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PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2021 6:27 pm 
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I've been looking at the Oracle text for various legendary creature cards from Legends, and a few of them look a little off to me. Sources of information on these characters are generally old and scattered about. I'd like to recommended a few fixes to the Worldbuilding team at some point, but I want to make sure I've got everything right first. Please let me know if you have any information or opinions about any of these.

Adun Oakenshield
Legendary Creature — Human Knight
I don't think there is any information on this character beyond the flavor text and illustration. Human Knight seems correct.

Angus Mackenzie
Legendary Creature — Human Cleric
I don't think there is any information on this character beyond the flavor text and illustration. Human Cleric seems correct.

Arcades Sabboth
Legendary Creature — Elder Dragon
This one actually has creature types printed on the card, plus the new version we made in M19.

Axelrod Gunnarson
Legendary Creature — Giant
I don't think there is any information on this character beyond the illustration. The art and mechanics support the Giant type.

Ayesha Tanaka
Legendary Creature — Human Artificer
She's in the Legends II trilogy, where she's Tetsuo's armorer, IIRC. Given than, plus her artifact-centric mechanic, Human Artificer seems correct.

Barktooth Warbeard
Legendary Creature — Human Warrior
This guy was part of the kentsu (the Madaran imperial army) in the Legends II trilogy. Human Warrior seems fine for him.

Bartel Runeaxe
Legendary Creature — Giant Warrior
I don't think there is any information on this character beyond the flavor text and illustration. Hammerheim Deadeye is a Giant, so why not this guy? Plus he "thunders down" from Hammerheim.

Boris Devilboon
Legendary Creature — Zombie Wizard
Boris got turned into a zombie in the Legends II books, right?

Chromium
Legendary Creature — Elder Dragon
This one actually has creature types printed on the card, plus the new version we made in M19.

Dakkon Blackblade
Legendary Creature — Human Warrior
Most of what we know about him is from the Dakkon Blackblade comic. He's a Planeswalker. It's not totally clear that he's human, what with the gray skin, huge physique, and glowing red eyes, but I guess there isn't a better type for him.

Gabriel Angelfire
Legendary Creature — Angel
According to the "Church of Angelfire" entry in the Encyclopedia Dominia, "The Church of Angelfire is perhaps the most popular church in present-day Benalia. Upwards of twenty percent of Benalkin (a term used by Benalish to describe themselves, particularly within the city of Benalia) proclaim themselves to be worshippers of Angelfire.
"The church is named for the legendary warrior Gabriel Angelfire, whose spirit, it is claimed, burns on to this day. The main altar of every Angelfire church glows with the peculiar red-green candlelight of this "spirit-flame." The candles are thought to represent Gabriel's indomitable will, and are almost impossible to snuff once lit. The candle-making formula is considered a religious secret."
The text describes Gabriel as a "warrior." The wings in the illustration make is reasonable for a player to assume that this is an Angel. Angel Warrior?

Gosta Dirk
Legendary Creature — Human Warrior
He's one of the rebel leaders fighting against the Madarans in Legends II. I don't recall any details of how he is described there.

Gwendlyn Di Corci
Legendary Creature — Human Rogue
We don't know much about her beyond the art and FT, and a couple of offhand comments here and there. Human Rogue seems fine for her.

Halfdane
Legendary Creature — Shapeshifter
He's in Legends II, where he murders and impersonates several people. Shapeshifter seems correct.

Hazezon Tamar
Legendary Creature — Human Warrior
He's in the Jedit Ojanen comics and Legends I novels. Human Warrior sounds right, since he makes Sand Warrior tokens.

Hunding Gjornersen
Legendary Creature — Human Warrior
Hunding is clearly depicted as a Dwarf in the Jedit Ojanen comics, though those aren't really canon anymore, I guess. Is he described as a Dwarf in the Legends I novels?

Jacques le Vert
Legendary Creature — Human Warrior
The FT of Pendelhaven Elder, an Elf, implies that Jacques is her ancester. Is he supposed to have the Elf creature type? He doesn't LOOK like an elf, or have a Welsh-sounding name... Maybe Pendelhaven Elder just has some human blood in her ancestry?

Jasmine Boreal
Legendary Creature — Human
This card has been reprinted with a creature type, and printed card usually trump other concerns.

Jedit Ojanen
Legendary Creature — Cat Warrior
Literally described as a Cat Warrior in his FT.

Jerrard of the Closed Fist
Legendary Creature — Human Knight
I don't think there is any information on this character beyond the flavor text and illustration. The art clearly depicts a Knight, and I think that Human is a reasonable assumption in the absence of any other information.

Johan
Legendary Creature — Human Wizard
I must not be eager to reread the Legends I trilogy. Is Johan described as being anything other than a Human there?

Kasimir the Lone Wolf
Legendary Creature — Human Warrior
This character is in the Legends II trilogy, IIRC. Human Warrior sounds good?

Kei Takahashi
Legendary Creature — Human Cleric
Legends II character. This card's mechanic suggests a healer, and therefor the Cleric type.

Lady Caleria
Legendary Creature — Elf Archer
This character is mentioned in Legends I and shows up in Legends II, IIRC. She isn't explicitely described as an elf there, but her longevity and the pointed ears in the illustration point to her elvishness.

Lady Evangela
Legendary Creature — Human Cleric
There's no information on this character that I'm aware of, beyond the art and FT. Mechanic supports Cleric type.

Lady Orca
Legendary Creature — Demon
This character appears in Legends II. IIRC, Ramses Overdark corrupted and transformed a human into a gigantic, monstrous tar monster. I can't remember if the word "demon" was used in reference to her in the text.

