Who Are: The Nine Titans

In this edition of "Who Is" on Magic Untapped, we take a look at Magic: The Gathering's Nine Titans and their efforts to stop MTG's original Phyrexian threat. 

In this edition of "Who Is" on Magic Untapped, we take a look at Magic: The Gathering's Nine Titans and their efforts to stop MTG's original Phyrexian threat. 

Video Transcript:

Welcome back to Who Is on Magic Untapped as we explore the backstories and origins of characters throughout the Magic: The Gathering multiverse.

I’m Barry White.

As a new Phyrexian threat looms, we’re looking back at when Phyrexia had its sights set on the plane of Dominaria.  Specifically, the Nine Titans – a group of planeswalkers who banded together to confront the threat head-on.


The Nine Titans are a group of planeswalkers from across the multiverse who were brought together to defend the plane of Dominaria from an invasion from Phyrexia and its god-like leader, the Father of Machines and Lord of the Wastes, Yawgmoth.

As Phyrexia’s advances in Dominaria expanded and intensified, the artificer planeswalker, Urza, created huge mech-like armors designed specifically for infiltrating Phyrexia itself.  They were outfitted with an arsenal of weapons for fighting Phyrexians, as well as a special system designed to detect glistening oil – the highly potent and corruptive substance that is used to turn, or compleat, non-Phyrexian life forms into Phyrexians.

These armors, however, needed pilots.  And not just any pilots.  They needed planeswalkers at the helm as they were designed to amplify and emulate each’s planeswalker pilot’s characteristics.

To fill this requirement, Urza began quickly recruiting allies to aid him in his assault on the nightmarish, mechanical plane.

Initially, he recruited his old student from the Tolarian Academy, Teferi Akosa, and the rather erratic Parcher, as well as other planeswalkers from Dominaria and beyond: Bo Levar, Freyalise, Commodore Guff, Kristina of the Woods, Tevash Szat, Lord Windgrace, and Taysir of Rabiah.

Teferi, however, reneged on his agreement to assist and, instead, chose to use his time magic to phase out of the timestream both himself and Zhalfir, his homeland on the Dominarian continent of Jamuraa.

Teferi’s departure, however, left a spot open for Taysir’s apprentice and adopted daughter, Daria, a planeswalker from Ulgrotha, to join.  As Daria’s inclusion was at the heavy insistence of Taysir, Freyalise made her own demand: for Urza to include her friend and former love interest of Taysir, Kristina of the Woods, in part as a jab at Taysir’s pride.  Luckily for Freyalise, Parcher’s erratic behavior had proved to be a bit too much for Urza and the rest to handle, and he was dismissed so that Kristina could instead take his place amongst the Nine Titans.

Levar assaulted and successfully captured the Caves of Koilos back from the Phyrexians, more-or-less ending the first wave of the Phyrexian invasion of Dominaria and allowing the Nine to use the centuries-old portal there for direct access to the plane of Phyrexia itself.

Upon entering Phyrexia in their powerful Titan Suits, the nine began wreaking havoc on the dark plane.  Early on into their incursion onto corruptive plane, however, Tevash Szat, a black-aligned planeswalker who was recruited due to his extensive knowledge of the layout of Phyrexia, began to turn on this squadmates.

During one of the many confrontations the Titans had with the Phyrexian natives, the serpentine Szat “accidentally” killed Kristina.  A little later, Szet went on the hunt and Daria, too, was felled at his hand, bringing the Nine down to seven.

Urza, however, was concerned that one of his Nine might betray the group.  As such, and unbeknownst to the other eight, the artificer planeswalker installed a failsafe in each of the Titan Suits.  Urza used the failsafe to drain Szat’s life energy, slaying the serpentine planeswalker and using his life force to as fuel for the Titan’s superweapon: soul bombs intended for the complete and utter destruction of the Phyrexian plane.

Unfortunately for the remaining Titans, as well as Dominaria itself, the longer Urza remained on Phyrexia the more and more fascinated he became of the place.  His artificer instincts overtaking his want to defend Dominaria from the Phyrexian threat, Urza ultimately feels he can’t destroy a plane made of artifice regardless of the repercussions.  He decides to dismantle the master soul bomb, which would have detonated the others in a coordinated strike.

Taysir, already grieving the loss of not just his former lover, Kristina of the Woods, but also of his adopted daughter, Daria, began thinking mutinous thoughts.  When Urza jumped from the plan and began to succumb to Yawgmoth’s call, Taysir tried to take charge of the mission and attacked him.  In response, Urza activated the kill switch in the Rabian planeswalker’s Titan suit, killing him instantly.

The Nine now down to four, followed Taysir’s example (in part, anyway) and continued the mission without Urza with Bo Levar taking charge of the mission, which was beginning to resemble a fool’s errand.

At Levar’s direction, he and the remaining Titans – Freyalise, Guff, and Windgrace – began planting the remaining soul bombs at critical points throughout the plane, manually activating them one after another before, just in the nick of time, planeswalking back to Dominaria as the remaining four bombs still packed enough power to decimate the plane, all but destroying it and wiping it from the multiverse.

Back on Dominaria, Commodore Guff, a planeswalker who, essentially, is a librarian and editor of all book ever written, including those yet to be written that hold the destiny of the multiverse, reveals to the other three that Yawgmoth had already departed from the doomed plane with plans to make Dominaria his new home.  Not only that, he tells them that the Lord of the Wastes is destined to succeed.  After all, he’s the one who wrote down Yawgmoth’s victory in one of his future-looking books of destiny.

Levar, however is having none of it.

He strong-arms Guff into making one final edit into his future-looking annals.  Guff erases a few of the important parts in regards to how Phyrexia’s invasion of Dominaria turns out, leaving its ending open and unresolved.

The Titans then go their separate ways just as Yawgmoth emerges on Dominaria in the form of a giant death cloud.

Guff gets caught up in Yawgmoth’s wake and perishes on the spot.

Levar quickly travels to Vodalia and uses his essence to create a protective shield around one of their merfolk colonies, sacrificing himself to save them as Yawgmoth’s death cloud encroached upon their area.

Freyalise returns to her forest to spend what she supposed were her last moments among nature and the elves who revere her as a goddess.

And Lord Wingrace returns to his native island of Urborg to make what he expects to be one final stand against Yawgmoth and the invading Phyrexians in defense of Dominaria.


As for what happened to Urza after he betrayed his remaining Titans and turned towards Yawgmoth, you can learn more about that by checkout out our Magic History videos about the sets Planeshift and Apocalypse.  You can find them listed in our Retrospectives playlist right here on YouTube.

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Thank you for watching.

Barry White

Barry White is a longtime Magic: The Gathering player, having started in 1994 shortly before the release of 'Fallen Empires.' After graduating from the University of Nevada, Reno, he went on to a 15-year journalism career as a writer, reporter, and videographer for three different ABC affiliate newsrooms.