Contest September 2021 CaC: Unused Pokémon (Results Are Up!)

EM-isthmus

Feathered Biped
Member
It's said that two heads are better than one, so naturally, three heads must be better than two!
archen-doduo.png
For this month, myself and @Mick-773 have put together a double-trio(a DoTrio, if you will); three that are at the same time, just two. And what better way to do that, than with a Tag Team featuring the two-headed Doduo and the timid Archen. The focus of this card is a Tri Attack that these flightless birds come together to form. Doduo only has enough heads to do two parts of a Tri Attack seen here as Dodo Attack. The name is a nod to Doduo's simpler Japanese name that also evokes the concept of two with its repeated syllable. Handling the Ice and Electric thirds, Doduo can either inflict Asleep or Paralyzed on an opponent, your choice, given that you flip heads for the attack. While a seemingly lackluster attack, being the weakest attack seen on any Tag Team without anyway bonus damage, this could potentially be a rather disruptive attack with the help of cards like GRI Victini or Slumbering Forest. Regardless, at only 60 base damage, an opposing Tag Team would have little trouble outdoing that in a single turn.
That's where Archen comes in! To complete the Tri Attack, Archen handles the Fire third with no issue, being able to learn Heat Wave. A respectable 160 damage allows a OHKO on Pokémon such as Dedenne-GX or Marshadow-GX, and paired with Dodo Attack is enough to take care of most non-Tag Team Pokémon-GX. Taking a page from Doduo's evolved form, Trailblazing Tailwind GX also reduces the Retreat Cost of your Pokémon by 2, giving you greater freedom to switch your Pokémon. Pokémon such as TEU Zapdos would benefit greatly from this, being able to retreat easily after a powered up Thunderous Assault. Similarly, Trailblazing Tailwind GX has a bonus when moving from the Bench, allowing you to hit 1 of your opponent's Benched Pokémon for 120 damage, as well as leave your opponent's Active Pokémon Burned. With a snipe attack much weaker than most Tag Teams, hitting only 1 Pokémon, and for only 120 damage, short of KOing many Pokémon GX, this too can seem lackluster. Archen & Doduo-GX have much smaller hits than most, but these quickly add up, true to the strength they have found in their numbers.
When creating this card, I went through a few ideas, with one of the first concepts being more focused on the combo aspect, having one attack that became stronger after using the other, and the GX attack letting you play 2 Stadium cards each turn. I avoided making any attack weaker with lower thresholds of HP with the reasoning that having a buddy gives Archen the confidence not to fall into defeatism. Likewise, I didn't want to make any damage reliant on coin flips as is common with Doduo cards and opted to leave that for the added effect.
UNB Vileplume ("...if heads, choose... Your opponent's Active Pokémon is now affected by that Special Condition."), BUS Golisopod-GX ("If this Pokémon was on your Bench and became your Active Pokémon this turn..."), BUS Mount Lanakila ("The Retreat Cost of each... Pokémon in play is...")
 

Mick-773

Pizza Enthusiast
Member
First and foremost, I want to thank @EM-isthmus for bearing with me and my tendency to slapdash things throughout the whole creation process for this card. Having decide to tackle the illustration and the graphic aspects of the work, here's my share of annotations on the matter:

So!
This was my first time working with a more paint-like approach to the illustration (FireAlpaca adding some nifty brushes was a good incentive in this regard 👀), since I thought this style could be more consistent with other Tag Team full art cards. Overall, I'm kinda happy with the result, although there are indeed some aspects that I want to improve in my future illustrations.

As for the illustration itself, the original concept has Archen and Doduo in a series of situations, among which i pictured Arched acting as the missing head for Doduo to correctly perform tri-attack. While the initial sketch had a more traditional approach, the final draft was decided combining said idea with EM's idea of having Archen acting as a sort of "auxiliary wings" for a sprinting Doduo, thus allowing the flightless duo to actually aim for the sky an lunch their attack from mid-air.
Speaking of tri-attack, while the main elemental orbs are a staple for most rendition of this move, the coloured orbs in the background are a reference to the way it is displayed in gen V games - and also a easy way to make an otherwise plain background a bit more lively! -

On the card graphics, the TagTeam-ification of the template I'm currently using came about preatty easily, as I already had some idea on how to implement it. One of the more challenging aspects was adding the texture to the card, to make it consistent with what you see in an actual full art tag team card. This was also my first time experimenting with textures, so, yeah, I hope the overall effect is believable enough.
While the patterns in the border are supposed to mimic the ones used on actual cards, I wanted to try something different with the illustration, considering how other tag teams had pretty unusual texture compared to other cards.
Specifically, the two texture used on this card uses these two textures by Icycatelf on DA. I'm particularly fond of the hexagon one, so watch me use it inopportunely in all my next works for the next couple months.

Overall, while working on this was a bit challenging in some aspect, I'm also happy with what I managed to make. Soe yeah, I hope you enjoy it :D
 

Charmaster:)

Collecting, playing, & making family memories.
Member
I wasn't sure I'd be able to finish this card on time and had even asked Jabber if I could submit it a day late, but fortunately I was able to finish it up and now I am submitting it here during a break in my schedule.
September CaC Charmeleon ChM CaC5.png
Template: Omnium, by CardPone
Illustration: vintage Ken Sugimori stock artwork with a LunaPic filter applied (transformative use of stock artwork) with a background from FlamingClaw's HD Abstract Background Pack.
Wording: Omnium custom wording (basically Sun and Moon wording with a few changes, but I don't think any of those changes were necessary here.)
Era being balanced for: I was thinking about how much damage Pokémon like Monferno could do in the DPPt+ era for two Energy when balancing my attacks, then raising that number slightly to account for the ability. However, this card may be a little on the strong side in DPPt+ (not necessarily broken or format defining, but perhaps a gatekeeper card). It would probably fit snugly into the HGSS power level, which is the official Omnium power level.
For my last CaC entry, I submitted an intriguing but highly convoluted Magcargo made using my custom template. Although Jabber said the template had promise, he pointed out a few problems with the template, problems which I haven't been able to iron out yet. In short, the template is still not finished, so I decided that for this month's entry I would return to using CardPone's Omnium template. It may be the last time I use the Omnium template for a card, so I'll make it count. Notice how I'm using the same holosheet that I used on the illustration on the card border, like on modern Japanese Pokémon cards. I must say it looks rather interesting.
Rebellious Disposition is probably the most original effect on this card or any card I have ever made. The wording presented to you underwent many iterations and was the topic of much debate over on the Discord, and finding references for it was definitely a challenge. The idea of the effect was inspired by Ash's Charmeleon, A Pokémon of such a high level that it evolved again after only a few episodes and which in its few episodes of screen time would prove itself to be one of the most brutal, selfish, and disobedient Pokémon of all time (a Rebellious Disposition which would carry into its next evolved form, Charizard). The idea is that you can INSTRUCT Charmeleon to use a certain attack, but that doesn't mean Charmeleon will LISTEN to you. For this reason I have given it somewhat stronger attacks than other evolving stage 1 Pokémon of this era (I have roughly balanced this card against the power level of Monferno with a very slight buff to account for Rebellious Disposition), since there is no guarantee that you will be able to use the one you want to use (which can be even worse than you think it is in some circumstances). In a way, this makes this Charmeleon seem even more like Ash's Charmeleon since as a Charmander it was already somewhere in the level 34-35 range when it evolved for the first time. You may be wondering why the effect activates if you flip 3 coins and get exactly two tails. I couldn't use a single coin flip because wanted to encourage people to actually choose the attack they WANT to use instead of just being like the student who circles option C on every question, and there is a 37.5% chance of getting 2 heads (or tails) out of 3 coin flips. Anyways, part of the struggle of playing this card is that it can be quite powerful if you actually play it as an attacker, but it can also completely mess up and turn the game in your opponent's favor. The choice is whether you play it safe and evolve it as soon as possible, or if you want to start swinging with this Pokémon and risk messing up.
Tyrannical Takeout is an interesting attack. One the one hand, it is extremely powerful if you can use it when Charmeleon is at full HP... you can OHKO any Pokémon with up to 70 remaining HP on your opponent's side of the field. In the context of the actual 4th generation setting, that would be like using Crobat G to ping a benched Claydol and then OHKOing it with Charmeleon. HOWEVER, there are several things that make this attack far weaker. Firstly, the attack gets weaker the more damage counters are on Charmeleon. Second, the attack can only be used for FINISHING OFF Pokémon... you can't use this attack twice on a single Pokémon to knock it out. Third, this attack can't hit for weakness if you use it on your opponent's Active Pokémon. Or on your opponent's benched Pokémon in those instances where you have some sort of effect like Wide Lense. Imagine if this attack was just an ordinary dwindling wave that could be used on benched Pokémon... hitting for 80/90/100/140 for 2 Energy would be INSANE in this format. And finally, you discard ALL Energy attached to Charmeleon, which makes it harder to attack again later (and harder to re-set-up Charmeleon in preparation for evolving it into the high-costs-high-risks-high-rewards Charizard). All this is without considering Rebellious Disposition. If you command Charmeleon to use Egregious Incineration and it uses Tyrannical Takeout instead, it can mean not being able to attack the next turn, it can mean letting your opponent's Active Pokémon KO Charmeleon because you couldn't KO it instead, it can even mean whiffing out entirely if all your opponent's Pokémon have remaining HP exceeding or equal to that of Charmeleon.
Egregious Incineration is not as noteworthy as Tyrannical Takeout, but it is also easier to use and generally has less of a chance of whiffing out. The first time you use the attack you do 20 damage and burn your opponent's Active Pokémon, which can total up to 20-60 damage by the time your turn rolls back around, depending on how many times your opponent flips heads and how many times your opponent flips tails. Then, if you can successfully use Egregious Incineration during your next turn, you can inflict 40 damage for 2 Energy. Yes, that's a lot on an evolving stage 1 when you consider that the Pokémon in question is probably still suffering from a burn, but again this card only does what you want it to do 37.5% of the time. If you can't necessarily chain it, you can't necessarily take advantage of the full effect.
 

