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Treasure Cruisin' with Mayael the Anima
 
The Magic Market Index for July 21st, 2017
 
Theros: Elspeth's Tragedy
  • 2

    posted a message on Unstable spoiler from SDCC
    To all angry about contraptions being in silver border: Maro explicitely stated multiple times that if he could solve contraptions in silver border he would do that.
    Quotes from blogatog:

    tarotbycharles asked: Would you be satisfied with a silver border solution to contraptions or does it have to be black border?

    Silver border would be acceptable.


    my-annoying-brain asked: Would you consider contraptions solved if they were done in silver border?

    Yes. It’s a big enough challenge that I’ll use any and all available tools to solve it.


    I am a little disappointed as well, but come on guys, he didn't have to actually give us contraptions at all. He didn't betray or deceive anyone. Also: Being silver-bordered doesn't mean that they will never appear in black border. It mostly just means that Maro thinks they aren't solvable in black border under the current rules, or don't make for a mechanic that could be used for a black bordered set. That attitude might still change in the future.
    Also: I love crazy scientist world. I hope that there will be many in-jokes not related to only mad science though too.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • 0

    posted a message on Amonkhet General Discussion
    Quote from Etherium Sage »
    Quote from echelon_house »
    Ehhhh, we never really saw the Amonkhetu gods really *do* much of anything. The battles between Hazoret and the Scorpion God and Hazoret and Bontu are the only times we see them in action, and I was disappointed by how mundane they were. Remember how Thassa swept the floor with Kiora? Now *that* was a god fight.


    The Amonkhet Gods are basically glorified Elementals.

    The Theros Gods are the way they are because the people of Theros believe that they're that epic.


    To be fair, they went up against other gods, one of which specifically changed to being able to murder them, were taken by surprise by this turn of events and are shown to have quite a few very powerful abilities which the Theros gods (except for Kruphix) lack: All of them can see inside other beings on their plane and have powerful abilities not centered around only one element and are immortal. They are definitely worthy of being called gods is what I'm saying. They are just more "mechanical" in certain ways, but interestingly (and in the end tragically) also more approachable than the Theros gods. Elementals mostly lack sapience too by the way if I'm not mistaken.

    They are also not subject to natural change like the Theros gods are. Since they don't depend on believe they are more or less immutable unless someone tinkers with the worlds leylines itself. Thassa might be stable now, but she might one day be split into two new god personas, or slowly change so much that she stops being Thassa (something that Kruphix hinted at), depending on the Therosians beliefs. Hazoreth though will stay herself for as long as Amonkhet exists (at least unless someone like Bolas comes along again obviously).
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • 1

    posted a message on Amonkhet General Discussion
    I must admit, this story did feel a little lukewarm for me. I liked it, but I think because it mostly just went through the Exodus tropes already seen in the cards (as well as the Scorpion gods death) I already experienced it before and the effect was slightly diminished. It was a good story nonetheless, just like Amonkhet as a whole was (in my opinion) fantastic from start to finish. It certainly has become my favorite world alongside Ravnica and Theros. I hope that we'll find out what happened to Hazoreth and the surviving Amonkhetu a few years down the line. I'm seemingly in the minority here, but I want to see them rebuild a new thriving civilization instead of the next set being some kind of "dead Egypt with only tombs, ruins and catacombs remaining" with perhabs a few nomads roaming about. There is still much about Ancient Egypt that wasn't used in Amonkhet (which is fine, there need to be a few tropes remaining for the return).
    I really liked that Samuth traveled to Theros first. I think it's pretty obvious now that the first planeswalk always has to do thematically with the circumstances of the planeswalker. And I'm hoping that creative doesn't forget the whole "Kruphix instantly gets to know everything that someone on Theros knows" thing because I would really like to see his reaction to the fate of Amonkhet and its gods.
    The Amonkhetu definitely deserved this bitterweet ending. Now to the Gatewatch getting beaten by Bolas. I'm actually not even sure what I want from that story. Aside from it being good of course.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • 1

