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CardName: Introducing new Wording Cost: 3U Type: Game Design - New Rules Pow/Tgh: / Rules Text: Wizards has taught us new words before: - "remove from the game" became "exile" - "creature is put into a graveyard from the battlefield" became "creature dies" What other new vocabulary/templating are you interested in? Flavour Text: Set/Rarity: Conversation Uncommon

Introducing new Wording
Game Design – New Rules
Wizards has taught us new words before:

- "remove from the game" became "exile"
- "creature is put into a graveyard from the battlefield" became "creature dies"

What other new vocabulary/templating are you interested in?
Updated on 29 Aug 2021 by SecretInfiltrator

History: [-]

2017-03-21 12:57:37: SecretInfiltrator created and commented on the card Introducing new Wording

I personally am using "bury" for "put into its owner's graveyard".

I have seen suggestions to create a definition for "kill" or "win a fight".

Tahazzar suggests:

"What do you think about removing 'then shuffle your library / then that player shuffles his or her library' from various cards and instead adding the reminder text at the end (and changing the rules):

(Whenever a library is searched, its owner’s shuffles it afterwards.)

It's fine right? And kinda obvious too."

I think the idea has some merit, but there are plenty of cards to consider that would interact with this change - especially those which interact with the timing of shuffling the library.

My personal philosophy is to minimize the use of tutoring effects in the first place since they create a loading screen of shuffling (whether it is part of the rules text or reminder text).

What do you think about the above suggestions? Do you have any suggestions?

Who am I kidding? Just tell us what you would call milling! But what other ideas do you have? ;)

I'd like to suggest opposing/opposed to denote "blocking or blocked".


  • Destroy target opposing creature.

  • When this creature becomes opposed, draw a card.

  • Each opposing creature you control gets +2/+2 until end of turn.

Good question.

I agree with wizards to be very careful, and only add words when they usually make things simpler (even for new players).

I am considering a word like "win" or "survive" for fight, or other similar mechanics, probably templated as "isn't dealt lethal damage" (and the other is). It could also be "if it doesn't die this turn", but that adds a delayed trigger. But it might still be too fiddly.

I'd like a keyword for mill, but wizards sound persuasive that there's no word they like and it usually wouldn't save much text.

Auto-shuffling sounds like a good idea.

Huh. "Bury" is interesting (although confusing for people who remember the old magic meaning). It's true, that's fairly intuitive, and a common phrase which could do with being shorter. It nicely parallels "exile". In fact, I wonder if in the long term wizards would even consider changing "graveyard" to "buried zone" to reduce the number of words. Or I guess you could verb "graveyard" instead. And it would template half of mill, which would help without templating the whole thing.

2017-03-22 01:38:14: Circeus edited Introducing new Wording

I've only been playing since ROE, and even I can't help but read bury as destroy without regeneration. Simply knowing it exists is confusing. Plus there are cards printed with that text, which hurts its chances.

I know MaRo has pushed unsuccessfully to have search include shuffle automatically. He mentioned it recently on his blog.

"Win,""survive," or any other intuitive word for the outcome of a creature fighting and not dying would be ideal. I lean towards "survive," since that seems the simplest to understand.

The problem with 'searching automatically comes with shuffling' is that it isn't intuitive. At least it isn't intuitive with everyone. I'm sure some players, who didn't read 'and now shuffle the cards' would just put the library back down and keep playing. Others might only shuffle the part of the deck they picked up.

Not everything needs to be spelled out on the card, but if this was relegated to the rulebook, it would just be a corner case. You know... like tapped creatures don't deal damage when blocking (which existed in pre-Sixth Edition rules.) You either knew it or you didn't. And you wouldn't want people walking into an FNM not knowing that they need to shuffle.

(For what it's worth, I really wish we could get rid of it too. I think the best chance we have to get rid of 'then shuffle your library' would be if we came up with a different word for 'search'. Something like "Probe your library for a Forest." By using 'Probe' we tell players that something is going on that's different than normal English syntax, and maybe they should look in a rulebook to see what that is.)

