In honor of Presidents day we decided to take a break from the usual Magic news and strategy to bring you this incredibly important piece of click-bait: political candidates for the 2016 American presidential election re-envisioned as Magic the Gathering’s Planeswalkers. That’s right. Is Nicol Bolas more Donald Trump or Ted Cruz? Is Liliana Vess more Hillary Clinton or Carly Fiorina? Well, worry no more true believer. Read on to find out who’s running for this year’s election to the office of…

President of the Gatewatch

The Outgoing Administration

Barack Obama/Gideon Jura

Gideon Jura

Ah, the natural-born leader. What’s not to love about the current administration? Sure, sometimes their policies may result in a lot of innocent Syrians/Zendikari getting killed. Yes, the plan they had to “save everyone” turned out to only “save most people.” But really things could be a whole lot worse, right? You know what you’ve got with Obama/Jura and while maybe it’s not perfect or what you were promised at least you know what you’ve got and you’d be happy with another four years of Gideon/Barack leading your nation/plane but their time has come. At least you’ve got another 10 months or so of getting to watch them do whatever they please as a lame-duck candidate. On to the candidates!

Joe Biden/Garruk Wildspeaker

Garruk Wildspeaker

What’s not to love about a figurehead who’s down to earth and tries their best to do right by the people? Biden and Wildspeaker are both people of the people and more importantly they hunt down evil whenever possible. Of course, all good things come to an end and for Biden it was familial commitments that kept him from throwing his hat into the 2016 race while for Wildspeaker it was an incredibly powerful curse resulting in him turning evil and hunting down other planeswalkers that keeps him from leading the Gatewatch.

The Democrats

Hillary Clinton/Jace Beleren

Jace Beleren

You like Hillary. You like Jace. You would be happy with either one in charge. But, you know, deep down inside, something would always gnaw at you about them. Maybe it’s that e-mail server security issue. Maybe it’s the speaking gigs for wall street firms. Maybe it’s how they can literally read your mind and then implant their own thoughts inside it without you ever being wiser for it. Who knows? Maybe they’re not your perfect candidate but something about them makes you content to have them as your leader. It’s definitely not mind control though. Nope.

Bernie Sanders/Chandra Nalaar

Chandra Nalaar

In my 16 years of  being an American citizen of voting age and a Magic player I never thought the catch-phrase of a politician and a planeswalker would intersect so cleanly but I have to tell you all right now, I’m ready to Feel the Bern/Burn! Okay, maybe the burn/Bern is mostly just full of hot air, or blowing smoke, or running out of steam, but I gotta tell you those flames shine really bright and this is a pillar of fire I can get behind.

Martin O’Malley/Ugin the Spirit Dragon

Martin OMalley

Martin O’Malley, much like Ugin, hasn’t really had enough screen time for me to form a real solid opinion of him. Of course, that’s not their fault is it? They’re kind of transparent. Translucent? I mean, what is their position on the issues really? Single-payer healthcare? Killing the Eldrazi? I’m just not sure what’s going on here so maybe we’re all better off that Ugin O’Malley is no longer in this race.

The Republicans

Donald Trump/Nicol Bolas

Nicol Bolas

You knew this was coming, right? Has there ever been a political candidate who reminded you more of Nicol Bolas, the eternal elder dragon lord, than The Donald? They don’t need your money. They don’t need your approval rating. They could probably murder someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue and their approval rating would go up. The practically wrote the book on negotiating. Besides, if the multiverse had a Miss Universe pageant who do you think would be running it from behind the scenes? Yeah. This guy. Now to find out if Nicol Bolas has a daughter…

Ted Cruz/Ob Nixilis

Ob Nixilis

If you think there’s a more evil planeswalker out there than Ob Nixilis please let me know so I can swap them in for this one. Until then I’m sure no one will have any difficulty equating Ted Cruz with a maniacal demon who has spent a lot of time contemplating precisely how best to completely destroy everything and everyone in the world.

Marco Rubio/Domri Rade

Domri Rade

Marco Rubio and Domri Rade are young and potentially a bit in over their heads. For Rubio the “in over my head moment” came when he repeated his canned talking points in response to being accused of being robotic. For Rade the “in over my head moment” came when he was literally being buried alive. Domri Rade was able to ignite their spark and escape to the Alara shard of Naya. Can Rubio ignite his own spark and somehow dig himself out of this hole? If not, you can rest assured he’ll be around for a long, long time but you’ll only hear from him every four years or so.

Ben Carson/Tezzeret the Seeker


You might think that the only thing Ben Carson and Tezzeret have in common is that their both very good with their hands. Well, did you know that both of these powerful figures come from broken homes? And that they both had to be very violent in their youth just to survived? But they made it out of all that to become well-adjusted adults on the path to trying to amass endless wealth and power. Wait, Carson actually made all that stuff up? I guess I owe Tezzeret an apology.

Rand Paul/Nissa Revane

Nissa Revane

Rand Paul and Nissa Revane just want to be left alone. By the IRS. By the Federal Government. By the never-ending threat of planar destruction posed by the Eldrazi. Is that so much to ask? Let the states govern themselves. Let people work things out for themselves. So what if your neighbor is literally a vampire? Why is that society’s problem? Both these candidates know the value of isolation and they’re willing to work within the system to bring it down completely.

Jeb Bush/Ajani Goldmane

Jeb Bush

Ajani Goldmane is the black sheep of his family since he was born as an albino. Jeb Bush is the black sheep of his family since his biggest success was to only become the Governor of Florida. Ajani spent his entire life in the shadow of his older brother Jazal, leader of their tribe. Jeb spent his entire life in the shadow of his older brother George, who you may recall from being president for eight years. When Ajani finally proved himself worthy and was offered the position of tribe leader he rejected it and left Alara. If Jeb ever proves himself worthy and is offered… well let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves here.

Carly Fiorina/Liliana Vess

Liliana Vess

It takes a very special kind of evil to endorse a fabricated video that implicates someone for stealing dead/undead fetuses and selling the body parts on the black market. It’s an amount of evil so great that I wholly expect to hear from Liliana Vess’s lawyers for slandering her by comparing her to the truly diabolical Carly Fiorina.

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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