The Legendary Characters of Commander Legends, Part 2
All week, we've been revealing Commander Legends cards depicting characters new and old. Some of them you might know, some of them might be new to you. But they each have a story to tell.
Below, you'll find a short bio for every new legendary card revealed in Commander Legends this week. Meet the gang, and make sure to check out part one from last week!
Abomination of Llanowar
Deep within the heart of the Llanowar forest lay a dark, twisted morass of necromantic magic. Festering for centuries, it grew inward like a black hole of evil energy. It was eventually discovered by a Llanowar scout troop. A curious new recruit touched the dark tangle and it imploded, sucking the elves in and fusing them into an undead monstrosity. The second scout troop, sent to locate the first, didn't understand what they found until it was upon them. The monstrosity lunged at the elves with deceptive speed, pulling them, still alive, into the horrifying mass that made up its body.
A single elf escaped, and that part of the forest was declared forbidden. While no sightings have been reported of the creature for many years, the tale of the Abomination of Llanowar remains a popular story around elven campfires.
Aesi, Tyrant of Gyre Strait
On a distant, ocean-covered plane where monstrous creatures rule the seas, one in particular stands out in terms of temper and capriciousness: Aesi, an ancient sea serpent who claims the waters and all adjacent land masses of the Gyre Strait as its domain. Fickle and unpredictable, Aesi has little patience for trespassers, aquatic or otherwise. The only way to appease Aesi is to give offerings and tribute, but even that's not a sure solution: it's been known to take the offerings and attack anyways if it feels like it.
Akroma, Vision of Ixidor
When the illusionist Ixidor's greatest love, Nivea, was slain in a pit fight with Phage the Untouchable, Ixidor's grief caused his powers to increase immeasurably. He could turn his dreams into reality; he could even create living creatures. Ixidor's greatest creation was Akroma, a battle angel made in Nivea's image to avenge her death by killing Phage.
When Ixidor was swallowed by a tremendous deathwurm, Akroma didn't hesitate. Diving down the monster's gullet, she waded through its digestive juices to reach her creator. Ixidor bade her to leave him, and Akroma's followers replaced her ruined legs with metal lances. In the end, Akroma and Phage (and the muleskinner Zagorka) died at the same moment, slain by Kamahl's axe-stroke, combining them together into the form of Karona, the False God.
Alharu, Solemn Ritualist
The dead cry out, and Alharu listens. From a young age, they were always able to hear the voices of the deceased. As a child, this was terrifying. Alharu cooped themselves up inside their home, trying to ignore the spirits' posthumous pleas. As time passed, Alharu realized that while the spirits weren't going anywhere, they meant no one harm and only wished to pass on.
Deciding this was their calling, Alharu immersed themselves in study of the ancient spiritquellers. They painstakingly taught themselves every ritual. Carved spiritual runes into their flesh to better attune to the departed. Sat and listened to the pleas of the dead. After many years, countless years, Alharu had become a master ritualist. They now seek out the spirits of the dead and help them find peace.
Anara, Wolvid Familiar
The last thing a hunter wants is to be outdone by their familiar, but if you team up with Anara, that's exactly what you'll get. If you can swallow your pride and accept her help, you'll find yourself with a bounty of slain beasts and your enemies dead before you. All she wants in return is a cut to return to her den, someone to have her back in combat, and the occasional scratches around the antlers.
Araumi of the Dead Tide
Royalty of a small merfolk kingdom, Araumi always dreamed of something more. She ran away from home and flagged down a passing ship. Once aboard, she was greeted warmly by the humans crewing it. They told her incredible stories of the outside world, and she regaled them with tales of the splendor of her kingdom.
Tragically, the humans on board the ship were actually pirates. Upon hearing of these great treasures, they immediately subdued Araumi and changed course to the merfolk kingdom. When Araumi came to, she found her home in ruins, being looted by the pirates. It was then her substantial magic activated, dragging the pirates to their doom and reanimating them as undead thralls. Araumi now waits beneath the waves, delivering the same fate to every pirate ship that passes.
