Uncle’s Games Invitational Contest – You Make the Maze Runner

UnclesGamesLogoYou want to play in the Uncle’s Games Summer Invitational? If course you do. And now, here’s your chance.

If you don’t know the full story, Uncle’s Games here in the Seattle area has decided to hold a 16 person tournament on August 17th. You have to win a separate tournament to get into this Invitational and spaces are filling up quickly. I have been offered to give out one of the Invitational spaces. So here is my contest and even if you don’t live in the Seattle area, you can still participate and win something.

I know that some of you were passionate about the “You Make the Card” contest that WotC had recently. Well, we’re going to do that here, only with a twist.

Here’s your assignment:

At the last moment, WotC’s R&D has decided that each of the Dragon’s Maze legendary “Maze Runners” that were going to print won’t work. Each of the Legends has something wrong with them. All of the art has been commissioned and the names have been locked it so there can’t be any change there. You need to choose one Guild and the existing Maze Runner and redesign it.

What you can change:

  • Casting Cost (They still need to have their two Guild colors)
  • Text Box (What the card does/Flavor text)
  • Power/Toughness

What you cannot change:

  • Name
  • Art
  • Guild they represent
  • Creature type
  • Rarity

Yes, it’s a “You Make the Maze Runner” contest.

What we’re looking for:

A representation of what you believe would be a better Maze Runner. Their current wording may not work with what the Vorthos flavor says, their ability may not be what you thought it would be, or you just have an awesome idea of what you believe the Maze Runner should be.


  • Just because you can change something doesn’t mean you need to.
  • Stick with the identity of the Guild.
  • Use the Guild keyword or an ability that interacts well with the Guild.
  • Don’t forget about the Commander format.
  • Every other card in Dragon’s Maze stays the same.

I know that a good majority of you out there have ideas of what you would’ve liked to have seen print. Well, now’s your chance. Here’s what you have to do:

  • Email “UnclesMaze@gmail.com”
  • Subject – [Guild] Uncle’s Games Entry
  • Body – Card Name – Casting Cost
    Card Text
    Any extra text you want to add to explain your card.
    Your name

The contest starts now and runs until Sunday, July 21st at Midnight (PST). We’re only going to count your first entry, so make it good. We shall let you know We are going to select a winning entry from each Guild and put them up against each other. That’s right, there will be 10 finalists.

This is where the rest of the internet comes in. We’ll put the entries on Facebook and the one with the most “Likes” will be our winner. Why should you vote on Facebook? We’re going to randomly select someone who voted to win a Magic 2014 Fat Pack AND a Duels of the Planeswalker 2014 game on the system of your choice OR a draft pack of Return to Ravnica Block or M14 on MTGO.

Everyone got it? Redesign a Dragon’s Maze “Maze Runner”, email the design to UnclesMaze@gmail.com, and wait. If you have any questions, you can send that email address a question, tweet me – @mtgcolorpie, or leave a comment down below.

Good luck, everyone. I can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with. Here’s the Uncle’s Games page with the rest of the Invitational.

Uncle’s Games Summer Invitational Announcement



We’ll get to the YMTC and the updates to Slivers in future posts.

I walked into my local game store, Uncle’s Games, and was asked if I wanted to be part of something cool. Of course, I do, doesn’t everybody? I was told that the game store is announcing its first ever Summer Invitational. This was cool.

It looks like at the moment that it will semi-represent the old Invitationals that WotC used to do with the pro players (here’s coverage of the 2005 Invitational). Uncle’s decided that it would be a tournament of 16 people, where everyone would get an invite through different means. Some of the people would be invited from their Bellevue (Washington) store, others from their Redmond (Washington) store.

It would all culminate on August 17th where the winner gets 4 copies of From the Vault: Exiled. You know FtV: Exiled, right? Balance, Beserk, Channel, Gifts Ungiven, Goblin Lackey, Kird Ape, Lotus Petal, Mystical Tutor, Necropotence, Sensei’s Divining Top, Serendib Efreet, Skullclamp, Strip Mine, Tinker, and Trinisphere. Basically a nice Vintage/Legacy/Commander/Cube starter pack of awesome cards. A playset of them (for those of you keeping track at home). Plus more prizes will be announced as we get closer to the event.

I nodded my head, “Yeah, I like this. How do people get an invite?” Continue reading “Uncle’s Games Summer Invitational Announcement”

You Make the Card 4 – Round 5 (Submit the Mechanic)

YMTC - Black


So it all comes down to this.

I knew that non-arua would win the vote, but I didn’t expect it to be by that much. That’s all fine and good.

Now it comes down to those of us in America and Canada submit our designs. I feel bad for the rest of the world, since obviously the community is larger than just these two countries. I’m sure it has to do with something on the legal side of things, but I have no knowledge of what it could be. Hopefully one day we can live in a world without lawyers. But back to the good part.

