Planeswalker's Guide to Return to Ravnica

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Hereitisgottoguybusyreadingkthxbye
www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.a...
aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh (inagoodway, offtoread)
sooner than expected indeed.
Be back later, browsing.
Though blast those damn life-churchers! We should have started with something good, not their preachy rhetoric.
Just look at those wurms...

Awesome that the Planeswalker's Guide is starting, but Selesnya seems like one of the less interesting guilds. Not that this was a bad read.
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They didn't mention the mass-lynchings of the old guard. :/

That seemed like something worth mentioning.
It sounds like they've played up the Cult of Planet aspects. This is only to the good.

Since there was only one leader (other than Trostani) mentioned by name, I would wager that we have the two-legend structure back again. Certainly the obvious reading is that the kickass Ryan Barger Loxodon Hierarch With An Eyepatch artwork is Troslon.
Things of note:

1. Multiple native walkers. We have seen a promotional image with who looks like Ral, so we mayh be getting another new walker native of Ravnica.

2. The Izzet are up to something, and the other guilds are noticing. This makes Izzet vs. Golgari make some more sense. 
3. Dragons are back on Ravnica and are majestic.

4. The Selysnean hangings didn't seem to work. And people seem to have forgiven them.

5. The loxodon with the eye patch looks b.a.
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Selesnyans are quite proud of their wurms.

139359831 wrote:
That is a lovely painting of Richard Garfield. It really brings out his feminine side.
Niv-Mizzet being central chatacter makes me wish they just made a novel for Return to Ravnica. There was hardly any of him in the original story.
I feel like Wizards could hire someone so much better to do their writing. Think of all the English-majors that end up going back to school to get a certificate or something. I mean whoever wrote this probably has an education - but their style is so dull. Selesnya isn't the most interesting Guild, but they can be given an interesting voice.

139359831 wrote:
That is a lovely painting of Richard Garfield. It really brings out his feminine side.
Knowing Jace is with Izzet (Maro Twitter post), we can possibly conclude Jace has brought something to the dragon. 



I'm looking, but I'm not finding any such post.
AWESOMETACULAR!!!

@ Barinellos: If they are doing one guild per update, they'd have to start early to get all the gulids out in a timely fashion.


Onto the guide:

1) I was worried about the guilds falling and being reformed. I worried that Creative would use this to soften the guilds. They did not. The Conclave seem like the ****es they were in the orignal Ravnica block.

2) That Loxodon is badass. Brady Magic needs a Loxodon planeswalker.

3) It appears that Creative has moved away from the vines and crystal motif see in the original conclave design and are instead going with vines and limestone. I'm a bit worried that it will look too much like the white Phyrexians.

4) Similarly, it appears the Conclave aren't doing Saporlings. Instead going with Elementals.

5) Niv-Mizzet as a driving force in the story is interesting. And the teaser gives me flash backs to the orignal Ravnica trilogy that was a mystery. I'm worried about oversaturation with Niv, he's a popular character, but he isn't the character you want to base a story around.*

6) I will be interested to see what is the global threat and how the planeswalker's storylines tie into Ravnica's.


* Niv isn't a good protagonist because he can't really be challenged. He's a hyperintellgent dragon, he has vast amounts of weath, an entire race of goblins, plus the brightest minds in Ravnica. He is a master of magic, and can fly and breathe fire. About the only thing that challenged him were mulltiple nephilim.
… and then, the squirrels came.
I feel like Wizards could hire someone so much better to do their writing. Think of all the English-majors that end up going back to school to get a certificate or something.



Well there's a cost-benifit equation that has to be done. Hiring someone to do something outhouse that can be done inhouse isn't a winning idea for them.

I mean whoever wrote this probably has an education - but their style is so dull. Selesnya isn't the most interesting Guild, but they can be given an interesting voice.



The planeswalker guides are adapted from the style guides. If you want good flavor, wait for Jenna's column.
… and then, the squirrels came.
AWESOMETACULAR!!!

@ Barinellos: If they are doing one guild per update, they'd have to start early to get all the gulids out in a timely fashion.


I'm not entirely convinced they'll be doing one a week. I think we'll get one a fortnight.

