio was... Let's just say that if I had two brothers that were clones of me, a thing that I can only dream about being an only child, you would need all three of us to reach 1. To give you a timeframe, the first Call of Duty I played was World at War, and the last Modern Warfare 3 or Black Ops 1, whichever comes later (I can't remember). My absolute favorite among those I've played? Modern Warfare 2, no doubt about that. I really liked both the single player campaign and the online multiplayer a lot. And in fact, that's been my peak. The only time I've achieved multiple Prestige levels (4 if I recall correctly). And the only time I've managed to finish the story at Expert difficulty. Never happened before or later, and I only dared try Veteran once because my friend challenged me. He wanted to see how I would have done a mission at Veteran! He let me choose the mission, the one that I felt the most confident with. I don't remember which mission I chose now, but it was probably one of the first ones in the story. How long did I last? Not even one minute, or two at maximum. Enemies coming from literally everywhere! And they wouldn't die, not even if I tried to fire a whole bunch of bullets at them with a machine gun! Instead, they reached me, and one-shotted me with the worst pistols and guns in the whole game. Afterwards, I told my friend: "Rest assured, I will never do this again!", and in fact I haven't. Modern Warfare 2 was also the one where I managed to die the least in multiplayer, even if we're still talking about a K/D ratio of about 0.5, maybe just a tiny bit more. My most hated one? Definitely Black Ops 1. Up to this day, it's the only videogame I've ever sold used. I wanted to just get rid of it. I didn't understand a single thing in the story. I found myself at one place and time, then the game suddenly took back control from me and put me in another place and time, totally unrelated. You know how I finally understood the storyline? By reading it on Wikipedia. There, another piece of my life that I've consigned to the internet!
Where this card shines is multiplayer, because it counts ALL opponents. This is huge there. This will definitely see a lot of play in every multiplayer format: free-for-all, Commander, Brawl, you name it.
Creativity
Uniqueness 3/3 - We've seen Incarnations multiple times, and this fits the pattern well enough, but fitting the pattern means that it's not actually too original from that point of view. Instead, the reverse Maro ability is something we've never seen if I've made my Gatherer research well. Something completely new! Never done before! Not a single time! It's as good to see that as it is rare. Three cards come close, but also count you: Multani, Maro-Sorcerer, Realm Seekers, and Werewolf of Ancient Hunger. There are none that only count the total number of cards counting only your opponents. Or at least, I haven't been able to find any. This card deserves full points here just because of that.
Flavor 3/3 - So, here my thought process went more or less like this: "But... Incarnations are always representing emotions... this has a proper noun... what's this, a character named Sonder? Maybe... but then why is it an Incarnation? And how does the flavor text fit in all of this? Yes, it's good, and I can definitely picture myself reading that on an ELD card, but... No, something must be up here. Let me google that word, just to be sure that I'm not missing something..." First Google results:
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/sonder
https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=sonder
"Oh, ok. So that word actually means something, let's check out those pages to see what it actually means... Oh... That thing I think about very often has an actual name? Sometimes I do walk on a street, look at an open window, and wonder who lives there, getting amazed that right in that moment my own very complicated life, and that person's life, that must be as complicated as mine, if not more, have intersected and that person doesn't even know! Or I can find myself on my bed, wondering: who knows what the other 6+ billion people all around the world are doing in this very specific moment? That's a thought and feeling that I know very well. And that has a name in English? And it's that, sonder? In Italian we wouldn't even know how to call it. I often live it, but while in Italian there is no word for that, it turns out in English there is, and it's exactly that. Ok, so that definitely fits as an Incarnation. Let's see how they represented it as a Magic card... Let's reread the card with that knowledge. Wow, now it makes so much more sense! Caring about your opponents' hands is a very good way to represent thinking