|(Subtype for creature/tribal cards)|
44 cardsas of Dungeons & Dragons: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms
81.8% 13.6% 4.5%
Dryad is a creature type used for cards that depict spirits of trees, taking a nymph-like or treefolk form to relate to the humanoids that venture near their forests. Dryads are found on a wide array of different planes.
The first card to feature Dryads, Shanodin Dryads (Alpha), used the "Summon Nymphs" type line. However, when the Ice Age design team created Rime Dryad and Folk of the Pines, the type lines read "Summon Dryad" and "Summon Dryads", respectively. Subsequent Dryads were given the Dryad creature type. Shanodin Dryads was erratad in its Classic Sixth Edition printing to say Creature — Dryad.
For the Theros block, R&D wanted to have a series of nymphs. Not just dryads, but oreads, naiads, lampads, and alseids as well. They brought back the Nymph creature type for them. Because Dryad was an established creature type by then, the creature type was preserved and the first Theran dryads were simply of the dual type Dryad Nymph. The issue of the creature type was further compounded when Dryad of the Ilysian Grove from Theros Beyond Death was printed without the Dryad type. According to Ethan Fleischer, this was simply a mistake. It was rectified in the Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths Oracle changes.
Dryads on Ixalan are protectors of the forest and the only force on the plane not searching for Orazca. Although dryads abstain from the search for the golden city, they are most allied with the River Heralds who live in harmony with nature. However, they have been known to heal the wounded of any race in Ixalan's jungles by sharing their own life force, as they despise seeing others suffer.
Mercadian dryads live in secluded forests, most prominent in the Rushwood. They are able to enter and leave trees at will and defend themselves with their poisonous breath. Most of their tools are drawn from the living wood of the most ancient trees.
The dryads of Mirrodin are a curiosity on the plane. With the advance of organic life on the plane through Memnarch's soul traps, dryads formed from the copper trees of the Tangle. Their fate following the Phyrexian corruption of the plane is unknown.
The Dryads of Ravnica are closely aligned with the Selesnya Conclave. Dryads are believed to be in contact with the "Worldsoul" and Mat'Selesnya, the parun of the guild, was formed from the union of multiple dryads. The dryads known as the Trostani act as guildmasters and dryads that are collectively called the Conclave seek to spread the message of Mat'Selesnya among the people of Ravnica.
The leafy hair of Ravnican dryads changes color with the seasons.
Dryads are often found in service of Nylea, though Karametra is frequently accompanied by the creatures as well. Nylea herself often takes a green-skinned form resembling a dryad. One of Nylea's most trusted and beloved companions was Arasta, a dryad that was later warped and transformed into a monstrous spider creature by the bitter god Phenax. Dryads are also known to greet deceased individuals found worthy to spend eternity in Ilysia.
- Wrenn, a dryad planeswalker who fuses with a treefolk to travel the multiverse. She is currently seen with her sixth treefolk.
- Ethan Fleischer (January 24, 2020). "Dryads and Nymphs: A Magic: The Gathering history.". Twitter.
- Eli Shiffrin (April 10, 2020). "Ikoria Oracle Changes". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- James Wyatt (January 9, 2018). "Plane Shift: Ixalan". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- The Magic Creative Team (August 22, 2012). "Planeswalker's Guide to Return to Ravnica: Part 1". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- James Wyatt (January 2019), "The Art of Magic: The Gathering - Ravnica". Wizards of the Coast
- The Magic Creative Team (September 04, 2013). "Planeswalker's Guide to Theros, Part 3". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Wizards RPG Team (2020), D&D Mythic Odysseys of Theros, Wizards of the Coast