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:

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.


  1. Limecat will be very displeased if they reprint Affinity

  2. Limecat and everyone else included.

  3. I think everyone is expecting an artifact theme, but keep in mind a "colorless" theme might be the change that R&D is trying to promote in order to keep it fresh an new. I mean I just get a distinct feeling that all those eldrazi cards are meant to have some sort of synergy with Scars.

  4. That's a good point Shawn. To go along with that, this could easily still be an artifact theme block but certain cards might say, "Colorless cards cost 1 less" for example. Not saying that would be printed on an actual card but hypothetically speaking: Anything that promotes a colorless card would also promote an artifact since artifacts are innately colorless.

  5. Thanks for the article Kylak! That was very helpful. I wanted to look around for card leaks on the new set but it's probably too early for that. You see, I haven't played magic in about five years. I came in while Onslaught was the main block, rode through Mirrodin, bought the majority of my cards in Kamigawa and then sealed myself away in the aether vortex until I miraculously escaped today.(I missed Time Spiral. T.T) Being that I spent a large part of my time in magic in Mirrodin, the idea of returning really intrigued me. So I decided that I'm going to try and rejoin magic in Scars, though it's unlikely I'll be able to follow through with that. I am going to the prerelease, which is why I was looking for leaks to plan ahead and all that, but I don't know where I'll go beyond that.

    Thank you for recaping the story though. I've read only a couple books(The anthology "Rath and Storm" and "Betrayers of Kamigawa") though I do have a few more... and I didn't know the story behind Mirrodin. Plus your retelling was humorous.

    Anyway, I think I'm fairly caught up in the mechanics that were around but I never bothered to learn them when I played and the new mechanics that recently appeared. I'm hoping I don't lose every match at the prerelease and I'm really looking forward to this set coming out. (I hope I get a Planeswalker! I don't have one yet and it'd be nice to get one from a booster!)

  6. Thanks for the compliments Opee. Can I call you Opee?

    *pats you on the back* The aether vortex is quite the thing to escape. You've done well to make it all the way here.

    Why is it that you don't think you can follow through with rejoining Magic? Is there anything I can help with?

    I hope to hear from you again. Best of luck on the prerelease and I hope you get a Planeswalker as well.

  7. Yes, Opee is definitely acceptable. I use that all the time because, as you can imagine, OpeeFomenom doesn't fit everywhere!

    The main reason I can't really follow through with rejoining Magic is my lack of funds. I don't really have the money to spend buying packs as often as I used to and I would like to more so than I used to. I plan to rejoin within two or three years at least regardless. The secondary reason is I don't know many players right now and I don't live close enough to a card shop that I can just go down and play with people whenever I want.

    I didn't really expect a response at all, let alone one so quick! Considering how old this article is.

  8. Not having an easily accessible card shop is a problem for sure. How far away is the prerelease event?

    Some other options:
    Teach some friends to play.
    Order single cards or boosters online.
    Search online for other players in your area.
    Play Magic Online in the meantime.

    I'm not sure if any of that helps.

    I love to discuss things with anyone willing to comment. The reason I was able to give a quick response is I have it setup to notify me if anyone leaves a message. :D

  9. It's really not too far away, just that at this point we're supposed to be moving soon. So I don't know where I'll be living in the near future and I can't drive yet so my reach is rather limited. I have taught three people how to play recently, my girlfriend's little brother, my girlfriend and a friend from school who was a fan of Yugioh. I can play with them every now and then but my girlfriend lives an hour drive away and my friend from school lives about an hour walk away. Since I graduated in June and no longer attend the school, playing there is shot but I do plan to set something up so we can meet somewhere in the near future.

    It may not be a good situation to be playing Magic but it won't be this way for much longer. In about a year at the least I expect most of those problems to be gone. For now, my girlfriend can drive, the prerelease is on a Saturday so she's free and it's a day after my birthday so chances are I'll have the money for it from relatives. If not, I can probably do some odd jobs from now until then and get the money.

    I do use Magic Workstation or should I say I'm starting to use it. I still make a lot of mistakes but the practice is good for proper playing etiquette I suppose would be the correct term.

    I skimmed through a few of your blogs and noticed you aren't getting very many comments. I think it's a shame considering you're a pretty good writer and your opinions tend to be strongly backed. Though I think you'll get more popular with time because the account seems pretty new.

  10. Transition periods to new locations are always the toughest. I'm glad that your problems are only temporary. You won't have to move farther away from your girlfriend will you? That would be rough.

