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

Jabberwock

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WastedSkyPirate’s Seedot

seedot_wasted_sky_pirate.png

April 2017 — Pokédex Colours

Judge: @Jabberwock
Thematically and flavorfully, this is brilliant. “Falling Acorn” and “Tree Climb” are both very simple yet vivid names, and I can absolutely imagine a mischievous Seedot scurrying up a tree only to fall on people below. It’s simple yet playable in its own right, without need of an evolution, without being too overpowered for an evolving Basic.

It saddens me I can’t give you full aesthetics points for an evolving common, but fitting art has a certain appeal in its own right.

Before you look at your scoring rubric, you should know it’s not easy to get this kind of score from me. You’ve really done something special here. :)

Wording errors:
- On point.

Fonts and Placement errors:
- Attack text should be Justified. [-1 point]
- Not certain about that Pokédex text, but my uncertainty isn’t enough to dock you points.

Creativity/Originality: 14.5/15
(Ingenious concept.)
Wording: 15/15
(Looks good.)
Fonts and Placement: 9/10
(Just one thing.)
Believability/Playability: 5/5
(At its finest.)
Aesthetics: 3.5/5
(For reasons above.)
Total: 47/50

Entry post: [https://www.pokebeach.com/forums/th...ex-colours-results-are-up.139291/post-2864921]
Results post: [https://www.pokebeach.com/forums/th...ex-colours-results-are-up.139291/post-2868722]


Like meme cards, evolving Basics are another category of Pokémon that tend to get substantially less airtime in CaC. The hardest thing to get right about them is balancing the ingenuitive demands of the Creativity score with the fact that, from a Believability perspective, evolving Basics aren’t allowed to be all that complex. It’s hard to do anything exciting with cards that by design have to be so simple.

In April 2017, though, inspired by a theme that called for Pokémon types re-imagined as their Pokédex color, WastedSkyPirate brought this simple yet elegant entry to the fold. He envisioned a Rock-type Seedot (represented as Fighting on the card) falling from trees (players’ hands) and dealing damage to Pokémon that happened to be passing below (in the Active Spot). Then, if Seedot somehow ended up in the Active Spot itself, it could run away and scurry back up the tree to prepare another falling threat.

The on-paper effects of this card aren’t really all that new. Falling Acorn is quite similar to Abilities on cards like Crobat G and Galarian Zigzagoon, and Tree Climb has been seen by other names in plenty of other places before. Where the bulk of this card’s Creativity points come from, then, is its impeccable attention to flavor and outstanding interpretation of the theme.

It was pretty novel back then for anyone to submit an evolving Basic as their entry. To do so with a streamlined design — a card that has an interesting niche and does it efficiently and effectively, and doesn’t waste space with unnecessary additional components — was a big deal. To do so with such great attention to flavor and the theme was simply amazing. I’ve become a little more jaded on the Creativity score since 2017 (average scores are higher, but that’s largely because the average caliber of entry has also spiked), but even placing this card in the context of its time, I think it was a truly remarkable entry.

On a separate note, I reckon Pokédex Colors was one of the more interesting rounds we’ve done in the past. It encouraged some really interesting creative choices across the board. I’d encourage anyone who wasn’t around back then to give it a look here.

What past themes have you felt the most creative in? What did you submit? What was your design process? Let us know below!
 

Jabberwock

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Hey @Jabberwock - hope you're well!

This is a really great thread and it's been a lot of fun to read through and see all the past winners. I'd agree that Pokedex Colours was one of the best themes CaC has had; really got the creative juices flowing!

PS. Your 4-piece Steelix was amazing!
WSP! Welcome back, man!

I know the Pokédex Colors round was more than four years ago at this point, but if there's anything you'd wanna share about your creative process for Seedot (or any other CaC entry), this would be a great place for it.

Glad you've been enjoying the thread — we got 11 more days in the month and some pretty cool entries to showcase before we're done. Stay tuned! :D
 

Jabberwock

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Blui’s Shining Golduck

shining_golduck_blui.png

June 2017 — Randommons

Judge: @Jabberwock
The blank is quite pretty; I like the subtle sparkle effects at the top and base. My only complaint might be the middle bar where it reads “You can’t have more than 1 Shining Pokémon in your deck”––I can’t remember if it was also on the ∂ Latios, but it just kinda sticks out here. Also not sure if you meant it to say “Shining Pokémon” or just “Shining Golduck”, as the latter is how it worked when Shining Pokémon existed in the Neo era.

Chance Encounter is a very cool effect. I particularly like how it ties into the lore of Shining Pokémon as Pokémon that find you moreso than you finding them. Skulking Strike likewise represents the fleeting existence of Shining Pokémon in a creative way. Together, they make a brilliantly tied card.

