01/12/2011 StF: "Season Seventeen"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Savor the Flavor, which goes live Wednesday on magicthegathering.com.
"Hundreds of thousands of uniquely named elements in a single game. Is that even possible? Has anyone run this experiment, ever?"

World of Warcraft has (according to wowhead.com) 47,098 items, 31,280 NPCs, 9,661 quests, and 65,948 spells.
There is one area in which a name collision has alread had tragic results for Magic: the Gathering.

There already is a card named Tropical Island.

This has meant that it was not possible to include in Mirage, and it will not be possible in Mirage II, to include a card with that name as part of a cycle of five cards like this:


Tropical Plains

Basic Tropical Land

: Add to your mana pool.


That is a tragedy.

Coming up with weird ideas to make everyone happy since 2008!

 

I have now started a blog as an appropriate place to put my crazy ideas.

I don't know what they would be called but I liked the idea of the Swamp Thing Elementals being the iconic green creature, creatures like Force of Nature, Multani, Verdant Force, Molimo, and Omnath.
Next week: Mirrodin Besieged previews begin, and I troll the internet.


Hells. Yes.
Ten bucks says he previews Thrun, the Last Troll?
I might have to make a proxy of that Day of Judgment. Or better yet, one that just says, with the same typesetting, "@#$% YOU."
I don't know what they would be called but I liked the idea of the Swamp Thing Elementals being the iconic green creature, creatures like Force of Nature, Multani, Verdant Force, Molimo, and Omnath.



I would not be okay with that because Elemental is also the creature type of things other than iconic greens.  However if they gave these things a new creature type, such as "Manifestation", and errataed all the above-named cards as Elemental Manifestations while having the option to print Manifestations that aren't Elementals if the setting is appropriate (Omnath for instance really shouldn't be an Elemental, as Mana isn't an element like Earth and Wood and whatnot), that would work well.

I don't think mindless Wurms are ideal for an iconic, not even for the most mindless color.  Wurms are just big and hungry, while Green as a color is more about nature as an integrated system, including all its creatures and not just the really gigantic ones.  An iconic for Green ought to have a spiritual or symbolic vibe, not just raw dumb size.  Hydras are better and I could live with them doing cards that are Creature Type Hydra but have a fixed P/T and a fixed number of heads, representing the many faces of Nature rather than its boundless growth.  Still I've already seen at least one poster complain about Progenitus, so maybe they don't want to risk going down that road again.

(Please, though, not Baloths.  They're a random dumb Beast and there's nothing iconic about them.)

As to the issue of names, I really think they should just bite the bullet and bring up a way of distinguishing two names made up of the same words, such as "Lightning Bolt" and "*Lightning*Bolt*" (pronounced "Lightning Bolt Prime" or something).  Obviously LB doesn't need this treatment, but there were a LOT of really good names like Prophecy and Reincarnation wasted in the early sets on utterly un-revisitable cards; such historical squandering ought not be permitted to prevent the designers of today from making good cards with such names.
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 think that the problem concerning no iconic green beast is a real one that needs rectifying. They did a great job when looking for a blue one, I could not be happier with the sphinxes they have gone for. I love dragons, I love angels (I want my 'From the Vault: Angels'!!), I love Demons (though less so), and give it time, I think Sphinxes will become just as iconic. Where is green?

Wurms wouldn't work for me at all. There have been too many lower rarity ones, and they are just big legless and wingless dragons, why would I want that over a dragon? Ever?! Elemental has a similar problem, in that it appears across all rarities and colours - so hard to make it feel special.

One idea I had years ago, though I am not fully sold on it myself, is to re-skin massive treefolk as Ents. This would allow smaller treefolk as and when needed (though they dont appear all that often anyway) but allow in each set a huge powerful creature that is clearly green aligned. I challenge anyone to find a plane lacking in forests. I think there are issues with Ents, but I also believe that finding an iconic green creature will require more than saying 'beasts will do' (I cannot get exited about something as bland as a beast!).

Just throwing it out there as an idea.

Some random guy
Being a mathematician, I feel the need to more precisely examine the likelihood of running out of names. Let's say that Magic card names are at most 15 letters long (not true, since there are a number that are longer). So, for ease of calculations, lets say that every name is exactly 15 characters long (we can throw spaces wherever we need to separate words).

