If you are anything like me, the story and lore behind Magic: The Gathering is one of your favorite parts. But if you are also like me in the fact that you haven’t been playing it as long as some people. There are a few cards and character names that are going to become familiar but that you not actually know. For me this happens all the time. I hear people talk about cards, or see them mentioned in a game, and recognize the name but can’t exactly pull the card up in my mind. I intend to make this a regular series where we can do a deep dive on some of Magic’s older or more odd cards. Looking back through the tomes of lore there seemed only one good place to start, Yawgmoth. I knew the name very will and even know cards like Yawgmoths vile offering and Yawgmoths will but it wasn’t until I really started digging that I found what made this once human physician one of the biggest bads in all of nerdom.
Now, this is a very simplified version of the story and there is much more to dig into but this should get you interested enough in what was going on with Dominaria and Phyrexia so long ago that you will take the story and run for more! It is one of my favorite stories and maybe sometime we will come back to it and explain even more! I hope you enjoy it and thanks for reading!
Where to start. He was a gifted physician for the Thran Empire on Dominaria, who unfortunately saw the body more as a machine to be fixed and tinkered with than a living being with its own rights and beauty. After siding with the losing side in the power struggle of the Thran Empire and found himself exiled by the Elite. While he was out in exile he decided to double down on his “research” and used many tribes and civilizations as his lab rats. He used numerous diseases on different races just to see what would happen and what he could learn. We could stop right here and you would probably get the picture but it gets so much worse.
The chief artificer in Thran had come down with a mysterious illness. The city sent out for Yowgmoth to return, hoping that this would lead to them being able to save him from the affliction. Little did they know about all his “research” from his time away. While he did finally figure out what the disease was and what caused it, he only used the serum in the end to leverage power from the government and found himself on the city council and able to make laws over public health. With this he punished and removed his enemies, saying they had disease and banishing them. This eventually lead to him messing with the serum, almost causing another rebellion, and leading him into control over the Halcyte Guard.
He ended up meeting the planeswalker Dyfed and talking Dyfed into adding him in finding another plane to continue his research. After squishing another rebellion and completely overthrowing the council, Yowgmoth had a permanent portal opened up from Dominaria to Phyrexia (the plane that Dyfed helped him find) where he bonded himself to the planets core becoming a god and starting his transformation of those around him. He turned them into stronger, faster, and more vicious monsters and between these and the Halcyte Guard, he was able to over come the army of tribes that had finally come for their revenge. After some time though he was his own undoing. He was found out for the insane man that he was after Dyfed found the horrowshow that Phyrexia had become and while Yowgmoth killed the planeswalker, his plans had not exactly gone to plan. He destroyed Halcyte and ran back to Phyrexia with everyone he could take with him, planning to return when the death cloud had lifted. While he was gone, his “love interest” had finally seen what kind of man he truly was and found a way to destroy the portal between Dominaria and Phyrexia, leaving Yowgmoth, for the time, stranded.
This is where things get crazy. He slowly tries to send agents into dominaria and use them to slowly take back power and find a way back there to retake what was his. After this failed many times, usually thanks to Urza (who we will cover someday) , he decided a new plan was need. He decided to make a new plane, put his army there, and then merge it with dominaria. Bringing his entire army there in a single instant and over running the world. Eventually Urza put an end to this but not without a cost. The final blow to Yowgmoth would cost Urza and many others their life. While this is the end for Yowgmoth, many still believe that this did not kill him but simply take out the form that was there. Could we ever see him again? I doubt it, but the seeds are there.
What do you think? Is there anything I missed for the simple bare bones version of this? Would you like to see us dig into it more?