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 Post subject: Re: Uncharted Realms
PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:58 am 
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Empyreal wrote:
I too was expecting someone more calm and, well, regal than we got with Azor. Then again, he's used to walking in somewhere and declaring the law so perhaps he is not used to arguing. I was honestly a bit let down that Jace was able to so readily incapacitate him with mind magic. Azor was trying to trap Bolas, a telepath, with the help of Ugin, who also appears to be a telepath. Yet, the sphinx has zero ability to defend himself against telepathy.

I don't think it was that it was that Azor had no way to defend himself against telepathy, I think it is because he's a Parun of Ravnica and he is therefore bound to obey the Guildpact which is now Jace. He never thought to see that power turned against him.

Also keep in mind that Jace pretty much also told off Niv-Mizzet, who I think was testing the legitimacy of the new guildpact's power.

I was actually thinking more of the migraine he gave Azor and the disorientation. I didn't read those as law magic so much as telepathy.


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 Post subject: Re: Uncharted Realms
PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 4:45 pm 
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I liked the implication that now that Jace is a complete person (because he can now remember his whole life), he can now actually use all of his training and is a very strong mind mage as a result. He has basically had to learn all of that twice because of all of the times he's gotten amnesia, and he started with a strong innate talent.

Besides that, it seems plausible to me that Azor wouldn't have an particular strength in mental magic or defending against it. He probably had no reason to develop the talent as an Oldwalker and definitely had no reason to learn or practice since losinghis spark.

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 Post subject: Re: Uncharted Realms
PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 5:35 pm 
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astarael7 wrote:
Besides that, it seems plausible to me that Azor wouldn't have an particular strength in mental magic or defending against it. He probably had no reason to develop the talent as an Oldwalker and definitely had no reason to learn or practice since losinghis spark.

Oldwalkers almost universally dealt with mind magic, regardless of their color alignment. Since oldwalkers were purely mental beings, it's more a magic of protecting one's "self" rather than the idea of protecting mental processes.

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 Post subject: Re: Uncharted Realms
PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:13 pm 
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Oldwalkers could also just do basically anything because they had access to stupefying amounts of mana. If you can build 150-foot-thick walls because you're siphoning the lava flow of an entire volcano, that doesn't mean you're skilled at building walls.

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 Post subject: Re: Uncharted Realms
PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:55 pm 
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astarael7 wrote:
Oldwalkers could also just do basically anything because they had access to stupefying amounts of mana. If you can build 150-foot-thick walls because you're siphoning the lava flow of an entire volcano, that doesn't mean you're skilled at building walls.

Not by hand, but given the way that magic worked, you probably gleaned an intrinsic sense of engineering from it.

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 Post subject: Re: Uncharted Realms
PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:52 am 
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Today's UR (Magic Story): Sabotage

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 Post subject: Re: Uncharted Realms
PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:52 pm 
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This was a good one.

I've genuinely enjoyed all the Ixalan stories.

Spoiler

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 Post subject: Re: Uncharted Realms
PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 1:57 pm 
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Another great piece of story. Wizards is doing a mighty fine job moving the story to The Gatewatch Chronicles.
Still wish we had seen a bit more of Azor, but I am fine with him just being a minor character. And still wish we had more to read.

Important note: it seems that Ravnica already had some strong metaphysical law magic presence even before Azor.
Did the motivations of Ral Zarek ever really get fleshed out?

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 Post subject: Re: Uncharted Realms
PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 4:57 pm 
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All the groundwork they've been laying (now apparently since Tarkir!!) is really paying off.

I think Niv-Mizzet's going to have a bad time of it though.

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 Post subject: Re: Uncharted Realms
PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 6:39 pm 
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astarael7 wrote:
All the groundwork they've been laying (now apparently since Tarkir!!) is really paying off.

I think Niv-Mizzet's going to have a bad time of it though.

I'm not certain Niv isn't in on it.

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 Post subject: Re: Uncharted Realms
PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:36 pm 
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Niv-Mizzet almost certainly knows about Nicol Bolas, and probably guesses that Bolas would be interested in Ravnica. But I don't think Niv knows that Ral Zarek is a turncoat, and I'd bet no one outside Bolas's henchmen (and Jace) know that Bolas is moving against Ravnica soon.

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 Post subject: Re: Uncharted Realms
PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 9:13 pm 
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astarael7 wrote:
Niv-Mizzet almost certainly knows about Nicol Bolas, and probably guesses that Bolas would be interested in Ravnica. But I don't think Niv knows that Ral Zarek is a turncoat, and I'd bet no one outside Bolas's henchmen (and Jace) know that Bolas is moving against Ravnica soon.

Actually, I was wondering if it's possible that Niv has been a servant of Bolas all along, defeated and dominated magically into his service at some point in the distant past, and the research the Izzet do all goes to Bolas, and gets somewhat directed by him when he has need for certain things to be researched they'd be good at. Niv-Mizzet is after all in part of Bolas' colors, and as long as he gets to tinker as he likes, he might not find serving Bolas too onerous.

Starting the Dragon's Maze may have actually been part of a plan to heavily damage Ravnica due to bringing down the supreme verdict and making more sure the guilds can't unite against Bolas' forces, with Jace's interference causing the restoration of the guildpact instead, or could have been because Bolas needed an active guildpact for some reason, or could have just been random circumstances that Bolas wasn't really monitoring That Niv-Mizzet stumbled upon in genuine curiosity and perhaps realized too many others had figured it out due to his investigations to prevent.

