Hey. I'm actively making cards, and I have lots of ideas in progress. Some of these ideas don't have the best wording. So, I would like to ask for help in clarifying them. I'll go card by card. So, here we go...

Card Idea 1: Gouged Earth
Cost: N/A
Land

Rules text: Gouged Earth counts as a Forest. (It can be tapped for {g}.)
You may sacrifice a green enchantment as you play Gouged Earth. If you do, put it onto the battlefield instead. (It does not count as a land played this turn.)
{t}, {1}{g}{g}, Sacrifice Gouged Earth: Put a green enchantment and a Forest from your hand onto the battlefield.

Rulings 1: Putting Gouged Earth onto the battlefield means that it does not count against your one-land-per-turn limit. So you could play Gouged Earth (along with sacrificing a green enchantment) before or after your normal land play that turn. However, because putting Gouged Earth onto the battlefield via its own effect is treated as a replacement for the action of playing a land, you're still only allowed to do so when you could normally play a land (i.e. during your main phase), and if you play it without sacrificing a green enchantment, it does count as your land played for that turn (i.e. you can't play another land). I'd have loved to leave it at that, but there are other cards that stretch the one-land-per-turn limit. When I say this, I'm not talking about cards such as Harrow that put lands on the battlefield as part of resolving an effect, because that circumvents the one-land-per-turn rule entirely. I'm talking about cards such as Fastbond that straight-up, flat-out modify the rule that you can only play one land per turn. Gouged Earth is more like Harrow than Fastbond; it doesn't modify the one-land-per-turn limit, it circumvents it. For instance, Fastbond lets you play as many lands as you want, but each land after the first (for a given turn) requires you to pay 1 life to play it. If you sacrifice a green enchantment while playing Gouged Earth, it doesn't count towards that. If it was the first land you played on that turn, the next land doesn't cost you any life. If it's not the first land, it doesn't cost you any life. ...I hope you see where I'm going with this, because I'm just rambling at this point.
Rulings 2: Gouged Earth's special tap action (the one with the cost "T, 1GG, Sacrifice Gouged Earth") puts the Forest and green enchantment on the battlefield as its effect. The Forest does not count as your land played that turn (circumventing the one-land-per-turn limit, like Harrow) and you don't have to pay the mana cost (or any other costs) of the green enchantment. In fact, you can't play any costs of the green enchantment, even if you want to (so, for instance, you can't kick a green enchantment you play this way).
Rulings 3: Gouged Earth's special tap action requires you to put both a Forest and a green enchantment onto the battlefield. If you can only put one or the other onto the battlefield (such as having no Forests in hand), you can't use the ability at all.
Rulings 4: Because Gouged Earth counts as a Forest, you can use Gouged Earth's special tap action to put another Gouged Earth onto the battlefield, as long as you have a green enchantment to put onto the battlefield along with it.

Notes: Gouged Earth gets away with being a special Forest with no drawbacks by not actually being any better than a basic Forest at providing its owner with mana.

The problem: The rules text could probably be a little clearer and more concise.

Card Idea 2: Power Lock
Cost: 2
Instant

Rules text: Put X +1/+1 or -1/-1 counters on target creature whose power and toughness have been temporarily changed, where X is the greater modification to power or toughness.

The problem: I am... not confident in how I worded this card. At all. Basically, the idea behind it is to make a temporary boost or penalty to power and toughness (such as Giant Growth, prowess, Aerial Maneuver, exalted, Ampryn Tactician, or Ana Sanctuary) permanent by immediately ending the boost effect and replacing it with the appropriate type of counters. For instance, Giant Growth gives the target creature +3/+3 until end of turn. Following it up with Power Lock would cause Giant Growth's effect to wear off as though the turn had ended, and replace the effect with 3 +1/+1 counters - therefore changing the temporary power boost into a permanent one. Also, a temporary boost is one that ends at some specified point, such as the end of the current turn - which means that boosts granted by static abilities (such as Angel of Jubilation, Chief of the Foundry, Cream the Rabbit, or most Equipment) don't count (even though such boosts go away when the permanent granting them does). Power Lock also doesn't cause temporarily-gained keywords and abilities to become permanent, only changes to power and toughness. I really don't know how to write the rules text to make how the card's supposed to work clear.
«1

• I'll take Gouged Earth for now.

The biggest problem with it - and someone correct me if I'm wrong - is that playing a land doesn't use the stack. As such, playing a land and putting it on the battlefield is one indivisible action and sacrificing an enchantment accomplishes nothing because it's already on the battlefield.

A couple of alternatives:

- "When GE enters the battlefield, you may sacrifice a green enchantment. If you do, you may play an additional land this turn."

- I'm not sure exactly how to word this but you could reveal GE from your hand and sacrifice an enchantment, then put GE on the battlefield. There would need to be a cost or trigger for that action of revealing though.
• edited June 2016
Thanks. The idea is that sacrificing the green enchantment is the cost.

Another idea I've started kicking around is a card representing Kirby. Yes, that Kirby. However, I'm not sure what to do with him. I think the most appropriate color for him would be either red or red-white, as he's known for being impulsive (to the point of accidentally causing catastrophes), gluttonous, and eager to help people (as shown in Kirby 64 and Kirby's Return to Dream Land). As far as abilities go, he would have to have flying, and I want to give him an activated ability representing his ability to inhale his enemies, swallow them whole, and copy their powers. So, basically, he could destroy a target creature and convert it into an enchantment that would be attached to himself, enabling him to use that creature's abilities. But I'm really not sure how to write that to be both easy to understand and not horribly broken, nor do I know what the appropriate cost would be (it would have to involve tapping Kirby, but after that, I'm not sure). My main idea for balance is an upper limit to the toughness of a creature that could be affected by the ability (it's not like he can inhale bosses, after all) and only allowing Kirby to attach one creature to himself at a time. I also don't know what Kirby's power, toughness, mana cost, or creature type should be.
• In that case I think you could simply say

"Sacrifice a green enchantment: Put GE from your hand onto the battlefield."
• That's better, but I want the ability to only be usable when a land could normally be played, e.g. during the main phase. So perhaps "activate this ability only as a sorcery" should be added.
• "Sacrifice a green enchantment: Put GE from your hand onto the battlefield. Activate this ability only any time you could cast a sorcery."
• edited June 2016
That's what I figured I should do. Gouged Earth is now online!

So, any ideas on Power Lock or Kirby?
• edited July 2016
Hey. I'm currently designing a card that's going to require you to tap a creature you control as an additional cost (as well as an overload cost which replaces that cost with sacrificing a creature you control instead, though the creature you sacrifice still has to be untapped because flavor reasons... basically, the card represents one of your creatures distracting the enemy's creature(s) so the rest of your creatures can attack unimpeded). Now, my question is, do I have to spell out in the text that the cost is tapping/sacrificing a creature you control, or does the tap/sacrifice being a cost rather than an effect automatically imply that you have to control the creature being tapped or sacrificed?

...Actually, here's the card in question:

Card Idea 3: Valiant Distraction
Cost: 1W
Type: Instant
Rarity: Uncommon

Rules text: If you did not cast Valiant Distraction for its overload cost, then as an additional cost to play Valiant Distraction, tap a creature you control.

Target creature you don't control cannot block until end of turn.

Overload - 2WW, Sacrifice an untapped creature you control. (You may cast this spell for its overload cost. If you do, change its text by replacing all instances of 'target' with 'each'.)

Also, I'm currently designing a card that's based on a wacky homebrew Dungeons & Dragons spell. Basically, it's a variant counterspell that, rather than nullifying a spell outright, makes it go awry and do something completely different from what its caster intended. Here it is:

Card Idea 4: Misspell
Cost: U(U/R)
Type: Instant
Rarity: Uncommon

Rules text: Counter target instant or sorcery spell and shuffle it into its owner's library. Then that spell's controller exiles cards from the top of his or her library until he or she would exile an instant or sorcery with a converted mana cost equal to or lower than that of the countered spell's, and casts that spell without paying its mana cost. Once a spell is cast in this way or the countered spell's controller exiles his or her entire library, all cards exiled by this spell are shuffled into their owner's library.