1) I was worried about the guilds falling and being reformed. I worried that Creative would use this to soften the guilds. They did not. The Conclave seem like the ****es they were in the orignal Ravnica block.

There seems to be a substantial loss of information involved amongst other things though. The original selesnyans knew what Mat'Selesnya was and here, they do not.


I'm looking, but I'm not finding any such post.



maybe it was tumblr. I know I have seen it, but it was linked by someone else (I use neither twitter nor tumblr)/ If I cannot find it I will remove that particular part.



* Niv isn't a good protagonist because he can't really be challenged. He's a hyperintellgent dragon, he has vast amounts of weath, an entire race of goblins, plus the brightest minds in Ravnica. He is a master of magic, and can fly and breathe fire. About the only thing that challenged him were mulltiple nephilim.



I think he is more a catalyst/mentor. His plans and such set the story in motion and he is the one assisting Jace (possible hero)/Ral/Whatever forces for the first block. I do not see him being a hero.
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maybe it was tumblr. I know I have seen it, but it was linked by someone else (I use neither twitter nor tumblr)/ If I cannot find it I will remove that particular part.


I've searched both and came up with nothing on that subject.

I think he is more a catalyst/mentor. His plans and such set the story in motion and he is the one assisting Jace (possible hero)/Ral/Whatever forces for the first block. I do not see him being a hero.



I see him very much as being the catalyst and possible antagonist.
Quite frankly, I don't think he'll be a mentor in any fashion, and I would quite like to see Jace operating against him instead of the popular theory that they are allied.
Jace and Ral at odds would be fantastic.
Mind, I'm Izzet aligned, so I would love the chance to be the villain for a change.


I see him very much as being the catalyst and possible antagonist.
Quite frankly, I don't think he'll be a mentor in any fashion, and I would quite like to see Jace operating against him instead of the popular theory that they are allied.
Jace and Ral at odds would be fantastic.
Mind, I'm Izzet aligned, so I would love the chance to be the villain for a change.



Pictures aren't always accurate, but that picture of Jace standing in front of Niv stands a good chance of washing away your hopes.

When I said Niv was central character, it didn't mean he's the main or protagonist/antagonist either. He's obviously reacting to something not directly on Ravnica (He probably still has his full grasp of Ravnica under his claws) and sent the Izzet on an experimentation frenzy. Something tells me Jace had to do with what Niv is reacting to.

Niv is no stranger to Planeswalkers, and I wouldn't be surprised if Jace offered him a chance to prove his wits against Nicol Bolas, especially if the 2 dragons had a history pre-guildpact.

We'll probably follow the story in Jace or Ral's POV, but the central character pulling the strings and preparing against Bolas is Niv-Mizzet, which is refreshing change for a "Dragon-Puppet-Master" (except Niv probably does it a lot more nicer than Bolas).
Pictures aren't always accurate, but that picture of Jace standing in front of Niv stands a good chance of washing away your hopes.


Yes, because I remember when Sarkhan, Tezzeret, Elspeth, and Ajani teamed up to beat Bolas or when Liliana supposedly killed Baron Sengir or when Karn became the Father of Machines.
Niv is no stranger to Planeswalkers, and I wouldn't be surprised if Jace offered him a chance to prove his wits against Nicol Bolas, especially if the 2 dragons had a history pre-guildpact.


No, he certainly isn't considering Ral is under his claw.
And I find the bolas connection to be contrived.
We'll probably follow the story in Jace or Ral's POV, but the central character pulling the strings and preparing against Bolas is Niv-Mizzet, which is refreshing change for a "Dragon-Puppet-Master" (except Niv probably does it a lot more nicer than Bolas).


... He really actually isn't nicer.

Yes, because I remember when Sarkhan, Tezzeret, Elspeth, and Ajani teamed up to beat Bolas or when Liliana supposedly killed Baron Sengir or when Karn became the Father of Machines.

No, he certainly isn't considering Ral is under his claw.
And I find the bolas connection to be contrived.
 
... He really actually isn't nicer.



Okay, I concede on the picture, I keep forgetting how inaccurate they always are.


