[MTGS Classics] Magical New Year's Resolutions

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 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 can you resolve to do if you’re a zombie? Can you resolve to do anything if you’re a zombie? I hit the streets all over Dominaria to find the answers to these questions.

How the mighty have fallen...
Hurloon Minotaur: To get back in print.

Hanna: How do you propose to do that? You’ve been obsolesced in basic sets by Balduvian Barbarians.

Hurloon Minotaur: Do you know how many Balduvian Barbarians have died at the end of these horns? I used to be a staple of the game. They made a statue of me, for Baphomet’s sake!

Hanna: Apparently, the game's creators feel they don't need you anymore.

Hurloon Minotaur: Balderdash. How can the flagship Red creature not be a minotaur?

Hanna: Well, there ARE dragons...

Hurloon Minotaur: Showoffs. Look, I can take out all the crappy cards they made to replace me. Grizzled Wolverine? Come on!

Hanna: What about Tahngarth?

Hurloon Minotaur: That Tahngarth is a bad mother --

Hanna: Shut your mouth!

Hurloon Minotaur: But I'm talkin' 'bout Tahngarth!

Benalish Hero: To get the band back together.

Hanna: Ugh, that’s a terrible pun.

Benalish Hero: Well, the only other Benalish caste not attainable by heredity or money is the comedian.

Hanna: Good thing.

Mistform Ultimus: To be a better Abomination. And a better Aboroth, a better Advisor, a better Aladdin, a better Albatross, a better Alchemist . . .

Hanna: Can you speed this up a bit? Maybe skip ahead?

Mistform Ultimus: Certainly not. Now, where was I?

Hanna: (sighing) Alchemist.

Mistform Ultimus. Right. A better Ali-Baba, a better Ali-From-Cairo . . .

Hanna: Uh, we’ll come back to you later.

Does eating brains make you smart?
Scathe Zombies: Braaaaaaains . . . eat more braaaaaaaaains . . .

Hanna: In a development that surprises no one, the zombies want to keep eating brains.

Scathe Zombies: Actually, we just say that because we think it’s what you living want to hear.

Hanna: Uh . . . you can talk?

Scathe Zombies: Nothing gets by you, does it? You must be one of those “investigative reporters.” Of course we can talk! We’re educated men. We have Samuel Taylor Coleridge in our flavor text, for goodness’ sake! Do you think men like Coleridge grace the flavor text of idiots? When have you seen Coleridge on a Goblin card?

Hanna: I haven’t.

Scathe Zombies: Exactly! Even in Alpha, WOTC knew we were smart. Heck, we were smarter than they were. We kept telling them that Ancestral Recall was way better than the rest of the "boons," but did they listen? Nooooooo! Garfield told us to shut up, and when we wouldn’t, he took us from a 3/3 to a 2/2.

Hanna: You were supposed to be a 3/3?

Scathe Zombies: Damn right. We compromised, though. Garfield was going to write flavor text about eating brains and arms rotting off. We got him to put something literary on there because we were so smart. You ever read Coleridge, babe?

Hanna: He doesn’t exist in Dominaria.

Scathe Zombies: Ever hear of studying abroad?

Hanna: I was too busy working on the Weatherlight and pining for Gerrard.

Scathe Zombies: I’d cry for you, but my tear ducts rotted away 100 years ago.

Hanna: So do you have a New Years’ resolution?

Scathe Zombies: You know, brains are pretty tasty.

Hanna: All that talk of Coleridge and you come back to eating brains!?

Scathe Zombies: OK, OK. You know what we want? A lot of Magic players out there play booster draft and sealed deck. And what do they call a 2/2 for 3 mana?

Hanna: A bad creature?

Scathe Zombies: I don’t think you have a lot of room to talk.

Hanna: Frown

Scathe Zombies: Do I have to do all the work here? Fine, I’ll answer my own question. They call it a Gray Ogre. Have you ever met the Gray Ogre? He’s a moron. An imbecile. What makes Gray Ogre so good? They stopped printing him after 4th Edition because he forgot how to get to the bloody printing office. He even had a map, not that it helped when he held it upside-down. I want Magic players to call the 2/2 for 3 mana Scathe Zombies. So that’s my resolution: to get players to ditch that idiot Gray Ogre for professional gentleman of leisure such as ourselves.

