Follow TV Tropes

Following

Characters / Magic: the Gathering Planeswalkers Pre-Mending

Go To

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.note  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 gods).

Advertisement:

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, where The Mending was an event with the potential to destroy the entire multiverse, with every plane being at risk of being consumed by the Blind Eternities, an area of Limbo between planes. This page is for Planeswalkers whose spark ignited before The Mending took place, not just those who were introduced before it. Despite their first appearance being years after the event in question, Planeswalkers like Sorin and Nahiri go here.

For the longest time, pre-Mending Planeswalkers were not allowed to be printed on cards, simply because they would be too powerful. This created a large case of CCG Importance Dissonance, where many important Planeswalkers from the literature only ever featured in flavor texts, and was one of the factors that led to the creative decision of The Mending. The Commander 2014 decks finally introduced the first pre-Mending Planeswalkers in playable form, as special Planeswalkers who can be used as commanders and were designed for (and are mostly exclusive to) the Commander format.

Advertisement:

Within the meta-sense, you, the player, are a Planeswalker, encountering others and fighting for superiority. The general problem is that being a Reality Warper, fights tend to get caught up in the entire multiverse...

    open/close all folders 

    Pre-Mending walkers as a whole 
  • A God Am I: A lot of pre-mending planeswalkers saw themselves as gods, and considering their power level they weren't exactly wrong. Some were genuinely benevolent deities like Serra, but many ... weren't, to put it mildly.
  • Above Good and Evil: Oldwalkers tend to see their actions as being exempt from such petty mortal concepts.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: After being alive for millennia, their perspectives have ... shifted. Many mortals think they're completely insane as a result.
  • Brought Down to Badass: After being depowered by the Mending and losing their Reality Warper abilities, they were still immensely powerful mages.
  • Energy Being: Their true nature. Whatever bodies they appeared to have were essentially mental projections they could change at will.
  • Fan Nickname: Oldwalkers.
  • Immortality Bisexuality: Averted. Most oldwalkers seem to be asexual, which makes sense considering they no longer really have biological bodies and the vast, vast age difference between them and any mortal partners they might take.
  • Immortality Immorality: Many of them eventually drift this direction.
  • Immortal Immaturity: Considering how powerful they are, some oldwalkers behaved surprisingly childishly when they didn't get their way.
  • Physical God: Very close to literally.
  • Reality Warper: Before the Mending knocked them down several rungs on the cosmic ladder, planeswalkers could literally do whatever they wanted. Several even created their own planes and sentient races to populate them.
  • Society of Immortals: Sort of. They only really seemed to consider other planeswalkers as worth interacting with, since from their perspective any mortals they try to befriend will die almost immediately.
  • Time Abyss: The oldest pre-mending walkers we know of, like Nicol Bolas, Sorin Markov, and Ugin, are multiple millennia old. Even the youngest are still several centuries old.

    Arzakon 

Arzakon

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/arzakon_2255.jpg

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. It also contains literally hundreds of cards. Even though he has every one of the Power Nine, with so many cards, he may never get the chance to use even one before you bring him down.
  • 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.
  • Horned Humanoid: Looks like a horned statue in his image, and the front cover of the Expansion Pack makes him look like a demon.
  • 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.
Advertisement:

    Azor 

Azor the Lawbringer

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dsoyoslxkaa_doi.jpg

The founder of the Azorius senate of Ravnica, Azor I is a character mentioned only in passing until he was revealed to be a former planeswalker during the Ixalan storyline. Azor has traveled to many worlds, where he is legendary as a lawbringing individual, if not always to that world's benefit. Ultimately, he settled on Ixalan, where he gave up his spark to create the Immortal Sun in an attempt to trap Nicol Bolas on the plane.


  • A Fate Worse Than Death: Jace sentences him to guarding Useless Island for all eternity, never to interact with intelligent beings ever again.
  • Allegorical Character: He's clearly a metaphor for colonialism as a whole, given his desire to perfect cultures minding their own business and ultimately hopelessly ruin them.
  • Anti-Hero: He may be a delusional, narcissistic Lawful Stupid busybody, but he still opposed Bolas, and in fact ended up trapped on Ixalan due to a flaw in his plan to capture and subdue him.
  • Badass Beard: He has a truly massive beard that impresses his authority.
  • Big Good: Certainly tried to be. Unfortunately, he was also incapable of seeing the consequences of his meddling, so his attempts to impose law and order always degenerated in his absence.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: In the Return to Ravnica storyline, it was briefly hinted that he could have been a planeswalker, and then he was never mentioned again. Over half a decade later...
  • De-Power: He willingly gave up his spark in order to create the Immortal Sun. It wasn't supposed to be permanent, but that plan went off the rails.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: Spending a thousand years almost entirely alone on Ixalan is implied to have been bad for his mind. It's probably not a coincidence that while Ravnica's guilds remained relatively stable for thousands of years (even if they created great suffering), his attempts to "perfect" Ixalan amounted to: give one group all the power, oops they abused it, give another group all the power, oops they abused it, okay, make a third group stop anyone from using it. As a result, the plane has been embroiled in centuries of war.
  • Hoist by Their Own Petard: As part of his work in building the Guilds of Ravnica, he created the position of the Living Guildpact, a role imbued with powerful hieromantic abilities to punish lawbreakers. Jace ultimately uses his powers as the Living Guildpact to formally charge Azor with widespread negligence and incompetence, and ultimately to punish him for his wrongdoings, since as Parun of the Azorius Senate he is technically a part of Ravnica, and thus subject to Ravnican law.
  • Knight Templar: He clearly regards law and order above all else, and is willing to oppress and corrupt planes for the sake of peace.
  • Lawful Stupid: He genuinely can't comprehend the idea that a structured system can be the source of more problems than it solves.
  • Light Is Not Good: Yet another example of crazy White. He in particular uses white runic magic in his hieromancy.
  • Never My Fault: He also refuses to accept culpability in the planes he touches falling apart, saying that the systems are perfect and that the people are the issue.
  • Self-Restraint: In giving up his own spark, he became a prisoner of Ixalan just like any other Planeswalker would, though this was supposed to be temporary. Unfortunately for him, Ugin was defeated by Bolas and unable to carry out the rest of the plan. The laws (and the penalties for breaking them) he created for Ravnica also apply to him as Parun of the Azorious, which Jace resorts to as the Living Guildpact.
  • Time Abyss: He is at least ten thousand years old, making him one of the oldest living characters in the franchise as a whole.
  • The Chooser of The One: It was the spell he left behind that ultimately decided that Jace would become the Living Guildpact.
  • The Judge: The first of the Azorius ones, in fact.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Attempted to do this to Bolas, but failed due to Ugin's absence. Ultimately, he's an example of this himself, since he's an insane Knight Templar whose efforts have caused oppression throughout the multiverse and who wound up imprisoning himself on Ixalan. And then Jace uses his powers as the Living Guildpact of Ravnica to bind Azor so he is forced to stay on a small, unimportant island on Ixalan, instead of just roaming free as he pleases.
  • Whatevermancy: Azor is the multiverse's master, if not creator, of hieromancy, which is literally magic based on manipulating law and order.

    Bo Levar 

Bo Levar

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bo_levar_1844.jpg
"I'd be happy to stop contradicting you, Urza, just as soon as you start being right."

Formerly known as Crucias, Bo Levar is a native of Yotia on Dominaria.


    Commodore Guff 

Commodore Guff

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/commodore_guff_3544.jpg
"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.

    "Bother."

    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 not the author who wrote him.
  • 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.

    Freyalise 

Freyalise

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/freyalise_7504.jpg
"Life cannot be created and then abandoned. It must be nurtured and fed so that it may express its ripened might."

Read more about her here.


  • 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: She 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 joined them in their worship.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: She's half-elf and half-human.
  • 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.

    Jaya Ballard 

Jaya Ballard

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/jaya_ballard_7414.jpg
"Some have said there is no subtlety to destruction. You know what? They're dead."
Click here to see her in the Dominaria storyline 

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.


  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: Jodah helps her break free of her Demonic Possession by visiting her mind and helping her ignite her spark.
  • Black Magician Girl: A spunky, attractive woman with tremendous offensive magical ability.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Probably the best-known in the game. Just check out all the cards with her quotes as flavor text.
  • Demonic Possession: By Mairsil the Pretender when she unknowingly takes Lim-Dul's ring, which contains the Pretender's spirit.
  • Fiery Redhead: Emphasis on the fiery.
  • Glass Cannon: Her card's last ability will, unless you give her protection from herself, kill her.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: She wears goggles on her head.
  • Having a Blast: A master pyromancer who loves throwing around fireballs and other explosion-style outbursts of power.
  • Hellbent For Leather: Her iconic outfit is a tight-fitting black suit of what appears to be leather.
  • Hired Guns: She was a task mage, which means someone who knows a handful of spells and casts them for whoever pays. They're looked down on by "real" wizards.
  • Hot-Blooded: As befits the most iconic pyromancer.
  • Irony: When she first appeared as a creature card, all three of her abilities involve blowing up things one way or another. Come her second appearance as a planeswalker card, none of her abilities directly burn anything at all.
  • Kill It with Fire: She specializes in pyromancy, so, naturally, her default combat tactic is to drown enemies in fire, fire, and more fire.
  • Large Ham: Really, Jaya would be right at home in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.
  • Mentor Archetype: She mentored Chandra at Keral Keep, under the guise of Mother Luti.
  • Never Mess with Granny: As a straight-up Planeswalker card in the "Dominaria" set, the years have caught up with Jaya. But this is Jaya we're talking about.
  • No Sense of Direction: ...maybe?
    Jaya: And I say north is where I want it to be!
  • Playing with Fire: Her mastery of fire became legendary both in and out of universe.
  • Pyromaniac: "Of course you should fight fire with fire. You should fight everything with fire."
  • Role Called: If you see her name, there's a good chance that "Task Mage" will follow it. Except on her Planeswalker card in "Dominaria."
  • Secret Identity: She is Mother Luti, a frequent honored guest of the monastery.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Well, it isn't a game of Kick-the-Ouphe...
  • Unwanted False Faith: Downplayed: She's not explicitly angry that people made a religion based on her, she only thinks it's kinda embarrassing. She does, however, adopt Mother Luti persona as opposed to visiting the monastery as herself in part to ensure she isn't misrepresented.

    Jeska/Phage 

Jeska/Phage

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/jeska_6072.jpg
"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.


  • Braids of Barbarism: Jeska kept her hair in long locks.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: "Brainwashed" might not be the best word, but the Cabal Patriarch certainly warped Jeska's psyche to turn her into Phage.
  • Enemy Within: Jeska struggles with her alter-ego Phage, both before and after she becomes a Planeswalker.
  • Facial Markings
  • Fiery Redhead
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: She has the ability to cause any living matter she so much as touches to rot and decay instantly. In the game, any creature she damages dies immediately, any player she damages dies immediately, and if you mishandle her, you die immediately.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In Future Sight, she gives her life to seal the Otarian time rift.
  • Make Them Rot: 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.
  • 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".

    Karn 

Karn

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/karn_5258.jpg
"I've lived through the cycle [of apocalypse-to-rebuilding], and I know this time shall be different. Together, we shall crush this evil at its source, forever. Dominaria cannot wait...and neither will we."

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. Read more about him here.


