Ahoy planeswalkers! Thank you for joining me for a very special Sunday edition of Scry Five–a column in which I get to achieve a longstanding goal!

When I started writing about Magic: the Gathering in an obscure corner of WordPress, I had three goals. The first goal was to parlay my writing into a spot on a larger Magic website. The second was to have my writing featured on the Mothership. The last was previewing a card for Wizards of the Coast.

The field of Magic content creation can feel crowded, though, and breaking through can be a challenge. So, I may have made a certain deal that I’m not especially proud of. What has followed after, however, has been everything I could have hoped. I joined Hipsters of the Coast, I have seen a dozen of my articles featured on the Magic: the Gathering homepage, and now, today, I fulfill the greatest of my Magic dreams: I am previewing a card from Dominaria!

Seeing all my dreams come true, I find myself at the mountaintop, knowing there is nowhere left to climb. I finally understand the old saying: “When Belzenlok saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer.”

What, you haven’t heard that expression? Oh, you’ve probably heard it attributed (wrongly) to someone else. That seems to happen to Demonlord Belzenlok a lot; most seem only to know him as the last (and the greatest) of Liliana Vess’s demonic masters. But his portfolio is far more robust than people give him credit for, ranging from helping fledgling Magic content creators get their big break to leading some of the multiverse’s most ancient and famous groups. Take the Order of the Ebon Hand:

This organization dates back to one of Magic’s earliest expansions, debuting in Fallen Empires. They have been said (much like mono-black Legacy players) to worship Tourach. But now, with Dominaria, we learn The Truth! The Ebon Hand has been the ultimate slow burn reveal: Belzenlok was the Master of the Ebon Hand, using them for his supreme purposes and leaving them to be devoured by their thrulls once they had served their purpose! And that’s not all…

Yes, we have falsely attributed so many of Demonlord Belzenlok’s roles in Dominarian history to lesser beings. Crovax, Ascendant Evincar of the Rathi Stronghold? An overrated brute undeserving of his title, slain in pitched combat by a mere 3/4. Virot Maglan, the alleged Cabal Patriarch? His immortality wasn’t even innate like Belzenlok’s, which is why he fell so easily once deprived of his so-called god Kuberr’s protections. Tevesh Szat, Doom of Fools? Hardly a fitting title for someone so easily used by Urza to murder several planeswalkers before being sacrificed to fuel the soul bombs that demolished Phyrexia during the Phyrexian Invasion.

And don’t even get me started on Yawgmoth, the one called Lord of the Wastes. He couldn’t even see that getting beheaded by Gerrard Capashen was part of Urza’s plan all along! No, Yawgmoth was a mere puppet, leading an invasion meant to fail, to give the people of Dominaria a hope that Belzenlok could take and crush in due time.

It was all Demonlord Belzenlok. It always has been Demonlord Belzenlok! It ever shall be Demonlord Belzenlok! ALL GLORY TO DEMONLORD BELZENLOK!

At last, my purpose is fulfilled. I have officially previewed a card for Wizards of the Coast! I have spread The Truth of the mighty Demonlord Belzenlok! In time, other Vorthoses, will see it too!

Belzenlok and I have both fulfilled our roles in our pact. Now all that remains is to collect the reward that he has prepared for me…

Oh. Oh my. Um…

On second thought, maybe I could stick around and make some new goals. Like, uh… previewing an uncommon someday?

Yes. Let’s go with that. For the greater glory of Demonlord Belzenlok, I will preview an uncommon someday. And so I, uh, need to stay alive and writing for a while more.

Beck is a financial aid counselor and theatre history Ph.D. student who lives in the greater Boston area. He believes in playing standard like a Johnny, drafting like a Spike, and only playing modern decks that involve the number eight.

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