5/13/2013 Feature: "You Make the Card: Rules Bracket"

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This thread is for discussion of the feature article "You Make the Card 4: Rules Bracket", which goes live Monday morning on magicthegathering.com.
My favorite one on there is Demonic Bargin. Lots of choices, no obvious correct choice, potentially very powerful, and still flavorful. Consuming Contract has a similar flavor, but it strikes me as a little too 'cute'. Revenge of Necromancy bothers me, but only because I like the simplicity of Megrim and hate to see it cluttered up.

The most dangerous card to print seems to me to be Blood in the Watering Can--it seems like it would be used degenerately even in the decks that don't break it in half. Mass Mummification would be cool, except that it makes players gain life if their life falls below the number of counters. That seems really unflavorful. Double Down is a combo card, but it's not necessarily broken--more of a Pyromancer Ascension than a Yawgmoth's Will.

Soulfeaster's Rising is an interesting combination of Slumbering Dragon and Necrotic Ooze. And I feel like I might be fond of Eldritch Rites if Snapcaster Mage hadn't been printed.
I love cards that gain incremental value, while making you work for it, so Blood in the Watering Can really appealed to me. I could see it being very powerful with pain lands or City of Brass, but if it costs enough, it shouldn't be broken.

However, Soulfeaster's Rising brought a smile to my face and actually made me exclaim out loud, so I'm rooting for that. Its flashy, fun, opens lots of possibilities, and is probably not broken.
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Wow, have I been out of the loop so long that YMTC managed to get this far? Dang.
Well here's my take on things:


  • Match 1 - Double Down. A little bizzare, but Spike and Jhonny can both find something to like here. Consuming Contract just strikes me as boring.

  • Match 2 - Mass Mummification. It looks like it needs a self sacrifice clause to avoid easy ties with Vampire Hexmage but otherwise it looks like a really fun card. Blood in the Watering Can strikes me as hard to balance but seems alright.

  • Match 3 - Undecided. Revenge of Necromancy is pretty flavourful but SOulfeaster might just be more fun to play with.

  • Match 4 - Demonic Bargain. One of the most flavourful cards is also the most fun! I see this leading to some interesting play decisions and cool combos. Is Switcheroo super secret tech now?

I guess it's "You Make the Casual Card". As a die hard mono black control player it saddens me that not a single one of these cards is something that I would want to play. I think Blood in the Watering Can and Eldrith Rites are the closest to playable, but it looks like wizards has deemed this competition to not be about competitive cards and that's such a shame.
#1: This was the closest vote for me. I went with Consuming Contract, its got good flavor. You basically have 3 turns to use what are basically free spells. If you fail to win, you die from your own contract on turn 4.

#2: I voted for mass mummification. Its a really goofy card that could lead to some strange games. The other one, I've never been a fan of cards that force you to let your opponent hit you before it does anything.

#3: This is the easiest vote. Soulfeaster's Rising is a great, great card. The other one is a sideboard card, maybe. Only playable if your opponent is doing a lot of discard stuff.

#4: Another easy vote. Eldritch Rites is interesting, but that Demonic Bargain is a classic black flavor card, I'd love to see that one in print. Plus, I'm always a sucker for big tokens.
1. Tough choice. Consuming Contract seems like a spike card, Double Down seems like a Johnny and potentially Spike card. Neither is very nice in EDH, the format I like most. I voted Consuming Contract, because it seems like a real monster in constructed formats if priced efficiently.

2.  Blood in the Watering Can seemed like the better option to me... Until I remembered painlands and City of Brass. There is no way it's going to be costed efficiently. Mass Mummification is a cute flavor card with potential application as a delaying tool in Black control.

3.  I like the mirrored effects of Revenge of Necromancy, but Soulfeaster's Rising is just a wonderful EDH card. I wish they weren't together  Soulfeaster's Rising wins out because of its EDH applications (Plus, it seems like more of a control card).

