8/29/2012 Feature Article: "Ravnica, Then and Now"

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This thread is for discussion of the feature article "Ravnica, Then and Now", which goes live Wednesday morning on magicthegathering.com.
This was an awesome article till it started talking about Jace....

The story of ravnica was amazing. I still re-read the books every few months, its just that good of a story to me. I cared way more about Kos, Feather,Crix, Jarad, Teysa, Pivlic, and even Borca and Obez way more than I care about Jace and Co....

I wanted Wizads to re-create that.

Without Jace.... or other PLs....

But since every set now needs to be about what Pls are doing on a Plane instead of being about characters from that Plane.... I just hope that they tone him (Jace) down in the story line....
"Claiming to receive insights from an unseen force"

I WONDER what that unseen force could be. Oh wait, it'll be the same unseen force that it's been in every set for the past 5 years, Nicol Bolas.
Nope.
Nope.


Well now, THAT'S interesting. You know what would be a real plot twist? If he were just crazy after all.
A series of massive sinkholes begin opening in remote areas of Ravnica. Below is an ancient ocean, long-since covered by layer upon layer of city. The merfolk race live there, and they remained hidden but aware of the surface dwellers.



Really?  Really.

You're trying too hard here.  Just say all the merfolk lived in their own lakeside part of the city that was ignored & untouched in the original Ravnica.  The secret underground ocean is bizarre, and while bizarre has its place in a setting, not here I think.  (Also it is generally bad policy to nitpick too hard on these things, but was this an entirely dark ocean, or was there some magic light source so that the merfolk won't be blind when on the surface?  And aren't modern merfolk supposed to be able to walk?  They wouldn't have needed it before...  magic, I guess.)

More seriously, while we're on the topic of the Simic...  the opening to
www.wizards.com/magic/tcg/productarticle...
reads a little off to me.

The Simic Combine is Ravnica’s steward of nature and the wild; its mission is to preserve and advance the natural world even as Ravnica’s cities continue to grow.



I suppose the neo-Simic are flavored more heavily green than the old Simic.  I'm not sure that's a wise idea, though.  I think the old Simic would call themselves masters of nature and the wild whose mission is to control and harness the natural world.  That's fun and interesting, and sets them apart from the Selesnya / Gruul, who would be more likely to "preserve" nature rather than "improve" on it.  Anyway, magical biologists are fun, done rarely, and only make sense in U/G, while druidic protectors of the wild (who happen to use some blue magic too) show up in practically every set, thus aren't as special or compelling.
"Claiming to receive insights from an unseen force"

I WONDER what that unseen force could be. Oh wait, it'll be the same unseen force that it's been in every set for the past 5 years, Nicol Bolas.

Really? My thought upon reading that was actually "Szadek".
IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/c6f9e416e5e0e1f0a1e5c42b0c7b3e88.jpg?v=90000)
Love how this set just DRIPS flavor

I also would add that I'm a fan of merfolk, but I agree it was a little clumsy, and will need a better explanation
That explanation will come in time. It's underpinned by the Wilds Initiative, which is a multi-guild effort undertaken in the wake of the Guildpact's dissolution. Because newer players must first understand what the guilds are, detailing the Wilds Initiative has to wait for a while.

"Rumors abound that Lazav is insane, claiming to receive insights from an unseen force."


"Little is known about Agyrem now"


"She is the Speaker for Zonot One, the first of the mysterious sinkholes to emerge on Ravnica... she speaks at the discretion of the Speakers’ Chamber, a secretive body of all nine of the zonots’ speakers. Many outside the Simic believe... that Zegana controls the Chamber—if it actually meets at all."


www.wizards.com/magic/tcg/productarticle...




So we have a bunch of people who take orders from the unknown and a bunch of mysterious, never-before-seen places. Plus, there's that strange, small third set with all 10 guilds. It's going to be something like the Eldrazi all over again.
Joining a guild and adhering to some ancient guildmaster's creed is not something that splinter movements—such as the so-called Gateless—are willing to accept.


Guess we know where Gatecrash comes from. No idea why the "gate" though. 
Now THIS is the article I have been waiting for since the announcement that RtR would have guilds.
Thanks for giving attention to that.

