I finally have some of the Ugly Card Framed cards, and they're black boardered. I'm now visiting Van's Cards and Comics again, the second Magic store I ever participated in tournaments at. I'm back in Mississippi, Broke with no job openings in any recording/post media that I have found currently, and I'm having a little fun. It's either that, or go even more insain. MOL has been giving me a green bar and sitting there for the past few weeks, just like when I started the short-lived "#Wolf" game of Werewolf; this time it was after suggesting the room #CPA for Apprentice-- each time, I was suggesting using MOL to meet for a Non-MOL game. Now It logs in, and does NOTHING. So it goes, and now the ramgambling intro that just about everyone that didn't "Grow Strong" on thursdays with Wakefield hate, the topic.
Blue's Creatures. MTG.com has made a big deal out of the flavor of blue, the point of the creatures, and why they cannot have oceanic races populating the color represented by a drop of... [u]water[/u]?
As the first sets go, I'll start with Unlimited, just in case I forgot that Wall of Water wasn't in Alpha or Beta by some odd brainfart; all I can remember for sure is that COP: Black was MSPainted into Beta.
As those early creature types go, we have the usual Walls in Air, Water, Pirate Ship, and Serpent of the Sea. A pair of Phantasms pop up and beat down too well according to WOTC, A couple of Xerox Machines, both Amature and Professional appear with a couple of Elementals to tone with, if I separate them with a Djinn. Rounding out the Blues sits Mr. Tim, standing without his Battlemage Helmet or any kind of bright idea. Finally, there is the Merfolk and their Lord. How many water-dwellers? Ships and Serpents, An elemental and the 'Folk of the Pearl Three-pointed things that go 'Ting!,' assuming that that little sparkle-noise is appropriate underwater.
Skipping ahead to the first set, we see some odd fellows, both of which are by Anson Maddocks. Their Aesthetic of Airiness will be lumped into the same catagory as the Marid Man of the Sea, as a Marid seems to indicate some kind of unpleasently shackled person, and both of Maddocks's creations are shackled to whatever bottle they serve-- quite like Maddocks himself, from what I heard. A pair of (newly formed) Humans are here, now as Human Flying-Man and Human Sin-is-bad (if WOTC Errattas, as they should, in the this-makes-friggin'-sense-to-those-who-are-playing-in-the-kitchen catagory of erratta). Rounding out this little sojourn into Rabia we have some more watery tarts in the domain of water: A Creature Land - Island Fish, A Creature - Fish Double-Dan, A Creature - Turtle Wall, and a ship.
Moving into the initial Island of Artifacts we have... The Sage of Lat Nam. Didn't they put him in 8th? He seems to fit as a Creature - Wizzard Sage. Sounds like a kind of seasoning. As a matter of fact, he'd work out well in some MirrowDen decks. That's dying? I Draw a Card.
Moving onto Legends, we have two Entities in the element of Time or of the AEther, a pair of walls and a pair of flyers, one that Tweets and one that Roars. We have a Human Hag(...or is it?) and half a half a dozen waterbourne critters, one a Devo fan, A small Giant and a Coral... that can attack. Uhh, yea. Moving On...
The Dark shows us a Human Wizzard. And a Human Zombie that's underwater. And a Ghost of a boat that...probably has its body underwater, now, as well. And a Wurm...that's underwater. However, we do see a Merfolk that has his head out of the water, probably trying to not meet the eyes of the Shark or Eel swimming close to him; Since there's also a Leviathan in this small set's populated waters, there can't be much room under there.
Falling into one of my favorite "classic" solo expansions, one rich with story and casual fun, we have Merfolk. Tons of merfolk, and their wall. Why do underwater folk need walls? Well, there's these really big lobsters named Homarids swimming around. I had a conversation with someone at Van's the other day about Homarids. His position is that most Homarids were attracted to those of their own sex. I agreed, as the evidence points that way-- Only one Homarid has shown up outside of Fallen Empires, in Alliances, and it was also quite Retarded. This shows that in all probability, the few heterosexual homarids began to interbreed, resulting in the further devolution of their species. Even after that odd theory, I still have a soft spot for the hardshelled beings.
Next up I'm skippin the first simi-block, and go onto my favorite expansion, with some little mistakes they made in the casting costs put aside, and all the rich and detailed flavor left in. We have a Wall and a Minotaur on the Island's Side. We have what will be erratta'd as a Creature - Ugly Dwarf Legend and a Creature - Bird Albatross. Now, going under where the lights are low and where all the mutants go, we have things we havn't seen before: An oyster. Gnarwhales. Butter-Substitute. Kelp and a Lemon Lime Beverage. Additionally, we have the first (and only, I believe) occurence in Blue of Random Miser(Of which the CPA didn't ban, he left at his own accord). Let us go back to the block that this expansion is lumped into.
