Witches in Magic

Posted in Arcana on October 31, 2006

By Wizards of the Coast

The witch is a popular icon of Halloween that also has a place in the Magic multiverse. The term “witch” refers to a person who practices black magic, which has obvious usefulness in a game about spell-hurlers that has the color black as part of its identity. However, Magic strives to stay away from gender-specific terms in card names, or to use what are usually gender-specific terms for both genders. There are counterexamples, but in most cases, these are exceptions that prove the rule. Most of the time, a nonlegendary creature’s name does not imply whether the creature is male or female. Llanowar Knight and Vulshok Sorcerer and Viridian Shaman in Magic can all be men or women.

The same is true of witches. To an English speaker, “witch” usually implies a female practitioner of the dark arts, but in Magic it’s a gender-neutral term. The art of various creatures named “witch” shows this is the case:

Note also that the term “warlock,” generally considered to be the male counterpart to “witch,” does not appear in Magic. So what’s the word for a male witch? “Witch”!

Happy Halloween!

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