The Worlds of Magic Origins

Posted in Feature on July 9, 2015

By Magic Creative Team

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Alara (Bant) | Dominaria | Innistrad | Kaladesh | Lorwyn

Ravnica | Regatha | Theros | Vryn | Zendikar


The Magic Multiverse is a boundless expanse of worlds, each different from the last. These worlds, called planes, differ as wildly as imagination allows. It is these many planes of existence that form the diverse settings of Magic's ongoing storyline. While average beings are unaware of worlds beyond their own, Planeswalkers know the greater truth: Each plane is but one of many, with unique mana and magic that could be theirs to control.

Expansion sets typically have a single setting; every card in a set—usually every card in a given block of sets—shows creatures, spells, and locations from a single plane of existence. Core sets like Magic 2015, on the other hand, embrace the diversity of Magic's history, showcasing cards set on many worlds.

Magic Origins is a core set, but it's built around the origin stories of five Planeswalkers: Gideon Jura (formerly Kytheon Iora), Jace Beleren, Liliana Vess, Chandra Nalaar, and Nissa Revane. Each of them has a home plane, and each of them unlocked their potential as a Planeswalker and traveled to a new plane.

 

Those ten worlds—five home planes, five destination planes—form the core of Magic Origins. In the set, each of those worlds is strongly associated with two colors. Cards in the set that are from that world are concentrated in those two colors, although not confined to them. For example, Chandra's home plane of Kaladesh is focused in blue and red in Origins, but the green card Caustic Caterpillar hails from Kaladesh as well.

 

Today, we'll take a stroll through the ten worlds of Magic Origins and show some of the cards that depict each one. Where available, we'll also point you toward further reading to learn more about each plane.


Alara (Bant)

 

An orderly paradise, one of the five shard-planes of Alara.

 

Role in Origins: Gideon Jura's destination plane

Associated colors in Origins: Green and white

 

The five shards of what was once the plane of Alara were separate worlds for centuries, each one flowing with only three colors of mana. Sundered by some unknown cataclysm, their environments and cultures evolved independently, completely unaware of one another's existence.

 

Bant was just one of these five shards. Imbued with green, white, and blue mana, it was completely devoid of black and red. Phenomena associated with those colors, like fire and death, still existed on Bant, but the magic and philosophy of red and black were almost entirely absent.

 

Gideon, Battle-Forged | Art by Willian Murai

 

Alara has since been reunited, and Bant is now one region on a larger plane. But at the time of Gideon's arrival, Bant was entirely isolated—a lush paradise whose hardships were few and minor.

Jhessian Thief | Art by Miles Johnston

 

 

The island nation of Jhess runs the eastern coast of Bant. Jhessians are famous navigators and have the finest navy in Bant.

Valeron Wardens | Art by Howard Lyon

 

Valeron stretches along the southern coast of Bant, a land of vast rolling plains dotted with copses of trees. Valeron is famed for the expertise of its cavalry and is home to the Sun-Dappled Court.

Topan Freeblade | Art by Johannes Voss

 

In Bant's central savannahs lie the Inner Three nations of Topa, Eos, and Akrasa.

Citadel Castellan | Art by Anastasia Ovchinnikova

 

Swift Reckoning | Art by Chris Rahn

 

The mount of choice for Bantian knights is the leotau, a huge hoofed cat.

Stalwart Aven | Art by Scott Murphy

Rhox Maulers | Art by Zoltan Boros

 

In addition to its human residents, Bant is home to aven and the rhino-like humanoids called rhox.

Sigil of Valor | Art by Dan Scott

 

Patron of the Valiant | Art by Steve Argyle

 

Acts of extraordinary nobility and courage are rewarded with sigils, bestowed upon worthy souls by Bant's serene, graceful angels.

 

To learn more about Bant, visit the Alara plane page.

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Dominaria

 

A storied world filled with mysteries and secrets, the setting of many early Magic storylines.

 

Role in Origins: Liliana Vess's home plane

Associated colors in Origins: White and black

 

Magic's first established setting is a massive and highly varied world with a long, rich history. We last saw it in Time Spiral block, when it had been ravaged by temporal disaster and mana depletion.

