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  • posted a message on Banned and restricted announcement next week
    Everyone saying that they'll ban Cobra or Omnath is being delusional. Zendikar Rising has just come out and they need to sell product. Uro on the other hand is an easy ban because the hype for Theros Beyond Death has worn off at this point.

    Of course their official reason will be that they have "more data" on Uro or something.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Commander Legend Spoiler Season starts on the 12th of October
    idk as someone who doesn't really play anymore (except for a few games of Commander or a Draft once in a blue moon) but likes looking at new cards, more frequent spoilers are kind of nice. If you feel fatigued then just stop buying, it's really not that hard.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on [ZNR] Top 10 Zendikar Rising Cards
    Not based on powerlevel or a specific format. These are just my personal favs, reasons are a mix of design/gameplay/art/creative.

    1) Scute Swarm - There are already more than a dozen videos on Youtube that demonstrate how ridiculous this card can get. Looking forward to using it in EDH. The flavor text is cute too (compare with Scute Mob).

    2) Anticognition - Cool art and use of the "reverse threshold" mechanic. The card feels just right powerlevel-wise. I really like it when they do interesting cards like this at the lower rarities.

    3) Skyclave Relic - Ever since making a deck based around Mirror-Sigil Sergeant back in Alara Block, I love cards that make copies of themselves. The feeling of value is overwhelming! (Applies to Scute Swarm as well.) Another great EDH card too, since it's just a strictly better Darksteel Ingot.

    4) Verazol, the Split Current - Copies! This is a nice commander for a lower-powered EDH deck. Unless other legendaries that care about one specific mechanic, you don't feel so bad about this one because Kicker is so vanilla-flavored that it can show up almost everywhere.

    5) Nahiri's Lithoforming - Nice pseudo-scapeshift that supports Landfall in a very red-feeling way.

    6) Kabira Takedown / Silundi Vision / Hagra Mauling / Kazuul'S Fury / Tangled Florahedron - These are not a cycle, but I'm grouping them together regardless because I like them for the same reason. They're all MDFCs that feel very "snug", design-wise. Their front side is good enough that you'll never feel bad about playing them, and in case you can't use them, they can always be a land! Florahedron is also super cute.

    7) Myriad Construct - I just think it looks cool.

    8) Ancient Greenwarden - Third Crucible of Worlds-style effect for the EDH decks that want it and land Panharmonicon all on a 5/7 body? Yes please!

    9) Ashaya, Soul of the Wild - Interesting way of doing a "big, dum beater" that also offers cleverly built-in ramp and Cyclonic Rift protection.

    10) Valakut Exploration - Cool riff on red's impulse draw ability. The one thing I don't like about this card is the art, it looks too much like a land (on both versions).
    Posted in: New Card Discussion
  • posted a message on Zendikar Rising- Lore and Story
    This week's side story was kind of eh. Obuun is so far removed from what is happening on Zendikar right now that I found it hard to care (yes I know that he's technically still alive). We didn't really learn anything about the Kor Empire either other than they do typical empire things, forcing people to assimilate and whatnot.
    Quote from Mullerornis »
    On Nahiri and kor nationalism, her Arena quotes pretty much confirm she wants to restore the kor empire.
    I still wish that aspect would show up in the actual story as well, but I'm going to stop *****ing... for now.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Zendikar Rising- Lore and Story
    Quote from 5colors »
    Quote from Mullerornis »
    Judging by Zareth's comment in the previous story as well as the whole kor supremacy subtext it'd probably be a repeat of the kor empire.


    Which was what Zendikar was before the eldrazi and where Nahiri likely grew up, which would be the Zendikar she knew.
    I guess... I'd still expect her thoughts on the matter to be a bit more fully formed, since an empire isn't something that just springs into existence once you move a few rocks around. To me, her motivations also don't seem to be of political nature.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Zendikar Rising- Lore and Story
    Another thing that continues to annoy me a bit is that we still don't know what Nahiri's vision of the future looks like. She keeps going on about how she hates the roil and that she's going to heal Zendikar, but surely she has an idea of how healed Zendikar will look like, right? Apparently it's all going to go horribly wrong, so it'd be nice to know even the broad strokes of what she has in mind - she's a POV character, come on!
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Zendikar Rising- Lore and Story
    They should've come up with a better reason for why Nahiri needed a party to go with her. Yeah, here and there it's mentioned that they help each other along the way, but it really seems like Nahiri could've done all this by herself.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Zendikar Rising- Lore and Story
    This week's side story was another nice one. I prefer this Lopez dude's style to Greenblatt's, although it feels a bit too extravagant here and there.

