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  • posted a message on Ravnica Allegiance (RNA) and War of the Spark (WAR) General Discussion
    Ok, I have to say, there is something unsettling about how people have dealt with these spoilers for me (don't worry moderators, I won't spoil anything).
    It started already with the (now banned) user who first leaked the book immediately pointing out that all of the plot points were "disappointing", the character handling "weak" etc. He didn't say in his own opinion or something like that, he stated it like obvious fact and something that should have been expected. Then other people started to blow into the same horn, as if THEY had seen much more than a couple of leaked plot points.

    Let me make it clear, I have nothing against someone not liking the storyline. I personally enjoy it (for the most part (there is definitely some criticism that I'd throw against it as well though), but that's my opinion. I also know that a very loud part of this forum hate the whole Gatewatch arc to the core and that's fine as well. But I can't stand people attacking a story before it is even fully out yet in an (in my opinion) pretty blatant attempt to force everyone else to think about it like they do. Plot points pulled out of context are portrayed as proof for how awful the story is and are often interpreted in the most negative and disjointed ways possible to achieve the same effect. Nothing the story could do is satisfactory in the end and easy to explain "continuity errors" are blown up into gaping plot holes. Well I have to say, of course this strategy influences others to accentuate the negative of the story, especially as they HAVEN'T read the book either. The same goes for the time they finally read it (if they read it at all after this). It's even affecting me, even though I actually like the rough story outline. And I find it both disheartening and really irritating, because it feels very manipulative for me.

    There, just wanted to get that out there for once. From all I've heard and seen the general story is satisfactory for me, makes reasonable sense and has enough interesting developments to keep me interested. I will withhold any further judgement until the book (and the prequel and sequel which people tend to forget) comes out.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Leak Gideon (story spoiler)
    Quote from idSurge »
    Quote from ChrisBP7 »

    I wouldn't suggest looking into the storyline thread. Seems that many people who hate the storyline so far are actually trying to find the worst possible interpretation of events at the moment. At this point nothing in the actual story could please these people (well except all of the Gatewatch and nearly all planeswalkers dying seemingly).

    I'd settle for most of the gatewatch being maimed, traumatized, and the organization being dissolved. Personally.

    Well, you can obviously have that opinion, it's just that I get the feeling that there are certain people who are not happy until everyone shares their negative view on everything regarding this story (and will constantly write as if their opinions were objective fact) and who try to portray story points in as bad a light as possible even if more positive interpretation are given by the story itself (again, it's not the fact they don't like them that I can't stand, it's the attitude that only their opinion should matter). That's not the case for you as far as I can see, but definitely for the post I answered to. Also, well, the all were traumatized at least once during the whole Gatewatch arc (through Emrakul, the Amonkhet gods or Bolas), so there is that.^^
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Leak Gideon (story spoiler)
    Quote from CorporateNoun »
    So the happily ever after ending is real after all.
    This story is a utter trash.
    Apocalypse and Time Spirale are masterpieces of drama and tragedy compared to this.
    This war was a joke the whole time.

    I'm actually kind of shocked at just how negatively you're taking this card. Gideon's dead for real, dude.

    I wouldn't suggest looking into the storyline thread. Seems that many people who hate the storyline so far are actually trying to find the worst possible interpretation of events at the moment. At this point nothing in the actual story could please these people (well except all of the Gatewatch and nearly all planeswalkers dying seemingly).

    I'm actually really saddened (though it is not surprising) that Gideon (actually my favorite planeswalker besides Tamiyo and Ajani) is dead, but I'm glad that he found some kind of redemption for what happened to his irregulars.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Ravnica Allegiance (RNA) and War of the Spark (WAR) General Discussion
    Quote from Jh216 »
    Something I still don't know: was Ral Zarek previously out as being gay or not?

    Also it is implied that Kaya has had a girlfriend in the past.