If Niv-Mizzet secretly serves Bolas, it might explain Ral Zerek doing so, particularly on a sudden and unexpected basis, if as his guild-leader he has some ability to command Ral magically. It would also help explain why Niv-Mizzet was pushing the creation of the lighting bug project if he actually knew what it did and knew Bolas would want it.

We do have to remember that Bolas had an infinite consortium operation going on in Ravnica, and so presumably already cultivated contacts on that plane, and while Tezzeret might think he got them all under his control or dead, he might not have known about all of them, and early on, Niv-Mizzet might have been very interested in some of the strange resources the consortium was trading in, depending on how old the consortium is, he may have been dealing with it long before Tezzeret even became a planeswalker.

This is, of course, largely a baseless speculation, but it's a possibility I thought worth bringing up.

Edit: Sorta ninjaed by a post I didn't notice or only did subconsciously and forgot about.

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 Post subject: Re: Uncharted Realms
PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:29 pm 
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Bolas had more than just the infinite consortium on Ravnica, he had another rival cell operating during the period Tezzeret controlled it.

Regardless, thank you for going into detail about what I'd said earlier. It helps to underscore things nicely.
While we're at it, we also must consider Melek and Ral's actions to replace him. The thing is, we know Ral wasn't acting out of anything but ego in that moment, but what if Melek was a piece of Bolas's plans?

All this also casts to a different light, Teysa's plot to kill the ghost council and it's subsequent failure.

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 Post subject: Re: Uncharted Realms
PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:01 am 
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Wow.

If they pull all of that off, I will be walking back many of my criticisms of the current storyline.

I know game and storyline don't line up 100%, but Niv-Mizzet defeating Bolas by pulling a Mindmoil + Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind would be fun. Loved that combo back when.

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 Post subject: Re: Uncharted Realms
PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:38 pm 
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I don't think Mizzet would work for Bolas simply because Mizzet is as vain as Bolas. Niv-Mizzet waged his own mini Elder Dragon War on Ravnica to wipe out all the other intelligent dragons on the plane.

I also don't think that Niv-Mizzet would have had so much interest in project lightning bug or whatever it was called that Zarek was running if he had been aware of the existence of planeswalkers.

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 Post subject: Re: Uncharted Realms
PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:47 pm 
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Maybe he is sort of aware in the most vague sense, since he is one of the original guild leaders along with Azor, and that sphinx just up an disappeared so long ago without any real explanation. Then along comes Jace who also seems to have the power to not be around for long stretches of time and the Firemind might not know exactly what is going on, but he started putting two and two together. Then one of his promising minions comes to him with research that suggests something Planeswalker-ish...but then that minion sabotages that research and throws off his calculations yet again.

That being said, I fully expect Niv to be against Bolas once he finds out about him from Jace. He'll probably also be pissed at Jace...and extra mega pissed at Ral when it gets revealed that Ral is working for Bolas....unless Ral is pulling some extra super double-agenting work against Bolas under Niv's command and using some secret Izzet-tch to keep his mind too disorganized and whirling with information for Bolas to properly parse.

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 Post subject: Re: Uncharted Realms
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:02 am 
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I was in general agreement, obviously, with the fact that we're finally getting a good idea of Bolas's aims, but then something reared its ugly head that more or less ruined the good will the wonderful Ixalan stories had been generating. It's a pretty big problem too, one that I had managed to bury, but it's too prevalent a plot hole not to be addressed.

Kaladesh's plot makes no sense with the continuing narrative.

Tezzeret's job there was to get the planar portal so that Bolas's 60 years worth of a zombie army can march on Ravnica, right?

The problem is, the damn portal didn't EXIST until the Inventor's fair began. Beyond that, it's only because Saheeli essentially BRIBED one of the judges that the elf got to show off her invention after having missed her first damned audition. Additionally, the fact it couldn't transport organic matter was a bug they JUST discovered about it.

Kaladesh's contributions to all this just break a LOT of what's necessary to make it work.

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 Post subject: Re: Uncharted Realms
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:26 pm 
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I can't really say much about the Kaladesh part because I've read like 5% of that block's story, but while we're at pointing out plot holes, I might have another one.

Maybe we're just missing a crucial piece of the puzzle here, but why did Azor and Ugin think trapping an enemy whose mere presence shatters planes on, well, a plane was ever going to work?

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 Post subject: Re: Uncharted Realms
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:37 pm 
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I can't really say much about the Kaladesh part because I've read like 5% of that block's story, but while we're at pointing out plot holes, I might have another one.

Maybe we're just missing a crucial piece of the puzzle here, but why did Azor and Ugin think trapping an enemy whose mere presence shatters planes on, well, a plane was ever going to work?
Probably for the same reason Ugin thought that trapping three non-planar mega entities that shatter planes on a single plane was a good idea. I would assume that The Eldrazi prison was sort of a proof of concept for Ugin and after years of refining designs and working with a serious law-mage who was willing to sacrifice his Old 'Walker Spark as a lock for the prison's door, it seemed like the perfect plan.

My only question about said plan was....how exactly did they plan on keeping Bolas there? Like, if Ugin goes through with the plan and helps Azor get back his Spark after trapping Bolas....is the Immortal Sun really a worthwhile lock anymore? And if Ugin doesn't follow through and Azor gets trapped on the plane with Bolas....at what point does Bolas find either Azor or the Immortal Sun and just break either of them?

EDIT: Or were they just planning on Helvault-ing Bolas like Sorin did to Nahiri or hedron-ing him like Nahiri did to Ob?

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 Post subject: Re: Uncharted Realms
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:43 pm 
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They planned to kill him while he was stuck.

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