YMtC: A Primer

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YMtC: A Primer

Welcome to You Make the Card!


Credit for version 1 of this thread, including the design examples and the original structure goes to the brilliant tyranno6!


If you're new, chances are you're a bit dazed by the array of threads and cards posted all over the forum. This thread is designed to help you get a handle on how cards are designed, what the basic threads are for, and some general "dos and don'ts" of YMtC.   If you're a bit more experienced, you might want to have a look at the YMtC Resources thread, which contains in-depth information about everything from costing to templating to flavour. If you're ever stuck for ideas, or not sure how to do something, be sure to check it out!

This primer contains four parts:

Part I: Etiquette and Decorum
►Criticism
►Templating
►Appropriateness
►Fair Play
►Rules and Balance

Part II: Contests and Games
►Games
►Contests
►Creation Threads

Part III: Design and Development
►Individual Card Design
►Development
►Set Design

Part IV: Comments and Criticism
►Dos
►Don'ts

Part I: Etiquette and Decorum


In YMtC, like most forums, the Code of Conduct governs most of our behaviour. But in addition, the idiosyncratic nature of our forum has given rise to several other expectations. The most basic of these are outlined below:


►Criticism
Like most other forums on these boards, YMtC is a place to discuss our ideas, not just to merely post them. Posting a card on this forum - anywhere on this forum - opens it up to criticism of varying degrees. A card posted on its own thread, for example, will attract heavy commentary, while a card posted on a game thread will get much less. You should be confident enough with yourself and your creation that you're okay with hearing reviews - both good and bad.

Additional Reading:

● tyranno6 (edited by Imidazoline), YMtC Primer, Part IV: Comment and Criticism


►Templating
When you post a card on the forum, you'll generally want others to be able to read it. To further this end, there are commonly used and accepted ways to post your cards. Here's an example:


Whip-Spine Drake |
Creature - Drake
Flying
Morph (You may play this face down as a 2/2 creature for . Turn it face up any time for its morph cost.)
“I swear the clouds were created just so the drakes would have a place to lurk."  -Kasharri, skyknight
3/3


The bolding and italicising are generally optional, but most formats are similar to this. Some posters move the mana cost to a separate line and some move the power and toughness up by the creature type. To display manacosts, use the [mc][/mc] tags. For example, [mc]1UB[/mc] becomes , and [mc](GR)[/mc] becomes ().  There's no right way to post a card, as long as it's clear and cohesive.

Additional Reading:

● zammm, zammm's Card Format, Wording, and General Syntaxery Guide


►Appropriateness
When you're posting a card, make sure it's appropriate for the thread you're in. As a rule of thumb, cards which reference specific posters or (nonfictional) people are generally frowned upon. Remember the rules of the thread you're in - don't post a card in a contest thread you're not a part of, and don't make a card in a game thread which doesn't follow the rules. You shouldn't post your cards in threads dedicated to discussing other people's cards, either!
Additional Reading:
● tyranno6 (edited by Imidazoline), YMtC Primer, Part II: Contests and Games


►Fair Play
In a lot of ways, card creation in YMtC is like a sport. While WotC are the big-time professionals, we're casual enjoyers of the game. To keep us all here without monetary compensation means that we've got to be nice to each other! While commentary is welcomed, don't be an ass! Don't make fun of people for their lack of skill, and don't laud your greater talent over others. Be modest and gracious. Don't disrupt the conversations of others. Discuss and debate, don't argue.  Be nice, and you'll find your time at YMtC much more enjoyable.


►Rules and Balance
Generally posters expect the cards they read to at least be passingly familiar with the rules. When you post a card, you should ask yourself two things. First: Does this card work under the rules as printed? Second: Is this reasonably balanced?  No-one expects you to have an in-depth knowledge of the comprehensive rules - so to help yourself answer the first question, go have a look at already printed cards. Gatherer is a great resource and should be used by newcomers and YMtC veterans alike. How do they word things? Could you make it more like that? If your card is substantially different from anything that exists, then you might have to check out the rules - or at least know what changes you'd need to make so your card works. (The latest comprehensive rules are here.)  The reasonably balanced part you can answer in much the same way: just look at past cards and see how your effect has been costed in the past. Again, no-one's expecting you to have extensive knowledge of the limited and constructed metagame, just to have a decent idea of how things are costed before you post your card.

Additional Reading:

● wolf_mage, Multicolour Card Guide
● Mistform Dragon, Costing
● Dream Spinner (as provided by Gardevior), Costing

Part II: Contests and Games


YMtC is quite unlike other forums in that we have three general categories into which the majority of our threads fall into.   

►Games
Game threads are arguably the most casual of threads in YMtC. In a game thread, posters make cards which follow on from the card posted before them in some way - for example, in the You Make the Alphabetical Card! thread, each card is the same colour as the card before it, but starts with the next letter in the alphabet. Once we've reached the end, we start again with the next colour. The most important thing to pay attention to in game threads is the first post, which will contain the rules. People are less likely to be upset at a crappily made card than they are at a card which doesn't follow the rules. You should attempt a decent card on game threads nevertheless - it's a great place to practise making cards on a frequent basis.

Game Examples
Let’s take Let’s Have Some YMtC Fun (Redux) as our game thread for this example. The card before mine is by zammm:  

Azorius Idea |
Sorcery
At the end of your next turn, draw two cards.
It takes a while to get all the paperwork done.  


In LHSYMTCF(R), we make cards which have a word in common with the last card in the thread. So anything with the word “Azorius” or the word “Idea” in its card name would be appropriate for the next card. It’s usually a good idea to post a card with two or more words in its name - though not explicitly against the rules, it effectively stalls the game for a post, which can make people annoyed at you. Plurals and other changes to the word are allowed, though sparingly.
Examples of card names which would be appropriate:


  • Azorius Titan

  • Rush of Ideas 

  • Azor, First Judge

  • Idealistic Monk

  • Tainted Idea



Additional Reading:

● tyranno6 (edited by Imidazoline), YMtC Primer, Part III: Design and Development      

►Contests
If the game threads are the meat of YMtC, contest threads would definitely be the sauce. Contests, of all shapes and sizes, are run constantly by members of YMtC. The frequent 24-Hour contests have a strong history going back to The_Ogre and Gardevior. Then there are annual contests like the illustrious YMtC Idol, and random, classic one-offs like Noddegamra's famed Path of the Planeshaper. There is never a shortage of contests to join.
Contest threads tend to occupy a large portion of the front page, and are often the most exciting part of YMtC. That said, contests are generally taken quite seriously, so be sure to read the rules outlined in the opening post, and try not to post unless you're directly involved in the contest. Generally, contests will have a sign-up period, and once that's closed, no more contestants will be admitted into the contest. Commenting on cards before the 'round' has closed is frowned upon and is generally considered bad form. You can usually feel free to make observations on cards that have already been judged in the contest, though.  

►Creation Threads
Individual creation threads are the oldest type of threads in YMtC. These are where you showcase the best of your best cards - it's a great way to get feedback about the creation of your individual cards, a set mechanic, or even some unexplored design space you're unsure about. Some posters post card threads daily, while others save them up and post entire sets of cards at a time. 
If you're new to the forum, it’s probably a good idea to lurk or restrict yourself to playing the games for a couple of weeks. While it's tempting to show everyone the stuff you've made, it's a good idea to get a feel for the community and how they will regard your cards before you post them. A sloppily thought-out group of cards is going to draw strong criticism and a lot of scorn, so be careful before posting your brainchild.
That being said, when you do post your cards, do so with the understanding that you are posting on a forum of your peers who design cards – some a lot! No matter how much thought you put into your creations, it will draw criticism of some kind – don’t take it personally. The community genuinely likes to see good design, but we’re still a community of individuals. There will always be a level of discussion and disagreement. This is indicative of a healthy forum. Embrace it! But don’t get personal, and don’t be offended over genuine criticisms.  

Additional Reading:
● tyranno6 (edited by Imidazoline), YMtC Primer, Part IV: Comment and Criticism

Part III: Design and Development


►Individual Card Design
Making cards is at once both trickier and easier than it seems. Here I'm going to walk through a straightforward way of creating a card. Keep in mind that there is no 'perfect' way to create a card. There's been numerous examples of cards being created in dreams listed on these forums! But if you're stuck, this might give you a leg up.



  1. First, you need to determine your aim for the card. Like anything creative, the best results come from focus, and for that you need to know what your goal is.

  2. Now you need to decide how you're going to translate that aim into a card-friendly form. Depending on what your aim is, that's going to mean different things - you might need to come up with an appropriate mechanic, or a good concept for a spell.

  3. Next, you need to refine your idea. You've come up with a good idea for a card, but will it translate well onto a single card? Will it be easily 'grokkable' by other people?

  4. Now you should have the most basic part of your card. Translate your refined idea into card-appropriate terminology.

  5. If you started with a card concept, now is the time to create the mechanic. If you started with a mechanic, you can go ahead and fiddle with the costs and power/toughness of your card.

  6. Now you need to go and fill in all the things that haven't been done. Cost your card, check the wording, write the flavour text and the card name, and make sure the card type is appropriate. That's all there is to it! Obviously there are other ways to make a card, but if you're stuck, don't hesitate in giving this a try. 


