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Planes / Magic: The Gathering

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In fantasy stories, the world the story takes place in is often as much a character as our heroes and villains. Indeed, this is very much the case with Magic: The Gathering, as the various locales and realities that collectively form the multiverse are integral to the flavor of the game, giving each and every world its own vibrant, unique identity.

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     The Blind Eternities 
The space between spaces. The place between planes. It is everywhere and nowhere at once. Very little has been explained about the true nature of the blind eternities, largely because it arguably doesn't even count as a place.

Major Planes

Note: To count as a "Major Plane", a plane has to be the setting for at least part of one set.

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Literally "the Song of Dominia". The plane most people think of when they hear "Magic the Gathering setting", Dominaria has been the focus of more sets than any other plane in the Multiverse, largely dominating the story before a massive creative overhaul shifted focus to a wider variety of planes (it used to be "oh, this is just another part of Dominaria"). As a result, Dominaria is a lot of things. The elements of Standard Medieval European Fantasy with perhaps a couple of Fantasy Counterpart Cultures are less prominent as the story goes on, replaced with After the End landscapes dominated by barbarian warlords and Phyrexian and Thran Technology. All things considered, Dominaria likely is the most diverse and complex plane in Magic, as befits a plane that is both the center of the multiverse and 2.5 times the size of Earth.

  • After the End: Dominaria has gone through no less than four apocalypses— the fall of Thran, the Sylex Blast, the Phyrexian Invasion, and the events of Time Spiral. Karn lampshades this in his narration in the Dominaria trailer:
    "How many times can you rebuild from apocalypse? On Dominaria, we've almost lost count."
  • Alternate Timeline: The Planar Chaos timelines, in which several legends of Dominaria are presented in different contexts— for instance, Braids, a member of the Cabal, is now a Conjurer.
  • Cool Airship: The Weatherlight, which was capable of planeswalking.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Dominaria has had about ten years to go through just about every trope in the book.
  • Hive Mind: Sliver creatures, whose card effects each affect all other slivers— i.e. if one sliver has flying, then all slivers can fly.
  • Immortality: Several characters on Dominaria, for several reasons.
    • Complete Immortality: Squee is completely unable to die after being experimented on by Phyrexians; one of his cards allows you to cast him from exile, meaning he always comes back. All Dominarian planeswalkers had this, before the Mending.
    • Fountain of Youth: Jhoria drank from water affected by time magic, making her unable to age. Jodah did one better, diving into the Fountain of Youth itself.
    • Time Abyss: Teferi, by nature of his time magic.
  • Negative Space Wedgie: Became full of these when all those apocalypses began to pile up and destabilize time.
  • Religion of Evil: The Cabal, in previous sets, worshipped money and power. As of the Dominaria block in 2018, Belzenlok has taken over the Cabal and turned it into a death cult.
  • The Hub: Why the breaking down of reality and the advent of alternate timelines cropping up at random throughout the plane was such a bigger disaster than on paper—if Dominaria fell apart, so too would every other plane.
  • Time Skip: Between the end of the Invasion/Planeshift/Apocalypse block and the start of the Odyssey/Torment/Judgment block, about a hundred years pass.
    • Then, between the Time Spiral/Planar Chaos/Future Sight block and 2018's Dominaria block, about sixty years have passed.


Also known as Rabiah the Infinite, collection of 1,001 individual desert planes, all of which refracted off of the original Rabiah. Based off of the Arabian Nights, to the point where characters like Aladdin and Ali Baba exist within the setting.

  • Canon Discontinuity: Wizards seems content to act as if Rabiah doesn't exist from a story perspective. Officially, this is because of the fact that the 1001 Nights isn't part of Wizard's Intellectual Property. It might also because some cards (such as the card "Jihad") haven't exactly aged well. That being said, certain cards from the set (particularly City of Brass) occasionally get reprinted in supplemental sets, albeit with references to Rabiah excised.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Rabiah was the setting for the Arabian Nights expansion, the first ever Magic expansion set. As the name suggests, the setting is based off of Arabian Nights, and features characters from various stories, such as Aladdin and Sharazad. It also has cards directly reference locations from the real world, such as the Library of Alexandria, Cairo, and Baghdad, which has not happened in a Magic set since.


An artificial plane created by an unknown planeswalker, Phyrexia was conquered by the vengeful Yawgmoth and transformed into his own hellish paradise. Read more about it here.

The original horror plane, Ulgrotha is a backwater plane with low levels of mana and a populace largely dominated by the cruel Sengir family of vampires. Salvation is only found in the form of angels donated by the planeswalker Serra due to her connection with the plane.

  • Ambiguous Situation: At the end of the Homelands comic, we get Autumn Willow being thrust in a position where she either restores Ulgrotha's leylines but at the cost of killing everyone, or do nothing and let Ulgrotha eventually die out altogether. When we get a brief glimpse into the plane in the Time Spiral novels, Sengir's forces are marching to conquer everything. Throw in the weird consequences of the Mending, and the fact that Creative has decided to never return to this plane again turns the ambiguity infuriating.
  • Last Fertile Region: Only a very small portion of Ulgrotha is fertile. Due to the Apocalypse Chime, most is a dead desert waste which is for some reason named Dead Zone. It's ambiguous if the small fertile area eventually succumbed to the Dead Zone or if Autumn Willow healed it.

A plane created by Yawgmoth as a staging ground for his invasion of Dominaria. Read more about it here.

A plane where everything is for sale, Mercadia is a plane of vast wilderness surrounding a single city on the top of an inverted mountain. Betrayal and deception are the currency of Mercadia, though ordinary coin will do. And believe me, you will want some currency, as you can find just about anything in its bustling markets.

  • Ancient Conspiracy: The entire plane is controlled by a secretive cabal of goblins, of all things.
  • Fantastic Caste System: Much like the upside-down mountain the titular city is seated upon, goblins, typically Cannon Fodder and Red Shirts of other worlds are the top of the political and social food chain.
  • Our Monsters Are Weird: Mercadia is home to some bizarre beasts that share only a name with their relatives on other planes.
  • Wretched Hive: Mercadia is full of criminals and sell-swords who are willing to do just about anything to make a coin.

     Serra's Realm 
An idyllic plane created by the planeswalker Serra. It, unfortunately, began to fall to fall to paranoia and corruption after its creator's demise, before finally collapsing as part of one of Urza's plans to destroy Phyrexia


     Mirrodin/New Phyrexia 
A mechanical plane created by Karn. It was originally supposed to be inhabited only by constructs, but the plane's caretaker had other plans. Read more about it here.

A plane reminiscent of Feudal Japan, Kamigawa was once locked in a titanic war between spirits and mortals thanks to the arrogance of a human daimyo.

  • Ambiguous Situation: The sets that take place on Kamigawa recount events that happened thousands of years ago, so the plane's current state of affairs is mostly left to speculation.
  • Highly Visible Ninja: Inverted. The signature mechanic of the Ninja tribe, "Ninjutsu", allows you to play Ninjas from your hand tapped and attacking if a creature you're attacking with isn't blocked.
  • Jidai Geki: Inspired by Sengoku Era Japan, complete with set pieces such as shrines, bizarre spirits, and samurai.
  • Kitsune: A major tribe on Kamigawa, showing up in White.
  • Meaningful Name: "Kamigawa" is Japanese for "Spirit River" or "River of the Gods", and there are dozens of spirits on the plane.
  • Moon Rabbit: Home to the noticeably rabbit-like Moonfolk aka the Soratami.
  • Rat Men: Called "Nezumi" (literally "mouse" or "rat" in Japanese), they show up in Black, and are often Ninjas.
  • Useless Useful Spell: A lot of cards in Kamigawa have the "Splice" mechanic, which allows you to add the rules text of a card to the spell you're splicing it on. This sounds useful... except that all spice cards specified that they be spliced onto "Arcane" spells, a card type that only showed up in Kamigawa and hasn't appeared since.
  • Youkai: The plane has the requisite number of weird monsters to accurately represent Japanese folklore.

The city plane of Ravnica is one of the busiest, most exciting planes in the multiverse, as ten guilds continually struggle for dominance of the plane, in the courtroom and on the battlefield. Once dominated by a powerful spell that kept the guilds ambitions in check and prevented planeswalker interference, the breaking of this ward has only made the plane more chaotic.

Read more about the individual guilds here.

