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There are millions like it, but this one is mine.

Twenty-word Magic

I'm really bummed.

Modern Magic: the Gathering has become a morass of complexity that has sucked all of the enjoyment out of the game like a black hole of despair.

It's not fun anymore.

I have no confidence the situation will improve. In fact, I think it can only get worse.

Complexity-creep is self-perpetuating: each new set needs new and more-complex mechanics to make it attractive for players to justify buying more cards.

I'm very well-aware that it is already the most-complex game made by mankind. And I'm certain the designers at WotC are as well.

But this is not license to make the game more so! If anything, it should give them serious pause anytime they go to add complexity.

Despair not though! No matter what happens in the future, they can never change the cards we already have.

And there are a lot of them. in the latest MTGJSON database. I'd argue of them are already too complex.

Fully recognizing that unconstructive criticism is just that - not constructive - I propose a new format of the game:

"Twenty-word Magic"

Any card with more than twenty (20) words of active text - excluding flavor or reminder text - is illegal.

Use the tool below to check if a card is legal in this format.

Enjoy the game the way it should be played! *

* According to me.

About of cards are illegal ( of ).

Get in touch to report incorrect rulings.

The code.


Ok, yes, this is tounge-in-cheek. Or, at least, it started out that way.

As with all "great" ideas it was impromptu, (at best) half-baked, catalyzed by frustration... and maybe a bit of longing for something now lost.

However, as a good friend on IRC well-noted, it does - surprisingly - have "practical benefit of banning some truly bonkers cards like Shahrazade."

So maybe there's something to it?

If nothing else, it's a tool to find how many active words are in your cards. Because you know you've always wanted to know...