Design Example #1 – tyranno06
Let's try to make a card in the You Make the Alphabetical Card! game thread (as described in ‘Games’ above). In this game, I have to post a card of the same colour as the one before it, but its name must start with the next letter in the alphabet.
► In this case we're making a white card that starts with 'C'.  The great thing about game threads is that they're so casual - it's a great place for us to try out a card and do pretty much whatever we feel like within these constraints. 
► For our first card, let's choose a pretty common 'C' word for white, like 'Celestial'.  When you're starting with a name, the best thing to go for is a 'top-down' design (see Additional Reading). Try to get a concept worked out, and iron down features from there.
► Let's go with 'Celestial Champion'.  From our card name, we can see it's probably going to be a creature, maybe a Knight of some sort. It doesn't seem to be a normal knight though - possibly something that's divine, or deals with magic in some way. Maybe a Spirit Knight?
► Celestial Champion is a 'Creature - Spirit Knight'. What would a Spirit Knight do? The most classic knights in Magic are 2/2 first strikers for ; that's a good baseline if we're not sure where to start:

Celestial Champion |
Creature - Spirit Knight
First Strike

2/2


► But how to work in the Spirit side of the ability? Kamigawa established the theme of 'Spiritcraft': abilities that triggered off Spirits and Arcane spells being played. Spiritcraft seems like a good idea - remember we wanted this creature to deal with magic somehow? 


Celestial Champion |
Creature - Spirit Knight
First Strike
Spiritcraft - Whenever you play a Spirit or Arcane spell...
2/2


► But what sort of abilities would a Spirit Knight grant? One of white's longest-lasting spirits, Angelic Page, grants attacking or blocking creatures +1/+1. It seems relevant that a Knight would grant a combat ability, so that's good. What else does white do in combat? It has 'ranged' abilities, which let it deal damage to attackers or blockers, and it also outright destroys attacking or blocking creatures. Since we're talking about a champion of armed combat, a ranged ability would fit well, I think. Since we're limiting the ability to be centered around combat, it's only going to trigger from instant spells and flash creatures - so we can make it a little powerful, if we want.

Celestial Champion |
Creature - Spirit Knight
First Strike
Spiritcraft - Whenever you play a Spirit or Arcane spell, Celestial Champion deals 2 damage to target attacking or blocking creature.
2/2  


► Now it's pretty much ready for posting! Maybe we could add flavour text, if we're feeling particularly imaginative:


Celestial Champion |
Creature - Spirit Knight
First Strike
Spiritcraft - Whenever you play a Spirit or Arcane spell, Celestial Champion deals 2 damage to target attacking or blocking creature.
His ghostly steed gallops across the starry heavens as he searches for anyone who dares to challenge his worth in battle.
2/2  


And we're done!


Design Example #2 – tyranno6

(Note: due to the boards change, Idol 5 appears to be lost to the sands of time - Imidazoline).


Now let's make a card for a contest; why not my own contest, YMtC Idol?  The Audition criteria for YMtC Idol 5 was "Create a card that changes the costs of spells in some way." When we start with a mechanical focus for our card, we usually follow the same path - brainstorm all the possible ways you could fulfill that task, and choose the one you think you like the most. (Or, if you're in a cynical mood, choose the one which the judges of the contest will like the most.) 


► There are two basic ways to change costs - increasing opponents and reducing your own. We could flip it around, and reduce opponent's spells and increase ours. We can also impose non-mana costs like discarding cards and sacrificing creatures, or we can flat out change the cost of a card directly to what we want it to be. We could also go with a mechanic which needs extra mana to work.  If you're not sure which to pick, go deeper into this process - don't just look at the broad categories of changing costs, but get an example of each and see which you like best. 


► I'm going to go with reducing the mana cost of opponents' spells.  Now we want to determine exactly what this is going to do. I normally proceed by working out what colour could get this effect. What sort of philosophy would offer to reduce the cost of other's spells? It seems kinda stupid to help your opponent - green might do it, but green would help everyone at once. Black would also offer the opponent a discount on his or her spells.... for a price. 


► Let's try the black view: I'll make your spells cheaper, but you will pay for it.  What sort of punishments can we attach to that? Remember if we're reducing the cost of opponents spells they will always have the option of not playing the spell, so we can't make the drawback too heavy. Since it's black, we have a whole range of drawbacks - sacrificing creatures, discarding cards, life payments: pretty much whatever we want.


► I like the life total thing, it's classic black. Okay, so we want some sort of spell or permanent which makes stuff cheaper, but costs life. And we want it to affect opponents. Remember that opponents don't have to play stuff! I can see three options avaliable (you might see more!):


A - We make it an instant which makes the next spell an opponent plays this turn cheaper. If the opponent doesn't want to play the spell, then they've wasted a turn.
B - We make it a spell which makes the next spell an opponent plays this turn cheaper - but at end of turn, if they didn't play anything, we impose a penalty anyway.
C - We make it a permanent which everyone is able to use in some way - maybe just the first player, or maybe everyone gets to use it once, or maybe it's always in effect. 


► I like the 'damned if you do, damned if you don't' approach of B, so let's go with that. What sort of effects do we choose from? In monoblack, we can offer your opponent a cheaper spell for a certain amount of life. If he doesn't play a spell, he loses a bit less life in the end. Or we could go back to sacrificing creatures or something instead - maybe force a mage to sacrifice a creature to play his next spell, and if he can't handle that act of evil, we make him lose life? We could dip into other colours, too: black-white gives us the flavour of the Orzhov, who will give a favour but then ask for it back tenfold later. An Orzhov cleric could grant power in the form of cheaper spells for a turn - and then requires payment in blood for any foolish enough to squander that favour. Blue would probably mean we get an benefit at end of turn if they don't pay, and red would probably do the same, but flavoured differently. Green-black wouldn't really work here, I don't think. Let's try the blue-black effect:


[NAME] | [mc][/mc]
[TYPE]
The next spell an opponent plays this turn costs less and X life more to play. At end of turn, if that player didn't play a spell, draw X cards. 


► We need to choose numbers for these effects, too. I'm partial to smaller, more elegant effects, but a lot of posters like to make huge 6 or 7 cc things. Just remember that your cards usefulness is bound to go down a whole lot if you increase its casting cost by a lot, even if you make it more powerful.  


[NAME] | [mc][/mc]
[TYPE]
The next spell an opponent plays this turn costs less and 5 life more to play. At end of turn, if that player didn't play a spell, draw two cards. 


►I think this would be fine as an instant - it gives us that flexibility we were talking about with option A before. Then we need to figure out the mana cost - for this effect, since our maximum benefit is either 5 life or two cards, sounds fine.  


[NAME] |
Instant
The next spell an opponent plays this turn costs less and 5 life more to play. At end of turn, if that player didn't play a spell, draw two cards. 


►And, finally, we need to figure out the flavour. Remember flavour is a very personal thing - what works for different people is going to vary a lot. I think we're pretty clear that this card is some sort of pact or promise, though. We probably can't use the word 'pact' because of the Pact cycle, so let's use the flavour of a contract. What you have the freedom to do in YMtC is to simply make up a race or faction (or even an entire plane!) just to fit your card. We want some sort of blue-black race (of wizards, maybe?) which thrive on malicious - but entirely legal - contracts. Malicious tricksters, maybe like djinni or faeries or something? 


Ashwing Contract |
Tribal Instant - Faerie
The next spell an opponent plays this turn costs less and 5 life more to play. At end of turn, if that player didn't play a spell, draw two cards. 


►I added 'faerie' as a tribal type just to add flavour - remember tribal has very little effect on a card, so you can feel free to add it if you think it makes sense flavour-wise. Now all we need is flavour text: 


Ashwing Contract |
Tribal Instant - Faerie
The next spell an opponent plays this turn costs less and 5 life more to play. At end of turn, if that player didn't play a spell, draw two cards.
An idle childhood wish spoke to a soot-winged faerie may just become a deathly promise. 


And we're done!


Additional Reading:
● Mark Rosewater, Top Down and Goal, Design 101, Design 102, Design 103
● Wikipedia, List of Magic: The Gathering keywords
● tyranno6, The Colour Wheel
● Mistform Dragon, Costing


►Development
Though it's not card design, designers should always have a sound background in card development. At the very least, it's going to help you avoid embarassment when your peers point out glaring flaws in your card - but more than that, designers who have a good understanding of how metagames and the comprehensive rules work will definitely give you an advantage in card-making. Development is the process of taking inspiration and working into a final piece. You may be a brilliant designer, but your cards won't be impressive at all if you don't have a good understanding of development. When developing a card, the first thing you should always do is take a look at past cards (using Gatherer and here on the forums) with similar mechanics to yours. Does your card effectively make a creature unblockable or hard to block? Then look at effects like Invisibility and Metathran Soldier. Does your card deal damage to a player or cause him or her to lose life? Then look at Shock and Searing Flesh.


