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

CardPone

Delta Species is best species
Member
...Well dang. Not one, but three of my entries featured in two days. I'm gonna blush. 😊 And my entry featured on the day of the 10th anniversary since the first CaC contest was posted? I am deeply honored.

Every time I see my cards posted on PokéBeach, I'm reminded of exactly how large they are. I rarely go to full size on my own screens, but PB really goes to town with big displays. Fortunately the community discovered waifu2x, so the extra size isn't nearly as much as an issue as it was in the early days of Omnium.

But wow those are some very humbling words you have for the blank. Truth be told I never expected it to go nearly as far as it has. When I first started working on it - way back in 2014 - it was just me and my brothers-in-law just wanting to mess around with some ideas we had that we wanted to try out in the TCG. I believe we considered at one point possibly using the official blanks, but we wanted to combine a lot of mechanics that those blanks weren't built for into one set, and thus the idea for Omnium was born. I promptly began working on creating those blanks.

Not terribly long into it, though, they all lost interest in the idea, which was kind of unfortunate and did take a hit to my motivation a little, but I had already started the project, and now I wanted to see it finished, so I kept working on it for quite a while I got it really far in that time, and had implemented many of the mechanics, as you can see here with one of the last iterations of Omnium 1.0:
52_-_CardPones_Light_M-Slowbro-EX_LV.X_Alt.png
You can see it had a very different look back then. I had intended to have a 52-card showcase set that had a card for every mechanic present in the card game at the time, called "Intrinsic Collection", which persisted for a very long time, even into the Omnium 2.0 era, but it never saw itself to completion. At some point in 2017, I lost interest in the Omnium project and put it away for a while.

But fast forward to April 2019, when I decided it was time to actually get serious about meeting people in the community. I joined the Discord server and started sharing some of the resources I made for the template. The responses I got from that gave me motivation to continue the project, and for the next few months I worked on nothing else. (I was technically homeless and jobless at the time, so I literally had all the time in the world.) I decided to completely ditch the old aesthetic, which I felt looked a little aged and I think never really met my standards, and took to a cleaner look inspired heavily by the layout of Sun & Moon era cards. I believe the blanks are so much better for it. I added all the new mechanics that had appeared in the card game since then and really poured my heart into creating a template capable of truly supporting every mechanic that has ever appeared in the card game "at the same time", as I liked to say.

Then came July 2019, I finally decided to take a look at this CaC thing everyone was talking about and, having just gotten Omnium 2.0 to a state where it was presentable, I decided to go ahead and give it a test run. I entered with something so bold and excessive that I look back on it and wonder what on earth I was thinking, but man did it pay off in the end. As I said before, I still consider that entry to be one of the best cards I ever made (the other best card being that there Shuckle I created for the January 2021 CaC, but I'll get to that in a bit). Getting first place in my very first Create-a-Card contest was also quite a boost to my self-esteem at the time, and I'm kinda still riding on the high of what I created for that contest almost 3 years later.

I always had a particular appreciation for making cards with unique effects. The appearance of the card and the arrangement of the graphics and the beauty of the artwork are very important, certainly, but the opportunity create new, unique interactions within the game has always been my favorite part, and you can probably see that shine through with any of my CaC entries. I think I mentioned it in the notes for September 2019, but the idea for the ability on Anorith wasn't 100% mine. I just really liked the concept when it was brought up in the Discord server, so I grabbed the idea and rolled with it. But it wasn't enough to just have an ability with a new effect. I wanted an attack that was not only unique itself, but also synergized with that ability. Lo and behold, I managed to earn a perfect creativity score on my second CaC ever - a feat I am also still quite proud of.

A unique opportunity came about in the next contest when Ancient Pokémon were announced: an evolution for an entry I had just submitted. So I ran with that as well. Another ability and two more attacks that also played on what had been created with Anorith. I enjoy that there are niche moments where you would actually benefit from not fully evolving all your Anorith into Armaldo. In fact, it could be an interesting strategy to retreat your Armaldo once it reaches low HP, move those energy to two or more Anorith you already had Benched, and continue to go on from there, having not sacrificed any Energy to the discard pile. I would really be interested to see what kind of playstyle would emerge from building a deck around these cards.

This Shuckle, though... this is on a level I don't know if I can ever replicate again. I was determined to make a splash with this one, trying multiple things that had never been tried before. I took so many risks with this card - giving a Pokémon 10 HP, attempting to make something balanced for every era, experimenting with a holo pattern I had never used before... oh and also giving myself a crash course on 24 years of Pokémon TCG history plus 2 years of Lackey history plus 9 years of CaC history all in the space of two weeks. This was by far the most ambitious and stressful card I ever worked on. I actually took time off of work to focus on this one because I was so intent on submitting something I could be proud of. The notes I never intended to be so long, and I know perhaps even better than Jabber that this is not necessary by a long shot. 😂 But I suppose that's another record smashed by yours truly: the longest notes ever submitted alongside a CaC entry, at 9,845 words. How I ever managed to write that much about a single card is anyone's guess. Never again will I stress myself out that much again, though. My notes will be much shorter from now on. (I say, having written 1,629 words in one night about my history in the competition.)

