Ugin is a colorless planeswalker and elder dragon native to the plane of Dominaria from Magic: the Gathering. He is the twin brother to the infamous Nicol Bolas and in many ways contrasts him, with Ugin taking on the role of a watcher and protector of the multiverse as opposed to Nicol Bolas being the conqueror. Ugin is particularly known for his activity on the plane of Tarkir, where he revolutionized the plane’s environment by creating storms that produced several different types of dragons, and his work with the planeswalkers Nahiri and Sorin Markov, all three of them having sealed away the Eldrazi on Zendikar until they were released again.
Ugin would end up as Nicol Bolas’s jailer after his brother's defeat on Ravnica, having planshifted Bolas to the Meditation Plane as soon as Nicol Bolas lost his planeswalker spark where Nicol Bolas was left powerless.
Ugin shows vast intelligence, having had pursued knowledge as opposed to power since his birth. He is very considerate in his actions as well as the actions of others of which might affect the multiverse as a whole, making him overall a serious and stern character.
Ugin was born out of the same egg as Nicol Bolas (known at the time only as Nicol) that was left on Dominaria by the Ur-Dragon, their presumed parent. Right away, Ugin and Nicol clashed in ideologies, with Ugin possessing a curiosity and wonder for the universe he was left in while his brother focused on his own survival and sense of superiority over humans. The two would wander Dominaria as a duo, asking their siblings for advice, and eventually made home with their brother, Arcades Sabboth, who had made an alliance with a kingdom of humans.
While living with Arcades, Ugin would learn more about the multiverse itself from a wise sage known as Te Ju Ki, who explained to Ugin the existence of other planes. Sometime later, when the duo was making their way to their birthplace, Ugin would be attacked and poisoned by a group of dragon hunters. After fully recovering, he discovered Nicol had set up a series of events with his magic that left the human groups in the entire region leaderless, Nicol then effortlessly taking over as their leader. Ugin was appalled by his brother's actions, who would in turn attempt to take mental control over him, the mental shock ending up triggering Ugin's spark and releasing him from Domianaria.
Traversing the Multiverse
Ugin traversed the multiverse for years on end, exploring its beauty until choosing to return back to Dominaria, unknowingly bringing him amidst a war between Arcades Sabboth and Nicol Bolas. When Ugin revealed himself to stop the fighting, Nicol Bolas questioned him at first, believing Ugin to have been killed by the hunters, but would come to trust Ugin. With pride, Nicol Bolas showed off his empire that he had built on Dominaria, but Ugin was unimpressed, noting that Dominaria was only one universe out of countless. This returned Bolas’s superstition, and after the two exchanged harsh words, Ugin planeswalked away, claiming that their connection has rifted.
Years later, while Ugin was meditating in the Meditation Plane, Nicol Bolas arrived onto the plane angry at Ugin for hiding his secrets and confronted Ugin in battle. The battle seemed endless, as the duo took their battle from plane to plane until finally Ugin gave in to his brother’s savagery, being killed on the Meditation Plane. After an unknown amount of time, Ugin’s spirit would reform into a new spiritual body created by the Medatation Plane, and it was here where Ugin found his purpose as a protector of the multiverse against foes such as his brother.
Ugin would join forces with the two planeswalkers Nahari and Sorin Markov who would work together to stop the eldrazi, serving as the mastermind of the group. With 40 years of preparation, the three had created a massive network of hedrons, connected by leylines and created with draconic runes with the Eye of Ugin as its centerpiece, that would inevitably seal the Eldrazi onto the plane of Zendikar.
Sometime after Ugin’s reformation, Ugin made the plane of Tarkir his home. There, his magic had begun to produce storms that produced five different species of dragons which reached across Takir. Believing that the humans of the plane should have their own lines of defense against the dragons, Ugin granted the humans concealment magic to protect themselves while giving various human clans other forms of magic, even the secret of Ghostfire to the Jeskai Way. Through his own calculations, Ugin distributed his magical gifts in a way so that no other human clan could gain the upper hand over another.
The Second Battle against Nicol Bolas
During this time of peace, Ugin would exchange conversation with the Sphinx planeswalker Azor, with both conspiring to trap Nicol Bolas on the plane of Ixalan, but before it could be put into place Nicol Bolas had tracked his brother onto Takir and engaged in battle once again.
