Magic: The Gathering Video Essay Explains The Pastoral & Pastiche of Theros

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By Jake Vyper | More Articles MTG Writer/Streamer
March 25, 2020  12:58 PM


Most Magic: The Gathering fans already know that the world of Theros is inspired by Ancient Greek Mythology, but if you take a deeper look at how card designs from the original Theros block and Theros Beyond Death reflect various references from Ancient Greek Mythology, you have to check out this video essay from YouTuber Rhystic Studies titled Theros: Pastoral & Pastiche

The video essay presents a quote from Homer's The Odyssey

"Why cover the same ground again? 

It goes against my grain to repeat a tale told once 

and told so clearly."

Watch Theros: Pastoral & Pastiche:  

Sam Gaglio, the voice of Rhystic Studies, does a fascinating job prsenting the Clash of the Titans movies (both the original and the remake) as a contrast to the original Theros block and the more recently-released Theros Beyond Death - how the latter is more of a remake than a sequel, using many of the same references used in the original, and it also nods to the past of Magic itself. Although Theros Beyond Death featured some well-done pastiches like Steven Belledin's "The Akroan War" and developed some of the characters, it failed to show more of the underworld, making it feel more like a cheap copy of a copy. "When you copy a copy, there's a tangible loss in quality in the resulting image," Gaglio said. 

Rhystic Studies also explores the pastoral nature of the basic land art of Theros. Finally, he talks about how Sam Burley's Nyx basic land artworks are pastiche of the game itself. This video just echoes the criticisms towards the weak story presented in Theros Beyond Death because of its lack of a longer form of fiction. Like the Clash of Titan movie remake, Theros Beyond Death doesn't offer many new things from a lore perspective, and it's disappinting to see how it could have been a sequel that would give us a compelling experience that the original Theros block did. 

Related: MTG History Video Looks Back at How Hand-Made Cards Became A Billion-Dollar Phenomenon

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Jake Vyper is a Fantasy & Sci-Fi Author, Social Media Manager, and Founder of
@Jake Vyper | [email protected]