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MTG: Lore of the Multiverse – Grist, the Very Hungry Caterpillar

4 Minute Read
Apr 19 2024

Not all Planeswalkers are great heroes or deadly villains. Sometimes, they’re just one tiny bug with a Multiversal appetite.

Welcome, Praetors and Planeswalkers, to our ongoing series about the people and places that help make MTG incredible. From great heroes and deadly villains to gorgeous locales and important events, the Multiverse constantly evolves to keep the game fresh. Even if you don’t know anything about the story, all the background drives your favorite cards from place to place.

You can check out all the previous MTG goodness over here.

Planeswalkers are some of the most powerful entities in the MTG Multiverse. Able to jump from plane to plane and harvest the latent mana contained within, they can and have altered the course of the Multiverse since Magic’s inception. Even if you’re brand new to the game, you’ve definitely heard of some of the big hitters: Nicol Bolas, Ajani, and Jace, to name a few. But alongside these great heroes is one tiny insect that only has one thing on her mind: Consume. Let’s dive into the story of Grist, potentially the most dangerous Planeswalker alive.

NOTE: Grist’s story is only considered canon in the BOOM! Comics. She’s still a playable card, but her story hasn’t officially extended beyond those pages yet.

The Hunger Tide

Grist was born on an unknown Plane outside the explored regions of the Multiverse. Beginning life as a simple larva, she began devouring plants and corpses, hoping to gain enough energy to undergo metamorphosis. However, one of her meals either empowered her with powerful black mana or contained a spark, and when Grist emerged from her cocoon, she had become one of the first non-humanoid Planeswalkers.

When her spark ignited, she gained a measure of sentience and a sense of self. However, her drive to consume was amplified as well, and she found she could commune with the insect life around her. When her home plane was stripped clean of biological matter, she Planeswalked for the first time. Upon landing on her first destination, she began sending out a magical call to the native insect life. A week later, the area would be stripped bare by a tide of insects, and Grist would move on.

via Niv Singer, Flickr

Her planeswalking would cause bright flashes of light in the sky. Farmers and herdsmen would view these signs as heralds of the coming doom and do what they could to prepare ahead of time. However, there was little that could be done in the face of Grist’s living storm. In times of threat, she could even draw the insects together into a single mass, forming a horrific zombie-like giant that swept across the plane. Where Grist flew, only death followed.

A Plague Diverted

Eventually, Grist found her way to the plane of Kamigawa. As she had everywhere else, she began to summon her horde. Thankfully for the plane, the Planeswalker Tamiyo had heard the tales of Grist from her studies of lore. When she saw the bright flash in the sky, she knew she needed to act. She sought out the leonine Planeswalker Ajani, hoping that together they could solve the mystery of the coming threat.

Ajani approached the gathering swarm, focusing on singling out a soul with a spark at its core. He was surprised to find the diminutive Grist at its center. Having never seen a Planeswalker like her before, Ajani was unsure how to proceed. However, Grist had gained sentience and was able to commune with Ajani.


Grist had never seen a being like Ajani before, let alone communicated with them, and was unaware that humanoids were thinking beings like her. She soon realized that she was hurting people with her hunger and was remorseful. Tamiyo suggested that she and her horde keep to the evergrowing wilds of the plane of Eldraine, where she could feast without harming sentient life. Grist agreed and, to this point, hasn’t broken her word.

The Hunger Tide is sated for now, but how long will that last?

Author: Clint Lienau
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