1/8/2013 UR: "Planewalker's Guide to Born of the Gods"

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

Is it me or was the "Holy cow, Xenagos became a God!" presented too soon and fast? I mean, we already knew because of the pictures, but I still think the detailed process deserved some kind of feature article (with its preview) on Monday.

this story feels like Kamigawa 2.0

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Shiny_Umbreon wrote:

Is it me or was the "Holy cow, Xenagos became a God!" presented too soon and fast? I mean, we already knew because of the pictures, but I still think the detailed process deserved some kind of feature article (with its preview) on Monday.

 

Yeah... It wasn't even antecipated in Theros flavor text or world building AFAIK. I didn't even know Xenagos wanted to become a god!

Just like with the Theros Guides, I found this a difficult to understand article. 

 

For example, what were the bestow creatures in Theros doing? Were they Nyxborn? Were they already out of the ordinary there? I thought they were part of normal everyday life on Theros. But if they were the first Nyxborn, why were the gods not angry already in Theros? I either don't understand why the gods are suddenly angry now or why the bestow creatures are different from Nyxborn.

 

Second point: 

 

The pantheon were ignorant of Xenagos's plan to ascend to godhood, but they recognized that something was amiss. As more Nyxborn beings appeared in the mortal realm, the gods blamed each other for the chaos and, in their anger, sent ferocious Nyxborn creatures against the mortals.

 

Wait what? The Nyxborn are causing trouble, Xenagos is secretly behind it but the Gods are blaming each other right now. And the conclusion from all that is "attack the mortals"? Where does that come from?

I guess this is alluded to later on ("The gods of Theros, although awe-inspiring, are petty, suspicious, and fickle.") so like the guides to Theros, the problem might lie in the order topics are adressed in the articles, to provide better context for what we read.

 

 

I, too, do not understand why the gods send Nyxborn to punish humanity if it is the Nyxborn who are the ones causing trouble in the first place. I could only imagine that one or a few of them accused humans of being the cause of the Nyxborn's chaos... but even then, that seems a fairly shallow reason, especially since gods usually have eyes and ears in the mortal realm to keep tabs on things.

 

I am also a bit surprised and delighted to see that Zendikar has been mentioned once more, and that Gideon isn't the only one trying to save that plane. I can't wait to see what happens to Kiora if she continues fooling the tritons/what encounter she may have with Thassa. I'm also curious now of what kind of personality Kiora has if she's okay with fooling an entire race into thinking she's something she's not.

TobyornotToby wrote:

Just like with the Theros Guides, I found this a difficult to understand article. 

 

For example, what were the bestow creatures in Theros doing? Were they Nyxborn? Were they already out of the ordinary there? I thought they were part of normal everyday life on Theros. But if they were the first Nyxborn, why were the gods not angry already in Theros? I either don't understand why the gods are suddenly angry now or why the bestow creatures are different from Nyxborn.

 

Second point: 

 

 

The pantheon were ignorant of Xenagos's plan to ascend to godhood, but they recognized that something was amiss. As more Nyxborn beings appeared in the mortal realm, the gods blamed each other for the chaos and, in their anger, sent ferocious Nyxborn creatures against the mortals.

 

Wait what? The Nyxborn are causing trouble, Xenagos is secretly behind it but the Gods are blaming each other right now. And the conclusion from all that is "attack the mortals"? Where does that come from?

I guess this is alluded to later on ("The gods of Theros, although awe-inspiring, are petty, suspicious, and fickle.") so like the guides to Theros, the problem might lie in the order topics are adressed in the articles, to provide better context for what we read.

 

"Greek Gods are jerk," the saying goes, so therefore so too are Theros Gods. What? You wanted a better explanation? This isn't rock surgery.

"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)

Feroz-s_Familiar_Pheldy wrote:

this story feels like Kamigawa 2.0

Yup.

 

For those not familiar:

 

There are two worlds, separated by a virtual "Veil" between the realms that, ocassionally, permits transit between the realms. However, at one point, one being from the "mortal" side decided to try to cross over and take something from the "immortal" side, and in so doing, sparked great anger and wrath from that side. So began a war that lasted several decades, leaving the realm devastated.

 

Replace the theft of That Which Was Taken, the child of the greatest Kami O-Kagachi ("kami" means "god" in this sense), with Xenagos trying to attain Godhood, and the premise is essentially identical. Xenagos is trying to invade the realm to be a God, whilst Konda stole the Kami "child" in order to ... well, be a God. Even the block flavor is practically identical: rustic, flavor-based, very Legend "hero"-oriented. People asked for a new Kamigawa block, and Theros is it. But this time they are at least making it popular, though a lot of the Bestow cards are lackluster, and mechanically problematic (they are Auras, except when they aren't, and the distinction is not intuitive vs. flippers). Distinctly though, apparently, the plane is a Planeswalker theme park; Kamigawa had the benefit of having a barrier that prevented 'walkers from entering the plane proper, which required some extensive work by the Myojin of Nights' Reach to send Toshiro Umezawa to Dominaria.

