5/03/2010 Feature: "Writing the Eldrazi"

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 This thread is for discussion of this week's Feature Article, which goes live Monday morning on magicthegathering.com.

Looks like the flavor text for Soulsurge Elemental is actually from Rage Nimbus. Soulsurge says this:


It draws its strength from those around it, but the pleasure of destruction is all its own.

Sporecap, too:


"They don't move much, but then again, if you get caught in its web, it has all the time in the world to get to you."

—Saidah, Joraga hunter

When I am writing blue cards feature articles, they usually give me an open-door opportunity to lay down some high-browed, patronizing contempt. Delish!



Fixed.

I liked the content of the article, but the general tone seemed needlessly elevated and kind of pretentious. 

When I am writing blue cards feature articles, they usually give me an open-door opportunity to lay down some high-browed, patronizing contempt. Delish!



Fixed.

I liked the content of the article, but the general tone seemed needlessly elevated and kind of pretentious. 


He has an awesome job. Let him revel a bit.

When I am writing blue cards feature articles, they usually give me an open-door opportunity to lay down some high-browed, patronizing contempt. Delish!



Fixed.

I liked the content of the article, but the general tone seemed needlessly elevated and kind of pretentious. 


He has an awesome job. Let him revel a bit.



Having an awesome job doens't mean you'll be awesome yourself if you write like this.

It is an awesome job though =)
However,

[Angels] operate and act from the highest of principles. If they fight, it is because the universal principle of righteousness and justice says that they must.



Nirkana Revenant is just bursting and bubbling with so much black mana, and that, in turn, is making it stronger and stronger, proving truly that hate can sustain a life ... albeit a foul and bitter one.



This is a red creature, and that spells only one thing for me: It revels in destruction.



This is the kind of stuff that made Alara (among others) so utterly uninteresting to me. I like Magic's lore much much better when they try to show a balanced color wheel, where every color has its good and bad sides. Red's emotions encompass both destruction and love. Black's amorality allows it to accomplish both horrible and magnificent things. Etc.

The righteousness that an Angel fights for is NOT universal. Look at Radiant.
Also, the Angels not affected by the Eldrazi? What happened to this wonderful lore: www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.a...

(Not that there is anything wrong with the stereotype, the flavor text of Nirkana Revenant s awesome, but from the article as a whole I got the feeling the writing wouldn't explore the other side at all.)
This article is so spiced up there's hardly any meat left. Like 100 lines of flavor text. Totally unreadable.

Mr. Lee should take a close look at the neighboring column by Mr. Rosewater to get an idea how to write for a broader audience than himself, the rule about not being obtrusive in particular.
I appreciated most of the flavor text and names, but for me the Rage Nimbus flavor text was a 100% miss.  It just seems too wordy and contrived.  I'm a fan of the short, sweet flavor text that doesn't try to tell a whole story (unless it's Fallen Empires, in which case somehow it's OK).

The article was a little hard to wade through - it could've used some editing down.  Or maybe I'm just not the intended audience - 10 or 15 years ago I would've totally appreciated it, but now it's just too many words .

I felt the text attributed to the angel didn't feel right. Magic's angels have always seemed like Crusaders of Righteous Burning Justice, not impartial observers of all life. I suppose it could be believable with more precedent, but I'm not feeling it -- as beautiful as that art is.

And I like the Black contempt, though I wish he'd described doing more to differentiate between Black's contempt ("we're better than you because we've honed ourselves through ruthless ambition, and you are untested, coddled weaklings who should realize you're nothing but a meal for your betters") and Blue's ("we're better than you because we're smarter.") I could tell that he sees a distinction, but it sounded like he was saying "I just like contempt, whee!" and not thinking about the color pie (mmm... nerd pie...)

I'm also not sure I like the flavor text on Nirkana Revenant. (I love, love, love, love, love Arrogant Bloodlord's, so it balances out.) Hatred doesn't really seem to me to be a defining trait of Zendikar's vampires. Absolute, soul-withering disdain for any lifeform that isn't another vampire, and only slightly less disdain for other vamps, yes, but disdain is not hatred. Hatred can be Black as well, sure, but it's much less... measured and careful.

Also the art is darkly ethereal, which doesn't read as hateful to me either. More as "cold and alone." It's lonely at the top, whether you've actually ascended to it or whether you've only reached those peaks in your own mind.

