6/25/2012 Feature Article: "Magic 2013: Coming Home to Flavor"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Feature Article, which goes live Monday morning on magicthegathering.com.

The Lucky Charms cycle is no more? Oh yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! Cool

"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

The "blue enchantment we haven't shown you yet" has, in fact, been spoiled. If you go to the Magic: The Gathering Facebook page, there's a color personality test that shows you four M13 cards of whatever color you turn out to be. If you're blue, you get to see it.
Gem of Becoming blows.  Hard.  

If it said "three basic lands" it would have had infinitely more utility.  As it stands, it's basically useless, even for Limited.  Heck, a lot of the time you're UBR, you've got just a single land of one of those colors, particularly with Evolving Wilds in the mix.  That means you could easily draw that land before you get to pop the Gem.  Good luck Ever breaking this thing for the full three lands in Limited.  And obviously it's not for Constructed.

But wait...FLAVOR!  Get the three colors of NICOL BOLAS!!!11  If you think that is worth the massive sacrifice made to its utility, I have an Anaba Bodyguard to sell you.

Other than that and the Limited-ruining Vampire Nighthawk, though, M13 looks pretty solid and is a massive upgrade to M12.  Adios, lucky charms, and good riddance. 
Gem of Becoming blows. Hard.  

If it said "three basic lands" it would have had infinitely more utility. 

As it stands, it's basically useless, even for Limited.  Heck, a lot of the time you're UBR, you've got just a single land of one of those colors, particularly with Evolving Wilds in the mix.  

 

I once played a 3 colour decks with 2 swamps in it. Crazy, right?

 
And obviously it's not for Constructed.



Commander is constructed. And GoB likes Beta Dual lands. 

But wait...FLAVOR!  Get the three colors of NICOL BOLAS!!!11  If you think that is worth the massive sacrifice made to its utility, I have an Anaba Bodyguard to sell you. 



Can you name another way to get 3 land cards from your deck for 6 generic mana?  

"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

I know someone is going to complain about how having cards that just mention a guy's name are terrible flavor, before tripping over him/herself to come up to an answer as to how Urza, Gix, Squee, and Yawgmoth all get a free pass.

I actually rather like it, if only because all three servant cards are very cool mechanically (the gem is a bit meh) and stand on their own. People who want to build a Nicol Bolas themed deck are in luck. Would I have preferred if they all had generic flavor? I don't know, but Auger of Bolas doesn't even have room for flavor text, and I kinda like how they form a "cycle". 
I very much liked the idea that they chose Shandalar as one of the planes to honor in this release...now only if the honoring card had had anything whatsoever to do with Shandalar.  Did anyone look at the old Microprose game, or even its Wikipedia page, when designing and flavoring this set?  There aren't even any oceans per se, and there certainly aren't any drakes or Sky Summoners or dudes named Talrand.  If they wanted to do an homage to Shandalar, they should have given us an Astral Visionary who casts Stasis and Leviathan, or at least a Conjurer with a glowing yellow face in a blue hood.  As it stands, players who did play the game get no callbacks, and players who didn't have no idea what Shandalar even is.
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
M13's concepts are amazing and much ahead of anything a core set has offered before. I don't think it's possible for them to out-do themselves next year. I can only hope for roughly the same treatment, and I will have roughly the same reaction.
I know someone is going to complain about how having cards that just mention a guy's name are terrible flavor, before tripping over him/herself to come up to an answer as to how Urza, Gix, Squee, and Yawgmoth all get a free pass.



Well for the non-squee ones, they don't have cards themselves so that makes it more awesome. 

And obviously it's not for Constructed.

 

Commander is constructed. And GoB likes Beta Dual lands.



Commander is not constructed. www.wizards.com/Magic/TCG/Resources.aspx...
GoM is for casual.   
June 2012

I have to admit: M13 seems to have a good structure and some real flavor - specially for a core set: The walkers and their spells; the legendary ones - even if three of them are soooooo cliché; the main villain and his minions and so on. It's also nice to hear something from Shandalar!

Maybe the M14 development team learn something from M13 and keep its ideas.