"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)

TobyornotToby wrote:

For example, what were the bestow creatures in Theros doing? Were they Nyxborn? Were they already out of the ordinary there? I thought they were part of normal everyday life on Theros. But if they were the first Nyxborn, why were the gods not angry already in Theros? I either don't understand why the gods are suddenly angry now or why the bestow creatures are different from Nyxborn.

Bestow creatures were a handful of folks sent by the gods for their business on Earth (some of them being literal emissaries). The Nyxborn creatures we'll see in BotG should be thematically different from them. Less, "the sacred cow that blesses our harvest," and more "that glowing jerk bull that eats everything in the granary and leaves enchanted cow pies in the village square."

 

TobyornotToby wrote:

Wait what? The Nyxborn are causing trouble, Xenagos is secretly behind it but the Gods are blaming each other right now. And the conclusion from all that is "attack the mortals"? Where does that come from?

The article does get at an explanation a bit later when it mentions the gods can't really mess with each other directly. It's why they don't punch Xenagos in the face for his diabolical plan to swap three loyalty abilities in order to become an indestructible enchantment. More than even the Greek gods of old, when they fight with each other they do it via mortal proxy wars. It doesn't explain why they wouldn't also defend their favored cities though. I guess if it was possible for a mortal to perform this sort of ritual, then mortals would be the target. Sort of a "hydra attacks will continue until piety  improves" kinda deal.

 

It does come across like there are two acts contained in BotG: An actiony bit where the gods lash out because they don't know what's going on (sorrynotsorry, mortals) and the post-Revel, awkwardly silent "guess who's coming to celestial dinner" bit (featuring special guest star Xenagos the God or Xenagos the oh-there-don't-stop-I'm-almost-god).

 

 

Well, that was a nice little plot summery... I miss when Magic had actual storylines and characters
Some development of Xenagos could have happened rather than "This is Xenagos, he's a PlaneswalkerOhNowHe'saGod!"

1 book per block doesn't really work. Release it with the 1st set and you either have to hold too much back or spoil the whole block. 
Release it with the last set and... you need to cram too much in and no one even cares anymore, they know what happened already.

(e.g. Guide to Alara book was bad 'cos it couldn't really tell you anything in detail past the 1st set's content, the novel sucked so bad as it was "Alara: a plot summery, by Doge Bayer")

VanVelding wrote:

 

Bestow creatures were a handful of folks sent by the gods for their business on Earth (some of them being literal emissaries). The Nyxborn creatures we'll see in BotG should be thematically different from them. Less, "the sacred cow that blesses our harvest," and more "that glowing jerk bull that eats everything in the granary and leaves enchanted cow pies in the village square."

 

Glowing Jerk Bull

Enchantment Creature - Ox

Whenever Glowing Jerk Bull attacks, put an enchantment artifact token named "Enchanted Cow Pie" onto the battlefield with "Sacrifice Enchanted Cow Pie: Enchanted Cow Pie deals 1 damage to target creature attacking you or a planeswalker you control."

4/4

 

What did you expect, people? It's a set that instead of being based on a mythology is (even graphically) based on a movie that raped said mythology in a hilariously bad way. As you can see from the aggregated critic: 28% approval, 4.3/10 average score, going up a bit to 40% and 3.1/5 when it comes to audience. Brilliant.


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based on a Clash of the Titans 1981 based on Jason and the Argonauts

 

"They have been forced to confront their very nature, not as the creators of the world, but as creations of it."

 

much like turning a card set over to the players

 

Philosophers might find Revelry(leisure) an essential element to creation.

 

The Oceans cover a third world

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Matt_Holck wrote:

based on a Clash of the Titans 1981 based on Jason and the Argonauts

 

"They have been forced to confront their very nature, not as the creators of the world, but as creations of it."

 

much like turning a card set over to the players

 

Philosophers might find Revelry(leisure) an essential element to creation.

 

The Oceans cover a third world

It's not based on Clash of the Titans 1981: It's based on Clash of the Titans 2009. The villain of the first film was Caliban, the villain of the second film was Hades, and Caliban was a pawn. It's always Hades these days: The lord of the dead is bad, bad, bad, and it's a trope that goes back to always treating the underworld as "hell" and thus its ruler as "Satan." Since that guy's a bad guy, they all are. This is how Kernunos was transformed into a Satan look-alike, for example, and used to justify claiming Celts were devil-worshippers.

 

The problem with Xenagos as the story's villain (you will notice he is horned, becrowned by a Baphomet-esque rack) is that he's RG: RG plays on the conflux if freedom and instinct: We just want to have fun! It's about change for its own sake, and not getting in the way, or letting things get in the way. Its unchecked evolution. The opposite of Blue. So what does Xenagos do? He starts creating a state in which all others are forced to heed his will, to become his subjects, to "dance, dance, dance." Like a Puppetmaster. Like he's Blue now. He sought power (Black), wants to control others (Blue), and isn't satisfied with what or who he is. Change, because you can change things. So really, he's Green-Blue, maybe even Green-Blue-Black.