Also, I'm jump on the bandwagon of the whole merfolk thing feeling clunky and forced. But since you said the explanation will come, I shall wait for it. (By the way, I think it's really nice that you, Brady, reply to posts here. It feels nice to know we are being listened to.)
OMG click HERE! OMG! How to autocard and use decklist format
--->
For autocarding, write [c][/c] with the name of the card inside it. [c]Island[/c] = Island For linking a card to Gatherer without writting the name of said card for readers, use the autocard brackets together with and equal sign and right the name of the real card. Then put the message you want inside the tags, like you would do with autocarding. Like this: [c=Curse of the Cabal]Captain Never-resolves[/c] = Captain Never-resolves For using the decklist format, follow this: [deck] 4* Terramorphic Expanse 4* Evolving Wilds ... [/deck] It equals:
Real signature, Sblocked for space:
57817638 wrote:
I like storm crow because I really like crows in real life, as an animal, and the card isn't terribly stupid, but packs a good deal of nostalgia and also a chunck of the game's history. So it's perhaps one of the cards I have most affection to, but not because "lol storm crow is bad hurr hurr durr".
Listen to my SoundCloud while you read my signature. The Island, Come And See, The Landlord's Daughter, You'll Not Feel The Drowning - The Decemberists by vimschy IMAGE(http://dragcave.net/image/rkvR.gif)IMAGE(http://dragcave.net/image/L3es.gif) IMAGE(http://dragcave.net/image/m71H.gif)
Quotes
56747598 wrote:
57295478 wrote:
Although I do assume you deliberately refer to them (DCI) as The Grand Imperial Convocation of Evil just for the purposes of making them sound like an ancient and terrible conspiracy.
Now, now. 1994 doesn't quite qualify as "ancient".
56734518 wrote:
Oh, it's a brilliant plan. You see, Bolas was travelling through shadowmoor, causing trouble, when he saw a Wickerbough Elder with its stylin' dead scarecrow hat. Now, Bolas being Bolas took the awesome hat and he put it on his head, but even with all his titanic powers of magic he couldn't make it fit. He grabbed some more scarecrows, but then a little kithkin girl asked if he was trying to build a toupee. "BY ALL THE POWERS IN THE MULTIVERSE!" he roared, "I WILL HAVE A HAT WORTHY OF MY GLORY." and so he went through his Dark Lore of Doom (tm) looking for something he could make into a hat that would look as stylish on him as a scarecrow does on a treefolk. He thought about the Phyrexians, but they were covered in goopy oil that would make his nonexistant hair greasy. He Tried out angels for a while but they didn't sit quite right. Then, he looked under "e" (because in the Elder Draconic alphabet, "e" for Eldrazi is right next to "h" for Hat) in his Dark Lore of Doom and saw depictions of the Eldrazi, and all their forms. "THIS SHALL BE MY HAT!" he declared, poking a picture of Emrakul, "AND WITH IT I WILL USHER IN A NEW AGE OF DARKNESS -- ER, I MEAN A NEW AGE OF FASHION!" And so Nicol Bolas masterminded the release of the Eldrazi.
57864098 wrote:
Rhox War Monk just flips pancakes, and if games have told us anything, it's that food = life.
56747598 wrote:
76973988 wrote:
This thread has gotten creepy. XP
Really? Really? The last couple days have been roughly every perverse fetish imaginable, but it only got "creepy" when speculation on Mother of Runes's mob affiliation came up?
76672808 wrote:
57864098 wrote:
57531048 wrote:
Nice mana base. Not really.
Yeah, really. If my deck was going to cost $1000+, I'd at least make it good.
99812049 wrote:
I like to think up what I consider clever names for my decks, only later to be laughed at by my wife. It kills me a little on the inside, but thats what marriage is about.
56816728 wrote:
56854588 wrote:
Of course, the best use [of tolaria west] is transmuting for the real Tolaria. ;)