JV

IMAGE(http://img213.imageshack.us/img213/9316/phyrexiabolas.png)


Well this multiverse is doomed.



Commander is not constructed.

You construct a deck, therefore it's constructed. It's not on that list because it's not an official tournament format.
Commander is not constructed. www.wizards.com/Magic/TCG/Resources.aspx...
GoM is for casual.

It is a Constructed format. It just is not a sanctioned format.

I think Gem of Becoming should have been an enchantment. These types of abilities work well on enchantments, and I do not see the need for it to tap.

Gem of Becoming
Enchantment
, Sacrifice Gem of Becoming: Search your library for an Island card, a Swamp card, and a Mountain card. Reveal those cards and put them into your hand. Then shuffle your library.
A colorless enchantment?  There's a word for those: they're called "artifacts".

 

Goblin Artisans
a Magic: the Gathering design blog
A colorless enchantment? There's a word for those: they're called "artifacts".

Good point. As an enchantment, it would only work in green, which ruins the point of the card.
Thank you for getting rid of the stupid lucky charms cycle.  Everytime I open those in a pack it makes me want to rip it up.  The only one that I have ever played in any format was dragon's claw in the mirror mono red match.... and that was miserable.
Well for the non-squee ones, they don't have cards themselves so that makes it more awesome.


Just for fun, I decided to search for every single card with Urza in its name or flavor text. Not counting Un-cards, 101. That's not including the three blocks named after him.

Not that I'm complaining; I liked learning about Urza or Yawgmoth through the cards. It's just that I never got why people complain about cards like Chandra's Phoenix while pining for the old days of the Weatherlight Crew or Urza being present on the cards, even though that's exactly what happened back then.

And how does it make it "more awesome" that they don't have cards (Not counting Blind Seer or Yawgmoth Demon, which was the obvious inspiration for Gix in The Brothers' War)?
Commander is not constructed. www.wizards.com/Magic/TCG/Resources.aspx...
GoM is for casual.

It is a Constructed format. It just is not a sanctioned format.



Commander is not constructed.

You construct a deck, therefore it's constructed. It's not on that list because it's not an official tournament format.



You also construct a deck after drafting, therefore drafting is constructed...

Just like how the 'fight' ability does not deal 'combat damage', Magic lingo is not always the literal meaning of a word. 
Within the game of Magic, Constructed refers to a subset of sanctioned formats.
I always thought the formats were divided into "Constructed" which were played using decks you brought from home made from cards you owned, and "Limited" which were decks built out of cards you got through the event only (Sealed and draft).

Those who fear the darkness have never seen what the light can do.

I've seen angels fall from blinding heights. But you yourself are nothing so divine. Just next in line.

191752181 wrote:
All I'm saying is, I don't really see how she goes around petrifying swords and boots and especially mirrors. How the heck does she beat a Panoptic Mirror? It makes no sense for artifacts either. Or enchantments, for that matter. "Well, you see, Jimmy cast this spell to flood the mountain, but then the gorgon just looked at the water really hard and it went away."
The opening paragraph is wrong. MTG has not snapped back, Its sets are boring and bland.

No combo, control is nerf'd, I will not be buying a single product from wotc, if there is actually a card I like I will be buying singles.

Sets are a joke anymore I like that there redoing the core with new cards and less reprints of specific cards but the same annoying theme is annoying theme.

I want over powered over played soon to be banned BS cause that gives creativity in designing new decks.

I miss combo winter and Black summer, I don't want token aggro - spring - summer - fall - winter.
Another lame token year, mediocre reprints and mediocre cards in general.

Nicol was useless when he was first printed, made him a walker still useless, reprint still useless.
The m10 lands are great but honestly another year of the same land set? I can see it keeps costs down for the secondary market but we want something better!

Flavor is a joke we want cards!
Learn about autocard here ==> [*c]Lightning Bolt[/*c] Remove "*" and you get Lightning Bolt. IMAGE(http://internetometer.com/image/27264.png) Keep extended alive for future generations so they dont have to sell out for modern. "If there is such a thing as too much power, I have not discovered it." —Volrath
The opening paragraph is wrong. MTG has not snapped back, Its sets are boring and bland.

