February MCC, Final Round: Sidewalking Practice

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Ryder
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Post by Ryder » 1 month ago

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Banner based on Time Sidewalk test card artwork by Steve Sunu and Wizards of the Coast.

February MCC
Final Round: Sidewalking Practice

Welcome to the Fatal Four Way Final Round of this month's MCC! We've got to know your characters quite well now. They are epic, powerful and their allies are also nothing to scoff at. Even then, life of a Planeswalker is full of dangerous hazards. Even the most powerful beings get surprised or even ambushed from time to time. How has your Character survived to this day? You can't just blast everything away, sometimes you need to defend yourself. Prove to me that you're truly impossible to defeat!

Main Challenge: Design a Common Instant card that is your Round 1 Character's defensive option.
Subchallenge 1: Your card features a new keyword ability, ability word or keyword action.
Subchallenge 2: Your card has at least two sentences of flavor text and the flavor text does not contain any quotes.
Clarifications
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Main Challenge: "Defensive", apart from being reactive, means "Not offensive". Simple check: Could the effect be considered an attack? The answer must be a clear "No". Examples include: Teferi's Time Twist, Ajani's Presence or Dovin's Veto.
Subchallenges: Self-explanatory.
DEADLINES
Design deadline: Saturday, February 29th 23:59 EDT
Judging deadline: Wednesday, March 4th 23:59 EDT
MCC Rubric
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Design
(X/3) Appeal - Do the different player psychographics (Timmy/Johhny/Spike) have a use for the card?
(X/3) Elegance - Is the card easily understandable at a glance? Do all the flavor and mechanics combined as a whole make sense?

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

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

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

Total: X/25
*An entry with 0 points here is subject to disqualification.
Players:
Subject16 wrote:Milena, Planar Theorist
{u/r} Legendary Planeswalker — Milena
{0}: Exile the top card of your library. You may cast that card. If you don't, put a loyalty counter on Milena, Planar Theorist.
{-3}: When you cast your next instant or sorcery spell this turn, create an X/X red Elemental creature token with haste, where X is that spell's converted mana cost.
{-6}: Cast an instant or sorcery card in exile or from outside the game without paying its mana cost.
{0}
jamblock wrote:Kaya, Soul Seeker
{w/B} Legendary Planeswalker (M)
At the beginning of your upkeep, if your life total is greater than your starting life total, put a loyalty counter on Kaya, Soul Seeker.
[-2] You gain 5 life.
[-4] Exile up to one target creature and up to one target card in a graveyard.
slimytrout wrote:Tibalt, Prince of Pain
{b/r} Legendary Planeswalker - Tibalt (M)
Whenever an opponent is dealt damage during your turn, put a loyalty counter on Tibalt, Prince of Pain.
0: Create a 1/1 red Devil creature token with haste.
-1: Target player discards a card at random, then draws a card.
-9: Sacrifice any number of creatures you control. For each creature sacrificed this way, Tibalt deals 3 damage to target opponent unless they sacrifice two creatures.
3
Kypster wrote:Kraj, Omnimorph
{b/g} Legendary Planeswalker - Kraj {M}
-2: Create a token that's a copy of any exiled creature with a cytoplasm counter on it, except its an Ooze in addition to its other creature types.
-3: Exile target creature. Put a cytoplasm counter on it.
0: Sacrifice any number of Ooze creatures. Put that many loyalty counters on Kraj, Omnimorph.
6
Judges:
Ryder
bravelion83
void_nothing
Last edited by Ryder 1 month ago, edited 5 times in total.