4. Eldritch Rites seems broken unless costed high, but holy hell is that an awesome ability. Demonic Bargain is a wonderful flavor card that also seems potentially powerful. God, tough tough tough choice. 

Overall, my favorite card is Demonic Bargain. Modularity lets you have interesting play decisions, it could potentially be decently powerful (If costed at ), it's a fine card in EDH where you can easily steal the token, and DAMN, that is some good flavor.
#2: I voted for mass mummification. Its a really goofy card that could lead to some strange games. The other one, I've never been a fan of cards that force you to let your opponent hit you before it does anything.

#3: This is the easiest vote. Soulfeaster's Rising is a great, great card. The other one is a sideboard card, maybe. Only playable if your opponent is doing a lot of discard stuff.



#2 Black tends to be pretty good at losing life without waiting for their opponent to cause it themselves.

#3 Black tends to be pretty good at having opponents discard cards without waiting for their opponent to do it themselves.

I voted the same as the last two, but the cards I hope to see at the end are Consuming Contract and Soulfeaster's Rising.
Huh? Didn't they say that they were not revealing the names of who created each card unti all the voting is over? But they say who each design is by...

We'll wait to reveal who created each design until after all of the voting is done, to avoid prejudicing the results.



Consuming Contract


By: James Clarke - @Fenaris



Are those just aliases or something? Wink
There's lots of great flavour and solid card design here, but from a YMTC perspective this is very disappointing in that all but one of these looks like the kind of humdrum rare WotC crank out all the time.

Here's hoping Eldritch Rites ends up winning. I don't care what it costs - at least it's interesting! Cool
Hmmm,

i find that the last vote was by far the most interesting vote.
i still can't chose between Demonic Bargain and Eldritch Rites.
#1: This was the closest vote for me. I went with Consuming Contract, its got good flavor. You basically have 3 turns to use what are basically free spells. If you fail to win, you die from your own contract on turn 4.

#2: I voted for mass mummification. Its a really goofy card that could lead to some strange games. The other one, I've never been a fan of cards that force you to let your opponent hit you before it does anything.

#3: This is the easiest vote. Soulfeaster's Rising is a great, great card. The other one is a sideboard card, maybe. Only playable if your opponent is doing a lot of discard stuff.

#4: Another easy vote. Eldritch Rites is interesting, but that Demonic Bargain is a classic black flavor card, I'd love to see that one in print. Plus, I'm always a sucker for big tokens.



You're misreading the last card. A lot of people are. Wow. Read the card mechanic a little closer: you don't get the token.
"Possibilities abound, too numerous to count." "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969) "Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion Backs)
You are assuming we are reading it wrong. It's draw an extra card for X turns, in exchange for your opponent getting something strong in return. I LIKE that card.
1. Consuming Contract, for the deliciousness, consideration for use with other cards rather than just its own a la Phyrexian Area, and the massive eventual drawback, so a lot like Doomsday. Also, gives us another mechanic vote!

2. Blood in the Watering Can. This one is fantastically great, and scales with skill. Early on, as a new player, or in a defensive deck, this one helps you regrow your blockers or beaters, keeps you from being too much of a card down. Later on, you find reasons to allow damage dealt to regrow your stuff that you didn't just let get into combat. My Karador EDH deck might use this! New players feel less of a man out when their guy gets hit, 'cause they get 'im back, while more constructive players will deliberately put in self-harming cards to make use of it. Plus, it triggers EVERY end step.

3. Soulfeatser's Rising is actually the less powerful of the two. Having a card that just starts rewarding you for nuking people's hands, already a powerful thing, is just overkill. Rising makes you try working at the goal, so is more useful with decks that actually do stuff.