    posted a message on Amonkhet General Discussion
    A question on the nature of the undead on Amonkhet.
    On Amonkhet when a creature dies it rises as undead and it is something that is happening only on this plane, so... Supposing an undead from Amonkhet crosses the blind eternities to another plane, will it still be a functional undead?
    On other planes we saw undeads being sustained by magic (in case of necromancy) or by either electricity ot ghosts for manufactured undeads on Innistrad), yet they still run by some kind of energy, being it mana or a spirit or lightning.
    It is possible to assume that undeads on Amonkhet are sustained by the plane itself, so severing their connection with the plane would make them "run on battery life" so to speak.
    If that is the fase, I wonder how will Bolas manage to keep his army recharged on other planes and if that is not the case, what are Amonkhet undeads running on?


    There are multiple options how they don't have to rely on the Curse of Wandering to sustain themselves anymore:
    a) The cartouches are functioning as batteries or generators.
    b) The Lazothep itself upholds the curse or gives them the energy necessary to go on.
    c) Nicol Blas himself sustains his army, even from vast distances.
    d) Once the curse takes hold and the undead rise they don't have to be sustained anymore.
    e) A combination of any of the above.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • 0

    posted a message on Amonkhet General Discussion
    Quote from user_938036 »
    Gideon - I don't know though. This is the guy who whipped surral back and forth to hold off Ulamog the Infinite Gyre. Because you know, Annihilator be a pushover for Planeswalkers. How is Bolas the one to pierce his indestructibility and not Ulamog?
    Ulamog was never shown trying to hurt Gideon, yes the whole "Gideon tanks Ulamog" is bull, but when a Titan focused on Gideon his protection was worthless(In Tazri's future). It is nice that we will get to see something other than his own exhaustion can get through his invulnerability.


    I just want to add once again that not only does Ulamog not concentrate on Gideon (who barely "tanked" one single tentacle) but that the planeswalker spark (which gives a certain amount of protection from the influence of the Eldrazi), not his indestructibility saved him, otherwise he would have turned to dust by the mere touch of Ulamog. His indestructibility just let him hold of that tentacle a little longer. Kozilek most likely found a way around it easily by warping space and physics in Tazris bad future.

    Also Bolas is a powerful sorcerer while Ulamog is much more akin to a natural desaster. Of course he knows a way to deal with indestructibility. Most likely he already fought someone with similar abilities. He is after all the oldest living character we know of.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • 1

    posted a message on Amonkhet General Discussion
    Quote from Gutterstorm »
    By the beard of Keranos you people are insatiable.

    "We hate the Gatewatch. We want fewer planeswalkers, more stories about the people of the plane."
    WotC: "K. Here ya go."
    "No we still want it to be plot relevant!"

    "We want the deaths to matter. Make us feel damnit!"
    WotC: "K. Here ya go."
    "Noooo! That's just grimdark for grimdarks sake!"

    WotC: *exasperated sigh*

    Seriously. This story was excellent. All the heartache of the people(except that first chick. She cray). They were fighting loved ones, friends, brothers in arms, heroes. The heartbreak was palpable.
    No.

    Last I checked, everyone was praising Hapatra's story.

    The last time we got a story like this, it was Shadows over Innistrad. And everyone loved it. Feel free to find my post praising Emrakul Eises. Which was written by Kimberly Krienes no less - who we all bemoaned in BFZ.

    In Emrkaul Rises we checked in on the utter devastation Emrakul was wreaking over Innistrad. Hal and Elena and Elder Kolman attacking them, Gisela and Bruna, the cultist Edith, Emrkaul herself, etc. We saw the despair and havoc everywhere.

    Then we saw Jace and Tamiyo's reactions to Emrakul's arrival, and we saw Jace depart to retrieve the remaining Gatewatch, with Tamiyo remaining behind. The plot advanced, and we saw examples of Innistrad's state from local Legends.

    This story was uninspired interlude filler with nobody characters. It broke from the momentum of delivering solid stories week after week. Remove today's article and literally nothing is lost from the overall arc. That's a sign of how relevant it was.


