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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 7:18 pm 
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Ask Brady Archive

What follows are the collected questions and answers from the Ask Brady thread on the original Wizards of the Coast forums (now only available via the Wayback Machine here). Brady Dommermuth was the Creative Director for Magic: the Gathering for a number of years, and he started the Ask Brady thread on the official forums in April of 2012, where he promised to answer what questions he could regarding the flavor and story of Magic. It ran until his position was eliminated in April of 2013, at which point Brady had left Wizards of the Coast and could no longer operate in any official capacity.

The Ask Brady Archive was originally taken up by M:EMber Yxoque, and credit for original formatting goes to him.



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Q: We know Ludevic is still out there, as are Olivia Voladren and Edgar Markov. We know Gisa is imprisoned. What about Geralf? Is his absence from Avacyn Restored intended to indicate that he died?

A: No. At first they were just fun flavor-text PoV characters, and Jenna took a shine to them and wrote about them more (and would have written more still if given the chance!). They became more prominent only after the card sets had long been in the can. That's a weird thing about Magic -- fans expect story and character elements to be reflected in card form, and often it doesn't work that cleanly on our end. It's more organic than that.



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Q: Has Sorin sired vampires on Innistrad?

A: Almost certainly but very few.



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Q: Has he [Sorin] tried to continue his own personal lineage even after he made Avacyn?

A: No; he's [Sorin] unconcerned with that



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Q: Would there be vampires willing to back him [Sorin] if he needed their help?

A: Unlikely -- they would be ostracized if they did.



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Q: And how did the deal with Liliana go down? We know she made a deal with four demons, but was it four different deals or all the deals at once with four demons involved? It's been sort of poked at before, but never really made clear. We just know there are four demons in on it.

A: She made four deals with four demons, but used results from one deal to broker another, etc.



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Q: What is the nature of summoning magic? Are they the real thing, some magical copy, or does it depend?

A: I have no good response for this. We've published both "answers" you suggest at various times. I think we need to continue to hand-wave it, because if they're aether-proxies or whatever, then combat seems like a kind of pantomime, and if they're the real thing, summoning could be seen as evil by nature.



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Q: My question is, Maro has seven(?) year plan on where he wants magic design to go. I was wondering if you had a similar plan for the storyline, what planes you wanted to visit or revisit, or what major character archs you want to touch on?

A: I had as much or more to do with the current long-term plan as Rosewater did. Many of the years have both mechanical and creative blueprints, some just one or the other. No, not tellin'.



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Q: [i]s the ruined landscape of the new Tinker art meant to depict anywhere in particular, or is just a nice quiet place Tezz found to improve himself?

A: Nonspecific, but in my head it might be the plane where Tezzeret's tower was located in Agents of Artifice.



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Q: My semi-canon Sorin deck continues to have such trouble finding a creature base. Any suggestions (besides Avacyn) for me, Brady?

A: He has no qualms at all about subjugating other vampires when it suits his purposes. Just think of poor Anowon.



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Q: Currently, and for the future, what is going to be the main medium for telling the great stories of Magic?

A: The main media now are the cards themselves, the promotional videos for each release, dailymtg.com content, and miscellaneous other things like the fat pack players' guides. The IDW comics will continue to tell Magic stories, of course, but they're tangential to the card sets to allow the author as much creative control as possible



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Q: I know we're all eagerly looking forward to Return to Ravnica and I know I would love to see a real detailed story play out with some major character development...do you see that being possible through online articles and monthly comics?

A: "Real detailed, with major character development"? Sounds like a novel. Probably not. But if that changes -- and things can always change -- I'll let you know as soon as I can.



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Q: And finally, Sorin came to Innistrad to find Avacyn but had nothing to do with her release and has been nowhere to be seen. Will he have more involvement on Innistrad or is that it?

A: You've correctly identified that Liliana unwittingly solves Sorin's main problem on Innistrad. Now that Avacyn has been reinstated, he can tend to his other obligations.



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Q: Have you guys considered translating any of your major storylines to the big screen, potentially creating an awesome cinematic experience for New Phyrexia or Rise of the Eldrazi?

A: I can't answer this question fully without (a) taking thousands of words and (b) violating nondisclosure policies. Short answer: Hasbro has its own entertainment division in Hollywood and I've talked with them plenty. I've also pitched Magic to some producers and directors whose names you'd know. But fantasy movies are expensive and therefore are a tough sell. Aside from Potter and LotR, two of the bestselling book series of all time, regardless of genre, most have not been successful. (Generally speaking a movie needs to earn twice its production budget to be considered a success.) http://boxofficemojo.com/genres/chart/? ... antasy.htm



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Q: Did Avacyn have a reason to have never tried the "soul combination" Spell on a Werewolf before Avacyn Restored?

A: There are some metaphysical subtleties about Avacyn's existence that we didn't publish/explore. She was created to keep the balance on Innistrad. Therefore the more dire things are for humanity, the more powerful she becomes. The cursemute wasn't possible when the balance was intact. It's also true that imprisonment in the Helvault likely altered her, but we haven't gone into the details about that.



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Q: [A]re Tibalt and Tamiyo going to have any storyline significance or are they our first placeholder Planeswalkers?

A: Cards and short videos require straightforward plots in order to come across to the average player. That means not every character can be integral or essential to the plot, because more characters means much more complexity. In terms of Planeswalkers, the Innistrad story is mainly about Liliana and secondarily about Garruk, with Sorin having a stake but minimal involvement. Tibalt and Tamiyo aren't very involved in this particular plot, but they might be central to other plots.



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Q: We got the distinct impression that villages were getting wiped every hour and all, in which respect I'd also like to mention a letter in one of the flavour articles that had a Cathar asking for aid after a formerly 700 people village had about a 100 living souls left. Where did all the holy armies of AVR come from?

A: They spread out from the safer areas of northern Gavony (Thraben and its surrounding villages) as well as from the isolated villages of Kessig (once they were relatively safe from the howlpacks)



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Q: What's the timeline between the major events in the 'strad block? Sometimes it feels like days pass between them, sometimes it feels like half a year.

A: Depends on what you mean by "major events." From Liliana's arrival to the destruction of the Helvault, I'd say less than a few months.



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Q: Are there any plans to do anything with this language [Phyrexian]? Will we ever see "A Planeswalker's Guide to Phyrexian"?

A: Yes, eventually, and no.



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Q: Traditionally, we've been told that Planeswalkers are more deeply rooted in flavor than most cards. This makes sense, there are fewer of them and they largely are major players in storylines, similar to legendaries. Do you feel this is still the case? Given that sets in general have been given a much more flavorful foundation and we've seen more 'throw it in' type 'walkers, the most obvious being the two in AVR, I feel at this point planeswalkers are just as much a mechanical creation as a flavor one.

A: Mechanics and flavor are hand-in-hand to the greatest extent possible. Early on we wanted Planeswalkers to be "flavor first," but we found that the cards shape the metagame so greatly that mechanical concerns, as well as color distribution over a 2 - 3 year period, must be weighed. For example, if the story demanded a whole bunch of green Planeswalkers and no red ones, well, I'd have to change the story.



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Q: What are some of the processes for coming up with new Planeswalker characters?

A: The processes for creating new PW characters are messy, chaotic, and can't be described briefly.



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Q: How aware, if at all, are Liliana's demon masters of one another?

A: Liliana's demons are dimly aware that they're involved in the affairs of other demons, but Liliana was uncharacteristically careful in ensuring their ignorance of each other's identities and locations.



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Q: If vampires would not follow Sorin because they would be ostracised for supporting him, and he would not make many himself, how come the Sorin, Lord of Innistrad card has him creating vampire tokens?

A: Because mechanics need to be both more blunt and more elegant than story subtleties would demand. Also, Sorin's ability doesn't necessarily represent only siring, and certainly doesn't work only on Innistrad.



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Q: There are wurms in almost every set. Will we ever see an Elder Land Wurm again?

A: Very unlikely.



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Q: Hm, it seemed like you had a lot of the storyline for this block [Innistrad] planned out in great detail, but you also mentioned that Gisa and Geralf were late additions to the block's story. How much of the storyline for the block had you planned out? And, sort of going off of that, how was that planning changed by the novel line getting cancelled?

A: The fate of the novels was in Limbo during Innistrad's development; we never created a plot detailed enough to support a novel-length story. I can't figure out how to answer the first question briefly. A lot, but with fewer subplots than normal?



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Q: I have to ask, as I've been wondering: which planeswalker is your favourite, as a character? Are you more sympathetic to some than to others?

A: Tough one, because lots of stories have happened in my head that we either haven't published yet, or didn't get a chance to publish as fully as I would have liked. Liliana is my favorite because she's so damn short-sighted and so selfish, but just clever enough -- barely -- to play both ends against the middle. She might be random femme fatale to a passerby, but to me she's one of the most conflicted and interesting characters we've done. It's just a matter of time before she runs out of options, and she doesn't even realize that. And sure, I have an easier time writing for some than for others.



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Q: Wasn't [the mechanics of summoning] a major development point in Agents of Artifice? Tezzeret made the argument to Jace that summoning is no better or worse than his mind-manipulation, because it compels a sentient being to do what you command?

A: Yes. Like I said, we've represented it "definitively" in more than one way over the course of the game's history. Although Tezzeret might have been misrepresenting things to manipulate Jace. /handwave



Quote:
Q: Aside from that, I do have to question something I noticed. In The Wild Son, the Gorgon did some name drops. The thing is, the online and printed versions have different names now. Was "Belzenlok" part of the cancelled book?

A: For some but not all, and no.



Quote:
Q: So was there a point - plotwise - to even put him [Sorin] into the block?

A: No. As I've said, given cards' plot capacity, not all PWs in a block can be relevant to the block's main arc. Sorin is, from a story point of view, an interested bystander whose presence is justified by being native to the plane.



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Q: Would it really add too much complexity to have him [Sorin] do something more?

A: I believe yes.



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Q: Why not [publish a Rosetta Stone for the Phyrexian language]?

A: Far too esoteric, and too small an audience. Also, it would be used by fans mainly as a way to point out errors, nothing more (similar to why we don't publish maps).



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Q: Wasn't [Liliana] supposed to be still "young and stupid"?

A: Liliana lies when it suits her, as well as to obfuscate her true age. "Young and stupid" was one such lie.



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Q: The Curse of the Chain Veil. Can you tell us more about it now?

A: Nope, sorry.



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Q: I'm wondering if you guys were exploring both live action and animation as potential avenues? Do you have a preference of film style if there ever was a MTG Film?

A: Yes. I prefer animation because I believe live action is more limiting in terms of spellcasting and especially summoning. But it's really not up to me.



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Q: Will any of the original five die off soon?

A: Come on, I can't answer this.



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Q: Who controls character deaths? Do you have complete control, or could the marketing department, for example, mark a character untouchable due to their popularity/marketability?

A: I do not have complete control. Depressing fact: Our characters (and most characters in TV and film) are created using corporate resources, and thereafter become corporate revenue streams. Ending a revenue stream requires permission from the corporate entity to do so. Not impossible but not easy. Think of how casual and reversible death has become in comics, for example.



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Q: So Maro has expanded the keywords into secondary and tertiary colors for design reasons. I was wondering if Creative had thought of doing the same thing with creature types.

A: I'm more conservative with creature types than Rosewater is with keyword mechanics, but not by much. We bleed them into other colors when appropriate, such as black Goblins and Elves in Lorwyn.



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Q: I don't know if you can answerer this yet, but when making the original Ravnica block, did you guys have some idea of what Return to Ravnica's story would be?

A: In Ravnica's case, no, although in the case of other planes, yes.



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Q: And if [you guys had some idea of what Return to Ravnica's story would be], did you create Agents of Artifice to aid in that?

A: No, Agents of Artifice was the result of working with Ari and giving him as much info about what players cared about as possible.



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Q: [A]re possible sequels something you work into every block's story?

A: In the past, no, and in the future, likely yes. We've only recently learned that we really need to consider what the revisitation of a plane might be about.



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Q: I was wondering how the planeswakers compare to each other power wise.
E.g., if on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being your average mage and 10 being bloas, where do each of the other planewakers come in.?

A: Bleh, I don't know. This kind of quantification inevitably gets weaponized by the fan base.



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Q: Just curious how you approach the more quirky fantastic races you come up when designing. Do you guys comb through the list of peculiar races to see what fits into any giving setting, or does that really come later?

A: The popularity of tribal means we first search through established tribes to see if something will work. Only if the answer is no do we consider inventing tribes/races whole-cloth.



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Q: Is the [Phyrexian] oil nanomachines?

A: Uh . . . Will McDermott says yes. I'll decline to confirm.



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Q: How often do jobs in Creative open up?

A: Once every four years or so?



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Q: So how DOES creative establish what races are suitable in a plane?

A: Too complex to answer in brief. It's messy.



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Q: I recall reading somewhere that Sorin's creation of Avacyn was a once-in-a-lifetime thing that likely cost him something. I imagine there's a non-disclosure policy of some kind, but I'm wondering what exactly it costs a planeswalker to make what is basically a demi-god.

A: Because metaphysics vary from plane to plane, the cost differs greatly in each instance. Sounds like a cop-out answer but it's true.



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Q: What's [the meaning of the] expansion symbol for Dark Ascension?

A: Symbolically it's the Innistrad symbol "turned inward," in a way, which represents humanity hunkering down. The expansion symbol are not all literal and will be increasingly less so over time; the parameters for their creation are numerous and restrictive, and they're a nonrenewable resource.



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Q: Why were there so few Gryffs and Wolfir in AVR? Was there just not enough room for them to receive the prominence the style guide suggested they might?

A: This is a relatively new phenomenon we've encountered. The world guide attempts to anticipate cards' needs, and when those predictions are off, we end up with things that have more prominence in the guide than on cards, or more prominence on cards than in the guide. This is a side effect, in a way, of publishing the world guides as Planeswalker's Guides on the web; it's possible that we need to edit/amend the world-guide content to more accurately reflect card-set contents before it's seen by fans/players. In other words, we thought there might be more gryffs and wolfir among the Avacyn Restored cards than there ended up being, and so there's more material for them in the world guide than the cards seem to call for.



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Q: What are those skeletons of in the art for Killing Wave? 2 of the skeletons have no arms and have weird keels on their chests.

A: The arms have just been blown off by the killing magic; the chest-keels were an anatomical error we just didn't catch.



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Q: During the war that ended with the Guildpact, which sides fought for chaos, and which for order? Some of these are obvious, but others are a lot murkier. Mostly, I want to know where the Orzhov, Izzet, and Simic stood.

A: Unknown



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Q: Also, according to Cory Herndon, in a question answered aaaaaaages ago, the Simic Parun was named... Simic. Is that true?

A: Yes, but that's a surname, and the forename is unknown.



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Q: Will there be a lady Demon creature in the future? Is there any plans on releasing books with the various full on card arts or special editions like the "Ladies of Magic" which could have art of the various female creatures, Land book, Dragons book, or etc.?

A: Unlikely, but never say never



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Q: Will Jodah return or any plans on getting a card of him?

A: No. Remember that 99 of 100 players have no idea who Jodah is



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Q: Is there any plans to have a MTG game on PSVita, 3DS, or other handhelds?

A: I can't talk about that.



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Q: Will there be any Japanese art versions of the other Planeswalkers like Jace and Chandra were done?

A: No plans currently but it's not out of the question.



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Q: Has it crossed your mind in a funny way of a MTG version of Power Rangers? Mana Rangers

A: Sure, but it would actually happen over my dead body.



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Q: How willing would Avacyn be to fight alongside vampires against other threats? Would her first impulse be to slay whatever vamp came near her?

A: Avacyn would ally with vampires if it meant keeping Innistrad's balance; that's not "against the law" for her or anything.



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Q: [W]hat kind of relationship exists between Sorin and Avacyn? Does she have any special protocol when it comes to him or does she just view him as another vampire?

A: Avacyn doesn't regard Sorin in any special way, although he can command her in ways that work against her purpose if he needs to.



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Q: To what extent are non-planeswalkers aware of other planes? Tamiyo at least is willing to share her knowledge. I get that your average citizen of any given society is going to be completely unaware, but how often are planeswalkers willing to reveal their abilities and knowledge gained thereof?

A: Differs greatly from plane to plane. 90%+ of planes have no inkling of others and if it were claimed by someone they would think that person mad or on the take.



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Q: How often are people and societies made aware of other planes through other means, e.g. through scientific experimentation?

A: Very seldom, but it happens, as you'll see sometime soon.



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Q: What block/setting are you most proud of having worked on?

A: Ravnica. When I came up with the idea of doing a city world with ten guilds, one for each color pair, I told R&D VP Bill Rose at the time that he should just go ahead and fire me, because it was the best idea I'd ever have for Magic.



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Q: If you could go back and change a card for Flavor reasons, what card would you change and how would you change it?

A: A single card? Not sure. I've had this idea for a long time that Animate Dead is black, of course, but that Raise Dead should be green -- the idea that black subverts the natural cycle by putting things from the graveyard directly into play, whereas green maximizes the natural cycle by returning things to your hand instead. Too much history to enact that, though.



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Q: If you were to join a Guild, what guild would you join?

A: I'm pretty Boros. Not a fighter, but someone's got to do the strategic and tactical work.



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Q: Could Venser's Ambulator technology allow anything/anyone to planeswalk or was it a fancy placebo to subconsciously get Venser to use his spark?

