Technology ebbs and flows throughout the worlds and the history of the multiverse. From the ancient advanced civilizations of Dominaria to the almost-completely-devoid-of-technology world of Tarkir, you can find everything and more in the annals of history. Here in the Museum of the Historical Science of the Multiverse on Kaladesh we honor the marvels of the past and seek to learn from the cultures that fostered this technology.

As we get closer to the Inventors’ Fair on Kaladesh, presided over by head judge Tezzeret, please take some time to study the history of invention throughout the known planes. No matter how uncivilized some places may seem to you, especially in comparison to Kaladesh, their technological advances are no less important to their culture. As you travel through the galleries within you’ll see artifacts from other planes, preserved here for all time, as well as a bit of history on the worlds they come from.

You may be surprised to learn that while Kaladesh may now be the most technically advanced world we’ve discovered so far, there have been far more advanced civilizations in the past. None of them remain intact today. Is this a fate that will one day befall Kaladesh? We must study the histories of these cultures, lest we are doomed to repeat their failures.

Ancient History (-10,000 Years to -3,000 Years)

Dominaria: Thran Civilization

The time of the Thran was an age of wonder for the citizens of ancient Dominaria. Though a cataclysmic war between the Thran and Yawgmoth would completely destroy this once-great civilization, some of the technology survived to be discovered by the archaeologists of future generations.

Thran technology was powered by batteries known as power stones. These perfectly-formed crystalline stones were forged with an intense amount of energy which created a small world of energy inside each stone. They powered devices as small as personal transports and as large as the legendary [casthaven]Thran Golem[/casthaven]s.

As noted above, the Thran eventually destroyed themselves at the hands of a scientist named Yawgmoth. Sciences of the body were forsaken in favor of the science of the power crystals. Doctors like Yawgmoth were driven to the fringes of the Thran society from which they performed nefarious experiments and eventually corrupted the Thran desire for perfection.

Let this be a lesson to the people of Kaladesh to embrace not just the science of engineering but all sciences and practices, whether or not they rely on aether.

See also: [casthaven]Thran Turbine[/casthaven], [casthaven]Thran War Machine[/casthaven], [casthaven]Thran Weaponry[/casthaven]

Dominaria: The Antiquities War

The Antiquities War, also known as the Brothers War, was waged across the continent of Terisiare on Dominaria roughly six thousand years ago. Though four millennium had passed since Yawgmoth destroyed the Thran civilization, new civilizations had emerged including the city-states of Yotia and Argive. From Argive came many scholars and two brothers who were artificers: Urza and Mishra.

The brothers discovered the [casthaven]Gate to Phyrexia[/casthaven] in the [casthaven]Caves of Koilos[/casthaven] and thus began their decades-long conflict. Over the years, Urza and Mishra as well as their respective generals Tawnos and Ashnod developed many amazing and terrifying machines of war. Much of this technology would lay the ground work for Urza’s later works and Dominaria’s second technological golden age.

See also: [casthaven]Ashnod’s Transmogrant[/casthaven], [casthaven]Ornithopter[/casthaven], [casthaven]Tawnos’s Coffin[/casthaven], [casthaven]Mishra’s War Machine[/casthaven]

Dominaria: The Dark Ages

The Antiquities War ended with the activation of the [casthaven]Golgothian Sylex[/casthaven] and the destruction of the island-nation of Argoth. The continent of Terisiare slowly entered an ice age. The years leading up to the ice age were collectively referred to as the Dark Ages by the scholars of the generations following the end of the ice age.

As one may surmise, the Antiquities War had a negative effect on technology and innovation, setting back the civilization of Dominaria once again, as the Thran/Phyrexian war had previously done. These Dark Ages are marked by modest technology at best, as any new technology was feared to be magic and magicians were eagerly hunted down.

