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The Magic Market Index for Jan 12, 2018
 
Treasure Cruisin' Tempered Steel
 
The Magic Market Index for Jan 5, 2018
  • posted a message on "Golden Guardian" // "Gold-Forge Garrison" .:. BigMagic Spoiler
    Quote from schindar »
    I got this card in two different prereleases. There were just too many hoops to jump through to make this anything more than a 4/4 defender for 4. I'm quite confident that there are constructed decks that can do some fun things with it but the juice just isn't worth the squeeze in limited.


    I also got this card and had a wildly different experience. It was extremely easy for me to transform it and by letting it fight with either small lifegain vampire tokens (and then blocking an opponents creature with it) or with huge lifegainers and enrage creatures I got life, the land, and many possible triggers out of it. There was not a single time I had particular difficulties transforming it.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Nahiri, Sword Adept
    Quote from Etherium Sage »
    Quote from ChrisBP7 »
    I like the design, but I think that the -7 is too busted. It's nearly always an instant kill and you reach it in 2 rounds after casting Nahiri, directly if you ccontrol Doubling Season or the like. I would prefer an ultimate that has either another emblem or one that keeps the emblem but "only" creates one pretty good equipment.


    You probably already realize this, but the idea with the ultimate and the -3 is to represent Nahiri's abilities to remote control the swords she makes.

    I changed the ultimate emblem to be an animation ability instead, but the swords in this case can only hit players and planeswalkers, so I don't know if that's appropriate or not.



    I think that I like this new emblem more. It might be *slightly* less flavorful, but it isn't as busted as before and still brings the general idea across.
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on Nahiri, Sword Adept
    I like the design, but I think that the -7 is too busted. It's nearly always an instant kill and you reach it in 2 rounds after casting Nahiri, directly if you ccontrol Doubling Season or the like. I would prefer an ultimate that has either another emblem or one that keeps the emblem but "only" creates one pretty good equipment.
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on Ixalan General Discussion
    Quote from Flisch »
    Quote from Etherium Sage »
    Quote from Flisch »
    I don't understand this sentiment at all. In a narrative, not every character can be the day-saving hero. Not every location can be the big arena and not every chapter can be the huge relevation. Different parts serve different purposes. Personally I don't even see how it would make Ixalan any more of a backdrop than Kaladesh or Amonkhet. It has its own story (race for the immortal sun). Having a connection to another story arc doesn't make it background noise.


    I think, to some extent, some folks want the story to go back to when practically every introduced plane had its own self-contained story (if it had a story, that is).

    So does Ixalan. The race for the big price is a story in itself. I mean, one could argue Lorwyn was even more of a backdrop, because it's entire story was an echo of the mending.

    Really, stories have been connected ever since, and stories always had variable amounts of stakes. That is nothing new. Except now the connections are more obvious because we don't have to wait five years for a plotpoint from before to be picked up again.

    Quote from Mister M »
    Quote from Flisch »
    How is Huatli a hypocrite? It's their culture. They pride themselves in only subduing their opponents and let the killing to the dinos (and warriors). It's a martial/military stylistic choice. We have plenty of similar things in real life. It would be hypocrisy if she didn't kill if she believed killing was morally wrong. That is not the case.


    As I believe I am the one who originally brought up this theory, I feel an obligation to make sure it isn't taken too far. I originally brought it up because we didn't know Huatli's reasons for refusing to kill, whether it was a moral position or a way of demonstrating superior prowess. It may be the case that she believes killing is wrong and is a hypocrite. Or it may not be. AFAIK, we still don't have the information to tell us.

    I think it was confirmed recently. Either on someone's twitter or in last week's article. Basically the knights (a high rank amongst the military) don't kill themselves. Kind of like a special martial art, they kill through dinosaur, without getting their hand dirty. (literal dirty, not guilt dirty). It's a cultural thing, not a moral thing.