Rulings 1: The spell is worded the way it is to avoid game-breaking results. For instance, it is rare, but possible, for a player to cast a spell they do not own, but a card cannot be put in any library but its owner's. So the countered spell goes into its owner's library to avoid getting lost with another player.
Rulings 2: The card-exiling effect works like the cascade keyword.
Rulings 3: The "exiles the entire library" clause is there to make sure that the cards this spell exiles get returned to their owner's library, even in the unlikely event that the opponent has no instant or sorcery cards in their library that have a converted mana cost equal to or lower than the card this spell countered.
Rulings 4: If the countered spell's controller exiles his or her entire library without finding an instant or sorcery spell with a converted mana cost equal to or lower than the countered spell's, that player does not get to cast anything via this spell's effect. Their original spell is simply countered without being replaced.
Rulings 5: Because the countered spell gets shuffled into its owner's library before cards begin being exiled from its controller's library, and Misspell can only counter an instant or a sorcery, it's only possible for the countered spell's controller to fail to find an instant or sorcery spell with a converted mana cost equal to or lower than the countered spell if he/she doesn't own the countered spell. If the countered spell's controller does own the countered spell, it'll go back into his/her library, meaning that it will eventually pop back up unless another eligible candidate comes up first - and if the countered spell itself comes up, it will be cast again, due to its converted mana cost being equal to itself. However, it will be treated as a brand-new casting of the spell (with a mana cost of 0), so additional costs will have to be repaid, optional costs (like kicker costs) will be considered unpaid, and variable costs will be treated as their lowest possible value (such as X being equal to 0).
Rulings 6: Because countered spells still count towards effects that care about how many spells have been cast (such as storm), and Misspell causes the countered spell's controller to search their library, one card at a time, for a spell to replace it, it effectively increments the countered spell's controller's "spell counter" by 2 rather than 1 (incrementing by 1 for the countered spell itself and another 1 for the replacement spell). Of course, this only happens if an eligible replacement spell is found. If no replacement spell is found and cast, the "spell counter" only goes up by 1 (for the countered spell itself).
Rulings 7: If the replacement spell has an additional cost (such as sacrificing a creature or paying life) that its controller is unable or unwilling to pay, or it does not have any legal targets, the spell doesn't get cast at all. However, since a replacement spell was found, no more cards are exiled from the library, and all the cards that were exiled by Misspell (including the uncast replacement spell) get shuffled back into the library.

The problem: I can't pin down a specific problem, but I really think the card as a whole could be worded way more clearly and more concisely (I'm honestly worried that it won't fit on a card). Even the errata could be worded more clearly!
• edited July 2016
I'm also designing a card that is... way messier than I wanted it to be. The idea behind it is that it's just an aura that "dies" in the place of one of your creatures or planeswalkers... but in execution, it's turning out to be a godawful nightmare. (Also, its flavor is that it represents one of your creatures protecting another, so it needs a better name.) *sigh* Here we go...

Card Idea 5: Devoted Protection
Cost: 2WW
Type: Enchantment - Aura
Rarity: Uncommon

Rules text: Enchant creature or planeswalker

Flash

When Devoted Protection enters play, exile target creature you control (other than enchanted creature). When Devoted Protection leaves play, return the exiled creature to the battlefield.

If the enchanted creature or planeswalker would be removed from the battlefield, remove all damage and -1/-1 counters from it, tap it (if it's untapped), remove it from combat, and sacrifice Devoted Protection. If the enchanted permanent would have been sacrificed to pay a cost, that cost is considered paid. If the enchanted permanent would be removed from the battlefield due to not having any of a kind of counter required for it to exist on the battlefield, put a number of those counters on it equal to the number it would enter the battlefield with.

Rulings 1: The "remove damage" and "remove from combat" clauses only matter for creatures (damage to planeswalkers simply removes the appropriate number of loyalty counters and is not "tracked" further than that). Planeswalkers can ostensibly be tapped like any other permanent, it just won't have any meaningful impact on what they can and cannot do.
Rulings 2: The final clause refers primarily to loyalty counters on planeswalkers and time counters on creatures with vanishing (as well as other, more specific instances, like fade counters on creatures with fading). In other words, a planeswalker that would be put in the graveyard would have loyalty counters equal to its starting loyalty put on it, and a creature with vanishing that would be sacrificed due to running out of time counters would instead have time counters put on it equal to its starting value. (Note that because Devoted Protection replaces the time counters instead of countering the sacrifice ability, it merely delays the creature leaving play, rather than rendering its vanishing quality completely moot.)
Rulings 3: Devoted Protection cannot remove age counters from a creature with cumulative upkeep, as the age counters are not directly responsible for removing such a permanent from play. It can, however, prevent the creature from being sacrificed due to failing to pay the upkeep cost (but only once, as it will then be sacrificed itself).
Rulings 4: A creature with base 0 toughness cannot be saved by Devoted Protection if it loses all factors keeping its toughness above 0 (+1/+1 counters, auras, equipment, static effects, etc.). Devoted Protection will be sacrificed to keep the creature in play... but after the sacrifice is resolved, the creature's toughness will still be 0, and it will be sent to the graveyard as a state-based action. The exception to this rule is if the creature enters play with a number of +1/+1 counters not defined by a value that is only defined at the moment it enters play (such as X in a mana cost). In that scenario, it gains the number of +1/+1 counters that it would get if it entered play in the current game state (or the number printed on the card, if it is a static, non-variable value).
Rulings 5: Because Devoted Protection prevents the enchanted creature from leaving play, all cards attached to the enchanted creature remain attached after its effect resolves (except for Devoted Protection, which is sacrificed). If the creature's toughness is 0 due to attached cards, then its toughness will still be 0 after the sacrifice is resolved, and it will be sent to the graveyard as a state-based action (unless enough cards are unattached to bring its toughness above 0 before the sacrifice is resolved). However, if its toughness is 0 due to a combination of attached cards and -1/-1 counters, the -1/-1 counters would be removed as Devoted Protection is sacrificed; if this brings the creature's toughness above 0, the creature would be saved.
Rulings 6: If the enchanted creature would be sacrificed or exiled to pay for a cost, Devoted Protection is sacrificed instead. The same happens if it would be sacrificed or exiled due to an effect.
Rulings 7: The transformation effects of Kytheon, Hero of Akros, Jace, Vryn's Prodigy, Lilliana, Heretical Healer, Chandra, Fire of Kaladesh, and Nissa, Vastwood Seer exile them and return them to the battlefield transformed. Devoted Protection, if attached to any of them, would prevent them from being exiled, and therefore prevent them from transforming until the next time their condition would be met.
Rulings 8: If Kytheon, Hero of Akros, Jace, Vryn's Prodigy, Lilliana, Heretical Healer, Chandra, Fire of Kaladesh, or Nissa, Vastwood Seer is transformed by an effect that does not exile them, they would be put in the graveyard. Devoted Protection would promptly put the initial number of loyalty counters on them and be sacrificed.
Rulings 9: Devoted Protection does not regenerate creatures, it simply replaces an event that would remove them from the battlefield with itself being sacrificed. Thus, even if the enchanted creature would be destroyed by a card that precludes regeneration (like Terror or Wrath of God), it would still remain on the battlefield.

The problem: Considering how simple the effect is supposed to be, this is a freaking mess!!! And while I'm at it, the name sucks, and there has got to be a better way to represent one creature protecting another than temporarily exiling the creature that's supposed to be doing the protecting!
• edited July 2016
So, here's another card whose concept should be simple. And, actually, it is. But it has some really weird interactions with certain other effects, and could use some smoothing out. So, here's the next card that's become a bit of a headache... (Also, its name kinda stinks.)

Card Idea 6: Untaintable Being
Cost: 1WW
Type: Enchantment Creature - Spirit
Power/Toughness: 2/2
Rarity: Rare

Rules text: Bestow 3WWW (If you cast this card for its bestow cost, it's an Aura spell with enchant creature. It becomes a creature again if it's not attached to a creature.)
Untaintable Being has indestructible as long as it's an Aura.

Untaintable Being or enchanted creature is unaffected by effects that would reduce its power and/or toughness unless those effects were already present from a source that isn't both continuous and global when Untaintable Being entered the battlefield. (Counters that would reduce its power or toughness can't be placed on it, and cards that would reduce its power or toughness cannot be attached to it.)
Enchanted creature gets +2/+2.

MASSIVE LIST OF ERRATA THAT NEEDS TO GO INTO A SEPARATE POST

Notes: At first, I wanted this to simply be a creature that was immune to having its power or toughness reduced (it was always going to be a 2/2 in order to make that quality relevant without being game-breaking). This immunity would manifest in the form of not only rendering static and temporary effects impotent (at least with regards to itself), but also not allowing -1/-1 counters (and related counters) or power-and/or-toughness-lowering auras or equipment to be placed on or attached to it in the first place. Its cost would have been either 1WW or 2WW (I wanted it to be below the curve as a trade-off for being immune to creature-nerf effects, but not too dramatically so, as immunity to power/toughness nerfs was really all it had). The creature version wasn't going to have indestructible at all (I felt that it would be a bit too strong if it could shrug off any form of destruction outside of damage). However, I felt that the gimmick of power/toughness nerf immunity was interesting enough that I wanted any creature to be able to get it, so I converted it to an enchantment. I gave it indestructible so it couldn't be swept aside by stuff like Naturalize. I also decided that I wanted it to only prevent reduction effects from taking place, not retroactively nullify such effects that were already in place (though I had to make an exception for static abilities to save players the trouble of trying to remember whether a power-and/or-toughness-reducing static ability started working before or after Untaintable Being entered the battlefield (and the arguments that could ensue if a player tried to "forget" such details)). The cost of this version was going to be 3WW, as the possibility of a big creature with immunity to power/toughness nerfs was a bit too scary for the early game. Then I figured I might as well combine the best of both worlds, and made it a creature with bestow. However, I made the bestow cost slightly more expensive than it would have been as a straight-up aura because now it would be granting +2/+2 in addition to the immunity to power and toughness reductions. I also made sure that it would only have indestructible while it was an aura, as the creature version was never meant to be immune to removal effects like Doom Blade. By the way, this card was never going to prevent power and toughness from being reduced by removing or weakening an effect that had been increasing them (such as Giant Growth wearing off). It only stops power and toughness being directly reduced by effects that lower power and toughness. The effect is really quite simple in concept, it just has some funny interactions with some other effects, most notably wither and infect. Yet, I've fallen in love with how Untaintable Being hoses creatures with wither and infect in quite arguably the weirdest way possible.

