My issues with green

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Today is Friday, and I’m actually on vacation. I’m going to a gaming convention all weekend. I’ve written a couple of posts to be published during the weekend, so as long as WordPress doesn’t screw me, there will be updates as usual. This post has much less substance, however, since – again – it’s Friday. 

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Doesn’t Innistrad have just the best basics?

Out of all the colours of Magic, the one I find most difficult to understand is green. I don’t hate green, and I don’t mind playing green from a mechanics perspective. My issue with the colour comes from a flavour perspective – green is a god damned hypocrite, and I’ll explain why in this post.

Green, according to colour pie guru and Magic head designer Mark Rosewater, is in part defined by its hatred of artifacts. This is explained in the article “It’s Not Easy Being Green“. Granted, this article is over twelve years old, but it doesn’t seem that this attitude has changed. Naturalize, recently printed in both Khans of Tarkir and Magic 2015, was first printed in Onslaught in 2002 – as essentially a colour-shifted Disenchant. Artifact destruction didn’t belong in white, apparently, it belonged in green, for green is the colour of nature and thus hates everything artificial.

I guess it’s a matter of philosophy, but let’s stop and for a moment consider the word “artificial”. According to Wiktionary, “artificial” means “man-made”, and it could also mean “unnatural”, for some reason. I’d argue that since human beings are very much a part of nature, we are very natural, and things we construct should also be considered natural, so long as they don’t break any natural laws. Man, an animal like all animals, makes tools. It’s what we’ve done since the dawn of humans as a species. If a human picks up a stick and uses it to kill an animal, is it using a natural tool? If the same human sharpens one of the points of the stick and uses it as a spear, is it still natural? The obvious answer to both questions is “yes”. Humans have always abided by the laws of nature, and so does our tools, from a wooden throwing spear, to a jet engine, they are all constructed from natural materials abiding physical laws.

The opposite of natural ought to be supernatural, as in “something not abiding natural laws”. For example, magic doesn’t really abide natural laws. Green doesn’t have any issues with using magic to further their mana development, grow their creatures beyond any naturally allowed sizes, or blowing up stuff that they don’t understand philosophically.

Green should counter spells and be against magic, not poor artifacts.

I should also note that I have, on several occasions, e-mailed Mark Rosewater asking about this hypocrisy, I’ve asked the question on his blog on at least two occasions, but he refuses to answer me. This makes me right by walk-over, Mr. Rosewater.

Q.E.D.

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2 Comments

  1. Grim Lavamancer

     /  October 31, 2014

    Did you read the Mr. Rosewaters article on Abzan from the colour’s perspectives? In the article White, Green and Black talk to each other about their differences and such. Black had a lot of criticism towards green that sounds a lot like what you wrote, calling green out sevral times on it’s hypocrisy. I personally agree with both you and Black, and while I often play R/G decks in the game, Green is the colour which philosophies I find it hardest to relate to.

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