I certainly enjoyed this. It was both informative about the process and enjoyable to read as it's clear the author loves the art of wordsmithing (and not just the destination of it, but also the journey of getting to the end product). 
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
I appreciated most of the flavor text and names, but for me the Rage Nimbus flavor text was a 100% miss.  It just seems too wordy and contrived.  I'm a fan of the short, sweet flavor text that doesn't try to tell a whole story (unless it's Fallen Empires, in which case somehow it's OK).

The article was a little hard to wade through - it could've used some editing down.  Or maybe I'm just not the intended audience - 10 or 15 years ago I would've totally appreciated it, but now it's just too many words .


Personally, I disagree completly.

I love the flavour text for Rage Nimbus, and I really enjoyed the article - my only complaint (besides the editing mix up) was that I would have liked it if it was longer!

~ 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. ;)
rats in the walls



Immersed in your inspirational materials, I see. Laughing
It don't bother me at all,
counting ratties in the wall... 



(With sincere apologies to The Statler Brothers) 
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
Nice read, cool article.
OMG click HERE! OMG! How to autocard and use decklist format
--->
For autocarding, write [c][/c] with the name of the card inside it. [c]Island[/c] = Island For linking a card to Gatherer without writting the name of said card for readers, use the autocard brackets together with and equal sign and right the name of the real card. Then put the message you want inside the tags, like you would do with autocarding. Like this: [c=Curse of the Cabal]Captain Never-resolves[/c] = Captain Never-resolves For using the decklist format, follow this: [deck] 4* Terramorphic Expanse 4* Evolving Wilds ... [/deck] It equals:
Real signature, Sblocked for space:
57817638 wrote:
I like storm crow because I really like crows in real life, as an animal, and the card isn't terribly stupid, but packs a good deal of nostalgia and also a chunck of the game's history. So it's perhaps one of the cards I have most affection to, but not because "lol storm crow is bad hurr hurr durr".
Listen to my SoundCloud while you read my signature. The Island, Come And See, The Landlord's Daughter, You'll Not Feel The Drowning - The Decemberists by vimschy IMAGE(http://dragcave.net/image/rkvR.gif)IMAGE(http://dragcave.net/image/L3es.gif) IMAGE(http://dragcave.net/image/m71H.gif)
Quotes
56747598 wrote:
57295478 wrote:
Although I do assume you deliberately refer to them (DCI) as The Grand Imperial Convocation of Evil just for the purposes of making them sound like an ancient and terrible conspiracy.
Now, now. 1994 doesn't quite qualify as "ancient".
56734518 wrote:
Oh, it's a brilliant plan. You see, Bolas was travelling through shadowmoor, causing trouble, when he saw a Wickerbough Elder with its stylin' dead scarecrow hat. Now, Bolas being Bolas took the awesome hat and he put it on his head, but even with all his titanic powers of magic he couldn't make it fit. He grabbed some more scarecrows, but then a little kithkin girl asked if he was trying to build a toupee. "BY ALL THE POWERS IN THE MULTIVERSE!" he roared, "I WILL HAVE A HAT WORTHY OF MY GLORY." and so he went through his Dark Lore of Doom (tm) looking for something he could make into a hat that would look as stylish on him as a scarecrow does on a treefolk. He thought about the Phyrexians, but they were covered in goopy oil that would make his nonexistant hair greasy. He Tried out angels for a while but they didn't sit quite right. Then, he looked under "e" (because in the Elder Draconic alphabet, "e" for Eldrazi is right next to "h" for Hat) in his Dark Lore of Doom and saw depictions of the Eldrazi, and all their forms. "THIS SHALL BE MY HAT!" he declared, poking a picture of Emrakul, "AND WITH IT I WILL USHER IN A NEW AGE OF DARKNESS -- ER, I MEAN A NEW AGE OF FASHION!" And so Nicol Bolas masterminded the release of the Eldrazi.
57864098 wrote:
Rhox War Monk just flips pancakes, and if games have told us anything, it's that food = life.
56747598 wrote:
76973988 wrote:
This thread has gotten creepy. XP
Really? Really? The last couple days have been roughly every perverse fetish imaginable, but it only got "creepy" when speculation on Mother of Runes's mob affiliation came up?
76672808 wrote:
57864098 wrote:
57531048 wrote:
Nice mana base. Not really.
Yeah, really. If my deck was going to cost $1000+, I'd at least make it good.
99812049 wrote:
I like to think up what I consider clever names for my decks, only later to be laughed at by my wife. It kills me a little on the inside, but thats what marriage is about.
56816728 wrote:
56854588 wrote:
Of course, the best use [of tolaria west] is transmuting for the real Tolaria. ;)
Absolutely. I used to loose to my buddy's Banding deck for ages, it was then that I found out about Tolaria, and I was finally able win my first game.
70246459 wrote:
WOAH wait wait wait
56957928 wrote:
You know, being shallow and jusdgmental aside, "I later found out that Jon infiltrated his way into OKCupid dates with at least two other people"
56957928 wrote:
"I later found out that Jon infiltrated his way into OKCupid dates with at least two other people"
56957928 wrote:
Jon infiltrated his way into OKCupid dates
56957928 wrote:
OH MY GOD
109874309 wrote:
The only way I'd cast this card is into a bonfire.
82032421 wrote:
The short answer is that there's no rule barring annoying people from posting, but there a rule barring us from harassing them about it.
56747598 wrote:
Browbeat is a card that is an appropriate deck choice when there's no better idea available. "No better idea available" was pretty much the running theme of Odyssey era.
56874518 wrote:
Or perhaps it was a more straightforward comment indicating a wish for you to be bitten (Perhaps repeatedly) by a small yet highly venomous arachnid.
70246459 wrote:
58280208 wrote:
You're an idiot, and I'm in no mood for silliness.
57817638 wrote:
57145078 wrote:
You just... Vektor it.
That's the answer to everything.
70246459 wrote:
58347268 wrote:
I think the problem is that you don't exist.
This would sound great out of context!
56965458 wrote:
Modern is like playing a new tournament every time : you build a deck, you win with it, don't bother keeping it. Just build another, its key pieces will get banned.
57864098 wrote:
57309598 wrote:
I specifically remember posting a thread when I was just a witty bitty noob.
You make it sound like that's still not the case.
58325628 wrote:
Rap is what happens when the c from crap is taken away.
Doug Beyer:
But sometimes it's also challenging. Because sometimes OH MY GOD, WHAT THE HELL IS THIS THING?
141434757 wrote:
Flashforward five thousand years (Click for atmosphere) :
57927608 wrote:
to paraphrase Jeff Goldblum, Vektor finds a way.
58347268 wrote:
when in rome **** AND PILLAGE
143229641 wrote:
I always find it helpful when im angry to dress up in an owl costume and rub pennies all over my body in front of a full body mirror next to the window.
Dymecoar:
Playing Magic without Blue is like sleeping without any sheets or blankets. You can do it...but why?
Omega137:
Me: "I love the moment when a control deck stabilizes. It feels so... right." Omega137: "I like the life drop part until you get there, it's the MtG variant of bungee jumping"
Zigeif777:
Just do it like Yu-Gi-Oh or monkeys: throw all the crap you got at them and hope it works or else the by-standers (or opponents) just get dirty and pissed.
57471038 wrote:
58258708 wrote:
It's true that Alpha and Beta didn't contain any cards like Tarmogoyf, Darksteel Colossus, or Platinum Angel. It just contained weak, insignificant cards like Black Lotus, Mox Sapphire, and Time Walk.
Normally it's difficult to pick up on your jokes/sarcasm. But this one's pretty much out there. Good progress. You have moved up to Humanoid. You'll be Human in no time.
91893448 wrote:
94618431 wrote:
I didn't know Samurai were known to be able to cut down whole armies...
They can when they're using lightsabers!
57129358 wrote:
97980259 wrote:
My wife brought home a baby black squirrel they found on a horse track and cared for it for a few days. We named it Grixis, but it died.
Unearth it!
70246459 wrote:
[/spoiler] And I'm on Magic Arcana. How about you? Oh, by the way, I'm also on From the Lab now. Twice, actually. And now with my own submited decklist!
I certainly enjoyed this. It was both informative about the process and enjoyable to read as it's clear the author loves the art of wordsmithing (and not just the destination of it, but also the journey of getting to the end product). 



I agree. I find that good flavour text can really bring a card to life. In fact, general themes and backgrounds about cards bring them to life for me. Flavour is important, I find, to exspand the world, and this article helped. I enjoied reading it.