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 Post subject: Re: Ixalan flavor thread
PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:56 pm 
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And I am overall the sole person here willing to giver her a chance as character. She was at her peak during the Kaladesh block, but just sddenly deciding "oh, smart is natural too!" and rewriting a god erased whatever good will I had.

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 Post subject: Re: Ixalan flavor thread
PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 7:57 pm 
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she met someone she thought was unnatural and learned that the person was a good person and a celebrator of life and she realized she had to challenge her own worldview


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 Post subject: Re: Ixalan flavor thread
PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:17 pm 
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The problem is that so much of her development is being pushed through by external sources. Normally that's not so bad a circumstance, but she started with basically nothing of a personality after origins so it's coming across as whatever flighty personality catches her attention is what she dedicates herself entirely to.

She's coming across as remarkably weak willed, which is particularly galling considering her pre-origins personality.

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 Post subject: Re: Ixalan flavor thread
PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:13 pm 
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Barinellos wrote:
The problem is that so much of her development is being pushed through by external sources. Normally that's not so bad a circumstance, but she started with basically nothing of a personality after origins so it's coming across as whatever flighty personality catches her attention is what she dedicates herself entirely to.

She's coming across as remarkably weak willed, which is particularly galling considering her pre-origins personality.

Add to that the fact that she defeats all of her foes, even gods that she should have no chance against, with her deus ex machina (leyline) powers, making her seem like a Mary Sue/Wish Fulfillment character. I didn't dislike Nissa in In the Teeth of Akoum, although she did come across to me as fairly dim, but I have seen literally nothing since than about her that I have liked as a character.


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 Post subject: Re: Ixalan flavor thread
PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:28 am 
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Sorry, didn't mean to derail this thread.

A lot of interesting opinions here both pro and con regarding the Azor reveal. I'll be interested see how it all plays out in the stories. #WotCstaff


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 Post subject: Re: Ixalan flavor thread
PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:17 pm 
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I am both pleased and puzzled to see Azor. On the one hand, i love Ravnica and seeing characters from magic lore on actual cards (especially so the Azorius parun who essentially created the guildpact), but on the other it feels just a bit to deus ex machina with all these individuals being on the same plane at this exact time.

On a different note, what do you all think about Elenda? Her card.....was not exactly what i was expecting from the progenitor of the vampires on Ixalan. (Though, to be fair, i wasn't expecting a giant warrior nun with razor-sharp nails either.)

I'm actually quite intrigued about the whole Elenda plotpoint as well as the explanation why Azor gave up his spark to create a planeswalker trap on Ixalan! :)

EDIT: Thank you Ethan for starting the trend of printing cardless lore characters of old in commander products! :)


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 Post subject: Re: Ixalan flavor thread
PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:54 pm 
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My pleasure!


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 Post subject: Re: Ixalan flavor thread
PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:33 pm 
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On Azor:

I wish he hadn't been HERE, but I like that he is the one responsible for the Immortal Sun. I like the idea of "benevolent god bringing law to many planes" but seeing him now just feels too soon, since we have only ever had him referenced once before. Getting to see his influence on other planes would have made him feel more "larger than life" that oldwalkers deserve to be IMO

Knowing he has been living on Ixalan all this time kind of removes that mystique that surrounded him during Ravnica.


On Nissa:
Shut up Nissa.
But really, she is just super bland to me, to the point that it stands out compared to the other relatively bland characters of the Gatewatch.


MORE IMPORTANTLY, THE REASON I WAS GONNA POST IN THIS THREAD

I feel like the Vampires have really become "generic bad guys" and it makes me sad. The flavor text for Legion Lieutenant really just felt like it was creative trying to say "nothing matters about the vampire faction except the vampires." I really, really liked the idea of the vampires taking on a curse, so to speak, for their religion. I wish they had focused more on the religion aspect more than on the "we are vampires and inhuman, and that is what makes us stand out" thing.
Maybe even have a card in the set that is a non-vampire creature but is meant to be played in the vampire decks in limited (like a human that can buff vampires?) to signify that not all the people in the vampire faction are vampires.

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 Post subject: Re: Ixalan flavor thread
PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:25 pm 
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Back to the conquistador flavor...