Absolutely. I used to loose to my buddy's Banding deck for ages, it was then that I found out about Tolaria, and I was finally able win my first game.
70246459 wrote:
WOAH wait wait wait
56957928 wrote:
You know, being shallow and jusdgmental aside, "I later found out that Jon infiltrated his way into OKCupid dates with at least two other people"
56957928 wrote:
"I later found out that Jon infiltrated his way into OKCupid dates with at least two other people"
56957928 wrote:
Jon infiltrated his way into OKCupid dates
56957928 wrote:
OH MY GOD
109874309 wrote:
The only way I'd cast this card is into a bonfire.
82032421 wrote:
The short answer is that there's no rule barring annoying people from posting, but there a rule barring us from harassing them about it.
56747598 wrote:
Browbeat is a card that is an appropriate deck choice when there's no better idea available. "No better idea available" was pretty much the running theme of Odyssey era.
56874518 wrote:
Or perhaps it was a more straightforward comment indicating a wish for you to be bitten (Perhaps repeatedly) by a small yet highly venomous arachnid.
70246459 wrote:
58280208 wrote:
You're an idiot, and I'm in no mood for silliness.
57817638 wrote:
57145078 wrote:
You just... Vektor it.
That's the answer to everything.
70246459 wrote:
58347268 wrote:
I think the problem is that you don't exist.
This would sound great out of context!
56965458 wrote:
Modern is like playing a new tournament every time : you build a deck, you win with it, don't bother keeping it. Just build another, its key pieces will get banned.
57864098 wrote:
57309598 wrote:
I specifically remember posting a thread when I was just a witty bitty noob.
You make it sound like that's still not the case.
58325628 wrote:
Rap is what happens when the c from crap is taken away.
Doug Beyer:
But sometimes it's also challenging. Because sometimes OH MY GOD, WHAT THE HELL IS THIS THING?
141434757 wrote:
Flashforward five thousand years (Click for atmosphere) :
57927608 wrote:
to paraphrase Jeff Goldblum, Vektor finds a way.
58347268 wrote:
when in rome **** AND PILLAGE
143229641 wrote:
I always find it helpful when im angry to dress up in an owl costume and rub pennies all over my body in front of a full body mirror next to the window.
Dymecoar:
Playing Magic without Blue is like sleeping without any sheets or blankets. You can do it...but why?
Omega137:
Me: "I love the moment when a control deck stabilizes. It feels so... right." Omega137: "I like the life drop part until you get there, it's the MtG variant of bungee jumping"
Zigeif777:
Just do it like Yu-Gi-Oh or monkeys: throw all the crap you got at them and hope it works or else the by-standers (or opponents) just get dirty and pissed.
57471038 wrote:
58258708 wrote:
It's true that Alpha and Beta didn't contain any cards like Tarmogoyf, Darksteel Colossus, or Platinum Angel. It just contained weak, insignificant cards like Black Lotus, Mox Sapphire, and Time Walk.
Normally it's difficult to pick up on your jokes/sarcasm. But this one's pretty much out there. Good progress. You have moved up to Humanoid. You'll be Human in no time.
91893448 wrote:
94618431 wrote:
I didn't know Samurai were known to be able to cut down whole armies...
They can when they're using lightsabers!
57129358 wrote:
97980259 wrote:
My wife brought home a baby black squirrel they found on a horse track and cared for it for a few days. We named it Grixis, but it died.
Unearth it!
70246459 wrote:
[/spoiler] And I'm on Magic Arcana. How about you? Oh, by the way, I'm also on From the Lab now. Twice, actually. And now with my own submited decklist!
I, for one, don't find the merfolk's introduction out of place or awkward at all. A world needs to have oceans (lots of water) to sustain life. Yet Ravnica's entire surface is covered in city... Therefore, the bodies of water had to have all been buried under city layers.

Now all that's left to learn is why the merfolk suddenly decided to surface. But I'm sure there's a reason. 
IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/c6f9e416e5e0e1f0a1e5c42b0c7b3e88.jpg?v=90000)
3rd set is going to end with Niv making an inter-planar travel network, that will open up the multiverse to the phyrexians and eldrazi. Then as a final twist the entire metropolis will be destroyed restoring Ravnica to it original natural state. Yup, an I'm sticking to it!
3rd set is going to end with Niv making an inter-planar travel network, that will open up the multiverse to the phyrexians and eldrazi. Then as a final twist the entire metropolis will be destroyed restoring Ravnica to it original natural state. Yup, an I'm sticking to it!
I agree, the article was really interesting and quite a good read until the words Jace Beleren showed up. Stories about the planes themselves were interesting, now every story is going to struggle to be different because the centre point is the same handful of characters...

Still, I only care so much about fluff... I'm just hoping that the Jace they print at some point in this sets run doesn't dominate the entire format and ruin the game for people like the last screw up did.
I want to be Cultured.
Yup Planeswalkers are boring... 

I think because there isn't much tension. They're supposed to be Magic's constant, so they keep on living and doing relatively nothing. They change too little.

Venser & Karn were interesting. The first died, the second got a spark for a second time, now there's change, that's interesting.

Sarkan revered dragons and then made the mistake of revering Nicol Bolas and is now insane or something. That's interesting.

Jace? I see NO difference between the very fist Jace and this one. What has he done in all the stories up until now? I don't know, and it seems I don't have to care because he hasn't changed at all. He's a bit tired... really?? Is that supposed to hook me?

Sorin is another example. He returned to his homeplane in dramatic fashion, to set things right once and for all, to do... nothing? What has he done? I have no idea. He just didn't matter in AVR's storyline or something?


Reading about these guildmasters, who keeps scheming against each other, failing, succeeding, dying, that is interesting. But it made me realize that Planeswalkers have this storytelling flaw. Because they are a constant, because they're not subject to world-changing events, they are, ultimately, quite boring.

So while you have 100% succeeded in making Planeswalkers the faces of the game, to give it, and the colors, personality, protagonists, people to be drawn to, the problem is that they lack depth. Severely. They are the faces of the game, but they only have face value.
Love the flavor of this set. Makes me sad I missed the first Ravnica block.

This is a good help to get a feel for the setting, and since the books are out of print and kindle wont sell them in my region (please fix so the old books are available world wide on kindle, they are available on nook) its a great way for the rest of us to catch up. Just trying to get a feel for the different guilds so I can pick "the right one" at the pre-release.

Just a small question/comment. I thought Ravnica was an ecumenopolis (a city spanning an entire planet) rather than an megalopolis? (chain of roughly adjacent metropolitan areas)
 
Really? My thought upon reading that was actually "Szadek".



Same here:
'Little is known about Agyrem now; its whereabouts in the Multiverse are a mystery.'
'Rumors abound that Lazav is insane, claiming to receive insights from an unseen force.'

Hmmmm. Definitely going to go with Szadek there too.

Could the Gatecrash be the unwelcome appearance of a lot of dead spirits? Although I suppose that would make more sense as a third set twist. The term 'gateless' for a bunch of the guildless definitely feels like a set-up piece of info.

I wholeheartedly back the calls for Jace's involvement in the story of RtR to be minimal. A peripheral thread perhaps, but not a central part, please? Ravnica has enough great characters and depth of intrigue of its own - it doesn't need the PWs to stomp all over it.

This was an awesome article till it started talking about Jace....

The story of ravnica was amazing. I still re-read the books every few months, its just that good of a story to me. I cared way more about Kos, Feather,Crix, Jarad, Teysa, Pivlic, and even Borca and Obez way more than I care about Jace and Co....

I wanted Wizads to re-create that.

Without Jace.... or other PLs....

But since every set now needs to be about what Pls are doing on a Plane instead of being about characters from that Plane.... I just hope that they tone him (Jace) down in the story line....



I agree with this (and other) posts that the useage of the same planeswalkers everywhere damages how engaging the plot of each set is by their relative immutability. And really, wasn't that part of the reason The Mending happened in the first place? Yes, it was partly that the planeswalkers were so g-d-mnd powerful that every crisis had to be a universe-ending apocalypse whooaaaaa but also that the characters just didn't change at all? And that's why so many stories tended to focus on the PW's companions, like Xantcha, Jhoira, and the Weatherlight crew.  

Now, that's not to say that each world or setting has enough meat on its bones to necessarily support a story without planeswalkers. Kamigawa (as I understand its plot; never read the novels) and Ravnica were examples of stories that did. Quite frankly, the Ravnica block novels (Guildpact particularly) stand as my favorite magic novels but also stand fairly strong among novels I've read, period. They're wonderful fun, with plenty of humor, engaging characters (Kos! Pivlic! Zomaj Hauc!), gorgeous setpieces (the entire caravan fight sequence, Teysa's visit to her uncle prior to his death, Niv-Mizzet v Nephilim), and a story that's much more interesting to follow than Here Is The Big Bad Guy Dear Reader, Now Let's Watch The Protagonist Figure It Out And Stop Him.
On the other hand though, you have stories like Lorwyn and Mirrodin which just ... didn't.

