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Snake
Snake.jpg
Creature Type
(Subtype for creature/tribal cards)
Statistics
110 cards
{U} 4.5% {B} 18.2% {R} 0.9% {G} 62.7% {B/R} 0.9% {R/G} 1.8% {G/U} 6.4% {M} 0.9% {artifact symbol} 3.6%
as of Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate
Scryfall Search
type:"Snake"

Snake is a creature type used for cards that depict scaled, limbless, reptiles with salivary glands often modified to produce venom which is injected through grooved or tubular fangs. However, when appearing as Snake-folk they do have arms.

History[]

The first creature to bear the type was River Boa in Visions (though Crypt Cobra and Sabertooth Cobra from Mirage, the Hornet Cobra from Legends, and Nafs Asp from Antiquities were later issued errata to become Snakes). After the Grand Creature Type Update Snake became a common "tribe".

Storyline[]

Alara[]

Coatl[]

The coatl are large, winged serpents created during the Conflux on Alara. The nacatl call them "vetli", a word that means "poison arrow".[1] Wingless variants also exist, whose scales are believed to be inscribed with secrets.[2]

Amonkhet[]

Serpopards[]

Based on an actual mythological creature, serpopards are cat snakes endemic to Amonkhet. They were kept in the menagerie of the god Rhonas.

Dominaria[]

Hornet Cobras[]

Hornet Cobras were poisonous serpents. One was summoned by the Calthyn Elves while fighting against the Kieryn Elves in the White Woods of Corondor.

Dementia Snakemen[]

Dementia Snakemen were created by Chainer when he exiled the First to Aphetto. The creatures were sent ahead of the First to seize control of the city before he arrived to make his takeover more difficult, although the First did eventually convince them to obey him. They were created using the power of the Mirari and continued to exist after Chainer's death, serving the Patriarch as bodyguards and assassins.

Ixalan[]

Coatl[]

Coatls are large serpents with feathered wings that are native to the continent of Ixalan.[3] The River Heralds rever the Coatl as representative of the wisdom of the sky and the rivers that twist through the air to reflect the course of rivers along the ground.

Coatls are immortal guardians of the sky, dwelling always among the clouds. The River Heralds say that they can be enticed to the ground by the earnest supplication of the wisest of merfolk shamans. Coatls are said to be wise beyond mortal measure and incapable of speaking a falsehood, so their advice is often sought in times of desperate need. The sight of a coatl is thought to foretell favorable winds — a belief that has begun to spread from the River Herald shamans to the pirates of the Brazen Coalition.

Kamigawa[]

Orochi[]

Orochi originally were anthropomorphic four-armed snakefolk that inhabited the Jukai Forest of Kamigawa (Orochi Colony).[4][5] They were segregated into three main tribes: the Kashi tribe, which housed and bred the warriors of their kind; the Matsu tribe, which were snipers and scouts; and the Sakura tribe, which associated with the race's shamanic rituals and teachings.[6] Of course, each tribe had its exceptions.

For centuries, the orochi led their lives in harmony with the forest's kami. However, the construction of the city of Towashi and the destruction of the forest that came with it enraged the kami. They drove out all who had been living within its borders and closed the forest off to everyone — including the orochi.[7]

Cut off from their ancestral homeland, the orochi struggled to fit in. New akki inventions and moonfolk experiments with the merging realms had fueled a boom of innovation and new access to power that the orochi found themselves unable to keep up with. Even worse, they could no longer draw on the kamis' powers as they were used to.

Desperate, the orochi appealed to the kami for help. In the end, it was the kirin who answered that call. But the kirin refused to become the orochi's new patron, as they first requested. Instead, through a series of tasks and quests, the kirin helped the orochi understand the truth behind their loss of power: the kami of Jukai Forest, in their anger at the mortals, hadn't stopped at physically ejecting them from the forest but had cut off all who drew strength from them as well. The orochi could regain their power, but they had to prove their willingness and sacrifice to the forest kami first: they had to give up a set of arms and legs and revert to simpler forms. The catch was that doing so would make integration into modern-day Kamigawa even more difficult.

The kami had deliberately set a request they expected the orochi wouldn't agree to. However, the orochi surprised them by accepting these terms without hesitation and even offered to give up their remaining set of arms as well. Touched by their devotion, the kami granted the orochi power magnitudes greater than what they had ever had before, and instead of simply taking all their limbs, granted the orochi a new form to help them better channel that power.

