Planeswalker's Journey



  • @MonkeyPirate2002 Where's the irony?
    @Bobman111 Congrats to you both on getting this far. Keep up the great designs!
  • @ShaperKyon I “took” a bit of his elemental tribal theme before, and now he has “taken” a bit of my bounce theme.
  • edited November 2018
    Story blurb! (I actually have decided not to remake my planeswalker card, as I kind of just like him the way he is.)

    Aggrol and his companions, after a few days of walking, finally came to the inner ring. Aggrol was free to pass through, but Sam and Sean were unable to pass through the barrier. "Well, I guess this is where we part ways." Sean said. "Maybe, if you make it out of this alive, we will see each other again." "That would be good. I am looking forward to it." Aggrol responded. They waved their goodbyes, and with that, Aggrol was alone. That is, if you don't count Tide, as apparently the barrier can't sense magical apparitions that are residing in someone's head. Anyways, Aggrol continued through a beautiful garden, determined to make it out again to see his friends.


    "Reach into the flames and tell us who you are. Reveal the life you have been living and the journey you have taken. Tell us who you are and destiny will choose on of you to embrace as her own." The game master was going on about destiny. Aggrol was in the highest reaches of the tower, accompanied by a formchanger aven, and a strange fox-dragon creature apparently called a "tehan." The game master had been talking about being "adopted by destiny," whatever that meant. But he had told them to reach into the flames, and so he did.

    Aggrol found himself in a field, with a small township he recognized as Gewar, the place he had gotten most of his information in the beginning of his journey. He saw himself summoning Sam, and them beginning their conversation. He cautiously walked up, but found that they could not see him, nor could they feel him. He just passed right through them. "Where am I?" Aggrol asked nobody in particular. "You are in your own memory." Aggrol saw a water elemental suddenly appear across the clearing. "I am Tide. When you touched the Memory Flame, you came here, to one of the most important events in your time on Clancularius: When you met Sam." "But why am I here?" "You are here to find yourself. Until you do that, you cannot leave your own mind. I had to do the same thing." "But I thought you said that you failed at the leviathan!" "Well, that's not entirely true. I actually got to the final three, just as you did. But I didn't win. I withheld this information so that you wouldn't rely on me for advice on exactly what to do in every situation. But I must go now. You must find yourself by yourself." And with that, Tide faded away.

    Aggrol was extremely confused. What did it mean to find himself? He knew he was a powerful elemental planeswalker named Aggrol, he was an adept Elementalizer, and he was a friend to many elementals. He wasn't sure what else he needed to find. So he went back through all his memories of what had happened on Clancularius. His earliest: falling from the sky and meeting his hydra; progressing in chronological order to meeting Cliff; defeating the Tower Wurm; ousting Mayor Beralize from power; meeting Sam. This continued on to things like meeting Sean and breaking Tide's statue. More recent memories flashed up, such as getting through the rings and leaving his hydra, and eventually his friends, behind. He was done reviewing his memories now. He was pretty sure he had found himself. He had become a new elemental through his friends, and the things he had experienced. He finally knew who he was.


    (I figured it was time to give Sam an actual card, so that she's not just "Elemental Guide." I don't have another actual legendary slot, so this one is just a story card.)





    And a card representing the journey as a whole: (Just for clarification, Aggrol’s Journey is a submission, not a story card.)


    End of Story Blurb

    There you have it folks. Aggrol has finally found himself. I may round out the last 3 slots of my spellbook here pretty soon. Anyways, that's it for this comment.
  • @ShaperKyon We might never know. Was he silenced like all the others? Or maybe something else?

    @Aggroman15 I realized I had written wrong in the slots that remained.
    I missed to change your uncommon slots. So you had 9 of 9, not 7 of 9.
    I'm sorry for that mistake.