  • Actual Pacifist: He's depicted in the art of the Tempest edition of Pacifism. And if he participates in combat, he gets -4/+4, making him a 0/8 unless you've modified him in some way. Until the 'Invasion' cycle, he was such a staunch pacifist that Volrath tortured him by locking him in a flowstone room filled with goblins and then shifting the flowstone to make him crush them with his own weight. But during 'Invasion,' he realizes that remaining pacifist will indirectly harm those he wishes to protect, leading him to become a Martial Pacifist.
    Karn: Enough! If I must kill the guilty to save the innocent, then I will kill!
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: The Phyrexians attempt to do this to him. And everything else. But since he was created to destroy Phyrexia, it's especially symbolic that they tried to do it to him.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: While he was trapped in the center of New Phyrexia, slowly being corrupted.
  • Became Their Own Antithesis: He was very, very close to becoming the new Father of Machines.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Karn generally has a very mellow demeanor, but if given the reason, he can be incredibly strong. Case in point, his creature form couldn't deal much damage but could block, while the basic ability of his Planeswalker form (after he had picked up the resolve to save his plane) is to negate something's existence. This is one gentle giant you don't wanna mess with.
  • Body Horror: The Phyrexians partially compleated him, fusing him with a "throne" made of what appears to be metallic bones.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: More and more over time as he remained within New Phyrexia.
  • Dueling Messiahs: An unusual example in that Karn is both of the messiahs dueling each other at once. The Mirran Resistance views him as a Messianic Archetype and are trying to save him, while the Phyrexians see him as a Dark Messiah and are trying to corrupt him into becoming their leader. The Mirrans win this battle, but lose the war. By the time they rescue Karn, it's too late to stop the Phyrexians.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Before he got his name, the young and mischievous Teferi nicknamed him Arty Shovelhead.
  • Fallen Hero: With the Phyrexian invasion of Mirrodin, the Phyrexians adopted him as their new Father of Machines. Eventually, he managed to escape their clutches, but not before the plane was lost.
  • Final Boss: In Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012. And the deck he uses makes him a cheating bastard since the game doesn't use the Restricted/Banned list in use by everyone else. His normal first turn has him playing a Darksteel Colossus by playing an Island, casting two Mox Sapphire artifacts, and then casting Tinker to search for and play the Colossus.
  • Genocide Dilemma: He was created to destroy the Phyrexians, who (if you've followed this far) aren't very nice. He's also a pacifist.
    • Karn seems to have gotten over this conundrum in the Dominaria storyline. He uses an army of artifact workers to dig up Urza's Sylex from Yavimaya and has every intention of Planeswalking to New Phyrexia and using the device. Considering what the Sylex is capable of doingwhat it's capable of doing  Karn is ready to jump off that slippery slope. Jury's still out on if the surviving Mirran Resistance fighters will change his mind, though.
  • A God I Am Not: Both the Mirrans and the Phyrexians worship him, though in very different ways. Considering he did literally create their world, they're not entirely wrong to consider him a god.
  • Heart Drive: His heartstone, which originally belonged to Xantcha.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Karn's own heartstone drips with the Phyrexian Oil, which can infect entire planes if left unchecked. It happened with Karn's own plane of Argentum, turning it into Mirrodin and giving way for the rebirth of Phyrexia. It's implied he left this oil on every plane he traveled to, which is many.
  • The Maker: Created Mirrodin (which he originally named Argentum) and populated it with the first generation of golems, who worshipped him as a god.
  • Meaningful Name: Jhoira later gave him his name, after the ancient Thran word for "mighty."
  • Merger of Souls: Multiple times, in multiple ways. When he was first created, he was given Xantcha's heartstone in order to grant him sentience. At the climax of the Phyrexian invasion, he assimilated all the pieces of the Legacy into his body to destroy Yawgmoth, causing him to absorb both Urza's and Glacian's souls into his body (it's a long story). Then, later still, Venser sacrificed himself by teleporting his soul into Karn's body to reactivate his spark and cleanse him of Phyrexian corruption. That's at least four souls floating around inside him.
  • Mook Maker: In his Scion of Urza form, his "ultimate" (only costs two Loyalty counters) creates artifact creatures that get +1/+1 for each artifact you control.
  • Non-Elemental: As a creature of artifice (golem), he's by nature outside the traditional color alignment.
  • Parental Neglect: Urza wasn't a very good father figure to him.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: When he became the Legacy Weapon.
  • Reluctant Warrior: Karn is a pacifist in a game about fighting. Poor guy didn't stand a chance.
  • Reset Button: His last ability is to restart the game, with everything he's exiled with his other abilities sent "back" to the beginning, on your side.
  • Silver Has Mystic Powers: It's the only substance able to safely travel through time, so he's made from it.
  • Stop Worshipping Me: He strongly dislikes being worshipped — especially by the Phyrexians, who wish to use him as a figurehead for their monstrous "religion".

    Leshrac 

Leshrac

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/leshrac_7603.jpg
"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.

    Liliana Vess 

Liliana Vess

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/liliana_vess_1989.jpg
"Survival is for the...uninspired; victory is for the strong! And the strong are willing to embrace the darkness! [Innistrad] is my domain, so fall in, soldier. As the true enemy rises...darkness is your only hope."

Liliana Vess is a black-aligned Planeswalker whose speciality is necromancy. Her spark ignited before The Mending, and after it, not relishing the idea of mortality, she made several deals with powerful demons in order to regain her immortality. She now has several long-running debts with said demons, and is tracking them down in an attempt to kill them, one by one. Read more about her here.


