TCG Fakes 31 Days of CaC: A Month-Long Look at 10 Years of History

Vom

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I wouldn't submit one unless the theme called specifically for it. For me, the actual Pokémon featured in the card is more for flavour and thematic reasons (as I'm sure it's become abundantly clear in my past entries :p). There are just so many Pokémon most people and I are already familiar with that it becomes hard to not be immediately drawn towards a few of them when looking for a specific theme.

That being said, I have no qualms with someone submitting Fakemon if it fits their cup of tea, as I base the balancing a card on the type of card it is - VMAX, GX, Stage 2, Basic, etc. - rather than the individual Pokémon, which is part of why I love TCG faking. Even Pokémon you would never see used competitively in the games or Pokémon that just haven't had a time to shine in the official TCG yet can have the spotlight.
 

Jabberwock

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I don't like the idea of fakemon in cac because there's no frame of reference. Unless your fakemon is an evolution of an existing Pokemon, it becomes difficult to accurately gauge whether or not the card is too weak or too powerful.
In the past we've had people go all-out in designing a Fakemon to enter, giving it a whole in-game stats write-up as a frame of reference for judging. This isn't required, but it can help with gauging power levels for cards. What are your thoughts on entering Fakemon designed to this level of completeness?

In the same vein, I'm not a fan of "your blank, your rules" giving people a completely free pass on fonts and placement. You can argue that you could just knock points off of aesthetics instead but I think that if there are mistakes with fonts or placement, they should lose points for it.
Yeah, granted. For what it's worth it's not a completely free pass; most fonts should still generally be some variant of Gill Sans or Futura, and people have been docked for using new fonts without cause, or placements that appear eyeballed. But there's no doubt that custom elements — blanks, Fakemon, etc — give people a fair amount more leeway than sticking to TPCi convention.
 

PMJ

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In the past we've had people go all-out in designing a Fakemon to enter, giving it a whole in-game stats write-up as a frame of reference for judging. This isn't required, but it can help with gauging power levels for cards. What are your thoughts on entering Fakemon designed to this level of completeness?

VG stats don't translate very cleanly (or at all, really) to the TCG so it personally means nothing to me. Electrode is one of the fastest Pokemon in the game but has almost always had a Retreat Cost. Regieleki has had one card and it has a Retreat Cost of two. Mew has higher base HP than a whole slew of legendaries but constantly gets saddled with HP in the range of (and in some cases, below) evolving Basics because... why? Because it's a mythical? Seems pretty arbitrary. But if I were to make a Mew and give it, say, 80 HP, I'd lose Believability points. In the case of some random fakemon, there's nothing governing where the HP "should" fall except if it was something blatantly obvious, like some Sentret-tier thing having 120 HP.

Maybe it's just because my brain works different, but I've always had a difficult time with judging fakemon. Thinking objectively, it's probably not as impossible as I think it is, I just really hate it.

Yeah, granted. For what it's worth it's not a completely free pass; most fonts should still generally be some variant of Gill Sans or Futura, and people have been docked for using new fonts without cause, or placements that appear eyeballed. But there's no doubt that custom elements — blanks, Fakemon, etc — give people a fair amount more leeway than sticking to TPCi convention.

Does it, though? If fonts still have to adhere to a couple specific variants, how much does "your blank, your rules" really apply? If a different font wasn't an eyesore, would they still get docked? And would it be proper to do so, considering it's "their blank" and therefore "their rules" with regards to not just placement and symbols, but everything?
 

Jabberwock

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Does it, though? If fonts still have to adhere to a couple specific variants, how much does "your blank, your rules" really apply? If a different font wasn't an eyesore, would they still get docked? And would it be proper to do so, considering it's "their blank" and therefore "their rules" with regards to not just placement and symbols, but everything?
That's fair; I just meant it's more "your blank, your rules" up to a point. Like you've got some leeway on both fonts and placement as long as you don't do anything too drastically different — or if you do change things up, it's clear you intended to do it, and the changes make sense even if the judge doesn't personally agree with them.
 

