The Nature of the Emblem

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I've been brainstorming some ideas for cards that have to do with emblems.  However, I think that what makes this a little bit difficult is that I'm not sure how to understand the concept of what an emblem actually is.  

What I am not asking for here is anything about the rules relating to emblems.  I am perfectly familiar with how the rules treat the concept.  But the rules do not say much about them, and they definitely don't give them a specific physical (or non-physical) manifestation.  

Is an emblem, for example, something akin to a military decoration?  A medal?  A "tattoo" of sorts?  Something that has no physical aspect to it at all?  

I'm interested to hear what your thoughts are, especially because I'd like to know whether there is a general consensus on the matter or not.
I don't think they have a clear flavor. They're really just enchantment tokens so there flavor is likely that of an enchantment. I would say that if they were a physical item though, then they could physically be targeted and destroyed.
The flavor, to me, is a manifestation of the Planeswalker's true power.  
1) Currently, only Planeswalkers give them.
2) Planeswalkers are supposed to be pretty massive in power
3) This represents them using their full power or basically, like them casting their own enchantments.

I guess what I'm getting at is: Emblems are an attempt to represent the "second player" flavor of the very static Planeswalker card type, a way of trying to make them more active.
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They're not really flavorful at all.  They're largely just a rules kludge to make Domri Rade, Koth of the Hammer, Liliana of the Dark Realms, and Sorin, Lord of Innistrad's abilities work.
Just think of an emblem as powerful magic that only planeswalkers can manipulate.
According to Maro, nobody knows planeswalkers exist. Obviously they do, but I think he means, nobody knows how they exist, or exactly what it is that makes them special.
Tha being said, whatever a planeswalker does, stays done.
The only way I see emblems being destroyed is by another planeswalker, as a planeswalker is the only thing that can understand the magic a planeswalker uses.

For example, Karn is the only modern card I'm aware of, that can "destroy" emblems.

Take that into consideration.
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If you're talking about on tumblr, he said that few non-planeswalkers know about the existence of planeswalkers.

Emblems really are as EyeballFrog described, ways to make planeswalkers' otherwise one-shot abilities work as static abilities (as they are meant to). The closest representation in what you have access to as a player are enchantments. I think 'emblem' here means 'symbol' as in it represents that powerful spell (as an enchantment card does) rather than a physical object.
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Orc_Welfin, did I miss something here?  I hadn't seen anything of that character in this thread...
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Orc_Welfin, did I miss something here?  I hadn't seen anything of that character in this thread...


that's 'cause it got removed.

having seen the post in question, Welfin's actions were justified.

 
120.6. Some effects replace card draws.
having seen the post in question, Welfin's actions were justified.
 



What'd it say??Laughing
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having seen the post in question, Welfin's actions were justified.
 



What'd it say??Laughing



I'm fairly certain that revealing that would defeat the purpose of it being deleted.
I know you weren't asking about the rules, but I think the rules can help define the flavor in this situation:

408. Command

408.1. The command zone is a game area reserved for certain specialized
objects that have an overarching effect on the game, yet are not permanents
and cannot be destroyed.



So, if the purpose of the zone where emblems go is that they can't be touched, I think the most accurate flavor is that they create a world altering effect.  From what I recall, emblems were necessary because they alter not only what is on the board, but anything that relates to it later in the game as well.  So, yeah, I guess I'd just view it as a massive change to the state of the plane it is used on.

~SE++ 

http://forum.nogoblinsallowed.com/index.php

@altimis: Agents of Artifice would indicate otherwise. It had a monastic order of non-planeswalkers centered around worshipping planeswalkers. nd they had ample knowledge of mana, and even of the Eternities.
Most people consider agents a terrible book and they refuse to recognize it as canon. Or at least that's what keeper says.
Or at least that's what keeper says.



Plus, if it weren't canon, then you couldn't have Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas in print.
What am I thinking, not agents, test of metal. Too many artifact books @_@
Are the books actually any good now?  I tried to read a few of them up until Mercadian Masques but they were so abyssmal I had to give up on them.

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I'm just stating what I think is their opinion! :/
The original Ravnica trilogy were the best I've read.
I remember really enjoying the books with the Legends block characters. But I read them when I was in my early teens so that probably means they are horrible
Yeah, same for me with the Greensleeves series...which apparently never happened now or something...and I spent all that time learning Minotaur Frown
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I know you weren't asking about the rules, but I think the rules can help define the flavor in this situation:

408. Command

408.1. The command zone is a game area reserved for certain specialized
objects that have an overarching effect on the game, yet are not permanents
and cannot be destroyed.



