Mechanic Encyclopedia for ALL



  • edited June 2016

    I know it's simpler as-is to grok on reading the card.
    But I just wanted to bounce the idea of this wording for animosity (reminder text version):

    (This creature is dealt damage in the form of rage counters. It gets +1/-1 for each rage counter on it.)

    Upsides of this wording:

    1. It adheres to modern Wizards design (not using power/toughness-modifying counters other than +1/+1 and -1/-1), which by extension ensures that everything technically jives better with the comprehensive rules as they currently exist.

    2. It opens up some design space for interaction with 'rage counters' by other card designs.
    The first thing that springs to mind is some kind of 'keyword lord' like the ones for +1/+1 counters in Khans of Tarkir.
    Longshot Squad and friends
    "Each creature you control with a rage counter on it has haste."

    You could technically do this with +1/-1 counters as well, but it doesn't read nearly as cleanly to me.

    If the Animosity mechanic were to use rage counters, would there be another way to use them? Just spitballing here, I'm thinking of a "Shrine" like the ones in New Phyrexia. It could store rage counters and then distribute them to creatures. It would be much cleaner to use rage counters for that than to be putting +1/-1 counters on a noncreature permanent.

    Does anyone have any thoughts on this proposed version?
  • edited June 2016
    Treacherous Sacrifice another creature: Target player gains control of this permanent.
    Perceive Look at the top card of your library, if it shares a card type with this reveal it, and put it into your hand.
  • edited June 2016
    @Memnarchitect, I agree with you.
  • edited June 2016
    Company [number] - Pair {english_number_a(number)} land you control to this permanent. At the beginning of your upkeep, add mana to your mana pool equal to the amount of paired lands you controlled. The land can still tap for mana and activate its abilities.

    Note: {english_number_a(number)} means any number and if the number is one, it will be a/an

    Xeno - As long as you control 3 or more Humanoids, [Something happens

    Decompose [Number] - This creature enters the battlefield with {english_number_a(number)} +1/+1 counters. At the beginning of your upkeep, remove a +1/+1 counter from this creature.
  • @Memnarchitect
    I love that idea! I'll make cards with it! Thanks!
  • @Creeper333_, couldn't you just sacrifice the creature in question and give control of it to your opponent? The sacrifice means nothing.
  • edited June 2016
    also, I wanted to add some mechanics that I felt like adding (NOTE: THESE ARE FOR A SET I'M PROBABLY NOT GOING TO MAKE BUT MIGHT, WHO KNOWS (the premise is animal tribals)) (MORE EXAMPLE CARDS TO COME)

    Illegality (When a creature an opponent attacks, it gets -1/-1 until the end of the turn.)
    For White-Blue, damage control.

    Omen N (When this creature attacks, each player puts cards from the top of their library into their graveyard until they put a creature with a converted mana cost of N or less onto the battlefield. If no cards are chosen this way by any player, return all cards from that players graveyard to their library.)
    For Blue-Black, basically a graveyard cascade where things stay in the grave. Might be a little broken with delve, though.

    Cackle N (This creature gets +1/+1 when the number of creatures your opponent controls is less than N.)
    For Black-Red, playing off the fact that the theme of Black-Red is Hyena tribal in the set I may or may not make.

    Shockwave (When this creature enters the battlefield, deal 1 damage to each creature and opponent.)
    For Red-Green, might be a little to weenie hate, but it fits big creatures + aggro theme I'm thinking of.

    Allied (When this creature enters the battlefield, choose another creature you control. As long as this creature is on the battlefield, both creatures get +1/+1 and vigilance.)
    For Green-White, was going for a theme of teamwork and making things bigger. Might be too complicated game-wise in a similar way Race and Class tribal from lor+shad (maro talked about it) was but it felt right.

    Drain (If this creature would deal damage to another creature, that creature gets -1/-1 and you gain 1 life.)
    White-Black Lifegain Bats Tribal

    Intelligence C (If this creature is in combat, you may remove it from combat and draw a card for C.)
    Blue-Red Dolphins Tribal

    Hivemind (This creature has all abilities of creatures you control that have a hivemind counter on them.)
    Black-Green Insect Tribal - meant to almost mimic Slivers (not as good)

    Charge (When this creature enters the battlefield, it gets +N/+0 and haste until the end of the turn.)
    Red-White Bull Tribal

    Morph C (C, Exile this creature: Search your library for a creature card with converted mana cost equal or one greater than this one's and put it onto the battlefield.
    Morphy-type thingy Blue-Green Tribal
  • Charged X - This creature enters the battlefield with X charge counters on it.

