Tuesday, July 5, 2016

What Could Have Been, vol 6: Planeswalker enchantments

Let's get right to it: The Planeswalker enchantment cycle from Invasion.
I really like this cycle because it is just BEGGING for an update. The depictions of the nine titans on the cards is really cool, because it is some of the best art we have for any of the characters at the time.

So let's update it.
Rather than try to force it into a cycle it didn't want to be, such as the current members of the Gatewatch, I decided to go for the characters I thought make the most sense for the title.

Planeswalker's Mirth
Color: White
Location: A library
Action: The Planeswalker Narset is standing in a library. On shelves and desks and even the floor around her are books and scrolls. Hundreds of them. Narset, naturally curious, loves the opportunities being a planeswalker affords her. She is enjoying herself immensely.
Focus: Narset, surrounded by the things that bring her joy.
Mood: Mirth

Planeswalker's Mischief
Color: Blue
Location: The streets of Ravnica
Action: The Planeswalker Dack Fayden is running down the street, a scroll in his hand. He has just 'liberated' it from someone, and is being chased for his crime. A master thief, Dack knows what he wants and how to get it.
Focus: Dack, scroll in hand.
Mood: Mischief.

Planeswalker's Scorn
Color: Black
Location: Zendikar
Action: The Planeswalker Demon Ob Nixilis is hovering just over the ground, surrounded on all sides by the allied forces of Zendikar. Humans, elves, merfolk, maybe a vampire or two. His fist glows with power, and a number of the allies are falling to the ground in pain, visible lacerations across their bodies. Ob has spent centuries nursing a grudge; he doesn't take well to people getting in his way, and has learned a number of ways to clear his path.
Focus: Ob Nixilis, full of rage.
Mood: Scorn.

Planeswalker's Fury
Color: Red
Location: New Phyrexia
Action: The Planeswalker Koth is surrounded by Phyrexians. They think they have cornered him, but Koth is a powerful mage. Powerful and angry. At his command, the ground beneath one has erupted with molten stone. Koth is a man with a purpose; the destruction of every Phyrexian he meets.
Focus: Koth, driven by his anger
Mood: Fury

Planeswalker's Favor
Color: Green
Location: a Temple of Abandon on Theros
Action: The Planeswalker and God of Revels, Xenagos, stands before an alter at a Temple of Abandon. Before him are a number of worshippers, seeking his favor. His hand is stretched out as though to bless them. The God of Revels knows when to reward the faithful.
Focus: Xenagos, giving his blessing.
Mood: Xenagos

I am interested to hear what choices everyone else might've come up with for a new version of this cycle. Let me know what you think!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

What Could Have Been, vol 5: Spitting Image

I'm a fan of the Simic.
They understand a very simple philosophy; life is better with more toad.
Any opportunity to make a card more simicy is an opportunity worth taking.

To that end, Spitting Image is a perfect candidate.

It's the right colors, and the Simic are totally into cloning things.

So let's see what this might look like:

Colors: Green and blue

Location: A Simic laboratory.

Action: Show a simic biomancer in the middle of splitting a clone off itself. Identical in every way. Perhaps it is the mage from Biovisionary realizing his ambition.

Focus: The wizard splitting into two versions of itself.

Mood: "I'd like a second opinion."

I would love to see an updated Spitting Image with a simic flavor. How about you?

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

What could have been, vol 4; Accursed Centaur

Whenever Magic goes to a world that has weird, but not necessarily unique, creature types; I get excited. It's a perfect opportunity to bring back or reference others of that type from yesteryear.

So was Theros with centaurs. Centaurs have been present on a number of world before Theros, and will surely show up on worlds to come. But given their Greek origins, Theros seemed like a perfect fit to do whatever they wanted to do with the Centaur creature type.

Even kill them.

So I ask you today, if they brought back Accursed Centaur, last seen in Onslaught, and put it in Theros; what might it have looked like?

Color: Black

Location: a swampy grassland on Theros

Action: Show a Returned Centaur, a zombie centaur that has escaped from the underworld. It wears a golden funeral mask over its face. It is wandering through a marshy grassland. In its hand we can see the maimed carcas of some poor human soldier. This centaur was a warrior in life, and in death it can only go through the motions of what it knew in life; killing.

Focus: The centaur, a fallen warrior.

Mood: Forlorn. This creature kills what it encounters for reasons it can no longer remember.

Well that's what I think anyway. How do you like it?

Monday, April 25, 2016

What Could Have Been, vol 3: Deathgreeter

What if they printed Deathgreeter in Battle for Zendikar block?

I think it works well; after the Eldrazi Titans awoke, some of Zendikar's more spiritual population resorted to worshipping them as gods.

The original deathgreeter's flavor text speaks to how the people of Jund give death and the trophies of the dead a religious significance. This works well with a Zendikar transplant, since some of the faithful of Zendikar have given into appeasing the Eldrazi since they believe them to be gods.

What would a person, given to feeding the Eldrazi as a religious call look like?
Something like this maybe:

Color: Black

Location: A cliffside on Zendikar

Action: Show a human shaman of Zendikar, on his knees looking skyward. He is in awe of an Eldrazi before him, which is casting a noticeable shadows across the scene but is otherwise not seen. This creature is frightening and the source of his faith now.

Focus: the shaman dwelling in the shadow of an Eldrazi.

Mood: Nothing else matters, but appealing the Eldrazi gods.

What do you think? Were else would a Deathgreeter make sense?



Saturday, April 23, 2016

What Could Have Been, Volume 2: Battle Squadron

Been entirely too long, so let's get into it.

I love the card Battle Squadron. It's fantastic.
Look at that thing. Look at all those goblins, some of them are falling off the dang thing.

Know what else has lots of Goblins flying through the air with wacky flying things?
Imagine a whole fleet of those?

That gives me an idea...

Color: Red

Location: the skies above the streets of Ravnica.

Action: Show a fleet of Izeet goblins, equipped with a variety of strange flying devices. Hoverboots, jet packs, hoverboards, gyrocopter, and things too bizarre to describe. They are all clearly of Izzet design, lots of brass and electrodes. They are swarming, so many in number they could block out the sky. Show the view from the street level to give a sense of scale.

Focus: The incredibly weird fleet of goblin flying machines.

Mood: Wacky, but still a threat.

Is there anywhere else you think Battle Squadron would fit in?

Thursday, August 28, 2014

What Could Have Been, vol 1: Worship

Hey folks.
This is the first in what I hope to be a recurring feature. I'm going to take an interesting card and re-purpose it into a setting different than its original one. The idea being that Magic's design and flavor allows for enough flexibility that there are cards that can easily be flavor-transplanted into a different setting.

My first subject; Worship.

Worship is a pretty distinctive card in effect and appearance. The possibility of being unkillable if you play your cards right (ha!) is a tempting one, and the viseage of the remarkable Planeswalker Serra has been present since the card's original printing in Urza's Saga. It's even seen some competitive play, having been a powerful build around effect in standard and extended and being the backbone of a fringe Modern deck.

In my mind, this card would have been a juicy reprint for Theros. It's an enchantment about the power of faith; that describes Theros to a T.

Let's imagine for a moment, what Worship would have looked like in Theros block. What would the art description have been like? Something like this I imagine.

Color: White

Location: A temple dedicated to Heliod, the Sun God of Theros

Action: Show the faithful gathered at the foot of a statue of Heliod. They are praying in reverence of him. The statue is glimmering and looks as though it could come to life at any moment.

Focus: The statue of the Sun God.

Mood: Powerful, impressive, imposing.

Are there any cards of old that weren't in Theros that you think should have been?