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Baby Steps Part III (A Fan Set) November 4, 2013

Posted by James in : all, random, fake cards, design , 2comments

You should first take a look at Baby Steps Part 1: Teaching Kids Magic Using Baby Steps. This is part 3.

Baby Steps consists of cards used for various difficulty levels. I have already discussed the beginner and intermediate difficulty level. I have now created the advanced difficulty level. The first two difficulty levels have enchantments, auras, creatures, basic lands, nonbasic lands, sorceries, and six different keywords. The advanced level introduces the following more complex elements: (more…)

Better Mulligan Rules October 22, 2013

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Magic: the Gathering currently uses the Paris mulligan rules. I have never been a fan of the Paris mulligan. The odds of winning after a single mulligan is around 40% (and perhaps worse). There’s about a 20% swing just by missing a card. The odds of winning with only 5 cards is a bit lower (perhaps around 20%), and with 4 cards or less it’s pretty much impossible. The idea of the Paris mulligan was interesting for the first five years or so, but it’s kind of a joke. Going down to 4 or 3 cards is just stupid. And going down to 1 or 2 cards is a joke. (more…)

How to Make Your Own Magic: The Gathering Set Part 7: Design Skeleton September 27, 2013

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Making a Magic set doesn’t require you to think of one card at a time. A lot of the cards are going to be predictable reprints (staples), nearly identical to some predictable reprint, or it will be some fairly generic yet vitally important card (such as card similar to Grizzly Bears). The skeleton of a Magic set is a general list of what’s needed (so many creatures, so many nonflying creatures, various other creatures, and certain spell effects). This list can not only tell you what reprints your Magic set can include, but it also gives you a very good idea about what the majority of the cards should be like. However, it is important to keep in mind that the set skeleton is mainly about the commons and uncommons because it is mostly useful as a guide to know what each set needs. The skeleton of every large Magic set is very similar, but it can be important to deviate in various ways. (more…)

How to Make Your Own Magic: The Gathering Set Part 6: Planeswalkers September 1, 2013

Posted by James in : all, random, fake cards, theory, design , 1 comment so far

There’s three general considerations for making planeswalkers. One, deciding how powerful the abilities should be, and perhaps the most important thing is that all three abilities shouldn’t be too powerful together. Two, making sure the abilities have some synergy. Three, making sure it has a way to protect itself. (more…)

The Nostalgic Old Stuff Cube August 23, 2013

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I have been working on a nostalgic cube of cards that came out around the time when I started playing Magic: the Gathering (a year after it started back in 1994). I started the game shortly before the Dark came out, and the cube includes anything I want from the Dark or before with a few exceptions. (more…)

Magic 1523: Tarot Combat II Character Cards April 2, 2013

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The history discussed here is made up by me and there is no evidence that it is based on reality.

Tarot Combat II was the first combat-oriented card game featuring various monsters and effects. Even so, the deck of cards is actually based on a tarot deck — the cards are based on the 56 playing cards, and 22 trump cards. Character cards is the first expansion for a combat-oriented card game. It includes 22 more soldier cards, each featuring a monster or animal. Each character card has a unique set of statistics, and some of them have the flying ability. (more…)

Magic 1513: Tarot Combat II March 27, 2013

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The history discussed here is made up by me and there is no evidence that it is based on reality.

Tarot Combat is a tarot card game similar to Magic: the Gathering invented in 1503. The problem is that the game requires players to memorize what all the cards do. The 22-unique trump cards can be difficult to remember in particular. Tarot Combat II was invented in 1513, and it is training-wheels for Tarot Combat. It’s basically a tarot deck, but all the cards say what they do on them. This makes it much easier to play. (more…)

Magic 1503: Tarot Combat March 20, 2013

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The history discussed here is made up by me and there is no evidence that it is based on reality.

In 1493 a card game was invented called “Combat.” That game uses regular playing cards, which can be played as soldiers that attack or block, or as farms (lands). Players start with 20 life, and unblocked attacking soldiers deal damage to the defending player.

“Tarot Combat” is invented ten years later, which is almost the same thing, except it uses a tarot deck. Tarot cards are now famous for being used to tell fortunes, but they were originally used for card games. A tarot deck is pretty much the same thing as a regular card deck, except 22 trump cards are thrown in — cards with colorful images, such as the Magician, Death, and the Devil. (more…)

Magic 1493: Combat Using Playing Cards March 17, 2013

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The history discussed here is made up by me and there is no evidence that it is based on reality.

The first major combat-oriented card game was “Battle.” It used playing cards and it was invented in 1393.

The second major combat-oriented card game was “Combat.” It also used playing cards, but it was invented in 1493. (more…)

Magic 1393: Battle Using Playing Cards March 12, 2013

Posted by James in : all, random , 5comments

I am inventing the history about how Magic: The Gathering evolved from various card games starting back in 1393, around the time that Europe got playing cards, which was pretty much exactly what the standard international deck of playing cards is now. This is my first entry into that history. Keep in mind that there are no historical records to prove that I’m right about the history of Magic. I am making it up out of nowhere. (more…)

The History of Magical Cards March 5, 2013

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The idea of having monsters and spells on cards is not entirely new. Magic: the Gathering didn’t give us the first cards featuring monster and spell cards. Games involving monsters and spells pretty much started with Dungeons and Dragons (1974), and cards were made for that game quite early on.

