Contest Image-Based Create-a-Card Faking Tournament (Final Results Are Up!)

Discussion in 'Creative Works' started by NinjaPenguin, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. bbninjas Ready or Not!

    Advanced Member Member

    Why do you all cut it so fine, tsk tsk! That would give me too much anxiety... :confused:
    The Ωmega One likes this.

  2. The Ωmega One Aspiring Trainer
    The Ωmega One


    Eevee (MD-62) (Deoxy Invasion)
    Heatran (LA-6) (Eradicate)
    Rhyperopir (DP-12) (Eradicate)
    Camerupt (LA-47) (Eradicate)
    Deoxys Normal Form (La-1) (Eradicate)
    Mime Jr. (DP-90) (Eradicate)
    Palkia G LVX (PL-125) (Eradicate)
    Rotom (POP(-5) (Eradicate)
    Drifblim (DP Black Star-34) (Eradicate)
    Copycat (HGSS-90) (Eradicate)
    To say this came down to the wire is an understatement, I had 0 ideas for a while then I started working on the art then kinda got inspired by Aliens and an old youtube video had stumbled back onto which showed a series of pokemon + deoxys hybrids or in lure infected by the "Deoxy Virus" attacking humans. Anyways Deoxy Invasion is a nod to the classic alien trope of large scale invasions after a scout is sent first. And quickly lets you build up Eradicate. Eradicate is the end game, both of alien invasions and of your board state, given careful set up you could swing for decent damage and mill.
    bbninjas likes this.
  3. The Ωmega One Aspiring Trainer
    The Ωmega One


    Some of us Omega had no idea what to do until a really weird idea came to be. That being said, BB good luck! Personally I feel like we're both giving each other stiff competition for the next round and I can't wait to see the out come!
    bbninjas likes this.
  4. bbninjas Ready or Not!

    Advanced Member Member

    edit: May the best card win!

    What settings did you use for the holosheets @The Ωmega One? I couldn't get mine right on the dark backgrounds >.>
    The Ωmega One likes this.
  5. The Ωmega One Aspiring Trainer
    The Ωmega One


    I forgot to note that the name "Deoxy Invasion" is a nod to the Deoxy Virus and is suppose to be spelled like that
  6. The Ωmega One Aspiring Trainer
    The Ωmega One


    From top layer to bottom Color Dodge 100% > Color Burn 6% > Multiply 40%
    bbninjas likes this.
  7. Gabs Kazumi Amateur Illustrator @kazumi.draws
    Gabs Kazumi


    Good evening! (Actually here in Brazil we call it "madrugada", the period between 0:00 to 6:00 AM, but I don't think there's this distinction in English XD)

    I'm almost falling asleep over the computer so here's my entry (the last, as always e.e)


    As seen in my other entries, you can tell that I really like Pokémon with Abilities. This theme was a bit difficult for me to think about, but I tried my best hahah

    Scrafty is one of the Pokémon that were a core member of all my Unova teams. Before the advent of the Fairies, Scrafty was a good defensive mon, I remember annoying my friends when we used to battle with it, and this is the main inspiration for this card: it was made to mess with the opponent's table.

    If the opponent's deck doesn't have a good Energy-moving mechanic, it will struggle against Scrafty. In the other hand, the natural counters of it are the Fairies: since their release in XY, moving Energies isn't a problem for them (in the actual meta, Gardevoir & Sylveon TTGX), and they hit Scrafty for Weakness, so I think its pretty balanced (?)

    I went with a dual type so Scrafty could fit in both Fighting (focusing the first attack) and Darkness (focusing the team play) decks.

    Swalot Celestial Storm - Attack Positioning
    Incineroar-GX Guardians Rising - Attack Effect
    Spiritomb Steam Siege - Attack Effect

    All-Out Attack is a main mechanic of the Persona series, where the whole team attacks a vulnerable foe together. Scrafty is a common Pokémon of Bikers and Roughnecks, which often gather as teams, so I thought it was a good reference).

    If you've read till here, there's a special surprise that I tried to make!


    As I said in Discord, the other cards are AMAZING, I'm excited for the judging!

