9/19/2012: A Planeswalker's Guide to Return to Ravnica, Part 3

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This thread is for discussion of the third part of A Planeswalker's Guide to Return to Ravnica, which goes live on Wednesday morning on magicthegathering.com.
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I really get the sinking feeling that even the creative team is biased towards blue/X guilds. They're the only ones that aren't portrayed as completely insane, and this new version of the Azorius is less bureaucracy-gone-global and oddly . . . reasonable. I mean, why the Hades would they like the Izzet? Did it ever occur to you guys that part of the reason why so many people "identify" as blue/X guilds is that you suggest that joining any other would result in death within five minutes? What ever happened to having a range of appealing things for various parts of the audience?
I don't know... to me the Izzet seem much more unhinged than the Golgari. In any case, the Azorius probably had to adapt after Prahv was destroyed.
Massacre Girl's spikers are particularly notorious for their random acts of violence.


As the bounty on Massacre Girl rose, so did the number of imitators (Thrill-Kill Assassin).



WHO IS MASSACRE GIRL? I MUST KNOW. 
I don't know... to me the Izzet seem much more unhinged than the Golgari. In any case, the Azorius probably had to adapt after Prahv was destroyed.



Unhinged? You aren't getting the hints, are you? There is a strong undercurrent in the stories that the Izzet are being treated with more suspicion than ANY other guild, largely due to the "unknown" designs of Nivvy himself. (Or is that "Himself"?) In fact, it seems there is a trend toward reflecting on the uncertainty and mystery of Nivvy's designs than on the known purposes of the other guilds.

(What I do not like, however, is that the Azorius are now the Law and the Legislature: they make, enforce, and prosecute the laws, whereas the enforcement -- and detainment -- aspects were originally in the purview of the Boros Legion and the Wojek, which were essentially Federal and "state" enforcements. The Boros seem to have been relegated to "Army," which is odd because there is only ONE government, which says that there is a massive amount of overlap with Azorius' assumption of enforcement and detainment duties.)
"Possibilities abound, too numerous to count." "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969) "Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion Backs)
The Rakdos are written so one-dimensionally it hurts.

"It's members are sadistic and cruel simply for the fun of it." 

Well, thank you for clearing that ambiguous morality out of the way. No "At best they are nice, at worse they are mean" stuff like for the Azorius. Rakdos are not your friends. Ever.

"Many Rings run multiple clubs within them, which sometimes only last weeks or months before they are shut down by a mass murder, major fire, or—sometimes—by the law enforcement of other guilds."

"There's a lot of violence between cult members, as well as random "family" groups who live nomadic existences in squat houses throughout Ravnica. Most cult members live hard and die young."

Why would anybody want to join these people? Why? 

 "These mages lead Rakdos festivals. They often have dramatic, chaotic personalities and colorful names that rival the pit fighters. They know how to put on a show and incite bystanders into joining the festivities." 

"STEP RIGHT UP AND HAVE YOUR CHANCE TO GET STUCK ON A MEAT HOOK!" Yes, that would clearly attract bystanders.

"Rakdos festivals are not only a reward to cult members, but also a pretense for Rakdos thieves to steal anything they can get their hands on while the residents are distracted."

This is actually a pretty cool detail, and it gives a hint to how the guild can support itself. I like it.

"A roustabout is any cult member who hangs around a club, helping out the Ringmaster with whatever tasks are needed, such as cleaning up blood spills or dragging the dead bodies out and leaving them in a gutter in another district. This is not a formal economic arrangement and a roustabout is usually compensated with something other than cash."

...Grim Roustabout is a skeleton. How on Earth does that work?

