Gideon 360

Posted in Arcana on July 14, 2015

By Blake Rasmussen

Blake is the content manager for, making him the one you should email if you have thoughts on the website, good or less good (or not good). He's a longtime coverage reporter and hasn't turned down a game of Magic in any format ever.

It's Gideon Week on, and in celebration of everyone's favorite fight-first Planeswalker, I thought we'd take an in-depth look at Gideon, now and all the way back to Rise of Eldrazi.

First, if you haven't done so, go back and read Gideon's origin story. And, if you want a bit more flavor, check out these other Gideon-centric tales from Uncharted Realms.

Gideon's Origin: Kytheon Iora of Akros

The Battle of Fort Keff

The Greater Good

Battle for the Ninth

Next, let's check out that original Rise of Eldrazi art for the man once named Kytheon Iora, plus the art description from way back when.

Gideon Jura | Art by Aleksi Briclot

Color: White

Location: Natural setting of some sort

Action: Show Gideon, a heroic human Planeswalker. He's about 30 years old, athletic, lean, and graceful rather than burly. He has longish black hair. He wears white or gray silk with hardened leather and chain-mail pieces over it (not fully armored). He wields an urumi, an ancient Indian martial arts weapon that's sort of a flexible metal whip with edges like a sword. He's confident, tough, honest, and an excellent warrior.

Focus: Gideon, the Planeswalker

Mood: A principled warrior-hero who won't hesitate to do the right thing.

But what about Gideon's abilities? How did this "confident, tough, honest, and . . . excellent warrior" translate into the abilities that made him a tournament powerhouse? Check out the comments from R&D as Gideon was being designed and developed.


MP 8/13: Feedback on new version would be appreciated.

MJG 8/13/09: My first impression is that when I would want to use the 2nd ability the most is when I cannot do so since he has been attacked to below 3 loyalty.

MP 8/13: What if his ultimate was +1?

MP 8/14: Can only use top ability first turn, could be an issue. So possible excitement upgrade: middle ability becomes assassinate?

DB 8/14/2009: I like MP's suggestion. Right now the 2nd and 3rd ability have this weird cognitive dissonance: "Blow up guys who damaged Gideon" and "Gideon can't take damage."

MP 8/18: Going with assassinate then.

Del 10/29: LATE CHANGE. Now Human Soldier when animated.

In early versions, Gideon dealt with creatures who harmed him, not who were tapped. But he was always a brawler, always a fighter, and more than willing to be a . . . Human Soldier when need be.

And that is how the original Gideon Jura came to be.

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