Good day, hatchlings, whelps, minions, and my palingenetic planeswalker visitors!

I welcome you to Mizz Mizzet’s School for Complicated Lifeforms: The Outreach Program. I am Mizz Mizzet. Here, from our parlor at Hipsters of the Coast, we will answer many types of etiquette questions engendered by the complex social interactions of moving through time, space and playing games where we try to kill each other (…then join together for food and karaoke after the damage has been assigned).

While many of the problems in our exclusive community seem horrifyingly runeboggled down in politics or culture, I believe most of them can be avoided using simple applications of good manners. If followed properly, we may then go about destroying each other with powerful spells and exotic multi-planar creatures like civilized beings.

Some feel that “manners” are a form of “social lie” but manners are actually the set of behaviors that require those with power to create the least discomfort in others. Each of us holds power. Etiquette is the set of rules that outlines how to do that in a consistent way. If done properly you will NEVER have to be dishonest while being well mannered (which is not the same as simply being polite).

After much careful study through the multiverse, I discovered that beings without exoskeletons or scales are happier asking etiquette and advisory questions in semi-anonymous letter format. Humans particularly, have customs of writing to alliterative strangers for advice, such as “Ms. Manners” or “Ask Amy,” who publish their answers for public review. How lucky we are that I am already alliterative and experienced in etiquette! Dragons LOVE etiquette. Manners are delicious!

In the fond hope of all our gaming beings gathering together for the best experiences in eternal battles, I will be accepting questions of etiquette that may be uncomfortable to ask elsewhere. We shall print them here for the edification of all.

All etiquette questions are welcome – whether duel-based or daily life-based. Indeed, while we were playing amongst planeswalkers, surveying culture and customs, we received some queries prior to our debut.

Content Warning

Mizz Mizzet’s Guide to Magical Manners is pleased to provide Content Warnings, given that solving bad behavior often means describing bad behavior. Today’s column will share concerns about the use of the word rape in gamer slang. It shall be noted immediately in front of that missive and response, so that you may enjoy the others and skip the delicate one as needed. 

We were asked some rather specific questions about our own draconic cultural social solutions. I support this! It is important to ask advisors about cultural bias before listening to their counsel, so I am pleased to answer the following:


Dear Mizz Mizzet,

I would guess that, for a dragon, “smite them with fire” is a good catchall answer?

Fantasy Aficionado


Dear Mizz Mizzet,

If it were up to Dragonkind, isn’t the solution is to always smite them with fire?

Dragon Enthusiast


Dear Dragon Enthusiast and Fantasy Aficionado;

Truly, here at Mizz Mizzet’s we prefer not to smite with fire — we lightly roast for the best flavor.

Also, smiting is frequently used in a religious human context and one should be careful when one is draconic not to appropriate other beings’ cultures simply because the wording is so sibilant.

* Whelps especially: please keep the “no smiting” rule in mind when attacking during duels and while indoors.


We have also been asked to answer some delicate fashion related questions:


Dear Mizz Mizzet,

What is the 
etiquette of telling a gentleman that you like his batman boxers are visible through his white shorts?

It’s Too Late. I’ve Seen Everything


Dear I’ve Seen Everything;

The appropriate response is as follows:

  • “Sir, I couldn’t help but notice that you are a Batman fan. As a fellow aficionado, I heartily approve.”

Additionally, if this is done with a genuine smile, it will give you an opportunity to gently tell the gentleman his white pants are a little sheer. This should be done quietly and in such a way that others will not have their attention drawn to what they might not have noticed before.

It may be an intentional sartorial choice. Humans LOVE to decorate EVERYTHING. It is poor manners to stifle self-expression, so if the gentleman in question seems proud of the effect, a lovely neutral comment to close the dialogue might be “Oh how avant garde, it suits you.”


Not every question of etiquette or manners in a community is low stakes, and not every answer is simple. It has been some time since many of our fellow beings have been able to gather together. Many have joined our community when we needed to stay in known pods with high trust and are just venturing out to play with larger groups of people together.  Not every group’s standards of behavior are appropriate or acceptable in public spaces.

And so move to a question with high stakes ramifications in both formal and informal play:


(CW: Discussion of misuse of the word rape)

Dear Mizz Mizzet,

What’s an appropriate and effective response to individuals bragging about victories by referencing rape and other violent sexual acts?

Shieldmage Advocate


This is quite complex, my dear Shieldmage. There are various legitimate answers and feelings about what is or isn’t appropriate. We shall start with what the “correct” response is and then we shall examine why that may or may not work in Planeswalker Practice. Please remember that you are asking a Dragon of no small experience, and the human fascination with relating everything, including violence, to sex is a subject of much confusion amongst the other Complicated Lifeforms so the answer is as long as my incisors.

Let us begin.

If it were at a tournament or event, and you are addressing a stranger:

This clearly makes things neither judgmental, nor personal. It keeps your response in the context of the rules of the game.

You do not have to investigate or challenge their views on politics or human violence and sexuality, nor feel the need to escalate.

If you are at a tournament, a slightly modified version of this response can be considered a fair “first warning” before you decide whether or not to call a judge over yourself, giving the person an opportunity to correct their behavior.