    Wish you all the best of luck :)
    Lord Goomy and bbninjas like this.
  8. bbninjas Ready or Not!

    Advanced Member Member

    I think we call that “an absurd hour in the morning” in English! :p
    The Ωmega One likes this.
  9. Nyan Staring into space again...

    Chat Room Staff Member

    I decided to take the theme in more ways than 1, lol.

    Although I usually do mix up from 2 Attacks and Attack & Ability, for CaC I usually do Ability/Attack, so this was an interesting change. Omega made this render and I decided it'd be perfect for this. Aesthetically, this is now among my favorite cards, i'm extremely satisfied with how it ended up looking. I brought down the text & GX bar because 1. I discovered you can do that (Compare Vaporeon-GX and Flareon-GX to Jolteon-GX. The text and GX bar are shifted for the sake of all the art being visual) 2. I really wanted to show off the detail in the render cause it's fricken impressive. You did a fantastic job on it, @The Ωmega One!

    - Registeel CES 96 (Cold Splitter)
    - Alolan Ninetales LOT 132 (Cold Splitter)
    - Golisopod-GX BUS 17 (Sudden Chill)
    - Pachirisu LOT 80 (Sudden Chill)
    - Alolan Muk SUM 58 (Freeze Up)
    - Greninja BKP 40 (Freeze Up)
    - Shiftry STS 11 (Freeze Up)
    - Hex Maniac AOR 75 (Freeze Up)
    - Cobalion-GX TEU 106 (Freeze Up)
    - On Freeze Up: This was soooo complicated to word but I think this is the best I could possibly get it. Cobalion-GX uses the "During your opponent's next turn..." clause, whereas Greninja uses "Until the end of your opponent's next turn...", both for effects that directly apply to the opponent. However, Shiftry has an indirect/blanket effect, blocking out Stadiums and Tools until the opponent ends their turn. Hex Maniac also has the same exact effect as the attack and uses the "Until the end" clause. The only examples of "Until the end" starting a card effect is all for indirect effects (none of these are SM, but 3 are XY), but all causes of the use of "During" have had some effect directly applied to a single mon. This leads me to believe "During..." is used for directed effects, where as "Until the end..." is used for indirect effects. Either way, the end clause/italicising is confirmed from Cobalion-GX.

    Freeze Up broke my head, lol. I think I put in my best effort on it though~
    The Ωmega One and bbninjas like this.
  10. The Ωmega One Aspiring Trainer
    The Ωmega One


    Amazing entries everyone! @Gabs Kazumi that has got to be one of the best blends of two type textures I've seen !
    bbninjas and Nyan like this.
  11. Kangaflora Aspiring Trainer


    All we await for now is to see who has made it to the final.
  12. NinjaPenguin Always standing out from the crowd.


    Round 2 Results

    Judge: @Jabberwock

    Judge's Note: We’ve eliminated two more contestants this round, but they were two remarkably skilled contestants whose future CaCs I eagerly anticipate. Y’all are good!

    Match 1: bbninjas vs The Ωmega One

    Creativity/Originality: 13/15
    These effects are exciting! It’s not too often I say that, but Blue Flush made me think immediately, okay, how can I best make this work in an actual game? How would it fit into an established meta? What would it do to the game, in its interactions with other cards? Those are the kind of questions I want to be asking when I see a fake. Blue Flush is interesting mainly for its fresh take on Energy accel. We’ve seen stuff like Volcanion STS, but swapping out Tools for Energy is a fun way to nerf that for an older format. Empty Fade is another neat original idea, though I admit I’m not sure how well it works with Blue Flush in particular.

    Wording: 12/15
    - I’m very hesitant about the use of “switch” in Blue Flush. We’ve only ever seen that word three ways -- switching Active Pokémon with Benched Pokémon, switching all damage counters between two Pokémon, and switching Prize cards with the top card of one’s deck. I think it’s much more likely that they’d go with an established wording here, such as “Discard a Pokémon Tool card attached to each of those Pokémon. If you do, attach … etc.” [-3 points]
    - I want to say that “use the effect of Blue Flush as the effect of this attack” should be “use the effect of that attack as the effect of this attack”, but the mechanical difference barely matters and I’m not certain about it anyway, so [-0 points] here.

