Follow TV Tropes


Blue And Orange Morality / Card Games

Go To

  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • The Eldrazi are portrayed as horrific beings of destruction. At the same time, they are not mindless, but rather operate on a completely different moral axis. In "Eldritch Moon", Emrakul even participates in her own binding into a prison on the moon, because in some unspecified way, it's not her time to act.
    "Have you ever killed insects nibbling at your crops? I think that's what the Eldrazi believe they're doing to us." — Shrivel flavor text
    • The game has also been retooling some of the Too Dumb to Live of its goblins into Blue And Orange Morality about personal well-being.
    • Advertisement:
    • Hell, the colors themselves: Every color (of five) has two enemies and two allies, leading to some inherent blue-and-orange-ness:
      • White is law and order. But Light Is Not Good, since white can also become oppressive. White's allies are green and blue; white's enemies are black and red.
      • Blue is interested in knowledge and rational thinking. But this doesn't mean it's necessarily good, since acquiring knowledge can lead to ethical issues; blue's allies are white and black, while its enemies are red and green.
      • Black turns inward, toward the self. Remember that Dark Is Not Evil, since it's still possible to do good while pursuing self-interest. Black's allies are red and blue, where as its enemies are white and green.
      • Red is the color of freedom, emotion, and destruction. Red sounds inherently blue and orange, since freedom is generally considered good while destruction is usually viewed as negative. And of course, emotions go all over the map. Its allies are black and green and its enemies are white and blue.
      • Green is the power of nature and lives on instinct. Green is really the ultimate Blue/Orange color, since nature doesn't care at all about artificial moral codes but rather lives by the law of the jungle. Green's allies are red and white; green's enemies are blue and black. On the other hand, green is also the colour most willing to acknowledge the value of all colours, including the ones it doesn't agree with - it views the world as a harmonious system that is only disturbed when people go too far.
    • Advertisement:
    • Color pairs usually emphasis what the two colors have in common. This goes well for allied pairs, since they're allied for a reason. When dealing with Enemy pairs, things can get a bit funky, and usually result in a wide variety of philosophies, often hypocritical in execution.
      • White/Black tends to focus on aspects of Life and Death, as well as Sacrifice - both self-sacrifice and sacrificing others for your own ends. Expect lots of life-drain, reanimation, and exiling. Philosophically, white/black is generally focused on either a willingness to do terrible things for a greater good (Sorin Markov), or a philosophy of adopting a specific group as "in" and helping them at the expense of the out-group (the Orzhov Syndicate).
      • Black/Green tends to focus on cycles of destruction and creation. Expect LOTS of graveyard-play, destruction of practically anything on the field, and decay. Black-green organisations tend to include ecoterrorists, but also groups like the Golgari Swarm - they practiced human sacrifice, at least for a while, and still use a lot of necromancy, but at the same time they also grow most of the food.
      • Green/Blue tends to focus on evolution and growth. Expect strange and huge creatures, spells which mutate or otherwise alter creatures, putting more and more creatures out, and spells which use creatures as their basis. The most notable blue-green group, the Simic Combine of Ravnica, started out attempting to adapt nature to fit better into Ravnica's planet-spanning urban sprawl, culminating in an attempt to create a giant ooze-monster that would be able to direct its own evolution; this plan ended in a kaiju battle. Additionally, the concept of people not wanting to be turned into mutants is completely foreign to them.
      • Blue/Red tends to focus on Scientific/Magical advancement by any means necessary. Expect lots of absolutely insane effects, LOTS of lightning, and significantly more of a focus on Instant and Sorcery spells than any other card type. Philosophically, blue-red tends to focus on progress as being Good, most notably in the Izzet League of Ravnica, who are incapable of fathoming the idea that people might not want to take part in experiments that end in something explosive; a project that led to the destruction of all prototypes, the deaths of all pilots, and a huge amount of collateral damage, led to said prototypes being deemed "flawless design".
      • Red/White focuses on war, full stop. Expect a plan based around amassing huge armies of relatively small creatures all working in tandem, a few heavyhitter creatures which stand alone as unique warriors which also supplement and/or are supplemented by your troops, effects which change the dynamics of Combat as a whole, and lots & lots of concentrated fire. Red/white philosophies tend to be about using chaotic and emotional means to support a moral or orderly goal - the Boros Legion of Ravnica use destruction, passion and massive amounts of force in order to hold up the law, while Nahiri in "Shadows over Innistrad" block is willing to cause widespread mayhem and the possible destruction of an entire plane out of a twisted sense of justice.
    • Advertisement:
    • Phyrexia seems to be getting retooled to this from their former role as more or less Omnicidal Maniacs. Though incredibly cruel and ruthless from a human perspective, Phyrexians earnestly believe that flesh-based life is deeply flawed at best, if not totally evil, so they're really doing people a favor by killing or converting them in horrifying ways. They're also growing factions along the color lines above:
      • White Phyrexia follows a scripture talking of the inadequacy of flesh, and the unity of all. It considers skin a barrier to unity, and flaying is treated as a purification rite. This dedication to the compleation of all life makes them, ironically, one of the strongest factions despite the fact that Old Phyrexia was once exclusively Black.
      • Blue Phyrexia is constantly trying to improve themselves... by taking apart other beings to learn how their few good traits work, and then applying these traits to other beings until they find a subject that lives through the procedure.
      • Black Phyrexians fight among themselves, each of them trying to prove that they are the strongest and should get to run Phyrexia their way. This lack of unity has the effect of making them, ironically, one of the weaker factions despite the fact that Old Phyrexia was once exclusively Black.
      • Red Phyrexia is finding itself filled with confusion, the ideals of personal freedom and chaos from Red mana clashing with the hive-like structure of Phyrexia. When the survivors of old Mirrodin seek refuge in the Furnace Layer, the Red Praetor Urabrask orders his minions to let them be. Whether this is out of empathy or contrarianism is left vague.
      • Green Phyrexia seeks to change, grow, and approach perfection through an accelerated form of natural selection. However, it considers bestial physicality a virtue and sentience a hindrance, which puts it squarely at odds with Blue Phyrexia.
    • Morality on Amonkhet is a little weird, since their society is 1) dedicated to the pursuit of a glorious afterlife at all costs and 2) the work of murderous social engineering by Nicol Bolas. This leads to an extremely casual attitude towards death; those who die during the Five Trials clearly weren't worthy of the best afterlife! One of them is even dedicated to encouraging members of a crop of warriors, who may have been training as a unit since they were five, to sacrifice each other in order to progress through the Trial, and this is viewed as not only acceptable but laudable - those who don't will, in theory, have a harder time getting into the God-Pharaoh's glorious afterlife.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: