11/11/09 Savor the Flavor: A Planeswalker’s Guide to Zendikar: Ondu

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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.

First of all, thanks for this whole Planeswalker's Guide series.


This article brings up (for me it seems like for the 100th time) the non-legendary status of Valakut.


If it shouldn't have been legendary, couldn't it be just called something like "Molten Pinnacle of Beyeen"? That's breaking a naming convention that Creative has been very strict about, isn't it?


It just makes all this talk of MaRo's about Creative being more involved in the "cardmaking" process seem less than truthful.

These articles make it obvious that there were far more cool lands that could have been designed than there were.  Between that and the fact that things like Emeria aren't Legendary, I'm sad.  With a much bigger art budget and a set size greater than 250, we could have had so much additional awesome.  Let's hope the large set in spring is still on Zendikar and will catch us up with some of these "unsolved mystery" locations.

My New Phyrexia Writing Credits My M12 Writing Credits
As far as the benefit of the rest of Magic is concerned, gold cards in Legends were executed perfectly. They got all the excitement a designer could hope out of a splashy new mechanic without using up any of the valuable design space. Truly amazing. --Aaron Forsythe's Random Card Comment on Kei Takahashi


First of all, thanks for this whole Planeswalker's Guide series.


This article brings up (for me it seems like for the 100th time) the non-legendary status of Valakut.


If it shouldn't have been legendary, couldn't it be just called something like "Molten Pinnacle of Beyeen"? That's breaking a naming convention that Creative has been very strict about, isn't it?


It just makes all this talk of MaRo's about Creative being more involved in the "cardmaking" process seem less than truthful.




Novijen and Sunhome (and all the other Guild headquarters) aren't legendary either.

I think someone from Wizards posted about Legendary lands being disliked because they're disappointing if you draw more than one, but you want to run more than a singleton because they usually have really neat effects. The mirror match is also especially disappointing. Can't remember who, but it was a lesson learned out of Kamigawa block when the lands didn't see very much play. It fits with the timeline of the Rav uncommon "guild house" lands not being legendary too.


I would kill for a rough map of Zendikar. Just a general map with approximate sizes of continents and islands and the various areas labelled would be so awesome to have.

i like the teaser at the end considering the name of the third set in the block has been leaked (I didn't say it outright since some may not want to know)


i like the teaser at the end considering the name of the third set in the block has been leaked (I didn't say it outright since some may not want to know)




Return of The Three ? :p

I think he boiled his brains.


I actually loled at this.

I'm sorry, what I meant was that, while the creative and design process are more involved now, there are still things that seem to be very much out of Creative's control.


The fact that Sunhome isn't legendary doesn't justify this. It's like saying that the fact that Prodigal Sorcerer is blue should suggest that "pinging" in blue is OK...


EDIT: My point is - if you don't want to make the land legendary - just give it a name that could refer to more than one single landmark.

Ok, all I want to say is how much I'm into Zendikar. I didn't play Magic for a year and a half (because I live in Germany, but went to Canada for a year), I saw how all the Alare Editions were, but Zendikar just overcame everything.


When I read anything about Zendikar (the World), see pictures, look at the cards, I just feel like I'm in a different world. It's like when you read a totally awesome book and just can't stop reading. With Zendikar I feel like an adventurer, I feel like back in the day when I played with the Polar Expidition thingy from Lego *_*. I'm 17 but Zendikar just makes me feel like a little kid, and I like it.


~Just forget about everything and dive into a world of adventure~

EDIT: My point is - if you don't want to make the land legendary - just give it a name that could refer to more than one single landmark.



If a location produces a lot of mana, why cant 2 (or more) Planeswalkers that have visited it in the past form a mana bond with it at the same time?