Both of them fought viciously, but Nicol Bolas ended up the victor. After Nicol Bolas scourged his brother’s mind for secrets of the Eldrazi he left, leaving Ugin to die. Thousands of years later, Ugin’s spirit would wander into the mind of Sarkhan Vol, who would help guide the human planeswalker to his burial ground, where Sarkhan would find a spiritual nexus around Ugin’s bones that would take him back moments before Ugin’s death.
Ugin’s Transformation and Reawakening
Returned thousands of years from the present, Sarkhan would find Ugin’s burial ground after watching the battle between Bolas and Ugin and using the power of a hedron that contained Ugin’s life essence, he created the Crucible of the Spirit Dragon, saving Ugin and altering the future, resulting in Sarkhan returning to the present.
Due to his essence being contained in the hedrons, Ugin would become the soul of Takir, allowing Shamans to communicate with him even while he was barely alive.
1,280 years later, Ugin had been fully restored, resting in his cocoon until Sorin had arrived on Takir, reawakening and freeing the elder dragon after he found his resting place. The two exchanged news, Ugin telling Sorin of his conflict with Nicol Bolas and Sorin informing Ugin that the eldrazi had been freed. Astonished, Ugin brought up Nahiri and told Sorin that they needed all three once again in order to recontain the Eldrazi. After suspecting that Sorin was hiding something about Nahiri, he became irritated and told Sorin that he should put aside any grudges against Nahiri and find her. After than thanking Sorin for freeing him, Ugin promised Sorin they would meet again on Zendikar, and Sorin would better have Nahiri with him.
Before leaving Takir, he investigated the state of Takir and discovered through cravings the turn in events that would lead his dragons to end up overpowering and dictating the humans since his fall. While investigating, he met Sarkhan, who he had no memory of due to the change in the timeline. After Sarkhan explained himself, Ugin theorized that Sarkhan had created a time paradox, with Sarkhan supposed to not exist anymore if Ugin’s spirit never guided him to travel back in time to revive Ugin.
Ugin would soon after return to Zendikar to the Eye of Ugin and would begin the reconstruction of the Eldrazi’s hedron prison despite the absence of Sorin and Nahiri. Ugin than encountered the plansewalker Jace Belern who was investigating the area. Ugin explained to him how the network would be able to seal the eldrazi once again, however Jace was skeptical, due to it just being the same technique, and left to return to the Sea Gate where he passed on the information to his ally Gideon Jura. Despite Ugin’s warning against alternative options, Jace went underway with the rest of the Gatewatch into their plan to destroy the eldrazi titans Ulamog and Kozilek for good. Although the Gatewatch succeeded, Ugin was not pleased, and proceeded to berate the Gateweatch for their actions, showing deep concern for what this could mean for the multiverse.
War of the Spark
Amidst the events of War of the Spark, Ugin had decided it was time to end his brother’s reign of devastation before it was too late. Putting his plan into action, he worked with Sarkhan Vol to take back the Meditation Plane with Sarkhan taking care of any wards Nicol Bolas had put up. Now occupying the Meditation Plane, Ugin would now be able to peer into the spirit gem (which is metaphysically connected to the Plane) between Nicol Bolas horns, effectively being able to spy on his brother.
Learning that Nicol Bolas would attack the plane of Ravnica, Ugin joined forces with the Ravnican dragon Niv-Mizzet, with the two of them developing a plan where Niv-Mizzet would be resurrected in case of Niv-Mizzet’s death. When Nicol Bolas killed Niv-Mizzet in a battle, the plan was enacted, and a machine Niv-Mizzet had put his soul into before was than brought to the Meditation Plane by Sarkhan. Niv-Mizzet and Ugin would then wait until the Ravnican Guildleaders could enact on Niv-Mizzet’s revival, which the dragon had left on Ravnica for all of Ravnica to know.
Then, Ugin sent Sarkhan to retrieve the spear of the god Hazoret from Amonkhet, as he knew the spear had been constructed by Nicol Bolas and thus contained his energy, making it able to wound the elder dragon. As expected, the spear would wound up in the hands of the resurrected Niv-Mizzet, who would strike Nicol Bolas with it in the back. This would follow up with God Eternal Bontu clamping onto Nicol Bolas’s arm and absorbing Bolas’s planeswalker spark and all the other ones he had collected, leaving Nicol Bolas powerless.
His brother defeated and knocked unconscious, Ugin would planeswalk himself and Nicol Bolas to the Meditation Plane, the exposure to the Blind Eternities wearing down Nicol Bolas even more. Months later, Nicol Bolas would awaken only to find himself completely powerless, and even worse for him, Ugin had taken and erased his name, making him unable to be summoned.