  • Amplifier Artifact: The Chain Veil greatly enhances her already-formidable magical abilities.
  • Amulet of Dependency: The Chain Veil appears to be psychologically addictive.
  • Anti-Hero: While she's a selfish person and definitely modelled after a traditional villainess, she more often than not fills this role, since her interests mostly align with the common good as she gets rid of threats to her well being. She was a sympathetic figure in Agents of Artifice (even though she was The Mole she never fully sided with the actual villains), saved Innistrad twice and joined the Gatewatch.
  • Artifact of Doom: The Chain Veil, which is in Vess's possession. It seems to be taking its toll on her...
  • Bastard Girlfriend: Liliana makes no attempt to hide her less redeeming qualities. Not many people seem to have a problem with it unless she's specifically gunning for them.
  • Battle Trophy: Her headdress originally belonged to an angel she slew.
  • The Beautiful Elite: In every novel she has appeared in, there has been at least one passage describing just how ludicrously attractive she is. Justified, at least, since she did sell her soul for beauty...
  • Black Magic: She specializes in Mind Rape, death magic, and necromancy.
  • Black Sheep: For her house of knights and clerics, and for her homeland as a whole, as she's originally from Benalia, one of the most white-mana-aligned places on Dominaria.
  • Casting a Shadow: Without corpses for her to animate, most of her fights involve using shadowy tentacles.
  • Clingy MacGuffin: The Chain Veil, to Liliana's chagrin. No matter how hard she tries to rid herself of it, her body won't allow her to.
  • Cool Big Sis: Since joining the Gatewatch, she's been developing (read: "cultivating") such a relationship with Chandra.
  • The Corrupter: Takes great pleasure in cursing Garruk and zombifying Mikaeus. Even after she mellows out a teensy bit after joining the Gatewatch, she gives Chandra very questionable advices.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Liliana edges begrudgingly into such territory at the end of the Eldritch Moon storyline. She leads an undead army to Thraben to save the Gatewatch from Emrakul, but winds up needing to be saved herself when she tries to fight Emrakul herself using the Chain Veil, only being saved by the Gatewatch's combined efforts. She finally admits that doing everything alone won't always get the job done, and sooner or later it will get her killed, so she accepts Jace's offer to join the Gatewatch in the hopes she can use them to achieve her own goals. Dark Is Pragmatic, essentially.
  • Deal with the Devil: Made a contract with four archdemons in order to gain eternal youth. Being the selfish woman she is, she decides to try to get out of it by killing them. As of Dominaria, they're all dead. Thing is, all killing them did was transfer the contract to Nicol Bolas...
    • Debt Detester: She can't stand knowing she owes the demons for her eternal youth. She's beginning to despise her reliance on the Chain Veil even more.
  • Defiant to the End: In the trailer for War of the Spark, she leads a battalion of Eternals to wreak havoc throughout Ravnica, and pauses to gaze up at Bolas, his back to a portal, gazing down at her. She turns to see a a mother fail to shield her son from falling debris and both crushed to death. Liliana sics the Eternals on Bolas and Bolas, in turn, roars in mockery at Liliana, who begins to crumble into ash for breaking her pact... and rather than despair, she screams back at him with every ounce of anger she has.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Very slowly. Well, when she's not Jumping Off the Slippery Slope, that is.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: She invokes this against almost any male opponent she faces.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: She's incapable of telling sympathy apart from pity, and thinks it means people see her as weak. In Dominaria she accidentally lets slip to Ajani and the Weatherlight crew what the Cabal did to her hometown:
    Liliana: You didn't see what he did to Caligo! Everything I knew, destroyed, turned to mud and rot. We have to stop - we have to —
    She realized abruptly she had said more than she meant to, that she had exposed herself terribly. The new people were staring at her sympathetically; Shanna in particular was nodding as if she understood perfectly, and it was all horrible. Liliana folded her arms and lifted her chin, determined to brazen it out.
    Liliana: I need to be free of my pact before I can fight your battles for you, Ajani, it's just that simple.
  • Drunk on the Dark Side: Hardly a virtuous person beforehand, the Chain Veil seems to turn Liliana's less redeeming qualities Up to Eleven.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: While she gives Gideon mocking nicknames, she nevertheless admires his physique.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Her brother, Josu (before he died) and Jace, for a little while. Of course, she was willing to kill him to get what she wanted, but she really, really didn't want to, and spent a lot of time deeply conflicted. It's unclear whether she still cares about him as a person these days or just finds him useful, but either way, she's pretty cranky when he won't help her out.
    • In Dominaria she initially only cares about killing Belzenlok to get out of her last pact. Then she sees how he destroyed her home town while she was gone, and made her undead brother his general, and then it becomes personal. Not that she'd ever admit it.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: She might broker deals with demons and take advice from Nicol Bolas, but work directly for him? Ha ha, no. This is less likely to have anything to do with inherent nobility, however, and more that 1) Bolas would have had some measure of control over her, which she hates and 2) he's got a documented habit of breaking his toys. That is until he makes her An Offer You Can't Refuse. Twice.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: In Dominaria, she's briefly taken aback when Gideon immediately agrees to help her lay Josu to rest and doesn't change his mind when she reveals that this means she won't be able to use the Chain Veil against Belzenlok. She was prepared to argue her case and wasn't prepared for agreement. She would have immediately left if she were in his shoes, after all. She is also surprised in War of the Spark when Gideon gives up his own life to save hers by taking the price of breaking the demonic pact onto himself.
  • Evil Mask: The Chain Veil, a mask-like artifact made of chain mail that gives its user an enormous power boost in dark magic.
  • Fallen Princess: She was a daughter of a nobleman, but had to leave after accidentally zombifying her brother Josu thanks to the 'advice' from the Raven Man.
  • Fantastic Racism: Against angels. They have a habit of trying to kill her on sight. But she seems to especially dislike their self-righteousness.
    "I come looking for demons and I find a plane full of angels. I hate angels."
  • Faustian Rebellion: After obtaining the Chained Veil, she decides to kill the demons she made bargains with. Starting with Kothoped, the demon who sent her to fetch the Veil.
  • Fatal Flaw: Pride. She cannot stand being dependent on anyone or anything but herself and her life is a cycle of trying to overthrow any source of control or influence over her, usually getting under influence of something else from demons to Chain Veil to Nicol Bolas in the process.
    • Her definition of dependent is also quite a bit broader than most people's. She can't stand not being above the people she considers close, and just asking them for a favor or telling them the truth never occurs to her. Best demonstrated when she tries to use Jace and the Gatewatch to help her slay her remaining demons. She never even considers just asking them to help and instead tries to manipulate them into unknowingly helping her.
  • Femme Fatale: She sold her soul for eternal youth and beauty, and doesn't at all mind leveraging her attractiveness if it'll get her what she wants. She's also an extremely powerful necromancer, ruthless, selfish and manipulative. Her art and abilities focus equally on these characteristics.
  • Five-Man Band: Liliana joined the Gatewatch after the events on Innistrad, although her motives are more ulterior than that of the other four.
  • Gotta Kill Em All: Her quest to slay the four demons she sold her soul to.
  • Hair Decorations: Sort of a Fridge Brilliance when you consider how self-conscious she is about her age. It was an angel's Hair Decoration before she took it for herself after killing the angel.
  • Hearing Voices: One of the side effects of using the Chain Veil for prolonged amounts of time.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Pulls one in Eldritch Moon, culminating in her swearing the Oath of the Gatewatch.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: In Hour of Devastation, Bolas talks her into both abandoning the Gatewatch and working for him, in exchange for teaching her how to control the Chain Veil. She rejects this when given the chance to break the contract he held over her, but is brought back under his thrall by force after she belatedly learns that the actions she thought would break the contract instead gave him complete control over her. She also turns against Bolas in the final battle, playing a critical role in his defeat.
  • Heroic Vow: "Heroic" is a bit of a stretch, but it's something.
    Oath of Liliana: I see now, that together, we are more powerful than we are alone. If that means I can do what needs to be done without relying on the Chain Veil, I'll keep watch. Happy now?
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: Like Nicol Bolas, she was a pre-Mending Planeswalker who lost her immortality and much of her power, and she didn't take it well. She made Faustian bargains with several demons in an attempt to regain this lost power.
  • Hypocrite: As pointed out by the Onakke spirit in Veil of Deceit: she uses "everyone dies" as a justification for her necromantic practices and callous disregard of others' lives, but everything she has done so far has been to prevent her own death.
  • I Die Free: Considers her impending death after breaking the pact to attack Nicol Bolas to be Worth It since it means she's finally free. However, much to her own surprise, she survives...because Gideon takes the price upon himself, giving up his own life for her.
  • Immortality Inducer: Bolas reveals that the demonic pact itself is what keeps her young. If she breaks the pact by disobeying him, she will age into dust and die.
  • Impossibly-Low Neckline: The dress she wears when she visits Innistrad. Seriously, how is that thing staying up?
  • Internal Homage: When viewed upside down, The Chain Veil has the shape of the Planeswalker symbol in its design.
  • It's All About Me: Makes the other Black Planeswalkers look humble in comparison (only Nicol Bolas rivals her in self-obsession, which is probably why they don't get along). Her brother mattered to her, but he's dead.
  • It's Personal: The last demon who holds her contract, Belzenlok, makes it very personal when he enslaves her undead brother Josu and makes him into the commander of his forces who then proceed to raze her homeland.
  • Jerkass: While developing her second card, Innistrad lead developer Erik Lauer went to the creative department and asked them to give him an overview of her character, so that he could work on some abilities that would be representative of her personality. Their response?
    She's a bitch.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: The moment she realizes that the Gatewatch stands no chance against Nicol Bolas on Amonkhet, she decides that the best course of action is to leave without a fight and planeswalks away alone after her pleas to the rest of the Gatewatch fall on deaf ears.
  • Lady of Black Magic: As an elegant Femme Fatale and accomplished Necromancer, she is very much the Lady of Black Magic.
  • The Lancer: In the Gatewatch. If Jace is taken as a co-leader, she's his lancer. Otherwise she's more of The Sixth Ranger, especially given that she joins last.
  • Luck Manipulation Mechanic: Her first card's second ability puts any card in your library on top and reshuffles the rest of your library.
  • Mark of the Beast: The violet tattoos that cover her body are a sign of her pledge to the four demons she sold her soul to. After killing Kothophed, the first of the four, they began to bleed sporadically.
  • Mask of Power: The Chain Veil.
  • Mind Rape: One of her abilities.
  • Morality Pet: Jace. Liliana does things like knock on doors politely (rather than kicking or blasting them down) and use people that really deserved it as zombie minions when around Jace. Mostly because she wants a favour from him, admittedly. "Pet", in this instance, is the operative word. Later on in Innistrad's Last Hope, it's the thought of Jace that drives her to save Innistrad from Emrakul. Gideon is this to a lesser extent, since Liliana is genuinely heartbroken when he sacrifices himself to save her.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: She was utterly shocked that the potion that she enhanced with her powers zombified her brother instead of curing him. This, combined with said zombified brother's attempt at mass murder, causes her spark to activate. It gets even worse when she finds out that Josu's undeath did not end when she Planeswalked away. He had been an undead monster for centuries, and their entire family had perished trying to either end him, heal him, or find her.
  • Nominal Hero: Whenever Liliana does something heroic (including joining the Gatewatch), her motivations for doing so are almost always in her own self-interest.
  • Not Afraid to Die: Liliana turns against Nicol Bolas in War of the Spark even knowing that doing so will kill her due to the demonic pact. She no longer feared death or Nicol Bolas. To someone like Nicol Bolas who controlled others through fear, this made Liliana his worst nightmare.
  • Not in This for Your Revolution: Unlike the other members of the Gatewatch, who are in it for more-or-less selfless reasons, Liliana is in it solely for her own personal benefit...or at least, that's what she tells herself.
  • Necromancer
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Her efforts to free Griselbrand to kill him also frees Avacyn, Innistrad's Guardian Angel, though she didn't exactly tremble in fear at the prospect. Unfortunately it had further-reaching consequences than she knew: she also freed Nahiri, who kicked off the events of Shadows Over Innistrad.
  • The Nicknamer: Rarely bothers to use any other Planeswalker's real name, but especially never runs out of different variants of 'beefcake' for Gideon. Her naming antic goes Up to Eleven after the Gatewatch joins the Kaladeshi revolution, insisting that Gideon be codenamed 'Beefslab', crowning herself 'Night Queen' and codenaming Jace 'Cloak Boy'.
  • Not Too Dead to Save the Day: So "saving the day" is a bit of a misnomer...but Liliana discovered something very peculiar about the undead she summons forth on Innistrad: they're completely immune to Emrakul's influence and can't be turned against her.
  • Opera Gloves: In the Innistrad promotional art and as Liliana of the Veil.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: The clothes she wore on Innistrad definitely qualify.
  • Poisonous Friend: To Chandra, who thankfully doesn't buy her advice so readily.
  • Pretty in Mink: As Liliana, The Last Hope, she's added a gorgeous fur-lined one shoulder cape to her wardrobe.
  • The Power of Friendship: Learned to recognize it in Eldritch Moon when she joined the Gatewatch. Unfortunately, she sees it like she sees any source of power: exploitable.
  • Reality Ensues: The art and flavor text of "In Bolas' Clutches" reveals that her efforts to break her Deal with the Devil don't have the results that she was hoping they would. One doesn't try to cheat demons without consequences, after all:
    Nicol Bolas: Your contract is in default. You belong to me now. Serve or die.
    • More specifically, not only did killing the demons result in Bolas being the new master of the pact, it turns out that the existence of the pact itself is what keeps her young — it wasn't a one-time reversion. If the pact breaks — like if she rebels against Bolas — her body will rapidly age into dust.
    • At the conclusion of War of the Spark, her last minute Heel–Face Turn against Bolas does not redeem her in the eyes of the people of Ravnica. As far as they are concerned, she changed her mind too late and is still responsible for most of the casualties. Most of the planeswalkers agree. As a result, Kaya is hired to hunt her down.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Liliana uses her magic and demonic contracts to maintain her youthful appearance and extend her lifespan. She's over two hundred years old, but she looks like she's in her twenties.
    Chandra: Anyways, aren't you like two hundred or something?
    Liliana: Ah, but two hundred going on twenty-nine.
  • Sadistic Choice: Liliana of the Veil's ultimate ability, which splits all the opponent's permanents into two piles and forces them to choose which pile lives and which pile dies. Used in the climax of Dark Ascension to force Thalia to break open the Helvault, or have all her companions devoured by ghouls in front of her. In Dominaria she is forced into one of her own: serve Nicol Bolas or die due to the way the demonic pact works. She actually considers choosing death over servitude, but decides to live so that she can Take a Third Option in the future.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: In Hour of Devastation, Bolas talks her into abandonning the Gatewatch and planeswalking away.
  • Significant Anagram: "A villainess". Word of God swears this was completely accidental.
  • Slouch of Villainy: Her promo art in Innistrad. Again in Amonkhet.
  • Soul Power: The Black Magic variant.
  • Start of Darkness: She's tricked by the "Raven Man" into using her magic to enhance a potion that accidentally zombifies her dying older brother and has to utilize her dark magic to its fullest extent to escape with her life. She then spends the next century training with Necromancers across the multiverse.
  • Stripperiffic: Her outfit in her first appearances shows of a lot of skin. Ever since she joins the Gatewatch, she has opted for her classier Innistrad gown instead.
  • Suicidal Overconfidence: At the climax of Eldritch Moon, with an Eldrazi-immune undead army and with the Chain Veil in her arsenal and with the Gatewatch at her back, Liliana picks a fight with Emrakul. She's struck down in short order, leading to the rest of the Gatewatch having to step in to save her.
  • There's No Kill Like Overkill: How she kills the demon Razaketh: After the rest of the Gatewatch wound and bind him, she takes control of an entire river of dead creatures that Razaketh had killed, and has every beast in it (hippos, crocodiles, and others) drag him into the blood-river, drown him, and then start eating him alive, while being connected to their senses so she feels like she's the one doing it. The other Gatewatch members are...disturbed, to say the least. She, on the other hand, is basically high from the experience.
  • Token Evil Teammate: She fills this role to the rest of the Gatewatch.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The Girly Girl to Chandra's Tomboy.
  • Trapped in Villainy: As of the end of Dominaria. The demons' deaths transferred ownership of Liliana's soul to Nicol Bolas since that was how he arranged it when he first brokered the deal. Furthermore, Liliana can't disobey him since that would break the pact, and the pact itself is what keeps her young. If it breaks, she will age into dust and die. Liliana briefly considers choosing death over slavery, but refuses to give up like that.
  • Troll: Among other things, she reshelves books out of order in Jace's library just to mess with him.
  • Tsundere: She has some Tsundere-ish tendencies, especially in her relationship with Jace.
  • Unwitting Pawn: The Chain Veil is connected to... something. Something dead, ancient, powerful, and restless. It appears to have chosen Liliana as its vessel, and while she struggles not to be controlled, it's becoming more difficult the longer she possesses it. In addition, the mysterious "Raven Man" has some sort of sinister investment in her life. To the point of even manipulating her into awakening her Planeswalker Spark all those centuries ago.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: She probably wouldn't have grown up to be so vicious had she successfully healed her brother, or even merely poisoned him instead of turning him into a fully sapient undead abomination.