    I think it was hinted somewhere before, but I can't really find the quote. I mean, it shouldn't be much of an issue either way. He was definitely never stated to be straight, so it doesn't contradict anything. And I know some people don't like it, but for me as a gay man it feels good to have a bit more representation (I was really happy when we got the Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis card for example). And I also like that its Ral, a flawed individual who isn't a villain though. Color me intrigued. Same goes for Kaya, liked her very much in her original story (and her helping Teysa in overthrowing the Obzedat, even if that was ultimately orchestrated by Bolas, was also great).

    I will withhold my judgement of the book until I read it myself (as well as the prequel and the sequel, which may very well fill in what seems to be left out now). My ideas of what is good and what I want to see might differ from yours after all. The broad strokes of the story for example sound much more appealing and interesting to me than you make them out to be.

    I agree with you that Bolas creating the Blackblade legend is hilarious and kind of genius. I also like the ending. As I said before, Bolas loses out of logical reasons: He can't think beyond his own egotism (meaning he couldn't foresee that Lilliana would willingly sacrifice her life in a hopeless attempt to defeat him), he is too occupied with gaining power, loses sight of the "smaller" issues and is ultimately foiled by his own devices. A fitting end. Obviously not all walkers in this story could have a role, and I actually expected most of them to be cameos. The only one I'm a bit unhappy about is Tamiyo, seems that her losing her neutrality should be a bigger deal. I really wonder about the Vraska thing though. It was after all the whole focus of Ixalan. Oh well, I'll see when I read the book myself.

    EDIT: Also great that at least a small part of the story will play on Amonkhet itself, and that Hazoreth has a cameo in it as well by providing her spear as a weapon against Bolas that actually works. Sad about Gideon dying though. I'd hoped that wouldn't happen before Return to Theros, but alas...
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Ravnica Allegiance (RNA) and War of the Spark (WAR) General Discussion
    Quote from Colt47 »
    I think there are a few notable problems with War of the Sparks story and honestly, most of them are the kind of mess ups I'd expect from someone making a saturday morning cartoon show to promote a toy line.

    1) It's not made clear why Bolas picked now to do an invasion. Lazotep plated zombies probably have a life span, but at the same time if his minions have not perfected the embalming process after doing it on multiple generations of people I'd be at a loss for words. Also, I'm not even going to start with how many different engineering improvements my Ravnica DnD playgroup already thought up on how to build better eternals.

    2) Bolas not foreseeing Liliana's betrayal a mile away when he was able to manipulate Kefnet and entire civilizations. That's just them not wanting to kill their cash cow.

    3) Supposedly the Eternals and the Statue don't matter, yet they are strategic pieces in the game to reclaim his pre-mending powers. How he can't fathom that losing the statue would bolster the morale of the opposing force and that more morale = bad for me is a little bit much.

    I think the teams handling of Ravnica uniting is pretty interesting to see, though.

    One problem I have with these type of comments is that while thinking about stuff like this can be fun, people often just use the Doylean interpretation (i.e. this inconsistency is there because the author screwed up) instead of trying to find a Watsonian interpretation (i.e. trying to find an in-universe reason). Stories aren't perfect. Even the best authors can't keep everything consistent, that's what suspension of disbelief is for after all. So let me try to find an in-universe reason for these three problems:

    1) That's easy, because he simply doesn't want to wait any longer. He personally believes that the time is right, that's why he initiated the Hour of Devastation on Amonkhet. He feels like he has waited long enough for the return of his godly powers and with Vraskas' acquisition of the Immortal Sun he has everything he needs for his plan, so why should he wait any longer? Obviously his plan is not subjugating Ravnica totally (well, not before he becomes a god obviously, after which it should be a trivial task in his mind), the Eternals are there to harvest planeswalker sparks for the Elder Spell and keeping the locals busy while he finishes his plan. People seem to forget that he wiped out all adults of Amonkhet in an instant when he had his oldwalker powers, so it's very likely he will pull something like this again once he gets them back. Even a smaller scale spell would probably be enough to conquer Ravnica and after that everything else.
    He is also not an engineer, and the dreadhorde is not his ultimate weapon, but a tool. In fact they seem to have to self-destruct while channeling planeswalker sparks, making them more durable wouldn't help much.

