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Mishra Eminent One
Race Phyrexian
Formerly Human
Birthplace Argive, Terisiare, Dominaria
Lifetime 0 - 64 AR?
Relatives Urza (brother)
{U} (formerly)
The Brothers' War, Planeshift

Mishra was the brother of Urza. A cruel and ruthless Argivian artificer, he had the same humble origins as his brother, eventually coming to control the western half of Terisiare (i.e. Zegon). Mishra was able to confederate various Fallaji tribes of the Western Desert under his command. Eventually, he and Urza fought a long and bloody war that came to be known as the Brothers' War. Unlike his brother, he did not become a planeswalker.[1]

History[ | ]

Early Years[ | ]

Mishra was born on the last day of the year 0 AR (Or 912 PF) to one of the noble families of Argive, one of the three coastal kingdoms of Terisiare. His older brother Urza was born on the first day of the same year.

Several years after the brothers' birth, their mother died. Afterward, their father married another member of the aristocracy, a woman who ignored the boys at best and showed them contempt at worst. In 10 AR, their father fell ill, and he arranged for them to travel to the excavation sites of Tocasia, to whom he had done a favor some years earlier. They were apprenticed to her, and unlike other children sent to her camps, they remained with her. Their father later died, leaving the boys orphaned.[2]

Apprenticeship to Tocasia[ | ]

Young Urza and Mishra

During their youth, Urza and Mishra were Tocasia's apprentices.

Tocasia's camp was located in the desert, and was populated by the more modern desert tribesmen, called the Fallaji, and by young nobles who were sent there by their parents. Over the years, Mishra grew to be the polar opposite of his brother, for his brother was cold and favored the artifacts they excavated. Mishra instead enjoyed interacting with the people at the dig sites and participated in almost all of the digs, eventually overseeing all of the digging done at Tocasia's camp.

While studying the Thran, an ancient race whose machines were the main reason for Tocasia's camp, Urza discovered that all of the sites where large amounts of Thran devices were found seemed to circle a central point. Tocasia, Urza, and Mishra flew to this place in an ornithopter, a Thran flying machine found by Mishra and his brother. Once there they found a large Thran city, which Urza named Koilos, the Argivian word for "secret". They landed and wandered among the ruins of the city, and when they finally got to the center of the city they found a great machine powered by a Thran powerstone. While inspecting the machine there was an explosion; when they awoke from the aftermath each brother was holding one-half of the great stone in his hand.

After the explosion, each brother became increasingly hostile toward the other. The stones seemed to have odd effects on both living and nonliving things. Urza's stone, which he named the Mightstone, seemed to make things stronger than normally possible, while Mishra's stone sapped the strength from both artifacts and living creatures. Urza named this the Weakstone. Another effect the visit to Koilos had was that Mishra had disturbing dreams about darkness, trying to lure him somewhere.

One night, an inebriated Mishra went to confront Urza and tried to take the stone from him. The fight was heard around the camp, and when Tocasia tried to stop the brothers she was caught between the powers surging from the two stones and died. Mishra, ashamed of what he had caused, fled into the desert amid the confusion that followed.

Fallaji Rakiq[ | ]

Mishra traveled through the desert, lured to Koilos by the darkness in his dreams. Before he could reach it, he was captured by the Suwwardi, a militant faction of the Fallaji, who enslaved him and took his Weakstone. He was forced to do all sorts of menial tasks until he was discovered by Hajar, a young Fallaji who had been at Tocasia's camp. Hajar convinced the Qadir (the all-powerful), or leader, of the Suwwardi to appoint Mishra as rakiq, or teacher, to his young son, teaching him the language of Argive. Mishra's lot improved for a few years, but the Qadir began to worry about his son. In Fallaji culture, it was seen as a weakness to rely on others, so the Qadir began to consider having Mishra killed so his son would not rely on him.

Bitter Reunion

That plan never developed, for one night, Mishra had another disturbing dream, of a mechanical parody of nature. He awoke screaming but had no time to dwell on his dream, for a giant mechanical beast in the shape of a dragon appeared from under the sands and started rampaging, slaying the Qadir and many others. Mishra and Hajar used this confusion to retrieve the Weakstone, hoping that Mishra could weaken it, but to everyone's surprise, Mishra found he could directly control the dragon instead.

The Qadir's son became the new Qadir and appointed Mishra his Raki, or Wizard. The two set about using the dragon engine, or Mak Fawa, to unify the Fallaji people under the Suwwardi. Soon after this campaign of reunification began, Mishra encountered Ashnod, who apprenticed herself to him after he was impressed by her invention, the Staff of Zegon. Mishra eventually built a foundry from the trunk of a massive fallen tree in the Kher Ridges.[3]

In the wake of a failed peace summit between the Yotians and the Fallaji and Mishra's acquisition of several new dragon engines, Mishra proposed a second summit. Amid the negotiations, he convinced Kayla to sleep with him and steal Urza's Mightstone, likely out of jealousy and Mishra's need to possess what his brother had. After Urza discovered them and reclaimed his stone, Mishra fled the summit, and Urza spent the next few months attempting to hunt him down. However, Mishra had planned for this — Urza's absence left Yotia undefended, allowing Mishra to launch an all-out attack on its capital, Kroog. During the siege that followed, Ashnod chose to murder the Qadir, leading to Mishra succeeding him as leader of the Fallaji.[4]

Pawn of Gix[ | ]

Mishra Claimed by Gix

Seduced by Gix, Mishra becomes a Phyrexian.

