Mechanic Encyclopedia for ALL

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  • edited May 2022
    @cadstar369 Whoops! I didn't know it would restack for each forgotten creature!
    Thanks for pointing it out.
  • Time to remove every forgotten figures and redo them
  • edited May 2022
    I hereby approve the use of any of these mechanics as you see fit.

    Spectral (Each {1} in this card's mana cost must be paid with a different color. It [becomes/gains] those colors.)

    Infiltrate (Whenever this creature attacks and isn't blocked, you may have it fight target creature. If you do, remove both creatures from combat.)

    Naïve (This creature can't block or be blocked by creatures that haven't dealt damage to you or a creature you control.)

  • edited May 2022
    I've only designed a few myself but I guess I'll post them here.

    - Alacrity (Spells without spell alacrity and abilities of permanents without alacrity enter the stack under abilities of permanents with alacrity.)

    - Spell Alacrity (Spells without spell alacrity and abilities of permanents without alacrity enter the stack under spells with spell alacrity.)

    - Cleft (You may cast this spell for its cleft cost. If you do, remove the words in squiggly brackets.)
    It's functionally identical to cleave. It serves no purpose unless the card it's on also has cleave.

    - Cloven (You may cast this spell for its cloven cost. If you do, remove the words in all brackets.)
    This serves no purpose unless the card it's on also has cleave and/or cleft.

    - Distortion X (This card has a mana value of X in all zones.)

    -
    Piercing (This spell can target permanents or players as though they don't have hexproof, shroud, or protection. This spell can't be countered by ward abilities.)

    - Trailblazer (As long as this creature is attacking, if the defending player declares any blockers, they must block this creature if able.)

    Please let me know if you use them, I'd love to see.
  • I revisited my old mechanics in the Book of the Mechanix, and some of them where pretty stupid, but here's a card using one that still makes sense: 

    https://mtgcardsmith.com/view/madness-cult-strangler
  • edited May 2022
    Hey there. First comment, hurra! I've never been much of a keyword designer since I used MTGCardsmith, but it happened that sometimes I made one or two, so I'll make a brieve list of those below as someone asked me to use one of those quite recently. Feel free to use them if you like them or if they inspire you something! :)

    Firstly, I'll list ways I derived keywords from real MtG keywords for some of my sets. That may not be the most interesting points as some cards exist now in the game that didn't exist at the time I designed those that make some of them obsolete.

    [Card type] cycling {x} ({x}, Discard this card: Search your library for a [card type] card with converted mana cost X or less, reveal it, put it into your hand, then shuffle your library.)

    > The cards I made around this were using Sorcery Cycling and Instant Cycling at pretty expensive mana costs. Now, we have Step Through that introduced Wizardcycling. I think it's more interesting than what I made as that felt as some kind of a very tutor-ish way to use cycling ability, whereas using a specific creature type makes it less flexible and more of a niche, which is probably a good thing considering this kind of effect potential to end a game.

    Affinity for snow (This spell costs {1} less to cast for each snow permanent you control.) 

    > Not much to say, I think that was not a great take on a way too strong keyword. That being said, it was pretty well balanced in limited and constructed custom games I played with those cards.

    Commander Agenda (Start the game with this conspiracy face down in the command zone. You may turn this conspiracy face up any time you cast your commander.)

    > This was very, very, broken.

    [Creature type] Convoke (Your [Creature type] 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.)

    > Surely my favorite of those altered keywords I made. I like it and thinks it's a nice way to help tribal archetypes without giving directly convoke to a card, which enable you to create more powerful cards with convoke but attached to a more niche archetype.

    Assisted Convoke (Creatures each player controls can help cast this spell. Each creature a player taps while you're casting this spell pays for {1} or one mana of that creature's color.)

    > My bad, another late edit comes up as I forgot this one. It's a simple mashup between Assist from Battlebond and Convoke.

    Snow Sorcery / Instant (Colored symbols of this spell’s cost must be paid by spending mana from a snow permanent.)

