How Trivial – Legendary Creatures

Posted in Making Magic on November 23, 2020

By Mark Rosewater

Working in R&D since '95, Mark became Magic head designer in '03. His hobbies: spending time with family, writing about Magic in all mediums, and creating short bios.

It's time for another trivia column. Inspired by Commander Legends, I've decided to focus this one on legendary creatures. Want to see how many of the 30 questions you can answer correctly? Record your answers as you take the quiz and then check below to see how you did.

If you enjoy this column, I have two other trivia columns, one about the various years of Magic and one about projects I've led.

My one caveat before I begin is that all these questions are as of Commander Legends.

Question #1

In Alpha, there were eight proper names of characters in card titles. How many of those characters have had a legendary creature or planeswalker card made of them?

  1. Five
  2. Six
  3. Seven
  4. Eight

Question #2

Legends, the set to introduce legendary creatures (although they were creature type Legend at the time) had 55 legendary creatures in it. How many of those legendary creatures have had one or more other legendary creatures or planeswalkers printed of them?

  1. Five
  2. Six
  3. Seven
  4. Eight

Question #3

Of those same 55 legendary creatures from Legends, how many have we used to inspire new legendary creatures that are connected to those characters without actually being those characters?

  1. Four
  2. Five
  3. Six
  4. Seven

Question #4

How many legendary creatures have or grant banding?

  1. None
  2. One
  3. Two
  4. Three

Question #5

What legendary creature was called "Good Buddy" in design?

  • Chandler
  • Joven
  • 3145
  • 3224
  1. Chandler
  2. Joven
  3. Kaysa
  4. Lord of Tresserhorn

Question #6

What legendary creature was designed as a combination of two running inside jokes about a Wizards employee?

  • 3002
  • Hakim, Loreweaver
  • 3227
  • 3311
  1. Eron the Relentless
  2. Hakim, Loreweaver
  3. Phelddagrif
  4. Shauku, Endbringer

Question #7

Which legendary creature from Mirage had to have its name shortened because its original name didn't fit on the card?

  • Asmira, Holy Avenger
  • Spirit of the Night
  • Zirilan of the Claw
  • Zuberi, Golden Feather
  1. Asmira, Holy Avenger
  2. Spirit of the Night
  3. Zirilan of the Claw
  4. Zuberi, Golden Feather

Question #8

Which legendary creature from Tempest was a nod to the set's codename?

  • Eladamri, Lord of Leaves
  • 4890
  • 4916
  • 4920
  1. Eladamri, Lord of Leaves
  2. Orim, Samite Healer
  3. Selenia, Dark Angel
  4. Vhati il-Dal

Question #9

What Weatherlight crew member's legendary card was designed to match the effect of their Vanguard card?

  • 5106
  • Ertai, Wizard Adept
  • 9847
  • 6155
  1. Crovax the Cursed
  2. Ertai, Wizard Adept
  3. Karn, Silver Golem
  4. Mirri, Cat Warrior

Question #10

Prophecy had a cycle of rare legendary creatures which were Spellshapers. Which of them was a character that played a major role in the Mirage story?

  • Alexi, Zephyr Mage
  • Greel, Mind Raker
  • 24673
  • Mageta the Lion
  1. Alexi, Zephyr Mage
  2. Greel, Mind Raker
  3. Jolrael, Empress of Beasts
  4. Mageta the Lion

Question #11

Blind Seer, a legendary creature from Invasion, was who in disguise?

  1. Barrin
  2. Ertai
  3. Urza
  4. Volrath

Question #12

Which legendary creature from Odyssey used art that was commissioned for a completely different product?

  • Aboshan, Cephalid Emperor
  • Atogatog
  • 29947
  • Seton, Krosan Protector
  1. Aboshan, Cephalid Emperor
  2. Atogatog
  3. Braids, Cabal Minion
  4. Seton, Krosan Protector

Question #13

Which card from the Onslaught block had cycling in design?

  • 42049
  • 42024
  • Ixidor, Reality Sculptor
  • 45166
  1. Akroma, Angel of Wrath
  2. Bladewing the Risen
  3. Ixidor, Reality Sculptor
  4. Sliver Overlord

Question #14

Which legendary creature was the main character in the book The Moons of Mirrodin?

