Dwarf

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Dwarf
Dwarf.jpg
Creature Type
(Subtype for creature/tribal cards)
Statistics 88 cards
{W} 36.4% {U} 1.1% {B} 2.3% {R} 48.9% {R/W} 11.4%
as of Commander 2021
Scryfall Search
type:"Dwarf"

Dwarves are very similar to Humans but shorter. Many males wear long beards and live in mines, although some of them are known to live outside the mountains and even on islands.[1]

The first card to bear the creature type was Dwarven Warriors in Alpha. Dwarves are mainly red and sometimes other colors – in Shadowmoor they were pushed towards red/white, and as of Kaladesh the emphasis towards white continues.[2] Because dwarves fill the same role in the game as goblins, small red creatures, they are often absent.[3][4] Since Eventide, dwarves were often absent,[5] but were reintroduced in the Kaladesh block.

Storyline[edit | edit source]

Dominaria[edit | edit source]

A female dwarf
A male dwarf

The dwarves of Dominaria are few in number and have been dwindling in population due to the plane's string of catastrophic events.

Jamuraan Dwarves[edit | edit source]

These dwarves live in the Ekundu Mountains between Suq'Ata and Femeref. When the Suq'Atans settled on their land, the dwarves journeyed south, where they made an alliance with Femeref. This alliance led to tension between Femeref and Zhalfir when the amount of gold coming from the Femeref mines suddenly increased greatly thanks to dwarven technology.

Pardic Dwarves[edit | edit source]

These dwarves lived in the Pardic Mountains on Otaria alongside several human barbarian tribes. The Pardic dwarves were hardy miners and doughty warriors inclined toward passionate, explosive personalities.[6] They exulted in battle, favoring swarm tactics supplemented by fire magic and destruction of enemy resources. Some of these dwarves were enslaved by the Cabal.

It is unknown if the Pardic dwarves survived Karona's coming and the ensuing calamity.

Sardian Dwarves[edit | edit source]

These dwarves lived in the Sardian Mountains on Terisiare during the Brothers' War. They provided the primal clay that Urza used to create his clay statues and the Colossus of Sardia. After years of service, Urza found out that the dwarves were trading with Mishra too; they eventually rose against Argive, and for this, they were slaughtered.

Their mountains were devastated during the war and their population slowly diminished during the Ice Age due to dwindling resources and predation by yetis. Whether they survived past the Ice Age is unknown.

Sarpadian Dwarves[edit | edit source]

These dwarves lived in the Dwarven Stronghold in the Sarpadian Mountains. When the climate cooled and the goblins and orcs of Sarpadia migrated away from their ancestral lands, the empire of the dwarves was the first to fall before their onslaught. In the legend of The Lady of the Mountain, it is believed that a remaining few summoned the Lady and she teleported them away. It is believed by modern dwarves that they will return to save dwarvenkind from great peril.

Stone Dwarves[edit | edit source]

A stone dwarf

Not much is known about these blue-skinned dwarves save that they practiced powerful magic harnessing the elements of earth and fire. A group of stone-dwarven Stone Druids appeared during the final stages of the Phyrexian Invasion of Dominaria and caused the volcano in which the Rathi Stronghold was situated to erupt. Their leader was Sister Nadeen Dormet. What became of the stone dwarves after the Invasion is unknown.

Eldraine[edit | edit source]

On Eldraine, Dwarves are the primary inhabitants of the Court of Embereth, and as such are heavily aligned toward red mana. They are an industrious people lead by a council. One of the council's members is Thane Torbran.

The dwarves of the Wilds of Eldraine are industrious artisans who value hard work and independence.[7] They are miners and jewelers, and control over natural resources is an important aspect of dwarf society. While most of them highly value their individual ability to take care of themselves and pull their own weight, they ultimately prefer strength in numbers. Dwarves usually choose to live in tight-knit family groups that hold claim to mineral deposits. Dwarf households are underground, carved out of massive crystal and gems and far away from natural light sources.

Kaladesh[edit | edit source]

Kaladesh dwarves lean heavily to white mana, reflecting their focus on quality and order.[8] Many are Artificers. These meticulous artisans have an unparalleled work ethic. They rely on proven tools and methods, and they relish in the physical process of construction.[9] Other Kaladeshi races claim that dwarves are unable to feel fear. Having no concept of laziness or shortcuts, dwarves are valued within the Consulate for their work ethic.[10]

Kaldheim[edit | edit source]

The dwarves of Kaldheim live in Axgard, a realm of rugged peaks and rocky flatlands.

Dwarves are renowned through all the realms for two things: perfect weapons and exquisite storytelling. They are passionately creative, with an insatiable longing to constantly improve their craft. They strive to create the sharpest swords, the most beautiful jewelry, the strongest chains—and then immortalize their deeds in song and story. They seek to build things that last, to make their mark on the world so future generations remember them. Dwarven society takes the form of sprawling loose-knit clans that congregate in certain sections of the underground city. Different clans specialize in different crafts, and though they coexist amicably enough, they also have a strong competitive streak that sometimes sets them at odds.[11]

For dwarves, a warrior and a skilled artisan are one and the same. The art of combat and the art of creation draw from the same principles of focus, patience, and constant self-improvement. Every warrior-artisan has a signature weapon, which they unveil when they become adults on their 100th birthday; Their last names are based on these weapons. Red- and white-aligned dwarves approach these processes differently, but the perfection of their craft is equally important to both.

