You Make the Card Championships 2012 [Election]

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Welcome to the (commonly) final stage of You Make the Card Championships. The seven champions of their designated category have spent some time pondering upon the design criteria, and today is the day they will be put to the test.

The criteria:
Choose Magic's four biggest mistakes, and fix them.

The submissions:
[sblock magicpablo666]
144902215 wrote:
Not Enough Non-Males

So. At first I was going to design a card for the ladies. My inspiration is pretty much, Buffy. There is a huge female fanbase for Buffy the Vampire Slayer. There is also a huge male fanbase. Buffy is obviously doing something right! But, then Chaos was kind enough to point out that there are other genders, and this made my brain think about those genders. So, in order to reach out to those who do not fit into the categories most commonly associated with gender, I present to you, this thing I made:

Alabaster Trantite
Creature - Trantite Wizard
(Male Symbol Watermark)
: Exile target female. Then transform Alabaster Trantite.

"In the battle of the sexes, those who are defeated are those who cannot adapt."

Obsidian Trantite
Creature - Trantite Wizard
(Female Symbol Watermark)
: Destroy target male. Then transform Obsidian Trantite.

"In the war between the genders, both man and woman can be victorious."

Let me introduce you to Wizard's of the Coast: EDH Casual Product II of 2013. The Battle of the Sexes. In this gripping casual product you will go back to the beginning and the eternal struggle between those of different types that has lasted eons. All1 of your favorite legendary creatures have been given special watermarks that denote Gender. Not only that, even your favorite non-legendary creatures: Ever wonder if Dragon Broodmother was really female? Now there will be no doubt. What about Wormwood Treefolk? That's right - your intuition was correct! There will be no more doubt when WotC:EDHCPII-TBotS comes out!

1. More likely: Some, Most, or None

Not Enough Beauty

Childhood's Naïveté
Enchantment - Theory
You couldn't lose the game.

Too Many Humans

So, I already covered this in the first post I made, but humans are dull. We're surrounded by them every day. Why engage in a fantasy activity if you're not trying to escape this dreadful place that we are immersed in?

Many Vulshok of both sexes are large and powerful, with muscular frames and thick, tanned skin. Dull iron spikes jut from their heads, shoulders, and other parts of their bodies, giving them a degree of natural armor. Their hair, if they have any, resembles flexible metal wire. Vulshok wear little clothing, usually only iron-studded tunics or loincloths.

If elves aren't humans. And dwarves and kor and merfolk aren't humans. Then why are these beings considered as such? Do they not warrent their own awesome race? I feel that they do. They are not alone. There are many races in magic which have been balled up in the - dare I say it? - racist sphere of humanity.

Shoulder-Blade Ditchbeing
Creature - Vulshok Warrior
As long as Shoulder-Blade Ditchbeing is tapped, it recieves +1/+0 for each artifact you control.

"Watch his back."


So, tapped here represents the literal angle of the card. The Vulshok has big metal spikes emerging from his shoulders. Flavour text is a play on the common American expression "Watch your back."

The inevitable demise of the M:TG Franchise - a jumping off point.

I don't really dislike Jace as much as I used to. He actually has a personality and feelings and stuff. He is also very important to Wizards. He is the face of Magic. Who better, to undergo the ultimate sacrifice?

Jace's Tomb
Legendary Artifact
If Jace and Jace's Tomb would be on the battlefield at the same time, Jace's controller sacrifices him.
If your life total would be reduced to 0, reduce it to 1 instead, and draw 20 cards.

"A true hero continues his destiny, even after he is gone."
- Garruk

[sblock Rush_Clasic]
56544366 wrote:
1) low card variety among constructed play

Magic naturally ushers itself toward a metagame where certain cards in the environment are simply better choices than others. When warranted, these cards are packed 4 at a time into the decks they work so well in. The following idea supposes that the general make-up of constructed offers a slightly higher amount of consistency than desired. The proposed change is to allow only a maximum of 3-copies of any nonbasic card per constructed deck.

Primordial Hoard
Creature - Elemental (U)
Primordial Hoard's power and toughness are each equal to the number of differently named creatures you control.
A thousand faces; one purpose.

2) unplayability of red in multiplayer

Red's philosophy has been well hammered into an entity that cares about now, and rarely about later. Cards like Destructive Force and Charmbreaker Devils are recent good attempts at inserting longevity into the color, but it has very few applicable strategies that make it work in multiplayer. One solution is to allow red to attack multiple players at once. In order to make it applicable to non-multiplayer environments, one can simply using planeswalkers as a surrogate.

Thrashing Vampire
Creature - Vampire (C)
Haste, thrash (This creature may attack any number of players and/or planeswalkers. If you would assign this creature's combat damage one of those players or planeswalkers, instead assign that much damage to them all.)
To the bloodthirsty, variety is the spice of life.


3) lack of general combo enablers

For quite some time, Magic has cut back on its simpler combo enabling cards. R&D has focused on satisfying one type of Johnny, which I'll call "Jim Bob". Jim Bob doesn't like his combos to grind. Rather, he likes to build his resources toward one colossal event. This might be a huge Omniscience turn, or an Epic Experiment, or a Worldfire... and so on. A big slice of the Johnny pizza is being overlooked. R&D is weary about creating a non-interactive format, but I'm not talking about cards for Solitaire Johnny (let's call him Joe). I'm talking about satisfying Grinder Johnny, who we'll call Josie. Josie likes the simple advantage she gets from sacrificing a Doomed Traveler for some benefit and a new token... all for onw mana. Josie likes that Eldrazi Spawn tokens can be utilized as either fodder or ramp. Josie enjoys her Blasting Stations and her Clock of Omens. Her aims aren't for some super-storm turn that takes forever to play, but some mega-turn interactions. She doesn't want to just play a zombie deck with Gravecrawler; she want to cast it 5 times in a turn for some awesome benefit! She laughs at how well Bloodthrone Vampire and Fists of Ironwood play together. And she demands more such cards!... because R&D rarely gives her enough to work with in any given Standard.

Creature - Fungus (U)
When Sap Sucker enters the battlefield, put a 1/1 green Plant creature token onto the battlefield.
, Sacrifice a creature: Add to your mana pool.
The scavenger momentarily crouched in awe of the tiny leafling that had been its nurturing purpose, then with equal elation, devoured it whole.

4) weakening land destruction into unplayability

Stone Rain was never too good, and yet we live in a world of Craterize. Land destruction creates unfun play states when it works; I agree with that. But there are still ways to make it a reasonable archetype. Rather than nerf land destruction cards beyond playability, limit their functions somehow. Tectonic Edge was a good example of a way to do this, and Cryoclasm isn't a bad version either. The problem with land destruction is when it blows up the only land they have left. But when its just keeping them from reaching 3 or 4 mana, the tension affects games in an interesting way.

Make Way
Sorcery (U)
Destroy target land. That land's controller may play an additional land during his or her next turn.
You may play an additional land this turn.
"This world makes poor comparison to those yet to come."
- Aljo, Yavimayan shaman

[sblock Imidazoline]
56857718 wrote:

1. The Reprint Policy / Reserved List

Don't get me wrong. I'm not a proponent of reprinting Lotus / Moxen / Time Vault. But the commitment not to reprint any of the cards on the reserved list, while noble, was ultimately short sighted. But with an unprecedented influx of new players the time has come for a revision. So the mistake was a well intended commitment to a core customer set who are now a minority, and more importantly, only a subset of which would now continue to buy cards. New players deserve the chance, the marketing is strong, and hey, functionally equivalent cards don't impact secondary market prices anywhere near as much as actual reprints.

Organ Pilferer |
Creature - Zombie
At the beginning of each end step, put a +1/+1 counter on Organ Pilferer for each creature that died this turn.
He selects the finest plots for the heroes that join his neighbourhood, and asks only a small token in return.

(Fun fact - this card should be called Corpse Connoisseur. So much so that I nearly called this guy 'Ichor Sommelier'.)

2. Core set structure

Core sets suck. They are absolutely 100% better than they were, but it still blows to have the delivery of a shiny new world delayed so that Magic designers and developers get to play in a sandbox of past mechanic space mining. Having said that, both the timing and execution of Core sets serve important functions, both in release timing, rotation and the use of existing design space.
My fix for this is actually a pretty simple one. Drop core sets and replace them with single large set returns to the worlds whe the mechanic is from originally. In this way all the mechanical and commercial release strength that comes from a Core Set is maintained, and all the disappointing feel of transplanted mechanics in a weakly built world replaced with an actualised world that suits the bridge mechanics betweens major blocks. In this way the worldhopping feel of planeswalking is more strongly enforced. The drawback is definitely there - it's harder to mix mechanics for example, and translating mechanics into the new setting can be more difficult. But that's not a new problem, and the bleeding of exalted to a Demon from Grixis still happens on Alara! The power of nostalgia is increased! It could even be possible to preview or test run new worlds, or use brand new mechanics with very limited design space (too limited to support a block say). I chose Shadowmoor as an example.

Tortured Soul |
Creature - Spirit
When Tortured Soul enters the battlefield, each other creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn.
: Sacrifice Tortured Soul.
Her deathshrieks fill even the jaded faerie with dread, but nothing like as when they start all over.

