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  1. - Top - End - #1381
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    Default Re: Magic the Gathering Thread XXIV: *Slaps Roof* This Thread Can Hold So Many Chand

    Gift/Donate was also a combo deck that was definitively non-infinite and is one of the most iconic combo decks from that era.
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  2. - Top - End - #1382
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    Default Re: Magic the Gathering Thread XXIV: *Slaps Roof* This Thread Can Hold So Many Chand

    Quote Originally Posted by NigelWalmsley View Post
    I mean, how is that different from playing against Burn, a deck that would play as many copies of Lightning Bolt as it was allowed to?
    The difference here, to me at least, is that the Burn player is still playing the same game that I am.

    More seriously... it's kinda hard to explain. Lightning Bolt is a versatile card — it's cheap and it can hit people in the face or act as removal. Putting it into your deck doesn't make your deck a "Lightning Bolt" deck, unless you go all-in on the Burn plan. Emrakul/Griselbrand, on the other hand, are just the best possible creatures to cheat out, and they don't do anything else. Before they were printed, people actually had to think about what big scary creature they were going to reanimate/polymorph/etc out.

    I guess another way to put it is that infinite combos tend to invalidate whatever happened previously, since decks built to win off of those combos tend to be focused on accessing/protecting those combos. If I'm playing Burn, I can't just plan to aim 7 bolts at your face, because if you gain 2 life at any point, I'll need an extra bolt. If I'm running something like Demonic Consultation + Thassa's Oracle, on the other hand, what my opponents has done has little to no bearing on what I'm doing, since regardless of what they've done, I can win as long as I have three open mana and they don't have a counterspell.

    And that's why I think those kinds of decks are boring. The people who play them did all the hard work of winning with them when they built the deck, not during the game itself. As a result, it's cool to see them cheat Emrakul into play on T3 the first time... but it gets really old once you've seen it for the fiftieth time.

    ...

    Honestly, if you get locked out by a control deck and you don't see an out... I'd just concede. Your opponent has won at that point, you're just the one too stubborn to acknowledge it.

    (T3feri was designed to punish control-playing Spikes for their sins. You enjoyed the control mirror? Now you don't!)
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  3. - Top - End - #1383
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    Default Re: Magic the Gathering Thread XXIV: *Slaps Roof* This Thread Can Hold So Many Chand

    Quote Originally Posted by NigelWalmsley View Post
    I dunno. Frankly, I don't understand why so many people here are making the distinction between infinite and non-infinite combo. In my experience elsewhere, people pretty much refer to it as "Combo", regardless of whether it's an infinite loop like Splinter Twin + Deceiver Exarch, an instant win like Tainted Pact + Thassa's Oracle, or a finite-but-big-enough combo like Storm.
    Because Enderlord made the distinction in the original post starting this conversation and claimed that infinite combos invalidate non-infinite combos, which as noted is not at all true.
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  4. - Top - End - #1384
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    Default Re: Magic the Gathering Thread XXIV: *Slaps Roof* This Thread Can Hold So Many Chand

    Infinite combos don't necessarily make finite ones incapable of winning but they do make them unimpressive in terms of show-offish overkill potential, which would be my favorite part of the game were it not for the fact that getting (for example) a thousand tokens onto the battlefield is definitionally unimpressive next to getting nigh-infinite tokens onto the battlefield.
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  5. - Top - End - #1385

    Default Re: Magic the Gathering Thread XXIV: *Slaps Roof* This Thread Can Hold So Many Chand

    Quote Originally Posted by Amechra View Post
    The difference here, to me at least, is that the Burn player is still playing the same game that I am.
    What about a Dredge player? I definitely get the complaints about combo not playing the same game, but that's not really exclusive to combo. Lots of games in older formats have that kind of "ships passing in the night" feel.

    Emrakul/Griselbrand, on the other hand, are just the best possible creatures to cheat out, and they don't do anything else. Before they were printed, people actually had to think about what big scary creature they were going to reanimate/polymorph/etc out.
    Sure. I can agree with that, but it seems inappropriate to analogize it to infinite combo. The problem with Emrakul or Griselbrand isn't their power level per se, it's their power level relative to the alternatives, which leads to staleness. But I don't think that really happens with Combo. In a format like Modern, there are a variety of decks that have some kind of combo. Storm, Heliod Company, Scapeshift, Living End, Amulet Titan, and a whole litany of more obscure decks like Yawgmoth Combo or Cheeri0s.

