1/9/2013 UR: "The Fathom Edict"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Uncharted Realms, which goes live Wednesday morning on magicthegathering.com.

The mile long list of annotations was a riot.
Great article! 
Good read!

One thing, shouldn't Zegana's last line be: "When Prime Speaker Zegana enters the battlefield, draw cards equal to her power."?

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192884403 wrote:
surely one can't say complex conditional passive language is bad grammar ?
One thing, shouldn't Zegana's last line be: "When Prime Speaker Zegana enters the battlefield, draw cards equal to her power."?

Cards don't functionally have gender, so all rules text refer to cards as genderless such as on Crovax, Ascendant Hero or Sakashima the Imposter. Similarly, Ghost Council of Orzhova refers to itself as "it" even though it represents multiple beings.

I really like this piece and how it was presented as a secondary source that itself is a first source. I think it demonstrates the character of two guilds, as well as Zegana, very well. I know I am probably reading too much into it, but idk, I admire Brady's work and I like to think Magic can be subtle.

The content of the Fathom Edict reads directly as green, which makes sense since the Simic Combine was meant to be green: the preservation of nature and life. In a sense, the Fathom Edict regrounds the original incarnation of the Simic, which was very blue, in its green roots but it also plays up their humility. They were "unsure" about how stable their zonots would be; they were willing to be attacked so that they could bring the gifts of the wilds to the surface. Zegana herself downplays her own power and role; she never even declares herself a new guildmaster. And she hints at how precise and calculating the merfolk are but downplays it. Every moment, every word is precise. The location was purposeful, even the weather was purposeful.

The new Simic aren't just contemplative hippies. It will grow out of hand if left alone (like evolve). I'm not doubting that the new Combine truly have those green intentions; I think the Holdfast/Upwelling dynamic is a great symbol for the green-blue push-pull. But I think this piece by Brady was rather brilliant in its reimagining of the Simic. It's like a corporation with an eco-friendly public image; it does things in more palatable way than its competitor (the new Simic have 'natural' Frog Crocodile krasis unlike the ugly gooey old Simic's cytoplasmic Mutants) but is it really the best? It sells the Simic to me. At least better than the weird I-still-don't-understand-where-the-line-between-Azorius-arresters-and-Boros-wojek-is.
The article was an interesting read and quite flavorful, but it didn't really do much in terms of explaining what exactly the new Simic are. Evolve wasn't hinted at or explained, nor was the use of magic to fuse life, other than telling us that yes, Merfolk use biomancy. If Zegana is presenting herself as the speaker of a new guild, I felt like she should have explained what the goals were of the reformed guild, rather than ramble on about the Wilds Initiative and that her people wished to take part. I wanted her to explain why the guild would strive to combine life essences with magic instead of science, why they needed to infuse life essences to begin with, and why they felt the guild needed to accelerate evolution in creatures. Simply stating that "We are Simic" is fairly meaningless because she spoke endlessly of restoring the wilderness to Ravnica rather than expressing the guild's concerns and obvious habits of creating new forms of life, which isn't quite true to the core fundamentals of the guild since it was more about preservation rather than creation. Maybe I'm jumping the gun here and she's a lot more underhanded than she gave appearances of, but I think if she was, there should have maybe been a footnote of suspicion from the scribe. Regardless, I love the new mechanic and feel of Evolve, but so far, I'm not entirely sold on how the reform of the guild to a more natural and water based group actually fits with the mechanic. I think more articles are needed to show perhaps the more deceptive and blue side of Zegana and her calculating merfolk people.
Boring card. 
This is a boring spike card, insanely overpowered.  She will always be a 6/6 and draw 5 cards for 6 mana spell.

Magic picks its designers from a narrow pool of their customers, who happen to all be spikes and who love counterspells. This card screams "gotta play counterspells."  Lots of customers have a choice between losing friends or playing counterspells.  This card really says :2: play for foil copies and get kicked out of your MTGO league.

Green represented by a Merfolk Wizard?  fail.  The card itself is red/blue, not green/blue.  


One thing, shouldn't Zegana's last line be: "When Prime Speaker Zegana enters the battlefield, draw cards equal to her power."?

Cards don't functionally have gender, so all rules text refer to cards as genderless such as on Crovax, Ascendant Hero or Sakashima the Imposter. Similarly, Ghost Council of Orzhova refers to itself as "it" even though it represents multiple beings.