    Lord Windgrace 

Lord Windgrace

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lord_windgrace_2298.jpg
"Phyrexia is an unforgiving place, and I am an angry lord in an unforgiving mood."

  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: He closed the Stronghold rift over Urborg first by infusing his essence with the land (to make sure a part of him would always watch over it), grew to gigantic size, and crushed the rift in his jaws.
  • Cat Folk: He was a humanoid 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: The art for the card "Planeswalker's Fury" show his causally using a fire spell to destroy a Phyrexian standing behind him.
  • 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.

    Nahiri 

Nahiri

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/nahiri_1064.jpg
"This is your world. This stone, this earth, is yours to fight for. If you don't think you can rely on us, then don't."

A kor Planeswalker from the plane of Zendikar who aided fellow Planeswalkers Sorin and Ugin in sealing away the Eldrazi within her homeworld millennia ago. When Sorin returned 6000 years later to check on the weakening seal, Nahiri was nowhere to be found, having vanished without a trace long ago. Turns out, she remained on Zendikar as a guardian of the Eldrazi prison and eventually cocooned herself below the Eye of Ugin. She awakened, performed some maintenance, then went to search out Sorin and Ugin. She found Sorin. His reaction to her appearance was less than amiable. Read all about her here, here, and here.


  • Action Girl: As a female planeswalker, this comes with the territory. Even before then, she was an adventurous nomad who regularly clambered, glided and hiked her way across the deadly and treacherous landscape of Zendikar.
  • Ax-Crazy: With the revelation that she was the one who set Emrakul upon Innistrad knowing the carnage that would occur, it's clear that something inside of her has come unglued, and she will now do anything to hurt Sorin regardless of collateral damage.
  • And I Must Scream: During their brief scuffle, Sorin opted to seal her in the Helvault for a millennia; she drifted endlessly in bleak darkness as it became populated with demons and, eventually, Avacyn. She keeps her mind in check by mentally building Zendikar, but her anger towards Sorin only grew in time.
  • Big Bad: Creative recognizes her as such for Shadows Over Innistrad.
  • Big Good: Once.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: Sorin's perceived betrayal by sealing her in the Helvault did a number on her emotionally, but it was planeswalking back to Zendikar immediately after being freed only to find it seemingly ravaged beyond salvation by Ulamog and his brood that pushed her past the breaking point.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Her main form of magic, being a lithomancer. She can manipulate rocks, which in her story is used to create the hedrons (a task that took four decades), bury Eldrazi spawn/aggravatingly persistent cultists, and create the cryptoliths on Innistrad.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: She took Sorin's refusal to go with her to Zendikar as a betrayal.
  • Extra-ore-dinary: She can extract, refine, smelt and forge metal into elaborate and fully-functional equipment with nothing but her own two hands and a convenient source of rock.
  • Fallen Hero: Oh, she fell hard, essentially condemning innocents (and local evils) for Sorin's deeds via death and assimilation by an Eldrazi Titan.
  • Freudian Trio: Between herself (Id), Sorin (Superego), and Ugin (Ego).
  • The Heart: Nahiri lived, loved, and lost among her people for centuries. While her own immortality made her survive all her friends and lovers, save Ugin and Sorin, who grated on her over time, Nahiri never lost her driving optimism. She even retains fondness for Sorin and Ugin for being there as she outlived everyone else she knew.
  • Heroic Albino: Not actually albino, as all kor share the same pale coloration, but she fits the trope.
  • Honor Before Reason: In the story linked above, she insists on staying to protect the survivors even though they have no chance of survival against the Eldrazi.
  • Hope Bringer: She tried to inspire the survivors of a plane consumed by the Eldrazi to have courage, confusing and annoying Sorin.
    "Any hope is better than none. Always."
  • Light Is Not Good: Through most of her life she was good, but after Sorin's betrayal she retributed with the massacre of an entire plane, plunging well into the Moral Event Horizon. She earns the dubious distinction of being the first White planeswalker Big Bad.
  • Magma Man: She is capable of melting rock, which she normally uses in order to forge weapons.
  • Perky Goth: Though that's not make-up; her skin color is typical of kor. She's definitely upbeat... at first.
  • Protectorate: Toward her homeworld of Zendikar, in part out of guilt at agreeing to imprison the Eldrazi there.
  • Red Baron: Was known simply as 'the Lithomancer' before her reveal. Turns out it's also her title. These days she's known as the Harbinger.
  • Revenge by Proxy: Nahiri's response to Sorin failing to come when the Eldrazi titans were destroying Zendikar, and subsequently imprisoning her, is to actively draw the surviving titan Emrakul to Sorin's home plane to ravage it.
  • Revenge Before Reason: She sics an Eldrazi Titan, one of the things she was was fighting to keep imprisoned or away from the material planes (and for good reason), onto Innistrad and lets it go on a killing spree just to spite Sorin. During War of the Spark when Bolas is threatening the lives of all planeswalkers everywhere, she initially chooses to renew her feud with Sorin rather than assist.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: As of Shadows of Innistrad, she's very upset at Sorin, she's on Innistrad, and she's wrecking the place.
    "As Zendikar has bled, so will Innistrad. As I have wept, so will Sorin."
  • Skewed Priorities: She's much more interested in her personal feud with Sorin than the threat to the entire Multiverse posed by Bolas and his Dreadhorde during War of the Spark.
  • The Southpaw: Nahiri seems fond of holding weapons in her left hand.
  • Tailor-Made Prison: She did all the grunt work constructing the elaborate prison system trapping the Eldrazi on Zendikar. Ugin did the enchanting and runes, Sorin did the mana- and life-draining magic and tracked the Titans through the planes.
  • Talk to the Fist: Does not let annoying vampire cultists finish half a sentence when she needs to focus.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: She, Sorin, and Ugin don't always see eye to eye, but all three are fully aware that only by working together do they stand a chance against the Eldrazi.
  • Ultimate Blacksmith: She takes her race's love for crafting and cranks it Up to Eleven. The millions of hedrons that cover Zendikar? She made all of them.
    • Terrain Sculpting: The powerful magic in the hedrons creates the weird gravitational effects that make Zendikar possible. She completely changed the landscape of the entire plane.
    • And now she's used what she learned there to make the cryptoliths, which are responsible for the magic warping Innistrad and driving Avacyn and her angels mad.
  • Unflinching Walk: This image.
  • Unwanted False Faith: Taught the fledgling races of Zendikar about the threat of the Eldrazi, a message that got muddled over time and cast her as their servant instead. Nahiri is not pleased by this development, and wrecks every trace of said religion she can find. Now that she's summoned an Eldrazi Titan to Innistrad, she's become what she's hated.
  • Vocal Dissonance: After spending centuries in meditation, Nahiri is noted to have have a voice akin to the "crunch of gravel".
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Sometimes she resents her immortality.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Compounding her rage toward Sorin is that she went to him assuming he was somehow in peril, because surely there would be no other reason he'd ignore his oath to aid her if the Eldrazi escaped.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Not quite literally, since as far as we know she's just trying to drive everything on Innistrad Ax-Crazy instead of actually destroying the plane, but close enough. She did not take Sorin's failure to show up and help Zendikar well, and was even less happy with his reasons, became even more enraged when he chose to seal her for centuries in Helvault after her brief scuffle with Avacyn, and finally she snapped after returning home to see Ulamog busy devouring the plane. Now actually literal with the reveal that she's brought Emrakul to Innistrad to destroy it the way Ulamog and Kozilek had razed Zendikar.
  • Wrench Wench

    Nicol Bolas 

Nicol Bolas

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/nicol_bolas_5104.jpg
"There is no greater folly than standing against me."

