Parental Advisory Review – Dragon’s Maze

Standard Introduction

My goal here is simply to highlight images with a potential to concern or disturb, and offer some basic art evaluation, especially from a parent’s perspective. Obviously, what one parent is fine with another may not be. My guiding judgment is whether I would want my young teenage son to be looking closely at these cards, or if I felt I could recommend this image to my young teenage daughter as a model of virtue. Overall, I think this set is something of an improvement on recent sets, although it still has some problems.

The main categories of evaluation are GRAPHIC VIOLENCE, NIGHTMARE HORROR, PROVOCATIVE DRESS, IMPLIED NUDITY, and BLATANT SEXUALITY. At the end, I will look for men in some state of undress, and women who are being portrayed as something besides a sexual object.


Graphic Violence

It’s a game about battling wizards set in a world that reflects many real-world issues and conflicts, but that doesn’t mean we need to see it in all its gore and brutality – a good artist can suggest it without having to show it, I think.

Clear a Path Punish the Enemy Show Stopper

That’s a lot of blood in the first one, and while the Showstopper card thankfully doesn’t show any blood, in conjunction with the flavor test, suggests a bit too much gore in my opinion – I really wonder about their inclusion of the Rakdos in general.

Nightmare Horror

This category is about disturbing images that linger in the mind, and sometimes come back to haunt you in your dreams! These are images that aren’t necessarily violent or gory, but might be described by many (note: not necessarily all) as ‘disturbing’, ‘evil’, or ‘horrific’. Is this something that you want your child to be thinking about long after the game itself is over?

Boros Mastiff Murmuring Phantasm Trait Doctoring Sinister Possession Carnage Gladiator Debt to the Deathless Maw of the Obzedat

Not all of it is that bad–that Mastiff is just really mean looking–but I can certainly imagine a young teenager getting freaked out by some of these, especially if they think too much about what’s going on. And that Maw of the Obzedat should be downright disturbing to any decent human being.

Provocative Dress

Why do Magic artists cater to the lowest common denominator so much? Too much skin and cleavage, although I suppose that the way the world is going, not so different than a typical trip down main street. The numbers are down a little from previous sets, but it’s also a small set, which may explain some of it.

Wake the Reflection Runner's Bane Deadbridge Chant Exava, Rakdos Bloodwitch Gaze of Granite Korozda Gorgon Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts Warleader's Helix

I guess that Gorgon is sort of swimming, but I don’t know what the excuse is for most of the rest–is Ravnica a particularly warm plane? I suspect that the whole Magic multiverse runs on the upper end of the temperature scale, based on the clothing in the art anyway. I mean, what’s up with that big hole in the front of Teysa’s dress? Does she use that as a pocket?

Implied Nudity

Hey, I couldn’t find any!

Blatant Sexuality

Nothing here, either. I suppose I might have put that Blood Witch above down here, but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.

Men vs. Women

I suppose it should be comforting to know that many men are running around the plane half-dressed, but surely the Azorius could pass a “no shoes, no shirt, no service” law.

Hired Torturer Mirko Vosk, Mind Drinker Vorel of the Hull Clade Zhur-Taa Druid Dangerous Blood

And there were a few examples of women that you could recommend as role models. I think Trostani’s Summoner is particularly beautiful.

Saruli Gatekeepers Lavinia of the Tenth Trostani's Summoner


Now let’s tally up the results for Dragon’s Maze (171 cards total in the set):

Graphic Violence: 3
Nightmare Horror: 7
Provocative Dress: 8
Implied Nudity: 0
Blatant Sexuality: 0
Objectified Males: 6
Female Protagonists: 3

I think the amount of horror and violence is perhaps even more concerning to me than the female dress issue in this set. Definitely room for improvement.

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One Response to Parental Advisory Review – Dragon’s Maze

  1. hinotorihime says:

    Gorgeous dress! Trostani Summoner cosplay is now added to my growing list.

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