Now, since we can make up words, we will look at all possible permutations of letters. Obviously, many of these cannot work even as made up words, so lets say that only 1 in every trillion names works (that means that we are throwing out 99.9999999999% of the names). This seems to me like a fairly generous estimate of how many names we would be discarding. This would still leave us with around 1.6 billion possible names so, if Magic releases 1000 cards every year (a vast overestmate, for ease of calculation), then it would take 1.5 million years to run out of names.

As Doug correctly concludes, we are in little danger of running out of names - however, we are far from having infinite names (now, if we were not bounded by space on a Magic card, we could start talking about infinite names).
Even names like Putuluvax Sojourner, Eminkovang Desert, and so on would be available in enormous numbers. So let's say that a tolerable Magic name, not necessarily a good one, could consist of one made up word of up to four syllables, associated with one appropriate real word.

The real word would be something like Sojourner, Pathfinder, Desert, Rainforest, Armor... something that fits with the game. To be conservative, we could estimate that there's a list of 100 such words.

A syllable? 20 consonants times 5 vowels times 20 consonants. 2,000 raised to the fourth power; that would be 16,000,000,000,000 made up words. So just this one simple category of Magic name allows 1,600,000,000,000,000 possibilities, or 1.6 quadrillion names - or 1,600 billion names using the British billion.

In a year, WotC usually issues two large sets and two small sets. If we just took as an average 100 cards in each of three rarities for each set, that's 1,200 cards a year. A trillion years - longer than the Sun will be on the Main Sequence.

Of course, while conservative in some ways, there are still flaws in the estimate.

Nuntelporgak Boots and Nuntekporgak Boots would be confusingly similar.

Also, people playing Legacy, when confronted with a foreign-language card, would be facing serious difficulties.

Coming up with weird ideas to make everyone happy since 2008!

 

I have now started a blog as an appropriate place to put my crazy ideas.

Good question. However, I was really, really impressed by blue sphinxes: I'd expected it so seem too artificial to deliberately introduce an iconic creature type, but now the sphinxes are really flavourful, which fills me with optimism.

It also seems there are _some_ other options if no creature type seems good:

* Make green dragons or angels. Green dragons should be non-flying, but can have other impressive stats.
* Train people to recognise that yes, there are other elementals, but "big green elementals" is the cue for "wow". This is my favourite option by a narrow margin, because I think I _do_ expect big green elementals to be awesome.
* Accept there's no one creature type, but push some large green monsters more than the mana cost justifies anyway, and expect people to recognise them as awesome without a creature-type link.
* Have a mechanical tie for "this is a green fatty" other than creature type, eg. splashy green iconics that are not single creatures, more 6/6 creatures that bring several 3/3 friends, etc

An old design article also made the point that although green gets the best creatures in limited, in constructed people can choose amongst the best creatures in the whole format, and while most green creatures are better than most blue creatures, the BEST blue creatures are often still better. Non-green finishers are often 5/5 flying, which is a very sweet spot to be, and the article stressed it was hard to make effective green creatures. But you can make a green creatue better, if you have guts to make "12/12 trample haste". Give green back the "holy crap that's big" factor. And then fial it back until its as good as good flyers, but not overwhelmingly better. But to do this, we will have to use up design space, and accept we're printing a really strong card, whose secondary market value may be high. But that's what you need to put an iconic creature type on.

It seems the best iconic creature types can be very sentient or barely sentient, which is a suggestion for green. I can think of lots of possibilities whiich _could_ work, but none which are obviously best.

Of already-used creature types, most seen elsewhere:

 - elementals (I think ok, even if there are little ones too)
 - beasts (probably not)
 - wurms (also not, we need big dumb wurms)
 - giants, a la the titans
 - trolls (would need some concepting to make them as awesome as dragons, but are a possibly-green creature type that _could_ be pushed)
 - human heroes (not very iconic, but would be unqiue)
 - hydras (they'll have to accept they can't all be about the number of heads, and some probably have to seem more sentient than most do, but kahlni hydra and progenitus do suggest hydras can be spiritual or just scary rather than mechanically complicated)

I still like elemantal, simply because the question is "what about this colour is world-changing? what terrifies you?" You can easily imagine a dragon, or an angel, or a demon being THE thing to fear on a world. What green thing is that scary? Only forces of nature. You could look for another creature type to use instead.

