04/27/2011 StF: "A Planeswalker's Guide to New Phyrexia, Part 4"

34 posts / 0 new
Last post
This thread is for discussion of this week's Savor the Flavor, which goes live Wednesday on magicthegathering.com.
Exactly how do the Mirran Phyrexian have knowledge of Yawgmoth and the Phyrexians who invaded Dominaria?

Did Karn teach them this information? Is it imprinted and encoded on the oil somehow? 
So Glissa lost her memories? Does she still remember Slobad? Or her sister? And if she had the Mirari, where is it now?
BZPower.com
I'm calling it now: Melira has a Spark, had come from another plane when an infant, and will somehow end up giving her Spark to Karn.

I was a little disappointed by the lack of focus on Vorinclex. All we really heard about him is that he's partners with Glissa. Nothing about where he lives or what he does when Glissa's not around.
I'm calling it now: Melira has a Spark, had come from another plane when an infant, and will somehow end up giving her Spark to Karn.


I'm calling this now: either 2012 or 2013's block is going to be "Hey guys! It's Mirrodin again!" or something like that.
I'm calling it now: Melira has a Spark, had come from another plane when an infant, and will somehow end up giving her Spark to Karn.



Quest for Karn spoiler ahoy!

Show
You are incorrect.

So Glissa lost her memories? Does she still remember Slobad? Or her sister? And if she had the Mirari, where is it now?

Its in the oil, it contains general memories of Old Phyrexia but not detailed memories. New Phyrexians all have what you call second-hand memories of Old Phyrexians.
After reading that, my suspicions are confirmed. Glissa really is a bitch. I had wondered if maybe she'll have an encounter with Thrun and he tries to explain the truth about her past.
I am Blue/Green
I am Blue/Green
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
I am both rational and instinctive. I value self-knowledge and understanding of the world; my ultimate goal is self-improvement and improvement of the world around me. At best, I am focused and methodical; at worst, I am obsessive and amoral.
This faction sure takes the whole back-to-nature consept to a whole new horrifying level. It's all natural Phyrexian style.
Meh this one is disappointing. The reason I thought Green fitted phyrexia so well was the concept of 'growth', but there seems to be no focus on that.

Why is Thrun the Last Troll actually? Was he the only one born on Mirrodin?
I'm calling it now: Melira has a Spark, had come from another plane when an infant, and will somehow end up giving her Spark to Karn.



That would be disappointing, seeing as we've already had two green characters go through the "losing their planeswalker spark for some reason" storyline (Glissa and Radha). 

I'm calling it now: Melira has a Spark, had come from another plane when an infant, and will somehow end up giving her Spark to Karn.



That would be disappointing, seeing as we've already had two green characters go through the "losing their planeswalker spark for some reason" storyline (Glissa and Radha). 




But it would fit very well with the current policy on green planeswalkers. (2 monoG, 3 total versus 4 monoW, 6 total).

Next block better has 2 monowhite planeswalkers. And a green spark legend who's spark is sucked out by a vampire. Fits the flavor perfectly.
But it would fit very well with the current policy on green planeswalkers. (2 monoG, 3 total versus 4 monoW, 6 total).

Next block better has 2 monowhite planeswalkers. And a green spark legend who's spark is sucked out by a vampire. Fits the flavor perfectly.



Don't be silly. Lilliana Vess is in Innistrad, and since Garruk is a secondary character in her story, that means we'll Garruk in Innistrad. Of course he'll be "Garruk the Cursed", and he'll be black-green, since the traditional way of developing a green character is to add black mana. (See: Sarkhan, Nissa, Glissa.) I'm guessing his cost will be 3BG (can't have him cost four, players are getting sick of strong planeswalkers donchaknow) and he'll have two black abilities and one green-black ability, just like Sarkhan Vol has two red abilities and one sorta greenish-red ability.

And then his spark will be sucked out by a vampire. Fits the flavour perfectly.
Does the "eventually, Glissa wants the elves and humans to lose their sentience" include her own?

I'm... not really a fan of that whole concept, at least not as Doug explained it here. I get the idea that ideally for Green Phyrexia, instinct should overshadow all. But I'm uncomfortable with the idea that that precludes sentience entirely. A smart predator is a cunning and effective one.