A: It was a teleportation device whose function was enabled partially by Venser's nascent spark. No, others could not use it to planeswalk.



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Q: Will all new and future-new planeswalkers feature in stories and plots the way all established neowalkers are involved, or are some just simply flavourful and esoteric persona's whom are highly unlikely to matter in the larger scheme of things, now that there's a decent walkerpool to choose from? I'm not asking about spoilers or future content, mind you, but rather about design policies; though I'll certainly understand if you can't answer it.

A: All? Doubtful. Even very skilled writers' stories collapse under the weight of too many characters. Given players' demand for a steady supply of new Planeswalker cards, combined with the potential overexposure/fatigue of repeating characters too often as well as the limitations of story complexity, I can't imagine that every single Planeswalker character we introduce will be indispensable to some larger story.



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Q: [How did Venser's death get arranged?]

A: The Scars of Mirrodin story had lots of moving parts and required lots of continuity knowledge (and yes, some problem-solving related to where the original Mirrodin trilogy left things), so the team designed the plot skeleton ourselves, with me running point. We didn't think it was reasonable to ask a novelist to become an expert in the details of 12+ novels before beginning the writing process -- not given our timelines and the novelist's advance. Because the plot was hatched internally, it was possible to plan a Planeswalker's death.



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Q: [A]re gryffs exclusive to Innistrad because they are linked to the moon and Avacyn, or might we see more of these griffin variants on other planes in the future?

A: Gryffs are probably Innistrad-only, but you never know.



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Q: Also, I know Arcanis is against us asking, but.....what is this guy, where's he from, and how did he end up in the Pits ? He seems above mere gladiatorial combat for money and sport. He feels like a post-Mending proto-Planeswalker in a pre-Mending world.

A: Those details aren't known.



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Q: Do you have a personally preferred race that you tend to like to see in most blocks

A: I have stronger preferences about what to exclude than what to include. I don't think I have a go-to race, although I think we need to include humans almost every time.



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Q: [A]nd what colour do you enjoy playing most?

A: I guess I my decks include red most often.



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Q: Was Innistrad very different (and in which ways) when Avacyn was still present, compared to when Avacyn actually got back? And how many years approximately was she gone?

A: Gavony was quite different -- more serene, more confident, and far safer. Kessig was much quieter, although its inhabitants have always been insular. Nephalia and Stensia were less different. Avacyn was gone for a little over a year.



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Q: [D]oes this mean that there's a possibility that we will see the "Lorwyn 5" for the next 10 and more years?

A: Sure, it's possible. Depends on how long those characters continue to appeal to players. Planeswalkers must use magic to slow aging or to regain youth now, as opposed to agelessness being part of the "spark package" (along with shapeshifting, instantaneous teleportation, no need for food, water, or air, etc.) I know the old guard made a Big Deal out of this when I first published it, but in my opinion that's because they/you were angry about my GRAVE MISTAKE and every detail fueled that fire. I don't think it's important, frankly. Fictional characters age only when it serves the story for them to do so; compare comics, for example.



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Q: How is Avacyn as a leader of her church? Does she actively interact with the humans or the flights? Is she more along the lines of Serra (e.g. goes around the people she leads and interacts with them) or Razia (e.g. I inspire you, I smite elements that poses a threat to our way of living). The way you answer things about her, she seems to be like a robot that has "Human threatening EVIL = Exterminate" on automatic. The only semblance of interaction we were given of her was the tidbit about Gisela.

A: Avacyn interacts with the flights' heralds and with the upper Avacynian clergy, but rarely with other angels or other humans. She is neither nurturing like Serra nor totalitarian like Radiant. Her personality lacks depth and nuance, as you'd expect of a vampire's creation.



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Q: How aware of her origins is Avacyn?

A: That's not known.



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Q: Do you feel that guns could be present in Magic if they were sufficiently, how to say, really really old?

A: We got a lot of negative feedback about the guns in Portal Second Age. So never say never, etc., but Magic fans seem less tolerant of guns in their fantasy game than, say, World of Warcraft fans.



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Q: What is the geography like on New Alara? How were the shards split? Beyer told us that it could have either been a refraction type deal or they were all split like orange slices, but we didn't get a satisfactory answer.

A: Just after the Conflux it was like a very messy patchwork quilt. It's not known how things shook out in the weeks and months after.



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Q: How often is magic used as a tool by people who might not otherwise dabble in it? For example, a blacksmith might use a working knowledge of red magic to prep her forge, or a farmer use Ye Olde Green Magic to help grow high-yield crops. Or is the use of magic something that requires a career choice made out of it?

A: Varies wildly from plane to plane, but in the average plane, the average person knows between zero and one spells. The town lamplighter might be a lamplighter, for example, because s/he knows a simple ignition spell.



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Q: What’s the approximate timeline for these event in Innistrad: Avacyn imprisoned, Avacyn freed, the arrival of Sorin, Liliana and Garruk, the deaths of Mikeaus and grislebrand, the wolfir being created and when INN, AVR and DAK beings and how long was Avacyn imprisoned?

A: A little over a year. Let's say a little over an Innistrad year to give me a little elbow room.



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Q: So each Innistrad race that races different by their colors, white spirit were protective spirits, blue where ghost, black zombie where classic zombies and the blue zombies where frankenstien like. So what were the other difference between the rest of the races? vampires (black, red) Werewolves (green, red) Humans (green, white)?

A: Not each tribe on Innistrad cleaves neatly along color lines. I know Magic players are prone to compulsive pattern completion, but I try to design things with a little more nuance than that.



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Q: I know that this kind of pushes on the no spoilers line, but while being as vague as is necessary, are there any -active- plans for white villains in upcoming blocks of unspecified date/time/name/gender?

A: Can't answer that. We have done plenty of white-aligned villains, though -- Radiant, Konda, Elesh Norn -- in fact, I've been criticized on these forums for picking on white and vilifying it too often.



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Q: Planeswalkers (even modern ones) are supposed to be immune to Phyrexian Oil Compleation. Why is this so?

A: No they're not.



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Q: Compleation can (or at least could) be achieved by means other than the Oil (seeing as the oil didn't exist way back when) -- are modern planeswalkers unable to be compleated by any means (Surgical, etc)?

A: Yes.



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Q: Do planeswalkers have any other notable resistances or Immunities (Say, to diseases, poisons, or maladies physical or spiritual) other than to Oil and/or means of Compleation?

A: Not that we've established, no.



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Q: If Magic was turned into an animated series/film (as there seems to be a general agreement that animated would be best) who would your ideal people be to voice the Lorwyn 5 and also Bolas? If you could pick anyone in the entire multiverse to do it.

A: Big question to which I don't have six awesome answers. Joseph Gordon Levitt would have made a great Jace back when the character debuted. Camilla Belle looks the part for Liliana but I haven't seen her enough to know whether she has the acting chops. Diana Agron has the right demeanor. Emma Watson and AnnaSophia Robb come to mind for Chandra, but Chandra might be younger in my head than she is in players' minds at this point. The others are tougher.



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Q: What is the true fate of Zhalfir?

A: We haven't established that.



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Q: Of the five existing Praetors, (Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite, Urabrask the Hidden, Sheoldred, Whispering One, Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger, and Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur ) I'd like your personal opinion on who you believe should be or would like to see as the ultimate leader of the current New Phyrexia (if it's possible to answer this question without revealing spoilers of course)?

A: I don't think it's possible for a response not to seem like a spoiler. I think the only answer I can give you is "not Urabrask."



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Q: This may be too much of a spoiler but gonna try: I know MaRo has said to him the Nephalim are not from Ravnica, what are your thoughts on that?

A: We haven't established any additional detail about the Nephilim.



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Q: Will we ever see the planeswalker worshipers from [Agents of Artifice] again?

A: I don't know. Maybe?



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Q: What creature types do you wish you had a chance to expand on?

A: Well, none, really, because I get to actually do so when I want to. Each block has its own creature-type needs, and new needs arise every time. We just meet them; nothing's really keeping me from doing so.



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Q: I guess what I'm actually asking is, how do spells come to exist beyond learnéd mages actively researching them? I can imagine that coming up with new spells would be easier once you already know how to do 'em anyways.

A: A variety of ways. Some are innate among naturally talented mages, others are created through shamanic channeling, still others through arcane research. It's one of those cases in which codifying would create needless restrictions.



Quote:
Q: Karn Liberated shows a slightly redesigned Karn. And Bolas has been redesigned from his original artwork. What goes into redesigning established characters?

A: Too involved an answer for this venue.



Quote:
Q: Also Nicol Bolas has many slight differences from Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker mostly the horns and the thing
floating between his horns. Was this intentional to show an age difference or was that just artisti drawing the same character differently?

A: Different artist.



Quote:
Q: What effect did the mending have on planeswalkers who were in other forms?

A: They were stuck in whatever form they were in at the time (although it wasn't instantaneous -- it happened gradually over a period of time, so it's not like anyone was stuck in gazebo form or whatever).



Quote:
Q: What is that thing between Bolas's horns?

A: We haven't said yet, but it's not a big, plot-crucial thing. Originally it was simply a design touch that the artist liked; it helps make him seem sentient at first glance.



Quote:
Q: I've got another Teferi question: Since he's virtually an immortal time mage now that he has been de-sparked, is there a chance we'll see him out and about in the future? Planeswalker Sparks seem quite the commodity these days in the world of post-Mending 'Walkers. Radha never wanted to use her Spark. Any chance Teferi may someday talk her out of it so that he can go back to being the coolest blue 'Walker you guys have ever had?

A: I know it's a little disappointing, but I'm pretty much gonna answer all questions like this with, "Sure, there's a chance." How much of a chance? Can't say. But it would be dumb of me to say there's no chance -- why would I needlessly restrict our options that way?



Quote:
Q: So technically they [the original Lorwyn Five] can pretty much be with MTG until most of the posters here are dead in real life. Then how come remove the agelessness clause with the post-Mending spark?

A: Maybe I shouldn't have, but it's done now.



Quote:
Q: Hmmn, the way you have been referencing moves and habits by the comic industry for quite some time now does this mean that such decisions will be more prominent with how Creative deals with things?

A: We can learn a lot from comics, including a bunch of things not to do.



Quote:
Q: If the spark does not make planeswalker immune to the oil then is Karn still infected with oil? What information are we missing about the end of the Scars storyline since we were basing our understanding of it off the sparking making walkers immune?

A: I guess I need to answer a question with a question: Was it made clear in the Quest for Karn novel that Koth, Elspeth, and Venser were all recipients of Melira's immunity, and that Venser's last act transferred that immunity to Karn? That was our intention, but judging from the way y'all are discussing it, sounds like the answer is "nope."



Quote:
Q: In regards to another answer, what do you prefer to see excluded from planes/storylines, and why?

A: What I prefer is not always what we end up doing. I dislike what is in my opinion childish or goofy humor, and I dislike some tropes that rely too heavily on what I think are silly or worn-out cliches. For example, I dislike dwarves because I think it's dumb that they must all have braided beards, Scottish accents, and alcoholism. (If they don't, then fans of dwarves are usually dissatisfied, as with the duergar.)



Quote:
Q: Did anyone in Marketing or another such department have reservations about losing Venser from the roster? I know Venser was popular among some players, but I don't know how that affects those sorts of decisions, especially since a lot of the people that liked him became aware of him during that particular block.

A: No, mainly because I never gave them the chance to have reservations. We just did it.



Quote:
Q: From the initial responses gathered, how well have Tamiyo and Tibalt gone over amongst the fans?

A: We don't know yet but we will soon. Forum response must be treated as "anecdata" almost always; it's too small of a sample size for statistical stability. The anecdata suggest that Tibalt is liked as a character and that Tamiyo is polarizing -- her fans love her greatly, but they might be in the minority. Once some market research comes in, we'll see the extent of the polarization.



Quote:
Q: Is there a possibility of us seeing Norin the Wary again?

A: Sure.



Quote:
Q: Is there any reason Iona, Shield of Emeria WASN'T typed as Giant Angel? Because... I mean, look at her. She's massive.

A: She's not a Giant for the same reason Giant Spider isn't.



Quote:
Q: Maro said on his tumblr that in the original Future Sight design file that there were three walkers; a blue one, a green one, and a black one. He went on to say that the blue one was to be Venser. What about the black and green? Where they pre-existing characters we knew of? Or whole new characters that will never be/yet to be? Or precursors for Garruk and Liliana?

A: I don't know of any, but I wasn't intimately involved in that early design process.



Quote:
Q: What happened to the inhabitants of both planes after Maralen brought Lorwyn and Shadowmoor together? How has the population adapted and changed, did the memories of both lives blur together or are people either completely as they were in Lorwyn or completely as they were in Shadowmoor?

A: We haven't established that.



Quote:
Q: Does Creative ever plan to create epilogues for the blocks?

A: No. Every story has loose ends, and ours probably have more than most, because we need them as opportunities to revisit those stories when it's appropriate to do so. Tying everything up with a bow wouldn't gain us anything.



Quote:
Q: Avacyn was mortally wounded before she went into the Helvault, but when she came out she was perfectly healthy. How did that happen?

A: Magic.



Quote:
Q: Is there active effort to find a White characteristic race (like Green's elves, Red's goblins, etc.) or is it canonically human?

A: No. I don't want an unchanging set of nonhuman races, one for each color. That would get dull really fast.



Quote:
Q: Twilight Shepherd is an angel. Angels basically look like humans with wings on. Except Lorwyn/Shadowmoor has no humans. So is Twilight Shepherd a winged elf instead? Or what? The details are obscured.

A: Angels aren't human, so it doesn't matter. An angel with a pointy ear would be a weird Angel, not an Angel Elf.



Quote:
Q: [A]re you qualified to answer questions about pre-revisionist story archs?

A: Probably not but I do anyway.



Quote:
Q: Will we ever see thrulls again?

A: Probably so.



Quote:
Q: Are there any plans to include the long lost Sandruu in a story arch (I would love to see the minotaur walker return).

A: No, but never say never.



Quote:
Q: Who is Korlash, does this mean Dakkon is dead?

A: We haven't established any further information about Korlash or about Dakkon's fate.



Quote:
Q: What is the current state of Ulgrotha?

A: Too involved an answer for this venue, nor would I want to divulge it.



Quote:
Q: Is there really going to be a Shandalar story arch?

A: Huh? Not that I know of.



Quote:
Q: What is the state of Old Phyrexia?

A: All that's known about it is in the published material.



Quote:
Q: What ever happened to Gerrard after he became a part of Karn?

A: Dead.



Quote:
Q: Why isn't Karn an artifact?

A: Planeswalker overrides other types and subtypes, partially because it's cool for Planeswalkers to transcend those classifications, and partially because additional types/subtypes won't fit on the cards.



Quote:
Q: Can we finally get an answer about who Fiers was?

A: Nope.



Quote:
Q: What happens when a new Planeswalker spark ignites?

A: Differs wildly from Planeswalker to Planeswalker.



Quote:
Q: Since Innistrad vampires are alive, how do they age?

A: They're quasi-alive; we purposely wanted ambiguity there. They age at a glacial pace, much more slowly than the average elf, for example.



Quote:
Q: Since there are many variations on resurrection magic, why isn't resurrection magic rampant in the multiverse? What is there to stop Sorin from casting Unburial Rites on Mikaeus for instance (not canon, I know)?

A: Because casual resurrection ruins stories. As I've said before, magic is inherently deus ex machina. The stories can't line up with the game mechanics 100% and still be reasonable stories.



Quote:
Q: If some random demon had been mortally wounded and fell in the Helvault, would it have healed?

A: Yes.



Quote:
Q: If Avacyn had been mortally wounded and fell in a block of ice while the state of the planet's humans got worse and worse around her, would she have healed?

A: No.



Quote:
Q: Are hellions biological in nature? Are they born? Or are they something more akin to angel and demons-being of mana manifestation?

A: Hellions are biological.



Quote:
Q: Are demons and Angels mana manifestations?

A: Angels and demons are not [biological].



Quote:
Q: [D]id the fanbase ever affected the decisions of the Creative flavor-wise?

A: Too many times to enumerate.



Quote:
Q: [W]hy do angels look like humans anyway? Is it just because that's what people expect?

A: More or less, yes. I don't think angels would resonate with players if they were spinning spheres made of wings, for example. We've found that the further we get away from the human face and form, the smaller the subset of players who find that particular thing appealing or exciting.



Quote:
Q: Why is it always elves and goblins?

A: For most players, expectation, familiarity, and appeal are one in the same, or at least overlap tremendously.



Quote:
Q: [W]hat was the reaction to Duergar?

A: Lukewarm. I don't think anyone who wanted more dwarves in Magic felt satisfied by the duergar.



Quote:
Q: Plane chase is pretty sweet. But what [i] noticed is that alot of plane cards are for planes and locations that no longer exist. Was this done to appeal to older players? Might we see this philosophy extended to other products like Commander? (there are plenty of characters in magic's history who never got a card).

A: Using existing places is both easier than inventing them from scratch and gives us a chance to capitalize on familiarity and maybe do a little fan service for long-time fans of the story (by referencing an obscure place that players have generally never heard of, such as Equilor). For Commander, maybe? Most of the novel characters that readers love but players don't know wouldn't make for visually exciting cards.



Quote:
Q: Why did you kill Venser? What were the reasons behind his death?