It didn't hit the perfect 50 like I was hoping, but it really shined most where I wanted it to, which was the Creativity department, and to lesser extent the Aesthetics, which ironically I probably spent the least time on despite it being one of my favorite visual creations in my faking career. I fell super short on the believability, which looking back on it I do agree with, so one day I will have to submit something that smashes this thing to pieces. With this card I actually became the first person since the CaC reboot to get two perfect Creativity scores, which is another achievement I bear with honor. When I finally submit again I hope to raise the bar even further and maybe, just maybe, finally get that elusive perfect 50 score.

But getting back to Omnium as a whole for a moment, it has gone further and had more impact on the community than I ever could have imagined. Seeing the things that have been made possible because of what I've created is truly an incredible feeling, and knowing that Omnium basically has children of his own now in the form of Charmaster's and Mick's templates... that's another amazing feeling. They grow up so fast. I find it truly incredible that CaC has actually had more Omnium entries submitted by other users than it has from me, and has had at least one Omnium or Omnium-derived entry every month since November 2020.

...There really is no way to express my gratitude for the support this community has given to me for creating these templates. It all started as a dumb little idea between me and some friends to mess around with and it has become such a big thing in this niche little community I've looked up to in some form or another for nearly 15 years now. Thank you all, and I hope someday to be able to come back to working on this little pet project of mine a little more, bring Omnium up to date with the gen 8 mechanics, and maybe even finally finish a full set after all these years. Time will tell.

Happy tenth anniversary to everyone who has been a part of this amazing competition over the years. Here's to many more years to come!
 

Jabberwock

#Jovimohnaeliackvid
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Nemes’s Spiritomb

spiritomb.png

March 2021 — Generation 4

Judge: @The Ωmega One
Dude, I love what you’ve done with the callbacks to the Arceus Spiritomb! The visuals are amazing. It’s unfortunate nothing like this would make it to the official TCG.

Wording errors:
- None, well done.

Fonts and Placement errors:
- There’s a 60HP under the 70 HP of the card; looks like it’s from the ripped reverse foil. [-1 point]

Creativity/Originality: 15/15
(The attack alone is what pushed this score so high. It seems really straightforward: you Item lock, then use that to dump your opponent’s discard into the Lost Zone. However, there seems to be a lot of different ways to take advantage of it — dumping cards you can’t recover for the extra damage, tossing Lost March mons (or some similar archetype), and so on. My favorite would be discarding a Spiritomb to shut off the Zeitgeist effect for yourself, and Lost Zoning it with the attack to put the lock back up just in time for your opponent’s turn.)
Believability/Playability: 15/15
(If fun gimmicks still existed, I could see this card existing officially. Using it would require some skill in finding what pairs well with it, managing resources to both do damage and ensure you’re hitting for enough damage while still keeping the lock.)
Wording: 10/10
(Everything is perfect.)
Fonts and Placement: 4/5
(You’ve nailed the fonts and font spacings for two different eras — which is impressive to see on the same card.)
Aesthetics: 4.5/5
(Not sure if it’s a design choice for the reverse holosheet to not go into the Zeitgeist box. That part of the card looks a bit out of place being non-holo.)
Total: 48.5/50

Entry post: [https://www.pokebeach.com/forums/th...neration-4-all-results-up.152126/post-3020596]
Results post: [https://www.pokebeach.com/forums/th...neration-4-all-results-up.152126/post-3021066]


An iconic entry by Nemes — one of CaC’s newer faces, but one who’s already been breaking ground with mechanics and aesthetics in the ten short months and six entries since he’s been here. With half of those taking the gold and another half scoring perfect in Creativity, his record speaks for itself.

When I first saw this card, I wasn’t immediately impressed. It had some neat glow-y effects, which was cool aesthetically, but they also took up a lot of space on the card. Except … was that a Spear Pillar column in behind the glow on the left? And was that Ability name … green?

It took a couple minutes for the full extent of the card’s gimmick to dawn on me. When it did, though, I was blown away. Drawing direct inspiration from the TCG’s past and justifying it with a new mechanic isn’t something I can remember ever seeing done before, or at least not so effectively. The card is neat, it’s groundbreaking, and it does it all with an almost word-for-word real-life effect just below the art. But it also brings in a new spin with the attack, and its intent is clear from the Rule Box and the flavor text. In my book, it takes an homage and elevates it to true originality.