    2) Well, that's also not that hard to explain: Once again it's his massive ego and lack of true empathy that causes this. He believes to know Lilliana and that while she would obviously betray him the instance she thinks she can get away with it, she wouldn't risk her life for anything else. He thinks she would never put her life on the line (not unreasonably so, up until very recently Lilliana was always only interested in herself and often stated that she doesn't understand how someone could be stupid enough to sacrifice themselves for others, that's why she followed his commands in the first place instead of taking a stand right then and there).
    In short: He thinks that Lilliana is as egocentric as he is, when in fact that's not entirely the case anymore (which is a characteristic of many sociopaths in the real world).

    3) Again, Bolas is a sociopath and a narcissist. The statue isn't really that important, since he only build it as another way to glorify himself (which he did in Amonkhet as well, with all the horn-motives). He doesn't really think about it apart from that or really about bolstering morale. His origin story showed that he sees others only as pawns to control as he pleases, and doesn't put much thought into morale or something like that. And the eternals are only important for as long as they are harvesting sparks for him and disrupt anyone from stopping him prematurely. Other than that they are completely disposable.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Tamiyo Collector of Tales and her epiphany EFro Previews
    Quote from Igzex »
    Even Tamiyo in the artwork looks surprised at her card being like this. Like, everything about this card seems so random including the fact that this is a Tamiyo card.

    My sentiment exactly. The card isn't bad, but nothing about it really feels like Tamiyo. And she's not the only one in WAR, several other planeswalkers look as if the cards were designed first and then had random characters assigned to them.

    While I agree that some of the planeswalkers (but not really a majority of them) are a bit random when it comes to their abilities, that isn't the case for Tamiyo here in my opinion. Her -3 was always part of her ability line-up (see her first iterations' ultimate) and her +1 is a representation of her searching for a specific "story" in your library. I would go as far and say that this card represents her story character better than Tamiyo, the Moon Sage and UG is a better color combo for her in my opinion than mono-U or UW (though I prefer seeing her as a U-centred Bant-character). Her static ability is a bit random though, that I admit. These are anti-B effects , the main zombie color, so maybe it represents her giving up neutrality against the dreadhorde, but I admit that's reaching a bit. Still, her other iterations also had at least one inexplicable ability from a flavor standpoint (Why does she draw cards from tapped creatures of your opponent? Why does she randomly draw cards through combat damage?) and so I think that's ok.

    And I like how she's drawn here, but the perspective is a bit strange. Don't think at all that it's bad art though.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Bolas's Citadel Tibalt's Rager
    Quote from clan_iraq »
    Its interesting that wizards felt like overengineering citadel enough to be a combo deck's card advantage engine, mana engine and win condition all in a single card. It will make combos with it rather linear, but whiffing when it hits lands and costing 6 mana cost make it run into more roadblocks than experimental frenzy. I wouldn't hold my breath on it to be a thing, but if you can make that 6 cmc hurdle thats a lot of moving parts on a single card

    It doesn't whiff when hitting a land though (at least not if its the first land you'd play), which roadblocks it just as much as Frenzy (additionally you can still cast things out of your hand if need be, which Experimental Frenzy doesn't allow.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on War of the Spark preview panel from PAX
    Quote from HattsOff »
    So could the artwork from this thread potentially be for the Elder Spell?

    I think it's the swirly black hole-thing behind Bolas in the trailer (seeing as that one Eternal channeled Dacks' planeswalker spark towards it). I hope it's a bit more interesting as a card than being another alt-win condition (probably related in some way to planeswalkers), but I must admit, it's the most likely possibility.

    I like what they did with planeswalkers this set, and I think people are undervaluing Vraska bit. For an uncommon she is pretty powerful.