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Xous’s Xerneas LEGEND

xerneas_legend_by_xous54-d6wh7c2.png


December 2013 — Any Type

Judge: @DNA
Ah, the last card I'll see from Xous in a while? Let's make it worthwhile, then.

As usual, I see you have a flair for the interesting, the shiny, and the LEGEND mechanic. This Xouneas *shot* is no different. Since LEGEND cards have a lot going on in them, I had to comb over the card really well to make sure everything works. What I found:

On the top half of the card, the LEGEND clause is not in the same bar as the HP, but rather on the side perpendicular to it, below the HP number (like here). That's the only bit off with the top half.

On the bottom half of the card, the effect text for the power and attack seem to be too thick/wide - I looked at Lugia and the text seems to be roughly the same size as on other cards.

Yet these things do not detract from the beauty of the card as a whole, and as before you do not fail to impress us all. Excellent job.



Creativity/Originality: 19/20
Wording: 15/15
Fonts and Placement: 9/10
Believability/Playability: 5/5
Total: 48/50

Entry post: [https://www.pokebeach.com/forums/threads/pokébeach-create-a-card-december-2013-lemonnade-and-zygarde-are-victorious.117142/post-2560896]
Results post: [https://www.pokebeach.com/forums/threads/pokébeach-create-a-card-december-2013-lemonnade-and-zygarde-are-victorious.117142/post-2590148]


Anyone who’s been faking for long has no doubt run across Xous’s art in the past — he’s got an immensely prolific portfolio, including Sugimori-style art of most of the Pokémon from Generations 1 through 6. But as you can see from this card, he was more than proficient in other styles, too.

Entries like this one were partially responsible for the first shift of point values in the contest’s rubric — out of a desire to reward people who put in a lot of effort on their entries’ aesthetics, and discourage slapping Sugimori art onto stock backgrounds, the CaC team added Aesthetics as a category for the first time in the July 2015 round (my second!) of the competition.

What impact do you think Aesthetics has had on the competition as a whole? If you were making image fakes back before July 2015, what was it like to compete in a contest without them? Feel free to post any other thoughts — about Aesthetics, other parts of the rubric, or anything else that comes to mind — below. :)
 

Jabberwock

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Nekoban Ryo’s Shining Sneasel

shining_sneasel_nekoban_ryo.png

December 2013 — Any Type

Judge: @DNA
Neo cards? Challenge accepted.
...the set number is 12/13; usually Shining cards are beyond the ending point. :p

Other than that, everything reminds me both of Sneasel and of Shining cards back in the day, with their weird foil patterns and everything, that would make them appear very dark, but only because the foil was on the Pokemon itself.

Everything looks in order, though I think the Reap text is a little bit too big. But, sadly, you forgot the "You can't have more than 1 Shining Sneasel" clause along the top of the card. Alex how could you do this to me. ;-;


Creativity/Originality: 17/20
Wording: 14/15
Fonts and Placement: 9/10
Believability/Playability: 5/5
Total: 45/50

Entry post: [https://www.pokebeach.com/forums/th...nd-zygarde-are-victorious.117142/post-2567954]
Results post: [https://www.pokebeach.com/forums/th...nd-zygarde-are-victorious.117142/post-2590148]


Nekoban Ryo’s fakes are notable for frequently telling personal stories — a Shiny Pokémon he happened to find after a long and hard hunt, a Fakemon based on his favorite fossil, or simply a Pokémon that means a lot to him, for one reason or another. Moreover, for these personal fakes, he often creates his own art, thereby underscoring the personal connection.

Shining Sneasel is one of his mainstays, a card he’s created and re-created numerous times over the years. If I remember correctly, it showcases one of the first Shiny Pokémon he ever found. Neko, if you happen to be reading this, tell us the story! Any other favorite fakes of yours to showcase?