Was it stated that Ral was oldwalker or newwalker? If he's new, it means he wasn't around during the original Ravnica block, and that means Niv had to know planeswalkers from outside sources. If he was an oldwalker, I wonder if he was isolated on Ravnica or based outside during Ravnica. The Bolas link was just pure speculation. Niv only reacts crazily to crazy-large threats. He's got everything in Ravnica under his claw, so the panic has to come from outside.

I had the impression Niv either outright proved you wrong with his intelligence, or burninates you so you can't prove him wrong. He doesn't go about ressurecting minions so that he could toy around again and again while picking up deals with necromancers to reanimate dead parallel lives to play around with his minions, all under a mannequin he made with less than 1/10th of his intelligence (As much as we deny that as canon). Not sure who's nicer comparatively? 
Was it stated that Ral was oldwalker or newwalker? If he's new, it means he wasn't around during the original Ravnica block, and that means Niv had to know planeswalkers from outside sources. If he was an oldwalker, I wonder if he was isolated on Ravnica or based outside during Ravnica. The Bolas link was just pure speculation. Niv only reacts crazily to crazy-large threats. He's got everything in Ravnica under his claw, so the panic has to come from outside.


I'd say it is likely Ral is a neowalker rather than an oldwalker. It explicitly states he's from Ravnica in DotP.
Basically all of the nigh-immortal Paruns were aware of planeswalkers. It's actually why the Parhelion was built. The angels wanted to go find out what happened to the walkers and why they stopped coming.

I don't really read panic in Niv's behavior. I think he sees an opportunity and is moving before anybody else is aware of it. It makes sense for this to be an on-plane conflict since every other guild is getting involved. The story is about the guilds, not about what Niv and Jace are up to.

I had the impression Niv either outright proved you wrong with his intelligence, or burninates you so you can't prove him wrong. He doesn't go about ressurecting minions so that he could toy around again and again while picking up deals with necromancers to reanimate dead parallel lives to play around with his minions, all under a mannequin he made with less than 1/10th of his intelligence (As much as we deny that as canon). Not sure who's nicer comparatively? 



If Niv proves you wrong, he'll immolate you for your impertinence in questioning him in the first place... even over something as trivial as saying his watch is set wrong. Both of them view every organism around them as ants.
And yeah, I wouldn't go to Test of Metal as any bastion of canon. Because then we have to accept that an ancient elder dragon would really say "goat's balls"
Also, Stover was a horse's ass.
maybe it was tumblr. I know I have seen it, but it was linked by someone else (I use neither twitter nor tumblr)/ If I cannot find it I will remove that particular part.


I've searched both and came up with nothing on that subject.

I think he is more a catalyst/mentor. His plans and such set the story in motion and he is the one assisting Jace (possible hero)/Ral/Whatever forces for the first block. I do not see him being a hero.



I see him very much as being the catalyst and possible antagonist.
Quite frankly, I don't think he'll be a mentor in any fashion, and I would quite like to see Jace operating against him instead of the popular theory that they are allied.
Jace and Ral at odds would be fantastic.
Mind, I'm Izzet aligned, so I would love the chance to be the villain for a change.



Yeah i can't find the link I followed. Nor did I see it on either. I will remove that comment entirely.

I'm not ruling out them being Alied yet (partially because i swear i saw that post...). 
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 Because then we have to accept that an ancient elder dragon would really say "goat's balls"
Also, Stover was a horse's ass.



His personality has no bearing on cannon. The use of Goat's Balls may.
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His personality has no bearing on cannon. The use of Goat's Balls may.



I dunno, I think the approach of "That's what Tezzeret told me to write" and the absolute denial to address any criticism may have an impact on it.
His personality has no bearing on cannon. The use of Goat's Balls may.



I dunno, I think the approach of "That's what Tezzeret told me to write" and the absolute denial to address any criticism may have an impact on it.


No. Your dislike of the man does not impact cannon.
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I wasn't well versed with the original Ravnica's lore but it's a bit too convenient that there was no mention of what the Conclave did after the citizens turned against them (for knowing that they're manipulating things here and there). Maybe they used a much stronger spell or something?
While im not very interested in Selesnya this was a fun read. I particularly like the explanation on how wurms can tunnel so easily and the small blurbs at the end on their opinions of the other guilds.
It's sad those cultists dodn't get hanged after all, but it's nice to see how utterly PURE_EVILLE the Selesnya are. Hypocrital, assimilatory, self-righteous, everything worse about and .

