AJ_Impy's picture
By: AJ_Impy, AJ Richardson
Dec 12 2008 9:26am
3
Login or register to post comments
1975 views


 

 

 

November Custom Card Contest - Tribal Lords

The task for this month's contest was to create a Lord for a tribe that doesn't currently have one. Lords have been around since Lord of Atlantis, Goblin King and Zombie Master in Alpha, usually cheap creatures that boost others of their type. There are exceptions to this: the Scourge Warchiefs affected themselves as well, reduced costs and only affected members of the tribe that you controlled. In Odyssey block, there was a cycle of lords costing 3 mana of the appropriate color, enabling their tribemembers to be tapped for advantages such as force spike, damage prevention, swampwalk, power increase and mana generation. Interestingly, one of this cycle was a legend, a trend started by Eladamri, Lord of Leaves, the first elf lord back in Rath block. Legendary lords tend to be unusual: Lovisa Coldeyes acts as the lord for no less than three seperate tribes, granting them all +2/+2 and haste. Haakon, Stromgald Scourge is a very solid Knight lord, allowing infinite recursion but having interesting play requirements himself. Marrow-Gnawer grants his tribe evasion and can sacrifice them to breed more, and Reaper King, having the most complex mana cost in magic, turns his tribe into vindicates. Eventide gave Lords to tribes such as Archers, Assassins, Knights and Clerics, in addition to a cycle of lords that used +1/+1 counters and coming into play to boost their tribe. Perhaps the oddest lord of all is Myr Matrix: an indestructible artifact token generator that pumps out and buffs Myr. Despite not being a creature, it was intended as the Myr tribal lord, and as such similar entries were allowed.

 

Bladewing the Risen

 

 

Seton, Krosan Protector

 

 

Death Baron

 

Scoring Criteria

The judges for this contest are AJ_Impy, MechtaK and Zerofusion.

Each entry can earn up to 10 points in each of the following categories (for a total of 50 possible points per entry):
• Originality (To score highly in this category, the card should contain new approaches to the way the card is played or interacts with the environment.)
• Templating (To score highly in this category, the card should be worded correctly. We should understand what the card is supposed to do with one reading. In addition, matters of spelling and grammar come under this heading.)
• Balance (To score highly in this category, the card should be properly costed to the effect it produces. Cards that do too much for their cost, or too little, will be judged accordingly.)
• Flavor (To score highly in this category, the card should reflect the expected mechanics considering color, card type, and representation.)
• Appeal (To score highly in this category, not only should people want to play this card, but if it were to be printed Wizards should be able to promote this card during the set previews, and it should get people excited about the set as a whole.)


Prizes

As well as judging the following month's contest, the winners recieved the following gift tokens from MTGO Traders:

1st place: $10 gift certificate
2nd place: $6 gift certificate
3rd place: $4 gift certificate

 

Entries

Lord Erman

Protector Angel

Judge

Ori

Tem

Bal

Fla

App

Total

MechtaK

7

10

4

9

6

36

AJ_Impy

8

10

6

8

7

39

Zerofusion

6

10

7

8

9

40

Score

7

10

5.7

8.3

7.3

38.3

MechtaK's Comments:

Angels are already one of the strongest creature types out there. While it's interesting to see a Lord of this type, I'm inclined to believe there is a sound reason WotC has never made a Lord of this type. Angels are strong in and of themselves, and therefore, don't really require a Lord. In any case, this card is way too strong for its cost. 

 

AJ_Impy's Comments:

A very clean design, very much in flavour for both the tribe and the color. There are Angels that prevent attacking such as Blinding Angel, angels that hose black and red such as Akroma, Angel of Wrath, Voice of Law and Voice of Grace. However, after white, the two colors with the most angels are red and black. Being unable to attack with Razia, Boros Archangel, Lightning Angel, Akroma, Angel of Fury, and Firemane Angel, or to block with Angel of Despair, Fallen Angel, Crypt Angel, Desolation Angel, Selenia, Dark Angel and so on impacts its appeal, and the card is severely undercosted as submitted. Any one of these effects would be worth the four mana (See Light of Day), all on the same card would inflate the price considerably.

