Flavor Judge Returns: Is There Any Core to Kellan’s Character?

Three sets and four colors. That’s not very consistent.

Note that I have not read the stories. I just can’t be bothered. Feel free to roast me on that.

So, Kellan is supposed to be the main character of what is known as the Omenpath Arc, which is a year-long part of a larger multiyear story. The problem is that Kellan feels like an afterthought. They decided to cut down on planeswalkers, so they just jammed this guy into the story to have something to follow.

Since Kellan is 16 at the start of the arc and in general, people are interested in characters somehow relevant to themselves, Kellan seems to be targeted at a younger audience. In general, a younger audience wants someone to look up to as a sort of role model and tend to be most interested in someone a few years older then themselves. So, it would seem that Kellan is an attempt to draw in teens. How old are Magic players again? According to Hasbro itself, the average age is about 30.

However, Kellan also seems to be an afterthought. He is there for each of the Wilds of Eldraine stories, but overall he seems to be rightly overshadowed by Rowan and Will. Of the Lost Caverns of Ixalan stories, he isn’t even around for three of them and seems to be just around for the four others. For the Murders at Karlov Manor, he is again just around some of the time, but not even in all episodes.

And yet, he is important enough to get a card for each of these sets. However, he is not important enough to warrant any kind of consistency.

Kellan, the Fae-Blooded // Birthright Boon
Kellan, Daring Traveler // Journey On
Kellan, Inquisitive Prodigy // Tail the Suspect

(Sorry, for some reason the plugin I’m using to display cards just doesn’t like adventure, split, flip or double-faced cards, so links only.)

I can see some consistency in the sense that the latter two are about happy-go-lucky adventuring, but that doesn’t seem to be the case with the first one unless you squint enough. I guess each of these is a classic adventurer of sorts, but they are different adventurers. This makes me think that Kellan came around fairly late in the process for the latter two sets and they just had to find a spot in the file to push this guy into and they didn’t have a clear idea what the guy was about, so they just made him consistent with their set, even though the sets are not very consistent with each other.

Compare to something like Thalia or Ob Nixilis or Niv-Mizzet or any of the planeswalkers with multiple versions. The cards are different, but you get the feeling that these are different aspects of the character or the character in different points of their lives. They don’t feel dissonant, like Kellan.

I don’t even know what the point of all of this is supposed to be. Having an arc might be a good idea, but not planning it out is not. This feels very unplanned. This feels like a bunch of disparate ideas and then they came up with the idea that these need to be linked somehow, so how about throw this one guy with no real personality or character into the mix and call it a day. That is not how you build your world.

Kellan is just a failure. He is another black mark on the ability of WotC to build a story or interesting characters. When they do come up with something interesting, they just drop them immediately in favor of characters, who have had playable cards. They don’t even seem to get that people will play good cards whether or not the character is cool. (See: Beleren, Jace.)

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