Azorius Senate

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Azorius Senate
Azorius Logo.png
Alternative Names
The High Judges[1]
Lore Information
Parun Azor I
Guild Leader Augustin IV (deceased)
Leonos II (deceased)
Isperia (deceased)
Guild Champion Isperia (deceased)
Lavinia
Guild Hall Prahv (destroyed)
New Prahv (current)
Game Information
Colors {W}{U}
Mechanics Forecast
(Dissension)
Detain
(Return to Ravnica)
Featured Sets
Dissension
Return to Ravnica
Ravnica Allegiance
Signet Flavor Text
"The maze-like design embodies the core of Azorius law — strict structure designed to test wills and stall change." — Azorius Signet

The Azorius Senate is a white/blue guild from the plane and city of Ravnica. Introduced in Dissension, the guild is also featured in Return to Ravnica and Ravnica Allegiance.

Background[edit | edit source]

Founded by parun Supreme Judge Azor I, a sphinx lawmage who authored a majority of the original Guildpact,[2] the Azorius Senate functions as the government of Ravnica[1] and creates Ravnican laws.[3]

Believing their legislation to be the singular force that prevents Ravnica from descending into chaos, the Azorius Senate mediates and regulates the activities of all of the other guilds and of the plane despite their numerous decrees being ignored.[1] The Azorius Senate are characterized as being aloof, bureaucratic, excessively formalistic, and fastidious,[4][5]</ref> spending hours upon hours with legal documents and ensuring action, if any should occur, stringently adheres to protocol.[6] For such reasons, the Azorius are deeply disdained by Ravnicans, whom the Azorius believe will effect a change and subsequent crime, chaos, and general decline in civic life.[6][7] The Azorius are said to act through inaction.[8]

The Azorius Senate works alongside the Boros Legion and Selesnya Conclave to see to the enforcement of the law, and the Orzhov Syndicate to see to the provision of advocates and lawmages for accusers/claimants/complainants/plaintiffs and defendants.[6] Ultimately, however, the Azorius advocates for blind justice, peace, and the status quo,[7] doing so via their intrinsic involvement in all affairs on Ravnica and with their legions of knights and paladins as well as mages adept in countermagic, magic to disable and hinder those who would break the law, and other law magic.[9]

The Columns[edit | edit source]

The rigid hierarchy of the Azorius Senate is reflected in the guild's triangle-shaped crest; most Azorius functionaries report to one superior, and are reported to by two subordinates. The Azorius are divided into three Columns:[5]

  • The Sova act as judges and arbitrators.
  • The Jelenn act as scribes and elocuters. The term elocutor covers all communication functions, from simple messengers—who are often spirits—to conflict mediation.
  • The Lyev work as lawmages, hieromancers and enforcers. The Azorius military, which belongs to this Column, can be broadly separated into hussars (mounted soldiers) and infantry. Arresters specialize in preventing or stopping things from happening.

Azorius builders and architects are among the best in the world, and konstructors are those who enhance and/or accelerate their building projects with magic.[5]

History[edit | edit source]

Ravnica block[edit | edit source]

Augustin IV.jpg

For the majority of the Ravnica block storyline, the Azorius Senate was presided over by human lawmage Grand Arbiter Augustin IV, who was later killed by an explosion during an attack by the spirit of then-Dimir guildmaster Szadek.[10]

The seat of the Azorius’ power in the Ravnica block was Prahv, a monolithic structure of white marble.[6] In Dissension, Prahv was destroyed when the Parhelion, fortress-ship of the Boros angels, collided with it.[6]

Return to Ravnica block[edit | edit source]

Isperia.jpg

Following the death of Grand Arbiter Augustin IV, Leonos II became the Grand Arbiter of the Azorius Senate and the sphinx Isperia, whom Grand Arbiter Augustin IV often consulted, reluctantly became the Azorius guildmaster.[10]

Isperia was advised by three arbiters, each representing one of the "columns" of the Azorius: the Jelenn Column, which makes the laws; the Lyev Column, which enforces the laws; and the Sova Column, which judges the law-breakers.[1] These columns approximately correspond to the arms, or branches, of government in numerous real-world nations; the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary, respectively. Fitting for a set inspired by Europe, in particular Slavic and Eastern Europe, the names of the "columns" are Czech for animals, each of which appropriate for the function of the "column"; Jelenn means "deer", Lyev means lion, and Sova means "owl".[11]

Guilds of Ravnica block[edit | edit source]

Isperia fell victim to Vraska.[12]

In the game[edit | edit source]

Head Magic designer and design team member Mark Rosewater said on the blending of White and Blue, "Philosophically, the largest overlap between the two colors stems from a similar motivation. Both colors want to improve the world. White does this in its quest to promote peace, while Blue does it out of its interest in reaching perfection. The end result is the same. Both colors like to force its rules and ways upon all those around them".[13]

Guild mechanics[edit | edit source]

Dissension: Forecast[edit | edit source]

Main article: Forecast

Forecast is an activated ability that a player can play only from his or her hand. Only cards from the Azorius guild (white, blue, or white-blue) have forecast. Each forecast card has an ability that can be played once per turn during a player's own upkeep by revealing it from his or her hand and paying a cost, somewhat similar to casting a spell with built-in buyback.[14]

The Forecast mechanic was inspired by the ability on the Unglued card Infernal Spawn of Evil.[15]

Return to Ravnica: Detain[edit | edit source]

Main article: Detain

Detain is a keyword action that prevents a permanent from attacking, blocking, and/or activating its (activated) abilities until the controller of the detainer's next turn.

Initially, the Return to Ravnica block ability for Azorius was developed around "tap a creature" and the development team termed the ability "jail".[15] Influenced by Arrest, with which the ability shares flavor, of "preventing my opponents from doing things",[16] the "jail" ability was later modified to include preventing activated abilities.[15]

Creature types[edit | edit source]

Species and races[edit | edit source]

Species and races associated with the Azorius Senate include:

Classes[edit | edit source]

Classes associated with the Azorius Senate include:

Notable members[edit | edit source]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. a b c d Wizards of the Coast. (August 20, 2012.) “Azorius Senate”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Issar Roon. (February 1, 2012.) The Guildpact, GatheringMagic.com.
  3. Matt Cavotta. (May 3, 2006.) “Makin' the Law, Makin' the Law”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Aaron Forsythe. (May 1, 2006.) “Design Diary”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  5. a b c The Magic Creative Team. (September 19, 2012.) “Planeswalker's Guide to Return to Ravnica: Part 3”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  6. a b c d e Cory J. Herndon. (2006.) Ravnica Cycle, Book III: Dissension, Wizards of the Coast. ISBN-13 978-0786940011.
  7. a b Rei Nakazawa. (September 5, 2005.) “Life in the Big City”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Aaron Forsythe. (May 05, 2006.) “Azorius B.I.G.”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Wizards of the Coast. (September 7, 2006.) “Azorius Law-Magic”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  10. a b Adam Lee. (August 29, 2012.) “Ravnica, Then and Now”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  11. Caranthir. (August 26, 2012.) "Planeswalker's Guide to Ravnica" — MTG Salvation
  12. Assassin's Trophy
  13. Mark Rosewater. (May 1, 2006.) “Slow and Steady”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  14. Aaron Forsythe. (April 14, 2006.) “Clouds in the Forecast”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  15. a b c Mark Rosewater. (October 29, 2012.) “Designing for Azorius”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  16. Dave Guskin. (November 2, 2012.) “Article I: Fun (See Also Subsections F, J, and V.14.k)”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  17. Monty Ashley. (November 2, 2012.) “The Souls of Azorius”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.

See also[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]