Contest November 2021 CaC: Discard Pile (Results Posted!)

FireLizard

A man who knows nothing about proportions.
Member
Sorry late again,I was pretty busy with personal stuff.

Spiritomb V HP170 [D]
Basic Pokémon


[Ability] Soulection

This Pokémon gets +10 HP for each Pokémon in your discard pile.You can't add more than 110 HP in this way.


[D][D] Schadenfreude 20X

You may put up to 10 damage counters on your Benched Pokémon in any way you like. This attack does 20 damage for each damage counter you placed in this way.If any of your Pokémon were Knocked Out in this way,draw a card.

Weakness:[G]X2
Resistance:None
Retreat:[C ][C]


When your Pokémon V is Knocked Out,your opponent takes 2 Prize cards.

So yeah,Spiritomb V.What can I say more?
Another Pokémon with an Ability and no Resistance,I am truly uncreative.

I wanted to make a wall with a funny strategy of the discard pile cards,since no cards have that kind of strategy.
Schadenfreude it's great to discard Pokèmon faster,especially weaker Pokémon,and also rewards you with a card if you
Knock Out any of them,good way to get more cards.
This card works great with the Honchkrow I created some months ago and the Single Strike Umbreon from Evolving Skies,along with Team Up Spiritomb for the Expanded format.

Simple strategy,but tough guy to KO.

That's it bye
 

Mick-773

Pizza Enthusiast
Member
9ccef123a30c36fd0e4716dd4181175ecc4c683f.png

HP and Retreat were calibrated on pre-existing Mudsdale cards, with both being a little higher than your average HP and RC for a fully evolved stage 1 Fighting Pokémon. I had to stop myself from giving it a L resistance, tough.

Ability: mainly Trash Exchange G1 (lol), but the counting parts was updated to be in line with the wording more recently used in cards like Wicke BUS. For the second part, mainly Flygon DAA (If you discarded ... in this way) and Bea VIV ("any energy cards you discarded..."). Altough I feel like I somehow mess it up.

Attack: Mainly Rillaboom VMAX RCL, although I omitted the "if you do" bit, in light of more recent cards such as Tsareena V FST and Rayquaza V EVS. Same here, I hope I didn't mess up this one too °_°

Working on the entry for this month was quite the pain, unfortunately.
In a span of a few days, the card I had in mind jumped from a Vileplume, to a Cursola, to a Jellycent, and finally into a Volcanion. Then I decided to scrap everything and try a different approach to the theme, and Mudsdale seemed like a forgotten enough Pokémon to try and do something different with it. Then things irl popped up and I basically had no time to work on it as I wanted, sorry.

Speaking of Mudsdale, one of my favourite tech back in S/M was to use it as a support Pokémon with Rototiller, boosting the offensive power of my Grass types. It didn't really work out as I planned, tough.
Rototiller is already featured in the TCG as an attack, so I wanted to take it to the extremes by making it into an ability that basically randomizes your discard pile (and provides some minor energy acceleration, just in case).

While this can be useful to put resources back into the deck to be searched and used again, it can also backfire spectacularly as you might end up discarding important resources - unless you build your deck around fishing things back from the discard pile, that is.
I guess making it so that you can actually choose the cards that gets shuffled and the one that stays in the discard pile would have made it a bit more consistent, but I fear it could have made it a bit too broken? (used in an hypothetical Night March/Mad Party-esque archetype, perhaps?)

The attack is a variation on the usual "discard energy, do damage", in the sense that in this case Mudsdale kindly ask for the collaboration (and the energies) of your benched Pokemon instead of doing all the heavy lifting.
The discarded cards will most likely be shuffled into the deck during next turn, but with a bit of luck you can get one of them back via Soil TIllage's second effect, which allows the attack to hit consistently for at least 100 damage per turn, which is a bit lower, but overall in line, with the power level of other 3-energy attacks carried by Fully evolved stage 1 Fighting Pokemon from the current era (at least if I didn't mess up the input criteria in the card database °-°).

As for the art, lately I've been particularly obsessed over the cards illustrated by HYOGONOSUKE, so I tried to incorporate a similar vibe into my artwork. I believe the context the scene takes place in is kinda obvious, but if you need a hint there is a gigantic tail showing off in the distance that might serve as a hint :p
I want to practice more with this style, as I had a lot of fun with it. Unfortunately the brush I used for 80% of the work suddenly stopped working and turned into a blurred mess, so the final render was absolutely rushed and I hated every second of it (as the rest of the card, basically).

Mudsdale has always been associated strongly with Hapu, so I decide to also feature her in the drawing - of course, her outfit was adapted to better fit Galar's colder climate. As for the reason why Poni's Kahuna travelled from her home island to this region, I don't have a proper answer. Perhaps she was sent there to take notes on the region's league system, given how young Alola's league is compared to Galar's. Or she is just there on holiday. Who knows.

Also, before you ask: yes, horses' anatomy makes no sense. I don't know why they sit like that, or what other sorcery I have to cast to make it loos less uncanny. Please don't think too much about it. Thanks.
 

Nick Tornell

Haha, art go brrrr
Member
Submission time
View attachment 16238
I'm really happy with the way this card turned out, especially when it comes to that art. I have to admit that I was a bit scared of how drawing the reverse/distortion would look, but I think I pulled it off.
For note, the clause about only being able to discard one Pokémon off of the ability despite the "once per turn" already being there is for the event that you find more than one Basic Pokémon in those five cards.
Alright, yeah, had to correct something to do with wording on the ability, and I should have done this sooner, but here that is.

Giratina Nov. 2021-fixed.png

I wanted to be thematic with BDSP releasing this month, and Giratina really just fit perfectly, and I played on the Reverse/Distortion world in the attack name. The attack is also slightly inspired by Night March, just a good bit more fitting to Giratina, and a bit more malicious with "Hunt" as opposed to "March".
 

Alolan Teddiursa

Aspiring Trainer
Member
dev4iaf-3b02c20a-8d3b-4c89-912b-9765da222573.png

Important notes for the Judge:

1. I know that Burned status was not introduced till e series but I really don't want to reference the long text of the Char counter from Quilava. I hope this is fine:)

2. I understand that dark types have no weaknesses in Neo era but since this is a particular set that I am working on, all Pokemon have Weakness and Resistances, so I still added one.

3. The Rocket symbol was supposed to be behind the Archer icon. However, his head would block most of the Rocket Icon and it looks somehow weird so I left it as this😅.
 

Mr. Sableye

Lithovore Extraordinaire
Member
slowpoke.png
Pretty simple card. Unrestricted discard recursion on a coin flip with an optional increasing cost to improve your odds. Evasion effect on its attack so it can potentially see more than one use without being wiped out immediately. Otherwise, pretty standard Slowpoke stats. Also uses more Emiko Yoshino art which I love.
 

Charmaster:)

Collecting, playing, & making family memories.
Member
November_CaC_Suicune_ChM_CaC6_14.png
[/URL]
References for effects include Darkrai GX BUS, Karrablast CRI, Tsareena UMI (UNM?)/Naganadel LOT, and PLF Kecleon and CRE Kecleon. Sorry for not clarifying what those effects are for specifically. There is something I urgently need to do that has been put off far too long already.
Also, thanks, everyone who helped me review my entry. PMJ was especially involved in today's last second review, but several other people had all chimed in previously. It feels really good to get this released at last and not have to worry about it.
 

AlphaLad

Aspiring Trainer
Member
devicc4-d3acb66a-dc27-4c50-9d82-518a9d3ac171.png

Since I had a pretty busy month and didn't have too much time to work on this, I'll keep it brief. I went with Dusknoir since it fit the discard pile theme pretty well, and the effects were made to reflect its lore. The card itself is balanced for SwSh and the blank is my own.
 

Vom

probably forgetting something
Forum Mod
Member
[Basic] Hoopa-GX HP190 [D]

Ability: Dimension Breach
Once during your turn, if this Pokémon is discarded with the effect of another card, you may search your deck for Hoopa, Hoopa-EX or Hoopa-GX and put it onto your Bench. Then, shuffle your deck.

[D][C][C] Hyperspace Tunneling 100+
Discard any number of your Benched Pokémon. This attack does 20 more damage for each Benched Pokémon you discarded in this way.

[D] Bandit Ring GX 30
If you go first, you can use this attack on your first turn. For the rest of this game, each time you discard 1 of your Hoopa, Hoopa-EX or Hoopa-GX with the effect of another card, you may draw a card for each of those Pokémon. (You can't use more than 1 GX attack in a game.)

Weakness: [F] x 2
Resistance: [P] - 20
Retreat: [C][C][C]
Pokémon-GX Rule: When your Pokémon-GX is Knocked Out, your opponent takes 2 Prize cards.
-Weezing Hidden Fates - discard effect+clause. on the Weezing it's kind of ambiguous if they included the clause because of the effect of Jessie and James is also discarding from the hand, or if they included it for clarity. I'm leaning towards the former since my Honchkrow entry a couple months back had a similar dilemma (was not penalized for no clause) but I thought I'd just point it out.
-Cofagrigus LOT - Benched pokemon discard
i'll do these later cause im almost late oof
 

Vom

probably forgetting something
Forum Mod
Member
[Basic] Hoopa-GX HP190 [D]

Ability: Dimension Breach
Once during your turn, if this Pokémon is discarded with the effect of another card, you may search your deck for Hoopa, Hoopa-EX or Hoopa-GX and put it onto your Bench. Then, shuffle your deck.

