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Magic: The Gathering |OT| Throne of Eldraine - Will and Rowan's Excellent Adventure

Oct 25, 2017
1,580
Seven Dwarves is almost offensively boring. Each Dwarf should be unique.

They didn't happen to do the thing where there are seven different arts for the card, did they? Because that would actually be neat.
 

The Adder

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,579
Seems painfully clear to me that while no one outside of WotC gives a damn about the knights theme, no one inside of WotC, save MaRo, gave a damn about the fairytale aspect.
 
Oct 26, 2017
2,909
716
I think calling it Seven Dwarves doesn't even make sense since one instance of the card is one dwarf. The mechanics of the card would have given the reference away. But no, just SHOUT it out at us, like we're too stupid to get it.
 
Oct 28, 2017
4,632
I dunno guys, I’m not seeing the lameness.

This set is fucking awesome
I think mechanically it’s great and the cards do a reasonably good job of capturing the spirit of the fairy tale. But the literal card names? Awful. They should have been more subtle.

The article mentions they gave the artists more freedom to draw what they wanted, but I feel like this had a negative side effect. I remember an interview with the Mirage era art director, and she mentioned that artists tend to draw white people unless instructed otherwise, and I think we're seeing a lot of that here. So many of the non-legendary humans are white, much more so than past sets, it seems.

On that note, three cards depicting white princesses.



Trapped in the Tower is neat. Note Faerie Guidemother can save creatures from the tower. Beloved Princess has tons of dangers lurking in the art.

And a white puppet


Great design here too.

People are bringing up the lack of twists with the fairy tale tropes, and I think making them, well, not white would have helped a lot.
I can’t say I disagree. Some variety in race would have made things more vibrant and new. One of those princesses is at least arguably darker skinned, but the artist is Italian and she could pass for Italian so I can’t even give them that.

I dunno guys, I’m not seeing the lameness.

This set is fucking awesome
I think mechanically it’s great and the cards do a reasonably good job of capturing the spirit of the fairy tale. But the literal card names? Awful. They should have been more subtle.
 

The Adder

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,579
I dunno guys, I’m not seeing the lameness.

This set is fucking awesome
Let me put it this way: Theros didn't give us a card called "Heliod, Lightning God King"

It took themes and character concepts from Greek mythology and made new things based on those things.

This set is giving us "literally the thing from the fairytale, but we changed the name".

It doesn't feel interconnected with itself, let alone the other, Arthurian Legend, half of the set. And it doesn't feel like Magic's take on classic fairytales, it feels like a fairytale version of that fanmade Star Ward set that one guy did.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,580
I think calling it Seven Dwarves doesn't even make sense since one instance of the card is one dwarf. The mechanics of the card would have given the reference away. But no, just SHOUT it out at us, like we're too stupid to get it.
This is an excellent point.

I get there are tons of restrictions in building a set. Most of the thoughts I had for how I'd build a "seven dwarves" card would have ended up rare or mythic and those spaces are going to get really crowded. But this one in particular was just lazy.

Let me put it this way: Theros didn't give us a card called "Heliod, Lightning God King"

It took themes and character concepts from Greek mythology and made new things based on those things.

This set is giving us "literally the thing from the fairytale, but we changed the name".

It doesn't feel interconnected with itself, let alone the other, Arthurian Legend, half of the set. And it doesn't feel like Magic's take on classic fairytales, it feels like a fairytale version of that fanmade Star Ward set that one guy did.
There are a couple of instances of this in the Theros block, but they're not the norm. There's a King Midas, for example.
 
Oct 28, 2017
4,632
Let me put it this way: Theros didn't give us a card called "Heliod, Lightning God King"

It took themes and character concepts from Greek mythology and made new things based on those things.

This set is giving us "literally the thing from the fairytale, but we changed the name".

It doesn't feel interconnected with itself, let alone the other, Arthurian Legend, half of the set. And it doesn't feel like Magic's take on classic fairytales, it feels like a fairytale version of that fanmade Star Ward set that one guy did.
They didn’t even change the name. That’s kinda the principle issue.
 
OP
OP
SigmasonicX

SigmasonicX

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,765
The fairy tale side does feel oddly disconnected, yeah. With the Arthurian stuff, you can tell there's an internal history to the world. On the fairy tale side, there is no history. Everything is happening right now, and nothing happened in the past.
 

Starsunder

Member
Oct 25, 2017
387
Let me put it this way: Theros didn't give us a card called "Heliod, Lightning God King"

It took themes and character concepts from Greek mythology and made new things based on those things.

This set is giving us "literally the thing from the fairytale, but we changed the name".

It doesn't feel interconnected with itself, let alone the other, Arthurian Legend, half of the set. And it doesn't feel like Magic's take on classic fairytales, it feels like a fairytale version of that fanmade Star Ward set that one guy did.
I get what you’re saying, I’m just saying I don’t really care. I think the set and flavor is awesome.

