Mistform Ultimus Watch: Conflux Edition

Posted in Arcana on March 2, 2009

By Wizards of the Coast

It's been just over a year since the last time we checked in on our old friend Mistform Ultimus. Last time we saw good ol' Ultimus, there were 215 relevant creature types. And that certainly seems like a lot. Since then, Shadowmoor, Eventide, Shards of Alara, and Conflux have come out. Let's take a look at the current list, shall we?

Advisor, Angel, Anteater, Antelope, Ape, Archer, Archon, Artificer, Assassin, Assembly-Worker, Atog, Aurochs, Avatar, Badger, Barbarian, Basilisk, Bat, Bear, Beast, Beeble, Berserker, Bird, Blinkmoth, Boar, Bringer, Brushwagg, Camarid, Camel, Caribou, Carrier, Cat, Centaur, Cephalid, Chimera, Citizen, Cleric, Cockatrice, Construct, Coward, Crab, Crocodile, Cyclops, Dauthi, Demon, Deserter, Devil, Djinn, Dragon, Drake, Dreadnought, Drone, Druid, Dryad, Dwarf, Efreet, Egg, Elder, Elemental, Elephant, Elf, Elk, Eye, Faerie, Ferret, Fish, Flagbearer, Fox, Frog, Fungus, Gargoyle, Giant, Gnome, Goat, Goblin, Golem, Gorgon, Graveborn, Griffin, Hag, Harpy, Hellion, Hippo, Homarid, Homunculus, Horror, Horse, Hound, Human, Hydra, Hyena, Illusion, Imp, Incarnation, Insect, Jellyfish, Juggernaut, Kavu, Kirin, Kithkin, Knight, Kobold, Kor, Kraken, Lammasu, Leech, Leviathan, Lhurgoyf, Licid, Lizard, Manticore, Masticore, Mercenary, Merfolk, Metathran, Minion, Minotaur, Monger, Mongoose, Monk, Moonfolk, Mutant, Myr, Mystic, Nautilus, Nephilim, Nightmare, Nightstalker, Ninja, Noggle, Nomad, Octopus, Ogre, Ooze, Orb, Orc, Orgg, Ouphe, Ox, Oyster, Pegasus, Pentavite, Pest, Phelddagrif, Phoenix, Pincher, Pirate, Plant, Prism, Rabbit, Rat, Rebel, Reflection, Rhino, Rigger, Rogue, Salamander, Samurai, Sand, Saproling, Satyr, Scarecrow, Scorpion, Scout, Serf, Serpent, Shade, Shaman, Shapeshifter, Sheep, Skeleton, Slith, Sliver, Slug, Snake, Soldier, Soltari, Spawn, Specter, Spellshaper, Sphinx, Spider, Spike, Spirit, Splinter, Sponge, Squid, Squirrel, Starfish, Survivor, Tetravite, Thalakos, Thopter, Thrull, Treefolk, Triskelavite, Troll, Turtle, Unicorn, Vampire, Vedalken, Viashino, Volver, Wall, Warrior, Weird, Whale, Wizard, Wolf, Wolverine, Wombat, Worm, Wraith, Wurm, Yeti, Zombie, Zubera

Hey, waaaait a minute. That's only 216! There's only one creature type that's been added. And to save you the effort of squinting at the list muttering things like "Advisor? Where's that from?" we'll tell you that the new type is "Noggle". Also, there are 29 Advisors in Magic. One of them is Gaddock Teeg! Anyway, there you go. Noggles.

...

So, since we've got you here, and since Noggles have come up, it might be worthwhile to answer a question that's been flooding in ever since the first Noggle poked its donkey-like nose into Magic. Namely, "Are Noggles the same thing as Donkeyfolk? Or what?"

To answer this question, we're going to turn to Un- Rules Manager Mark Rosewater, who answered this question while writing Savor the Flavor in the guise of The Mimic last July.

Dear Doug Beyer,

One of the things I’m really enjoying about Shadowmoor and Eventide is the introduction of so many new races/creature types. One of them that you haven’t touched much upon yet is the noggle. I’m writing in because my friends and I have been discussing the noggles and I have two questions. One, what Celtic mythological influence do they stem from? And two, haven’t we seen them before? Weren’t the donkeyfolk from Unhinged really noggles?

Curious to hear what you have to say,
-Steven

Steven, I’ll start with the easy question first. The noggles are creatures of Scottish mythology also known as neugles, nuggles and nygels. Traditionally they are water spirits that take the form of a horse. The distinctive feature about them is that they have an odd tail that curls like a wheel over their back. Any unsuspecting victim that attempts to ride the horse finds that he cannot dismount and is taken to the sea. The creatures do not always drown their rider, though, as they are often merely mischievous. Noggles had a peculiarity for messing with water-mills and were often blamed as the reason for a mill malfunctioning. Obviously, the donkey/horse creature was merely an inspiration for Eventide‘s concepting team, and the creature that shows up in the set is quite removed from the noggles of lore.

As to whether the donkeyfolk of Unhinged fame are noggles, it’s far less clear. The Un-sets break all lot of rules including those of flavor continuity. The Creative team doesn’t bother to answer questions such as whether Richard Garfield actually exists within the Magic multiverse. If you put them side by side...

Cheap_Ass Noggle Hedge-Mage
smart_ass Noggle_Bandit

...you’ll see that there are some similarities and a few differences. Both have a donkey head and donkey arms and legs, but the Unhinged donkeyfolk seem to have much more human proportions while the noggles are much more squat. I will go out on a limb and say that the donkeyfolk from Unhinged are not from the plane of Lorwyn / Shadowmoor.

Thanks, Doug! Er, Mr. Mimic. That is, "Thanks, Mark!"

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