For everyone else, have you ever made a fake designed to highlight some personal experience? What was it? Tell us below! :)
 

PMJ

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A number of my old fakes were created with specific members in mind. I'm not sure how many cards in my old fakes thread are still around, but Garchmop, Politoed, Scizor, Raichu, and Lucario are some early examples. But my favorite card of my old fakes is almost definitely this Buneary:

dn3riWw.png


My first fic was widely popular on PokeBeach, and while I was nearing its end, I was trying to think of a plot for my next masterpiece. In the Mystery Dungeon Explorers games, there's a postgame sidequest you can do to find something the game calls the Seven Treasures. Each is obtained after defeating a legendary boss at the end of a dungeon. The items themselves raise the recruitment rate of certain types, if I recall correctly... and that's it. There's no secret Arceus event, not even a cool fanfare or a notice that says you got them all. At the time I thought it was an enormous waste of potential, so I decided my second story would focus on this legend in some way.

The main character is Shirley, a seven-year-old girl who somehow ends up in the Pokemon world. One of the first things she finds upon landing is the Reaper Cloth that you see tied around her neck. She has no idea what it actually is and she uses it as both a security blanket and cape. I never fleshed out a lot of the details since I eventually learned that children actually make terrible main characters. I think I planned on her partner being a Chimchar, and of course there's a Dusclops who causes problems for the group since he knows exactly what the Reaper Cloth is and wants to use it to evolve. Something something he's not really a bad guy either that or he is a bad guy but joins up to take down a bigger foe or something. I never got far in planning it because, as it turns out, little kids make awful main characters.

I ended up scrapping the story entirely and giving the name Shirley to my "OC" for Commander Mars, which is another character I wanted to write a story about (tldr version: it stars Mars and Jupiter and starts immediately after they flee Stark Mountain during the events of Platinum).

Vanquishing Energy, Bun-Bun Blast!, and the flavor text are all references to an old IRC kick script I had. It went something like this:

* PMJ is now known as Buneary
[Buneary] Lord of the bunny realm, hear my call...
[Buneary] Give me strength! The power to vanquish my foe!
* Buneary charges energy

[Buneary] This is your end. Finishing strike!
* Buneary has kicked PBGuest01 from #pokebeach (Bun-Bun Blast!)
* Buneary is now known as PMJ

Buneary is also one of my favorite Pokemon in general, so that's just one more reason that this particular fake holds a special place in my heart. I used the artwork for a secret rare Buneary reprint in Unsung Heroes Remastered, just because I could. Just looking at this art and this fake brings back so many memories of friends who've come and gone. I sure do miss those days sometimes.
 

CardPone

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Xous’s Xerneas LEGEND

xerneas_legend_by_xous54-d6wh7c2.png


December 2013 — Any Type

Judge: @DNA


Entry post: [https://www.pokebeach.com/forums/threads/pokébeach-create-a-card-december-2013-lemonnade-and-zygarde-are-victorious.117142/post-2560896]
Results post: [https://www.pokebeach.com/forums/threads/pokébeach-create-a-card-december-2013-lemonnade-and-zygarde-are-victorious.117142/post-2590148]


Anyone who’s been faking for long has no doubt run across Xous’s art in the past — he’s got an immensely prolific portfolio, including Sugimori-style art of most of the Pokémon from Generations 1 through 6. But as you can see from this card, he was more than proficient in other styles, too.

Entries like this one were partially responsible for the first shift of point values in the contest’s rubric — out of a desire to reward people who put in a lot of effort on their entries’ aesthetics, and discourage slapping Sugimori art onto stock backgrounds, the CaC team added Aesthetics as a category for the first time in the July 2015 round (my second!) of the competition.

What impact do you think Aesthetics has had on the competition as a whole? If you were making image fakes back before July 2015, what was it like to compete in a contest without them? Feel free to post any other thoughts — about Aesthetics, other parts of the rubric, or anything else that comes to mind — below. :)

Even though the text is kinda difficult to read on this one, visually I think it's one of the most beautiful cards that has appeared in CaC. Certainly is my favorite card ever submitted.

I'm definitely not biased toward Xerneas or anything. I don't know why you would think. >>

But for real, even barring my bias for Xerneas, this card is just so incredibly well done. I'm really glad you featured it.
 

Jabberwock

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Heavenly Spoon’s Ghost

DZXp5At.png

January 2014 — New Mechanics

Judge: @Blui
The first thing I’d like to say is that this card is beautiful. The art looks like something that would land itself in the Neo era. When I read the text, the first thing I noticed (aside from Dicard Pile) was that it is pretty much a Rescue Scarf without having to be a Tool. Dicard Pile should be ‘discard pile’ and the text as a whole could be moved down a pixel. There isn't too much to say about this, pretty much because of how simple it is.