    The one thing I found annoying was that the description of the serpent in the story didn't match up with its card art (which is in the article!). On the card it has a two-mouths-on-the-same-head situation going on, but in the story it's just a regular two-headed monster.

    Quote from Flisch »
    I'm having some major cognitive dissonance about Zareth. On the one hand he's written as likeable and witty and actually right about the whole Nahiri thing, clearly a sympathetic character.

    On the other hand he steals from people who don't seem to be particularly rich and actually literally sacrifices people to save his best buddy.

    Like, I dunno...
    Does it have to be one or the other? To me, it makes the character more realistic. People with *****ty general behaviour that are likeable under certain circumstances are a thing in the real world...

    I wouldn't really count the "sacrifices people" thing as a bad character trait though (in this specific case). Not everyone is a selfless hero, and the author clearly described what kind of life-of-death situation they were in. I think in a situation like this, most people would've done what Zareth did instead of heroically, but pointlessly trying to save everyone.

    Quote from Flisch »
    I dunno, maybe it's my cynism, but I never really had this "oh wow so mysterious" feel about Zendikar. All the places on Zendikar were obviously just "lets throw as many unexplained things at the wall as we can to paint a colourful picture". Tal Terig the puzzle tower has no relation to the singing city, has no relation to glasspool, has no relation to the crypt of agadeem, has no relation to the blue strand of jwar isle.
    I mean, it is fantasy, so you can't get around making things up. I agree with you that most original Zendikar locations were nothing more than cool-sounding names. But once you're finished with the initial setup, it's all about how you use the things you placed on your world, and this is where I wish Wizards had put more focus on. Why not work with the stuff you have more? They're clearly fine with lampshading the damage done by the Eldrazi invasion, so from there it's not a big leap to say that most of those places are still worth exploring ("most of them weren't destroyed, Zendikar is just too big!"). Instead they hastily made up even more window dressing, and now the route the characters in the main story take is "Skyclave A -> Skyclave B -> (probably) Skyclave C"...

    Quote from Flisch »
    I mean the (current) in-universe explanation is that the roil is like a scab. It doesn't just stop from one day to the enxt just because the Eldrazi are gone. It may take centuries to heal. To spin the "physical harm" analogy further, Zendikar may never fully recover from it and remain "crippled".

    The out of universe answer of course is that (planar) change in Magic is bad, or has been phased out sicne they started returning to planes. Obviously when you return to planes, you want to show what people fell in love with.

    Personally, I am of the opinion that planes are the "real" characters in Magic (or should be, rather) and as such should undergo the same changes that characters do in other stories, including their destruction or, well, irreversible change, but that's just me and unfortunately theres a lot of players/fans who don't want things to change at all. Because for them it's about the franchise and not the stories.
    As for the in-universe explanation: I think the Roil was a thing before the Eldrazi? It's pretty hard to speculate when core characteristics of a world are changed around constantly or not made clear... However, it does make things easier for marketing in case they want to return to a state of the world that was more liked by players I guess.

    I agree with you that planes should be allowed to change and evolve organically, but yeah maybe that's too much to ask when their first priority is selling a card game.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on [ZNR] Full set reveal
    Yeah … my excitement for this set is limited.

    I like the MDFCs in principle, because they fix mana screw/flood. But DFCs are a pain in the ass in paper, and I still don't know how to feel about Wizards apparently wanting to flood the game with them throughout the next year.

    The landfall cards are fine.

    I really don't like the party mechanic. It feels really weak outside of Limited, and the creative behind it is uninspired (Allies weren't much better though). It's kind of disheartening that we're going to get even more boring, milquetoast DnD stuff next year…
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Zendikar Rising- Lore and Story
    Quote from user_938036 »
    Quote from Flisch »
    Is that new though? Zendikar was never a particularly deep setting. "Just" a rich one with lots of variety and content. All the places, ruins and so forth were just named dungeons with about a sentence describing their mysteriousness. Which isn't particularly bad for Magic's standards, mind you, but yeah.

    I think part of why they feel so disconnected is not so much the lack of connect, but the fact that we know that they were made up for this set. Like, that's how Magic operates, which is fine, but it's become a bit of a sore point in the last years due to the constant retcons and inconsistencies. It killed speculation, and it kills excitement about new content, because the glamer that new content is just something that's always been there, but only just now discovered, has been dispelled. The good-will is gone.