    Made to work with DeepSky's Electric Mechanic.
  • Shielding N (Whenever this creature is dealt N or more damage, remove all marked damage from this creature and it loses indestructible and this ability.)

    The creature would of course have indestructible. I was wondering if there was a way to make this work the way it currently does, but without indestructible, via better wording.

    The only card I made with this so far is Warding Cultist (, but I worded it weird.
  • Hum.......

    Sleepless (This creature can defend even if it is tapped. It doesn't untap on it's next untap step if it

    Actually made an example card of it:
  • @bieux - Example cards are AWESOME!!!
  • edited June 2016
    Pounce (Creatures blocking this creature lose first strike and double strike until end of turn.)
    Blockers lose both, First and Double Strike, even if they normally have just one of these abilities, to avoid the blocking creature to deal its combat damage before the attacking creature can.
    You are welcome to use 'pounce' with or without crediting me, using it will be credit enough.
  • edited June 2016
    Rage X (This creature enters The battlefield with X rage counters on it. As long as it has rage counters on it, it has +2/+0 and gains haste. At the beginning of your upkeep, remove a rage counter.)

    Example card:
  • edited July 2016
    Here's my keywords; I haven't used them yet (well, technically I've used the second one... but I'm planning on rewriting that card eventually).

    Barricade X (This permanent enters play with X charge counters on it. Whenever (designated subject) would receive damage, remove charge counters from this permanent equal to that damage (or all of them if it has fewer counters than that), then prevent damage equal to the number of counters removed.)

    The idea behind Barricade is to represent force fields, shields, and other protective devices. The designated subject could be the controller (i.e. a player), a creature, a planeswalker, all of the controller's creatures, all of the controller's planeswalkers, or some combination of the controller and his/her creatures and planeswalkers. Some barricades would be strictly temporary and would be sacrificed upon running out of charge counters, while others would include a recharge mechanism. Of course, barricades would be helpless to stop stuff that doesn't count as damage, like straight-up life loss, putting -1/-1 counters on creatures, and removing counters from planeswalkers (though they could stop sources of those that do count as damage, like creatures with wither/infect). Also, barricades can't stop damage in excess of what they have sufficient charge counters to deal with, so a barricade with 1 charge counter won't (completely) nullify, say, a Lightning Bolt. Barricades would exist primarily as a white and artifact thing, I believe.

    Saboteur (When this creature deals combat damage to a player, that player must sacrifice a number of permanents and/or discard cards from his/her hand equal to the combat damage that would be dealt. Then prevent an amount of combat damage equal to the total number of permanents sacrificed and cards discarded.)

    Saboteur is, in a sense, a poor man's annihilator. It would appear primarily on cards flavored around undermining the enemy rather than taking direct action against them, like Spies and Rogues, as its flavor revolves around infiltrating the enemy's territory and screwing with their stuff. It works similarly to Szadek, Lord of Secrets's combat damage circumvention, except it affects the opponent's hand and board instead of their library. Also, the damage is only prevented if the opponent's number of permanents and/or cards in hand equals or exceeds the combat damage (effectively, 1 card stops 1 damage). While the opponent cannot choose to discard/sacrifice fewer cards and take the remainder as damage to their life, if they do not have enough cards to match the damage, they have to discard/sacrifice them all and take the remainder as damage to their life. Also, much like lifelink, saboteur's effect is directly tied to the damage dealt, so anything that reduces or prevents the damage a saboteur deals will reduce the amount of cards that need to be discarded/sacrificed. As a final note, creatures with saboteur deal damage to creatures and planeswalkers normally. If your creature with saboteur attacks a player without being blocked and you redirect the damage to one of that player's planeswalkers, you would simply remove loyalty counters from that planeswalker equal to the damage dealt as normal.

