Monster Menagerie: Manticores

Posted in Arcana on February 7, 2014

By Bonnie Bruenderman

Bonnie Bruenderman is a visual designer for DailyMTG. The authors write the articles; the editors edit; then she gets to add cards, images, funnies, charts, graphs... whatever the article needs above and beyond the text. She has a very nerdy sense of humor. (Someday, her illustrated mutant amalgamations shall take over the Multiverse! Patience, my pet. Patience.....)

I've seen quite a few folks in the Multiverse excited to meet another manticore on Theros. I am too! My first experience with a manticore was alongside Bink as he tried to get to Humphrey for answers. They have fascinated me since! Most stories say manticores are so ravenous that when they eat a man they leave no possessions, clothing, or even boots behind. Good thing I'm a woman.

*pets the pretty kitty*

Manticores typically have the head of a human, but with many rows of sharp teeth; the body of a red lion; and a scorpion's tail. If they have wings they are bat-like, not feathered. Magic has stuck to these rules pretty well.

Conquering Manticore
Flailing Manticore
Sawback Manticore

Well, more like guidelines, really. Mirrodin throws things off a bit by introducing metal Masticores . These are essentially manticores, but according to Multiverse:

"A Masticore is a magically created artifact creature. It's design is as follows: the body and mane of a lion, a scorpion's tail, and a roughly humanoid face with a huge mouth with multiple rows of teeth like a shark. [It] should not look like a 'robot' but rather a magically animated creature, fashioned from Metal. The creature can repair [itself] by 'eating' metal and metabolising it into repairs."

They look like this:

Razormane Masticore
Molten-Tail Masticore

Although the myths about manticores originated in Persia, it was Ctesias, a Greek, who first spread the idea in the West in his writings. Theros, our top-down Greek-mythology-based world, wouldn't be complete without its very own manticore. The newest addition to the menagerie was ushered into creation by Ken Nagle; you can read more about the technical design bits in his article. But we're here for the flavor and art!

This thing is just as vicious as the stories say!


It's also gorgeous.

Chromanticore | Art by Min Yum

Did Min Yum get the look and feel creative was going for? I think so!

Color: White Blue Black Red Green enchantment creature
Location: The sky.
Action: Show us a massive manticore that is flying through the sky. He should have an epic, Hellenistic vibe to him, flowing mane, amazing musculature. He could be streaking across the sky leaving a trail of Nyx starfield.
He is an enchantment creature, make sure that he gets the Nyx effect
Focus: The Manticore
Mood: Awesome Greek manticore cranked to 11.

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