"Crap Rare Competition
If Crap Rare Competition successfully resolves, choose one of the following: Read mountains of e-mail regarding crap rare competition; or Draw up to 10,000 cards then remove your library from the game. If you do not win the game by your next turn, you lose. (Obviously if you’re playing a card like this you’re going to lose.)
– Jonathan Shen"
And I thought making "Carnival of Souls" was easy. I was SO wrong.
Having witnessed over sixty-five attempts to make a crap rare, I have SO much more respect for Wizards now. It is, apparently, a deucedly difficult thing to pull off – people kept giving me imaginary cards that would have barely fit on a movie poster, let alone a tiny card. Or they’d give me cards that were so purposely crappy that Wizards wouldn’t print them, ever. And frighteningly, a lot of them WEREN’T THAT BAD, indicating that a lot of people don’t know how hard it is to make a bad card.
There was even a ridiculous power card – Andrew Wright gave me this little doozy:
T: Put a 0/1 Guest token into play. At the end of the turn, sacrifice this token.
And then wrote, in an attempt to tout the potential crappiness of the card, "With some Voltaic Keys it might make two or three tokens, but without power or haste, these tokens are mostly harmless. It would be a terrible rare, despite the "Freeness" of this card, even in Limited. And imagine the amount of time it would take for someone to truly break this card…"
Okay, let’s imagine it – nope. Too late. I already broke this thing before I could imagine breaking it… if one can do such a thing. Andrew, it’s a great card, but I’ve got a phrase for you, my friend: Recurring Nightmare. Or maybe, say, ya might wanna check out this little card called Natural Order. Or how about putting this and Devouring Strossus together in the same deck? You don’t WANNA know what I’d do if Wizards gave me this card.
But don’t blame Andrew, folks – there were a lot of people who came up with cards that I could easily use. For example:
Instants and Sorceries that target you cost 3 more to cast.
by Tim Conklin
He doesn’t say whether it’s an instant or an enchantment, but either way I’D play it, and every combo deck in existence would sideboard the sucker in against Trix and Sligh if it was an enchantment. He says he’s afraid that Wizards would print this – nah. Don’t worry, Tim. If they’da done it, this card would have showed up in Urza’s Block.
And what other potentially-powerful cards did we get? PJ Sines writes that this card "could actually be fun in multiplayer," and boy is he right…
Look at the top three cards of target opponent’s library.
Put them back in any order, or pay 2 life to play those cards as though they were in your hand. Gain control of any permanent that comes into play.
An updated version of Word of Command? But it gives me THREE cards to choose from? From his library? Oh my God, I would LOVE this card. And then David Hibbs gives this gift to Stasis Decks everywhere:
At the beginning of each player’s upkeep, count the number of cards in each player’s library. If the active player has fewer cards in his or her library than any other player, he or she must pay 2 or skip their next draw step.
Who needs enemies with friends like these?
Illustrator: Rebecca Guay
You kidding? Throw this in a U/W control deck with Millstones and see what happens. This might actually be helpful. (Then again, on testing it might turn out to actually BE a crap rare, but the dangers of this format is that I don’t playtest ’em.) Then Kirsin Koch gave me…
Whenever Wizardly Professor is the target of a spell or ability, target creature phases out.
Okay, it’s expensive. I grant you this. But for one thing, you’d have a hell of a time killing the sucker – and for another thing, I could VERY easily see myself pumping this thing up with, say, Dragon Blood or something, and phasing out an opponent’s creature every turn as I fly overhead for the kill. Jorge Luis Quispe gives me this massive hoser…..
Look at target player’s hand and choose a card from it. Search that player’s graveyard, hand, and library for all cards that share a color with that card and remove them from the game. You lose 1 life per card removed this way.
What are those? CRAP! ALL IS CRAP! DESTROY ALL THEM!
Mishra’s Factory Supervisor
Holy crap, and he thinks nobody would PLAY with this? I would only have to play this ONCE in multiplayer, and nobody would ever speak to me again. Yeez! But the ultimate fun multiplayer card would be….
Any player may declare an attack as a fast effect during any other player’s main phase. No more than one creature may be declared as an attacking or blocking creature for each attack. Players still may only attack once each turn.
You kidding? For one thing, Wizards would never allow it, but in a R/W deck built around blasting and untapping creatures? Man, SOMEONE would have a field day with this. Send my 4/4 Serra Angel slamming over every turn at someone for the kill in a huge Chaos game? GO for it. But Wizards would never print this, mainly because the timing rules would become a NIGHTMARE.
Okay, you’ve seen enough good cards. Let’s look at a different kind of crappy rare – the kind that are so endlessly lingering that they wouldn’t fit on a card if you used one-point text. But in their favor, they are at least VERY bad. The longest is Oscar Tan entry:
1) If you own and control Dragon Gold, remove it from the game at the end of any turn you do not control a Legend.
