Sunday, May 1, 2011

Magic The Gathering: Launch of New Phyrexia

Magic The Gathering: Launch of New Phyrexia

In recent months, there have been great speculation in the card games community about the third and final set of Scars of Mirrodin Block. The block story revolves around the war between mirrans (original inhabitants of the metallic world of Mirrodin) and the insidious invaders Phyrexians (alien species that corrupts the body and soul).

Through the two sets already released, Scars of Mirrodin and Mirrodin Besieged, we followed the mirrans in the desperate defense of their world, against the invading Phyrexians. Wizards of the Coast, the maker of this game, kept secret on the third set, which would reveal the fate of this conflict. Who would win, the mirran defenders or  Phyrexians attackers? In fact, even two possible titles for the third set were revealedMirrodin Pure or New Phyrexia. Well, whoever placed their bets on Phyrexian victory, won.

New Phyrexia has been defined as the upcoming third set and with it, Phyrexians victory. That surprised many, since in this case the victory goes to the villains, something unusual, if not nonexistent, in fantasy stories. Since we always have the heroes winning in the end, most players bet on a "Mirrodin Pure" set, with Phyrexians being repelled. Well played, Wizards of the Coast (and sorry for the pun ...)!

New Phyrexia Spoilers are already all over the web. Most discussed has been the planeswalker card, no less than Karn, creator of Mirrodin itself! In Mirrodin Besieged, Karn was found infected with  Phyrexian ichor, his mind corrupted, and playing the role of leader of the invaders, oppressing his own creation, the mirrans. The new card is titled suggestively Karn, the Released. Karn released  from Phyrexian domain may well mean a change in the course of history. Most likely, the story does not end here, and perhaps it is not this time that the bad guys win in the end. Many are betting that Mirrodin will come out  pure after all, with Karn releasing its creation and purging the Phyrexian evil. The release of Karn was told in the novel The Quest for Karn. We found out the planeswalkers Koth  of the Hammer, Venser and Elspeth Tirel played a big role in this closure. Check the web comic Scarred, in which these planeswalkers are seen in  Mirrodin joining forces against Phyrexia. However, the story is not further advanced as in the novel The Quest for Karn.

Other very commented cards, and whose featured characters will probably influence the final history of Mirrodin, are the praetors of New Phyrexia. There is one for each color of mana: Elesh Norn the Grand Cenobite (White), Jin-Gitaxias the Augur of the Core (Blue), Sheoldred the Whispering One (Black), Urabrask the Hidden (Red), and Vorinclex the Voice of Hunger (Green ).

Think of the praetors as Phyrexians generals for each mana color in Mirrodin. Urabrask has raised  most of the speculation. His flavor text says: When the Mirran resistance arrived, the furnace dwellers looked to Urabrask for guidance. His decree stunned the others: "Let them be."  Why one of the big dogs of Phyrexia would save and grant shelter to mirran rebels? It may be that Urabrask sympathize, after all,with the  mirran cause, and nourishes desires of treason againts his peers? This would be consistent with the color he represents, red, the color of individuality in Magic the Gathering. I believe we will have to wait for future novels to finally know the intentions of this mysterious praetor.

 Speaking of novel, it's actually already out of the "furnace" (this time ... pun intended) and is called The Quest for Karn. You can read the first chapter in the Wizards page. In this chapter we find the planeswalkers Koth, Venser and Elspeth in their journey through Mirrodin, as we saw in the comic book, though in the book we find a certain animosity between Koth and Venser, not seen in the comic book. Do not expect, however, the biggest revelations about the fate of Mirrodin, because the book is modest in this regard. Tezzeret also shows up, but our spoilers end here. Our final opinion about the book? Superficial, disappointing for those looking for answers and cohesion, but good entertainment for lazy afternoons in the life of any fan leaning towards Magic flavor and fluff. The end, however, is not so bad, one of the few chapters that actually sheds light on something. In the final chapter, you'll find out why we have a "Karn liberated" card.

We expect Wizards to develop the story in the future, not leaving things as we see in New Phyrexia. Since the story of Phyrexia and Karn have evolved from other blocks (Karn since Weatherlight, Phyrexia since  Invasion ), it is very likely that we still have news of Mirrodin through future expansions. Or maybe not. Perhaps Mirrodin as a background for Magic have become brittle and wore itself out. Those who can't stand another Mirrodin block, raise their hands now!

And you, what do you think?

  •     What role Karn will definitely play in the fate of Mirrodin?

    •     What are the real intentions of Urabrask? What are the interests of each planeswalker in this whole conflict? For instance, what plans Nicol Bolas and Tezzeret in Mirrodin ( we know that Tezzeret  is acting as agent for Nicol Bolas in Mirrodin / New Phyrexia)? 

      •    Will Karn kick Phyrexians butt back to Phyrexia crying under the robe of Yawgmoth?

      For now, we leave you with a great video spoiler about the new card Karn, the Released.