Everybody’s sick of Jace, Emo Genius, and now Gideon, Hero of Muttonchops, but the Magic: the Gathering Multiverse is packed with BAMFs who deserve a toast. Let’s honor some heroes who don’t make the packaging.
Remember in Ice Age when Lim-Dûl, the OG Voldemort forced a plane of barbarian bodybuilders to unite or die? One of the consenting chieftains was Lovisa Coldeyes, Hard As Nails and Hot AF, whose card basically reads, “BAMFs get +2/+2.” Just look at that stare. She’s awing a mead hall, probably several goblets deep and not feeling a thing, fantasizing about murder. Do you see any boob plate here? Of course not, because nobody crushes “ice wizards and their fiendish contraptions” without proper attire, which in this case appears to include an endangered fur.
“Were they to reduce us to ash, we would clog their throats and sting their eyes as payment.” (Pillage)
Born to a baker at the bottom of a caste system, Rafiq picked up a sword and smashed his way to the next tier, amassing more sigils (merit badges from angels) than anyone alive. When a friend fell to mind magic and needed to be put down, Rafiq embarked on a quest to reverse what he had done, on the way discovering an invasion force from the dragon-demon Malfegor (a pawn of Nicol Bolas). In the final showdown, the planeswalker Elspeth uses her second +1 to buff Rafiq with angel wings and the blade of a murdered archangel, which he uses to one-two Malfegor. If I could live anywhere in this game’s lore and follow any path, it would be on this dude’s plane, chasing his example.
“Even in single combat, I am never alone.” (Angelic Benediction)
Long before the Eldrazi brandished their tentacles, Marit Lage dreamt her nasty dreams beneath the ice of some Dominarian sea, evoking Lovecraft’s mythos with Hitchcock-level restraint. She’s technically not a planeswalker, but, like the Eldrazi, once traversed the Multiverse at will, leading some to believe that she is an Eldrazi–perhaps their inspiration. Regardless, Marit Lage flexes both the highest power and toughness in the entire game without technically having a card. What’s good, Emrakul? This token’s got you beat.
“Marit Lage lies frozen in a glacier’s heart. Still her dreams take form in our world, stealing the heat from our souls.”
—Halvor Arenson, Kjeldoran priest (Wrath of Marit Lage)
“Cry to the sun and watch as even your tears forsake you.”
—Acolyte of Marit Lage (Dehydration)
When we last visited Mirrodin (i.e. New Phyrexia) Magic‘s Borg-equivalent had conquered the plane from core to surface, leaving only a handful of resistance fighters hiding in the Furnace Layer. With the recent “completion” of his bro Ezuri (a card I’m proud to have named), Jor Kadeen prevails as one of the final few, and looks fabulous. How does he keep his hair that rad on an oily hell-world? He should challenge Elesh Norn to a Zoolander walk-off and see what happens to Phyrexian morale.
See card (models don’t speak much)
What do you do when your indulgent little pawn betrays his allies for a place at your side? Wear his corpse as jewelry, of course. Silumgar’s machinations quelled the last effort of Tarkir’s khans to oppose his kind, cementing a future of dragon tyranny. His followers emulate his opulence and guile, cultivating wealth on the backs of the undead. The only real threat to his reign comes from his vizier Sidisi, “once” a tyrant herself, who plots his assassination as he would plot hers.
“Bring forth the dead, their skull-grins and rattle-bones. We will feast upon their wailing ghosts.” (Ruthless Deathfang)
Honorable Mention: Huntmaster of the Fells
I can’t in good conscience put him on the list without a name, but since Innistrad failed to print a Legendary werewolf, Huntmaster is the closest card. Who is this bearded outlander with such internal rage? Did he withdraw from others to protect them from himself? I want to share with him a mug of some campfire ale, waxing about Emerson and Edward Abbey, and excuse myself when he brings up the moon.
This is only a few of the many MtG badasses, so let us know who I missed in the comments below.
Images from magiccards.info and wizards.com