2) If Dragon Gold was played from your hand, it comes into play tapped.
3) Legends may not be targeted by effects from Legends.
4) Remove Dragon Gold from the game: Remove target legend or legendary permanent an opponent controls from the game. Put Dragon Gold back into play under that permanent’s controller’s control at the end of the turn. Put that permanent into play under your control at the end of the turn. Play this ability as a sorcery.
5) Tap: Target noncreature permanent counts as a legendary permanent of its original type until end of turn.
6) Tap: Target creature counts as a legend in addition to its original creature type until end of turn. All Legends you control count as Dragons instead of Legends until end of turn.
7) Tap and sacrifice Dragon Gold: You may set aside one card from the top of your library for each legend and legendary permanent target opponent controls. Put those cards into your hand at the beginning the next turn’s upkeep.
It did serve the function of getting me to think, because I’m not quite sure if Item #5 would be useful. I’m not really clear on the interactions of making an extant permanent a Legend when another of it is already in play. Say, is that Forest a Legend? Do I get to bury it? I bet not. Oscar’s smart enough to outfox me there. But since a crap rare must actually be printable and the only way this could show up is if Wizards suddenly started using microcode, I must pass. We would also need microcode to print this next sucker, by Israel Lidsky, who quite bizarrely was worried about me hating him – I don’t, my friend, but sadly enough you didn’t win:
Mine or Yours
Target opponent chooses a mana cost of X.
He or She may search your library for any card with mana cost of X, then puts it on the table facedown you choose a mana cost of Y. You may search your opponents library for any card with mana cost of Y, then put it on the table facedown. If a player can’t find a card with the chosen mana cost, that player loses, if none of the two cards are found, both players shuffle their libraries and remove the top ten cards from the game. Both players declare an amount of life and an equal amount of colourless mana. A player must win the bid by a random process, then gains the amount of life and colourless mana he chose. Reveal the two hidden cards. The winner puts one into his hand (if permanent, you may put it into play) and the other into his opponents hand.
I don’t even know what this DOES! My God, I think it has something to do with switching cards, bidding, and the southeast coast of Sumatra, but I fell asleep halfway through this and just couldn’t get through it. Best to go with a punchier (but still long) entry from Arthur Johnstone:
Healing Giant Dark Ancestral Lightning Ritual Bolt Salve Recall Growth
Flip a coin. If heads you choose target and ability, if tails target opponent chooses.
Target player gains 3 life. OR
Prevent the next 3 damage to a player or creature. OR
Target player draws 3 Cards. OR
Add BBB to your mana pool. OR
Deal 3 Damage to target player or creature. OR
Target creature gets +3/+3 until end of turn
This isn’t a card, it’s an entire Unglued expansion. Shee! Definitely falls out in the "Way Too Silly" category. Aaron Simpson came up with a card that is too long, but I love it for one reason – can you guess?
3, Tap, Sacrifice a Creature: Put a Skeleton token in play, treat this as a 1/1 black creature with "B: Regenerate".
4, Tap, Sacrifice a Skeleton: Put a Zombie token in play, treat this as a 2/2 black creature.
5, Tap, Sacrifice a Zombie: Put a Mummy token in play, treat this as a 3/3 black creature.
6, Tap, Sacrifice a Mummy: Put a Vampire token in play, treat this as a 4/4 black creature with flying.
… so why do I love this? Because it rewards you for playing with a crap common: Cyclopean Mummy. Alas, it’s too cumbersome, and thus the prize slips away.
Okay, your brain is going numb, now; let’s liven it up with some quick crappy cards with GREAT titles. Stay tuned, the winner’s coming up. Eventually.
TITLES I WISH WIZARDS WOULD PRINT:
Wrath of An Absentee God
Destroy any number of target creatures with fading.
– by Mark Acheson
Yawgmoth Plays Fair
Starting at your opponent’s next main phase, during their turn each player may pay 1 life to draw a card.
Target player gains life equal to the number of non-basic lands that an opponent controls. That target player then taps all their lands.
– both by Nicolas Blas
First Law of Thermodynamics
Whenever a player would gain life, instead the player with the most life loses that much life and the player with the least life gains that much. Whenever a player would lose life or take damage, instead the player with the most life loses that much life and the player with the least life gains that much life.
"You can’t win."
– by Doug S
The Goblin Spy Who Loved Me
Play with the top card of your library revealed. If the revealed card is a land, all damage dealt to attacking creatures by blocking creatures is reduced to zero.
When blockers are assigned, put the top card of your library into your graveyard.
– by Flowstoned (Where have ya been, buddy?)
IS THIS A CARD OR AN INQUEST PUZZLE?