Livonya Silone
Legendary Creature — Human Warrior
I don't think we know anything beyond the art and FT, which itself is pretty mysterious. Human Warrior seems as good as anything.

Lord Magnus
Legendary Creature — Human Druid
Some early source said he was from Llanowar, though I can't recall what the source was off the top of my head. He's the elder druid of Argenti in the Legends II novels, right?

Marhault Elsdragon
Legendary Creature — Elf Warrior
This character is rumored to have elven blood in the Legends II novels, right? Giving him the Elf type is consistent with how we've treated characters like Radha, Kaysa, etc.

Nebuchadnezzar
Legendary Creature — Human Wizard
I believe the only info on him comes from the page-a-day calendar. He's a "seeker of truth and a speaker of wisdom" who "dispenses strict justice." He has a beard and a staff, so I guess he's a wizard?

Nicol Bolas
Legendary Creature — Elder Dragon
This one actually has creature types printed on the card, plus the new version we made in M19.

Palladia-Mors
Legendary Creature — Elder Dragon
This one actually has creature types printed on the card, plus the new version we made in M19.

Pavel Maliki
Legendary Creature — Human
All we have is the art and FT, I believe, neither of which says much about this guy. I can't read Latin, but it doesn't look helpful to me.

Princess Lucrezia
Legendary Creature — Human Wizard
There was a nation and/or island called Lucrezia in the Legends I novels, IIRC. This card's name suggests she should be a Noble, not a Wizard.

Ragnar
Legendary Creature — Human Cleric
From Legends II trilogy. He's a healer, I believe?

Ramirez DePietro
Legendary Creature — Human Pirate
This card's FT makes his occupation clear. His continuity is a bit of a snarl, but pirate seems consistent with those depictions.

Ramses Overdark
Legendary Creature — Human Assassin
Ramses is the emperor's assassin in the Legends II novels.

Rasputin Dreamweaver
Legendary Creature — Human Wizard
There are no stories about this character, AFAIK. Bearded man with staff = Wizard.

Riven Turnbull
Legendary Creature — Human Advisor
There aren't any stories about this character, AFAIK. His flavor text suggests "Rebel" more than "Advisor" to me.

Rohgahh of Kher Keep
Legendary Creature — Kobold
His son is a Kobold, so it's reasonable to assume that Rohgahh is as well.

Rubinia Soulsinger
Legendary Creature — Faerie
We reprinted this with the creature type Faerie. Printed cards generally trump other considerations.

Sir Shandlar of Eberyn
Legendary Creature — Human Knight
No lore on this character, AFAIK. Name implies that he is indeed a Knight.

Sivitri Scarzam
Legendary Creature — Human
This character is described as a "planes-traveling being" and as a "woman" in "The Dragon War" short story in Dakkon Blackblade #1. The story implies that she is a Planeswalker. There's nothing to suggest that she's a merfolk, despite her finny-looking fashion accessories, so I guess Human works.

Sol'kanar the Swamp King
Legendary Creature — Demon
This character is mostly described in "The Dragon War." The card has been reprinted with the Demon type, so there's no point in going into Sol'kanar's convoluted backstory.

Stangg
Legendary Creature — Human Warrior
This card has been reprinted as a Human Warrior.

Sunastian Falconer
Legendary Creature — Human Shaman
I believe that this character has no backstory besides what's on the card. I'm not sure why this is a Shaman rather than some other type. Usually creatures that tap for mana are druids, but I guess this character doesn't look much like a druid. I would have guessed Wizard...

Tetsuo Umezawa
Legendary Creature — Human Archer
The art clearly depicts a Samurai, though IIRC that word was never used to describe Tetsuo (or anybody else) in the Legends II trilogy. I guess the concept of a Samurai didn't exist in Madara. The mechanic plus the art support the Archer type, though he generally uses a sword in the books.

The Lady of the Mountain
Legendary Creature — Giant
There's a big story about The Lady in The Myths of Magic. She's the daughter of Gaea and Fiers, two gods who made Dominaria. There's nothing to suggest that she's a giant in that story; a monster even towers over her at one point. She's clearly not as powerful as Gaea or Fiers; they can chuck planets around like basketballs, while The Lady sometimes struggles in battle against goblins. On the other hand, she created the dwarven race, which has to count for something. What type should she have? God? Spirit? Something else?

Tobias Andrion
Legendary Creature — Human Advisor
There's some information on Andrion in the Encyclopedia Dominia. His description as an "administrator" supports the Advisor type, I think.

Tor Wauki
Legendary Creature — Human Archer
Characters new Tor Wauki appear in both the Legends I and Legends II trilogies. They're probably different characters, but IIRC both depictions support the Archer type. Tor Wauki is also described as a "bandit king" in the FT of the Fifth Edition printing of Ambush Party, but we can probably ignore that.

Torsten Von Ursus
Legendary Creature — Human Soldier
Torsten is described in an entry in the Encyclopedia Dominia. He left the Knights of Jenges to found Benalia, so I guess he doesn't get the Knight creature type. He is described as a "warrior." But Benalish Hero has the Soldier type, and maybe it's important that they have the same type? Eh.

Tuknir Deathlock
Legendary Creature — Human Wizard
We don't know much about him, other than he's an explorer of the Æther and has great fashion sense. Sounds like a Wizard to me!

