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Ultimate Masters: MMI Review
  • posted a message on Is Kiora the most expendable planeswalker Wizards has atm?
    I like Kiora. Just as I like many characters of the Gatewatch, They've all grown on me to some extent. Even Jace. Now I realize that Kiora isn't a member of the Gatewatch but I have serious issues when people rag on how much they dislike this character or that guild, because as a game shared by an entire community of gaming and fiction lovers, not everything is gonna be tailored to what you individually like. I know, surprise surprise!


    That doesn't mean one cannot discuss the flaws and problems associated with a character, but rather than just asking why a character or faction is expendable, 'dance with the devil' abit and ask the opposite question:

    What makes <insert personally disliked character or faction here> integral to the story and game? Why might people actually like them?


    I like Kiora. She's not a nice character, or a character without serious flaws, but flawed characters should be what designers aim to create. Furthermore, nobody should represent our views, opinions and normative considerations perfectly, and we need to seriously move beyond the belief that if a person thinks or believe differently than ourselves, then they must be altered and reformed to express our vision of what we want them to be. Kiora is stubborn, belligerent, proud and fierce. She is also familial, daring, and upfront. Kiora understands that sometimes, extreme circumstances warrant similarly extreme measures, and it is pleasure to watch her experience the consequences of that, good and bad.


    Maybe its just my orientation, but I see no sexual fetish in Kiora. Instead I see a brave and flawed character that makes me reflect upon my own qualities and their tradeoffs. Characters and people also change and we haven't had the pleasure of seeing any development in this regard yet for Kiora.

    Contending a character as irrelevant due to being associated with a fetish also encourages a puritan view of sex and sexuality that simply ought not be propagated as some normative standard for all to follow. Now in my opinion, people, identities, and communities shouldn't be fetishized or made to seem sexual objects rather than what they are, people and self-determining agents, but by Ephara people! Get outta people's bedroom!
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Ravnica Allegiance (RNA) and War of the Spark (WAR) General Discussion
    Back to current storyline people, that's what this thread is about, my bad. Don't get distracted by my (admittedly) ranting. Ultimately, much of what may cause some to like or dislike the interventionism of oldwalkers, certain interpretations of colour combinations and certain planeswalkers may tie into our various political alignments, cultures and ideologies.

    Certainly my love for Abzan and Orzhov as colour combos stem partly from this. I shamelessly admit that. Moderate Canadian Tory, Elitist, with a slightly-crass mockery towards social conservatism all the way.

    We are all different.

    Oh look over there, is that a War of the Spark!?! I bet there's some surprises coming our way in both game mechanics and story points despite most of us being confidence that the 'power of friendship' will 'win'.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Priest of Forgotten Gods
    Quote from leslak »
    Quote from Yatsufusa »
    Quote from Cainsson »
    I wouldn't put my faith in a god that got trounced by Rakdos without him even noticing.


    Why do you think they were forgotten in the first place, otherwise?

    Also, to be fair to Ravnicans, if your interests doesn't lie in line with the any of ten guilds, you basically suffer as a guildless... at that point of refusal to have faith in any of the ten, arguably the Nephilim are the best non-guild entities to have faith in terms of strength.

    It'll be hilarious if they (the Nephilim) were evolved leftover Eldrazi Spawn/Scion after the Titans were done rebooting the plane into the Ravnica though. Ugin did mention that the Eldrazi operate on a very large scale of time cycles, so realistically if (one-in-a-large-statistic) Spawns/Scions could actually survive/evolve without their parent titan, it would be a ridiculously long process that we wouldn't get to see happen on say, Zendikar/Innistrad.

    As sick as we are of the Eldrazi as "antagonists", I think it'll be awesome to see their impact on every natural plane of existence, especially since they're supposed to transcend it. Eldrazi make for way better as backdrop lore than "antagonists" (or more accurately, plot devices moved around by actual antagonists/oldwalkers if Zendikar/Innistrad were any indication).


    Wizards just want to forget the eldrazi. As much as the "community" like and wanted them to be better, be something more. The titans got burned to death and imprisioned into the silver moon (that is not a bad ending comparated to become a dish for new walker and elves). Lets just hope wotc kills half the gatewatch and makes non planeswalker related stories (having non planeswalkers as the protagonists).

