Evu's picture
By: Evu,
Oct 18 2007 12:18pm
4.333335
Login or register to post comments
5175 views


Before we start, some quick links: PureMTGO's monthly Custom Card Contest takes place in the Custom Cards forum. We use the Magic Set Editor software to bring our cards to life (no Photoshop skills required!). Here are September's threads for submissions (including results) and discussion. And here's the article analyzing the August CCC.

On Alternate Win Conditions

Judging this contest gave me occasion to put a lot of thought into what makes a good alternate win condition. Magic already has several win conditions built into the rules: usually, one wins by reducing one's opponents to zero life or zero cards in library. So if you're going to add another one -- what's your reason for doing so? What will this card contribute to the game?

The first conclusion I reached was that alternate win cards should be aimed primarily at casual players. Tournament players will play anything that's good enough, of course, but make an alternate win card too good, and it will change the face of the game for as long as it's legal. Instead of being about playing out a diverse group of threats and dealing 20 damage, games will become a battle over the fate of a single card. Alternate wins should be fun and surprising, a break from the usual, but not a replacement for it.

My second realization was that Coalition Victory is the worst alternate win condition ever. Why? Think about how it plays out. You start off with your aggro deck, play a couple of bears, hit for a few damage. Your opponent searches out some land, drops a defensive creature or two, maybe plays some removal spells. It looks like they've got a multi-colored control deck. You play out a few more creatures and get ready to overwhelm them. Then... they play Coalition Victory. Do you have a counterspell? No? Then I guess the game is over. What was the point of playing out all of those creatures? If you'd known the game was going to end abruptly like that, with you still at 20 life and with plenty of cards in your library, you might have been able to do something about it. At the least, you could have just conceded and moved on to play an actual game of Magic with somebody else. Even if you do have the counterspell, there still isn't any Magic being played here. It's just you waiting to collect your win against a weak deck that only knows how to stall the game.

How to solve this problem? The ideal alternate win card, I thought, doesn't come out of nowhere and end the game abruptly. You should have an opportunity to see the win coming, and to do something about it -- either to stop it from happening, or just to know what kind of clock you have to beat.

Cards like Epic Struggle and Mortal Combat are an improvement over Coaltion Victory in this regard, since at the least they force you to wait a turn for the upkeep trigger, and in many cases it may be practical to play them out even before their conditions are met. Battle of Wits is better still, in a subtle way, since people who know about the card can guess what's up as soon as they see the size of your deck. But best of all, in my opinion, are cards like Chance Encounter and Darksteel Reactor, which require you to do work while they're in play in order to earn your victory.

Of course, the contestants didn't have the benefit of these musings while they were working on their entries. But they did know that they needed to come up with cards that were interesting, fair, and fun for both players. I could only hope that their own meditations on the subject would lead them to the same conclusions as mine had!

Judging

A panel of three judges graded each entry on a scale of 0 to 10 in five categories, for a possible total of 50 points. The categories were as follows:

  • Originality measured whether the card design was fresh and/or clever. There's a lot of unexplored territory in the area of alternate win conditions, of course, but which parts actually needed to be explored?
  • Spelling, Templating, and Grammar measured whether the card, as submitted, conformed to the rules of Magic card writing and the English language.
  • Playability took stock of whether the card was strong enough to be worth playing, also also whether it was too strong.
  • Flavor examined the card in the context of a fantasy game. Did its name and art match its mechanic? Was it in the right color?
  • Appeal asked the question, would anybody actually want to play this card? For this month in particular, given the subject matter, I felt it was important that this category also reflected whether anybody would want to play against the card, in casual or tournament games.

As usual, this month's judging panel was made up of the winners of the previous month's contest. Comments in normal black text like this are my own (Evu). Comments in green italics are by jinx_talaris. Comments in red italics are by dragonmage65. Got it? Let's practice with this introductory paragraph from dragonmage65:

This was by far the hardest set of cards I've ever had to judge. Ninety percent of the difficulty came from the fact that I, as a player, absolutely despise cards with the words 'You win the game' on them. Trying to keep an open mind was definitely something I grappled with, but nevertheless, I feel quite confident that my scores are satisfactory, but if you have any questions as to why you received a particular grade from me, don't hesitate to ask.

DM65's comments are fair, and I should probably mention that I didn't consult with my fellow judges before choosing a theme. But when it comes to that, one of the reasons I chose the theme was because I, too, and I suspect many other players as well, dislike many alternate-win cards. Part of the challenge of this contest was to design cards that could get over those objections.

Let's see if anyone accomplished that!

(Please note that this article does not contain all submissions -- only those whose creators gave us permission to critique them in public. The remaining entries may still be visible in the submission thread.)


hk3family

Survive the Traitors     [2nd Place!]

  Orig Tmpl Play Flav Appl Total
Evu 10 10 8 9 10 47
dm65 7 10 6 8 8 39
j_t 8 10 9 8 7 42
Avg 8.3 10 7.6 8.3 8.3 42.6

Evu says:

How I'd build the deck: I think this card presents one of the most intriguing deckbuilding challenges in the contest. My first thought was to load up on mana acceleration and cheap defensive or life-gain cards, so that I could accelerate into Survive on turn 4 or 5, then have a Plains and something like Ghost-Lit Redeemer or Order of the Stars ready as my play for turn 6. But another possibility occurred to me as well: you could set up some suspend cards so that they would all come into play the turn after you cast Survive, providing substantial defenses despite your lack of mana. Then, of course, there's always Enduring Ideal; this card would be a great win condition in that deck. And there's AEther Snap, if you can afford to pay 11 mana on a single turn. So maybe one of the best things to say about this card is that it offers a lot of possibilities for how to build the deck.

Comments: I was surprised to see that one of the best entries in the competition was the first submitted. Could it have happened by accident? Even if so, I think that this design was truly inspired. The concept is simple: your opponent gets three free swings (plus all of your permanents to give them a head start), and if they can't kill you in that time, you win. The use of the Shroud keyword is elegant: it prevents your opponent from getting a free win just for drawing a Naturalize, but it also prevents you from using something like Clockspinning to get out of waiting the full three turns. The flavor is right on, with the name, art, and mechanic all fitting together. My biggest complaint about this card is that playtesting might reveal that Vanishing 3 was too low a number; 4 might be better.

jinx_talaris says:

Overall, I liked the idea behind this card. Very balanced even if you can get around it with a few cards, Greater Gargadon comes to mind. But in order to do so, you would have to build a deck to compliment it so that doesn't make it seem at all overpowered. This would mostly appeal to the casual population. My johnny would love to force this win condition somehow.