  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Scattered all around Ravnica, as shown in this.
  • Alien Sky: Ravnica has two natural moons, though the story never made much of it.
  • The City Narrows: There are lots of such districts in Ravnica, such as Rix Maadi, the Rakdos guildhall, and Svogthos, the former Golgari guildhall. To the surprise of nobody, these areas tend to be dominated by the Gruul Clan or one of the black-aligned guilds.
  • City of Adventure: The guild politics and conflicts, along with the absolute grab bag of inhabitants ensures that there is never a dull moment on Ravnica. Unless you are attending an Azorius lecture, but then, that's your fault.
  • City Planet: With the exception of some Selesnyan sanctuaries and areas the Gruul have managed to reclaim, now the entire plane is basically one big metropolis.
  • Creepy Cathedrals: Places run by the Orzhov have a tendency to be this. And they're teeming with ghosts, thrulls, and other creepy creatures, to boot.
  • Den of Iniquity: Areas controlled by the Rakdos are usually this. It's heavily implied that not only are there murder and torture of all kinds, but also some sort of freakish sex going on as well.
    "You just need the right incentive to fulfill my dreams." (Flavor text of Deviant Glee)
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: It's much more subtle than most worlds, but Ravnica's naming conventions draw heavily from Slavic languages and culture.
  • The Government: The guilds are the de facto goverment of Ravnica, and none of them would be someone you want as rulers: The Rakdos are known to murder and torture people just for fun (but are tolerated by the other guilds due to their use as assassins), the Selesnya treats its members as disposable pawns, the Orzhov are known to extort money from its members under the pretense of faith, the Simic happily create monstrosities that cause civilian casualty for the sake of progress...
  • Knight Templars: The Boros and (to a lesser extent) the Azorius.
  • Land of One City: Then again, Ravnica is so large it covers the whole plane...
  • Layered Metropolis: Buildings on Ravnica can reach rather ridiculous height, about as high as our world's skyscrapers. There is also some level of segregation based on height as well: the Undercity, for instance, is known to be the place where the Golgari hanged around - bear in mind that the Golgari are mostly seen as lowlifes left to do the unpleasant job of tending to the city's waste.
  • Light Is Not Good / Dark Is Evil: You'll be very wrong if you think that the white-aligned guilds are nicer or better than the black-aligned ones.
  • Loads and Loads of Races: On Ravnica, you can find humans, vampires, goblins, ogres, elves, vedalkens, minotaurs, trolls and many other races. As of the discovery of the undercity ocean in the second Ravnica block, now merfolk have joined the party as well.
  • MacGuffin Location: The Maze, the very core of the story of Dragon's Maze, was the legacy of the ancient guildmaster Azor I. It's a maze embedded into the city of Ravnica, and it's said that those who solve the maze will have dominion over Ravnica. Needless to say, the ten guilds were fighting over it for the entirety of Dragon's Maze. At the end, Jace won and became the Living Guildpact, so now he's residing in Ravnica, working to keep the guilds in check.
  • MacGuffin Super Person: As mentioned, Jace is now the Living Guildpact, meaning that he has the power to act as an arbiter for inter-guild conflicts. All of the ten guilds now have much incentive to suck up to him.
  • Mad Science Fairs: Any gathering of the Izzet or the Simic tends to at least look like this. The only difference between the two is that the Izzet favor exploding mechanical stuffs, while the Simic favor monstrous biological stuffs.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Death on Ravnica means invariably becoming a ghost, as Ravnicans have no access to an afterlife. This could be good or bad, depending on how fond the Orzhov are of you.
  • Outside-Context Problem: In the first Ravnica block, Ravnica's problem with lingering ghosts was technically this, since Dominaria's time rifts issue was the cause of it.
  • Religions of Evil: Multiple guilds, namely the Cult of Rakdos, Selesnya Conclave, and Orzhov Syndicate, have strong religious components. None of them can be considered even close to being "benevolent".
    Masses of coins. “We are the precious gold. With us Orzhova was gilt. With us it gleams most bright.” It never occurred to us that this was not meant to be symbolic. We are the precious gold, or at least the source of it! How brazen they are, how deceitful. Shame on us for believing in them. Shame on us for thinking that all that power, all that wealth, was used only for us, and not against us.
  • Schizo Tech: Depending on which guild dominates the district you're in, you may encounter anything from Izzet super-science to rock-throwing Gruul barbarians.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Nephilim, ancient monsters venerated as old gods by the Cult of Yore. They awoke during the event of Guildpact to wreak havoc on the city. Two were killed by Niv-Mizzet, while the others were subdued.
  • Trash the Set: Going through this due to the invasion of Nicol Bolas and his Eternal army. The whole plane is the setting for War of the Spark, a massive punch-up between Bolas and the Planeswalkers allied with him, and the Gatewatch and any other Planeswalkers they can persuade to ally with them.
  • Slavic Mythology: Downplayed. Ravnica has some influences from Slavic cultures, with Rusalka and so on, but it has never gone all-out to establish itself as the Slavic world.
  • Undercity: An absolutely massive one possibly even larger than the aboveground city, full of old secrets that even the Golgari have yet to excavate. As of the second Ravnica block, it turned out that Ravnica has an ocean beneath all the streets and buildings. The Simic promptly began to research (and exploit) the said ocean.
  • Wretched Hive: Areas controlled by the black-aligned guilds. Especially those controlled by the Golgari, who are often mocked for their (admittedly unpleasant) job of dealing with waste and the dead.
    "Enter those who are starving and sick. You are welcome among the Swarm when the rest of Ravnica rejects you." (Flavor text of Golgari Guildgate)

Lorwyn is an idyllic, Celtic Mythology inspired plane full of friendly inhabitants (though oddly, no humans) that is mysteriously transformed into a Mind Screw filled hellscape called Shadowmoor by a semicentennial phenomenon called the Great Aurora.

Tropes that apply to Lorwyn:

  • Arcadia: It's warm, (visually) dominated by green, and never suffers winter. There doesn't seem to be any large city on Lorwyn, either.
  • Endless Daytime: Lorwyn's sun never gets totally beyond the horizons.
  • Fairy Tale: Based on a lot of similar tropes, though the lack of humans keeps it from being a perfect fit.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: The Gilt-Leaf in a nutshell.
  • Sugar Bowl: As long as you keep away from the elves, Lorwyn is genuinely as nice as it seems.
  • World Half Full: Lorwyn is very idyllic.

Tropes that apply to Shadowmoor

  • Crapsack World: Everything Is Trying to Kill You in Shadowmoor and everything in Lorwyn becomes a twisted reflection of itself.
  • Dark World: Everything that exists on Lorwyn gets turned into a twisted version of itself and forgets its old life, except for the faeries.
  • Death World: On Shadowmoor, even a mirror can be... well, technically not lethal, but you'll wish it were.
    "A gwyllion's favorite trap is the vanity mirror. A bewitched piece of glass traps the looker's soul and does away with the body." (Flavor text of Unmake)
  • Eldritch Locations: Many of the locations on this plane are... weird. E.g., the Raven's Run, the Shadowmoor version of Lorwyn's Wren's Run, has trees that look really, really unnatural, to the point they look more like tentacled monsters than trees. Needless to say, this goes hand-in-hand with Surreal Horror.
  • The Fair Folk: While not labeled as faeries, all the monsters that begin to appear upon transition to Shadowmoor are these in all but name. This is quite fitting, since Shadowmoor represents the dark sides of fairy tales.
  • Fractured Fairy Tale: Arguably the core idea of Shadowmoor. The whole plane is crawling with stuffs that come straight out of darker fairy tales.
  • Heel–Face Turn: On the more positive side, the elves got better in Shadowmoor and became valiant warriors who fight to protect the last shreds of beauty that exist.
  • Jerkass Gods: Most of the demigods are these, with the Godhead of Awe driving mortals mad and the Nobilis of War feeding on wars and the deaths that follow. Much of these seem to happen for no logical reason. At all.
  • Mind Screw: Don't try too hard to figure out the logic behind many of the horrors that happen on Shadowmoor.
  • Monster Mash: As of Eventide, there are gwyllion, ghosts, noggles, ouphes, hags, trows...
  • The Night That Never Ends: As mentioned.
  • Our Gods Are Different: They are spirit avatars that seem to appear out of absolutely nowhere.
  • Stock Gods:
    "Yet when his favored are found in their beds, their bodies are whole, their skin pure, except for the horror stamped forever on their faces." — The Seer's Parables
    "His laugh, a bellowing, deathly din, slices through the heavens, making them bleed." — The Seer's Parables
    "She walks among us unseen, learning from our imperfections." — The Seer's Parables
    • To a lesser extent, the Divinity of Pride also counts, since she was the one who told all the knowledge about the nature of Shadowmoor to the seer.
    "She spoke of mystery and portent, of such unfathomable things that my mind screamed for pity." — The Seer's Parables
    "A great siege is a banquet to him; a long and terrible battle, the most exquisite delicacy." — The Seer's Parables
  • Surreal Horror: In keeping with the strange, dark fairy-tale-ish vibe of the plane, you're less likely to be messily eaten by a horde of zombies than to be trampled on by a chair or trapped inside a mirror.

