ANNOUNCING: Fate of Averlos [Plots from the Past | 122/206]

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Tue, 2016-11-01 14:09
WindyDelcarlo
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Wouldn't say troll, it's just easier to say Blacken than Krakthrull

Tue, 2016-11-01 23:02
marioware2
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One thing you should know about me: I can't stand color pie bending. Don't even get me started on breaks.

So when I asked for a spoiler for FoA? I wasn't quite sure what I was going to get.

Luckily, Zephyr did not disappoint.


One thing I've never done that I've always wanted to do is make a colorless EDH deck. There are so many sweet cards you get to play, and it doesn't feel like you're just shoehorning them into the deck. Rather, it feels like you're building the deck specifically for them, which I love.

A common theme in the colorless cards I'd love to play is that they all cost approximately 10000 mana. Between multiple Emrakuls, Ulamogs, and Kozileks, Myr Battlesphere, Platinum creatures, and more, there's a lot of mana to be spent. That means I'd love to have access to as many copies of this effect as possible:

Help my cards cost too much

Unfortunately, that card is green, which very much means not colorless. Luckily, Zephyr has me covered (albeit, for a bit more investment):

Help my colorless cards cost too much

This gets really fun with artifact recursion, which you're actually allowed to run in colorless decks! It's not the most efficient card, but it's an effect just waiting to be broken, and it lets me play Emrakul on turn five. That's enough for me to love it.

Wed, 2016-11-02 21:48
fluffyDeathbringer
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okay but why is there a pokeball on Averlos

Remind yourself that overconfidence is a slow and insidious killer.

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Wed, 2016-11-02 21:52
MysticalOctopus
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Why is there Monster Reborn? IDK

My Set Hub[/size]

Wed, 2016-11-02 22:29
ZephyrPhantom
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@ Fluffy - Good question; that's actually going to be answered in today's update!

@ MysticalOctopus - After all the bans from Blue Summer, Wizards decided Hardy Raticate was causing more problems in the current meta with its SCAB (Same Color Aggro Bonus). Monster Reborn appears to be considered a fair reanimation choice for Black Control for the time being.

Gotta Command Em All - Part 2
So some of you might remember this vertical cycle from Revolution of Delkor:

In this cycle, I posed the question of "What would Pokemon look like in Magic the Gathering?" The evolution gimmick has always been a difficult one for MtG designers to potray, but the use of Emerge turned out to be a rather smooth solution to those issues, allowing the cards to show 'evolution' and tacking on proper evolving as a side benefit.

In From the Vault: Fractures, I also posed this question, but in the form of "What would happen if Pokemon became Magic: The Gathering?" I used two concepts that I was unlikely to explore due to their nature - in one, I showed a Preasti that Hestia, its exiled Archon, had returned to take over, and in the other, I showed a timeline where the Eldrazi were the time/space Pokemon Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina instead of Emrakul, Ulamog, and Kozilek.

Well, Worldshifters, get ready for two new additions to the Pokedex website today! Because in this timeline, Magic the Gathering started on the opposite side of the world, when Satoshi Tajiri at Nintendo reminisced on how much he loved to collect bugs. Magic has changed greatly from his original vision back then, but today I'll be spoiling you how hints of his design still make it into the sets of the Pluraverse!

As you can probably tell, Reclusive Ferrothorn is more along the lines of a call-back reprint, much like Kaladesh's Self-Assembler was to Mishra's Factory. We won't be seeing the infamous Urza's Ferroseed anytime soon due to how it almost broke Vintage, but it serves as a nod to a time when Kird Mews were overpowering the game in the freakish Blue Summer event. Here, Ferrothorn emulates its younger self's ability to manipulate targets by preventing anything from targeting it - while this means it retains the ability to protect itself from almost all targeted removal, it does come at the cost of making it a viable Equip target. The average player will mainly pick this up as an emergency metalcraft trigger, but players going for non-targeting buffs like Renegade of Bitter Steel, Renegade of Fleeting Groves, and Borlial, the Reforged will find him a welcome midrange beater in Limited!

This vertical cycle does have one more member, though! You've probably noticed a sprinkling of Foxes around Averlos such as the rebellious Mindripper Arcis and the Academy hero, Rijo, the Silver Tongue:

Now, some of you familiar with the original Averlos might have wondered "Of all the flora and fauna to choose as wildlife, why foxes?"

Let's just say you might recognize their ancestor from Mirrodin Stadium:

For those of you Planeswalkers visiting from the Multiverse: You might notice the creatures shown here don't have an additional Pokemon type. This is intended, because in this timeline, Pokemon actually served as the origins for Magic: The Gathering!