This seems like a good time to discuss real-life TCG effects and their place in CaC. I don’t mean effects that can work in a real-life game of Pokémon — I would hope those are the vast majority of effects submitted for CaC, or risk Believability peril! I’m talking about effects that come directly from existing cards, perhaps with one or two small adjustments like era-based wording changes, but show up on CaC entries virtually unchanged.

Historically, these have generally been a good way to tank one’s Creativity/Originality score. After all, there are few things less original than copying an effect. If your card is flavorful, thematic, interesting, skill-testing, and so on, but didn’t score as highly as you’d hoped on C&O, repeated effects are probably the reason why.

But they can also be very effective when used right — in the sense of an homage, you want to be doing an intentional callback to a nostalgic favorite while also allowing your new card to fulfill some new and different design space in its own right. This is hard to do well. Nemes’s Spiritomb here is the only card I can think of in the post-Spoon era that managed a C&O 15/15 with it. But the results are excellent.

When you design a CaC entry, to what extent do you refer back to old entries for inspiration? Do you ever take old effects and reuse them, or try and shake them up a little, for entries? Or do you try to stay as far away as possible from established effects of any kind? Why or why not?
 

CardPone

Delta Species is best species
Member
Holy. Moly. I just realized how deep the genius of this card goes. I never looked closely enough at this to actually see that it's literally the Platinum Arceus Spiritomb card inside all those electric effects. And the fact that the Pokédex info bar looks so similar between the two templates makes it work on an even deeper level. This is no ordinary inspiration here. This is ascended inspiration. Nemes should be absolutely proud of the raw creativity in this card. It really shines through - literally.
 

bbb888

One Life. One Dream.
Member
For the Spiritomb, it makes no sense to have the Pokemon stats inside the Zeitgeist rule box. I'm surprised neither Jabberwock or the judge mentioned this, but I would move the stats outside the rule box, right above it. Otherwise, the card is great.

Also, Jabber's Steelix is a unique way to put 4 cards together, long before V-Onion mechanic was introduced. Props to him for (somewhat) predicting the future. I remember someone also made a 4-card Alolan Exeggutor, too.
What's next? 6 cards? The entire deck?
 

Nemes

Aspiring Trainer
Member
WOW this made my day -- I'm so happy!!! (And shocked it's already been 10 months since I got back into PTCG Faking!)

If anyone is interested, here are my notes for the entry, covering the creative process, playability and aestethics. But @Jabberwock summed them up very well, so there's probably no need.

I remember I wasn't sure of winning that round because I probably would have lost some points in Fonts/Placement, due to the wonky rulebox and the two different "styles" (the Ability replicates DPP's ultra condensed font but not the original size and placement, otherwise it would have looked too strange). Then of course I made a stupid error with the foil (you can see a "6" under the HP, because the texture was ripped from the PTCGO mask of a Purrloin), which luckily cost me only half a point. In the end I won because PMJ's really solid entry had a small wording error that I wouldn't have ever noticed, but I would have been very happy with a lesser placement either way because the challenge and goal I set myself was to score 15/15 in Creativity with a reprint-like entry. :)

For the Spiritomb, it makes no sense to have the Pokemon stats inside the Zeitgeist rule box. I'm surprised neither Jabberwock or the judge mentioned this, but I would move the stats outside the rule box, right above it. Otherwise, the card is great.

Thank you! You're right and it's something that still bugs me, but in the end I couldn't find a better place (Zeitgeist should be compatible with other rules boxes so it can't take the flavor text slot, and since the space is tight it had to be on top of the stats in order to take a chunk of the illustration).
 

Jabberwock

#Jovimohnaeliackvid
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For the Spiritomb, it makes no sense to have the Pokemon stats inside the Zeitgeist rule box. I'm surprised neither Jabberwock or the judge mentioned this, but I would move the stats outside the rule box, right above it. Otherwise, the card is great.
It is a little bit weird, but ultimately doesn't affect too much. The relevant stats don't change from era to era, after all. The only potential problems I could imagine come from Pokémon like Zigzagoon, which is the Tiny Raccoon Pokémon now, but was the Tinyraccoon Pokémon in DPPt, but since it's hard to imagine an effect that cares about that particular part of the stats bar, this could be seen as a feature as easily as a bug.

Also, Jabber's Steelix is a unique way to put 4 cards together, long before V-Onion mechanic was introduced. Props to him for (somewhat) predicting the future. I remember someone also made a 4-card Alolan Exeggutor, too.
What's next? 6 cards? The entire deck?
Funny you should mention that Alolan Exeggutor. :p
 

Jabberwock

#Jovimohnaeliackvid
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ggDerpyDerp’s Alolan Exeggutor LEGEND LEGEND

CAC07_Part_1.png

CAC07_Part_2.png

CAC07_Part_3.png

CAC07_Part_4.png

May 2021 — Extreme Heights

Judge: @Jabberwock
lmao okay

I mean, what can I say. I remember you saying at the beginning of the month that you were gonna pull out all the stops and make a spiritual successor to a certain old CaC entry, and boy oh boy did you deliver. I genuinely laughed out loud when I saw it.

