In the comments to the original linking syntax request, ghoppe said:

Thanks for the card links. As the guy who whipped up the jsfiddle, I admit I lifted the tooltip function (which is open source) to speed the creation of the popup. But there is an API to retrieve just the images from gatherer — any popup script could be used. e.g. The Cheese Stands Alone I completely understand the stance of not wanting to use undocumented APIs, so I'll take what we can get. ;) – ghoppe May 3 at 1:13

Kevin Montrose's answer there says

Do note that the AutoCard feature only seems to document opening new windows, that nifty hover affect is something else. I'll do some digging to see if that is documented anywhere, but if not we can't copy that particular behavior.

Like many of us, I'm a programmer of some experience myself. My question is: why shouldn't we implement this anyway, even if the image service is undocumented?

Reasons to implement:

  1. It's very easy: http://gatherer.wizards.com/Handlers/Image.ashx?type=card&name=The%20Cheese%20Stands%20Alone
  2. The original blog post uses the tool-tip hover as the first example, implicitly endorsing it, even though it doesn't provide the code in the article text.
  3. The original blog post was written in 2002. This API has been around, and been stable, for 10 years! Do we have any reason to think it will change?
  4. It's very low-impact. This is not critical, site-breaking functionality. Nothing depends on it. If the API changes, we don't see pop-ups anymore. Oh well. That would mean... we wouldn't see pop-ups! Which is what we (don't) have, right now.
  5. It would be very slick, and would present a much more 'pro' image to the MTG crowd.

What are the counter-arguments? It would be nice to have a chance to discuss the issue as a community, and hear the issues.

  • 1
    Point #2 is highly relevant. I didn't notice it earlier, but that page does literally say "Do you want to do this? You totes can!"
    – Alex P
    Commented Aug 21, 2012 at 23:32
  • Yes, that's not even just an implicit endorsement, it's explicit.
    – cdeszaq
    Commented Aug 24, 2012 at 13:32
  • 1
    agreed and upvoted :) Commented Aug 25, 2012 at 23:33
  • 1
    I've contacted Wizards of the Coast directly about this issue. Depending on their response, I'll have a better answer for you all.
    – Aarthi
    Commented Sep 24, 2012 at 19:08
  • 1
    Update! I was put in contact with the WOTC Assistant Brand Manager. Hopefully this keeps working its way up the chain.
    – Aarthi
    Commented Oct 25, 2012 at 22:52
  • 2
    Update: Redux -- after a long radio silence, I've started the contact process anew.
    – Aarthi
    Commented Jan 23, 2013 at 22:41
  • @ire_and_curses, Is this legal in the first place?
    – Pacerier
    Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 9:06
  • @Aarthi, Aaand?
    – Pacerier
    Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 9:06
  • @Pacerier - What makes you think this is not legal? Also, Aarthi left SE some time ago. Commented Aug 23, 2015 at 3:03
  • Anymore news on this feature?
    – aydjay
    Commented Nov 23, 2015 at 11:12
  • 1
    Could someone please look into this again. It's almost 4 years ago this was asked and most magic oriented websites have this feature and it would greatly improve this website in my opinion
    – Ivo
    Commented Feb 21, 2016 at 14:25
  • Sorry to Necro-Post but has there been any progress for or against including this? I agree with @IvoBeckers that it would be a very handy addition to the site.
    – Malco
    Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 20:50

2 Answers 2


I've written a userscript that does this now. You can get it from GreasyFork.

enter image description here

  • 3
    I'd love to see this made a standard part of the site, so that I have one less Chrome extension installed. I used this earlier today and it worked wonderfully. I didn't notice any increase in page load time.
    – Rainbolt
    Commented Apr 12, 2016 at 21:32

FWIW, as of version 1.50 (just released today, January 23, 2018), my SOUP user script now includes an implementation of this feature. It uses the Scryfall API, which I've also changed my improved [mtg:...] card link support in SOUP to use per this feature request.

Unlike the [mtg:...] link reimplementation, however, the hover card popups are enabled also for manually created card links to Gatherer or Scryfall (since people tend to mix the two link types and, while testing this feature, I found it really annoying to have the popups appear for some card links but not for others).

(If you have both SOUP and Marc's HoverCard user script installed, you may see two card popups appear for some card links. This should be otherwise harmless, although I do hope that my version should be good enough to make HoverCard redundant for SOUP users. Please let me know if you feel there's something I should add or fix in my implementation of this feature.)

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