Maybe I'm just tainting the concepts with my own inherent Blueness and should shut up now though. And go back to experimenting on these worthless goblins.
This faction is perfectly Green. None of that sissy Elf "respect nature" stuff... This faction is all about nature biting back! Just like Yavimaya in the past.
Garruk would be happy there... He's all about hunting things... it's not a challenge unless they are bigger than him.
But it would fit very well with the current policy on green planeswalkers. (2 monoG, 3 total versus 4 monoW, 6 total).

Next block better has 2 monowhite planeswalkers. And a green spark legend who's spark is sucked out by a vampire. Fits the flavor perfectly.



Don't be silly. Lilliana Vess is in Innistrad, and since Garruk is a secondary character in her story, that means we'll Garruk in Innistrad. Of course he'll be "Garruk the Cursed", and he'll be black-green, since the traditional way of developing a green character is to add black mana. (See: Sarkhan, Nissa, Glissa.) I'm guessing his cost will be 3BG (can't have him cost four, players are getting sick of strong planeswalkers donchaknow) and he'll have two black abilities and one green-black ability, just like Sarkhan Vol has two red abilities and one sorta greenish-red ability.

And then his spark will be sucked out by a vampire. Fits the flavour perfectly.



Laughing
Does the "eventually, Glissa wants the elves and humans to lose their sentience" include her own?

I'm... not really a fan of that whole concept, at least not as Doug explained it here. I get the idea that ideally for Green Phyrexia, instinct should overshadow all. But I'm uncomfortable with the idea that that precludes sentience entirely. A smart predator is a cunning and effective one.



Think of it as wanting to silence the nattering voice of distraction in your thoughts, to live only for the moment, revel in pure sensation and instinct, doing only what you were born (or reborn) to do, without a moment's doubt or uncertainty.  As someone who often has trouble sleeping because I can't get my brain to shut off, I have some sympathy with wanting that - I agree that the capacity for conscious thought is worth a few drawbacks, but I can see why some people wouldn't. 

To some, inner peace and relaxation are preferable to the ability to juggle half a dozen trains of thought at once.  We're all gamers here, so the odds are good many of us have huge collections of stuff we could very easily live without, don't use very often, certainly don't need to survive, but spend lots of time and energy and money buying, maintaining, or thinking about.  There's certainly a rational argument to the point of view the Amish and similar groups take, which says that the hustle and bustle of modern life are a step off the path and that we'd be happier living simply, without all the noise and chaos.  Again, I don't agree, but I can see their point.  Now, remove the concept of God from this, replacing it with a more Native American desire to stay in touch with the land, and you have a reasonable thesis for a faction of green druids that don't see their place in the natural cycle as requiring any debate or speculation, just acting out the role for which they were created - and if you think you were born only to fulfill a destiny, the capacity for choice would only give you the ability to choose wrongly, and the capacity for thought would only give you the ability to regret the inevitable.

If there weren't people who think thinking is hard and would rather just do what's expected of them, orthodox conservative religions wouldn't be as popular as they are.  There's also the Zen Buddhist ideal of the "no mind" state, which seeks to emulate Nirvana by completely blanking all conscious thought in order to be totally attuned to one's environment, existing in a state of perfect harmony, where all effort becomes effortless because you go only where the flow of the world's Chi takes you.  That's pretty much Green's ideal state of being.

And then Phyrexia turns it inside out so that the sensation of its internal organs being ripped open by the rusty tetanus-infected spikes all over everything will "scour all weakness from you and make you pure".  Because, you know, that's kinda their schtick.
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 was a little disappointed by the lack of focus on Vorinclex. All we really heard about him is that he's partners with Glissa. Nothing about where he lives or what he does when Glissa's not around.



If you look at the flavor text on Mycosynth Fiend and Rotted Hystrix, it seems Vorinclex's leadership style is macro management, meaning he doesn't do much of anything. He just sits back and lets the oil do its thing all on its own. Green does tend to be the color that prefers to leave things the way they've always been and not directly interfere.
I get the idea that ideally for Green Phyrexia, instinct should overshadow all. But I'm uncomfortable with the idea that that precludes sentience entirely. A smart predator is a cunning and effective one.

Sentience is not intelligence.
Oh, for a more succinct example - imagine that you're out on a date, or doing a piano recital, or in the middle of a firefight, or any similar important, high-stress situation which requires and deserves your undivided attention.