Ur-Drago
Legendary Creature — Elemental
This character appears in the page-a-day calendar, where he's described as a monster with scorpion claws for hands and feet who doesn't need to eat or breathe. He appears in the Greensleeves trilogy; Greensleeve banishes him to The Abyss or the Nether Void, or one of those place. I can't remember which book it was in. Ur-Drago also appears in the Legends I trilogy, in Hazezon, I think? I seem to recall that, despite what the MTGS Wiki says, there was an implied connection betweeen Ur-Drago and the Ur-Dragon, but I could be misremembering. Is there anything in any of these sources to suggest that he's an elemental? Or anything else in particular, for that matter?

Vaevictis Asmadi
Legendary Creature — Elder Dragon
This one actually has creature types printed on the card, plus the new version we made in M19.

Xira Arien
Legendary Creature — Insect Wizard
There are two Xira Ariens in the fiction. One, Xira Arien, the Glass Mountain, is a human woman who appears in the Legends I trilogy. Xira Arien, the Eumidian (wasp person) is from the Legends II trilogy, and is clearly the character represented on this card. Insect makes sense, she's a wasp person. Does Xira have wizard powers in the book, or is she more of an assassin? I know that the Assassin type frequently has mechanical baggage, so it may not be pop=ular to change to that...

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2021 8:19 pm 
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Hey, always good to see someone care about creature types! :D

I guess you're already familiar with these, but I'll drop two links in your lap in case they're helpful:

http://multiverseinreview.blogspot.com/ ... nders.html

http://multiverseinreview.blogspot.com/ ... nds-i.html


And it's super late in my time zone and I'm basically on my way to bed, but a couple of things I can comment on from the top of my head:

Quote:
Boris Devilboon
Legendary Creature — Zombie Wizard
Boris got turned into a zombie in the Legends II books, right?
Yep. Zombie Wizard is fine.

Quote:
Hazezon Tamar
Legendary Creature — Human Warrior
He's in the Jedit Ojanen comics and Legends I novels. Human Warrior sounds right, since he makes Sand Warrior tokens.
Hazezon is just one of those characters who is a little bit of everything rolled into one because he has been and done so many things throughout his life (pirate, nomad, wizard, governor...), but for the intents and purposes of a realistic type line, you can't really go wrong with Warrior. And I agree it matches the Sand Warrior tokens.

Quote:
Jacques le Vert
Legendary Creature — Human Warrior
The FT of Pendelhaven Elder, an Elf, implies that Jacques is her ancester. Is he supposed to have the Elf creature type? He doesn't LOOK like an elf, or have a Welsh-sounding name... Maybe Pendelhaven Elder just has some human blood in her ancestry?
Yeah, I'd probably go with Human. Even if he really is that elf's ancestor, his name is just too odd, and there have been several random instances of characters from Dominaria having mixed human/elven blood (e.g. one of Greensleeves' assistants, not to mention the legendary ones). Plus, "le Vert" means "the green (one)", so it would make more sense for a human to be given a moniker like that for being an ally of the forest or something. Elves are kinda expected to be that by default.

Quote:
Johan
Legendary Creature — Human Wizard
I must not be eager to reread the Legends I trilogy. Is Johan described as being anything other than a Human there?
Johan is confirmed to be a human. He got the horns and red skin as a side effect of certain magical experiments, then added the black tattoos to look even more menacing.

Quote:
Lord Magnus
Legendary Creature — Human Druid
Some early source said he was from Llanowar, though I can't recall what the source was off the top of my head. He's the elder druid of Argenti in the Legends II novels, right?
He is, and the source you are looking for is the 5th/6th Edition flavour text on Pradesh Gypsies, on which he is quoted as "Lord Magnus of Llanowar". I assume he was from the Llanowar region originally before he ended up on Argenti. That place had lots of elements that came from somewhere else originally, IIRC. And for what it's worth, the Pradesh are mentioned in the Greensleeves trilogy - which is set in Aerona - as part of Greensleeves scouts, so Magnus could certainly have met them in Aerona. I'd say Human Druid fits.

Quote:
Marhault Elsdragon
Legendary Creature — Elf Warrior
This character is rumored to have elven blood in the Legends II novels, right? Giving him the Elf type is consistent with how we've treated characters like Radha, Kaysa, etc.
Correct.

Quote:
The Lady of the Mountain
Legendary Creature — Giant
There's a big story about The Lady in The Myths of Magic. She's the daughter of Gaea and Fiers, two gods who made Dominaria. There's nothing to suggest that she's a giant in that story; a monster even towers over her at one point. She's clearly not as powerful as Gaea or Fiers; they can chuck planets around like basketballs, while The Lady sometimes struggles in battle against goblins. On the other hand, she created the dwarven race, which has to count for something. What type should she have? God? Spirit? Something else?
Personally, I've always thought she should be an Avatar. I'm certainly 100% against ever using the God type for Dominarian creatures, because that would fly in the face of the original idea that godhood in Magic is in the eye of the beholder (which usually meant planeswalkers).

Quote:
Xira Arien
Legendary Creature — Insect Wizard
There are two Xira Ariens in the fiction. One, Xira Arien, the Glass Mountain, is a human woman who appears in the Legends I trilogy. Xira Arien, the Eumidian (wasp person) is from the Legends II trilogy, and is clearly the character represented on this card. Insect makes sense, she's a wasp person. Does Xira have wizard powers in the book, or is she more of an assassin? I know that the Assassin type frequently has mechanical baggage, so it may not be pop=ular to change to that...
She's more of an assassin. The only real "wizard powers" she has come from whatever enchantment Lord Dark happens to have put on her for any given mission. I'd definitely go with Insect Assassin, but I guess you could consider Minion instead of Assassin if that has too much mechanical baggage.

