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By: Pyrosin, Matt Rossi
May 10 2008 12:39am
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April Custom Card Contest - Design a Planeswalker

This month's contest was to design your own Planeswalker.  We've only had five of them, which meant there were a ton of possibilities out there.  To keep the entry load down, I limited the entries to one card per person, which I think made the scoring a lot easier.  Anyway, on with the contest.

Scoring Criteria

Here are the scoring criteria as listed in the submission thread:

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 high in this catergory, the card should contain new and fresh mechanics, or new and fresh combinations of mechanics.)

Templating (To score high in this category, the card should be worded correctly. We should understand what the card is supposed to do with one reading.)

Balance (To score high in this category, the card should be designed at a high power level, but not an overpowered level. Cards that are too strong or too weak should be scored lower.)

Synergy (To score high in this category, the card’s mechanics should play well together, the mechanics should fit the color(s), and the character (if applicable) of the card.)

Appeal (To score high in this category, the card should have the WOW factor we expect from the Planeswalkers. It should also be a card that people enjoy playing with and opponents don’t hate playing against. Your Planeswalker should also provide a route to victory.)

I also suggested that everyone take a look at Devin Low's article,  The Nineteen Principles for Developing Planeswalkers.  I asked the judges to consider these points when scoring the cards, seeing how we only have 5 Planeswalkers to go off of, I thought these provided a good basis for us to build off of.

I have listed those 19 principles in the table to the right, and whenever possible I tried to reference them when commenting about the cards.

Let's check out the entries, and see who won this month's contest.

The Nineteen Principles for Developing Planeswalkers
Principle 1) They must feel like a totally new card type.
Principle 2) They must feel like another Magic player has sat down to play with you.
Principle 3) They must match the creative team's top-down designs.
Principle 4) They should embody the core essence of their colors.
Principle 5) The cycle must be loose, not tight, so they feel like individuals.
Principle 6) They must work well in any deck against any opponent's deck.
Principle 7) They must each be a path to victory.
Principle 8) The abilities should have some cool synergies.
Principle 9) Each should give you multiple paths to take.
Principle 10) Each has a +N ability, a -N ability, and a -BIG N "Ultimate" ability
Principle 11) Their abilities don't explicitly mention the world they're in.
Principle 12) The Ultimate should be jaw-droppingly awesome.
Principle 13) They must each be powerful in Limited.
Principle 14) They should all be decent in Constructed, and some of them should be awesome in Constructed.
Principle 15) They must appeal to Timmy.
Principle 16) They must appeal to Johnny.
Principle 17) They must appeal to Spike.
Principle 18) They must play well, and they must be fun!
Principle 19) They must be interactive, and every color must have answers to them.

 

Entries

councilchaos

Judge Mental

Judge

Ori

Tem

Bal

Syn

App

Total

verbage2

7

9

8

7

5

36

largebrandon

7

4

6

5

3

25

Pyrosin

8

6

4

4

3

25

Score

7.3

6.3

6.0

5.3

3.6

 28.7

verbage2's Comments:

I liked what I perceived as the concept of the card. I almost felt like I knew what the player would be trying to accomplish. The third ability killed this card for me. This effect cripples your opponents and yourself. More yourself than your opponent.The effect would remove the Planeswalker as well and would allow for your opponent to get his non-land permanentss in play before you...

largebrandon's Comments:

Originality - All very blue abilities, without much bleeding. Good job there.
Templating - His sub-type should just be Judge, and the first and third abilities have off wording.
Balance - The third ability costs way to much to be used in any game. The first two are actually quite good.
Synergy - They are all blue abilities, but they try to accomplish different things, especially the last one.
Appeal - This has little appeal. The only useful ability is the second, and only in draft.

 

Judge Mental.jpg

 Pyrosin's Comments:

Since Planewalker’s abilities can only be played on your turn, giving your cards flash has little effect on the game. Non-land and non-sorcery sounds very clunky. I think “all instants gain split second and all creatures gain flash until your next upkeep” would be a better ability. The second ability is Threaten, which is red, not blue. 

