mtg power


So, as many have already speculated, Amonkhet may just be a “planeswalker factory” set up by Nicol Bolas. However, the purpose of devising such a thing has not been as well theorized. (TL:DR version at end of post)

First, some background to get everyone up to speed. We already have evidence that Amonkhet is an artificial plane created by Nicol Bolas. I figure this is to prevent unwanted travelers to interfere with his plans. I assume an artificial plane is much easier to “hide” amongst the multiverse. As far as we know, only pre-mending walkers were ever powerful enough to create an entire plane on their own, so Amonkhet is probably pretty old, which means Bolas has had plenty of time to mold the plane and its inhabitants to his will.

So, the “planeswalker factory” in question is the Trial of the Five Gods. We’ve learned that all denizens of Amonkhet work their entire lives for a chance to partake in this trial to appease their God-King, presumably Nicol Bolas, and earn passage into the afterlife. We also know that sparks are most likely to ignite when the individual is put into an extremely stressful, potentially life-threatening situation. This trial could be just that. Putting individuals through tests to awake their latent spark. And since no-one is ever expected to return from the trial (moving on to the afterlife and all) no denizen of the plane can refute it and Bolas gets to do whatever he wants to the survivors.

So, for a while people have assumed Bolas has been collecting these planeswalkers as an army to use to conquer the Multiverse. However, we have been ignoring his greatest desire, to regain his original power. What if, instead of creating an army, he is stealing and storing/consuming all of the sparks from these new walkers and using them to regain his own lost power? We’ve seen sparks transfer from one to another (i.e., Venser and Karn) and sparks can exist independent of the person they originally belong to.

TL:DR: Bolas is using his “Planeswalker Factory” to create and harvest the sparks from new planeswalkers in order to make himself more powerful.


Magic: the Gathering - Archenemy: Nicol Bolas

Some appreciation for the illustrations from artist Steve Argyle with the new Archenemy set - specifically, the nod he did with these two pieces -

Slave of Bolas, Alara Reborn
‘Nicol Bolas doesn’t distinguish between servants and victims’

What’s Yours Is Now Mine, Archenemy Scheme card
'Vow your allegiance to true power’

Cheatyface Plays

  • play it under a land and reveal it later
  • play it under a creature and reveal it later
  • play it under literally any permanent and reveal it later
  • play it under another, legally cast Cheatyface
  • point at the door and say “who ordered pizza?” sneak it on while they are distracted (and disappointed)
  • play it under another, cheated in Cheatyface
  • ask to look at an opponent’s card, put Cheatyface under it when you put it back, ask to see it again and hope they focus on you instead of the Cheatyface you just left on the table
  • do the tablecloth trick but with all the card on top of the tablecloth. have a Cheatyface under the tablecloth. you either succeed in pulling the table cloth off quickly enough to leave all the cards behind, along with your now revealed Cheatyface, or you pull everything off into a huge mess and have bigger problems to worry about
  • play it under a token and reveal it later
  • place it next to your graveyard after discarding some cards–you actually placed it onto the battlefield but they don’t know that
  • catch something on fire. play Cheatyface while they are distracted
  • play it under and instant or sorcery
  • play Cheatyface while staring your opponent directly in the eye. when they call you out, hand them a get out of jail free card from Monopoly and insist Cheatyface is now a legal play
  • play Cheatyface in any sanctioned tournament
  • cut cheaty face into small pieces and hide bits of it in the sleeves of your other cards. play this card and slide out the bits of Cheatyface, leaving them face up on the table. assemble the bits of Cheatyface
  • be ron swanson
Actual Conversation at Work - Trial by Magic

I work as a Software Training Specialist, and yesterday afternoon I received a rather urgent call from the corporate recruiter for the company I work at. She was trying to find a solution for evaluating a training candidate and asked for my help. The conversation that follows is all true (though slightly abridged.) 

Recruiter: “I’ve got this candidate with lots of experience, and he interviews really well, but the V.P. wants to be sure he can learn our software. So I’m going to have him do a 30-minute presentation where he teaches me something.” 

Me: “That sounds like a good idea. And can he do his presentation on anything? Or does it have to be something he doesn’t already know.” 

Recruiter: “It has to be something he doesn’t know yet, because we want him to show that he can learn and internalize complex concepts quickly. But I have no idea what topic to use. It needs to be complex, but it can’t be industry-specific, and it has to be something he can research on his own.” 

Me: “OK, got it. How soon do you need a topic?” 

Recruiter: “I told him I’d try to send him an email before I leave for the weekend. And I have to leave in five minutes.” 

Me: “Alright, so you need something now.” 

Recruiter: “Yeah, I know this is really last-minute. If you can’t think of anything, I’ll just have to get back to him next week.” 

Me: “Well, let’s see… I mean, the first thing that comes to my mind is to have him teach you a game.” 

Recruiter: “OK, like what?” 

Me: *takes a moment to decide whether to actually say what I’m thinking*

Recruiter: “…” 

Me: “Magic: the Gathering.” 

Recruiter: “OK. What’s that?” 

Me: “It’s a game. It’s complex enough to be a challenge, but it’s definitely doable. If he can learn it well enough to teach it in time for his presentation to you, that will be a pretty good indication of his skills.” 

Recruiter: “Well, since I don’t know anything about it, I suppose I’ll be a good audience to see if he can teach a beginner. And you’re sure it’s something he can research on his own?” 

Me: “Definitely. There’s plenty of material online to look up.” 

Recruiter: “Great!! I guess now we just have to hope he’s not a gamer.” 

Me: “I wouldn’t worry. Even if he does already know the game, it would still take skill to teach it to somebody in a 30-minute online presentation. By the way, if you schedule the meeting when I’m available, I’d be happy to silently listen in and I can tell you if his instructions are correct.” 

Recruiter: “Perfect!! Thanks, Dave!” 

*two minutes later, a message arrives in my inbox* 

Recruiter: “Just sent the email. Have a great weekend!” 

Me: What have I just done to this man’s life… 

So yeah… That seriously just happened at work yesterday… 


Magic the Gathering- Zendikar- The Eldrazi Broods

Impossible creatures from beyond the Blind Eterntiies, the Eldrazi are creatures that exist beyond the understandings of the material world. Part of the Zendikar storyline from Wizards of the Coast’s popular Magic the Gathering card game, these creatures are less villains and more forces of nature- the eldrazi broods merely 3D ‘shadows’ of the 3 massive Eldrazi titans. They reduce all landscape to flat, white dust, absorb mana, and erradicate life to nothing beyond a memory. They have an affinity/weakness for ‘Hedrons”, geometric stones covered in rules that tap into laylines of power.