    Fonts/Placement: 8/10
    - Attack names should be further to the left, in the 3-Energy-symbol spot. [-1 point]
    - The spacing between words on the attack effects is weird, and I’m wondering whether something might be up with that font as it’s installed on your computer, bc I’m assuming you used Meta’s font guide and it works fine for me. The spacing seems to have extended to the right edge of the text, where it doesn’t align with the damage numerals like it should. [-1 point]

    Believability/Playability: 3/5
    I see what you were going for, prolonging the usefulness of the setup Pokémon, but I’m not sure 50 damage for [W][W][C] is enough for anyone to continue using Keldeo over whatever they were powering up on their Bench. Especially considering you need a fairly steady stream of Pokémon Tools, which not many decks would have the space for. Blue Flush is a nice solid setup attack for a turn or two, but honestly I don’t see its utility being extended much beyond that.

    Aesthetics: 4/5
    Nice work! Love the render and the holosheet, though I think the background could be a bit lighter. Really loving your recent forays into rendering; they seem to be turning out quite well.

    Final Notes:
    Definitely a solid setup card. I like the idea behind Empty Fade, but question its integration here.

    Total: 40/50

    @The Ωmega One
    Creativity/Originality: 11/15
    The concept behind the Deoxys swarming reminds me of various things PCL has tried to do over the years with Arceus and Unown, and indeed Deoxys to an extent. I’d honestly quite like to see a Deoxys mechanic as a sort of toolbox, but I’d need to see the actual attackers for that, and I don’t just mean the setup and the endgame. As it stands here, the most creative part of the card is Eradicate’s actual effect, which combines mill and damage in the endgame, at a point when you only really need one or the other. Still, having both means you have your bases covered. I like the effect.

    Wording: 9/15
    Ahh, Eradicate. That one looks like a pain to word. Let’s break it down.
    - Need to say “as you like” after “Benched Deoxys” in the first sentence. Heatran LA did this. [-2 points]
    - The second sentence should be “For each card you put in the Lost Zone in this way, discard the top card from your opponent’s deck.” Refs include Gyarados SV and Camerupt SV, and a bit later, Magmortar TM. [-4 points]

    Fonts/Placement: 10/10
    - Fonts look fine. Nice use of the LV.X box as a Prism Star box.

    Believability/Playability: 4/5
    I spent a while thinking about whether Eradicate was broken -- you can discard 5 Deoxys, a Tool attached to each, and you’ve got 10 cards milled right there without even considering Energy they might have attached. It is somewhat balanced by the fact that it’s incredibly hard to pull off, given that it’s on a Prism Star that you probably would have had vulnerable in the early game for setup, and it’s not unheard of for one-offs like this to have conditionally game-winning effects. Take Rayquaza Star, for example. I’m going to dock a cautious [-1 point] here because, like, even Rayquaza Star only punished Pokémon-ex decks, but you’ve put enough thought into balancing it that I won’t dock any more.

    One other note, just as an aside, is that I’m not totally sure why the card is “Deoxys ◊” as opposed to something like “Deoxys [Attack Forme] ◊”, as was the norm in the DPPt era. I’m letting it slide here cos, idk, maybe Prism Stars are just like that. Still something to consider.

    Aesthetics: 4/5
    Your renders are looking good, too! Funny that you and bb should be paired off in this round. As I said, nice incorporation of the Prism Star box. I do, however, think that the background on your render could be lightened up as well, and I’m unsure about the relatively small size of Deoxys in the frame. Prism Star symbol on the background of the card is nice, but looks a bit choppy (?).

    Final Notes:
    Power levels slightly concerning, but Prism Star balancing mostly makes up for it.

    Total: 38/50

    Judge's Note: This was a close one. bb’s Keldeo comes out slightly ahead because he was just a bit more daring in the effects of both his card’s attacks, winning Creativity points that propelled him to victory. Omega played it a little more safe, but clunky wording dragged him down and Believability and perfect placements weren’t enough to save him.