Art choice is great; love the wild and carefree look of two of the heads paired with the sunglasses on the third. And why not, PCL has done plenty of cards with meme-y artworks before. It’s hilarious that two of the cards are just neck, but one of them having a sea background and the other having a sky background adds an element of differentiation that’s important for cards like this.

I only have a couple of minor quibbles with the execution. For one, I think you could afford to put the body of Exeggutor in front of the illustration box on the bottom card, rather than behind it. The leaves on the tail already go over the box, so you might as well go the whole dynamic mile and put the entire Pokémon in front of it. For the other, I reckon there ought to be a lot more holosheet. Three of these cards only have holo effects on the name, which ain’t nearly enough holosheet for a LEGEND. Or a LEGEND LEGEND.

The attacks are good — one’s a nuke, which can either, as you said, force Sudden Death, or win the game outright when your opponent has no Benched Pokémon and 5 or more Prizes remaining. The other is probably the main attraction — you flip a bunch of coins, and in all likelihood, you achieve another nuke without sacrificing your big 4-Prize monster. Then there’s a good bonus if you get all heads, and a crushing defeat if you get all tails. I think it works on the nuke grounds alone — 5 Energy for a slightly risky average-of-300, yeah, why not. It’s good.

And overall, first glance, it’s spectacular. You set out to make a meme, you made a beautiful meme, mission accomplished. I love it.

Wording errors:
- The type icon suggests it’s a dual-type, but this needs to be explicitly stated on the card itself (“This Pokémon is both [G][N] type”) in order to work. Or you could have the two individual Energy icons, Steam Siege-style, but if you’re combining them into one then you have to resolve the ambiguity. [-2 points]
- Don’t need the “before doing damage” clause — the phases of an attack are do damage, apply other effects, then check for Knock Outs. You won’t take any Prize cards for the damage until after applying all effects anyway, by which time if you flipped 4 tails you’ll have lost anyway. [-2 points]

Fonts and Placement errors:
- LEGEND attack text is sometimes hard to break convincingly, but you got it here.

Creativity/Originality: 14/15
(Brilliant visual take on the theme, and what’s more, the meme-y attacks both have genuinely interesting gameplay potential. Well-designed, meme and all.)
Believability/Playability: 13/15
(As much as I want it to be believable, I can’t give you full marks here for a card named “LEGEND LEGEND”. I’m also hesitant about the “Legendary Pokémon” bar, since Exeggutor isn’t a Legendary Pokémon in the traditional sense, but “Legendary Pokémon” also isn’t an official TCG designator, so I’ll let it slide on the custom blank clause.)
Wording: 6/10
(A couple errors.)
Fonts and Placement: 5/5
(Nice breaking of the attack text.)
Aesthetics: 4.5/5
(Art choice is great and blanks are well-edited, but I’m docking a half-point for the virtual lack of holosheets on the top three cards. Not docking for the above-versus-below-the-illustration-box thing; just a suggestion to keep in mind.)
Total: 42.5/50

Entry post: [https://www.pokebeach.com/forums/th...me-heights-results-are-up.152245/post-3022901]
Results post: [https://www.pokebeach.com/forums/th...me-heights-results-are-up.152245/post-3023082]


Ah, Alolan Exeggutor LEGEND LEGEND: the other four-part CaC entry. Clocking in at 400 HP and giving up 4 Prize cards on a Knock Out, this is exactly the behemoth you’d expect a four-part LEGEND to be. The attacks are even pretty well-balanced, which — I know as well as anyone — is hard to get right.

But the thing that really pushes this card over the edge, for me, is the fact that it was submitted for the “Extreme Heights” round. That is taking the theme to the next level.

What’s more, much like that ivy guy’s Arceus from a few days ago, it’s a take on the theme we weren’t expecting when we designed the round. Really, really big Pokémon? Sure, that would have been a pretty surface-level take. Effects having to do with other cards’ printed height? That would have been edging into some cool new design space. But making the actual card four times bigger? Somehow, we didn’t think anyone would go for that. Nonetheless, this card executes it perfectly.

It’s a meme at heart, but it also captures the theme in an impressively creative way. It’s a pretty good capstone to our past discussions of meme entries this month, because in essence, this is the sort of memery we like to see best.