    The Gitrog Monster story and a few similar ones from SOI and EMN were also pretty well received if memory serves right... and they had just as much to do with the main story as this one did. At least in this one, the eternals and the scarab god finally appear. So no, actually there would have been something lost if we'd just jumped to the next one. Also both the Hapatra story and the other stories from the last weeks focussed very much on either legendaries or the gods and didn't give us much insight into the reaction of the common Amonkhetu. And while I liked the story, I was starting to wonder about them. In such an indoctrinated society, I would expect a variety of reactions to this disaster and I wanted to know more about it. Now, with this story I got it. And it was every bit of tragic as the death of the gods and the like. I actually found this story emotionally heart-wrenching. These small views into the demise and lost hopes of random Amonkhetu also served as world-building: Like the fact that lovers aren't allowed to stay together and that parents might meet their children, but they are expected to stay away from them. All this drives home how devastating all of this is, not only rationally but also emotionally: Their whole society has sacrificed everything, from having families to being lovers for one singular goal which promised them the things they lost this way in an eternal afterlife... and now there is no afterlife, their sacrifices were for absolutely nothing, their city is destroyed, the gods are dead and the god-pharaoh doesn't even see them as worthy of his attention anymore. They have literally lost everything. No wonder some of them have been driven into insanity.

    In short: This story might not have advanced the plot much, but it made me really care for not only the gods or legends like Hapatra or Samut, but also the normal people of Amonkhet. BFZ wasn't able to make me care for more than the planeswalkers or certain individual characters, SOI was better in that regard, but the Innistradi were still more or less there to become Eldrazi mutants or to be killed by Angels. Here I really care for the inhabitants of the whole plane. I liked it.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • 1

    posted a message on Amonkhet General Discussion
    Quote from Flisch »

    Quote from RedGauntlet »
    They brought Richard Garfield to help on Dominaria set, and they will be using the new Test group. They are clearlly giving it special treatment and care.

    I don't see how having Richard Garfield on the team influences the creative aspect in any way. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think he is all that involved in world-building or story-telling.


    Well, the last set Richard Garfield was involved in was the original Innistrad, and that went on to be one of the most popular sets in Magic history card-wise and story-wise. Seeing Richard Garfield's name on the design team gets a lot of people's hopes up.


    While agree on the card aspect, Innistrads story... was pretty much nonexistent, since it fell into the awkward time in which they weren't sure how to publish the story, therefore we got only a few bits of the story from the cards and a few site posts. It's also extremely simplistic: Avacyn fights Griselbrand, both get stuck in the Helvault, church tries to make a secret out of it, the Dark Ascension happens and Sorin appears (without doing anything really), Liliana fights and curses Garruk, Thraben gets attacked by huge amounts of Zombies and Lilliana forces Thalia to destroy the Helvault, which frees Avacyn. She also destroys Griselbrand. Avacyn turns the tide on the monsters and creates the cursemute. And that's about it for three sets. The flavor and the cards were excellent, but the story (except for having the first happy ending of a block in a loong time) wasn't much to write home about. I also don't believe that Garfield had much to do with it.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • 6

    posted a message on Amonkhet General Discussion
    Wow, Amonkhet might truly be one of the most tragic stories of Magic. Bontu's betrayal makes sense and it was foreshadowed during her trial that she knew more then she let on and wasn't manipulated like her siblings. It also makes more sense that Bolas was able to change the structure of the gods so thoroughly now, since he had help from an insider, so to speak. And she wasn't just villainous for evils sake, but because of her nature and out of necessity: In her mind Bolas would have wiped them out either way, so getting on his good side and perhabs serving and ascending in rank under him seemed to be the "rational choice" for her.
    I'm really glad that Hazoreth is free now and will survive, but damn, all of this is just so saddening.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • 0

