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Izzet League
Izzet Logo
Alternative Names
The Magewrights[1]
Lore Information
Parun Niv-Mizzet
Guild Leader Niv-Mizzet (now the Living Guildpact)
Ral Zarek (incumbent)
Guild Champion Tibor and Lumia
Guild Hall Nivix
Game Information
Colors {U}{R}
Mechanics Replicate
(Return to Ravnica)
(Guilds of Ravnica)
Featured Sets
Return to Ravnica
Duel Decks: Izzet vs. Golgari
Guilds of Ravnica
Signet Flavor Text
"The Izzet signet is redesigned often, each time becoming closer to a vanity portrait of Niv-Mizzet." — Izzet Signet
Scryfall Search

The Izzet League, also known as The Magewrights,[2] is a blue/red guild from the plane and city of Ravnica.[3] Introduced in Guildpact[4], the guild is also featured in Return to Ravnica, the Izzet vs. Golgari set[5] and Guilds of Ravnica.

GRN Izzet basic lands

Izzet basic lands from Guilds of Ravnica

Background[ | ]

The Izzet League is charged with attending to Ravnican civic works,[6] including water supply systems, sewers, heating systems, boilers, and roadways.[2][7][8] In addition to carrying out these functions, the Izzet members — obsessive, keen, and creative intellectuals, who often have short attention spans[9] — are known to perform magical experiments, ever with reckless abandon and sometimes with spectacular but severe results.[6][10][11] In this way, they are an engineering firm run by a particularly enthusiastic research laboratory. Unlike the other guilds, the Izzet do not openly strive for hegemony of the city and the plane. Instead, integral to the Izzet League, a guild of masters of both theoretical and applied science and spellcraft, is the passionate seeking of, and thirst for, knowledge.[12] Combined with their drive for discovery and child-like curiosity, the brilliant but capricious and whimsical Izzet magewrights jump to and from ideas as they see fit, discarding old ideas for new ones that attract their attention.[6] In this regard, they can be likened to ambivalent or benevolent mad and absent-minded scientists/professors.[13]

Similarly to the Cult of Rakdos, the Izzet League, with its worship of its parun and guildmaster of the Izzet League, Niv-Mizzet, has been described as a cult of personality.[14]

Niv-Mizzet[ | ]

Izzet Mage

An Izzet mage from the Wizards of the Coast Guildpact Style Guide.

Main article: Niv-Mizzet

The brilliant of Ravnica flock to Niv-Mizzet, the most intelligent being on Ravnica.[15][16] Powerful enough to live to tell the tale of his fight against the nephilim[17] and capable of seizing control of the city and plane of Ravnica,[18] Niv-Mizzet is content with not taking over Ravnica, in large part due to his fickleness and odium for monotony, as ruling and running Ravnica would become tedious.[15]

Although varieties of dragon-kin, such as drakes, wyverns, and wurms, are present in Ravnica, Niv-Mizzet is said to be the last true dragon.[18] As would be reasonably expected of him due to his vanity, Niv-Mizzet has numerous lesser clones of himself; other than as his underlings, the full purpose of these dragon clones, however, remains unknown.[18] Testimonies to the significance as well as vanity of Niv-Mizzet is reflected in the uniforms of Izzet League members and the names of inventions or structures, such as Mizzium, a metal invented by Niv-Mizzet; Nivix, the guild hall of the Izzet League;[19] and Izzet, the name of the guild itself.[15][20] The alchemically-boosted clothing of the Izzet are flamboyant, with bright fabrics dyed in the colors of their draconic leader's scales and shiny metals.[3]

Niv-Mizzet is conducting a scattered, grand meta-project he calls the Interlocus.[21] The purpose of the Interlocus—and indeed, its existence at all—is difficult to detect, as the sheer range and number of experiments that feed into it would fail to suggest any kind of pattern to most observers.

Izmundi[ | ]

The servants of Niv-Mizzet who make up his court are referred to as the Izmundi.[21] Niv-Mizzet uses them to guide his machinations and to keep him abreast of the happenings in the wider world. The Izmagnus are the most powerful members of the Izmundi court, and form a smaller board with five to seven members (some members' identities remain secret) who serve as Niv-Mizzet's closest advisors. Even members of the Izmagnus are not privy to Niv-Mizzet's highest-level plans and goals.

