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The Truth about 4&5 Colors in Magic: The Gathering

There’s one thing that I get asked about all the time in my videos, and that is “Can you make a video about four or five color combinations?” I want to settle this once and for all and give my thoughts on the topic. First off, yes, I will cover those topics in the future, but let’s talk about those combinations here and now before I do.

The one aspect that does have me interested about covering four and five color combinations is the fact that I find them to be the closest to how humans actually are in comparison to one or two colors.

I obviously write my videos in a manner that does make it seem to be possible to align yourself with these smaller combinations, and while it is fun to do, it just isn’t the whole picture. What I mean is that when you take the ideals of say two colors and combine them you get a good picture of a character, as characters are two dimensional, and while they do grow, they usually stick to similar behavior patterns. Whereas humans can go outside of their typical behaviors or morals from day to day, or year to year.

We are complex creatures, and well that’s just not something you can truly picture with say a combination of Blue and White.

My hope when talking about color philosophy is that you’re not just entertained but perhaps reflect on your own morals and ideals, but to truly understand ourselves we need to realize that we are far more complex than that. I will leave this point where it is and be sure to expand on it further when I make a video on the subject.

One of the biggest hurdles is the extreme lack of any representation in Magic the Gathering of four and five color factions or characters. What I mean is that with mono colors or two-color combinations there is a lot to reference there, making it much easier for me to write about them.

We saw in the shards and wedge videos that I had to do a lot more legwork, which I do enjoy, but at least there was a base to work off of. When it comes to four and five color combinations, I am left with almost nothing to base it off of and will indeed need to do most of the work myself. Now don’t get me wrong, I am up to the challenge, its just that it does become quite intimidating.

My final issue is with the combinations themselves. Let’s talk about four colors. When I make a video, I like to break down combinations into differences. Sure, a lot of the shards share colors but what does the colors that are unique to that specific shard tell me about it, or what does the missing colors tell me.

When I look to the four-color combinations the only thing that differentiates each one, is only the one-color missing.

This begins to muddy their identity. Yes, there is a difference when things are missing, but it is much less defined. Like I said, four and five color combinations are a lot closer to you and me, but from a writing standpoint there isn’t a lot to go off of.

Thanks for taking your time to read this article, I just wanted to talk to you directly about my thoughts. If you have anything to add then be sure to let me know below in the comment section, I would love to read it.

With that friend, I’ll catch you in the multiverse, bye!

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1 commentaire

04 juin 2021

Hi, I'm the guy from your Discord who tried to dive into four-color design once and talked about it on the mentioned Discord. I brought the idea, that instead of breaking the combinations down to single colors, I broke it down to two color pairs (one allied and one enemy, those posing directly opposite to one another, for example Azorius plus Golgari). It's maybe not the ONLY way to approach four-color, but it's one of the ways and one that makes sense to me personally - as you've said, these combinations are very complex.

Another thing is that there's five four-color combinations - not ten like with the other combinations. That means that every four-color combination can be assigned an…

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