Characters: Magic The Gathering Planeswalkers
The earliest version of Magic lore had characters who could travel between worlds if they were powerful enough. This was soon codified into the term "Planeswalker" (One who can walk
from one plane
to another) and turned into the main characters of the stories. There are now two types, split between "old" and "new", either before or after the Mending. The Mending was an event with the potential to destroy the entire multiverse
. Every plane was at risk of being consumed by the Blind Eternities, an area of Limbo between planes.
Within the meta-sense, you, the player, are a Planeswalker, encountering others and fighting for superiority or simply having a sound disagreement.Pre-Mending
Regardless of whether it happened before or after the mending, the way in which a being becomes a Planeswalker is the same. Whenever a sentient being is born, there is a one in one million chance of it being born with "The Spark"—that is, the Planeswalker spark. And even then, the odds of that being triggering their ascension is also one in a million. The Spark is ignited typically in one of three ways—a near-death experience, situations of immeasurable psychological strain, or extremely deep meditation. These old-style Planeswalkers had powers comparable to most gods; they could travel to other realities with no more than a moment's concentration, they can take on any appearance they desire (though most choose to look the same as they did when they ascended), will not age or die of natural causes, no longer need to eat or sleep, and in a few cases, create their own artificial plane (and live there and practically be worshipped as
"You can build a perfect machine out of imperfect parts."
One of the oldest and most powerful planeswalkers in the multiverse, the artificer Urza was first seen as a mortal in the Antiquities
expansion, where he fought a bitter war against his fellow artificer and brother, Mishra. The disastrous war eventually led to the destruction of most of the continent, Mishra's death, Urza's ascension (after detonating the Golgothian Sylex, annihilating most of a continent and starting a millennia-long ice age), and the release of the lock that was keeping Phyrexia sealed away from Dominaria
Urza, recognizing the threat of Phyrexia and blaming them for the corruption and death of his brother, began a crusade to purge them from the multiverse. His campaign spanned millennia, eventually culminating in the Weatherlight
saga and the Dominarian Apocalypse.
He eventually died, victorious at last, at the end of Apocalypse
- Anti-Hero: He causes multiple cataclysmic magical disasters that completely destroy major landmasses, creates a eugenics program to breed super-soldiers, and is an overall Manipulative Bastard who gets regular What the Hell, Hero? moments. If Yawgmoth hadn't been set as the villain from the beginning, he could be a Villain Protagonist.
- Arch-Nemesis: First Mishra, and then Yawgmoth.
- Badass Grandpa
- Big Good: In the sense of leading the good guys, at least. Urza was not a nice man.
- Blind Seer: Used as a disguise.
- Byronic Hero
- Cain and Abel: The conflict with his brother Mishra got a little out of hand.
- The Chessmaster: Combine this with his Good Is Not Nice traits seen below, most of his gambits are only "good" because they're being used to fight Phyrexia.
- Face-Heel Turn: He betrays his fellow planeswalkers and gives in to Yawgmoth once he has reached Phyrexia.
- Gadgeteer Genius
- Glass Eye: He has a red powerstone for one eye, and a green one for the other.
- Good Is Not Nice: Gets worse as he gets older. It reaches its peak when he doesn't tell his longtime partner and friend Barrin that his daughter is dying of Phyrexian plague. It's after that point, when Barrin kills himself, that Urza starts to really pick up the pace.
- He Who Fights Monsters:
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Gerrard, the warrior he has bred to fight Yawgmoth, beheads him in the Phyrexian Arena. Somewhat of an aversion, though, because it was Gerrard beheading him that snapped him out of Yawgmoth's influence.
- Insufferable Genius
- Losing Your Head: His planeswalker powers mean that he can be beheaded and survive. His disembodied head can later be spotted relaxing in a hot tub in the non-canonical Unhinged expansion.
- Luke Nounverber: He's occasionally referred to as "Urza Planeswalker." This crosses over with Species Surname when you take into consideration that before the Mending, "Planeswalker" was less of a job description and more of an actual race.
- Mad Scientist
- Manipulative Bastard
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: A poster boy.
- Not So Different: From Yawgmoth, after all.
- Numerological Motif: Major artifacts associated with Urza tend to cost exactly seven mana. He also has a set of lands (Urza's Tower, Power Plant, and Mine) that when together on the battlefield will produce exactly seven mana by tapping the three. This is, of course, not a coincidence.
- Person of Mass Destruction: Gerrard uses his severed head as a weapon. He can't regenerate his body because Gerrard used a soul-killing weapon to behead him, but he can still talk and use his rather powerful eye-lasers.
- Set Bonus: Possibly the first example in a trading card game, the three Urza lands. Separately, they each give one mana. Together, they give seven mana. Add on an Urza's Factory and, for seven mana, you can put tokens into play. Add on his brother's factory and you can make those tokens bigger.
- The Social Darwinist
- The Unfettered
- Ungrateful Bastard: Multiple times, but most notably when he basically goes off to use Serra's realm to power his ship. Keep in mind, before hand he had been healed by Serra, who saved him from almost certain death.
- We Can Rule Together: When Yawgmoth asks him what is his greatest desire, Urza answers that he wants to sit next to him and benefit from his knowledge and power.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: He may be a dick to everyone, including his allies, but at least his efforts go towards stopping Yawgmoth. That is, until he reaches Phyrexia.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Urza gets called out at least Once an Episode.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity
"I'd be happy to stop contradicting you, Urza, just as soon as you start being right."
- Anachronism Stew: Despite hailing from a Medieval European Fantasy world, Bo Levar looks like he's straight out of the British Royal Navy of the 1800s.
- Badass Mustache: His elegant mustache is an important part of his face, helping to give the impression that you don't want to mess with the man.
- The Captain: Levar was first a pirate captain, then a legitimate merchant captain.
- Heroic Sacrifice: He ends his own life to power a shield that blocked Yawgmoth's final form when it tried to kill the merfolk.
- Mundane Utility: Some old-style Planeswalkers use their power to become Genius Loci. Some use it to become as gods. Others use it to accrue unending knowledge. Bo Levar uses it to smuggle cigars from one world to another.
- Privateer: After being forced to leave the navy after an indiscretion with an admiral's daughter he turned his maritime skill to use as a privateer.
"Life cannot be created and then abandoned. It must be nurtured and fed so that it may express its ripened might."
- Amazing Technicolor Population: Her skin color changed to reflect her mood.
- Boyish Short Hair: She preferred to keep her hair rather short.
- The Chick: In a Closer to Earth sort of way.
- Cynicism Catalyst: She never was much of a team player, but her desire to work with other planeswalkers really soured after the Invasion.
- Disappointed In You: Had nothing but scorn for Radha's rejection of Skyshroud traditions to embrace her Keldon heritage.
- Eyepatch of Power: Covering a magical eye.
- Gameplay and Story Integration: The way she "fixes" Dominaria was supposed to be one of the first infinite-mana combos. "Supposed" because the writer misunderstood one of the cards in the combo, Paralyze.
- God Guise: Became worshipped as a deity by the elves of Llanowar and Fyndhorn after helping them survive Dominaria's global Ice Age (and given the power of a pre-mending Planeswalker it's not altogether incorrect to call her one). After the Invasion, the elves of Skyshroud join them in their worship.
- Half-Human Hybrid: She's a half-elf from Storgard.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Sacrificed herself to seal the Skyshroud time rift during the events of Time Spiral.
- My Greatest Failure: She sees Radha as a failed attempt to raise a strong champion for Skyshroud, the denial of her last hope.
- Playing with Fire: She was a pyromancer before ascending, a stark contrast to her green-aligned planeswalker role.
- Power Floats: Preferred to float just above the ground as opposed to simply standing.
"It's the oldest trick in the book. And I ought to know—I wrote it."
- Author Avatar: Uh...see for yourself. From Apocalypse:
Madly, he erased. Madly, yes, for what editor erases so fervently the words an author has written? What editor allows his author to write a hundred thousand words only to erase ten thousand of them? Only an editor desperate to get history right.
Commodore Guff crouched upon a gnarl of basalt and feverishly applied the massive eraser to the history of the Dominarian Apocalypse. There went a sentence about the death of Eladamri. Just after, Liin Sivi[sic] no longer died, for all the way through she had been paired to him as though she were his gimp leg. And what about this paragraph where Bo Levar lights a cigar in a swamp and is blown to smithereens? Guff didn’t even erase that bit, but crumpled up the whole page and threw it into the lava that seeped from a nearby crack. What else had to go to make this goddamned trilogy work out? How about the legal material, and the dedication and acknowledgments? After all, who gives a goat’s droppings for the editor of an epic? Commodore Guff hurled those pages aside and saw them catch fire. He threw out the teaser too. It had given away the destruction of Dominaria anyway, something that was completely undecided at this point.
Commodore Guff turned his face from the ravaged book in his hand and looked skyward. “This would never have happened when I was in charge of continuity.”
- Funnily enough, Word of God states that J. Robert King (author of Apocalypse) based him on one of Magic's other authors, Scott McGough. So he's technically an Author Avatar, just the wrong author.