I would have really liked a preview to what would happen if the Legion won this race, especially within territories captured by them. Slavery for instance is common among most factions here except for pirates. What about the Legion of Dusk trying to liquidate already-existing holy sites held by the River Heralds? What about elements of betrayal to reference what the spanish did to their allies during and after the conquest of the Aztecs?

What about killing people in the Sun Empire when they are celebrating things, like during feasts and whatnot?


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 Post subject: Re: Ixalan flavor thread
PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:44 pm 
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I watched Predator (1987, I think was when the original came out) recently. I honestly wish the Gatewatch were as well done as the commandos in that one - pulpy fun personalities thrown into situations beyond their ken. In that short span of time, I felt the commandos were better developed than the Gatewatch have been.

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 Post subject: Re: Ixalan flavor thread
PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:02 pm 
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I will say, despite my prior comment finding Azor unnecessary, I'm open to the move being made sense of by the stories.

Also, as of Mastermind's Acquisition, I realized that Bolas seems to be stealing his own version of The Legacy. That made me smile a bit.

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 Post subject: Re: Ixalan flavor thread
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:22 am 
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Also, as of Mastermind's Acquisition, I realized that Bolas seems to be stealing his own version of The Legacy. That made me smile a bit.
Yep, and so far, it looks like Tezz is his Karn.

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 Post subject: Re: Ixalan flavor thread
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 11:56 am 
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Planeshift Guide came out today, and we do get a confirmation that is indeed always evil.

At least its made clear ideally isn't chaotic good, as many insist.

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 Post subject: Re: Ixalan flavor thread
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:26 pm 
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That's quite frankly stupid. The Brazen Coalition are quite clearly in chaotic good territory for this plane.

It's possible that this was done for functional purposes instead of storytelling.
This however sets the precedent that all of the Golgari would be stuck in neutral evil territory.


Last edited by preadatordetector on Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ixalan flavor thread
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:29 pm 
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Indeed.

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 Post subject: Re: Ixalan flavor thread
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:07 pm 
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The Brazen Coalition are quite clearly in chaotic good territory for this plane.

Heartless Pillage, most of the Dire Fleet, the various undead/pirate effects (Grim Captain's Call, Boneyard Parley, March of the Drowned), Pitiless Plunderer, and to a lesser extent several other black pirates and/or pirate themed cards would beg to differ. I'd say it's a stretch to call the Brazen Coalition as a whole "Evil", but it would be more of a stretch to call them "Good" as a full group.

Chaotic Neutral, with a stronger leaning towards Evil than Good would be my best call.

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 Post subject: Re: Ixalan flavor thread
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:31 pm 
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The Brazen Coalition is definitely Chaotic Neutral. They barely look out for each other, let alone for any sort of greater good.

Black is not always evil, but it is pretty D&D Evil.


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 Post subject: Re: Ixalan flavor thread
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:39 pm 
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The Brazen Coalition are quite clearly in chaotic good territory for this plane.

Heartless Pillage, most of the Dire Fleet, the various undead/pirate effects (Grim Captain's Call, Boneyard Parley, March of the Drowned), Pitiless Plunderer, and to a lesser extent several other black pirates and/or pirate themed cards would beg to differ. I'd say it's a stretch to call the Brazen Coalition as a whole "Evil", but it would be more of a stretch to call them "Good" as a full group.

Chaotic Neutral, with a stronger leaning towards Evil than Good would be my best call.

I guess that's a good argument, but the Brazen Coalition basically being the targets of genocide, driven out of Ixalan during their non-pirate stage by the Sun Empire's totalitarian nature, and being driven to a set of islands and sinking ships is basically their entire story before turning into those people.

Most pirate undead spells are utilitarian in nature, and don't reflect off the Pirates in question in a way worse than the fate worse than death style that the River Heralds/Sun Empire does, or the immortality/bloodsucker theme that the Legion of Dusk has.

Skullduggery implies that pirates are willing to negotiate with people. In many of the Uncharted Realms stories they are even willing to take on merfolk despite many merfolk being associated with the River Heralds.

Meanwhile the Sun Empire is caught up in TF2 Soldier-level jingoism and nationalism, and the Legion of Dusk is no better.