about what could be going on in their lives. I still don't really understand the conditional hexproof, but maybe that's just for mechanical reasons. And wow, does that flavor text reflect perfectly this concept, in addition to just being good in a vacuum! Ok, if you know what the concept is, this definitely deserves full Flavor points at the very least. And the card making so much sense as a whole also definitely impacts Elegance positively, and maybe other areas too... I'm so lucky I've discovered what this is meant to represent before actually starting to write my judgment of this card. Otherwise, I would have had to erase it all and restart from scratch... Well, Leo, don't they say that you learn something every day? This is what you've learned today! I must thank this person for making me discover this, regardless of whether they will advance or not..." And that's when I went to edit my post to include this in your spoiler (this exact same one that you're reading right now):
Since I didn't know what sonder is, I'm putting a couple links as self-reference here:
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/sonder
https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=sonder
It turns out that something that I often think about myself has an actual name. This is what I've learned today, so in the meantime thank you, The_Hittite, for making me discover this.
Well, I've already talked too much, just as usual. Take your full points here and more thanks from my heart for you having taught something to me, a real-life teacher. It's so true that you never stop learning!
Polish
Quality 3/3 - All good. Akki Underling is sufficient precedent to me to say that the wording of the last ability is right. Having reminder text for hexproof wouldn't be bad, but I can let it pass as it's an evergreen ability (for now...) and this is a rare.
Main Challenge 2/2 - Good.
Subchallenges 2/2 - Both met.
TOTAL 23.5/25
void_nothing
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void_nothing wrote:
6 months ago
Empyrial Bishop 3WW
Creature - Human Cleric (U)
When Empyrial Bishop enters the battlefield, you gain 1 life for each card in your hand.
Whenever Empyrial Bishop blocks or becomes blocked, it gets +1/+1 until end of turn for each card in your hand.
W, Discard a card: Empyrial Bishop can block an additional creature this turn.
"All my wisdom is valueless if not used to defend my people."
2/2
Design
Appeal 2/3 - Timmy likes lifegain and big creatures. Johnny could maybe use this as a discard outlet. Spike would gladly give up the life gain to make the bonus apply also when unblocked.
Elegance 2.5/3 - Not the shortest text but still very easily understandable. If it weren't for the flavor text, the discard ability would have felt disconnected from the others to me, but the flavor keeps it all together. I really like the symmetry between the first two abilities ("1 life for each card" and "+1/+1 for each card".
Development
Viability 2.5/3 - Discarding a card feels a little strange as a monowhite cost, but it's not a big problem. It's still definitely allowed and allowable (another one of those tricks I was talking about in one of my previous judgments). All the rest is definitely white. The bonus not applying when hitting players is what makes this card acceptable at uncommon. Otherwise, I would have said it needed to be rare.
Balance 2/3 - It immediately reminded me of Squad Captain. I think the play pattern would be quite similar, only this adds life gain in exchange for the bonus applying only when blocking or blocked, not when hitting your opponent, and this actually makes the card weaker in my opinion, but it has a more restrictive cost. Strange. In a vacuum, it should be the contrary. Anyway, you'd certainly play this in limited, no questions asked. I honestly have a hard time seeing this in constructed, even in Standard, let alone larger formats. You must be either a very, very defensive deck, or be able to take advantage of the discard, using it more as a discard outlet than anything else. I see no problems in casual and multiplayer.
Creativity
Uniqueness 1/3 - A typical case of old elements put together in a technically new way. This is quickly becoming my own "Restrictions breed creativity", if it hasn't already.
Flavor 3/3 - I see no problems here. The name is good, and the flavor text not only is even better, almost perfect I'd say, but it's the one single component of this card that keeps it all together.
Polish
Quality 3/3 - A hyphen in the type line instead of an em dash, but no point deduction for this. All the rest is good.
Main Challenge 2/2 - Good.
Subchallenges 2/2 - Both met.
TOTAL 20/25
Results (bold advance)
Show
The_Hittite: 23.5
Flatline: 21

