Simic Combine

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Simic Combine
Simic Logo.png
Alternative Names
The Biomancers
Lore Information
Parun Simic[1]
Guild Leader Momir Vig (deceased)
Zegana
Vannifar (incumbent)
Guild Champion Project Kraj (dismembered)
Vorel
Zegana
Guild Hall Novijen (destroyed)
Zameck (current)
Game Information
Colors {G}{U}
Mechanics Graft
(Dissension)
Evolve
(Gatecrash)
Adapt
(Ravnica Allegiance)
Featured Sets
Dissension
Gatecrash
Ravnica Allegiance
Signet Flavor Text
"For the Simic Combine, its sigil serves not as an emblem of honor but as a trademark. Its familiar image on any biological commodity attests to superb craftsmanship, ingenious innovation, and higher cost." — Simic Signet
Scryfall Search
watermark:"Simic"

The Simic Combine is the green/blue guild from the plane and city of Ravnica.[2] Introduced in Dissension, the guild is also featured in Gatecrash and Ravnica Allegiance.

Simic basic lands from Ravnica Allegiance

Background[edit | edit source]

The Simic Combine is Ravnica's steward of nature and the wild; its mission is to preserve the natural world even as Ravnica's cities continue to grow. The guild seeks to protect the elements of the plane that are incompatible or mutually exclusive with its overpopulated, urban conditions.[3] The guild uses magic to coax new morphologies from existing creatures, as well as to combine traits from multiple organisms in one. Some of these are unique creatures that can't reproduce. A few multiply and become part of the guild's fabric.

The emotionally distant relationship that the Simic biomancers have with the rest of Ravnica's society makes the common man wary of the guild, thinking of them as crazy mutant makers. Even so, the Simic makes up the physicians of Ravnica and so injuries and illness are taken to reputable doctors.

Clades[edit | edit source]

Where other cultures are divided by species, caste or role, within the Simic Combine, members are divided by Clade. A Clade is a group that's focused on a specific aspect of the Combine or project.[3] Some of the clades include:

  • Hull Clade, focusing on protection, defense, and durability.
  • Fin Clade, focusing on the movement of creatures (especially flying creatures) as well as, movement of resources through systems.
  • Crypsis Clade, focusing on camouflage and magic designed to hide knowledge or operations.
  • Gyre Clade, focusing on redirecting or nullifying magic and advancing nature.

Factions[edit | edit source]

Independently from the Clades operate factions about the interpretation of Simic philosophy. Two are known: The Utopians, who focus on a harmonic union between civilization and nature, where evolution is a slow, guided process; and the Adaptationists, who believe that the guilds exist in a fragile ecosystem in which the slightest imbalance can have cascading effects, and thus seek to take steps that will ensure their survival.

Though not outright stated, it is likely that Momir Vig's followers constituted their own factions, the Vigeans, who saw nature as something to be molded and subdued in order to enhance civilization.[4]

Guardians[edit | edit source]

In recent years the Simic Combine has extended its research to humanoid subjects, magically transferring the traits of various animals into humans, elves, and vedalken.[5] The goal of the Guardian Project is to build an army perfectly adapted to a variety of combat situations. These hyper-evolved specimens are called Simic hybrids, though they sometimes refer to themselves as guardians.

The Speakers' Chamber[edit | edit source]

The Speakers' Chamber is a secretive body of all nine Zonot speakers. The Prime Speaker is considered to be the guildmaster of the Simic.

Storyline[edit | edit source]

Ravnica block[edit | edit source]

The original purpose of the Simic Combine was to preserve the health of all Ravnican life-forms. They were devoted to the study of life, medicines, and biomancy. But just as life can adapt, so did the Combine. Momir Vig, the Simic guildmaster, was dissatisfied with this original purpose and formed a new purpose: to improve upon the life-forms of Ravnica. For this, he created cytoplasts, a bio-magical mass of living tissue, appearing as blue-green globules.[6] These globules convey genetic information to and from any life-form they come into physical contact with.

Unfortunately for Vig, the people of Ravnica did not want to be improved or to undergo the surgery required to receive the benefits (except Simic members and people requiring prosthetics), so Vig created a new version of cytoplast that only need to come into contact with a host in order to bond with it. This allowed Vig to improve the people of Ravnica without needing their consent.

Vig allied with Svogthir and planned to create and activate his Project Kraj to cleanse Ravnica and start over. He was consequently killed by Agrus Kos.

Because of Vig's actions, the Simic were rejected, their symbol omitted from some art pieces with guild symbols[7]. The Simic were left in disrepair until Ravnica's subterranean merfolk emerged.

Return to Ravnica block[edit | edit source]

With the reemergence of the guilds and the rediscovery of Ravnica's long gone oceans, through the sinkholes known as Zonots, the Simic were remade from scratch. Embracing long-gone spiritual and holistic concepts of the reappeared merfolk, they rejected Momir Vig's corrupted philosophy and focused on advancing nature through purely magical means. Because of their new focus on the oceans, their philosophy revolves around principles applied to sea-life: the Holdfast, the anchoring, isolationist motion; and the Upwelling, the expansive, upwards-going motion. With this, they form a compromise between isolation and influence on Ravnican society, preserving nature and allowing at least one spot of access to the underground oceans.