Archelos, Lagoon Mystic
The turtlefolk shaman Archelos has lived a very long time. So long, in fact, he forgot his own age centuries ago. He spends much of his time meditating in his shell, spreading his considerable magic across the marsh he calls home, feeling and understanding each and every aspect of nature.
His magic power is so immense that one finds themselves drawn into Archelos's pace. Ask a simple yes or no question, and you'll find that an hour has passed without you noticing—and you still haven't received an answer. Only one being, a pesky rabbitfolk, has been able to resist this magic. While Archelos finds the rabbitfolk's interruptions irritating, he knows he was ancient when the rabbit was born and will be older still when the rabbit rejoins the earth.
Ardenn, Intrepid Archaeologist
When the Skyclaves of Zendikar rose once again, many of them had previously been destroyed. While the entirety of the ruins took to the skies, broken-off chunks did not necessarily reattach. This resulted in free-floating structures, out of reach of the average adventurer. While Zendikar is rife with talented line-slingers, few were interested in risking their lives to access these obscure ruins—not when the "accessible" Skyclaves were filled with treasure of their own.
But dangerous, unexplored ruins were exactly what Ardenn was looking for. As an archaeologist focused on ancient kor artifacts, the Skyclaves were his dreams come true. He had no interest pursuing the beaten path and put his line-slinging skills to the test to explore the free-floating fragments. So far, his expeditions have been successful. Ardenn has discovered forgotten secrets from Zendikar's history and mysterious artifacts he has only just begun to understand.
Armix, Filigree Thrasher
After the Conflux merged the shards of Alara into a single plane, Esper's new neighbors were less than friendly. After centuries without the materials to create new etherium, the people of Esper were desperate to find the means to make more so the Noble Work could continue. Among those people was the human researcher Breya. She led an expedition into Jund and returned with carmot, the red stone that was the key ingredient Esper had been missing. To test her hypothesis, she created Armix, an experimental golem made entirely of brand-new etherium.
By most metrics, Armix was a great success. After time had passed, however, Armix became violent and unpredictable. The new etherium contained a wild power previously unseen on Esper, whose own etherium supply had been refined and attenuated for ages. While Armix was still loyal and followed orders, it carried out its instructions in a brutal and reckless manner. Breya was pleased with the results, however, and decided it was time for her own Noble Work to begin.
Averna, the Chaos Bloom
While most elemental-kin are comprised solely of a single element, Averna draws strength from three. Created in the aftermath of a plane-shaking manaquake, Averna is the only one of its kind. Its multiple affinities give it an enhanced connection to nature, detecting even the slightest shifts in the natural order of the plane it calls home. Averna is something new among elemental-kin, and only time will tell what sort of legacy it leaves behind.
Bell Borca, Spectral Sergeant
Bell Borca didn't ask to be Agrus Kos's partner. Sure, these days, Kos is regarded as one of the greatest heroes in the history of Ravnica, but in those days, he was a washed-up has-been that an understaffed Boros Legion wouldn't let retire, and who didn't treat his rookie partner very well. Bell Borca didn't ask to be blown up by an assassin's bomb. But he was hardly the only one. Bell Borca did sign an Orzhov life insurance contract that brought him back as a ghost to seek justice for his death, much to the chagrin of his partner Agrus. That was all too typical of death on Ravnica, especially in those days, when the souls of the departed couldn't escape from the realm of the living. Bell Borca didn't ask to be the only Wojek to solve his own murder. But he did. It's in his service record.
Captain Vargus Wrath
Captain Vargus Wrath is perhaps the most brazen member of the Brazen Coaltion. As an unaffiliated pirate with his own ship, Vargus had the audacity to assault the Spitfire Bastion, a heavily defended pirate fortress. His attack was quickly routed by Captain Ripley Vance, and Vargus was brought before her for execution. Surprising everyone, Vance offered Vargas a new ship and a place in the Coalition.
Vance believed that any pirate with the guts to attack the Bastion would make a fine ally. Vargus now serves as one of Vance's most trusted captains, eagerly smashing and sinking those who would move against her.
Dargo, the Shipwrecker
When Dargo requested to join a notorious pirate crew, the captain immediately declined. "You're too big," he was told, "the ship can't hold you." Dargo had a dream, however, and would not be discouraged. He proved his devotion by tearing the figurehead off the ship's prow and ripping its head off. The captain, who didn't feel like getting crushed by a giant on that day, welcomed Dargo aboard.
