Friday, 09 April 2021 08:00

Who is... Nicol Bolas? (Pt. 3 - Bolas vs Ugin)

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Who is... Nicol Bolas? (Pt. 3 - Bolas vs Ugin) WOTC/MAGIC UNTAPPED

Welcome to the second season in Magic Untapped's "Who Is..." series.

In this ten-part series, we explore the origins of the dragon who would become one of Magic: The Gathering's greatest antagonists, Nicol Bolas.  In this third episode, we watch as Bolas -- newly a planeswalker -- hungers after two things: power and revenge.

Enjoy the show.

Video transcript:


Welcome back to “Who is” on Magic Untapped as we explore the backstory and evolution of Nicol Bolas.

Bolas is now a planeswalker who hungers for two things: power and revenge.


On a plane known as the Meditation Realm, twin brother planeswalkers confronted one another. The ambitious and power-hungry Nicol Bolas locked in combat with the wise and contemplative Ugin. The fight went on for what seemed like decades as the two went from plane to plane, always battling one another.

Finally, back on the Meditation Realm, Bolas lays a fatal blow on his brother. Ugin falls from the sky, the dragon’s body striking the enchanted water below. The waves his body caused rose far beyond what the plane could contain as it flowed beyond the plane’s borders and out into the multiverse. The force of this flung Bolas from plane to plane as he is swept up in the current until, finally, he finds himself back on his original plane of Dominaria.

Some years later, Bolas fought another planeswalker – a demonic leviathan – on an island group west of Jamuraa known as Madara. The fight lasted a month and reduced Madara to roughly a third of its original size and created the first of what would become Dominaria’s many temporal rifts.

Bolas proved the victor and, after the battle, feasted on the leviathan’s remains over the course of the next year, absorbing its powers in the process. Eventually, all that left of the beast were two immense bones. These Bolas kept as a trophy of his victory and would become known as the Talon Gates.

As Bolas grew in power, so did his profile among fellow planeswalkers. Azor, a law-and-order planeswalker from the plane of Ravnica, cited the dragon as a threat to the entire multiverse and devised a plan with assistance from a reborn Ugin to permanently imprison him.

Using his own spark, Azor created an artifact he called the Immortal Sun to trap Bolas forever and bind him to the plane of Ixalan. Unfortunately for Azor and Ugin, Bolas discovered their plans and began work on thwarting it.

He travels to the plane of Tarkir and found a willing servant named Yasova Dragonclaw, Khan of the Temur clan. She sought to end the rule of the oppressive dragons who claim dominance on her world. Through a vision, he convinced her that if she helped him kill Ugin, Tarkir’s dragons would be no more.

With her help, Bolas called the reborn Ugin to Tarkir and Bolas managed to slay his brother a second time. Unbeknownst to Bolas, however, another planeswalker intervened.

Sarkhan Vol, a planeswalker native to Tarkir, traveled back in time from 1,280 years in the future and saved Ugin’s life by encasing him in a cocoon made by hedrons from yet another plane, Zendikar. This preserved the spirit dragon in a state of suspended animation. Despite Bolas’ best efforts, Ugin still lived.

Due to his constantly suspicious nature, Bolas returned to Tarkir 18 years later to the site of his victory over his twin brother. There, he met with Yashova and her twin daughters who were visiting the grave as well. Bolas noted the hedrons covering Ugin’s grave, but didn’t understand their significance. When he tried to pry into their minds to discover why, Yasova was able to trick the elder dragon planeswalker into believing that Ugin’s grave had been targeted by the Immortal Sun to trap him.

Bolas flees Tarkir before the supposed trap was sprung.


After that, thing begin to get really interesting.

Next time, we’ll see Bolas ascend to rule, only meet his premature end as “Who Is” continues on Magic Untapped.

I’m Barry White. Thanks for watching.