06/27/2012 Uncharted Realms: "Odric, Master Tactician"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Uncharted Realms, which goes live Wednesday morning on magicthegathering.com.
This was an amazing post by Jenna Helland! When I saw Odric's picture I didn't know what to expect, then I started reading and thought it might be an analysis of his backstory, then I found out it was a story.

I am so impressed.

That was magnificient.

Please, please do this with Sorin, Liliana and Avacyn if there is time. One simple article full of flavor and story can do wonders. WotC, I love you for this. And Jenna Helland, you have my thanks. 
It was a very captivating story. Ironically, since Garruk at this point is seeking out Avacyn, Odric is giving Garruk exactly what he wants.

As for the other walkers, I'm sure there will be time... this is a new weekly column, the successor to Savor the Flavor.  Mrs. Helland will be spinning us many more yarns in the weeks to come.
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Im really impressed and whenever i see these kind of articles me and all of my friends gather around really to read em up. Just so much flavor we wish we had more!!! Honestly amazing and cant wait to see more. Really wanna see what happens next. Maybe well find out more about Gideon and Chandra? who knows, it is "uncharted realms"


I eagerly anticipate more.
I dig it!


This was excellent! I eagerly await what you have in store for us, Jenna! Well done! 
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Different name, same end result. The result, amazing.  
And Lo! The prayers of the Vorthos were answered!

Wednesdays are going to be awesome from now on.
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The story was indeed excellent. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Brilliant writing. Keep posting stuff like this.

However, one note: Scott Chou did not do the artwork for Odric, Master Tactician... that's Michael Komark. This is likely just a slight oversight on the post... but it should be fixed.
My compliments to Ms. Helland.  This is an auspicious begining for the new column.  
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Excellent story! My favorite part was the offhand mention that Gisa had been arrested and captured. It always bothered me that we never learned the fates of the various side characters after the "main plot" was wrapped up in the third set of the block.
Not Jenna's fault or anything, but I am getting awfully sick of reading about Odric.  I just know I'm going to end up facing him in the prerelease, and he's going to be miserable and unfun and stupid, and reading some new article about him almost every single day on this site is grinding down my desire to even attend.

Anyway, good story, hurray for flavor, all that jazz.  Just please no more Odric.  He's not a selling point; he's the worst thing about this set.
We've had like... one article devoted to him and a few passing mentions here and there.
All I hope for is one article for Sorin and what happened to him.

All other stories I will love and read. Jenna's level of writing is astounding.  
This was wonderful. Thank you Jenna for the lovely look in to life as a cather. I too put my vote in for a story following Sorin.
The pilot is a hit. I feel, though, that this would be an amazing column to get preview cards.
The pilot is a hit. I feel, though, that this would be an amazing column to get preview cards.

I agree with Senyuno! A story that leads to a preview card would be splendid. A nice cherry on top.
I love it so far.

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Yay! Wednesdays are back! Thank you Ms. Helland - I can't tell you how much I loved reading your article today :D
At first I read the story as a completely standalone thing. And I didn't really like the way it ended: Odric deep in his world-weary cynicism, predicting the doom of his optimistic lieutenant. 

I was reminded of the vignettes during Kamigawa block: which I liked, in theory, but they were quite consistently bleak, even (or especially) the ones for white and blue cards. Everything being such a downer gets quite depressing after a while.

But then I re-viewed today's story as the first of many storyline snippets, that will tell us more of the stories of Garruk and the other legends and 'walkers, and I like it very much from that point of view. 

(As for the card, I like Odric, I'm looking forward to playing him, and I like the way he shows that white can have multiple different strategies within a single set.)

So as everyone else has said, this is a good start to an exciting new column.  I've never got into reading the webcomics (mainly because I browse dailymtg from work, and a big bold colourful comic on-screen is a bit blatantly non-worky where a page of text is more innocuous). I might actually get to follow some of the Magic storyline now!

Keep it up!
Excellent story! My favorite part was the offhand mention that Gisa had been arrested and captured. It always bothered me that we never learned the fates of the various side characters after the "main plot" was wrapped up in the third set of the block.



It was also obliquely mentioned on Hunted Ghoul. There's almost always a plan for the story, but it doesn't always come through well in the cards. This and future articles should help make it a lot more clear what exactly is going on.
I very much enjoyed this.  I feel slightly less sad now that there hasn't been a decent Magic book in a while.  I was hoping to get more story from Innistrad, and here it is.

Looking forward to each new post. 
I'm also going to add my thumbs-up for the article.  I love stories that accompany the cards, and the writing on this was fabulous.

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."
I don't know what's more exciting, that this column lived up to my high expectations, or we got a conclusion to most of the storyholes of Innistrad.

Yay Progress!!!  
I have no problems, I could just use a bit of time.
OOOOOOMMMMMMMMMGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!