The problem: The wording on the card is a little clumsy, but workable. It's the errata that's proved to be the real headache, as you'll see in the next post.
• edited June 2016
Untaintable Being's Errata

Rulings 1: Untaintable Being prevents all effects that reduce power and/or toughness, even those that increase the other, such as Skullclamp (+1/-1), from applying to itself or the enchanted creature. This even applies to the enchanted creature's own abilities (so, for instance, if Karn, Silver Golem were to have Untaintable Being attached, he wouldn't get -4/+4 upon blocking or being blocked).
Rulings 2: If Untaintable Being enchants a creature that already has counters or attached cards on it that reduce its power and/or toughness, it does not remove or negate those counters/cards. They continue to apply normally. Untaintable Being only prevents new power-and/or-toughness-lowering counters and cards from being placed or attached. (For instance, the aforementioned Skullclamp would continue granting the equipped creature +1/-1 if it was equipped before Untaintable Being was attached to it.)
Rulings 3:If Untaintable Being enchants a creature that is already subjected to a non-static power-and/or-toughness-lowering effect (like Afflict, Cower in Fear, Death Pulse, flanking, the activated ability of Barbed-Back Wurm, the enters-the-battlefield ability of Blister Beetle or Eyeblight Assassin, the landfall effect of Caustic Crawler, the power-and-toughness-reducing upkeep effect of Chaos Moon, or the on-death effect of Death's-Head Buzzard), that effect is not removed or negated. It continues to apply until it would normally end. Untaintable Being only prevents new power-and/or-toughness-lowering effects from affecting the enchanted creature. (However, it does not care whether such abilities designate targets or affect all creatures (or all creatures with a certain quality). It only cares that they were not induced by a continuously-active static ability and whether or not they began applying to the enchanted creature before it entered the battlefield.)
Rulings 4: If Untaintable Being enchants a creature that is already subjected to a global static power-and/or-toughness-lowering effect (like Ascendant Evincar's static nerf of nonblack creatures, Crovax, Ascendant Hero's static nerf of nonwhite creatures, or Curse of Death's Hold's nerf of enchanted player's creatures), that effect stops applying to the enchanted creature. However, if the static ability can be toggled "off" or "on" by game conditions and was last toggled "on" before Untaintable Being entered the battlefield, it continues to apply until the next time it is toggled "off". (Note: I decided on this exception because it would be too much of a headache to keep track of whether the source of such an ability was on the battlefield before Untaintable Being entered the battlefield.)
Rulings 5: Untaintable Being's effect cannot actually reduce or prevent damage, but because it prevents -1/-1 counters (and other counters that reduce power and/or toughness) from being placed, it can render damage to itself or the enchanted creature irrelevant if that damage would be inflicted in the form of counters (which mostly applies if the source of the damage has wither or infect). This means that abilities that are triggered by doing damage (such as Jhessian Thief with a Blight Sickle (I couldn't find a creature that had both wither and another damage-triggered ability on its own)) and static abilities that function when damage is dealt (such as lifelink and deathtouch) will trigger/operate normally, and such abilities that care about how much damage was dealt (such as lifelink) will have the appropriate result (for example, a creature with both wither and lifelink that would do 3 damage to Untaintable Being will still count as having done 3 damage to Untaintable Being with respect to its lifelink ability, so its owner will gain 3 life). However, because damage dealt from a source that converts it to counters will be converted immediately, without ever being marked on that creature, said damage will not do anything except for aforementioned triggering of abilities when inflicted on Untaintable Being or a creature enchanted by it. Essentially, Untaintable Being or a creature enchanted by it cannot die as a result of being damaged by a source with wither or infect, except in very specific cases (see below); the damage still happens, but it is effectively ignored.
Rulings 6: Because Untaintable Being's effect does not prevent damage from occurring (the damage still exists for a brief moment), deathtouch works normally on Untaintable Being or a creature it enchants, even if the damage-dealing entity with deathtouch also possesses wither or infect. Thus, if a creature with both wither and deathtouch (or infect and deathtouch) would deal damage to Untaintable Being or a creature it's enchanting, Untaintable Being or the enchanted creature will be destroyed, even though no damage would have been marked on it due to the source of the damage having wither/infect and -1/-1 counters being impossible to place due to Untaintable Being's ability.

...Oh, wait, it's still too long. Oh boy.
• Untaintable Being's Errata, Continued:

Rulings 7: Damage-triggered abilities that operate like deathtouch (such as the effect of Phage the Untouchable) also work normally on Untaintable Being or a creature it enchants, even when the source of that damage has wither or infect.
Rulings 8: Untaintable Being does not make the enchanted creature an illegal target for effects that would lower its power and/or toughness, including auras attempting to enchant it or equipment attempting to be equipped to it. It simply prevents cards that would lower power and/or toughness from being attached to the equipped creature (automatically countering such attempts) and negates aspects of targeted abilities that would influence power and/or toughness unless such abilities do not lower power or toughness. However, effects of spells and abilities that do not involve reducing the power and/or toughness of Untaintable Being or the enchanted creature function normally. (For instance, if Consumptive Goo's activated ability targets Untaintable Being or a creature enchanted by Untaintable Being, the "Target creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn" part of the effect does not apply, but Consumptive Goo still gets a +1/+1 counter.)
Rulings 9: Because Untaintable Being prevents -1/-1 counters (and other power-and/or-toughness-lowering counters) from being placed on the enchanted creature, costs that involve putting -1/-1 counters (or other power-and/or-toughness-lowering counters) on the enchanted creature cannot be paid. Because the cost cannot be paid, you cannot do anything that requires you to pay such a cost. (For instance, you would be unable to pay the cumulative upkeep cost of Aboroth (forcing you to sacrifice it during your next upkeep step), nor would you be able to play the second activated ability of Barrenton Medic or Cinderhaze Wretch, if you were to attach Untaintable Being to them.) However, because Untaintable Being does not prevent the removal of +1/+1 counters (or other power-and/or-toughness-increasing counters that are not also power-and/or-toughness-reducing counters), you can pay costs involving the removal of such counters.
Rulings 10: If Untaintable Being is enchanted or equipped with a card that has an ability with a cost that involves putting -1/-1 counters (or other power-and/or-toughness-lowering counters) on the enchanted/equipped creature, that cost cannot be paid, and the ability cannot be activated.
Rulings 11: If Untaintable Being enchants a creature with persist, the persist keyword functions normally. (When the creature dies, it goes to the graveyard, causing Untaintable Being to become unattached. Then, if it had no -1/-1 counters on it when it died, it returns to the battlefield with a -1/-1 counter on it. Because Untaintable Being is not attached to it anymore, the -1/-1 counter is placed as normal.)
Rulings 12: Normally, +1/+1 counters can be removed from a creature by placing -1/-1 counters on it, and vice versa. Because Untaintable Being prevents -1/-1 counters from being placed on itself or the creature it enchants, it also prevents +1/+1 counters from being removed in this way.

Phew... that took three posts!!! Good Lord! This errata could be way tidier!
• Power Lock could be
"Target creature's base power and toughness become equal to its current power and toughness. Cast Power Lock only during end steps."

For Kirby, I'd look into either Imprint (like Duplicant) or Champion a creature (like Nova Chaser).

For Valiant Distraction, I'd suggest
As an additional cost to cast Valiant Distraction, tap an untapped creature you control. If its overload cost was paid, sacrifice it.
Target creature can't block this turn.
As a sidenote, this is a red effect, and pretty overcosted here. (Compare to Order//Chaos or Seismic Stomp).

For Misspell-
Shuffle target spell into its owner's library. That player reveals cards from the top of their library until they reveal an instant or sorcery card with a lower converted mana cost and casts it without paying its mana cost. Then, they shuffle their library.

For Devoted Protection; you can't respond to paying a cost. It's just not how the stack works. Also, if you have a spare creature around to exile with Protection, why aren't you sacrificing that? Anyway,
Enchant creature or planeswalker, champion a creature, flash
Sacrifice Devoted Protection: Exile enchanted permanent, then return it to the battlefield.

Untaintable Being is a huge headache because if you bestow it it simultaneously tries to increase its target's power and toughness and prevent them from being modified. I would strongly advise against giving it bestow, or you do, don't give it a bonus. As for wording, I would suggest "Untaintable Being's power and toughness can't be modified." or "Untaintable Being's power and toughness are always equal to its base power and toughness." But again, this kind of effect will always be a little bit of a trainwreck.
• edited June 2016
@Beeswax While I like your ideas, there are a few cases where you seem to have missed the point.

For Power Lock, how the heck would you keep track of the altered base power and toughness?