    I guess another way to put it is that infinite combos tend to invalidate whatever happened previously, since decks built to win off of those combos tend to be focused on accessing/protecting those combos.
    That depends on the combo. Certainly a deck like Scapeshift, that just spends a couple turns popping lands into play and the domes you for 36 isn't very interactive. But something like Infect is vulnerable to many of the same axes of interaction as traditional creature decks. And even comparatively less-interactive combo decks like Storm can be interacted with, it just requires different tools than you might use against Burn or Humans. You can build a deck that has very interactive games with Storm. It's just that a deck like that has a tendency to flail around and die when it runs into Elves.

  6. - Top - End - #1386
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    Default Re: Magic the Gathering Thread XXIV: *Slaps Roof* This Thread Can Hold So Many Chand

    Quote Originally Posted by NigelWalmsley View Post
    What about a Dredge player? I definitely get the complaints about combo not playing the same game, but that's not really exclusive to combo. Lots of games in older formats have that kind of "ships passing in the night" feel.
    We can be having a conversation about one type of gameplay we dislike, while still disliking others that have not been brought up yet.

  7. - Top - End - #1387
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    Default Re: Magic the Gathering Thread XXIV: *Slaps Roof* This Thread Can Hold So Many Chand

    Nigel, I think we're talking about different things.

    Something like Consultation→Thassa's Oracle or a deck tuned to play a T3 Emrakul doesn't really change from match to match, because your interaction with what your opponents have out is superfluous to what you need to do to win.

    The thing about referring to every deck that tries to use powerful synergy between its cards to win in an atypical fashion a "combo" deck is that it bundles together stuff like Hammertime or Infect (which are effectively just hyper-efficient aggro strategies) with things like Demonic Consultation + Thassa's Oracle (Do you have a counterspell or instant-speed "target player draws a card" spell handy? No? Then I win, regardless of what you had on the board or what you were doing beforehand). The latter is the kind of thing I find really boring.

    (Also, if we're using the really broad definition of combo... Dredge is totally a combo deck.)
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  8. - Top - End - #1388
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    Default Re: Magic the Gathering Thread XXIV: *Slaps Roof* This Thread Can Hold So Many Chand

    Quote Originally Posted by Amechra View Post
    regardless of what you had on the board
    Platinum Angel.
    Last edited by enderlord99; 2021-03-03 at 03:03 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strigon View Post
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    I salute you.
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  9. - Top - End - #1389
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    Default Re: Magic the Gathering Thread XXIV: *Slaps Roof* This Thread Can Hold So Many Chand

    Quote Originally Posted by enderlord99 View Post
    Platinum Angel.
    The platinum angel is hard to get on the board relatively to other more normal creatures and is vulnerable to a whole slew of removal due to being simultaneously an artefact and a creature.
    So while it is an overall cool card when played the difficulty of playing it or keeping it makes it not fit in all the decks.(of course if you have a commander deck for example you then probably have a bunch of ways to give hexproof to your creatures to protect your commander or your combos so platinum angel might fit better in commander decks somehow)
    Last edited by noob; 2021-03-03 at 02:22 PM.

  10. - Top - End - #1390
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    Quote Originally Posted by noob View Post
    The platinum angel is hard to get on the board relatively to other more normal creatures and is vulnerable to a whole slew of removal due to being simultaneously an artefact and a creature.
    So while it is an overall cool card when played the difficulty of playing it or keeping it makes it not fit in all the decks.(of course if you have a commander deck for example you then probably have a bunch of ways to give hexproof to your creatures to protect your commander or your combos so platinum angel might fit better in commander decks somehow)
    I didn't say it was always a good choice. I was merely pointing out an exception to the statement "regardless of what you had on the board" because it amused me to do so.
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    I salute you.
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  11. - Top - End - #1391
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    Default Re: Magic the Gathering Thread XXIV: *Slaps Roof* This Thread Can Hold So Many Chand

    Quote Originally Posted by enderlord99 View Post
    Platinum Angel.
    You win this round, enderlord99. You win this round.

