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Retribution in Ravnica: Card Design Contest Death Battle


Welcome, flavor minions, to the final round of voting for a card design contest based on a fanfic and the shenanigans of one dirty old Wojek man. Here’s the stuff of articles past (contest announcement, Wave 1, Wave 2) for the newbs. The denizens of Retribution in Ravnica are hot and bothered, and I hope you, are, too! There will be more contests, so follow along with the off-record exploits of Liliana, Ral, revived Venser, handsome Tajic and a flatulent Bolas if you’re not already. So . . . ready? Grab your sunglasses of Urza, and surreptitiously slide your butt into the best seat in the hot tub (you know, the one right in front of the hottest Æether jet) for the next step in our indie design journey.

Agrus Kos, Wojek Veteran

HOT: Oldie but goodie in more ways than one.

One of the main reasons I started to write fanfic was to explore the unexplored in the world of Magic and especially Planeswalkers. I guess I hunger for a more intimate relationship with many of MTG’s interesting people and places. While Magic has grown and become slicker and more consistent in terms of look and branding, we haven’t gotten any more personal. We don’t know much about many of the new ’Walkers and legends—Ashiok was begging to blow up as a personality and got basically zero promo support. Tamiyo? Where’s her backstory?

Kiora and Ashiok actually aren’t on the mothership’s Planeswalker page. Well, neither is Dack Fayden, but I don’t care. Fack that guy. Why does he get his own comic? He is like, literally, the worst thief ever. Also, Jared Leto called and wants his hairstyle back.

NOT: Don’t touch me with that thing.

Kiora at least got some great one-liners in Journey, but story-wise, she, too, has only been developed as far as being a name and a cool-looking card (though I’m hoping that’ll change with Jenna Helland’s new novellas). It’d be great to see more risks taken with the flagship characters that actually illuminate their personalities and don’t just summarize what they’ve recently been doing.

Ashiok: poster child for an entire community and lost opportunity. Art by Karla Ortiz.

Sometimes, it feels like we play it too safely with edgy, intimate stories in Magic. Look at Ahri’s LoL profile and Liliana’s bio. Ahri’s blurb is pretty frank and explicitly mentions the seduction, the essence-eating, and the regret thing. While Lili’s is much more well-written, it is surprisingly vague. Can we mention her history with Jace? Can we mention she has killed hundreds of people while accumulating dozens of lovers? What about the tragic incident with damning her brother’s soul? It should be all right to honestly celebrate the intriguing humanity of these Planeswalkers and not just their +/− abilities.

Live flavorfully. Work fast. Play all the damn time. Die laughing.

And with that, let’s let the card-design violence ensue! On to the Retribution in Ravnica KOS vs. KOS DEATH BATTLE!!!

Kos’s Geist, Wojek Mentor by Dominic Passarelli

Agrus Kos, Boros Avenger by Bruce

Kos, Wojek Specter by Jack Rousseau

Agrus Kos, Agyrem Prosecutor by Blackbull

Agrus Kos, Agyrem Wojek by GUDoug

Agrus Kos, Agyrem Chief by Zengardon

To brush up on the designers’ notes and read review comments from our expert panel, revisit the entries for our finalists in Wave 1 and Wave 2.


Who’s the Kos of your dreams? Polls close at Friday at 11:59 P.M., Pacific Time.

[poll id="349"]

Till next time, get the vote out for your pick, and may Magic be your big, badass Boros charm.




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