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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2021 2:54 am 
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neru wrote:
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I like that this actually feels like a sea god. Thassa's cards have always felt more generic blue. I was hoping that Cosima would be a sea monster or otherwise look weirder than she does here.


Also, I may be paranoid, but I’m a little nervous around gods with ‘Cosi’ in their name...


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2021 2:58 am 
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Barinellos wrote:
So Dominaria really does worship the mythological Aesir?

I'm sure in the same way they recite Shakespeare


The Shakespeare quotes were always pretty clearly meta-fictional epigraphs, not in-universe quotes.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2021 5:53 am 
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Barinellos wrote:
Upon thought, I'm actually a little surprised we haven't seen any pegasus given the pop culture proclivity of the valkyries riding winged stallions.
Sure, pegasi are greek, but then again Kraken are Norse, so... For that matter no kraken yet either.


About that:

http://www.magicspoiler.com/mtg-spoiler ... m-courser/

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2021 9:55 am 
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We also got a "kraken" with Orvar, the All-Form.

EDIT: and a real one with Icebreaker Kraken.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 4:11 pm 
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My theorizing was half tounge-in-cheek, but I do appreciate you taking it seriously!
Hey, we don't screw around here! Gotta flex those Dominaria muscles ;)

Oh, and if you want another tidbit about Norse culture on Dominaria: According to one of the Shadow Mage comics, people in Corondor celebrate Yule. It's only mentioned in passing, though, no real specifics are given or shown.

I mostly just miss when there was inter-planar cultural exchange, and a sense that it was all happening in the same multiverse, not just a theme park where bored, insipid planeswalkers moved between ‘dino world’ or ‘Egypt world’.
Me too, although considering they've systematically destroyed my investment in most of their post-Mending planes over the years and that I don't really care about most of the new planes or characters they introduce, I'm actually glad everything has become so isolated. Having meaningful connections between planes becomes detrimental when most of those planes drag down and potentially ruin everything they come into contact with. Especially with the state of the post-Tarkir, post-Origins continuity. Just give me my Dominaria in a big, safe oldschool-bubble and sprinkle in some Innistrad and Kamigawa once in a while and we're good. Seeing Mercadia and Ulgotha again would be fun, too.

And to address your point again, I feel like it would really help if they just stopped focusing on planeswalkers so much and let the plane-bound natives be the heroes of their own stories. Give me Inga Rune-Eyes and all those badass Viking Berserker Giant Warrior Valkyries, and let the 'walkers die in a fire. Wouldn't make the multiverse more connected, but getting a local perspective with meaningful stakes would make it feel more like a real setting and less like a theme park. Planeswalker cards should have stayed a decidious element like they were intended originally.

And sure, we can focus on 'walkers once in a while, but I agree with what others have said about all of them visiting the same handful of planes all the time. The older novels and even the webcomics had glimpses of completely new planes we'd never heard of and that didn't have to sustain their own card sets. And that was great because it made the multiverse feel bigger and less artificial. In fact, I'd argue it was among the most memorable things from those stories. Barren Gastal, ancient Equilor, the seven planes of Parnash with their infamous dungeons. The Sanctum of Stars that Chandra blows up on Kephalai. The verdant Dyson sphere of Pyrulea. That time Freyalise battled Tevesh Szat over Azoria. That plane with the three blue moons where Xantcha is looking for artefacts, the ice world with ruins of a forgotten civilisation frozen beneath her feet as she and Urza are running from Phyrexian Negators, not to mention their time on Moag. Don't make up an inconsequential new plane for everything, but maybe look outside the Therors-Zendikar-Ravnica triangle and find some middle-ground. And I stand by the idea of a "Multiverse Horizons" style set that I brought up a while ago and that would allow them to feature glimpses of forgotten planes that couldn't sustain their own set. Would work wonders for the IP and its universe.

I do think there’s a weird disconnect in the sudden appearance of Norse cultures and mythology in Terisaire on the onset of the Ice Age that could, at least, be explained by some kind of exchange happening in the Northlands at some point.
I mean, the changes to Terisiare have been explained by migration from the Northland. I don't think the Northland itself needs any further explanation for its culture.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 4:40 pm 
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I mean, I still hold that the Planeswalkers were sort of a necessary evil as evidenced that it took their aggressive marketing to get more people invested in the story, but I would love a story or two where the main protagonists are planebound.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 5:05 pm 
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I mean, I still hold that the Planeswalkers were sort of a necessary evil as evidenced that it took their aggressive marketing to get more people invested in the story, but I would love a story or two where the main protagonists are planebound.
That's the harsh reality of it, yeah. It's so sad that they ruined the story for the people who actually cared about the story in the first place (at least that's how I feel about it, and very strongly at that) in their attempts to shove it down everyone else's throats. The storyline was a major factor that used to keep me invested in Magic, but it's dead now, and it won't get back to being what it was. And when they make a serious attempt to get it right and give us something awesome, they undermine the whole thing a minute later (I can't believe they got Brandon freaking Sanderson to write a Magic novella for free only to piss him off later).

