|(Subtype for creature/tribal cards)|
15 cardsas of Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths
Cephalid is a creature type describing beings that live in the depths of the oceans surrounding the continent of Otaria. They are anthropomorphic octopus-like creatures, having tentacles and a highly flexible body whilst also having a more developed skeletal structure than normal octopi possess. Cephalids are able to live outside water for a brief period, but they have difficulty breathing air and dry out if they stay emerged for too long without magical aid.
Cephalids have a monarchic system of government ruled over by an emperor and with a strong aristocratic hierarchy. They were once ruled by Emperor Aboshan, though after his demise, his estranged wife Llawan became the empress. In general they are greedy creatures that want nothing more than power and control. Cephalids tend to be extremely cunning and manipulative, often plotting behind people's backs in an effort to climb up the social ladder. As a result, high-ranking cephalids tend to be either extremely paranoid or fall victim to assassins.
Cephalids dislike most other races, with particular hatred being reserved for air-breathers, including both surface dwellers and sea mammals such as whales and seals. They also have great contempt for the sea creatures living near the bottom of the ocean. One race of creatures that does sometimes agree with them are the merfolk, though they see themselves at a higher standing after having overthrown the merfolk imperial family in the past.
Cephalids were designed to replace merfolk in the Odyssey block. Cephalids generally have abilities which involve the library, hand, or creatures without flying. They're generally used as utility creatures. Cephalid Illusionist was a centerpiece in an old Extended combo deck, while Llawan, Cephalid Empress saw use in blue sideboards as a solution to mirror matches.
- Ben Bleiweiss (February 6, 2002). "Under the Sea". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Rei Nakazawa (February 5, 2002). "Underwater and Unscrupulous". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater (February 4, 2002). "Here's Looking at You, Squid". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
Cephalid Illusionist. Art by Pete Venters.