Liliana, Heretical Healer | Art by Karla Ortiz

 

Liliana hails from the Caligo Forest, a relative backwater. It's a bleak place, although Liliana's time on Dominaria predates the total depletion of the world's mana and the crisis of Time Spiral block.

Cleric of the Forward Order | Art by Chris Rallis

 

Healing Hands | Art by Josu Hernaiz

 

Liliana was a member of the Forward Order, a holy order of clerics devoted to the healing arts.

Aven Battle Priest | Art by John Severin Brassell

 

Goblin Piledriver | Art by Matt Cavotta

 

Blood-Cursed Knight | Art by Winona Nelson

 

Dominaria is home to a huge variety of sapient species, including humans, aven, goblins, orcs, elves, merfolk, vampires, and many more.

Shadows of the Past | Art by Ryan Yee

 

 

Dominaria's long history is marred by frequent conflict and devastation, and reminders of that troubled past still linger. Perhaps most prominently, the plane was invaded by the mechanical horrors of Phyrexia, long before that dark contagion rose again on the plane of Mirrodin.

Yavimaya Coast | Art by Anthony S. Waters

 

Llanowar Wastes | Art by Rob Alexander

 

Shivan Reef | Art by Rob Alexander

 

Dominaria is home to many famous locations from Magic's past, including the forests of Yavimaya and Llanowar, the mountainous island-continent of Shiv, the swamps of Urborg, and the rolling plains of Benalia.

 

To learn more about Dominaria, visit the Dominaria plane page.

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Innistrad

 

A gloomy world, protected by angels but beset by monsters and necromancers.

 

Role in Origins: Liliana Vess's destination plane

Associated colors in Origins: Blue and black

 

Even when it was under the protection of the archangel Avacyn, Innistrad was a world where zombies, vampires, werewolves, and restless spirits called geists threatened to overrun humanity.

Liliana, Defiant Necromancer | Art by Karla Ortiz

 

Originally a healer by training, Liliana immersed herself in the art of necromancy during her time on Innistrad.

Possessed Skaab | Art by John Stanko

 

There are two distinct types of zombies on Innistrad. Skaabs are stitched together from multiple corpses by the mad experimenters called skaberen. Some skaberen even bind malevolent geists into their vile creations.

Cruel Revival | Art by Miles Johnston

 

The other type of Innistrad zombies, ghouls are more traditional zombies raised directly from the dead by ghoulcallers. Lacking the patience for stitching, Liliana prefers ghouls.

Consecrated by Blood | Art by John Stanko

 

Urbane but cruel, Innistrad's vampires rule as nobility in the province of Stensia.

Call of the Full Moon | Art by Nils Hamm

 

Somberwald Alpha | Art by Filip Burburan

 

In the hinterlands of Kessig, werewolves and more mundane threats render the roads unsafe.

 

To learn more about Innistrad, visit the Innistrad plane page.

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Kaladesh

 

A world of intricate artifice where consuls control the flow of Aether.

 

Role in Origins: Chandra Nalaar's home plane

Associated colors in Origins: Blue and red

 

Chandra's home plane of Kaladesh makes its debut in Magic Origins.

Chandra, Fire of Kaladesh | Art by Eric Deschamps

 

On Kaladesh, natural mages like Chandra are rare. Work that would be done with magic on other planes is instead accomplished through devices that harness the power of raw Aether.

Ghirapur Gearcrafter | Art by Adame Minguez

 

Thopter Engineer | Art by Steve Prescott

 

Pia and Kiran Nalaar | Art by Eric Deschamps

 

Artifice is an enormously important part of life on Kaladesh, particularly in the city of Ghirapur. The free spirits among the artificers, however, sometimes run afoul of the law.

Consul's Lieutenant | Art by Daarken

 

Thopter Spy Network | Art by Jung Park

 

Thought usually not oppressive, the consul's forces and works are nearly omnipresent.

Bonded Construct | Art by Craig J Spearing

 

Guardian Automaton | Art by Vincent Proce

 

Chief of the Foundry | Art by Daniel Ljunggren

 

Artifacts on Kaladesh are built as much for beauty as for function.

Caustic Caterpillar | Art by Jack Wang

 

Mountain | Art by Noah Bradley

 

Mountain | Art by Noah Bradley

 

Artifice on Kaladesh exists in harmony with the environment, and the creatures of Kaladesh have adapted to its presence.

