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House Dimir
Dimir Logo
Alternative Names
The Unseen,
The Tenth Guild
Lore Information
Parun Szadek
Guild Leader Szadek (deceased)
Lazav (incumbent)
Guild Champion Circu
Mirko Vosk
Guild Hall Duskmantle
Game Information
Colors {U}{B}
Mechanics Transmute
(Ravnica: City of Guilds)
(Guilds of Ravnica)
Featured Sets
Ravnica: City of Guilds
Guilds of Ravnica
Signet Flavor Text
"An emblem of a secret guild, the Dimir insignia is only seen by its own members — and the doomed." — Dimir Signet
Scryfall Search

House Dimir, also called The Unseen and The Tenth Guild,[1] is the blue/black guild from the plane and city of Ravnica. Introduced in Ravnica: City of Guilds, the guild is also featured in Gatecrash and Guilds of Ravnica.[2]

GRN Dimir basic lands

Dimir basic lands from Guilds of Ravnica

Background[ | ]

House Dimir is a guild of secrecy, manipulation, and underhanded deals. They are a shadowy organization operating behind the scenes to twist Ravnica to its ends.[3][4][5] Previously a conspiracy only the most senior management of Ravnica knew of, the Decamillenial ousted them to the public. The guild provides knowledge brokering in all its forms, starting from the basics of journalism, public archives, and education; scaling up to blackmail, espionage, and counter-intelligence; with smuggling, burglary, assassination, and other illegal services at the top, with the contacts getting more and more obscure each time.

House Dimir was founded by the ancient vampire Szadek. The vampire was one of the ten paruns who signed the Guildpact and remained in charge of the guild for the subsequent 10,000 years. One of the crucial clauses of the Guildpact was that none of the signatories (including Szadek) could reveal the existence of the Dimir to Ravnica's people, protecting the guild's anonymity while forcing it to remain hidden. This created a flaw in the Guildpact's structure that would eventually allow it to be broken.

For a long time, the guild officially didn't exist. The Ravnican people generally believed that there were only nine guilds and that if there ever was a tenth, it had dissolved thousands of years ago. The name Dimir was not known by most people and those who did know it believed it to be a myth, children's story, or a paranoid conspiracy theory. This misinformation was actively propagated by Dimir themselves as a method for avoiding suspicion. The Guildpact's spell was finally broken when Agrus Kos arrested Szadek, which exposed him and House Dimir to the public. After the first Guildpact, the Dimir were allowed a public face, represented by couriers, librarians, private investigators, media reporters, and archivists.

The guild operates on a strictly need-to-know basis on three levels: the overt face of the guild that the general public is allowed to see, the covert inner guild that Ravnicans suspect exists, but rarely see, and a deeper, clandestine level that is hidden even from its members.[6] At the top of its hierarchy is the leader. Only he is fully aware of all of the guild's activities. Beneath him are the necrosages, who oversee the guild's activities from Duskmantle. They manipulate the flow of information, keeping the guild informed on all things whilst keeping the rest of the plane ignorant. Few individuals are ever allowed to meet the guild's leaders, as instead a network of middlemen are employed to pass on messages to cells of field operatives. Agents at the very bottom of the guild only meet a mysterious individual in a back alley that gives them some basic information on their target and nothing else. Memory magic allows the Dimir to use any individual as a first-stage contact without their knowing.

Dimir's guildmages use their magic to influence the minds of others and are usually the first line of defense against informed enemies. They can send messages to operatives over distances, strike people with amnesia, magically alter memories, or even perform lobotomies on victims to cover their tracks. When arriving upon a scene, Dimir guildmages weaken their victims with a mind-dissolving black cloud, allowing for the collection of both mundane and arcane information that is used to eliminate potential threats.[3] The Dimir also practice necromancy, creating undead minions such as skeletons and wights to carry out missions. Such minions are employed as they are single-minded, easy to create and dispose of, cannot be interrogated in the event of capture, and are easily blamed on the Golgari instead. Spirits are also used by the Dimir to pass on messages, carry out surveillance invisibly, or even possess important figures such as judges and senators. Nobody is beyond the reach of House Dimir.

History[ | ]

Guilds of Ravnica Dimir

The Dimir as featured in Guilds of Ravnica

Ravnica block[ | ]

Szadek, as leader of House Dimir, is the main antagonist of the Ravnica novel, manipulating Savra and the Selesnya Conclave to do his bidding and kill Mat'Selesnya. He is ultimately defeated when Jarad takes control of the lupus and forces them to attack him. After that, he is arrested by Agrus Kos, and imprisoned by the Azorius who secretly executes him.

After the events of the Dissension novel, a new Guildpact is formed that does not recognize the House Dimir as an official guild. However, the district of Agyrem reappeared within Ravnica and is under Szadek's (now a spirit) control (he can easily control the other spirits that inhabit it), which means that the guild is still operational and possibly stronger than ever.

Return to Ravnica block[ | ]

Although not officially recognized as a guild under Teysa Karlov's non-magical Guildpact, House Dimir is still active under Lazav's leadership. The fact that the general populace now knows of their existence required adopting a public face, so the lower-ranking members serve as couriers, investigators, reporters, and archivists.[7][8]

The true power of the guild still lies in the network of spies, assassins, and thieves.