Personally speaking, I'd like to get rid of the word 'Return'. "Return target creature to its owner's hand", "Return target creature from the graveyard to the battlefield", "Return target exiled card to the top of a player's library" Etc, etc. You can't return something that never was someplace. Let's "Unmake target creature to its owner's hand" and "Resurrect target creature to the battlefield". Maybe there's a word for putting stuff ontop of the library... but it doesn't happen too often, so maybe not. Either way, things can be 'put' there. We don't need to 'return' them.

Personally, I'd like to replace "combat" with "fight". And yes; the corresponding rules change of having combat effects such as first strike work with other fights.

Bury is old old terminology. If you need to change "destroy" to something else; why not use "dies" again? "Target creature dies."

Auto-shuffle makes more words for the odd cases where you don't shuffle; and also needs complicated spelling out to allow you to not do pointless shuffles when, e.g. performing two searches. But yes, it so totally should have been done years ago.

"Attacks and is not blocked" could do with simplifying too. "Is unblocked" should cover it, but that currently also counts things like "isn't even your turn".

More use of while/until too.

I thought the point with auto-shuffle, at least as Tahazzar suggested, is that commons and uncommons would include "shuffle" as reminder text, but it could be left off on very wordy cards, when people are expected to know.

I agree, it would be bad to just expect everyone to know by word of mouth. (I feel like I would -- if it meant "search and then stack your library however you like" it would cost more, but that doesn't have to be obvious to most people.)

I'm not sure exactly how it would be written or if there would be awkward edge cases. I imaged something like, after you search your library[1], shuffle it. One or more shuffles are combined and/or moved to the end of the resolution of an ability if the order of cards doesn't matter inbetween.

[1] Or part of your library, thank you, Aven Mindcensor :)

The edge cases that occur to me are things like "cards that care if you shuffle once or twice". But I feel like if those cards have some small functional changes, that's ok, they're quite niche anyway.

Are there other edge cases that would be difficult?

Not sure about "return". I find it intuitive, that it's putting the card into a zone it usually was before. Which is simpler in my head than "put" where it might go from any zone to any zone. But you may well be right that overall using "put" would be simpler.

In fact, I notice several of these comments are about not having a word for putting a card into a specific zone: only "exile" works well like that. But I can't think of a good general answer.

Yes, my intent was that commons and uncommons (also rares where it fitted nicely) would have the reminder text.

You guys keep mentioning these weird hypothetical corner cases where you would search two times at one effect or whatever, but do they actually exist? I don't currently have the time, but I think this gatherer search includes most of the affected cards.

(copy the whole url as it contains those characters that break the syntax of this site)

Edit: Link fixed by Alex.

I just thought of an odd one that I recall from one of the Lord of the Rings CCGs: spot. Spotting something means to just point out that it exists e. g. an activated ability with metalcraft could be written as:

> {t}, Spot three artifacts you control: Tap target creature.

It seems inane, but I'm currently thinking about ways to shorten the text of cards like Draconic Roar...

I feel like I'm not there yet, but I want this. ^^

@Vitenka: "Bury is old old terminology. If you need to change "destroy" to something else; why not use "dies" again? "Target creature dies.""

Because I wouldn't use it for destruction effects. I wouldn't use the wording to circumvent indestructible, but for any card that "is put into the graveyard from anywhere" or from a zone other than the battlefield.

Typical uses:

  • Target player buries the top six cards of their library.
  • Whenever a permanent you control is buried, do something. (notice that you cannot use "dies" since this includes noncreature permanents)

Note that those of you who only remember the way "bury" was errata'd on most cards forget that bury could also mean something different: Call of the Wild.

It's literally been functional errata to change the meaning of bury to what you know today; I'm literally using the original definition of the phrase over this changed version.

@jmgariepy: I could some phrases be replaced, and resurrect/raise or undo/unmake/rescind are often number one candidates, but if you still have to name the target zone separately (e. g. "Unmake target creature to its owner's hand.") you lose a lot of the appeal of creatiing a keyword action and also get really ugly sounding sentences.

