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MTG: Lore of the Multiverse – Gix, the Right Hand of Darkness

5 Minute Read
May 17 2024

Every great villain has a few powerful minions at their side, but few are as loyal to their oppressive overlord as the Praetor Gix.

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.

Phyrexia wasn’t always the five-colored hellscape from the recent invasion. Long before even the planeswalker Urza, the plane was an empty mechanical wasteland. It was discovered by a young physician from the Thran empire and became the catalyst for his great work. This was, of course, the Phyrexian god Yawgmoth, and the first and greatest of his disciples was the demon Gix. But Gix wasn’t always a demon; he was a simple Thran revolutionary suffering from a horrible disease. Yawgmoth corrupted his body and his mind and used his anger to fuel his own personal vendetta. Here’s the lowdown on the Phyrexian peasant who would become the first Praetor of Phyrexia.

The Curse of Phthisis

Gix came into prominence in the last days of the mighty Thran Empire. A member of the peasant Untouchable caste, he and his fellows were suffering a terrible illness. The overuse of powerstone technology by the artificer nobility has caused a radiation-like sickness in the Untouchable caste. Gix, angered by the negligence of the Thran nobility, began operating a rebel cell out of the Caves of the Damned.

Setting a plan for vengeance into motion, he ambushed Glacian, the chief artificer of the Thran. Attempting to assassinate him, Gix stabbed him with a powerstone shard, subjecting him to an accelerated version of the disease. Desperate to heal her husband, the Thran noble Rebbec summoned the exiled physician Yawgmoth back to Thran. Unbeknownst to her, she had ushered in the greatest evil the Multiverse would ever see.

Yawgmoth identified the disease as phthisis, powerstone poisoning. He was able to devise a cure and used it to buy off Gix and his rebels. Over time, Yawgmoth became a powerful council member in Thran, and when factions from across Dominaria came to Thran demanding his head, he was able to turn them away. Eventually, the planeswalker Dyfed led Yawgmoth to the dead plane that would become Phyrexia, and he began to experiment on the Untouchables and other Thran prisoners and outcasts. Gix volunteered to become the first being fully completed, rising as a Phyrexian Demon and the first Phyrexian Praetor.

The Fall of Thran and the Brother’s War

Yawgmoth used his newly created army to declare war on the country that had shunned him and all the nations that had demanded his head. He had hoped Rebbec would abandon her husband and join him, but she did not. Gix, for his part, was a loyal general, happy to enact vengeance on the Thran that had thoughtlessly poisoned his people. In a desperate attempt to save her people, Rebbec used the Mightstone and Weakstone to seal Phyrexia away, permanently closing the portal Yawgmoth was using to invade. Even so, Phyrexia’s will was done, as Thran collapsed shortly after the portal was sealed.

Phyrexia was not idle in exile. Yawgmoth continued to augment and corrupt those who had followed him and eventually became a Phyrexian god. Other praetors rose, such as Tsabo Tavoc and Crovax, but none were as powerful as Gix, who had grown in power alongside his master. Yawgmoth fumed at the loss of Dominaria, and he was preparing his legions for war. Thanks to the actions of a foolish pair of brothers, he got his opportunity.

When Urza and Mishra disturbed the resting place of the sealed portal, the pathway from Phyrexia to Dominaria opened again. Gix was the first general sent through and used his corrupting influence to fuel the embers of war between the brothers. He fed lies to Mishra, driving his hatred against his brother Urza and eventually completing him. The war likely would have ended in the destruction of Dominaria if not for Urza’s discovery of the Golgothian Sylex. The massive blast devastated the plane and destroyed both armies, but it drove Gix and the Phyrexians back through the portal. Dominaria would heal, and Urza had denied them a foothold.

The Sleeper Awakes

Gix was enraged by his defeat but not deterred. He began to lay the foundations for a slower but more widespread Phyrexian invasion. His plan was to create sleeper agents, mortals subjected to phyresis but with no outward signs or memory of the process. Gix would be able to activate them later, unleashing Yawgmoth’s army from within Dominaria itself.


His first attempts, however, looked eerily similar to one another, and it fueled distrust amongst the Dominarians. They began to exterminate the sleepers, and Gix had to work quickly to right the error. By the time he had perfected the process, a rift had formed between Dominaria and Phyrexia. It trapped the plane in a dimensional prison and locked Phyrexia out. Gix’s plan had failed.

Death of a Praetor

Yawgmoth’s anger was great, and it needed to fall on someone. Unfortunately for Gix, as the orchestrator of the invasion, his head bore the brunt. Yawgmoth had him stripped of his power and augmentations and sent into the Punishment Sphere to be tormented indefinitely. He languished there for thousands of years until the rift was eventually mended and the temporal lock on Dominaria lifted.

Gix was given command again and sent to Dominaria at the head of an invading force. He engaged Urza in battle, and when neither could gain the upper hand, he unleashed a spell that would rip out Urza’s powerstone eyes and destroy him. Thanks to the efforts of a traitor Phyrexian named Xantcha, however, the spell rebounded on Gix, incinerating him. Even in death, however, his legacy carries on, and even the New Phyrexian Praetors revered him.

Who else would you like to learn about in MTG Lore?


Author: Clint Lienau
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