No combo, control is nerf'd, I will not be buying a single product from wotc, if there is actually a card I like I will be buying singles.

Sets are a joke anymore I like that there redoing the core with new cards and less reprints of specific cards but the same annoying theme is annoying theme.

I want over powered over played soon to be banned BS cause that gives creativity in designing new decks.

I miss combo winter and Black summer, I don't want token aggro - spring - summer - fall - winter.
Another lame token year, mediocre reprints and mediocre cards in general.

Nicol was useless when he was first printed, made him a walker still useless, reprint still useless.
The m10 lands are great but honestly another year of the same land set? I can see it keeps costs down for the secondary market but we want something better!

Flavor is a joke we want cards!

if you believe all of that, I have three questions:

1) why are you reading an article titled coming home to flavor?

2) why are you still into magic?

3) WHY ARE YOU WASTING TIME COMPLAINING? You have already said you will not buy anymore cards. What do you care then?

And the land sets should never change, they are for those of us who like competitions but don't want to sell ourselves out by splurging on different duals every year.

No my real question: WHY IS EXALTED BLACK?????!!!!!! Black is not about a single glorious champion doing battle, it is about hordes of expendable followers supplicating awful tyrants. The tyrants are not champions, and they see their minions as bags of flesh with power and toughness that should be used for their despicable ends.
No my real question: WHY IS EXALTED BLACK?????!!!!!! Black is not about a single glorious champion doing battle, it is about hordes of expendable followers supplicating awful tyrants. The tyrants are not champions, and they see their minions as bags of flesh with power and toughness that should be used for their despicable ends.



Did you intend to answer your own question here?
And obviously it's not for Constructed.



Commander is constructed. And GoB likes Beta Dual lands. 

But wait...FLAVOR!  Get the three colors of NICOL BOLAS!!!11  If you think that is worth the massive sacrifice made to its utility, I have an Anaba Bodyguard to sell you. 



Can you name another way to get 3 land cards from your deck for 6 generic mana?



For four, I can use Shard Convergence. It gets me four lands.

Constructed will use this card, especially EDH, as the card does two things favored in EDH:
1. Deck-thinning, increasing the likelihood of non-land draws.
2. Increasing quality cards in hand, especially volume, where card count can be relevent; but also because it can fetch nonbasics with basic land types (Rav duals, Beta duals, Dryad Arbor, and the Shadowmoor cycle including Mistmeadow Plains), and then allow you to filter out excess for the cost of only one other card (the artifact).

If one has an issue with this card, then this card is NOT FOR YOU.

"Possibilities abound, too numerous to count." "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969) "Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion Backs)


Well this multiverse is doomed.



Commander is not constructed.

You construct a deck, therefore it's constructed. It's not on that list because it's not an official tournament format.



I was wondering if anyone else would notice that. Even the mighty Nicol Bolas cannot resist the corruption of five-color Phyrexia. The multiverse is doomed indeed...but then...a multiverse of Phyrexians...would that really be such a bad thing?Wink
No my real question: WHY IS EXALTED BLACK?????!!!!!! Black is not about a single glorious champion doing battle, it is about hordes of expendable followers supplicating awful tyrants. The tyrants are not champions, and they see their minions as bags of flesh with power and toughness that should be used for their despicable ends.



Did you intend to answer your own question here?



He did not. I have the same issue.

Consider:

I have two Disciple of Nefarox, and just drop Nefarox. WHY THE F**K IS NEFAROX "PAYING HOMAGE TO" HIS PUTY FLESH-BAG MINIONS, AGAIN!?

Black is selfish. It doesn't need team-play. It uses it. Those minions are not themselves to be useful save to further the aims of the more powerful; never should this position be reversed. Power goes to the greater being, for its own ends, and not to lesser flesh-bags whose purpose is there for a quick snack or devious conniving.

Note that the keyword is "exalted," not "exalt." If it were a minion-to-superior only relationship, exalt would make sense, but that requires the exalting beings not partake of this benefit. That fits Black. But with Bant's keyword, each of the individuals with exalted were accomplished, skillful, and carried earned sigils. They were honored in combat, and honored for heroism. In Bant, the keyword was used in such a way as to validate a system in which just ONE champion was required from either side to fight, and the winner's side wins the whole conflict. Thus, each individual becomes "exalted."

