TTC - Journey Into Nyx Flavour & Origins

Discuss our latest podcast about Magic: The Gathering.
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James
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TTC - Journey Into Nyx Flavour & Origins

Postby James » 01 Nov 2014, 20:07

Graham walks you through some of the myths and legends behind the cards in Journey into Nyx.
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Eric the Orange
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Re: TTC - Journey Into Nyx Flavour & Origins

Postby Eric the Orange » 01 Nov 2014, 21:27

For those interested here's the picture results for "see through sea snail"

https://www.google.com/search?q=see+thr ... CAYQ_AUoAQ
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Re: TTC - Journey Into Nyx Flavour & Origins

Postby wizzerd229 » 01 Nov 2014, 21:33

the snake health thing came about i believe from the bible, like there were a lot of snakes attacking moses and crew so god was like, "yo, put a snake round yo staff moses, fo real if you look at it you will be saved" and moses was like, "aight boss"
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Re: TTC - Journey Into Nyx Flavour & Origins

Postby Tinfish » 01 Nov 2014, 23:57

Speaking of the Underworld Coinsmith, I would have sworn that this was on the Coinsmith's flavour text but apparently not - there's some card in Theros block with flavour text of (granted I might be misremembering here) "coins of the underworld are made of clay. The dead have another use for gold." Thus implying that gold, in the underworld, is so valuable (as it's used to forge masks for the Returned) that it can't be used as a means of exchange. It also (possibly, this is mostly my head canon) implies that the masks of the Returned are made by melting down funerary coins placed on the tongues of the dead to pay the ferryman.

I don't know if Graham has covered this, but the golden masks of the Returned - despite having no reference in Classical Greek myth - are probably based on the golden funerary mask of "Agamemnon" found by Schliemann at Mykenae - which actually dated to a period well before the Trojan War, but then Schliemann was working at the dawn of archaeology and had no access to carbon dating.

Regarding snakes; these have been totemic figures in Near Eastern religion for thousands of years (the serpent in Eden being one example, but more obviously an example of the early Israelites hating on Canaanite deities - throughout the Levant the snake was a common symbol of fertility (probably for no more complex reason than, well, what else is long, bendy, and has a wide head at the end? You join the dots)). I believe the association of snakes with medicine and Asclepius is debated - I doubt the Greeks had access to antivenins - but one theory I've heard is that the snakes are actually tapeworms or other parasitic worms, and that the Greeks would extract such parasites, when they broke through the skin, by winding them about a stick.

Pharika could easily be goddess of both affliction and cure; there were many examples of gods in the ancient world who were propitiated rather than worshipped. Sekhmet, for example, began as a terrifying destroyer, who had to be drugged by Horus to prevent her from eradicating mankind, and was associated with disease and poison; but because she was associated with disease and poison, she was given offerings to spare people from such things, and thus (over the very long span of Egyptian religion) became a goddess of medicine, and finally a goddess overseeing childbirth! A far cry from her origins as a blood-drinking apocalypse engine.
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Re: TTC - Journey Into Nyx Flavour & Origins

Postby jkefka » 02 Nov 2014, 06:32

There are a couple other loose references but I think you picked out the strongest ones. The Gluttonous Cyclops references the cyclops of the Odyssey who devoured things in a similar manner, but most cyclopses in this set were coming back to that in one way or another. Hyponotic Siren is kind of a different take on the same idea as Shipwreck Singer. I think in large part this set was too bound up in the plot they wrote for Theros to draw on real-world mythology too heavily.

My read on the coinsmith is that the masks are used in place of coins for the dead in theros, but ultimately they are still used as currency in the underworld.
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Re: TTC - Journey Into Nyx Flavour & Origins

Postby erjhunter » 02 Nov 2014, 09:41

So, Coldsnap limited. It was a pretty weird format. Black is the worst color, if I remember right (although it has some really good removal, its creatures are basically junk) and the format was basically ruled by Green fatties and Blue/White flyers. Red was mostly just a support color, though it did have some pretty big bombs and nice removal. Ronom Hulk and Karplusan Strider are both totally first pickable. Drelnoch was pretty good, but not spectacular (it is my favorite Magic card though). Gelid Shackles is quite good.

As for the lands, they weren't exactly first picks, but they were pretty darn good. It was basically the kind of situation where you would take them if there wasnt anything exciting in the pack and you needed some snow mana. There were the 5 basics at common and 5 duals at uncommon which were basically snow gates. The duals were pretty high picks, especially the ones with red or black, as splashing the removal from those colors was pretty nice. Basically if you didnt have a way to deal with your opponent's flyers you were sunk. I mean, look at the common/uncommon flyers in Blue and White from this set:

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Re: TTC - Journey Into Nyx Flavour & Origins

Postby Eric the Orange » 02 Nov 2014, 11:04

wizzerd229 wrote:the snake health thing came about i believe from the bible, like there were a lot of snakes attacking moses and crew so god was like, "yo, put a snake round yo staff moses, fo real if you look at it you will be saved" and moses was like, "aight boss"


Greek Mythology is older than Christianity. Roughly as old as Judaism at about 4000-1000 BCE.

That being said it's still possible, a lot of the religions that formed a couple thousand years BCE or earlier kinda bled into each other over time.
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Re: TTC - Journey Into Nyx Flavour & Origins

Postby Bergie » 02 Nov 2014, 11:22

The North American symbol for medicine is the Caduceus, which was the herald staff of Hermes, but the 'medical symbol' which looks like it is the Rod of Asclepius which had medical powers. Both were staves with snakes on them.
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Re: TTC - Journey Into Nyx Flavour & Origins

Postby swilensk » 03 Nov 2014, 12:41

Bearer of the heavens is like the most unfun card in my Marchesa EDH deck, cause if you have +1/+1 counters on your creatures and Marchesa out, and you sacrifice or kill bearer of the heavens. You can stack the triggers so that everything blows up and then all your creatures come back and then you just beat everyone down while they try to rebuild. I tend to hold that card back depending on the power levels of the decks I'm playing against.
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Re: TTC - Journey Into Nyx Flavour & Origins

Postby fezmonkey » 04 Nov 2014, 23:37

I always thought Pharika was a combination of two gods. One was Panacea, because she is the goddess of the Universal Cure, which seems to fit better than Hygieia since Pharika makes all sorts of medicines in addition to the poisons. Poisons, venoms and toxins have frequently been considered closely related to medicines. You can create antidotes and beneficial medicines out of things that might typically be dangerous.

The second goddess that seems to influence Pharika, and possibly the bigger one, is Echidna. Echidna is half nymph and half snake, which is essentially how Pharika is portrayed. More importantly Echidna is the "Mother of All Monsters" and gave birth to many of the monsters in Greek mythology including Cerberus, Orthrus, Scylla and most tellingly, the gorgons. Since Pharika is portrayed as essentially the gorgon goddess, it makes sense that she'd be influenced by Echidna.
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Re: TTC - Journey Into Nyx Flavour & Origins

Postby UNHchabo » 05 Nov 2014, 17:51

For Surging Dementia, since there's no 4-card limit in limited, Magical Christmas Land is actually forcing your opponent to discard FIVE for two mana.

Whoever did the editing, I loved the way you did the annotations to link to the previous videos. :-D
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