  • 48581
  • Glissa Sunseeker
  • 51054
  • 51055
  1. Bosh, Iron Golem
  2. Glissa Sunseeker
  3. Memnarch
  4. Slobad, Goblin Tinkerer

Question #15

Which legendary creature's design from Champions of Kamigawa was made in a meeting to prove a point?

  • 78697
  • Brothers Yamazaki
  • Iname, Death Aspect
  • 79217
  1. Azami, Lady of Scrolls
  2. Brothers Yamazaki
  3. Iname, Death Aspect
  4. Isamaru, Hound of Konda

Question #16

Discounting any descriptor (the Firemind and Queen of the Golgari), which of these legendary creatures from original Ravnica has a name (or partial name) that's a real English word?

  • 97229
  • 96952
  • 89113
  • 97208
  1. Borborygmos
  2. Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind
  3. Savra, Queen of the Golgari
  4. Tibor and Lumia

Question #17

Which of these legendary creatures from Time Spiral appeared first chronologically in flavor text?

  • 113527
  • 109752
  • 113512
  • Saffi Eriksdotter
  1. Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder
  2. Jaya Ballard, Task Mage
  3. Norin the Wary
  4. Saffi Eriksdotter

Question #18

Doran, the Siege Tower is part of a cycle in Lorwyn. How many cards are in this cycle?

  1. Three
  2. Five
  3. Six
  4. Eight

Question #19

Which legendary creature from the original Zendikar block has the most other cards with their name in the title?

  • 193593
  • 192219
  • 197759
  • 194911
  1. Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief
  2. Ob Nixilis, the Fallen
  3. Omnath, Locus of Mana
  4. Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre

Question #20

Which legendary creature from Scars of Mirrodin was referenced in flavor text on cards in original Mirrodin?

  • 215091
  • 215076
  • 194243
  • Thrun, the Last Troll
  1. Kemba, Kha Regent
  2. Geth, Lord of the Vault
  3. Ezuri, Renegade Leader
  4. Thrun, the Last Troll

Question #21

Which of the following legendary creatures from Commander (2011 Edition) lives on the plane of Muraganda?

  • 236504
  • 236501
  • 228232
  • 236485
  1. Animar, Soul of Elements
  2. Ghave, Guru of Spores
  3. The Mimeoplasm
  4. Skullbriar, the Walking Grave

Question #22

Which of the legendary creatures from Innistrad won the rare poll (an internal polling where Wizards employees rank the cards) with the name of the trope we wanted the card to hit as its title, which led some to question the ranking because we weren't actually going to call it that?

  • 247234
  • 247236
  • 247237
  • 247235
  1. Mikaeus, the Lunarch
  2. Geist of Saint Traft
  3. Grimgrin, Corpse-Born
  4. Olivia Voldaren

Question #23

Which legendary creature from Magic 2013 is from the plane of Shandalar?

  • 253712
  • 259670
  • 253701
  • 249680
  1. Krenko, Mob Boss
  2. Odric, Master Tactician
  3. Talrand, Sky Summoner
  4. Yeva, Nature's Herald

Question #24

Which of the following legendary creatures from Return to Ravnica was one of the images that appeared on a booster pack?

  • 290531
  • 290534
  • 253626
  • 253532
  1. Isperia, Supreme Judge
  2. Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord
  3. Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius
  4. Rakdos, Lord of Riots

Question #25

Which of the Therosian Gods are twins?

  1. Athreos and Phenax
  2. Ephara and Karametra
  3. Iroas and Mogis
  4. Keranos and Pharika

Question #26

Which mechanic in Dragons of Tarkir doesn't show up on a legendary creature that is an alternate version of a khan from Khans of Tarkir?

  1. Bolster
  2. Dash
  3. Exploit
  4. Rebound

Question #27

Which legendary creature from Shadows over Innistrad block was inspired by art created during the concept push for the return to Innistrad?

  • 410010
  • 414428
  • 414429
  • 414463
  • 410049
  • 410050
  1. The Gitrog Monster
  2. Hanweir, the Writhing Township
  3. Ishkanah, Grafwidow
  4. Ormendahl, Profane Prince

Question #28

Which legendary creature from Kaladesh is aware of the multiverse?