    This Walker era of magic is boring as hell. It started nice: Shards of Alara until Theros-Khans was good storyline material, almost all stories focused on a planeswalker but the plane and some minor non walkers protagonists were a norm. Now everything is gatewatch this, gatewatch that ... (Shadows over Inistrad was the only block story that was not boring as hell, well writhen although Emrakul is behind all was a bit obvious Smile )


    I actually like the Gatewatch though I agree that the game should return to more complex stories and include legendary planebound creatures as oft as possible. Great card.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Ethereal Absolution
    Quote from cyberium_neo »
    That is a HUGE loss of Orzhov power lore wise. Most of their power came from contracts that bound the dead to their servitude, now they’re all gone.

    Not that I have any love for Orzhov, but this is the biggest change happened to any of the guild this far. What exactly will happen to Orzhov now?



    We...start over again. After a short cry at the office of course!


    The beauty of an Orzhov mindset is the ability to see the terrible costs that must be paid in any decision of great import, even if that end is arguably "good". One may still decide to pay the cost of course, but few Black and White characters do so incognizant of the repercussions of said choice.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Ravnica Allegiance (RNA) and War of the Spark (WAR) General Discussion
    Quote from Flisch »
    On the main plotline revealed by RNA's cards so far, I realized I was in the right guild for me when my first reaction to Kaya's Ethereal Absolution of the indentured Orzhov spirits was TO REEL BACK IN HORROR!!

    It was perhaps the moral thing to do, but not very strategic for the guild's overall wellbeing, Without debt, consequences, and the power that the dead provide for the guild, the Syndicate has lost a lot of power. While I'm all for reforming the guild and making the indentured living and dead's repayment easier and more ennobling, even a shallow understanding of economics points to negative externalities when market forces are so blatantly ignored.

    Wasn't this basically Teysa's reaction as well?

    Personally I like a change to the guilds (and planes in general, nothing is more boring than stagnancy). I just hope they won't do a 180 next return to Ravnica and say "oh while we were gone the Orzhov got spirits back complete with a new Obzedat, lol".


    I think that was her reaction? I'm unsure. Sometimes there's differences between the cards and the actual story but I hope that Wizards has the sense to show complex repercussions of even arguably ethical choices. Complexity in storyline is important, but to be honest, they've tried so hard to make the story approachable and grokable (good things) that the nuance and complexity sometimes just isn't there. Dovin Baan and Azorious the Sphinx's treatment as cardboard villains are cases in point. As is the entire Ixalan Block. I miss my Innistrad with it's Nahiri and Sorin.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Ravnica Allegiance (RNA) and War of the Spark (WAR) General Discussion
    Funny, tht the Set which features the Simic has a code abbreviation of RNA Wink
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Ravnica Allegiance (RNA) and War of the Spark (WAR) General Discussion
    Not a Moderator (please don't kill me) but I figured we deserved this Thread.
    As we are not expecting main plotline stories for Ravnica Allegiance (RNA) set anymore than we did GRN, and because much of the War of the Spark (WAR) set's story will be revealed on paperback and through online stories, I figured we could consolidate them no?


    On the main plotline revealed by RNA's cards so far, I realized I was in the right guild for me when my first reaction to Kaya's Ethereal Absolution of the indentured Orzhov spirits was TO REEL BACK IN HORROR!!

    It was perhaps the moral thing to do, but not very strategic for the guild's overall wellbeing, Without debt, consequences, and the power that the dead provide for the guild, the Syndicate has lost a lot of power. While I'm all for reforming the guild and making the indentured living and dead's repayment easier and more ennobling, even a shallow understanding of economics points to negative externalities when market forces are so blatantly ignored.


    And maybe as someone in another thread pointed out, this was Bolas's plan all along. Mass inflation to increase the chaos of the plane. I believe Kaya is onto something and her ethics bears a point but even ethical action can have dangerous, and negative consequences. Road to hell is paved by good intentions.

    Edit: This is a fantasy game. If people willingly sell their souls in a fantasy setting, or neglect to read, or accepts the fine print of undertaking a huge debt, there should be consequences. Duty in the afterlife does not necessarily to be equated to real-world slavery. It is the fulfilment of an obligation, and if our real world is recalcitrant to overly-idealistic conceptions of 'fairness', do not expect these fantasy worlds to be either. The Orzhov need reform, I can get behind that, but there are always costs.


    I may not be an Alt-Right or an Alt-Left queer but I'm a queer whose sick and tired of people 'Evilizing' other people and opinions they don't like. Regardless as to their identities or ideology.



    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on (GRN) Guilds of Ravnica General Discussion
    Quote from Mullerornis »
    Maro outright confirmed that there are "pro-Bolas" and "anti-Bolas" guilds, two in this set and three in the next. The guilds might have internal conflicts, but some are completely within his control.


    That’s...not exactly what he said.