So, I don't know that there's an all-encompassing solution. But there's definitely - for me at least, and for others here it seems - a problem.

Lest this all sound like pure whining, I want to personally thank each and every member of the (as I understand it to be) quite small creative team. You guys do a tremendous amount of work every year without pause, and while us story nerds always find bones to pick, that's more a reflection on our insatiability rather than some inadequacy on y'all's parts. So thanks for making sets and worlds every year that, even with our complaining, we all love to explore.

 
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.
As someone who never played the original Rav block or read the novels, THANK YOU for doing this sort of catch-up article. I feel a lot gets missed at the ends of sets; I'd like an "Aftermath" article detailing how things are left for a number of planes.

And now for the wild speculation!


  • As occamsrazorwit said, the Gateless will be the main focus of Gatecrasher.

  • I envisage this as similar to the first season of Legend of Korra, where you have the "normal" people (non-guild people) uniting under a leader who promises equal status to those in guilds.

  • Gatecrasher will cover the war between the guilds and the non-guilds

  • The normal leader will probably turn out to be an old guild leader.

"a non-descript location". Fitting, for such a non-descript character. Why don't they just kill Jace.
"Jace has set up shop"

Hello there, Jace the Wallet Sculptor... 
Why don't they just kill Jace.

Someone in Marketing desperately wants Jace to be Magic's mascot, regardless of the customer base consistently rejecting the idea.

I want Niv Mizzet to eat Jace.
I never played the original Ravnica block, nor did I read the novels.

During my first reading of this article, I found the information about the history of the guilds very difficult to parse.  There is just so much story to wrap into this one article.

That said, I really appreciate that this article exists and has all these summaries here.  I plan on referencing it often in the context of the new information being released, to help me get a better picture of things a guild or so at a time.  Thanks for putting all this together!
There's a lot of complaining about how the Planeswalkers are going to take over the story.

I find this funny because of all the complaining that the planeswalkers in AVR and DKA weren't involved in the story at all.


I appreciate the story content they give us, whether it focuses on Planeswalkers or not.
Why don't they just kill Jace.

Someone in Marketing desperately wants Jace to be Magic's mascot, regardless of the customer base consistently rejecting the idea.






I'm pretty certain that Jace is their most popular Planeswalker with the playerbase.  I think Mark Rosewater mentioned that somewhere in the past couple months.

Keep in mind, the majority of the playerbase does not frequent these forums, nor are they on the Pro Tour.
Why don't they just kill Jace.

Someone in Marketing desperately wants Jace to be Magic's mascot, regardless of the customer base consistently rejecting the idea.






I'm pretty certain that Jace is their most popular Planeswalker with the playerbase.  I think Mark Rosewater mentioned that somewhere in the past couple months.

Keep in mind, the majority of the playerbase does not frequent these forums, nor are they on the Pro Tour.



This. The masses love them their Mary Sues.
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.

This. The masses love them their Mary Sues.




That explains the popularity of Twilight for sure.

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."
Yeah, I have to agree with everyone here saying that the less we see of Jace, the better. I hope that you can set it up to be something more like the older stories like Ice Age or Weatherlight where the planeswalkers were involved, but the focus was on non-planeswalkers. I want to see more about Teysa, Feather, and Niv-Mizzet, have them be the main characters. That's what I want to see.

This is not the post you're looking for.

Not that I get WHY Mary Sues are so beloved. Of course, this is coming from someone who DOESN'T think wish fulfillment can possibly be THAT important in choosing what stories you look to. Probably says something that a big part of the reason why I dislike the Silent Protagonist conceit in many CRPGs is that I think the player is properly the director, not the lead actor. (The programmers are the producer.)

I've not read enough post-Ravnica fiction to get the proper gist of Jace, but it's sounding like he's slipping into Boring Invincible Hero territory, from these posts. So the question becomes, how are "the masses" NOT getting bored?

