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  • 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
  • posted a message on RNA Promo cards
    Well, my favorite guild just got a few good cards spoiled, so I'm happy! Growth Spiral is neither definitely better nor worse than Explore, but the instant speed is a huge plus. Had quite a few games already in which I really wanted to be able to use an Explore-like effect on my opponents turn.
    Simic Ascendancy is an even better alt-win condition for Simic than Biovisionary and I love it... and yet I'm still ambivalent about the card in general. Atraxa, Praetors' Voice EDH decks are already really annoying to play against and this card seems to be made for absolutely bogus shenanigans with this deck. Other than that, great card.
    Hope Simic also gets such a great four colored mana cost card as Rakdos (and quite frankly every guild so far) has gotten, I really love their designs.
    Mortify is just good removal, and I like it just as much here as I did in the original Ravnica.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Despot's Whim
    Quote from Legend »
    Will this force the caster to sacrifice at least one creature or can they opt for zero and still draw the two cards? If it works as (I hope) is obviously intended, then great! Otherwise, can it be fixed to work as intended?

    Despot's Whim (Common)
    Choose up to two target creatures you control. Sacrifice one of those creatures. Then draw two cards.

    If you want to force it a simple "As an additional cost to cast this spell, sacrifice a creature. Draw two cards." would suffice. But that cards already exists (Altar's Reap). What exactly do you want the card to do?
    Posted in: Custom Card Rulings
  • posted a message on The Rabiah Scale.
    Quote from Saandro »
    Tldr of Kamigawa: ''It has a high rank because it wasn't popular (citation needed) and didn't sell too well. We might revisit it if we discard everything good about it and go with animes and ninjas because they are what's popular and marketable these days.''

    I hate how Maro is such a biased salesman behind his rational facade. For example the new worlds all rank rather low with very questionable reasoning on some of them. Can't wait for 2025, when he will be able to talk about why Amonkhet or Ixalan failed and how the new return to Ixalan will totally fix all that and be super special awesome!

    First of, and I will fight for that, Amonkhet was awesome. Being a small plane with a single self-contained culture is not always the bad thing some of you are trying to portray it as. In this case it was even justified, since the plane is described as being nearly dead and having suffered from a catastrophe way before Bolas got his hands on it. There just isn't much left of it. (I'm actually mad about Maro seemingly thinking that it blew up at the end. I mean, there were survivors and Hazoreth still lives as well...) I would also argue that worlds with actual gods which interact more or less directly with the populace would pretty much force the cultures on these planes to be relatively homogenous, so I don't see the problem with Theros and Amonkhet not having the varied cultures of Tarkir or Dominaria. Ixalans problems were mostly about the moral superficiality, NOT the actual worldbuilding, which was in my opinion pretty well done. Not my favorite world, but still.

