Sisay appears first as a card in Vanguard format in the Arena League’s summer season of 1997.
This mechanic reminds me of the recent Companion mechanic from Ikoria. It is played outside of the deck and modifies both your starting hand size and your life total, all the while, adding an ability that aids in gameplay. In the case of Sisay, ‘whenever you tap a land for mana, it produces one additional mana of the same type’. Handy.
She next appeared on the card CAPTAIN SISAY in the INVASION set from 2000. It was the beginning of the invasion of the Phyrexians on Dominaria, Sisay’s homeworld. Urza pulled together heroes to gather certain artifacts to combat the ‘Waste Lord’ himself, Yawgmoth. The card carried the hallmark search for Legendary cards that all other Sisay cards would champion. This card was reprinted in both FROM THE VAULT: LEGENDS and the recent Secret Lair.
The card I’m more familiar with is SISAY, WEATHERLIGHT CAPTAIN. I built a whole legendary deck around her. It was this card that made her a viable commander with that WUBRG ability to tudor legendary cards. This debuted in MODERN HORIZENS in 2019.
But, one thing I was unaware of, being the MTG noob I am, was who Sisay was exactly. And far be it from me to champion a deck led by a character I know nothing about; especially when research is my specialty.
The story of Sisay reads much like a Dickens novel and reminds me of more modern stories of the likes of Harry Potter. A young orphan, left to figure out life without his or her parents, holds a secret or a great power and an even greater destiny. For Sisay, it was just bits and pieces of lore and her one family possession: THE WEATHERLIGHT.
For you see, the ship left to her as an inheritance was extraordinary to say the least. Not only was it an airship, but it had the capability to traverse the planes. Bearing the obvious resemblance to the 2E Dungeons and Dragons Spelljammer ships, the Weatherlight looked like it had exploded from the old sourcebooks onto the playing cards of Magic the Gathering.
Before she came to captain this amazing vessel, however, she went on a near Treasure Island sort of adventure. First being captured by slavers and, then, rescued by pirates where she became a ‘cabin boy’ and took hold of her families birthright. Once at the helm of her flying ship, she became somewhat of a celebrity in the Mirage Wars of Zhalfir on her homeworld of Dominaria. The ship was one of several artifacts that Urza (the originator of the project) had created to help in this crusade against the Lord of the Wastes.
Once at the helm of the Weatherlight, she took on quite an amazing crew; most of which appeared on their own cards (see below). From there, she and her crew fulfilled her destiny of gathering the artifacts needed to thwart Yawgmoth albeit at the sacrifice of the Weatherlight and Urza himself.
I’m really sorry that I missed this era of MTG but, through my decks, I hope to relive this amazing story. In fact, it may take me a while, but I may rework my Sisay deck to include many of the cards you see below.
Gerrard Capashen who was the actual product of the genetic experiment that Sissay herself had been a part of. Everything began to come full circle as they were both part of the project whose result was to be the perfect human and weapon to destroy the lord of the Phryrexian horrors, Yawgmoth.
Hanna, the ships navigator and engineer, studied artifcing at a university in New Argive. The Weatherlight needed an experienced and educated hand being a living artifice itself combined of perpetually growing, living Thran metal and the Weatherseed. On top of that, it was powered by the powerstone infused with white mana from the collapsed Serra’s realm. This took a steady hand and a quick mind. It didn’t hurt that she too was a product of Ezra’s bloodline experiment.
First mate, Tahngarth, was a minotaur of the Three Beads clan from Taltruum.
Orim, also taught at the university of New Argive, learned the Samite arts a sect steeped in the healing arts. She was specifically responsible for the health and healing of the crew.
Much like the Spelljammers of D&D, the Weatherlight needed a mage to aid it in traveling from one plane to another. The Weatherlight’s mage was Ertai. Unfortunately, in the end, he fell into enemy hands and turned on his fellow crewmates.
Probably the most popular member of the crew is Karn, created by Urza, became a protector of the original captain of the Weatherlight, Jhoira, and ,later, the afore mentioned Gerrard Capashen and ended as a planeswalker with the influx of the spark from the sacrifice of his creator Ezra.
Deckhand and able soldier, Mirri a friend and admirer of Gerrard Capashen; she sacrificed her life for.
Crovax lived to be the epitome of the saying made famous in DARK KNIGHT RISES, “You either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”
Rofellos was a Llanawar elf who fought as a central part of the crew.
A genius goblin, Squee was a cabin-hand on the Weatherlight and valuable crewmember; giving his life to the quest for the artifacts.