Oh man. It soooo depends on what you consider good and evil. I’m going to give this a try, but I have to be all complex and wordy about it, because of my debilitating allergy to oversimplification. Let’s do bullet points:
- Most likely to put oneself in danger to help others: Gideon. Runner up: Koth.
- Most conscientious (and therefore most likely to be wracked by guilt): Elspeth. Runner up: Karn.
- Most potential for joy and big-heartedness: Chandra. Runner up: Tamiyo, which feels strange to say, but I guess that’s how I think of her.
- Most calming influence in times of distress: Ajani. Runner up: Jace.
- Most confident, self-actualized, and capable of great things: Liliana. Runner up: Xenagos.
- Most focused on the greater good and plane-wide threats: Nissa. Runner up: Gideon.
Lots of good hero candidates in there. Which one is the Absolutely Most Shiny-Haloed depends on your values, or possibly on what’s going on in their lives around them. Grim circumstances can make heroes shine even when they weren’t picked for Most Likely to Help Old Ladies Cross the Street in their high school yearbook.
And now for eeeevil.
- Most hungry for vast power: Nicol Bolas. Runner up: Is it Tezzeret or Liliana? Or is Liliana actually first? They all want to be first, of course. I think Tezzeret is more of a “I’ll show everybody” guy rather than “I want to rule everything” guy, but I mean, the difference can be slim in practice. Vraska’s in the running here too, potentially. Oh, black-aligned characters! You love this category.
- Most power and resources combined with desire to harm others: Nicol Bolas, for sure (remember, we’re just talking about planeswalkers here — certainly there are powerful threats out there that are not planeswalkers). I think this makes Bolas a good candidate for “most evil,” just because his potential for wide-ranging harm is so vast. Runner up: It’s funny, but I am personally pretty scared of cursed Garruk right now — he is less stoppable than people think. But he’s a distant second — he’s formidable, but doesn’t have an organization like Bolas does. Tezzeret would love to be in contention in this category someday.
- Most interested in intentionally causing distress: Tibalt. Runner up: Ashiok.
- Most apathetic, or least caring about individual people: Sorin. Runner up: Tibalt. Domri might be in here too? Am I mischaracterizing Domri?
- Most unstable: Sarkhan. Runner up: Ral Zarek, maybe? You could put Garruk here too, currently.
There are many more gradations on the nuanced Morality Landscape. I think of it more as a complicated grid or multidimensional space than a simple sliding scale of “best” to “baddest.” All that said, Bolas probably wins for baddest no matter how you crunch the moral math.
What do you think? What are your picks? Should we consider other good/evil categories?
Podcasts about Magic for your listening pleasure.
Yes, I liked that article a lot. I always listen to something while lying in bed, trying to get to sleep. This ranges from Welcome to Night Vale to Drive to Work to science audiobooks to radio dramatizations of fantasy and scifi books.
Anyway, Bruce Richard noted at the end of his article that there should be a Magic podcast focused on Vorthosian stuff. So, anyone knows of any? I tried searching, but couldn’t really find anything. Perhaps individual episodes of podcasts usually devoted to different topics?
Catching up on video’s again!
Here are the Inside R&D: Born of the Gods video’s
Part 1: Gods and Kiora
Part 2: Inspired and Tribute
Part 3: Individual cards
A free mixtape EP about Magic the Gathering. Go here.
1. Friday Night Magic
2. Pro Tour
3. Born of the Gods
5. So Much Mana
Vocals by Adam WarRock, Tribe One, Mikal kHill
Production by Mikal kHill
So it goes like this. Last August, I went to PAX. I played some card games while there. So when Tribe One and I went on our first of three straight tours together, I said to him, “Hey Tribe. Will you teach me how to play Magic?” It seemed like a good idea. Touring is a lot of waiting around, a lot of sitting at a hotel, a lot of mindless boredom. This figured to be a good way to kill some time, and since we’re basically in a new city every day, a good way to incentivize our travel by getting boosters in each new city. I still remember what he said to me. He said, “You have no idea what you’re about to do to yourself.”
Cut to three months later, and I’m utterly obsessed with Magic. It’s bad. I’m talking deckbuilding and buying boosters almost daily, bad. But I love it. It’s the only tabletop game I’ve ever gotten this deep into. So thanks Wizards. For the horrible sickness I am now afflicted with. And the hours and hours of fun.
To satisfy our horrible urges to play, me, Mikal kHill and Tribe One play online with each other, almost nightly, via google hangout. And in a weird way, it’s brought us all closer together. So we obviously had to make a mixtape for you. Hope you enjoy it.
I’ll be doing a bunch of shows in March, around the south and the east coast. Check me out!
Feb. 27-28 – Denton, TX - University of North Texas’s GeeKon (info)
Mar 1 - Oklahoma City – New World Comics
Mar 2 - Lawrence, KS – TBA
Mar 7 – New Orleans, LA – BSI Comics
Mar 9 – Austin, TX – SXSWi After Party – Hole in the Wall
Mar 11 - Official Showcase – Flamingo Cantina
Mar 13 – Scratched Vinyl Showcase – The Dive Bar
Mar 14 – Nashville, TN – Rick’s Comic City
Mar 15 – Tuscaloosa, AL – Sho’ Nuff Comics
Mar 22 - Durham, NC – Atomic Empire Comics
Mar 28 – Rutgers University Geek Week (link)
Ok guys, so Adam Warrock is an awesome nerdcore rapper probably best known for his epic War for Infinity album, which basically retells the story of the Infinity Gauntlet and Thanos with Warrock cast as the heroic MC lead.