"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)

I find this plot incredibly out of left field, but then again there are ever so few ways in conveying narrative when you only have an unreleased novel and cards. I just wished they saved Xenagos' digi-evolution to the end of the block.

 

 

As for the Nyxborn, yes, they should be mechanically distinct. This whole block is going to turn what Theros did upside down, now that we will have two-colour gods and everything.

 

 

I find it disheartening that Theros' gods are basically jerkasses for no reason. Greek gods were petty, but they were also benevolent and wise (if their name isn't "Ares", that is), so seeing the entire pantheon we've been told to apreciate, such as Erebos or Purphoros, is a tad OOC.

 

 

The problem with Xenagos as the story's villain (you will notice he is horned, becrowned by a Baphomet-esque rack) is that he's RG: RG plays on the conflux if freedom and instinct: We just want to have fun! It's about change for its own sake, and not getting in the way, or letting things get in the way. Its unchecked evolution. The opposite of Blue. So what does Xenagos do? He starts creating a state in which all others are forced to heed his will, to become his subjects, to "dance, dance, dance." Like a Puppetmaster. Like he's Blue now. He sought power (Black), wants to control others (Blue), and isn't satisfied with what or who he is. Change, because you can change things. So really, he's Green-Blue, maybe even Green-Blue-Black.

 

 

- I love it that "Hades" is not the bad guy. The bad guy here is the Pan-analogue, and outside of Arthur Machen's The Great God Pan, it is time that the media catched up to Pan's primeval, disturbing eldritch evil ugly ways instead of depicting him as a hippie icon.

 

 

- Red/Green is not against thinking, mind you, it just places a priority on emotion and instinct. We've had smart Red characters, we've had smart Green characters, ergo we have a smart Red/Green character. Also, Xenagos' scheme isn't really that complicated, if you think about it. He also does not want to control or dominate others beyond a simplistic sadism streak: all he wants is to lash at the world who he thinks eluded him.

IMAGE(http://www.wizards.com/global/images/mtgcom_daily_mc52_picMain_en.jpg)IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/73821e61e013eadf56a8e4e2226d89a3.jpg?v=90000)

Here's the story as I understand it (disclaimer: my "understanding" is huge amounts of speculation):

 

In Theros, Xenagos was starting his rituals to ascend to godhood. This weakens the barriers and allow the enchantment creatures of Theros through. They're Nyxborn, the vanguards of the blending that's to come. The gods, understandably, are confused. (I really wish there was some sort of foreshadowing to all this, because right now my speculation is all I've got saying this is true.) Then, things start getting worse. The gods aren't at all unlike mortals. When there's something they don't understand, they get scared. They panic, they overreact, and they lash out at each other. It's not a war like it was in Kamigawa. It's pure, unbridled anarchy as every god tries to figure things out, and inevitably there's some blame (and monsters) thrown at mortals.

Mogis likes the chaos. He starts attacking the mortals, while the other gods are running about in a panic. Eventually, this leads to the ascension of Xenagos. This? This is BAD. Now not only do they have to contend with a rogue god who's sweeping the whole plane into chaos, but they have to deal with a giant neon sign that says to the world "Hey. The gods aren't special. You create them and empower them." NOW is when the war starts in earnest by the less-jerk gods. Not only do you have to contend with the forces of Xenagos wherever he is, but you have to keep the mortals under seige so they keep revering you and don't have time to consider whether or not you're actually worthy of being worshiped.

Not all the gods are going all-out on the mortals, of course. It seems that Heliod, at least, cooled his jets after a few panicked attacks on his worshipers before Xenagos ascended, and is now trying to work on things. Honestly, it's doubtful that any of them except Mogis is really interested in destroying mortals anymore. But the mortals are angry enough that the gods backing down might not be enough to stop things, especially with Xenagos' magically-fueled Revel sweeping the entire plane into one literal hell of a party.

 

It takes some speculation and some rejiggering of the presented facts for me to arrive at this interpretation. I agree, it really could have been presented to us better (a lot better)than it was here. I think there's some really interesting story going on in this block, they're just having problems right now telling us what it is.

Rules Nut Advisor

erdana, sans-serif; font-size:12px">

the gods blamed each other for the chaos and, in their anger, sent ferocious Nyxborn creatures against the mortals.erdana, sans-serif">

 

 

erdana, sans-serif">Wait what?

 

erdana, sans-serif">My brother and I blame each other for the broken TV, so we send assassins to attack the employees of Walmart..........in Iceland

standard US foriegn policy

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The plotline of a mortal planeswalker becoming a God and upsetting the pantheon seems very fitting! It's a conflict that's strongly connected to the Greek theme. At the same time it's not just a straight-up reproduction of Greek mythology, but rather something that shakes it up. Kamigawa and Theros both create worlds where the ancient beliefs of those cultures are literally true, then adds a conlict/twist to those worlds which is something that isn't in the original mythology but is deeply relevant to it.