Orochi magic is based on reverence to kami of the land itself and is noticeably tied to the seasons (see also: Orochi ability).

Ravnica[]

Coiling Oracle[]

Snaking remnants of nature directed by a body of thought and progress, the coiling oracles are blend of snake and elf that embody all that is Simic.[8]

Patagia Viper[]

Using its membranes, the Patagia Viper can glide between buildings. They are capable of obtaining lift within the course of these flights.

Theros[]

Snakes that mirror Greek myths[]

Greek Mythology describes several particular snakes, many of which are directly referenced by snakes from Theros. Snake of the Golden Grove is a reference to the Drakon Kholkikos, a giant snake or dragon, as the two creatures were not always clearly distinct in Greek myth, that guarded the Golden Fleece and was eventually slain by Jason and his Argonauts. Nemesis of Mortals is a reference to Python, a giant snake that was an enemy of Apollo. Nessian Asp references the amphisbaena, a type of two-headed snake often referenced in Greek texts.

Servants of Pharika or Erebos[]

Other snakes of Theros are not referencing any particular Greek Myth, but simply servants of Erebos or Pharika. This is depicted in Pharika's Chosen, Erebos's Emissary, Pharika's Cure, and Pharika, God of Affliction

Tarkir[]

Both the Sultai Brood and its successor, the Silumgar Brood use snakes. This is depicted in Ukud Cobra, Hooded Hydra, Rite of the Serpent, and Sudden Reclamation

Gorgons[]

The Gorgons of Theros have snakelike hair and bodies.

Main article: Gorgon

Nagas[]

The Nagas are snake-folk found on Amonkhet and Tarkir.

Main article: Naga

Notable Snakes[]

Dominaria
Kamigawa
  • Chishiro
  • Kaseto, an orochi archmage.
  • Sachi, leader of the orochi shamans. Daughter of Seshiro.
  • Sakiko, an orochi matron who has mastered the art of drawing green mana from her enemies’ holdings.
  • Sasaya, an orochi female whose meditations enabled her to meld her life force with that of the forest.
  • Seshiro, the leader of the orochi colonies.
  • Shidako, an orochi matriarch and warrior.
  • Shigeki, leader of the Order of Jukai
  • Shisato, an orochi warrior known for her cunning and ruthlessness.
  • Shizuko, a powerful orochi shaman and rival of Sakiko who believes the orochi should be self-sufficient and uninvolved in the kami war.
  • Sosuke. Leader of the orochi warriors; also the son of Seshiro.
  • Suzue, the adventurous mother of Seshiro.
Ikoria
Ravnica
Non-canon

Creature Update[]

Creature types changed into Snake include:

Examples of other snake species included in the Snake type

Tokens[]

Token Name Color Type Line P/T Text Box Source Printings
Snake Black Creature — Snake 1/1 Deathtouch
Black/​Green Enchantment Creature — Snake 1/1 Deathtouch
Green Creature — Snake 1/1
Green Creature — Snake 1/1 Deathtouch
Green/​Blue Creature — Snake 1/1
Colorless Artifact Creature — Snake 1/1 Whenever this creature deals damage to a player, that player gets a poison counter.
Green Creature — Snake 5/4
Broodbirth Viper Blue Creature — Snake 3/3 Myriad
Whenever Broodbirth Viper deals combat damage to a player, you may draw a card.
Honored Hydra White Creature — Zombie Snake Hydra 6/6 Trample
Test cards
Token Name Color Type Line P/T Text Box Source Printings
Snake Black Creature — Snake 1/1 Deathtouch

Trivia[]

References[]

  1. Flavor text of Winged Coatl
  2. Flavor text of Lorescale Coatl
  3. James Wyatt (January 9, 2018). "Plane Shift: Ixalan". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Alex Smith (March 07, 2005). "Truth in Fantasy". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Magic Arcana (September 09, 2004). "Orochi art previews". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Wizards of the Coast (June, 2005). "Ask Wizards - June, 2005". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Emily Teng (January 20, 2022). "Teachings of the Kirin". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Flavor text of Coiling oracle
  9. Magic Arcana (October 28, 2004). "Sketches: Orochi Hatchery". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Magic Arcana (May 25, 2006). "Dissension Token Art". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  11. Magic Arcana (December 16, 2003). "Jinxed artifacts". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
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