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

YMTC - Black

So it all comes down to this.

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

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

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

You’re rushing things.

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

And again.

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

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

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

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

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

YMTC - Black
(Note: That link is this page’s address so it’s easier to share this page.)

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

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

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

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

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

Vote for “Global Enchantment.”

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

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

YMTC - Enchantment

And enchantments won that exciting runoff.

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

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

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

You Make the Card 4 – Round 2 (Run Off)

YMTC - Blank

Well, that happened.

26 votes? That’s a margin of error in almost any poll (Though electronic voting does make recounting so much easier). Because the voting was so close, WotC has decided that it’s going to do a run off between the top two card choices:

Enchantment vs. Land

Yes, they reran close voting in previous YMTC, so this was expected. I mentioned that it was possible that people were going to vote for a card type that hadn’t been done before (Creature, artifact and instant). This is really not a surprise. But some of you seem to think that we can “force” WotC to do whatever we want. That’s not the case with this contest. They are letting us create a card together. After we submit ideas, R&D are going to go through them and pick out 10 or so of the ideas they like. The ideas could be whatever the focus of the block is, a truly unique idea, or just something that’s really cool (Subjectively speaking). We get to choose an idea that WotC approves of.

Listen, I know that a good portion of you really like the idea of designing a land, but for this contest I think that choosing to go the land type is the wrong way to go. I can guess what a majority of the land designs are going to be:

  • A Strip Mine or a Dust Bowl effect.
  • A fetchland (ala Polluted Delta).
  • A “Man-Land” (ala Mishra’s Factory).
  • Something that taps for more than one mana.
  • Something that taps for every color of mana.

None of those choices are sexy. You really want the card that the community makes to be a utility land? How exciting. Yawn.

I’m telling you again: don’t vote for land. And here’s why. Continue reading “You Make the Card 4 – Round 2 (Run Off)”

You Make the Card 4 – Round 1 (Card Type) Discussion

YMTC - Blank

So, Great Designer Search 2 Winner Ethan Fleischer announced that WotC is doing another “You Make the Card” contest. I’m excited, and you should be excited as well. If you missed the first three (And you might have since the last one was Coldsnap, around the last time we were in Ravnica), it goes something like this:

Each round the public votes on something that R&D gives us. Slowly, over the course over a year or so, we get to make decisions through voting that will make a real card. From type of card, to name, to art to what the card actually does. Now, R&D has to test the card, so we can’t just get something very powerful for very little cost or get a card that will break the Color Pie (Like a Black Disenchant or Red life gain). The card goes through any process like any other card that WotC would print. It might seem slow, but when you’re holding the card in your hand after you’ve opened it, it’s actually a pretty cool feeling.

Ethan’s announced the first decision, and I’m sure that some of you have voted. If you haven’t, I would like to talk to you about the options that you have and maybe nudge you in a direction. I don’t expect everyone to agree with I’ll say, but hopefully it’s enough to get you thinking and not throw away your vote. Here are your options:

  • Artifact
  • Creature
  • Enchantment
  • Instant/Sorcery
  • Land

No Planeswalker (Way too many issues for a YMTC and it would most likely be another Jace), and no Tribal (Most likely not about to see print). Just the basic card types Magic introduced. Let’s get to it.  Continue reading “You Make the Card 4 – Round 1 (Card Type) Discussion”

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