Thoughts | Gideon Jura as a Role Model

Gideon, Ally of Zendikar.full
Gideon Jura from Battle for Zendikar

Today I started using an app to ‘Gamify’ my life progress, and I have selected the title of ‘Battle Mage’. That would be the class of the character I’m role playing in the game/app. And there are a lot of reasons why I would choose this title.

Back when I was in High School, there was this game similar to Diablo called: Sacred & it’s expansion Underworld. I played a class called the Battle Mage which is basically what it says, a Mage that goes into battle. I chose this character for the simple reason that I liked the versatility of the class in terms of balancing Magic and Melee.

I tried to immerse in that concept of making the best of multiple worlds, maybe that’s why I have so many hobbies. The problem was, there was no realistic role model that matched those characteristics. The everyman, someone who is the Jack of All Trades, but master of every aspect of the fields he placed himself in. There was a close contender with Dr. Percy Cox from the TV show scrubs, but as I got to know the character more, he still had flaws to deal with. And that was a major down for every model I tried to copy.

But as I look into the concept of the Battle Mage, he is not really an everyman. Because of the expanse of his skills, he has to compensate for a lot, leaving the durability of the knight and speed of the vampire for something in between. A grey area that forces the player to look at problems and solve them with as many possible answers as possible, thereby producing a contingency for many situations.

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THOUGH I NEVER GAVE THIS ANOTHER THOUGHT as the years passed by, I return to this concept with regards to my self improvement recently. And I was inspired by the Magic the Gathering storyline in Battle for Zendikar. I was reading the story recently, and it highlighted greatly the role of Gideon Jura in the defeat of the Eldrazi Titans, who are massive world devouring creatures much like the reapers in Mass Effect.

Gideon is the good guy, and in a lot of ways that is an understatement. His part in the story begins with him trying to be in two places at once. In Ravnica, he is trying to help the Boros Guild defend against a goblin attack, on the Zendikar he’s trying to help the people get away from the alien horde of Eldrazi. He takes a lot on his plate for no good reason other than he wants to help.

I was like Gideon for a good portion of my life, being too selfless up to the point that people ended up taking advantage of me too often for my own good. As I read on his story, I can’t help but cringe as his efforts continue to remind me how pathetic it was back then, before I realized the healthy selfishness needed to be actually helpful to others. But why was Gideon doing this?

For me, I had a skill I could actually share and make use of the help people. So did Gideon, for the most part, he was a Battle Mage. He commanded magic that allowed him to be an effective warrior, and one of those spells include being invulnerable. Because of his resistance to harm, he engaged problems head on with little to no concern for consequences and this made him careless. Because of his invulnerability, he forgets the limitations of his followers and later just led them to their deaths. But as his arc continues, Gideon learns that it isn’t about taking things into your own hands and expecting your followers to be like you. He had to learn to make use of the strengths of the people around him to be effective.

This realization of using every possible advantage and not just those you possess was important in pushing back the Eldrazi. And a lesson I need to understand.

As brilliant as I make myself out to be, I can’t be a one trick pony. I need to learn to use everything around me as catapult to throw me forward, to bring me into a state of effectiveness. Gideon came to be a leader that saved Zendikar that morning Ulamog emerged from the horizon. He stood his ground, knowing he had the strength to protect but also the faith that those around him were doing his job.

So I chose to present myself as a Battle Mage. One who makes use of all my strengths and of those around me to become something more.

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BECOMING A FULLY FORMED BATTLE MAGE is going to be difficult. I have to acquire certain skills and complete certain missions one at a time, or as much as I can complete. For now, the strategy to my current journey revolves around my ability to focus my strengths on each challenge. That’s why I need to be like Gideon, focused and a believer of all my advantages.

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