|(Subtype for creature/tribal cards)|
1.5% 72.3% 10.8% 1.5% 1.5% 9.2% 3.1%as of Commander 2021
Sphinx is a creature type used on Magic cards that depict large and powerful creatures with lion-like bodies, human faces, and feathered wings. Some rival dragons in size and strength. Notably, Sphinxes are the iconic creature type for the color blue  and they can be found in many planes.
Description[edit | edit source]
Sphinxes have hollow bones that can function as organ pipes, so “every phrase is a motif and a speech can be a symphony”. Most Sphinxes within the Multiverse were likely influenced by Azor, an ancient Sphinx planeswalker who once traveled between the worlds to bring order.
Storyline[edit | edit source]
Alara[edit | edit source]
Sphinxes on Alara are highly revered and respected as leaders of their communities because of their vast knowledge. The Sphinx Crucius is said to have created the Etherium alloy, which shaped Esper into what it is today. After Crucius‘s disappearance, no new etherium could be synthesized, but Sharuum showed esper residents how to thin the alloy, making it last longer.
Amonkhet sphinxes have leonine bodies, hawklike wings, and faces resembling humans, framed by great frills or manes of feathers. Their powerful forearms are also feathered, and fans of long feathers form their tails. They were perhaps the only creatures to remain uncorrupted by the influence of Nicol Bolas. Their impenetrable minds proved to be even beyond Bolas's mind control ability, for this reason, he placed them under a curse, banning them from communicating with other creatures in any way. Most citizens of Naktamun believed that the Sphinxes had taken vows of silence until the God-Pharaoh had returned to them. They began to speak only after the Second Sun aligned. They whispered dire warnings, though no one listened.
Criosphinxes[edit | edit source]
A few rare sphinxes have the heads of rams instead of the humanlike faces of other sphinxes. Though they lie under the same curse as other sphinxes, they are less enigmatic and more aggressive, actively attackingangels, demons and other agents of Nicol Bolas they encounter in the desert. They stay far from Naktamun and care little for its people; their hatred of Bolas is driven by his curse.
Sphinxes roamed the cold wastes of Dominaria's Ice Age
There are a small number of sphinxes on Mirrodin. They are so rare that most believe them to disappear into the aether when seen. It is known that at least the Consecrated Sphinx has been compleated by the Phyrexians and used to fight the Steel Hellkite.
Sphinxes of Ravnica are typically affiliated with the Azorius. They are solitary creatures that value their privacy but are also willing to share their insights with each other in times of need. In fact, the sphinx planeswalker Azor was the main author of the legal system of the plane, creating the Guildpact and guild system. Azor himself was the founder and parun of the Azorius, but he left Ravnica after some time to bring order and guidance to other planes of the Multiverse.
Another notable sphinx on the plane was Isperia, guildmaster of the Azorius during the events of Guilds of Ravnica. She was petrified and killed by Vraska, leader of the Golgari Swarm, under Bolas‘ orders.
Theran sphinxes are primordial, mysterious beings with ancient knowledge. They have abstract thought patterns, so even when they are not trying to be enigmatic they still are. One, Medomai, is a prophet at Meletis, going into the city several times to warn of future events.
On Zendikar, Sphinxes are to be found in Sejiri, on the Jwar Isle, and most recently in Magosi and Tazeem as well. Most Sphinxes search remote locations to ponder of Zendikar's mysteries and contemplate what they have learned. They jealously protect their lairs from other sphinxes and large predators, such as dragons, but they pay little attention to smaller visitors. A sphinx's lair is often difficult to reach and typically involves treacherous climbing for creatures without the ability to fly. A visitor who can reach the spot is often rewarded with an audience—but those who come in search of answers are likely to leave disappointed.
Notable sphinxes[edit | edit source]
Alara[edit | edit source]
- Crucius — creator of the magical alloy Etherium and long lost partner of Sharuum.
- Sharuum — hegemon of Esper.
Amonkhet[edit | edit source]
Ravnica[edit | edit source]
Theros[edit | edit source]
Unknown[edit | edit source]
- Arjun, the Shifting Flame — a sphinx revered as a divine being by a school of philosophers.
- Atemsis, All-Seeing
- Azor — former planeswalker and Parun of the Azorius Senate.
- Yennett — queen of an unspecified realm, she has been known to wield time magic.
Vryn[edit | edit source]
Tokens[edit | edit source]
|Token Name||Color||Type Line||P/T||Text Box||Source||Printings|
|Sphinx||Blue||Creature — Sphinx||4/4||Flying|
|White/Blue||Creature — Sphinx||4/4||Flying, vigilance|
|Glyph Keeper||White||Creature — Zombie Sphinx||5/3||Flying
Whenever Glyph Keeper becomes the target of a spell or ability for the first time each turn, counter that spell or ability.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
Trivia[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Mark Rosewater (October 22, 2018). "Are the iconic/characteristic races considered a 1 on the Beeble Scale?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater (March 20, 2012). "Marquee creatures for the colors". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater (March 15, 2015). "Characteristic and iconic creatures for each color?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Test of Metal
- The Art of Magic: The Gathering - Ixalan
- Mike Turian (November 21, 2008). "The Sphinx's Herald". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Plane Shift: Amonkhet
- Alison Luhrs (April 12, 2017). "The Writing on the Wall". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- flavor text for Ominous Sphinx
- James Wyatt (2017). "The Art of Magic: The Gathering - Amonkhet". VIZ Media.
- The Magic Creative Team (September 19, 2012). "Planeswalker's Guide to Return to Ravnica: Part 3". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Django Wexler (August 14, 2019), The Gathering Storm, Chapter Ten.
- The Magic Creative Team (September 04, 2013). "Planeswalker's Guide to Theros, Part 3". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Plane Shift: Zendikar
- Wizards of the Coast (June 22, 2020). "The Lore of Jumpstart on the Cards". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.