3. Mythic power plays

I've said this plenty, but mythics are not the place for Baneslayer Angels or Lotus Cobras. They are the place for Worldspine Wurms and Epic Experiments. Sure sometimes Primeval Titans will exist, and it's not to say that they can't be strong. But mythics should be for splash, not cash.

Reality Lense |
, : For each non-land permanent an opponent controls, put a token onto the battlefield that's a copy of that permanent. Then exile Reality Lense.

4. Enemy Colour Definition

OK, this might need a bit of explanation. The pie is (in my opinion) one of the greatest creations in Magic. It helps define colour and thus game structure, informing flavour and function. The colour pie's biggest enemy somehow though, is the player. Through a combination of a glut of multicolour and a related easing of the difficulty of mana fixing this part of the colour pie has lost definition, especially in terms of which colours relate to others more easily. It's touched on occasionally, but the philosophical rift between colours has become reduced to a mild disagreement. I'd love to see a set that emphasises allied colour play by providing multi-colour tools that abhors enemy colours. Get those Deathmarks and Flashfreezes in, or take a roll on the extremely powerful but very few in number enemy coloured cards. These guys should be special, yet because of some (admittedly excellent, popular blocks), the Orzhov and Boros colour combinations are strangely just as viable as those of Selesnya and Azorius. I'm not saying I want to see Tsunami or Flashfires. But you know what? Hybrid is an awesome tool to highlight allied colours uniting in prejudice against a common enemy to create a solid hate card that also opens itself up to hate. That's what I'd like to see. A bit of an old fashioned red and black picking on that wussy white. And a real difference between green and blue that doesn't involve artifacts.
This one's a bit hard to put together in one card since it really needs an environment to say what's going on. But hey, that's what the aforementioned rambling is for right?

Thought Monitor | ()()
Creature - Vedalken Advisor {U}
Whenever a red creature attacks, it loses all abilities until end of turn.
"This one shows signs of violent tendencies. Keep an eye on it."

[sblock Chinkeeyong]
88993869 wrote:
1. "Tradition" is preventing wording and rules cleanups

You know, the way "flying" was written instead of "flight" always bugged me. It certainly makes sense if you see the word all by its lonesome in Wind Drake's text box, or if you read one of the old Alpha cards that says "does not affect flying creatures." But nowadays, we call Wind Drake "a creature with flying," whatever that means grammatically. Jump reads "Target creature gains flying until end of turn." Earthquake brings the hurt on "each creature without flying." I got used to it after a while, but every so often I wondered why the hell the ability hadn't been errataed to fit with the new syntax yet.

There are many artifacts left over from Magic's history – instant being a card type rather than a supertype, for one thing, and the convoluted rules of protection and regeneration for another. They work, certainly, in the sense that they don't really impede game play. But these little nonsensical things make learning the game difficult for new players, add redundant complexity to an already complicated game, and generally bog down the game experience. As I recall, Mark Rosewater's explanation for Wizards not doing away with these oddities boils down to "We would change it, but it's too deeply ingrained in Magic's history." You know what else had the same problems? Banding.

A quality game isn't just beautiful artwork or the deep strategy, as important as they may be. It's the little things, the internal consistencies and the plain grokkability, that make a good game great. Magic has always been evolving in this respect. Mono artifacts, summon creatures, interrupts, mana sources, rampage, the old card frame, local enchantments, removal from the game – in each of these cases, R&D identified something that wasn't working out and replaced it with something new. If they were willing to go against 14 years of tradition by changing fear to intimidate, I see no reason not to do it again.

 Araba Nightwing

Creature – Human Samurai (C)

(You may cast a spell at any time, even during combat or an opponent's turn.)
Flight (This creature can't be blocked except by creatures with flight or reach.)
Blackshield (This creature can't be blocked, dealt damage, targeted or otherwise affected by anything black.)

They are the blood-red of cypress flower petals, descending upon the soon-to-be dead.

2. Powerful trump cards are warping the game

20. That's the most significant number in an average game of Magic: the Gathering: the amount of life you have, and the amount of life your opponent has to plow through in order to win. I don't know exactly what Richard Garfield and his mates were thinking when they set the number, but I'm pretty sure it was something along the lines of "Let's set a number that's low enough that the game ends in a reasonable amount of time, but high enough that you don't die in a single hit and interesting stuff gets to go on."

The biggest creatures in the game were Serra Angels, Shivan Dragons. Maybe Forces of Nature if you were lucky. From this we can deduce more or less how many turns the original design team intended a game to last: seven, eight, maybe nine. Long enough that both players get to show off their tricks and bring out their biggest guns. Why, then, am I losing games on turn five in Standard?

Is it because Geist of Saint Traft can be brought out on the second turn, is immune to traditional answers, and hits for one-third my life total in one swing? Is it because Thragtusk and Restoration Angel can bury me under a mountain of life and 3/3 Beasts before I even know what's going on? When did Magic become about trump cards and trying to go 'over the top' of your opponent, rather than, you know, nuance and strategy?

It's not that I'm against the powering up of creatures relative to spells or the current prevalence of midrange decks. There will always be powerful threats and trump cards. But the game would definitely be more enjoyable if non-mythic creatures were competitively viable, matches could be puzzles instead of one-sided curbstomps, and a Giant Growth rather than a Supreme Verdict could decide the game.


Creature – Human Wizard (U)

: You may tap or untap another target permanent.

"Not every fight can be solved with blows, and not every lock can be opened with a key."

3. Magic is too expensive

Do you know what Magic's single largest barrier to entry is? It isn't complexity – New World Order and the huge, friendly network of rules support have made that a thing of the past. It isn't age – rotating formats mean that any player can jump right in, regardless of their collection. No, where I come from, most prospective players are turned away by the cost involved.

Right now, one of the more popular Standard archetypes is Bant midrange. That deck can cost as much as two hundred US dollars. Reality check – two hundred dollars is a lot of money, especially if you're a new player who isn't sure whether his investment is going to pay off. With two hundred dollars, I can buy a mahjong board, complete with tiles. Ten chessboards, maybe twenty if I'm lucky. Hundreds of movie tickets. I'm not a mathematician, but I can bet you any of those is going to last me much longer than the average Standard rotation. We have reached an era in Magic: the Gathering where the average competitive deck is a hundred and fifty, a decent mana base alone is a hundred, and a deck that costs fifty dollars is considered 'budget.'

At this point you're probably wondering about Pauper and other casual, low-cost formats. It is precisely the existence of these formats that brought me to realize just how ridiculous the cost of playing Magic has become. Should we have to resort to inventing new rules just so we can afford to play a watered-down version of the game? At Grand Prix Singapore, I saw Filipino Magic players who played monoblack Vampires because they couldn't afford Jace, the Mind Sculptor. I've seen countless Sligh players who play the deck not because they like it, but because they don't have the means to enjoy this hobby with any other deck.

This probably isn't a problem that Magic can overcome in the near future, but I believe that Wizards should try. Magic is a great game which more players should have the opportunity to experience. If Hasbro wants to make more money, if R&D wants Magic to become a truly timeless masterpiece, the first step is to eliminate the price barrier that stands between Joe Nobody and the full experience, and let the well-crafted game mechanics speak for themselves.

Glacial Fortress
Land (C)

Glacial Fortress enters the battlefield tapped unless you control a Plains or an Island.
: Add or to your mana pool.

Only the greatest mages of old could carve their homes in the silence at the top of the world.

4. Not enough cats

You know it's true.


Legendary Creature – Cat (M)

: Cat creatures with power 1 or less gain protection from the color of your choice until end of turn.


[sblock Silasw]
56910658 wrote:
1. Mana fixing has been pushed too hard, while land destruction has been overnerfed.
If the strengths and weaknesses of the colors are the foundation of the color pie, then why is it so easy to play multicolor and negate those weaknesses? Playing more than one color should be tradeoff; mana fixing should cost some amount of tempo, life, or card advantage. Land destruction plays a part in this as well, making manabases yet another battleground to gain advantage in. They say that "people like to cast their spells." Well, some of the greatest Magic stories involve the lack of needed mana at a crucial moment, or a key land destruction spell crippling a fragile mana base. Let's bring that back.

The fix: Weaken mana fixing, and bring back 3-drop LD in a limited form, such as Fulminator Mage. Here's an example of some weak mana fixing:

Glacial Settlement
Land (U)
, : Add to your mana pool.
, : Add to your mana pool.

Okay, maybe it's not strictly mana fixing, depending on your definition. This is basically a two-color Reflecting Pool variant that works better with mana artifacts. Still, it represents the power level I think nonbasic lands should have.

2. No crossovers.
WOTC insists that it retains full control of Magic's IP by making it completely original. However, I think Magic could gather a lot of attention by opening its doors to crossovers with other IPs. People identify with certain fandoms, and if they could be pulled into Magic through these connections, they could learn to love Magic as well.

The fix: Start by doing some sweet D&D crossovers, since Wizards already owns that IP. How about Eberron? Eberron is cool, right? (Disclaimer: I hardly know anything about D&D.)

Given what I know about Eberron, the set would likely have an artifact theme, but more steampunk-ish than Mirrodin.

And hey, since it's practically inspired by D&D, let's bring back the Level Up mechanic.

Fairhaven Artificer
Creature - Human Artificer (U)
Level up
Artifact spells you cast cost less to cast.
Artifact spells you cast cost less to cast.
Artifacts you control have hexproof.