Image

 

Rushmore111- Equal Third Place

Dawn's Deafening

Judge

Ori

Tem

Bal

Fla

App

Total

MechtaK

9

8

8

9

4

38

AJ_Impy

8

10

7

7

7

39

Zerofusion

10

9

6

10

9

44

Score

9

9

7

8.7

6.7

40.3

MechtaK's Comments:

I love the idea of giving Leviathans a Lord, since most Leviathans are never played for the reason that they are just too hard to do so. I had some templating issues in that, it should have said "target Leviathan" but it was minor. Still, despite its Leviathan coolness, I don't think it would give anyone the desire to play Leviathans much. 

 

AJ_Impy's Comments:

Blue doesn't usually get 4/4s for 4 mana without a heaping pile of disadvantage, although the manacost is pretty unique, being shared only with Cryptic Command. That said, given that Leviathans start at 9/8 for 4 mana, it at leasts fits in that way. I cannot help but smile at this design: As someone who has built more than their fair share of Leviathan tribal decks over the years, the necessity of running Stifle and Trickbind sets as enablers highlights the usefulness of this lord. Leviathans are expensive, and/or hard to untap, and/or have game-losing kickers, but have some of the highest power to cost in the entire game. I'd like this card more if it was easier to kill, or perhaps of it came into play tapped or had a comes into play negative trigger, introducing a bigger element of risk to playing it. I'm also not too keen on the name, but I suppose it fits in with the Leviathan naming theme of inflicting harm on concepts and really big things (see Sky Swallower, Eater of Days, Jokulmorder).

Image

 

 

xing_uk

Guard of Oedipus

My entry for fun...

Judge

Ori

Tem

Bal

Fla

App

Total

MechtaK

6

5

7

7

2

27

AJ_Impy

6

6

6

6

7

31

Zerofusion

5

8

7

7

7

34

Score

5.7

6.3

6.7

6.7

5,3

30.7

MechtaK's Comments:

This card showed alot of promise but really didn't light my fire. There just aren't many Sphinxes to really make a Lord for them worthwhile. Coupled with really bad templating and a weak Lord ability that doesn't really help Sphinxes that much unless an opponent is playing islands, I just have to give this one two thumbs down. 

 

AJ_Impy's Comments:

Hmm. Some punctuation errors, a real-world-myth reference name, and an insane set of mana costs. 2WU for a 3/5 legendary flier is reasonable, but 6W, 6U or even 10? Why? There is very little reason any deck would want to play 10 for this, and every non-changeling Sphinx printed so far is W, U or both. The Lord ability feels lazy, a not-as-good Lord of Atlantis for a tribe which already has a form of evasion for all its members. Riddle in the flavour text is slightly redeeming.

Image

 

 

Scartore

Grizzly Adams

It probably dates me to admit that I believe I saw every episode of this show...
I thought the old style frame really fit this card well.
The art is from the original Movie poster.

Of course the card could be changed for licensing reasons to "Grizzly Jake and his Bear Dan"

Judge

Ori

Tem

Bal

Fla

App

Total

MechtaK

8

8

10

8

5

39

AJ_Impy

7

5

7

5

8

32

Zerofusion

9

8

7

10

8

42

Score

8

7

8

7.7

7

37.7

MechtaK's Comments:

I chuckled when I saw this card, I think I saw about every episode of this show as well. That said, it's a pretty bland card for Bears that could have done a little more for them. Still, I liked the card well enough, I just don't think it would see much play.

 

Image

AJ_Impy's Comments:

Whilst the card 'could be changed for licensing reasons', the card as submitted wasn't, and without the flavour of the original film it misses out. The templating needs a lot of work: What colour is the legendary bear? Is it a token or another card? Cost wise, you're effectively getting a Legendary Trained Armodon or Call of the Herd with a wall that taps to regenerate it. Not above the curve for a green legend. Definitely playable, reminds me a little of Tolsimir Wolfblood.