A: We felt it was narratively right for Venser to sacrifice himself to save Karn. Because Venser was from Urborg, grew up amid Phyrexian wreckage, and became a Planeswalker as the nature of the spark was changing, it felt like the closing of a circle. In a pragmatic sense, we also feel that Karn has more of a future as an enemy of Phyrexia than Venser would have.



Quote:
Q: Is that [appearing to be more sentient] also why he [Nicol Bolas] chooses to stand on his hind legs and wear clothes?

A: Yes. And reads books, etc.



Quote:
Q: Has there ever been any serious thought to giving Knights the creature types of both the rider and the mount?

A: No. I don't think "Horse Knight" makes anyone happy.



Quote:
Q: Koth is a ferromancer, right? He bends earth by moving the metal impurities in it, right?

A: Koth wields earth-magic. I'm kind uninterested in the pseudoscientific distinctions between geomancy and ferromancy.



Quote:
Q: I've been going through some very old archived information, and I found some statements from Storyline staff at the time (around 2000-2001) that the novel line was doing well, to the point where they were talking about publishing novels for Mirage, Homelands, The Dark and a whole slew of other stuff. Before it was finally cancelled, it was apparently doing pretty poorly. Out of curiosity, when did things start losing steam? Was it a gradual process, or was there a steep drop at some point? Any thoughts as to what might have happened?

A: That decade-old statement was... inaccurate. I'm sure it was rooted in optimism but it was not supported by data.



Quote:
Q: Why is Thraximundar an Assassin?

A: He probably shouldn't be, but it's not worth errata.



Quote:
Q: What is 'Xathrid'? A Place, a person/being, a god, an organization, a concept?

A: It's a place, although we haven't detailed it much yet.



Quote:
Q: How is it possible for demons to have children, when they're beings of pure mana? Can angels have children?

A: Neither angels nor demons can become parents biologically.



Quote:
Q: Is it possible for a planeswalker to get pregnant?

A: Yes.



Quote:
Q: If a pregnant planeswalker would planeswalk, would the baby be safe and sound or would the planeswalker abort the baby?

A: Ew. I don't know and I wouldn't want to establish a canonical answer here anyway.



Quote:
Q: Zendikar has a huge number of named locations, more than we typically see on a plane. (Well, barring Alara, but that's kind of an odd example.) I'm certainly not complaining, but what inspired you guys to create so many locales for Zendikar?

A: Zendikar is meant to feel like an infinitely explorable place, so it needs tons of locations. Also, land theme.



Quote:
Q: Were the Slith passed over on the return to Mirrodin because they dealt with +1/+1 counters? If so, why was no mention made of them at all, despite being Mirrodin's first naturally born race?

A: I don't think it ever even occurred to anyone that we should try to make a place for more slith, honestly.



Quote:
Q: Almost every Planeswalker so far has a specialty, like Jace who's a mind-mage, Liliana is a necromancer, Sorin uses sangromancy, and so on. We know Tibalt "thing" is pain, but what about Tamiyo?

A: As I've said elsewhere, Tamiyo is an experiment. She's a rather passive character who lacks flashy magic (as of yet), and she clearly feels out of place in Innistrad. We wanted to see how players reacted to a character like that. The answer is "not super-positively." She's the least favorite Planeswalker character in the block by a significant margin. Her fans like her a whole lot, it seems to me, but there aren't many of them. Time will tell whether she sees further development.



Quote:
Q: Since Innistrad vampires are alive and aging, does that mean they can die of old age?

A: We haven't established that. Probably not, though.



Quote:
Q: Have any of the Planeswalker characters, or really any characters, surprised you by being much more popular than anticipated? Much more maligned than anticipated?

A: Not yet, honestly. Nissa was a little more hated than I thought she'd be.



Quote:
Q: When is Bloodhill Bastion set? In the distant past of Equilor, or... when?

A: We haven't established that.



Quote:
Q: Without revealing any specifics, how much internal information do you have prepared on yet-unvisited Planes, like the ones depicted in the Planeshift cards?

A: Depends on the plane. For many, there's no detail beyond what you see on the card.



Quote:
Q: Is Slobad dead?

A: As a doornail.



Quote:
Q: What motivated R&D to put Legendaries back into core sets? Can we expect reprints going forward, or will it only be new cards as to not give the impression that certain characters are still relevant in the current storylines?

A: (1) Not sure where the idea came from; you'll probably see an article or two about that on dailymtg.com, I'd guess. (2) I can't talk about what we might or might not do in the future.



Quote:
Q: [W]hy does Liliana want her soul back?

A: I don't think she does, necessarily. She just doesn't want to be beholden to demons.



Quote:
Q: What's the results of the Planeswalker War?

A: No one knows.



Quote:
Q: What’s your opinion on Legends now that they aren't the main focus of the story?

A: I think legendary creatures can be and have been as much the focus of the story as some Planeswalkers. Avacyn, for example.



Quote:
Q: Where do beings go when they die in magic?

A: Differs from plane to plane; there are no Multiverse-wide physics or metaphysics.



Quote:
Q: [E]veryone I've spoken to (admittedly anecdotal data) has liked her card and were annoyed because she [Tamiyo] didn't have a larger role. So it seems like what people don't like isn't the character so much as how little she has to do with anything.

A: There's tension between the need for around ten Planeswalker cards per year and having all of them be integral and/or critical to a plot. Too many characters can dilute and even ruin a story -- especially a story that must be straightforward enough to be told via short videos and cards. I believe trying to force Tibalt and Tamiyo to have been directly involved in the mystery of Avacyn's disappearance would have felt, well, forced.



Quote:
Q: Has Avacyn named a new Lunarch?

A: No new lunarch is known at this time.



Quote:
Q: Did Sorin create Sigarda, Gisela, and Bruna in addition to Avacyn? If not, and if the creation of her lieutenants was up to Avacyn, how did she go about creating them?

A: No, each other angel either existed before Avacyn or came about after. Sorin chose to make an angel because of their preexisting status as beacons of hope of protection on Innistrad.



Quote:
Q: Based on the webcomics, Garruk does not seem to like Ravnica at all. Is it because it is a plane-wide city with no real wild places left? Or does his ex just live there?

A: Yeah, it's pretty much the most anti-Garruk place in the Multiverse.



Quote:
Q: That said, how do you figure out what the broad fan reaction to a specific character or race is? And, to build onto that question: Do you have country-specific data? Are certain countries more fond of some characters than others?

A: We compile a number of data sets, some robust and some semi-anecdotal. There are the so-called "godbook studies" that we do for most sets, plus feedback from players and fans on forums and at events, plus other, proprietary means. No, we don't have data for creative elements at the national level.



Quote:
Q: Do you all still actively try to reference the future-shifted cards from Future Sight?

A: We look to see if there's anything we can work in, but if we don't find anything, we don't agonize over it. Take Sarcomite Myr, for example, which was meant to preview Phyrexianized Mirrodin. Colored artifacts turned out to be a better fit for Esper, so when the Scars of Mirrodin block came along, Sarcomite Myr didn't make sense to include.



Quote:
Q: What are the chances we'll get a re-release of the old MTG computer game set in Shandalar?

A: Next to nil.



Quote:
Q: [A]ny chance we may see some off-shoot games that delve a bit deeper into Magic's rich storylines?

A: Sure, there's a chance, but nothing definite right now.



Quote:
Q: Flavorwise, what exactly keeps all of these (creature/permanent) (destroy/exile) spells and abilities from being used on the player instead and kill them?

A: There's no real flavor justification for why "destroy target Planeswalker" doesn't equate to "target player loses." The game and its flavor just can't line up that tightly.



Quote:
Q: In the universe, can anyone that dies be brought back to life in perfect condition?

A: With enough magic, anything is possible. Again, the story can't realistically take into account that Resurrection is a four-mana
uncommon white spell.



Quote:
Q: What's the deal with Archons? Are they mana constructs? If so, how do they differ in origin from Angels? Do they represent different facets of white's whiteness?

A: We haven't established the "ecology" of archons yet. It likely differs from plane to plane.



Quote:
Q: [W]hat relationship is there between archons and spectres, if any?

A: The fact that both are faceless, flying riders is, disappointingly, coincidental. If we were to start over with Magic, I believe specters would be semicorporeal, flying ghosts rather than corporeal, hooded riders of flying beasts. My memory sucks, but I have a dim recollection that we went with the hooded-rider direction to differentiate them clearly from Shades.



Quote:
Q: Does a planeswalker know another planeswalker on sight or can two planewalkers spend time with eachother without realising what the other is?

A: The latter, although adept Planeswalkers will recognize each other the same way tourists do while abroad.



Quote:
Q: What is the temperature to damage ratio for Fire flavored sources and the ratio of Amps to damage with Electric flavored sources?

A: I tried to answer this question but my narcolepsy kept kicking in.



Quote:
Q: A couple pages back, you said that planeswalkers are capable of being compleated. Can you elaborate on this? We on the forums have accepted as canon for a long time that the spark grants immunity to Phyrexian corruption. Did that change interest mending?

A: Tezzeret immunized himself against the compleating effects of the oil by infusing his own etherium with Melira's essence. He could still be compleated ... forcefully. That same essence was later transferred to Elspeth and Koth by the same means used to protect Mirrans. My understanding from storyline fans is that these intentions weren't clear from the Quest for Karn novel, and I apologize for that. As for Test of Metal, I believe it to be a good read and I believe Stover to be a strong writer. The discontinuities (yes, there are some) are the result of multiple storytelling efforts proceeding simultaneously, combined with an inability to significantly change the novel's final draft once complete (because we'd then miss its release date and destroy the intended sequence of story events).



Quote:
Q: What causes a card to get new art outside of an expert level expansion?

A: A number of factors, including (1) we think we can do better, (2) we feel players have gotten tired of a particular illustration, (3) we want to "reskin" a card to make it less dissonant in the context in which it will appear, etc.



Quote:
Q: Was the new art of Dark Hatchling inspired by the chest burster from Aliens?

A: Nah. Not intentionally, anyway. I believe this kind of imagery predates Alien by, oh, a few millennia. (Extra credit: Consider the Alien film franchise vis-a-vis pregnancy and motherhood.)



Quote:
Q: When the core sets were revamped back in M10, one of the big pushes was for plane neutral, generic fantasy trope cards. M13 has alot of plane-specific cards. Is M13 an experiment to see how players will react to plane specific cards?

A: No. The Core Sets seek to contain resonant, familiar fantasy tropes such as dragons, cloaks of invisibility, magical swords, etc., but the intention has never been to represent those tropes generically or neutrally. Also, as the years pass in the Core Sets, cards will necessarily become ever so slightly more specific over time, simply because once you've done Cloak of Invisibility, for example, you can't ever use that card name again.



Quote:
Q: Story/Flavor-wise, do you have any theories on what each of the colors could do at their pinnacle? Also any chance of a set where the some of the Legends are Superheros and Supervillians?

A: I don't really get your question. You mean like what's the awesomest possible Awesome Mode for each color? I don't know, honestly. And Planeswalkers are our superheroes, so doing modern-day flights-and-tights stuff is highly unlikely.



Quote:
Q: [W]hat do you see as your biggest mistake, or to put it another way, the decision that you think (either through market research or just your gut) that was the biggest disappointment to the playerbase in terms of flavor?

A: It's difficult to identify my creative mistakes because almost everything we do at Wizards is subject to approval and review by lots of people. I guess I'd say that I wanted Lorwyn to be more Arthur Rackham/Edmund Dulac and less cartoony.



Quote:
Q: How do you feel being the figurehead of all of Magic: The Gathering's flavor and creative workforce?

A: I think I'm kind of the opposite of a figurehead. I have low visibility to the Magic community at large (present company excepted) but I have a lot of influence over Magic's creative identity and direction.



Quote:
Q: Are there any flavor decisions behind the From the Vault sets?

A: Not really. If we can add flavor we do, but the basic direction is determined by trying to find a theme that will enable us to put together a box that players really want.



Quote:
Q: Does Creative choose which cards get new art, or is that a decision made by marketing after doing research?

A: The creative team, Jeremy Jarvis especially, chooses which cards get new art, and those decisions are informed -- but not dictated -- by market research.



Quote:
Q: Does creative try to maintain a balance of walkers who are heroic or villainous?

A: No. I've come to believe we probably need more foils and villains than heroes.



Quote:
Q: Which color is hardest to write characters for? Easiest?

A: [1]. For me, green. [2]. For me, red and/or white.



Quote:
Q: Is Wizards using the writings of philosophers and philosophical schools as a basis for the colour pie?

A: We talk about philosophy, sure. I studied lit crit, and Doug has a philosophy degree. We don't assign colors to Heidegger and Santayana or anything, but we're aware.



Quote:
Q: Is Sarkhan Vol from Mongseng?

A: We haven't established Sarkhan's native plane yet.



Quote:
Q: Has the Umezawa-line ended somehow before Bolas return? Did Bolas defeat the Umezawa-line off-screen like he did the black myojin? Or are there still Umezawas around?

A: We haven't established any of that



Quote:
Q: Will we ever be given a concrete or semi concrete timeline? Or will we be left we a vague inconsistent timeline that doesn't really match up?

A: Not while the creative team has only four writers for all products, stories, and web content. As I've said, I don't believe a Super-Detailed, Official Chronology of Story Events serves much purpose beyond enabling hardcore fans to find errors and discontinuities and complain about them. No continuity is perfect -- not even single-creator properties such as Potter or Song of Ice and Fire.



Quote:
Q: So what has Jodah and Jhoira been up to? Did their romance go anywhere? Any kids?

A: We haven't established that (which by now you likely understand means, "no one knows, and no one will ever know unless our products and stories find occasion to reengage those plot threads").



Quote:
Q: Say tomorrow, your planeswalker spark ignites. What plane would you want to go to first? Which one not at all? Also, what color(s) of Magic would you utilize and why?

A: I would first invent a plane (woo, power!), then go to it. And although I wish I were blue-green-red-white-black, if I'm honest I'd have to admit that I'm actually white-red-blue-black-green (all real people are actually WUBRG).



Quote:
Q: [D]id Sorin just up and leave once the Helvault shattered or was there any interaction between him and his creation? Edgar Markov wasn't even aware his grandson was on the plane, was he?

A: We haven't established that.



Quote:
Q: [D]id [Sorin] stick around long enough to see the imbalance Avacyn was causing by making the werewolves into wolfir with the Cursemute? Did he he even say 'wassup?' to her? Also, what's with the 'lands beyond the great seas' in Innistrad?

A: We haven't established any of that. As I've said previously, we need to create lots more plot threads and leads than we could ever tie up neatly in bows, to allow for revisitations of places and characters, etc.



Quote:
Q: Are you required now to plan all blocks with potential future storylines in mind? Are no planes allowed to be one-trick ponies?

A: Yes, more or less, although some planes are more story-fecund than others.



Quote:
Q: How many brains does Nicol Bolas actually have?

A: He has as many brains as he wants. He has all the brains. (I know I'm supposed to know the answer, but I don't. Do you remember when Jace lost a toe to frostbite in Agents of Artifice? Yeah, me neither.)



Quote:
Q: I know you have issue with Viashino being "Creature-Viashino" instead of "Creature-Lizard", but how are Merfolk not being Fish or Minotaur not being Ox or likewise different?

A: Viashino should have the Lizard type, but we missed that change with two separate rounds of revisions -- big ones -- and it became too painful and too disruptive to fix. Merfolk and minotaur are resonant, familiar words/tropes; it would be silly to remove those words from the type line to serve some artificial taxonomy. I'm not interested in changing Pegasus to Bird Horse, either.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 7:21 pm 
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Quote:
Q: Is there an interesting backstory to how Chandra got her Izzet bracer, or did she just buy it or something?

A: We haven't established that.



Quote:
Q: Is there any sort of cultural preference on Esper for getting certain body parts replaced before others? Like does everyone do their hands first or some such?

A: No; it differs wildly from individual to individual.



Quote:
Q: So we got a sneak preview of Ravnica through the core set legends. Why weren't the Ravnica goblins altered like the Mirrodin goblins were?

A: They were. In my opinion neither the Mirrodin nor Ravnica goblins had a consistent morphology the first time around. When we replaced that inconsistency with something more consistent, it felt like a change, but to us it was a matter of adding definition, not redefining. Ravnica's goblins got some work as well, but because they're closer to Magic's "default" goblin, it seems like less of a change.



Quote:
Q: Why do only one third of Liliana's cards actually make use of her specialty in necromancy?

A: That bugs me, too, and we're working on focusing her "spell suite." The problem is that early on the "Lorwyn 5" were trying to be both interesting characters and 'poster-children' for the five colors, and Liliana in particular has gotten a grab-bag of black stuff rather than the necromantic focus she should have. As time passes and we realize that (a) Planeswalkers need to feel distinct from each other, and (b) we'll be doing a lot more of them, it has become clear that each character needs a much more defined spell suite than we thought they needed five years ago.



Quote:
Q: Can you say whether there are plans to release a new "Planes of Planechase" article for the 2012 edition, whether as part of the new flavor/story column or as a standalone feature?

A: First request I've heard for it. Do you think a lot of players are expecting this? Might be too late / not timely enough at this point.



Quote:
Q: is there a GOOD chance anything like [a poll that led to more Akroma cards] will be done in the future? Or maybe more specifically seeing Akroma again in any form?

A: 1. There's always a chance; nothing specific in the works. 2. Akroma is pretty dead, and I personally feel we've referred to her about as much as we can. That said, never say never.