- Casual Danger Dialogue: He nonchalantly acknowledges the upcoming deaths of all his comrades, and even knows that in the 'original' history, Yawgmoth wins and Dominaria is assimilated into Phyrexia. He only agrees to start erasing things when it's brought to his attention that Yawgmoth's victory would mean the destruction of his library.
- Meta Guy: Was strangely aware of his status as a literary character.
- No Fourth Wall: What Deadpool is to the Marvel Universe, Guff is to Magic.
"There is no greater folly than standing against me."
Nicol Bolas is the oldest—and perhaps the most powerful—planeswalker in the multiverse. He first appeared in the Legends
cycle, where he battled Tetsuo Umezawa (a descendent of the Kamigawa
block's protagonist, Toshiro Umezawa) for control of Madara. He reappeared in the Time Spiral
block for a pair of epic planeswalker duels against Teferi and Leshrac, and then again to serve as an antagonist in the Shards of Alara
block. He's been manipulating Magic
's storyline from behind the scenes ever since. Read more about him here
- Above Good and Evil: He cares not for "pathetic moralizing", and views those who condemn him as a villain as seeing weakness as a virtue.
Bolas: What they call villainy is no more than the will to win by any means available. I make no apologies.
- Agony Beam: His touch causes immense physical and psychological trauma.
- The Arch Mage: He's an extremely powerful wizard even by planeswalker standards.
- Back from the Dead: Twice — first resurrecting himself from his death at the hands of Tetsuo Umezawa, then restoring himself to full strength during the Conflux.
- Bad Boss: Has a history of abusing his minions. See Sarkhan and Tezzeret below.
Nicol Bolas doesn't distinguish between servants and victims.
- Badass Boast: He's very fond of making impressive evil statements, practically every time he's quoted in the flavor text of a card it's an example. His entire encounter with Ajani at the end of Alara Unbroken is basically a long boast. Trouble is, he really is that good. Best summarized by this quote: "I've survived more apocalypses than you've had chest colds."
- The Bad Guy Wins: The stories of Shards of Alara and Zendikar are both cases of Bolas's plans coming to fruition. He encounters some hiccups along the way, but ultimately achieves his goals.
- Big Bad: Arguably Magic's premier force of evil. He certainly sees himself this way, though.
- Breakout Villain: At first, Nicol Bolas was just one part of a cycle of Elder Dragons. He's the only one who most people pay attention to nowadays.
- Brought Down to Normal / How the Mighty Have Fallen: The Mending brought him down from the godlike power of the old Planeswalkers to the relatively insignificant status of the new order, but his schemes soon saw him regain his former glory.
- The Chessmaster: His defining characteristic. His schemes span countless centuries and numerous planes of existence.
- Dispense With The Pleasantries: Really doesn't care for people wasting his time.
Tezzeret: You do us great honor with your presence. It is my hope, Nicol Bolas, that together we can come to a mutually beneficial—
Nicol Bolas: Shut up. I hate you, artificer, and I find rare cause to bother hating anyone anymore. The only reason I’m not currently picking your spine out from between my teeth is because you were smart enough to arrange these wards ahead of time. More to the point, I know full well you feel the same about me, no matter how you choose to doll up your words and trot them out like perfumed trollops. So perhaps we can save the pleasantries for those who might actually care about them, and simply tell me what you propose?
- The Dreaded: Prepared or not, practically every planeswalker ever does an Oh Crap when he deigns to appear in person.
- This extends to even the great powers of planes he's never even been to. On Theros, the god Kruphix knows everything that anybody in Theros knows as part of his divine nature, which means that he knows everything that a visiting Planeswalker does as soon as they planeswalk there. And not only does he fear what might happen if Bolas should come to Theros, he even admits that Bolas is unfathomably ancient and powerful compared to him. This from the the oldest and most powerful of the entire pantheon.
- Evil Genius: His is without a doubt one of the most brilliant minds in the Multiverse (probably even the most brilliant), and he's not using any of his brain cells for good.
- Evil Overlord: At several points in the history of the Multiverse the dragon has been known to rule empires, such as his stint as Emperor of Madara.
- Evil Sorcerer: Most likely the most powerful example to ever live. There's seemingly no end to his evil or his sorcerous might.
- Evil Is Petty: The first thing Bolas does when he's freed from the Meditation Realm is hunt down anyone who was descended from the man that put him there. And probably anyone they ever knew or loved for that matter. And their pets.
- Just Toying with Them: It'd be easier to count the fights Bolas has been in where he wasn't toying with his opponent. Exemplified in his "confrontation" with Jace Beleren and Tezzeret, where he proves fully capable of engaging with Tezzeret in a complex negotiation, idly chatting with Jace Beleren without giving any outward sign that he's doing anything but speaking with Tezzeret, has managed to move in and conceal an entire army without either Tezzeret or Jace becoming aware of it, and then, when Bolas is done with his idle chatting, he overwhelms Jace's best mental defense without even trying. That Jace could hold him off like that for less than a second is described as a greater feat than Jace will ever understand.
His body rigid, as though he'd long since succumbed to the blizzard's touch, Jace hurled the entire force of his will into a mental lunge. His mind screamed into the ice, and nobody heard. Like a closing fist, he snapped shut the grid of thought, trying to block Bolas before he—Oh, dear Heaven! Jace's mind quailed before the greatest power he had ever felt. The innermost depths of Alhammarret's psyche, the very core of the wizard's being, had been nothing, a gentle springtime gust to the roaring hurricane that was this single tendril of the dragon's mind.
- Manipulative Bastard: Manipulates everyone he can all the time, and really, he's just a bastard all around.
- Mind Rape: Standard attacks for him. It comes with the mastery over blue and black magic.
- Even as a regular old pre-planeswalker creature, if he hits you, you lose every card in your hand. That's basically the in-game equivalent.
- Multiversal Conqueror: Nothing less than absolute dominion over all planes of existence is his end goal.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Supposedly he has so many titles he doesn't even care about them anymore, most notably The Tyrant of Worlds.
- Jace Beleren comes up with a few good names as well, such as the Eldest Planeswalker and the Forever Serpent.
- No Fourth Wall: Once took over a column on the official website.
- Not Cheating Unless You Get Caught: He considers himself the only one who can get away with whatever he wants forever. Of course, he'll also point out that he does not play games.
- Number of the Beast: Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012 states that he is 60 feet long, 60 feet wide, and weighs 60 tonnes.
- Numerological Motif: His final ability does seven damage to a player, then makes that player sacrifice seven permanents and discard seven cards.
- Olympus Mons: The original five Elder Dragons are the ancestors of all dragons, with Bolas himself as the far greatest among them. And you, as a planeswalker, can summon him both as a creature and as a planeswalker ally.
- Our Dragons Are Different: Immortal, supremely powerful, masterfully manipulative wizards bent on total omnipotence.
- Pragmatic Villainy: Bolas subscribes to this and in his "On Winning" article advises others to do the same.
- Text book example is his reason for being against cheating within the context of a game. If you win by cheating and don't get caught, you won. If you win without cheating, you won. There is no difference. However, if you get caught cheating, you lost and now you are likely denied any future chance to make up for the defeat.
- The Social Darwinist: He's extremely fond of the idea that the strong should dominate the weak. And in Bolas's mind (and reality most of the time), he's the strong and everyone else is the weak.
Bolas: Do the innocent pay for the crimes of the guilty? Of course they do. That's the fate of the weak.
- Sorcerous Overlord: His vast array of magic ensures his dominion over his servants.
- Xanatos Gambit: In the end, all schemes lead to victory for Bolas. You don't survive for millennia without being an expert manipulator.
- Xanatos Speed Chess: His favorite game, made easy by having such a tremendous intellect.
"Let Phyrexia breed evil in the darkness; my holy light will reveal its taint."
- Crystal Dragon Jesus: The faith formed around her was strongly inspired by Christianity, design-wise. Especially evident in earlier sets like Homelands.
- Crystal Spires and Togas: Her Realm's aesthetic is this in a Fluffy Cloud Heaven.
- Floating Continent: Throughout her Realm.
- Fluffy Cloud Heaven: Her Realm is the Magic multiverse's clearest example of this kind of dimension.
- God Guise: Like some other Planeswalkers she inspired a religion among the mortals.
- Have You Seen My God?: She hasn't been seen since Urza's first visit to her realm. The second time he shows up, Archangel Radiant is running things in her absence. She did it again to her worshippers on Ulgrotha, except this time she became suicidal and got herself killed.
- Knight Templar: Displayed a rather zealous attitude much of the time.
- Light 'em Up: Light was her favored element.
"Follow the light. In its absence, follow her." (2012 Core Set
version of Serra Angel
- Light is Good: All in all, Serra was a great force of good.
- The Mourning After: When her husband Feroz died in a freak lab accident, she lost all will to live.
- Underboobs / Bare Your Midriff: Her signature look gave a very generous view of most of her torso, including her Action Girl abs.
Taysir of Rabiah
"How terrible to wander wishing only to escape oneself."