4. No contest. Eldritch Rites is an attempt to make a Yawgmoth's Will that stays around, and that's plenty powerful. But Demonic Bargain scales to the power in your deck and inversely to the mana you put into it. (You will note that it has an indefined X, which means it will cost at least XB, maybe XBB.) On the other hand, the earlier you play it for ealy advantage, the faster your opponent gets his token, which most Black decks will have difficulty killing. This tradeoff is, for me, delicious.
"Possibilities abound, too numerous to count." "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969) "Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion Backs)
Consuming Contract is by far my favorite, but unless it is aggressively costed (and ____ is good enough) it becomes a very bad casual card, since the drawback is so severe. I don't trust the current development team to push it properly.
I'm surprised at the people that like Demonic Bargain. Phyrexian Arena is way better - it doesn't die so easily, it cost only 3, and it's drawback is easy to deal with. Demonic Bargain only gives you 2 cards for 3 mana which is a joke, then gives your opponent a sweet token that you have to kill or steal. I'm guessing people are just excited that it's a Demon token that they can potentially steal with a card draw effect tied in? However, that makes this card way more narrow to use, and it limits your choices of cards build around this card.

Thoughts on each card.

Consuming Contract - The good: It's drawback will keep the cost low, it gets another yet undetermined ability, it kills things and draws you cards. The bad: The drawback of taking a chance and losing, having to build around the need to kill this thing or figure out  a way to deal with it, it's not very unique. Still, I voted for this one just cuz of how awesome it has the potential to be.

Double Down: Surprised this one made the cut. The good: card draw. The bad: This will probably be costed high given the card draw ability and won't be worth it, there will be many times no cards will be drawn, the randomness, this card all in all sucks, flavor to ability. How did this make the cut?

Blood in the Watering Can: The good: Grave interaction = sweet, effect is every turn given life loss, a classic black effect. The bad: A bit boring of a card, will likely cost a lot, not a unique ability, requires life loss to function. I voted for this one as it is decent enough, but it's just OK. Again, this one made the cut? I thought we were looking for something sort of new, not just a sorcery tacked on an enchantment.

Mass Mummification: The good: Vampire Hexmage. The bad: Requires Hexmage and something to keep you alive.

Soulfeaster's Rising: The good: Should be cheap due to the waiting, it's defense against wrath effects, it's a demon creature, it's grave hate, it's good when you play wrath effects. The bad:  Waiting. I voted for this one as it is a creature that also is a demon, it's got a lot of things it does, and it steals activated abilities (I don't have to worry about Birds of Paradise dying, I want them to die now.)

Revenge of Necromancy: The good: Look at all the cool stuff this card gives you, and finally a black ritual (which is needed badly in black these days), and it's a friend to Lili. The bad: The cost will probably be too high, meaning your opponent will have few to no cards in hand when you play this - it requires opponent discard to trigger, which usually is not a good thing as running too much discard in your deck is a bad idea.

Eldritch Rites: The good: A reusable black snapcaster, a sack outlet. The bad: The cost will probably be ugly.  I voted for this one.

Demonic Bargain: No good about this as long as Phyrexian Arena exists. It's all bad. Seriously, what the hell is this? What designer looked at this and thinks this is acceptable? Phyrexian Arena costs only 3, it doesn't die very easily, it has a way smoother drawback. This could have improved with being card draw for each upkeep, but drawing only one card per turn? This card sucks.

Top 3
1. Soulfeaster's Rising - I'm surprised more people don't like this given how much it does.
2. Eldritch Rites - Despite it's likely high mana cost, this card is going to be badass.
3. Consuming Contract - Sign in Blood + Murder + another voting round that gives us another black and probably common mode. Pretty fresh, and even more so if it gives a ramp mode or tutor mode.

 
Blood in the Watering Can is my favorite. But then again, I like creature recursion, so...
Double down hands is my favorite card here (registered an account to say that!)
It's extremely good in a dredge deck, and I think would make modern dredge become playable (but not unfairly overpowered like previous ones since dread return is banned and you need a bit of critical mass beforehand to set it up to dredge your deck).
/I think double down is the only card on this list which has a chance of actually becoming a competitvely played card, assuming it costs 3 or less. 
I'm surprised at the people that like Demonic Bargain. Phyrexian Arena is way better - it doesn't die so easily, it cost only 3, and it's drawback is easy to deal with. Demonic Bargain only gives you 2 cards for 3 mana which is a joke, then gives your opponent a sweet token that you have to kill or steal. I'm guessing people are just excited that it's a Demon token that they can potentially steal with a card draw effect tied in? However, that makes this card way more narrow to use, and it limits your choices of cards build around this card.