    Maro confirmed that 5 Guilds would fall to Bolas but he also wrote of contrary movements within the guilds.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on (GRN) Guilds of Ravnica General Discussion
    Quote from Gutterstorm »
    To Little, To Late.

    Ugh on Dovin...seems like their throwing a character under the bus because he didnt bow down and worship at the Gatewatch's Feet...we should be able to have characters disagree with the Gatewatch without being made into Villains. Not everyone agreeded with or liked everything Urza did and they weren't all turned into Villains.


    Antagonist and villain are not the same. We have no reason to think that Baan is working directly for Bolas. He is working with Tezz. Which is a reasonable explanation for Ral as well. We have no evidence that either of them have actually met with Bolas or have any idea what the things they’ve been working on are actually for. As far as we have evidence of they’ve only interacted with Tezz.


    Here is how Dovin is in the mix.

    Tezzeret : *poofs into Dovin's office* "Hey you know those Gatewatch guys who said no to helping provide security for you, then showed up to ruin your fair and cause a revolution? You want to annoy the crap out of them?"

    Dovin : "Sweet lets go."


    More likely that Tezzeret threw Dovin under the bus by telling Dovin to follow him to a ‘safe’ plane should things go wrong on Kaladesh- that plane being Bolas’ meditation realm.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on (GRN) Guilds of Ravnica General Discussion
    Quote from 5colors »
    Some news about how the magic story is going forward, to sum up;
    https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/news/what-expect-magic-story-2018-10-09

    -They are looking to expand and play with magics stories through different mediums.

    -Exploring worlds that aren't the focus of the current card set. This also lets them do more with the sorties since they aren't bound by the needs of the set.

    -Reminder that Greg Weisman is writing two novels about the Gatewatch/Bolas conflict and a comic featuring Chandra by Vita Ayala and art by Harvey Tolibao will be out next month.

    -Announcing that Greg Weisman will also write the web fiction for Milk as well.

    -Finally Jay Annelli or Jay13x on here who has worked hard to bring us sourced story summaries and keeping track of the story through out the years, as been brought in as a consultant to help keep continuity.


    Congratulations Jay!
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Autumn in Guilds of Ravnica?
    Quote from Caranthir »
    Quote from Mullerornis »
    Its a seasonal block, Autumn being Bolas arrival, Winter the apex of his power and Spring his death.

    Pretty ironic too, since he thinks of himself as the sun.



    Yeah, but have they said anywhere that Allegiance is winter? Because the spoiled Allegiance images for (shock?)lands does not seem winter-y at all (Stomping Ground and Hallowed Fountain, the rest are indoors).


    My thoughts as well. We are jumping the gun. Nobody has said the next set is winter themed
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on (GRN) Guilds of Ravnica General Discussion
    Quote from Yatsufusa »
    I do hope Project Lightning Bug sheds some light on Ravnican history. As much as my stand on Azor now is "he's still worse than Jace because he had omnipotent powers back then and effectively used them to set-up systems that oppressed populations of sentient "lesser beings" while avoiding the responsibility needed to maintain them" (yes I know the Guildpact eventually bit him back, but I'm referring to responsibility born out of self-discipline, not out of a Magical Pact you stupidly cast to be capable of punishing yourself for said lack of self-discipline). I doubt anything will ever take the "stupid" out of the "Lawful-Stupid" alignment I gave Azor (the entire guildpact system was just poorly designed for someone of his power), but the History of Ravnica (pre-guilds) might be the crux to make his "Lawful" side seem better at the very least.

    We know the first Guildpact effectively banned walking to/from the plane entirely and that might be exactly why Bolas wanted Lightning Bug. While more meta and not directly stated in the story yet, WotC did mention the plane to be a main hub and considering the focus on planeswalkers currently, it could easily tie to Ravnica's history and why the First Guildpact isolated the plane.

    While we can never confirm Bolas's plans until he gloats about it, The Immortal Sun and Eternals might drop some hints and the History of Ravnica might also reinforce it. Bolas wants to harvest sparks to power himself back and Ravnica is the key to creating the prison for doing so because of its properties, the same way Ugin deemed Zendikar ideal for trapping the Titans. You can't have a prison be a livable place like the plane currently is, so this entire war is just a facade for him to cause as much destruction without having to exert his own forces (very Bolas thing to do), he'll save the Eternals to torture the planeswalkers he imprisons on the plane afterwards. I know I'm pushing the use of the Eternals a bit awkwardly, but when Bolas first arrived on Amonkhet post-mending, he did mention the whole hurried scheme was part of his plan to regain power, so they have to fit somewhere (now that "harvesting the leylines" wasn't the plan which I initially thought was during Amonkhet).

