Color repitition in Planeswalkers, Domri Rade

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Potential Gatecrash spoilers, this guy got leaked on Craig's List of all places



This marks our very first multi-colored walker that shares all of its colors with another walker, and I'm interested in discussing the rammifications of all of that.

We've had plenty of legends that have shared colors, but the recursive nature walkers have on storylines  makes them somewhat exceptional in that regard.

Firstly, I'm interested in what story potential they have for this guy, because in my experience trying to come up with original Magic narratives green is the hardest color to characterize in a compelling way. Adding another color helps, true, but as we've seen with Sarkhan, Gruul skews a bit towards non-interaction since they pretty much want to do what they want to, damn the consequences.
Planeswalkers in general are somewhat non-interactive. The + ability has to be something you can do at any time, but can't grant card advantage generally. The rest depends, and with this guy, you get lots of interaction. The +1 has a nice synergy with Worldly Tutor, but the -2 interacts with two permanents! The -7 is the usual "you win" ability of a walker, but this one involves creatures, granting a good red ability (double strike), a good green ability (hexproof), and two meh abilities they share (trample and haste). This adds its own synergy, as double strike and trample is a really powerful synergy. (I'd kinda prefer deathtouch to hexproof at this point tho.)

Flavorwise, though, I'd say it's for the same reason Arcades Sabboth, Treva, the Renewer, Phelddagrif, and Rafiq of the Many exist. They all represent different sides of , just as this guy and Sarkhan represent different sides of .
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Well that's odd. I'm susprised this guy hasn't appeared on packaging more. So, we know we've got Domri, Gideon, and Ral showing up now, yes? Interesting color choices (also lol @ the people still insisting that 'walkers have to be perfectly balanced across the colors).

Also... I can't actually tell if Domri is a guy or a girl. The artwork seems a bit ambiguous to me. Kinda hoping it's a woman, because we could use some evening out of the genders...

Interesting, too, that we're getting THREE new Planeswalker characters introduced this block. That's the most since Alara and, of course, the Lorwyn 5. It also means that the last four sets will have introduced five characters in total, which I also find interesting. Seems like they might be expanding their repertoire and trying to find less contrived reasons for making character appear on planes (koff koff Jace on Zendikar koff).

The card suggests that this character might be a bit more on the tactical side--the abilities, at least, seem fairly tactical, at least till you get to the ultimate. Could be a Gruul unsatisfied with zir lot, which is a very different take on Red/Green than Sarkhan was... but perhaps closer to characters like Kamahl (especially after he got all spiritual) and Radha?
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Also... I can't actually tell if Domri is a guy or a girl. The artwork seems a bit ambiguous to me. Kinda hoping it's a woman, because we could use some evening out of the genders...


I'd like a closer to even gender distribution, but I guess I'm weird like that.
Actually, if nothing else, Domri looks, well, smaller than the other walkers, and not just because he's not jutting out of the art like a pop-up book.
Might this be the fable first teenwalker?
   
The card suggests that this character might be a bit more on the tactical side--the abilities, at least, seem fairly tactical, at least till you get to the ultimate. Could be a Gruul unsatisfied with zir lot, which is a very different take on Red/Green than Sarkhan was... but perhaps closer to characters like Kamahl (especially after he got all spiritual) and Radha?


I was actually quite sad to learn that Radha's spark was extinguished. For a time, I was hoping that creative would come up with a trite way to bring her back as a walker.
It turns out that idea was on par with eating an entire gallon of ice cream in a sitting, fun but with terrible consequences that will likely leave you hospitalized.
The card suggests that this character might be a bit more on the tactical side--the abilities, at least, seem fairly tactical, at least till you get to the ultimate.


That was the first thing that came to my mind: looks like Green/Red with some brains. 

At any rate, s/he seems pretty distinct from Sarkhan, so I don't think "personality overlap" will be a big iissue (maybe with the unwashed masses ) Does give off a distinct Gruul vibe, so it could be the second Ravnican planeswalker. Although the armor has a little bit of a Jund-look, but there is overlap between those aesthetics. 


