Selecting Tenth Edition Week 10

Posted in Feature on August 16, 2006

By Staff

Welcome to the final week of voting! This week you'll be getting results from the previous three votes as well as making your final round of choices, including the decision the Brand Managers don't want you to get!

Last week's card vs. card vote let you choose which benefit you'd like with your colorless mana acceleration. When the vote was complete "Draw a card" won out, and starting next year we'll be finding out if certain R&D members were right in calling Mind Stone "too good".

Mind Stone wins!
Mind Stone 6624 62.6%
Guardian Idol 3957 37.4%
Totals 10581 100%

This week, a powerful white staple goes up against one of the most popular artifact creatures of all time.

>> Click to Show

Comments from Matt Place

We go into this "final" week with Aaron at five wins to my four. I am not sure if it was mentioned, but if we end in a tie we will have a bonus round, Mox Jet against Mox Sapphire. The previous sentence is a joke... or is it? (It is.) But just in case, you should recruit everyone you know and vote for my card this week to tie it up!

Even though I am currently losing this competition, I am pretty happy with how close it is. As I mentioned in the first week, I was a little intimidated when I found out I would be facing Aaron in multiple debates. I was also a little hurt to read that he didn't even know who I was, after three years of getting him his handy wipes! Well if I am able to tie him at 5 and 5 I'm sure he will learn my name and stop asking me to go to the front desk to get a visitor's pass. Wish me luck!

This week Aaron and I are debating Platinum Angel versus Worship.

Platinum Angel's Rules Text - You can't lose the game and your opponents can't win the game.

Worship's Rules Text - If you control a creature, damage that would reduce your life total to less than 1 reduces it to 1 instead.

At first it may look like these cards both have the same ability, but Worship doesn't come close to being as good. Platinum Angel protects you from everything, while Worship can't stop a simple card like Ebony Charm. Any type of life loss you or your opponent plays can kill you when you have Worship.

The list of situations where you lose the game with Worship and not with Platinum Angel is extensive. You can't get decked with the Angel, and your opponent can't beat you with cards like Battle of Wits. Platinum Angel will protect you from mana burn, and protects from other random things like your Lich being disenchanted. Worship just stops damage, and only does that when you have a creature in play.

Platinum Angel also looks great to a new player. Imagine yourself opening one of your first packs back when you were first starting to play Magic. I was excited just to open an Air Elemental! I'm sure my friends and I would have flipped out if we had seen something with as much power as the Platinum Angel.

Worship is a nice card that has seen some constructed play in its day, but never won as many high level tournaments as Platinum Angel, along with her friends Leonin Abunas and Tooth and Nail. In my opinion Platinum Angel is the clear pick in this final week of voting.

Comments from Aaron Forsythe

Worship embodies white like few other cards. Part stall tactic, part combo piece, part backbreaker, Worship has been the ace up many a white mage's sleeve for the past several years. Black and red—white's two biggest enemies—can't get rid of it, and with the guaranteed return of Paladin en-Vec, white has a creature to go along with Worship that is almost as impossible for those two colors to deal with.

Platinum Angel breaks and dies. Worship sits there taunting your opponents. Oh, and did I mention Troll Ascetic is coming back, too? I heard he's good with Worship as well…

Artist Sketches

For last week's sketch vote it was Chippy and Vance Kovacs, competing for the right to get their sketch of Vampire Bats into Tenth Edition. The readers voted, and it was "Sketch B" by Chippy that came out on top.

OUT: Sketch A (Vance Kovacs)

IN: Sketch B (Chippy)
Sketch B (Chippy) 7105 67.1%
Sketch A (Vance Kovacs) 3476 32.9%
Totals 10581 100%

For the final sketch vote, you'll be picking between Dave Dorman and the Zoltan and Gabor team. The card is Incinerate, a burn spell so powerful that many had assumed we'd never bring it back.

>> Click to Show

Click each image for a larger version.

Sketch A

Sketch B

Flavor Text

Last' week's flavor text vote featured real-world quotes for Air Elemental, with Joseph Conrad beating out Emily Dickinson.

Choice A 5762 54.5%
Choice B 4819 45.5%
Totals 10581 100%

The East Wind, an interloper in the dominions of Westerly Weather, is an impassive-faced tyrant with a sharp poniard held behind his back for a treacherous stab.
—Joseph Conrad, The Mirror of the Sea

For the final week of flavor text voting, we turn you back over to Doug Beyer and Matt Cavotta.

