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The Magic Market Index for August 18, 2017
Treasure Cruisin' with Azorius Titan
  • 1

    posted a message on Amonkhet General Discussion
    Quote from user_938036 »
    Quote from RaltheMad »
    Quote from user_938036 »
    Quote from OathboundOne »

    We know that he hates being subservient to Niv, and can reasonably assume he'd find Bolas even worse.
    Where are you getting this idea? You've floated it at least twice in this thread and its gone either unchallenged or unnoticed, but my understanding has been that Ral basically worships Niv and more fears disappointing him then hates being subservient. If you could point to what makes you think this it would really help.

    It has been shown on the Secretist (return to Ravnica novella) and both stories Ral has appeared in. Ral worships the ideals of the Izzet but sees Niv as a nuisance that is holding him back and ignores his genious. Also he is afraid that if Niv discovers the existence of planeswalkers he will be the first specimen strapped in the dragons table to be cut open in order to find out what makes them planeswalk.
    I've read those and they gave me the exact opposite understanding of Ral's opinion of Niv. The main reason he gives for not outing walkers is the damage it would do to Niv's ego, which implies he is trying to protect Niv first and then is concerned that he 'might' end up on a table.

    So any quotes that specifically call this out would be much appreciated, because until Oathboundone mentioned it I had never considered Ral to be upset serving dragons. And obviously they are not the only one who views Ral's relationship this way; with you jumping in here.

    I haven't read The Secretist, so my impressions of Ral are entirely from his wiki page, anything I've read about him from other forum commenters, and the two story articles about him.

    The wiki page says:
    Indeed, Ral has never looked to the ancient dragon as a role model or mentor, but as a nuisance at best and a likely adversary at worst.

    So that's the lens through which I've read Ral's character through.

    With that in mind, Ral's concern with Niv Mizzet discovering planeswalkers would have nothing to do with not wanting the dragon's ego damaged, and everything to do with what that dragon would do to him(and any other planeswalker Niv could get his hands on, but mostly him) if that happened.
    From Project Lightning Bug:
    Besides, he knew the range of horrid things Niv-Mizzet would do in possession of that truth. Would he eagerly dissect all the Planeswalkers he could find in the spirit of curiosity, or simply eat them all to assert dominance and quell his existential jealousy? Would he track the comings and goings of every Planeswalker, and ruin all the work Ral had done to scrape his way through the ranks and achieve a position of respect among the Izzet?

    But you don't know Niv-Mizzet. It would crack him. It would turn him inside-out. And then he would turn us inside-out...

    Reading from the perspective given by the wiki, Ral didn't give a damn about Niv, he was worried about himself.

    When it comes to not wanting to disappoint the Firemind, it's because Niv tends to eat those who disappoint him.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • 3

    posted a message on Amonkhet General Discussion
    Quote from scottjhebert »

    C) Ral Zarek is an agent of NB.
    I think Jay said everything appropriate here, but I might point out that there is some discussion that Ral may have become an agent of Bolas because of Jace becoming the Guildpact or something similar. The opposite may be much more compelling: Ral was trying to become the Guildpact as a way to get out of being an agent of Bolas. Tezzeret and Liliana both make clear that working for Bolas royally sucks. Ral might have been searching for a way out of that tyranny. He tried to kill Jace in the Maze because Jace was going to win.
    Also realize that if Ral is an agent of Bolas, maybe his report of Vraska PWing to 'nowhere' was simply a lie. We have only his word for it. Alternately, a very long plan of NB would be for him to say that to Jace so that when Jace fled on Amonkhet his mind would take him to the first plane it attached to... being Ral's reference to nowhere. IOW, some form of (nonmagical) hypnotic suggestion.

    Quote from Etherium Sage »

    It wouldn't be anything entirely new. The original Guildpact kept planeswalkers out of Ravnica, so a protective shroud keeping intruders from finding Ixalan would be interesting and entirely plausible. That said, if this is the case, it's now basically useless since Jace, Vraska, Ajani (if the "Conquest of Power" mock-up boosters were any indication) and maybe even Bolas (based on the fuzzy flavour text of River's Rebuke, one of the leaked Ixalan cards) are now aware of the place.

    To further the thinking with regard to Ral Zarek, lets combine the two trains of thought.

    We know that Ral really only cares about Ravnica, he's shown little to no interest in really exploring beyond the confines of "His" world.
    We know that he hates being subservient to Niv, and can reasonably assume he'd find Bolas even worse.
    We know that the original Guildpact locked planeswalkers out of the plane.

    It's possible then, that Ral had intended to use the position of Guildpact to somehow restore the lock and isolate Ravnica from the multiverse again, thus protecting his plane, and himself, from Bolas.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • 2

    posted a message on Amonkhet General Discussion
    I kinda feel like Ral is more likely to be an unwilling agent for Bolas.

    We already know how much he chafes being subordinate to one arrogant, millennia old, self absorbed dragon. I find it hard to believe he'd willingly subjugate himself to another even worse dragon.

