By Tom Fowler
The new year is rapidly approaching. Out with the old, in with the new, and other annual clichés. After stuffing our faces with turkey, ham, and . . . er, stuffing for the past month or more, it's now time to turn over a new page on the calendar and make promises to ourselves that we can't keep. Yes, that's right, it's time once again for New Year's Resolutions. Most of us make them, I'm sure, and some of us even stick to them for longer than the first week of January. Every year, news coverage focuses on celebrities, politicians, and other professional liars, to see what they have resolved to do for the upcoming year.
And now, for this year's New Year's Resolutions from the magical world of Dominaria, we turn things over to our lovely correspondent, Hanna, Ship's Navigator.
Hanna: Thank you, Dr. Tom. Every year, people resolve to do various things as the calendar turns over a new page. What can you resolve to do if you're a planeswalker? What if you're a minotaur? Just like last year, I hit the streets and alleys all over Dominaria, asking all manners of beings about their New Year's resolutions. I was even lucky enough to talk to a few of the same . . . er, people, that I talked to last year. Let's see what they had to say.
Hurloon Minotaur: Last year, I resolved to get back in print.
Hanna: Unfortunately, you didn't.
Hurloon Minotaur: I know, I know! What a freakin' joke. They even bring back 121 cards from the past, and I wasn't in it! Squire was in it, for Baphomet's sake! Do you know how many Squires I've eaten over the years?
Hanna: No idea.
Hurloon Minotaur: Me either. And because I have hooves, I have to stop counting at 12. Anyway, it's been a lot, trust me. I mean, Goblin Snowman!? Are you kidding me? Orcish Librarian? That idiot can't even spell "Dewey Decimal System," let alone use it.
Hanna: So in light of this recent setback, what do you resolve to do this year?
Hurloon Minotaur: Well, I'd still like to get back into print. Tenth Edition is coming out in 2007, so I have a small chance. But my real resolution is to get back at the people who slighted me for some of the crappy reprints in Time Spiral. Rosewater's gonna die at the end of these horns! *snarls*
Mistform Ultimus: I suppose you'd prefer I not rattle off all my types again?
Hanna: In the interests of ending this interview before 2008, that would be good.
Mistform Ultimus: Very well. Wizards has said they want to clean up the creature types again this year. I resolve to picket their offices and make sure they do it.
Hanna: But won't that cause you some kind of identity crisis?
Mistform Ultimus: No. I'd rather not be an Ali-From-Cairo anymore, truthfully. My name isn't Ali, and I've never even been to Cairo. Besides, a reduction in creature types would make my business cards cheaper.
Hanna: You have business cards?
Mistform Ultimus: Well, when you have as many jobs as I do, they're more like business posters. Do you know how expensive it is for me to have the bloody things printed? You can't put them in your wallet or in one of those trays on your desk. You have to put them on your wall. And . . . well, let's just say that I don't exactly have a face for posters.
Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir: To get my planeswalking powers back, so I can stop taking crappy movie roles.
There will not be a Snakes on a Plane 2
There will not be a Snakes on a Plane 2
Hanna: You've been in movies?
Teferi: You never saw Snakes on a Plane?
Hanna: Sorry, no.
Teferi: Don't worry; nobody else did, either. It sounded like a good idea at the time. Maybe I just need a better agent. Pretty soon, I'll be taking roles like Sean Connery in that god-awful movie version of The Avengers.
Hanna: You could try my agent. I'm with the Urza Talent Agency.
Teferi: Does Urza look like a bitch?
Teferi: Does. Urza. Look like a bitch?
Teferi: They speak English in What?
Teferi: Say what again! Say what again and I'll whack you with these stupid torches I'm carrying around!
Hanna: I'm out of here! This interview is over.
Teferi: The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. . . . *camera cuts out*
Mark Rosewater: To continue the evolution of Magic in 2007.
Hanna: That's interesting. With strong rumors of a White Shock, a Black Counterspell, and a Red Akroma, it sounds like you're going to be murdering the color pie and splashing the blood and entrails on every Magic player the world over.
Mark Rosewater: That seems harsh.
Hanna: So how do you plan to continue the evolution of Magic?
Mark Rosewater: Well, we've done a block with a strong emphasis on multicolor, and we're now in a block with more of an emphasis on single colors, and single colors doing unusual things. So I think our next block will feature a lot of artifacts.
Mark Rosewater: Yeah. We'll do weird things like make artifact lands, and print a lot of artifacts at common. Most of the cards will be colorless, so there's absolutely no chance for any broken cards or mechanics to emerge.
Hanna: Um . . .
Mark Rosewater: What? Everyone knows all the broken cards are in Blue. How could an artifact-heavy block possibly be a bad idea? Besides, R&D playtests these new sets thoroughly, so we'll stop any problem cards before they get printed.
Hanna: Have you forgotten Mirrodin Block already?