Patch Notes regarding previous cards:
- Numerous wording fixes and corrections. For example, Imaginary Assailant returns to owner's hand now instead of your hand. Thanks ThisisSakon and fluffyDeathbringer!
- Elphego nerfed to 0/6, only one counter grantable now.
- Krakthrull Hatchling dropped to 0/3.

For those puzzled by this spoiler's terminology:

Spoiler:
This entire spoiler is based on What If Week, when WoTC staff wrote their articles as if Magic:The Gathering had become a different game entirely than the one we were familiar with. This spoiler's "What if" is theme is "What if another card game became Magic: The Gathering?"


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Wed, 2016-11-02 22:55
fluffyDeathbringer
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So tl;dr, Pokemon are canon on Altverlos because of metawankery? (I mean that as a neutral term, not a pejorative, for the record.)

I like Territorial Leafeons. I might be wrong about this, but it doesn't even feel like a pie break.

Remind yourself that overconfidence is a slow and insidious killer.

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Sat, 2016-12-03 05:45
ZephyrPhantom
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Plots that Span Timelines
"They've arrived too quickly, Ms. Vectis. Wind will not reach us in time; assuming he even wants to."

"Wait, what do you mean?!"

"I mean they're breaching the walls as we speak. Go. You'll have to settle for avenging us."

"How did they-?"

"A mystery for the ages - they shouldn't be able to sense twisted steel, like the ones we use or the ones you possess. Go!"

"But-"

"GO! And if you care, let no one forget our story."

======================

"....no, this isn't right. I want to try something, but I need to check."

======================

"It's as I thought. You didn't come in time, Wind... so you could slaughter the remnants of the Lifesteel assault force."

"They deserved it - hypocritical overlords, sending their pawns out into a slaughter. With all the pawns gone, Griff will be even more vulnerable."

"The Commune always has advantage in numbers, and I assume it does in this time as well. What would Arina say of your foolishness?"

"...I hope you don't speak her name again, Lifesteel turncoat, for your own good."

"You words would've phased me in another life."

"Then perhaps this will phase you instead!"

======================

"So the Wind of this timeline lacks sympathy. Wonderful." I finally take a deep breath in the Blind Eternities, as the mask attaches to my face and I witness my hands turn back into sand once more. "And on top of that, his Arina is nowhere to be found, save for a crude grave on Volaria without a corpse..."

"If I had any less of a care for the timeline, I could go back into the past and just shank this timeline's Griff before he ever sparked." I ponder, as I stop suppressing my Lifesteel and let the mana flow through it once more. Its song has quieted back into a more quiet, peaceful hum, having left that blasted pastiche of Averlos. "But Delkor was a bit too drastic for my taste. I don't think going even further is wise - what if I stray so far from the main timeline that I completely lose my way? I don't wish to be the sole judge of what's right and wrong. Vis taught me the dangers of that."

I tap a sandy finger on my chin as an idea begins to dawn on me. "Perhaps what isn't needed is a judge, but a jury."

======================

"Hello, Animara. It has been a while since we've all heard from you. Are you well?"


Art by BV-47

"Well enough. I could use your assistance on a matter concerning Wind, actually..."

"Wind? I did not realize you had ran into him on the way here...how is he?"

"Wait wait wait. It's not the Wind we know...but I do require someone that knows him very well."

"...I do not follow. My apologies."

"Well, let's sit a while and talk. Are you familiar with the alternate timelines created by Tolarian time rifts?"


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Sat, 2016-12-03 07:41
WindyDelcarlo
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Yep, still watching in wonder See, I was crafting a response based on Spin into Myth costing 4 mana symbolBlue mana symbol. It costing 2 mana symbolBlue mana symbol makes it perfect

(Quick correction that might be relevant if you write main-timeline Arina more. She speaks slightly more formally, so doesn't use contractions except for the occasional "let's". Red mana symbol Arina can do whatever she wants because AU, so this only applies to the main timeline. So, for example, instead of "I don't follow," she would say "I am not certain I follow.")

Sat, 2016-12-03 12:58
Neottolemo
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I think Spin into Nothing should just say "that player scries 2".
That is an unexpected developement for sure.
Soul's Fire, Burning Anger and Blood all make Lava Spear seem a bit weak, I'm afraid. I do love the mechanical idea behind it, though. Toughness-matters in Red mana symbol is interesting.

Sun, 2016-12-04 01:52
ZephyrPhantom
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@ Wind - I was iffy on that, so thanks for clarifying. I'll fix it here and make a note in the future that Arina doesn't use contractions.

