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Who wins?
Poll ended at Mon Apr 19, 2021 5:08 pm
Tevish Szat 91%  91%  [ 10 ]
Ragnarokio 9%  9%  [ 1 ]
Total votes : 11
Total voters : 11
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2021 5:08 pm 
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THE BLURB


For the quarters and the semis, I've been asking people to look at cards from Future Sight, a set that was looking into the future, but is itself from the past, and bring them into the present. Now, I'm going to ask our finalists to bring past, present, and future together.

As a game gets older, its number of format increases. Hearthstone, just this week, for example, increased its number of formats from 2 to 4—From Standard, much like Magic's, with the past two years plus a Core Set, and Wild, much like Magic's Vintage—to Standard, Wild, Classic, or a snapshot of what the game was like exactly on release in 2014, and Casual, which is like Wild, but also letting you use the unnerfed cards from Classic.

This final round will be about designing for all of Magic's main constructed formats at once in a cohesive manner, bringing together every time-slice of its power-level and history.

Magic has many formats, primarily defined by the size of the time period the cards are legal from. I'll be picking five. Your prompt will be to design five cards, each balanced for one of these five formats.

Commander is the only format with a different ruleset altogether, but gets a slot because of its popularity. Beyond that, the main four are Standard with the past two years, Pioneer with everything from Fall 2012 on, Modern with everything from Fall 2003 on, and Legacy with everything ever. I'm excluding Vintage, as I don't think designing for it would be different enough (beyond "design a broken artifact // something that counters a broken artifact") from designing for Legacy.


THE PROMPT


Make a five-card mega-mega cycle in which one card is designed for Standard, one card for Pioneer, one for Modern, one for Legacy, and one for Commander.

By five-card mega-mega cycle, I basically mean a horizontal cycle, with the idea that these would be printed across multiple sets, each befitting the format they're designed for. One might imagine a Horizons-style set for Pioneer or Legacy, or simply a card printed in a Commander set designed for Legacy play. Alternatively, you could retcon a card to have been printed in an older set, or design a pushed Standard card intended to make a splash in an older format.

You can be very lose with what defines this as a cycle. See the mtg.fandom article I linked for reference as to how loose some of these cycles can be. My only restriction would be that voters should still be able to recognize your cards as a cycle.

Standard - Lower power threshold, tends to have aggro and tempo as its staples.
Pioneer - I'll be honest, I don't know this format too well. I looked up the meta and it seems mostly tempo and aggro? The top deck seems to be a recursive, tempo-y mono-black followed closely by RDW
Modern - Decently high power. Top decks seem to be burn, aggro, and ramp (Tron) decks
Legacy - Intensely powerful. Aggro is largely dead because combo is too fast, but control is also solid
Commander - Skew to power interests. Mana is nothing and cards are everything, more or less. Aggro is forgotten, combo duels with control which mostly takes the form of stax. Meta is more varied because it isn't a sanctioned tournament format, so you also get "battlecruiser" cards here

The Mega-Mega Cycle

In the spirit of the original and true Mega-Mega Cycle, I will be making Legendary Artifacts with colored identities (As opposed to the original having :c: producing lands with colored activation costs). The concept that ties them together is that they all represent relics in the fact that they are the enshrined remains, potentially partial, of something powerful.

Standard - Green - Theros

Horn of the Revel God
:3:
Legendary Artifact
Whenever a creature you control attacks or blocks, it gets +1/+1 until end of turn.
:2::g:, :t:: Creatures you control get +1/+1 until end of turn.
Some dead gods resent being forgotten.

Slightly weaker than a traditional Anthem, but colorless and with its activated to justify legendary status.


Pioneer - Red - Tarkir

Arm of the Last Khan
:2:
Legendary Artifact
Whenever another source you control deals damage to an opponent or a permanent an opponent controls, Arm of the Last Khan deals 1 damage to that opponent or permanent
:3::r:, :t:: Target creature you control and target creature of an opponent’s choice they control fight each other.
The dragonlords thought the mummified arm, sword still held in a death-grip, would display their dominance. In time, it became an object of reverence for the lost past instead.

Arena doesn't make RDW, but strapped to a Torbran, Thane of Red Fell-style effect, which does, it might.


Modern - Black - Dominaria

Urn of Yawgmoth
:3:
Legendary Artifact
At the beginning of each player's end step, that player discards a card.
:1::b:, :t:, Sacrifice a permanent: Each opponent sacrifices a permanent that shares a type with sacrificed permanent.
All Urborg endures his festering corpse, but the heart of the Father of Machines is contained within.

