05/11/2011 StF: "Getting to Know the Praetors"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Savor the Flavor, which goes live Wednesday on magicthegathering.com.
Didn't I beat all these guys up in a Castlevania game?
Bazaar Trader should so be a Merchant.

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Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Bazaar Trader should so be a Merchant.


Unfortunately, Merchant isn't recognized creature type anymore. Like Farmer, Cartographer, and Smith (only half of whom made the transistion to Artificer), the occupation is just not "class-y" enough to be a creature type the way Cleric, Warrior, or Barbarian is.

I find it weird that they went back and made the Ebon and Sanguine Praetors into, well, Praetors, but stripped them of Avatar status. Usually, if the creature type is still in use, and it appeared on an actual printing of the card, it stays in the Oracle text. There are aren't many creatures that are stripped of such a type. The only one that comes to ming is Shelkin Brownie, which lost "faerie" status.

For what my opinion matters, it also makes the Praetors a little less special. Any organization can have an administrative title like "praetor". Only in the hierarchy of the self-modifying, self-mutilating Phryrexians does that level of authority imply a being that is completely different from everyone (and everything) beneath them.
Unfortunately, Merchant isn't recognized creature type anymore.

I know; I'm saying that should change. Blue creatures are almost universally pigeonholed into being Wizards or Rogues. Soldiers, Scouts, and Artificers show up from time to time, but that's not enough. Merchant would give blue a sorely-needed additional option for its non-combat-oriented creatures, even used sparingly.

IMO, Wizards is generally far too reluctant to support low-volume class types for creatures. Race types they do: Illusion, Homunculus, Ooze, Ox, Hound, Giant, Crab, Scorpion, Boar, Snake, Wraith, Imp, Turtle, Insect, Minotaur, Horse, Manticore, Basilisk, Juggernaut, Jellyfish, Drone...and I'm not even halfway through looking through Standard alone. But class types? There are just fifteen of those, total, in Standard right now. Going back to Extended only raises the count by one. (Advisor, appearing on Gaddock Teeg...and only Gaddock Teeg.)

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

I was a big fan of the name Augur of the Core for Jin-Gitaxias (or Jinx, as I have never called him before and probably never will again).  "Core Augur" just doesn't have the same punch; it's a pity that procedures sometimes make suboptimal things like this happen.  Were Wizards a much richer company, I'd like to imagine they'd be willing to do slightly extravagant things with their production schedule in order to get more perfect results.  But alas, we do not live in the world where collectible games (or entertainment of any variety, short of the vast phantasmagorium of Hollywood) are a perennially secure growth industry.

I hope at some point they show off Sketches of the praetors.  I'm not sure whether I can say anything about a certain handsome fellow, but I've definitely got something to say if and when I can say it.

Unfortunately, Merchant isn't recognized creature type anymore.

I know; I'm saying that should change. Blue creatures are almost universally pigeonholed into being Wizards or Rogues. Soldiers, Scouts, and Artificers show up from time to time, but that's not enough. Merchant would give blue a sorely-needed additional option for its non-combat-oriented creatures, even used sparingly.



It would fill in some very valuable additional space for white and black as well.  White is the color of peace when it doesn't have anyone it feels a strong need to sic the army on, so it could use some noncombatants apart from healers (who would have a lot less healing to do in the absence of an army running around beating up "evildoers" and getting beaten up by them), while black is the color of greed and selfish exploitation, which fits perfectly with haggling laissez-faire capitalists (who flourish in a medieval environment where the common person is desperate and helpless in the face of rampaging monsters and scheming wizards).  I wonder if the company's reluctance to portray a negative stereotype of capitalism might have something to do with....naaaaaah..... 

IMO, Wizards is generally far too reluctant to support low-volume class types for creatures. Race types they do: Illusion, Homunculus, Ooze, Ox, Hound, Giant, Crab, Scorpion, Boar, Snake, Wraith, Imp, Turtle, Insect, Minotaur, Horse, Manticore, Basilisk, Juggernaut, Jellyfish, Drone...and I'm not even halfway through looking through Standard alone. But class types? There are just fifteen of those, total, in Standard right now. Going back to Extended only raises the count by one. (Advisor, appearing on Gaddock Teeg...and only Gaddock Teeg.)



This might be because they define the categories quite broadly - no distinction between Wizards and Necromancers or between Druids and Enchantresses, etc.  They're afraid to water the tribes down by splitting up that focus, lest anyone have trouble building Soldiers.dec in Block Constructed.  I do agree it'd be nice if they'd think outside that box, though.  Perhaps someday....
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 find it weird that they went back and made the Ebon and Sanguine Praetors into, well, Praetors, but stripped them of Avatar status. Usually, if the creature type is still in use, and it appeared on an actual printing of the card, it stays in the Oracle text. There are aren't many creatures that are stripped of such a type. The only one that comes to ming is Shelkin Brownie, which lost "faerie" status.



