MTG and World Cultures

As almost EVERYONE knows, lots of MTG sets are based of certain cultures from history and the world. for example...

Amonkhet: Ancient Egypt

Lorwyn/Shadowmoor: Celtic culture in general

Kamigawa: Japan and Shintoism

Tarkir: A mix of cultures of Central and East Asia (I could go on about this one)

Theros: Classical Rome and Greece

Arabian Nights: Take a wild guess.

Portal Three Kingdoms: Imperial China

Kaladesh: Steampunk India??? (I find the way they did the whole India thing underwhelming at best)

And soon Ixalan, which is Aztec/Mayan/Inca cultures from my guess. My problem with some of them (pretty much Kaladesh) is that the source material is kinda thrown in their for reference than anything. But I would like to know the opinion of other Cardsmithers than myself!

See ya!


  • You forgot one: Innistrad being based on European horror stories.
  • edited July 2017
    Alara: Cluster of whatever it is.

    Phyrexia: Ridley Scott's Alien franchise.

    Zendikar: James Cameron's Avatar mixed with H.P. Lovecraft's eldritch horrors.
  • edited July 2017
    @Latinas, yeah, Kaladesh is a weird one. I caught some Greek themes thrown in, too.
    EDIT: More modern greek, not ancient greek. Just to clarify XD
  • Ravnica: Medieval European cityscape?

    Dominaria: ???

    Shandalar: ???

  • So here's the current list...
    Dominaria: A random Dungeons and Dragons world.
    Shandalar: Indiana Jones
    Ixalan: Aztecs meet Pirates of the Caribbean, Indiana Jones, and Jurassic Park. And you call Kaladesh weird!
    Kaladesh: Aether Indian Steampunk stuff. Actually, I see your point.
    Alara: No comment.
    Phyrexia: Alien franchise.
    Zendikar: Dungeons and Dragons.
    Innistrad: Gothic Horror.
    Arabian Nights: Uh... I have noooo idea.
    Tarkir: Well, let's say a little bit of every single Asian culture.
    Kamagawa: Japan and Shintoism.
    Amonkhet: Egypt.
    Portal Three Kingdoms: Imperial China
    Theros: Greek mythology.
    Lorwynn/Shwdowmoor: Again, I will have to say Dungeons and Dragons. Since they two games are owned by Wizards ideas are often exchanged. What else could explain stories heavily based on dinos published by both within the span of two months. Anyway, I believe Lorwynn and Shadowmoor were inspired by the Feywild and Shadowfell of D&D.
    Mirrodin: No clue.
    Ravnica: I think the design process of this set went... "Let's make a city world. I like that idea. Now, what do cities have? Guilds. Okay... so we have a craft based set. No we have them try to kill one another cause we don't allow peace on our worlds. Great idea!
    Rath: Anybody?

    Actually I think Zendikar was based on D&D too. Since it literally has traps and quests. I was nearly expecting dungeons!

    I thought the adding of some Indian culture made Kaladesh more believable. Instead of just a black and white world. But, to be honest, it would have been sooooo much better if they abandoned that idea and went with hard core steampunk.

  • edited July 2017
    The plane of Kaladesh is fine, but the storyline is trash.
  • @Latinas , it's a bit of a mistake to call Kaladesh the "Indian block". Rather, it's the "steampunk block", with a little bit of Indian art design for aesthetics. It is quite explicitly not a block that was designed to reflect an ancient culture, like Amonkhet, Kamigawa, or Theros. Wizards had their reasons for doing it this way, but it's reflected in the mechanics: there's nothing remotely Indian in the actual card design. It's all artifacts, all the time.
  • @sanjaya666 Kaladesh and storyline are antonyms