3. Unclear boundaries between formats.
Wizards constantly prints supplementary products, but they always have some non-Standard legal cards. Duels of the Planeswalkers is a great introduction to Magic, but it lumps old and new cards together. These things make it more confusing for new players to build a Standard deck to play Friday Night Magic.

The fix: This one isn't so easy. I think the first step is to put the original expansion symbols on cards reprinted in supplementary products. Perhaps they could also have the supplementary product's symbol, so there would be two symbols on one card. I would also make Duels of the Planeswalkers use normal expansion symbols, and make more of an effort to include Standard-legal cards in it.

Duels normally has to dig deep into Magic history to find simple cards that work well within the game. Instead, here's a card that could be printed in the next core set that could combine well with Return to Ravnica block in DOTP 2014.

Arcanist's Spellsword
Artifact - Equipment (R)
Equipped creature gets +2/+0.
Whenever equipped creature attacks, when you cast your next instant or sorcery spell this turn, copy that spell. You may choose new targets for the copy.

This card works well in an aggressive Izzet deck, and it's especially good on flyers or high-toughness creatures like Frostburn Weird.

4. Not embracing the card design community.
When Wizards ran the Great Designer Search, they got tons of great mechanics and ideas that they are legally allowed to use. Why not set up an official idea submission system? Every YMTCer's dream is to get their cards printed for real, and Wizards can always use more ideas. Everybody wins.

Here's a card that uses a mechanic from the Great Designer Search.

Wailing Gnarr
Creature - Beast (C)
When Wailing Gnarr enters the battlefield, search your library for up to three cards named Wailing Gnarr and put them into your hand. Then shuffle your library.
Swarm (Whenever a creature blocks this creature, it blocks all attacking creatures with Swarm. You choose the order in which the attackers are dealt damage.)


[sblock Glasir]
82032421 wrote:

One of MaRo's favorite metaphors is comparing Magic to a pendulum -- R&D pushes the pendulum from side to side in order to create a new, interesting, different environment with each new block.  As a corollary, the power level of different deck archetypes and strategies waxes and wanes with time: one season Combo might be particularly strong, the next it's Zoo, and so on and so forth.  However, the Pendulum of Power has ceased to swing.  On one level, various forms of aggro have been largely dominant for the past few years, while low-creature-count control and combo have suffered; on another, land destruction and counterspells have become mostly unplayable, as creatures have become more and more powerful.

My suggestion here is to let the pendulum swing both ways.  Actually push, say, control one year; don't just keep making creatures better. Consider making a playable LD card.  Or a counterspell that can be played in Standard.  As a worthy and notable side effect, this reduces the need for continued power-creep: part of the reason that power creep exists is so players can keep getting excited about new cards in the format.  If the same strategies keep getting pushed, the same sorts of cards keep getting printed, and the simplest way to keep players excited about them is to keep making them better and better.

Here is a card from a strange alternate reality in which LD-type effects are pushed slightly.

Soundless Steppe

When ~ enters the battlefield, target land becomes a copy of it.
: Add to your mana pool.

Its silence spreads like a shroud, all voices stilled at the sudden hush.


Next: the color pie has become unbalanced.  I don't think it's unreasonable to claim that the color pie is one of the strongest aspects of Magic.  It's fairly clear that it doesn't give a very well-balanced distribution of things to each color.  White and green are eerily similar in terms of mechanics (lifegain, artifact/enchantment removal, the "creature" colors, ...), and red has become distressingly pigeonholed.

So let's make a red card that expands what the color can do.  We have from Word of God that red is the color of most art and poetry, but those and the other peaceful aspects of red don't fit well into a game about violence.  This doesn't make sense to me -- see, for example, Elvish Piper or Rhox Faithmender.  

Racaen Spellsinger
Creature -- Human

: You may tap or untap target creature.

A song to soothe, and a song to stir.



Magic has a lengthy past, and tradition is a large part of its success.  Every single (non-silly) card ever printed is still has rules support and can be played in at least one competitive format; the basic structure and rules of the game is essentially the same as when the game was first introduced; mechanics and cards first made nearly twenty years ago are still being printed.  This continuity is a huge strength of the game.  However, while tradition and respect for history is important, it can go too far, and I claim that Magic is handcuffed to its history.  

The Reserved List, a promise made in 1996, is probably the most obvious example of this; it has lingered on despite the slow dissipation of the reasons for its existence and numerous calls to rescind it.  Other examples include the continued existence of Regeneration and Protection, two complicated bags of sub-abilities that persist largely through momentum; a less-obvious one is that (good) dual lands are usually printed at Rare [1].  R&D has shown a willingness to remove parts of the game that don't work very well: banding, interrupts, damage on the stack, landhome, and so on have all been culled.  This is good, and should continue; I merely propose that they be a bit braver about it.

Skygrove Guard 
Fast Creature -- Griffin

Flying, defender
: ~ is indestructible until end of turn.

An eagle's eyes and a lion's power make for a warrior not to be trifled with.  



OK.  Last one.  Cards' power levels vary excessively.  Both absurdly powerful cards and absolutely unplayable ones exist.  This is downright silly.  There is no good reason for cards to be that far out on the tails of the power-level distribution.  In my perfect world, every card is playable, at least in Limited, and no card is too far above the curve either.

I am now realizing it is hard to make a card that demonstrates this.  Oh well!  I will instead make a card that is good but not absurd for you.

Nature's Champion 
Creature -- Elemental (R)

Whenever ~ deals combat damage to a player, put that many +1/+1 counters on it.

Its every blow brings renewed hope for victory.


[sblock ChaosLight]


Everyone in the community may vote once for the one person they think is most worthy of the title. The voting process will be open for a week, meaning I'll close this next monday, 21.1.13.
As a word of advice, don't put too much emphasis on what the problems outlined are. People come to Magic for different reasons, wanting different things out of the game. Look for solutions, not for contestants that dislike the same thing as you do.

Good luck.

Yxoque wrote:
This forum can't even ****ing self-destruct properly.


While ChaosLight's video submission was truly inspiring I'm going to have to cast my vote for CKY.
CKY's submission show's that she's not just able to design good cards, but cards that addres the issues. If there's ever a GDS3 I hope you win it CKY.

Detailed analysis

Rush-Classic: The first two are home runs. The third only seems to address the problem tangentaly- it looks more like a card that would be printed under this new philosophy than a shining example of it. Fourth is fairly decent but I wonder if the explore ability on there would enable opressive and unfun ramp/control decks.
Imidazoline: The first one is a good example of something from the reserved list that could use a reprint. Works for me. 2nd criteria seemed like a good idea for all the wrong reasons. The card was decent. Third card is an awesome solution to a pressing problem.  Fourth submission seems to go about the problem the wrong way. I'm not convinced that something like this will do anything about making multicolor harder to pull off since what it really punishes is monored, not color fixing.
CKY: 1- It might be a little hard to reference that star symbol on other cards but it could be done. I'll call it perfect. THe first #3- I'm a little leery about using tapping effects to flatten the power curve (the power curve flatlines with a few of these active) but it's nice to see an attempt at the problem  that doesn't say "well here's a card at the apropriate power level". Heck the cost on the card mostly erases my only concern. The actual #3 -I would've gone with uncommon since that would be best for limited and I beleive would suffice to solve the problem. 4- Sure MTG could use a few more cats I guess. This solves the problem I suppouse.
SilasW: 1- The idea appeals to me and you've solved it well enough but this is too similar to the Shadowmoor duals. 2- I'm convinced this is a bad idea but you've found the right way to go about it. Some info on whether this is a full set or a stand alone product would be nice. Card design was pretty cool. 3- An awesome card  that looks like part of the solution but doesn't go above and beyond by being the solution. 4- Works for me.
Glasir: 1- Loving this card (as long as it's not part of an artifact block). Oddly does a better job of solving rampant multicolorism than lack of viable strategies but it works for both (although LD should never be a strategy unto itself, only a supporting pillar of something like control or a method of hosing starategies). 2- Lovely. I would've liked to see it limited to untapping though. 3- If this is suppoused to be a straight up replacement of regen or protection then the functionality is a little too different, if you're saying we should ditch those and use something like this instead then it's great. 4- A good card that fits into your vision but doesn't really do anything to bring it about.

Choosing a winner makes me think about how bizzare the judging process is; since the contestants choose their criteria they're all competing on uneven ground. For example take a look at CKY's last criteria. How am I suppoused to judge how well she solved that problem? How is Glasir suppouse to put forth a card to solve the last criteria he has chosen?
If by some weird twist of fate I win without having submitted., ill host champs 2013.1 right away...
man I'm gonna have to sit down and read all this? bullshit. I'm voting for Zammm.


120.6. Some effects replace card draws.


why are you here when NGA exists and is just better

While ChaosLight's video submission was truly inspiring I'm going to have to cast my vote for ____
Choosing a winner makes me think about how bizzare the judging process is; since the contestants choose their criteria they're all competing on uneven ground. For example take a look at CKY's last criteria. How am I suppoused to judge how well she solved that problem? How is Glasir suppouse to put forth a card to solve the last criteria he has chosen?

