Friday, July 28, 2017

Tea and Mana, A Magic The Gathering Tea Fusion, Part Five: Shards!

And thus this little saga of Magic The Gathering and Tea pairings comes to an end, with the Shards! Sadly the old way of describing the three color combination of a primary color and its two allies using the Primeval Dragons from Invasion is no longer (and to be honest, never was) popular. Though I am still pushing for it and the use of the Plana Chaos Dragons for the Wedges, because why not? For this pairing, I got fancy and used altered versions of the Obelisks for each of the shards, though sadly although I really like some of these color combinations, the flavor for each of the shards is not a favorite, this happens when you are deep into the Vorthos. Also these will be Shards era, not dealing with the Conflux's chaos.

Green-White-Blue: Bant

Ah, Bant, beautiful and peaceful, with knights and angels ruling its rolling hills and idyllic blue skies. Huge spire having castles reach towards the heavens, the sun seems to always be in the sky, and community is the highest order in this rigid yet very corruption free caste system. I don't like Bant, to me, it is incredibly beautiful but immensely boring, a place I would like to visit but would feel way too paranoid about the inevitable incoming punishment of breaking their rigid rules. For this shard's tea I went with Snow Flower Biluochun, a Yunnan White Tea that is immensely picky with how it's brewed, but if you follow the rules you get a truly beautiful and graceful tea, the kind of thing you can imagine an armored angel sipping while surveying the land from atop a very tall castle tower.

White-Blue-Black: Esper

Oh man, Esper is fun but super weird!! They looked at the natural world around them and thought 'you know what would be better? Covering everything in spirally metal and mana!' and thus they did. They want to infuse every living creature on the plane with etherium, a powerful aether infused metal with amazing properties, of course, this includes themselves, and their robotic style bodies are bizarre, definitely one of my favorite takes on metal infused bodies (sorry Mirrodin) Everything on Esper is controlled and organized, the Planeswalker's Guide describes it as "a spectacle of sophisticated beauty" and it is not wrong, but for those who need chaos of red and the natural majesty of green, you are going to be very disappointed. So what do you use for a tea representing a place where everything is manufactured, well I decided to be cheeky, scented Milk Oolong. You take a beautiful Jin Xuan and alter it using science...it was either that or some space age powdered tea, and well I actually like Esper so Milk Oolong it is!

Blue-Black-Red: Grixis

My shard! This is my color alignment so you would think this would be my favorite shard, but it is not, I hates it. It is so boring! Fields of rotting flesh and a hellscape of madness, clouds of foul stench, perpetual darkness, cursed fleshbags, and scheming liches...yes it is a goth metal album made flesh. I just think there is so much more you can do with the principals of Blue-Black-Red and the incredibly limited and one note take on it makes my soul hurt. Granted this is my problem with Alara in general, it is like each shard is built off a single keyword from each color and smashed into a fairly boring box. Though there is cool art, so I forgive it that at least. For this tea I went with a classic Ceylon black, because to me it tastes like blood and death, has caffeine out the wazoo so lots of power, and I am sure someone out there likes it.

Black-Red-Green: Jund

Oh hey, one of my commanders, Meren, is from Jund...she is a Necromancer with an undead dragon...and that is fun. Jund is kinda like a Conan themed barely surviving in the wilderness (usually scantily clothed, it is hot on Jund) while dragons, volcanoes, and goblins all try constantly to kill you. Not necessarily the best setting for a Magic plane (not that there is anything wrong with it) but I really want to play a survival game here, Ark, Jund Edition, would be freaking awesome. Jund makes for a great aesthetic but not necessarily the best story, if you catch my drift. For Jund I did a silly (again) I went for Dragonwell, because Jund's most defining aspect is its crazy dragons that want to eat you. I imagine the native Jundians tossing leaves in a bowl and drinking it grandpa style around a fire while a dragon swoops down and eats them all...then drinks the remaining tea.

Red-Green-White: Naya

Naya and Jund have a lot in common, a very adventure heavy and tribal in nature world with very large beasts that want to eat you, this time though instead of rugged volcanoes we get thick jungles and gargantuan Kaiju type monsters. Naya fascinates me, another world where I want to play a survival type game or go on an adventure on, but I am a sucker for cat people, overgrown jungle ruins, and giant stompy monsters. For Naya I decided Matcha, specifically drank Koicha, most likely with part of your nomadic tribe as part of some post-hunt ceremony to celebrate and strengthen community bonds. Tastes like bitter defeat, sweet victory, and vivid jungles all at once!!

Part one
Part two
Part three
Part four

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