Things you should look for:
The wording of the other cards. Yours should hopefully be similar to the cards you've searched up, or if it deviates, you should be able to find precedent for the deviation! If you can't find any precedent for wording your effect, choose one that sounds as close to normal Magic wording as possible. If all else fails, go ask for advice in the Wording Clinic. Note that this thread is for wording advice only. You won’t get any advice on costing, colour or balance here.
Next you should look at your ability's power level. Compare its effects to cards you've looked up and see how much it costs compared to yours. If you have something that there's no direct analogue to, try a roundabout way of getting there - if you're making Shock a cantrip, then look how much cantripping usually costs for instants, and cost it at about that. If you're making a spellshaper version, look at the relationship between spellshapers and the cards they shape.
If you have a novel effect that you can't work out the power level of, you should still be able to get a good idea. Think about what sort of effect it would have on the game - are you bringing an opponent closer to death? By how much? Are you gaining a whole lot of card advantage? Remember things which don't directly have an effect on how many cards you have or an opponent has are generally considered weaker than those which do.
If all else fails here, open up a thread of your own to look for specific feedback – just make sure you’ve done your research first!.


►Set Design
Now we come to the most difficult part of Magic design. When designing mechanics and sets, not only must cards be designed well individually, but care must be taken that the cards themselves have good design as a group. This is much harder than it seems. The most important thing to keep in mind with set design is that each card in the set needs to have two types of synergy: intraset (it works well with other cards in the set) and interset (it works will with cards in other sets).  You should keep the following things in mind when creating a set:



  • Your set should have an overarching theme.

    • This theme should link together your 'marquee' cards and your mechanics.

    • Not every card in your set needs to deal with the theme! Annex and Sea's Claim are cards from Onslaught that have nothing to do with Creatures, Tribal, or Cycling. 

    • Your theme should be apparent from a small selection of cards from your set. If I make a random 'booster pack' of cards, I should be able to determine what you're going for with this set, even if I don't understand the subtleties yet.





  • Your set needs a cohesive world or flavour setting.

    • This one is important, and here we have a much harder job than R&D. To keep the set feeling like it's all one thing, it needs to be set in an environment, and that needs to be apparent through most cards. For Wizards, they can show this theme with the artwork in every card. However, we don't have the luxury of hired artists, and so we might need to be a bit more liberal with names or flavour texts to help tie in each card to our world.





  • You should have overarching mechanics derived from your theme.

    • Your mechanic, if it's keyworded, needs to be clear, consise, and 'grokkable' - that is, it needs to be readily understandable. Finally, a keyworded mechanic needs to be necessary! There's nothing more telling of a designer's lack of skill than mechanics which are unnecessarily keyworded. 

    • Your mechanic should usually be spread equally around all five colours (though you may have special exceptions in your set) and it should be featured in multiple forms. Think of effects that your mechanic would go well with and make cards that exploit that synergy.





  • Your set should feature the basics.

    • You need to remember that cards like Shock and Terror are reprinted often for a reason - they're cards which fulfill a basic need of metagames. You may not wish to tread the same ground as WotC does, and that's great. But you need to remember that there needs to be efficient answers to common threats like creatures, no matter what the set.

    • Also make sure your set has answers to its own cards. Having a bunch of cards geared around one theme means that you're giving a big advantage to decks with that as their focus, without helping their opponent. You should include at least a couple of cards which work against your theme, if only for the sake of balance.  




Additional Reading:
● Mark Rosewater, Design 101, Design 102, Design 103
● Wikipedia, List of Magic: The Gathering keywords

Part IV: Comment and Criticism


Like all the boards on this website, YMtC is a discussion board. Which means it's not just a place for creating cards, but for discussing every aspect of card creation - from contests to see who can create the best card, to games where people just create cards for fun, to thread where people analyse why they make cards the way they do.   However, since YMtC is a discussion board, whenever you post a card here, you are opening your card up to discussion. If you're new here, this can be tough! A lot of the posters here have been creating cards for a few years now, and they won't hesitate to tell you where you went wrong. You're fully welcome to argue back with them and state your case - no-one is a member of R&D here - but just remember that people will point out flaws in your creation. If you're not comfortable with that, this probably isn't the board for you.  


►Do’s



  • Do post cards!

  • Do explain why you made particular choices, especially if it's going to be controversial.

  • Do explain keywords or rule changes you are making.

  • Do be friendly!

  • Do comment on others' cards.

  • Do point out flaws in wording and balance.

  • Do suggest improvements.  


►Don'ts:



  • Don't be rude!

  • Don't take offense if someone criticises your card.

  • Don't deliberately be vague when people ask you questions - YMtC is a collection of peers, not an audience.

  • Don't insult the card creator or the criticiser.

  • Don't deem a card 'broken' or 'bad' without explaining why.

  • Don't ignore all feedback; people are likely to be annoyed with you if you don't change anything at all when they've spent a lot of time explaining why what you've done is flawed.


Additonal Reading:
● Wizards.COMmunity, Code of Conduct  


If you're unsure about anything, feel free to ask! Everyone here is helpful and willing to lend you a hand if you're still lost. Gardevior, Mono789 and zammm are the Volunteer Community Leads for this forum, and will be willing to help you with anything you have an issue with.  Other than that, have fun! Enjoy your stay at YMtC!

120.6. Some effects replace card draws.

 

why are you here when NGA exists and is just better

Well, short of a few internal links (and given that it would just send you down one or two posts, I'm not sure they're worth it), this is (obviously) an update of ty's primer, fixing links, formatting (kinda) etc. If anyone has any specific feedback, let me know and I'll try to get it in here. Same goes for resources!
I used to have a YMtC Comments and Critique thread for people who didn't want to post ICDs if you wanted to link that. Also, I think "how to design a card" section kind of frowns on bursts of inspiration, which most of my good designs are.
My Resume
57106328 wrote:

And the trophy for the round goes to:
trophy.png DrJWilson - I really like how all the abilities worked together to create a really sweet card. This will be a popular pick for sure.


57718868 wrote:
1) DrJWilson 2) Silly Dragons 3) Libe
58325628 wrote:
Excellent design. Always loved Doubling Season and this card is an awesome variation on that.
58234648 wrote:
As for the card itself, it is quite possible the best use of mono-red vigilance I've ever seen on the boards. Well done.
58234648 wrote:
Love it.
58234648 wrote:
Very good design.
58025228 wrote:
I love it. Just find a good deck to use it against.
58025228 wrote:
i like it. I can imagine a bear eating a land or something then farting out the land's essence.
58325628 wrote:
Reminds me of a card I was working on earlier. I love the flavor and mechanics of this card. Great design and brilliant concept.
93144081 wrote:
I don't care if the white zombies are off, I just really like this card. Also seems likes its got a backstory I'd like to hear about. Like how I was interested in Anowon, the Ruin Sage before I realized he came from a web comic.
[quote author=64133868 post=462195821]
83237429 wrote:
88993869 wrote:
<3
58021268 wrote:
<4
<5 XD
Also, I think "how to design a card" section kind of frowns on bursts of inspiration, which most of my good designs are.

Could you elaborate?

Great job, let me know when you want a sticky.
This sentence should be edited IMO. It's from the contest part.

Commenting on cards before the 'round' has closed is generally considered bad form. While some contest organizers may not mind and even encourage commenting, most will frown upon it and ask you to refrain.


indeed. I rarely see people complain as long as the commenter is a fellow contestant. outside comments generally are frowned upon, though.

 

120.6. Some effects replace card draws.

 

why are you here when NGA exists and is just better

Also, I think "how to design a card" section kind of frowns on bursts of inspiration, which most of my good designs are.

Could you elaborate?




I don't know, it just seems as if it's telling me to make a good card, you must sit down, have an idea in mind, and focus all of my attention on creating a card.

Most of my cards were just random bursts of ideas while I'm doing something at work, that I need to write down. Meh, maybe I'm just crazy.

You might want to point towards the wording clinic as a helpful resource. 
My Resume
57106328 wrote:

And the trophy for the round goes to:
trophy.png DrJWilson - I really like how all the abilities worked together to create a really sweet card. This will be a popular pick for sure.