    Not that much a fan of Amass, but I like the flavor behind it and I can see why they didn't go the fabricate route with it. Still, it's one of those mechanics that will need quite a lot of support to have any impact beyond limited (and even there it will probably lead to some feel-bad moments when the carefully grown army tokens bite the dust because of some removal spell). Not a fan, but also not hating it, and the flavor pushes my opinion on it into "mildly amused indifference"

    Oh how much I love that proliferate finally returns! Definitely my favorite mechanic of the Scars of Mirrodin-block and obvious choice for this set (and that's not a bad thing). I feel like that uncommon is really strong, bordering on broken in Commander.

    I also really love the general feel and art of the set, so all in all a pretty positive first impression and really looking forward for more!
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on No DFC in War of the Spark
    It would have been lore-breaking for Arlinn to get a DFC card here anyway since it was established that she can't switch her forms on other planes than Innistrad.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Ravnica Allegiance (RNA) and War of the Spark (WAR) General Discussion
    Quote from Omnirahk »
    Eldrazi Titans down to Channel Fireball. Isperia dropped by Vraksa in an obvious trap despite being a telepath.

    I mean, the titans 'issue' was dealt with by claiming that the 3 oldwalkers that had imprisoned them hadn't put in much, if any, effort in killing them. Sorin lacked the capacity to channel a plane's worth of mana into a spell against them. Nahiri theoretically had the means to harm them, but was convinced by Ugin and Sorin that containing them was a necessity. Lastly, Ugin didn't want them dead.

    The Gatewatch (primarily thanks to Ugin and Nissa) had the means, motive (they failed at re-imprisoning the titans), and knowledge to both pull the titans into the plane and channel said plane's mana into a single spell against them. There's an argument there that there should have been more consequences to channelling so much mana at once, but they made a pretty strong case that the oldwalkers could have killed the titans but didn't because the main planner of the team (Ugin) didn't want to.

    As for the Isperia situation, we don't yet know the specifics of how Vraska petrified her. Given that she's working for Bolas (a powerful telepath himself), I wouldn't put it past him to have worked some mind magic to make it seem to Isperia that Vraska had no ill intent towards her.

    Edit) On the topic of Neowalkers vs Legends:

    Koth and Elspeth failed against the Phyexian praetors and their forces.

    Gods have almost universally overpowered neowalkers (Elspeth was forced to undertake a trial by one of the gods to enter Nyx with Ajani, Heliod killed Elspeth, Kiora was easily overpowered in both strength and magic by Thassa and only escaped by tricking the god into loosening the bident's press on Kiora's throat, and the Gatewatch were powerless to the whims of the gods of Amonkhet) with the sole exception of a newly ascended god (Xenagos) falling to Elspeth (who was wielding a weapon literally made to kill gods).

    The entirety of Baral vs Chandra (only appearing to fail in killing them because he was denied reinforcements on two occasions by Dovin Baan (once because they were meant to be a distraction and once because Dovin cares about the law and Baral had just admitted to breaking it).

    Kiora and her sea monster summons amounting to nothing against Kozilek.

    And these are just what I can think of off the top of my head.

    I think all of this comes down to accentuating the negative ("Neowalkers are op and Wizards deliberately tries to force them down our throats!") and then only searching for examples that prove this point (or reducing plotpoints in such a way that it seems like they do) instead of considering points that disprove this notion.

    Now, that doesn't mean that Wizards DOESN'T sometimes fail in their handling of the Gatewatch and other neowalkers. I especially find it a bit curious that they don't point out more often why they actually DO have kind of an advantage against planebound entities (to a degree of course): Traveling to other planes gives them insights and knowledge that these entities simply can't have (or are even weak to without them knowing it). Take for example Nissas' escape from Kefnets' trial. She was more or less crushed by the god, but since she was knowledgeable in leylines and direct manipulation of mana (and saw a vision of Nicol Bolas using those against the gods) she was able to slightly change Kefnet in a way no one on Amonkhet would probably be able to. Every planeswalker thus has the potential to become an outside context problem for legendaries for example: They might be very familiar with any magic or magitek used on their plane, but that won't help against totally different magic. That in itself was the reason Heliod killed Elspeth in the end, just like Xenagos using his outside knowledge to ascend into godhood, he thought of her as a threat for knowing things that he himself had no access to (and because he is an egomaniac who styles himself as being the top god of his plane, he couldn't allow that).