Exalted doesn't fit into Black.
"Possibilities abound, too numerous to count." "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969) "Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion Backs)
I know someone is going to complain about how having cards that just mention a guy's name are terrible flavor, before tripping over him/herself to come up to an answer as to how Urza, Gix, Squee, and Yawgmoth all get a free pass.



Well for the non-squee ones, they don't have cards themselves so that makes it more awesome. 

And obviously it's not for Constructed.

 

Commander is constructed. And GoB likes Beta Dual lands.



Commander is not constructed. www.wizards.com/Magic/TCG/Resources.aspx...
GoM is for casual.   



False. The list of deck formats doesn't even include EDH. Does that mean EDH isn't a sanctioned format? Of anything?

"In a Constructed format, you build your deck in advance, using the cards in your collection. A Constructed deck must have a minimum of 60 cards, with no more than four copies of any card (excluding basic lands). With so many different Magic cards in existence, one of the main variations in Constructed play is what cards are legal to have in your deck in a given format."

This fits EDH in every concievable manner of anyone's definition. EDH, like other singleton formats, violates not one of these protocols, but adds in additional features, much as 2HG adds more on its own (especially given that 2HG have to SHARE their 4-ofs amongst the two decks).
"Possibilities abound, too numerous to count." "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969) "Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion Backs)
No my real question: WHY IS EXALTED BLACK?????!!!!!! Black is not about a single glorious champion doing battle, it is about hordes of expendable followers supplicating awful tyrants. The tyrants are not champions, and they see their minions as bags of flesh with power and toughness that should be used for their despicable ends.



Did you intend to answer your own question here?

i dont think i did, i still am a little fuzy on how tyrant=champion of armies.
False. The list of deck formats doesn't even include EDH. Does that mean EDH isn't a sanctioned format? Of anything?



Well yeah, afaik, commander and other things like planechase are not sanctioned formats.
Also both the 60 card minimum and 4-off maximum don't fit EDH in every concievable manner.
No my real question: WHY IS EXALTED BLACK?????!!!!!! Black is not about a single glorious champion doing battle, it is about hordes of expendable followers supplicating awful tyrants. The tyrants are not champions, and they see their minions as bags of flesh with power and toughness that should be used for their despicable ends.



Did you intend to answer your own question here?



He did not. I have the same issue.

Consider:

I have two Disciple of Nefarox, and just drop Nefarox. WHY THE F**K IS NEFAROX "PAYING HOMAGE TO" HIS PUTY FLESH-BAG MINIONS, AGAIN!?

Black is selfish. It doesn't need team-play. It uses it. Those minions are not themselves to be useful save to further the aims of the more powerful; never should this position be reversed. Power goes to the greater being, for its own ends, and not to lesser flesh-bags whose purpose is there for a quick snack or devious conniving.

Note that the keyword is "exalted," not "exalt." If it were a minion-to-superior only relationship, exalt would make sense, but that requires the exalting beings not partake of this benefit. That fits Black. But with Bant's keyword, each of the individuals with exalted were accomplished, skillful, and carried earned sigils. They were honored in combat, and honored for heroism. In Bant, the keyword was used in such a way as to validate a system in which just ONE champion was required from either side to fight, and the winner's side wins the whole conflict. Thus, each individual becomes "exalted."



Which I always found a very wrong fit. Black and red are the colors of individuals. Bant of all possible shards should be about the group versus the group, not about individual champions. 

I agree Nefarox pumping his minions is awkward. But the other way around is cool enough to justify it, imho =) 
EDH is most definitely a Constructed format. Every Magic variant* is either Limited (where you receive cards at the event and can only use those) or Constructed (where you build a deck beforehand and bring it into the event). This is independent of sanctioning, number of players, or anything else.

Constructed/Limited is a dichotomy; any Magic game involving a deck either had that deck created as part of the game (Limited), or assembled beforehand and brought into the game (Constructed). Within that dichotomy, EDH is blindingly obviously on the Constructed side.