Wording errors:
- I don’t want to mess with the wording for Chance Encounter too much, because I think you worded it excellently given that it’s an effect we’ve never seen anything like before. There are a couple things I personally would change, but I don’t feel justified docking points for them. The only thing I do feel justified doing is docking a point for not including a comma after an “if” clause, which is something that, while not grammatically incorrect, is something TPCi always does. So, uh, yeah. [-1 point]
- Otherwise looks fine.

Fonts and Placement errors:
- Perfect as per usual.

Creativity/Originality: 14/15
(Chance Encounter is awesome.)
Wording: 14/15
(Tricky wording and I can’t come up with anything better, so props to you for Chance Encounter. One point off for a grammar thing.)
Fonts and Placement: 10/10
(Looks good.)
Believability/Playability: 5/5
(Seems legit. Not overpowered.)
Aesthetics: 4/5
(Beautiful blank. I personally don’t love the middle bar.)
Total: 47/50

Entry post: [https://www.pokebeach.com/forums/th...randommons-all-results-up.140482/post-2880373]
Results post: [https://www.pokebeach.com/forums/th...randommons-all-results-up.140482/post-2882751]




Blui’s Shining Ho-Oh

shining-ho-oh_blui.png

July 2017 — Johto Pokédex

Judge: @WastedSkyPirate
Holy smokes!

Blui is back with another Shining Pokémon and I couldn’t be happier. This immediately stands out for its mind-blowing beauty! The artwork is superb, the blank and holosheet both look super sparkly and you’ve done a great job making the holosheet poke through the Pokémon’s name and on certain parts of the artwork. What’s more, the amount of text on this card, the Poké-Power and the multi-Energy cost lets me know straight away that this card is interesting as heck. Also, on a side note, great job of modifying the ‘Shining Pokémon rule bar’ below the picture frame – it looks completely natural here is much improved from last month’s Shining Golduck.

Shining Rebirth and Golden Wing have great synergy, are a fantastic to nod to Ho-Oh’s mythical connection to the Legendary Dogs and make use of the woefully underused Lost Zone concept. Your creativity shines through in the naming, effect and balancing of the Poké-Power and attack and I love the cycle of giving life to new Pokémon (i.e. the Benched Pokémon you are powering up with Golden Wing), fading to the Lost Zone and then being reborn. It’s fitting for any Legendary Pokémon, especially this phoenix.

Put simply, this card is gorgeous and I wish I had one in my binder. Very well done.


______________

Wording errors:

· Golden Wing should read “If you do, shuffle your deck afterward and put Ho-Oh and all cards attached to it in the Lost Zone.” [-2 Points]

Fonts and Placement errors:

None.
_______________

Creativity/Originality: 15/15
(I didn’t want to give out a top score for creativity, as it should be so hard to come up with an original and well-crafted concept that a perfect score is nigh unobtainable, but here you really have cracked it. The combination of Poké-Power and attack work together on so many levels that you’ve clearly thought long and hard to come up with this gem. Amazing.)
Wording: 13/15
(One minor mistake in sentence structure for the attack. Other than that, excellent.)
Fonts and Placement: 10/10
(None.)
Believability/Playability: 5/5
(Never mind whether this could be released – it should be released!)
Aesthetics: 5/5
(Excellent blank, artwork, holosheet implementation and general feng-shui.)
Total: 48/50

Entry post: [https://www.pokebeach.com/forums/th...to-pokédex-results-are-up.140937/post-2886240]
Results post: [https://www.pokebeach.com/forums/th...to-pokédex-results-are-up.140937/post-2890751]




A return to Randommons, and a return to July 2017! Blui knocked things out of the park with this one-two punch of Shining Pokémon, securing a well-deserved back-to-back pair of wins with the help of sky-high Creativity points and well-thought-out, believable designs.

He introduced a subtle yet wholly new gimmick for Shining Pokémon with these cards — they had very unusual ways of coming into play! Take a look at their Abilities. The Ho-Oh strains credulity a bit since we don’t ever see real cards coming back from the Lost Zone, but the creativity of the design space he’s exploring with both Abilities is unequivocal.

When he was faking in earnest around 2017, Blui’s pet era was HGSS. (The highest-quality HGSS blanks we have in the community now are courtesy of him.) As he hinted in the July round, opportunities to use these blanks inspired him to go the extra mile in terms of both effects and aesthetics, and these cards are great examples.

Do you have any favorite eras to fake in, or favorite blanks to work with? Why are they your favorite? What’s your favorite piece you’ve made with them?
 

Mick-773

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The addition of sparkles really makes those blanks stand out! And even more appropriate for Shiny Pokémon ✨

Concerning the themes presented in the previous post, I do agree on Pokédex colors being one of the most creative prompts proposed so far. I read that thread while I was searching for ideas/references for my Pumpkaboo entry some months ago, and I really liked all the ideas and entries that were submitted, especially regarding the reasoning/flavor to justify the type shift required by the contest.