Nicol Bolas is one of the oldest Planeswalkers in the multiverse — and perhaps the most powerful. 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. The Amonkhet block returns him to being more than "behind the scenes." 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.
  • The Ace: He's one of the few Elder Dragons to survive the Dragon War, knows Blue, Red, and Black magic, is regarded as one of (if not the most) intelligent beings in the multiverse, and has even shown himself capable of cheating death.
  • Ax-Crazy: Bolas is extremely sociopathic, highly sadistic and is not shy about killing others for simply annoying him. And that’s when he isn’t committing mass murder for its own sake.
  • Agony Beam: His touch causes immense physical and psychological trauma.
  • An Offer You Can't Refuse: After he delivers his Breaking Speech to Liliana in Hour of Devastation he offers her to work for him in exchange for two things. One is knowledge of how to control the Chain Veil. The other is her own survival.
  • The Arch Mage: He's an extremely powerful wizard even by Planeswalker standards.
  • Back from the Dead: After his death at the hands of Tetsuo Umezawa, leading to him being reduced to a wraith bound to a time rift, Nicol Bolas managed to revive himself by tricking Venser and mind-controlling him into a ritual that revived him. This is why Ugin argued against killing him once he'd been defeated on Ravnica - if death cannot stop Bolas for good, then the only way to ensure he won't be a threat is to imprison him alive.
  • Bad Boss: He has a history of abusing his minions, whoever those minions are (even planeswalkers such as Sarkhan and Tezzeret).
    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: Most of the stories he appears in after his debut see his plans coming to fruition — he encounters some hiccups along the way, but ultimately achieves his goals. In Shards of Alara, he successfully used the Conflux to increase his power; in Zendikar, he managed to see the Eldrazi released for reasons still unknown; and in Amonkhet, he obtained his army of Eternals, destroying the plane's civilization in the process and completely stomping the Gatewatch when they attacked him to stop this.
  • Batman Gambit: In War Of The Spark it's revealed that he was the one who insured the reforged Blackblade made its way into Belzenlok's claws, knowing full well the Gatewatch would kill Belzenlok to take it, and pin all their hopes on its ability to kill another Elder Dragon... because he'd taken measures to ensure it wouldn't work on him after the first dragon it killed, thus making sure they didn't look for a weapon that could actually harm him.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: During his battle with the Gatewatch, he takes time in beating them in their area of expertise, just to add insult to injury. He subjects Jace, a telepath, to a Mind Rape, takes control over the plane from elementalist Nissa and gives manipulator Liliana a Breaking Speech that makes her abandon the team. Gideon and Chandra tried to take him with brute force, so he just beats them up. This is also reflected in game by cards showing him defeating each member of the team being in that member's color and targetting cards of the same color.
  • Berserk Button: Insinuating that he has at any point in his life felt fear is probably the most effective method of pissing him off.
  • Big Bad: Arguably Magic's premier force of evil with Yawgmoth out of the picture. He certainly sees himself this way.
  • Book-Ends: Hour of Devastation's storyline starts with him defeating Amonkhet's gods, starting with subjecting Blue-aligned one to a Mind Rape, then committing mass murder and building a new order, before leaving victorious. It ends with him committing mass murder and ending the new order that he built, before defeating the Gatewatch, starting with subjecting their Blue-aligned member to a Mind Rape.
    • As the first Chronicle of Bolas story shows, Bolas's first words were "I'm stuck." In the last Chronicle of Bolas story, when Baishya accuses of him of being stuck in the past and being obsessed with his rivalry with Ugin, Bolas childishly protests "I'm not stuck!"
  • 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: Like all of the Planeswalkers who survived the Mending, Nicol Bolas was reduced from a godlike being to a mortal dragon. Even if he's still a powerful Elder Dragon, Bolas hates this loss of power, and his schemes since then have revolved around a way to get his pre-Mending power back. Bolas regains some of this power from the Conflux, but Ajani defeating him before he could fully absorb it meant this power was only a temporary stopgap. He temporarily succeeds in War of the Spark, absorbing hundreds of Planeswalker sparks to gain power equal to (or perhaps even beyond) his pre-Mending self... only to lose it all when Liliana and Niv-Mizzet defeat him with his own weapons and despark him. At the conflict's end, Bolas is no longer even a post-Mending Planeswalker, but a planebound dragon - an ant, in his words.
  • Cain and Abel: The Cain to Ugin's Abel.
  • The Chessmaster: His defining characteristic. His schemes span countless centuries and numerous planes of existence.
  • The Corrupter: He corrupts just about everything and everyone he touches. Sarkhan Vol, Tezzeret, the entire plane of Amonkhet...
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: He delivered two of those on the Amonkhet, one against the Eight Gods, the other against the Gatewatch.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He is intellectually so far above more-or-less every other life form in the multiverse, so his condescending attitude leads to the delivery of some pretty legendary snark.
  • Didn't See That Coming: He really didn't expect Liliana to turn his own army of Eternals against him even while aware that breaking the pact would kill her. As someone who spent his whole life controlling others through fear, someone who was no longer afraid of him was his ultimate blindspot.
  • 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 IÂ’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. 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 oldest and most powerful member of the entire pantheon.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Emperor's Fist states that he respected his siblings as equals, and "Chronicle of Bolas: The Twins" shows that he had a (very short-lived) concern for his very short-lived sister Merrevia Sal upon her death. Considering that he is currently attempting to murder his twin brother and even has succeeded in one timeline, however, this doesn't matter a lot in the great scheme of things.
  • 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.
    • Bolas is also really fond of being as annoying as possible in any given conversation with Tezzeret and/or Jace.
    • He openly admits causing the genocide of his own creations for fun.
    • Hell, part of the trigger that caused his Spark to ignite was jealously that Ugin discovered the Spark first and had something he did not.
  • False Friend: Ugin loved Nicol as a brother and assumed the feeling was mutual. When Nicol tried to manipulate him into joining him in his conquest of Dominaria, Ugin realized that his brotherly bond was a lie. Nicol had never really understood Ugin or even cared to understand him and had no qualms about using Ugin for his own ends. This betrayal hurt Ugin so much it awakened his Planeswalker Spark.
    • That said, there are a few hints that Bolas did deeply care about Ugin, in his own way. Even within his own retelling of the story of his and Ugin's birth - which, naturally, paints him in the most flattering and impressive light possible, to almost comical absurdity - he retells the feeling of sorrow and shame in thinking that Ugin may have died in the sorcerous assault from the enemy that ensued immediately following said offering - in actuality Ugin planeswalking after his Spark ignited, but he had no way of knowing it. It's stated he spent many years trying to find out what happened to his brother, and when Ugin returned thousands of years later, Bolas becomes overjoyed and eager to show his brother what he had accomplished in that time - it's only when Ugin showed his disdain for Bolas's oppressive and brutal regime, that he really began to hate him, viewing him as weak willed and a coward.
  • Fatal Flaw: Fear. He is utterly terrified of being powerless, and is scared of factors that are absolutely out of his control (chiefly his brother Ugin, who cheated death at Bolas's hands twice). Yasova exploits this fear to bluff Bolas into leaving Tarkir alone for good. In War of the Spark, this fear becomes reality; see Fate Worse than Death below.
  • Fate Worse than Death: All his great power is removed from him, reducing him to an 'ant,' the thing he hates most.
  • Final Boss: Of Magic: the Gathering Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013.
  • Foil: To Ugin. Both ancient, extremely powerful Elder Dragons with conflicting views on the nature of the Multiverse.
  • For the Evulz: His most basic motivation, as stated in Emperor's Fist:
    "I was old before this world was even born. I watched my brothers rule for a thousand years until little worms like you overcame them. But I am not my brothers. I am older than they are, greater. I have devoured stars and shattered worlds. I have sired whole races, populated entire planes, and then hunted them to extinction for my amusement."
    • Subverted with Hour of Devastation. While it initially seems petty and counterproductive to raze Naktamun with the Eternals they've been making him for sixty years, War of the Spark reveals that this had a purpose - by killing the gods of Amonkhet, he could have them converted into God-Eternals leading the Dreadhorde.
  • Freudian Excuse: The Twins reveals that his very first moments in life were defined by entrapment (he got stuck under a fallen tree when he and Ugin crash-landed), death (he witnessed his sister dragon be slain by human hunters), fear (though he denied it he was afraid of the hunters), and violence (he slaughtered the hunters' hounds and reveled in it). His first minutes in life would eventually come to define his entire worldview.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: Even a simple spell to repair his broken wing after being sealed in the Mediation Realm is a bridge too far for him after War of the Spark.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: The ___'s Defeat cards from Hour of Devastation show Bolas defeating each member of the Gatewatch, but they don't always reflect how it happened in the story.
  • Genius Bruiser: Arguably Up to Eleven. Bolas has an absolutely mind-bending storehouse of information, is cunning enough to play Xanatos Speed Chess like it was Tic-Tac-Toe and one of the most brilliant magical researchers the multiverse has ever seen. Lest you forget, however, that he is a mountain sized (sometimes) dragon with demi-god level magical power who can casually shrug off and retaliate to conventional weapons as if they were wielded by mosquitoes.
  • God-Emperor: Ruled over the empire of Madara as a god before being sealed away in the Meditation Realm for thousands of years. He's also worshipped as the God-Pharaoh in Amonkhet after brutally subjugating the plane into his personal factory.
  • Hates Small Talk:
    His voice faded to a gurgle as the dragon leaned on his chest hard enough to spring a couple of his ribs. "Banter," said Nicol Bolas, "gets on my nerves."
  • Hero Killer: He's the reason Ugin was:
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: His enslavement of Liliana and the creation of the God Eternals ultimately backfire on him horribly. Right at his moment of triumph, Liliana turns against him (which she survives thanks to Gideon's sacrifice) and sics two of the God Eternals on Bolas. He destroys God Eternal Oketra, but God Eternal Bontu manages to drain all of the Sparks he had harvested which empowered him, sealing his fate. The spear he gave to Hazoret was also created with some of Bolas' own power, which meant it could still hurt him even after he became godlike. This also led to his downfall since Niv-Mizzet got ahold of the spear and stabbed Bolas in the back with it.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: Despite being one of the most powerful planeswalkers in the entire multiverse, he is aware that his current power is but a fraction of what he once wielded. He is determined to set this right, even if it means unleashing interplanar wars and releasing eldritch abominations.
    We were gods once, Beleren. Did you know that? The Spark burned so much brighter then. We willed our desires upon the worlds, and the worlds obeyed. And then, the catastrophe on Dominaria and we... We are less, Beleren. Less than we were... And less than we will be!
    • Happens to him again at the end of War of the Spark, to an even greater degree. He's imprisoned for eternity deprived of all of his power, including his Planeswalker Spark, and even his name courtesy of Ugin.
  • Irony: His Evil Plan in War of the Spark was to harvest the Sparks of every Planeswalker in the multiverse so he could become a god. It ends with him losing his own Planeswalker Spark and being reduced to a powerless creature.
  • 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.
    • The Amonkhet artbook spells out that Bolas didn't just want to defeat the Gatewatch during the fall of Naktamun; he wanted to humiliate them and rub his superiority into their faces. Best exemplified when he lets Gideon put up his invulnerable shield... and then spends the first half of the fight dribbling him against the wall with his tail just for the laughs.
  • Last of His Kind: Bolas is one of the last two elder dragons known to exist in the entire multiverse, alongside his twin brother Ugin. Most of the others were wiped out in a civil war long, long ago. (Although this depends how "Elder Dragon" is defined — the new Tarkir's dragonlords have the same type, although they aren't of the same lineage as Bolas.)
  • Light Is Not Good: In spite of his mana alignment he has a strong sun motif, which only intensified in Amonkhet-onwards stories.
  • Magikarp Power: His Core 2019 card is a double-faced card reflecting how Bolas grew from the Elder Dragons' runt to the most feared Planeswalker in the multiverse. The front side is a 4/4 dragon with only a modest ETB effect to his name, dwarfed by the other Core 2019 Elder Dragons and even by "average" dragons like Shivan Dragon. Pay the mana cost for his transformation, however, and Bolas becomes a powerful Planeswalker with a plethora of devastating effects, including an ultimate that outright destroys your opponent's library.
  • The Man Behind the Man: He enjoys using others as puppets.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Manipulates everyone he can all the time, and really, he's just a bastard all around.
  • Mind Rape: Standard attacks for him, which he uses several times in the stories. 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 more, such as the Eldest Planeswalker (even though Ugin's Spark ignited before Bolas's) and the Forever Serpent. There is a secret, forgotten name he was known under on Amonkhet: the Great Trespasser. Not that "God-Pharaoh" isn't also intimidating.
  • Nepharious Pharaoh: An Evil Sorcerer Up to Eleven being worshiped as the God-Pharaoh? This can't end well.
  • 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.
    • The textbook 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.
  • "Reason You Suck" Speech: In Hour of Devastation he delivers one to each member of the the Gatewatch as he defeats them one after another.
  • The Runt at the End: He and his twin Ugin were the smallest and weakest Elder Dragons at birth. While their bigger and stronger elder siblings and cousins had somewhat more impressive landings, Nicol and Ugin had an undignified crash landing that resulted in Nicol being stuck under a fallen tree. Though they would eventually become the most powerful of their kin as well as the only survivors, Nicol never forgot what it felt like to be weak. His driving motivation is to never be weak again.
  • This Cannot Be!: He does not exactly take his defeat well, shrieking how it 'cannot happen to me!'
  • Sadist: See For the Evulz above. For all his power, knowledge and age, he's just a nasty kid playing with a lenses.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: He was trapped in the Meditation Realm for thousands of years before escaping in the Time Spiral block. He is sealed in the Meditation Realm again at the conclusion of War of the Spark by Ugin, possibly for eternity.
  • Slept Through the Apocalypse: By the time he awoke from his millennia of imprisonment in his Meditation Realm, Dominaria was a post-apocalyptic wasteland due to the Phyrexian invasion.
  • 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. The Twins reveals that he started to develop this mindset after witnessing his sister dragon slain by human hunters. That made him determined to always be the hunter and never the hunted.
    Bolas: Do the innocent pay for the crimes of the guilty? Of course they do. That's the fate of the weak.
  • Satanic Archetype: Starting by the fact that his own name is reportedly a German term for the Old Scratch and he is a dragon designed to resemble a demon, but it goes so much deeper than that. An impossibly old evil member of a host of god-like beings, of which he stood out amidst, he is a designated liar and manipulator as well as an outright corrupter who can't resist being worshiped as a god if he can help it. He is thoroughly associated with the most stereotypically evil color association with all that entails,note , and is Magic's quintessential force of evil.
  • Sibling Murder: In the original timeline, he succeeded in killing his brother Ugin.
  • Smug Super: Even post-Mending, he's far and away the most powerful Planeswalker alive (with the exception of his rival Ugin) and he damn well knows it. Best shown in Hour of Devastation when he takes the time to crush and humiliate each member of the Gatewatch, one at a time, forcing them to run away in defeat, when he could have killed them with one spell.
  • Sorcerous Overlord: His vast array of magic ensures his dominion over his servants.
  • The Sociopath: When other empathy-devoid oldwalkers like Ugin and Azor feel that you're an awful person, you know something's not quite right. His delight in killing entire species for the sake of funzies probably doesn't help.
  • Take Away Their Name: Ugin takes away both of his names at the end of War of the Spark, ensuring that he can never be summoned by anyone again.
  • Time Abyss: The second oldest Planeswalker in existence.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Upon his defeat the climax at the War of the Spark, he is reduced to impotent howls of terror, rage and disbelief.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: To the Gatewatch. After taking down the Eldrazi, they figured they could bring Bolas down by simply catching him off guard. Bolas proceeds to show them just how wrong they are. They didn't even succeed in catching him off-guard; he knew they were coming far in advance.
  • We Can Rule Together: When Nicol revealed his true colors to Ugin, he asked Ugin to join him in his conquest of Dominaria. But Ugin had never desired power over others — and the realization that Nicol didn't understand this or even care to understand this about him led Ugin to realize that Nicol had never truly valued him as a brother. To Nicol, even his own twin brother was just another potential pawn.
  • 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.
  • Your Size May Vary: Exactly how big he is depends on the artist. Possibly him changing size depending on what's the easiest for him to fit in a location.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: The Gatewatch tried to do this in the Amonkhet block. Bolas easily defeated them.