@ Neo - I was so focused on Planeshifting Lava Axe that I completely forgot Soul's Fire existed. X) I'll probably drop it down to 2 mana symbolRed mana symbol in the set file by next update.

Also, Wizards uses 'may scry' instead of 'scries' to keep wording consistent, which is sometime I also wanted to do. See Eager Construct.

Glad to see that people like the Arina twist, though. Let's just say "Arina of Another Volaria" is a very deliberate wordplay. Winking smiley


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Thu, 2017-01-26 14:28
ZephyrPhantom
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Steps

(BGM: Heroic Confrontation)

"The chance to set another timeline went wrong to a better state... are you certain of this, Animara?"

"I wouldn't say we're warping another timeline. But I will say we're perhaps changing this Wind's fate."

"It hurts you to seem him like that, does it not?"

"Wouldn't it hurt you more, Arina? I merely deeply respect the man, after all."

"It is hard not to argue with that, Animara; I just want to be absolutely certain this is for the best."

"I could save the alternate Averlos in a thousand more ways, and many of them would be far more tyrannical. Respecting the timeline should require some finesse, but I've already made more severe changes to it and they were permitted. I think making a small change to give everyone a second chance is worth it, especially in a dismal situation like this."

"Very well. It's like the Terrarna saying, is it not? Two steps backward..."

"One step forward."

========================================

"WIND!" The vampire's shout roars across time itself, to an hour before that fateful moment.

"You! You're the vamp-" Wind stops, looking on in horror as if he's seen a ghost. "That face... what illusion is this, Worldshifter?!"

"It's not an illusion!" Arina replies. "Wind, please..."



===================

Welcome back, guys. The mission statement from here on is pretty straightforward - I plan to spoil at least one story segment a month. Story spoilers will likely go up to 100-150 out of 206, and the remaining 50 will be released in the set file, followed by a Sealed knockout tournament prerelease due to this set being the first I've designed for actual play. Ghakar development will resume after Averlos is spoiled by default.


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Thu, 2017-01-26 14:58
ThisisSakon
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Arina: why is her -3 Loyalty a may ability? Not really a complaint just a quip. Considering vender's ultimate straight up exiles permanents two turns after you play him, I'm going to call Arina's ult pretty weak

Animara: um.... Where to start... What's with her +1 Loyalty? Is it supposed to be a permanent emblem or this turn or? Why does her -2 Loyalty have an "until end of turn" on it? None of her abilities really go together or mesh together into an obvious theme

Thu, 2017-01-26 15:35
ZephyrPhantom
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Arina: I did compare her to Venser but in hindsight I ended up overcompensating in terms of nerfing the ult to account for her costing 1 mana symbol less. I'll probably change it to bouncing back to the top of the library at the very least. Not sure how that -3 Loyalty became a may but it's amusing so I'll keep it.

Animara: I admittedly wasn't satisfied with this version right up to the point where I kept taking it back to the drawing board up until today (aka the day I marked down to start spoiling again; flexibility is something I need to work on when it comes to spoilers). "until end of turn" was misplaced. The goal was to create an LTB-matters Black/red mana symbol walker that would profit from all the constant dying around her but I agree there are better ways to do it. I'll be taking this one back to the drawing board and likely release a reworked version within 12 hours, along with a bonus spoiler as an apology for such a gaffe.


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Thu, 2017-01-26 16:10
fluffyDeathbringer
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The ult referring to creature cards in plural and in singular is jarring, and also grammatically wrong. A fix was suggested on Discord: "Each creature that entered the battlefield this way gains haste and 'Exile this creature at the beginning of the next end step."

Still, excellent music choice. Only fitting that a spoiler about mucking with time would drag me back into such nostalgia.

Remind yourself that overconfidence is a slow and insidious killer.

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Sat, 2017-01-28 00:00
ZephyrPhantom
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Cadiem Honis

Today's update is about learning from mistakes.

Mistakes are a part of life, while they occur seemingly with the sole intent to remind us we're not perfect, they're also a fundamental reminder that we're human. Gaffes, typos, and blunders are all part of that big folder of experiences we can learn from and move forward with.

So today's post is about a developer making a mistake fixing a Planeswalker who's also plenty good at making mistakes. Let's take a look, shall we?

Spoiler:
In the process of fixing Animara, I started by taking a look at the themes she has in common across her many cards; she's pretty significant in the sense that her presence ties all my sets together since I'm not at the point where I'm confident in making a full block yet. So what does Animara care about?