Some of the cards previously featured had a wide variety of custom/altered blanks; as I'm trying to perfect my own blanks, seeing all this different way to approach the card layout and create something different from the usual was really helpful.
 

PMJ

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SM era looks clean and I've always liked that but now that I've basically drowned myself in DP era I've fallen in love with it too. I didn't do much gen 3 faking but I never liked how rigid the placements for the attacks are; it really limits what you can do with the blanks.
 

Jabberwock

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SM era looks clean and I've always liked that but now that I've basically drowned myself in DP era I've fallen in love with it too. I didn't do much gen 3 faking but I never liked how rigid the placements for the attacks are; it really limits what you can do with the blanks.
Fwiw Gen 3 isn't actually as constrained as it seems — for cards with a lot of text, you're allowed to ignore the usual attack cost placement bubbles (see Nidoqueen RG).

If you're looking to branch into it in the near future, Meta's got some awesome ex-era blanks on dA, at the same resolution as her DPPt ones. I've been meaning to get into ex-era faking myself for a while now, and I reckon they're worth a look.
 

Jabberwock

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Kavross’s Forest of Snowmen

DwGxHGY.jpg

December 2017 — Winter (Trainers)

Judge: @Jabberwock
First things first––that’s brilliant art. Major Aesthetics points just for that. Sadly it seems with the SM-era they’re moving into 3D-designed art for Stadiums. Wish they’d do more like this. :/

I actually really love the design, too. One of the things I love about older formats (particularly 2008-11) is that Evolutions were so insanely consistent that you could actually get away with running multiple 1-0-1 lines in the same deck as techs. This is an interesting new spin on making that possible, but I worry it would be format-defining. It also means that the power level of Stage 2’s would have to take a sizable hit for a few sets. Going to dock a couple cautious points for potential game-breaking combos at some point down the line.

Wording errors:
- “EX” and “GX” should be italicized. [-1.5 points]

Fonts and Placement errors:
- On-point.

Creativity/Originality: 14/15
(An excellent way to make tech Evolutions more viable in the current format.)
Wording: 13.5/15
(Minor italics error.)
Fonts and Placement: 10/10
(On-point.)
Believability/Playability: 3/5
(Potentially game-breaking.)
Aesthetics: 4.5/5
(Beautiful art.)
Total: 45/50

Entry post: [https://www.pokebeach.com/forums/th...-stadiums-full-judging-up.145337/post-2915245]
Results post: [https://www.pokebeach.com/forums/th...-stadiums-full-judging-up.145337/post-2920216]


December 2017 was the first and so far only round of CaC where Trainer cards were part of the theme. As we’ve seen with cards like Heavenly Spoon’s Ghost, Trainers had been technically legal in plenty of months prior to this, but rarely ever submitted. For December 2017, we made it mandatory.

We had been talking about doing a Trainer round for a while leading up to this month, especially in response to some theme requests from the community, but we were hesitant to run a theme that was just “Trainers” with no further brief. (It’s not very different from saying “Pokémon”.) So we cast around for a basic theme — nothing too fancy, since we had never done a Trainer round before — and settled on Winter.

The Trainer requirement forced people into totally different design processes. Not only aesthetics-wise — few fakers actively make Trainer cards on the regular unless they’re constructing sets — but also in terms of effects. For most Trainer cards, you only get one effect, so you really have to make it count! It’s no coincidence that four of our five image-based entrants that month submitted Stadium cards, since prolonging the amount of time your card affects the game is a great way to make things a little more analogous to the Pokémon rounds we know and love. Even the one non-Stadium image entry was sort of a pseudo-Pokémon in itself. Text-based was a little more diverse, but we saw lots of Stadiums (and Pokémon Tools, which also stick around) there, too.

Fortunately, though people’s usual design processes were disrupted this month, they let the Winter brief guide them to some pretty solid results! Kavross’s entry took the gold with its highly unusual effect, which I (as the judge) envisioned making tech Evolution Pokémon much easier to use, and that’s why Forest of Snowmen is the card we’re featuring today. The other entries aren’t to be missed, though — together with Kavross’s entry, these highlight a historic round in CaC’s past. You can see all four of them below in order of standing.

December_CaC_2017.png
FfH0lii.jpg
0_-_snowman.pngg
blizzard_pb_cac_by_dashking2007-dby13xm.png

As PMJ noted the last time we talked about Trainers in this thread, they tend to be harder to make work creatively, since they only get one effect (versus most Pokémon’s two, three, or even four). In Trainer-focused rounds, everybody’s on a level playing field, but there can still be problems just because the design space is so completely different (and in many ways, far more limited).

Do you like making custom Trainer cards? Any more or less than Pokémon? How about Special Energy cards? Would you be interested in seeing another CaC round with a theme just for Trainer cards, or some other non-Pokémon subtype of card?