Kjandaran Sacrifice

  Orig Tmpl Play Flav Appl Total
Evu 6 10 5 8 5 34
dm65 8 9 7 6 6 36
j_t 8 10 4 9 10 41
Avg 7.3 9.6 5.3 7.6 7 37

Evu says:

How I'd build the deck: Cheap artifact creatures like Myr Servitor are probably the way to go, then just ramp up to seven mana. Seems like allowing artifact or other colorless creatures is probably an unintended loophole. Assuming it were closed, I'd go for token generators along the lines of Mogg War Marshal or Sarpadian Empires, Vol. VII.

Comments: I like that this card challenges you to stretch your mana, but I worry that it isn't enough of a challenge. It might be harder if the spell itself weren't in the patron color of mana-fixing. I also think the number of creatures you have to sacrifice could be higher, and maybe their color requirements could be more diverse -- like you have to sacrifice one creature of each color. Even then, it's starting to sound like Coalition Victory, whose abruptness I decried above. Might have to go back to the drawing board on this one. Flavor is decent -- fitting art and nice flavor text, though I'm a little confused as to the 'why' behind the text.

jinx_talaris says:

A very easy alternate win condition. Not the easiest but certainly not very difficult to obtain in the very least. Colorless (Artifact) creatures fit into EVERY deck and just happen to be nonwhite/nongreen. While the casting cost is a pretty penny and helps to balance it some, this card's playability is stupendous and as a result, takes a hit for being slightly overpowered. With the colors it fits in, a good midrange deck would run this as a 4 of if not a 3 of with 1 on the side to get with glittering wish. Making an opponent sacrifice 3 creatures is a very strong effect but coming out with a random 'I win' every once in a while is too strong. Great concept, just needs to be toned down.


For Kjandar!

  Orig Tmpl Play Flav Appl Total
Evu 7 9 3 7 3 29
dm65 8 6 6 8 7 35
j_t 6 10 4 7 10 37
Avg 7 8.3 4.3 7.3 6.6 33.6

Evu says:

How I'd build the deck: White is one of the best colors at making token creatures. A little Raise the Alarm here, a little Icatian Crier there, and you could maybe win the game on turn 5 if you made all your land drops.

Comments: Because the first line is a trigger rather than part of the resolution, this card is more or less an uncounterable Wrath of God for five mana, which I think is too strong, even before we consider the win condition. Granted that it's only available to mono-White decks, but still. The win condition itself is also a problem, not so much for power reasons as because your opponent would never see it coming. It's even worse than Coalition Victory -- at least when you see somebody play a Transguild Courier, you might get suspicious that something's up. When somebody played five white creatures early in the game, you'd have no reason to suspect they were anything other than a White Weenie deck. Then all of a sudden they play For Kjandar! and it's counterspell or die. What I do like about this card is its flavor. I think card names with punctuation are cool, as long as they're used sparingly. And the image of a single spear standing upright against a mostly-empty field is evocative.

jinx_talaris says:

Just too strong, and easy to pull off early game. The white mage is in no way punished for playing this card so this could replace WoG in every white heavy deck. If it doesn't replace it, another 4 with alternate win conditions attached would make it into every monowhite. While the cost is heavy the win condition just isn't too difficult to pull off. With 5 casting cost, a white weenie deck could easily curve right into a win.

dragonmage65 says:

The best of these was certainly the first. My only qualm with it is that we've seen something very similar to it before in Sky Swallower, and that it isn't too playable. The other two cards were wholly unremarkable.

councilchaos

Zuran Singularity

  Orig Tmpl Play Flav Appl Total
Evu 6 5 3 4 3 21
dm65 6 4 2 6 6 24
j_t 7 10 4 7 10 38
Avg 6.3 6.3 3 5.6 6.6 27.6

Evu says:

How I'd build the deck: Donate + Panoptic Mirror. I can't think of any other way to ensure that your opponent will even have an enchantment you can take control of, let alone a planeswalker.

Comments: The good thing about this card is that it has utility even when you can't use it to win the game -- in fact, if you can take control of one opposing permanent per turn, you should actually have little trouble winning the game in the normal fashion. But, speaking of that, four generic mana to take control of any one permanent each turn is a little low -- compare Confiscate or Memnarch. More importantly, though, people are going to see that 'you win the game' clause and want to make it happen... and how often will they realistically be able to do so? Players often aren't going to have all five of those card types in their deck, and when they do, is it really a good idea to punish them for it?

jinx_talaris says:

Very cool card. As an alternate win condition, very hard to pull off and maybe near impossible depending on how much play Planeswalkers will see. However this card is extremely powerful as a utility card. Confiscate on a stick, at instant speed, for 4 of any mana is much too powerful. If the effect could only be played at sorcery speed, it would be plausible and maybe even an extra clause stating once per turn (to get around Voltaic Key effects). Overall, great idea as far as the alternate win condition goes but it's kind of like Vedalken Shackles except...well...way way way better.


Veil of Contrition

  Orig Tmpl Play Flav Appl Total
Evu 8 8 8 7 7 38
dm65 7 4 0 4 2 17
j_t 9 10 4 9 4 36
Avg 8 7.3 4 6.6 4.3 30.3

Evu says:

How I'd build the deck: It's only in your interest to play this card if you're losing game 1. In that case, this will salvage a lost game for you and make it so that you only need to win one more game to take the match, rather than the two you'd have to win if you took the game-1 loss. If you were winning game 1, on the other hand, it would be better to just take that win in the usual manner, and then have two more chances to win one game, rather than just one chance. So what I'd do is set this card up as a one-of tutor target in some tournament deck that could afford to cast it (then take it out during sideboarding, of course).

Comments: An interesting idea, and one that I could see Wizards actually considering (thanks to the Wishes, I've learned that there's nothing they won't at least consider printing). It does suffer from the Coalition Victory 'win immediately out of nowhere' problem, but since you also lose the next game immediately (barring some kind of lucky Gemstone Caverns + Stifle draw), I think that's bearable. I guess the question is, does this effect run contrary to the reasons for playing a 2-of-3 match? The idea behind playing more games is that there's less of a chance that the outcome will be decided by mana screw, and that you get to reconfigure your deck so that it's better suited for the match-up. Veil takes away some of that, but you do at least get to play one and a half games, with the deciding game being post-sideboarding. I could see Wizards going either way on this, to be honest.

jinx_talaris says:

Turning a 3 match game into a winner takes all 1 match game is mind boggling to say the least. The only cards I know of that effect games outside of the current one or create a 'subgame' are Unglued/Unhinged, and Shahrazad from Antiquities. While playability takes a hard hit from this (in any real format) the card's design is very nice.