 

displacedfloridian

Master Craftsman

Here's my offering...

Judge

Ori

Tem

Bal

Fla

App

Total

MechtaK

7

8

10

7

5

37

AJ_Impy

8

9

8

7

7

39

Zerofusion

9

10

10

7

8

44

Score

8

9

9.3

7

6.7

40

MechtaK's Comments:

Giving Wall creatures a Lord is interesting and original, but is not something I expected, especially in blue. Walls exist is every color, and I'm not entirely sold on it being exclusively a blue ability. Anyhow, it animates one Wall, which is far too limited to make Walls effective or dangerous.

 AJ_Impy's Comments:

Very nice. The flavour of the card fits: He can reinforce the walls to prevent things flying over, and he can send them towards the enemy. I note that the 'loses defender' power doesn't end, templating loses a point for not making that absolutely clear. Walls attacking mostly happens in white, see Wakestone Gargoyle, Rolling Stones and Animate Wall, but occasionally shows up in blue, see Wall of Wonder, Wall of Deceit, Mistform Wall and Mirror Wall. Decent body for cost.

Image


 

 

Runch - Second Place

Mistress of Tombs

I know Provoke has no tie to black but, I don't think that ability was ever well explored. Besides being a perfect match flavor-wise for Mistress, Provoke seems to be a black ability rather than a white ability. White creatures wouldn't antagonize an opponent, would they? Black creatures sure would. Just my opinion, and regardless, it plays well with Gorgon critters.

Judge

Ori

Tem

Bal

Fla

App

Total

MechtaK

7

10

7

8

7

39

AJ_Impy

8

10

7

6

8

39

Zerofusion

8

10

9

8

9

44

Score

7.7

10

7.7

7.3

8

40.7

MechtaK's Comments:

Mistress of Tombs is a nice card with which I have one major gripe. Provoke is more of a green ability than black, and even though you acknowledge that, I feel it's out of place here. I still don't think this really inspires me to want to play Gorgon creatures enough, but I like the concept fine.

 

Image

AJ_Impy's Comments:

Intriguing. A potent addition to the Gorgon arsenal, but there is no way this is a black card. It's white. Very, very white, except for the Basilisk ability which is usually Deathtouch these days. Even that ability has shown up in White quite a lot: Defiant Vanguard and Loyal Sentry in the last few years alone. Blocking an additional creature, white. Granting a mass toughness boost, white. Granting provoke, up in the air but most likely red. Or white. Big appeal, nice card, but loses out on flavour.

papajohns

Werewolf Shaman

Not sure if wolves count as a tribe, but I like playing a wolf deck.
There's not really a wolf lord in my opinion. Wren's Run Packmaster was more of an elf who just happened to give wolves an ability.

Judge

Ori

Tem

Bal

Fla

App

Total

MechtaK

7

8

8

8

6

37

AJ_Impy

8

8

8

7

8

39

Zerofusion

7

8

7

7

7

36

Score

7.3

8

7.7

7.3

7

37.3

MechtaK's Comments:

This card has alot of potential that falls short of the mark. I never understood why it gives Wolves flash, unless you were going for the "suddenly a werewolf appears" surprise value. Still, that is the providence of blue mostly. Again, a Lord card that affects a single Wolf with its penultimate ability seems really lacking.

AJ_Impy's Comments:

Gives its bonus to itself, which makes it effectively Hill Giant sized, which with its abilities is reasonable for green. I like the 'surprise wolf pack assault' feel. Turning the wolf of your choice into a 5/2 Werevariant is an interesting and original twist. Templating loses out due to the inconsistent capitalisation of 'wolf'.