Tell us below! :)
 

CardPone

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I think this was a really cool round for CaC and personally wouldn't mind seeing it again, although I will say that, for me at least, getting artwork for Trainer cards of any variety is significantly more difficult than getting artwork for Pokémon, so I'm not sure I would be able to participate in one. What I think really would be awesome, though, is a Special Energy CaC to round out the trio of card types! I think I would be able to make one of those for a CaC. It would be super interesting to see what people come up with for those, since in generally I really don't see that many custom Special Energies compared to Pokémon or even Trainer cards.
 

bbninjas

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I think this was a really cool round for CaC and personally wouldn't mind seeing it again, although I will say that, for me at least, getting artwork for Trainer cards of any variety is significantly more difficult than getting artwork for Pokémon, so I'm not sure I would be able to participate in one. What I think really would be awesome, though, is a Special Energy CaC to round out the trio of card types! I think I would be able to make one of those for a CaC. It would be super interesting to see what people come up with for those, since in generally I really don't see that many custom Special Energies compared to Pokémon or even Trainer cards.
I was inclined to agree - but since seeing Jabber perfect the technique of finding stock images and doing some fancy photo manip, it turns out to be much easier than it first seemed! Definitely a fan of a good Trainer.
 

Jabberwock

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Oh, hell yes. No more taking up half a card to make a Pokémon turn into a Special Energy!
Someday I'd be interested in getting data metrics for average word count per card for each contestant. I'd be willing to bet yours is one of the highest. :p
 

Jabberwock

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bbninjas’s Suicune & Virizion LEGEND

dd67h90-8499e140-54b5-44fd-9105-a13d42a359dc.png

Faking Tournament Round 3 (2019) — Alternate Eras

Judge: @Jabberwock
Creativity/Originality: 15/15
The card practically oozes creativity, which is a good sign for this. It has great unexplored design space with Muster Clash’s tradeoff of all your Trainers for an extra Supporter for a turn, and the synergy with Aurora Swirl makes you think immediately about all the potential combos you could pull off. It’s the sort of card that has a ton of possible uses, and so tests a player’s ability to use it correctly. I feel quite justified in awarding this the full 15.

Wording: 13/15
- When you search the discard pile, you still show whatever you grab to your opponent before putting it into your hand. [-2 points]
- Admittedly I don’t love the wording of Muster Clash, but I don’t know how else I’d word it, so [-0 points] here.

Fonts/Placement: 10/10
- Looks good.

Believability/Playability: 5/5
Y’know it feels slightly weird to me that Aurora Swirl doesn’t do any damage, but I’m not sure why, as it’s clearly a support Pokémon and it’s not like it really needs to do any damage there. More than, like, 30 damage would be ridiculous anyway given how good the effect is. So I can hardly dock for that. Otherwise, the card is easily believable even in spite of its very different effects. Muster Clash’s tradeoff of Trainers for an extra Supporter, which I’ve already mentioned as being good design space, is also good balancing. Aurora Swirl has the potential to swing a game, but the set-up for a LEGEND is relatively difficult and even then you’re vulnerable to a Knock Out or a Judge (or some other hand disruption). Nicely done!

Aesthetics: 5/5
Honestly, I’m not really sure what I can say here, because you and everyone else can already see for yourselves how the aesthetics are. The card is just stunning. A perfect use of the art. I’m sad I can’t give you more than 5 points for it.

Final Notes:
Brilliant use of new design space, building fascinating room for potential combos, and all balanced quite expertly.

Total: 48/50

Entry post: [https://www.pokebeach.com/forums/th...ment-final-results-are-up.149379/post-2988986]
Results post: [https://www.pokebeach.com/forums/th...ment-final-results-are-up.149379/post-2991164]


It’s about time we feature bbninjas in this thread — he’s been a part of the contest since the September 2014 round, and an on-and-off member of the judging staff since June 2015. As a forum supermod, he was instrumental in bringing CaC back in 2017 after its 1.5-year hiatus, and keeping it running as host and administrator for nearly two years afterward.

He was also notorious as an entrant for a long-running streak of second-place finishes. When he finally broke it with this stunning entry, earning the gold for the first time, there was some real cause for celebration! (48/50 was also, up to then, the highest score I’d ever awarded. This entry was a doozy.)

The Faking Tournament was both a long-lived and a short-lived experiment for us. It was long-lived in that it ran nearly three and a half months from OP to conclusion — if memory serves, we’d been expecting to get it done in just one. It was also short-lived, though, in that we haven’t done another one since.

It was a three-round bracket, where people submitted cards that advanced them to the next round — or not — based on how everyone else scored on the rubric. You can read more about it in the original threads here (for image) and here (for text).

As you can probably imagine, the three mini-CaCs that were the Faking Tournament took a lot of time (and effort) to run. There were 15 entries submitted in total for the image-based one and 24 for text-based, which led to some real time crunches for the judges. That’s the main reason we haven’t done it again — it’s just too much maintenance.