Animara cares about taking life, but often gives it back somewhere else. In Vis, her debut card was one of the only 4 cards in the block to have lifegain, and the only card to feature the keyword lifelink, to show her restored state and the release of Vis's white mana purifying her of the planeswalker virus that had threatened to turn her into a husk of her former self.

You'll notice that future incarnations of Animara, such as her Credo Questioner incarnation from Sylph Highlander, and her Time Wraith incarnation from From the Vault: Fractures, keep this theme in mind as well - Animara is very quick to restore life total if she is capable of doing so.

But that future has yet to occur - for now, let's come back to the present.

Animara also cares about where permanents are going. When Animara isn't caring about where life is going, she's generally focused on where other things are moving around the field - typically in a certain direction. Her Guilt-Plagued and Causeless Champion incarnations from Revelations of Ziltrem and Revolution of Delkor show this well. Anything her Guilt Plagued self exiles eventually returns to its natural place: the graveyard. As a Causeless Champion on Delkor, she modifies this somewhat to involving stacking cards under herself, but those cards too end up being used as natural payment to cast proper Overlay spells.

With that in mind, I then asked myself: What does Fate of Averlos care about?

Fate of Averlos wants things to die. Normally, this will happen in combat, but sacrifice cards like Desperado Ploy and Looting Deserters exist as alternatives to get things dying and quickly triggering cards like Lingering Sisters. Black and Red are both Vengeful colors, meaning their deaths will often result in the revival of their tenacious minions in hopes of outrunning White and Green's aggressive but more potentially fragile ploys.

So where do these themes intersect, especially given that this is an Animara transitioning from morally troubled young woman to wisened protector as Fate of Averlos unfolds?

Quote:
+1 Loyalty: You may sacrifice a creature. If you do, target player gains 4 life.

Animara is no stranger to spilling blood. But as the self-proclaimed "self sacrificing hero", she has no qualms losing things of her own to give others life. Her first ability is deliberately political, reflecting her shift from her earlier Red mana symbolBlack mana symbolColorless mana symbol's focus on forced denial of the enemy's strategy while setting up her own to a Planeswalker that is more interested in directing the flow of the game a certain way, much like her future incarnations.

Quote:
-3 Loyalty: Return target creature card from your graveyard to the battlefield. It gains haste. Exile it at the beginning of the next end step or if it would leave the battlefield.

On the flipside of the coin, Animara doesn't like death all that much, as indicated by her shift away from damaging things to death as she ages with time. As her Ziltrem incarnation shows, though, she's not exactly an expert in necromancy either - the best she can do is a flawed reconstruction of things she destroys. But a war needs warriors, and if it means one less sacrifice or one more foe turned aside, Animara will resurrect all she can.

Quote:
-8 Loyalty: Exile all cards from all graveyards. For each card exiled this way, create a 1/1 black and red Bat creature token with flying, haste, and lifelink.

For the ultimate, I decided to focus on showing something that represent Animara's full power of her Black/red mana symbol aspects, as this may be the last time we see her in her original colors. She has a natural affinity towards Bats, as indicated by her original card, and her time in Ziltrem means she is no stranger to exiling cards. Her time in Delkor indicates an affinity towards conjuring up something that will eventually completely overwhelm the opponent - what better for the Vampire planeswalker than a massive swarm of bats, overwhelming the opponent like something out of a horror movie?

Thus, we have the finished product, a much more coherent Animara that should play well both in and out of Fate of Averlos!

Additionally, Arina's ultimate has been changed to bounce nonland permanents to the top of their library! I'd like to take this opportunity to show you all the promotional foil version of Arina, featuring her Planeshifted doppelganger, the determined Arina Rouge!

Spoiler:

Lastly, the promised bonus spoiler! Mistakes influence the other side of the war as well - as you may remember, some like Teurla actively hesitate to carry out Griff's command; however, some others are not fully cognizant of the selfish acts of war he is committing for his tyrannical visions. Today's story focuses on one such doubtful commander, receiving an important message from an underling...

The Will of the Right

"Vanguard Croscres, ma'am!"

"Report, soldier. What brings you here?"

"We have found... a strange message, while scavenging the villages for any Lifesteel they may have wanted to use against us. We first thought it written by those heathen Darkblade, but it appears to have been foolproofed by magic far too advanced for their vile minds."

"...continue. Does this have to do with my dop-... I mean, the vampire we are pursuing?"

"No, ma'am. We suspect it may have something to do with that Wind mage that has rallied the apostates of flame around him. The message mentions him, and asks of his wellbeing, signed by an "Arina"."

"...I see. But did the spies not report an "Arina" arriving on Averlos?"