"In addition to possessing incredible strength, they tend to be good followers, as they rarely show the capacity to think for themselves or even carry out complex orders."

rakdoz r dum hur hur hur
Rakdos were always like that. Their suicidal recklessness has been their trademark since always, and I don't see why that would change. People seek them because, well, sex. Sure they can't convey these things directly in the article or cards, but it's quite clear in their hints. Some of the flavor text shows that very well. Also, "debauchery clubs". Besides that, there's the whole "underworld entertainement" thing, with fights to death and so on. Some people are just twisted and like those forms of "entertainement". Pit fighters and goblins dying. It's not hard to imagine Orzhov clerics sneaking out of their mansions at night to watch these things. Now, why would someone join the guild? Because htey are psycopaths and want to be free to kill without guilt or remorse. Other don't have many options left, and others are undead. After you die, death isn't that threatening anymore. And when you look at it, a painfull death isn't that scary in a world where you can just return as a zombie/skeleton/spirit and still have some fun with your killing. Sure, most guilds make you feel as if you couldn't stay alive for 1 week in there, but then what, they can bring you back as many times as necessary.

However, the new portrait of Azorius somewhat bothers me. As said before, they just seem... alright. They seem just and fair, something that anyone happy with society would have no problem embracing. So, what was the idea? To get more people to like them? I don't know. I liked their previous interpratation a lot, since I tend to like villains much more than the conventional ones. I completely agree with Qilong's comment about them enforcing laws and leaving the Boros either shafted or conflicted. When the article says:

"When we have the ear of the Legion, they are instrumental in executing operations that the Senate cannot or will not undertake. When the Legion becomes the tool of another guild, we have no greater enemy."


it just sounds like they are mercenaries for hire. What's up with all the law enforcement the Boros had, their identity of glorious combat, all of that? They just feel like puppets and weapons-for-hire from that short paragraph.
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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".
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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!
You were expecting subtlety and nuance to the black and red guild?  The one that is a cult lead by a demon?   ...Kind of barking up the wrong tree with that one.

As for Rakdos himself, I think its a pretty solid design.  He's crazy efficient, befitting of a legendary creature, and both his drawback and beneficial ability key off of life loss, something that both black and red are quite fond of.  Might be too good, but not disgustingly so.
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"Sanity... is for the WEAK!"
— Various followers of Chaos, warhammer 40000

 Muah hah hah! 
I approve of this article.  


Why would anybody want to join these people? Why? 

"STEP RIGHT UP AND HAVE YOUR CHANCE TO GET STUCK ON A MEAT HOOK!" Yes, that would clearly attract bystanders.


Take your chance to NOT end up in the meat hook and join our entertaining guild! - Some recruitment methods are better than others 

Also, because they want to live  hard and die young? Would you rather languish your life away in some Azorius administrative building pushing pencils?

I really get the sinking feeling that even the creative team is biased towards blue/X guilds. They're the only ones that aren't portrayed as completely insane, and this new version of the Azorius is less bureaucracy-gone-global and oddly . . . reasonable. I mean, why the Hades would they like the Izzet?



I think Azorius may like the Izzet because Izzet provides machinery that helps run the city. 
"Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional." Proud member of the Rakdos guild
The Rakdos are written so one-dimensionally it hurts.

"It's members are sadistic and cruel simply for the fun of it." 
...
"There's a lot of violence between cult members, as well as random "family" groups who live nomadic existences in squat houses throughout Ravnica. Most cult members live hard and die young."

Why would anybody want to join these people? Why?



I see them as a violent, bloodthirsty gang. Some analogies that come to mind are the Joker and his followers from "The Dark Knight," the Neo-Gotham Jokerz gang from "Batman Beyond," Crips vs Bloods-style gangs, and Alex's group from "A Clockwork Orange."

"In addition to possessing incredible strength, they tend to be good followers, as they rarely show the capacity to think for themselves or even carry out complex orders."

rakdoz r dum hur hur hur


This is just saying that the Rakdos have grunts. I'm sure every guild has their own grunts (Azorius enforcers, Selesnya beasts, etc).

"When we have the ear of the Legion, they are instrumental in executing operations that the Senate cannot or will not undertake. When the Legion becomes the tool of another guild, we have no greater enemy."

it just sounds like they are mercenaries for hire. What's up with all the law enforcement the Boros had, their identity of glorious combat, all of that? They just feel like puppets and weapons-for-hire from that short paragraph.