Creativity/Originality: 16/20
Wording: 13/15
Fonts and Placement: 4.5/5
Believability/Playability: 10/10
January Modifier: 6/10

Total: 49.5/60

Entry post: [https://www.pokebeach.com/forums/threads/pokébeach-create-a-card-jan-2014.117717/post-2590933]
Results post: [https://www.pokebeach.com/forums/threads/pokébeach-create-a-card-jan-2014.117717/post-2597297]


Here we get to an entry by Heavenly Spoon, whose effect on the contest from the judging end of things was unparalleled. He codified a much stricter rubric that resulted in few if any perfect scores, making high scores much harder to work for and much more coveted accordingly. But all that was still a few months off at this point.

This entry — Ghost, one of the few non-Pokémon entries we’ve ever had, largely because these days we disallow them except under themes that specifically call for them — was submitted during a turning point for CaC. The inimitable DNA had recently stepped down from his position as both judge and host, never to return. The torch passed somewhat haphazardly, without any formal infrastructure in place for one judge to take over from another. As a result, image-based this month was scored out of 60 points, and text-based out of 49. Definitely one of the more unusual months we’ve had.

But the theme called for new mechanics, and Spoon came through. The effect itself isn’t all that unusual — as Blui notes in his judging, it’s essentially a Rescue Scarf that isn’t a Tool. But submitting a Trainer card for CaC in this era definitely qualifies as breaking the mold — perhaps in a way Spoon might have liked to see himself once he took over as judge.

There’s a lot to talk about around the January 2014 CaC, Spoon’s entry, and Spoon in general. Here’s a few questions to get started:

  • Trainers are usually disallowed in CaCs now, but that wasn’t always the case. Why do you think we so rarely saw them entered, even back then?
  • What are the pros and cons of submitting a Trainer card over a Pokémon card?
  • Why do you think Spoon chose to imagine “Ghost” as a Trainer rather than a Pokémon?
 

PMJ

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You know, for all the people who enter these contests, it's honestly a shame that there's not more interest in this thread, especially since most people who enter aren't even on the Discord.

Trainers were uncommon because you have a lot less room creatively. Trainers by nature do one thing, and it's funner to put in a card that can do more than just one thing. Pokemon interact with each other a lot more than Trainers do. Trainers are also visually less appealing than Pokemon.

As for why Ghost is a Trainer and not a Pokemon, the effect just works better as a Trainer. Ghosts don't battle, so it wouldn't make much sense as an actual Pokemon.

I'm not sure that his entry even counts as a new mechanic. I don't think I would have counted it. When I think of a new mechanic, I think of actual mechanics, like Pokemon-*, Pokemon-GX, and the like. That's why I went with the sideboard for my entry - having access to a sideboard would turn the game on its head.

It's worth noting that mine and Spoon's entries were the only two images submitted for that month, an all-time low if memory serves. It makes winning feel a lot less cool, especially considering my entry was, visually, one of my worst submissions ever. Holy cringe.
 

Jabberwock

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I'm not sure that his entry even counts as a new mechanic. I don't think I would have counted it. When I think of a new mechanic, I think of actual mechanics, like Pokemon-*, Pokemon-GX, and the like. That's why I went with the sideboard for my entry - having access to a sideboard would turn the game on its head.
Yeah, a very good point. In more recent months we've had to define the parameters of each theme as specifically as possible, and even then, people often try things we hadn't considered. Sometimes that's cool and grounds for a boost in their Creativity points, but sometimes it forces us to refine the theme mid-month. Interesting that Teal and Blui accepted Spoon's entry there without comment.

It's worth noting that mine and Spoon's entries were the only two images submitted for that month, an all-time low if memory serves. It makes winning feel a lot less cool, especially considering my entry was, visually, one of my worst submissions ever. Holy cringe.
Actually, not an all-time low! There have been two other rounds with only two image-based entries each (Fairy Pokémon in February 2014 and Weather in September 2020), and even one round with only one image entry (Autumn Equinox in September 2012). In contrast, text-based had never had fewer than five entries before this August, when turnout fell to four.
 

