8/22/2012 Feature: Planeswalker's Guide to Ravnica: Part 1

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This thread is for discussion of the first part of the Return to Ravnica Planeswalker's Guide, which goes live on Wednesday morning on magicthegathering.com.
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So freaking excited.
I love the flavor of Ravnica and am thrilled to see it getting such a full treatment.  I just hope these articles come out more often than once a week!
Interested to see how the represent Trostani on a card.  One creature that makes two tokens?  One card with three abilities? Triple split card?! Triple face card!?!?!?!

Wonder if they're going to stick to the Ravnica structure of printing two legendary creatures from each guild, or if they'll be more flexible this time around. 
I think one legendary is set for each guild (and mythic and CCDD). But I think they abandoned the obligatory second one, which luckily means there will be space for more particular legends.
Transformers. That's pretty cool.
I think one legendary is set for each guild (and mythic and CCDD). But I think they abandoned the obligatory second one, which luckily means there will be space for more particular legends.



Yeah, I know they announced that each of the guild leaders would be represented on a card.  It would be weird if they printed more than one legendary creature in one guild but not in another (in a symmetrical/balanced sense at least).  Though I'm all for seeing some unique 'guildless' legends as well.

They might also print each of the guild leaders in RTR and Gatecrash, then print 10 new legends in the third set.

Guess we'll find out when we find out though. 
I love the flavor of Ravnica and am thrilled to see it getting such a full treatment.  I just hope these articles come out more often than once a week!


This!

One each week is just too slow, I am pretty stoked about RTR right now.

IMAGE(http://i1.minus.com/jbcBXM4z66fMtK.jpg)

192884403 wrote:
surely one can't say complex conditional passive language is bad grammar ?

It is very hard to understand what has happened since the last Ravnica block. The thing I was most looking forward to was "what has happened since the last time we were here?".  They gave us 2000 words, but just these three sentences on the history:


The Guildpact has been dispelled, and for a time the guilds fell into chaos. But the ten-thousand-year-old guild culture and division of duties has reasserted itself, and the ten guilds are once again dominant. However, tensions between them are building and rumors of trouble can be heard in both the hallowed guildhalls and rustic taverns of the unguilded citizens.


This leaves me unsatisfied.  Describe the chaos!  How was order reestablished?
I am hopeful that future articles will give us more history, rather than commentary on what now exists.

Looking forward to this set, even if it's recycling old ideas because of how awesome ravnica was.

My patience with the magic lore is growing thin though. We have gotten all these awesome new planes and planeswalkers in recent years, yet we barely know anything about them. Haven't seen a novel in ages either... Has wizards given up on these, or are there just no decent writers willing to pick the stories up?
 
The cleric who oversees the entire site is Troslon, a rugged loxodon who is a bit of a rebel by Selesnyan standards in that he puts the natural world before the desires of the guild. This is illustrated in his defense of the sacred tree of Belokos (see below).



Did I miss some part of the article here or is it just not there?
Looking forward to this set, even if it's recycling old ideas because of how awesome ravnica was.

My patience with the magic lore is growing thin though. We have gotten all these awesome new planes and planeswalkers in recent years, yet we barely know anything about them. Haven't seen a novel in ages either... Has wizards given up on these, or are there just no decent writers willing to pick the stories up?



Wizards has given up, they didn't sell.
Looking forward to this set, even if it's recycling old ideas because of how awesome ravnica was.

My patience with the magic lore is growing thin though. We have gotten all these awesome new planes and planeswalkers in recent years, yet we barely know anything about them. Haven't seen a novel in ages either... Has wizards given up on these, or are there just no decent writers willing to pick the stories up?



Wizards has given up, they didn't sell.



you are probably right, but did they ever say this in any official article or so?
Awesome. Can't wait to read up on all these...

I actually really liked that little bit at the end about how they view the other clans, that could be some very interesting psych profiling going on there.

Apart from the Gruul one. They have simple rules. If they can't eat it they shag it, and if they can't shag it they piss on it. 
I want to be Cultured.
you are probably right, but did they ever say this in any official article or so?