Jabberwock

#Jovimohnaeliackvid
Forum Mod
Articles Staff
Member
That's a wrap on this round!

@Nemes reached out to me previously to request a few hours' leeway, so his post (hopefully going up soon!) will be in the clear.

Otherwise, stay tuned for results! They're coming as soon as we can manage them. :)
 

Nemes

Aspiring Trainer
Member
Thank you @Jabberwock ! Here's my entry:

uc

Link (since they're not taken into account for the score, I'll add them later)
 

The_Rayquaza_Guy

Aspiring Trainer
Member
derx0qs-b713225f-6629-461f-be07-83ea379a58bc.png

For this month's entry, I decided to go with yet another BY. Just to be clear, these do NOT retain the attacks/abilities of their previous evolution (I know I might've made that confusing last CaC). For this one I chose Emolga, due in part to how well the Pokken art works for "rulebox" cards. I wanted to make this more of a utility mon that could also work offensively if needed. The utility aspect is covered by its Energizer ability, whose effect lets you both draw extra cards at the start of your turn as well as accelerate Energy to your bench. This is balanced out by the fact that Emolga must be active for the ability to work, coupled with the fact that it's an evolving 2 prizer. Double Bolt is a fairly standard attack that synergizes well with the ability, and allows Emolga to dish out some decent damage. Having no retreat cost is also very beneficial, allowing Emolga to escape from danger whenever you need it to. Era-wise, this card is balanced and worded for current SwSh. The blank and BY mechanic are my own, and the art is from Pokken.
derx0qs-b713225f-6629-461f-be07-83ea379a58bc.png

For this month's entry, I decided to go with yet another BY. Just to be clear, these do NOT retain the attacks/abilities of their previous evolution (I know I might've made that confusing last CaC). For this one I chose Emolga, due in part to how well the Pokken art works for "rulebox" cards. I wanted to make this more of a utility mon that could also work offensively if needed. The utility aspect is covered by its Energizer ability, whose effect lets you both draw extra cards at the start of your turn as well as accelerate Energy to your bench. This is balanced out by the fact that Emolga must be active for the ability to work, coupled with the fact that it's an evolving 2 prizer. Double Bolt is a fairly standard attack that synergizes well with the ability, and allows Emolga to dish out some decent damage. Having no retreat cost is also very beneficial, allowing Emolga to escape from danger whenever you need it to. Era-wise, this card is balanced and worded for current SwSh. The blank and BY mechanic are my own, and the art is from Pokken.
Hi! The BY mechanic looks cool and got me interested. Where can I find more of your BY cards. I want to look at all of them please!!
 

Jabberwock

#Jovimohnaeliackvid
Forum Mod
Articles Staff
Member
Image-Based Results

Judge: @Jabberwock

Happy CaC-versary, everyone! With no parameters on the theme except a restricted list of eligible Pokémon, and with our highest image-based turnout since March 2018, it was especially cool to see all the different ways y’all’s creativity shone through this month. A pleasure to judge as always.

That said, keep an eye out for wording! Fonts & Placement and Aesthetics tend to be very high-scoring categories; I find myself giving out the max scores there quite often. But wording can be much more challenging to get right — only two entries this month scored 10/10 there. Adam Capriola’s database pkmncards.com is a resource I’m sure you’re all aware of by now, and don’t be afraid to ask for help in the Faking Community Discord, too.

I’ll also take the opportunity to plug the ongoing 31 Days of CaC thread, where we’re taking a month-long look back at the history of the contest over the past 10 years. If you haven’t already seen it, go check it out!

Otherwise, see y’all next month — we’ll be back with another round on November 1.

~~Jabberwock


2021_9_cac-png.16100


Welcome to CaC, Kaleidophoenix! It’s certainly an ambitious first entry you’re kicking things off with. Great to see it!

Gold cards like this are hard to get right. They don’t lend themselves to digital media so well, because most of the blending modes you’d use with typical holosheets and texturing (think Overlay, Color Dodge, etc) don’t show up on black backgrounds. So you can use less conventional blending modes, like Screen and so on, but then you run the risk of sacrificing the black background and ending up with a washed-out sort of look — which is what I think has happened here. There’s just not as much contrast as I’d expect to see between the gold lineart of the Pokémon and the black background. (You’d also want the Energy symbols and such to go above the holosheet so they don’t get subjected to the gold filter, but that’s a separate thing.)

That said, the art choice is good: dynamic; powerful; great for a Full Art; and moreover, well edited on your part on the lineart end of things. Shame about the washing-out.

Whiteout Rush is an interesting take on Aero Trail–like Abilities. It’s more powerful to pull Energy onto the board from the hand rather than rearrange the Energy that are already there, but restricting it to one Energy at a time nerfs it hard. Compare it to something like Galarian Articuno, which doesn’t get the free switch, but otherwise powers itself up far more efficiently. I’m not sure Diamond Trample is so much better than Galarian Articuno’s Psylaser that you’d need to nerf the Ability to that extent, especially on a Pokémon V.

And actually, because of the nerf to one Energy, the free switch effect is putting me off a bit. You’re right that you can pull off a one-turn setup between Whiteout Rush, a free attachment, and something like Melony or Raihan, but it’s thematically weird to require one of those additional cards. If you don’t have it, then you can’t attack, and you’ve thrown your Glastrier V up into the Active Spot as a sitting duck. I can’t think of any other cards that by their thematic nature rely so heavily on an external piece to function. Making the switch optional would go a long way toward fixing this.

Apart from that being a little weird, though, the rest of the card feels very real. I could see the majority of the effects being printed on a Glastrier V in an actual set, and that’s definitely one of the foremost goals in a contest like this. Congrats on a solid first entry!