That was awesome! hats off! Odric is kinda cool, and garruk's curse is one of the coolest plot designs. My only complaint about Odric is this-he's from a plane we were just on. We never heard of him. He's old enough to have been at this awhile. We should have heard of him.
I'm afraid I like this more than savor the flavor. That was great! I eagerly await next wednesday and I hope for a sequel to this article, but anything else would be just fine too.
Like alextfish, I am also reminded of the vignettes from Kamigawa—one of the best things about that block. I'm really excited that you've decided to make this a consistent part of Magic going forward.  
I guess I have two points and a request;
1.  Awesome work, this.  Thanks to Jenna for bringing back some great flavor.  A few of us appreciate it a lot!  And for doing it with such style.  I never expected a story about Odric to give us details about Garruk! 

2.  I'm pretty sure this is the first time the flavor of a block has not dead-ended at the beginning of summer.  The fact that the Core set ties in (sort of) to the previous and next blocks is pretty cool.  But even cooler is that because of that we actually find out what happened on Innistrad after.   SOOOOO much better than the way Zendikar, and Alara, and Mirrodin (the 2nd time around) all left us with complete uncertainty. 

Please fill us in on what happened to Sorin.  He was the poster child for the set (well, Lilianna was literally the original poster child...) and we don't know what happened to him.   Simply put, "How dumb is that??"
 
Sucks to be a green character in Wizards' world...
OOOOOOMMMMMMMMMGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!

That was awesome! hats off! Odric is kinda cool, and garruk's curse is one of the coolest plot designs. My only complaint about Odric is this-he's from a plane we were just on. We never heard of him. He's old enough to have been at this awhile. We should have heard of him.


Allow me to apologize in advance, but I've seen a similar sentiment expressed elsewhere, and I just really need to pick at this nit.

Over the course of a given block, through card names, flavor text and the various other sources of world-building, we will get exposed to about a treble handful of named characters. But planes contain millions of people (though my sense is that Innistrad is more like hundreds of thousands; it doesn't feel like a very big or populous plane). So, to me at least, it is very plausible that a plane contains many, many more important people (including several important enough to merit not only a name, but status as a Legendary Creature) than we could ever hope to run into in a single visit. Odric, Master Tactician is apparently one of the important people we just didn't run into the first time around.

Anyway, this was fantastic. I've always loved little nuggets of Magic story like this. Can't wait for next week.

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Thank you, I enjoyed this story. 
An impeccable story, but then it's Jenna Helland so this is not surprising.  Whatever they're paying her it's not enough.  Like gruulsmash I would have been a little happier if the first of these columns could have not been for the same plane we've been on for the past 9 months; closure is nice and all, but I'm more curious about what's going on in the entire rest of the multiverse apart from Innistrad, where we've been, and Ravnica, where we're going.  Filling us in on the expanded universe is a way to show us that our interest in the fantasy will always be appreciated, even if we stop buying; talking only about the products that are now on store shelves or soon to appear there is just marketing.  Still, at least it's really, really good marketing; that counts for a lot.

I guess I have two points and a request;
SOOOOO much better than the way Zendikar, and Alara, and Mirrodin (the 2nd time around) all left us with complete uncertainty. 



Not so complete if you read the novels, particularly the Zendikar one.  I'll say no more to not spoil, but we do get at least some answers.

Please fill us in on what happened to Sorin.  He was the poster child for the set (well, Lilianna was literally the original poster child...) and we don't know what happened to him.   Simply put, "How dumb is that??"



Sorin's a planeswalker, so they probably won't provide any very definitive answers as to what happened to him; they don't want to be tied up in continuity issues now when Brand might come along three years from now and say "Sorin's focus-testing well among the new crop of Twilight fanfic writers that just graduated high school; he needs to be in this fall's block no matter how little sense that makes".  With Garruk it's reasonable that they may go as far as "And then Avacyn cured his curse and he planeswalked away to parts unknown", since that leaves the character primed to reappear in a future block without complications.  But we're not likely to see anything like "Edgar Markov, having discovered that Sorin is the reason Avacyn is hunting vampires to near-extinction, executes Sorin as a race traitor", because if they did that they wouldn't be able to sell anymore Bishie Sorin T-shirts to the Japanese.
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An impeccable story, but then it's Jenna Helland so this is not surprising.  Whatever they're paying her it's not enough.  Like gruulsmash I would have been a little happier if the first of these columns could have not been for the same plane we've been on for the past 9 months; closure is nice and all, but I'm more curious about what's going on in the entire rest of the multiverse apart from Innistrad, where we've been, and Ravnica, where we're going.  Filling us in on the expanded universe is a way to show us that our interest in the fantasy will always be appreciated, even if we stop buying; talking only about the products that are now on store shelves or soon to appear there is just marketing.  Still, at least it's really, really good marketing; that counts for a lot.

I guess I have two points and a request;
SOOOOO much better than the way Zendikar, and Alara, and Mirrodin (the 2nd time around) all left us with complete uncertainty. 



Not so complete if you read the novels, particularly the Zendikar one.  I'll say no more to not spoil, but we do get at least some answers.

