Contest September 2022 CaC: Middle Stages (Sign-ups Closed!)

Jabberwock

#Jovimohnaeliackvid
Forum Mod
Articles Staff
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Welcome to the September 2022 round of the Create-a-Card!

This month’s theme is Middle Stages.

Evolving Stage 1 Pokémon get a bad rap. Often played as one-ofs or even none-ofs in favor of the more efficient Rare Candy, seeing a deck playing a full set of them is almost unheard of. Some make a name for themselves with exceptionally good Abilities — see Eelektrik NVI, Gabite DRX, and Pidgeotto TEU — but others fall by the wayside.

This month, we want to see you give these middle-Stage Pokémon a little more love. Design an evolving Stage 1 card that’s worth playing over Rare Candy — maybe it supports its Stage 2 in some way, or maybe it has a powerful Ability or attack that makes it practically the end of an Evolution line in its own right. Let your imagination run wild!


Registration

  • To sign up, you must reply to the thread below by September 10th at 11:59 pm EST, specifying which category you wish to enter. A post like “In for text!” or “In for image!” is sufficient. You may enter both categories if you wish.
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  • You may register with a partner and work together on the same card. This way each member can use their different talents and combine their skills, especially if one of you is an artist and the other is a TCG player. (Feel free to post in the thread that you’re looking for a partner if you want one.)
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  • We have a total of 15 spaces available for text-based entries and 15 for image-based. If you’ve never done an image-based card before, now is a great time to learn! PokéBeach has many card blanks and guides available for use, and we have a vibrant Discord community willing to help with any questions you might have.


Judging

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Text-Based
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  1. Creativity/Originality
    We’re all tired of effectless attacks! Without images, part of the intrigue with text-based fakes is the creativity of Pokémon Power / Body / Ability / attack effects. Let’s see something cool and new!
    Total: 20 points
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  2. Wording
    Proper wording is key in designing any fake card. As official wording has changed many times over the years, try to ensure wording is correct for the era of card you choose. Naturally, grammar and spelling are also taken into consideration.

    Text-based fakers may format their entries any way they choose, but for those who are new or would like a guideline to follow, this is a simple formatting guideline you can follow:

    Pokémon – Type – HP50
    Stage 1 – Evolves from Pokémon

    NO. 000 [Name] Pokémon HT: 1’11” WT: 111.1 lbs.

    Ability: Name
    Ability Effect

    [R][C] Attack 20
    Attack Effect

    Weakness: Fire (x2)
    Resistance: Psychic (-20)
    Retreat: [C] [C] [C]
    Flavor Text

    Total: 15 points
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  3. Believability/Playability
    Text-based fakes rely heavily on their believability. Think of your entries as if they were real cards. Try to avoid those 400 HP monsters which do 200 damage for [R]! Proper type (unless Delta Species), Pokédex information, and ballpark HP will also be taken into consideration. We will assume that your card is being created for the current TCG era unless otherwise stated, so if you are making a card for a previous era, you must mention this in your entry post.
    Total: 15 points
Max Points: 50

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Image-Based
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  1. Creativity/Originality
    This is a given. With the proper photo editing tools, let your imagination run wild! Among other things, this can involve innovating new mechanics, envisioning new card interactions, and exploring exciting gameplay potential or other design space.
    Total: 15 points
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  2. Believability/Playability
    Believability and playability are both integral to a custom card’s realism. A card’s playability is its power level — try not to be overpowered or underpowered for the era you’re designing in! For believability, proper type (unless Delta Species), Pokédex information, ballpark HP, and so on will be taken into consideration.
    Total: 15 points
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  3. Wording
    Proper wording is key in designing any fake card. Try to ensure wording is correct for the era of blank you choose, as card wording has changed many times over the years. Naturally, grammar and spelling are also taken into consideration.
    Total: 10 points
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  4. Fonts and Placement
    Correct fonts (which may change era by era) are imperative when creating realistic fakes — even for custom blanks, fonts in line with the convention can go a long way toward making them appear realistic. Placement of text / symbols / etc. is also taken into consideration.
    Total: 5 points
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  5. Aesthetics
    Aesthetics is all about how your card looks as a complete whole. Aspects of this category include using creative and appropriate artwork, using neat or custom blanks, and overall having an appealing card creation. Additionally, you may not use existing artwork from the TCG for your cards. If you’d like to use Ken Sugimori stock artwork, you may do so, but it must be transformative in nature.
    Total: 5 points
Max Points: 50

And that’s the point breakdown for this round’s Create-a-Card! @Jabberwock will be judging image-based, and @PMJ will be judging text-based.