Tropes that apply to both sides of the plane:

  • Alien Sky: Lorwyn has unending daytime, while Shadowmoor is always at night. Either way, it's alien enough.
  • Celtic Mythology: Serves as the main source of the plane's aesthetics.
  • Fish People: Lorwny merrows are part-white and act as merchants for the other races, while the Shadowmoor version are part-black and act as river looters.
  • Light Is Good / Dark Is Evil: Lorwyn is all bright and happy, while Shadowmoor is always dark and has eerie monsters crawling all over the place. Guess which world is the more pleasant place to live in. Also, let's not forget the fact that the one unpleasant thing about Lorwyn - the fascist elves - is black-aligned. That said, almost everything White aligned on Shadowmoor is also bad, from the paranoid kithkin to the warmongering Nobilis of War, and the boggarts in Lorwyn are usually harmless hedonists.
  • Our Elves Are Better: The elves of Lorwyn are goat-legged, horned fashion fascists. They think that they are the most beautiful things in the world... and thus have the right to exterminate less beautiful living beings (read: most non-Elf creatures, the boggarts in particular). Lorwyn also marked the first time where we have elves that aren't at least part-green, in this case mono-black. Nissa was lucky that Gilt-Leaf elves considered her beautiful enough to have the right to live, when she accidentally planeswalked into Lorwyn upon igniting her spark. On Shadowmoor, while every other race becomes twisted and evil, the elves become the good guys of the plane, and are green and white.
  • Our Fairies Are Different: Faeries aren't unique to Lorwyn/Shadowmoor, nor did the plane introduce faeries. But there is little doubt that this plane is by far the one most strongly associated with faeries. This is due mainly to the fact that Oona, the queen of faeries, was the one behind the whole Great Aurora fiasco, marking that one time where faeries are central to a plane's story. The design of the plane's faeries is also an interesting twist on the idea of faeries, since these faeries have insectoid features, and mix disney-esque influence (winged, small, cute, etc.) with more traditional interpretations of faeries. On the more mechanical side of things, the (in)famous faerie deck comes from Lorwyn and Morningtide.
  • Small, Secluded World: Among the planes. The Lorwyn/Shadowmoor block is so far the only post-Time-Spiral block to not feature any plot-relevant planeswalker.
  • Treants: Lorwyn is also the first set to draw attention to treefolks. Before it, treefolks were mostly big green creatures that showed up once in a while and soon got overshadowed by wurms and such.
  • World of Symbolism: One of the unique traits of Lorwyn/Shadowmoor is the fact that the plane's native elementals are just as likely to represent abstract concepts as they are physical elements. The Lorwyn ones seem to embody dreams, while their shadowmoor versions naturally embody nightmares.

A plane that was split into five sub-planes thousands of years ago, only to be abruptly re-merged in an event called the Conflux. This was all in accordance with Nicol Bolas's plan, of course.

Read more about the individual sub-planes, known as Shards, here.

  • Alien Landmasses: All of the shards bar Bant have these, one way or other.
    • Esper's terrains tend to be covered in metal, and many are floating, to boot.
    • Grixis features the Dregscape, a vast wasteland whose terrains seem to be partly made of dead bodies.
    • Jund's landscapes have extremely active volcanoes. Building civilization is practically impossible there.
    • Naya has jungles where trees could grow as tall as mountains.
  • Applied Phlebotinum:
    • Esper has Etherium, a filigree metal that Esperites merge with their bodies in order to improve their own minds and magical skills. Mechanically, Esper is characterized by having large number of colored artifacts.
    • Grixis has Vis. Being the blue-black-red shard, Grixis is devoid of green and white mana. As a result, life energy is very scarce, and people there live (or unlive) and rot to death, only to rise again. Vis is a strange gas-like stuff that contains the tiny bit of life energy still present on the plane. Naturally, people on Grixis often fight over it.
  • Body Horror:
    • To some, the way Esperites obsess over the weakness of flesh and alter their own bodies with metal can be more than a little bit disturbing. It doesn't help that their belief is essentially a mild version of what the Phyrexians believe in. As one vedalken puts it:
    "Etherium clouded my eyes, clogged my ears, desensitized my skin. Now that I can feel, I can begin to learn." (Flavor text of Vedalken Heretic)
    • Happens on a regular basis in Grixis, such as this.
  • Crapsack World: Grixis is hands-down one of the most hostile planes in the multiverse pre-Conflux. It contains so little life energy that people are constantly rotting to death only to be brought back as undead. Necromancers fight over vis and supremacy, at times using corpses as their currency. And that's not even considering the demons. By the end of Alara Reborn, much of these have spread to the rest of Alara.
  • Culture Chop Suey: Alara is pretty diverse. Having five once separate worlds probably helped. Visually, Bant seems to invoke medieval Western Europe, Naya has strong Mesoamerican influence, while Jund is hardly civilized. Grixis looks somewhat European-ish, and Esper doesn't match any of the above.
  • Death Worlds: Grixis, if the descriptions given haven't made this clear enough; Jund also counts, due to its constant volcanic activities, merciless dragons topping the food chain, and lack of any sign of civilization; Naya is crawling with gigantic beasts and could easily be this if you aren't strong enough.
  • Dragons Are Divine: Zigzagged. While lacking any civilization, people on Jund, the goblins in particular, seem to have a tendency to offer themselves as food for the dragons, and that looks like some primitive form of religions. Humans of that shard more explicitly use shamanic methods to deal with the dragons. On the other hand, many Esperites have a different opinion about dragons...
    "A king in Jund, a serf in Esper." (Flavor text of Spellbound Dragon)
  • Floating Continents: Esper occasionally features these.
  • Hungry Jungle: Covers most of Naya and significant parts of Jund.
  • Light Is Good / Dark Is Evil: Bant, the primarily white shard, is without doubt the least hostile of the shards (before the Conflux, anyway...), while Grixis, the primarily black shard, is... not very pleasant, not to mention being Bolas's base of operation.
  • Magitek: Esper is heavy with these, naturally. After the Conflux, their techs seem to have spread to the other shards.
  • Mega Maelstrom: The Maelstrom, a chaotic mana storm that formed at the center of New Alara after the Conflux.
  • Outside-Context Problem: Every shard found itself at a loss to deal with the foreign tactics and ideologies that began to assault them from all sides during the Conflux. For instance, to the people of Bant, the idea that someone would use a dishonorable tactic like backstabbing in combat was so foreign, they didn't even wear proper armor to defend against it, while Grixis's necromances were at a loss to combat Esperite looters after realizing that their death magic was of no use against the intruders' mostly metallic bodies.
  • Passion Is Evil: Esperites definitely believe in this, so does (to a lesser extent) Bant.
    "Only a mind unfettered with the concerns of the flesh can see the world as it truly is." (Flavor text of Master of Etherium)
  • Religion of Evil: It seems demon worship has arisen all over Alara (read: shards that aren't Grixis) after the Conflux.
  • Scenery Gorn: As mentioned, Grixis has landscapes that look partially made of dead bodies. It isn't a pretty sight. Of course, there are also Jund's constantly erupting volcanoes...
  • Schizo Tech: Started to emerge when Jund invaders trespassed into Esper.
  • When Dimensions Collide: The Conflux saw the five Shards, each originally a self-contained world in its own right, fuse once more with each other. This was disastrous for many of the Shards' inhabitants, both due to the new kinds of mana and associated ideas often shaking each Shard's highly specialized society to the core. Also, there were the physical disruptions caused by large tracts of land from other shards appearing in their landscapes, often alongside natives eager to invade.

The adventure world. Civilization is small and fragile, but ancient ruins and natural wonders dot the landscape, filled with great treasures, ancient spells and fierce guardians. On Zendikar, even the soil itself will rise up to defend its secrets, as a phenomenon called the Roil makes the landscape behave in strange and fantastical ways. If that weren't enough, the Eldrazi, once trapped within the heart of the plane, have been released, wreaking havoc.

