Magic: The Gathering’s Ugin, the Spirit Dragon is one of the most important characters in the game, but they’re also one of the more elusive. They tend to interfere with things without people realising, and have even reached across time and space to alter the timelines themselves with the help of other characters.
Ugin the Spirit Dragon is one of the few colourless characters in MTG that isn’t an Eldrazi. He’s also one of the few planeswalkers as old as Nicol Bolas, not to mention one whose existence is inherently entwined with him. Ugin has often stood against the dastardly dragon, though not always for reasons that are clear-cut.
If you’re hoping to learn more about this mysterious entity, then you’ll be happy to know that we’re about to give you a shot of knowledge about MTG’s Ugin the Spirit Dragon. So, read on to learn more about them, and maybe even let inspiration strike about how to use them in a future deck whether in Commander or a different format.
Let’s start by taking a look at Ugin’s history.
Who is Ugin the Spirit Dragon
Ugin is the twin of Nicol Bolas, and both came from the Ur-Dragon, a Dragon Avatar whose essence is found in all MTG dragons. While Nicol Bolas has always been obsessed with power for power’s sake, Ugin primarily seeks knowledge above all else.
Because of this, Ugin eventually ended up friends with a Holy Elder called Te Ju Ki and learned about the existence of the multiverse and other planes. Having witnessed their sister’s death in their youths, Bolas convinced Ugin to help him get revenge, but when it turned out to be a ploy by Bolas to gain power over the plane of Dominaria, Ugin’s spark ignited, and they planeswalked to a place called the Meditation Plane.
The two twins were destined to fight many times across the multiverse from then on, and during those battles, Ugin settled on Tarkir, which you may remember as the plane that had its timeline rewritten. Ugin is actually directly responsible for spawning the dragons of the plane, but they also took it upon themself to help the human clans by gifting them with concealment magic. Ugin then had a hand in leading the Eldrazi to the plane of Zendikar with the help of Sorin Markov and Nahiri, and helped imprison them with the Eye of Ugin.
Thousands of years after this, Bolas found his twin, and the pair fought once more. Bolas beat Ugin badly enough that he thought he had left the spirit dragon to die. This is when Sarkhan Vol became infatuated with dragons and was drawn back to the plane, sent back in time, and helped to save Ugin using the Crucible of the Spirit Dragon.
The dragon then slumbered until Sorin Markov found his way to the plane and awoke Ugin. Ugin returned to Zendikar to help keep the Eldrazi trapped, while Jace Beleren used information from Ugin to destroy Ulamog and Kozilek – despite Ugin’s wishes to restrain the Eldrazi rather than kill them.
Ugin then used the powers of Sarkhan Vol to help him destroy Nicol Bolas during the War of the Spark. Their plan involved an Amonkhet spear wielded by a resurrected Niv-Mizzet to damage Bolas, before dragging him through the Blind Eternities and into the Meditation Realm. At this point, Ugin became one with the realm in order to seal Nicol Bolas there.
MTG Ugin Cards
Ugin’s cards are incredibly limited as it stands, but that could change with any historical sets we get. As Ugin is colourless, so are their Planeswalker cards, and they serve as powerful engines and big threats, especially in Commander, because of that flexibility.
Ugin, the Spirit Dragon
Ugin, the Spirit Dragon was the first iteration of the planeswalker we had in MTG, appearing back in Fate Reforged. This eight-mana beast can deal three damage to any target as they gain two loyalty, can wipe the board of permanents with one or more colours, or can pull off one of the silliest ultimates going.
For ten loyalty, you gain seven life, draw seven cards, and can then put seven permanents into play free of charge. To say that this ability is game-winning would be a massive understatement, but managing to use it yourself is an unequalled joy.
Ugin, the Ineffable
The most recent version of Ugin appeared in War of the Spark, and is a six-mana planeswalker. While a little less powerful, there’s no doubt that Ugin, the Ineffable is still a potent card. Their passive ability makes all colourless spells you cast cost two generic mana less, which can make Eldrazi titans practically affordable, even in this economy.
Along with that, they can exile cards to create 2/2 tokens and then draw those cards when that token dies, and also destroy permanents with one or more colours. While less world-ending than MTG’s Ugin, the Spirit Dragon, this iteration still packs quite a punch.