MTG Wiki
Race Human
Birthplace Kjeldor, Terisiare, Dominaria
Lifetime c. 2800 - 4205 AR
The Secrets of Magic, Time Streams, Bloodlines, Prophecy, Invasion

Barrin was a legendary master-wizard, husband of Rayne and the father of Hanna, who possessed an extremely high ability to learn and utilize magic. He aided Urza in the defense of Dominaria from its Phyrexian invaders.


Barrin was born Barrinalo in the Terisiarian kingdom of Kjeldor during the Ice Age. A minor bureaucrat, Barrinalo was prophesied to become the most powerful wizard in all of Dominaria. Barrinalo adopted the name "Barrin" after running out of ink while signing his name, causing him to omit the last three letters of his name.


Barrin was later contacted by Urza Planeswalker and enlisted to serve as headmaster of a school of wizards, the true goal of which would be to provide the defense of Dominaria during the upcoming Phyrexian Invasion. To achieve that, they founded the Tolarian Academy around 3285 AR.


Barrin and Urza worked on a time machine in order to prevent the Thran from becoming the Phyrexians. They created a silver probe, later named Karn from the Thran meaning "strength", and used it to test out the machine. Jhoira unknowingly gave the plans of the machine to the Phyrexian Kerrick, who then attacked Tolaria and destroyed the entire staff. Urza was able to avoid these events by sending Karn back in time a few days. Karn was successful in stopping Kerrick, but the massive temporal energies caused a rift that destroyed the Academy, resulted in the deaths of hundreds of students and faculty, and forced Urza to abandon the Academy.

The Academy Reborn[]

Urza, Barrin, and Karn later returned to Tolaria and reestablished the Academy with the aid of Jhoira. Urza incorporated Tolaria's unique temporal structure in aiding his research into possible defenses against the Phyrexian Invasion. Unfortunately, Kerrick also survived the disaster, and built a self-styled "pocket Phyrexia" in one of the rift's fast-time areas.

Like Jhoira, Barrin used slow water early on to give himself an unnaturally long life, and to keep up with his immortal companion.[1]

Defense of the Academy[]

Five years after reestablishing the Academy, Urza left Tolaria for Yavimaya in order to persuade the sentient forest into allying with him in the defense of Dominaria. During this time Kerrick found a passage to Tolaria and had an army of modified Phyrexians to attack it. Barrin summoned all of Tolaria's defenses, but it was not enough. Finally, Urza was able to return to the island after Barrin activated an emergency beacon. Urza and his Shivan reinforcements attacked and destroyed Kerrick just as the Academy was on the brink of another destruction.

The Battle of Serra's Realm[]

In an effort to empower the powerstone at the heart of Weatherlight, Urza invaded Serra's Realm. Though he offered to relocate the inhabitants of the plane from their Phyrexian-corrupted home, he was unsuccessful and was forced to invade. During this invasion, Barrin battled the Phyrexian overlord in charge of the Serran government's displacement.

The Bloodlines and Rayne[]

The Tolarian Academy's focus was later shifted from producing the Legacy to ensuring the success of the Bloodline Project. During this time Barrin fell in love with a Tolarian native named Rayne, who later became the Academy's chancellor. It was not until Barrin and Rayne were wed that Barrin realized that Rayne was selected as his mate by Urza, and that the couple's unborn daughter was intended to have a part in the Bloodlines herself.


After the completion of the Bloodlines Project, Barrin's role became that of a simple academic as the Legacy artifacts were scattered across Dominaria, Rath, and Mercadia in an effort to dissuade Phyrexian attention. Though Barrin hoped his daughter Hanna would follow in his footsteps as an accomplished mage, she opted instead to follow the route of artifice, a route Barrin had become increasingly wary of after his time with Urza. Barrin forbade Hanna from studying the artifacts, resulting in a severe falling-out between father and daughter and Hanna's eventual relocation to New Argive.

The War in Jamuraa[]

During the year of the Phyrexian Invasion, Barrin and Rayne aided their former pupil and current planeswalker, Teferi, in the defense of southeastern Jamuraa from an invasion by Keld. In the final battle of the incursion, Rayne was slain by Greel, a Keldon mutation capable of damaging telepathy. In a fit of rage and grief, Barrin demolished the entire Keldon army, destroyed Greel, and even took the life of the Keldon overlord Latulla.

When the Phyrexian invasion became more imminent, Barrin used even more slow water, and in combination with some powerful magic, the water not only slowed his aging, but reversed it. Barrin knew that in the coming battle against the Phyrexians, he couldn't let his age be a factor.[1]

The Invasion[]

Barrin and Urza defended Benalia during the opening days of the Phyrexian Invasion. After Urza's departure, Barrin was eventually forced to flee the nation shortly before the Phyrexians completely devastated the powerful human kingdom. Barrin then led a short defense of Keld before being relocated to the then-secondary Phyrexian front of Urborg. As Urza's resources became more and more focused on the upcoming battle at Koilos, Barrin was again forced to retreat. Before arriving at Koilos, Barrin was shocked to discover that Hanna had died of a Phyrexian disease and Urza had not bothered to inform him. Delirious with grief, Barrin exhumed the body of his daughter from the sands of Koilos.


Barrin returned to Tolaria with the intention of burying his daughter next to her mother. Upon returning to his island home, Barrin discovered that the Phyrexians had finally discovered the location of Urza's base of operations. Barrin cast a spell he had vowed never to cast, destroying the island, the Phyrexians, the academy, and himself in the process.


In the Future Sight set it is revealed that in a possible future, Barrin's obliteration spell worsened the timerift caused by Urza's time destruction, creating a magical phenomenon so powerful that it threatened the whole multiverse and could not be closed by normal methods. So Karn was sent back in time again to prevent Barrin's last spell from destabilizing the rift.

In-game references[]

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  1. a b Wizards of the Coast (December, 2002). "Ask Wizards - December, 2002". Wizards of the Coast.