Principle 12) The Ultimate should be jaw-droppingly awesome.

I’m not sure what the Ultimate does other than pause the game for 3 turns; and since your opponent gets their upkeep first, all their permanents will come into play before yours, and all those creatures will have haste.  And please check Jhoira of the Ghitu for the proper wording of the Ultimate.

 

djdark01

Sprog Deathdealer

Judge

Ori

Tem

Bal

Syn

App

Total

verbage2

6

5

5

6

3

25

largebrandon

7

9

5

6

5

31

Pyrosin

5

8

5

2

3

23

Score

6.0

7.3

5.0

4.7

3.7

 26.3

 verbage2's Comments:

The real minus to this card is there is no negative counter ability. Had the second ability been a minus 2 that allowed the player to pick a card from opponent(s) hand(s) and discard it. The third ability maybe should have included creatures as well.

largebrandon's Comments:

Originality - It is nice to see smaller walkers with very black abilities.
Templating - Worded very well, but you missed an endmark in the first ability.
Balance - The second ability completely overshadows the first ability, so noone will want to use the first one. Also, there isn't any BIG ability, so I think that its novelty as a planeswalker has decreased.
Synergy - The second two abilities have somewhat something in common - they try to hurt your opponent. One pumps the other's loyalty. However, the first one seems quite out there and useless, especially when most want to use it first turn it is out.
Appeal - This just seems like what a common Planeswalker would look like, if there is one, and doesn't belong in the Rare slot. The third ability is nothing more than Chandra's second ability, so why not just play her. She actually has something to work for.
 

Sprog Deathdealer.jpg

 Pyrosin's Comments:

The first ability feels like it should belong on a green card, not a black card.  The Ultimate provides an obvious route to victory, but its just an unsurprising Consume Spirit that your opponent can try to play around.

Principle 10) Each has a +N ability, a -N ability, and a -BIG N "Ultimate" ability.

Where's the -N ability?

Principle 8) The abilities should have some cool synergies.

I don't see any synergy between the abilites of the Planeswalker.  It doesn't feel like he does a whole lot.

 

 

ibanez_bw

Faustus, the Damned Soul

Judge

Ori

Tem

Bal

Syn

App

Total

verbage2

9

9

6

7

7

38

largebrandon

9

10

9

9

5

42

Pyrosin

10

9

4

5

5

33

Score

9.3

9.3

8.3

7.0

5.7

 37.7

 verbage2's Comments:

Beautiful card, the artwork actually gave me a feeling of a disgruntled opponent. Being multi-colored I looked at the card a lot and tried to think of the lessons I have learned. With the first ability it was too giving, and neither Black or blue is known for it's kindness. I would have rather seen the final ability cost a little more as it is a very harsh final, not inappropriate, but perhaps inappropriately costed.

largebradon's Comments:

Originality - Very original abilities and I really like the picture.
Templating - Great templating!
Balance - I really like how all the abilities work, however the third seems quite powerful, especially when you 'sift' through your deck.
Synergy - I like how they all work together. First, give you opponent creatures, sift through your deck, then make them sac a bunch!
Appeal - I think this card is fun, but has no real appeal outside of a designer's mind.

Faustus.JPG

 Pyrosin's Comments:

Ok, so here's what I know of the story of Dr. Faustus.  Faustus is a brillant Doctor who studies too much (very Blue) and become a Necromancer (very Black).  While dabbling with death, he summons the Devil and makes a pact to sell his soul to the Devil, and in exchange a Demon, named Mephistopheles, becomes his servant until Faustus obtains the zenith of human happiness, or something.  His Demon doesn't work out like Faustus had hoped, and he's eventually damned for all eternity. 

I get the second ability, as that's him studying, but I would have made that the +N loyalty ability, as that's how he gets "stronger" in the story.  I don't get why your opponents get the Demon creatures.  Mephistopheles is under Faustus's control (or so he thinks).  I would have made it a -N loyalty ability something like put a legendary 5/5 black demon creature named Mephistopheles into play.  And then the Ultimate, it actually has what I would consider negative synergy with the first ability.  You give your opponent creatures he can use to knock down the loyalty, and then if you ever use the Ultimate, he can sacrifice those tokens as part of the cost.  How does that help you win?

