Back in 2002, R&D tried a bold experiment. They decided to let the Magic-playing public have unprecedented influence over one card in an upcoming set, allowing the creation of a rare in Scourge by popular online vote and a call for submissions for the card's abilities. The result was Forgotten Ancient, initially nicknamed Mr. Babycakes, and the response they got was so overwhelmingly positive that they tried it twice again in 2003 (generating the truly fearsome combo piece Crucible of Worlds of Fifth Dawn) and in 2005 (rather less successfully with the lackluster Vanish into Memory from Coldsnap).
Given how little love Vanish into Memory received, and since it had been eight years since the last time a You Make the Card event was attempted, the Magic community assumed the concept was dead. But we got a surprise announcement on the mothership tonight: According to Ethan Fleischer's feature article from today, You Make the Card 4 has officially commenced.
The first step of the process is simple card type selection, with all of the types save for tribal (since it's no longer in use) and planeswalker (since the design of that type is simply too hard to do as a community-based process). At this point, the next publicly designed card is a total mystery: everything about it is up in the air, and depends completely on our choices. So get in there and vote for what you want to see. (Personally, I'm pulling for an enchantment - so many fun possibilities with that type.) As a refresher, in Ethan's words:
- Artifact: These colorless permanents represent powerful magic items.
- Creature: These spells summon magical monsters or people who battle on your behalf.
- Enchantment: These spells remain on the battlefield, warping the nature of the conflict.
- Instant/Sorcery: These are spells that have single effects and then go to the graveyard. We've collapsed these two options together for now. If these types win, we can decide whether the card is an instant or a sorcery later in the design process.
- Land: These cards lay the foundation of a deck's mana base. Lands can have special abilities that are deceptively powerful because they don't take up a "spell slot" in a deck.
So what card type do you hope the fourth You Make the Card will result in? Let me know in the comments.