Jabberwock

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Athena and PMJ’s submissions (Dragonair featured)

IPfvU2l.png

April 2014 — Stage 1

Judge: @Scorched Feathers
PARALYSIS PARALYSIS EVERYWHERE
...well then.
Both attacks give paralysis, which I'm not a big fan of, and I'd lower the second attack's damage a mite, since it does auto-paralyze, which is something incredibly hard to balance. Stopping you from attacking is good, since it 100% stops you from getting round it. W/R/R and HP seem good too, but I'm not sure on the placement of that "You". Seems right though. Also Thena art p>

Creativity/Originality: 19/20
Wording: 15/15
Fonts and Placement: 9/10
Believability/Playability: 4/5
Total: 47/50

Entry post: [https://www.pokebeach.com/forums/th...ngrats-mtc-neko-and-spoon.118626/post-2619432]
Results post: [https://www.pokebeach.com/forums/th...ngrats-mtc-neko-and-spoon.118626/post-2620320]


This is the point in CaC’s history where we get to feature one of its most iconic duos: the Dynamic Duo themselves, Athena and PMJ.

The option to team up to submit a joint image-based entry has been a staple of CaC for a long time — since April 2014, in fact. The intent is that it enables artists without much knowledge of the TCG (or TCG players without much artistic / image-editing know-how) to have more of a shot in every section of the rubric. Every few months we see people team up this way — it’s not a ubiquitous thing, but it’s not uncommon either. A lot of the reason such an option even exists, though, has to do with the success it saw at Athena and PMJ’s hands in its inaugural month, and in many months thereafter.

In total, the duo submitted thirteen entries between April 2014 and July 2015, garnering an astonishing ten podium placements, including five first-place wins. Their record speaks for itself.

Since then, including Athena and PMJ, a total of thirteen distinct teams have submitted joint CaC entries, giving the team-up option its clear place in the contest’s history. In virtually every case, entrants have reported in their write-ups that they couldn’t have made their card by themselves — teamwork, apparently, really does make the dream work. But it all started in April 2014, with the team that was to become CaC’s Dynamic Duo.

Today, we’re featuring the Dragonair that was Athena & PMJ’s first joint submission, but we’re highlighting all of their submissions as a testament to their teamwork, their faking and artistic prowess, and their impact on CaC as a whole. You can view the rest of their submissions below:

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SNT4pgV.png
Me0VP8v.png
4g55eNw.png
1A8znXo.png
RipF9pZ.png
tIfa4sl.png
WGjhlV5.png
VZBR9w3.png

For anybody who’s submitted an entry as part of a team before — how did it go? Would you do it again? Why or why not?

For anybody who hasn’t — would you? Why or why not?

We’d love to hear from you! :D
 
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CardPone

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I did two duos entries in my time. Both were with @Kavross and he was quite a pleasure to work with! I think it's super enjoyable to do CaCs with partners and would gladly do it again on months that I'm able to enter. I encourage others to do so as well! Having someone to bounce ideas off of is always really helpful, and it's especially a good thing when you can find a partner that complements your strengths.

Like for me, I think I'm good at working out wording and making the card itself look good, but I'm no good at making my own art and for CaCs I like to try and have an artwork made specifically for the card. Those two months I got to work with Kavross were super special because he's such an incredible artist! It felt like the perfect match.

Though if I could partner again, I probably would approach it slightly differently. Admittedly both CaCs were of my own ideas and I felt like I didn't give my partner enough say in which Pokémon we chose. In the first one, I already had the card finished and was looking for art when we paired up if memory serves, and in the second one I was just way too excited that the theme allowed me to make a Sawsbuck card that I pushed maybe a little too hard for that one.

But the results really speak for themselves. First place for our first collab and second place in the following one. I was super happy with the results.
 

PMJ

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Ah, Athena. Some of these did better than others, but that's to be expected. Unlike in Pone's cases, I gave Athena full autonomy over the Pokemon we did, since she was the one drawing it. Magma vs. Aqua was a tough month since I'm no good at doing custom blanks. Not sure we did that well either.

