Welcome to the first summer edition of Mythic Consultations, our planeswalker advice column. You might notice that we’ve switched up our distinguished panel of ‘walkers this time around. Chandra Nalaar finished her community service and has stopped answering our calls. Jace the Mind Sculptor, on the other hand, has been banned from our offices after the last Mythic Consultation afterparty. That’s the one that almost destroyed the building and left several of our female employees threatening harassment suits. We are still finding Noggles prowling the ductwork.
But enough of that. This Consultation is a special one, as (most of) the questions came directly from you, our devoted followers. If you would like the planeswalkers to answer a question for you, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Allow me to introduce our newly-refreshed panel:
Ajani Goldmane comes to us as a voice of wisdom and experience. He has long since set aside the wildness of his youth, and has become an elder statesman of sorts, offering many words of valuable guidance to any who might ask, and even some who don’t.
Everyone knows that guy. The guy who encourages everyone to reach their true potential by showing off his own. The guy who knows everyone loves a winner, and that he never loses. The guy all women want, and the guy all men want to be. Gideon Jura is that guy.
Sorin Markov is an ancient and world-weary vampire. Eternal life and his many struggles with adversity over the millenia have given him an…interesting outlook on the multiverse and its inhabitants.
Sarkhan the Mad has claimed sovereignty over the men’s room. His appearance here today is one of the terms of our free-trade agreement with his fledgling nation. The women who work here were unwilling to negotiate a similar deal with us.
Do you planeswalkers listen to the Mana Pool? And if you do, who is your favorite host? – Austin, Utah
Ajani – I think that not enough people today take the time to listen to the Mana Pool, what with all the hustle and bustle of our crazy modern lives. There’s a lot to be learned from meditating on that mystical focus of magical energies anchored deep within our beings. I suppose my preferred “hosts” would be the bright gleaming sun and the tranquil open plains, but of course all things in nature and beyond are equally important to the whole.
Gideon – I don’t think that’s what he’s talking about, bro. I mean, I don’t know what he’s talking about either, but I’m pretty sure that’s not it. Sounds like some kind of dorky nerd convention or something. Total sausage-fest. Some of those costume chicks are pretty hot though, you know what I’m saying? Aw yeah.
Sorin – Yeah, I did back before a lot of people knew about them. It was kinda reassuring to listen to a bunch of guys with even less of a social life than me. I mean, they would just sit around and talk about some cards all day, how sad is that? But now that they’ve gone mainstream it’s just…it’s just not the same anymore.
Sarkhan – Ah ha! So other people CAN hear them! You shall never be MY moral compass, Green Man!
What’s the most played track on your iPod? – Myke, Hawaii
Ajani – I think that once you get my age, time becomes a precious thing. And you will realize that time did not suddenly become a scarce commodity. It always was, you just didn’t notice. And you will realize too that you should have filled your time with important works and loved ones rather than frittering it away sitting alone in your room listening to music. Besides, there hasn’t been any good music recorded on this plane since Count Basie was leading his Orchestra.
Gideon – Yeah, I like to listen to music while I’m working out. It helps me get into the zone. It don’t even matter what it is, so long as it’s LOUD and HARD and AWESOME enough to get me TOTALLY PUMPED. I got a playlist full of thrash metal, heavy metal, speed metal, and even a little Euro-trance for the cooldown. And just look at how cut I am! Why do you think this armor’s muscle shaped? I’ll give you a hint – it didn’t come that way!
Sarkhan – Music truly is the best tool for calming the body and relaxing the spirit. Its graceful structure and lilting resonance can soothe even the most unquiet mind. Merzbow has been my favored muse of late. I highly recommend Minus Zero, especially deep in the night when all is still and silent.
I’m having some trouble with my local EDH environment. There’s a guy who’s stuck in ultracompetitive mode and can’t shift out of it. So I’ve decided the best way to save the metagame is to get rid of him somehow. What is your advice for getting him out here and, if your method involves killing him, what should I do with the body? – Completely out of options curse you Jhoira I’ll set you on fire forever
Ajani – Ah, the Elder Dragon Highlander sparring format. First set forth by the great Arcades Sabboth in the Time of Legends, this ancient form of ritualized combat builds on the idea that restriction breeds creativity. It is one of the most respected tests of a planeswalker’s imagination and a demonstration of the true depths of his (or her of course) knowledge of the multiverse. The ability to craft a strategy around a single storied champion that still has the resilience to persevere in his absence is a remarkable proof of both wisdom and intelligence. You must first cultivate those qualities within yourself before you can have any chance of defeating such a wily foe.
Gideon – Listen bro, if this dude won’t act right, you gotta step to him. Next time pulls that bull on you, you flip the table, look him straight in the eye and be all like “What? You wanna take this outside, bro?” and see what he does. Nine times out of ten he’s gonna back right down, because he knows you’re the alpha dog in this pack, and he can’t afford the tickets to THIS gun show! Yeah! You like that? Huh? Huh? Thought so. Punk.
Sorin – This “respected” art form has actually been circling the drain for a long time in my opinion. It used to be that you could easily find others who took the “art” aspect of the Elder Dragon rules seriously and crafted strategies both elegant and entertaining. But now people like your friend here are ruining it for everybody. They just want to win, win, win and not even bother respecting Sabboth’s original intent or caring about how miserable they make everyone else feel. People like him make me wonder if it’s even worth having friends. I say show him exactly how it feels – it’s time to take your revenge.
Sarkhan – Vodalian War Machine. Stonybrook Schoolmaster. Intruder Alarm. Perhaps being crushed under the coral chariot of the Lord of Atlantis will teach him to think twice before troubling you again…
Given that you have traveled to other planes of existence, how does that affect your conception of heaven and hell? – Billy Blake, London
Ajani – I think you will find as you get older that no matter where in the multiverse your travels take you, you will always encounter those who have given their lives to the service of others and those who are more than happy to take for themselves no matter to whom it might cause harm. That is to say, there is no one place or another that harbors all the good or all the evil of these many worlds. But even if there were such places (and there very well may be, I certainly don’t claim to know everything about all the many facets of reality), I believe choices should be made based not on the promise of reward in some unseen realm or threat of punishment in a dark, inescapable pit, but rather… Oh dear. I seem to have forgotten the question. Would you read it again please?
Gideon – Dude, speaking of a dark, inescapable pit or whatever, I think we all just got a little taste of hell, you know what I’m saying? As for me, heaven is a place where the brewskies are everflowing, there’s always a game on, and the babes are always ready for some action. Yeah man, that’s what I’m talking about. That’s what’s up!
Sorin – Trust me, heaven is full of nothing but a bunch of over-privileged, holier-than-thou sellouts. Totally overrated. Not that I’d even want to go anyway. And as your Sartre said, “Hell is other people”.
Sarkhan – Truthfully, there is no afterlife. When you die, you are not whisked away to some mystical far-off spiritual realm. You stay in the ground, burrowing ever deeper, until you are conscripted into the service of the mighty Mole King. Unless you get cremated, obviously.
Thanks again to our panel for their time and insight. Remember, if you think you can handle it, you can ask the planeswalkers for advice by sending your questions to email@example.com. You might just find your problems on display for all to see!