I host Limited events at my home, such as drafts. They're unsanctioned, played in almost complete ignorance of the tournament rules, and most definitely and obviously Limited. In the same way, any casual format to which people bring decks they assembled beforehand is definitely and obviously Constructed.

[*]: There are an extremely small number of exceptions, such as variants that don't have any kind of deck at all. The Type 4 variants where every player draws from the same draw pile, for example, probably wouldn't count as either Limited or Constructed. But this is definitely a corner case.
EDH is most definitely a Constructed format. Every Magic variant* is either Limited (where you receive cards at the event and can only use those) or Constructed (where you build a deck beforehand and bring it into the event). This is independent of sanctioning, number of players, or anything else.

Constructed/Limited is a dichotomy; any Magic game involving a deck either had that deck created as part of the game (Limited), or assembled beforehand and brought into the game (Constructed). Within that dichotomy, EDH is blindingly obviously on the Constructed side.

I host Limited events at my home, such as drafts. They're unsanctioned, played in almost complete ignorance of the tournament rules, and most definitely and obviously Limited. In the same way, any casual format to which people bring decks they assembled beforehand is definitely and obviously Constructed.

[*]: There are an extremely small number of exceptions, such as variants that don't have any kind of deck at all. The Type 4 variants where every player draws from the same draw pile, for example, probably wouldn't count as either Limited or Constructed. But this is definitely a corner case.



Well, if I use this page for reference:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic:_The_Gatheri...
you're right in that both sanctioned and casual have a subsection called 'constructed' but Commander is listed under neither, instead being listed under "casual formats - official magic the gathering products". It is called a 'format' and 'variant' but not 'constructed'. 
Well, if I use this page for reference:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic:_The_Gatheri...you're right in that both sanctioned and casual have a subsection called 'constructed' but Commander is listed under neither, instead being listed under "casual formats - official magic the gathering products". It is called a 'format' and 'variant' but not 'constructed'. 


If you really want to play the Wikipedia citation game, then: note that the header of that whole page defines the terms Constructed and Limited, as they're subsequently used across the whole page:

Constructed formats are those in which players may build their deck from all the available cards in the format and construct their deck prior to playing in the tournament. Limited formats on the other hand are those which involve a restricted and unknown pool of cards, usually created by opening Magic products.



They've used Constructed and Limited as subdivisions for the Sanctioned and Casual sections of the page, as it's a handy distinction. The Official Products section deals entirely with Constructed formats (those in which players "construct their deck prior to playing"), and so doesn't need to state "Constructed" at its head explicitly. 

I also note that the official Wizards rules article for Commander says "It’s played with the Singleton format", Singleton being the first of the Constructed formats listed on the Wikipedia page.

I... don't see how this is something that can be disputed. Are you disputing that the terms Constructed and Limited are used in the dichotomy I described, or disputing that EDH falls into the Constructed half of that dichotomy? 
Well, if I use this page for reference:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic:_The_Gatheri...you're right in that both sanctioned and casual have a subsection called 'constructed' but Commander is listed under neither, instead being listed under "casual formats - official magic the gathering products". It is called a 'format' and 'variant' but not 'constructed'. 


If you really want to play the Wikipedia citation game, then: note that the header of that whole page defines the terms Constructed and Limited, as they're subsequently used across the whole page:

Constructed formats are those in which players may build their deck from all the available cards in the format and construct their deck prior to playing in the tournament. Limited formats on the other hand are those which involve a restricted and unknown pool of cards, usually created by opening Magic products.



They've used Constructed and Limited as subdivisions for the Sanctioned and Casual sections of the page, as it's a handy distinction. The Official Products section deals entirely with Constructed formats (those in which players "construct their deck prior to playing"), and so doesn't need to state "Constructed" at its head explicitly. 

I also note that the official Wizards rules article for Commander says "It’s played with the Singleton format", Singleton being the first of the Constructed formats listed on the Wikipedia page.

I... don't see how this is something that can be disputed. Are you disputing that the terms Constructed and Limited are used in the dichotomy I described, or disputing that EDH falls into the Constructed half of that dichotomy? 