It’s also, I think, a pretty good segue into the last few entries we have lined up to showcase this month, because now, in the last five months of CaC, we’re really getting into the latest of the latest. Today, in our broader-than-ever world of PSDs and open resources, we’re seeing more custom blank modifications than ever before. The customizability of Pone’s Omnium blanks is just one example, but as this card shows, it’s a pretty potent one. Have a dream for a card for which a blank doesn’t currently exist? No worries, just make one! In this day and age, it’s easier than ever.

We’re going to continue to talk about modern blank modifications over the next few days, but to get the ball rolling, what’s your experience with them? Have you ever modified a blank yourself? For what project? Share some examples with us below!
 

PMJ

happy thoughts
Forum Head
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To be honest, if I had the skill to do blank editing, I'd probably give it a shot just to do it, but given my disdain for changing things solely for the sake of changing them and not strictly to improve the design, I would probably just not bother.
 

Jabberwock

#Jovimohnaeliackvid
Forum Mod
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Mick-773’s Pumpkaboo

tumblr_672e6c5441623c567c791a3271291685_3b31d522_1280.png

May 2021 — Extreme Heights

Judge: @Jabberwock
Man oh man, stunning work on that blank! I love all the potential Omnium has opened up for customizability, and I’ve seen some pretty impressive takes on it already, but this is definitely a new level of custom. Flawless meshing of the e-series/SwSh elements, really clean integration of the dual-type texture effect, and some outstanding original art — what’s not to like? Pone summed it up himself — “holy cannoli” indeed!

The Ability and attack are pretty cool too — clear inspiration taken from existing Pumpkaboo and Gourgeist cards, like you mention, that deal with HP boosts and the discard pile. The HP boost in particular seems like a solid nod to the contest’s theme, and the fact that the attack actively makes use of the HP boost is indicative of some good design space.

That being said, I think you can afford to go a little harder, balance-wise. Getting 6 damage counters on a Pokémon is a pretty steep price to pay! And it’s not really the sort of thing where you can rely on your opponent to do it for you without Knocking Out your Pokémon. We can compare it to something like Durant BKP, which mills 4 cards for 2 Energy on the condition it has any damage counters on it. So for the amount of investment 6 would require, we’d probably expect it to mill more than one additional card.

The Held Item is a nice touch — some light counter-synergy with the attack, where you generally want to have damage counters on Pumpkaboo, but the Mago Berry lets you take them off. Being optional helps it out there, though. Mainly I like it as an aesthetics thing, with the bar taking up some space between the illustration and the rest of the card. Not sure why it’s gold when the other bars on the card are all silver, but it doesn’t look out of place.

Outstanding work overall — a very compelling debut entry. Welcome to CaC, and hope to see you around again soon! :)

Wording errors:
- “you can” -> “you may” in Mago Berry’s text. While “you can” has been seen on cards like Talonflame V, Eternatus VMAX, and the Mustards from Battle Styles, it’s always used for effects that change something about what the rules of the game allow you to do. Specific decisions like whether or not to heal 20 damage with a Held Item are always rendered with “you may”. [-1 point]
- Other effects look good. References are on point.

Fonts and Placement errors:
- All looks good to me — your blank, your rules, and there’s nothing too crazy here font-wise.

Creativity/Originality: 12/15
(Uses some existing Pumpkaboo-related design space with HP boosting and effects that care about the discard pile, but uses them in an interesting new way. There’s certainly some stellar creativity in the blank edits you’ve done, but that’s for the aesthetics score.)
Believability/Playability: 12/15
(Seems quite hard to use — powerful if you have an easy way of putting 6 damage counters on your own Pokémon, but I can’t think of any efficient way to do that with existing cards.)
Wording: 9/10
(One minor error.)
Fonts and Placement: 5/5
(Your blank, your rules.)
Aesthetics: 5/5
(Outstanding.)
Total: 43/50

Entry post: [https://www.pokebeach.com/forums/th...me-heights-results-are-up.152245/post-3022704]
Results post: [https://www.pokebeach.com/forums/th...me-heights-results-are-up.152245/post-3023082]


On the subject of blank modifications, who better to mention than Mick-773?

Mick is a relatively new face to CaC — this Pumpkaboo, submitted in May, was only his first entry — but he’s already made substantial waves. With modifications of his signature Omnium-based e-series blanks (which are modified blanks themselves!), he brings something new to the table with virtually every new entry, from his Glacia’s Glalie VPRIME in June 2021 to his collaboration with EM-isthmus just last month. The entries are always stunning, as his three 5/5s in Aesthetics attest.

To see what started as a blank modification grow into something like this, taking on a life of its own over the course of several contests — I think that’s pretty special, and so far unique in CaC’s history. With these three entries, Mick has cemented these blanks with their own identity, at once harkening to and standing apart from Omnium, and allowed them to grow now into much more than a one-off blank mod gimmick. What he started with this Pumpkaboo, as far as I’m concerned, is very impressive.