  • Advanced Ancient Acropolis: The ruins on Zendikar definitely have this look and feel, with their mysterious glyphs and magical powers of the hedrons and so on.
  • Adventurers Clubs: Lots of them arise as adventurers gathered, trying to seek out the secrets in those ruins.
  • Adventure-Friendly World: Adventurers are just about the only people who would ever voluntarily come to this deadly gauntlet of a plane.
  • Alien Landmass: The lands in Zendikar are really weird. Mechanically, Zendikar block was the first block ever to focus on lands, which have, for the most part of the game's history, been treated as little more than "things that make mana but rarely do anything interesting".
    • Floating Continents: All the damn time. Even the basic lands have these. The hedrons - floating polyhedron-shaped stones that were there to seal the Eldrazi - also count, since most of them are large enough for a normal human to walk on.
    • Genius Loci: Zendikari lands seem to have a will/wills of their own at time. Mechanically, cards from Zendikar have an unusually high chance of being "man-lands" - lands that can somehow turn into creatures.
  • Apocalypse How: Multiple regional-level ones, by the Eldrazi, that's how. Even after their defeat at the hands of the Gatewatch, they still managed to obliterate large portions of the world. Zendikari people were likely glad that Emrakul was lured to Innistrad and now sealed in the latter's moon.
  • Death World: Think Australia to the tenth power. If you're neither native nor brimming with magical powers, then your remaining lifespan is probably measured in days at best.
  • Durable Deathtraps: Loads. Despite the fact that knowledge of the Eldrazi was ancient enough to remain as nothing other than dim memories of forgotten gods, the deathtraps in those ruins are still very much functional. This is slightly justified, since those traps are magical in nature.
  • Eldritch Locations: Many of the lands or ruins border on being non-Euclidean. Aside from the floating pieces of lands, there're also floating pieces of water-pouring rocks. Don't try too hard to think about how that works.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: The earth itself will wreak havoc on anyone foolish enough to let their guard down. Too bad it does almost nothing to stop the Eldrazi.
  • The Lost Woods: Zendikar has forests with trees large enough to build small settlements on.
    • Tree Top Towns: Naturally, there're small settlements on these trees, built mainly by green-aligned characters and factions of the plane.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Zendikari vampires drink blood (as usual)... but are explicitly said to feed on the energy in the blood of living beings, and that this energy is the strongest in times of terror and pain (a bit less usual). Also, born on a world like Zendikar, they tend to be more feral and less refined than, say, their Innistrad counterparts.
  • Prison Dimension: Formerly this to the Eldrazi.
  • Scenery Gorn: As of Oath of the Gatewatch, a significant portion of the lands of Zendikar has turned into large swaths of wastelands unable to produce colored mana, courtesy of the Eldrazi.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Zendikar was the can that contained the Eldrazi.
  • Temples Of Doom: Scattered all across the land. Emeria, the Sky Ruin is one of the more prominent ones. Naturally, they tend to be full of traps and draw in lots and lots of adventurers. Too bad what's sealed inside these temple aren't treasures, but a whole army of Eldrazi.

The Gothic Horror world. Isolated groups of humans cling to survival against the hordes of darkness, while larger cities are plagued with corruption from monstrous parasites. The plane once flourished under the guidance of its angelic protector, Avacyn, but her disappearance heralded dire times, as her church fell into corruption and impotence.

  • Apocalypse How: A world-level one occurred in Eldritch Moon. Basically, Emrakul invaded (thanks to Nahiri), bringing with her an army of Eldrazi, twisting much of the population into something even more monstrous. Things got so bad it even led to a temporary sort-of alliance between humans and vampires.
  • Big Fancy Houses: Vampires of Innistrad tend to live in these.
  • Corpse Lands: Many. Most of the bodies would probably end up becoming zombies.
  • Corrupt Church: The Church of Avacyn gradually degraded into this in her absence. They got better when Avacyn was finally freed from the Helvault. A shame it didn't last.
  • Crapsack World: If you are a human.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: The Church of Avacyn has a very Christian look and feel. It seems to lean the most towards a mix of Anglican and Protestant influences, but goes full Spanish Inquisition once Avacyn loses it.
  • Derelict Graveyard: The Drownyard of Nephalia is full of lost ships.
  • Fractured Fairy Tale: Fitting a horror setting several cards are grim allusions to fairy tale, like an entire cycle of werewolves referencing Red Riding Hood.
  • Fusion Dance: The more grotesque version of this happened to lots of people when Emrakul arrived. It was reflected on cards as the meld mechanic.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: The much-loved transform mechanic, using double-sided cards to represent the story of a single entity as it's changed into something horrific by nature of being on Innistrad.
  • Ghost Towns: This plane has some literal ones.
  • Gothic Horror: The main source of the plane's aesthetics. The design of Innistrad has made use of pretty much every Gothic horror cliche out there, though the plane does have a few quirks of its own.
    "Many peasants secretly admire vampires' glamour and elegance — until they witness a moment of pure bloodlust." (Flavor text of Vampiric Fury)
    • Our Werewolves Are Different: Here, whether they transform seems to be dependent on how frequently spells are being cast.
    • Our Zombies Are Different: Here on Innistrad, they are aligned with Blue and Black, with the Black ones being the traditional "magically raised corpses", while the Blue ones are Frankenstein's monsters made from dead bodies.
    • Wicked Witches: The witches of Innistrad primarily revolve around putting curses on people. There also seemed to be some Witch Hunt going on, especially when the Church began to radicalize in Shadows Over Innistrad.
  • Hope Spot: Avacyn's and the other angels' return gave the inhabitants of Innistrad hope that the dark days were over at last. Too bad that events on other planes led to things getting worse in Shadows Over Innistrad, as Avacyn got driven homicidally insane, her church got radicalized and initiated an inquisition. Then the plane was ultimately invaded by an Eldrazi Titan.
  • Humans Are Insects: Well, the vampires definitely felt this way. They treated Innistrad humans at best like cattle which supply blood. If the humans were lucky, they could be turned and become the vampires' servants.
  • Hunter of Monsters: Naturally, this is a common profession among humans on Innistrad.
  • Light Is Good / Dark Is Evil: Nearly everything white-aligned is on the humans' side. Nearly everything black-aligned is trying to harm the humans. The former is subverted when the angels went mad in Shadows Over Innistrad.
  • The Lost Woods: The forests of Kessig are pretty dense. To top it off, it also holds threats far more dangerous than just getting lost.
  • Lunacy: Both sides, no less. Avacyn and her fellow angels (and presumably the church clerics as well) were explicitly said to draw power from the plane's mysterious moon. At the same time, the various monsters also hunted mainly at night.
  • Monster Mash: Innistrad may be a terrible place to be a normal human being, but those that embrace the darkness on the plane seem to be in a lot better shape. That is, until Emrakul arrived.
  • Our Angels Are Different: They eventually got driven insane and went on a mass killing spree. Gisela and Bruna even merged (under the power of Emrakul) to become an Eldrazi Angel.
  • Outside-Context Problem: From the point of view of an average Innistrad resident (be him/her a human, vampire, etc.), an Eldrazi army appeared out of absolutely nowhere.
  • Religion of Evil: The cult of Skirsdag worshiped demons.
  • Saintly Church: The Church of Avacyn used to be this, until its patron went crazy.
  • Sealed Good in a Can / Sealed Evil in a Can: The Helvault was a prison for both Avacyn and the demon Griselbrand. By the end of Eldritch Moon, Emrakul got sealed in the plane's moon.
  • Shout-Out: There are dozens of references to gothic and modern horror in the mechanics and lore of the plane— everything from each of the four vampire families each possessing one of Dracula's signature abilities (turning into animals for the Voldarens, turning into mist for the Stromkirks, flight for the Falkenraths, and mind control for the Markovs) to the Delver of Secrets being inspired by The Fly (1986), and Cloistered Youth being a reference to The Exorcist.
  • Troperiffic: Innistrad has loads of tropes compared to other planes, likely due to the fact that the plane was designed to invoke as many Gothic Horror cliches as possible.
  • Überwald: The naming conventions and aesthetics of Innistrad are decidedly Prussian.
  • Weird Moon: The moon of Innistrad drives everything, including seasons and the hunting patterns of monsters. As of the end of Eldritch Moon, it also housed the Eldrazi Titan Emrakul.

The Classical Mythology world. Theros is home to all manner of heroes and monsters, all watched over by a pantheon of incredibly powerful gods, who range in temperament from wise and patient to mercurial and cruel (but mostly the latter).