 

To learn more about Kaladesh, read Chandra's Origin: Fire Logic.

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Lorwyn

 

An idyllic, sunlit storybook world that harbors a hidden dark side.

 

Role in Origins: Nissa Revane's destination plane

Associated colors in Origins: Green and black

 

By the standards of the Multiverse at large, the plane of Lorwyn is serene and quiet. But every world harbors conflict, and Lorwyn is no exception. Nissa Revane's time on the plane took a dark turn in short order as she learned more about the Lorwyn elves' beliefs—but that's not the only nasty surprise the plane had in store for her.

Forest | Art by Jonas De Ro

 

Forest | Art by Jonas De Ro

 

 

The beautiful forests of Lorwyn are home to elves and treefolk, as well as the enigmatic changelings.

Gnarlroot Trapper | Art by Christopher Moeller

 

The elves of Lorwyn are horned and hooved. Like their cousins on other planes, they are associated with green mana and tend to the forest. Moreso than other elves, however, they have an affinity for black mana as well.

Boggart Brute | Art by Igor Kieryluk

 

Lorwyn's goblins, known at boggarts, are innocent tricksters. They value new sensations above all else. Boggart leaders, regardless of gender, are known as aunties.

Dwynen's Elite | Art by Lius Lasahido

 

Dwynen, Gilt-Leaf Daen | Art by Johannes Voss

 

Lorwyn elves prize beauty above all else. Within elf society, social rank is based on beauty.

Gather the Pack | Art by Igor Kieryluk

 

Eyeblight Assassin | Art by Dan Scott

 

Elves refer to non-elves as "eyeblights." Boggarts are especially hated, and are massacred in organized hunts.

The Great Aurora | Art by Sam Burley

 

 

Lorwyn's darkest secret, unknown even to its inhabitants, was its periodic transition to the dark fairytale world of Shadowmoor. Constant sunlight was replaced by endless night, and all of Lorwyn's inhabitants became dark mirrors of themselves with no memory of their lives on the other side of the Aurora. Only the elves—cruel and vain in Lorwyn—were less sinister in Shadowmoor, becoming noble protectors of that shadowy world's few remaining beautiful things.

 

To learn more about Lorwyn and its dark counterpart, visit the Lorwyn / Shadowmoor plane page.

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Ravnica

 

A cosmopolitan city-world ruled by ten ancient guilds.

 

Role in Origins: Jace Beleren's destination plane

Associated colors in Origins: Green and blue

 

For over ten thousand years, civilization on Ravnica thrived under the auspices of ten guilds. Each was aligned with two colors of mana, bound by a magically enforced governing contract known as the Guildpact.

 

Later, the Guildpact would be broken, the guilds would be thrown into turmoil, and Jace Beleren would be empowered as the Living Guildpact—the arbiter of the ten guilds' conflicts. At the time of his first visit, however, all of that was still years in the future.

Knightly Valor | Art by Matt Stewart

 

 

The Azorius Senate, aligned with white and blue mana and led by the sphinx Isperia, creates and enforces law on Ravnica with an eye toward fairness and structure. Their counterparts, the red and white Boros Legion, are also empowered to enforce the law; they choose to do so from a more practical, street-level perspective.

Nightsnare | Art by Min Yum

 

House Dimir, aligned with blue and black mana, is a highly secretive group of infiltrators, assassins, and information brokers. At the time of Jace's arrival, it was widely believed that House Dimir had long ago ceased to exist. In fact, its agents were still very much active. Here, you can see one of them stealing the memories of a priest of the Orzhov Syndicate, a group aligned with white and black mana that's somewhere between a church, a bank, and a crime ring.

Infectious Bloodlust | Art by Zoltan Boros

 

The Cult of Rakdos, aligned with black and red mana, is an endless carnival of depraved revelry. Their leader is an ancient demon named Rakdos, who slumbers much of the time but occasionally awakens to wreak havoc.

Scab-Clan Berserker | Art by Dave Kendall

 

The Gruul Clans are aligned with red and green mana. Alone on an entirely urban plane, they abhor civilization and seek to overthrow the established order.