Not that I like the idea of just ONE signal character. I'm toying with the idea (not connecting to Magic personalities) of five main characters who each readily map to one of the five dangerous flaws in a general that Sunzi identified in the Art of War:

--The general ready to die (he can be killed easily, quickly robbing the troops of his earned insights)
--The general intent to live (he can be captured rather easily)
--The bellicose general (he can be lured into an ill-advised battle)
--The puritanical general (he may be reluctant to take certain ethically/morally grey actions, and thus force his army--and people--into an even more deleterious situation. In other words, he's unwilling to accept the possibility that the grey he's glaring at is as light as it's going to get for the time being.)
--The general overly concerned with the welfare of non-combatants (he can be lured into protecting an actively threatened village, rather than properly protect an integral pass or the like)

The idea? See how whatever lies behind these particular flaws may actually counterweight and correct each other.

Although if we're going to focus on planeswalkers...how about a set-story whose protagonist is a normative introduced in set one, but awakens during the course of events, with their planeswalker iteration card in set three? (Or is that too redolent of Glissa? In any case, we'd probably need another, already-awakened planeswalker, such as Tibalt, to be a contrasting antagonist.)

Now, as to the mysterious past...Remember that while Ravnican culture has a Slavic cast to it, the remnants of the old--nephilim, lamassu, etc.--have a more Hebrew/Assyrian/Babylonian cast. Now remember the existence of the Sanguine Praetor. Methinks the "old gods" are going to make a return appearance. Going by the inclusion of the nephilim, I'm going to guess that these old gods will have the creature type "Grigori"--according to 1 Enoch, the angel-side progenitors of the nephilim. Or else...Eldrazi. Note the "el" in there. Or still something else, whatever Apsu, Tiamat, Mummu, and Qingu were classified as in Sumerian and Babylonian myth. Either way, I don't think Jace is going to be too happy about discovering anything even remotely like the headaches back at Zendikar.

Then again...the nephilim were an odd pastiche of colors, as opposed to the colorless Eldrazi. So perhaps the Grigori are the opposite of Eldrazi in that, but no less deadly to the rest of Dominia. If they're somewhat a negative image of the Eldrazi, then Jace might make for a good advisor for the Ravnicans in how to at least drive the old gods back into slumber, if not out of Ravnica and Agyrem entirely.

EDIT: ...And I just realized something ugly. The earlier merfolk planeswalker is GU. The merfolk are in charge of Simic now. The planeswalker in question adulates leviathans and other horrors of the deep. The Sumerians and Babylonians regarded Apsu and Tiamat as the incarnations of, respectively, fresh water and salt water.

The "old gods" are going to be in the vein of Apsu & Co., aren't they? And at least a portion of the merfolk are their agents...

There's a lot of complaining about how the Planeswalkers are going to take over the story.

I find this funny because of all the complaining that the planeswalkers in AVR and DKA weren't involved in the story at all.

I appreciate the story content they give us, whether it focuses on Planeswalkers or not.


I was complaining because the only reason we went to Innistrad was because Lil-Dawg had to kill another demon holding a part of her contract....

Once I accepted Innistrad's plot line was going to be PL based, it was then just weird to drop them for the bulk of set 2 and 3....

Either way, I don't think Jace is going to be too happy about discovering anything even remotely like the headaches back at Zendikar.


Neither will the player base....
Come to think of it, why does Magic NEED a mascot? For that matter, why are mascots necessary for anything in the first place?

But returning to the storytelling problems from focusing on planeswalkers over normal planar denizens...Remember that most fantasy epics, whether they're in a Romanticist or Enlightenment cast, focus on mortals (heroic deeds-performing or otherwise) rather than gods. At least, not entirely on gods (one or two Forgotten Realms novels come to mind here). The thing is that the capabilities of planeswalkers have a tendency to make them the closest thing Dominia HAS to gods (excepting horrors like the Eldrazi). Focusing too much on them puts the mortals--the ones the readers would most easily identify with--on the periphery. (Yes, I know I said I'm not that fond of the idea of reading stories for the sake of wish fulfillment. But one does expect an avenue into the story that they share.)