The three-millennium-long ice age also drove technology as well. Though magic was now refined, organized, and accepted as a part of the social order, technology had not quite caught up. The city of Soldev in the nation of Kjeldor was, however, a bastion of technological advancement, as seen in the journals of its steward [casthaven]Arcum Dagsson[/casthaven].

See also: [casthaven]Arcum’s Weathervane[/casthaven], [casthaven]Gustha’s Scepter[/casthaven], [casthaven]Soldevi Sentry[/casthaven]

The Rath Cycle (-3,000 Years to -500 Years)


Shortly after the ice age was ended by the planeswalker Freyalise, Urza returned to Dominaria and opened the [casthaven]Tolarian Academy[/casthaven]. His life was consumed by a single purpose: defeating Yawgmoth and destroying Phyrexia.

As such, much of Urza’s work during these millennia was devoted to the defense of Dominaria and any means to empower the Dominarian people. Through the Metathran and Bloodlines initiatives, with the use of recovered Thran technology (see [casthaven]Thran Dynamo[/casthaven]), Urza tried to manipulate gene pools to create the perfect army to fight Yawgmoth.

This would be Dominaria’s third age of peace.

See also: [casthaven]Defense Grid[/casthaven], [casthaven]Jhoira’s Toolbox[/casthaven], [casthaven]Urza’s Armor[/casthaven]


The world of Mercadia was one built around commerce and exploited by Volrath, a Phyrexian feudal lord who was the Evincar of a world called Rath. The Mercadians themselves descended from a small group of Thran who had been saved from Yawgmoth’s war by the planeswalker Dyfed. Other inhabitants of the world were brought there by the dragon engine Ramos at the end of the Antiquities War. The entire population was made up of the survivors of Dominaria’s first two great wars.

Mercadian technology is often mercantile in nature but was also shaped by the unique nature of the city of Mercadia which sat on the top of an inverted mountain. The lift system used to transport goods and people from the city to the plains below and vice-versa was a technical marvel for the Mercadians, though it was dwarfed by the technology of the time period that appeared on Dominaria and Rath.

See also: [casthaven]Kyren Archive[/casthaven], [casthaven]Mercadian Atlas[/casthaven], [casthaven]Mercadian Lift[/casthaven]


None of the technology in this or any other Phyrexian exhibit was recovered from any Phyrexian world.

The technology of Phyrexia advanced rapidly during this time period as Yawgmoth’s inner circle prepared for the oncoming invasion of Dominaria. Much of the technology was used for reconnaissance as countless newts were sent ahead to prepare and to enlist Dominarians to fight for Phyrexia.

The most feared foot soldiers of this time were the [casthaven]Phyrexian Negator[/casthaven]s who were best known for their use in the destruction of the first [casthaven]Tolarian Academy[/casthaven]. Eventually Urza was able to exploit flaws in their design and they were phased out of the Phyrexian army.

See also: [casthaven]Grafted Skullcap[/casthaven], [casthaven]Phyrexian Colossus[/casthaven], [casthaven]Phyrexian Processor[/casthaven]


Rath, for the most part, was an unremarkable plane with one remarkable technological feat: Flowstone. This material was Phyrexian in nature and made from nano-robots which could be manipulated by the mental powers of the strongest beings on Rath. For the longest time this was the evincar Volrath who was succeeded by Crovax.

All technology of the time was based on Flowstone. Even simple tools and light fixtures were built from the stuff. Flowstone is an incredibly rare substance these days and there is none to be found on Kaladesh.

See also: [casthaven]Flowstone Armor[/casthaven], [casthaven]Flowstone Thopter[/casthaven], [casthaven]Predator, Flagship[/casthaven]

The Phyrexian Invasion (-500 Years to -400 Years)


The technology of Dominaria during the invasion was completely based on the visions of Urza Planeswalker and incorporated an equal amount of his artifice, Thran powerstone technology, and pure magical power.

The pinnacle of technology during this time was the nine planeswalker titan suits which Urza created for the planeswalkers who assaulted Phyrexia directly. Equally impressive though was the Skyship Weatherlight which led the unified forces on Dominaria itself.