We enjoy running other non–traditional CaC events, though! Every December, we run a week-long Fakers’ Marathon [1][2][3], and we also do semi-frequent Flash CaCs over on the Faking Community Discord server.

What do you think of the Faking Tournament? What other faking events (other than CaC) have you particularly liked in the past? What did you like about them? We’re always on the lookout for more events to run — let us know below!
 

Jabberwock

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that ivy guy’s Arceus

7Y8fMuS.png

July 2018 — Unused Types

Judge: @bbninjas
Aaah the nostalgia! I like how you’ve reversed the direction of the holosheet rings to match the new / mystery type.

Enigmatic Creation is quite a different spin on standard energy acceleration, so that’s nice. I’m glad you put a “If you haven’t played an Energy card” clause since that would be necessary for balance, and I like how the effect encourages some forward-thinking play. Incomprehensible Blast has nice synergy, but is fairly standard for a marker-based attack.

Wording errors:
- “have not played” should be “didn’t play”. (Ref: Igglybuff GE) -1pts
- you “put” markers on Pokemon, instead of “place”. -1pts)

Fonts and Placement errors:
- The PokeDex information should be a few more pixels higher. (-1pts)
- The attack effect text should begin a few more pixels to the left. (-0.5pts)

Creativity/Originality: 10/15
(Exploring some nice design space.)
Wording: 13/15
(A couple of minor slips.)
Fonts and Placement: 8.5/10
(Some very slight errors.)
Believability/Playability: 5/5
(Everything looks fine!)
Aesthetics: 4/5
(Creative use of holosheeting.)
Total: 40.5/50

Entry post: [https://www.pokebeach.com/forums/th...fficial-judging-is-now-up.147625/post-2952238]
Results post: [https://www.pokebeach.com/forums/th...fficial-judging-is-now-up.147625/post-2964302]


When we designed the theme for July 2018, we intended for people to choose one of the seven in-game types that didn’t have a TCG counterpart, choose a Pokémon with that type, and make a card with that Pokémon and that in-game type, as opposed to whatever type PCL would conventionally give it. We expected Pokémon like Arceus — it’s a recurring choice whenever there’s a theme having to do with types.

We didn’t expect a ???-type Arceus.

We’re featuring this entry today because it showcases some truly impressive theme-based creativity, and because it’s one of the best cases we can remember where a member did something we didn’t expect. This happens relatively often, and sometimes we have to reject entries when they don’t fit the spirit of the theme (or intended entries; people these days are generally good about clarifying their intentions before they post if they’re worried about this), but sometimes we’re pleasantly surprised. that ivy guy’s entry in July 2018 was a perfect example.

In many ways it’s aged better in hindsight, since the effects were interesting but not over-the-top in terms of new design space. The original judging for this card didn’t call it out as anything too exceptional. But looking back on CaC’s history like we’re doing this month, we find a number of entries that we feel were underappreciated in their time — even by us — and we reckon this is a pretty good time to give them the limelight. We’ve seen very few ???-type cards in our collective years of faking, and we feel this one deserves a place in the history books for what it did, when it did.

What do you think of the entries of July 2018? It was a prime month for custom types, which have a contentious past in some circles. What are your thoughts on them, and the current TCG type chart? Are more types a generally good thing, or a generally bad thing? Does it depend on the circumstances?

Tell us below!
 

PMJ

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It's no secret I'm very much against the idea of new types in the TCG. The more types that are added, the less relevant the mechanic of Weakness and Resistance becomes. It's much easier to tech in something to help your deck when you need to account for only a handful of colors rather than almost twenty.

I think Fairy was a good addition to the TCG, but it was implemented poorly by making it exclusively Dragon-type's weakness. Not only was this a wasted opportunity to make more cards weak to Fairy (it's also strong against Fighting and Dark), but it completely removed the Dragon-type's niche of being weak to itself. No Dragon-type card has been weak to Dragon since Fairy was introduced and there's really no rhyme or reason behind it.

The end result of this mismanagement was Fairy becoming an outlier in the TCG Weakness chart and thus was culled starting with SWSH. Dragons were rightly also eliminated, but regretfully they were just brought back without a Weakness or Resistance. Considering that the whole design philosophy of SWSH was to better streamline Weakness and Resistance among the available types, it's disappointing to see them just say F it in terms of dealing with Fairy and Dragon.

Any new type they would add to the TCG would run into this same problem. The more you add, the harder it becomes to integrate them in a manner that still keeps the Weakness and Resistance mechanic relevant.

As an aside, Resistance as a mechanic is woefully, painfully underutilized. The worst Resistance is no Resistance. That's why I've personally started giving Resistances to everything.
 

