Twelve Words or Less! - **Circuit Challenge**

Hello everyone!

Welcome to my 12th challenge- The "Twelve Words or Less Challenge"!

I've been loving the creative designs on mtgcardsmith lately! Whether it is @MemoryHead 's cool borders or the unique card designs from @Ral1000 . Many of these things are a bit wordy, however. Sometimes, cards are beautiful because of their simplicty, but that is something that is very difficult achieve.

This challenge is all about making simple, yet creative and unique designs.

I was inspired by this card by @Beeswax and their comment:
I woke up today and asked "what's the shortest, most bizarre sentence of meaningful rules text I can put on a card"?
That is the spirit of the challenge. 

Here are some examples that I've created:

Here are the rules:

- Each card must have 12 or less words of RULES TEXT on it.
- The name of the card only counts as one word.
- Mana/tap symbols in activated ability costs don't cost count as a word, however in triggered ability costs or adding mana to your mana pool, they do.
- Abilities that have two parts to them, not including first strike or double strike (Bushido N, Afterlife N, etc.) count as one word. However abilities that have a cost with it (Madness [Cost], Bestow [Cost], etc.) count as two words.
- Credit the artist. It will affect judging. If you couldn't find the artist, please state that as you post your cards.
- Seven entries is the maximum, three of those cards can be old.

I will be judging cards on their creativity, balance, flavor (no flavor text needed), wording, use of mechanics, artist credit, and formatting.

1st place - 4 faves and one full circuit point.
2nd place - 3 faves and 3/4 circuit point.
3rd place - 2 faves and 1/2 circuit point.
HM's - 1 fave and 1/4 circuit point
Honorable Cardsmith ( I'll look at comment sections, comment revisions, and feedback threads to determine the cardsmith who I believe put the most effort into their entries) - 1 fave
Best Flavor Text - 1 fave

Have fun! I hope all of you enjoy this challenge!

The contest ends on August 31st - a little less than three weeks from now, and judging will be posted shortly afterwards.


  • This interests me for pushing out designs within a set I'm working on. Are you looking for things here to lean in more on being "succinct and clean" with how little words they use or really weird and creative? Like, what will have more weight in judging?
  • edited August 12
    @Arceus8523 Both designs appeal to me.

    However, if there are two cards I feel like could be 1st place, I will choose the weird and creative one. @Beeswax 's Constantin, Triplicate Adept that I linked in the post above is an amazing example for what a great card would look like.
  • Well, this has forced me to look through my creations and face the fact that I've only actually made a handful of short cards. That's probably something I should work on. Of those, only two actually feel good enough to be entries in this, so here are the two old entries I'll be making unless I have a sudden change of heart about one of the others:

  • Do things like +1/+1 count as words? If so, how many words does it count as?
  • edited August 12
    Does the name literally have to have one word? Edit: I understand now.

    Edit: If the card name is repeated in the text box does it count as a word?
            Does flavor text count for words or only abilities?
  • I'm honored that you mentioned my name in your intro! Unfortunately, classes are starting tomorrow for me so card production is about to slow down, but I'll see what I can do!
  • @CassZero I think the point is that the card name, no matter how many words long, will always be considered a single word.
  • @fire12

    “+1/+1” counts as one word.

    @MemoryHead Nice job! your entries look great! Just so you know, I consider the first card to have 12 words, and the second to have 11. Keep up the great work!

    @Ral1000 Hey, classes start for me soon as well! I understand!

    @CassZero Great! I’m glad you understand now!
  • I did a contest like this a while back, but it didn't get a lot of attention. This is a great idea for a contest! Once I get done with my mystery box I'll try to get a wacky concept on here.
    Awesome as always @shadow123!

  • It was a little hard to do, but the lands won't change colors, and are suitable targets for the last ability. 
  • This might be broken...
  • edited August 13
    Here's my 3 old card entries, some new ones hopefully to follow later:
    (Edited to swap a card out that didn't qualify)
  • @Shadaar I love it! One thing- Forest Mantle has too many words. I’m not sure if I made this clear, but the Abilities with costs, like bestow or madness count as two words. I’ll make sure to edit it up above in my post. I really love the first card though!
  • @everyone Rules in my original post were edited for clarity.
  • My entry (3/7 - just the old ones)
    I believe one of them has 0 valid words  :D 
  • @CassZero Yesss! Very nice!
  • edited August 18
    Old cards:

    New cards:

  • edited August 14
    Reminiscent ShiftOrdain Sequence

    Nice contest @shadow123 ! Good luck to everyone! 

  • @TerryTags Nice!

    @joemamajoe And thank you for the entries!
  • edited August 12
    @shadow123, I couldn't resist!
  • edited August 12
    Fiery Eradication

    Last one.
  • @joemamajoe Remember, there’s only three old entries allowed, as stated in the rules. All of your cards are awesome though. Make sure you tell me which ones you want me to count.
  • Here's another new card:

  • Three old cards.
  • @Revan Awesome! I just realized, but you basically made a simple mutate before mutate came out!
  • @shadow123 The Blurgg?
    Oh, I guess I did.
  • I was looking at mechanics people had made for riding animals, but they all felt too complicated. So I made my own.
  • The cool things is, the ridden animal is still a creature, so you can kill it with spells, just like you actually take out the animal before the rider irl.
  • edited August 12
    @fire12 Perhaps you just don't know the card, and perhaps this isn't the place to say it, but that feels like it's stepping way too heavily on Gild's toes.
This discussion has been closed.