    (More seriously, I was exaggerating for dramatic effect. There are usually ways to beat a given "I win" combo, they're just not stuff that you'd put in your deck unless you knew for a fact that that's what your opponent is playing.)
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  12. - Top - End - #1392

    Default Re: Magic the Gathering Thread XXIV: *Slaps Roof* This Thread Can Hold So Many Chand

    Something like Torpor Orb also beats Oracle + Consultation. Arguably, a Memory's Journey in your graveyard counts as "on board", and it beats naked Oracle in most situations.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dienekes View Post
    We can be having a conversation about one type of gameplay we dislike, while still disliking others that have not been brought up yet.
    Sure. But the broader point I'm trying to make is that non-interactive gameplay isn't particularly unique to Combo decks. Every deck tries to make its gameplan as hard for the opponent to interact with as possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amechra View Post
    Something like Consultation→Thassa's Oracle or a deck tuned to play a T3 Emrakul doesn't really change from match to match, because your interaction with what your opponents have out is superfluous to what you need to do to win.
    I don't think that's true. Consultation is certainly a relatively resilient combo, but it still cares about counterspells and discard spells. Prior to the printing of Oracle, it even cared about removal, so I don't think the archetype itself is the issue. Similarly, there are things that interact with T3 Emrakul, they're just not the same things that interact with traditional aggro or midrange decks. Now, that's not to say that the overall dynamic around those decks is healthy, but I think the take that they don't care about interaction or play out the same every game isn't really accurate.

    The thing about referring to every deck that tries to use powerful synergy between its cards to win in an atypical fashion a "combo" deck is that it bundles together stuff like Hammertime or Infect (which are effectively just hyper-efficient aggro strategies) with things like Demonic Consultation + Thassa's Oracle (Do you have a counterspell or instant-speed "target player draws a card" spell handy? No? Then I win, regardless of what you had on the board or what you were doing beforehand). The latter is the kind of thing I find really boring.
    But isn't the same thing true of terms like "Aggro" or "Midrange"? Burn, Hammertime, Elves, and Humans could all be considered "Aggro Decks", but they all produce very different games of Magic. It feels like your point is more that the power level of these decks can make them unfun than anything inherent to the archetype, and while that's true, I think that's true about every archetype. Eldrazi Winter was pretty miserable, but the Eye of Ugin decks weren't really "combo".

  13. - Top - End - #1393
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    Default Re: Magic the Gathering Thread XXIV: *Slaps Roof* This Thread Can Hold So Many Chand

    Quote Originally Posted by enderlord99 View Post
    Infinite combos don't necessarily make finite ones incapable of winning but they do make them unimpressive in terms of show-offish overkill potential, which would be my favorite part of the game were it not for the fact that getting (for example) a thousand tokens onto the battlefield is definitionally unimpressive next to getting nigh-infinite tokens onto the battlefield.
    But finity doesn't really play into it. In fact, a combo that makes infinite tokens draws a game, while one that makes an arbitrarily large number wins it. I think the best hole in this argument is the fact that all of the combos Amechra listed, presumably in support of your argument, were finite. In fact, in my experience infinite combos tend to be more likely to be janky Ikea-gun-style (if you don't get it watch Friday Nights) Johnny decks, whereas most Spiky combos are actually finite, either in the storm "finite-but-arbitrarily-large" style or in the reanimator/show-and-tell A-B style. There are certainly some infinite combos that are on that level, Splinter Twin being one of them, but they are not the rule. Honestly, the likely cause of the phenomenon you complained about (people thinking you dislike combo because you say you dislike infinite combo) is likely because few people make the distinction between the type of combo deck, and people often just stick infinite in front of the word combo even when not applicable, because, as has been pointed out, the distinction is mostly semantic when it comes to win rates and how the deck performs when it combos off.
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    Default Re: Magic the Gathering Thread XXIV: *Slaps Roof* This Thread Can Hold So Many Chand

    I don't distinguish between finite and infinite combos provided they both win the game. Dead's dead.
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    Default Re: Magic the Gathering Thread XXIV: *Slaps Roof* This Thread Can Hold So Many Chand

    Quote Originally Posted by enderlord99 View Post
    Infinite combos don't necessarily make finite ones incapable of winning but they do make them unimpressive in terms of show-offish overkill potential
    Don't take this the wrong way, bud, but that feels like a quote from a teenager. Win is win, and I am of the camp that finds a win from 1 life point more impressive than a literal roflstomp where the infinite combo player just goes off and plays a bit of Solitaire on their end.

    I am more of the camp that finds uninteractive combos tiresome (aka the ones that work in a single turn and dont require pieces on the board to work).

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    Default Re: Magic the Gathering Thread XXIV: *Slaps Roof* This Thread Can Hold So Many Chand

    I wholeheartedly agree with Spore.

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    Default Re: Magic the Gathering Thread XXIV: *Slaps Roof* This Thread Can Hold So Many Chand

    You know what I want in a Historic Anthology?