    Now Kamigawa. I personally liked it. But from what I can gather, many of the Kamigawa fans here seriously try to downplay how much even the flavor and worldbuilding was rejected when it came out. You might lament the fact that taking out the spirits etc. and introducing more popular japanese tropes into it is making it more superficial, but remember, tropes are not bad. In fact quite a few things in Kamigawa were so far away from the actual japanese mythology that the connection felt kind of forced (I don't really see much of a connection between the kitsune in the legends and those on the plane for example, except for that they resemble foxes). And let's face it, many parts of Kamigawa simply failed. I'm not even agreeing with it having "varied cultures", since everything is very clear cut between color lines in that regard. That's the thing I personally liked the least about it: It felt small and very much divided into cultural units. You had humans from each color, one nonhuman species for each color, one location for each color. Not the most creative way of worldbuilding. So I get Maro. Still, I think a compromise could be made to "modernize" Kamigawa without losing too much of its identity and that this would be worth exploring at least in a supplemental set.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on The Rabiah Scale.
    I find it great that most planes seem to have at least a few factors that make them interesting enough to at least think about returning there (Exceptions being Mercadia, Ulgrotha and Rabiah). And it's interesting to see the different opinions on certain plains. For example, I absolutely dislike pre-Eldrazi Zendikar. Adventure world is just so incredibly unappealing for me. Eldritch horror though, even if it wasn't handled particularly well? Count me in (though I must say that Shadows over Innistrad and Eldritch Moon were soo much better in exploring cosmic horror than Rise of the Eldrazi or BfZ, it's not even funny). I didn't like Lorwyn and though I liked certain cards of Shadowmoor, I disliked that it mishandled the color pie and hybrid color to such a degree. The story was also not really that engaging in my opinion. I'm conflicted about Kamigawa. I liked the world, but it also felt kind of limited and too neatly divided by color pie allegiance (I'm still unsure whether the giant waterfall around Minamo actually connects to an ocean and everything we've seen of Kamigawa plays only on one continent or if the world is actually THAT small). I liked the flavor, but the mechanics were mostly either catastrophic or forgettable. I want to know how the world has changed in the last few thousand years (something Maro didn't acknowledge, of course they can change it radically, it has been some time since the original set), but at the same time it won't have any character aside from Tamiyo which I would like to see more of. I think the best thing to do would be to use it as a setting for a supplemental set.
    I really loved both Amonkhet and Theros. I know that some didn't like Bolas omnipresence on Amonkhet, but I think the egyptian flavor still shined through and the destruction of Nakthamun opens the possibility for a restart for the survivors. Tarkir should return as much as possible to its Wedge roots next time. That and not the dragons made the world interesting.
    So in the end, planes I would like to see more of: Takir, Theros, Amonkhet, Ravnica, Innistrad (I hope they'll finally remember that there is another continent there as well next time).
    Planes I don't really care for (aside from the really bad ones): Regatha (unless they make it a hell of a lot more interesting), Zendikar, Lorwyn, Shandalar (same as Regatha).
    The rest I'm just indifferent or conflicted about at the moment.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on (GRN) Guilds of Ravnica General Discussion
    Quote from Urabrask »
    So we got the second new "leader" of a Bolas guild confirmed.

    The question is in which direction will she steer the guild? Unlike Dovin Baan she does not seem to fit into the guild she is taking over.

    "Kaya is a firm believer that life is for the living. The living should make the most of their lives and pursue what they want while they've still got time, and find their own peace before death. If you die with unfinished business, well, that's probably your fault. And if it's not...perhaps she could help you...for a price." - From the Mothership

    I think Bolas just paid her to get rid of the Ghost Council (which fits her perfectly), then take over. She does seem to like money (even if she has to do morally questionable stuff to get it), and the Orzhov guild in the end is all about gathering as much money and power as possible via any means necessary. So I do see her fitting nicely... after a small change in the guilds leadership.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on (GRN) Guilds of Ravnica General Discussion
    I can get why Tajic become more zealous, what i don't get is why Aurelia become more soft, since not being soft was the point of all her character

    She hasn't gotten soft, she just questioned her own war-oriented motives after the whole Maze-situation and her interactions with Gideon (he did criticize her mostly in flavor texts as far as I remember, but most likely his actions moved her more than his criticisms anyway). You might say that's not an explanation, but I could see her slowly coming around and realizing that it's more important to help the people instead of making their lifes worse through constant warfare. But that's just my opinion.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on (GRN) Guilds of Ravnica General Discussion
    Quote from Flisch »
    It's really weird they don't play up those "mundane" functions of the guilds, seeng as Ravnica is an urban plane sorely in need of some proper urban flavour.

    I am going to say that is a function of the constant swings to keep Ravnica "not peaceful"

    Before RTR the Implication was that the vast majority of people were in Guilds, that the Guilds were the entire foundation of the plane..then in RTR suddenly "Oh half the population is Guildless." before the "Entire plane is a city, the wilds are parts of the city that turned into slums and were abandoned." and now it is.."On no the City of Guilds was just this main section."

    and that isn't even getting into things like "When we left at the end of Ravnica 1 we had the Ghosts to deal with, Teysa setting up a new Guildpact with Feather and Jarod." and come RTR "None of that Matters, Jarod is apparently became Evil off Screen..and Teysa and Feather just don't matter."

    Actually, most of the things you said didn't work out like you described. People seem to have weird ideas about the first Ravnica. The whole Guildpact book was about a "not urbanized" part of the plane (Utvara) and the efforts of Teysa to make it prosperous for her own gains. So no, it was clear from the start that natural wilds are more or less gone, but desolate places or areas were no one can live are quite common, as are great parks and nature reserves in the middle of the city and (as you said) slums. Neither RtR nor GoR contradict this. It was also never directly stated how much of Ravnicas population is part of a guild, the implication was only present since the card game mostly focused on guild members and the books were centered around protagonists that were also guild members. Even so I'm pretty sure that it was stated quite a few times in the books that not everyone is a member of a guild but still has to affiliate with them (through their employers for example). That was Agrus Kos position in (yet again) the Guildpact novel, he wasn't directly a member of the Orzhov, but he did work for one and therefore was connected to the guild.