 

But I do have some gripes with it. A Human vs. God war doesn't feel very Greek Myth to me, besides being too literally similar to Kamigawa's theme. A God vs. God conflct with Humans being caught up in both sides sounds more like Greek mythology. Also, a "choose your allegiance" type of theme where you choose which of the feuding Gods to align with sounds more suitable for a deity-themed set. If the Gods are against you, what do high priests do with their Devotion abilities

 

Also, the idea of Gods worrying about Humans discovering that they're just creations of the world seems off to me. Such a revelation might be problematic for a Creator god of the Judaeic tradition, but did the ancient Greeks even think of the Gods like that? Greek gods just seem to spring out of the universe. They rule by usurping the previous pantheon. Even if they're not the creators of the universe, that doesn't do anything to discredit what they are. I don't mind that the Theros Gods don't work the same way as Greek Gods do, but I feel that the ancients' general mindset or world view about Gods should be there. They can be stronger or weaker than in the myths and have different rules such as "Gods can't kill Gods" but the people in that world shouldn't be looking at them as a stand-in for a Christian God and the Gods shouldn't feel insecure about not being that type of God.

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Shamsiel wrote:
Greek gods were petty, but they were also benevolent and wise (if their name isn't "Ares", that is)

 

Just a minor quibble here, but: You mean if they weren't named "Hera," right? More was wrought over the righteousness of Hera as the wife of the lord of Olympus and this highest amongst goddesses than any quibble between her brothers (including her husband). Whilst Zeus was a real jerkhole, no one spent more energies taking revenge on Zues' behavior by going after the product of that behavior than dealing with its source, so it's certainly fair precedence that Theros' gods are all effectively personality-less Hera clones. And this is coming from the goddess of the bloody hearth -- because it's HER hearth, and she'll bloody it with YOUR liquids. Demeter, in her wandering despair of the Forever Winter over the loss of her daughter, at least found time to do good by the people who nutured or cared for her in her misery. Note that almost the entirety of Sparta was given over to worship of Ares: he had an entire city state and the finest standing army of hoplites ever known. Ares would do nothing but lavish favors upon Sparta, as it were.

 

Chah wrote:

The plotline of a mortal planeswalker becoming a God and upsetting the pantheon seems very fitting! It's a conflict that's strongly connected to the Greek theme.

No God is raised from mortal status; and even demigods couldn't really work at it: Those that tried found their gift of immortality granted them by being turned into constellations. But to rule in Olympus was the province of the Twelve, their servants, and no one else. The stroy of Belerophon is testament to the idea of how the Greek's viewed hubris, as his fate and aspirations were the morality play of both the Gods' disproportionate judgement and a warning not to step beyond your possible station.

"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)

In the most classic and well known version of Greek mythology, Cronus /ˈkroʊnəs/ or Kronos /ˈkroʊnɒs/[1] (Greek: Κρόνος [krónos]) was the leader and the youngest of the first generation of Titans, divine descendants of Gaia, the earth, and Uranus, the sky. He overthrew his father and ruled during the mythological Golden Age, until he was overthrown by his own son Zeus and imprisoned in Tartarus.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cronus

 

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The question I have isn't "why did he become a God so soon?" but "is being a God worth more than being a planeswalker?"

 

I feel as though even if Xenagos, "God of Revelry" Enchantment Planeswalker/Creature exists, Would he want to remain there?

If I was him, I would enjoy shaking things up, giving who ever I wanted entrance into nyx. Enjoy a great time then realize its kind of boring. Go back out into the real world and party hardy.

 

He is kinda a metaphor for a lot of modern celebrities.

Even with all the cash, fame and people looking up to you

there comes a point where its not enough and you go out and party hard which turns into intense illegal activities to fill the void.

 

 

Another Question I have is the other gods.

Was there a red green god before Xenagos ascended?

 

 

And why are they keeping the gods so mysterious?

I think this is a bad decision considering every Greek God, and God in general has a reputation. And its better to spell out the reputations before hand than to leave the reputations after the fact

Imagine some one telling you a story and they say "Wait, did I ever explain who important person X is?"

Mogis for example, I barely heard of him and now he's a major player

VanVelding wrote:

 

TobyornotToby wrote:

For example, what were the bestow creatures in Theros doing? Were they Nyxborn? Were they already out of the ordinary there? I thought they were part of normal everyday life on Theros. But if they were the first Nyxborn, why were the gods not angry already in Theros? I either don't understand why the gods are suddenly angry now or why the bestow creatures are different from Nyxborn.

 

Bestow creatures were a handful of folks sent by the gods for their business on Earth (some of them being literal emissaries). The Nyxborn creatures we'll see in BotG should be thematically different from them. Less, "the sacred cow that blesses our harvest," and more "that glowing jerk bull that eats everything in the granary and leaves enchanted cow pies in the village square."

