How To Get Recognition on MTG Cardsmith

So you're looking for some recognition.

For some Cardsmiths, MTG Cardsmith can be difficult to get recognition from, while other Cardsmiths seem to find success with great ease. Since many new, and even some old, Cardsmiths want to know what it takes to get recognition on MTG Cardsmith, we decided to ask a handful of highly recognized Cardsmiths what they think are the most important things that new Cardsmiths can do to increase their chances of getting recognition.

Where does recognition come from?

The first thing we wanted to do was dissect where recognition comes from. We eliminated any qualities we felt only lead to negative recognition and came up with a list of TEN notable things you can do in order to gain the positive notoriety you might be looking for. Here they are...

  • A- Improve the quality of your cards.
  • B- Create many cards.
  • C- Add other cardsmiths' cards to your favorites.
  • D- Follow other cardsmiths.
  • E- Participate in FORUM contests/challenges/events.
  • F- Host contests/challenges/events in the FORUMS.
  • G- Make cards for other cardsmiths.
  • H- Ask for feedback on your cards in disqus or in the FORUMS.
  • I- Post funny, nice, or friendly comments.
  • J- Give constructive criticism to others.

Each of the Cardsmiths we presented these points to were asked how important each one was to them. We then asked them to put each point in order from most important to least important. We were surprised by some of the responses and how varied some of them were from Cardsmith to Cardsmith.

So what were the results?

Of the Cardsmiths polled, there were some clear favorites among the best ways to earn recognition, so let's take a look...

And here are some of the things they said...

  • E- Participate in forum contests/challenges/events.
  • - The easiest and quickest way to get out there and show off your name and cards.
  • - Noticing the amazing creations in them makes you feel fresh and motivates you to do something of your own!
  • I- Post funny, nice, or friendly comments.
  • - If you want recognition, you should probably give recognition. If your time is limited, leave a nice comment, and people will remember you.
  • - It's very comfortable to log into this site thanks to its amazing users!
  • A- Improve the quality of your cards.
  • - Study card design and the logic behind it. Reading literally anything written by MaRo is a great starting point for a new Cardsmith.
  • - I wish this could be higher, however, simply improving your cards currently isn't a great way to expand your online presence. Although creative and well-designed cards can accumulate enough favorites to make it on the Favorites section for all to behold, that happens most often with users who have established a prominent online presence.
  • -This is nearly as important as socializing. One of the things I find that triggers acknowledgement and sparks interest from others is a unique approach to card design, both in mechanics and flavour. This idea is fairly unobtainable without, however, having a solid foundation within the realm of realistic MTG design. And as such, should be a fundamental purpose.
  • H- Ask for feedback on your cards in disqus or in the forums.
  • - It's better if your disqus user name and cardsmith user name are the same.
  • - A good way to make contact and get feedback but can be somewhat ineffective if the person asking has not created enough cards.
  • - If you get good criticism on your cards, recreate/edit those cards. People won't continue to give feedback if you don't listen to what they have to say and put some of it into good use.
  • J- Give constructive criticism to others.
  • - This is another way to establish a connection with others. That being said, I've seen plenty of Cardsmiths show that they don't understand what 'onstructive criticism' means, and that has lead to hurt feelings on both sides. As a rule of thumb, I think that Cardsmiths should focus less on the 'smith and more on the cards.
  • - A good way to learn is to teach. The problem is when there is no "correct" way of creating cards. If the one giving criticism is not experienced enough or well known there is a risk that the critic does not hit the correct spot for the receiver.
  • - This is an artistic site, so people might not know what might be exactly wrong in their creations. Luckily, other people tend to be able to spot the mistakes, and help fix them!
  • F- Host contests/challenges/events in the forums.
  • - This is probably the one and best way to receive recognition. However to create a contest, challenge or even saga requires a basic set of knowledge and a will to fulfill these. Also it might end up making the creator disappointed if the contest does not get much recognition in the first place. It's a high cost, high risk, high reward thing.
  • - The MTG Cardsmith forums are a powerful tool towards becoming renowned, and we all love contests. Hosting a challenge or an event is a great way to meet people, as it helps you establish a presence on MTG Cardsmith.
  • C- Add other cardsmiths' cards to your favorites.
  • - If you favorite a card, your name is shown in that page, and we can go to your page by clicking your name. It's a very easy and nice way to let others notice you.
  • - Even that little star of appreciation can make someone's day!
  • D- Follow other cardsmiths.
  • - Although it can sometimes be hard to keep up with their creations if you follow too many, it doesn't hurt at all to let them know you want to see more from them and that you're interested in their upcoming cards!
  • B- Create many cards.
  • - This is only good if we can tell you are trying to make realistic cards. If your cards are bunch of anime characters and breaking mtg rules, wording, color pie, it could work in the opposite way.
  • - Quality over quantity. I try to put as much dedication to every single card as possible, because I like it! But there is nothing wrong with being in a flow and creating cards from the many amazing ideas which you have in mind in one sitting!
  • G- Make cards for other cardsmiths.
  • - A kind gesture to do for friends but not a good way to get recognition unless you want to be "creepy" and make cards for people that don't know you at all, then I guess it is a quick way to get recognition from that person but not the right kind. You want to make cards for people when you already know them, unless they ask for it in a challenge/contest or something like that.
  • - This is the greatest free prize you can give someone, be it as a thank you or a reward for a contest, to me. People are not necessarily egotistical, but let's be honest, everyone loves having cards modeled after themselves. That being said, this should always fall after "improving card quality", because despite the fact that people will ninety nine percent of the time favorite a card made for them, it doesn't mean they like it. So it can be a precarious edge to traverse if you lack the skill to perform well.