Towards the height of the Brothers' War, both sides became infiltrated by a group of fanatical, machine-worshipping priests called the Brotherhood of Gix. Though they largely had to work from the shadows within Urza's domain, the Brotherhood was openly accepted within Mishra's, and formed the bulk of his artificer forces, subsuming Mishra's attempts at discovering and educating promising artificers.

They also created a wedge in the relationship that was already shaky between Mishra and Ashnod, and before too long, they became Mishra's council. It is unknown exactly when, but at some point, Mishra was betrayed by them and turned over to Gix. Based on hints of Ashnod's last talk with Tawnos, it was likely before he arrived on the island he and Urza were fighting over. Gix had sworn to slay both of the brothers long ago; the Brotherhood of Gix told Mishra they had ways to make him stronger as old age and a lung disease began to weaken him. At this point, it is speculated that Mishra was brought to Phyrexia and either slain by Gix, who had Mishra's skin stretched out over some form of construct that replaced him, or Mishra was turned into a Phyrexian of his own accord and still retained his true self when he had his final battle with Urza.

Final Punishment[ | ]

Mishra Lost to Phyrexia

In a final act to defeat Urza, Mishra merges with his Dragon Engine.

In the battle of Argoth, Urza revealed Mishra to be a construct of flesh and Phyrexian metal.[5] When Mishra completely abandoned his humanity to attack his brother, Urza released an enormous burst of power that destroyed both Mishra and the sentient forest they were fighting over.

During the events of Apocalypse, Urza, mesmerized by the sights of Phyrexia, abandoned his fight and descended deep into the core of the world of glistening oil to bow before Yawgmoth. On his way, he met the body of Mishra deep in the Center of Phyrexia, wrecked with fresh pain and torments day in, and day out, asking his brother to help him out. However, as the entirety of Phyrexia is the direct product of Yawgmoth, and adding to that the somewhat unstable state of Urza's mind at the moment (or rather one could say it was never stable, especially about his brother's demise), we can not be sure if it was Mishra, who somehow survived the Sylex Blast; an apparition presented by Yawgmoth to further stress and confuse the great planeswalker; or merely Urza's hallucination.

Simulacrum[ | ]

In 4562 AR, Jodah opened the Starfield Orb left by Urza. This orb contained a pocket dimension of the cabin Urza had stayed in on Gulmany. It contained numerous plans of Urza's, a myriad of copies of The Antiquities War, and constructs of Mishra and Xantcha, who greeted Jodah.[6]

Story appearances[ | ]

Title Author Publishing date Set Setting (plane) Featuring
The Brothers' War - Chapter 2: Antiquities Reinhardt Suarez 2022-10-24 The Brothers' War Dominaria, Kaladesh Saheeli Rai, Kaya, Gonti, Jodah, Jhoira, Sharaman, Xantcha, Mishra

Artifacts acquired[ | ]

Trivia[ | ]

  • In early sources, Urza and Mishra were described as twin brothers.[7]
  • In an alternate reality, Urza and Mishra were elementalists rather than artificers.[8]

Gallery[ | ]

In-game references[ | ]

Represented in:
Associated cards:
Depicted in:
Quoted or referred to:
^† Scryfall does not record flavor text for digital cards. See Alchemy: The Brothers' War/Flavor text

References[ | ]

  1. Jeff Grubb (1998). The Brothers' War. Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Jay Annelli (2022). Magic: The Gathering - The Visual Guide, DK. ISBN-13 978-0744061055.
  3. Journey to the Past to Save the Future – The Brothers’ War (Video). Magic: The Gathering. YouTube (October 20, 2022).
  4. Miguel Lopez (October 24, 2022). "The Brothers' War - Episode 4: The Ink of Empires".
  5. Wizards of the Coast (July 2006). "Ask Wizards - July 2006". Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Reinhardt Suarez (October 24, 2022). "The Brothers' War - Chapter 2: Antiquities". Wizards of the Coast.
  7. John Tynes (April 1995). ""An Expansion Timeline"". The Duelist: A Special Preview Edition. Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Doug Beyer (March 1, 2007). "Backwards Through the Looking Glass". Wizards of the Coast.
  9. a b c Brady Dommermuth (November 13, 2006). "The Legends of Time Spiral". Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on May 5, 2016.
  10. a b c Mark Rosewater (November 14, 2022). "The Brothers' War Card Stories, Part 1".
  11. Mike McArtor (December 2, 2014). "The 2014 Holiday Card". Wizards of the Coast.