Because the Bargain is a flavor win: It represents the reality of a demonic contract: In exchange for X, the Demon gets Y. It's also a reference to the story of Faust, who sold his soul for longevity and wealth, but at the end of his life, the devil came to collect. This is the case of you getting the power you seek, and when the time is up it comes for you. This trope is so old it was made into The Devil and Daniel Webster, popularized by the Simpsons' now-infamous pink donut (borrowed from Voodoo Doughnut), and the Order of the Stick has this as a looming plotpoint. And it's older than feudalism.
"Possibilities abound, too numerous to count." "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969) "Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion Backs)
Sure. So why not have it draw two cards per turn, or something to not make it a really, really bad Phyrexian Arena? You don't make a deal with the devil for the $1000 you could easily borrow from the bank.
Hi guys,

I'm the designer of Mass Mummification.  I've really enjoyed reading everyone's comments here and over at MTG Salvation.  There are a lot of very cool designs in the top 8 and I'm honored my card is among them.  Before the final 8 were selected, I saw so many fantastic designs being posted.  It's really a shame we couldn't have more than 8 to vote on.

I do appreciate your comments (positive and negative).  If you haven't already made up your mind, or if you're just interested in the thought process I had while designing Mass Mummification, I wrote a rather lengthy blog post with (probably too many) details:
forums.mtgsalvation.com/blog.php?b=8759

Thanks for reading and take care.
I'm surprised at the people that like Demonic Bargain. Phyrexian Arena is way better - it doesn't die so easily, it cost only 3, and it's drawback is easy to deal with. Demonic Bargain only gives you 2 cards for 3 mana which is a joke, then gives your opponent a sweet token that you have to kill or steal. I'm guessing people are just excited that it's a Demon token that they can potentially steal with a card draw effect tied in? However, that makes this card way more narrow to use, and it limits your choices of cards build around this card.



Because the Bargain is a flavor win: It represents the reality of a demonic contract: In exchange for X, the Demon gets Y. It's also a reference to the story of Faust, who sold his soul for longevity and wealth, but at the end of his life, the devil came to collect. This is the case of you getting the power you seek, and when the time is up it comes for you. This trope is so old it was made into The Devil and Daniel Webster, popularized by the Simpsons' now-infamous pink donut (borrowed from Voodoo Doughnut), and the Order of the Stick has this as a looming plotpoint. And it's older than feudalism.


I get the flavor, but the same idea of a demonic contract is in Consuming Contract. People are really willing to vote for a horribly underpowered card because they like the flavor?
I really like that card, actually. It's flavorful and would be fun to build around. There's also an interesting tension of how much you're willing to bleed yourself and risk a surprise attack/damage spell from your opponent.

Unfortunately, because it is such a powerful and unique effect that completely changes the character of the game being played, it will probably end up costing something unplayable like 3BBB.
Congrats on making it to the top 8. I like Mumification, but the reason I couldn't go for it was that I prefer the winning card to be a bit more open. It seems like too much of a build around design.
I'm surprised at the people that like Demonic Bargain. Phyrexian Arena is way better - it doesn't die so easily, it cost only 3, and it's drawback is easy to deal with. Demonic Bargain only gives you 2 cards for 3 mana which is a joke, then gives your opponent a sweet token that you have to kill or steal. I'm guessing people are just excited that it's a Demon token that they can potentially steal with a card draw effect tied in? However, that makes this card way more narrow to use, and it limits your choices of cards build around this card.



