You Make The Card Mechanics Evaluated

The voting is on in the third stage of the Create A Card contest – and Bennie evaluates the current mechanics to see whether they’re Type 2-worthy!

All right ? R&D have finally waded through 5,000 entries to give us ten choices. To provoke thought and discussion on these choices, I thought I’d offer my opinion and evaluation on each mechanic, and at the end of it all let you know my top few choices. I also figured I’d post the mechanics that I submitted and the end of this article. I’m going to go ahead and name the creatures for their mechanics because I prefer to call them by some name rather than CARDNAME – and naming cards is fun.

Here’s my grading scheme:

  • Grade A: Maindeck material, almost always going to be good no matter what your opponent is playing.

  • Grade B: Going to be a useful ability most of the time, and going to generally be maindeck material but possibly sideboard material in certain metagames. Your deck may need to be specifically crafted to take advantage of this mechanic.

  • Grade C: Narrow but powerful ability relegates this to a specifically crafted deck in order to even use this card, or it’s just sideboard material unless the metagame is so heavily skewed to warrant it maindeck.

  • Grade D: Unless the creature this ability is attached to is severely undercosted in regards to its power and toughness, this ability is fairly weak.

  • Grade F: What were they thinking?!?!


Magnoscrag can’t be countered.

Protection from blue

As Magnoscrag comes into play, choose a creature type.

Creature spells of the chosen type can’t be countered by spells or abilities.

Bennie’s Comments: Do we really want the card we work so hard on to be a sideboard card? Granted, it could be fairly costed so that it’s a decent card to play even against opponents it doesn’t specifically hose (i.e., Spellbane Centaur). Don’t get me wrong; I’d love to see something like Magnoscrag made eventually. But the fact is that this card is just another spin on Scragnoth, and something R&D would likely produce for us at some point in the future anyway. Grade: C


When Seeker Druid is put into a graveyard from play, you may reveal the cards in your library. If you do, target opponent chooses from among them three creature cards with different names. Put one of them into play and the rest into your graveyard. Then shuffle your library.

Bennie’s Comments: This is an interesting card, reminding me a little of Oath of Druids. Like Oath, Seeker Druid’s effect is going to put a creature directly into play. It shuffles your library, which is something rare for green beyond fetching land. But the drawback is significant ? your opponent both gets to see your entire deck (and a smart player can infer your hand from this information), and he gets to choose which of three creatures he’d most rather have in play. What are the odds he’d choose the creature you’d want to put into play? With some innovation, you could make it work, but I just don’t know if it’s worth the effort.

Grade: B-


Whenever Llanowar Vanguard deals combat damage to a player, you may search your library for a card named Llanowar Vanguard and put it into play. If you do, shuffle your library.

Bennie’s Comments: Wow, now this is more like it! A nice spin on Llanowar Sentinel. Combine with trampling effects or removal, you can get a nice little engine going. Again, the shuffling of your library is handy sometimes?especially when attached to some effect other than searching for land. If Llanowar Vanguard is a decent creature in his own right, this would be an excellent card to have for green.

Grade: A-


All creatures able to block Nantuko Piper do so.

Whenever a creature blocks Nantuko Piper, you may draw a card.

Bennie’s Comments: This could be a really good card, depending on his stats. If he’s got a large enough toughness, then he’s amazing. If he’s also got a large enough power ? enough to take down a creature or two ? he becomes phenomenal. I also have to wonder if you get to draw a card for each creature that blocks (which would be amazing) or just one card per attack. If nothing else, he’s basically a cantrip creature with a built-in Falter.

Grade: A


Except for enchant creature spells, noncreature spells cost 1 more to play.

Bennie’s Comments: A nice spin on Sphere of Resistance. He’d need to be costed cheap ? either one or two mana to be really effective, though the fact that he puts off Wrath of God for a turn and makes counters and removal increasingly more expensive is pretty amazing. Much like Magnoscrag, he’s a niche card with a specific goal in mind, basically to hose non-creature strategies. He’s a good candidate for sideboard action, and definitely maindeckable in the right metagame (i.e., heavy control). Grade: B+


XM, T: Reveal the top X cards of your library. Put all creature cards with converted mana cost X into play and the rest into your graveyard.