- The Chosen One: On Rabiah, at least.
- Cool Old Guy: Lived to the ripe old age of 95.
- Fusion Dance: A Power Booster example. He originally had five alternate universe counterparts, one for each colour of mana, and became a planeswalker when his Black self pulled this off with all the rest.
- Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Attempts this on Urza after Urza betrays the Nine Titans and turns to Yawgmoth. In response, Urza kills Taysir in self-defense.
- Heel-Face Revolving Door: Back and forth and back and forth... To begin with, his black self was the murderous henchman of an evil wizard. After fusing with the personality and memories of his first alternate-universe-self victim, he had a Heel-Face Turn and fused more peacefully with the others only to save them from said wizard. After centuries as an immortal, he slowly became a total Jerkass and then a violent villain. After dying and going through Anaba Minotaur purgatory, he came back as a good guy.
- Minor Major Character: Canonically, he was briefly the most powerful Planeswalker in the multiverse until Urza ascended, due to having five sparks instead of one, and even then he was quite powerful. Most of his time in the limelight is in the time before the Weatherlight saga, where Urza doesn't figure into things much at all, and afterwards he barely even gets mentioned. He comes back for the Invasion block, only to get killed.
- Papa Wolf: His aforementioned attacking of Urza was also in part caused by the fact that Urza's recruitment of Tevesh Szat led to his adoptive daughter being killed.
- The Red Mage: One of the few Planeswalkers to master all five colours, due to the circumstances of his ascension.
You pray to Freyalise, but she cannot hear your pleas. It is Tevesh Szat who will claim your soul.
- Cynicism Catalyst: The death of his sister drove him to finally abandon the last shreds of his humanity.
- Evil Makes You Ugly: He started out as a regular man, but his hatred would turn him into a hideous squamous abomination.
- Evil Sorceror: His sorcerous might brought ruin to many a civilization.
- Out-Gambitted: He thought he was winning by betraying Urza's allies, but Urza had planned it all and won in the end.
- Playing with Fire: Incinerating those he's not fond of was not an uncommon thing for him to do.
- Scaled Up: Abandoning the last piece of humanity and goodness within him in favor of hatred fully transformed him into a serpentine monstrosity.
- Sssssnake Talk: A ssside effect of getting Ssscaled Up.
- Token Evil Teammate: Deconstructed. He does end up backstabbing his teammates, which is exactly what Urza wanted, because he needs an ally to drain the soul out of and use it as a bomb. (What the Hell, Hero? ensues.)
- Was Once a Man: Before ascending, he was a human named Tev. Afterwards, he looked like a lizard man's torso on an octopus's tentacles.
"Phyrexia is an unforgiving place, and I am an angry lord in an unforgiving mood."
- Cat Folk: A panther warrior from Urborg.
- Dark Is Not Evil: He was a black, scary-looking panther warrior with a ferocious temper and destructive spells, but also thoroughly on the side of good.
- Genius Loci: It is implied that his spirit fused with Urborg itself and he still watches over it.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Sacrificed himself to stop the Urborg temporal rift and stop a Phyrexian invasion through time, but his spirit remains to guard his homeland.
- Light 'em Up: Control over light for both protective and destructive purposes was a signature ability of his.
- Offhand Backhand: As shown by the image on the right, he could do this with magic, even.
- Panthera Awesome: The only known feline Planeswalker of the old kind, and with some truly powerful magic at his disposal he was no mere kitten.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Despite his hatred for all artifice, he goes easy on Venser despite the poor guy's adaptation of Phyrexian relics into his machines because he sees Venser as more misguided than actively malicious. He also eventually listens to Teferi's warnings, though he had him at arm's length for a long time.
- Science Is Bad: Had a special hatred for anything even remotely related to artfacts.
"We define the boundaries of reality; they don't define us."
A blue-aligned planeswalker from Zhalfir specializing in time magic and phasing. The events of Time Spiral
caused him to lose his planeswalker spark, making him mortal again
- Bald Black Leader Guy: Dark-skinned and lacking hair, his role as a great leader later in life propelled him into this trope.
- Court Mage: To the court of Zhalfir, specifically.
- Complexity Addiction: Being a blue mage, he just unconsciously gravitates towards manipulative and calculated acts, which instill no mean amount of exasperation in his companions during the time rift crisis.
- Delinquents: He apparently was one at the Academy, but he's since grown out of it.
- Depower: He gave up his Planeswalker spark and became a mortal (but still very powerful) wizard in Time Spiral so that he could close the time rift over Shiv.
- Heroic BSOD: He gets two during the time rift crisis: first, when he loses his spark closing the Shivan rift, and second when Jeska unwittingly consigns Zhalfir to oblivion.
- Large Ham: As a planeswalker, his playfulness manifests in making everything he says and does unnecessarily impressive.
- Reasonable Authority Figure
- Time Master: And one powerful enough to warp two countries into an alternate timeline, no less.
- Trickster Archetype: Phasing in many ways resembles this.
- Tyke Bomb: Since he was noticed to have great magical potential as a child, he was trained to fight back against the Phyrexians at Urza's Tolarian Academy.
"Even the threat of power has power."Jeska
first appeared in the Odyssey
block storyline as Kamahl
's sister. After suffering mortal wounds at the hands of her brother's Mirari
-induced insanity, she was resurrected by the Cabal during the Onslaught
storyline, gaining a new life as the fearsome Phage the Untouchable
. The events of Legions
caused her to fuse with Akroma and Zagorka to form Karona, the False God. When Karona was defeated, Jeska's spark ignited and she re-emerged as a planeswalker, leaving with Karn to travel the multiverse. She later returned in Future Sight
to help seal the time rifts.
- Enemy to All Living Things: As Phage, her touch causes organic matter to rot, to the extent she has to wear silk and to sleep on a bed of stone.
- Gameplay and Story Integration: In the game, any creature she damages dies immediately, any player she damages dies immediately, and if you mishandle her, you die immediately.
- Enemy Within: Jeska struggles with her alter-ego Phage, both before and after she becomes a planeswalker.
- Fiery Redhead
- Heroic Sacrifice: In Future Sight, she gives her life to seal the Otarian time rift.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Phage comes from Ancient Greek phageton, which means to consume. She's also referred to as "the Untouchable".
- Not So Different: From Akroma.
- Unwitting Pawn: Is Leshrac's during the events of Future Sight.
- Walking Wasteland: As Phage.
- What the Hell, Hero?!: Teferi gives her an incredibly angry one when she rashly closes the Zhalfirin rift before the continent was due to phase back in. It leads her to a brief My God, What Have I Done? moment.
"Some have said there is no subtlety to destruction. You know what? They're dead."The
Task Mage. She started her life as a street urchin until she stumbled upon Jodah, who took her under his wing. She didn't stay long, though, and went on to become a task mage (a term for Hired Guns
). Her spark ignited after fighting a Demonic Possession
by Mairsil The Pretender. She was also a figurehead of a monastery that Chandra, her future Expy
, went to.
"Will not the mountains quake and hills melt at the coming of the darkness?"
- Evil Gloating: He relishes speaking mockingly to everyone.
- The Man Behind the Man: Behind Tevesh Szat and Lim-Dûl during the Ice Age, and behind the Weaver King during the time rift crisis...though he himself was acting at the behest of the Myojin of Night's Reach.
- Manipulative Bastard: He got under Jeska's skin very easily and nudged her into doing his bidding.
- Mega Manning: In Future Sight, he stole the black magic abilities from Nicol Bolas and Jeska/Phage.
- Out-Gambitted: He thought he could destroy Nicol Bolas with the power of the Mask of Night's Reach during the events of Time Spiral, which was probably true... but Bolas had the real mask while Leshrac had a mere forgery, and the Elder Dragon decisively defeated the other Planeswalker and killed him to mend the Madaran time rift, ending his reign of terror..
- Red Baron: Was widely known as "The Walker of Night", or just "Nightwalker".
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Twice. Once in the Shard of the Twelve Worlds, and once in Phyrexia.
- Significant Anagram: The exact in-universe significance, if any, is unknown, but his name is an anagram of the from an Earthly perspective decidedly more ordinary Charles.
- Squishy Wizard: Very much unlike Nicol Bolas, he was a terrible physical combatant, and had to resort to trickery and magic for the edge.
- While Rome Burns: He believed the time rift crisis wouldn't be as widespread as Teferi claimed...and even if it were, all he cared about was killing Nicol Bolas and stealing the rank of top planeswalker for however long he could keep it.
A planeswalker trying to enter the world of Shandalar for its unique mana, Arzakon uses the five guilds from there, each of a different color of mana, to gain three "mana taps" to summon him. He's the final boss of the 1997 Microprose Card Battle Game
- Awesome, but Impractical: A five-color deck? Granted, it's stacked with broken cards, but still...
- Big Bad: Of the Microprose game.
- Deal with the Devil: He tricked five mages into casting a powerful spell they thought would give them control over Shandalar, but in reality gave him the ability to access the plane.