    As lame as it sounds, Lightning Bug is probably a number-tracker for Bolas, since Bolas himself isn't too sure how well Ravnica attracts walkers, since it hasn't been that long since the first Guildpact was broken (and any history before that isn't that accessible).


    If there was ever a set to feature generic Planeswalkers, perhaps not as cards but in the art of the spells and summoned creatures, the third set would be the perfect time.

    Think of it. In the game we ARE Planeswalkers, dueling, touring and experiencing. But the lore has never done a good job at highlighting this.

    What if this is the first story WE get to participate in? Fighting a war against or on behalf of Bolas?

    I mean if each lightning strike of the project symbolizes a Planeswalker entering or leaving the plane, and this is described as a storm the like of which has not happened ‘since a thousand years’, it can’t be just recording the movement of team Gatewatch or team Bolas, or just known Planeswalkers.

    If Wizards actually did this, I would applaud and crow.

    This is it! In this ‘block’ are all Avengers!
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on (GRN) Guilds of Ravnica General Discussion
    On a different topic:

    We have another UR story spotlight which relates to project Lightning Bug. I am dubious however that it’d be part of Bolas’s ritual to godhood, as it seems to be more like a monitoring system but you never know.

    Seems like Bolas desires a critical mass of planeswalkers. Scary.

    Ravnica becomes again the setting of an all out Planeswalker war.

    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on (GRN) Guilds of Ravnica General Discussion
    Well, Nicol Bolas is pretty much a star. I'd be left pretty perplexed if a blue planeswalker didn't know what is Nicol Bolas. What I mean is: you meet a dragon planeswalker who hires you and you don't go around searching for informations about him before getting a paycheck? Then we learn he is aware he works for Bolas. And now there is a flavour text in which he does not know why he "feels like a pawn". I see this as bananas. Unless he is really THIS stupid, or really THAT brainwashed (or the flavour text writer got bananas himself).

    The obscenity of having evil intents only in red and black is long passed, we are exploring villains in every colour combination. I personally think the orthodoxy of Baan is a perfect push towards evil. But I might be alone in this. Also, taking the last moment on the Heart of Kiran: he destroyed the sole weapon the rebels had and adviced them to make an emergency evacuation. Now, rebels were A LOT in Ghirapur at that time, what did he expect to follow to a surrendering? Everything at peace? Heavy punishments with executions would have occured. That would have meant the loss of a lot of citizens for the sake of "order", not the sake of the kaladeshi (who would be decimated disappearing under hoods, etc...). If he thinks he is doing this for the sake of people, it's his own delusion. Because the only difference between Kaladesh before and after the rebellion is the nature of the order reigning (nothing worsen in the fate of kaladeshi, if anything it improves). It's not a matter of order/anarchy, it's just that it's not THE ORDER HE WANT THEM TO HAVE. This is why I think of him as a fundamentalist and a villain (also a bit psychotic).

    Dovin is also considered a villain by MaRo.


    I have a problem with the word villain; it implies too much and as Maro is just one voice within the company (and frequently only gets the broadstrokes of the storyline correct) I wouldn’t call him a reputable source.

    Dovin Baan is, currently, best understood as an antagonist, as it is unlikely that there’d be much love between he and the Gatewatch at this moment, and they are the protagonists.

    This doesn’t make him evil, and I’d argue that you don’t really understand the definition of Psychopathy by the way in which you use the words surrounding it.

    Moreover, antagonism works better as there are revealing elements to his character that show he is very much concerned with minimizing damage to both people and infrastructure. Not all antagonists are “villianous”, “psychotic” or whatever other words simple people desire to paint their opponents as.

    What makes Dovin Baan appealing is not that his actions or motives are seen by most of the audience as completely ‘ethical’ (troublesome word that), but that he is genuine, selfless, constructive and well affable. There can even be seen a kind of nobility in his basic desire for order.

    I am much confused as to my generation’s hypocrisy in denouncing orderliness as achieved by incongruent methods, while praising or not simultaneously denouncing revolutionaries and “freedom” fighters whose means are likewise troubled.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Tribal elves a thing?
    We already have a lot of elf support from Dominaria and Core19, in addition to lots of Tribal goodies from Ixalan.

    Looking at all the Golgari and Selesnya Elf Support from Guilds of Ravnica, is there a basis for a semi-competitive elf ball deck in standard?
    Moving to New Card Discussion because that's where new cards get discussed until the full set is spoiled. - hoser2
    Posted in: Standard Archives
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