I'm not sure, MaRo has said it multiple times on his tumblr (markrosewater.tumblr.com) but it's hard to find old questions there.

It is very hard to understand what has happened since the last Ravnica block. The thing I was most looking forward to was "what has happened since the last time we were here?".  They gave us 2000 words, but just these three sentences on the history:


The Guildpact has been dispelled, and for a time the guilds fell into chaos. But the ten-thousand-year-old guild culture and division of duties has reasserted itself, and the ten guilds are once again dominant. However, tensions between them are building and rumors of trouble can be heard in both the hallowed guildhalls and rustic taverns of the unguilded citizens.


This leaves me unsatisfied.  Describe the chaos!  How was order reestablished?
I am hopeful that future articles will give us more history, rather than commentary on what now exists.




The same for me!

This is NOT "Return to Ravnica". This is "RAVNICA THROUGH REVISIONS".

They're going to recreate Ravnica according to their new interests (aka Neowalkers) in order to present this old-well-written history to the newbies:

"Oh-ooh-Duh! I am so excited with RTR. Now I know why it was so famous...and I also love Jace! Doo-Duh! Thank you mother Wizards duh-duh!"
- Random lamer nowadays player!


"They don't make 'em like they used to."
- Everyone, eventually complaining about the next generation just as the previous complained about theirs
 
The cleric who oversees the entire site is Troslon, a rugged loxodon who is a bit of a rebel by Selesnyan standards in that he puts the natural world before the desires of the guild. This is illustrated in his defense of the sacred tree of Belokos (see below).



Did I miss some part of the article here or is it just not there?


Maybe its this piece of art?

Hard to tell with no card information though :p
I love how evil the Selesnya are. No wonder they got hanged in the novels.
IMAGE(http://www.wizards.com/global/images/mtgcom_daily_mc52_picMain_en.jpg)IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/73821e61e013eadf56a8e4e2226d89a3.jpg?v=90000)

Not feeling the new direction for Selesnya.  I thought they were spot on the first time.  Besides, wouldn't "individual ambitions" cause a separation from your source of power if you're Selesnyan?  And 100% lifting the "keepers of beauty" thing from the elves of Shadowmoor is lame.


Also, what is up with Dimir existing so openly?  What happened to "9 guilds... and hushed whispers of a 10th".  It's like you guys don't remember Ravnica, when the secret guild is displayed so openly.


I have a feeling the living temples are gonna b like stalking stone duals that dont produce mana when theyre creatures but can turn back into a land with a activated ability. And i think the centaurs are gonna be like put a token into play populate.
It's kind of odd which guilds the Selesnya like and which guilds they don't. i would have expected at least a little optimism for any guild sharing their colors, but the gruul are a "waste" and the simic are doomed. it's only the azorius and the boros that are expected to come around, and to a lesser extent the golgari who could potentially benefit from their wisdom. the other guilds are either doomed or useless. it seems like the order element is much more important than the growth element for selesnyans. which makes them seem a lot more white than green. the weirdest thing is they seem to be more hopeful for the rakdos than the gruul, which doesn't make much sense to me. maybe "until they submit" was just a poor choice of words.
To be fair, I suspect they sympathise a little with the Rakdos, since they're both considered cults by most ravnicans.
IMAGE(http://www.wizards.com/global/images/mtgcom_daily_mc52_picMain_en.jpg)IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/73821e61e013eadf56a8e4e2226d89a3.jpg?v=90000)
Also, what is up with Dimir existing so openly?  What happened to "9 guilds... and hushed whispers of a 10th".  It's like you guys don't remember Ravnica, when the secret guild is displayed so openly.

Remember those Ravnica books? The Dimir guild leader got arrested. The organization is no longer a secret to the other guilds.

"Oh-ooh-Duh! I am so excited with RTR. Now I know why it was so famous...and I also love Jace! Doo-Duh! Thank you mother Wizards duh-duh!"

- Random lamer nowadays player!


[/snicker]
So given that one of the pieces of art revealed is a TEMPLE with a GARDEN in it, with the Selesnya guild logo smack dab in the middle, I guess it's all but confirmed that shockland reprints are go.