[D][C][C] Hyperspace Tunneling 100+
Discard any number of your Benched Pokémon. This attack does 20 more damage for each Benched Pokémon you discarded in this way.

[D] Bandit Ring GX 30
If you go first, you can use this attack on your first turn. For the rest of this game, each time you discard 1 of your Hoopa, Hoopa-EX or Hoopa-GX with the effect of another card, you may draw a card for each of those Pokémon. (You can't use more than 1 GX attack in a game.)

Weakness: [F] x 2
Resistance: [P] - 20
Retreat: [C][C][C]
Pokémon-GX Rule: When your Pokémon-GX is Knocked Out, your opponent takes 2 Prize cards.
Alright, where to start. This month was hard for me. Uni was wrapping up for the semester (which means exams) but that only exacerbated the problem I already had: the discard pile. You can do so many things with it, and yet. It was very hard to come up with something that really dives into the design space the Weezing in my references only scratched the surface of.

I knew off the bat I didn't want to do something that moved cards from the discard to somewhere else (i.e. acceleration, recycling, etc.) because there are a million cards out there that do that already. However that didn't leave much room for an interesting, yet viable strategy, besides something like Night March (which as I typed I realized some players might not know what I'm even talking about. big oof) and that really isn't that interesting.

So I remembered that Weezing, which nets you an advantage if you discard it with Jessie and James as part of the effect. I loved that card when it came out, but obviously it did not see play as it was a) too specific b) the specific card it supported was not very good itself in the first place and c) when it did work it was not very impactful. This card aims to solve each of those problems, and then some.

When I figured out I wanted to do something that worked well by being discarded, or by discarding things from the deck, I thought portals, ultra dimension, etc., which basically left me with Solgaleo (Ultra Warp ride, opens portals, like more than Lunala - fight me), Hoopa (duh), and the Sinnoh legends, which were quickly discarded for reasons that are not too clear, guess I just wasn't feeling it.

Now for Hoopa, I loved the old Hoopa-EX with Scoundrel Ring, so I did a reverse of that. That one grabbed you 3 Pokemon-EX except for Hoopa from your deck to your hand, this one hands you 1 of 3 versions of Hoopa. I almost put "with Hoopa in its name" for future proofing but I learned my lesson from that one Nidkoing card. Thanks...NP I think? Anyways. This one wants to be discarded, and in a perfect world there are versions of the other ones that have something like this Ability as well.

I'm honestly not entirely sure if it would work with stuff like Ultra Ball, since I have no idea if the Pokémon TCG makes the cost vs effect distinction since there are just no cards like that at this point, but even if it did it's nothing crazy. Dimension Breach has Hoopa reach through a ring to your deck to replace itself, allowing easier chaining of the attack.

Hyperspace Tunneling is admittedly not a novelty by any means, but it works so beautifully with the card and allows it to fit in an actual card that it was pretty much an auto include. Initially it was gonna let you draw cards instead of raw damage (with the GX attack being a KO button) but in the context of the new GX attack it is just so much more beneficial.

I did play with the math a lot starting out at 130 +10/discard, but this way you can have a one-time nuke and retain decent damage output beyond that. It has the added utility of being able to discard anything rather than only Hoopas, but obviously Hoopas are the only thing you can chain. There is no built in way to recycle Hoopas, however - which is probably a good thing to avoid too much chaining.

The GX attack is just the cherry on top. Now not only do you break even by discarding Hoopa, you actually get a benefit from it. That is all. The name is simply what Scoundrel Ring should have been. Don't you agree?
 

Jabberwock

#Jovimohnaeliackvid
Forum Mod
Articles Staff
Member
Slightly belated wrap on this round of the contest — results are coming as soon as we can finish them.

Stay tuned for our annual Fakers' Marathon near the end of this month!
 
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Nyan

She/They
Member
Sorry for the late finish on this, but I am hoping there's still enough time to slide mine in!

Hisuian_Zoroark_CaC.png

I need to go to sleep, so I will type out my comments/thoughts later on a Discord thread. Feel free to check that out later if you're so inclined uwu
 
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Jabberwock

#Jovimohnaeliackvid
Forum Mod
Articles Staff
Member
Sorry for the late finish on this, but I am hoping there's still enough time to slide mine in!

Hisuian_Zoroark_CaC.png

I need to go to sleep, so I will type out my comments/thoughts later on a Discord thread. Feel free to check that out later if you're so inclined uwu
Cutting it close, but I'll slide it in since you reached out ahead of time to say you might be late. Try not to make a habit of it and we're good. :)

PMJ reminded me I should be more specific about when results are coming — this month is busier than usual for me, so we're probably looking at two or three weeks from now. Thanks for your patience, and I promise they're coming as soon as possible.
 

Vom

probably forgetting something
Forum Mod
Member
So sorry about this again...yikes.
[Basic] Hoopa-GX HP190 [D]

Ability: Dimension Breach
Once during your turn, if this Pokémon is discarded with the effect of another card, you may search your deck for Hoopa, Hoopa-EX or Hoopa-GX, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then, shuffle your deck.

[D][D][C] Hyperspace Tunneling 120+
Shuffle up to 3 in any combination of your Hoopa, Hoopa-EX or Hoopa-GX from your discard pile into your deck. This attack does 20 more damage for each card you shuffled into your deck in this way.

[D] Bandit Ring GX 30
If you go first, you can use this attack on your first turn. For the rest of this game, each time you discard 1 of your Hoopa, Hoopa-EX or Hoopa-GX with the effect of another card, you may draw a card for each of those Pokémon. (You can't use more than 1 GX attack in a game.)

Weakness: [F] x 2
Resistance: [P] - 20
Retreat: [C][C][C]
Pokémon-GX Rule: When your Pokémon-GX is Knocked Out, your opponent takes 2 Prize cards.
-Blastoise-GX UNB: EXtra dmg for shuffling into deck
 

Jabberwock

#Jovimohnaeliackvid
Forum Mod
Articles Staff
Member
Image-Based Results


Judge: @Jabberwock

For this month, we asked you to explore the discard pile — a perennially important part of the game that can be as much a blessing for its public collection of resources as it is a curse for those resources being … well, discarded. There are a number of tried-and-true discard pile effects on real cards, but for this contest, we wanted you to think outside the box and see what you could innovate.

For the most part, what set the high end of Creativity scores apart from the low end this month was how they incorporated the theme — to what extent they explored the discard pile mechanically, above and beyond the bare minimum of putting the words “discard pile” somewhere on the card. All the cards this month had interesting effects, but some of them were more attentive to the theme, and it tended to pay off in Creativity. It’s true that the theme every month is a restriction, but don’t forget that it’s also intended as a source of inspiration. Don’t be afraid to explore it!

We'll be back in January with the next round of CaC. In the meantime, the Fakers' Marathon should be going up soon — make sure to check it out for a fast-paced week of faking fun!

~~Jabberwock


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Well, it’s the first custom Single Strike Pokémon I’ve seen, so props for that! A shame it doesn’t take more than a little near-rectangular cutout to make it into one, but ah well. Not every mechanic can be flashy.

The art is fine. I like the holosheet, but ultimately the art itself is pretty standard ishmam fare, which would be cooler if it weren’t already so ubiquitous in the faking community. The color combination makes me think it would look better on a Psychic blank — I don’t really buy that there’s a desirable contrast between the Darkness blank and the background, and the combination of reds and purples just seems much better suited to Psychic. I know you chose Darkness for a bunch of reasons both artistic and mechanical, but for maximum aesthetic impact, I’m not sure this was the right choice.

On the text side, the effects are an interesting and innovative take on possession as a mechanic. I’ve seen a lot of cards (even designed a couple myself) that “possess” other Pokémon by picking them up and attaching them to the possessor. The fact that this Gengar works the other way around — by attaching itself to another Pokémon, almost like a parasite — is pretty cool.

Phantom Revenge is solid. On the surface it’s a relatively run-of-the-mill Vengeance-style attack, a pretty obvious choice for the theme, but the “same type as this Pokémon” thing is neat given the Ability. It also paves over the weird disconnect in the real TCG that prevents a whole bunch of non-[D]/non-[F] Single Strike Pokémon from taking advantage of Single Strike Energy.

130 HP, W/R/R, other stats all check out. “lol ghost card weak to fighting” indeed.

Oh, and good catch with the last sentence of the Ability. Sending it back to the discard pile on a Knock Out would have thrown a pretty big wrench into the card’s balancing, and the Bench is a good alternative.

Wording errors:
- Too many “and”s in the second sentence of the Ability — it should just say “... is a Single Strike Pokémon, is now a [D] Pokémon in addition …” [-1 point]

Fonts and Placement errors:
- Lining up a SwSh-era Gengar scan over your card indicates the HP size is 2-3 pt too small, and the center dex stats' positioning is off by a few pixels. [-1 point] total, since they’re both small and barely noticeable.

