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Ultimate Masters: MMI Review
  • 2

    posted a message on Reddit Preview? Sphinx of New Prahv
    Anyone remember the days when a 4/3 flying, vigilance, pseudo-hexproof for 4 mana wasn't ridiculed for being too weak/plain/boring/underpowered? At uncommon, even.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • 4

    posted a message on (GRN) Guilds of Ravnica General Discussion
    It's also possible that the new Simic leader isn't part of the "Bolas aligned" faction, rather that Zegana is.

    There's no reason to assume that the pro-Bolas factions KNOW that they're advancing Bolas' agenda, and it's possible that Zegana's more passive, non-interventionist/confrontational ways suit Bolas just fine. The other Simic faction seems to think that a battle is coming and want to prepare for that, where as Zegana isn't a proponent for the effectual "arms race" meaning that her faction could in fact be the one that benefits Bolas the most, given that Simic isn't a Bolas aligned Guild.

    Inaction on the part of the Simic benefits Bolas, in that they're not prepared to oppose him.

    From the Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica:
    The Holdfast encourages the Simic to promote nature; the Upwelling urges them to perfect nature. The end result is the same: a hastened system of evolution that brings out the best in every creature's nature. But different factions within the Simic Combine interpret these
    principles in their own ways.
    The leadership of the Simic Combine represents the traditional philosophy of the Utopians. Their vision is of an ideal world in which nature and civilization exist in balance, in which natural life adapts to life in the midst of modern civilization and the civilized world adapts
    to accommodate these creatures. Utopians generally interpret the Holdfast principle as being about staying rooted in nature, and the Upwelling as concerned with slow, predictable, cyclical improvement. So they remain hidden in their subaquatic laboratories, pursuing their research while isolated from the volatile interrelationships among the other guilds. Prime Speaker Zegana encourages that isolationist attitude.
    At the same time, a growing faction within the Simic believes that an a ll-out war among the guilds is inevitable, given the growing unrest in the city. These members, the Adaptationists, believe that the guilds exist in a fragile ecosystem in which the slightest imbalance can have cascading effects. With an absent Living Guildpact failing to maintain the balance, only catastrophe can result. The Simic must change in order to survive, and slow, small steps in pursuit of an ideal vision aren't enough. The future of the guild is in imminent danger,
    and the Simic need to focus on survival. Adaptationists tend to interpret the Holdfast as being about defensa and security, and the Upwelling as a call for sudden, disruptive
    growth.
    As befits members of a guild of scientists, the Adaptationists' preparations for war include the creation of soldiers that are magically and biologically adapted.
    The Guardian Project has yielded hybrids that combine human, elf, or vedalken stock with the characteristics of crabs, fish, jellyfish, and a variety of other creatures to give them natural armor and weapons, gills, venomous stings, and other combat-focused adaptations.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • 3

    posted a message on (GRN) Guilds of Ravnica General Discussion
    Quote from user_938036 »
    Obviously Dovin simply filled out the proper paperwork (in triplicate) and filed it with the proper people and thus became grand arbiter. Hoesntly it seems the easiest of the bunch to usurp as you don't have to be strong or intelligent, just be told what to do by Bolas.

    Joking aside I feel this may actually be almost exactly what happened. Kind of like the south park episode where people keep coming in going "who's in charge here...not any more you're not." And by rules of the azorious if you speak the proper phrase at the proper time to the proper people everything works out as you want.


    Given that they are Vogon Style Lawful Neutral it is entirely possible that Dovin just needed a week with all the laws and found "Obscure Rule number 454184088904980948094 that allows him to be Grand Arbiter."
    On that note, let's not forget that Dovin's innate ability is to see the flaws inherent in a system/object. Outlandish as it may be, it could well really be possible.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • 1

    posted a message on New Magic Novella by Brandon Sanderson introducing a new planeswalker
    I thoroughly enjoyed the novella, though there was one inconsistency that I noted, overall timeline wise (not within the story itself, but as a part of the greater MTG narrative).

    Ms Highwater says that she's been with Davriel for four years, but she also makes reference to having been in the Helvault, which would mean that the story is set 4 years post Innistrad block. The problem with that is that they also state that the events of Shadows over Innistrad happened last year. I'm all but certain that SoI block stated that it had only been one year since the Helvault. Not three. The MTG wiki timeline lists the events of Innistrad as 4558/9AR and SoI as 4560AR.

    Overall, that's a minor thing, but timeline inconsistencies kinda drive me crazy.

    Also interesting note; Ms Highwater, I believe the first ever female demon in Magic (other than the art of Glint which appears to depict a female Rakshasa).
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • 2

    posted a message on (GRN) Guilds of Ravnica General Discussion
    Dovin is next up, he was mean to Chandra so he must be "EVIL".