    Glad to hear Magic Workstation is useful for you. Is it easy to setup any decklist on there or are there limitations?

    Thanks a million for the compliment. That was rather thoughtful. I can only hope that everyone agrees with your opinion and things grow overtime. That would be rather amazing to have tons of great commenters like yourself. :D

  11. I'm not going to be further away, I don't think so anyway. In fact, for a while, it was thought we might be moving closer but that doesn't seem probable now.

    There are a few limitations because, while there's a free version, it's meant to be bought. So you miss out on a lot of features. For starters, it doesn't come with all the cards on it. You can find a download for the full card database elsewhere though, they just don't have pictures. It comes with a few statistic tools and the ability to test your deck against itself.(Can't test one deck against another, that comes with buying it.) If you played Magic Online or any Yugioh VG where the game progresses the turns phases and restricts everything, this is a lot different. It stores and shuffles your deck and comes with a lot of commands you can do on any card. Ctr-D is to draw, it can be done any time. Ctr-M is Mulligan. You can drag and drop or double click any card in your hand to play it, whether or not you have the mana for it. It has all the tools you need to play a game of Magic but in such a way that you don't have to follow any rules at all. It's like having a deck in front of you really. Well that was long and all over the place but I hope that helps you understand WS a little better.

    I hope you get more commenters like myself as well! And thank you for that compliments as well. =3

  12. That helped out immensely! Thank you.

    Is there anything on the site you want to see more of or any suggestions for something that I haven't done yet?

    I also plan on doing more Magic storyline articles like this. Would that interest you?

  13. Well, of the main categories you've divided your site in I'm most interested in Magic and Video Games. I am still a fan of Anime but I haven't watched anything in quite a while and I don't really have the interest to. I've never played D&D, not because I didn't want to but because the opportunity to never revealed itself.

    That being said, I really like your video spotlights. "Sharing videos I managed to find scattered across the Internet." is definitely something that needs to be done more. Often times I have the videos you mention saved to my computer in .swf format but I like any resources where I can more easily find these videos. It's great to find one that makes you laugh or has some pretty impressive animation but it's unfortunate to find out that it's been on the web for well over three years and you just never knew it was there.

    I would definitely be interested in more articles about the storyline for Magic. You did a great job in summarizing the story for Mirrodin without spoiling everything and making me feel like I have no reason to go back and read those books. In fact, I want to read them more now because I was completely wrong at what I thought Mirrodin was.(I thought it was a world that evolved around nothing but technology.LOL) So personally, I'd enjoy more articles like this one.

  14. Is there a category I should add?

    Beyond Video Game reviews, what else do you think would be interesting for video game related articles?

    Glad to hear you enjoy the Video Spotlights. I'll keep those coming. I have a massive backlog of videos ready to be added and I'm just taking my sweet time posting them.

    Thank you, thank you. You make a great point that there isn't much spoiled since I jump over the main storyline so quickly. I didn't even think of that when I wrote it but that's something I will keep in mind for future storyline articles.

  15. I think four categories are good enough but it couldn't hurt to have more. Of course, they should be about things that you're interested in and I don't know everything that you do. I'd say just wait until you get more popular and then see what a majority of your readers are also interested in and would also like to see. Maybe make a poll of some kind or ask people to send you e-mails.

    Game reviews are always good but I've seen you do a review for the Move vs. Wii. You could do a few more articles about VG Hardware or your take on the consoles. Which ones you own or have played, what do you think of its controller, its game library, its online community. Things like that. Not necessarily the whole console wars thing but an honest opinion on the console based how it's worked for you and how much fun you got out of it.

    There's always going to be room for improvement but I feel you're on the right track. I look forward to reading Video Spotlights and MTG Story Articles as well as anything else you choose to add.

  16. I agree in full. A friend suggested having a Comic Book section and I would except I rarely get to read them enough these days to truly give any thoughtful insight or added humor. I can only write about what I'm passionate about so that will never change. :D

    You are the third person to recommend I do more hardware/features articles so I'll definitely jump on that. That's a healthy list of ideas you have there. Video Games definitely need more luv on this site and they will. There have been complications but hopefully those should end rather shortly.

    Thanks a bunch Opee and I look forward to your comments and the discussion you bring. ^^

  17. This is very random, but re-reading this article after playing MTG more often makes me understand what's going on right now.

  18. Indeeeed! It's all piecing together now. :D



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