  • Achilles' Heel: The gods are very powerful, but as God Needs Prayer Badly below mentioned, they will cease to even exist if no mortal believe in them. Mechanically, this is reflected in that while the gods are very powerful indestructible creatures, they can't manifest as creatures if your devotion isn't high enough.
  • Alien Sky: Nyx, the plane's magical, moonless night sky, also doubles as a demi-plane of dreams. Its power is the reason why the gods could manifest from the ideas of mortals.
  • Badass Gay: Loads, including Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis and Phenax, God of Deception.
  • Classical Mythology: Theros is heavily inspired by Ancient Greek mythology, although the creative team have stressed that Theros is based on Greek myths, not Roman ones. A full list of references to Greek myths in Theros can be found here.
  • Control Freak: Quite a few of the gods were these.
    Karametra: "I refuse to let the folly of mortals endanger the home I made for them." (Flavor text of Dictate of Karametra)
  • Crapsack World: With most of the Therosian pantheon being at best spoiled children with superpowers, it's natural that life as a Therosian wasn't exactly nice.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The black-aligned gods tend to be (relatively) benevolent, such as Erebos being merciful towards the dead, Pharika being a god of both poison and medicine, and Athreos being a grim reaper who's just doing his job. In contrast, Heliod, the mono-white sun god, is petty, egoistic, and extremely spiteful.
  • Expies: Every one of the Therosian gods has clear counterparts from the Ancient Greek pantheon. Erebos is obviously a nod to Hades; Thassa is one to Poseidon, etc.
  • Evil Counterparts: To Amonkhetu gods, who genuinely cared for the mortals of their plane.
  • God Needs Prayer Badly: In a rather Plato-esque twist, the gods of Theros are actually manifestations of the thoughts and ideals of sentient races, manifested through the magic of Nyx. Thus, if a god isn't acknowledged, he/she will fade from existence.
  • Humans Are Insects: From the gods' point of view.
  • Jerkass Gods: Most of the gods were at the very least petty and arrogant, if not outright evil. The pinnacle was Heliod, who murdered his champion Elspeth for... helping him get rid of the mass-murderer Xenagos, God of Revels. His reason? He felt threatened by the power of planeswalkers after watching Elspeth (a planeswalker) kill Xenagos (a god). That, and Elspeth kind of stole his spotlight by saving the day.
  • Land of One City: Theros is apparently full of city states, much like Ancient Greece. Meletis, for instance, is an obvious Expy to Athen.
  • Meaningful Name: "Theros" is the Greek word for "summer".
  • Our Angels Are Different: One of the few planes in the multiverse to have no native angel. Theros instead has archons, who are Always Lawful Evil tyrants who used to rule over humans with an iron fist.
  • Our Gods Are Different: Here, they are enchantment creatures manifested from the power of a magical night sky.
  • The Philosopher: True to its Ancient Greece inspiration, Theros seems to be abundant with philosophers, though not like their Greek counterparts, Therosian philosophers are hardened badasses who can wrestle with bears.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: The story of Theros block revolves around this trope.
    • Xenagos's ascension to godhood and attempt to replace the Therosian pantheon definitely counts.
    • At the end of Theros block, Ajani, disillusioned about the gods after Elspeth's death at Heliod's hand, was trying to get Therosians to stop believing in the gods. This, as mentioned, could result in the end of the gods.
    Ajani: A fire, deprived of kindling, must go out.
  • Snake People: Theros has gorgons, though unlike more conventional gorgons, Therosian gorgons have a snake-like lower body.
  • The Spartan Way: Akros, the city that is basically an Expy to the Spartans, naturally invoked this trope. Akroan people were known to be the most feared warriors across Theros, and had a culture that sought to harden their armies' bodies and minds over generations. Gideon was from Akros.
  • Stock Gods:
    Kruphix: "Knowledge is cruel. It will break your heart and test your allegiances. Are you certain you want this curse?" (Flavor text of Dictate of Kruphix)
  • World of Ham: A little. Therosians don't run around shouting their every word, but they do have a love for epic stories and poems about heroes and gods and monsters. Therosian heroes tend to happily go along with it.
    "You. Poet. Be sure to write this down." (Flavor text of Fabled Hero)

A world of warlords and strange beasts, Tarkir takes inspiration from cultures all over central Asia, but especially the sphere of influence of the Mongol Empire. Perpetually wracked by war between the Khans of the clans, Sarkhan Vol once called this plane home, before engaging in time travel shenanigans that resulted in him being deleted from Tarkir's history, as well as the restoration of the oppressive dragon-ruled empires that subjugated the plane's humanoid races. Whoops.

Read more about the individual Clans and Broods here.

Tropes that apply to both timelines:

  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch and Yeti: Yetis are present on Tarkir in both timelines. They are mostly red-aligned.
  • Body Motifs: Each of the five clans worshiped a specific aspect of the dragon. Each clan (and also each brood) used a certain body part of the dragon as their symbol.
  • Cool vs. Awesome: Shaolin-Tibetan monks versus Orcish Mongol hordes!
  • Culture Chop Suey: Tarkir may well be the most culturally diverse plane so far, pulling iconography from anywhere from China to Ancient Mesopotamia. Tropes Are Not Bad, however. This makes Tarkir, according to popular opinion, one of the richest and most dynamic planes out there.
    • Wutai: The Jeskai Way/Ojutai Brood is hands-down the most stereotypically "oriental" of the clans. Being inspired by Tibetan Buddhists and Shaolin Monks probably helped.
  • Dragons Are Divine: In both timelines, though in different ways. In the Khan Timeline, dragons were seen as long-gone but god-like creatures deserving of worship, e.g., each clan worshiped a specific aspect of the dragon, for starter. In the Dragons Timeline, they were practically the rulers of the plane.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Cultures: Each of the five clan has rather clear real-world counterparts:
    • The Abzan House seems to be based heavily on Persia;
    • The Jeskai Way takes after Tibetan and Shaolin monks;
    • The Sultai Brood has the aesthetics of Indonesia and the Thai Empire. Their architecture heavily resembles that of the Khmer Empire's Angkor;
    • The Mardu Horde is very stereotypically Mongolian;
    • The Temur Frontier has a rather Siberian look to them;
    • While the clans ceased to exist in the Dragons Timeline, their aesthetics carried over to their counterpart broods.
  • Our Orcs Are Different: Here they're a mainly black-aligned race. There're also some bonuses for fantasy geeks here, as the original Tolkien orcs were said to be inspired by a distorted vision of mongoloid peoples.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Kind of. Sarkhan going back in time did save Ugin, but it also prevented dragons from going extinct on Tarkir, which... screwed up the fate of lots of humans and humanoids.
  • Single-Biome Planet: Deliberately averted. From what we've seen, Tarkir's landscapes consist of deserts, tundras, to rather subtropical-looking jungles.
  • Snake People: The Tarkir block introduced the Naga race.

Tropes that apply to the Khans Timeline:

  • Crapsack World: Well, Sarkhan definitely viewed Khans Timeline Tarkir as this. His reason? There's no dragon in this world.
  • Forever War: The war for control of the plane doesn't seem to have any particular end in sight, since no side seemed to be willing to give up and a decisive victory was nowhere near being close.
  • Humanity Is Superior: With dragons gone for good, humans and humanoids became the undisputed rulers of Tarkir.

Tropes that apply to the Dragons Timeline:

  • Bad Future: As dangerous and unforgiving as the Khans timeline was, the Dragons timeline was even worse, with the dragon broods treating humans as ignorant peasants at best and vermin at worst. Not that Sarkhan cares...
  • Elemental Powers: Each brood had a distinct Breath Weapon.
  • Humans Are Insects: This is definitely the case... in the dragons' opinions.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Quite different, in fact. They're explicitly supernatural in nature and bear little resemblance to one another, depending on where they were spawned, and as mentioned, each of the broods had a different Breath Weapon.
  • To Serve Man: Humans (and humanoids) are frequently used as food for the dragons in this timeline.

The Steampunk plane. Kaladesh takes inspiration from India for its architecture and naming conventions. The inhabitants of the plane recently discovered a way to refine the omnipresent aether in the plane's atmosphere into a clean, efficient fuel source. As a result, the plane has been experiencing a sweeping technological renaissance ever since. Unfortunately, aether supplies are under the strict control of an increasingly corrupt Consulate.

The story of the Kaladesh block mostly took place in Ghirapur, the City of Wonder and largest city on Kaladesh.

  • Alien Sky: Has a sky filled with aether and flying whales.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: To a degree, the logic of how aether works on this plane can be summed up as "whatever ways the plot requires".
  • Bazaar of the Bizarre: Given that Kaladesh is full of inventors, it's no surprise that its bazaars tend to be this. Huatli will likely agree, considering her reaction to her first visit to Ghirapur.
  • City of Adventure: Ghirapur.
  • Control Freaks: The Consulate seems to be made primarily of these.
  • Cool Airships: Loads. The sky of Kaladesh is also filled with inventors and pilots flying around in various Steampunk-esque vehicles. The Heart of Kiran is a particularly notable example.
  • Gadgeteer's House: The homes of Kaladesh locals tend to be this.
  • The Government: The Consulate. They were at best a group of Control Freaks, going on a Witch Hunt against users of fire magic possibly out of fear that the ability to generate power independently may threaten their dominance. And when someone (i.e., the Gatewatch) had the guts to rebel against that, they flipped out at once and issued an order to confiscate all artifacts, resulting in a major rebellion during the story of Aether Revolt.
  • In Harmony with Nature: The green-aligned artificers.
  • Lighter and Softer: Than Esper, in which technology has replaced emotions and created a cold and apathetic world. On Kaladesh, technology and emotions are combined into living works of art, and its people are brilliant and passionate inventors. Rather fittingly, Kaladesh was associated with Blue and Red in Magic Origin.
    • More generally, Kaladesh seems to be one of the, if not the, least hostile planes in Magic: the Gathering.
  • Magic Versus Science: Most people of Kaladesh regard natural mages with at best distrust, and will probably support science in the magic vs science struggle.
  • Magitek: Kaladesh is basically Magitek: the plane.
  • Meaningful Name / Punny Name: Depending on how you write the name, "Kaladesh" has several different meanings in Hindi.
    • If you read it as "Kala desh", it can mean "Art Country", reflecting the beautiful and intricate nature of the technology there.
    • If read as "Kal desh", it can mean "Country of Tomorrow" or "Country of Yesterday", reflecting the technologically advanced state of the plane compared to others seen in the multiverse.
    • If read as "Kala adesh", it means "Order of Tomorrow", referencing the way the Consuls control the plane. Similarly, "Kala Adesh" means "Art order", which reflects the firm controls around invention on the plane.
    • In addition to the above, it also contains the word for "mandate" (Ladesh), and a portion of it could be read as "Black" (Kaalee), possibly a reference to the Aetherborn.
  • Science Heroes: The plane is full of these.
  • Solar Punk: Kaladesh is a prime example of this genre. A place where technology is directly influenced by the wildlife. It helps that the technology is based on aether (think diesel fuel, if you replaced the carbon with Mana, had it seep into the plane from the Blind Eternities, and had it give off zero emissions), meaning no pollution and no major exploitation of nature.
  • Space Whales: Well, sky whales, but close enough.
  • Steam Punk: Kaladesh is a more optimistic version of this.
  • Technophobia: Somewhat surprisingly, averted for the plane's green-aligned characters. In most of Magic's history, any artifact-themed plane tends to have green-aligned characters act as Luddites. Here in Kaladesh, they spend their time making technology work in harmony with nature, instead of opposing technology altogether.
  • Tomorrowland: Kaladesh is one of the most technologically advanced planes shown so far. Heck, its name even can be translated into English as "World of Tomorrow".
  • Witch Hunt: Natural mages are viewed with at best suspicion here, and fire magic is strictly forbidden. That was why Chandra's spark ignited in the first place (igniting a spark requires a traumatic event).
  • World Half Full: Kaladesh's other hat, besides its advanced technology, is its unflinching idealism. It is a plane full of Science Heroes where the biggest antagonists, the Consulate, consisted almost entirely of Well Intentioned Extremists at worst (and Tezzeret).