Quote:
Q: [I]t seems as though Akroma has been venerated to some degree, evidenced by Akroma's Memorial . Is there a religion in at least the Otaria region of Dominaria that worships Akroma? Sword of Vengeance seems to suggest so. If so, could you perhaps tell us a little bit about it?

A: I can't, because no detail about that has been established (beyond what you see on cards, etc.).



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Q: Is there ever, or has there ever been, a desire to push certain story important cards competitively?

A: Yes. For example, given that card power and character appeal highly correlate for most players, I believe it's crucial for our most important characters to get cards that are at least not weak. Specifically, I talked to the Worldwake development team more than once about ensuring Jace, the Mind Sculptor wouldn't turn out weak or unplayable...



Quote:
Q: Could you expound on the monetary currency which is used in the planes we have visited? Innistrad and Ravnica clearly use coins and have a well-defined economy, but planes like Lorwyn and Kamigawa are less clear.

A: What's in the published material is all the detail that exists on this subject.



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Q: In the Duels 2013 trailer, what spell was Jace going to cast?

A: Baki's Curse (I don't know).



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Q: After word got out that the Novel Line was cancelled, you mentioned that short stories take a lot longer to put together but don't get more pageviews, and that such features were therefore not going to be more regular. But... now we have an entire column dedicated to them. Not that I'm in any way, shape, or form complaining, but what changed that made Jenna's column possible?

A: Mainly Jenna's desire to do it. It's still early, and we're still working out what kind of word count is sustainable and will keep the readership satisfied. My earlier conjecture assumed "short story" means something between 2,500 and 7,500 words. Uncharted Realms will likely be much shorter than that on average.



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Q: What the hell is a Lhurgoyf?

A: I, uh, HEY LOOK OVER THERE.

Originally it was a joke -- a jumble of letters intended to poke fun at the pseudo-Scandinavian words in the Ice Age set. Then, once it became notable/memorable, it was a Terisiarean predator that fed on the dead. Later, it became a word randomly attached to a cycle of creatures in the Odyssey set, because developers wanted them to be called "lhurgoyfs" and I couldn't stop them. Then it became slightly more a Terisiarean predator again with Tarmogoyf. So basically, it's a mess.



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Q: Is Ugin currently alive?

A: All players and readers know is what's been published.



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Q: What creatures in Magic the Gathering can humans have offspring with other than human?

A: I don't have an exhaustive list. Okay, I don't have any list at all.



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Q: Is there an interesting story behind Caged Sun or was it just a cool sounding name?

A: Just a cool concept and name. It's meant to represent a big chunk of harnessed mana, not literally one of Mirrodin's five suns in a cage.



Quote:
Q: How do you find if players have become tired of an illustration? I know of a few that people seem to have grown tired of seeing repeatedly.

A: Of seeing what repeatedly? It's not a scientific process; we just look at the number of times a given illustration has seen print as well as how much it's loved, then make a call.



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Q: As an additional, promotional ads [for the comics] have shown Malfegor back. Needless to say, players are confused.

A: Malfegor's presence in Dack's story is a data point toward some chronology of events, yes.



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Q: "Kiora Atua is Simic!" -- Everyone

A: Nah. Mana-color association does not equate to guild allegiance. The five colors of mana are more multifaceted than that. Kiora's motivations overlap with Simic goals barely at all.



Quote:
Q: So, since the only Liliana card which used real necromancy was her first, does that mean you're trying to move her away from being a necromancer? Is Liliana becoming a Shade user instead?

A: No, we're trying to rein in her abilities so that necromancy is at the center of them. Shades, for example, can be the result of necromancy and are thus fair game. In other words, we start with a tight, coherent "wheelhouse" for each planeswalker character, but it will be widened as much as needed to keep making exciting, distinct cards. If Liliana could only return creatures to play from graveyards, she'd have a pretty limited number of potential (and likely monotonous) cards.



Quote:
Q: [W]hat determines the colours of animals? Strictly speaking all nonsapient creatures should be green, really, but that would be pretty weak. Would eusocial insects be white?

A: Mainly their natural habitat, but it's complicated. For example, Cats were once all over the place, since they inhabit the plains, mountains, forests, and even swamps. Given players' love for tribal and to ease understanding of the game's flavor for newer players, creature types generally need to be consolidated within a color (or two). So Cats are mainly white now thanks to lions and leonin, and the number of Cats in other colors is lower than historically.



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Q: Do the residents of Lorwyn have British accents?

A: I've never heard them speak, so I don't know. Probably.



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Q: Does creative any control over the mechanical direction certain colors take? Like "black gets flash in this block" or "only creature type X gets flying"

A: A little bit. More than in the past.



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Q: If enough of us complained loudly enough, would Gisa and Geralf get cards in a side product or potential Innistrad 2?

A: Why would I encourage complaining?



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Q: How many Beebles does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A: One.



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Q: Are there any creature types you've crusaded against never bringing back?

A: I can't parse the double negatives. Do you mean "crusaded against bringing back"? If so, then yes, and I usually lose (but not always). Walls and Ships are not creatures. Aquatic creatures make little sense when you visualize a battle between mages. Dwarves and orcs come up periodically because of Tolkien and D&D, but I find them pretty uninteresting and I believe their exclusion helps differentiate Magic from other fantasy properties. Many disagree. (If by "against never" you mean creature types that others have retired and I want to bring back, I think the answer is no.)



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Q: How common are Goblins that have intelligence on par with that of a human?

A: Exceedingly rare.



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Q: Mark Rosewater said this of Vedalken on his tumblr; "I liked them but it’s hard to get players attached to something completely foreign (not impossible just hard)." Would you say that's true? What of Magic's other original races like Kor?

A: Yes, I'd say that's true of vedalken, and of kor to a much lesser extent. Both to me are data points in the hypothesis that the more a race resembles humanity, the more capable it is of resonating with the average fan. Because they're all bald, blue, and lack nose bridges and ears, the vedalken are very difficult to distinguish from each other visually. The same is true of Kor but only for skin and hair color; they're at about the same level of "resonance difficulty" as merfolk, in my opinion.



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Q: R&D has recently tried to push Hydras as green's iconic race in the same way Angels, Sphinxes, Demons, and Dragons do for the other colors. How well would you say that's going so far?

A: Pretty well, all things considered. The truth is that a lot of that "iconic" weight comes from card power level, and it's more difficult to make a large, nonflying, green creature competitive than a big flyer. We're working on it.



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Q: What's your favorite Magic art? Favorite name? Flavor text?

A: They change all the time. Today it's Knight Exemplar (art), That Which Was Taken (name), and Squandered Resources (ftext).



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Q: Were there any repercussions for the Creative department from this [pushing the powerlevel of Jace, The Mind Sculptor]? Like, is R&D more hesitant now to boost the power of characters because Jace was... ah... a little bit stronger than anticipated?

A: Development better understands the parameters, but no, there were no consequences for the creative team.



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Q: Why is Wraith its own creature type? Having Shade as its own creature type is understandable because there are quite a few of them and they all do something that is pretty much exclusive to them. But with Wraiths there are only a few of them and the only thing they have in common is that they swampwalk, which is dead boring. So what's even the point?

A: Short answer: Because there was one in Alpha. A lot of color-ability-creature-type combinations have been sustained because they were present in the very early days of Magic (see Bog Wraith and Drudge Skeletons, for example), and players are generally happy to let us add stuff but get very cranky when we subtract.



Quote:
Q: How were the names of the magic specific races derived?

A: Kor and Viashino predate my time at Wizards, and I'm not sure about Vedalken; I believe they were named by name/ftext writer and former Magic creative team staffer Rei Nakazawa. Not 100% sure of that.



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Q: Zedruu the Greathearted isn't exactly a classic minotaur, but looks similar to Anaba Shaman (the original art)--was that intentional? Any relation?

A: Unintentional. I wanted Zedruu to look distinct from other minotaurs, so I asked the artist to bring in some eland influence in her head (elands are bovids, too). That influence came through a little too strong (mainly in the neck, in my opinion), and some believe she looks more antelope-folk than minotaur.



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Q: More broadly, were any of the exclusive-to-Commander (or Planechase) legends intended to be from specific planes?

A: A few, but most were concepted without thought to a particular plane.



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Q: What are the ages of the current printed Planeswalkers?

A: We've made those known for the planeswalkers that appear in Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013, and we haven't yet for the others.



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Q: How did the Orochi from Kamigawa fare on the likability spectrum?

A: Low, although most elements within Kamigawa were all lumped into a "too weird" pile by the average player, so it's difficult to discern whether orochi were more or less loved than, say, kitsune or nezumi.



Quote:
Q: Were the Duergar an attempt to find new space for dwarves? Would you be willing to try again, or was the lackluster reception to them too much of a deterrent to try again for some time?

A: We did duergar because, well, we did almost everything in the Welsh folklore. Yes, I was hoping self-proclaimed dwarf fans would be made happy by their inclusion, but I had a hunch they wouldn't be, because they lacked beards and helms and warhammers and elaborate lineages and Scottish accents and alcoholism.



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Q: Are there any other fantasy races you've avoided because you don't like the archetypes they represent or because they clash with a pre-existing tribe?

A: We've avoided some races because they so define a different fantasy property -- drow, for example.



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Q: What, if anything, is the flavor of hybrid?

A: Flavor-wise there's no difference between multicolored and hybrid.



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Q: Can we expect more planeswalker cards from previously visited planes, or at least more non-human ones?

A: Sure, in time.



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Q: Sorin created a bunch of enchantments in order for the humans to use and have actual power behind it, and that ended up taking a life of its own, would Avacyn be an Enchantment Creature?

A: "Enchantment" when used in "in-world" prose just means any magic that lingers. Sorin might have cast some enchantments that underpin Avacyn's existence and Innistrad's balanced state, but it doesn't follow that Avacyn herself would be one of them.



Quote:
Q: Who are the people that voiced in the trailers?

A: I don't know, honestly. I review the voice-actor choices and their performances, but I don't make the choices or work directly with the actors at the moment.



Quote:
Q: Will Return to Ravnica trailer go back to the original style of animation that was used for Ravnica: City of Guilds or will it be like the current style Innistrad trailers used?

A: If there's a trailer it'll be in the current style.



Quote:
Q: Will Jace or Niv-Mizzet be voicing in the Return to Ravnica trailer?

A: I can't reveal that.



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Q: What is the story reason behind Sorin to gain White in his last Planeswalker Card?

A: Duty, obligation, and a desire to restore balance to his world using arcane "laws" (embodied by Avacyn).



Quote:
Q: Is it very easy for a Planeswalker to change their colors or is there some process behind it?

A: Planeswalker cards represent facets of complex personalities. No planeswalker character has only a single color of mana in his/her nature (although, well, Chandra is pretty damn red). When planeswalker cards deviate in color from the original, it can represent a change that character has undergone, or simply a different facet of their personality.



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Q: Is there any chance at all we could ever get a picture of Bolas in a three piece suit?

A: From Wizards? Highly unlikely. Also, are you transitioning gradually from questioning to griefing? Just askin'.



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Q: Are there any sort of "worlds" creative is avoiding for whatever reason?

A: I'm averse to worlds that I think won't support an entire block's worth of cards or are that are overly derivative.



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Q: If a large enough chunk of the fandom asked for something (a goblin walker, for instance) would creative be inclined to give it to us?

A: As creative professionals it's our job to take the desires of the audience into account without being tyrannized by them.



Quote:
Q: Is it bothersome to Creative when Design and/or Development make a flavorless mechanic (such as Cycling) feature heavily in a block?

A: Not really, although we do make sure design and development understand that it's "dead space" flavor-wise.



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Q: Since "Snow" isn't a type, but a supertype, could there be a "Snow Planeswalker" when/if we visit a snow setting again?

A: Anything's possible, but that sounds pretty janky.



Quote:
Q: How different is the process in creative when there is a member of the creative team in the design/development process? ie with Doug in recent core sets and Jenna on the Innistrad teams, do you have a higher level of access, or can you begin the flavor building process earlier or differently than if you're "On the outside"?

A: In years past, design and development preferred to deliver a completed set to the creative team to work on. But those days are long past. Now, design and development teams greatly prefer to have a creative-team representative on them, because expressing flavor through card design is a much more important goal than it used to be.



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Q: Is Karn still the Legacy Weapon, or did it get used up destroying Yawgmoth/scattered to the four winds/rendered useless by the Mending?

A: The Legacy Weapon's purpose has been fulfilled and it has no further use.



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Q: We have seen at several points that planeswalkers can carry items with them as they move between planes (clothing comes to mind), is there a limit to how much they can transport?

A: Four pounds per level. (I don't think quantifying this detail would help storytelling in any way.)



Quote:
Q: Is there any possibility of planeswalkers being able to transport living beings/creatures with them when they walk?

A: With enough mana, almost anything is possible. But it would have to be a Very Big Deal, because if the planebound can be ferried from plane to plane by planeswalkers, it becomes way less special to be a planeswalker, in my opinion.



Quote:
Q: Would you consider the possibility of a walker with a non-living companion that they travelled with? (I am so not wanting to see K-9 start through the multiverse)

A: Sure? Like a little owl named Bubo or something?



Quote:
Q: Are tutor effects in black because they fit best flavorwise or is it just a mechanics thing?

A: Tutor effects are in all colors. They're black when they require payment of life or some other "dark-deal"-flavored cost.



Quote:
Q: Recently, on his Tumblr, Mark Rosewater got a question about a Great Creative Search. I was wondering if this would be a possibility.

A: It's possible, yes, but whereas designing and developing cards is well understood and a little bit objective, creative pursuits are far more subjective. Design and development also have larger teams and slightly higher turnover rates than the creative team, so the opportunities for us are fewer and further between.



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Q: [W]hat character in all the MTG media do you consider to be the most abhorrently evil?

A: Yawgmoth, I guess, although Urza is a close second.



Quote:
Q: How much input into legendary creatures does creative have?

A: Lots.



Quote:
Q: There are story characters (Lisha and Crucius from Alara, Ludevic from Innistrad) who people expect to get a card, and are disappointed when they don't. Do you think this is a bad thing?

A: Probably, but given our current processes it's unavoidable. There are only so many slots for legendary creatures, and their identities are partially determined by gameplay needs, not solely by what's best for story. Additionally, the world guides are blueprints, and we don't expect or even necessarily want every detail from them to be expressed as a card. We don't know what players will seize on when they read the world guides and stories, and by the time we do, it's far too late to adjust the card sets accordingly. And during the times in which we've published novels, the novelists were given as much freedom as possible to write (but not enough lead time), and they would sometimes introduce important characters that appeared nowhere on cards. But by the time we saw first drafts, the card sets were already finalized and we were unable to include those characters. (Often there wouldn't have been room for them in the sets anyway, however.)



Quote:
Q: Has there ever been a character who was supposed to get a card, but didn't for some reason?

A: Not that I can think of, no.



Quote:
Q: Doug once said that Creative wants to avoid handling languages, because they pose more problems than would be interesting to explore. Why, then, did you put so much effort in creating a Phyrexian language? Aren't you afraid that those questions will pop up?

A: The Phyrexian language as it stands is an alphabet and a syntax but has very little vocabulary. It was created by a linguist with whom we contracted. The effort was led by the marketing communications team because they believed a real language would enrich the marketing efforts (such as the videos, ads, etc.). Yes, a language does present continuity challenges, but because we're creating the vocabulary as it's needed along the way, it's a manageable amount of work.



Quote:
Q: Cloud Winged Guard, from Agents of Artifice, defectors from the Boros Legion and security for hire, are they still a thing?

A: You'll see more specifics very soon. There are still offshoots and renegades from the dissolution of the Guildpact, but generally speaking they operate in areas quite far away from the Tenth.



Quote:
Q: Has the general populace (or at least the parts that matter for story purposes) been made aware by the abnormal amount or 'walker traffic of the existence of other worlds?

A: No.



Quote:
Q: Who's running all this, seems a system as complex and interdependent as Ravnica would collapse into chaos in days after the established order fell?

A: It was, as shown in Agents of Artifice, although the plane basically has a ten-millennia-old "muscle memory" for the checks and balances. More on dailymtg.com soon.



Quote:
Q: What's the scale here? Are we just worrying about Ravnica, or a country in Ravnica, or is it another hugiant (tm) collapse of the multiverse thing?

A: The majority of the action takes place in the Tenth and the districts adjacent to it, but the basic plot will affect the whole plane in a way.



Quote:
Q: It was either outright said or heavily implied(I forget) Gideon would be here next time we showed up. Is he main story or just running around in the background trying to convince Jace to loan him some of his 'walkers?

A: I can't divulge that.



Quote:
Q: Is Mizzit a main character (as he is implied to be) because it makes sense or because everyone thought he was the awesomest thing since awe?

A: Nor that; sorry.



Quote:
Q: Why was Sorin raised by his grandfather? What happened to his parents?

A: That hasn't been established.



Quote:
Q: Were the original Nephilim so shrimpy (power and toughness wise) for gameplay balance reasons?

A: Gameplay reasons, yeah.



Quote:
Q: Is Prime Speaker Zegana a lionfish merlady?

A: I share the opinion that there seems to be a little lionfish influence in her design, but we didn't ask for that specifically. Yes, Zegana is a merfolk woman.



Quote:
Q: Why doesn't Aurelia have buttwings?

A: Her anatomy differs from that of Razia and her sort-of-clones from the first trilogy.



Quote:
Q: What ever happened to Ink-Treader Nephilim? It was the last rampaging Nephilim at the end of the original trilogy, but was kind of just forgotten about when the Parhelion blew up. Did it go back to sleep or something? Have more nephilim spawned to take the others' places?

