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 Post subject: Re: Core Set 2019 Flavor
PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:09 am 
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Is anyone actually surprised that the new walker they introduced is bland and unexciting? That's literally the stick of the Gatewatch.




[quote="
astarael7"]
As for Tarkir's Elder Dragons, the single best argument for them is Creative took the opportunity offered there to actually explore and establish what "Elder" means, and since then they have actually used it (consistently, too!) instead of letting it languish in dust, obscurity, and undefined pointlessness.

So your best argument for Tarkir Elder Dragons is that Wizards had an opportunity to do something and did. Great. Well, they had an opportunity to take the paper that idea was written on, crumble it up, set it on fire, and forget they ever mentioned it. Sadly, they didn't take that opportunity, because apparently that would have been, according to your logic, the best reason not to include them.

The Tarkir Elder Dragons were an answer to a question that nobody was asking. Even if I grant the premise that they somehow "explore and establish" what an Elder is (which I don't, by the way), who was asking? What subset of Magic players were wondering "What exactly is an Elder?" Now, a question that the Vorthos community HAS been asking for a long time is "What is an Elder Dragon?" We've heard the term for a long time, and they had an established yet poorly defined history. We knew that Nicol Bolas was one, as were Chromium, Arcades Sabboth, Palladia-Mors, and Vaevictis Asmadi. But Tarkir didn't answer, explore, or establish anything about them. All it did was slap the term on a bunch of dragons created through a convoluted, illogical, insulting time travel story that has nothing to do with anything. Applying that term to the Tarkir dragons just inserted confusion and uncertainty as to what that term means so that now, it means nothing. If Wizards had released a statement pre-Tarkir that said that their next Core Set would feature the story of the Elder Dragons, I would have been pumped.

I would have been pumped because the Elder Dragons, the real ****ing Elder Dragons, are a huge part of the reason I ever got involved in Magic's storylines. The five cards were some of my early flavor favorites, and it was an attempt to find information about the Elder Dragon Wars that first led me to cross over from YMTC into the old Art & Flavor board on the mothership. What little story we could piece together was full of mystery, intrigue, magic. They hinted at a grandiose story that was bigger than the game itself, the slightest glimpse at a Multiverse that was unfathomably massive, that had innumerable stories to tell over a variety of worlds too vast and varied to be imagined. The Tarkir Dragons not only do none of that, but they restrict the ability of the real Elder Dragons to do it anymore.

And when you think about it, that makes sense. It fits into Creative's apparent plan to constrict rather than expand the Multiverse. They want everything connected by neat little lines of plot connections so that the Multiverse, while once a place of infinite possibilities, feels like a gated community. Everybody knows everybody, and there are only so many places you are allowed to go. What's on the other side of the Gate? Doesn't matter; it's not safe there, so we can't go. So of course Creative had to neuter the real Elder Dragons. They were dangerous. They got people thinking of possibilities. It's like this new Vivien 'walker. Overall, I like her, but of course, she HAD to be connected to Bolas. After all, there certainly can't be a 'walker out there who hasn't met, interacted with, or faced the consequences of another 'walker (even though the odds are that MOST 'walkers have never met or heard of any others).

I have, or had, a very strong personal connection to the story of the Elder Dragons and their war, and because of that, I can only think of the Tarkir dragons in one way. It's like I went to Wizard's Creative department and asked them what it meant to be an Elder Dragon. And, in response, they spit in my face. They're like a bully on the beach, and what I've built up in my imagination is a sand castle. And when I asked my question, they came over, kicked over my sand castle, stomped on it, and rubbed the sand into my hair. Then they said, "Got any other questions we can answer? No? Good."

Tarkir Elder Dragons did not have to happen. There were plenty of other options for what to call them, if they even had to exist at all. Which they didn't, because Dragons of Tarkir should have never happened.[/quote]


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 Post subject: Re: Core Set 2019 Flavor
PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:34 am 
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Barinellos wrote:
Except of course that what they've defined it to mean is "old" while the previous elder dragons are, in fact, a separate species entirely that represent an earlier evolutionary path.
So, not terribly consistent.
I dispute pretty strongly that as any sort of "fact". The more I've delved into the older material, the more of it I've found to be various combinations of fanon, poorly remembered and miscommunicated plot points, and even occasionally actual speculation that the community just randomly upgrades to canon. At this point the only things attached to the Legends Elder Dragons that I believe as established facts are that they're:
  • old
  • powerful (which I think has a lot more to do with them being old than with them being Elders)
  • capable of traveling the planes (which I think has a lot more to do with them being powerful than them being Elders)
I mean, heck, in 20+ years of analysis we couldn't even agree on how many of them there were! The modern reinterpretation (quasi-mythical exemplars of their race with a metaphysical connection to others of that race) is a good distillation of the previous convoluted mess.