Ral Zarek[ | ]

Main article: Ral Zarek

Ral Zarek is a blue and red-aligned planeswalker, born to the city plane of Ravnica and a high-ranking guildmage to the Izzet League. During his ascension, he thought to have managed to hide this fact from Niv-Mizzet, a very impressive task. Ral is the chief researcher investigating the ancient codes laid out in the Tenth District, the leylines and secrets that make up the Implicit Maze that so fascinates Niv-Mizzet. Ral then takes the role as the Izzet's maze runner after killing Melek.

Chemisters, blast-seekers and mech-mages[ | ]

The Izzet chemisters are alchemists who forge mizzium and other elements into arcane tools.[21] They experiment with new alloys, energies, and runic markings. The chemisters are highly competitive, which often leads to spirited rivalries and petty in-fighting. Blastseekers are Izzet mages who wield and control the arcane tools devised by the chemisters. Sometimes the blastseekers manipulate orbs of elemental energy that float in mutual orbits, crackling concentric disks of power, or streams of lava-bubbling water. Izzet blast-seekers and chemisters might have up to forty attendants, most of whom are vedalken, due to their natural focus and organizational skills. Mech-mages make use of all sorts of inventions and artifacts.

Laboratories[ | ]

The Izzet League is organized into units designated as laboratories that specialize in certain fields of research.[22] Though they all operate under the general guidance of the lzmundi, each laboratory is typically left alone to conduct its research.

  • The Laboratory of Pyrology has a prominent facility in the guildhall, Nivix. Its emphasis is on heat, fire, and explosion.
  • The Laboratory of Storms and Electricity focuses on controlling the weather as well as containing and conducting electrical energy. Its headquarters is in a spire atop Nivix, known as the Lightning Rod.
  • Research into smelting and forging, most often using the magical metal known as mizzium, is conducted at the Laboratory of Metallurgy, which has a small outpost in the Tenth District's Smelting Quarter.
  • The magical science of transmuting one substance to another is the study of the Laboratory of Alchemy.
  • The Laboratory of Orientation, concerned with teleportation and spatial recombination, has multiple Workshops that seem to appear and disappear at random.
  • The Laboratory of Mimeography studies means of duplication.
  • The Laboratory of Continuism emphasizes the study of temporal manipulation.
  • Research into counter-magic and redirection takes place in the Laboratory of Arcane Geometry, which has a small presence in Prism University in the Tenth District.
  • The Laboratory of Gravitational Inversion researches means of flight and maintains a workshop near Augustin Station in the Tenth District.
  • The Laboratory of Plasma-Dermatology emphasizes the combining of opposing elements, to create creatures called weirds.

Weirds[ | ]

Main article: Weird

Supposedly created during the Katazar-Razblat Elemental Symposium, weirds are the semi-sentient, walking-paradox result of a fusion of elementals of opposing elements, of fire and water and earth and electricity.[20] Weirds are a creature type unique to the Izzet League, and function as ubiquitous lab assistants and "pets" of Izzet League members.[20]

The Firemind[ | ]

The Firemind is an extrasensory link with Niv-Mizzet's consciousness and omniscience, between selected, worthy Izzet League subordinates, Crixizix being one, and Niv-Mizzet himself.[18] Members of the Izzet League who are deemed worthy must first pass a test before they may communicate with Niv-Mizzet.[18]

Inventions[ | ]

Name Inventor Description Cards
Haemalectric switch Possibly Ral Zarek A small, cylindrical device that electrocutes Glistening oil.[23][24]
Projektor Kylox[16] A small brass machine with a glass screen that displays notes and drawings.[25] Information can be added using an associated stylus tipped with mizzium.
Pyrowork Shimmering cascades of magic that fill the sky with a dizzying array of colors.[26] A magical form of fireworks.

History[ | ]

Founded by parun Niv-Mizzet, an ancient, brilliant, capricious, and narcissistic dragon, the Izzet League continuously creates and destroys and is obsessively driven by a desire for discoveries.[1] Being the analog of scientists and engineers on Ravnica and the masters of innovation and spellcraft, the Izzet are also responsible for the design and implementation of most of Ravnica's infrastructure and inventions.[27] They are the only guild that comprehends metamagic, which is the understanding of how magic works.[2]

Ravnica block[ | ]

Introduced in the Magic storyline in the novel Guildpact, the Izzet League are depicted as passionate thinkers, largely via the viewpoint of Crix (later Crixizix),[28] a goblin courier who initially serves under a mage lord Zomaj Hauc but is later chosen, and promoted, by Niv-Mizzet.[18]

Return to Ravnica block[ | ]