I'm not super averse to teaming up again, but I feel kinda bad cause my skill as an image faker is far below everyone else. Honestly, I probably wouldn't do it again just for that reason alone.
 

Jabberwock

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I'm not super averse to teaming up again, but I feel kinda bad cause my skill as an image faker is far below everyone else. Honestly, I probably wouldn't do it again just for that reason alone.
Like in Pone's case, I think the results speak for themselves. And even if they didn't, being able to make solid image fakes at all is pretty impressive and worth teaming up for, imo.
 

Mick-773

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Seeing all these previous entries and having them contextualized with the history of the contest is really nice, especially for people like me who joined it only recently. While I believe i still lack most of the knowledge of the game through the years to fully appreciate every entry, I feel like the the latest post, featuring a card created by a collaborative effort, can be a nice prompt for some discussion, especially sine my latest entry fully falls in this category.

As it is probably clear by now, I'm an amteur-ish drawer who probably pays *a little too much* attention on the aesthetic side of a card and only then tries to reflect on gameplay, balance and so on.
On these premises, working with someone whose job is to take care of the balancing/metagame aspects means I can invest my time fully into the artwork/graphic composition, thus affording to try something different from what I'm used to - that is, a Pokémon I still can't draw confidently, a detailed/difficult background, or a complex card layout with unusual effects). At the same time, having someone taking care of the text can allows me to ask them about their thought process, and thus try to learn something new on that aspect (hopefully).
(And I guess, to some extend, you can also say the inverse its true! At least if the one who writes the text for the card is also eager to make its own artwork)

So yeah, I think teaming up can be a really fun way to approach the contest, and also - judging by the entries posted so far - a way to create really stunning results.
 

Jabberwock

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Amperglyph’s Vivillon

vivillon_amperglyph_OP.png

May 2014 — Stage 2

Judge: @CMP
Ooh…ahh…you sure know how to earn those Creativity points, Amperglyph! Such a drastic new blank gives you major points in that category. However, as has been pointed out, the same drastic changes that earned you Creativity points does hurt you as far as Believability is concerned. The blank, while beautiful, is certainly all over the place, but that’s neither here nor there. I’m digging the golden Ability symbol, though! Regarding “Negotiations,” there are some errors. To start, the Ability should read something like, “Once during your turn (before your attack), you may use this Ability. If you do, your turn ends. Choose 1 card type: Pokémon, Trainer, or Energy. Your opponent may search his or her deck for 1 card of the chosen type. If your opponent searches his or her deck, you may do the same. Both players shuffle their decks afterward.” -- (just afterward, not afterwards). Remember to use numbers instead of spelling them out as you have done in both the Ability and attack. Wonder Trade is a fantastic idea for a Vivillon card, and it pairs decently with the Ability. Wording, though, should be, “You may move a basic Energy attached to this Pokemon to 1 of your Benched Pokemon. If you do, this attack does 30 more damage.” Because the blank is so different from the current styles, it’s hard to really determine how many points to take off for fonts, but I feel justified in taking a point off for not justifying the effect text. This has been a staple since the ex-era. There are a few other design decisions that I question (small Pokédex font, including both imperial and metric measurements, the large spaces between lines in the effect text), but I can’t justify taking off any points for those. Overall, though, I’m thrilled with your entry. It’s always good to see a fresh take on the TCG, if a bit out there! I look forward to seeing more of your work in future competitions.

Creativity/Originality: 20/20
(Can anyone argue with this score?)
Wording: 12/15
(Some missteps with both Ability and attack effects, spelling out ‘1’)
Fonts and Placement: 9/10
(As discussed, a lack of text box justification)
Believability/Playability: 2.5/5
(Beautiful blank, but almost too drastically different)
Total: 43.5/50

Entry post: [https://www.pokebeach.com/forums/th...scorched-rev3rsor-zygarde.119008/post-2628485]
Results post: [https://www.pokebeach.com/forums/th...scorched-rev3rsor-zygarde.119008/post-2628841]


Custom blanks are another CaC staple, but sometimes they make a particularly big splash. Amperglyph showed up one day out of the blue with this stunning design that’s so far out there, it barely even registers at first glance as a Pokémon card.

asche, Cascade, and other custom blank makers have griped in the past about the difficulty of crafting believable designs — there’s a trick to getting a layout just right so that it looks like a fresh take without looking like you’re throwing all convention to the wind. For that reason, several of their more esoteric blanks have never been made public. But every so often, it’s possible to really lean into the latter mindset, and create something revolutionary.