Valiant Distraction is white because it's flavored as one creature putting itself in harm's way for the sake of the rest (specifically distracting the enemy so they can't realize what its friends are up to until said friends are in the enemy's base killing their dudes (or whatever else they would want to infiltrate enemy territory to do)).

Untaintable Being doesn't prevent strictly positive modifications to power and/or toughness, only modifications that lower one or both of them.

For Devoted Protection, exiling a creature and returning it to the battlefield would clear all counters and cards on it (and straight-up kill tokens), and I don't really want it to do that.
• For Power Lock; personally I'd just keep the effects that were modifying it under it, as though it had imprinted them (like you do if you just cast Giant Growth on something). If you're set on counters, "Place +1/+0, -1/-0, +0/+1, and -0/-1 counters on target creature until its modified power and toughness are equal to its current power and toughness. Cast Power Lock only during end steps." is the best I can think of.

I get that Distraction is FLAVORED white, but it's undeniably a red effect, and a very well-established one at that.

For Untaintable: 'UB's and enchanted creature's power and toughness can't be lowered."

As far as Devoted Protection: keeping the permanents (Auras, Equipments) is easy. Keeping the counters is a huge pain, since if I was playing it I'd just us it as a way to increase the number of loyalty counters on a Planeswalker by not paying the Champion cost and triggering DP in response, and you wanted it to remove -1/-1 counters. The token thing seems like a minor issue (and used to be a nonissue, before the rules were amended); what token is worth an aura and another creature? Anyway, "Sacrifice DP: Exile enchanted permanent and all permanents attached to it, then return them to the battlefield." should be fine. If you wanted to toss a 'non-loyalty counters on it remain on it as it moves to exile and back' in there, be my guest, but look out for the -1/-1 thing.
• edited June 2016
Well, for Untaintable Being, I feel that outright making it so that only positive modifiers to power or toughness apply to a creature it enchants, while certainly simpler to implement, would be a little broken. So what I actually want it to do is prevent the application of new effects that would lower power and/or toughness. -1/-1 counters (and similar counters) can't be placed, auras and equipment that would lower power and/or toughness can't be attached, and effects that would lower and/or toughness can't affect the creature. However, -1/-1 counters (and similar counters), power-and/or-toughness-lowering auras and permanents, and non-/static power-and/or-toughness-lowering effects (namely those generated by spells, activated abilities, and triggered abilities) that were already there don't go away when Untaintable Being enchants a creature. (Untaintable Being itself as a creature is effectively immune to all effects that would lower its power and/or toughness, simply because they can't be applied to it before it enters the battlefield.)

Devoted Protection's new wording looks good, though I'll have to throw out all the errata until I figure out its implications.

Power Lock's new wording also looks good, except that I'm not sure how it would differentiate between changes that would expire on their own and boosts that would only expire once their source goes away. I only want it to "lock" the former, by essentially converting them to the latter in the form of counters.
• edited July 2016
All right, time to show off some tweaks.

Tweaked Card Idea 1: Devoted Protection
Cost: 2WW
Type: Enchantment - Aura
Rarity: Uncommon

Rules text: Enchant creature or planeswalker
Flash
Champion a creature (When this enters the battlefield, sacrifice it unless you exile a creature you control. When this leaves the battlefield, that card returns to the battlefield.)

If an effect or cost would require you to sacrifice the enchanted permanent, you may sacrifice Devoted Protection instead.
Sacrifice Devoted Protection: Exile enchanted permanent and all permanents attached to it, then return them to the battlefield. Counters that do not lower power and/or toughness remain on the permanents as they move to exile and back.

Notes: I decided that not keeping loyalty counters with Devoted Protection is a bad idea, since the idea is to prevent the enchanted creature/planeswalker from getting hurt, and damage to planeswalkers manifests as removing their loyalty counters, so an effect that protects a planeswalker should also protect its loyalty counters. I also kept the "remove -1/-1 counters" clause by specifying that counters that don't reduce power and toughness are kept; counters that do reduce power and toughness, like -1/-1 counters, go away as the enchanted permanent goes into exile. Likewise, it also doesn't remove age counters because those don't lower power or toughness. Finally, I made sure to keep the part of the effect that I originally designed the card around - namely, not having to sacrifice the enchanted permanent when you normally would in order to pay a cost - by including a clause that allows Devoted Protection to be sacrificed in the enchanted permanent's place.

Tweaked Card Idea 2: Valiant Distraction
Cost: (R/W)
Type: Instant
Rarity: Uncommon

Rules text: As an additional cost to cast Valiant Distraction, tap an untapped creature you control. If its overload cost was paid, sacrifice it instead.

Target creature you don't control can't block until end of turn.

Overload - 2(R/W) (You may cast this spell for its overload cost. If you do, change its text by replacing all instances of 'target' with 'each'.)

Notes: I agree that this spell is red in addition to white (let's face it, getting up close to the enemy to taunt them and deliberately goad them into assaulting you is a very reckless thing to do). Also, I looked at Seismic Stomp, and it has a cost of 1R, sure, but it's a sorcery and doesn't affect flying creatures. This card does, and it's a an instant (so it can be used to have some vicious fun in free-for-alls). So it makes sense for Valiant Distraction's overload cost to be a bit higher than the cost of Seismic Stomp, but not as high as it was originally.

Tweaked Card Idea 3: Misspell
Cost: U(U/R)
Type: Instant
Rarity: Uncommon

Rules text: Counter target instant or sorcery spell and shuffle it into its owner's library. Then that spell's controller reveals cards from the top of their library until reveal an instant or sorcery with an equal or lower converted mana cost than that of the countered spell's, and casts that spell without paying its mana cost. Then they shuffle their library.

Rulings 1: If the countered spell's controller reveals his or her entire library without finding an instant or sorcery spell with a converted mana cost equal to or lower than the countered spell's, that player does not get to cast anything via this spell's effect. Their original spell is simply countered without being replaced. (It still gets shuffled into its owner's library; it does not go to the graveyard.)
Rulings 2: If a spell is cast in a way that would send it to a zone other than the graveyard when it leaves the stack (such as via flashback), that effect overrides Misspell's effect that would have shuffled it into its owner's library. (For instance, a spell cast via flashback that was countered by Misspell would still be exiled.)
Rulings 3: Because countered spells still count towards effects that care about how many spells have been cast (such as storm), and Misspell causes the countered spell's controller to search their library, one card at a time, for a spell to replace it, it effectively increments the countered spell's controller's "spell counter" by 2 rather than 1 (incrementing by 1 for the countered spell itself and another 1 for the replacement spell). Of course, this only happens if an eligible replacement spell is found. If no replacement spell is found and cast, the "spell counter" only goes up by 1 (for the countered spell itself).
Rulings 4: If the replacement spell has an additional cost (such as sacrificing a creature or paying life) that its controller is unable or unwilling to pay, or it does not have any legal targets, the spell doesn't get cast at all. However, since a replacement spell was found, no more cards are revealed from the library, and since the replacement spell wasn't cast, it remains in its owner's library.

Oh, and by the way, Kirby's ready to roll.
• edited July 2016
Well, I've come up with another awfully complicated idea.

Card Idea 7: Veil of Secrecy
Cost: X1UU
Type: Tribal Enchantment - Illusion
Rarity: Mythic Rare

Rules text: When Veil of Secrecy enters the battlefield, put X 1/4 blue Illusion tokens with "When this creature becomes the target of a spell or ability, sacrifice it." onto the battlefield.

When you would receive damage from a source controlled by an opponent, you may remove all counters and attached cards from all Illusions you control, turn all Illusions you control face-down, and shuffle them. That player chooses one of your face-down cards and reveals it. If the revealed card is not Veil of Secrecy, prevent all damage from that source. Then sacrifice the card your opponent revealed and turn the rest of your face-down cards face-up.

Rulings 1: "That player" refers to the player who controls the creature or effect currently attempting to deal damage to you.
Rulings 2: Transforming cards do not count as being "face-down", no matter which side is currently active.
Rulings 3: You don't have to use the triggered ability if you don't want to; you are free to choose to simply take the incoming damage.
Rulings 4: This card's ability does not apply when an effect causes you to lose life without taking damage.
Rulings 5: This card's ability does apply when you take damage in a way that won't cause you to lose life (such as infect, saboteur, or Szadek's effect).
Rulings 6: This card's ability does not apply if you deal damage to yourself, or if you are dealt damage by a teammate.
Rulings 7: Cards that are face-down due to a morph ability do get included in the "shell-game", and a morph card chosen by the opponent at the end of the "shell-game" will be sacrificed. Face-down morph cards will be turned face-up by the last part of Veil of Secrecy's ability, without paying their morph costs or triggering abilities tied to flipping them face-up via their morph effect (such as megamorph).
Rulings 8: The "shell-game" cannot be interrupted by casting spells or activating/triggering abilities. Instant spells can be cast and activated and triggered abilities can be activated/triggered before or after the "shell-game", but not during it.
Rulings 9: If Veil of Secrecy itself is chosen at the end of the "shell-game", it is sacrificed before your other face-down cards are turned face-up, but its effect finishes resolving regardless (causing all your other face-down cards to be turned face-up).
Rulings 10: If you are directly attacked (or trample-damaged) by several creatures at once, each creature triggers Veil of Secrecy separately and one at a time. If Veil of Secrecy is sacrificed or otherwise removed from the battlefield at any point before all such direct/trample-aided attacks are resolved, the remainder of the attacking creatures damage you without being hindered by Veil of Secrecy.
Rulings 11: If you are directly attacked (or trample-damaged on the first attack) by a creature with double strike, each of its attacks triggers Veil of Secrecy separately and one at a time. If Veil of Secrecy is sacrificed or otherwise removed from the battlefield between such a creature's first and second attacks (including if it's sacrificed due to the first attack), the second attack proceeds without being hindered by Veil of Secrecy.

