Naga is a creature type introduced in Khans of Tarkir. They are snake-like creatures with a humanoid upper body and a serpentine lower body (similar to gorgons). They were earlier mentioned in Ravnica's storyline as well. The creative team felt justified in distinguishing nagas from snakes because it is a very resonant and popular mythological creature in non-western culture, but the decision was met with mixed response.
Storyline[edit | edit source]
Amonkhet[edit | edit source]
The Naga of Amonkhet have many features of cobras, with the males sprouting larger hoods than the females. As with most races, they are among the citizens of Naktamun on Amonkhet. Naga believe in a principle called the Sweetest Harmony, which describes a perfect balance between the body and the mind. Finding that balance, as they understand it, is a sure path to glory in the trials. Just so, mental strength supports physical capabilities, and physical fortitude feeds mental tenacity, so neither mind nor body can exist in isolation. In the same way, the naga believe that Kefnet and Rhonas exist in interdependence, and that their trials are best conceived as two halves of a whole. Traditionally, they shed their skin before entering a trial, symbolically leaving their weaknesses behind them.
Ravnica[edit | edit source]
The Snake People of Ravnica are featured in two guilds. Snaking remnants of nature directed by a body of thought and progress, the coiling oracles embody all that is Simic. Nagas are also part of the Golgari Teratogens.
Tarkir[edit | edit source]
Original timeline[edit | edit source]
The Sultai Brood of Tarkir is ruled by nagas, who have made allegiances with rakshasas to gain incredible necromancy powers. The nagas are ruthless and decadent, and are led by the merciless Sidisi, queen of the nagas. They are descended from ancient human leaders that made pacts with the Rakshasa, and for this reason bear a lot of resentment and cruelty towards humans, whom they view as inferior. They themselves claim lineage to Tarkir's dragons as their ancestors as propaganda.
Naga magic deals with modification of the form, whether through shapeshifting or necromancy.
Alternate timeline[edit | edit source]
In the new timeline, the naga are forced into becoming slaves, undead or otherwise, by Silumgar as the result of a pact Tasigur made with the dragon. Under their breath, they spread the rumors that they related to the dragons in some way. The naga translators of the Silumgar clan are often the first and fastest to gain favor. They are also the first to abuse what they have earned. They have been known to take liberties with their translations, thinking themselves clever.
Notable Nagas[edit | edit source]
- Sidisi — the ruler of the Sultai Brood in the original timeline; after the timeline shifted, Sidisi became Silumgar's undead vizier.
- Ikra Shidiqi — the advisor to Tasigur who had betrayed her khan to the dragonlord Silumgar (Ikra Shidiqi, the Usurper).
- Kamat — an initiate of Tah crop. She was killed by Neit in the Trial of Ambition. Represented by Tah-Crop Skirmisher.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Nāga is the Sanskrit and Pāli word for a deity or class of entity or being, taking the form of a very great snake — specifically the king cobra, found in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. A female Nāga is a nāgī or nāgiṇī.
Naga tokens[edit | edit source]
|Zombie Naga Warrior
named Tah-Crop Skirmisher
|White||Creature — Zombie Naga Warrior||2/1|
|Zombie Naga Warrior
named Sinuous Striker
|Black||Creature — Zombie Naga Warrior||4/4||: Sinuous Striker gets +1/-1 until end of turn.|
|Zombie Naga Wizard
named Champion of Wits
|Black||Creature — Zombie Naga Wizard||4/4||When Champion of Wits enters the battlefield, you may draw cards equal to its power. If you do, discard two cards.|
References[edit | edit source]
- Doug Beyer. (September 25, 2014.) "Can you please explain the decision process that lead to the Nagas having the creature type "Naga" rather than "Snake"?", A Voice for Vorthos, Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater. (May 29, 2017 .) "Odds & Ends: Amonkhet, Part 2", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater. (October 01, 2017.) "Why was the type naga introduced? Considering there aren't a Aven, Ainok, Khenra, etc types.", Blogatog, Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater. (April 22, 2018.) "I doubt there is much coolness lost if a Naga was called a Snake", Blogatog, Tumblr.
- Plane Shift: Amonkhet
- Michael Yichao. (May 3, 2017.) "Brazen", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Flavor text for Shed Weakness
- Flavor text of Coiling oracle
- Wizards of the Coast. Explore the Planes: Tarkir (Khans of Tarkir)
- Magic Creative Team. (September 3, 2014.) "Planeswalker's Guide to Khans of Tarkir, Part 1", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- The Magic Creative Team. (March 11, 2015.) "Planeswalker's Guide to Dragons of Tarkir, Part 1", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- The Magic Creative Team. (October 26, 2016.) "It's Time to Talk Commander (2016 Edition)!", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Naga on Wikipedia