Does the capacity to have the Hampster Dance song start running through your head incessantly, because you heard it three weeks ago and something abruptly brings the memory to the forefront of your consciousness, help whatsoever with this situation?

Green would say no.  And that is why Green is not much of a fan of intellect.  Granted they don't often go quite so far as to say it shouldn't exist at all, but Phyrexia is all about going to irrational extremes, so it fits perfectly for them.
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
Does the "eventually, Glissa wants the elves and humans to lose their sentience" include her own?

I'm... not really a fan of that whole concept, at least not as Doug explained it here. I get the idea that ideally for Green Phyrexia, instinct should overshadow all. But I'm uncomfortable with the idea that that precludes sentience entirely. A smart predator is a cunning and effective one.



Think of it as wanting to silence the nattering voice of distraction in your thoughts, to live only for the moment, revel in pure sensation and instinct, doing only what you were born (or reborn) to do, without a moment's doubt or uncertainty.  As someone who often has trouble sleeping because I can't get my brain to shut off, I have some sympathy with wanting that - I agree that the capacity for conscious thought is worth a few drawbacks, but I can see why some people wouldn't. 

To some, inner peace and relaxation are preferable to the ability to juggle half a dozen trains of thought at once.  We're all gamers here, so the odds are good many of us have huge collections of stuff we could very easily live without, don't use very often, certainly don't need to survive, but spend lots of time and energy and money buying, maintaining, or thinking about.  There's certainly a rational argument to the point of view the Amish and similar groups take, which says that the hustle and bustle of modern life are a step off the path and that we'd be happier living simply, without all the noise and chaos.  Again, I don't agree, but I can see their point.  Now, remove the concept of God from this, replacing it with a more Native American desire to stay in touch with the land, and you have a reasonable thesis for a faction of green druids that don't see their place in the natural cycle as requiring any debate or speculation, just acting out the role for which they were created - and if you think you were born only to fulfill a destiny, the capacity for choice would only give you the ability to choose wrongly, and the capacity for thought would only give you the ability to regret the inevitable.

If there weren't people who think thinking is hard and would rather just do what's expected of them, orthodox conservative religions wouldn't be as popular as they are.  There's also the Zen Buddhist ideal of the "no mind" state, which seeks to emulate Nirvana by completely blanking all conscious thought in order to be totally attuned to one's environment, existing in a state of perfect harmony, where all effort becomes effortless because you go only where the flow of the world's Chi takes you.  That's pretty much Green's ideal state of being.

And then Phyrexia turns it inside out so that the sensation of its internal organs being ripped open by the rusty tetanus-infected spikes all over everything will "scour all weakness from you and make you pure".  Because, you know, that's kinda their schtick.

What you're saying makes sense, willpell. It's just that the way it was worded there sounded almost like mindwiping, which seems more White or Blue to me. I'd get it completely if it had been worded as "More and more of their actions will be fueled by predatory drive and instinct, their reason driving them less and less, until ultimately it has overshadowed even their sentience itself."

I think it was more the wording that threw me than the concept. It sounded a bit like something White or Blue would do to its enemies, as worded, rather than as a step to perfection.

(Then again I'm sure part of this is, again, that I'm Blue. Holy disagreement, Batman. )

And I'm still cynically wondering whether Glissa plans to eventually lose her own sentience. She seems too darned devious for that, as Green as she is.

(Which leads me to the question of exactly how she can be Green/Black. I mean, I get that the card should be, yeah, and it seems to fit the character's personality, too. But if the factions are all so deeply at odds with one another, shouldn't she be hating on Black anything like she hates on Geth?)
Agreed, making her gold was probably just an attempt at silencing the outcry of "how can a villain be mono-green" since she was popping up so far in advance of the Swarm's full revelation.

I kind of wish they could have had a stronger adjective to describe the Swarm than "Vicious".  It just seems a little tepid, and not very specific to Green.  Machine Orthodoxy and Progress Engine are the perfect faction names; this one could have been hot on their heels if the adjective had been, say, Cancerous or Cannibal (perhaps they felt these would be Unfortunate Implications, but then we're talking about a faction led by a guy with no skin on his face).  Ouroborean would be the perfect descriptor but is kind of obscure so it wouldn't have been a good choice.