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Kypster
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Post by Kypster » 1 month ago

Round 1 Card
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Kypster wrote:
1 month ago
Kraj, Rot Scavenger {b/g}{b/g}
Legendary Creature - Zombie Ooze Mutant {M}
Whenever Kraj, Rot Scavenger leaves your graveyard, you may exile target creature card from a graveyard. If you do, put a cytoplasm counter on it.
At the beginning of your upkeep, if there are four or more exiled creatures with cytoplasm counters on them, exile Kraj and return it to the battlefield transformed.
Dredge 2
1/1
//
Kraj, Omnimorph
({b/g})Legendary Planeswalker - Kraj {M}
-2: Create a token that's a copy of any exiled creature with a cytoplasm counter on it, except its an Ooze in addition to its other creature types.
-3: Exile target creature. Put a cytoplasm counter on it.
0: Sacrifice any number of Ooze creatures. Put that many loyalty counters on Kraj, Omnimorph.
6
Kraj's Dupe BGU
Instant {C}
Salvage a creature (You may exile a creature from your graveyard as you cast this spell.)
Create a 1/1 green Ooze creature token with deathtouch. If a creature was salvaged, it has the toughness of that creature instead.
Kraj learned to be creative from the Simic. The Golgari taught it how to be resourceful.

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Post by jamblock » 1 month ago

Kaya's Shadowdance 1W
Instant (C)
Insist 1B (You may pay an additional 1B as you cast this spell. If you do, your opponents can't cast spells while this spell is on the stack.)
Exile target nonland permanent you control, then return it to the battlefield tapped. If Kaya's Shadowdance's insist cost was paid, you gain life equal to that permanent's converted mana cost.
-----
The justiciar began to read Kaya the terms of her arrest. It was only when he felt her blade on his neck that he realized he was reading to a shadow.

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Post by slimytrout » 1 month ago

Tibalt's Gambit BR
Instant (C)
Desperation (You may pay life equal to this spell's converted mana cost when you cast it.)
Target creature gets +1/+0 and gains first strike until end of turn. If this spell is desperate, that creature gains deathtouch until end of turn.
Tibalt always said existence equaled pain. But he hated when it was his pain.

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Post by Subject16 » 1 month ago

Milena's Dispersal 2UU
Instant (C)
Counter target spell. You get an amount of (energy counters) equal to that spell's converted mana cost.
Conduit— UU, Pay . (You may cast this spell for its conduit cost by tapping an untapped artifact you control in addition to its other costs.)
All things on Kaladesh are woven from aether. One only need unravel them to see.

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Post by Ryder » 1 month ago

Design time is over. Judges, you know what to do!



Done
Kypster
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Kypster wrote:
1 month ago
Kraj's Dupe BGU
Instant {C}
Salvage a creature (You may exile a creature from your graveyard as you cast this spell.)
Create a 1/1 green Ooze creature token with deathtouch. If a creature was salvaged, it has the toughness of that creature instead.
Kraj learned to be creative from the Simic. The Golgari taught it how to be resourceful.
Design
(1/3) Appeal - Nobody is really impressed, but it's an okay answer to hexproof creatures in Limited.
(2/3) Elegance - 1/X is a weird design.

Development
(2.5/3) Viability
- Nothing wrong per se, but the effect isn't very Blue. Looks good at Common.
(3/3) Balance - Now that is a weak Ambush Viper... if you want to attack with it. On the defense, it has the potential to be a scary wall. Oookay.

Creativity
(2/3) Uniqueness - Salvage is a fairly straightforward action word, bonus points for simplicity.
(3/3) Flavor - Kraj turns a corpse into an oozing wall of death. Great.

Polish
(1.5/3) Quality
- Exile a creature card from your graveyard. (-0.5). The last part is simply wrong, the correct wording would be: "If you salvaged a creature, create a 1/X green Ooze creature token with deathtouch instead, where X is that card's toughness." (-1).
(2/2) Main Challenge - Met
(2/2) Subchallenges - Both met.

Total: 19/25
jamblock
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jamblock wrote:
1 month ago
Kaya's Shadowdance 1W
Instant (C)
Insist 1B (You may pay an additional 1B as you cast this spell. If you do, your opponents can't cast spells while this spell is on the stack.)
Exile target nonland permanent you control, then return it to the battlefield tapped. If Kaya's Shadowdance's insist cost was paid, you gain life equal to that permanent's converted mana cost.
-----
The justiciar began to read Kaya the terms of her arrest. It was only when he felt her blade on his neck that he realized he was reading to a shadow.
Design
(1.5/3) Appeal - Timmy does not care, Johnny likes a safe blink effect, Spike sees potential in resetting Planeswalkers and would consider it in the right deck.
(3/3) Elegance - All clear.