Wording errors:
- Tapu Koko-GX is probably the best reference for an effect like Whiteout Rush, but it would be “switch this Pokémon with your Active Pokémon” and not the other way around. [-2 points]
- When specifying a type of Energy that hasn’t been attached yet in BW-on, it’s assumed to be basic, since Special Energy don’t have types until they’re attached — “[W] Energy” is all you need there. [-1 point]
- “per turn” -> “each turn”, per Crobat V et al. [-1 point]

Fonts and Placement errors:
- There’s something up with the kerning on the Ability and attack name and the effect text — if you’re in Photoshop, make sure the text style is Smooth and not Sharp or Strong or something. It’s not noticeable enough to dock for here, but keep an eye out for it in the future.

Creativity/Originality: 10/15
(You get a new twist by combining Aero Trail–style Abilities and Cruel Charge–style Abilities into one, but it’s ultimately not too different from each. We’ve seen the attack before too, as on the Flareon you cited as a reference, among others.)
Believability/Playability: 13/15
(By and large, very believable. Cautious points docked for the Ability only accelerating one Energy and yet throwing Glastrier immediately into harm’s way, but making the switch optional would fix it.)
Wording: 6/10
(A few errors — you cited the right references, but make sure to pay attention to them!)
Fonts and Placement: 5/5
(Placements look good; keep an eye on the text style.)
Aesthetics: 3/5
(It’s an ambitious project, but the contrast necessary for a gold-and-black card like this works against you. It’ll require some different holosheeting and texturing tricks to prevent it looking all washed out.)
Total: 37/50
cac10-trubbish-png.16101


A Trubbish! Exactly the kind of entry I hope to see in “forgotten Pokémon” months.

Sableye DEX is probably a good source of inspiration for something like this. It’s got the right small-Pokémon-making-a-nuisance-of-itself vibe. Galarian Zigzagoon as a reference point for the Ability seems good for similar reasons.

I like that there’s a twist on each of those cards’ effects, but it’s not a strict buff or nerf in either case. Poison is better than 10 chip damage in a lot of cases since you can boost its numbers with cards like Toxicroak SSH, but it’s also easier for your opponent to counter with cards like Galarian Rapidash SSH. Getting any card back from the discard pile is a lot better than getting exclusively Item cards back, but it’s a lot less good when you only get one of them and you have to have another one in order to make it work at all. As a side note, I also like that the “reveal a card” thing prevents you from using Bag Search to get back cards like ACE SPECs. Good balancing trick.

The stats seem roughly par for the course. You’re pushing the envelope a bit with these effects on an evolving Basic, and for that reason I’d probably rather see 60 HP than 70, but it’s not a huge deal, and the existence of Sableye and Galarian Zigzagoon is enough to justify the 70 if you really want it to be 70. So overall, well executed — simple but elegant; nice twists on existing effects.

Wording errors:
- “discard” -> “discard pile” in the attack. [-1 point]

Fonts and Placement errors:
- Looks good to me.

Creativity/Originality: 11/15
(An interesting spin on two existing effects adapted together into one card. For additional points, though, I’d like to see more synergy between them — an attack that benefits from the opponent’s Active Pokémon being Poisoned, or an Ability that cares about the discard pile in some way.)
Believability/Playability: 15/15
(I’m a little cautious about the HP being at the higher end when the Ability and attack are so good, but we’ve had at least one good Trubbish at 70 HP before, and Sableye and Galarian Zigzagoon help justify it too. I think it ends up being fine.)
Wording: 9/10
(References are solid. “Defending Pokémon” is a weird choice but I’ll roll with it since you flagged it as intentional. One minor error, though — don’t forget to proofread!)
Fonts and Placement: 5/5
(Looks good to me.)
Aesthetics: 4/5
(The art’s a great choice and it works well with the blank. I’d be looking for something extra for the last point, though — something custom-edited, or a well-applied holosheet or something, to kick it up a notch and take it above the art-on-a-blank stage.)
Total: 44/50
CaC_Hitmontop.png


A solid choice of Pokémon, and solid execution aesthetics-wise. It’s always cool when so many people and resources (you, steff, Pone, picky, Nemes, and of course asche and the render creator) come together to make a single card — it tends to pay off in the visuals, and it certainly does here.

There’s a couple nits I would pick with minor aspects of the aesthetics — for one thing, the gold outline should perfectly cover the outline of the render beneath it, i.e. no bits peeking out like I see around Hitmontop’s “eyebrows”. (This can be hard to get right in post-production after the base art is already completed, so I tend to take a brush to the base art and fill in those bits with some extra color so the lines don’t show.) For the other thing, the texture is very uniform; it’s just waves from one end of the card to the other. For 95% of Full Arts, you want to take some kind of warping tool to the base texture and make it less regular before applying it to the background.

The gold works great, though, and blends well with the Shiny render. Props to you and Nemes!

On the effects, there’s some subtle interplay between the self-Confusion in the attack and the on-promotion effect of the Ability — the implication is that you’re going to be switching Hitmontop out a lot between the Active Spot and the Bench, both to heal Confusion and to get the two–damage counter ping on promotion, and I like the way both effects get you toward the same goal. Moreover, it’s a very flavorful goal! A whole lot of switching is just what I’d expect from a Hitmontop spinning around the battlefield.

Power-wise, it seems good, but not too good. In the Sun & Moon era (which is what I’m assuming it is, given the blank and the flavor text placement, even though the aesthetic of the card itself is more SSH in design), you want your single-Prize Basic Pokémon to be able to reliably 2HKO GXs and pull off 2HKOs on Tag Teams if they really need to. With this card, you’d hope for some kind of Fighting Energy acceleration, but provided you’ve got that, it fills the niche just fine. The Ability brings a neat additional source of damage, which if you play your cards right can let you pull off multi–Knock Out turns. Definitely the sort of thing I’d be intrigued to play around with.

Wording errors:
- Realistically Explosive Spin should have a “you may” in it — I can’t think of any Abilities like this that trigger automatically. [-2 points]
- “30 damage for each [F] Energy” -> “30 damage times the amount of [F] Energy”, in SM-era wording. [-2 points]

Fonts and Placement errors:
- On point.

Creativity/Originality: 13/15
(Love the subtle interplay between self-Confusion and an Ability that relies on switching. Very thematic for a Hitmontop. Additional points here could come from making Kinetic Top’s primary effect more interesting, putting a new spin (lol) on Energy-stacking or damage-multiplying effects.)
Believability/Playability: 15/15
(No complaints playability-wise — I think this would fit very nicely into the latter part of the SM era. I’m a little confused about why you put Sword & Shield aesthetic motifs on a Sun & Moon-era blank, but I wouldn’t dock for it.)
Wording: 6/10
(A couple of errors.)
Fonts and Placement: 5/5
(On point.)
Aesthetics: 4/5
(The background looks beautiful and blends nicely with the render, but a couple minor things contribute to a docked point here. See above for details.)
Total: 43/50
brionne3-0-png.16129


Welcome back, doof! Brionne is certainly an interesting choice for this round — before now, I can only remember ever seeing one fake of it, period. Always cool to see underused middle stages get a bit more attention.

For the effects themselves, the card is believable all right, but very bare. Bubble Bounce is a vanilla 2-for-40 — always a hard sell in CaC in the best of times, but in this case it’s essentially an acknowledgement that gameplay-wise, the card only has one major selling point, and that’s the Ability. I would have liked to see the attack do something — it wouldn’t have to be a whole lot; just something situationally useful, and if it ties into the Ability’s effect then so much the better — to make the card more than a one-trick pony.

Shimmer Swap is pretty neat, though, and it’s true that it’s a complex enough effect that Pokémon would be unlikely to print the card in the SSH era with too much more on top of it. I like that the damage you take doesn’t have to be from an opponent’s attack, so you could play this as a pseudo–hit-and-run strategy with a heavy attacker that does recoil damage to itself. Then if that Brionne takes recoil damage, you could switch in a separate full-HP Brionne to take your opponent’s attack. The coin flip makes it all a little awkward, especially since I doubt more than one of these should be usable at a time, but it’s interesting design space.