Intended to be competitive with Liliana of the Veil for Jund


Legacy - White - Ulgrotha

Skull of Hazduhr
:2:
Legendary Artifact
Whenever a player casts a spell, counter it unless they pay :1:.
:w:, :t:: Until your next turn, Noncreature spells cost :1: more to cast and creatures can't attack unless their controller pays :1:. Activate this ability only during your upkeep.
Enshrined after his death, the Abbot's presence still brings peace

An intensified Sphere of Resistance sort of thing that could fit in any sort of deck that likes taxes -- Stax variants most of all, but tax in general


Commander - Blue - Rath

Evincar's Legacy
:3:
Legendary Artifact
Whenever one or more cards are put into your graveyard from your library, draw a card.
:4::u:, :t:: Draw a card, then put a card from your graveyard on top of your library.
After the overlay trapped them in the Shadow, the il deified Volrath, honoring his treacherous cunning. It's unclear if that would have amused their former master, to have his last remains worshiped for such a reason.

EDH loves card draw engines, especially ones that can fire on crazy triggers. The tap ability here is something of a reference to the Stronghold, redone to fit something of a 'blue' pie and synergize with the main ability that wants you milling.

Ragnarokio wrote:
Pioneer:

Blooddancer Teji -
Legendary Creature - Rat Rogue
Deathtouch
Whenever ~ damages a player, that player loses 3 life.
Sacrifice a creature: ~ gains doublestrike until end of turn.
In her first life Teji lived for herself and nobody else.
1/2

i don't know anything about pioneer but it seems like its a format where midrange cards can flourish a little more than usual so i made one

Commander:

Teji of the Ironwood -
Legendary Creature - Treefolk Warrior
Vigilance, Trample
When ~ leaves the battlefield you may sacrifice a forest you control. If you do, return ~ to the battlefield.
In her second life Teji vowed to protect the ones she once hunted
8/8

commander likes big slow inevitable idiots i think

Standard:

Teji the Thunderspeaker -
Legendary Creature - Elemental Shaman
Haste
Whenever ~ deals damage to a player you may search your libary for an instant or sorcery with mana value 1 or less, reveal it, and put it into your hand. If you do, shuffle your library.
In her third life Teji sought mastery of natural forces
2/1

standard formats vary pretty heavily but i think the main strength of standard as a format is that it has a smaller card pool. A card like this naturally benefits from that kind of cardpool because it asks players to find other cards to pair with it and the cards that can be paired with it can be designed to allow (especially newer players) to ask/answer that question in a satisfying way.

Modern:

Lightspeaker Teji -
Legendary Creature - Human Priest
When ~ enters the battlefield you may search your library for an aura card which costs 2 or less and exile it. If you do, shuffle your library.
, : Cast a copy of the exiled aura card without paying its mana cost.
In her fourth life Teji aimed to unite all things.
1/1

pretty strong and especially so in a larger card pool where it has access to more auras to choose from and more tools to protect the card.

Legacy:

Teji the Enlightened -
Legendary Creature - Wizard
~ can't be countered.
Overpowering (If ~ would be put into a graveyard from anywhere, reveal it and shuffle it into its owner's libary instead.)
: Search your library for a spell and cast it without paying its mana cost.
in her 5th life Teji learned everything there was to know.
1/1

don't know a ton about legacy but i figure this should be a fairly inevitable finisher and should be feasible to cheat out. also i keyworded progentius clause b/c why not

Please vote for who you think deserves to be the Pro Tour YMtC 7 Champion! :king:

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Last edited by ParadOxymoron on Thu Apr 15, 2021 8:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2021 8:05 pm 
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:bump:

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2021 12:17 am 
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Tevish has a much tighter cycle mechanically, but Rag's has a better thematic tie.
I have a loose grasp on format-applicability, but I suspect Rag wins out there?
I generally like Tevish's cards better.

Voting Tevish Szat.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2021 8:19 am 
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Im pretty sure Tevish wins this year; aside from Rag's legacy card (which, thanks to Sneak Attack and Show and Tell, is probably banworthy in Legacy), I believe Tevish had the better idea of the formats overall.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2021 2:02 pm 
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well, let's do this. I'm not an expert on most of the formats so I'll largely just trust that they fit unless it seems obviously wrong. and the criteria explicitly said the cycles could be really loose so all I'm gonna care about on that front is that there's some recognizable connection, a bar both of you clear. so let's compare cards.

white cards


blue cards


black cards


red cards


green cards


I realized halfway through that comparing by format would probably have been better, but eh. point is, I think in most cases I at least slightly preferred Rag's, so that's where I'm gonna vote.