The voyage went as poorly as the captain predicted. The ship encountered a storm, and the deck buckled under Dargo's immense weight before quickly giving way, splitting the boat in two. Dargo waded over to a nearby island to wait for the other survivors, but none ever came. He is still waiting for rescue to this day (even though several passing ships have already attempted to save him and sank in the process).
Esior, Wardwing Familiar
Esior is the ideal familiar. Need to get somewhere? Esior will fly you there. Trying to cast a spell? Esior will help channel your magic. Looking to confide in someone? Esior is a great listener. Indeed, any wizard would be thrilled to head into battle with Esior by their side. But if you wish to borrow her strength, there is something you must understand: to Esior, you're her familiar.
Falthis, Shadowcat Familiar
To call all black cats bad luck is a gross exaggeration. That being said, if you summon Falthis as your familiar, you might want to watch your back. It's not like she doesn't have her perks. With Falthis by your side, dark magic will multiply in power and weaker foes are nowhere to be found. However, Falthis's connection to corrupting forces is so great that it tends to physically manifest on her current master. But as long as you're okay with a few malignant mutations, you'll find yourself partnered with a very cute kitty.
Ghen, Arcanum Weaver
Spells are tricky things, each an interlocking puzzle woven from imperceptible mana. Imperceptible to everyone but Ghen, that is. Ghen can see the strands of mana that make up an enchantment and, more importantly, can take them apart and reweave them into his own creations. While his powers are great, humility is not among them. He has been known to snatch someone's spell out of the air and reweave it in front of them. While this behavior doesn't necessarily make friends, none can deny that the end result is vastly superior.
Gilanra, Caller of Wirewood
Gilanra was an elf native to the Wirewood forest, located on the continent of Otaria. When the Phyrexian Invasion devastated much of Dominaria, many elves lost their families and homes. Upon hearing of the misfortune that befell his elven kin across the plane, Gilanra went on a journey. He traveled the world, spreading the word that Wirewood had plenty of room for new residents. When the immigrants arrived, Gilanra made it his mission to personally welcome each and every elf to the forest. It was said by many that meeting Gilanra made the forest truly feel like home.
Glacian, Powerstone Engineer
During the time of the ancient Thran Empire, Glacian was hailed as a genius for discovering how to create powerstones, crystals that contained vast amounts of energy. The Thran used powerstones to fuel their entire artificer empire. Ironically, he was killed by his own creation; the evil physician Yawgmoth implanted two halves of a broken powerstone inside Glacian's body that leeched away his life force. His wife Rebbec used these two stones to seal the gateway to Phyrexia, but they were discovered millennia later by the brothers Urza and Mishra, who dubbed them the Mightstone and Weakstone. Glacian's inventions were the basis for Urza's and Mishra's artifacts used to fight the Brothers' War, and all Phyrexian artifice is also derived from Glacian's experiments.
Gnostro, Voice of the Crags
If you find yourself wandering the mountains of Theros and you hear a cacophony of voices, it is highly recommended that you run as fast as you can. Those voices likely belong to Gnostro, a three-headed chimera that considers the entirety of the Katachton Mountains its hunting grounds. Each head takes on the appearance of a different animal and has its own ability.
The owl head lets out a bone-chilling hoot that reverberates throughout time, allowing Gnostro to glimpse the future movements of its prey. The howls and snarls of the wolf head bring forth fire that can melt even the strongest Akroan steel. The whinnies and snorts of the horse head are said to contain the power to heal any wound. Anyone able to get close enough to test it has been torn to shreds by the other two heads.
Hamza, Guardian of Arashin
In Tarkir's original timeline, the Abzan Houses were centered in the fortress city of Arashin. The city is protected by Mer-Ek fortress, where the khan of the Abzan holds court. Mer-Ek is considered impenetrable, but the Abzan know nothing is absolute. Should an enemy take Mer-Ek, nothing would stand in their way of taking Arashin. Nothing but Hamza.