Wording errors:
- Shimmer Swap needs something to address what happens to the non-damage effects of the attack when Brionne switches itself in. According to the rulebook, you “place damage counters, and then do all other effects” of an attack, meaning that by the time Brionne is in the Active Spot, any additional effects of the attack would technically be applied to Brionne instead of the old Active Pokémon. It’s fine if this is what you meant, but only specifying damage in Shimmer Swap leaves the intention ambiguous: if you meant the additional effects to target the old Active Pokémon, you’d need an additional sentence to say so; if you meant them to target Brionne, you’d need a line of italicized reminder text. [-3 points]

Fonts and Placement errors:
- “Bubble Bounce” has been compressed horizontally, I think to about 90% width. The dimensions of “Shimmer Swap” are right; you can line it up with that. [-1 point]

Creativity/Originality: 9/15
(Shimmer Swap has an engaging new effect that I’ve seen a couple of times on fakes, but never before in the real TCG. Unfortunately, the vanilla-ness of Bubble Bounce lets you down a fair bit.)
Believability/Playability: 11/15
(Playability-wise, I’d expect to see something preventing multiple Shimmer Swaps from activating for the same attack, or else risk an order-of-operations nightmare. Believability-wise, I’ve gotta dock a point for the 001/π set number, since sets have to have whole numbers of cards in them.)
Wording: 7/10
(Ambiguity over what happens to the non-damage effects when you use Shimmer Swap.)
Fonts and Placement: 4/5
(Compression on the attack name.)
Aesthetics: 3/5
(A little on the basic side, but cleanly done overall. Extra points here could come from holosheets, cool blank modifications, exceptionally fitting art, etc.)
Edited: [-2 points]
Total: 32/50
NmexbgF.png


Truly interesting is right. It’s cool and all to see people branch out into areas of the game with only a couple existing cards that focus on them — like Prize manipulation or giving the opponent choices — but it’s something else to see them combined so seamlessly. You tend to do pretty well on creativity in general, but I think this is my favorite of your cards I’ve seen in a while.

It’s giving me a little bit of pause trying to see how to take it beyond its own self-synergy, though — it’s like you identified a couple of underexplored areas of the game and decided to explore them a bit further with this card, and that’s definitely cool and a solid way to consistently showcase a high level of originality. But in this case I think it’s become so reliant on its own gimmicks that it doesn’t fit in with any existing metagame anymore. I’m just left thinking “wow, cool” and not “wow, how can I build a deck out of this right away?”

I think it would be a pretty difficult one to convincingly build a meta deck out of, though. Prize manipulation tends to be a pretty soft lock since Prizes aren’t really the main source of resources for any deck, and giving your opponent choices makes the lock even softer. At best you end up occasionally discarding a Trainer card your opponent would have liked to have on hand — so, maybe a Rare Candy or a Night Maintenance, which, to be fair, is nothing to scoff at. And maybe you’ll get to use its effect yourself if you hit it off Dragon Snare. But is all that enough to build a deck around? And if not, is it even worth setting up a one-off Stage 1 with two Energy on it? Unfortunately, I’m thinking no.

The art is killer; one of my favorite tatan pieces for sure. The holosheet really brings out the background, too — all that work holosheeting AGE paid off. Nice work on aesthetics.

Wording errors:
- Seems fine. I’m cautious about Prize Tangle, but I don’t know what I would do differently, so it slides.

Fonts and Placement errors:
- Looks good.

Creativity/Originality: 13/15
(It’s a cool collection of effects, no doubt about it. Good exploration of underused design space, and the Body and attack play into each other well. I’ve got a couple concerns about how well it fits into existing cardpools, though — I think you’ve veered a little too far into the need to do new things and sacrificed some gameplay potential as a result.)
Believability/Playability: 12/15
(It seems a little underpowered. Some of this is probably down to the lack of support for Prize manipulation and opponent’s choice effects in real formats, but you’ve gotta take that into account in your design. I think Prize Tangle probably could have afforded to discard Supporter cards in addition to Trainers, and the 20-damage mode in Dragon Snare probably could have been 30 or 40.)
Wording: 10/10
(Seems fine. Good references for Dragon Snare, and Prize Tangle is reasonable enough that I can’t find anything better.)
Fonts and Placement: 5/5
(Looks good.)
Aesthetics: 5/5
(Great base art, nice application of the holosheet. Also a good choice to make it Psychic and not Colorless; the art wouldn’t have looked nearly so good on a Colorless blank.)
Total: 45/50
farfetchd-png.16134


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Creativity/Originality: 15/15
(Great flavor. Turning chopped wood into charcoal isn’t a place I ever would have expected a Farfetch’d card to go, but it works. And the crazy thing is that without that art, it probably wouldn’t have — which just goes to show how important the art can be in the design process. It’s got flavor, it’s got synergy, it’s got design space I never would have expected to see — it’s got it all. Great work on this one.)
Believability/Playability: 12/15
(Energy acceleration is always dangerous on a Basic, and I don’t think discarding 2 Item cards really does enough to undercut that here. A hard once-per-turn is probably called for on the Ability.)
Wording: 9/10
(A stray “Pokemon”.)
Fonts and Placement: 4.5/5
(The Energy symbols are a little too far apart in the attack cost.)
Aesthetics: 5/5
(I’ve gotta give the full 5 here purely on how perfectly the art and the effects go together. A holosheet probably would have taken away from the dynamism of the slash, so once again omitting it was the right choice. Well done!)
Total: 45.5/50
derx0qs-b713225f-6629-461f-be07-83ea379a58bc.png


Another BY! Solid art/background combo, great holosheeting, and I like the lightning effects you added — they go a long way toward bringing the whole thing together.

I’m glad you took the time to clarify some of the finer points of the BY mechanic in your notes, but to be honest I’m still just not sold on it from a creative perspective. It’s a generic two-Prizer that evolves from the Pokémon that shares its name rather than replacing it in the Evolution line. It’s like an old-school Pokémon ex, except that these can effectively be Stage 3s and can’t be Basics. I guess it’s believable, in that it’s very similar to most of the other two-Prize mechanics Pokémon has come up with, but I can’t really say it’s all that unique.

Energizer and Double Bolt fit well with each other — one does big damage, the other facilitates it. There’s something of a twist in that you get to conserve your resources by stacking Energy on your Bench — which is probably a good thing, since Emolga BY’s HP is on the low end for what I’d equate to a Stage 1 Pokémon-GX, but can also be too much of a good thing, if one Pokémon hogs all the Energy and never gets targeted down, while Emolgas get to benefit from it all game for the low price of two Energy per attack. It’s reasonable to assume there’s some kind of reliable gust effect in essentially any modern format, but if there’s ever anything with something like the Ancient Trait Ω Barrier, an impervious Energy sink could be cause for concern.

I think ultimately I’d want to see the requirement of a few more resources invested in the Active Emolga BY. An attack cost of [L][L][C] would probably do the trick — that way they’re a little harder to stream, and you might use Energizer to power up other Emolgas rather than loading all your Energy on one massive Pokémon.

It’s a neat card overall, though. Cool aesthetics, and some tidy synergy that results in the potential for big damage. What’s not to like?

Wording errors:
- I think “instead of 1” would be better served immediately following “2 cards”, and most cards with the text “instead of 1” support this, but there are at least a couple that don’t (Primarina LOT, Galarian Slowking VMAX), so [-0 points] here.
- I’m not gonna dock for it cos that’d be ridiculous, but for a while now the copyright on your blanks has been missing a space after “Creatures” — sorry for missing it before now. [-0 points]

Fonts and Placement errors:
- Your blank, your rules. Looks good to me.

