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Bant Color Philosophy - Slicing the Pie

Shards being rather complex, while lacking many in game examples, does create issues when trying to explain the philosophies there in, but it's not impossible. To accomplish this we must simply take what we know of the color pie and use that knowledge to form our opinion as to what each Shard could be. If you have read my previous articles in the series then you are familiar with the process I use to break down each Shard.


For those of you new here, there is a system, or framework that must be set up in order to make educated assumptions on a Shard or Wedges philosophies. I do this in steps, the first being explaining the core ideals of our bridge color, the color that bridges the gap between our two enemy colors, in this case White. From there we can talk about how that bridge interacts with each of its neighbors. After that we have to talk about the colors that are missing from the equation, as what colors are missing in a Shard is just as important as the colors that are within.


Bant Woman holding scroll in forrest MTG art

So lets start things off with our Bridge, White. The main thing to keep in mind when trying to understand White is that it is the color whose main focus is peace for all. The issue is that it knows there are those that don't share its same ideals and so uses strict levels of order and morality to achieve this goal. White is the color that will look to laws and religion to relegate our more wild sides all in an effort to enact that peace and order for all. So any version of Bant will have a great focus on community and social structure.

So when it is brought together with a color like Green who has a similar focus on community that ideal is shifted towards acceptance rather than control. With Green on board White learns that it cannot change our nature and if all are to get along we must be willing to accept others flaws.


Now with Blue it takes a different approach, instead it leans much more heavily into the mechanisms that enact order. It believes that the only way to create a perfect society is to create an environment where everyone can reach their potential. To do this, it may take structures of learning or laws to keep chaos at bay, but all of this must be willing to evolve.



I think we are getting somewhere with this but there is still an important aspect that needs addressing and that is the colors that are missing in this Shard. Lets first think about what a world or philosophy would be like with no Black mana. Well for one we remove selfishness from the equation. With no Black mana present then we can be certain that Bant is a color always at least thinking about the effect it has on those around it. Alright how about we take Red from this and see what we are left with. In the case of Bant the Lack of Red mana tells us that this is a Shard that respects the rule of Law and is willing to restrict itself for the better of others. There are rules and the rules supersede impulses.


Now that we have created the framework we can now build the Shards philosophy so to speak, but before we do I always like to say one thing. Color Philosophy is not an exact science, and while on this channel we aim to further expand it, there are many sides to every color and especially that of every combination. So if there is a version or ideal of Bant that I do not coverthen be sure to let me know in the comments or join the discussion on my discord. Wizards of the Coast has laid out for us an interesting set of colors and its up to us to explore their potential. OK with that lets get into my first point and one I feel is a great basis for understanding Bant.


Bant Knight in swamp MTG art

Progression and Order through Tradition


I always like to start things off with the most low hanging fruit, so to speak, and bring up the concept that is a good basis for any philosophies that lie within the Shard we are discussing. With Bant I believe that concept is Progression and Order through Tradition. What I mean by this is that

Bant believes that if we all were to mold ourselves around proven rituals we could then all march to the same beat and thus, march forward together.

It takes Greens predilection to maintaining the old ways, or traditions, Whites need for order and Blues desire to move things ever forward. Typically the blue side may not be so inclined to follow along with the old, and would rather seek out the new, but when combined with White and Green it can see the value that is had when we can all rally around something and from there progress as a unit.


What is important to note is that Bant is not stagnant because of tradition, as traditions can be iterated on. Instead it's a slow and methodical march forward together. A reliance on an established order also creates roles, and by these roles you are handed your purpose. In this way a perfectly functioning version of Bant would be similar to an ant colony.


Everyone would have their place and know their role within the established tradition and rules, from there they could act accordingly, instead of creating the friction that individuality brings forth. Now an ant colony is close to a perfect example but I do think that Bant no matter the form is always looking to accept others and wouldn't be so tribal. Because at the end of the day Bant will always be the most diverse and welcoming of all Shards. Traditions can be taught and through this action outsiders are made to be part of the collective and then through those repetitive rituals we can begin to march to the same beat. With that established I want to move onto the next point and one that allows the growth to happen and leans a little more into its blue side.


Bant Angel mtg art


Evolution through Acceptance and Peace


Evolution through Acceptance and Peace, is a philosophy of Bant that states: we can only move forward as a society when we can work together. If we take our own existence as an example, humanities greatest weakness and potentially our extinction is our inability to treat each other as equals. What I am saying is that our divisiveness will be our downfall and what Bant states is that in a world where all are one, we can become better as a whole. Blue states that we must always be looking to become a better version of ourselves, White states that our strength lies within each other and Green says we all have a part to play.


So a perfect society to Bant would be one where the entire Plane is banded together, and one where war is nothing more than a passing thought and chaos is nothing more than a concept. In this ideal world, Bant could create an environment where learning and expansion of thought, society and culture could take precedence. In this way Bant could accomplish the cultivation of both nature and nurture and in essence reach a new plateau of evolution.


The interesting thing about this concept is that it wouldn't take place in a single tightly knit large city, as most would first picture, but instead could be sprawled across the whole Plane. Imagine a web of small villages sprawled across the Plane, none of which have to spend resources on war with each other. Instead they could build up their own expertise and share freely. In this world you would have networks of diverse thinkers, artists and builders all of whom could devote themselves to their specialty.

Now speaking of community I just want to give a shutout to the great people that take part in discussion every day over on the Dicetry Discord, its always a great source of inspiration for me and keeps me making content. If you want to be part of the discussion then be sure to head down to the description and hit the discord invite link. OK lets move onto the final point and another great broad philosophy important to Bant, religion.


Bant pious monk mtg art


Acceptance through Piety


I would say another important piece of Bant's framework is the concept of Acceptance through Piety. Where traditions give a guiding focus which can bring about natural order I think Religion is the catalyst for acceptance when it comes to Bant. Now of course this might not be present in every version but as you will see it can appear quite naturally because of the color present. Let's break it down first. In Green we see a color that knows that there is a greater force behind everything, some might call her mother nature itself, White of course is the color most drawn to worship and fellowship and Blue is curious as to the deeper meaning behind things, this all culminating into a religion.


Now its not enough for the colors to come together in this way, the real question is, why is it important to Bant's identity? Well I think it comes down to the way it can bring people together that Bant finds not only useful but important. It isn't doing it for its own gain or to manipulate but it earnestly believes what it preaches and accepts others into its guiding ideals. What the religion is isn't important as it changes from Plane to Plane, its more about its willingness to accept a power beyond what they understand, then to use it as a way that brings people together. There is a pureness to it, that I don't think we have seen yet here on earth, it honestly seems to be one that only an idealist color philosophy could create.


Conclusion

What we have learned is that in the end Ban wants to create a world where all are one. A unified philosophy that dictates “all must be accepted so that we may march forward together” To do this, it may rely on things like tradition to create the beat that unifies us, or perhaps it's in a common belief that we may share a bond through Piety. Once we have achieved this we can then craft a world of peace, one that would allow us to concentrate on bettering not just ourselves but those around us. To some this may seem like the philosophy of an idealist but to Bant no philosophy is worth considering if its not ideal for all.


If you have enjoyed this article then be sure to read the other articles in the series. Also be sure to scroll to the bottom and become a member so that you don't miss the next entry in the series. Thanks for your support, and with that I will catch you in the multiverse, bye!


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