:duel:

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2021 5:38 pm 
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See one problem with prompts sometimes is that people have to vote on them. I know about two of these formats lol.

Cycle Overall


Standard


Pioneer


Modern


Legacy


Commander


Result


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2021 10:04 pm 
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Quote:
Voting Tevish. I almost feel like I'm coming across as too mean? Like I swear Ragna I have nothing against you, your cards and theme just like all failed to hit for me except LIghtspeaker. And again it feels weird because I straight do not know 3/5 of the formats so I don't feel I can reasonably judge cards for them? So except for Commander most of these are more judging just the card so it almost can't feel like I'm actually voting the best fit for the actual criteria which makes me feel extra kinda bad, sorry.


its all good, i've got thick skin and i appreciate hearing your thoughts on the cards.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2021 6:29 pm 
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Final review!

I really like Tevish's cards a lot. They really feel like a mega-mega cycle.

I know I said the cycle could be very loose, but cohesion is still a plus to me. Tevish's cycle is really cohesive, with every artifact costing or and their activation costs ranging evenly from 1-5.

Horn of the Revel God—I'd be excited to see this previewed. Really cool take on a colorless anthem.

Arm of the Last Khan—These are two really interesting abilities to staple together, well done. Normally this kind of design can feel lazy, but I like when they become greater than the sum of their parts when combined.

Urn of Yawgmoth—Seems like this could get pretty oppressive, but it could definitely work as copies 5-8 of Liliana of the Veil, so in that sense you achieved what you set out to. Definitely feels appropriate for Modern's power level. It would have to have been in Time Spiral block or a Modern Masters set to be specific to Modern, though, as all the old Dominaria sets are Legacy only and the new one is Pioneer-legal.

Skull of Hazduhr—This seems really unfun, but perfect for Legacy. Stax is about the most emblematic Legacy strategy I can think of, and this fits right in there.

Evincar's Legacy—Ah yes, the classic YMtC design: "Make a card with two abilities, where one makes the other do something other than what it says it does." It works, though! Definitely fits in with Commander, seems like a fun card for people who like Narcomoeba-style decks, and you definitely did your homework with all the names.

Rag's cards could just as easily have different names and flavor text and I wouldn't be able to tell the difference between them and any five random legendaries. Whoever this Teji is, there doesn't seem to be anything mechanically linking any of her lives, or any meaningful pattern to her eventual ascension into her Legacy form (like going around the color wheel from black to blue sequentially) that makes her feel to me like a single character instead of just five completely unrelated characters tied together with a single name.

Again, I know I said "very loose"—frankly, I was worried this prompt would be too hard—but these have literally just the name and flavor text. Even Omnath, the example I used as one of the loosest, is more mechanically bound than that. We know that the last Omnath will cost and be a midrange elemental big boi. If four out of five Tejis were spoiled, we'd know nothing about the last one except her color. See what I mean? If the Standard card had been the first life, and Commander the last life—or maybe the reverse of that—and you went around the color wheel like that for example, it would have felt far more readable than you jumping around the formats and the color wheel arbitrarily.

Blooddancer Teji—Cool card! Nothing to say really besides that I'd have it say combat damage.

Teji of the Ironwood—Since part of what makes Commanders interesting is their ability to be recurred anyway, I feel like Commanders with recursion abilities kind of lose something. That said, I do love myself a big dumb 8/8.

Teji the Thunderspeaker—This is probably your strongest card design-wise, though definitely overpowered at 1 mana. Your blurb was really insightful. I would have loved to see it as a 1/3 haste-prowess for to be a sort of red Tarmogoyf mega-cycle finisher, but that might not be appropriate for the Standard slot. Weakest flavor text

Lightspeaker Teji—Seems a little slow for Modern. I see the connection between this and the red one mechanically, but since there's nothing to bring it together with the other three, the search for 1, search for 2 thing kind of just feels out of place. Having the other ones search for 3 or less, 4 or more, anything at all, etc. is another thing that might have helped tie them together a bit.

