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  • posted a message on (GRN) Guilds of Ravnica General Discussion
    Well, the Orzhov is pretty directly intertwined with spirits, both in leadership and, as Nicky Drayden's Selesnya story showed, in labor. Bolas might not have had to say more than: "There's a powerful group on this plane that keeps tons of spirits tied to the realm of the living, and has a system in place to continue creating more spirits indefinitely: if you take out their ghost leadership, I can put you in a position to dismantle that system and ensure that spirits are allowed to pass on to the afterlife. Oh, and also they're absurdly rich, so you'll get hella paid for your trouble. Sound good?"
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Core 2019 General Discussion
    Just gonna point out this passage:
    Quote from Chronicles of Bolas: Blood and Fire »
    A flash of golden light flared like the sun rising at zenith, but the brightness was extinguished as quickly as it had appeared, leaving the stars again to shine. Yet some of those stars vanished in a descending trail, blotted out and then reappearing in a trail as if a large shape was falling out of the heavens. Naiva rubbed her eyes, thinking the storm had injured her vision, but when she looked again all the stars shone steadily. The clouds began clearing off as the rain ceased. Surely the falling blot had been nothing more than a distortion of wind and churning cloud.
    The golden flash of light isn't actually consistent with the described effect of Bolas planeswalking in the Hour of Devastation story (there, it was described almost like a black void being ripped in reality), but this definitely has the feel of a really big planeswalker appearing in the sky and then descending to earth. And in a story where Bolas is described as "the Second Sun"...well, it would fit.

    Why Bolas would take the time to tell his side of the story with someone else's voice, I don't know, but that definitely felt like what was going on to me.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Rivals of Ixalan Name and Number Crunch
    DFC is #158: Hadana's Climb // Winged Temple of Orazca

    (It's on the "Preview Cards" page on the Mothership. Should...probably get a thread of its own: would do it myself, but I don't have access to my usual screenshotting app.)

    So that makes the RW uncommon #169.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on "Golden Guardian" // "Gold-Forge Garrison" .:. BigMagic Spoiler
    I like the flavor here: defeat the guardian to gain access to what it was guarding.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Vona's Hunger Ascend Mechanic
    I like how this gets a lot better in one of the places where edicts normally suck: really clogged late-game boardstates. Solid design.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on What comes after Dominaria?
    Fall 2018: Regatha
    Winter 2019: [Name of new plane]
    Spring 2019: Return to Theros
    (Summer 2019: Core 2020)
    Fall 2019: Return to Theros part 2
    Winter 2020: Ravnica 3
    Spring 2020: Ravnica 3 part 2

    (Alternatively, Fall 2018 is Dominaria part 2 or a brief Ravnica check-in, and all of the non-core stuff gets pushed back a spot.)

    I'm still convinced that the next year or so of unannounced sets will be continuing the current "Gatewatch divided" arc, following the order of their Defeats in the Hour of Devastation story: Jace on Ixalan, Lili on Dominaria, then Chandra, Nissa, and finally Gideon.

    Chandra most likely retreated to somewhere familiar to her to heal, and it's way too soon for another Kaladesh set, so taking advantage of the new blockless structure to spend a single set on Regatha makes sense - especially since Dominaria is reintroducing Jaya to the story, making the plane where she has a devout following a logical follow-up.

    Likewise, it's still too soon for another Zendikar set, and we don't know much about Nissa's interplanar exploits pre-BFZ, so she's a lot more up in the air: a Lorwyn/Shadowmoor set is possible, but I wouldn't hold my breath. A set featuring a properly new plane would help with the slew of revisit sets to follow.

    (Wilder speculation: that new plane will be a Wild West-themed plane...which is also Angrath's home plane. The way the story writers have talked about Angrath make him feel partly like a plant for an already-in-the-works future set to me, and a cow bull boy man blacksmith would be a perfect fit in the wild west. Nissa's piece of the story is the most "available" piece of story space to follow up on his story.)

