09/07/2011 StF: "Champion of the Parish"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Savor the Flavor, which goes live Wednesday morning on magicthegathering.com.
hmmmm sounds like elspth or even better hero of bladehold might be very good with this card.
I love the flavor of innistrad. I'm also happy to see white gets to finally occupy it's favorite protagonist niche aswell. I wish there were more knights for my knight deck but sofar all the soldiers we've seen have been very cool. This has been the first block since Alara that I have really liked.
Huh.  This card is pretty good.
Ravnica is an "early" set!?
Jeff Heikkinen DCI Rules Advisor since Dec 25, 2011
hmmmm sounds like elspth or even better hero of bladehold might be very good with this card.


Sadly not especially. Things that make Soldier tokens only make Soldier tokens. They don't make Human Soldier tokens. Even Icatian Town makes Citizen tokens, not Human Citizen tokens. Tokens only have a race or a class, never both, and if the implicit race is Human then they only have a class.

The only exception was Lorwyn-Shadowmoor block, where the Faerie tokens were Faerie Rogue tokens, the Kithkin tokens were Kithkin Soldier tokens and the Merfolk tokens were Merfolk Wizard tokens.

Personally, I'd much prefer it if all the modern token generators made tokens with race and a class, but sadly that's not the approach Wizards have taken.

I do like the good white weenies, but it's a bit sad to see they're all rare. I remember when White Weenie used to be a deck you could play with about 4 rares in your deck. Not these days.

On a different topic, that close-up of the art to (?)Cloistered Youth has me really intrigued to know what her card does. 
hmmmm sounds like elspth or even better hero of bladehold might be very good with this card.


Sadly not especially. Things that make Soldier tokens only make Soldier tokens. They don't make Human Soldier tokens.


This is exactly what I was talking about in the ICD thread. People are going to be dissapointed when things they expect to trigger this guy arent actually Humans.

Tokens only have a race or a class, never both, and if the implicit race is Human then they only have a class.

The only exception was Lorwyn-Shadowmoor block,


What about Kor Soldier tokens? (e.g.: Conqueror's Pledge and Nomads' Assembly)

EDIT: or even Eldrazi Spawn tokens? (e.g.: Skittering Invasion etc)

~ 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. ;)
@Tim/LMTRK: You got your quote tags messed up...

@The girl under stairs: Eek, what an image, wahta teasing in the story! Time for another doublefaced Card ala Civilized Scholar, huh? But this one is really freaky....
[c]Forest[/c] gives you Forest
I love the flavor of innistrad. I'm also happy to see white gets to finally occupy it's favorite protagonist niche aswell.



You mean the role it pratically always occupies in spite of the presence of some bad seeds here and there?

Nevertheless, at least this will be a set with several shades of grey everywhere in the pie, even if the darker shades will be in and .

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The white-black/good-evil trope gets reversed in Magic more than in most fantasy stories. The reversed trope only works when you play it straight once in a while. White hasn't been the unambiguously protagonist hero in… I don't even know, when was the last time? Coldsnap, maybe?

 I'm fine with them playing it straight with the good guys and bad guys being in their non-ironic colors once in a while. It makes the contrast that much cooler when villains like Konda or Radiant show up.
Its generally still a very low key thing though, with only one mad church here and one mad church there. Only New Phyrexia and Kamigawa had bad guys at the top (or near top) of the hierarchy being .

Still, and really, REALLY need more villains. The last villain we saw was the "good guy" within an evil group, so I am glad that we see mindless evil drawn from emotions and instincts in Innistrad. 
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When I was reading the begining, I was so hoping that this creature would be an homage to Castlevania. But, it wasn't. Still, a nice card though.

MaRo: One of the classic R&D stories happened during a Scars of Mirrodin draft. Erik Lauer was sitting to my right (meaning that he passed to me in the first and third packs). At the end of the draft, Erik was upset because I was in his colors (black-green).

He said, "Didn't you see the signals? I went into black-green in pack one."

I replied, "Didn't you see my signals? I started drafting infect six drafts ago." ************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************MaRo: During a playtest, I played a Reaper from the Abyss. I attacked each turn, while my opponent would chump block (he had a lot of fliers), and then I killed a second creature. This happened until he had only one creature left. I attack, he blocked, and then the following dialogue occurred:

Him: Kill your demon. Me: What? Him: My guy died so you have to kill a creature.

Me: Yeah, but why would a demon kill himself?

Him: I don't know. He's depressed there's no one left to kill.

Me: That doesn't make any sense. Him: I don't care. It's what the card says. I then take out my pen, and wrote "non-Demon" on it.