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 Post subject: Re: Core Set 2019 Flavor
PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:12 pm 
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astarael7 wrote:
Barinellos wrote:
Except of course that what they've defined it to mean is "old" while the previous elder dragons are, in fact, a separate species entirely that represent an earlier evolutionary path.
So, not terribly consistent.
I dispute pretty strongly that as any sort of "fact". The more I've delved into the older material, the more of it I've found to be various combinations of fanon, poorly remembered and miscommunicated plot points, and even occasionally actual speculation that the community just randomly upgrades to canon. At this point the only things attached to the Legends Elder Dragons that I believe as established facts are that they're:
  • old
  • powerful (which I think has a lot more to do with them being old than with them being Elders)
  • capable of traveling the planes (which I think has a lot more to do with them being powerful than them being Elders)
I mean, heck, in 20+ years of analysis we couldn't even agree on how many of them there were! The modern reinterpretation (quasi-mythical exemplars of their race with a metaphysical connection to others of that race) is a good distillation of the previous convoluted mess.

Take it up with Scott McGough in Time Spiral where it'd explicitly stated, then.

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 Post subject: Re: Core Set 2019 Flavor
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:02 am 
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Prodigious Growth's flavor text makes me actively hate Vivien now. Before she was just a lazy clone, but now...


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 Post subject: Re: Core Set 2019 Flavor
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:20 am 
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Vivien's backstory reminds me how confused I am by the philosophy of Green. She cares for animals, so is sad when a city is built! But it seems to me you could make a good argument that green could say the exact opposite of this.

Green cares about the natural order of things— and the natural order has caused one species to rise to dominance, so who are we to interfere? Vivien cares about the individual lives of those affected by this— and so is red-aligned, because she views individual life as mattering more than the holistic and indifferent forces of nature that threaten it.

What happens to Green if you don't think civilisation is distinct from nature in any meaningful way, and consider it as just another extension of it? It seems like it falls apart entirely. But then that implies that if you think humanity is just another part of nature then you cannot be Green aligned, even though on the surface that seems like a very Green-aligned view to hold! It's all very confusing to me.


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 Post subject: Re: Core Set 2019 Flavor
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:01 pm 
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Plenty of characters have a holistic view of civilisation and nature. It was part of Nissa's "character development" in the last few sets and Kaladesh was all about how nature and civilisation can co-exist.

Anyways, the new Chromium card is awesome.

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 Post subject: Re: Core Set 2019 Flavor
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:09 pm 
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I like how the new Chromium calls back to his time as Ham.

I don't like as much how he could dodge Thoughtlace into Dark Banishing

I'm on the fence about the art. The chrome reflections are really nice but he doesn't have as much personality as his Legends or comic incarnations, probably because it's hard to make out his face.

I kind of dislike that they still couldn't fit "Rhuell" into his name.

Overall I give it a 9/10 - Will almost certainly play as commander.

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 Post subject: Re: Core Set 2019 Flavor
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:22 pm 
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Green characters should have holistic view, but sometimes I wonder is WotC just says "Green values are more similar to Eastern philosophies that you're probably unfamiliar with" to cover up how underdeveloped they are with green while also exposing how little they understand Eastern philosophy beyond some surface level stuff.

But that's not what's potentially bad about Vivien to me. Considering the role she had in her society and the backstory we know so far, she's coming across as unintentionally psychotic. She shouldn't be naive about the suffering that can be caused by destructive power, but she comes off as completely ignorant of it. If the quotes in the set are from before the destruction or in a "grow a pair" mindset, it'd be okay, but these types of quotes are usually meant to depict the current character.

I don't mean to be as cynical about this stuff, but.... WotC and the way they handle the intellectual flavor of green is a bit of a sore subject for me.

Chromium is good, though.


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 Post subject: Re: Core Set 2019 Flavor
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:37 pm 
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I've only seen blurry pics of prodigous growth and no transcription of the flavour text. What's it say?

Green characters usually do get the short end of the flavour stick, don't they?

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 Post subject: Re: Core Set 2019 Flavor
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:47 pm 
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TPmanW wrote:
I've only seen blurry pics of prodigous growth and no transcription of the flavour text. What's it say?

Green characters usually do get the short end of the flavour stick, don't they?


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 Post subject: Re: Core Set 2019 Flavor
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:53 pm 
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If she is intended to be an antagonist/anti-hero sort of figure my complaints would be gone.

Its amazing how recent aligned factions are interesting, like Kaladesh's blending of nature and civilisation and Ixalan's imperialist Sun Empire, but the only well-written planeswalker for a while has been Xenagos.

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 Post subject: Re: Core Set 2019 Flavor
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:22 pm 
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Hmm Ugin turns out to be an Elder Dragon. Ugin's spiritual magic spawned the dragon storms of which gave birth to the Tarkir Elder Dragons. Looks like anyone who isn't super retro Elder Dragon fan can actually conjure up a pretty well-rigged rationalization for them.

Not that I cared about the original Elder Dragons racial distinction in the first place. Elder Dragon just sounds super cool.

Besides, Dragonlord Atarka, even after Wizards remodeling the original Elders, still has the coolest art and theme of the bunch in my opinion. Vaevictis Asmadi, the Dire is a close second.


Last edited by StoicChampion on Tue Jun 26, 2018 4:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Core Set 2019 Flavor
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:18 am 
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That's basically the train of thought that's been going for a while. I really do like the idea of Ugin trying to be like his progenitor and making incomplete copies of his fallen siblings, even if it had a lot of **** leading up to this point.

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 Post subject: Re: Core Set 2019 Flavor
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 6:13 pm 
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There's one thing I rather like in the set that's possibly a very subtle story point.
It looks like Liliana wasn't terribly happy someone snitched on her to Garruk.

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