A: The nature of the nephilim generally as well as the fate of that one in particular are unknown.



Quote:
Q: Also, What is up with Agyrem? What happened to it between the original set and Agents of Artifice? Heck, what happened to it between Agents of Artifice and now? Is it back to being an in-the-sky afterlife, or is it still overlaid with the cityscape?

A: Agyrem is now separate from Ravnica, a sort of connected meta-plane created by the increased planar stability on Ravnica caused by the Mending. "Argh! The Mending! I hate you with the seething of a thousand white-hot suns!" I know, I know. The Ravnica continuity was a difficult problem for us to solve -- Agyrem in particular. Although it was our intention for the Mending to "free" Agyrem from Ravnica all along (honest!), there's just no awesome venue in which to tell that story extensively, especially because players have no idea that Agyrem has any real significance beyond an isolated card or two. It's a case of the game-playing audience having a very divergent set of expectations from the novel-reading audience.



Quote:
Q: How much of the ledger containing the Phyrexian language and all is leftover from the original phyrexian set (sorry, don't remember and wasn't around for it)? Like, were the basics of the language/alphabet already in place from years ago, or were they made specifically for Mirrodin Besieged/New Phyrexia?

A: Almost all the original Phyrexia material still exists, but it contains only visual representation of what Phyrexian writing looks like, not a language per se. The alphabet and basic syntax were created specifically for Mirrodin Besieged.



Quote:
Q: Why are dryads always female?

A: Because of their folklore source as nymphs.



Quote:
Q: What, exactly, is Cromat? Does he (she / it) have a side / alignment in the Coalition / Phyrexia conflict?

A: Nothing more is known about Cromat beyond what's been published.



Quote:
Q: Since, as mentioned, cards now carry more weight flavor-wise, how much can we reasonably infer from a card? Ex: A) Is Karn, Liberated's "Restart the Game" ultimate ability more development-driven or creative-driven? (B) Can we reasonably deduct that he has some temporal magic left in him? (C) Can we reasonably assume that, given his second (-3) ability, he still has full control over Urza's Legacy (Legacy Weapon)? Would the (-3) indicate that he has a limited reserve of its power?

A: A) 80%/20%? (B) I think so, yes. (C) Not really, no. Even if Karn toted around the Null Moon, the Legacy Weapon has no further purpose.



Quote:
Q: Do you know if Nissa was unpopular because she was to narrowly focus (Tribal Elves) or because she was limited (compared to, say, Elspeth, Knight Errant). My frustration with her comes from her being too "weak," but I love the idea of an Elf Walker, so I'm just curious.

A: I don't know, no. I suspect it's a combination of many factors, although I'd guess narrowness to be chief among them. Just my opinion.



Quote:
Q: The Dimir symbol shows up in one of the pictures posted on Facebook is this because: (A) The picture is non-canon. (B) The Dimir are more widely known now that the guildpact has fallen. (C) The carving is from the early days of Ravnica when the Dimir were more open.

A: B.



Quote:
Q: Will we get any closure on storyline characters from the previous Ravnica block? We already have Jarad, but what about Kos? Teysa? Pivlic?

A: Some yes, many no. The books had many characters that didn't appear on cards anywhere, and there simply isn't room to tie a bow on all of them.



Quote:
Q: What's the deal with redesigning the guild symbols? What were the issues with the original designs?

A: The original ones were designed hastily and we felt we could improve the designs while maintaining their spirits.



Quote:
Q: So when did Isperia take over as guildleader? And why? Is she the new Grand Arbiter? Or has that position been abolished?

A: Stay tuned for "A Planeswalker's Guide to Ravnica." Sooner than you might think!



Quote:
Q: Does Tezzeret still possess the ability to create Etherium that he gained in "Test of Metal"?

A: Yes.



Quote:
Q: [D]oes/will Etherium have any special story significance beyond being a fundamental part of Esper culture?

A: We haven't established that.



Quote:
Q: What percentage of a population (grossly) is a mage? How many are powerful mages? Which proportion of the population would be able to do something on the scale of blowing things up?

A: Differs greatly from plane to plane. On average I'd say 1%, .01%, and .0000001%, respectively. A wild guess, more or less.



Quote:
Q: The original Ravnica setting had a fairly noticeable Slavic slant to the setting design, and yet there were a number of various creatures that clearly came from other cultures. Would I be right in thinking that was to show the big, cosmopolitan nature of the plane? For Return to Ravnica, how much thought went into balancing between the Slavic elements, the general Ravnican elements, the multicultural elements, and the sort of broader Magicy flavor?

A: (1) Yes. (2) We tried to hit the same balance, more or less.



Quote:
Q: Is the ball given to Glissa at the end of Fifth Dawn the Mirari recreated or a generic probe? Was said probe lost when Slobad was attacked, or was Glissa holding it? If so, is the probe still with Glissa?

A: It was a sphere of the material that comprised the Mirari and Memnarch, but made totally and absolutely inert. Karn learned his lesson. The current whereabouts of the inert silver sphere are unknown.



Quote:
Q: The four families of the Innistradi vampires all have a common origin with the Markovs, so how did they end up coming into being?

A: I don't understand the question. The other (surviving) vampire bloodlines don't have a common origin with the Markovs; they all began with separate and distinct progenitors.



Quote:
Q: Additionally, Olivia Voldaren seems to be the defacto leader of the majority of the vampires. What relationship does she have with Edgar markov?

A: Olivia is the matriarch of the Voldaren bloodline and has no interest whatsoever in leading other vampires.



Quote:
Q: And lastly, there were multiple families that didn't pan out (It was either 13 or 16, cannot remember) on Innistrad, did you guys come up with names for them too or not? Mostly my own curiousity here.

A: The names of the bloodlines that didn't survive haven't been established.



Quote:
Q: What is the current year, as given in Zal Concordant measurements, on Ravnica?

A: It's a trap!



Quote:
Q: What are the chances of seeing some of the more popular old 'walkers (but not Urza) printed in Core Sets (where there is no real storyline and card from various planes and times) and/or specialty products like Duel Decks ("Bolas vs. Leshrac" was a pretty epic fight in the books and there are other old 'walkers that would be neat to see paired up for a tussle)?

A: Greater than zero.



Quote:
Q: The point of this is, could we get some idea of how old the following are as well? Nissa, Koth, Tamiyo, Tibalt, Sarkhan, and Gideon?

A: Those details haven't been established yet.



Quote:
Q: If Jace planeswalks from a specific spot on Ravnica on the afternoon and lands in Alara in the morning, and then planeswalks back to Ravnica the next morning, will it be the next afternoon on Ravnica?

A: It's a trap! Seriously, though, yes, time could conceivably pass differently on different planes, and planeswalker could even encounter temporal anomalies on a plane or in between planes. But our continuity doesn't rely on an internally established canonical fact that time passes at different rates on different planes; sometimes a continuity error is just a continuity error.



Quote:
Q: How large are Magic's demons on average? The angels?

A: (1) Twelve feet tall or so. (2) Human-sized.



Quote:
Q: Any chance in hell we'll see Beebles again?

A: Never say never, but . . . unlikely.



Quote:
Q: How different does a potential new race have to be to merit introducing a new creature type to Magic? Like what made you make Flensermite a gremlin instead of an imp or an ouphe or some such?

A: We have to believe it has broader application either among other creatures or as a race that will be developed more in the future. Tribal exerts a lot of force to keep creatures within the established scheme.



Quote:
Q: Can you tell us how many new creature types RTR block introduces?

A: I can't.



Quote:
Q: You mentioned earlier that "there are no Multiverse-wide physics or metaphysics". Is there any particular reason for this, or why it hasn't been attempted? [W]hy has there been no attempt to explain the creation of the multiverse, or to assign it any godlike beings that could tinker with it?

A: The short answer is that any Multiversal metaphysics or interplanar intelligence hems us in, eliminates a bunch of creative possibilities, and inevitably makes the overarching story into one in which mortals are puppeteered by greater forces (yawn). The long answer is . . . really long and ideological, and is beyond the scope of the reasonably straightforward Q&A I encourage here.



Quote:
Q: Has Wizards ever made moves to make Magic into a pen-and-paper roleplaying setting/system?

A: The ethos and structure of a tabletop RPG is so different from that of Magic that although a couple of explorations have been done over the years, the conclusion has always been that a Magic tabletop RPG would either be too divergent from Magic or wouldn't work as an RPG. That's not to say that conclusion is correct, though. If a way were found to resolve the Magic ethos with the RPG structure, we'll explore the possibility anew.



Quote:
Q: How much time has passed since the Mending and the present? If you can't answer that [time since the Mending], then can you tell us how long it's been between the mending and some other major event? The Conflux, the Aurora, the release of the Eldrazi?

A: It's a trap! The Conflux happened almost immediately after the Mending (although I understand that continuity details exist that make this seem implausible).



Quote:
Q: If I am allowed to inquire as such, what is the base timeline you guys adhere to?

A: We have a rough sequence of events and a rough idea of how many years have passed between them. It's "rough" because we put the needs of story above the desire for an airtight, flawless chronology. I know that response is dissatisfying to some of you. If the creative team had more resources to micromanage relative dates and times within the various storylines, my response would likely differ. There are only four of us (plus an art director and concept illustrator); we do the best we can with 160 hours per week.



Quote:
Q: With Venser's dead body still on Mirrodin / New Phyrexia, is there any chance we could see a Phyrexianized version of Venser in the future, possibly as the next "Father of Machines" (since Karn clearly has abandoned that post)?

A: I'm not a fan of raising dead characters, especially those whose deaths were meant to be meaningful, heroic, or otherwise significant. That said, I've learned never to say never, and yes, Venser's remains are on New Phyrexia. Knowing Phyrexians, though, they, uh, unceremoniously disassembled those remains shortly after his death.



Quote:
Q: In clarification to my question, basically, we know Edgar created vampirism on Innistrad. So... how did the other families happen? Did Edgar share his secrets or did the various others work them out on their own? Or were they victims of the Markovs that decided to make their own lineage?

A: The origins of the other bloodlines *is* known, mostly (I wrote it myself), but the opportunity to detail that out never arose in Innistrad -- it was trumped by the importance of current events on the plane. It's possible that would be explored further if we revisit Innistrad.



Quote:
Q: [W]hat the hell is Archon of the Triumvirate riding?

A: Archon of the Triumvirate is riding a ... thingy. A winged creature native to Ravnica. (It hasn't been given a name or "ecology" yet.) IIRC Aleksi Briclot cooked it up as an early-in-the-process, nontraditional sphinx idea, and we repurposed it.



Quote:
Q: What ever happened to Rei Nakazawa?

A: AFAIK Rei is still working as a game writer, although I don't know who his current employer and/or clients are.



Quote:
Q: [D]o you have a personal opinion on whether or not Gaia is a real entity or just an invented entity?

A: I would never "word of God" the existence or nonexistence of Gaia; the published material stands on its own with regard to that issue.



Quote:
Q: What makes a legendary creature (or, hell, just a normal character in general) a good candidate to Ascend to 'Walkerhood in the storyline? What criteria would you look at?

A: Good question. I don't really think about it in those terms. Planebound legendary creatures need to embody the plane they come from in some way, or at least add a notable tile to its mosaic, so to speak. Planeswalker characters are iconoclasts and travelers, so their ethos and values need to give them a strong, defining set of starting traits and a reason to travel the Multiverse.



Quote:
Q: What sort of conventions do you do, Brady? Like, can we expect to see you at a fantasy art con, or sci fi/fantasy literary gatherings, or just the big gaming conventions?

A: I'm an antisocial introvert and I'm crowd-averse, despite being able to give a decent presentation. I'm most likely to be found at PAX Prime or PAX East, if recent years are an indicator, although I can imagine a future year in which SDCC or even DragonCon is on the docket.



Quote:
Q: [Is a Vedalken planeswalker out of the question?]

A: No.



Quote:
Q: Between Isperia and Niv-Mizzet, who's the most powerful ? Is there any relation between those two (like rivalry)?

A: None known.



Quote:
Q: I guess we'll probably have an answer with Gatecrash, but are the Simic still the same or is it a brand new version of the Combine ? Is it the same "biological" guild, or are they really more merfolk-y ?

A: You do have an answer now! Yay for my procrastination! I wrote the Simic stuff myself, so I'm eager to hear what you think. Also, I'll be writing a another thing about the Simic for the website; you'll see it in early January, I think. [Probably needs link to the article.]



Quote:
Q: The Conclave guild profile says: "Suniel the Woodwise, an elf woodshaper, was responsible for the restoration of Vitu-Ghazi after an assault by the mad Izzet magelord Zomaj Hauc." Was this supposed to be the damage from Rakdos or the damage that Savra inflicted? (or both?)

A: I didn't write that bit, but I believe it was meant to refer to Rakdos's. The writer might have mixed up Myc Zunich and Zomaj Hauc. All those Z's and U's and C's.



Quote:
Q: In the webcomics, we see the introduction of the mysterious character we all call the Raven Man. Can we expect to see him again, or has this portion of Liliana's storyline been dropped?

A: I can't reveal future story plans, but I can say we don't ever intend to just "drop" a storyline. It's all a matter of the limitations of how far out we can plan, combined with whether the needs of a given product can accommodate the story plans (if they can't -- if story seems shoehorned in -- we prefer to hold off and deploy that story later).



Quote:
Q: In "Test of Metal" we see Tezzeret being controlled by Nicol Bolas via Doctor Jest. In the webcomics, it seems as though Tezz is annoyed into subservience by imps. Has Dr. Jest been thrown out of the storyline? Which is true in current MTG canon?

A: I liked the Dr. Jest thing in Test of Metal, but he is difficult to communicate in card and visual media (what he is, how he works, etc.). So we backgrounded Dr. Jest for the purposes of getting Tezzeret to Mirrodin.



Quote:
Q: [i]s there a rough estimate to the size of districts on Ravnica?

A: No, they vary wildly in size.



Quote:
Q: As more card art for Return to Ravnica is revealed, I'm noticing a definite similarity in -- say, the new Azorius signet -- and older art depicting the Ravnican script, like Skyscribing. The question I wanted to ask is if there's a ledger similar to (although obviously not as large as) the Phyrexian language files, or are these coincidental works of the various artists? Perhaps the basic script design is in the style guide that you guys use?

A: We asked Wayne Reynolds to look at some of the older art when he was developing the Azorious runic script, but it's not codified, no.



Quote:
Q: Was one of the reasons Merfolk were not incorporated into Ravnica the first time around because they had fins instead of legs, and now that you've made that transition in them to have legs and be able to walk on land, they could be included in Ravnica's long list of creature types?

A: More or less yes re: merfolk. We didn't feel vedalken could serve the needs of all races with blue mana in their identities, and we wanted even more racial diversity for our "metropolis plane."



Quote:
Q: In the Ravnica block novels, the blood witch of Rakdos is referred to as Izolda, and the Azorius Sphinx as Hesperia. When they came out in card form, the "I" had moved to the sphinx and the other name had become Lyzolda. Why was this done? Was it an attempt to remove real-world references (to Tristan and Isolde and the Hesperides)? Or just a result of miscommunication between the card and novel departments?

A: It was a plain ol' error that came from the cards and books being developed concurrently, and we did our best to deal with the error by establishing that "blood witch" was a Rakdos role or title, not a person.



Quote:
Q: Back in March, in Doug Beyer's "Getting a Job at Wizards" article, he advises that we "start working there before we start working there." Aside from building worlds on our own and just posting them to forums, what is a good way to keep practicing and demonstrating the kind of creative chops you look for in your staff?

A: Running your own tabletop roleplaying game campaign is damn good practice. Reading mythology, folklore, fantasy, and science fiction, as well as seeing films and watching shows within those subjects/genres is good, too



Quote:
Q: What is a good public venue for someone interested in the Creative Team?

A: I don't know. Maybe there isn't one? Not sure.



Quote:
Q: Is there a process by which someone can apply to contribute flavor text and names?

A: Send us an email with your interest and a relevant writing sample. You can respond to any Creative Team column or feature, for example.



Quote:
Q: Is there a threshold for how many walker characters you or creative or R&D will allow?

A: There's a clear tension between keeping the roster small for storytelling and "iconic" reasons and expanding it for novelty and excitement reasons. At last count the number was over 25 (including characters you haven't seen yet). I do my best to strike a balance, and I favor fewer new characters than most.



Quote:
Q: How are those animated trailers made?

A: We create a treatment that works with the art assets we already have (card illustrations and a few other things). Then we roughly storyboard that treatment, script it, and work with an external vendor/partner to do the animatic/motion-comic stuff, as well as music, SFX, and voiceover.



Quote:
Q: Mark Rosewater recently suggested on his blog that Liliana is meant to be Middle Eastern. Can you attest to this?

A: Character likenesses shift from illustrator to illustrator; the only way to avoid that is to work in a studio model with very strict stylesheets, etc. We like our diversity of look-feel, though, and we don't want to mash everything into one look, which is what would be required to get a given character to look identical in each representation of them. So instead we have to be willing to allow the representations to vary a bit. Then one illustrator riffs off another's work, and that movement can form trend lines. Liliana has gotten ever so slightly darker skinned than where we started with her, but (a) that wasn't intentional, and (b) I would hardly characterize her as a Latina or Middle Eastern woman.



Quote:
Q: How do Gorgons come to be? Curses? Reclusive male Gorgons? Parthenogenesis?