You don't have to judge based on the criteria. It's useful, but criteria is more of a guide toward getting a finished product. Or... 

man I'm gonna have to sit down and read all this? bullshit. I'm voting for Zammm.

Do that.

Choosing a winner makes me think about how bizzare the judging process is; since the contestants choose their criteria they're all competing on uneven ground. For example take a look at CKY's last criteria. How am I suppoused to judge how well she solved that problem? How is Glasir suppouse to put forth a card to solve the last criteria he has chosen?

Well, what you choose to emphasize is entirely up to you, but possible questions to ask yourself is:
1) Do I agree that this can be a problem?
2) If a suggest fix is implemented, do I think the game would be better?
3) Does the card set out to do what it intends to?
4) Is the card a good design?

There's really only one train of thought I'd discourage, which is:
"Would I rather have mana burn back?" or something similar.

Yxoque wrote:
This forum can't even ****ing self-destruct properly.


Also, I've done some minor edits in your submissions, if you don't mind. Notably:
Cut off Glasir's workspace rambling.
Removed a scrapped design from Imidazoline.
Helped CKY count properly.

If any of you feel they are essential to the submission, then by all means, give me a heads up.
(I had to constrain myself to not reformat all the submissions so they would look alike. Help me.)

Yxoque wrote:
This forum can't even ****ing self-destruct properly.


In the past, the ramblings were separated from the cards themselves, to make the voting process a bit clearer. That said, I don't think it really works with this criteria.
Well, of course. I only removed the "Here's everything I didn't do", and other meta-comments.

Yxoque wrote:
This forum can't even ****ing self-destruct properly.


[spoiler minor ramble]
lol@black shield.  It's just sad if we even need to go into "everythingshield" or "converted-mana-cost-2-or-less-shield"


"A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." - Antoine de Saint-Exupry

[spoiler MLP]Congratulations, you've found My Lie Policy: Only when i'm prompted, i might lie. (policy still in the refinement process.) [/spoiler] [spoiler I am both rational and instinctive. I value self-knowledge and understanding of the world; my ultimate goal is self-improvement and improvement of the world around me. At best, I am focused and methodical; at worst, I am obsessive and amoral.]I am Blue/Green
I am Blue/Green

 i vote chaoslight. Or more specifically that vidio

"A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." - Antoine de Saint-Exupry

[spoiler MLP]Congratulations, you've found My Lie Policy: Only when i'm prompted, i might lie. (policy still in the refinement process.) [/spoiler] [spoiler I am both rational and instinctive. I value self-knowledge and understanding of the world; my ultimate goal is self-improvement and improvement of the world around me. At best, I am focused and methodical; at worst, I am obsessive and amoral.]I am Blue/Green
I am Blue/Green

Voting for CKY. I'm not particularly impressed by any of the submissions however. Might write a more detailed analysis right now. As a side note, Rush's green LD card was the best in the contest.
My vote is for Rush Clasic.

IMO, this vote isn't even close for me.  I read through each submission, all of their ramblings, and all of their cards, and I found Rush's submission to be the only one to identify four legitimate problems and make four corresponding interesting cards that represented a solution to those problems (to some degree).  Other submissions had mixed success on this front and one of the submissions I didn't understand at all (sorry magicpablo666).
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Mono, ha ha. It's cool. I'm mildly embarassed about everything I put down except maybe the last one.

TP, no review for me? Aw.

Mown. Do I get to vote? If so, mine goes to CKY, but Rush was a very close second.

139359831 wrote:
That is a lovely painting of Richard Garfield. It really brings out his feminine side.
I'm not going to be a chump and vote for myself, but here's my thoughts.

I honestly don't get this one. The problems seem largely cosmetic, the fixes bizarre / nonsensical (couldn't lose the game?), and rightly or wrongly are likely to alienate a proportion of the customer base. The last one didn't fit criteria for me. What's the mistake? How is it being fixed?

I think Rush definitely has the most well thought out problems. The three card solution is awesome, and the card is super cool. The red issue is true, though I didn't like the solution there - I just didn't think Thrash was all that good, and would lead to some potential rulesy issues. I really liked the last two cards as well.

I mean, I'm not voting for me, but you totally should.

CKY has really strong inventive views. I don't think the first is a problem though tbh. You're always going to have language issues in a game so wide, and I don't think the difference between 'has flying' and 'has flight' is all that intuitive. The second issue is one that's open to wide ranging debate, but I quite like the neat little card that comes with it, I just don't think it's a reasonable solution, being that no-one is going to buy new cards when the old ones just work so much better. I agree with the third, but that's also a blessing. The reason mana fixing should be hard is because multi-colour Magic should be hard, or at least hard to assemble. So a great idea thar I disagree with the result of. The fourth is still a placeholder.

I feel Silas has been almost unfairly overlooked in this contest. I know I did when I was complaining about not being any complete entries, it was because I forgot to check page 1, where his was sitting complete. I like the first card a lot, though it doesn't really do much of much I think. The cross over idea is really interesting, and I would like to see something - just not in a regular release, and maybe not even black bordered. The third card is really neat, and amazingly similar to {SPOILED GTC CARD}, but that's a good thing, and it's really hard to describe a fix to that problem, which I do think exists. The last is also awesomely thought out, but why would you choose a banding variant?

I really like the first card. Like, a lot. The second I also think is great - without the first half of the ability. The retirement of regeneration is something I think a lot of people can see coming, and the card is a fine example of it. I do however disagree vehemently with the last problem, although I still like the card. A really solid entry.

And CL's cleary isn't an entry.

For me it was between Rush and Glasir. I'm going to give the nod to Rush. Both LD cards were great, both had one that was a little shaky, so it was about how well thought out the issues were for me, and that was the decider.
It was really close between Rush_Clasic and Imidazoline, based on the submissions.
In the end, I agree more with the problems Imidazoline pointed out than with the ones Rush_Clasic pointed out.

My vote goes to Imidazoline.
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58060728 wrote:
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Sup guys, been a while.

My vote goes to Rush.

I think he provided the best solutions for the problems he chose. I didn't really like the second one, but the rest were quite cool.

The rest of the contestants. Pablo's choices, I didn't like. Imi was my second favorite, and I quite liked thought monitor. I think CKY's first idea is impossible to accomplish at once, tho I do like it to some degree; the last two weren't good enough for me. Glasir & silasw's submissions were fine, but I still liked Rush's more. CL, interesting submission, but not enough blood.
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Slowly I will update this post through to my vote.

I am trying to base my thoughts and remarks on how well not only the solution solves the stated problem, but also how well the card is both 1) representative of that solution, and 2) workable as a card with that solution considered to be existing.

0. I don't think male/female watermarks will help solve the problem.  Ultimately, this is a problem that needs to be fixed at creative, not design.  I'm not even sure this problem is very existent these days in the humanoid realm (Elf, Human, etc.).  But it does still exist among the supernaturally humanoid (cyclops, giants, etc) and non-humanoid sapients (Dragons, Djinn, etc.), which are usually presented as male.  The watermarks may help solve things there, but then I worry it will become a statistics game (oh, no! this set was 60-40, favoring males, go back and redo it) that simply hamstrings creative into splitting every set evenly.
1. The card represents the watermarks, yes; but as I mentioned above, I think it does so in an area where the problem doesn't really exist (regular humanoids).  I only think that because I'm not sure what kind of race Trantite is, but I imagine these cards to be regular humanoids.
2. There are some templating problems with referencing a watermark, but overall, this works.  The design itself is solid.

0. Without a write-up, I'm not sure what you're after here.  Elegance?  Subtlety?  Class?  Creativity?  I'd argue there's always going to be a more posh society around any particular popular topic; a group of connoisseurs, if you will.  While I agree it needs to be included more than it is, some folk just like the simple stuff.  Plain Jane, y'know?  Since I'm not entirely sure what the details of your solution are, though, this is a loss for me.
1. It definitely has that moxie, a full, yet spiced aroma.  It's got the down-to-earth taste of plum, mixed with the exotic tang of kiwi.
2. Unfortunately, it doesn't work without a priori knowledge of what you mean by those particular terms.  So, it may be representative of your solution, but the card design is narrow.

0. A solid solution -- make more non-humans.
1. This is indeed a non-human, but rather than be a full-forced representation of your solution, it diverts attention to an interesting but unrelated aspect of the card which links its mechanics to the design of its race.  I feel like that's a great solution for a different problem, but not the problem of "Not enough nonhumans."  Though the card itself is still a non-human, which is good.
2. A good card, with a cool ability.  I think it's overcosted by a though.

0. Kill your heroes, eh?  Personally, I'm still more attached to the old standards of the franchise, the Urza's and Gerrard's and back when we called the multiverse "Dominia."  Anyways, a clear signal that the storyline is still evolving is definitely to kill off one of the standard-bearing neowalkers (rather than some expansion set walker.)
1. Definitely representative of your solution; nothing moreso than killing Jace.  There isn't a character around today bigger than Jace that would tell the customer base that the story is going to continue to evolve.
2. I actually think this design is really solid.  It could easily be bad, by having you draw out your deck.  Good show here.