    No, I'm actually against doing self-contained stories without any further connections. The thing I liked about the faster pace WAS that we didn't have to wait so long for the next plot point. There is a difference however between Kaladesh and Amonkhet being part of the larger Bolas-related story and Ixalan now. Both of these connections were clear AND part of the plane-contained story: The Planar Bridge was part of the reason Tezzeret took control of the inventions at the fair, leading to the revolution. I don't think I need to explain Amonkhet. Both worlds were the pure focus of their respective storylines, even when they were integrated into a larger one. But Azor suddenly being the focus of Ixalan (and yes, he would definitely become the focus, since they would have to explain his whole non-foreshadowed connection to the plane, his character AND his goals which would take quite some time)? Without any background or logical connection (meaning story connection, I know of the aesthetical connections)? That just rubs me the wrong way. Ugin I would get, we know that he had goals beyond Tarkir (and that he worked with other planeswalkers). He also fits the aesthetic of Ixalan itself, being a kind of "feathered snake". I don't know, I might be wrong, but as I said, Azor doesn't feel right for me. I could be wrong of course.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Ixalan General Discussion
    Quote from Etherium Sage »
    Quote from ChrisBP7 »
    Where in the story are we really supposed to see Huatli as a good guy? I think the fact that she and the empire are both very hypocritical is part of their characters. People were complaining earlier that both came across as "too good" in relation to the pirates or the vampires, and now some are complaining that they get a huge flaw, namely hypocrisy? Before the story even began it was pretty clear that the empire sees nothing wrong in letting their dinosaurs slaughter other people and the stories make it clear now that they do so while praising themselves for not killing others directly. So there. I hope they will give Huatli some kind of revelation on this in Rivals, especially since the emperor seems very shady, trying to exploit her without giving her much back.


    I wasn't complaining though, assuming this is in response to me.

    Also, speaking of the Emperor's promise, the Warrior-Poet title means a lot to Huatli, so it's much from her perspective. That said, I don't really trust him either, and I think if they want to make Huatli's story more interesting, that could be used as a way of further developing her character.


    Sorry, that first part wasn't meant as a response towards you but more of a general response to the discussion. Also, remember that although she already accomplished much he withheld her the title multiple times, knowing fully well how much it means to her and using it to exploit her. At least that's how it came across for me.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Ixalan General Discussion
    Where in the story are we really supposed to see Huatli as a good guy? I think the fact that she and the empire are both very hypocritical is part of their characters. People were complaining earlier that both came across as "too good" in relation to the pirates or the vampires, and now some are complaining that they get a huge flaw, namely hypocrisy? Before the story even began it was pretty clear that the empire sees nothing wrong in letting their dinosaurs slaughter other people and the stories make it clear now that they do so while praising themselves for not killing others directly. So there. I hope they will give Huatli some kind of revelation on this in Rivals, especially since the emperor seems very shady, trying to exploit her without giving her much back.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Ixalan General Discussion
    Where in the story are we really supposed to see Huatli as a good guy? I think the fact that she and the empire are both very hypocritical is part of their characters. People were complaining earlier that both came across as "too good" in relation to the pirates or the vampires, and now some are complaining that they get a huge flaw, namely hypocrisy? Before the story even began it was pretty clear that the empire sees nothing wrong in letting their dinosaurs slaughter other people and the stories make it clear now that they do so while praising themselves for not killing others directly. So there. I hope they will give Huatli some kind of revelation on this in Rivals, especially since the emperor seems very shady, trying to exploit her without giving her much back.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Ixalan General Discussion
    Quote from Jay13x »
    Quote from Joao Wockeez »
    On another news, what do you guys think will be the role of the new Elder Dino thing ?
    Likely a guardian of Orazca of some sort? Or something sealed with Orazca that was now released.


    The Dread Guardian of Orazca that Hualti will take control of, proving how awesome and great she is and it won't totally be boring and groan inducing.


    Ok, this definitely leaves the realm of constructive criticism. The whole guardian thing is speculation, so directly interpreting it as something negative by adding further speculations without any evidence for them, just to further moan about the (potential) story, is really unhelpful. I could understand that you hate Amonkhet and wanted to vent your frustration by constantly reminding us (although I and several others disagree with you obviously), but you are taking it too far if you do that all the time from now on.

    I'm still not convinced by the whole Azor connection. Aside from some REALLY vague similarities of certain symbols in Ixalan to the Azorius signet there was no build up at all for such a revelation. Azor isn't an active player in the story (unlike Ugin) and making all of Ixalan background noise for Ravnica 3 would be kind of disappointing (and I like Ravnica). I still believe that the sphinx (if it isn't just an Ixalan native) is one of Bolas or even Ugins minions. But we'll see obviously.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Ixalan General Discussion
    Quote from Etherium Sage »
    Quote from Joao Wockeez »
    Honestly i hope that sphinx is in fact Azor, idk much about the guy, but i would rather it being him then Ugin.]

    Buuuuut, there's also a chance that sphinxes are a part of Ixalan, but all of them retrated to Orazca, who know maybe sphinxes are the last line of defense.


    To be fair, no-one knows much about the guy. He founded the Azorius guild, he authored the original Guildpact, and he wasn't native to Ravnica.

    Beyond that, the details about Azor are ambiguous or unknown.


