Memorial Day is a holiday for paying homage to those who sacrificed their lives in the defense of freedom across the world. Today we’re going to apply this practice to the multiverse, a dangerous place were fictional heroes are sacrificed to protect the freedom of the denizens of countless worlds, and sometimes the very existence of those worlds. Come with me as we look back and remember five of Magic’s most storied heroes.

A Memorial for the Multiverse

Barrin, Master Wizard

The headmaster of the Tolarian Academy was one of the most powerful mages to ever live in Dominaria. Over the years he served with distinction and fought in countless wars against the Phyrexian threat. He and his wife Rayne, unknowing members of Urza’s bloodlines project, were parents to Hanna, the navigator of the legendary Weatherlight. Barrin eventually found himself in the final war, known as the Invasion. Forced to retreat many times he finally arrived at the battle of Koilos only to find that his daughter had fallen prey to the Phyrexian disease. He exhumed her body and returned to Tolaria to bury his daughter next to his wife. When he arrived he found that Phyrexians had already overrun the island of Tolaria. Barrin made the ultimate sacrifice and obliterated the enemy, the island, and himself in the process.

Gerrard Capashen

The infamous hero of the Weatherlight was the final product of Urza’s bloodlines project. Gerrard was genetically engineered to stand up to the Phyrexian threat. Karn served as his personal bodyguard from a young age to protect him from Phyrexians. Gerard eventually joined the Weatherlight crew and helped to track down the various Legacy items. Ultimately he came face-to-face with Yawgmoth, and was manipulated into decapitating Urza while in the 9th circle of Phyrexia. He managed to wound Yawgmoth and was expelled from Phyrexia back to Dominaria where he finished the job of killing Urza by removing his powerstone eyes, the final piece of the Legacy weapon. Once the eyes were placed into Karn, the Legacy was complete and Yawgmoth was defeated. Gerrard and Urza lost their lives creating the Legacy. Karn transcended and became a planeswalker with Urza’s eyes.

Freyalise, Llanowar’s Fury

Freyalise has many stories of many battles through the years. Shortly after her ascension she helped the lands of Llanowar and Fyndhorn survive the Ice Age. Ultimately, with the help of others, she put an end to the Ice Age. The returned to Dominaria to defend it as one of Urza’s nine titans during the Invasion. She and Lord Windgrace were the only survivors of the war that claimed Urza, Barrin, and many others. Finally, several centuries later, as time rifts threatened to destroy the multiverse, Freyalise sacrificed herself to seal the rift above Skyshroud, helping to save all life in the multiverse in the process.

Akroma, Angel of Wrath

While dying in the desert, the shaper Ixidor created the angel Akroma to avenge his lost love. Akroma traveled to Aphetto and challenged Phage. Unfortunately Kamahl prevented Akroma from destroying the corrupted Jeska and the angel lost her legs to Phage’s touch. She returned to her creator and Ixidor gave her the legs of of a jaguar and made her faster and keener. She returned to fight a war against Phage, but once again failed as Ixidor was consumed by Phage.

Akroma was tipped off to Phage’s location several weeks later where the cabal Patriarch was manipulating Phage to be sacrificed to become a god. Akroma continued her holy war against Phage, attracting more forces to her side. After attempting to defeat Phage’s deathwurm that had consumed Ixidor, she returned to lick her wounds one last time before confronting Phage personally. Akroma and Phage were both killed by Kamahl along with a woman named Zagorka, resulting in the creation of Karona.

Venser, the Sojourner

Born in Dominaria after the Invasion, Venser was one of the first of a new generation of planeswalkers, his spark ignited after the Mending. Venser became a powerful artificer and attempted to rebuild a planeswalking machine from salvaged Phyrexian technology. He was confronted by Koth, a native of Mirrodin, and brought to the metal world to see suffering caused by the Phyrexians there. Venser and his fellow ‘walkers set to the task of helping the rebels fight back against the invaders. Eventually he found the corrupted Karn, his former mentor, in the heart of Mirrodin. Karn’s heart had been corrupted beyond Melira’s cleansing abilities. Venser sacrificed his own spark, and his life, to restore Karn, who began setting to work restoring his metal plane after mourning the loss of his friend Venser.

The Quick Hits

  • After players and judges, the next Magic Hall of Fame proposal features the game’s legendary writers. Compiled by Abe Sargent, I finally have something to aspire to [Gathering Magic]
  • Wizards will be providing round-the-clock coverage of Modern Masters Weekend as it should be. I was hoping they’d roll this kind of thing out for RPTQ weekend but this should be the start of something beautiful [Daily MTG]
  • Speaking of Modern Masters Weekend, Mike Linnemann has your guide to artists attending Grand Prix Las Vegas [Gathering Magic]
  • Apparently there are some concerns about the packaging of Modern Masters. Namely that the packs can be reopened and repacked easily, and also that cards are coming out of sealed packs with damage and humidity warping [Quiet Speculation]

Wallpaper of the Week

Oh Emrakul. Is there anything you can’t do? The most terrifying of the Eldrazi graces our desktops in terrifying ways that Lovecraft could have only, and likely frequently, dreamed of.

Grade: A-

What We Learned is a weekly feature here at Hipsters of the Coast written by former amateur Magic Player Rich Stein, who came really close to making day two of a Grand Prix on several occasions. Each week we will take a look at the past seven days of major events, big news items, and community happenings so that you can keep up-to-date on all the latest and greatest Magic: the Gathering community news.

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