Him: You can't do that.

Me: I redesigned him while the effect was on the stack.

Hey, it's a Hada Freeblade with better tribal support and higher rarity. I'm not sure this will be a good first pick in limited, but it'll be just fine for constructed.
"Catch!"
The white-black/good-evil trope gets reversed in Magic more than in most fantasy stories. The reversed trope only works when you play it straight once in a while. White hasn't been the unambiguously protagonist hero in… I don't even know, when was the last time? Coldsnap, maybe?

 I'm fine with them playing it straight with the good guys and bad guys being in their non-ironic colors once in a while. It makes the contrast that much cooler when villains like Konda or Radiant show up.

It rarely gets actually reversed. Black has been the hero all of one time. White has been the true villain all of one time. You want to know when the last time a hero was white? Try Scars of Mirrodin, with Elspeth and Venser, and one of the two "good guy" colors being White. Before that, Gideon Jura in Rise of the Eldrazi. Before that, the white-centered shard in Shards of Alara, Bant, as well as Elpseth again, and Ajani.

Now let's try to think of the last time Black was the hero...
...
Still thinking, give me a second...
...
Oh, right, Kamigawa, the only example there is, the one everyone in Wizards uses every single time they're asked why Black can't be the hero.

I'm sorry, but when Beyer chose to answer that question I got my hopes up. And when I actually read his answer they fell again. "Yep, White is the undisputed hero. Again." Great. Here's hoping for next year then. The color pie is too deep to typecast the colors in this way! Let's see some White Villainy and Black Heroism!
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I guess Teysa doesn't solve this debate since she's Orzhov and white-black, but she was a protagonist antihero, while other Orzhov were antagonists.  Jarad was a Golgari protagonist antihero, as well.  Pivlic was a good imp.  He was associated with the Orzhov, though I'm not sure he had the white going for him as an imp.

It's been awhile since I read Dissenssion, but the Azorius Senate turned out to be an antagonist, as did the Simic Combine.

I never read the Lorwyn/Shadowmoor stories, but the white-blue kithkin of Shadowmoor were creepy like one would imagine an evil white collective and the black-red boggarts of Lorwyn were just tricksters.
Sorin Markov was also a main protagonist.

Overall Magic needs far more / villains and heroes. villains in the spotlight would be good but I can live without them. 
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It rarely gets actually reversed. Black has been the hero all of one time. White has been the true villain all of one time. You want to know when the last time a hero was white? Try Scars of Mirrodin, with Elspeth and Venser, and one of the two "good guy" colors being White. Before that, Gideon Jura in Rise of the Eldrazi. Before that, the white-centered shard in Shards of Alara, Bant, as well as Elpseth again, and Ajani.

Now let's try to think of the last time Black was the hero...
...



The problem is that black's philosophy is counter to outright heroism. They are, however, the characters who resolve the problem of the story very, very frequently.

Now that I actually have time to think about it, by block:

SPOILERS LIKE CRAZY BELOW …you have been warned. 

Scars of Mirrodin: [manacost]w[/manacost] rolled over to the Phyrexians in Besieged. Elspeth, [manacost]w[/manacost], ran away (again). Venser [manacost]wu[/manacost] was primarily interested in saving his friend, not defeating the Phyrexians. As was mentioned above, the heroic color was [manacost]r[/manacost]. Even the red villain, Urabrask, was on the good guys' side. 

Eldrazi/Zendikar: Sorin Markov [manacost]b[/manacost] and Ugin [manacost]r[/manacost] heroically captured the Eldrazi in the first place. Also remember that one of the big reveals in RoE was that the vampires had once been used as a slave race, making them sympathetic characters (read the flavortext on Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief and tell me that isn't heroic). Emeria turns out to be Emrakul, making the angels who had been devoted to her seem a bit less sympathetic. Gideon [manacost]w[/manacost] runs away. 

Alara: Played mostly straight. Nothing good comes out of Grixis, the [manacost]b[/manacost] shard, and Bant [manacost]w[/manacost] is portrayed generally positively. Despite that, Gwafa Hazid, Profiteer is a white-aligned villain, as are many Esper characters. [manacost]rg[/manacost] gets its villain with Sarkhan Vol (although he acts as a mentor to Ajani at first). 

Shadowmoor: Main heroes included Colfenor again [manacost]bg[/manacost] and Maralen. Primary antagonist was Oona [manacost]ub[/manacost], who created Maralen specifically to defeat her own evil tendencies (black-on-black violence, as it were). Kithkin [manacost]w[/manacost] were really creepy and not terribly helpful to the conflict. 

