Artwork Variations, Promo System, and Arena Styles

Site Updates forum

Posted on May 15, 2019, 3:17 a.m. by Femme_Fatale

Hello, it's time for me to finally be able to make an update about all these features regarding alternate art variations and how we've implemented them across the site. They have all been in the workshop for a while and it's time for me to spread the news of their existence!

First, we have simple Artwork Variations, some of you probably already know how to use these as they are in the Formatting Tips (link right below the comment button) and have appeared in various locations.

An artwork variation can be linked in two different ways, either via its card number, or its gatherer/wotc ID. The card number is the collectors number that is unique to every card (and for the most part every art variation) in any given product. They are shown in the bottom left portion of any M15 border card, or the bottom middle of any pre-M15 border. The gatherer/wotc ID is the final number (presently ranging from 1-6 digits) that is at the end of every url of a given printing on gatherer.

The syntax to link to a specific art variation is as follows:

[Cardname (TLA:Card number)]
[Cardname (TLA:Gatherer ID)]

[[Rakdos Guildgate (RNA:255)]]
[[Rakdos Guildgate (RNA:457400)]]

Resulting in:

(TLA is "third letter acronym" for any given product)

Next we have the new promo system!

This promo system is designed with one goal in mind: To make sure that everything can fit under one set code: our promo code being 000. The reason for this is that no store front or card database can agree on what kind of promo something is or what the code for that promo is, nor do they always list every promo possible. Thusly we wanted everything under one set page so that it is easy for every user no matter how new to magic they are, to be able to link to a promo set.

In this, the promo system works as follows: All promos go under the promo set, and are listed chronologically, with the card number displaying that data. There is no gatherer ID simply because for 98% of promos, one doesn't exist.

As an example: There are three promos for Evolving Wilds . There's the 2012 FNM promo, the 2015 Tarkir Dragonfury promo, and the 2018 Rivals of Ixalan League promo. While this would be an easy case to just use the year of release date, on the very rare chance that a card gets multiple promos in one year, simply going up by one chronologically makes the system more robust.

[[Evolving Wilds (000:1)]]
[[Evolving Wilds (000:2)]]
[[Evolving Wilds (000:3)]]

Note that the initial entry for any given promo should be the earliest version or the version that has the lowest collectors number, such that (000) should be the same as (000:1). If (000) is not the earliest version then that means we simply haven't gotten to uploading them yet, as it has to be done by hand. If (000) and (000:1) are not the same, then that is an error in whoever uploaded that variation, and should be reported in the missing/incorrect card/token thread over at the tappedout forum.

Once all the promo set has been completed, we will be removing all the extraneous promo sets that are also present (MOP, PSG, S17, FNM). They won't be necessary. We will be keeping promos that are tied to a specific product (Masterpieces, box toppers, Mythic Edition etc) as their own product page, generally next to the product they are tied to.

We will not be doing MTGO promos.

Next we have the deckbuilder page. This is honestly the easiest way to see if there are any variations available of a card for a specific product.

When doing the classic text edit of any deck page (or creating a new deck), look at the QuickAdd option to the left (or top) of the decklist text entry. Type in the card you want and click the drop down option you want once it is presented. Then click which product you want, and if there are any variations available for that product, another drop-down should appear underneath all the other boxes that says "variation". It should display the card numbers of all the possible variations. Select one, and click on the green "Add to Board" button below all that and it will be added to your decklist with the proper code.

Do note that the first option on the variation dropdown will always be just the set code when you click the "Add to Board" button, as they are effectively the same thing.

Finally we have arena animated styles! These will slowly be added to the site after the release of any given product on arena. There are two codes for any given animation and they are as follows:

[Cardname (TLA:Arena)]
[Cardname (TLA:Animated)]

[[Curious Obsession (RIX:Arena)]]
[[Divination (M19:Animated)]]

Important to note:

Prices for alternate art variations and any given promo are not always available at the present time. What various store fronts gives us to link to their product pages isn't robust enough to work with this system unfortunately. This will have to be hand done, and will take a while.

Promos and all the basic lands are being uploaded slowly, but surely. Don't freak out if they aren't present. However, tf there are any non-promo non-basic land different art variations that are not present in our database (that aren't the unstable variations), do let us know through the missing/incorrect card/token thread over at the tappedout forum.

Femme_Fatale says... #2

yeaGO, hey, there's something wrong with the

command. It shows up as black randomly for some reason in this thread.

May 15, 2019 3:32 a.m.

Can you guys make gurus and other specific promos properly link to the correct card and pricing info? My decks say gurus add $0.25 to my deck value.

May 15, 2019 8:26 a.m.

FenIsABasicSwamp — That issue was addressed in the final section:

"Prices for alternate art variations and any given promo are not always available at the present time. What various store fronts gives us to link to their product pages isn't robust enough to work with this system unfortunately. This will have to be hand done, and will take a while."

May 15, 2019 12:01 p.m.

gumgod says... #5

This is a neat update, but doesn't seem to work for Antquities Strip Mines or Urza's Lands from ATQ. There do appear to be options available for Mishra's Factories though, so not sure if these were missed accidentally or if they are going to be added later.

May 15, 2019 4:11 p.m.

Gidgetimer says... #6

In the section on promos you say that (000) should show the most recent and then say that it should be the same as (000:1). Am I missing something or shouldn't (000:1) be the oldest, not the most recent?

May 15, 2019 4:43 p.m.