    The "word" cycle from Onslaught.

    EDIT: What cards would you like to see in a Historic Anthology?
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    Default Re: Magic the Gathering Thread XXIV: *Slaps Roof* This Thread Can Hold So Many Chand

    Quote Originally Posted by enderlord99 View Post
    EDIT: What cards would you like to see in a Historic Anthology?
    Squee, Goblin Nabob.

    Admittedly, this is because I'm currently playing with Zombie Infestation. My current deck is W/B and uses Unconventional Tactics as an engine to pump out a large zombie horde in relatively little time. Squee would just be fuel for the fire.
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    Default Re: Magic the Gathering Thread XXIV: *Slaps Roof* This Thread Can Hold So Many Chand

    Probably my #2 card of all time, Life from the Loam. Which incidentally goes very well with Zombie Infestation.
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    Default Re: Magic the Gathering Thread XXIV: *Slaps Roof* This Thread Can Hold So Many Chand

    Check this out! It's pretty silly, right?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strigon View Post
    Wow.
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    I salute you.
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    Default Re: Magic the Gathering Thread XXIV: *Slaps Roof* This Thread Can Hold So Many Chand

    Quote Originally Posted by enderlord99 View Post
    Check this out! It's pretty silly, right?
    No, it's rather droll and pointless.
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    Default Re: Magic the Gathering Thread XXIV: *Slaps Roof* This Thread Can Hold So Many Chand

    Quote Originally Posted by Fable Wright View Post
    No, it's rather droll and pointless.
    "droll" means "slightly silly" and I know it's pointless. Everything on that subreddit is pointless.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strigon View Post
    Wow.
    That took a very sudden turn for the dark.

    I salute you.
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    cool Re: Magic the Gathering Thread XXIV: *Slaps Roof* This Thread Can Hold So Many Chand

    Quote Originally Posted by DeTess View Post
    More than 3 colors means that you need to put a lot more attention into the manabase, but it's not necessarily a bad idea if you can (afford to) optimize the manabase so that it works. I wouldn't recommend more than 3 colors to a novice, because it does require some knowledge of both the available cards, and what hands to keep or mulligan to make it work.

    Also, if a pair of commanders have the colors you want, and one you don't, you could always just focus on those three colors, splashing just enough lands and mana-rocks to ensure you reliability play the commander. A friend of mine plays a temur deck as if it's a simic deck (I think there's like 2 other red cards outside his commander in there), and it's a very nasty deck nonetheless.


    Najeela is a five color deck -- never had a problem :)

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    Default Re: Magic the Gathering Thread XXIV: *Slaps Roof* This Thread Can Hold So Many Chand

    Well I, for one, didn't expect Liliana to go into academia, but considering her level of expertise, it makes some sense. Here's to her making tenure:

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    Default Re: Magic the Gathering Thread XXIV: *Slaps Roof* This Thread Can Hold So Many Chand

    Quote Originally Posted by Personification View Post
    Well I, for one, didn't expect Liliana to go into academia, but considering her level of expertise, it makes some sense. Here's to her making tenure:

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    The answer will be coming shortly I assume, but I wonder if she's meant to be in disguise or if the card name is meant to be a title and everyone at the school knows it's her.

    My Magic lore is a little rusty, but isn't Liliana being hunted as per the War of the Spark aftermath?
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    Default Re: Magic the Gathering Thread XXIV: *Slaps Roof* This Thread Can Hold So Many Chand

    Quote Originally Posted by Haruspex_Pariah View Post
    The answer will be coming shortly I assume, but I wonder if she's meant to be in disguise or if the card name is meant to be a title and everyone at the school knows it's her.

    My Magic lore is a little rusty, but isn't Liliana being hunted as per the War of the Spark aftermath?
    The one sent to hunt her basically decided to let her go.

    Well, there goes my theory that after War she’d become WB to show her character development and paying Gid’s sacrifice forward a bit.

    I mean I still think she will be portrayed somewhat more benevolent than she was before, but I would’ve like to see it manifest mechanically as well.

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    Default Re: Magic the Gathering Thread XXIV: *Slaps Roof* This Thread Can Hold So Many Chand

    Quote Originally Posted by Haruspex_Pariah View Post
    The answer will be coming shortly I assume, but I wonder if she's meant to be in disguise or if the card name is meant to be a title and everyone at the school knows it's her.