Yay for extremely detailed investigations into each of the ten guilds. I think one of these every 2-4 weeks will be an awesome treat to look forward to. To do five guilds around RTR before GTC rolls around, that'd average one every three weeks, which sounds excellent.


There are a number of believability issues with assorted things about Ravnica (starting with the idea of a "worldwide city" itself) which aren't really addressed. A lot of what's here needs a certain amount of "AWizardDidIt" handwaves to make it make sense. (Wurms that tunnel underground, turning the soil into a liquid-like state? So multiple buildings collapse every time a wurm submerges or emerges due to their foundations suddenly being rooted in nothing at all? And apparently wurms are "mostly" used for defense, rather than, say, transport? Just how much of Selesnya's time is spent defending themselves, and against who?)


Slightly shoddy editing in a few places. Things like "If elementals are sufficiently large enough, they are often used as". Or the random stand-alone sentence "Trostani, the Selesnya Guildmaster."... was that meant to be a picture? Also, I'm not sure about the consistency of the claims of the Great Concourse and the Topiary Grove: last time round I thought we were told the buildings of the city covered every part of Ravnica. A forest with an overpass doesn't sound like a part of a city to me - more like a green belt. Finally, the article is very blurred as to how much of what's written is objectively recognised by most non-Selesnyans as being true, and how much is Selesnyan religious teaching that the viashino-on-the-street would be sceptical of.


But for all the nitpicks, it is of course awesome to look forward to return to one of the best settings and blocks in Magic's history. Ravnica was fantastic last time, quite possibly the absolute highlight of the 14 years I've been playing, and it's extremely satisfying to see it get the in-depth Planeswalker's Guide treatment.

 
The cleric who oversees the entire site is Troslon, a rugged loxodon who is a bit of a rebel by Selesnyan standards in that he puts the natural world before the desires of the guild. This is illustrated in his defense of the sacred tree of Belokos (see below).



Did I miss some part of the article here or is it just not there?


Maybe its this piece of art?

Hard to tell with no card information though :p



Wait a second.

Loxodon have fingernails?!

Interested to see how the represent Trostani on a card.  One creature that makes two tokens?  One card with three abilities? Triple split card?! Triple face card!?!?!?!

Wonder if they're going to stick to the Ravnica structure of printing two legendary creatures from each guild, or if they'll be more flexible this time around. 



They already did

Chorus of the Conclave
 
The cleric who oversees the entire site is Troslon, a rugged loxodon who is a bit of a rebel by Selesnyan standards in that he puts the natural world before the desires of the guild. This is illustrated in his defense of the sacred tree of Belokos (see below).



Did I miss some part of the article here or is it just not there?


Maybe its this piece of art?

Hard to tell with no card information though :p



Wait a second.

Loxodon have fingernails?!


in this vein, I would just like to say that they explain belekos immiadiately after that sentence.

Also: OMG RAVNICA!!!!

I wasn't playing when it was first around but Ive read every flavor article from the time. What I'm hoping to see is an eleventh force arise. A non-guild organization (lead by yeva) that directly challanges the guilds. And those who say a whole citywide plane is unrealistic, speed up current trends and bam! the earth is a huge interconnected cityscape.
I think it makes sense that the guild structure wouldn't just collapse overnight, and Dissenssion ended with Teysa writing a new Guildpact. I'm just wondering how the Dimir or Gruul are justified in it now, since the former was written in as a counterbalance according to the novels (which contrasts with the flavor written online which said that the Dimir were used by the guilds as assassins and spies), and the Gruul's job has since been lost.

Not feeling the new direction for Selesnya.  I thought they were spot on the first time.  Besides, wouldn't "individual ambitions" cause a separation from your source of power if you're Selesnyan?  And 100% lifting the "keepers of beauty" thing from the elves of Shadowmoor is lame.

Also, what is up with Dimir existing so openly?  What happened to "9 guilds... and hushed whispers of a 10th".  It's like you guys don't remember Ravnica, when the secret guild is displayed so openly.


Szadek killed the Chorus of the Conclave in front of everyone. They're not secret anymore.