    posted a message on Amonkhet General Discussion
    I love how each consecutive story just ups the dread and horror of the hours. And Nicol Bolas is STILL not on Amonkhet.
    It makes me wonder though: We know that the gatewatch will lose, that Bolas gets his eternal army, that all gods except Hazoreth die (I hope that at least she will be "reset" to remember the past), that the Scorpion god at least dies as well, and that Samut and Djeru stay at Hazoreths side (with Samut becoming a planeswalker). So what is the aftermath? Bolas doesn't have the planar bridge yet, so he can't get his eternals out of there quite yet, and he won't just leave the survivors be. Perhabs Hazoreth will lead them out of the remnants of the city into the desert? Since the gatewatch is gone as well at that point there is no one who could help them against an onslaught by Bolas. Or does he leave as well? And what happens to the other two gods? I really can't wait for the resolution of this plot. Amonkhet has already become one of my absolute favorite planes (even though it lies in ruins and has lost nearly all of its gods) and I really hope that we'll return there some time down the line.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • 0

    posted a message on What's the point in Bolas creating the Eternals?
    Quote from Charlito »
    I'm still confused on why he seems to be destroying Amonkhet. Yes, he has his army, but the lazotep hasn't run out yet has it? Couldn't he just leave the natives alive so they pump out additional soldiers. Once he moves his army off-plane he can just make regular trips back to collect additional support. One small army can't conquer an entire multiverse, and the number of worthy dead compared to the number of failures makes it seem like that army must be far smaller than anything he could use to invade entire planes. It just makes far more sense to not destroy everything. I just don't get it.


    As has been said elsewhere, he is a douche and probably doesn't really care to squeeze a few more ressources out of Amonkhet before destroying it. He'd obviously rather take sadistic pleasure in destroying it directly. He is red/black after all. You could just ask why he needs all this power or why he wants to conquer everything, since he doesn't "need" to do either. The answer is: Because he can. We also don't know whether there is much Lazothep left. And he probably doesn't have the power to just restart everything for a new cycle.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • 0

    posted a message on THAT's your end game?
    Quote from Life_Weaver »
    Can we talk about Nicol Bolas for a second. What is he doing? What's the point?

    You're basically the head god of the plane and everyone loves you for being you after you mind controlled their real gods and killed everyone old enough to remember otherwise, so why is it that when you arrive to collect your Army of Trial Champions you also decide it's time to kill everyone else? You have a self-sustaining zombie factory, and now you're just blowing it up because "Lol, I'm the villain" Why not, instead, be like "You're all not worthy, but I'm merciful, so I'll give you another chance" and repeat this in another 20 years. Oh no, the gatewatch showed up! If only you had five literal gods to help you defeat them! And we know you succeed because there's cards of it. What do you all think, what is going on here?
    To prevent it being used against him i the future?
    So he's going to blow up every plane in existence? If he got this far without the plane being used against him why would it suddenly start?

    Like if it weren't destroyed? Alright, short of mass mindwipe or genocide, what stops the populace after learning of their God-Pharaoh's treachery from becoming rebels and then destroying his facility?

    Well, he could do both of those things, like he did when he came the first time. Plus, the plane already deals with rebels, and if they destroy the facility you're in the same place you started: With a destroyed facility.
    Plus the only people who saw the lazotep facility/necropolis were the anointed (white-bandaged mummies). All the champions that passed through the gates and into the necropolis were dead due to the trials. Keeping order would be harder with more people dissenting, so why bother?
    Because the plane keeps its own order. It's literally zero effort from him. If you're so worried about gnats rebelling, then come back and kill them all. Don't kill them while they're still doing everything to give you more resources.
    The charade of being God-Pharaoh was literally to harvest human bodies, who with cartouches that stored their combat memories, were the most skilled combatants to ever grace Amonkhet. It is the path of least resistance.
    Which you can still do without killing everyone, as demonstrated by all the bodies you've already made.

    As while this facility for making a lazotep army is going, which maintains itself without his oversight by the way, he is off reaping from another plane that adds different units to his army.
    Can't wait until he blows up that one too because if there's anyting better than growing an army, it's making sure it's size is limited. Rolleyes

    As described in the artbook, literally.

    I dont't have one.