And s/he's a human, right?

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Hm, you could be right about zie being a teenager. Nice point about the art... I hadn't actually noticed how much smaller in the frame zie is.

Damn, wish we could get a closer look... 
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Domri does look to be younger to my eye, but I'll be honest, this is the first time the art really hasn't done anything interesting for me. I mean, from a technical standpoint it seems to be pretty well done, but... I dunno, maybe it's the foiling, but I am very distinctly put off by the iconic emobodiment of this character. I just don't know what to make of him, so I'll wait to see what kinda of story they're going to try to tell. Still... the art has good lighting, but poor positioning. Too much focus on the background, though if Domri is to be younger, it certainly increases that feeling of cockiness spliced with vulnerability. (20 bucks that got censored.)

On the bright side, Mono-white Gideon is much more likely and everyone who was shooting their mouth off about how easy it is to splash colors can SUCK IT.
In addition, I find it hilarious that people are still desperately trying to find some way to shove Kiora into RtR block.

From a gameplay state, Domri is probably going to fetch a high dollar given both his loyalty, cost, and ability suite. As if g/r aggro needed any help.
HAH! You owe us $20! ...Which divided amongst us probably comes out to, like, what, 50c each? Or is it proportional based on how many posts you've made in the thread?

Yeah, I'm not that into the art either... something about it doesn't quite seem 'walkery, and I think it's more than just the composition, there's something less individual about this character design. The image quality is so murky, though, I could be totally off base.

Jacobson is a recent artist it seems. Hadn't realized it, but he's the fellow that did the fantastically disturbing Mutilate. I like what he's done so far, even if it's not standing out to me just yet as an unique style necessarily. He seems to be finding his footing right now, but it looks like he's got solid fundamentals.

And yeah, Magic players seem to just be all about desperately trying to shove things into things... 
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I've seen someone speculate that Domri was the Gruul child from In Praise of the Worldsoul.

Now, that depends how long ago that was, and how much Selesnya and Gruul influence (s)he has. I'd guess not. 
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Domri looks more like a guildmage or Guild Lieutenant/Champion than planeswalker. Gamewise I believe Sarkhan Vol will remain my go-to shaman 'walker.
HAH! You owe us $20! ...Which divided amongst us probably comes out to, like, what, 50c each? Or is it proportional based on how many posts you've made in the thread?

Yeah, I'm not that into the art either... something about it doesn't quite seem 'walkery, and I think it's more than just the composition, there's something less individual about this character design. The image quality is so murky, though, I could be totally off base.

Jacobson is a recent artist it seems. Hadn't realized it, but he's the fellow that did the fantastically disturbing Mutilate. I like what he's done so far, even if it's not standing out to me just yet as an unique style necessarily. He seems to be finding his footing right now, but it looks like he's got solid fundamentals.

And yeah, Magic players seem to just be all about desperately trying to shove things into things... 


Well, at the very least, I'm glad someone else that's trained as an artist could pick up on it. Proves I'm not just crazy or snobby as all hell.
As far as new artists, I don't like him as much as Slawomir Maniak or Johannes Voss. They instantly speak to me, but YMMV.
Jacobson has potential, but I don't think he's quite right for magic. I'm not saying that to be mean, but rather that I don't think he excels when under constraints of something as stringent as the style guide. Doing a google search shows some pretty cool pieces that I can dig, but they share very little in terms of design that correlates with magic's usual look.
So I suppose where he needs work is adapting to working with cards because his own pieces are a lot better than what he's turned in so far.

I've seen someone speculate that Domri was the Gruul child from In Praise of the Worldsoul.

Now, that depends how long ago that was, and how much Selesnya and Gruul influence (s)he has. I'd guess not. 