Creativity/Originality: 13/15
(Cool innovative take on possession. Very good attention to the theme; the connection to the discard pile shows through in virtually every part of the card. I’m not sure the attack really wows me, though it’s definitely miles better than a basic “20x Pokémon in discard” effect. Overall I like it.)
Believability/Playability: 15/15
(It seems good as a tech without being a breakable archetype. The attack is good, and gaining types and other attributes is good, but only activating on a Knock Out holds it back. I’ll accept the “I meant to do that” justification for not attaching it as a Tool, but will note that it opens some cans of worms for certain cards in certain contexts, so gotta be careful with it. On the whole, though, no problems here.)
Wording: 9/10
(References look good. I agree the AOR Eeveelutions are sketchy, but whaddaya gonna do. Just one superfluous “and” away from full marks here.)
Fonts and Placement: 4/5
(Keep an eye on smaller text stuff; dragging a scan over the card and setting it to 50% opacity can usually help.)
Aesthetics: 3/5
(The art is fine; not bad, but not especially noteworthy. The holosheet is solid, even if I disagree with the art-blank combination. Overall a fine first foray into SwSh faking.)
Total: 44/50
giratina-ex-cac-png.16250


Big fan of capital-E Pokémon-EX. It’s easy to see them as having less room for creativity when they’re all restricted to the same Stage, but I think there’s still plenty of room for interesting effects in there. Most still work if they’re just balanced differently.

Does this one work? I’m a little worried about Shadow Sneak in a format where it’s easy to get stuff into the Lost Zone. The XY era definitely doesn’t qualify — that was part of Creatures’s forgetting-about-the-Lost-Zone phase — but comparing it to SM, or another era with Lost Blender–adjacent cards … yeah, we’re probably okay there. 20x would be dangerous given that this thing can also take a hit, but one Energy for 10x is fine. If we assume the XY-era set of Lost Zone cards would be roughly on par with the SM-era set, then I’d be willing to accept this thing’s balancing.

Corrupted Claw is a weird attack; it’s basically saying “if you’ve already killed one Pokémon-EX, kill another,” which is a weird place to be balance-wise. I’d probably prefer it if it did more damage if the opponent didn’t have a Pokémon-EX in the discard, but at that point it’s so easy for most opponents to turn off that it would require a new set of numbers. To be honest, I reckon relying on the opponent’s discard pile makes the balancing weird no matter what you do — it’s always gonna be easier for them to regulate your damage output than it will be for you to, which isn’t something you want. I probably would have gone with a different effect here, possibly necessitating a different (probably deeper) incorporation of the theme.

On aesthetics, it’s a solid effort, but there’s a few things holding it back from snagging the authentic BWXY Pokémon EX look. One is the art itself, specifically its shading — with the heavy-yet-diffuse highlights, we’re looking more at ex- or DPPt-era 3D styles than the 5ban Graphics lighting that became dominant in BWXY. You’ll also probably want more glowballs, especially streams of smaller ones — not a requirement, necessarily, but they’re pretty ubiquitous in that era, so they help a lot. As for the floating rocks, they’re a cool effect and I applaud their inclusion, but you’ll probably want the purple glow to “wrap” them — include an Inner Glow as well as an Outer Glow, or risk them looking like 90s CGI. Anyway, like I said, it’s a solid effort, and I’ve seen some really great EX work from you — I look forward to seeing more in the future!

Wording errors:
- “(both yours and your opponent’s)” isn’t a full sentence, so it goes inside the period, without an internal period of its own, and the “b” shouldn’t be capitalized. [-1 point]
- I’ll excuse the lack of “excluding ◊ (Prism Star) Pokémon” text on the grounds that Prism Star Pokémon didn’t exist in the XY era. It’ll cost you in Believability, though, since the words “Lost Zone” don’t appear on XY cards either. [-0 points]
- The order of symbols in Corrupted Claw’s attack cost should be [P][D][C][C]. [-1 point]
- “thier” -> “their”, but the pre-SM convention is “his or her.” I allow for this retcon in pre-SM eras in the interest of inclusiveness, but you have to demonstrate that it’s intentional. [-2 points]
- Missing a set number. Can be “000/000” or “CAC-PROMO” or something, but that text can’t just be absent. [-1 point]

Fonts and Placement errors:
- The name (i.e. “Giratina”) looks like it’s in Gill Sans Bold Condensed; it should just be Gill Sans Bold. It’s a common mistake, but it’s pretty noticeable in the capital letter. [-0.5 point]
- The Gill Sans being used for the attack text looks weirdly thin — if I had to guess I’d say it’s Gill Sans Light or something? You’ll just want Gill Sans Regular. [-0.5 point]
- Attack text should be Justified, i.e. all lines except the last one should align on the right as well as the left. This can be done under the Paragraph tab in Photoshop. [-1 point]
- Illus. text should be bolder. [-0.5 point]
- The “x” and “+” are both off in their placement — the “x” too far to the left; the “+” too high. [-0.5 point]

Creativity/Originality: 8/15
(Corrupted Claw is interesting, but it doesn’t stray very far outside convention, and there’s only a superficial relation to the theme. Shadow Sneak is very similar to Lost March and other attacks we’ve seen before, so I can’t give many creativity points there either.)
Believability/Playability: 11/15
(No particular balancing concerns, but I have to dock points for bringing the Lost Zone to the XY era like this. Furthermore, Shadow Sneak is an existing attack, and it does something different.)
Wording: 6/10
(A few conventions to keep track of.)
Fonts and Placement: 2/5
(A few minor errors.)
Aesthetics: 2/5
(The CGI effects are impressive work, but the glow around the rocks could use some adjustment, and the shading on the Giratina art holds it back. Also, from a technical standpoint, the corners should be cut entirely, and the art shouldn’t disappear behind the name box and reappear on the border — it’s all or nothing for breaking the art box.)
Edited: [-2 points]
Total: 27/50
2021_11_cac_ultra_necrozma_v-union-png.16253


Ah, the ol’ four-entries-in-one gag! Always cool to see, and even if I’m not super hot on V-UNIONs as a mechanic, I’m impressed that you slapped this blank together for the contest this month. The effect is outstanding.

The downside is that V-UNIONs, like any card that’s really multiple cards in one, can be very tricky to balance. It’s probably most useful to compare it to existing Pokémon V-UNION, of which there are five now. Let’s go through the effects one by one.

Photon Trail does 80 for one with a positive secondary effect that will probably tend to net you two or three cards. This is enough to Knock Out most evolving single-Prize Basic Pokémon, or turn Searing Prism into a Knock Out on a Pokémon V. I think on the whole this is good — not too powerful, as we can see from Greninja V-UNION’s one-for-130 Aqua Edge, but powerful enough to do some work.

By contrast, Searing Prism is … fine. The three-for-140 part is a little low, given other three-Energy attacks on existing Pokémon V-UNION — you should probably be aiming for the high end of the range, since it’s a multi-type attack cost on a Pokémon that can’t hit for Weakness — but the secondary effect, 20 damage to each of the opponent’s Benched Pokémon, is very low. It’s clearly supposed to be a finisher after Ultra Brilliance activates, but that would require some spread damage to be done earlier in the game, since even most Basic Pokémon these days have more than 60 HP, and those that don’t tend not to be left hanging on the Bench. Compare it to Greninja’s Twister Shuriken, which does 100 damage to each of their Benched Pokémon, and can be used at any point in the game. Crazy as it sounds, I’m not sure 200 damage to the Active is enough to bridge that gap. I’d probably want to see the base spread damage increased from 20 to 40 here — I think that would be about the right number to be consequential in the early game (bringing an unboosted Light of End to a Knock Out on a Pokémon VMAX) while also realistically being able to close it out after the boost without an entire deck’s worth of additional support.

On the acceleration end of things, Neuroforce is a little underwhelming — games are won in very few Knock Outs these days (especially where 3-Prize Pokémon are concerned), so I have a hard time seeing Neuroforce attaching more than one, usually more than zero Energy in any given game. You would definitely want some external source of Energy acceleration for this thing. It’s unfortunate, since Neuroforce is probably the most thematic “discard pile” effect on the card outside of the “How to play a Pokémon V-UNION” box — it just needed a different trigger.

Ultra Brilliance and Light of End are both good; no complaints here. Union Gain is a standard V-UNION attack, so no problems with that either — I think [P] would have been a better choice than [M] for the Union Gain Energy, but it’s not that big a deal. HP, bottom stats, etc seem fine.

On aesthetics, I like salanchu’s art and I like the holosheet (even if it’s technically the wrong one for a V-UNION), but the empty space — there’s so much of it! It takes away from the dynamism of a four-part conglomerate card to have Ultra Necrozma just floating there in a void. Breaking the border is good, but don’t forget that not every piece of art works for every style of card. :p

Wording errors:
- On point.