    Now, to Ravnica: I don't get the complaint about the guilds becoming caricatures of themselves. If anything they have become more varied since the first Ravnica, with clearer basic identities. Outside of the Ravnica books of the time the guilds were pretty one-dimensional, Rakdos were all evil sado-masochist ********s on their cards, Boros actually looked pretty much exactly as they do now (only with their police functions even less pronounced), same goes for Golgari, Orzhov and quite a few others (there was not a single card in OG Ravnica mentioning the Golgaris' rot-farms which provide food to much of the poorer populace of the city, nor was there one card depicting a defence lawyer or banker for the Orzhov). Simic and Dimir also had no cards until RtR that depicted their "official" businesses (and I'm still waiting for a simic doctor healing patients being depicted, with the Simic being THE medical branch in Ravnica).
    In the end the cards don't depict the less interesting menial tasks the guilds do most of the time, though I would say that RtR and RtRtR were doing better in this regard than the original City of Guilds, as much as I love that block.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Ravnica Art Book -Spoilers
    So not only was Isperia written to be oblivious, but literally dumb.

    That is my problem with Ravnica post Ravnica 1, everyone has to have gone completely stupid for any of this to make sense.

    Jarad apparently went Evil for the Lulz, The Boros eject Feather because reasons? The Ghost Quarter closes and shuts off the actual sequel hook in order to have a maze, The Simic have zero back up leadership apparently and completely fall apart till the Fishes show up, The Ghost Council go into a meeting with Teysa who last we saw they had put into a FREAKING SECRET GULAG without wondering how exactly she got released, Niv Mizzet has known about Planeswalkers the entire time and didn't think to maybe tell Jace of Ral that he knows what is up.

    Rakdos of all people seems to be the most sane and sensible person on the entire plane sometimes. "Recruit the crazy people and let them run rampant and paint he town red with blood so I wake up once in a while."

    Edit : Oh and don't forget the whole "Lets ignore the second Guildpact despite the fact the first one kept us(the guilds) in power for TEN THOUSAND YEARS."

    Jarad being evil hasn't been shown directly, he's still a Golgari though and they love nothing more than social darwinism, something most of us would think of as "evil" to some degree. I think it's more of a shame that we didn't see or hear anything from him personally in any story since Ravnica 1 until he is disposed of by Vraska, so we have no idea how being the guildmaster and a lich changed him.

    The Simic HAD backup leadership. Too bad that every Simic with cytoplasts was killed by Momir Vig when he activated his experiment, and those were the absolute majority of them at that point, especially when it came to the higher ups. That's why they were more or less entirely destroyed as a guild and had to be rebuild from the ground up.

    I wouldn't get too hung up on the story details in the art book right now, they've proven to be unreliable and sometimes simple not detailed enough to judge the story only by looking at them. I think there will be explanations for Isperias and the Ghost Councils behaviours.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Ravnica Allegiance Mechanics ( Spectacle, Afterlife, Adapt, Riot, Addendum)
    As we "white knights" have said before: Just because the two Riot cards shown are very pushed and the two adapt cards aren't (though Zegana might be stronger tha she looks from first glance) that doesn't mean that this is true for all cards in this set. And you just straight up ignore the fact that Riot triggers directly when the creature comes into play, while the homonculus doesn't have to be activated the next turn after playing it (playing any removal on your Spellbreaker instead will reduce that damage by quite a bit for example). It's also no wonder that strong aggro cards like Spellbreaker work well against slower, non-control strategies in a vacuum. That's true for most such cards.