Needless to say, having him doing something for Magic is pretty awesome. Particular because, get this, one of the tracks, “Planeswalkers,” has an extended riff of Nicol Bolas just monologuing about being more badass than everyone else, dropping references to the Talon Gates and the War of the Elder Dragons and all kinds of similarly rad storyline shit.
Yeah and there’s some other tracks about like… playing the cardgame or whatever. BUT WHO CARES ABOUT THAT CRAP WE’VE GOT NICOL BOLAS (and also Jace and Domri but whatever) RAPPING.
Basically, check this out, and make sure you download the whole EP since “Planeswalkers” isn’t up on YouTube.
It’s awesome to see an actual musical response to the storyline. I don’t know that I’ve seen anyone else trying something similar, outside of our own RavenoftheBlack’s Jakkard-inspired folk song lyrics.
I listened, I liked, I reblogged.
I think you’ve basically understood Sorin, actually. His age (over 6000 years old) and planeswalker status give him a broad perspective, which means he sees the big picture on issues like human extinction on Innistrad and planar extinction, you might say, due to the Eldrazi. He can tell that those disasters would be bad for him and bad for everybody, and so he has intervened. But his age and power have also distanced him from the cares of individual mortal people. He’s a dimension-hopping millennia-old super-mage who drinks people’s blood out of their necks, so yeah, he’s pretty jerky. He’s moved past most traditional forms of morality, and doesn’t see the point of worrying about individual people anymore. Some individuals are hurt and even die because of Sorin’s actions, but to him that’s just below his radar of caring. Power and perspective give you the ability to make a great impact, but they can also cost you the ability to be sensitive to your lesser ones.
THEROS | The Leonin of Theros
So here* is my first Pauper Commander deck. It’s still untested, sadly, because I don’t know a lot of people that play this format. This sunday it’s getting played for the first time though!
When I found out about this format, I went through all the uncommons of…
Loving the suggestions and the compliments. Thanks Command Tower! :D
Ooooh, Arcana had something nice for us Vorthoses! A snippet from the Theros World Guide.
The Dekatia, the legendary academy at Meletis.
There are many centers of learning in Meletis, but the most elite academy for philosophers and mages is the Dekatia. After receiving basic education elsewhere, the wisest and most promising thinkers and mages spend ten arduous years training at the Dekatia, apprenticing to master priests, thaumaturges, and military heroes. Those who make it through their apprenticeship are considered some of the wisest and bravest heroes in the land.
Slow down buddy with that passive aggressive stance. I misread, I derped, fine.
Sorry, but as somebody who advocated oracle text reading frequently and who regularly answers ruling questions (or used to) I get insulted when somebody tries to (incorrectly) tell me I’m wrong.
That’s no reason to insult someone right back, being no better yourself. I never assumed you “were dumb” and I didn’t “need someone to break it down” as I figured it out shortly after I derped, because I can “read the cards”. So yeah, not amused.
You do know Marath’s ability can’t be activated for 0? You can not make 0/0 tokens. Read the Oracle text:…
When did I ever say that? Please learn to read the cards before you assume I’m dumb….
Slow down buddy with that passive aggressive stance. I misread, I derped, fine. Not making friends this way.
My favourite combo to pull off in Marath, it makes infinite tokens, infinite mana and they get infinitely bigger. Add Doubling Season to accelerate the rate of growth, or Trostani for infinite life gain and you will make powerful enemies.
Pretty sure you need a way to convert colourless to coloured mana to make it truly infinite, or you ventually can’t recast Marath when it dies?
Why would Marath die? I think you should read Cathars’ Crusade again and get back to me when you figure out the combo.
You do know Marath’s ability can’t be activated for 0? You can not make 0/0 tokens. Read the Oracle text: “X can’t be 0.” This errata happened even before the C13 decks were available. Edit: perhaps I derped a bit, too. :D
Magic: the Gathering - Release the Kraken
Design sketches and final art work for Tromokratis. Illustrated by the very talented Matt Stewart. Matthew also has the original oil painting available for bidding on eBay.
Legendary Creature — Kraken, Born of the Gods Rare
Tromokratis has hexproof unless it’s attacking or blocking.
Tromokratis can’t be blocked unless all creatures defending player controls block it. (If any creature that player controls doesn’t block this creature, it can’t be blocked.)
We liked the idea of heretics on Theros as a way to explore how the world interacted with its gods. What would it be like if gods were obvious and in-your-face and always intervening in mortal life, yet some chose not to respect them? That’s the role we gave to the leonin. What if this group of catfolk felt betrayed by the gods, or odder still, felt they didn’t need them?
It’s a strange choice on the part of the leonin, to be sure. They’re giving up the chance to seek favors from the gods, when that is one of the most powerful sources of magic and power on the plane. And as you point out, they’re risking the ire of the gods by openly mocking them. If you’ve read like any Greek myth ever, you know that hubris doesn’t typically end well for the hubris-er.
But through the leonin’s heretical choice we get to explore the other side of hubris — the questioning of authority, the desire to seek a kind of morality or truth or discipline that doesn’t come from that petty pantheon, the hope that law and belief can mean something other than a sacrifice to a big indestructible enchantment creature. Theros is definitely thematically centered around the majesty and power of the gods, and the gods probably barely register the leonin’s objections as a blip on the devotion-radar. But as much as we like our world-building to deliver on a theme, we also like to emphasize one of the lessons of the color pie — that there’s always a wrinkle, always an objector, always another perspective.
Read those hashtags. “heretical kitties and the shaking of furry fists at the heavens”. :D
Just a nice duo I happened to run across today. It sparked memories of opening them in boosters when I was young and being amazed by the pictures.
It’s excellent art. These two pieces tell a story in itself.