0. I'm not sure the problem is defined correctly.  Magic will always have a natural metagame progression where some cards are going to be better than others; even in singleton formats.  Cards won't ever be able to be designed to be "even" so there will always be some natural creep towards building with the best cards (for a particular meta).  However, if the problem is "Magic's metas need more diversity," then moving to a 3-of limit does work towards filling that need.
1. The card does a good job of representing an emphasis on diversity, and has a place in both singleton and non-singleton card formats.  I feel like it breaks the fourth wall a little in its implementation -- I would have liked you to ability word it somehow, like Domain or Sunburst.
2. It's *way* overpowered, basically a 1/1 on curve that gains one or more +1/+1 counters per turn (in green); in later turns it's just an X/X for 1, where basically X is the number of the turn you're on, give or take.  Keldon Warlord for in many cases.

0. This is *absolutely* a helpful solution to the problem.  And it seems pretty damn original, to boot.  I don't recall this showing up in the D&DT forum threads on what red needs.  Nice one.
1. I think the card is quite nice, and a solid (if basic) representation of that solution.  I think you could have gone all out with this design, rather than making a common, though.  (Aside: One thing I didn't like about your submissions was that none were above Uncommon; this is Champs, man; I want to see what you've got).
2. Without a rules-y expansion of thrash, I have to take the reminder text at its word.  It stacks.  If it's unblocked by 3 defending players, then all of your opponents (even those that blocked it) take 6 damage.  Although the replacement effect won't keep replacing itself, it will replace the damage it would deal to each of the three defending players seperately.  Also, there's problems with how easy it dies whenever it attacks everyone else.  Representative of your solution -- thrash is a win.  Design wise as an ability -- thrash is a miss.  It's not fully built in its current state.

0. An interesting problem that's hard to define, in my opinion.  I can't say I've made the same observations as you have on the game, I never feel like I'm lacking the subtler Johnny cards -- or the ones that aren't as flashy.  But, it's your observation, so it's valid.  The solution is simple, make more of them!  I'm not sure how you would implement the solution practically, they'd have to use someone specifically to sign off on the sets that can evaluate those sets for this particular attribute.  But it's a solution no less.
1. The card feels like it's representative of what you want.  So, this one was almost too easy, all you needed to do was design a card that you would like! ;)
2. Why is the Plant token 1/1?  WHY IS THE PLANT TOKEN 1/1?!  Anyways, sorry about that.  It's a solid design!

0. Solid solution to the problem of LD costing too much is to make LD cheaper again.
1. This is cheaper again.
2. It's a bit swingy.  It can net a zero land difference if they have a land and you don't, to a 2 land difference if you have a land and they don't.  I don't think that is good.  Something that more consistently netted a 1 land difference for 3 mana would be a better designed card.  But I like a whole lot the use of Green's "play an additional land" ability here.

Again; I'm a bit sad that we only saw uncommons and a common from you.  Your designs are far above par, even these; I feel like you pulled punches.

0. You've defined a solution here, but I'm not sure you've actually expressed any of the problems caused by the reprint policy (which, I agree there are many problems with it, and it should be rescinded).  A bit of a pass since going into full detail here on describing problems is a bit of a dead horse.
1. This is certainly representitive of the solution, a functional reprint.  Seems like a bit of a bye, though.  Using a problem that gets through a non-original card design.
2. Yes, I suppose it is a functional and workable card with this solution in play.  Flavor is fine, though I wonder a bit why the Pilferer "asks" for a token rather than "takes" one.  Yes, with only flavor to work with, I'm being picky.

0. I was always preferential to the Core Set being a revisit to Dominaria, and the Expansions being the new/revisited worlds.  But, I can see the case for using the Core Set as a revisit theme, given how much time goes by before anywhere is actually revisited.  I don't think it should be tied to the mechanics of the revisited place, though.  One specific attribute of the Core Set is its ease of entry, and a number of things simply are not viable for printing in a Core Set.  What Wizards has done with Core Sets is show that easy != bad, which is a dramatic step up from where Core Sets were at, typically getting reprints of the worst cards from most blocks.  Don't get me wrong, I don't think new players are stupid, but it is orders of magnitude easier to introduce a new player via a Core Set than an expansion.  Ravnica, for instance, would be difficult to fold into a Core Set if it was mechanically tied down.  I think you're right though, that the Core Set feels like it doesn't have an inherent narrative, which I think is bad for new players and certainly makes it less interesting.
1. The use of Persist here is certainly representative of Shadowmoor.  But I can't it's representative of a great example of your solution.  First of all, the Core Set is probably the wrong place for -1/-1 counters, I think it's too "feel bad" for what the Core Set is intended to do.
2. As a card the design is solid, balanced, and interesting.  The play on actually putting "Sacrifice CARDNAME" in a viable manner as an effect of the ability rather than a cost for it is nifty.  They spent a lot of time moving most, if not all, instances of that into the ability costs.

0. I think it would feel really bad to open a pack, see a Mythic, and know you probably *didn't* get a competitively viable card.  That would probably be worse than having Mythics be for cash.  A better solution is probably trying to keep the viability of Mythics more viable internal to the rarity level, which might help equalize their prices more.  Rather than have a $1 Mythic and a $50 Mythic, doing their best to get them all around $6-10 is probably the ideal.  Or just getting rid of the rarity level of Mythic.  But really, I don't want to open a pack, see a Mythic, and think, 'Guess I have another new EDH card.'  While your solution addresses the problem I think you're trying to address, it would probably open up more.
1. This is, indeed, unlikely to be a competitively viable card in most constructed formats.
2. It's a solid card design, and it makes a cool, splashy effect.  That's what you were going for, so that's a hit, for sure.  I think I'm a bit unsure of the flavor here, though.  "Reality Lense" sounds a bit like cutting through the fakery, rather than a replication kind of effect.

0. I agree that Magic has, for the worse, refocused itself into concrete representations of abstracted color philosophies being the things that are against each other (like the Ravnican Guilds and Alaran Shards), rather the colors of Magic themselves as abstract representations of concrete things that are ultimately mutually exclusive.  The problem with "color-hate" is that it makes for super-swingy games.  I remember the days of Flashfires and Tsunami.  The game is probably much better when those things are limited away from one-sided sweeper effects, and they stay more along the lines of Combust and Deathmark.  I just with there were more examples, or things that did normal effects, but then increased those effects against enemy colors (or, improved beneficial effects for allied colors).
1. This certainly hits pretty hard, right up front.  This is exactly what I worry about.  That the pendulum will hard swing back to mechanics that are global, sweepers, or shutdowns.  I do think we need more emphasis on the relationships between colors, but I disagree that if they put more emphasis there, they should do so very strongly.  I think that would be a mistake.
2. As a card, under the effects of your solution, I would say it's certainly printable.  Though it has interestingly confusing interactions with Haste.

0. I agree there are some things that could be changed to make the game easier to learn, match the English language a bit better, and provide a bit more internal consistency.  But I find a lot of those problems are running in the background, like having different subsystems for replacement effects, prevention effects, timestamps, and APNAP order.  Less so are they actually in the foreground.  And picking on "flying" instead of "flight" seems a bit too pedantic for me.
1. If your goal is to make the game easier to learn, I fear that symbolizing abilities like Flash is going in the opposite direction.  Not only that, but the reminder text is ridiculously confusing, mentioning nothing about priority or the stack.  "May be cast whenever you could cast an instant" would be better reminder text, at least it's internally consistent with the rest of the game.  Perhaps you intended to express you were changing the language of all of that, in which case I would say that it's a hopelessly bad idea.  Magic has the culture it has because we already have a shared language.  Yes, that language could be made slightly easier for new people to learn, but such harsh and rapid diversion from the language is a bad idea.  The language needs to evolve to the place you want it to be.  It couldn't just jump to it.  Also, I disliked that you changed Flying to Flight but left Reach alone.  "Reach" as a noun in English isn't used the way it's used in places like D&D and Magic; most often it's a verb.  Yes, I'm being pedantic.  A more ideal solution would be to say what the creature "can" do, rather than say what the creature "has."  Like, "Scryb Sprites can Fly" or "Giant Spider can Reach."
2. 1/1 Flying, Prot Black, Flash for CMC 3 is probably an OK card.  Even though you simplified the language, the card itself is too complex to make a good Common.  It's still a 1/1 with three abilities, even if you think those abilities are easier to read.  And while I like Blackshield itself, it's better than Protection, protecting the creature from global effects, as well.  This should definitely be Uncommon, perhaps even 1/2 at Rare.