2017-03-22 10:52:05: SecretInfiltrator edited Introducing new Wording

Eh; "Cannot be regenerated" stopped mattering a long while ago now. I don't like the idea of one-upping indestructible; it just begs "unburiable" to come into being.

I do kinda like the idea of using it for mill, though.

I'm certain that I would replace "milling" with something, but I was juggling with either the "bury" or "destroy" (or something else)

However the Call of the Wild example showing what bury used to mean does solidly put me back in the "bury" camp since returning a retired keyword that way is just too handy (and cool). It now even makes the old cards have more sense in a way to new players.

I also though the flavor of "buries the top X cards" is a bit iffy, but "flavored after the destination rather than the origin" explanation does make sense...

Also related to milling somewhat, can we just start using "they" instead of "he or she" - ie.

> "Target player buries the top five cards of their library."

Is there really any reason not to?

for comparison

> "Target player puts the top five cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard."

As for "spot", I would have to be more convinced as in how of a much benefit it provides vs the hurdle of introducing new terminology. Like, for Draconic Roar idk if "spot" does convey that you have to reveal the card rather than just "acknowledge" it. I would mentally connect the idea of "spotting" to scouting/spying and that would indicate that you would specifically not reveal the spotted cards to your opponents but rather just look at them.

I personally don't care that much about the minor inconvenience of "return." Adding a bunch of terms that all basically mean the same thing (so nothing in a sense) seems very inane solution.

Replacing "search your library for a type card, then shuffle" is okay I guess, but the main problem is finding the proper intuitive term for it. "Tutor" is too much of a magic slang term while "prope"... Idk, I mean, Gitaxian Probe doesn't tutor for anything and you usually would "probe" for yourself so... yeah, no, I'm not feeling it.

Hm. I think this would be too confusing, but one could repurpose "discard" to mean "put into the graveyard from anywhere", not just hand. Some people already find that more natural. You'd have to add "from your/their hand" to existing uses of discard. But you could have "discard the top three cards of your library" and "whenever a permanent is discarded from play". Even "discard zone" instead of graveyard.

Good question about Draconic Roar, but I think the problem is more with finding a concise syntax for specifying optional extra costs on sorceries, than finding a syntax for "if you control". (You could allow conditional in costs, "If you control blah, {t}: do foo" )

re: tutor

The issue with "tutor" is that you use it in Magic slang as "I tutor for something" but it actually means "teach, instruct" in plain english, so the spells are actually your teachers/lessons. The verb to search for a card should have a plain english meaning of "learn", "discover" or "research".

The last two fit more naturally into existing templating:

Discover a creature card. (Shuffle your library afterwards.)

"Research" is probably better since it already includes "search" and as such etymologically related - an intuitive step for most, I imagine.

Discard and sacrifice are already hard to tell apart for new players, as in they forget if discard means from hand or battlefield. However, the point of new terminology like dies is to make the game more flavorful; discard is as mechanical as you get.

@Jack_V: Okay, but you did kinda counter your own proposal. Why would add "from their hand" to discard spells when you could use bury instead which has the additional usage for noncreature permanents as "when this is buried"?

@SecretInfiltrator: Yeah, that's pretty much what I said about "tutor."

About the "shuffle your library afterwards" as "reminder" text:

Okay, so I was wrong about "not having the time right now." I went through those 517 cards with shuffle in them and I would say around 98 % just clearly state "then shuffle your library" or something similar at the very end of the card effect/text.

Cards that tutor on top of library need to stated a bit differently (ala Treefolk Harbinger - also similar change to Lost Legacy):

> ... you may search your library for a card, reveal it, then put that card on top of your library after shuffling it. (Whenever a library is searched, its owner’s shuffles it afterwards.)

There are couple of cards (exactly 3 if I'm correct), where the designers kinda were being (a bit too) clever, that actually might need to have their functionally changed in a very minor ways: Signal the Clans, Grim Reminder, and Phyrexian Portal. If "put on top/bottom, then shuffle" would ever differ in some way from "shuffle into your library". Or maybe they could be somehow stated as "shuffle those cards into your library when you shuffle your library" or something like that.