Viscount Erac Parc
Creature – Mercenary Legend
When Viscount Erac Parc comes into play, shuffle all Viscount Erac Parc
cards in your graveyard into your library. When Viscount Erac Parc leaves play, you may pay 2. If you do, search your library for a copy of Viscount Erac Parc, reveal it. Shuffle your library and put the revealed card on top. Then discard your hand and draw three cards. If there is a Viscount Erac Parc card in your graveyard, Viscount Erac Parc gets +19/+19. When Viscount Erac Parc attacks, sacrifice it at end of combat.
– Joel Barnes
AS IF I THINK SO LITTLE OF MYSELF:
The Ferrett, Crap Rare UUWG
Creature – Ferrett Legend
The Ferrett, Crappy Rare can only block Legends.
The Ferrett, Crappy Rare can only attack if
defending controls an untapped creature with shadow
or an untapped Legend creature.
– Chet Skolos
Creature – Legendary Editor
When The Ferrett comes into play, pay 99% of your life, rounded down or bury The Ferrett.
Tap, pay 1 life: Change the text of target card to whatever you want.
Illus. by Krapy Foto Krafer
– Ty Thomason
Besides, folks, I’ve already DONE me and I wasn’t a crap rare. Check the archives if you don’t believe me. No, I won’t tell you where. Love the artist on Ty’s card, though.
OKAY, WE’RE GETTING CLOSE.
Tim Willoughby writes in with his creation:
Creature – Mage
During your upkeep, reveal the top card of your library. If its converted mana cost is greater than six, then Overenthusiastic Mage deals damage equal to the card’s casting cost to target creature or player. If not, return Overenthusiastic Mage to your hand
To which he notes:
"The Mage has a ridiculously long name – always fun, making him ripe to get a nickname. He’s not even ‘Creature – Wizard’ to narrow down the ‘Coat of Arms’ potential The card art should really contain him trying to pick up and throw a Polar Kraken."
Love the artwork, love the idea, but the "Return Overenthusiastic Mage to your hand" makes it a little TOO under the top for me. Alas, that little piece of crap threw it into the realm of fiction for me…. And in a similar vein, Jerrod Ankelman gave me this baby:
3, T: The next time a spell or ability controlled by an opponent forces
you to discard a card, you may instead remove that card from the game.
3, T: Return target card removed from the game with Candlekeep to its owner’s hand.
He wrote a long treatise on why this was crap in EVERY environment, including Type I, Type II, Limited and Casual Play… but alas, this too suffers from the "it’s so bad they’ve never print it" syndrome. If it produced colorless mana, it might well have won. And Jay Goldberg came darn close with his entry, but it suffered from the "wouldn’t fit on a card" syndrome:
Artifact Creature: Legendary Golem
If you control no other creatures, Porcelain Golem gets +1/+1
If you control no other artifacts, Porcelain Golem gets +1/+1
If you control no enchantments, Porcelain Golem gets +1/+1
If you control no lands, Porcelain Golem gets +2/+2
If you have no cards in hand, Porcelain Golem gets +1/+1
If you control no other permanents and have no cards in hand , Porcelain
Golem gets an additional +3/+3
Jay says, "All right, I admit it – they would need to include a microscope to be able to read the print on this card (Hey, kids! One Magic Microscope in every twelve booster boxes!)." And he’s right. A darned good effort, though. But we edge closer…
Creature – Ogres.
Comes into play tapped. Does not untap during your untap phase.
"If you can manage to get an honest day’s work – hell, even a dishonest day’s work – out of them, more power to you." – Gerrard.
T: Deal four damage to target creature or player.
You cannot play abilities requiring an activation cost.
If you lose control of Cursed Golem or Cursed Golem leaves play, put a 1/1 Shard token into play that counts as a golem legend with the ability "You cannot play abilities requiring an activation cost. Shard token may not be the target of spells or abilities.
NEARLY crap, but someone would play it in a control deck. It’s still four colorless damage, and if you’re not playing with any other creatures, who cares?
Four more cards to go!
THE CREAM OF THE CRAP:
Mike Johnson almost won it hands-down thanks to his fabulous explanation, both pro and con, of why his card was crappy – read what he wrote and stand in amazement!
Summon Lord Legend
All goblins get +1/+1 and haste.
"Thievery is key, my little goblin raiders. Oh, and when you take the balloon up, don’t forget to bring it back in one peace."
"REASONS FOR THIS BEING A CRAPPY RARE:
1) There aren’t nearly enough goblins in the current environment to make this work.
2) It’s too slow for it to affect most goblins as they are quite cheap to cast.
3) Legendary status – it shouldn’t have it. You must use several just to make your goblins big, like most merfolk decks use Lord of Atlantis.
4) Legendary status – it puts dead cards in your deck if you’re using more than one.