Doesn't fit what we know.
Wow, I hadn't taken notice of Maniak until you mentioned his name. His stuff is very solid. I was thinking it was a little generic, though, until I realized he Memory's Journey. Wow. I hope they start giving him some more weird, cerebral assignments, because he seems to really have a good sense of the surreal.

Anyway.

Yeah, this piece almost feels like it's not quite sure what to do to make the character look unique, like it's too timid somehow. Hm. I don't know, though, we'll just have to wait for a better shot I guess.
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Well that's odd. I'm susprised this guy hasn't appeared on packaging more. So, we know we've got Domri, Gideon, and Ral showing up now, yes? Interesting color choices (also lol @ the people still insisting that 'walkers have to be perfectly balanced across the colors).

Also... I can't actually tell if Domri is a guy or a girl. The artwork seems a bit ambiguous to me. Kinda hoping it's a woman, because we could use some evening out of the genders...

Interesting, too, that we're getting THREE new Planeswalker characters introduced this block. That's the most since Alara and, of course, the Lorwyn 5. It also means that the last four sets will have introduced five characters in total, which I also find interesting. Seems like they might be expanding their repertoire and trying to find less contrived reasons for making character appear on planes (koff koff Jace on Zendikar koff).

The card suggests that this character might be a bit more on the tactical side--the abilities, at least, seem fairly tactical, at least till you get to the ultimate. Could be a Gruul unsatisfied with zir lot, which is a very different take on Red/Green than Sarkhan was... but perhaps closer to characters like Kamahl (especially after he got all spiritual) and Radha?



Scars of Mirrodin changed it. No green walker there. But even before that, we had six walkers in Zendikar. The five in Alara make an interesting cycle, but we also have three in red, two in white, two in blue, and only one each in black and green.

Anyway, Domri looks like a teen. I didn't even know teenagers could be walkers outside of bad fanfic.

This could lead me to speculate about the Gruul's keyword. The combination of deathtouch and trample (ensuring damage to the player), with double strike (getting it in twice) suggests a combat damage to player trigger). But if it's true, he's kinda busted with Doubling Season, and my Mayael deck will get to enjoy him over and over. Really bad playtesting.
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I like the mumakil skull in the background. I also think he looks a bit goblin-ish, and am inclined to agree on him not being a human adult.
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I want an entire warehouse of this walker because i find him to fit the red green feel abit better than Sarkhan personally
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Anyway, Domri looks like a teen. I didn't even know teenagers could be walkers outside of bad fanfic.



Jace, Chandra, and Elspeth all ascended as teens.
Scars of Mirrodin changed it. No green walker there. But even before that, we had six walkers in Zendikar. The five in Alara make an interesting cycle, but we also have three in red, two in white, two in blue, and only one each in black and green.


I absolutely HATE this attitude. There were only two mono colored walkers, the ONLY TWO THAT MATTER ABOUT COLOR BALANCE.
If you can't play them in mono colored deck, they don't count for color balance. You can only count them as red if that is their ONLY color. Otherwise they fall into a different category of multicolor combinations.
I DESPISE when people try and justify color balance using multicolor walkers.

Anyway, Domri looks like a teen. I didn't even know teenagers could be walkers outside of bad fanfic.


As the esteemable Thoctar has pointed out, 3 of our good walkers ascended in their early to mid teens. Gideon ascended in his late teens.
Your disbelief is born from a lack of information. You should read up on the characters.

This could lead me to speculate about the Gruul's keyword. The combination of deathtouch and trample (ensuring damage to the player), with double strike (getting it in twice) suggests a combat damage to player trigger). But if it's true, he's kinda busted with Doubling Season, and my Mayael deck will get to enjoy him over and over. Really bad playtesting.


You should also read the card. It's hexproof, not deathtouch.

(I'm snappy because of work. It's nothing personal.)
Can't forget about Dack DACK FAYDEN, who ascended in his plane's equivalent of high school.