Fonts and Placement errors:
- The text of the “How to play” box should be GIll Sans Bold Condensed. The font you’re using looks too wide; possibly it’s Gill Sans Bold? [-0.5 point]
- “Neuroforce” and “Ultra Brilliance” are set substantially wider than any of the attack names. [-0.5 point]
- The text of the V-UNION rule should be Gill Sans Bold Condensed (like the “How to play” box), not Futura. [-1 point]

Creativity/Originality: 10/15
(Ultra Brilliance is interesting, and the numbers tend to play into each other between Photon Gain and the bigger attacks, which shows you’re thinking about game progression. But ultimately we’ve got a couple of support attacks, a spread attack, and a nuke, plus a couple of interesting Abilities — none of the effects is really all that out there. Unfortunately, the incorporation of the theme is also pretty surface-level.)
Believability/Playability: 12/15
(Most of the card looks fine for a V-UNION. It tends toward the lower-damage defensive side of things, especially with its relatively high HP, and that’s a fine place to be. I would just want to see Searing Prism’s spread increase so as to maintain relevance alongside the rest of the card.)
Wording: 10/10
(On point.)
Fonts and Placement: 3/5
(A few minor errors.)
Aesthetics: 3/5
(Props for creating a blank for this contest. Unfortunately, the large amount of empty space in the art — as well as the technically incorrect holosheet — are holding you back here.)
Total: 38/50
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It’s always cool to see different uses of your e-series-adapted Omnium blanks, but I think this might be the first one I’ve seen that’s just … regular. Not a dual-type, no special mechanic, just the sort of Stage 1 you might find as a regular rare in the bulk of a set. And it holds up; it’s a very pretty card! The art’s beautiful, and it got even better once I recognized the Leafeon tail in the back. If I had one gripe, it would probably be the background texture — it wasn’t too noticeable when the blank was dual-type etc, but here I think it’s just a little bit too variegated for an otherwise unassuming Stage 1. It draws your eye away from the art a little too much. Still, the card overall is stunning, and I’m keen to see more cards like it. :)

Soil Tillage is certainly an interesting effect — if you’re citing Trash Exchange as a reference, that’s a pretty sure sign that you’re in some underexplored design space. It brings an element of chaos to the game for you to be turning over your entire discard pile every turn; in effect, it’s not so much a dead zone as a zone that happens to be temporarily public, as whatever you discard on one turn can just be shuffled back in on the next. It’s a little hard for me to see Creatures printing something like this, especially when discard turnover hasn’t gone so well for them in the past, but it’s certainly very thematic for a rototiller-inspired effect.

Coordinated Charge is a pretty reasonable attack — Soil Tillage is clearly the star of the show, but the attack makes sense for what it is, and it goes along well with the Ability. The numbers feel about right, in that it can hit 190 (relevant GX/V numbers) at a pretty steep cost, but has the benefit of acceleration to make up for it.

Overall I think it’s well designed. It’s unusual for sure, but that’s a good thing around here. It lends chaos to a game, but capping it at one Ability use per turn probably helps it stay pretty well in hand. I’d be interested to see how it plays out in real games!

Wording errors:
- Pokémon uses the series comma in lists of three or more items (i.e. shuffle those cards into your deck, and discard …”), per cards like Jirachi TEU. [-1 point]
- Missing the inches symbol (″) at the end of the height. Strictly speaking, based on TPCi’s convention, the decimal in the weight should also be a period, not a comma. I think I’ve excused this in the past, but really it is an established convention and ought to be adhered to. [-1 point]

Fonts and Placement errors:
- Your blank, your rules on this one. All looks fine to me.

Creativity/Originality: 13/15
(Definitely out there. Old WotC-era Trainer cards have a lot of underexplored design space in them, and Trash Exchange is no exception. The choice to link it to a farming/tilling theme is great; it works perfectly from a thematic perspective. I could wish the attack felt more original, but the synergy is there, and it’s a pretty cool bundle of effects even still.)
Believability/Playability: 12/15
(Docking a few extremely cautious points because Creatures themselves tend to be very cautious with en-masse discard pile turnover, and with good reason. It might have been better to turn over just a few cards at a time — though, granted, the criteria for selecting them would have required some additional consideration.)
Wording: 8/10
(A couple minor errors.)
Fonts and Placement: 5/5
(Your blank, your rules.)
Aesthetics: 5/5
(It’s a beautiful card, and I love seeing these blanks and your art in action. It might be worth taking another look at the Fighting texture, but nonetheless the card as a whole is stunning.)
Total: 43/50
giratina-nov-2021-fixed-png.16266


Night March is definitely one of the more famous (or perhaps infamous) discard-related effects, so it’s no surprise to see it and other Vengeance-style attacks crop up in such profusion this month. Swapping it from your discard pile to your opponent’s discard pile is a nice touch that does feel appropriate, even if the Lost Zone tends to be more Giratina’s domain (in its original incarnation, anyway).

Snatching Tendrils works as mild disruption — enough to be a nuisance, potentially, but not enough to swing a game. It serves the more important task of setting up Reverse Hunt, a task which, in formats with abundant recovery options, might be easier said than done. The numbers on Reverse Hunt might be a tad low — you need one Pokémon in their discard to Knock Out most evolving Basic Pokémon, but three to four for most other single-Prize Pokémon, and five-plus for big Pokémon-GX; no easy feat to pull off if your opponent has access to Rescue Stretcher and the like. It’s not that those Knock Outs should be easy to take, per se, but they should at least be somewhat reliable if you go to the effort to set them up, and I’m not sure I buy that relevant Knock Outs are reliably feasible with these numbers for Reverse Hunt.

Snatching Tendrils could probably do a little more to help it out in that regard. Omitting the “Basic” requirement for the target wouldn’t hurt; it doesn’t break anything for Giratina to be able to pluck larger Pokémon once a turn out of such a small selection of cards. If you want to keep it at Basics only for thematic reasons, there are other options, too — increasing the number of cards you get to see, maybe, or making it more reliable but changing the other conditions for its use (e.g. just on drop, instead of once per turn). Lots of options out there.

The art is really cool; I commend the aesthetic initiative involved in illustrating your own cards. It’s well drawn, and I like the minimalist representation of the Distortion World with the rift, islands, and broken pillar in the background. I do find the illustration as a whole a little bit dark for a card like this; the background is certainly allowed to be, but the Pokémon in focus should ideally be much brighter and more eye-catching than that. If it were brightened up a notch, though, I’d call it pretty close to perfect. It’s been a while since I’ve seen your stuff on the image-based side of things, but your art and designs have clearly come a long way since then — welcome back, and I hope to see more from you in the future. :)

Wording errors:
- Numbers in attack text should be numerals, not spelled out, so “five” -> “5”, “one” -> “1”, etc. [-1 point]
- The Ability should read something like “... look at the top 5 cards of your opponent’s deck and discard a Basic Pokémon you find there. Your opponent shuffles the other cards back into their deck. You can’t use more than 1 Snatching Tendrils Ability each turn.”, per Alolan Muk TEU and one-use Ability mons like Dedenne-GX. [-4 points]
- The “XX damage plus YY more damage” syntax is an artifact of pre-BW eras — these days, it should just say “YY more damage” [-2 points]

Fonts and Placement errors:
- The fonts are mostly right, though a few things — the dex information, Justified and single-spaced attack text, and all the bottom text — need another look. The placements look mostly eyeballed, too, which brings you down pretty heavily — misaligned attack symbols, attack damage not right-aligned with effect text, etc. If you poke around in the resources channel of the Faking Community Discord server, you should be able to find a Photoshop- or Photopea-compatible PSD template with the SM-era fonts all laid out as they ought to be. [-4 points]

Creativity/Originality: 12/15
(It’s a slight yet interesting twist on the Vengeance classic, there are some thematic elements, and on a creative level, it self-synergizes pretty effectively. I could wish that Reverse Hunt were a little farther from Night March and other Vengeance-style attacks of the past, though.)
Believability/Playability: 12/15
(Reverse Hunt’s damage output seems a little too unreliable right now to be useful, at least in a format as recovery-heavy as SM has been known to be. It might work as an anti-Vengeance tech, but its utility apart from that seems limited. Reworking the Ability or increasing the damage output might help account for the unreliability.)
Wording: 3/10
(Keep a careful eye on wording — keeping a list of references can be a good way to check yourself.)
Fonts and Placement: 1/5
(A few fonts are off, and the placements seem mostly eyeballed. You can brush up on these by checking out the font guide PSD in the Discord resources, or else by dragging a scan of a real card at 50% opacity over your custom one to check the placements directly.)
Aesthetics: 4/5
(Love the art — it’s been cool to see the growth of your artistic style over the years, and this piece is something to be proud of! My one complaint is that it seems quite dark, and Giratina in particular could afford to be much brighter.)
Total: 32/50
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You’ve become quite the expert at Neo-era custom cards, Teddiursa! The art is a great choice, the holosheet is solid, and the integration of the Trainer into the Neo blank is quite impressive. The Retreat Cost feels a little squished in there, so it might be worth giving that layout another look, but on the whole it’s not too bad — and besides, the bottom stats were all over the place in the WotC eras anyway.

Pitch-black Smog is quite a potent attack, especially in a format where Special Darkness Energy is the only way to fulfill [D] attack costs. For this reason, it’s important to keep a close eye on attack numbers on [D] Pokémon — if an attack does 30 damage but costs [D][C][C], it’s really doing at least 40 damage, since you have to factor in the Darkness Energy boost before anything else. So here we have an attack that does 40 damage, plus Burn and Poison, plus making it harder for your opponent to retreat to heal that Burn and Poison, for three Energy.