> SecretInfiltrator:

> My personal philosophy is to minimize the use of tutoring effects in the first place since they create a loading screen of shuffling (whether it is part of the rules text or reminder text).

This is something I would incline towards with the addition of "shuffle afterwords reminder" text. Ie. Celestial Horizon.

Research: So green would now "research a land card"? Eh. How about "call", "summon"? ... I've to think about this.

"the point of new terminology like dies is to make the game more flavorful"

I'm not actually sure; I agree that's a bonus, but I think it might be a side effect of making the game clearer

"Why would add "from their hand" to discard spells when you could use bury instead which has the additional usage for noncreature permanents as "when this is buried"?"

Well, I'm not sure that's a good way to go, but (a.) if you explicitly say 'from your hand' it means beginners don't think it means from the battlefield (b.) with this terminology, cards in the battlefield could say "when this is discarded" or "when this is discarded from the battlefield" (c.) if you use discard for 'put into graveyard from anywhere' you can absorb the existing use of discard from hand, and not need two separate words to learn.

Huh. I'm not sure if I'm repeating someone else's idea (possibly in this thread. Something got me on it while reading the posts, and I can't figure out what.) But I'm not sure why Wizards hasn't simplified "Then shuffle your library" to just "Shuffle." If it's assumed that whenever a player shuffles, they always shuffle their library, then we can cut three words.

For example:

Rampant Growth
Search your library for a basic land and put it on the battlefield tapped. Shuffle.

Hmm. It sounded much better in my head. Maybe you still need the word 'Then'. But yeah... 'Then shuffle' should suffice. And if people think they're supposed to do a dance move -- all the better.

Lots of people informally use "their" instead of "his or her". I don't know if that would be better or not.

Honestly, it seems like a matter of time until Wizards adopts that wording officially. With gender-aware inclusive characters (both transgender and gender-neutral) in short succession they show that they care - and if they can have a race of gender-neutral beings they are bound to consider the language they use on their cards as well.

I personally used the gender-neutral pronoun in my files to save five keystrokes during my most tired design crunch sessions and reverted to the "official" wording for publicized material, but then I realized that "official" wording has become something I tampered with more regularly and used the short inclusive form.

I hope so. I've been very pleased by wizards efforts to become more inclusive. I agree why it would make sense for them to change the templating.

But I'm not completely sure: magic is still fighting against a stereotype of "you might like it if you're male, you won't if you're female", and removing 'she' might go against that. And there's still lots of people who will just think singular they is wrong, when it doesn't come with an explanation why it's written that way.

I've explicitly called out their inclusivity argument before, and the viewpoint is that it's more important to be inclusive to women than non-binary people. Inclusivity to one group requires excluding another. My previous argument for why wizards doesn't use "they" was invalidated by the aetherborn, so my stance is that wizards is explicitly trans exclusionary.

Well, following that line of thought would digress from the topic of this thread, so I just pre-emptively suggest to take it to a new card - we left the realm of game design and rules. There is nothing there preventing it.

I've shifted to singular they/their in design since I became of aware of the push for singular gender-neutral pronouns in English.

I think I remember seeing someone bring up the question years ago on Blogatog, but I think MaRo's response was something about translation confusion.

@Sorrow, @Dude, actually, the last time I saw the point brought they invoked following the Chicago Manual of Style (which I found especially poor an excuse, to be honest).

Translators ALREADY have to deal with a bunch of card names that require gendering anyway, pronouns would BARELY be an issue.

Agree with 'they/their'. That said, I'm happy Wizards hasn't tried to cut 'he or she' down to just 'she', like some authors do. I'm listening to a Great Courses lecture right now on novel writing, and the lecturer insists on it. I'm all for doing it once or twice to maybe make a point. But constantly using 'she' as a pronoun to represent an audience is incredibly jarring. It's loading a sentence with an argument about gender inequality every time you use a pronoun.

CMOS prohibits aetherborn. That's the old argument I mentioned. Plus, that's even worse, since CMOS didn't make singular they against the rules until 1998, so it chose to regress.