I'll look at the other stuff and check the books, but I can't promise I'll get around to that before Monday...


Oh, and PLEASE erase the Human type from Rag Man and Master of the Hunt. Those have been bothering me for ages. (Rag Man is either a magical construct or a weird incubus-style thing, depending on the story. I'd say just Minion is okay. The huntmaster appears in Legends I and is some sort of mysterious supernatural force. I'll think about suggestions to replace the Human type...)

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Tell why Truth must fight with Falsehood, and why Truth will always win."
—Love Song of Night and Day


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2021 1:29 am 
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I could actually swear there was some kind of information floating around about Angus Mackenzie somewhere, but I'm going to have to take a seriously deep dive to find where I would even need to begin.

Dakkon deserves an artificer tag too. He was a blacksmith, and one of such skill as to have forged the blackblade. That's some serious work and it's be nice to get that recognition. Nothing against warrior as well.

Gabriel might as well be an angel warrior. I like that they're actually getting more robust roles attached to those creature types.

Gosta being a rebel should maybe get the rebel type. Then again, I'm probably going to be arguing for types that nobody wants to acknowledge either. Like Nomad or so help me, mystic.

Halfdane might benefit from the assassin type since he's a prolific murderer. (And if Thraximundarr counts as an assassin despite being a canonical berserker, then...)

I think, when considering Hazezon that he should probably be a noble now that it's a creature type. No objections to warrior too, to match the sand tokens, but his position as governor overshadows most of my other thoughts about him.

Johan is in a weird place because wizard doesn't really fit comfortably in his color portfolio. For that matter, his color portfolio is REALLY ill fitting. Given his appearance and mannerisms, my instinct is to use warlock, but that might just be trying to get mileage out of it, and it's an even worse match for color.

Lady Orca was described primarily as a giant. Demon was a surprising choice during the errata, but her very first and most important trait was her size. Plus, I'll get into arguments over what being a giant even is...

Magnus as a druid is apt. I recall his name coming up somewhere, but I'm scrambled to think where.

Sol'kanar probably deserves at least a nod as an elemental. He's a Maro spirit as much as multani or molimo.

Tetsuo not being a samurai is... Bothersome. Considering Toshiro got the type and he's EXPLICITLY less the samurai figure, tetsuo not living up to his ancestry or landed title has always always bothered me.

Lady of the mountain feels right as an avatar. It's good enough for the scion of darkness, which was reputedly Kuberr, so I'd say there's precedent.

Edit: having reviewed the motto on Pavel, it essentially talks about him being a cleric of all things..
"Pavel malachorum, dux nostrum deus providebit"
More or less translates "Pavel Maliki, our Lord God provides" There's some nuance to the entire phrase that a direct translation kind of lacks. (Dux meaning leader or guide, taking on a different connotation when paired with Deus.)

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At twilight's end, the shadow's crossed / a new world birthed, the elder lost.
Yet on the morn we wake to find / that mem'ry left so far behind.
To deafened ears we ask, unseen / "Which is life and which the dream?"


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2021 11:08 am 
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@Dakkon: You could probably rationalise him just being a Human Warrior by saying his days as an active artificer are over by the time he appears on his card (which I'd assume shows him post-ascension, but with his planeswalker powers suppressed by Dihada). Not that I'd be terribly upset if they made him a Human Warrior Artificer or something.

@Gabriel: The encyclopedia entry almost makes it sound like he was a Human Warrior who somehow became an Angel, so I'd say him retaining the class type and being an Angel Warrior would be a cool nod to that. I'm normally not a big fan of giving class types to Angels, but it might be a good fit in this case.

@Hazezon: I'm pretty sure they only give the Noble type to "nobles" that don't have another class type. Then again, would Hazezon even qualify as a "noble"? I think he started out as a desert nomad, then became a pirate, then a rich merchant, then was elected governor of Bryce. Granted, I'm not entirely sure the desert tribe he was from didn't have a concept of "nobility" and that Hazezon wasn't regarded as a noble among them. I'd have to dig deep into all three books to be completely sure. But the point is, I think his office as governor was more of a democratic or meritocratic thing and not a "nobility" thing.

@Johan: I think Human Wizard is absolutely the right call. I could go on a long rant about why I hate the Warlock type in general, but more importantly, as Barinellos said, Wizard is a much better fit for a Naya-coloured card than Warlock would be. And he's certainly more of a wizardly type than, say, a Cleric, Shaman or Druid.

@Lady Orca: I'm pretty sure she's referred to as a "siege demon" in the books, and her powers also point in that direction. That and the fact that she used to be a human battlemage. There's precedence in the canon for humans being turned into demons, but a human being turned into a giant would be pretty weird.

@Sol'kanar: Personally, I've never had a problem accepting that corrupting a nature elemental with black magic could turn it into a demon, considering they are both different types of mana constructs. Not that I'd be opposed to making him a Demon Elemental if they really wanted to.

