The Spells of Shandalar

Posted in Arcana on December 22, 2014

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.

DailyMTG is catching you up on some of the best articles from the past year while our whole crew enjoys the holidays. We’re replaying some of our authors' most popular works and some of your favorites December 15–26, but don’t be surprised if we have a special present or two for you somewhere during the holidays…

But in the meantime, enjoy the best of 2014. Happy Holidays!

Last week, we met the denizens of Shandalar, a plane that plays a central role in both Magic 2015 and Magic 2015Duels of the Planeswalkers (not to mention the classic MicroProse computer game released in 1997).

But as anyone who has dared to enter any of those game worlds can attest, the locals can be restless, talented mages themselves, slinging some of the more exotic and dangerous spells in the Multiverse.

So let's once again take a trip through the Multiverse (Wizards of the Coast's super-secret database of all things Magic) to discover the spells and artifacts of Shandalar to get a taste of just what dangers you might encounter from each of the five colors of Magic.


Shandalar holds many enchantments in white, but also places great emphasis on white's ability to swarm the opponent. Small creatures tend to return to their ranks on Shandalar, often marked with honor and protected by the bonds forged with their ancestors.


Little is as it seems when blue mages are around on Shandalar. Scissors may leap up and attack, the mightiest herds may suddenly turn to a colony of frogs, and sudden storms or temporal setbacks may sweep creatures back in time.


The dead don't stay dead on Shandalar, especially not when black mages are around to unmake death itself or to force obedience for all time. Then again, the living don't stay living very long either, either stuck in some caustic tar, downed by ulcers, or caught in the wake of a certain Planeswalker hunting bigger game.


Like much of the Multiverse, red mages on Shandalar act on their impulses; they can be aggressive, even in their mining activities; and are often seething with anger. Plus, hammerhands and inferno fists all over the place. Apparently Shandalarians like punching with fire.


Shandalar's more natural tendencies tend to revolve around various creatures and animals, and the few spells they wield highlight that fact, ambushing nongreen creatures and sacrificing life to promote future growth.


Finally, artificers on Shandalar have created a number of toys to play with—or been struck by them falling from above. Plates and gloves send Shandalarians into battle well equipped, while an obelisk from Urd can buttress entire armies. Just watch out for meteorites and the machines of tyrants.

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