void_nothing: 20
netn10: 14.5
Last edited by bravelion83 6 months ago, edited 9 times in total.
Expand Signature
My CCCG Resume (Updated on January 2nd 2020)
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Blue means it was on MTGSalvation. Green means it was here on MTGNexus.
MCC - Winner (6): Oct 2014, Apr Nov 2017, Jan 2018, Apr Jun 2019 || Host (18): 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) Oct 2019, Jan 2020 || Judge (41): 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), every month from Aug 2019 (first ever on MTGNexus) to Feb 2020
CCL - Winner (3): Jul 2016 (tied with Flatline), May 2017, Jul 2019 (last ever on MTGSalvation) || Host (5): Feb 2015, Mar Apr May Jun 2016
DCC - Winner (1): Mar 2015 (tied with Piar) || Host (3): May Oct 2015, Jan 2016
My projects (Updated on June 14th 2019)
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All on MTGSalvation for now. See this Blogger post.
Author of the MCC Guidelines and FAQ.

slimytrout
Posts: 542
Joined: 10 months ago
Pronoun: Unlisted
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Post by slimytrout » 6 months ago

Blydden
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Obsidian Damnator 2B
Artifact (U)
1BB, Discard a card: Each opponent loses 2 life and you gain 2 life.
HellbentBBB: Obsidian Damnator becomes a 5/5 black Demon artifact creature with flying and trample until end of turn. Activate this ability only if you have no cards in hand.
Forged from blackened glass, bloodstained by countless battles, and animated with rites forbidden.
Design
(1.5/3) Appeal – Timmy wants the 5/5 Demon real bad, but doesn't like having to empty their hand and pay 3 mana to do so. Johnny likes the first ability but wishes it was cheaper and doesn't have a ton of use for the second. Spike likes the challenge of whether it's worth it to empty their hand for the demon, but doesn't love the card disadvantage that it encourages.
(2.5/3) Elegance – I find the mismatched mana costs a little odd. I understand that they're escalating, but I think it would be more elegant if both the abilities cost 1BB and wouldn't change the power level too much.

Development
(3/3) Viability – Definitely black, and probably not strong enough to be rare, even if the card kinda leans in that direction. I could definitely see this playing into black's themes in a hand-matters set.
(2/3) Balance – I don't think that this would see much play. Obviously the demon is strong, but it requires a lot of work to get there and it takes (at least) three mana to turn it on every turn, potentially more if you need to use the discard every turn. If the discard were cheaper then maybe it would have a chance in a madness deck or the like, but 3 mana is just too much.

Creativity
(1.5/3) Uniqueness – Funnily enough, the most similar card is Hazoret the Pervert Fervent. Both have the ability to deal 2 damage to the opponent for three mana and a discard, both have 5 power, neither is really a creature until your hand is (almost) empty. Obviously this version is not nearly as powerful and is in a different color, but the similarities are definitely there.
(3/3) Flavor – Yeah, I like it. I'm not going to deduct points for it, but I do have an incredibly pedantic correction: obsidian isn't "blackened glass," it's actually naturally black because of impurities in the silica.

Polish
(3/3) Quality – All good.
(2/2) Main Challenge – Says "hand."
(2/2) Subchallenges – No blue mana, is a permanent.

Total: 20.5/25
RaikouRider
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Dovin's Thought Suppressor W
Legendary Artifact {R}
Each player's maximum hand size is reduced by one.
If a card would be added to a player's hand from anywhere and would cause that player to have more cards in hand than their maximum hand size, instead they add that card to their hand, then exile a card from their hand.
Design
(1/3) Appeal – Most Timmies hate this, other than hardcore griefers. Johnny doesn't like it much either – they'd prefer to have a full grip so they can go off, and it's hard to see any way that this would enable combos, although the most intense Johnnies might like the challenge. I suppose Spike is intrigued by making people choose which cards to keep or exile, but ultimately this is almost always going to be card disadvantage unless you play it turn 1, so that's a big turn-off.
(1.5/3) Elegance – The card should mostly work as printed (because a replacement effect can't be replaced itself), but people will be pretty confused by that fact – just look at the questions about Maro's Gone Nuts. I think it could be phrased more clearly – I believe "whenever one or more cards are put into a player's hand from anywhere, if that player has more cards in hand than their maximum hand size, they exile that many cards from their hand" would have the same functionality.