  • 417657
  • Oviya Pashiri, Sage Lifecrafter
  • Padeem, Consul of Innovation
  • 417757
  1. Gonti, Lord of Luxury
  2. Oviya Pashiri, Sage Lifecrafter
  3. Padeem, Consul of Innovation
  4. Rashmi, Eternities Crafter

Question #29

Which legendary creature from Commander (2016 Edition) was first referenced in the flavor text of an artifact, but not by name?

  • 420649
  • 420653
  • Ludevic, Necro-Alchemist
  • 420658
  1. Ikra Shidiqi, the Usurper
  2. Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis
  3. Ludevic, Necro-Alchemist
  4. Saskia the Unyielding

Question #30

Which of the legendary creatures from Amonkhet did players joke that it should have been a 2/10 common?

  • Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons
  • Neheb, the Worthy
  • Samut, Voice of Dissent
  • Temmet, Vizier of Naktamun
  1. Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons
  2. Neheb, the Worthy
  3. Samut, Voice of Dissent
  4. Temmet, Vizier of Naktamun

Once you've finished all 30 questions, click below to see the answers.

Click here to see the answers

Answer to Question #1 – b. Six

The eight proper names of characters in Alpha were:

Baron Sengir, Mishra, Nevinyrral, Pashalik Mons, Serra, and Urza have all been printed as legendary creatures or planeswalkers (and Urza has been printed as both), but Chatzuk and Gaea have yet to be.

Sengir, the Dark BaronNevinyrral, Urborg Tyrant

  • 	2910
  • 	113539
  • 	464087
  • 	463975
  • 	439525
  • 	464024

Answer to Question #2 – c. Seven

Ghost of Ramirez DePietro

  • 	447348
  • 	447350
  • 	124344
  • 	179441
  • 	430829

  • 	432884
  • 	447354
  • 	461134
  • 	447356
  • 	447362

As of Commander Legends, we've seen new cards for Arcades Sabboth, Chromium, Jedit Ojanen, Nicol Bolas, Palladia-Mors, Ramirez DePietro, and Vaevictis Asmadi. Nicol Bolas has seen the most reprints, all as planeswalker cards. He had cards in Conflux, Hour of Devastation, Core Set 2019, and War of the Spark. The other four Elder Dragon legends appeared in Core Set 2019. Jedit Ojanen had an alternate-reality version in Planar Chaos where he didn't forsake the forest. Ramirez DePietro shows up as a ghost in Commander Legends.

Answer to Question #3 – a. Four

Rograkh, Son of Rohgahh

  • 	136208
  • 	74431
  • 	442957
  • 	116745
  • 	433289

We've made legendary creatures that have referenced Dakkon Blackblade, Rohgahh of Kher Keep, Tetsuko Umezawa, and Ur-Drago. Rohgahh's son Rograkh shows up in Commander Legends, we met another wielder of the Blackblade in Future Sight, we've met two members of the Umezawa bloodline in Betrayers of Kamigawa and Dominaria, and we've met two versions of the Ur-Dragon (in Time Spiral and Commander (2017 Edition)) connected to Ur-Drago.

Answer to Question #4 – c. Two

Ayesha Tanaka from Legends has banding, and Soraya the Falconer from Homelands can grant it to Birds (originally just to Falcons, but we consolidated all the bird creature types into just Bird during the Grand Creature Update).

Answer to Question #5 – d. Lord of Tresserhorn

Lord of Tresserhorn was called "Good Buddy" because he was a 10/4. I believe he was turned in from design as a 9/4 with a different name, but we changed it to a 10/4 in Alliances development because we thought 10/4 was funnier. We then changed his name to "Good Buddy."

Answer to Question #6 – c. Phelddagrif

There was a long-running joke amongst the original playtesters that it was only a matter of time before Richard Garfield designed a flying purple hippo, so the Alliances designers (Skaff Elias, Jim Lin, Dave Petty, and Chris Page) decided to design one. Phelddagrif is an anagram of "Garfield Ph.D." The PR department, at the time, insisted that every time Richard was referenced in an article that he be referred to as "Richard Garfield Ph.D." It made Richard a little uncomfortable, so the other designers used to tease him about it.

Answer to Question #7 – b. Spirit of the Night

The original name for the card was Spirit of the Nightstalker. It was too long, so it got cut during editing down to Spirit of the Night.

