You Make the Card 3 Step 6 - Name Submission

Posted in Feature on July 11, 2005

By Mark Rosewater

Working in R&D since '95, Mark became Magic head designer in '03. His hobbies: spending time with family, writing about Magic in all mediums, and creating short bios.

The first You Make the Card was a Forgotten Ancient. The second was a Crucible of Worlds. And the third will be a multi-color instant. Here's how the vote turned out:

Type / CostVotes%
White/Blue instant - 4000 57.9%
White/Blue sorcery - 1695 24.5%
White instant - 645 9.3%
White sorcery - 571 8.3%
Total6911 100.0%

As you can see, WU instant smashed the competition. Now comes the tricky part of top down design. When the mechanics were submitted, there was a lot of talk on the boards about the appropriateness of certain mechanics to the art. Which piece seemed appropriate varied slightly from person to person.

This mirrors how top down design works in R&D. Each designer designs what he or she feels fits. But what makes sense to one designer doesn't always make sense to another. For the mechanics portion of the vote, I removed all the obvious disconnects but left some mechanics that had looser ties.


Remove target creature from the game and draw cards equal to its power. At the beginning of your next upkeep, return it to play and discard cards equal to its toughness.

Mechanic J, while a good mechanic, is not a perfect match for the art. But it is also not a complete disconnect. This is where the name becomes so important. The name has to tie the whole card together. It needs to capture a concept that explains the mechanic while also making sense of the art. Does this seem hard? Welcome to the world of top down design.

Each of you will be allowed to submit one name. Remember that it needs to sound like a white/blue instant, that the goal here is to unify the art and card concept, and be aware that this is something that will have to be able to actually fit on a Magic card. Submissions for this one will be accepted until the site updates Sunday night at midnight, and make sure to include your name and an email address we can contact you at in case your submission makes it. I hope you find this experience both educational and entertaining, and we'll be back once we've narrowed the choices down enough for the next vote.

Mark Rosewater

You Make the Card 3


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