Amonkhet Block Mechanics Challenge!

edited July 2021 in Custom Card Discussion
Hello all! I haven't been around on the forums as frequently for the past month or two, but I wanted to stay more involved. While I may not have as much time to be making a lot of cards, I figured I can host my own contest to keep myself involved on cardsmith. This challenge is going to be simple, and hopefully a fun one!

The challenge I'm going to give everyone is to make a card utilizing, or centered around, or that just cares about, mechanics from the Amonkhet block (Amonkhet and Hour of Devastation). To keep things clean, I'll limit your entries to just a maximum of four; feel free to make more cards and post them here, however! I enjoy seeing different cards and people's own takes on magic abilities and mechanics. I'll list all mechanics that are included and accepted for the challenge below.

Acceptable mechanics/abilities/card types for the Amonkhet Block Challenge are:
  • Cycling
  • Embalm
  • Exert
  • -1/-1 counters
  • Trials and Cartouches
  • Afflict
  • Deserts
  • Eternalize
  • Aftermath
  • Gods
See these sites for more info:
Amonkhet Mechanics
Hour of Devastation Mechanics


Champion of RhonasAnointer PriestNeheb the EternalDeserts HoldZenith SeekerHapatra Vizier of PoisonsTrial of KnowledgeHour of GloryEarthshaker KhenraHeaven  EarthDesert of the GlorifiedThe Scorpion God

Rules and Clarifications:
1. No more than four entries, total. You may create as many cards as you want, but only four can be submitted to the contest. If you plan on making more than four cards, please be sure to let me know which ones you want to submit.
2. One entry can have multiple mechanics/categories. It will still only count as 1 entry. (e.g. Desert of the Glorified)
3. No un-cards. (Silver border cards, e.g. Unsanctioned)
4. Up to two entries may be old cards.
5. Whenever you want to submit a card, please let me know in the comment. Feel free to tag me when you are submitting a card. To keep things cleaner and easier, you cannot un-submit a card once it's been submitted. 
6. No copies of preexisting cards, or cards that are too similar to a preexisting card. 
7. Infect/poison counters don't count as -1/-1 counters. Wither is also not acceptable; these are abilities that did not see print in the Amonkhet block. (See example cards for more clarification)
8. Aftermath cards will count as 1 entry. I'm unsure if there is a way to create a card in the aftermath format on Cardsmith, or any other cardmaking website. So, you may create two separate cards that represent the separate parts of an aftermath card (if you feel up to doing that), just be sure to specify which part is which.
9. God cards may include any card that cares about Gods (e.g. Hour of Glory), or a God itself. You may make a new card of a preexisting God from Amonkhet, or, if you like, create a new God. (Gods from other planes are not included)
10. Please remember to post a link to your card so it's easier to drop favorites! If you're unsure how, just copy the web address to your card and paste it in your comment.

Judging Criteria:
I'll judge each card in each category listed below.
1. Balance- Evenly balanced and not overpowered or underpowered.
2. Creativity- Makes sense and is unique to itself.
3. Flavor- Bonus points for flavor text, and if it feels like it fits into the theme of Amonkhet.
4. Artwork- The art of the card says a lot! It should match the ability and flavor of the card.
5. Mechanics- This is the most important category for judging. Your card will be judged based on its utilization of the mechanic/s it has. It should be noted that having a card with more than one included mechanic doesn't necessarily give bonus points. While integrating multiple mechanics into one card is accepted, and honestly encouraged, it still has to make sense; don't try to overwhelm one card with too many mechanics. Though, if your card integrates multiple mechanics well, that will definitely grant bonus points.

While there are only four spots to be claimed, Honorable Mentions will go to cards that otherwise scored highly and deserve recognition. And don't worry, everyone who participates will recieve a prize.

1st Place- Platinum Prize! I'll follow you on Cardsmith, favorite all of your entries, and favorite up to five cards of your choice, plus I'll look through your collection and favorite whatever else that I like!
2nd Place- Gold Prize! You'll also get a follow on Cardsmith, all entries favorited, and four favorites of your choice.
3rd Place- Silver Prize! I'll favorite all of your entries, and three cards of your choice.
4th Place- Bronze Prize! I'll favorite all of your entries and two cards of your choice.
Honorable Mentions- Premium Prize! I'll favorite your HM'd card and any one card of your choice.
All other Participants- Standard Prize! I'll look through your entries and favorite the one I like the most!