 

 

Turuphantom

Freyja Hrothwinter

Judge

Ori

Tem

Bal

Syn

App

Total

verbage2

10

8

9

9

7

43

largebrandon

8

8

7

6

6

35

Pyrosin

8

10

9

7

8

42

Score

8.7

8.7

8.3

7.3

7.0

 40.0

 verbage2's Comments:

I like the artwork, it felt like a magic card to me. The abilities seemed to work well together. He signed artwork as though he were the artist, and had he had been, I believe the artwork would have revealed the entire spear. I did deduct from templating for that. overall it is a nice card and very white. 

largebrandon's Comments:

Originality - Very interesting abilities with a nice, yet fitting, final ability.
Templating - The second ability should be worded differently. 
Balance - The first and third abilities are great! However, the second one will never be used, and doesn't look like it belongs on a sorcery-effect planeswalker.
Synergy - They are all white abilities, that's for sure, but they really can't work together.
Appeal - The only appeal is the last ability, and the walker costs too much for a suspend 2 WoG for 5 mana.

 

 

 

 Pyrosin's Comments:

Principle 4) They should embody the core essence of their colors.

Nice solid design; this card is very white.  Akroma's Vengeance is a nice Ultimate, and the first ability gives you an oppurtunity to recover more quickly if Freyja is still around.  The second ability seems rather weak.  Since Planeswalker abilities can only be played as sorceries, you can not save your creatures from combat damage or removal spells, and you can not save creatures from her Wrath effect, so I'm having trouble seeing its usefulness.

 

WiseGreen

Shub-Niggurath

Judge

Ori

Tem

Bal

Syn

App

Total

verbage2

9

8

10

9

9

45

largebrandon

8

8

9

7

6

38

Pyrosin

7

5

8

10

9

39

Score

8.0

7.0

9.0

8.7

8.0

 40.7

 verbage2's Comments:

Though I am not a fan of the artwork, I did not deduct for it, it is appropriate for the card. I did deduct for items like not correctly wording the first and third ability. Referencing Magic Gatherer and the current Planeswalker cards it should have been P/T Color Type creature token...

 

largebradon's Comments:

 

Originality - Interesting abilities that remind me of a few older black cards.
Templating - There really shouldn't be a "-" between the names. If you take it out, the subtype would just be "Shub" which looks better.
Balance - It sure can become quite the blocking/creature killing machine until you unleash an uber monster.
Synergy - They are all very synergistic, except the last one. Perhaps two token abilities aren't that great together.
Appeal - It really doesn't have much appeal to me. I don't like how he starts out with an odd number of loyalty, yet all abilities are even.

 

 Pyrosin's Comments:

Principle 8) The abilities should have some cool synergies.

This entry has a real nice synergy between the first and second abilities.  You make a token with the first, and then it can act as fodder for the second one.  Small templating issue, the token creature color should immediately following the P/T stats.

I don't understand why the Ultimate makes something called The Black Goat, but the art for this card really creeps me out.

 

Rasparthe

Toric Scaathblade

Judge

Ori

Tem

Bal

Syn

App

Total

verbage2

8

8

7

7

7

37

largebrandon

9

8

6

6

9

38

Pyrosin

9

7

8

6

8

38

Score

8.7

7.7

7.0

6.7

8.0

 37.7

verbage2's Comments:

Another beautiful magic looking card. I love the artwork. The first ability is very black and white and well done. The second however just felt Blue to me, sorry. I also felt as though it should have been a -2 ability due to its effect.

largebrandon's Comments:

Originality - All very original abilities and a great picture!
Templating - You don't target libraries, you target opponents.
Balance - The second one is just too powerful, in my opinion. It will go in any deck with combo. Also, the last ability will destroy too many tribal decks. 
Synergy - While they are all either white or black abilities, they really don't do anything together.
Appeal - It has a great appeal as-is for many control, and combo decks.