57718868 wrote:
1) DrJWilson 2) Silly Dragons 3) Libe
58325628 wrote:
Excellent design. Always loved Doubling Season and this card is an awesome variation on that.
58234648 wrote:
As for the card itself, it is quite possible the best use of mono-red vigilance I've ever seen on the boards. Well done.
58234648 wrote:
Love it.
58234648 wrote:
Very good design.
58025228 wrote:
I love it. Just find a good deck to use it against.
58025228 wrote:
i like it. I can imagine a bear eating a land or something then farting out the land's essence.
58325628 wrote:
Reminds me of a card I was working on earlier. I love the flavor and mechanics of this card. Great design and brilliant concept.
93144081 wrote:
I don't care if the white zombies are off, I just really like this card. Also seems likes its got a backstory I'd like to hear about. Like how I was interested in Anowon, the Ruin Sage before I realized he came from a web comic.
[quote author=64133868 post=462195821]
83237429 wrote:
88993869 wrote:
<3
58021268 wrote:
<4
<5 XD
I'll review this and give you some feedback sometime this week. If there's one thing I'm certain of, its that Wollo's thread needs to fade into obscurity... is and has been one of the most frustrating FAQs in this board's history.
I'm kind of inclined to give this a sticky right now...
Come check out my friend's youtube channel where he gives bad movies what's coming to them!
You Make the Card
Best Contest Holder 2010 YMtC Idol 9 4th Place
Mafia History
Friendliest Player 2010 Werewolves Invade YMtC!: Town-aligned Rotworm Mass, Survived, Mafia Victory Heroes Mafia: Angela Petrelli, Town-Aligned Undercover Revengeful Mother, Win for Me, Mafia Victory Super Smash Bros. Mafia: Town-Aligned Mason, Survived, Town Victory Bear Mafia: Town-Aligned Vanilla, Lynched Day 1, Mafia Victory YMtC Mafia II: Henry-Stern, Town-Aligned Vanilla, Town Victory, Town MVP Time Fracture Mafia: Mafia-Aligned Nero, the Last Romulan, Lynched Day 3, Borg Victory Touhou Mafia III: Tenshi Hinani, Town-Aligned Vanilla, Survived, Mafia Victory, Town MVP Mafia 2010: Lynched Day 1, Town-Aligned Vanilla, Mafia Victory Dragonball Z Mafia: Goku, Town-Aligned Charismatic Townie, Mafia Victory Quarantined Mafia: Lynched Day 4, J. Walter Weatherman, Infected-Aligned Administrative Assistant, Mr. T (so basically mafia) Victory Glass Box Mafia: Killed Night 2, Icthys, Town-Aligned Networker, Town Victory Battle Royale Mafia: Killed Night 3, Zipperflesh and Dark Stryke Victory Scars of Mirrodin Mafia: Killed Night 3, Town-Aligned Charismatic, Mafia Victory Portal Mafia: Lynched Day 3, Test Subject #2, Mafia-Aligned Rolestopper, Town Victory (that was utter BS) Toxic Waste Mafia: Survived, Violet, Hive (Cult)-Aligned Powerless Taskmaster, Hive Victory PK Hatez You Mafia: Survived, Town-Aligned Goth, Mafia Victory Dreven City: A Wild West Mafia: Town-Aligned "Los Angeles" Reed, One-Shot Vig, Survived, Town Victory (just barely, major props to Just a Cleric) YMtC Mafia III: Killed Night 2, Mafia Victory Vampire Mafia: Mafia-Aligned Pander, Mafia Victory Touhou Border Collapse: Bill Cosby, Town-Aligned, Killed Night 1, Mafia Victory Harry Potter Mafia: Argus Filch, Town-Aligned Tracker, Lynched Day 5, Mafia Victory [Basic #5] Bandit Mafia: Town-Aligned Vanilla, Survived, Mafia Victory Borderlands Mafia: Town-Aligned Mason, Killed Night 1, Town Victory eBay Mafia: Mafia-Aligned, Survived, Mafia Victory Full Metal Alchemist Mafia: Alphonse Elric, Town-Aligned Mason, Killed Night 1, Town Victory Sunflowers for Ragnarokio: Lynched Day 3, Town/Just a Cleric/Tevish Szat/Faux-Razor Victory True Blood Mafia: Lynched Day 4, Mafia Victory My Mafia Diary: Skyhunter, Mafia-Aligned Emo, Survived, Flawless Mafia Victory Paper Mario Mafia: Blue Goomba, Town-Aligned Lover, Killed Night 2, Mafia Victory Small Town Mafia: Pigsticker Mafia-Aligned Coward, Killed Night 2, Caveman Mafia and Zipperflesh Victory Stuff on my Desk Mafia: Lotus Cobra, Town-Aligned Vanilla, Survived, Mafia Victory Order of the Chaos Rose Mafia: Lord Dagol Ji'Lovik, Town-Aligned Hypnotist, Mafia Victory, Town MVP Camp Crystal Lake Mafia: Ongoing A Certain Magical Mafia: Killed Night 1, Town-Aligned The Siege of Balignor Mafia: Ongoing, Killed Day 4 Mafia of Ancient Egypt: Replaced in for Murica day 2, Ra, Town-Aligned Charismatic, Town Victory, Town MVP Lord of the Rings Mafia: Replaced in for Dr Demento, Town-Aligned Mason/One-Shot Self-Doc, Town Victory, Town MVP Internet Stars Mafia: Town-Aligned Vanilla, Mafia Victory Mythos Mafia: Ongoing
I don't know, it just seems as if it's telling me to make a good card, you must sit down, have an idea in mind, and focus all of my attention on creating a card.

Mmmkay, I've updated the intro to that section to cater for you liberal hippy types.
You might want to point towards the wording clinic as a helpful resource. 

Whoops. Fixed that link.
I'll review this and give you some feedback sometime this week. If there's one thing I'm certain of, its that Wollo's thread needs to fade into obscurity... is and has been one of the most frustrating FAQs in this board's history.

Thanks Rush. That thread is kind of intimidating in terms of its sheer frankenstein monstrosity. While this links to a few posts in that thread, there's probably no reason what's important couldn't be consolidated here.

Edit: Wow, I just read the actual FAQ part for the first time. That's so misleading.
I'm kind of inclined to give this a sticky right now...

Feel free.
zammm has attempted rewriting it. I have attempted rewriting it. Others have, too. It's daunting.
It's incredibly daunting. I got about halfway, and then couldn't pull it through. There's simply way too much information there to reasonably include in a new thread, but cutting out most of it seems to leave it lacking.

...Maybe it's just because the Syntaxery was my baby and I couldn't bear to leave it by the wayside.


This is a good attempt at a reboot.

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

It's incredibly daunting. I got about halfway, and then couldn't pull it through. There's simply way too much information there to reasonably include in a new thread, but cutting out most of it seems to leave it lacking.

...Maybe it's just because the Syntaxery was my baby and I couldn't bear to leave it by the wayside.


This is a good attempt at a reboot.

Thanks zammm.

It is certainly daunting. I'm happy to take a look at it with fresh(ish) eyes that don't have such a historical link to it. I'm not sure I'd do much better, but still. I think some cold decisions have to made. A lot of Le Chat's beautiful list for example, has been more or less replaced by the keyword wiki. The 'implied' keyword part is wonderful and could probably stay, but the 'custom' part - while an amazing log of YMtC history - is unsurprisingly out of date. Keeping it up to date seems like an impossible task. It might be best to let that slip away...

That brings up a whole new kettle. The very diverse nature of that thread posts, might suit a Wiki type format, which we now have available. Now there's a big job.

Oh, and the Syntaxery has to stay. It's pretty much the most up to date, most well written part of the whole thread.
Oh, and the Syntaxery has to stay. It's pretty much the most up to date, most well written part of the whole thread.

*coughs* Only the former for a short while--I was poked about it having been broken by the forum move...maybe a month ago...and updated it while I was fixing the problem. Before that it was all pre-M10 terminology and out of date.

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Requested a sticky.
And lo was Imidazoline immortalized forever at the top of YMtC.
[JVZ]> [butter] i like the one that goes like wub wub wub wubwubwubwubwubwubwub
Hear hear!
"I don't mean to sound bitter, cynical, or cruel, but I am, so that's how it comes out" -Bill Hicks
I'm immortalized too as long as no one deletes this post!
Contest Winners
Random Words
Round 1: Maraxas-of-Keld, Cryos_Icy_Manipulator Round 2: Dr_Demento, UltraMaximum Round 3: Dr_Demento, Keino Round 4: KunouNoHana Round 5: Maraxas-of-Keld, Stigma_Lasher Round 6: royinator Round 7: forty2j Round 8: Qazior Round 9: Qazior Round 10: Could be you link
Split Cards
Winner: dberry02
Pac-Man
Round 1: Fallingman
Worldprism
Quotes
57051078 wrote:
I just love how focused the YMtC community is.
56901828 wrote:
That's what I love about posting on these forums. Everyone's an expert(except for me).
57031358 wrote:
really no need to be so bitchy.
58021268 wrote:
@Edacade: Awright kid you go on ahead and do your thing and don't let anyone tell you different y'hear
58335208 wrote:
City of Asymmetrical Beings Land :T:, sacrifice a creature: Destroy target creature with the same converted mana cost as the sacrificed creature.
56957928 wrote:
57864098 wrote:
Might I just interject that making this a meme is the worst idea in magic in my opinion. It is too overpowered. It encourages cheating it in play. Essentially 99/100 times it is cheated in play instead of hardcast. Not only that, but you essentially win when it comes into play.
74943291 wrote:
82512575 wrote:
74943291 wrote:
Make five-color hybrid tribal instant with buyback, kicker, cycling, card draw, token production, a steal effect, alternate casting cost and landfall that embodies the love that your mom and I share.
I think you just killed all chances of my card being elegant. Ardency :1mana::symwu::symbr: Tribal Instant - Soldier You may have target opponent gain control of 3 permanents you control rather than pay ~'s mana cost. As an additional cost to cast ~, choose two creatures you control, and sacrifice the rest. If you control a soldier, you can't sacrifice permanents this turn. Landfall - If you had a land enter the battlefield under your control this turn, instead choose 4 creatures. Kicker You get an emblem with "As long as you control both chosen creatures, they have protection from everything." If ~ was kicked, creatures you control get +1/+1 for each creature card in your graveyard until end of turn. Cycling :2mana: When you cycle ~, put two 2/2 Soldier creatures onto the battlefield. Would this EVER fit on a card?~
Aside from a few wording mishaps (should say "each chosen creature" because it's not necessarily two) this is nice. Very simple and elegant. I like the alternate cost a lot, and the kicker goes nicely with the sacrifice. However, the cycling seems a bit powerful (4 power and a card for 3? Cycling is supposed be bad. 8/10 EDIT: Just looked up "ardency". Lol.
58347268 wrote:
74943291 wrote:
58325628 wrote:
74943291 wrote:
I'm immortalized too as long as no one deletes this post!
But in the shadow of the great one lurked many who sought to partake of his eternal glory.
Since when am I "many"?
You're a whole damn city.
74943291 wrote:
83237429 wrote:
74943291 wrote:
83237429 wrote:
74943291 wrote:
Ahem.
58021268 wrote:
Vivisect Sorcery As an additional cost to cast Vivisect, sacrifice a creature. Draw three cards. "For the sake of humanity," the surgeon whispered. The knife had never felt heavier in his hand.
I don't think a world that sacrifices so much would want to stop the making of children .
Vivisect =/= vasectomy
Now I just feel silly.
56287226 wrote:
I read over two hundred webcomics on a regular basis. "Terrible" doesn't even begin to describe me.
70246459 wrote:
74943291 wrote:
I think that this is the first wizards-community thread that actually made me laugh out loud. Maraxas, I love you.
IMAGE(http://www.free-smiley-faces.de/free-animated-smileys_Smileys-animiert-kostenlos/free-animated-smiley-love_smiley-herz-animiert-kostenlos_250x250.gif)
58347268 wrote:
batman is a jerk in all of my dreams
mafia is fun so play it
the old one was abit like hieroglyphics - this is Much easier to read
I CHRISTEN THIS THREAD IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT IS HANDSOME AND QUIRKY.
A little bit of courage is the real magic.
Someone has to practice doing it now that JV is leaving soon.
A little bit of courage is the real magic.
I'm immortalized too as long as no one deletes this post!