Different strokes 🤷🏼‍♂️
 

Parthenios

The Fallen
Oct 28, 2017
3,701
Part of the problem for me is that "all fairy tales mashed together in a single universe" is such a common trope already that this doesn't feel inspired at all, and the extremely on the nose concepts/names are making that worse.
 

aidan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,040
I get what you’re saying, I’m just saying I don’t really care. I think the set and flavor is awesome.

Different strokes 🤷🏼‍♂️
*fist bump*

I'm with you. I understand the critiques, but I'm having a ton of fun seeing this set revealed and kinda like how on the nose it is. (Sigma's point about lack of representation in the art is spot on, though.)
 
Sep 14, 2018
694
I thought I saw a blue creature with hexproof as long as you control an artifact but I can't find it again, does anyone know what that is or did I imagine that? I think it was a giant serpent or something.
 

jph139

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,272
Massachusetts
Yeah, even if stuff is on the nose I'm enjoying Eldraine a lot. Art is cool. Mechanical adaptations of fairy tales are cool. The theming doesn't need to be clever because the mechanics are carrying enough weight.

It's like a modern Arabian Nights and I think that's cool.
 

Imperfected

Member
Nov 9, 2017
6,575
The issue for me is that it seems overly-informed by Disney. I know it's inescapable to put a wink and a nod in there, but I would have much rather they had went a little bit deeper for their references and maybe made it seem like they were actually interested in the subject matter.

Like, Innistrad had a little more room to play the field using contemporary references (Interview With the Vampire, An American Werewolf in London, etc.) instead of just being "Universal Movies Monsters the Setting", but Disney is pretty monolithic in terms of contemporary versions of fairy tales, and that's what's giving it such a "Shrek" vibe.
 

The Adder

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,579
The fairy tale side does feel oddly disconnected, yeah. With the Arthurian stuff, you can tell there's an internal history to the world. On the fairy tale side, there is no history. Everything is happening right now, and nothing happened in the past.
That's not even an aspect I thought of but I wholeheartedly agree.

Basically I was really excited for half of this set and now that half feels perfunctory and I am incredibly disappointed thus far. Maybe it turns itself around though.
 

Actinium

Member
Oct 27, 2017
598
California
It also feels like a plane they really have 0 intention of ever returning to, they just want to spit out every 1 to 1 card blueprint they can then get out of dodge. I don't think there's ever been a plane in mtg before that i didn't feel like a living place with its own history of events that happened before we got there and will continue to evolve after we leave. Here there's only monarchies so there can be princesses and knights, not because it is a functional country with a body of rule. Innistrad had a world in which there are ghoulcallers and stitchers and so we had frankensteins and night of the living dead side by side and it worked, but it doesn't feel like there's a y'know a 'league of charitable fae godparents' that was formed 300 years ago as a form of restitution to king arthur for the events of a midsummer nights dream and so we have benevolent and prankster fairies or whatever. There is never going to be more fairy godparents, another cinderella. Even something like 'oh phyrexia got to eldraine it's the fairy tales again but it's all twisted, here's the three little pigs but they're METAL and eating the big bad wolf!' would be the exact same set of let's make the same twenty incredibly on the nose references.
 

cagey

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,346
It also feels like a plane they really have 0 intention of ever returning to, they just want to spit out every 1 to 1 card blueprint they can then get out of dodge. I don't think there's ever been a plane in mtg before that i didn't feel like a living place with its own history of events that happened before we got there and will continue to evolve after we leave. Here there's only monarchies so there can be princesses and knights, not because it is a functional country with a body of rule. Innistrad had a world in which there are ghoulcallers and stitchers and so we had frankensteins and night of the living dead side by side and it worked, but it doesn't feel like there's a y'know a 'league of charitable fae godparents' that was formed 300 years ago as a form of restitution to king arthur for the events of a midsummer nights dream and so we have benevolent and prankster fairies or whatever. There is never going to be more fairy godparents, another cinderella. Even something like 'oh phyrexia got to eldraine it's the fairy tales again but it's all twisted, here's the three little pigs but they're METAL and eating the big bad wolf!' would be the exact same set of let's make the same twenty incredibly on the nose references.
Ya this hits it. Whole set feels like a Special Edition.
 

Steve Winwood

Member
Oct 31, 2017
2,337
Seems painfully clear to me that while no one outside of WotC gives a damn about the knights theme, no one inside of WotC, save MaRo, gave a damn about the fairytale aspect.
"you want fairy tales? here you go, have fun"

It also feels like a plane they really have 0 intention of ever returning to, they just want to spit out every 1 to 1 card blueprint they can then get out of dodge. I don't think there's ever been a plane in mtg before that i didn't feel like a living place with its own history of events that happened before we got there and will continue to evolve after we leave.
yep, exactly
 

Koz

Member
Sep 5, 2018
211
Man I absolutely love the flavor of this set. Yeah it's likely a one-of plane, but so many of the card designs are fantastic flavor+mechanic designs and the spin on familiar fairytales is a neat touch. I for one enjoy the break from Serious Fantasy(tm).
 
