10/21/09 Savor the Flavor: A Planeswalker's Guide to Zendikar: Guul Draz

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Savor the Flavor Article, which goes live Wednesday morning on magicthegathering.com.

Link is broken.


Here's the right one.

A lot of broken links as of late it seems.


Thanks for posting the right one ^^

What is the art of the red vampire woman thing near the beginning of the article?  Its captivating. 

That's Guul Draz Vampire. I like the art too.


Interesting bit on Nulls:


"The vampire nulls are faceless undead thralls, a sort of high-speed zombie. They are easily commanded by other vampires, though if they are left without orders they will hunt and kill whatever living things that they can find."


So Mindless Null doesn't even have good flavor after all, seeing as its cost-to-power ratio resembles anything but "high-speed."

Maybe by "high-speed" they mean "extreme", given that the null, which has no face, retains even less of its former appearance than the typical zombie.


Incidentally, I think it's clever to make Mindless Null strictly worse than Warpath Ghoul in order to emphasize that a zombie created by these vampires just barely clings to life.  And it's also interesting to include a card that's very bad and yet still sometimes better in Limited than another land.  What I don't approve of is the idea that we're supposed to find Mindless Null funny; in fact, from today's article there doesn't seem to be much funny about nulls.

It may be clever to a tiny subset of players, but that doesn't translate to the gameplay experience. As players we look at power and toughness for cost. We don't see "this zombie is from a land where zombies are weak, therefore is perfectly acceptable to get much less for your mana when summoning them." We see "bad creature for 3 mana, worse than a card that has been considered terrible since Alpha, and worse yet than the creature that just replaced it in a core set."


The creature can still be a bad creature, but it needs to be costed as such. It is alarming when the development side doesn't have a problem with this card, and even encouraged it. Perhaps they really do need to make another Un-set.

Play at least a little limited and stop bashing Null. Yep, he's a weak creature, but it's playable. A lot more playable than red or blue ascension for example ;)


Play at least a little limited and stop bashing Null. Yep, he's a weak creature, but it's playable. A lot more playable than red or blue ascension for example ;)




Those ascensions are johnny cards.  Mindless null isn't good for anything.  But whatever, back on topic:


It feels like wizards is trying a catch-all approach with the vampires.  Alright, same could be said of Zendikar as a set, but it kind of irks me with the vampires.  They try to make them both tribal (in flavour), aristocratic, elegant, bestial, yet somewhat 'human' at the same time - ie. with the whole 'vampres aren't undead in zendikar' schtick.  And then tie them in with zombies as well, just in case people aren't satisfied.  I feel they should really run for a much more coherent and stronger flavour, since not everyone pores over the little backstory for each card.

the floating swamp should forever be known as meatball swamp.


I feel they should really run for a much more coherent and stronger flavour, since not everyone pores over the little backstory for each card.




Couldn't it be that this material simply isn't meant for you? Some of us DO pore over the little backstrory for each card, actually.


I'm not sure how this flavor is "incoherent" either. It's an extremely original culture, that's all.


 


 


Doug, Jenna, Brady... thank you so much for putting these articles together for us. This is absolutely the coolest thing ever done with Savor the Flavor, or even Taste the Magic. This is some of the most engrossing material I've read for Magic in a long time, probably matching the incredible brilliance of some of the older sets.


Any chance of getting Pete Venters to cobble together a Guide for Sarpadia? :D

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Nulls look TRIP.  Very nice.


(Also...I'm WAY too Spike to run those.  Well...ever.)


 

So the difference between vampire and zombie is willpower?

@Johnny Discard:



I don't really read it that way. The main difference is the fact that vampires in Zendikar are NOT undead, for instance. There's a lot separating the two.


And Mindless Nulls are... mindless. And null. They seem to be more like mutations of the typical vampire form.

Coming Soon to the Magic: Expanded Multiverse: FRAGMENTS: A Shards of Alara Anthology
(Click through to view the cover and announcement page)Want to get your work in the Expanded Multiverse? Come join the project! Oh, and check out my blog, Storming the Ivory Tower: making sense of academia, media, and culture twice weekly.

Another great StF, I could devour articles like this every week.


 


Though "200 years" is long-lived? Angelus is at least 250 and didn't seem to be slowing down at all.

Proud member of C.A.R.D. - Campaign Against Rare Duals "...but the time has come when lands just need to be better. Creatures have gotten stronger, spells have always been insane, and lands just sat in this awkward place of necessity." Jacob Van Lunen on the refuge duals, 16 Sep 2009. "While it made thematic sense to separate enemy and allied color fixing in the past, we have come around to the definite conclusion that it is just plain incorrect from a game-play perspective. This is one of these situations where game play should just trump flavor." - Sam Stoddard on ending the separation of allied/enemy dual lands. 05 July 2013

Though "200 years" is long-lived? Angelus is at least 250 and didn't seem to be slowing down at all.


It's long-lived compared to modern man's lifespan of ~76 years. On a world like Zendikar, a human would be venerable at, like, 45.


Who's Angelus?

GREAT GREAT GREAT article. this was the best one so far i think. i don't have anything else to say.

Once again, I really liked this article.  StF has been pretty good all around since Zendikar came out.


I agree with the catch-all criticism of vampires.  Given more time and space, I think vampires could develop a nice identity, perhaps approaching racial definition from a different angle than was used for elves, goblins, etc (which are kind of one dimensional).


Also, I continue to be a little annoyed by the floating stuff and to a lesser extent the vague description of Zendikar's overall layout -- what continents are near to Guul Draz and what forms the boarders?


Also, I continue to be a little annoyed by the floating stuff




i continue to be psyched about the floating stuff.

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