    I don't want to disturb everyones favorite theory, but you all seem to have forgotten that there is another explanation for the sphinx (aside from it being native, which would be a bit difficult to explain), namely that he is actually Bolas' minion that Vraska was ordered to call to Ixalan after she found the Immortal Sun. I'm still betting on Ugin to be involved, but that's nearly equally uncertain. I haven't read The Secretist, but wasn't Azor talking to Jace in some form of recording at the end? Or am I wrong? Did he have a form there? I still doubt that that's the way the story will go.

    Aside from the pretty much obvious Emrakul reveal (which everyone seems to have forgotten was dismissed pretty hard at the start of SOI, nowadays it seems to me as if everyone knew of it from the start looking at the comments. Weird.) the creative team has gotten better at subverting certain expectations (Amonkhet NOT being created by Bolas certainly shifted the mood for that story significantly). Azor is at the same time a strange choice (we know next to nothing about him and he would inhabit the same character space as Ugin more or less, which would lead me to question why they didn't use Ugin in the first place) and, for a lack of a better word, too simple. Two Ravnica-related characters on the same world? Must mean that another Ravnica-related character is behind it all so that we can neatly lead to Ravnica 3 AND potentially solve the whole "Jace as the guildpact issue". I'm normally someone trying to defend the writing since it has gotten considerably better and is often critisized unfairly, but that would be just extremely lazy writing and would feel unearned, taking away potentially good conflict (why build up Jace being absent from Ravnica and things going awry there for multiple years if you just ignore that in the end?). I actually hope that they don't go this route.

    EDIT: An actual (if small) twist would be that while the sphinx is a planeswalker and the guardian of the Immortal Sun, it's actually a minion of Ugin, not Bolas. Why should only the latter employ other planeswalkers to do his bidding? And Ugin has set a precedent with ordering Nahiri and Sorin around. Just a thought, I obviously have no evidence for this.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Ixalan General Discussion
    Quote from Gutterstorm »
    Quote from OathboundOne »
    Ugin, at the very least, should know that trapping is at best a temporary solution; and as Ugin is really the only one of Bolas'current enemies with a long enough lifespan to realistically be around when a pissed off elder dragon who already killed him once inevitably gets free I doubt Ugin would be okay with a plan that merely contains him.

    ETA: That is, of course, unless Ugin has nebulous plans that somehow require Bolas' continued survival. At which point I will heave the most put-upon sigh, shake my head, and wash my hands of the whole mess.


    Who knows what sort of effect taking an Elder Dragon out could have on the multiversal ecosystem. We can't kill him. There may be dire consequences. Maybe not in your lifetime blah blah Eldrazi. Lol


    Well, to be fair, in contrast to the Eldrazi we know that the death of Elder Dragons doesn't have lasting consequences for the multiverse (since all of Bolas' brothers and sisters are long dead). But still, I would find it very disappointing if they give Ugin a passive role in defeating a threat to the multiverse AGAIN because of "wasted potential" or something similar. He did seem eager to kill Bolas when he had the chance, only thwarted by Yasova casting Insurrection in the end. I would like to see him in more proactive role for once. Until now his role in the story can be described as "being dead"/"being comatose" - "being awakened" - "giving information to a main character" and "being disgruntled because of the actions of the main characters". We didn't even see him using his energy transforming magic up until now (except for the dragon tempests, but those don't really count).
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Ixalan General Discussion
    Quote from ThyLordQ »
    Quote from Etherium Sage »
    I understand why they do this, as they want us to know intuitively what planes we're seeing. Also, since we know about Ghirapur already, it makes Huatli's assumption that it's Orazca all the more hilarious. Whether or not that's a good approach is another argument.


    I understand what they are doing, however it is the polar opposite of what they should be doing, they should be using these Random walks to show us places we have never been, It gives us a short feel of what the newbie walker feels by making us go "Woah, what is -that- place?", It makes the Multi-verse feel larger because since Origins every first planeswalk we have seen has been to a place we have known except for 1 and we didn't actually see his first planeswalk, and it could foreshadow planes we could be going too in the future, or give us small glimpses of the ones we aren't going to specifically go to like wherever the Vampire Gladiator Lady from this years Commander is from.


    But then you get stuck in the bind of "Can't make this too interesting, or people will want to know more about that instead of the story we're actually trying to tell right now." Or worse "Here's a cool plane that we didn't have time to do all the logistics for, so we may never see it again, and if we do, it may end up completely different." A la Planechase.

    It's not really a good situation either way.


    And the answer to that is. "Well Maybe we will go there some day, keep reading the stories and find out." Us seeing the same planes over and over even in short glimpses makes the "Infinite Multiverse! TM." Seem like something smaller than a normal fantasy world is.


