Mystery Box Challenges



  • I don't have twitch...
  • it's an app on phones right?
  • I don't know..

    What happens to me after drinking from the vial?
  • I don't have an XBOX, but I do have Twitch. What's your "streamer name"? I don't know the exact term.
  • @FORFUN - - - sometimes poison takes a while to kick in...
  • About that scratch off...
  • Oh, ok.
  • Wait...
  • edited March 2021
    What do you mean by...
  • POISON!!!!!!!!
  • It was green...
  • @AboveAndAbout be like "About that prize I got..."

    national geographic sniff GIF by Nat Geo Wild
  • Did i say poison? oops, i meant Gatorade.
  • About that prize I got...
  • Ok, whoo.  Had me worried there...
  • For the challenge, "Create a one drop creature or enchantment that has an activated ability that has Colorless in the activation cost." Apologies for missing the deadline - I was unfortunately sick yesterday and couldn't make it then. 

    Figure of Fiends by Potato13 | MTG Cardsmith

    For the favorites, put one on Figure of Fiends, and give four to the four cards posted after this one. 

    I would also like another box. But, I wish for this to be of the highest magnitude of difficulty. As many wacky conditions as you can feasibly put onto a card, jammed into one. Make Ice Cauldron look like a children's book in comparison in terms of word count. 
  • Still waiting...
  • No offense meant but why exactly is this so popular?
  • Let me give you a detailed paragraph on the joy of Mystery Boxes.

    What are mystery boxes? Mystery boxes are challenges created by jpastor that other cardsmiths have the pleasure of making. Are you looking for inspiration on your next big idea? The Mystery Boxes forum can help. Do you just love making cards? Well, that's great too, since the Mystery Box forum is an ongoing challenge. Plus, there are prizes. Anywhere from some favorites, or a follow, or even a featured card! Even if it's not any of those, it's always fun to see what jpastor has in store for us. Also, a little friendly competition never hurt anybody...which is why there's the Mystery Box Leaderboard!
  • edited March 2021
    Alright folks, we’ve got some results to hand out for the duels that recently took place between ShadowReign & TheDukeOfPork and AboveAndAbout & jpastor.

    Before we begin, I’d like to do something you’re probably not used to seeing in challenges.  I’m going to give a rundown of the criteria I’ll be using to evaluate each cardsmith’s work.  I’m not a fan of working in the dark or “read my mind” judgments and, ultimately, challenges aren’t about catering to the particular likes of one judge or another but rather just making good cards.  With that said, I’m going to lay out the areas that will be under consideration and try to relate my comments back to those areas.  If this doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, feel free to TLDR to the bottom to get to the results.

    Disclaimer: Although I try to follow these same principles myself when making cards, I’m by no means perfect in adhering to them.  Sometimes an idea is too exciting to not explore just because it may end up being overpowered and sometimes I’m just not paying enough attention to catch everything that needs to be fixed before hitting Publish.

    In the simplest of terms, what I’m looking for is a card that comes the closest to something that could conceivably be released by WotC today.  What does this mean?

    1. The card has an appropriate power level for its rarity and cost (nothing against powerful cards but power needs to be held in check with the right mana costs, restrictions, and/or other drawbacks).  Also, cards aren’t being looked at in a vacuum but will be held up against the existing pool of MTG cards so no enabling stupidly easy two-card instant wins or infinite combos.  (A test of power level is to imagine playing against your own card when it’s being played in the most abusive way possible.  If this makes you want to flip the table, you’ve got more work to do to balance the card.)
    2. The card’s layout, wording, and the ordering of mana symbols in costs follows Oracle templating standards.  This includes correct spacing, punctuation, and arrangement of rules text.  If a card uses mechanics with established wording, the Oracle version of the wording should be used to describe those mechanics.  If blazing new trails, a demonstration of familiarity with and deference to official wording, insomuch as that’s possible, is definitely appreciated.  (The best way to check this is to do a Rules Text word search on to see if your wording lines up with that of existing cards.  Use Ctrl + F in the browser to do a narrower search of the Gatherer results that will take word order into account.)
    3. There’s general adherence of the card’s abilities to the Magic colour pie (there’s some room for play in this area).
    4. The card’s type, mechanics, and art match well with one another (e.g., a picture of a winged creature on a creature card that flies, an elf that looks like an elf).
    5. Proper integration of MTG lore and references to existing cards will be taken into account.

    These are really the minimum requirement starting points and although they’ll go a long way in closing the gap and breaking ties should one card demonstrate these significantly better than the other, the things that will really propel a card to a win are creativity and indications of thoughtfulness in how the card will be played.  Creativity doesn’t necessarily mean inventing something that no one’s ever seen before completely from scratch, it could just be a novel combination of existing abilities that creates a new synergy.

    Although it’s not possible to directly compare two cards with each another, these guidelines should provide some baseline measures for creating ratings that can be compared.  This means that a well-made common should beat a rare that’s just OK.
  • edited March 2021
    For the duels, I’ll be focusing mainly on the high points of each card.  Several of the points I’m going to make will seem obvious to some of you but I’m going to make them anyway since not everyone’s at the same place in their cardsmithing.  If anyone wants a more comprehensive analysis, you can DM me.  Let’s get started.