 

 

TobyornotToby wrote:

Wait what? The Nyxborn are causing trouble, Xenagos is secretly behind it but the Gods are blaming each other right now. And the conclusion from all that is "attack the mortals"? Where does that come from?

The article does get at an explanation a bit later when it mentions the gods can't really mess with each other directly. It's why they don't punch Xenagos in the face for his diabolical plan to swap three loyalty abilities in order to become an indestructible enchantment. More than even the Greek gods of old, when they fight with each other they do it via mortal proxy wars. It doesn't explain why they wouldn't also defend their favored cities though. I guess if it was possible for a mortal to perform this sort of ritual, then mortals would be the target. Sort of a "hydra attacks will continue until piety  improves" kinda deal.

 

It does come across like there are two acts contained in BotG: An actiony bit where the gods lash out because they don't know what's going on (sorrynotsorry, mortals) and the post-Revel, awkwardly silent "guess who's coming to celestial dinner" bit (featuring special guest star Xenagos the God or Xenagos the oh-there-don't-stop-I'm-almost-god).

 

 

 

This is an awesome summery.

And Knowing Maro, "Guess who's coming to dinner" Is exactly whats going on.....

Qilong wrote:
 Whilst Zeus was a real jerkhole, no one spent more energies taking revenge on Zues' behavior by going after the product of that behavior than dealing with its source, so it's certainly fair precedence that Theros' gods are all effectively personality-less Hera clones. 

 

 

In most movies dealing with affairs, especially in the past but still largely today, if the wife cheats, the husband tends to blame the other man she cheated with rather than the wife. There are movies where the hero ends up sleeping with the wife of the villian and the villian attempts to get revenge. And there are other movies where a villian sleeps with the wife of a good guy (sometimes the main character) and the main character takes revenge on the villian. Yet rarily in these movies is the anger focused at the wife. Yet when the genders are reversed (in the Zeus and Hera myth for example), only then do people tend to notice this and think it wrong.

formula5 wrote:

 

Another Question I have is the other gods.

Was there a red green god before Xenagos ascended?

 

 

 

This is a good question. I'm betting the answer is no because Wizards wants to make the god Xenagos a card but they don't want to make two red/green God cards so they are just going to say that no red/green God existed before Xenagos just like in the original Ravnica block there was no public blue/black guild so that a secret Dimir guild would have a place to fit. It seems way too coincidental but I don't know how else to do it in a card game without messing with the game play too much.

the five colors of magic don't have to define theros explicitly

 

the 5 rare duel lands have already broken established circular symmetry

 

Revelry my not not an option in static stars

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I think everyone seems to be missing the part in the article where it clearly states that gods can't hurt other gods. 

 

erdana, sans-serif">Yet the paradox of divinity is that god cannot destroy—or create—god. Although they resent Xenagos's intrusion, the rest of the pantheon cannot expel him from their midst. Nor can a being born of Theros strike a god from the sky.

 

If one of them feels that another is playing the divinity game unfairly, the only thing they can do to hit them where it hurts is to deprive them of their toys, in other words, their mortal worshippers. Because the gods can't hurt one another, they regularly fight little proxy conflicts through their followers with the intention of breaking the other gods' favorite playthings, just out of spite, to express their dissatisfaction.

 

There had been Nyx-infused creatures before, that's obvious from the nymphs and the gods' emissaries. There were just very few of them previously. A few nymphs here and there guarding or pointing the way to special temples or shrines favored by this god or that. An oread here and there to murder anyone who got too close to one of Purphoros's works-in-progress. And, of course, the emissaries that would show up whenever a god was too busy or didn't feel like spending the energy to manifest in person.

 

But, when Xenagos started his ritual, suddenly we get all kinds of other creatures from Nyx flooding onto Theros. Probably a larger number of eidolons started wandering around the world and, almost assuredly, Boon Satyrs represent Xenagos's machinations.

 

Now, the gods are looking around at Theros and seeing all these Nyxborn creatures wandering around and each of them is trying to figure out who's suddenly summoning all of their own creatures into the world. It used to be a few nymphs for your shrines and an emissary or two and those were the rules of the gentleman's agreement the gods all made for Theros. Someone flooding it with dozens or even hundreds of new Nyxborn looks like one of the gods is making a powerplay for the mortal world. All the suspicions and resentments they've built up against each other for millennia suddenly have a perfect excuse to come out in one big tantrum and, as each god starts offending the favored peoples and places of each other god, seemingly without reason (because none of them have any idea what's actually going on, it just looks like everyone's lashing out at random against each other), it becomes this self-reinforcing cycle of outrage and offense until, after a short while, the gods are so fuming mad with each other, they're each exhorting their mortal domains to all out war against one another.

 

It makes sense for Mogis to capitalize on this. He's just been waiting for an opportunity like this to arise. The other gods start getting more and more mortals wrapped up in their little feud against each other and there's a ton of strife and anger everywhere as more troops are in the field than have been in generations and suddenly there are greater concentrations of humans (aka, meat) walking around than have been seen in many minotaur and harpy lifetimes. Mogis gets to work calling the herds and the wakes and the phalanges of the bitterest Returned and, before you know it, Akros is besieged because the minotaur chieftains know that it's just gotta be super yummy in there.