If it is amongst your friends and you’ve simply had enough:

  • “You are very dear to me my friend, but if you continue to use this language I’m going to question both my own taste and morality, and your lack of creative rhetoric. This is unoriginal, crude, and offensive.”

However, I understand that translates for many young humans into the following elocution:

  • “Dude,* stop saying _______, it’s not cool.”
    • (Dude” is of course gendered; please feel free to use the friendly in-group term of endearment or nickname best suited to the person you need to address.)

This works best if you have other friends nearby who also agree that the linguistics involved are “uncool…” It should still be said even if you are the only one who thinks it. Your peers may be silent on both matters, but the inappropriate term should not be allowed to wander all over the soundscape unchallenged, breaking through polite conversational rule boundaries like delicious, crunchy sheep through broken fences.

You may find you have to repeat this sentence frequently.

But what if they do not stop?

And here is where we run into the crux of the problem — both of the responses above are simple, correct, and effective without challenging deeply held beliefs or behaviors. However, if they continue, we, as Complicated Lifeforms, have a problem, because now they are being rude. On this plane of existence, at this point in history, we are unable to eat the rude without legal repercussions.

The thing to think about is this: Why are they using this term? This is where the most basic lesson of etiquette resides: one must assume they are NOT evil sentient beings. One must also assume that if they are indeed evil sentient beings, they should at least be aware that they should not give themselves away at such a tender, lightly seasoned, young age. I believe in your human advocacy groups this is called “assuming positive intent.”

If they continue using the term  — and have not made an explicit answer (most of which usually falls into “free speech,” “just words,” “there are no women here anyway,” “why do you care”) you can actually explain that:

  • You find it unnecessarily violent.
  • That sexual or violent actions with cards frequently cause paper cuts that could get infected in sensitive places.
  • That you are not an unthinking plebeian, and you know your friends and associates are not either, so stop speaking like one.
  • That they do not, and never will, know who does and does not have a history of sexualized violence against them. And really, do they want to? Because it happens to all humans, not just one gender’s worth. This word is truly about violence and power, not sex. They surely understand this is true after all; why else would they be using it to dominate their prey/opponent in victory?

These are points of conversation. They require trust and patience with people who have said inconsiderate and hurtful things simply because they have not really thought about it. Understand that it is also appropriate if you do not think you are the person who can lead these conversations. If these humans are your friends, your customers, or your opponents, you may simply stick to the first two responses. On the other claw, perhaps if you would like to find a middle ground I offer this option where you may specifically blame me, Mizz Mizzet, as the arbiter of good taste.

You may hand them this card:

Words and Insults that may be used in Victory that will make you less likely to be eaten by a Dragon: Instead of “I raped you” “You got raped in that trade” or “dude, you are going to get raped” In Victory, you might exclaim: “I destroyed you” “I salted your fields and burned your forests” “I polluted your sea and toxic waste is washing up on your islands” “I ruined you so badly, banks won’t give you credit after that game” “I violated five international treaties after what I did to you in that game” “I beat you so badly, I’m going to have to duck Amnesty International” “I won. Jubilations”

Back of Card:

For When A Trade Goes Poorly: “You just took out a redline mortgage for that trade” “Did you pay the trader to take your sleeves too?” “I’m pretty sure you just sold your first born, or at least the right to lease your reproductive organs in the future” When An Inadequate Player Is Heading Towards An Unpleasant Game: “You are going to lose badly” “You are going to get demolished, obliterated, taken advantage of, humiliated, punished, erased, executed, wrecked, abused, slammed, trashed, bushwhacked, blitzed, invaded, become an occupied territory . . . “ “You will be defiled, persecuted, pummeled maltreated, beset” “You will be beaten so badly that nearby chefs will mistake you for a large cube steak, season you, and serve you at the Mizzet Conclave”

If you can be more creative without creating Offense, Mizz Mizzet insists you prove it.


Delightful Readers, Please Submit Your Questions

You may submit your questions to Mizz Mizzet using this form.

New Mizz Mizzet columns are posted every Wednesday right here as well as in Hipsters of the Coast‘s weekly email newsletter. You are also encouraged to follow her at @MizzMizzet on Twitter.

Any questions answered publicly will be made anonymous, and noms de plume will be created to represent any parties mentioned.

Born a perfect Dragon in an imperfect multiverse, Mizz Mizzet (she/her) is the pioneer broodmother of today’s multiplanar civility movement.  She is now working to persuade Planeswalkers to participate in it.

Her tireless efforts to expand the understanding and exercise of etiquette beyond the stereotypical terror of too many pieces of silverware, and whether to use poisons or explosives at celebratory conquest dinners, have not, however, escaped official notice.

While Mizz Mizzet does not discuss her family life, she has consulted with her brood relative Niv Mizzet on the appropriate use of uniforms in presentation when serving minions as either delicacies or punishments. She specializes as a consultant in seating arrangements for Blue and Black Mage hosted political events as long as they sign contracts that she may eat the rude.

Out of respect for her relative’s delicate sensibilities regarding draconic rank, she does not reside on the plane of Ravnica.

Mizz Mizzet thanks Adrienne Reynolds for her interplanar transcription services.

Mizz Mizzet Portrait by Andre Garcia.

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