Ugin would than reveal how he knew exactly how to outmatch his brother, explaining his plan to him as to add insult to injury. Ugin than expanded into the Meditation Plane to show he had become one with it, and told Bolas that he would watch over him until his brother’s inevitable death.
Before Nicol Bolas had awakened, Ugin communicated through the spirit gem to the planeswalker Lilliana Vess and human Araithia Shokta on Dominaria. There he told them that the spirit gem could reveal a person’s best self. When both of them tested this, Ugin himself appeared to Lilliana Vess when she held the gem and told Lilliana she would have to make a choice on her path of redemption. Lilliana would later than hold the spirit gem in one hand and the chain viel in the other, with the spirit gem glowing in her hand before disappearing. This resulted with Lilliana giving up the Chain Veil, and it is presumed the Spirit Gem returned to Ugin
Ugin was first printed in the set Fates Reforged as Ugin, the Spirit Dragon. The card's saw expansive play in control decks in the Standard Format. Ugin the Spirit Dragon would later be reprinted in Core Set 2021, seeing play in ramp and control decks. The card sees frequent play in Tron decks in the Modern Format.
Ugin saw his second card in War of the Spark with Ugin, the Ineffable. The card sees play in the Modern, Legacy, Poineer, and Historic formats, seeing the most play in Modern Eldrazi Tron decks.
Ugin’s most iconic, if not signature spell is Ghosfire, or alternatively titled the Breath of Ugin. The spell allows the user to breath out a colorless invisible flame that ignores fire resistance and is said to be able to burn nearly any substance in existence. It is key to unlocking the Eye of Ugin, and Ugin in particular had used the spell while battling the eldrazi.
Through his travels and exploration, Ugin has developed a new type of magic which is able convert matter into energy and vice versa. This functions to the humans of Takir he gave his magic to for concealment magic and war purposes, allowing them to form into amorphous spheres of energy undetected by threats such as dragons. Also, from his searches of knowledge, Ugin has garnered potency in creation magic, his magic having created storms and dragons.
Ugin can also cast illusions, and is familiar with lithomancy. During his interaction with Jace Beleren on Zendikar, Ugin had also put an enchantment on him that would activate when someone attempted to view his memories of their interaction, the spell wiping Jace's memories and sending them to Ixalan. The spell would end up going into effect when Nicol Bolas attempted to destroy Jace's mind during a battle between Bolas and the Gatewatch.
- The card Ghostfire, released in the set Future Sight in 2009, would be the inspiration for the backstory of the Eye of Ugin.
- The cards Ugin, the Spirit Dragon and Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker have notable similarities. Both cost 8 mana to cast and both of their ultimate involves the either player discarding or drawing 7 cards, either player gaining or losing seven life, and either player sacrificing or placing down permanents. Fitting to the storyline, Nicol Bolas’s ultimate costs one less to employ.
- "We are all part of a vast tapestry. Break a thread, and that part of the Multiverse unravels. You can never know how small or how large the damage will be until after it is too late. That is why small minds should never be allowed to wield great power."
- "Our stories define our reality."
- "There is no force in all the Multiverse more dangerous or capricious then Planeswalkers."
- Kate Elliot (June 13, 2018) Chronicles of Bolas: The Twins MAGIC THE GATHERING.
- Kate Elliot (June 20, 2018) Chronicles of Bolas: The First Lesson MAGIC THE GATHERING
- Kate Elliot (July 11, 2018) Chronicles of Bolas: Whispers of Treachery MAGIC THE GATHERING
- Kate Elliot (August 1, 2018) Chronicles of Bolas: A Familiar Stranger MAGIC THE GATHERING
- Kelly Digges (October 14, 2015) Revelation at the Eye MAGIC THE GATHERING
- Ari Levitech, Doug Beyer, Kelly Digges, Kimberly J. Kreines (February 24, 2016) Zendikar Resurgant MAGIC THE GATHERING
- Ugin the Spirit Dragon MTG MTG DECKS: MAGIC THE GATERING TOP DECKS DATABASE
- Ugin the Ineffable MTG MTG DECKS: MAGIC THE GATHERING TOP DECKS DATABASE
- Wizards of the Coast (June 16, 2020) The Lore of Core Set 2021 on the Cards MAGIC THE GATHERING
- Soul Summons Scryfall
- Ugin's Construct Scryfall
- Alison Luhrs (January 17, 2018) Glimpse the Far Side of the Sun MAGIC THE GATHERING
- Doug Beyer (April 21, 2010) Rise of the Inbox MAGIC THE GATHERING