Because the Bargain is a flavor win: It represents the reality of a demonic contract: In exchange for X, the Demon gets Y. It's also a reference to the story of Faust, who sold his soul for longevity and wealth, but at the end of his life, the devil came to collect. This is the case of you getting the power you seek, and when the time is up it comes for you. This trope is so old it was made into The Devil and Daniel Webster, popularized by the Simpsons' now-infamous pink donut (borrowed from Voodoo Doughnut), and the Order of the Stick has this as a looming plotpoint. And it's older than feudalism.


I get the flavor, but the same idea of a demonic contract is in Consuming Contract. People are really willing to vote for a horribly underpowered card because they like the flavor?



Underpowered? It's not underpowered. Contract is one-shot a lot, and I'd be surprised if we weren't allowed to get that at 1 mana (:B; but at the same time, would hope that it doesn't appeal to people to think they can drop it turn 1 or 2 without worrying about the drawback. But Bargain is stronger: no life loss to draw cards, and to some people this matters. If they run bounce, either card is even BETTER. This is good for Johnnies with a Spike side. They make is POWERFUL, and also cheap.
"Possibilities abound, too numerous to count." "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969) "Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion Backs)

Underpowered? It's not underpowered. Contract is one-shot a lot, and I'd be surprised if we weren't allowed to get that at 1 mana (:B; but at the same time, would hope that it doesn't appeal to people to think they can drop it turn 1 or 2 without worrying about the drawback. But Bargain is stronger: no life loss to draw cards, and to some people this matters. If they run bounce, either card is even BETTER. This is good for Johnnies with a Spike side. They make is POWERFUL, and also cheap.


It's a safe bet to say this would cost . Mind Spring is just one mana more and doesn't require the wait, nor does it give your opponent a bomb. Already Mind Spring is better.
This card is a mid to late game card at best as it is an cost spell.
Phyrexian Arena does cost you life, but so does Demonic Bargain once the demon lands and you fail to draw into anything to deal with it. Bargain is a Phyrexian Arena variant that costs more mana! I'm not to thrilled by the life loss being on a delay. Also, even if a do draw into something that deals with Bargain's demon, my card draw effect is in my graveyard and doing squat. Then when I deal with the demon, I have to deal waste a card that a drew with Bargain, which makes the cost more like + however much it costs to deal with the demon. OK, well let's say you gain control of the demon. Well, since I can cast 6/6 flyers with trample these days for 4 mana, a 5/5 indestructible demon for rougly 5 mana isn't that impressive.

I voted for Mummification and Eldritch Rites.


Double down is an awkward card. You want to mill yourself but you also want to run monocolor so that you can easily get doubles of basic lands. Or maybe you will mill your opponent and then use this to take away their graveyard effects, but you better hope you hit two copies of the same card or you just helped them.

Consuming Contract is cool but it feels like it's giving you pretty mediocre effects in return for killing you in four turns. It's got minor memory issues too. In hindsight I probably should have voted for it in this bracket anyway.


I've got nothing against the watering can, it's a classic Johnny sort of card, but I think Mummification would be more fun to build around. Instead of dealing a few damage to your opponent each turn you want to make a deck that can do tons of damage all at once. I hope the Hexmage thing is not an issue though.


Soulfeaster's Rising seems like it takes too long to do anything, and there are easier ways to copy activated abilities than for the creatures to actually have to die. Revenge of Necromancy is like Druidic Satchel for Mind Rot decks, but there are only so many mind rots you can cast before the opponent runs out of cards. It could be great with Reforge the Soul though - considering that possibility, in hindsight I would have voted for Necromancy. But adding mana to your pool is an awkward benefit to get, it can either be epic or do nothing.


So what's up with Demonic Bargain? It has X in its text, so we already know its cost will be Xb. One mana less than Mind Spring and in return you get that cards one upkeep at a time instead of all at once, in addition to the other drawback so that you would never want to play it for a low X. Eldritch Rites on the other hand deals with one of the issues of Past In Flames because you can cast the enchantment one turn and then on your other turns use your mana for casting spells from your graveyard. Eldritch Rites is my favorite to win the competition.