    And then that leaves Gideon. It actually will have been long enough since original Theros for a revisit at that point (six years), and the Amonkhet block story set up a number of plot threads to reconnect Gideon to his home plane: this is the most obvious landing location of any of them. This is also the arc most likely to be its own Thing outside of recovery (especially with the potential for a Heliud/Heliod plot on the heels of a revelation in Regatha), so it's the most likely of the bunch to get two sets.

    And, finally, the part where the Gatewatch come back together for the Bolas rematch...all roads seem to be leading to Ravnica at this point. As noted above, it's possible we get a set very soon first, seeing the state the plane is in without the Living Guildpact (focusing on the enemy-colored guilds, probably, since that's where most of the internal strife has been shown so far?), but Ravnica is by far the most likely candidate for where this arc will end.
    Posted in: Speculation
  • posted a message on Five-Finger Discount
    Are we sure that S.N.E.A.K. is a spy agency, not a thieves' guild? Because it feels like the bulk of their cards thus far are dedicated to finding novel ways to steal your opponents' stuff.

    (I'm not complaining at all - that's probably my favorite piece of the UB color pie. It's just a bit flavorfully odd.)
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Phoebe, Head of S.N.E.A.K. - MaRo Twitter Spoiler
    The ultimate general for the UB "your deck looks like fun" deck.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Storm the Vault//Vault of Catlacan
    Seems like tons of fun in something like the Grixis Thopters deck that just Top 8'd a GP. All that's missing is suitable mana sinks (Walking Ballista is the obvious first thought) for when you're able to quickly flip it.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Spike, Tournament Grinder - GatheringMagic Spoiler
    Quote from zachawry »
    The wording "has been banned" seems weird. Why not used "is banned"?
    My guess is so that you don't necessarily have to be up-to-date on the banlist in all formats - say you want to get, I dunno, Black Vise, for some reason, because you know it was banned in Legacy...then someone points out that Vise had been unbanned, so it wasn't actually a legal target anymore, and now you have to scramble to come up with something else (that you own) that's worth paying that cost for at that moment in time, or else Spike just becomes a dead card.

    (There's also the ambiguity of Standard bannings: is Reflector Mage still a valid target, because it was banned in Standard at one point, even though it wouldn't be in Standard anymore anyway? Or, hell, what about Arcbound Ravager? That's something that could have gotten an official silver-bordered ruling, but it's another reason that "has been banned" simplifies things.)
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Wizards Instagram spoiler - Selfie Preservation
    There's some multilayered pun work going on in that card name. I love it.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Spike, Tournament Grinder - GatheringMagic Spoiler
    She's sneaky-great from a Mel standpoint: she technically still follows the "2MM casting cost, 4-mana activated ability" pattern of her two predecessors, but you'll never actually be playing her or activating her for those same costs.

    Sweet card. Not my cup of tea from a gameplay perspective (I'm very much a Timmy, though sadly not of the variety that the actual Timmy card satisfies), but she's perfect for what she is.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Arguel's Blood Fast/Temple of Aclazotz
    Quote from thatmarkguy »
    Quote from Empathogen »
    Diamond Valley is one of my favorite lands,
    and a version that can tap for colored mana is amazing,
    but that transformation clause is rather harsh.

    Since this seems to be a cycle,
    I really hope the blue one is either Mishra's Workshop or Tolarian Academy.


    Don't think it's a cycle. From the rare sheet alone there was 1 fewer rare in black red and green, and one fewer mythic in green. It is largely suspected those are all evened out with the DFC rares and mythic(s). The fun question is, if Cradle is the green Rare ... what's the green Mythic?! Lotus Vale?!