But at the same time, this is still very recent history — like I said yesterday, thanks to PSDs and more generally open resources than ever before, we’re in an era of faking where blank modifications are not only accessible, they’re common. Mick’s Pumpkaboo stands out as a prime example of blank mods done well, but it’s far from the only one we’ve seen. What other blank mods might we see joining it in coming months?

For discussion, what are some of the reasons somebody — maybe you, maybe a hypothetical other faker — might decide to modify a blank? They straddle a gap between official blanks and truly custom blanks — but what is that gap? What niche do blank modifications fill that no other type of blank does? Put another way, what sets this Pumpkaboo apart from, say, this card of asche’s, this card of Amperglyph’s, or this card of Huderon of Canossa’s?

There are no wrong answers. Tell us your thoughts! :D
 

Mick-773

Pizza Enthusiast
Member
Wow, I didn't expect my very first entry to be featured in a post, especially considering how at the time I was still taking my first steps in card faking 😅 (and even now I know there are a lot of things I still have to learn - although seeing all the past entries featured in this thread is quite the proof that improvement comes with time and constant trial, error and experimentation).
(I'm still quite happy of how the Pumpkaboo art turned out, especially since looking at Glalie and Glacia now I can really see how rushed that one was. I'll definitely need to retouch it... maybe... someday... Sorry Glacia you did not derve this orz)

As it was mentioned before, the reason I went with Omnium are quite simple: it was a complete (and editable!) hi-res blank with all the tools and assets to create a good card easily, with all the layers and resources organized in a tidy and efficient way. I felt like it was the most "secure" way to approach card faking, especially concerning how little I knew about it at the time.
Plus, being able to personalize the blank was the other strong reason I went with it. I know it may sound narcissistic (and I am going to word it in order to sound so : P ), but if I had to put my own drawing on a card, I might as well go for the extra mile and shake things up even for all those silly things and strings of text you see around the illustration, right? 😂 (look, faking is hard, and clownery is how I cope with that, please be patient)

What I like about modified blank is wondering on the reasons behind said modification. Why does someone decide to rearrange things and create something out of the ordinary? Was it to implement a mechanic that could not fit the standard design space? Was it a way for the author to put their skill to the test and create something new? Or was it just to have fun, to give shape to an idea born on the spur of the moment?
To some extent, all these reason tell us something about the author, and I do love to see this kind of personal touch emerging through a work... and in a way, I hope this could be said for the cards I made as well ^^"
Of course, this is not to say that this is exclusive to heavily edited cards - some of the entries featured in the various round managed to perfectly adhere to the style conventions while also carrying a clearly distinguishable personal trait, which in itself is really a proof of the author's skills! So, in a way, I guess its just a matter of different ways to pour effort in your work, which in itself is always a nice thing to see.
 

Jabberwock

#Jovimohnaeliackvid
Forum Mod
Articles Staff
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EM-isthmus and y0shin’s Shadow Altaria

altariaxd_cac_1.png

June 2021 — Owner’s Pokémon

Judge: @The Ωmega One
At first I was confused as to how Shadow Pokémon fit the theme, but as you pointed out, every single Shadow Pokémon is owned by a Trainer. I think this was a really clever take on the theme. The modifications to the Sword & Shield blank are simple while making Shadow Pokémon visually distinct enough from regular Pokémon.

Wording errors:
- Everything is good.

Fonts and Placement errors:
- Ability name should align with attack names. Technically I don’t think we’ve seen any Pokémon with both an Ability and a 5-Energy attack cost in the Sword & Shield era yet, but based on cards like Regigigas CIN 84, the alignment should all stack up. [-1 point]

Creativity/Originality: 13/15
(Shadow Mist is an interesting Ability. The whole Shadow gimmick is really well done and reflects its video game counterpart nicely. I hope to see more of it.)
Believability/Playability: 12/15
(The only issue I have with this card is I feel like Draco Rave’s Bench snipe could be lowered along with a lower attack cost, based off Eiscue (RCL 054). Otherwise it seems like you would mostly use Dark Mist and a different attacker)
Wording: 10/10
(Everything is good.)
Fonts and Placement: 4/5
(Alignment issue.)
Aesthetics: 5/5
(The custom blank is amazing. The textures and holo sheet thematically darken Altaria nicely. )
Total: 44/50

Entry post: [https://www.pokebeach.com/forums/threads/june-2021-cac-owners-pokémon-results-up.152300/post-3024139]
Results post: [https://www.pokebeach.com/forums/threads/june-2021-cac-owners-pokémon-results-up.152300/post-3024633]


Here we have a card that ties many of our areas of discussion this month into one. As a collaboration, it showcases some impressive creativity and a broad range of skills. As a Shadow Pokémon, it’s a spicy take on the Owner’s Pokémon theme (as well as a custom type). It’s even a great example of a blank mod — the seamless addition of new type textures and a Rule Box is no easy feat.