General Rules

  • The card you submit must be of a Pokémon — that is, not a Trainer, Energy, or other type of card. Occasionally, we open this up to other types of cards if the month’s theme warrants it, but otherwise it’s impossible to judge Pokémon cards against Trainer cards, since their uses in-game are so different.
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  • For those entering image-based, you must include the symbol here on your card (such as the set symbol) or else your entry won’t be accepted. It was designed by Nekoban Ryo, who continually creates resources for the faking world and is a prominent faker himself. In addition, we do not allow any image-based entries that have been made using automatic, online card generators.
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  • If you edit your post, you’ll incur a deduction of 2 points from your overall score. Posting your entry again on a different post also deducts 2 points. When you submit, make sure you’re done! If you mess up the tags or have a similar coding disaster, tag or PM me to get it fixed. If you forget to credit someone, do so in a new post instead of editing.
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  • Participants who sign up but fail to submit a card by the deadline, if the category is full, will automatically lose 2 points for the next round (similar to losing 2 points for the current round for editing). If the category you have signed up for is full and if you wish to drop out, you must do so with three days remaining before the deadline to avoid the penalty. Continuing to fail to post a submission in future rounds will result in a possible ban from the contest for a couple of months. Please keep a close eye on the deadline.
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  • The judges do not give feedback on entries before they are posted. However, you’re encouraged to seek out help from other members of the community! The forums are an acceptable place for this, but you may be able to get faster feedback in the Faking Community Discord server here.
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  • Artists/illustrators are free to post in this thread, letting participants know that they are available.
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  • All entries should meet the forum rules. You should always credit the artist, and never use someone else’s art without their permission — that’s art theft.

Deadline: September 30th (Fri.) 11:59 pm EST
Here’s a deadline countdown for convenience: [link]​

Anticipated Entrants


Image-Based:
  1. @PMJ
  2. @doofisconfused
  3. @Faris
  4. @Kaleidophoenix
  5. @Will Mcsus
  6. @Nyan & @Draskk
  7. @Mick-773
  8. @Kavross
  9. This could be you!

Text-Based:
  1. @doofisconfused
  2. @Kaleidophoenix
  3. @I Like Shorts
  4. @Falling Skies
  5. @GM DracLord
  6. @ThePigThatCriedRii
  7. @FireLizard
  8. @Nyan
  9. This could be you!

Bold names means I have seen your entry in this thread.

Want to help advertise the contest? Just paste the code below for the banner in your sig!
Code:
[url=https://www.pokebeach.com/forums/threads/september-2022-cac-middle-stages-sign-ups-open.153322/][img]https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/726804916240121878/1015722962051137586/september_22_banner.png[/img][/url]

Credit goes to @Nekoban Ryo and @Jabberwock for the banner.
 
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Jabberwock

#Jovimohnaeliackvid
Forum Mod
Articles Staff
Member
Some helpful parameters phrased in the form of a FAQ (to be expanded as necessary):
  1. Can I choose a Pokémon that wasn't originally a middle Stage, but became one in a later generation (e.g. Pikachu, Porygon2, Ursaring)?
    We're looking for evolving Stage 1s here — the kind of Pokémon that you would usually Rare Candy over on your way to their respective Stage 2s. Under normal TCG conventions, Porygon2 and Ursaring are legal entries for this theme, but Pikachu and other Pokémon that became middle Stages because of a Baby Pokémon, and as such are still Basic Pokémon in the TCG, are not.
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  2. Can I make (e.g.) a Klang V for this theme?
    Sadly, no. We're looking for evolving Stage 1s, and a middle Stage represented as a Basic Pokémon doesn't quite fit the bill.
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  3. Does Mega evolution count? For example, can I choose Scizor because it evolves into Mega Scizor?
    No. We're looking for middle Stages of conventional Evolution lines — Pokémon that are rarely or never represented as the Stage of interest in their respective lines; the kind of Pokémon you would usually cut from your deck list if you're playing enough Rare Candy.
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  4. Are Pokémon that evolve from Unidentified Fossil (sans Aerodactyl) permitted to be used in this contest?
    Technically yes! Those are Stage 1 Pokémon that can evolve and in most cases would probably be ignored in favor of the faster Rare Candy route. Provided your card is indeed a Stage 1 and not, say, a Restored Pokémon, I see no problems with that.
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PMJ

happy thoughts
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In for image

Don't forget you guys can enter both categories!
 

bbb888

One Life. One Dream.
Member
Does Mega evolution count? For example, can I choose Scizor because it evolves into Mega Scizor?
 