 

 

Image

 


Lythand

The Thing

A little about my choice of creature. I wanted to go for something challenging. I could of very easily picked something and made it give +1/+1 to all creature types it shared with other creatures. I thought shapeshifters would be that challenge, and what better creature to represent the lord of the shapeshifters then John Carpenter's The Thing.

I chose the creature removal/change ability as its main abilty because that what he does a lot, changes.

It gives other shapeshifters Regenerate, because The Thing itself almost never seemed to die and flying to demonstrate how shapeshifters can adapt to thier enviroment on a moments notice.

Flavor text comes from the movie.

I may not of hit it spot on, but it was fun making this one.

I give you:

Judge

Ori

Tem

Bal

Fla

App

Total

MechtaK

8

7

5

7

9

36

AJ_Impy

7

6

5

8

9

35

Zerofusion

7

7

8

9

8

39

Score

7.3

6.7

6

8

8.7

36.7

MechtaK's Comments:

Having seen the movie, this was a pretty good idea for a card. However, I don't think Shapeshifters really needed a Lord to begin with, especially with the advent of the changeling ability on most. But, having said that, I didn't see anything on this card that really broke that too much. Its own ability though, is far too strong in my humble opinion.
 

Image

AJ_Impy's Comments:

Some templating issues: 'Retains its abilities' is a nightmare sentence on a card that copies other cards. A major, major balance issue in giving an infinite supply of Unmake to blue and black, at 1 mana less than the original spell, AND getting an extra benefit out of it. The derivative nature of taking it from a movie is balanced by the possibilities it opens up, but this card is massively overpowered.

 

Pyrosin - First Place

Loxodon Enforcer

Judge

Ori

Tem

Bal

Fla

App

Total

MechtaK

7

8

7

10

8

40

AJ_Impy

8

10

8

9

9

44

Zerofusion

9

10

9

8

8

44

Score

8

9.3

8

9

8.3

42.7

MechtaK's Comments:

A good card that really doesn't break Elephants too much. Still, with people already playing a good number of Elephants, I don't think a Lord for them was really needed, it just gives those decks another option when it comes to winning.

AJ_Impy's Comments:

Very nice. An accurately in-tribe ability, and some interesting Overrun potential in the colours that specialise in it. The flavour matches the tribe and colours very well, the cost and power/toughness are reasonable for colour and tribe, all in all a well-made and flavourful card.

Image

 

mrat1

Djinn Commander

Judge

Ori

Tem

Bal

Fla

App

Total

MechtaK

8

5

6

7

6

32

AJ_Impy

7

6

8

6

7

34

Zerofusion

8

8

9

8

8

41

Score

7.7

6.7

7.7

7

7

35.7

MechtaK's Comments:

I could never really get behind this card. First, Djinni are mostly found in blue, and it should have been in that color. Secondly, the templating of this card is atrocious. And lastly, it does way too much for its cost, and doesn't help that it comes out early when there are no Djinni in play to take advantage of it.

AJ_Impy's Comments:

Way too small for a Djinn. I like the second pump hearkening back to the Invasion Djinn cycle, the Flash tap ability feels nice and tricksy, but the cost and power/toughness feel out of place. A number of templating issues hurt the final score.

Image

 

Tarmotog - Equal Third Place

AEtherbreach Soratami

Hope I'm not too late.

Judge

Ori

Tem

Bal

Fla

App

Total

MechtaK

9

8

2

10

10

39

AJ_Impy

8

7

4

8

9

36

Zerofusion

10

9

9

9

9

46

Score

9

8

5

9

9.3

40.3

MechtaK's Comments:

In truth, I didn't know much about Moonfolk so I had to look them up. Only thing I can say about this Lord is, holy snikes! This card sets up infinite loops of infinite abilities that is really not to the best interests of the game. Really broke! With just one in play and Meloku the Clouded Mirror and Patron of the Moon equals infinite mana/creature combo. With two of these Lords in play... it gets ridiculous.
 