Creativity/Originality: 12/15
(Some neat synergy between the Ability and attack. Additional points here could come from something more thematic or flavorful, or less linear — the use of this card is relatively straightforward, and Energizer and Double Bolt are both the sort of effect I could see on more or less any Lightning Pokémon.)
Believability/Playability: 12/15
(With the right kind of Energy sink, Double Bolt could get dangerous, especially given how quickly Energizer powers things up. Raising Double Bolt’s cost would probably help here.)
Wording: 10/10
(A minor nitpick, but your wording is supported too, so no docks.)
Fonts and Placement: 5/5
(Looks good.)
Aesthetics: 5/5
(Nice art, nice background, nice holosheet, and the lightning ties things together well.)
Total: 44/50
archen-doduo-png.16139


Oh wow! It’s a Full Art (alternate art?) Tag Team GX on an e-series–style blank, with art that ties directly into the effects of the attacks, and somehow you pulled it off. I particularly like the additional elemental balls flying in the background; they really seem to take these Pokémon from your average run-of-the-mill Archen and Doduo to … well, a Tag Team GX. To make one nitpick, I’m a bit confused about the red along the left-hand border, since it makes it look almost Ultra Beast–like in design. Maybe the blue of the GX bar would feel more natural there? But that’s a small gripe, and with the custom blank, custom art, even some custom texturing — it all looks incredible!

Tri Attack is a great place to start a design, and you really took it the extra mile. Splitting the effects between two halves of a Tag Team GX is a neat twist on what otherwise could have been quite a surface-level interpretation of the move, so I like that you’re really leaning into the mechanic you chose. Dodo Attack is still two-thirds of that interpretation — I would have liked to see the sleep and paralysis applied in some other way than “Flip a coin; if heads, choose 1” — but Trailblazing Tailwind is such a unique conglomeration of effects that I can barely fault the simplicity there.

Permanently lowering your Retreat Costs is pretty powerful in the right format, but behind a 3-Energy attack cost it seems reasonable. Where the attack really shines is the 160 + Burn + snipe 120 effect, which more than makes up for Dodo Attack’s relatively low power. So much damage for [C][C][C] and a Switch is huge! And it gives you a permanent bonus for the rest of the game? Sign me up!

It doesn’t even seem like an arbitrary combination of effects — you make your own switching easier, while forcing your opponent to work overtime to heal all their Special Conditions and keep up. Combine that with the Guzma you’re certainly gonna see to take advantage of the snipe, and suddenly there’s switching all over the place. For the number of effects crammed into a single attack there, it’s genuinely impressive that it all seems to work out like this.

That said, I get (and commend you for) what you’re trying to do by introducing a “+” effect for a TT-GX attack that isn’t extra Energy or a specific Supporter, but I don’t think needing to be switched in really does enough to balance the snipe. Granted, sniping for 120 is a lot less good than some other TT-GX snipe attacks, but at [C][C][C] it’s also by far the cheapest option out there. 120 damage is still a free Prize against most decks, as well as a chance to pick off one of your opponent’s important Bench-sitters and hinder their set-up. I think requiring just another Energy or two would have been plenty to balance this (or some other thematic “+” effect, if that’s the route you wanna go).

But all in all, the card is outstanding. The flavor is impeccable, from the attack names to the mechanical effects, not to mention boosted handily by the art. Two flightless birds forming a Flying-flavored card, but then veering off in their attacks to sling elemental blasts instead — I love it. Great piece this month, and truly a testament to some incredible teamwork.

Wording errors:
- “oponent’s” -> “opponent’s” in Dodo Attack. [-1 point]
- Don’t need “also” in the doing-damage-to-Benched-Pokémon clause; that’s a post-SSH artifact. Pikarom would probably be the ideal reference here. [-1 point]

Fonts and Placement errors:
- On point.

Creativity/Originality: 14/15
(Great design; I particularly like the emphasis on switching, for both you and your opponent, in the effects. I wish Dodo Attack was a little more unique in its application of sleep and paralysis, but I can barely fault it — the design and flavor are excellent.)
Believability/Playability: 12/15
(I would be concerned about an effective 180 damage + 120 snipe on an attack for [C][C][C], even a GX attack. I don’t think the switching condition really does enough to balance it, and would probably recommend replacing it with an extra Energy requirement or something else harder to achieve.)
Wording: 8/10
(A couple minor errors.)
Fonts and Placement: 5/5
(On point.)
Aesthetics: 5/5
(The blank, art, and texturing work beautifully together. Even having seen your prior work in other CaCs, Mick — it’s something to be proud of, this.)
Total: 44/50
september-cac-charmeleon-chm-cac5-png.16142


You’re definitely starting to pull the aesthetics together in a more cohesive way, Char! Doubling the holosheet placement on both the art and the border was a good call, as was the consistency of gold elements throughout the card. The art itself looks a little deep-fried to me — maybe the Sugimori art has been through one too many filters, maybe it’s the effect of the Acid Wash holosheet over the high-contrast background. I think making the art a little brighter overall would have gone a long way.

Rebellious Disposition is definitely an interesting effect; I think it does a good job of capturing the spirit of Charmeleon you set out to achieve. I question the choice of three coins, since the Pokémon TCG has a well-established convention of using two coins for a 25% chance whenever they want odds different from 50%. Sure, 25% and 37.5% aren’t the same, but I don’t believe there’s a big enough difference to justify bucking convention here — or at least, not without heavy playtesting. With two coins, though, I think the Ability would be just about perfect. It would do something new, something interesting, but not something so unusual I couldn’t imagine it on a real card.

Egregious Incineration is fine. Tyrannical Takeout is less so, since there’s ways to boost your own HP in just about any format, and even ways to copy the attack with a much higher-HP Pokémon in some. There’s not much wrong with a bog-standard 70-damage snipe for two Energy that you have to discard — it’d be powerful, but Rebellion Disposition would help balance it — but the way it is now, it’s as easy for the player to abuse as it is for the opponent to mitigate. There are other takeout-style effects that would probably work better here.

On the whole, I do like the effects. There’s some interesting design space available in such a glass cannon of a card, and I think you’re branching into it in the right ways for the most part. You just gotta be careful and think about all the ways an effect can be broken. With a little more balancing, a card like this could turn out great.

Wording errors:
- “(You may use a different attack.)” shouldn’t be italicized; italics are reserved for reminder text. Since letting the player use a different attack isn’t an effect the rules would normally have you do, you need non-italicized text to indicate that break from convention. [-1 point]
- The second part of Egregious Incineration needs some reworking — if you Burn the opponent’s Active Pokémon first, then of course it’s “already Burned” by the time you get to the second sentence. Changing “is already Burned” to “was already Burned” is probably enough here. [-1 point]
- In the Pokédex stats bar, #05 should probably be either #5 or #005, and I think Pone’s Omnium conventions dictate that heights with 0s in them be written like 3’7”, but I’ll give the “your blank, your rules” pass here.

Fonts and Placement errors:
- Lowering the font size should go with a corresponding decrease in leading (spacing between lines). There’s some leeway here since some eras use leading of the same point size as the font and some use one point higher, but this one is too noticeably wide to skate by. [-1 point]

Creativity/Originality: 13/15
(Rebellious Disposition is a genuinely interesting take on the “Charmeleon won’t listen” flavor meme; I like what you set out to do and I think you achieved it pretty well. Tyrannical Takeout and Egregious Incineration are a little less exciting, but the Ability carries the card pretty far.)
Believability/Playability: 10/15
(Tyrannical Takeout is abusable in most formats, since HP is relatively easy to increase. If you can also turn off your own Ability, then your opponent’s done for. Cautious points also docked for the three coins thing, since the conventional two coins would have been plenty for this effect.)
Wording: 8/10
(A couple minor errors.)
Fonts and Placement: 4/5
(Don’t forget to decrease leading!)
Aesthetics: 4/5
(I like the gold elements on the red blank. The art is a little too dark and high-contrast for my taste, though.)
Total: 39/50
1s7kpJPbJWROur7JXqHDci3GA3sQ16bWv


Ancient Traits! Now there’s some design space I haven’t seen around CaC in a long time. It’s a great way to do outstanding yet credible things with the aesthetics on a normally nondescript common, and by blending Pokémon Unite with the 25th-Anniversary Virtual Concert, you’ve really gone the extra mile for this one. It’s dynamic, it’s expressive — it’s a beautiful Ancient Trait card.

On the effects, it’s a little on the simple side — only one attack, plus the Ancient Trait that facilitates its use — but to some extent that’s to be expected for an evolving Basic. It feels a lot like Frogadier BKP, or any number of other Pokémon with attacks that search out their Evolutions. It’s got a slight twist on those effects, but ultimately nothing too new to report.