Warpact

  Orig Tmpl Play Flav Appl Total
Evu 7 6 6 3 1 23
dm65 6 2 0 2 4 14
j_t 9 10 9 10 9 47
Avg 7.3 6 5 5 4.6 28

Evu says:

How I'd build the deck: No player who could possibly afford to pay one of the countering costs would fail to do so -- losing a couple of cards is no big deal compared to denying your opponent a 50% chance to win the game outright -- and it's hard to imagine that any player, in the course of a normal game, would find themselves unable to pay at least one of those costs... so you'd need to work overtime with the disruption spells. Sweeping land destruction and massive discard would have to take effect before you could even think about casting this spell... and then you'd want some Krark's Thumb backup, no doubt.

Comments: It's a lot easier to lose the game with this card than it is to win with it, and I doubt many players would be willing to take the risk. Besides, if your opponent has fewer than two lands in play, fewer than two cards in hand, and fewer than two creatures in play, wouldn't you be winning with or without this card? Most importantly, though, I don't think it's a good idea to let the outcome of an entire game hang on a coin flip (even if there are ways for one player to get an edge). There's no less satisfying way to end a hard-fought battle of wits than to stop abruptly and leave it up to a single chance outcome.

jinx_talaris says:

Very crazy. The option to counter fits the black perfectly along with red's 'chancing.' A very risky move but at the same time good utility if you know what you're doing. Nicely done. Not sure if this would make it to see tournament play because of the risk but many players would pick it up just to try it. If it did see tournament play, somebody would have found a way to utilize its removal (forcing an opponent to counter or utilizing self sacrificing/discard abilities). Overall great card with many possibilities.

dragonmage65 says:

All three of these cards are utterly unplayable. Zuran Singularity is both broken and unplayable at the same time (the first ability is too powerful, but you'll never achieve the win condition). The folks at the DCI would probably die of acute heart failure if Veil of Contrition ever saw print. As for Warpact, a game should never be decided purely on a coin flip. The mere concept of it is absurd. Overall, a pretty darned awful submission.

AJ_Impy

Culturewipe

  Orig Tmpl Play Flav Appl Total
Evu 7 9 7 9 6 38
dm65 6 10 6 7 9 38
j_t 9 10 6 9 8 42
Avg 7.3 9.6 6.3 8.3 7.6 39.3

Evu says:

How I'd build the deck: There are a number of ways to put one or more cards back into your library, and many of them can be done at instant speed during your next upkeep step, without straining your mana requirements -- Reito Lantern, Stream of Consciousness, and Mnemonic Nexus, just off the top of my head.

Comments: This is an interesting idea, but ultimately, I think, wouldn't provide enough interesting game situations to justify printing it. Once you play it, somebody is guaranteed to lose the game on your next turn, and it's up to chance whether your opponent(s) happened to draw any countermeasures to make it you who loses rather than them. Great flavor, though: the name, art, and flavor text all connect well, and I like the attribution in the flavor text (even if it does make me wonder how the quote survived when the name of its speaker and the memory of an entire war didn't).

jinx_talaris says:

Very interesting. Love the artwork and the flavor text is witty. Doubt to see this kind of card in any tournament play due to obvious risks. Nicely balanced however and would definately appeal to the casual Johnnies of our time.


Redemption

  Orig Tmpl Play Flav Appl Total
Evu 8 10 9 10 2 39
dm65 9 8 6 9 7 39
j_t 9 5 9 8 10 41
Avg 8.6 7.6 8 9 6.3 39.6

Evu says:

How I'd build the deck: See below.

Comments: I had to go to the Comprehensive Rules for this one, which may or may not be a compliment to its designer. :) According to my interpretation, if the reason your opponent wins is because you yourself have already lost, then it is too late for this spell to win you the game instead. So this card in fact only preys on opposing alternate-win cards, i.e., cases where your opponent would win outright while you are still in the game (which appears to have been the intention). Thus, its only application is as a hoser in metagames where you can expect to face players who are playing alternate-win cards. Not that there's anything wrong with that -- just explaining why I can't build a deck around it. It is kind of narrow, though, considering that only about a dozen alternate-win cards already exist. Still, I could see this being printed at some point in the future, when there are more and better ones. As for flavor, this is one of the stand-outs, featuring possibly the best piece of player-written flavor text I've ever seen.

jinx_talaris says:

Man players would have to watch out for this. Wording, to me, is kind of iffy. If I were to play this card or have it played against me, in say a prerelease, I would immediately call a judge. The wording is very subjective and many players would try to misconstrue how it works. I would assume that it only 'steals' other alternate win conditions but the condition being 'If an opponent would win the game this turn' its an iffy call. Other than that, very nifty. This would definately see play from the entire community.


Mirror of Victory     [3rd Place!]

  Orig Tmpl Play Flav Appl Total
Evu 8 9 6 7 4 34
dm65 10 9 6 8 7 40
j_t 10 10 9 9 10 48
Avg 9.3 9.3 7 8 7 40.6

Evu says:

How I'd build the deck: As unlikely as winning with this card against an unknown opponent may seem, it is possible to do it if you include some Wishes. The most likely candidate is the Wish-that-isn't-a-Wish, Research/Development. Not only is it unrestricted in which cards it can find, but it also puts them into your library rather than your hand, which is just where Mirror of Victory wants them. Then you just (sure, 'just') have to manipulate your library. Something like Sensei's Divining Top is a good start. There exist some combos that will actually let you stack your entire deck, such as Proteus Staff when your library has no creatures, but I think these are probably too much trouble. Stacking your opponent's library is a lot tougher. Something with the Fateseal ability might help, but I'd probably rather use a card like Extract to get a look at their library, then Research in some likely cards and wait for them to come up.

Comments: I'm not sure if this card's name is a reference to Meloku the Clouded Mirror, but if it is, it would have been nice to see some mechanical and/or flavor connection. What concerns me most about this card is that it has a very high mana cost for a win condition that is very hard to meet. In fact, the card could probably cost as little as 1 mana and still be fair; the amount of mana and time that you'd have to spend bringing about the win would be more than enough payment. I also wonder why it's Legendary, when there's no reason you'd need more than one copy anyway. That said, I'd rather see cards that were underpowered and presented interesting challenges than cards that were too easy to win with, and this one certainly meets that criterion.

jinx_talaris says:

Brilliant. Large casting cost, legendary status, strange but very possible win condition. This card demands to be played along side Sensei's Divining Top and laughs at others when they activate their dradels. Flavor text, in my opinion, is a must on any legendary card and the text fits this one very well. I could see this on sideboards in many competetive formats.

dragonmage65 says:

This is an interesting set of cards. Culturewipe seems too obvious to me. It's just a superior Leveler. Redemption definitely stands out the most, but ultimately, it's doomed by a lack of playability. Still, though, you could theoretically use it in a limited stalemate. Mirror of Victory is certainly original, but again, it depends on coincidence and happenstance, things that designers should seek to avoid. Overall, a very solid set of cards.