Underpowered? It's not underpowered. Contract is one-shot a lot, and I'd be surprised if we weren't allowed to get that at 1 mana (:B; but at the same time, would hope that it doesn't appeal to people to think they can drop it turn 1 or 2 without worrying about the drawback. But Bargain is stronger: no life loss to draw cards, and to some people this matters. If they run bounce, either card is even BETTER. This is good for Johnnies with a Spike side. They make is POWERFUL, and also cheap.


It's a safe bet to say this would cost . Mind Spring is just one mana more and doesn't require the wait, nor does it give your opponent a bomb. Already Mind Spring is better.
This card is a mid to late game card at best as it is an cost spell.
Phyrexian Arena does cost you life, but so does Demonic Bargain once the demon lands and you fail to draw into anything to deal with it. Bargain is a Phyrexian Arena variant that costs more mana! I'm not to thrilled by the life loss being on a delay. Also, even if a do draw into something that deals with Bargain's demon, my card draw effect is in my graveyard and doing squat. Then when I deal with the demon, I have to deal waste a card that a drew with Bargain, which makes the cost more like + however much it costs to deal with the demon. OK, well let's say you gain control of the demon. Well, since I can cast 6/6 flyers with trample these days for 4 mana, a 5/5 indestructible demon for rougly 5 mana isn't that impressive.



It's underpowerness is easy fixed by changing X into X + 3 for example (or just some other number wich has yet to be determent). That way it comes out better compared to Mind Spring or Phyrexian Arena well, sometimes, and sometimes or [c=Phyrexian Arena]PA are better. This question of power level can be awnsered simply by R&D. What im more affraid of is that they won't note this, and leave it what it is: a PA wich is probably worse.

Underpowered? It's not underpowered. Contract is one-shot a lot, and I'd be surprised if we weren't allowed to get that at 1 mana (:B; but at the same time, would hope that it doesn't appeal to people to think they can drop it turn 1 or 2 without worrying about the drawback. But Bargain is stronger: no life loss to draw cards, and to some people this matters. If they run bounce, either card is even BETTER. This is good for Johnnies with a Spike side. They make is POWERFUL, and also cheap.


It's a safe bet to say this would cost . Mind Spring is just one mana more and doesn't require the wait, nor does it give your opponent a bomb. Already Mind Spring is better.
This card is a mid to late game card at best as it is an cost spell.
Phyrexian Arena does cost you life, but so does Demonic Bargain once the demon lands and you fail to draw into anything to deal with it. Bargain is a Phyrexian Arena variant that costs more mana! I'm not to thrilled by the life loss being on a delay. Also, even if a do draw into something that deals with Bargain's demon, my card draw effect is in my graveyard and doing squat. Then when I deal with the demon, I have to deal waste a card that a drew with Bargain, which makes the cost more like + however much it costs to deal with the demon. OK, well let's say you gain control of the demon. Well, since I can cast 6/6 flyers with trample these days for 4 mana, a 5/5 indestructible demon for rougly 5 mana isn't that impressive.



Unfortunately, mass or consistent draw spells in Black don't come often, nor do they come as easily as Blue's. Comparing them so readily to constrast betrays your ignorance of the restrictions the colors have. Consider, instead, how Black mass card draw works: Ambition's Cost, Greed, Yawgmoth's Bargain, Necro, and Promise of Power. Tack on some other fixed draw, like Sign in Blood, and you have yourself a theme: Blood for cards. Black uses its life as a resource, Blue does not. But Black can get it for mana. This will also be in Standard. Will Mind Spring? Moreover, if you bounce the enchant, they never get the Demon, and you get to reset the enchantment.

Consider what also happens, when you play this. Will your opponent always get the Demon? Or will you turn his lifetotal into a smoking ruin before then? That's a bet I know a lot of people will take, knowing their deck.