EM-isthmus is another relatively new face to the faking community, but like several other new faces, he’s already made his mark in a number of ways. With his careful consideration of each and every theme, his CaC entries consistently win solid results, and this collaboration with y0shin was no exception.
We think this Shadow Altaria is a good entry to feature here, as we near the end of the month and look forward to CaC’s future. As mentioned above, it synthesizes many of the things we’ve been talking about all month, and it also represents many of the things we think we’re likely to see more of as the contest grows and evolves.

Today, let’s take a look back on this month — and, consequently, the past ten years of CaC as a whole. What surprises you about the contest’s history? Any favorite or least favorite parts? What have you learned from CaC, either through this thread or in any past round of the contest? How has it changed you as a faker?

Take some time to reminisce! Tell us your thoughts below. :)
 

Jabberwock

#Jovimohnaeliackvid
Forum Mod
Articles Staff
Member
The entries of September 2021
(winners Mr. Sableye’s Farfetch’d and Vom’s Tsareena-GX featured)


farfetchd.png

September 2021 — Unused Pokémon

Judge: @Jabberwock
Love the art. I’m not even sure where you found this; Bulbapedia tells me Emiko Yoshino is a manga illustrator, but beyond that it seems like anyone’s guess. Very resourceful, and there’s no doubt the image of Farfetch’d dynamically cutting down a tree works perfectly with these effects.

Pyrolysis and Fell Tree play into each other nicely; there’s some great imagery in picturing Farfetch’d chopping down a tree, finding a surprise Trainer card inside, and then converting it into charcoal. Great flavor.

That said, I’m always a little concerned whenever a Basic Pokémon gets an Ability with straight-up Energy acceleration. If it’s not a hard once-per-turn thing, then it becomes real difficult to balance. Imagine dropping four of these guys, using Pyrolysis four times, attaching for turn, and then swinging with a Perfection-enabled Crimson Storm for 300 damage out of nowhere. And sure, you have to discard 8 Item cards to do it, but you haven’t even used your Supporter yet. 8 Items seems like a small price to pay for all that damage.

I think the move for Pyrolysis would be to just cap it at a hard once-per-turn, Item discard and all. I know that can feel like the boring way out, but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it — it would still be a plenty useful card.

On a slightly pedantic note, Pyrolysis feels like a weird name for the Ability. It’s “the scientific term for one of the processes used in making charcoal,” sure, but Google tells me it’s basically using a ton of heat to chemically decompose something — which I wouldn’t necessarily expect a Farfetch’d to be capable of. Something that just explicitly references charcoal would probably work better.

Wording errors:
- Missing an é in “Pokemon” in the Ability. [-1 point]

Fonts and Placement errors:
- The Colorless Energy symbols in the attack cost look very far apart — and indeed, dragging a scan of something like Eevee EVS over it confirms that they’re a couple pixels farther apart than they ought to be. Just to be sure, I checked it against your Illumatrix from August, and there’s a discrepancy between that one and Farfetch’d, too. Not sure what happened this month to throw the placement off. [-0.5 point]

Creativity/Originality: 15/15
(Great flavor. Turning chopped wood into charcoal isn’t a place I ever would have expected a Farfetch’d card to go, but it works. And the crazy thing is that without that art, it probably wouldn’t have — which just goes to show how important the art can be in the design process. It’s got flavor, it’s got synergy, it’s got design space I never would have expected to see — it’s got it all. Great work on this one.)
Believability/Playability: 12/15
(Energy acceleration is always dangerous on a Basic, and I don’t think discarding 2 Item cards really does enough to undercut that here. A hard once-per-turn is probably called for on the Ability.)
Wording: 9/10
(A stray “Pokemon”.)
Fonts and Placement: 4.5/5
(The Energy symbols are a little too far apart in the attack cost.)
Aesthetics: 5/5
(I’ve gotta give the full 5 here purely on how perfectly the art and the effects go together. A holosheet probably would have taken away from the dynamism of the slash, so once again omitting it was the right choice. Well done!)
Total: 45.5/50

Entry post: [https://www.pokebeach.com/forums/th...ed-pokémon-results-are-up.152517/post-3026832]
Results post: [https://www.pokebeach.com/forums/th...ed-pokémon-results-are-up.152517/post-3027180]




[Stage 2] Tsareena GX HP230 [G]
Evolves from Steenee

Ability: Danse Macabre
If your opponent's Active Pokémon is Knocked Out by damage from 1 of this Pokémon's attacks and it has at least 5 more damage counters on it than its maximum HP, you may put 5 damage counters on your opponent's new Active Pokémon.

