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MTG: Lore of the Multiverse – The Genius of Jin-Gitaxias

5 Minute Read
Apr 26 2024

It is the height of hubris for a Phyrexian to think they know better than Yawgmoth, but Jin-Gitaxias dared to do it better.

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.

One of the primary tenets of the Phyrexian agenda is bringing life to its next logical step. For Vorinclex, that meant evolution; for Norn, it meant unity; and for Yawgmoth, it meant perfection. Jin-Gitaxis, the blue-aligned Praetor, thought that the next logical step was simply progress. A scientist of the highest order and the most intelligent of the New Phyrexian Praetors, it was his innovations that gave New Phyrexia much of its power. But who was this twisted intellectual? How did his mad experiments nearly tear down the foundation of the Multiverse?

A Compleated Mind

As with all the New Phyrexian Praetors, Jin-Gitaxias was born under the influence of one of Mirrodin’s five suns, specifically the Blue sun. Being born of intellect and will, Jin-Gitaxias sought out knowledge in all its forms. Jin-Gitaxis was a massive creature of chrome and oil, covered in blades and protruding bones. His skull resembled a great corvid, giving him an air of imperious intellect.

When choosing a stronghold, he settled in Lumengrid, the heart of the Synod on Mirrodin and the repository of their research. It was believed that his research gave him access to Black and White mana, though the rumors were never confirmed. His twisted citadel was filled with vats of newts, which he experimented on to create the perfect organisms.

Progress over Predation

Jin-Gitaxis was not, however, an ally of life. He found the term “evolution” too clunky and unsophisticated for his vision of perfection. As such, he hated his brother Vorinclex, whose brutish creations were offensive to his eyes. He even viewed Yawgmoth and Karn as poor leaders, putting him in opposition with Elesh Norn, though they maintained tense neutrality for most of their lives. Because of his hatred for Vorinclex and his progeny Glissa, it is ironic that one of his first completed warriors was a fellow elf: Ezuri.

Using Sheoldred’s necromantic visions, Jin-Gitaxis was able to create a menagerie of evolutions for his newts. He even improved on the native Blinkmoths of Mirrodin, turning them into the aptly named “Inkmoths”, which could both provide powerful visions and deliver glorious Phyrexian oil with a bite. When the Planeswalker Tezzeret fled to Mirrodin, Jin-Gitaxis kidnapped him, and a bargain was struck: Tezzeret would undergo phyresis, and in exchange, he would be given safe haven and a darksteel body. Of course, Jin-Gitaxis knew of Tezzeret’s duplicitous nature and set his own plans in motion.

The Science of the Soul

After the disastrous effects of Vorinclex’s trip to Kaldheim, Elesh Norn challenged Jin-Gitaxis to perfect the art of Planeswalking. Lacking souls, it was impossible for Phyrexians to gain a spark, and the spark had to this point, protected Planeswalkers from compleation. In his studies, Jin-Gitaxis had found the plane of Kamigawa, a plane of two realms, and thought the secret waited there. Using Tezzeret’s Planar Bridge, he traveled to Kamigawa, which was in a period of technological advancement unlike anything in the multiverse.

Believing that the kami were the secret, thanks to their ability to shift freely between Kamigawa’s twin realms, Jin-Gitaxis began to experiment on them. He was making great strides when he was discovered by Tamiyo and Kaito. Jin-Gitaxis and Tezzeret fought the two Planeswalkers and even managed to subdue Tamiyo. However, before they could strike the final blow, the Wanderer arrived and cut the Praetor in half with a single blow from her blade.

Tezzeret recovered his body and retreated back through the Planar Bridge to New Phyrexia, where his body was rebuilt. Using the techniques he’d developed on Kamigawa, Jin-Gitaxis was able to bypass Tamiyo’s spark and compleat her, making her the first true Phyrexian Planeswalker.

Art by Chris Rahn

The Invasion

Jin-Gitaxias set at the head of the invasion plans, thanks to being the first to successfully compleat a Planeswalker. When Tezzeret cashed in his darksteel body, he tried to Planeswalk away. However, he found himself bound to the plane by the same metal that had trapped Karn. Jin-Gitaxias revealed a captured Steel Thane spy, claiming to know Tezzeret’s whole plan. He planned to transmute the darksteel into blightsteel to control Tezzeret, but Tezzeret was able to escape with the spy’s help.

Jin-Gitaxias’s Chrome host invaded many planes, second only to Elesh Norn’s own forces in their ferocity. However, when Elspeth arrived to attack Norn, Jin-Gitaxias saw her sacrifice the Realmbreaker’s defenses to try to kill the archangel. Tired of bowing to Elesh Norn’s tyrannical vision, he ordered his forces to attack her.

He appeared on the bridge connecting New Phyrexia with Zhalfir atop a warmachine filled with his progeny. He hoped to retake New Phyrexia and align it with his own vision. However, he was struck down by the Zhalfiran forces and fell into the vat. Driven mad by Jin-Gitaxias’s experiments, the newts devoured him. Whether or not his essence survived or if he died with New Phyrexia is unknown, but his chances of survival are unlikely.

Three down, two to go! Stay tuned for more MTG Lore!


Author: Clint Lienau
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