"We suspect it to be a deceitful Worldshifter as well, much like the one Templarius Griff was unable to contain. As for the details...perhaps it is best you read the message yourself, ma'am."

As the vanguard finished reading the message, she removed her Lifesteel Helmet and placed it down along the closed scroll, her black bangs revealing a familliar yet gentler countenance as her eyes drifted up to the cold, verdant biometal ceiling.

"We have killed so many this war. Children, wives...innocents. For the sake of what? Extra bits of Lifesteel that only encourage our enemies to warp it into even more vile forms?"

"'Cadiem Honis' - the will of the right. Griff says he carries this right, and the Lifesteel has fervently agreed with him, pushing his name into the frenzy of their song."

"But with all this blood we have shed for this supposed paradise...is this really a song I can accept?"



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Sat, 2017-01-28 05:50
WindyDelcarlo
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I'm sad I didn't notice these updates happening sooner Are the last three lines of that story part of the message or the character speaking for themselves?

Sat, 2017-01-28 13:31
ZephyrPhantom
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Character speaking for themselves. I edited the speaking line to clarify.


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Sat, 2017-01-28 16:01
WindyDelcarlo
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I think the Vanguard of Croscres is interesting. I'm looking back to see if there's more of a toughness theme than I thought in GW, but having the option to turn it on looks like something you can easily build around

Sun, 2017-01-29 07:34
ZephyrPhantom
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In-set, Croscres is designed more with the general intent of screwing up everyone's combat steps, since non-square P/Ts make up a decent portion of the set. (Hence why her ability is activated unlike Doran, the Siege Tower). Outside of it, she's designed as a possible EDH choice, much like Borlial.

That being said, Croscres-based strategies do have a few options to exploit in Limited, either to suprise your opponent in the heat of combat or suddenly stall a battle while she punches a hole in the opposition. One of these options could be a turn 1 Spellmine/turn 2 Bladefencer/Turn 3 Equip + Croscres, or perhaps one could simply pile Spellmines and equipments onto the field to pump up Croscres herself in power and evasion. For those that can't aim for a super-focused equip strategy, though, here's some other fellows that can also work!

Spoiler:


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Sun, 2017-01-29 12:52
Neottolemo
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Ok so I'm really happy Fate of Averlos spoilers have begun again!

Animara, Vampiric Scourge has a lot of sinister abilities: exactly the kind of abilities main timeline Griff would be suspicious of; that's kind of amusing Big smile I really appreciated the analysis of her past planeswalker cards you did while fixing her, it was rather insightful, I think.

Arina's card is neat. Resonate and Conscript the Ancestors are really cool colourshifts, although the former kind of wants me to make a card called Reconsider with "Resonate." as its flavour text Big smile

I think I get the idea behind Armory Dryad. It's kind of complex, though, and don't expect that it'll be that powerful outside of strategies that care about Equipment or creatures leaving the battlefield. Still, interesting buildaround.

I'm not really feeling Commune Deceiver, although I can't find any actual faults in it.

Titanic Steelwidow is pretty awesome.

I love Aven Tuskspear! Big smile

Jadesteel Forgery is curious. I'm not sure what to think about it, but it looks pretty novel, which makes it interesting.

Armored Beak-Sentinel and Strenghtsteel Carapace have awesome flavour which fits well with the story, although the former looks rather strong.

"The Vanguard of Croscres" is an awesome card name, and the story she was the protagonist of was good Big smile That art looks kind of Angel-y and like it should have flying, but it's fine. This looks kind of derivative of Doran mechanics-wise, except it has threat of activation instead of always being on. The card seems nice, though, especially thanks to the way her abilities interact with each other. Does this timeline's Drael know the Vanguard of Croscres? Should I alter A Rover's Heyday in any way as a result?

Hope from the Past is really intriguing! I wonder how it could win the game...

Sun, 2017-01-29 17:26
ZephyrPhantom
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Jadesteel Forgery was my take on giving Green mana symbol a ritual-esque card that retained both its mainline "permanents-matter" theme and its planeshifted "Green Weenie" strategies.

Don't worry, no one knows who the Vanguard of Croscres is. She, like many of the other major figures of Averlos, corresponds to someone or something in the main timeline, but unlike the rest, her story has yet to begin. Winking smiley


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Mon, 2017-03-27 08:33
fluffyDeathbringer
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Not to rush you, but I think I'd like to see more of this.

Remind yourself that overconfidence is a slow and insidious killer.