Lorwyn: Villains included Gaddock TeegBrigid did some bad things on his behalf. Main hero was Rhys, who was mentored by the big good guy of the block, Colfenor, the Last Yew, both are [manacost]bg[/manacost]. 

Time Spiral: The "antagonist" in the story is primarily a natural disaster not aligned to any color. Of course, Nicol Bolas [manacost]ubr[/manacost] will always be a villain and he's prominent here. Crovax and Mirri switch places and their new colors reflect the straight, not ironic use of [manacost]wb[/manacost]. 

Coldsnap: Primary antagonist is blue. Lots of other villains show up in [manacost]b[/manacost] and the heroes are [manacost]w[/manacost]-aligned. This one mostly avoids the reversal. 

Ravnica: Ravnica's heroes included Teysa (mentioned above). Another black-aligned hero featured prominently in the novels was Jarad of the Devarkin (who, for a protagonist, had a pretty lame card). Even Rakdos himself wasn't all that involved in the collapse of the Guildpact. 

Kamigawa: This one has been done to death. Konda messed up the world for his own gain. [Card=Toshiro Umezawa]Toshiro[/Card] made things right. Also, Kokusho, the Evening Star, as all the Dragon Spirits did, fought for the mortals in the Kami War. Just as a note, Mochi was the instigator and Meloku the Clouded Mirror was pretty bad, too. 

I could keep going, but that should do for now.

Major lack of red-aligned villains. Really, Sarkhan and Bolas and that's about it.
Major lack of red-aligned villains. Really, Sarkhan and Bolas and that's about it.



Pretty much the point I tried to get across. We need villains that are not associated with other colours. 
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Major lack of red-aligned villains. Really, Sarkhan and Bolas and that's about it.



Pretty much the point I tried to get across. We need villains that are not associated with other colours. 



Yeah. It was your post along with Dream Spinner's that convinced me to sit down and work it all out with specific examples. 

I had totally forgotten about Pivlic, DS. Wasn't he a goblin? 
Ravnica: Ravnica's heroes included Teysa (mentioned above). Another black-aligned hero featured prominently in the novels was Jarad of the Devarkin (who, for a protagonist, had a pretty lame card). Even Rakdos himself wasn't all that involved in the collapse of the Guildpact.

I don't think Elves of Deep Shadow represents Jarad.  I'm not sure the art even represents a male elf, but it definitely is a Druid, which Jarad was not.  He never got a card; Ravnica block only had cards representing the guildmasters (at the start of the block) and champions.


I had totally forgotten about Pivlic, DS. Wasn't he a goblin? 

No, he was an imp, with wings and all.
Now that I actually have time to think about it, by block:

SPOILERS LIKE CRAZY BELOW …you have been warned. 

Scars of Mirrodin: [manacost]w[/manacost] rolled over to the Phyrexians in Besieged. Elspeth, [manacost]w[/manacost], ran away (again). Venser [manacost]wu[/manacost] was primarily interested in saving his friend, not defeating the Phyrexians. As was mentioned above, the heroic color was [manacost]r[/manacost]. Even the red villain, Urabrask, was on the good guys' side.

You can't count White becoming Phyrexianized as a white villain, because every color eventually Phyrexianized. However yes, Red was the true hero, and that was really awesome to see.

Eldrazi/Zendikar: Sorin Markov [manacost]b[/manacost] and Ugin [manacost]r[/manacost] heroically captured the Eldrazi in the first place. Also remember that one of the big reveals in RoE was that the vampires had once been used as a slave race, making them sympathetic characters (read the flavortext on Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief and tell me that isn't heroic). Emeria turns out to be Emrakul, making the angels who had been devoted to her seem a bit less sympathetic. Gideon [manacost]w[/manacost] runs away.

I'd forgotten about Sorin, admittedly. Which is strange, because he's my favorite planeswalker. The problem with Zendikar as an example, though, is that every color was the hero against the colorless Eldrazi. Still, Sorin and Ugin as Black and Red heroes respectively, good point.

Alara: Played mostly straight. Nothing good comes out of Grixis, the [manacost]b[/manacost] shard, and Bant [manacost]w[/manacost] is portrayed generally positively. Despite that, Gwafa Hazid, Profiteer is a white-aligned villain, as are many Esper characters. [manacost]rg[/manacost] gets its villain with Sarkhan Vol (although he acts as a mentor to Ajani at first).

I think the only fair way to look at Alara color alignments is to look at the central color of each shard, so Esper villains are more blue than white. I don't know the Alara story that well... Sarkhan was a villain? I thought Nicol Bolas was the villain, and his primary color is Black (with its two allies, Red and Blue), and Sarkhan was just his slave (becoming black when that happened).