@Tetsuo: I agree with Ethan that there are no Samurai in Madara and that the word was never used in the books (at least I can virtually guarantee you that it wasn't). There's also the fact that all Samurai cards have Bushido, which Tetsuo lacks. My impression from the books is that the imperial kentsu army only consisted of normal soldiers and didn't have a samurai/knight class, only legendary individuals like Marhault Elsdragon, Barktooth Warbeard or Jorgan Hage, who were things like Warriors or Berserkers (and who were foreigners anyway). The Umezawa Clan on Dominaria wasn't rich and influential because Toshi had been a samurai, but because they built up their wealth and power over time. You have to remember that Toshi stumbled into Madara as a blind man from another world, without land or possessions, and whatever ranks or titles he might have had on Kamigawa were utterly meaningless in his new home. I'd probably go with Human Warrior. Warrior feels like enough of a catch-all term for various fighter types that it could be taken to include his archery, and it would bring him in line with characters like Marhault Elsdragon or Barktooth Warbeard. Tetsuo is also a really overpowered spellcaster and battlemage (in addition to being an archer, swordsman and martial artist), and I'd say there is some precedent for that kind of character getting the Warrior type, e.g. Marhault Elsdragon or Jared Carthalion. The mechanics of the card could be interpreted as Tetsuo killing someone in a duel or something, or just killing someone in a million other ways than just shooting them with a bow.

@Pavel: Wait, those are three separate phrases/parts of the inscription, right? Pavel Malachorum / Dux Nostrum / Deus Providebit (P.M. / Our Leader / God Provides). Or what do you mean by Dux being paired with Deus? Another interesting wrinkle is the latinised name. I'd have to hit the grammar books to be sure, but IIRC, Malachorum (as in Malak/orum) could mean "of Maliki" or "of the Malikis", right? Because that combined with the "leader" part could mean he's some sort of nobleman. The flavour text could imply he's some sort of knight errant, so that would fit.

Quote:
Jasmine Boreal
Legendary Creature — Human
This card has been reprinted with a creature type, and printed card usually trump other concerns.
This is another one that has been bothering me forever, because she's clearly 100% a Human Druid. And I could be wrong, but having Humans with no class type is generally something you guys try to avoid, right? Would be especially awkward on a legendary card.

Quote:
Torsten Von Ursus
Legendary Creature — Human Soldier
Torsten is described in an entry in the Encyclopedia Dominia. He left the Knights of Jenges to found Benalia, so I guess he doesn't get the Knight creature type. He is described as a "warrior." But Benalish Hero has the Soldier type, and maybe it's important that they have the same type? Eh.
I would actually argue that he should be a Human Knight, precisely because he used to be one of the Knights of Jenges. His helm and other gear also look more like a stereotypical knight than a "common" soldier. Plus, he's the guy depicted in History of Benalia, which creates and boosts Knights. It's a bit like the Hazezon situation.

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Tell why Truth must fight with Falsehood, and why Truth will always win."
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2021 11:36 am 
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Yep, I hit the books. Everything ending in -orum is unambiguously genitive plural, so "Malachorum" is probably supposed to mean "of the Malikis" or "of the family of Maliki", which might imply he's from a noble family. Otherwise the inscription would probably just call him "Pavel Malichus" or something.

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Tell why Truth must fight with Falsehood, and why Truth will always win."
—Love Song of Night and Day


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2021 11:46 am 
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My big argument with tetsuo is that he IS a samurai by every functionality other than the term being used. He was landed gentry following a warriors code and martial discipline sworn to a lord upon his honor. That is, in actuality, far more of a samurai than Tetsuo ever was. At best, Tetsuo was a dishonored ronin of not an outright brigand. So, this is 100% a case of walking and quacking like a duck. The intent on what he was is absolutely clear, otherwise it's quibbling because the actual terminology wasn't used in-world.

He also stood apart from the rest of the military structure, as much as Ramses did, so I don't think you could really use the kentsu as an argument.

@Orca: again, this goes back to my argument that giant didn't really mean anything in the game. Even if we just roll with the idea giant means "immense humanoid" then that's the bare minimum that she fits.

@Hazezon: sure, there's an argument to be had over the idea of noble bloodlines or whatever, but my first thought of him is as a leader and diplomatic governor and the only term we have that covers that is a noble.

As to Pavel, that's operating in the assumption it IS three phrases rather than a name and a phrase. The context of dux nostrum deus providebit is different than if the phrase were separated. You're making an assumption that pavil is the leader in the phrase rather than God.

Further, Malaki is clearly insired by Malachi, which simply means Messenger. (Albeit not in Latin). But that would mean the name could be interpreted as Pavel of the Messengers.

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Yet on the morn we wake to find / that mem'ry left so far behind.
To deafened ears we ask, unseen / "Which is life and which the dream?"


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2021 12:35 pm 
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Barinellos wrote:
My big argument with tetsuo is that he IS a samurai by every functionality other than the term being used. He was landed gentry following a warriors code and martial discipline sworn to a lord upon his honor. That is, in actuality, far more of a samurai than Tetsuo ever was. At best, Tetsuo was a dishonored ronin of not an outright brigand. So, this is 100% a case of walking and quacking like a duck. The intent on what he was is absolutely clear, otherwise it's quibbling because the actual terminology wasn't used in-world.

He also stood apart from the rest of the military structure, as much as Ramses did, so I don't think you could really use the kentsu as an argument.
Then again, you could probably say that about most Knights, who also aren't Samurai. Samurai is actually a super awkward type to begin with, precisely because it's basically just Knight with a Japanese coat of paint. Making Tetsuo the only Samurai in all of Dominaria would be pretty jarring in my opinion. And I think the things you mentioned about Tetsuo's position mostly stem from him being the Imperial Champion rather than a member of a particular knight/warrior/samurai class (as samurai actually were). That's basically what my kentsu argument was aiming at. You can't really call someone a samurai when there's no samurai class in their culture. And Tetsuo being a Human Warrior wouldn't preclude him being any of the things you mentioned.