    Match 2: Gabs Kazumi vs Nyan

    @Gabs Kazumi
    Creativity/Originality: 12/15
    Both attacks are just slight spins on existing mechanics, but the synergy is what makes it exciting. All-Out Attack reminds me of attacks like Lucario FCO’s Fight Alone, but it’s far more interesting here because you have more ways to maneuver yourself into the right position to take advantage of it -- specifically, of course, Hoodlum Scramble. The card manages to be new and interesting without inventing any drastic new mechanics.

    Wording: 10.5/15
    - “attached to” -> “from” [-2 points]
    - Don’t need the “any of” in the first attack; just “to your opponent’s other Pokémon” [-1 point]
    - Need “to it” after “more Energy attached” in the second attack [-1 point]
    - Docking [-0.5 point] for “Pokémons” in the flavor text. The plural of “Pokémon” is just “Pokémon”. :p
    - You might want to include a box somewhere on the card saying “This Pokémon is both [D][F] type” or something to that effect, just for the sake of clarification, but the way you split the symbol means you probably don’t strictly need it. No points docked here.

    Fonts/Placement: 10/10
    - Looks fine.

    Believability/Playability: 2/5
    There are a couple of balancing things that I would question, mainly having to do with the fact that both attacks have a dual Energy cost. In general, adding different types of Energy to the attack cost is a great way of balancing a more powerful effect, because it means that that effect will be harder to actually pull off. In light of that, Hoodlum Scramble actually seems slightly underpowered. I think you could absolutely get away with raising the damage as high as 60, particularly in the SM-era. All-Out Attack’s base damage could probably also be raised a bit, for the same reason.

    I also question the Fairy Weakness, seeing as PCL has a history of sticking to their Weakness rules, and they’ve never given Fairy Weakness to anything but a Dragon-type before. It’s not totally out of the question that they would, but I’m docking another cautious point here for that.

    Aesthetics: 5/5
    Okay, now the aesthetics are stunning. You’ve managed quite a seamless integration of the Dark and Fighting type textures -- dare I say, even better than the Holon-era dual-types. Miles ahead of Steam Siege, at any rate. I would suggest not splitting the symbol but rather going for something more like the Holon-era dual-type symbols, and then including a dual-type rule box, but that’s a minor thing.

    And, as always, I love your art, and the holosheet looks really nice this time around too. ^.^

    Final Notes:
    Nice synergy and brilliant aesthetics -- only lacking a bit in the balancing department.

    Total: 39.5/50

    Creativity/Originality: 10/15
    I like the direction you took with the theme. Every theme we run, I wonder whether everyone will take it at face value, or whether folks will try to do a bit more with it. I like the multiple interpretations.

    Unfortunately, though, there’s nothing in the effects that particularly strikes me as new. We’ve seen Freeze Up plenty of times before, on Greninja BKP as well as Hex Maniac, both ubiquitous in their format. The other two haven’t been seen before, strictly speaking, but they’re not overly original either. The creative part of the card lies in the integration of the theme.

    Wording: 13/15
    - I’m sure you knew something like this was coming lolSo, I actually believe that it should be “During …”, not “Until …” on the grounds that only two SUM cards have used “Until …” and both have been for the same, relatively specific effect of preventing damage through an Ability (see Lucario BUS and Pupitar LOT). On the other hand, the SUM era has consistently used “During …” for effects being prevented during the next turn. I’d use Alolan Golem-GX/Gengar & Mimikyu-GX for reference here. [-2 points]

    Fonts/Placement: 10/10
    - On point.

    Believability/Playability: 4/5
    For the most part, I can see this, even if that’s due in large part to the fact that the mechanics by themselves have been used before. I have one significant complaint here, though, which is that Freeze Up doesn’t actually do damage, which I think makes it quite underpowered. Even 10 damage would go a long way, since you could boost it with Choice Band and Kukui.

    Sudden Chill actually seems fine, despite doing a lot less damage than Golisopod-GX for twice the Energy cost -- the reason being that Golisopod is a much less versatile card. This Glaceon can also Ability-lock, which is probably what you’d use it for anyway, so I feel alright about Sudden Chill being where it is.