Hanna: Well, that’s certainly one of the more interesting resolutions we’ve heard today.

Scathe Zombies: Say, what are you doing for New Year’s, sweet cheeks?

Hanna: Gah, I’m not into sleeping with the undead.

Scathe Zombies: Hey, it hasn’t fallen off yet!

Mark Rosewater: To make a 1-cc artifact that depicts shoving something pointy into someone’s head that’s not horribly broken or a $25 chase rare.

Hanna: Why is that so important?

Mark Rosewater: Have you ever shoved something pointy into someone’s head?

Hanna: No, that sounds gross.

Mark Rosewater: Come on, it sounds like fun! What’s wrong with shiny, pointy things?

Hanna: Er, nothing, I suppose.

Mark Rosewater: Exactly. Everyone’s a Timmy when it comes to shiny, pointy things. So, look for Pithing Clamp and Skull Needle at some point during the Snap block!

Hanna: Can’t you come up with better names than that?

Mark Rosewater: Did I mention that I used to write for Roseanne?

Hanna: Let’s see how Mistform Ultimus is doing.

Mistform Ultimus: . . . a better Inquisitor, a better Insect, a better Island-Fish . . .

Hanna: You’re only up to I?

Mistform Ultimus: And I’ll never make it to Jackal if you keep interrupting me.

Hanna: We’ll come back to you. Again.

Kamahl, Pit Fighter: To retire from this life and become a druid who has the Mirari on the end of his sword.

Hanna: Wow, that’s ambitious. Completely abandoning the life of a nomadic gladiator for that of a druid with the power to reshape the world. Did you do a lot of soul-searching?

Kamahl: Actually, I just read the Onslaught novels.

Phage the Untouchable: To be touchable again. Frown

Hanna: Good luck with that.

Phage the Untouchable: Say, you’re looking especially radiant today. ::reaches toward Hanna’s face::

Hanna: (backing away) Hey! Before I joined the Weatherlight, I made some movies I’m not proud of. But that doesn’t mean I’m into that kind of thing.

Phage the Untouchable: I wonder what Orim is up to?

Sol'Kanar the Swamp King: To get a job.

Hanna: You're unemployed?

Sol'Kanar the Swamp King: Yeah. Ever since that garbage about there not being any legends anymore, I'm just a plain old "legendary creature." They gave Sidar Jibari a job, and that guy's a chump. Oooh, tap a creature! I'm trembling over here.

Hanna: So how have you been passing the time?

Sol'Kanar the Swamp King: Well, I've been tapping Lady Evangela for her activated ability, if ya know what I mean.

Eron the Relentless: To always get better at everything I do. Always. Everything.

Hanna: Pretty relentless, aren’t you?

Eron the Relentless: They’re not paying you for this, are they?

Hanna: OK, so that was an easy one.

Eron the Relentless: Actually, I find the idea of New Years’ resolutions to be pretty ridiculous.

Hanna: Why is that?

Eron the Relentless: Because you should be striving to improve yourself everyday. Why decide to do it just one day out of the year? Life should be a constant process of self-evaluation and assessment, which should lead to change and improvement. Confining this to a certain day each year is a cynical ploy to get lazy people to commit to things they’ll never complete, just so they can feel better about themselves for one day as they stand next to the actual achievers in the world.

Hanna: That’s a pretty dim view of the whole thing, isn’t it?

Eron the Relentless: I’ll bet you joined a gym for New Year’s last year, didn’t you?

Hanna: As a matter of fact, I did. Ball Lightning’s Total Fitness.

Eron the Relentless: And you probably stopped going in March. I can tell, you’re looking a little soft around the middle.

Hanna: Hmph! This interview is over!

Mistform Ultimus: . . . a better Pig, a better Pikemen, a better Pincher –-

Hanna: Oh good grief! Can’t you just say you want to be a better . . . something.

Mistform Ultimus: A better what? “Man” isn’t a creature type, “being” is way too sci-fi, and you can tell I’m not human by looking at me. This presents me with quite the existential quandary.

Hanna: You’re pretty smart for a . . . whatever you are.

Mistform Ultimus: Well, I am a Wizard. And wizards tend to be pretty smart.

Hanna: This is true.