See also: [casthaven]Power Armor[/casthaven], [casthaven]Skyship Weatherlight[/casthaven], [casthaven]Urza’s Filter[/casthaven]


During this time period we prefer to avoid the war technology of Phyrexia which was a grotesque perversion of science. Instead we look at some of the less gruesome inventions.

Chief among Phyrexia’s advancements was airship technology and planar portal technology. While the scientists of Kaladesh have managed to create airships using aether, we have not been able to build planar portals as the Phyrexians did.

See also: [casthaven]Phyrexian Altar[/casthaven], [casthaven]Phyrexian Lens[/casthaven], [casthaven]Tsabo’s Web[/casthaven]

The Mirari Cycle (-400 Years to -100 Years)


Once again, in the aftermath of a great war, the people of Dominaria shunned technology for many generations (and perhaps still do to this day). The first continent to fully recover from the Phyrexian invasion was Otaria. Though, unfortunately, that continent was then subjected to the powerful Mirari, which nearly resulted in the complete destruction of Dominaria once again.

Much of the other technology recovered from this time period consists of war machines in a post-world war environment. The technology contains very few automatons as few Dominarians trusted in machines anymore, instead favoring magic as their preferred tool.

It remains to be seen if another technological golden age will ever be seen by Dominaria.

See also: [casthaven]Limestone Golem[/casthaven], [casthaven]Otarian Juggernaut[/casthaven], [casthaven]Tribal Golem[/casthaven]


The world of Kamigawa has had very little in the way of technological advances. The denizens of this world are devout spirit-worshipers and animal worshipers and as such they employ a great deal of magic in their everyday lives.

There is, however, a very common practice on Kamigawa of imbuing small artifice with magical power in the form of totems, idols, or trinkets. This practice is seen throughout the multiverse but on Kamigawa it is the primary form of artifice.

See also: [casthaven]Ebony Owl Netsuke[/casthaven], [casthaven]Ivory Crane Netsuke[/casthaven], [casthaven]Jade Idol[/casthaven]


The lost world of Mirrodin was once a shining beacon of technological marvel in the multiverse. The material Darksteel was used to create incredible beings from the smallest worker drones to the largest defenders of the peace.

It was, unfortunately, Mirrodin’s love of artifice that would be its ultimate downfall as the people of Mirrodin were unable to resist the influence of Phyrexian glistening oil. A lesson that Kaladesh must take great pains not to repeat.

See also: [casthaven]Clockwork Dragon[/casthaven], [casthaven]Etched Oracle[/casthaven], [casthaven]Sundering Titan[/casthaven]

Post-Mending (-100 Years to Present)


Esper, one of the five aspects of the world of Alara, is perhaps the most technologically advanced locale in the multiverse after Kaladesh. The use of etherium, an element only native to Alara, allows the artificers there to create wonderful and terrible constructs and devices without the use of aether.

The people and animals of Esper have themselves become part-artifice as many, many members of their society choose willingly to replace their biological components with etherium simply for the aesthetic value instead of for practicality.

Though artifice is an art to the citizens of Esper, it is also the source of much pain and suffering as artifice has been used by those in power to exploit the weak and poor among them.

See also: [casthaven]Esper Cormorants[/casthaven], [casthaven]Glassdust Hulk[/casthaven], [casthaven]Inkwell Leviathan[/casthaven]


Lowryn and its dark sister world Shadowmoor are two sides of the same coin, both of which are completely devoid of science and technology. This exhibit however serves to share one of the most unique forms of artifice throughout the multiverse, and one that is unique to Shadowmoor (as far as we know).

Scarecrows appear in abundance on Shadowmoor. They are crafted during peaceful times on Lorwyn only to be corrupted by the Great Aurora into monstrous machines of destruction. This phenomenon is a unique form of transformative artifice and one that the scholars of Kaladesh would greatly like to study one day.