WHAAAAAAAAT this sucks! I wanted to include Sanguine Praetor into Karona, False God EDH =(

They should be Avatar Praetor indeed. Thelonite Monk (that's in my Lumbering Satyr deck) is stil a Cleric, just a Insect Monk Cleric

Who's in charge of creature type updates, where can we leave feedback?

This might be because they define the categories quite broadly - no distinction between Wizards and Necromancers or between Druids and Enchantresses, etc.  They're afraid to water the tribes down by splitting up that focus, lest anyone have trouble building Soldiers.dec in Block Constructed.



Yeah, so everything that could be a soldier should be a soldier. When it comes to something like Bazaar Trader, as it doesn't have a class anyway, it might as well be 1 of the 3 or 4 obscure merchants in magic. I do think Wizards could support obscure classes on cards that would be classless otherwise.

Role: Vorinclex is the praetor of the Vicious Swarm, the green-aligned Phyrexian faction. While Vorinclex leads the faction and holds ultimate authority, the Phyrexianized elf Glissa ("the Traitor") controls much of the Vicious Swarm's fighting force. Glissa pressed for Phyrexians to leave the Core and begin the assault on the surface of Mirrodin, while Vorinclex spends much of his time in the ruins of Tel-Jilad.



Here I was hoping I would actually read something about Vorinclex this time, as it's praetor week, but no. Still more informative about Glissa. So Vori is in Tel-Jilad. What does he do there, what is his goal?
I don't like types like Praetor, I don't know what describes them. When I find a beast, elephant, or Rogue out in fantasyland, I clearly know what I'm looking at. If I see a Praetor in the wild, I don't know what to expect it to be like. That quantifier is probably going to make Praetors to never again pop up. It's more like seeing a Legendary in the wild than a type.
I don't like types like Praetor, I don't know what describes them.



If they hadn't made the Ebon and Sanguine Praetors into Praetor creatures (which I'm still not really a fan of), then it would be fairly easy to say what they are: a Praetor is a the New Phyrexian Praetors. They are enough alike to be a type, distinct enough to be a completely type from everything else, including other Phryexians. A cycle of uniquely-typed super-creatures isn't that unreasonable. It's been done before with the Bringers of the Dawn (type: Bringer) in the original Mirrodin block, and the Nephilim in Ravnica block, and even the Elder Dragons way back in Legends. It's flavorful in some situations to have these creatures which are too bizarre to be like anything else, but too similar to each to other to not be a type.

I would add that the Elder Dragons are another good argument for excluding the Ebon and Sanguine Praetors from the Praetor club. now that Elder itself is a separate type (rather than the original "Elder Dragon", altogther), they don't go throwing it on to every Fyndhorn Elder, Elder Druid, Elder Spawn, and Elder Land Wurm in Gatherer. You can readily understand that the Elder Dragons are much older, and much more special than an elf or dragon that just happened to make it to the 80th percentile in terms of lifespan.
no distinction between Wizards and Necromancers or between Druids and Enchantresses, etc.