    > This one went through several changes over time. It was the main mechanic of the first set I made. It was done before Kaldheim was announced or released, so I had no idea that MtG were going back to snow cards and I was a bit disappointed by the take of WotC on Snow Sorceries and Instants, but at the same time I'm really glad they did something   like that.

    Token Storm (When this creature enters the battlefield, create a token that is a copy of it for each spell played this turn.)

    > That's for sure something a lot of new custom cards makers would have make I think. I've made it for only one creature card that was bouncing itself (returning to its owner's hand) at end of turn. What's funny about this one, while it's not great or greatly funny, is that it was made before WotC enabled to copy permanent spells. So, before Aeve, Progenitor Ooze that works exactly like this came out.

    (Sorry, I've cut this post in two big and annoying blocs of texts as it was too long and I'm too tired to read myself back.)
  • edited June 2022
    Then comes the more interesting part in which there are my very own, very precious, custom mechanics. Hhhm.

    Abound (Create a token that’s a copy of a noncreature token you control.)

    > Basically Populate for noncreature tokens. Nothing much new or innovating.

    Accumulate {x} (You may pay an additional {x} any number of times as you cast this spell. For each time you do, increase all values indicated in its text by {1}. This effect affects costs as well.)

    > You can boost your cards effects indefinitly (such as for {x} spells), but it gets always more expensive. This allows me to go for a different scaling on those cards than the regular scaling {x} spells follow.

    Atemporal (Unless it is the target of a spell or an ability, this creature is treated as though it doesn’t exist by spells and abilities.)

    > I'm actually editing this post because I forgot this one. It's quite funny according to what keyword it is.

    Concord — Choose one for each color permanents you control share with this spell.

    > An idea for a ''color-matters'' modal spell archetype.

    Confluence — If you control at least three permanents with fully colored mana cost, [effect]

    > Old mechanic from my first set in which they were a lot of fully colored cards.

    Contrivance X — If you control an artifact with converted mana cost X or greater, you may exile this spell as it resolves. If you do, [effect]

    > Weird old mechanic for a weird old sci-fi set.

    Duet (You may exile this spell as it resolves. If you do, the next player in the turn order may cast this card from exile without paying its mana cost at the beginning of their next upkeep.)

    > Weird random idea of a spell that is played by multiple players, such as a melody that players must choose to continue or not to play.

    Edict - Each player votes for an edict. (This card gains the effect of the edict with most votes or the effect of the edicts tied with most votes.) 

    > Old mechanic. Hasn't used it much. Edicts were written like choose one and were effects that last indefinitly for creatures with edict.

    Enforce (This creature's power and thoughness can't be reduced and it can’t be destroyed by lethal damage unless lethal damage dealt by a single source is marked on it.)

    > Based on an old card I like a lot for its weirdness: Ogre Enforcer. It's some kind of a different indestructible, but that can be destroyed by being dealt exact lethal damage. It denies -1/-1 effects.

    Fierceness X (Whenever this creature deals lethal damage to a permanent, put X +1/+1 counter on it.)

    > Pretty straight-forward mechanic. You kill a creature, you kill a planeswalker, you put some +1/+1 counters on your creature.

    Flood — As long as all lands you control are tapped, [effect]

    > Based on an old Mirage card I can't remember the name of. Made for a set revolving around Jamuraa (Dominaria, Deserts, Mirage set place).

    Harness X — Tap up to X untapped colored permanents you control: For each different color among colors of permanents tapped this way, [effect]

    > Abandoned old mechanic. Intended to use for mill effects, it was quite clunky.

    Intoxicate X — [effect] (When you cast this spell from your hand, you may get X poison counters. If you do, it gains this effect.)

    > Old mechanic, not much used. Poison counters interactions are always a bit scary, so I won't be using this anymore.

    Lead — If [Card's name] is your commander, [passive effect at the start of the game]

    > Weird commander mechanic. It was quite strong. An exemple I made using it as I think it's not much appealing as written: Lead — If [Card's name] is your commander, your deck may contain up to ten more cards.

