10/13/2010 StF: "The Key Is Time"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Savor the Flavor, which goes live Wednesday morning on magicthegathering.com.
stf112_cyst.jpg
I choose you, Bizarro Bulbasaur!
Rey-Goor, the Black Bayou sounds really nice; they probably would have to change the subtitle to make it a card (Rey-Goor, the Coppertrunk Bog sounds pretty good), but I'll be disappointed if they came up with a chunk of flavor like this and didn't give us an awesome cycle of C/E lands in Beseiged.

Cystbearer looks much better in Dave Allsop's version; Kev Walker made it look far too cartoony and bright against the also-bright background for me to want to take it seriously as a toxic monstrosity.

The Moriok lady is interesting; in Mirrodin 1.0, all Moriok were blind, so I assumed she had to be a vampire, though it never occurred to me thinking of her feeding with finger-syringes.  I actually came up with a concept like that for a Clan of vampire doctors in the VTM roleplaying game once, though there of course the needles were bone rather than metal.  (What metal, I wonder?  Leaden Myr implies that the Dross's metal is lead, except that lead isn't black unless it's heavily tarnished.  If the Tangle's trees and the elves' "hair" can be coppery-brown, there should be some Moriok with grayer lead parts, unless the metal is cast iron or something instead.)

As to the main thrust of the article, telling stories using sets as wide-angle "chapters" is a good idea, but you really need more than three chapters in a novel, even if the novel describes a whole world.  The Legend of the Five Rings CCG had a release called "The Hidden Emperor" in which one small CCG was released each month for a year, slowly unfolding the mystery of where the hell Toturi had gotten off to right when the Empire needed him.  I'd love to see Magic pull the same stunt sometime; the usual 520 or so cards could be neatly sliced up into 13 sequential releases that act out the 13 stages of the Hero's Journey on a planet-wide scale.  (Actually now that I check the list is 17 stages, but I think I've seen a slightly condensed version with 13, and that'd be enough I'm sure.
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'd love to see Magic pull the same stunt sometime; the usual 520 or so cards could be neatly sliced up into 13 sequential releases that act out the 13 stages of the Hero's Journey on a planet-wide scale.  (Actually now that I check the list is 17 stages, but I think I've seen a slightly condensed version with 13, and that'd be enough I'm sure.

That's not a bad idea at all.
Rather than two big sets and two small sets each year, just do a dozen micro-sets, one every month.

I think Kev Walker did a pretty lame job with his Cystbearer. He pretty much took the pose straight out of Allsop's image, and the things he added or adjusted to the creature design are all things that I think were done better in the original.

Kev's cystbearer lacks the weird, sick proportions of Allsop's aberration, instead of gross cysts he did happy, shiny green bubbles, and making the eyes black with shiny reflections just made it look cute, cartoony and kinda silly. And by making the creature look straight at us he kinda missed the point of the creature's long, spiny neck.

Memoricide is an absolute smash hit, however, and I really liked Dougs thoughts on Blunt the Assault as well.
Nice future references Doug.

You couldn't say who the Memoricide woman is?

I think Kev Walker did a pretty lame job with his Cystbearer. He pretty much took the pose straight out of Allsop's image, and the things he added or adjusted to the creature design are all things that I think were done better in the original.

Kev's cystbearer lacks the weird, sick proportions of Allsop's aberration, instead of gross cysts he did happy, shiny green bubbles, and making the eyes black with shiny reflections just made it look cute, cartoony and kinda silly. And by making the creature look straight at us he kinda missed the point of the creature's long, spiny neck.

Memoricide is an absolute smash hit, however, and I really liked Dougs thoughts on Blunt the Assault as well.



I was on my way to say almost exactly this.
it is really a rare treat to use so many words but at the same time saying nothing. So congrats Doug, you are free until next week. But, maybe it is time someone who really wants talk bout the storyline takes your place and explain us all the continuity issues you guys have?
I all honesty, I am fine with the art on Cystbearer.  I do agree that it did really need a darker background.
IMAGE(http://pwp.wizards.com/1205820039/Scorecards/Landscape.png)
I agree, it did. Until I saw the art description, I actually thought that the Cystbearer was a tree-height creature. as for the colorfulness, I'm fine with it. It's actually sort of disturbing in its contradictions.
Yay! Doug took my question! And not only that, he gave us a bigger version of Memoricide's art! (Wallpaper! Wallpaper! And as long as I'm giving orders, wallpaper including a size that fits widescreen monitors!) Thanks, Doug!

I agree, it did. Until I saw the art description, I actually thought that the Cystbearer was a tree-height creature. as for the colorfulness, I'm fine with it. It's actually sort of disturbing in its contradictions.



I like Cystbearer's art. It's menacingly adorable, and unusual too. The style guide pic just looks like a generic bad critter to me, and not even a particularly memorable one. The weird look of Cystbearer makes it interesting to me.

I don't think it would be wise at all to have too much art like this, but to break the Dark and Forbidding monotony every once in a while is a good thing. (Don't get me wrong, I'm a sucker for Dark and Forbidding, but when every evil monster is epic in the same way, the general epicitude starts to diminish, and that's not something I want to see happen to Phyrexia.)

Also, I kind of want an adorable Cystbearer plushie now. Someone needs to make such an item. Now.
I don't think it would be wise at all to have too much art like this, but to break the Dark and Forbidding monotony every once in a while is a good thing. (Don't get me wrong, I'm a sucker for Dark and Forbidding, but when every evil monster is epic in the same way, the general epicitude starts to diminish, and that's not something I want to see happen to Phyrexia.)



This is sensible logic and I agree with it.  I do prefer the style guide image over the printed card personally, but it's good to have variance in the look of cards.  At least we HAVE the style guide image.

(It's a pity Wizards can't just release their old style guides, but I'm absolutely certain that won't happen.  It would be nice if the trickle of stuff in Arcana widened just a bit, though; they're always complaining about how they don't have enough topics for the feature.)

@ Seydaneen:  Trust me on this, he's saying a LOT more than you realize.  (willpell swirls the voluminous cape around his half-masked face and melds back into shadows.)
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
Trust me on this, he's saying a LOT more than you realize.



+1