 

That pretty much brings us up to where we are now. Xenagos is still stuffing Theros full of Nyxborn creatures because he just thinks it's funny now; the gods can't really do anything except continue the wars, that is, when they even have much influence over the mortals at this point (so much blood may have been spilled already that human honor and the need for vengeance have taken over for divine piety); Heliod has a plan (probably to use Elspeth, who's not "born of Theros," oh, tricky legalistic word play there) to murder Xenagos or something to get him out of Nyx because none of the gods or the Therans can touch him; and Erebos and Mogis are just sitting back and grinning from ear to bony, star-spangled ear the whole time. This kind of chaos is, literally, what Mogis was born for and Erebos knows that he's going to have a lot more guests in the Underworld a lot sooner than he'd thought he would and he's just loving watching someone else stick it to Heliod like this.

 

And, as for why it would ever be desirable to be a god instead of a planeswalker, that quote up there at the top, again. Whatever weird demi-plane or pocket world enchantment Nyx happens to be, it mostly removes whatever lives in it from the risk of death, or even murder. Gods can't kill gods and neither can anything else except for foreign planeswalkers, apparently.

 

Many planeswalkers are looking for immortality. Xenagos found his through apotheosis.

JNSiQwa0 wrote:

I think everyone seems to be missing the part in the article where it clearly states that gods can't hurt other gods. 

 

 

erdana, sans-serif">Yet the paradox of divinity is that god cannot destroy—or create—god. Although they resent Xenagos's intrusion, the rest of the pantheon cannot expel him from their midst. Nor can a being born of Theros strike a god from the sky.

 

If one of them feels that another is playing the divinity game unfairly, the only thing they can do to hit them where it hurts is to deprive them of their toys, in other words, their mortal worshippers. Because the gods can't hurt one another, they regularly fight little proxy conflicts through their followers with the intention of breaking the other gods' favorite playthings, just out of spite, to express their dissatisfaction.

 

You are right but that doesn't get explained as convieniently in the article.

That's my problem with these last 2 planeswalker guides. The content is there but the presentation is SO MESSY.

TobyornotToby wrote:

You are right but that doesn't get explained as convieniently in the article.

That's my problem with these last 2 planeswalker guides. The content is there but the presentation is SO MESSY.

This. For the first time in a while I read this guide and was disappointed. It *may* be possible to make some of the seeming non-sequiturs link up with some second-hand speculation, but that shouldn't be necessary. The article needed to explain things a bit more clearly.

For my part I see it like this (and JNSiQwa0 offered the best summation I've seen so far):

Xenagos has been wandering the planes since his spark ignited and has gone from 'This is awesome!' to 'Well this sucks. No-one apparently gives a toss about me'. So he's returned to Theros and decided to make himself a big-man there instead, since he knows a bit more about it. Cue the level-up plan.

 

He gets the things together for this obscure ritually thing he's heard about and possibly half-concocted himself and begins the process of ascension, inadvertently and unintentionally thinning the veil between the mortal realm and Nyx.

 

Turns out Nyx is full of things like the nymphs and emissaries (who knew?!) and they start wandering across to the mortal realm.

 

Things progress much as JNS said above - the gods go 'Wait up! Who's spamming nyxborn into the mortal realm?!' Cue much petty name-calling and finger-pointing. Mogis gets right royally pissed off because he's just that kind of guy.

 

God-stuff starts hitting human stuff. Mogis's temper reaches boiling point and he sends all his favourite minotaurs against Akros. The human cities go 'Oh bollocks' and somehow Elspeth ends up leading their joint army, defeating Mogis's marauders but at great cost. Eventually the humans win and have a big party to celebrate.

 

And *THAT* is what completes Xenagos's transformation. Up he pops in Nyx, giving all the established gods a massive scare. And now they can't do anything about him, because he's a god.

 

Situation report: the mortal realm is in turmoil because of all the unrest caused by the gods deep distrust of each other, plus the Grand Revel of Xenagos that was presumably part of his ritual rolling across the landscape. Everyone irrationally hates Elspeth, blaming her for Xenagos's ascension because when the humans celebrated thir victory it all added fuel to Xenagos's fire, and the gods *really* hate Xenagos but can't think of much of a way to do anything about it...

 

At least, until JOU when Heliod gets his head in order, forgives Elspeth, and uses her and her Leonin PW ally Ajani to deal with Xenagos in some way.

The End.

Since Xenagos has accended to godhood, does he maintain his spark? If so, what does that mean for the other planes? Utter chaos I suppose.