Development
(2.5/3) Viability
- No problems with the rarity. Black insist cost is questionable, could be mono White, but it's not a glaring problem due to flavor.
(2.5/3) Balance - 2cmc is perfect for a blink with upside. Resetting PWs is a big deal. Teferi's Time Twist comes to mind. Bringing the option to use your Planeswalker twice in one turn is big, it would likely warrant insist cost increase to 3.

Creativity
(2.5/3) Uniqueness - Insist isn't the most fresh thing ever (kicker-split second meshed together), but the ability to reuse 'walker in the same turn is very nice.
(3/3) Flavor - Perfect. Everything fits.

Polish
(2.5/3) Quality
- Weird line separating the flavor text.
(2/2) Main Challenge - Met.
(2/2) Subchallenges - Both met.

Total: 21.5/25
slimytrout
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slimytrout wrote:
1 month ago
Tibalt's Gambit BR
Instant (C)
Desperation (You may pay life equal to this spell's converted mana cost when you cast it.)
Target creature gets +1/+0 and gains first strike until end of turn. If this spell is desperate, that creature gains deathtouch until end of turn.
Tibalt always said existence equaled pain. But he hated when it was his pain.
Design
(1.5/3) Appeal - Nobody is really interested, but a cool combat trick for Limited.
(2.5/3) Elegance - It's kind-of inelegant that you have to pay B, but the effect may not be Black at all, if you're not desperate.

Development
(3/3) Viability
- First strike and deathtouch is pushing it at Common, but Pestilent Kathari is there for precedence. All clear.
(3/3) Balance - Terminate is usually better for removal, but this can hit hexproof and if your creature is double or triple-blocked, this is a fine trick to pull off. +1/+0 makes it complete. Good job.

Creativity
(1.5/3) Uniqueness - Nothing really new or refreshing here. Desperation is an okay mechanic.
(1.5/3) Flavor - You're trying really hard to make it look defensive, but it's very clumsy. How desperation makes your strike this deadly? I could see the reverse here, deathtouch always, first strike desperate.

Polish
(1.5/3) Quality
- You may pay life equal to this spell's converted mana cost as you cast it. (-0.5) If this spell is desperate, that creature also gains deathtouch (-0.5). Starting the second flavor sentence with a "but" looks like a badly split one sentence into two. (-0.5)
(2/2) Main Challenge - Full points only because I've said it's ok in the discussion thread. If it weren't for that, I'd shave a point here.
(2/2) Subchallenges - Both met.

Total: 18.5/25

And now here you have some ideas that can work for Red/Black defense:
- Can't block: Causing confusion to flee
- Wild Ricochet effect
- Abnormal Endurance flavored like Tbalt is playing dead
- "Punisher" effect, flavored as Tibalt threatening the attackers
- Instant speed Threaten to make the attackers fight themselves
- Land destruction - staving off the chasing enemies

All of the above would've worked miles better than a first strike trick.
Subject16
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Subject16 wrote:
1 month ago
Milena's Dispersal 2UU
Instant (C)
Counter target spell. You get an amount of (energy counters) equal to that spell's converted mana cost.
Conduit— UU, Pay . (You may cast this spell for its conduit cost by tapping an untapped artifact you control in addition to its other costs.)
All things on Kaladesh are woven from aether. One only need unravel them to see.
Design
(2/3) Appeal - Spike and Jenny are definitely interested. Spike would play this for the Conduit cost, Johnny could even build a deck that amasses energy counter and put it to good use there.
(2/3) Elegance - Countermagic is like the only effect that does NOT work with Milena's card.

Development
(2.5/3) Viability
- Gaining potentially many energy counters pushes this into Uncommon territory. Blue is good.
(2.5/3) Balance - Assuming this would be printed in an environment with lots of energy counters and artifacts, this is quite powerful.