Actually, I believe you're slightly wrong on the last one. A council is a lone something, so a council does refer to itself, rather than themselves. The fact that it is composed of more than one of something else does not make it a plural thing. Similar examples are "the crowd itself" or even something like "the molecule itself" and that's just scratching the surface.

As far as the actual article goes, I think it was very well-written. I still think they're kind of reaching by bringing merfolk into Ravnica and I'm not very enthousiastic about it (I would've preferred to see some already-existant race take over the Simic guild, maybe even something like a rogue dryad or something). The design of the card itself isn't that amazing at first glance, but I do really love the way it guarantees the activation of every single evolve creature you have. That makes this card really feel like a guildmaster.
76125763 wrote:
Zindaras' meta is like a fossil, ancient and its secrets yet to be uncovered. Only men of yore, long dead, knew of it.
One thing, shouldn't Zegana's last line be: "When Prime Speaker Zegana enters the battlefield, draw cards equal to her power."?

Cards don't functionally have gender, so all rules text refer to cards as genderless such as on Crovax, Ascendant Hero or Sakashima the Imposter. Similarly, Ghost Council of Orzhova refers to itself as "it" even though it represents multiple beings.

They make exceptions for planeswalkers (Gideon Jura, Garruk Relentless). It would be nice if they did that for legendary creatures as well.
This is a boring spike card, insanely overpowered.  She will always be a 6/6 and draw 5 cards for 6 mana spell.

Either you're misreading it, or you're assuming the Simic player will always be guaranteed to have a 5/5 on the board by turn 5. Which seems, erm, far from guaranteed to me.

I like the design that she does nothing on an empty board (well, she's a very expensive Merchant of Secrets, but she's guaranteed to trigger every Evolve creature of yours. (It would be much nicer if templating could just decide to use personal pronouns in clear-cut cases like this. Sigh.)

I enjoyed the article a lot. It had a fair go at addressing the challenges of the underground oceans and merfolk being, well, one of these. Though I did think the ostensibly Boros scribe sounded very pompous and Azorius.
So what happens when you control no other creatures? You get a 2/2 and draw two cards?
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So what happens when you control no other creatures? You get a 2/2 and draw two cards?



Nope; you get a 1/1 and draw one card.
One thing, shouldn't Zegana's last line be: "When Prime Speaker Zegana enters the battlefield, draw cards equal to her power."?

Cards don't functionally have gender, so all rules text refer to cards as genderless such as on Crovax, Ascendant Hero or Sakashima the Imposter. Similarly, Ghost Council of Orzhova refers to itself as "it" even though it represents multiple beings.



It read wrong to me as well, though - I also think the card should've said 'her'.  There are so many Magic players who don't pay attention to the gender of the card art, and it drives me crazy.  I guess I'm just disappointed that WoTC seems to be doing the same thing (even if there are legitimate templating rules which point in that direction...).

I was expecting the spoilered card to be named "Fathom Edict" (an excellent name!), so was surprised it was Zegana instead.  Although "Fathom Edict" might be a better name for a blue/black Merfolk card, not blue/green.
So what happens when you control no other creatures? You get a 2/2 and draw two cards?



Nope; you get a 1/1 and draw one card.


How come? I'd say it is worded as to give you at least two cards. 
Photobucket
So what happens when you control no other creatures? You get a 2/2 and draw two cards?



Nope; you get a 1/1 and draw one card.


How come? I'd say it is worded as to give you at least two cards. 



The last words of her first ability read: "Where X is the greatest power among OTHER creatures you control." so she doesn't count herself and if you don't control any other creatures X is 0. Which means that she stays a 1/1 and since you get to draw cards equal to her power, you draw 1 card.
Am I the only person who's disappointed in the new Simic? I really like the Evolve mechanic, and it feels very Blue-Green.

But the larger flavor seems "Blue because of oceans" to me. I get that they see Vig's excesses as vainglorious, but I don't really see much replacing them that still feels Blue. Green, yes, but not Blue.

The cards feel Blue, but the larger flavor doesn't.

I could be biased though because I absolutely loved the flavor of the original Simic. Experimenting on creatures and creating crazy mutants just really felt both Blue and Green to me... and creative and exciting.

This doesn't.
Am I the only person who's disappointed in the new Simic? I really like the Evolve mechanic, and it feels very Blue-Green.

But the larger flavor seems "Blue because of oceans" to me. I get that they see Vig's excesses as vainglorious, but I don't really see much replacing them that still feels Blue. Green, yes, but not Blue.

The cards feel Blue, but the larger flavor doesn't.

I could be biased though because I absolutely loved the flavor of the original Simic. Experimenting on creatures and creating crazy mutants just really felt both Blue and Green to me... and creative and exciting.

