Disclaimer: I am not involved with Wizards of the Coast in any way. All art featured on the custom cards was found and borrowed from the internet. If you are one of the artists featured and you would like recognition or for me to remove your art, please contact me.
I gotta admit that I became way too obsessed with making my 1st custom Magic: the Gathering set. One of the reasons why that is, is that it’s a great creative outlet to distract me from the petty frustrations of life. Another is that the more I worked on it, the more layers of depths I found. I’ve actually spent much more time thinking about MtG than playing MtG recently. I think it’s a good thing.
For advice, help and guides on how to create your own MtG set, there’s a lot of easily accessible resources out there but there are two singular walls of text that had an impact on me and propelled me ahead.
The 1st one, which actually builds on a previous post from the author of the second link. It helps you figure out your design skeleton… your commons, the foundations of your set.
The 2nd one, builds on years of design advice and is written by an actual MtG designer and explains a bit more deeply why commons are so important to nail.
The latter one gave one piece of advice which was the kick in the ass I needed this evening to finally stop obsessing ver my cards. Actually, it was two sentences, which I will quote here:
“I need to stress one last time that it’s important to complete your commons before advancing onto the uncommons.”
The second sentence I actually can’t find at the moment… it might have been in another text, but to resume it bluntly it went something like The more you think about your cards, the less you play with them or something of the sort. To stare at your cards instead of playing with them is a real designer’s pitfall which can slow you down a lot. It’s better to test out cards in a real game than wonder endlessly about them.
With that being said, here’s all my commons for the moment. You’ll notice a few specific things:
White has the most creatures, followed by Green, Black, Red and Blue. This was advised by someone with much more experience than me and helped me to stop worrying about such crit/spell balance.
Green has the biggest creature of the commons.
Besides numbers, the commons are not balanced at all. I doubt you can actually have a coherent Magic game with just these, but Mark Rosewater, the author of Nuts & Bolts, mentioned that it’s okay and to not lose sleep over it. Check if the cards work, are fun, and keep moving.
There are a lot of artifacts – after all, this set is made to help me worldbuild my homebrew D&D world and what’s D&D without treasure?
There is an attempt to represent each color’s classic mechanics, keywords and Evergreens (no green bear, sorry Ayula).
There are also attempts and setting stones for a few cycles. Can you find them all?
Here’s the cards I’m about to playtest. Hope you enjoy looking at them. If you want to help, feel free to print them and send me some feedback!
Edit: I see several mistakes on the cards, fret not! They will be fixed soon (on the cards but not on this post)… can you find them all? hehe.