After fighting with the Nephilim, Niv-Mizzet was not seen for a while. Former guildmages wondered what use this new-found freedom could mean for the Izzet, but without a word from their guildmaster, the Izzet League became scattered and chaotic.[17]

Most Ravnicans saw the disappearance of Niv-Mizzet as the end of the Izzet guild. It wasn't until the emergence of large Izzet works being built and strange warehouses humming with manacoils throughout the night that the Ravnicans began to change their presumptions. The ancient dragon parun didn't have to be visible to control his guild. During his absence, he used the power of the Firemind to reach out to his guildmages with a complex array of new and mysterious projects for the Izzet League to work on.[17]

Guilds of Ravnica block[ | ]

Lately, the Izmundi have been demanding more significant discoveries and faster results, so much so that chemisters have resorted to running experiments day and night for fear of losing their labs.[29] All their efforts are leading to one outcome: the development of superweapons.[30]

Niv-Mizzet knows about other planes and planeswalkers and has figured out that a threat to Ravnica is coming. He has started an experiment that should remove the Guildpact and let him empower himself, but he needs the help of the other guilds to pull it off.[30] To work on his research he has headed away from the main part of the city and has left Ral Zarek behind as acting guildleader.[31] Zarek initially appeared to be secretly in league with Nicol Bolas but later refused offers of service as relayed through Tezzeret.[32][33] After an intruder infiltrated Nivix, the Firemind revealed to Zarek that he had been aware of Ral's little secrets all along.[33]

When he failed to acquire the power of the Living Guildpact from the Interlocus, Niv-Mizzet was forced to fight Bolas on his own merits. The battle was brief, leaving only Niv's charred bones behind; however, the Firemind had been preparing for this. Zarek's role as guildmaster was confirmed by Bolas, but Ral continued to fight the elder dragon by carrying out the final orders of the Firemind. In the War of the Spark, Zarek's role was pivotal in enlisting help from the other guilds to fight the Dreadhorde and to resurrect Niv-Mizzet as the Living Guildpact.[34]

Phyrexian Invasion and aftermath[ | ]

During New Phyrexia's Invasion of the Multiverse, Vraska led the Phyrexian forces against Ravnica but was defeated by Ral Zarek with a sonic weapon attuned against the glistening oil.[23] Along with many members of the Simic Combine, numerous Izzet willingly underwent compleation out of sheer curiosity,[35] resulting in great distrust from the other guilds.[36]

Much of the rebuilding after the Invasion was spearheaded by the Izzet League, as they shelved their wild, destructive experiments in favor of reconstruction and public works projects.[37] Their unexpected dedication toward reconstruction has swayed the general populace to view them, if not favorably, in a neutral light. Much of this is thanks to Guildmaster Ral Zarek, who enforced a strict limit on personal experiments. While this practical approach had been well received by the rest of Ravnica, it caused much internal friction. Many chafed at these restrictions, and a significant number of members defected as a result. Many of these defectors have set up their own independent research labs and engineering firms, where they can continue to experiment as they like, even if it's on a smaller budget.

In the game[ | ]

Guild mechanics[ | ]

Guildpact: Replicate[ | ]

Main article: Replicate

Designed as "polycast" and with the Izzet League's in-game identity being one heavily oriented around instant and sorcery spells, replicate is a static and triggered ability that allows a card's controller to copy a spell with replicate as many times as the card's replicate cost was paid.[38]

Return to Ravnica: Overload[ | ]

Main article: Overload

Inspired by Ken Nagle's The Great Designer Search Radiate-inspired Dispersion mechanic,[39] like Replicate, Overload is a static ability solely featured on instant and sorcery spells. Unlike Replicate, however, it enables its controller to play a spell with Overload for its Overload cost to change the range of a spell from a single target to each possible target. Issues in designing and developing cards with Overload included the rarity of the cards, the playability of both sides of the cards, and the guaranteeing of a one-sided effect, without inadvertent side effects.[40]

Guilds of Ravnica: Jump-start[ | ]

Main article: Jump-start

A keyword ability on instants and sorceries that allows the player to play the spell directly from their graveyard for the additional cost of discarding a card.