    Dedicated Saboteur (When this creature deals damage to a player, that player must sacrifice a number of permanents and/or discard cards from his/her hand equal to the combat damage that would be dealt. Then prevent an amount of damage equal to the total number of permanents sacrificed and cards discarded.)

    This ability works just like saboteur, except it applies to all the damage the creature bearing it deals, not just combat damage. In practice, they will only work differently if you have means of giving your creatures new ways to deal noncombat damage (like equipment, auras, and enchantments), as creatures with dedicated saboteur generally won't have abilities allowing them to directly damage players.
  • @JaceNalaar What? Isn't it a good thing to provide a detailed explanation of how an ability works and how it is used? Better to get it out of the way now than have an argument over it later.
  • @Luigifan - It certainly is. It helps people who might want to use it, but don't know what your idea behind it was. If you go back and look, there are quite a few vague ideas, and those are some of the hardest ones to use.
  • Here are some mechanics that care about what happens while a spell is on the stack:

    Feint [cost]: Whenever you have priority while this spell is on the stack, you may pay [cost]. If you do, remove it from the stack and return it to its owner's hand.


    Flow: Return this spell to its owner's hand as part of its resolution if no other spells or abilities were put on the stack after it was cast.


    Blood Pact: If damage is dealt to you while this spell is on the stack, this spell's effects don't end at [time] (usually the beginning of the next end step, but the example card has rules issues that require a change.

  • edited June 2016
    I tried coining a mechanic called "rainbow mana", which would be mana that counted as all colors simultaneously but only 1 mana at a time (like Rainbow Energy from the Pokémon Trading Card Game). To balance the sheer utility of rainbow mana, generating it would always come with some sort of cost and/or restriction, like requiring you to pay 3 life or only being spendable on planeswalker spells - and some rainbow mana generation effects might even include mana in their cost, so your mana pool wouldn't actually increase. (I decided that 1 life was too little because it would make rainbow mana generators strictly better than painlands, and 2 life was too little because it would render Phyrexian mana obsolete.)

    Then I remembered that the game already has cards that "generate X mana of any color", like the infamous Black Lotus. Oops.

    But that's okay. I still have a new mechanic ready to go. Though I'm afraid I made it a bit too hardcore...

    Vigorous (This creature's power and toughness cannot be reduced except by removing effects that would increase its power and/or toughness. -1/-1 counters cannot be placed on this creature; if it would take damage in the form of -1/-1 counters, it takes that damage normally instead. If this creature takes damage from a source with deathtouch, that damage is not automatically lethal.)

    This ability represents being exceptionally resistant to disease, poison, rot, corruption, and other body-weakening mechanisms by which -1/-1 counters and deathtouch work. Said exceptional resistance could be due to a variety of things, like divine protection or an incredibly strong immune system. Thus, it would be primarily a white and green ability. (I know that in certain cases, deathtouch is flavored as extreme skill at targeting vital regions of the body, and -1/-1 counters can be flavored as things like fatigue or debilitating injury. But some weird flavor meshes are always inevitable.) The clause for damage in the form of -1/-1 counters being converted back to getting marked normally is there to prevent weird interactions with wither and infect (which forced me to write some long and convoluted errata for Untaintable Being). The immunity to deathtouch is something I was sorely tempted to make into a separate ability (heck, even the complete immunity to power and toughness reduction almost didn't make it; it was nearly exclusive to -1/-1 counters). But for the sake of leaving few holes in the "disease can't touch this" flavor, I decided to throw the immunity to deathtouch in.
  • Sanguinary Will (Whenever this creature destroys a creature, [Effect])

    This mechanic is more of a Vampire tribal ability, but it can still see play in other creature types. Anyway, Sanguinary Will is more of a bloodthirsty mechanic and that it thrives on creatures dying by a creature with this mechanic. This mechanic is triggered by either Combat Damage or the creature's abilities that caused a creature to be destroyed

    Lone (This creature has no definite controller)

    Woah this is a complex one. Bear with me. Anyway, a creature with Lone has no definite controller. That means that it does not count as an enter the battlefield trigger as it does not enter the battlefield. Instead, it will lie in a new area of the game called Centerfield and it is the middle line between you and your opponent's field. At the beginning of combat, each player rolls a dice to determine that they can put that card in their battlefield until the end of combat. The one with the highest number will keep that creature onto that player's battlefield until the end of the combat phase. Then that player can now only activate that creature's abilities until end of the combat phase. Otherwise, anyone can activate that creature's abilities instead of one specific player. Now if a creature with Lone dies, it gets exiled instead into the player that last had temporary ownership with that creature. However, any spells that have to deal with the exile pile will not target this creature what so ever.