Edit: Or maybe dinosaurs, as featured in designer search 2? You'd have to decide if they were still lizards or something else, and reconept them to be "bigger than dragons" as well as "smaller than dragons" and accept them into multiple planes. But I think they definitely have that iconic factor!
Being a mathematician, I feel the need to more precisely examine the likelihood of running out of names.
. . .


If that's how you do applied mathematics, I hope for your own sake that you stick with theory.
Re: names, it reminds me of an article about Dread, relatively recently during Lorwyn, in which the writer pointed out that it was rare for such a simple and evocative name to still be unclaimed. I'm sure there are still a lot like that left, but yeah, one-word names appropriate for a fantasy setting are running low.

Re: iconic green creatures, I don't really see a problem there. No, green doesn't have an iconic big creature type all to itself. So what? Green doesn't need one creature type all to itself, Green is the creature color. It has lots of big creatures of all types, and it makes any other creatures bigger and stronger. All big stompy creatures are green at heart. (Well, a little... sort of...) Beasts appear in more than one color, but you can tell that most of them, and the biggest of them, are green. Green does have an iconic weenie race (elves), and they tend to make big creatures show up quicker (by accelerating mana, in general). So with all that, does it really need to designate one "big" race?

That being said, if someone insists on having an iconic green creature type, two options seem good to me. The second is Elementals, like someone said upthread. (Although I'd hate the idea of errataing all existing ones to "Manifestations" or some other new creature type just to make it clear that these elementals are different from all the ones that have been printed in other colors. Creature types aren't that strict; a white sphinx was printed before any blue one, and dragons have been printed in every color. More generally, let's keep the game at least a tiny bit playable without referring to Gatherer every turn, please.) And there's a certain appeal to that. Swamp Thing, Force of Nature, Verdant Force... they're all big, green, animated plants or the spirit of vegetation in general, that trample over and overrun the enemy. They aren't perfect, compared to the other races' iconic creatures; a few problems come to mind. For one thing, there's appearing in all colors a bit too much. Introducing a new creature type would be a cure worse than the disease, but it is a problem. For another, there's the fact that elementals are generally mindless. Some clearly aren't, and a lot could go either way, and mindlessness isn't necessarily bad for creatures, but it does make it harder to use them or even think of them as interesting, individual characters like angels, demons, sphinxes or dragons. Another problem is the lack of flying, which all the iconic races have. It's not a huge problem because green is the anti-flying color in general, but it is a problem. Another problem, although I realize this is very subjective, is that they don't seem "iconic" enough. Sure, they're big and scary, but what are they? Everyone knows what angels, demons and dragons are, but nature elementals... are they evil spirits that live in forests? Are they made with comic book science, like Swamp Thing? Are they super-elves? (This guy doesn't have the creature type, but that's what he looks like.) Are they uncorrupted trolls, like Tolkien's Ents? (And if so, what does that imply about regular trolls?)

Long story short, they aren't perfect, but they would do if green had to have one. My first thought, though was different. There's another creature type that might work: Spiders. Spiders as they already exist in the game right now would be better as green's iconic creature than elementals in three respects: they're entirely green (not counting three multicolored ones that are partially green, and one red card from a Planar Chaos "alternate timeline"), and their traditional reach ability is the perfect counter to the flying that all others have, and they are totally, 100 percent all-natural. No need to worry about what they are, you can see them in real life, unlike dragons and sphinxes. Magic just makes them bigger. Much, much bigger. (The problem with this is, most spiders now aren't big enough to be "iconic", and Wizards probably wants to keep the option of making small spiders. It would be weird if green's "iconic" race was smaller than many other green creatures.)

 - wurms (also not, we need big dumb wurms)
 - trolls (would need some concepting to make them as awesome as dragons, but are a possibly-green creature type that _could_ be pushed)




Wurm, or lindworm?
Some sort of venom/haste/trample/lure feel might fit.
Cockatrice-esque.

Trolls are pretty iconic for green in d&d too.
Troll Ascetic was pretty nice. Regenerative trolls? According to Tolkien size maybe?