    Ob Nixilis 

Ob Nixilis

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/4ce63979baa1e7ee31efa83c9e85cf4b.png
"Conquering your first world is the hardest, after all. My power grew as I moved from world to world, taking anything that would make the next taking easier."
Introduced in Zendikar as a demon who lost his Planeswalker spark, Ob Nixilis was originally a human tyrant engaged with a neverending war with the people of his homeworld. He ultimately ended the war and brought "peace", as it were, by offering the blood of his last two loyal soldiers to summon a demon. The demon wiped out all life from his world except for Ob Nixilis. Despot with no one to rule over, his spark ignited, showing him infinite worlds to conquer. Unfortunately, conquering the multiverse isn't easy. A failure led him to seek out the power of the Chain Veil, which instead cursed him with the body of a demon. He sought out the boundless mana of Zendikar to cure him of his curse, but an unfortunate run-in with Nahiri left his Planeswalker spark sealed away. However, the hedron that was sealing his spark has been removed from his skull, and his spark has been recuperating. He is ready to take out his revenge on the world that trapped him for so many centuries.


  • Arch-Nemesis: He really, really hates Nahiri. Nissa's also not his favorite person for her resistance on Zendikar. They have a Duel Deck series dedicated to their battles now.
  • Arc Villain: Of Battle for Zendikar. Though Ulamog and his brood are far more dangerous threats, as of now the Eldrazi do not seem to be motivated by any desire save for the never-ending need to consume, while Ob Nixilis has been exploiting the chaos Ulamog has brought forth to finally reignite his spark.
  • Bald of Evil: At least when he was human.
  • Bad Boss: He is more than willing to sacrifice his own minions for his gain.
    You fill each bowl with blood, and you place one hand in each. From there, the chamber would do the rest. And I just happened to have two lives with me to fill the bowls.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: He has regained his wings, his spark, managed to unleash an additional Eldrazi Titan upon Zendikar, and defeated three out of four members of the future Gatewatch before Chandra appeared. Even when he was forced to flee, he remarked that they had wasted their time fighting him instead of the Eldrazi and so allowed Zendikar to suffer further. Not bad for someone whose chances to escape from his previous state of being looked less than bright.
  • Black Knight/Tin Tyrant: As a human, he donned the usual garb of a villainous conqueror in a medieval fantasy.
  • Briar Patching: He tricked the player character in Duels 2015 into taking the hedron from his forehead, thinking it was the source of his power. This removed Nahiri's power limiter, making him much stronger and causing him to grow wings.
  • Brought Down to Badass: Even after losing his spark, he's still a very powerful demon. Technically it's still true after he regains it, since he is still gone from a godlike pre-mending planeswalker to a powerful post-mending one.
  • Curse Escape Clause: He believes that if Zendikar is destroyed, he'll regain his spark. This turns out to be unnecessary (he only had to usurp the power to save the plane, not destroy it personally), but he figures he might as well help it along a bit anyway.
  • Deadpan Snarker: After being captured by his opponent, Lord Raximar, he carried out a series of quick gambits that resulted in the two of them dueling to the death and every witness dying horribly. Ob then told Raximar's army that he challenged Raximar to an honorable duel of succession and won.
    "The Raximar troops, for some reason, doubted my version of events."
  • Deal with the Devil: How he defeated the opposing army that was coming for him — and also killed every other living thing on his home plane.
  • The Fatalist: What drove him to become an Omnicidal Maniac. By studying the history of his home plane, where civilisation was periodically brought to ruin by magical forces, he came to believe that societies are inherently doomed to destroy themselves.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He's remarkably civilized, witty, well-educated, and polite as he stabs you in the back. Even as a demon trapped on Zendikar, he went out of his way to speak to every Planeswalker who passed through the plane, making sure to let all of them know about powerful the hedron in his forehead was ...
  • Gambit Roulette: How he defeated Lord Raximar and tricked the player character in Duels 2015 into removing his hedron, along with some Crazy-Prepared and a hefty dose of bluffing. The man simply doesn't care if he lives, so his plans end with him either succeeding gloriously or dying horribly. So far, it's always been the former.
  • It's All About Me: After the destruction of his world, was he emotionally affected by the deaths of everyone he'd ever known? ...Well, he did think it was funny. It was once it struck him that he had nothing to rule anymore that he became vexed.
  • Karmic Transformation: His lust for power led him to the Chain Veil, which turned him into a demon — just like the ones he called on to destroy his home plane.
  • Kill 'Em All: His modus operandi. He kills every living thing in a plane of his choice, moves to a new one and repeats the process.
  • Magic Knight: He's equally adept with a greatsword and with spellcraft.
  • Opportunistic Bastard: If an opportunity presents itself that he can use to his own ends, he will take it.
  • Multiversal Conqueror: It took him several decades at least to annihilate all life on his home plane. The second fell much more quickly.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Before losing his spark, he traveled the multiverse wiping out all life from each plane he visited. Now he's convinced the only way to get his spark back is to help the Eldrazi destroy Zendikar ...
  • Our Demons Are Different: He has born a human, but a bad encounter with the Chain Veil turned him into a winged demon.
  • Power Limiter: The hedron that Nahiri placed in his skull suppressed his spark, withered his wings and greatly diminished his powers.
  • Pragmatic Villain: As seen in the battle of Zendikar, after his plan to regain his Spark is thwarted, he is perfectly fine with working with his former enemies, if necessary. Keyword being if, when he finds out it's not necessary he switches back to his genocidal plans without a second thought.
  • Restraining Bolt: Nahiri bound him to Zendikar to prevent him from being able to continue on his planar killing spree.
  • Revenge: After being defeated by the Gatewatch, he promises to strike back at them in the future.
    "I will walk every plane, scour every pathetic world, until I find a way to bring fitting punishment down upon your misguided lives."
  • Spikes of Villainy: On his armor as a mortal, and on his carapace as a demon.
  • The Unfettered: He will betray any trust, commit any blasphemy, and pay any price for power.
  • To the Pain: But of course.
    "Oh, little elf. Would you like to hear something amusing? If you had simply let me finish my work, I would have regained my spark and left your world. I didn't choose you as an enemy, but now I feel obliged to be the enemy you deserve. Kozilek's distortion will allow you to experience the last hours of Zendikar drawn out over the space of a thousand years. Suffering as I did. Normally I don't care for these kinds of theatrics, but you've earned yourself an exception."
  • Vampiric Draining: A specialty magic of his, extinguishing the life of everything nearby and drawing the energy for himself to restore and/or bolster his strength. Doing this on a planar scale by siphoning the power of Zendikar itself through the hedron network used to trap Ulamog is how he finally reignites his spark.
  • Was Once a Man: He was originally a human planeswalker, but his evil and dark magic gradually warped his form into that of a monstrous, fiery demon.
  • Wicked Cultured: He's a student of history, religion, and anthropology, taught himself several languages, and trades witty banter with his opponents while dueling them.

    Serra 

Serra

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/serra.jpg
"Let Phyrexia breed evil in the darkness; my holy light will reveal its taint."
A white-aligned Planeswalker, Serra created an idyllic and beautiful plane where she lived her version of a perfect life. Angels answered her commands and protected its human inhabitants from danger. When Urza was wounded by Phyrexians, Serra gave him sanctuary and helped heal and restore him- drawing the eye of Yawgmoth to her private paradise. The subsequent Phyrexian attacks eventually forced her to flee with many of her followers while those angels and humans who refused would fight on. Of the remaining beings, Urza saved those angels and humans finally willing to leave the realm before collapsing it into a Powerstone Core for the Skyship Weatherlight.

  • As the Good Song Says: The angels of Serra often quote from her holy book in card text, The Song of All.
    "In the gathering there is strength for all who founder, renewal for all who languish, love for all who sing."
  • 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.
  • Death Seeker: She became one after Feroz died. She eventually got her wish.
  • Floating Continent: Her Realm consisted of flat strips of land floating in an endless, cloud-specked sky.
  • Fluffy Cloud Heaven: Her Realm was the Magic multiverse's clearest example of this kind of dimension.
  • God Guise: Like some other Planeswalkers, she inspired a religion among the mortals. However, she was named after an ancient Dominarian goddess, so it goes both ways really. Members of the Church of Serra believe the planeswalker Serra was an avatar of the goddess Serra, so there's little to no difference between them in their minds.
  • Have You Seen My God?: She hasn't been seen since Urza's first visit to her realm. The second time he shows up, the 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.
    • As of the new Dominaria set, the Archangels of Serra in the land of Benalia continue to worship her, with Guardian Angels continuing to manifest out of thin air in response to mortal prayers. The Angels believe Serra to be alive, or somehow ascended to goddess-hood and still powerful enough to create new beings. However, its unclear if it's her or the goddess she was named after. Or...perhaps she and the goddess aren't so separate after all...
  • Historical Hero Upgrade: In-universe. She died of suicide by proxy, but her present day worshipers hold that she bravely sacrificed herself for Benalia.
  • 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: Her signature look gave a very generous view of most of her torso, including her Action Girl abs.