This post on reddit made me consider using "strain" as an action word for putting -1/-1 counters.

Rough examples:

> "Strain ~: Draw a card, then discard a card. (To strain a creature, put a -1/-1 counter on it.)"

> "~ enters the battlefield strained three times. (A strained creature has a -1/-1 counter on it.)"

> "Strain target creature two times. (Put two -1/-1 counters on it.)"

Now, I'm not sure whether this would be only a set's mechanic/theme (more along the lines of support/exhaust in that it would be more specific) or an "evergreen" wording.

Most sets aren't allowed -1/-1 counters, so that's not even a question.

Sets usually have to decide between using either +1/+1 or -1/-1 counters, so that they don't get mixed up, with + counters being generally the easier to design for.

However, I don't really see how that's particularly relevant to whether or not to give "withering" its own keyword action term. IMO it feels like it could be ambiguous enough (like scry) that it would be usable for most cards regardless of their flavor.

If there's a cap on the number of mechanics in a set, then giving a name to any act that puts one of more -1/-1 counters on a creature sounds like it eats up unnecessary space. Combined with the fact that -1/-1 counters show up much more infrequently than +1/+1 counters (7 years between Amonkhet block and Scars of Mirrodin block?), it's unlikely to be seen that often. Since the -1/-1 counters are likely represented physically, and strain would only care about them being generated, I don't think there's much benefit to introducing a word when -1/-1 counters already provide enough set-up (Destroy target creature that has a -1/-1 counter on it vs. Destroy target strained creature).

I think it's the problem of Devoid, adding a name to something that didn't need a name.

Sorry, my point was "evergreen or set mechanic?" wasn't a useful question. It would have to be a set mechanic. It could be an interesting one, sort of like some of the Amonkhet cards actually.

What do you guys think about

> "Produce {r}."
> "Produce mana of any color."

instead of

> "Add {r} to your mana pool."
> "Add one mana of any color to your mana pool."


Is currently used in "Hus Werny 火山" set.

It causes issues because A) the word is already in use. (E.g. Zendikar Resurgent), Myr Superion, Mana Reflection.) and B) you can't have a permanent/ability do the same thing as a player, game terms are segregated in that way.

Doh. I totally forgot about produce in that context.

I guess "~ produces {r}" could work, right? Eh, idk if that's much shorter or more helpful.


> "{t}: Elvish Mystic produces {g}."
> "{t}: Add {g} to your mana pool."

Yeah, seems about the same length :/

How about something like "generate {r}"?

Could "gain" or just "get" work for mana? Like life or poison counters, just something you have, without a separate mana pool to have them in?

> "Add {e} to your energy pool."
> "You get {r}."

I like it.


Maybe now it could also have some kind of reminder text (in commons or so) for noobies.
Such as:

> "You get {r}. (It empties at next step or phase.)"

> ... "If unused, it dissipates at next step or phase."?

Maybe there is some way to avoid using the phrase "step or phase" and still convey the idea clearly enough?

Well, it'd ruin my fun of "Add {r} to your hand". But yeah, since mana cannot go anywhere else, and you don't even need to draw it then apply it later, yeah, ditch it completely.

Huh. Yeah, I forgot this was basically the wording energy used. Since energy and mana are basically mechanically the same, except mana costs have a special place on cards, I don't see why it wouldn't work.

I don't think "mana pool" makes it more obvious that it empties, so reminder text might or might not be useful, but I don't see why it's any different to the current "add to your mana pool" wording which doesn't have any reminders about emptying. (I think most beginners expect to produce mana in the process of spending it, and don't think about floating it at all.)

For anyone interested about the "you get mana" idea, I posted a thread on MTG Salvation to get more input on it.

Time to add to the ideas:

Two new "ownership attributes" to be used in card text: "allied" and "enemy".

Anything controlled by you or a teammate is "allied"; anything that doesn't have a controller and is owned by you or a teammate is "allied".

Anything controlled by an opponent is "enemy"; anything that doesn't have a controller and is owned by an opponent is "enemy".