Bennie’s Comments: This guy’s got some great potential if you’ve either set your deck up filled with creatures of a certain casting cost or some way of stacking your deck (Sylvan Library comes to mind). He requires a certain deck design to be effective ? but in that deck, he could be a powerhouse if he’s sturdy enough.

Grade: B-


Meddling Scrag can’t be countered.

Meddling Scrag can’t be the target of spells or abilities.

Whenever Meddling Scrag deals combat damage to a player, that player can’t play instant spells this turn.

Bennie’s Comments: A bit more of a broader hoser than Magnoscrag, if he’s got a decent power and toughness relative to his casting cost, he’s Grade A material. The fact that he forces your opponent’s little End Of Turn tricks to take place during your attack phase is pretty darn good, especially since you then get to work your second main phase unmolested. I really like the design of this guy.

Grade: A


When Deeproots Treefolk is put into a graveyard from play, you may return it to play under its owner’s control at end of turn.

Bennie’s Comments: This is very much like the card I submitted (see below), though this one actually goes into the graveyard (where it can be removed from the game by various effects), whereas mine had more of a super-regeneration. On balance, though I think I like this version better ? he’s amazing against other creature decks, and he’s great versus control (Wrath, Mutilate, Perish). The fact that he comes back at the end of turn means that he’ll be able to attack again the following turn. Weatherseed Treefolk is one of my favorite green creatures ever, and I’d love to see another version.

Grade: A+


At the beginning of each player’s upkeep, if you control four permanents named Green Cheese, you win the game.

Bennie’s Comments: Okay, I’ll come out and admit I’m not a big fan of the alternative win condition cards. I’m even less thrilled with this one, since you’d need all four copies of this guy in play?and creatures are notoriously fragile in Magic. Yeah, it’s an interesting idea, and in flavor for green… But come on!

Grade: D+


Whenever a player plays a spell, you may put a +1/+1 counter on Spike Collector.

At the beginning of your upkeep, you may remove all +1/+1 counters from Spike Collector and distribute them among any number of creatures.

Bennie’s Comments: This guy makes Quirion Dryad look downright pathetic on pure growth potential, and add in it’s share-the-wealth abilities and it’s got me going”wow!” This is the kind of threat creature that needs to be dealt with quickly or it becomes really problematic. Decent on its own and better in the midst of an army.

Grade: A

Overall, some really decent choices. Here’s how I’d rank the top picks:

First pick: Mtg.com#8 Deeproots Treefolk, Grade A+

Second pick: Mtg.com #10 Spike Collector, Grade A

Third pick: Mtg.com #7 Meddling Scrag, Grade A

Honorable mentions: Mtg.com #3 Llanowar Vanguard, Grade A and Mtg.com#4 Nantuko Piper, Grade A

Basically, I’ll be very pleased with any of my top 3 picks. How about you?

Just as an aside, here are the cards I submitted to Maro for the You Create The Card program:


Sacrifice a land: If Deeproots Treefolk would be put into the graveyard from play, instead remove all damage dealt to Deeproots Treefolk and tap it.

Bennie’s Comments: Super-regeneration, even from Wrath of God and Perish. Probably my favorite, ultimately I’d like to see this be a 3cc 3/3 creature to sneak out under countermagic and be a nice threat creature. I’d add protection from blue if I were feeling greedy.


When Spore Beast is put into a graveyard from play, you may remove Spore Beast from the game. If you do, pay X and put X 1/1 green Saproling tokens into play.

Bennie’s Comments: I loved the idea of Liege of Hollows, but the”sharing” of it’s ability was a real hindrance to making it any good. Spore Beast improves on the idea and makes Saprolings instead, which is a much more useful creature type in green.


When Cyclor is put into a graveyard from play, choose a green card in your graveyard other than Cyclor. If it is a creature card, put it into play. Otherwise, put that card in your hand.

Bennie’s Comments: Looking at green instants and trying to make some of them into creatures, I came across Reincarnation from Legends. Cyclor has reincarnation built in, but I also wanted some benefit in case there were no creatures worth bringing back, so why not tie a limited Regrowth to it also?

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