It might be okay if there weren’t such an easy way to power it up, but the card also benefits from quite a strong Pokémon Power in Last Resort. Provided you have a way to get a couple of Energy cards in the discard pile, it could mean the whole 40-plus-Burn-and-Poison package as early as turn two! I’d suggest changing the condition on the power to prevent you from using it when both players are even on Prize cards — you should have to have more Prize cards remaining than your opponent, not simply not fewer.

At that point, it might actually bring the card to a pretty good place. Neo isn’t exactly known for its crazy Energy acceleration, so a self-accelerating Pokémon with such big comeback potential could find a really nice niche for itself. It’s well designed overall — just needs another round of balancing checks.

Wording errors:
- I’m hesitant to agree with “choose up to 2 Energy cards” when we have perfectly adequate references for “take up to 2 Energy cards” and simply “attach up to 2 Energy cards” in Lt. Surge’s Electabuzz and Typhlosion N1, respectively. But I’ll allow “choose” since the inconsistency is established, and Dark Slowbro and Nightly Garbage Run imply “choose” isn’t completely unreasonable for effects like this. [-0 points]
- “less Prize cards” -> “fewer Prize cards”: it’s true that TPCi used to print cards that said “less” when they should have said “fewer”, but that was only ever in post-WotC eras. We can see plenty of references for “fewer” in Neo and other WotC eras. [-1 point]
- In the Neo era, Houndoom’s length is given as 4’ 7”, and its weight as 77 lbs. [-1 point]

Fonts and Placement errors:
- Keep an eye on the leading (i.e. space between lines) for Pitch-black Smog’s effect — it should scale downward as you decrease the font size. [-0.5 point]

Creativity/Originality: 11/15
(It’s a neat collection of effects that, while seen elsewhere in the TCG’s history, would find quite a hospitable niche in the Neo era. The effects are by-and-large thematic for Houndoom, but I’d like to see a greater focus on the theme — integrating the discard pile into the attack somehow would have been a great step.)
Believability/Playability: 10/15
(I have a couple of balancing concerns, but they’re fixed pretty easily by a slight change to the power’s condition. No problems with using “Burned” over Char counters, since you indicated your intention and I’m generally on board with Special Conditions transcending eras to some extent. However, I have to dock for the [F] Weakness — a convention for a particular set you’re working on isn’t enough to supersede the WotC convention, I’m afraid.)
Wording: 8/10
(Astonishingly well done, given how hard it is to settle on a wording among all the inconsistencies of the WotC eras. Just one textual error, and one technical thing.)
Fonts and Placement: 4.5/5
(One minor error; keep an eye on the leading when you change the font size.)
Aesthetics: 5/5
(Beautifully put together. Great art choice, nice holosheet work, and I like the blank, Trainer and all.)
Total: 38.5/50
slowpoke-png.16274


Never seen anyone try an uncommon quite like this before — the subtle breaking-the-box effect works; it’s a simple, sustainable way of making lower-rarity cards feel special, and I could see it expanding to make a pretty cool miniset if that was what you wanted to do with it. The art is also thematically appropriate for the effects, so further props for designing a card that works well with your chosen illustration. My one gripe, from a technical standpoint, is that no part of the art or visual effects should go in front of any text, so the wavy orange line up top should be behind the card’s name instead.

Deep-Sea Treasure Hunt is a cool way of fixing a highly game-swinging effect. Being able to return any card from the discard pile is pretty great, but introducing coin-flip variance makes it substantially harder to use. But then you can also control the variance somewhat if you’re willing to pay a steep cost for it. It leaves a lot of decision-making up to the player, which is unusual for a coin-flip effect, and I like to see it. It doesn’t even verge into staple territory because of how the Energy cards have to be [W] — making it a nifty tool for particular decks that play [W] Energy and can afford to discard them, but probably not a meta-defining card by itself.

Dive is fair. There’s not much to say about it, though it’s thematically appropriate if nothing else. I could wish it were a little more exciting and new.

Wording errors:
- “ability” needs capitalizing in the last sentence of the Ability. [-1 point]

Fonts and Placement errors:
- All looks good to me.

Creativity/Originality: 12/15
(Deep-Sea Treasure Hunt is great; I like that it uses coin-flip variance as a balancing tool, but still leaves a great deal of decision-making up to the player. It’s an inspired mechanism for an Ability like this. Unfortunately, Dive, while thematic for the card, hurts you a bit here since it’s been seen before.)
Believability/Playability: 14/15
(The Ability seems well thought out, and I don’t see any problems arising from it. One point docked for the unusual Weakness; as part of the SwSh type-chart simplification, [W] Pokémon are weak to either [L] (if they’re Water) or [M] (if they’re Ice) now — no [W] Pokémon has been weak to [G] since the SM era.)
Wording: 9/10
(Capitalization of “Ability”.)
Fonts and Placement: 5/5
(Looks good to me.)
Aesthetics: 4/5
(You’ve been excelling lately in designing cards with subtle, minimalist aesthetic effects that nonetheless work very well, and this one is no exception. Minor gripe about the orange wave going over the name aside, it’s a very clean card, and I could see the style becoming commonplace as a way to spice up average commons and uncommons in the future. Nice work!)
Total: 44/50
November_CaC_Suicune_ChM_CaC6_14.png


This is a new one! Very different from the cards I’ve seen from you in the past, but I think the more minimalist blank settings work well here. The background is exceptionally bright and colorful — a combination of Mitsuhiro Arita’s stunning artwork and a well-applied holosheet on your part — and the gray border does a good job of framing it without detracting from it. I’m not sure the Ancient Trait adds much mechanically, but the splash of purple up top is nice, too. Good work on aesthetics.

It has a very clear link with the discard pile, taking a Rebirth-style cue from the likes of Ho-Oh-EX and Darkrai-GX, with an Energy-loading attack to match. It’s interesting that you chose to represent it thematically with a rising river (see Ability name) rather than rebirth itself, since Suicune has ties to Ho-Oh in lore and the flavor text of this card even makes the link explicit, but I guess a rising river works, too. Aurora Mantle works nicely to fulfill the aurora end of things, tying the multitype mechanic back to the multicolor nature of an aurora, represented so well in the artwork here.

Mechanically, though, the Aurora Energy link feels a little tenuous. I know Suicune is the Aurora Pokémon and all, but with these effects, Aurora Energy could just say “This card provides [C] Energy” and nothing would fundamentally change. In reality, Aurora Energy itself is such an interesting and versatile card, I think it’s a mistake not to make use of that. Aurora Mantle loads additional Aurora Energy onto Suicune, but it’s not like it has another attack to power up, so what is it using them for? I think this would be a good thing to explore if you were to take the card’s design any further.

Speaking of which, I have a couple of balancing concerns around the Ability — it asks you to pitch up to two Special Energy cards into the discard pile, which are notoriously hard to get back, in exchange for a Suicune onto the Bench and three [W] Energy into the deck. I’m not sure this is enough reward for the cost, since Basic Pokémon and basic Energy tend to be pretty easy to recover on their own without expending valuable Special Energy cards to do it. If, say, the [W] Energy were somehow accelerated onto the board, there might be more incentive to use the Ability.

Aurora Mantle is solid from a balancing perspective, and the synergy with Rising River is good — three for 50 and a better-than-average chance of hitting for Weakness is nice, especially on a Pokémon with a self-recovery mechanism. There’s room for improvement around the incorporation of Aurora Energy, but the card is solid work overall. It’s been cool to see your progression on Omnium blanks, and I look forward to seeing more!

Wording errors:
- “Aurora Energy” -> “Aurora Energy card”, since it isn’t attached to a Pokémon any of the three times it appears. [-1 point]
- “basic [W] Energy” -> “[W] Energy”; in BW-on eras, Special Energy cards don’t have types unless they’re attached to a Pokémon, so “[W] Energy card” implies “basic [W] Energy card”. [-1 point]

Fonts and Placement errors:
- Looks fine. You might want a divider between the Ability and the attack since that’s the norm for Classic-inspired cards like these, but the omission isn’t a big deal on FA cards like this.

Creativity/Originality: 12/15
(Some solid, lightly synergistic effects that play into the discard pile and each other. I question the rising-river thematicity when the rebirth angle seems so obvious from the flavor text, but the aurora-ness of the card is played up and represented well in both the effects and the artwork. I would also have you watch out for the Ancient Trait — it’s a nice aesthetic, but it doesn’t add much to the card except for a little splash of purple.)
Believability/Playability: 12/15
(The attack seems workable, but the Ability is a little underpowered for its cost.)
Wording: 8/10
(A couple of minor errors.)
Fonts and Placement: 5/5
(Looks fine.)
Aesthetics: 5/5
(Strong design. Mitsuhiro Arita’s art works beautifully with both the holosheet and the border. I think you’re really hitting your stride with Omnium — keep up the good work!)
Edited: [-2 points]
Total: 40/50
uc


Very nice work. It’s not the first Amazing Rare I’ve seen, but there have only been a few, and the cleanness of the art (not to mention the texturing!) really sets this one apart.