Answer to Question #8 – d. Vhati il-Dal

Michael Ryan and I named all the above characters as creators of The Weatherlight Saga. Vhati il-Dal was a reference to "Bhogavati," Tempest's codename. In Hindu and Buddhist mythology, Bhogavati is a land of poisoned snakes, and Tempest originally had a strong poison theme in it which was removed by development. I forget why we changed the spelling. Eladamri was named after Michael's mother Irma and his stepfather Dale (read it backwards). Orim was originally Oram, and it was just Maro backwards. It was meant as a placeholder name, as Orim started as a more minor crew member, but we just got used to the name and it stuck. We changed it from Oram to Orim to make it a little less obvious where we got it from. Selenia was named after Michael's cat Selena, which itself was named after a character from a role-playing game Michael played in.

Answer to Question #9 – c. Karn, Silver Golem

Vanguard was a product we made many years ago for play in stores. It's a card that starts outside your deck that grants you an ability for the game and can change your starting hand size and life total. The first batch of cards for Vanguard were designed before we knew we were using the characters from The Weatherlight Saga cast on them. One of them was a card that animated your artifacts inspired by the Antiquities card Titania's Song. We put Karn on the card because it was the only character from The Weatherlight Saga that had anything to do with artifacts. Besides being an artifact, he was the caretaker of the Legacy, a collection of artifacts. He didn't really have the power to animate them in the original story, but we liked the Vanguard card, so we decided it was close enough. When we went to design Karn in Urza's Saga, we gave him his -4/+4 ability to capture his pacifism, but we needed a second ability. His Vanguard card had been popular, so we ended up making his activated ability the effect from his Vanguard card.

Answer to Question #10 – c. Jolrael, Empress of Beasts

After Teferi phased out his isle with experiments of time manipulation, it drew the attention of three wizards—Mangara, Kaervek, and Jolrael. The three ventured to the continent of Jamuraa, which led to a big war between them. This conflict was the main crux of the Mirage story.

Answer to Question #11 – c. Urza

Ever since he appeared in the name of two cards in Alpha, the audience had been requesting a card for Urza. The problem, at the time, was that Urza was a Planeswalker and we didn't yet represent Planeswalkers on cards. In the story, Urza disguised himself as a blind seer, so we decided this would be a chance for us to get Urza on a card. The problem was that most of the players hadn't read the book, so almost no one knew it was Urza and it didn't have the impact we were hoping it would have. Urza would later show up as a planeswalker card in Unstable and a legendary creature (from the past, pre-Planeswalker) in Modern Horizons.

Answer to Question #12 – b. Atogatog

Atogatog, with a different design, was going to originally appear in Unglued 2, but that product was put on hiatus and never got made. That happened late enough in the life of the product though that we had already commissioned art. Flash forward to Odyssey development. Randy Buehler told me he was interested in having a cycle of ally color Atogs in the set. I designed him a cycle of cards and included a design for Atogatog because I knew we already had the art.

Answer to Question #13 – a. Akroma, Angel of Wrath

One of the running jokes during Legions design and development was to keep adding abilities to Akroma. Cycling was in the block, so for a while, she had cycling 2.

Answer to Question #14 – b. Glissa Sunseeker

The Moons of Mirrodin

Glissa was the main character. Bosh and Slobad were her companions. Memnarch was her antagonist.

Answer to Question #15 – d. Isamaru, Hound of Konda

I was in a meeting where I was told that we couldn't make a vanilla legendary creature that would excite players. I designed Isamaru on the spot to prove them wrong. It then went into the set.

Answer to Question #16 – a. Borborygmos

Borborygmos means "a rumbling or gurgling sound caused by the movement of gas in the intestines."

Answer to Question #17 – c. Norin the Wary

Norin the Wary is the oldest. He first appeared on the card Jade Statue in Alpha. He would later go on to appear in numerous other sets. Endrek Sahr was next to appear in the flavor text of Fallen Empires as the breeder of the thrulls. Jaya Ballard and Saffi Eriksdotter both first appeared in the flavor text of Ice Age, Jaya as a task mage and Saffi as the victim of a Lhurgoyf.

Answer to Question #18 – d. Eight

  • 	140217
  • 	140201
  • 	140188
  • 	140219

  • 	143370
  • 	140172
  • 	140226
  • 	140229

Doran was part of an eight-card cycle. There were eight tribes supported in Lorwyn, and each got a legendary creature of all the colors the creature type appeared in.