0. Dramatically minimizing the power level of cards is not a way to prevent trump cards from existing.  There will still be trump cards, they will all just be worse.  But every card is worse, so there are still trump cards.  Pauper and limited are the formats where Giant Growths rules the day.  And if there were only cards at equivalent (or nearly) power level to Giant Growth, I think that would be excessively damaging to Magic as a whole.  Not only that, but I'm going to let you in on a secret.  Magic only lasted 7, 8, or 9 turns at the kitchen table.  My name doesn't come from today's Magic, it comes from Channel//Fireball, and Nether Shadow//Berserk.  You can't bring up Shivan Dragon as being representative of the most degenerate cards of those times.  Shivan is no Mox Ruby//Gauntlent of Might.  Creatures have advanced to the point where they actually have a place.
1. I'm not even going to say that this is actually a relevant representation of your solution.  Twiddle on legs is actually pretty powerful.  This just makes Timmy lose the game to Johnny every time, because Johnny knows how to abuse something like this, and Timmy either doesn't understand it or doesn't find it fun.
2. I think this would become one of the trump cards in your No Trump Cards set.  It's literally just an Icy Magus.  I remember how powerful Icy actually was when it was first printed and the Baneslayer Angels were decades away from print.  Icy was used to *end games.*

0. This has always been the largest barrier to entry.  But by the time Unlimited edition rolled around, Black Lotus were already a couple hundred bucks and Moxes were well over $50.  Honestly, if we still have the best cards in a set at only around $50, then Magic has managed to effectively avoid 25 years of inflation in the secondary market with its newest products.  I do agree that it's still a barrier to entry though, and putting "mandatory" cards (like dualies) at lower rarities avoids that.
1. But not at Common.  If you put the standard dual lands at Common, then players have nothing at all to work up to.  Part of being a Magic player is being able to build a better deck over time.  Over months.  Not over the course of an hour because you have a playset of the best cards by opening a single box.  This is a pendulum swing that goes too far.  Yes, Magic could be more equalizing with respect to player wealth.  But Common for the dual lands that are currently rare is honestly just too much.
2. Yes, it's printable in terms of power.  But like Imi with his Reserved List entry, you're giving yourself a bye on this round by submitting a designed card.  I like the addition of flavor text, but you could have designed a dual land, there is huge design space left.

0. Did you know that almost 1% of the 12.5 thousand unique cards are Cats?  It's true.
1. This is a Cat.
2. It's a good Cat, but could *probably* stand to be a lower rarity than Mythic ;)

0. Playing more than one color should be a tradeoff of what?  I take it this solution is coupled with a solution that has more distinct and absolute differences around the mechanical color pie?  Yes, easing up on mana-fixing will make multicolor decks less viable, but...why?  Also, will doing both 1) making mana fixing worse, and 2) lowering the cost of land destruction, just be a pendulum swing to the point where multicolor decks are unplayable at all?  Part of the quality of Magic is that you can build whatever kind of deck you want, with whatever colors you like.  While it's true that I also think mono-color decks are a little too unviable right now, I don't think I'd go as far as both solutions presented here in fixing that.  Allowing mono- and multi-color decks to have the same viability does help increase diversity.
2. If all mana "fixing" was designed like this it would be pretty extreme on reducing the viability of multi-color that's for sure.  It doesn't even filter.  So, yes, it is a representative card for reducing the power of mana fixing.
3. Honestly, as a card, I was going to say that I think it's too extreme, even within your solution.  But then I saw that it was Uncommon, and I felt better about it, and decided that was a good place for it (again, within your solution).

0. This is pretty interesting, and pretty cool.  Magic actually had a crossover, but they stopped doing that.  I wish they didn't, because it makes Magic feel a bit more cultured and educational.  I like the fresh, new worlds, but I like seeing things reimagined as Magic cards, as well.
1. D&D is probably the safest place to start from, were they to attempt something like this again.  I'd like to see it work up to the point where they are actually building sets off of classic mythos and such again (or at least using flavor text to credit for inspiration), but this is probably a good jumping off point.
2. Level Up is a great reflection and representation of D&D.  I wish you would have chosen something other than Hexproof for it, and Uncommon might be a bit strong given the ease with which this synergizes with Training Grounds and Rings of Brighthearth.  Have to design with everything else in mind.  But a solid entry, for sure.

0. I honestly think this would just make everything more confusing.  What happens to cards that are reprinted across multiple sets and thusly exist in many formats.  Naturalize was in four separate blocks, for instance.  If it's only printed in a supplementary product with Onslaught's symbol (its original symbol), how will people know that it's legal in Standard, Extended, and Modern?  I think you might be on the mark about DOTP, though.  Keeping it entry level means that some cards should be designed just to go into it so that it doesn't have to reach too far back into obscurity for workable cards.
1. I don't know, this is kind of a card that combos well with every block, not just RTR.  It's a really powerful card, so it's hard to say that it's necessarily representative of your solution.
2. I have to admit, I'm normally not a fan of "whenever this creature attacks" triggers, for their lack of interactivity.  And I have some qualms about this instance, as well.  If it's going to Reverberate sorcery and instant spells, then I'd really prefer it trigger on damage to a player, espcially since sorceries can't be cast until the next main phase.  If it's going to just work with instant spells, then I'd prefer it only duplicate instant spells that you cast during that combat phase.  It may be a bit overpowered...duplicating cheap, targeted removal without needing a significant activation cost.  It's a cheaper and slightly weaker version of Mirari, for what it actually does -- but in many cases it's a better card to actually have.

0. I have a story.  When I was in 6th grade, and Antiquities had just come out, a friend and I designed a 100 card expansion and sent the design file to WOTC.  We received a canned respose that because of legal reasons they couldn't use our designs, but I was sent a signed Atog and Clay Statue.  Now that I look back on it, I wish I was sent a signed Mox or something, because we spent a lot of time on that set, lol.  BUT, they have been quite consistent about the legality of making use of fan-made content.  Don't blame WOTC.  Blame the terrible state of Intellectual "Property" (a paradox, if I ever heard one) law in America.  An "official" submission system with some sort of Terms of Use might be acceptable, but honestly, I don't think they need it.  It might be all of our dreams to see one of our designs printed, but I really doubt Wizards is short on designs.  This is very much an "I wish they would" issue, because it would be cool.  But it's pretty pie in the sky.
1. I really like that you used a GDS mechanic for your entry here.  That's a great way to be representative of your solution while still designing an original card.
2. But Swarm is a tough sell.  It performs a really complicated set of actions for a keyword, for messing with blockers after the blocking declaration.  Yes, one of my favorite cards is False Orders, but I also know how complicated that is.  I wouldn't want it keyworded.  Power-wise, this is right on the mark, though.

As a final note, I wish you provided flavor text.  A number of your entries had room for it, and it would have rounded them out as truly complete designs.

0. Focusing on how to re-strengthen something, like land destruction or low-creature control, I think is a better idea than finding a problem and trying to weaken something as a solution.  That said, I dislike the idea of the "Pendulum of Power," mostly because I don't like swinging pendulum effects, and prefer equivalence as a goal.  Ideally the pendulum swing decreases like a sinc function or a damped wave, at least.  I like formats with more equivalent viabilities, taking care not to allow that to become an arms race for every archtype.
1. It's a solid design for your solution.  It's not "land destruction" and it's vulnerable to flicker effects (and abusable by them), but it's effective.
2. I think it's balanced.  But again, watch out for flicker abuse.  At least if you had an infinite flicker engine of some sort, you're forced to target your own lands, as well.

0. I am very much in agreement that WOTC needs to stress the artistic and non-violent aspect of Red more.  Along with the fact that there are no Red Legends representative of Earth, Lightning, nor Chaos (they are ALL Fire or Warfare), Red needs to get out of its own stereotype and actually explore its whole philosophy.  Beyond that, I do think they need to revisit the color wheel as a whole and make a clearer definition of the colors' presentations that they actually intend to stick to.  Rather than have Maro talk about "making Green the best at artifact removal" a few months before printing Vandalblast.
1. This does expand Red's color pie.  So, it's a viable example...
2. But it does so by taking pie away from Blue.  Seriously, I know Blue has a LOT of the color pie, but is that really the only way we can evolve Red by taking color from Blue?  First looting, now Twiddle?  I'm sure there are other ways for Red to present itself.  As a card though, I think it's power level is good (I wish you would have included intended rarity here), and I think the flavor is an absolute hit.  The elegance of the flavor text itself is quite poetic.

0. Another take at changing up presentation of the cards, though not quite as extreme as CKY's.  While I do still agree that there are things that can be done better, it's honestly very smart for Wizards to make those evolutions slowly.  Whenever they make large, instant changes, they almost always have problems shortly thereafter.
1. Fast creature is interesting.  I find it ironic that you reached even deeper into Magic's history in order to unshackle it from the handcuffs to its history -- as you may know: Instants, Sorceries, and Interrupts were -- in the original rules -- referred to as "fast effects."  I think it's unfortunate that you templated indestructibility with "until end of turn" instead of "this turn."  Originally the former was the correct template, so this is another example of reaching deeper into the past to free Magic from its shackles to it.  It was consciously changed in order to avoid confusion and work within the rules.  As a card to be representative of your solution, I think this misses the mark in the most ironic of fashions.
2. I think this is a solidly designed card though.  A bit odd that a Griffin with Flash has Defender...I think that's a bit of a miss.  But the card is nice, and would be a solid inclusion if we ever got a more modern Invasion-esque block.

0. Moderating and equalizing power levels is something I can get on board with.  I dislike how there seem to be cards specifically designed to be terrible and other cards consciously designed to be busted.  It's one thing if a card accidently winds up in either of those two cases, but I'm not a fan of making Baneslayer Angels when they already know it's going to be broken at the time.
1. This is definitely a more reserved power level, but I think you held off on its potential just a bit too far.
2. It's overcosted.  It takes until turn 4 to get it to be only 2/2, assuming it isn't blocked by practically anything; Green gets bears by T2.  Yes, it scales ridiculously, but it's just so utterly vulnerable before then.  Dies to a gust of wind.  This could have easily been reduced by or increased to 2/2, and perhaps still have been Uncommon.