 

 

Toric.jpg

 Pyrosin's Comments:

Principle 7) They must each be a path to victory.

I really like having the drain effect as the +N loyalty ability.  It's the WB version of Chandra's win condition, and it reminds of the Orzhov Guildmage.  I don't really understand how the second ability is WB.  I always thought it was Green, kinda like Dosan the Falling Leaf.

Principle 12) The Ultimate should be jaw-droppingly awesome.

This made me say Wow the first time I read it.  Its a very interesting idea, and would be extremely powerful in the current standard metagame.

 

ZeroCow

Xuan Zang

Judge

Ori

Tem

Bal

Syn

App

Total

verbage2

9

7

8

9

7

40

largebrandon

9

7

8

7

9

40

Pyrosin

10

8

6

5

4

33

Score

9.7

7.7

7.3

7.0

6.7

37.7

 verbage2's Comments:

The only Blue monk I was able to find was Erayo, Soratami Ascendant. Whether intential or not this card was a fair tribute having like abilities, not being a Merfolk. I did think the final ability should have been targeted however as it stands it returns the planeswalker back to the players hand.

largebrandon's Comments:

Originality - Very blue Card, with very blue abilities.
Templating - First is worded awkwardly, second should have "this turn" added on it.
Balance - Seems quite balanced, except I think it should either cost more or start out with less loyalty. 3 is a lot for 2cc.
Synergy - They really don't have too much to do with each other.
Appeal - I think many blue mages would play it.

 

Xuan Zang.jpg

 Pyrosin's Comments:

I really like the idea of the first ability.  You give your opponent a lot of information in exchange for card quality.  I think there might be some problems with the second ability.  I don't like that there's no time restriction on it, and I presume that multiple instances of the ability could stack up, creating memory issues. 

Principle 12) The Ultimate should be jaw-droppingly awesome.

I definetly think this Ultimate counts as jaw-droppingly.  And what I think is very clever, is that is says nonland, therefore its like a fixed version of Upheaval.  That way you cann't float three mana, cast Psychatog following Upheaval, and leave the opponent helpless.

 

RUNCH

Cerea Kasua

Judge

Ori

Tem

Bal

Syn

App

Total

verbage2

8

7

8

9

7

39

largebrandon

9

9

8

9

9

44

Pyrosin

5

8

4

2

4

23

Score

7.3

8.0

6.7

6.7

6.7

 35.3

verbage2's Comments:

Great artwork for the card but I felt as though the artwork dominated the color selection. When looking at this card I had to ask myself over and over could green do this effect and then could black do this effect due to the split mana. Green was very appropriate however black left me wanting. It could not hold the first ability on its own, nor really part of the second effect.

largebrandon's Comments:

Originality - I like its abilities with its colour and picture.
Templating - A wording mistake or two.
Balance - The first one is too weak. If it was only you searching, then it would be good. 
Synergy - I really think they all work very well together. 
Appeal - This is a LD player's dream! Also works well with any G/B control deck! Good job!

 

 

 

 Pyrosin's Comments:

On templating, the first ability should read: Each player searches his or her library for a basic land card, reveals it, and puts it into his or her hand.  Each player shuffles his or her library afterards.

Other than the fact that you're searching for swamps, I don't see anything Black about this card.  Green is better at land destruction than black; the land searching is all green, and neither color can destroy lots of lands at once.  If anything, I think this card has to be Green/Red, but it really feels more like mono green.

Principle 9) Each should give you multiple paths to take.

You can really only do one thing with this Planeswalker, blow up their lands.

 

Outlaw

Alia Dianess

Judge

Ori

Tem

Bal

Syn

App

Total

verbage2

9

9

10

10

6

44

largebrandon

9

8

8

10

7

42

Pyrosin

7

9

4

10

3

35

Score

8.3

8.7

7.3

10.0

5.3

40.3

 verbage2's Comments:

Alia Dianess is a very nice card, everything seems to work together, from the look to the feel you get from the text. The final ability is a underwhelming however. It may have been more appropriate to have her remove all snow permanents from the game.

largebrandon's Comments:

Originality - I'm digging the snow here! Good job. 
Templating - Second ability is worded wrong.
Balance - The third ability is too weak. I think "Destroy all Snow Permanents" would fair quite well. 
Synergy - VERY synergistic! Good job! 
Appeal - Not much appeal for it unless there are a lot of snow decks out there, mate.