Development
(2/3) Viability – Yeah, rules-setting is definitely white, and should usually be rare, especially with this level of complexity. I also think this works pretty weirdly with spells that have you draw multiple cards – you'd have to apply the replacement effect to each card individually, which is fiddly and impractical.
(2/3) Balance – The card is very high-variance, and I think pretty weak as well except in certain matchups. If you have it in the early turns it might snag a card or two out of your opponent's hand, but a lot of the time in the late game it's useless. Maybe it would be useful in multiplayer formats where people tend to save their ammo more, but I still have a hard time believing it would be worth a full card.

Creativity
(3/3) Uniqueness – The only card I can think of that's ever remotely played in this space is Midnight Oil, but this is very different.
(2.5/3) Flavor – Name is a bit clunky. Could have just been "Thought Suppressor" or "Dovin's Suppressor."

Polish
(2.5/3) Quality – I'm fairly certain it should be "would be put into a player's hand from anywhere" (-0.5). I'm less sure about what the correct text is for "more cards in their hand than their maximum hand size" so I'm not going to deduct for that even though I don't think it's quite right.
(2/2) Main Challenge – Says "hand."
(2/2) Subchallenges – No blue mana, is a permanent.

Total: 18.5/25
Sojourner Dusk
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Mindless Amalgam
Creature — Horror (M)
Mindless Amalgam gets -X/-X, where X is the number of cards in your hand.
Hellbent — At the beginning of your end step, return Mindless Amalgam from your graveyard to the battlefield if you have no cards in hand.
A sentient convergence of murderous intent.
6/6
Design
(2.5/3) Appeal – Timmy definitely likes this, since it gets big and it keeps coming back. Johnny is okay with it – the recursion is nice, but the fact that it can only trigger once a turn makes it hard to abuse, and it's a bit linear. Spike sees a terrific win condition.
(3/3) Elegance – All very clean and straightforward.

Development
(3/3) Viability – This is definitely black, so the question is: is it too powerful in limited to be a rare? 'Cuz it definitely looks like a rare, but I agree that a recursive 6/6 would probably annoy the hell out of people in limited, so mythic is fine.
(1.5/3) Balance – This is pushed. You're obviously almost never playing it on Turn 1, but it can come down even on Turn 3 if you've had another play and hit your land drops, and it doesn't matter at all if it dies because as soon as you get to an empty hand it just comes back as a 6/6. Especially in a hand-matters set, where Black would likely have other cards that reward you for being hellbent, I think this would be oppressive in standard, where there often aren't good answers to something like this. Might spawn strategies in Pioneer and Modern, but at least those are equipped with enough graveyard hate and other linear strategies to answer/outrace something like this.

Creativity
(2.5/3) Uniqueness – The first ability (and the cost) definitely take inspiration from Death's Shadow, and there have been spells like Nightmarish End that play with that effect, but never a creature that had it. The second ability has also never really been done before, even if it's not a terribly big leap.
(2/3) Flavor – I hate to take off points, because I love the way the flavor text reads (it kind of reminds me of a like from T.S. Eliot: "Streets that follow like a tedious argument/ Of insidious intent"), but it totally contradicts the creature's name. If it's mindless, then it by definition can't be sentient, so a fairly big flavor fail there.

Polish
(3/3) Quality – No problems.
(2/2) Main Challenge – Says "hand."
(2/2) Subchallenges – No blue mana, is a permanent.

Total: 21.5/25
Kypster
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Bareth Leadhoof 2RR
Legendary Planeswalker - Bareth {U}
0: Discard a card. If you do, Bareth Leadhoof deals 3 damage to any target.
0: Remove X loyalty counters from Bareth Leadhoof and destroy X target artifacts, where X is equal to the number of cards in your hand.
4
Design
(1.5/3) Appeal – Timmy doesn't like it – they want their planeswalkers to build up to an enormous ultimate. Johnny probably wants to abuse the first ability, but it's maybe a little too easy for their tastes, plus they don't love that it can just be attacked down. Spike is fully on board – turns all their cards into bolts and also very occasionally allows them to blow up a bunch of artifacts.
(1.5/3) Elegance – The last ability has two pretty confusing aspects to it: first, if you have more cards in hand than counters on Bareth, it doesn't really matter how many counters are on him because the trigger will just remove all the counters on him but X will still be equal to the number of cards in your hand. Second, the ability can only be activated if there are enough targets, so if you have too many cards in hand it won't work.

