Also the curse of East Coast residency, as Shawn again did well this round.
I will say that being last alphabetically (which is how the top and bottom rows were determined) felt like it often caused people to read, comment on, or review my set last, which may not have helped my submissions. Hopefully the judges at least spent enough time in a non-alphabetic manner that there was no direct effect on that end.
Can't say I'm surprised by the final ranking of the contestants, having had a week to look over all the submissions. @ mana (I hate that I pronounce that mentally as "at mana," E mana or L mana or whatever would handle more smoothly) presented an intriguing first impression when Loucks first posted it, but I became concerned when his final pack eliminated refract and dig entirely. Speaking of community contributions above, Loucks' was also the least-organized of the final five hub pages. Shawn, Devon, Scott, and Ethan all (eventually) kept an updated skeleton, with the first three providing separate pages for each card. Johnathon posted a sample booster but didn't update it much, if at all, in response to the community feedback, and didn't post a whole lot on the wiki in general. The most active page doesn't need belong to the best designer, but encouraging community collaboration can only help the candidates.
Someone (probably multiple people) called the Intro Pack challenge a week or two back. I like that "The deck needs to be fun to play." is one of the rules. We can't have anyone turning in a terribly boring set of cards thinking they've found a loophole.
I realize Ethan wasn't wanting for praise this week, but did anyone else feel that Ken's comments in his U3 and conclusion were a bit unfair? MaRo has noted many times that the key quality in this challenge is vision. Is it such a bad thing that cards are emerging fully-formed from a candidate's head? Stepping on the toes of other departments seems more in the realm of office management, certainly one metric on which to measure a potential employee but pretty far outside the scope as stated of this contest.
Pretty interesting results. I'm surprised Devon was knocked so much, as i thought he was going to get a little more flexibility. (Then again i also thought Willaims was going to get another week before the hammer fell).
I disagree heavily with Maro on the Ape Human tokens. (and Merfolk Fish tokens). They make no sense even from a biological standpoint.
I'm a little surprised Maro didn't go off on a tanget about Blight given that he told Shawn it needed work several weeks ago when it was introduced and it still hasn't changed. (But i find the inner workings of Maro's brain to be a confusing place at times). Though the Intro pack challange is a great place to show off what Blight can do. (Or assault... assault's more likely)
I'm also a bit surprised no judge pointed out how random Scott's rare was.
As for the challange... good luck guys. That's Crazy with a capital C. Though I guess two weeks and being able to work alone can help.
Now pointless guessing:
Epolith: Green / something else = Evolve
Wodotha:* Black / red = Blight or White / Red = Assault
Utopia: Black / Blue = Gold
Malgerath:** Black / Green = Persist
* While seeing blight with a full deck behind it would be sweet, i think assault's the way to go. I can't imagine a blight deck being fun to play with/against. "And i kill that... then that.... then that.... good game." Shawn has enough brownie points to make it to the top 3 without doing blight. I wouldn't take the risk.
** I really have no idea. Persist is the best mechanic to build a deck around, and because of the odd nature of the rules, he could include a few discharge spells in there.
This is the point at which I stop reading the series, I suppose.
From my perspective WotC has almost as much to learn from Loucks as he has from them. I hope the audience WotC seem to think they're making sets for appreciate the efforts they're putting in to keep things simple, because I certainly don't.
After all the rude comments about the original version of Living Reflection I tested it out on my nine year old daughter. She had no trouble with the concept at all. And her usual W/G deck already has multiple types of tokens in it (from Icatian Crier and Presence of Gond ) so it's not as though that's a barrier either.
Maybe in some future year WotC should try releasing an extra set that kills a few of their sacred cows regarding complexity (everything except lines of text, about which I think they have the right idea)? I guarantee it would see more draft play on MtGO than anything they'd ever done before.
My guess is that Shawn's "blight" theme is going to expire soon. It can be properly-executed (as it is), but it just can't go far beyond that. It's a simple linear mechanic that just blows stuff up all the time.
11) Uncommon Card #1 – Initial Half Poisonous Amphibian [Chah invented creatures that flip into Equipment, the death trigger was my idea, and this specific card idea was Jay Treat's] [Poison Dart Frog - community.wizards.com/magicthegathering/...] 2B Creature - Salamander 2/1 Deathtouch When CARDNAME is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, return it to the battlefield flipped.
Art: A brightly-patterned Eryops sitting on a log. Flipped, the log becomes a blowgun.
I like this... but as has been said: why a flip card?
Why not two cards:
Poisonous Amphibian 2B Creature - Salamander 2/1 Deathtouch When CARDNAME is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, you may exile CARDNAME and tap an untapped creature you control, if you do search your library for a card named Poison Dart Blowgun and put it unto the battlefield attached to the tapped creature.
The creature could be simplified but the fact a creature must be tapped is flavourful, the additional cost of tapping a creature to cast that 0 mana equipment, while clunky, is interesting from a flavour perspective.
The naming of a specific card doesn't appear a lot in Magic but both cards are usable separately.
Rules question? Have you read the Basic rulebook already? No? Why not take some time to do that?