Golden Acorns

We also asked them if they had any words of wisdom to pass along. These are some of those Golden Acorns of knowledge.

The most effective way to get popular recognition on MTG Cardsmith is to stick around. Simply put, the longer you have been on MTG Cardsmith, the more people know you and your cards exist. Of course, this relies on you being somewhat active creating cards and interacting with others in the forums. But the more time you have spent on MTG Cardsmith, the more likely you'll regularly get positive recognition in the community.

I definitely think the NUMBER ONE way to get recognized is a few things that need to occur in a specific order.

  1. Make cards that look like WotC cards- wording, art, templating, etc...
  2. Make cards that do things WotC cards don't do, while still looking like WotC cards.
  3. Put those cards into the forums for people to see.
  4. Comment politely on other cards in the same forum thread that your card is in.
  5. Do this over and over. And wait patiently for your reputation to improve.

To me, MTG Cardsmith is about having fun and making the cards we've always wanted to see. Accept criticism with grace and give it with kindness. Challenges aren't about winning, as much as they are about improving your craft and building friendships within the community.

Give credit to Artists!

My "golden acorn" would be "give out love, and you'll receive love" or properly translated "favorite and say a nice thing on a ton of cool, interesting, creative, beautiful cards, and people will start to notice and return the affection by favoriting your own cool, interesting, creative and beautiful creations." And be patient about it. You'll slowly get better over time, people will notice, and you'll start to make friends and gain followers.

Don't be afraid. This is a blanket statement that covers soooooo much.
Don't be afraid to ask. Ask cardsmiths why they said what they said, ask where they got their information, ask why that rule is there, ask why that doesn't fit within that colour. Magic is an incredibly complicated game with rules and rules and rules inside or rules ruling over lesser rules with a ruling fist. Magic is Azorius, it's unbending hidden laws written in context and subtext most people can't fathom. So never just accept something someone says you don't understand. Always ask why.

I think the most important thing anyone can do is to perform research for each card they publish. To elaborate, a relatively new MTG Cardsmith should approach each new card as a learning opportunity. They should refer to real WoTC cards that are similar to what they are trying to create (especially cards they like), and they should also refer to custom cards they like here on the site. They should "Disqus" the custom cards they like with their creators and ask questions if they don't understand something (referencing their next design and requesting help is always a good tact here). Now they've built up interest in their design before publishing and heighten their chances of getting the most important "early faves" so that their cards will be more visible to others. This kind of research will quickly and greatly improve one's ability to design custom cards and will make the journey more fun/rewarding.

"World and story Building". Create cards that are related to a world and story. This is something I have done since day 1 and even though I don't believe it got much recognition at first, it did put a marker on my name for those that saw it. It is not always easy to see these traits but when they are seen they are remembered.

Step outside your comfort zone. It's cliché, but true. Make cards you would never use. Make cards for colours you never play or hate playing. Make spells you don't like. We learn a lot from doing that which we don't enjoy. Being on this site doesn't always need to be easy. Working out at a gym is hard, but it's how you grow stronger or healthier. The same can be said for here. If you just make mythic creatures, you'll only be able to improve a little. If you cover the entirety of the spectrum of card types, you'll not only improve significantly more, you'll open up crazy new concepts and ideas you never would have before. Being a cardsmith can be hard, and through that difficult path you'll find much greater rewards.

Featured Cardsmiths

This month we chose two more incredible Cardsmiths to feature... jpastor & Nirvava!


Anyone who has been to the Forums knows who jpastor is. He is the inventor and proprietor of the Mystery Box thread. If you haven't been to the Forums and gotten a Mystery Box, then you haven't lived! There are some Cardsmiths who only come on the Forums to do the Mystery Box Challenges! We picked five of his cards to feature, but you should check out the rest of his creations as well!


Nirvava is a bit of a different choice for a Featured Cardsmith, but we promised to mix things up this year and do things a bit different than last year. Nirvava doesn't come to the Forums and their cards aren't always WotC approved, so why give them a Feature? Nirvava has created nearly 700 cards in only FOUR months! We felt that kind of dedication should be noticed, so take a little gander at Nirvava's cards, maybe you'll find something that inspires you!

Each month we're excited to highlight a few Cardsmiths that have helped make MTGCardsmith the best interactive online Card Creator. We hope you'll take some time to check out their creations!

Mar 01, 2019 by Corwinnn, & Tomigon
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