Hamza was a Krumar, an orphan raised by an influential Abzan family. He was always very strong, even for a loxodon. He knew he wanted to use his strength to repay the clan that had taken him in, so he joined the city guard when he came of age. Hamza quickly rose through the ranks, becoming the most decorated guard captain in the history of Arashin. He grew to command the guard and personally ensured that Arashin remained safe until Tarkir's history was rewritten.
Life's pleasures can be found anywhere, if one only has the awareness to see them. Even in Balduvia in the grip of the great Ice Age, there is beauty to be appreciated. The clear blue sky, the crunch of footsteps through freshly fallen snow, the smell of wildflowers. By maintaining a state of perfect attunement with one's senses, one can derive great enjoyment from even the smallest things. Yes, a mindful stroll with one's beloved sister, Saffi, is the perfect tonic for the petty vicissitudes that can so trouble a young man's mind.
Ich-Tekik, Salvage Splicer
Ich-Tekik, whose name roughly translates to "reap and give," prides himself on being Vorinclex's personal splicer. Vorinclex has taken a great interest in Ich-Tekik's mindless golems, believing that they have the potential to become the ultimate predator, or at least make good test subjects for his own experiments.
Ich-Tekik has been given free rein to harvest any materials from Vorinclex's domain, including ones that may still be attached to living beings. He harvests parts liberally, grafting them on to both his golems and himself.
Imoti, Celebrant of Bounty
Imoti's naga tribe relied on a single river to provide them with water. Tragically, a distant battle between unrelated parties resulted in the river being polluted by dark magic. Imoti is the only member of her tribe who possesses the blessing of the god of nature, and therefore she is the only one who can pass that blessing to the river, rendering it potable.
To that end, she spends hours each day beneath the waterfall that flows into the river, constantly casting a purifying spell. The tribe tried to elevate her to leader, but she refused, knowing there were others who were better suited to rule. She has instead dedicated her life to protecting the river and attempting to create a spell that could purify it for good.
Jared Carthalion, True Heir
The Carthalions are one of the oldest families in Dominaria; they can trace their ancestry back to the Time of Legends, when their orphaned ancestor was dubbed "Carth the Lion" by Dakkon Blackblade himself. Born with the crescent moon birthmark of the elder druid, Jared Carthalion seemed destined to attain great magical power. However, that destiny would not be achieved without great effort on Jared's part. His ancestral lands were usurped by the evil planeswalker Ravidel, who held Corondor hostage to a magical weapon of mass destruction. Jared was reduced to begging and thievery just to survive. Armed with his father's sword Foecleaver and a latent planeswalker spark of his own, Jared gathered allies from across Corondor to reclaim his birthright. Jared's feud with Ravidel eventually culminated in the cataclysmic event known as the Planeswalker War.
Juri, Master of the Revue
In the last few years, the Juri Revue has gone from being an obscure discovery to one of the most influential cultural venues in the city of Ravnica. The performances at the Revue feature human, devil, and ogre performers and include real flame, spikes, blades, and blood. The subject of the performances usually involves skewering the powerful, sometimes literally. The Azorius Senate, the Living Guildpact, and God-Emperor Nicol Bolas are frequent subjects of the Revue's satirical plays. Each performance ends with the murder of at least one audience member, which sends the survivors into paroxysms of excitement and horror.
Juri himself is the charismatic master of ceremonies. Wearing his signature crown of blades and gesturing with his flaming whip for emphasis, he directs the frenetic action of his murderer-performers and decides which acts will be performed on a given day. He has attracted the eye of Rakdos himself, who has attended several performances. Lord Rakdos's interest has increased the Revue's popularity in the short term, but it is known well that Rakdos will not tolerate being upstaged for long, and Juri may end up becoming the grand finale of his own act someday.
Kangee, Sky Warden
During the time of the Phyrexian Invasion of Dominaria, the aven wizard Kangee was an influential leader of the Northern Order in Otaria, with many soldiers obeying his commands and many apprentice wizards studying under his tutelage. Kangee's aerie was based in the Skollten Mountains, where he kept many hawks which he used as his eyes to see what was happening within hundreds of miles. While the Phyrexian Invasion didn't hit Otaria hard (the Phyrexians didn't consider the continent to be strategically important), Kangee and his followers felt duty-bound to fight against such a great threat to all of Dominaria. Kangee led troops and hawks into combat in several major battles, downing Phyrexian troop carriers before they could disgorge their monstrous warriors.