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Wed, 2017-03-29 14:34
WindyDelcarlo
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I'm in agreement. Although, of course I am, the story involves Wind and Arina

Sun, 2017-04-02 23:28
ZephyrPhantom
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Sorry for the two months delay, folks. In the past few months, university has put me in some very interesting places, to say the least.

However, as of today, monthly spoilers resume, and Fate of Averlos will continue to head towards concluding in December 2017. I promised myself I wouldn't let another set I made prematurely crash, and as of right now, I'm still holding myself to that.

So let's check in where we left off with the standoff with Wind, shall we?

The March Will Pass
"Reconsider?" Wind scoffed, as unearthly shrieks pierced the air - in the blink of an eye, Arina and Animara found themselves surround by leering birds of flame, one of whose eyes burned brighter than the rest. "Tell me why I should not have Lucira burn you where you stand for such a cruel trick."

"Please, Wind!" Arina spoke again, causing Wind to flinch as if he'd seen a ghost. "I am no effigy; Animara here is..." she paused, looking for the correct words. "...a woman who can walk through time."

At this, Wind seems to alternate between bristling and keeping his face from contorting into a nasty snarl, as if putting the pieces together while trying to suppress a vile thought. "And in that timeline, do I die instead? Do only you live?"

"Wind is... well...I had hoped to convince you to not lose faith." Arina continued, holding a hand to stop Animara from forming a sandy claw. "The transceiver, did you...?"

"Yes...I tried the transceiver. Nothing." Wind nodded grimly to the phoenixes, motioning for them to withdraw. "I understand now what this 'Animara' was trying to do, but... please, Arina of another time. Go back to your Wind. There is a war here, and I refuse to let you get killed once more."

"You would have me run, like you plan to do now?" Arina snapped, her eyes lighting up in defiance. "Animara told me everything; she can peer into time, but she cannot peer into your heart. I know you ran out of fear....what happened, Wind?"

"...Marina's death." Wind exhaled, letting the words float in the air. "Arina...you...of my time was always faster than I am. Too fast." At this, Arina silently moved over to Wind and took his hand - after a few minutes, they had entered into a gentle embrace.

"If this war is as urgent as you feel it is...then I may not be able to fully help you grieve until it is finished." Arina remarked breathlessly, as they let go. "But please let me get you to that point. I will help you find her, if there is any sign she lives."

Wind sighed in resignation, looking at the horizon as the bright reds of the sky began to turn a deep blue with the sun's rise. "Very well, love of another time." He stepped back and looked at Animara. "Arina said you can walk through time; I presume that the reason you have a code of some sort that prevents you from changing lives wholescale, or you would've done it already."

"You assume correctly." Animara replied, letting the sand form back into her fingers.

"What do you know, then?"

"There is another Planes- Worldshifter, named Drael, currently assisting Piberdo, correct? One of our kind should be enough to make armies rise and fall, as you certainly know." Animara replied. "For some reason, though, her efforts were not sufficient to protect the Academy."

"Hold on...this timeline's Drael is present, too?" Arina looked at Animara, who shook her head. "Trust me, Arina, of all the people I have seen her she is the least like her...self, I suppose."

"What matters is that something, or perhaps someone, was strong enough to overwhelm a Worldshifter's abilties." Wind frowned. "The only individuals that should be capable of doing that in the polyverse are other worldshifters."

"What about a strong individual empowered by one?" Arina interjected. "I do not know much of Lifesteel, but it seems to be an incredibly effective conduit for mana transfer, with only sufficient emotion required to start the reaction. If Griff is as zealous as I have been told he is..."

At this, Animara shifted uncomfortably, as if something had occurred to her. "That...does not sound like something Griff would do. In fact, for someone so powerful, he seems oddly content on not leading the charge."

"He would not have to if he had a champion that could receive his blessings, making them that much stronger." Wind surmised. "In other words, this upcoming battle is more about demonstrating his might."

Animara almost shook her head, but instead bit her tongue and slipped the mask on - her body transmuted into sand once more, as her distorted voice crackled and muttered. “Why d'oes it not su'rpr'ise me that a Com'mune rul'ed by Griff results in ze'ro tol'er'ance?”

"Tolerance or not, it's best we make haste." Wind retorted, taking out a map. "Lucira! Order the phoenixes to prepare for bombardment - I will be rallying the Commune defectors. Piberdo's time will be short, if we do not move to assist her. "



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Mon, 2017-04-03 01:47
WindyDelcarlo
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Totally thought Piberdo was a guy for the longest time.

It's also interesting to see how Alt Wind handles things. I was picturing some kind of spell charge followed by Arina jumping in with a Volarian ultima but that's so much not-well-known knowledge about Wind, Arina, and Volaria that wouldn't make sense This remains perfectly in character, though!