Jabberwock

#Jovimohnaeliackvid
Forum Mod
Articles Staff
Member
Does Mega evolution count? For example, can I choose Scizor because it evolves into Mega Scizor?
Not with the way Mega Evolution has historically worked in the TCG. We're looking for middle Stages of conventional Evolution lines — Pokémon that are rarely or never represented as the Stage of interest in their respective lines; the kind of Pokémon you would usually cut from your deck list if you're playing enough Rare Candy.
 

Kangaflora

Aspiring Trainer
Member
One question: Just for the purposes of preventing confusion, are any Pokémon that evolve from Unidentified Fossil (sans Aerodactyl) be permitted to be used in this contest?
 

Jabberwock

#Jovimohnaeliackvid
Forum Mod
Articles Staff
Member
One question: Just for the purposes of preventing confusion, are any Pokémon that evolve from Unidentified Fossil (sans Aerodactyl) be permitted to be used in this contest?
Technically yes! Those are Stage 1 Pokémon that can evolve and in most cases would probably be ignored in favor of the faster Rare Candy route. Provided your card is indeed a Stage 1 and not, say, a Restored Pokémon, I see no problems with that.
 

PMJ

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Getting this out of the way real quick cause I got inspired early on.

When it comes to playable Stage 1s, I think the best use of their talents is to make an otherwise garbage Stage 2 playable. And nothing says garbage like needing to flip for your damage.

There's an Unfezant from Pokemon GO who can do an actually workable 280 damage for 2 Energy if you flip all heads. It also only costs two Energy, which means you can power it up with Twin Energy or Double Turbo Energy. Using DTE isn't even an issue, as with a Choice Belt you are still dealing 290 damage, which can OHKO any Pokemon VSTAR. Without this penalty you are hitting 310 damage. Notable OHKOs include Mew VMAX, Flying Pikachu VMAX, Togekiss VMAX, and Mewtwo V-UNION.

Of course, flipping 4 heads is the problem. You have a 6.25% chance of flipping 4 heads in a row. Glimwood Tangle gives you an extra shot at this, but those are still abysmal odds. Tranquill here solves that problem by allowing you to guarantee a swing for 280. Couple caveats: It's an attack, so you're probably gonna give up a Prize afterwards. It only works for the following turn, so if you can't follow up, you're outta luck. And obviously, it only works for Unfezant, so you can't use it with something like Radiant Jirachi (a Basic with an instant-kill attack) or something equally ridiculous.

Using your attack (read as: giving up a Prize) to set up a guaranteed kill on something is fair, I think. Once Tranquill goes down and Unfezant takes a kill on the multiprizer of your choice, the Prize trade will be even if they can return the KO on your Unfezant. This prevents the strategy from being broken.

Since the goal is to use a combination of Tranquill and Unfezant to take six Prizes, being able to recover them quickly is paramount. Bird Call allows you to pull up to any two Pokemon with Fighting Resistance from your discard pile. (Side note: For some reason, everything allows you to put "up to" a given amount, so this does, too.) In this deck, it'll most likely be Unfezant and something else. Rescue Carrier and Klara can also provide you with this same ability, but I left the Ability intact to give Tranquill some utility outside of the Unfezant deck. There's a Pidove from Rebel Clash with the Chirp attack, which pulls any two Pokemon with Fighting Resistance from your deck. It's notable that this is in the current era, where Psychic Pokemon now globally have a Fighting Resistance, making them eligible targets for Chirp. Even though the attack was originally intended to get Flying-type Pokemon, the fact that it's been left completely intact in the current era makes me more comfortable calling Tranquill's Ability "Bird Call" and we can all just enjoy the joke of it pulling a Mewtwo VSTAR back from the dead the same way Pidove could pull it from the deck with no issue.