Then again, they could simply dial back the unsustainable plane hopping and re-establish their main world as a third pillar in their model, which would allow them to have the Weatherlight crew be the recurring main charcters for a while.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 8:47 pm 
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Kaldheim: I'm the most Metal plane in the multiver-

New Phyrexia: Am I a joke to y-

Dominaria: FOR THE GLORY OF KELD!

:-P

So, after careful consideration (and, like, spending two days outside in the snow or inside drinking mead and listening to Amon Amarth), I've come to the conclusion that Kaldheim is actually pretty awesome. There, I said it.


I'm glad you like it!

Quote:
That said, it still vexes me to no end that Valla isn't mentioned anywhere, but at least they dropped some hints that those ten realms aren't all there is, and we know there are "lost realms", whatever that means. So I guess there's enough wiggle room to somehow explain Valla's place in the canon somehow. It might have split off from the World Tree and exist indepently from it now, or maybe it always was a separate plane that had a connection to Kaldheim in pre-Mending times. Either of those options would explain why there is a Planechase card called Immersturm whose type is "Valla" instead of "Kaldheim". Just erasing or retconning it and going full "Valla doesn't exist, has never existed and will never exist" would have been completely unacceptable in my book.


Valla exists*. There was originally a realm in Kaldheim called Valla. The region called the Immersturm grew to cover a large area of the realm. One of the combatant factions deployed a mighty weapon, which cracked the realm in twain. Part of it fell from the World Tree and became an independent plane called Valla. The remnant of the realm that was still attached to the World Tree was completely covered with Immersturm, and over time the original name of Valla was abandoned and the realm came to be called Immersturm. And that's why there's an Immersturm in Kaldheim and an Immersturm in Valla.

* I mean, it's still part of Magic's fictional setting! :D

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Last edited by WotC_Ethan on Wed Feb 03, 2021 12:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 1:09 am 
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WotC_Ethan wrote:
Valla exists*. There was originally a realm in Kaldheim called Valla. The region called the Immersturm grew to cover a large area of the realm. One of the combatant factions deployed a mighty weapon, which cracked the realm in twain. Part of it fell from then World Tree and became an independent plane called Valla. The remnant of the realm that was still attached to the World Tree was completely covered with Immersturm, and over time the original name of Valla was abandoned and the realm came to be called Immersturm. And that's why there's an Immersturm in Kaldheim and an Immersturm in Valla.

* I mean, it's still part of Magic's fictional setting! :D


Metal!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 3:03 am 
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We'll drink to that.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 10:33 am 
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The art's going to bug me. Now I'm imagining if the shadow elves could've had different skin tones, like pale green or shadow grey.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 10:52 am 
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Well, their skin is grey alright.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 3:33 pm 
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WotC_Ethan wrote:
I'm glad you like it!
I really do! Good job Mr. Vision Design ;)

I admit I don't really like or care about most new sets that come out these days*, but Kaldheim is badass and absolutely on track, both creatively and mechanically. In fact, I would have loved to see another Kaldheim set right after this one. I'm kinda surprised it took you guys so long to explicitly embrace the Metal aspect, considering the overwhelming majority of Magic players that I know are into Metal.
And I'm especially happy to see Snow make a comeback, it's one of my favourite mechanics in all of Magic. I understand if it's too early to tell or if you can't really talk about it Ethan, but do you think it's possible we might see Snow on other planes as well? Or is the mechanic forever married to Kaldheim now? (Yeah, I'm still holding out for that Northland set on Dominaria :-P)

*This year in general is looking really promising so far, the only thing that really makes me want to yell from here to Seattle is that bloody Forgotten Realms set...


WotC_Ethan wrote:
Valla exists*. There was originally a realm in Kaldheim called Valla. The region called the Immersturm grew to cover a large area of the realm. One of the combatant factions deployed a mighty weapon, which cracked the realm in twain. Part of it fell from then World Tree and became an independent plane called Valla. The remnant of the realm that was still attached to the World Tree was completely covered with Immersturm, and over time the original name of Valla was abandoned and the realm came to be called Immersturm. And that's why there's an Immersturm in Kaldheim and an Immersturm in Valla.

* I mean, it's still part of Magic's fictional setting! :D
I can't tell if you just made this up on the fly to appease diehard nerds like me, but I'm glad that mystery is solved now! Thanks! I guess my speculation was pretty reasonable after all. See? I'm perfectly willing to look for solutions to apparent contradictions when I'm given some wiggle room to work with ;)

Can you maybe tell us why Valla wasn't used for this set? Your in-universe explanation is pretty cool, but was there any particular reason the worldbuilding team didn't call Immersturm Valla? Was it to explain why Valla and Kaldheim are distinct planes in Planechase, or was there a problem with the name itself? Was it always clear the set (and the plane as a whole) would be called Kaldheim or was there a scenario in which Kaldheim was just one of the realms?

Anyway, Immersturm turned out awesome, I'd say it and Karfell (and maybe Surtheim) are my favourite realms in Kaldheim. The artwork on Immersturm Skullcairn is all I needed from this set :D


Edit: Oh, and one pressing question I've been carrying around all this time... Why is Ramaz not in this set? :/

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 5:10 pm 
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I don't see any reason why snow should be exclusive to Kaldheim.

