Thursday, June 17, 2010

Leak Sauce #1 Scars of Mirrodin




Leaking info to you and bringing the discussion.

Most fans already know about Scars of Mirrodin as it was announced on the official website. The thing is, they didn't spill ANY beans during the announcement. The Magic community has been gathering info and discussing wild speculation for awhile now but I'm here to gather the facts for you and discuss each of them. Aren't I so kind? Let's start with the facts:

FACTS
1) Scars of Mirrodin is a return to the plane of Mirrodin.

2) Mark Rosewater is quoted for saying the following, "With time we realized that mechanics were a valuable resource that can be used again and again. In fact, in every block we now try to consciously bring at least one thing back. Shards of Alara block had cycling. Zendikar block had kicker. Scars of Mirrodin has ... better wait on talking about that just yet. "

3) Scars of Mirrodin takes place after Fifth Dawn (this tells us a lot about the condition of the planet and what characters and races would be around).

4) Mirrodin was an artificial plane created by Karn the golem who was made by Urza himself.

5) There are many artificer Planeswalkers including: Tezzeret, Venser, and Karn among others.

6) R&D (Research and Development - the people who work on the cards) have specifically stated that when they revisit an idea that they don't want to reuse mechanics and themes so that the new set can have its own identity.

7) Mark Rosewater is also quoted for saying, "I was busy making Scars of Mirrodin—there is a serious chance that I'm going to implode before I ever get to talk about this set. Quick, while no one is looking—we're going back to Mirrodin and something is making things have scars!"

8) Mirrodin introduced Equipment for the first time to the game of Magic.

9) Wizards of the Coast (the people that make Magic) have some new copyrights.



ALRIGHT! Do I still have your attention? We're about to explore each of these facts so bust out the snacks and pass me a drink.

(In order again)
1) We are specifically going back to an artifact plane so we know the themes and mechanics will relate to artifacts in some way. Yeah... seems kind of obvious but I've actually heard people discussing completely baseless speculative crap about enchantment themes and other rubbish. Ignore those people and possibly give them funny looks if provoked.


2) Returning mechanics you say? That's our Mark, giving us just enough info to salivate and then leave us hanging. For those of you who don't know who Mark is, he's Magic's Lead Designer. He's the man behind so much of what Magic is and has been. He was also the screen writer for Rosanne. Take that as you will. Bad tastes in our mouths aside, we have quite the list of mechanics to go through. Someone on the forums (thank you Guinea Pig, my heart sings praises of your awesomeness) was kind enough to list all of them and then rule out mechanics that were:
A) banned or retired
B) already revisited recently
C) evergreen mechanics (a mechanic that can be used in any set at any time like haste)
D) mirrodin mechanic
E) used since Time Spiral
F) setting specific

What did that leave left?
Channel, Hellbent, Threshold, Clash, Buyback, Echo, Flashback, Madness, Morph, Provoke, Splice, Epic, Convoke, Dredge, Transmute, Bloodthirst, Replicate, Forecast, Graft, Recover, Ripple, and Vanishing.

I think some of these are pretty easy to exclude (like Bloodthirst) but you get the picture. This is just something to think about.


3) And now it's story time! So let's all squat down in a circle. The story of Mirrodin (and bonus story of the entire Odyssey and Onslaught saga in a nutshell) in under five minutes:
Karn was created long ago by Urza as a probe. We're skipping the probe jokes by the way. After the events of the early storyline of Magic, Karn went off somewhere in the multiverse, created Argentum (no relation to Argentina), and probably said, "it was good." He created probes to monitor Dominaria (his homeworld and the one where all original events in the storyline took place) but one of the probes became corrupted and turned into the Mirari. These things happen. We all know how that turned out... wait... you don't? It turned out to be a giant shit pile. The Mirari twisted minds into desiring its abilities to make wishes a reality. An entire war was started and eventually led to the creation and death of a false god named Karona.

After Karona was killed, Karn swept in to grab her, said excuse me, and planeswalked to Argentum. He removed the Mirari sword (yeah... forgot to mention it got turned into a sword later) from her chest and she split apart into the original beings that formed her (Akroma Angel of Wrath, Phage the Untouchable, and technically Zagorka but no one cares about her). After Akroma and Zagorka's bodies turned to fairy dust, Phage turned back into her original self: Jeska (Kamahl's sister. He was kind of the main character of the other storyline but he's a Mary Sue and should be forgotten). With all of this identity swapping it's like we're in a Shakespeare play made by a fanfiction writer.

So Karn turned the Mirari into the golem Memnarch because he can. Does the guy need another reason? I'm sure only good things can come of this. Memnarch held the title of most cheerful fellow on Argentum (awarded by me). Because Karn is such a good parent, he took Jeska and figured it would be a great idea to just planeswalk around a bit with her and left Memnarch all to his lonesome. Well shit, we all know how abandoned children turn out. Those good things I was talking about? Yeah... I was wrong. It didn't take long before Memnarch wanted to be a Planeswalker just like daddy. He was corrupted by a strange black substance (Phyrexian Oil or the Venom symbiote? You decide.) and devised a plan to create a spark to become a Planeswalker.