I also don't think the Conclave is going in a new direction with the mention of individual ambitions. It makes sense that there is variability within the guilds as they're supposed to be people. I wouldn't blink if the existence of those who confuse the devotion to Mat'Selesnya with their personal glory was true last time we went to Ravnica; it's just put out there now. Wizards has been giving fuller information on all the planes lately, much of which is unnecessary to understanding the cards and are never represented there.

Interested to see how the represent Trostani on a card.  One creature that makes two tokens?  One card with three abilities? Triple split card?! Triple face card!?!?!?!

Wonder if they're going to stick to the Ravnica structure of printing two legendary creatures from each guild, or if they'll be more flexible this time around. 

 

They already did

Chorus of the Conclave

Trostani is not the Chorus.

This leaves me unsatisfied.  Describe the chaos!  How was order reestablished?
I am hopeful that future articles will give us more history, rather than commentary on what now exists.




That seems to be something that Boros and Azorius would pick up on to be honest.
And those who say a whole citywide plane is unrealistic, speed up current trends and bam! the earth is a huge interconnected cityscape.



Rather than poke all the holes in this myself, I'll direct you to:

www.darthsanddroids.net/episodes/0126.ht...
www.irregularwebcomic.net/386.html
www.irregularwebcomic.net/393.html (the Golgari are apparently supposed to provide some of this role, but on that scale? really?)
www.irregularwebcomic.net/396.html
www.irregularwebcomic.net/420.html 
And those who say a whole citywide plane is unrealistic, speed up current trends and bam! the earth is a huge interconnected cityscape.



Rather than poke all the holes in this myself, I'll direct you to:

www.darthsanddroids.net/episodes/0126.ht...
www.irregularwebcomic.net/386.html
www.irregularwebcomic.net/393.html (the Golgari are apparently supposed to provide some of this role, but on that scale? really?)
www.irregularwebcomic.net/396.html
www.irregularwebcomic.net/420.html 



Magic, b*tch. (In-story mana allows a much faster rate of production. Sure, it is still not enough to explain away MANY problems, but that's the only explanation we'll get).
IMAGE(http://www.wizards.com/global/images/mtgcom_daily_mc52_picMain_en.jpg)IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/73821e61e013eadf56a8e4e2226d89a3.jpg?v=90000)
Ravnica, as a plane, could easily be much smaller than any planet. I think it's also a flat world, 'cause Kos mentions being able to see all over the plane from one spot in Guildpact.

It's covered in cityscape, but that doesn't mean it's just buildings and streets. Think of any real world city and how much green space they do or could have, especially when you have three out of ten guilds dedicated to growing things and another to reclaiming spaces for nature. And when the Golgari have rot farms 'underground', it's not in the crust; the city is on top of Old Ravnica, like Futurama's New New York. And there are entire regions that are much less urban, like Utvara.

Also, a higher proportion of the citizens of Ravnica is dead, as spirits or zombies. Also, some of them are literally plantlife or living fire and/or water.
Ravnica, as a plane, could easily be much smaller than any planet. I think it's also a flat world, 'cause Kos mentions being able to see all over the plane from one spot in Guildpact.

It's covered in cityscape, but that doesn't mean it's just buildings and streets. Think of any real world city and how much green space they do or could have, especially when you have three out of ten guilds dedicated to growing things and another to reclaiming spaces for nature. And when the Golgari have rot farms 'underground', it's not in the crust; the city is on top of Old Ravnica, like Futurama's New New York. And there are entire regions that are much less urban, like Utvara.

Also, a higher proportion of the citizens of Ravnica is dead, as spirits or zombies. Also, some of them are literally plantlife or living fire and/or water.




Also, y'know, magic.