The Ice Block(of which starts the Block account and not the Set account).
Here we have, freezing their butts off, a lucky amount of Human - Wizards joining a Human - Mage Musician. Walls Shyft around several Spirits and Illusions, neither of which are even as good as Phantom Warrior. Another Pair of Phantasms nicker "hello," and a Bird Erne starves for fish as the crow flies, as only a Karaken is avaible under the frozen seas for a while until a Merfolk, a Starfish, and the aformentioned Inbred Homarid show up in the ending expansion-- and to my knowledge, none of them are important to the story. We also have an Element of Hersey in this simi block.
Moving into Mirage's block we see where MOL's deck editor could be much better with a pop-up screen to filter cards better. Flipping virtual pages, we meet half a dozen Human Wizards(assumably), a few illusions of which I alluded to one earlier, some more Shackled Creatures that we havn't visaged since Arabian and Beta, and a single Dragon. Accompanying them sits a few more Creature - Human JOBs, some Elementals and Atogs(Lumping Avizoa into that catagory, just because it fits as a nice Mutant Atog). Going into the Sea, what do we see? Merfolk Aplenty, a few Ian Miller illustrated Serpents, one Non-Ian Miller illustrated serpent that should have Ian Miller's art, Pirates, a Crock of Soap, a watersnake and a very bluntly titled Creature - Fish that I would NOT want on a sandwich, as a "Ray Fillet" makes me feel... ill. Not a pleasent thought.
Speeding into the Temp block we find another good chunk of Wizards from Wizards of the Coast and a disproportionate amount of Shapeshifter creatures. Looking some more, we find little ryme or reason for why things are titled as they are beyond the Licids and the Slivers; the others split their position into Air and Water battallians and roll some random letters onto the creature type line. Also, Merfolk are pretty heavily seen here, as they're the race-of-choice for the sentients that are not "beyond the barrier" of Shadow.
Urza's Brokenness has a fondness for Wizards as well, coupled with Birds, Illusions and a smattering of Seafood. Blue also gets what should have become its marquee race, similar to the Orggs in Red, the Beebles, an annoyingly irritatingly cute race of little pink marshmallow type thingies that you cannot help but like. There exists Drifting Djinn as well, a card who by virtue of being the only Djinn in Urza's Block got me a box of Legeons from Mr. Mark Rosewater's Question Mark-- and I only had to bitch and complain for two months to get the box, too! I hear that's a record, and the reason Q-Mark is no more. Yawgatog was the final winner of a box in the first generation, and I was the final winner of a box in the last. So It Goes, though nobody cared at that point to put the winner at the bottom of the page, so "The Orgg" will not be cemented into anyone's mind as being familiar and known. So it goes, and probably for the better. Oh, yea. There's another pair of Shapeshifters that parallelle Beta's, but one I could do without, and the other should've been Red. The less Said... well, the less said the less said, in this case.
In Masques we have Drakes, Fairies, Djinns, Ships, Soldiers, Pirates and Snakes above; Walls, Mercenaries, and Avatars in the Middle of the equasion, coulpled with some Creature - Human Spellshapers--one of which seems to belong in the [url=http://www.geocities.com/theorgg/UMCCG.html]Ultimate Muscle CCG[/url], and a disturbing amount of the Catchall 'Beasts' below the waves accompanied by a Monster and several Merfolk that seem to be decended from the Homarid in most cases(and in addition, a very long sentence that is ~NOT~ a run on).
Before I exit the "Pre-Invasion" setting on the MOL database, I'll run down on some much maligned sets that should be Type 1 Legal. Portal ][ shows up with some Drakes, Pirates, Birds and Djinn in the air, a Wizard and an Illusion on the ground, and a half-ton of things under the water in this color of water. The 2nd Portal shows up as scattered Drakes, Mostly Pirates, Merchants and Ships, and a smattering of Wizards. P3...has been deleted from MOL, those (insert profanity here) not-wanting Leaping Lizard's help foos. Portal][/, a.k.a. Starter has run away with Portal ][, it seems. Mabe they're secretly Homarids.
Onto the Seige block. We now have a large amount of Wizards, most of which will become Creature - Merfolk Wizards instead of Creature - Human Wizards as many before this time will be. We also have several other below-the-wave creatures that need to be accounted for, and some Birds, Drakes, and Ships(???) in the sky. Another Shapeshifter also slides in, and again, isn't worth really accounting.