(Afterall, thats all we are talking about when we discuss Valakut not being Legendary - it doesnt mean that there is more than one of it)


~ Tim

I am Blue/White Reached DCI Rating 1800 on 28/10/11. :D
Sig
56287226 wrote:
190106923 wrote:
Not bad. But what happens flavor wise when one kamahl kills the other one?
Zis iz a sign uf deep psychological troma, buried in zer subconscious mind. By keelink himzelf, Kamahl iz physically expressink hiz feelinks uf self-disgust ova hiz desire for hiz muzzer. [/GermanPsychologistVoice]
56957928 wrote:
57799958 wrote:
That makes no sense to me. If they spelled the ability out on the card in full then it would not be allowed in a mono-black Commander deck, but because they used a keyword to save space it is allowed? ~ Tim
Yup, just like you can have Birds of paradise in a mono green deck but not Noble Hierarch. YAY COLOR IDENTITY
56287226 wrote:
56888618 wrote:
Is algebra really that difficult?
Survey says yes.
56883218 wrote:
57799958 wrote:
You want to make a milky drink. You squeeze a cow.
I love this description. Like the cows are sponges filled with milk. I can see it all Nick Parks claymation-style with the cow's eyes bugging out momentarily as a giant farmer squeezes it like a squeaky dog toy, and milk shoots out of it.
56287226 wrote:
56735468 wrote:
And no judge will ever give you a game loss for playing snow covered lands.
I now have a new goal in life. ;)

I like the reference to the Eye of Ugin at the end of the article. With the reference here as well as the one in the online comic with Sarkhan Vol, the Eye is looking to be an important part of Worldwake or the last set of Zendikar.


On a side note, I love looking back at Time Spiral block Time Shifted cards and seeing cards that hold a prediction of cards to come, then seeing it come true. The cycle of "intimidate" creatures gave me that same thrill, as did Narcomoeba. I can't wait to see what else comes true

If a location produces a lot of mana, why cant 2 (or more) Planeswalkers that have visited it in the past form a mana bond with it at the same time?

(Afterall, thats all we are talking about when we discuss Valakut not being Legendary - it doesnt mean that there is more than one of it)


~ Tim



Good point. It still feels weird, but good point.

i don't know where the article is (can't seem to find it right now) but they've gone into detail about why they don't do the legendary land thing very much anymore. it plays a LOT better, and as people on this thread and that article state: why couldn't people form multiple bonds to these places? i mean...they are pretty big.


Near to the southern coast of the Onduan mainland is the isle of Jwar. Jwar has largely been written off by explorers due to the swirling Silundi Sea currents and territorial sea serpents that constantly encircle it, but archaeomancers contend that magic of great value and power lurks there. A beam of pure blue light can sometimes be seen shooting straight up out of the island—or down on it from above—leading to strange rumors about the significance of the island.


all the other refuges are reachable by your average explorer, which makes sense. but for some reason, jwar isle is treacherous and mysterious and many people die trying to reach it. except for me. last night, i went there, gained one life, and started casting spells with its mana. it wasn't treacherous or dangerous or worrying. i thought the flavor of the refuges was that they were places for explorers to rest up, sort of like mini-rivendells. this explanation of jwar isle seems really silly when you play the card.

all the other refuges are reachable by your average explorer, which makes sense. but for some reason, jwar isle is treacherous and mysterious and many people die trying to reach it. except for me. last night, i went there, gained one life, and started casting spells with its mana. it wasn't treacherous or dangerous or worrying. i thought the flavor of the refuges was that they were places for explorers to rest up, sort of like mini-rivendells. this explanation of jwar isle seems really silly when you play the card.

As I see it - the refuge cycle is just places of safety that you found during your journeys on the respective continents.

right, places of safety. and once again, how does that make sense with the danger and inaccessibility of jwar isle?

"I would kill for a rough map of Zendikar. Just a general map with approximate sizes of continents and islands and the various areas labeled would be so awesome to have."

I think everyone on the plane of Zendikar would :-p

---

"right, places of safety. and once again, how does that make sense with the danger and inaccessibility of jwar isle?"

That's the great thing about being a planeswalker; you don't actually have to make that journey! In the scope of a game, when you play a land, you're forming a manabond with that location, not physically journeying there right now in the middle of this very duel. You learn how to make the manabond either by having physically journeyed there in past, or by learning it from someone who has. You gain the point of life from the essence of rest and safety imbued by that land's mana.



right, places of safety. and once again, how does that make sense with the danger and inaccessibility of jwar isle?





