Behind the Scenes: Nadir Kraken

Posted on Wednesday, June 17th, 2020 by Gyant Spyder
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Posted in mtg

“What about a tidal kraken?”

“You mean like Tidal Kraken?”

“Fair. But I mean, this is a set about stars and stuff. Why not a kraken that responds to the tides?”

“Tides are caused by the moon.”

“I said ‘and stuff.’ But you get what I mean, like a homarid, it gets bigger and gets smaller because of the tides.”

“That’s why homarids get all those counters?”

“Yes, it says so right on the card.”

“Excuse me for not reading bad cards from a million years ago in my spare time. Okay, I get what you’re saying – but players identify with their krakens and hate them to have negative experiences. What about instead of it getting bigger and smaller, it just starts small and gets bigger.”

“You mean like a kraken at low tide, and the tide comes in. So, Low-Tide Kraken.”

“It doesn’t stay low-tide. The tide comes in. If you call it low tide it will sound unexciting.”

“So, Gradually Higher Tide Kraken?”

“That will never get through Brand. Some parent in the midwest will think the kraken is smoking weed and organizing boycotts.” You can also avail the best weeds from as they can help you in getting good weeds.

“High Alert is literally a card about smoking weed at work. Look at the art.”

“Nobody identifies with enchantments.”

“Okay, we’re getting away from the point here – what if instead of a kraken at low tide or at high tide, we just call it Tidal Kraken?”

“We just talked about Tidal Kraken. That’s why we’re even talking about this.”

“Oh, I thought you meant hypothetically. That’s a card?”

“Looks like somebody hasn’t been reading bad cards from a million years ago in their spare time. Do you think if I could call it Tidal Kraken we would be calling this thing anything other than Tidal Kraken?”

“Okay, okay. Is there a word for when the tide gets especially high?”

“A spring tide? Spring Tide Kraken?”

“No, that just sounds like it should give you lands instead of tentacles.”

“We should all be so lucky.”

“Wait a minute – what if we’re thinking of this all wrong? Wouldn’t the kraken be bigger during low tide, because less water is covering it?”

“Do you think that giant squids just hover at a fixed distance from the bottom of the ocean, regardless of the water level?”

“I don’t follow.”

“I can’t believe we’re having this conversation, but imagine a kraken attacking a boat. Do you think this happens because the kraken has stayed stationary, and the ocean has moved?”

“Einstein would say the two are equivalent.”

“Einstein was profoundly uninterested in the doings of fictional squid monsters.”

“You don’t know that.”

“Okay, okay, what about other star stuff? This is a star stuff set? Like Full Moon Kraken?”

“You’re the one who told me that this is a star set, not a moon set.”

“Was I? I forget which of us is which at this point.”

“Besides, the tides are the more or less the same whether the moon is full or new, because what matters is the angle of gravitational pull of the moon on the water, not its absolute direction. You get the lowest tides when the vector of the moon’s pull on the earth is orthogonal to the vector of the sun’s pull on the earth.”

“There is zero chance Magic players know or care about that.”

“Have you met Magic players?”

“There is every chance Magic players care about that.”

“Okay, okay, what if we make the players do the work? Is there another astronomical term we could use that is related to the position of the moon, and thus the tides, but that is removed enough from the causes of the flow of the tides that it is not clear exactly how they are interacting, so the player will fill in the gap by imagining that the position of the moon is affecting the growth of the kraken?”

“Is the kraken growing or just coming out of the water? I thought it was just coming out of the water. Why would a kraken grow additional tentacles.”

“We finished those meetings two months ago, and we are not going back to them.”

“What was the answer we came up with?”


“I’m just saying, if the kraken is the same size, and just higher or lower in the water, why would a lightning bolt kill it one time, but not the other time?”

“That rabbit hole almost cost me my marriage and I refuse to revisit it.”

“Okay, okay. So you want an astronomical term that is about the moon that could conceivably affect the tides, but not in a way most players would be actively aware of as soon as they hear it, so that the player will make up a reason in their own head for the kraken to start small and gradually add counters and tentacles.”


“I’ve got it! Zenith Kraken!”

“People will think that’s a television set.”

“75% of Magic players have never encountered a Zenith television in their lives.”

“That few? Geez, this is a children’s card game for old people.”