Aromă de magie verde

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Magic: The Gathering nu este genul de joc care să surprindă cu poveştile sale: intri în rolul unui vrăjitor, pardon, un planeswalker, şi joci tot felul de cărţi (pe post de vrăji, unele ,,dând viaţă” unor creaturi, artefacte etc.) plătind cu mană (cărţi) de diferite culori (verde, roşie, albă, albastră, neagră) corespunzătoare pentru ele. Scopul este de a-l distruge pe oponent care este şi el, asemenea ţie, un vrăjitor.

Povestea nu este punctul forte în MTG, ci jocul în sine este captivant pentru foarte mulţi jucători. Ideea de bază a jocului este că ,,nu toţi jucătorii trebuie să aibă aceleaşi cărţi pentru a juca” şi că ei îşi aleg propriile cărţi, adică sunt proprii ,,designeri de joc” [1].

Atât de captivant este MTG, încât există numeroase competiţii dedicate MTG-ului, foarte multe seturi şi cărţi de joc şi multe moduri de a juca MTG. Cel mai uşor de dovedit că MTG este un joc de succes este faptul că el a trecut testul timpului, anul acesta împlinindu-se 20 de ani de când a fost pentru prima oară produs (1993-2013). La cum stau lucrurile, cu siguranţă că viitorul se anunţă la fel de însorit pentru MTG, probabil şi în viitorii 20 de ani (fie că vor fi în online sau nu).

Şi totuşi să nu exagerăm cu succesul MTG: există destui jucători care l-au încercat, dar nu s-au lăsat cuprinşi de magie şi nu doar pentru că nu aveau bani de investit [2]. Unul dintre motive poate fi că nu există nicio poveste ,,în spatele” MTG care să susţină zecile de ,,vrăji aruncate”  asupra celuilalt jucător.

Dar cum creează producătorii MTG povestea care să susţină universul, pardon, multiverse-urile, din MTG? Sunt trei modalităţi de bază: prin articole şi explicaţii accesabile de pe pagina de internet oficială, prin diferite tipărituri care însoţesc promovarea jocului, prin pasaje de flavor scrise pe cărţile de joc [3], prin întâmplările din revistele de benzi desenate şi indirect prin diferitele informaţii de pe paginile de internet create de comunităţile de jucători din întreaga lume.

În timpul jocului însă, atmosfera care se presupune că ar trebui să-i cuprindă pe jucătorii de MTG este realizată doar prin flavor-ul de pe cărţile de joc şi mai ales prin diferitele efecte create de jucarea cărţilor de MTG.

Dintre cele două moduri de a crea atmosfera MTG în timpul jocului ne interesează acum doar flavor-ul. El este scris cu litere italice pe cărţile de joc şi este plasat după explicaţiile necesare pentru a juca respectiva carte (dacă este cazul). Flavor-ul nu are efecte asupra modului propriu-zis în care se joacă MTG. Nu toate cărţile au asemenea pasaje care să creeze atmosfera de joc. Altele în schimb au aromă, mai mult sau mai puţin inspirată, după gusturi.

Pentru că sunt câteva mii de cărţi de joc este greu să faci o analiză asupra flavor-ului de MTG. De aceea, am ales să prezint doar aromele de cărţi MTG ce necesită cel puţin o mană verde. Şi nici acestea nu sunt puţine, de aceea am inclus doar cărţile din seturile de bază şi din extensiile principale (block expansions), fără cele din seturi precum Duel Decks, From the Vault, Premium Deck, Deck Builder’s Toolkit, Planechase, Commander, Starter, Master Edition sau altele asemenea şi nici măcar toate cărţile, ci doar una care mi-a atras atenţia din punctul de vedere, evident, al flavor-ului (fie că transmitea un mesaj general, dar şi aplicabil jocului, adică o vorbă cu tâlc [4] sau doar un pasaj relevant celor care joacă MTG sau doar respectiva carte [5]). Pentru fiecare set am ales cel puţin o carte de joc, niciodată (sper!) una pe care s-o fi selectat deja pentru alt set [6]. Multe din aceste pasaje sunt preluate din surse reale (de exemplu din Shakespeare sau Biblie) sau sunt semnate de personaje create în MTG.