 

 

 

alie dianess.jpg

 Pyrosin's Comments:

Principle 6) They must work well in any deck against any opponent's deck.

You're probably going to have to play with snow permanents to have any usefulness out of this Planeswalker.  And if your opponent isn't playing with Coldsnap, then you have to use one turn to turn one of their permanents snow, then use the first about on two consecutive turns, and then on the fourth turn after Alia comes into play, you have a conditional Vindicate.  A four turn Vindicate is too weak for a Planeswalker.

 

GUMBY

Mickey, understudy to Teferi

Judge

Ori

Tem

Bal

Syn

App

Total

verbage2

10

7

6

10

2

35

largebrandon

10

7

8

8

9

42

Pyrosin

10

8

6

5

3

32

Score

10.0

7.7

6.7

7.7

4.7

 36.3

verbage2's Comments:

I laughed as I totally saw where this was going, the synergy was very well done. The biggest issue I saw was due to the final ability. Direct Damage, especially of the potential magnitude it could provide would not be appropriate as a blue ability. A better fit mayhave been if it had created blue water elementals, or even perma tapped all non island/non blue creatures.

largebrandon's Comments:

Originality - All I can say is Laugh Out Loud!
Templating - Some mispellings and errors. 
Balance - It sure really seems to work well. I love the Broom. Just, something seems kinda off. 
Synergy - They no doubt work well together, but the broom token is just too complicated.
Appeal - High appeal, outside of magic, of course. Nice take on something fun!

 

 Pyrosin's Comments:

Ah, a little "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" please Maestro.  Looking at this card gave me a good laugh, and I'd say good job for that.  Flavorwise, its a fantastic play on the Fantasia cartoon.  But if I'm suppose to judge this card seriously...

First off, Mickey's an apprentice, i.e. an inexperienced mage that doesn't know what he's doing.  That's not my idea of a Planeswalker.  I think "Broom" should have regenerate so that its more of the "you cann't destroy them" flavor.

Principle 9) Each should give you multiple paths to take.

The card doesn't promote a lot of interaction.  The Brooms have defender, so there's just gonna sit there clogging up the ground until you can play the Ulitmate.

And what's with the Ultimate dealing with direct damage?  Blue and green can not do that.

 

 

Evu

Shimamura of Minamo

Judge

Ori

Tem

Bal

Syn

App

Total

verbage2

10

9

7

9

8

43

largebrandon

6

9

8

6

7

37

Pyrosin

10

9

2

10

6

37

Score

8.7

9.0

5.7

8.3

7.0

 39.0

 verbage's Comments:

I like what the card is and I felt as though I knew what the creator was trying to accomplish. This card as it stand is very powerful. The first ability allows you to bring in any creature for 1U… WOW, this Elvish piper not only lets you have the creature but it is already attacking. The second ability seems to follow suit allowing you to play a multi colored Instant/Sorcery with colorless mana, and seemingly bypassing the epic rule (making it combine with the third power for a more devastating effect). The final ability instills an epic status on a card but no restrictions on X costs...

largebrandon's Comments:

Originality - Eh, it is just CHK Block all over again! Please no!
Templating - Seems like decent wording for me. 
Balance - All of the abilities seem kinda meh for me. The last is interesting though. All reasonably priced, though. 
Synergy - The only synergy they have is that they all are from a horrid block. 
Appeal - This doesn't have much appeal to me!

Image

Pyrosin's Comments:

I never liked the fact that reanimation spells like Zombify let you get any creature into play without having to play the color of that creature.  Giving all your creatures Ninjutsu does the same thing, letting you get any creature into play, without having to play the proper colors.  Epic is a very powerful ability that Wizards kept in check by making the abilities on the Epic cards kind of clunky that take several turns to take over the game.  There's a lot of instants and soceries out there that should not have Epic; things like Walk the Aeons.