Oh, and PS, is that hydra concept awesome or is that hydra concept awesome?
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
Agreed, making her gold was probably just an attempt at silencing the outcry of "how can a villain be mono-green" since she was popping up so far in advance of the Swarm's full revelation.

Oh, and PS, is that hydra concept awesome or is that hydra concept awesome?

Yeah, I noticed the name too. It seems pretty uninspired.

So does Vorinclex in general, actually, from the little I see here. I was hoping there'd be a whole lengthy thing about what "hunger" means to the Swarm and what it means for Vorinclex to be its "voice." Instead he just seems like he's doing whatever Glissa wants because Glissa is hot awesome.

Not that Glissa isn't awesome, but I hope we're just missing some information, still.

I also don't like his card. I mean, I don't hate it as a card, but I'm iffy on its flavor. It's all about mana, which is very Green, yes, but it doesn't make me think "apex predator" so much as "usefully cancerous growth for me, desiccation for you." That's flavorfully cool, but what's it got to do with evolution run amok?

Fleshing out his character more in this guide would be quite enough to fix that for me, I'm sure. As long as I had some explanation for how mana and mana denial fit into the Swarm's aims (poor spur of the moment shot at it: something about how mana must be seized and used by the strong and none is left for the weak), I'd be fine with it. But in flavor terms, it seems to come out of nowhere.

(And in game terms I'm kind of frowny too. I get it and it's a powerful ability, but honestly, I hoped for something weirder.)

And re: how can a villain be mono-green, I think that was kind of clear already from "Phyrexians are corrupted and creepy" way back in Scars. But... my own guess at her personality before I saw this was "If you don't impress her, do what she wants, or otherwise fit into her schemes, she hunts you down and eats you alive."
What you're saying makes sense, willpell. It's just that the way it was worded there sounded almost like mindwiping, which seems more White or Blue to me. I'd get it completely if it had been worded as "More and more of their actions will be fueled by predatory drive and instinct, their reason driving them less and less, until ultimately it has overshadowed even their sentience itself."

I think it was more the wording that threw me than the concept. It sounded a bit like something White or Blue would do to its enemies, as worded, rather than as a step to perfection.

(Then again I'm sure part of this is, again, that I'm Blue. Holy disagreement, Batman. )



I think you answered your own question to some extent here (though I would say that Black is more likely to do it to its enemies, with its extensive range of mindrape spells) Blue, White and Black do this to their enemies because they can't imagine a worse fate, while Green does this to themselves because they think it is the path to perfection. And really, the fact that it creeps you out means that Creative succeeded.

And I'm still cynically wondering whether Glissa plans to eventually lose her own sentience. She seems too darned devious for that, as Green as she is.

(Which leads me to the question of exactly how she can be Green/Black. I mean, I get that the card should be, yeah, and it seems to fit the character's personality, too. But if the factions are all so deeply at odds with one another, shouldn't she be hating on Black anything like she hates on Geth?)



The question of whether she plans to lose her sentience is something that I've been wondering since the green faction's goals were first revealed. If she somehow managed to succeed at her goals, and she and Vorinclex are the only sentient creatures left on Phyrexia (man, it's weird to say that) I don't think they would give up their sentience. However, I don't think it would be because of any selfish desire to stay intelligent. Instead, it would be to make sure that sentience stays away, and they would stomp out any signs of sentience that popped up. And now I'm imagining Glissa and Vorinclex literally stomping on brains.

And for the record, I think she should be mono-green. Her abilities wouldn't even really have to change much - it's a bit of a color bleed for enemy death to trigger a green ability, but it's not bad for a single legend to stretch the color pie in that way.
Micorku's World Bits - A Vorthos writing about various creative topics. Updates sporadically Iroas - The world needs heroes - will you answer the call? There is also an RPG that is in Pre-Alpha stage.


I think you answered your own question to some extent here (though I would say that Black is more likely to do it to its enemies, with its extensive range of mindrape spells) Blue, White and Black do this to their enemies because they can't imagine a worse fate, while Green does this to themselves because they think it is the path to perfection. And really, the fact that it creeps you out means that Creative succeeded.



True this.