    Aesthetics: 5/5
    Wow! You’ve applied a lot of effects there, but every one of them seems to work! It does strike me as a bit odd that the Glaceon is so … textured? It’s just a bit weird cos the existing Glaceon-GX doesn’t have fur. But in all other ways, the art is perfect. I particularly love the fact that you’ve tripled the render to give it a sort of afterimage. No points lost here.

    Final Notes:
    Effects are reined in a bit, but aesthetics certainly aren’t. Nice work!

    Total: 42/50

    Judge's Note: These cards were actually surprisingly similar, given that in both cases their fakers chose to take existing effects and try to rework them in a new way -- which usually sacrifices some Creativity points in favor of Believability. That’s always dangerous to do in Image-based, though, where Creativity is worth three times as much as Believability. Both fakers ran into some underpowering issues that ended up costing them in Believability anyway. Nonetheless, I was very impressed with the aesthetics on both cards!

    Which means the contestants advancing are:
    Match 1:
    bbninjas, whose Knightly Keldeo scored 40/50 points!
    Match 2:
    Nyan, whose Gelid Glaceon-GX scored 42/50 points!

    Sorry, The Ωmega One and Gabs Kazumi, but that means that you have been eliminated.

    Congratulations to those who advanced!
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
  13. The Ωmega One Aspiring Trainer
    The Ωmega One


    Congrats BB & Nyan! That was a really fun round especially seeing these 4 cards all together, I hope there's another tournament in the near future :)
    bbninjas likes this.
  14. NinjaPenguin Always standing out from the crowd.


    Round 3
    The theme for the final round is Alternate Eras! To become a champion, you need to be able to adapt and show your skill in a variety of formats. For this final round, you'll have to leave your comfort zone and fake outside of an era you've already faked in for this tournament. For Nyan, this means you cannot fake in the Sun and Moon era. For bbninjas, this means you cannot fake in the DPPt or XY eras. Aside from that, there's absolutely no restrictions on the Pokémon you choose or card you create. As always, be creative!

    The final matchup is:
    @Nyan vs @bbninjas

    Here's the link to the updated bracket.

    You have just under three weeks, or until Sunday, May 5th, at 12:00 PM EST to submit your cards for this round. Good luck! :D
  15. bbninjas Ready or Not!

    Advanced Member Member

    Rip, DIY placements failed me! I actually don't use Metagross' template since it's for the inferior Photoshop program ( :p), though come to think, I probably could have used elements of it for more accurate placements.

    I don't normally nitpick about critique, though I will in this case! For some time now, I've felt that the "Playability" criteria is being interpreted too narrowly by judges. I feel that Playability has been judged based on a card's viability in a competitive meta as of late, whereas I believe the criteria was supposed to judge usability, whether usable by competitive or a beginner player. That is the precedent set by Spoon at least.

    Docking points for viability actually encourages powercreep design, as for a card to be competitively viable, it needs to be slightly better than its predecessors. Docking points for this also doesn't reflect the reality that most official cards weren't designed to be competitive.

    I also don't think points should be docked for limited usability, because it doesn't reflect how there are official cards also with limited usability. First Ticket, Greedy Dice and Wait and See Hammer are classics, but you also have Cubchoo LOT which is explicitly pointless after Turn 1. The Empty Fade combo is more useful than this and also more complex, because it becomes immediately competitive if a card mechanic that accelerate Pokemon Tool cards would exist.

    When should we dock points for underpowered design, then? I think this should be reserved for rare and extremely obvious cases where the effect is so bad that no player - competitive or beginner - would ever use it. This is for designs like 10 damage for [C][C][C], or "Discard the top 7 cards of your deck. If you do, discard the top card of your opponent's deck.". There are also cases where an effect is redundant, e.g. "This Pokemon is now Confused. Then, remove all Special Conditions from this Pokemon.", although redundancy has many pitfalls. An effect that only shuffles your / your opponent's deck might seem completely pointless, but it has a niche: it can disrupt deck-arranging mechanics like the PokeDex. One could argue that my redundant Confusion effect also has a niche, if there is an Ability / Trainer that activates (e.g. heals) when a Pokemon gains a Special Condition, though my counter arguement here is that a more believable design would be to delete the "remove Special Conditions" clause.