Development
(2/3) Viability – Definitely Red, but I don't think this is appropriate as an uncommon, mostly because the first ability is a 0 ability. It runs the real risk of coming down, bolting their only threat, and then just controlling the board indefinitely, which is exactly what Wizards hasn't done with uncommon walkers – all the ones from WAR only ticked down, while Chandra, Novice Pyromancer can only do board control with a minus ability.
(3/3) Balance – Definitely good in limited, mostly because of the first ability. Could see constructed play in the right environment.

Creativity
(2.5/3) Uniqueness – There haven't been that many planeswalkers, so it's not too hard to find corners of untapped space, like a planeswalker with only 0 abilities. The first ability, though, is very similar to that on Chandra Ablaze, so a slight ding for that.
(2.5/3) Flavor – Obviously there's never room for flavor text on walkers, but I'm not sure I totally understand the character. I'm assuming he's a minotaur from his name, but what is his power suite? I like finding the niche of a red planeswalker who destroys artifacts, but then what does the first ability signify?

Polish
(3/3) Quality – I've noted above that the abilities don't always work how you might think, but they do work.
(2/2) Main Challenge – Says "hand."
(2/2) Subchallenges – No blue mana, is a permanent.

Total: 20/25
Scores
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Sojourner Dusk: 21.5
Blydden: 20.5

Kypster: 20
RaikouRider: 18.5

slimytrout
Posts: 542
Joined: 10 months ago
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Post by slimytrout » 6 months ago

DragonLover is dealing with some stuff, so I stepped in and judged their bracket. Apologies if judgements are a bit brief, as I'm trying to get these done quickly so we can move on. Speaking of which, Round 3 will be up later this afternoon.

P.S. I'm not yet sure if DragonLover will be back as a judge for Rounds 3 and 4, so if you've been eliminated and would be willing to step in as judge, please be in touch with me.
Icarii
Show
Koshataka, Bushi Mentor 1WW
Legendary Creature - Fox Samurai (R)
Bushido 2
If an opponent would draw a card and that player has more cards in hand than you, you may pay 1. If you do, instead that player skips that draw.
"Keen intellect, body, and blade are a rare balance on the battlefield."
2/2
Design
(2.5/3) Appeal – Timmy is a fan – as soon as it gets into combat it's a 3-mana 4/4, plus it will tend to lead to games where both players dump their hands, which they love. Johnny is intrigued, as it certainly has some deck-building potential, but they're not generally a fan of having an empty hand. Spike loves it, since it leads to all sorts of interesting choices.
(2.5/3) Elegance – The ability will likely require people to read it more than once, but certainly not beyond the pale.

Development
(3/3) Viability – Draw denial is definitely white from a mechanical perspective, and balance is white from a flavor perspective, so that definitely works. Also definitely rare.
(2/3) Balance – The mana payment is definitely crucial here – without it, the card would be pretty busted. As is, you're not always going to be able to both dump your hand and leave up mana, so there will generally be moments where your guard is down. However, I still think that it has the problem of leading to really unfun play patterns – if my opponent lands this on the play and my hand is full of big creatures or I've missed a land drop and I can't remove it, then chances are I'm pretty much locked out as long as they keep being able to play spells and hit land drops. I think it would be better if it was more like the rhystic mechanic, where your opponent(s) could pay to avoid the effect rather than you paying to have it occur.
Creativity
(3/3) Uniqueness – Plays in the same space as cards like Spirit of the Labyrinth, but doesn't actually resemble them. Full points.
(3/3) Flavor – Would fit right in in a Return to Kamigawa, which might also include a return to the hand-size-matters theme of Saviors of Kamigawa. Love the flavor text.

Polish
(2.5/3) Quality – There's never been a bushido card without reminder text, so (-0.5).
(2/2) Main Challenge – Check.
(2/2) Subchallenges – White creature.