Sep 14, 2018
694
Oh well my head version was much better, but I see UB taking shape somewhat, artifacts something, maybe that knight lady, maybe the Loch Ness thing, who knows...

I do like Witching Well a lot so that's one card.
 

The Adder

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,579
and the spin on familiar fairytales is a neat touch.
What spin, though? The only real spin on a fairytale I've seen in the set is Beanstalk Giant. The rest are just those stories played straight.

I for one enjoy the break from Serious Fantasy(tm).
But no one here is complaining about it not being serious. WotC is though:

The card Gingerbrute was designed extremely early on, and we decided that while Puss in Boots was too far into juvenile nursery rhyme territory, this was exactly the line for how juvenile we were willing to go.
Having a cohesive world with an interconnected narrative doesn't require that world to be serious. I would love if they actually had fun with it instead of just going down a checklist.
 
Oct 26, 2017
2,909
716
It also feels like a plane they really have 0 intention of ever returning to, they just want to spit out every 1 to 1 card blueprint they can then get out of dodge. I don't think there's ever been a plane in mtg before that i didn't feel like a living place with its own history of events that happened before we got there and will continue to evolve after we leave. Here there's only monarchies so there can be princesses and knights, not because it is a functional country with a body of rule. Innistrad had a world in which there are ghoulcallers and stitchers and so we had frankensteins and night of the living dead side by side and it worked, but it doesn't feel like there's a y'know a 'league of charitable fae godparents' that was formed 300 years ago as a form of restitution to king arthur for the events of a midsummer nights dream and so we have benevolent and prankster fairies or whatever. There is never going to be more fairy godparents, another cinderella. Even something like 'oh phyrexia got to eldraine it's the fairy tales again but it's all twisted, here's the three little pigs but they're METAL and eating the big bad wolf!' would be the exact same set of let's make the same twenty incredibly on the nose references.
Agreed. It’s lazy in a way MtG has never been before, which is why it bugs me.

I don’t mind the break in tone from previous sets. It just feels like they are copying someone else’s work and barely changing the answers.
 

jph139

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,272
Massachusetts
The challenge with playing the stories straight/giving them a twist is that the basicness is what makes them fairy tales.

Like, most of the characters in folktales don't have names. They don't have set locations or identities. They're archetypal by nature because they're passed by word of mouth from parent to child and, while they have their own spin or flavor depending on where they're developed, are intentionally basic. Like, there's a whole index that's used to categorize stories because these stories are simple and interchangeable.

If you start turning Prince Charming into a character that exists beyond his tropes, he stops being a fairy tale person.
 

Koz

Member
Sep 5, 2018
211
What spin, though? The only real spin on a fairytale I've seen in the set is Beanstalk Giant. The rest are just those stories played straight.
Gingerbrute, Flaxen Intruder, Belle of the Brawl, Gilded Goose to name a few. It's also the mixture of flavor and mechanics like how Charming Prince is an actual charm, or how Once Upon a Time is free if it's the first thing you do. I think it's all rather clever.
 

The Adder

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,579
Gingerbrute, Flaxen Intruder, Belle of the Brawl, Gilded Goose
Gingerbrute and Gilded Goose are the same as the originals with different names.

I did forget Flaxen Intruder.

Belle of the Brawl is a play on the phrase Belle of the Ball, she's a part of the camelot half, not the fairytale half. That Belle is on Lovestruck Beast. Would have been nice if they'd played with that but *Shrug*
 
Oct 26, 2017
2,909
716
Gingerbrute, Flaxen Intruder, Belle of the Brawl, Gilded Goose to name a few. It's also the mixture of flavor and mechanics like how Charming Prince is an actual charm, or how Once Upon a Time is free if it's the first thing you do. I think it's all rather clever.
You named a few ok-to-actually-clever examples (and I do love Charming Prince, it's the perfect example of how to do this) and ignored the ones that are SEVEN FUCKING DWARVES
 

The Adder

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,579
I'll be back on my 2nd favorite plane before too long, so it's cool. Never gonna get to go back to my favorite version of my favorite plane though.
 
Feb 16, 2018
941
for most of these stories, there isn't actually a way to convey the meaning of the fairy tale AND put an original spin on it AND keep the cards simple

the reason innistrad worked well for these kinds of designs was because they got to choose both halves (theme & mechanics), so they could be flexible with either part to make the whole card work

here they're stuck with really complicated themes and can only add 3 mechanics to magic's base rules to convey them. you're not going to get more than 5-10% of the fairy tale across in a card, and it's hard to satisfy 100% of people that way

i think they could have gotten the camelot stuff done right if they had an entire set for it. my main gripe with this set is that it's spread too thin across too much different stuff. it's a good approach for a supplemental product, but i'd prefer a deeper dive for the standard expansions

but at the end of the day, as long as the cards play well i won't really care