Rant of Valakut: Story Time Ben Iverach-Brereton February 20, 2017 Rants of Valakut Have you ever stopped to consider just how strange a game of Magic can be from a story perspective? Even if we accept the idea of an elephant wearing boots or a hawk wielding an arsenal of swords, most board states are just plain silly. There have been several times when I’ve turned to my opponent and started to make up ridiculous narratives based on our game. I find it quite entertaining to do, and highly recommend taking the time every now and again to consider what might be happening to those poor soldiers and beasts as they move about the battlefield. Today I present to you some of the silly stories that have come up during my recent games: A WELL TRAINED TIGER The elf was very excited. He had heard of trains, but before today he had never seen one. It was a spectacular sight. The freighter before him gleamed in the sunlight, the faint breeze swirling about it only adding to its majesty. Giggling with anticipation, the elf hopped aboard and the train rumbled toward its destination. It was exhilerating! He didn’t even notice when the train ran over someone; he was too busy hollering to his friends from the window, beckoning them to join him on the ride. As soon as the train stopped, the elf excitedly reembarked, still calling out excitedly at the people he passed by. No one quite expected the next one to jump aboard the train would be a tiger. Leaning its head out a window like a giant dog, the tiger roared with delight as the freighter ran over some poor bystanders. It took some convincing to pull the tiger out of the train, but the elf was determined to take one last ride. Unfortunately for the elf, a second tiger jumped on board before he could get there. Apparently the elf wasn’t the only one shouting about how great the train was…. ~ ~ ~ What really happened: I kept crewing my Renegade Freighter with the Servant of the Conduit, since I had nothing better to do with the elf. I joked at how excited the elf was to be on the train, and how he kept getting back on for a tour. Eventually I drew a Riparian Tiger and used it to crew the Freighter for that turn. The next turn I drew a second Tiger and used it to crew the vehicle, letting me swing in for a lethal attack with the Servant, the first Tiger and the Freighter. IT’S MY JOB The reckless racer careened forward, all set to run over a thopter that had flown into his path. He grinned, eager to hear the crunch of metal wings under his wheels. Speeding up, he braced himself for the crash, but just at the last moment he saw movement from the side. A man with a wrench dove in front of the racer, tackling the thopter out of the way. Startled, the racer swerved and stopped. He looked back at the man with the wrench, now standing over the thopter he saved from the crash. The racer was shocked to see the man swinging his wrench down, smashing the thopter to pieces. Gears went flying everywhere while the man with the wrench kept beating the thopter into tiny pieces. After a moment the racer regained his composure and resumed his drive. Once he was back up to speed, however, he found another thopter blocking his path. Once again getting ready to shatter the flying machine with his vehicle, the reckless racer was startled as a familiar wrench flew past him and knocked the second thopter out of his way. It was the same man as before, diving upon this thopter and smashing it to smithereens, just as before. The racer was confused. “Why are you doing that?” he asked the man. “I was about to destroy that thopter when you jumped in the way. Why save it if you are just going to break it yourself?” The man paused between swings, aiming for a particularly large piece. “It’s my job, not yours. Only I get to smash these gears. Besides, you weren’t going to do it properly. You’ve got to make the pieces fly in all directions or it’s just not worth doing.” The racer looked at him, bewildered. This wasn’t some crazed madman he was talking to. This was a professional gear smasher. Someone hired him to destroy these artifacts. There was probably some union he hadn’t heard of that would take issue with someone else breaking these thopters, and that was the sort of bureaucratic nonsense that the racer would rather avoid. He shook his head as he drove off. What a strange business. A third thopter jumped in his path. He didn’t even flinch this time as the gear smasher tackled the flying artifact to the ground. The racer did pause to admire the smasher’s technique, though; he had to admit that it was quite something to see a professional at work. ~ ~ ~ What really happened: In a 4 player game my brother’s fiancee kept attacking my brother with a Reckless Racer. He kept blocking it with Thopter tokens, and would sacrifice them with an Embraal Gear-Smasher before they could die in combat. He joked that “Only I may destroy my Thopters,” imagining the Gear-Smasher rushing in to break things before the Racer could do it for him. A BREAKDOWN OF COMMUNICATION I swear, everything on Kaladesh is mechanized! The constructs are even starting to build themselves. I sure wish the postal service hadn’t changed, though. Some genius decided it would be better to do away with traditional mail delivery, and replaced the entire system with automated couriers. I have to admit that they’re fast and efficient when it comes to collecting packages, but I swear somebody forgot to program these things in the fine art of actually delivering the mail. I’ve been waiting for some very important documents for some time now, and all I see are these couriers zipping about collecting more and more. It’s ridiculous! These towering piles of boxes and letters are wobbling about the street atop tiny legs and wheels, gathering up everything they can. That said, I think I’ve found a solution. I’ve discovered that the couriers stop running if you break their legs and smash them to pieces. It leaves a bit of a mess on the street, but I for one am glad to finally get a hold of my mail! ~ ~ ~ What really happened: My opponent played a Bomat Courier on turn 1 and kept attacking with it. I decided to let it through, preferring to block larger threats while playing around combat tricks like Built to Smash. Eventually this Bomat Courier had exiled seven cards or so, and I joked that it wasn’t really very good at delivering the mail. We imagined someone desperately wanting their packages and breaking the Courier to get it, much like using its activated ability to sacrifice it for the cards it exiled. There you have it, some tales from Kaladesh, inspired by my matches. Thank-you for indulging me; I had fun writing these. I have plenty more tales I could tell, so if you’d like to read something like this again please let me know. If you have the chance, take a moment in your next match and try to imagine what’s going on. Between you and your opponent I’m sure you’ll come up with something memorable. And of course, I’d love to read about it in the comments! Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName Email Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.