Verbage

Ritual of the Lich

  Orig Tmpl Play Flav Appl Total
Evu 3 3 1 6 5 18
dm65 6 7 2 6 4 25
j_t 9 10 1 9 10 39
Avg 6 6.6 1.3 7 6.3 27.3

Evu says:

How I'd build the deck: Red and black have no shortage of ways for you to damage yourself. Just drop this, start Charring yourself, and if you ever have any untapped land, take mana burn from it. If necessary -- though it probably won't be -- you could even sideboard in some life-gain for your opponent. This is a little too easy, and I understand that WotC specifically avoids printing cards that encourage you to take mana burn or otherwise damage yourself.

Comments: Even though a card like this will probably never be printed because it's too easily broken, I think that some casual players would actually enjoy it a lot, and would see it as an interesting challenge. The 'Living' ability is a bit too confusing, I think, and probably doesn't add enough to gameplay to see print, although a similar effect could perhaps be achieved now by making the card a planeswalker.

jinx_talaris says:

Introduces a new mechanic, 'Living Enchantment,' so originality is without question. This also takes a twist from normal 'Lich' abilities however. Instead of not losing the game when your life reaches 0, you win. In my opinion, this too strong an effect without any drawbacks besides the fact that your opponent could win on the same grounds. If this were to go into a deck, however, you would never allow your opponent to lose all of his life before you do. This card combos out with cards like Wall of Blood. Not at all hard to make happen within turns 2-4. I like the living enchantment idea and that really stands out. Sort of like a 'Planeswalker' enchantment if you will.


Pixie Fortune Teller

  Orig Tmpl Play Flav Appl Total
Evu 8 4 7 6 6 31
dm65 5 7 2 5 4 23
j_t 10 8 10 8 5 41
Avg 7.6 6.3 6.3 6.3 5 31.6

Evu says:

How I'd build the deck: You really can't take the chance that an opponent will be able to play the winning ability, so land destruction it is, or maybe just Gigadrowse.

Comments: Making it so that any player can try to snatch the win at the right moment is an exciting idea, but is undermined here by the fact that only players with access to black mana can play the abilty that lets them win the game. In addition, the fact that the abilities can all be played at instant speed means that intimate knowledge of how the stack works would be required, which could be a lot to ask at casual tables. Wordiness is also a concern. The flavor text should have been omitted, and with some sleight of pen I think all of the pixie-generation abilities could have been combined.

jinx_talaris says:

This would make many games turn into a pixie tug-of-war. Templating took a hit since the casting cost was not displayed on the actual card. Originality is wonderful. Revisiting the Mercadian Masque 'any player may play this ability' to put an alternate win condition on either side of the board makes this card balanced. I would love to see what would happen in a multiplayer deck. No chance (as of right now) for this to see real competetive play though.


Vianka Nomari

  Orig Tmpl Play Flav Appl Total
Evu 7 2 8 5 5 27
dm65 10 7 9 9 10 45
j_t 10 10 10 9 9 48
Avg 9 6.3 9 7.6 8 40

Evu says:

How I'd build the deck: Tokens can't be turned face-down, so I guess the plan is to draw a lot of creature cards. Maybe something like Llanowar Empath or Screaming Seahawk could help. Good idea to have a way to protect them, too. I like Confound. Targeting your own creatures seems much better than trying to win the mana war with your opponent, although the threat of this ability could keep them from attacking if they're not willing to pay.

Comments: This poses some problems from a rules perspective; I'm not sure the game can handle face-down creatures possibly having one of multiple sets of characteristics (either they're 2/2 morph creatures with varying unmorph costs, or they're 0/3 creatures with a fixed morph cost -- how do players remember which?). Putting some kind of meaningless counter (like Sensei Golden-Tail's training counter) on them might be better than turning them face down. Overall, this card seems fair, but not especially exciting. Alternate-win cards should have impact, be a little flashy; this one just makes a bunch of creatures ineffective until their controller pays a little mana. The card also suffers from having numerous subtle and not-so-subtle editing issues.

jinx_talaris says:

Cool card. Would likely see this in a multitude of decks including today's standard. The utility use of this card is fantastic and not overpowered in the least. If the name is an anagram of some sort, sorry I missed it :( I think the flavor text should just stop after Goose! The extra line about the hulk just doesn't seem right.

dragonmage65 says:

You're lucky this contest is being graded on a card-to-card basis, and not as a cumulative summation, or else you'd be on the tail end of the competition. That said, your first two cards are downright awful. Ritual of the Lich is wordy and unplayable. Pixie Fortune Teller is just a groaner. But Vianka Nomari makes up for all that. It is definitely balanced as far as 'you win' cards go, and it's certainly interesting, as well. What makes it worthwhile is that you can build an entire deck dedicated to the card, but that unlike other 'you win' cards, you have to use the entire deck to gain a victory. Definitely my favorite card of this competition.

Cashew

Bloodpact

  Orig Tmpl Play Flav Appl Total
Evu 7 7 7 7 5 33
dm65 9 8 8 8 8 41
j_t 9 10 10 9 9 47
Avg 8.3 8.3 8.3 8 7.3 40.3

Evu says:

How I'd build the deck: Consume Spirit and no blockers. Once it gets to the point where your opponent can't attack you without losing the game, turn the life-draining effects on yourself.

Comments: This one is similar to Verbage's Ritual of the Lich in that it encourages you to damage yourself, but it presents an additional challenge because you can still lose the game thanks to that damage. The biggest problem I see is that it can get the game into a state where the opponent can't do anything productive without handing you the win, so you're both just sitting there waiting for you to find some way to claim your victory.

jinx_talaris says:

Good concept. Fits into black very nicely and casting cost seems about right. This type of card really helps the monoblack archetype's out there to support their lifegain and suicidal tendacies.


Wager of the Faithful

  Orig Tmpl Play Flav Appl Total
Evu 5 5 7 5 1 23
dm65 3 5 6 6 4 24
j_t 9 10 1 9 1 30
Avg 5.6 6.6 4.6 6.6 2 25.6

Evu says:

How I'd build the deck: Hardcore mana acceleration + Boseiju, Who Shelters All (I looked it up; it works).