Teji the Enlightened—I appreciate the keyword. That said this is just "Twelve mana: You win the game" on a level we've never seen before, and therefore strikes me a little uninspired. Enter the Infinite costs and Omniscience costs . This is both of them together, and it can't be countered. I'm not sure that will lead to very interesting gameplay in Show and Tell decks.

Overall, I would have voted with the crowd for Tevish Szat.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2021 6:33 pm 
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I just want to note here regarding Pro Tour YMtC 8 that I cannot do this again next year. It's a lot of work, and this one literally took nine months out of the year. We're already due to start up again in July. I've used all my best ideas up on the past twenty-two prompts over Pro Tours 6 and 7, and frankly, I'd like to compete again! I've still never won one of these. So if anyone thinks they can do better, with precedence given to former champions—though that prerequisite was admittedly waved in my case—I fully encourage someone else to take up the mantle. :)

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2021 6:34 pm 
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Congratulations to Tevish Szat, the Seventh Pro Tour YMtC Champion! :king:

I believe you're owed a title! I don't know how to set that up, but when the mods come thru I'm sure you'll wear it well.

:party:

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2021 12:31 am 
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Whew! This was my first time making it to top eight, if memory serves. Apparently I do pretty well once I'm there... though I'm not looking at an immediate repeat since, a lot of work or no, I'd be interested in going for judgeship or showrunner, now that I've made it this far. So, Parad, if nobody else better qualified wants to do the criteria, rest assured that I will take up the call.

For this round in particular, I think Evincar's Legacy was prone to misreads (It draws you a card then puts one BACK, not triggering itself. It was meant to do that as a safety for "Oh crud, I milled something I actually NEED, let me whack that back to where I'll get it next time". Which wouldn't be a concern in normal formats, but when you're locked to singleton... let's just say I've had some moments of deep sorrow with self-mill decks, usually when I mill my recursion piece trying to find my recursion piece with draw-and-mill scenarios, without the ability to nab my recursion piece from the GY because I don't have my recursion piece. The delay (topdecking after draw) is to restrict the degree to which you're using graveyard as Hand 2 if you want the recur to be useful, since you have to either have a draw trigger on the stack when you activate or wait for a natural (or at least not mill-based) draw.

More importantly, though, I'd like to thank... genuinely everyone who participated in this, really. Parad, for running a great show, the judges and voters, and my opponents for putting up good challenges and showing their interpretations of the prompts.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2021 2:42 am 
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thank you everyone, especially parad and the judges. Its always fun to compete in these and it was fun getting into the top 8 for once, although i feel like it was mostly a fluke on my part.

wrt my cards this round, the idea thematically was to have a character which would make cameo appearances in a series of otherwise unrelated sets (using reincarnation as an excuse ). I think the idea itself is interesting and something people could potentially enjoy, although i agree that my execution specifically was lackluster as the character lacked any sort of real identity. I didn't feel like it was necessary for them to have any mechanical similarities as the theme was strong enough to justify it as a cycle (although if it were executed better i would expect the mechanics to reflect whatever story was being told by the character's successive iterations). Printing them in color order would also have been a better idea. (and probably being a 6-color cycle with the final card being WUBRG)

If i were voting I would have voted for tevish as well. Good match tevish.

I do appreciate razorborne saving me from the embarassment of a unanimous decision.

Hopefully someone picks up the reigns. the long annual contest format is fun, even when it moves at a snails pace

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2021 8:17 am 
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Oh you’re right I totally misread Evincar’s Legacy but I think I’d still prefer it in that match up. Maybe even a tad more, I’m a bit unsure of the exact color pie of returning anything but if it’s just back to deck that’s probably pretty colorless and Blue has gotten put your gy back to library before.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2021 12:23 am 
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Good PT everybody.

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Cato wrote:
CotW is a method for ranking cards in increasing order of printability.

*"To YMTC it up" means to design cards that have value mostly from a design perspective. i.e. you would put them in a case under glass in your living room and visitors could remark upon the wonderful design principles, with nobody ever worring if the cards are annoying/pointless/confusing in actual play

TPrizesW
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2021 6:46 am 
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TPmanW wrote:
Good PT everybody.
Yes, now everyone get ready for the one we do in the summer that ends hopefully around Christmas.

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You fell victim to one of the classic blunders - The most famous of which is "never get involved in an thread with GM_Champion" - but only slightly less well-known is this: "Never go in against AzureShade when card design is on the line!"


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2021 8:01 pm 
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Anyone know who to message about getting Tevish Szat his title? I didn't handle that last year.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2021 1:56 am 
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