Shouting Over Innistrad.

Avacyn, the Angel of Goth, in mid emo-tantrum.

Avacyn, the Angel of Goth, in mid emo-tantrum.

I haven’t posted much about the Magic: The Gathering Club on campus in a while. The club has settled into a sort of even pace and membership. The students dedicated to the game keep coming by, and we are pretty much rid of the Randos and Hangers on that had become a plague on the meetings. It’s pretty congenial…although we aren’t having tournaments right now. interest in that fizzled…in part due to my frustration with trying to wrangle tournaments with Randos and Hangers On abounding, and in part due to the students’ interest in low stakes casual play.

It’s not a bad thing at all. Being a more casual play driven system, it’s much more relaxing to attempt to run. I have to admit, I expected to be more invested in the current Magic Release, entitled Kaladesh. Instead…I find myself less interested in deck building based on it, and surprisingly, found myself more motivated by the setting of Innistrad, which initially turned me off.

Bringing me to part of today’s art. Since early editions of the game, I have been a fan of the Serra Angel Card, and Avacyn is basically the Big Deal of Angels in Innistrad. The flip card version that was released in “Shadows over Innistrad” is pretty excellent, and costs the same as the old Serra Angel to bring out….while being way, way more interesting. Sadly…I never got my hands on one of them, and haven’t gone to the internet to do so.

Avacyn, when you bring her out initially, is basically the best Serra Angel. Same cost, you can flash cast it, and the turn it comes out, all of your other creatures are indestructible. Terrific card. However…when one of your non-angel cards is sent to the graveyard from play, things get crazy. You flip the card over, and she gets significantly stronger. Every single creature and opponent in the game takes three damage, so that’s super rough. In addition, in terms of the art, she goes from a dignified angel to the hair dyed black at the tips, heavy eyeliner and pale makeup goth version above.

And she stays that way for the rest of the game. It’s not a phase…that’s just who she is now. See? That’s where the text came from.

The card is a solid metaphor for the mercurial changes that many of my students go through as well. They can change rapidly, suddenly…often in an unexpected fashion that can be alarming. I’ve been seeing a whole lot of that lately, and it’s just a fact of life, really. Still…this week has seen a large, large quantity of that sort of thing, and it’s only Tuesday. I try to be patient, but I know that I wind up rubbing my head much like Cap is in the artwork.

Thankfully, my students aren’t tantrum prone, like Avacyn.

Art wise, Avacyn and Cap are presented more like peers here. The reasons for that are more game driven. Again…I’ve been playing the game for a long time, and Serra Angels and I have had a long relationship of sorts, at least on the game table. Avacyn herself is the designated protector of the world of Innistrad, making her a sort of fantasy themed superhero in her own right. As a result, on paper it came out more reflecting the idea of two friends having a dispute, or maybe a bad moment in a more serious relationship.

Again…the angels in general have seemed to change as the game progressed, and this one actually changes into a gloomy Goth Angel of Revenge DURING the game that you are playing. It doesn’t get more mercurial than that.

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