Then again, this problem may stem from the in-game conceit that the players are themselves planeswalkers. Not particularly potent world-bound sorcerors, but planeswalkers outright. Thus, I'm thinking that Creative is expecting that the readers/followers of the story have already besotted themselves with fantasies of being that far above the normative mortals, and want stories to reinforce that vision. Now consider that a defining aspect of planeswalkers is that they can travel among many planes and/or worlds rather quickly. This causes an expanse problem. From such a scale, the ordinary events--and even the not-so-ordinary events--of single planes don't get notices easily. Only the ones that encompass multiple planes, if not the entirety of Dominia, get noticed. But only the vanishingly few numbers of planeswalkers can even notice their span. The day-to-day/year-to-year, easily identifiable concerns of individual planes get overshadowed by the power-drenched problems of the Blind Eternities...where non-planeswalkers can't see their totality.

I understand that Creative wants to have stories that encompass multiple planes. But first perhaps we should ensure that others than planeswalkers can appreciate (well, at least understand) the situation, and be able to contribute. Why force planeswalkers to do all the work? Although we'd probably need some way for non-planeswalkers to move back and forth between planes, even if in limited amounts. Network of stable gates? Spelljammer-ish vessels? Other?



I've not read enough post-Ravnica fiction to get the proper gist of Jace, but it's sounding like he's slipping into Boring Invincible Hero territory, from these posts. So the question becomes, how are "the masses" NOT getting bored?






And being someone who read the novel Agents of Artifice, Tezzeret put an artifact in jace's mind causing him extreme pain if he performed any magic, nulling his abilities. And also doomed jace to life alone without friends or companions. 
What I'm saying is, it seems wizards forgets this part of the story ever happened. (It takes place during new phyrexia unofficially, but if you follow the plot its the only time it makes sense) Because Tezzeret as AOB was in Mirrodin Besieged, but the book takes place before that yet he was already free of Bolas's command becoming as powerful as bolas killing him a thousand times over and tricking him when the real bolas showed up (clones! who knew!).

So what I'm saying is what the heck is jace doing here when the story clearly puts him in a coma that can walk. Im sure Agents of Artifice would have happened by now and Tezzeret defeated Jace easily. The first time Jace won was an accident, and this time when Jace came to finish the hurt Tezz off, It was to late and Tezzeret learned the secret of how to make Etherium creating infinite power (why bolas wanted him in the first place.) He put an artifact in Jaces mind rendering his powers useless, and i can't remember if he can even planeswalk anymore.

It irritates me that this story which was made my wizards seems to be tossed out the window, and neglected. When i think its the best story theyve made. I mean who honestly likes jace? his books were him whining the entire time and letting his friends sacrifice there lives for his (by him mind sculpting them into doing it) hes an awful person. just let him be dead like in the stories already..  
Could be a case of Creator's Pet--with the Creator in question desperately trying to nullify AoA (which I've not read at all). The "masses'" fondness for Jace would be exacerbating it. I wonder how many of THEM have read AoA. Even worse, I wonder how many, despite the ignominy you mentioned (or still worse, have ways to excuse it; the TVTropes term you want here is Draco in Leather Pants), actually IDENTIFY with him.

Then again, we don't know the EXACT point in time in which RtR occurs with respect to SoM, I believe. We've had these switchbacks before; the Kamigawa block must take place quite a while before Odyssey and Onslaught, at the very least.

Honestly, if (IF) we're going to have a mascot, why can't it be Ajani? No less a sorceror than Jace...

(By the way, my hope for how this block ends, even if it turns out it's based on misinterpreting the term "Gatecrash"? Ravnica and Agyrem become satellites of or binaries--trinaries?--with another world, such as Shandalar or Equilor.)
Some revisions have been made to this article based on feedback and proposals from the Flavor and Storylines community and from user Barinellos in particular. Big thanks to them for helping us keep our many ducks in a row.
Some revisions have been made to this article based on feedback and proposals from the Flavor and Storylines community and from user Barinellos in particular. Big thanks to them for helping us keep our many ducks in a row.



