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Mark Rosewater says Nissa "fared better" as a character than a card

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As Theros block's conclusion approaches and a new block is on the horizon, one planeswalker is experiencing an unlikely renaissance. Yes, all evidence points to a comeback for none other than Nissa, the elven tribe-mancer who did some terrible, terrible things to Zendikar. Not only is she getting toys in the upcoming Funko planeswalker figure line, Mark Rosewater seems eager to answer questions about her on his Tumblr blog.

When swampritualnegator asked, "Do you consider Nissa (as a card) a failure?" Rosewater said:

The card was not particularly popular, especially for a planeswalker, but the character fared better than the card.

This, even more than the other responses he's given, is code for "we want to rehabilitate her by giving her a new, much better planeswalker card."

Nissa's character is contentious because she has simply so many flaws and so few redeeming qualities; she's racist to the point that she'd try to murder Sorin if she knew he were a Vampire, she's ruled by her instinct in a way that makes her make poor decisions rather than strong ones like someone like Garruk or Kiora might, and she's accidentally responsible for the devastation of Zendikar.

Still, she doesn't have to remotely be sympathetic to be successful as a character, even a point-of-view character or a protagonist, but it would be good to see her become, as I've said before, a true green villain. Whether that villainy comes from rationalizing the Eldrazi awakening as "the true course of nature," by resisting it and trying to make amends by turning all of Zendikar into a jungle no matter who gets stomped on in the process, or simply by going full-on non-Elves-genocide, she's the best chance to show Magic's fanbase that there are far more traits that can make a character green than being an animal or loving nature.


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