The Odd Block has many Birds, Soldiers, Wizards, et al, sometimes on the same card. Another aquatic race that I do not see having any relation to the homarids begins to emerge, the Cephalids. Here is a race that nearly replaces merfolk in a sudden smash... and then dissappears. Mabe the Humans got a taste for them? Nobody knows, except for the Wizards. Hmm... there's one creature type that does seem to pop up quite a lot, and most are pretty secretive. Perhapse there is a sort of Magic Illuminati running around Dominaria?
Wizards, Birds, Beasts, Slivers, Walls, and the one odd Cephalid that hangs onto its life similar to the lone Homarid populate this creature-centric block of Onslaugt. Y'know, now that I think about it, the Cephalids might have inadvertantly had the same problem as the Homarids-- mabe they couldn't tell the difference. I know ~I~ can't, just by the art. Can You?
Now we make our way to the newest, the one whose cardframe is the least unplesant of the newer frames. What do we have here? Human and Vedalkin Wizards. A Beast that looks like Stitch. A Bird, Elemental, and Wall. And some Drones that remind me oddly enough of Thrulls-- And I have the feeling that they'll go the same direction as Thrulls did with the rebellion against their slavemaster owner/creators. I'm sure Karn wants it that way.
Now why did I just do that? Simply to get some reasoning listed out. Now that WOTC has abandoned the aquatic for the terrestrial, what truly goes in blue's favor in terms of flavor? Only a few creatues have remained fairly consistant through each block, and only one consistently gets the Homaridic "Human" title appended to the beginning of it. Now while Wizards of the Coast/Hazbro might believe that it is a comfort to imagine yourself summoning the weaker whom hold the same 'job' as yourself into your aid, then commanding them to do as bidded, I find it odd. How can they explain the rise and fall of dozens of races, but the "Wizard" type remain? As I voiced before, I believe that there is a plotline that follows the whole race of Wizards, and will reveal them to be similar to the legendary "Illuminati" groups. However, owning some Illuminati and not being able to play it due to nobody wanting to learn such a difficult game makes me distrust this line of suspicion. If this does follow, what then? There's a Conspiracy! Wizards Rule Dominia(or whereverthehell place they're at now)! Subtle Ego Stoking Ends Now! BLA BLA BLA BLAAA!!!! PIKATHULU ALBULUJA-- IA IA!
Whatever. This is how I see the future of blue's races, but it isn't how it should be. Blue is tricky. Blue cannot be held, just as many people's individual concepts of Magic cannot be fully controlled. Critical Failure is a concept that should at some point be embodied into the mythology of Magic, whether by function or flavor(preferable the latter). If Wizards are now dominating, Wizards should eventually be replaced by thier own creations. Illusions. Phantasms(well, now they'd be Creature - Phantasm Illusion, but whatever). Beebles. Shapeshifters. Beings of which these meddling wizards have created with their own force, and which theoretically are bound to the wizards themself. Why should blue, a color of illusion, trickery, and change be held to a "core" race? Why not allow blue's frontier to roam free with more creatures that don't USE magic, but ARE magic. If Aquatic no longer fits in the mold of the color represented by the teardrop, than at least talor the flavor of its creatures to its basic instincts. Spirits should be par to the course. Beebles should raise the pot when conditional unblockability is needed. Illusions should be tricked out with the odd abilities. Shapshifters should change into other things. Why leave a core race? Why not have cornerstone races? WHY OH WHY DID YOU ADOPT 'HUMAN,' WOTC? Sorry... Sorry...
...at the very least, even if the Wizards insist on their own race dominating the blue charts, will you join me in sending the small little thing I'm including under my signature?
Proud CPA Member
Creator of Mr. T vs Magic: The Gathering and Mr. T vs Jonny Bravo, Audio Style.
Join me in sending this. I know that if one person does it(me, again), they'll think he's an oddity and not care. If two, they'll think they really mean "Homarids," and let Jeremy Cranford frame it. If three, they might think its some kind of Subgenius initiative. Four? They'll start getting worried. Fifty? Eighty? A Hundred? If that many people get to the end of my awful wrighting, I'd be supprised. Hopfully we'll get the four, though. Hopefully Arlo Gunthrie won't sue us, either.
The race of creatues known as "Beebles" were a very enjoyable and flavorful race. May we have them back? Their mechanic is usually some form of conditional unblockability, and that now goes onto illusions and wizards with no flavorful logic behind it. Beebles already have that as one of thier traits, thus beebles should be brought back into the fold of creature types, if only as an experiment.
Thank You, and have a nice day,