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Creature type
(Subtype for creature/tribal cards)
Statistics 24 cards
{W} 4.2% {U} 4.2% {B} 8.3% {R} 4.2% {G} 4.2% {W/U} 4.2% {U/B} 4.2% {B/R} 8.3% {R/G} 4.2% {G/W} 4.2% {G/U} 4.2% {M} 45.8%
as of Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths
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Elder is a creature type, first used for the Elder Dragons and later used on huge primordial entities[1] and venerable creatures to denote their importance. Since it never stands without a race it is effectively a class.

History[edit | edit source]

Originally, the creature type was only used on the Elder Dragons of Legends, and like most old creature types, it was meant to be read as a unified creature type (much like Ali-from-Cairo or Lord of Atlantis) and described a specific race: they were not "Elder" and "Dragon", they were "Elder Dragons".

The creature type was then unsupported for a long time,[2][3] meaning that while it wasn't removed from the existing cards, it wasn't added to new ones. The subtype was retained because of how iconic the cycle of dragons from Legends was.

Starting with Dragons of Tarkir, the type Elder was finally brought back, this time used to describe the venerable age of a cycle of Dragon Lords whose importance creative wanted to emphasize. Interestingly, they decided to un-retire the type Elder instead of the type Lord because the connection with the original Elder Dragons was meant as a homage; but it unfortunately created some confusion as to whether or not these new dragons were members of the same race as the old ones.[4]

Following the un-retirement of the subtype, it started being used more regularly with Rivals of Ixalan featuring six Elder Dinosaurs, the first Elders that weren't Dragons, followed by an Elder Demon in Dominaria, as well as two Elder Giants in Theros Beyond Death.

The Elder Dragons of Dominaria[edit | edit source]

The vast power of the ancient Elder Dragons of Dominaria[5] was said to rival that of planeswalkers. At least two of them, Nicol Bolas and Ugin, became planeswalkers themselves. They participated in the Elder Dragon War, a conflict that shook the plane of Dominaria and killed most of their kind. Early storyline sources referred to them with the title of Dominia,[6] but with the release of the story for Core 2019, it seems that the Elder Dragon War took place only on the plane of Dominaria.

The Elder Dragons of Tarkir[edit | edit source]

The creature type returned after 21 years in Dragons of Tarkir to emphasize the importance of these dragonlords.[7] While not members of the Elder Dragon race, the creature type was used to represent their great age and the respect they command (tying in with the theme of time travel of the block) and to pay direct homage to Legends's cycle of dragons. It was later revealed that they are the direct descendants of Ugin.[8]

The Elder Dinosaurs of Ixalan[edit | edit source]

The tale of the Elder Dinosaurs had taken Huatli the longest to memorize, an agonizing two years to lock in her mind in its entirety.[9] They were ancient and wild, utterly untamable, the greatest of the dinosaurs.

The Elder Demon of Dominaria[edit | edit source]

The mightiest of the four demons that had struck a bargain with Liliana Vess.

The Titans of Theros[edit | edit source]

The Titans of Theros are Elder Giants.[1]

Notes[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. a b Ethan Fleischer (January 7, 2020). "I got really excited about the titans from Greek mythology.". Twitter.
  2. Doug Beyer (July 7, 2013). "Elder as a creature type". A Voice for Vorthos. Tumblr.
  3. Doug Beyer (July 5, 2013). "Ideas of using the Elder type more". A Voice for Vorthos. Tumblr.
  4. Doug Beyer (March 2, 2015). "WHY is Silumgar an Elder Dragon?". A Voice for Vorthos. Tumblr.
  5. Elder Dragons (comic)
  6. Squirle (March 4, 2015). "A Historian's Guide to Elder Dragons.". Multiverse in Review. Tumblr.
  7. Doug Beyer (March 2, 2015). "WHY is Silumgar an Elder Dragon?". A Voice for Vorthos. Tumblr.
  8. Kate Elliott (August 1, 2018). "Chronicle of Bolas: A Familar Stranger". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  9. R&D Narrative Team (January 24, 2018). "The Arbiter of Law Left Chaos in His Wake". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Doug Beyer (January 16, 2015). "Is Ugin an Elder Dragon like Nicol Bolas?". A Voice for Vorthos. Tumblr.
  11. Doug Beyer (December 19, 2007). "Folk of the Non-Pines". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  12. Greg Weisman (April 2019). "War of the Spark: Ravnica". Del Rey