În concluzie, flavor-ul este un element de joc minor în MTG (şi în jocurile asemănătoare), dar el poate ascunde multe lucruri plăcute şi după cum spuneam multe flavor-uri chiar sunt interesante, în timp ce pe altele le-am inclus din lipsă de altceva. Nu cred că flavor-ul susţine prea mult povestea MTG, dar cred că este unul dintre puţinele elemente MTG care face acest lucru şi pentru cei care preţuiesc povestea MTG, atât cât este ea, este cu siguranţă important.

Flavor-ul meu preferat este din setul Magic 2013, cartea de joc Boundless Realms:

,,Planeswalking cannot be taught. Either you see the doors or you do not”. —Nissa Revane

’Nuff said şi acum la treabă, adică la citit!

P.S.: Vouă ce flavor v-a plăcut mai mult?

1993

Limited Edition Alpha; Limited Edition Beta; Unlimited Edition

Ley Druid

After years of training, the Druid becomes one with nature, drawing power from the land and returning it when needed.

Llanowar Elves

Whenever the Llanowar Elves gather the fruits of their forest, they leave one plant of each type untouched, considering that nature’s portion.

Arabian Nights

Wyluli Wolf

„When one wolf calls, others follow. Who wants to fight creatures that eat scorpions?”Maimun al-Wyluli, Diary

1994

Antiquities

Powerleech

The Forest of Argoth has developed a resistance to mechanical intrusion.

Revised Edition

Crumble

The spirits of Argoth grant new life to those who repent the folly of enslaving their labors to devices.

Legends

The Lady of the Mountain

Her given name has been lost in the mists of time. Legend says that her silent vigil will one day be ended by the one who, pure of heart and spirit, calls out that name again.

The Dark

Whippoorwill

If the Whippoorwill remains silent, the soul has not reached its reward.

Fallen Empires

Thorn Thallid

„I don’t know which is worse, getting hit with those darts or having to watch them grow back.”

—Orcish Soldier

Fourth Edition

Thicket Basilisk

Moss-covered statues littered the area, a macabre monument to the Basilisk’s power.

1995

Homelands

Shrink

„Do not fear adversity. Let your courage be your strength.”

—Onatah, Anaba Shaman

Ice Age

Giant Trap Door Spider

„So large and so quiet—a combination best avoided.”

—Disa the Restless, journal entry

Wall of Pine Needles

The power of the forest takes a hundred forms. Some are more surprising than others.

1996

Alliances

Undergrowth

„The art of war is turning obstacle to advantage.”Jaeuhl Carthalion, Juniper Order Advocate

Mirage

Fog

„More armies have been lost in the confusion of the jungle mists than to any battle.”

—Jolrael

Maro

No two see the same Maro.

Sandstorm

Better to fight the sand for a few hours than to sleep beneath it forever.

—Suq’Ata truism

Squandered Resources

„He traded sand for skins, skins for gold, gold for life. In the end, he traded life for sand.”

—Afari, Tales

1997

Visions

Llanowar Druid

„This forest means more to the druids than their own kin. The loss of a tree is like the loss of a child.”

—Mirri of the Weatherlight

Fifth Edition

Aurochs

One auroch may feed a village, but a herd will flatten it.

Durkwood Boars

„And the unclean spirits went out, and entered the swine: and the herd ran violently . . . .”

—The Bible, Mark 5:13

Verduran Enchantress

„Weave the magic so that it sings to you, and will always fly home . . . .”

—Verduran teaching

Weatherlight

Nature’s Resurgence

Spring follows winter

—Elvish expression meaning

„all things pass”

Tempest

Tranquility

„Peace will come, but whether born of harmony or entropy I cannot say.”

—Oracle en-Vec

Verdigris

„Only the most sophisticated inventions can survive nature’s unsophisticated motivations.”

—Hanna, Weatherlight navigator

1998

Stronghold

Wall of Blossoms

Each flower identical, every leaf and petal disturbingly exact.

