Ask Wizards— Dragons of Tumblr

Posted in Arcana on March 16, 2015

By Mike McArtor

Mike first played with Ice Age and became the copy editor for in December 2011. Before DailyMTG, he was an editor on D&D's Dragon magazine for four years.

Ask Wizards is a monthly feature that gives you a chance to ask us questions and have them answered. If you'd like to submit a question, please email it to We aren't able to answer every question we receive, but if we can, it might show up in the coming months!

This month, we have several related questions answered across three Tumblr accounts—those of Head Designer Mark Rosewater, Rules Manager Matt Tabak, and Creative Designer Doug Beyer. You can also find Tumblr accounts for Experience Designer Gavin Verhey and a general-purpose one for Magic: The Gathering run by our community managers.

Let's start with a few questions for Mark about Tarkir's…um…Dragons. But also Tarkir's ex-khans!

tharama-malanar asked: Can we see a set focused on an iconic [creature type], with the same scale as dragons in DTK? Avacyn didn't feel nowhere near as heavy as Dragons.

Mark: We make exceptions with Dragons that we don't with any other creature type. It's good to be king.

gonzoron asked: With no common Dragons, what do you do to make DTK's Dragon theme avoid the problems of Kamigawa's legend theme?

Mark: There are both many common cards that interact with Dragons and enough Dragons at uncommon to ensure us an as-fan to make sure Dragons dip into most Limited games.

mrspockinator4242 asked: Why is it that all of the old khans in the Dragons timeline have their clan mechanic, while the khans in the Khans time line didn't?

Mark: The khans in Khans were wedges, which helped guide their design. The khans in Dragons were four mono-colors and one two-color Planeswalker. Connecting them was trickier, so the design team used the faction mechanics. Had Dragons gone first, the Khans team might have followed suit.

And since Mark brought up Narset (without naming her), let's have a question about Narset for Doug:

swordsagainstdeath asked: Hi Doug!! Reading the new Uncharted Realms, I felt an enormous amount of sympathy for Narset, specifically with reference to the beginning sequence with her as a kid. The restlessness, the sensory overload, the self-distraction with counting and observation—these, to me, heavily code Narset as being autistic. I am autistic myself and it would mean the absolute world to me to know that a character in a game I care deeply about is like me, and many other folks. Is this something you can confirm?

Doug: That was the intent, yes. The most important part of Narset's character is her amazing mind, which is central to her potential as a powerful Planeswalker and as a pursuer of knowledge — but it happens that she processes information and input differently than a lot of other people. Tarkir denizens might not have a term for the autism spectrum or being neurodivergent or neuro-atypical, but those terms would correctly describe her. In this timeline she is not khan of the Jeskai, but no matter the circumstances, she hasn't let go of her commitment to seeking her own path to wisdom and truth. Kudos to creative team member Kimberly Kreines for exploring this aspect of Narset in her story "The Great Teacher's Student."

And while we're on the subject of Narset, let's have Matt talk a bit about her as well:

mognoy asked: If a spell exiles itself as part of its resolution (i.e. Temporal Trespass), can I still make it rebound with Narset's -2?

Matt: No. Rebound replaces the spell being put into the graveyard as it resolves. If that never happens, rebound doesn't have the chance to apply. The spell will just be exiled.

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