The place of safety represented is the precise location of the refuge, not Jwar Isle as a whole. Getting to the refuge is dangerous, but once you're there, you can make stable bonds for blue and black mana, and get some rest.
Magic The Gathering DCI Lvl 1 Judge Don't hesitate to post rules question in the Rules Q&A forum for me and other competent advisors to answer : http://community.wizards.com/go/forum/view/75842/134778/Rules_Q38A

Another great guide, just can't get enough of these.


 


 


As for the legendary lands, as noted, if a land has enough mana flowing through it, then more than one mage will be able to pull from it at one time. The legendary status should be used more for the rules benefit purpose, as in keeping one player from flooding the board with four of them, or allowing an opponent to bonk one by losing their own.

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

Great guide, I'd love to have this as RPG world (just not for D&D... sorry, don't like the system at all).


@legendary lands discussion:


Just try to imagine how BIG Emeria is. If it really is as huge as I imagine, then why on earth should there only be ONE permanent that refers to Emeria? I like to think, that one copy of the Emeria, the Sky Ruin card is just one, small part of that huge place. I even think that 4 copies on each side of a Game wouldn't cover the whole thing.


Sure, for Valakut, things are more difficult. While Emeria is a vast, endless landscape, Valakut is much more focused: It's the top of a mountain, something "centric". I have more problems with thinking that Valakut is nonlegendary than Emeria is nonlegendary.


Difficult to explain. I hope you know what I mean...


(also, that funky username will be changed soon.)


EDIT: My point is - if you don't want to make the land legendary - just give it a name that could refer to more than one single landmark.



If a location produces a lot of mana, why cant 2 (or more) Planeswalkers that have visited it in the past form a mana bond with it at the same time?


(Afterall, thats all we are talking about when we discuss Valakut not being Legendary - it doesnt mean that there is more than one of it)


~ Tim




Except when there is....

(Pretend there's a picture of five mountains and two Valakuts here until I get around to uploading some photos - apparently you're not allowed to not have Flash.)
My New Phyrexia Writing Credits My M12 Writing Credits
As far as the benefit of the rest of Magic is concerned, gold cards in Legends were executed perfectly. They got all the excitement a designer could hope out of a splashy new mechanic without using up any of the valuable design space. Truly amazing. --Aaron Forsythe's Random Card Comment on Kei Takahashi
I still love this guide : )  I wonder how many more there are left to go....  Once we've gotten them all, I want to try to go over them and make up a little sketch of a map of Zendikar at least for myself.
i figured the Eye was related to the seal of the Eldrazi.

but who is the third planeswalker? i doubt it would be sorin

That's the great thing about being a planeswalker; you don't actually have to make that journey! In the scope of a game, when you play a land, you're forming a manabond with that location, not physically journeying there right now in the middle of this very duel.



the game is vague enough where that isn't actually definite, and i like it that way. i don't care for the mana bond idea some of the time because it makes land destruction and other mechanics ridiculous. but on top of my personal preferences, there's also doug beyer's explanations of the landfall mechanic (also hinted at in flavortext). when landfall triggers, it's because you and the creature have traveled, or because you've traveled to complete a quest. the playing of a land has the flavor of you physically travelling to that location. hedron crab mills because he's collected another baffling hedron at another shore, baloth woodcrasher gets angrier and bigger from traveling to a new hunting ground with more prey (Its insatiable hunger quickly depletes a region of prey. It must migrate from place to place to feed its massive bulk.) so no. some flavor is not explained by you just forming a mana bond to a far away place. and i like it that way.

I still love this guide : )  I wonder how many more there are left to go....  Once we've gotten them all, I want to try to go over them and make up a little sketch of a map of Zendikar at least for myself.



There are only seven more Wednesdays this year, and two of them are going to be no-new-column as usual.  Considering that DB gives up his column to the PGZ about once per month, there's no way all the continents are going to get covered before Worldwake previews begin.
My New Phyrexia Writing Credits My M12 Writing Credits
As far as the benefit of the rest of Magic is concerned, gold cards in Legends were executed perfectly. They got all the excitement a designer could hope out of a splashy new mechanic without using up any of the valuable design space. Truly amazing. --Aaron Forsythe's Random Card Comment on Kei Takahashi