What's the Philoshophies of Colorless Mana?

Lore forum

Posted on Oct. 9, 2018, 11:43 a.m. by BMHKain

Since I'm now working on an Eldrazi Tribal Deck, I actually am wondering this. Does this include stuff like Nihilism? If not, what are the traits have, their abilities, and are there any characters of exclusively this outside of the MTG Multiverse, if any? Finally, I dunno if I posted this in the right place, so move this if needed, please.

Boza says... #2

Well, no. That is the whole point of - they lack those things all the colors have like philosophy and defining characteristics. Probably why the only creatures are the mysterious Eldrazi.

October 9, 2018 12:06 p.m.

TMBRLZ says... #3

There's no WotC defined nature to colorless, but this MTG wiki does do a bit of background on it.

October 9, 2018 12:09 p.m.

BMHKain says... #4

Huh. It's no wonder Wastes was Oath of the Gatewatch exclusive... It would be better if it were in future sets, though I don't see that happening at all... Thanks though. Never thought Chara would have no confirmed Philosophy unfortunately...

Aside from this, It's Affable that my Eldrazi Tribal Deck is Too Casual, & almost no Competitive... Not sure if it's the site acting up with the meter though; Eldrazi were meant to have 7CMC as a standard...

October 9, 2018 12:20 p.m.

cdkime says... #5

The Eldrazi are neither good nor evil; neither lawful or chaotic. They have no principles or morality, and exist beside such traits. That's not to say they are nihilists--for one to be a nihilist, you have to reject conventional beliefs. The Eldrazi are incapable of having such beliefs in the first place, and you cannot reject that which you physically cannot hold.

They destroy not out of malice, but because that is what they do--they're incompatible with reality, and reality itself is warped in their presence.

Their in-game abilities reflect this. Annihilate and Ingest represent reality unraveling in their presence; Devoid shows that they exist outside of our understanding of the world.

This falls apart a little in the second Innistrad stories, where Emrakul has a bit of a speaking part, and is one of the reasons that block is maligned by lore-fans.

For examples outside of Magic's lore, you need not look further than the source material--H.P. Lovecraft's Elder Gods.


They are, of course, not the only colourless creatures--artifact creatures generally do not have wills of their own, or are firmly rooted in their mechanical creation (like Karn, Scion of Urza).

Ugin is a being of pure spirit, and seems to have transcended the normal understanding of how magic works. Likewise, Scion of Ugin, the only non-artifact, non-Eldrazi colourless creature, is an extension of Ugin's transcendence.

October 9, 2018 12:52 p.m.

cdkime says... #6

This thread was moved to a more appropriate forum (auto-generated comment)

October 9, 2018 12:53 p.m.

BMHKain says... #7

@cdkime: Hmm... The works of H.P. Lovecraft... I suppose no other character outside of this/Cthulhu Mythos exists with this kind of mind? I'm glad I have at least this to use for a Kozilek, the Great Distortion deck...

I'll work on Boros soon enough though... I just need to see what Colors the Devoid cards & Eldritch Moon stuff they're capable of...

October 9, 2018 12:59 p.m.

cdkime says... #8

Most literary characters or divine entities ascribe to some morality, and can thus be classified into a clear colour identity. There are probably spirits in various mythologies that exist outside of morality, and thus could be considered colourless, though I'm drawing a blank off the top of my head.

Simply put, a being completely devoid of any personality does not make for a particularly compelling character character, present an interesting foil to a religion's main god, or serve as the basis for a morality tale. Lovecraft's mastery as an author was his ability to evoke terror and dread not through an evil entity, but through his words and an overwhelming sense of inevitability.

If we're move to the real world, there are lots of creatures that would ascribe to a colourless worldview (or, more accurately, lack thereof)--plants, fungus, bacteria, viruses, and most animals do not have the ability to understand right and wrong, and thus can't really ascribe to any colour philosophy.

To draw a comparison to another Wizards of the Coast work, D&D has a 10th category of alignment--unaligned (not to be confused with true neutral), outside of the regular system.

October 9, 2018 1:28 p.m.

BMHKain says... #9

@cdkime: Actually, the Unaligned "Alignment" Could link me to some other characters of note outside of the Hasbro-Multiverse (Transformers, My Little Pony, Magic: the Gathering, D&D, etc.). Thanks, sir. I'll have to do my "further" research another time; I have Tina (E's Laf++ Fame)-Sized Fat to shred after the last things worth adding to my Boros Deck currently.

https://tappedout.net/mtg-forum/commander-deck-help/4-simple-favors-ill-handle-the-rest-gisela-cmdr-deck/#c3394954

I'm sure most are trash, but I'd like an opinion anyway...

For Colorless Mana of a source I'm familiar with: Semnia Eubaints of the 2D Doujin Fighter Wonderful World (SPOILER: It's actually pretty cruel...) 2 Years prior to the main story has amnesia, and was abducted to be of some kind of Experiment involving Demon Magic, but after the 2 yr. timeskip to such events, she is acting as a weapon for an unknown organization, not being able to have a will of her own, as well as being Sleepy, & Having Lethargic conditions. Hilariously enough, her lethargic mind, her desperation to go home (According to some of her Winquotes), the thought of a Beastkin defeated by her actually made her think the World would end soon, & the fact she can use the Abyss (Not the same as The Abyss from M:tG.), a mysterious Space that kills upon entry, Makes me question Semnia's Alignment for the most part. She's neither Good, or Evil, but based on what is described, she's not Unaligned either, despite fighting as a Weapon, & not an organism...

But I digress. I'll leave it to others to decide... Thanks again, cdkime.

October 9, 2018 2:07 p.m.

enpc says... #10

I thought the idea of colourless mana (as opposed to generic costs) was that it was "mana which was stipped of mana", if that makes sense. The Eldrazi devour, so the point of the actual colourless cost was more of that akin to a dead reef (yes, I understand that coral bleaching is a different thing but ultimately ends up a region devoid of life where there once was).

This is different from things having generic costs - artifacts are lifeless and artifact creatures are more like synthetic beings, which would feel more generic.

But the eldrazi (and as an extension colourless mana) represent one specific thing, the primal urge to feed. It's kind of like how you look for a black hole - you don't see it but more its effects and you see when it blocks other stuff (like stars) out. And unlike black which leaves death, eldrazi leave a lack of anything. There are signposts that things used to live there but it's not death which would in turn sustain life, it's just completely devoid of life at all.

October 9, 2018 10:11 p.m.

cmsrDPM says... #11

One slightly different take on colorless might be to look at the Planeswalkers we know are colorless: Tron all-stars Karn and Ugin. Both are equally devoid of color just like any eldrazi, or artifact (although Ugin and the eldrazi do disagree on how much of the Multiverse should be eaten).

What both Karn and Ugin regularly display is a Philosophy of Balance; all things must have an equal and opposite in order to harmonize.

They lack color but are not unable to appreciate it. Karn is more than capable of casting blue spells Karn's Temporal Sundering, and Ugin bases Ghostfire on red. Neither are limited in their choice of mana, nor are they ruled by aspects of the colors: Morality, Logic, Selfishness, Impulse, or Instinct (this is why they are not WUBRG).

In the lore both try to find ways to balance complicated worlds. Karn creates Argentium/Mirrodin and ensures each color has a mana-sun influencing the plane. Ugin creates a hedron network using all Zendikar's leylines to imprison the eldrazi. Both Planeswalkers know all mana must be used in order for something as large as a plane to continue existing.

But that's just like my opinion, man.

October 14, 2018 10:48 p.m.

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