Say what?
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56287226 wrote:
58331438 wrote:
You clearly overestimate my cognitive skills by assuming that I could have accumulated that knowledge independently.
Okay, I'll be sure not to make that kind of assumption in the future. Now, if you'd like to go back to the main Magic General 'forum' page (that's the one that lists all the different 'discussion threads' that people have 'posted') from this page, just press the up-arrow key on your keyboard until you reach the top of the page, then click the link that says "Magic General"--it should be in fairly small font, just above the buttons labeled "Post Reply" and "Subscribe" and the box labeled "Jump Menu", but below the blue link labeled "Preferences". It'll be in a line with a number of other small-font links with different names. From the 'forum' page you will be able to select another 'thread' to view; 'threads' that people have 'posted' to since you last looked at them will have their names listed in bold font and have the number of unread replies listed just to the right of the name. If you click that unread replies number, it will take you right to the last reply you viewed in the 'thread' so that you can continue reading all the new replies from there. To get back to the main Magic General 'forum' page, just repeat the process from the previous paragraph--don't worry if you're on a different page, all 'thread' pages will have the same basic layout, so it should work exactly the same on any page in the Magic General 'forum'.\ And remember, if you accidentally click on the wrong link and find yourself on a page you're not familiar with, there's no need to panic; you can always press the 'back' button in your browser to go back to whatever you were looking at before. It should be on the left-hand side near the top of the screen, just below the menu bar, and will probably have a picture of some kind of arrow pointing to the left on it. Hope that helps!
56957928 wrote:
56914748 wrote:
The explanation given was that since land cards represent mystical bonds to far-off places rather than actual tangible things like creatures and other permanents, a person might have more than one memory of an area, or different mages could forge a bond to different parts of a place, etc. and that simply being a unique location doesn't necessarily mean that a land card has to be legendary.
"I remember my days as a schoolboy at the Tolarian Academy..." "Really? I went there too-" "Wait don't- Well ****, there goes my childhood."
56816728 wrote:
I was clearly wrong about Dragon_Whelp, he clearly is a jerk.
57471038 wrote:
Allow me to extrapolate—regular game play, as defined by WotC, is tournament play. As such, Casual, EDH, Planechase, and all that other stuff is irregular Magic; if Magic at all. So the next time someone says Competitive Constructed decks are not the only decks that count in Constructed (Casual Constructed), then I can gleefully point to the definition set forth by WotC and say that Competitive Constructed is in deed the only ones that count, and that they are playing some irregular form of Magic.
56792158 wrote:
Dragon, just don't argue with Hovercraft. He's his own Legacy metagame.
57471038 wrote:
One with Nothing is the third iteration in an attempt to make Black Lotus fair: Black Lotus: That's too good, we need to tone it down. Lion's Eye Diamond: Dammit, players are still using it in a very broken manner! One with Nothing: Alright! We got it now.
Twin2;15476002 wrote:
What happened to the really fun cards? Well you see a long long time ago the earth was ruled by dinosaurs. They were big so not a lot of people went around hassling them. Then a giant meteorite struck the earth, good bye dinosaurs. But what if the dinosaurs weren't all destroyed? What if the impact of that meteorite created a parallel dimension where the dinosaurs continue to thrive and evolve into intelligent vicious aggressive beings? What if they found a way back? ....wait that's not what happened to the fun cards that's the intro to the mario brothers movie. Get those two confused all the time, my bad.
56981618 wrote:
It's a folllow-up on the Priceless Treasures, Deadly Perils idea. See, what happened was, you got the packs that the Eldrazi had already gotten to--the had annihilated everything but the land itself. In fall, expect to open some packs and find cards covered in goopy, black oil. It's all about the marketing angle, people.
How would Sheoldred, Whispering One go about procreating?

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58086748 wrote:
58335208 wrote:
Disregard women acquire chase rares.
There are a lot of dudes for whom this is not optional.
97820278 wrote:
144532521 wrote:
How;s a 2 drop 1/2, Flying broken? What am I missing?
You're missing it because *turns Storm Crows sideways* all your base are belong to Chuck Norris and every other overused meme ever.
How would Sheoldred, Whispering One go about procreating?



Carefully! (C'mon, you were all thinking it...)

Also, "whatver slag-harvested materials you're made from" made me lol.

I think perhaps part of the reason WotC don't bother with unusual creature types, such as individuating necromancers from wizards, is to avoid giving newer players the impression that creature classes matter very much. With the exceptions of 'soldier', which is still far less important now than it used to be, and one decent card which works for knights, there haven't been many trbial themes lately at all. (I have to say, I'm quite pleased about that.) Even when tribla was the block mechanic, it was mostly creature types, not classes.
Here I was hoping I would actually read something about Vorinclex this time, as it's praetor week, but no. Still more informative about Glissa. So Vori is in Tel-Jilad. What does he do there, what is his goal?



You have just persuaded me that when/if I feel ambitious enough to write a short fiction about New Phyrexia, I will use Vorinclex as the main character.  It'd be interesting to get into the head of someone who wishes he wasn't sentient.
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
The article gave us some cool new flavor, but didn't really tell us much new stuff about the character of the Praetors.  Although the hints about Urabrask not liking hierarchy are intersesting.
Here I was hoping I would actually read something about Vorinclex this time, as it's praetor week, but no. Still more informative about Glissa. So Vori is in Tel-Jilad. What does he do there, what is his goal?



You have just persuaded me that when/if I feel ambitious enough to write a short fiction about New Phyrexia, I will use Vorinclex as the main character.  It'd be interesting to get into the head of someone who wishes he wasn't sentient.



If you want to write about New Phyrexia, come on down to the F&S forum!

This thread is all about filling in the many gaps in the Mirran War and New Phyrexia, in fact we already have an amazing submission that features Vorinclex having a 'delightful' conversation with everybody's favorite troll, Thrun.