Kwain, Itinerant Meddler
The rabbitfolk Kwain has many talents. He's a fast mover, a fast thinker, and a fast talker. To him, the world moves in slow motion. He believes people spend far too much time making up their mind when they could just be doing.
To that end, no one frustrates him more than the turtlefolk Archelos. To Kwain, Archelos represents everything he finds irritating. But still he finds himself drawn to the turtle, literally running circles around him trying to get any sort of reaction.
Lathiel, the Bounteous Dawn
Of all the legends of the forest, none are as elusive as the unicorn Lathiel. The stories say that if you are in the forest on the right day, at the exact liminal moment of dawn, you have a chance to catch a glimpse of this magnificent beast. Those fortunate enough to actually encounter her feel empowered—their earthly concerns washed away by a warm wave of peacefulness.
Miara, Thorn of the Glade
Miara is a daen, a packmaster of the Exquisite caste on the plane of Lorwyn. She leads a hunting pack and has the esteemed privilege of being allowed to speak to elves of the Perfect caste. While her skills as a deadly hunter and talented tactician earned her the notice of elven leadership, it was her ruthless and thorough extermination of eyeblights that made her Exquisite. The most silent hunter on the plane, Miara's prey never sees nor hears her coming.
Nadier, Agent of the Duskenel
Historically speaking, the Duskenel nation of elves has had a tumultuous relationship with their wood elf neighbors. But times change, and recent leadership has decided elven solidarity far outweighs petty tribal disagreements. To the average wood elf, Nadier appears to be a diplomat sent by the Duskenel as a cultural exchange resulting from a recent treaty between the elven nations. He is kind and cordial and has quickly become a welcome face around town.
In reality, Nadier's presence is a direct result of said treaty, but he is no diplomat. The wood elves have been experiencing some issues with nearby human settlements—expeditions going a little too deep in the woods, trees being felled that have stood for centuries, and so forth. As such, the Duskenel offered Nadier's services not as dignitary but as the foremost killer in the entire nation. Secretly, Nadier has been tasked to train a battalion of wood elves to drive the humans away from the forest.
Nevinyrral, Urborg Tyrant
In the time before the Ice Age, the lich Nevinyrral was the king of the City of Urborg, a hellish metropolis whose laws were enforced by the use of powerful magical artifacts. Nevinyrral's lust for power impelled him to send his undead armies to neighboring Bogardan, offending the mysterious entities who rule that volcanic island. Nevinyrral's forces were destroyed, and the Bogardans counterattacked. While hellkites attacked from the air, fire masters surrounded the city. Pounding the ground with their metal-gauntleted fists, the Bogardan masters triggered a volcanic eruption in the middle of Urborg. Realizing that the city was lost and wanting to deny his enemies access to his trove of magical spells and artifacts, Nevinyrral poured all his magic into his disk-shaped phylactery, detonating it and vaporizing everything within a ten-mile radius. Many Urborg lich lords claim to be Nevinyrral's heir, but none of them have a tenth of that ancient necromancer's power.
Obeka, Brute Chronologist
Obeka will punch you into next week—literally. An ogre mage who breaks the flow of time through brute force, Obeka isn't concerned with piddling details like causality. A right cross from her will knock the baby teeth right into your mouth, and her uppercut is so powerful, your mother will feel it twenty years ago.
Obeka wants nothing more than to live an enjoyable life full of earthly pleasures and knock-down, drag-out fights. Good and bad are of little interest to her, as her only concern is if something sounds fun. She lives exclusively in the moment, and if that moment goes south, she'll beat it out of existence. If you get in her way, consider your wish that you were never born granted.
Reyav, Master Smith
Reyav is a highly skilled and sought-after smith on the plane of Kaladesh. He specializes in tools and equipment needed for precision tasks. His greatest invention and claim to fame is a gauntlet that combines multiple key tools with delicate automation.