5) Mon should not have haste himself. Do you really plan on attacking with him on turn 5+? I sure wouldn’t. So why should the casting cost reflect the added haste?
6) The last time Mon was mentioned, it must have been with Mon’s Goblin Raiders.* So he isn’t even in the current storyline.
7) The flavor text is crap – hence, crappy rare.
8) Mon uses bad grammar. The word "and" is a conjunction which should join two separate phrases.
9) There is a spelling error in the flavor text. (See, I’m NOT a bad editor.)
10) Mon is Shock bait if he actually does hit the board. He needs at least one more toughness.
11) I just remembered! It would be a remake of another crappy rare – Goblin
King.** And an overcosted remake at that.
12) Mountainwalk, which the Goblin King gave, can be better than haste.
"CONCESSIONS FOR THIS NOT BEING A CRAPPY RARE:
1) In the current environment, the casting cost is not too high when considering all the abilities that he has. That is, if you use the casting cost rules as I see then: Find what would make the card too good to be true with out any of it’s abilities. Then add one colorless. If the card is Mercadian or newer, add another colorless to the casting cost. If it has any innate abilities that affects the way that it attacks, then add another colorless.
2) He is a chump blocker when all your goblins are in your graveyard.
3) He can attack for that final two points of damage at the end of the game.
4) He can be good in casual play. (Yes, he would be – The Ferrett)
5) Haste can be better than mountainwalk.
"COMEBACKS TO THE CONCESSIONS:
1) He just costs TOO much to be played in a goblin deck. By the time you get five mana, it shouldn’t matter if all your goblins get +1/+1 and haste. You should have burnt your opponent to bits or be very close to doing so.
2) If you’re chump blocking with your Mon because all your goblins are dead, well, you’ll be dead soon anyway. You’re just delaying the inevitable.
3) For five mana, you should have burnt your opponent and had mana to spare.
4) Yes, Mon can be good for casual play, but it can have adverse affects in multiplayer.
5) He’s a remake, and we all know remakes are crap.***"
Alas, I thought about it, and though it would EVENTUALLY turn out to be crap, I would have played him without hestitation in my Goblin deck. Just for funzies. But what the hell, I’ll give him a crap rare for effort – I love effort. I lost your email address, so email me, wouldja?
Kirsin Koch gave me two excellent examples of crap rares, and damn near won the whole shebang – oh, hell. Send me your address, too. Pick a crap rare. Because this next card is a good crap rare…
At the beginning of your upkeep, flip a coin. If you win the flip, draw a card. Otherwise, target opponent may search your library for a card and remove that card from the game. Then shuffle your library.
…but this crappy remake of High Tide came THAT close to winning the whole thing. It’s a remake of a vastly superior card, it is completely useless, and I could practically see the illustration in a Masques set:
UU, Sacrifice two islands: All lands produce an additional UU until end of
But now we are at… THE WINNER!
Stephen Cutcliffe won for this magnificent rare:
During each player’s draw step, that player may draw one card fewer than normal to have Discord deal 2 damage to target player. This ability may only be used once during each player’s turn.
This is beautifully crappy, yet I could EASILY see Wizards presenting it. It’s complex, it’s limited (target PLAYER only – did you notice?), it costs you a draw step and your opponent can use it, but it IS a reusable source of damage… and that means SOMEONE would be working overtime to use this. Not to mention that, unlike so many other cards here, it IS possible that a barely-functional deck could be built around it. Mark my words, if this card came out then SOMEONE would come up with a Howling Mine/Discord deck and cry it to the heavens. This is a great crap rare. But is it better than Flooded Landscape?
Not by itself, no.
Each player names a creature type, then each player sacrifices all creatures he or she controls that are not of the creature type he or she named.
ALL of these are the epitome of crap rares, folks! The dar’Huin Command is expensive, overcosted, tricky, and yet COULD be useful if, say, you control a Blastoderm and your opponents have seventeen thousand creatures out there. And Pay Off is a bad card for a horrific control deck. Unfortunately, Stephen threw a good card in here:
Gain life equal to the number of cards in your hand.
Draw a card.
Got news for ya, dude: I’ve got a white/black Necro deck that’s just dying for this baby.
Lastly, two quotes and questions:
"(Rakalite) is to Magic what lawyers are to people – the very worst examples of their kind.
Jago7777 asks: "Now, I have a question for you, sir…is Flicker a crap rare? If it is not, then PLEASE tell me how this card can possibly be useful!"
Oh, Flicker is a GREAT crap rare. It is, perhaps, the cruelest crap rare, since people STILL think they can find a use for it… but it’s a sorcery! Wizards, you’re SO sneaky.
NEXT WEEK: A Very Special Moment For Team AWAJALOOM, Assuming The Goods Arrive In Time