I will be judging this contest after August 15th, 2021. I will try to judge as quickly as possible, but that all depends on how many entries there are. I will tag the winners of the contest and post the card that won them the spot. I look forward to seeing your entries, and hope everyone who participates has fun! Remember, feel free to ask if you have any more questions, or PM me if you like! I will try to respond as quickly as possible.


  • @AboveAndAbout How do you embalm an enchantment?
  • It becomes a Zombie Aura. I don't think there are any rules against that.
  • @AboveAndAbout that's something I never thought about. There aren't any rules against that, so I don't think it's an issue. Really creative, I like the card a lot! Good work!
  • Nice entries everyone!
  • !!! UPDATE !!!
    I'm extending the deadline to submit entries to August 15th. I want to see more entries! Good work to everyone who has submitted an entry, and thank you for participating! 
  • !!! Announcement !!!
    You have one day left to submit entries. I'll update back tomorrow whenever time is up to submit. Thanks to everyone who has participated up to this point. You all did amazing work!
  • Submission time is now closed. I'll comment again when I have the results.
  • !!!Here are the results!!! I apologize for the long wait time, life has been hectic recently and I haven't had much free time to do anything.

    1st Place:
    @Jadefire with Excavation Site
    I really like this Desert. It keeps true to the themes in the Amonkhet block of sacrificing your deserts for numerous advantages, and is very flavorful of Amonkhet. Although historic isn't an Amonkhet theme, I really like how you were able to make it make sense with it being an excavation site. It's a balanced card that is very playable in many decks and has a lot of flavor. Really great work here!

    2nd Place:
    @AboveAndAbout with Little Left
    I had a tough time deciding the placement between the top two cards; it was a really close call and this card almost made it to 1st place. I really enjoy the creativity of making a noncreature card with embalm. It's very unique and is a nice concept that I myself wouldn't have though of, so I was really impressed with this one. Outside of that, it's a very strong card and would definitely be played in a lot of white decks; there are numerous synergies and strategies that this card can work with. Excellent work here!

    3rd Place:
    @LyndonF with Narcissistic Initiate
    I really like this card! You did a great job making a black creature with exert that makes sense, and this feels like a card I would have seen printed in the block. It's a solid uncommon card, and I'm certain it has a home in many decks that synergize with sacrificing and life loss. My only concern is that it costs 4 mana and is only a 3/1. Personally, I feel this creature makes more sense as a 2/4 or a 3/3; I see no real reason for it to have 1 toughness at 4 mana unless it has an ETB effect as well. That said, it's still a solid creature and was deserving of placement, great work!

    4th Place:
    @Temurzoa with Flourishing Oasis
    This is a very creative and useful Desert card! It works well in a number of decks and is very strong. My only complaint is that it only costs 2 mana for its activated ability, and you don't even have to tap it to do so. It's definitely on the OP side in terms of having a land that can come in on turn 3 and immediately tap for any color with no downside. My recommendation for the card would be for the ability to cost more and require you to tap the land. But it's still a very creative idea for deserts and I love the idea behind it, so we'll done!

    Honorable mention:
      @Jadefire again, with Ahn-Crop Usurper
    I felt like this card really deserved recognition; it's a very powerful card that I feel if it was real, would have been a vastly talked about card and played in numerous decks all around. The revision definitely balances the card out and makes it much more playable without feeling too overpowered, my only concern is that you generally get to keep the creature you gain control of for a whole other turn, which doesn't necessarily feel like a boros thing, and still, to me, seems a little OP. Nonetheless, this is a fun card and it's very well thought-out, and I couldn't let this card go unrecognized.

    All winners be sure to message me directly which cards you would like for me to favorite! Thank you to everyone who participated in the contest, I hope you all enjoyed it!
  • Thanks @CS101 for hosting this contest and for following through with not just judging but providing thoughtful feedback despite your busyness!  Some very fun and creative cards came out of the prompts that were provided.

    That Platinum prize is pretty comprehensive.  I don't have any specific cards to put favourites on, I just appreciate all of the time you're committing upfront to going through a cardsmith's collection.  No rush on getting this done, just want to make sure it's not a chore for you to do it.
  • @Jadefire of course, it was fun to host this challenge  despite everything else! I'll be sure to check out your collection, you're a great cardsmith so it won't be a chore to look through it!
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