I appreciate that the new Flametongue Kavu can choose to not kill itself with its trigger.

Tue, 2017-04-04 12:03
Neottolemo
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I'm so glad that things are going a bit better and you could find some time for this again! Big smile

The story was great, and I like those cards! Well, except Wall of Defiance, since I find the card it's based on really uninteractive. But other than that one, I really liked them! Big smile

WindyDelcarlo wrote:
Totally thought Piberdo was a guy for the longest time.

Didn't the same stuff happen with Drael as well?

Tue, 2017-04-04 14:08
WindyDelcarlo
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I can't imagine why a 0/8 flier with shroud could be seen as uninteractive

Tue, 2017-04-25 18:17
fluffyDeathbringer
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Just realized that I forgot to comment on this spoiler, even though I intended to. Dystopic Sight is a lovely "scry tribal" rare, and Electromancer's Transciever looks like it'd be yummy in an MSEM red token EDH deck.

Remind yourself that overconfidence is a slow and insidious killer.

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Thu, 2017-05-11 08:19
ZephyrPhantom
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Some come big

Some come small

But either way Piberdo must fall

Unless one seeks a vampire standing tall

And questions her cause once and for all


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Thu, 2017-05-11 13:04
Neottolemo
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Interesting. Odd to see an artifact reprinted in that frame, but it's probably fine. I like the other cards, especially Commune Willow-Ward, which reminds me of one of my favourite cards, Sengir Nosferatu, but at the same time feels like a different implementation of a similar concept A happy smile

I'm really happy we got another spoiler Big smile

Thu, 2017-05-11 13:09
fluffyDeathbringer
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Commune Inciter, the perfect card for a Thopter deck Big smile

Remind yourself that overconfidence is a slow and insidious killer.

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Sat, 2017-06-17 05:57
ZephyrPhantom
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Mara in the Mirror

Art by Ana Šafran

It was like staring in a mirror I'd seen in a previous time.

However, this time, I'm the mirror. My blade flashes in the air as I parry an overhand slash from her deft hands, my shoulders sagging from the weight of her blows. Is she more skilled, or is she merely the stronger brute?


Art by Tomas Hruska

She burns with the power of the Lifesteel, but as I try to link with it, I sense none of Griff's delusional hums influencing zealous warchants. She senses my probe into her wills, her histories, as I attempt to burn through her mind to find the differences that led her down this devoted path.It's strange, seeing the events play out in her mind - the fateful meeting with the Masticore, her induction through Argonia... the rough chain of events is the same, but the words and emotions are all different.

She senses my mental assault, however, and wills her entire being to concentrate on one thought - putting my neck at the point of a blade. By the time my vision fully returns back to reality, I've only got a brief second before I can throw my blade in the way. My hands shift to sandy claws, catching the blade as I push back against my temporal doppelganger's sword, trembling as we force it to a standstill, inches from my throat.

"Tell me, why should I believe you fight for a better cause?"

"If you are anything like me, listen to your heart, your own Steel. You know that Griffs has betrayed its desires."

"I listen to nothing but the Steel, Animara. It has guarded me from death, be it at the Masticore's fateful hands or Argonia's war preparations." Her eyes flicker with pity and spite. "I have seen eras go by and so called "heroes" try to reform the flaws of the Commune."

In the distance, I hear Drael's walls crumbling, punctuated by the screech of one of Wind's phoenixes as it crashes behind us.

"The Darkblade knew nothing of ruling, and threw Averlos into chaos with their inability to bring the other factions together."

I respond by rolliing to the side, my claws grasping as her face as we continue to grapple back and forth within the layers of the outer fortress of Piberdo's defenses.

"The Academy only extrapolated results based on the whispers they could hear from beyond their castles of books. They did not see the suffering of the people."

I attempt to twist her wrist, but the world suddenly flips and I quickly dissolve into sand to flip it once more, landing on my feet as I attempt to claw at her plate mail.

"So yes, I align with a monster obsessed with instilling complete order. I have no choice, for I have been bested time and time again."

"But what of the other planes you've been too?" I snapped. "Did Vis not inspire you to keep living, did Delkor not inspire you to keep finding your own way?"

Her face contorts in confusion, and I realize the difference that set us apart; she had never sparked.

But an opportunity in combat is an opportunity, and I slam her head against a wall, muttering a silent apology as she drops to the ground, unconscious. Her head, like mine, is unsurprisingly melded with the blessed steel - she will live to see another day.