Doug: This third and final flavor vote comes full circle for Selecting Tenth Edition. Way back in the first week, you selected Hurricane over Earthquake. Now Hurricane gets brand new flavor text—and you get to choose what it is. Reprinted flavor and real-world quotes aside, all-new flavor text is the main event, the opportunity to bring new life to a classic card. So who are the authors? Well, us—Matt and I wrote these pieces of flavor text from scratch for the stormy sky-sweeper.

Like all selected flavor text, the winner will still have to run through editing before its text is final. Don't be surprised if you see slight changes to the winning piece when you see Hurricane poking out of the crinkly wrapper of a Tenth booster.

Oh, and because Gleemax told us to, today each of us argues for the other's flavor text submission. Hey, the Big Brain makes all the decisions around here—except, of course, this one's up to you. On with the choices!


“Don't envy the grandeur of drakes. Their impression of grace fades when the first gust sends them crashing into one another.”
—Molimo, maro-sorcerer

This piece does two things for me. One, it reiterates the old adage, "Don't mess with Mother Nature." Be you big, small, lowly, or a grand prince of the skies, Nature's wrath will take you down. Two, it delivers this message with a playful juxtaposition of the sleek and graceful drake, the grand prince of the skies, before and after the Hurricane. Though it is not written in humorous style, the image it weaves in my head is quite Monty Python:

A pair of long, slender drakes lazily swirl and weave in and out of cloudforms, their scales reflecting both the blue of the sky and the gleam of the sun. You can see the confidence in their fluid motion and their half-sleeping eyes. (I get this image from the carefully chosen words in the flavor text, "grandeur," "impression," and "grace.") Then, comically, this scene of hauteur is quickly scuttled by the sight of a quick gust of wind slapping the two "Princes" against each other like Curly and Moe. From grace to gross. I think that's a real ticker - but without delivering the line like a cornball punslinger. This would suck:

"Drakes in the sun are graceful aeronauts. Drakes in the wind are in the air-in-knots." Nyuk nyuk nyuk.

Vote for the eloquent, yet comically suggestive words of Molimo, maro-sorcerer (AKA Doug Beyer).


Flavor text is an omniscient snapshot, a zoomed-in stolen moment from some plane in Magic's multiverse. My favorite “flavor text game” is to wonder, "What's going on at the time the words were said or written?" Why was the snapshot taken, and what's happening—or about to happen—just out-of-frame, or in the next eyeblink? That's why I like this piece:

“As wind whips jagged shards
Of victims torn asunder,
The winged join in weather's wicked twist.”

—The Dark Musings of Flandarj, excerpt

This instantly makes me wonder who Flandarj is, what made him or her compose graphic poetry about severe weather, and what the other “dark musings” might reveal. This flavor text is a loose page ripped from a desperate life, a feeling reinforced by the language: “jagged shards,” “victims torn asunder,” and the stabbing alliteration of “w” sounds revisited in the last line. Whatever caused Flandarj to scribble these lines, they lend Hurricane a new depth and a pleasant sense of foreboding. Vote for the musings of Flandarj (AKA Matt Cavotta)!

You Be The Brand Manager

And, for your final vote, we come to the Brand Manager decision. One of the many decisions for Brand when it comes to new sets is the expansion symbol. For Tenth Edition, a special choice comes up. For two core sets (Fifth Edition and Sixth Edition) Brand went with roman numerals for the core set's symbol. Since then, Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth have all used just the plain number for the symbol. For Tenth, Brand wants to return to roman numerals, using "X" as the symbol.

But, this is Selecting Tenth Edition, so the choice isn't just theirs. This week, you'll get to choose your own favorite, be it "X" or "10" for the set's expansion symbol. But, in this case, Brand wants "X" so bad that you'll need a larger than normal majority to overrule them. Left to them, "X" would be the winner, so we turn it over to you and see what happens. If at least 75% percent of the readers vote that they'd prefer "10" over "X", you'll overrule Brand and the symbol will be "10". Despite how much they want "X", if that many people vote for "10" they're willing to listen to the masses.

So what will it be? Is "X" too cool to pass up? Would it win even without the super majority requirement? Or maybe "10" is the way to go? Find out next week in a final article that goes over this week's votes and wraps up this summer spent selecting Tenth Edition!

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