This doesn't.



The Blue side comes not just from experimentation, but from their rational side. Compare them to the other Green guilds, and see how relaxed and inquisitive they are.

Old Simic sucked. It was Blue playing with Green, not a fair mixture. Besides, the cytoplasts looked ugly. 
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Old Simic sucked. It was Blue playing with Green, not a fair mixture. Besides, the cytoplasts looked ugly. 


While I don't think old Simic sucked, I agree with this. Old Simic really was just blue.

Plus, isn't it too soon to judge new Simic? We haven't read that much about them and seeing how they react to the stories of GTC and DMZ will tell us a lot more about them.

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192884403 wrote:
surely one can't say complex conditional passive language is bad grammar ?
Yeah, the flavor feels a bit odd. Almost ... comforting. But remember, we know Zegana is from the same guild that has been working on making human ooze, so her demeanor and the stated purposes of Simic may in fact be a fascade.
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This is a boring spike card, insanely overpowered.  She will always be a 6/6 and draw 5 cards for 6 mana spell.




Not if you controll one of these Corpsejack Menace.

I imagine the situation with Experiment One depends on WHICH it started as. That is, is it a human that was made into an ooze, or an ooze that was imbued with human DNA?
I imagine the situation with Experiment One depends on WHICH it started as. That is, is it a human that was made into an ooze, or an ooze that was imbued with human DNA?


Being as it appears to be an adult human ooze, I'd say the former. Either possibility is pretty disturbing, though.
You are Red/Blue!
You are Red/Blue!
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
You are both rational and emotional. You value creation and discovery, and feel strongly about what I create. At best, you're innovative and intuitive. At worst, you're scattered and unpredictable.
The mile long list of annotations was a riot.
Great article! 



If you've ever read any scientific or (more specific to the Simic) medical journal, annotations and citations appear a lot. It would make sense that a guild dedicated to biological sciences would annotate everything.

The Izzet are more "I don't have time for citations. Now to just mix this compound here with this one here and *kaboom*"

Anyway, evolve enabler, loves Pennon Blade, Maros, Strata Scythe, Lhurgoyfs. (Or just equip a Maro with Strata Scythe, Pennon Blade, and Bonehoard.) Draws lots of cards. Loves to blink.

Yeah, I think we have a combo piece.
139359831 wrote:
Clever deduction Watson! Maybe you can explain why Supergirl is trying to kill me.
---- Autocard is your friend. Lightning Bolt = Lightning Bolt
Anyway, evolve enabler, loves Pennon Blade, Maros, Strata Scythe, Lhurgoyfs. (Or just equip a Maro with Strata Scythe, Pennon Blade, and Bonehoard.) Draws lots of cards. Loves to blink.

Yeah, I think we have a combo piece.

I don't think Pennon Blade or Strata Scythe are going to work very well with her, unless you're planning to have a Leonin Shikari around or use a Brass Squire with her ETB trigger on the stack. Similarly Lhurgoyfs don't really do much with her except "get big over time". 

The Maro idea is quite fun though. Have Maro, cast her, she doubles Maro's size; then blink her and she doubles it again. 
The mile long list of annotations was a riot.
Great article! 



If you've ever read any scientific or (more specific to the Simic) medical journal, annotations and citations appear a lot. It would make sense that a guild dedicated to biological sciences would annotate everything.


The document is Boros.
I imagine the situation with Experiment One depends on WHICH it started as. That is, is it a human that was made into an ooze, or an ooze that was imbued with human DNA?




Their krasis appearently work by mixing "life essences". It seems to imply mixing adult beings...
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Anyway, evolve enabler, loves Pennon Blade, Maros, Strata Scythe, Lhurgoyfs. (Or just equip a Maro with Strata Scythe, Pennon Blade, and Bonehoard.) Draws lots of cards. Loves to blink.

Yeah, I think we have a combo piece.

I don't think Pennon Blade or Strata Scythe are going to work very well with her, unless you're planning to have a Leonin Shikari around or use a Brass Squire with her ETB trigger on the stack. Similarly Lhurgoyfs don't really do much with her except "get big over time". 

The Maro idea is quite fun though. Have Maro, cast her, she doubles Maro's size; then blink her and she doubles it again. 



