Proper ability wording

Hello there, I am currently designing my first custom mtg card, and I am stuck on the wording of my abilities... 

I have scoured the internet for answers, but my ability seems too exotic to be worded based on existing mtg cards.

Here is my point.

I want to design a 5 color planeswalker, which also has the Devoid ability, and I want him to enter the battlefield with 1 loyalty counter for each color among permanents I control, counting colorless as a color, I also want him to be able to pay up to X loyalty for his abilities, where X is 1 plus the number of colors among permanents I control. 

The problem I have is that this count is similar to Domain, which acts like a static ability. 
I tried to word the ability like 

Transcendent X (This permanent transcendence is equal to the number of colors among nonland permanents you control, count colorsless as a color.)

I also tried to count Transcendence as a static counter for the player, like this 

When [Placeholder name] enters the battlefield, you get an emblem with “Your Transcendence is equal to the number of colors among nonland permanents you control, count colorless as a color.”, then put a loyalty counter on it equal to your Transcendence.

Here is an exemple of a loyalty ability of this planeswalker 

+X : Untap X lands you control, X can't be greater than your Transcendence.

I am not sure how to word these abilities without being too verbose or just off...

I can use any help and C&C. 


  • Hey @Chipatola! Congrats on your first foray into card design!

    Here are my thoughts on what you have currently:
    • The way Transcendent works feels a bit off. For abilities similar to what you seem to want, like Threshold and Domain, the names are just labels for the numbers you need to keep track of. You only see rules text references to "number of basic land types among lands you control", not "your domain count".
    • Counting colorless as a color doesn't make a lot of sense. Luckily, there's an easy fix for this card. Since you'll always control this card, which is colorless, changing "...number of colors among nonland permanents you control, count colorless as a color." to "...number of colors among nonland permanents you control plus one." has no functional difference!
    • The previous point is a bit of a lie, there are some functional differences, but I'd say they're all generally positive. Currently, if you have no nonland permanents, this planeswalker will enter with no loyalty counters (since "as this enters" abilities don't see the permanent they're on), and would die immediately. This also extends to other situations if you use this ability on more cards. It also means you can change "nonland permanents" to just "permanents" since you don't have to worry about lands being included in the count.
    • +X loyalty abilities should generally be avoided, they cause a lot of unforeseen problems. You can replace this with a 0 ability that adds loyalty counters as part of its effect.

    With that in mind, these are the changes I'd make to streamline things a bit:
    • Transcendent - CARDNAME enters the battlefield with a number of loyalty counters on them equal to the number of colors among permanents you control. 
    • 0: Untap up to X lands you control and put X loyalty counters on CARDNAME, where X is the number of colors among permanents you control.
    Hope this helps!

  • Here is the final card, I am pretty happy with how I managed to deal with the ability.

    What do you think of it ?
  • To answer your question even though its not directed to me, it's really cool
  • I know you said final card, but you might want to go change it to untap target land, not lands.  As it stands, you could untap every land on the board if you want.  I think that'd be pretty OP if you drop your big 6 mana planeswalker and immediately untap all 6 lands you used to play it.
  • edited August 2022
    Nice catch @StuffnSuch, I agree @Chipatola should consider that.

    Actually scratch that, the card is fine because it starts of with 1 loyalty so its essentially a 0 for 2 loy after you activate the ability which rounds up considering you would need defenders to activate the other abilities before losing it.
  • Yup it was a mistake from a previous version of the card. 

    Here is the card corrected, with a slight upgrade of the art, I made the hand translucent on the name tag. 

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