Jabberwock

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CardPone’s Anorith and Armaldo

CaC_03_-_Anorith.png
CaC_04_-_Armaldo_1.png


September 2019 — Bug Pokémon
November 2019 — Ancient Pokémon

Judge: @bbninjas
This card is BRILLIANT! Although probably not intentional, the brown-green-blue colour palette just works. Both effects feel inspired, and kudos for picking an unevolved Pokemon, I like.

Thrive in Entropy is brilliant. I can’t think of any card, official or original, that explores retreating design space in this way. You get the classic Toxic Spikes / Stealth Rock ideas, but this is very removed from that. And wait, it get’s better! There’s this synergy that I just did not expect! Maybe I’m getting rusty. I like both the uniqueness of Claw Anomaly, and how its an effect that only works in the early-game, yet you didn’t need to tack on a “You can only use this effect during your first turn” clause to achieve that. I like how the Ability helps prolong the attack effect somewhat as well. To top it all off, the flavour is perfect! Everything else looks good.

I have to admit: when I first saw this card, I glossed over it and immediately categorised it as basic and vanilla in my head. How wrong was I! I’m kicking myself now that I’ve looked at it properly…

Wording errors:
- “discards any basic [G] Energy” not “discards a basic [G] Energy”, since you are talking about multiple Energies. Alternatively, forego the “a” entirely. [Ref: Dashing Pouch] (-1pt)
- You attach “Energy”, not “Energy cards”. [Ref: Dashing Pouch] (-1pt)
- Claw Anomaly should read “If this Pokemon has more [G] Energy attached to it than…” [Ref: Mudkip SV + Stunfisk UNM] (-2pts)

Fonts and Placement errors:
- Dream Claw Fossil art is fun, but is technically incorrect. (-1pt)
- I really like these blanks, but do have a few nitpicks:
--- The attack effect section takes up a bit too much space width-ways in my opinion. There’s not really a margin, between the left and right sides of the effects, which makes the section feel cramped. (-1pt)
-- Similarly, the Pokedex description needs some space between it and the sides of its container, because currently it has hard to read because it spans the entire box. (-0.5pt)

Creativity/Originality: 15/15
(FINE, have a 15. This card is fun, full of flavour, simple yet entirely original, humbly ambitious and subtly complex, without seeming as such at first glance. I’ve been agonising over what point value to give this, but can’t find anything that I can fault. I want to steal this design for my own!!)
Wording: 11/15
(A few minor slips.)
Fonts and Placement: 7.5/10
(Recommend adding some space between borders and text.)
Believability/Playability: 5/5
(Perfecto.)
Aesthetics: 4/5
(Art could be more dynamic (sorry steff! Dx), but attention to colour theme makes up for it.)
Total: 42.5/50
Oh WOW. I must have missed this card when it was first posted, since this is the first time I’ve seen it!

Apex Armor is a really interesting and original effect idea, and I like how it’s become the focus of the card design. Reclaim has obvious synergy with Apex Armor, while Compound Jab is more subtle. In fact, it has synergy both by providing additional bulk on top of a HP boost, as well as giving the player a place to put excess Energy so that they secure said HP boost. Very cool. Reclaim does seem particularly weak however, considering Energy Retrieval exists, and Compound Jab should probably cost 3 for 100 + 40 reduced damage in SM-era.

The art direction is fantastic. Using greens and browns in the art to match the dual-type blank is brilliant.

Wording errors:
- Looks great!

Fonts and Placement errors:
- I know I docked points for the attack effect spanning across too much of the blank for Anorith last competition, but it actually looks alright on this card. I reckon that’s because there is a more text vertically and less space between the individual effects. While there is less white space, it is distributed more snugly.

Creativity/Originality: 13/15
(Original Ability supported by synergetic design choices.)
Wording: 15/15
(Perfect.)
Fonts and Placement: 10/10
(Looks good.)
Believability/Playability: 4/5
(Attacks are a bit underpowered.)
Aesthetics: 5/5
(Inspired.)
Total: 47/50

Entry posts:
[https://www.pokebeach.com/forums/th...ug-pokémon-all-results-up.150410/post-3000229]
[https://www.pokebeach.com/forums/th...nt-pokémon-all-results-up.150725/post-3002677]
Results posts:
[https://www.pokebeach.com/forums/th...fficial-judging-is-now-up.147625/post-2964302]
[https://www.pokebeach.com/forums/th...nt-pokémon-all-results-up.150725/post-3003723]


25 days into the month, we come at last to CardPone. You know him as the faker whose custom blanks are ubiquitous in the modern era, and have made arguably the biggest custom-blank splash in faking history. I’m talking, of course, about Omnium: in Pone’s words, the only “template capable of handling the complete list of card types ever released in the TCG”.