    If they plan this as a cycle, white and blue are likely in Rivals.
    To be fair, this is a set where four cards can be a cycle: one for each faction. The two colored DFCs we have so far are closely tied to the Legion of Dusk (the Temple) and the Sun Empire (the Cradle), which means that - if rares and mythics are all completely equalized - the Red rare could be tied to the Brazen Coalition, and the Green mythic to the River Heralds.

    ...and based on the accidentally-fully-spoiled Ixalan map, we can feasibly put names to the "land" sides of those cards: Spitfire Bastion for the Red rare, and the Deeproot Tree for the Green mythic. (Both are locations with English names that are obviously connected flavor-wise to specific factions. Seems like a logical guess.)
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Ixalan Draft Themes
    WU: Until we see something strongly suggesting otherwise, I'm inclined to guess Fliers here
    UB: Treasure control with some Pirate tribal
    BR: Pirate aggro (more go-wide than UR?)
    RG: Dinosaur midrange with Enrage
    GW: Ramp Dinos with high-toughness creatures to keep you alive in the meantime
    WB: Vampire tribal with lifegain-matters
    UR: Pirate aggro (more about attacking with at least one creature than attacking with a lot?)
    BG: Explore-matters and/or graveyard-matters (the two have some synergy)
    RW: Dinosaur aggro (much more low-to-the-ground than RG or GW)
    GU: Merfolk tribal with +1/+1 counters-matter
    Posted in: Speculation
  • posted a message on Ixalan General Discussion
    Quote from Onering »
    Vraska may or may not be trapped now, but she definitely wasn't when project lightning bug picked up her walking away. After that, we see her meet with the kraul dude to plot against Jarad. If that was a flashback, I'd have expected some mention of a Golgari civil war weighing on Jaces mind at some point, given hes the living guildpact and that sort of thing should be a top concern of his, but then again he sucks at his job.
    The timeline doesn't really take that much stretching to make work: the last conversation between Vraska and Mazirek (which was a flashback, though it's not clear how long before the rest of the story it takes place) in "The Pride of the Kraul" happens before "In This Very Arena," which is when Ral informs Jace of Vraska's anomalous planeswalk, while the rest of "The Pride of the Kraul" happens after either "In This Very Arena" or "In the Dead of Night," depending on whether Jace returned to Ravnica between the Kaladesh story and the Aether Revolt story (the story hints subtly toward no, by my reading, but it's not wholly clear).

    Even assuming Mazirek put his plan into action immediately after that conversation with Vraska, and then the Kraul and the Erstwhile made themselves known (to an extent that even those beyond the Undercity became aware of them) immediately after the Mausoleum was opened, there's still a minimum of nine days between the flashback and the end of the story: it's a three-day journey from Golgari HQ to the Mausoleum, and that distance is (implicitly) crossed three times in the story - Mazirek journeying to the Mausoleum for the first time after leaving Vraska's home, the letter being delivered from Mazirek to Jarad, and Sobeslav traveling to the Mausoleum. And it would have to be crossed once more by the Kraul and the Erstwhile before they became a threat to the Golgari worth informing the Guildpact about.

    If Jace never returns to Ravnica after first traveling to Kaladesh (which was right after he was informed about Vraska planeswalking to what we now know was Ixalan), that just means that "In This Very Arena" would have to fall somewhere within that minimum twelve-day stretch, which doesn't seem like the most unreasonable coincidence to me. (Especially since, realistically, Mazirek probably took time to study what he had been shown and to prepare the ritual before he sent the letter to Jarad, and to study and prepare his new army afterward.) If he did return at some point before "In the Dead of Night," that would be a much tougher fit, as over 50 days pass between the two stories, based on the figure given for Yahenni's lifespan in "Born of Aether" (which takes place at most a day or two before "In This Very Arena"), in which they are said to have 54 days left to live.

    (Also, though it's not technically relevant to the above timeline, it's been about another 24 days in-story since "In the Dead of Night," so Vraska will have been on Ixalan for quite a while - about two and a half months - by the time Jace arrives there.)
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
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