Creativity
(1.5/3) Uniqueness - Conduit is a nice, realistic mechanic. Nothing groundbreaking, but ok. Energy counters are known.
(3/3) Flavor - Physicist vibe is very much on point here.

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

Total: 20.5/25
Results
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jamblock: 21.5
Subject16: 20.5
Kypster: 19
slimytrout: 18.5
Last edited by Ryder 1 month ago, edited 11 times in total.

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bravelion83
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Post by bravelion83 » 1 month ago

Judgments complete.
Kypster
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Kypster wrote:
1 month ago
Round 1 Card
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Kypster wrote:
1 month ago
Kraj, Rot Scavenger {b/g}{b/g}
Legendary Creature - Zombie Ooze Mutant {M}
Whenever Kraj, Rot Scavenger leaves your graveyard, you may exile target creature card from a graveyard. If you do, put a cytoplasm counter on it.
At the beginning of your upkeep, if there are four or more exiled creatures with cytoplasm counters on them, exile Kraj and return it to the battlefield transformed.
Dredge 2
1/1
//
Kraj, Omnimorph
({b/g})Legendary Planeswalker - Kraj {M}
-2: Create a token that's a copy of any exiled creature with a cytoplasm counter on it, except its an Ooze in addition to its other creature types.
-3: Exile target creature. Put a cytoplasm counter on it.
0: Sacrifice any number of Ooze creatures. Put that many loyalty counters on Kraj, Omnimorph.
6
Kraj's Dupe BGU
Instant {C}
Salvage a creature (You may exile a creature from your graveyard as you cast this spell.)
Create a 1/1 green Ooze creature token with deathtouch. If a creature was salvaged, it has the toughness of that creature instead.
Kraj learned to be creative from the Simic. The Golgari taught it how to be resourceful.
Design
Appeal 2/3 - Timmy doesn't care too much but he likes that he can make the token bigger, even if it's only toughness. Johnny can certainly do something with this card. Spike wants more from a three-colored card.
Elegance 3/3 - More easily understandable than the wording it should have (see Quality).
Development
Viability 3/3 - The Sultai colors do nothing but make the similarity between salvage and exploit even more evident. Creates a green token, with deathtouch, and toughness-setting. All three colors are accounted for. This is plausible as a common.
Balance 1.5/3 - The biggest problem is the triple-colored mana cost. In a limited format the supports wedges, you can play it, but I think it's rather weak, even as a common, for sure with a 1/1 token, but maybe using salvage anyway. I can't see this in constructed. No problems in casual or multiplayer.
Creativity
Uniqueness 1/3 - Salvage is technically new but clearly inspired by exploit. Too similar. The rest is nothing new.
Flavor 2/3 - I'm sorry but I can't see the word "dupe" in the name of a Magic card. No problems with the flavor text, and I've noticed and liked the chiasmus there.
Polish
Quality 2.5/3 - "it has the toughness of..." is not standard template. It should have said something like "the token's toughness is equal to that of the salvaged creature." (-0.5)
Main Challenge 2/2 - Good.
Subchallenges 2/2 - Both met.
TOTAL 19/25
jamblock
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jamblock wrote:
1 month ago
Kaya's Shadowdance 1W
Instant (C)
Insist 1B (You may pay an additional 1B as you cast this spell. If you do, your opponents can't cast spells while this spell is on the stack.)
Exile target nonland permanent you control, then return it to the battlefield tapped. If Kaya's Shadowdance's insist cost was paid, you gain life equal to that permanent's converted mana cost.
-----
The justiciar began to read Kaya the terms of her arrest. It was only when he felt her blade on his neck that he realized he was reading to a shadow.
Design
Appeal 3/3 - Timmy likes life gain and could use the flickering to save a creature of his from removal. Everybody likes the "split second" part of insist. This can absolutely be a part of some combos of Johnny's. Spike likes flickering, she can get a lot of value from it.
Elegance 2/3 - The text is at Animate Dead levels: 10 lines and 2 breaks. Acceptable, but barely.
Development
Viability 2/3 - This could have been a monowhite card. Actually, it should have been monowhite. Pure life gain is not black, life drain is. I can see this at common but probably redflagged for text length.