Which Bargain will you take? Oh, I do love this card design.
"Possibilities abound, too numerous to count." "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969) "Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion Backs)
Double down is an awkward card. You want to mill yourself but you also want to run monocolor so that you can easily get doubles of basic lands. Or maybe you will mill your opponent and then use this to take away their graveyard effects, but you better hope you hit two copies of the same card or you just helped them.



Double Down says "graveyards." It doesn't care whether the two cards are in ONE graveyard or in two different players'. This makes a bit of difference if, say, you're playing multiplayer, even singleton formats often get doubles, and EDH is no exception where anyone ramping is often popping various early trinkets, fetch lands, or Cultivates/Kodama's Reaches/Skyshroud Claims.

"Possibilities abound, too numerous to count." "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969) "Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion Backs)
You wouldn't run DD without having a plan of how to use it. You wouldn't put it in a deck hoping that you get matched up against someone using the same instants and sorceries as you. Sure it can work in EDH but more often one of you casts cultivate and the other casts kodama's reach or something like that.

As for the Bargain, people weren't exactly thrilled with Hunted Lammasu


Unfortunately, mass or consistent draw spells in Black don't come often, nor do they come as easily a Blue's. Comparing them so readily to constrast betrays your ignorance of the restrictions the colors have. Consider, instead, how Black mass card draw works: Ambition's Cost, Greed, Yawgmoth's Bargain, Necro, and Promise of Power. Tack on some other fixed draw, like Sign in Blood, and you have yourself a theme: Blood for cards. Black uses its life as a resource, Blue does not. But Black can get it for mana. This will also be in Standard. Will Mind Spring? Moreover, if you bounce the enchant, they never get the Demon, and you get to reset the enchantment.

Consider what also happens, when you play this. Will your opponent always get the Demon? Or will you turn his lifetotal into a smoking ruin before then? That's a bet I know a lot of people will take, knowing their deck.

Which Bargain will you take? Oh, I do love this card design.


It's not about color, its about math. Even if it was about color, black is able to bleed into the other colors getting the same or more value with a lesser mana cost, but usually giving something else in trade like life loss. For instance, Sign in Blood cost 2 mana plus life, but it gives you the same value as Divination which costs 3 mana. In this way, Mind Spring is a fair comparision as both cards are the same value but have a different price. The downside to bargain is giving your opponent a bomb and waiting to get 1 card a turn, starting with the next turn. The downside is not worth the payoff. 

And also, bouncing the enchantment to replay it is inefficient. It's losing a card the enchantment drew, then you have to cast the enchantment again. That increases the cost of the enchantment to

Double down is an awkward card. You want to mill yourself but you also want to run monocolor so that you can easily get doubles of basic lands. Or maybe you will mill your opponent and then use this to take away their graveyard effects, but you better hope you hit two copies of the same card or you just helped them.


I'm assuming r&d will change to exclude land cards. If not, this could be decent, but may not be worth the mana cost.

I like the idea of Mass Mumification, but in reality it promotes board stalls. If you can't attack for lethal it's not worth attacking at all.


Pretty sure that some of these cards are BA-ROKEN if costed to low and useles if costed right.

I find interesting that all effects of Consuming Contract we have so far can harm the controller.

Maybe Demonic bargain could cost and require you to use only black mana?

Or have an additional cost of paying life, sacrifice permanents or something else and a fixed cost (but this would probably make it too wordy).

Does it currently slowtrip if you choose X=0?  

  


I chose Consuming Contract before I read that it basically gives you three turns.  However, it isn't much worse than Double Down which is only useful in mill decks.

For the second pair, I chose Blood in the Watering Can.  Black has plenty of ways of losing life by itself so the card is not hard to use.  Mass Mummification is interesting but it can either lead to a tie or one massive swing for lethal when the counters get low enough.