I agree with Gidgetimer — if the intent was for (000:1) to always be assigned to the most recent promo of a given card, then that not only creates a lot of unnecessary upkeep (having to change all "alternate codes" for all prior promos anytime a new #1 is added, so that 1 becomes 2, 2 becomes 3, etc.), but what happens to alternate printings that have been designated in decks/comments/etc.? If I have Evolving Wilds (000:1) in my deck, will that suddenly show the artwork and price of a (hypothetical) new Evolving Wilds promo?

May 15, 2019 5:54 p.m.

Hellsing says... #8

Gidgetimer, HalbrechtHalbrecht : hope it's just a blunder .
T/O always show the latest version/printing of a card when linking it. When specifying expansion I believe it defaults to the artwork that was submitted first, not the latest.

May 15, 2019 6:30 p.m.

luca0483 says... #9

Hellsing The article describes it two ways, contradicting itself. We can just test it.

Seems to me that it works as a mix of how we want it to, and how they explained. Right now, as they wrote, 000 is indeed equivalent to 000:1, but unlike how they wrote, new cards are added as an increment to the previous most recent, instead of as 000:1 while incrementing the rest, which means that 000 right now will be the oldest card, not newest.

This is obviously not the intended effect. I think two people had opposite ideas and didn't communicate very well.

All that needs to be fixed for the system to work how i, you, the other commenters, all want it, is for 000 to point to 000:X, where X is the newest Promo, as opposed to 000:1.

May 16, 2019 4:12 a.m.

Femme_Fatale says... #10

Gidgetimer HalbrechtHalbrecht Hellsing luca0483: Many apologies. I mixed "most recent" with "earliest". One can indeed test the system for what I truly meant through the evolving wilds example, or any basic land example from any of the sets I've completed.

- [[Plains (ALA)]]
- [[Plains (ALA:230)]]
- [[Plains (ALA:231)]]
- [[Plains (ALA:232)]]
- [[Plains (ALA:233)]]
May 16, 2019 6:43 a.m.

Femme_Fatale says... #11

I fear doing the promo basic lands ... there's just SO MANY.

May 16, 2019 7:33 a.m.

luca0483 says... #12

Femme_Fatale Why does the promos show the oldest when unspecified?

All other cards show newest when unspecified, eg. Opt currently shows the Dominaria reprint. Would it not be better to keep the behavior consistent across non-promo and promo cards?

May 17, 2019 6:27 a.m.

Dritz says... #13

Nice! Trying to figure out ways to deal with multiple promo versions in the past was frustrating.

Good stuff!

May 17, 2019 4:51 p.m.

escobert says... #14

Does this work with the Japanese WAR planeswalkers? Or is there another way to get them to show? Thanks.

May 19, 2019 8:49 p.m.

Optimator says... #15

Great job everyone! Stoked variations are starting to work. Still seems some coding work needs to be done but I'm very happy to finally display specific basic lands.

June 13, 2019 7:41 p.m.

Femme_Fatale says... #16

escobert sorry for not mentioning this sooner, but this is done with the language tag, since they are japanese cards.

- [[Gideon Blackblade *JA*]]

In doing this I noticed a bug, so keep in mind that the following will NOT work.

- [[ Gideon Blackblade (WAR) *JA*]]

It appears that adding the set tag breaks this. I shall alert yeago.

luca0483: also sorry for the late reply. I thought about this and the main reason for the difference is that if you are designating a specific product, that was a conscious decision with a specific outcome you desired. This is different from not using any tag at all, which defaults to the most recent printing as it's most likely the standard legal version with updated rules text. Having something specific that you wanted be constantly changing can get frustrating.

And then there's the primary scenario in which this system was put into place for: The basic lands. The present system goes by the card that appears first in the collector's number, as all numbers after that are alternate artworks. In this for the promo system, the collector's number/card number is being used to denote order of release date, thus it follows the same guidelines.

Perhaps it would be best to look at this in comparison to tagging a printing with our set code: That never changes at all, so why should the promo set be any different? If one tags the promo set, that should be a consistent and reliable result.

Fun fact of the day: Did you know that there are 170 unique promo basic lands? Isn't that great?

June 18, 2019 4 a.m.

Femme_Fatale says... #17


Using the following code works now, and should be the default use to tag the WAR Japanese alt arts. The original post detailing using it without the (WAR) tag is incorrect as that won't work for whenever these cards get reprinted.

- [[Gideon Blackblade (WAR) *JA*]]
June 19, 2019 8:26 p.m.

escobert says... #18

Femme_Fatale Awesome, thanks!

June 23, 2019 4:52 p.m.

Chasmolinker says... #19

This is an awesome update. Keep up the amazing work T/O team!

July 1, 2019 10:01 a.m.

MagnumOsprey says... #20

I haven't been able to find anything in all of my searching so far, are the Grand Prix foil basic lands now available for use on tappedout? Any promo code i try using according to the guide only shows the judge foils.

July 15, 2019 9:01 p.m.

Femme_Fatale says... #21

MagnumOsprey I can't do the lands until I have ALL the lands. All 170 of them. These things aren't magically in one database with high quality pictures. I've got to find them first, and have been resorting to taking photographs and photoshopping them to look flat and have proper lighting.

(they are in scryfall but scryfall scans don't look that well for tappedout, they have to be recoloured and even then there's still the dot matrix pattern that makes the image look messy when its rescaled for the pop-up hover on mouse-over. And I can't photoshop away the dot matrix pattern for 170 cards.)

July 15, 2019 10:10 p.m.

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