So, if the purpose of the zone where emblems go is that they can't be touched, I think the most accurate flavor is that they create a world altering effect.  From what I recall, emblems were necessary because they alter not only what is on the board, but anything that relates to it later in the game as well.  So, yeah, I guess I'd just view it as a massive change to the state of the plane it is used on.

~SE++ 

squinty_eyes, that's a good point.  

But I don't know if that means, as you say, "they [e.g., emblems] can't be touched"; Rule 408.1 says only that they cannot "be destroyed."

Would this make it possible for a player to, for example, "lose an emblem"?  How about "copy(ing) an emblem"?  
Based on my experience with the Rules forum...only if a card lets you.  You can only do things outlined in the rules.

For example:  Nothing in the rules says you can't discard a card anytime you want.  But nothing in the rules says you CAN either.  So you can't discard a card without something instructing you to do so.
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Based on my experience with the Rules forum...only if a card lets you.  You can only do things outlined in the rules.

For example:  Nothing in the rules says you can't discard a card anytime you want.  But nothing in the rules says you CAN either.  So you can't discard a card without something instructing you to do so.

Well, yes, of course...more specifically, then, I was getting at whether or not a card could cause a player to "lose an emblem," or whether a card could "copy an emblem."

"Destroy" is a very specific term in MTG rules.  It would seem hard to argue that its use in Rule 408.1 means something other than its usual meaning.  And if that is so, then it would seem that emblems could be affected by other mechanisms in the game that are not strictly equivalent to "destroying," even if, practically speaking, they would yield the same result.  
Well, I guess the point is that it said it wasn't a permanent.  So.... I dunno if it can be targeted.  It's not a spell, nor an ability, nor a permanent.  And it's in a zone where whatever is there can't be destroyed.  So, why are you trying to think of ways to destroy it?  I'd just leave it be and accept that once it is created, it has to stay.

~SE++ 

http://forum.nogoblinsallowed.com/index.php

Zammm helped me out with some command zone and emblem questions.



You technically can target and affect them if he is correct, you just cannot destroy them.
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Are the books actually any good now?  I tried to read a few of them up until Mercadian Masques but they were so abyssmal I had to give up on them.



My personal favorite was The Gathering Dark.
Other than that, the only other ones I got into was the Onslaught, Legions and Scourge books. I loved the story of Ixidor and Akroma. I loved the story of Kamahl and Phage. Ixidor has been my favorite character by far. His card did not do him justice!!!
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58060728 wrote:
I carefully examine the walls of the room in a determined effort to not follow the GMs plot.
Well, I guess the point is that it said it wasn't a permanent.  So.... I dunno if it can be targeted.  It's not a spell, nor an ability, nor a permanent.  And it's in a zone where whatever is there can't be destroyed.  So, why are you trying to think of ways to destroy it?  I'd just leave it be and accept that once it is created, it has to stay.

~SE++ 

Stop using "destroy" colloquially.  That's the point--I'm not trying to destroy them, as the Rule is quite clear on that matter (i.e., it cannot happen).  But that still leaves other ways to tinker with them, including ways that could accomplish what we might consider to be the functional equivalent of destroying something, but without technically destroying it.  The authors of the rules know that they're being very technically specific when they say "destroy."  They know how to make a prohibition sweep more broadly than that if they wanted to, and they clearly chose not to do so.  The equally clear implication is that they left all other possibilities besides "destroy(ing)" them in play for the future.  
So my rules-y understanding of emblems is as follows:


  • They exist in the command zone.


    • This is distinct from the exile zone (hence no interaction with Riftsweeper et al.).


  • They are their own type of object: not permanents, spells, cards, abilities, tokens, or any other type of object. However, they may have abilities, create permanents, etc.


    • This means that it is extremely difficult for cards to interact with them. Vindicate can't remove an emblem, as emblems aren't permanents; they can't be countered (though the effect that creates them and their abilities can, in some cases); and so on. Moreover, "destroy" specifically refers to putting an object into its owner's graveyard from the battlefield, so emblems cannot be destroyed.

    • It's not, however, impossible: Progenitus cannot be targeted by the triggered ability of Venser, the Sojourner's emblem, since it has protection from everything.

    • In addition, a hypothetical future card could do something like "Exile target emblem" would function as expected (I think): an emblem's abilities function in the command zone, not the exile zone, so moving it means the abilities stop working. Copying emblems should be more straightforward: "Target emblem's controller gets a copy of that emblem." In the unlikely event that Wizards prints a card like these, it's likely they would update the rules concerning emblems to clarify whatever interaction they make. 




Shorter version: nothing today can affect an emblem; such cards could be printed in theory, in which case the rules would probably be updated.

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