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 Post subject: Theros: Beyond Death
PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2019 1:35 pm 
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For the record, I'm still unhappy about this.

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 Post subject: Re: Theros: Beyond Death
PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2019 2:44 pm 
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I reserve my unhappiness for when she inevitably returns to the Planeswalker stable. We knew Elspeth the Returned was coming since the first Theros block where she was, IIRC, last seen forging her golden mask. If Elspeth becomes a god instead I'll be kinda ok with it.

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 Post subject: Re: Theros: Beyond Death
PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2019 2:23 pm 
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It is the set or a novel?

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 Post subject: Re: Theros: Beyond Death
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2019 7:11 am 
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The set.

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magicpablo666 wrote:
You fell victim to one of the classic blunders - The most famous of which is "never get involved in an thread with GM_Champion" - but only slightly less well-known is this: "Never go in against AzureShade when card design is on the line!"


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 Post subject: Re: Theros: Beyond Death
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:17 am 
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AzureShade wrote:
For the record, I'm still unhappy about this.

May I ask why?

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 Post subject: Re: Theros: Beyond Death
PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2019 7:27 am 
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AzureShade wrote:
For the record, I'm still unhappy about this.

May I ask why?

Because Elspeth died the cathartic death of a tragic hero, bringing real closure to her storyline in a way that doesn't happen much at all anymore in media. She was slain by a god in the realm of gods with a weapon that was forged to revoke things from existence. Her death was a pivotal moment that drove character development for Ajani. Her death meant something.....actually, a lot of somethings. More so than most character deaths in this game since the Phyrexian Invasion of Dominaria. In fact, to me, it would almost be like if the events of Invasion played out, but then later WotC came back and brought Hanna back to life after all the drama her death caused in-story.

Also, I want death to mean something. I don't mind if death is reversed or resolved during the course of a set where the crux of the story is trying to get back a person who recently died at the beginning or during it. But it has been years since we closed the book on Theros. Elspeth deserves her rest. She earned it.

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magicpablo666 wrote:
You fell victim to one of the classic blunders - The most famous of which is "never get involved in an thread with GM_Champion" - but only slightly less well-known is this: "Never go in against AzureShade when card design is on the line!"


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 Post subject: Re: Theros: Beyond Death
PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:35 am 
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You do make good points, and I know I would be upset if they decided to bring Urza or Gideon or pretty much any other dead walker back. But this is Elspeth and I had thought that they purposely left the door open for Elspeth to return back when it happened, because I was expecting this from the moment they said we're going back to Theros. Yeah, her death had a major effect on Ajani, who is one of my favourite walkers, but I thought it was pretty much a given that she was coming back (to us as players, Ajani obviously is not expecting it, or he would have acted very differently.).

That said, I would prefer if her coming back is something earned, rather than just is being something like Prison Break: Erebos.

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 Post subject: Re: Theros: Beyond Death
PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2019 9:26 pm 
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I might not be salty about her return so long as death had an effect. In essence, as a creature and nothing more.
Partly because there's nowhere else for her story to go off of Theros.

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 Post subject: Re: Theros: Beyond Death
PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2019 4:09 am 
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I highly suspect that she gets her spark back and eventually will join Karn's battle against Phyrexia. While I'm not really worried that Magic will have the revolving doors of death that you get in Marvel and DC comics, it does seem to be far too easy for people to regain sparks or survive death with them intact. Which I don't like. So far Teferi and Ob Nixilis have regained their sparks, Venser gave his to Karn, and apparently Sorin, Ugin and Bolas have all survived death without losing their spark. (Though they did 'die' before the mending, so maybe it worked differently back then, like Taysir surviving Feroz splitting his skull apart.)

Now that I think about it, I would like to know how death actually works in MtG, and how stuff like the realm of Erebos, Ravnica's Ghost Quarter and the Meditation Plane shenanigans have managed to usurp the normal order of things.

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 Post subject: Re: Theros: Beyond Death
PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2019 4:59 am 
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I highly suspect that she gets her spark back and eventually will join Karn's battle against Phyrexia.

Elspeth is worthless against a threat like the Phyrexians. It's a case of knowing what kind of weight class she's in, so what can she do? Use a sword against an army?
Went real well for her last time.
Offer moral support to Karn?

She's just a dead end character. Any use of her as a planeswalker is going to be super hollow and have no reasonable, earned conclusion.
Not to mention, this is a character whose story has revolved around FINDING a place she doesn't need to leave. Perpetuating the story by turning her into some Gatewatch stooge is as genuine as Gideon coming down with a tan.

Quote:
Which I don't like. So far Teferi and Ob Nixilis have regained their sparks, Venser gave his to Karn, and apparently Sorin, Ugin and Bolas have all survived death without losing their spark. (Though they did 'die' before the mending, so maybe it worked differently back then, like Taysir surviving Feroz splitting his skull apart.)

Sorin has never died, and I've come around on the idea that Bolas's essence was trapped in the meditation realm. A physical body was destroyed and Tetsuo cut him with a spirit sword, but this WAS at a time when walkers were nothing but mental beings.

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Now that I think about it, I would like to know how death actually works in MtG, and how stuff like the realm of Erebos, Ravnica's Ghost Quarter and the Meditation Plane shenanigans have managed to usurp the normal order of things.

The Ghost Quarter was a blister on Ravnica caused by a combination of the guildpact and temporal rifts on Dominaria. The meditation realm was more akin to tricking someone into a room and blowing up the door.
Erebos is just like Nyx as a unique planar phenomenon. Actually, considering Nyx, I think the underworld might be a direct manifestation of Theros belief made physical, exactly like the gods.