I'll have you know that I made up the Immersturm explanation on the fly two years ago, and have been waiting for someone to ask about it ever since!

The simple explanation for Immersturm vs. Valla is that the Worldbuilding team thought that Immersturm sounded awesome and that Valla sounded lame.

There was plenty of discussion about whether the realms should be individual planes that were connected together. For a while I referred to the realm that became Karfell as "Kaldheim," which is why Skybreen ended up in Karfell. We tried out lots of names for the plane and for the set, and Kaldheim won out through whatever arcane process the Product Architects use to decide such things, and by a sound margin, I'm told.

Ramaz wasn't here for two reasons. Firstly, we wanted each of the other planeswalkers here for a variety of reasons. Maybe I'll do a Twitter thread about Kaldheim's planeswalkers if I can find time. Secondly, as far as I know there are zero Ramaz fans within the walls of Wizards of the Coast. To put this into perspective, there is a sizable (by which I mean, at least three-strong) Commodore Guff cheering section in the building. (And just to be perfectly clear, I am the figurehead of the Anti-Guff Faction.)

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Last edited by WotC_Ethan on Thu Jan 21, 2021 6:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 5:29 pm 
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Hope we do get a resolution to Ramaz's story however, especially since his master is no more.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 5:41 pm 
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WotC_Ethan wrote:
I'll have you know that I made up the Immersturm explanation on the fly two years ago, and have been waiting for someone to ask about it ever since!
Ha! I'm glad you did. You can always count on me to ask unpleasant questions when I spot a possible violation of the canon, so it's a good idea to have an answer prepared ;) (Seriously, though, I'm genuinely happy that someone paid attention to consistency, because few things in Magic have ruined my fun like retcons and inconsistencies.)

WotC_Ethan wrote:
The simple explanation for Immersturm vs. Valla is that the Worldbuilding team thought that Immersturm sounded awesome and that Valla sounded lame.
:dubious:

WotC_Ethan wrote:
There was plenty of discussion about whether the realms should be individual planes that were connected together. For a while I referred to the realm that became Karfell as "Kaldheim," which is why Skybreen ended up in Karfell. We tried out lots of names for the plane and for the set, and Kaldheim won out through whatever arcane process the Protect Architects use to decide such things, and by a sound margin, I'm told.
Yeah, personally, I would have handled the naming thing differently if it had been up to me, mostly because 'Kaldheim' really sounds like the name of a particular realm. And for what it's worth, the fact that the set is called Kaldheim definitely created a strong expecation with me that Ramaz would (and should) be there. As much as I like the plane and the set, the 'walkers are by far the weakest part of it all in my opinion. Not only do I actively dislike most of the 'walkers that are there, they also take up space that could have been used for thematically appropriate 'walkers (Ramaz, Garruk, Koth, Angrath, Ob Nixilis...).

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2021 5:02 am 
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Huh... I just realized that despite giants being a major tribe, there are no lady giants in the cards.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2021 10:01 am 
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So, what do we make of the fact that 'Phyrexian' is a creature type now?

I've always been against using it as a creature type when it came up in the past. I've kinda softened in that I can at least buy that it makes some degree of sense to group all Phyrexians together as their own type, but only if they errata all previous cards that should logically have it. I don't think WotC has made a statement about that so far, have they? Do you think it's worth making a separate thread about it and try to compile all cards that should have the Phyrexian type added?

The thing that bothers me the most about it is that it feels like something they should have introduced when Urza's Saga came out, or in Invasion at the latest (hence my insistence on errata). Going that route in 2021 feels textbook anticlimactic. And sure, I love Phyrexia and can see the appeal of playing Phyrexian tribal, but I'm glad they got a more clever mechanical identity in Scars block. I really loved the Phyrexian mechanics there. One negative side effect that it's going to have is that it imposes a limit on the number of Phyrexians we are going to see in any given set, which means we probably won't get a full return to New Phyrexia.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2021 11:00 am 
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Barinellos wrote:
Huh... I just realized that despite giants being a major tribe, there are no lady giants in the cards.

Still better than having a peerless blacksmith named Varal, I assure you :D

...or maybe these giants ain't dimorphic, which would be fun, if ridiculously unlikely.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2021 11:12 am 
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Barinellos wrote:
Huh... I just realized that despite giants being a major tribe, there are no lady giants in the cards.

Still better than having a peerless blacksmith named Varal, I assure you :D

...or maybe these giants ain't dimorphic, which would be fun, if ridiculously unlikely.
For what it's worth, the article about the legends of Kaldheim states that "Kaldar, the king of the fire giants, had a secret affair with one of the frost giant matrons", which is given as an explanation for Aegar, the Freezing Flame being a fire/frost giant hybrid. So there are definitely male and female giants who have babies the old fashioned way.

https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/a ... 2021-01-21

But yeah, I agree it's kinda weird there are no female giants on the cards. I get that they already did more concepting for Kaldheim's art than they ususally do for new planes with one set, but you'd think painting a giant with a female body shape and no beard shouldn't be that much extra work.

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