Conclave Naturalists | Art by Howard Lyon

 

Members of the Selesnya Conclave, aligned with green and white mana, are collectivist protectors of the carefully tended natural areas that remain on Ravnica.

Mizzium Meddler | Art by Johann Bodin

 

The Izzet League, led by the vain and ingenious dragon Niv-Mizzet, is a guild of wild experimenters aligned with blue and red mana. Their signature creation is mizzium, a magical metal with extraordinary properties.

Deadbridge Shaman | Art by Nils Hamm

 

Undercity Troll | Art by Jason Felix

 

The Golgari Swarm, aligned with green and black mana, is utterly committed to the cycle of life and death. They reuse and recycle everything from nutrients to corpses, performing a vital function that no one in the city wants to think too hard about.

Battering Krasis | Art by Jack Wang

 

The blue-green Simic Combine is a guild of bio-magical experimenters, creating ever more bizarre new life in their quest for biological perfection.                                         

To learn more about Ravnica, visit the Ravnica plane page.

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Regatha

 

A rugged world where a monastery of fire-mages hone their craft.

 

Role in Origins: Chandra Nalaar's destination plane

Associated colors in Origins: Black and red

 

Relatively little is known about Regatha, Chandra Nalaar's adopted plane. Notably, it's home to Keral Keep, a monastery of fire-monks where Chandra trained as a pyromancer. Other prominent locations include the Great Western Wood, home to reclusive elves, and the city of Zinara, ruled by a religious faction known as the Order of Heliud. Planeswalkers who are aware of both the Order of Heliud on Regatha and the sun god Heliod on Theros, such as Gideon, speculate that there may be some connection between the two—but no concrete association has so far presented itself.

Mountain | Art by Sam Burley

 

Mountain | Art by Sam Burley

 

Not all of Regatha is mountainous, but the highlands surrounding Keral Keep are extremely rugged.

Embermaw Hellion | Art by James Paick

 

Blazing Hellhound | Art by Eric Velhagen

 

The wildlife that lives near Keral Keep is extremely dangerous, infused with the fiery power of the volcanically active mountains.

Acolyte of the Inferno | Art by Joseph Meehan

 

Abbot of Keral Keep | Art by Deruchenko Alexander

 

The residents of Keral Keep take a monastic approach to the study of fire magic, rendering them unusually serene and cerebral for practitioners of the volatile art. Like other pyromancers, however, they are unpredictable and extremely dangerous.

Pyromancer's Goggles | Art by James Paick

 

The founding of Keral Keep was inspired by a long-ago visit from another planeswalking pyromancer, the now-legendary Jaya Ballard. Jaya herself lacked the patience to found or maintain a monastery, but the monks well remember her "teachings"—mere sayings, really, and in fact much more like quips. Though she left Regatha long ago and didn't return, her trademark goggles wound up as one of the monastery's sacred relics—a fact that, if she knew about it, Jaya would find either hilarious or infuriating.

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Theros

 

A plane steeped in myth, menaced by monsters, and watched over by gods.

 

Role in Origins: Gideon Jura's home plane

Associated colors in Origins: Red and white

 

Home to gods, heroes, and monsters, the world of Theros has a unique cosmology and a pantheon of deities who intervene regularly in mortal life. Although many of the Multiverse's "gods" prove to be misunderstandings or deceptions, it is difficult to argue that the gods of Theros are anything other than truly divine.

Kytheon, Hero of Akros | Art by Willian Murai

 

Gideon Jura—then called Kytheon Iora—grew up on Theros, raised on tales of the gods and their champions.

Starfield of Nyx | Art by Tyler Jacobson

 

Above Theros, rather than stars, lies Nyx, the night sky. Its ever-shifting constellations display the myths and legends of the past—sometimes the very recent past—and it is home to the gods, truly divine beings who thrive on the belief of mortals.

Erebos's Titan | Art by Peter Mohnbacher

 

Beneath Theros is the Underworld, where the souls of mortals go when they die. Those few who return do so by giving up their faces and their memories, hidden behind golden masks. Even then, Erebos, the god of the dead, is jealous, and sends his servants out into the world to retrieve those who escape his grasp.