Just a minor quibble here, but: You mean if they weren't named "Hera," right? More was wrought over the righteousness of Hera as the wife of the lord of Olympus and this highest amongst goddesses than any quibble between her brothers (including her husband). Whilst Zeus was a real jerkhole, no one spent more energies taking revenge on Zues' behavior by going after the product of that behavior than dealing with its source, so it's certainly fair precedence that Theros' gods are all effectively personality-less Hera clones. And this is coming from the goddess of the bloody hearth -- because it's HER hearth, and she'll bloody it with YOUR liquids. Demeter, in her wandering despair of the Forever Winter over the loss of her daughter, at least found time to do good by the people who nutured or cared for her in her misery. Note that almost the entirety of Sparta was given over to worship of Ares: he had an entire city state and the finest standing army of hoplites ever known. Ares would do nothing but lavish favors upon Sparta, as it were.

 

 

Hera, though, was considered by the greeks to be a wise mother figure and nurturing goddess, not to mention a badass who defeated Artemis in the Trojan war. She was a quite complex figure largely seen as benevolent, unfortunately overshadowed in mythology by her misdeeds.

 

 

Ares was well worshiped in Sparta, but the rest of Greece thought of him as basically what Mogis is. Zeus even reffers to him as "the most hateful of his sons" in homeric poetry.

 

 

 

I feel as though even if Xenagos, "God of Revelry" Enchantment Planeswalker/Creature exists, Would he want to remain there?

 

 

Xenagos' whole arc is that he is a really, really bitter person because of his understanding of his utter insignificance in the grand scheme of things as he ascended to planeswalkerhood. He is even stated to have ceased planeswalking altogether, trying to basically live in denial in his own corner of the cosmos.

IMAGE(http://www.wizards.com/global/images/mtgcom_daily_mc52_picMain_en.jpg)IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/73821e61e013eadf56a8e4e2226d89a3.jpg?v=90000)

Okay, so now Theros has to contend with the anger of the regular gods (especially Mogis), the destructiveness of Kiora, the newly ascended Xenagos, and the schemes of Phenax and Ashiok?

 

I hate to say it, but I think Zendikar might actually be better off...

Qilong wrote:
Chah wrote:

The plotline of a mortal planeswalker becoming a God and upsetting the pantheon seems very fitting! It's a conflict that's strongly connected to the Greek theme.

No God is raised from mortal status; and even demigods couldn't really work at it: Those that tried found their gift of immortality granted them by being turned into constellations. But to rule in Olympus was the province of the Twelve, their servants, and no one else. The stroy of Belerophon is testament to the idea of how the Greek's viewed hubris, as his fate and aspirations were the morality play of both the Gods' disproportionate judgement and a warning not to step beyond your possible station.

I think you misunderstood my point here.

 

I meant that the best type of conflict for these culture-based sets is one that ISN'T in the orignial mythology but is deeply relevant to whatever important elements or themes there are in the original mythology. For example, Japanese mythology doesn't have a story about a spirits vs. human war. But the Japanese had a belief that everything has a spirit. So a war with spirits is a good example of something that isn't in the original mythology but is still connected to the main element of that mythology (Spirits). While I like it when sets recreate the feel of a culture, it shouldn't just stop there and be satisfied with portraying a belief system statically. It should add a new twist to shake things up, but it has to be something that is relevant to the original theme. Xenegos is a very Magic thing (a planeswalker) turning into a very Greek thing (a God). That kind of conflict seems very fitting for a Greek-based Magic set. 

Goblin Artisans - A Magic Design Blog by GDS2 Contestants and Collaborators

Hibernia86 wrote:

 

Qilong wrote:
 Whilst Zeus was a real jerkhole, no one spent more energies taking revenge on Zues' behavior by going after the product of that behavior than dealing with its source, so it's certainly fair precedence that Theros' gods are all effectively personality-less Hera clones. 

 

 

 

In most movies dealing with affairs, especially in the past but still largely today, if the wife cheats, the husband tends to blame the other man she cheated with rather than the wife. There are movies where the hero ends up sleeping with the wife of the villian and the villian attempts to get revenge. And there are other movies where a villian sleeps with the wife of a good guy (sometimes the main character) and the main character takes revenge on the villian. Yet rarily in these movies is the anger focused at the wife. Yet when the genders are reversed (in the Zeus and Hera myth for example), only then do people tend to notice this and think it wrong.

 

When Hephaistos -- God of Fire, Volcanoes, and Smithing -- was born, his mother (Hera, Goddes of B**chery) tossed him off Olympos, where he was found by three Cyclopes (children of Gaia, they aided the Gods to overthrow the Titans). They raised him, taught him to weild the smithing hammer. Hephaistos was brought from a humble beginning, but was intelligent, and rather than be consumed with power -- though immortal -- he chose to weild his intelligence as a weapon. When he rose to the top of Olympos, he presented his mother with the gift of a golden throne, to appease her ostensibly for her regard to his hideous deformity. She took the chair, sat in it ... and was trapped. The chair seized her, and wouldn't let her go, and no effort of the Gods would free her, so she pleaded to her rejected child for surcease. Hephaistos took from Hera -- and Zeus, his father -- the promise of placement in Olympos, and became the Tenth or so God on that rock (Athene and Apollon would come after, as the youngest), and so freed his mother from her chair.