But in the shadow of the great one lurked many who sought to partake of his eternal glory.



Since when am I "many"?
Contest Winners
Random Words
Round 1: Maraxas-of-Keld, Cryos_Icy_Manipulator Round 2: Dr_Demento, UltraMaximum Round 3: Dr_Demento, Keino Round 4: KunouNoHana Round 5: Maraxas-of-Keld, Stigma_Lasher Round 6: royinator Round 7: forty2j Round 8: Qazior Round 9: Qazior Round 10: Could be you link
Split Cards
Winner: dberry02
Pac-Man
Round 1: Fallingman
Worldprism
Quotes
57051078 wrote:
I just love how focused the YMtC community is.
56901828 wrote:
That's what I love about posting on these forums. Everyone's an expert(except for me).
57031358 wrote:
really no need to be so bitchy.
58021268 wrote:
@Edacade: Awright kid you go on ahead and do your thing and don't let anyone tell you different y'hear
58335208 wrote:
City of Asymmetrical Beings Land :T:, sacrifice a creature: Destroy target creature with the same converted mana cost as the sacrificed creature.
56957928 wrote:
57864098 wrote:
Might I just interject that making this a meme is the worst idea in magic in my opinion. It is too overpowered. It encourages cheating it in play. Essentially 99/100 times it is cheated in play instead of hardcast. Not only that, but you essentially win when it comes into play.
74943291 wrote:
82512575 wrote:
74943291 wrote:
Make five-color hybrid tribal instant with buyback, kicker, cycling, card draw, token production, a steal effect, alternate casting cost and landfall that embodies the love that your mom and I share.
I think you just killed all chances of my card being elegant. Ardency :1mana::symwu::symbr: Tribal Instant - Soldier You may have target opponent gain control of 3 permanents you control rather than pay ~'s mana cost. As an additional cost to cast ~, choose two creatures you control, and sacrifice the rest. If you control a soldier, you can't sacrifice permanents this turn. Landfall - If you had a land enter the battlefield under your control this turn, instead choose 4 creatures. Kicker You get an emblem with "As long as you control both chosen creatures, they have protection from everything." If ~ was kicked, creatures you control get +1/+1 for each creature card in your graveyard until end of turn. Cycling :2mana: When you cycle ~, put two 2/2 Soldier creatures onto the battlefield. Would this EVER fit on a card?~
Aside from a few wording mishaps (should say "each chosen creature" because it's not necessarily two) this is nice. Very simple and elegant. I like the alternate cost a lot, and the kicker goes nicely with the sacrifice. However, the cycling seems a bit powerful (4 power and a card for 3? Cycling is supposed be bad. 8/10 EDIT: Just looked up "ardency". Lol.
58347268 wrote:
74943291 wrote:
58325628 wrote:
74943291 wrote:
I'm immortalized too as long as no one deletes this post!
But in the shadow of the great one lurked many who sought to partake of his eternal glory.
Since when am I "many"?
You're a whole damn city.
74943291 wrote:
83237429 wrote:
74943291 wrote:
83237429 wrote:
74943291 wrote:
Ahem.
58021268 wrote:
Vivisect Sorcery As an additional cost to cast Vivisect, sacrifice a creature. Draw three cards. "For the sake of humanity," the surgeon whispered. The knife had never felt heavier in his hand.
I don't think a world that sacrifices so much would want to stop the making of children .
Vivisect =/= vasectomy
Now I just feel silly.
56287226 wrote:
I read over two hundred webcomics on a regular basis. "Terrible" doesn't even begin to describe me.
70246459 wrote:
74943291 wrote:
I think that this is the first wizards-community thread that actually made me laugh out loud. Maraxas, I love you.
IMAGE(http://www.free-smiley-faces.de/free-animated-smileys_Smileys-animiert-kostenlos/free-animated-smiley-love_smiley-herz-animiert-kostenlos_250x250.gif)
58347268 wrote:
batman is a jerk in all of my dreams
mafia is fun so play it
I'm immortalized too as long as no one deletes this post!



But in the shadow of the great one lurked many who sought to partake of his eternal glory.



Since when am I "many"?



You're a whole damn city.

please post cards in my threads they are special places to me

All restraints upon man's natural liberty, not necessary for the simple maintenance of justice, are of the nature of slavery, and differ from each other only in degree. -Lysander Spooner - "Trial by Jury" (19th century)

If you are unhappy with the recent update, especially if you are leaving or are thinking of leaving, please email me at gameostasis@gmail.com so we can talk about a solution. 

Please feel free to copy this message into your sig.

Guys, this is meant to be a resource thread.

I want to leave it open for 'continuous improvement' as it were, so if you have feedback, by all means post it here, but for the love of God stop spamming. You've got a group for that.
We can delete posts to keep FAQ threads clear, so if you'd like us to clear off the chaff, Imi, you need only ask.

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

We can delete posts to keep FAQ threads clear, so if you'd like us to clear off the chaff, Imi, you need only ask.

If I'm Ida Zoline (he he) doesn't, then I will...

ceci n'est pas une signature.

The Colour Wheel


Original text by tyranno06

IMAGE(http://img35.exs.cx/img35/1016/colourwheel4an.png)


Magic is based upon a system of five colours, each with two allies and enemies. However, these magical schools can be combined, and the chart above shows the new relationships these combinations form. Inside the basic pentagon (W-U-B-R-G) of Magic, there are five other pentagons — the allied colour pair (W/U), the allied colour trio (G/W/U), the allied colour quartet (G/W/U/B), the enemy colour pair (G/U), and the enemy colour trio (W/U/R). Each of these pentagons follow the same ally/enemy system as the regular outside pentagon — the two combinations they are closest to are their allies, while the two the are opposite to are their enemies.

If, in card you are creating you use enemy coloured combinations, there should be some justification. In Apocalypse, the entire plane was on the brink of obliteration — the only way for Dominaria to survive was to band together. Therefore, the ally/enemy system can be superceded by the storyline, and in most cases you can disreguard the enemy colours from the chart, as it is difficult for them to function in harmony. In Ravnica, all the guilds are in contention with each other. A rough outline of how different guilds' philosophies interact can be drawn from the chart, though. To put it simply, the closer a colour is to a combination, the more it likes that colour. White's closest ally is [manacost]GWU[/manacost], its most hated enemy is [manacost]RB[/manacost], and it's morally indifferent to [manacost]GR[/manacost] and [manacost]UB[/manacost].

The interaction of the colours is complex. One of the finest examples of summarisation I've seen is presented here:

IMAGE(http://wiki.mtgsalvation.com/images/9/98/Color_wheel.jpg)


You can see here how complex the interactions can be. Put together some of the words on the outside of the wheel, and see if any cards come to mind. Match them to the Ravnica guilds. I highly recommend the following articles on style and colour interaction:
Matt Cavotta, The Magic Style Guide (Part 1)
Matt Cavotta, The Magic Style Guide (Part 1.5)
Doug Beyer, Enemies in Harmony... Sorta


Hybrid Mana


Original text by Dream Spinner

Hybrid mana introduced by the release of Ravnica: City of Guilds, and the theme got its own block with Shadowmoor! It offers a new, interesting way to cost cards. For those of you blind to the the wonders introduced by the Ravnica block, hybrid mana are these strange split mana symbols you may see here and there on the boards. Hybrid mana costs are similar to generic mana costs as they can be paid for with more than one color of mana, but hybrid mana costs are much more specific. They require one of the two symbols shown by the hybrid. For example, () can be paid with or , but no other. () can be paid with ot [/mc]2[/mc]. Cards with hybrid mana costs, or "hybrid cards", offer interesting opportunities to deckbuilders. Mourning Thrull can be put in a monowhite deck, a monoblack deck, or a white-black deck! Obviously, this excitment has reached us here at You Make the Card.
There is one important thing we YMtCers have to remember when making hybrid cards: Hybrid costs can be paid with either one of two mana and do not require the other! Therefore, a card that costs ()() can be paid for with , , or ! What does this mean for you cardmakers out there? You have to make sure one color does not just give away one of its precious abilities like some filthy skank! Let's look at Lightning Helix. Some cardmakers out there seem to think that is the same as ()(), but anyone should have his tongue cut out! Only a red-white deck, or a green one that stretches its mana fixing abilities, can play a card that has the former mana cost like Lightning Helix, but either a monored or a monowhite deck can play a card with the latter cost like Boros Guildmage. But what if Lightning Helix had a cost like the mage? Well then, you'll have monored decks having life gain and monowhite decks having direct damage! It would be chaos! Pure anarchy! Look at Wild Cantor. It has an ability that can be put into either red or green. It bears the hybrid cost well. But if the card was instead written -

Wild Cantor | ()
Creature - Human Druid
Sacrifice Wild Cantor: Choose one—Put a land card in your hand into play; or this creature deals 2 damage to target creature or player.
They are the voice of the wild, crying out with nature's fury and bringing forth its primeval might.