The magnitude of Omnium’s impact on the faking community is unequivocal. Since Pone published the blanks in July 2019, there have been 20 CaC entries submitted on Omnium or Omnium-based blanks — about 17.7% of all image-based entries submitted in that period. Many of those entries used the blanks for completely separate things, from LEGENDs to GXs to Owner’s Pokémon. Fakers such as @Charmaster:) and @Mick-773 have even used Omnium as a branching-off point for their own creations [Charmaster][Mick-773] — an even further testament to the blanks’ customizability.

These particular entries of Pone’s are the second and third Omnium-based CaC entries to have seen the light of day. (The first one, a Silvally LEGEND in July 2019, is also notable and worth checking out!) We chose to feature these two at bbninjas’s suggestion, since, as a connected two entries in back-to-back competitions, they cemented a very effective basis for the blanks in the contest’s future. They also display Pone’s penchant for requesting (and in some cases even monetarily commissioning) art specifically for his cards — if the perfect art doesn’t already exist, he’ll make sure it does before he’s finished. @steffenka and @Kavross, both of whom have worked with Pone multiple times since then, make their Omnium debuts here.

We’ll be featuring Omnium-based entries a few more times before the month is over, but we’d like to take this opportunity to talk specifically about the blanks, their couple years of public history, and the impact they’ve made in that time.

How have you seen Omnium used in the past couple years? Have you ever used it yourself? What do you like about it versus other blanks? Anything you think could be improved?

I know Pone’s been following along with the thread this month, so I hope he’ll chime in too. :p

Tell us below!
 

PMJ

happy thoughts
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Advanced Member
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As I've mentioned before, I like Omnium as a blank, but I don't like how it adheres to classic-style Energy and attack formatting.

Of course, I can't just shit on all of Pone's work without giving it an honest go of it, so as a result I have used Omnium exactly once. I think that it's the kind of blank that gets easier to use the more you use it; I have no doubt that if I took the time to learn classic style, I could crank out fakes on this blank like crazy.

But I hate classic style. Points to Pone for deciding to fully justify the text to prevent it from looking like complete trash, but I still prefer the current style of displaying Energy and attacks so I won't be using Omnium again any time soon. And since I'm not a blank wizard like some of the other folks in our Discord, standard SM blanks work just fine for my purposes. Still, others have used it and loved it and it's not hard to see why. It's a good, clean blank. It's just not for me.
 

Jabberwock

#Jovimohnaeliackvid
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CardPone’s Shuckle δ


SPOILER_CaC_08_-_Shuckle.png


January 2021 — New Year, New Type

Judge: @Jabberwock
Alrighty, here I am 9,845 words later — and I’m equal parts impressed and exasperated. I know you know this, but I wanna get it out of the way anyway: writing me a novel isn’t a secret hack to get 50 points. Your analysis of past CaCs and what cards have done to get high scores in bygone months is actually super cool, extremely thorough, and probably largely accurate, and I’m highkey impressed by that. But it’s mainly cool information about CaC *as a whole*, and other than that, I think the notes specific to your actual card are much longer than they needed to be.

That aside, I like the card. I’m fascinated by cards that push the boundaries of PCL convention without doing anything mechanically illegal, and this Shuckle’s 10-HP-but-it-scales-with-damage gimmick is a great example of that. The attack is a natural complement to the HP gimmick, and I think taken as a whole, the effects are inspired. Genuinely, from a raw creative design standpoint, I can’t imagine improving upon it — which, I know, is probably setting off some bells in your head. :p

Balance-wise, it’s a little trickier. You’ve written out literally thousands of words on the subject, but I’ll summarize here: the card is designed to scale well for any given format’s power levels, it does particularly well in formats with high-HP damage sponges and/or efficient ways to damage your own Pokémon, and it’s gutted by Ability lock. That’s all well and good; I think you achieved that admirably, and there aren’t any big issues if you’re just teching Shuckle into any old deck. But as with anything that scales ad infinitum, you gotta be careful in your designs to make sure it’s not too easily breakable with a deck geared toward breaking it.

The main issue I see is the fact that a Benched Shuckle counts its own damage counters toward its HP, so as long as you’re not one-shotting it, it can scale forever. If you scale that HP arbitrarily high, you can rack up theoretically infinite damage on a single Benched Pokémon. Then you drop your second Shuckle, which now has infinitely high base HP, and does infinite damage for 3 Energy. This is something that can be pulled off in any format with a damage sponge. Yeah it still gets gutted by Ability lock, but “play Ability lock or get stomped by an infinitely large Shuckle” probably isn’t the metagame you’re going for anyway.

I also find the Retreat Cost of 4 tangentially weird. I generally think that if you’re gonna be messing with a PCL convention, there needs to be a good reason for it. Like giving Shuckle 10 HP here — there’s plenty of good reason for that. It’s interesting, it’s necessary for the card’s gimmick, and it’s kinda thematic with the Holon lore you’ve written up for it. But why 4 retreat? Just because it’s slow in the games? The TCG’s a totally different beast, and it’s almost always optimal to just stick with its convention around those stats — unless, of course, you’ve got a compelling reason otherwise.