Barinellos wrote:
@Orca: again, this goes back to my argument that giant didn't really mean anything in the game. Even if we just roll with the idea giant means "immense humanoid" then that's the bare minimum that she fits.
Yeah, I never really got that argument to be honest. To me at least, stuff that gets the Giant type in Magic falls under "a member of that one particular race or family of races of really big humanoids", not everything that's vaguely humanoid and also really big. I think the fuzziness surrounding the term "giant" is more of a problem of the English language than anything to do with the concept itself.

Barinellos wrote:
@Hazezon: sure, there's an argument to be had over the idea of noble bloodlines or whatever, but my first thought of him is as a leader and diplomatic governor and the only term we have that covers that is a noble.
Noble is just another one of those types that I'm not a fan of because they don't really make sense when you think about them. At the very least, I don't think it should be used to decribe the kind of leader an elected governor is. But I think the argument is largely academic, because I don't think creatures who already have a class type would get the Noble type anyway.

Barinellos wrote:
As to Pavel, that's operating in the assumption it IS three phrases rather than a name and a phrase. The context of dux nostrum deus providebit is different than if the phrase were separated. You're making an assumption that pavil is the leader in the phrase rather than God.
I'm kinda making an assumption there, yeah, but interpreting it as a name and a phrase confuses me to be honest. I'm absolutely prepared to accept that your Latin is better or less rusty than mine, but I can't really make sense of Dux Nostrum Deus as a single chunk. Splitting it up seemed like the more obvious and straightforward approach to me, but maybe you're right. I don't really remember if that construction would allow for Dux and Deus to refer to the same person, but if you're sure that it can, that's in dubio pro Barinello.

Barinellos wrote:
Further, Malaki is clearly insired by Malachi, which simply means Messenger. (Albeit not in Latin). But that would mean the name could be interpreted as Pavel of the Messengers.
Probably, but I'm kind of inclined to say you might be overthinking it. Or more precisely, I think the name "Maliki" as it appears in the cardname is probably just the family's proper name that might derive from the Hebrew word for messenger, but that the original meaning of the name isn't relevant for the meaning of the inscription, especially since they are in different languages. Kinda like "Carthalion" is derived from "Carth the Lion" but it's not relevant to anyone who's referring to Jared Carthalion by his name for example. Or just like the name "Ethan Fleischer" doesn't mean "Ethan, the Butcher" to anyone using it (unless this whole creature type endeavour goes spectacularly wrong :-P).

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2021 12:58 pm 
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The problem with arguing over samurai not being present in Madara, samurai just being knights with a Japanese coat of paint, is that Madara already doesn't make sense considering there are giant swathes of it that already have that coat of paint sitting right next to that which doesn't.

You have the fishing village, for example, and then there's the case of the nekoru, which are more explicitly from elsewhere to start, yet follow Japanese convention.

Arguing that there are no samurai just feels a little pedantic purely because everything about him is clearly referencing a samurai. Hell, his name is Tetsuo and yet his biggest rival is named Ramses in the same land as a dude name Boris and Barktooth. None of it fits together, so what even IS Madara's culture? Hell, Madara is Japanese.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2021 3:58 pm 
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I meant we have a warlock right now. Wizards and clerics can exist in all colors, why not warlocks?

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2021 12:58 am 
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I found the section in Hazezon where Jedit battles Ur-Drago. Ur-Drago's nature is pretty ambiguous, but a few things were said:

Ur-Drago was "cobbled together" by Terent Amese.

Ur-Drago has pincers for hands, just as described in the 1997 Page-A-Day calendar.

Ur-Drago isn't alive. He doesn't bleed. His brain is withered. (I guess he's some sort of hideous undead horror.)

Ur-Drago was named after the Ur-Dragon! (Now I'm really curious what the earliest reference to the Ur-Dragon was.)

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2021 1:13 am 
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And from Final Sacrifice, the description is pretty similar:

Ur-Drago, Scourge of the Swamp

Greensleeves supposes that he's made of living rocks. I guess that how he ended up with the Elemental type.

The description includes the scorpion claws, and even uses the same word, "cobbled" to describe him (both books were written by Clayton Emery).

Greensleeves wonders if he's a "dragon construct," due to his name.

There's evidence to support the elemental type, so that seems fine, given how ambiguous each description of him is.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2021 5:41 am 
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So elemental zombie?

And make Johan a warlock pls

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2021 11:20 am 
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Barinellos wrote:
The problem with arguing over samurai not being present in Madara, samurai just being knights with a Japanese coat of paint, is that Madara already doesn't make sense considering there are giant swathes of it that already have that coat of paint sitting right next to that which doesn't.

You have the fishing village, for example, and then there's the case of the nekoru, which are more explicitly from elsewhere to start, yet follow Japanese convention.

Arguing that there are no samurai just feels a little pedantic purely because everything about him is clearly referencing a samurai. Hell, his name is Tetsuo and yet his biggest rival is named Ramses in the same land as a dude name Boris and Barktooth. None of it fits together, so what even IS Madara's culture? Hell, Madara is Japanese.
True, but it looks like whatever arbitrary lines the setting is drawing with that Japanese coat of paint don't happen to include samurai. I mean, at the end of the day, I'd probably be prepared to rationalise Tetsuo being changed to Samurai by saying it's his position as the Imperial Champion that makes him a Samurai in his particular culture, even if the concept doesn't extend to any class of people beyond that. But it'd still be pretty odd to see it used as a random one-off outside of Kamigawa. The Samurai type works if you look at Kamigawa as its own little bubble, but when you try to copy-paste it into Dominaria next to Knights, it starts feeling out of place. We seem to agree that Archer probbaly isn't the best type for Tetsuo, though. The Archer type just undersells the range of his abilities.