Exodus

 Bequeathal

„On my death, I give you this treasure: the knowledge that life is hard, yet too soon past.”

—Dal funeral rite

Cartographer

How do you map a world when the land moves beneath your feet?

Skyshroud Elite

„Civilization is a conspiracy to disguise the mutilation of nature.”

—Skyshroud elite creed

Urza’s Saga

Fecundity

Life is eternal. A lifetime is ephemeral.

1999

Urza’s Legacy

Lone Wolf

A wolf without a pack is either a survivor or a brute.

Classic Sixth Edition

Elvish Archers

„I tell you, there was so many arrows flying about you couldn’t hardly see the sun. So I says to young Angus, ‘Well, at least now we’re fighting in the shade'”

Urza’s Destiny

Plated Spider

Most spiders wait patiently for their prey to arrive. Most spiders aren’t forty feet tall.

Yavimaya Enchantress

From each seed, a world. From each world, a thousand seeds.

Mercadian Masques

Saber Ants

They stay on the battlefield only long enough to consume the losers.

Venomous Dragonfly

A pretty little death is still death.

2000

Nemesis

Mossdog

The more you look at it, the more dangerous it becomes.

Animate Land

Irony is getting walked on by the earth instead of the other way around.

Prophecy

Spore Frog

The end of one life is merely the beginning of thousands more.

Invasion

Aura Mutation

„Life can be found in all things, even things unnatural.”

—Multani, maro-sorcerer

Coalition Victory

„You can build a perfect machine out of imperfect parts.”

—Urza

Hunting Kavu

Dominarians gladly fought alongside kavu . . . until the kavu figured out some Dominarians were quite tasty.

2001

Planeshift

Quirion Dryad

„Never underestimate the ability of natural forces to adapt to unnatural influences.”

—Molimo, maro-sorcerer

Seventh Edition

Anaconda

You’ll never find an anaconda in a swamp. It will always find you first.

Apocalypse

Penumbra Bobcat

This cat has two lives and it’s hunting for more.

Odyssey

Metamorphic Wurm

Only a handful have seen it transform. Or, from the wurm’s perspective, only a mouthful.

Nantuko Elder

Plant a field with wishes, and you will grow more wishes.

Squirrel Mob

An army of squirrels is still an army.

2002

Torment

Centaur Veteran

He wears his scars like badges of honor, warning his foes that he’s not easily defeated.

Judgment

Nantuko Tracer

Your past is a map to where you will go.

—Nantuko teaching

Thriss, Nantuko Primus

„When you live for others, you live for yourself.”

Onslaught

Elvish Pathcutter

In harsh times, the strongest currency is cooperation.

Elvish Pioneer

„Destruction is the work of an afternoon. Creation is the work of a lifetime.”

—Kamahl, druid acolyte

Words of Wilding

„Instinct is undaunted by terror, unchained by logic. It is the path from which all other paths diverge.”

—Volume V, The Book of Life

2003

Legions

Brontotherium

Lucky victims get run over. Unlucky victims get run through.

Enormous Baloth

Its diet consists of fruits, plants, small woodland animals, large woodland animals, woodlands, fruit groves, fruit farmers, and small cities.

Glowering Rogon

A herd of one.

Scourge

Claws of Wirewood

They say the forest has eyes. They never mention its claws.

Wirewood Guardian

Tall as a tree and probably related.

Core Set – Eighth Edition

Elvish Pioneer

„Destruction is the work of an afternoon. Creation is the work of a lifetime.”

Fyndhorn Elder

„It is useful to be able to speak to the trees. But it is truly wondrous to be able to listen to them.”

Giant Spider

Watching the spider’s web

—Llanowar expression meaning

„focusing on the wrong thing”

Grizzly Bears

Don’t try to outrun one of Dominaria’s grizzlies; it’ll catch you, knock you down, and eat you. Of course, you could run up a tree. In that case you’ll get a nice view before it knocks the tree down and eats you.

Lone Wolf

A wolf without a pack is either a survivor or a brute.