That said, it’s eminently believable — thanks in part to Frogadier, I have no trouble seeing it as a real card. The two-Energy attack cost combined with the Ancient Trait helping you out in a pinch works, as far as balancing goes. Some solid work here, Nemes. It doesn’t push too many envelopes, but it’s a neat card nonetheless.

Wording errors:
- “cost” -> “costs” in the AT — the subject is “each”, not “attacks”. [-1 point]

Fonts and Placement errors:
- Looks good to me.

Creativity/Originality: 11/15
(You created the card to fill a niche, and it fills the niche well. The attack cost stuff with the Ancient Trait is cool, but there’s not too much else that’s new. The bulk of the points here come from the inspiration by and interaction with Talonflame STS, which I think is a solid place to branch off with a prevo design.)
Believability/Playability: 15/15
(Well balanced, and very believable. No trouble seeing this as a real card.)
Wording: 9/10
(One minor error.)
Fonts and Placement: 5/5
(Looks good.)
Aesthetics: 5/5
(Very dynamic. It’s particularly noteworthy that you spliced the art together yourself from Pokémon Unite and the 25th-Anniversary Virtual Concert; two relatively uncommon art sources. The result is beautiful — great work!)
Total: 45/50

2nd Place: A tie between PMJ’s Dragalge and Nemes’s Fletchling, each with 45/50 points.
1st Place: Mr. Sableye’s Farfetch’d, with 45.5/50 points.
 

PMJ

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Text-Based Results

I've been judging text-based for almost a year now, and a consistent theme I've noticed among all the entries I've judged is bad wording. In all that time, I have yet to hand out a perfect score for wording.

Wording is an extremely easy area in which to lose points. In a contest where the difference between first and second can be (and usually is) decided with a difference of a single point or less, even making a single mistake can be a death sentence. Many of these mistakes are proofreading errors - missing punctuation, some text in the wrong area, going 90 HP when it should be HP90, forgetting evolves from text, things like that. Actual wording errors, like mixing up face-down and face down, or using text from an incorrect era, are slightly less common.

I'm willing to bet that nine out of ten times, if you lost this month's CaC it was because of wording. I can't stress enough how important this category is to get right, so here are a few tips from yours truly to help you shore up your game and snatch that fifteen next month (to any image fakers who are reading this because you're curious about text results, this also applies to you, so feel free to pull up a chair and take notes):

1. Bookmark pkmncards.com and use it like you get paid to do so. pkmncards is a fantastic resource, not just for card images, but for making sure your text is right. If you know how to use their search function well, you will never mess up your wording ever again. If you're looking for a specific word in the text, use the syntax +text:"(your text)". The plus there means pkmncards will show only cards that match the phrase in quotes exactly. This can be useful for checking for specific mechanics, like Prize card manipulation, Special Conditions, Rule Boxes, etc. series: is also important syntax to know, as it will limit search results only to the specified era. This will ensure that you're not using outdated wording. As an example, let's say I want to have a card with a Toxic-like effect but don't remember exactly how it's worded, but I do know bits and pieces of it. The string series:sword-shield +text:"instead of 1" will show me every card in the Sword & Shield era that has the text "instead of 1" on its card. If you read some of the cards, you'll notice that sometimes wording isn't consistent. Galarian Slowking VMAX CRE, the most recent card with this text, says "During Pokemon Checkup, put x damage counters on that Pokemon instead of 1." But Weezing RCL says, "Put x damage counters instead of 1 on that Pokemon during Pokemon Checkup." Functionally this the same wording, but in cases like these you should always, always, always defer to the most recent example. So for my Toxic effect, I would adapt the wording of Galarian Slowking VMAX instead of Weezing. https://pkmncards.com/advanced/ can be used as an advanced search to get you started so you can learn what to search for, like c: to search for cards of a certain type, s: for different Stages, and so on. I can't sing this site's praises enough. It's by far your best resource. Learn it, use it.

2. Don't post your entry right after you finish it. I understand that it's exciting to come up with an idea, refine it, and share it for everyone to see. But you're not doing yourself any favors by firing it off the second you think you're done. I can't tell you how many times I've finished a fake and uploaded it to share only to realize that maybe I didn't want the HP that high, or I'd find a typo, or forgot to clean my corners. Editing your post is an automatic two-point reduction, and it is better in nearly every case to just take the hit to your score since it's only going to be one point off at most. Even better than that is to hit the brakes on posting and come back to look at it later when you've got fresh eyes. You have until the end of the month to post, so unless you're fighting the deadline, you can spare a few hours or even a day to let your fake simmer for a while.

3. Remember your era. This one's twofold. First, remember that your fake is always considered to be in the current era unless you either specifically say otherwise or are using a two-Prizer mechanic that only appears in that era (Prism Stars, Pokemon V, Pokemon-GX, etc.) If you're using something that "could" be adapted to the current era, like Pokemon LV.X or Owner's Pokemon, that can easily be judged as a current card, but depending on the judge, you might be in for a nasty surprise. When in doubt, make it clear in your submission post, it costs you nothing and can save you everything. Second, remember that your wording should always come from the era in which you're faking. You might know wording for an effect, but if it's the wrong era, you'll lose points! A great example of this is my Dragalge entry. I instinctively wrote the phrase "...Prize cards your opponent takes for it" for the body, but the phrase "for it" wasn't used until BW. Turns out DP just left it as "takes," so that's what I ended up putting on the card. Searching for the string series:diamond-pearl,platinum +text:"take" +text:"prize" makes this obvious, but it's not something I would have thought to do. It was one of the last changes I made before submitting it, so it's a good thing I checked!

4. Use the Discord. Did you know we have a Discord? Here's the link: https://discord.com/invite/fKzFZ2n

Feel free to ask for help any time. The only people who can't help you are the judges for your specific contest - so if I'm judging text, I can't help with text fakes, but I can offer advice for images. We have lots of people who are more than willing to help you refine your entry before you post it, potentially in real time. There's a bit of a disconnect between people who frequent our Discord and who enter CaC and I wanted to draw attention to the Discord (again) to hopefully bridge that gap a bit.

I'm sure there's more but that's good enough for now. With that out of the way, here's the results.

Aether’s Archeops ✦ - [F] - HP: 180 - Stage 1: Evolves from Archen
No. 567 First Bird Pokémon - 4’07 - 70.5 lbs.

Ability: Ancient Sky Ruler - If the total amount of damage on this Pokémon is less then 90, this Pokémon’s attacks do 20 more damage. If this Pokémon is Benched with less then 90 damage on it, act as if the Defending Pokémon always has one additional [C] energy attached. When this Pokémon is Knocked Out, your opponent takes 2 prize cards.

[C][C][F][F] Dive Bomb - 50+
Flip a coin. If heads, you may either deal 10 additional damage to the Attacking Pokémon, or put an Energy card of any type onto a Benched Pokémon. If tails, this Pokémon takes 20 damage.

✦ (Prism Star) Rule: You can’t have more than 1 ✦ card with the same name in your deck. If a ✦ card would go to the discard pile, put it in the Lost Zone instead.

Weakness: Water x2
Resistance: Grass -20
Retreat Cost: [C][C][C]

“In the Aythare Region, the master of Flying-types, Aether, uses many Pokémon such as this one. While Aether never backs down, this Pokémon isn’t like that.

Ancient Sky Ruler is quite an Ability, but there are a few problems with it, not the least of which is that it makes you worth two Prizes for little payoff. I think an Ability that grants you bonuses but also forces you to give up an extra Prize is interesting design space, but neither the Ability nor the attack make this cost worth it. I can see the inspiration drawn from Defeatist, but the second part of the Ability makes no sense. Your opponent gets a free C as long as you're on the Bench? That doesn't make me want to use this card at all.

Even if you found some way to shut the Ability off, the card is... bad. Dive Bomb is expensive and weak (even factoring in Ancient Sky Ruler), with bad to mediocre effects no matter what you flip.