Guilds of Ravnica[ | ]

Lazav came to suspect that something was undermining the guilds, and actively sought to uncover its source.[9] The Dimir was an organization of powerful agents led by a master strategist and their world was being threatened by an organization of even more powerful agents led by an even more brilliant strategist. Bolas represented a direct threat to House Dimir's existence by rendering all its scheming obsolete.[6] Lazav managed to find and kill the infiltrators in his guild.[10] Afterward he attended the guild summit where he pledged his guild to the alliance that planned to oppose Bolas.[11]

War of the Spark[ | ]

Lazav actively participated in the War of the Spark. With Chandra Nalaar, Saheeli Rai, and the Azorius arrester Lavinia, he was sent to shut off the Immortal Sun, which was guarded by Dovin Baan.[12] Lazav disguised himself as Chandra, which allowed the real Chandra to disable the Immortal Sun. Lazav defeated Dovin and left him blinded, forcing him to planeswalk away.

Along with the other guildmasters, Lazav participated in a ritual led by Nissa to resurrect Niv-Mizzet and grant him the power of the Living Guildpact.

Phyrexian Invasion and aftermath[ | ]

Never comfortable with how public they were forced to become during the War of the Spark, the Dimir had been making a concerted effort to erase their existence from the public mind again when the Phyrexians arrived on Ravnica.[13] Under cover of the invasion, they staged the elimination of their entire leadership, complete with eyewitnesses and overwhelming physical evidence. With such a drastic blow to the guild, it seemed only natural that afterward they were reduced to the bare minimum of surveillance and information-gathering activities as they limped along, seemingly without direction or guidance. Across Ravnica, House Dimir was rumored to be abandoned or gone.[14] Even among the Dimir, no one is entirely sure who or what is in charge, adding a convincingly genuine sheen of ambiguity to the ruse.

The Dimir continued to openly print and circulate Ravnica's most well-read news sheets, but secretly, they also operated many other, smaller news sheets around the city — each with a different, frequently contradictory perspective, which allowed them to maintain a fiction of independence.[13] This way, they could selectively curate what information the public had access to and continue to deflect public attention from their activities. Many of the other guilds suspected that the Dimir were more active than they claimed to be but were largely too preoccupied with their affairs to devote much time or energy to substantiating rumors.

In the game[ | ]

Guild mechanics[ | ]

Ravnica: City of Guilds: Transmute[ | ]

The Dimir game mechanic is Transmute: it allows a player to pay the transmute cost of a given card, discard it, and search their library for a card with the same converted mana cost as the discarded card.[15][16]

Gatecrash: Cipher[ | ]

The Dimir game mechanic in Gatecrash is Cipher, which allows a player to encode a cast spell on a creature, casting a copy of it for free each time the creature deals combat damage to an enemy player. Another mechanic frequently appearing on this guild's cards is milling, which allows a player to win the game by removing cards from their opponent's library. A special variant of mill called Grind appears on many Dimir cards in the Return to Ravnica block.[17] While Magic is set up so there is a large amount of hidden information at any given time, there are always ways to use an inequity in that information to your advantage — a specialty of the Dimir.[18]

Guilds of Ravnica: Surveil[ | ]

The Dimir mechanic in Guilds of Ravnica is Surveil.[19] Surveil is similar to scry, in that it allows the player to look at that many cards from the top of their library and organize them. However, rather than putting cards on the bottom of the library like scry, it puts cards in the graveyard.

Creature types[ | ]

Species and races[ | ]

Species and races associated with House Dimir include:

Classes[ | ]

Classes associated with House Dimir include:

Notable members[ | ]

Gallery[ | ]

References[ | ]

  1. (2005). Ravnica: City of Guilds Player's Guide. Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Chas Andres (October 3, 2018). "A Flavorful Guide to the Guilds of Ravnica". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. a b Matt Cavotta (November 9, 2005). "The House That Lies Built". Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on January 20, 2017.
  4. Magic Arcana (November 8, 2005). "Ravnica Style Guide: Dimir". Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Chris Gleeson (October 19, 2018). "Building the Guilds – House Dimir". Wizards of the Coast.
  6. a b James Wyatt (January 2019). "The Art of Magic: The Gathering - Ravnica". Wizards of the Coast
  7. Jeremy Jarvis (January 23, 2013). "The Art of Gatecrash". Wizards of the Coast.
  8. The Magic Creative Team (December 05, 2012). "Planeswalker’s Guide to Gatecrash: Part 1".
  9. Flavor text for Sinister Sabotage
  10. Django Wexler (July 11, 2019), The Gathering Storm, Chapter Six.
  11. Django Wexler (August 14, 2019), The Gathering Storm, Chapter Ten.
  12. Greg Weisman (April 2019). "War of the Spark: Ravnica". Del Rey
  13. a b Emily Teng (February 1, 2024). "Planeswalker's Guide to Murders at Karlov Manor". Wizards of the Coast.
  14. No Sparks Allowed – Aftermath Lore ft Rhystic Studies (Video). YouTube.
  15. Mark Rosewater (November 7, 2005). "Pretty Sneaky Sis". Wizards of the Coast.
  16. Aaron Forsythe (November 11, 2005). "Secrets of the Secret Guild". Wizards of the Coast.
  17. Mark Rosewater (March 18, 2013). "Designing for Dimir". Wizards of the Coast.
  18. Sam Stoddard (March 22, 2013). "The Nature of Secrecy". Wizards of the Coast.
  19. Matt Tabak (September 4, 2018). "Guilds of Ravnica Mechanics". Wizards of the Coast.

See also[ | ]

External links[ | ]