    So the free slots you have are two common slots.
  • @Aggroman15 15 quest counters though? Is that even feasible in a normal game of Magic? You'd have to be playing Commander I think…
    @Jonteman93 Still debating whether to keep Shaper of Souls, change him, or make a new card.
  • @ShaperKyon I had it be 15 because I am Aggroman15, and I just wanted to add a bit of extra depth to the card. You're right, though, and needing that many quest counters might make it weak enough for a common, so @Jonteman93 Could you count Aggrol's Journey as a common?
  • edited November 2018
    @Aggroman15 I get the flavor which is cool, but even though its power level is common its complexity is not. Perhaps you could instead say "Whenever you cast an Elemental spell or Aggrol planeswalker or activate an ability of an Elemental permanent or Aggrol planeswalker, put a quest counter on Aggrol's Journey" to make it easier to get to 15.
    @Fallen_Lord_Vulganos Whatever happened to our friend Septim? I know he was planning for the possibility of being silenced with the Heart of the Wild.
  • Here's my final common:

  • edited November 2018
    I think that @ShaperKyon chooses when to press the button. Am I right?
  • edited November 2018
    @AxNoodle What button?
    @Aggroman15 Just pointing out that Overgrown Elemental is REALLY weak. Like on the level of Gray Ogre and Dreg Reaver weak (by today's standards).
  • @ShaperKyon The button the finish the challenge and possibly the contest.
  • @AxNoodle If you have decided to keep your existing planeswalker, then I suppose you are correct.
  • edited November 2018
    @ShaperKyon Do you have to tell me that all of the cards that I have made recently suck? All (kind of) fake anger aside, I can see your point. He was originally a 3/3 with 5 Overgrowth counters. I may edit him to make him a 3/3.
  • edited November 2018
    @ShaperKyon First of all, I checked on Gatherer, and neither Hill Ogre or Drag Reaver are real cards. So I'm not sure what you meant by that, but whatever. Second of all, here is the updated version of Overgrown Elemental.


    Irrata: "If Overgrown Elemental would take damage, if it has an overgrowth counter on it, instead remove an overgrowth counter from Overgrown Elemental." Otherwise, it would never take damage, because it would just remove counters that weren't there.
  • @Aggroman15 due to wording errors, the card is broken as hell. That card will never take damage.
  • @MonkeyPirate2002 Yep. I guess I missed that. I don't really want to remake it, so I will just add some irrata.
  • @Aggroman15 The cards are Dreg Reaver and Hill Giant; However, I would also say the first version was in no way as weak as those cards.
  • edited November 2018
    @Aggroman Wow. That's embarrassing.
    I wrote incorrect names for not one, but TWO cards. Sorry about that. The real cards were Dreg Reaver and Gray Ogre. Friggin autocorrect must have changed dreg to drag. Gray Ogre I confused with the similar Hill Giant.
    I'm also sorry for making you angry. I don't mean to say you're deigns are bad. I'm just trying to give a little constructive criticism. In my opinion that's how we grow as designers. That's reciprocal by the way. If you want to criticize any of my cards feel free. I genuinely appreciate the comments. I still am kind of a new designer. Just let me know if you want me to stop harping on you.
    I guess it's not my place to criticize if not asked. Sorry again and no harm meant.
  • edited November 2018
    @ShaperKyon I was only sarcastically mad. I was not offended by any of your comments, and I appreciate the feedback. One of the problems with online communication is you can't really tell how the person is saying it, only the words they are saying. So no harm done, and thanks for helping me make my cards better.

    Except for that, usually in constructive criticism, you tell how something is bad, because in your comment about Overgrown Elemental, you said, "Just pointing out that Overgrown Elemental is REALLY weak. Like on the level of Gray Ogre and Dreg Reaver weak (by today's standards)." Once again, no harm done, and I do agree that the first version was pretty weak, but next time please give a reason. :)
  • edited November 2018

    Here are all the cards referenced.
  • @Aggroman15 Yup. Lack of face-to-face really kills meaning.
    Anyway, constructive criticism must bring up weaknesses by definition. I can see that more compliments from me are in order though.
    The old Overgrown Elemental's weakness was that it was strictly worse than Grizzly Bears in two ways. The current version I think is balanced, but may be too complex for common. I see it as a great blocker but you probably won't ever attack with it because your opponent will probably have a 3/4 or bigger by the time all the overgrowth counters are removed. So, for simplicity's sake I would remove trample and the "loses defender" rider. Maybe even make it an Elemental Wall!
  • Evaluation of this journey
    @Aggroman15, @ShaperKyon, @AxNoodle, @MonkeyPirate2002, @Bobman111, @Fallen_Lord_Vulganos, @Arceus8523, @Decaldor, @BorosPaladin, @LyndonF, @DoctrorFro, @Lujikul, @Ranshi922, @TheEnderDragon, @ZAHADOOM, @SacredAnima, @WickedShadow196, @Bigbadbooknerd, @LifeBane77, @NerdyMagicPlayer, @Billthesomething, @Pjbear2005, and everyone else that has been keeping an eye on this journey.