    With this in mind, I think the "Playability" criteria is ambigious and should be renamed. Perhaps to "Balance", though this implies competitiveness which we should probably avoid cause it can be misinterpreted. Perhaps "Usability", but this seems ambigious also: are we referring to usability from the perspective of a competitive player, or...? Perhaps we should forego this name entirely (just name it "Believability"), and clarify what "Believability" means: that is, a design that could be printed by TPCi. Believable cards have the realistic HP / WRR / Pokedex Information and are properly balanced (not broken, no or minimal power creep). They shouldn't be significantly underpowered from a beginner's perspective (although they could be uncompetitive), and they shouldn't be redundant / pointless.

    Sorry about the wall! Here's a tl;dr
    - I think Playability is being judged as "competitive viability", and I disagree with this interpretation.
    - I think Playability should be judged as "would a beginner player use this card".
    - Some official cards are uncompetitive and have limited usability, and so points shouldn't be docked for these
    - Points should be docked for broken design, overpowered design, extremely underpowered design and redundancy.
    Jabberwock, Vom, RealArity and 2 others like this.
  16. Jabberwock #Jovimohnaeliackvid


    Good! I'm glad you're willing to take a closer look at how we do things; nothing should ever be taken for granted. Lemme try and answer some of your concerns. ^.^

    Different takes on the interpretation of a category are nothing new; you yourself have judged a fair few CaCs in your day, and I know we haven't always agreed on rulings. :p In this instance, though, I believe we simply disagree. Playability is the category that places a card into a metagame format (whether the current one or a different one) and judges it based on how it would stack up with the leading cards of the day. It doesn't need to be the BDIF. It just needs to be able to have a fighting chance. That's how I've always judged it. Yes, it has led to a number of points being docked for underpoweredness, but I don't regret it –– 99% of the time all you need to do to fix it, to make the card "playable", is to change the damage output a bit. I believe that knowing where damage levels in a format are is just as important as knowing the typical HP of the day.

    Precedent always goes so far. As I said, nothing should ever be taken for granted, and different judges may have different policies. It's actually quite unrealistic to expect all judges to follow the same policy! I have only the highest respect for Spoon, but if we exclusively judged things the way he did, it would be impossible to achieve a 50/50 (and no, I'm not exaggerating; his policy was never to award a perfect score because, in his view, true perfection was unattainable). And, for what it's worth, I don't believe that his precedent for playability was such lenience. Spoon often docked points for design that he judged to be underpowered.

    As I said above, your card doesn't need to be the new best deck in format. It only needs not to outright lose in that format. Yes, there are many official cards for which this doesn't apply, but there are also many official cards with [C] for 10 attacks, and we'd dock Creativity for it either way.

    The concern with Empty Fade, for me, is that there were not a great deal of viable Pokémon Tools in DPPt, and so you have to devote a significant portion of your deck to Keldeo if you actually want the acceleration to work beyond the first couple of turns. And then, after the first couple turns, you should have accelerated enough to have a Pokémon on your Bench that can do rather more with its Energy than Keldeo can, so then you switch out and Keldeo becomes a benchwarmer anyway. My issue with the playability of the card is that by the time it can do more than its basic job of setup, other cards can do that, and more, more efficiently. Sorry if this wasn't clearer in your judging.

    All of these examples are things all of our judges would dock for, and likely more than 1 point at that. But we usually also dock for when a Pokémon's power levels simply don't stack up to where we'd expect them to be for the format the card is from. We don't dock much for this (and especially not in image, where we only have 5 points to begin with), but it is something that, in our view, should be fixed for the future.

    I'm open to renaming Playability, but it is an intended second facet of the category, outside of the Believability facet. Believability is whether or not the card could be printed. Playability is whether anyone should care about the card after it's printed.

    Hope that makes sense. I'm totally open to having a further conversation about this, but I'm afraid I have to leave rn, so apologies in advance if there's any clutter in this post. Dx
    FourteenAlmonds likes this.
  17. bbninjas Ready or Not!

    Advanced Member Member

    If anyone else wants to pitch in to the conversation, then feel free! I would definitely love to hear other takes.