Principle 8) The abilities should have some cool synergies.

Now the penalty for Epic is that you never get to play another spell.  This card has great synergy, because the first and second abilities let you circumvent the drawback of Epic.  So much synergy that it's unfair.  The first ability lets you effectively upgrade creatures, and the second ability just lets you play any instant or sorcery in your hand And you don't have to pay the correct mana for them, which breaks the color wheel again.

Continue to Part 2

 

11 Comments

by Evu at Fri, 05/16/2008 - 12:04
Evu's picture

I hate to be negative, but I have a few issues with the judging this month. 

Rasparthe's entry got criticism from two judges who thought the -N ability should have been Blue or Green.  But look at cards like Conjurer's Ban or Orim's Chant.  I think that ability is fine in White or White/Black.  One judge also criticized the "target library" wording.  While I agree that it's kind of dumb, it's not wrong: look up Circu, Dimir Lobotomist.

As for my own submission:

>> Synergy - The only synergy they have is that they all are from a horrid block. <<

Setting aside the question of whether a judge's personal distaste for a block is a good reason to penalize an entry in any category, let alone three... I had hoped it would be obvious that the first two abilities are designed to let you "play" cards while under the Epic restriction.  Does this not come across?

>> I never liked the fact that reanimation spells like Zombify let you get any creature into play without having to play the color of that creature. << 

I understand this objection, but I think it's out of touch with reality.  Every color has ways to cheat cards of other colors into play: just off the top of my head, there's Zombify, Reveillark, Elvish Piper, Through the Breach, Polymorph, and the colorless Summoner's Egg.  Compared to any of these options, 3UUU and bouncing an unblocked attacker -- after you've telegraphed to your opponent that they need to block -- doesn't seem unfair.  That said, if I could change the card now, I would probably go up to 2U or more for the Ninjutsu cost.

>> There's a lot of instants and soceries out there that should not have Epic; things like Walk the Aeons. <<

You can already cast Walk the Aeons (or any other instant or sorcery) every turn by imprinting it on Panoptic Mirror.  That combo is easier and less restrictive than the one with Shimamura, but still isn't breaking any formats.

>> the second ability just lets you play any instant or sorcery in your hand And you don't have to pay the correct mana for them, which breaks the color wheel again. <<

I disagree.  Blue gets a very similar effect on cards like Terraformer or Vision Charm.

I also want to reiterate the objection, raised both here and in the discussion thread, to using the "Nineteen Principles" to judge this contest.  They were fine guidelines for designing the first cycle of Planeswalkers.  But if you try to adhere to all 19 of them, I think you'll end up with the Lorwyn Planeswalkers, or cards very similar to them, every time.  I have to wonder whether the judges tried designing any cards for this contest themselves.  I think it's a good habit to get into; it gives you valuable perspective on what's challenging about the rules.

Finally, why abandon the "Flavor" criterion that previous contests have used, in exchange for "Synergy", which seems to me to be just a component of "Balance"?  Flavor seems even more important than usual when it comes to Planeswalkers.

All that having been said, I do want to thank the judges for the time they spent on this contest.

Balrog templating by andymc1 (Unregistered) 86.147.127.101 (not verified) at Mon, 05/12/2008 - 16:22
andymc1 (Unregistered) 86.147.127.101's picture

Thanks for taking the time to write the comments.

 I would like to know what is wrong with the wording on my card though. Might help with my future entries.

 andy

by Anonymous (Unregistered) 12.40.253.155 (not verified) at Mon, 05/12/2008 - 14:14
Anonymous (Unregistered) 12.40.253.155's picture

Whenever Broom is dealt damage, put that many token copies of it into play.