- Rocks Fall Everybody Dies: He'll attack when his five minions are defeated.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: If you can't defeat him completely, he'll still be locked away. How long he stays sealed depends on how much damage you can deal to him.
During the events of the "Time Spiral" block, Dominaria was on the verge of reality tearing apart and the plane being unmade (and since Dominaria is the hub of the Magic
universe, all other planes would fall soon after), mostly due to the various apocalypses the plane has been subjected to throughout the eons. The storyline ended with the rifts healed, but at a price; many of the old-style Planeswalkers gave up their Sparks, or in some cases, their lives, to fix the problem. The nature of the Spark itself had changed as well. The odds of being born with (and igniting) The Spark were about the same, but new-style Planeswalkers aren't nearly as powerful; they're mortal, and can't planeswalk as easily as their predecessors (it usually involves a ritual of some sort). They can't create their own worlds anymore, either. They are, however, "weak" enough to be printed on Magic
cards without destroying game balance, and with the exception of the Lorwyn
, are exclusively in the Mythic Rare rarity slot.
"Duty, honor, and valor are either in your heart or they are not. You will never know for certain until you are tested."Ajani Goldmane
is a white-aligned planeswalker. He first appeared in the storyline as a protagonist in the Shards of Alara
block, where his quest to avenge the murder of his brother led him to discover the nefarious machinations of Nicol Bolas. He later meets up with Elspeth Tirel on Theros. His specialty is Soul Power
: invoking and strengthening the spirits of others. Read more about him here
- All of the Other Reindeer: His white fur made him an outcast towards his own clan with the exception of his late brother.
- An Axe to Grind: Ajani's weapon of choice is his prized double ended axe, which is essentially his axe with his brother's axe head grafted on to the other side.
- Anti-Magic: The general purpose of Ajani's sundering magic. A more proactive example can be seen on Silence.
- Bash Brothers: Both accomplished warriors in their own rights, with Ajani's Status Buff magic, he and his brother were untouchable. Bonus Points for being literal brothers as well.
- Big Brother Mentor: Ajani becomes this to the Leonin tribes on Theros. His new card goes as far to call him ''Mentor of Heroes''.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: Ajani undertook many dangerous tasks upon himself to win his pride's respect, such as hunting Naya's behemoths alone. None of them worked.
- The Empath
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Good; A simple line over his missing left eye.
- Heroic Albino: Eventually. Growing up, his tribe (except for his brother) thought he was bad luck.
- Meaningful Name: His actual surname is Goldmane, it's just a coincidence that he was born platinum blonde.
- Misery Builds Character: Discussed in the flavor text for Silvercoat Lion.
- Nay-Theist: After Elspeth's death he begins spreading this doctrine on Theros, trying to weaken the gods by shaking mortal belief.
- Panthera Awesome
- Rage Against the Heavens: After the Godsend shenigans and the pettiness of the gods became clear to him, he is now dedicated to exterminate the belief that sustains them.
- The Red Mage: As red/white Ajani Vengeant, red taking the role "black magic" does in most video games.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: In his younger years. Later he calmed down.
- He almost goes on one against the agents of Erebos after Elspeth is mortally wounded, but is stopped by his fellow leonin.
- Soul Power: The White Magic variant.
- Status Buff: His specialty. The drawback is that he can't use such Magic on himself.
- Teach Him Anger: His brother's death started the process, and Sarkhan Vol taught him to embrace the anger as strength.
- Tragic Keepsake: Two of them, actually; his brother's axe, and Elspeth's iconic white cloak.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: As Vengeant.
- You Killed My Brother
- You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry: No you would not.◊
"The things I once imagined would be my greatest achievements were only the first steps toward a future I can only begin to fathom."
Jace Beleren is a planeswalker who specializes in mental magic: telepathy
, that sort of thing. He's a central character in Agents of Artifice
. Read more about him here
- Abstract Apotheosis: He becomes the new guildpact at the end of the Return to Ravnica cycle.
- Anime Hair: Seen in Jace's Ingenuity. His M12 card features it directly. Ironically, minimized in the Japanese Duel Decks version, which has his hood up.
- Anti-Magic: Yawn
- Audience Surrogate: Jace was designed to be a stand-in for what R&D considered the archetypal Magic player: an 18-to-30-year-old male, socially withdrawn but creative and intelligent. Even his color, blue, is polled as the most popular among that demographic.
- Battle of Wits: Jace's favorite strategy.
- Benevolent Mage Ruler: Becomes one on Ravnica as the Living Guildpact, arbiter of the many disputes between the guilds.
- Blue Oni: To Chandra's Red Oni.
- Byronic Hero: He has some of the typical traits, though he seems to growing out of it somewhat.
- Charm Person
- Cowardly Lion: A bit, especially when he stands up against Tezzeret because of his repeated abuse and lust for power. This eventually leads Jace to wipe Tezzeret's mind.
- Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: His reaction to Niv-Mizzet literally coming up to his face and announcing that he would like to declare war on Selesnya? A stoic no. While Niv is forced to comply and flies away shortly after, it's highly suggested he was merely testing Jace's ability with the declaration, since he set off the whole maze run in order to avoid full scale war.
- Enemy Mine: When he's not fighting Chandra, he's teaming up with her.
- Fake Memories
- Guile Hero
- In the Hood: About half of his artwork depicts him this way.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Has this as one of his powers.
- Levitating Lotus Position: Easy Pose while being ingenious, as befits the exercise of physic powers.
- Living MacGuffin: After the events of the Return to Ravnica block, the maze is fully solved and Jace becomes the living embodiment of the Guildpact, the entity which forbids the guilds from instigating open war with one another.
- Master of Illusion
- Memory Gambit: Pulls one during Return to Ravnica, ultimately resulting in Jace ascending to become the Living Guildpact.
- Mind-Control Eyes: People under his control have glowing blue eyes.
- Mind Manipulation
- Mind Rape: All of his cards have had some form of this, but it shines the brightest on Jace, the Mind Sculptor's fourth ability. He also subjects Tezzeret to this in Agents of Artifice.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Many cases of this, but his bumbling in Zendikar with Chandra and Sarkhan stand out the most. For that one, he has no idea somebody named Bolas has planned that.
- No Sell: Biggest example is his fight with Chandra.
- The Smart Guy
- Psychic Powers
- Sympathy for the Devil: Towards Baltrice.
- Would Hit a Girl: In The Secretist, he beats the crap out of a Rakdos bloodwitch in her own bar. To be fair, most bloodwitches are the kind of person you'd want to seriously injure.
- In the fiction for the Jace vs. Vraska Duel Deck, Jace is is forced to fight for his life against the Gorgon.
"When you find yourself teetering on the edge of oblivion, mine will be the hands taking pleasure in giving you the final push."
Liliana Vess is a black-aligned planeswalker whose specialty is necromancy
. She has several long-running debts with demons after a few bargains
she made. Read more about her here
"Spontaneous combustion is a myth. If you burst into flame, someone wanted you to."
Chandra Nalaar is a red-aligned pyromancer
and the star of The Purifying Fire
. She's impulsive, passionate, and has a violent disrespect for authority. Read more about her here
- Action Girl
- Best Served Cold: Speaking strictly figuratively, of course. Chandra blows up The Order of Heliud's Regatha outpost. The Order was responsible for executing her village for harboring pyromancers.
- Cool Big Sis: To the children at Keral Keep.
- Depending on the Artist: Most of the Post-Mending Walkers get shafted by this, but Chandra gets it the worst. Her eye color, her hair color, how straight her hair is when not on fire, how freckley she is, and just generally how attractive she is tend to vary in virtually every appearance.
- Enemy Mine: When she's not fighting Jace, she's teaming up with him.
- Expy: Of Jaya Ballard. Interestingly enough, the pyromancers of Keral Keep who took her in sprung up around Jaya's teachings. Jaya is, after all, known to rub off on people who hang around her too long - including Archmage Jodah, who lamented that her influence was making him as reckless as she was.
- Fiery Redhead: Literally, as in, often depicted with flames.
- Flaming Hair
- Only the Pure of Heart: The Purifying Fire. The Order of Heliud favored executing their more notable prisoners and dissidents in the Purifying Fire, a massive wellspring of white mana on the plane of Regatha, that immolates all the guilty criminals that are thrown into it, as a way of proving their just cause. Chandra survived the experience after confessing her guilty feelings of her village's death to Gideon. It immolates the ''guilty''.
- Playing with Fire
- Pyro Maniac
- Red Oni: To Jace's Blue Oni.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: The Tomboy to Liliana's Girly Girl.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Gideon. She likes him, but abhors his worldview of the greater good being more important than personal freedom.
- Unskilled, but Strong: After one of her temper tantrums, the Order of Heliud came down hard on her village, because they believed they were harboring a large number of pyromancers. They didn't believe the amount of damage done was possible from a single person. She is powerful and volatile enough that Nicol Bolas in the Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013 describes her as "so utterly filled with power, so wholly lacking in restraint and vision."
- Youthful Freckles
"The predator knows the true way of the world. Life is conflict. Only the strong survive."