    Honestly i felt they did the same to Azor. He had to appear evil and unconsiderate just because... he likes rules and Jace need his spotlight?
    Suddenly the guildpact is evil, even if it lasted 10k years and helped Ravnica become one of the most advanced plane, and suddenly also we learn that Azor screwed many planes, all of them off-screen and without giving details, just to paint him as the bad guy.

    Meanwhile, Jace never stays on Ravnica and that apparently means that the guildpact doesn't work. Nice way to screw up a plane Jace.

    Agreed 100%. Azor got character assassinated just so that Jace and Vraska could look good/sympathetic. I'm fully resigned to Dovin suffering the same fate.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • 1

    posted a message on Identities of Shards
    Quote from ChrisBP7 »
    Quote from Flisch »
    Quote from KarnTerrier »
    I'd say Phyrexia definitely still has some of that White/Black tribalism. Also, it's only the Red faction of New Phyrexia that was forced into hiding, the Black faction submitted to the White faction's rule. That's why Atraxa is every color but Red, she was created by all four of the remaining Praetors after they'd forged their alliance. I actually see New Phyrexia as being four-colored, you can basically view it as combining Esper-style technocracy with Bant-style collectivism with Sultai-style expansionism.

    On a semi-related note, I originally thought about listing the Borg Collective as an example of a Bant-colored organization, but I wasn't sure whether it should be considered White/Blue/Green (because it seeks to incorporate everyone into its 'perfect' society) or Blue/Black/Green (because it seeks to consume and absorb everyone else that exists, making everything into a part of itself). Mark Rosewater originally listed them as typical Blue/Black expansionist conquerors, but later considered them an example of the Green/Black plague-bearer archetype, and admitted that they could be seen as White/Green collectivists if you assumed their motives were benevolent (i.e. if they genuinely believed that the people and species they assimilated were better off as part of the Collective). Ultimately I'd say that, like the New Phyrexians, they're White/Blue/Black/Green. Given that the Borg's defining trait is that they completely lack individuality, I'd say that having them be Non-Red fits perfectly.

    I don't think the Borg understand themselves as benevolent bringers of perfection as evidenced by the idea that they see some species as unfit to "enhance the collective". They are, even to themselves, just an organism that grows by incorporating other things into itself in order to grow and survive, not to grant those beings a better life.


    It has been some time since I saw Star Treks Borg episodes, but if I remember correctly, they are definitely seeing themselves as "bringer of perfection", they are usually just not very preachy about it (and why should they?). At least the Borg Queen made several statements in this direction. They assimilate others without making moral arguments for it because in their mind they just know that they are right, and everyone else will just see it as they see it once they are part of the collective. I think arguments can be made about the Borg being any color other than black, but I would actually say that black is also a weaker influence since they reject individualism so utterly.


    IIRC, the comment in question (From Seven of Nine, in reference to the Kazon) was that assimilation of the Kazon would have "Detracted from perfection." (It was also a silly throw-away line that never really made sense or served a purpose other than some stupid in-joke with the audience.) So I think that it could still fit into a "bringers of perfection to all beings" and the collective simply saw that the damage done to all other "perfected" beings by assimilating the Kazon would be greater than the benefit of perfecting them. In essence, it would have been a greater benefit to all life to eradicate the Kazon than to assimilate them.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • 2

    posted a message on Identities of Shards
    I don't really have anything to add, but I just wanted to let you know that I find these absolutely fascinating.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • 1

    posted a message on (GRN) Guilds of Ravnica General Discussion
    Even guilds not under Bolas control have sides that don't agree with the company line...Tajic and Aurelia are clearly not on the same page. Trostani cannot agree at all.

    So I don't think its Bolas Faction Specific.

    Quite right. All guilds are split between doing Bolas' bidding and not (whether knowingly, accidentally, or otherwise), it only varies in which group is the one officially in charge. No one guild is completely for or against Bolas, some are just more or less so than others.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • 1

    posted a message on (GRN) Guilds of Ravnica General Discussion
    Quote from Onering »
    A chaotically aligned guild would simply be more willing than a guild aligned with order to take actions to change the system.


    Unless that orderly guild believes, or has been lead to believe, that they can achieve an even more orderly system by toppling the current one. Which was, IIRC Augustin's rational in the OG Ravnica block.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • 1

    posted a message on [RNA] - Art Previews for the other five Shocklands
    It was posted in the Guilds of Ravnica discussion thread in the Storyline section. Not sure if it's posted anywhere else, but here it is:

    Quote from Caranthir »

    Anyway, here is a sneak peek at Azorius land. My money is on Hallowed Fountain (it is the same scene as on RtR art)
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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