Designer Artifacts of Magic's Multiverse

“It’s dangerous to go alone. Take this.”

Unnamed old man, The Legend of Zelda (1986)

Every seasoned adventurer knows to never go questing without the proper equipment. The Kor bring their hooks and lines to traverse the floating hedrons of Zendikar. The citizens of Innistrad don’t wander the woods without a silver amulet. An Izzet guildmage without an unlicensed particle accelerator on their back is just worthless.

Magic has been getting much better over the past few years about printing artifacts that depict tools belonging to our favorite planeswalkers. These cards help the game’s characters grow beyond their signature cards and take a hold in a fleshed out Multiverse of flavor. Today’s article is going to be a run-down of the major trinkets and weapons and whatnot that belong to our esteemed planeswalker allies (and one villain). Get your shopping lists ready, folks, it’s time to check out some loot!

Chandra – Pyromancer’s Gauntlet

Pyromancer’s Gauntlet

While it’s not legendary and doesn’t mention Chandra by name, Pyromancer’s Gauntlet is designed to look exactly like the one Chandra wears. It’s possible that they are a staple instrument of pyromancy at the Keral Keep on Regatha, where Chandra learned the tricks of her trade.

Any hot-headed pyromancer will gladly wear one of these into battle. The gauntlet spices up the power of fiery spells, increasing the heat and power of this aggressive style of magic. If you’re looking to roast the competition, don’t leave this piece of armor at home.

Elspeth – Godsend

Godsend

Elspeth’s sword-spear, Godsend, was acquired during her first planeswalk to Theros. The weapon, just a sword forged by Purphoros at the time, fell from the heavens. Elspeth picked it up and planeswalked away with it.

When she returned to Theros later in life, Heliod turned the sword into Godsend, the sword-spear built to slay the immortal deities of the plane. Elspeth killed Xenagos by thrusting Godsend deep into the satyr’s chest.

Upon completing her task, however, Heliod seized the weapon and killed Elspeth in turn. After all, no mere mortal should know more than a god.

Jaya – Pyromancer’s Goggles

Pyromancer’s Goggles

If gauntlets aren’t your thing, you could try stealing the infamous Jaya Ballard’s goggles from Keral Keep. These magical lenses allowed Jaya to channel incredible spellslinging power. Yes, these goggles actually do something.

If Jaya is still alive (unlikely), then she is wandering the Multiverse without her signature eyewear. It’s unknown why the monks of Keral Keep have Jaya’s goggles in the first place, but they are very excited about it. They’re kept on a little shrine in their keep, a sigil of their fiery dedication to the snarky task mage.

Karn – Everything on Argentum Mirrodin New Phyrexia

Mirari

As a golem, Karn is his own adventure equipment. He’s the amalgamation of the Legacy, a collection of super-powerful artifacts that killed Yawgmoth, the leader of the old Phyrexians. Karn can also time travel, which is a nifty trick.

His time as a planeswalker was lonely, however, and Karn fashioned an entire plane out of metal, known as Argentum. It was here that he forged the Mirari, a probe sent back to Dominaria to inform Karn of the aftermath of the Phyrexian invasion.

Later, Karn reshaped the Mirari into Memnarch, an artificial wizard tasked with holding down the fort on Argentum. Memnarch became corrupted, however, taking control of the plane and renaming it Mirrodin. This corruption was due to the residue of Phyrexian oil carried in Karn himself, which later turned the entire plane into New Phyrexia.

As a maker of artifacts, Karn has left all sorts of gadgets lying around. The Mirari is certainly one of the most powerful, and most infamous, a boon and curse to its carrier.

Kiora – Bident of Thassa Kiora

Bident of Thassa

Dekella is the enchanted bident wielded by Thassa, the sea god of Theros. It lets her stir the waves and control the tides. While Thassa already has great control over the seas, Dekella greatly augments her power.

Except Thassa doesn’t have Dekella anymore.

While trying to form a bond with the city-kraken Arixmethes, Kiora was engaged in battle by the sea god. While Thassa was able to block Kiora from gaining control of the sea monster, the merfolk planeswalked away with the bident after being pinned to a rock.

Kiora has returned to her home of Zendikar to fight the Eldrazi invaders. Dekella gives her a mighty weapon in this conflict, and Kiora will need all the might she can muster.

Liliana – The Chain Veil

The Chain Veil

The Chain Veil is an obnoxiously powerful, and dangerous, item created by an extinct races of ogres called the Onakke. Their temples on Shandalar guarded the Chain Veil after its previous user, Ob Nixilis, was turned into a demon by its corrupting secrets.

This mysterious artifact was desired by Kothophed, one of the four demons that Liliana made a pact with. She was contracted to procure the Chain Veil for him, but instead opted to use its dark magic to kill Kothophed.

Whispers of the Onakke plague Liliana’s mind as the Chain Veil’s power consumes her little by little. The Veil’s curse has also corrupted Garruk Wildspeaker, turning the hunter into an agent of the Onakke’s desire for destruction.

It’s almost as if the Chain Veil wants to be used…

Nahiri – Stoneforged Blade

Nahiri, the Lithomancer

Nahiri practices a Kor art called stoneforging. This technique lets the artisan pull a fully-formed weapon directly out of raw stone. It’s useful in a world where the land prevents permanent settlements, and thus blacksmith shops.