A: We haven't established that, which as you probably know by now is my professional-sounding way of saying, "We haven't made that up yet."



Quote:
Q: How many people are there on Ravnica? Thousands? Tens of thousands? Hundreds of thousands? Millions? On that number, what proportion is guildless?

A: Very roughly estimating, I'd say millions, and over half guildless.



Quote:
Q: Is there a flavor explanation for creatures that can't be countered or creatures that come into play from being discarded?

A: I mean, sort of, but it's so abstruse that the answer is basically "no." It has to do with spells that interact with the AEther differently than normal spells do. That sort of metamagical explanation is too opaque to be represented on cards, though.



Quote:
Q: What’s the flavor behind Forecast, Hellbent, Radiance and Transmute?

A: They're all abstractions of their guilds' values. Forecast represents the rewards of Azorius planning and foresight. Hellbent represents Rakdos bloodlust even in the bitter end, when no resources remain. Radiance represents Boros unity and its ability to deploy spellcraft in a similar way to how it deploys troops. Transmute is symbolic of Dimir's resourcefulness -- their ability to turn one commodity into another.



Quote:
Q: Has there been anything from the Eye of Judgment game that has made it into Magic?

A: Not that I know of, no, but accidental parallel evolution is common in game design. Do you see any direct parallels?



Quote:
Q: Shamanism is cool. Brady, are we going to get shaman-centred flavour content somewhere? Like, not the adding of the word on a creature's timeline, but in terms of worldbuilding and -exploring? Say for the Gruul next set, or in a Muraganda block down the line?

A: I can't discuss the future, really.



Quote:
Q: If a player's Life Points is knocked to zero, what happens? Do they die. Get knocked out. Live and escape.

A: We try not to be too literal with the game functions. All the possibilities you listed are viable depending on the needs of storytelling. If you mean *your* games, well, assuming you've lost at least once and played again, I can safely conclude that you didn't die.



Quote:
Q: I know that Angels do not have reproductive organs, because they are made of magic. Avacyn Restored brought in cards that can change creatures into Angels. So the question is, are those newly transformed angels losing their ability to reproduce?

A: These sorts of posts are vaguely creepy to me, I must admit. Angels can't reproduce at all and have never been able to (except in cases of extraordinarily powerful magic, etc.).



Quote:
Q: Is there any chance you'll publish the "Style Guides"? Or are they something private?

A: We do! That's what the Planeswalker's Guides on the website are.



Quote:
Q: Has Sorin been to Dominara?

A: That hasn't been established one way or the other.



Quote:
Q: Does he [Sorin] know about Urza?

A: That hasn't been established one way or the other.



Quote:
Q: Is it possible on any of the planes to create an airship like Skyship Weatherlight or Predator, Flagship? Does artificial plane shifting technology still exist?

A: Airships are possible, sure, depending on the level of "magetech" on a given plane. Older technologies that enabled non-Planeswalkers to move across the planes were outmoded by the Mending; whether or not replacement technologies can be found hasn't been established yet.



Quote:
Q: In the Zendikar novel, Nissa Revane 's blood is poisoned so that it would kill Zendikar vampires that tried to drink her blood. So would it have any effect on Vampires on any other plane or if Sorin decided to drink hers?

A: There's no guarantee of that, since vampire physiology, transmission, etc. differ from plane to plane.



Quote:
Q: Why is there no equipment in Ravinica?

A: This is really a mechanical design question, not a flavor one. Ravnica's heart and soul is multicolored cards, and even though it might make sense to include tons of artifacts in a city world, the multicolored cards have stronger needs and squeeze out the artifacts to a large degree.



Quote:
Q: We've seen Leonin (Catfolk), Minotaurs, Werewolves and more...but is there a reason we haven't seen Gnolls (Hyenafolk) yet?

A: Gnolls are a 20th-century invention, and their "hyena-folk" identity is unique to D&D (if you see it elsewhere, it's very likely without permission). Their pre-D&D identity is obscure and pretty vague. And I don't want to include stuff in Magic that's unique to D&D. We like to keep the brand identities separate and distinct.



Quote:
Q: Also, there seems to be a lot of focus on the Izzet and the Golgari...will we see some focus eventually on the less well advertised guilds?

A: The Izzet do get a little more attention than the other guilds this time around, for reasons that will become increasingly clear. The other nine should be roughly on par (though not exactly), although you'll have to wait for Gatecrash to get that impression, I think.



Quote:
Q: [A]re Planeswalkers infertile?

A: No.



Quote:
Q: What sort of limitations does the needs of the standard metagame have on creative's writing?

A: Virtually none; we ignore formats (unless you count block, which of course corresponds to the basic "one year, one plane" model).



Quote:
Q: Do you deliberately start brainstorming for a block knowing that you'll have to have about 5 walkers distributed relatively evenly amongst the colors?

A: Sort of? It's more like we know we'll have to do 5 or 6, and we know fairly early which 2 - 3 will be directly involved in the main plot, then we have to fill in the other 3 - 4 later. We're working on that, trying to figure out how many PWs can be central to a plot before it feels too contrived/crowded.



Quote:
Q: How do you determine when the appropriate time is to bring back an old walker (or any character really) or to develop a new one instead?

A: It's determined mainly by the needs of the set and block, although considerations of novelty play a part. (Which would players like more: Chandra #4 or a new mono-red PW? What if the choice were Chandra #7 or a new mono-red PW?)



Quote:
Q: How many walkers are designed with a goal in mind (this character will ultimately do this) and how many are just for fun (wouldn't it be neat if we had a whateveromancy walker?)?

A: I don't know, maybe a ratio of 1 : 3? Having a recognizable "bag of tricks" or "signature style" is more important for cards, and cards, in turn, are more important than narrative potential for the time being. I also feel that compelling stories can be crafted for almost any character, regardless of what motivated their creation.



Quote:
Q: How aware is creative of the ongoing plan for Magic? Are you aware of all 7 steps in MaRos current 7-year plan?

A: I was at least as responsible for the 7-year plan as Mark was, if I do say so myself.



Quote:
Q: Will there ever come a time when Chandra wears her goggles on a Magic card?

A: Yes.



Quote:
Q: Is it possible for me to convince you to make mass produced Chandra goggles that people can buy? I for one would be all over that like.

A: You'd need to convince a licensed partner of Wizards of the Coast that they could make a profit. Those sorts of products aren't exactly our specialty.



Quote:
Q: What's the etymology of your last name?

A: "Dommermuth" is Anglicized German for "dumb-head" (domme mut). It basically means "simpleton."



Quote:
Q: Is it more challenging to design mono-colored or multi-colored characters?

A: Multicolored characters are much easier. Affiliation with only a single color is challenging for depth and realism. As I've said elsewhere, all real human beings are five-color, so the more colors you subtract, the more difficult it is to create a "three-dimensional" character, in my opinion.



Quote:
Q: Flavorwise, if a Planeswalker has to resort to things like Lich, Nefarious Lich, Phyrexian Unlife, and Transcendence to become more than mortal. Then are they able to return to normal? If so, anyway how it happens?

A: Except in very extraordinary circumstances, the spark is lost when life is lost, and that counts undeath.



Quote:
Q: I like cyclops. Why aren't there more cyclops in Magic?

A: There's a lot of competition for "midrange nonflying red creature," including ogres, giants, and all the nonhumanoid monsters that occupy that slot.



Quote:
Q: [W]hat are the other words in the Bloodrock Cyclops language?

A: We haven't developed the Bloodrock cyclops language.



Quote:
Q: Is Borborygmos the last cyclops on Ravnica?

A: No, but he's by far the most notable.



Quote:
Q: Do Ravnican cyclops get larger as they get older?

A: We haven't established that. It seems plausible, although I think Borborygmos owes some of his size to magic, not age.



Quote:
Q: If Magic had never reintroduced demons, what would black's iconic creature type be?

A: Probably vampires. If demons weren't an option for "big flying iconic," they would never have competed with vampires for that slot, and vampires in turn would not have been adapted for a lower, more human-proximal power/toughness range.



Quote:
Q: How do you deal with the challenges of creating compelling narratives for a product like Magic?

A: That's a feature-article-length answer, and the response is probably too proprietary and valuable for me to give out for free anyway. Suffice it to say that it's exceedingly difficult, as you can see from almost any other property that has been around for more than a few years, and that I've thought about it A LOT.



Quote:
Q: [W]hat is the flavor explanation for Jotun Grunt 's rules? Is he bringing more allies into the fray to keep
him motivated?

A: Here's a secret: Larger, white-aligned nonflyers are some of the most difficult creatures to concept. In this case I suspect the concepter decided to more or less ignore the flavor of the cumulative upkeep cost (costs are often ignored for purposes of the concept) and to just shoot for "white 4/4" and call it good.



Quote:
Q: What is a Keyrune?

A: Mainly it's a word that not "signet." Beyond that, it's supposed to very vaguely suggest some relation to the guildgates, although we haven't fully revealed why the guildgates would need such attention.



Quote:
Q: Why doesn't Archon of the TRIumvirate detain three things at a time?

A: Because if it did everyone would be mad at how much mana it would require to cast.



Quote:
Q: Is the reason why Kiora doesn't use a trident because it’s incredibly cliche?

A: It never even occurred to me to give her a trident, honestly.



Quote:
Q: Not related to RtR or Gatecrash, but will we get to see any info about Ugin anytime soon? Or will he end up being an elusive lore-only figure?

A: I can't discuss the future.



Quote:
Q: One cool thing about the guildpact I've noticed is, the Gruul and the Dimir are on exact opposite sides of the color pie but they both want the same thing. Any other odd mirrors like that you've noticed?

A: Sure. For example, the Izzet and the Golgari both basically want to be left alone to do their work. The Selesnya and Dimir both close ranks around their own when necessary. The Azorius and the Gruul both want to dictate how others live, in a way. Those sorts of loose parallels abound.



Quote:
Q: How did Signal Pest end up getting the Pest creature type?

A: There's a story here and I can't remember it. I think maybe Development was concerned about its power level if it had a "buffable" type and requested that it have a unique or nearly unique one. I don't remember for sure, though; my memory is fairly terrible.



Quote:
Q: We haven't seen dwarves in a while. What is the flavour department's opinion about dwarves? Will we see them again (especially if the Hobbit movies become popular)?

A: The creative team is mixed on dwarves, but I make most of the high-level calls, and I really dislike them. Either they're randomly Scottish, bearded, and drunk, or their biggest fans won't even accept them as "real" dwarves (which is why Shadowmoor's duergar didn't satisfy the dwarf-lovers). In my opinion they're one of the most stock and uninteresting aspects of the sword-and-sorcery genre. I also don't want Magic to feature every last thing in Tolkien just for the sake of doing so; it bugs me when fantasy properties just steal from each other, as though the genre is just an undifferentiated pile of tropes and cliches. Magic certainly traffics in many tropes, but I want a few touches of uniqueness and distinction. For the time being one of those is that we don't do dwarves. It's also true that the five colors make things difficult for dwarves, who are deeply red in habitat and temperament, but deeply white in social order, importance of lineage, etc. But that's a solveable problem. What's not solveable is that I kind of hate them. I mean, I like them in Tolkien, which is where they should stay, in my opinion -- drinking, singing, stroking their beards, invoking their lineages, and doing all that other stuff that Magic doesn't do. All that said, if and when the golden dwarvish opportunity presents itself, I'll try not to stand in the way.



Quote:
Q: We haven't seen orcs in a while. What is the flavour department's opinion about orcs? Will we see them again?

A: Some of the same issues with dwarves hold for orcs. Orcs are Tolkien's creation, and Middle Earth is so complete and epic and defining that I don't want Magic (or any other fantasy game) to pillage it for every last detail. I want Magic to have some points of distinction, and that means including things not in Tolkien as well as excluding things that are. I don't mind orcs flavor-wise in the same way I object to dwarves, though, and I feel there's a place for a malevolent, warlike race that at least hits some of the same notes as orcs. The Keldons are an example. They could probably be black-aligned, although "warlike" is traditionally red in Magic.



Quote:
Q: Mark rosewater said that all angels in magic are (humanlike) females. Is this correct and if so why and if not, why are all angels printed on cards humanlike females with wings? Or could we see male or non humalike angel in the future? Also if all angels are humanlike female what would that mean if someone enchanted a crawwurm or a male rhox with an enchantment like Angelic destiny?

A: Angelic Destiny instills a creature with "angelness" but doesn't make it a true angel, in my view. It's a vagary of rules text, not a cosmological precedent. As for the other issues with angels, I've answered that question previously. I'll add this time, though, that Magic angels being female (except for Malach of the Dawn and maybe Melesse Spirit) gives a very clear and simple way of communicating that Magic angels are fantasy creatures distinct from the Judeo-Christian conception of angels, who are all male. I don't think this was intentional from the outset, but it's a side benefit and it's one reason we've maintained the pattern.



Quote:
Q: How was the humanless plane of Lorwyn/Shadowmore received (I am specifically talking about the lack of humans)? Well enough to possibly create other humanless planes in the future?

A: The "humanlessness" of Lorwyn and Shadowmoor wasn't popular, per se, but it's very difficult to determine why Lorwyn and Shadowmoor didn't resonate with players as strongly as other planes have. There are many factors. I believe the more distance from the human face and form, the more difficult it is for players to find the figures in a setting resonant and identifiable. Is it possible to tell a compelling story about sentient, sapient viruses and fungi, for example? Of course. But it's difficult, and even more difficult to do so visually.



Quote:
Q: How was the goblin and elf-less plane of Innistrad received (talking about the lack of goblins and elves)? Well enough to possibly create other planes without goblins or elves in the future?


A: Innistrad did just fine. :) That said, I believe that's because of the discomfort between those staple fantasy races and Innistrad's gothic-horror inspiration, and I also believe we deprive players of the "staple" Magic races for too long at our peril. Their familiarity is important to many, and Tribal is a powerful force toward the status quo when it comes to creature types; there are players who have been evolving and adapting their Elf decks for years, and to provide them with no new cards for those decks for a prolonged period carries a risk -- maybe not a huge one, but a risk nonetheless.


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Unanswered Questions:

Quote:
I know that the tattoo engraved to Lili's whole body is a reminder of her pact with demons. Well, what are Garruk's and Jace's for? Tribal tattoo or just for style? Some sort of magical reason?



Quote:
This might sound like a design question, but I intended it to be a flavor question;

Does R&D ever give a card a very color-heavy mana cost not to balance it, but to drive the point across that it is so very archetypal of that color?



Quote:
Where the Kor brought back in Zendikar as a test run to see if they could become white's token race?



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Kothophed quite clearly had some knowledge of other planes, and while Lili kept her secrets, is the existence of other planes a revelation for her debtors?



Quote:
How would someone go about get hired by Creative?



Quote:
What is the current status of the plane Equilor is?



Quote:
In the case of gryffs, there was a whole creative article that detailed their return as well as at least two pieces of gryff art that made it onto cards that were not gryffs . The only griffin in the set, Misthollow Griffin , could have been a gryff with just the name change to Misthollow Gryff and some gryff art, but it was not. How did this opportunity get away from you guys? As a secondary question, are gryffs exclusive to Innistrad because they are linked to the moon and Avacyn, or might we see more of these griffin variants on other planes in the future?



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Also, was Koth's recursive acronym name deliberate or a happy accident?



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Are there any multi-planar civilizations around since Phyrexia and Elderdragonland? If so, any chance of visiting them?



Quote:
Will there ever be a Legendary Wurm or Legendary Leviathan?



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Is the "morality transcends colours" still in place, or have you given in to traditional fantasy demands?



Quote:
How much in world info did Matt Stover have access to and how much did he make up for Test of Metal?

I primarily cite the notable sphinxes all being inter-related (Sharuum loves Crucius, Kemuel is their time travelling son), Tezzeret being "Carmot" rather than carmot being a stone (and whatever that was supposed to mean anyways) and finally... well, just clockworking. I know it appeared in the Walker's Guide to Alara, but it was never described like Stover used it.



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Where Bruna, Gisela and Sigarda already on Innistrad or where they also Sorin made?



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From what inspiration did your creative team come up with the names of the [Phyrexian] Praetors?



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And I like weird crossover creature types like that and snake elf druids. Actually as an extension to that, How popular are those quirky crossover creature types?



Quote:
I guess I could also ask when there was last a lion [Spirit of the Hearth] in a temperate climate, but whatever.



Quote:
The promotional material for Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013 features a lot of new faces on the character selection screens and the like. I assume most of these are walkers, though I would understand if you choose to neither confirm or deny. I suspect that several of these characters were made so that you would have a variety of flavors of deck to build upon and you wouldn't have to rely on using non-walker characters like Niv and Rhys as the one at the helm, is this so?



Quote:
How does cross-breeding an orc and a goblin result in a creature that's ten feet tall [Orgg]?



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As far as I can tell not having a soul doesn't seem to affect her,and one more question,what does a soul actually do for you(I mean what's the difference between having a soul vs not having a soul) in the realm of MTG?



Quote:
Also, why did Sorin choose an angel to be the plane's protector, and not an archon or any number of things?



Quote:
How popular were the various weird races of Shadowmoor? Noggles, Hags, Gwyllions, Puca, etc?



Quote:
So Radha, does she still have her spark or not?