Planeswalkers can ascend at any point in their lives.
Elspeth was 13, Bo Levar was in his 30s IIRC.

Scars of Mirrodin changed it. No green walker there. But even before that, we had six walkers in Zendikar. The five in Alara make an interesting cycle, but we also have three in red, two in white, two in blue, and only one each in black and green.


I absolutely HATE this attitude. There were only two mono colored walkers, the ONLY TWO THAT MATTER ABOUT COLOR BALANCE.
If you can't play them in mono colored deck, they don't count for color balance. You can only count them as red if that is their ONLY color. Otherwise they fall into a different category of multicolor combinations.
I DESPISE when people try and justify color balance using multicolor walkers.





For what it's worth I believe Brady or Jeremy or someone at one of those PAX panels said they are being more mindful of color balance now than they were in the beginning since walkers have the potential to be stupidly powerful.

Its more a matter of mechanics balance than color balance, IIRC, like if they had multiple walkers that shared colors in a setting, they would try to make sure that they don't have complimentary playstyles.

For example, if they were to print a mono-blue merfolk tribal walker, any other blue walkers in the same setting wouldn't compliment that playstyle by being control heavy hitters or the like.

I totally derped! But green gets lots of deathtouch. Still, hexproof, trample, double strike, and haste is a lot, and kinda broken, in the sense that "Ta-da! Your guys are all Akroma now!" is.

I tend to agree. Compare Elspeth Tirel to Venser, the Sojourner. They're anything but complementary. (One's for token decks, one's for Johnny blinking fun, though his -1 can be used in a token deck.)

It just seems kinda shonen, you know? Having a teen 'walker portrayed as such on a card?
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For what it's worth I believe Brady or Jeremy or someone at one of those PAX panels said they are being more mindful of color balance now than they were in the beginning since walkers have the potential to be stupidly powerful.

Its more a matter of mechanics balance than color balance, IIRC, like if they had multiple walkers that shared colors in a setting, they would try to make sure that they don't have complimentary playstyles.

For example, if they were to print a mono-blue merfolk tribal walker, any other blue walkers in the same setting wouldn't compliment that playstyle by being control heavy hitters or the like.




Nah, I get what you're getting at. It's just a matter of the fact that if you have a black deck, you don't have access to Sorin LoI, Vraska, and Nicol Bolas without splashing colors. And if you have to splash, they don't count as walkers for that color. They have their own combinations of mana needed to play.
For what it's worth I believe Brady or Jeremy or someone at one of those PAX panels said they are being more mindful of color balance now than they were in the beginning since walkers have the potential to be stupidly powerful.

Its more a matter of mechanics balance than color balance, IIRC, like if they had multiple walkers that shared colors in a setting, they would try to make sure that they don't have complimentary playstyles.

For example, if they were to print a mono-blue merfolk tribal walker, any other blue walkers in the same setting wouldn't compliment that playstyle by being control heavy hitters or the like.




Nah, I get what you're getting at. It's just a matter of the fact that if you have a black deck, you don't have access to Sorin LoI, Vraska, and Nicol Bolas without splashing colors. And if you have to splash, they don't count as walkers for that color. They have their own combinations of mana needed to play.



That's what I was getting at, but it's not just a matte of balancing them for gameplay.
Like Bay said, Elspeth and Venser are both white walkers in the same setting but with no obvious synergy.

But I think they've started being more mindful of walkers for 'balance' reasons (playing against SuperFriends is miserable) and partly because they know way too many people will bitch incessantly if the colors are imbalanced even if the walkers couldn't be played in the same decks.

If return to Ravnica had one of each , , , walker respectively, crybabies would lose their **** for blue getting more than any other color despite the impracticality of playing those walkers together in the same deck.

   
Still, from what you're saying it sounds like this is more functional as a predictor of mechanics than it is of characters or what colors they will be printed in. Right? So it doesn't make sense even now to say "Well, Chandra will go white because Color Balance!"
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I totally derped! But green gets lots of deathtouch. Still, hexproof, trample, double strike, and haste is a lot, and kinda broken, in the sense that "Ta-da! Your guys are all Akroma now!" is.

