You Make the Card 4 – Submit Rules Text

Posted in Making Magic on April 15, 2013

By Ethan Fleischer

Ethan Fleischer works for Magic R&D as a designer. He can sing, but not dance, and is an indifferent fencer. He lives near Seattle with his wife, three sons, and mother-in-law.

Greetings! Welcome back to You Make the Card, the process by which you, the members of the Magic-playing public, get to work together to design an actual Magic card, to be printed in an upcoming set. We've been making plenty of progress so far. We already know what card type our card is (enchantment), and we know what color it is (black).

Last time, you all voted decisively against making our card an Aura. This card will have a global effect while it's on the battlefield.

YMTC Vote #4: Aura or Global?
Global enchantment 40489 85.4%
Aura 6907 14.6%
Total 47396 100.0%

Now comes what I consider to be the most exciting part of You Make the Card. Those of you living in the United States and Canada (excluding Quebec) can now submit rules text to be considered for inclusion in our card. Here's how it will work:

First, you'll click through to the submission form. You'll need to read it and fill it out completely.

Your Card Concept

You'll create a Playtest Name. This is a brief description of what the card is supposed to represent in the Magic universe. This will allow you to communicate your intent with the card, as well as giving everyone a way to refer to the card. If the card is a "top-down" design, where you started with a concept and then tried to represent that concept mechanically in your rules text, be sure to describe that concept in the Playtest Name field. If your design started with interesting and unique lines of rules text that aren't particularly flavorful, that's fine; do your best to describe the card in the Playtest Name field. For instance, the playtest name of Tavern Swindler, a top-down design, was "Bookie." Cloudfin Raptor, however, was a more mechanical design, so it got the straightforward playtest name of "Evolving Bird," because it was a small creature with flying and evolve.

The rules text is the most exciting part to me. Write what the card's rules text should say here. We're looking for resonant top-down designs or interesting and unique mechanics here. Your design can have a narrow application or be as complicated if you like; this will probably be a rare card, so we don't have to worry about inexperienced players while making it. Make sure your design is appropriate to the color we're designing for. For a description of black's philosophy, read Mark Rosewater's article on the subject . He's the world's leading expert on the color pie, he can do black justice far better than I can. One rule that we stick to for enchantments: enchantments don't tap. I know we did it in Future Sight, but tapping and colorlessness are the two major ways we distinguish artifacts from enchantments. Also, don't use keywords from previous Magic sets on your card, unless they're evergreen keywords (ones we use in nearly every Magic set), as listed below:

  • deathtouch
  • defender
  • double strike
  • first strike
  • flash
  • flying
  • haste
  • hexproof
  • intimidate
  • landwalk
  • lifelink
  • protection
  • reach
  • trample
  • vigilance

It's important that you give us a valid email address so we can contact the creators of some of the best designs. We're not going to send you spam or give your email address to anyone. We might also want to conduct a brief email interview for a future You Make the Card article, if your submission is selected and you're interested in doing that.

Here's a pretty important rule: YOU MAY ONLY ENTER ONE SUBMISSION! Tens of thousands of people are participating in this project, so we can't accept multiple submissions from anyone. So think hard and put your best foot forward. We'll accept submissions until Thursday morning, April 18, at 12 a.m. Eastern (Wednesday, April 17, 9 p.m. Pacific).

It will take us time to sort out the best entries and contact their designers, so You Make the Card will be back in a few weeks. I can't wait to see what you all have to show us. I'm sure we'll end up with a unique and awesome card that will be fun to play with for years to come!

You can discuss You Make the Card on the forum of your choice, by clicking on the links to our forum and email below, or on Twitter via hashtag #ymtc.


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