While he knew his gauntlet was something special, he struggled to get recognition for it. In a rather ingenious publicity stunt, Reyav made the designs for the gauntlet publicly available. He had confidence that no other smith could execute his extraordinarily complex design, and he was right. Custom orders came flooding in, and Reyav has never wanted for work ever since.
Sakashima of a Thousand Faces
Orphaned as a baby, Kenshi Sakashima's prospects seemed
Driven only by instinct and hunger, Slurrk consumes every living being in its path. An ancient ooze, it has devoured countless beings to the point that it has begun to lose its slime-like viscosity. The upper portions of its body, as it were, have begun to take the form of the creatures it has consumed. Limbs, faces, and other extremities have solidified, creating a truly nauseating being to behold.
Slurrk has recently taken up residence in a remote temple, eating all its inhabitants and any supplicants who try to visit. Some argue that after consuming that many faithful, Slurrk has become a holy object itself. Other people aren't interested in being eaten and steer very, very clear.
Thalisse, Reverent Medium
Thalisse woke up in a graveyard with no memory of who she was or how she got there. All she remembered was her name, that she was safe, and that she was surrounded by friends—the swirling mists of spirits that encircled her. Each spirit whispered a story, a moment from their lives that meant everything to them.
With no story of her own, Thalisse decided to spread the tales of the dead who only wanted someone to listen. She now travels from town to town, ringing her bells and spreading stories so unbelievable they almost have to be true.
Toggo, Goblin Weaponsmith
No one would have guessed that a seemingly ordinary Skirk goblin would grow up to become the greatest inventor in the history of Dominaria. Toggo experimented for many years, trying to develop the ultimate weapon. The spear was a bust; it was too hard to figure out which end was which. Experiments with crossbows led to a series of foot injuries among the weapons testers. The design flaws inherent in double-bladed swords are well known.
In a flash of inspiration, Toggo invented the rock, the perfect weapon! Harder than a goblin's skull, it could be swung, thrown, or dropped from great height. The rock proved to be so successful that the Skirk Ridge has been completely destroyed by overmining, a testament to the enduring demand for this design classic.
Tormod, the Desecrator
During the time of the Dark, the city of Alsoor suffered from a series of grave robberies. The Church of Tal conducted an inquisition to determine who was responsible. The inquisitors traced the traffic in stolen corpses to an estate in the swampland east of the city. The estate, owned by a minor nobleman named Tormod, was guarded by a horde of the undead. The inquisitors encouraged a mob of peasants to storm the estate, and Tormod was hanging from a tree within a few hours. Some distant relatives living in Alsoor inherited the estate and interred Tormod in the extravagant crypt that his undead minions had constructed.
Some months later, the ghastly grave robberies resumed. The Church authorities returned to Tormod's estate to find it abandoned. They prized open the lid of Tormod's coffin, only to find the grave empty.
There is none that Surrak the Hunt Caller trusts more than Tuya Bearclaw. Even when she was just "Tuya," her skill at the hunt complemented Surrak's in a way that kept all families fed. One day, when they were seeking Atarka's next meal, Tuya and her fighters stumbled upon a lone bear cub. The cub's mother had been slain by a hungry dragon, and it was left to fend for itself.
Taking mercy, Tuya spared the cub's life and decided to try and tame it. Tuya succeeded in making the beast her companion and began to ride it into battle. On the back of her bear, she was unstoppable. As the hubris of taking the name "Dragonclaw" is punishable by death, Tuya was instead bequeathed the name "Bearclaw" and the respect and awe of the entirety of Clan Atarka.
Wyleth, Soul of Steel
The swordsman Wyleth's life changed forever when a mysterious object streaked through the sky and crashed into the mountains near his home. While everyone else hung back in fear, Wyleth alone climbed up the mountain, where he discovered a sword in the midst of a giant crater. When he picked it up, blazing sigils appeared on his arms, mirroring the design worked into the blade's hilt. From then on, the sword was bound to him, capable of being summoned into his hands from anywhere, no matter how far the distance.
Wyleth had always been a student of the blade, seeking to learn new styles and master new skills. Wielding this mysterious weapon, he believes he can discover secrets of swordsmanship that no one else has ever discovered. With a world full of learning opportunities before him, Wyleth relishes every chance to head into the fray.