He hands out two green abilities and two red abilities.  I don't see what's so crazy about that.

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@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.

Still, from what you're saying it sounds like this is more functional as a predictor of mechanics than it is of characters or what colors they will be printed in. Right? So it doesn't make sense even now to say "Well, Chandra will go white because Color Balance!"



A little of column A, and a little of column B.

I will admit, some of this is theory crafting.
I distinctly remember someone at one of the major con panels saying that R&D are mindful of color balance in walkers now more than they were in the beginning, but they didn't elaborate in which way.

Naturally, they're not going to shift a character's color just to fit a quota since that's a big deal storywise, and the Planeswalkers are characters first and game assets second, but a lot of this comes back to how creative tells their stories, which is something we aren't aware of.

For each block, do they try to write a story that has 5-6 walkers in it, relatively balanced by color, or does that just sort of happen.

I imagine they have some degree of flexibility since the blocks have been getting more and more secondary plots to accomodate the inherently transient nature of the Planeswalkers.
Ex; Innistrad
Primary plot: Where the hell is Avacyn (Sorin)
Secondary plot: the hunt for Grizzlebrand (Liliana, Garruk)
Tertiary plot: the rest of you weirdos (Tibalt, Tamiyo)

Creative probably has some limits on what they can and can't do because of game balance.
We're unlikely to see Chandra, Tibalt and Koth have a three-way slugfest in a block expansion because it doesn't do the game a lot of good to have all three red walkers in the same game environment all at once like that.

Actually, this gives me alot of ammo for the Ask Brady thread.
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Still, from what you're saying it sounds like this is more functional as a predictor of mechanics than it is of characters or what colors they will be printed in. Right? So it doesn't make sense even now to say "Well, Chandra will go white because Color Balance!"



Brady gave an extreme example in the Ask Brady thread where he said that if he came up with a story that required 5 Red Walkers in a block (or was it plane?), he'd have to change the story.


So, while Chandra would not go White because of Color Balance, he might have to come up with a different character to use in the story instead of Chandra if he gets to that point.

Yeah, all of that makes sense to me, but my point was more that there's no way of predicting the presence or colors of specific characters based on color balance. So, while we can say "Chandra will probably not be appearing in this block that has two 'walkers that use red already" we can't say "therefore Jace HAS to be here because we need another blue 'walker" because they could use Tezzeret, Jace, Kiora, Tamiyo, &c., or they could make up a new character, or they could have Tibalt get some blue tips from Nin (i.e. they could print an old character with a new color), or they could just tell blue to go jump in a lake (ahaha) for one block.

In other words, saying "We need more blue and green in this block, and Kiora is blue and green, which are Simic colors, so therefore she's totally going to be in this block," is not supported by the particular kind of balance that they're trying to strike here. Does that make sense? I'm trying to feel out the limitations of this knowledge.
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In other words, saying "We need more blue and green in this block, and Kiora is blue and green, which are Simic colors, so therefore she's totally going to be in this block," is not supported by the particular kind of balance that they're trying to strike here. Does that make sense? I'm trying to feel out the limitations of this knowledge.



Makes sense to me. Then again, I've been saying something similar for a while... though not related to my earlier complaint.
Kiora not being in the block is supported by Brady straight telling us she shares none of Simic's worldview.

From what I've inferred, multicolored walkers have less weight on the "balance the walker colors" scales than monocolors do because they by their very nature can't be run in as many decks. 
Kiora not being in the block is supported by Brady straight telling us she shares none of Simic's worldview.

From what I've inferred, multicolored walkers have less weight on the "balance the walker colors" scales than monocolors do because they by their very nature can't be run in as many decks. 



