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CardName: Rabiah Scale Cost: Type: Scale Pow/Tgh: / Rules Text: Rabiah Scale is how likely Maro thinks they are to return to a plane in a Standard-legal set. Flavour Text: Set/Rarity: Conversation None

Rabiah Scale
 
Scale
Rabiah Scale is how likely Maro thinks they are to return to a plane in a Standard-legal set.
Updated on 24 Apr 2017 by amuseum

History: [-]

2016-12-01 13:31:10: amuseum created and commented on the card Rabiah Scale

Rabiah Scale per Mark Rosewater.

1 – Ravnica, Innistrad

2 – Zendikar

3 – Kaladesh, Theros

4 – Alara, Dominaria, Tarkir, Vryn

5 – Fiora, New Phyrexia (Mirrodin)

6 – Regatha

7 – Lorwyn/Shadowmoor, Shandalar

8 – Kamigawa, Segovia

9 – Mercadia, Rath, Serra’s Realm, Ulgrotha

10 – Rabiah

Oh cool, that is interesting.

Most of these make sense to me. A few... I would have made slightly different choices.

1-4: All make sense. Though, I'm not sure what you do with Zendikar 'Adventurer's World' now that everything's all adventured out and the Eldrazi have moved away. But I presume the pressure to return has more to do with the 'lands matters' theme than any actual story-telling purposes.

5: Sounds right. I'm sure they'll both be revisited at some point, but it's not pressing. It's unlikely that Fiora will ever get fully fleshed out, with an interesting story and whatnot. [Edit: Oh, it looks like Fiora was featured in the IDW Magic: the Gathering comic books. I guess that counts for something?]

6: I get why they'd want to explore Vryn and aren't as interested as exploring Regatha. But splitting the difference between the two seems unnecessary. Probably has something to do with internal conversations inside the pit. Though, I got to admit, I never read the books, so maybe there's things I'm missing in there.

7: Really? Lorwyn/Shadowmoor is rated down with the plane that's only really known for being a bland world for a couple video games, and a place that hosts a failed experiment on slivers? Untap was a questionable mechanic in Shadowmoor, but that's a minor piece of what was going on. And while the problems of complexity in L/S lead to NWO design, that doesn't seem like it's a fault of the plane. I would have thought the flavor of the world would have tested high enough to warrant a return. Especially considering that people never stop liking tribal. They only non-trivial problem I can see with this world is that going back there would mean at least some tribal in the same 9 tribes, and maybe that's boring? Or Wizards doesn't want to support Goblins yet again? I just don't get this one.

8: I like Kamigawa, but I'm sure it suffers from "The power level is bad, so the plane must be bad" philosophy among some players. So maybe this is fair. I do know, however, that the more tribal spirits and arcane you print, the more you support the other sets with spirits and arcane. So I personally would have bumped this up, but maybe only to 7. Segovia is just a gimmick. It belongs in 8's "It would be nice, but not expected."

9: Poor Ulgrotha--but it deserves to be here. Serra's Realm and Rath too, since those worlds were destroyed. If you wanted to revisit those planes, you'd either have to tell a story that happened far in the past, or you'd need to resurrect a plane for... what purpose? Just nostalgia? Better to just make a new world at that rate. Furthermore, since both these worlds featured stories tied to old Planeswalker archetypes, Wizards won't be too keen to resurrect the old stories. I'd appreciate it, but I got to admit it's a poor choice.

The only exception, in my mind, is Mercadia. It never felt fully explored, only really being touched on in one large set. And I think you could get away with saying that Mercadia is bigger than just the city and the surrounding region, and put it in the middle of something much larger. But if Wizards isn't interested, than I guess nothing is lost either.

10: This is shame. Rosewater's right; they can't return to this world, since too much of it ties to the real world. But I love the idea of plane that's made up of 1,001 mirror dimensions. If I was in charge of Wizards R&D, I'd probably bump Rabiah to 8, start asking people if we could keep Rabiah, but completely re-write everything (1,001 planes is a lot of ground to work with.) Then I'd rename this chart the Rath Scale.

First off, Kamigawa doesn't suffer from that problem. Market research has shown than even accounting for power level, the flavor of the world is one of the least popular they've done. Most of the audience didn't get it, since they focused too much on making it accurate Japanese.

In MaRo's view at least, Mercadia is defined as their first attempt at a city world, one that's strictly worse than Ravnica.

Shandalar also had the Onnake, which are plot relevant on and off.

Almost all of jmg's comments sound good to me, but I assume wizards have good reason for their choice.

I loved Lorwyn/Shadowmoor, but I think a lot of the mechanics were mediocrely received, so I guess that's why it's a poor choice? Rosewater has said several times that he'd LIKE to return a to plane with cool flavour that was poorly received, but he'd RATHER create a new plane on an equally interesting idea that doesn't already have negative baggage (since there's plenty if interesting ideas).

It's funny. I started playing just after mirrodin, which at the time made me feel like a newbie, but now feels quite a long time ago. So I don't really know the planes that weren't commonly used after that. And in fact, dominaria, which was SO central for so long, has now slipped down the planes I think of as newfangled, the ones I'm most familiar with.

On Mercadia: Yeah, that makes sense. I guess I just have a different attitude about keeping old planes that have a central good idea buried inside them. I think it's worthwhile to throw away everything except what worked, then refocus and make something out of that.