So, yeah, the Samurai question isn't really a hill I'd be willing to die on. The "make Johan a Warlock" question, on the other hand...


I meant we have a warlock right now. Wizards and clerics can exist in all colors, why not warlocks?
Sassy answer:

Because this isn't D&D.

Serious general answer from a purely technical standpoint:

Sure, there is a single legendary Esper Warlock. But not only do her colours include black, all ten of the other Warlocks in Magic (9 printed, one that got errata) are mono-black, so I think the pattern is clear. And while I would argue that WotC so far has failed to properly explain or justify the existence of the Warlock type and what it's supposed to represent (that wasn't already represented by another type), I think the introduction of Warlock was done to have one iconic spellcaster type for each colour (which is super artificial to begin with). So if they just started putting Warlocks in every colour, what would even be the point of the Warlock type anymore? They'd undermine the symmetry they were going for AND further water down a type that never had a proper identity to begin with.

Serious Johan-specific answer from a lore standpoint:

Look, I don't want to be that guy, but I'm under the impression that you don't seem to be very familiar with the character of Johan as he's presented in the novels (or the comics, for that matter). Either that or you're working with a pretty strange definition of what a Warlock is supposed to represent. Because if we assume that a Warlock is a spellcaster who got their powers from a connection with a powerful entity, that makes Johan 100% NOT a Warlock. He's the textbook example of a Wizard. He got his powers through practise and reading books (he even has the Anvilonian Grimoire that's mentioned in Adun Oakenshield's flavour text), by collecting artefacts and studying his surroundings. He summons creatures, and he even tries to master that old-school concept of "shifting", basically a kind of teleportation technique that works like reverse summoning that's also featured in the Greensleves novels by the same author (but unlike Hazezon, he fails). He's just very much rooted in Magic's old-school ideas about wizards. And I love that (even if the character himself is far from great), which brings me to the next part of my response.

Serious personal answer from a nostalgic standpoint:

As someone who got into Magic during Invasion block with its many cycles of Wizards in all colours, was exposed to Arena and the Greensleeves trilogy very early on and was around for stuff like the Magus cycles in later sets, I strongly feel that Wizard is Magic's archetypical spellcaster type paar excellence, and the one that best represents the gameplay as a whole. Sure, it makes a lot of sense to have blue be the primary Wizard colour, and sure, the Shamans, Clerics and Druids in Magic have their place and their own unique flavour (and again, I'd argue that Warlock doesn't), but I get really, really happy every time I see a non-blue Wizard get printed. The fact that all colours can have Wizards (and I'd argue it's the only one of those types that makes sense in all of them) feels like a reminder of and a connection to Magic's very foundations. And I think at least old characters on old cards from Magic's oldest setting shouldn't lose that part of their identity by having Warlock slapped on them. I can't even begin to express how much I hated the shift of Kaervek, the Spiteful from Shaman to Warlock and of Mangara, the Diplomat from Wizard to Cleric...

@Ur-Drago: I'd say just Elemental is fine. That could cover both the creepy sounding artificial nature and the fact that it's miraculously resurrected between novels. And I think adding an undead type like Zombie to an Elemental of all things wouldn't be very intuitive anyway.


I'm still eager to hit the books and look for clues about the open questions in the OP, but I've got more stuff on my plate this week than I thought, so I guess it'll be around Saturday before I can start doing that... :/

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2021 12:39 pm 
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My definition of "warlock" is what seems to be depicted in Eldraine: people dealing with the dark arts. Be it from pacts, cursed objects or potions. Johan would be a wizard-y warlock, as he deals with the hellish side of mana and illusions (probably a take on enchantments), but a warlock foremost because he looks like a sith lord.

Again, while the many spellcaster types have a core colour, I think they can all plausibly exist in others. warlocks for example would be those "white witches" types we actually rarely see.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2021 1:10 pm 
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My definition of "warlock" is what seems to be depicted in Eldraine: people dealing with the dark arts. Be it from pacts, cursed objects or potions. Johan would be a wizard-y warlock, as he deals with the hellish side of mana and illusions (probably a take on enchantments), but a warlock foremost because he looks like a sith lord.

Again, while the many spellcaster types have a core colour, I think they can all plausibly exist in others. warlocks for example would be those "white witches" types we actually rarely see.
Okay, fair enough, but Johan aside, that definition of Warlock just makes me ask "Why do we need a Warlock type?" even louder. "People dealing with the dark arts" have always been a part of Magic, and they have been represented on the cards under various umrellas other than Warlock. Besides, if you define "the dark arts" as anything other than using black mana, or even just specific subsets of black magic, what's even "dark" about those arts? I agree that seeing a witchier flavour of magic in white (or all colours, really) would be cool, but how would that even fall under "the dark arts" (e.g. a white-aligned spellcaster who uses stuff like blessings, healing magic, maybe divination etc. and makes medicine or healing potions, perhaps in the service of a particular village)? I'd be more inclined to make such a :w: character a Wizard, maybe a Cleric or even a Druid. Plus, Wizard is a supported tribe, they even released a Grixis Wizard deck for Commander, so I'd argue having Wizard compete for space in :b: with Warlock when the latter doesn't even add anything meaningful isn't a great idea.

Edit: Or to maybe be a bit more precise, what do "pacts, cursed objects or potions" in general have that ties them together if it's not about a specific colour?