Notes: This card is meant to emulate the Mirror Image spell of Dungeons & Dragons fame. Mirror Image makes you harder to attack by creating several illusionary copies of yourself and having all of you run amok until your opponents have no clue which of you they're supposed to be attacking. The same idea applies here, by essentially playing a shell game with your opponent each time they try to damage you. If they don't manage to target the real you (represented by Veil of Secrecy itself), their attack simply obliterates an illusionary copy, leaving you unharmed. But if they do manage to target the real you, the whole doppleganger defense is foiled.

The problem: Eh, I think both the card itself and the errata could be written more clearly. Also, I've tested the text on a card and it runs over fairly badly, so it also needs to be condensed.
• @Luigifan You probably want to have all the face-down cards turn face-up BEFORE the decision to prevent damage or not. Otherwise, static abilities of any cards that were turned face down won't function.
• @opcode_6e I don't know what you're getting at. The face-down and face-up flips are both part of resolving the same effect. You turn your Illusions face-down and shuffle them up, your opponent picks a card among them, it's turned face-up, and if that card isn't Veil of Secrecy, it prevents the damage your opponent would've dealt to you. Then the card your opponent picked is sacrificed and all the other cards are turned face-up, and then the effect resolves. Unless the effect is actually two or more separate effects and I don't know about this?
• edited July 2016
@Luigifan
Why not 'If you would take damage, sacrifice an Illusion permanent you control at random, instead'. It's functionally identical unless you're running a whole bunch of 'turn face up' triggers.
• edited July 2016
@Beeswax That's a pretty good idea. I'm slightly uncomfortable with not defining how the random selection should take place, as it could lead to arguments, but it's better than a clunky shell game, as I didn't intend for Veil of Secrets to trigger abilities with a condition tied to turning a face-down card face-up. Also, messing with cards with the morph keyword was a rather unfortunate side-effect that wasn't really intended to be part of the process, but was unavoidable with the way the effect was originally working. (I did want the effect to only trigger when an opponent damaged the user, and your wording cuts that, but I think removing "from a source controlled by an opponent" from "when you would receive damage" may be necessary to fit the text on a card.) Anyways, here's the tweaked version:

Tweaked Card Idea 4: Veil of Secrecy
Cost: X1UU
Type: Tribal Enchantment - Illusion
Rarity: Mythic Rare

Rules text: When Veil of Secrecy enters the battlefield, put X 1/4 blue Illusion tokens with "When this creature becomes the target of a spell or ability, sacrifice it." onto the battlefield.

When you would receive damage, you may sacrifice an Illusion permanent you control at random. If the sacrificed permanent was not Veil of Secrecy, prevent that damage.

Rulings 1: You don't have to use the triggered ability if you don't want to; you are free to choose to simply take the incoming damage.
Rulings 2: This card's ability does not apply when an effect causes you to lose life without taking damage.
Rulings 3: This card's ability does apply when you take damage in a way that won't cause you to lose life (such as infect, saboteur, or Szadek's effect).
Rulings 4: If you are directly attacked (or trample-damaged) by several creatures at once, each creature triggers Veil of Secrecy separately and one at a time. If Veil of Secrecy is sacrificed or otherwise removed from the battlefield at any point before all such direct/trample-aided attacks are resolved, the remainder of the attacking creatures damage you without being hindered by Veil of Secrecy. (You also do not get to sacrifice any more Illusions.)
Rulings 5: If you are directly attacked (or trample-damaged on the first attack) by a creature with double strike, each of its attacks triggers Veil of Secrecy separately and one at a time. If Veil of Secrecy is sacrificed or otherwise removed from the battlefield between such a creature's first and second attacks (including if it's sacrificed due to the first attack), the second attack proceeds without being hindered by Veil of Secrecy. (You also do not get to sacrifice another Illusion.)

Notes: This card is meant to emulate the Mirror Image spell of Dungeons & Dragons fame. Mirror Image makes you harder to attack by creating several illusionary copies of yourself and having all of you run amok until your opponents have no clue which of you they're supposed to be attacking. The same idea applies here, by essentially playing a shell game with your opponent each time they try to damage you. (Well, the original idea was a shell game, but that proved to be too complicated.) If they don't manage to target the real you (represented by Veil of Secrecy itself), their attack simply obliterates an illusionary copy, leaving you unharmed. But if they do manage to target the real you, the whole doppleganger defense is foiled.

The problem: I still have a bit of an issue with the way Rulings 4 & 5 are worded.

• edited July 2016
I came up with another idea that's rapidly become a mess...

Card Idea 8: Accelerate Time
Cost: U
Type: Instant
Rarity: Uncommon

Rules text: Strive - Choose a number of cards to target and a number of players to target. Accelerate Time costs {U} more to cast for each target card beyond the first and {2}{U} more to cast for each target player beyond the first. Then choose one:
*Remove a time counter from the chosen number of target cards in each target player's exile zone.
*Remove a time counter from the chosen number of target permanents that each target player controls.
Entwine - 2U (Choose both if you pay the entwine cost.)

Notes: This was originally a simple spell that would remove a time counter from each permanent a player controlled or each card a player had exiled. The idea was to speed up time-counter-based mechanics like suspend and vanishing. But then I realized that a global effect for just 1 mana was rather silly. I considered raising the cost to 2U, but ultimately decided on a strive mechanic. The benefit of this approach is allowing the caster to fine-tune which cards will be affected. Removing a time counter from a card can be a good or a bad thing, depending on the card, and if a player has a mix of cards that they do want time counters removed from and cards that they don't, a good time-counter-manipulating spell would allow them to remove time counters from the cards they want time counters removed from while not removing time counters from cards they don't want time counters removed from. There are two big downsides, though. The first is running afoul of anti-targeting qualities like hexproof, shroud, and protection (from blue). The second is that mixing strive with a modal spell is... hard. I wasn't sure whether to put a separate strive ability word on each mode (which would have involved writing a lot of text) or a single strive ability word before the choice of modes (see the errata for how that's proved to be problematic). What was once a simple spell has become quite convoluted. (Maybe I should have gone with overload instead.)

Rulings 1: The number of target cards is separate from the number of target players. Furthermore, the number of target cards is not shared between each target player; rather, the spell is applied to the full number of target cards for each target player. If the spell is entwined, the full number of target cards is applied to both the exiled cards and the permanents of each target player. (For instance, if the spell is cast with 3 target cards and 2 target players, then depending on the mode chosen, the spell will remove 1 time counter from 3 cards in the exile zone or 3 permanents of both target players, but not a mix of exiled cards and permanents. If the spell is entwined, then both target players will get a time counter removed from 3 of their exiled cards and 3 of their permanents.) This spell's controller chooses all of the targets.
Rulings 2: If a target player controls fewer exiled cards or permanents (that can be chosen as legal targets) than the chosen number of target permanents, simply remove a time counter from as many cards as possible.

The problem: Like I said, mixing strive with a modal spell has proven to be a big headache.

I did come up with some alternate wording, but I'm not sure if it's better or worse.

Strive - Accelerate Time costs {U} more to cast for each target card beyond the first and {2}{U} more to cast for each target player beyond the first. Choose one:
*Remove a time counter from any number of target cards in the exile zone of each of any number of target players.
*Remove a time counter from any number of target permanents controlled by each of any number of target players.
Entwine - 2U (Choose both if you pay the entwine cost.)
• I've also got an old card idea that is almost good to go, but there's one part of it that bothers me intensely.

Card Idea 9: Bestow Vital Energy
Cost: WWX
Type: Sorcery
Rarity: Rare

Rules text: Choose one:
*You gain X life.
*Put X loyalty counters on target planeswalker you control.
*Remove Y poison counters from yourself, where Y is one-third the value of X, rounded down.
*Put X +1/+1 counters and X time counters on target creature you control, then exile this card. At the beginning of your upkeep phase, remove 1 time counter and 1 +1/+1 counter from that creature (if any). When there are no more time counters on the creature, put this card in your graveyard.