While these weapons don’t appear on their own card, Nahiri’s planeswalker card makes a token of these stoneforged swords. The weapon itself is indestructible, a testament to Nahiri’s skill as a craftswoman. The blade also bestows incredible power onto its wielder while being incredibly easy to use.

It’s also worth noting that Nahiri sculpted all the hedrons on Zendikar, so cards like Perilous Vault are great examples of her impeccable handiwork.

Nicol Bolas – Gem of Becoming

Gem of Becoming

The Elder Dragon Nicol Bolas has a mysterious orb floating between his horns. We had little clue has to what this object was until a few years ago. Now we can recognize it as a gem of becoming.

Nicol Bolas is one of the most powerful beings in the entire Multiverse. He requires tremendous amounts of mana to fuel his lifestyle, and these gems help him with that. We’re not entirely sure how, but they likely help Bolas locate and tap into local leylines to draw mana from. It’s also possible that they help amplify his connection to leylines mana planes away, ensuring he always has a strong link to his preferred locations.

Nissa – Sword of the Animist

Sword of the Animist

Before Nissa partnered with titanic elementals to fight the Eldrazi, she was relegated to fighting with a magical sword. We recently saw her having to resort to this weapon after losing her connection to Zendikar’s soul, and it’s simply not as effective against Eldrazi as it is against vampires.

We don’t really know much about the sword itself, but its mechanics hint that its strength comes from a close bond with the land. Since the sword itself is pulled out of wood, the wisdom of the forest is clearly essential to wielding this weapon.

Urza – All Kinds of Things

Ornithopter

Holy crap what didn’t Urza make?

Arguably the most talented artificer in Magic lore, Urza is responsible for more artifact cards than any other character. His first creation was the humble ornithopter, a basic flying machine with a life of its own.

Urza would create machines that ripped holes in space-time (yes, plural machines), power armor that would augment the magic of a planeswalker, skyships that could travel between planes, power stones that would fuel weapons of mass destruction, and more than one pair of glasses.

Karn was arguably Urza’s most influential creation, leading to the destruction, and rebirth, of Phyrexia. I already talked about Karn, so you can sort of attribute all that stuff indirectly to Urza as well.

Venser – Venser’s Journal

Venser’s Journal

While not as gifted as Urza, Venser is still a cut above the rest. His skills in artifaction were developed refurbishing old Phyrexian technology in the ruins of Urborg. Venser was fascinated by their skill, learning how to rebuild, and improve upon, the Phyrexian designs.

Venser kept all of his blueprints in a journal, carefully cataloguing all the possible applications for the technology. His interests were mostly focused on teleportation and interplanar travel. One of Venser’s most ambitious plans was to build skyships with the ability to freely travel from plane to plane. Those schematics were documented with great detail in his journal.

While Venser is now dead, giving his life to save Karn on New Phyrexia, his journal is presumably intact. In the bowls of New Phyrexia. With plans for planeswalking ships.

Uh-oh.

Celebrity Endorsement

While artifacts that echo items carried by Magic’s planeswalkers help expand upon the flavor of the Multiverse, they also provide exciting gameplay options. Whether you’re building a planeswalker deck around The Chain Veil or launching a magical assault with Godsend, these artifacts help bridge the gap between our world of cardboard and ink and Magic’s Multiverse of spellcasting and wonder.

Until next time, planeswalkers, make sure to grab the right tool for the job.

Nihonshu (Japanese Sake) Kit Kats!

Nooooooo… I missed these by one week!

On February 1st, Nestlé Japan will release new “nihonshu" (Japanese sake) flavored Kit Kats! Made with actual sake, in the form of a powder, the white chocolate-covered wafers will contain 0.8% alcohol.

These boozy cookie bars will be sold in two different ways, the first in a standard box, available nationwide in convenience stores, containing three Kit Kats for 150 yen…

The second package will be a special box designed to resemble a sake bottle, which will be sold at airports and gift shops targeting foreign consumers looking for a unique souvenir. It will contain nine Kit Kats for 700 yen…

Anyone going to Japan who wants to score me a box?

Pics via Nestle’s press release

I’m trying to imagine the conversation in the planning meeting for these new Japanese potato chips…

“We need a new flavor of potato chips this month. Any suggestions?”

“How about grilled pork?”

“Nah, we’ve see that before.”

“How about Korean bulgogi?”

“Nope. They have those in Korea already.”

“Pizza! With extra cheese, maybe?”

“We’ve seen something similar recently, but wait… what if we combine all three of those ideas?!”

“You mean… Pork Bulgogi Pizza-Flavored Potato Chips with Extra Cheese?!”

“Genius!”

Blueberry Pocky

Between meetings at Toranomon Hills in Tokyo last month, I popped down to the lobby Family Mart for a quick coffee. As I walked in, I saw they were putting out boxes of new Blueberry Pocky so picked one up. Later popped the box in my suitcase and took these new Pocky home with me.

While I was unpacking back in NYC, my wife saw them and was ecstatic. She explained that they were all the rage in Japan and next to impossible to find, supposedly. I had no clue. So she opened and enjoyed them!

I tried one as well, and I have to say, it was one of the better tasting Pocky I’ve had! I’m a big fan of blueberries and the flavor was pretty close.