The only group in Ixalan that is anywhere near better than the pirates is the River Heralds, in which their interaction with other people leaves deadly abominations that run risk of destroying people or wildlife with little warning, has very little of a standing army, and has only shown interaction with the Sun Empire, in which they are extremely far in neutral (if not lawful) good territory with a few (Kumena) hurled straight to chaotic evil.

So not only is the brazen coalition good guys in Ixalan, everyone associated with white mana is deep in the evil alignment except for Azor, which is a questionable figure since we don't know who he is besides someone that made the absolute worst legal organization in the multiverse besides the Phyrexians.

One more thing besides the alignment system in Ixalan in particular, is the fact that there's absolutely no way that chaotic good is possible using any color combination.


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 Post subject: Re: Ixalan flavor thread
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:31 pm 
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Creative at any rate tries to shove them as the protagonist faction, what with having the most focus both in narrative and world-building, depicted as the victims of unfairness and free-spirited compared to the authoritarian factions.

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 Post subject: Re: Ixalan flavor thread
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 6:51 pm 
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The Brazen Coalition are quite clearly in chaotic good territory for this plane.

Heartless Pillage, most of the Dire Fleet, the various undead/pirate effects (Grim Captain's Call, Boneyard Parley, March of the Drowned), Pitiless Plunderer, and to a lesser extent several other black pirates and/or pirate themed cards would beg to differ. I'd say it's a stretch to call the Brazen Coalition as a whole "Evil", but it would be more of a stretch to call them "Good" as a full group.

Chaotic Neutral, with a stronger leaning towards Evil than Good would be my best call.

I guess that's a good argument, but the Brazen Coalition basically being the targets of genocide, driven out of Ixalan during their non-pirate stage by the Sun Empire's totalitarian nature, and being driven to a set of islands and sinking ships is basically their entire story before turning into those people.

Most pirate undead spells are utilitarian in nature, and don't reflect off the Pirates in question in a way worse than the fate worse than death style that the River Heralds/Sun Empire does, or the immortality/bloodsucker theme that the Legion of Dusk has.

Skullduggery implies that pirates are willing to negotiate with people. In many of the Uncharted Realms stories they are even willing to take on merfolk despite many merfolk being associated with the River Heralds.

Meanwhile the Sun Empire is caught up in TF2 Soldier-level jingoism and nationalism, and the Legion of Dusk is no better.

The only group in Ixalan that is anywhere near better than the pirates is the River Heralds, in which their interaction with other people leaves deadly abominations that run risk of destroying people or wildlife with little warning, has very little of a standing army, and has only shown interaction with the Sun Empire, in which they are extremely far in neutral (if not lawful) good territory with a few (Kumena) hurled straight to chaotic evil.

So not only is the brazen coalition good guys in Ixalan, everyone associated with white mana is deep in the evil alignment except for Azor, which is a questionable figure since we don't know who he is besides someone that made the absolute worst legal organization in the multiverse besides the Phyrexians.

One more thing besides the alignment system in Ixalan in particular, is the fact that there's absolutely no way that chaotic good is possible using any color combination.

You see, I quite disagree with your read of the Sun Empire -- I feel like they're supposed to be the heroes of this story, though suffering slightly from Designated Hero Syndrome because a) They're natives on the defense and b) Our access point is Huatli, who isn't a saint but also isn't redoubtable figure like Kumena (Last seen as: TYRANT of Orazca). And they only suffer designation when you get into the full story, on the cards the Sun Empire is about as squeaky clean as M:tG factions get. True, they let their dinosaurs eat people, but how did the Llanowar penalty for tresspassing go again? And the elves of the Greater Llanowar-Skyshroud Metropolitan Area are some of the most straightforward heroic factions we've had in Magic: the Gathering. Sun Empire does pretty well in compare/contrast with such forces as Benalia, Tolaria (what was the student mortality rate again?), or the Boros "Summary Death Penalty for Pickpocketing" Legion, all generally considered "Good" (or at least "Face") factions

I'd say we're in a post-"George R.R. Martin Got Popular" era of fantasy so we're not allowed to have heroes anymore, but frankly grey-on-grey-on-black morality is a prestigious element of M:tG storytelling with a long and glorious tradition, long predating HBO picking and popularizing up Game of Thrones.

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