Now THAT will get the multiplication effect going.  However, they'd probably have to lose the mana ability for that to not be completely busted.

by Turuphantom (Unregistered) 71.60.119.44 (not verified) at Sun, 05/11/2008 - 14:14
Turuphantom (Unregistered) 71.60.119.44's picture

largebrandon's Comments:


Appeal - The only appeal is the last ability, and the walker costs too much for a suspend 2 WoG for 5 mana.

 

Largebrandon was not the only one to misread the final ability. It is not a Wrath of God or Akroma's Vengence. Technically it is a Jokulhaups. What I was really going for here was the ability to clear the board with lots of floated mana. The final ability probably should have been -6 though.

 

I'll agree that the second ability is lackluster but when evaluating a card at least make sure you are comparing the ability to the appropriate card.  

by Pyrosin at Mon, 05/12/2008 - 07:31
Pyrosin's picture

 You're right, it is Jokulhaups.  Why'd you copy a Red card when there's a perfectly fine White equivalent for you White card?

didn't you used to sing "cars"? by Anonymous (Unregistered) 98.214.178.2 (not verified) at Mon, 05/12/2008 - 08:20
Anonymous (Unregistered) 98.214.178.2's picture

under the guise of Gary Numan?

brooms by Anonymous (Unregistered) 65.48.29.202 (not verified) at Mon, 05/12/2008 - 09:55
Anonymous (Unregistered) 65.48.29.202's picture

0/1 scarecrow artifact creatures seem to fit the flavor better than treefolk.

nice idea.

by Gumby at Sun, 05/11/2008 - 05:23
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@Pyrosin
I know green doesn't get any direct damage.  Blue however has some... it is as follows... 

Prodigal Sorceror, Capricious Sorcerer, Apprentice Sorcerer, Hermetic Study, Mawcor, Pirate Ship, Psionic Blast, Psionic Entity, Psionic Gift, Psionic Sliver, Psyhcic Purge, Relic Bind, Reveka Wizard Savant, Rootwater Hunter, Stinging Barrier, Stinging Licid, Suffocation, Suq'Ata Firewalker, Thornwind Faeries, Volcanic Eruption (personal favorite, even if it's only in paper), Wu Longbowman, Zuran Spellcaster.

Direct damage may not exactly be blue's strongpoint most of that is pinging, but it is something it is capable of. Who is to say Mickey's win condition isn't a bunch of ping crits and intruder alarm? I figured I'd be scored lower for having blue mana accell, THAT is something blue does not do.  Return X permanents might have been a better choice for ultimates for my submission, but it wasn't a serious effort anyway.

Sprog by djdark01 at Sat, 05/10/2008 - 13:05
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verbage2's Comments:

The real minus to this card is there is no negative counter ability. Had the second ability been a minus 2 that allowed the player to pick a card from opponent(s) hand(s) and discard it. The third ability maybe should have included creatures as well.

There is a negative counter ability, it's the last one.  I decided to leave the third ability at only players since I thought it would be broken otherwise.

largebrandon's Comments:

Originality - It is nice to see smaller walkers with very black abilities.
Templating - Worded very well, but you missed an endmark in the first ability.
Balance - The second ability completely overshadows the first ability, so noone will want to use the first one. Also, there isn't any BIG ability, so I think that its novelty as a planeswalker has decreased.
Synergy - The second two abilities have somewhat something in common - they try to hurt your opponent. One pumps the other's loyalty. However, the first one seems quite out there and useless, especially when most want to use it first turn it is out.
Appeal - This just seems like what a common Planeswalker would look like, if there is one, and doesn't belong in the Rare slot. The third ability is nothing more than Chandra's second ability, so why not just play her. She actually has something to work for.

I can say for absolute certain that the 1st ability would be played all of the time. I can't remember the last time someone played a Mind Stone on the first turn in MBC. Early acceleration in MBC is not ueless and is very synergetic with the rest of the card and what it would be used within.  Look at Dark Ritual, Cabal Coffers, Phyrexian Totem...  Also, you can't play Chandra in Mono black.  That is what the card was intended for, hence the double black.

Pyrosin's Comments:

The first ability feels like it should belong on a green card, not a black card.  The Ultimate provides an obvious route to victory, but its just an unsurprising Consume Spirit that your opponent can try to play around.