1/1

 - then red just got land acceleration and green just got direct damage! Not a good place to be. Let's look at some hybrid cards. First, look at the card carefully, then guess if the card could be hybrid or not.

Foul Rust
Instant
Destroy target artifact. Its controller loses life equal to its converted mana cost.

Could this card be hybrid black-green?
Answer
No way! If it had a hybrid cost, then monoblack would be able to get a solid artifact destruction card!


Forced Retreat
Instant
Return target attacking creature to its owner’s hand.

Could this card be hybrid white-blue?
Answer
Yes, it could! White has a history of getting more aggressive abilities to use against attacking creatures, and blue has always bounced all sorts of things.


I hope these examples clarified when to use hybrid costs for you. Now, what about costing? Normally, when a card is multicolor, that means the cardmaker can make it cheaper. It’s harder to cast as it requires two or more different colors! But if a traditional multicolor card and a hybrid card are different, then will this rule be different for hybrid cards? Definitely! As we saw, a hybrid card can be cast by either of its two colors rather than requiring both colors. Therefore, a hybrid card is actually even easier to cast than a monocolor card. A card that costs () should be less powerful than a card that costs or .
For example:

Gentle Peace | ()()
Instant
You gain 6 life.

The thinking here is that [manacost]GG[/manacost] gets me 6 life in Nourish, so this should be right, right? Wrong! If a player had to spend [manacost]GG[/manacost] on Nourish, why would they choose it over Gentle Peace? It could be paid for with or or ! It is far more flexible! We have to tone it down.

Gentle Peace | ()()
Instant
You gain 5 life.

Isn't that better? No. And that's the point. It's more balanced now.

The Original and the Best:

Zammm's

[size="6"]Card Format, Wording, and General Syntaxery Guide
[/size]


A handbook for grammaratically confuddled card makers.
Hello, and welcome to the first part of the Card Format, Wording, and General Syntaxery Guide. (The Syntaxery for short.)

While posting here on the YMtC boards, I have noticed that many people seem to be confused about how to word their ideas for their cards. Indeed, a small number of the cards posted here are so incomprehensible that even card makers experienced at deciphering unintelligible cards have been unable to make heads or tails of them. As such, I have posted this guide as a layout of basic card wording guidelines for both up-and-coming card makers befuddled by the sometimes complex wordings of Magic, as well as more experienced posters who may want to refresh their memory a bit.

The Syntaxery is currently divided into three parts:
[list][*]The Introduction (This part!)
[*]Format (Card Layout)
[*]Terms, Grammar, and Syntax[/list]

This guide follows the example set by the Oracle Card Reference, the official Wizards reference for current card text. The Oracle includes all functional changes to older cards, as well as errata and rulings currently in force for them. The Oracle is integrated into Wizards' Gatherer search engine, which can be found here. Be warned, the text files available there are extremely long.

As a quicker alternative, I would suggest looking cards up in the Magic: The Gathering Autocard. Type the card name into the search box, and you'll get the official Oracle wording of the card, as well as an image of the latest printing of that card.

Hope you enjoy!

zammm
(c/ Imidazoline)

Card/Mechanic Formatting and Layout

The layout, or format, of a posted card is very important. Because people can't actually see the other people on the boards, a user's avatar, signature, and especially posting style will all have a major impact on how their fellow posters see them. How the cards you post look can and will send a very strong impression to your fellow posters about what kind of person you are. Having a clean, clear, professional-looking post is the first step to being understood, and an important part of gaining respect--no one respects a slob.


General Guidelines

When posting cards, you'll generally find that people will understand both you and your cards or mechanics much more easily if you follow these simple guidelines.

  • Posted cards and mechanics should be easy to see
    If a card or mechanic (especially the latter) isn't the only thing in the post, sometimes people overlook it. Make sure that it's easy to tell that a) you posted a card/mechanic, and b) what that card/mechanic is.


  • The layout should make sense
    If the layout of a posted card or mechanic is abnormal and obscure, it's hard for others to read. If the things you post don't make sense, far fewer people are going to take the time to decipher them and comment than might have if you had just put out a tiny bit more effort and made them easier to understand.


  • Make the different parts of your cards clear and easily recognisable
    If others can't tell the name of your card from its rules text or its rules text from its flavor text, things get confusing very fast. Make sure that each part of the card is clearly distinguishable from the other parts.


  • Use correct grammar and syntax (wording)
    Nobody will understand your card if it's grossly misspelled or if the syntax makes no sense. This is closely related to the point about layout above; while your spelling and wording don't have to be perfect, it generally helps.


No matter what specific style you choose to use, if your post follows these general rules, your cards will look finished and professional. (Well, at least more finished and professional; layout's only half the battle. But it's a good start.)


Suggested Formats

Each poster on the YMtC board has his or her own preferences when it comes to layout specifics; each posts his or her cards and mechanics in a slightly different way. As such, I have no business telling you exactly how to post your cards: the final decision is up to you. I can, however, suggest common format ideas to you, and hope that you develop a (clear, concise) style of your own.

Common Format Decisions include:
  • Making the card's name bold
    This makes the name stand out from the rest of the card, which is especially useful in card-making games like You Make the Card Fun, where the name of the cards depend on the names of the previous cards. It also draws the eye, naturally separating your card from the rest of your post.


  • Using mana symbols to display the casting cost
    This makes costs easier to read, because it imitates the format of a real magic card. The best way to do this is to use either the [manacost]/[mc] tags or the mana symbol smilies. [manacost]/[mc] tags are recommended when posting multiple cards, as it's much easier and quicker to write.


  • Separating each part and each ability of the card with line breaks
    While this does make it easier to read cards with several abilities or no formatting, it can be made unnecessary by proper use of Bold and Italic text. It doesn't work very well, however, when used to post cards with large numbers of abilities (things like, say, Cromat  or Staff of Domination), as it makes them very, very long.


  • Putting flavour text (and reminder text) in Italics
    One of the most common format decisions, this easily distinguishes flavour and reminder text from rules text, which is most often displayed right above the flavour text. This also mimics real Magic card formatting, always a bonus.


A typical YMtC-posted card generally looks something like this:

- {Mana Cost}
{Card Type} -
{Rules Text}
{Flavour Text}
/



Note how this layout mimics real card formatting; that makes it easier to read, and as this is the normal layout for posted cards, you generally can't go wrong if you follow this simple template.


Some Rules of the Road

  • Don't identify each part of the card by using things like "Name: ", "Type: ", and so forth
    This is very irritating to the reader; contrary to expectations, it actually makes it harder to read your cards. Don't worry, unless your cards get really weird, it's unlikely that people are going to need this kind of "help."


  • Don't just describe your cards and mechanics instead of posting them
    The quickest way to describe a card or mechanic to someone is to post it. Writing out something in paragraph form rather than simply posting it makes it harder for people to understand you, as they have to reformulate the card in their heads.
    Compare:
    "An instant named Token-Bane that destroys a token creature and draws a card for one black and one colorless mana"

    vs.

    Token-Bane -
    Instant
    Destroy target token creature.
    Draw a card.



  • If you post rendered card images, please include a written version
    Rendered cards are pretty, rendered cards are clean, and rendered cards increase the impact of out-of-the-ordinary cards (flip/split cards, for example). But rendered cards take time to load, especially on slow connections, and some people have images turned off. To ensure that everyone can see your cards without waiting for them to fully load, please include written-out versions of your rendered cards. (And if you're thinking of posting lots of rendered cards at once, consider posting just the written versions instead.)


  • If you make cards with a new keyword, make sure you tell us what that ability does
    Without rules, reminder text, or even an explanation, cards with new keywords are pretty much incomprehensible. It's impossible to rate or understand a card with a keyword that you don't understand.


  • If you break the rules, rebuild the rules
    If a card you post doesn't work under the current rules of the game (and you know it), it's usually a good idea to say that you know it doesn't work, and describe how the rules would need to be rewritten to accomodate your card...preferably without shattering them to pieces. (Otherwise, you're going to be bombarded with comments from people telling you what you already know--that it doesn't work.) This is usually as simple as defining a new term (like "unflip") or adding one or two rules, but it sometimes means rewriting whole sections of the CompRules (like the "attack-during-opponent's-turn" idea). Don't worry, you don't need to actually write out new rules; just let us know that you're aware of the problem and tell us how you would alter the rules to accomodate your card.