    Since the only thing that is left of this journey is the final judgement I decided to make the evaluation points a little earlier.
    Just like in the tournament of champions thread this is intended to found what went wrong, what went right and other stuff that can be taken into consideration in eventually future journeys or similar contests.

    If I would have described the tournament of champions with one word it would have been "fatigue". The word for this journey would be "disappointment" which is the main focus I want to tackle with these noted points.
    I hope you take some time and reflect over this journey as well and provide feedback how you think about it.

    (1) - The slot system
    This is the big complaint about this journey. I gave too many slots through most of the journey. My idea was at first to players the option to either go by quantity or quality. However the damage came to the surface later in the journey as players had stored quite many unused slots. I tried to "fix" this by reducing the cards given at the end but then instead those that had used their slots became unhappy since they had not enough slots.
    This system was broken since the very beginning and provided nut much else but disappointment.
    I believe a better or at least simpler system would have been to replace the slots with credits/points that can be traded for card slots. In that way people could "save" their commons and use them as rares instead and so.

    (2) - Adding colors
    There are two main problems with how and when I decided to give you the option of new colors. The first one is the challenges that were chosen. Only two gave a reasonable reason to actually pick a new color while the other two felt shoehorn in and thus broke the immersion. The other problem was how I decided to complement the other option. I gave the other option the advantage of 1 cmc higher and 10 extra potential points. The problem was that those points were significant in the beginning but insignificant in the end outside of challenges and well the last one could not even use it. I should have only complemented the color with one cmc and skipped the points I believe.

    (3) - The challenges
    The challenges were somewhat acceptable in the beginning then later it broke completely before being acceptable again the end. At least that is what I thought.
    One crucial problem with the challenges was how they gave unfair advantages to planeswalkers of specific colors over other colors. This was very limited specially in the end if a third color had not been chosen and the rankings became very tight. People could lose because they had "the wrong colors". Then there were also the problem in the middle of the journey when the challenges were, well outright boring, non-creative and vague in their instructions.

    (4) - Challenge points
    The initial idea was that players that created cards for current challenges would be benefited by doing so. However that did not really happen for multiple reasons. The first one is that people who used up slots in the beginning when the ranking was much lighter were in a far weaker position later when the challenge points become more important to hang on. The other is that the cards had to fulfill some requirement. The problem here was that based on the instruction cards could not get extra benefits from solving the challenge perfectly compared to a cards that solved it somewhat if both cards were of equal quality outside of the challenges.

    (5) - No benefit of being on top
    To continue on last point. When people sacrificed much on a single challenge they got nothing compared to if they would not have used those slots in the first place if they were in a good position. There were nothing that attracted people to use their slots and invest in a challenge if they were just going to lose those slots that would be so much more important later. People benefited of being as passive as possible without being eliminated instead of being on top and "winning" the challenges. Neither were there any benefit of having the highest score since that person often had fewer slots instead.

    (6) - Curve and cover factor
    These factors were supposed to balance out the challenges and benefit those that kept these in minds when designing cards for the challenges or the spell book. There were some great problems here as well. Firstly, this was more difficult to implement than I had thought at first. Also like with the challenges, those that had fewer colors were in far worse position regarding the cover factors. Another was that some covers were "kind of" solved by some and completely solved by others. In the end it all became a complete mess. Keeping it would lead to a mess once again and removing it would benefit shallow cards had no complement to the spell book. I believe that at least cover factor should have been implemented completely different. I tried to explain the curve factor which was supposed to be simple but I believe the more I explained it the more complicated it seemed.

    (7) - Eliminations
    So one problem already described was how the rankings were very loose in the beginning and became very demanding in the end. Well in the beginning we had 3 weeks where only "sleepers" were eliminated so those that focused to actually play used up much of their slots already and thus had very few slots later to compete with those that were more passive in the beginning. There should probably have been a higher elimination amount in the beginning so the challenges could become more important earlier. Also since the eliminations in the beginning were a little too few made so the eliminations in the end had to be a little too many to avoid letting the journey take too long.