    Immense Power (As long as you control 10 or more creatures or creatures you control have total power 10 or greater, [effect])

    This mechanic is really useful for decks that cast really huge creatures or token decks. It is like formidable and bastillion with a few increase in number values.
  • Rage N-If there are N or more creatures in your graveyard that share a creature type with this creature, [Effect].

    The flavor being that once there are a certain number of fallen freinds, the creature becomes enraged and gains an additional effect. I don't have any good examples for this.


    Consume (Your creatures can help cast this spell. Each creature you sacrifice while casting this spell pays for {1}. )

    The new creature eats the old ones. Example:


    Bloom-Whenever a Forest enters the battlefield under your control, [effect].

    A modified Landfall for forests only. Example:


    Triumphant-Whenever [creature name] deals combat damage to a player, [effect].

    They just won a battle, so they get to do something special. Example:


    Exchange (Instead of paying this spell's mana cost, you can put the top X cards of your library into your graveyard where X is this spell's converted mana cost.)

    Hmm, maybe Exchange wasn't the best name? Example:


    Exhilaration (This spell costs {1} less to cast for each card in exile.)

    This ones name is kinda a joke (Exile, Exhilaration), but I think could be a really cool mechanic. If anyone wants to suggest a better name (or if someone already created a mechanic that does the same thing), please tell me! Example:


    Pierce (it's the same thing as trample)

    I needed to give the trample mechanic to a sword dancer.....I created Pierce. Example:


    Frosttouch (Tap any creature that fights this creature; it does not untap during its controller's next untap step.)

    It freezes anything it touches! Example:


    Horde ([creature name] gets +1/+1 for each creature you control that shares a creature type)

    They get more powerful the more there are! Example:

    ^Warning! Old card!^


    Color Pact (this creature gets +1/+1 for each other creature you control that shares a color.)

    Horde, but for a color. Example:


    Landsurge (This creature gets +1/+1 for each land you control that shares a color.)

    Kinda like a mix of Color Pact... almost. Example:


    Reunite [cost] (If [creature name] is in your graveyard, and you control a copy of [creature name], you may cast [creature name] from your graveyard, but its mana cost is replaced with [cost].)

    A way to return creatures from the grave! Example:


    Starlight-Whenever you cast a spell, you may pay [cost]. If you do, [effect].

    A modified version of Constellation. Example:


    Return [cost] (you may pay [cost] to put [cardname] on top of your library. Then, shuffle your library.)

    A way to get your cards back. Example:


    [Creature Type] Convocation (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.)

    A limited version of convoke. Example:


    Reverberate (Whenever [creature name] deals damage to a player, [creature name] deals that much damage to each other player).

    This mechanic makes it so you can create OP creatures, and then make them less OP. Example:


    That's it for now! I'll post more when I create 'em.
  • edited June 2016
    My next mechanic isn't so much a mechanic as a gap in the official rules. Namely, what happens if damage is somehow avoided without technically being prevented? In this post, I explore this gap in the rules and try to figure out what happens if the loophole is somehow invoked.

    Magic Unofficial Rule: Ignored Damage

    Damage is considered ignored if it is not counted against whatever it gets inflicted to without actually being prevented by anything. The main way that damage can be ignored is if a damage-replacement effect is applied to it, but then negated without changing the damage back to how it would normally occur; there may be other circumstances that would result in damage being ignored, but I'm not aware of them. Damage inflicted to a player that gets ignored does not reduce that player's life; damage inflicted to a planeswalker that gets ignored does not reduce that planeswalker's loyalty; and damage inflicted to a creature that gets ignored is not marked against the creature's toughness. However, ignored damage is not actually prevented, so effects tied to the ignored damage still work normally. For instance, if a source with lifelink does damage, but that damage is ignored, the controller of the source with lifelink will still gain life equal to the damage that was dealt. If a source with lifelink does damage, and that damage is prevented, the controller of the source with lifelink will not gain life because that source did not do any damage. Essentially, ignored damage still happens, but is rendered irrelevant before it can be counted against whatever it was dealt to (but NOT before it has a chance to trigger or set off abilities).