Rulings 1: If X is less than 3 and the third mode is chosen, Y will be 0, and no poison counters will be removed.
Rulings 2: The static ability tied to the fourth mode functions from your exile zone. If Bestow Vital Energy is moved from the exile zone to any other zone, the ability stops functioning, and no more time counters or +1/+1 counters will be removed from the chosen creature during your later upkeep phases, even if Bestow Vital Energy is returned to the exile zone. It will not resume working on that creature if Bestow Vital Energy is cast in its fourth mode again, targeting a different creature, as it will be a separate instance and will not "remember" having originally targeted the first creature. However, if the fourth effect is cast again targeting the same creature, the static ability will resume working, and will pick up where it left off. (It will not "remember" having targeted that creature before; it will simply be a new instance targeting the same creature.)
Rulings 3: If the target creature of the fourth mode has time counters from another source, the static ability will remove those time counters as well (as well as +1/+1 counters) (but only one of each per upkeep phase). It does not care where the time counters come from, only that they exist. It removes time counters independently of other effects that interact with (and remove) time counters.
Rulings 4: The static ability of the fourth mode does not care whether or not the target creature actually has +1/+1 counters on it. If the target creature has no +1/+1 counters, the static ability will simply remove 1 time counter during each of your upkeep phases, and will fail to remove any +1/+1 counters due to there not being any +1/+1 counters.
Rulings 5: The effect of the fourth mode that returns Bestow Vital Energy from exile to your graveyard is a triggered ability that is triggered by the target creature not having any time counters on it. It does not care how or when the final time counter is removed; it will trigger as soon as the target creature has no more time counters.
Rulings 6: The triggered ability of the fourth mode can be countered like any other. However, if the target creature does not have any time counters on it afterwards, the ability will immediately trigger again.
Rulings 7: If Bestow Vital Energy is exiled by any means other than its own fourth mode, it will not target a creature. Therefore, its static ability will not function, even if you own a creature with at least one time counter on it. Furthermore, its triggered ability cannot be triggered, and it cannot be moved from exile to your graveyard by its own effect.
Rulings 8: If the same creature is targeted by multiple instances of Bestow Vital Energy's fourth mode, the static and triggered abilities of each Bestow Vital Energy will work independently of each other. The number of time counters and +1/+1 counters removed from the creature during each upkeep phase will equal the number of Bestow Vital Energy targeting the creature, though the counters will be removed one at a time. When the creature has no time counters, all instances of Bestow Vital Energy targeting that creature from exile will be moved to the graveyard, and no more +1/+1 counters will be removed, even if there were instances of Bestow Vital Energy that had yet to remove a +1/+1 counter.

Notes: The intent behind this card is to be an efficient general-purpose healing spell (but not as efficient as a more specialized healing spell). Thus, it has four modes - one for healing yourself, one for healing planeswalkers, one for healing yourself in a different way, and one for healing creatures. Its original name was Healing Hands, but there's already a card with that name. Of course, the mechanics for damage on creatures are different than the mechanics for damage on players or planeswalkers, so the healing for creatures has to work differently as well.

The reason for the third mode working with a fraction of X instead of just simply removing X poison counters is that removing poison counters shouldn't be easy; the effect would properly be one with multiple X's in the mana cost, but that's not an option when the spell has other modes that aren't meant to be so expensive. (Mark Rosewater's design standpoint is that it shouldn't be possible to remove poison counters at all, which is why only one official Magic card does so. I disagree - I believe that curing poison is something that potent healing magic and skilled medics would logically be able to do. However, I feel that MaRo's reasoning for not wanting to remove poison counters - namely, not wanting poison counters to simply feel like a secondary life total - is completely valid. Besides, curing poison should logically not be as simple as healing injuries - it would require dedicated magic or specific antitoxins. Thus, effects that remove poison counters should be more expensive, complicated, and impractical than effects that gain life.)

Also, the exile mechanic is the best I can come up with to keep track of (and serve as a reminder of) the fact that the +1/+1 counters from the fourth mode are meant to gradually go away (as I said, healing creatures has to work differently than healing players or planeswalkers, and this is meant to represent healing injuries rather than straight-up empowerment). It was either the exile thing or make it become an aura enchantment, as my original idea (having the effect work from the graveyard, or just straight-up applying a temporary buff that can potentially last for several turns, gradually growing weaker over the course of its duration, without any permanent to keep track of it) would have been a challenge to keep track of. (I've been considering changing the wording of the fourth mode's triggered ability to "When the last time counter is removed from the creature...", to more closely resemble the suspend mechanic it's based on, but that might change the functionality. Really, the gist of the fourth mode is that it's meant to be a +X/+X boost that doesn't wear off all at once (like, say, Giant Growth), but instead wears off gradually in +1/+1 increments.)

The problem: The wording of the fourth mode still looks somewhat obtuse and convoluted to me, and I'm wondering if there might be an easier way to do the same thing.
• Re: Bestow Vital Energy:

You could get rid of most of those rulings just by giving the target creature "At the beginning of your upkeep, if this creature has a time counter on it, remove a +1/+1 counter and a time counter from this creature."

Beyond that, I think giving the creature X counters that could be removed to prevent 1 damage would be more in-theme than +1/+1 counters, since +1/+1 counters make the creature stronger, not just heal existing damage.
• edited July 2016
@opcode_6e Thanks for the tip. I'll try it out. Though, I'm still slightly uncomfortable with the wording...

Tweaked Card Idea 5: Bestow Vital Energy
Cost: X1W
Type: Sorcery
Rarity: Rare

Rules text: Choose one:
* Target player gains X life.
* Put X loyalty counters on target planeswalker.
* Remove Y poison counters from target player, where Y is one-third the value of X, rounded down.
* Put X healing counters on target creature. Target creature gains "When this creature would take damage, remove a number of healing counters from it equal to the damage dealt (or all of them if there are fewer healing counters than that), then prevent an amount of damage to this creature equal to the number of healing counters removed."

Rulings 1: If X is less than 3 and the third mode is chosen, Y will be 0, and no poison counters will be removed.
Rulings 2: The effect of the healing counters is a property of the healing counters themselves, and functions regardless of where Bestow Vital Energy is.

Notes: The intent behind this card is to be an efficient general-purpose healing spell (but not as efficient as a more specialized healing spell). Thus, it has four modes - one for healing yourself, one for healing planeswalkers, one for healing yourself in a different way, and one for healing creatures. Its original name was Healing Hands, but there's already a card with that name. Of course, the mechanics for damage on creatures are different than the mechanics for damage on players or planeswalkers, so the healing for creatures has to work differently as well.

The reason for the third mode working with a fraction of X instead of just simply removing X poison counters is that removing poison counters shouldn't be easy; the effect would properly be one with multiple X's in the mana cost, but that's not an option when the spell has other modes that aren't meant to be so expensive. (Mark Rosewater's design standpoint is that it shouldn't be possible to remove poison counters at all, which is why only one official Magic card does so. I disagree - I believe that curing poison is something that potent healing magic and skilled medics would logically be able to do. However, I feel that MaRo's reasoning for not wanting to remove poison counters - namely, not wanting poison counters to simply feel like a secondary life total - is completely valid. Besides, curing poison should logically not be as simple as healing injuries - it would require dedicated magic or specific antitoxins. Thus, effects that remove poison counters should be more expensive, complicated, and impractical than effects that gain life.)

The fourth mode was the biggest headache on this card. I used to have it work by putting X +1/+1 counters and X time counters on the target creature, then removing a time counter and a +1/+1 counter from the creature during each upkeep phase until there were no more time counters left. The idea was to be a temporary power-and-toughness boost that wore off over time rather than all at once. The earliest version had no way of keeping track of this whatsoever, putting the onus of remembering what was going on on the players. I quickly realized how impractical this was and changed it to a pair of static and triggered effects that worked from exile (exiling Bestow Vital Energy as it was cast with its fourth mode to keep track of this), operating similarly to the suspend keyword. However, the idea was always to represent healing a creature by temporarily boosting its toughness, so on the suggestion of an MTG Cardsmith user named opcode_6e, I switched to a healing counter-based mechanic that operates similarly to my barricade keyword. This makes it work like a "Prevent the next X damage dealt to this creature" effect with an indefinite duration; the healing counters serve to keep track of how much of X remains. While not a perfect solution, it's much more elegant and cuts down on the amount of errata needed.

As a final note, this spell's cost was originally XWW (or should that be WWX? I can never remember which format is correct), and its effects were designed to specifically affect its controller. I changed Bestow Vital Energy's cost to include a generic mana and changed its effect to target any player when I decided to give the spell a black-red-hybrid counterpart.

By the way, Veil of Secrecy is up. I was even able to squeeze the clause about it only working when your opponents hurt you back in!

I also put up Bestow Vital Energy, but I had to rewrite it again because the fourth mode was too wordy and broke out of the text box, making the last bit of the effect unreadable. I still slightly prefer this version, but it wasn't meant to be.
• edited July 2016
I have another card idea that I need help with, though this one's not horrendously garbled; I just think it could be worded a touch more cleanly.

Card Idea 10: Off-Hand Brace
Cost: 2
Type: Artifact - Equipment
Rarity: Common

Rules text: Convoke (Your creatures can help cast this spell. Each creature you tap while casting this spell pays for {1} or one mana of that creature's color.)

When equipped creature blocks or is blocked, prevent 1 combat damage it would deal and 2 combat damage that would be dealt to it.