See also: [casthaven]Grim Poppet[/casthaven], [casthaven]Painter’s Servant[/casthaven], [casthaven]Scarecrone[/casthaven]


The technology of Innistrad is also unique to the phenomenon of the afterlife on Innistrad. Thanks to the nature of ghosts and other forms of un-death, the technology on Innistrad, for the most part, revolves around the study of death.

The Consulate takes this moment to remind all citizens of and visitors to Kaladesh that resurrecting the dead is strictly forbidden on Kaladesh and that it will be punished to the full extent of the law.

See also: [casthaven]Brain in a Jar[/casthaven], [casthaven]Geistcatcher’s Rig[/casthaven], [casthaven]Vessel of Endless Rest[/casthaven]

New Phyrexia

Several hundred years after the fall of Phyrexia at the end of the Dominarian invasion, their technology was able to rise again after being stewarded to Mirrodin by the planeswalker Karn.

The modern incarnation of Phyrexia shares much with the original, but lacks the technology to move between planes freely. Confined to Mirrodin, the new generation of Phyrexian monstrosities have completely overtaken that world and perverted its technology into grotesque horrors.

Once again, none of the technology here actually comes from Phyrexia but is modeled based on eye-witness account.

See also: [casthaven]Contagion Engine[/casthaven], [casthaven]Etched Monstrosity[/casthaven], [casthaven]Wurmcoil Engine[/casthaven]


Ravnica’s technology is surprisingly un-advanced for such a robust and populated civilization. This is likely due to the political nature of the world which is ruled by primal magical forces that many of the plane’s inhabitants are unable to explain.

Two of the guilds, the Simic and the Izzet, continue to push the boundaries of science, though their efforts are continually thwarted by the bureaucratic process laid out by the Azorius, who prefer the magic of their lawmages to the technological marvels of their rival guilds.

Many of the guilds prefer to completely eschew technology including the Golgari, the Gruul, and the Rakdos.

See also: [casthaven]Illusionist’s Bracers[/casthaven], [casthaven]Mizzium Transreliquat[/casthaven], [casthaven]Walking Archive[/casthaven]


The plane of Tarkir is almost completely devoid of technology outside of crude war instruments. This is because of their reverence of the dragons that rule the world, who have no need for technological marvels and would likely be threatened by any form of technological progress.

One can’t help but wonder if Tarkir would be a technological wonderland if it weren’t for their oppressive dragon overlords.

See also: [casthaven]Gate Smasher[/casthaven], [casthaven]Goblin Boom Keg[/casthaven], [casthaven]Hero’s Blade[/casthaven]


The citizens of Theros have an odd fascination with creating artificial animals as mockeries of their real-life counterparts.

The technology of the world is very primitive and mostly warlike in nature. However, in addition to the normal expected weapons, armor, and other metal-crafting, Theros has an astonishing collection of artificial animals.

These range in size from jungle cats to massive golems, something very rarely seen on Kaladesh where our artifice creates new ideas instead of imitating existing ones.

See also: [casthaven]Akroan Horse[/casthaven], [casthaven]Anvilwrought Raptor[/casthaven], [casthaven]Bronze Sable[/casthaven]


Our last exhibit honors the almost-destroyed world of Zendikar and its unique artifice. While it is strange to think of a world so deeply rooted in nature-magic as a place of artifice, the hedrons that are abundant throughout the world cannot be considered anything but artifice.

The hedrons have existed on Zendikar since long before the Phyrexian invasion of Dominaria and have never been seen anywhere else in the multiverse. They serve an extraordinary purpose of channeling the world’s natural leylines.

Could this technology be applied to the aether streams of Kaladesh? Perhaps, but given the fate that befell Zendikar, it might be best not to find out!

See also: [casthaven]Hedron Archive[/casthaven], [casthaven]Hedron Scrabbler[/casthaven], [casthaven]Keening Stone[/casthaven]

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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