For the third pair, Soulfeaster's Rising is, to me, the clear choice.  It isn't hard for creatures to die around black and it turns into a nice sized creature that can activate abilities.  It is also good against some creature recursion decks as the creatures can't keep coming back.  Revenge of Necromancy, while interesting, is only useful for a few turns until the opponent runs out of cards.

I voted Eldritch Rites for the last set.  It is quite strong being able to use every instant and sorcery twice for the cost of saccing a creature which isn't hard.  Demonic Bargain is interesting, but as others said, Phyrexian Arena can do the job better.

In the end I can't choose between Eldritch Rites of Blood in the Watering Can. 
IMAGE(http://pwp.wizards.com/1205820039/Scorecards/Landscape.png)
The poll numbers on this will be interesting. They get smaller with each round as people get fed up with this nonsense, and I don't want any of these cards to be printed.
Cream of the Crop. The best of the best. The essence of thousands of submissions. Erm what? Serious?

1. Consuming Contract
[CARD]Sign in Blood[/CARD] and [CARD]Murder[/CARD] are not enough to risk losing in three turns and help only little to win the game. Without the each mdoe once & you lose it coud have been a "best of black" effect (Sign in Blood OR Murder OR Dark Ritual for maybe?
Good Idea but bland execution.

2. Double Down
Some synergy with milling, but even with low casting cost it would be quite much work for little gain.
[i]Nothing special.

[/i]

3. Blood in the Watering Can


Repeatable Creature Recursion! [CARD]Oversold Cemetery[/CARD] that needs a little work for your value. [CARD]Phyrexian Arena[/CARD], [CARD]City of Brass[/CARD] and your enemy will enable this quite easily.


Power scaling with the creatures you use. Playable in EDH, Modern and T2.


One of the two cards I would really like to see.



4. Mass Mummification
That it's symetric just kills this card. Could have been a nice Lich-Variant. Like this it's just a gimmick card that needs a lot of deck-space so only you take advantage of it. Absolutely don't like it in the current form.

5. Soulfeaster's Rising
[CARD]Necrotic Ooze[/CARD] meets [CARD]Rest in Peace[/CARD]? Sadly it's doing both parts far worse.
Most of the time I probably would prefer [CARD]Dark Impostor [/CARD] for a similar effect.
At least it feels interesting while beeing wonky.

6. Revenge of Necromancy
Geth's Grimoire only uses the best mode of this card and really isn't that great. You hardly use discard all that often and when Geth's Grimoire would be the better choice to draw more discard. Unless it costs or it would be outclassed by an uncommon artifact.


5. Eldritch Rites
Buffed [CARD]Toshiro Umezawa[/CARD]? Balanced [CARD]Yawgmoth's Agenda[/CARD]?
Flashback for black instant or sorcery spells is awesome even if you have to jump through some hoops. [CARD]Reassembling Skeleton[/CARD] et al. fit into many black decks anyway.
Who wouldn't like some spell recursion?


6. Demonic Bargain
One of the worst YMTC card designs I have seen so far.
[MANA]XB[/MANA] Draw a card each upkeep for X turns. Wouldn't be all too exiting. Giving your opponent a crazy token for playing a bad card is a lose-lose situation. Who could read this card and think "oh that sounds nice and balanced" ?
If it gave you the Token it could be great. Something like Promise of Power in enchantment form. But who would play this over [CARD]Phyrexian Arena[/CARD], [CARD]Underworld Connections[/CARD] or [CARD]Bloodgift Demon[/CARD]?
Bad design!


For me only two cards are really interesting:
Blood in the Watering Can vs. Eldritch Rites

Would you like creature recursion or flashback for black instants & sorceries?
Cream of the Crop. The best of the best. The essence of thousands of submissions. Erm what? Serious?



As I was hoping, they culled all the eleventy billion, boring "pay life, draw card" suggestions. I'm sure there was some card suggested that could be tournament-playable, but we're probably designing a Timmy card.
Oh lawd, Consuming Contract. I have a hard time seeing this work at anywhere below 7 mana. That is just ridiculous.