Comments: Nobody would ever play this without kicker, and once kicker is paid, there's nothing an opponent could do to make it un-paid, so the 'you lose the game' option, while kind of cute, isn't really functional. If you really want to lose the game, rule 102.3a says that you can do so for free at any time. So, essentially this is a 12-mana sorcery that wins you the game at the cost of all your resources (which is fine, since if you're winning the game you don't really need them). Twelve mana and all of your worldly possessions is a fair price to pay for winning the game, I suppose, but like Coalition Victory, it just happens and then it's over, ending the game abruptly, regardless of anything that came before, and leaving you and your opponent wondering, 'what was the point?' If you had 12 mana, you could have used it to play some Magic. Cast a Darksteel Colossus or something. The flavor is interesting, playing on the idea of committing everything to faith in one's deity, who hopefully uses His divine powers to ensure that the opponent doesn't have a Time Stop, although given that, it really ought to have been a white card. Finally, the templating is a bit off here; see Dwarven Landslide for an example of how it should have been.

jinx_talaris says:

Not overpowered like most blue cards but perhaps overcosted. I doubt many players would want to touch this card with a 10 foot pole much less slap it into a deck. Most play this would ever see is kitchen table Magic. Even then, the UUUU cost prevents most big mana decks to even dream of playing the kicker. I would also hate to get caught with this in my hand in the face of a Mindslaver :)


Test of Time

  Orig Tmpl Play Flav Appl Total
Evu 6 8 9 9 4 36
dm65 1 9 6 7 5 28
j_t 9 10 7 9 8 36
Avg 5.3 9 7.3 8.3 5.6 33.3

Evu says:

How I'd build the deck: I don't relish the idea of a game that lasts a minimum of 30 turns, but this card seems custom-made to give Clockspinning its place to shine. Just build up some defenses and then start spinning. Alternatively, imprinting this on Panoptic Mirror would work (I checked).

Comments: Kind of a Darksteel Reactor thing going on here; it may be harder for an opponent to deal with this than with the Reactor, but it will also be harder for Test of Time's player to speed up the process, so it works out. The idea is to make it a test of endurance (not to be confused with a Test of Endurance), and I think it's a good one, and well executed. The third line of rules text appears to be intended to stop any alternate-cost-paying tricks, but it doesn't address combos like the one with Panoptic Mirror; a more elegant solution might have been to just change the second line to say 'If you played Test of Time from your hand, you win the game.'

jinx_talaris says:

I could see WotC printing something like this. While its fair for the most part, TEPS would love to add this card to its arsenal. With the current errata of Mind's Desire, this is a free win. Still not always guaranteed to happen and if the TEPS player was already able to storm out with Mind's Desire, the game was probably over to begin with.

dragonmage65 says:

A pretty mixed batch here. Bloodpact is a great concept. However, it doesn't really fit into suicide black. It's certainly fair, because your opponent can wipe you out in one shot if they have enough damage to kill you before your upkeep. However, I don't like that it basically demands that you play 24 lifegain spells and nothing else. If you could make a version of this that was more open-ended, you would win the contest, hands down. Wager of the Faithful is strange - what's the point of having a kicker? Test of Time is hands down the most unoriginal card in this contest.

Hollow0n3

Empty Knowledge

  Orig Tmpl Play Flav Appl Total
Evu 8 9 7 7 3 34
dm65 6 10 4 6 5 31
j_t 8 10 7 8 4 37
Avg 7.3 9.6 6 7 4 34

Evu says:

How I'd build the deck: This one sure is difficult. The ability will never trigger if you don't start the turn with 20 cards, and of course you end the turn with 0, so the trick is either to somehow draw up to 20 cards starting with only on-board sources, or else use Spellbook or something to accumulate the cards and then get this into play at instant speed on your opponent's turn. Treasure Trove plus some kind of infinite mana engine that can work at instant speed, for example Krosan Restorer + Freed from the Real, is probably the way I would go, with Privileged Position to protect the combo pieces and maybe something like Meishin, the Mind Cage to ensure some aggro deck doesn't flog you to death in the meanwhile. Difficult, but not impossible.

Comments: Because this win condition is so hard to set up, it would only appeal to the most hardcore of Johnnies, and I'll bet that the R&D types would therefore be reluctant to print it. Aside from that, the card seems fine; it's fair and flavorful, and your opponents will probably get the message that they're playing against a combo deck when you start setting up some way to draw 20 cards at once.

jinx_talaris says:

The name and picture are very fitting. This would appeal to some casual players, definately not the tourney players though.


Tin Men Monument

  Orig Tmpl Play Flav Appl Total
Evu 6 8 6 6 4 30
dm65 5 9 7 4 5 30
j_t 8 10 9 8 10 45
Avg 6.3 9 7.3 6 6.3 35

Evu says:

How I'd build the deck: Gaea's Anthem and similar effects, plus a lot of mana. I don't particularly feel the need to protect the tokens in any way, because really, it's cheaper just to make more.

Comments: Kind of like Epic Struggle, except instead of giving you the win condition and making you supply the creatures, it gives you the win condition and the creatures, and makes you supply the toughness. Or like Darksteel Reactor, except it gives you the means to put more counters on cheaply. Okay, so it's not exactly like those cards, but it does seem like it would be a little easier to win with than either of them. Producing 20 mana over the course of 3 or 4 turns isn't particularly difficult for most decks. Overall, this card isn't bad, but I think it suffers from just not being very exciting. Making a bunch of bland tokens out of my spare mana, and then not really doing anything with them -- where's the fun in that? I'd like to see something that presented a little more of a puzzle or challenge than just making me find a permanent toughness booster.

jinx_talaris says:

In the proper deck, with proper support, this card could find a lot of use. On the one hand, its a nice token generator with very low cost. If your opponent isn't too careful though, it could also mean a free win. This could get crazy with multiple card combos but for the most part, very fair in most formats. (Type 4 could look to recruit this card as an infinite 'creature comes into play/creature put into a graveyard from play' enabler.)


Beheading

  Orig Tmpl Play Flav Appl Total
Evu 8 7 6 6 4 31
dm65 5 6 3 6 6 26
j_t 6 10 6 9 8 39
Avg 6.3 7.6 5 7 6 32

Evu says:

How I'd build the deck: Panoptic Mirror is my first thought, and probably the cheapest option, requiring no more than 5 mana on any one turn, unless of course you need to protect it from artifact destruction. Sins of the Past is another option, much more expensive but also a bit less likely to be disrupted.

Comments: An interesting idea with a kind of Phage the Untouchable flavor in reverse. This one unfortunately has Counterspell or Die Syndrome; once your opponent shows it, there is probably going to be nothing you can do to keep yourself from losing if you aren't holding a counterspell. The core idea, that you have to find a way to play it from some non-traditional zone, is worth hanging on to, but I think this particular execution of it needs work.

jinx_talaris says:

All hilarity aside, this card would not be funny in print. As I said about Test of Time, free wins from common archetypes are not a good thing. Mind's Desire, Sins of the Past, and Yawgmoth's Agenda/Will would all welcome this card as a fine sidekick. Even cards like Uba Mask get to pack a winner with this card. The flavor text is quite a chuckle along with the humorous artwork.

dragonmage65 says:

This set started bad and never recovered. These cards are all just too damn 'obvious' for my tastes. Empty Knowledge is really just a 'win-more' card (if you're able to amass 20 cards in hand, you've probably won anyway). Tin Men Monument isn't very creative, nor is it really at all interesting. Beheading is just... bleh. Don't even get me started on the vendettas it would cause in multiplayer. Overall, very little good things to say here.

jamuraa

AEther Journey

  Orig Tmpl Play Flav Appl Total
Evu 8 6 7 6 7 34
dm65 5 4 6 8 6 29
j_t 9 10 9 9 9 46
Avg 7.3 6.6 7.3 7.6 7.3 36.3

Evu says:

How I'd build the deck: The 'if you play a spell' clause is going to make life hard (not that that's necessarily a bad thing). Looks like the plan is to build up some impenetrable defenses and then sit behind them for four turns. Fortunately you can still play activated abilities, so there's some wiggle room.