[G][G][C] Queen's Wrath 130
If your opponent's Active Pokémon is Knocked Out by damage from this attack and it has at least 10 more damage counters on it than its maximum HP, take 1 more Prize card.

[G][C] Royal Decree GX 60
For the rest of this game, if you have more Prize cards remaining than your opponent, or if you have exactly 6 Prize cards remaining, each of your opponent's Basic or Stage 1 Pokémon in play, in their hand, and in their discard pile has no Abilities or attacks that aren't GX attacks during the turn they come into play. (You can't use more than 1 GX attack in a game.)

Weakness: [R]x2
Resistance: -
Retreat: [C][C]
Pokémon-GX Rule: When your Pokémon-GX is Knocked Out, your opponent takes 2 Prize cards.

September 2021 — Unused Pokémon

Judge: @PMJ
Interesting effects. I'm not sure how much Danse Macabre will actually proc due to Queen's Wrath's damage, but it's certainly unique and not a bad Ability by any means.

I kinda like how simple the card is. It doesn't have any super convoluted effects - just straight damage with a simple twist. Queen's Wrath's effect is a little difficult to proc, but I like that it's there.

Royal Decree GX is the most complex part of the card, so it's worth talking about a little. I like the effect, but it kinda clashes with Queen's Wrath. It only works when you're losing, but Queen's Wrath can net you extra Prizes. The damage is pretty low as well. It's a decent enough attack if you Rare Candy into it and swing with it turn two, but I don't like the conflict with Queen's Wrath. I will say that I like the effect, though.

I think the only changes I would make would be to make the attacks synergize better somehow, however you'd want to do that. Nice fake overall.

Wording errors:
General
- Tsareena-GX's name should be hyphenated. [-1 point]
Queen's Wrath
- I hate that there are so many different ways this has been worded. I guess as long as you picked a recent one, it's fine. [-0 points]
Royal Decree GX
- Cards in the discard pile aren't considered in play, so they can't by definition be affected by this attack. You don't need that wording there. [-1 point]
- The attack should read, "...has no Abilities or attacks, except GX attacks..." (Glaceon-GX) [-1 point]

Creativity/Originality: 17/20
(I love the effects. Just wish they were a little bit easier to proc, since this is a Stage 2 GX.)
Wording: 12/15
(Nothing too major here.)
Believability/Playability: 13/15
(Not an awful fake by any means, but giving the attacks better synergy would help it be top tier.)
Total: 42/50

Entry post: [https://www.pokebeach.com/forums/th...ed-pokémon-results-are-up.152517/post-3026303]
Results post: [https://www.pokebeach.com/forums/th...ed-pokémon-results-are-up.152517/post-3027181]




This month, we’ve seen CaC grow and evolve as a contest in a dozen different ways. From developments of theme complexity to refinements of the rubric, you can track any number of things from month to month and see them change — once in a while, quite significantly. Sometimes this coincides with changes in judges, but often it’s just that CaC grows with the times. It’s not the same contest it was ten years ago, and there’s no reason it should be.

We’ve also seen its fakers evolve in just as many ways. Where CaC at its onset tended to be just a fun place to submit some stuff and get some feedback on it, now we see people putting hours of effort over the course of days into their work to try and achieve the highest score possible. And clearly that’s paid off: average scores, month to month, have been consistently higher in the past year or two than at any time since CMP was judging. Of the nine 15/15s I’ve given in C&O, six have been in this year alone. The creativity is ramping up, and the innovation y’all bring to the contest is outstanding. For real, Pokémon should take notes.

To close out the month, we’re looking at the most recent round, because that’s where, as of October 31, 2021, our history ends. The cards featured above are the ones that took the gold last month, but all seventeen entries — ten image, seven text — collectively represent the culmination of ten years of this contest. As do all the other entries we’ve featured throughout this month, and all the other entries we didn’t.

Of course, it’s not the ending — CaC will go on, stronger than ever even ten years on, and we hope to see you back for more. So it’s worth looking at this most recent part of the history with eyes also turned ahead to the future.

What are your hopes for CaC in the coming months and years? A few years from now, how do you think the contest will have changed? Where do you see yourself in relation to it in the future?

We’ve reached the end of our history, but of course there’s no reason to stop discussing it. We’ll leave this thread open for replies and further comments, and I’ll try and check back in in a few days with some of my own thoughts. We hope you’ll use this as a place to reminisce, to remember some highlights of this contest’s past, and also to think about its present state and where it might be headed next.

If you have any thoughts, as always, tell us below. Thanks for ten years of history, PokeBeach, and here’s to all the rounds that come after. :)
 
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