Keep in mind that this is from the Azorius' viewpoint. From their condescending viewpoint, the Boros might be just another tool in their arsenal.
The Rakdos are a sad case, but I like the new Azorius. It seems the role of villains has now been given to Selesnya, but I find it interesting that the two opposite guilds, the Golgari and the Azorius, are the most decent people in the entire plane.

If only they would cooperate...
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Well, It's good to finally see the Azorius coming off as "okay." I always liked the style and magical capabilities of the guild but the corrupt or "Nothing can ever happen!" feeling a lot of the latest info on them gives them was really killing my buzz.

The "Nothing can ever happen!" theme always struck me as dumb. It's like people were simply trying to personify the classic Blue/white control deck. Which was kind of dumb and to me uncreative and unrealistic storytelling.

The corrupt or power hungry theme always struck me as too non-white.


This planeswalker guide sounds like a good place for the Azorius. They aren't the Righteous heros I tend to prefer but they are good enough for me to identify while still also carrying the potential for becoming the antagonists for people who favor more red, chaotic themes. The Azorius descriptions of their view of the other guilds sounded believable. Overal I approve.

Massacre Girl's spikers are particularly notorious for their random acts of violence.

 
As the bounty on Massacre Girl rose, so did the number of imitators (Thrill-Kill Assassin).

 

WHO IS MASSACRE GIRL? I MUST KNOW. 



Presumably the leader of a gang of Rakdos spikers.

You were expecting subtlety and nuance to the black and red guild?  The one that is a cult lead by a demon?   ...Kind of barking up the wrong tree with that one.



Agree 100%


I think Azorius may like the Izzet because Izzet provides machinery that helps run the city. 



Yeah, Izzet are non-aggressive, non-hostile, serve a purpose in Ravnican society and generally operate within the law.



"In addition to possessing incredible strength, they tend to be good followers, as they rarely show the capacity to think for themselves or even carry out complex orders."

rakdoz r dum hur hur hur



Read the context again. That quote is referring specifically to Ogres within the Rakdos guild.
Tattooing is specifically mentioned for the 'debauchery' ring? Really? I mean I know I'm enjoying a game largely sampled by the nerdy and the frail but REALLY? Ink is debauched?
I want to be Cultured.
Tattooing is specifically mentioned for the 'debauchery' ring? Really? I mean I know I'm enjoying a game largely sampled by the nerdy and the frail but REALLY? Ink is debauched?



Agree with you there. That said, I don't think there are many MTG cards with tattoos..
"Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional." Proud member of the Rakdos guild
A few notes...

1. It's already been set up in the story why Azorius is picking up Boros's slack.  some kind of underhanded dealings has taken Feather out of the leadership role of the Boros, and their new leader is amazingly militant, and very much less about defending the weak.  This made them more of a strict military regiment, while those who cared probably sought Azorius.(Being the other half of the rule-keeping arrangement o guilds.)

2. Rakdos was way more generic in the last Ravnica, with a way less useful ability(Hellbent had potential but none of the hellbent cards were pushed enough.  The best they got was [CARD]Rakdos Pit-Dragon[/CARD] which saw very limited play.) and being basically "Those demon worshipping guys".

Here we get info on how they survive, and what they are about, and frankly, they are about kinky stuff, like Snuff, and Death Matches in the nude.  This isn't explicitly stated, but the idea is kind of the craziest, nastiest parties ever.  Things like that happen in real life, and are generally ignored unless your looking for that sort of thing.

But people do look for that sort of thing. 

3. I don't think it's so much "OOOH, evil debauched ink!" as practices like self-mutilation and scarification, which are associated with the body modification crowd.  Again, this isn't directly said, but I think that's what the tattoo thing is about.  Your not supposed to imagine inuit warriors with tribals, or guys with things on the armbands.  This is tattooing of the eyes, face, and other more painful locales.  Tattoos meant to disturb and cause pain, because that is what Rakdos gets off on. Probably included is scarification, branding, Body-Ribboning, and Skin Grafts.  You know, the extreme stuff.
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People seek them because, well, sex. Sure they can't convey these things directly in the article or cards, but it's quite clear in their hints. Some of the flavor text shows that very well. Also, "debauchery clubs".


