Thursday, April 10, 2014

Sonnet #5: To Ajani, Mentor of Heroes

Is Scuttlemutt thy closest friend? Why, mage,
Dost thou revise thy color choice so soon?
First white as virgin snow, then red with rage,
And now more green than hellebore in June.
'Tis true that other planeswalkers have strayed
And, seeking novelty, old shades foregone;
On Garruk's soul corruption's veil was laid
And Sarkhan lost his mind as Bolas' pawn.
Are these the champions thou wouldst emulate?
Wilt thou next kneel in an Orzhov nave?
Turn skyknight and defend Prahv's regal gate?
Or grovel as an Elder Dragon's slave?
Alack! A bold white leonin and true
Should not be a chameleon in hue.


  1. It's leopards that can't change their spots-- lions can do it just fine.

    I enjoyed this, thanks for sharing :)

  2. This is one of the reasons I love this blog and this game: so much exploration to be done through the lens of Magic! Excellent work.

  3. Thanks, all. I know it's not exactly design content, but I appreciate your indulgence.

    1. Would you ever write a Love Song of Night and Day?

    2. If I found the right world, perhaps. But writing real poetry in a serious style would be much harder than parodying Shakespeare.

  4. I think that it makes most sense for Ajani to shift between these three colors in so far as he comes from Naya and a quintessentially multicolor plane in the first place. It's nice to see colorshifting that doesn't involve becoming black for once.

    1. Yeah, I remember getting annoyed at how many two-card Legends were "normal version"->"Phyrexianised/zombified/otherwise corrupted version", years ago; and in recent years the trend continued with Glissa, Ashling, Sygg, Mikaeus, and two - wait, three? - planeswalkers have done that too. Non-blackening character development includes... what, Kamahl? Planar Chaos doesn't count... all the returning Rav legends kept their colours... There's Wort and Rhys, I guess, who moved away from black when Ashling and Sygg blackened. Ah, Venser: monoblue as mortal, white-blue as planeswalker.

      But, wow, excluding Planar Chaos and the Shadowmoor colourshifts, I think Kamahl, Venser and Ajani are the only characters to have made colour transitions that aren't becoming black.

    2. To be fair, the "evil version of known character" is a famous and easy story trope to apply. Less so the "scholarly version" or "nature-loving version".