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Mardu Color Philosophy Slicing the Pie

Hello, and welcome back. I am so glad you could join me for another episode of Slicing the Pie. Now, I have to say that I am actually quite excited to break this Wedge down for you all, as the Mardu combination has an interesting collection of colors and I can’t wait to put them all together and see what happens. So, sit down, get comfortable, and let’s talk Mardu, the combination of true conviction and action.


Mardu Banner

To build Mardu's framework, we must go through three steps, each of which I will expand upon as we go, as not to get bogged down in technicalities. The first step, and the base of our foundation, is understanding the allied pair that lies within the Wedge. This is because the allied pairs will more often find common ground and push the outsider’s ideals into more of a supporting role. In the case of Mardu, our three colors are White, Red, and Black, with White being the outsider, or enemy color. So, what does the combination of Red and Black believe in? Well, in my original color pairing video that I made for this combination, I don't think I really did the pair justice, and I'm happy to have a chance to give it another go, even if the explanation will be brief.

Red-Black is the combination with the passion and fervor to follow its desires and ambitions to their final conclusions. While this can often lead to sadistic desire fulfillment, this isn't always the case. In reality, it’s usually an unflinching focus on what is important to Red-Black.

Sure, at times, it can translate into things as simple as carnal desire, but it can also be world-changing ambition.

It can be an obsessive love for someone, or wearing your hopes and desires on your sleeve. It’s still a combination that will always be focused on how things or people affect it, or how it may affect others. But if something is important to Red-Black, there is nothing it won't do to follow through on its desires.

Now that we have that covered, it's time to ask what the enemy color brings to the table, and how its beliefs will influence the Wedge. In the case of Mardu, our outlying color is White. So, what do we know of White, then? With a heavy focus on the beings who inhabit its Plane, it is the color that desires peace above all else, and wants a world where all get what they need. The issue is that what White wants and what others want might not always line up, and even if its intentions are well-meaning, it can creep into fascism. Like all color philosophy, it’s a spectrum: on one end White is peace and love, while on the other end, it’s law and order.


So far, we can begin to see what is being built here: ideals that are rooted in unflinching conviction based around ambition and desire, influenced by a color that wishes to apply its beliefs to all. While this is a great foundation, we’re still not done with our framework. To do that, we will have to talk about the colors that are missing, and what their absence tells us about Mardu. In the case of Mardu, our two absent colors are Blue and Green.

Let’s first tackle Blue, the color of knowledge and introspection. With Blue missing, we know that Mardu can be swept away by its emotions and ideals – ones based on its feelings. Concepts like self-expression or pleasure hold more of an importance than self-improvement or discovery. Next, we have a lack of Green mana. Green is the color that wants to keep things as they are, in their already perfect state. With a lack of Green mana, we know that Mardu is all too willing to change and use up whatever it wishes, with no regard for how things should or shouldn't be.

Alright, that's it: the basis or framework for our discussion. From here, I will represent three philosophies which I believe are three major faces of Mardu. If you have any other ideas as to what Mardu believes in or more to add to the ideas I present, then be sure to let me know down in the comments. Also, if it’s your first time here and you enjoyed the video, then be sure to subscribe, as we will be covering the rest of the Wedges in the future. OK, with that, let’s dive into the first Mardu philosophy, and that is...


Mardu warrior mtg art

Truth in Martial Expression


This ideal is based in a sort of warrior code, and while it may not directly apply to our own lives, it’s nonetheless a core ideal when applying Mardu to fantasy worlds or historic figures. What Mardu values with this ideal is to carry oneself in a manner that allows it to express itself in a way that values individual power, all in order to strengthen the group. It’s an ideal that takes the saying of: “the group is only as strong as the weakest link” and demands that those within the chain strive to be the strongest link. This demand is more than just an empty motto; it is held as the highest code one could aim for in a Mardu society. It is the individual’s ability to express their strength in a way that benefits all who fall within that society. In a lot of ways, I think the best parallel would be the Spartans of history. Here, we have individuals who valued raw power and ability above all else, but because of this, created one of the strongest fighting forces of its time.

It takes Black’s strive for power, Red's relentless nature, and then brings it all in with White's focus on discipline and concern for the group. It’s easy to see how Mardu could rise above some of the other color combinations in its martial prowess. That said, it’s not a very forgiving philosophy. Sure, White stands on the outside asking for equality and kindness, but it's downplayed by Red and Black demanding proof of strength; a reason to exist.