Regigigas LV.X is (imo) one of the most interesting cards ever printed, and at the time, it formed the basis for a deck unlike any other. In the MD-CL format, a powerful combo with Twins allowed the Regigigas player to go full control mode, searching out all the pieces they needed to set up while also messing quite severely with the opponent’s board state through Regigigas’s attacks. For this Regidrago to be a spiritual successor, harkening back not only to Regigigas’s Sacrifice Poké-Power but also to its extensive control/lock potential, is actually very cool and on-brand — but of course, it’s also concerning from a balancing standpoint.

The biggest concern is that giving up a Prize early in the game can often be much more of a blessing than a curse, since the game has had a ton of cards through the years that benefit substantially from being behind on Prizes. Twins is one example, but Scramble Energy, Counter Gain, and Lt. Surge’s Strategy are also all cards I’d hate to see in a format with this thing. Fortunately, the SwSh era is pretty light on cards like this so far, but the existence of Zygarde VIV and Tapu Koko VMAX shows they’re not entirely done with the idea yet. It’s just not an effect I would expect to see on a Basic Pokémon, regardless of format. When you can regulate your opponent’s Prize card flow, as restricting their Energy output allows you to do, it’s a recipe for an extremely good deck.

I like Amazing Typhoon on its own merit — I think it shows good creativity that you looked at the SwSh format, went “what would really throw a wrench into these decks’ gameplans?” and built an attack around that. The Energy investment helps to balance the severe lock; even with the acceleration from the Ability, the multitype cost and the requirement that the acceleration come from the discard make it non-trivial to set up. The integration of the discard pile could probably be more pronounced (e.g. in the attack as well as the Ability), but a Sacrifice-inspired effect goes a pretty long way. Overall I think the card is interesting — most things inspired by Regigigas LV.X have pretty good gameplay potential, and I’d be interested to see it in action.

Wording errors:
- Looks good; well referenced.

Fonts and Placement errors:
- Also looks good.

Creativity/Originality: 13/15
(It’s a sensible conglomeration of effects with interesting gameplay potential. It clearly draws inspiration from Regigigas LV.X, which isn’t a bad thing for that gameplay potential by any means. However, most of the discard pile integration comes from the Ability’s derivation from Sacrifice — I would have liked to see something more truly new with the discard pile there.)
Believability/Playability: 12/15
(Some balancing concerns around giving up Prize cards with a Basic Pokémon. Fortunately SwSh doesn’t have any cards that would break this wide open yet, but a few cautious points docked all the same out of historical precedent.)
Wording: 10/10
(Well referenced.)
Fonts and Placement: 5/5
(Looks good.)
Aesthetics: 5/5
(Probably the cleanest Amazing Rare I’ve seen yet. The custom art is top-notch, the gold outline intricate, and the textures outstanding. Excellent work.)
Total: 45/50
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Old TPCi wallpapers are often a good bet for card illustrations, and this piece is no exception. I even used it myself some years ago — how time flies. On this card, I reckon it’s a little bit dark, and it’s hard to see the holosheet on the background (assuming it has one at all), but the blend of colors is gorgeous, and with just a little tweaking I could see it working quite well.

Effect-wise … I mean, if the theme was “Lost Zone”, it would be great! Lost Void sends things to the Lost Zone instead of discarding them, and Phantasma gets stronger the more Pokémon there are in it. But for a theme that asked you to design compelling effects around the discard pile, I’m not sure focusing so heavily on the Lost Zone was such a great choice. “Discard” appears only once on the card, and it’s in a place that highlights how little this card has to do with discard pile interaction — both of its effects avoid it entirely!

Thematic-ness of the card aside, the power levels feel largely acceptable. Lost Void being capped at one card per Dusknoir per turn is good; it prevents you from going overboard against Vengeance-style decks that want to make use of their discard piles. Phantasma probably wouldn’t see much play since it requires a multi-Energy investment into a Stage 2 whose Ability you want to keep around, so it might be worth bumping the added damage to 20 per Pokémon to keep it relevant.

On the whole the card is … I mean, it’s fine. It’s not your flashiest work, but it’s solid for what it is. You mentioned having a busy month, and it’s not like I expect all-out aesthetics from everyone every round. The effects would go well in another context, and they don’t seem overpowered at all. Just make sure to give the theme greater billing in the future!

Wording errors:
- “Whenever” should be “when” if it’s a once-per-turn thing — “whenever” would be if you wanted to send all cards to the Lost Zone all the time, and in that case you wouldn’t need the “once during either player’s turn” part. [-1 point]
- If you’re going off SwSh conventions for every part of the card, note that Dusknoir’s height is rendered these days as 7’3” (i.e. not 7’03”) and its weight as 235 lbs. I’ll chalk it up to the your-blank-your-rules clause, though.

Fonts and Placement errors:
- Looks fine.

Creativity/Originality: 11/15
(Lost Void is unusual; I can’t remember seeing anything quite like it before. Phantasma is less unusual, but it plays off of Lost Void well. That said, though, the combination of turning discards into Lost Zoned cards and then profiting off of them with an attack would have been very interesting … in another round, with another theme. I would have liked to see a stronger focus on the discard pile here.)
Believability/Playability: 14/15
(Lost Void’s cap is good. Cautious point docked because, while believable, I have a hard time seeing Phantasma being relevant playability-wise without higher numbers.)
Wording: 9/10
(One minor error, and one other thing to check up on for your blanks.)
Fonts and Placement: 5/5
(Looks fine.)
Aesthetics: 3/5
(Nothing too flashy, but solid nonetheless. The wallpaper you chose for the art is a good pick, but I’d advocate tweaking it a bit for contrast and holosheet purposes.)
Total: 42/50
Hisuian_Zoroark_CaC.png


The ol’ “I ran out of space for effect text, so lemme get rid of the borders” bit, eh? I see what you did there. :p

First things first — it’s beautiful art you’ve found for this one; I’m impressed, given how short a time it’s been since the Hisuian Zoroark reveal. The holosheet really adds to it, which isn’t always easy to do with such a bright holosheet as that one — here it brings a few subtle spots of color to an otherwise fairly monochrome piece of art. All told, I think the blending is great.
I know we’ve talked about these half-full-arts and their color blending with the blank in the past, and I think you’ve finally perfected the look. Well deserved full marks in aesthetics.

The flavor of a ghostly Hisuian Zoroark showing up out of nowhere to avenge a fallen ally is good, especially since its attack is very reminiscent of Vengeance-style attacks we’ve seen in the past. Attaching the Hisuian Zoroark to your Active Pokémon as a Tool feels like an odd choice, though — is it tag-teaming with the new Active Pokémon, lending its support but allowing that Pokémon to continue the fighting? We see this very rarely in the TCG, and I’m not sure the flavor is really fleshed out enough for it to make sense to me.

A better option might be to have the Hisuian Zoroark take the place of the fallen Pokémon directly; i.e. make Hisuian Zoroark the new Active Pokémon, rather than attaching to a different one. From a gameplay standpoint, this has the added benefit of making the card’s other stats relevant — you mentioned the low HP as a balancing mechanism, but I reckon if its main purpose is as a retaliatory attacker, you can rely almost exclusively on the Ability to get into play, slapping it onto another Pokémon and never worrying about Hisuian Zoroark’s own 90 HP at all. That all changes if you’re forced to attack with Hisuian Zoroark itself.

On the balance end of things, for the attack, it seems helpful to compare it to Persian-GX, since that was a card with a similar attack that was also generally played alongside Zoroark-GX. Apart from the damage output, the biggest difference between these two attacks, for me, is the 190-damage cap on Persian-GX’s Vengeance. With the benefit of Zoroark-GX’s Trade to discard Pokémon, Persian-GX was frequently able to hit that high, suggesting that the cap was indeed warranted so as not to break the card. By contrast, Hisuian Zoroark hits that cap with just six Zorua/Zoroark in the discard pile — not at all a difficult feat to achieve with Trade, especially compared to Persian-GX’s nine. With a 4-4 line of Zoroark-GX, a few Hisuian Zoroark, and probably a few non-GX Zoroark for discard fodder, Vengeful Spirit is suddenly hitting for a great deal of damage very quickly.

Where I’m landing, I think, is that it’s a cool concept that has a few flaws in execution. I know you had a busy month, but leaving the last touches till the last minute can mean you don’t get enough time to proofread! The aesthetics are great, but ultimately that’s only 10% of the score — don’t forget to do checks on the other categories, too. :)

Wording errors:
- “If your Active Pokémon is Knocked Out by damage from an attack during your opponent’s turn” -> “When your Active Pokémon is Knocked Out by damage from an opponent’s attack” (Exp. Share) [-3 points]
- “pick a new Active Pokémon” -> “choose a new Active Pokémon” (Bunnelby PRC etc.) [-1 point]
- “you may reveal this Pokémon from your hand” has never appeared on any real card as far as I’m aware — the two Pokémon with activate-from-hand Abilities, Audino BCR and Trumbeak LOT, both use “if this Pokémon is in your hand, you may reveal it”. That being said, I can’t find a way to make this work syntactically with your effect, so I’ll give you the low-sample-size benefit of the doubt and do [-0 points] here.
- The first couple sentences of Vengeful Spirit’s effect would probably be better served in the Ability, following the “attach this card as a Pokémon Tool” clause. Real Pokémon Tools that bequeath additional attacks never put those sentences in the attack itself; it’s always part of the Tool effect, so it seems reasonable that here it should go with the conditions for the Pokémon becoming a Tool. It’ll also need rewording, which should help the first sentence’s clunkiness. [-3 points]
- “amage” -> “damage” [-1 point]
- Strictly speaking the quotes around “Zorua” and “Zoroark” in the attack should be what Wikipedia calls typographic quotes (per Tapu Lele LOT), not the neutral quotes you’re using there. I’m not sure how different keyboards render them, but copy-pasting from Wikipedia should do the job if nothing else does. [-0.5 point]
- “it’s” -> “its” in the flavor text. [-1 point]

Fonts and Placement errors:
- The “10” numeral should be right-aligned with the attack text. I know your options are limited when the text box is so much wider and you still need a place to put the “+”, but the numerals and text have still gotta be right-aligned by convention. Otherwise, what do you do when you have one attack that does 10+ and one that just does 10? [-1 point]
- Not strictly incorrect so I won’t dock for it, but if you’re going for the FA pseudo-GX look, I might suggest making the HP numerals bigger to match. I think the “90” on this one looks a little small for the blank.

Creativity/Originality: 11/15
(Ghost Image is neat and has some interesting gameplay implications, though I question the flavor rationale behind attaching Hisuian Zoroark as a Tool rather than, say, having it take the Active Pokémon’s place. Furthermore, the incorporation of the discard pile on this card could probably go beyond a simple Vengeance-style attack.)
Believability/Playability: 12/15
(Some balancing concerns around the attack’s damage output. To some extent it relies on the assumption that the average build for this deck would have access to all the same resources as Zoroark-GX/Persian-GX, including Triple Acceleration Energy, but the tl;dr is that Vengeful Spirit probably ought to have a cap similar to Persian-GX’s Vengeance.)
Wording: 0.5/10
(Several missed things — don’t forget to double-check with references!)
Fonts and Placement: 4/5
(An error and a suggestion.)
Aesthetics: 5/5
(Stunning! Good art choice, subtle holosheet, and great blending with the blank. It feels like something of a capstone aesthetically to the other pseudo-FA cards you’ve submitted for recent rounds, and as far as I’m concerned you’ve aced it with this one.)
Total: 32.5/50

2nd Place: A tie between PMJ’s Gengar and Mr. Sableye’s Slowpoke, each with 44/50 points.
1st Place: Nemes’s Regidrago, with 45/50 points.
 
Last edited:

PMJ

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The month where I award perfect wording still eludes me. Saw a couple new faces, which was great! Look over your mistakes and come back strong next time. Don't forget to check out the Discord, where you can get help in near real-time, and learn how to use pkmncards.com as your premier wording resource.

Banette - Psychic - HP90
NO. 354 Marionette Pokémon HT: 3'03" WT: 27.6 lbs

Ability: Jump Scare
Once during your turn, if your opponent has no benched Pokémon, you may
discard all cards attached to their active Pokémon and shuffle it into your opponent's deck.
Your opponent then searches their deck for a basic Pokémon and puts it in their active spot.
Then, shuffle their deck.

[P] [P] [C] Soul Gathering 40x
This attack does 40 damage for each energy in your opponent's discard pile.
Then, attach those energy cards to your opponent's active Pokémon.

Weakness: Darkness
Resistance: None
Retreat: [C] [C]
A doll that became a Pokémon over it's grudge from being junked. It seeks the child that discarded it.
Hey, welcome to CaC! Always glad to see new faces. There are some cool ideas going on with this card, but there are also some major balancing issues that prevent it from being a solid entry. There are also numerous wording errors. I'll go over everything so you can see where you went wrong and hopefully come back strong in January.

First, I'll say that I like the idea behind Jump Scare. The effect you're going for goes well with the attack name, but not only is it too restricted in its usage (it's rare that your opponent will have no Benched Pokemon at all), it essentially removes all Energy from your opponent's Active Pokemon, preventing them from mounting any sort of comeback with that lone Pokemon. Additionally, the deck is a private zone, and players are allowed to lie about the contents of it. So, even if the opponent was instructed to take a different Basic Pokemon (which they're not - a key distinction), they could just say there aren't any and take the Basic they shuffled in.

In order to fix this, I'd turn Jump Scare into a coming-into-play power, and force their Active Pokemon to the Bench. This still maintains the intent of the original Ability while staying fair.

Soul Gathering starts off weak, but the damage gets pretty impressive in the mid to late game. Attaching all the Energy in your opponent's discard pile to their Active after you hit it is a little awkward. If for some reason you don't kill them, you're giving them all their Energy back and your damage output goes down to zero for the forseeable future. If the attack does kill them, then you would take the Energy out of the discard pile... attach them... and then send them back to the discard pile. Nothing would change in normal circumstances. To fix this, I'd change the damage scaling a bit, and lose the part about attaching the Energy. Alternatively, you could change the attaching part to trigger before damage, but you'd have to severely limit it in that case.

Overall, the card isn't awful, but as I said before, there are a few important changes that need to be made to bring it in line with other cards of its era. Not bad for you first try, though!

Wording errors:
General
- Banette's height is incorrect. It should be 3'7", not 3'3". Also as a reminder, in Sword & Shield, single-digit entries forgo the zero (3'7", not 3'07"), but I'm only knocking you for the wrong height, not the zero thing. [-1 point]
- You are missing a period after lbs. [-1 point]
- You are missing the Weakness modifier (x2) [-1 point]
- In Sword and Shield, Ghost Pokemon with Psychic-type cards have a Darkness Weakness and a -30 Fighting Resistance, which is missing. [-1 point]
- You are using the wrong "its" in Banette's flavor text. [-1 point]
Jump Scare
- I'm going to give you a blanket -5 reduction for this due to the capitalization errors (Benched, Active, Basic, and Active Spot should all always be capitalized) and because of the actual wording problems (your opponent shuffles things into their own deck, not you). [-5 points]
Soul Gathering
- The attack should read, "...for each Energy card in your opponent's discard pile." (Volcarona V) [-1 point]
- Energy is always capitalized. [-1 point]
- Active should be capitalized. [-0.5 point]

Creativity/Originality: 13/20
(The most interesting parts of the card have nothing to do with the discard pile; it seems almost like an afterthought.)
Wording: 2.5/15
(Check real cards if you're not sure. pkmncards.com is a great resource!)
Believability/Playability: 9/15
(Jump Scare has almost no use but it's super punishing when it can be used. Soul Gathering puts you in a terrible spot if it doesn't score a kill.)
Total: 24.5/50
Chimecho HP: 70 [P]
Basic
chimecho.png

NO. 358 Wind Chime Pokémon HT: 2' WT: 2.2 lbs.
Ability: Rare Calling
You must discard 2 cards from your hand in order to use this Ability. Once during your turn, you may put a Stage 2 Pokémon from your discard pile onto your Bench. If you have any Pokémon with a Rule Box in play, you can't use this Ability. (Pokémon V, Pokémon-GX, etc. have Rule Boxes.)

[P] Sonic Cycling 20x
Search your deck for up to 3 cards and discard them. Then, shuffle your deck. This attack does 20 damage for each card you discarded in this way.

Weakness: [D] x2
Resistance: [F] -30
Retreat: [C]

Its cries echo inside its hollow body to emerge as beautiful notes for startling and repelling foes.
Cool. Getting something like Swampert FST, Solgaleo CEL, or Gardevoir CRE out a couple turns sooner than possible, and without having to risk using fragile, easily picked off Basics, is great. Having this gimmick on a Basic and not on a Stage 2 greatly increases the strength and speed of these sort of decks - it's just what the doctor ordered.

Honestly, the only real problem I have with this is your suggestion that you can use the cards you use to pay for Rare Calling as its targets. I'm not sure this is a meta rule or not, but every card that pulls cards from your discard pile explicitly forbids you from taking cards you used to pay for the card's usage (Caitlin & Cynthia CEC, Starmie EVO, Superior Energy Retreival). Junk Arm is kind of an exception to this, but it's also much older than the other cards. Starmie is probably a better example of this, since it's an Ability with a discarding cost. I'm going to operate under the assumption that you can't do that, which doesn't hurt this card too badly - it just means you need to work a little harder to pull it off turn one, using stuff like Quick Ball and Aurora Energy to discard the cards you need. A single Sonic Cycling is all you need after that.

Kinda wish that Sonic Cycling cost C instead of P to make it more splashable. Maybe reduce the damage or make it not affected by Weakness if you do that. Still a super interesting card. I like it a lot.