Which is why I get so upset about people counting them the same as mono-colored walkers in terms of working out "color balance"... which is what started a lot of this in the first place.
To all the doubters, this was just pointed out in the FSS thread;
 
The flavor text on the new Stomping Grounds is attributed to Domri Rade.
Nice catch. I don't think anyone pointed that out in some 15 pages of babble on Salvation. (God I'm such a snob.)

That kinda sounds like Domri isn't a Ravnica native though. It suggests to me that he's fallen in with the Gruul after coming from another plane. 
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That kinda sounds like Domri isn't a Ravnica native though. It suggests to me that he's fallen in with the Gruul after coming from another plane. 


I think I like it better that way.

Magic's narrative forces contrivances in its walkers hard enough already (why are all of the major recurring characters people between the ages of 20-40 with too much time on their hands), so that we often have multiple characters from the same setting ascending at close relative times.

Vraska, Ral AND Domri all being Ravnica natives that ascended in the last decade or so would just be too much.

Edit: Before anyone says it, Yes, Bo Levar and Urza ascended at the same time because of the same trigger. 
That kinda sounds like Domri isn't a Ravnica native though. It suggests to me that he's fallen in with the Gruul after coming from another plane. 


I think I like it better that way.

Magic's narrative forces contrivances in its walkers hard enough already (why are all of the major recurring characters people between the ages of 20-40 with too much time on their hands), so that we often have multiple characters from the same setting ascending at close relative times.

Vraska, Ral AND Domri all being Ravnica natives that ascended in the last decade or so would just be too much.

Edit: Before anyone says it, Yes, Bo Levar and Urza ascended at the same time because of the same trigger. 


To be fair, the Sylex Blast was a big trigger.
Known as Blitzer on most forums. Despite the username, I am male. Both sex AND gender.
To be fair, the Sylex Blast was a big trigger.



As Bo Levar said "We're gonna need a bigger boat."
That kinda sounds like Domri isn't a Ravnica native though. It suggests to me that he's fallen in with the Gruul after coming from another plane. 


I think I like it better that way.

Magic's narrative forces contrivances in its walkers hard enough already (why are all of the major recurring characters people between the ages of 20-40 with too much time on their hands), so that we often have multiple characters from the same setting ascending at close relative times.

Vraska, Ral AND Domri all being Ravnica natives that ascended in the last decade or so would just be too much.

Edit: Before anyone says it, Yes, Bo Levar and Urza ascended at the same time because of the same trigger. 



Agreed. I would bet that Domri is from a different plane. I heard someone suggest Muraganda as an option. Also being that he appears to be a child/teen maybe he fled his plane after his plane was being destroyed by nature, dinosaurs if its Muraganda and he came to Ravnica to seek help. Gruul would be who he relates to most so thats who he joined up with. This is all just wild speculation.
This is all just wild speculation.



At least you have the decency to admit it.
This is all just wild speculation.



At least you have the decency to admit it.



Would never claim to be some kind of all knowing WOTC insider.
Hm, the idea that he might be from Muraganda is interesting... In fact, there's a good chance, I think, that he's from a known plane. Creative seems to be getting more comfortable giving nods to past material, after all.
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Hm, the idea that he might be from Muraganda is interesting... In fact, there's a good chance, I think, that he's from a known plane. Creative seems to be getting more comfortable giving nods to past material, after all.




markrosewater.tumblr.com/post/3649212513...

That proves it! Dinosaur set coming.

(Kidding) 
Hm, the idea that he might be from Muraganda is interesting... In fact, there's a good chance, I think, that he's from a known plane. Creative seems to be getting more comfortable giving nods to past material, after all.




markrosewater.tumblr.com/post/3649212513...

That proves it! Dinosaur set coming.

(Kidding) 



Don't start with him. He made a comment the other day that still has me tweaked.
And no, it has nothing to do with Liliana.


Don't start with him. He made a comment the other day that still has me tweaked.
And no, it has nothing to do with Liliana.



Care to share?