Amperglyph’s work here probably isn’t practical as a widespread design. Borderless cards are tricky to begin with because they would show wear more easily if printed, among other reasons, and this one in particular just shakes up too many things about the layout. You don’t want to have to hunt down the HP, for example, on every new card you see. But as a work of art, I happen to think it’s pretty neat. As evidenced by his judging, CMP thought so too.

(As a side note, the effects are also really cool — for this card, Amperglyph riffs on Wonder Trade, a game mechanic so far removed from the TCG I never would have expected to see it on a card. But here we are!)

Let’s take some time here to talk about custom blanks. What do you look for in a custom blank? What turns you off from one? Have any favorites? If you’ve created custom blanks yourself, what was your thought process? Let us know below!
 

CardPone

Delta Species is best species
Member
I really do love to see a card that can manage to pull off rearranging the elements so drastically without looking like a train wreck, as so many custom blanks do. Amperglyph's blank here looks like it shouldn't look good for how it's changed things, but they must have known what they were doing, because the novelty and flow of the card brings it together super well. The lack of borders actually also looks quite nice as well.

That said, I do agree that moving certain elements that have always been in the same spot as long as the TCG has been a thing is a little bit jarring, particularly for the HP, which here I think would have looked perfectly fine up where it normally is. And it's a similar case for the WRRC and set symbol. The bottom of the card almost looks incomplete when an attack is the bottom-most element. And if I had to critique it more, I'd say that it feels like it doesn't make the most efficient use of space. Some parts look very bare compared to a normal card.

You could say that's the main thing I keep in mind when I'm designing a template: efficient usage of space. It's really important to me to be able to fit as much on a card as you need without anything feeling too cramped. Lots of template, including some official ones (but thankfully not this one by Amperglyph) sacrifice flavor text for other design elements that aren't really necessary. If I have to choose between a fancy border graphic and the Pokédex entry, I always prefer the Pokédex entry.

The ultimate in a card template, in my opinion, is to be able to be so efficient with its space that no such flavor text sacrifice needs to be made even when multiple gimmicks are used together in the same card, which even in the official TCG is dishearteningly rare. There are extremely few gimmicks that don't overwrite the Pokédex entry as a bare minimum. This was one of the challenges I sought to overcome when I created Omnium, and if I were to make any other templates, I would seek to solve the same problem.

Long story short, what I like most in a custom blank is efficient use of space, no sacrifices or compromises, and support for as many gimmicks as possible, while still remaining visually aesthetic.
 

GM DracLord

Shadow of Death
Member
You know, for all the people who enter these contests, it's honestly a shame that there's not more interest in this thread, especially since most people who enter aren't even on the Discord.

Trainers were uncommon because you have a lot less room creatively. Trainers by nature do one thing, and it's funner to put in a card that can do more than just one thing. Pokemon interact with each other a lot more than Trainers do. Trainers are also visually less appealing than Pokemon.

As for why Ghost is a Trainer and not a Pokemon, the effect just works better as a Trainer. Ghosts don't battle, so it wouldn't make much sense as an actual Pokemon.

I'm not sure that his entry even counts as a new mechanic. I don't think I would have counted it. When I think of a new mechanic, I think of actual mechanics, like Pokemon-*, Pokemon-GX, and the like. That's why I went with the sideboard for my entry - having access to a sideboard would turn the game on its head.

It's worth noting that mine and Spoon's entries were the only two images submitted for that month, an all-time low if memory serves. It makes winning feel a lot less cool, especially considering my entry was, visually, one of my worst submissions ever. Holy cringe.
For me it's the timing, really want to go through all of them again but unfortunately just like how my time in Beach become limited due to work, so as this place, can't believe it been this long already though
 
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