Garruk Wildspeaker is a Beast Master
planeswalker who wields green magic. He's a powerful hunter who lives in harmony with nature and aspires to be a true predator. His skirmish with Liliana on Innistrad left him defeated and cursed by the Chain Veil, which corrupted him with black magic. Now he seeks to hunt the ultimate game of the multiverse—planeswalkers
. Read more about him here
- An Axe to Grind
- Axe Crazy: Literally. While cursed, he puts that axe to good use.
- Barbarian Hero
- The Beast Master
- The Big Guy: He's at least a full head taller than the other human Planeswalkers. Duels of the Planeswalkers puts his height at 8 feet.
- Challenge Seeker: He searches the multiverse for the biggest, baddest monsters to fight in order to prove himself. After being cursed by Liliana and the Chain Veil, his new prey is planeswalkers.
- Child Soldiers: Defied. His father sent him into the wilderness so that he wouldn't be one...
- Cool Helmet: A trophy of the feudal lord that drove him from his father and later killed him.
- The Corruption: Suffers from one after being defeated by the Veil-enhanced Liliana.
- Defeat Means Friendship: After defeating the wild beasts he fights he forms bonds with them so he can summon them in battle later, making him a Fluffy Tamer.
- Face-Heel Turn: By Magic 2015 he's succumbed to Liliana's curse and has become overtly malevolent, hunting down other Planeswalkers for sport.
- Final Boss: Of Duels of the Planeswalkers '15. And you have to beat him twice in a row; the second being a One-Winged Angel form.
- Fluffy Tamer
- Genocide Backfire: In Garruk's backstory, the feudal lord who ruled his town tried to recruit Child Soldiers to fight his war. The young Garruk escaped into the forest, where he trained himself as a Beast Master. Years later, when he grew strong enough, he returned and killed the tyrant from his childhood.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: As Garruk Relentless.
- Heroic Willpower: The only thing keeping him from succumbing to Liliana's curse.
- Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: In the original blurbs that were released when the original post-mending walkers were being spoiled, Garruk was said to enjoy the thrill of hunting fellow Planeswalkers. He was putting this to practice with Liliana, but after his corruption by the Veil he's hunting down any walker he can find.
- Hypocrite: One of Garruk's chief problems with civilized society, is how much they lie to one another and how little consequence there is to it. He is not above lying himself in any way, though considering he's Not Good with People, he probably considers it justified.
- Insult Backfire: In one comic, he recalls that people call him a monster. He comes to the conclusion, "They're wrong. I am a thousand of them."
- Large and in Charge
- Make My Monster Grow: He does this to his summons when they're not dangerous enough.
- Might Makes Right
- Mook Maker: All three of his printed cards make tokens in varying levels of effectiveness.
- Nature Hero: ...In the first portrayals. In Magic 2013, he is portrayed as a borderline psychopath.
- To be fair, he's under the influence of the Chain Veil by that point.
- Noble Savage: One of his core beliefs.
- Not Good with People
- One-Winged Angel: When you beat him on Zendikar, he taps into the power granted to him thanks to the veil's curse, causing him to grow larger, and grow Spikes of Villainy all over him. In-game, his second deck is all kinds of overpowered; a common play for him, through use of ramping and full clips of Gates and Dual Lands, is to put a Spiritmonger on the board by turn three.
- Papa Wolf: His father is implied to be this. Garruk himself also counts, as he doesn't take too kindly to people harming his animal buddies.
- Raised by Wolves: Semi. As a child, he was drafted into the military, so his father hid him in the woods. Using his Beast Master powers, he was then adopted into a family of Baloths, which are giant green horned monsters the size of monster trucks.
- Restraining Bolt: As a result of the Veil's curse.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Garruk is coming for Liliana.
- Scarily Competent Tracker: He somehow managed to track Liliana through the Blind Eternities. How is that even possible?
- Seeing Things: Under the Veil's curse. He hallucinates animals in the place of the Innistradi people he meets, performing actions which vaguely relate to what their human counterparts are doing (for instance, the "townsbirds" all flock to their nests as the people around him fearfully run indoors and peer at him suspiciously through upstairs windows).
- Slowly Slipping Into Evil: As a result of Liliana's curse affecting his mind, heightening his worst qualities.
- The Social Darwinist: His Magic 2013 portrayal.
- Summon Magic: He specializes in going to dangerous locales, finding the biggest meanest animals he can, beating the crap out of them, then bonding with them, allowing him to summon them at will.
- Superpowered Evil Side: As seen in Innistrad, he seems to be giving in to it more often.
- Tainted Veins: As "Garruk, the Veil-Cursed".
- Took a Level in Jerkass: He started out as Not Good with People, but during Magic 2013, he became a Social Darwinist due to the curse.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Most of the time.
- Walking Wasteland: In the opening of Duels of the Planeswalkers 2015; a tree's fruits are seen engulfed with blight before rotting and falling off...and the remaining trees shrivel up and flake away as well.
- Wolverine Claws
- You Killed My Father: His father was arrested and executed for defying the local feudal lord, whom Garruk confronted for revenge later in life.
"Finally, I understand. Home isn't where you rest. It's what you fight for."
Elspeth Tirel is a planeswalker who wields White Magic
. Born on a plane dominated by Phyrexia, she escaped after her spark ignited and roamed the worlds looking for a home. When she found Bant, she believed she'd found her true home; after Alara's Conflux, however, she felt that she no longer belonged, and left to roam the multiverse once more. As of the Godsend novel, Elspeth has apparently been Killed Off for Real.
Read more about her here
- Blade on a Stick: As the Sun's Champion during the events of Theros, Heliod transforms her Sword into a spear named Godsend.
- Blinded by the Light: As seen on Soul Parry, where Elspeth turns aside the attacks of two Nim zombies with a flash of bright white light.
- Broken Bird: Having your home destroyed and being raised in a concentration camp would do that.
- Changed My Mind, Kid: In the Scarred comic. She has a Heroic BSOD after a particularly horrifying encounter with some Phyrexians; after a pep talk with a Vulshok shaman who admonishes her for her cowardice, she returns to rescue Venser and Koth from one of Jin-Gitaxias's experiments.
- The Chosen One: She was chosen to be Heliod's champion on Theros.
- Cool Sword: Her usual Weapon of Choice.
- Cosmic Plaything: The multiverse just seems to have it in for her in general. First her Dark and Troubled Past, then watching Bant be invaded by Grixis, then everything to do with New Phyrexia. Then she goes to Theros, things seem to be looking up, but then Xenagos manages to scapegoat her for his ascension while making her kill Daxos, and even when she finally defeats Xenagos, Heliod kills her out of pure spite. And on top of that, even though she attempts to sacrifice herself for Daxos, he is brought back as a Returned living out a Fate Worse than Death.
- Cowardly Lion: She is a very strong planeswalker and really wants to help, but she finds herself more often running away than actually helping in any way.
- Dark and Troubled Past: She was raised in a Phyrexian death camp. She was only thirteen when her spark ignited and she escaped.
- Death by Irony: She is killed by the weapon she used as the Sun's Champion, wielded by the sun god himself.
- Despair Event Horizon: Elspeth falls dangerously close to it in Part II of Scarred.
- The Fatalist: She thinks her version of paradise, Bant, will fall to the undead of Grixis, even as the fight isn't yet lost and Ajani tries to convince her to help him.
- A Father to Her Men: She is very dedicated to soldiers under her command and takes their well-being very seriously.
- The Fettered: Time and again, it's her responsibility towards others that pulls her back from the edge of despair and gives her the power to keep going.
- The Hero Dies
- Heroic Sacrifice: She attempts to sacrifice herself to resurrect Daxos, but it is ultimately a...
- Senseless Sacrifice: Heliod would have killed her regardless, and Erebos cheats her by reviving Daxos as a Returned.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Heliod kills her with the Godsend, the same spear she used to defeat Polukranos and Xenagos.
- Honor Before Reason: At first, she refuses to use her magic to defend Bant from the zombie invaders of Grixis, fighting hand-to-hand instead.
- Hope Spot: On Theros, she finds a friend in Daxos, becomes a hero, slays the divine hydra, Polukranos, and breaks the siege of Akros. She even starts to think that maybe Theros can be her home. Then Xenagos manipulates her into killing Daxos, makes her a scapegoat for his ascension, and even when she finally slays him, Heliod kills her out of petty jealousy.
- Hurting Hero
- I Just Want to Be Normal:
- On Bant, Elspeth decides to abandon her planeswalking and become an ordinary knight. She refuses to reveal her powerful magical abilities for fear that it would set her apart from the others.
- Her role on Theros paints her as a reluctant hero once again, with Heliod calling on her to fight the monsters that are threatening humanity.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Courtesy of Heliod
- Killed Off for Real: Effectively dies as of the second part of Godsend.
- Kill the God: Battles Xenagos, God of Revels during the events of "Journey into Nyx". As seen on the card "Deicide", she plunges the Godsend into his chest and successfully strikes him down.
Elspeth: It is done.
