Welcome back to "Who Is..." on Magic Untapped.
This time around, we take a look at Gix, a Phyrexian demon who manipulated both sides of Dominaria's catastrophic Brothers' War.
Enjoy the show.
Welcome back to Who Is on Magic Untapped as we look at the origins and back stories of some of Magic: The Gathering’s more important characters.
With the new Magic set, The Brother’s War, slated to come out this November, we thought we’d take a look at some of the various key players with that part of the Magic storyline.
To kick things off, we’re starting with Gix – a Phyrexian demon who looked to set the stage for an eventual Phyrexian invasion of the plane of Dominaria.
On ancient Dominaria, there was an enlightened civilization of artifice known as the Thran. It spanned much of the continent of Terisiare. As with many grand civilizations throughout history, things didn’t wind up being so grand after all as increasing civil unrest would prove to be the beginning of the end for the once-great civilization.
Several years before the fall of the Thran, a man named Gix came onto the scene. A rebel based out of the Caves of the Damned, he gained notoriety amongst his peers by stabbing a respected artificer named Glacian with a powerstone shard – something that could cause a disease known as phthisis thanks to the radiation the stones put off.
Gix’s rebellion, however, was temporarily put to an end by a eugenic healer known as Yawgmoth as he began to work towards curing the irradiated people of the caves, all of whom were afflicted with the disease.
Yawgmoth, however, was providing Gix’s people with nothing more than a diluted serum, claiming a lack of resources. This rekindled Gix’s rebellious ambitions as he led his people on a full-frontal attack upon the Thran’s capitol city of Halcyon.
Expecting this, Yawgmoth – whom had gained much prominence and power in the city thanks to his inexplicable ability to somehow manage and possibly cure this strange disease – was ready.
He had the city guard at his command and a newly-created artifact based upon Glacian’s designs with which he could control all powerstone-based technology within the city. With these tools at his disposal, Yawgmoth easily quelled Gix’s invasion and forced its leader into complete obedience.
Gix would fall out of the picture for thousands of years. The one-time rebel leader now a compleated Phyrexian made of bone, machine parts, and soft organics, and looking nothing like his former self.
It’s about this time that two archeologist brothers, Urza and Mishra, were exploring the Caves of Koilos – a place the ancients called the “Cave of the Damned.” While there, the brothers found an interesting powerstone that had been split into two halves mounted onto a strange, ancient device. Each brother took a half for himself, which (unbeknownst to them) activated the dormant portal that provided access to and from a machine-perverted plane known as Phyrexia.
Now a member of Yawgmoth’s inner circle, Gix was eventually sent through this now re-activated portal to Dominaria as a scout of sorts to survey the plane for invasion. When he arrives, he finds a war going on.
On one side is the forces of Kroog, led by the artificer, Urza. On the other, his brother, Mishra, who had taken control and unified the desert-dwelling Fallaji people. And at the center of this war were the two powerstone halves as each brother coveted that of the other and each striving to have both for himself.
Seeking to escalate the war by way of manipulating both sides of the conflict in order to make an eventual invasion that much easier for the Phyrexians, Gix sends his minions – those known as the Brotherhood of Gix – to infiltrate both sides of the war. This strategy found good success as Gix was able to go so far as to replace Mishra with a Phyrexian duplicant.
At what would wind up being the climax of the conflict, however, Urza activated an ancient Thran artifact known as the Golgothian Sylex, which ended the war in a nuclear fashion that all but sealed off the plane from the rest of the multiverse. Gix, however, managed to escape the same way he arrived – through the portal within the Caves of Koilos – just in time to not be trapped on Dominaria forever.
Back in Phyrexia, Gix was punished for his failure. The torment lasted several thousand years until after the Dominarian planeswalker Freyalise cast her World Spell that not only ended the plane’s Ice Age, but also inadvertently made it so that Dominaria would once again be part of the overall multiverse.
Gix devised a plan to create sleeper agents – human-seeming Phyrexians who would be able to infiltrate and slowly take over the plane’s population. He was placed in command of a small incursion force and was able to set up operations in the small Dominarian nation of Efuan Pincar.
Urza, now a powerful planeswalker, got wind of Gix’s reappearance on the plane as well as his sleeper agent agenda. The planeswalker (along with his sleeper agent turned ally, Xancha) set about to sabotage the sleeper agents Gix had already set loose on the plane. During the Dominaria’s null moon and with sleeper agents dying left and right from Urza's sabotage, Gix makes himself known to the planeswalker and immediately attacks.
The fight eventually brought the two back to the Caves of Koilos, whereupon Gix gained the upper hand. He gouges Urza’s eyes – which are actually the two halves of the powerstone at the center of the Brother’s War centuries prior – in an attempt to extract them from the planeswalker. Xantcha interfered, however, and distracted Gix just as he was getting the upper hand. An explosion of energy then radiated from Urza’s powerstone eyes, causing an explosion of sorts that presumably killed not only the praetor, but Xantcha as well.
And while that might have been the end of Gix the Phyrexian, his name has not been forgotten to Magic history. Indeed, just a few years ago in the set Dominaria, players saw a card called Rona, Disciple of Gix that not just pays homage to the character, but almost implies that he’s still around in the background somewhere.
Maybe later this year, we’ll find out.
Please join us next time as we look at another of the important characters from Dominaria’s Brothers’ War as Who Is continues on Magic Untapped.
I’m Barry White. Thanks for watching.