    My Magic lore is a little rusty, but isn't Liliana being hunted as per the War of the Spark aftermath?
    Quote Originally Posted by Dienekes View Post
    The one sent to hunt her basically decided to let her go.

    Well, there goes my theory that after War she’d become WB to show her character development and paying Gid’s sacrifice forward a bit.

    I mean I still think she will be portrayed somewhat more benevolent than she was before, but I would’ve like to see it manifest mechanically as well.
    Kaya helped her fake her death, if you're all curious. She came up with a new identity on Fiora, and after an adventure that'll likely never see the light of day because of how poorly WAR went, Kaya went to Kaldheim to have viking adventures and Liliana went here. We know she's rummaging through the Biblioplex from the first preview article, mentioning Professor Onyx is spending time here with her students Will and Rowen.

    I also wish she was white black, but a more benevolent, teacherly black is still good in my book.


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    Default Re: Magic the Gathering Thread XXIV: *Slaps Roof* This Thread Can Hold So Many Chand

    Yea tbh I kind of dropped out of Magic while Eldraine was running and only got back into Arena recently, so I probably missed a lot. The fact that I can play friendly games with my brother (who lives in a different state) makes the grind a bit more bearable. You can't get quest credit against Sparky, but you can in direct challenge matches.

    Also intrigued by Brawl as a concept. As a ftp player I always end up with these lone rare or mythic cards that need to be four-of in any serious deck. But in Brawl it's all singles so I can actually use them.
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    Default Re: Magic the Gathering Thread XXIV: *Slaps Roof* This Thread Can Hold So Many Chand

    To those wanting a WB Liliana, I disagree. She is one of their most iconic mono-B characters, and it is possible to show her being more sympathetic without adding White, especially because philosophically it is the color most antithetical to her mode of thought. A more sympathetic Liliana still won't be about sacrificing herself for the common good, because that isn't how she thinks, even when she tried to sacrifice herself in War of the Spark she did it to free herself from Bolas. You can also have a mono-B character who is still sympathetic and even somewhat heroic. Presumably, as a professor she is teaching her students how to look out for themselves and seek the personal advantage in every situation, because by the standard Black philosophy, that is the way to succeed, and if everyone else is doing it you don't need to worry about helping them. (I don't necessarily agree with this, but I can see the logical consistency).
    I don't know if I explained that well. I'm better at arguing in person than through text.

    As an aside, I think it's kind of funny (but ultimately well done) that they had the main character fallout for Gideon's sacrifice be Nissa actually turning Black, because she wanted to emulate him, and she saw him as someone who stood up for himself and what he wanted.

    And, finally, did anyone else have the realization that, with Garruk acting as the Twins' planeswalking-surrogate-uncle in loco parentis there is going to be a really awkward encounter when he comes to pick them up at the end of the semester?
    Last edited by Personification; 2021-03-25 at 12:38 AM.
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    Default Re: Magic the Gathering Thread XXIV: *Slaps Roof* This Thread Can Hold So Many Chand

    Quote Originally Posted by Personification View Post
    To those wanting a WB Liliana, I disagree. She is one of their most iconic mono-B characters, and it is possible to show her being more sympathetic without adding White, especially because philosophically it is the color most antithetical to her mode of thought. A more sympathetic Liliana still won't be about sacrificing herself for the common good, because that isn't how she thinks, even when she tried to sacrifice herself in War of the Spark she did it to free herself from Bolas. You can also have a mono-B character who is still sympathetic and even somewhat heroic. Presumably, as a professor she is teaching her students how to look out for themselves and seek the personal advantage in every situation, because by the standard Black philosophy, that is the way to succeed, and if everyone else is doing it you don't need to worry about helping them. (I don't necessarily agree with this, but I can see the logical consistency).
    I don't know if I explained that well. I'm better at arguing in person than through text.

    As an aside, I think it's kind of funny (but ultimately well done) that they had the main character fallout for Gideon's sacrifice be Nissa actually turning Black, because she wanted to emulate him, and she saw him as someone who stood up for himself and what he wanted.

    And, finally, did anyone else have the realization that, with Garruk acting as the Twins' planeswalking-surrogate-uncle in loco parentis there is going to be a really awkward encounter when he comes to pick them up at the end of the semester?
    Completely good point all around on Liliana there. I believe all of that myself, I just think it'd be neat to see otherwise. But yeah, Professor Onyx seems fun.

    Also yeah the idea of Garruk coming to cheer on his little wards and running into Liliana is fun.


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