 

When Hephaistos suspected his wife -- Aphrodite, Goddes of Love -- was sleeping with Ares -- God of War -- he chose to ensnare them, rather than do so only to Ares, or take petty revenge on merely the guy who was diddling his wife. He felt that she was complicit, and she was. But he treated them equally, and his snare, which was similarly resistant to the Gods' works, allowed him to extract promises from both to withhold from more diddling. Also, that his wife would be forever faithful. This doesn't mean Hephaistos isn't wary of further inattention, but he's not the hothead and agonistic monster that was depicted in, say, Adventures of the Baron Munchausen. A forge must be steady, capable of great heat, but never for too long, and must generally be kept on an even keel and let to cool for long periods; much as tempered steel must be brought into and out of flame regularly.

 

It might seem that the Gods are an archaic, petty bunch of creeps, and this is generally true, but for the most part, the Gods represent idealized concepts of humans' thinking of themselves, filled with great powers and gifts, but magnified flaws. Recall that the way the traditions around the Greek peninsula and islands thought about their mythology was through plays, of tragedy and comedy; morality stories and "aesops," fables; poetry of fallacy and triumph, and overall the quandaries of human conflict and peace. "The Greeks," not really one entity but many, held similar views on the Gods' as they did on those that ruled them, and held them to higher standards: Failure to execute duties adequately could lead to, well, execution. And with the intense politicking amongst city states (imagine if the EU were back to its squabbling pre-Napoleonic state but had all the firepower of the modern era; or that the US was actually a bunch of isolated nations -- if you thought Mississippi and Alabama were bad when they are each trying to out-stupid one another, imagine them doing so with force of arms) there were plenty of opportunities to muck up. The onus of behavior was that many depended on you, and "the Greeks" felt that the Gods' often had to serve human interests, rather than the other way around, by being the scapegoats for behavior, actions, etc. This collates the humans of the land into a more coherent, and ultimately cohesive, whole.

 

Thus, the Gods are a function of human society, and a reflection of humans. Whetever quality they have, they owe it to us. It seems that the Theros deities are much the same: they are drawn from Nykthos, which is created from humans in dreams. We humans would give them form and quality, and while we are playthings, its not something we aren't alreayd doing with ourselves anyway. They have all the cleverness, peity, pettiness, greed, avarice, hatred -- humanity -- that we have.

"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 pacing in Magic's storytelling is really... meh. Like a lot of people have said we have no lead up to BOOM XENAGOS IS A "GOD" NOW. To fit the story into three blocks seems rushed, which may explain why so many blocks lately have ended in cliffhangers with extremelt unsatisfying revelations explained months later on our quiet corner of the internet. "ZENDIKAR is overrun with Eldrazi, these mindless god-things from the past oh man what do we HEY SCARS OF MIRRODIN! Phyrexia is back and evil, they take over mirrodin with their evil oils and moistures, but there's this troll and his lady pal who is immune to the oil, and there's Karn and his team and Bladehold is still in the hands of Mirrans and they're working on a plan to fix this/stop phyrexia, we've got a plan HEY it's INNISTRAD!

Then later we discover that "oh yeah, by the way, Zendikar is basically in the hands of the Eldrazi, yeah, that happened, just roll with it. Oh, the Mirran resistance we teased on every Mirran card in New Phyrexia? Yeah, no, thats done, ignore that, they failed. Are you going to tell the stories in the blocks with the cards, or on the internet? 

Just to get back to my earlier point, how about the motivations of Xenagos? Has that ever been mentioned in an article? Because on MaRo's Tumblr, we find:

 

stidjen asked: If Xenagos is a hedonist seeking for the power for the sake of power, I see him more B/R than R/G. Where does his green come from?

 

He is not seeking power for the sake of power. He is rattling a system that he sees as a corruption of the natural way.

 

http://markrosewater.tumblr.com/post/73734011489/if-xenagos-is-a-hedonist-seeking-for-the-power-for-the#notes

 

 

I have the feeling I hadn't heard that before, which I feel is something that should be mentioned by these planeswalker guide articles. 

TobyornotToby wrote:

Just to get back to my earlier point, how about the motivations of Xenagos? Has that ever been mentioned in an article? Because on MaRo's Tumblr, we find:

 

 

stidjen asked: If Xenagos is a hedonist seeking for the power for the sake of power, I see him more B/R than R/G. Where does his green come from?

 

He is not seeking power for the sake of power. He is rattling a system that he sees as a corruption of the natural way.

 

http://markrosewater.tumblr.com/post/73734011489/if-xenagos-is-a-hedonist-seeking-for-the-power-for-the#notes

 

 

I have the feeling I hadn't heard that before, which I feel is something that should be mentioned by these planeswalker guide articles. 

This information is in the monetized, supplemental novelization. Stop trying to steal money from Wizards of the Coast!

"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)
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