Is there really a reason why "iconic" fatty types are needed at all?
People will get that green likes big stupid fatties.  There's no need for all of those big stupid fatties to have the exact same type line.
New players?
Intro packs in core sets.
Branding.

Cause Nagle loves him some fatties?
Spiders. Spiders as they already exist in the game right now would be better as green's iconic creature than elementals in three respects



I also like the idea of spiders. It would be novel to have large, specific spiders with extra abilities, rather than just high toughness and reach, but I like the idea, and thnk they would work as well as sphinxes.
Is there really a reason why "iconic" fatty types are needed at all?
People will get that green likes big stupid fatties.  There's no need for all of those big stupid fatties to have the exact same type line.

Actually, I agree. Green is the creature-loving color. Anything that lives in the wilderness could be green. Green should not have to put all its fattie eggs into one creature type basket; it's got a whole warehouse of baskets just lying around unused.

I like that black gets demons, white gets angels, and red gets dragons. Slightly less happy with sphinxes in blue (just feels like a slightly less iconic creature type, but it definitely fits in color). But I like those iconic types in their colors because those creature types invoke associations of the concepts represented by those colors. Black for greed, power, and the invidividual; blue for all things intellectual; and so forth. Green's big concepts to represent include life and nature, which are actually best represented by a wide variety of types. 

Sure, I like to see certain green types show up now and again (hydras are pretty cool), but I would rather not see an iconic green fattie type.  
There is one area in which a name collision has alread had tragic results for Magic: the Gathering.

There already is a card named Tropical Island.

This has meant that it was not possible to include in Mirage, and it will not be possible in Mirage II, to include a card with that name as part of a cycle of five cards like this:


Tropical Plains

Basic Tropical Land

: Add to your mana pool.


That is a tragedy.



Agreed. I feel similarly about Desert, it would be a great subtype. 


Even names like Putuluvax Sojourner, Eminkovang Desert, and so on would be available in enormous numbers. So let's say that a tolerable Magic name, not necessarily a good one, could consist of one made up word of up to four syllables, associated with one appropriate real word.

The real word would be something like Sojourner, Pathfinder, Desert, Rainforest, Armor... something that fits with the game. To be conservative, we could estimate that there's a list of 100 such words.




I've picked up a handful of Pokemon cards in the past, and I've noticed cards that look like "Lt. Surge's Pikachu". Beyer already touched on this with the Angel/Serra Angel distinction, and I don't think I'd mind it too much, it would just make reprinting such cards in other sets a little difficult if it's a new plane.


Edit to add: Though I'm sure they're doing it with this Designer search thing, would WOTC ever consider having name contests for the community to submit names?  
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
Agreed. I feel similarly about Desert, it would be a great subtype.

There isn't anything preventing Desert from being a subtype.
Hell, it already is.

The problem with making Wurms the "iconic" card of green is that Wurms are so frequently unplayably bad.  Let's be honest and admit that evasion is king.  Angels, Dragons, Demons, and now Sphinxes all get played because they close out games.  Once you lock up the ground and gain the upper hand on board, or are holding some removals or counters, your big flyer puts your opponent out of their misery and you collect your match slip.  Wurms simply don't accomplish this as reliably.  Trample is good, but it's not as good as flying, and not even all Wurms have trample!

A point could also be made that the Limited format needs green to have extremely big dudes at the uncommon slot, and that it would be a bit of a strain on card naming for these uncommon beaters to never be called "Wurms".  But there's plenty of room for Baloths, as has been discovered.  (I admit I was initially a bit surprised when Baloths started appearing helter-skelter on every plane, but there has been no uproar of Vorthos dismay; I suppose most people just shrug and go, "Another green fattie left over from draft; throw it in the pile.")

If WotC wants to make Wurms an iconic rare card, they need to make them game-winners.  Which means they need to print things with useful abilities, extremely large bodies or else extremely hard to kill, and most importantly, they absolutely need to have trample, intimidate, or some other form of evasion, or else players simply won't be interested.  Kalonian Behemoth?  Here, kill my 1/1, then I'll kill you with my Angel.  Novablast Wurm had the right idea - it had a very unique kind of pseudo-unblockability - it was just too expensive to be playable in the format.  Knocking a bit off its casting cost and its p/t would have been a good decision.