The question of whether she plans to lose her sentience is something that I've been wondering since the green faction's goals were first revealed. If she somehow managed to succeed at her goals, and she and Vorinclex are the only sentient creatures left on Phyrexia (man, it's weird to say that) I don't think they would give up their sentience. However, I don't think it would be because of any selfish desire to stay intelligent. Instead, it would be to make sure that sentience stays away, and they would stomp out any signs of sentience that popped up. And now I'm imagining Glissa and Vorinclex literally stomping on brains.

And for the record, I think she should be mono-green. Her abilities wouldn't even really have to change much - it's a bit of a color bleed for enemy death to trigger a green ability, but it's not bad for a single legend to stretch the color pie in that way.



Eh, her ability actually doesn't feel all that Green to me, tbh. Green doesn't like artifice usually. I mean yes, NP is The Artifact Plane, but it still seems like a stretch to me that green would be liking artifacts that much. It feels more Black/Blue to me than anything.

The first strike/deathtouch combo is very Green/Black though. (Not sure what I'd think about first strike in mono-Green, though the "Yes, I am an apex predator even though I'm tiny... now die" flavor of it is awesome enough I don't care )

And yeah, I could see Glissa and Vorinclex doing that. Though I still don't like the flavor of stamping out sentience. Green guides growth more than it changes what's already there. So to me it would flavor-fit better if they were either 1) culling sentient beings by killing them, or 2) again, somehow encouraging or inducing instinct to overwhelm sentience, rather than removing it. Removing it sounds Black or Blue. (Or maybe White, though I'd see White as doing it in a different way.)

ButI'm just being terribly pedantic at this point.
The artwork showing Melira is awesome! She is gorgeous and (other than the bright red hair) totally not your usual fantasy-fluff female. Thank you a ton to the artist!
The artwork showing Melira is awesome! She is gorgeous and (other than the bright red hair) totally not your usual fantasy-fluff female. Thank you a ton to the artist!



Agreed! She is realistically proportioned, and adequately covered! I wish she were wearing pants instead of what is essentially a loincloth, but I can accept it because she's a scout and it doesn't look like it would get in the way that much. And I guess leather would be the only clothing material it would be practical for her to get, so I suppose I don't really have any complaints, as leather pants would restrict her movement, which is a bad thing for a Scout (does anyone else think she should have been a Shaman or a Druid, or is that just me?) Man, I guess I don't have any complaints about her appearance. Even her hair is a more realistic shade than most fantasy redheads - a more orange color. My fiancee has the same hair color.

@AlexaM: Green has abilities that bring things back from the graveyard, and in an artifact set they are allowed some artifact love.
Micorku's World Bits - A Vorthos writing about various creative topics. Updates sporadically Iroas - The world needs heroes - will you answer the call? There is also an RPG that is in Pre-Alpha stage.
And I just came here to post that the world's savior is a readhead (swoon!)


Another great look into this world, I kinda miss the detailed breakdown of their structure, but of course that's how the forces of green want things at the moment... 
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
This article was okay.  I preferred the white and blue ones more.  Of course, I really like the green creatures in this set over most of the other cards.
IMAGE(http://pwp.wizards.com/1205820039/Scorecards/Landscape.png)
The artwork showing Melira is awesome! She is gorgeous and (other than the bright red hair) totally not your usual fantasy-fluff female. Thank you a ton to the artist!



This. Count me as another fan.

I am a little disappointed because the green faction lacks the complexity of the others. Black was totally awesome with its seven Thanes conspiring against each other in all sorts of plots. Here is just a do-nothing Vorinclex (which is sad because "The Voice of Hunger" is by far the coolest title of the five praetors) Glissa and a recurring theme of Survival of the Fittest without too much depht. At least the green heroes are interesting and hold on their own.
If Limited gets in the way of printing good Constructed cards... Screw limited
the green faction lacks the complexity of the others


It's green.
This article asks more questions than it answers. In particular, the green faction is usually characterized as "evolution running rampant", but evolution isn't actually occurring, at least via natural selection. If natural selection isn't occurring, where are all these beasts coming from? It looks like they're being designed, but how can Vorinclex and co. claim to spurn active design if that's actually what they're doing? And in any case, where are they getting the raw materials to build these new beasts from? Are they reprocessing all the failures? What's going on? What is this I don't even?
The Virulent Swarm, that would have been perfect.  References infect nicely while also sounding similar to words like "vigor" and "verdant".
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