This mentality lifts up the strong and breeds heroes, but has no time for the weak. It may not outright kill or exile those who are weak, but it will not spend any time caring for them. Anyone who stumbles, in Mardu's eyes, deserves to be left behind. I think this quote from Licia sheds some light on what I am talking about: “I give my blood, my life, all I have in exchange for victory.” In the eyes of this version of Mardu, victory is all that matters, and to achieve victory there is no room for weakness, and so the value of individual strength is of key importance. As always, I think the first philosophy is grabbing at the low hanging fruit, as I believe this is what most people imagine when they think of Mardu. For our next one, I would like to ask what would happen when White’s devotion is aided by Red and Black, with a philosophy I call...



Confidence in Zealous Action

What we have here is a potential philosophy that stands firm in an absolute devotion to the ideals that it holds; ideals which are lofty enough for Mardu to demand they be followed by all. It’s when a strong sense of morality, however flawed it may be, is hyper-focused and followed through with an obsessive passion. This may all sound extreme, but let’s break it down by color, and you will start to see what I mean. With White present, Mardu can hold a sort of perceived moral high ground – one that is bolstered by Black's self-confidence, which is ignited and obsessively carried out by Red. As you can see, this is by no means a stretch once you break down the sources of each of the colors present in Mardu.

So, these are fine words to toss around, but what does this look like? Well, in a lot of ways, my first thought goes to zealous religious beliefs – ones that can take an extreme turn. This version of Mardu would base its morality on a higher power or doctrine. Because of Black and Red's primary influence, this basis of a religion or ideal might not be one that you might envision here on earth.


Now, I don't want to get too much into the logistics of it, but perhaps it’s one that would allow for more carnal human expression, or it could be one of valor and strength. Whatever the case, the source of their doctrine or ideology isn't important, as it would change from Plane to Plane. What is important is how Mardu expresses itself through the religion or ideology.

You see, here we have a very interesting set of colors that sort whip each other up into a fanatical sort of frenzy.

Let’s bring it back to the colors to explain what I mean. Think about Black and how it cares only for its own view of the world, and how it might want to push that view onto others. Then we have White, who by no means is a stranger to using martial force to uphold its ideals. And finally, we have Red, who is more than happy to be swept away with its emotions, and would allow itself to fulfill the other colors’ desires without question.

In the end, we would have a dangerous combination that feels that it's the only one with the answers, and that it has a duty to bring its ideology onto others, whether they like it or not. Without getting too much into it here on this channel, I am sure you can think of plenty of examples all throughout human history of religious conversions at any cost. In a lot of ways, this version scares me the most, out of any of the philosophies that we have covered so far, but as always, this is but one face of this philosophy. So, let’s end it on a positive note and cover just one more ideal: one that could potentially do away with our current way of viewing society, and that is...


Ikoria soldier mtg art


Peace in Fulfilled Desires

Here we have a way of thinking that aims to be better for all by being better for the individual. We spend so much of our life worrying, working, and fighting for our place, that by the time we die, we question if we truly even lived, and this version of Mardu is fed up with this way of thinking. Why can we not all know a good life? Why is it only reserved for a small few? An ideal society for Mardu, then, would be a life well-lived for all, one where we may all be free to fulfill our desires. But how do we get there? Well, Mardu states that we must create a world where we all put in equal work, and in doing so, all get equal reward. It simply believes that there should not be a world where a small percent flourish while the rest suffer. We should be more focused on what we want to get out of our existence rather than just scraping by.

So, how does Mardu come by this way of thinking? Well, let’s break it down by color. You see, Black's the color who demands self-fulfillment and enjoyment of life's pleasures, then it adds the compassion and need for freedom of Red, and finally combines it with White’s desire for those aspects to be applied to all, ultimately creating a world where we all work together, all in order to provide a fulfilling life for all.


To accomplish this, Mardu would abolish all forms of state-run governments, and instead put the power back into the people’s hands, as even though White is all for law and order, it is willing to drop this facet of its ideals when in the presence of Red and Black, both of which value individual freedom. Instead, it would be a flexible society run by the people and for the people, with no room for the rigid structure that benefits those at the top. And all of this would have a focus on creating a world where everyone has the chance to live a full and satisfying life, with no fear of a few elites subjugating and oppressing the many.


Whatever the final philosophy you settle on with Mardu, it always seems extreme to our standard ways of seeing the world around us, and honestly, I don't think it could go any other way. Here we have a combination heavily influenced by Red and Black, colors who live their lives in the most extreme fashion compared to any of the other colors.


There can be no sitting on the sidelines or moderate ways of thinking with this pair. When White comes along, it merely adds a wider scope to their ideals, and in many ways, makes those ideals more grandiose and inclusive to those who agree. In the end, Mardu is the combination that feels very strongly about what it believes, and is all too willing to fulfill the finality of those ideals. Whether it’s a society of warriors bred stronger by individualism, a philosophy of religious fanaticism, or anarchist ideals that aims to tear down the shackles that bind us, Mardu is a passionate force for change, and you are either with them, or you are against them.


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