Ugin

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Ugin
Ugin.jpg
Demographics
Birthplace Dominaria
Lifetime -25,000 AR to Present
Race Elder Dragon Planeswalker
Sources
See references

Ugin is an elder dragon planeswalker from Dominaria[1] aligned with colorless mana, able to transmute raw aetheric energy into matter and spells, such as the so-called Breath of Ugin, an invisible flame. Ugin is known as the Spirit Dragon, but it's not clear if he is a true spirit dragon like those of Kamigawa. Ugin is the twin brother of Nicol Bolas, and sibling to Arcades Sabboth, Chromium Rhuell, Merrevia Sal and Palladia-Mors. He was cousin to Vaevictis Asmadi.

History[edit | edit source]

Ugin is a planeswalker with strong ties to the plane of Tarkir, where his magic, the transmutation of energy into matter, is responsible for the elemental dragon storms that once raged through the plane, giving birth to its dragons. This magic was derived from the study of the energetic patterns of entire planes—their creation, destruction, and renewal—and he has applied these universal principles to creating his own form of magic.[2] Valuing both the dragon broods and the humanoid Clans, he gifted the Clans with concealment magic in order to hide from the depredations of the dragons.

Birth[edit | edit source]

Ugin was spawned from The Ur-Dragon alongside his twin, Nicol Bolas.[1] Upon their birth they witnessed their sister Merrevia Sal's attack by non-specific humanoids and their hounds; while Bolas tried to rescue and then avenge her, Ugin was far more pressed to find their other siblings. Upon climbing a mountain, Ugin expresses wonder at the multiverse, while Bolas seeks to become strong so as to not die like their fallen sister.

The Three[edit | edit source]

Ugin was the mastermind of the trio of planeswalkers, including Sorin Markov and Nahiri, that lured the Eldrazi to Zendikar to imprison them within the Eye of Ugin.[3] Over the course of 40 years, the planeswalkers prepared Ugin's plans, creating a massive network of stones known as hedrons, powered by leylines and coded by draconic runes.[4] When the Eldrazi finally arrived on Zendikar, Ugin's part was to combat the Eldrazi with his own colorless magic, the magical key to unlocking the Eye.[5]

Fighting Bolas[edit | edit source]

Thousands of years after the Eldrazi were sealed, Ugin and fellow planeswalker Azor devised a plan to trap Bolas on Ixalan.[6][7]

Before it could come to that, Bolas tracked his twin to Tarkir. The two planeswalkers waged a titanic battle, leaving Ugin nearly dead. Bolas dug deep into Ugin's mind for information about the Eldrazi and their prison. His purpose accomplished, Bolas departed, leaving the grievously wounded Ugin to die. In the original timeline, although physically dead, the dragon's spirit had not departed, and found its way into the mind of the planeswalker Sarkhan Vol. Sarkhan was plagued by Ugin's whispers in his head, 1,280 years after the dragon's death. Sarkhan later discovered that the whispers were Ugin's psychic plea across time and space for help.[8]

Ugin's Rescue[edit | edit source]

Sarkhan Vol was drawn back to his home plane of Tarkir by the whisperings of Ugin's spirit in his head. While there, he was able to travel back in time 1,280 years using Ugin's Nexus, a spiritual nexus surrounding Ugin's bones. The nexus transported Sarkhan back in time, just before the battle between Ugin and Nicol Bolas.[9][10]

Using a shard of a hedron containing Ugin's life force, Sarkhan created the Crucible of the Spirit Dragon to save Ugin and thereby alter the fate of the entire plane.[11] Sarkhan was transported back to the future, and the timeline of Tarkir was forever changed.

Awakening[edit | edit source]

1,280 years after Sarkhan Vol saved Ugin, the spirit dragon still rested in his cocoon of hedrons. During that time, Tarkir's history changed and Ugin's dragons had now become the dominant species on the plane. Sorin Markov arrived on Tarkir and with the help of an enthralled Atarka warrior made his way to Ugin's resting place. There, Sorin awakened and freed the spirit dragon from his slumber. Ugin explained about his battle with Nicol Bolas to Sorin who then informed him about the awakening of the Eldrazi. A shocked Ugin inquired about Nahiri stating that they would need her help to fight the Eldrazi again by rebuilding the hedron network. Ugin soon realized that Sorin was purposely hiding the information about Nahiri's fate and was annoyed. He warned Sorin to put aside whatever spat the vampire and Nahiri had and to find her. He then thanked Sorin for his assistance with a warning that they will meet again on Zendikar, and Nahiri had better be with the vampire.