As a stroke of luck, with this Tranquill making the line playable, Pidove RCL makes a decent starter in a pinch, whether you're using it with Unfezant or in a Psychic deck with Tranquill as a recovery tool.

Lastly, a few words about Winds of Change. There are eight Unfezant cards as of Pokemon GO; most of them have attacks that have flip-dependent effects. The only one even worth mentioning aside from the Pokemon GO one is the one from Black and White. That one has Fly, so you'd be sacrificing a Prize to deal 50 damage and block all incoming damage for a turn. That's definitely not worth the setup this takes, so I'm not concerned about this Tranquill breaking Expanded, even though there are many more Fighting-resistant targets for Bird Call to grab.

As for the card itself, there's no foil and I'm not particularly concerned about that. It is, after all, a would-be uncommon. It feels weird not to apply any fancy filters or other trickery to it, but sometimes a good solid card is all you need and that's what I've got here. As far as the art goes, Steff did a fine job in making it look dynamic without appearing aggressive. As their name implies, Tranquill aren't aggressive Pokemon and frequently work with humans, so I think that having the artwork be in a full-on battle pose or aggressively attacking with a powerful gust of wind or something wouldn't be very fitting here. Even official Tranquill TCG art features it just being a bird and chilling out, minding its own business. Shout outs to Steff for some perfect art for a perfect card.

References:

- Granbull FST (When you play this Pokemon from your hand to evolve 1 of your Pokemon during your turn, you may put up to 2 [things] from your discard pile into your hand.)
- Pidove RCL (Pokemon with F Resistance)

- Weavile CRE (During your next turn, if)
- Will CEC (you flip any number of coins for the effect of [something] ... choose heads or tails for [which coin flip?] coin flip.)
- Zapdos PGO, Power Tablet FST (your [Pokemon's] attacks)
 

PMJ

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One thing I forgot to mention, though Tranquill is a stellar Stage 1, it doesn't completely negate the use of Rare Candy; it just supplements it. I think Unfezant decks will still play it in a smaller count.
 

Kaleidophoenix

Aspiring Trainer
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KPCAC12_Hakamo-o.png
Hakamo-o – Dragon – HP90
Stage 1 – Evolves from Jangmo-o

Ability: Excited Clanging
Once during your turn, when this Pokémon moves from your Bench to the Active Spot, you may attach a basic Energy from your discard pile to this Pokémon.

[L][F] Strike and Roar 60
If your opponent's Active Pokémon is an Evolution Pokémon, discard an Energy from it.

Weakness:
Resistance:
Retreat: [C]
Before attacking its enemies, it clashes its scales together and roars. Its sharp claws shred the opposition.
Wyrdeer V ASR#134 "Once during your turn, when this Pokémon moves from your Bench to the Active Spot..."
Hawlucha BRS#127 "If your opponent’s Active Pokémon is an Evolution Pokémon..."
I have been loving the new Trainer Gallery cards from the latest sets, and I saw an opportunity with this prompt to do something unique. I did try out some foils for it, but nothing quite worked that would match the actual foil used, so I forewent it. I think the art is strong enough as is, despite my meager art skills, and I quite enjoyed the process, which made this a very fun.

The ability is designed around one of the main weaknesses of Stage 2 Pokémon in the current format: their energy costs are too expensive. Putting 3 or 4 Energy on a Pokémon that will get Knocked Out in return means that you need to find some sort of acceleration or chain Raihan for multiple turns in a row. It also allows for the more awkward Energy costs of Dragon Pokémon to be mitigated. I can easily see this slotting in for a few slots in a Kommo-o deck to take advantage of the Turbo Mew style decks going around (the upcoming Comfey would be another option as well). While there aren't any Kommo-o in Standard currently, I imagine it'll have a 3 or 4 costing attack, with some sort of conditional power bump, which would allow it to take KOs on Vs.

The attack is just a minor disruption style attack, which would mainly take effect against an opposing Pokémon VSTAR. Nothing really appreciates losing their energy, and I didn't want a super powerful effect to pair with the Energy acceleration, as the design it to make you want to play both cards. Still, it's useful in a pinch, and that's what I wanted from it.
 
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