    The only actual big change that they didn't get too much into was Agyrem sealing itself of from Ravnica because of the Mending. I don't really see the problem with it though. It had a logical explanation for why it happened and was even foreshadowed (since Agyrem only really existed in the first place because the rifts sealed Ravnica from the rest of the multiverse). You might not like it, but that doesn't make it objectively bad or inconsistent.
    Teysas guildpact just failed. Not the greatest continuation of this, but it never had any binding power (and sadly not many guilds were capable or interested in upholding it). Jarod didn't get any screentime after becoming a lich, which is the actual problem. It was hinted at in Dissension that this change could have an impact on his mental state, so who knows whether he has actually fallen to evil. Feather on the other hand, that I give you. They hinted at her being important for Lazavs plans... and then never mentioned her again until now. For all we know she is still in stasis. Teysa does matter, she was part of RtRs plot and she still has her own ongoing plotline about trying to finally bring down the Obszedat.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on (GRN) Guilds of Ravnica General Discussion
    Quote from Onering »
    Quote from Gutterstorm »
    Shades of Grey in a Gatewatch magic story?

    In fairness, if any guild is evil it’s the Orzhov.

    The Rakdos would like a word...

    Every black aligned guild was concepted as evil. Orzhov was concepted as Lawful Evil, but their original iteration was much subtler. It looks like literally everyone sees through their front now and their territory is openly dystopian, but that's a change from the original block. In the books, they were portrayed more like the romanticized conception of the mob, bad guys who you could deal with and who followed rules. They were portrayed as providing a number of essential services that everyday Ravnican's utilized, from defense attorneys to banks to business organization. Their dark side wasn't as in the open, and wouldn't always bite you. You didn't become a debt slave just from associating with the Orzhov. They had their banks, then they had their loan sharks. They served as the primary religion in Ravnica, with the Selesnyans and Rakdos only serving their own guilds, and the dark side was that the religion was a complete sham that took in tons of donations and spent it on themselves. It wasn't a religion that just made all its followers debt slaves, its corruption was more like that of the medieval Catholic church or modern televangelists. They sold indulgences that did nothing and asked for tithes, and they got the followers to buy into it, but it wasn't debt, it was free giving based on a con, simple charlatanism. Yes, the Orzhov always had debt slaves, always found some desperate fools to take out a predatory loan or rely on "charity" that they'd owe for, but they also had more legitimate services that provided cover, as many ordinary Ravnicans could interact with them and walk away thinking they were all right. The current way they are portrayed, as purely mustache twirling caricatures that use every interaction to enslave people to eternal debt is stupid.

    The Rakdos were concepted as chaotic evil, and they live up to it. They've also suffered, however, from a change in characterization from the first block that's really freaking dumb. They always had the Insane Clown Posse infernal circus thing, but it was a side aspect originally. The main service they provided were as miners toiling in terrible conditions mining ore and other valuables and smelters. The rest of Ravnica could stick them down there and mostly not have to deal with them, which is why they were tolerated, and the Rakdos were free to murder and torture each other without interference (and didn't care about the terrible working conditions). On the side they'd provide some dark circuses, but those were usually hidden like the Kumite from Blood Sport and not the accepted form of entertainment for the average Ravnican, present on theatre row.

    The Dimir are neutral evil, they don't care about order or chaos, they just care about being in control and use both to achieve that. They certainly are, and the neo Dimir are actually pretty interesting, as they've found a way to exist withing the system rather than focusing on tearing it down, and play a role in the system (Private detectives, tutors, private spies and assassins, etc.). Its a little dumb that the latest block is trying to have it both ways, portraying it as if most of Ravnica still doesn't believe in them while also have them operating brazenly. The OG Dimir were really deep in the shadows, a small guild of isolated cells working patiently on the fringes in pursuit of one goal and most of Ravnica thinking there were only 9 guilds, and the RTR Dimir were portrayed as being much more in the open, with their sigil added back into representations of all the guilds, everyone aware of the role they played in the original block, and them offering their services openly, and running in the damn Dragon's Maze! Saying that they are still up to all that but most people view them the same way they viewed the OG Dimir (as a myth) is really dumb.