Later, Ugin met Sarkhan Vol who had arrived searching for answers. The spirit dragon had been studying Tarkir's new history in the various carvings around the canyon. He eventually questioned Sarkhan on his actions and how a hedron from the Eye of Ugin arrived on Tarkir. Sarkhan informed Ugin of the events in the past few years, deducing his actions in the past. As Ugin had no memory of the alternate timeline and the role his spiritual echo had played in it, he theorized that Sarkhan had now created a time paradox of sorts. The Dragon Man had appeared from nowhere and had saved Ugin the Spirit Dragon before disappearing to reappear a thousand years later. Understanding this, Sarkhan made his peace with Ugin and left.

Battle for Zendikar[edit | edit source]

Having been freed from stasis on Tarkir, Ugin returned to Zendikar. With Sorin Markov and Nahiri missing, he started to rebuild the Eye of Ugin and the hedron network. When Jace Beleren arrived to investigate, the Spirit Dragon revealed how the network might be used to again immobilize the Eldrazi titans, but Jace suspected that the same trick might instead serve as a first step in killing them. Ignoring Ugin's dire warnings, Jace left the Eye and made his way back to Sea Gate to pass this information on to Gideon.[12] After the newly formed Gatewatch destroyed Ulamog and Kozilek, Ugin berated them for killing the ancient creatures instead of trapping them, fearing dire consequences for the multiverse.[13]

Breath of Ugin[edit | edit source]

The Breath of Ugin, also known as the Ghostfire, is an invisible colorless flame. It was used by Ugin against the Eldrazi and, along with the presence of three planeswalkers, it is the key to activating the Eye of Ugin.[14]

The spell was recorded on the Dragon Scroll that Chandra Nalaar stole from the Sanctum of Stars on Kephalai.

A clear depiction of Ugin's stature.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The Future Sight colorless burn spell Ghostfire, and its flavor text, were the inspiration for the backstory of the Eye of Ugin.[15]
  • Matt Cavotta wrote a short story entitled "How Many Eyes?" inspired by Ghostfire, in which Ugin emerges from a time rift, implying this character's alternate reality origin.[16] It is doubtful this story has any real bearing upon Ugin's true appearance as this was written some time before the Eldrazi plotline had been created.
  • Doug Beyer stated that he believes the fact that Ugin transcended color in his magic is the reason why he became a "spirit" dragon. There had been much speculation about whether Ugin was an Elder Dragon, but creative had not made a decision regarding it at that time.[17] Later, Bolas Twins confirmed that he was born an elder dragon; whether he retains that status or not is currently ambiguous.

Planeswalkers met[edit | edit source]

Planes visited[edit | edit source]

In-game references[edit | edit source]

Represented in:

Depicted in:

Associated cards:

Quoted or referred to:

References[edit | edit source]

  1. a b Kate Elliott. (June 13, 2018.) “Chronicle of Bolas: The Twins”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. The Magic Creative Team. (January 7, 2015.) “Planeswalker's Guide to Fate Reforged”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Doug Beyer. (March 17, 2010.) “Gods and Monsters”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Kelly Digges. (October 29, 2014.) “The Lithomancer”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Doug Beyer. (March 29, 2010.) “The Eldrazi Arisen”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  6. R&D Narrative Team. (January 24, 2018.) “The Arbiter of Law Left Chaos in His Wake”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  7. R&D Narrative Team. (January 31, 2018.) “Sabotage”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Jennifer Clarke-Wilkes. (August 27, 2014.) “The Madness of Sarkhan”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Ken Nagle. (December 29, 2014.) “Designing Your Fate”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Blake Rasmussen. (January 28, 2015 .) “Crossroads of Fate”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  11. Doug Beyer. ( January 21, 2015 .) “The Reforged Chain”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  12. Kelly Digges. (October 14, 2015.) “Revelation at the Eye”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  13. Ari Levitch, Doug Beyer, Kelly Digges and Kimberly J. Kreines. (February 24, 2016.) “Zendikar Resurgent”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  14. Brady Dommermuth et. al.. “Enter the Eldrazi, Part 3”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  15. Doug Beyer. (April 21, 2010.) “Rise of the Inbox”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  16. Matt Cavotta. (May 17, 2007.) “How Many Eyes?”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  17. Doug Beyer. (January 17, 2015.) "Is Ugin an Elder Dragon like Nicol Bolas?", A Voice for Vorthos, Tumblr.
  18. Blake Rasmussen. (January 20, 2015.) “The Art of Ugin's Fate”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.

Sources[edit | edit source]

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