Mistform Ultimus: I’m also a Thief. Ha! ::makes off with Hanna’s purse::

Hanna: Yawgmothdammit!

Women go crazy 'bout a sharp-dressed man...
Withered Wretch: To defile cards left lying in the graveyard.

Hanna: But you already do that. You get played in Extended for that reason alone.

Withered Wretch: Well, I do look good in my Cabal cleric suit.

Hanna: Um, if you insist. Isn’t there anything else you want for the new year?

Withered Wretch: Now that you mention it, I’d like to get played a little more. Rotlung Reanimator and I make a pretty good team. He’s coming over for Christmas Dinner, in fact. His wife, Lost Soul, makes a dynamite turducken.

Hanna: Wait, they're married?

Withered Wretch: Sure are. "Until death do us part" is an interesting vow for zombies. Anyway, Rotlung and I work pretty well with Headhunter, too. Usually, people try to go for the Dark Supplicant and Scion of Darkness trick with us, but that’s overkill. Give us Graveborn Muse – especially in the moonlight, when you can see thru her chemise – and some good disruption, and we form the core of a pretty good deck. But I’ve been pigeonholed into the role of graveyard hate. It does keep me in play, though, so I can’t complain. Festering Goblin used to try and talk trash to me, but no one plays with him anymore.

Hanna: There’s a lot of trash-talking amongst the unliving?

Withered Wretch: Yeah. That Festering Gobin is awful, though. Can’t tell you how many times he’s gotten stupid and accidentally killed me. It’s a good thing I’m undead.

"This way to kill some Elves!"
Goblin Warchief: To lead my tribe back to glory.

Hanna: You have fallen on some hard times this season, haven’t you.

Goblin Warchief: Yeah. Stupid DCI, had to go and ban Aether Vial. If I actually have to get my boys in play the hard way, it’s hard for us to compete.

Hanna: Aether Vial was a sensible banning, though.

Goblin Warchief: Look, I like smashing artifacts as much as the next Goblin. But we needed that thing around. Now, they have this sissy Green card that gets lands back, and people are abusing that worse than they ever did Aether Vial. My boys are skullcrackers and all, but we can’t smash sissy Green sorceries. Frown

Hanna: Doesn’t it seem like people don’t know how to build your deck?

Goblin Warchief: To a degree. Everyone’s concerned about splashing Black for discard and Patriarch’s Bidding. Did I ever say how tired I am of doing that guy’s bidding? I swear, for a year or more, all we did was answer to that jackass. And did he pay us, maybe give us some Elves to pull apart and chew on? No. Nothing. Nothing! Gah! Where was I?

Hanna: Splashing Black.

Goblin Warchief: Right. If you want to splash Black, it should stop at Cabal Therapy. Running too many cards like that means the Ringleader can’t find as many of my boys when he needs them. And he gets pissed when at least two Goblins don’t show up.

Hanna: What about a Green splash for Naturalize?

Goblin Warchief: Are you serious? The only thing a Green card is good for is dying to a Goblin. Nothing makes my day like laughing at a bunch of dead Elves. Look, Black gives you Dralnu’s Crusade if you have The Fear of Engineered Plague. And Goblin King helps there, too. That guy’s a real idiot, even for a Goblin. But he knows how to handle a Plague.

Hanna: You know, Goblin Kings get their position because they kill the previous king . . .

Goblin Warchief: I’ve thought about it. The Siege-Gang Commander and I have even planned it a couple times. But the king always sneaks up on us with his mountainwalk and overhears our plans! Say, is that microphone an artifact?

Hanna: Yes, I suppose.

Goblin Warchief: Woo-hoo! ::rips it from Hanna's hands and smashes it::

Hanna: So that’s what’s going on around Dominaria. Many weird beings, many equally weird New Year’s Resolutions. I learned more about the undead that I care to, got propositioned by a walking virus, and had my microphone smashed by a zealous goblin. To say this was an interesting story would be an understatement. Personally, I haven’t thought about my New Year’s resolutions yet, but I’ll have plenty of time later, when I report on the festivities going on at Urza’s Tower. Until then, have a happy and safe new year, wherever you are.

-Tom Fowler

Editing: Goblinboy
Images: Avatar
Reporting: Hanna, Ship's Navigator


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