    (8) - late start
    The thread was open for entries during three weeks and with the additional three weeks of "sleeper eliminations" someone that joined the very first week could remain without being eliminated for one and a half month which is an extremely long time without the need of being active. Such extremes never happened but almost. Some that joined early forgot about the journey since the weeks passed before it even began.

    (9) - Personal fatigue
    I thought that the base structure of this journey would require much less of me than the tournament of champions did. However as described many things such as the additional factors and the stupid amount of cards did not really lead to that. I spent a large amount of time keeping tracks of the slots used. The different options made this more complicated because of those added 10 points. The cover and curve factors like I said earlier were just a complete mess on top of the 100's of cards that I had to judge and check for these factors. The time I spent in tournament of champions writing stories was here used in Excel which was invisible in the end so it looked as if I did not do much but eliminate people and make up poorly made challenges. I became tired halfway through which made me lose enthusiasm and thus the journey lost quality in its performance.

    (10) - Disappointment
    I still believe that the idea of this journey was good and had real potential however as can be summarized through all of this, it was poorly implemented. I believe we all thought this would turn out better than it did.
    I would say that the tournament of champions was a good journey with large flaws and this journey was a disappointment with some positives.
  • (11) - Anything else you would want to add?
    Are there any points you think should be added to this list that could be important to know for the future or anything that I or anyone else in this journey should know?
    Anything that went good? bad? or something else?

    (12) - The future
    As said. This journey is not over yet but there is not really anything left to do but for me to present the winner, 2nd place and 3rd place.
    I won't start a second journey. At least not in the near future however anyone that wants to start one is free to do so. By whole name, setting and "world", concept or just some ideas from this. Feel free to do so.
  • This is what I suggest for a future tournament-style contests like this
    1. Please, please make exact point tallies visible to all eligible participants. Knowing exactly how much I am ahead or behind other players would be invaluable to knowing what I have to design and how much time I need to dedicate to refining it.
    2. Don't have rarity or supertype be a factor in the points of a card. A well-designed common (that still feels like a common, of course) should get higher points than a bland mythic. Same goes for whether a card is legendary or not. In the contest's design, a creature and legendary creature with the exact same design would not be equal in scoring. This just feels kind of bad and unfair.
    3. Make the points earned resources rather than a ranking system. Or, for that matter, add a separate system meant to award a resource for well-designed cards. Imagine, for instance, that a card could get up to five (arbitrary choice here) "resource points" based on how well they were designed. Then, you could use those points to buy additional slots for cards or new colors. There would be a new "shop" with each challenge and players could save up their resource points to buy things from it. Here's an example shop:
    3 "resource points:" Common slot
    5 "resource points:" Uncommon slot
    7 "resource points:" Rare slot
    15 "resource points:" New color.

    Heck, it could be interesting for people to need to spend "resource points" on their card slots rather than being given free ones. That way if someone is consistently putting out poor designs, they are getting less points to spend on future designs, making them get eliminated faster.
    4. Make the planeswalkers(/legendaries/etc.) designed at the outset of the competition have some sort of value. It felt bad to put a lot of time and effort into an entire planeswalker concept for it to not count for anything. Make the centerpiece cards have some sort of point values or something that makes them worth putting effort into.
    5. Allow more time/flexibility for the challenges. This one is more a personal thing, and others might not have had this issue, but the way the challenges were scheduled (weekly and ending on a Friday morning in my time zone) made it very hard to find time to design cards for the contest, especially with the sheer number of slots being given out. I am currently still in high school and most of my weekdays I scarcely have time to be on MTGCS, and most of the time I had throughout the duration of this contest to make cards I was using on Umbra. Simply put, I may have overcommitted myself in these things, especially with a November 1st deadline for Umbra in order for the release to be in-season with Hallows Day. This might be more a me thing, but a week per challenge always just felt too shot. If others didn't have that issue, though, feel free to ignore this one.