    I suppose it boils down to this: why should the most powerful cards in a format be the reference point for judging playability? There's a spectrum of card 'powerfulness' in the TCG and with this particular reference point, all created cards must fall on the powerful end of the spectrum*. Is that good design philosphy? I don't think so - when card designs are concentrated on the powerful end, then future card designs must power creep more rapidly in a race to keep the spectrum balanced.

    So, would it not be more appropriate to select the middle of the spectrum as the reference point for this reason, and also so it reflects reality? You pointed out that not all official cards are creative, and sure. But we do have a specific reason for emphasising creativity in the Create-a-Card: to make the contest interesting and inspiring. If all cards had vanilla effects, the competition would be a bore. What's the reason for emphasising competitive playability? I don't see it's significance.

    I agree with the premise here - the card doesn't have to be the best, just not horrible. Though I started this conversation because I reckon many cards have been penalised even though they do meet this definition - the cards "don't outright lose" - including this Keldeo design.

    I'll use Keldeo as case study of sorts. There are better ways to accelerate energy in the format, fair. But is Keldeo still effective (e.g. it doesn't outright lose) at its intended role?

    Let's say that an effective energy accelerator must a) accelerate energy, b) be easy to use, c) have more reward than risk, d) mustn't disrupt other gameplay. Does Keldeo meet this?
    a) Yes, Keldeo accelerates 2 energy. b) Somewhat because you also need Tools, but you can search for them easily using Trainers. c) You could potentially accelerate two Energy per attack to get two turns ahead of your opponent! A small amount of setup is worth it. Plus, if you can sustain the cycle, you could even start placing damage pressure with Empty Fade. d) Hm, tough one. Keldeo could become a benchwarmer as the game progresses. Does this disrupt gameplay? For some strategies that need bench space yes. But for other decks, they will not mind.

    We can establish that Keldeo can adequately perform the basics of an energy acceleration role. This role might be more niche, but that seems fine since in reality, certain cards work best in certain builds. Also, just mentioning that we could begin asking how effective Keldeo is at this role, and although not necessary here the card already passes the "not horrible" criteria, it is important to check OPness. (Say we did ask this question, we might start considering effectiveness over time. In this case, Keldeo becomes less powerful over time, as your Tool card resources dwindle, you can't accelerate energy reliably.)

    Okay, suppose you're skeptical and don't think that Keldeo is effective as an Energy accelerator. (Perhaps because Pokemon Tools were used sparingly, only in niche decks, although I'd argue that Keldeo becomes very effective at its role in that niche.) Instead, how does Keldeo's attack output compare to other cards?

    Let's take a look at the range for three-Energy attacks on Basic Pokemon in the DP-era: [link]. As you can see, it's a bit all-over-the-place: anywhere between 40 and 80 damage. Comparable cards include Mewtwo at [P][P][C] for vanilla 60, Cressilia at [P][P][C] but at a high Energy discard cost, and perhaps most comparable, Darkrai at [D][D][D] for 50 with a strong but highly situational effect. We also have Legendary Pokemon hitting for 60+ with good effects, but unevolvable basics (like Onix) hitting as low as 30 with a decent effect. Perhaps Keldeo won't contend with the high-damage-output legendary Pokemon I mentioned, but I think the variety here highlights the need to consider 'power' on a spectrum, which Keldeo's White Flash would fall on. And so, I'd argue that Keldeo is an effective enough attacker in its own right, and meets the "not the best, but also doesn't outright lose" criteria we started with.​
    ShaQuL likes this.
  18. Jabberwock #Jovimohnaeliackvid


    The most "powerful" cards in a format are what make the format what it is, and that's why they're an important reference point for judging. A card's "playability" is quite literally measured in how well it stacks up to those cards in its respective format.

    Regarding power creep: one can certainly argue that it's an issue in PCL's card design (though, to an extent, this is true for almost all TCGs), but it's not quite relevant for a competition structured as this one is. If we intended to make a number of cards over a long period of time based on a single reference point far in the past, then sure. But our reference point changes every few months. Power creep is by definition unnoticeable on such a scale; if it's that blatant, it's not power creep, it's just straight-up overpowered, and will be penalized accordingly.