As I exit outside, dragging my captive with me, Piberdo greets me with a relieved look on her face, as it seems our timely presence saved her and the Academy from total obliteration. I understood her plight now, too - this was not the girl I'd met in my own timeline, who traded information for amusement and kept contacts to hear of the world above. This was a Piberdo that hid from the world, reliant on the silent research of the Academy to stay silent and orderly. Having to become a general had made her unfocused, forcing her to put on a brave front without the skills to properly lead an army.

Drael...skips over to me to report, only for Arina to intercept her and whisper into her head. After a moment, the tall blonde nods, and twirls away a little more slowly, as Arina steps over to me and offer me an artifact that resembles.... a transceiver?

"I think there's something this timeline's Wind needs to see."


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Sat, 2017-06-17 14:13
Neottolemo
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Nice, another update! This seems like an interesting one. The title is nice, and so are the parallels between the Vanguard's life and the Sand Wraith's, as well as the references to what other characters are doing during their fight, and the ending. I like the Infusion and the Obsidiablade. Infused Rancor looks a bit like a stretch for FoA White mana symbol, mostly because it grants rifttouch. The Masticore seems cool, but why does it regenerate instead of having rebirth 2 mana symbol? Hope from the Past seems like an interesting card. I wonder how often it could work... A happy smile

Sun, 2017-06-18 00:03
ZephyrPhantom
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Masticore: That somehow slipped by me a few months ago, haha. I've switched it to Rebirth in the set file.

I originally envisioned that FoA White mana symbol, as the "warrior culture" color, would be willing to make use of multiple evasion methods to enhances its weenie strategy - prowess, skulk, and menace are the most common candidates, but other forms of evasion like rifttouch, flying, and first strike show up in small quantities at higher rarities to let White mana symbol have multiple ways to get those next few points of damage in. Here's a timeshifted card that demonstrates this mentality!

Spoiler:


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Sun, 2017-06-18 10:11
Neottolemo
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Ooh, evasion, I see. I initially misremembered how rifttouch worked and thought of Infused Rancor as "works as pacifism lite but you might want to use it to protect your creatures", a la Ghostly Possession, and that kind of cleverness seemed to fit FoA Black mana symbol more. Now I reread it and it seems fine, though.

Vampire Dayhawk might be better referencewise if it was a 2/3 and had lifelink instead of haste, but I understand how you want creatures in FoA to get in combat a lot and die in combat a lot, so I guess P<T cards don't really fit that idea.

Sat, 2017-08-05 02:49
ZephyrPhantom
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It might actually work better with The Vanguard of Croscres if I made it a 2/3, so I'll keep that idea in mind. We'll see how PT Averlos handles, I think.

Things have been exhausting guys, so apologies for a late July spoiler.

Spoiler:
"Welcome to the past, Windy. Miss me? I know it hurts, baby, but hang in there a little longer. You should know I've set up a new plan at this rate. Now, the options we have are for either for me to become immortal - cute, but unlikely - or to spend a lot of mana to pull me back to my own time.

"So listen now, love, and listen closely. Lifesteel has an unusual reaction to mana pulses caused by neuroelectric reactions containing certain charge wavelengths. In more general terms, this is why everyone on Averlos subscribes to the Steel being magical - rather, it's a powerful mana conduit...elemental-anomaly? with a rather picky taste in what it can bond to. So to time travel about one thousand years back into the present, reopening that time rift full of Purple mana, I'd say we need roughly a plane's worth of Lifesteel - oh, just for a few seconds, before you give me that signature 'too far' scowl of yours."

"Now, from what this cute little dragon named Mendelas has told me, the ruler in the present of Averlos won't give up that Lifesteel so nicely. So perhaps you'll have to talk to him over some Kamigawan tea with it? Splash it in his face, even; you know I love it when you get angry."


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Sat, 2017-08-05 07:02
WindyDelcarlo
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"Cute, but unlikely" is a great line there. Really, that's awesome.

(Also, hey, a card shifted to an effect that you might have actually seen in red)

Sat, 2017-08-05 09:08
Neottolemo
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Hostile Plundering is a really cool card Big smile

Heads up: Mindmesh's ft doesn't match what Arina Rouge says in the story, since she says 'Windy' in the story but 'dear' in the ft A happy smile

So, basically, they're using all of the Lifesteel on Averlos's surface to bring Arina back, and Griff doesn't want that? When Griff loses, will the Commune disappear, or will they just start connecting with Lifesteel from the moon/moons? What a mystery Big smile

This Arina feels really different from the main timeline one, but still connected, so, good job on that! Big smile