So come, write, share your ideas and get the chance to have your work be added to the Magic: Expanded Multiverse
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79035425 wrote:
BURSTING WITH VIGOR!
Trolljuju wiped the sweat from his brow as he continued his slow trudge up the snowy mountain. The wind was strong and fiercely cold, but he pressed against it. Juju knew Beast Engine was somewhere at the peak, waiting for him. But this was not a matter of confronting the forces of nature themselves; that had been accomplished long before, and was now too easy to maintain the manly man's interest. Today, Beast Engine was here waiting for a friend. Trolljuju's mind drifted from his appointment to thoughts of Beast Engine's manliness. The only man in history to punch the fossilized remains of a dinosaur back to life just to punch it to death again. The man who deflected bullets with his pectoral muscles during his daily assassination attempts. The man who cured cancer with a serum made from pure crystalized virility. The man who burst with vigor. Not just a man but a Man- the manliest of all men. A god of masculinity in physical form. Trolljuju's heart fluttered at the memory of him and lightened his steps as he pressed on. Suddenly, he was shaken from his reverie by a deep, powerful rumble in the mountain that shook him to his core. Instinctively, he threw himself to the ground just before the slope ahead of him exploded in a fiery wall of light and heat. So great was the force that the entire upper section of the mountain was vaproized. It scorched Juju's coat, then rose on the air to drift far away, a plume of white-hot ash. When Trolljuju lifted his head to see what was left behind, he beheld a wide, perfectly flat stone plateau, and in the distance he could see a muscular figure, his foot still held up from the kick. There was no doubt it was Beast Engine. As soon as the ground beneath him cooled, Juju cast his heavy pack aside and ran. As the figure grew with closeness, he could see Beast Engine was nude, as was expected. The snow that fell near him turned to a thin wall of steam, looking to Trolljuju's eyes like a barrier. Engine was too strong, too manly to occupy the same space as the ordinary universe. He lived in a world all his own. But fortunately for Juju, it was only an illusion. He ran at full speed into Engine, who caught him with both arms and effortlessly twirled with him, resting with Juju dipped low to the ground in Engine's arms. "Beast Engine, my love," Trolljuju breathed, sturck with awe at Engine's masculine beauty despite the familiarity of his face. Engine just smiled, radiating from every inch of him with incredible strength, yet gentle warmth. "It's been so long, Juju. I've missed you." "Forgive me. I lost contact with you while you were boxing with Death to win back and consume the soul of Theodore Roosevelt. But now I'm here..." Juju lifted one tentative hand to Engine's face, but he pulled away. "You know I cannot give you what you seek. Were we to make love, your body would be destroyed by the force." "I know, of course I would," Juju responded, tears in his eyes. "May I have, at least, one kiss?" "Very well. For you, my friend." Slowly, gingerly, they came closer. But the moment their lips met, a flood of unbridled manliness rushed into Trolljuju, body and soul, and every cell in his body exploded. Beast Engine fell to his knees, and in his grief, he wept. The tears that fell from his face burned deep into the rock beneath him. But slowly, his sorrow turned to conviction. He beat the crap out of Death once. He could do it again.
For the letter of the week, I find the answer to be a little contrived and hypocritical, and I don't know why it should be since I approve of the decision to give no creature type to these white guys anyway. What they are is born-phyrexian humanoids. They could have given a name to that concept, but the small number and little importance of them made it not worth it. That's perfectly logical, but I guess it makes for a boring explanation, so instead he says they're like Arcanis on the next level. Riiight.
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Here I was hoping I would actually read something about Vorinclex this time, as it's praetor week, but no. Still more informative about Glissa. So Vori is in Tel-Jilad. What does he do there, what is his goal?



You have just persuaded me that when/if I feel ambitious enough to write a short fiction about New Phyrexia, I will use Vorinclex as the main character.  It'd be interesting to get into the head of someone who wishes he wasn't sentient.



If you want to write about New Phyrexia, come on down to the F&S forum!

This thread is all about filling in the many gaps in the Mirran War and New Phyrexia, in fact we already have an amazing submission that features Vorinclex having a 'delightful' conversation with everybody's favorite troll, Thrun.

So come, write, share your ideas and get the chance to have your work be added to the Magic: Expanded Multiverse

...And I was about to say exactly that. ;) You're always on top of things, Trolljuju!

Yes, really everyone, come on down and throw something up for the competition. It doesn't matter if it's not done, it doesn't matter if it's even that good, we're just putting the challenge out there.

Also, Tevish Szat is running yet another general short story competition that you can submit these or other works to.
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Just curious, but can we get copies of the other four Praetors in Phyrexian like Elesh Norn?

I would have posted this the day of the article, but the sign up was all wonky...
I would love it if they put out special Phyrexian packs, that had the cards in Phyrexian. I'd pay a bit extra for that.
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Here Here! I agree agree whole heartedly, but a lot of the rumors are pointing away from that...

I would at least like enough hard/concrete examples of the Phyrexian language like Elesh Norn to re/construct the language so we can use it.

Also, Doctor Who Rocks!
Yes, bring back Merchant! Far too many blue humanoids concepted as merchants are given the "Wizard" subtype, often for no visible reason at all. The game often shows noncombatants on creature cards; that's the reality of how things are. Given that reality, why not acknowledge it with some noncombatant class types? Noble is another notably missing one - Darien, King of Kjeldor feels rather silly as just another "Human Soldier".