A volcanic plane that is home to both Keral Keep, the monastery of pyromancers that trained Chandra, and the Order of Heliud, the knightly order of Lawful Stupid heiromancers that enforce tyrannical order throughout the multiverse.

  • The Magocracy: The city of Zinara was ruled by the Order of Heliud, who specialize in hieromancy, a branch of magic that focuses on justice and laws.
  • Playing with Fire: Fire motifs are strong on Regatha, with the plane itself being volcanic and its main feature being the Purifying Fire and so on.
  • Scenery Gorn: Nearly all of the Regathan landscapes seen so far are arid badlands.

Jace's home plane. Vryn is a plane dominated by a network of Magitek structures called Mage Rings, which can be used to control and direct mind-boggling amounts of mana. The plane has been torn since time immemorial by war for control over the mage rings, overseen by the enigmatic Arbiters. Given the number of conspirators and profiteers that see value in the war, it is unlikely to be stopping anytime soon.

  • Crapsack World: We haven't seen too much of Vryn. However, considering the facts that (1) it was stuck in a state of perpetual war, and that (2) the plane's upper class seized most of the plane's energy for their own consumption, Vryn certainly doesn't sound like a nice place to live in. Not to mention the fact that the Vryn landscapes seen so far mostly consist of barren-looking lands.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: It actually first appeared as a card in Planechase before being fleshed out somewhat in Magic Origins.
  • Forever War: As mentioned.
  • The Government: The Core States, set at the middle of the ring network, are said to gather all the energy of an entire continent... so that the energy can be used by the mage elites who lived at the top of the society.
  • Magitek: The Mage Rings are the most notable ones. They are said to be conduits of Mana and move energy around the plane.
  • The Magocracy: Apparently, the mage elites can dominate the use of energy channeled by the mage rings because they are mages.

A dying plane inspired by Ancient Egypt. Once home to a thriving civilization, the plane's gradual decay left only a single bastion of society left in the harsh, monster-infested deserts: the city of Naktamun. Nicol Bolas subjugated the plane just before the Mending and brainwashed the gods of the plane, along with its humanoid population, declaring himself the God-Pharaoh and turning Naktamun into a factory that does almost nothing but pumps out dead bodies of great warriors and mages.

Also notable about the plane is the Curse of Wandering, a phenomenon that permeates the plane and causes all deceased creatures to rise as flesh-eating zombies. On the plus side, these zombies can be controlled and put to constructive use with the help of magic channeled through the mystical material known as Lazotep.

  • Alien Landmass: Downplayed. The terrains of Amonkhet do not look that different from those on most other planes or from those on Earth. But Nissa has something to say about it...
    Nissa: "Death has seeped into every part of this plane. I can feel it on my skin and taste it like sand in my mouth." (Flavor text of Shadow of the Grave)
  • Ancient Egypt: The plane's aesthetics, complete with pyramids, sphinxes, cat worship, mummies, and animal-headed gods.
  • Apocalypse How: The Hour of Devastation was a city-level one, though an at least regional-level one seemed to have occurred before the story of the Amonkhet block.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: Lazotep. It was used by Bolas to create the Eternals, undead warriors who were champions in life and strengthened even further with the power of lazotep.
  • Binary Suns: Amonkhet has two suns, one of which was created by Nicol Bolas before he was Brought Down to Badass.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: Most inhabitants pre-Hour were more concerned with dying nobly and leaving behind a good corpse than, y'know, not dying.
  • Brainwashed: The whole Naktamun was subject to this, courtesy of Bolas.
  • Cats Are Superior: Like Ancient Egyptians, Amonkhetu people worship cats, and one of their gods has the head of a cat.
  • Crapsaccharine World: Thanks to Bolas, this bright, sunny plane has a nasty undercurrent to it. The events of Hour of Devastation destroyed his façade, and now it's just a straight-up Crapsack World.
  • Crossing the Desert: What Hazoret, the god of zeal, and the survivors of Naktamun did after the Hour of Devastation.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: If you were an Amonkhetu, the story of Amonkhet would be one: Your civilization has spent some time falling apart until the people retreated to the world's last known city. Then a dragon literally from another world showed up, wiping the floor with your gods, subduing the entire plane and turning it into a factory that produces undead warriors. Oh, when the dragon was done, he killed your gods, and then tore down the last thing that protected your city from the invading desert. Even your gods were totally helpless in the whole thing. Hour of Devastation was basically a disaster movie.
  • Daylight Horror: It's a world where the presence of two suns means that the concept of night is downright alien. That doesn't stop all the horrible things that happen in it.
  • Death World: Oh Gods yes. Just one city that's protected from the encroaching desert (that in itself is filled with hordes of undead and other monstrosities among the ruins of older cities), and the city is a cult-like meat grinder where people train to undertake trials that have the potential to result in their brutal deaths. It actually wasn't like this before, as before Bolas showed up there was a whole civilization (a fading one, but still) out in the rest of the desert.
  • Deflector Shields: The Hekma in a nutshell. The city of Naktamun was surrounded by the Hekma, which kept horrors from the desert away from the city. It was destroyed by the Locust God in the Hour of Promise.
  • Egopolis: Naktamun was this to Bolas. Half of the decorations took after his horns, and the city worshiped him as the God-Pharoah. This wasn't the case before he invaded and subdued the plane.
  • Egyptian Mythology: Amonkhet is full of references to Ancient Egyptian myths. Details can be found here.
  • Endless Daytime: Amonkhet has two suns, one of which seems to take decades to even change position significantly. It's thus no surprise that most Amonkhetu don't even know what 'nighttime' is.
  • Everybody Has Lots of Sex: Downplayed, since this is a game technically aimed at kids, but the denizens of Naktamun don't have any culture of monogamy or marriage; they have sex when they please, with who they please, with the children being reared by the Anointed in communal creches to ultimately sacrifice their lives in turn.
  • Expies: Lots of characters are directly based on those from ancient Egyptian history or myths, such as Hapatra being based on Cleopatra and Hazoret being based on Anubis.
  • False Utopia: Naktamun turned out to be this.
  • Family of Choice: Enforced culturally; children are reared by mummy servitors called the Anointed in communal creches, with nobody having any idea who their parents are (not that it matters, as their parents are killed off during the Trial of Zeal anyway). As such, an Amonkhetian's crop is their family in every detail that matters.
  • Forbidden Zone: Basically anywhere other than Naktamun.
  • From Bad to Worse: When we first see Amonkhet, it is a cult-like city-state where only a selected few spend their lives doing anything other than training for grueling, bloodsport-like competitions, believing that this would win them a place in the afterlife. Then Hour of Devastation happened.
  • Good Counterparts: On the plus side, the gods of Amonkhet are actively benevolent, unlike their Theros counterparts, except Bontu the Glorified, who betrayed her people and helped Bolas maintain his spells on her fellow gods.
  • Land of One City: Naktamun was the only known city on the plane by the time of Amonkhet block.
  • Language Equals Thought: The Naktamun's inhabitants refer to themselves as "crops". Which provides a very clear indication of how their Martyrdom Culture has shaped them.
  • Last Fertile Region: Naktamun and the surrounding areas were at least viewed as this.
  • Martyrdom Culture: All of Amonkhet glorified dying honorably in the gods' trials, to the point that the final trial for each generation consisted of a grand melee that left no survivors. Before Bolas invaded, this only applied to some parts of the population.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • While not Egyptian in origin, the Hebrew word "Amon" means "secret" and the Thai word "Khet" stands for "district", so the word "Amonkhet" (which certainly sounds Egyptian) can be interpreted as "secret district". How fitting for a plane that is secretly Bolas's undead warrior factory...
    • Amon is also a way of spelling one of many solar deities of the Egyptian Pantheon, Amun. "Khet" was a form of Measurement in Ancient Egypt, equaling 100 cubits (about 150 feet/46 meters), so it can be interpreted as "Measurement of the Sun God".
  • Mummies: There are two different kinds. Inside of Naktamun, there are the Anointed, the formally mummified remains of those who perish during any trial other than the Trial of Zeal; these form the labor caste of Naktamun, performing all tasks from farming to making food to child rearing, freeing up the mortals to dedicate themselves to preparing for the trials, and marked the first time we have mono-white zombies. But outside, there are black-mana mummies in the form of sun-dried, desiccated zombies; these mummies are crawling all over the plane, and exist only to try and kill any living thing they can get. A third type, the lazotep-encased Eternals, appear after Bolas returns to gather his army.
  • Pyramid Power: Somewhat surprisingly, these didn't really play much of a role either in-story or on the cards. But all over the landscape, there're loads of pyramid whose top sections are physically detached from and just floating above the bottom ones.
  • The Sacred Darkness: Amonkhet is based around necromancy and the practicing of Human Sacrifice... but all of these have a strong, positive connotation in Amonkhet's culture. Dying in the name of the gods is a holy act, and the zombies they animate are revered as honored ancestors who take up the trials of day-to-day labor so that the living may dedicate themselves to preparing to die for the gods.
  • Scarab Power: True to its basis on ancient Egyptian myths, Amonkhet loves scarabs.
    Bontu: "They (scarabs) are small, but they always want more. Learn from them." (Flavor text of Nest of Scarabs)
    • Played very straight with the Scarab God, who raised an army of Eternals during the Hour of Eternity. The army then proceeded to slaughter every Naktamun citizen in their ways.
  • Scary Scorpions: There are lots of giant ones out in the desert.
    • Also played horrifyingly straight with the Scorpion God, who awoke at the Hour of Glory and proceeded to murder Rhonas, Kefnet, and Oketra in quick succession.
  • Scenery Gorn: The ruins of all the bygone cities outside Naktamun.
  • Stock Gods:
    • God of Death: Hazoret the Fervent, in a way. She's responsible for using her spear to give the worthy an honorable death, so for Amonkhetu people, she's basically the symbol of the glorious death they craved. Fittingly, her design was based on Anubis.
    • God of Evil: Bontu the traitor.
    • God of Good: Oketra the True, god of solidarity and altruism.
    To the end, all Oketra did was for others. (Flavor text of Oketra's Last Mercy)
    • Also, Hazoret used to embody compassion as part of her domain before Bolas invaded and corrupted the Amonkhetu gods.
    • God of Knowledge: Kefnet the Mindful.
    • Sun Gods: Oketra and Hazoret are both connected to the Second Sun. Bolas tried to pass himself as a sun god.
    • Top God: Nicol Bolas, the God-Pharaoh, was supposedly this. Too bad Amonkhetu people were wrong.
  • Thirsty Desert: What we have so far seen of the world outside Naktamun is this.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: It's a seemingly utopian city in the middle of a hostile desert, but people are fed into the meat grinder of competition and trials, dying by the hundreds for some unknown purpose. Then Bolas shows up.
  • Uncanny Atmosphere: The Gatewatch definitely felt so, as mentioned in Town with a Dark Secret above.

