|(Subtype for creature/tribal cards)|
75% 6.3% 12.5% 6.3%as of Zendikar Rising
Archons is a creature type describing mystical celestial beings that are heavily aligned with the principles of White, have obscured faces, and always appear on a flying steed (a winged lion, bull or other creature).
Archon is a Greek word that means "ruler", "magistrate" or "lord". Fitting this, some archons warp the game through imposing a significant restriction, most famously Blazing Archon.
Archons symbolize White's harsher aspects like its moral rigidity and ferocious retribution, while angels have a more varied role, generally leaning towards compassion and mercy. Originally, archons seemed to be mirror-images of the black Specters, hooded beings that also ride flying mounts.
The flavor text of Krond the Dawn-Clad implies that archons might be created, naturally or by white-aligned mages, as embodiments of concepts, something supported by the fact that many archons are directly associated with said concepts. Unlike them, however, Krond appeared to be a solar deity.
Archons on Eldraine ride winged stags, and appear to wield weapons fashioned after their steeds' antlers. Not much is known about Eldraine archons, but it is implied they're part of its fair folk and likely more benevolent than on other planes, since one watched the Kenrith twins from the trees and protected them from goblins.
Archons manifested on Shadowmoor, among them the Archon of Justice, who apparently manifested as a reaction to the darkening of the plane in order to defend their associated concept. They ride winged stags.
On Ravnica, Archons seem to be closely aligned to the Azorius Senate, who embody the law on the plane, as opposed to the angels that are leaders of the Boros Legion or within the Orzhov Syndicate; guildless Archons are featured in the first block, but currently they are mostly found within the Azorius. Their presence is strong enough that people willingly submit to them and cease fighting. They ride lions and large, winged and horned beasts reminiscent of cats, particularly felidars.
In ancient times, the archons of Theros held a massive empire, tyrannising the world in the belief that they were imposing a strict justice. The most notable of these Archon tyrants was Agnomakhos, who used the leonin as an army. Eventually, the Archon empire fell, being instead replaced by the poleis, and the remaining Archons now lash at these, slighting the "honor" they feel was stripped from them. These archons are gendered. They stand apart from the gods of the plane, serving a force they deem higher. Theran Archons ride a large variety of mounts, including winged lions and winged oxens.
The Archons of Zendikar are subordinated to its Archangels and act as their enforcers. Archons and their steeds are actually the same being, sharing the same mind and will (it is unknown if this applies to all Archons or just the ones on Zendikar). Most Zendikari archons ride winged lions.
- The black Cabal Archon is a Human Cleric, not an Archon, using the standard definition of the title.
- Doug Beyer (February 10, 2010). "Angry Lands, Brave Adventurers, and Other Decks for Vorthos". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Doug Beyer (May 27, 2013). "What are your thoughts on archons?". A Voice for Vorthos. Tumblr.
- Kate Elliott (2019), Throne of Eldraine: The Wildered Quest, Penguin Random House
- James Wyatt (January 2019). "The Art of Magic: The Gathering - Ravnica". Wizards of the Coast
- The Magic Creative Team (September 04, 2013). "Planeswalker's Guide to Theros, Part 3". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Mike McArtor (March 26, 2015). "Behold a Pale Cat". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Plane Shift - Zendikar