> Sucker Punch {r}{g}
Put a +1/+1 counter on target allied creature. It deals damage equal to its power to target enemy creature.

A non-obvious benefit of this is multiplayer friendly wording in Standard legal sets e. g. wouldn't it be neat if Zealous Persecution buffed "allied" creatures? Currently any wording that would achieve the same would sound like the card was specifically worded with something beyond single player in mind.

i'm 100% in

Yes; that would often be helpful shortening, and also quite clear.

I worry ally and enemy is confusing considering that the color pie also uses that terminology

I really wish that the terminology for mana had become as such:

­{t}:Produce {g}.

I really dislike "add."

I have been using "arrives" as shorthand for "enters the battlefield."

What's wrong with Add?

that shorthand sounds litty af

I guess because when adding you think 'add to what?'

I don't see what was wrong with good old "{t}:{g}"

that sounds beautifully simplistic vitenka

would it be fair to say it would also kinda rock to have {t}: +1/+0 UEOT for firebreathing?

I would also like them to keyword Ping, Bolt, Shock, Drain and Mill, etc

That's the old wording from revised edition. E.g.

Bolt might be doable, buit is a bit niche. Mill they are strongly on the fence - because while it's evocative to long-time players; it makes no sense at all to new ones. Because seirously, Millstone makes a noise which drives you crazy and so you discard cards. Obviously!

Yeah, it's pretty unintuitive i suppose. At some point is it fair to say, just learn these words? maybe not. I never had struggle learning magic, but i guess not everyone is like the great and wonderful froggo, so i shouldn't be arguing for having more newbie complexity

I dally with the idea to make the wording for counters consistent across objects.

Currently players "get" (Daxos the Returned) and "lose" (Leeches) counters, while for creatures it is "put onto" or "removed".

Would it be so bad to word Fretwork Colony's upkeep trigger ability as:

> At the beginning of your upkeep, ~ gets a +1/+1 counter and you lose 1 life.

? Suddenly that's consistent with players. You could go one further and use "gain" over get, but that's me just wanting to unify "gain 1 life", "gain {g}" and "gain an experience counter".

The only on that sounds weird to me is "creature gains +1/+1", but still less weird than "{t}: Add {g}." and that's currently a thing.

It would be nice for one simple word to be used for every sort of resource, but that also makes it harder to understand what actually is doing what... so maybe kinda dangerousse

Not liking "add" is just personal preference, I suppose. It didn't please me aesthetically. Produce just sounds better to me personally.

Is "litty af" a good thing or a bad thing? Young people slang is my third language.

I'd say "litty af" either means disparagingly "like idots talk, thank you Aaron Forsythe-bama" or "very much lit" with "lit" being usually positive. Your choice.

Oh, I've heard "lit" before. Okay.

I realized why I don't like "add {r}."

What are you adding it to? The verb is generally "Add ___ to {place.} Without "to" it feels unnatural.

"Produce" does not have this problem.

Yep, that's the same complaint we all raised when they announced the change

anyone else think wizards should add a definition for winning fights? It would be a very cool design concept with new space. i'd like to see it in abzan (though right now only green gets actual fighting, champions are quite w/g/b and black just loves to win), but i could see it rarely in red, probably not in blue. I've been using it as this: Kills the other creature and survives.

i dont have a problem wit the change, it may be a bit unasthetique, but to me its so simple i cant see it not being gorgeous. probs my minimalism

The thing is your "definition" contains another word that is not defined in the rules either "kill" in addition to "survive" which at least is a reminder text concept but not to my knowledge well-defined either.

The main reason I don't care much about "winning" a fight is that the difference between having something happen as a result of winning a fight or just after the fight can be minimal. And it's terminology that only goes onto a subset of a subset of cards.

That's not saying it can't be done, but it changes so little.

"Fights and does not die but the other guy does" is pretty bnasty wording, yet a very natural concept.