You see, Memnarch wasn't a real boy. He couldn't create a spark. A living being had to make one. So Memnarch turned Argentum into Mirrodin, the ultimate child labor sweatshop. He stole some kids from other planes (thanks to some child grabbing classes he took) and they populated the world. Different races chilled there for a bit and eventually melded with machine. It was honestly kind of itchy to have metal plates integrated with the skin and there were all kinds of rashes we don't need to discuss. Skipping ahead, Glissa gets a Planeswalker spark. How nifty is that? Oh wait... it's not nifty at all! The planet sucks it up and spits it out to Memnarch as he planned. But wait! He couldn't get the spark because he only knew how to grab children. So the spark randomly went to one of the only other important named characters in the novel instead: Slobad. He was so lucky to be a main character.

Skipping ahead even further, Memnarch gets deactivated and Karn shows up out of plot convenience to bitch slap his deactivated son that he took such great care of. Best parent of the year (awarded by me). So after Karn learned from his mistakes, he immediately forgot what he had learned and decided it would be a brilliant idea to leave the Mirari to be guarded by Glissa, Slobad, and Geth. Geth is the severed head of a lich by the way so I'm sure he would make the best out of the three to guard the blasted thing. Oh and Slobad gave up his Planeswalker spark to revive those who were killed on Mirrodin and have them all returned to their respective homeworlds. He's a swell guy.

So wait... Karn left again? I didn't think golems could have ADHD. The guy's got the attention span of a gnat. So that was the end of the Mirari saga. Time for potty breaks.

4) I accidentally covered this one already. Nothing to see here. Move along.


5) Artificer Planeswalkers. We've got them. Let's look at the facts to see who might be involved with the Scars of Mirrodin storyline:

Tezzeret. After a bunch of shit went down and having his etherium arm cut off and his mind wiped clean faster than you can say reformat, we find out that Nicol Bolas has the body of Tezz in his clutches. The last known sighting of Tezz shows his corpse floating in some kind of energy (probably mana) and Nicol Bolas smiling how he'll soon have his minion working for him again. Thanks to Tezz being part metal due to his etherium, we'll most likely get a Darth Vader-esque scene where Bolas tells his creation to rise. Also, a new book is coming out starring none other than our resident jackass Tezz and the story is about his return. All of these facts and the additional fact that we've seen a second card for Ajani, Jace, and Chandra, we'll most likely see a new Tezz card during the Scars of Mirrodin block. Will he be in Scars particularly? Who's to say. He might not be in the block at all but it would make the most sense since he kind of needs an etherium replacement.

Karn. He kind of made the plane and keeps zipping around the multiverse due to his lack of an attention span. The last we saw of him was in the Time Spiral storyline. They enlisted his help during the mending and for some reason, he felt a strange corruption forming and yet again teleported somewhere supposedly to get away from it or keep it from harming his friends. That or it was an excuse to go dick around somewhere like he seems to keep doing but most likely it really was some kind of corruption taking over his mind and so there is no telling what that means. While the mending did get rid of all original Planeswalker sparks, we know that Nicol Bolas returned and managed to create a new one so it's very likely that Karn could come back as well. He is after all one of the only other Planeswalkers to be immortal (aging-wise) so he's had plenty of time to work on that.

Venser. The first neowalker (as they have been affectionately named by the fans). After becoming the first NEW type of Planeswalker, he decided to go travel abroad and do what most Planeswalkers do... you know... walk some planes. I hear it burns all kinds of calories. Have you seen a fat Planeswalker? I didn't think so. We haven't heard from him since but it's safe to assume he's dead by now. The reason being? All current timelines take place over a century after the mending event during Time Spiral. Plus, neowalkers aren't the immortal beings the original Planeswalkers were. There is a chance that Venser figured out a way to live longer but there is no telling. This one is 50/50 but leaning towards the side of the fence titled "Not happening on any day ending in y".

Other important artificers include: Slobad, Crucius, and probably some others that I'm forgetting. Slobad gave up his spark and it's a century later at the least so I don't think he's still around. I could be wrong but the odds are against him. Crucius is the sphinx artificer that created etherium and then went poof. The fact Crucius came to Esper out of nowhere, invented the material etherium, and then left implies that Crucius was a Planeswalker but that's ALL we know. This means nothing. Wizards of the Coast is notorious for creating interesting characters and never mentioning them again. How kewl would it be to have a Sphinx Planeswalker though?


6) This one has also been mentioned already. We most likely aren't going to see Affinity, Modular, Imprint, Entwine, and Sunburst. Sorry folks but that would just make this Mirrodin 2.0 and the creators want to go further than that.


7) This is most likely Mark just being an ass because he can but it should still be mentioned: there are scars of some sort. Scars on an actual plane would take something or someone very hardcore.


8) Equipment have been going strong ever since Mirrodin introduced us to the concept and I'm pretty sure we're going to see plenty of it here. Be prepared.


9) So Wizards has some new copyrights known as: Scars of Mirrodin, New Phyrexia, and Mirrodin Pure. Those are some interesting names. There's a huge possibility that these are the names of the three sets for this block but that isn't definitive. If a New Phyrexia were to be formed, I'm sure we're in for a ton of crap to hit a lot of fans. Metal fans as they were and not the kind that go to concerts. Keep in mind, Yawgmoth is officially dead. It's officially official. We're not having a rerun of the old storyline. So stop asking about him.



Well we made it through all of that alive. My plan was to gather as much confirmed data as possible into one spot which I haven't seen anywhere else on the web. So I think I did my job. It may be silly since only a handful of people are going to see this right now but that's okay. If they tell a few friends and those friends tell a few friends, this info might reach some people before the set comes out. Time to discuss below! Throw down a comment or two and let me know what you thought about the article or what you think about the return to Mirrodin.

This is Kylak signing out.

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