However, the first thing that comes to mind when many people hear of “Magic cards” are tarot cards. (more…)

How to Make Your Own Magic: The Gathering Set Part 5: Legendary Creatures November 6, 2012

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What’s the point of legendary creatures? They originally existed to unite two colors and potentially combine the powers of both colors. Now we want them for EDH (Commander) generals that you can build a deck around and to give us entirely new and interesting abilities. We also want legendary creatures to be more interesting, fun, and powerful than creatures are generally. They often have two or more colors, but not always. They often have a high mana cost, but not always. (more…)

Return To Ravnica Is Not Ravnica (My First Impressions/Review) September 21, 2012

Posted by James in : all, random, reviews, previews, design , 5comments

I think we would have liked Return to Ravnica to be as much like the original Ravnica as possible but with new cards. Return To Ravnica is a lot like the original Ravnica. There’s hybrid cards, mana fixing, and several two-mana themes called “guilds.” However, I do have a major complaint and I think this is a good reason to think Return To Ravnica is inferior to the original — the mana fixing is significantly worse. First, I liked to have great mana fixing. Second, this might not be a problem when we draft a two color deck, but it could be a problem by the time we draft all three sets of the Return To Ravnica series together. Why? Because that will require us to generally play at least three colors. (more…)

From Alpha to Legends: Top 10 Crazy Artifacts September 10, 2012

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I remember a time when I’d throw random artifact cards in my decks just because that was the kind of thing to do back then. Magic wasn’t about winning as much as it was about playing fun cards and twiddling your thumbs. This post is in homage to the nostalgic wonderful days of being a silly Magic player for those of us who experienced such a thing. There is something good about seeing Magic that way, but a lot of these artifacts are too powerful, too weak, or too complicated.

Perhaps one day Wizards of the Coast will start making more crazy artifacts like these except make sure they are balanced properly. Perhaps one day competitive Magic will be a little less about playing overpowerered cards so that fun cards can make a difference to the game without being imbalanced. The fact that Trading Post has made it to into standard events might be a good sign. (more…)

How to Make Your Own Magic: The Gathering Set Part 4: The Power Level of Instants & Sorceries June 24, 2012

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When making your own Magic cards or set it could be a good idea to consider how powerful instant and sorcery cards should be. I will describe the range of power levels we should expect each instant or sorcery spell to have, which is based on (a) the mana cost, (b) additional abilities, and (c) drawbacks. We can measure the power level of each card in terms of “points”—each instant and sorcery spell can be expected to have the same number of “points” as a creature would for the same mana cost. (more…)

How to Make Your Own Magic: The Gathering Set Part 3: The Power Level of Creatures June 15, 2012

Posted by James in : all, random, design , 1 comment so far

It’s important to know a little about how powerful cards should be when making your own Magic set. There is a range and not all cards are equally good. Many cards are “strictly worse” than others. Even so, it would obviously be a waste of space to make a 0/1 creature with no abilities for five mana and it would be silly to have a 5/5 creature with no drawbacks for one mana. This article will explain what range of power level creatures can have. (more…)

How to Make Your Own Magic: The Gathering Set Part 2: Staples June 6, 2012

Posted by James in : all, random, design , 2comments

You can go here to see How to Make Your Own Magic: The Gathering Set Part 1

There’s a secret reason that making your own Magic set isn’t necessarily as hard as you think — The majority of every Magic set is a variety of normal creatures and spells, and that’s the easiest part of making your own Magic set. The cards (or variation of cards) that appear in just about every set or block are called “staples.” There are two main kinds of staples: (1) Reprints, such as Naturalize and Cancel. (2) Variations of reprints, such as Doom Blade, Treachery, and Defang. It’s not entirely clear how often a card or knock-off must be printed to be considered to be a “staple.” Some cards are “absolute staples” that have been printed in every block for several years and others aren’t. (more…)

The Three Best Combos That No Longer Work March 30, 2012

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Combos have always been important, but some of the best combos no longer work. I will discuss the three best combos that no longer work. These combos haven’t worked for over 12 years. If you jut started playing Magic a few years ago, then you missed out on a lot of good times. (more…)

From Alpha to Legends: Top 10 Creative Cards March 24, 2012

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Back when I first started playing Magic, it was less about winning and more about throwing “fun” and “wacky” cards in your deck. And for less competitive players, EDH (Commander) or cube could both still be good places for that. A lot of the most fun cards are “design failures” insofar as they are quite bad, but they are also “design achievements” insofar as great ideas were thought of. (more…)

What Dark Ascension Should Have Been Like January 30, 2012

Posted by James in : all, random, fake cards , 1 comment so far

dark ascension

I will introduce three new mechanics (and corresponding cards) that should have been in Dark Ascension: (more…)