Principle 10) Each has a +N ability, a -N ability, and a -BIG N "Ultimate" ability.

Where's the -N ability?

Principle 8) The abilities should have some cool synergies.

I don't see any synergy between the abilites of the Planeswalker.  It doesn't feel like he does a whole lot.

I've address a couple of these items already.  As for the -N ability.  Those rules applied only to WotC with their initial cycle of Planeswalkers.  They were not stipulated within the rules during the contest (when it was introduced, at least I don't think they were) and should have subjective bearing on submissions.  I don't understand the play around comment either, that doesn't make sense.  If your opponent has to "play around" a card, then it must be doing something right.

Overall, I think you guys missed a lot here.  The first ability is to get you going similar to the examples I've already provided.  The second ability is to help you control the board.  and the third ability is icing on the cake, when used in conjunction with a card like corrupt or profane command to win the game.

by ibanez (Unregistered) 24.60.139.247 (not verified) at Sat, 05/10/2008 - 10:56
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Pyrosin wrote:

"I get the second ability, as that's him studying, but I would have made that the +N loyalty ability, as that's how he gets "stronger" in the story.  I don't get why your opponents get the Demon creatures.  Mephistopheles is under Faustus's control (or so he thinks).  I would have made it a -N loyalty ability something like put a legendary 5/5 black demon creature named Mephistopheles into play.  And then the Ultimate, it actually has what I would consider negative synergy with the first ability.  You give your opponent creatures he can use to knock down the loyalty, and then if you ever use the Ultimate, he can sacrifice those tokens as part of the cost.  How does that help you win?"

I saw it like he summons these demons to make himself stronger (+N), but in the end they come for him and take his soul to Hell.  I agree that it does have negative synergy with the ultimate, but that was my way to balance it (your opponent will have at least 2 extra permanents to sac when you get enough loyalty to use the ultimate, making it not as devastating as it otherwise would be). The brainstorm ability, in terms of flavor, should make him more powerful, but I thought that infinite brainstorms was kind of broken.  I sacrificed flavor for mechanics there.

Thanks for the judging, everyone, this was a lot of fun.  I hope my next card does better!

Some comments about my posting... by WiseGreen at Sat, 05/10/2008 - 07:44
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Shub-Niggurath isn't a creation of mine; it's one of the Ancient Ones created by HP Lovecraft as part of his dark pantheon on the Cthulhu Mythos, as stated in the original post. I was going through art websites looking for ideas and stumbled with this piece of art depicting Shub-Niggurath, and thought how cool it would be to bring the Mythos to Magic cards... And the Ancient Ones could be no other cards than Planeswalkers, me thinked. :P

The Ancient Ones are entities totally alien to this plane of existence, and try to intervene, more or less subtly, with Earth's and mankind's destiny to their own incomprehensible plans and reasons. Usually they do that by influence, creating satanist and death cults around them, using wicked humans or other alien races to advance their agenda. Shub-Niggurath is also known as "The Black Goat on the Forest and Her (right, its a she) Thousand Minions", which partly explains her first and third abilities; that's why her name is Shub-Niggurath, hyphenized, and that's why the token is named The Black Goat. The first and third abilities were designed with flavor in mind, the first being she spreading her "children" on the earth to carry out her orders, and the third one would be a materialization of herself on this plane, if her plans gone right and given the right amount of time to the right stars to align, this kind of thing. The second ability was more mechanic-oriented, as a mean of giving utility to the little tokens and dealing with troublesome threats, buying time for she to arrive, but also has flavor as she simply drives her expendable minions against anyone she sees as a threat.

There is an issue with the templating of the first and third ability, right, I didn't see that one... :( More attention next time, I think =P I was mixing the numbers with starting loyalty and the costs for the abilities, and these numbers were the more balanced I could achieve, as I really didn't want the third ability to come out early - it takes a fair amount of time to bring an alien demongod to this plae, y'know... :P

Still scoring fourth for my third card is pretty nice ^^