Shadowmoor: Main heroes included Colfenor again [manacost]bg[/manacost] and Maralen. Primary antagonist was Oona [manacost]ub[/manacost], who created Maralen specifically to defeat her own evil tendencies (black-on-black violence, as it were). Kithkin [manacost]w[/manacost] were really creepy and not terribly helpful to the conflict.

Maralen wasn't a hero, she was just a second villain. Rhys and Colfenor were heroes, yes, but both of them are much more Green than Black (Rhys even drops the black entirely when he becomes the hero, becoming Green/White instead). Another antagonist was Ashling the Destroyer, who was also Black. So it was more Green = Hero, Black = Villain for this block.

Lorwyn: Villains included Gaddock TeegBrigid did some bad things on his behalf. Main hero was Rhys, who was mentored by the big good guy of the block, Colfenor, the Last Yew, both are [manacost]bg[/manacost].

Same logic as Shadowmoor, since the stories are connected. Green = Hero, Black = Villain.

Time Spiral: The "antagonist" in the story is primarily a natural disaster not aligned to any color. Of course, Nicol Bolas [manacost]ubr[/manacost] will always be a villain and he's prominent here. Crovax and Mirri switch places and their new colors reflect the straight, not ironic use of [manacost]wb[/manacost].

Here it was Blue = Hero, for the most part, with no true antagonist character like you said. There was a Black planeswalker (I forget his name) who was manipulating Jeska (red, though admittedly not a villain since she was being manipulated) into doing pretty horrible things to Radha. Still, it pretty much just remains Blue = Hero (Teferi, Venser, Jhoira are all Blue) and no antagonist.

Coldsnap: Primary antagonist is blue. Lots of other villains show up in [manacost]b[/manacost] and the heroes are [manacost]w[/manacost]-aligned. This one mostly avoids the reversal.

I don't know the story of Coldsnap (the book that came in the Fat Pack was from the Ice Age saga... and I can't find the second or third books in that saga for an affordable price ). I'll take your word for it.

Ravnica: Ravnica's heroes included Teysa (mentioned above). Another black-aligned hero featured prominently in the novels was Jarad of the Devarkin (who, for a protagonist, had a pretty lame card). Even Rakdos himself wasn't all that involved in the collapse of the Guildpact.

Ravnica's story was all over the map. The biggest problem with it as an example is that there really isn't a single mono-colored character in the block. But ignoring that, we have: Teysa (WB), Argus Kos (RW), Pivlic (WB), Crixivix (UR), Jarad (GB), that Selesnya chick (GW) all as the heroes. This is very strongly White-biased, though Black is second. Amusing note, by the way, is that the main protagonist, Argus Kos, goes from Boros (RW) to Orzhov (WB) to Azorius (WU). The only common tie being... White.
The villains were, again, all over the map. Momir Vig (GU), Azorius Senator (WU), Szadek (UB), the Ghost Council (WB), that Izzet guy (UR), Rakdos and Lyzolda (RB). This is, strangely enough, more Blue than anything. So I guess the block was sort of White = Hero, Blue = Villain.

Major lack of red-aligned villains. Really, Sarkhan and Bolas and that's about it.

Major lack of green-aligned villains too. Shamsiel is entirely correct there.

I guess what I've learned from your block-by-block break-down (nicely done, by the way) is that every color shares the role of hero, and White doesn't get to be the pure-good-hero color as often as I thought. Still, we haven't really seen a White villain that wasn't also Blue or Black since Kamigawa. It seems villainy is almost exclusively Blue and Black's realm.
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Zendikar/Worldwake would have been the perfect place for green antagonists.
The church on Innistrad has the possibility to turn out to be a white antagonist.
And then there's red, indeed =p
The way you're posting links seems to give me trouble because you don't include the ".com" part so my computer defaults to ".dk". Would it be a problem to start typing out the link in full?
Preparing for the M14 Prerelease - New article up! IN THE TANK - my very own blog for rambling about Magic!
Personally I think that wizards is just a very (from the D&D alignment scale) chaotic favoring bunch.

Notice that villains in mtg storylines primarilly are found in the three more "Lawfull" colors

White, Blue and Black.

Whilst the more chaotic colors: Red and Green are rarely seen in a negative light.

And when do we see examples of green or red being evil? When they become more "lawfull" ie. Lorwyn Elves.

I'm sorry, but when Beyer chose to answer that question I got my hopes up. And when I actually read his answer they fell again. "Yep, White is the undisputed hero. Again." Great. Here's hoping for next year then. The color pie is too deep to typecast the colors in this way! Let's see some White Villainy and Black Heroism!