The plane of Swashbuckling Adventure. A plane that is home to at least two major continents, Ixalan houses vast swaths of unexplored wilderness, lost ruins and, unlike Zendikar, very much alive empires eager to reclaim them. Complicating matters somewhat, events on the continent of Torrezon have driven pirates and raiders to Ixalans's shores, with vampiric zealots in hot pursuit. All eyes are on a single prize: Orazca, the city of gold, which's said to house an artifact of unimaginable power.

Ixalan is actually both the name of the plane and a continent on the said plane. Read more about the individual factions here.

  • Ancient Artifact: The Immortal Sun, a fabled artifact said to be more valuable and powerful than any other artifact that exists. Anyone who gets hold of it was promised unlimited wealth, the strength of empires, command over nature, and eternal life. To nobody's surprise, the four factions spent much of the story of Ixalan block fighting over it.
  • Artistic License – Paleontology: Several instances, regarding the dinosaurs. For instance:
    • For mechanical purposes, all Ptero Soarer creatures, and a single mosasaur-like creature are listed as 'dinosaurs', when they weren't.
    • Several Ptero Soarers, such as Sky Terror, are depicted as having feathers.
    • The card Nest Robber depicts an Oviraptor, and its name implies it's stealing the egg; in reality, Oviraptor is a misnomer, as the eggs the holotype was discovered with were later found to be Oviraptor eggs.
    • The card Bonded Horncrest appears to depict a ceratopsian dinosaur with not two or three, but six horns, including two tusk-like protrusions under its head, something that has never been found in the fossil record.
    • This is inverted in some cases— the card Snapping Sailback depicts a water-dwelling Spinosaurus, which is accurate to modern paleontological knowledge, but generally not accepted by popular culture.
  • City of Gold: Orazca, the... well, City of Gold.
  • Cool Ships: Naturally, the Brazen Coalition and the Dusk Legion use lots of these. Mechanically, the Ixalan block also marked the return of vehicles, mostly in the form of cool ships.
  • Cool vs. Awesome: The main theme of Ixalan. Dinosaurs versus pirates versus vampire conquistadors versus merfolk elementalists, oh my!
  • Culture Chop Suey: Ixalan is, alongside Tarkir, one of the more culturally diverse planes so far. What makes this even better is that the designers of Ixalan actually made the distinctions between different Native American cultures, instead of just mixing them together. See Fantasy Counterpart Cultures below for more details.
  • Daywalking Vampires: The Dusk Legion ("vampire conquistadors", in a nutshell) have no problem walking around and fighting under daylight.
  • Deserted Islands: Scattered all around Ixalan. Jace got stuck on one when he first arrived on the plane.
  • During the War: The main story of Ixalan was more or less an all-out war between the four factions. It only got worse when they finally discovered Orazca. Much of the Rivals of Ixalan stories consists of the four factions trying to kill each other and gain total control of the golden city.
    "Drench these golden streets (streets of Orazca) in the blood of our enemies." (Flavor text of Champion of Dusk)
  • The Empires: The Dusk Legion and the Sun Empire. The former was trying to take over the whole continent, and one of the purposes of this was to ensure a steady supply of blood, while the latter was explicitly expansionist and sought to enhance its power, mostly at the expense of the River Heralds.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: The only explanation why the creative team would put dinosaurs in a Mayincatec world.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Cultures:
    • The Sun Empire has strongly Aztec aesthetics, although the name of their capital city Pachatupa sounds a little bit Quechua (a language more associated with the Inca Empire).
    • The River Heralds seem to be based on the Mayans.
    • The Dusk Legion is an obvious Expy to Spanish conquistador, finished with appropriate clothing and fighting style, a church that looks suspiciously Catholic, and an iron-fisted queen.
  • Fish People: The River Heralds marked Green finally getting merfolk, though the design team was trying to push it as far back as Shadowmoor.
  • The Golden Age of Piracy: One of the main sources of the plane's aesthetics, especially when it comes to stuffs linked to the Brazen Coalition.
  • Grey and Gray Morality: All of the main factions have not-unreasonable causes to want to seize the power of Orazca for themselves. The Sun Empire want to regain their former glory and be left alone, the Dusk Legion want immortality for everyone, the Brazen Coalition want to take back their stolen homes, while the River Heralds want to prevent everyone else from abusing the power.
  • Hungry Jungle: Much of the continent of Ixalan is covered in this, and it has dinosaurs, to boot.
  • Light Is Not Good: Both White aligned factions (the sun-worshipping Sun Empire and the Church of Dusk) are composed of fanatical lunatics who want to take over the world.
  • Lost World: There are dinosaurs everywhere on Ixalan.
  • MacGuffin Location: Orazca.
  • Magical Native Americans: The River Heralds definitely give off this vibe, with their mystical connections to the rivers and affinity with magic and all.
  • Mayincatec: The Sun Empire is based primarily on the Aztec, while the River Heralds are based mainly on the Mayans. Naturally, there is the Dusk Legion to serve as Expy to Spanish conquistadors.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Ixalan vampires have no problem with daylight and are even religious.
  • Pirates: The Brazen Coalition.
  • The Power of the Sun: Sun motifs are strong in Ixalan, with the Sun Empire (unsurprisingly) worshiping the Threefold Sun (their concept of a sun deity who's a trinity) and the Immortal Sun and so on.
  • Prison Dimension: Essentially one for planeswalkers, thanks to Azor's creation of the Immortal Sun, that prevents any attempt to planeswalk away from Ixalan. This was done for the purpose of capturing Nicol Bolas and imprisoning him there.
  • Stock Dinosaurs: Yup, Ixalan has all of the major ones.
  • Temple of Doom: Orazca, again.
  • Trapped in Another World: Happened to multiple planeswalkers thanks to the binding power of the Immortal Sun.