    As has been discussed elsewhere, there seem to be a) some kind of relative "distance" between planes, with Zendikar, Amonkhet and Equilor especially having been called "backwater" or "at the edge of the multiverse" respectively, Dominaria being its center and Shandalar moving through the blind eternities, meaning that the planes we have seen so far (with the named exceptions) could be relatively close to each other, making random planeswalks between them more probable and b) the first planeswalk seems to have some kind of connection to the planeswalker himself (Liliana jumping to Innistrad, Chandra to Regatha etc.). It was never made explicit, but that might be an actual explanation for the seemingly "small" multiverse.

    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on First planeswalk planes
    I still have the theory that planes have some kind of metaphysical "distance" between them and that most planes we have seen so far are pretty close to each other, which makes it more likely to planeswalk there at random. Another thing I have noted is that the planes many walkers first arrive at are somewhat thematically connected to the walker himself. Samut arrived in Theros (the only world aside from Amonkhet with gods that we know of and directly after feeling an especially stong connection to Hazoreth), Domri Rade in Naya (being fascinated by huge beasts), Liliana on Innistrad and Chandra on Regatha (connections pretty obvious I would say) and the list goes on. Some connections are weaker than others, but aside from being narratively convenient, could it have any further meaning?
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Russian Pterodactyl
    Quote from Ashiok »
    It seems like dinosaurs will have two possible builds. RW-low-to-the-ground aggro and RG ramp. I'm always betting my chips on the aggro version.

    Pretty sure pterodactyls weren't dinosaurs. Might be wrong though.

    EDIT: boy, it is nice to be a gangsta - http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/why-a-pterosaur-is-not-a-dinosaur-87082921/


    Yeah, just like Mosa-, Ichthyo- and Elasmosaurs (big marine reptiles) weren't dinosaurs. Pterosaurs also never had feathers as far as we can tell (some to most dinosaurs did though). But it would probably be too problematic to make that distinction (both marine as well as flying reptiles would better be kept typed as "lizard") both from a flavor as well as from a mechanical standpoint. It's a fantasy version of dinosaurs, I think we can give them a bit leeway on this.

    I like this small flyer. Flying plus menace is pretty difficult to block most of the time. I'm liking this set more and more.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Ixalan's Binding - Story Spotlight
    What happens when a planeswalker tries to p-walk and can't? For some reason, I can't get the idea out of my head that it's like Apparating from Harry Potter and failure is like splinching.


    I think it was stated somewhere that Huatli, the native planeswalker, saw visions and ideas of other worlds and maybe the Blind Eternities when she sparked, but wasn't actually transported anywhere (the same happened to Rashmi while she used the control panel of her planar portal in Kaladesh).
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Ixalan General Discussion
    Quote from Mister M »
    If you want to go off in the anthropological weeds, based on certain theories of the origins of human sacrifice in Mesoamerican societies, Aztecs with tame dinos would probably never develop human sacrifice.

    After the late Pleistocene extinctions, the Americas had few large, domesticable animals, and llamas and their relatives were confined to South America. Small, band- and tribe-level societies could obtain needed protein by hunting, but civilizations (I use the word "civilization" in the strict sense, to refer to cultures with large, permanent settlements, i.e., cities) had no reliable source of protein. Sacrifices of livestock in Eurasian civilizations were almost always occasions to feast - on the animals slaughtered in the ritual. I'd prefer not to spell out where I'm going with this, but with domesticated dinosaurs, the Empire of the Sun may simply have no reason to develop the institution of human sacrifice.


    This is actually pretty interesting. And it highlights another thing that bugs me about the whole issue: This is a fantasy world with dinosaurs and magic INSPIRED by mesoamerican societies and colonialization at the time. It is not supposed to be a 1:1 representation of the Spanish conquests or the Aztecs. The dinosaurs alone change too much in regards to the power dynamics to make it a direct parallel. Also, Burning_Paladine, I would like to point out that you showed the detailed descriptions of the Dusk Legion (leaving out that they still aren't vampires like Innistrads vampires: They don't relish in their blood lust, why else should they fast in the first place? And why should they seek the Immortal Sun to bring immortality without the bloodlust? Why the connection to white and all these not very "evil vampire"-like characteristics?), but showed only Huatlis descriptions and pictures to make your point that the natives are portrayed as morally in the right. Guess what, Huatli is only one individual and a planeswalker, which tend to be positively highlighted if they are not direct villains. That's a pretty skewed comparison. Everything else we know about the Sun Empire (lets their dinos slaughter their enemies as shown on multiple cards, is just as much focussed on conquest as the vampires are, has driven of the merfolk (implying a war between them)) points to a quite morally ambigious culture. Individuals are a totally different story. Huatli might or might not be friendly, but that has nothing to do with the Sun Empire itself.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
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