Iroas's Champion | Art by Marco Nelor

 

War Oracle | Art by Steve Prescott

 

The humans of Theros mostly live in city-states, or polises. There are three major polises: Akros, associated with red and white mana and home to fierce-hearted soldiers; Meletis, a coastal city of white and blue mana famed for its philosophers and mages; and Setessa, a green- and white-aligned forest settlement of warriors and mystics.

Enlightened Ascetic | Art by James Zapata

 

Pharika's Disciple | Art by Karl Kopinski

 

Kytheon's Tactics | Art by Raymond Swanland

 

Lightning Javelin | Art by Seb McKinnon

 

In addition to humans, Theros is home to leonin, centaurs, satyrs, merfolk (called tritons), minotaurs, harpies, sirens, cyclopes, giants, kraken, and the masked zombies known as the Returned.

Magmatic Insight | Art by Ryan Barger

 

Empowered by the gods, the mages of Theros are capable of astonishing works of spellcraft.

 

To learn more about Theros, visit the Theros plane page.

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Vryn

 

An embattled plane where rival factions fight for control of the enormous, mana-channeling mage rings.

 

Role in Origins: Jace Beleren's home plane

Associated colors in Origins: White and blue

Mage-Ring Network | Art by Jung Park

 

Ringwarden Owl | Art by Titus Lunter

 

Mage-Ring Responder | Art by Adam Paquette

 

Vryn's most salient feature is its network of mage-rings, enormous structures that channel mana from the outlying areas to the politically powerful Core States. The age and origin of the plane's mage-rings are unknown, and many are in disrepair.

Jace, Vryn's Prodigy | Art by Jaime Jones

 

Jace grew up as a "ringer," one of the inhabitants of the mage-rings. Large numbers of ring-mages are required to manage incoming mana pulses, which can arrive at any hour of the day or night. Jace's father was a ring-mage, and his mother was a healer whose skills were put to heavy use in the dangerous environment of the ring.

Ampryn Tactician | Art by Cynthia Sheppard

 

The Ampryn League, also called the Ampryn Core or the Core States, is the ascendant faction on Vryn. Situated at the nexus of the mage-ring network, they have access to a continent's worth of mana and bountiful mundane resources.

Separatist Voidmage | Art by Jason Rainville

 

Graveblade Marauder | Art by Jason Rainville

 

The Trovian Separatists are the rebel faction on Vryn. In theory, they fight for political independence from the Ampryn League. In practice, the fight largely revolves around who can seize control of contested strings of mage-rings.

 

To learn more about Vryn, read Jace's Origin: Absent Minds.

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Zendikar

 

A world of dangerous terrain and wild mana, the prison of the monstrous Eldrazi.

 

Role in Origins: Nissa Revane's home plane

Associated colors in Origins: Red and green

 

Six thousand years ago, three Planeswalkers lured the three Eldrazi titans—horrific, world-devouring entities—to Zendikar, and trapped them there. Although its inhabitants forgot the Eldrazi, remembering them only in muddled legends and tales of three ancient gods, Zendikar never did. What was once a lush world became violent and unpredictable.

 

Recently, the Eldrazi reawakened, throwing the entire plane into turmoil and threatening it with complete destruction. Origins shows Zendikar as it was prior to the rise of the Eldrazi.

Nissa, Vastwood Seer | Art by Wesley Burt

 

Nissa was born into the Joraga nation, a fierce and practical tribe of elves.

Joraga Invocation | Art by Kieran Yanner

 

The Joraga saw themselves not as stewards of nature, but as survivors.

Animist's Awakening | Art by Chris Rahn

 

Nissa's Pilgrimage | Art by Matt Stewart

 

Vast and wild, Zendikar is as beautiful as it is deadly.

Zendikar Incarnate | Art by Lucas Graciano

 

In addition to unpredictable weather and sudden geological upheaval, Zendikar's restlessness manifests in the formation of powerful elementals as the land itself wakes to fury.

Runed Servitor | Art by Mike Bierek

 

Zendikar is home to countless ancient relics. Some, like the multifaceted stone "hedrons," are integral to the magic that bound the Eldrazi; others are more mysterious in purpose.

Nissa's Revelation | Art by Izzy

 

While most of Zendikar was completely unaware of the danger posed by the Eldrazi, Nissa experienced dire visions warning of their presence.

 

To learn more about Zendikar, visit the Zendikar plane page.

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