Comments: This is kind of a cross between two of the earlier entries, Survive the Traitors (since you have to stay alive for a few turns with limited resources) and Test of Time (since it's a suspend card with an anti-cheating clause). It combines elements that I like about those cards, such as the fact that it makes you work for a win rather than just handing it to you, and the fact that it gives your opponent a window of opportunity to respond. On the other hand, I think that it gets bogged down with triggers and prohibitions, and lacks the elegance that those other entries have. Perhaps a simpler way could have been found to achieve similar effects. One of the triggers in particular is flawed: an opponent can cause themselves to lose life by a variety of means, including taking mana burn.

jinx_talaris says:

This is much like Test of Time but it puts a little more pressure on your opponent since they cannot just Rift Sweep or Pull from Eternity it off the board. Also there is a nifty clause to stop crazy things with Sins from the Past/Mind's Desire type effects that Test of Time does not. While the suspend cost is probably too great to see consistent tournament play, somebody out there would find a way to make this an autowin.


At Wit's End

  Orig Tmpl Play Flav Appl Total
Evu 10 4 7 8 7 36
dm65 10 6 8 8 8 40
j_t 10 10 7 9 6 42
Avg 10 6.6 7.3 8.3 7 39.3

Evu says:

How I'd build the deck: A combo with Leveler would give you the quickest win, but would require seven mana in a single turn. Alternatively, set up a lot of defenses and then go about thinning out your deck -- drawing a lot of cards, using Dreamscape Artist repeatedly....

Comments: Templating is the big problem for this one. The 'When you play' wording would actually reshuffle the card before it resolved, which is unusual, unnecessary, and probably unintended. The last ability should probably specify that the card has to be face-up in your library, because if it were face-down, the rules wouldn't allow you to reveal it, so you couldn't win in that case anyway. Having a card face-up in your library is new design space... I wonder whether the rules could really accomodate it, but I think it would be worth trying. Assuming the templating and rules issues got straightened out, though, I think this is one of the most innovative ideas in the contest. It announces itself in advance and gives your opponent time to react, and it presents an interesting deckbuilding and playing puzzle for its owner.

jinx_talaris says:

The fact that this card needs to be face-up in your library makes it a little troublesome. I would consider that type of effect exclusive to Unglued/Unhinged sets. If you were to shuffle a deck with this card after it was played, no one would ever let this be the top card of their library. You can see the card while you're shuffling and your opponent can see it when he/she cuts. This takes away from some of the randomalities that all card games are supposed to have. Other than that, a very original idea with potential.

dragonmage65 says:

Only two cards here. AEther Journey did not receive a good grade from me. Why? I simply had trouble understanding the card at first glance. I had to read it at least a dozen times to fully understand it. Well-designed cards need to be easy to understand. See Dead Ringers as an example of what not to do. At Wit's End is interesting, though it would give the DCI a headache because of 'physical' issues with face-up cards in libraries. Still, though, a well-done card overall.

MechtaK

Amoral Victory

  Orig Tmpl Play Flav Appl Total
Evu 8 9 7 8 5 37
dm65 5 7 6 6 6 30
j_t 8 10 9 8 8 44
Avg 7 8.6 7.3 7.3 6.3 37

Evu says:

How I'd build the deck: Well, we're going to need a mono-black deck with a healthy amount of lifegain, so it seems like Consume Spirit is Amoral Victory's best friend. An interesting part of the challenge is that you can't use any artifacts, nor most nonbasic lands, which rules out a lot of trickery that you might want to try. So I guess the plan is to run a high land count and a lot of life-gaining board control such as Douse in Gloom.

Comments: Making you commit so thoroughly to a color is an interesting challenge, and certainly in flavor for black, and of course there would be some players for whom the real challenge was figuring out ways to cheat the color restrictions (Simian Spirit Guide and Transguild Courier come to mind). This card is unfortunately another victim of Counterspell or Die Syndrome, but is well-designed apart from that, with good flavor and relatively simple rules text.

jinx_talaris says:

This card not only forces monoblock with the casting cost but also in the text. Despite its suicidal tendancies, black does offer a bit of life gain so this card is very viable.


Turn the Tide

  Orig Tmpl Play Flav Appl Total
Evu 9 5 5 5 3 27
dm65 6 7 5 6 8 32
j_t 9 6 3 10 9 37
Avg 8 6 4.3 7 6.6 32

Evu says:

How I'd build the deck: This card lets you win the game if there's a lull in the spellcasting. So, it seems like the thing to do is make sure your opponent can't cast any spells. If you went first, and on turn 2 played your second land, then Crack the Earth and Turn the Tide, you'd have a decent chance of catching your opponent unprepared, and you could just wait for the fade counters to come off. Failing that, prepare for a longer game with things like Arcane Laboratory and Exhaustion, and of course AEther Snap (better yet, Quicken + AEther Snap) if the number of counters gets too high for you to wait.

Comments: I like the fact that this card lets your opponent know that they have to fight it and what they have to do, and trying to figure out how to put as many counters on it as possible sounds like a fun challenge. On the other hand, as I mentioned above, this card is really all about stopping spells from being played, as far as its controller is concerned, and ultimately I think that's bad Magic design. Playing cards is fun; we should encourage it. The card's low cost is worrying as well; it increases the chance of broken combos, or early-win scenarios like the one I described. There are also a handful of templating issues here: the middle ability should be split into two; cards 'are put into' the graveyard (rather than 'go to' it); it's not clear whether Turn the Tide or the spells that target it get returned to hand; etc.

jinx_talaris says:

I may be wrong about this but I believe the clause about returning Turn the Tide has a vague pronoun reference and should read something like 'Whenever Turn the Tide becomes the target of a spell or an ability, return Turn the Tide to its owner's hand. The card seems fair for the most part but at Fading 1, its puts a little too much pressure on the game at U cost. The opponent has no real way of dealing with this card besides playing its own cards regularly but what stops you from bouncing it to your hand and playing it for one mana with only 1 counter on it?


Strategic Strongpoint     [1st Place!]