If WotC can't (or won't) make these improvements to Wurms, then they should stop toying with the concept of "wurms as icons" and just embrace fully what has been tacitly recognized in practice:  green's iconic rares are busted mana producers (like Lotus Cobra) and Elf lords.  :P
Mana creation isn't too bad.

Though evasion is very un-green.
They like bashin' and tramplin' over stuff. They don't sneak or miss danger/combat.

I do like troll with troll shroud is crazy green, but elemental "feels" vorthos right.
World of Warcraft has (according to wowhead.com) 47,098 items, 31,280 NPCs, 9,661 quests, and 65,948 spells.


Sure, WoW has lots of objects and actions to name. But they kinda cheat in a way Magic seldom does:

Supreme Breastplate of Spirit


Supreme Breastplate of Intellect


Supreme Breastplate of Strength


Supreme Breastplate of Stamina


Supreme Breastplate of Agility


Supreme Breastplate of Frozen Wrath


Supreme Breastplate of Arcane Wrath


Supreme Breastplate of Fiery Wrath


Supreme Breastplate of Nature’s Wrath


Supreme Breastplate of Shadow Wrath


Supreme Breastplate of Fire Protection


Supreme Breastplate of Nature Protection


Supreme Breastplate of Arcane Protection


Supreme Breastplate of Frost Protection


Supreme Breastplate of Shadow Protection


Supreme Breastplate of the Tiger


Supreme Breastplate of the Bear


Supreme Breastplate of the Gorilla


Supreme Breastplate of the Boar


Supreme Breastplate of the Monkey


Supreme Breastplate of the Falcon


Supreme Breastplate of the Wolf


Supreme Breastplate of the Eagle


Supreme Breastplate of the Whale


Supreme Breastplate of the Owl


Supreme Breastplate of Concentration


Supreme Breastplate of Regeneration


Supreme Breastplate of Blocking


Supreme Breastplate of Battle


Supreme Breastplate of the Ancestor


Supreme Breastplate of the Bandit


Supreme Breastplate of the Beast


Supreme Breastplate of the Champion


Supreme Breastplate of the Crusade


Supreme Breastplate of the Elder


Supreme Breastplate of the Grove


Supreme Breastplate of the Hunt


Supreme Breastplate of the Hierophant


Supreme Breastplate of the Invoker


Supreme Breastplate of the Knight


Supreme Breastplate of the Mind


Supreme Breastplate of the Nightmare


Supreme Breastplate of the Physician


Supreme Breastplate of the Prophet


Supreme Breastplate of the Shadow


Supreme Breastplate of the Soldier


Supreme Breastplate of the Sorcerer


Supreme Breastplate of the Sun


Supreme Breastplate of the Vision


Supreme Breastplate of the Wild



If I change the word "breastplate" to "cuirass," 50 more items. If I change the word "supreme" to "shining," 50 more items. And so on.
Indeed.
Far easier on a creative department at Blizzard.


Magic has the swords from Mirrodin that are similar, but a cycle here and there is well, not outrageous.
I think that Hydras are still Magic's best hope at a green iconic. The existing iconics work because they tap into well-known fantasy archetypes, and Hydras fit the bill perfectly. If Sphinxes manage to get along while saddled with "riddles" as a common link, I don't think having "growth" as a similar link for Hydras would be too limiting, and even then it can be loose. Khalni Hydra managed to be awesome to many without any growth at all.

If Hydras are definitely out of the picture, though, Wurms are the next best bet. A purely homebrew type like 'Baloth' doesn't have the required splash and recognition factor to be an iconic. Elementals are way too diluted through exposure in every color, and while Wurms do have the existing-commons problem, so did Angels, once upon a time. Pull them from common, make uncommons sparse, and they'll become iconics naturally. Wurms can do splash in a way no other non-Hydra green creature type can handle.

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

I don't think the article is making the claim that it will eventually be impossible to name cards, it's about how eventually they will run out of elegant, easily understandable names.

Yes, you can make up words, but not only is it hard to come up with ones that don't sound silly (let alone sound like real words), it also makes it very clear that they're going by a formula. Doing a variation on "Elf _______" by making it "(name of the elves on this plane) _______"  always comes off as lazy.

