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 Post subject: Re: Phyrexia Story
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2023 9:19 pm 
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Wait, let me add one more thing: how did the others even know the bomb could destroy reality? Did they do that much research?


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 Post subject: Re: Phyrexia Story
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2023 10:33 pm 
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Empyreal wrote:
My first intro to magic was the original Mirrodin block, when I started reading the novels. It's always hard to return to new phyrexia and see what they've done to my entry point. These stories in particular felt unfulfilling. It left me feeling rushed and pointless as the heroes arrived too late to stop the bad guys as the trope goes but they also lost so many of their number. They, perhaps, at best killed Tibalt and lost Jace (who could be an incredible asset to Phyrexia), Vraska, Nissa (also potentially a great asset), Lukka, and Nahiri. Not sure how Tyvar and Ajani turned out and Elspeth basically threw herself on a grenade.

I honestly don't know a lot about the Sylex but is it really capable of destroying a world? The entire universe? I know Dominaria survived the explosion though they suffered greatly so it seems a little farfetched for the bomb to threaten all of reality. Also, on a bit of a logistical level, where did they get *millions* of forces to invade with??? Mirrodin was not THAT populous to begin with so have they been kidnapping people for a long time?

I'm guessing we're going to see various planes fighting Phyrexians and I hope some planes pull a New Capenna and win against them. I do not look forward to "here's a phyrexianized version of something you thought was cool!" for multiple planes. I expect to return to Ravnica and see some guilds getting compleated.

I'm just tired of cool and pretty things being twisted and mutilated for the shock factor. It isn't compelling to me, I don't get an urge to "fight for them" I just lose interest. Although I do find it kind of funny how little Nissa matters as anything more than a plot device. She was a secondary character in Lukka's story and got hunted, captured, and compleated entirely off screen.


The most interesting thing I noticed is that Urza's Sylex only destroyed a small part of a continent in Dominaria (as if a meteor had fallen there). So this theory that Sylex could extinguish the Multiverse outright makes no sense. Perhaps it can cause changes in different planes more strongly, as it was with Urza's Sylex that created the age of Ether on Kaladesh. But to destroy totally I find it quite impossible.


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 Post subject: Re: Phyrexia Story
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2023 11:53 pm 
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Empyreal wrote:
I honestly don't know a lot about the Sylex but is it really capable of destroying a world? The entire universe? I know Dominaria survived the explosion though they suffered greatly so it seems a little farfetched for the bomb to threaten all of reality.

I can shed a little light on that.
This is one of those instances where the lack of information creates a skewed perspective.
The sylex probably could destroy Mirrodin where it only nuked a chunk of Dominaria.
Why?
Because Dominaria is 2 and a half times the size of Earth. And Mirrodin is smaller than the Earth's moon.
It's information that exists, but most interacting with the property aren't aware of anymore.

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 Post subject: Re: Phyrexia Story
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2023 8:37 am 
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And, again, the Sylex created the Shard, so it can impact the blind eternities.

As for the millions of phyrexians, it's clear by now that the Orthodoxy clearly is mass producing phyrexians. They have enough to BUILD THE ENTIRE SPHERE since the walls are ossified phyrexians, and that might also explain why Elesh Norn is the dominant praetor.

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 Post subject: Re: Phyrexia Story
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2023 11:44 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Phyrexia Story
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2023 12:49 pm 
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First story is about Tezzeret getting his darksteel body and booking it once he realises Jin-Gitaxias knows about his betrayal. Second story is the RETURN OF ZHALFIR

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 Post subject: Re: Phyrexia Story
PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2023 1:22 am 
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Please, Norn, I'm begging you... sew Nissa's mouth shut. Or remove her vocal cords. Be the hero the Vorthoses needed ages ago and didn't get. Surely speech is not a necessary trait for her!

Barinellos wrote:
I wasn't actually around for the lead up to invasion and everything, my first sets were Portal and Planeshift.
So I have to wonder if the disgust and indifference I feel now is what everyone back then experienced at how they handled the Phyrexians.

As someone who started with Portal and first really got into things in Tempest, who was a Novels & Storylines regular on the old forums by the time Invasion hit... Yeah it's about the opposite. The community was hyped for the Invasion. Granted, we hated the novel for Prophecy because everyone was an idiot and had mixed feelings about the Apocalypse novel, but for the block itself? It was excitement central. This was it, the big final battle showdown that was all set to cap off the storyline we'd followed. Magic had never done anything like this before! We suspended our disbelief, in part out of willing interest and in part because, well, there was a whole dang multiverse out there and the road to Invasion had been dark enough that it felt like the heroes could fail. We liked it so much the forum literally took up arms, championing our favorite sides in a massive war game for the fate of Dominaria. We even loved some of the meme-tastic BS that came out of J Robert King's whacked-out prose, or at least enjoyed bashing it if we were going to bash it.