    At least, that's how I feel about it.
    Not quite. All of the original dungeon diving for Zendikar was based around this mysterious "thing" known as the Eldrazi. It was unclear if they were a civilization, a group of Gods, or something. Just that they left powerful Artifacts and Zendikar wasn't happy about it. So there was this underlying feel of interconnectivity based around "What are/were the Eldrazi" and they can't get that back
    Exactly, that's what I meant when I said that the new Zendikar is lacking mystery. In the original Zendikar block, although concrete information on what all those adventurers searched for was quite sparse (as far as I'm aware) you could always assume that they were searching for relics related to the hedrons and the ancient civilization/gods/people/being associated with them. But because they chose to only flesh out that one mystery and solved it all, Wizards ended up in a place where there was nothing left for the adventurers on the adventure plane to adventure for ... unless they quickly put some Bloodborne Chalice Dungeons here and there ... which is why the Skyclaves feel so tacked on.

    One question that's still left is "what is the Roil?", because until now, the assumption was that it was the plane's immune response to the Eldrazi. It should be gone, so why is it still there? This arguably qualifies as an element of mystery, at least for the readers and the planeswalkers in the story. From the perspective of the average Zendikari adventurer it doesn't really work though because for them, the Roil has always been there. Also it's not something you go on an adventure for, but just a hazard/obstacle that you run into along the way.

    They could've solved this by introducing Zendikar as a home to multiple lost civilizations and not have absolutely everything hinge on the Eldrazi for the first two blocks ... but well, the game comes first and they can only plan ahead so much, so I understand that my complaints here are very nitpicky. I guess in the best case scenario, they would've already teased the Skyclaves in BFZ by having them be partly uncovered as a result of the war.

    Anyway, this week's story...

    The most interesting thing so far is definitely what the Lithoform Core/Nahiri will end up doing to Zendikar. Nahiri talks about bringing peace to the plane, but it doesn't look like that will be a very pleasant thing. It's kind of weird that we don't get more hints/insights into Nahiris thoughts (for example, info on what kind of world Zendikar was before the Eldrazi) even though she's a POV character, but oh well. As of right now we don't know whether she knows of the effects of her actions and just doesn't care or is legitimately unaware. My guess is that it's a mix of both - she wants to revert Zendikar to the old state she knows, but doesn't understand/want to admit that brute-forcing a reversal is not possible at this point without causing major damage.

    Edit: Looking through the full spoiler, there's Lithoform Blight, the flavor text of which implies that whatever Nahiri will be doing in the story has been done before in the past. Maybe "Zendikar w/ Roil" is the plane's natural state, which was suppressed by the ancient Kor through lithomancy to build their empire, which in turn ... attracted the Eldrazi? idk
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Zendikar Rising- Lore and Story
    At this point the Skyclaves don't feel like they're connected to anything. They're randomly generated video game dungeons where the characters can go to find the new story's MacGuffins. I'd be nice if there was more to them, but my expectations are low. Similarly, the bismuth patterns on some of the weapons seem to be nothing more than a superficial aestethic.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on [ZNR] Myriad Construct— Ali Aintrazi preview
    The simple fact that this is a removal-resilient colorless creature (even though the baseline stats aren't great) makes me think it's going to see play in Standard somewhere.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on [ZNR] Verazol, the Forking Stream— After Office TTV preview
    Quote from soramaro »
    So is this just X = the amount of mana you spent or X = the amount of mana from different colors you spent? If it's the former I like it - a lower-powered, but OK legend. If it's the latter though, ugh…
    Indeed the former. You can cast it for BG with X=0 and it will be a 2/2. Also, as stated above, paying Commander Tax also means it gets +2/+2 for each time.
    In this case I really like it as a commander for groups with lower power levels. Getting two kicked Mold Shamblers, Thieving Skydivers or Rite of Replication for the price of ine is very nice, and between the multitude of counter and token support cards, you should be able to build decent synergies.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on [ZNR] Verazol, the Forking Stream— After Office TTV preview
    So is this just X = the amount of mana you spent or X = the amount of mana from different colors you spent? If it's the former I like it - a lower-powered, but OK legend. If it's the latter though, ugh…
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on [ZNR] Agadeem's Awakening//Agadeem, the Undercrypt— StarCityGames preview
    So now that we have all of them, I'd say that generally speaking...

    Green = Red > Black = White > Blue
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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