I was originally disputing that anything not sanctioned could be called either 'constructed' or 'limited'. (EDIT: so yeah, I was disputing those terms were used for sucha  dichotomy). I thought those were names for sanctioned formats exclusively. Whatever casual formats are called is fair game. Like how the last paragraph of the header describes it:

Sanctioned Constructed formats include Vintage, Legacy, Modern, Extended, Standard, and Block Constructed.[1] The primary two sanctioned Limited formats are Sealed Deck and Booster Draft.[1] A wide variety of other formats have been designed by players of the game for custom gameplay or cost reduction, these are known as casual formats.[2]



There's constructed formats, there's limited formats, and there's casual formats.  

But I see now how casual formats are also divided in the two. So Commander is a constructed format in this sense of the word.
I'm still of the opinion though that using 'constructed' as a word meaning 'sanctioned constructed formats' is more useful than as meaning 'not limited formats'.
I agree Nefarox pumping his minions is awkward. But the other way around is cool enough to justify it, imho =) 

The way I justify the 'pumping his minions' aspect of Exalted is this:

Why should I, the all-powerful, all-important Nefarox, risk my neck in combat when I have all these disposable minions to throw at them instead. All it takes is a small taste of my power, and they will think themselves invincible, running into the fray recklessly and softening their defenses, while I sit here safe.

And then, when it's safe for him to enter the fray personally:

All right, minions! Behold the mighty Nefarox, bow down in worship of my awesome might! I shall crush our foes in my claws and grind their bones to dust!
IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/c6f9e416e5e0e1f0a1e5c42b0c7b3e88.jpg?v=90000)
This is what Black gets with it wants to "use" the masses for the purposes of the individual powerful few: Mortivore, Nantuko Husk, Grimgrin, Corpse-Born, etc. These creatures "feed" upon others, growing each time.

White, instead, uses the masses as a choral, an arrangement of heroes who, for reasons of political balance, "elect" an individual. There is nothing actually "individualistic" about Bant's exalted structure, but about those sharing their power (as opposed to having it taken away):

From Doug Beyer's article on Bant:
It'd be a beautiful place to visit, but a rigid society to be part of. Year after year of isolation from the rest of Alara has caused Bant's customs to solidify into an inflexible code of law. What were once military training exercises have become almost dancelike martial arts. What were once treaties of wartime conduct have become ritualized ceremonies of battlefield heroism, mano-a-mano slugfests of heavily-armored champions.



Black does not believe in one-on-one combat, selfish or not. It believes in having the upper hand, no matter what. Red, oddly, can agree with Bant, but its more about egoism than proving one's power. for Red, to stand toe-to-toe with a champion from the otherside is great glory and pride-worthy. But even more so is a single lone Goblin standing up to a great Dragon, or a swarm of them, and spitting into the flame. What greater glory than to fight uncountable hordes, to overpowering odds? What greater glory to do this, and win? for Red and Black, it's not the one-on-one that occurs with individualism, but HOW the individual behaves. Bant instead favored exalted as a means of preventing mass bloodshed in ritual treaty settlement.
"Possibilities abound, too numerous to count." "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969) "Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion Backs)
The idea of exalted is that one man is putting himself on the line to save the masses of those who, because of his heroism, is exalted by those he is fighting for. Exalted's nature is to be heroic, not selfishly worship by the dirtbag minions they command.
Black does not believe in one-on-one combat, selfish or not. It believes in having the upper hand, no matter what.
Red, oddly, can agree with Bant, but its more about egoism than proving one's power. for Red, to stand toe-to-toe with a champion from the otherside is great glory and pride-worthy. But even more so is a single lone Goblin standing up to a great Dragon, or a swarm of them, and spitting into the flame. What greater glory than to fight uncountable hordes, to overpowering odds? What greater glory to do this, and win? for Red and Black, it's not the one-on-one that occurs with individualism, but HOW the individual behaves. Bant instead favored exalted as a means of preventing mass bloodshed in ritual treaty settlement.