Um, "they can't convey"? If this article were any more direct it'd be describing sexual positions and various Rakdos fetishes.

Alex's group from "A Clockwork Orange."


This is a great comparison and it works really well!

The corrupt or power hungry theme always struck me as too non-white.


Corrupt and power hungry is White incarnate.

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

192884403 wrote:
surely one can't say complex conditional passive language is bad grammar ?
I really get the sinking feeling that even the creative team is biased towards blue/X guilds. They're the only ones that aren't portrayed as completely insane, and this new version of the Azorius is less bureaucracy-gone-global and oddly . . . reasonable. I mean, why the Hades would they like the Izzet? Did it ever occur to you guys that part of the reason why so many people "identify" as blue/X guilds is that you suggest that joining any other would result in death within five minutes? What ever happened to having a range of appealing things for various parts of the audience?



Only ones that aren't portrayed as insane? The Izzet are clearly mental in a "What do you mean you can't freeze an explosion of magical power mid-blast and then wear the flames as a suit!? I'LL SHOW YOU!!" way... Never even mind that Niv himself is a genius but the House style, screw your petty rules and logic, I'm RIGHT! Sort of completely bonkers genius.

And yeah the Rakdos actually are psycopathic, but that's just them.

The Selesnya aren't completely insane at all. They would be if they believed that Trostani was the living embodiment and holy trinity of some ancient nature spirit which encompassed all things, but since that is totally true, they aren't crazy for worshipping that and living how it decress. The power of that thing animates their CHURCHES. The Selesnya are on to something lol.

And the Golgari aren't crazy at all. Their upper echelons are a bit stabby, but the leader is a man that died and then necro'd HIMSELF, death isn't a dealbreaker on Ravnica. The bulk of the clan accepts the sick and the destitute because(as pointed out in their view of the Dimir) they care nothing for possessions or status. And they don't kill anybody, they just make use of the dead. Everythings just meat to them, and one way or another they'll everyone deals with the Golgari, from street sweeper to king.

So yeah, loads of positives about things that aren't blue =\
I want to be Cultured.
Well, It's good to finally see the Azorius coming off as "okay." I always liked the style and magical capabilities of the guild but the corrupt or "Nothing can ever happen!" feeling a lot of the latest info on them gives them was really killing my buzz.

The "Nothing can ever happen!" theme always struck me as dumb. It's like people were simply trying to personify the classic Blue/white control deck. Which was kind of dumb and to me uncreative and unrealistic storytelling.

The corrupt or power hungry theme always struck me as too non-white.


This planeswalker guide sounds like a good place for the Azorius. They aren't the Righteous heros I tend to prefer but they are good enough for me to identify while still also carrying the potential for becoming the antagonists for people who favor more red, chaotic themes. The Azorius descriptions of their view of the other guilds sounded believable. Overal I approve.


i Agree with u cuz it was becoming really boring to see Blue being only Manipulative or Mad Cientists. FINALLY blue is good (and white 2) and red and black the monzters they really are it seems somene who Understands the color pie has finally thrown Maro out of his antiwhite antiblue dictatorshep.

though every other guild is shown as Good and Azorious is only "okay" there is still Bias at work heree


The corrupt or power hungry theme always struck me as too non-white.


Corrupt and power hungry is White incarnate.



Well said!

In any case, Maro did state that not all Rakdos are evil, so at least there's that.

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The corrupt or power hungry theme always struck me as too non-white.


Corrupt and power hungry is White incarnate.



Well said!

In any case, Maro did state that not all Rakdos are evil, so at least there's that.




Um, what? Lust for power is explicitly a trait of black. In fact, it's more than just a trait of black, it's their central philosophy. White is literally the exact opposite, being the color of selflessness. In theory, of course. Obviously not all white characters live up to their color's ideals.

Corrupt and power hungry is White incarnate.