The merfolk Zegana became the guildmaster and speaker of Zonot One, the first to open. The nine Zonots are the focus of the Simic's activity, with Zonot Seven being home to Zameck, the guildhall.

Guilds of Ravnica block[edit | edit source]

After Golgari incursions began to threaten Zonot Four, Zegana was replaced as Prime Speaker by Vannifar, a member of the Adaptationist faction who stood for more practical leadership. Under Vannifar, the Simic started the Guardian Project to mutate their more intelligent members into super soldiers.[8] Most Simic scientists and their creations now have gills, and have their experimental units in underwater labs called holdfasts, deep within the zonots.[8]

After the Boros Legion and House Dimir declared their opposition to Nicol Bolas during the War of the Spark, Ral Zarek lead the Izzet into battle against the elder dragon, and convinced the Simic Combine to join as well.

Zonot Four and the Golgari[edit | edit source]

The most significant threat to the Simic is the Golgari Swarm, whose newly militaristic bent has caused great concern. In the past, the two guilds have generally enjoyed good relations, with the Golgari bringing organic samples to the Simic for study and receiving unique biowaste and improved fungal cultures in return. Now, though, the Golgari are claiming greater sovereignty over the Undercity. Zonot Four: the largest and formerly most prosperous zonot, has been breached and "infected" with Golgari life-forms and undead that can move comfortably underwater. The Simic response has been to heighten security and increase predatory competition within all zonots, particularly those known to be affected. Simic ecology and Golgari necromancy now wage a deep, slow war in the lightless depths of Zonot Four, and Simic leadership fears that it is only the beginning.

Trifon, one of the rare subspecies of amphibious troll serves as the speaker for Zonot Four. Trifon and his people are engaged full-time in rooting out Golgari life-forms and undead from their waters, Trifon lent his full support to Vannifar, and now the biomancers of Zonot Three and Zonot Four work closely together on defensive efforts. The troll speaker says little, and he has been known to quash dissent with brute force. His unsubtle manner has spread to the rest of the zonot, leading to a culture that is more brutal and direct than in other zonots. The residents of Zonot Four are also larger, on average than other of their species, a result of ongoing adaptation in a fundamentally hostile environment. [8]

In the game[edit | edit source]

Guild mechanics[edit | edit source]

Dissension: Graft[edit | edit source]

Main article: Graft

The Graft mechanic is indicative of cytoplasts; specifically, the "newer" ones of Momir Vig's design. A creature with the Graft keyword comes into play with +1/+1 counters and can later transfer them on to other newly-played creatures.[9]

Gatecrash: Evolve[edit | edit source]

Main article: Evolve

Whenever a creature enters the battlefield under your control, if that creature has greater power or toughness than this creature, put a +1/+1 counter on this creature.

Ravnica Allegiance: Adapt[edit | edit source]

Main article: Adapt

If a creature has no +1/+1 counters on it, you may pay the adapt cost to put N +1/+1 counters on that creature.

Creature types[edit | edit source]

Species and races[edit | edit source]

Species and races associated with the Simic Combine include:

Countless other species exist as Simic experiments but they aren't advanced enough to be classified as members.

Many guild members (such as Vannifar) have bound themselves with oozes.

Any Simic hybridized lifeform is called a krasis.[3]

Notable members[edit | edit source]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The original inspiration for the Simic guild was The Island of Doctor Moreau.[10]
  • The Prime Speaker of the Simic carries a trident as a sign of status that can emit a thunderous boom, amplified if underwater.[11]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

  1. Cory J. Herndon, author of the Ravnica Cycle novels, has stated that the parun of the Simic Combine is a vedalken biomancer with the surname Simic.
  2. Magic Arcana (June 1, 2006). "Dissension Style Guide: Simic". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  3. a b c The Magic Creative Team (December 12, 2012). "Planeswalker's Guide to Gatecrash: Part 2". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  4. The Magic Creative Team (January 9, 2013). "The Fathom Edict". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  5. James Wyatt and Jeremy Crawford (November 2018). "D&D Guildmasters' Guide to Ravnica", Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Matt Cavotta (April 19, 2006). "Cytoplasts, the Other Blue/Green Meat". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Cartel Aristocrat
  8. a b c James Wyatt (January 2019). "The Art of Magic: The Gathering - Ravnica". Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Mark Rosewater (February 18, 2013). "Designing for Simic". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Mark Rosewater (March 19, 2019). "I was wondering if you had any trivia about the Simic guild?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  11. James Wyatt and Jeremy Crawford (November 2018). "D&D Guildmasters' Guide to Ravnica", Wizards of the Coast.

External links[edit | edit source]