    Link — [Effect] If [Card’s name] shares a color with the last spell cast this turn, [bonus effect] / [replacement effect]

    > Recently made effect based on Mana Maze, most of the time granting bonus effects if the requirement is met.

    [Permanent] Processing (You may return an untapped [permanent] you control with greater mana value to your hand as you cast this spell from your hand. If you do, copy it. A copy of a permanent spell becomes a token.)

    > Bounce a bigger thing and copy your smaller thing.

    Remember (You may cast this card from exile for its remember cost. Then shuffle it in your library.)

    > To flashback the flashback.

    Revenge — If you were dealt damage by a source an opponent controls since the end of your previous turn, [effect]

    > Ability to prevent combat hate.

    Reverberate (Exile this spell as it resolves. The next time you cast a spell that shares a color or a type with it, you may return this card from exile to your hand. It costs up to {1} less to cast until end of turn.)

    > Somewhere between Rebound and Buyback. / Replaced by resonate.

    Resonate [cost] (You may pay [cost] as you cast this spell from your hand. If you do, exile it as it resolves. As you cast your next spell that shares a type with it, put this card into your graveyard and you may add its effects to that spell.)

    > Inspired from the mechanic Resonance made by Zervintz. It's a mashup between reverberate and resonance.

    Seal target [spell/permanent] (Exile that card and put a seal counter on it. It gains ‘‘{1}, Discard a card, Remove a seal counter from this card: Put this card into your hand. Activate only as a sorcery.’’)

    > I've changed exile by seal for most of the cards I use in my actual cube. The idea is to have the exile zone as an interactive zone rather than just... a zone in which one you can look at those cards you've paid 200 bucks for and that you won't ever play with because fate decided so.

    Seasonal (As you play this card, if it isn’t a season, it becomes spring. At the beginning of your upkeep, you may pay {1}. If you do, it becomes next season.)

    > Mechanic of cards that change effects (4 effects as for 4 seasons) a bit such as with day and night. But with lighter effects that can change more often.

    Submerge — Whenever one or more land card are put in your graveyard from your library, [effect]

    > Old mechanic for an unfinished set based on Kamigawa. But now that we've returned to Kamigawa for real, I dropped that set and this keyword doesn't really have a home anywhere anymore.

    [cost], {t}: Take target creature you control on a ride. (Both gain all the abilities of the other creature.)

    > Another edit! Last one hopefully. Quite old mechanic I haven't used much so I haven't much things to say about that. That's some kind of a Soulbond-like.

    Unending {x} (If you would have to sacrifice this Saga, you may pay its unending cost and remove all lore counters from it instead.)

    > Old mechanic for that Desert Cube of mine (the Mirage set). It had a couple of Sagas around and that was just doing fine, allowing players to lose sometimes a turn to keep their Saga running.

    Unison (This spell cost 1 less to cast for each creature you control sharing at least one creature type with it.)

    > Old mechanic, not very nice but it was of some help for tribal archetype in my sets.

    Yare (This creature can block up to one additional creature.)

    > Old mechanic, very basic. It's based on the card from Mirage named Yare, hence the originality of this keyword's name.
  • edited May 2022
    Apogee: If you're at your apogee, [effect] / As long as you're at your apogee, [effect] (As long as you control the most permanents among all players, you're at your apogee.)

    > Inspired by Ranshi's WORDsmith's challenge / Also that one's wording was a little bit inspired by the very cool Finale keyword made by Feralitator.

    Sneaky [cost] (During the declare blockers step after defending players have declared blockers, if any, you may cast this spell as though it had flash by paying [cost] plus removing an unblocked attacking creature you control from combat and untapping it.)

    [effect] If this spell's sneaky cost was paid, [bonus effect]

    > ''Play aggressively/play with unblockable creatures to cast your spells at an alternative cost instead of dealing damage'' idea. Very wordy mechanic for just an alternative cost.