I believe I will enjoy this block, if they keep making the guilds so utterly evil.
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I wasn't well versed with the original Ravnica's lore but it's a bit too convenient that there was no mention of what the Conclave did after the citizens turned against them (for knowing that they're manipulating things here and there). Maybe they used a much stronger spell or something?



I imagine that was the "chaos" that followed the guildpact. How the guilds got back in power... i'm going to guess that was the Orzhov and Azorius's doing. Imagine trying to built a new goverment when the old goverment has all the most powerful people in it.

I think large chunks of AoA will be thrown out to make RtR work.

It's sad those cultists dodn't get hanged after all, but it's nice to see how utterly PURE_EVILLE the Selesnya are. Hypocrital, assimilatory, self-righteous, everything worse about and .

I believe I will enjoy this block, if they keep making the guilds so utterly evil.



All the guilds are utterly evil. That's what makes Ravnica so much fun.
… and then, the squirrels came.
I think what I really like about this version of the Selesnya is that their collectivism feels as well as .
Indeed. They even did a refference to the Anima Mundi of greek philosophical thought.
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His personality has no bearing on cannon. The use of Goat's Balls may.



I dunno, I think the approach of "That's what Tezzeret told me to write" and the absolute denial to address any criticism may have an impact on it.


No. Your dislike of the man does not impact cannon.

No, I'm with Barinellos. It might. It's like knowing that J Robert King was kinda nuts--anything that he wrote is automatically under suspicion based on his flippant disinterest in whether or not he was remaining true to the setting, just like anything in Onslaught is under suspicion because... King was nuts.

Also, where's the image of Ral you mentioned? I can't find it.



Oh god I have no time to look at this right now but EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!

I'm super duper excited here, guys, you can't even imagine. So far the hook with Niv strikes me as interesting (and it reads to me like he is yes definitely very much not a Planeswalker, thank god), I like the art direction of Selesnya right now (although I think it's hilarious that the elementals are basically transported directly out of a Hayao Miyazaki movie), the time of turmoil seems good although I'm still a bit irked that they basically brought the Guilds back to life when their defeat was the whole point of the previous block...

Aaand now I have to go make mud bricks. Be back later. 
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All the guilds are utterly evil. That's what makes Ravnica so much fun.

I don't know, even back then, the Gruul seemed like the least evil guild. 

@mikemearls The office is basically empty this week, which opens up all sorts of possibilities for low shenanigans

@mikemearls In essence, all those arguments I lost are being unlost. Won, if you will. We're doing it MY way, baby.

@biotech66 aren't you the boss anyway? isn't "DO IT OR I FIRE YOU!" still an option?

@mikemearls I think Perkins would throat punch me if I ever tried that. And I'd give him a glowing quarterly review for it.

I think the Golgari and the Izzet are the least evil. You know it's a **** world when the least evil people are the ones who sacrifice children and the ones that explode everything.
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All the guilds are utterly evil. That's what makes Ravnica so much fun.

I don't know, even back then, the Gruul seemed like the least evil guild.  


The murder-****-pillage savages? The "I hurt you for eating with a fork" guys? The "I like the sound you make as I kill you" people? They like to smash and to eat people.



The Gruul are the guild that most directly kill innocent bystanders and destroy public property. The Izzet at least do this only accidently, not as their main purpose.

[<o>]
I think it is how hippocritical Selesnya are that is so interesting in this article. Also, looking forward to seeing what is going on with the Izzet and the frantic research happening at the moment. I just think it a bit of shame that one set couldn't have been between this one and the last Ravnica block, showing a bit of life without the guilds or their struggle to rebuild themselves. Probably would have been hard to do, but would be interesting.

All the guilds are utterly evil. That's what makes Ravnica so much fun.

I don't know, even back then, the Gruul seemed like the least evil guild.  


The murder-****-pillage savages? The "I hurt you for eating with a fork" guys? The "I like the sound you make as I kill you" people? They like to smash and to eat people.