Balance 3/3 - You will use this just like any other flickering card. Most of the time yes in limited, in constructed build your deck around it with a lot of ETB effects. I like the fact that the card does something even without using insist, and actually that's the most useful part. No problems in casual or multiplayer.
Creativity
Uniqueness 1/3 - This is just lifegain stapled on a blink effect. Nothing new. Insist is just the child of kicker and split second.
Flavor 3/3 - Flavor is the only reason this card is black, because Kaya is. I'm a big fan of both the name and the flavor text, I could easily see them printed as is on a real card.
Polish
Quality 2.5/3 - A needless and non-standard series of hyphens to mimic the flavor bar (-0.5).
Main Challenge 2/2 - Good.
Subchallenges 2/2 - Both met.
TOTAL 20.5/25
slimytrout
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slimytrout wrote:
1 month ago
Tibalt's Gambit BR
Instant (C)
Desperation (You may pay life equal to this spell's converted mana cost when you cast it.)
Target creature gets +1/+0 and gains first strike until end of turn. If this spell is desperate, that creature gains deathtouch until end of turn.
Tibalt always said existence equaled pain. But he hated when it was his pain.
Design
Appeal 2/3 - Timmy doesn't like to pay life but at least when he does he likes killing creatures with the life he paid. I don't see much for Johnny here. To Spike, just another combat trick, what makes it interesting is that it can turn into removal for a cost that she's absolutely willing to pay. To Spike, the only important life point is when she's at 1, the first 19 life is expendable.
Elegance 3/3 - No problems here.
Development
Viability 3/3 - Both colors are represented, and I can see this at common. Good job.
Balance 3/3 - Good combat trick for limited, turning into removal can be relevant for Standard. I see no problems in casual or ordinary multiplayer. In formats like 2HG (starting at 30 life) or even Commander (40), the drawback of paying 2 life becomes less relevant, and the card stronger.
Creativity
Uniqueness 1/3 - Another one in the series of kicker mechanics. Nothing else is new.
Flavor 3/3 - I saw how hard it was to get there, but the end result is perfect. You did find a way to justify Tibalt's defensive option.
Polish
Quality 3/3 - All good. Reminder text can be less strict than rules text.
Main Challenge 2/2 - Good.
Subchallenges 2/2 - Both met.
TOTAL 22/25
Subject16
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Subject16 wrote:
1 month ago
Milena's Dispersal 2UU
Instant (C)
Counter target spell. You get an amount of (energy counters) equal to that spell's converted mana cost.
Conduit— UU, Pay . (You may cast this spell for its conduit cost by tapping an untapped artifact you control in addition to its other costs.)
All things on Kaladesh are woven from aether. One only need unravel them to see.
Design
Appeal 2/3 - Timmy hates having his big creatures and spells countered. Johnny can use this as protection for his combo. Spike is the one who likes this the most.
Elegance 3/3 - No problems here.
Development
Viability 3/3 - Clearly in color. I'm not sure this belongs at common, or should be uncommon. I keep going back and forth. Let's say it's acceptable.
Balance 2/3 - Obviously here the main attractive is that it can be a two-mana old-style Counterspell with upside thanks to conduit. I think the costs are realistic enough. You'll play this in limited sometimes. If you manage to use conduit reliably, I could also see this in Standard. The only problem in casual is that of all counterspells: they're not fun to many players, especially casual ones. No problems in multiplayer.
Creativity
Uniqueness 1.5/3 - Probably the most original mechanic among the four, but still just an alternative cost that feels like the child of improvise and suspend.
Flavor 3/3 - I have no problems with the name, flavor text, or card concept.
Polish
Quality 2.5/3 - An unneeded space between the em dash and the mana symbols. (-0.5)
Main Challenge 2/2 - Good.
Subchallenges 2/2 - Both met.
TOTAL 21/25
Results
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slimytrout: 22
Subject16: 21
jamblock: 20.5
Kypster: 19
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Titles & Recognition

Post by void_nothing » 4 weeks ago

Kypster
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Design
(2.5/3) Appeal - Txmmy and Jxnny compete to see how big the token's butt can get, although Jxnny really wishes that blue mana symbol wasn't there for Doran, the Siege Tower EDH. Spike is less interested but might take it in Limited.
(2/3) Elegance - Permanent toughness setting on a token is pretty complex for common in terms of memory.