    Special thanks to @Yesterday for their very precious help with correcting the wording of this ability!
  • edited May 2022
    @Shelko Just a quick note, because of some weirdness in the rulings of combat that also allows Reconnaissance to work not the way it was probably intended, you can 'remove an attacking creature from combat' during the end of combat step, after it has already dealt combat damage. Also, you can just cast sneaky as above before the declare blocks step to basically use sneaky with no downside and without functionally attacking, except you also gain any "whenever CARDNAME attacks" triggers.

    I'm not 100% on this, but maybe:
    Sneaky [cost] (During the declare blockers step after defending players have declared blockers, if any, you may cast this spell as though it had flash by paying [cost] plus removing an unblocked attacking creature you control from combat [and untapping it?])
  • edited October 2022
    Inspired by Kicker;
    Increase Quality {X} (You may pay Increase Quality cost as additional to cast this creature. If you do, it is [Color same as mana spent to it])

    Increase Quality {X} [Times] (You may pay Increase Quality cost as additional to cast this creature. If you do, it is [Color same as mana spent to it]. You can pay )

    Decrease Quality {X} (You may cast this creature for its Decrease Quality. If you do, it enters the battlefield colorless.)

    Hidden from [Any permanents/spells] (This creature cannot be target of [Chosen permanents/spells] unless it attacked, blocked, or its ability was triggered or activated this turn.)

    Last Exhale - X [Creature Type] (If X [Creature Type] died this turn, you may create a treasure token. This ability can be only triggered once.)
  • While surfing for land art and thinking of a new subtype for lands, I spontaneously thought of a mechanic similar to "Choose a Background" of Baldur's Gate set:

    Choose a Home (You can have a Home as a second commander.)

    Here's a potential commander pair using this mechanic:

    Makatza Kobold Liberator Farland Tavern
  • I think there's like a "fundamental" magic the gathering law that lands can't be commanders, because 1. It would be overpowered and 2. You don't cast lands so you can't get them out of the command zone. 
  • edited October 2022
    Well, technically Arixmethes, Slumbering Isle is a land at first that can be chosen as a commander.

    1. What do you think makes a land commander overpowered? That it can be played from the command zone immediately at the beginning of the game or whenever it's put there, like certain nonland commanders? Lands can only be commanders if they have the Home subtype, so they should be designed with that in mind. And just like the commanders in Baldur's Gate (creatures and enchantments), the Choose a Home commanders (lands and creatures) should probably be monocolored for easy and fair customizations.

    2. You can play lands from zones other than the hand (top of library, exile), so why would it be impossible to play them from the command zone?
  • How would commander tax work with playing lands?
  • @feralitator - This is what @Tommia mentioned on Discord:

    "With how the rules are worded, new rules would have to be made for lands. So presumably the rule saying you can cast you commanders would be changed to say you could play them, and an extra rule would be made for tax on the lands."

    Which means that land commanders would have the same taxing rules as nonland commanders: {2} mana for each time a land commander has been played from the command zone in a single game.
  • Thought this was a cool idea for a mechanic. Do you know any way to make this less wordy?

    Shoddy reconfiguring {0} ({0}: Attach to target
    creature you control; or unattach from a creature.
    Reconfigure only as a sorcery. While attached this isn't
    a creature. When this card becomes a creature, put a
    -1/-1 counter on it. When this card becomes attached
    to a creature, put the -1/-1 counters on this creature
    onto the creature it's attached to.)

  • edited October 2022
    @TenebrisNemo @feralitator Since I'm actually here, said rule would probably require something attached to the card in the command zone. Maybe an intrinsic ability they have, since lands don't have costs.

    Here's the extra rules baggage I came up with.

    (New Rule) 702.124.j. "Choose a Home" is a variant of the partner ability that represents a static ability. "Choose a Home" means "You may designate two cards as your commander as long as one of them is this card and the other is a legendary Home land." You can't designate two cards as your commander if one has a "choose a Home" ability and the other is not a Home land, and legendary Home lands cannot be your commander unless you have also designated a commander with "choose a Home."