- Knight Errant: Unlike other Knight Errants, she wants to find a home and settle there. Too bad said home doesn't last forever...
- Knight in Sour Armor: She hides her fragile idealism under a suit of pessimistic armor.
- Lady of War
- Light 'em Up
- Magic Knight: She's skilled with both her sword/spear and white magic.
- Meaningful Name: "Elspeth" is the Scottish form of Elizabeth, which means "oath of God". As such, her name becomes quite fitting once she becomes Heliod's champion.
- Mook Maker: All her incarnations so far can make 1/1 Soldiers of varying quantity.
- Nigh-Invulnerability: One of her ultimate spells shields her allies from any form of conventional damage.
- The Paladin
- La Résistance: During her time on Mirrodin.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Her motivation for fighting Xenagos after he ascends is to avenge Daxos.
- The Scapegoat: Xenagos completed his final ritual to become one of Theros' Gods during a victory celebration after the breaking of the siege of Akros—a battle which Elspeth commanded. She got the blame for the ensuing upheaval and was exiled to the wilderness.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Implied with some of her reactions to the Phyrexians, the ones who killed her family.
- Straw Nihilist: While she is well meaning, her post-traumatic stress disorder has left her so utterly cynical and pessimistic that she can't bring herself to save Bant, her adopted home. She gets better when fighting against the Phyrexians, the ones who caused her PTSD.
- Took a Level in Badass: Elspeth Tirel in New Phyrexia: one step away from a Despair Event Horizon. Elspeth Tirel in Theros: kills a nigh-invulnerable god-hydra upon her arrival to the plane because no one else was there who would. Not bad, Elspeth. Not bad.
- White Mask of Doom: Has one of these after dying on Theros and having to go down to Nyx. Her mask is seen as having her nose and mouth, while her "eyes" are in the same shape and layout of the two white gems in her trademark sword/spear.
"Rage courses in every heart, yearning to betray its rational prison."
The dragon shaman planeswalker Sarkhan Vol was first introduced in Shards of Alara
. At first, he wielded red and green magic, but under Nicol Bolas's tutelage (as well as Sanity Slippage
), he's moved away from green in favor of black. He was originally from the war-torn plane of Tarkir, where dragons have long since become extinct. Read more about him here
- A Day in the Limelight: The "Khans of Tarkir" expansion will feature him to a degree; he even shows up in one of the promo artworks.
- Ambiguously Brown: Sarkhan has a Slavic name, but is distinctly Asian looking.
- The Berserker: His second card is the only planeswalker card that doesn't have an ability to increase his loyalty, so fighting will kill him sooner or later.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Throwing his chips in with Bolas probably wasn't the best idea.
- Breath Weapon: He can do it out of his hands no less: 
- The Dragon: To Bolas. Pun not intended.
- Dragon Rider
- Hell-Bent for Leather: As Sarkhan the Mad◊.
- Meaningful Name: Sarkhan comes from the word "šarkan", which means dragon in the Slovak language. As a bonus, it is a popular name for guard dogs in Slavic countries, which is more or less how Bolas treats Sarkhan.
- Mind Rape: Bolas has been doing this to him, and it's been taking its toll on his psyche.
- Might Makes Right: The reason for his tribe's dragon worship.They're more powerful than every other form of life, thus making them the rightful rulers.
- Sanity Slippage: After spending a long time isolated in the Eye of Ugin, he reappeared in Rise of the Eldrazi as Sarkhan the Mad.
- Scaled Up: Form of the Dragon Card, and he does this to others on Sarkhan the Mad.
- Übermensch: Sarkhan strives to live his life unbound by the chains of civilization, believing that listening to your heart and instincts is better than the 'arbitrary' rules of society. Unfortunately, this makes him quite morally dubious at times. And then he caves and becomes more of a Last Man as he submits to Nicol Bolas's will.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: The poor guy wasn't really in control of himself or his actions during the events in the Eye of Ugin.
"I appreciate the depravity of noble designs turned to devious ends."
Originally from the Alaran shard of Esper, Tezzeret is a blue-aligned planeswalker (and an agent of Nicol Bolas) who specializes in artifice. Read more about him here
"Death not for survival but for vanity and pleasure? This is the decadence I sought to curb."
Sorin Markov is a black-aligned vampire planeswalker who specializes in Blood Magic
. He was one of the three planeswalkers who created the seal to trap the Eldrazi in Zendikar
. He first appeared in the Zendikar
block as a protagonist, working (grudgingly) with Nissa Revane to try and re-seal the Eldrazi in the Eye of Ugin. He hails from Innistrad, and is a member of the Markov vampire family, although estranged. In the Innistrad
block story, he returns to his home-plane to find it ravaged due to the absence of Avacyn, Innistrad's guardian angel (whom he created
). Read more about him here
- The Ageless: Innistradi vampires are not undead, merely ageless. This was initiated by Sorin's grandfather, Edgar, who wanted to live forever, and thus made a pact with the demon Shilgengar and created Innistrad's vampires.
- Big Good: His schemes and powerful magics have been instrumental in maintaining the (relative) peace and harmony on two planes we've seen so far:
- He worked together with two other planeswalkers to trap the Eldrazi in Zendikar, and even returned there to reinforce the seal when he found out that it had weakened.
- He set up a Balance Between Good and Evil in Innistrad at the cost of being forever hated by his vampire kin, including his own grandfather.
- Blood Magic
- Dark Is Not Evil: He is scheming, paranoid, and eats people to survive, but he's essentially a Big Good. This is summed up in a quote of his from Day of Judgment:
- Deadpan Snarker: Being functionally immortal will do that to you.
- Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: He's seriously flawed, but he does care about the inhabitants of other planes at heart.
- Good Is Not Nice: He might be one of the only Big Goods in this setting, but don't let that fool you. You do NOT want to piss Sorin off.
- The Hedonist: When he doesn't have any important matters to deal with, he usually just seeks pleasure and excitement. This is apparently a trait of Innistrad vampires.
- Hell-Bent for Leather
- I Hate You Vampire Granddad: Possibly, as he was traumatized by being turned into a vampire by his granddad, not to mention that he has yet to be permitted to return to the Markov Manor.
- Magic Knight: That sword he has isn't just for show.
- Mind Control: Sorin's ultimate ability, with or without necromancy.
- Noble Demon
- Only Sane Man: It certainly seems that way. Did none of the other vampires of Innistrad think about what they were doing? Not to mention Nissa ruining everything on Zendikar ...
- Our Vampires Are Different
- Painful Transformation: Being turned into Innistrad's second vampire was so painful his spark ignited.
- Really 700 Years Old: Sorin is the one of the oldest Planeswalkers in existence, second only to Nicol Bolas.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After Nissa screws up his plan to reseal the Eldrazi in Zendikar, he breaks his alliance with her and the elves, and leaves the realm to its doom.
- The Snark Knight
- Super Strength: Innistrad vampires have physical strength roughly double that of an equivalent human.
- White Sheep: He hates his kin for being murderous, over-indulgent vampires, while they in turn hate him for creating Avacyn.
- Why Did It Have To Be Heights?
"Life grows everywhere. My kin merely find those places where it grows strongest."
Nissa Revane wields green magic to muster her people and amplify their might. Later, she began using black mana covertly, believing it a necessary means to move the elves toward their rightful place.
- Absolute Cleavage
- The Beautiful Elite
- Black Magic/Green Thumb: Combines both to great effect.
- Fantastic Racist: She hates vampires. This has some serious consequences later... Thankfully, she grows out of it by Worldwaker, and tries to do right by everyone now.
- Gaia's Vengeance: Her most recent feat involved summoning a trio of MASSIVE elementals from the land itself to pummel an Eldrazi spawn into a quivering, shapeless blob of flesh.
- Gameplay and Story Integration: The above plays out almost exactly how it would in a game of Magic. The Eldrazi Spawn (a Pathrazer of Ulamog) attacks a human expedition, killing "several." In response, Nissa activates her ultimate, forging mana bonds with the 3 forests below her and turning them into 4/4 elementals. The Pathrazer requires 3 or more blockers so the elementals dogpile it, dealing 12 points of damage to its 9/9 body. The only real deviations are how "sacrificing permanents" for the annihilator penalty is handled, and the fact that Nissa fired off her ultimate at instant speed. (Planeswalker abilities are sorcery-speed only for balance reasons)
- Holier Than Thou
- Might Makes Right
- My God, What Have I Done?: It takes the apparent annihilation of her entire tribe for her to realize that she's ultimately responsible for all the death and destruction the Eldrazi have caused.
- Nature Hero
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Due to her distrust of vampires, she sabotages Sorin's attempt to activate a device which turns out to be the final lock to the Eldrazi's prison.
- Noble Bigot: Like all elves of the Joraga tribe, she considers the elves to be the rightful heirs of nature and believes they have the right to tell other races how to live. Unlike her compatriots, she's not above working with the mud races for the greater good, such as preventing the Eldritch Abomination apocalypse. She is also willing to learn from their respective talents and worldviews ... unless they're vampires.