Development
(2/3) Viability - Hard to tell what the blue is doing here (I guess the toughness setting? It kinda works, but it's permanent pump in effect so green can just do that I think), and I'm not sure the complexity is common-appropriate.
(3/3) Balance - Can't object here.

Creativity
(1.5/3) Uniqueness - Flash deathtouchers are not new but the toughness setting is pretty bold! The mechanic is, well. consume from Elder Scrolls Legends but I can hardly dock creativity points across card games; it's still a kicker-alike but there are so many mechanics that are more limited versions of kicker.
(3/3) Flavor - Works for me. The idea of Kraj making an entire decoy Kraj out of poison is gloriously insane.

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

Total: 21/25
jamblock
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Design
(2/3) Appeal - Txmmy (save fatties, huge lifegain) and Jxnny (blink interacts with things) both approve. Spike prefers their blink repeatable.
(2.5/3) Elegance - Insist is a little wordy, and so is the main card effect; I feel like you don't need the "nonland" there since it's returning the card tapped anyhow.

Development
(2/3) Viability - The black mana in the insist cost feels strange here since the bonus is a white effect. Black does get lifegain but in this form it's much more strongly white (or green, but that would hardly fit Kaya).
(3/3) Balance - Nothing overly strong here.

Creativity
(1.5/3) Uniqueness - A blink variant with a new kicker-alike keyword - not just kicker-alike, though, because the bonus for insist is (a cleaner version of) split second!
(1/3) Flavor - The name, the use of black mana in the additional cost, and the flavor text all REALLY suggest causing an opponent to lose life rather than gaining you life. But instead, the opposite is true, totally letting down the expectation you set up.

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

Total: 19/25
slimytrout
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Design
(2/3) Appeal - Txmmy and Spike appreciate those two particular combat abilities together but this is all a bit blunt for Jxnny.
(3/3) Elegance - Actually very straightforward.

Development
(3/3) Viability - Sure, colors look fine and it's appropriate for common.
(2.5/3) Balance - Not exactly overpowered, but I would prefer not to run into these in Limited at common frequency. At least it's multicolor so it's not going in every black deck, for example.

Creativity
(1/3) Uniqueness - First strike and deathtouch have been married a few times before and desperation is extremely close to kicker, more so even than most other kicker-alikes that I can think of.
(3/3) Flavor - Looks fine to me. Even a little witty.

Polish
(2.5/3) Quality - The "when" in that reminder text should definitely read "as"; this isn't a triggered ability.
(2/2) Main Challenge (*) - Done.
(2/2) Subchallenges - And done.

Total: 21/25
Subject16
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Design
(2/3) Appeal - Not really a Txmmy card but Jxnny/Spikes would love it in any given energy deck.
(2.5/3) Elegance - A few moving parts to account for, and variable numbers of E give you more tracking complexity, but nothing so wrong here.

Development
(2.5/3) Viability - Very blue, but feels quite a bit more uncommon than common.
(2/3) Balance - One of those things that's okay in a vacuum but you just know in the Standard environment it's in, it'd be at least a punishing sideboard option if not the go-to setup for the winning energy combo.

Creativity
(1.5/3) Uniqueness - Mana Drain except it's energy - certainly a concept that's been gone over before but also treads on some new ground. Conduit is a lot, but not exactly, like improvise.
(3/3) Flavor - Works perfectly well for me. Flavor text ties it all together.

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

Total: 20.5/25
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