  • @Tigersol I think Rath is just D&D in all honesty
  • @sanjaya666
    Yes, we have to admit, the for Kaladesh was plane depressing. And the entire reason behind this is they didn't add laser guns. I mean, seriously, the coolest battle in the entire thing was with Kari Zev, and she was using a rope!!!!! Seriously? And what was with Tezzeret literally being insta-killed by Liliana? If he had a laser gun in his arm (which would seriously be the coolest thing ever) he could have incinerated the Gatewatch. Also, imagine a story full of Star Wars style pew pew pewing!!! How great would that be!?
  • @Latinas
    Can you give me more reason for your claim? I don't know too much about the D&D lore, so if you gave me the reason it would be great.
  • @Tigersol I don't think I've ever heard an idea better than that.
  • @Tigersol , you're right. That was the greatest missed opportunity since Mishra wasn't in Scars block.
  • @Platypusburger
    I'm probably wrong, but didn't Mishra die?
  • @Tigersol , yeah he did. But if he was gonna pop up again anywhere, it would have been in the block that brought back Phyrexians.
  • I think scars of mirrodin was my favorite for story. Maybe because it is an original culture not really based on any real world ones it worked more for me?? I know many people didn't like wotc destroying one of their most interesting planes but new phyrexia is really interesting too so...

    I haven't cared much for any of the sets storylines from origins on...Tarkir was the last one that seemed interesting to me.
  • @saveria201
    I liked the Scars of Mirrodin story too. And I liked how the good guys lost. It is very rare in a MTG story. Also, I do agree. The recent story has been awful. But I will argue Hour of Devastation has been decent. I mean, the entire story is literally Nicol Bolas wrecking the entire Gatewatch. In a way, I feel like Wizards is apologizing to us for creating the failed MTG Avengers by having one of the games most iconic villains kill them all.
  • @Tigersol , don't get your hopes up. The Gatewatch isn't all going to die. In fact, probably none of them will, except possibly Gideon.
  • edited July 2017
    Has nobody thought of the idea that they die, then appear on the other side of the gate. After all, the gate to the dead is opened!
  • @modnation675
    No, they would just be consumed by the curse of wandering. The story has already stated that that has happened to most of the citizens.

    Umm... Jace's mind explodes, Gideon gets slowly impaled by Bolas's claw, Nissa gets ripped apart by plants, Chandra gets crushed by Bolas's hand, and Liliana is just generally wrecked. And, read the defeat cycle... destroy... exile... counter... hehehe. And to further prove my point Vraska, not the Gatewatch, is going to be included in Ixalan. I know WOTC said that they wound use the Gatewatch less, but still, I can hope.
  • edited July 2017
    I'll be honest, I'd love to see them use a new cast of planeswalkers instead.

    Maybe then I'll want to play planeswalkers in a deck! XD
  • @tigersol
    I still doubt that WotC would kill off four of the community's favourite characters. Also, I'm pretty sure they announced Ajani as a part of Ixalan. I'm sure that the Gatewatch and all of its members will live on, but I'm sure they'll use them significantly less than they have.
  • Yeah, of course because people have been complaining for years! XD
  • @Modnation675
    It wasn't the characters that was the problem, it was their overuse. The members will probably live on, but they won't be in as many sets.
  • To some it was that a few felt generic in the use of them. Not purely from a technical standpoint but a thematic one as well.
  • That's probably a side-effect of how overused they were.
  • edited July 2017
    Or that they never got different renditions that show them in alternate positions. As well as never seeing a break in art style to express a chaotic moment. After all, they haven't changed the way they portray them artistically.

    It would be cool to see some other art styles infused in future cards to show a tipping point. They could have some very unique twists on their abilities that don't break their boundaries.
  • @Tigersol , don't take the cards too literally. If you do, you have to wonder things like how a demon (Razaketh) is almost twice as strong as any of the gods. The Gatewatch loses, but that doesn't mean they die.

    Besides, Jace has been spoiled as being in Ixalan, so he obviously isn't going to die on Amonkhet.
  • @Platypusburger That's what kangaroo court is for!
This discussion has been closed.