AJ_Impy's Comments:

Yikes, this is broken. Excellent choice of tribe, and intriguing Lord power, but this card definitely needs more work on it to prevent the 'I sweep lands into my hand, All my Soratami have shroud, and are gigantic, GG?' problem. Insane with (Meloku, the Clouded Mirror) or any other 1-mana activation Soratami. Insane with the Patron of the Moon. Insane.

Image

 

Vantar

Gnome Maker

Woot, just made it.

Judge

Ori

Tem

Bal

Fla

App

Total

MechtaK

8

9

10

8

5

40

AJ_Impy

9

8

7

9

8

41

Zerofusion

9

7

7

7

8

38

Score

8.7

8

8

8

7

39.7

MechtaK's Comments:

With a shortage of Gnome creatures, and with only 3 of those worth paying to return to play at end of turn, this card comes off as a pretty weak entry. Still, I gave it high marks for its orginality and its use of a Lord that doesn't share the Gnome creature type. However, just can't fathom it seeing play much.
 
 

AJ_Impy's Comments:

Interesting. A permanent Fool's Demise effect if you have the mana to invest, a very nice combo with sacrifice gnomes such as Bottle Gnomes, Copper Gnomes and Ticking Gnomes. The high cost keeps it balanced.

Image

 

There we have it: Congratulations to Pyrosin, Runch, Tarmotog and Rushmore111 on their success, and don't forget to give this month's CCC a look in on the PureMTGO forums.

6 Comments

by Rerepete at Sun, 12/14/2008 - 09:10
Rerepete's picture

That's the way I was thinking too....be more interesting to turn all humans in play to wolves....LOL

by MechtaK at Sun, 12/14/2008 - 09:39
MechtaK's picture

Right, missed that it wasn't a Moonfolk, I did a keyword search on Moonfolk and it came up because of its Moonfolk offering ability.  My bad there.

Not sure I'm in agreement with you on flash. Sure, flash is shared with green as a opposing ability, but green didn't completely dominate in flash, and it certainly looks like the direction is to make it a province of blue and white with the inception of Lorwyn.  Before Lorwyn, it was 12 green creatures to 10 blue, but that doesn't say much really, especially considering white got 15.  From Lorwyn on, blue got another 16 while green got another 3 and white 5, so it does seem to be becoming a province of blue.  That was what I was going on pretty much.

Though it honesty, another argument in your favor is Aluren and Vernal Equinox, which pretty much gives all your creatures flash.  In that respect, you would be correct, and I would definitely agree that one green cards giving some spectrum of other cards flash would be right on.  So, with that, I will just have to say that my comments, though correct, didn't reflect green accurately, and I apologize.

by Anonymous(Unregistered) 198.37.16.97 (not verified) at Fri, 12/12/2008 - 10:32
Anonymous(Unregistered) 198.37.16.97's picture

Patron of the Moon is not a moonfolk, so that doesn't really matter. Also, annoyed at:

 

"I never understood why it gives Wolves flash, unless you were going for the "suddenly a werewolf appears" surprise value. Still, that is the providence of blue mostly."

 

Flash is as much a green ability as it is a blue ability. Before Lorwyn block, there were more green creatures with flash than blue ones. 

Templating, Ach! by Scartore at Fri, 12/12/2008 - 12:12
Scartore's picture

Argh! I look at it now and its so obvious!

I should have looked at Tolsmir while I was doing it up.

Must do better...

Congrats to the winners

by AJ_Impy at Sat, 12/13/2008 - 06:26
AJ_Impy's picture

Because it specifies they are still wolves, the +1/+1 it also grants is in effect as well, thus 5/2. In terms of humans, I see nothing wrong with the flavour of taking the human-werewolf-wolf line from the other side.

by Anonymous(Unregistered) 157.127.124.15 (not verified) at Fri, 12/12/2008 - 22:41
Anonymous(Unregistered) 157.127.124.15's picture

shouldnt the werewolf guy make humans into wolfs at 4/1???