OKay, just for fun why don't you quote for me please the part about white being corrupt and power hungry.

 www.wizards.com/magic/magazine/article.a...


www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.a...


The corrupt or power hungry theme always struck me as too non-white.


Corrupt and power hungry is White incarnate.



Well said!

In any case, Maro did state that not all Rakdos are evil, so at least there's that.




Um, what? Lust for power is explicitly a trait of black. In fact, it's more than just a trait of black, it's their central philosophy. White is literally the exact opposite, being the color of selflessness. In theory, of course. Obviously not all white characters live up to their color's ideals.



is defined as being selfish. is defined as being the colour of order and morality (selflessness is and , and part- as is a the colour of love).

Power hunger is a common trait to both. It's just that is blissfully unaware and thinks it is doing good.

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Well, I think White-Blue is almost necessarily power-hungry, in a certain sense, because it's the combination that most ambitiously wants to change the world: wants what's best for everyone and thinks you can massively improve things by rationally reorganizing them. To be sure, this isn't power-hungry in the way that is, because cares that power resides in its hands, while :wu: cares about the purpose it's used to accomplish - but a :wu: movement or organization will tend to have no limits to how many of the world's problems it wants to correct. Or at least that's how I'd read the color philosophy - this is somewhat at odds with RCOG's change-hating Azorius.

is defined as being selfish. is defined as being the colour of order and morality (selflessness is and , and part- as is a the colour of love).

Power hunger is a common trait to both. It's just that is blissfully unaware and thinks it is doing good.

I wouldn't say that is unaware that it wants to call the shots. It's a bossy color and doesn't apologize for it; even if does (sincerely!) apologize for all the eggshells cracked along the way. 

Corrupt and power hungry is White incarnate.



OKay, just for fun why don't you quote for me please the part about white being corrupt and power hungry.

 www.wizards.com/magic/magazine/article.a...


www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.a...


Here, read this and enlighten yourself.

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

192884403 wrote:
surely one can't say complex conditional passive language is bad grammar ?
I have to say I just assumed saying 'Corrupt and power hungry is White incarnate' was KoS-baiting, and not really serious. Corrupt is as anti-white as you can get - indeed, on half the cards that show something being corrupted (usually by a :B: spell) that thing is a :W: thing. About the only example of :W: corruption that I can think of is :W: Phyrexia, and that's hardly representative.

Examples of corruption and corrupted things

I sometimes think there are people on these forums with, um, issues about :W:
There's a difference between physical corruption and psycological corruption, you know.
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There's a similarity too. Corruption in any sense is the spoiling of or deviation from a purer form, whether that's a physical form (like the angels in those examples) or a psychological form (like the purposes of the official). There's a reason a synonym for 'pure' is 'uncorrupted'.
Still, you can argue that psycological corruption (or noxious purity) is part of , since mind alteration does exist.
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Um, what? Lust for power is explicitly a trait of black. In fact, it's more than just a trait of black, it's their central philosophy. White is literally the exact opposite, being the color of selflessness. In theory, of course. Obviously not all white characters live up to their color's ideals.



is defined as being selfish. is defined as being the colour of order and morality (selflessness is and , and part- as is a the colour of love).

Power hunger is a common trait to both. It's just that is blissfully unaware and thinks it is doing good.


Black's explicit end goal is omnipotence, also known as ultimate power.

If you mean that White characters want power, yes, they do. Every color does. White wants to use power to enforce peace and order, Red wants power to do what it wants when it wants, Blue wants the power to become omniscient, Green wants power to do... Whatever the hell WotC feel like characterizing Green as nowadays. It's just that Black is the one who cares about power itself and not the ability to do things with it, and Black is the one that cares about power the most for that reason.

Note that power hungry=/=evil, as our friend Black shows us.

Still, you can argue that psycological corruption (or noxious purity) is part of , since mind alteration does exist.


Oh sure, psychological corruption it's a part of White. It's also a part of every single other color. Most mind alteration Magic is Blue.
On the one hand, gremlins on unicycles. Hell yes. Do want.