 
You'll forget you ever read this the minute you look away.
Veslfen's House of Bone-Dry Sarcasm
88318561 wrote:
76783093 wrote:
there is nothing "epic" about a turn one victory. ever. or really any magic game, for that matter.
So this one time, I wanted to play a game of Magic with my friend, but he was in another country and neither of us had Magic Online. I hitchhiked my way to the coast, barely fending off hungry wildlife when I couldn't get a ride, nearly dying of thirst crossing deserts, and posoning myself half to death foraging for food. At one point, I was taken hostage by a group of kidnappers, only managing to escape after a week of careful planning thanks to careful application of a rusty spoon. Once I reached the coast, I had no money to buy a ticket across the ocean, so I built a boat using my own two hands, and spent months sailing across the waves, nearly losing my deck as I swam to the shore of a desert island in a storm after being capsized by an enormous wave. Nearly delusional after so long with no human contact (the notches I cut in the single tree to tell time had long since felled the thing) I was eventually rescued by a passing ship, where I was taken aboard as a crew member. We sailed around the world, seeing many exotic places and having great adventures, before we finally arrived at my friend's country. Once more I stumbled across a desolate landscape, riding on train or car when I could, and going on foot when I could not. Eventually, weary to the bone, seven years after I started my journey, I arrived at my friend's house, clutching my well-worn and weathered deck to my chest. We shuffled up our decks, I won the roll. Gleefully, I laid down my cards. Black Lotus. My friend looked quizzically at me, wondering what I was about to do. After so long, he no longer knew what deck I had brought with me to this game. Flash. A knowing smile appears on my friend's face as the knowledge slowly returns to him. Protean Hulk. My friend extends his hand, knowing the game is over before it even started. And finally, after so many trials, the sweet taste of victory is mine.
56866178 wrote:
108166749 wrote:
So no one else is upset with the stunt Wizards just pulled to drive sales?
Drive sales of what? Non-Jace, non-Mystic cards? I'm pretty sure people already own more than eight Magic cards. If you don't, I feel for you. Maybe you can trade those Stoneforge Mystics, which are still quite valuable, for some.
Sometimes a wurm is just a wurm...
Ravnica's back baby!  YEEAAAAAHHHH!!!!

This is a rather darker portrayal of Selesnya than the first time around.  Or maybe it's not, maybe it's just that their hypocrisy was more well hidden when they were presented the first time.  That's probably it.

And I love how, even in a guild about the absence of self, they are able to give various beings their own individual personalities.  Like the overseer of the Ivory Oaks, Troslon.  He just seems like a cool guy to me.

I really hope that Loxodon picture is Troslon.  That eye patch is so awesome.

As for why the guild setup is back together, people/sentient beings are creatures of habit.  They go back to what they know and what's comfortable to them.  Sure the magic enforcement is gone, but they can always keep the structure.

Overall, I loved this article.  It's freaking awesome.  Initially I was surprised they started this early then I realized they are probably going to do one guide per guild in RTR, so they need 5 guides and thus 5 weeks.

***************************************************************************************

From Mark Rosewater's Tumblr: the0uroboros asked: How in the same set can we have a hexproof, unsacrificable(not a word) creature AND a land that makes it uncounterable. How does this lead to interactive play? I believe I’m able to play my creature and you have to deal with it is much more interactive than you counter my creature.

***************************************************************************************

Post #777

***************************************************************************************

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

Well, the darker aspects were hinted in the first block, but since we never had such a detailed exploration of Selesnya before, we didn't know how ****ed up they are.
IMAGE(http://www.wizards.com/global/images/mtgcom_daily_mc52_picMain_en.jpg)IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/73821e61e013eadf56a8e4e2226d89a3.jpg?v=90000)
And those who say a whole citywide plane is unrealistic, speed up current trends and bam! the earth is a huge interconnected cityscape.



Rather than poke all the holes in this myself, I'll direct you to:

www.darthsanddroids.net/episodes/0126.ht...
www.irregularwebcomic.net/386.html
www.irregularwebcomic.net/393.html (the Golgari are apparently supposed to provide some of this role, but on that scale? really?)
www.irregularwebcomic.net/396.html
www.irregularwebcomic.net/420.html 



Magic, b*tch. (In-story mana allows a much faster rate of production. Sure, it is still not enough to explain away MANY problems, but that's the only explanation we'll get).