Somnia, the Evanescent Plane -- A 3-set Block
Set 1 — Somnia
Set 2 — TBD
Set 3 — TBD
Planeswalker's Guide to Somnia

Build Around This
A weekly MTG Cards and Combos forum game.
Build Around This #1 - Sage's Starfish Wish
BAT #1 was built using the Legacy format with Spiny Starfish, Sage's Knowledge, and Make a Wish. Winner: Dilleux_Lepaire with Fishy Starfishies. Runner-Up: JBTM
Welcome to the (commonly) final stage of You Make the Card Championships.


Childhood's Naïveté
Enchantment - Theory
You couldn't lose the game.

Argh, I see this card and it makes me want to impulse vote for pablo, but since this seems to be an IMPORTANT and OFFICIAL thing(right?), I guess I shouldn't be like that. (but but but... enchantment - theory)

Ok, out of the submissions, there are many things that stand out, like CKY and Glasir's fix for power level variance and absurdly good cards, Imidazoline's Mythic solution, and some bad (in my opinion) ideas, like CKY's cats and Silasw's YMTC one (imagine Kevin if that were to happen hahahahah). In the end though, I feel the best insight in identifying problems, the most elegant solutions and the best cards came from Rush_Clasic.

So that's my vote.


192884403 wrote:
surely one can't say complex conditional passive language is bad grammar ?
@TPmanW: I'm a guy, actually.

Not sure why the necessity of cats in Magic is disputed. 

Embrace imagination.

Lord of YMtC | Ten Rounds Contest Winner

Solphos – A fan set with a 'combo matters' theme

Fool's Gold – The second set of the Solphos block

Not sure why the necessity of cats in Magic is disputed. 

I don't "get" the obesssion internet people have with cats. They're no different than other animals to me.

Magic needs more Cats as much as it needs more Turtles, Worms and Elephants.


192884403 wrote:
surely one can't say complex conditional passive language is bad grammar ?
man I'm gonna have to sit down and read all this? bullshit. I'm voting for Zammm.

Is it possible to win without having competed? I'm totally into that.

(And yes, Glasir, I do understand. All of it. )

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed

Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Long ago, in a contest hosted by Dream Spinner, she once openly stated that she didn't judge entries based on the criteria she assigned, but rather that the criteria was an inspiration point and that the cards should be judged based on their own merits. I've come to appreciate and agree with that thinking over the years. There are times when a card just outright disagress with the assignment itself, and those instances should be accounted for to some degree, but most often I judge cards based on what they are. A designer can have all sorts of lofty goals, but if a card doesn't work as a product for the game, it doesn't matter what it was trying to do.

This year's champs is quite interesting in how it forced people into creating their own restraints. It tears me a bit away from the mindset I just talked about, but in the end, my commentary and judgments are still going to be about the card rather than the problem it was trying to solve. Actually rectifying the issue is a nice bonus, but not what demands my attention most.

1. It's unfortunate that the gender mechanic can't interact with the rest of Magic. That happens in every set (Ogre Jailbreaker, Flowering Lumberknot, etc.), but it's still something of notice. The theme is a difficult one to pull off elegantly and without being crude. Your card is a transgender individual that apparently goes around killing those indentifying as a single gender. While I appreciate the picture being painted, its a tough sell. The card isn't bad, really. I even think its rather bold. I just wish the first transgender Magic card wasn't about killing. This is a war game filled with hate and prejudice, so it can fit--there's just a lot to consider while doing so.

2. I'm admittedly fascinated by the design space of nothingness. I'm thinking about your card as it would exist in an unglued like setting, but rather than sillyness, based on high art and philosophy (but in a snooty or esoteric or comical manner). I enjoy that the concept is extremely pleasing and full of wonder. There's only so much design space for cards that don't actively impact the game. This is an interesting way to do it, I admit.

3. "Ditchbeing" is not a word I particularly enjoy. Just had to get that out. The ability is fine: red dude from Mirrodin that uses artifacts to pound down. As for the criteria you gave yourself, its generally a good idea, I'd say.

4. I suppose Jace's tomb is a Jace hate-card? It's a rather obstuse way to go about it, and the ability doesn't actually work as written. The base ability is interesting, though quite a bit overpowered unless the opponent can repeatedly ping you. It's not that interesting of a design, really, but the concept is sorta hilarious.

I'll get to everyone eventually.
At first glance (and judging from card design alone), I think the best submissions came from Rush, Imi, and maybe Glasir.

I'll try to take a closer look some time later today.

Edit: omg hi eurus
I have a sig because it gives my posts better spacing.
@TPmanW: I'm a guy, actually.

Not sure why the necessity of cats in Magic is disputed. 

Sorry, I just assumed somewhere along the line that you were a girl.Embarassed
Stupid as it sounds it was probably your avatar that got me thinking that way since I was unable to verify whether or not it was a photograph at the time.

I graded each submission based on.... 1st is it realistically one of the four biggest problems answering the question Mown asked. 2nd did the player solve the problem and 3rd do I like the end result. I graded each on a 10 point scale so 30 possible points for each of the four responses.



Magicpablo666 –6th I don’t think that any of the first 3 are realistically a major problem. The last one inevitable demise of MtG is realistic, however, I don’t think the card and the write up really addressed anything that would lengthen the life of MtG.

Rush_Classic –5th  The first (low card variety) was great and scored the highest of any singular submission. The way you solved the problem and everything was near perfect for my evaluation. The rest don’t really seem like a “top 4” type of problem and I don’t even really agree with them (I play red in multiplayer and while I can understand your sentiment it’s at least playable and does some things very well for example). I really love the “solutions” though which are very creative.

Imidazoline – 4th Any of these could be a “top 4” type of problem although I doubt all 4 of them are. I didn’t really like the “solution” on “core sets” and “enemy color definition” but overall I enjoyed the read.

Chinkeeyong – 3rd The first three are great. The last one got very few points in my mind since it’s certainly not one of the top 4 problems and therefore needs no solution and while I wouldn’t mind seeing more cats I didn’t enjoy the end result enough to improve the score. If we were grading the best 3 out of 4 only then you would have won by a large margin but that fourth one brings down the overall score.

SilasW – 2nd Very strong submissions. I enjoyed reading each one and I liked the solutions that you came up with. After reading each submission and before scoring them I really thought you were going to win but when I broke it down grading each entry you came in 2nd.

Glasir -  Winner

Long ago, in a contest hosted by Dream Spinner, she once openly stated that she didn't just entries based on the criteria she assigned, but rather that the criteria was an inspiration point and that the cards should be judged based on their own merits. I've come to appreciate and agree with that thinking over the years. There are times when a card just outright disagress with the assignment itself, and those instances should be accounted for to some degree, but most often I judge cards based on what they are. A designer can have all sorts of lofty goals, but if a card doesn't work as a product for the game, it doesn't matter what it was trying to do.

This year's champs is quite interesting in how it forced people into creating their own restraints. It tears me a bit away from the mindset I just talked about, but in the end, my commentary and judgments are still going to be about the card rather than the problem it was trying to solve. Actually rectifying the issue is a nice bonus, but not what demands my attention most.

I understand the sentiment, however, if the problem that is being solved isn't really a big problem (like cats in magic) then the whole premise for creating a card to meet the criteria goes out the window. That is why I graded more than just the cards. However, I must say that if I was grading the cards alone you would have scored the highest. Although I considered the cards they were not the primary focus of my grades.

Don't be too smart to have fun
@TPmanW: I'm a guy, actually.

Not sure why the necessity of cats in Magic is disputed. 

Sorry, I just assumed somewhere along the line that you were a girl.Embarassed
Stupid as it sounds it was probably your avatar that got me thinking that way since I was unable to verify whether or not it was a photograph at the time.

Cute, but I think a girl Evangelion fan would have a picture of Shinji and Kaoru, shooped so there are a lot of hearts. Or is that just the ones I know?

And I agree about the need for cats. Of all kinds.
139359831 wrote:
Clever deduction Watson! Maybe you can explain why Supergirl is trying to kill me.
---- Autocard is your friend. Lightning Bolt = Lightning Bolt
I wondered if that was Rei. There are a lot of Rei knock-offs out there and I'm not all that familiar with the source material.
1. This is a tough start, choosing by all means not to design a new card. This entry reachs much farther outside the contest than it should; that is, this is a design contest--whether or not the proposed idea fixes the problem you presented, you leave much of the matter in the hands of Khabal Ghoul's designers. I will say that you've dressed the card nicely, but otherwise, I'm not compelled by this admitted rerun.

2. I enjoy cute internal game-play, but I think it's easy to go too far with it. Imagine if Tortured Soul had combined the first two abilities instead of separating them. Something like ", Sacrifice Tortured Soul: Each other creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn." Sure, the mechanic is different, but it's much more fluid. Adding persist or the sacrifice activation to the trigger makes the card quirky; adding both makes it overbearing. Could it work? Possibly. I just don't see why it needs to. The tension and interactions you want are there without the need for all these pieces, or at least, not in such a fragmanted presentation.

3. A quick note on your problem comments: I agree with the sentiment. I just hope we're talking about stupid efficiency and not actual mana costs. A lot of mythics are gonna cost 6 or more mana, because that's what it takes to open design space to its fullest. But I hope small spaces can be mined with similar effectiveness. That said, Reality Lense is a beautiful card. It's an epic idea with a spattering of intersting outcomes, and I can easily see it being my favorite card of the contest. My two critiques would be (1) that it should target an opponent to make the choice more interesting in multiplayer and (2) to move the exile to the cost. I know that means Stifle can be quite the beating, but I still find the change worthwhile.