Well isn't it only fair that the one who works the hardest to accomplish somthing should accomplish it much more often then others who loaf about and ignore it? White tries the hardest to do the right thing. Shouldn't it get rewarded with a protagonist role more often than anyone else?
Personally I think that wizards is just a very (from the D&D alignment scale) chaotic favoring bunch.

Notice that villains in mtg storylines primarilly are found in the three more "Lawfull" colors

White, Blue and Black.

Whilst the more chaotic colors: Red and Green are rarely seen in a negative light.

And when do we see examples of green or red being evil? When they become more "lawfull" ie. Lorwyn Elves.



Exactly. This does make sense from the perspective that , and are the colours that most value thinking, so they're the ones most likely to commit premeditated evil, while and are essencially too impulsive and mindless to think straight, which makes their brand of evil accidental. Long story short, and mooks and predatory beasts work great, but pure and villains don't work very well for the Big Bad role.

This, and the fact that most villains in fantasy stories are on the side of Chaos, specially in Warhammer. Of course, most of the times said "chaotic evil" feels more than , but most fantasy writers don't care. The only original take I've seen lately on the "chaos is evil" cliché are the bad guys in Saga of Recluse, where the local chaos baddies are actually the white mages of the setting (in other words, there feels ).
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Personally I think that wizards is just a very (from the D&D alignment scale) chaotic favoring bunch.

Notice that villains in mtg storylines primarilly are found in the three more "Lawfull" colors

White, Blue and Black.

Whilst the more chaotic colors: Red and Green are rarely seen in a negative light.

And when do we see examples of green or red being evil? When they become more "lawfull" ie. Lorwyn Elves.



Exactly. This does make sense from the perspective that , and are the colours that most value thinking, so they're the ones most likely to commit premeditated evil, while and are essencially too impulsive and mindless to think straight, which makes their brand of evil accidental. Long story short, and mooks and predatory beasts work great, but pure and villains don't work very well for the Big Bad role.

This, and the fact that most villains in fantasy stories are on the side of Chaos, specially in Warhammer. Of course, most of the times said "chaotic evil" feels more than , but most fantasy writers don't care. The only original take I've seen lately on the "chaos is evil" cliché are the bad guys in Saga of Recluse, where the local chaos baddies are actually the white mages of the setting (in other words, there feels ).


Don't forget the Eldrazi.  Although colorless, they are certainly chaotic, and their minions show up in , , and (and are on the chaotic side of [manacost]b[/manacost]).
I'm sorry, but when Beyer chose to answer that question I got my hopes up. And when I actually read his answer they fell again. "Yep, White is the undisputed hero. Again." Great. Here's hoping for next year then. The color pie is too deep to typecast the colors in this way! Let's see some White Villainy and Black Heroism!



Well isn't it only fair that the one who works the hardest to accomplish somthing should accomplish it much more often then others who loaf about and ignore it? White tries the hardest to do the right thing. Shouldn't it get rewarded with a protagonist role more often than anyone else?

My problem isn't so much that White gets to be the hero (looking back at past blocks made me realize that it isn't the hero as often as I'd thought); my issue is that it's, AGAIN, Black villainy. Blue and Black are the only villainous colors, going all the way back to Kamigawa where we finally had a White villain. This is exacerbated by the fact that we always see the same sides of each color, despite them having a lot more depth to them. We always see Red's destructive side, never its creative, artistic side. We always see Black's parasitic, or deal-with-the-devil side, never its capitalistic, enterprising side. White is always "smiting evil" and writing laws, we never see it being the fascist it can be. Worst of all, Green is always "nature nature nature". There's more to Green's philosophy than hugging trees, but at this rate we'll likely never see it.
New Phyrexia did give us a new take on Red, which was great. However, its new take on White was "religious zealotry", same as White always gets. Its new take on Black was literally the same old Black, but this time stealth-splashed into all other colors. Its new Blue was just a Black-instead-of-Green Simic, and its new Green was just a Black-instead-of-Blue Simic.
I love Magic's color pie for its depth. I just wish we could dive into the deep end of the flavor pool, rather than wearing our water wings in the shallow end all the time.
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This is probably made worse by the fact that we do get to see interesting sides of the colour pie in very minor cards. For example, / villainy can be seen in Nobilis of War and Ruhan of the Fomori, both characters being genuinely interesting according to their information on the main site. Yet, the only / characters that got to be famous were the [anti-]heroic Boros Guild, which according to Maro are merely one of many possibilites of this colour combination.
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