    Fun fact: You don't need to adapt necessarily. You want counters on your creatures now? Then nothing is stopping you from using ascendancy instead of adapt. And what is so wrong with using adapt first before using Ascendancy for more counters than that? You always have a choice, so I don't really see the problem. Either way you are getting more growth counters on the enchantment.

    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Ravnica Allegiance Mechanics ( Spectacle, Afterlife, Adapt, Riot, Addendum)
    Quote from Flisch »
    It's a bit baffling to me how so many people conflate mechanics with the cards they're on. Had the first examples of riot been on underwhelming and overcosted cards like with adapt, the reactions would be MUCH different.

    Riot isn't even particularly interesting. It's literally a minor change on unleash, less of a change than spectacle is on bloodthirst. And spectacle is already kinda bland.

    Like, I'm not even trying to throw shade at wizards here. I guess I kinda understand the reason of giving the guilds simpler mechanics? Objectively it makes little sense to create deep and complex mechancis that are only applicable for a subset of one fifth of a set. (Even if subjectively I still feel cheated on because I'm spoiled from original Ravnica.) Rather, I find it very confusing how people are unable to separate mechanics from individual card designs.

    Riot gives you way more interesting choices and situations compared to adapt. Adapt is trash and interacts poorly with other +1/+1 cards, so that's why it's hated. Simply because it's *****.

    Except it is literally a more streamlined monstrous (I think someone mentioned that they already said that it's a functional reprint) with quite a few potential applications (and they already spoiled that you shouldn't look at it in a vacuum, with multiple +1/+1-counter recycling cards apparently being part of this set). The only bad interactions with other +1/+1 mechanics happen if you want to adapt AFTER using the other mechanics to put counters on the creature, something that can be easily played around in my opinion. Not an exciting mechanic per se, that's true, but I don't think it's bad either. The guild mechanics are more background noise than anything anyway this time around, with the exception of the Dimir mechanic (which was pushed quite a bit to interact well with the two other graveyard mechanic), none of them should be played "on their own" I think. Riot by itself might be more choice intensive, but it feels rather limited in scope. I think the design space for adapt (as with monstrous) is much greater than that of Riot. Zegana is underwhelming mostly because they choose to give her the most boring and generic +1/+1-counter interaction (give everything with counters trample, something that was worth a rarely played Abzan uncommon in Khans of Tarkir) not because of adapt. On the other hand the two spoiled Riot cards seem to be very pushed, which might paint the mechanic in a different light. Judging from Simic Ascendancy there might be quite a few pushed Simic cards interacting with adapt as well, we just haven't seen them yet.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Tithe Taker
    Quote from boombox_smk »
    I was thinking this, as well. Like a group of Parishioners could be a 3/3 and have Afterlife 3. I think it would be really cool flavor to have a card such as:

    Gathered Mourners 1WWBB
    Creature - Human
    Afterlife 5

    depicting a bunch of people at a funeral, and when they die, the spirits of those they are mourning also return to battle. Vigilance 'cuz vigil, lol.

    Wouldn't that be a bit too close to (and arguably stronger than) Conclave Cavalier mechanically speaking? I have the feeling that Afterlife is a tricky mechanic to balance, but it fits Orzhov, especially with their Aristocrat subtheme. This card is very good I think.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on RNA Promo cards
    Growth Spiral is neither definitely better nor worse than Explore, but the instant speed is a huge plus.

    You just contradicted yourself. Wink It's okay because you see its merit. Smile

    The fact that it is instant speed makes it better than Explore even with the extra colored mana restriction in my estimation. Getting to play a land during the opponents turn could be highly valuable.

    True, what I meant was that it's not strictly better or worse, since sometimes the fact that on your turn you have to put out a land directly instead of gaining the ability to do so later on during your turn might be important. I meant though that the instant speed is a huge plus for me personally^^
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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