4. I find it odd that this card can be used in combination with your own red creatures. Play this alongside Ruinous Minotaur and he stops eating your lands. Sometimes, this interaction being open adds to the fun of discovery. I think it somewhat does here too, but that it feels like an oversight to the concentrated idea: nerfing red dudes attacking you. That aside, I like the design, though I don't find the name particularly fitting (lovely as it is).
o___o I vote for Rush, and now I will promptly return to lurker status in ymtc. -You didn't see me, but you tallied my vote-
IMAGE( Signature by IMAGE(
I wondered if that was Rei. There are a lot of Rei knock-offs out there and I'm not all that familiar with the source material.

I see what you did there.
139359831 wrote:
Clever deduction Watson! Maybe you can explain why Supergirl is trying to kill me.
---- Autocard is your friend. Lightning Bolt = Lightning Bolt
@TPmanW: I'm a guy, actually.

Not sure why the necessity of cats in Magic is disputed. 

Sorry, I just assumed somewhere along the line that you were a girl.Embarassed
Stupid as it sounds it was probably your avatar that got me thinking that way since I was unable to verify whether or not it was a photograph at the time.

Cute, but I think a girl Evangelion fan would have a picture of Shinji and Kaoru, shooped so there are a lot of hearts. Or is that just the ones I know?

And I agree about the need for cats. Of all kinds.

Shinji and kaoru are gay, I would have Rei with lots of hearts..
Voting for CKY, because of point number 4.
I am Red/White
I am Red/White
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I'm both chaotic and orderly. I value my own principles, and am willing to go to extreme lengths to enforce them, often trampling on the very same principles in the process. At best, I'm heroic and principled; at worst, I'm hypocritical and disorderly.
1. How to implement flash/instants in a new world is an interesting challenge. It can reasonably be a supertype, a keyword, or a symbol (the latter of which I'd not given thought to until now). Your symbol idea has some merit; I'd consider putting it near the cost on the card, since the two are directly related. But I think you'd rather have a word directly representing the mechanic. The flying change I can agree with. The protection change... has quirks all its own. It's odd, for example, that your card could wear a Dead Weight and not be affected by it at all. The Weight would have to get moved there (go go corner cases), but it'd still look weird. I'm actually a fan of protected creatures getting nuked by global effects; it's a less oppressive game color-to-color when that they of play is open. I agree that protection is complicated and ugly, but you fix doesn't actually change that. As for the card... if I think about it in terms of flash, flying problack, I get to talk about how balanced it is and that it's neat to see white get a ninja in this capacity. If I think about it in terms of new world order, I get to talk about how the symbol's a neat idea but possibly counter-productive, and how I wish black had some way to handle this. It's an ambitious submission that didn't push my vote in either direction.

2. This is a good example of why strictly using criteria to judge a card can be a problematic endeavor. Whether I agree with your sentiments or not, it's hard to see how they relate to the card you created, other than your card offers options and isn't Geist of Saint Traft. But that's perfectly fine! The assignment for champs was very open ended and allowed a lot more personal maneuvering than your standard competition. It doesn't bother me that I can't see exactly what your card is trying to solve in your problem; I'm just interesting to see what that inspiration created at all. Your card is perhaps the basest version of Fatestitcher, which is a nice thing to see. Stripping it down to the bare essentials it needs to exist as a tap-or-untap effect allows the ability to shine, and making it a creature keeps it in check. I like the card; it's not terribly new, but it's still a nice strip down and well flavored.

3. The singles market is a tricky beast. I have a store I regularly play at, and much of their livelihood comes from singles. Sure, they sell a ton of packs, comics, other board games, but singles is one of the stronger bits of glue keeping them open. WOTC designs the game with rarities in mind to help facilitate the second market--they do it for other reasons too, and overll adding rarity to the game makes it a better one overall. I agree that perhaps lowering duallands to lower rarities would be a good move, though. They could still print lands at rare, but making Fortress and ilk uncommon is miles better than the gates. That still isn't going to destroy the price barrier. The only thing that will do that is to blend the rarities a bit, but I think that makes for a worse product overall. As for your submission, you taken all the heart of this competition and put it into a repeat, one that's currently in standard. While your idea is compelling, it doesn't equate to interesting design, and as a design competition, I have to look at this as a clear failed entry.

4. Meow. Mother of Kittens? It's a fine idea, some mother protecting her young even when they grow to her size. As for the problem you present, there are way more cats in the game than other creature types I'm rooting for.
My vote goes to Rush_Clasic - not so much for the problems he adresses, but for the cards themselves. I'm going to vote for the best overall quality of cards in a card making contest. Not that everyone didn't submit interesting cards - Rush's just appeal to me more often than the others.

I didn't like the criterion in the first place, but I applaud the contestant for giving it their best shot. 

ceci n'est pas une signature.

My vote goes to Rush_Clasic - not so much for the problems he adresses, but for the cards themselves. I'm going to vote for the best overall quality of cards in a card making contest. Not that everyone didn't submit interesting cards - Rush's just appeal to me more often than the others.

Which of mine did you like least?

/always trusts ST's input
1. This argument is difficult to define clearly. Ravnica, Shadowmoor, Alara, Return to Ravnica... there's only been one Standard in the last 8 years that didn't have a multicolor block atttached to it. Making duallands weak makes playing the theme harder. There's definitely a tipping point at which its too much, as evidenced by the 5 Color Control decks that were playing both Cryptic Command and Cloudthresher, but in the same vein, the Shard decks would have been difficult without the format defining mana. I agree that there can be some concessions made, but I'm not sure this is the way. As for the card (which is my actual judgment point), it's a weaker Mystic Gate... which I suppose is the point. I still think there's room for the colorless mana ability while getting a reasonably weaker power level.

2. My association with D&D is close to zero. That said, I think this is a solid idea. The question becomes "Do you alienate fans of the Magic story settings?" Maybe. But crossovers have been more popular than not, and I see no reason for the trend not to continue here. Your leveler is an okay man, a slower Etherium Sculptor that becomes protector of the realm. It's a nicely themed card; not especially exciting, but a solid design.

3. Two set symbols. That's practical in concern to Standard and impractical in concern to identity. I feel they do a good job marketing Standard playable decks with the Standard Pre-Cons and the Set Pre-Cons. But I could see them adding original set symbols to other such products, just to help Standard deck constructers. This issue is impossible to design a card around, really, but I'm still interested to see where it has taken you. The "whenever... when" connection reads a bit awkwardly, but I don't think there's much way around it. I like how this sword is designed; the power helps you just get in there, suicide or not, and that influences the opponent to keep throwing guys at your mercy. Pretty wicked card with token-spells.

4. YESYESYESYESYESYESYESYES. As for the card, it's a Squadron Hawk I can get behind. Strictly a casual card save the few times you can amass them in limited, but a fun one that hits a theme hard. What is lost in creativity by using another person's mechanic (I say that lightly--we all borrow from the collective wisdom, and you were good enough to acknowledge it) is made up for by good application of that mechanic. Probably my favorite of the cards you submitted.
My vote goes to Rush_Clasic - not so much for the problems he adresses, but for the cards themselves. I'm going to vote for the best overall quality of cards in a card making contest. Not that everyone didn't submit interesting cards - Rush's just appeal to me more often than the others.

Which of mine did you like least?

/always trusts ST's input

The least interesting, in my opinion, is the vampire. I agree on the problem of red in multiplayer formats, but I think thrash is simply too heavy-handed. And hell to balance.. 

But all your cards were well above average in my book.

ceci n'est pas une signature.

1. I've made this card before! I agree that its a nice, elegant way to destroy mana without setting opponents back so far. Land destruction is oppressive when it strips away all the opponent's lands; it's less so when it only slows them down. Your preamble doesn't have be entirely convinced; I agree with most of it, but Delver was as much a control deck as a combo deck, and that wasn't exactly years ago.

2. Whatever mechanics do get moved into red require philosophical justifications for me to want them around, and I just don't see it here. Tapping and untapping as mechanics unto themselves are about manipulation. Red isn't about manipulation; it's about expression. The only time you see red being maniuplative is out of anger, and even then its a biproduct. I just don't see this fitting.

3. I assume "fast" is your supertype to replace flash? Not my choice of words or placements, but the idea has merit. I agree with removing regeneration, and most of what you wrote. Your card is an okay design, though rather packed with three keywords and an activation. And why it's using another color, I can't determine. In the end, this card doesn't do a whole lot that I haven't seen before. I know you feel it satisfies your parametrs, but it doesn't serve the idea of contest submission all that well.

4. I disagree with this premise... mostly. I think cards like Gounded are a waste of space, but Search Warrant is fine. I agree that it's difficult to use well and won't make most decks in most places, but it's got an interesting and interactive ability, and can be maniuplated by massive card draw, whether yours or theirs. I probably won't ever use it, but I've had it used against me. Most of the cards R&D make are within the range of playability. Anyway, your card is a cute little self-grower that gets quite big. Compared to Stromkirk Noble, you could probably reduce the cost by .