Actually, I'd say red is more opposed to the idea. Red hates rules. Red doesn't want to abide by a one-on-one rule. 
Black on the other hand, has no problems with laws if it can use them to its own advantage. Black is more than willing to agree to one-on-one combat if it believes this improves his chance of succes.
We're talking here about Bant's specific interpretation of the Exalted mechanic, not the mechanic in general right?
Black does not believe in one-on-one combat, selfish or not. It believes in having the upper hand, no matter what.
Red, oddly, can agree with Bant, but its more about egoism than proving one's power. for Red, to stand toe-to-toe with a champion from the otherside is great glory and pride-worthy. But even more so is a single lone Goblin standing up to a great Dragon, or a swarm of them, and spitting into the flame. What greater glory than to fight uncountable hordes, to overpowering odds? What greater glory to do this, and win? for Red and Black, it's not the one-on-one that occurs with individualism, but HOW the individual behaves. Bant instead favored exalted as a means of preventing mass bloodshed in ritual treaty settlement.



Actually, I'd say red is more opposed to the idea. Red hates rules. Red doesn't want to abide by a one-on-one rule. 
Black on the other hand, has no problems with laws if it can use them to its own advantage. Black is more than willing to agree to one-on-one combat if it believes this improves his chance of succes.
We're talking here about Bant's specific interpretation of the Exalted mechanic, not the mechanic in general right?



Red won't abide by the restriction, true. But I made a point of saying that here, a Red fellow is standing toe-to-toe with a single champion. If this was an example of Heimdall defending Bifrost from the Jötunni invaders, where they could come at him only one by one, my example would stand still. Just that Heimdall would also defend Bifrost from all Jötunni at once, rather than one-on-one. Red would not make a selective choice about how many it would face. The glory is there in combat, not restrictions and rules. But glory to be had is glory to be had.

Consider also that Red by itself does not absolutely disfavor rules: It is quite willing to impose rules itself, as seen in Stranglehold and War's Toll. It's just that as part of Red's character, it can also disavow them utterly. This is how Red-White as a color-pair worked so well for the Boros Legion in Ravnica, especially by the imposition of order by extreme force. Freedom is contained in Red, it does not define it. The aspect of total freedom, no matter what, is bets conceptualized on the border between Red and Black, so that the Rakdos cult best exemplifies the perspective of Red that eschews the harness ... because they emphasize the individual over anything else.

Red enjoys the community, the collective, etc., and favors military constraints, the march, the going-to-war as much as the war itself. It likes numbers, and wants everything to flow: the Wartide. Here, the anticipation, the revelry in what is to become accentuate the eventual becoming. Here, Red's defining quality is The Moment, not "I don't like rules." If one Red warrior steps forth to do battle against a legion, his comrades will respect his wishes. As with the Keldon warlords, this was often the case, where a champion represents the tribe for the sake of glory. Exalted would have emphasized the individual who dared step forth alone. Cards like Marton Stromgald, of course, help emphasize the "Masses" aspect, while cards like Maraxus of Keld (and the story behind Ignite Memories, as occurs in the Planar Chaos novel) help emphasize the singular warrior.

Nothing in Black ever warrant favor TO the group, merely using the group. Black has little that benefits a single attacker in its philosophy when others stand behind. It, instead, emphasizes cards (as I mentioned) that use the field as a resource ('cause that's Black's schtick). The big guy at the back? He fights when there's no chance to be blocked; his guys have intimidate; there is no sense of exaltation, because no one deserves his praise but him; and thus there is no reason to really attack ALONE. Even Husk decks typically attacked with the whole field -- it was only on declared blockers that the Husk determined what to eat ... to survive or punch through, etc. None of that was about attacking with just the Husk, then eating the exalting creatures. (Although, one CAN do that, it's just not in Black's FLAVOR.)
"Possibilities abound, too numerous to count." "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969) "Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion Backs)
Doug,
From what I've seen so far, M13 looks like the coolest Core set in the last 10 years.   The way you've put in characters from Innistrad and Ravnica - brilliant!   The crazy variety of new (Slumbering Dragon) and old (Serra Avenger!?) is astounding.   The Ring cycle is superb.  Nicol Bolas; I love to hate that tricksy old dragon. 

(Obviously, I'm looking at this from a completely casual, flavor-loving, perspective.)  

And hey, the packaging is pretty darn awesome too (kudos to the design team that did that!). 

Keep up the great work! 
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