- Oblivious Guilt Slinging: She's the recipient of some of this during her most recent appearance. Her rescuer, a human druid, is reminiscing about his tribe before and after the Eldrazi, and all Nissa can think about it is that It's All Her Fault.
- Our Elves Are Better
- Took a Level in Kindness: In "Nissa, Worldwaker", she realises her Fantastic Racism is bullshit, and now became a straight up heroine trying to save everyone from the Eldrazi.
- Summon Magic: She has her own personal guards for this.
- When Trees Attack: The basic premise of her newest card, Nissa, Worldwaker◊.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Actual snakes. Which is quite humorous given that snakes are among the least harmful things on her home plane.
- Yin-Yang Bomb
"A great warrior studies many different disciplines and takes the best from each."
Gideon Jura is a planeswalker who wields White Magic
. Unlike most planeswalkers, Gideon doesn’t hesitate to enter combat. He also practices hieromancy, the magic of holy justice. Currently resides on Ravnica and is allied with the Boros Legion.
- An Adventurer Is You: Commonly portrayed as the Tank among other planeswalkers. A specialty magic of his is a form of mind magic that makes his enemies unable to perceive any threat but Gideon.
- Canon Immigrant: Gideon was originally created by author Laura Resnick as an original character for The Purifying Fire. The creative team liked him enough to give him his own card.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: He abandons his quest to help save Zendikar from the Eldrazi in order to help stop warfare between the guilds of Ravnica, knowing that innocent lives would be lost in the conflict.
- Defeat Means Friendship: If the intro to Duels Of The Planeswalkers 2012 is any indication, he's rather good at this. On either end.
- He Who Fights Monsters: The intro to Duels Of The Planeswalkers 2012 has him ruminating that he became a massive asshole, "blinded by my own self-righteousness," to the point where he is labeled a tyrant.
- Heel-Face Turn: He quits The Order after learning that they murdered Chandra's village for hiding her identity as a pyromancer.
- The Hero: For Magic Core Set 2012.
- Knight Templar: Until he learned the evil of his ways and was redeemed.
- Specifically, his utter and absolute conviction that the Order of Heliud is doing the right thing echoes the problems of white mana taken to excess, a black and white view that cannot accept different ways and means of doing things. He doesn't understand how far out of balance things had become until the Purifying Fire rebelled against the use to which it was being put.
- Nigh-Invulnerability: Can grant himself this via magic for a limited amount of time.
- Small Steps Hero: He can't help himself from trying to save people on Ravnica, even though he's already trying to save people on Zendikar.
- To Be Lawful or Good: His adventures with the free-spirited Chandra Nalaar cause him to question the righteousness of the organization he's been working for.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Chandra. He likes her, but doesn't like her chaotic, self-serving nature.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist
- Whip It Good: More specifically, his Weapon of Choice is a whiplike Urumi. (Gideon's weapon is also sometimes called a sural.)
Koth of the Hammer
"If there can be no victory, then I will fight forever."Koth
is a Vulshok planeswalker who wields red magic. His specialty is geomancy, spells that move mountains, shatter stone, and melt iron.
His earth magic has a special strength in it that allows him to purify metal, which reflects Koth’s own inner desire to bring peace and harmony to his people.
- The Aloner: What he's ended up as following the Scars block, deciding to take on the Phyrexians alone without help from Elspeth.
- Unusually, this is a self-inflicted punishment, since he forced Elspeth to leave.
- Awesome McCoolname: For all intents and purposes, "Of the Hammer" is actually Koth's surname. Vulshok take their monikers from their respective tribes.
- Barbarian Hero
- Defiant to the End
- The Determinator: His quote from Darksteel Plate: "If there can be no victory, then I will fight forever."
- Dishing Out Dirt
- Extra Ore Dinary: Before the war against the Phyrexians, his job was the purify the metal used by the other Vulshok tribes.
- Fighting for a Homeland
- Good Is Not Nice: Encased Venser's head in rock to coerce him to come to Mirrodin, and did the same to Elspeth's legs (behind enemy lines, horrors battering down the door, with a spellbomb about to go off not five feet away) to coerce her to planeswalk away.
- Heroic Resolve
- Heroic Sacrifice: Supposedly is either dead or still fighting the Phyrexians alone by the time the Theros block rolls around, having forced Elspeth away from the plane in order to spare her from death at the hands of the Phyrexians.
- Faking the Dead: Confirmed to be alive and hiding from Elesh Norn in this article on the Planeswalkers.
- I Work Alone
- Magma Man: A natural extension of his control over earth and metal.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy
- Recursive Acronym
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Koth is the Red Oni to Venser's Blue Oni in the Scars of Mirrodin novel.
- La Résistance
- The Magnificent: The Hammer in his name refers to his tribe.
- The Penance: Koth has carved the Phyrexian emblem into his right wrist so that he will never forget what they've done to his home world.
- That's No Moon: His first and last abilities.
- Tragic Dream: Mirrodin Pure.
- Volcanic Veins
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Like all Vulshok men, he generally prefers to wear a loincloth.
Venser, the Sojourner
"Two magi could trade spells all day and never crown a victor. The real battle is not one of power but of will. If your confidence breaks, so too shall you."
Venser is a planeswalker originally from Urborg who wields Blue and White Magic
. His specialty is teleportation magic
and building his own unique and powerful artifacts. Venser is brilliant and able to think fast on his feet to find a way out of any sticky situation he encounters. He relies on his knowledge of artifice and teleportation to pave his way through the Multiverse, where he satisfies his boundless curiosity of all things mechanical.
- Action Survivor: Starts out way in over his head during the Time Spiral block, but learns quickly. By the end, he's more level-headed, skilled, and ready to face the challenges in front of him.
- Anti-Hero: In his second appearence, he was depicted as an irritable Jerkass who had an addiction to blinkmoth serum. Though the irritable part is somewhat justified, as he was dragged there by Koth against his will.
- Addictive Magic/Fantastic Drug: In the Scars of Mirrodin block, it's shown that he is addicted to blinkmoth serum. Given that blinkmoths are endemic to Mirrodin, and he spent the better part of his life in his homeplane of Dominaria, it's not clear how he became addicted in the first place, and it doesn't have any bearing to the plot whatsoever anyways.
- Cool Helmet: Was the control rig for his ambulator. Funnily enough, he started out not liking it, but Jhoira convinced him of its merits.
- Explosive Overclocking: He exploited this to kill the Weaver King, overloading two powerstones right in his face as he was trying to take over Venser's body.
- Gadgeteer Genius
- Foil: To Tezzeret. Where Tezzeret has Creative Sterility, Venser can't stop building things. Where Tezzeret turned to black mana, Venser turned to white. Tezzeret sided with Phyrexians, Venser aided the Mirrans. Tezzeret lived. Venser died.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Sacrifices himself to save Karn at the end of the Scars of Mirrodin block novel.
- Heroic Willpower: Ignited his Planeswalker spark by working tirelessly to stop temporal distortions around Dominaria and by building new inventions.
- Light 'em Up: Apparently can summon wisps of light to guide his path. By Scars of Mirrodin, he shows proficiency in White mana.
- Love at First Sight: Quickly develops a boyish crush on Jhoira of the Ghitu, partly due to her level-headedness and partly due to her brains and beauty. He eventually grows out of it, though he still considers her a friend.
- Magic Feather: As it turned out, the ambulator he was working on in Time Spiral was completely unnecessary; he had a special talent for teleportation magic.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue Oni to Koth's Red Oni.
- The Smart Guy: In the Scars of Mirrodin storyline, Venser is the logical, sciencey member of the lead trio. A telling moment is how in an early encounter with Phyrexian horrors, his instinct is to take samples and study them.
- Space and Time Master: Following in Teferi's footsteps, he can send things into the future (that is, to the end of your turn), send creatures directly to the enemy (make them unblockable), and erase things from existence (his emblem).
- Stock Sound Effects: The sound he makes when he teleports is "Tpff!"
- Teleporters and Transporters
- Ur Example: The first of the new breed of planeswalkers.
"Anger is fleeting; remorse is eternal."
A sentient silver golem created by Urza to help with time travel experiments, Karn eventually joined the crew of the Weatherlight
. Upon Urza's death, Karn inherited the Mightstone and Weakstone, and integrating them into his body caused him to ascend as the first known artifact planeswalker.
"Every sea is different, but all of them are connected."
Introduced in Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012
is a merfolk planeswalker who commands the powers of the depths. Kiora venerates the huge creatures of the sea—krakens, leviathans, and other denizens of the inky depths—because for her they are evidence that even the most persistent forces can be endured: time, water, predation, and darkness. Kiora is a blue- and green-aligned Planeswalker. She seems calm and wise, but her dreams are bizarre beyond imagining. Kiora hails from the plane of Zendikar, and seeks the biggest, most badass sea monsters to seize as weapons against the rampaging Eldrazi there.
- A God Am I: By Journey Into Nyx she's started to boast that she'll show the gods what true power is.
- Leading to an inevitable feud between her and Thassa, with consequences impinging on Elspeth's quest.