They seem to be enamored of "X YZer," where:

X is a race, or a name for a race (goblin, boggart, akki, mogg)

Y is a word vaguely related to what they want to convey ("spark," "ember" or "cinder" for fire)

and Z is a verb with so many meanings you can use it for damn near anything ("invoke," "call," "speak," "shape," "bring")

So we get cards with names like Elf Leafshaper, Boggart Cinderspeaker, Llanowar Vinecaller, Neurok Thoughtbringer... 
Hi. I had to remove some content from this thread because it violates the Code of Conduct

Please keep your posts polite, respectful, and on-topic, and refrain from making personal attacks.
They seem to be enamored of "X YZer,"

That does likely make the German translations easy.

They seem to be enamored of "X YZer,"

That does likely make the German translations easy.



New strategy for card naming: if you want to do a pseudo-reprint, take the original card and translate it into Japanese and back.
Lol. censorship. Yep, that is where creative team is best at.
I admit that Wurms may be a hard sell because of their history. But when I was a young Timmy and I first saw Craw Wurm, my response was "OMG why is this not rare! It's so Big!!!" Wurms definitely feel awesome and evocative. If you stopped printing common/uncommon ones, I think in a few years they'd be able to shake their old reputation. 

Of course, then you'd need something else to fill the actual Wurm slot in common/uncommon, but elementals will probably work well enough. 
...treefolk?
I like wurms. Then again, I did build an Endless Wurm deck way back when I first started... The best way to get people to like wurms is efficient costing and efficient killing. If a wurm is going to have trample, it should have high power, and it shouldn't cost more than a big splashy creature of the other colors. 
Spiders. Spiders as they already exist in the game right now would be better as green's iconic creature than elementals in three respects



I also like the idea of spiders. It would be novel to have large, specific spiders with extra abilities, rather than just high toughness and reach, but I like the idea, and thnk they would work as well as sphinxes.



Spiders are all wrong for this role.  The giant-spider-as-green-reacher thing is already problematic in that it limits very setting-appropriate concepts for other kinds of spiders, such as normal-sized but intensely poisonous spiders in black, or creepy white spirit-spiders that build the "web of civilization" and mummify things they want to preserve forever in stasis (if you play Werewolf: the Apocalypse you know what I'm talking about).  Spiders hardly exemplify everything that is green, the way angels and demons and dragons do for white and black and red.  They need something more symbolic than just an oversized example of a real-world lifeform.
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 support Demons in Black, Dragons in Red, Angels in White and absolutely support the Sphinx for Blue.

My vote for Green is, in fact, Wurms.  This may have nothing to do with Baru, Fist of Krosa and Wurmcalling.
Wurms are absolutely the best choice for iconic green creature.

What green values most is strength, and Wurms are the perfect embodiment of that ideal. 
"We will all be purified in Wurm. What is good will be used to heal Wurm, or grow Wurm, or to fuel Wurm's path. What is vile will be extruded, and we will be free of it forever." --Prophet of the Cult of Wurm
Wurms just aren't very magical, though. I can't imagine wurms having a huge variety of interesting abilities.
Why not?

Give them enchanted scales, minds so strong and primal they can never be broken, mucous-covered skin that repels physical attack, roars so loud they knock men unconscious, blasts of acid out the mouth... There's a lot of places to go with Wurms. Wurms aren't limited by mechanics, and this means Wizards could go truly crazy making them good and interesting. 
A marquee race should at least be sapient. Dragons push that line (I don't know how smart the average Magic dragon is), but wurms are...wurms.

Green having a bestial race makes some sense, but "green and red = dumb" is something creative likes to avoid.
Green having a bestial race makes some sense, but "green and red = dumb" is something creative likes to avoid.

I'd tend to associate Green with elves, more than with spiders or armodons or bears.

But Red's signature sentient race - unless we go back to minotaurs, and maybe a few of those should come back - is goblins. And they are dumb - in fact, I'm surprised that they haven't largely disappeard from Magic since, say, Eighth Edition, being a bit silly for the new more serious face of Magic.

Coming up with weird ideas to make everyone happy since 2008!

 

I have now started a blog as an appropriate place to put my crazy ideas.

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