    [i]Editors note: This is good advice, but use it sparingly. If every card you make breaks / requires new rules, eventually you’re playing a different game than the rest of us.



Conclusion

The format you post your cards in is up to you. You can do what you want and you can post cards that have the name last and the creature type first; it's your decision.

However, a clear format is essential for conveying a good impression to your fellow posters, and will make other posters warm to you much faster. Cards posted in an unclear layout convey the impression that they're haphazard, and that not much thought went into them. Even if that's the case, (hey, we all make throwaway cards now and then) it's not a good impression to give. Professional-looking posts equal respect; people are more inclined to listen to someone who looks competent.

So please, for our sanity and your reputation, keep it clear.

Terms

As anyone who's seen the cards knows, Magic has its own special language. If you want to make your own cards, you need to have at least a basic understanding of that language and what you can, and more importantly, cannot, do with it. Not being able to read or write this language is often a severe handicap to potential card-makers, as it prevent them from getting their ideas across.

NOTE: DUE TO THE NATURE OF CONTINUAL PRINT, THIS SECTION IS A WORK IN PROGRESS.
It is by no means complete. If you have comments or suggestions of things to add, please send me (Imidazoline) a PM and give me your thoughts.

General Notes

  • Check your spelling - This should be obvious from the outset, but for some reason, it doesn't seem to be.
  • Check your grammar - This should also be obvious. Again, not many new posters heed this advice.
  • Is it realistic? - Take an honest look at your card. Would wizards print that rules text in that way on a real card? If not, at least try to fix it. Making the attempt is often half the battle.
If you follow these simple rules, your cards will, at the very least, be legible (if not comprehensible) to your fellow posters.


Important Notes
There are many terms that you should learn if you want to post good cards. This is only the beginning. Get used to it.


Mana
Amounts of mana, no matter where they appear, are always written in a specific order.

  • First, the 'variable' (changeable) amounts are written, in the order X, Y, Z.
  • Next comes the colorless mana. On real cards, this is always just one symbol, but on these boards you'll sometimes see two symbols, because the [mc] tags can't display all the two-digit number symbols unless the symbol can be found on an existing card.
  • Finally comes the colored mana. This is the more complicated part, because colored mana is also written in a specific order.


The rules for writing amounts of colored mana are so:

  • Group identical symbols together--if a card costs 3 green mana and 2 red, don't say it costs --it costs .

  • With allied colors, list the colors in the order printed on the back of each magic card, going round clockwise from the top.
    The possible combinations are:
    • For two-color costs: , , , , and .
    • For three-color costs: , , , , and .
    • For four-color costs: , , , , and .


  • With two-color enemy colors, list them as if it was a three-color allied cost, omitting the shared ally. The five possibilities: , , , , and

  • With two allies and a shared enemy, list the enemy color first, then the allies in the proper order. The possibilities: , , , , and .

  • For five-color costs, list the colors in cardback order: .

Practically all things mana-, color-, or basic land type- related follow this pattern, so remember it!

Numbers and Numerals
Both written numbers and numerals are used in Magic card rules text, but for very different things. Colorless mana symbols are also used.

Written Numbers are used when talking about numbers of:
  • Cards
  • Permanents
  • Counters
Basically, Numbers are used with things that are referred to in singular as "a" or "an"; 'a card', 'a permanent', 'an untapped creature'. See Barter in Blood, Mageta the Lion, and Stand Together.

Numerals are used when talking about:
  • Damage
  • Life
  • Converted Mana Costs
  • Power / Toughness
  • Settings - (Used with keyworded mechanics)
Numerals are used when talking about non-mana things that are strictly amounts. You would never say 'a damage'; you say '1 damage'. See Blazing Salvo, Healing Salve, Isochron Scepter, Gorilla Berserkers, Kilnmouth Dragon.

Colorless Mana Symbols are only used when talking about, you guessed it, amounts of colorless mana (Or, if it's a cost, generic mana). See Ashnod's Altar, Ancient Tomb, Goblin Dynamo.

A special note:
"X" is used as both a numeral and a number, as it is a variable and can be any amount. When talking about a variable amounts of mana, is used instead. (See Abandon Hope, Aether Mutation, An-Havva Inn, Anthroplasm, and Spell Blast.)

Editor’s note: Do remember however, that all given X values must be identical. If your X value changes, you need to define that additional value, and call it something other than ‘X’!


Damage
Damage, you might say, is never dealt alone--it always has an accomplice. Damage is never just "dealt"; it always is dealt by something. For some mysterious reason, this is one of the most common wording errors made by new card makers, even though no card has ever used such a wording.

To deal damage, you must always write "{Source(s)} deals {X} damage to {Victim(s)}."

Although the most common method of damage-dealing is to have the card with the damage-dealing ability deal the damage (See Shock, Vulshok Sorcerer), you can also specify some other object as dealing the damage (See Aura Barbs, Kiku's Shadow, Backlash). This is mainly used for flavor reasons, but it has a functional purpose, too, allowing you to get around color-specific prevention effects with ease.




Abilities
Triggered Abilities
Triggered abilities are abilities that begin with 'When', 'Whenever', or 'At', depending on what they trigger on. They are written in the format {When, Whenever, or At} {Event, State, or Time}, [, ]

Abilities that use "When" trigger on an event or game state, and will usually, for one reason or another, trigger only once. It may be possible to get them to trigger multiple times, but they won't normally do so. (See Standstill, Darksteel Reactor, Cessation.)

Abilities using "Whenever" trigger on events, and can always either be triggered multiple times at once (See Grave Pact, Angelic Chorus) or could normally be triggered multiple times over the course of the game.

Abilites using "At" trigger at certain times during a turn. (See Sulfuric Votex, Grafted Skullcap.) These times are at the beginning of any one phase or step, or "at end of combat", which really means "at the beginning of the end of combat step". (Trying to use other times as triggers presents rules problems.)



Activated Abilities
All activated abilites are easily recognisable; all follow the format {Cost(s)}: {Effect(s)}. Everything before the colon is part of the cost to activate the ability, and everything after it is what happens when you do.

Some points to remember about activated abilites:

  • When writing costs, mana costs are written first, then the symbol, then all other costs.
  • Each type of cost is separated by a comma, and the first letter of each written-out cost is capitalized.
  • Restrictions on the use of abilities are written after the effect. The most common are "Activate this ability only any time you could play a sorcery." and "Activate this ability only [{X} times] per turn", though others exist.
  • Unless its restrictions say otherwise, you may activate any activated ability any time you could cast an instant and any number of times, as long as you can pay the cost to do so.
  • List multiple connected abilities in the order they would normally be used, so that they make sense. (See Nemata, Grove Guardian  and Pentavus. They wouldn't make nearly as much sense if their abilities were switched around.)
  • With multiple separate abilities with different mana costs, list them in the order specified for mana costs, counting only the first colored mana symbol. (See Cromat, Spiritmonger, and Ana Disciple).
  • Self-sacrifice abilities are usually listed last. (See Pyromania  and Coretapper.)






Types
All permanents have types. These are listed on the type line, below the art and above the text box. They come in the following order:
  • Supertypes - Cards do not have to have Supertypes. There are currently four existing (in Real Magic, anyway) supertypes, and you'll never see two of them on actual cards. These are:
    • Legendary - This denotes that a permanent is subject to the Legend Rule. If you don't know what that is, look it up.
    • Basic - This supertype is used in real-world Magic only on lands, and so far appears only on five very specific ones--the five Basic Lands (Okay, okay, and their snow-covered counterparts). It denotes that the card is not subject to the normal 4-of restriction in deckbuilding.
    • Snow - This supertype is primarily a marker, mainly used as a method of 'counting' Snow types, but also allowing further target delineation. It has no rules meaning apart from the fact that mana produced by snow permanents is also 'snow' (. Interesting to note that this is the only supertype that can currently be removed from a card.
    • World - This supertype denotes that a card is subject to the World rule--you can look that one up too. The only cards with this supertype are cards that were printed as "Enchant World"s early in Magic's history.
    Supertypes have an advantage over other markers because they can appear on cards of any card type, which allows you to reference multiple different types of permanents, and spells as well.


  • Card Types - There are eight possible card types used in normal Magic. These are:
    • Artifact
    • Land
    • Enchantment
    • Creature
    • Instant
    • Sorcery
    • Planeswalker
    • Tribal
    All cards have at least one card type, though it is possible, in-game, to create permanents with no card types. A card type determines how any particular card behaves, defining what you can and cannot do with that card. (Additional card types used in variant formats include Vanguard, Plane, and Scheme.)


  • Subtypes - Each type of card has its own set of subtypes, each with its own rules.
    • Creature Types - The most common subtype, almost every creature has at least one subtype. You can find a list of all the current creature types here. Creature types grant no special rules, merely acting as markers.
    • Artifact Types - There are currently three Artifact types – Equipment, Fortification and Contraption. Equipment enters the battlefield like a normal artifact, but can be attached to a creature like an Aura. When the permanent they are equipping leaves the battlefield, the equipment remains on the battlefield. Only artifacts with the Equipment subtype may be attached to creatures.