- The Beast Master: Specifically of Kraken and Leviathan-type beasts.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Appeared in Duels of the Planeswalkers three years before her first card in Born of the Gods.
- Fantastic Racism: Sees landbound races as inferior because they lack her connection to the oceans.
- Fighting for a Homeland: Her primary goal is to find a way to reclaim her native plane from the Eldrazi.
- Jerkass: On the official Magic the Gathering Facebook page, Wizards mentioned that Kiora is "VERY mean".
- Giant Wall of Watery Doom: The first thing she does on arriving in Theros is create one to get the attention of any nearby krakens.
- God Guise: The tritons (merfolk) of Theros see her as an avatar of the merfolk goddess; Thassa. Kiora does little to dispel this notion, as it amuses her.
- Kraken and Leviathan: These are a few of her favorite things. Her card's ultimate ability gives you a 9/9 kraken every turn.
- Making a Splash: She's as attuned to the destructive powers of water as Chandra is to fire.
- Our Mermaids Are Different: A planeswalking, two-legged one from Zendikar.
- Sea Monster: Her favorite creatures. She wants as many of them as possible in order to wage war against the Eldrazi on equal terms.
- Seashell Bra: Part of her armor.
- Shout-Out: The wave behind her seems to be a mirrored "Great Wave off Kanagawa".
- Summon Bigger Fish: Quite literally how she wants to defeat the Eldrazi.
"Some treasures aren't worth finding, let alone stealing."
The greatest thief in all the multiverse. Being sure never to stay in a place until he wears out his welcome, Dack Fayden uses his specialty, psychometry, to pry into any artifact he comes across, and learn everything about it. This also gives him some amount of prophetic visions. Using these talents, Dack travels from plane to plane, swiping whatever he sets his eyes on, not for wealth or for the thrill, but for knowledge. He is on the prowl for Sifa Grent, a planeswalker responsible for the annihilation of his hometown
on the plane of Fiora.
"I see countless worlds. What makes them think I can't find them in just one?"
Hailing from the city-plane of Ravnica and a member of the Izzet League, Ral Zarek is a Blue and Red aligned planeswalker who debuted in the Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012
expansion. He is trying to stay off the radar as much as possible, and not even Niv-Mizzet himself knows of his ability to planeswalk.
In the Dragon's Maze
trailer, he is voiced by Yuri Lowenthal
Tamiyo, the Moon Sage
"True riches are found in the mazes of the mind."
A moonfolk planeswalker hailing from Kamigawa, Tamiyo is a blue-aligned planeswalker who believes that all planes hold a mystery that sets it apart from each other. She came to Innistrad to research the interesting magical properties of its silver moon.
Tibalt, the Fiend-Blooded
"Pained defiance or shameful surrender—every reaction is a pleasant surprise."
Hailing from Innistrad, Tibalt began his career as a skaberen - a Blue aligned Mad Scientist
necromancer - but he lacked the talent for corpse reanimation. This incited feelings of rage, and thus he turned to experiments on living beings. Feeling empowered, he became a sadist, and the cruelty of his experiments attracted devils
. Eventually, the cathars discovered his evil and tried to arrest him. In rage, he casted a spell that fused him with the devils, igniting his spark in the process as he felt the pain of every one that he experimented on. Now half-human half-devil, he is free to do as he pleases in the multiverse.
Vraska the Unseen
"I have seen things that would reduce a weaker person to blubbering and raving. Want to hear about them?"
A planeswalker introduced in Return to Ravnica
, she is a gorgon from the Golgari guild who was almost murdered by the Boros under the dictate of the Azorius. Her spark ignited, and she now seeks to impose karmic deaths on those she sees as the criminals of Ravnica, mostly corrupt law officers.
- Ambition Is Evil: Suddenly got very power hungry in the offscreen meantime between her last appearence and The Gorgon and The Guildpact, wanting to take over Ravnica.
- The Dreaded: Even in Ravnica's Undercity, she is rarely seen in person and is feared due to her track record of kills.
- Engineered Public Confession: Jace pulls this on her during The Gorgon and The Guildpact, transmitting her image in real-time to a summit meeting of guildmasters as she gloats about her despotic aims.
- Karmic Death: Her specialty.
- Knight Templar
- Medusa: She is a gorgon. Apparently, her non-planeswalker self was vulnerable to sunlight, and she can obviously petrify people.
- Poetic Serial Killer
- The Scourge of God: How she sees herself.
- Taken for Granite: Has this as an ability to inflict this to others as a gorgon.
- Vigilante Woman: A very dark version of this.
"Roots, ruins, and room to fight. All the comforts of home."
Introduced in Gatecrash
, Domri Rade is a planeswalker aligned with the Gruul clans, specializing in summoning creatures and unleashing them unto his foes.
"The gods of Theros are born of the expectations and beliefs of mortals. If I have found godhood, what does that say about their true desires?"
Introduced in the Theros
block, Xenagos is a red and green satyr planeswalker from the titular plane. He led a hedonistic lifestyle before ascending, and quickly realised how utterly insignificant he was in the big scheme of things
. He returns to Theros, now burning with ambition and evil plans.
"Every nightmare is a caged bird that yearns to be set free."
Introduced in the Theros
block, Ashiok is a mysterious planeswalker associated with blue and black mana. If Ashiok was ever human, Ashiok isn't anymore: a being of pure nightmare, who extracts powers from the fears of others. Ashiok has come to Theros, drawn by the beliefs of the locals: where there is faith, there is insecurity and fear of displeasing the gods, and Ashiok seeks power here.
- Ambiguous Gender: Though the players' guide uses male pronouns, Ashiok's official status is of an unspecified gender.
Irats: Is Ashiok male or female?
Mark Rosewater: I believe so,
but Ashiok does not like being defined.
- Bargain with Heaven: Seemingly committed a very dark version of this in "Building Toward A Dream, Part 2", with Phenax, god of lies and deceit.
- Body Horror: Lacks the entire upper skull.
- Dream Weaver
- Emotion Eater: Ashiok feeds off the fear of others.
- Eyeless Face: A variant as Ashiok only has the lower-half of a face, leaving only a mouth.
- Humanoid Abomination: The lack of an upper skull is a give-away.
- I Know What You Fear
- Mad Artist: Ashiok describes the destruction on Iretis and the brutal suicide of its ruler:
"I am pleased with my work today... but I have more beautiful art to achieve."
- In "Dreams of a City", it turns out Ashiok's current goal is to weave Therosian nightmares into a new god without it being subsumed by an already-existing god. And while Cacophony was quelled by Ephara, Ashiok just sees this as an opportunity to get idea-seeds from the gods themselves. And maybe make Cacophony stronger still...
- Mind Rape: Ashiok's specialty.
- Mook Maker: The second ability summons Nightmare creatures.
- Softspoken Sadist: The handful of quotes we have by Ashiok made them out to be this way.
“Knowledge is such a burden. Release it. Release all your fears to me.”
- Was Once a Man: ... maybe....
- It's confirmed in Building Toward a Dream, part two, that he's at least mortal, but with every victim he sucks the fear and despair out of, whatever transformation ate half his face is slowly progressing toward the rest of him.
- Fridge Horror: Orchestrating the nightmarish death of a king and the massacre of the entire city only ate away a few specks of his cheek. So about the rest of his face...
- Your Worst Nightmare
"I swore an oath to you [Avacyn], even unto death. I hold to it still. Name your charge."
Vronos is or, was
from Innistrad, who hunted all sorts of undead horrors and werewolves for the sake of protecting innocents. When he was resting after his shift on a patrol, he was attacked by several werewolves, which tore up his face and ignited his spark. He inadvertently planeswalked to Esper on Alara, and there, while learning to control his planeswalking power, crafted a mask of etherium to hide his shredded face. On his return to Innistrad, the angel Avacyn gave him the task of subduing the now-cursed Garruk Wildspeaker...who, as seen in the opening of DOTP'15, kills him and claims his mask as a trophy
. Of course, players of the Duels of the Planeswalkers
games don't know any of that about him, only knowing him as a generic avatar for their in-game profiles (as seen in the image to the right). Read all about him here
- Cool Mask
- Every Man Has His Price: Esper scholars—including at least one Vedalken—were thrilled to be able to study a Planeswalker in a controlled setting. Vronos said he'd cooperate in exchange for knowledge...of the plane, etherium, how to master his powers, etc.
- Heroic Resolve: His flares up after he returns to Innistrad and is personally blessed by an understanding, forgiving Avacyn.
- Killed Off for Real
- Red Baron: Called the "Grey Fencer", though his fighting style led it to be a Non-Indicative Name.
- Scars Are Forever: Even when the missing flesh is filled in with etherium filigree. Also the reason he wears his Cool Mask.
- Taught by Experience: Learned the intricacies of planeswalking by throwing himself almost randomly into the Blind Eternities.
- The Chosen One: Hand-picked by Avacyn to strike down Garruk. He failed.
- Weak, but Skilled: His fighting style. It's no match for Garruk and his brute force.