But it felt like a real, consistent story had been told and it was also something big and new and different. And we had an entire year for the war to play out. I feel like Scars block came the closest to recapturing that zeal, but Scars was marred by a horrible (not just questionable) tie-in novel and a climate among fans that was... not anywhere near as bad as now, but certainly less hyped and forgiving than the community around Invasion had been. Plus, while Scars was technically set up at the start of the first Mirrodin novel, there was a solid crowd that started rooting for Glissa and Slobad (as much as the Weatherlight-era vorthoses tended to dislike the Mirrodin books) and both hated to see them and their world taken down and didn't feel like they were primed for that fight for its very existence.

Now, All Will Be One has been... honestly, about as primed as they could do it given the new "all single sets, all the time" mode. Vorinclex in Kaldheim was a hint, a year later Jin showed up in Kamigawa as a leading antagonist, making the threat present even if not totally forefront. And then Urabrask ramped it up, giving us more concrete details. Then Sheoldred and Dominaria were a Phyrexia-driven story. And now we're at Final Boss Norn (by way of the BRO detour, which I minded far less than some of these other outings). It's basically a two and a half year cycle that's clearly trying to make lightning strike twice by imitating the structure of how things emerged in the Weatherlight Saga. We have hints of Bad that have their own antagonists (Tempest versus Kaldheim/Capenna), a ramp up to the sinister truth underneath (DMU versus Masques block where Phyrexians actually took the stage), an Urza flashback (Urza's versus BRO, later for this arc), and then a grand final battle.

But they couldn't bottle the formula, and the community now is not the same as it was them. Players going into the weatherlight saga were set up with an epic and mysterious history of the plane of Dominaria, not really told in full, that ultimately tied into the story that would wrap up in Apocalypse. The Weatherlight Saga started proper around Visions with the ship and crew cameoing, but by the end it seemed like a full construction that incorporated everything but weirdos Arabian Nights and Homelands. Everything. And it started with Antiquities, the set about war and magitech that provided something of the unique backbone of Magic's identity. Magic was distinct from other generic fantasy and a lot of how it was distinct was in a look and feel that strongly supported everything around the original Phyrexia as its antagonist. That can't be done any more. Magic players have a half-life in the game, by all description, so where did a lot of people start? With Theros and Innistrad 2, with Ixalan and Strixhaven and Eldraine. And sometimes we'll show them something unique and with a specific flair but it's been more about visiting these theme parks, and Magic's original work doesn't feel like it fits there.

I'll be honest, I'm actually mid on All Will Be One, not hating it. The stories have been kind of lackluster (fewer hits in the hit and miss than, say, NEO which actually worked pretty well), but I'm just kind of used to that by now but a lot of the visual designs and background work for New New Phyrexia land and the cards... okay I have my issues but it's a mixed bag. I think Toxic is pretty lame compared to Infect but I understand that I'm the weird commander player where Infect is total weaksauce and it's been a consistent terror of just about every other constructed format. But some of the individual cards get me interested in brewing. But while I can't bring myself to utterly despise everything that went into and came out of this arc... I can recognize that it's not working like before, it wasn't going to work like before, and I don't know who if anyone is going to be totally pleased with the situation.

Empyreal wrote:
I expect to return to Ravnica and see some guilds getting compleated.

This would please me but only because I have a great deal of stockpiled spite for Ravnica and it didn't suffer nearly enough in War of the Spark for my liking.

Realistically speaking, though, I'm fully expecting an at least partial hero win at the end of March of the Machines, likely with a Mending 2 that once again changes the fundamental rules of planar travel based on the promotional natter. Because the first Mending worked out sooooo well. Could even get time chicanery in there. I think once the aftermath has rolled we'll have seen the last of Phyrexia for a while, and possibly permanently the last of Norn's New Phyrexia. (I doubt the idea of Phyrexia as zombie-robot-demon things will ever fully leave Magic's rogues' gallery, given there are almost infinite excuses to recur them)

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 Post subject: Re: Phyrexia Story
PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2023 4:16 am 
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I honestly think the reduction of the multivese into a universe is a change to something so fundamental to the brand concept that it's going to ultimately damage the identity harder than the Mending did.
I've seen speculation that the reason they're doing this is because Planeswalkers make for a bad face of the game as it's played now. Because, and I know I've railed against it before, but it makes too much sense, of Commander.
That the Planeswalkers can't usually be used for that purpose is a problem when it is the premiere way your audience experiences the game, so fusing it all to show the legendaries to traverse worlds does make sense from a marketing perspective.

But, in an extremely weird way, the disregard they show for their own IP has resolved issues I had felt regarding the a universes beyond stuff. Weirdly, I can feel like they are still distinct instead of poured on top of each other and they're legally required to treat the visiting IP with more care than shown to their own.
So... Guess that's something I have to process now.