On the other hand, the name "konstructors" for construction workers is way too goofy for the Azorious, of all people.

Also, I'm quite fond of that art near the bottom of the Azorius arrestor who has behind her two goblins in hooded brown cloaks and chains.
However, the new portrait of Azorius somewhat bothers me. As said before, they just seem... alright. They seem just and fair, something that anyone happy with society would have no problem embracing. So, what was the idea? To get more people to like them? I don't know. I liked their previous interpratation a lot, since I tend to like villains much more than the conventional ones.

If you want the evil, obstructive for the sake of it, over-obsessive with details and randomly stubborn side of the Azorius, read Jenna's story The Shadows of Prahv. After Wizards published that, everyone was complaining that the Azorius came across as too nasty, self-absorbed, unfair, useless and pointless. After Wizards published this Part of the Planeswalker's Guide, people are complaining that the Azorius seem too reasonable, excessively fair, only mildly obstructive and insufficiently self-absorbed? You really can't win, can you?
Oh sure, psychological corruption it's a part of White. It's also a part of every single other color. Most mind alteration Magic is Blue.



Still, the point stands: can "corrupt".

Our dear friends the Selesnyans engage in brainwashing, after all.
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After Wizards published that, everyone was complaining that the Azorius came across as too nasty, self-absorbed, unfair, useless and pointless.


People just don't want to accept the truth. That was quite an accurate portrayal of Azorius, in my opinion.

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192884403 wrote:
surely one can't say complex conditional passive language is bad grammar ?
I rather like the current take on the Azorius Senate. In Dissension they felt rather stupid to me, trying to stop change altogether whereas now they're at least a bit more practical and reasonable. Not all the guilds have to be carbon copies of what they were like in Ravnica Block anyway. It stands to reason that the Azorius would learn from their mistakes and be a bit more cooperative towards other guilds this time around.

Them liking the Izzet did initially strike me as odd, but compared to the other guilds, the Izzet really seem like the least of their worries. They generally obey the laws, their guild leader personally helped in defeating the Nephilim (IIRC) and they have never shown any malicious intent. They also have no political or philosophical agenda, which has to count for a lot in Ravnica. So the Izzet and the Azorius seeing eye to eye does makes sense to me.

I also get the impression they're setting up the Boros to be one of the bad guys in this block, which would be pretty cool.
The Azorius comments have me excited for when the Orzhov will appear; they have the potential to be the most thematically fascinating guild, if they're done right.  I also like the bit about how the Azorius, who write the laws, also have a division to prevent the laws from being enforced.  Only White-Blue would think this is reasonable.  (The "k" in Konstructors really annoys me though.)

The Rakdos article was better than I was afraid it would be, but not by much.  They still are only interested in positioning the RB guild as destructive maniacs, which does match the playstyle of those colors, but is a huge shortfall compared to what the color combo should represent philosophically, just as those colors individually have always gotten short shrift.  Absolutely no explanation is given for how a guild, whose modus operandi is for members to intentionally shorten their own lives, fails to go extinct within days .  You could go with the old P.T. Barnum line about what happens every minute, but even on a hugely overpopulated plane, this stretches credibility wire-thin.

What RB should be is the guild of risk, danger, seductive madness - living on the bleeding edge of extinction, taking pleasure in pain, going as close as possible to "too far" without leaving behind the "almost".  The Rakdos's recruiters should ooze sensuality, encourage people to flirt with disaster and stare into the void until it blinks, and preach a philosophy that you're never more alive than when a terrifying brush with death has left your heart beating a mile a minute.  For the goblins and ogres, perhaps, this is wasted words, and you can just wind them up and let them wreak havoc.  But humans should still have a self-preservation instinct and an overwhelmingly powerful fear-response which kicks their adrenaline into high gear; they shouldn't willingly go near a gang of psychopaths who take joy in the use of rusty meathooks, not without some serious incentive.  Obviously this is a PG game and they can't go into much detail about the kind of debauchery that makes a good lure for this kind of crowd, but then even the best sex in the world is not going to convince most people to throw their lives away by hanging with a crowd that would rather kill you than look at you.  The gambling, thrill-seeking, envelope-pushing aspect ought to be enough to create a compelling guild, instead of one that comes out looking like a one-joke routine.
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Still, the point stands: can "corrupt".