    ShadowReign vs. TheDukeOfPork

    Ignixis, Underworld Shepherd
    looks like a very cohesive and balanced card at its rarity.  I appreciate the interplay of cycling itself only to be brought back with another cycling card.  Flash combined with the ability to return the card from the graveyard at instant speed opens up the possibility of combat tricks later in the game.  The Demon creature type and card colours fit well with the chosen art and abilities.  There’s good understanding of WUBRG ordering in the mana cost and ability ordering in the card’s text.  The proper coloured legendary frame was used.  Formatting and punctuations are perfect.  The wording of the second ability is good but could be formatted as “Whenever you cycle another card, you may pay 2BR. If you do, return Ignixis, Underworld Shepherd from your graveyard to your hand” to bring it into line with Oracle templating (see Centaur Vinecrasher).

    Unseen Watermage
    is an unmistakably blue card being a mashup of Vexing Gull and Peer Through Depths.  I like the combination of options to either cycle the card or play it for full value and get both the body and an extra card.  I think it was a good choice to cost it at 1UU instead of 2U because of added versatility of the card.  Given the limited art selection, it was a good crop job for depicting a flying creature using the art of something that clearly doesn’t fly.  Comparing this card to Mulldrifter, which is an uncommon, a rare card with these abilities could have the kicker cost lowered to 1U since you’re trading card quantity for card quality (the bodies and remaining abilities are fairly comparable).  There are a few areas where the punctuation could be updated.  My questions of the card are how do you prevent people from cheating if they don’t need to reveal the instant or sorcery card they chose and what happens with the other four cards (see Peer Through Depths)?  Overall, I like what this card accomplishes and the potential it presents for messing up combat as a surprise blocker/attacker that can pick up an additional spell to deal with a second creature.

    And the winner is:

  • edited March 2021
    AboveAndAbout vs. jpastor

    Let me begin by saying extra props to AboveAndAbout and jpastor for submitting non-rares, especially to AboveAndAbout for submitting a common.  It’s completely possible for a common to beat a higher rarity card but you’re definitely subjecting yourself to greater restrictions in the design.

    Flaming Warrior is a very fitting card in the common slot that’s priced just right.  It has an original concept as I’m not aware of another card that cares about the first turn that a creature is on the battlefield.  I like that the card cares about more than just itself and can benefit other cards with haste.  The crop job on this card to isolate the part of the art that’s relevant to the card is very good.  The creature type of Human Warrior is also very appropriate for the art.  Given that Flaming Warrior’s ability is a one-time trigger and the number of creatures that can benefit from its ability is relatively small, the creature itself could stand to bring a little more to the table, perhaps as a 2/1, or the ability could be opened up to allow targeting players.

    Borakian Manaeater
    is another card that brings a fresh take on finding a condition for an effect as it cares about what kinds of mana have been added to a player’s mana pool.  The card is simple and to the point and the colours of mana chosen for the creature’s ability fit very well with the colour pie.  The Simic watermark on the card is also a nice touch.  Formatting, punctuation, and spacing of the text is spot on.  I also appreciate the cropping of the art for this card to remove the least Merfolk-like elements from the character in the image.  As an uncommon card, Borakian Manaeater sits very comfortably within the range of what a good card looks like.  As a standalone mono-blue Merfolk, it’s up there in terms of aggressiveness and efficiency but not over the top (most mono-blue Merfolk don’t have greater power than their toughness and definitely not 3 power for 2 mana without any drawbacks).  The card nicely straddles the line between having an activated Hexproof ability and having Hexproof on all the time so as to not make the card too powerful.

    And the winner is:

    Thanks to everyone who participated in the duels, a lot of good cards came out of them, and congratulations to the winners!
  • "Create a creature with the Izzet watermark."

    I'll have another box, please.
  • edited March 2021
    Thank you very much. I didn't expect to win my first duel. Non the less I wanted to have fun, and have accomplished that. It's been fun, and I am looking forward for future duels. I am honored to have dueled with such a worthy and established Cardsmith as @TheDukeOfPork , and liked the card they made. This is an amazing community, with amazing people.
  • Create a card that features @Jonteman93's dauntless mechanic.

    Dauntless -... if an opponent controls more creatures than you, (effect…)

    Fearless Puppeteer

    Being as I have no box, I shall petition for another
  • An XTREME GODLY Mystery Challenge: Create a non-Legendary creature with combat trick abilities that is monocolored but does not have its color in its artwork. It must mention block or blocking and it must have a combat ability that isn't typically related to its color. Lastly, it needs a quote from a Legendary Creature I've never heard of... there are plenty and you'll be guessing - If I've heard of the Legendary Creature in the quote, your entry won't count. BAHAHAHAHAHAH mUAHAHAHA ....

    So non-Legendary creature, monocoloured, check. Doesn't have green in its picture, it's a bit hard to tell here as the grey feels like it reflects the card border its not green, I swear! Mention block/blocking, check. The tap/frost breath effect is typically a blue ability, but I feel flavourfully appropriate for this spider, so combat ability not typically related to its colour, check. It has the ability to buff itself at instant speed, typical of a combat trick, and I feel exiling creatures from graveyards and webbing up the bodies to eat is a very spidery thing.

    So I feel I've conquered the challenge, IF... you haven't heard of the infamous Pavel Maliki before.

    Let me know how I went :smile: May I have another box, but let's dial it back to an 8/10 for now. This week is kicking my butt up and down the halls right now, so I need to consolidate my brainpower.

  • @ShadowReign you get Prize 159 - Kinetic Orb magic glow GIF by Erica Anderson Choose an ability for a random challenge in the next batch to have. 
    for winning your duel
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