November MCC Round 2: Lend Me a Hand

slimytrout
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Post by slimytrout » 1 week 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
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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 2 days ago, edited 2 times in total.

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Sojourner Dusk
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Post by Sojourner Dusk » 1 week 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.



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RW Burn (Modern) U Fish Grinder (Modern)

The_Hittite
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Post by The_Hittite » 1 week 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 3 days ago, edited 1 time in total.

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RaikouRider
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Post by RaikouRider » 1 week 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 4 days ago, edited 1 time in total.

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Subject16
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Post by Subject16 » 1 week 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 » 1 week 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 days ago, edited 3 times in total.

netn10
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Post by netn10 » 1 week 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 days 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 4 days ago, edited 2 times in total.
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Kypster
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Post by Kypster » 6 days 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 3 days ago, edited 7 times in total.

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void_nothing
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Titles & Recognition

Post by void_nothing » 5 days 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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Gateways7
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Post by Gateways7 » 3 days 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

Image

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Blydden
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Post by Blydden » 2 days 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.

slimytrout
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Post by slimytrout » 2 days 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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Flatline
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Post by Flatline » 2 days 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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bravelion83
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Post by bravelion83 » 2 days ago

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

In progress...
Flatline
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bravelion83 wrote:
1 day ago
slimytrout wrote:
1 day 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 days 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."
netn10
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netn10 wrote:
1 week 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.
*/*
The_Hittite
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The_Hittite wrote:
1 week 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.
*/*
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.
void_nothing
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void_nothing wrote:
5 days 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
Last edited by bravelion83 22 hours ago, edited 1 time in total.
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slimytrout
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Post by slimytrout » 1 day 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 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

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