To improve this card, I'd look at Prism Stars to get a better gauge of general strength and go from there. Focus Ancient Sky Ruler on a single bonus that either shuts off when you're at half HP a la Defeatist or doesn't shut off but forces you to give up two Prizes. Dive Bomb's damage should be drastically increased. That's a good start.

Wording errors:
General
- Owner's Pokemon never evolve from vanilla Basics. Aether's Archeops Prism Star should evolve from Aether's Archen. [-1 point]
- Your double prime on Archeops' inches is missing (4'07"). [-1 point]
- Prism Star text should come before the Ability. [-1 point]
- I'll give you the Water Weakness since Archeops only has one card, but nothing in the Sun & Moon era is resistant to Grass. [-1 point]
Ancient Sky Ruler
- There is so much wrong here that it would require rewriting the entire Ability. Read real cards so you do better in this category. You can also get help from our Discord. [-5 points]
Dive Bomb
- Your attack costs are in the wrong order. The correct order is GRWLFPDMYNC. [-1 point]
- This attack effect also requires a complete rewrite. It's a little closer to normal, but not much. [-5 points]

Creativity/Originality: 13/20
(The potential for something interesting is there, but it fell short.)
Wording: 0/15
(Help is available if you really want to improve in this category.)
Believability/Playability: 4/15
(Prism Stars are always Basics. The card is extremely weak with a debilitating Ability and has nothing to make up for it.)
Total: 17/50
Slurpuff HP: 110 [P]
684.png
Stage 1: Evolves from Swirlix

Single Strike
slurpuff.png

NO. 685 Meringue Pokémon HT: 2'7" WT: 11 lbs.
Ability: Quick Licks
Once during your turn, while this Pokémon is in the Active Spot, you may move 3 damage counters from 1 of your opponent's Pokémon to 1 of your Single Strike Pokémon.

[P][C] Just Desserts 10x
Choose up to 2 of your Benched Single Strike Pokémon. This Attack does 10 damage for each damage counter on those Pokémon. If this Attack Knocks Out the Defending Pokémon, shuffle 1 of those Pokémon and all cards attached to it into your deck.

Weakness: [M] x2
Resistance:
Retreat: [C][C]

Slurpuff’s fur contains a lot of air, making it soft to the touch and lighter than it looks.
On the whole, I can dig the idea behind this card. Utilizing your own damaged attackers to do damage, and having an Ability which helps facilitate getting your guys damaged, it sounds good on paper. However, I think that it fails a little bit in execution. Slurpuff gets taken out by a light breeze, but it's forced to be Active to use Quick Licks and has an awful Retreat Cost which makes it kinda clunky to use multiple times in a turn. Just Desserts, however, is an extremely powerful attack and is an excellent Prize denial option, considering you can just shuffle whatever V you have on life support back into your deck, and also considering that you have access to Karen's Conviction to jack up the damage.

The downside is that your Pokemon still has to leave the field, but having Slurpuff take the hit and also throwing your V back into the deck to fight another day is infinitely preferable to getting killed yourself and losing three Prizes.

I think that losing one of your Pokemon can potentially be dangerous since it leaves you vulnerable when Slurpuff gets revenge killed. But as long as you have someone ready to take the hit, you can just charge up another Slurpuff with Houndoom or something, retreat the fatty who took the hit, and swing again for some huge damage.

I like it. I also don't like it. It's interesting, to say the least. I guess it's a good sign that it's made me think about it for this long.

Wording errors:
Quick Licks
- The Ability should read, "...if this Pokemon is in the Active Spot..." (Vanilluxe DAA) [-1 point]
Just Desserts
- "Attack" is never capitalized in attack text, ever. Ever. [-1.5 points]
- "If this attack Knocks Out your opponent's Active Pokemon..." (Jumpluff EVS) [-1 point]

Creativity/Originality: 15/20
(An interesting card with combo potential, but the Retreat Cost makes it a little clunky.)
Wording: 11.5/15
(Simple errors, easily fixed.)
Believability/Playability: 15/15
(No major issues here. I think this would easily find a way into some Single Strike VMAX decks.)
Total: 41.5/50
[Stage 2] Tsareena GX HP230 [G]
Evolves from Steenee

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Creativity/Originality: 17/20
(I love the effects. Just wish they were a little bit easier to proc, since this is a Stage 2 GX.)
Wording: 12/15
(Nothing too major here.)
Believability/Playability: 13/15
(Not an awful fake by any means, but giving the attacks better synergy would help it be top tier.)
Total: 42/50
STAGE 1Evolves from Light PiloswinePut Light Mamoswine on the Basic Pokémon
Light Mamoswine
110 HP (W)​
Stage 1 Pokémon
[Twin Tusk Pokémon. Length: 8'2", Weight: 641.5 lbs.]
Pokémon Power: Giant HeartOnce during your turn (before your attack), if your opponent has any Benched Pokémon, he or she chooses 1 of them and switches it with his or her Active Pokémon, then, if you have any Benched Pokémon, you switch 1 of them with your Active Pokémon. This power can't be used if Venusaur is Asleep, Confused, or Paralyzed.
[W][W]
[C][C]​
Gentle Blizzard If the Defending Pokémon is a Baby or Pokémon, this attack does 10 damage instead of 60. If the Defending Pokémon is a Pokémon with Light in its name, this attack does 30 damage instead of 60.
60
weakness​
resistance​
retreat cost​
[G]​
[L] -30​
[C][C][C][C]​
[In some northern culture stories of a giant but kind creature were often told. It is said that this creature will appear after a snowslide and clear a path for other Pokémon to use. LV. 50 #473]
First off, I wanna say that putting your text fake in a table is cool as shit. Bonus point for originality - it's hard to find interesting ways to display a text fake, and this is something new that I haven't seen before.

Giant Heart is extremely strong. Other similar effects require some sort of cost - Donphan and Forretress require an attack, Raikou requires an attachment, and Light Arcanine needs to be Active. Light Mamoswine has no such cost, although I can sort of buy the argument that it being a Stage 2 negates the need for such a cost; the fact that it essentially gives all of your Pokemon free retreat is a huge deal (keep in mind the only retreating aid in this era is Balloon Berry). For no cost, I would have liked to have seen this power only affect Light Pokemon, to give them a buff.

Gentle Blizzard is a little too similar to Light Arcanine's Gentle Flames for my liking. I also don't like the nerf to Light Pokemon - they've suffered enough. It would have been cooler to see something else in this area, although I guess the damage reduction is unique.

Wording errors:
General
- Light Mamoswine is a Stage 2 Pokemon, not a Stage 1 Pokemon. [-1.5 points]
- In the Neo era, weights are rounded to the nearest integer, so Light Mamoswine's weight should be 642 pounds. [-1 point]
- Your flavor text is too long. There's not a lot of space in the little box! [-1 point]
Giant Heart
- (before your attack) should be in italics. (Typhlosion Neo Genesis) [-1 point]
- The attack mentions Venusaur where it should be Light Mamoswine. [-1 point]
Gentle Blizzard
- You have an extra "or" in the first sentence of the effect. [-1 point]

Creativity/Originality: 14/20
(Cool display of your fake, but everything else feels kinda uninspired.)
Wording: 8.5/15
(Almost all of these could have been caught with better proofreading.)
Believability/Playability: 14/15
(Giant Heart would ensure it sees play, but it would never attack.)
Total: 36.5/50
Gabite HP90 [D]

Stage 1-Evolves from Gible


[Ability]Dig Up
Once during your turn,you may look at a number of the the top cards of your deck equal to the number of Prize cards you have taken and attach any number of basic Energy cards you find there to 1 of your Pokémon.Discard the other cards.You can't use more than 1 Dig Up each turn.

[F] [W] Dragon Breath 30
Flip a coin.Your opponent's Active Pokémon is now Paralyzed.

Weakness:None
Resistance:None
Retreat Cost: [C]

"Jewels are buried in the caves these Pokémon nest in, but you’ll be torn apart by claws and fangs the moment you enter one of these caves."
Props for going for a mid stage evo. It's a little more difficult to find a way to make them fit in well. Let's see if your gamble paid off.