Mark Rosewater: Mirrodin . . . no, I don't recall that. Anyway, our market research shows that players love artifacts and OH MY GOD IT'S A MINOTAUR! AAAAAGH!
*runs off, chased by an angry Hurloon Minotaur*
A model's assets?
Saffi Eriksdotter: To get away from the Llurghoyf! Aiiiieeee!
Hanna: You got away. You got caught in a time distortion of some sort, and that whisked you away.
Saffi Eriksdotter: Oh. Well, then I'm not sure what I want to do.
Hanna: Maybe you should look into modeling? Magic players seem to like your . . . um, assets, which your card prominently displays.
Saffi Eriksdotter: Modeling? Well, I do have these photos. . . .
Hanna: *fidgeting* I was young! I needed the money!
Saffi Eriksdotter: No, I meant photos of me, before I got . . . whisked away. Maybe I could use those.
Hanna: Oh. Yes, maybe you could.
Thelonite Hermit: To keep talking to my Saprolings. . . . *pets a Saproling*
Hanna: Don't you want to get out and meet some other people?
Thelonite Hermit: No! *clutches the Saproling, which seems none too pleased* Other people are scary. My Saprolings will keep me company. Isn't that right, Sappy?
Hanna: Uh, OK. The last Hermit we had hoarded and talked to squirrels. Why Saprolings?
Thelonite Hermit: Squirrels? Squirrels? What kind of a moron talks to a squirrel? What kind of imbecile expects a squirrel to answer him? What –
Hanna: And talking to sprouts is a lot better?
Thelonite Hermit: You make it sound like talking to small, vaguely tree-shaped creatures who have no discernible intellect and can never answer back is weird.
Faceless Butcher: (difficult to hear) To drag more wimps into the shadows and beat them up.
Hanna: What? It was hard to hear that.
Faceless Butcher: (still difficult to hear) I said, to drag more wimps and nosy reporters into the shadows and beat them up.
Hanna: It's hard to hear you. You don't have a face, so I don't know where I can put this microphone.
Faceless Butcher: (louder) I have a good idea where you can put it.
Hanna: Really? Where? *moving the mike around*
Faceless Butcher: *shaking its head* You didn't get out much as a child, did you?
Sol'Kanar the Swamp King: I got a job! I met last year's resolution!
Hanna: Excellent! What job did you get?
Sol'Kanar: I'm now a Demon.
Hanna: Oh. Well, I'm sure that's exciting.
Sol'Kanar: It is. I get to pull people to the underworld, stick them on pikes, and watch them roast over a fire.
Hanna: That's horrible!
Sol'Kanar: Yeah, they never taste very good. All that adrenaline ruins the meat.
Squire: To gete people to playye mee.
Bittere, partye of 1 . . .
Bittere, partye of 1 . . .
Hanna: Good luck with that. And why are you talking funny?
Squire: Haveen'te you eever hearde of Middle English?
Hanna: I must have slept through that class.
Squire: Welle, whye else would mye carde refere to mee being "of greete strengthe?"
Hanna: I wouldn't know.
Squire: Ande what's withe the "goode lucke with that?" I don'te see youre carde turning uppe in a lotte of deckelists.
Hanna: I haven't been Standard-legal in years.
Squire: So? You don'te gette played in Extendede, do you? At leaste I'm a 1/2 for 2. You're a 1/2 for 3. Thatte's a lotte worse.
Hanna: (defensively) But I have an ability!
Squire: Oooooh, an abilitye! It's notte eeven a goode abilitye! You shoulde have listened to thatte zombie laste yeere when he saide you weren't a veery goode carde.
Hanna: Hmph! This interview is over!
Jolrael, Empress of Beasts: I want to campaign for more tasteful and realistic representations of female characters in Magic art.
Hanna: That sounds like a noble cause.
Jolrael: I'm tired of skinny women with their DDD cups barely restrained by skimpy chain mail bikinis. I mean, once you've seen one set of ample, supple, large, perfectly round, heaving breasts, glistening with fresh sweat and barely restrained by a tattered shirt, you've seen them all, right?
Hanna: *wiping her brow* Um . . . yes, right. But you're aware, of course, that the game is marketed to young men, who tend to be fond of large breasts.
Jolrael. I know. I can't change who plays the game. I'm just glad they didn't draw me in such a way that I could be called "Jolrael, Empress of Breasts." Have you seen Rashida destroying that artifact? That girl must have stuffed herself into that shirt for an hour to get her boobs pushed up like that.
Hanna: As someone else who's drawn realistically, I must say that I support your cause.
Jolrael: *looking at Hanna disapprovingly* Honey, you don't have much to show off to begin with!
Hanna: And that's a wrap on our interview segment for this year. I was able to catch up with a few of the folks we talked to last year. And I got insulted by a forest queen, threatened by a planeswalker-turned-actor, and had a conversation I don't really understand with something that doesn't have a face. What are my New Years' resolutions? You'll have to tune into our live coverage of the New Year festivities, live from Urza's Tower, to find out! Happy new year, everyone!