Twentyish cards have my touch in Commander (2013 Edition), but behind those published bits of flavor is a veritable landslide of flavor rejects. Today, I’m sharing the rejects behind my pieces that won. Every finished, successful card name or line of flavor text is a journey. For some flavor to make it to print, others have to take one for the team and get binned. That said, I mean . . . I don’t know why anything I write would ever be rejected—it’s like pure etherium flowing from my fingers. It’s like Gaea pooped and I turned it into words. It’s that damn beautiful. But whatev, they can’t print all my genius. There’s simply not enough room on the cards.
Planeswalker branding has been criticized, and for my part, I try to imbue them with as much individuality and unique voice as possible. It makes me sound like an old fart, but back in the day, cultural icons had a lot more personality. The greats in entertainment media were known almost as much for their quips and character quirks as they were known for their actual performances. I’d like to bring that Charles Barkley quality that says, “I am not a role model,” to the Magic planeswalkers.
“Asp” is just a pretty poor word for flavor because it sounds like ass. I remember the R&D name for this card was Asp Charmer . . . which, with my sophomoric sense of humor, made me want to submit the titles Asp Grabber, Asp Handler, and Asp Breaker of Xathrid. Maybe even Asp Connoisseur—though maybe not since there’s no sacrifice outlet or ability. Luckily, someone else came up with the more elegant “Ophiomancer”—so no Asp manipulation necessary.
Since this is a product targeted at a group with (generally speaking) a higher Vorthos quotient than average, I knew artistry of writing and color-pie-appropriate content would be appreciated. As such, I strove to incorporate those elements and give Vorthos the intellectual challenge s/he craves by tying in culture and current events—while still, you know, keeping things classy.
I remember this card’s R&D name was Ophidian Spirit. Obv the Ophidian part was moved to the Charmer, so this became a Diviner thing. The “habitat” part of my accepted flavor text definitely felt stronger with the snake-reference card name, but it still works fine. You want it to hit you, but you don’t. It’s blurred lines on a stick. I thought about saying, “’No means maybe.’ – Robin Thicke,” since I made fun of Miley earlier, but that’s just crass.
Till next time, may Magic be your faithless looting when your epic dragon-marriage-proposal just isn’t enough.