Total: 22.5/25
Subject16
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Patternblade Paladin 2WW
Creature — Human Knight (Rare)
Flash
Calibrate 4 1W (You may cast this card for its calibrate cost if you have exactly four cards in hand.)
First strike, Lifelink
When Patternblade Paladin enters the battlefield, you may return a creature you control to its owner's hand.
"The only certainty in these lands is your end at my hand."
3/3
Design
(2.5/3) Appeal –Timmy likes the possibility of a 2-mana 3/3 flash, but doesn't like the fiddliness required to make it work. Johnny likes the specificity required to have exactly 4 cards in hand and wants a deck full of different calibrate cards. Spike likes the challenge of shaping their curve to get the most value out of this.
(1.5/3) Elegance – There's a reason why mechanics don't usually have a number and a cost: it's hard to keep them straight. The only exception I can think of is suspend, which players found "fiddly and confusing". Also, while the card isn't quite microtext, it does have nine lines and four line breaks so it's right on the edge.

Development
(3/3) Viability – First strike, lifelink, self-bounce? Yeah, this is white, and white gets flash at higher rarities. Too much text to be a good mythic (cough), so rare is right.
(2/3) Balance – This already pushed for a four drop, so the chance to play it as a two drop (mull to 6 on the play, go land, 1-drop, land) or, more likely, three drop, is too much. If the last ability wasn't a "may" then it would be a lot more reasonable.
Creativity
(3/3) Uniqueness – Yeah, we've never seen a mechanic that's anything like this.
(3/3) Flavor – Was about to say that the flavor text was a bit generic, but then noticed the "hand" slipped in there – nice one. Certainly would fit well in a hand-themed set. The final ability is a bit odd, but I guess it makes sense if the paladin is rescuing someone.

Polish
(2.5/3) Quality – From suspend, we can tell that it should have been "Calibrate 4 – 1W" (-0.5). Otherwise good.
(2/2) Main Challenge – Check.
(2/2) Subchallenges – White creature.

Total: 21.5/25
Gateways7
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Enlightenment 2W
Sorcery (uncommon)
Target player gains 2 life for each card in players' hands.
"When the individual mind breaches the secrets of life, they become enlightened. When those secrets are shared, all the world becomes enlightened."
—Song of All, canto 912
Design
(1/3) Appeal – You can gain a lot of life from this, so Timmy might be a little interested. Johnny could maybe cobble something together with Tainted Remedy or Sanguine Bond. Spike hates this, and they hate even more that they might have to play it because it's so much life (see Balance).
(3/3) Elegance – Some simple addition, but magic players should be able to handle that.

Development
(3/3) Viability – It's white, and I guess with this much life gain it probably shouldn't be at common.
(2/3) Balance – This is too much life for too little mana. In 2-player, it's probably a gain 20 on turn 3, while in EDH it could easily be a gain 40. Congregate is a similar effect, but it's a mana more and it doesn't do anything until there's a substantial board, whereas this requires zero other setup.
Creativity
(1.5/3) Uniqueness – Speaking of Congregate, it's a clear inspiration for this, even down to the flavor text. Obviously this is a new take on it, but picking a new thing to count isn't *that* new.
(3/3) Flavor – Yeah, this works – enlightenment is definitely the white version of knowledge, and the quote from the Song of All is a nice touch.

Polish
(3/3) Quality – Looks good.
(2/2) Main Challenge – Check.
(1/2) Subchallenges – White, but a sorcery.

Total: 19.5/25
Scores
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Icarii: 22.5
Subject16: 21.5

Gateways7: 19.5

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void_nothing
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Titles & Recognition

Post by void_nothing » 6 months ago

slimytrout wrote:
6 months ago
P.S. I'm not yet sure if DragonLover will be back as a judge for Rounds 3 and 4, so if you've been eliminated and would be willing to step in as judge, please be in touch with me.
Actually, this is convenient, as I was narrowly eliminated this round.

I will step up and judge the final two rounds, as it is unnecessarily unpleasant to try to finish the MCC shorthanded.
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Psst, check the second page of Custom Card Contests & Games! Because of the daily contests, a lot of games fall down to there.

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