    (Rule Modification) 903.8. A player may play a commander they own from the command zone. A commander cast from the command zone costs an additional {2} for each previous time the player casting it has cast it from the command zone that game. This additional cost is informally known as the "commander tax."
    • (New Rule) 903.8.a. Some commanders are lands. Since they don't have costs, they are not subject to the aforementioned "commander tax" rule. Instead, that land has the static ability "You can't play this land from the command zone unless you pay {2} for each time you've played it from the command zone this game."
  • Sustain {Cost}: You may cast this card for its Sustain cost. If you do, it becomes an enchantment and looses all other card types and all instances of "until end of turn".
    This allows an instant or sorcery to be cast as a continuous effect instead of a temporary effect.
  • edited October 2022
    @Tommia - Nice work. If Wizards would ever introduce land commanders, I'm sure they'd adjust the rules in your way.

    Here's another potential commander pair using the mechanic: Choose a Home (You can have a Home as a second commander.)

    Underground Castlekeep Ashtad Light in the Dark

    Edit: Here's also a set which will include all my cards using this mechanic from now on:
    https://mtgcardsmith.com/user/TenebrisNemo/sets/68932
  • edited October 2022
    Enact <cost> (You may cast this spell for its enact cost. If you do, change its text by replacing all instances of "if [] gets more votes" with "for each [] vote" and by removing all instances of "or the vote is tied".)

    Here's an example:



    I'll be posting a couple more cards using or interacting with this mechanic in the coming days.
  • edited October 2022
    Update for Increase Quality:

    Increase Quality {x} (You may pay Increase Quality cost as additional to cast [Creature Name]. If you do, it's [Same as mana spent to it]. You can only pay it once.)

    Increase Quality [Times] {x} (You may pay Increase Quality cost as additional to cast [Creature Name]. If you do, it's [Same as mana spent to it]. You can only pay it [Times].)
  • @FireOfGolden It's a really cool mechanic! As I think you could use some help with its wording, here's a little suggestion for a revised wording that works just the same:

    Increase Quality [cost] (You may pay an additional [cost] as you cast this spell. If you do, this spell becomes each color among colored mana spent this way.)

    There's no need to say that you can't pay more than once since it doesn't allow you itself to pay more than once. The reference for this kind of effect is kicker, and you can't pay a kicker cost more than once, that's why on the opposite side there's multikicker that's another take on that kind of effect allowing you to pay for more.

    However, note that I'm not sure the second half of this wording is good. I think it is but I may be wrong since I'm not a rule and wording expert, I don't speak english very well tbh, and mostly because I couldn't find any corresponding precedent in the game so I can't just trust myself on that. There may surely be other cardsmiths that would have some ideas about how to word it.

    For the [Times] Increase Quality, here's another suggestion of wording based on mutlikicker this time:

    Increase Quality [Number in digit] - [cost] (You may pay an additional [cost] up to [number in letters] times as you cast this spell. If you do, this spell becomes each color among colored mana spent this way.)

    Also, it's just a detail as I've seen you're designing a lot of colorless cards, but if at any time you'd like to use this ability on a colored card, I think you could add ''[...] in addition to its other colors,'' in the mix, at the end of the reminder text, so that way Increase Quality doesn't override the previous colors the card has (because I'm pretty sure otherwise it would override those).
  • There is a reason why I must ensure it can be paid once or few times.


  • @FireOfGolden Of course, but it works the same as Kicker/Multikicker. I'm just suggesting a wording based on those abilities that are part of the game as I think it may be a good reference point for Increase Quality. Kicker doesn't say it can only be paid once, since an additional cost can itself only be paid once unless it's specified otherwise, like in cards with multikicker.
  • @Shelko Ahh, I see! Thanks for that, I wasn't sure if a player can sneak around and pay it more than once.
  • Create a timeline (Create a new battlefield. You and opponents may cast a spell in there. That battlefield isn't affected by another battlefield.) 
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