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2021 2:45 pm 
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Let's bring the hypothetical "white witch" as a justifying example:

- Likely not a wizard because wizards, while very umbrella term-y, generally have the formal education connatation. Doesn't overlap with the archetype.

- Also not a cleric or druid because those are socially acceptable, while the white witch archetype is usually that of a person doing good magic while being demonized for it.

Ergo, warlock it is.

Magic has a weird habit of using "dark arts" even outside of . Amonkhet is suffused in "dark energies"... which leads to zombies apparently. Geralf is versed in the dark art... which apparently means mono- science? In this context at least it's magic unacceptable or misunderstood.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2021 7:07 am 
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In defense of warlocks, I'd flip the argument on you Pavor.
Wizard comes loaded with a ton of connotations of academic pursuit and trappings.
Sure, those implications are a more modern affair, but outside of Gandalf, it's an extremely reinforced image in the cultural memory and fantasy zeitgeist.

The idea of having a creature type that practices arcane, ritualized magic that falls outside a formal academic structure is where I feel warlock should live. The fringe practitioners or self taught mage.

I'm not even advocating for dismissing the idea of wizards with an apprentice off living by themselves, but no matter your nostalgia, Harry Potter has pretty much destroyed the old wizarding ways. (For the absolute **** worst I might add)

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2021 7:43 am 
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I think D&D has done more to stereotype wizards in conventional fantasy than Harry Potter, especially for Magic as they're both under wotc.

Warlocks are just shady spellcasters, don't try to make sense of it. Piper of the Swarm, Kels, Fight Fixer and Daring Fiendbonder are all warlocks, for whatever reason.

Amonkhet is suffused in "dark energies"... which leads to zombies apparently.

The white zombies are explicitly the ones that are protected from the dark energies.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2021 10:56 am 
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Okay, I'd suggest keeping the Warlock discussion in spoiler tags, because this thread seems too important to derail it:

Spoiler


Quote:
Pavel Maliki
Legendary Creature — Human
All we have is the art and FT, I believe, neither of which says much about this guy. I can't read Latin, but it doesn't look helpful to me.
To get back to this guy, I'm leaning towards making him a Human Knight. The flavour text makes him sound like a classic knight errant, and the card itself would be fitting for a legendary individual who is armed and trained for battle. It would even fit the Latin inscription well enough. It implies him to be from a noble family, he's called a "leader", and even the religious connotations could fit a Knight. Heck, he's part :b:, who's to say the card art with the inscription doesn't depict an in-universe piece of art that he commissioned himself?

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2021 3:17 pm 
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Time to tackle a few more legends that I keep forgetting:

Quote:
Gosta Dirk
Legendary Creature — Human Warrior
He's one of the rebel leaders fighting against the Madarans in Legends II. I don't recall any details of how he is described there.


Kasimir the Lone Wolf
Legendary Creature — Human Warrior
This character is in the Legends II trilogy, IIRC. Human Warrior sounds good?


Ragnar
Legendary Creature — Human Cleric
From Legends II trilogy. He's a healer, I believe?
Yes, those three gentlemen from Kusho are spot on.

Quote:
Princess Lucrezia
Legendary Creature — Human Wizard
There was a nation and/or island called Lucrezia in the Legends I novels, IIRC. This card's name suggests she should be a Noble, not a Wizard.
True, although I'd argue the mana ability and the ominous artwork with the tower look pretty wizardly to me. Personally, I like Human Wizard better.

Quote:
Riven Turnbull
Legendary Creature — Human Advisor
There aren't any stories about this character, AFAIK. His flavor text suggests "Rebel" more than "Advisor" to me.
Agreed.

Quote:
Rohgahh of Kher Keep
Legendary Creature — Kobold
His son is a Kobold, so it's reasonable to assume that Rohgahh is as well.
Maybe consider adding a class type? Warrior, maybe?

Quote:
Sir Shandlar of Eberyn
Legendary Creature — Human Knight
No lore on this character, AFAIK. Name implies that he is indeed a Knight.
Agreed. I just wanted to point out that you should probably add Eberyn (which I assume is probably a city? Maybe a small fiefdom or something?) to your list of Dominaria locations. Not that there is any clear evidence where to put it on the map...

Quote:
Sivitri Scarzam
Legendary Creature — Human
This character is described as a "planes-traveling being" and as a "woman" in "The Dragon War" short story in Dakkon Blackblade #1. The story implies that she is a Planeswalker. There's nothing to suggest that she's a merfolk, despite her finny-looking fashion accessories, so I guess Human works.
I think she might be one of those old-school wizards who were powerful enough to travel between planes without a spark, so I'd suggest Human Wizard. Would also help to explain how she tamed Scarzam's Dragon. Plus, she'd need magic powers to hold that outfit in place.

Quote:
Sunastian Falconer
Legendary Creature — Human Shaman
I believe that this character has no backstory besides what's on the card. I'm not sure why this is a Shaman rather than some other type. Usually creatures that tap for mana are druids, but I guess this character doesn't look much like a druid. I would have guessed Wizard...
I could buy him being a Druid, or maybe a Shaman (more so than a Wizard). All that stuff dangling from his neck looks pretty druidic or shamanistic to me. And I guess you have a point about mana abilities being a Druid thing.

And I'll search for info on Hunding Gjornersen and Lady Orca in the books as soon as I get around to it, just to be sure. I'm actually convinced that Orca being a demon is correct, but it'd be nice to point people to a direct reference. And IIRC, Hunding might be stated to be a short Human in the novels, although he's already dead by the time Legends I takes place. Oh, and I'll look at Master of the Hunt too while I'm at it.

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