Mirrodin

Brown Ouphe

In a strange twist of fate, one of the most annoying creatures in the multiverse was brought to the place where it could cause the most damage.

2004

Darksteel

Stand Together

Strange times make for strange allies.

Tangle Spider

They’re considered good luck by the elves they don’t eat.

Fifth Dawn

Joiner Adept

A talented apprentice makes all things. The master makes all things possible.

Champions of Kamigawa

Order of the Sacred Bell

„Our bodies are weak compared to those of the kami, our knowledge limited, and our magic poor. Yet we draw breath. That alone is reason to hope.”

2005

Betrayers of Kamigawa

Scaled Hulk

„Say, what rhymes with ‘run for your lives’?”

—Ku-Ku, akki poet

Saviors of Kamigawa

Okina Nightwatch

Only the most skilled budoka could protect the Okina Shrine. Only the best of these protectors took the night watch.

Core Set – Ninth Edition

Anaconda

If you’re smaller than the anaconda, it considers you food. If you’re larger than the anaconda, it considers you a lot of food.

Ravnica: City of Guilds

Farseek

„How truly vast this city must be, that I have traveled so far and seen so much, yet never once found the place where the buildings fail.”

Seeds of Strength

Beneath the beauty of light and seed is the might of Vitu-Ghazi.

2006

Guildpact

Giant Solifuge

„We respect all lifeforms, but this one we respect from a distance.”

—Mandor, Selesnya ranger

Killer Instinct

„Take the bridge, men Victory Victory is ou— Retreat RETREAT”

Dissension

Experiment Kraj

„Of course it will grow beyond control—it was designed to choose its own evolution.”

—Momir Vig

Vigean Hydropon

Fruits of magic, roots in science.

Coldsnap

Frostweb Spider

Its white webs glitter, mimicking the frost on the tree’s branches.

Time Spiral

Mwonvuli Acid-Moss

„Life gives way to death, and death to new life. Nature feeds upon her own decay.”

—Ezrith, druid of the Dark Hours

2007

Planar Chaos

Fa’adiyah Seer

„My visions don’t show me home. They show me where home is yet to be found.”

Future Sight

Llanowar Augur

„I am irrelevant. The future I hold in my hands is everything.”

Lorwyn

Elvish Handservant

The hardest lesson for any elf to learn is humility. It takes a giant to teach that.

Woodland Changeling

Changelings cannot resist the draw of a new shape, even if doing so would be in their best interests.

Core Set – Tenth Edition

Aggressive Urge

The power of the wild, concentrated in a single charge.

Primal Rage

Ferocity and cunning accounted for half the victory. Gravity accounted for the rest.

2008

Morningtide

Ambassador Oak

Treefolk and elves share a common interest in the forests, but really the elves just feel at home with the view from above.

Shadowmoor

Oracle of Nectars

When elves find a fount of beauty, they protect it. Where there is beauty, there is hope.

Reaper King

It’s harvest time.

Eventide

Quillspike

While it’s true that a quillspike does heal the sick, it’s just because it finds them tastier that way.

Shards of Alara

Qasali Ambusher

The surprise of a battle cry can be as deadly as a blade.

2009

Conflux

Might of Alara

The combined strength of all five planes spawned creations none had seen before.

Alara Reborn

Gloryscale Viashino

„This is a new world and a new war. We need warriors who know chaos and how to combat it.”

—Lisha of the Azure

Magic 2010

Ant Queen

„Kill the queen first, or we’ll be fighting her drones forever. It is not in a queen’s nature to have enough servants.”

—Borzard, exterminator captain

Birds of Paradise

Each feather in its tail is a souvenir of an exotic land, a memory condensed in hue.

Zendikar

Savage Silhouette

Some elves believe that their survival instincts are born of many cycles of reincarnation.

Territorial Baloth

Its territory is defined by wherever it is at the moment.

2010

Worldwake

Explore

An explorer’s reward is a view of tomorrow’s possibilities.

Nature’s Claim

„On this plane, the use of magic can provoke a ferocious reprisal from nature. Whoever the Eldrazi were, their relics left Zendikar forever enraged.”