    However, despite those criticisms I did have a good time and I commend your commitment to all this. it can't have been easy. At the outset of the competition I could not have predicted the issues it would have, and I doubt you did either. Oversight is a flaw in just about all of us and the only way to compensate is to throw our ideas out there and see how they fare. I think over all you did a got job. At leas you managed to run the whole thing all the way through.
  • One problem I faced when starting this journey was that my theme was poorly chosen which lead to me loosing my immersion quite rapidly. I wanted to make a general like figure that went around recruiting soldiers in different nations to make the perfect army in order to conquer the challenges ahead. Instead the whole point of the journey seemed to pend on an individual and him walking from point A to Point B doing stuff, alone. Although in the end that just my personal problem I can clearly see no one else had this issue.

    My problem was that I invested early in the start, spent slots like a drugee with money, and burned out later on with a bunch of creatures that kind of did the same thing, The reason for the last part is written above. I also really tried to specify my cards for the challenge winch lead to them being more nuisance in the overall scheme of things.
    This here is a great example of that, against my rival Alex Jones it's perfect, everywhere else in my deck its useless. I think this challenge would be better if you used a point system like you mentioned above, then handed out points as an allowance to make your challenge cards and rewarded the best cards in the challenge with points. This avoids burning out and encourages people to participate while still avoiding an ultimate advantage for the winner that ends up winning him the game by spending all his points in each challenge. As for judging all the cards created I have a simple solution I call then arsenal, when you make a challenge tell them the number of cards their allowed in their arsenal and you only have to evaluate the cards they choose to put there. This allows players to use their spell books more as a list of options and less as that project your always graded on.

    This comment is a bit of a ant but I hope you can still get something out of it for next time.
  • I definitely agree that this contest had some major flaws, but I wouldn't call it "a disappointment with some positives." I had a lot of fun, and I think it was really good for a first attempt at this kind of story contest.
  • @Aggroman15, @ShaperKyon @AxNoodle
    When would you want the result? Are you all satisfied with your cards?
  • @Jonteman93 I am satisfied. I want the result pretty soon, as I am an impatient person on these kinds of things.
  • @Jonteman93 I think that if you were to do this again you should have all slots provided by a challenge have to be used to prevent the use of storing...and you could enforce that if u choose to add a color u must add one...

    And maybe you could set out a number of Basic lands per challenge and instead you slowly build a deck and you play against other planeswalkers to get to the top...this way it is like who actually makes the best cards...and you can seed the tourney via other tournaments
  • edited November 2018
    @Jonteman93 When you called Planeswalker's Journey a disappointment, you're being too hard on yourself. Planeswalker's Journey was a really great and fun contest and you did a great job running a contest of this sort for the first time. That said, it did have some flaws.

    1. You gave too many slots. This helped to favor cardsmiths with the most time available over cardsmiths with the best design skills and pushed a "quantity over quality" outlook.

    2. I don't really see the benefits you talked about regarding saving your slots till the end. I didn't really do that and I'm still here. In fact I found it best to use all your slots so you weren't in danger of elimination.

    3. Higher rarity cards should not be judged higher than low rarity ones. A creative, elegant common should earn just as much as a splashy rare.

    4. Yes, the challenges were easier or harder depending on our colors but if it's out of your colors that's an opportunity to shine by making an on-color effect that can accomplish the challenge.

    5. I'm against using points to buy card slots of different rarities. It's better for you to control the mix of rarities so you can judge people's design diversity. Plus, as Mark Rosewater says, "Restrictions breed creativity."

    6. Make the judging system easier on yourself! Just rate each designed card on, say, a scale of 1 to 10 and then keep track of cover factor and curve factor for the entire spellbook from 0% to 100% or something. Just so you don't have to spend so much time on Excel.

    Also, I'm not confirming my planeswalker yet. I will either make a new one if I can find art or change the existing one if I can't. And I have a bunch of story to write! Sorry @Aggroman15 but I'm going to be just a little longer…I feel kind of guilty about holding you all up. But I like writing story! And also Kyoniq's story arc needs conclusion! I know nobody reads my story, but please humor me. I promise you will not wait long; I will definitely be done by the end of Saturday.

    Speaking of story, here's Chapter X, for the events of Planeswalker's Heritage.

    Summary (TL;DR): Kyoniq, Seira, and Fei'wet fly inland towards the tower. On the way, they discover a dungeon holding a staff called Hialnor, the legacy of the Alaran vedalken planeswalker Waktet.

This discussion has been closed.