    You forget that he was only able to warp Amonkhet for his own uses in the first place because he was still an oldwalker when he set the plan into motion, knowing that he would lose much of his power due to the mending soon. He can't just kill everyone on the plane again (nor can he blow up other planes at all). He had to use the three insect gods and elaborate magic rituals (set in motion by Razoketh) to actually destroy as much evidence of what he did as possible, killing the gods, the people he couldn't use etc. Once the whole afterlife scam was revealed (something he couldn't possibly hide from the people of Amonkhet) there was just no going back. Also there might not be enough Lazothep left in the accessable regions of Amonkhet to create more of the Eternals. As such he decides to devastate as much of the plane as possible to cover his tracks. Last but not least, remember that he also has a very sadistic streak. Why not bring as much despair to the rest of the plane he doesn't really need anymore? It's fun (at least for him). The story isn't even at the point of explaining his motivations, so I would suggest waiting a bit longer before you judge it.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • 0

    posted a message on God-Pharaoh's Gift
    Quote from Flamebuster »
    At least it's not mythic.

    You *could* have fun with this using cards like Misthollow Griffin or Torrent Elemental, but then even that too is slow. The bothersome part is that this costs 7 mana. By the time you reach 7 mana you should have already won or are close to winning (in a non-limited format).

    This is limited/commander fodder. TBH I was expecting more from this card, particularly with the way it's played out in the story.

    Again, at least it's not mythic. I'd be pissed if it was at these stats.

    'buster


    The effect is clearly worth 7 mana. Compare with Debtors' Knell which brings back any creature from any graveyard, but only at your upkeep, costs colored mana, doesn't give haste and doesn't change the creatures stats (which is sometimes important). Anything under 7 mana would make this card pretty busted. At least you can cheat it out, unlike Debtors' Knell.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • 2

    posted a message on Amonkhet General Discussion
    Quote from Etherium Sage »
    Quote from RSSR »
    So everyone needs to state their opinion with "(opinion)". Alright then.


    Considering that it's common for opinions to be confused with facts, I do think it's necessary.

    That said, you did come out of nowhere and made a comparison between this block's story and the story of a very old set.


    A comparison I might add that he didn't bother to explain in the slightest and still continues to not explain at all, which was my main criticism in the first place. It's also not very hard to write "In my opinion..." before making such statements.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • 3

    posted a message on Amonkhet General Discussion
    Quote from RSSR »
    Quote from ChrisBP7 »
    Quote from RSSR »
    I didn't know where to put this thought, and so I'll just put it here. Mirage was just more flavorful and memorable set and storyline in many more ways than Amonkhet and/or Hour Of Devastation is.


    And your reasoning for this is...? Scratch that, what has Mirage to do with Amonkhet at all? It's such a random negative thing to say... so I will just argue against it in a similar way: In my opinion Amonkhet is extremely flavorful and it's tragic storyline much more compelling than many parts of the Weatherlight saga. I will certainly remember it better.
    And I'll leave it at that.


    You really needed me to point out Mirage took it's inspiration from a northeastern African setting like Amonkhet took it's inspiration from Egypt?


    The flavor of Mirage is in no way related to ancient egypt. Therefore comparing the two is a pretty useless thing to do. And even if they had something to do with each other, you are not explaining why you feel that way, you just state your opinions as facts. You can't just do that and expect everyone to agree.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • 0

    posted a message on Amonkhet General Discussion
    Quote from Saandro »
    Quote from Perkunas687 »

    Either way, though, all this for an army is strange to me.


    You are not supposed to think about it. Someone thought Bolas raising an undead army would be cool, or they just didn't think of any other reason for why Amonkhet needs to be destroyed. When the time comes this zombie army will make excellent cannon fodder for Chandra's fireballs. Not much else, I think.


    Why? What is so illogical about it? He wants an army that is a) absolutely loyal, b) doesn't die and c) is trained to peak perfection which he can use when manipulation alone just isn't enough to gain control. The Lazotep and the Curse of Wandering made all of that possible and so he created the whole situation on Amonkhet (remember, he created similar situations on other worlds as well, like Alara, just not with the same motivation). He has no use for the rest of Amonkhet, so he'll have some "fun" with it and then he'll probably leave with his army since he has accomplished what he wanted to do. Also: He probably has a grander plan for all he has done so far, though we'll probably not find out much about it this time.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
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