Hydra

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Hydra is a mainly red and green creature type used for cards that depict serpents with many heads, each of which, if cut off, grows back. The heads are mechanically represented by +1/+1 counters. [1] Hydra is the iconic creature for the color green. [2] [3] [4]

Traditionally, Hydras are water serpents which is reflected in their name (Greek Hudra = water). In Magic they can also be associated with other environments (for example Molten Hydra). The first creature to bear the type was Rock Hydra in Alpha.

Storyline[edit | edit source]

Alara[edit | edit source]

Hydras are regarded as the manifestations of the "soul of the world" of Alara, the behemoth Progenitus. Following the Sundering, Hydras were limited to the Shards of Naya and Jund. During the Conflux, new types of Hydras, like the Apocalypse Hydra, appeared that came into conflict with the other Shards, like Bant.

Feral Hydra[edit | edit source]

A feral Hydra

Unlike most Hydras, the Feral Hydra lacks any elongated necks. Their features are more feline than those of Hydras found on other planes. Their heads are known to fight among themselves about prey, tearing it apart in the process.

Amonkhet[edit | edit source]

The hydras of Amonkhet have heads like those of a cobra.[5] Some were captured and treated as pets of the gods, while their wild cousins lived within Ramunap, hiding in the sand to wait to ambush their prey.

Dominaria[edit | edit source]

Unlike most Hydras, Dominarian Hydras are red-aligned, mostly inhabiting mountain ranges and wastelands. Molten Hydras inhabited lava, while the Balduvian Hydra was found in the steppes of Balduvia.

Fiora[edit | edit source]

On Fiora, Hydras are known to have been domesticated by the nobility of Paliano. These hydras are trained to obey their masters command, although they are difficult to train.

Innistrad[edit | edit source]

Hydras are also found on Innistrad, although they rarely come near civilization. One exemplar with five heads has been observed in the Ulvenwald. Its heads seem to have more in common with Hellions than traditional Hydras.

Kaladesh[edit | edit source]

Kaladeshi Hydras emit the characteristic blue glow of aether from their throats. Their heads and necks are crested with barbs and bristles. Most hydras have five or six heads, but small hydras with as few as three heads— as well as enormous specimens with eight or more — have been seen in the deep forests far from Ghirapur.

Hydras are fierce predators, favoring prey that has absorbed large quantities of aether from the environment. This taste for aether also leads them to devour aether-powered machines whenever they encounter such devices, from thopters to automatons. In the remote wilderness near Peema where hydras are plentiful, such altercations are rarely an issue. But in the rare event of a hydra coming too close to civilization — or even wandering into one of Ghirapur’s greenbelts — they can cause widespread destruction in their hunt for aether. [6]

Rath[edit | edit source]

A spitting Hydra

Rathi Hydras are, like their counterparts on Dominaria, red-aligned. Examples include the four-headed Spitting Hydra.

Ravnica[edit | edit source]

On Ravnica, two kinds of Hydras have been observed.

Phytohydra[edit | edit source]

Phytohydras are creations of the Simic Combine. Carnivorous plants with hydra-like regeneration and growth abilities, they can spread at enormous speed.

Savageborn Hydra[edit | edit source]

More traditional Hydras, these entities are part of the Gruul Clans and used to unleash devastation against civilization.

Shandalar[edit | edit source]

Hydras are known to live in the Kalonian Wilds. Like most Hydras, they are massive serpentine creatures with up to six heads.

Tarkir[edit | edit source]

A Hooded Hydra

In the old timeline of Tarkir, Hooded Hydras existed in the forests. These Hydras had strong similarities to cobras and were aligned with the Sultai Brood.

It is not known if any survived in the modern timeline.

Theros[edit | edit source]

A Mistcutter Hydra, so far the one with the most heads

Theran Hydras are very diverse, varying in size and their number of heads. All of them, however, have rapid regenerative properties and acidic blood. They can withstand countless attacks, and some even grow stronger if wounded but not killed. Theran Hydras lay eggs, with one of the parents hatching them. Newly hatched Hydras are already bicephalic.

Hydras can spend years dormant, but they continue to grow during this time. Great thickets grow over the largest sleeping hydras, hiding them from wanderers. When they awaken, they go on rampages that destroy great swaths of land.[7]

Zendikar[edit | edit source]

Hydras are among the fauna of Zendikar. Relatively small hydras, such as those found in Tazeem’s Vastwood, have only five heads, but the largest hydras in Ora Ondar have eight. A hydra’s heads come together on long, thin necks, connecting to a four-legged body with wide shoulders and narrow hips. Frilled crests adorn its heads and upper necks, and run down the creature’s long tail. For all their great bulk, hydras can move quickly and with surprising agility through their forest homes.[8]

Some elvish tribes are known to have made alliances with hydras, like the Khalni Hydra, to protect them in times of need.

Heads[edit | edit source]

A Hydra Head is a creature type that is not legal in a regular Magic game. It is only used in the Face the Hydra challenge deck from the Theros block. All cards in the Hydra Deck, including Heads on the battlefield, are colorless and have a converted mana cost of 0. Players can't gain control of any Heads. If a Head would go to any zone other than the Hydra's graveyard, it's put into the Hydra's graveyard instead.

Much earlier, Hydra Heads were referered to in the rules text of Rock Hydra from Alpha.

Notable Hydras[edit | edit source]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

Tokens[edit | edit source]

Token Color Type P/T Additional Rules Source Printings
Hydra Green Creature — Hydra X/X
Plant Hydra
named Sprouting Phytohydra
Green Creature — Plant Hydra 0/2 Defender
Whenever Sprouting Phytohydra is dealt damage, you may put a token that's a copy of Sprouting Phytohydra onto the battlefield.
Zombie Snake Hydra
named Honored Hydra
White Creature — Zombie Snake Hydra 6/6 Trample

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Doug Beyer. (July 01, 2009.) “X+1 Heads Are Better Than X”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Doug Beyer. (January 12, 2011.) “Season Seventeen”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Mark Rosewater. (March 20, 2012.) "Most of the colors have their marquee creatures", Blogatog, Tumblr.
  4. Mark Rosewater. (March 15, 2015.) "Characteristic and iconic creatures for each color?", Blogatog, Tumblr.
  5. Plane Shift: Amonkhet
  6. Plane Shift - Kaladesh
  7. The Magic Creative Team. (September 04, 2013.) “Planeswalker's Guide to Theros, Part 3”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Plane Shift: Zendikar
  9. Magic Arcana. (January 09, 2006.) “The Hellion-Headed Hydra”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
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