Still, I guess not very many cards would use it. Maybe some gladitorial-focussed set woudl want to keyword it?

precisely the location i was visualizing yes

i just feel like the idea of fighting is so huge, that to me, it should be appear in all colors... I know that red and green get it, because they just love that stuff, but fighting in white and black would also make sense to me, especially per card's flavor...

as for survive and kill those would also need to be worded, but they would definitely open even more space: survive would be very white black and green, kill would be quite red and black i'd say.

so i just think it;s really neat, if a bit of a out-there idea

So, I want to shorten and generalize some wording as it appears e. g. on Assault Suit and Norn's Annex. Since custom cards include permanents that can be attacked that aren't planeswalkers it is preferable to only refer to "permanents you control", but I want to generalize even more.

In a format I'm developing and at least one I already played attacks can be directed at certain new zones or "virtual allies" that are similar to planeswalkers, but not represented by permanents e. g. the treasury or a pet monster.

I want to introduce a phrasing meaning "can't attack if you are the defending player", but sounding technical. I'm currently going with "can't attack your side of the battlefield", but wouldn't mind hearing different ideas.

What about "X can't attack its owner."

Heres an idea i jist came up with. What about "enters" instead of "Enters the battlefield"

I've been using "arrives," Lost Fblthp, but "enters" could make sense for Wizards, considering the wayb they truncated producing mana.

> What about "X can't attack its owner."

What about it? The question I ask does not care at all about creatures attacking their owner. Also an owner is a player, so attacking planeswalkers is not covered by that wording...

I do like their change of "remove from the game" to "exile"; it is much better. The object isn't removed from the game; it can still be found. (Actually, objects in the sideboard are also part of the game in a sense, they just aren't in any zone.)

I use "dies" for any permanent, not only creatures. (The rules already support this, although this is not done on official cards.)

Another thing I use in some custom cards is "damageable", which means a creature, planeswalker, or player. "Any target" means the same as "target damageable" (I dislike the wording "any target"), and the AST is considered the same. (AST-based text-changing effects is another one of my ideas.)

One idea I had is "lose priority" as a cost. This cost can only be paid if you would be the next player to have priority, and it would occur during the current step of the turn. If you do this, then next time you get priority, you must pass priority; no other actions are valid (other than conceding).

I dislike the rule that specifies which counters are ability counters, and would rather explicitly specify in the cards, to be more general.

I would also like to have some term to mean "whatever object was the source of the effect that created this object, made it a copy of something, or granted it this ability or this text". This may help with writing some kind of effects.

I am not sure that auto-shuffling is a good idea, but if it was added, it should perhaps be a state-based action; this makes the timing much less confusing.

on 12 Jul 2021 by Visitor:

Messing with Forge, several phrases I use.

  • "enters", without "the battlefield"
  • "field" instead of "battlefield"
  • "freeze" to replace "tap and doesn't untap next upkeep"
  • "defeats" for "a creature dies and was damaged by this creature this turn"
  • "dig" instead of "look at top N cards of your library"
  • "tuck" for "put it on the bottom of its owner's library"
  • "withdraw" for "return from field to hand"

  • whole bunch of evergreen keywords (my project to provide all color pairs with balanced evergreen keywords. Each color pair gets 3 positive and 1 negative evergreen keyword)

"Field" instead of "battlefield" seem good to me; not all permanents will be engaged in combat, anyways.

on 31 Jul 2021 by Visitor:

SecretInfiltrator said: > {t}, Spot three artifacts you control: Tap target creature.

Common Activated Abilities requirements could be put in the cost part, before the colon :

Metalcraft -- Control three artifacts: ~some effect~

Threshold -- Have seven cards in your graveyard: ~some effect~

Including a new keyword "Sorcerous", to denote an ability only activated as sorcery.

­{t}, Sorcerous: ~some effect~

I definitely agree with the spirit behind that last idea ("Sorcerous"), but I think you don't need the extra vocab word:

­{t} as a sorcery: ~some effect~

Yep, though I put it before the ability the way forecast/boast are :

Sorcerous – {3}{b}, {t}: Target player discards a card.

I think it is important to keep the timing restriction and the cost restriction apart.

In do-over world you could literally make activated abilities instants and sorceries that way.

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