My faith in humanity has been restored.
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)
To the poster about mascots:  Mascots are like symbols.  Symbols, in Graphics, are images the mind instantly recognizes.  The mind and the eye takes longer to read the word T-A-R-G-E-T, but seing the red on white bullseye makes the brand come to the mind instantly without having to process it.  In advertising, you would be surprised how quickly the eye moves; and how little the mind processes what the eye sees if it doesn't interest us.  It's been a while since graphics classes, but I believe the time is like 1.5 seconds.  Probably less than that.

However; a symbol or mascot makes us instantly recognize a brand or an ideal.  Being able to recognize something instantly brings memories and insight.  Seeing pretty art makes it just that - pretty art.  Art is subjective.  But even if the art is bad by many standards (example, Jace, Memory Adept), we STILL recognize the character and can relate to it in some way.

And here's hoping Dimir doesn't stink.  Its my favorite guild.  Make the shapeshifter guy reasonable to play with in constructed, please? 
Ravnica was my favorite story cycle, and may have been my favorite block, in all of Magic the Gathering. I've been playing since 6th edition was a new thing. I already notice characters fading away (Feather lost power, Jarad's Selesnyan lady friend seems to have disappeared) and I sincerely hope that this isn't in favor of bringing in the recurring annual heroes. (And then suddenly, Jace conveniently appeared and stole the story of the entire trilogy and provided infinite card advantage to all!) Things were just so much more interesting when the plane was separated and had its own culture and inner workings, rather than being yet another stop on the Jace, Lili, Garruk, Chandra, and Gideon World Tour (occasionally guest-starring Elspeth). The players were always supposed to be planeswalkers I guess, although the earliest explanation I recall is that we represented mages in a duel, and we had Urza and Karn and the like, but they didn't insist on popping up... everywhere... constantly.

I quit Magic for a good while when Planeswalkers first came around, played in a couple drafts over a couple years and occasionally played a nostalgia match with an old friend. When Scars came around I was like "hey I remember Mirrodin, even Ravager was preferable to planeswalkers!" and then a buddy invited me to an FNM, I built a silly Myr deck, and I was hooked again. I had planned to quit again to save money and time once Scars block cycled out and I couldn't play the infect deck I've been playing for the last 13 months anymore, but then I heard we were going back to Ravnica... and that, more than anything else POSSIBLY could have, pulled me back in.

I guess what I'm saying is in your hands, Wizards, is my favorite piece of nerdy lore and fiction and gaming ever... and I fell in love with it because the characters had life and personality, the world was interesting on its own, and on top of that there were just so many viable strategies... please be gentle. (And could we get Cory J. Herndon to write the novels again? That was way above par for licensed fantasy writing.)


And here's hoping Dimir doesn't stink.  Its my favorite guild.  Make the shapeshifter guy reasonable to play with in constructed, please? 



I agree.

Dimir is my favorite guild too, and I'm praying every day to Wizards do not destroy them. Honestly, I like Lazav, but I REALLY would like to see Szadek's return as a very very very bad vilan that'll make alot ofpeople suffer.   XD

But I think the "misterious force" that talks to Lazav are actually Nicol Bolas...

Anyway. I'm a Jace fan and I have no fear to tell it. I like to see Jace when he make an appearence on Magic histories (c'mon, everyone have at least 1 fav. planeswalker, so why not Jace?  ^^"). The point is: 

I have no problem to bring back the planeswalkers to the history. I have problem when Wizards creates new planeswalkers, show a briefing about his background and forget about him/her (Tibalt, Tamiyo) or when they simply forget about what happens to the ones who already have their history.

What about Sorin at Innistrad? What about Nissa? What about Garruk's fate? What about Chandra's wherabouts? What about the planeswalkers fighting against New Phyrexia? What about THE CONCLUSION OF THE PLOTS?

And I tell this not only about the planeswalkers, but the "legendary" characters from some planes, as Innistrad. Why Wizards didn't shown the 3 main howlpack alphas (Skahara, Ulrich and Tovolar)? And Runo Stromkirk and Edgar Markov? Ludevic, Gisa and Geralf?
Odric... who are this guy? The block just had finished and they showed a random guy from Innistrad and said "this guy here will be important" (for what?  o.O)

I know I'd write to much... but I'm new around here and I was willing to put some questions on the board.   ^^"

Just an Add: I really would like to see all the 10 guilds seeing play T2. I play Magic since 1999 and Ravnica was one of my favorite blocks ever.