If you haven’t submitted your design yet, stop and take a breath. You only get one design so you better make it a good one. Already I’ve seen hundreds of submissions that people have sent in and I’m noticing a huge pattern here:

You’re rushing things.

I was going to spend some time about what Black can and can’t do, but I feel like we need to take a step back and look at card design in general. Most everyone is getting the idea of what Black is, so that’s good. And I think the benefit of submitting a top down design is fantastic since we can convey the flavor easier. However, everyone’s so excited to submit their card they’re losing perspective on several things. I tweeted out this link to one of Maro’s posts on basic design but I feel like people need to see it again, and again.

And again.

Before we get to that review, I want you to look at your design and ask yourself some honest questions:

  • Is it fun?
  • Would you put it in a deck?
  • Would you be happy to see it when you draw it?
  • Would you be happy to see it played against you?

While the 4th question is a little awkward, let me explain. There comes a point in every card’s life that you just don’t want to see it played against you. Either because it’s too powerful, you see it all of the time, or a combination of both. Primeval Titan is a fun card that you play, but you get tired of seeing your opponents play it. What about Black Enchantments? Recurring Nightmare is a hugely fun card for you to play, but when your opponent has it, you’re just groaning and complaining about why would WotC print such a broken card? Cards that create repetitive gameplay gets tiresome. Cards that create repetitive gameplay gets tiresome. Cards that create repetitive gameplay gets tiresome.

Listen, I’m not saying your card can’t be good; balancing cards that are fun for the person using them while not completely ruining the game for your opponents is very hard to do. But saying “I’ve got an idea for a Black enchantment”, scribbling down your first idea then submitting it doesn’t give this contest justice. You can come up with a ton of different Black enchantments but if they don’t follow the first three questions, while maybe touching on the fourth, then why are you submitting it? Continue reading “You Make the Card 4 – Round 5 (Submit the Mechanic)”

You Make the Card 4 – Round 4 (Aura or Non-Aura)

YMTC - Blackhttp://wp.me/p5VSx-1xv
(Note: That link is this page’s address so it’s easier to share this page.)

And Black won the vote. Fine, I’ll just crumple up all my Red enchantment designs and throw them in the drawer of “stuff I’ll use sometime”.

Hopefully this vote also dispels the rumors that A) WotC is trying to control the vote by linking my articles (though I’m very grateful) and 2) that I have supreme power over the voting process.

I am not surprised that Black won the vote as I figured it would be Red or Black since the players want to complete cycles. They were the top two colors because that’s what people wanted to see. And now we’re in the all “important” phase of choosing if we want the aura card or not.

What we’re deciding here is if the card type line will read “Enchantment” or “Enchantment – Aura”. That’s it.

This might be one of the more lopsided votes that we’ll have throughout the whole contest but it’s not one to take lightly. By ignoring the vote, we could get stuck with a choice few of us want.

Vote for “Global Enchantment.”

Yeah, we don’t use the term “Global” anymore, but we did at one time. So, no, we’re not voting on “Enchant Worlds” either and that would be an aura anyway using modern templating. But there are two main reasons why you shouldn’t vote for Auras. Continue reading “You Make the Card 4 – Round 4 (Aura or Non-Aura)”

You Make the Card 4 – Round 3 (Choose the Color)

YMTC - Enchantmenthttp://wp.me/p5VSx-1wT

And enchantments won that exciting runoff.

First, let me say that it was fun debating the people of “Team Land”; or those that wanted to debate rather than just yell. I hope that those of you who were on that side stay with the rest of us until the end of the contest. You’re not out of voting by any means, but I’ve seen a number of you get upset that your choice didn’t win. Yeah, my first choice didn’t win either (it was creatures). The key to this contest is to think of this as more than just an “I want” thing, because then you’ll always be disappointed. We’re a team here, and we all get a vote. If you feel like you don’t care anymore because one choice didn’t go your way, then that’s the wrong attitude. While this might be my Selesnya side talking, but let’s work together to build the best, and most fun, card that we can.

Basically this contest is what WotC has to do plenty of times. Following their design skeletons, there are several holes in a set that they are creating. Instead of trying to fill it internally, they have decided to let the fans choose which hole they want to participate in finding an answer to. We, as a group, has decided to go after the Enchantment hole, and are now deciding on which color. Then, I imagine, we will decide if it’s going to be an aura or not, then finally pitch our ideas about what should be sorted through to fill that hole. I’ve seen plenty of people complain about just telling us pitch mechanics now and let the color be decided by the mechanic, but it doesn’t go that way. We’re using their process, we have to play by their rules.

At the moment, our decision is actually pretty hard: what color should the enchantment be? Continue reading “You Make the Card 4 – Round 3 (Choose the Color)”