Quote:
Either I summon the memory of a Knight Captain I once met in Eos, or an actual Knight Captain. Either way, they are there. First question, Those two soldiers: Did the Knight Captain drag them with him, or did he produce them using his own magic? Then the sacrificing of one of the soldiers, do I sacrifice him for a protection spell or does the Knight-Captain?



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Also, what is with Liliana's new found obsession with swamps?



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Why did Liliana find it necessary to kill Griselbrand?



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Are there ever any cards that were not legendary in design, but later made legendary somewhere in the process before printing? Possibly for power level reasons?



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Any chance of seeing snake-people again as a more established green race outside of the Asianic-themed plane?



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Can I formally request that centaurs should become white's default characteristic race?



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Why is Jareth a giant, like creature type wise?



Quote:
What can people do, if not complaining, to increase the likelihood that Gisa and Geralf cards are made in a side product or future set?



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I do not know if there have been "receipts" for it available but can we have official confirmation from The Brown Line what the Planeswalker Cards are so we can confirm things here and there: Are they actual Neowalker appearances or are they just "contracts"?



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Are the Ota from the Lumithread Field meant to be New Phyrexia spoilers? They sure look a lot like Elesh's buddies and "Bastion of the Suns" seems something Mirrodin would have.



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[In response to Urza being the runner-up in the most-evil contest] Really? Urza? If it's not too off the main topic may I ask why?



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The Boros blurb on the TCG tab says that Aurelia has become the Boros's leader because Feather was "disgraced". As one of those who has wanted a card for Feather for the past 8 years, I would really like to know what the nature of this "disgrace" was.



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If the Guildpact was created to keep the guilds in check, now that it is gone, what is stopping the guild from destroying each other?



Quote:
Is Vraska an old walker?



Quote:
Where does Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre's name come from (the Infinite Gyre part, that is)? Kozilek and Emrakul's appellations seem fairly straightforward, but Ulamog's always seemed more abstract.



Quote:
So, what's the story behind the card [Experiment Kraj]'s name?



Quote:
Brady, at the end of Dissension, Jarad's son, Myc, was planning on walking the line between being Golgari and Selesnyan. Do you plan to have Doug revisit Myc in the Return to Ravnica e-book? If not, could you tell us if he lived out a happy life...or met an untimely end...?



Quote:
Since the Dimir are pretty adept mind-mages does Jace have any dealings with them?



Quote:
Is the Gruul Clans guild symbol its original symbol or is it the symbol for the burning tree clan like how Borborygmos is the guildleader?



Quote:
Philosophically, what is the difference between the Gruul and the Cult of Yore?



Quote:
Which deity(s) does the orzhov syndicate ''officially'' worship



Quote:
If Tibalt is red for following his desires, why is Sorin then black for doing the exact same thing and vise versa?



Quote:
With Jarad being creature-typed as "Zombie Elf" I was wondering why exactly? Doesn't Zombie (or Vampire) override whatever you used to be?



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Also, who joins the Rakdos? Is the general citizenry of Ravnica so horrible something like that can be maintained or am I missing something?



Quote:
Also, how does one join the guilds?



Quote:
Orms-by-Gore; person, place, or thing?



Quote:
What is happening with the novels? I don't believe that there was any Innistrad novel. Quest for Karn felt... lazy, and Test of Metal touched on time travel which is never, EVER a good idea, and the Liliana novel got pulled a few years ago already.



Quote:
My friend insists that all the flavor text on every card comes from the novels, despite me not being able to find any proof to confirm or deny this. Is it true?



Quote:
Is Wizards still publishing Magic novels? There seems to be no information available on their publishing. If so, what is coming down the pipeline?



Quote:
Have you ever considered switching dwarves into white?



Quote:
Have you ever considered switching orks into black?



Quote:
Are there any creature types we probably won't see anymore in the future, like for example cephelids (or dwarves and orcs)?



Quote:
Is it from a flavour perspective possible to create a Shards of Alara like plane with wedge colours (like red-white-blue)?



Quote:
Is it from a flavour perspective possible to create a Shards of Alara like plane with four colours (like red-green-white-blue)?



Quote:
How is Tamiyo doing popularity-wise? Did we do enough to promote her?



Quote:
How is The Secretist doing sales-wise? Should Thoctar and I spam Magic's Facebook page a few more times? :P



Quote:
Do you make any efforts/actively concern yourself with the level of diversity among Planeswalkers?



Quote:
Related, how often do you plan to use 'non-human' planeswalkers?



Quote:
Why were there no visual cues as to whether or not a creature had infect in Scars block?



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Why did the Boros angels drop the hindwings? It seems a mistake and step backwards to homogenize them when you're taking such pains to make other races visually distinct to the point of redesigning them when we return to them (mostly goblins.)



Quote:
Is Aurelia a creation of Feather's or one of the original Firemane angels?



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Brady, is Carnage Wurm a denizen of Innistrad? The plane has a variety of wurm species, but it doesn't look like any of them. However the setting in its artwork is very reminiscent of Innistrad. Thoughts?



Quote:
This is probably as much of a design question as a flavor one, but I've noticed that not a single walker to date has used a block-specific mechanic. Why is that?



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Why are some wurms buggy looking and others reptilian? Shouldn't that be a split between "wurms" and "worms"?



Quote:
Who did the voice acting for Lazav in the promo video?



Quote:
I would like to know how M:TG cards are made, from scratch to finished product.



Quote:
The art depicting Momir Vig at the top of this article depicts him with his hand pulling some cytoplastic goo up from the surface of the pool he's looking at, but the actual card image just has him passively gazing into the pool. Was the article's image an edit by the website folks, or are there actually two versions of the art floating around? If so, why?



Quote:
How did creative come up with and settle on the weird creature combos for the Krasis?



Quote:
How do you pronounce Domri Rade?



Quote:
Why is Garruk so freaking huge? Is that par the course for green humans in Magic, or is it unique to his plane or bloodline, or is it just a unique mutation (in the literal sense, not the super power sense)?



Quote:
Who determines what the promos will be for the comic and how?



Quote:
If/When Dack's story resolves, will there be a new comic with new characters? Also, will Dack be 'allowed' to integrated into the main canon?



Quote:
What did Sorin do when he returned to Innistrad? He is said to be searching out Avacyn in Ascension, but is notably absent from the Restored storyline.



Quote:
Was Sarkhan Vol concepted as a [Green/Red] character? because his initial card feels considerably more red than green?



Quote:
What triggered Venser suddenly being white in Scars?



Quote:
How did Iname become Iname as One?



Quote:
Which guild was the most difficult to overhaul? The least?



Quote:
Which guild do you think was the most in need of an overhaul? The least?



Quote:
When can we expect some info on Domri?



Quote:
Could such an entity be a Planeswalker? Would that count as a being with one soul and multiple consciousnesses or something else?



Quote:
Was Axebane Guardian originally concepted as a Plant? And then the art ended up with the human so central you changed the types?



Quote:
Why do Court Street Denizen and Foundry Street Denizen both use the word 'Street'? Why not have each Denizen use a different synonym?



Quote:
So, during Fifth Dawn, a bunch of artists were commissioned to paint random things that fit in the world, and then WotC created cards based on those images. Someone mentioned around that time that not all the images were used, but they weren't going to spoil them in case they got used later. Were they ever used?



Quote:
What are the conceptual differences between Shades, Spirits, Specters and Wraiths?



Quote:
There's a lot of things competing for the 'mid-sized red humanoid' slot; ogres, giants, cyclops and minotaur. Probably some other things I'm not thinking of. Do you have any tricks you try to do to differentiate them?



Quote:
We know Gideon has, to some degree, been following Chandra, and of ALL the walkers in our current stable, they are the two who have feelings most conflicted and drawn to each other. So the question is, because as I see it, it should be inevitable, if when they finally meet again in some distant block, do you have any reservations about making those feelings more pronounced in the products (like the fat pack booklet or etc)? I know it's rather hard to play up that aspect on the cards, but I'd honestly like to see something about it featured.



Quote:
How do you gauge the opinions off flavor between hard-core vorthoses (like us), and more casual fans who might be aware of the story but don't know its intricacies?



Quote:
The figure for planeswalkers is given at 1:1 million have a spark, 1:1 million ascend.... so would you like to amend those odds for why we have 3 Ravnican natives? Not that I have a problem with the characters, but it seems like some math should be double checked.



Quote:
What's up with Skygame's flavor text? Of all guilds, I would think the 'stiff necks' of Azorius are least concerned with athleticism. Why not Boros and Rakdos scouts?



Quote:
So I guess my question is, will we see a sequel article on the 2012 planes like we did for the 2009 [Planechase] set?



Quote:
The fat pack's description made Domri Rade sound a helluva lot like Garruk, in both disposition and magical specialty. What's up with that?



Quote:
[W]hat's the deal with Ludevic?



Quote:
I really like Tibalt, and I am curious as to why he was included in the set?



Quote:
About four years ago the topic of the Open Call came up, and at the time you said something to the effect that you weren't sure you could really talk about why that experiment fell apart. Can you talk more about it now? Why didn't the Open Call pan out?



Quote:
So what about the Primordials, do they have any significance beyond being splashy commander rares?



Quote:
Are there any particular races and/or creature types creative has solidly decided to keep from use outside their "home plane," as it were (e.g. the nephilim)?



Quote:
Are vedalken four-armed uniquely to Mirrodin? Or is it a nebulous concept left open for future worlds?



Quote:
Flamekin have been used in more than one world, but are Cinders tied to the Aurora only and not to be found elsewhere?



Quote:
Are rat-folk (Nezumi from Kamigawa) an uncommon race, or have you just not had a suitable place for them yet? Moonfolk are likely unique to Kamigawa, so I can understand them, but rat-folk just seem to have so much potential.



Quote:
Are the names of the "five colors" of magic a translation convention for players, or do all civilizations throughout the multiverse use the same terminology for the underlying forces of magic? Even assuming that they speak different languages on Innistrad and Kamigawa would they both use their word for the color red to refer to what players consider "red mana"?



Quote:
Considering MTG's long term playability and deep player base i have to ask why there aren't more 'video games' based on the series?



Quote:
Any chance we could get wallpapers of those [the loading screens of Duels of the Planeswalkers] on the mothership?



Quote:
Who decided what sort of events should appear on those screengrabs [the loading screens of Duels of the Planeswalkers]?



Quote:
Wouldn't that make them hippogryffs instead? Was this an artist error, or was the distinction not deemed important enough?



Quote:
Was Tezzeret as a character designed knowing that he would be used in some capacity for New Phyrexia?



Quote:
Is there any chance for Baltrice to make an appearance in the game part of Magic's story?



Quote:
Emmara has been a noteworthy character in every book she's appeared in, but as far as the actual cards go, she may as well not exist. How do major characters slip through the cracks like that?



Quote:
Is there a sweet spot creative uses for how long is too long or too short in between appearances for a major character?



Quote:
What was the deal with Clockworking?



Quote:
How do you come to decisions about naming things, like whether or not to use words that have some basis in real world languages or to make up something that sounds foreign and fantastic?



Quote:
Are there any rules that planes must follow? Basic physics, access to mana, connection to other planes, etc.



Quote:
How do you decide what is a Barbarian or a Berserker? Does Raging goblin live a civilized life? Is hell-bent raider not berserk in a fight?



Quote:
What's up with Maelstrom Wanderer



Quote:
What is the proper pronunciation for Zarek?



Quote:
What sort of decks do the creative team play?



Quote:
Hey Brady, what's the deal with Yeva?



Quote:
How are the districts on Ravnica numbered and laid out?



Quote:
Can an Eye be a planeswalker? If not why?



Quote:
Were Ravnica's districts laid out in an organized manner?



Quote:
Has the number or boundaries of the [Ravnican] districts changed since their inception?



Quote:
The Azorius and Boros seem to be stepping on each other's toes. What's up with that?



Quote:
Tibalt seems like he would have been a perfect fit for the Rakdos, and I don't believe for a second that no one in R&D didn't notice. Any particular reason why that didn't happen?



Quote:
I believe I read in an article on DailyMTG once that, in-universe, the personal connection a mage has to a location is more important than the location itself when determining what color of mana it "produces." If this is the case, how do spells like Sea's Claim work from a flavor perspective?



Quote:
In the story "The Greater Good" (Realms Uncharted, February 6, 2013), Aurelia realizes that Gideon has an accent. Does that imply the existence of a "common language" in the multiverse, with small variations in the pronunciation of words? Or Gideon learned to speak "Ravnican" in common ways or magic?



Quote:
It seems like there was a missed opportunity in Innistrad block not to have a card called "Curse of the Chain Veil", did no one make that connection?



Quote:
Is Jaya Ballard still alive?



Quote:
Has creative considered returning to either Rabiah or Ulgrotha, the two planes to get only a single set instead of an entire block?



Quote:
Who was more powerful, Urza or Taysir?



Quote:
Is Mongseng the errata'd plane that Three Kingdoms takes place in?



Quote:
How strongly do mechanically narrow planeswalker characters (Tezzeret, Nissa) influence design? Are they only allowed to show up in settings that favor their mechanical identity or would R&D be willing/able to warp the environment by printing a few pushed tools for them to work with?



Quote:
What's up with Chandra looking like a supermodel in her more recent artworks? It feels out of character who spends so much of her time not caring about her appearance to not be covered in soot with freshly applied makeup.



Quote:
If someone--either someone at Wizards or a freelance (presumably fan) author--were to fund a Magic novel through Kickstarter, how much would they need to make for the project to be viable from the perspective of the company? I'm assuming e-book publication along the lines of The Secretist rather than print publication, but feel free to share the figures for print as well.



Quote:
What plane are the new "locations" introduced in recent Core Sets on?



Quote:
On a related note, can you provide some details about the world of Shandalar? What races and species inhabit it? What are some of it's geographical locations (cities, towns, kingdoms, mountains, rivers, etc.) that we may or may not know about?



Quote:
Did the Lorwyn planeswalkers ever go to Lorwyn?



Quote:
How did creative find the balance between new and returning characters for the maze runners?



Quote:
Am I to assume that Doug knew of who all ten would be when he was writing The Secretist?



Quote:
In the Planeswalker Guide, Ruric Thar is described as being the only person to survive a fight with Borborygmos. In all artistic renditions of Borborygmos, he is depicted as being enormous. Like 30 feet tall or something. In The Secretist, Ruric Thar is described as being a fair bit shorter than that, short enough for Jace to best. Is this a discrepancy as a result of translating things from one medium to another, or is Ruric Thar just really dang strong?



Quote:
What are Tamiyo's motivations? Moons or planes' mysteries?



Quote:
Did Simic (the Parun) know about merfolks?



Quote:
Maro said in his Monday article that you advocated for a fourth set of Ravnica in lieu of Coldsnap (I believe it has also been mentioned here). If you had gotten your way, how would this have affected the original Ravnican trilogy? The novels focused on the guilds in their respective set. Would the fourth novel had focused on all ten guilds? Would there even be a novel? Did you have a story in mind when you pitched the idea?



Quote:
What guided the decision to use established characters as opposed to new ones?



Quote:
What is up with Teysa's stats?



Quote:
How are Tibor and Lumia doing? Any children?



Quote:
Would you consider this "true"[Emrakul being female], or are the Eldrazi gender-less ? EDIT for clarification : should we refer to them as "He", "She", or "It". And are the physical differences between Emrakul in one hand, and Ulamog/Kozilek in the other relevant ?



Quote:
You guys haven't used alternate art in the same block for a while (that I can remember, at least--and obviously this is excluding promos). How did you decide to print the Gates with alternate art? Under what sort of conditions might we see alternate art in the future?



Quote:
How much input, if any, did the Creative team have into the design of the guild champions? Some of them seem fine, whilst others are shockingly off-base from a flavour perspective (Teysa being a 4/4 despite physically being a cripple, Emmara having no healing abilities and stats strong enough to physically rip a Craw Wurm in half and live to tell the tale, Tajic being able to survive Wrath effects...). What do you make of this? Just a bad case of bottom-up design?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 7:22 pm 
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Questions Answered by the Community

Quote:
Q: I was wondering how the planeswakers compare to each other power wise.
E.g., if on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being your average mage and 10 being bloas, where do each of the other planewakers come in.?

A: That's not exactly a fair question. The problem is that the walkers aren't all on the same scale to start with. Bolas is obviously the most powerful, but what constitutes power? Liliana can control a lot of undead at one point, but does that make her more powerful than Ajani? Sarkhan can turn into a dragon, but he's vulnerable to mind magic, does that make Jace more powerful?

Basically, the very specialties that make the walkers unique make it hard to compare them as if they all existed on a linear scale. At best, you'd have to graph the walkers on 2 axes, and even then, they aren't exactly easily placed.

Now, it's not like I'm saying there aren't walkers who are clearly more powerful than others... but Ajani beat Bolas. It doesn't make him better.



Quote:
Q: Will there be a lady Demon creature in the future?

A: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1iUrzcu9FA

At the 41:00 mark, there's a question on whether there are male angels and female demons. Brady said it's a combination of tradition and specifically avoiding demonizing sexuality RE: female demons.



Quote:
Q: To what extent are non-planeswalkers aware of other planes? Tamiyo at least is willing to share her knowledge. I get that your average citizen of any given society is going to be completely unaware, but how often are planeswalkers willing to reveal their abilities and knowledge gained thereof? How often are people and societies made aware of other planes through other means, e.g. through scientific experimentation?

A: The existence of planeswalkers is a closely guarded secret on Ravnica. The highest members of the guilds were the only ones aware, and most of them only from the Paruns who still lived and knew of planeswalkers visiting. Parhelion was built to try and find why the walkers stopped coming using technology they had brought with them.