    The Golgari were concepted as neutral evil, predatory outcasts with an internal caste system, a guild based on Darwinian struggle. They are focused on personal advancement within the guild at the expense of other members, and the advancement of the guild at the expense of the outside world. Its a straightforward form of evil, ambition mated to ruthlessness, and the sort that's clearly evil yet understandable and not particularly malicious. You understand that the Golgari are trying to get ahead by any means, and they might make you a zombie, but you know they aren't going to wipe your memories because you may have overheard a secret code or mutilate you for *****s and giggles, and most of their evil ***** is inflicted on each other.

    Hm, I don't know. The guilds have changed, true, but I find it highly debatable whether this change was a flanderization. Remember that the original guilds were still bound by a magical guildpact and when that one vanished they were free to break from their traditional roles/ free to exploit their territories to a much higher degree. I mean, take the Orzhov for example: Aside from Teysa and the bold that befriended Agrus Kos, all of them were portrayed as horrible, greedy and exploitative. In the original books there was much less focus on their religious side (which was a scam anyway) but on their greed and lust for more money and power. So I don't really see that much of a change to now. The one in this story was a bit over the top perhaps, but still, it makes sense that the Orzhov would be one of the guilds that would use the lack of a binding guildpact to their advantage as much as possible (we also never saw the debtor side of the Orzhov in the original books, so it's kind of hard to tell whether they weren't always like that). I mean, they even have a room in which guildpact magic is not binding, so there's that. The only thing that I would kind of wish for is that their roles as defendants would get more of a spotlight, but that was more or less a side note in the original too.

    The Rakdos had a much less interesting characterization in the original, being more or less a buch of sado-masochists who love to kill and maim for their own pleasure. The whole "slave and mining" business only really appeared in the books (once) and wasn't fleshed out itself until RtR. You couldn't tell from the cards that they had ANY really worthwhile task that benefited the rest of Ravnica, even the entertainment aspect was mostly sidelined, so putting it in the forefront and establishing that the guild actually does provide some sort of benefit for Ravnicans society was a step in the right direction.

    The Dimir aren't seen as a myth anymore, from what I can tell they are seen more like an open secret. Everyone kind of knows that they exist, but no one who doesn't work with or against them wants to acknowledge it (and even they keep it very hush hush) probably out of fear of what that guild could do to them (losing your memory seems to be the best option here). Additionally no one really knows that much about them. There's probably Dimir propaganda involved to make the guild look even more threatening than it already is.

    The Golgari actually didn't really change much between the three blocks they were in.

    I would argue that every guild is somewhat evil, some more than others and some in certain aspects more than in others. The old Simic, Azorius and even parts of the Selesnya (remember the Silentmen?) were kind of horrible, same goes to a lesser degree for the Boros, Gruul and Izzet. All of these got better when RtR came around (aside from the Boros, who got worse and then better in Guilds of Ravnica), though all kept a certain shade of grey at least.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on (GRN) Guilds of Ravnica General Discussion
    Urgh, it's not a retcon, as I said before, the original book series already discussed the merits of the guildpact and it was already criticized back then. It WAS a good idea... once, at a time when everyone was constantly at each others throats and the whole plane was a giant war zone. But its magical nature enforced inequalities (like the Gruul losing nearly any standing in the urbanizing society of Ravnica, but being powerless to change that society in any way since their specific part of the pact lost all meaning over the years and therefore denied them most of its power) and stabilized Ravnica by putting a very static and exploitable system in place that had a build-in self-destruct button (the Dimir). The failsafe wasn't Azor finally thinking about further consequences, it had to be part of the system since he knew (and in fact planned) that the Dimir would one day destroy the original pact. Sure, every system is flawed, which is why democratic nations for example change many of their laws every few years or so, instead of keeping up the status quo even though the world changes around them. That was Azors mistake and he did it over and over again. The sentence might have been harsh, but from what I remember Azor also stated that any failure of one of his systems was the fault of the people he gave it to, declining to take responsibility or at least do something about it, worse, refusing to learn from his mistake. You are free to argue that this didn't give Jace or Vraska the right to punish him this way. I'm just saying though that no retcon is involved here. It also really looks like you'll get your wish, Jaces absence seems to have taken quite the toll on Lavinia at the very least. I'd be surprised if he didn't get a beating by someone because of his irresponsibility.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
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