Our dear friends the Selesnyans engage in brainwashing, after all.



I'm dubious about the synonymity of brainwashing and corruption, but if we allow that as a very narrow, singular aspect of corruption then yep, I'll go with that as :W: can corrupt. I hardly think that's what most people would ever think of when they hear the word 'corrupt' though, and I doubt you do really either. Brainwashing is more a denial of freedom (of thought, in this case), and that kind of restriction so you better conform to the group is very :W:.

ETA: Actually, maybe I shouldn't be that dubious. Brainwashing where the implication is that ideas and ideals are planted that are contrary to the previous nature of the subject must surely be corruption? I'm still not sure I'd say the Selesnyans 'corrupted' their converts though. It may be technically correct, but it feels like a fairly convoluted use of the word.

We're a long way here from Fenix saying the corruption of an Azorius bureaucrat is 'white incarnate' though. The very implication of that corruption is that it will be self-serving, which is the definition of :B: and the antithesis of :W:. I can think of a dozen words that would more fully describe :W: incarnate before I ever got to 'corrupting'.


I agree with Darion about the Boros possibly being set up to be (one of) the bad guys this time round. I imagine a zealous band of mercenaries (who seem likely to be even more zealous under Aurelia) should be right up your street as villains?
As far as people wondering why anyone would join Rakdos.  In addition to psychopaths and all that jazz, am I the only one who got the vibe a lot of Rakdos members are drug addicts?  I don't know anything about Ravnica's stance on drugs, but I have to imagine that Rakdos is probably the #1 provider of recreational drugs.  And if you look at contemporary society, there are plenty of people who would join Rakdos to 'get their fix'.  Also, depending on the magnitude/effects of the drugs, self-mutilation or letting yourself get sacrificed might have seemed like a good idea at the time...

For a more kid friendly version replace each use of the word 'drug' with 'magic'! 
Sex addiction defenitely is implied, so why not drugs?

(I would love to see ravnican PSAs)
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As far as people wondering why anyone would join Rakdos.  In addition to psychopaths and all that jazz, am I the only one who got the vibe a lot of Rakdos members are drug addicts?  I don't know anything about Ravnica's stance on drugs, but I have to imagine that Rakdos is probably the #1 provider of recreational drugs.  And if you look at contemporary society, there are plenty of people who would join Rakdos to 'get their fix'.  Also, depending on the magnitude/effects of the drugs, self-mutilation or letting yourself get sacrificed might have seemed like a good idea at the time...

For a more kid friendly version replace each use of the word 'drug' with 'magic'! 



So yeah, the Cult of Rakdos is the cult of Sex and Drugs - and maybe Rock & Roll. Given that this game is PG-13 they can only hint at sex from afar and to drug use from even further. But think about it: There are tons of drugs that are associated with self mutilation and violence. Now think about the kind of fix you can get from magic enhanced drugs.

"Word is on the street of a new drug named "the limber". The trip is strong, wracking and ecstatic, but the limb you inject it in will rot and fall apart. Still, some people are willing to lose an arm and a leg to get another fix. You can get it from the Wrecking Ball Club for the right price if you know the right guy. I am the right guy."
I do very much like willpell's description of Rakdos. I don't identify as BR at all (I'm Wu), but I find the Rakdos in willpell's description much more believable, nuanced, and realistic than the caricature in this article. And for that matter, more empathisable-with; how many Rakdos fans will really identify with a guild composed entirely of psychopaths and sadomasochists with a death wish? Some, but surely not the 10% of the customer base that Wizards would presumably want to, given the whole "MY GUILD" thing.

On a different note: "It's members are sadistic"? Really? On a professional website, in one of the normally most polished columns on this site? Get a much better editor.
 
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