Please fill us in on what happened to Sorin.  He was the poster child for the set (well, Lilianna was literally the original poster child...) and we don't know what happened to him.   Simply put, "How dumb is that??"



Sorin's a planeswalker, so they probably won't provide any very definitive answers as to what happened to him; they don't want to be tied up in continuity issues now when Brand might come along three years from now and say "Sorin's focus-testing well among the new crop of Twilight fanfic writers that just graduated high school; he needs to be in this fall's block no matter how little sense that makes".  With Garruk it's reasonable that they may go as far as "And then Avacyn cured his curse and he planeswalked away to parts unknown", since that leaves the character primed to reappear in a future block without complications.  But we're not likely to see anything like "Edgar Markov, having discovered that Sorin is the reason Avacyn is hunting vampires to near-extinction, executes Sorin as a race traitor", because if they did that they wouldn't be able to sell anymore Bishie Sorin T-shirts to the Japanese.

i think what he meant is "what did sorin do during avr?" it's not necessarily sorin's conclusion, but rather his actions and why he leaves innistrad. Also I think Mirrodins loose ends are intentional. Will we ever return? Maybe, maybe not, but wizards kinda likes to keep these things up in the air.
I for one seriously hope we'll return to New Phyrexia, given that it had an entire block worth of creative generated for it (all of which I got to see while writing for NPH, and only a fraction of it was ever made public as far as I recall).  An entire block set on a world of nothing but villains would be fascinating (granted that's not quite what we have, but for all intents and purposes it should be).
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I know they like to leave things open, but some wrap-up would be nice.  (For instance, I felt Alara was wrapped up okay, even though we don't really know what happened after the shards were reunited....  On the other hand, Elspeth's whole participation in the block was totally messed up with contradicting cards and web-comicsUndecided).

@Willpell   Regarding Zendikar; I have read all the books (except the Scars one cuz I'm pretending it didn't happen), and it just left us hanging so much about... so much.  And there's also the one web-story about Gideon showing up on Zendikar to help the citizens fight the Eldrazi but then nothing more about him.

It's the same old thing that I know I just need to get over.  I want this thing (MTG) done well flavor-wise cuz there's so much potential for awesomeness.  But flavor doesn't make WOTC money.  So I guess I should be grateful for whatever half-baked and half-finished stuff I get.  Or stop caring.  It is just a card-game, right?
I know they like to leave things open, but some wrap-up would be nice.  (For instance, I felt Alara was wrapped up okay, even though we don't really know what happened after the shards were reunited....  On the other hand, Elspeth's whole participation in the block was totally messed up with contradicting cards and web-comics).

@Willpell   Regarding Zendikar; I have read all the books (except the Scars one cuz I'm pretending it didn't happen), and it just left us hanging so much about... so much.  And there's also the one web-story about Gideon showing up on Zendikar to help the citizens fight the Eldrazi but then nothing more about him.

It's the same old thing that I know I just need to get over.  I want this thing (MTG) done well flavor-wise cuz there's so much potential for awesomeness.  But flavor doesn't make WOTC money.  So I guess I should be grateful for whatever half-baked and half-finished stuff I get.  Or stop caring.  It is just a card-game, right?

gideon went to ravnica, remember? it was in one of jenna's stf articles. (hint hint, rtr)
Missed that one, I guess.  I'll have to go back through all Jenna's stuff to see if I missed anything else.  Any idea when that was? 
I know they like to leave things open, but some wrap-up would be nice.  (For instance, I felt Alara was wrapped up okay, even though we don't really know what happened after the shards were reunited....  On the other hand, Elspeth's whole participation in the block was totally messed up with contradicting cards and web-comics).

@Willpell   Regarding Zendikar; I have read all the books (except the Scars one cuz I'm pretending it didn't happen), and it just left us hanging so much about... so much.  And there's also the one web-story about Gideon showing up on Zendikar to help the citizens fight the Eldrazi but then nothing more about him.

It's the same old thing that I know I just need to get over.  I want this thing (MTG) done well flavor-wise cuz there's so much potential for awesomeness.  But flavor doesn't make WOTC money.  So I guess I should be grateful for whatever half-baked and half-finished stuff I get.  Or stop caring.  It is just a card-game, right?

Or you could join the Expanded Multiverse project and make your own flavor? Seriously, you should check the project out. If you don't like what's being given, get involved on the boards here and help make something better.

Also, Gideon goes to Ravnica at the end of the very story you mentioned--the one for Near-Death Experience.

@Willpell:

That's a big disingenous. Asking for a resolution to Sorin's activities on Innistrad doesn't mean killing him off. And we already know that Wizards is ok with changing characters for the sake of the story despite the restrictions that places on those characters. See: Garruk, Liliana, Venser, Tezzeret, arguably Sarkhan Vol...
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Missed that one, I guess.  I'll have to go back through all Jenna's stuff to see if I missed anything else.  Any idea when that was? 

no but the article is battle of fort keff.