    The middle of the spectrum is much more ambiguously defined than what you might call "the high end", but we do allow for quite a range in our judging. The high end, though, reflects a more accurate reality than does the middle of the spectrum. The cards near the bottom can (and are) considered filler, printed only to fill out a set and never intended to see play in the least, so they can hardly be counted in a "spectrum of playability". If one discounts those, the average is higher than you might otherwise expect.

    The emphasis on competitive playability requires people to pay closer attention to balancing. You can't just slap some numbers on your card and call it a day; it has to be such that it would actually see play in that format. Balancing is just as important to card design as creativity, despite how many fewer points it's worth.

    While a good description of an effective energy accelerator in general, this oversimplifies what Keldeo needs to do in order to be effective. The card was designed to take advantage of its setup attack over the course of multiple turns whilst also doing damage with Empty Fade. (If I'm wrong about that, then clearly I misunderstood the entire point of the card and we have a bigger problem at stake here than the meaning of Playability.)

    You may be overestimating the amount of time that Keldeo will be useful. It discards 2 Pokémon Tools every time it uses that attack, meaning you've discarded an entire playset's worth (all most decks would reasonably be able to fit) in two moves. That's enough time to get maybe one Empty Fade off, but it's much more likely you just used Blue Flush twice. Searching for Tools easily using Trainers? Only Department Store Lady, and you'd rather be playing other Supporters in the first couple turns of the game.

    The main issue is that in virtually all scenarios, Keldeo will not be able to use Empty Fade for its fullest effect (i.e., more than just 50 damage -- which, I agree, is a fine attack on its own merit). The problem is that it can't realistically accomplish what its card design set out to do. This is a problem with Playability. A more niche problem, true enough, but a problem nonetheless.​
  19. SneaselGenesis Aspiring Trainer


    To me it seems like you both have good points and I think the definition of what I'd expect Playability to mean is more in the middle. To me a Playability category isn't about being the most powerful card or the easiest cards for beginners to use. To me it means how splashy a card is. Cards like Bill or Lickitung or Fossil Magmar from the early game I'd all see as highly playable (like 4/5 or 5/5)due to their being able to fit in a wide variety of decks and strategies without needing as much dedication to make those cards playable compared to say Alakazam or Dark Ampharos who are both very powerful cards, but need more of a deck dedicated to them to take advantage of their powers so would see them more as (3/5 to 4/5). Or in the modern era I would say cards like Tapu Lele-GX or N are very easy to fit into deck while something like Sylveon-GX or Wondrous Labyrinth {*} are both powerful cards, but need more dedication to make the most out of them.

    So to me it ultimately means how much support is needed to take full advantage of a card. Cards that would get less than 3/5 would be cards that require too much support that making dedication to use them makes the deck as a whole not very viable or cards that have 0 competitive use at all.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
    KnightofDust and bbninjas like this.
  20. Nyan Staring into space again...

    Chat Room Staff Member


    See, it's the sun... hehe.
    Anyways, when it comes to pure aesthetics, few eras can contest the HGSS era. I personally love the design of the Call of Legends shiny legend cards a LOT, so I decided to bring that here. Volcarona is one of my favorite Pokemon, and the art (by PKBunny) is AMAZING, so I recolored it to it's shiny form and used it here, which fit better than I expected. Originally, I wasn't going to stick with this, but after my initial impressions I decided to go with it. After some decisions on the wording, I decided to make this card have a special relationship with Typhlosion Prime. The Power and attack can all work together with Typhlosion to apply a constant pressure to an opposing team, and Volcarona can act as an escort to the larger threat in Typhlosion or even as the main attacker, constantly zombifying itself. In order to make the Power balanced, I kept the cost high on the attack.

    Wording references:
    - Rare Candy DEX 100 (For Power. In HGSS there's no other effects similar to this one.)
    - Exeggcute PLF 4 (Ditto to Rare Candy here. I changed "this Pokemon" to "Volcarona" because that seems to be the preferred way for a card to refer to itself in HGSS. )
    - Weedle UL 69 (put it onto X)
    - Pupitar UL 38 (Attack text is identical aside from replacing 20 with 50.)
    bbninjas likes this.

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