  Orig Tmpl Play Flav Appl Total
Evu 9 7 8 7 7 38
dm65 9 8 9 9 9 44
j_t 10 10 10 9 10 49
Avg 9.6 8.3 9 8.3 8.6 43.6

Evu says:

How I'd build the deck: Defense, Vesuva, and land-searching that doesn't include the word 'basic', such as Sylvan Scrying and Reap and Sow. But I kind of like the fact that you don't really have to build a deck around this card at all. As long as your color requirements aren't too strict, you can just put four copies of this in your deck, and have a way to win long games, get around board lockdowns, or just make your opponent nervous.

Comments: I like the idea that when you face an opponent who's also playing with this card, you both have to play carefully and try to steal the victory from each other, but on the other hand, it's not exactly flavorful that if your opponent has three of these already, you can win the game with the first one you play. Having the win condition trigger when the card comes into play, rather than being a static ability, was a thoughtful touch that brings the power level down a bit.

jinx_talaris says:

This card is fantastic. If the deck has the room to spare, this would most definately be played. Cards like Tolaria West and Sylvan Scrying will have no trouble making this win condition effective and as I mentioned above, 4 land slots to have that happenchance free win is worth it in some decks.

dragonmage65 says:

Amoral Victory is quite stolid. Turn the Tide is unoriginal and overpowered. But Strategic Stronghold, on the other hand, is the very definition of elegant. It's absolutely a fantastic concept. I have nothing bad to say about the card - well done!

Eurgiga

War of Attrition

  Orig Tmpl Play Flav Appl Total
Evu 6 7 3 7 3 26
dm65 6 6 6 6 6 30
j_t 8 6 9 9 7 39
Avg 6.6 6.3 6 7.3 5.3 31.6

Evu says:

How I'd build the deck: Token generators for me and Forbidden Orchard for my opponent. Genesis Chamber would be okay too, if you could be assured that your opponent was playing any creatures.

Comments: This is the kind of idea that sounds really cool in your head, but then you try to use it and find out that it basically boils down to not much more than 'if you control more creatures than your opponent, you win the game', which isn't an especially hard condition to meet if you put your mind to it, and doesn't make for very exciting gameplay. Flavor is good, though, with nice art and a fitting name.

jinx_talaris says:

The term 'Bury' was used for a short period of time in MTG and has been since dropped to include all the text of the term (Destroy target creature. It can't be regenerated). The cost keeps this card from being a powerhouse so the playability is fair. The condition to be met states that opponent's creatures must be put into the graveyard so it would be better just to have all creatures you control gain 'Sacrifice this creature: Destroy target creature. It can't be regenerated.'


Mental Trauma

  Orig Tmpl Play Flav Appl Total
Evu 7 8 7 7 8 37
dm65 declined to judge
j_t 8 10 0 8 1 27
Avg 7.5 9 3.5 7.5 4.5 32

Evu says:

How I'd build the deck: I wouldn't. ;)

Comments: Well, as long as it's silver-bordered.... What bothers me about this card, actually, is that it seems intended to elicit a concession from your opponents, but either they concede in response, or they don't concede and you win anyway (presumably you're willing to go through with it since you put the card in your deck)... so the result is the same. I think that instead of 'embarrass yourself to win the game', I would rather have seen a card that said 'win the game unless any opponent is willing to embarass themselves to prevent it.'

jinx_talaris says:

Soon we should have a contest to better satisfy our humor or even a sidebar thread to post our greatest silver-bordered cardboard. Of course this would never see play outside of a unglued/unhinged-esque format but the idea is very funny to say the least.

dragonmage65 says:

War of Attrition is fairly unflattering. It just doesn't click any way you look at it. As for Mental Trauma, well, I'm not really going to consider it. It does, however, win the booby prize by a comfortable margin.

DarkDragon

Eradicator

  Orig Tmpl Play Flav Appl Total
Evu 8 7 7 7 8 37
dm65 7 8 8 7 7 37
j_t 10 7 9 9 10 45
Avg 8.3 7.3 8 7.6 8.3 39.6

Evu says:

How I'd build the deck: If you have to destroy 15 creatures in order to win, you're going to need to make a lot of tokens. Scatter the Seeds isn't going to cut it; we need to be thinking in terms of things like Genesis Chamber or Sprout Swarm. Then you'll need to protect Eradicator from removal in the meanwhile, but the deck has to be heavily black, so you probably can't cast a lot of counterspells. I'd look to equipment like Neurok Stealthsuit or Whispersilk Cloak.

Comments: My big question about this card is: if you can keep a 6/4 creature alive for five turns, and it comes with the means to destroy multiple opposing creatures, why do you need an alternate win condition? This card would pose more of a challenge if it had a lower power, or perhaps it could even have been an artifact. Still, the idea is interesting, and I think that of all the entries that destroy creatures while you wait, this one has one of the most balanced ways of doing it. It also meets the interactivity test: your opponent will know this is coming and will have a couple of options for how to deal with it. Flavor-wise, though, I'm a little unclear on why destroying 15 creatures equates to a win. Based on the flavor text, shouldn't there also be some requirement about no other creatures being in play? Maybe you should only win when you fail to pay its cumulative upkeep (keeping the requirement of having several age counters on it at the time).

jinx_talaris says:

Only thing I would change about this card is to make the upkeep cost destroy TARGET creature. I'm sure this was intentional however the power level of non-targeting creature kill is better than the edict effect (target player sacrifices a creature). Besides, if you were to keep it with the non-targeting factor, it would say 'Choose a creature in play. Destroy that creature. It can't be regenerated.' Very nice design overall. Cost fits nicely for the body you get, and the upkeep cost is strong but not completely dominating as it will most likely start eating your half of the board as well if not himself.


Abyssion

  Orig Tmpl Play Flav Appl Total
Evu 7 10 8 7 3 35
dm65 7 8 5 8 6 34
j_t 9 10 9 8 8 44
Avg 7.6 9.3 7.3 7.6 5.6 37.6

Evu says:

How I'd build the deck: How do you win a game when all of your permanents are disappearing out from under you? It seems like the way to ensure you don't get run over before you can win is to start with more permanents than your opponents. Mass removal like Damnation is one possibility; generating a lot of creature tokens is another. Or you can just build up some impenetrable defenses, and sacrifice them last.

Comments: Interesting take on something Barren Glory-like in black, and definitely one that you can see coming. I also like the built-in safety feature of being able to remove it to its own ability if it starts looking like you won't be able to win with it. The big problem, I think, is that it would get real boring waiting for everybody's lands to disappear one at a time.

jinx_talaris says:

Fair and powerful. Not going to be often that you get the alternate win out of it but the effect is good enough to play on its own.


