This thread is for discussion of this week's Savor the Flavor, which goes live Wednesday morning on magicthegathering.com.
I think the reason people find the "monster gets back up" moment scary isn't because the rule of "things die" has been violated. It's more the sense of "Even a nuclear fusion blast in this thing's face isn't enough to kill it? What will it take?" It's the sense of helplessness that comes from knowing you did your best to kill it, sometimes even more than your best (suffering an injury or even death in enacting the final effort that takes the monster down) and it still wasn't enough.
Of course, the trope has been used so much that it's no longer scary, but actually expected.
I'd say it's equal parts both. If you've ever played a truly scary game, you'll notice (or I notice for me at least) that the scariest or at least most nervewracking parts are the ones where a normally safe location is violated. When things that go down keep getting back up (Or enemies endlessly spawn) it can create that feeling of inevitablility. Corpses that get up after you've already killed them tend to be scary even if it didn't take a nuke to drop them.
That said, zombies have become so incredibly cliché recently that it's hard to actually take them seriously as a threat. We've reduced them to punching bags, to the point where for most of us a zombie apocalypse sounds more like a fun chance to run wild than a horrible nightmare.
I guess Undying suffers from Persist not just for mechanical comaprisons, but for flavor reasons, too. The word persist is a a bit flavor neutral (I guess, so they could span all colors - like Intimidate), so Undying is just equated with Persist.
The Undying creature literally comes back from the graveyard bigger than before. Great flavor. Thanks, Doug for fleshing that out.
"Sometimes you have to step back and make sure your own objections are actually reasonable ones. We on the creative team are R&D members, meaning we tend to exercise our debate muscles at the drop of a hat. Sometimes you can talk yourself into something being a bad idea for what are actually pretty insignificant reasons. In the end, we decided that undying is a cool term, and that it works well for the flavor of how the mechanic works, and that it helps Dark Ascension be the set it wants to be. We figured that while some people might snark about the words, most people wouldn't actually be thrown by the kooky reminder text. In other words, we heard our own objections, and we made what I consider to be the right choice anyway."
Wow, if only all geeks could be this introspective and rational...
Personally I a have no problem seeing Planeswalker "duels" as being more civilised that open warfare (not always, but sometimes). I can see them having honor, rules, bargains, mutual respect for eachother, and testing their magical might against eachother in a more organised manner. Doesnt mean there arent sneaky tricks and underhanded tactics, or that the "rules" arent broken sometimes, of course.
I enjoyed the letters between the necromatic brother and sister too, BTW.
I’ve tended to agree with both views: some turns can last seconds, others hours. However, simply because Wizards uses the terms ‘loyalty counters’, I’ve always viewed PW cards as you yourself calling a PW to help you out. If you use their ultimate, the PW in question does his/her most powerful magic trick for you, and then walks off in disgust (and is therefore put into the graveyard)! It’s like they’re saying: “You’re so weak you needed me to do THAT for you?! I’m outta here…”
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