Creature types[ | ]

Species and races[ | ]

Species and races associated with the Izzet League include:

Classes[ | ]

Classes associated with the Izzet League include:

Notable members[ | ]

See also[ | ]

Gallery[ | ]

References[ | ]

  1. a b Wizards of the Coast (July 25, 2008). "Planes of Existence: Ravnica". Wizards of the Coast.
  2. a b c Guildpact Player's Guide (2006). Wizards of the Coast.
  3. a b Magic Arcana (March 01, 2006). "Guildpact Style Guide: Izzet". Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Rei Nakazawa (January 9, 2006). "Signing Onto the Guildpact".
  5. Magic Arcana (August 08, 2012). "Duel Decks: Izzet vs. Golgari". Wizards of the Coast.
  6. a b c Rei Nakazawa (September 5, 2005). "Life in the Big City". Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on August 15, 2020.
  7. Magic Arcana (March 02, 2006). "Pipes and Boilers". Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Monty Ashley (November 13, 2012). "Working in the Lab". Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Magic Arcana (January 16, 2006). "Smart and a little crazy". Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Magic Arcana (February 28, 2006). "Goblin Forkomancer". Wizards of the Coast.
  11. Chris Gleeson (October 30, 2018). "Building the gUilds – Izzet League". Wizards of the Coast.
  12. Mark Rosewater (February 27, 2006). "Creative Differences". Wizards of the Coast.
  13. Guildpact Theme Deck: Izzet Gizmometry — Wizards of the Coast
  14. Barinellos (July 15, 2012). "Which current planeswalkers would make the best couple?". MTG Salvation.
  15. a b c Matt Cavotta (January 11, 2006). "Niv-Mizzet, the Fountainhead".
  16. a b Emily Teng (February 6, 2024). "The Legends (and characters) of Murders at Karlov Manor". Wizards of the Coast.
  17. a b c Adam Lee (August 29, 2012). "Ravnica, Then and Now". Wizards of the Coast.
  18. a b c d e f Cory J. Herndon. (2006.) Ravnica Cycle, Book III: Dissension, Wizards of the Coast. ISBN-13 978-0786940011.
  19. Magic Arcana (January 17, 2006). "Lurker of Nivix". Wizards of the Coast.
  20. a b c Matt Cavotta (March 1, 2006). "An In-Depth Look at the Izze- Hey, Look at That!". Wizards of the Coast.
  21. a b c Magic Creative Team (May 9, 2012). "Planeswalker's Guide to Return to Ravnica", Part 2". Wizards of the Coast.
  22. James Wyatt and Jeremy Crawford (November 2018). "D&D Guildmasters' Guide to Ravnica", Wizards of the Coast.
  23. a b Alison Lührs (March 24, 2023). "March of the Machine Ravnica: One And The Same". Wizards of the Coast.
  24. Alison Lührs (April 1, 2024). "Outlaws of Thunder Junction - Epilogue 1: Bring the End, Part 1". Wizards of the Coast.
  25. Seanan McGuire (January 15, 2024). "Episode 7: Rot Before Recovery". Wizards of the Coast.
  26. Seanan McGuire (December 5, 2023). "Murders at Karlov Manor - Episode 1: Ghosts of Our Past". Wizards of the Coast.
  27. Doug Beyer (September 02, 2009). "The Planes of Planechase". Wizards of the Coast.
  28. Cory J. Herndon. (2006.) Ravnica Cycle, Book II: Guildpact, Wizards of the Coast. ISBN-13 978-0786939893.
  29. Nicky Drayden (October 17, 2018). "Testing the Dark Waters". Wizards of the Coast.
  30. a b James Wyatt (January 2019). "The Art of Magic: The Gathering - Ravnica". Wizards of the Coast
  31. Flavor text for Command the Storm
  32. Chas Andres (October 3, 2018). "A Flavorful Guide to the Guilds of Ravnica". Wizards of the Coast.
  33. a b Django Wexler (June, 2019), The Gathering Storm/Chapter One. Del Rey.
  34. Greg Weisman (April 2019). "War of the Spark: Ravnica". Del Rey.
  35. Emily Teng (April 11, 2023). "Planeswalker's Guide to March of the Machine: The Phyrexian Invasion of the Multiverse". Wizards of the Coast.
  36. No Sparks Allowed – Aftermath Lore ft Rhystic Studies (Video). YouTube.
  37. Emily Teng (February 1, 2024). "Planeswalker's Guide to Murders at Karlov Manor". Wizards of the Coast.
  38. Aaron Forsythe (March 3, 2006). "Yes It Iz". Wizards of the Coast.
  39. Mark Rosewater (September 10, 2012). "Return on Investment, Part 2". Wizards of the Coast.
  40. Mark Rosewater (November 12, 2012). "Designing for Izzet". Wizards of the Coast.

External links[ | ]