Voiddamn

  Orig Tmpl Play Flav Appl Total
Evu 7 7 7 7 6 34
dm65 5 6 5 7 6 29
j_t 10 10 9 9 10 48
Avg 7.3 7.6 7 7.6 7.3 37

Evu says:

How I'd build the deck: Just put in some creatures that are good in combat. Either your opponent will play creatures of their own, and then creatures will start dying in combat, allowing you to take off time counters, or your opponent won't play creatures for fear of having them destroyed -- which will happen every five turns, if not more often -- and then you'll win because they have no blockers. If they have a good creatureless deck that can deal with all of your combat-ready creatures, then you might be in trouble.

Comments: A couple of changes to the first ability would allow it to be worded more simply and clearly: I would have gone with 'Remove all creatures from the game and put a Void counter on them. If 20 or more creatures are removed from the game with Void counters on them, you win the game.' This does involve some changes to functionality -- my version would affect indestructable creatures and wouldn't count token creatures -- but that's a price worth paying to reduce the amount of text on such a wordy card. As for the mechanic: it's great that this card lets you see the alternate win coming, and changes the rules of the game in the meanwhile. But like I alluded to above, this sets up a 'damned if you do, damned if you don't' scenario in which the opponent has no good plays if he can't stop Voiddamn from resolving. It might help if the Suspend number were higher, or if the last ability simply weren't on the card. It's worth noting that this card, like some others in the contest, works overtime by helping you control the board while you set up for your win. But I'd actually rather see fewer win cards that do things like kill lots of creatures -- if you're planning to just win the game outright, board position should be beside the point when you do.

jinx_talaris says:

A fair price for a wrath that your opponent will know that is coming and can be manipulated to go off faster if needed. All prices are pretty fair. I am also unsure about the whole remembering what cards it removed but it should work like that. Very good card overall, would be used often in multiple decks and probably see a lot of play in standard and block formats.

dragonmage65 says:

Well, not much to say about these cards. You made a mistake that's pretty common - you try too hard. You had some good concepts, but you overcomplicated things on some of these cards. Remember, there's more to card design than rules text. Eradicator actually was pretty good. It wasn't very original, but it was still a solid card.


And that's it for this month. Thanks to all of the folks to participated, and congratulations to the winners, who are even now running October's contest in the forums. If you think it sounds like fun, come join us!

Good work folks! I had fun grading these. Until next time....

0 Comments

Repemption by Isotope (Unregistered) 74.39.232.97 (not verified) at Fri, 10/19/2007 - 14:05
Isotope (Unregistered) 74.39.232.97's picture

Wow, broken.  It doesn't even be a win due to your opponent.  Here's how to build around it:

Leveller + Redemption

Accelerate into turn 3-4 Leveller, play Redemption on your upkeep.  You are about to lose to decking, but win to it instead.

Not quite... by AJ_Impy at Fri, 10/19/2007 - 16:19
AJ_Impy's picture

When you're decked, you lose the game due to drawing a card from an empty library. Your opponent doesn't win. This can be seen most clearly in multiplayer formats, but holds true in a duel. The card is worded to avoid winning by decking yourself.

images by mtgotraders at Sat, 10/20/2007 - 10:15
mtgotraders's picture

Yes they do look a tad off.  I think i'ts something to do with the tables you used.  I'll try to get Josh to look at it.

by Anonymous (Unregistered) 70.252.173.32 (not verified) at Fri, 10/19/2007 - 01:33
Anonymous (Unregistered) 70.252.173.32's picture

Great article.  Loved reading it.

As for the Strategic Strongpoint card, its a card that lets you know it is coming.   As for Vesuva, I was unaware of that card, but still it requires some work to make it fire off.  You could easily have 4 Strategic Strongpoints in play but no win condition, since the condition can only trigger when the land comes into play.  Broke?  Oh yeah, all win conditions are broke when they force a win outside of the expected method.

And personally, I never thought I would win anyhoe :P.  I rattled off 6 cards with win conditions in 20 minutes, and posted my best 3 ideas.  Just fired off the top of my head without much analysis, except for the fading card, which became my worst entry!

by runeliger at Fri, 10/19/2007 - 06:04
runeliger's picture

Great Article

 However just wanted to point out about the Ritual of the Lich card to Verbage that although it's a cool mechanic (living enchantments)... we have enchantment creatures now... check Future sight for them. Also I'm pretty sure you went over the limit for  amount of text in a box lol

by Evu at Fri, 10/19/2007 - 09:53
Evu's picture

Glad people liked the article!

Do the card images look kind of squished to anybody else?  It looks like they all got assigned height and width attributes that are slightly off.  I honestly don't know whether I did that, or whether the article system did it automatically, or what.

I think that Strategic Strongpoint would definitely undergo some tweaking in development, but I think it has a really good idea at its core.

Great by Lord Erman at Fri, 10/19/2007 - 10:20
Lord Erman's picture

Evu this is really a great piece of work. Well done!

And yes, card images look a little bit weird.

Redemption by Isotope (Unregistered) 74.39.232.97 (not verified) at Fri, 10/19/2007 - 14:03
Isotope (Unregistered) 74.39.232.97's picture

Note that Redemption wouldn't just "re-direct" alternate win conditions, it would also prevent (steal) wins by decking.

by dragonmage65 at Thu, 10/18/2007 - 20:13
dragonmage65's picture

Wow, that kicks ass. Nice job Evu.

My hat is off to you, superb article by AJ_Impy at Thu, 10/18/2007 - 18:35
AJ_Impy's picture

This article is a work of art. We're going to have a really hard time coming close to it next month. On a personal note, I'm delighted you liked the flavor of my cards that much. Redemption also works on Poison counters and every other submitted card. Mirror of Victory (No relation to Meloku) is  legendary to prevent the happenstance of them being in play on both sides at once, which could be awkward. Mirror of Victory, to my mind, is a great sideboard card for a control mirror in any given standard format. If you're playing the mirror, you may as well play the mirror. ;)

INSANE by mtgotraders at Thu, 10/18/2007 - 12:21
mtgotraders's picture

This article is the most awesome CCC report i've seen on any site ever.  You guys keep stepping it up a notch every article.  Great job!

by Anonymous (Unregistered) 68.183.164.243 (not verified) at Thu, 10/18/2007 - 13:42
Anonymous (Unregistered) 68.183.164.243's picture

yeah i enjoyed reading it as well. The three judges complimented eachother real well, had a tough one, an easy going one and one that was in between.

by iceage4life at Thu, 10/18/2007 - 17:26
iceage4life's picture

Okay, Strongpoint is really broken:
#1 uncounterable win condition
#2 Tolaria West, Vesuva*, Slyvan Scrying all in Standard
#3 comes into play untapped

Like the idea but think it hugely unbalanced.  Just make a  U/G or mono U, load up on controlling cards and hope your opponent doesn't have enough trickbinds to beat you.

*Vesuva only works as copies 2&3, maybe wording on card doesn't specificity that the copy you just played has to be untapped, seems tha tis assumed. Overall good write up and I just hope Mental Trauma doesn't make it into the next Un set.