Well, happy 4th of July to everyone. I've been a little bit busy over the past few days with friends and family out for the holiday, so I apologize for the late announcement. In any case, I'm happy to see that some people took part, even if it was a rather small group. But just as a request, could we try to post submissions earlier than the day before the final submission date if possible? I don't necessarily mind if you do, but it would definitely help when writing the results.
With that being said, I've looked through and evaluated the three submissions to the best of my ability, so let's get to reviewing the results. Also, just for the sake of creative development, I'll offer some feedback on changes that could be made to make these cards the best they can be. Let me know your thoughts in the comments, if possible.
To begin, we have Archon of Trust, by
The archetypical Timmy creature. It closely matches everything that a Timmy card is going for: Large effect, big cost, satisfying to use. However, the biggest problem the card faces is the wording, specifically in its second ability. As it is written now, its official ruling comes across as confusing. If its effect only wears off once it attacks, what happens if you choose to not attack with it, or when it leaves the battlefield? I'd suggest changing it to "until end of combat" or "until the beginning of the next end step."
I could definitely see this card becoming a strong finisher in a control/mid-range deck in competitive play. A card with vigilance and evasion that can protect you and everything you control in a pinch? Sounds a bit much. I'd suggest upping the cost, maybe up to 6WWW, so as to make it harder to splash and not so dominant. Its power and toughness should be raised to compensate, perhaps to a 6/6.
Overall, I like the card, what it does, and who it appeals to, but it needs a little bit of work to really sell itself as a Timmy card.
Next up is Embodiment of Nature, by
This one seems a bit harder to argue for its spot as a card designed strictly for the Timmy players. Sure, it follows the exact guidelines that a Timmy card should, but looking back at the success of previous cards with similar "free to cast" effects like Palinchron and Great Whale, Embodiment of Nature allows for an insanely powerful tool for any combo deck in competitive play. Out of everything on this card, I think there are two main problems that should be addressed:
1- Being able to cast creatures at instant speed. Sure, this ability is good and has been printed on many real cards, but in this case, this ability can be used to complete degeneracy by being able to combo off on the opponent's turn with little way to disrupt it. This itself is caused by the "whenever you cast a creature" clause. That line of text essentially makes countering your spells completely pointless, since you'll be able to just drop another creature or spell off immediately afterwards. What could be changed to avert this problem would be to change the third ability to activate only upon creatures entering the battlefield under your control. As for the flash ability, I'd either remove it completely or replace it with something along the lines of "the first creature spell you cast each turn can't be countered."
2- Untapping all of your lands once you cast a creature. Just the idea of being able to refresh all of your lands by playing a single one-mana creature seems a bit overwhelming. Perhaps it could be changed to either a set amount of lands (maybe 2-4), or a number equal to the creature's converted mana cost. And as I said in the previous point, the ability should only trigger upon a creature entering the battlefield, so your opponent at least has some ability to react.
To recap, the card's main problem isn't that it isn't good enough, but that it is just way too good, and since green is the color that has the best access to mana ramp or other ways to cheat creatures out quickly, getting this beast out would be insanely easy. Any more general changes that I can offer would be to up the mana cost by one, and to increase its toughness to 6.
Lastly, we have Molten Crown/Valakut's Fury, by
, the only non-creature design (at least initially), and even incorporates the double-faced card format.
I have to say, I love this kind of atypical design; It's amazingly unique, isn't broken on its own, (though that would depend mostly on the other cards in the metagame), and offers a cool creature that's exciting to play late game. Its effects aren't even particularly amazing in comparison to other cards, with the exception of its landfall effect which could quickly get out of hand when used in conjunction with Valakut, but they give a good baseline for any Timmy player that is looking for an answer to Eldrazi, albeit a complicated answer to activate. It's a rather narrow niche role and target audience that it aims to satisfy, but I think that the people who would want a card like this most would definitely appreciate it.
As for ways to break it, I think the best way to do that would be with the card Crop Rotation from Urza's Legacy. The ability to get a turn two 5/4 that drops a shock each turn seems a bit insane for any red/green aggro deck. Definitely a thing to watch out for in older formats, but likely wouldn't hold much ground in a standard scene if such support wasn't there to help it out. However, the balance of a card tends to matter much more in the Standard scene than in older formats like Legacy and Vintage, so I think the card sits in a rather comfortable spot, but I think a few changes could be made.
First, Molten Crown's transform effect should activate in a different manner than sacrifice, such as by controlling a certain amount of mountains, a la Valakut. As it is, it doesn't necessarily feel like a red card. Red doesn't oftentimes sit back on defense and let itself get attacked without a fight, so a transformation ability based around the idea of "wait for an eldrazi to attack me" doesn't read well.
Second, Valakut's Fury should be bumped up to a 5/5 (assuming the previous change is implemented). Nothing much to be said here. It fits with the original Valakut card (five mountains, 5/5), and it makes it able to compete with stronger creatures.
Lastly, and this is more of something that can be taken with a grain of salt, Molten crown should be Legendary. It just feels strange to have a non-legendary permanent change to a legendary one.
Really, this card just does a lot of things well. The biggest problem it faces, though, is that it only barely fits the Timmy philosophy, but I think it goes just far enough. Its effects are attractive to any Timmy player that struggles with Eldrazi, as well as both cool and powerful for those players. Also, the nostalgic throwbacks to Valakut are a welcome addition, as well as the indirect similarities between it and the flavor text of Flame Slash, also from Zendikar. Again, it only barely fits Timmy players, so perhaps a boost in scale would be good.
Thank you and congratulations to each of you three for participating. All your designs had a lot of good ideas put into them, but overall, I think the winner of this contest would be:
Molten Crown/Valakut's Fury, by
. Congratulations, and I can't wait to see the contest for this month.
Again, if you guys have anything you'd like to add to the suggestions I made for your entries, feel free to write them below in the comments.