Equip {2} w/convoke ({2}: Attach this Equipment to target creature you control. Play this ability only any time you could play a sorcery. Your creatures can help pay this equip cost. Each creature you tap while casting this spell pays for {1} or one mana of that creature's color.)

Notes: The artwork depicts a hand brace my mom got for me after I injured my wrist by falling off my bike. As with my other "totally mundane" cards (Nourishing Suet and Bottled Water), the idea came to me suddenly. The convoke keyword on both the card itself as a spell and the equip cost represents it being easier to put this thing on with a bit of help. (I considered having the equip cost be simply "{1}, Tap a creature that you control", but I figured that giving the equip ability convoke would be more interesting.)

Rulings 1: An activated ability with convoke works exactly like a spell with convoke.
Rulings 1.1: After determining how much mana you'll pay to activate the ability, you then pay that mana cost. (See Rulings 1.4 and 1.7.) In addition to whatever mana you spend, you may tap untapped creatures you control while paying the cost in order to help pay for the cost. (For instance, you could pay a cost of {5} with 5 mana, 4 mana and 1 creature, 3 mana and 2 creatures, 2 mana and 3 creatures, 1 mana and 4 creatures, or 5 creatures.) A creature tapped this way cannot be used to do anything else that would require tapping it, such as attacking or paying for costs, until it is untapped. (See Rulings 1.8.)
Rulings 1.2: You can use creatures with summoning sickness to pay for Convoke costs (since summoning sickness only prevents tapping a creature in order to attack or activate one of its own abilities).
Rulings 1.3: Convoke doesn’t change an ability's mana cost or converted mana cost.
Rulings 1.4: When calculating an ability's total cost, include any alternative costs, additional costs, or anything else that increases or reduces the cost to activate the ability. Convoke applies after the total cost is calculated.
Rulings 1.5: Because convoke isn’t an alternative cost, it can be used in conjunction with alternative costs.
Rulings 1.6: Tapping a multicolored creature using convoke will pay for {1} or one mana of your choice of any of that creature’s colors.
Rulings 1.7: When using convoke to activate an ability with {X} in its mana cost, first choose the value for X. That choice, plus any cost increases or decreases, will determine the spell’s total cost. Then you can tap creatures you control to help pay that cost.
Rulings 1.8: If a creature you control has a mana ability with {T} in the cost, activating that ability while activating an ability with convoke will result in the creature being tapped when you pay the convoke ability's costs. You won’t be able to tap it again for convoke. Similarly, if you sacrifice a creature to activate a mana ability while activating an ability with convoke, that creature won’t be on the battlefield when you pay the convoke ability's costs, so you won’t be able to tap it for convoke.
Rulings 2: Technically, the equip keyword is an activated ability. Thus, Ruling 1 applies to an equip cost with convoke.

The problem: Like I said, this isn't a serious problem - the card could probably work as is. But I think the effect could be worded a bit more cleanly.

EDIT: Well, since nobody chimed in, I went ahead and put it up as is.
• edited July 2016
This idea, on the other hand, may need quite a bit of rewriting. The idea behind it is a "hot-potato"-type effect where the most recently tapped permanent is essentially carrying the "potato". When the "potato" - and by "potato", I mean "bomb" - goes off, the most recently tapped permanent gets blown to kingdom come (in game terms, its controller sacrifices it). I'm not entirely sure what the color would be - I'm leaning towards red because it has a heavy element of chance, but the effect is mechanically black because it forces a sacrifice, and in terms of impact on gameplay, it feels either blue or white, if not both (because it makes players not want to tap their permanents, including their lands, and therefore slows down the game). So, here we go...

Card Idea 11: Unstable Mine
Cost: 1RR
Type: Artifact - Contraption
Rarity: Uncommon

Rules text: As Unstable Mine enters the battlefield, roll 4 six-sided dice. Unstable Mine enters the battlefield with X detonation blast counters, where X is the total result of the dice.

Whenever a permanent is tapped, remove a blast counter from Unstable Mine. When the last blast counter is removed from Unstable Mine, the controller of the most recently tapped permanent sacrifices that permanent, then sacrifice Unstable Mine. If this ability is countered, roll 2 six-sided dice, then put X blast counters on Unstable Mine, where X is the total result of the dice.

Rulings 1: The first triggered ability is triggered every time any permanent is tapped. So, if a player taps 4 lands "simultaneously", or 3 lands and a creature or artifact "simultaneously", 4 detonation blast counters are removed from Unstable Mine.
Rulings 2: The first triggered ability is triggered when and only when a permanent becomes tapped. It does not trigger when a permanent enters the battlefield tapped, when a permanent becomes untapped, or when a permanent fails to become untapped for whatever reason.
Rulings 3: As far as Unstable Mine's abilities are concerned, only one permanent can become tapped at a time. If a player would tap multiple permanents he or she controls simultaneously as part of a cost or effect, that player chooses the order in which those permanents are tapped.
Rulings 4: If an effect causes multiple players to simultaneously tap permanents they control, in a manner that allows each player to decide which permanent(s) they control will become tapped, the player with priority taps his/her permanent(s) first, then the other player(s) tap their permanent(s) in the current turn order. (Each player chooses the order in which they will tap their permanent(s).)
Rulings 5: If a single effect controlled by a single player would tap several permanents that are collectively controlled by more than one player, in a manner that either strictly defines which permanents become tapped or allows only the effect's controller to decide which permanents to tap (for instance, the spell Deluge), the player controlling the effect chooses the order in which the affected players tap their permanent(s). (Each player still chooses the order in which they will tap their permanent(s).)
Rulings 6: The no-more-counters ability of Unstable Mine ("When the last detonation blast counter is removed from Unstable Mine...") does not actually target a permanent. It only cares which permanent has been tapped most recently at the time that it resolves. So if the most recently tapped permanent is removed from the battlefield before the ability resolves (including if it is both tapped and sacrificed in order to pay for a cost), it simply forces the controller of the next-most-recently-tapped permanent to sacrifice that permanent.
Rulings 7: In the case of an ability or spell that involves tapping one or more permanents as a cost and tapping another one or more permanents as an effect, the cost is paid before the effect resolves. (I'm not sure what the precise order of events would be if the last blast counter gets removed as a consequence of a permanent being tapped while paying a cost. Namely, would the no-more-counters ability go on the stack before or after the ability with the cost whose payment tapped the permanent that removed the last blast counter?) (Also, any spell or ability with a mana cost of 1 or more will generally involve tapping 1 or more permanents as part of the cost, as the main way of adding mana to your mana pool is by tapping lands.)
Rulings 8: If the last blast counter gets removed from Unstable Mine by an effect other than its own first triggered ability (such as Æther Snap), Unstable Mine's no-more-counters ability triggers anyways, and the controller of the most recently tapped permanent must sacrifice that permanent.
Rulings 9: The refresh ability ("If this ability is countered, roll 2 six-sided dice...") triggers specifically if the no-more-counters ability gets countered. It does not get triggered if the first triggered ability is countered. (It exists specifically to ensure that Unstable Mine cannot be rendered inert by effects such as Stifle.)
Rulings 10: Any permanents that are tapped between the no-more-counters ability being triggered and the no-more-counters ability resolving will trigger the first triggered ability, but said ability will resolve without doing anything due to a lack of detonation blast counters to remove. Then once the no-more-counters ability resolves, the most recently tapped permanent will be sacrificed.
Rulings 11: If Unstable Mine itself is the most recently tapped permanent or no permanent currently on the battlefield has ever been tapped when its no-more-counters ability resolves, then only Unstable Mine is sacrificed.

Notes: I SO wanted to have this say "Unstable Mine enters the battlefield with 4d6 detonation blast counters", but I don't think Magic uses that sort of terminology. Anyways, the idea behind this card was always a hot-potato-type effect, where each permanent that gets tapped decrements its counter, and the permanent that sets it off goes boom. Initially, it was only going to apply to lands; I later expanded it to cover all permanents (and I was still tempted to have the "timer" count down faster when tapping lands compared to other permanents). Also, I gave it the Contraption subtype because flavor-wise, it's meant to be shoddily constructed; that's why it's unstable. (And the reason its timer is randomized when it enters play is, well, it's unstable!) Some final design notes; I'd have preferred to make Unstable Mine so that nobody knows when it's going to go off (except for its controller), but I think that would be impossible. And it would also have been nice to remove a detonation blast counter during each player's end step (so it eventually goes off even if nobody taps anything - again, it's unstable), but I think I'm pushing the space limitations far enough as is. (I really would have loved to use the 4d6 wording...) Space limitations are also the main thing keeping me from doing something really crazy, like, say, removing a randomly-determined number of detonation blast counters each time the first ability triggers (like I've said, the explosive is unstable, and therefore should have a significant amount of unpredictability).

The problem: Well, for one thing, I think it could have a better name than "Unstable Mine". For another, I think the wording could be a bit clearer, and I'm also worried that I won't be able to make it all fit, so it should be more concise as well.
• You could get mostly the same effect without a lot of the rules headaches with something like this:

"When Unstable Mine enters the battlefield, put 14 blast counters on it. At the beginning of each end step, remove a number of blast counters equal to the number of times a permanent became tapped this turn. If there are no more blast counters on Unstable Mine, sacrifice Unstable Mine and choose a permanent at random among those that became tapped this turn. That permanent's controller sacrifices that permanent."