Answer to Question #19 – d. Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre

Ulamog shows up on the most other card titles with a total of eight cards (Pathrazer of Ulamog; Spawnsire of Ulamog; Ulamog's Crusher; Pawn of Ulamog; Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger; Ulamog's Despoiler; Ulamog's Reclaimer; and Ulamog's Nullifier). Drana has five other card titles that reference her (Drana, Liberator of Malakir; Drana's Emissary; Drana's Chosen; Drana, the Last Bloodchief; and Drana's Silencer). Ob Nixilis also has five (Ob Nixilis, Unshackled; Ob Nixilis of the Black Oath; Ob Nixilis Reignited; Ob Nixilis, the Hate-Twisted; and Ob Nixilis's Cruelty). Omnath has the least with three (Omnath, Locus of Rage; Omnath, Locus of the Roil; and Omnath, Locus of Creation).

Answer to Question #20 – b. Geth, Lord of the Vault

Geth shows up in the flavor text of three cards in original Mirrodin (Barter in Blood, Disciple of the Vault, and Vault of Whispers).

Answer to Question #21 – c. The Mimeoplasm

Muraganda, which first showed up in Future Sight on two futureshifted cards, is a prehistoric plane. The Mimeoplasm lives there.

Answer to Question #22 – d. Olivia Voldaren

Olivia Voldaren won the rare poll with the name Count Dracula. The debate that came from this incident made us create a new process where we give somewhat more realistic names to cards before doing the rare poll.

Answer to Question #23 – c. Talrand, Sky Summoner

Talrand is from Shandalar. Krenko and Yeva are from Ravnica. Odric is from Innistrad.

Answer to Question #24 – c. Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius

Niv-Mizzet was the only one of the legendary creatures listed to appear on a Return to Ravnica booster pack. He also, along with Jace, appeared on the Return to Ravnica booster box.

Answer to Question #25 – c. Iroas and Mogis

Iroas and Mogis are the twins, and they are both gods of war, although of different aspects.

Answer to Question #26 – d. Rebound

  • 	394490
  • 	394633
  • 	394695
  • 	394748
  • 	394721

Bolster shows up on Anafenza. Exploit shows up on Sidisi. Dash shows up on Zurgo. (And formidable shows up on Surrak.) Rebound does show up on Narset, but in this alternate timeline, she's a Planeswalker rather than a legendary creature.

Answer to Question #27 – a. The Gitrog Monster

One of the artists drew The Gitrog Monster during the concept push, and everyone just knew we were going to make a card out of it.

Answer to Question #28 – d. Rashmi, Eternities Crafter

Rashmi built the Planar Bridge which can connect different planes. The Planar Bridge was stolen by Tezzeret who used it to help Nicol Bolas transport his Eternal army from Amonkhet to Ravnica for his plans in War of the Spark.

Answer to Question #29 – b. Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis

Kynaios and Tiro were first referenced on the card Guardians of Meletis from Theros.

Answer to Question #30 – d. Temmet, Vizier of Naktamun

Temmet was based on King Tut (aka Tutankhamun). Hapatra, by the way, was based on Cleopatra.

Now, it's time to add up your correct answers and see how you did:

  • 1–9 correct: You have a lot to learn about Magic trivia.
  • 10–15 correct: You've obviously been paying some attention.
  • 16–20 correct: You're starting to show some Magic trivia potential.
  • 21–24 correct: You've got Magic trivia chops.
  • 25–27 correct: Very good. I'm impressed.
  • 28–29 correct: You have mad Magic trivia skills.
  • 30 correct: I bow down to you.

What Do You Know?

I hope you enjoyed the quiz. If you have any thoughts about this quiz or topics you'd be interested in seeing in future quizzes, please email me or contact me through any of my social media accounts (Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, and TikTok).

Join me next week as I answer your questions about Commander Legends.

Until then, may every game you play improve your Magic knowledge.

 
#793: Mike Elliott
#793: Mike Elliott

37:05

In this podcast, I interview Mike Elliott, a prolific Magic designer from back in the day.


 
#794: Trivia – Big Creatures
#794: Trivia – Big Creatures

33:40

This is a trivia column where I give clues about the biggest creatures in the game's history and you guess who they are.

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