02/22/2012 Stf: "The Horror of Breaking the Rules"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Savor the Flavor, which goes live Wednesday morning on magicthegathering.com.
By that logic, indestructible creatures should be downright terrifying.
Immature College Student (Also a Rules Advisor)
I think the reason people find the "monster gets back up" moment scary isn't because the rule of "things die" has been violated. It's more the sense of "Even a nuclear fusion blast in this thing's face isn't enough to kill it? What will it take?" It's the sense of helplessness that comes from knowing you did your best to kill it, sometimes even more than your best (suffering an injury or even death in enacting the final effort that takes the monster down) and it still wasn't enough.
Of course, the trope has been used so much that it's no longer scary, but actually expected.
I'd say it's equal parts both. If you've ever played a truly scary game, you'll notice (or I notice for me at least) that the scariest or at least most nervewracking parts are the ones where a normally safe location is violated. When things that go down keep getting back up (Or enemies endlessly spawn) it can create that feeling of inevitablility. Corpses that get up after you've already killed them tend to be scary even if it didn't take a nuke to drop them.

That said, zombies have become so incredibly cliché recently that it's hard to actually take them seriously as a threat. We've reduced them to punching bags, to the point where for most of us a zombie apocalypse sounds more like a fun chance to run wild than a horrible nightmare. 
Immature College Student (Also a Rules Advisor)
I guess Undying suffers from Persist not just for mechanical comaprisons, but for flavor reasons, too.  The word persist is a a bit flavor neutral (I guess, so they could span all colors - like Intimidate), so Undying is just equated with Persist.

The Undying creature literally comes back from the graveyard bigger than before.  Great flavor.  Thanks, Doug for fleshing that out.
Mind you, I imagine turns last seconds, if not fractions of seconds. Of course planeswalkers wouldn't stand by and wait for the enemy to come at him (usually, because strategies vary); attacks come by the instant, and the spells you sling are only those that you can extract from memory in the heat of the moment. Once that moment of attack passes, in the interval between the follow-up assault, the chance to kill passes, and you are left with a creature rarin' to go again.

I found this interesting because I've always imagined that a turn in Magic lasts for many hours or days. Sure, a Lightning Bolt is instantaneous, but the time it takes for me to order a creature to go all the way over to where another planeswalker is bivouaced with his army, attack them, and then following the battle to come all the way back to me (untap) could be a very long time.

Some spells are complicated and if I tap out to cast something that requires [manacost]4RR[/manacost], that's all of my resources and attention drained. The ritual to do all that may take hours to carry out and, while I may be ready to do more, the land that sustains me can only replenish itself so fast—which suggests geological timescales or passing of days to me.

Consequently, I frequently refer to "next turn" in a game as "tomorrow." (A term I think I started using when I saw someone declare a Remand by saying "Try again tomorrow.")
"Sometimes you have to step back and make sure your own objections are actually reasonable ones. We on the creative team are R&D members, meaning we tend to exercise our debate muscles at the drop of a hat. Sometimes you can talk yourself into something being a bad idea for what are actually pretty insignificant reasons. In the end, we decided that undying is a cool term, and that it works well for the flavor of how the mechanic works, and that it helps Dark Ascension be the set it wants to be. We figured that while some people might snark about the words, most people wouldn't actually be thrown by the kooky reminder text. In other words, we heard our own objections, and we made what I consider to be the right choice anyway." 

Wow, if only all geeks could be this introspective and rational...  

"Ah, the age-old conundrum. Defenders of a game are too blind to see it's broken, and critics are too idiotic to see that it isn't." - Brian McCormick

Personally I a have no problem seeing Planeswalker "duels" as being more civilised that open warfare (not always, but sometimes). I can see them having honor, rules, bargains, mutual respect for eachother, and testing their magical might against eachother in a more organised manner. Doesnt mean there arent sneaky tricks and underhanded tactics, or that the "rules" arent broken sometimes, of course.

I enjoyed the letters between the necromatic brother and sister too, BTW.

~ Tim
I am Blue/White Reached DCI Rating 1800 on 28/10/11. :D
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. ;)
I’ve tended to agree with both views: some turns can last seconds, others hours. However, simply because Wizards uses the terms ‘loyalty counters’, I’ve always viewed PW cards as you yourself calling a PW to help you out. If you use their ultimate, the PW in question does his/her most powerful magic trick for you, and then walks off in disgust (and is therefore put into the graveyard)! It’s like they’re saying: “You’re so weak you needed me to do THAT for you?! I’m outta here…”
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