Hence my original quote in the post to which gruulsmash was replying, "AWizardDidIt". I'd like to claim that MtG is more consistent than that about what you can do with magic, but, well, I know better. AWizardDidIt is the only explanation we'll get.
And those who say a whole citywide plane is unrealistic, speed up current trends and bam! the earth is a huge interconnected cityscape.



Rather than poke all the holes in this myself, I'll direct you to:

www.darthsanddroids.net/episodes/0126.ht...
www.irregularwebcomic.net/386.html
www.irregularwebcomic.net/393.html (the Golgari are apparently supposed to provide some of this role, but on that scale? really?)
www.irregularwebcomic.net/396.html
www.irregularwebcomic.net/420.html 

Thats the argument about the realism of the idea, not its actual arrival, The ravnicans can build huge floating skytowers, and planes don't always conform to our idea of physics. also, thre is a huge aamount of green spaace, but it is seemlessly connected to the city. And thousands of ravnicans starve every year. the poor are horrendouslyy treated, and they probably have lower living standards than your dog. Heck, they probably have worse lives with jobs than americans on welfare.
And those who say a whole citywide plane is unrealistic, speed up current trends and bam! the earth is a huge interconnected cityscape.



Rather than poke all the holes in this myself, I'll direct you to:

www.darthsanddroids.net/episodes/0126.ht...
www.irregularwebcomic.net/386.html
www.irregularwebcomic.net/393.html (the Golgari are apparently supposed to provide some of this role, but on that scale? really?)
www.irregularwebcomic.net/396.html
www.irregularwebcomic.net/420.html 

Thats the argument about the realism of the idea, not its actual arrival, The ravnicans can build huge floating skytowers, and planes don't always conform to our idea of physics. also, thre is a huge aamount of green spaace, but it is seemlessly connected to the city. And thousands of ravnicans starve every year. the poor are horrendouslyy treated, and they probably have lower living standards than your dog. Heck, they probably have worse lives with jobs than americans on welfare.



To be fair, none of these address the issue of thermodynamics - that kind of population density over an entire plane is going to make it hotter than hell. Possibly literally.

You'll forget you ever read this the minute you look away.
Veslfen's House of Bone-Dry Sarcasm
88318561 wrote:
76783093 wrote:
there is nothing "epic" about a turn one victory. ever. or really any magic game, for that matter.
So this one time, I wanted to play a game of Magic with my friend, but he was in another country and neither of us had Magic Online. I hitchhiked my way to the coast, barely fending off hungry wildlife when I couldn't get a ride, nearly dying of thirst crossing deserts, and posoning myself half to death foraging for food. At one point, I was taken hostage by a group of kidnappers, only managing to escape after a week of careful planning thanks to careful application of a rusty spoon. Once I reached the coast, I had no money to buy a ticket across the ocean, so I built a boat using my own two hands, and spent months sailing across the waves, nearly losing my deck as I swam to the shore of a desert island in a storm after being capsized by an enormous wave. Nearly delusional after so long with no human contact (the notches I cut in the single tree to tell time had long since felled the thing) I was eventually rescued by a passing ship, where I was taken aboard as a crew member. We sailed around the world, seeing many exotic places and having great adventures, before we finally arrived at my friend's country. Once more I stumbled across a desolate landscape, riding on train or car when I could, and going on foot when I could not. Eventually, weary to the bone, seven years after I started my journey, I arrived at my friend's house, clutching my well-worn and weathered deck to my chest. We shuffled up our decks, I won the roll. Gleefully, I laid down my cards. Black Lotus. My friend looked quizzically at me, wondering what I was about to do. After so long, he no longer knew what deck I had brought with me to this game. Flash. A knowing smile appears on my friend's face as the knowledge slowly returns to him. Protean Hulk. My friend extends his hand, knowing the game is over before it even started. And finally, after so many trials, the sweet taste of victory is mine.
56866178 wrote:
108166749 wrote:
So no one else is upset with the stunt Wizards just pulled to drive sales?
Drive sales of what? Non-Jace, non-Mystic cards? I'm pretty sure people already own more than eight Magic cards. If you don't, I feel for you. Maybe you can trade those Stoneforge Mystics, which are still quite valuable, for some.