With Mercadia, I'd probably take a look at the spellshapers and see if I could branch out from there. Probably by saying that while most Mercadians believe their's is the only city in the plane, that the populace is fed that line from their government which is keen to exert monopolizing control on the vast trade network that extends into the far reaches of the plane (underground? can only get there by skyship? They did have a hanger for skyships for some unfathomable reason...) Maybe even spin some elements of 1984, or use it as a launching point for an invasion that paradigm shifts the entire city.

But I got to admit, I don't know if my plan would be wise. I'm not sure if the plot purists would pick up pitchforks, or if the people who think Mercadia is lame wouldn't change their opinions. I think it would be cool to flip a failed plane into something unexpected and exciting. But it certainly isn't safe, and there's pretty much no downside of the safe option which of "just make a new world, berk."

I think on MaRo's blog there was a comment about Regatha and Vrynn, and Vrynn is only higher due to Jace's fans.

Theros is the plane I see being harder to make an interesting revisit, returned Elspeth aside. Maybe that's just my lack of interest in Greek mythology though.

In the case of Lorwyn-Shadowmoor, MaRo has stated in the past that if there was a return to the plane, the setting would likely be exclusively the Shadowmoor phase. Several posts on Blogatog came from people who also didn't realize that British folklore is the block's flavor, and that probably doesn't help.

And yeah, the MaRo said that Kamigawa's successes were ninjas and samurai. He's said a Japanese-inspired world isn't off the table though, just that it would be a new plane. I'm relieved by that, since I'd hate to see a world of yokai turned into a anime-world or whatever they'd end up making.

Wasn't the whole point of original Lorwyn block that it and Shadowmoor fused? So if we went back, it would be some sort of Conflux deal.

The only thing that surprised me here was seeing New Phyrexia so far down the list.

As MaRo says, the Phyrexian shtick is that they invade other planes.

That's true.

If they return to Kamigawa, they could dial the clock forward a hundred years and have a story about a powerful samurai clan starting an expedition into the Kami spirit world or whatever. That would be interesting.

If they dialed it forward a thousand years, they could do some sort of 'Ghost in the Shell' style plot. Honestly, I find it unfortunate that there isn't a drive to just revisit everything at some point or other. Except maybe Ulgrotha. I love me some Homelands, but that one ain't gonna work.

I like to think of 7+ on the Rabiah scale as a list of planes I get to make custom sets for that won't be contradicted by canon.

We have seen these planes get nods in supplemental sets and I don't see that going away and that's actually about as much as I ask for when it comes to not forgetting planes of the past.

Ulgrotha is partly revisited in the form of Innistrad due to tribal theme involving werewolves, vampires, and angels.

Lorwyn is the most unique in that it's so mellow. Of course that doesn't gel well with angsty superheroes that have the calling to save the multiverse.

Dominaria is a 4. But it seems like WotC is doing their best to avoid bringing up that word again. Like it was some bad childhood best forgotten.

Eh, they didn't have to make Dominaria one of the ten Origins planes, but they chose to. I think we'll be back there in the next five years.

I think their problem is that revisiting Dominaria would involve approaching it in a way they simply don't do planes anymore.

Every Dominaria set focused on a small, separate portion of the plane (or in some cases on a time period so peculiar it was essentially a narrow subset of the plane). But ever since Mirrodin visiting a plane means visiting all of it, usually organized neatly into color-aligned regions. Doing that with a revisit to Dominaria is an exercise in breaking the base (not to mention the massive amount of baggage to take into account storywise).

I'd be intrigued to see how they get away with it, but honestly, as someone who never played that period of magic (and who thinks Dominaria overall is bland as can be anyway), I can't fault them for actively treating it like "some bad childhood best forgotten."

I feel like that's a terrible restriction that they're self-imposing. Dominaria has always been a multi-faceted world, so why not just pick some continent and revisit it alone?

I remember MaRo mentioning that Dominaria might be returned to as a post-apocalyptic plane after the events of Time spiral (I think? I don't really know the story). I personally don't feel strongly about Dominaria one way or the other. I guess since it's the original, I don't find it especially bland- Zendikar committed that crime in my book.

If Dominaria is used as a post-apocalyptic world though, I think that could still be interesting. Too many planes feel so narrow when it comes to their actual depictions. I enjoyed Tarkir since the factions had noticeably different biomes that lent well to Tarkir feeling like more of a world than Theros or Innistrad. The varying regions of Dominaria would be an excellent way to actually depict a world where its regions actually feel unique while all being tied together in the post-apocalyptic setting.

Isn't there another side (continent I'm guessing) on Innistrad that was never explored? I

Getting really fed up with Wotc doing "Here's a lovely world. boom can't go there ever again now, we wrecked it."

Even worse when it's "here's a lovely world, boom we wrecked it, oh look we're back and are going to pretend that never happened" as MaRo is so clear is going to happen with Zendikar and probably Innistrad. I don't expect them to go back to time spiral Dominaria again, either.

Innistrad is barely a world though; it's "Hey, classic B-movie horron!" followed by "Hey! Classic Lovecraft horror!" followed by... I 'unno, 'the ring' maybe?

I don't think they're literally going to pretend that never happened. I think they're going to use some kind of magic to accelerate the rebirth of life on Zendikar so they can get back to adventure world. (Which, okay, is likely to be more like A Wizard Did It than Magic A Is Magic A, but I could be wrong.)

Innistrad wasn't exactly wrecked, was it? I don't think Emrakul devastated whole continents, just a few towns.

And for Innistrad, that's really just business as usual (cf. Avabruck's destruction and the zombie invasion of Thraben which was part the first Innistrad block's storyline)

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