    Sorin Markov 

Sorin Markov

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/sorin_markov_705.jpg
"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, though some white has crept into his cards as of later events. He hails from Innistrad, and is an estranged Markov family member. He was one of the three Planeswalkers who created the seal to trap the Eldrazi in Zendikar. Presently, he is busy with two things: Dealing with the resurgence of Eldrazi in Zendikar, first by working (begrudgingly) with Zendikar native Nissa Revane to reseal the Eldrazi, and later when they break free, he seeks out Ugin in Tarkir; and finding out what's wrong with his home plane Innistrad, first due to the disappearance of of Avacyn, Innistrad's guardian angel (his creation), and later due to the resurgence of dark forces despite her return. 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.
  • And I Must Scream: For imprisoning Nahiri in the terrifyingly lonely darkness of the Helvault, she defeats him and encases him in stone, ensuring he lives (returning his "favor", as she terms it), but helplessly immobilized with a front-row seat to watching his plane tear itself apart.
  • Anti-Hero: He left conventional morality behind a very long time ago — but since he'd like to keep amusing himself in the multiverse, he'll do what it takes to preserve it.
  • Best Served Cold: He cultivates grudges like some people grow flowers. When he's not being dragged into helping fix something or other, it's part of how he spends his time.
  • 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: But of course. His is both powerful and practiced.
  • Charm Person: A vampiric ability, beefed up with his magic to the point where he can enthrall several people effortlessly.
  • Cruel to Be Kind: Created Avacyn to prevent the vampires of Innistrad from eating themselves to death. Even though Avacyn gives humanity the strength to kill the vampires, it really is for their own good.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: He's scheming, paranoid, brutal, and eats people to survive, but he's essentially a Big Good and doesn't like artless, senseless destruction. This is summed up in a quote of his from Day of Judgment:
    "I have seen planes leveled and all life rendered to dust. It brought no pleasure, even to a heart as dark as mine."
  • Deadpan Snarker: Being functionally immortal will do that to you.
  • Deal with the Devil: His origin aside, he makes one with Olivia Voldaren: remove Avacyn, and her army is his to command against Nahiri. True to the trope's spirit, however, when he loses to Nahiri, Olivia decides their bargain is fulfilled and leaves him trapped.
  • Defector from Decadence: He despises the other vampires of Innistrad for their short-sighted wastefulness.
    "Death not for survival but for vanity and pleasure? This is the decadence I sought to curb."
  • Despair Event Horizon: He loses hope to reseal the Eldrazi after discovering that Ugin has died. Sarkhan's altering of the timeline stops him from hitting this in the new present. A second time (or first, depending on how you look at it) when Emrakul arrives on Innistrad after he unmakes Avacyn; he gives up on defending the plane and dedicates all his efforts to getting revenge on Nahiri.
  • Disappointed in You: Among his final words to Nahiri are chastisement that she didn't kill him when last they met. He's specifically described as speaking teacher to student (and it makes a direct contrast with his congratulations to her when they sealed the Titan with Ugin's help, which carried a note of So Proud of You).
  • Freudian Trio: Between Nahiri (Id), himself (Superego), and Ugin (Ego).
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: In comparison to others of his kind, at least, which is not saying a whole lot. He still doesn't regard humans as inherently precious in themselves and he's perfectly happy to drain people's blood to survive (or at least sees it as an inconvenient necessity rather than monstrous), but he regards defending his own plane as an obligation, and preserves the lives of billions sealing away the Eldrazi. He might eat a few individuals, sure, but he won't have anyone devouring entire planes. There is one being he might genuinely care about: Avacyn, his creation.
  • Good Is Not Nice: He might be one of the only Big Goods in this setting, but don't let that fool you. Sorin's cold, arrogant, and vengeful, and you do not want to piss him off. Or even mildly annoy him.
    Flavor text for Mortify: Many who cross Sorin's path come down with a sudden and fatal case of being-in-the-way-of-a-millennia-old-vampire.
  • 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: Very spiffy leather coat he's got.
  • I Hate You, Vampire Dad: 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. He later did come home, but after Nahiri thrashed it.
  • Insufferable Genius: While undeniably intelligent, his condescending demeanor (especially when speaking with Nahiri) is often pretty grating.
  • Kill the Ones You Love: Old as he is, there aren't many people he bothers to care about. He does care about Avacyn, but when she becomes corrupted from her purpose and then rebels against her creator, he has to put her down. He also won't be able to create a replacement for her because he made her before The Mending, and even then it used up a huge chunk of his near-godlike planeswalker power.
  • Magic Knight: That sword he has isn't just for show.
  • Mind Control: With or without necromancy. See also Charm Person.
  • Mook Maker: Some of his card incarnations can recruit vampires under his service.
  • Never My Fault: Don't suggest or imply or hint that the chaos engulfing Innistrad might have something to do with what he did. It's the result of other, foolish, younger mages overstepping their bounds. Absolutely, completely, entirely. And when it's not, he was just responding as they should have expected him to. Yes.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: He's made two major misjudgements with awful consequences. Just after he completed Avacyn and the Helvault, Nahiri came to ask him for help strengthening the seal on the Eldrazi. Rather than explain that he was weakened from building the defences for his own plane, which had also accidentally blocked her request for aid from reaching him when the Eldrazi escaped, he shrugged off her concerns, then responded to her hurt/rage by locking her in the Helvault. Then at the conclusion of Shadows over Innistrad, Sorin deals Avacyn a Mercy Kill. Turns out as mad as Avacyn was, she was the very last thing keeping the plane safe from the third Eldrazi titan, Emrakul.
  • Noble Demon: He has his nasty points, but he knows how to do good when needed. (Also literally true: he's a vampire aristocrat.)
  • Not So Stoic: Though he's indifferent towards Liliana, Sorin comes close to attacking her when she deduces that he "wronged [Nahiri]", and thus what's happening is partly his fault.
  • 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: Notably, Innistradi vampires aren't undead. They're the product of a curse placed on Sorin's grandfather millennia ago due to a Deal with the Devil.
  • Painful Transformation: Being turned into a vampire was so painful his spark ignited.
  • Parental Substitute: Views Nahiri as a daughter. And probably feels similarly to Avacyn. This makes it all the more painful for him when the former starts destroying his home and turns the latter into such a monster that Sorin has to kill her.
  • People Puppets: Can control other people by manipulating the blood in their bodies, bloodbender-style.
  • Persona Non Grata: His creation of Avacyn to protect humanity made him a reviled outcast among the vampires. Not even his grandfather wants him back.
  • Protectorate: Innistrad is his plane, thank you. Nobody's eating it while he can stop them.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: What he's trying to do on Tarkir. His goal is to reseal the plane-devouring Eldrazi. He successfully wakes Ugin from his slumber in the hedrons, but Nahiri, whom he sealed in Helvault some time before, is wreaking havoc in Innistrad.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Sorin is the one of the oldest Planeswalkers in existence, with Nicol Bolas and Ugin being the only Planeswalkers known to be older than he.
  • Revenge Before Reason: He becomes so obsessed with teaching Nahiri a lesson that he forgets about helping his native plane. Even when Nicol Bolas and an army of super-zombies are threatening him, Nahiri and every other planeswalker, they'd rather fight each other.
  • 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 plane to its doom.
  • Skewed Priorities: He is much more interested in his personal feud with Nahiri than the threat to the entire Multiverse posed by Bolas and his Dreadhorde during War of the Spark.
  • Super Strength: Innistrad vampires have physical strength roughly double that of an equivalent human.
  • Tailor-Made Prison: He created the Helvault used to trap the demons of Innistrad. Apparently he picked up the basics from Nahiri while she was making the hedron network.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: He, Nahiri, and Ugin don't always see eye to eye, but all three are fully aware that only by working together do they stand a chance against the Eldrazi.
  • Tranquil Fury: Annoying Sorin isn't hard, but it's short-lived (because typically he'll just sigh and then kill you). Starting from Nahiri's visit to Markov Manor, however, he's getting less invested in protecting his plane and more in avenging it. But he's just as cold and brisk as ever while doing so.
  • Unexplained Recovery: When last seen in Innistrad Sorin had been sealed in stone. Come War of the Spark and he's perfectly fine. How he was unsealed hasn't been fully explained.
  • Vampire Bites Suck: Both Avacyn and Nahiri describe his bite as extremely painful.
  • White Sheep: He hates his kin for being murderous, over-indulgent vampires, while they in turn hate him for creating Avacyn.

    Taysir of Rabiah 

Taysir of Rabiah

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/taysir_8232.jpg
"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.

    Teferi 

Teferi

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/teferi_742.jpg
"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. Read more about him here. Was once so powerful he could wield time magic on a level encompassing the entire multiverse.


  • The Atoner: He feels incredibly guilty for what happened to Zhalfir, and has been trying to find a way to fix it for decades.
  • 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. He regains his spark in Dominaria thanks to Jhoira, but is no longer as powerful as he was prior to The Mending.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Happened to him not once, not twice, but three times! When he was a student at the Tolarian Academy he was trapped in a slow-time bubble, aging only minutes for the hundreds of years that passed outside. Later he accidentally phased the island with his workshop into an alternate timestream, returning an unspecified amount of time later to discover Jamuraa had broken down into warfare in his absence. The third time he purposefully phased out all of Zhalfir and Shiv to protect them from the Phyrexian invasion, and when he returned found Dominaria was a wasteland.
  • Former Teen Rebel: When we first meet Teferi in Mirage block, he's a mature Planeswalker and master of temporal magic. Then we see him Urza's Saga as a young student and discover that he was Bratty Half-Pint.
  • 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.
  • Heroic Neutral: He's definitely heroic, but more concerned with protecting his homeland than with the rest of Dominaria.
  • Heroic Vow: His Gatewatch Oath.
    Teferi: For the lost and forgotten, I will keep watch.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: A lot of people hate and fear him because of his decision to remove Zhalfir from the timestream. At least after Jeska's inexpert interference with the Zhalfirin time rift caused Zhalfir to be stuck that way, and presumed destroyed by many.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Played With. He admits that he believed phasing Zhalfir out of Dominaria was the right idea at the time, but in hindsight he's less certain. He was convinced Zhalfir would never survive the Phyrexian Invasion, but the rest of Dominaria survived much better than he expected they would, leading him to wonder if he didn't give his people enough credit and trapped them for nothing.
  • The Lancer: To Urza, kind of.
  • Large Ham: As a Planeswalker, his playfulness manifests in making everything he says and does unnecessarily impressive.
  • Late to the Tragedy: He phases out his homeland for several centuries, and returns long after Dominaria has been devastated by the Phyrexian invasion.
  • Long-Lived: Even though he is no longer immortal, he still ages very slowly. He looks about the same age as his daughter who is in her fifties.
  • Mass Teleportation: His specialty. He's so good at it, in fact, that he's able to teleport entire continents!
  • Mayfly–December Romance: Got married and had a daughter after Time Spiral. By Dominaria, said daughter is as old as he looks (mid-fifties), and his wife has died, presumably of natural causes.
  • Neutral No Longer: During the events of Time Spiral, he realizes how short-sighted his perspective had been and devotes himself to saving Dominaria, even going so far as to sacrifice his spark to do it.
  • The Nicknamer: As a student, he used to call Karn "Artie Shovelhead". Karn was not amused.
  • Opt Out: He chooses to remove himself and Zhalfir from the timestream completely rather than face the disaster he knew was about to occur.
  • Slept Through the Apocalypse: Well, he was in temporal stasis through the apocalypse, anyway.
  • Stealth Pun: Some characters keep using time-based pun when together with him. Such as "You have all the time in the Multiverse to destroy them."
  • 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.
  • Walking the Earth: After Time Spiral he took to wandering around Dominaria, trying to stay ahead of his bad reputation. He eventually settled down after starting a family though.
  • Year Outside, Hour Inside: The effect of the slow-time bubble he was trapped in after the accident at the Tolarian Academy.