Dig Up is kind of interesting. It seems like a "win more" power; you can't start digging pretty deep until you've already almost won and probably don't have too many useful cards left to pull. In the early game it's basically a small self-mill, although you can use cards like Expedition Uniform or Abilities like Primate Wisdom to help accelerate Energy a little faster. With that said, though, you have to start taking Prizes before you can even start making use of Dig Up, which hurts the utility of this card quite a bit and sort of defeats the purpose of making it accelerate Energy in the first place.

Dragon Breath could use a slight damage increase. There aren't many evolving Stage 1 Dragon-types in EVS, but even Zweilous swings 40 for two. The chance to paralyze doesn't warrant reducing the damage further.

Overall, I appreciate the effort that went into this. I saw you getting help from the Discord, but as the judge I had to abstain from assisting you. It's hard to gauge the strength of a Pokemon that has no frame of reference in the current era; as a partner for other Pokemon, it has limited use. You can build around it, but it still requires a lot of support for not a lot of payoff.

Wording errors:
General
- The shorthand for Dragon-type is N, not D. [-1 point]
Dig Up
- The first part of the Ability has outdated wording. It's more correct to say, "...for each Prize card you have taken..." I'm knocking you a point off for that. Not the first part, which I'm also sure is wrong somehow but don't know how to fix it. [-1 point]
- You can't use more than 1 Dig Up Ability each turn. (Galarian Moltres V CRE) [-1 point]
Dragon Breath
- Your attack costs are in the wrong order. The correct order is GRWLFPDMYNC. (Garchomp LTR) [-1 point]
- The attack is missing, "If heads, your opponent's Active Pokemon is now Paralyzed." [-1 point]

Creativity/Originality: 14/20
(Good effort. Dig Up seems busted at first glance but is a lot weaker under closer scrutiny.)
Wording: 10/15
(Not bad. Lots of simple, preventable errors, though.)
Believability/Playability: 14/15
(Dig Up isn't awful, just kinda niche. It can be used on its own or as the preferred Gabite in a Garchomp deck.)
Total: 38/50
Nidoqueen V - Fighting - HP 220
Basic - Rapid Strike

Ability: Queendom
When you play this Pokémon from your hand during your turn, you may attach it to a Stadium in play that doesn’t already have a card attached to it. While this card is attached, it doesn’t count as a Pokémon and that Stadium has the additional effect “Put 4 damage counters on both non-[F] Active Pokémon during Pokémon Checkup. Special Conditions are not removed when either player’s Pokémon evolve or devolve.” When that Stadium leaves play, put this Pokémon into your hand.

[F][C][C] Royal Rumble 110
Choose up to 2:
  • Your opponent’s Active Pokémon is now Confused and Poisoned.
  • Put a Stadium card from your hand or discard pile into play.
  • Put this Pokémon and all attached cards into your hand.

Weakness: [ P ]x2
Resistance:
Retreat: [C][C][C]
V rule: When your Pokémon V is Knocked Out, your opponent takes 2 Prize cards.
Queendom is busted. No two ways about it. Forty damage between turns just for attaching it to a Stadium is bonkers. The Stadium doesn't even have to be yours, either, so assuming that the opponent doesn't drop his own Nidoqueen V onto it, your opponent gets one turn of relief before it's back to quadruple poison damage. And speaking of quadruple poison, I don't have any problems with the Special Condition effect. Those need to be stronger in general, so I'm cool with that. It's the first part I take issue with. It's way too good and severely weakens non-Fighting decks. It gives stall a way to do passive damage and take Prizes. It invalidates nearly every evolving Basic. Way, way too good.

I'm old enough to get the Royal Rumble reference, and yeah it's thematic so props to ya for that. Getting to choose any one of the effects would be good, but being able to choose two is like Christmas. Permanent poison and confusion is pretty nuts, and you get guaranteed Stadium control on top of it, or you can just whisk yourself away if you're about to die. Everything about this card just oozes powerful.

There are a few changes I'd make. First, I'd reduce the damage from 40 to 30. This is solely so evolving Basics have a shot to set up against you instead of being forced to play Find the Stadium on turn one. Next, I'd limit the options for Royal Rumble to just one instead of two. All three effects are great, but getting to consistently choose two is way too good.

Wording errors:
Queendom
- "When you play this Pokemon from your hand onto your Bench during your turn..." (Galarian Moltres EVS) [-1 point]
- "As long as this card is attached to a Stadium card..." (Treasure Energy EVS) [-2 points]
- When a card goes somewhere other than its intended destination, you need to specify that. "When that Stadium leaves play, put this Pokemon into your hand instead of the discard pile." (Lucky Ice Pop EVS, Billowing Smoke DAA, Recycle Energy UNM) [-1 point]
Royal Rumble
- The card should arguably say "this Nidoqueen V" instead of "this Pokemon" unless you're okay with Queendom being copied, but it's not exactly important in this case. [-0 points]


Creativity/Originality: 16/20
(Being able to attach to Stadiums is entirely unique, I think. Either way, it's largely unexplored design space in the real TCG.)
Wording: 11/15
(Easy to fix errors.)
Believability/Playability: 12/15
(Ability is absurd, attack needs a slight nerf.)
Total: 39/50
Dusk Mane Necrozma
Pokémon - [M] - 120
Basic Pokémon - Ultra Beast

NO. 800 Prism Pokémon HT: 12'06" WT: 1014.1 lbs

Ability: Through the Breach
When you play this Pokémon from your hand onto your Bench during your turn, if you have more Prize cards remaining than your opponent, you may switch 1 of your opponent’s Benched Pokémon with their Active Pokémon. If you do, switch your Active Pokémon with this Pokémon.

[M]: Prisma Strike 130
If your opponent’s Active Pokémon doesn’t have a Rule Box, this attack does nothing.

Weakness: [R] x2
Resistance: [P] -30
Retreat: [C][C][C]

When it dominates Solgaleo, it takes on this form. It's a vicious Pokémon, mangling prey with its many claws—including those on its back.

Gust effect while you're losing and have the ability to put a huge dent into the two-Prizer of your choice for relatively low risk. I can dig it. This card fits Zacian decks like a glove. Not much to say about it other than I see the enormous Retreat Cost. I'm okay with it - the Ability is fantastic, but balanced and while Air Balloon makes your Retreat Cost a little more manageable, it doesn't make it free, and I think that's the right play.

Wording errors:
General
- You're missing a period after lbs. [-1 point]
- In the current era, non-bird Metal Pokemon have Grass Resistance, not Psychic. [-1 point]
Through the Breach
- When you switch "this Pokemon" with your Active Pokemon, it gets written like that, not the other way around. (Vaporeon V EVS, Aegislash BST, Forretress VIV) [-1 point]
Prisma Strike
- As of Chilling Reign, you still need the Rule Box reminder text. (Path to the Peak CRE) [-1 point]

Creativity/Originality: 14/20
(A great card, but there's nothing new or interesting here.)
Wording: 11/15
(Simple mistakes like these can tank your score.)
Believability/Playability: 15/15
(It may not be interesting, but it's high-tier and would definitely be used in Zacian decks.)
Total: 40/50
3rd Place: ThePigThatCriedRii’s Dusk Mane Necrozma, with 40/50 points.
2nd Place: Falling Skies’s Slurpuff, with 41.5/50 points.
1st Place: Vom’s Tsareena-GX, with 42/50 points.
 

PMJ

happy thoughts
Forum Head
Articles Head
Elite Member
Advanced Member
Member
If anyone thought I was just kidding about how close these contests are, both image and text this month were decided by a single wording error. There's no understating how important having proper wording is.
 

bbb888

One Life. One Dream.
Member
For my entry, I purposely omitted "onto your Bench" because what if your Bench is full but you still want to attach Nido to a Stadium? Nido would attach directly from your hand instead of going to the Bench first.
Also, I didn't think 40 damage was that powerful, I mean, everyone plays Charizard, right? Lol
 
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