It’s clear you’ve put a ton of thought into literally every aspect of this card, though, which I appreciate — and that would have been obvious even without the notes. Some choices I like, in no particular order: the Holon-themed flavor text; the name “Odd Resilience” in connection to the flavor text; the extension of the holosheet along the entire border rather than stopping it at Shuckle; and the decision to keep the “+” in the attack cost even though it’s not a Tag Team GX attack. I think those were all very good calls.

And lastly, I look forward to seeing what you do in the coming months! I reckon CaC (and card faking in general) is generally an art, not a science, but nonetheless I’m regularly astonished by the level of data analysis you keep pulling out for it. With or without the novel’s worth of notes, you’ve done something pretty special with your Shuckle this month, and I hope to see more in the future. :)

Wording errors:
- Good references, and good analysis of their limitations.

Fonts and Placement errors:
- Seems right.

Creativity/Originality: 15/15
(Pushes the boundaries of convention without doing anything mechanically illegal. The attack and Ability have great interplay, and the Holon-ness makes sense as a justification of the boundary-pushing. Overall a very well-composed card.)
Believability/Playability: 7/15
(Being able to rack arbitrarily high damage onto a single Shuckle, and then drop a second Shuckle to gain arbitrarily high HP and damage output, is a severe balancing concern. Fortunately for the future of this card, it’s a pretty easy fix — just make the Ability exclude Shuckle, or even just exclude itself. An additional docked point here comes from the convention-defying Retreat Cost.)
Wording: 10/10
(On point.)
Fonts and Placement: 5/5
(Never not on point.)
Aesthetics: 5/5
(The faded Autobot art works surprisingly well with the random flashes of color from the cracked ice sheet. I’d be intrigued to see the sheen holo though — don’t give up on that one! :p )
Total: 42/50

Entry posts: [https://www.pokebeach.com/forums/th...-year-new-type-results-up.151981/post-3019090]
Results post: [https://www.pokebeach.com/forums/th...-year-new-type-results-up.151981/post-3019485]


Two Pone entries in two days, and this one’s really something else! Submitted with nearly 10,000 words’ worth of artist’s notes, this Shuckle δ represents Pone’s month-long crusade to try and earn a perfect score. It got pretty far, too — he checked, double-checked, and triple-checked the wording; the fonts and placements are always on point for his Omnium entries; and how could he ever miss out on aesthetics with something like this? Pile on a 15/15 in Creativity/Originality, and you’ve got a real winner on your hands. Unfortunately, in the end it fell victim to some severe balancing concerns, and missed out on the 50/50 by 8 B&P points, but it’s unquestionably historic in terms of the sheer scope of the entry.

January 2021 and this Shuckle in particular are infamous in my book, because it’s the only time I can remember spending more time reading the entry notes than writing the judging! I stress repeatedly that entry notes aren’t necessary and writing 10,000 words’ worth of them isn’t a viable hack to get a perfect score, but there’s no doubt that they can be beneficial. Most importantly, they often help contextualize your entry, and give the judges an idea of where your headspace was at throughout the process of designing your card. This might validate certain design choices you made that were otherwise questionable conventionally or thematically, or clarify your intentions around things like wording.

Pone didn’t need to write a novel’s worth of words for those notes, but the core concept — that this is a card designed to be balanced for any format you put it in — is worth mentioning. I didn’t see it coming, and without the notes to clarify it, I wouldn’t have assumed that that was the intention. It wasn’t what earned him the 15/15 in C&O in the end, but it was some interesting design space and it was fun for me to think about as a judge. It’s just such a novel idea (lol).

Do you submit notes with your CaC entries? Why or why not? If you do, what do you include in them? Is ever there anything you think needs to be included?

Tell us below!
 

Vom

probably forgetting something
Forum Mod
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Most importantly, they often help contextualize your entry, and give the judges an idea of where your headspace was at throughout the process of designing your card. This might validate certain design choices you made that were otherwise questionable conventionally or thematically, or clarify your intentions around things like wording.
Yeah, you pretty much nailed exactly why I include notes as much as possible. Sometimes my entries can be...complex, and invariably I drive myself into a situation that current or past TCG wording has no clear answer for. I do try to make the wording as simple and clear as I can, but it's not always possible and even when I feel satisfied with the final wording I include notes just in case...wouldn't want the card to be accidentally broken because of a missed word.

Besides that, I like that notes provide some of the reasoning behind certain choices and numbers, especially since I often base my entries on one flavourful concept and build from there. There is also the process of making the card and balancing it, and things that might have started out as an Ability end up as part of an attack, or vice versa. I love to see how things end up the way they are, and so I include that as well.
 
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