Your average Ravnican is completely oblivious to the existence of other worlds.

Dominaria is..... a strange case, let's leave it at that. At least the average citizen seems to be more aware of the POSSIBILITY of other worlds, but they don't understand what that generally means.

Lorwyn beings, barring the fay, are completely blind to other worlds.

Zendikari are very aware of planeswalkers. They see them come through often enough.

Ulgrothans are very aware of planeswalkers and other worlds.

Kamigawans aren't generally that savvy to what goes on beyond their own corner of the plane, much less what goes on outside of it. Tamiyo was surprised when she ascended, though the Soratami now likely have a good idea of what's going on.

I don't see how the Alarans couldn't know of other worlds by now.

...Bugger the Mirrans, they don't deserve a response.



Quote:
Q: Could Venser's Ambulator technology allow anything/anyone to planeswalk or was it a fancy placebo to subconsciously get Venser to use his spark?

A: A little of column A a little of column B. Jhoira took it after Venser no longer needed it.

That being said, it had no way of navigating the Blind Eternities, despite being able to enter them, so you couldn't really planeswalk with it. Merely teleport yourself on the same plane. Jhoira is a lot better artificer than Venser though, so she might have been able to work things out that he couldn't.



Quote:
Q: And how many years approximately was she gone?

A: Avacyn went missing about a year before the start of Innistrad.



Quote:
Q: So each Innistrad race that races different by their colors, white spirit were protective spirits, blue where ghost, black zombie where classic zombies and the blue zombies where frankenstien like. So what were the other difference between the rest of the races? vampires (black, red) Werewolves (green, red) Humans (green, white)?

A: Red vampires were new vamps, beings who couldn't control their impulses like Bloodcrazed Neonate

Black vampires represent the older vamps who have mastered themselves and their surroundings.

Red werewolves were wantons, those who relished the animal inside.

Green were usually repentants, who didn't want the curse and suffered for it.

Green Humans were mostly rural.

White humans were mostly urban.

Blue spirits were malicious.

White spirits were benevolent.



Quote:
Q: Avacyn was mortally wounded before she went into the Helvault, but when she came out she was perfectly healthy. How did that happen?

A: You ever skinned your knee, then the next day, it’s scabbed over? Same concept with Avacyn. She took a year long nap. She had a year to heal.

Not only that, but it's possible that she returned to a mana state to be stored in the Helvault. The only things that got tossed into it that we know of were mana based beings, so it seems likely that there wasn't a physical space attached to the Helvault, just the silver to act as an anchor for all that stored mana. She comes back, and she comes back in full form instead of damaged mana.



Quote:
Q: Is there active effort to find a White characteristic race (like Green's elves, Red's goblins, etc.) or is it canonically human?

A: Technically, the most occurring 'tribal' type in white is soldiers, but that's a class not a race. Most of those soldiers are humans, so that makes humans the official white characteristic race.

R&D is well aware that this is incredibly awkward, since humans can and do show up in all five colors, but the white white works with emphasizing the community, that's how it is.

They are always on the lookout for different races. Leonin on Mirrodin, Kithkin on Lorwyn, and Kor on Zendikar well all experiments to find a better fit for a characteristic white race.



Quote:
Q: What is the current state of Ulgrotha?

A: Ulgrotha is firmly under the Baron's thumb. We saw that in Future Sight as well as a number of cards about the Dark Barony.



Quote:
Q: What is the state of Old Phyrexia?

A: Old Phyrexia fell into the Blind Eternities without anything holding it together from the 9th sphere. It was in an article some time ago before New Phyrexia started up.



Quote:
Q: What ever happened to Gerrard after he became a part of Karn?

A: Gerrard is part of Karn's gestalt consciousness, same as Urza and everyone else that died in the Legacy Blast. Karn is just the dominant personality.



Quote:
Q: Why isn't Karn an artifact?

A: Karn isn't an artifact for the same reason Tezzeret isn't an artifact. What I want to know is why isn't his frame an artifact/colorless frame instead of the Eldrazi clear frame.



Quote:
Q: [D]id the fanbase ever affected the decisions of the Creative flavor-wise?

A: Pressure from players caused them to bring back Merfolk, the popularity of Sorin and Elsepth caused them to gain a more prominent role in later stories. The popularity of Ravnica probably caused Wotc to return to the plane. And likewise the unpopularity of Homelands made Wotc unlikely to go back to Ulgrotha.



Quote:
Q: How does cross-breeding an orc and a goblin result in a creature that's ten feet tall [Orgg]?

A: That's a cross of Orc and Ogre. Goblins and Orcs made them, but weren't part of them.



Quote:
Q: Here is my question(It's probably a stupid one since I haven't seen anyone else discussing it before) why does Liliana want her soul back? As far as I can tell not having a soul doesn't seem to affect her,and one more question,what does a soul actually do for you(I mean what's the difference between having a soul vs not having a soul) in the realm of MTG?

A: She hasn't lost her soul yet. She's just sold it off to a few people and wants to kill them off before they get a chance to collect on their contract. If she were to die, then she'd have to deal with having her soul split up by her debtors. I doubt she would like that; thus, the demon hunting.



Quote:
Q: Did Sorin create Sigarda, Gisela, and Bruna in addition to Avacyn? If not, and if the creation of her lieutenants was up to Avacyn, how did she go about creating them?

A: Angels existed before Avacyn. In fact one of the key ingredients of creating Vampires was angel blood. So there's a third option, that the angels already existed, or were created by others.



Quote:
Q: Also, why did Sorin choose an angel to be the plane's protector, and not an archon or any number of things?

A: That one has already been covered. He created her based on a number of existing legends and beliefs regarding the moon and the afterlife. He set up her doctrine to use that.



Quote:
Q: In the universe, can anyone that dies be brought back to life in perfect condition?

A: Absolutely not.

The only example I can think of where someone came back from the dead not super effed up was Elspeth's page (whose name escapes me), and I suspect that was because his body was still fresh when Elspeth brought him back.

Almost everyone else comes back wrong somehow; their soul not intact, severe changes to their personality for the worse, super rotted, etc.



Quote:
Q: Does a planeswalker know another planeswalker on sight or can two planewalkers spend time with eachother without realising what the other is?

A: Planeswalkers cannot tell another walker automatically anymore. There are several examples of this.



Quote:
Q: Will we ever be given a concrete or semi concrete timeline? Or will we be left we a vague inconsistent timeline that doesn't really match up?

A: Brady has already said he's not going to give us a solid timeline. If they have to handwave something, they don't want to draw focus to it by the fact that they already made a definitive statement to the timeline.



Quote:
Q: [D]id Sorin just up and leave once the Helvault shattered or was there any interaction between him and his creation?

A: I believe Brady explicitly said (and various bits of flavor text corroborate ) that he stuck around and dealt with the vampires personally.



Quote:
Q: Is there an interesting backstory to how Chandra got her Izzet bracer, or did she just buy it or something?

A: No more such than Bolas got his orb.

Aleksi Briclot just really liked the Izzet gauntlet. He's gone on record saying that it was just something cool that he wanted to put in.

The same with Garruk's helmet and how much it looked like Venser's helmet. Of course, creative later came back and attached significance to it, but at the time of design, it didn't have anything.



Quote:
Q: So Radha, does she still have her spark or not?

A: She's alive.

Her spark was extinguished sealing the Yavimaya rift.

She can never become a Planeswalker.



Quote:
Q: Why did Liliana find it necessary to kill Griselbrand?

A: Trapped things can still escape. Dead things are dead.



Quote:
Q: Could you expound on the monetary currency which is used in the planes we have visited? Innistrad and Ravnica clearly use coins and have a well-defined economy, but planes like Lorwyn and Kamigawa are less clear.

A: Ravnica uses a number of coins. Unfortunately, I can't remember what the gold coin was, but the silver coins were square and called "Zido" and the copper coins were called "Zib"

Lorwyn uses "threads" of precious metal. It starts with a thread, you then go up to a rope, then lastly a coil. Copper, Silver, and lastly Gold in denomination.

Kamigawa used Ryo, just like Japan.

Mercadia slips my mind, but they had a.... complicated economy to start with.



Quote:
Q: What creatures in Magic the Gathering can humans have offspring with other than human?

A: So far, I know about Human/Elf with Radha, Heir to Keld .

Additionally Soratami and Demons.



Quote:
Q: Are there ever any cards that were not legendary in design, but later made legendary somewhere in the process before printing? Possibly for power level reasons?

Bladewing the Risen is an example of a non-legendary creature made legendary to reduce abuse. You can read more about it here: https://web.archive.org/web/20091120014 ... daily/rb69



Quote:
Q: More broadly, were any of the exclusive-to-Commander (or Planechase) legends intended to be from specific planes?

A: The Mimeoplasm is explicitly from Muraganda, and Ruhan is from Ir. Thromok and the Wanderer are Alaran.

No one else has been confirmed, yet, but a bunch of them got flavor text in M13, so they're clearly still on creative's mind.



Quote:
Q: What are the ages of the current printed Planeswalkers?

A: Garruk is 36
Liliana is over 200
Jace is 23
Ajani is 30
Chandra is 20
Brady told us Sorin is a little over 6,000.
Bolas is 25,000+
Tezz is in his 40s at this point



Quote:
Q: Is it very easy for a Planeswalker to change their colors or is there some process behind it?

A: All planeswalker have personalities of each color, since they're deep characters. They only have colored tendencies. They manipulate specific kind of magic, though. For the former, the card they appear on simply denotes their current alignment. For the latter, each mage has his own strong schools of magic, and its own weaknesses. It's very difficult for, say, a gifted fire-mage to do necromancy, because they aren't really good at it.



Quote:
Q: Is Karn still the Legacy Weapon, or did it get used up destroying Yawgmoth/scattered to the four winds/rendered useless by the Mending?

A: Karn still has all the components of the legacy within him, he even has a planeshifting engine within him.

Of course one of the major component of the legacy weapon was the null moon which Karn doesn't drag around with him.



Quote:
Q: Has Wizards ever made moves to make Magic into a pen-and-paper roleplaying setting/system?

A: MaRo is 100% against "crossing the streams." If you need a better example of why, make a thread in the new DDN forum about wanting to see some Magic influences or a setting book in the next edition and count how many posts you get before someone threatens to rip your head off and set you on fire. Chances are you'll not exceed the fingers on one hand. The D&D side of the fandom is very touchy about letting the Magic side and its "collectible" nature anywhere near their stuff. As a walker between both worlds I'm very sad to see this because I'd almost kill for D&D setting books for Magic Planes.



Quote:
Q: Why is Jareth a giant, like creature type wise?

A: Jareth is actually an animated statue of living rock. You can read more about it here: https://web.archive.org/web/20160205180 ... 2003-01-16



Quote:
Q: [In response to Urza being the runner-up in the most-evil contest] Really? Urza? If it's not too off the main topic may I ask why?

A: Objectively, Urza was a terrible person. He used people in the worst way and was clinically detached of their sacrifices and obsessively focused on Phyrexia to a very unhealthy level. If you've ever watched an episode of the new Dr. Who where the Doctor is confronted with just how much the universe hates and fears him.....that's Urza all the time. His name was cemented as a vile curse in every language in Dominaria since the Ice Age.

Subjectively, he was an **** who made Barrin cry.



Quote:
Q: Is Vraska an old walker?

A: According to the story on her, she sparked up recently. The person who signed the warrant to round her and the others up was human and his life-span isn't that long.



Quote:
Q: Is the Gruul Clans guild symbol its original symbol or is it the symbol for the burning tree clan like how Borborygmos is the guildleader?

A: Borborygmos was never the guildleader, not before and not now. He is simply the loudest and angriest of many angry and loud clanleaders. They covered the new insignia in the PAX panel. They wanted something that looked less manufactured that the last one. It's still the same symbol, just more, er... 'natural' looking.



Quote:
Q: Also, who joins the Rakdos? Is the general citizenry of Ravnica so horrible something like that can be maintained or am I missing something?

A: Not all of the Rakdos are horrible murdering firestarting rapists; they also provide most of Ravnica's entertainment (like, legitimate entertainment, not just gladiator fights and snuff shows) and are in charge of mining operations. That being said, the Rakdos are known to abduct people into the guild.



Quote:
Q: My friend insists that all the flavor text on every card comes from the novels, despite me not being able to find any proof to confirm or deny this. Is it true?

A: It is 100% false.



Quote:
Q: Is Wizards still publishing Magic novels? There seems to be no information available on their publishing. If so, what is coming down the pipeline?

A: Hard copy novels got canceled due to lack of sales/interest. So there are novels up through Scars block, but not one for Innistrad. They're going to try a digital novel/e-book for Return to Ravnica because it doesn't require the same investment.



Quote:
Q: Has Sorin been to Dominara?

A: We don't know.



Quote:
Q: Does he [Sorin] know about Urza?

A: He's certainly old enough to have met him, but again, we simply don't know.
Sorin is so incredibly old (right around 6000 years) that if a story need for him to meet someone or have been somewhere at some point in time that it could very easily be written in at some point.



Quote:
Q: Why is there no equipment in Ravinica?

A: There is equipment in Ravnica: Grifter's Blade, Sunforger, Civic Saber.



Quote:
Q: I like cyclops. Why aren't there more cyclops in Magic?

A: Mostly because they compete for design space with giants, ogres, and minotaurs as red's "large terrestrial humanoid" tribe.



Quote:
Q: What is a Keyrune ?

A: Probably a writ of passage or a way to prove you're in the guild that doubles as a bodyguard.



Quote:
Q: Mark rosewater said that all angels in magic are (humanlike) females. Is this correct and if so why and if not, why are all angels printed on cards humanlike females with wings? Or could we see male or non humalike angel in the future? Also if all angels are humanlike female what would that mean if someone enchanted a crawwurm or a male rhox with an enchantment like Angelic destiny?

A: Mark would be wrong for everything except the cards. We've had a multitude of male angels in the past, including from Serra's Realm and the Orzhov. As for Angelic Destiny, it's Boots on a Wurm.



Quote:
Q: What did Sorin do when he returned to Innistrad? He is said to be searching out Avacyn in Ascension, but is notably absent from the Restored storyline.

A: The theory most fans are going with is that he did look for her, but he had woefully incomplete information. He had no idea that she was trapped in The Helvault and wouldn't have found out for quite some time.

Then Liliana goes and accidentally frees her, and he's all like "Well, problem solved" and then spends some time dealing with his rowdy in-laws and strangling the hell out of Dack Fayden for possessing ancient evil artifacts.



Quote:
Q: How did Iname become Iname as One?

A: The story of Iname is written here: https://web.archive.org/web/20090820002 ... /chk/iname



Quote:
Q: What's up with Skygame's flavor text? Of all guilds, I would think the 'stiff necks' of Azorius are least concerned with athleticism. Why not Boros and Rakdos scouts?

A: The Azorius employ a police force, much of which uses flying mounts. Also because I imagine it would feel a bit odd for an off-color guild to be interested in that sort of thing.



Quote:
Q: [W]hat's the deal with Ludevic?

A: Basically, creative creates the style guide way before they design starts making cards. They cram it full of as much information they can think of, much more than design will ever need to use or even be able to use.

This excess of fluff gives design lots of interesting persons, places, and things to design good top down cards from; but the only legendary creatures that they are obligated to design are those with a direct impact on the story. Everything else is just icing.

Sometimes someone in creative takes a shine to a character, and they write a whole buttload of flavor texts or stories for the flavor articles, which gives a false impression of the character being more important than they actually are.

This isn't necessarily a bad thing though, as the excess gives them concepts to draw on for return visits to the plane.



Quote:
Q: Are the names of the "five colors" of magic a translation convention for players, or do all civilizations throughout the multiverse use the same terminology for the underlying forces of magic? Even assuming that they speak different languages on Innistrad and Kamigawa would they both use their word for the color red to refer to what players consider "red mana"?

A: Most people, even among Magic users, aren't aware that there are different colors of mana.

To most folk in the multiverse Magic is simply Magic, and there is no distinguishing one effect from another.

I'm reading through Agents of Artifice right now and Jace flat out says that he doesn't know why his specialties of magic (mind reading, illusion, etc) work better around bodies of water, just that it does.

And there are so few mages that truly understand and appreciate the differences in the color wheel that there isn't really a set vernacular for it.

Jodah established the theorem of the five colors and taught them during the entire time Lat-Nam was active.

Jace was trained personally by a master, but I have a feeling that anything like an academy will have a much deeper understanding of the metaphysics of the intricacies concerning mana and casting in general. Schools will teach it while an apprentice/master relationship won't.

We actually see evidence of that in The Gathering Dark where Jodah's original master did not teach him to distinguish but the Conclave of Mages did.



Quote:
Q: Emmara has been a noteworthy character in every book she's appeared in, but as far as the actual cards go, she may as well not exist. How do major characters slip through the cracks like that?

A: Doug Beyer: One character in Dragon’s Maze, the elf healer Emmara, was given a card solely because I wanted her to be important in the story. Emmara has her roots in another Magic story, Agents of Artifice by Ari Marmell, and she became important enough in The Secretist that we decided she needed to make an appearance in the game.



Quote:
Q: Did the Lorwyn planeswalkers ever go to Lorwyn?

A: Jace may or may not have been on Lorwyn. For all the others, there's no available evidence and we'll have to assume they haven't been there.


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