Q:I was reading Perilous Vault's flavor text and it got me thinking about Ugin - Is he actually dead? What about his involvement with the Eldrazi and Nicol Bolas? So many unanswered questions.
Indeed. If Ugin were in fact dead, then one of the most powerful forces that ever stood against the Eldrazi would be no more. Nicol Bolas claims that he faced and destroyed Ugin personally, but Bolas is a liar liar pants most certainly on fire, so who knows. And Sarkhan has heard whispering voices in his head ever since visiting the Eye of Ugin chamber on Zendikar, and wonders whether it might be the voice of Ugin himself, somehow contacting the dragon mage for uncertain purposes. Oh, the oniony layers!
…BUT, haha, I mean, it’s probably not all leading anywhere, though. #smooth
Q:I saw someone ask about LGBTQIA representation and it got me wondering if there are any really official non hetero sexualities for the walkers? And do you have any unofficial headcannons for them? i personally feel like Chandra would be pansexual from what i know of her
Romantic/sexual relationships involving planeswalkers have barely come up in the storyline, regardless of preference, identity, color alignment, shoe size, goggle proclivities, etc. So there hasn’t been a lot of opportunity to demonstrate who everybody prefers to canoodle with in an official, on-camera way, you know? I mean, there hasn’t been a lot of evidence against several existing characters being non-hetero, on the sheer fact that the characters are generally busy casting spells and vooping around the Multiverse instead of coming down with cases of The Hots for each other. So it’s hard to say. I still think on-camera character relationships, including all the possible flavors of the rainbow, continue to be worth considering, as long as we’re confident they can be portrayed well.
Q:Re: the new Funko figures - Gideon's a little dark, isn't he? I mean, he's always had lighter skin than that in artwork before. Are they not the final designs, or what?
We were trying to get Gideon closer to his original intended ethnicity, which includes a bit more melanin than he’s had in past illustrations (he was never intended to be a straight-up white guy). He was supposed to have some Mediterranean influence blended with hints of other influences, and that feedback led to the skin color of the vinyl. Gideon’s ethnicity includes more details than just skin color, but Funko vinyls are pretty stylized, so that’s kind of all that came across. :)
Q:Will we be seeing more LGBT representation among prominent characters of MtG in the future?
That is my sincere hope.
Q:My friend, a linguistics grad student, just discovered that "shikari" in Hindi for "hunter." This reminded me that the old Vorthos column used to talk about this sort of thing. Mind you, I LOVE the short stories, but we were told when the stories started that there would be occasional Taste the Flavor columns in the Feature Column slot to talk about that sort of behind the scenes stuff. The Planeswalker Guides aren't quite the same thing.
Oh man, I’d love to read more behind-the-scenes stuff about Creative too, if someone in Creative had time to write them! Writing articles is work. Savor the Flavor took one day of my week every week — 20% of my work time! And research-heavy feature articles can take even longer. There’s desire to do them, but let me tell you — Creative is super busy. (I’m writing this post at home, in my fashionable Sunday morning pajama ensemble, using some of my so-called “free time.”)
Q:Is a totally underwater set/block something that could be done?
It feels like a pretty constrictive concept for a world. I could see an underwater realm as being a significant part of a world, but it’d be a lot trickier as the whole plane. But I’ve been wrong before, and my R&D/Creative Team colleagues are smart people. :)
Q:MaRo says creative thinks Phelddagrifs don't make much sense in modern magic. I can kinda see the point, as I don't see them showing up in any of the worlds we've recently visited (closest fit would have probably been Lorwyn, I guess). But, do you really think there could never again be a Plane where they'd sorta make sense?
I think a Phelddagrif’s best chance would be in a supplementary product, something that wasn’t trying to have a cohesive creative tone.
Q:I see on the Pop! Figures, Kiora's last name is on the box. What made creative change their mind back?
That’s not a change in policy, that’s an error. We thought we caught all the references to Kiora’s former name and changed them, but we missed that one. Sorry about that. (We’ve never changed anyone’s name like this before, so we didn’t have a process in place to make such a change across all the various products we and our vendors make. The appropriate folks know about Kiora’s name now.)
Her name remains Kiora.
Q:Random question for timeline purposes. How long were the Eldrazi sealed away? Also, how much time was there between Ugin and Nicol Bolas throwing down, and their release?
The Eldrazi were originally trapped on Zendikar (by Sorin, Ugin, and the Lithomancer) about 6000 years ago.
Ugin and Nicol Bolas had their throwdown a long time after that, and a long time before now. More on that later.
Q:I had a dream where I was able to sign up for a seminar hosted by Creative for world-building. I was in your group and you had assigned us the task of concepting for a bottom up set. At one point we got stuck trying to figure out how to incorporate a new version of Banding(!) but you were very helpful and nice and it was fun. I guess all I wanted to say is that there are people who literally dream about having your job. Thanks for all you and Creative do. (Also, could we get such a seminar?:) )
NIGHTMARE. WHEN IT’S ABOUT BANDING IT’S CALLED A NIGHTMARE.
You should check out the Magic panel at PAX Prime! Several members of the Creative Team (art director Jeremy Jarvis, writer Ari Levitch, and I, plus brand manager Brian Trunk) will be divulging world-building details about the world of Tarkir, its five clans, and its khans. We like to make the PAX panel much more focused on the creative elements of the set, so it’s almost like YOUR DREAM COME TRUE. Pretty pictures! Behind-the-scenes anecdotes! Q&A! Hardly any talk of banding! If you’re going to PAX in Seattle, be sure to check it out. (Video of these panels usually goes up on YouTube later, as well!)