      Fortifications are just like Equipment, except they attach to lands instead of creatures.


      Contraption doesn't do anything and doesn't actually appear on any cards. It's just there to make people wonder what Steamflogger Boss  does.

    • Enchantment Types - Some enchantment types, like Shrine or Curse, are used as markers, just like creature types, but the most common enchantment type is Aura. Auras enter the battlefield attached to something, and go to the graveyard if that thing disappears. Auras always have the ‘Enchant ’ rules text, which defines what that aura may enter the battlefield attached to. Note that some auras may enchant objects in other zones, but these are rare and generally experimental in nature (Spellweaver Volute anyone?).
    • Land Types - The five standard "basic land types" (Plains, Island, Swamp, Mountain, and Forest) grant their inherent mana-production ability to the land they appear on. Other land types do not, and are used entirely as markers.
    • Spell Types - Instants and Sorceries share a lot of things, and one of those things is their subtypes. A subtype that's both an instant and sorcery subtype is called a spell type. The only existing real-world spell types (Arcane and Trap) are used solely as markers.
    Cards don't have to have subtypes, but it's considered to be a requirement for creatures. The only creature that doesn't have one is Nameless Race



Zone-Changing

When a card (or token, or copy, or whatever) goes from one place to another, it is changing zones. Casting a spell? That spell changes zones. Creature dying? It's changing zones. Each type of zone change has different language associated with it, so let's take a look at them. But first, a general zone-changing rule:

When a permanent is going from a "shared" zone (the battlefield, exile, the stack, ante) to an "owner-specific" zone (hand, graveyard, or library), it must be specified that it's going to its owner's copy of that zone. Cards, as a rule, cannot be put into a graveyard, hand, or library that is not their owner's. This rule exists to help prevent theft, both accidental and deliberate, so don't ignore it lightly.
Examples: Unsummon, Oblation

And now, for the zone-change wordings:

  • To Exile from Anywhere
    All effects that exile something use the same wording: "Exile ." Simple, no?
    Examples: Arc-Slogger, Cadaverous Bloom, Altar's Light, Scrabbling Claws, Time Stop



  • To the Stack from Anywhere
    The most common way to get something from almost anywhere onto the stack (in fact, the only way that's ever used) is by casting it--you should already know pretty much what that means. "Cast " is shorthand for "Move it from the zone it's in to the stack, make any and all variable, mode, or targeting decisions it requires, then pay the costs it requires of you to do so." Cards can (technically) be cast from any zone, but it's most common from the hand, the graveyard, and exile.
    Examples: Reversal of Fortune, Spelljack, Toshiro Umezawa



  • From the Library to the Hand
    The most common way of getting a card from your library into your hand is to draw that card. "Draw a card" is Magic shorthand for "Put the top card of your library into your hand." (And as such, can't be used for putting cards which aren't on top of your library into your hand.)
    Examples: Archivist, Tower of Fortunes

    If the card you're trying to get into your hand is not the top card of your library, you need to use something else--in this case, "put into " (which is the standard wording used for any zone-changing action without its own special terminology, and is also used when something is specifically trying to avoid using the regular terminology.)
    For example: Diabolic Tutor, Tomorrow, Azami's Familiar, Enshrined Memories



  • From the Hand to the Graveyard
    All existing movements from the hand directly to the graveyard are worded as "discard". A player "discards" cards by putting them directly from his or her hand into his or her graveyard.
    Examples: Distress, Waking Nightmare

    In addition to normal card-specific discard, Players can discard entire hands. This is written as "Discard your hand," or " discards his or her hand." In cases where it's important to count the number of cards for some reason, " discard(s) all the cards in [his or her / your] hand"

    Important Note: Players can discard their hands even if they have nothing in them. Thus, an ability with the activation cost "Discard you hand:" can be used an infinite number of times.



  • To the Hand from the Battlefield or the Graveyard
    When putting something from the battlefield or a graveyard into a hand, you invariably "return" it--no other wording is ever used.
    Examples: Raise Dead, Boomerang



  • From the Graveyard to the Battlefield
    Movement from the graveyard to play is also worded as "return" where the zones belong to the same player.
    Examples: Zombify, Stir the Grave.

    Where the card allows an object to be put onto the battlefield from another players graveyard, the card follows the rules for all other zone changes – put onto the battlefield.


    Examples: Rise From the Grave, Gruesome Encore




  • To the Library from Anywhere
    Movement to the Library usually uses the standard "put" wording--however, since the library has a definite order, anything that moves something to the library must specify where in the library it is moving to. If something is to be moved to a random point in the library, the library must be shuffled to accomplish this, and it is worded: "shuffle into ."
    Examples: Temporal Spring, Oblation, Tel-Jilad Stylus


  • From the Battlefield to the Graveyard
    There are several different ways to move something from play to the graveyard. By far the most common is "destroy", followed closely by "sacrifice."

    "Destroy" is always either an effect resulting from a spell or ability, or a result of lethal damage, and can be replaced or avoided in several ways (mainly Regeneration  or Indestructibility.)
    Examples: Terror, Demystify, Wrath of God

    "Sacrifice" is used as both a cost and an effect, though usually only black and red cards use it as the latter. There is no existing way to get around sacrifice. (Which is why it is used as a cost instead of "destroy".)
    Examples: Krark-Clan Stoker, Benevolent Bodyguard, Diabolic Edict, Lich's Tomb

    The standard "put" wording is never used on card text, but it is used several times in the rules of the game to make sure that the movements it uses them for (the Legend and World rules, plus cleanup of creatures with 0 or less toughness) can't be avoided in any way.

    Note that beginning with M12, a creature that is put into a graveyard ‘dies’. 'Dies' means 'is put into a graveyard form the battlefield'. All relevant word forms for triggered abilities etc. apply (whenever dies, if a creature died this turn etc). Note this applies only to creatures, and only to those abilities which aren't relevant about which graveyard they put into (Nim Deathmantle  for example.


  • To the Ante Zone from Anywhere
    Ante is never used any more, but if you do get the mad urge to use it, it uses the phrase "add to the ante".
    Examples: Contract from Below, Amulet of Quoz


  • All Other Zone-Changes
    All zone-changes not listed here use the standard "put" wording--"put into ." ("Onto" in the case of the battlefield.)
    Examples: Elvish Piper, Gate to the AEther, Living Wish

Snow - This supertype doesn't denote anything on its own--it's just used as a marker. Interesting to note that this is the only supertype that can currently be removed from a card.




Being snow allows the permanent to generate snow mana. Also, Chill to the Bone and co.

Snow - This supertype doesn't denote anything on its own--it's just used as a marker. Interesting to note that this is the only supertype that can currently be removed from a card.




Being snow allows the permanent to generate snow mana. Also, Chill to the Bone and co.

Fixed.

Vanilla Creature Update


  1/1, 1/2, 2/1
1/2, 2/2, 3/1
  2/3
  1/4, 1/5, 2/2, 2/3
  1/7, 2/4, 3/3, 4/2
2/10
3/5

0/4, 1/1
1/2, 1/3, 2/1
1/4
1/4, 2/3
1/6, 2/4, 3/3
2/5
5/4
6/6

1/1
2/1, 2/2
2/2, 3/2
3/2
4/2, 5/1
4/3
5/3

0/1
1/1
 2/1
2/2, 2/3, 3/2
2/3, 3/2
3/3, 4/2, 5/1
3/4, 4/3
4/4, 6/1
4/5, 5/3, 5/4
6/4
6/6

 1/1, 1/2
2/2
2/3
3/2, 3/3, 4/1
3/3
4/5
3/4, 4/3
3/5, 3/6, 4/4, 4/5, 5/4, 6/3
3/6, 5/5
5/6, 6/4
6/4, 6/5
6/6
7/7, 8/5
8/8
7/6

()() 7/6

()() 3/6

2/2
4/4
6/4

1/5, 3/3

5/4

8/8

0/3, 1/1
1/1
 1/2, 2/1
 2/2
 3/3
 3/3, 4/4, 6/2
 4/6, 5/4
5/7, 6/4

Flying Vanilla Creature Update


1/1
1/1, 1/2, 2/1
2/2
2/2
2/3
1/5, 2/3, 2/4, 3/2
3/3, 3/4

0/2, 1/1
1/1, 1/2
2/2
2/4, 3/2, 3/3
2/4
2/5
4/4
5/6, 8/7

1/1
2/1
3/2
4/3

1/2
2/2, 3/3

1/1
1/1, 1/2

()()() 3/2

2/3
3/3

2/2 

4/4

0/2
4/4
You might want to add that Curse is now an Enchantment subtype. Also, there aren't hundreds of Creature types any more with the grand creature update... Dont know if you'll want to fix that one though.
56965458 wrote:
As long as it's random, I really can't see where's the problem. Anyway, there's already a few standard ways for doing this. We listed them in this thread. If someone does the bogey-bogey, eats the cards, waits until they come out, look out the approximate order, place replacements in the same order, calls the president to ask him to give him a string of numbers, puts the card in the given order, then pick the cards in the order given by taking the date of birth of his opponent, reversed, and taking only every other number, then a judge can clearly declare that he's random enough.
56874518 wrote:
The beauty of sarcasm is that when the person using it is totally incorrect, you can just remove the sarcasm and end up with a post that is actually correct.