Red-aligned[edit | edit source]

Dwarf warrior-artisans are prone to bursts of wild inspiration and get easily absorbed in their current projects. They produce weapons of staggering raw power—hammers that split the earth where they strike, blazing-hot swords that melt armor with a swing, and javelins that trail searing bolts of lightning behind them.[11]

White-aligned[edit | edit source]

Dwarf warrior-artisans are methodical and detailed. They follow disciplined processes and are capable of finer, more nuanced work than their red-aligned kin. Beautiful jewelry, armor that makes the wearer invisible, and chains forged from a wolf's tears are some examples of the handiwork of white-aligned dwarves. They are every bit as precise and meticulous in combat as they are in the forge.[11]

Chanters and Battle skalds[edit | edit source]

Skalds (dwarf clerics): hold a special place in dwarven society as the chief storytellers, the repositories of the sagas and fables that remind the dwarves of who they are. Since the dwarves keep no written history, storytellers are the bearers of an intricate oral tradition that has been passed down through countless generations. A skald is welcome in any dwarven community, always treated as an honored guest.[11]

Chanters are skalds: whose primary function is to remind the dwarves of the deeds of the past and inspire the dwarves of today to similarly heroic deeds. They tell tales of heroes to help shape new heroes; they tell tales of justice and community to strengthen the bonds of community and the commitment to justice.[11]

Battle skalds: earn their title by returning home from battle to tell the story of the battle and its heroes. Their function is to collect tales of present heroism and accomplishment. They are revered across the realms for their bravery and storytelling ability, and they're often enlisted by adventurers or even gods to bear witness to some monumental feat.[11]

Lorwyn-Shadowmoor[edit | edit source]

Duergars[edit | edit source]

Duergars. Art by Jim Pavelec.

The dwarves of Shadowmoor are small, twisted, gnome-like creatures known as duergars.[12] The duergars live isolated lives deep beneath the surface in vast mines and tunnels where they constantly toil in search of riches. They are hard workers who can labor towards a single task for decades.

Duergars are very different in appearance from most other dwarves. They have gnarled bodies with spindly limbs and oversized heads with bulbous noses and drooping ears. Duergars are bald and have no beards, though some males have stubbly chins or wispy sideburns. These dwarves are so malformed that some resemble goblins.

The duergars live so far underground that some are not even aware of the surface world or dismiss it as a myth, becoming angry or violent when their illusions are shattered. Some duergar communities are further up and open out to the surface, though, and are guarded by duergars who have grown too fat to squeeze through the deeper tunnels.

The duergars did not exist in Lorwyn before the Great Aurora, and their current fate is unknown.

Ulgrotha[edit | edit source]

The dwarves of Ulgrotha arrived on that plane through an underground portal from an unknown world. They founded a city there called New Freedom and on top of this underground city they built a fortress called the Castle of Morning Light. Some of them went to explore the rest of the plane in their ships, but while they were away Baron Sengir and his minions invaded New Freedom, chased the dwarves away, and even turned their princess Irini into a vampire whom he adopted as his daughter.

Sea Dwarves[edit | edit source]

The dwarves of the Floating Isle, called also sea dwarves, are the descendants of the dwarves that fled the mountains after Sengir's invasion and reunited with the dwarves that had left to explore Ulgrotha. They created a new home for themselves on the Floating Isle, where they were later visited by Feroz, who created the Wizards' School for them. The sea dwarves were divided into clans, like the Clan of the Gentle Wave.

Land Dwarves[edit | edit source]

The dwarven traders of Ulgrotha, known as land dwarves, stayed in the mountains when Baron Sengir took control of the Castle of Morning Light and New Freedom, vowing to eventually reclaim the castle, while the sea dwarves decided to start anew as seafarers. They don’t particularly like the sea dwarves, but the two factions are not directly hostile toward one another. Land dwarves are known for riding into battle on the back of great canines called heart wolves.

Notable dwarves[edit | edit source]

Arcavios
Dominaria
Kaladesh
Kaldheim
Ulgrotha
Eldraine

Tokens[edit | edit source]

Token Name Color Type Line P/T Text Box Source Printings
Dwarf Red Creature — Dwarf 1/1
Dwarf Berserker Red Creature — Dwarf Berserker 2/1

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Mark Rosewater (November 21, 2005). "Thirty-Two Short Columns About Dwarves". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Magic at PAX: Kaladesh World-Building Panel
  3. Mark Rosewater (February 04, 2002). "Here's Looking at You, Squid". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Magic Arcana (November 23, 2005). "Dwarves in Battle". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Matt Cavotta (November 23, 2005). "Metadwarfosis". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Magic Arcana (January 21, 2002). "The Dwarves". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Chris Mooney (October 31, 2019). "Planeswalker's Guide to Eldraine". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  8. "Planes of Existence: Kaladesh"Wizards of the Coast
  9. Magic Creative Team (November 2, 2016). "Planeswalker's Guide to Kaladesh". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Plane Shift – Kaladesh
  11. a b c d e f Ari Zirulnik and Jenna Helland (January 14, 2021). "Planeswalker's Guide to Kaldheim, Part 2". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  12. Doug Beyer (July 30, 2008). "Concepting Eventide, Part 2". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.