- Magic doesn't like dice, so I used the number 14. That's the average roll you'll get by rolling 4d6.

- Checking only once per turn eliminates most of the order concerns, but will select some permanents for potential destruction that wouldn't be selected otherwise.

• edited July 2016
@opcode_6e - Thanks for the ideas. Blast counters is a good idea (it's a shorter word than "detonation", so it'll save space), and a check once per turn sounds good for the order concerns, but I really want the starting number of counters to be random, both to reflect the instability and to make it act a little differently each time it's played. An unstable explosive is going to be unpredictable by nature, so I want to squeeze as much unpredictability as possible into Unstable Mine (or whatever I rename it to, as I feel the name's a little too generic and creates an inaccurate implication of not being able to blow up something that's in midair; I'm heavily considering something along the lines of "Bizarre Bomb"), to give it a feeling of potentially going off at any moment.

I have some more ideas that I'd like to have the wording checked for.

Card Idea 12: Shadows of Remorse
Cost: 2(W/B)(W/R)
Type: Enchantment
Rarity: Rare

Rules text: When a creature dies, if it was killed by another creature, put a -1/-1 counter on that creature. If it was killed by a planeswalker, remove a loyalty counter from that planeswalker. If it was killed by a spell, emblem, or noncreature permanent (that isn't a planeswalker), that spell, emblem, or permanent's controller loses 1 life.

Notes: This is another card named after a line from DAGames' song, "Left Behind". (The line in question is actually shortly before "I force a new judgment day"; they're both in the first verse. Though the fact that they rhyme might have tipped you off to them being in the same verse.) Anyways, the idea behind this card is a plague of guilt that punishes anything that takes the life of another. The card is primarily white because white is the color that cares most about the concepts of right and wrong, and, by extension, is the color that cares most about punishing behavior it considers to be wrong (like, for example, murder). Hence, the trigger for its effects is a punishment-type trigger. However, its effects (i.e. direct life loss and creature nerfing) fall into the domains of black and red, and those colors also provide vital contributions to the flavor (flavor-wise, plagues are primarily a black thing, and red, being the color of emotions, is the color most capable of feeling guilt... and also the color most prone to seeking revenge). In fact, revenge-type effects in general seem to be white-black-red in nature; white for knowledge of right and wrong and the will to punish wrongdoers (because one of the key components of revenge is the ability to actually direct it towards those who deserve it; you can't seek vengeance for wrongs done against you if you don't even know what wrong is, and random acts of vengeance aren't really vengeance at all, but simply wanton ill-tempered brutality), black for the cunning to scheme and plot, the ruthlessness and ambition to pursue any goal, and the will to inflict pain on others (which aren't necessary for revenge per se, but certainly help maximize its impact (Iago from Othello being a classic example)), and red for the anger that drives vengeance forwards and the raw destructive power to carry it out.

Rulings 1: "Killed", in the context of this enchantment and similar effects, means "sent to the graveyard from the battlefield". Thus, an effect is considered to have "killed" a creature if it deals lethal damage to that creature, if it destroys that creature, or if it causes that creature to be sacrificed. A spell or permanent is also considered to have "killed" a creature if that creature was sacrificed to pay for a cost of that spell or permanent.
Rulings 2: If a creature is sacrificed as part of the cost or effect of one of its own abilities, it is considered to have killed itself. It will trigger Shadows of Remorse's effect, but because the creature that killed it (a.k.a. itself) is no longer on the battlefield, the effect will end up putting a -1/-1 counter on nothing.
Rulings 3: If a creature or planeswalker destroys a creature and removes itself from the battlefield as part of the same effect, Shadows of Remorse will trigger, but will do nothing because a creature that's not on the battlefield cannot get -1/-1 counters and a planeswalker that's not on the battlefield can't lose loyalty. However, if a noncreature artifact or enchantment destroys a creature and leaves the battlefield as part of the same effect, its controller still loses 1 life because, as a player, they are still a valid subject for a life-loss effect.
Rulings 4: Shadows of Remorse doesn't care who owns or controls a dying creature, only what caused it to die. If you destroy a creature you control with an effect you control, Shadows of Remorse will trigger and hurt the source of the effect (which means you will lose 1 life if you destroyed or sacrificed your own creature with your own spell, emblem, or noncreature artifact or enchantment).
Rulings 5: Shadows of Remorse only triggers when a creature dies (e.g. would be sent to the graveyard from the battlefield). It does not trigger if an effect redirects a creature being sent to its owner's hand or library or into exile to its owner's graveyard, but it does trigger if an effect redirects a creature being sent to its owner's graveyard to its owner's hand or library or into exile. It also triggers when a creature token is sent to its owner's graveyard, and does not trigger when a creature token is sent to its owner's hand or library or is exiled (even though a token that leaves the battlefield in any way ceases to exist).

The problem: I had to make up a new term for this, and I still think it's a little confusing. Is there a better way to get the point across?
• edited July 2016
Card Idea 13: Let Us Descend!
Cost: 2RRGG
Type: Enchantment - Aura
Rarity: Rare

Rules text: Enchant untapped creature you control, flash, shroud
When Let Us Descend! enters the battlefield, put a copy of it on the battlefield attached to target untapped creature you don't control, then the enchanted creatures become tapped and fight each other. Those two creatures fight each other during each combat phase (except on the turn Let Us Descend! was cast). Enchanted creatures gain shroud, "This creature does not untap during your untap step", and "Do not remove damage from this creature during your cleanup step" and lose flying and all activated and triggered abilities. When either Let Us Descend! or its copy leaves the battlefield (including when either enchanted creature leaves the battlefield), the other's controller sacrifices it.

Notes: This is another card named after a line from "Left Behind" by DAGames (the full line is "You dare bring your filth into my lair? Well, then, let us descend!"). However, aside from its name, this card isn't inspired by FNAF at all. The original idea was just to have two creatures fight each other and temporarily gain shroud and lose flying. However, to avoid being too similar to other fight-inducing cards (like Blood Feud), I decided to have this card essentially lock the fighting creatures into a death-match; flavor-wise, it creates a sinkhole that sucks the two creatures into another dimension and forces them to fight to the death, then spits them out when one of the creatures dies. Since the fighting creatures are in another dimension, they won't be affected by stuff going on back where the planeswalkers (read: players) are fighting each other, which is why they get shroud (granted, this won't protect them from global effects like Wrath of God, but I just figured, "hey, the portal to the other dimension would have to technically be partially open in order for the winner-return gate to work, so stuff that hits the entire battlefield would leak through..." ...in other words, I decided that trying to protect the creatures from non-targeted effects wasn't worth it). The duel-locked creatures also can't affect the main planeswalker duel, which is why they're both kept tapped (to prevent them from attacking or blocking) and lose their activated and triggered abilities. They lose flying because they're trapped in a magical vacuum extra-dimensional sinkhole. As for not removing damage during the cleanup step, that's only to ensure that the duel won't last forever in the event that both creatures' power is not enough to deal lethal damage to the other. In fact, the only reason I made it an enchantment was to make sure that the "lock into duel" effects would last until one or both of the dueling creatures died, and then immediately cease once one of the creatures won (which is why both Let Us Descend! and its copy are forced off the battlefield once one of the two creatures dies). If it wasn't necessary to do that in order to make it work properly, I'd have happily made it an instant, as in most cases, a player would only bother to make one of their creatures fight another creature if their creature has a clear advantage. This spell's effect is more along the lines of "have your beefy monster keep your opponent's beefy monster out of the way for a while".

Rulings 1: "Enchanted creatures" refers to the creature enchanted by "Let Us Descend!" itself and the creature enchanted by its copy.
Rulings 2: The copy of Let Us Descend! is an enchantment token with the name "Let Us Descend!" and the Aura subtype. The copy's text is effectively "When Let Us Descend! enters the battlefield, enchanted creatures become tapped and fight each other. Those two creatures fight each other during each combat phase (except on the turn Let Us Descend! was cast). Enchanted creatures gain shroud, "This creature does not untap during your untap step", and "Do not remove damage from this creature during your cleanup step" and lose flying and all activated and triggered abilities. When either copy of Let Us Descend! leaves the battlefield (including when either enchanted creature leaves the battlefield), the other's controller sacrifices it."

The problem: The effect is rather obtuse, and I can't help but think that there's a better way to write this up. I'm tempted to just change it to an instant reading as "Target untapped creature you control and target untapped creature you don't control become tapped, lose flying until end of turn, and fight each other. If both creatures are still on the battlefield after damage has been resolved, they fight each other again. Repeat this process until one or both creatures leave the battlefield." This would be much simpler and allow for the creatures to use their abilities against each other (especially abilities triggered by damage). However, it would force the duel to be carried out to its conclusion before anything else could happen, when the idea behind it is really that the two creatures get trapped in a duel to the death, and the battle between the players shouldn't have to be brought to an abrupt halt while their creatures duke it out. So, I'm just not satisfied with that version. ...Help? Please?
This discussion has been closed.