Those equipments don't need to be Equiped to her. You just need to have them equiped to another creature before you cast her, preferably the one that already has the highest power. After she has resolved you could always move the equipment onto her of course, but whether you should do that or just have two big creatures instead of one gigantic one is up to you. But still I agree blinking her with a Maro on the table seems more of an actual combo. Who knew that Maro was Simic?
I imagine the situation with Experiment One depends on WHICH it started as. That is, is it a human that was made into an ooze, or an ooze that was imbued with human DNA?


Being as it appears to be an adult human ooze, I'd say the former. Either possibility is pretty disturbing, though.

I think it's actually an ooze that changes it's structure to fulfill the needs presented by its environment. As if we could grow third arms in response to needing one.


But they are blue, because they artificially accelerate natural processes that take millennia into a few seconds. 

I love the wilds initiative. Interestingly, the gruul don't have guildmasters, not the way selesnyans and golgari do. So the selesnyans don't really want to bring back the wild, and neither do the golgari. So the gruul are the only ones who want the wilds back. And possibly the simic, but I doubt it. Interesting....
 
This article was awesome to read
The card itself is kinda meh

At turn 6 or dork ramped for turn 3 i expect a suprem verdict has been casted at least once
Thragtusks make this a decant card but in the end i feel this card doesnt have what it takes to win games

And by turn 6 if you arent playing winning cards you probably not going to win
I imagine the situation with Experiment One depends on WHICH it started as. That is, is it a human that was made into an ooze, or an ooze that was imbued with human DNA?


Being as it appears to be an adult human ooze, I'd say the former. Either possibility is pretty disturbing, though.

I think it's actually an ooze that changes it's structure to fulfill the needs presented by its environment. As if we could grow third arms in response to needing one.


But they are blue, because they artificially accelerate natural processes that take millennia into a few seconds. 

I love the wilds initiative. Interestingly, the gruul don't have guildmasters, not the way selesnyans and golgari do. So the selesnyans don't really want to bring back the wild, and neither do the golgari. So the gruul are the only ones who want the wilds back. And possibly the simic, but I doubt it. Interesting....
 



I'm going to speculate that the Simic (or at least Zegana) wants to flood Ravnica to bring about Merfolk ascendency over the realm. Whether or not the Golgari are in on it is up to speculation, but they'd certainly benefit from the death and destruction. The Selesnya are probably being duped. Maybe the Gruul as well- they want to destroy civilization, but certainly can't live underwater.
You are Red/Blue!
You are Red/Blue!
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
You are both rational and emotional. You value creation and discovery, and feel strongly about what I create. At best, you're innovative and intuitive. At worst, you're scattered and unpredictable.
The Selesnya are probably being duped.



Except that they have an agenda of their own. Remember the brainwashing for the greater good. 
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Interesting that playing a second Zegana, or cackling counterpart, might be worth it just for the card draw, even with the loss of the legendary creature.
And by turn 6 if you arent playing winning cards you probably not going to win



I thought it was turn 7.
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I think my favorite part is when she goes on about how she knew that people would be aggressive towards the merfolk when they arrived, and a footnote basically just says "No one's tried to hurt them but they have stared a whole bunch if that counts".
The mile long list of annotations was a riot.
Great article! 



If you've ever read any scientific or (more specific to the Simic) medical journal, annotations and citations appear a lot. It would make sense that a guild dedicated to biological sciences would annotate everything.


The document is Boros.



Was I the only one for whom it felt more Azorius than Boros? I guess it's kind of a cop report but even then I'd think the Azorius would be the guys for reports and the Boros wouldn't care that much.
76125763 wrote:
Zindaras' meta is like a fossil, ancient and its secrets yet to be uncovered. Only men of yore, long dead, knew of it.
Those equipments don't need to be Equiped to her. You just need to have them equiped to another creature before you cast her, preferably the one that already has the highest power. After she has resolved you could always move the equipment onto her of course, but whether you should do that or just have two big creatures instead of one gigantic one is up to you. But still I agree blinking her with a Maro on the table seems more of an actual combo. Who knew that Maro was Simic?



I was going for exactly that. Not every combo with aura or equipment X and creature Y is "attach X to Y". But I was also thinking of "handsize = 2 * handsize + 1;" effect, if you'll pardon my C. Remember, "double" is a dangerous word in Magic, giving us everything from Rofellos to Vorosh to Koth. (Even ignoring combos like giving Serra Avatar lifelink.)

Maro (the ability) is very much in Simic, since it's a +X/+Y effect (green) that cares about cards in hand (blue).
139359831 wrote:
Clever deduction Watson! Maybe you can explain why Supergirl is trying to kill me.
---- Autocard is your friend. Lightning Bolt = Lightning Bolt