    Tevesh Szat 

Tevesh Szat

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tevesh_szat_3558.jpg
You pray to Freyalise, but she cannot hear your pleas. It is Tevesh Szat who will claim your soul.


  • 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.
  • That Man Is Dead: Tev no longer.
  • 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.

    Ugin 

Ugin, the Spirit Dragon

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/d453e963274e2f2e563214a1466bbb07.png
"The Multiverse is boundless, but its contents are finite. To believe otherwise is to believe that nothing matters at all. And when you are as old as I am, you will understand that nihilism is an indulgence you cannot afford."

Ugin is ancient, as old as Nicol Bolas himself, and extremely powerful. His long life and power have caused him to gain an interesting view on the multiverse, transcending the five colors of magic completely to become a colorless Planeswalker. He helped Nahiri and Sorin trap the Eldrazi on Zendikar, then vanished for thousands of years.

And now the Eldrazi are back.

Read more about him here.


  • The Archmage: He's often considered to be an extremely powerful and knowledgeable Planeswalker. During his fight against Nicol Bolas, Ugin was able to gain the advantage, and just may have won were it not for Yasova's trap.
  • Back from the Dead: What Sarkhan is attempting to do to him. With guidance from the few remnants of Ugin himself, he succeeds.
  • Balance Between Good and Evil: His ultimate goal with the Eldrazi is that he wants to keep them sealed away but alive, because he fears what might happen to the multiverse if they should perish.
  • Berserk Button: Sarkhan explains that he was Bolas's pawn for a time, which immediately causes Ugin to put him in a magical vicegrip.
  • Big Good: Polar opposite of Nicol Bolas. He tries to help the multiverse, such as fighting the Eldrazi Titans with Sorin Markov and Nahiri.
  • Big Little Brother: At birth Ugin was smaller than his twin Nicol. But right from the start he demonstrates that he's the more mature and cautious sibling, and he tries to give Nicol advice. Nicol by contrast is too hot-headed, angry, and (though he denies it) afraid to listen.
  • Cain and Abel: The Abel to Nicol Bolas's Cain.
    My own story is a simple one. The one I loved best in all the worlds is the one who killed me.
  • The Cavalry Arrives Late: On both a grand scale and a smaller scale in both Zendikar stories. When the Eldrazi are initially released, Ugin is nowhere to be found, despite being the one who planned their imprisonment and promised to help be there if they were ever released. Turns out it's because he was dead. However, he recovered, but even then his return during the Battle for Zendikar block acts only as a plot hook for Jace to steal his plan and alter it to his own ends (i.e. destroying the Eldrazi instead of re-imprisoning them as Ugin desires). By the time Ugin returns once again, the Titans are dead, much to his chagrin.
  • Comes Great Responsibility: Ugin sees his planeswalking abilities as a gift and looks down on those who would waste it wantonly. If a person fails to consider the harm they might do to the multiverse at large, even if they had good intentions, he becomes furious.
    "We are all part of a vast tapestry. Break a thread, and that part of the Multiverse unravels. You can never know how small or how large the damage will be until after it is too late. That is why small minds should never be allowed to wield great power."
  • Dead All Along: Why he doesn't show up on Zendikar to help Sorin reseal the Eldrazi, in the original timeline.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Made a brief appearance at the end of "How Many Eyes?", back in 2007. It would take eight years for him to get his own card.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: The realization of his brother's true nature followed by the realization that Nicol never really cared for Ugin was so painful and shocking that it awoke Ugin's Planeswalker Spark. A Planeswalker Spark usually only awakens due to extreme pain and trauma — his brother's betrayal was just that agonizing.
  • Faux Flame: He breathes invisible fire called ghostflame.
  • Feathered Dragons: He has feathered wings — in fact, he was the first dragon in the game to do so — to reflect his ethereal, enlightened nature.
  • Fisher King: The well-being of Tarkir somehow seems to be inextricably tied to his.
  • Foil:
    • Nicol Bolas. Both ancient, extremely powerful Elder Dragons with conflicting views on the nature of the Multiverse. Even the abilities on their cards are near opposite of each other. Ironically, they are actually twin brothers.
    • Also the Eldrazi. Both are colorless, godlike beings. Ugin started out with colour and grew to transcend it, whereas the Eldrazi appear never to have had it at all.
  • Freudian Trio: Between Nahiri (Id), Sorin (Superego), and himself (Ego).
  • Good Is Not Nice: Despite having the better interests of the Multiverse at heart, it's not apparent in his mannerisms. He allowed the Eldrazi to rampage for some time before dealing with them, and in that case only 'sealed' them instead of destroying them. believing them to be an integral part of the Multiverse's makeup, and casually waves Zendikar's suffering as an unfortunate necessity to save many more lives. When the Gatewatch defeats Ulamog and Kozilek on Zendikar, he lambastes them for setting unforeseeable consequences into motion, and patronisingly dismisses them, hoping they never cross paths again.
  • Guardian of the Multiverse: Unlike Nicol Bolas, who has spent millennia building his power to take over the multiverse, Ugin has been attempting to safeguard the Balance Between Good and Evil. He even went out of his way to seal the Eldrazi instead of killing them outright, because they were still an important part of the Multiverse.
  • Heroic BSoD: When Nicol revealed that he cared nothing for his twin brother and saw him as just another resource to be exploited, Ugin BSOD'd so hard that his planeswalker spark ignited.
  • Hero on Hiatus: Didn't show up to help Sorin seal the Eldrazi again, because Nicol Bolas killed him. After Sarkhan changed the timeline, his hiatus was due to a 1000-year long power-nap to recuperate from the beatdown Bolas handed him.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: During his fight with Bolas, he summoned Tarkir's dragons to fight for him. He didn't expect that Yasova, who was working for Bolas, had prepared a mind control spell to hijack those dragons to attack him instead, spelling his demise.
  • Human Popsicle: Sarkhan has sealed him away in "cocoon" of hedrons in the new timeline, basically putting him in suspended animation to save his life.
  • Last of His Kind:
    • He's one of the last two elder dragons known to exist in the entire multiverse, alongside his twin brother Nicol Bolas. Most of the others were wiped out in a civil war long, long ago. (Although this depends how "Elder Dragon" is defined — the new Tarkir dragonlords have the same type, although they aren't part of the original clutch of cosmic eggs from which Ugin, Bolas and their siblings hatched.)
    • His death caused the dragonstorms on Tarkir to cease, ending the dragons forever. Well, at least until Sarkhan Vol journeyed to his tomb...
  • Living Memory: What he seems to have become after being killed by Nicol Bolas.
  • Long Game: Possibly to rival that of Bolas himself, though in Ugin's case it's to save the Multiverse, not enslave it. Sadly, his long-term views are often at odds with the shorter-lived Planeswalkers who see the immediate danger (and in many cases, that to their families and friends) over the need to save the Multiverse at large.
  • Magical Guide: He led Sarkhan to his grave so he could be resurrected.
  • Non-Elemental: The second colorless Planeswalker to be printed, after Karn.
  • Numerological Motif: His ultimate ability lets you draw seven cards, gain seven life and put seven permanents onto the battlefield.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: He remains this way until the Battle for Zendikar block. Happens again at the end of War of the Spark, possibly for good. It's self-inflicted in this case, since he merged with the Meditation Realm and cut it off from the rest of the Multiverse to ensure that Nicol Bolas could never escape it.
  • Shoe Phone: Bolas' Spirit-Gem, which he found in the Meditation Realm and took to wearing between his horns as a crown, is in fact a piece of Ugin's soul split off when Ugin reached the realm before Bolas' spark even ignited. Because Bolas wore the Spirit-Gem for simple vanity, he didn't know of its true nature. As a result, Ugin (with Sarkhan's help) reclaims the Meditation Realm and uses his connection to the Spirit-Gem to watch the War of the Spark through Bolas' eyes, and nudge Bolas' enemies in the right direction to be able to defeat him.
  • Shoot the Dog: His attitude to Zendikar is essentially this; while Jace argues they should destroy the Eldrazi Titans, Ugin is of mind that they should not be destroyed, as doing so could have disastrous consequences for the Multiverse at large. The fact Zendikar will suffer is of little consequence to Ugin.
    Ugin: "That is what I am here to save, Beleren. The Multiverse, in all its vastness of time and space. Not the people you shared a cookfire with."
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: He and his brother Nicol couldn't be more different. Even their card mechanics are the opposite of each other. About the only way they don't contrast is their color combination, and that's only because Ugin more or less transcended the concept entirely.
  • The Spock: His analytical nature comes to blows with most other Planeswalkers he comes to. Also considered this out of the original Eldrazi-fighting trio of himself, Sorin, and Nahiri. This trait of his was present from birth and set him at odds with his own twin brother Nicol.
  • The Power of Creation: His specialty is the transmutation of matter into energy and vice-versa. The applications of this ability are powerful.
  • Time Abyss: Much like Nicol Bolas, his age has given him a unique perspective on things, most notably allowing him to transcend color completely.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: When he and his twin Nicol were hatchlings, they witnessed their sister being hunted down by humanoid hunters. The hotheaded Nicol wanted to save her, but Ugin stopped him because he would have just gotten himself killed as well. By doing this, Ugin unwittingly planted the seeds that would lead Nicol to develop dark thoughts and become the scourge of the multiverse.
  • The Watcher: He allowed the Eldrazi to devour worlds for an unknown amount of time so he could study them first, doing nothing to help the inhabitants. Nahiri attempted to call him out on this, but he seemed unfazed.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: When he arrives after the Gatewatch has destroyed the Eldrazi Titans, he is initially furious because of unrevealed consequences of destroying them. While Jace can explain the situation to him, he refuses to cooperate afterwards with the Gatewatch, and remarks that the other two of the three will not be as forgiving for their recklessness as he is.

    Urza 

Urza

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/urza1_8917.jpg
"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, Urza would have made a fine Villain Protagonist. He did spend most of his planebound life waging war against his own brother.
  • Arch-Nemesis: First Mishra, and then Yawgmoth.
  • 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: Zig-Zagged. He betrays his fellow Planeswalkers and gives in to Yawgmoth once he has reached Phyrexia, but when he loses his head he snaps out of it.
  • Glass Eye: He has a red powerstone for one eye, and a green one for the other. Both are extremely powerful artifacts called the Mightstone and Weakstone, respectively, and are actually two halves of an even more powerful artifact.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Learning what Phyrexia did to his brother earned them his eternal hatred and had an extremely negative effect on his mental state.
  • 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: Very smart, and also a dick about it. His belief that he always knows what ought to be done is one of his biggest flaws. What makes it worse is that he's almost always right.
  • 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, and returns in Unstable as a full-fledged (disembodied head of a) Planeswalker.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: In the alternate Dominia of the joke Un- sets, Urza is still alive and well... as a severed head.
  • The Unfettered: Nothing will stop him from triumphing over Phyrexia - certainly not the welfare of Dominaria.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Downplayed. His mental stability improved over the years, and he is, in the very end, a force for good. He's still a dick.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Multiple times.
  • We Can Rule Together: When Yawgmoth asks his greatest desire, Urza answers that it is to sit beside Yawgmoth 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.

Top

Example of:

/
/

Feedback