The Gruul are the guild that most directly kill innocent bystanders and destroy public property. The Izzet at least do this only accidently, not as their main purpose.


I put them on the same level as eco-terrorists.  Really, if they just had some wild places to roam, there wouldn't be a problem.

The Izzet term "Accident" is short hand for "Successfully Failed Experiment."  If there are a thousand ways to fail at filling a light bulb with dragon-fire, the Izzet will try all thousand, with publicly disastrous results.....even after they already found the right way to do it.


Don't get me wrong, I like the Izzet, though the Orzhov is my evil guild of choice.  I just see them as as far more actively malicious than the Gruul.

@mikemearls The office is basically empty this week, which opens up all sorts of possibilities for low shenanigans

@mikemearls In essence, all those arguments I lost are being unlost. Won, if you will. We're doing it MY way, baby.

@biotech66 aren't you the boss anyway? isn't "DO IT OR I FIRE YOU!" still an option?

@mikemearls I think Perkins would throat punch me if I ever tried that. And I'd give him a glowing quarterly review for it.

I think the Gruul are tragic, but they are still evil. They were very much wronged and betrayed by everyone, but that doesn't justify their utter sadism, their mindless destruction, and their stupidity. They're only different from the Rakdos in that they genuinely feel themselves justified and don't worship demons in orgies.

The Orzhov are abhorrently evil, but they're considerably more benevolent.
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 No, I'm with Barinellos. It might. It's like knowing that J Robert King was kinda nuts--anything that he wrote is automatically under suspicion based on his flippant disinterest in whether or not he was remaining true to the setting, just like anything in Onslaught is under suspicion because... King was nuts.

Also, where's the image of Ral you mentioned? I can't find it.



community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758..., the skunk stripe is pretty distinctive.

They have shown no interest in over throwing his canna (like they did with King's) so until it's contradicted Test of MEtal is cannon. There's a difference between being nuts, and being a jerk who couldn't take criticism.




All the guilds are utterly evil. That's what makes Ravnica so much fun.

I don't know, even back then, the Gruul seemed like the least evil guild.  


The murder-****-pillage savages? The "I hurt you for eating with a fork" guys? The "I like the sound you make as I kill you" people? They like to smash and to eat people.


The Gruul are the guild that most directly kill innocent bystanders and destroy public property. The Izzet at least do this only accidently, not as their main purpose.


I put them on the same level as eco-terrorists.  Really, if they just had some wild places to roam, there wouldn't be a problem.

The Izzet term "Accident" is short hand for "Successfully Failed Experiment."  If there are a thousand ways to fail at filling a light bulb with dragon-fire, the Izzet will try all thousand, with publicly disastrous results.....even after they already found the right way to do it.


Don't get me wrong, I like the Izzet, though the Orzhov is my evil guild of choice.  I just see them as as far more actively malicious than the Gruul.




But the Izzet aren't doing it hurt anyone. The want to find the best way out of 1000, the gruul want to smash people and things. The motivation is important here if you are going with actively malicious. The Izzet aren't intending to hurt some one, but don't care if some one is. This isn't actively malicious, they aren't trying to hurt anyone. The Gruul on the otherhand want to hurt people, they want someone to hurt for them being outcasts. They are eco terrorists, and just like Poison Ivy, they actively seek to make people suffer for nature's plight. Want people to suffer, to cause chaos, is actively malicious. No matter the cause.
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That said, the Izzet patron, Niv-Mizzet is actively malevolent, murdering people for the sake of being competitors.
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I'm not sure it's so much that the Guilds are "evil" in any descriptively useful sense as that, compared to most other settings, we get to see daily life and the mechanisms of governance in much greater detail, and there's no outside inhuman Snidely Whiplash for them to fight. Is there any reason to suppose that Mirran or Innistradi (or for that matter our world's) institutions are less ruthless than Ravnican ones? Not that I can see.

That said, the Izzet patron, Niv-Mizzet is actively malevolent, murdering people for the sake of being competitors.

Active malevolence would be if he hated people and murdered them for fun. Murdering one's competitors is just business.
Except said competitors are just people who rival him in intellectual capacity. Murdering people just for being smart is vile.
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