Domri Rade (deceased)
Current incumbent unknown (probably Borborygmos)
|Signet Flavor Text|
|"Gruul territorial markings need not be legible. The blood, snot, and muck used to smear them are unmistakably Gruul." — Gruul Signet|
- 1 Background
- 2 Creatures and races
- 3 Notable Gruul
- 4 In the game
- 5 Preconstructed theme Gruul Decks
- 6 Gallery
- 7 References
- 8 Sources
Before and for a short time after the signing of the Guildpact, the Gruul Clans were a wild and noble guild charged with maintaining the wild places on Ravnica. They were supposed to keep civilization in check. Civilization and the other nine guilds, however, overran every wild place on the plane. This changed the Gruul.
As the wilds were torn down, so too were the Gruul's responsibilities taken from them. The Simic claimed jurisdiction over nature's future. The Selesnya preached about nature in order to bring it into its conclave. With their responsibilities taken over by others, they were seen as outside of the Guildpact and the Azorius began to write them out of the law. Outside the law, the Boros were not required to protect them and the Orzhov were free to enslave them.
The Gruul decentralized, lacking any sort of real leadership. The guild became nothing but a loose affiliation of clans. Exploited and ignored, they started to take any reason to cause chaos, any reason to destroy a symbol of civilization. Most Gruul hold contempt for those outside the Clans, referring to them as "cobble roaches".
It is common for Gruul clans to raid an area, destroy it just like the Rakdos, and live there until the resources gleaned from the destructive raid are used up. Once that happens, they move on to a new area, leaving smoldering ruins in their wake. They observe few consistent traditions but love to celebrate Rauck-Chauv, an irregular festival characterized by several days of rioting, feasting, looting, and destruction.
For a long time, Borborygmos was the largest and angriest of many large and angry clan leaders. He wasn't the official guildleader of the Gruul, as there is little official about the guild, but when he gave orders, the Gruul listened. As his orders were in line with the rage of the abused guild, they were happy to do so. With Bolas urging, the planeswalker Domri Rade challenged and defeated the aging Borborygmos by setting waves of beasts on the cyclops. Borborygmos wasn't killed, but he lost the Gruuls' respect. Currently, he is living as a Trog in the Rubblebelt.
There is also Ulasht, the Hate Seed. Though it isn't a part of any clan, it is revered by many Gruul as a natural embodiment of pure destruction and mindless rage.
Rite of passage
The rites of becoming Gruul, whether you have come from outside the guild or are marking your entrance into adulthood, centers around being buried alive. When one enters the shallow grave, the person they were before is dead. Their past wrongs and errors are forgotten, but so are their past accomplishments. No matter how well you proved yourself in battle before, when you rise from the earth you are untested. The clan leaders recognize you only when you earn glory in battle as a Gruul.
There are seven Clans that currently make up the Gruul. New clans occasionally form under ambitious Gruul warlords, and meanwhile, other clans are occasionally challenged, defeated, and wiped out.
- The Burning Tree Clan is the most influential in the guild, and is also the clan of Borborygmos. It is the fiercest clan, as well as the largest and most diverse. They make sure that everyone in the Clans remembers who has held them down and destroyed their guild and then lets that rage loose on civilization. They are often tattooed with the Burning Tree symbol. The Ravnican population considers this as the crest for the entire Gruul guild.
- The Scab Clan is the most violent of the Gruul Clans. This is because every member of it has been tortured, mutilated, or crippled by the organizations of civilization. They display their scars and body modifications as expressions of their terrible rage. The members of this clan make up for physical deficiency by cooperating with each other. Their leader is a corpulent Giant, known as Narbulg Nine Fingers.
- Of all the clans, the Ghor Clan executes the most frequent and savage assaults on Ravnican citizenry. The clan typically creates encampments close to heavily populated Ravnican districts. Their leader is Ruric Thar.
- The Bolrac Clan (named after an ancient Ravnican word for heavy hammers) is mainly composed of Ogres, Cyclopes, Trolls and Giants, who share a love for bringing down massive structures using mauls and battering rams. Their leadership changes frequently, sometimes even daily.
- The Slizt Clan, in contrast, are more skulker, and trust stealth attacks and using high ground to their advantage. They mainly consist of Viashino and humans. The other clans call them cowards but are cautious to avoid Slizt territory.
- The Zhur-Taa Clan (also called the skull bleachers) is the most religious of the Clans, claiming to practice pre-guild rites known as the "Old Ways". They worship the Utmungr, "gods of the deep earth," and await the awakening of Ilharg, the Raze Boar, an ancient boar god who will mount a fiery rampage and raze the over-civilized world once and for all. Their leader is a centaur, known as Nikya. Zhur-Taa druids are adept at summoning and training beasts as war-companions and mounts.
- The Gravel Hide Clan, a relatively new group, believes that resilience is the truest measure of strength. They have a reputation for shrugging off devastating attacks. Their leader is a hot-tempered goblin, Skorik Boulder Tooth.
Besides the clans there are the solitary wandering Trogs, fierce independent warriors who traverse the rubblebelts as apex predators.
The druids of the Old Ways believe that civilization will never be eradicated by scattered raids and petty skirmishes. They cling to the idea of a coming apocalypse, the End-Raze, when Ilharg's hooves will trample every brick and stone of Ravnica's soaring skylines to rubble. The world will return to a state of nature in which the lawless code of muscle and savagery will reign once again. With the growing unrest between the guilds of Ravnica and the ascension of Domri Rade as guildleader, it was thought that the time of the End-Raze had come.
War of the Spark
Creatures and races
Creatures and races associated with the Gruul include the following:
In the game
The Gruul's special ability in Guildpact was Bloodthirst: when a creature with bloodthirst comes into play, if an opponent was dealt damage that turn, the creature comes into play with a fixed number of +1/+1 counters (exception: Petrified Wood-kin has Bloodthirst X, meaning that it comes into play with counters equal to the total damage dealt to all opponents that turn).
Bloodrush from Gatecrash allows players to discard creature cards in order to give an attacking creature a temporary power/toughness boost equal to the power and toughness of the discarded creature card.
Ravnica Allegiance: Riot
Preconstructed theme Gruul Decks
60 cards deck:
- Magic Arcana (February 01, 2006). "Guildpact style guide: Gruul". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- James Wyatt (January 2019). "The Art of Magic: The Gathering - Ravnica'". Wizards of the Coast
- James Wyatt and Jeremy Crawford (November 2018). "D&D Guildmasters' Guide to Ravnica", Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana (January 31, 2006). "Sketches: Scab-Clan Mauler". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Greg Weisman (April 2019). "War of the Spark: Ravnica". Del Rey.
- Magic Arcana (February 02, 2006). "The Gruul Troll". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater (March 04, 2013). "Designing for Gruul". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Aaron Forsythe (February 03, 2006). "Gruuling Workout". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Matt Cavotta (February 1, 2006). "Rage Against the Machine". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater (January 30, 2006). "Aaaargh!!!". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Adam Lee (December 21, 2012). "Gruul Ingenuity". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Jennifer Clarke Wilkes (April 2, 2013). "Ruric Thar". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Adam Lee (January 30, 2013). "The Burying, Part 1". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Adam Lee (March 4, 2013). "The Burying, Part 2". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Gruul Minisite (Internet Archive snapshot)
- Return to Ravnica - Gruul Clans Minisite (Internet Archive snapshot)