Legends and the Multiverse
Written by Jacob
Whether you call them your General or Commander, casting them is one of the best parts of Magic: the Gathering. Commander or Elder Dragon Highlander (EDH) has become my favorite format to play. Socializing and casting spells go great together. EDH gives us the opportunity to play with many obscure and underplayed cards. Many players have cards that give them a sense of nostalgia. From artwork to mechanics, aspects of this game leave impressions and create lasting memories.
Two cards that bring forth nostalgia for me are: Zirilan of the Claw and Hivis of the Scale. The Viashino of Dominara are my favorite “lizard people” in fantasy. Being intelligent humanoid lizards from the land of Shiv on Dominaria leads to unique world building. The land is hostile to life yet there are many species that live and thrive in its dangerously arid environment. Viahino, goblins, humans and dragons all find ways to survive in this place. And when their homes are under siege they put aside differences to unite in defense.
The Viashino are adept metal smiths and nomads. Being able to uproot encampments at a moments notice and create the tools needed for success are admirable survival qualities among the residents of an ever changing fantasy world. Their adaptability comes at a cost; they are not the most intelligent. They do not have grand cities or technological superiority but they are still formidable. Consider the legendary pair of Zirilan and Hivis, allies to Jorael in the Mirage War. They each have abilities, represented well on their respective cards, that give them an edge over their peers. Controlling dragons is no small feat.
As depicted in the artwork of Andrew Robinson these two characters show so much strength. Hivis of the Scale is reminiscent of Achilles. He looks as if he is preparing to fight another classical hero with the backdrop of molten rock, unflinching. Not to be outdone, Zirilan is standing on the summit of a volcano with outstretched arms as if his prayers have been answered. A large intimidating draconic ally has come to his aid.
Even though the focus of these two pieces show two solitary creatures there is the sense and scale of impending battle. These two Viashino are confident in their abilities. As a planeswalker, I envy their abilities and will always summon them to lead my forces in a game of EDH.
I am writing this because in-store play is currently limited. Many of us play EDH. There are many ways to engage with each other about the best trading card game, besides shuffling up a deck and playing. This game has so many different creatures and legends. Zirilan and Hivis are two of my favorites. There is always more to experience in the ever expanding story of the multiverse. Each of us can find something that keeps making this game special. I would ask anyone that reads this what characters and creatures are your favorite and why. Blind Eternities.
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