Part of me wonders if I'm just missing the excitement around, that there's someone out there pleased with the direction, but I don't reddit or Facebook at all, and that's how they teach the engagement these days. I have no clue what's being said there... But given the OGL issues hot on the heels of the officials telling us "your concerns have been ignored, prepare to consume product" about the release schedule and that general dumpster fire, on top of quality control, I'm not sure I could find the enthusiasm of it is floating around out there.

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 Post subject: Re: Phyrexia Story
PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2023 3:06 pm 
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I'm honestly pretty scared for what will happen in MOM. For now I enjoy this, a phyrexian victory on an unprecedented scale, lead by the faction almost entirely.

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 Post subject: Re: Phyrexia Story
PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2023 5:58 pm 
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I doubt they'll completly destroy the eternities or fuse all the planes together or whatever. Even with all the insane stuff that's been happening and hasbro pushing more monetization it just wouldnt make a lot of sense. What I do see happening though is elspbeth getting a massive power up and becoming a god or something with the ability to mini sylex blast at will.

On a side note, I haven't read any stories myself in probably a decade but the bits I see from you or my friends is quite dissapointing and moreso each new set

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 Post subject: Re: Phyrexia Story
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2023 3:37 am 
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On a whole, for me magic has been on a downhill slope for quite some time, especially flavorwise.
Every story feels incredibly rushed, getting no time to breath and just rushing along at breakneck speed. That does not necessarily mean that the stories themselves are badly written, but it does mean that everything feels eye-gaugingly shallow. Every character these days feels like a cardboard cutout. Why the hell should i care about Jace, or Elspeth, or the Wanderer? I find all of them very shallow, boring, mostly unrelatable characters who often do or feel things that are illogical or stupid because the plot of the story demands them to and it demands them to do it quickly. Jace has been around for what, 15 years now, and during that time he has had little to no character growth at all. Sure, he went through some stuff, but did those things really, fundamentally change much about him; did most of his adventures have any real reppercussions? Not at all. Teferi is an example of a great character, but that is because he used to live through real stuff in the old, pre mending lore, and i've liked his portrail less since his return in Dominaria than i did before that. Even he feels more shallow.

The only real exception for me this year were the Brothers' War sidestories, which have been a very pleasant surprise.

Honestly, the only real kick i get out of magic flavor these days is to see characters of old brought back to life on their own cards, which they more often than not really nail, and the care (thank god!) they put into Dominaria. (BIG thanks for both of those things to Ethan)


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 Post subject: Re: Phyrexia Story
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2023 6:40 am 
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Really, there's a kind of irony in the fact that these things feel so rushed when Jace has been around for 15 years while Urza had been a meaty character for only about 4 years when Apocalypse rolled out (From when Brothers' War was published in 98 to Apoc in 2001) and a mysterious name with a few known attributes for another few years before that, but certainly less than 15.

Jace and friends have had more than enough "screen time" that nothing about them should be rushed, but the problem is that the most basic components are rushed and that stays tagged even when they're used as building blocks to put together these larger stories. So it doesn't matter that Urza had three plot arcs (Brothers War, Planeswalker-Timestreams-Bloodlines, and Invasion Block) while Jace has probably been involved in... over a dozen? Some of which combine voltron-style into bigger arcs?, facts that should logically mean that Jace's story would have been less rushed, because none of them really felt like they were paced as part of a greater whole.

Trying to step back from personal emotional responses, I think the fact that the cast and story got stretched out over multiple near-total shifts in the creative team probably did a lot of damage. The Weatherlight Saga was, as I understand it, concepted as a complete story from beginning to end even if some things changed from the early outlines to the final product. The modern cast is plagued by the fact that even if some work was done like that now (Kaldheim - ONE) it still thinks like a series of vignettes predicated on older series of vignettes. Weatherlight Saga tried to take a lot from Star Trek TNG, which was popular at the time, and it worked pretty well because the people involved knew what needed to change -- and had the authority and creative control to change -- the parts of the formula that needed to work differently. The Gatewatch Era tried to take a lot from the MCU, which was popular at the time, but nobody sanity checked it or tried to avoid porting over the flaws. Or maybe the ones that did didn't have the power to do much about it because they weren't there for the start and weren't going to be there for the end.

I'm honestly kind of hoping they kill 'em all. Leave the Compleated to share Phyrexia's fate, down whoever's left, maybe put the tried and true characters like Karn and Teferi on busses they can come back from (again) and get an actually clean slate to try something that's not bound to the MCU model.

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 Post subject: Re: Phyrexia Story
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2023 6:40 am 
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Also, Ethan, if you're reading this, you're brilliant and I appreciate everything you've done for us salty old grognards.

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I'm a (self) published author now! You can find my first book, The Accursed, on Amazon as an ebook or a paperback!


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