netn10 wrote: ↑
6 months ago
Creature - Avatar (Rare)
Mirrored (You may cast the other face of this card for
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.
Creature - Avatar (Rare)
Mirrored (You may cast the other face of this card for
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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?"
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!"
A: "Yeah, that's better!"
And I haven't even mentioned all the judge calls in competitive Magic:
*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?)
- 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.
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.
- 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!"
- 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
- Both met.
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!