Wording errors:
Rare Calling
- As mentioned before, it's a general rule that cards used to pay a card's cost can't be taken with the effect of the card. There should be reminder text for this here. [-1 point]


Creativity/Originality: 18/20
(While the whole "putting non-Basic Pokemon directly onto your Bench" thing has been done many times with many cards, never has it been so easy to do before, and in this era, I think that it's a natural progression of the ability to do. Restricting it to Stage 2s specifically prevents VMAX shenanigans, which is good; on the flip side, it means you can't use typical Pokemon-based setup to, well, set up, which can hurt your consistency. On top of that, the card fits the theme like a glove. Sonic Cycling's obvious use is to discard Pokemon to be resurrected with Rare Calling, but it can also be used to thin your deck of garbage, discard Energy... anything you'd use Battle Compressor for, really. The whole thing is just excellent. Fantastic work.)
Wording: 14/15
(I can understand why you did what you did, but there's more evidence suggesting that it's wrong than it isn't.)
Believability/Playability: 14/15
(A single point off just because while I want to imagine all sorts of decks with this card, requiring P to use Sonic Cycling greatly limits its usage. A lot of the card's strength is in the attack, and since your goal is to get these Stage 2s rolling ASAP, having a colored cost gimps you pretty hard unless you're playing an all-Psychic deck.)
Total: 46/50
Blacephalon-EX – [R] – HP160
Basic - EX

[R] Spite Burst: 50x
You may discard as many of your remaining prize cards as you want. This attack does 50 damage for each card you discarded this way. Before doing damage, choose as many cards from your discard pile (except the cards you discarded with this attack), equal to the amount of cards you discarded with this attack. Shuffle them and put them face down in your Prize cards.

[R][R][C] Bright Flame 120
Flip a coin. If tails, discard all Energy attached to this Pokémon.

Weakness: Water (x2)
Resistance:
Retreat: [C]
Pokémon-EX rule: When a Pokémon-EX has been knocked out, your opponent takes 2 Prize cards.
Blacephalon cards are no stranger to huge bursts of damage, so on its face I'm glad to see you've kept with that theme; however, there's not much that's interesting on the card.

Spite Burst is worded very poorly, but I'm pretty sure I get the gist of what you're going for here. Discard your Prize cards, then replenish them with other cards from your discard pile. My problem with this is the attack is monstrously powerful; even with as fast as its strength plummets, you're getting a lot of bang for that single Energy you're paying. Bright Flame is completely useless; Spite Burst is so powerful that it's all you'll be using until the end of the game. A single Battle Compressor means you're hitting 150 minimum T1; Muscle Band bumps that to 170. That's enough to wipe all but the beefiest Pokemon-EX, and that's also assuming you only have 3 cards in your discard pile. Way, way too strong.

To fix this, I would increase the cost, decrease the damage, or both.

Wording errors:
General
- "Knocked Out" needs to be capitalized in the EX rule. [-1 point]
Spite Burst
- The attack has a few capitalization and wording/grammar errors, but also needs to be rewritten to more clearly state the correct order of doing things. I'm gonna just give you a blanket -5 reduction here. [-5 points]

Creativity/Originality: 14/20
(I suppose I can give you credit for combining the Prize card aspect of Ultra Beasts with the discarding theme of the context, but it's generally not that interesting.)
Wording: 9/15
(Check real cards for wording and grammar. pkmncards.com is a dope resource!)
Believability/Playability: 7/15
(BDIF by a country mile, invalidates basically everything because nothing can keep up with its strength.)
Total: 30/50
Spiritomb V HP170 [D]
Basic Pokémon


[Ability] Soulection

This Pokémon gets +10 HP for each Pokémon in your discard pile.You can't add more than 110 HP in this way.


[D][D] Schadenfreude 20X

You may put up to 10 damage counters on your Benched Pokémon in any way you like. This attack does 20 damage for each damage counter you placed in this way.If any of your Pokémon were Knocked Out in this way,draw a card.

Weakness:[G]X2
Resistance:None
Retreat:[C ][C]


When your Pokémon V is Knocked Out,your opponent takes 2 Prize cards.
The first thing I'll say is that I like the usage of Spiritomb as a Pokemon and the idea of it gaining HP with each soul in the discard pile. That's great theming. Putting a cap on it is smart. The name leaves something to be desired, but the effect is fantastic.

Schadenfreude is also a great attack where the attack name and effect synergize together; my only gripe is that the word "schadenfreude" probably would not appear on a card. I agree with you that it's a great name for the attack, given what it does, but also remember that this is a game for six-year-olds. As for the attack itself, I don't see anything particularly wrong with it, but it's worth mentioning that in a format filled with Inteleon and a lack of Bench Barrier, intentionally softening up your Bench could prove disastrous. Drawing a card for killing off your own guys is small consolation since your opponent still gets a Prize for it; I'd rather force them to expend resources trying to kill it themselves, during their turn.

Wording errors:
Schadenfreude
- You don't need "You may" here. (Banette CRE) [-1 point]
- "If any of your Pokemon were Knocked Out by this attack..." (Medicham V) [-1 point]
- I think this attack toes the line of realistic attack names. Personally I wouldn't have used it, but as much as I don't like it, I'm not going to dock you for it. I'm just documenting my dislike of it. [-0 points]

Creativity/Originality: 15/20
(Some fantastic theming all around, but the card doesn't play well with others. Even at its highest HP, 280 HP doesn't go as far as it used to, and Schadenfreude is a dangerous attack to use in this particular format.)
Wording: 13/15
(You perform consistently well in this category. I await the day I get to award you full marks here.)
Believability/Playability: 14/15
(Not a terrible card - could see use in some decks as a quick damage dealer.)
Total: 42/50
[Basic] Hoopa-GX HP190 [D]

Ability: Dimension Breach
Once during your turn, if this Pokémon is discarded with the effect of another card, you may search your deck for Hoopa, Hoopa-EX or Hoopa-GX, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then, shuffle your deck.

[D][D][C] Hyperspace Tunneling 120+
Shuffle up to 3 in any combination of your Hoopa, Hoopa-EX or Hoopa-GX from your discard pile into your deck. This attack does 20 more damage for each card you shuffled into your deck in this way.

[D] Bandit Ring GX 30
If you go first, you can use this attack on your first turn. For the rest of this game, each time you discard 1 of your Hoopa, Hoopa-EX or Hoopa-GX with the effect of another card, you may draw a card for each of those Pokémon. (You can't use more than 1 GX attack in a game.)

Weakness: [F] x 2
Resistance: [P] - 20
Retreat: [C][C][C]
Pokémon-GX Rule: When your Pokémon-GX is Knocked Out, your opponent takes 2 Prize cards.

I liked the Despair Ray version better, honestly, even if it was a little flawed. The changes you made to Hyperspace Tunneling make it have a lot less synergy with Dimension Breach since you now need to find a way to discard the Pokemon you search for.

It's nice that you can pull three different types of Hoopa from H'trae with Dimension Breach, but futureproofing your entry isn't necessary. It is relevant to consider your card's impact on Expanded, but that's it, really. Unfortunately, fake or potential cards have no impact on your score (otherwise you could just theorymon a format in which your card is S tier), so you're left with the few real Hoopa cards that do exist. None of them are particularly useful in terms of bolstering your field, especially since you can't Scoundrel Ring off it.

To answer your question with Ultra Ball, I believe that you would not get to trigger Dimension Breach if you paid Ultra Ball's cost with this Hoopa-GX. The card doesn't mention anything because the zones are different (cost to the discard pile, Pokemon from the deck), but take any card where both zones are the discard pile, for example, and you'll see that there is text saying that you can't take the card you used to pay the cost, like Starmie EVO or Caitlin & Cynthia CEC. The new Ultra Ball makes clearer that the 2 cards you're paying is a cost and not part of the card's effect.

Bandit Ring is okay. I don't know if I'd use it over Devilish Hands GX, or even some other GX attack unless the opponent opens lone Gastly or something.

On a whole, the whole thing is... it's okay. It's kinda neat, kinda thematic, but I think you shot yourself in the foot with this one. The new version doesn't have quite the same synergy as the other one had. I understand that this is likely due to the last-minute changes you had to make and not because of any major design problems.


Wording errors:
Dimension Breach
- Because the intent of the power is to trigger on discarding from any other card (instead of specifically one card or one source, like Weezing), I'm going to cite Primarina LOT and its "attack, Ability, or Trainer card" since the intent of that Ability is also to cover every possible source. [-1 point]
Hyperspace Tunneling
- You don't need "your" in the first part of the sentence. (Brock's Grit HIF) [-1 point]
Bandit Ring GX
- "For the rest of this game, whenever you discard..." (Primarina LOT) [-1 point]
- Citing the same "attack, Ability, or Trainer card" thing as with Dimension Breach. [-0.5 point]

Creativity/Originality: 13/20
(Sucks that you had to change this at the last second. I liked the first version much more.)
Wording: 11.5/15
(I couldn't find the Honchkrow you were referring to, but if you can show it to me I'll look into it.)
Believability/Playability: 13/15
(Changing one part of it at the last second ruined the synergy. Average Ability, niche attack, mediocre GX. The Despair Ray aspect of it really helped glue this card's pieces together.)
Edited Entry [-2 points]
Total: 35.5/50

3rd Place: Vom’s Hoopa-GX, with 40/50 points.
2nd Place: FireLizard’s Spiritomb V, with 42/50 points.
1st Place: Falling Skies’s Chimecho, with 46/50 points.
 
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