The setting for most of the more recent Core Sets, Shandalar is perhaps the closest thing to a Standard Fantasy Setting in the multiverse. A plane that holds a titanic abundance of mana, Shandalar has long been a favored destination for greedy planeswalkers. It is also the home of the Onakke, the ancient ogre sorcerers that created the Chain Veil. Shandalar is also notable for having no "fixed place" in the multiverse, making it a wild card when planeswalking.

  • Ascended Extra: Originally created for the MicroProse Magic: The Gathering computer game, Shandalar made it to physical cards decades later and even had some lore articles specifically written for it.
  • Hive Drone: Slivers are present on Shandalar, though they behave differently from the ones previously seen on Rath and Dominaria (Shandalar Slivers only affect Slivers their controller controls, as opposed to the Rathi Slivers that affected all Slivers), and their appearance is also very different (looking far more humanoid, being bipedal and having four limbs, as opposed to the older Rathi Slivers, which were almost snakelike and had a single limb). Notably, because the Slivers seen on Rath would have been taken from another plane, and because they were genetically modified by Volrath, this may mean that Shandalar is where they originate, and that the Slivers seen here are their original form.
  • Standard Fantasy Setting: So much so that, when Wizards realized that Magic needed a lore-neutral setting for their core sets (for the purpose of reprinting cards), they settled on Shandalar, since Dominaria had become too distinctive. That said, the setting does have a few minor quirks of its own.
  • Our Ogres Are Hungrier: Shandalar has the Onakke, a race of Ogres that were, contrary to the trope, actually quite intelligent, and used their magic to create many artifacts, including the Chain Veil. They were wiped out long ago in the past by an unknown cause, though some of their spirits still haunt their catacombs, including Kurkesh.

A plane based on Renaissance Italy, Fiora is a world of intrigue and treachery, where everyone has an angle and there is no one not plotting to steal the crown at all times. Fiora is the setting for the Conspiracy sets.


The setting for the Battlebond set. A plane that's focused on competitive sports of all kinds, where the greatest warriors battle in Two-on-Two matches in the Valor's Reach arena.

  • Ancient Rome: The design of Kylem seems to be quite heavily inspired by Ancient Roman culture. Valor's Reach, for instance, looks suspiciously like the Roman Colosseum. Such aesthetics are quite fitting, since Kylem is themed around sports and competition.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Common in the set's fluff. Since the duels of Valor's Reach are sporting events and generally not fought to the death, it's often better to lose in a spectacular manner than to win in a boring one.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: The Battlebond set will focus on the Two-Headed Giant format, which is a two vs two variant of Magic. Similarly, battles at Valor's Reach are focused on two-on-two combat.
  • Lighter and Softer: The fact that most of the action on this world is nonlethal gives it a brighter, more cheerful atmosphere than most planes so far.
  • World of Ham: For the fighters at Valor's Reach, victory is less important than being spectacular and flashy. It naturally causes Kylem to look like this trope.
  • Yin-Yang Bomb: All of the partner duos in Battlebond are between enemy-color cards. Including an angel named Regna the Redeemer and a demon named Krav the Unredeemed who are a couple.


A world based on a combination of Fairy Tales and Arthurian Legend. It is the setting of the set Throne of Eldraine.

  • Dark Is Not Evil: Black-aligned things are surprisingly pleasant for a fairy tale setting. The knightly court of Locthwain is composed of literal and figurative Black Knights, yet they are just as vital as the others in protecting the realm, while the analogue for the Holy Grail is the black-aligned Cauldron of Eternity, which even removes Garruk's curse.
  • Fractured Fairy Tale: The primary inspiration for the world.
  • The Good Kingdom: The Five Realms (white-aligned Ardenvale, blue-aligned Vantress, black-aligned Lochthwain, red-aligned Embereth and green-aligned Garenbrig) are all monarchies and are shown to be, for the most part, perfectly lovely places to live.
  • High Fantasy: Explicitly described as such by Wizards.
  • The Lost Woods: The mysterious and uncharted wilderness between and outside of the five courts of the Realm is known as the Wilds. It's home to homicidal redcaps, wicked witches, dragons, turtle hydras, malicious fae, and all manner of other nasties.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Dwarves are the primary red-aligned humanoids on Eldraine, at least within the Realm. They are the rulers and primary inhabitants of the kingdom of Embereth. They are pretty bog standard: largely good-natured bearded miners.
  • Playing with Fire: Besides the typical red mages, white mana users are strongly associated with pyromancy as well, wielding holy fire that purges the impure.
  • Witch Classic: Positively crawling with them. Powerful and strange warlocks who follow the classic witch mold can be found practicing their foul arts all over the Wilds.

Other Planes

Note: These are planes that either were only briefly mentioned or were only featured on Plane cards in the Planechase set.

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The home plane of many, if not all of the pre-mending djinn and efreet that appeared throughout the storyline. It had several portals to Rabiah and Dominaria, through which trade and warfare occurred.

A prehistoric plane seen in Future Sight and Planechase, full of cavemen and dinosaurs.

  • Boring, but Practical: The theme behind the cards seen from this plane so far— most of them deal with creatures that don't have abilities, including basic things like flying or deathtouch.
  • 1 Million B.C.: It has this aesthetic, being an undeveloped jungle world inhabited by dinosaurs, cavemen and Lizard Folk.

A strange plane shown in Planechase that exists partially in the Blind Eternities.

An impossibly ancient plane visited by Urza in his search for insight into the Phyrexian threat whose inhabitants have long since Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence. Later appeared in the game proper in Planechase. Equilor is so distant from the centre of the multiverse, it can take a hundred years to journey between it and Dominaria.

     Bolas's Meditation Realm 
Exactly What It Says on the Tin. A comparatively tiny plane that Bolas uses to meditate and scheme. Pre-Mending, it could be accessed by non-planeswalkers with sufficient focus and force of will.

  • Prison Dimension: Bolas is imprisoned here without hope of escape after the events of War of the Spark.

A storm-wracked plane shown in Future Sight, Planechase and Commander 2011 that appears to have some basis in Celtic Mythology.

A snowy, somewhat primitive plane shown in Planechase.

A plane that houses a vaguely Roman-like culture. Unfortunately for its inhabitants, it exists at a ridiculously small scale compared to most other planes. Known for the card "Segovian Leviathan"; Segovia's leviathans are about the size of most planes' elephants and are the only inhabitants of any notable size (most planes' leviathans are much bigger).

A lush, foliage-filled plane that appears to exist as some kind of naturally occurring Dyson Sphere. The planeswalker Dyfed brought Yawgmoth here to demonstrate her abilities in the novel The Thran, and it resurfaced in the game proper in Future Sight and Planechase.

  • Dyson Sphere: It's a hollow sphere around a star, with its inner surface entirely covered by towering rainforests of massive, massive trees — "massive" here meaning that their individual leaves are large enough to build a small house on.

A plane shown only briefly in Planechase. It seems to take inspiration from MC Escher.

     The Plane of Mountains and Seas 
The home plane of Yanggu and Yanling. It is based around Chinese folklore.

  • Dragons Are Divine: In contrast to other worlds, where dragons are either barely sentient predators or brilliant but selfish tricksters, dragons on the Plane of Mountains and Seas are revered as godlike ancestors of all living things. This is reflected in the fact that they are aligned with white mana instead of red.
  • Wutai: Based heavily around the culture and iconography of Chinese folklore.

The home plane of Vivien Reid. Nicol Bolas apparently destroyed it, so little to nothing is known about it.

  • Magic Versus Science: Kind of. From what we know of the plane, the greatest conflict was between the druidic Smagardi culture and the technologically advanced Nura culture. That said, both appear to have used some form of magic or another.
  • Posthumous World: First mentioned in Core Set 2019, it had already been destroyed, leaving Vivien and the animal spirits in her Arkbow the only signs that the plane ever existed.

Teyo's home plane. An inhospitable desert world, with perpetual storms of diamond dust. The Order of the Shieldmage exists to protect people from these storms.

  • Desert Punk: Appears to have this aesthetic. The way it's described doesn't make it sound too dissimilar to Tatooine.

The polar opposite of Segovia. A world where everything is massive.


A parallel multiverse where the unsets take place.

The world where Unstable takes place. An odd magic-less steampunk plane.

  • Milkman Conspiracy: The Plane may be secretly controlled by super intelligent squirrels.
  • Planet of Hats: Most of the plane's inhabitants are mad scientists of some type or another.
  • World Gone Mad: Bablovia is ruled by five groups of mad scientists. Nothing makes much sense.


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