Gary Gygax’s own player character joins the fun
Mordenkainen, the arch wizard of the Dungeons & Dragons multiverse, is coming to Magic: The Gathering. Polygon is able to exclusively reveal his new card for the Adventures in the Forgotten Realms set, which will turn D&D co-creator Gary Gygax’s own player character into a planeswalker.
Mordenkainen was created for the original Greyhawk campaign way back in the early 1970s. Originally, he was a way for Gygax to get out from behind the Dungeon Master’s screen and actually play the game. Since then, he’s become one of the longest-running characters in the D&D multiverse. He’s a bit of a traveler, making the rounds of the Forgotten Realms (D&D’s current main setting) as well as Strahd von Zarovich’s Barovia, and Krynn, the setting for the Dragonlance novels.
It should come as no surprise, then, that Mordenkainen is rendered here as a planeswalker. Powerful wizards from across a massive and byzantine multiverse, planeswalkers can be played alongside other Magic cards to grant powerful, ongoing abilities to players. They can give decks a thematic flavor, or become the centerpiece to a powerful mechanical strategy.
Once he comes into play, players can use him to draw more cards. After a while they can cast the Faithful Hound (one of his signature spells), which sports a power and toughness equal to the number of cards in the player’s hand. Finally, players can use this card to exchange their hand for what remains of their library — essentially all the other cards they brought into the game.
Mordenkainen is still alive and well in the larger D&D multiverse. In addition to his cameo in Curse of Strahd, he’s also authored his own book for 5th edition. Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes was published in 2018. Magic: The Gathering Adventures in the Forgotten Realms arrives for Magic: The Gathering Arena on July 8. Physical cards arrive on July 23.