—Jace Beleren

Rise of the Eldrazi

Gigantomancer

„All life is driven by an indomitable will to survive. I simply turn that into something more . . . tangible.”

Magic 2011

Cultivate

All seeds share a common bond, calling to each other across infinity.

Sacred Wolf

„I raised my bow, and the wolf stared at me. Under its gaze, my finger would not release the string.”

—Aref the Hunter

Scars of Mirrodin

Blunt the Assault

„Much can be gained from the appearance of vulnerability.”

—Ezuri, renegade leader

Carrion Call

The natural order is out of order.

2011

Mirrodin Besieged

Green Sun’s Zenith

As the green sun crowned, Phyrexian prophecies glowed on the Tree of Tales.

New Phyrexia

Vital Splicer

„For every one that falls, ten shall rise. The revelation of New Phyrexia is at hand.”

—Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger

Magic 2012

Autumn’s Veil

The rustling of leaves and a passing shadow are a dryad’s only trace.

Innistrad

Essence of the Wild

Wander too far into the wild and it may take you for its own.

Elder of Laurels

Hopes and prayers can carry the same force as swords and torches.

2012

Dark Ascension

Somberwald Dryad

The Somberwald is her domain, and she has yet to hear an acceptable excuse for trespassing.

Avacyn Restored

Somberwald Sage

„You can face any danger when all of nature is on your side.”

Magic 2013

Boundless Realms

„Planeswalking cannot be taught. Either you see the doors or you do not.”

—Nissa Revane

Return to Ravnica

Slitherhead

„It makes better use of Uncle Dragi’s head than he ever did.”

—Pesha, retired blacksmith

2013

Gatecrash

Rust Scarab

„Behold nature’s answer to the problem of society.”

—Nikya of the Old Ways

Dragon’s Maze

Mending Touch

„The gift of life must be freely given. Anything less would diminish us all.”

—Arin, Selesnya healer

Magic 2014

Into the Wilds

„Wonders hide where the trees grow thickest.”—Mul Daya proverb

Theros

Nessian Asp

It’s not the two heads you should fear. It’s the four fangs.

[1] După cum spunea într-un interviu chiar Richard Garfield, cel care a creat MTG (Allan Sugarbaker, Interview: Richard Garfield,

http://www.ogrecave.com/interviews/richard_garfield.shtml.).

[2] Ca orice joc de tipul celor colecţionabile (de cărţi – TCG, CCG, de miniaturi – CMG şi altele) implică investirea unor sume de bani deloc de neglijat, în cele mai multe cazuri chiar şi fără ca jucătorul să emite pretenţii de a fi competitiv.

[3] Flavor-ul este un text scris pe cărţile de joc deobicei cu italice, fără influenţă asupra modului în care se joacă respectiva carte sau asupra întregului joc. Flavor-ul este o modalitate des întâlnită mai ales în jocurile de cărţi, prin care jucătorii sunt introduşi în atmosfera respectivului joc. Flavor-ul este necesar pentru că majoritatea jocurilor de cărţi duc lipsă de alte elemente de, precum tokene de lemn/plastic, countere sau table de joc, care să dea profunzime jocului. De cele mai multe ori, doar o mecanică bună nu este îndeajuns pentru un joc de succes, dacă el nu are şi o poveste bună. Reciproca este valabilă.

[4] Mirage

Fog

„More armies have been lost in the confusion of the jungle mists than to any battle.”

—Jolrael

[5] Urza’s Legacy

Lone Wolf

A wolf without a pack is either a survivor or a brute.

Cartea Lone Wolf ,,devine” o creatură pe câmpul de luptă care este capabilă de a ataca jucătorul fără a putea fi blocată, adică o brută, jucătorii fiind avertizaţi de această abilitate prin flavor.

[6] Informaţie relevantă mai ales că majoritatea cărţilor de MTG au fost de-a lungul timpului reprintate de mai multe ori.

Surse:

Wizards of the Coast, Magic: The Gathering, http://www.wizards.com/;

Baza de cărţi de joc MTG The Gatherer, http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Default.aspx;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Magic:_The_Gathering_sets.