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Yet on the morn we wake to find / that mem'ry left so far behind.
To deafened ears we ask, unseen / "Which is life and which the dream?"


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 Post subject: Re: Theros: Beyond Death
PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:08 am 
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Barinellos wrote:
She's just a dead end character.

Never said it was a good idea, just that it seems like something they would do.

Barinellos wrote:
The Ghost Quarter was a blister on Ravnica caused by a combination of the guildpact and temporal rifts on Dominaria.
Those are just words that don't mean anything unless we actually get told how souls and spirits and death actually works.

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 Post subject: Re: Theros: Beyond Death
PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:08 pm 
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I am okay with Magic not exploring what death definitively means. I think it's like when Order of the Stick lampshades it and mentions that it's insane to not believe in the afterlife because you can literally cast planeshift and physically go to one of the defined afterlives.


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 Post subject: Re: Theros: Beyond Death
PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:52 pm 
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I highly suspect that she gets her spark back and eventually will join Karn's battle against Phyrexia. While I'm not really worried that Magic will have the revolving doors of death that you get in Marvel and DC comics, it does seem to be far too easy for people to regain sparks or survive death with them intact. Which I don't like. So far Teferi and Ob Nixilis have regained their sparks, Venser gave his to Karn, and apparently Sorin, Ugin and Bolas have all survived death without losing their spark. (Though they did 'die' before the mending, so maybe it worked differently back then, like Taysir surviving Feroz splitting his skull apart.)


The Wildered Quest (and something else) spoilers


This comes off the heels of Nic Kelman reaffirming that dead means dead in a Polygon interview for Signature Spellbook: Gideon.


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 Post subject: Re: Theros: Beyond Death
PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:12 pm 
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Barinellos wrote:
The Ghost Quarter was a blister on Ravnica caused by a combination of the guildpact and temporal rifts on Dominaria.
Those are just words that don't mean anything unless we actually get told how souls and spirits and death actually works.

Well, ghosts are absolutely tangible beings that exist beyond death and in certain ways, things like specters and shades are spirits steeped sufficiently in mana to become something not quite the deceased.

So we know spirits exist beyond death. What that means is there has to be something beyond the physical world accessible due to death, but the closest we've ever come is a very brief moment between Kamahl and Jeska.

But the real question is if death means anything to a physical plane, if there IS an afterlife or if spirits are simply vestigial traces pressed upon the world. If there is an afterlife, it becomes a question f there's an afterlife that transcends planar boundaries. That was slightly implied in Gideon's death, BUT I take that with no shortage of granular salt.

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 Post subject: Re: Theros: Beyond Death
PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2019 5:08 am 
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There is something to be said for keeping the afterlife a bit mysterious, but when we have spirits of the dead showing up on many worlds, some being actually important storyline figures (the Ghost Council, Brago, St. Traft), some being bound to stick around via debts to the Orzhov, a planeswalker who is literally a ghost assassin, and Daxos coming back as a zombie, it would be nice to know what the exact rules are for who can stick around, and exactly happens to those who don't.

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 Post subject: Re: Theros: Beyond Death
PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2019 5:42 am 
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I don't think we actually need to know what happens to those who leave the material plane, if for nothing than it doesn't actually have any bearing on those who stay.

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 Post subject: Re: Theros: Beyond Death
PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 8:44 pm 
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I haven't finished the Journey into Nyx e-book yet, but if we knew that Elspeth was coming back in some fashion, and we knew that her character arc was about finding a place to call home, couldn't you argue that her arc isn't over. She thought she had found it with Daxos and Theros but the man she loved is gone. What does Theros have left to offer her as a home. Wouldn't it make more sense for her character to get the hell out of Dodge at the first chance she gets to find new roots somewhere else?

On the other hand, the direction that I see them taking her story is not one that I'm looking forward to. There's a Gideon shaped hole in the Gatewatch right now and Elspeth has an in with Ajani. I can see Creative justifying Elspeth joining the Gatewatch with a "home is where the heart is" lesson to try to stay true to her desire for a place to call home, but that is basically just what Gideon's arc was when he created the Gatewatch (until it wasn't). Which just ticks me off more with how poorly handled his death was. I hope I'm wrong and they take her character in a direction that stays true to her motivation; Garruk's arc in The Wildered Quest gives me hope.


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 Post subject: Re: Theros: Beyond Death
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2019 2:52 am 
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The Gatewatch has Ajani though, I don't think they need another white walker. Ok, Ajani is white-green, but he has enough monowhite cards that Elspeth feels superfluous to me. I think the Gatewatch may take a back seat for a few sets anyway, there has been enough pushback about them being in every set that I think we will only see them show up again in the new Zendikar set.

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 Post subject: Re: Theros: Beyond Death
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2019 4:44 pm 
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In the War of the Spark novel, Chandra suggests bringing Gideon's armor to Theros as "It's what he would have wanted". I definitely don't expect the full Gatewatch there, but I would be surprised if Chandra and/or Ajani weren't in a secondary/tertiary role to Elspeth's story. Of course, trying to predict future story beats might be a fool's errand.


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 Post subject: Re: Theros: Beyond Death
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 1:19 am 
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VLW wrote:
In the War of the Spark novel, Chandra suggests bringing Gideon's armor to Theros as "It's what he would have wanted". I definitely don't expect the full Gatewatch there, but I would be surprised if Chandra and/or Ajani weren't in a secondary/tertiary role to Elspeth's story. Of course, trying to predict future story beats might be a fool's errand.

That seems reeeeeal unlikely for Chandra. For Ajani, more nebulously so.

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Yet on the morn we wake to find / that mem'ry left so far behind.
To deafened ears we ask, unseen / "Which is life and which the dream?"


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