    An effect that negates damage will generally be worded so that it prevents damage instead of ignoring it, and an effect that prevents damage overrides a circumstance that could result in it being ignored. Thus, as previously stated, the main way that damage can be ignored is if a damage-replacement effect is applied to it, but then negated without changing the damage back to how it would normally occur. To clarify, this happens when the damage-replacement effect is negated, not the damage itself (in fact, if the damage itself is explicitly negated, then it is considered prevented and none of the weird edge cases of damage ignoring apply) - and more specifically, the damage-replacement effect has to be applied in a situation where it's actually impossible to apply it. For example, if a source with wither or infect does damage to a creature with an ability that prevents -1/-1 counters from being placed on it, that damage is ignored unless the ability that prevents the placement of -1/-1 counters also causes damage that would be converted to -1/-1 counters to be marked normally instead.

    If a source with deathtouch would deal damage to a creature, and that creature manages to ignore the damage, deathtouch still applies to the damage. This causes the damage to become lethal, sending the creature to the graveyard as a state-based action. Essentially, deathtouch can negate a situation where damage would be ignored.
  • Is @Luigifan right? If so, that is so weird! But also awesome.
  • Actually, deathtouch requires at least one damage from the source to be marked on the target, since deathtouch checks to see if the target actually received any amount of damage, and then sends the target to the graveyard if it did. Thus, deathtouch does not negate "damage ignoring". this also applies to Lifelink, since you gain life equl to teh amount of damage marked on the target. Also, what you mentioned above about the -1/-1 counter situation is damage prevention, since the immunity to -1/-1 counters is essentially short for "if a spell or ability would place -1/-1 counters on this card, counter that spell or ability. If 'combat damage' (read: infect/wither) would cause -1/-1 counters to be put on this card, prevent that damage." (I think my wording was a little messy at the end, but I believe it's clear enough that my point is that there is no way to have some strange "Damage Ignoring" scenario.)
  • @Faiths_Guide I was basically trying to make sense of a potential source of confusion. I looked at the rules for prevention effects, and they say nothing about damage that gets converted into an inapplicable form.
  • All I can say is, next time I play a match, I'm just going to ignore all the damage.

    @Faiths_Guide - "I attack you for 8."
    @Corwinnn - "I ignore it."
    @Faiths_Guide - "Judge!!!"
  • edited June 2016
    @Corwinn It doesn't work like that. It only happens when damage somehow gets rendered irrelevant without being prevented, which means that it doesn't do anything except trigger/set off abilities. As far as I'm aware, it can only happen when an effect tries to replace damage with something that can't actually happen, such as a creature with wither or infect trying to attack a creature that can't receive -1/-1 counters, or Szadek, Lord of Secrets trying to attack a player with an empty library.

    @cadstar369 Wait, really? If that's true, then, yeah, my "damage ignoring" thing is moot. (And I have a lot of errata to rewrite and/or discard. Oh, and by the way, wither and infect aren't restricted to combat damage only.)
  • @Luigifan - I know, that was me attempting (horribly) to be funny.
  • Pride (This creature can only attack alone.)
    Allows some stronger creatures to be cast at lower costs, such as a 4 mana 7/7.

    Immerse [COST] (Whenever this permanent leaves the battlefield, you may pay [COST]. If you do, put it on the bottom of its owner's library instead.)
  • @Luigifan I don't think there's actually any way for damage to be rendered irrelevant to creatures, but it can happen to players through cards like Angel's Grace or Platinum Emperion. I don't think there's a lot of design space for such a mechanic, though.

    Two more mechanics:

    Materialize [cost]: During your declare attackers step, you may pay this creature's materialize cost. If you do, put it onto the battlefield tapped and attacking. Return it to its owner's hand at the end of combat.


    Hunted: Opponents may cast spells that target this creature without paying their mana costs.

Sign In or Register to comment.