    I think he's got a Bontu situation going. He chose survival.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • 1

    posted a message on Commander 2017 announcement -- Only 4 decks, based on popular tribes, not color wheel!
    Lazav has the Dimir watermark, just like all the other guild affiliated cards have their own...
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • 4

    posted a message on Ixalan and Rivals of Ixalan
    Quote from Empathogen »
    Quote from DracoDracul »

    And I'd personally argue that the new Tarkir is a lot less interesting than the old Tarkir.

    I honestly don't understand that decision—
    they go through all the effort to finally give proper names and identities to the wedges,
    only to completely erase that by the end of the block?
    How is that productive?

    Now that I think about it, they more or less did the same thing with Alara.
    They're going to need to do some serious retconning with either plane
    for a return to be appealing for me.

    With Tarkir, they made the mistake of overvaluing how popular Dragons are*, and undervaluing how much people liked wedges.

    I don't think they need to retcon a return though, they did hint at dissent in the ranks of the dragonlords, and remnants of the old clans still existing, so I think a return would be open conflict between the dragonlords and a resurgence of the clans.

    Particularly if they specify that the dragonstorms only happen while Ugin is physically present on the plane, so if he's gone the storms stop, no more new Dragons, and the clans see the opportunity to strike.

    *That's absolutely not to say Dragons aren't popular. They're the most popular race(species) in Magic. But people also really seem to like wedges.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • 1

    posted a message on Ixalan basics
    Indeed. Very Machu Picchu, I like it.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • 4

    posted a message on Amonkhet General Discussion
    I've seen a few people say that Bolas' arrival would expose everything for the like that it was, as a reason for his destruction of Amonkhet.

    The problem with this rational is that the only reason that's true is because Bolas set it up that way. He didn't HAVE to set up the hours the way he did, he just did it. He could easily have made prophecies that DIDN'T require such action. How hard would it have been for him to pop in, act all benevolent for a few days/weeks/whatever, then take his Eternals "to the great and wonder us afterlife that awaits them, and all who prove worthy" and leave, promising to come back for the next batch later?

    Nothing necessitates a grand reveal even be a part of the scheme. HE wrote the prophecies afterall. He just did it, cause reasons.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • 1

    posted a message on The Best / Worse fate on a plane built to just hate life.
    I honestly think that Phyrexianization would be the worst. I wouldn't want my consciousness to continue on beyond my agency. That just means that whatever is left of you is stuck as a hapless passenger as your physical form carries out atrocity after atrocity that you're powerless to do anything about.

    If I'm not ME anymore then I just want to end.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • 1

    posted a message on Most Hated MTG Villain?
    Quote from twinfrodo »
    Quote from twinfrodo »
    I feel bad for Nahiri and IDK to what extent she is a villain. Someone had to suffer under Emrakul. Might as well hit two birds with one stone by making Sorin and his world suffer the way hers had, instead. Ugin and Sorin did the same to Zendikar for the exact same reason, let alone trapping her there despite being a PW.

    Heliod - he destroyed Godsend while killing Elspeth, further evidence of having the natural order of Theros in mind when he did.

    If you think about it Nahiri abondoned her people in order to get revenge. If she really cared for them she would have found more powerful allies to team up with to reseal the titains or destroy them. Sorin atleast attempted to save Zendikar in the original block and when that failed went searching for Ugin in order to save Zendikar. To be honest I think they should have left her in the past and just had her die of old age rather than coming up with petty reasons for her and Sorin to fight in order to stir pointless drama.
    Nahiri found Bala Ged to be a wasteland. Akoum was nothing but dust. All three titans were on the loose. She considered her world forfeit, the same way Sorin did Innistrad with only Emrkaul there. As far as she knew, Zendikar was finished.

    Yes but if she was really this autrustic character that people still believe her to be why would she use all of her power to commit mass genoicide? Over a five minute fight that they were both too impulsive about. I think that the whole thing was utterly stupid and they pulled it out of their A** when they came up with on the spot to create drama. I am a little jaded though so I shouldn't argue and criticize other people's characters.

    I really feel like creative missed an opportunity when it turned out Nahiri was just there for revenge, instead of it being her plan to lock Em in Innistrad's moon.

    If the binding had been her plan all along, she have kept her altruistic characterization, but still would have been the antagonist (and thus villain as far as Sorin and the denizens of Innistrad we're concerned). Particularly if part of her plan was to force Sorin into stewardship of the Innistrad prison, as she had been of Zendikar.

    Someone had posted such a plot as supposedly being in the art book (and it had been widely speculated as the case before then), but sadly that wasn't the case.

    Though I soppose spending a THOUSAND YEARS in what was essentially solitary confinement could certainly strip one of any such altruistic nature.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • 1

    posted a message on What's the point in Bolas creating the Eternals?
    I really just can't buy into Bolas' just making the eternals.

    Why would he waste his last few remaining days of oldwalker god-like power setting up a plane to create a small undead army that it simply may never even be possible for him to move from one plane to another post mending?
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
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